Entangled (The Accidental Billionaires #2) - J. S. Scott



Nine years ago . . .

“I love you,” I murmured to Aiden Sinclair as he held me tightly against his body in another good-bye hug that was breaking my heart.

The fact that I’d just said those words probably surprised me more than it did Aiden.

After all, I’d given him my virginity over the summer we’d spent together, so he had to know that he made me feel things I’d never experienced before.

He was a piece of myself that had always been missing. I just hadn’t known it until he’d started to look at me like I was his, like we belonged together.

I’m not a romantic. Far from it. Maybe I was only eighteen years old, but I’d had to grow up early, and my life was far from a fairy tale. The only exception had been the time I’d spent with Aiden over this magical summer that was now coming to an end.

Reluctantly, I let go of the tight grip I had around his neck as he pulled back. But I was rewarded by seeing the face of the man I loved more than I’d ever loved anyone.

His beautiful blue eyes studied me as he said huskily, “I’ll miss you, sweetheart. But I’ll be back in a little over eight weeks. Are you going to be okay?”

For a moment, I was disappointed that he hadn’t told me that he loved me, too. But maybe it was just too soon for him.

Not that I didn’t want to hear those words right now, but we had only been dating for a couple of months.

I shot him a small smile. “Of course. Are you afraid I’m not going to wait for you? If you are, I have to tell you that you’ve kind of ruined me for any other guy.”

Aiden and I joked like that. We’d started off the summer as friends. His sister Jade, my best friend, had left for the university early, right after our high-school graduation. And yeah, I’d seen Aiden around, but I was pretty sure he’d taken pity on me once his sister had left, and hung out with me because I’d missed Jade so much. Not that the insane attraction between us hadn’t been there at the beginning of the summer, but he hadn’t acted on it until recently.

“Stay safe,” he demanded.

I nodded. Aiden knew my background. And it was no secret in Citrus Beach that my mother was eccentric, which was a nice way of saying she was actually certifiable at times.

“I’ll be fine,” I reassured him. Aiden was overly protective, but it was kind of nice because I’d actually never had anybody who worried about me or my safety. It was . . . comforting. He made me feel safe. “I’m starting classes in a couple of days.”

Unlike Aiden’s little sister, I hadn’t gotten an amazing scholarship at a prestigious college, so I’d settled for taking classes at our local junior college. But I was okay with that. I wasn’t gifted like Jade was, and I didn’t aspire to huge heights for my future. I just wanted a job I liked so I could get the hell away from my lunatic mother. And I knew I needed an education or trade to truly break away from her and the insanity in our house. Southern California wasn’t a cheap place to live, so getting a decent job that actually paid well was a must.

“I wish your mother would pay you for working your ass off at her restaurant,” Aiden grumbled.

I shifted and leaned back against his hard body. We were saying good-bye at the local park, taking