Title: The Deal (The Deal#1)
Author: Z. Elizabeth
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2014
Thanks to their fathers' feud, Nicole and Craig have been enemies since the moment they were born. But six years ago they fell in love... They just never told each other.
Motivated by their grandparents' money, they agree to a simple deal: Stay married for a year and unravel the secrets and lies surrounding their fathers. Bound together, they must figure out why the two former best friends have spent the last thirty years ignoring one another and prohibited any contact between Nicole and Craig.
Craig is more than happy to uncover their fathers' past if it means he gets Nicole for real.
Nicole wants to keep the past exactly where it is and she will fight Craig every step of the way.
With only limited time together, delving into their family history could be the mistake that will break both their hearts.
What happens when secrets and lies are revealed? Can Nicole and Craig live their Happily Ever After after waiting six long years to be together? Or will one secret be enough to break them apart, just like their fathers?
'I'm doing this for us, Nic'
*THE DEAL is suitable for 17+ due to graphic sex scenes and language*
*This is a STANDALONE novel. Book two is a companion novel.
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ExcerptI turn back to the waves, pick up my bag and grab my phone. John looks over my shoulder, wondering just what I am doing but I sit closer to him and lean in so my cheek is next to his. This feels totally weird but I am going to document this moment and remind him that I gained his trust, albeit, a little too fast, but we are now Father and Daughter-in-law and we haven’t had a picture together yet.
“Um, Nic, just what the hell are you doing?” John asks but I reply with my arm around his shoulder and my arm stretched upwards with my phone. I smile into it, catching John's expression. A mix of confusion, amusement and disbelief at what I am doing.
“Taking our first Father-in-law/Daughter-in-law photo, now smile, John!” I demand, smiling into the camera. John follows suit and I snap the image. I bring the phone so both of us can see the picture and I laugh. He certainly looks like an older version of Craig and he really is a DILF. I know for a fact when Craig and I have kids he is going to be the yummiest DILF imaginable and I cannot wait!
“Well, Papa Thomas, that is your birthday present sorted.” I giggle, locking the phone and throwing it to the bottom of my bag. John shakes his head and stares back out to the ocean.
“You know, Nic, I had you down all wrong. I thought you were a spoilt little girl who was exactly like her mother, but you are nothing like her. You're like your father; strong, determined, and loyal. I'm so lucky that in some backarse way you and Craig found each other and I'm proud to call you my Daughter-in-law.” John admits and I look to him, tears filling my eyes. It's hard to swallow but I push the lump down. I lean forward and wrap my arms around his neck, wanting a hug. John's arms wrap around my back and he laughs at my emotions, rubbing my back as I sniff the tears back.
“You have no idea how much that means, DILF.” I murmur, drawing back from him. I smile widely at him and gather up my belongings, ready to leave and dart to Kelsie's to pick up my suitcase. “I'll see you around, Papa Thomas. Don't be a stranger now we are BFF's” And with a wink I begin to walk away from him.
“What's a DILF?” He shouts after me and I let out a hearty laugh. I turn around and begin to walk backwards.
Wine in hand, television remote in the other, I settle down upon the red sofa and bask in the privilege of having the flat to myself, at least for a little while. With Craig not home, he is most probably still being terrorised by his father. I know his father hates me. Hates my family with a passion. It was clear to see on our wedding day when he watched us recite our vows; glaring at me throughout the whole ceremony. It was kind of intimidating and to be honest, I tried to stay far away from him throughout the night. I did a pretty damn good job until Craig dragged me along to say goodnight. Yeah, John isn't someone you want hating you and lucky me, I'm that girl.
I flick through the Sunday viewing schedule and like every Sunday nothing good is ever on. Deciding to switch on a radio station, my lips contort into the biggest grin as one of my favourite songs begins to play. I turn up the volume louder, jump up from the sofa, wine glass firmly in hand and dance around the living room, singing at the top of my lungs. I shake my butt to the beat and just let go of everything for the duration of the song.
