First Kiss Friday – Shades of Crimson by Cynthia Melton

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Cynthia Melton, author of romantic suspense Shades of Crimson.  Welcome Cynthia!  Here’s the first kiss between Drew and Linn.

“Then pretend we’re an item.” Her stomach dropped. What if he refused? What if the thought of people thinking they dated offended him? Her face heated. Could she pretend? The man oozed sex appeal that even she couldn’t deny. He spelled trouble from the toes of his scuffed cowboy boots to the top of his dark curly head.

“Wouldn’t work.” Drew leaned toward her, and she pulled back.

“Why not?”

He cupped a hand to her cheek.

She flinched.

“Because you can’t bear for me to touch you.” Drew unclasped his seatbelt and swung open his door. He gave her a wink. “Come on. We’ve got a lady to try and save.”

It wasn’t because he repulsed her. Definitely not that. The opposite, in fact. Men made her uncomfortable, and the feelings of insecurity deepened after her attack. Steve was the only one she relaxed around.

There was no relaxing around Drew. He awakened long buried desires. Wants she thought were extinct. Could she let a man touch her in love? She had never tried. Not after that night. What if she couldn’t? What if a man’s touch sickened her and sent her screaming? Maybe Special Agent Andrew Wayne was the perfect man to try with.

Drew poked his head in the door. “Are you coming?”

She nodded. Her gaze locked with his, and he smiled. Faint wrinkles radiated from the corners of his midnight blue eyes. She took one long step forward, flung her arms around his neck, and plastered herself against him, taking his lips captive.

The feel of them was everything she imagined. Strong, yet soft. Linn closed her eyes, just for a second, stifling the moan rising in her throat. When she opened them again, his gaze grabbed hold, and she knew she was in danger of drowning.

His eyes widened, and his body stiffened, then his arms wrapped around her and tightened. He returned her furious kisses with a tenderness that brought tears to her eyes and sent heat to places starved for a man’s attention.

Breathless, she stepped back, straightening her shoulders. “How’s that for not being able to stand someone’s touch?” She whirled and stalked toward the house, her fingers on her lips.

“Pretty good.”

Catcalls and wolf whistles followed her as the other officers clapped and hooted. Linn flushed. So much for her hands off image.

Madden and Steve exited the house.

“Looks like the Ice Queen is melting.” Madden laughed.

Linn’s gaze slid over Steve’s hurt face, avoiding his eyes. “It’s all an act. We’re trying to draw out The Photographer.”

“Can I get in on it?” The captain clapped a big hand on her shoulder. “I’m sure there’ll be a line.”

She twisted away from him. “Cut it out. That’s harassment, and you know it.” Not to mention how much the remarks hurt, especially since men did try lining up after one of her dances. They couldn’t grasp the concept that she danced, collected her pay, and went home alone. She shuddered, and forced the mental picture away.

“Sweetheart, wait up.” Drew loped toward them, Linn’s investigative case clutched in his hand. “You forgot this. Must have been the power of my kiss driving everything else from your mind.” He winked at Madden. “I still got the magnetism.”

Madden laughed. “Linn’s inexperienced. She doesn’t know any better.”

“I said stop it.” She grabbed her case. “Don’t we have work to do?” The men’s laughter followed her into the house. Humiliation filled her, and she dropped her case to put her hands on her hot cheeks. What was she thinking? Right there in front of practically the entire police force.

She lowered her hands and clenched her fists at her sides. How dare he laugh at her? She knew her kiss had knocked his socks off. And the way he’d retaliated, well…

Fingernails digging into her palms despite the soreness around her stitches, she swept her gaze around the small room. If The Photographer was the man who’d taken Amber, she’d let him into the house.

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