Excerpt Copyright © 2016 by Nashoda Rose
The porch boards creaked behind me. I spun, but not fast enough and a hand clamped over my mouth. I was yanked backward to land against a hard chest then dragged into the darkness of the far corner of the porch where the light failed to illuminate and a tree concealed us from the street.
My scream came out muffled and barely audible.
“Shhh,” he murmured against my ear.
His warm breath wafted over the side of my neck and goose bumps popped along my skin. But it wasn’t from fear, well maybe a little, but it was more an awareness. Like my body awakened to his touch.
“They put a man on you.”
Ernie. He’d seen Ernie. Connor managed to get by an ex-navy SEAL. It shouldn’t surprise me. He excelled at being invisible. But the question was had Ernie seen him?
“He’s good. Took two hours before I had the chance.” And he’d always been patient. “You going to stay quiet if I remove my hand?”
I did my best to nod, but his grip on me was constricting and I only managed a slight dip of my chin. His hand slid from my mouth to the curve of my neck where his fingers enclosed, not harsh, but with purpose.
His rough whisper rumbled, “Can’t leave yet. Tried to. Bike found its way back here.” His body stiffened. “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
Oh, God. I squeezed my eyes shut as tears pooled. I was uncertain what he’d do to me right now. He was on edge, but I couldn’t stop the overwhelming need to curl into his arms and take his pain away.
His body stiffened and his forearm across my breasts squeezed. I whimpered under the pressure, but didn’t struggle.
“I’m sorry. Fuck, I’m so sorry about your family, sweet-baby.”
My breath locked and a tear teetered then fell. Wetness trailed down my cheek. I hadn’t heard him call me that in eleven years and it was as if I were back there with him, falling in love all over again.
His fingers splayed on my neck gently applied more pressure. It wasn’t restricting, but it was controlling and I knew he’d easily cut off air if he wanted to. But I trusted that Connor would never willingly hurt me.
It was the graze of his lips on the edge of my jaw that sent my heart rocketing and my belly into a perpetual whoosh. Confusion and desire clashed as my body and mind fought against one another.
“You should’ve chosen me,” he murmured.
I had chosen him. Everything I’d done was me choosing him. But that wasn’t what he was talking about.
“You should’ve chosen me,” he repeated then nibbled on the lobe of my ear, his teeth grazing the sensitive skin. “Why? Why didn’t you kill me instead?”
Nashoda Rose is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Toronto with her assortment of pets. She writes contemporary romance with a splash of darkness, or maybe it’s a tidal wave.
When she isn’t writing, she can be found sitting in a field reading with her dogs at her side while her horses graze nearby. She loves interacting with her readers and chatting about her addiction—books.