First Touch by Laurelin Paige

  Reviews for First Touch

  ‘Laurelin Paige writes an addictive mix of emotion and sexy that draws the reader in and doesn’t let go until long after the last page is read’ K. Bromberg, New York Times bestselling author of the Driven series

  ‘Edgy sex and pulsating mystery make this fast-paced and sensual story impossible to put down’ Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series

  ‘Each chapter leads you deeper into mystery, twisting what you knew, making you love who you’re meant to hate. A fascinating read!’ Pepper Winters, New York Times bestselling author of the Pure Corruption series

  ‘First Touch is a heart-chilling page-turner from a master storyteller – and the hottest thing I’ve read this year, hands down’ M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy

  ‘Gritty, edgy, dark, and compelling. First Touch pulls no punches and just might leave you reeling’ Megan Hart, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Tear You Apart

  ‘This spellbinding story will have you glued to the pages from the first page to the last. Paige’s best work yet. Thrilling, captivating, sexy, and shocking. I am in love with this story’ Claire Contreras, New York Times bestselling author of Kaleidoscope Hearts

  ‘First Touch is shocking, stunning, and intense with a heat level that can only be measured on the Kelvin scale’ CD Reiss, USA Today bestselling author of Shuttergirl

  ‘First Touch is a deliciously dark and sinfully sexy story that had me up way past bedtime. Laurelin Paige knows exactly what a woman craves, and I’m craving more Reeve’ Geneva Lee, New York Times bestselling author

  ‘First Touch will make your blood pressure skyrocket with its wicked and deliciously depraved plot. It will leave you on pins and needles, breathless and begging for more. Laurelin Paige has delivered her finest work yet’ Jen McCoy, The Literary Gossip

  ‘A beautifully executed maze of suspense, seduction, and ridiculously hot sex’ Alessandra Torres, New York Times bestselling author

  ‘A dazzling mystery to unravel… wicked and yet sensual. Decadent in her ability to weave a captivating story from beginning to end, Laurelin Paige has another hit on her hands’ Kendall Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

  Laurelin Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fixed Trilogy. She loves a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International, although she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

  You can stay in touch with Laurelin on Facebook/LaurelinPaige and on Twitter: @laurelinpaige. You can also visit her website,, to sign up for her newsletter.


  Fixed on You

  Found in You

  Forever with You


  Free Me

  Find Me

  Take Two

  Star Struck



  Miss Match

  Love Struck


  Published by Sphere


  All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  Copyright © Laurelin Paige 2015

  The moral right of the author has been asserted.

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

  The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.


  Little, Brown Book Group

  Carmelite House

  50 Victoria Embankment

  London, EC4Y 0DZ

  First Touch

  Table of Contents

  Reviews for First Touch

  About the Author

  Also by Laurelin Paige





  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  To Cancun


  Of everything I’ve written, this was the hardest book for me to birth. It’s also the one I’m most proud of for that reason, and I’m so grateful for the many people who got me through the labor.

  To my family – I’m blessed and lucky in many ways, but most of all to have you. Tom, especially, thanks for letting me live my dreams, even when it seems they’re killing me.

  To my editor, Eileen Rothschild – you fought for me, and that means everything. Thank you for not freaking out about the extra 25k and for so much more.

  To the team at St Martin’s Press – I always thought I liked to do things better alone until I met all of you. Now I wish I could convince you to help me with everything else in my life.

  To my agent, Rebecca Friedman – you knew it was a good story from day one. Thank you for seeing what it could be with me.

  To Bethany – the first eyes, the first critic, the first lover. Your touch is everywhere in this book. You’re my doula and my distraction and I couldn’t have done it without you.

  To Kayti – you kept me sane! Many days I only made it through because of you. Thanks for ‘keeping’ me. I’m sorry in advance for what I’ll be like on the next one.

  To Melanie – thank you for always believing in me. Your turn to believe that hard in you. I do.

  To Shanyn – you’re so patient to put up with me. There’s nothing I can say or do to thank you enough.

  To the many authors and bloggers who read early – I’m afraid I’ll miss someone if I try to name you, so I won’t. Your time and enthusiasm have made all of this worth it. Thank you for all of the support and praise. How lucky am I to know you? I should probably apologize for making you wait the longest for book two, but I’m not really sorry.

  The women who guide me – Fab Four, Domination, Wrahm, Naturals, FYW, and others (you know who you are), I’d be lost in the woods without you.

  To my God – any gift I have comes from you. Please help me to always remember that.


  When I heard the message she’d left, it had been more than six years since I’d spoken to Amber. Hearing her voice on my mother’s old answering machine shocked me. It wasn’t that we’d parted on bad terms, necessarily, but they were final terms. We were on different sides for the first time in our friendship. The only way past it was to separate.

