Here’s an excerpt from Wicked Whispering, out at the end of May:
Kai paced back and forth in front of the picture window. He was dressed in clean, tan, loose-fitting Prana pants, and a black and tan t-shirt. He’d brushed his hair but, as always, it was swirling around his face in a disheveled mess. His feet were bare, as usual. In a burst of bravery, he’d asked Cassandra over to “see the view” – right – really, he just wanted to see her in private. He’d felt confident after his moment of “true confessions” with Nina and, well, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Actually, after leaving Nina’s office he’d felt younger than he’d felt in years. It was like a huge weight had been lifted…or maybe the load was now being shared…maybe that’s was one of the bennies of sharing stuff with a trusted friend. For Kai, letting Nina in was kind of like applying oil to a rusted hinge. Now that hinge might just be functional again. Hell, he’d kept to himself for most of his life, afraid to allow anyone to know about him. Let’s not get too carried away here, he thought soberly. Just because you shared once does not mean you will share again. But Nina had made it sound like it was a reasonable thing to let people in and care about someone and, well, he thought he just might care about Cassandra. Shit. Did he just say that to himself? Did he honestly say that he cared? As he patrolled his apartment like a caged tiger, however, he was having second thoughts about everything. What if she didn’t like him? What did it matter if she did or didn’t? Was this a date? He didn’t think it was a date, it was just casual. “Oh, hell, get it together,” he said. He looked around the room with a critical eye….one big man-chair…one bar stool at the counter…one crate for an end table. The room was so sparsely furnished. Maybe she’d think he was cheap…or miserly….or…
A soft knock sounded at the door. Kai stopped his pacing and looked over at the door as if it was at a bomb about to detonate. He ran his hands through his locks of unruly hair and gulped. Here goes. Assuming an air of casualness he did not possess he stalked over and opened the wooden door. When he beheld Cassandra, his breath caught in his throat.
She stood there, in pink, orange and white shorts, a loose fitting white tank top with pink paisley symbols and gray flip flops on her feet. Her curly blond hair bobbed around her sweet, heart-shaped face like a halo. A small gold chain hung around her neck, matching the tiny gold hoops sparkling on her ears. He swept his eyes down her firm, tan legs and noticed a delicate gold chain encircling her left ankle. Sweeping his gaze back up towards her face, he noticed that her soft lips shone with lip gloss. She smiled at him. “Hi, Kai.”
He swallowed and licked his lips nervously. “Hi, Cassandra.” Moving aside he said, “Won’t you come in?”
She smiled again and moved past him. When she spotted the picture window she gave a cry of delight. “Oh, Kai! You were right. What a beautiful view!” She stepped up to the window and gazed at the beauty she saw. The huge window afforded an unobstructed view of the beach. Birds twirled lazily, dipping and soaring along the currents of air. Waves rolled into the shore and away from the shore in a steady rhythm. Silver thatch palms framed the view, their leaves fluttering in the breeze. She ran a finger slowly upon the glass, tracing something in her line of sight, causing Kai to experience shivers in his lower belly, just like when she’d ran her finger upon the window sill in her room. “Are those orchid plants?” she asked, pointing down to the yard.
“Yes,” Kai said, stepping a little closer.
“When do they bloom?”
“In the spring…they’ll be covered in purple tipped flowers in the spring.”
“Oh…I’ll bet they’re beautiful.”
“They are…but they’re not….” He hesitated, embarrassed at what he was about to say.
“They’re not what?” she said, still raptly regarding the view.
He scratched his neck and gulped. “They’re not as beautiful as you are.”
She brought her bright blue eyes up to his green ones. A small frown creased her forehead. She bit her lip and then she smiled. “Thank you. That’s kind of you to say that.”
Emboldened, he continued. “It’s not kindness…it’s the truth.”
She blushed and looked away. “Thank you,” she repeated.
Quickly recovering from awkwardness, he added, “Would you like something to drink? I’ve got ice tea…orange juice…or water.”
She bit her lip again. “I think I’d like ice tea…in a moment.”
His eyebrows raised high on his forehead, surprised by her answer. “In a moment? Alright. Just say the word.”
She moved closer to him…close enough to touch. His nostrils flared, he inhaled sharply and caught a faint whiff of jasmine mingled with her natural body scent. It smelled sweet…and succulent…and welcome to his senses. “What are you doing?” he asked, nervous as hell.
