I’m extending the Mermaid Journal contest through Thursday, because 1) I want to finish packaging previous winners’ gifts for mailing, and 2) I want to begin a contest to help get the word out regarding Her Soul to Keep. I’ll be uploading the story to Kindle, Smashwords, Nook and All Romance today. Hopefully by Thursday, I’ll be able to point you to the book.
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt. Enjoy!
Minutes later, they arrived hand-in-hand and winded at her front door.
Viper cut a quick glance around them, straining for the crunch of footsteps and the beat of a telltale heart. No one lingered in the shadows around them.
Specters from his other life hadn’t followed him here.
Earlier, before he’d stalked her, he’d been careful not to lead anyone else to her door. He’d scrubbed the scent of blood, booze, and cigarettes from his skin and hair, and dressed in freshly laundered clothing. He’d laid down a trail in the opposite direction from her house and backtracked.
No one would ever connect her to him. No one could ever know how precious she was. The seamy underbelly of the dark world he moved inside would never touch her.
He’d sacrificed everything to make sure of that.
Her keys jangled as she clumsily fit one into the lock. “Don’t be expecting too much. I didn’t know I’d bring company back with me tonight.”
The door swung open, and she stepped inside.
Viper followed on her heels, not letting her put space between them. His hands gripped the sides of her hips, and he pushed her deeper inside before kicking the door closed behind them.
Then he pulled her backward, wrapping both arms around her waist and gliding his lips along the top of her shoulder and up her neck, finding the pulse thrumming just beneath the skin.
Her head fell against his shoulder, and his teeth began the slow slide downward. He jerked back his head, trying to get control of himself.
She drew deep, rasping breaths into her lungs. “What’s wrong? Why did you stop?”
Knowing he’d lisp around his elongated teeth, he shook his head against hers and smoothed his hands over her firm belly, then upward to cup her breasts through her clothing.
She kicked off her sandals and slid down. Her clothing rustled. When her skirt dragged against his jeans on its downward journey, he rucked up her T-shirt and pulled it over her head. With a soft snick, she opened the front clasp of her bra, but before she could lean away to remove it, his palms enclosed her breasts, squeezing gently.
The feel of her warm, plump flesh filling his hands caused his entire body to tighten with excitement. He scraped thumbs over her hardening nipples, eliciting a gasp. Smiling, he plucked then twisted while her chest jerked with her excited little breaths.
He glided a hand down her belly, then stroked up again until she quivered and tensed. When he stroked downward again, her hand halted him just before he touched the soft hair atop her mound.
“It’s not fair,” she moaned, rubbing her back and shoulders against his chest. “You have on too many clothes.”
He twirled her in his arms, reached down to cup her bare bottom and lifted her.
Her legs wrapped around his waist, and her mouth landed on his cheek, his chin—
He turned his face to avoid her mouth. “Your bedroom?” he bit out, although he already knew.
Mariah lifted her arm to point and snuggled her cheek alongside his as he moved through her darkened living room and down the short corridor to her bedroom.
A single lamp beside the bed lit the room. He stepped toward the bed and climbed onto the mattress, taking her to the center before lowering his body to blanket hers.
“This isn’t going to work,” she murmured.
He ignored her complaint and trailed his mouth down her neck, shielding his teeth behind his lips until he reached her breasts.
A soft cry filled the air above him as he stroked her with his tongue, chancing gentle nibbles with his front teeth.
Her fingers thrust through his long hair, combing it, pulling it as he deepened the suctioning that drew her nipples into taut beads.
Not Daniel, as he’d insisted. Did some small corner of her mind remember him after all? He pulled away and sat up to strip off his jacket and his T-shirt, which he tossed to the floor behind him.
Her hands reached for his belt and opened it. She thumbed open the waist of his pants then began to slide a hand inside.
Instead, he backed off the bed to remove his boots and jeans.
She came up on her elbows, her greedy gaze raking his body.
When he was nude, he stood still for a moment, letting her look at his body. “Do I pass?” he teased.
Her thighs closed then slowly parted again. A slick of moisture glazed her pale skin.
As he climbed back onto the bed, Viper noted her heightened arousal in the flare of her nostrils and quickening breaths.
Her legs widened at his first gentle nudge. He reached down to lift her knees and arrange them on either side of his hips.
Then he lowered himself, closing his eyes as his skin met hers. Pure heaven. He was gonna roast in Hell. “This too fast for you?” he gritted out.
Her hands slipped around his back and kneaded the muscles on either side of his spine. Her face was tightening, her eyes glittering with unashamed excitement. “I need you moving inside me. Now, please.”
Her tight, urgent words were exactly what he wanted to hear. He lifted his hips and slid a hand between their bodies. His fingers closed around himself, and he fitted the tip to her entrance and slowly thrust inside. The feel of her moist channel closing around him made him clench with sensual delight.
Her eyes closed tightly, and her thighs clasped him, her hips tilting to receive him.
He settled his cheek beside hers and stroked deep into her liquid heat. Surrounded by her creamy walls, he began to move, his body shuddering, already in the grip of his overwhelming arousal.
Planting his knees in the mattress, he slipped his arms beneath her thighs and lifted her hips off the bed, churning, thrusting, and circling his hips to tunnel deeper inside her sweet body.
She gasped and her arms wrapped around his back. Her fingertips scraped up and down, digging into his skin to urge him deeper, faster.
His motions increased in strength and intensity. He jerked against her, beginning a sweet pummeling that moved her up the slippery, silk comforter. He followed, not letting her escape, not giving her a moment to deepen the quivering breaths that gusted against his cheek.
Wrapped inside her arms, sliding into her deliciously wet channel, he fought the tension growing inside him, not wanting to surrender, not willing to allow the beast inside him to crawl out and take his pleasure and her blood.
The internal battle he fought made him sweat and tremble.
When her first shivers rippled along his shaft and her internal muscles clamped hard around him, he groaned and opened his mouth to suckle the salt and perfume from her neck, testing with his tongue until he felt the surge of blood beneath her skin, and he gave into the urge to taste.
His razor-sharp teeth slid into flesh, nicking the pulsing artery.
A sharp hiss sounded in his ear, and her hands came between them, shoving at his chest. Her body bucked, writhing under him.
But he didn’t let go, even knowing he’d hurt her. Wait, let it happen.
The next frightened roll of her hips brought him deeper and she groaned, her fingers now sinking in the hair on his chest to clutch him closer.
Her body spasmed, her back arched hard, a low agonized moan squeezing from her tight throat.
Still, he held back his own release, letting hers sweep through her, knowing the exact moment it happened because a keening cry rose around them.
When the quivering beneath him lessened, he withdrew his teeth, lapped at the tiny wounds to close them, and drew back his head to stare down into her pale, shocked face.
“I know who you are,” she said, her voice rasping painfully. Tears welled in her eyes, but didn’t spill over. Her lips trembled.
“Who do you think I am?” he asked, afraid she might have gleaned the truth.