The Captain’s Kidnapped Bride debuts October 1 at the discount price of 99c on Kindle (regular price $7.99)
April 25, 1988 – Kingston (Standpipe), Jamaica
While people were lining up to see Coming to America, N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton was hitting the charts, and Hurricane Gilbert was ravaging the small island of Jamaica, my life was just beginning.
“I told your mother not to have a baby by the fucking devil himself and yet she had you.” Aunt Dedra often said to me.
In some sick twisted way, it would appear that I am the spawn of Satan, also known as Trevor Tanners.
My mother, Mallory Hines, died moments after I was born like so many other black women. I was raised in a single father household with my father who wished that I had died alongside my mother. Mallory was gorgeous and strong-willed. She had to be strong-willed, in order to put up with my father. Trevor was such a fucked-up individual that it was inevitable that he would fuck my life up or traumatize me in some way. Mallory suffered from high blood pressure and word on the street was that Trevor’s heavy hand contributed to her untimely death.
I was the curse that killed my own fucking mother. A murderer.
Shit, he was not the only one who called me that. There were a few of my mother’s family members who also felt that way.
“One likkle evil pickney!” They would say in Patois, the traditional Jamaican dialect.
I received all of this for being alive, all for breathing. I hadn’t asked for any of this, yet they treated me like I had control over it all. I never understood why, I never asked to be brought into this world. I guess that is why I blamed myself on so many occasions when I was being physically abused by an alcoholic son of a bitch. I reasoned that I deserved to be abused because of the murderer that I was.
My life in Jamaica was short-lived as I was only raised there for a short period of time; until I was four years old to be exact. Trevor Tanners and I moved to the Bronx, New York City in 1992. Growing up with Trevor was traumatizing; the type of shit that leaves you with post-traumatic stress disorder and all types of daddy issues that result in years of needed therapy. The problems that members in the black community like to pretend do not exist but currently are ruining so much of our youth. I can show you better than I can tell you.
“Lika, come here!” Trevor yelled, slurring his words through his heavy Jamaican accent. “Yes, Dad.” I responded, exhaling as I hopped down from my twin bed.
At the young age of thirteen years old I had the attitude of a teenager and the responsible mindset of a young woman that was in her twenties. I did not have the luxury of having a childhood, my life circumstances required me to grow up quickly.
I sashayed down the stairs and into the kitchen to see what Trevor could possibly want from me because he always wanted something. Trevor seemed to think that I was much more of a maid to him and his whores than his daughter. The high ponytail that I wore complimented my round face, large beautiful green doe eyes, caramel complexion, full lips, perfectly arched eyebrows, dimples, and long eyelashes.
Trevor sat before the round wooden table, in a dining room chair that was covered in plastic with green upholstery. The kitchen was painted forest green with brown wooden cabinets and green marble granite counter tops. I hated everything about this home, especially the kitchen that I spent way too much time in.
Trevor sat looking how he usually did, drunk out of his mind. A blue dad cap sat lopsided atop his bald head. His oversized white wife beater was dingy with brown food stains and a large hole, accompanied by ill-fitted baggy light denim jeans. A roach sat, relaxing, on his shoulder.
My green eyes rolled to the ceiling in disgust. I shook my head as I walked into the kitchen; I was instantly repulsed every time that I saw Trevor’s face. He was a slim dark-skinned man with a salt and pepper untamed beard and bad acne, the kind that left craters in his face. Thank God for Mallory’s beauty because Trevor was a hideous man, at least he was nowadays. Old photos told me that he was once quite attractive. Years of not taking care of himself had finally caught up to Trevor.
June 19, 2001 – The Bronx, New York City
Trevor sat slumped in the chair, trying to formulate his slurred words. A bottle of clear Jamaican rum sat rested on the table, in between his tight grip.
“Yuh nuh, see wah time it is?” He questioned, slurring his words.
In true Trevor fashion, everything was a question where the magical answer would somehow result in an ass whooping for me.
