Hold Me Tight excerpt

HOLD ME TIGHT excerpt:

Miles and Alanna were lovers briefly as teens. It ended badly. Now Alanna works as a graphic artist for the ad agency where Miles is de-facto creative director. 

Working together, their old feelings return in a rush, driving them both insane with longing, but they can’t act on them. An ironclad company policy forbids fraternizing, and Miles is wary of trusting his heart to Alanna a second time. 

When Hold Me Tight begins, Miles has a girlfriend, Sophie. By this point in the story, though, he’s broken up with her because of his feelings for Alanna. 

Alanna doesn’t know this. 

Sophie and Alanna are of a similar height and build, and both have blond hair. 

As this excerpt begins, Alanna is heading into work late to drop off some artwork. 

Alanna brushed an errant strand of hair back from her face and smoothed her skirt against her legs. Keep it professional. Keep a discreet distance from the man with the girlfriend.

She stepped out into the unseasonable, unreasonable heat and headed to the glass-and-steel skyscraper. To Miles. No, to the job. There was a difference. There was.

As she opened the door to his brightly lit inner office, Alanna heard his voice calling out from behind her. “Sophie! Wait, I’ll be right back.”

Alanna whirled around. The girlfriend was here? Was she going to have to deal with that sickening display of affection again?

But Sophie wasn’t there.

Miles was on the other side of the big main room, his hand still up in a half wave. Waving at her? He was already turning away, heading toward the break room.

As she entered Miles’s now familiar office, Alanna put her hand up to her hair. Coiffed, upswept. He’d seen her from the back and thought she was Sophie. Wow, this was going to be embarrassing.

She pulled the printed image out from between cardboard protectors and laid it carefully on Miles’s desk. Through the open door, she could see him approaching across the main room, passing rows of empty desks. There weren’t many people left in the office at this hour; all the assistants and day workers had gone home.

The fluorescent lights overhead flickered. Once. Twice.

And went out.

All the lights. Inside Miles’s office. In the main office. The buildings and streetlights outside. Everywhere. All dark, hushed, except for a faint echo of traffic cacophony far below.

The world consisted of shades of black and gray. A laptop computer sleep light pulsed in the main office, dimly lighting the space around it. She could hear exclamations, then footsteps as people raced toward the stairwell door, presumably to clatter down the long flights of stairs. Outside the window, the cityscape was dormant. Skyscrapers loomed like silent black behemoths. Alanna could see her hands on the desk more as shadows than as form. The room was blocks of shape, leached of color or definition.

Footsteps came toward the small office. One set. Male, judging from the weight and cadence. He stopped in the doorway, a dim silhouette. “Still here?”

Alanna opened her mouth to reply. Then she breathed out. He thought she was Sophie.

Everyone else was gone, and Miles was here with a woman he thought was his girlfriend.

Alanna murmured low in the back of her throat, a wordless assent.

“Oh. Like that.” His voice was soft. He took a step into the room. Another. Then he was there. Right next to her.

A powerful current jolted through her body. She could hear his harsh breaths as he got close. He was turned on too. At the thought. Like her.

She should tell him. Should stop this right now. She opened her mouth again, determined to say her name, to clear this up. To—

He touched her. Light, gentle, tracing the line of cheekbone and jaw. He brushed her lower lip with his fingertip. It felt like the most intimate touch of her life.

Oh hell.

She leaned forward, tilted her head up, and kissed him with everything she had in her, all the pent-up longing, heartache, frustration. Like it was her last time ever kissing anyone. Acutely aware of his sandpaper chin against her own, his soft, generous mouth against hers.

It was dark, and he thought she was Sophie, and it was the only chance she’d ever have. So she kissed him.

~*~

This was pure sin, and he couldn’t get enough. Alanna was here in his arms, flicking the tip of her tongue against his lip. Sin. Miles groaned and pulled her closer, twining his tongue with hers as he tasted her cinnamon-and-coffee-flavored goodness.

He’d known the truth the moment he stepped into his dark office, when she’d murmured a soft response to his greeting. Her voice was indistinct, but her stance, outlined against the gray-blue skyline, gave her away. She stood with her legs braced—a warrior, not a lady. And she smelled like Alanna, musk and linseed oil and body warmth.

But why so quiet?

Then he remembered calling to Sophie a few minutes earlier when the lights were still on, and he’d caught a glimpse of upswept blond hair, thinking she’d come to drop off her keys to his apartment. But it wasn’t her. It was Alanna. And yet she hadn’t corrected him. Her blurred whisper, that was deliberate.

And he realized, right now, in the dark, he could touch her without consequence. He brushed her cheek, the edge of her jaw, with his fingertip. Heard her quick intake of breath.

Then she kissed him, and the delicious shock of it stunned him.

She wanted more than a touch. She wanted him to kiss her. To embrace her. To make love to her?

Rash impulse and insanity. How like Alanna. How unlike him.

He kissed her back because he could. Cloaked in night, concealed by mystery, unknowable, untraceable. For once in his adult life, he could do what he wanted with no painful backdraft. He could be with this woman. He drowned in the swirl of sensation: her scent, her body against him, the ragged tone of her breaths, and once he started, he couldn’t—or was that wouldn’t—didn’t want to, didn’t seem to know how to—stop.

His hands crept up under her shirt to check if her nipples were as tight and aroused as they felt against his chest. They were, and her breasts felt so good under his palms. She gasped and arched up toward him, an invitation. At the same time, though, she whispered, “Miles,” with a note of doubt. “Miles, wait, you should know—”

“Shhh.” He kissed her, erasing the words. If she spoke, if she revealed herself, she broke the spell. This was the perfect moment. The only one they could have.

 

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