I lose myself in the music, the beat, the lyrics and it's not until I hear clapping from behind me that I know I am not alone anymore. I freeze in my place before turning around slowly. Craig is leaning against the door frame, a cheeky smile planted firmly on his face and I know he is dying to burst out laughing. I try not to let him see how thoroughly embarrassed I am and how I am dying on the inside at being caught. I turn the volume down and give him a ten thousand watt gleam and a wink before taking a seat back on the sofa, placing my wine glass on the table.
“If I had known you had moves like that, Nic, we would have gone clubbing sooner!” Craig says while he steps into the living room. He discards his jacket on the one seater before taking the seat next to me and stretching his arm along the back.
“Maybe we should go clubbing. We're 22 and what do we do on the weekend? Absolutely nothing! You mark your classes homework and thinking up lesson plans whereas I spend it looking up news articles or reading.” I reply, turning to face him, a plan forming in my head. “Tell you what, let's go out next weekend. I'll get the girls out and you get the guys. We can go to that new club, ZoHoKa?” I watch his eyes brighten and I know I am onto a winner. Since we have been married, we have either spent the weekend down the local or holed up in the flat. At 22 we should be out enjoying life, making the most of it, not being the typical boring married couple.
“I'm in, Nic. We can do it this Saturday then bunk off from going to our parents and stay in bed all day and order take-out.” He grins at his idea and I clap my hands with glee. Bunking off from attending our weekly meetings at our parents will not go down well and despite not wanting my mother to come over and drag me to my parents, I am loving the idea of reliving my university days and feeling like the single girl I was last year.`
“Yes, yes, yes, I am loving this plan. Then it's sorted. We round the troops up, pre-drink here then head into town for more drinking and dirty dancing.” I gleam, already thinking about what to wear in six days time. I need to wear something sexy, something that will keep Craig's eyes on me every second of the night.
“Nic, don't wear something sexy for Craig, wear it for all the guys in the club” The devil on my shoulder calls out to me and I resist the urge to smirk. This night could expose his true feelings for me and that is exactly what I plan to do...I need to know he feels the same way before I tell him about the night I sobbed myself to sleep. I promised him I would let him know when I was ready and if this night shows me he loves me too, then I will be able to let him know my feelings for him. After all the little hints into his mind when we are sharing a moment, I want to believe it could be more than it seems, but if I do think he loves me and I tell him I love him, if he rejects me, I don't know what I would do. I need to be absolutely certain that we share the same feelings, we want to same thing and we have a future after the 12 months is up. Otherwise I’m going to have to pretend that my heart isn't breaking and move away. I wouldn’t be able to know he lives around the corner from me or bump into him with a new girlfriend...
I only snap out of my self-loathing when I see Craig waving his hand in front of my face. He scoots over and wraps his arm around my shoulder, pulling me into his body. “And what were you thinking about, babe?” His fingers begin playing with my hair and his other hand attached to the television remote. Settling upon an animated film we have seen a dozen times already, I move myself into a more comfortable position and proceed to tell Craig that I was thinking about what to wear next week, seeing as its been too long and that I might go shopping to buy some new outfits.
“Well, just take me with you when you decide which day to go shopping after work.” He, oh so casually says and I narrow my eyes at his answer and glare at the side of his face. Craig absolutely hates shopping and I definitely know he has a motive for why he wants to come with me. No guy would ever turn down a shopping trip when their girlfriend will be trying on revealing outfits. No, Craig knows exactly why he wants to come along and be dragged from shop to shop.
“And why, exactly, do you want to come with me?” I smile sweetly, leaning my head up to watch his face. A chuckle escapes him and I feel it vibrate throughout me. He looks down at me and smirks, planting a kiss on my forehead.
“You'll be trying on all these sexy outfits and I’ve heard from Rob that changing room sex is a turn-on. Trying to be quiet, knowing there are people in the room next to you...” He replies, running a hand up my thigh, “Plus it's my right as your husband to approve new clothes.”