Of course, he had his rum for breakfast. I thought, walking past him and over to the fridge. It was now time for breakfast and instead of Trevor, the father, making me, the daughter, something to eat, it was my responsibility to feed him. Since nine years old I had been making my own meals and his too. There were rare occasions when Trevor was sober enough to act like a parent. Sometimes, one of his concubines that were desperate for a man would come around and cook but those days never lasted too long because soon enough they realized they were not that fucking desperate after all, they’d rather be single.
“Likkle murdering bitch, yuh nuh hear me a chat to yuh!” Trevor barked, spit flying from his mouth as he pointed his finger at me.
Trevor stumbled to get out of his seat, falling back into it as soon as he lifted himself from the chair. Here we go. I thought, emerging from the white refrigerator with four eggs and six sausages.
“Aye, bring your ass over here! Look so much like your fucking mother why she neva tek yuh wid her!” Trevor continued; his cruel words were routine.
I had heard the words so many times that they no longer hurt my feelings. My childhood was a prison sentence, and I was counting down the days until I could be free.
Suddenly, as I was placing the eggs and sausages on the counter, like lightning Trevor flew from his seat. He snuck up on me from behind, grabbed me by the neck and lifted me in the air directly in front of the countertop, choking me with his right hand.
Crack! The egg that I had in my hand hit the ground as my little fingers clawed at his hands.
“I should kill you! You disrespectful likkle light-skinned bitch!” Trevor threatened, spit particles raining down onto my face.
Gasping for air, I clawed at his hands, mentally begging him to release me. My eyes bulged in my head. Nine . . . Ten . . . Eleven . . . Twelve. I thought, counting down the seconds that I had been choked in my head. Trevor choking me was not new to me, I knew that I had about fifteen seconds before I passed out. Panicking, I dug my nails into his flesh. I prayed that Trevor would release me and that today would not be the unlucky day that this sick fuck killed me.
Unexpectedly, he released me before rushing out of the kitchen, causing my body to come crashing down onto the white tile. With both of my hands, I grabbed my neck and breathed frantically. Air rushed to my lungs as I tried to breathe. My frail young body laid on the cold tile, shivering as I came to. Tears flowed from my eyes so heavily that I was unable to see beyond the flood puddles that were forming. I was so young and innocent, yet my life was burdened with so much trauma. As I attempted to gather myself from the floor Trevor stalked back into the kitchen, staggering and stumbling.
“Aye! Get up and mek mi food before mi kill yuh bloodclaat in here!” Trevor commanded, barreling over top of me.
Somehow, I found the strength to pick myself up off the floor. I wiped the heavy tears from my eyes. I was tired of my life. Actually, tired was an understatement. I was exasperated, exhausted, fatigued, weary, drained, burned out, all of the above for one thousand Alex! I was everything that a thirteen-year-old girl should not be.
Trevor sat back down in his seat while I stood at the counter, staring down at the eggs and sausages. I wish I would have died with my mom. I thought.
Dazed, Trevor stirred me out of my thoughts with a smack so hard that I could have physically flown backwards in time. I grabbed the side of my cheek with my hand as a burning sensation ragged through my cheek. Welcome to my life living with Trevor—for no reason at all, nothing to provoke him, he found pleasure in getting drunk and emotionally and physically abusing his only daughter.
Suddenly, I grabbed the knife from the counter and acted before I could think twice. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Trevor cried as I plunged the knife into the side of his neck.
I shoved the knife as deep as it would go before using all my strength to turn it so that it would go deeper. I bolted, running out of the kitchen in an attempt to get out of his reach as quickly as possible. I ran through the kitchen doors and upstairs.
“Aye Gyal! Come here! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Trevor shrieked from the kitchen floor.
