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Can the past really help the future?

Daniel Tate knew he’d walked out on a one in a million man, but some things are better dealt with alone. Leaving Kel meant losing his heart. He’d conquered his demons. Now he’s out to prove to Kelsey why being together is so much better than living on their own.

When Kelsey Schriver’s life fell apart, the last person he expected to come to his aid was his former sub. Their past burned bright, then snuffed out too fast for Kelsey. Is the past something he can forgive or something he can’t surmount?

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“Got to be some good times ahead.”

Kelsey scrubbed the mildew off the window and bopped his head to the beat. He should’ve known letting his sister use his house wasn’t a great idea. Instead of keeping it ‘nice’ like she claimed, she’d trashed his biggest asset. He sat back with his legs curled under him and listened to the Freddie Mercury song. The words brought back so many memories. But then again, so did the house.

“I am lonely,” he muttered and tossed the scrub rag into the vinegar and water solution. “Living on my own is so not what I expected.” He missed the house and the person he once shared it with.

Daniel Tate.

Few people got under his skin like Daniel. The man was impulsive and full of life. But his drinking had been his undoing. Kelsey couldn’t handle when Daniel came home drunk and verbally abusive. He missed his former lover, even five years after they split. Each time he stepped into the bedroom was like a step back in time to when they made love and talked all night long.

Thinking about the past wasn’t going to get the house clean. Not by a long shot. Kelsey sighed and grabbed the rag. The song on the CD player changed to another that reminded him of Daniel, Mr. Bad Guy. At least Daniel finally sobered up.

“I really need to update my CDs or break down and buy an iPod.” He wiped more mildew off the window sill, then dunked his rag in the solution. Footsteps padded on the carpet. Probably the realtor. Without a housemate, he couldn’t keep the house. Damn it.

“Don’t tell me you let this place go to hell.”

A shiver ran up Kelsey’s spine and his ears perked. He knew that voice—Daniel. He whipped around and fell on his backside. No more avoiding the one person he craved more than anything. “Daniel?”

“In the flesh.” Daniel leaned against the bedroom door frame. His muscles rippled under the tight T-shirt, and his jeans clung to his lanky frame. Instead of the cropped hairstyle Kelsey remembered, Daniel’s straw colored hair flopped over his brow. He’d been an impressive sight before, but bulked up and cleaned up, he knocked Kelsey for a loop.

“You never were a slob.” Daniel unfolded his arms and strode across the room to where Kelsey sat. He crouched next to Kelsey. “What happened?”

Tell him? Confess everything? The thoughts crossed Kelsey’s mind, but why in the hell had Daniel come back?

“It’s nothing.” Kelsey hated blocking, but until he knew Daniel’s motivations, he wasn’t putting anything up for grabs. Besides, with his confidence shot to hell, the less he said, the better. “You’re here. I never thought I’d see you again, well other than around town. Bored? Or just looking for a good time?”

“You’ve always been a good time.” Daniel sighed. “And yeah, the chance encounters where you run the other direction had to stop. I wanted to catch up. I saw the sign in the yard and know all about cheating Joe. Don’t tell me you’re selling.”

Kelsey swallowed hard. Damn it. Daniel knew about Joe? “If I can help it, I’m not selling, but since my sister helped me along, if a buyer shows up I may not have much choice.”

Daniel shook his head. “Why don’t I give you a hand?”



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