Add ARRANGED on Goodreads. **RELEASE DATE: MARCH, 2013**
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Brendan’s kiss was so nice it leaves me in a daze – until I spot Lee, leaning against a cardboard cutout for a kid’s squirrel movie and texting on his phone. He looks up as I approach, and for a second I see something flash behind his honey-colored eyes. It makes him look young, unsure. He’s nervous.
“So,” He tries to sound casual, but the word is a little too anxious and high. “Was he any good? Did he slobber? God, I hope he slobbered a lot.”
“He was fine,” I fill up the soda cup. Lee snorts, a half-chuckle, half-dismissive cough. I arch a brow at him. “What?”
“You said ‘fine’. That tells me all I need to know.”
“I liked it.” I frown and stare at the floor to avoid looking at his self-satisfied smirk. “He was gentle, and –”
A shadow falls over me and warm, rough hands grab my chin and turn it, Lee’s mouth snagging my lips between his teeth. He bites, soft at first and then hard enough I feel skin break and I let out a whimper, the beginnings of a plea for him to stop, but he pulls away before blood. He kisses the bruise tenderly, like an apology, like it’ll make it better, and kisses the corner of my lips before pulling me flush against him, one hand laced in my hair and the other around my waist and his head in my neck.
And that’s when I realize he’s shaking. His whole body is wracked with the slightest shivers, invisible when he’s standing far away but with him against me I can feel every one of them.
“I can’t,” His voice is so low I strain to hear it. “I don’t want to lose you again. These weeks of trying to forget you was torture. It didn’t matter what I did or how many times, I always left unsatisfied. They couldn’t feed me, not the way you do with your smile. Your smell. You don’t even have to touch me and I feel like everything is alright with the world. Just being around you is enough.”
He tightens his hug, my short, uneven breath becoming more ragged as he squeezes me.
“You can choose him. I’ll be okay. Just let me see you sometimes, alright? I don’t think…I don’t think I can leave you alone for good. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.”
“Lee –” I gasp.
“I’m sorry!” He lets go and backs up and I gulp air. “Jesus, I didn’t - I’m sorry. Are you okay? God, I’m fucking this up. I’m fucking it up, aren’t I? I’m like a clingy little girl. Shit!”
“N-No,” My breathing returns to a slightly more normal pace. “It’s fine. Really.”