Looking down at my blood-covered hands, my face contorted in horror as I rushed into the bathroom to wash the blood off of them. The seconds felt like minutes as I scrubbed Trevor’s blood off of my trembling hands. I was not sure of what my next move was, but I knew that I had to be out of the house as fast as possible, either he would come and find me or if I was lucky, I killed him. Either way, I had to get out of the house as quickly as possible!
Claimed by the Moon
I watch Colin and Zayne on the back porch, and it’s hard not to notice how handsome Zayne is. He’s over a hundred and fifty years older than me, but he doesn’t look a day over thirty. His beard is short and well-kept, maybe even slightly rugged. He’s not your typical wolf. But, I’m not going to lie, he fascinates me.
Colin walks in through the back door, and I turn away to make it look like I wasn’t staring. I figured Zayne would follow him, but when the door doesn’t open again, I peer over my shoulder to see him still on the deck, his attention turned to the mountains.
“Is he coming in?” Kami asks Colin.
“Oh, yeah,” Colin answers. “He said he just needs a minute.”
Colin busies himself with helping Kami, but I can’t take my eyes away from Zayne. An idea pops into my head, and I smile. Moving over to the wine, I fill up my glass and turn for the door.
“Where are you going?” Kami asks.
I wink at her over my shoulder. “You say people love talking to me, so I’m going to see if it’s true.”
Her eyes widen. “You’re going out there?”
Both her and Colin stare at me as if I’m about to walk into the lion’s den. But, then again, that doesn’t scare me. Nothing does anymore. Zayne’s just a wolf who doesn’t like to socialize with people. Unfortunately for him, I’m not going to give him a choice.
“Hopefully, he doesn’t leave me hanging,” I say, backing up out of the room.
Their mouths gape, but they don’t try to stop me. When I get to the door, I take a deep breath and walk outside. Zayne tenses when I step onto the deck, but he doesn’t acknowledge me. I move closer, but there’s about three feet of distance between us. Bringing the wine to my lips, I slowly sip some down, wondering if he’ll speak to me first. Of course, he doesn’t, but that doesn’t shock me.
Turning my body toward him, I smile and wait for him to look at me. “I’m Amelie. I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced. I’m a good friend of Laila’s.”
Being around royals is always interesting. Zayne slowly turns his head my way, and it’s the first time I’ve noticed how blue his eyes are. I can feel his power more so than any other wolf I’ve been around. He’s strong.
“I know who you are,” he says, his voice low in that sexy sort of way. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Simon wiped at his leaking eyes before striding across the grass and pulling me up by my biceps. “He gave you an hour and we’ve wasted enough of it. You have to get ready.”
Dumbstruck, I allowed him to pull me by the forearm back to the house.
“Clem, get their leathers ready,” he called over his shoulder as we crunched over broken glass and fallen books.
The house looked no better than it had a week ago after our little invasion, and I had to wonder how many times it had broken apart and been put back together by magic over the years. Simon muttered to himself for a second before picking through the debris, yanking me behind him to the staircase. An irritated trill pulled my gaze to my feet, and an angry set of glowing green eyes pierced me with an annoyed glare. Simon yanked me again, and Isis wound around his feet nearly tripping him.
“Damn and blast, Isis. It’s not my fault you went and hid under the bed. The whole bloody house was going to fall on us, you mangy feline, and you can’t die.”
She couldn’t? Well, that was new information—and sort of comforting if I was being honest. The world without a little skeleton kitty in it seemed just a bit awful to me. I pulled my arm out of Simon’s hold and picked up the bone cat, cuddling her in my arms as I continued following him up the stairs.
“Did evil Simon leave you behind, my sweet girl. What a bad daddy.” Scratching at her nonexistent fur, I smiled evilly when Simon shot me a look over his shoulder as he muttered something about children these days.
The Soul of Love
She lay still in his arms, allowing the heat from his body to lull her back into a semi-relaxed state. When he made no move to resume the intimacy of their wedding night, she turned slightly toward him.
