Hee hee. I love this picture, don’t you?
Any hoo… It’s #1stkissfriday and today I’m pulling a kiss from DEARLY BELOVED. It’s a little long, but I wanted to give you the feel for the animosity that turns to desire these two have for one another. As a quick set up, they’ve gotten caught in a rain storm which Colleen refuses to come out of until she’s done with a task. Slade is pissed and thinks she’s the type who “doesn’t know when to come in out of the rain,” a character trait he can’t stand.
“You know, I can’t figure out if you’re obstinate by nature or you simply don’t like listening to anyone else,” Slade said. He fisted his hands on his trim hips and looked down his perfect nose at me. With his brows touching in the middle of his forehead, he shook his head in disgust. Rainwater flung from his hair with the motion, the cold droplets slapping me in the face.
I flicked a few off my cheek. “Both,” I shot back, letting my own annoyance break through.
It didn’t escape me that even drenched and aggravated the guy was something to look at. How was that fair? I knew—knew—I looked like a drowned poodle. I’d straightened my hair before leaving for the office, but I could hear it frizzing and recurling as I stood there, the humidity and moisture whipping it up into a waterspout of kink. I was sure my mascara had me mimicking a rabid raccoon and God knows what other harried feral creature.
But Slade Harrington looked like a model for a popular men’s fragrance. Any second, I expected him to murmur something in French, like oui or eau.
What was it about this guy that pissed me off to no end but turned me on enough to consider licking him from head to toes at the same time?
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” He lowered his voice, dragged in a breath, and raked a hand through his hair from his temple to his neck, slicking it flat against his skull. Like a squeegee, water slid from the tips of his fingers with the movement. “Jesus. We’re drenched.” He looked down at his shirt and pants, and then back to me. His gaze took a slow amble from my head down to my neck, over my breasts and nipples, which were—gulp—as hard and pointed as his were, then farther down. My thin, cotton-blend skirt was literally glued to me from waist to knees. I could only imagine the view he was getting.
Every inch of skin on my body went goose bump crazy under his inspection. Or maybe it was because the rain was so chilly and the day had been so warm.
Nah. The temperature outside had nothing to do with it. The temperature of Slade’s expression though, did.
When he dragged his attention back to my face, the annoyed glare in his eyes changed. Irritation was gone and in its place, want.
Pure, bold, rain-soaked want.
I can’t truthfully say who moved first, but with the next breath I took, his mouth was on mine.
And mine, blessedly, was on his.
During the moments I’d fantasized about what kissing him would be like this past week, I’d imagined all sort of things.
His lips would be firm and forceful or, conversely, tender and soothing.
He’d go slow, savoring the kiss, allowing each of us to get to know the other’s taste, or he’d swoop in and take over, overpowering me—willingly, I’ll add.
So many thoughts ran through my head and every single one of them proved true.
From the moment he put his mouth against mine, all annoyance fled and, with it, the cold. Where moments before I’d been chilled, now a furnace blasted all over me, heating me straight down to my marrow. I craved the warmth, clung to the heat.
Slade’s full lips completely consumed mine. Owned them. Branded them. Never in my life had I been kissed with such…possession. There really was no other word for it.
The sexy mouth I’d daydreamed about was at equal times hard yet soft, insistent yet giving. A thoughtful sigh bounced around my ears, followed by an erotic growl when he parted my lips and plundered. His hands, warm and wet, lifted my jaw, tilted my head back, and changed the angle of the kiss to go deeper, further, to draw out every and any response he could.
And there were quite a few, believe me.
He tasted of the rain—woodsy-fresh like morning dew—and clean. When I snaked my hands up his drenched shirt, kneading all that muscle and strength as I glided upward and then wound my hands around his neck to hold on fast, it never occurred to me I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be standing in a storm, drenched with rain and desire, kissing a man like I’d never kissed a man before. Kissing a man who’d made no secret of the fact I annoyed the crap out of him.
