There is nothing as electrifying and special as a first kiss. I spend a lot of time thinking about the first embrace for my characters I like to ensure that it holds a special place in their memories and that it is unexpected. That there is something about the embrace that changes the dynamic between my hero and heroine and they both know they will never be the same.
After last week's cover reveal for CRAVING HIS BEST FRIEND'S EX. I thought you'd like a sneak peek at Ethan and Crissanne's first kiss.
It was August in Texas, so even this late at night it was hot, or at least that was the excuse Crissanne was going to use for the heat sweeping through her. It had nothing to do with the fact that Ethan sat across from her wearing a pair of low-slung faded jeans and nothing else. His chest was bare, and he had more muscles than she’d expected.
He was a lawyer. Surely that meant he spent a lot of time at his desk not working out. But to be fair his muscles weren’t overly large…just enticing. He had a flat stomach but no washboard abs, so realistically she knew that there were probably women somewhere in the world who would argue that he wasn’t the sexiest man alive. But sitting here in the moonlight with the taste of lime on her tongue and his warm voice telling her a tale that she knew was a lie, she knew she wouldn’t agree with those women.
He arched one eyebrow at her and she realized he’d stopped talking.
“Woman, you are wrong,” he said, handing her the bottle of Patrón. And given the fact that her judgment was already a little off-center, she knew she should call it a night and go back to her bed.
Instead she took the tequila and poured it into her shot glass. Their eyes met as she licked the back of her hand, and she noticed that his pupils dilated. She shook the salt out, then leaned forward as she let her gaze drop and licked the salt, watching him from under her eyelashes. She noticed the muscles of his chest contracting as she tossed back the shot and felt the sting of it before she took the lime and bit it.
She put the lime on the tray as Ethan got out of his chair and walked to the balcony railing. She watched him as he braced his hands on the wrought iron and craned his head forward. His back was long and smooth, his neck strong and sexy. That intense longing rose inside her again.
And all the reasons she thought she had for coming to Texas floated away on the night breeze. She watched Ethan, felt the conflict inside him and knew she should go back into her room.
But instead she got to her feet and went over to him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and then leaned her head against his back right between his shoulderblades. He went tense for a minute before he relaxed.
“This is a bad idea,” he said, his voice a low rumble that carried no farther than her ears.
She rubbed her hand over his smooth chest, and she knew he was right as she kept her face buried between his shoulders. But she’d been alone for a long time. Even though she’d only just broken up with Mason, they’d been drifting apart. She hadn’t spent more than a few hours with him in the last six months, and she knew a big part of her had already started to move on.
She didn’t want to think about that. About how easy it was for her to lock away her hurt and disappointment and just function. She had thought…well, hoped that she’d left that in her past. That the girl who had never connected with any of the families she’d fostered with had grown into a woman who made solid bonds with her boyfriend.
It hurt to realize how wrong she’d been.
“I don’t care,” she said. Saying it out loud made her realize it was true. “There is something between us.”
He took her arms from around him and stepped aside.
She shook her head. “That’s not what I meant. I always had you pegged as a straight shooter, but I guess you are probably used to saying whatever you have to in order to win an argument.”
He shook his head. “Don’t do that.”
He closed the gap between them in two long strides and reached for her, his hands briefly brushing over her shoulders before he dropped them to his sides.
“Don’t make this impossible,” he said.
“It already is,” she said. “Or maybe I’m the only one who feels this.”
He shook his head. “Dammit. You know you’re not.”
He stepped closer, and the waves of heat from his body enveloped her as he reached for her waist and drew her closer. She put her hand on his arm, and felt his biceps tense as he lifted her slightly off her feet.
He lowered his head toward hers, and she tipped hers back. Their eyes met. A flash of their entire history went through her mind. All the times they’d sat quietly talking in a corner while Mason had been entertaining their friends with some daring trick.
She knew that this was sudden and was afraid that Ethan would pull back. That he’d let his friendship with Mason keep them from kissing. So she did it.
She initiated the kiss.
His lips were warm and firm, but soft. When they parted, she tasted the lime and tequila on his tongue as it rubbed over hers.
She dug her fingers into his upper arm and lifted her head trying to get closer to him. He tasted good. His kiss was perfect, and so was the way he held her to him. She felt him shift so that he was leaning against the balcony railing, her body resting fully along his.
She felt his hard-on against her lower stomach, and her breasts were nestled against his chest. Just the thin layer of her nightgown kept her from feeling his skin against hers, and she wanted more. She let her thigh fall to one side so that his leg was between hers, and he groaned as his hands roamed down her back to her butt, cupping it and shifting her into a deeper contact with him.
She raised her head to look down at him, and he was watching her. Just staring up at her. She wasn’t sure she could read the emotion in his eyes, but it sparked something deep inside her that was more than sexual need.
She started to draw back, aware that she was craving something from him that felt dangerous and edgy, but he tunneled his hands in her hair and drew her head back to his.
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