Burying his head in her hair, he breathed in her scent as if committing it to memory. “I will leave you alone if that is your wish. We can wait until you are ready to consummate our marriage.” Feeling a heavy sorrow at the thought of leaving her, he nonetheless did not want to cause her any more turmoil. He would wait, even as it threatened to dim the joy he felt at finally having her back in his life.
He pressed a kiss against her temple and released her. As he turned away and made his way out of the bed, Psyche was gripped with fear at the thought of him leaving her. It was so strong it overwhelmed her with a desire to keep him by her side in spite of her reservations.
Not understanding her reaction to his departure, she cried out, “Wait!” Reaching out to stop him, she was shocked to discover what her hand was gripping. “You have wings,” she said in startled amazement.
Eros stopped and shuddered at the touch of her hand on his wing. It was the first touch she initiated between them of her own volition, and it devastated him. Holding still, for he did not trust himself, he waited to see what she would do.
Psyche was too stunned to do anything but hold on to his wing for several moments. When he did nothing to repudiate her touch, she slowly slid her hand down his wing, marveling at the soft texture and heat. Repeating the caress, she inched closer and brought her other hand to press against his other wing. Feeling emboldened by his continued silence, she pressed against his back and continued to stroke his wings.
Then Psyche laid her cheek against the center of his shoulder blades, where his wings grew out of his back. She continued her slow caress. The feel of his wings seemed strangely familiar, as if she had run her hands over them hundreds of times. Frowning, she tried to remember, the memory teasing along the edges of her mind, but no matter how hard she tried, the knowledge danced away from her. Before she could chase the phantom memory, she was distracted by the hiss of pleasure that her new husband released at her touch.
Eros could barely restrain himself from turning around and pinning her to the bed as lust consumed him. The feel of her bare breasts pressed against his lower back sent shards of pleasure directly to his groin, where he tightened painfully as she continued to pet him. But it was her breath teasing the sensitive nerve endings of where his wings emerged from his back that was his undoing. When she started to nuzzle him, Eros knew he had to warn her before he lost total control. “Psyche, make your choice now. I only have so much control, and I have waited so long for you that I cannot continue to let you touch me without taking you. So choose, do I stay or do I go?”
Psyche stilled at his words. Faced with the power to control even a small part of her destiny gave her courage. Feeling that something fragile and precious would be lost if she allowed him to leave this night, she made her decision. “Stay.”
Friends to the End
“We were going to look for the ghost house.” Dom adjusted the faded NY Yankees baseball cap he wore. “But Morgan has to be home by five.”
“We’ll never make it there and back in time, and we never leave a man behind,” Josh added, dropping a backpack on the grass next to him. It landed with a clunk.
“Ghost house?” I repeated, picturing a boarded-up, decrepit building built during the Civil War or something.
“Haven’t you heard the stories?” Josh asked, eyes wide in amazement.
I shook my head.
Dom walked over to our open garage, grabbed my skateboard out of one of the boxes, and said, “It’s known as the disappearing house.”
My bewildered gaze slithered from Dom to Josh, finally coming to a stop on Morgan as I tried to decide if they were crazy.
“If the house is invisible, how do you expect to find it?” I asked.
Morgan sat on the stoop next to me. “It’s not always invisible. My brothers saw it once. They said it’s a big house with a long porch. It vanished before they could set foot on the first step, and I’m glad, too.”
“Why? What would have happened if they were on the steps?” I asked. Not because I believed an old ghost story had any truth to it, but I was curious to know what she’d say.
Morgan had to pick her jaw up from the walkway before she could answer, and when she did her voice came out in a high-pitched squeak. “If they had been on the porch or worse—” she swallowed loudly “—inside, they would have disappeared with it.”
“That’s a myth,” Dom said as he rode the skateboard down the driveway.
“It is not!” Morgan shot back.
“Come on, how is a solid person going to disappear?” Dom asked from the sidewalk.
“The same way the house does! Duh!” Morgan shook her head as if Dom was the loony one.