A man who, for all thoughts and speculations to the contrary, was now totally absorbed with kissing me as if I was the last woman he ever would.
I don’t even remember moving, but I felt my back ram into the opened front door, slick with rain, my shoulders flattening against the wood. Slade’s knee eased between my thighs and rubbed side to side along the front part of my lacy thong while his tongue wound with mine and sucked to the same rhythm as the movement of his knee.
This time the groan that echoed around us was mine. His hands moved from my face, up and through my temples to clutch my saturated hair. A gentle tug and he changed the angle of my head again, this time though, his lips left mine to skim across my jaw. The feel of his hot breath along my neck as he made his way to my ear sent tiny shocks and jolts of electricity all through my body. I started to shiver, and it wasn’t because I was cold. About as far from cold as a girl could get, if truth be told.
When Slade let out a smooth chuckle against my neck and then pulled my earlobe between his lips and bit down, the shiver turned to a quake, then a little jump, and I simply lost the tiny bit of sanity I had left.
With more force and ardor than I think I’d ever invested with Vlad, I tugged on the ends of Slade’s hair, still gripped tight in my hands, and yanked his head so his mouth settled against mine again.
I felt a grin split his lips right before I touched the tip of my tongue to his bottom lip. The grin died when he sucked my tongue back into his mouth. That feeling of total possession overtook me again, especially when he slid his hands from my hair all the way down my back to cup my butt. Just as a clap of thunder boomed directly above us, Slade lifted and pressed me into him, so close in fact, I couldn’t tell where his wet clothes ended and mine began.
From shoulders to knees, in one fluid line of connection, our bodies molded together. I can’t begin to imagine how it felt for him to hold me this way, but I can tell you point blank, pressed against all that hard and defined muscle, all that rigid and long length of him—and, oh baby, was there a lot of length!—I felt so desired, so wanted, so bloody turned on, I didn’t care if a twister from Kansas whooshed around us and transported us to Oz as long as I could stand there, held in this man’s arms, and be kissed as if my next breath depended on it.
Look, it had been a long time since I’d tasted desire for, and from, a man. Too long. I’d thought more than once over the past year that Vlad had killed my on button with his lies and meanness. Because of his betrayal, I’d almost forgotten what deep want, that aching, needing longing, I’ll-die-if-I-don’t-have-this- man feeling was like.
For some weird reason, Slade Harrington knew exactly how to turn my sex-switch back to the on position—from zero to eleven with a kiss that shot me out of my shoes.
Another clap of thunder, closer and much louder, boomed above us. This time when I jumped, Slade’s arms tightened around me.
“I’ve got you,” he whispered against my ear, then trailed his mouth down to my collarbone. His tongue lapped the rainwater from my skin. When his lips nuzzled against the spot and I felt the subtle tug of sucking, combined with the gentle pressure of his knee between my legs, I swear on all that’s holy and blessed I was a heartbeat from shattering.
I truly think I would have come on the spot, standing up, my panties and the rest of me dripping with lust, if my cell phone hadn’t screamed “Trouble” right at that moment.
The phone call accomplished what the thunder hadn’t, namely, jolted us apart.
I snapped back too quickly, the back of my head careening off the old wooden door, the thwack competing with the crack of the rolling thunder.
Slade’s eyes went wide as soon as I yelled, “Ow!” and he slipped a hand behind my head.
“Are you okay?” He grabbed my shoulders and tried to force me forward while he dipped his head around to the back of me.
I slapped his hands away and gave him a non-too- gentle push. “I’m fine. I need to get this.”
Intrigued? You can get your own copy here: DEARLY BELOVED
Dearly Beloved was recently named the Long and Short Reviews BOOK OF THE MONTH. You can read the review that sent it over the top, here: Review
And one last brag, I promise! Dearly Beloved came in 3rd Place in the New England Readers Choice awards for 2019 in the Long Contemporary category.
I’m so proud of this book!!! ~peg