From M Mabie comes the angst-filled Knot Duet featuring a one-woman man and the woman he can’t resist. An intense story spanning years of lust, friendship, love, and heartache.
TWISTED DESIRE | Knot Duet, Book One
I wasn’t looking for Nora Koehl, and she sure as hell wasn’t looking for me. We were two people speeding in opposite directions. Our relationship was born out of lust, curiosity, and compromises neither of us intended to keep.
Being with one person wasn’t Nora’s style, and I refused to share her.
Then everything changed, and together we bent every rule we’d ever made… until they broke. Our need for each other led us to the lies we told. Mistakes we made.
We’re tangled and twisted—bound by our desire—but anything less than all of Nora will never be enough. Now this knot in my stomach only gets tighter, wondering if I can accept and love her for who she is.
Will it even be enough for her to love me back?
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NOTE: TWISTED DESIRE & TETHERED LOVE are a re-launch of a previously released novel titled KNOT from 2016.
REAGAN—Friday, June 11, 2010
Our fucked-up history was Hell dressed up in heels and pearls, suits and cuff links, pretending to be Heaven. Had either of us known it really was Nirvana—and not the mirage we’d thought—maybe we could’ve stayed.
Our relationship was a dream I’d never wake up from. Sometimes it felt like a fantasy. Sometimes a nightmare. A mind fuck that had me ticking down numbers.
Fuck starting from ten.
Fuck ten a long time ago.
With her, I should have started at infinity. At least then I’d have more time. More minutes of torture. More seconds of bliss. At infinity, I would have had the time to prove her wrong. If I’d only known she was.
Nine times I let her go. Maybe more. Maybe less.
She never wanted what she said at all, and every time I fell under her spell, I proved her right. Every fucking time. Every mistake. Every misstep. Every time I held back from my instincts.
Still, with us, fault was universal.
We’d both failed each time. All eight or so times I’d denied myself by not telling her the truth, I hadn’t realized I’d denied her a thousand times more.
I only ever wanted her. Fuck money. Fuck power. Fuck my pride. Fuck all seven days of the week without her. Fuck other women and fuck the whole country of Switzerland.
Fuck knowing damn well in my gut the whole fucking time.
But while she was there in my arms, under my body, I’d settle for fucking her. She knew it was how we could’ve been.
Fuck her stubbornness. Fuck her fucking ability to stay away for six or the half-dozen months at a time while she chased her tail. I stood by and watched, all but cheering her on.
Fuck the sound of her voice when she laughs. Not any old laugh—fuck those, too—but specifically the special one. Her Reagan laugh. I wish I could mute my memories of her, but that laugh will haunt me forever.
That laugh belonged to only me, along with a handful of other fragments of her that I never took the time to piece together. If I had, she might have been whole. She might have been mine if I’d added them all up.
Ironically, I didn’t look for the sum of the real her. How many math classes did I need to learn this one damn woman? Certainly ones I hadn’t taken. Certainly ones I would have failed.
If I could go back to the beginning, I’d add more up than just how many times I could get any of my five fingers, my tongue, and cock into her. I’d add her only-for-Reagan parts. They’d been there all along.
They were enough.
Starting with the four or so seconds, where she didn’t even know her name—let alone mine—before she cried out in ecstasy. That wonder in her eye. The pull of the tendons in her gorgeous neck. The tightening of her brow. The slack of her jaw.
The way she looked handing me coffee, naked in the kitchen. Her wet hair matted and untamed. Her skin pink from the hot shower. The print the bathroom tile left fading on her shoulders.
The way she stretched her feet when she woke up in my sheets. Spreading them and wiggling the one we knew would always be our toe.
The way she could recite every ingredient in her favorite dishes. How she knew about cheese from other countries, even though she’d never visited most of them.
The way she kissed my Adam’s apple, then rubbed it with her thumb. Only to kiss it a second time.
Those were things meant only for me.
I’d add every time she called me, and I answered.
I’d subtract the times I didn’t because I was selfish and wanted her to show up instead.
Then I’d multiply that total by the times she told me she more-than-just-loved me. Which was exactly three. I hadn’t even realized what she meant the first time, but the second time, I was sure to make up for it. The third had been tonight.
We’d been two people lost. Wandering around, pretending we’d known everything.
Even though it was most likely the last time I’d ever fuck her, it would also—mercifully—be the last time we’d ever fight.
Sadly, it was the first time I’d seen the power my words had held over her the whole time. I’d watched her heart break. I’d watched as she crumpled to the floor and sobbed. I’d felt like I was doing the same.
It was too late for our hearts.
I’d surrendered, given up, and shot one precise, verbal bullet through my heart, then watched it pierce hers.
There was nothing left. I’d hit zero for the last time.
As I watched the tears fall from her eyes—after I pushed into her for the very last time, filling her with everything I’d never told her—misery infected my gut.
Then, I felt the knot constrict.
We’d tangled the delicate thread between us too many times.
It tightened to a point of throbbing pain. I knew there’d never be a minute left in my life where I didn’t feel the ache of her. Her absence, the source of blinding tension. The sharp pulse of a love ripped from me before I had a chance to watch it mature.
That was all that was left of me.
Zero and the knot.
TETHERED LOVE | Knot Duet, Book Two | Coming March 29
I’m lying to myself, but I can’t stop.
At least, not until Reagan’s hands bring me to life. He lays claim to me like no one else and makes promises I can’t keep.
I push him away because he deserves more, but wherever I go, he always pulls me back.
My heart is tethered to his. Across miles. Through every lonely night apart. The feeling of him never goes away.
Love never lets go.
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M. Mabie is the writer who made thousands of readers hate to love (and love to hate) the angst-filled contemporary romance, Bait.
She lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes unconventional love stories and tries to embody “real-life romance.” She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head.
She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost. M. Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.
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