“Isn’t the whole thing…um…you know…a myth?” I asked. There were no such things as ghosts, and buildings didn’t just go poof and disappear into thin air. “I mean, you don’t really believe in—”
“The house is real, dude,” Josh said.
“And we’re going inside of it.” Dom did an Ollie, lifting all wheels of the skateboard off the ground.
“No, we’re not!” Morgan shook her head as if that reinforced what she’d said. A dark auburn curl snuck out from under her baseball cap. “We are,” Josh confirmed. I was with Dom and Josh. Not the part about believing in disappearing houses, but if one happened to exist and I managed to find it, I’d want to see inside of it, too.
Let Me Fly
My name is Isabelle Dark and my life sucks. In exactly ten days, four hours, fifty-seven minutes, and fifteen seconds, I will cease to exist.
Why do I say this? Well, all you need to know is that I’ve been forced to live in the shadows. I have to struggle to survive in my own home. There’s no other choice for someone like me. I’m a half-breed, which means that my only alternatives are to be killed by the Shadows or stay hidden here, among the Hollows. As I said, it sucks!
I shake my head as a hysterical laugh forces its way out of my throat. I can tell the woman behind me is frowning, her mouth tightly closed, her lips pressed together. “Stay still,” she orders me. “Hold your breath and suck your belly in!”
My jaw goes rigid, but I remain silent.
“Don’t make that face!” she mutters. “You need to eat less. You’re not thin enough!”
Fuck you, I think, as my hands ball into fists and I try to keep myself from punching her in the face. I hate her. I hate everything about her. I hate her pointy nose, her high cheekbones, her oval face, her gray eyes that have no spark of light in them, her brown hair that’s always pulled back in a perfect chignon. I hate her long skirt and dumb white shirt buttoned up so tightly under er chin. I don’t understand how she doesn’t choke. Why can’t she choke?
With a sigh I regard the image in the mirror again. Who are you? I struggle to hold back the tears. I don’t want to cry, not while the woman is looking at me.
She yanks the laces of my dress even tighter, so tight I can barely breathe. Who are you? I ask my reflection again. The person in the mirror is a stranger. She’s not wearing my usual outfit of ripped jeans and a man’s T-shirt. Her blond hair frames her face, falling in soft waves on the lace bodice of the dress, which is peekaboo, with visible stays. It extends to her hips, emphasizing her narrow waist. The full, soft skirt falls to her feet. The pure white of the dress blends in with the white skin of the girl in the mirror.
I heave a sigh, and the sad blue eyes in the glass regard me. They’re alien to me, but somehow terribly familiar at the same time.
Who are you?
“Edward certainly won’t want a fat wife!” The bitch tightens the ribbons of the bodice even more. I’m suffocating.
“Fuck you,” I mutter, this time audibly. I want her to hear. She ignores me as she continues to fit me with my wedding dress. There are now only ten days, four hours, fifty minutes, and thirty seconds remaining until I say I do.
But it’s not going to happen. Less than three hours from now I’m going to escape. I have to, if I want to survive—or at least die free. What will become of me when I leave this damned prison, though? What will become of you? I silently ask the girl reflected in the mirror.
The One and Only Crystal Druid
When my attention landed on him, he strode toward me, his long legs eating up the ground and coat billowing out behind him. Stopping almost on top of me, he reached down as though to take my elbow—and seized the front of my jacket.
I grabbed his wrist as he roughly hauled me onto my tiptoes, bringing my face close to his. Despite the moonlight and forgotten flashlights illuminating the clearing, the interior of his hood was filled with unnatural darkness.
Ríkr watched us from his lofty perch, pale blue eyes gleaming.
“That was quite the scene I came in on,” the man rumbled in a low, dangerous tone. “What do you know about that bear fae?”
I stared into his hood.
A rough sound grated from his throat. “You don’t seem to be grasping the situation. Tell me what you know before I lose patience.”
I smiled, showing my teeth. “Was that a threat?” “What do you think?”
