A year has passed since that night and little has changed. The same people come in, the same cups are used, the same bands play, and even the weather has remained constant. The only thing that changed is my personal life.

No, Isaac didn't come back, and I didn't expected him to. He had that nomadic air about him, that restless energy that I recognized instantly. I have it, too. But there isn't a chance in hell that I'm going wait for him to come around and finish what he started.

Which brings me to the topic of boyfriends. Brady is my fifth, and current, boyfriend that I've had since Isaac left. Brady is a good man, simple and sweet. But he has a tragic case of redneck that I am desperately trying to cure. Key word being trying. The damn man has a graveyard of cars in his front yard, a fridge full of Budweiser, an obsession with lottery numbers, and absolutely no idea how to please a woman. I've been trying for going on three months now but I am at my wits end. If I have to use my vibrator one more time I'm going to strangle him.

On the bright side, there is still half of the town's single male population to dabble in. The first half, while disappointing in the long run, had its pleasures. And who knows? Maybe one of these country bumpkins will surprise me.

As dismal as my love life is, I wouldn't be as content as I am now without the new addition to my family: Grimace. A few months back I heard Joe talking about a dog fight that was planned for an upcoming night at the Moore's place. Being a massive sucker for pups as I am, I reported it to the Sheriff and managed to put both Joe and Sam behind bars for a good five years.

I was perfectly content with labeling the deed as my civil service for the next ten years, but the town had other plans. The night after Joe was put behind bars the rest of the citizens of Lolita threw me a thank you party, their reasoning something along the lines of we've been trying to catch the in the act for years. I personally think they just wanted to see how far they could push before I burst. It was nice of them and all, but I was a bit uncomfortable with all the attention. I left home to get out of the spotlight, but I just can't seem to get out of it no matter where I go.

Sheriff Austin came to my bar later that week after most of the fuss was over with a present of his own. He waltzed in with a little bundle in his arms and the moment he introduced us I was lost.

The little unnamed puppy was a pit bull with his ears and tail already cropped. His chest and paws were a stark white in contrast to his otherwise midnight coat and his pale blue eyes peeked out from behind his lids. But it was his face that shocked me the most.

It was covered in puckered pick scars, some obviously more recent than others. Collectively they pulled his little muzzle down into a permanent grimace, which earned him his name. Since then the scars have faded to a silvery white, but the grimace remains.

The damn dog, as much as I love him, is a massive pain in my ass. He has severe abandonment issues, so I am forced to bring him to work where he stands watch over me almost all day. And how he gets paid for his body guard duties you may ask? He laps up any spilled alcohol or dropped food that he can find. I have to run with him twice as long as I normally would have to keep him at a healthy weight.

The last addition to my life is Melody, my newest waitress. She came in on a Tuesday night with a backpack slung over her shoulder and a slight bump to her belly inquiring about a job. And even though I didn't need any extra staff, I knew she needed help. She reminded me of someone I used to know and failed to save. So I guess she is my way of redeeming myself. If you could even redeem someone like me.

Mel has been working here for six months now and has been doing a wonderful job. She waits tables with a genuine smile on her doll-like face and a slight wobble to her step now that the baby has grown. Right from the start she told me that the dad wasn't in the picture and wouldn't be causing any problems, and I didn't pry any further. It's a rare occasion that I speak about my own personal life, so what right do I have to inquire about hers?

Over the past months the two of us have grown close, close enough that I allowed her to convert my guest bedroom to her own. Trust isn't a common feeling for me, but I know that she isn't stupid enough to think she can walk out with anything without me finding out about it.

Mel works the night shift with me, and is currently waddling to a table filled with disapproving senior citizens with a coffee pot. Mel gets a lot of shit for being unmarried and pregnant, but after her first night working here I learned quite well that she can handle herself. Any bull that comes her way is dished right back. It's quite amusing to watch, but unpleasant to be on the receiving end of her sharp tongue.


I glance up and meet her sparkling blue gaze with an inquisitive quirk to my brow. Yes, Mel knows my real name. She didn't noticed the sign her first time walking in, too desperate for money to care, and asked for my name. So I gave it to her, and hearing it on another person's lips is the most reassuring thing to hear on a bad day.

"Someone's asking for you at table six."

I sigh and throw the towel over my shoulder, wiping my hands on the Kiss My Ass apron Mel bought me for Christmas as I weave through the mass of people in order to get to table six. I expect it to be Brady, seeing as he's the only one who would personally ask for me, but upon seeing a mop of dark hair I begin to think differently. Who is it?

