If you are yet to buy Limerence, then maybe I can convince you with a little taster?
(As if you really need another excuse to go and buy it, what with it being full of all that dark, sultry, sexy paranormal awesomeness.) For those of you that have read it, maybe it will tempt you to curl up with Mr Breckt again...
Here's a little teaser from chapter seven... just to tempt you that little bit more.
The pub is crowded and noisy with most of the staff from Delamere College. Even though it’s still relatively early, most people seemed to have clocked off for the weekend.
My eyes check my phone for the fifteenth time in half an hour to see if Oliver has called me. He hasn’t. No new messages- my voicemail states again and I grumble as I drop it back onto the table next to my empty beer bottle.
“I’m getting another drink if anyone wants one,” I call over to the rest of our group. Rachael, Mary-Lou, Eddy our resident science teacher, and the new sociology teacher Chris Mayer, are all perched on little stools around a small wooden table. He’s not as good looking as Mary-Lou had made out, but he is attractive. Rachael seems smitten with him and hasn’t left his side since joining us in the pub.
I hope a couple of the others we normally drink with turn up later, I feel like a gooseberry.
Oliver should be here also, but I’m guessing he’s stuck at work. I haven’t heard from him all day again. I can feel myself worrying about him, but since he still refuses to answer my calls or texts whilst he’s over there, there’s not much I can do. Anyway, the last thing that I want to do is get him into trouble by pestering. I’ve left him two messages and he knows where I’m going to be. I check my phone again as I stand.
No new messages. I slip it into my jeans pocket and make my way over to the bar with Mary-Lou.
“You okay, Mia?” She waves her money at the bartender trying to get his attention but he slips past and serves someone else. She mutters something under her breath.
“Yeah, just waiting on Ollie. He should be here by now.” I glance towards the door as someone comes in, but it’s not Oliver.
Mary-Lou’s eyes are following the bartender backwards and forwards “He’s working over at the new place right?” she asks distractedly, leaning forward with a sexy pout. He’s a young guy- much younger than Mary-Lou who’s closing in on forty. She’s attractive and charming but the bar man seems more intent on serving the younger women with more flesh on display.
“He’s just busy then, sweetheart. I wouldn’t worry. He’ll be here soon enough, unlike our drinks.” She leans further over the bar. “Hey, doll face, a drink sometime soon would be great!”
The bartender looks up with a grimace. He finishes up with his customer and comes over to us.
“Bout’ time, we’ve been waiting ages.”
He raises an eyebrow at her. “What you having then?” he asks unconcerned. I think Mary-Lou is about to blow a gasket at his rudeness, so I step in and order our drinks. I order a beer for Oliver too, thinking he’ll be here soon.
As we make our way back to the table, I can’t help but notice Rachael is draped across Chris, looking at him and laughing loudly at something he’s said. I frown, Rachael drinks more when she’s flirting and she flirts more when she’s drinking. It’s a vicious circle. Although not drunk yet, she is well on her way and the night is still young. They do make a cute couple though, and he seems to like her just as much. She deserves someone like him, someone smart and attentive. She comes across loud and arrogant but inside she’s a jumble of romantic mush no matter how much she tries to deny it.
Two hours later and six beers down, I can feel I’ve drunk far too much. I have been ordering a drink for Oliver every time someone has gone to the bar thinking that he would be here soon, but then I’ve ended up drinking it myself when he hasn't turned up. Waste not, want not. Seems to be my motto tonight. Now I’ve drunk twice what I would normally drink in half the amount of time.
“Mia!” Rachael shouts over to me, interrupting my conversation with Eddy about his ‘lovely, lovely daughter’ and ‘her clever, clever husband who works for a bank.’
“What’s up?” I take another swig of my beer, knowing even as I do it that I shouldn't have any more.
“Chris and I are going to head over to The Red Room. Are you coming along?” She’s grinning at me from ear to ear, clearly smitten with him. I love The Red Room. It has live music at the weekends and holds special open-mic’ sessions that Oliver and I like to enter. I’m tempted to go, but I look at my watch, and see its past 9:30. Now I really am beginning to worry about him. I haven’t spoken to him since he left for work this morning. He said he would be finishing early tonight and would meet me here around 5:30pm, but I haven’t heard a peep.
I decide to call him again. “Let me give Ollie a call- see where he’s at, babe.” I wobble when I stand and make my way outside where it’s quieter to dial his number. It rings and rings but he doesn’t pick up. Eventually it goes to voicemail and I leave yet another message.
