Because you asked, because I adore my Goodreads fans, and because someone threatened to steal my electronic cigarette if I didn’t deliver (That’s right. This nicotine slave has been smoke free for three weeks.), here’s a teaser for my novel, Beneath the Burn, coming this summer.
Warning: This is an Erotic Thriller. Age 18+ only.
Note: The hero, Jay, cannot tolerate touch (it triggers his PTSD).
Jay closed the door and turned to her, eyes on the floor.
Where was the battle glare now? “Jay?”
He looked up, the richness of his gorgeous brown eyes loaded with uncertainty. “I’m not high…at the moment. If that helps.” He rubbed his nape and shifted his weight from foot to foot. “I’m pretty much back to fucked up and vulnerable.”
A sudden influx of feelings for him welled up, filling her with a perverse sense of intoxication. His admission was the steel that made the man. He had no idea how courageous he was. “Everyone has vulnerabilities. A strong man isn’t afraid to show his.”
He chewed the inside of his cheek, making his adorable dimple more pronounced. “I don’t like feeling this way, Charlee.” His body drew ever closer and she realized she was doing the same.
“Putting your trust in someone is the most vulnerable thing you can do.” She placed her palms flat on the counter behind her and spread her knees in invitation to stand between them.
The shadow of Roy’s forceful hand coiled around her, inside her. She shook it off and focused on the man before her. “Dare to be vulnerable with me.” Was the quake in her voice as noticeable as the trembling in her legs?
A vibration rippled over his body. She might have been relationship handicapped, but she knew what arousal looked like on a man. It was evident in his sharp gasp, the softening of his gaze as it lowered to the apex of her thighs, and the way he carried himself through his pelvis as if all energy and thought were concentrated there.
Desire resonated from him as he followed his hips into the triangle of hers, holding her eyes until their faces were close, so close his breath became hers and their lips brushed through their exhales.
Wedged between her legs, he smoothed his palms along her jeans from her knees to her thighs, around her waist, and hooked his fingers beneath her butt. Then he yanked her to the edge of the counter until the zipper of her jeans was flush with the strain behind his leathers.
It was hard to remember not to touch him as his lips fell over hers and his tongue caressed back and forth, taking over her mouth and stealing her gasps. She tasted the familiarity growing between them and savored the potency of it.
His fingers grazed her jaw and he rolled his brow against hers, panting heavily as he caught her licks and deepened them with the flat of his tongue. Her own fingers were locked, curling against the countertop.
They came up for air, slowly, breathlessly, and smiling like fools. His body was rigid. Pulsating. Ready. And at that moment, it was all hers. She rubbed against the chiseled wall of his chest, her nipples hardening through her t-shirt.
He groaned and floated a hand over her breast, holding her eyes in silent question.
The imploring way he looked at her and the caution that preceded his actions made him someone she wanted to place her confidence in. She dropped her head back on her shoulders and pushed her breast into his waiting hand.
He chased the swollen nub with his thumb, flicking and squeezing. Then he went after it with his mouth, swiping his tongue against the fabric and dampening it with his gasps.
The hard muscle embracing her produced a kind of tranquilizing effect. His arms supported her. The pillar of his body was her backbone. Without lifting her hands from the vanity, she loosened her limbs and let her butt slip off the edge and into the waiting cradle of his rocking hips. The sculpted surface of his stomach contracted against her, invading her headspace and simmering heat to her pussy.
Too soon, he raised his mouth from her breast and nipped at her chin with a grin on his beautiful face. He brushed her hair from her ear with a gentle hand and checked her wounds. Satisfied, he moved to her lips, tracing them with a finger, watching her steadily. “You build me up and turn me inside out. I’ve never felt so defenseless and yet…so daring at the same time.”
Wasn’t that what intimacy felt like? She smiled. “Mission accomplished.”
He curved his upper body around her with his hands on her hips, seemingly oblivious to how desperately she wanted to hug him back. His voice whispered over her cheek. “You said everyone has vulnerabilities. What’s yours?”
Slick with sweat, her hands slipped on the counter behind her. She adjusted her grip and straightened to sit. If she were going to trust him, she needed to do it in the most important way. “Do you know what happens when you open up?” She looked pointedly at her legs, spread around his.
A smile danced on his lips. “You get laid?”
She snorted. “If you’re lucky.” She placed her lips against his, held them there for a long moment, imbibing the spice of his breath. Then she leaned back to look in his eyes. “There was a time when I wouldn’t have willingly sat like this, with an aroused man between my legs.”
His body turned to stone and his nostrils flared, but she pushed on. “I’ve been raped sixteen times in this position.”
The hands on her hips curled into fists. He closed his eyes and his chest rose and fell through rapid breath. His body shook against hers. Was he going to explode? He looked like he might puke.
“Hey.” She squeezed his hips with her thighs. “Don’t shut me out. If I can’t talk to you, this stops. We stop.”
He opened his eyes and they were haunted and cloudy. He dropped his forehead to hers and she could feel the tension sparking from his body. “Sixteen times?” A whisper.
“I stopped counting after that.” The truth was empowering. It opened her chest and released the toxin. It also exposed her heart. Maybe Jay would crawl in and rip it to shreds. Or maybe he would fill in the cracks. “When I learned how to open up, do you know what happened?”
He wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her neck. “It made you incredibly fucking strong.”
She smiled and kissed the soft skin below his jaw. “It made me strong enough to enjoy the feel of you between my legs.”