This is from my first completed novel, The Wyckham House, which I’m currently revising (paranormal romance). I hope you enjoy!
Sign up for the No Kiss Blogfest and post your favorite almost-kiss scene. Today is the last day!
She shook her head. “No.”
Ron looked away, his toe scuffing the porch and stuttering the fluid movement of the swing. “So no one is going to come pound me for kissing you?”
Kim chuckled. “No. Just me.”
He sent her a sidelong glance. “That bad, hmm?”
She considered a moment. She wouldn’t necessarily call it bad. Strange, perhaps. Disconcerting, certainly.
“Don’t answer too quickly,” he said wryly. “You’ll want to do maximum damage to my ego.”
She laughed. “I’m sorry. I’m trying to decide what exactly it was. Definitely—different.”
He pushed against the porch railing to keep the swing in motion. “I thought maybe I imagined—certain things.”
“You didn’t imagine anything.”
Kim found the ensuing silence and the motion of the swing oddly soothing. His voice, when it finally came, startled her.
“So you won’t be disappointed if I don’t kiss you again.”
Her heart constricted, but she replied with humor, “Coward.”
Ron snorted, reaching for his coffee cup on the railing beside him. He took a sip, shaking his head. “Maybe I am. But let me be perfectly frank and honest for a moment, all right?”
“All right,” she agreed amiably, although she knew she probably wouldn’t like anything he planned to say.
He stopped the swing, jolting her so she almost spilled her coffee. She sent him a reproachful look, which he ignored as he shifted to face her.
“There are—things inside my head, images or memories or nightmares, I don’t know which. Things I don’t ever—ever—want anyone to see.” She opened her mouth and he shook his head vehemently. “Please. We both know what happened when I kissed you. For a moment, I knew everything, and I was afraid you knew everything, too.”
“I thought maybe you would remember things even I don’t remember.”
“I don’t,” she assured him quietly. “And even if I did, I would never tell anyone.”
His eyes widened slightly. “I’m not worried about you. But if someone else finds out you know anything about what happened to me…”
“I’m not afraid.”
“You should be. If they think you’re involved with me—well, you know what happened to my friends and my fiancée.”
“I can take care of myself.”
He sighed. “That is exactly what she said when I told her to back off and let things go. But she wouldn’t listen; her parents’ reputations meant more to her than her own life.”
“I’m neither naïve nor stupid. I’ll be careful.”
“Trust me,” he said harshly, “you will never see them coming. You will be another statistic: either one of the missing or one of the dead.”
“Why do you care?” she demanded irritably. “I’m nothing to you, just some broad who blew into town unexpectedly and started butting into other people’s business.”
His mouth tightened into a thin, hard line. “You forget: for a moment, I knew everything.”
The color drained from her face. “And you remember—?”
“Nothing. But I do have a sense that…something isn’t right about what I know about you.” He leaned closer to her and cupped her chin in his hand, bringing her a mere inch from his face. His indigo eyes seemed black in the darkness. “I don’t know who you really are or why you’re here, but I do know both might get you killed.”
“Or worse,” she whispered, baiting him.
He sat still as a statue for a long moment, and then whispered, “Yes. Or worse.”
She moved yet closer, and he recoiled, obviously afraid she was going to kiss him in spite of what had happened last time. But she turned aside at the last moment, her cheek brushing against his; the bottom dropped out of her stomach as their flesh touched. Her lips moved against his ear, and her voice was much more seductive than she had intended:
“Have faith in me.”
He tipped his head toward hers, his lips brushing her ear now. “I have no faith.”
“That’s why you’re lost,” she whispered.
“I’m not lost.”
“You’ve been lost for eleven years, Aaron. Everyone knows it but you.”
“What I do know is if you don’t stop whispering in my ear, I’m not going to be responsible for my actions.”
She chuckled, inordinately pleased to see him shiver as her breath tickled his ear. She drew away and opened her mouth to reply just as a guttural growl sounded from the darkness beyond the porch.
© 2009 Sharon Gerlach