The fresh air makes my head spin. I have drunk way too much and decide it’s probably best if I make a move home. I haven’t eaten yet; maybe I could order Chinese for us when I get in? I think as I stumble inside and grab my bag.
“I’m going to go home.” I kneel by Rachael’s chair. “Think I’ll wait in for Ollie, babes. I’ve still not heard from him and he’s not answering his phone.”
She leans in and gives me a quick hug. “He’s fine, sweetie, you know what he’s like when he’s working. He probably hasn’t even noticed the time.” She looks at her watch as she says this and frowns right along with me. “Well, maybe his phone ran out of battery.” I see Chris eyeing up our conversation from over her shoulder with a grin.
“Yeah,” I say without meaning.
“Stop worrying, Mia; he’s a big boy now.” Chris leans over, placing his hand on Rachael’s knee. “I’m sure he’s fine. Just lost track of time I bet,” he continues, smiling even wider at me, making me feel even more childish than Rachael had. “Come with us,” he pleads.
“Okay, okay, I’ll try and stop worrying, but I really do have to get home. I shouldn’t have drunk so much,” I laugh. “My head is not going to thank me in the morning.” Even as I say it, I know it will make no difference and that I will continue to worry until Oliver’s home with me.
I give Rachael a kiss on the cheek and stand back up, the beer rushing to my head once again. Whoops.
“Right, I’m off guys. I’ll see you Monday morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” I giggle, and do a big wave and a curtsy to everyone.
“You want me to walk you home, love?” Eddy asks like a true gentleman, sipping his Diet Coke.
I smile at him. “No, don’t be daft, I’ll be fine. It’s only a ten minute walk. Thanks though.” I smile appreciatively and head for the door. “Lovely to meet you, Chris. I look forward to seeing you around the college. Mary-Lou it’s been a pleasure- as always.” I do another big wave and leave into the cold night.
The sun is just beginning to dip below the horizon, and the air is beginning to chill as I pick up my pace to the apartment . I wrap my arms around myself wishing that I hadn’t had those last two beers. Or the four before them. I wonder for the umpteenth time what could have happened to Oliver. This is beginning to get silly; if he’s not going to answer my calls he could at least give me the courtesy of a phone call? Even a text would do.
I’ve been sitting around all week wondering if he is alright and when he would be getting home. Well I’m not about to spend the next three months like he’d said it would take doing the same thing. Next week would have to be different. I need to speak to him about a lot of things. I wonder whether to mention what happened in the coffee shop with Mr Breckt. What would I tell him though? Your boss fed me some of my Banoffee pie. That just sounds ridiculous. He probably won’t even take me seriously. However, it had been more than just feeding me the pie; it had been raw and sexual. I know in my heart that something is happening between Mr Breckt and me. Something that a part of me deep down wants, but my heart does not.
I love Oliver- that I do not doubt, but there is something about Mr Breckt that sets my body alight. I’m sure he feels it too; it can’t just be me, can it? Well, whatever is or is not happening. Nothing is going to physically happen. I am such a bad, bad girlfriend. I think for the millionth time this week.
Footsteps interrupt my thoughts, and I glance behind me. Nothing. Even so, I pick up my pace. A chill runs down my spine for some inexplicable reason. I’m only round the corner from the apartment now; I cannot wait to get inside in the warmth and order some food. My stomach rumbles in joy at the thought of food and no more alcohol.
I hear footsteps again and take another look behind me. Still nothing, but I am definitely spooked. I look round and notice that there isn’t anyone else about. A couple of the corner shops are shutting, the lights going off but no other signs of movement. I fumble in my bag for my key as I see my door approaching, and realise I am near enough jogging now.
Too bad I’m not wearing trainers, I think as I trip over in my heels and land heavily onto my knees. Pain shoots up them and I cry out. Idiot.
I stumble to my feet, my stomach lurching in protest at the too quick movements. The beer sloshes about inside me and my mouth begins to water. I panic for a moment that I am going to throw it all back up. I try to take deep, steadying breaths to settle my stomach back down. In through my nose, out through my mouth; in through my nose out through my mouth. I lean back against the wall and close my eyes. Well this is embarrassing. I laugh at myself for getting myself into this situation.
“Mia, are you okay?” The sound of his voice does its usual trick on my stomach and flips. It’s more than my body can take, and I find myself heaving onto the floor, the contents of my stomach hitting the pavement in a loud and unattractive splat.
