Good morning. I got a great review yesterday, and it got me thinking. So I’m revisiting my first cozy mystery, Dashing Through the Snow, in preparation for writing the second one. Anyway, I thought I’d share an excerpt from the book, as well. Hope you enjoy it. That lovely cover is by Whit Holcomb, by the way.
Feeling pensive, Smith looked at her. “Want me to lie down with you?” he asked her. He wanted to hold her, but was afraid to because he couldn’t get the idea of her fragility out of his mind. He thought she might want to be held and since he was at a loss as to what to do for her, but needed to do something, he offered, thinking that she needed comforting. He’d never felt so impotent in all his life.
She chuckled. “Cut it out, Smith. You know good and well you’d rather be watching the Bears game — even though they’ll probably get their asses kicked as they have for the past three games. Who knew one man’s broken thumb could make a bunch of grown men fold like a bad poker hand?”
He laughed, once again surprising himself. “Cut them a break. The entire team depends on the quarterback. Though I admit; they shouldn’t be so fuckin’ lost without him. There’s one consolation, though: at least there’s no chance of them getting fucking Tebowed again. God, I hate that term!”
“Don’t hate just ‘cause Jesus obviously loves him best,” Lily said drowsily as her eyelids slowly blinked once…twice and finally just shut.
Chuckling and feeling a slight easing of the anger and agony that had help him in their combined grip for the past twenty-four hours, Smith kissed her forehead and stood, suddenly deciding that watching the game sounded like a splendid idea.
Lily stretched awake and then snuggled down beneath the thick comforter again, burrowing one arm underneath so her good hand could grab at the covers and pull them up to her chin. She smiled, feeling as if she could walk among the living again. Turning her head, she looked at the alarm clock on her bedside table. Four o’clock. She’d gotten at least four hours of sleep uninterrupted by pain, and was glad of it. Lying still, she assessed her pain level and finding it low, she gave a nod of satisfaction.
She allowed herself one last snuggle before tossing the covers back and getting out of bed. She looked down at herself. All she wore was a black tank and matching low rise panties. A wave of heat washed over her and her knees went weak as she remembered that Smith had put her to bed. He’d stripped her down to her skivvies and poured her between the sheets. “God bless Texas cowboys who take worrying to a high art,” she murmured, as she vaguely remembered waking up more than once to find him sitting on her window seat looking out for her.
She heard a sound come from downstairs and cocked her head. Her television was on and it was playing a football game. She allowed herself a slight anticipatory smile; totally unsurprised that he’d stayed over. Yearning awakened like a patient wild thing in her stomach and slowly, she walked from the room to make her way down the stairs.
He heard her coming, and engrossed in the game, raised his voice a bit and said, “You should be in bed, Lily-bud. If you need anything, let me get it,” he finished without taking his eyes off the television. “Feeling better? You hungry?” She didn’t answer, but the cushion beside him dipped from her weight.
Facing him, Lily sat on her haunches and being careful of her injury, wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Smith automatically lifted his hand to caress her arm. She nuzzled his head with her nose, breathed him in and bending her neck a little farther, took the lobe of his ear between her teeth. “Smith.”
Smith cocked a brow, his entire body on full alert. She didn’t just say his name, she breathed it. He stiffened. “Sweetness.”
Lily licked his ear and planted kisses behind it, the hunger she felt for him threatening to overwhelm her. “I’m horny,” she said between soft, wet kisses.
Her voice was still breathy and he heard the strain of sexual tension beneath it. He turned his head, got a good look at her and narrowed his eyes to see what he could see. Heavy-lidded, but pain-free eyes. Sleep-tousled hair. Gorgeous, full lips.
He reached out to push some of her hair behind her ear, smoothing it over her shoulder where he caressed the soft, firm skin. Angling in to suck briefly at her lips, he asked, “How horny?”
“Very,” she whispered, and leaned harder against him, pushing her breast against his arm so that her nipple hardened and poked his arm. Her breath caught and she dropped her forehead to his shoulder. “Extremely.”