Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Excerpt from Get Away by Alexa Silver

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

A-list actor Bryson runs into a gorgeous—and very naked—man on a Barcelona beach. Kell looks familiar but Bry can’t quite place him. After a sexually-charged meeting, they go their separate ways, or so Bry thinks. Fate comes knocking with an invitation to a party, and a date with destiny.

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH
Copyright © Alexa Silver, 2015

“Oh my god,” Bryson Ossnick muttered as he looked across the beach—and the miles and miles of flesh on display.

Male flesh.

Naked male flesh.

He was so screwed.

Bry took a deep breath and a long swallow of water, the bottle dangling from his fingertips when he was done. The sun beating down on him had nothing to do with the sweat dampening his t-shirt, and absolutely nothing to do with the immediate and visceral reaction he was fighting.

For some reason, his assistant hadn’t mentioned he was scouting a nude beach.

A gay nude beach. In the middle—okay, not the middle, but near enough—to the city center of Barcelona.


He was going to have to have a talk with Lauren about this. But not now. Not when…

“God,” he whispered as the most beautiful guy he’d ever seen in his life came to his feet and ambled over. Miles of tanned skin, gleaming in the bright summer sunlight. Piercing, icy, light blue-green eyes set in a face that…

Who was he? Bry had seen this guy before.

Impossible. He’d just flown in yesterday and he hadn’t even wandered around past the hotel yet. Clearly, he’d been missing a lot.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Excerpt from The Bermuda Love Triangle by Belle Scarlett

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb:Castaway in the Bermuda Triangle, Trista finds herself torn between two sexy shifters. Neither will share her so she must choose between them. Decisions, decisions…

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Belle Scarlett, 2015

“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Miami Tower this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3, a Cessna 152 with total engine failure attempting emergency water landing. Repeat, we are going to ditch. Last known position nine hundred and thirty-two miles northeast of Miami from Bermuda. Latitude 25.48North, 80.18West. Fifteen hundred feet heading two hundred degrees…no, wait. My magnetic compass just went tits up. It’s spinning like a top. Last stated known position is…incorrect. We are off course and broadcasting in the blind. Do you read, Tower? Repeat, do you read? My altimeter is going haywire. I’ve lost all navigational systems. I’m losing airspeed. Tower, please advise…”

 Trista stared in shock at the back of the pilot’s head of thick brown hair. His rugged frame filled the small cockpit directly in front of her. As he barked terse intel into his headset mic, the small aircraft jolted and lurched through the choppy air over the Atlantic. Meanwhile, her heart felt like it was pounding somewhere in the vicinity of her throat.

 Her fingers dug into her passenger seat armrests. She automatically looked for reassurance at the dark-haired, broad-shouldered man folded into the spare passenger seat to her right, also sandwiched behind the cockpit. As if feeling her panicked gaze upon his skin, his sharp, dark-green eyes swerved to hers in silent reply.

This was bad. Shitty bad. And they both knew it.

“Well, I suppose they don’t call it ‘The Devil’s Triangle’ for nothing,” she quipped weakly. Neither man in the small plane laughed.

Up front, the pilot’s deep, resonant voice tenaciously repeated the distress call on his headset, apparently still getting no reply from Miami. “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Miami Tower this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3…”

 The small plane’s nose dipped sharply. Then came a giant bang. The passenger-side door popped open followed by turbulent air rushing in with the force of a giant’s warm breath.

Trista’s stomach lurched at the turbulence. Had her seatbelt not been clipped snugly across her lap, she no doubt would have been tossed to the low ceiling of the small plane like a piece of hollow straw and sucked right out of that open door to free fall a couple of thousand feet into the sea.

The pilot struggled expertly with the plane’s yoke to control the craft’s wild descent.

“All things considered, I have to say this has been one hell of a vacation I’ll never forget,” she whispered to no one in particular.

Outside the small circle of glass to her left, the vast, dark-blue Atlantic was getting far too big in her window.

 “Don’t look. Hold on to me,” the other passenger by her side commanded over the din of rushing air. She loved his voice—strong as oak and calm as a summer night. She clung to it like a beacon in a maelstrom.

“Whatever happens, don’t let go of me. Do you hear?” His firm, confident tone acted like smooth, aged whiskey to dull her jumpy nerves. She nodded dumbly and found her hand engulfed in the warm grip of the large man seated next to her. Her fingers curled trustingly around his. If he said everything would be okay, it would be.

