When I talk with my girlfriends about relationships, one of the frustrations that we often discuss is being in love with an emotionally unavailable partner. I don’t think there's a woman alive who hasn't been in this type of relationship at some point. And it's so frustrating, especially when he's an otherwise great guy.
So, can you have a satisfying relationship with an emotionally unavailable partner? Can you get them to open up to you? Should you stay? If so, for how long? If not, why not? These are some of the issues facing Kylie, an entertainment reporter, who falls in love with Gatlin, a crime reporter at the same news outlet, in this soul-searching romance.
Following is a preview.
"You know what your problem is?" Gatlin bit out. "You're too damn naïve. Not everything is a bed of roses, Kylie. Life is not all butterflies and sunshine."
"And do you know what your problem is?" Kylie shot back. "You're too damn jaded. You wouldn't know what happiness was if it jumped up and bit you in the ass," she continued.
"You're content being miserable — and I'm just going to leave you to that because it has no place in my world of butterflies and sunshine," she ended, snatching up her jacket and purse and storming past Gatlin.
His arm snaked out and grabbed her.
"Let go … of … me," Kylie bit out as she fought against her rising tide of passion.
Gatlin's heat-seeking tongue melted her last bit of resistance.
Her resistance melted, Gatlin slowed his assault on her mouth, moving to the golden column of her neck. He continued his trail of desire, unbuttoning her blouse and taking one enflamed peak of nipple into his warm mouth.
"Stop Gatlin," her words slowly penetrated his aroused state.
"This doesn't solve anything," she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. It's never been our problem … and it won't be our salvation."
Shaking off his desire to focus as best as he could, Gatlin responded, "It's a damn good place to start," and reached for her again.
"Gatlin stop!" Kylie yelled. "Don’t you see? This is just another way for you to not deal with your real feelings. … I'm looking for real, lasting, soul-connecting love; not some casual roll in the hay"
"You know you're not some casual … you mean more to me than just a roll in the hay. "I really care about you Kylie."
"I love you Gatlin. Hopelessly, desperately, completely. And I know it's not something a modern woman is supposed to say so early in a relationship. But there it is. And I don't expect you to do anything or say anything. I just wanted you to know where I'm coming from."
"You see, in my world, love is not complicated. Difficult at times? Yes. But hard? No. You're absolutely right, I do believe in butterflies and sunshine. I believe in love — and I won't let anybody take that dream away from me."
"And the thing is, I know you love me Gatlin, or you're on the verge of it. But you just won't let yourself trust that what we could have is real. And I refuse to spend my life trying to prove it to you or make you believe it."
"I believe in love — and I won't let anybody take that dream away from me."
Kylie's words reverberated over and over again in Gatlin's head as he lay in bed that night. Had he become so jaded that he'd forgotten that butterflies and sunshine did exist, or was there something deeper going on?
"Stop hitting my mom!" Gatlin yelled, jumping in front of his mother to prevent his father from landing another blow.
"This is between your mother and me boy! Move outta the way," his father said in his drunken slur.
"Gatlin, go to your room. It's okay, honey. Mama's ok."
"No you're not mom. I'm not leaving you," Gatlin cried, his seven-year-old voice cracking with fear as he did his best to drag his mom from the room.
As his father's fist prepared to land on his mother again, Gatlin kicked his father in the groin. He doubled over in pain, shouting, "You miserable little piece of shit! I'll kill you for this! I'll kill you, do you hear me! I'll kill you!"
Gatlin's mother ran to his father's side. "Honey are you alright? Are you alright?" she said, wiping blood from the side of her lip with one hand while she consoled his father, who continued to writhe in pain on the floor, with the other.
Gatlin had mentally catalogued hundreds of these types of memories from his childhood. But this particular one stuck with him more vividly than the others. And he wasn't sure why until Kylie had said to him, "I believe in love — and I won't let anybody take that dream away from me."
When his mother had gone to his father to comfort him, instead of coming to him as a frightened, desperate 7-year-old, he realized the power that love had. His mother had loved his father beyond all rhyme and reason — even beyond her child, he thought.
He didn't realize it, but that had been the moment he'd stopped believing in love. Love hurt. It was cruel. It wasn't kind. It wasn't loyal, or it was loyal to the wrong people.
Can Kylie trust that what's between them will blossom into real, everlasting love, or will Gatlin's painful past always be a barrier to their happily ever after?
Read the first few chapters free on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has written over 50 ebooks. She writes in several genres, eg, small business, self-publishing and romance. Any Way You Want Me is her ninth short, multi-cultural romance novel. Desperate for More (Parts I and II) and Return to Me (http://www.amazon.com/