An all-new romance is coming this week from author Emma Chase, set in the same world as her amazing Royally series, and I have a sneak peek for you.
The walk to my apartment isn’t far, but it seems to take forever—the way the best Christmases always seemed to take too long to arrive when you’re a child.
And also because of Abby’s shoes.
They’re a work of hard-on art, but they aren’t made for high-speed walking—or walking at all. The urge to manhandle her, to just toss her over my shoulder and carry her like a caveman, is strong. But I tamp it down and settle for holding her hand instead.
I unlock the door to my flat and lead her in, tossing my keys on the table near the door. I don’t turn on the lights—the silver sheen of moonlight coming through the windows gives just enough illumination to see and sets the mood I’m looking for—shadowed and secluded and shrouded enough to let loose.
Abby slips out of her coat and I hang it on the hook while she moves to the center of the room. “I like what you’ve done with the place.”
She’s being polite again—because except for the epically large-screen television, black recliner and sofa, and dark gray crocheted blanket, courtesy of my mum, folded across the back, I haven’t done much.
“Moved in?” I ask.
“Yes,” she says with a smile, “it’s simple but warm—laid back. It feels like you.”
I wander closer to her. “Do you want something to drink?”
Now I’m being polite too.
She shakes her head, her eyes drifting down to her shoes.
And she suddenly looks so delicate to me, unsure and out of her depth. Because despite the fierceness I’ve glimpsed from her—I’m hit with the certainty that Abby doesn’t have a lot of experience with men. That a one-night stand or fucking without commitments is unchartered territory.
That knowledge makes me feel privileged, honored—and ferociously protective.
“Are sure you want to do this, Abby? It’s all right if you change your mind. I can take you back to your friends at the pub.”
She lifts her chin, looking into my eyes. “I don’t want to change my mind.”
She inhales a deep, slow breath—the kind that you take right before you dive into deep water—and puts her hand on my chest, her fingers pressing into the thick roped fabric of my sweater.
“Come on, Tommy. You can’t back out on me now.”
And there’s something about my name on her lips that captures me—holds on and doesn’t let go. I slide my hand up her bare arm—her skin is warm and soft as satin. I cup the side of her face in my palm and wrap the other hand around her waist, drawing her forward.
“Say that again.”
I stare at her mouth.
“Say my name again.”
She smiles, soft and teasing, and reaches up, grazing the tip of her nose against mine—as soft as the brush of a butterfly’s wing. And her lips are right fucking there.
“Tommy . . .”