“Just moving closer to you.” Her mouth curved into that sweet smile again and teeny weeny creases appeared at the corners of her almond shaped eyes. “I don’t bite.” She stood looking up at him in a beguiling manner.
“You’re a shorty,” he said, searching for something to say.
“You’re a big guy,” she countered.
“I am that,” he agreed. He noticed that he was getting aroused and hoped she would not look down at his pants. He turned to face the window.
“Look at me.”
He turned to face her again. She had stepped so close that his arm brushed hers when he made the pivot. “What?” he repeated.
“I….” She looked down at her feet. Then she looked up at him through her lashes. “I think you’re beautiful, too.”
A wave of emotion flashed crossed his face….pleasure…uncertainty…fear. “I don’t think anyone has told me that before,” he admitted. He swallowed hard…again.
“Well, you are,” she replied, contemplating her toes.
“Thank you.” He reached out a finger to touch her soft cheek. “Now you look at me,” he said. When she complied, Kai took a deep breath. Vibrant blue on deep green….deep green on vibrant blue…. His face became serious, fearing what he might see. But in that moment, all he saw was adoration and beauty, mixed with the same nervousness that matched his own. Fierce desire arose like a hot flame, burning through his hesitation. “I really want to kiss you…may I?” What was with the question? At least my mamma taught good manners he thought with wry amusement.
She nodded. “Please…” she said breathlessly.
It was that small word…the “please”…that made his knees weak. He put his hands behind her neck and leaned down towards her face. When their lips connected, he experienced a flush of pleasure. He kissed her tenderly, gently, being careful to not let his passion get the best of him. Then he eased back and released her lips with a soft smack.
They both swallowed in unison. “Was that okay?” He didn’t know why he felt like asking that but it seemed right to do so.
She nodded again and bit her lip.
“Can I kiss you again?” He chided himself. What’s up with the politeness?
Once more he leaned down to connect his lips with hers. This time he allowed the tip of his tongue to tentatively enter her mouth in a tender exploration. When she gave a reciprocal caress with the tip of hers, he took that as an invitation and just let go, allowing the passion he’d been holding back to carry him deeper into the kiss. He pressed his lips against hers ravenously…thrust his tongue in deeper…pulled her closer to him. Moans vibrated between them as their lips moved against one another, pressing and sucking. After several moments of lip smacking exploration, they pulled apart. Her lips were red and somewhat swollen; her eyes were bright and the pupils dark. “Are you okay?” he asked. He’d never been so concerned about a kiss in his life. But then, he’d never felt this way about anyone before.
She gave that same small nod again.
Oh, God….now that he’d allowed his passion to be released, he didn’t want to stop. “Come here…” He reached for her hand and pulled her over to the generously sized man chair. Easing his frame into the chair he pulled her on top of him. The soft leather chair was large enough that her legs rested easily on either side of him, and her core was planted firmly against his hard erection. He was overcome with want and need, unable to hold back. She buried her lips against his and the kissing marathon continued, unbridled. He thought he could kiss her for hours…and then again, maybe he just would. He had nothing better to do today. And this…this exchange of heat and passion…this was far better than anything else he could think of to occupy his time. As they kissed, he swept his hands up and down her back, his fingers exploring her curves, pushing up underneath her tank top. The feeling of her skin, all warm and silky-smooth, was almost unbearable to touch. Releasing his hold on her back, he pushed his fingers through her curls and held the sides of her head between his palms in a tender embrace. Then, he ran his fingers up and down her neck in short, heated strokes. The sensations coursing through him were penetrating heat waves and vibrations….he experienced her vibrating signature…her essence…and the feeling of her…it was like…it was like…oh, hell, he had no reference for it at all. Everything seemed so extreme – pulsations in his heart…a throbbing ache in his groin. Sweet Jesus – he couldn’t recall anything ever coming close to the scorching sizzle and burn he was experiencing right now. And, listening to her erotic moans, he was pretty certain she felt the same.