Yawning into the back of my hand I plop into the chair across from the unknown man and glance back at Mel who simply shrugs and returns her focus to the customer in front of her with a swish of curly blonde hair.

"Business is booming." An accented voice comments and I freeze in the act of fiddling with the ketchup bottle. I know that voice. The last time I heard it was a year ago when he was saying goodbye to me. And it still has that same heated effect on my loins.

Smirking, I glance up at Isaac. "Were you really expecting it to be different? This is Lolita we're talking about."

He chuckles into his coffee and gazes up at me over the rim of his cup, those strange green eyes of his piercing. He watches me in silence before finally cracking a smile. "It's great to see you again."

"Likewise," I mutter and reach down to pat Grimace's head when he growls at the stranger. He'd be fine after a few minutes, but the initial greeting is usually tough for Grimace. Especially if the stranger is a man, since the people that hurt him were men.

"Beautiful dog you've got there," Isaac drawls and stands to crouch in front of him.

"I wouldn't—" I start when he reaches a hand out but Grimace interrupts with a happy yip and leans into Isaac's waiting palm. My brows rise in disbelief as I lean back into the hard wooden seat, watching the scene unfold through wide eyes.

"He likes you." I state the obvious and Isaac laughs, glancing up in the act of planting a kiss on Grimace's head.

"Most animals do."

I hum noncommittally and run my fingers through Grimace's midnight fur when he returns to my side. Isaac sits in his chair and props his chin on the palm of his hand, eyeing me speculatively. I know what he's doing, and I don't like it. I hate it when people try to analyze me, and Isaac is no exception.

"What brings you back to Lolita?" I ask stiffly, seeming to break him from his trace.

He clears his throat and leans back in his chair with a smirk. "Your mother has been looking for you."

I freeze and bring my gaze up to his slowly. My fingers curl into fists on my thighs as I glare at the man across from me. "How do you know my mother?" I growl furiously. How dare he creep into my personal life!

He shrugs nonchalantly and crosses his arms over his chest. "You know, I'm quite hurt that you don't remember me, Evie. We used to be such good friends."

I frown. "I don't know what you're talking about."

He nods slowly, a small smile curling his lips. "I suppose you wouldn't. You were only about four at the time our families severed ties." He leans forward again so his face is only inches from mine. "But I remember quite clearly." He sighs and smiles genuinely this time. "Sorry, you must think I'm loony. I'll explain it to you all in due time."

I stare at him with my eyebrows almost to my hairline. What. The. Fuck? Who the hell is this guy? And how does he know my mother? No matter, any friend of my mother is no friend of mine.

Clearing my throat, I stand and avoid his gaze. "If you'd excuse me, I need to be getting back to work now." I take a step forward but he grabs my wrist, instantly halting me. I jerk back instinctively but he moves with my hand until his chest is flush against mine.

His breath mingles with mine as he leans down to brush his lips against my ear. "Meet me after your shift."

I frown and take a healthy step back, cradling my wrist against my chest. "No, Isaac."

His easy smile falls to favor a frown. "Why not?"

"I don't associate with my mother's bitches." I sneer and walk around him as his face darkens dangerously. "Don't let me catch you here again." I growl over my shoulder and stalk over to the bar.

When I get there Isaac is gone and Mel is cleaning the plastic menus we use during the day with a damp cloth; scrubbing particularly hard at a crayon stain while I take my place behind the counter.

"Remind me again why we don't sell food after eight?"

Sighing irritably, I grumble, "Because I'd rather not mop up my own food moments after I serve it. Now would you stop that? Your OCD is going to make you break a nail."

Her narrowed blue gaze snaps up to mine. She drops the towel and places a fist on her hip as her eyes briefly rove over me, her brows rising with the corners of her lips by the time our gazes meet again.

"Who's got you all in a tizzy?" She asks and I bristle instantly, glaring at her while I grab a dirty glass.

"No one. Absolutely no one at fucking all." I growl and jerk the towel from my shoulder with a sharp snap that makes the closest customers jump. I scrub at the cheap dollar store lipstick on the rim viscously, ignoring Mel's tinkling laughter.

"That man is good." I freeze and slowly look up at her, daring her to continue the sentence, but she plows on without a care. "Anyone who can get you this wound up so quickly deserves a medal."

