Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Elysa Hendricks, author of contemporary romance The Baby Race. Welcome Elysa! Here’s the first kiss between Claire and Race.
The soft stir of air woke Race from his dream of warm wet kisses and silken skin gliding over him. He twisted and grunted in disgust as a spring dug into the small of his back, banishing any hope of retreating back into the dream.
A floorboard creaked. Someone was in the house. Alert to danger, he stiffened.
Along with Claire’s scent, memory returned and he relaxed. Fresh and clean as the early morning air, her fragrance wrapped around Race, bringing him fully awake and aroused.
What was she doing wandering around the house in the middle of the night? He sat up just in time to see her disappear into the kitchen. The refrigerator door clicked open and harsh white light spilled into the hall.
He pulled on his discarded jeans and padded into the kitchen. Buried deep inside the fridge, just the rounded curve of her behind and the fuzzy pink bunny slippers she wore were visible. Smiling at the sight, he crossed his arms and propped himself against the doorjamb.
She shrieked and bolted upright. He winced as the top of her head cracked against the bottom of the freezer door.
“Ooow!” She staggered back. A plate crashed and shattered.
“Don’t move.” Race started toward her. His bare heel came down on a sliver of ceramic. “Damn!” He limped around the rest of the mess. Blood left a crimson trail on the white tile.
“Oh no, you’re bleeding.” Claire touched his arm.
He stopped and turned her to face him. “Never mind that. How’s your head?” He threaded his fingers under the heavy satin weight of her hair to search out any injuries. Her head felt small and vulnerable in the palm of his hand. She shuddered as his fingers found the sore spot.
“You’ve got a nice lump there. Do you feel dizzy?”
“No, just foolish.”
Then why am I trembling?
“No broken skin. You head’s not bleeding.”
She pulled away and took a quick step back. “Speaking of blood, you’re dripping all over. Sit down.” She pushed him into one of the kitchen chairs.
Her flannel covered breasts brushed against his bare chest. Throbbing in time with the suddenly rapid beat of his heart, pain radiated up his leg. But another portion of his anatomy was giving him more discomfort. He shifted on the chair.
“Sit still. Where do you keep your first aid kit?” She propped his foot on a second chair. Her fingers felt soft and warm against the chilled flesh of his ankle and increased the ache in his groin.
“There’s one in the cupboard next to the stove.”
“Watch out for the broken ceramic.”
She skirted around the shards of the plate and retrieved the kit as well as a bowl of water and a towel, then knelt next to him.
He twitched when she sponged away the blood and pulled out the sliver of ceramic. Her shoulder rubbed the inside of his extended thigh. He groaned.
“I’m sorry. Does it hurt?” She looked back over her shoulder, her chocolate brown eyes full of concern.
“No.” At least not the way you think, sweetheart. If she dropped her gaze, she’d soon know his real problem.
She gave him a sweet smile and turned her attention back to his heel. “It doesn’t look too bad, it’s only a small cut. I don’t think you’ll need stitches.”
“Real men don’t get stitches. We staple our wounds.”
Her giggle vibrated through her hand on his calf and traveled up his leg. He barely suppressed another groan.
“Well, I don’t think you’ll need to staple this wound. A bandage should do just fine. Just let me clean it off with some peroxide and put an antibiotic on it.”
White light from the open fridge provided light while she bent over his foot. She shifted until she half faced him. In the confusion, the tie of her faded pink robe had come undone and the robe gaped open. Below she wore a long white t-shirt. Her full breasts thrust against the soft worn material, her nipples dark shadows.
Were they brown like her hair or dusky pink like her full lips? The question haunted him. He shifted on the chair in growing discomfort.
She glanced up. “Am I hurting you?”
“No,” he snapped. “Just get it over with.”
“Poor baby. I’ll be done soon.” She ducked her head and her hair screened her face from his view, so he couldn’t see the smile her words conveyed. “There, all finished.” The soft brush of her lips on his ankle sent a shiver through him.
He jerked his foot back, nearly clipping her chin with his toes, and stood.
Humor lit her eyes as she looked up at him from where she knelt. “Why don’t you go on up to bed? After I clean up here, I’ll use the couch for the rest of the night. It’s almost morning anyway.”
He started to protest, but found himself being ushered out of the kitchen toward the stairs.
Only as he removed his jeans did he realize he’d never zipped them up.