Excerpt #1 from Cassidy Kent's DEAR JOHN (rated R)
The possibilities were endless. Maybe she could watch one of Roxy’s stash of sappy DVDs and fix herself dinner for one. A long, hot bath might be nice, though. Enjoy the solitude, let her worries and anxieties about the reunion melt away. Or maybe, she could do both. Why not?
She closed her eyes momentarily until a loud knock made her snap to attention. Argh. Perhaps Roxy forgot her keys again. Dane smiled. It seemed to be the norm for her friend, a habit she hadn’t shaken since their teens and probably never would. Armed and ready with a witty comment, she opened the door. The words froze on her lips as she caught sight of John Stratton, staring back at her as if he’d just seen a ghost.
Whoa. Where is the John Stratton of my youth?
The man at her door was completely at odds with the memory of a high school rebel in biker boots and skull jacket. Now, standing before her was a ruggedly handsome stranger, clad in a black, fitted leather jacket and dark jeans, that made her want to salivate.
“Dane,” he let out in a husky voice. John’s expression changed from surprise to anger to something she couldn’t decipher before he took one quick step forward, cupped her face in his palms and planted a kiss on her that made her feel like the Greenhouse Effect had zeroed in on them. Heat spread through her body, fanned by the flames of memories until they soared higher and higher, until she was swept away by the blistering sorrow of her past.
Swirls of emotion drowned out all thought and she was left breathless from that one explosive kiss.
This was not the reception she had imagined. Yet Dane couldn’t help clinging onto him, unable to pull herself away. She melted into his arms like a love-struck teenager trying to hold onto the last shred of her youth. Even when he plunged his tongue deeper into her mouth, she only accepted it greedily, wrapping her arms tighter around his neck and pulling him even closer. She wanted more. She wanted to forget the world around her and allow John to take her back to that time when nothing could touch them…
* * *
God, John had missed that luscious mouth. He’d missed those supple lips and the velvet sweetness within their depths. He’d missed the way she fit so well against him and the familiar ache touched every nerve ending. Mostly, he’d missed the fire that sparked between them whenever they were together, igniting a passion within him that overshadowed any other.
John felt the sting in his eyes. Squeezing them closed tighter, he tried to fight the tears of relief at knowing she was all right. Relieved that Dane had become the woman he had always known she would be.
How could he have let her go without a chase? He should have fought for her, he should have followed his heart and searched for her to the ends of the earth. John deepened his kiss, taking and taking what she was willing to give. He felt the exhilaration and freedom of finally giving her a piece of himself, something he should have never held back. He might be a prolific writer now, but when it came to Dane, he felt like a dumbstruck adolescent all over again. Even so, he would much rather use his lips to tell her everything he longed to say to her without words.
John threaded his fingers through her thick mass of waves, no longer the edgy ebony color but her natural blonde. She appeared softer, a side of Dane no one had known existed, and he felt lucky to get a peek. He had always wondered what she looked like underneath her masquerade of darkness, yet he wasn’t one to change her unless she wanted it for herself.
His hands slid down her body to encircle her waist, pulling her closer still. He nipped and licked the corner of her mouth before re-capturing those firm lips. She let out a low moan deep in her throat and his groin jerked in response. His tongue continued the slow, smooth punishment for the last ten years she had stolen from him. Wasted years they could have used for kissing and making love instead of suffering through vacant nights without each other.
He finally realized they were visible for the whole conservative neighborhood to see and propelled her back through the front door, all while never losing contact with her lips. John slammed the door with a fast-footed kick and pushed her up against the wall. He slipped a hand under her threadbare Metallica T-shirt, palming one pert breast, squeezing and fondling her until she whimpered at his touch. He pinched her nipple with his thumb and forefinger, applying a little pressure until he felt her nails dig into his back. That simple reaction made him so hard he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t wait to be inside her.
John grabbed her leg and wrapped it tightly around his hip. He ground his erection hard against her, moving until he could feel the wetness seeping through her panties. Dane arched her back and he groaned in agony, continuing the slow rhythm, wanting her to feel the proof of how much she still affected him.
Like a light had been flipped on in his head, he stopped his movements, pinning her against him. He stared deep into those sea-green eyes. Those haunting eyes he had missed so much. “Damn you, Dane Harley,” he growled hoarsely. “Damn you for your cowardice. And damn you for ripping my heart out of my chest. That fucking letter…”
John saw the flicker of hurt in her eyes before she blinked and it was gone. He felt like a barbaric ass, but he needed to get this off his chest. Her actions had moored him to his past like an immoveable anchor.
“I’m…I’m so sorry,” she choked out.
“Not nearly as sorry as I am.” He didn’t give her a chance to speak again before he imprisoned her lips once more. This time he kissed her tenderly, making up for the brutal welcoming. He kissed her with all the gentle emotion he still held for her, and hoped she would forgive him for settling for defeat instead of begging for her to stay. He hoped her return meant she was ready to give him a second chance. No way in hell would he have a repeat of what happened the first time around. Once was enough of a life lesson...