A hilarious new standalone romance is coming next week from J.T. Geissinger, and I have a sneak peek for you.
BAM BAM BAM.
“Nobody’s home!” I shout over my shoulder, scrubbing furiously.
Ten seconds later, a deep voice from behind me says, “That’s funny, ’cause you look like you’re home to me.”
I whirl around and find Mason standing in my kitchen. All six-foot-five, six, seven plus of him, big and brawny and wearing a wild, dangerous expression like he’s come to perform an exorcism.
Heart hammering, I demand, “How did you get in?”
He doesn’t answer. He simply lets his gaze drift slowly over me, from the top of my head down to my bare feet. His eyes are hot, his jaw is set, and his nostrils are flaring.
It’s his crazy look. The one he gets right before he gets unhinged.
Dripping suds onto the floor, I point my finger at him. “Don’t you dare stand in my kitchen glaring at me after breaking in uninvited! Get out!”
“What? What do you mean no?”
“Just what I said.”
He takes a step toward me. He’s wearing tight black jeans and a tight black T-shirt. Muscles bulge out all over the place. Tattoos swim in my vision.
Less forcefully, I say, “Get out.”
“You’re not listening, Pink.” He shakes his head, tutting. “You just. Don’t. Listen.”
He takes another step toward me, then another, then he’s standing an arm’s length away, staring down at me in all his blistering masculinity.
I swallow, shrinking back against the sink. I whisper, “I want you to go now.”
“It’s interesting,” he says, gazing at my mouth. “The things you say.”
He ignores my stammering. “Even more interesting are the things you don’t say.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t you?” His smile is small, wicked, and dangerous.
My heart flutters around under my ribcage like a panicked little bird. “No, I don’t. Stop talking in riddles. But first get out.”
He chuckles. “Why are you so mad at me right now?”
I say indignantly, “I’m not!”
His dangerous smile widens. “That’s what I’m talking about, Pink. That right there.” He leans in, braces his arms on the counter on either side of me, and stares into my eyes.
I’m also having some bizarre combination of a panic attack and a hot flash. I can’t catch my breath, and I’ve started sweating.
“Okay,” he says, his voice husky. “We’re gonna play a little game.”
I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until it all comes out in a gust. “You’ve lost your mind. Is that it? You’ve had a hard hit on the head during practice, and now your brain is dislodged. I’ll call a doctor.”
“It’s called Twenty Questions,” he goes on, leaning slightly closer until our noses are almost touching. “Question one: where’s the fire?”
My hysterical inner voice screams In my underwear! But I’ve retained enough presence of mind not to repeat that. Instead I say, “What fire? There’s no fire. You’re being ridiculous.”
When he moistens his lips, I think I’ll pass out.
“It is ridiculous, isn’t it?” he muses. He leans closer, brushing his cheek against mine. Then he whispers into my ear, “So I wonder… why would you say there’s a fire at your office when there wasn’t one? I went by there first, just to make sure.”
I freeze in horror.
No. Oh no.
I squeak, “Stephanie told you that?”
His husky laugh raises goosebumps all down my arms. His voice is so close to my ear I feel his breath, a hot, silky whisper of air down my neck when he speaks.
“No, sweetheart. I heard you tell that whopper myself.” He pulls away and gazes into my eyes again. “I was on the other line with her when she called you. She was trying to prove something to me that I didn’t believe.”
He called me sweetheart. Why would he do that? I can’t think. I can’t breathe. Wait, he was on the phone, too? Oh God, WHAT’S HAPPENING?
He leans to my other side to inhale a slow, deep breath against my neck, just under my jaw. Feather light, his lips brush over the sensitive skin there. I stiffen. All my nerve endings moan. I have to bite my tongue to stop from screaming.
He whispers, “Why would you care if I slept with Stephanie?”
I blurt, “I don’t care, why would I care, that’s just silly, it’s none of my business who you sleep with.”
His chuckle sounds devilishly satisfied. “Very convincing.”
He straightens, takes my face between his big rough hands, and stares down at me with entire cities burning in his beautiful eyes.
“Question three. And you better tell me the truth this time.”
I stand there frozen, breathless, my mind spinning and my blood in flames, waiting for him to speak with the terror of a convict with her head in the guillotine waiting for the sharp, glinting blade to fall.
He says, “Do you have feelings for me?”
An involuntary sound escapes my throat. A sound of shock, disbelief, euphoria, terror.
If this is only question three, I’ll be dead by number twenty.
“I’m… I… um…”
“Yes or no, Pink. It’s a simple question.”
I’m gripping the counter so hard it’s a miracle it doesn’t shatter. I wonder if he can hear my knees knocking, but then can’t wonder anything else because he lowers his head and very lightly brushes his lips over mine, and my brain stops working altogether.
Against my mouth, he whispers, “Yes or no.”
“Yes or no.”
He’s hot and hard against me, a wall of a man who could crush me so easily, but he’s holding my face so tenderly it makes me want to cry.
“I j-just want you to be h-happy.”
“I’m beginning to get that.” He presses a soft, small kiss to one side of my mouth, then the other. “Now answer the question.”
“Come on,” he breathes. He stares at me with so much intensity, so much desire, I feel like he’s breaking my heart.
I ask desperately, “Did you sleep with Stephanie?”
His answer comes fast and unequivocal. “No.”
I’m swamped with relief, until he fires a question back at me. “Would you care if I did?”
I squeeze my eyes shut and reluctantly tell him the truth. “Yes. I’d hate it. I’d hate you. I’d never want to see you again.”
His chuckle is low and warm and utterly smug. “Now we’re getting somewhere.”
My God, I’d like to introduce his skull to a sharp object.
I open my eyes and cry, “Fine! Yes, I have feelings for you! Violent, murderous feelings!”
“Getting warmer. Keep going.”
“This doesn’t make any sense! Why are you even asking me this? I’m bossy and mouthy and a pain in your butt and you don’t believe in love and only like girls with big boobs!”
He nods. “We definitely don’t work on paper. And don’t forget you can’t stand my manners.”
“Plus, you’re hell on my blood pressure.”
“I’m bad for your blood pressure? Ha! I’ve been flirting with heart failure since the day we met! You’re the most aggravating man on the planet! Do you have any idea how hard it’s going to be for me to find you a wife!”
His eyes burn like two hot coals. His voice comes out in a throaty growl. “How many times do I have to tell you? You’re fired.”
He pulls me against his chest and crushes his mouth to mine.