A brand new enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance is available now from Kennedy Ryan, and I have a sneak peek for you, as well as a chance to win a signed paperback copy.
A few quick steps bring Banner back immediately in front of me and she pokes her sharp little nail into my chest. “Block that.”
She blocked my shot.
I knew what it meant seeing her leave Lamont’s room, but it’s only when she voices it that I truly appreciate what a masterful move this is.
“Karma’s a bitch, huh?” she asks, satisfaction stretching her mouth into a wide smile.
“Apparently, she’s not the only one,” I reply admiringly.
Her smile holds, but her eyes narrow and frost over.
“Remember this bitch next time you and your pride of lions think about insulting me,” she spits, lightning in her eyes, thunder in her voice. “Or assuming I got where I am any way other than hard work. Remember this moment when I handed you your ass, Foster.”
Her anger, her indignation hit me with a blast of heat that burns through all my reasons and rationale and excuses to cover up what I have known deep down.
This woman is my match.
She is bright and good. And I can be dark, bad when I have to be. Sometimes when I don’t have to be, but just want to be. She is day and I am night. When day and night are absolutely equal, it’s equinox. Banner is my equinox. My equal. The revelation rattles around inside me, but my face, my surface remains smooth.
The game we’re playing just changed, and she doesn’t even know it. Banner is smarter than I am, but my gut is better. My instincts are sharper. I’m a weather vane. I feel shifts in the air, sense coming storms before she does. That sentience is my greatest advantage.
“So how’d you do it?” I ask easily, not missing a beat and giving nothing away.
“Effortlessly.” She angles a look up at me that is both withering and full of pity. “While you were entertaining Cousin It at strip clubs, I was talking to Lamont’s mother.”
I lean back against the closed door to listen. I really don’t care how she did it. I just want her to stay a few minutes longer so I can take my time appreciating every magnificent inch of her.
“Ahhh.” I nod and turn down the corners of my mouth. “His mother back in Atlanta.”
“I flew there straight from Denver, actually. Even attended a Sunday service and helped pay for the church’s new roof.”
“Wow.” I don’t care about the church’s roof. “You pulled out all the stops.”
“They really did need that new roof.”
She smirks and turns to leave, but I cuff her wrist with my hand to stop her. Her surprised glance collides with mine over her shoulder. I subtly tighten around the delicate bones of her wrist, push away from the door, and step into her comfort zone, close enough for our scents to mingle and our breaths to mix in the tiny bit of space I’m allowing. I’m crowding her, but I don’t care. Every minute that passes, I care less about Lamont Christopher, and his cousin and his mama, and their church and their roof.
“You really showed me,” I say, pitching my voice low and dipping my head until our foreheads almost touch, intimacy cocooning us in the open, in the hallway. Her pulse sputters through the warm skin under my fingers. Her breath catches and her eyelashes flutter in rapid blinks. She swallows, the muscles of her throat working under the velvety skin. I’d love to sink my teeth into that tendon; to mark the slim column of her neck. I want her to wear me and carry my scent everywhere she goes. She’s the only one who has ever stirred anything primal in me.
Her eyes shift from my hand encompassing her wrist to my face, a mask I’ve smoothed free of all the urges and feelings and things roiling under the surface. She tugs at her wrist, but I don’t relent.
“Let me go.” Her voice is husky, but calm.
“Of course,” I say politely, releasing her.
With one last searching glance, the one trying to figure out what’s changed, what’s going on, she turns and leaves.
I’ll let you go, Banner.