I snort in response and take his hand off my leg. We have been using the husband/wife line when we want something and now Craig is bringing out the big guns. I use it when I want him to go out and buy me food and wine and he uses it when he wants sex and well, yeah, sex (and cuddles). He raises his eyebrows at me and smiles cheekily. He knows I can't resist that grin but this time I have to. Kelsie has to be the one to pick me something so sexy that it will make Craig pass out....or make him rip it off me and fuck me against the door. Either one will do me just fine.
“I'm sorry husband but you are not coming with me. Girls trip only.”
I gingerly creep through the flat, hoping to god that Craig went out to clear his head too. I hear nothing. No TV, no snoring, nothing and I sigh in relief that I’m alone. That I don't have to face up to Craig and the running away part of the afternoon. Although him not being here makes me wonder what he is up to, whether he went over to Rob's to spill his guts too or he ignored me and is now delving into our parent's past. I really hope its the former. I have no idea what would happen if I found out Craig went behind my back, but I know for a fact I would be out of here with my heart breaking every step of the way.
The clock breaks my thought process with its annoying chimes. I glance up to see its 7pm and wonder just where in the hell the day has gone. From amazing shower sex this morning, an afternoon of edginess with the parents, a fight with Craig, tears with Kelsie and now I am alone again. Jesus, I am exhausted. This day has really taken it out of me. Throwing my keys into the dish on the living room table, I make my way to the bedroom to change into a top and pyjama shorts but I stop dead at the end of the bed and stare down at the photograph laying in the middle. The very one I was staring at only a few hours ago.
A small smile graces my face as I remember the day so clearly; how rubbish I was at skating, yet how much fun I was having with Craig, Kelsie and Rob. How Craig would be there to pick me up every time I fell over and how I just couldn’t keep the smile off my face just watching Kelsie and Rob. It was such a fun-filled day, which ended in a sex filled evening when Craig and I returned back home – he was gleaming over how playful and amusing I was during the day, how he needed to have me that very moment. And of course, I let him. He definitely turned his cocky charm up that evening, and who was I to resist it?
It's hard to believe that was 3 months ago; a week after our wedding. It's hard to believe that I cried myself to sleep, that Craig and I now share a bed, that he's tone down his cockiness a hell of a lot and we actually are acting like a married couple – minus the 'real' love between us. I push these thoughts away and place the photo back on my side of the bed, before changing and sliding under the sheets. I need to forget about everything today and loose myself to another book boyfriend. Grabbing my kindle from under my pillow, I turn it on and begin to sink back into the story of a lost boy and girl who meet each other on a bus and end up travelling and falling in love with each other. I have read this book over and over, yet somehow I can relate to the girl, how lost she feels, how she just wants to get away, anywhere and find herself; never thinking of falling in love, yet she found her soul mate. I laugh sadly and continue their story, the clogs in my brain churning over wanting and needing their story, minus the absolute heartache near the end.
About The AuthorZ. Elizabeth is a debut author who grew up in Wales, UK and wishes she knew how to speak fluent Welsh. Bore da (Good morning), Wedi Bleno (tired) and Ydw (yes) just don't cut it.
Reading has always been a part of her life since she was a young kid and writing came quickly after she discovered her love for studying English Language and writing fiction. Since graduating with a degree in BA Journalism, writing is embedded into her everyday working and personal life. At 15, she finished a full length novel and thought nothing of it until now. The Deal is loosely based upon that story and it's one that she is hugely proud of writing and re-writing and re-writing...
When she isn't slaving away at her day job, you can find her daydreaming about her book boyfriends, reading the next hot book out or binge eating with her friends, continually shocking them with the filth that flies out of her mouth.
Z. Elizabeth hopes that her characters end up on your book boyfriend/girlfriend lists and her book ends up on your favourite list, maybe even your bookshelf.