They were falling into the sea with alarming speed now. Yet his touch had the ability to make her feel as safe as if she were in a peaceful meadow.

The plane rattled uncontrollably as it glided just above the waves. She squeezed her eyes shut. The Cessna skipped off the ocean’s surface. And broke apart.


She sank into the liquid darkness that enveloped her. A sudden reverse current of warm seawater sucked her away from strong, grasping hands that had somehow held her fast during the final moments of the crash. Those capable fingers had managed to unbuckle her seatbelt as the ocean rushed into the open passenger door, filling the small craft’s submerged passenger compartment and cockpit with seawater and a plethora of furious bubbles.

Now she was free of the plane, drifting under the ocean surface. It was like bathwater, really. She was quite content—relaxed even. Except that her head throbbed. And she couldn’t open her eyes. Where was she? What had happened? All of a sudden, answers to those questions were cloudy.

There was a more immediate problem. Her burning lungs were now trying to breathe in saltwater. That wasn’t exactly going well.

She felt a relentless grip on her arm. Someone pulled her upward, toward the surface. The air hit her face. A sharp blow landed between her shoulder blades. She choked and sputtered, the seawater spewing from her lungs and out of her mouth. All at once she could breathe again, but still her eyes did not open.

 She was spent, draped limply against a muscled torso, her nose and lips buried in the curve of his neck. The sensation of bobbing buoyantly in the swells assailed her as he treaded water for them both with powerful sweeps of his legs. By now, she’d know his touch in the dark. But who was he? It seemed important that she remember that detail.

“Do you have her?” he shouted from somewhere over the waves.

“Over here,” the same male voice growled a reply somewhere in the vicinity of her right ear.

Her mind slipped into blankness after that. She didn’t know for how long.

Then the two voices that were one and the same echoed again in her ears from opposite directions mingled with the sloshing of waves. The words were fuzzy and made little impression on her, except that the voice in her ear and the one a short distance away sounded like the same man. How strange that he should be talking to himself. Whoever he was.

“I’ve got it inflated…”

“…her into the raft. Hurry.”

“I’m trying, Thane. Damn it…”

“Hold her steady, this is…”

“…damn the sharks.”

 “…careful with her, Alec!”

 She yearned to open her eyes. She wanted to see the owner of that intoxicating whiskey voice and thank him. But her eyelids felt like lead. If she tried to force them open she just knew the pain in her head would split her skull in two.

She felt a firm but gentle touch all over her body, checking her limbs and the sensitive area at the top of her ribcage, just underneath her breasts. Even in her slumbering state that light, probing touch created a primal sense of warmth and well-being deep within her.

 “No broken bones.”

Her mind tried to focus on his soothing, deep tones as an anchor to keep her floating near the surface of consciousness. It was no use. She drifted down again, in and out of partial consciousness, only overhearing occasional snippets of urgently spoken words here and there like a radio station broadcasting with a weak signal.

 “...do something about that cut on her head…”

“Over there. Do you see it? It’s…”

“…current’s pulling us away from the shoreline.”

“…keep paddling, Alec.”

Her mind eased back into full, blessed unconsciousness. She knew no more for some time.


She heard a rustling in the foliage behind her and whirled around. The giant wolf emerged from the tree line that ended many yards from the precipice where she stood nude in the moonlight. Her shoulder-length hair stirred against her bare neck in the island breeze sweetly perfumed by the indigenous fauna. The wolf padded silently toward her, head raised proudly to look her in the eye.  

“Stay back!” She took an unconscious step backward toward the cliff’s edge.

 “…you hear me? Trista? Wake up, cowgirl.” The man’s deep voice sounded from somewhere above her. She was glad he was back.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Excerpt from Moon Dance by Terry Rissen

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: Christina and Will’s honeymoon in Berlin turns potentially deadly as dark forces seek retribution for Will’s past life actions. Can Christina save her beloved?

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Terry Rissen, 2015

Christina woke slowly. It took her a few moments to realize she wasn’t at home and then a few more to remember where she was. That woke her fast. She grinned with excitement and nearly jumped out of bed until she looked at her husband. Husband! That was going to take some getting used to, but she was willing to spend the rest of her life if that’s what it took. Will was still sleeping deeply at her side and her grin softened to a fond smile as she watched him. She debated waking him then decided against it. He’d grown so much since they met. The boy who wanted to make love on the wing over the ocean had given way to the man who watched over her so carefully.