  The last words she’d spoken to me in person played in my mind so frequently it was as though they’d been scratched into the audio portion of my brain with professional recording equipment. They reverberated clear and crisp: “I’m sure someday??
?s gotta happen for us all one day. But it doesn’t mean mine’s happening at the same time as yours.”

  So I left her to live my someday while she took off for Mexico on the yacht of the latest sugar daddy to buy her a designer bikini stuffed with hundreds that she’d later let him stuff with his pathetic excuse of a cock.

  In our time apart, I’d grown up completely, reinvented myself, put the past behind me, yet her voice on the machine sounded as bright and young as it had when we were twenty-three. It instantly triggered a longing and regret that I hadn’t let myself feel since we’d said goodbye.

  “Emily.” Her bubbly tone spilled into my ear. “It’s been ages, I know. But I’ve been thinking about you. God, I’m not even sure if this is still your number.” She paused for only half a second, the space of a sigh or maybe taking a moment to reconsider. “Anyway, I wanted to ask – do you still have that blue raincoat? Miss you. Bye.”

  She’d said nothing really. Her voice hadn’t cracked or stumbled or betrayed emotion of any kind. But I knew one thing with clear-cut certainty: Amber was in trouble and she needed my help.


  Even with my head below the surface of the water, I felt his arrival. My arms continued moving in fluid strokes, my legs kicking out behind me, but as drops of water trickled down my exposed skin, it itched with the awareness of no longer being alone.

  I kept swimming – kept heading toward the end of the pool. The words I used to push me on in high school swimming competitions automatically repeated in my head: This arm then that arm then this arm then that arm. Now though, in the spaces between each beat, I thought her name – This arm, Amber, then that arm, Amber, then this arm, Amber, then that arm, Amber.

  When I reached the concrete wall, I flipped and did another lap. I wouldn’t let on that I knew he was there. I needed to control this situation, and for some reason, denying his presence made me feel like I’d gained another measure or so. Focusing on Amber, remembering she was the reason for what I was doing, made concentrating easier. At first, anyway. Until I began to tire and the awareness of his nearness began to win the tug-of-war with my attention.

  I forced myself to complete three more laps, the anticipation of finally being near him, talking to him, bubbling up inside me like a butterfly waiting to escape its cocoon. I had my reasons for not acknowledging him – but what were his reasons for ignoring me? What if it wasn’t even him, but one of his security men? No, anyone else would have kicked me out already for sure. Then why had he let me continue my swim?

  Soon the wings of curiosity fluttered and scratched with such distraction that I could no longer resist the urge to poke my head out.

  At least I managed to complete my lap.

  Then, after wiping the water from my eyes, I started to look around.

  I’d expected him to be sitting to my side at the head of the pool so I was truly surprised when I spotted him in the lounge chair directly in front of me. His face was chiseled and serious underneath near-black hair. Metallic sunglasses paired with a layer of scruff made him appear both more laid back and more dangerous than the pictures I’d seen on the Internet. Even dressed in a standard hotel-variety plain-white robe, he was intimidating. His feet were bare and crossed at the ankles. His elbow was propped on the chair arm, and his thumb and index finger framed the side of his face as he, without a doubt, bore right into me with his gaze behind designer eyewear.

  My heart flipped. He was infamous, famous, and if the rumors were to be believed, dangerous – a multibillionaire luxury resort owner and legendary bad boy. But my reaction wasn’t fear; it was excitement. Not because he was ten times sexier in person – though he was – but because he was here.

  Reeve Sallis.

  Sitting mere yards from me. After all the work I’d done to make it happen, here he was. Step one. Success.

  “Oh!” I weaved the thrill I felt into my lines hoping it passed as simple alarm. “I didn’t realize I wasn’t alone.” An innocent smile curled my lip with a few flirty blinks. It was a look that had bought me quite a few drinks along with a fur coat and a nice piece of jewelry or two. But that was years ago. I was rusty, and I prayed under my breath that he didn’t notice.

  His stare had a texture I could feel on my skin. “And I did realize I wasn’t alone when I very much should be. I imagine it’s a similar feeling of astonishment.”

  I swallowed. “Yes, probably so.”

  “I’ll help you out.” He stood, swiftly. In two steps he was at the side of the pool, leaning down to offer his hand.

  My gut told me that the smart thing to do would be to get out of the pool. I was trespassing on the property of a very powerful man.

  But my heart told me I couldn’t give up so easily. So I ignored the tightening in my stomach and stood my ground – or, rather, treaded my water – and said, “No, thank you. I still have a few more laps to do.”

