First Kiss Friday – Shot Through The Heart by Niki Burnham

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Niki Burnham, author of contemporary romance Shot Through The Heart.  Welcome Niki!  Here’s the first kiss between Connor and Peyton.

Connor slides the binder from my lap to an open spot on the comforter. His gaze meets mine, and there’s a mischievous sparkle in his eyes as he studies me. “Strange how you can know someone for years and see them nearly every day, yet not have a clue what it is they want more than anything else in the world.”

“I was just thinking the same thing.”

We simultaneously sneak a peek at our joined hands. His skin is darker than mine from all the time he spends on the soccer field. His knuckles are more substantial, his fingers longer and stronger. My heart is racing so fast it makes me wonder if he can feel my pulse. He mutters what I think is, “To hell with it,” but as I glance up to ask what he said, he leans toward me.

In that split second, I know he’s going to kiss me. And I know I’m going to kiss him back.

It’s not my first kiss—I’ve had a couple of boyfriends—but as his lips brush mine, it feels like my first kiss. Or, at least, the way a first kiss should feel. Not in the scary, tentative, am-I-going-to-mess-this-up way, but in the thrilling, heart-stopping, this-is-better-than-I-dreamed way you see in the movies, where the music gets soft and the audience goes silent, mesmerized by the sheer emotional impact of what they’re witnessing on the screen.

We pause, lips barely touching, smiling against each other. We stay like that for a few seconds, motionless, our fingers still intertwined. Then we kiss again, less hesitantly this time, as if we’ve each made the decision that this is worth exploring.

“Everyone at school should know you’re never going to play pro sports,” I whisper a few minutes later as he moves to kiss my cheek. “If they actually take the time to consider it for a minute.”

His breath tickles my ear as he murmurs, “Why’s that?”

“Your name. Strabinowski won’t fit on a jersey. You’re kinda stuck having to look for a different career. So it’s not such a deep, dark secret.”

“Still worth it to confess to you if this is the result.” He gives me the lightest, sweetest kiss, just in front of my ear, then eases back to look me in the eye. “Besides, you’re wrong. Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Pro baseball player. Whole name on the jersey and it’s two letters longer than Strabinowski.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Wow. You learn something new every day.”

“Sure do.”

A deep, needful sound rumbles from the back of his throat as he shifts his body closer to mine on the bed. The sound alone sends me. I melt into him, wrapping my free arm around his waist. He lets go of my other hand to thread his fingers through my hair; the light pull of my scalp causes my stomach to seize and my brain to shut down. As my hands explore the space where his T-shirt meets his jeans, his skin radiates warmth through the thin cotton fabric.

He eases my mouth open with his own, and I decide right then and there that being stupid over a guy—at least while you’re alone together in the quiet of his room—is highly underrated. But only when that guy is Connor Strabinowski.


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