In a way it galled her because she was Protector born and bred. It was her duty to Protect her husband—her Prince, but that was going to be an uphill battle. For now, at least she could do something for him.

Christina eased herself out of bed, then gathered a few items from her suitcase before heading into the bathroom. She was glad they’d been able to get into one of the newer American hotels. She thought she’d heard someone say the hotel was booked solid when they checked in. Odds were, their rooms had been conveniently available when the reservation had been made. She didn’t want to be traipsing down the hall to use a communal bathroom as she’d heard many European hotels forced guests to do. They’d both have spent every moment watching their backs.

She showered, dressed and then checked on Will again. She’d half hoped he’d’ve awakened while she was in the shower, but no such luck. He was still sleeping, though he’d rolled over to her side of the bed, clutching her pillow. For such a strong, powerful man, he could be such a sap. It was, as she told him, part of his charm.

Christina wanted to let him sleep, but he needed to eat, too. She called room service and ordered a meal brought to them in an hour. She had an excellent idea of how to wake her new husband. No matter how much work he had to do while they were in Europe, it was their honeymoon as well.

The clothes she’d just put on, ended up draped on a chair and then Christina pried her pillow out of Will’s sleepy grasp. He muttered a protest then rolled onto his back, settling back into sleep. Christina grinned then slipped back into bed next to him. There was one thing that was certain to wake him.

She nuzzled Will’s neck, breathing in his musky scent. He turned toward her in his sleep and settled again. It had taken weeks of sleeping together before Will had been able to sleep with her so close to him. He had always been on high alert, but gradually he seemed to have accepted her into what his unconscious mind sensed as safe. Christina had felt almost as honored by that as she had by his proposal. Some days she felt more honored. Will never talked about his childhood, but his mom had mentioned a few things to her new daughter-in-law and Charles, the Prince’s Moarte had filled her in on things he felt the Prince’s Consort needed to know.

Christina had never been someone’s safe place before. She vowed to never do anything to abuse her beloved’s trust. While that did limit her options on waking her husband, it didn’t eliminate them. She snuggled in against him and began to kiss his neck. As her hand lightly stroked his chest she was rewarded by a sleepy groan. She nibbled on his earlobe as her hand drifted down to his belly. A sharp nip caused him to gasp and then he muttered her name.

“I’m here, Will,” she whispered in his ear.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Excerpt from The Lake by Moonlight by Katherine Kingston

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: Julie Forrester returns to Lake Como in Italy to evaluate some paintings for a former professor–and to re-evaluate her relationship with the man. Contemporary

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Katherine Kingston, 2015

Julie’s nerves had been winding tighter and tighter since she’d left New York ten hours ago. They’d squeezed into hard knots when she landed in Milan, and now, in the car carrying her toward the lake, her insides churned. She barely noticed the extraordinary smoothness and quiet of the hired vehicle or the buttery softness of leather upholstery in the back seat.

She wished she’d said no to the trip. She wished she could’ve said no. But that wasn’t really an option. Professor Antonio Farnese had asked for her specifically to come and assess the group of paintings he’d recently inherited. If genuine, they were worth a fortune, and it would be her job to convince him to donate or sell them to her museum for a reasonable price. It was a chance of a lifetime for someone so young, an opportunity that could make her career.

But really, that was only a small part of why nerves made her mouth dry and hands shake when she pulled a bottle of Perrier from the cooler.

It was knowing the real reason he’d asked for her specifically. Or maybe not so much knowing, as not knowing, but suspecting. Hoping, perhaps? Outside, twilight faded into darkness so she didn’t even have the gorgeous scenery to distract her.

Too soon, the car turned off the main road, into a side one, and then into the private drive that led to the villa overlooking the lake.

“Signor Farnese will meet you on the terrace,” the driver said as he opened the car door for her. “I’ll take your bag up.”

Julie got out and climbed the stairs to a terrace overlooking the lake. No one waited there, so she took a seat in one of the cushioned chairs surrounding a table. The professor had always had a flair for the dramatic. It didn’t surprise her when the door from the house slid open, though no lights showed, and a deep, masculine voice spoke. “Thank you for coming.”

