Claudia Burgoa’s Everhart Brothers series comes to an end out this week, and I have an excerpt for you from this angsty, opposites-attract romance.
“You know,” he says, sounding way too sly to be good. “One way to solve this would be to just sleep together now, so we can get all the awkwardness out of the way.”
I stare at him as I sort through the absolute absurdity of that idea. “How could that possibly make things less awkward between us?”
He blinks a couple of times. “Are you dead inside?”
“We should keep this as simple as possible to avoid…” I trail off, not quite sure what word I’m looking for.
“Feelings?” He turns the full force of his Cheshire Cat smile on me. I try not to visibly stiffen in response and meet his gaze full-on without flinching.
“Complications,” I correct, voice tight. “For me to care about you or have any kind of emotion, I’d need to get to know you well. I don’t think we’ll be around each other for that long.”
“What’s the point of this if we can’t even have some fun with it?” He sighs, then after a moment of thought, adds, “Are you concerned about the complications? I’m, and I quote, ‘pathologically allergic to emotional attachment.’”
I knock on the counter with my knuckles before standing up, picking up my plate and glass to clear the table. “I’m not concerned. You just don’t want to understand.”
“Wait!” he says and pads on his bare feet. Before I can say anything, he pulls me into him and smacks an uncomfortable kiss on my lips. He laughs when I sputter and pull away. “Okay, okay, let me try again for real this time.”
“No,” I say.
“Come on, after this, we can drink to forget,” he encourages. The hand gripping my arm softens, and he steps in closer again, meeting my eyes.
Up close, he’s even more attractive, his eyes clear and sharp. Then, he’s kissing me again, his lips plush and mouth soft this time, the complete opposite of whatever that first kiss was.
I’m unsure what overtakes me, but I push my tongue between his lips, deepening it. And I hate the way my heart beats. The noise in my head suddenly becomes a note, then two, and finally, there’s a rhythm. And I want to touch him in ways I would never dream.
But I stop.
I stop us and my heart.
This isn’t me.
I don’t just feel like an adolescent in love after kissing anyone.
We stare at each other, eyes open wide with fear of the unknown. I almost lean back in to capture his mouth again.
I remind myself who I am.
I don’t look at the magical musical notes around me.
I concentrate on facts and follow my instinct.
This man is my mission.
This man is nothing to me.
But what if…?