From the Author
"Hold on a sec."
His door slams shut, and I watch him jog around the front of the hood. He pulls my door open and then his eyes dart down to the floorboard.
"How are your feet?"
I swallow and shrug. "They're fine."
He gives me that already familiar expression of doubt, and I laugh. "Why do you bother asking me questions if you're not going to believe what I say?"
"Because maybe one time you'll slip up and tell me the truth."
"My feet are fine, and I'm not drunk." I slide out of the car to prove my statement, but I know it's a mistake the second my sore feet hit concrete. I try to hide my wince, but it's not exactly something one controls with conscious thought, so instead my face ends up doing this weird twitch thing, and he gives me a knowing smile that makes me want to punch him. Or kiss him.
Maybe a little of both.
I keep my chin up and take a few steps past him, enough to push the door closed behind me. I turn, intending to head for his door with whatever dignity I can manage to scrape up. I take two hobbling steps before he's at my side, sweeping me up into his arms.
Dignity is long gone when I squeak and try to hold onto him with one arm while desperately yanking on the hem of my dress with the other.
"No one's around but me," he murmurs. The side of my breast is smashed up against his chest, and the vibrations when he speaks move through me, distracting me from my panic. "And I promise not to look."
I don't even answer him. I haven't the slightest clue what to say.
Me. At a loss for words. I spent centuries learning how to speak to men, how to capture their interest, how to maneuver in their world, and now I'm undone by this dichotomy of a man and his not quite smile.
"Hold on to me," He says, and I wrap both arms around his neck in answer. He drops the hand at my back to search for his keys, and I tighten my arms around him, drawing myself closer to his chest. I catch my breath at the sensation, glad for the thickness of his leather jacket that hides the way my breasts have become swollen and tight and gods... this is wrong. So very wrong. But I'm not sorry.
I hear the jingle of keys, but I don't know how he manages to get the door open because his eyes never leave mine. Our faces are so close together that when he leans forward to push the door open, my lips accidentally brush his jaw. He sucks in a breath and closes his eyes. Stepping over the threshold, he shuts the door behind us, and I don't think. I just act.
Before he can lower my feet down to the gray carpet below me, I tilt my chin up and touch my mouth to his. His arm returns to my back, his fingers curling around my side, but other than that, he doesn't move. Doesn't kiss me back.
I press a little harder, willing him to respond because if he doesn't... if I read all of this wrong... that would be the icing on the terrible fucking cake that is this night.
I pull back, already squirming in an attempt to get him to put me down.
"I'm sorry. I--"
He drops my legs, but loops that arm around my waist too, keeping me up and against him, my toes still off the floor. I don't look up at him and he says, "Kalli."
His voice. It's so smooth and warm, and I just want him to keep talking to me. I could forget everything about tonight, ignore it all to listen to his voice.
"You're really sober?" he asks.
He must take my scowl as truth enough because as soon as I open my mouth to reply, his lips slam into mine, hot and hard.
He pulls my bottom lip into his mouth, sucking and nibbling and driving me crazy. I thread my fingers through his hair like I've wanted to do since the first time I saw him. One of his hands slides up my side, grazing the curve of my breast before trailing up to my neck. A thumb runs along my jaw, and he tilts my head back, taking control.
It comes from a Latin word that means to suffer. And that's what the slick thrust of his tongue against mine is--a suffering so sweet that my head spins.
His mouth slants over mine, rough and possessive, and all I want is to be closer to him. Slipping a hand beneath the back of his shirt, I follow the slopes and valleys of his muscled back with my fingers. When he drops to my neck, grazing his teeth and then tongue over my pulse, I dig my fingers into his lower back. He groans, and the feel of his hot breath where my neck meets my shoulder pulls goose bumps across my skin. So, of course, I do it again, slipping my hand farther up and then dragging my nails down.
He says my name, and I say his back.
He traces two fingers over my swollen lips and groans. "This mouth has been driving me wild since the first time you smiled at me."
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4-ALL CLOSED OFF (coming soon in 2016)
The STEALING STORMS series (a Young Adult high fantasy)
1-ROAR (coming in 2017)