My smile widened, and I lifted my empty hand toward his face. “It’ll take more than a hood and a threat to scare me, especially when”—I pushed his hood back—“I’ve already seen your face.”
The shadows fell away, revealing his countenance again. Inhumanly vibrant green eyes, framed by dark lashes, fixed on mine, his eyebrows lowered with menace. A beautiful face, if I were honest. Striking cheekbones, a strong jaw, full mouth—currently pressed into a thin, angry line. By my best guess, he was in his mid-twenties, maybe a bit older.
My palm brushed against his clean-shaven cheek as I let his hood fall—and with the same motion, I flicked my hand, pulling my switchblade from my jacket sleeve. The blade sprang free, and in an instant, I had the point resting against the corner of his left eye.
But not fast enough.
A cold, thin edge pressed against my left cheek. I didn’t break eye contact to see what sort of weapon he had in my face, but the blade felt sharp—sharper than my little knife.
Neither of us moved, his fist tight around the front of my jacket. If either of our hands wobbled, we’d both bleed.
His right eyebrow arched slightly. “How do you want to play this?”
He wouldn’t let me go and he wouldn’t play knife-chicken. What was left? “Then I’ll answer your question if you answer one of mine.”
His full mouth thinned again, green eyes raking across me. “Fine.”
His agreement surprised me until I realized he expected to win this game too. He thought I’d reveal more with my answers than he would with his.
“Who the hell are you?” I demanded.
“Answer my question first.”
“You first. Who are you?”
He growled under his breath. “The Crystal Druid.”
Surprise flushed through me, and I couldn’t stop my eyelids from flickering with a single, startled blink. He was a druid?
“Now,” he rumbled, “tell me what you know about that bear and the other aggressive fae in this area.” “I don’t know anything.”
“Then you’re an idiot. Every fae across the lower mainland is talking about the attacks and disappearances around here.”
“Fascinating, but this is the first I’ve heard of it.”
“Aren’t you a witch?”
“Yes, but a terrible one.”
His striking green eyes narrowed. “Terrible in what way?”
Ignoring his question, I shifted my blade ever so slightly, ensuring he couldn’t miss the sharp point in his peripheral vision. “My turn again. Why are you here?”
“Yes, yes, the attacks. But why do you care about some aggressive fae?” I arched my eyebrows, though my bangs probably hid them. “What are you hoping to gain, Crystal Druid?”
The hair on my arms rose. My heart thumped hard, the blood pulsing through my chest into my throat. Looking left and right, my muscles tensed to run or fight.
“Who’s there? What do you want?” I said at the same low whisper, my voice shaking.
A shimmering blur disappeared behind a tree—a featureless something, flashing in indistinguishable color as quickly as a silent whip.
“Laura,” someone said again, gentle and feather-light, drifting between the largest trees in front of me.
I held my breath.
“Laura.” My name resonated through the humid night air, echoing through the sugar maples before it thinned and died.
It was a male voice, full- bodied, but lacking malevolence and hostility. Strangely, it put me at ease. There must be a boy somewhere out here in the woods. I was sure of it. The voice sounded young, maybe my age of seventeen.
Or maybe it was a ghost. My Uncle Dean had told me the locals believed these woods were haunted. But ghosts couldn’t kill. At least that’s what I believed.
“Who are you?” I asked, relaxing my stiff muscles just enough to take a step forward. My shoulders dropped as I exhaled a pent-up breath. Broadening my stance, I leaned forward, raising the branch, and squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to hear it again.
“Laura,” it repeated. The word lingered through the dead of night, ringing softly in my ears. I opened my eyes.
“How do you know my name?” I asked, moving toward the direction of the voice. As a cool breeze rustled my pajama shorts, I wrapped one arm around myself.
A bird chirp rode the wind, followed by several more, weaving into a rhythm of tweets and trills. I looked up. Within the tousle of leaves and sway of thin limbs, perched a gathering of birds, flexing their wings for flight.
