I’m rabidly working on book 2 in the Firebloods series. I thought it was probably time to share an excerpt from Chapter One. Enjoy!
The whisper tickles the nape of my neck. I shrug up my shoulders against it, snuggling deeper into the blankets. Lips brush my earlobe, pulling me another degree toward consciousness. My mind searches through the dark until images of last night burn into my memory. Burn. That’s an interesting use of imagery considering the circumstances, isn’t it?
“I have to go to work,” Kane whispers.
I force open my eyes and meet a canopy of black feathers. That’s right. Feathers—not blankets. I shuffle my fingers through them, and they shimmer with iridescence that pulls the smile to my lips again. I haven’t been able to stop smiling. Not even in my dreams.
Kane’s mouth finds my neck, his tongue flicking my skin lightly, and that smile just widens another inch. It takes me half a second to meet his mouth, to sink into his kiss, to taste the musky vanilla on his lips. I sigh, and it’s settled: Kane O’Reilly was made to kiss me. It’s cheesy, I know, but it’s an undeniable fact. Look, if you were me, you’d be compelled to agree. Compelled. Ha! Did you see what I did there? I’m full of those little puns today.
We fell asleep on the sectional in my den early this morning, wrapped in each other’s arms and cocooned in his wings. I snuggle into him now, his bare chest scalding me with that familiar glowing heat. Only now, my skin matches his, and the heat explodes right through my tank top. And it’s totally mind-blowing.
“It’s Sunday,” I whisper.
With a laugh, he hugs me closer. We both know that doesn’t matter. Connor O’Reilly doesn’t know the meaning of “day of rest” in any shape or form. Because every Sunday, he and Kane clean the auto shop top to bottom to get ready for the next week. I swear, he’s the cleanest mechanic I’ve even known, and that is seriously interfering with my plans to keep Kane all to myself for a few more hours.
“Can’t we just stay here forever?” I ask. My palm absorbs the heat of his chest.
“We could.” He kisses my temple. “But we’d probably starve to death. And…” His whisper fills my ear. “I kinda need to pee.”
I laugh, planting a quick kiss on the end of his chin before he eases us up together, his arms tight around me. He swings his legs over the side of the couch and spreads his wings out behind him, long and dark black to match the color of his hair. I lift my eyes, taking them in, a little awestruck that any of this is happening to me. It’s unbelievable on every level of comprehension. But here I am… and here he is. A phoenix in disguise.
He furls his wings inward against his back. Another blink, and they vanish.
“You were dreaming again,” he says. Legs flung over his lap, I stretch to my full length.
“You could tell?” My response is stifled by a yawn.
“Yeah. You make little noises in your sleep when you dream.”
“Well, that’s embarrassing.”
“It’s cute,” he winks. “So don’t stop.”
And there I go, smiling like an idiot again. Because honestly, why not?
I pull my legs into my chest as he pushes to his feet, and I remember the dream. It was vivid, so vivid that it didn’t feel like a dream at all. Kane was there, and this time, there was no confusion over whether it was him. It was. And I felt safe because he was with me.
In reality, I didn’t have much time for dreaming last night. We hardly slept. We danced a little, cried a lot, but mostly, he told me everything he knew. Years ago, as our parents swore him to secrecy, he secretly made his own promise—to me. Obviously, I didn’t know about it, but that doesn’t change the fact that he made it. He was always going to tell me. In fact, he bought that little silver key exactly six months before he gave it to me. The token that symbolized the unlocking of my identity year by year with each new added tooth—counting the days to my eighteenth birthday. That was the year he planned to risk our parents’ wrath and break it to me. Of course, due to extenuating circumstance, that day came a bit sooner than expected.
From where I lie on the sectional, I have a clear view of Kane—right through the slats of the metal railing that divides the sunken den from my kitchen. He rummages around in a cupboard. His taut back muscles, right where his wings should be, stretch and pulse with each motion. I puff up a little. I can’t help it. That hunk of a Fireblood belongs to me.
This morning, bronzed and toned and full of silent fire, he is worlds more beautiful than yesterday morning, or the day before, or the day before that. Because this morning, I’m different, and it makes everything that much sweeter.