Series: (A 321 Spin-off)
Published on June 24, 2015 Romance
A GIRL WITH REGRETS…
Sasha Cherlin died the night she let Nick Tate walk out on her for a life of crime. Her very essence was destroyed when they broke their promise to one another.
A MAN WITH REMORSE…
Nick Tate made his choice with her future in mind. He loved Sasha enough to know that leaving her behind was the only way to keep her safe.
A PATH TO REVENGE…
Special Agent Jax Barlow understands the bond of love and he plans to use it to get justice. Nick and Sasha will do anything to rewrite their past. He’s counting on that to bring them down.
Wasted Lust is a 321 spin-off, full-length, romantic suspense filled with lies, secrets, and the power of redemption by the New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss.
Just some general info about this book and how it relates to the rest of my books:
This is a story about Sasha Cherlin who appears in Slack, Come, Come Back, Coming For You, 321 (unnamed at the very end), and Meet Me In The Dark. It CAN be read as a standalone, but readers should be aware that this book is meant to be “The End” for Sasha and her life in the Company. Wasted Lust occurs ten years after Coming For You, two years after Meet Me In The Dark and AT THE SAME TIME as 321, so it is a parallel book, and although there are no real spoilers for 321 (I was very careful to avoid them) the plots converge in the middle of Wasted Lust. I would consider this to be a traditional romantic suspense and it is not dark.
“Let’s talk about kissing.”
“What,” Sasha laughs. “Kissing?”
I smile with her. Both at her willingness to drop the topic of money and where it comes from and her pleasure at the new topic. “Specifically, the kisses we’ve shared.”
“We haven’t shared any kisses, Agent Jax.” But she says it with a sly grin as she lifts the glass of Tokay and takes a sip. I watch her throat as she swallows, and then wish I could lick the sweet sheen of sugar left over on her lips before her tongue darts out to swipe it away.
I scoot closer to her on the curve of the bench and while she remains seated in her spot, her upper body instinctively pulls back from my approach. “You liked it though.”
“I didn’t actually,” she says. Her pupils are dilating before my eyes and her breathing picks up a notch.
“You did, Sasha.” I reach out with the hand closest to her and pick up her hair, feeling the softness of her golden locks between my fingers. “But I took you by surprise, so you didn’t have a chance to realize that. Most dates end with a kiss. And since we’re almost to our destination, maybe we could try again?”
“And end the date before we eat dessert?” She cocks an eyebrow at me, trying to stay calm about my request. It doesn’t matter what she says at this point. The invitation is hanging in the air between us. She can tell me no, if she wants. But she knows I’m going to try, so she stays quiet.
That’s the only opening I need.
I lift up a dessert spoon, holding it up before her. “Which dessert would you like then? Ice cream?”
Her eyes sweep the presentation before her. “It all looks pretty good. Which is your favorite?”
“You,” comes out automatically. In my head I cringe. Jesus fucking Christ. I sound like some cliché in a chick movie.
“Oh my God,” she laughs. But she picks up a spoon as well, and scoops up some strawberry ice cream from the sundae. “I can’t decide if you’re serious or not.”
“About what?” I’m truly confused.
“Are you a slick FBI agent?” she says, sliding the ice cream into her mouth. She licks her lips and says, “Mmmm.”
I have an urge to fist her hair and kiss her hard right now with that move. But I’m gonna make her beg for the next one.
“Or are you some well-mannered gentleman? Because you’re quite a contradiction, Jax.”
“As are you Sasha.”
“Yeah, but you’re playing a game with me tonight. Give and get. Push and pull. So which one of us is giving and which one of us is getting? Who is pushing and who is pulling?”
“Does it matter?” My fingertips get the better of my judgment and stroke her lightly on the cheek. “If we both get what we want in the end?”
“I guess that depends on what we each want.”
“You want me and I want you.”
“Hahah,” she laughs. “You are the definition of player, Jax. How do people trust you?”
I want to laugh with her, but not yet. So I make another move. “I’m confused.”
“You’re not at all confused. You’re secretly giggling inside like a little girl. Do you want me for dessert, Jax?”
She looks down to hide her blush.
“OK,” I say, pulling my hand back. “Look, I’ll be honest with you. This is business. I need you. But it’s my pleasure to have dinner with you tonight. I kissed you this morning because you are a beautiful woman and it just… felt right. I kissed you tonight because you were sad and I wanted to wipe that frown off your face. And I’m going to kiss you again, even though you threatened to break all my fingers. I’ll take my chances. Because my window of opportunity with you is short. You could end this night at any time. And if you walk out I will spend months—years, possibly the rest of my life—wondering what could have been. I won’t let that happen. I won’t let you ruin me and drive me mad with desire—”
She laughs loudly at my declaration, her face beaming in a smile. Her eyes bright with amusement. “Where do you get this shit?”
“You’re not buying my heart-felt proclamation of love?”
“No,” she giggles. “You’re so full of it. But it’s good stuff, Jax. Do you read Harlequin novels? Do you like the damsel in distress?”
“Oh,” I sigh. “I very much do. Holy fuck, I love woman who faint in my arms from too much passion. Heaving bosoms, breasts spilling out of their—-what the fuck are those things called? Corsets?”
“I have no idea,” Sasha says, still laughing at me. “I’m not a romance girl.”
“No? But you like dining with me?” I take her hand from her lap and stroke it gently with my fingertips. Her eyes dart down and watch for a second, before she drags them back up to my face. “And I sorta pulled out all the stops on this date. I mean, I had planned on spooning you dessert and licking the sweetness from your lips after each bite. I can feel the cold and taste the ice cream in my head right now.”
“You’re pretty good,” she says in a whisper.
“I really am.” And then we both laugh. “I’m driving myself fucking crazy. I’m ready to rip your dress off, bend you over this able, and take you hard right now.”
She just stares at me. Silent. I can almost hear her heart beating. If she had a corset on, her breasts would be heaving. She might even faint.
“But you don’t do hard, do you, Sasha? You run away from that sort of thing. So I’ll control myself and be happy with a kiss.”
The pocket doors slide open and the flight attendants enter. “We need to clear the table, sir. We’ll be landing in five minutes. They’ve sent a car for you.”
I sigh. So fucking close. “Thanks, Essie.” And then I look at Sasha and shrug. “Foiled again. Timing is everything.”
I kiss her hand and even though I might be making it up, I think I hear a sigh of regret from her as well.