Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready, teaser week 3

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*Author's note
(Note: the xxx's in the text are parts I had to redact to avoid spoilers/confusion.)

(Obligatory disclaimer: this is a relatively rough version. It hasn't even been line edited, much less copyedited or proofread. So it's likely to improve a ton before the final version.)

Setting: Hotel room, somewhere in Northern Ireland. December 22. Evening. Aura and Zachary have had a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day


Zachary held still while I wound the bandage around his chest to cover the xxxxx xxxx.

Mostly still, anyway. After his fifth wince, he said, "Ever notice in the movies, the hero gets shot or stabbed and never even blinks, but when the beautiful girl is nursing his wounds, he can’t stop flinching?"

"That’s because of adrenaline. And Hollywood." My face warmed at his indirectly calling me "beautiful."

I pressed the last piece of tape onto his back, smoothing it against the gauze, then slid my fingers up and over the unbroken skin of his bare shoulder.

Zachary closed his eyes and breathed in deep. "Aura, d’ye think we could end this not-touching-each-other shite? It’s frankly killing me, as sure as any knife."

"Me, too."

I leaned forward to kiss him, but he slipped around me, tugging me out of the bathroom and toward the bed.

I stopped. "Wait. I still feel weird, after the xxxxxx, like xxxx’xx...xx me. Plus I’m kind of gross." I held up my other arm, still faintly blood-stained. "Maybe if I take a shower—"

He let go of my hand. "Go. Hurry."

"I’ll be quick."

"I’ll be waiting."

The hot water was just what I needed. Cascading over my scalp and shoulders, it chased away the last shadows of clamminess. I rested my palms against the sandy-tiled wall and let the flood caress the back of my neck, loosening the tension of the last twenty-four hours of—well, almost dying.

I’d been in the shower less than two minutes when a knock came at the door.

"Yeah?" I heard the door open. "Forget something?"

"Aye." A sliver of curtain peeled back, enough to show one of Zachary’s vibrant green eyes, dark with desire. "I forgot how hard it is to think of you in the shower."

I shifted back, the water now between us, blurring his image. "There’s not much room in here."

"Aye." He stepped inside, putting half his body under the spray. The lower half.

I lifted my hands. "Your bandage’ll get wet."

"Aye." He took my wrists and moved forward, pinning me against the hard, slick wall, arms above my head. Then he kissed me, settling himself fully under the stream of steaming water. Water that flowed from his once-forbidden skin onto mine, its path unbroken by air or space.

With my hands in his grasp and his name on my lips, I could believe that nothing—not even time itself—could tear us apart.

*Note, all teasers posted here were copied from the authors blog. They are the sole property of the author.

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