This last week has been rather hectic and I’ve had very little time to write. Classes for my Masters degree started this week. As you can imagine, the first few days my focus has been all about that. With homework complete for the week, I’m back in the business of writing and reading and all that good shit.
Since I don’t have a review for you, yet again, I thought I’d complete the preview of my first romance novella with the end of the first chapter. And no worries, I’ll be prepping for the cover release soon too.
All right! Away we go.
UnHinged © Brigit Rosé
He’d spent half the night tossing and turning with a raging hard-on. All night long a sea-green satin nightgown had danced around in his mind. Luke hadn’t been able to get the image of Ezzie in the doorway of her hotel suite out of his head. God, he hadn’t even been able to stop himself from checking her out. Her long brown hair had shimmered in the light. Bright sapphire-blue eyes had gawked back him. And those beautiful full lips of hers had practically screamed for a kiss. Even if his gaze hadn’t stopped there, at least he’d stopped himself on that front.
Instead, his eyes had traced their way along her exquisite neckline to her collarbone, then over the swell of her breasts where his gaze lingered for far too long. Had he stared? No, not at all. Maybe a little. What would it feel like to have his hand on one of her breasts? He bet the skin would be smooth. Luke dragged a hand down his face. God, he had to stop thinking about her breasts.
It was bad enough his gaze had continued its journey to her flat stomach, softly rounded hips, and down her long, long legs. By the time he’d gotten to her painted toenails, the elevator doors had opened and snapped him out of his trance. What he wouldn’t give for that damn ding now?
Though he could’ve dealt without the room service guy’s arrival or Ezzie’s sudden disappearance into the room somewhere. True, it had been his only chance to escape her presence. Though her lavender scent had already filled his nostrils and held him hostage, the knowledge of her brother downstairs pulled him out of the room. His only saving grace, he’d ensured the room service guy had left too. He even gave the guy a twenty dollar tip with the promise the guy wouldn’t come back to the room. God, what was wrong with him?
The good news of the day had been his ability to run himself numb this morning. Nate hadn’t been in the room when he’d returned. He’d probably gone to get Ezzie. Probably so she could start packing his stuff. Luke had showered and proceeded across campus to the auditorium. While he had to collect his own cap and gown, theoretically he should be able to get both of theirs. Studying the people at the table, he approached one of the women and charmingly smiled. “Lucas Jonnihan and Nathan Donovan.”
“And you’re which one? Because you can only get your cap and gown.”
“I’m Lucas Jonnihan, but Nathan Donovan is my roommate. I’m sure you can make an exception.” He leaned on the table and flashed the smile again. The girl stared at him like he was stupid. This normally always worked. How could it be possible his smile failed to work its magic. It couldn’t be because of Ezzie? Could it? No. That was crazy.
“Luke, is that you?”
He glanced at the dark-skinned beauty heading his way. Who was she? Mary? Maggie? Had he slept with her? Yes? At least he thought he had. The way she sashayed toward him, he’d have to go with yes. But how long ago? The charming smile returned to his face. He wrapped his arms around her when she came in for the hug. She smelled like… vanilla. Nope, still couldn’t place her. “Hey. How’re you doing?”
“I’m better now. You look great. We should get together before you leave.”
“Yeah. Maybe we can meet up at one of the parties tonight.” Good thing he didn’t intend to go to any of them. Dinner with his parents, Ezzie, Nate, Becca and her parents was enough. Then if he was lucky, Ezzie would go back to her hotel room, so he could hide in his dorm room all night.
She grinned as if accepting the invitation. Turning her attention to the girl at the table, the dark-skinned beauty squeezed Luke’s bicep. “Gina, help out a friend. Go ahead and give him both sets.”
“Sure thing, Maria.” No longer holding the caps and gowns hostage, Gina placed two sets of a cap and gown on the table.
More good news; he had a name for the face. Bad news, he still couldn’t remember sleeping with her. But by the way she’d felt him up, they’d definitely hooked up. Probably sometime before March. He hadn’t been with anyone since Ezzie had shown up to spend her last couple of days of spring break with them. What had that girl done to him? Focus jackass. Luke grabbed the items laid out on the table. “Thanks Maria.”
“Anytime.” She placed a chaste kiss on his lips and sauntered away.
Man he had to get out of here. With the caps and gowns in his arms, he hurried off back to the dorm room. Even if Nate had picked up Ezzie already, at least he wouldn’t be alone with her. Yeah, he’d told the guy he’d watch out for her, but he could keep his word and avoid her at the same time. Especially as Luke was the one person she really needed to be protected from. Being alone with that girl was bad for his health. Hers too. It would be best if he stayed away from her all together, but he couldn’t bail on his best friend like that.
Determined to do the right thing, he opened the door to his and Nate’s room without a second thought. There she stood: the girl running a marathon in his brain.
“Hey.” Ezzie looked up from the box of things she’d started packing.
Damn she looked sexy. Barely-there shorts; small, tight tank top; and that damn tattoo. It mocked him as if it knew something he’d either decided to ignore or simply overlooked. Shit! It had known something. Luke surveyed the room. “Umm, hi. Where’s, uh, where’s Nate?”
“I sent him for some breakfast. Figured it was the least he could do since I’m up after practically no sleep.”
“Oh? Anywhere in particular?” Please say yes. No, wait! Damn it. Please say no. If the guy had run to the cafeteria, no big deal. He’d been back in five, maybe ten minutes. Tops. But if she’d asked for something more specific, it could be a while. Either way, he couldn’t stand in the doorway like an idiot. Luke glimpsed at the open door. Closing the door was a bad idea. Going inside was a bad idea. Swallowing, he tried to relax his nerves and shut the door.
