[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Marni Mann’s amazing novel When Ashes Fall out Jan. 15th!]
My townhouse was only six blocks from the restaurant—too close to get a car service, just far enough away to fill my body with fresh air. So, after having dinner with Rose, I walked home, taking in the smells and sounds and sights of the city.
Boston was never quiet.
I appreciated that.
Silence was like moisture; it created an environment that allowed things to grow. Fester. Eat into the walls and foundation.
I didn’t want to give my thoughts that kind of space and freedom inside my brain. I knew they’d never go away, but I wanted them to stay dormant for the rest of my life.
Therefore, I preferred the loudness, especially when it seeped through the windows of my brownstone and padded the rooms with noise.
There seemed to be an extra dose of it this evening, which excited me as I continued to head home. When I turned onto my block, my speed increased, and I hurried up the five steps.
I unlocked the door.
Keys were placed in a bowl on a table in the entryway, and I set my bag on the closest barstool in the kitchen.
There was a note from Dylan on the counter.
I smiled as I read it and grabbed the bottle of red that was next to it. When my eyes landed on the last word, I filled a glass and carried it into the bedroom.
My jewelry was dumped in a drawer on the right side of the closet, my clothes in the hamper, my shoes wherever they landed on the floor.
Without stopping in the bathroom to brush my teeth or wash off my makeup, I brought the wine over to the bed, and I climbed in. Once I was settled, I reached toward the tablet on the nightstand, pressing the button that flipped off the lights and another that turned on the TV.
That was all I ever watched.
While I was still sitting up, I took a few sips of wine, my lower body sinking into the mattress, my muscles slowly starting to relax. Once the feeling moved toward my center, I set the glass next to the tablet and slid until my head was nestled into the fluffy down of the pillow.
I tugged the blanket up to my neck, and the warmth of the wine began to move to my face.
My eyes closed.
I rolled onto my stomach, the coolness of the top sheet now resting over my bare ass.
Just as I was hugging a pillow against my side, I heard him.
I smiled again.
And then I exhaled a long, deep sigh. “I’ve missed you, Dylan,” I whispered.
When Ashes Fall by Marni Mann, out Jan 15th! Click here to pre-order your copy today.
It’s been said that you can’t love two men at the same time.
You can’t split your heart, soul, and body in half.
But I’m here to tell you, you can.
Dylan Cole is like ice, sharp and unpredictable, the thunder inside a tumultuous storm.
Smith Reid is warmth, soft and gentle, perfect like a sunny day.
Both are mine.
But I can have only one.
There are two sides to this tale.
I’m here to tell you mine.
If you think this story is about a cheater, you couldn’t be more wrong.