It's a new year and a new round of No Kissing going down! Miss Frankie Diane Mallis hosts the No Kiss Blog Fest (#nokissblogfest over the Twittersphere) and I was crazy enough to sign up. Actually, this should be fun. I do l-o-v-e me some kissy scenes, and the ALMOST kissy scenes....double swoon! Please stop by Frankie's blog to see all of the other attendees and hop around for the 4th Annual No Kiss Blog Fest!
Without further ado... *Disclaimer* This is a rough and unedited excerpt from one of my WIPs, Blood Shift.
My stomach flipped over when I saw Kennon. He leaned against the wall near the various pamphlets on vaccinations, flea treatments, and senior dog dental care. My boring Friday grew infinitely more interesting. “Hey!”
“Bree?” Rebecca forced my attention to her. “You got the front? I need to run in the back for more printer paper.”
I frowned in confusion at her. We didn’t keep printer paper in the back. It was all under the desk for easy access. She knew this.
“I’ll be back in just a sec.” She glanced at Kennon and winked at me.
It all sank in. Love that Rebecca.
Still grinning at Rebecca’s departure, I walked up to the reception counter, fidgeting with my smock hem. “How’d you find me?”
He stepped forward to stand on the other side of the counter, eyes mischievous and smirk rocking. “Cascade Locks is no metropolis. Did you know there’s only one vet office here?”
“I did.” I fought the girl-giggle over the way his British accent curled around the word ‘metropolis.’ A flirty tone crept into my voice. “But that doesn’t answer my question.” I tapped my foot in mock impatience.
“Does it not?”
“So what’re you doing here?”
“What? No ‘Hi, nice to see you?’”
His sexy half smile made my toes want to curl. The late afternoon sun reflected light off the counter, making his green eyes shine. I raised an eyebrow at him, but couldn’t keep the goofy grin off my face.
Kennon chuckled and pulled out a lens from his pant pocket. “In your haste to be rid of me Wednesday, you seemed to have lost this.” He gently placed it on the counter between us. It was the 35 mm I’d taken off my camera before the sunrise shots. “I found it in the floor board yesterday.”
I leaned forward on the counter and idly fingered the lens. “Let me get this straight.” I looked up at him, still failing to keep a silly grin from sliding over my lips. “You drove all the way from Portland to return a camera lens?”
“And why wouldn’t I? I thought you might need it.”
“You could have just returned it in class tomorrow.”
He leaned over the counter across from me. My breath caught. The camera lens was practically the only thing separating us. His arms crossed in front him and I’d swear his body heat radiated to mine. He leaned in so close his sigh stirred the loose curls that had escaped my sloppy knot. I swallowed hard. Kennon’s eyes searched mine, probing in a teasing way.
“What if I said I found myself in the area and felt the need to return the lens as quickly as possible? You never know when you’ll find yourself in dire need of a mere 35 mm lens.”
My heart sputtered around and my stomach tumbled to reside somewhere near my kneecaps. Kennon’s grin still dripped with mischief, matching the playful intensity of his deep mossy eyes.
“I think you’re full of it.” I told him, meeting his gaze. For a brief microsecond, my brain screamed shut up, you don’t know what you’re doing, but I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.
“Is that so?” A corner of his grin quirked higher.
“I think you just couldn’t wait to see me again and had to drive forty-five miles out of your way to do so.”
“Is that what you think?” His eyes blazed back at me, sucking me in.
“Are you going to attempt to deny it?” Without permission, my gaze wandered to his mouth. The subtle pout of his bottom lip and perfect archers bow of an upper lip called to me. Teased. Begged.
“I’m not denying anything at the moment,” he whispered.
Raising my eyes to his, I think I stopped breathing. Kennon’s fiery green eyes were focused on my mouth. Slowly, his eyes raked over every inch of my face. I watched in fascination as his pupils dilated a hair as his gaze traveled over my lips again. The air around us sizzled with an electric charge. Chill-bumps washed over my skin, raising the fine hairs of my arms and the back of my neck. My legs had gone to Jell-O. The fact I leaned on the counter was the only reason I remained vertical. My heart thumped around. The tingle of anticipation swelled in my belly and spread down my thighs. My lips parted, pulling in a shaky breath. Kennon leaned in slightly. My eyes closed, every cell of my body hyper aware of how close his lips were. The feel of his lips consumed me. I wanted to taste them. Needed to.
The vet clinic door chimed and I almost jumped out of my skin. Kennon shot backward, standing a couple feet from the counter. I glanced at him as an elderly gentleman brought a Chihuahua up to the counter. Kennon frowned slightly, but otherwise appeared perfectly composed. Suddenly sort of weak and drained, I turned my attention to the man.
“Hi Mr. Kent.” I cleared my throat. The husky shakiness of my voice brought heat to my cheeks. “What’s going on with Harley?”
“Bree darlin’, he’s got a tick on his backside that won’t budge and I was hoping you could help.”
Oh just fantastic! I shot a look at Kennon. His lips twitched and he ran a hand over his chin, hiding a smile.
“Okay. If you’ll please sign him in, we’ll get him fixed up.”
“Thank you, dear.”
While Mr. Kent filled out the paperwork, I glanced at Kennon. He’d slid over toward the exit door, making his great escape from my torment of humiliation.
“I will see you tomorrow, Bryony.” He winked and walked out the door with the biggest shit-eating grin on his stupid perfect face.
Please — Kill me — NOW.