First Kiss Friday – Battle-Born Love by Lynda Bailey
Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Lynda Bailey, author of contemporary romance Battle-Born Love. Welcome Lynda! Here’s the first kiss between Rory Dawson and Kane Williams.
Spirited repo owner, Rory Dawson, agrees to be what she isn’t in order to save her father from a prison sentence. Now Pop is safe, but is her heart?
Handsome banker, Kane Williams, has made a deal with a most provocative devil in hopes of securing a coveted promotion. All his life Kane has endeavored to be the best, to erase the failure of his father. Will years of work be forfeited for a woman, albeit the sexiest one he’s ever known?
From opposite sides of the tracks, Rory and Kane forge an unlikely friendship. Soon, that friendship becomes a steamy relationship. Through trial and pain, they battle to have the love of a lifetime.
After turning down Kane’s proposal to be his “girlfriend” in exchange for Pop’s bail money and failing to get Kane to kiss her—twice—Rory corners him after work one evening. Her intent is to put her repo business up as collateral for a personal loan from Kane. But he still insists she be his “girlfriend.” She agrees, on one condition…
Silence swelled in the car, seeming to gobble up the oxygen. Sweat beaded on her lip and it wasn’t from the heater working overtime.
Kane cleared his throat. “So, now do we have a deal?”
Still studying the traffic pattern on the street, she asked, “You sure you won’t take my business as collateral?”
“When will I get the money for Pop’s bail?”
“I’ll have a certified check to you first thing in the morning.”
“Will we sign a contract?”
“I don’t think that’ll be necessary.”
At that, she turned to him. “You’re gonna loan me ten grand without a contract? Aren’t you worried I’ll rip you off?”
“Is that how you normally do business?”
Her shoulders stiffened. “Of course not.”
He shrugged with a boyish grin that rippled through her stomach. “Okay, then.” He extended his hand. “Is it a deal?”
She drew in a sigh. “Yeah. On one condition.”
“I want you to kiss me.”
In the bluish dashboard lights, she watched his eyes bug out. “You want me to kiss you? Why?”
“Because I want to know if we’re compatible.”
He shifted in his seat. “We don’t have to be compatible. This isn’t a real relationship.”
“But I have to be all goo-goo eyed over you, right? How can I do that if I don’t know what it’s like to kiss you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t expect you to be goo-goo eyed over me.”
His protest might have sounded convincing if his voice didn’t carry the rough edge of desire. She leaned across the center console. “What’s the matter?” she goaded. “Afraid?”
A muscle jumped in his cheek. “No.”
She moved in as close as she could, given the bucket seats. The clean scent of aftershave surrounded her. After working all day, Kane still smelled like he’d just stepped from a shower. She placed a hand on his leg and he jerked. She bit back a grin. “Then prove it.”
A growl rumbled in his chest. Baiting this guy probably wasn’t a good idea, but she wanted to crack his perfect, I’m-in control-of-everything exterior. She wanted a reaction from him.
She leaned closer, her hand smoothing down his muscled leg. She came to within a hair’s breadth of his mouth, and waited.
With each passing second, the hard plastic of the seatbelt receptor dug deeper into her hip and her confidence waned. When it became humiliatingly clear he had no intention of kissing her, she rolled a shoulder in hopes of appearing nonchalant. “Suit yourself.” She settled back into the passenger seat. “Coward.”
An irate snarl resounded in the small interior, shrinking it further. In the next instant, Kane hauled her across the console and into an embrace of banded steel. He crushed his mouth to hers, plunging his tongue forward. The ferocity of his kiss stunned her, but she recovered fast.
She snaked her arms around his neck and thrust her tongue into his mouth in a battle for dominance. A groan rumbled in his chest and against her breasts. His stubble abraded her skin as he curled his hand around to hold her head immobile so he could deepen the kiss.
Tentacles of heat lashed through Rory’s belly at the fierce mating of their mouths. Her nipples beaded to stiff, aching points. Liquid fire flowed through her veins.
This was not what she had expected, this animalistic, uncultivated reaction. She’d wanted a reaction from him and she got one. In spades.
As quickly as the storm started, Kane ended it. He wrenched away from her, his gasps for air mixing with hers. Draped across his lap, she rested her forehead against his chin and worked to steady her erratic pulse. By inches, his tight embrace loosened. He eased her back into the passenger seat and she pulled shaky fingers through her hair.
He coughed. “Guess I proved it.”