I shared this with my newsletter subscribers last week, but I wanted to share it with you today. This is a quick peek of INK, my new contemporary romance that will be coming out on March 13th! It’s now available for preorder at all major retailers.
Ox kept looking in her eyes, and Emmie was starting to feel scrutinized. “I’m fine.”
“You sure that’s all it is?” he asked. “You just need a breather?”
“I told you I’m fine.”
“I’m sorry about Ginger. I should have just ignored her.” He was examining her face like he was searching for something. “I fucked up. Did she ruin it?”
Emmie shook her head. “Of course not. Everyone’s out there having a great time. Daisy’s food rocks. We haven’t run out of beer. Everything is fine.”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “I think I hate the word fine when it’s coming from you.”
“That’s too bad, because it’s a really useful word that most English speakers use regularly.”
“It’s a useless word that doesn’t describe anything. People use it when they want to shut you up.”
Emmie frowned. “We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.”
“Have I told you I like it when you act all fussy?”
“I don’t act fussy. What does that even mean?”
“And you use punctuation when you text.” His searching eyes landed on her lips. “Nobody does that.”
“I do that.” She squirmed under his gaze. “Ox—”
“You look amazing tonight.”
“Thank you.” Her chest was tight. Why was it so hard to breathe? “I think you were wrong about the shirt though.”
“Oh yeah?” His voice was soft, nearly a whisper.
“Yeah.” She swallowed. “Nobody’s tried to touch my back. Everyone has been really cool.”
“That’s good, cause I don’t want to have to break any fingers.”
Emmie blinked. “Which would be a complete overreaction.”
“Really?” He slid his hand along her waist and around her back, teasing his fingers along her spine. “We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.”
She could feel the heat from his chest, feel his hand resting hot on her skin. “Ox, what are you doing?” She put a hand on his chest. “You said—”
“I really want to kiss you right now,” he said. “And I know I shouldn’t.”
Her mouth fell open, but she couldn’t speak. Did he just say…?
“That mouth is not helping.” He leaned closer to her, their lips a breath away.
Emmie’s fingers curled into the muscle on his chest. “Ox—”
He closed the inches between them and softly bit her lower lip, closing his mouth around it and flicking the sensitive edge with his tongue. Everything in Emmie’s body heated. She raised her other hand to draw him closer just as he pulled away.
“That wasn’t a kiss,” he said, his breath still hot on her lips. “So I didn’t break the rules.”
“You didn’t?” Her lip felt marked and swollen. She wanted to taste him, wanted to feel the rub of stubble against her jaw. “I feel like that’s a technicality.”
A low frustrated sound rumbled in his throat. “Emmie.”
He let her go and stepped back. “Take your minute. One of us needs to go back to the party.”
Emmie blinked and tried to clear the fog in her head. “Right.” She started down the stairs, only to have Ox put a hand on her hip, blocking her and nudging her back up the stairs.
“Me.” He was fighting a smile. “I’ll go downstairs. You take a minute to enjoy the quiet.” He nodded at her door. “I’ll send Tayla up if you disappear for too long.”
Emmie nodded. “Okay.” She turned to the door, but turned back before he walked away. “That just happened in real life, right? I didn’t imagine that?”
The corner of his mouth turned up. “Have you imagined it?”
“Not that. Precisely.” Her face was burning. “I have a good imagination; I read a lot.” She cleared her throat. “And I am going in my apartment before this gets any worse.”
He backed down the stairs, bracing himself on the railing. “You mean any better?”
She raised a finger. “You should not be saying things like that, Miles Oxford.”
He pursed his lips. “Are you sure?”
“Your rule. This was your rule.”
He gave her a slow smile. “Yeah. But I forgot to tell you I was always shit about following the rules.”
Emmie opened the door to her apartment and escaped before she did something really, really stupid.
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Keep an eye out for more teasers as we get closer to release!