I took a step backwards, my eyes fixed on the canopy of leaves.
The bird calls increased, one squawk overlapping the other until their unique melody collapsed, twisting into an eerie song and wing beats.
“A–are you still there?” I breathed, eyeing the woods ahead of me and taking another step back.
A smear of color flashed to my left, and a cloud of leaves rose from the forest floor.
“Don’t go,” I said, breaking from a whisper.
The woods resonated with angry bird speak, their unnatural song thumping in my ears.
“I want to see you,” I shouted above the rising mad twitter.
A shadow skated across the ground at my feet. Wings flapped overhead, and a bird beak met my scalp with a hard peck.
“Buona sera, mia regina. May I join you for a drink?”
The deep voice came from a man standing next to her and Katy tore her attention from the dancing couple to look up. And up.
Their gazes locked and Katy forgot to breathe. She flushed with pleasure. Excitement. The fantasy sex god had arrived as if on cue. And he’d just called her something his, she knew at least that much Italian. Her toes curled. Her nipples hardened into tight, aching pebbles. Desire bolted through her body as the air nearly crackled with sexual tension. Out of all the hot, single Italian women in the club, he singled her out. Picked her. A glance to the side showed at least half a dozen women glaring daggers at her. She didn’t care.
“Yes. I mean, sì, signore.” Katy’s voice took on a husky sound she’d never heard before. But then, she’d never been this aroused by just looking at a man either. Sex god might be an understatement. He was gorgeous. Perfect. His smell…
God, his smell.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes as his cologne surrounded her and made her body burn. Her breasts grew heavy and her panties were instantly soaked with desire.
She wanted more. She wanted to bury her nose in his neck and nibble on his skin. Rub herself all over him. Absorb him. Mark him somehow, as hers.
“I’m going crazy.” She whispered the words to herself but didn’t open her eyes. Not yet. Not when she could still taste his scent on her tongue and her body was on fire. She needed to gain control of herself. Calm down.
He slid into the seat next to her and placed his hand, palm up, in the center of the table. A blatant invitation.
Katy didn’t want to resist. She needed to touch him. She slid her hand into his and gasped as heat filled her entire body. Raw lust. Desire. It was like she’d fallen into a hot bath and her mind went blank. All she could think about was kissing him the way the couple on the dance floor had been kissing. Pressing her body to his. Feeling his strong hands grip her hips. Melting into his heat. Reveling in his scent as it enveloped her.
“Dance with me.”
Katy’s heart pounded in her chest. The club was loud, the music thumping. She shouldn’t have been able to hear his quietly spoken words, but his voice was so deep it carried straight to her ears, vibrated through her body and set her core to throbbing. His English was perfect, the accent exotic. Sexy. Not quite like the other Italians she’d spoken with while shopping. She couldn’t quite place it. Didn’t care. “Yes.”
Katy allowed Ryker to lead her onto the dance floor. As the music pounded around them he pulled her in close. She went readily into his arms, her body suddenly pliant, melting into his strength. He growled low, pulling her in even closer. Molding her body to his. He bent his head slowly toward her, allowing her time to resist. She wanted this. Wanted his lips on hers. Without conscious thought, her gaze grew slumberous, her long, dark lashes swept down to cover her eyes as she waited breathlessly for his kiss.
His lips were pure fire. Heat flowed through her like nothing she’d ever felt before as he conquered her mouth with his own, his large frame folding around her until she felt like they were the only two people in the world. She’d read novels where one kiss made a woman forget her own name but had never experienced it. Until now.
“Hmmm?” His response sounded as drunk on desire as she felt. They had melted into one body, one being, and she clung to him without shame or hesitation. She moved with him on the dance floor, the music barely registering. He moved, so she moved. His scent filled her lungs, made her feel like she was a wild thing and somehow, he belonged to her now. Was hers to do with as she wished.
Was this pure lust? Pheromones? Chemistry?
Katy couldn’t help herself. She wanted more.