I laugh bitterly and slam the glass down onto the shelf. "Yeah, and he could take it back to my mother to show her what a fantastic job he's been doing. He's just what she likes; a self-centered, arrogant, pig of a man. I'm sure they have loads of fun together late at night while he's fucking her up a wall just like—"

"You slept with him?" Mel cuts in and, taking my annoyed grumble as a yes, squeals happily. "When did you meet him? Are you dating? Did you break up with Brady yet? You better do that, Evan, before he finds out the hard way. These southerners don't like to be cheated, especially rednecks like your boy—"

"Enough!" I shout, my anger causing me to squeeze the glass a bit too tightly. It shatters into hundreds of glittering pieces, casting brilliant rainbows on the floor. Through my heavy breathing I can hear the deafening silence. The band has stopped and the customers watch in slack jawed awe as the cool and collected bartender completely loses her marbles.

Taking a deep, calming breath I lock eyes with Mel. She had backed up several steps during my episode, hands cradling her belly protectively while she eyes me suspiciously. Guilt instantly stabs my gut but I push it off and glare at her. She was the one who did this. She had to push and prod and make incorrect assumptions. If she had just stopped to listen to me and not run off into her own little fantasy this never would have happened!

I glance away from her and compose myself, returning the blank mask to my face. "That man is no one of importance to you, and he will remain that way. Out of sight out of mind, got it?" The last thing I need is Mel to start snooping into my family life and all the bullshit that comes with it.

Mel flinches at my flat voice but nods and I return the gesture. "I'm sorry that I yelled at you. I didn't mean anything by it." When she doesn't respond I retrieve a broom from the closet and sweep up the jagged scraps as a low murmuring overtakes the room. They gossip on as if I'm not right there with ears that work but I ignore them, completely focused on my task because the sooner I can finish the sooner I can leave.

I drop the shards into the trash and grab the shotgun from under the bar. I pull the trigger with the barrel aimed towards the ceiling. The women scream and jump into the arms of their male partners and the males all reach for their own concealed weapons but I simply roll my eyes and point to the doors.

"Out. Ya'll have had enough gossip to last you a week, maybe two. Use that time to stay the fuck out of my place." When no one moves Grimace stands and snarls, which gets everyone out right and quick. I glance down at my loyal hound and smile. "Good boy." His baby blues meet mine and his tongue lolls out of his mouth in a goofy grin.

I crouch down and allow him to give me his slobbery kisses. "Yeah, I know. I'll give you treats when we get home." He yips happily and I get to my feet to place the gun under the counter. A delicate voice clears their throat behind me and I glance back at Mel, who has a displeased grimace on her face.

I sigh. "Yeah I know. I owe you what, a year's worth of beer once the little sucker is out?"

She squeals excitedly at that and claps her hands. "I can't wait! The kid's wonderful and all, but I miss me a good glass of Jack Daniels."

I roll my eyes and clip Grimace's leash on him. He is a good dog and all, but even good dogs get distracted by squirrels.

"Could you clean up for me? I really need to get my head together."

She scowls playfully and waddles behind me to untie my apron. "You yell at me and then ask me to clean up? And then walk home alone? Asking a pregnant woman to walk home alone is just asking for rape!"

I freeze at the word. I know a man who had a thing for raping women…well trying to rape women. The woman he tried to rape ended up practically raping him but…

No. I am not going there right now. He was…no.

So I roll my eyes at Mel. "This is Lolita we're talking about honey. Men wouldn't touch your sinning, unmarried, pregnant ass with a ten foot pole."

She pauses to ponder my statement seriously then relents a nod. "You're probably right. I'll have to find myself a good atheist man somewhere in these parts."

I laugh and hand her Grimace's leash. "No one will touch you, but keep him with you. It'll easy my mind while I'm fucking Brady's brains out."

She scolds me for my crass language on my way out but I brush her off with a smile over my shoulder. As I wander home, I ponder going to Brady's like I told Mel I would but somehow it doesn't feel right. I don't feel like pleasuring someone who won't return the favor. What I do feel like is going home and having a nice cup of hot chocolate. So what if it's seventy degrees out and approximately three in the morning?

So I waltz down the sidewalk, which is actually a glorified dirt path, and gaze at the tree line. If I look close enough I can just see the sparkle of clear water. Lolita is right on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, one of the reasons I chose the shitty little town as my temporary living space. Although I don't want it touching me, water calms me, makes me feel protected. And for that reason I am never far from it. Hell, I can even see it from the window at the bar.

I consider walking down to it, but the draw of hot chocolate is too great so I jog down the street until I come to my house. It's simple, two stories of red brick with green grass and a fenced in backyard. There are rose bushes under the front windows and ivy that climbs up to the roof, giving my abode an almost rustic feel. It's nice and all, but the only reason I bought it was because it was only a twenty minute walk from the Gulf.

I unlock the front door with a mighty yawn. God it has been a long day, and Isaac did nothing to make it better. I scowl when I think of him and pull a mug down from the shelf violently. Why did he have to waltz into my life and fuck it up? Who cares if we had the best sex of my life a year ago? It's done and over with, and I never wanted it to happen again. Right?

