Saturday, February 19, 2011

Countdown to TACOM - Excerpt the Second!

Here's another peek at Take A Chance On Me, out Tuesday from Samhain:

“This is totally amazing!”

Tom smiled as he watched Jessica lean against the thick green railing, a chill wind rushing through her tousled red-brown hair. She spread her arms wide, bracing herself against the railing of the small deck overlooking the front of the ferry.
Below, white-capped waves crashed against the edge of the car deck, leaving puddles on the walkways and riming the safety ropes with salt.

She turned around, laughing with delight. “You were absolutely right. This is exactly what I needed.”

He flashed a cocky smile. “Told you so.”

“I think it’s what we both needed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to set the stress and pressure aside for a few hours.”

“Glad you enjoyed it.” Tom squinted into the distance. “We’re about fifteen minutes from docking.”

Jessica sighed. “Then back to reality. Thanks again, Tom.”

“You still have a couple of minutes. Sure you don’t want to do the whole Titanic thing? I promise I won’t let you fall off the front of the boat.”

Jessica rolled her eyes at him. “I’m feeling better, but I’m not exactly king-of-the-world material. And I don’t think there are any icebergs in Puget Sound.”

Tom nodded. “It’s cold, but it’s not that cold.” He reached out and pulled her coat collar closer together, tucking the fringes of her scarf around her neck to block out the wind.

She stilled, her eyes darkening as she stared at him. Tom’s grip tightened on her coat, his fingers clutching the fabric. Slowly, deliberately, he lowered his head to hers.

Their previous kisses had been spontaneous combustion. This one was a steamy, languid dip in the Olympic Hot Springs. He tasted her lips slowly, placing soft nibbling kisses from corner to corner. Angling his head, he pressed his mouth against hers and swept his tongue across her lower lip.

Her mouth opened on a sigh and he moved forward, noting with pleasure the exact point where the chill of the outdoor air gave way to the heat of Jessica’s mouth. His ears tingled and his cheeks were close to numb from the winter wind howling across the small ferry deck. But inside, he would swear he was running one hell of a fever.

She was close, so close, but with all the layers of clothing between them she might as well have been against the opposite rail. Tom groaned, gripping her lapel as he continued the kiss, his overactive imagination helpfully supplying a reminder of the sweet curves buried under all that winter wool. Thank God he was bundled up just as tightly, or she would be getting a very clear picture of how much he was enjoying this repeat performance.

Suddenly, the ferry gave a pitching roll, shuddering as it lifted above the waves and heaved down again. They stumbled apart, both clinging tightly to the other’s coat and breathing heavily.

Through sheer force of will, Tom unclenched his fingers and released Jessica’s now-wrinkled charcoal gray winter coat. He ran a hand through his wind-tossed hair, sucking in a deep breath. The air was thick with exhaust from the ferry engines, combined with the tang of salt spray and impending rain. And overlaying it all was the crisp citrus scent of Jessica.

She leaned forward, resting her forehead against his chest. He watched as a shuddering sigh traveled the length of her spine. Even through his winter layers he could feel the heat of her breath as it puffed against his solar plexus. A shiver wrapped around his midsection.

She mumbled something into his coat, but the combination of rushing wind and rumbling ferry engines drowned out any chance of hearing it. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, leading her back toward the relative warmth and bright lights of the main cabin.

But before they could go inside, she grabbed the lapel of his coat and dragged him past the doorway into the darkened alcove under the stairs to the upper deck.

“What are you—?” His statement was cut off when she wrapped one hand around his neck and pulled him down for another kiss.

She began talking between kisses, her words almost lost in the feverish embrace. “I. Don’t. Want. To. Stop.”

1 comment:

PG Forte said...

“I. Don’t. Want. To. Stop.”

Me. Either. Where's the rest? Oh, right. Tuesday. ;)