“You made it hard to refuse.”

“Did you want to?”

“Part of me did.”

“Not the best part.” His voice poured from the darkness like molten chocolate, deep, dark, and dangerously rich.

“Debatable, but anyway, I’m here.”

He emerged onto the patio and approached. In the darkness she made out a tall, slim figure, in trousers and polo shirt. He walked with a noticeable limp, something new, and likely something he hated. She couldn’t make out much of his features. He set two wine glasses on the table, sat opposite her, and slid one glass across to her.

Julie took a long sip of a rich, fragrant Pinot Grigio. They sat in silence for a moment, until she said, “Professor? Why am I really here?”

She could just barely discern his features. “You are no longer a student. Call me Antonio. Or Tony, if you prefer. I asked you here for an opinion on my paintings.”

“That’s the excuse. It’s not the reason.”

“Getting right to the point? Then I will too. I plan to do what I wanted to do seven years ago when you were here. I want to seduce you.”

Breath stuck in her throat and her hands clenched into fists. “I’m not that naïve young woman anymore.”

“And I’m not the man I was either. The eight years difference in our ages hardly matters now, does it? I’m told you’re not married and not even seeing anyone seriously.”

“I was engaged for a few months.” She set the wine glass down. “But we broke it off by mutual consent. He wasn’t what I needed, and I wasn’t what he needed.” Let him read what he would into that. Unfortunately he was sharp enough to guess the implications.

He toyed with his wine glass. A stray gleam of light from the moon fell across his hand where it wrapped the glass and showed him running a finger up and down the stem. He had strong hands with long, graceful fingers and neatly trimmed nails. “You know that Sonia, my wife, died…was killed in a car crash almost two years ago.”

“I heard. I sent a card.”

He drew in a harsh breath. “I was in the car with her and in the hospital for a long time afterward. Her family had to have the funeral without me.”

“Is that why you limp?”

He stayed quiet for a moment. “I’m lucky I didn’t lose the leg entirely.”

Friday, June 26, 2015

Excerpt from Window Display by Regina Kammer

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: The apartment in Zurich was supposed to be the perfect disruption-free place to finish my dissertation. Trouble is, my room came with a very distracting view.

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Regina Kammer, 2015

“Date anyone lately?”

She plunked a glass of iced tea in front of me as I ate amazingly good cheese and bread in the dining room. A humid breeze blew through the open sliding-glass door to the east balcony, the smell of freshly mowed lawn wafting up from the low rolling grassy common below.

I laughed darkly while a vision of me eating Little Man Goody Cao all by myself danced in my brain. 

“Hmm.” Megan lifted a brow as she sat across from me.

“I’m too busy to fuss with online dating.” That’s what people did these days, wasn’t it?

“Surely there must be other grad students?”

“We’re all busy. And a lot of them are already married. With children.”

Megan sighed. “Well, it must be difficult to find a man in whatever it is you’re doing. Feminist Studies, is it?”

Women’s Studies, Meg. And it’s only my emphasis.”

I scowled at her, but her eyes twinkled with joviality.

I shook my head. “There are a couple of great guys in Classics. Maybe when I’m finished―”

Megan threw up her hands. “Stop making excuses, Laur. It’s always after you finish this thing or that. The last time it was translating some Greek.”

I’d finished that well over a year ago.

She started to say something, then thought better of it. I gulped a swallow of tea and stared out the window.

To a perfect view of a naked guy.

A very hot naked guy.

I almost spit out my beverage.

He was in the building across the common. He was tall and blond, lanky but athletic, and framed by the large double window of his living room. He left and was out of sight for only a moment. He then re-appeared in the barely frosted glass of the bathroom shower stall and began to, um, well, bathe…rubbing soap all over…flexing and bending into the spray of water…grabbing and washing his—

Heat rose in my face. “Oh. My. God.”

Megan giggled. “That’s Christoph.”

“Christoph?” I squeaked.

“I used to watch him all the time. But after we became friends, it was sort of weird.” Megan sipped her tea. “He works at Parker’s company.” She eyed me. “He’s single.”

I eyed her right back. “And lives in Switzerland.”