“Yeah, he went to Panera. Told him to get a small pack of bagels and a couple of their soufflés.”
Great. Fucking perfect. Being alone with her much longer was not an option. He gripped the back of his neck and crossed over to his side of the room in three long strides. Hardly glancing in her direction, he dropped the packages on his bed. The best thing he could do was leave. “Can you tell him I got his cap and gown?”
“Sure.” She sighed and faced the box in front of her.
Hanging his head, he stared at the carpet for all of five seconds. That damn sea-green negligee popped into his head. Fuck me. Steeling himself up, Luke turned his head and focused on Ezzie. With her back to him, he could take his time studying her. Her brown locks had been pulled into a sloppy ponytail. The tank top wasn’t anything special and the faded denim shorts had obviously worn over the years. Still she looked perfect. Every inch of her was gorgeous. “Thanks.”
She glanced over her shoulder at him and caught him staring. Shit! Luke focused his eyes elsewhere and rubbed the nape of his neck. Inhaling deeply, her sweet lavender scent filled his nostrils. He had to get out of here. Otherwise he might lose his sanity. Although he had no idea where he would go, he headed for the door.
“I’ve, uh, got some things to do before, uh, before I pick up my parents.” His answer was a cop out, but he couldn’t really go into detail. Not without revealing way too much about his blatant attraction to her.
“Really? Or are you just avoiding me?”
Luke paused with his hand on the doorknob. Her question called him out on his lie. It even recognized the actions he’d taken when she’d been around in mid March. And she’d be around for the next few days. He’d have to face the music sooner or later. But later had seemed better. The timing was completely off. Plus her brother would be back any second. “I’m not avoiding you.”
“Bullshit.” Ezzie padded across the room and stopped behind him.
Maybe he couldn’t see her, but he could sense how close she stood. Heat spread through his body like wild-fire. He ensured his hard-on couldn’t be spotted, then spun around and faced her. “Will you please let this go?”
“No. You ignored me the last time I was here. I have a right to know what the hell is going on, especially after last night. You tossed my dresses and just disappeared.”
“Ezzie, now is not the time for this conversation. Your brother could come through the door any minute.” He dropped his hands to his waist. Whatever they needed to talk about or not talk about could be interrupted. The last thing he wanted was for her brother to find them in an awkward position. With the way she looked in those tiny-shorts and that way-too-tight-tank top, it could absolutely happen.
She moved closer to him. “All the more reason for me to be sure there will be time to have it.”
“There will. I just, I need you to be a little patient right now.” He could easily reach out, take a firm hold of her and press his lips to hers. One taste wouldn’t be enough. If he tasted those full and pouty lips, he’d want more. They had no time now.
Resting one hand on his pectorals, she stepped into his body. His breath quickened. Using her other hand, she caressed the back of his neck and lightly brushed his lips with her own.
The kiss was sweet and innocent, but he hungered for more. His arms locked around her shoulders and his lips crushed hers. Slowly he plied her mouth open with his tongue. The instant his tongue found hers, she moaned. Her sound was pure ecstasy. It got him harder than he’d been before their lips touched. Desire consumed him from the inside out. If he kissed her any longer, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. Slowly he ended the kiss.
His pressed his forehead against hers. Inhaling deeply, he breathed in the shared air. He could still taste the kiss. Exactly why something had to be done with his mouth and quickly. Some things had to be honestly addressed. Example, their timing could’ve been better. Then again, it would’ve been best if he hadn’t kissed her. And it would be so easy to do again. Space. He had to put some space between them. Otherwise his dick was going to get him in a load of trouble. Luke inched back and caressed her cheek. “I don’t want to avoid you.”
“That’s not you saying you won’t.”
“Shit.” Of course she’d heard the unspoken but. He navigated around her and paced the length of the room. His eyes remained glued to the carpeted floor as he stalked past both beds and stopped at the mini-fridge. Turning around, he faced the door. He lifted his gaze to her and stared into her sapphire-blue eyes. They sparkled with longing and a little bit of frustration.
“Sums it up pretty well if you ask me.”
Hanging his head, he dragged his hand down his face. “I’m sorry, Ezzie. I—”
“Luke, just stop. If you aren’t going to give me any real answers then stop. I don’t want excuses. To think, you know what, never mind.” She snatched her purse off her brother’s nightstand and stormed toward the door.
If he was smart, he’d stay put and let her go. But damn it, he couldn’t stand there and do nothing. She had to understand what was going through his head. Luke grabbed a hold of Ezzie, spun her around and pushed her against the door. Her purse fell from her hands and landed on the floor. Lust flashed into her sapphire-blue eyes and the entire room lit up. Fuck! He couldn’t explain himself when she gawked at him like that. Instead of opening his mouth to say something, he pressed his muscled body into hers and pinned her against the door. The proximity of her mouth was too much. No way he could pass on another taste.
His lips crashed against hers. Wrapping an arm around her waist, he squeezed her low back. Her skin was so warm. Using his other hand, he reached up and loosened her hair. He liked it better flowing around her shoulders. It also gave him range to fist a palm full of it. Her tresses were like the silk nightgown he’d seen her in last night. Arms came around his back and nails dug into his shoulder blades. Everything about Ezzie bloomed beneath his touch.
If he had half a brain, he’d stop this before things went too far. The dorm room was no place for him to take her. Not to mention, the door wasn’t locked and her brother could arrive any minute. He had to walk away. Forcing his body into action, Luke released his hold and left the dorm room.
**End of Preview**
Author: Brigit Rosé