Releasing a shriek of frustration, I put the mug back and stomp up the stairs to my room, no longer in the mood for hot chocolate. Does that man have to ruin everything?

I slam the door behind me and rip the shirt over my head before tossing it into the corner near the hamper. My skirt follows it and my bra is next to go, leaving me in lacy black boyshorts. I've taken to wearing them since Brady told me that thongs were like dental floss for your ass and that no sensible person flosses their teeth or their asses. Goddamn rednecks.

"I can't decide which I like better. The thong was sexy and all, but this is deliciously innocent."

I gasp and spin, coming face to face with a sexy, and completely naked, Isaac. "Isaac," I breathe, too shocked to say anything else, and the Cheshire smile I'm beginning to associate with him spreads across his face. "What are you doing here?" I frown then, sense suddenly flooding into me. "And how the fuck did you get in? Who do you think you—"

Isaac lunges forward suddenly, grasping my wrists and using them to spin me so my back is to his chest. He deftly wraps a silky material around them, effectively binding them together. I squirm against the knots but they are well done, and quite tight. A frustrated whimper leaves my lips and a hard presence suddenly makes itself known against my lower back.

"That was a delectable sound, Miss Monsour." Isaac murmurs, his lips brushing my ear with every syllable. I shudder, my knees trembling at the sudden onslaught of heat to my core. Gritting my teeth, I force the sensation down and glare into his green eyes over my shoulder.

"Go back to my mother, you asslicking swine." Anger flashes in his irises and before I can react another silken strip of fabric is slipping between my lips. I shriek and shy away from it but he's relentless, twisting and tying until it's secure against me. Since I can't speak, I try to convey my hatred through my eyes but Isaac simply laughs.

"You know you don't feel that way, doll. Not really, anyway. If you were free to move you'd just jump my bones, but we're not doing it your way. Not this time."

If I could have yelled at him, I would have. But seeing as he practically hog tied me I'm out of options.

"As for your mother," He continues darkly and pushes me forward so I fall face first onto the mattress. I let out an indignant squeal but Isaac silences me with a sharp slap to my ass. A moan escapes me when his hand smoothes over the stinging skin soothingly, gently kneading. "She may have sent me here, but I wasn't asked to do this. I'm doing this because I want you. I've always wanted you, and it's about goddamn time that I had you."

I glance over at him in confusion. What is he talking about? He speaks as if we know each other, or are old friends. But I have no recollection of him, or any family we broke ties with. Oh, I know my parents would do it if it tickled their fancy, but no specific instance stands out in my mind. So who is this man?

Isaac gazes down at me with a smirk and walks behind me so I can't see him, his hands returning to my lace clad ass. "You still don't have a clue, do you? All in due time, I suppose. But right now we have unfinished business. If you're a good girl, I might even untie your hands."

His hands travel from the swell of ass cheeks to my inner thighs, stroking and teasing the sensitive skin that resides there. I shift against him, suddenly eager for the sexual onslaught that I'm sure he'll bring. It has been far too long since I've had a decent orgasm and if he's willing then fuck it. Or well, fuck me.

His fingers ghost over my slit through the lace and I try to press down on them. Their warmth suddenly leaves me and another sharp slap rings out in the room as his hand lands on my ass. "Ah ah ah," he scolds lightly when I cry out, lightly rubbing his handprint. Asshole. "I make the rules here, and you don't do anything unless I tell you to." I really should be angered by that statement but I'm ashamed to say it only existed to turn me on.

So I still my body to his liking and his fingers return to my slit, teasingly light. I whimper and bite into the silk, forcing myself not to move. After minutes of the agonizing touch Isaac finally rewards me by removing my underwear and places his callused fingertip to my wet heat.

A moan flies from not just my lips, but Isaac's too. He leans down so his muscled torso presses against my back with only my tied arms between us. He presses a gentle kiss against my shoulder, his stubble scraping lightly against my skin. I wiggle my fingers, succeeding in brushing the tip of his erection with my nails. He groans and leans back suddenly.

"Fuck it," he mutters and unties my hands.

Onto reivews! I love you three with my whole entire heart.

Star: Oh my gosh thank you so much for your review! It seriously made my day that you thought I could actually write. So thank you :)

Violet daughter Of Percabeth: I love you. I really really do. You are just the sweetest thing ever.

Jester79: I certainly hope so! I know this chapter is a little all over the place as far as emotions go and Isaac isn't really in it until the end, but I hope the next one will at least be up to your expectations :)