Happy Hump Day, as they call it 🙂 Since it’s release day tomorrow I’ll be dancing round the place like a crazy person, so I thought I should get you your Thursday Free Read installment a day early. I really hope you’re enjoying the Love Reawakened prequel, I’m hoping to have it properly edited and put up as a complete story soon – but in the meantime, you get it here first! And, don’t forget Emma and Garret’s big adventure goes live tomorrow 🙂
Emma was rapidly starting to lose her buzz. Was it too much to ask to be able to dance on her own without half a dozen jerks insisting that she must need company? This one seemed particularly persistent.
“I’m sorry, I’m really not interested” She tried more firmly, and this time turned her back on him. Surely that would give the hint?
Instead she felt rough hands on her butt. Seriously? She whirled round, sparks flying from her fingers and singeing the air around them both. The asshat took an unsteady step back, his hands waving in the air as though trying to swat a fly.
“What the fuck?” One of the sparks caught his hand and he snatched it back to his chest, staring at it confusion and then rising anger. “Goddamn bitch burned me.”
He stepped forward again, face contorted with drunken rage. Emma took a deep breath, called up her magic, and then the guy was suddenly on his ass in the middle of the dance floor. She blinked. Okay, that hadn’t been her.
Then Garret was taking her arm and moving to the other side of the polished wooden floor. He turned her away from the small group gathered around the floored guy, and began moving them to the music. She stared up at him in surprise, unsure what to say.
“I thought you didn’t want to dance.”
He sighed. “I didn’t, but you obviously can’t stay out of trouble.”
“Me? I was only sticking up for myself, and you seem to be the one putting people on the floor.”
He grunted. “I didn’t say he deserved it, and you were… inciting.”
Emma grinned. “I was what? How exactly?”
His hands waved around randomly. “Hips, twirling… ness. Look, are you wanting to dance or not?”
A grin was spreading across her face, but she simply nodded and let him pull her into his arms. For someone who claimed they didn’t dance he moved well, and as the music switched to a slower song she wrapped her arms around his neck and let her body sway in time with his. The world around them seemed to drift away as she relaxed against him, resting her head on his chest, hearing his heartbeat under her ear. Breathing in, she let his scent surround her; a unique blend of sandalwood and musk, with an underlying thread that was just sweat and skin and male. Every hard muscle seemed to mould against her… oooh, including a certain extra hard part of his anatomy that seemed to be pressing against her stomach. Things were definitely looking up – literally! A sly grin crossed her face as she deliberately rubbed against him.
His breath exhaled on a hiss as he stiffly moved back from her. Frowning slightly, she tilted back her head to look up at him. His deep brown eyes burned into her, she could see the banked desire there. Rising up on tiptoe, she did what she’d wanted to do since pretty much the first moment she’d seen him, half-concussed in a graveyard, and kissed him.
His lips were shockingly soft, and fire seemed to spark between them at the touch. Pressing against him, she deepened it, a whimper rising up in her throat as he met her thrust with his own, their tongues tangling as she felt heat sliding over her body and pooling in her belly and lower. Fuck, she’d never got this hot off a simple kiss before, and she needed more. Moaning she tangled her hands in his hair, her leg sliding up to hook over his hip, desperately trying to rock her against his hardness. She was dimly aware of wolf whistles breaking out behind her.
“Get a fucking room!” Someone shouted.
Garret stiffened a second before he abruptly pulled back from her. She felt the loss of warmth like a physical blow. She tried to pull herself together, managing a weak smile.
“Well, I dunno about you, but that doesn’t sound like such a bad suggestion. I know I have one, am sure you do too…”
He simply stared at her for a long moment, and she shivered as the warmth seemed to bleed out of his eyes.
“It’s late and you’ve had a lot to drink. I’ll drive you home.”
Lovely, talk about frostbite here.
“You’ve been drinking as well,” she mumbled. “I can just get a taxi.”
“I’ve only had two, I’ve fine to drive. Let’s get your coat.”
Emma nodded reluctantly. Had she just imagined that he’d been affected too? Either way, he definitely didn’t seem to be now. Yay for awkwardness.
Garret glanced across at the stiff form in the passenger seat. She’d barely said a word since they’d left the bar, apart from directions, and the tension in the small car was like a physical presence. What the hell had got into him back there? He liked his relationships light and casual, as far away from complicated as possible. Getting involved with someone like Emma screamed out complications at every turn. Not only was she young and currently his student, but she had a light and innocence that shone out of her. For fucks sake, she couldn’t even stand to watch a raising! Someone like that had no place anywhere near the kind of world he lived in. This awkwardness was not good though, especially when they still had to work together.
“It’s over there, on the right.” Her voice was tight.
He slowly pulled in and cut the engine. He needed to fix this somehow.
“Emma…” Her bright green gaze pinned him and he suddenly lost all focus for what he’d been about to say. Concentrate.
“Look, I’m really sorry.”
“For what?” She snapped. “For kissing me back in the first place, or shoving me away like I’m fucking contagious?”
“Erm,” there was no right answer to this, was there? “Both, I guess?”
She continued to glare at him and he fumbled for something better.
“Look, you’re a great person, but you’re my student and it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between us.”
She snorted, “For fuck’s sake, it’s not like I’m a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl. We’re both adults. I can decide to sleep with whoever I like, and it’s nothing to do with anyone else.”
“I just don’t want things to be awkward between us.”
“It would have to mean something to be awkward, so don’t flatter yourself. I was horny, that’s all. Don’t worry, I’ll find someone else to deal with it.”
An image of the dickwad back at the bar with his hands all over her rose up in his head. Like hell she would. All his good intentions disappeared in a surging rage of possessiveness unlike anything he’d never known before. A growl rose up and before he’d even realized what he was doing, he was dragging her across the seat and crushing her lips with his.