She shrugged. “So you have a summer fling.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Excerpt from Shake It Up by Francesca Hawley

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: After a mild quake in San Francisco, Allyson Rayburn gets stuck in the same elevator as Ross Morgan, the Dom who’d been at the other end of a flogger at a private club the night before. Her day just got interesting.
BBW, contemporary, BDSM, erotic romance

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Francesca Hawley, 2015

Chapter One

“Hold that elevator, please!” Allyson Rayburn rushed in as a strong tanned male hand held the doors open for her. “Thanks so much!”

Leaning against the back of the elevator, she smiled at the man who shared the space with her and almost swallowed her tongue. She felt heat rise to her face as she met his discerning green eyes. His gaze slid down to her feet and back up, then his lips curved. Oh, god, she wanted to crawl under a rock.

Last night, she’d had her first flogging at Erotically Bound, a private BDSM club here in San Francisco. The hand at the other end of the flogger had been his. It had been an amazing, sensual experience that had nearly had her crying out with an orgasm. She’d been so close, but she’d been too self-conscious to relax and let it happen.

The club visit was research for her latest book and she’d agreed to participate because Vicki knew the guy and said he was a sensual Dom who wasn’t really into rough S&M play. Ally had fun but she’d never expected to see him again. Not in a million years.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Miss Newbie.”

Her face heated more, but she forced a smile. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Bull.” He laughed. “You couldn’t be more mortified.”

“You’re assuming…”

“Am I wrong?”

He wasn’t, damn it. She was embarrassed. He’d known how close she was to coming when she called a halt. Even now, her nipples pulled into tight little points and her clit throbbed just thinking about it. About him. Her gaze dropped from his.

“I didn’t think I was,” he said.
She prayed this damn elevator would move faster so she could escape. Experiencing a bit of BDSM play was fine because she wanted her story to have some authenticity, but the closeness she’d felt with him last night had jolted her. She’d been in long-term relationships that hadn’t reached that level of intimacy.

“You don’t have to sound so damn smug,” she grumbled.

“Smugness has nothing to do with it.”

“Then what does it have to do with?” She threw back her head, glaring at him.


The curve of his lips and the light in his eyes intrigued her, forcing her to remember the stroke of his fingertips on her bare heated back after he’d flogged her.

“Knowing what?”

“That the touch of the leather thongs aroused you. I know it and you’re fearful because I get you.”

“You’re wrong.” She shrugged, pretending unconcern as the elevator made its slow way up inside the building. She looked up at the indicator above the doors. Hurry up. Hurry up!

“No, I’m not,” he argued.

“You’re also arrogant.”

He chuckled. “I’ll own that one, but I wouldn’t call it arrogance. I’d call it confidence.”

“Whatever you may think, no one likes having someone know them too well.”

“Now, you’re wrong.”

She turned to him, ready to confront him when the shaking began. At first gently, but then there was almost a rocking to it. She lost her footing and landed in the corner of the elevator with a shriek. She screamed again when something fell from the ceiling and hit her shoulder before bouncing to the floor. She curled into a ball, covering her head to wait out the quake. The Dom sheltered her body protectively with his own, which made her feel safe. After what seemed like hours but was really less than a minute, the quaking stopped. The abrupt cessation of movement startled her. She remained still, waiting for it to start again.

“Are you all right?” he asked, patting her down.

“Yes.” She nodded, lifting her head to meet his gaze. He was so close they could almost kiss. “Are

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

He sighed, leaning in, but then he shook his head slightly as if telling himself no, before he stood up and pressed the elevator button. Nothing happened. “Shit. I bet the damn elevator is stuck. It doesn’t work very well on a normal day, but after an earthquake it’ll be worse.”

“Do you come to this building often?” Maybe she was worried for nothing. Maybe he and Vicki had a thing.

“Your friend, Mistress Vicki, is my realtor. I just bought some property I plan to develop. I was headed up to sign the paperwork.”


He glanced at her and she saw a smile return to his mouth, crinkles setting into the skin at the corner of his lips and eyes. He was so incredibly good looking. Not pretty. Masculine. A wild masculine beauty that translated to straight brows, a square jaw, full lips and a hard body. He was her fantasy embodied, right down to the brown hair and green eyes.

