February 2, 2014
Remember when I mentioned being in for Bitten last week? Well, I'm a little more than in… I've become quite obsessed. Like scary obsessed. Haven't done that since Arrow last year, when I rewatched every episode like three times in a row before it would leave my brain. Yeah, that's what Bitten has been doing to me. And I've got books I can read and devour, too. Oddly, I've had them on my Kindle for ages and ages, but haven't been in the mood to really dive into a full series read. I am now. LOL
Walking Dead returns next Sunday. YAY! My middle kidlet and I always enjoy being completely grossed out before bedtime. J Helix has filled that slot a little, but it's not quite as compelling as TWD, in my opinion. Good show, but I haven't found anyone I want to root for yet. Actually, I take that back. I did… but the character is now dead. Dammit.
Oh, and, Captain America: Winter Soldier? April needs to get here right now. My soft spot for Cap is getting bigger and bigger. :D
Tonight's post is from the novella, Feeling Alive where my main female character goes through some major personal drama.
Here's the tagline:
Maddox loses her partner in a bomb explosion and shuts down emotionally. Wakefield arrives to interrogate Maddox about his brother's death, but she refuses to discuss the trauma. She ends up in another explosive situation and Wake finally breaks through Maddox's defenses, but he also opens the floodgates, which may get both killed.
And a snippety peek…
Wake woke up to an empty bed. He sat up slowly and glanced around his room. Empty. He probably should've anticipated Maddox bailing on him.
Swinging his legs over the edge of the mattress, he pondered his best course of action. He could track her down, maybe demand more answers. No, she'd poured her guts out and the gaping hole hadn't even scarred over yet. Rising, he strode into the bathroom and turned the shower on. He'd figure out what to do about Maddox after he woke up a little more and downed some coffee.
Lathering up, his hands grazed over a sensitive spot on his shoulder. He'd bet she'd left her mark. His mind flashed back to her mouth, teeth, and nails moving over his skin. The woman gave as good as she got, and welcomed an even exchange.
Rinsing off, he shook his head back and forth, clearing the water from his eyes and hair. He grabbed a towel and dried off quickly, leaving his ears for last. He pushed the fluffy fabric against his head, walked out to the room, and stopped short.
Maddox sat at the small table with two steaming cups of coffee and what looked like breakfast. She lifted a brow and he remembered his nude state. Wrapping the towel around his waist, he changed gears, getting his head around the fact she hadn't bailed.
He also went from groggy to oh hot damn in two seconds flat.
Settling into the seat across from her, he studied her for several moments. She met his gaze head on and handed him one of the coffees.
He took a bracing gulp. "Thanks." He cocked his head. "I'll admit, I figured you made a mad dash for anywhere but here when I woke up alone."
Maddox opened the bag, reached in, and handed him a container. "Thought about it, but you strike me as the type who wouldn't leave well enough alone." She popped the lid to her box and the aroma of home fries and gravy filled the room.
He followed suit and dug into the food before commenting. "Look, I don't want to make more anything than there is…"
She chewed and swallowed. "Good, then don't."
He frowned. "But what exactly was last night?"
She quirked a brow. "Two consenting people having super-hot sex. That's it."
He snorted. "Bullshit. There was more going on with you than a need for a hard dick." He sipped more coffee. "Care to fill me in?"
She stabbed at her potatoes and glanced away. He'd hit a nerve. Good. He wouldn't pretend he had any claim on her, but she'd left a brand on him. And he'd dig until certain nothing existed between them.
She swung her gaze back in his direction. "Last night was me remembering I'm alive." She looked down and toyed with the food in the carton. "And feeling it." She raised her face. "Every bit of it." Her lips curved. "Felt good. Because I haven't let myself really feel anything since Avery died."
Wake reached across the table and placed his hand on hers. He stayed quiet, wanting her to work through whatever she needed without him pushing. He'd done enough prodding last night.
She sighed. "I've done some research. Losing a partner is like losing spouse. Avery and I weren't involved, but he knew everything about me. Favorite food, how I like my coffee, what movies I like to watch. Hell, he even knew when to bring ibuprofen in for my menstrual cramps, because I never remembered to stock up." She laughed. "Your brother would've made a great husband."
Wake nodded. "He had a knack for being awesome."
Her eyes filled, but she blinked the tears away. "He did. But I'm doing him any favors or honoring his memory by not living." She met his gaze again. "I realize, now, I need to feel and be… well, alive. If I don't, I'll wither and fade into nothing."
Wake squeezed her hand. "If that's all last night was, you reaffirming your place among the living, I'd get it." He let go of her and resumed eating. "It might be a little awkward to start a relationship with your former partner's brother."
She pinned him with her gaze. "Dead partner's brother. Sorry for being blunt. But former makes it sound like Avery transferred to another unit. He didn't. And I'm the reason he'll never have a chance." She glanced away, shrugging. "Honestly? Awkward doesn't come close to accurate." She took another bite of food going quiet for a moment.
Wake pushed his box away, his appetite gone. He couldn't argue her point about the craziness of getting tangled up together. But dammit, he kind of didn't care.
Maddox cleared her throat. "Wake, how can you not hate me, at least on some level?"
The question caught him off guard, but he answered. "Oh, part of me does. The brother side is seriously pissed. You're recklessness got Avery killed. And almost took another life." He softened his tone. "But the rational man underneath, the one who sees the whole situation, gets it, Maddox. You spiraled down, but you're leveling out, right? I'll grieve my brother and move on. That's all I can do."
"And getting involved with me won't be a constant reminder? How's that work, Wake?"
He shrugged. "I don't know yet. But the reason I came here isn't the reason I want to stay." He paused. "Wait, actually, it is. You."
Her head jerked. "You're letting your dick do the thinking right now, Wake."
He snorted. "Considering I'm sitting here in nothing but a towel and hard as a rock, you could be right." He held her gaze. "But physical attraction isn't the only thing driving my reason for wanting to stick around. Avery talked about you. A lot. Good things. Bad things. The kind of stuff siblings talk about." He paused and drained his coffee cup. "I got a good picture of who he worked with every day." He shrugged. "It's not like I'm totally blind here. And if I know my brother, you've got a pretty solid idea of the good, the bad, and the ugly of me, too."
Her sheepish grin answered. "Well, yeah. There is that." She shrugged out of her flannel shirt, revealing the form fitting tank underneath. "I'm not sure it's an advantage, but it's something to work with." She stood and rounded the table, holding out her hand. "Check out isn't until noon. That gives you three hours to convince me this isn't the worst of the worst ideas."
Wake grasped her palm and rose, leaving the towel behind. He scooped her up and deposited her on the rumpled bed. She scooched back, leaning against the pillows, already working her jeans down.
He put his knee on the end of the mattress. "Guess I'd better get started then, yeah?"
Dragging her tank over her head, she waggled her eyebrows. "You catch on quick, Wake." Throwing the shirt and pants past his head, she crooked her finger. "Now, come here, and start convincing."
Any bets on how the convincing goes? LOL
That's it for this week. Happy reading!