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And here’s an excerpt to tempt you!
From THE RUNAWAY:
When Gracie woke, she was curled up with Mark. His arm was slung over her waist and their faces were the merest breath apart. He was still asleep—she thought. But she wasn’t sure. All she knew was that he was so warm and so close, as mouthwatering as a fresh-baked cinnamon roll.
Be like James Bond. When would she ever get another chance to find out what it was like to kiss him?
Without thinking anymore about it, she brushed her lips against his.
It felt magical, as sparkly as fairy dust. Her lips tingled and burned with the need to kiss him again.
This time, she lingered longer, less of a brush than a “hello, I’m here.”
He stirred slightly and a long sigh came from his mouth. She lifted herself on one elbow and stared down at him. His stubble had grown in thick overnight. How crazy to have such active hair follicles. Did they never rest, those beard hairs? What other body part could you practically watch as it grew?
Of course, she could think of one very obvious part.
She smothered a smile, wondering if her James Bond skills could extend to checking on that part. What if she lifted the covers, ever so slightly, and just took a peek? Last night Mark’s towel-clad nakedness had totally gone to waste. All they’d done was talk, and she’d been so fascinated that she hadn’t allowed her attention to stray to his physique.
At least not to the extent that it deserved.
Just one peek. What could it hurt?
She lifted the coverlet for a quick glimpse, but it was dark under there, and all she saw was shadowed muscular limbs, like a sculpture hidden in a dimly lit storeroom. Maybe her eyes just had to adjust to the darkness. She gave it a second, blinking her eyes, willing her rods and cones to cooperate.
A soft chuckle interrupted her.
Face flaming, she dropped the blanket and looked up to see Mark’s sleepy dark eyes smiling at her.
“See anything interesting under there?”
“Um…yes. There’s a…ah… I thought I felt a cat. I was just checking to see if Mellow snuck under the covers. He knows he’s not supposed to do that, because of potential fleas, but he’s not the most obedient—”
She stopped abruptly as he leaned forward and captured her lips with his.An electric shock of a thrill blasted through her. Now that was a real kiss. Not a brush or a gentle hello, but a firm, commanding possession of her mouth. She sighed and melted toward him, surrendering every bit of herself to the pleasure of the contact. He took complete charge of the kiss, and where he led, she followed—opening for his tongue, shivering under the velvety friction. Her heart jumped crazily, speeding up one second, slowing down the next, doing somersaults in her throat.
He raised himself up on his elbow to slant his mouth deeper over hers. She tilted her head back, dizzy and delirious, and inhaled the fresh morning scent of him. His natural male smell combined with the salt breeze filtering in from the porthole, the tarry scent of the pier, and the ever-present hint of diesel. She found it intoxicating, a feast for her nose.
She was kissing Mark. Actually, even better, he was kissing her. Kissing her as if he wanted her fiercely. As if she was his.
Finally, he drew away, their lips clinging until the last second.
Her breath caught as her lungs raced to catch up with her heart. “Wow. You kissed me.” Pointing out the obvious. “I thought you were asleep.”
“Not about to sleep through that.” He grinned in a carefree way she barely recognized. Where was the serious, overworked Mark she knew? This guy was lighthearted and scruffy and ridiculously charming.
“Oh. So you knew—”
“That you were checking me out—yes. By the way, if you do that now, you’ll get a whole different view.”
Her face heated. “I’m sorry, that was probably pretty rude. It’s not nice to spy on someone when they’re asleep.”
“You’re right. Very rude. But I might forgive you.”
“Well, you have to earn forgiveness, you know. I can’t just go handing it out like candy.”
Her stomach rumbled at the mention of candy. He heard it, too, and laughed.
“I said I was sorry,” she told him. “Isn’t that enough to earn forgiveness?”
“It’s definitely a start. That kiss helped, too. How about one more, and you’re forgiven.”
Part of her felt secretly disappointed that all it would take was another kiss. On the other hand, another kiss sounded absolutely perfect to her. She tilted her head toward him.
This kiss was on a different plane altogether. It felt like drowning, like immersing herself in a different element, not water, but some other intoxicating substance. He rolled onto his side and took her head in both hands, angling her so he could go deeper, deeper, until her head spun, and she barely remembered where they were.
Then she did remember.
And pulled away. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “We really shouldn’t do this.”