What was wrong with her? She’d just experienced her first San Francisco earthquake, but instead of worrying about the elevator car plummeting to the bottom of the shaft, she was focused on this delicious Dom.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Enter To Win A Kindle Fire

To celebrate the upcoming release of Naughty Escapes on July 1st, the Naughty Literati are giving away a 7" Kindle Fire HD loaded with books by our fabulous authors including:
Dogged Pursuit by Berengaria Brown
Hanky Spanky by Francesca Hawley
Life Flight by Alexa Silver
Make Mine a Double by Nicole Austin
My Greatest Fantasy by Nicole Austin
The Naughty Literati's complete season one - Naughty Escapes, Naughty Flings, Naughty Hearts, and Naughty List
Sex Games by April Ash
Street of Dreams by Marianne Stephens
The General's Wife by Regina Kammer
The Wilder Brother by Suz deMello
The Woodsman by Belle Scarlett
Under The Mayhaw Tree by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Wild Rain by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Winter of Thorns by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

There are many ways to enter, including a daily bonus entry, so come back every day to increase your chances of winning. Good luck and happy reading!

Enter To Win A Kindle Fire Loaded With Books

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Excerpt from One Hot Havana Night by Suz deMello

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: Havana, 1958… On the eve of the revolution, journalist Ellie Wheeler dreams of the biggest story of her life. Two hot men make all her dreams come true—even ones she didn’t know she had.
M/F/M ménage

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Suz deMello, 2015

The big doors closed behind her with a click.

She turned to see Almonte leaning against them, eyeing her with predatory interest gleaming in his dark eyes. Her belly fluttered. She’d exposed corrupt union bosses and crooked politicians, but this was really the first time she’d played with the big boys. Organized crime was nothing to treat casually, and she’d thought she was ready.

Maybe not.

He stalked toward her. “Take that stupid thing off. It fools no one.” He tugged at her wig.

“Ow!” She put a hand up to her head to stop him. “My hair clashes dreadfully with my dress.”

 “Then take off your dress.” He slid one long, dark finger along the curve of her neck to her shoulder. The contact tingled in a way she hadn’t before experienced. “Strip for me.”

She turned to him, her eyes wide.

He laughed. “I thought you said anything for the story. You knew what would happen when you came up here. Shall we not pretend?”

She swallowed hard. How had she gotten into this predicament?

By being Hell on Wheels. Everyone thought she was brassy and bold. They had no idea she was still a virgin.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Excerpt from Punting on the River Cam by Lainey-Jo Charles

Part of the Naughty Escapes Boxed-set – Available July 1st

Blurb: Having escaped being roped into wedding party activities, two American strangers turn a day of sightseeing in Cambridge, England into a series of passionate encounters.

Click here to pre-order on Amazon http://goo.gl/AxvZnH

Copyright © Lainey-Jo Charles, 2015

Carissa willed her heart and breathing rates to slow down. Niell had quite the introspective look on his face and she didn’t know him well enough to know whether that was good or bad.

 “I was just thinking how you make me forget that I didn’t know you yesterday.”

“Wow,” she whispered in answer. “I’m assuming that’s a good thing, right?”

“Very much so.”

He dropped his gaze to her lips, and they suddenly felt as dry as a desert. She slipped her tongue out to wet them, and Niell closed the distance between them, his lips landing on hers, not too light, but not too rough. Perfect. His lips were soft as they moved against hers. He pulled back slightly, looked into her eyes, and his stomach growled.

Carissa tried so hard not to laugh. She truly did. But she obviously wasn’t doing a very good job.

“Oh, just let loose. Of course my stomach would have to add a punch line to a beautiful moment. At least I thought it was.”

She scooted her chair back and stood next to him, looking down into his gorgeous face.

“It was a perfect moment.” She initiated the kiss this time, taking a half step closer to him and leaning down to press a quick kiss to his lips.

“Let’s go find you some food for that stomach of yours before you decide you need to eat me for lunch instead.”

“That idea has some merit.”

“What? Oh my God. You are not eating me for lunch. And I so cannot believe I just said that out loud. You’re a menace.” She could feel the blush heating her cheeks.

“No one’s ever called me that before. Must just be you.”

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Let’s go find you some food.”

Niell took her hand this time and a small thrill zinged through Carissa. She’d grabbed his hand earlier without thinking, but he hadn’t tried to turn loose, and in fact, had continued holding it the entire time they were walking around after that. Now he initiated the gesture, and she was feeling like a teenager walking through the halls of school, holding hands with her boyfriend.

A boyfriend she’d only known for a few hours and had already kissed.

Maybe not quite like high school. And definitely not a boy.