You know how it ends, now see how it all began…
“It doesn’t matter how many women touch this body, only one woman has ever touched this soul.”
Ryan Pierce doesn’t come from much, doesn’t ask for much, and doesn’t expect much. And he’s come to accept that, until, Alana Remington. Alana is the girl who struck the match that lit his world on fire. She’s the girl who opened his eyes to more. Who made him believe that just because you have nothing, doesn’t mean you are nothing. And he loves her fiercely for it. But, just because you come together, doesn’t mean you stay together. One fateful decision rips Ryan and Alana apart and neither of them are ever the same again.
For five years he’s regretted that decision, but the deep seeded anger, shame and resentment has kept him from reaching out. And over those five years, a series of moments have spun Ryan’s world in a direction he never saw coming. A world ruled by endless nights, infinite women and the name Jack the Stripper. A world, unbeknownst to him, that may just let two severed hearts collide.
(Stripped From You is a Prequel to Strip Me Bare)
*Author Note- Stripped From You can be read as a stand-alone novel, but the author suggests reading Strip Me Bare first.
“Do you trust me?”
“Of course not, I just met you.”
“Then how about giving me the benefit of the doubt?”
She raises an eyebrow at me, and before I give her a chance to respond I slam the shot then pull her face to mine. And as my mouth covers hers, heat rapidly spreads through my body.
She’s momentarily stunned. Her body is rigid against me, but then she relaxes, parts her lips and lets the tart liquid slide into her mouth.
I can’t believe I just did that.
I can’t believe she just let me.
After she swallows, she lets her lips linger, sucking up the taste of the sweet shot, causing my nervous system to shift into hyper-drive. We break apart slowly, but I refuse to let go of the nape of her neck. She just stares up at me with these enthralling eyes I know I’ll never be able to resist.
“Do you always break the rules?” she asks.
“No, not usually, but you seem to make me want to do crazy things.”
“Was that crazy?”
“Let’s do it again and find out.”
I lick my lower lip, tasting the sweet remnants of her lip gloss before I drop another shot. I pause for just a beat before lean down and press my mouth back to hers and let the alcohol flow between us. I flick my tongue against her teeth right before I pull away. I shouldn’t like this so much, but I do. I like the way she looks, the way she feels, they way she smells.
There’s something about her, something ventilating; like she oxygenates the atmosphere.
I catch the cool beats to a song I recognize pumping though the air. “Do you want to dance?” I ask her.
“You can dance?”
“There’s only one thing I can do better.” I smirk.
Alana cocks her eye brow suggestively.
“Draw.” I fire back. “The only thing I can do better is draw. Dirty girl.” I tease as I grab her hand and lead her out to the dance floor knowing Mac will look after our drinks.
Once we find a comfortable spot, I start to move to the smooth rhythm, leaving a little room between us so it doesn’t feel like I’m forcing myself on her. Drake sings coolly about hot love and affection as we move in sync to the beat, our bodies brushing and grazing as the music plays on, then finally coming together in a comfortable unison. I wrap one hand around her waist as I roll my hips into hers, pressing our bodies as close as they can possibly get. Alana runs her hands up my chest and hooks her arms lightly around my neck keeping tempo with the music. She moves lithely against me, inducing my heart, thoughts, and pulse to race.
Fuck, I’m drowning in want for this girl. I slide my hands up under her shirt and caress the smooth, soft skin of her lower back as she nuzzles her face into my neck, her warm breath skating across my collarbone, making me instantly hard.
She lifts her head and meets my stare, which I know is filled with lust and unrepentantly wanton. She bites her lower lip, our bodies still jiving to the slow seductive music. In a brazen move, I slip my hand up the back of her bare thigh and cup her ass cheek under the hem of her short shorts. She gasps as I work my fingers against her, massaging the fleshy part of her bottom. I’m absolutely aching being this close to her, touching her, stroking her, grinding against her.
“Are you sure drawing is the only thing you can do better?” she pants in my ear.
Hold on, We’re Going Home- Drake
The Other Side- Jason Derulo
Demons- Imagine Dragons
Dark Horse- Katy Perry
Say Something- A Great Big World
Summertime Sadness- Lana Del Rey
“I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”
Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone? Five years ago Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without leaving so much as a post-it note behind. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to, and her virginity to. So imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male revues as Jack the Stripper.
Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle.
She finally has Ryan back; but how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City?
We stop in front of some hanging crystals. They clink as Ryan pushes them aside, “after you.” I walk under an orange spotlight, into a small space with a white leather couch deep enough to lie on and walls a warm golden yellow.
Ryan steps in behind me and presses his body flush against mine. My mind races.Is he really going to do this?
Am I really going to let him?
Can I even handle this? Five minutes ago he was with another woman. Quite possibly in this same room doing God only knows what.
“Why do you do this Ryan?” I expel. I know he explained it in words, but I need to experience it to truly understand.
He ambles around me so close; the only thing separating us is a whisper of air.“I told you, the money,” he says as he unbuttons his shirt.“You said women too,” I watch him cautiously, my gaze jumping between his eyes and his chest.
“That was before you walked back into my life. You’re the only woman I want to touch now. The others, like you saw before, it’s just an act. A business transaction. It’s what I have to do to get what I want.”
“Doesn’t it make them feel used?” I flick my eyes up at him.
“It mustn’t. They always come back.”
“You like it. I saw your face. That wasn’t an act.”
Ryan stands right in front of me, his shirt unbuttoned and dangling open. “I won’t lie to you Alana, I’ll never lie to you,” his tone is hard, but seductive. “I do like the attention. But it’s not real. It’s my job to sell attractiveness and fantasy, and I do it well. But that’s all it is, fantasy and I know it. When I’m with you, that’s my real.”
My breath catches when he says the word real. I can’t help but find the irony in his words; I’m exactly to him what he is to me. Two people one and the same, both living a double life to get what they want; a future and each other.
And that is what I want. A future, with Ryan.
I go to put my hands on his chest, but he steps away shaking his head no. “In this room, it’s all about you,” he walks around, stopping right behind me. “You have to tell me what you want Alana,” he whispers in my ear and I almost go limp, the sound of his voice is erotic as hell.
I swallow hard, but can’t utter a single word, because truth be told, I have no freakin’ idea what I want. At least, not in this scenario.
Ryan starts to rub my shoulders. I think he can feel my hesitation.
“Why are you so tense? This is supposed to be fun.”
Fun? The word rattles around in my head. Fun – a time or feeling of enjoyment or amusement.
Okay, let’s have some fun.
I turn around to face him and our eyes lock. “Show me.”
“Show you what?” his tone dripping with sensuality.
“Show me Jack the Stripper.”
Run- Leona Lewis
I Know You Want Me- Pitbull
Troublemaker- Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida
What You Wanted- OneRepublic
(I Just) Died in You Arms Tonight (Club Remix)- Cutting Crew
Counting Stars- OneRepublic
Marissa Carmel has loved writing ever since a young age. She has a duel degree in History and Political Science, but took as many creative writing classes in college as she could. She spent most of her twenties bartending, which is where she met her husband and a multitude of interesting people. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s hanging out with her family, experimenting in her kitchen or doing yoga on the living room floor.
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