As their mouths devoured one another, he felt her rubbing her core against his hard cock. The pleasure of this movement was intense…so intense, he thought he was going to come, right here, right now. Easing her back he uttered, “Hold up a bit.” They were both breathing rapidly, trying to catch their breath. Both of their eyelids were hooded and their eyes dark as they met one another, electric green to lightning bolt blue. Her parted lips were tantalizing him back for more. Mastering the impulse to come, he brought his mouth back to hers, hard and ravenous. Her movements quickened and a shudder started in her core. With her lips still tight to his, her moans increased in pitch and passion, stoking his fiery need. Then the most bizarre thing happened. Out of the blue, the face of the crazy bitch woman he’d met in Sigaro Magnifico the other night flashed in front of his face. His stomach twisted into repulsion and his arousal intensified. This wasn’t right. What was going on? A fierce craving rolled up from his core and he wanted to consume Cassandra. He couldn’t hold back…damn, he just couldn’t. Growling with release, he came, a wet dream ejaculation inside of his pants. Only this was no wet dream. This was real…as real as it got. “Oh, shit,” he muttered. “Fuck. I didn’t mean to do that.”
“Me, either,” she said with a smile. “But I sure liked it.”
Ashamed to have let loose like a kid, he didn’t want her to see his face. He pulled her close and pushed his freshly shaved cheek against her soft hair. But then, feeling the wet stain seep through his clothes, he gently moved her away from him. “I’ve gotta get up and use the bathroom…I’ll be right back.” She stood to let him up.
“Are you okay?” she called after him.
“I’m fine…really….I’ll be right back. I’ve just gotta pee.”
Once inside the small bathroom, he shut the door, placed his palms on the rim of the sink and hung his head, his long hair trailing along his cheeks. Shit. What just happened? He wasn’t a teenager. He knew how to control his impulses. With Lucinda he could last a long time. But this wasn’t Lucinda, was it? He and Lucinda never kissed – ever. And why had that bitch’s face appeared? And the intensity…holy hell, what hit him? He was like a savage animal with her. Even now, even though he had just released, he felt as hungry for her as ever…maybe more so now that he knew how much passion he felt for her. And his heart….there was an ache in there as deep as the sea outside his window….his heart was like an iceberg beginning to thaw and it hurt like a motherfucker. Shit. Get some control here. Gathering his wits about him, he quickly undressed, threw the wet pants and boxers into the hamper and slipped into his bedroom, nude from the waist down. He grabbed some pants off the shelf in the closet and yanked them on, commando-style. Then, he assumed some poise and stepped out into the front room. “Ready for the ice tea?”
Cassandra was standing next to the tiled counter between the kitchen and the front room. Her fingers were tracing the corners of the white tile. She looked over at him, her face shadowed with concern and confusion. “Um, sure.” She watched him stalk over to the white ‘fridge, open it and remove a glass container of freshly brewed ice tea. He pulled a couple of tumblers out of the cupboard, dropped a few ice cubes in each one and filled them to the brim with the golden brown liquid. “Lemon?” he inquired, not looking up.
Hearing her made his breath catch again.
“Did I do something wrong?”
The lemon forgotten, he gave her the glass of tea and looked at her face. “No, you did nothing wrong. Please don’t always assume that my moods are a reflection of your behavior. I just….I’m not…” He took a long swallow of the tea and set the glass down on the counter. “I’m all mixed up about you, Cassandra.”
Her face was now a study of curiosity and worry. She took a sip of the tea. “Mixed up how?”
“I like you,” Kai said.
“I like you, too.”
She smiled. “I like you a lot, too.”
He paced over to her and wrapped his arms around her. “A lot, a lot…I try to stay away from liking people too much.” She stiffened in his arms. “It’s a long story.”
“I want to hear it,” she said softly into his shoulder.
“Later….I promise to tell you, but later.” He ran his hands up and down her back, feeling her melt into his arms. Holding her close, he uttered. “I haven’t been able to get you out of my thoughts ever since I met you. I’ve tried. God knows, I’ve tried.”
She gave him a squeeze and gently pushed away from him. “I thought you didn’t like me. I mean…I feel a strong connection with you, too. Sometimes I swear I can feel you thinking about me. It makes me smile. But I thought I was crazy for feeling that…like unrequited like or something. I thought I was making it all up.” She brought the water drop streaked glass to her lips again and let an ice cube slip into her mouth along with the tea.
Kai’s face reddened and he looked away. “Huh…” He shook his head from side to side. “I can assure you it was not make-believe.”
“So now what?” she asked, chewing on the ice cube. “Are you sorry you kissed me?”