From work in progress Evergreen Hearts (working title) – the hero and heroine named a few years ago, well before I knew I would be waiting on the birth of my grandson, due any time now…and whose name will be Kyle.
Rain cascaded between the skyscrapers along West Lafayette and pelted the over-sized black umbrella protecting them while they walked along the sidewalk. Headlights of cars negotiating rush hour-clogged streets barely cut through the waterlogged gloom. For a second, Kyle wondered if she’d heard him. But then Summer slowed her steps, apparently oblivious to the people who darted around them muttering pithy curses.
“Love?” She let out a harsh laugh but picked up the pace again without sparing him so much as a glance. “What do you know of love, with your use ‘em and lose ‘em mentality?”
“I didn’t use you, Summer.” Kyle kept his voice low as he became aware of the stares of the dodging pedestrians. “I didn’t touch you…as much as I wanted to.”
A bus lumbered by, burping out a cloud of diesel as it passed. The rear wheel sank into pothole filled with rainwater and cold muddy liquid sprayed out, soaking them instantly. Kyle’s dress slacks clung to his legs like plastic cling wrap but he barely noticed.
“Oh!” Summer’s outcry was more rage than surprise and Kyle wondered if she was responding to being splashed or to his words.
He halted at the revolving door to the gallery, grabbing her hand when she would have slipped through and left him to deal with the umbrella. Kyle dropped the black monstrosity, dimly hearing it strike the ground against the base of the building. Using her forward momentum, he swung her around so she faced him. The relentless rain drenched her hair in seconds. Makeup melted, formed muddy rivers that streaked her face with dark lines. She had to be freezing in the Detroit October rain, but her eyes spit fire that warmed his chilled body.
“I never stopped thinking about you, Summer.”
She jerked her hand from his grasp and stepped away. “Really? Because I stopped thinking about you when I realized you ditched me.” Summer shrugged as though she hadn’t just carved out a piece of his heart.
He opened his mouth to protest, but what could he say? He had ditched her. He’d done it for all the right reasons…he’d done it because he loved her…but because it had hurt so much, he’d been deliberately cruel when he should have been kind.
“I’m not blaming you. I was young and naïve. I thought we shared something special.” Summer swept her gaze up to meet his with glints of defiance in her smoky eyes. “Obviously, I was wrong. We had nothing.”
Annoyance flicked at his raw emotions. “We did have something. Maybe only for that one summer, that solitary moment, but we had something.” Kyle took a step toward her, crowding her against the side of the building. “Some people go their whole lives and never experience a single moment like we had on that island.”
“No! We did not have a moment.” Heat blossomed on her cheeks. Summer braced her hands on Kyle’s chest and pushed hard. He stepped back to keep from overbalancing. “We could have had a moment,” she shouted. “We’d have had more than a moment but you threw it away because you didn’t want me!”
Frustration and need joined forces and temper boiled over. “Didn’t want you?” If she thought that, she really had been naïve. Kyle shook his head and stepped forward again. “I never wanted anyone more than I wanted you. I still want you.”
“Well, maybe now I don’t want you.” Her hands went for his chest again but he grabbed them.
Lacing his fingers through hers, he pushed her hands up and back until they met the wall. He held her there and leaned in until he was a hair’s breadth away from her mouth. “You sure about that?”
He gave her no time to answer before he fixed his mouth on hers. She tasted like the red wine she’d had with dinner. Her intoxicating scent floated around him, sweet and spicy. She didn’t resist him, but held herself rigid. He angled his head and took the kiss deeper, claiming what he’d once denied himself. His tongue teased at her lips but they remained an impenetrable fortress. So he released her hands and slid one of his down to cup her face. With his thumb he toyed with the sensitive spot just in front of her ear.
Gradually, she relaxed into him and her arms slipped around his neck. When her lips parted, the thrill of victory rushed through him.
Kyle drew back slightly, but kept her pinned to the wall with his body. “Are you sure about that?” he asked again, his voice barely above a whisper.
Summer stared, the defiance in her eyes replaced by desire. Her only sound was a whimper as she leaned toward him, this time meeting the kiss more than halfway.
RETURN TO TUESDAY TALES!
Available now (click on a picture for more information):
Coming in May 2012: Everlasting Echoes, book 3 in the Echoes of Orson’s Folly series
Coming in July 2012: The 13 of Hearts, one of The Heart Stories of Camp Lejeune