Author Emma Salah debuts her first novel this week and I have the honour of hosting a little sneak peek from this steamy new romance in which a hockey superstar falls for his best friend’s younger sister.
Arms outstretched, palms against the wall, Reagan took in a shuddering breath. She stood deep in the coatroom, behind the third and fourth rack. The room smelled of fur and musk. The light was on, but it was still a bit dark in her little corner. The wall was painted what the owner probably thought was a soothing yellow, but looked like someone had thrown up on it. Whoever decided on this particular shade as an official color deserved to be shot. It was not helping her calm down. I knew I should have worn a looser dress. But nope, vanity had won out in the end. She wasn’t very curvy, but the little black dress made her small hips look fuller than they were, before it came down to right above her knees. Well, none of that mattered now, because all it did was keep her looking cute while she had trouble breathing through the tight contraption.
Why did Zac affect her so? Why couldn’t she just ignore him? If she was being honest, she found herself drawn to him even before the day they kissed for the first time. Except now, she wasn’t content with secret accidental kisses and moments of longing. But what can I do? Zac—and all her brothers—had made it perfectly clear that a relationship between them was definitely not in the cards. So, what was she supposed to do? To keep ignoring her feelings seemed like the best possible option. Suppressing them wasn’t exactly helping with her breathing though.
Creak. The door opened and Reagan didn’t bother looking up. It was probably just the person who looked after the coats—the coat manager?—and here’s to hoping they didn’t come this far in. But, with heavy and determined footsteps, whoever it was walked deeper into the room, not stopping until they reached where she stood.
Reagan stiffened as she lifted her head. He was close enough that she could feel his heat against her back, smell his aftershave with definite hints of sandalwood, and know exactly who it was standing behind her.
Why was this happening to her? Coming to Steven’s party was important for her career, but now she just wished she had stayed under her covers while binging on Oreo cookies and playing Future Fantasy.
“Hey,” Zac said.
“What are you doing here?” she whispered to the puke yellow wall.
Take deep breaths. And whatever you do, don’t turn around.
“I saw you come in here. I wanted to make sure you were okay.” A second later, he asked, “Are you okay?”
“I just…need a minute.”
When she didn’t hear the door opening and him leaving, she sighed.
“What do you want, Zac?”
She felt him come closer.
“I want to know, is it going to be like this every time we’re in the same room?” His voice was smooth and she loved the sound of it. Even when she didn’t want to answer the question that he just asked with said voice.
He huffed out a breath. “Like you leaving as if the hounds of hell are on your heels. Like you can’t stand the sight of me?”
I must not give in.
“It’s not you that I can’t stand to see,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Then who— Ah.”
Oh great! I’ve said too much.
“Brandy is really something,” he said, in a casual voice that was anything but casual.
“I don’t care what she is.”
She refused to turn around.
She was going to kill him slowly.
“Incredibly smart. Harvard graduate.”
That did it.
Voice trembling, she couldn’t help but ask, “Then why if she is so gorgeous, talented, incredibly smart, are you in here with little old me?”
She spun around so quickly, her elbow slammed into his gut. “I am not.”
“Yes, you are.” He grunted, rubbing his stomach.
Reagan stepped closer. “Say that again, Zac, and so help you I will—”
He stepped even closer and in a dangerously low voice whispered, “You’ll what?”
“I will…” She swallowed.
Although her black stilettos gave her a much needed four inches, Reagan still only reached Zac’s jaw. A jaw that was clean-shaven and exposed his thick lower lip. It didn’t help that he was devastating in his grey suit, his arms crossed over his impressive chest. And he was watching her with those blue eyes of his that couldn’t seem to decide whether they were angry with her or if they wanted to fuck her. She definitely knew which one she was up for.