  His lip curled up into a half-smile. “You don’t. You’re done.” Again he reached his hand toward me.

  Ignoring his offer, I broadened my smile and turned up the charm. “Ah, you’re one of those kinds of men.”

  He let his hand fall and tilted his head questioningly. “Which kind is that?”

  Behind his lenses, I felt the command of his stare, and even in his crouched position, he held himself with utter confidence. My eyes chased the broad muscles in his neck that disappeared under his robe. They, along with his entire demeanor, demanded my respect or, more likely, my capitulation.

  Yeah, I knew his type. “The kind who gets what he wants when he wants it.”

  “Well. Yes.” He chuckled as he, yet again, extended his hand out for me.

  I was tempted to swim another lap. But I didn’t have enough sense about him yet to know if that would piss him off or intrigue him. So I said, “I got it,” and refused his hand, pulling myself up over the side on my own. I did know it was too early for physical contact. My exit of the pool was on his terms but our first touch would be on mine.

  “Oh, you’re one of those kinds of women.” He stood with me and handed me a towel with SALLIS embroidered along the edge in gold.

  I took it. I was dripping all over his bare feet, after all. And while I’d felt covered in the clear water, I now felt nearly naked in my salmon-colored bikini. Which was the point, but still. “Okay,” I said, as I wrapped the terrycloth around the ends of my hair. “I’ll bite. What kind of woman is that?”

  “The kind who won’t take help from a man.”

  There had been a time when nothing could be further from the truth. I’d been very dependent on men, relying on one or another of them to put a roof over my head, keep me fed and clothed and entertained.

  But that was years ago. Now I only counted on myself. That was perhaps the hardest part of the role I had to play – giving up the control I’d gained. Submitting.

  If that was what it took to get the answers I needed, I’d do that and more.

  I tilted my head to squeeze the moisture from my hair onto the ground next to me. “That’s not so. I took your towel.”

  His eyes were still hidden, but I knew he was checking me out. I could feel his gaze skidding across my skin, sending goose bumps up my arms. “That’s nothing.” His attention landed on my breasts. “There are hundreds of towels stacked around here.”

  My cheeks heated, sure that his choice of the word stacked was purposeful. Because there was no denying that’s what I was – stacked. My breasts had come in early and grew rapidly, swelling until I filled a double-D cup. They’d embarrassed me as a teen. No one else flopped and jiggled like I did in gym class. So I hid them behind baggy shirts and sports bras. It wasn’t until I’d met Amber that I realized the power I’d been given through genetics. She taught me how to embrace my body, how to use it for my benefit.

  With those lessons in mind – with Amber in mind – I pushed away my discomfort and bent over to run the towel up and down my limbs, exposing my cleavage. “That’s proof that you’re wrong. I cou
ld have easily gotten my own. I accepted it from you.”

  “You have a point there.”

  I had two points, actually. My nipples were standing tall and proud. It was the morning chill, of course, more pronounced after the heated pool, and I wanted to fold my arms over myself when I stood back up. But I forced myself to follow their example and rose up as tall and proud as they were.

  When I did, I was met with my shoes. Reeve must have gotten them while I was swimming. He held them out to me now.

  With a sigh, I took them from him. “You really want me gone, don’t you?”

  “What can I say? I like my routine. Swimming alone is part of my routine.”

  “Huh. I didn’t take you for a man who was rigid.” The media made Reeve Sallis out as impulsive and erratic. I was familiar enough with the difference between public perception and reality, but knowing Amber as I did, it made more sense that Reeve was that guy than the one he was playing at now.

  He clicked his tongue at me like he was chiding a naughty child. “Now look who’s making premature judgments.”

  “Touché.” I sat on a deck chair to buckle my sandals. Leaning over to do it would have just been gratuitous at this point.

  “But while I’ve got you here…”

  I tensed as he undid the belt of his robe. I can do this, I can do this, I chanted to myself. This was what I’d come here for – to do what was necessary, no matter how much I didn’t want to. Back then, I would have done far more for far less. And, I noted as Reeve discarded the item of clothing on the chair behind him, with far less attractive men.

  Goddamn, Reeve Sallis was hot.

  Like, sizzling hot. He wore nothing but trunks – thank the Lord it wasn’t a Speedo – revealing a perfect swimmer’s body. His arms and torso were long and sculpted, his shoulders broad, and his waist trim. The six-pack he sported was nearly an eight-pack, and the muscles around his abdomen were so defined, so hard that I barely resisted the urge to lay my hand across them. My mind couldn’t process how solid they would feel beneath my palm and wouldn’t it be amazing to just find out?

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