His arms wrap round my waist as he holds me up, but I push him away. This cannot be happening. I think as I retch repeatedly. He reaches for my hair, to hold it back from my face.
“Get off me!” I yell, as I wipe my face with the back of my hand. Sexy. I scowl at myself.
Mr Breckt’s arms are around my shoulders again as I try to stand. I try to push him away but he’s made of stone and doesn’t budge. Looking into his handsome face, I expect to see pity, but instead there’s only concern, and perhaps a little annoyance. His strong arms hold me steady on my feet, which I am both glad and uncomfortable with.
“Let me help you, Mia,” he says firmly.
“Thanks, but I’m feeling much better,” I lie, fumbling in my bag for my keys. His hand holds them out to me, and I have a vague memory of dropping them and it’s all I can do to pray that I didn’t throw up on them. I take them and thankfully they’re dry.
I struggle for a few moments to get the key in the little hole: the hole is small and the key is being difficult. I feel him behind me, waiting for me to open the door. His breath on the back of my neck, his proximity far too close and intimate. I want to shout at him to go away. Of all the ways I want him to see me, this is not one of them. What is he even doing here? My subconscious jumps in. Oh god, I am so embarrassed. My cheeks flush again and the sudden blood makes my head spin as I tilt to the side, but his arms are there to catch me. Of course they are.
He takes my keys and opens the door, swiftly picking me up and carrying me up the stairs into the apartment before I can protest at his manhandling. I can feel his muscles straining beneath his clothes, and a flush runs through me. He unlocks the inner door and carries me over to the sofa, laying me upon it and wanders off. I keep my eyes closed whilst the world spins and I curse myself again for drinking so much on an empty stomach. I will never drink again!
“Mia,” his voice is right next to me, his sweet breath blows on my cheeks and my eyes flutter open. “Drink this.” He hands me some water and I gratefully take it. I push myself up into a sitting position, slipping my shoes off as I do.
I take a sip and then another, swilling it around my mouth and swallowing with a grimace. He is kneeling by me, his face expressionless as he watches my every move, his arms folded across his body. He is not in his typical suit, but jeans and a short-sleeved t-shirt. I can see the edges of a tattoo on his arms and his strong muscles under the material. My fingers twitch to stroke his skin and feel his muscles; heat surges through me.
He notices me staring at him and his lips twitch in amusement. I blush again and look away.
“I’m fine now, thank you.” I need him to leave. I can feel my pulse racing, as he looks me over, my loins quivering at the thought of him holding me again.
“That was a very dangerous situation you just put yourself in, Mia,” he says. “You never know who could be out there.”
My mouth takes over from me before I can think about what I’m saying. “What like you?” Stalker! “And I wouldn’t have been in that situation… as you put it, if my fiancé would have been with me like he was supposed to be,” I snipe back.
His eyes flare at my ungrateful response. “It’s my fault that he is not with you?” he asks.
I nod stubbornly.
“Mia, if he cannot get his work done on time then that is not my fault. Maybe he should have a word with his employer. I am just the customer; a customer who is paying handsomely for his skills. And I am a business man; looking at businesses in the area. Don’t flatter yourself.”
Damn him. There is no response to that. I know he’s right, and I have just embarrassed myself further.
I’ll tell Oliver to speak to Bill tomorrow, and tell him that this isn’t fair, but even as I think it, I know that’s not what the problem is. I am the problem. Me and Mr Breckt being near each other, to be more precise. I set my glass down and stand on unsteady feet.
I look up to his face, his expression is neutral, and I wonder what he is thinking. Does he feel the tension between us or is it just me? He holds my gaze; my breaths seem shallow and I feel a warmth emanating from him. I don’t know what to do with myself and feel suddenly awkward.
Awkward and aroused.
I take a step away, needing some distance between us but I slip on my shoes and begin to fall backwards. His strong arms are around me almost instantly, supporting me before I fall. His breath washes over me like sweet vanilla and I breathe him in. My heart feels like it’s going to bounce out of my chest, as we stay poised in our position.
Me; bent backwards over his arm in a dramatic dip, like a scene from some old black and white movie. Him; staring deep into my eyes, his strong arms holding me in place.
I am about to say thank you and pull away when the door opens and Oliver walks in looking tired and pale. He looks over at the scene in front of him, his eyes widening in anger.
I look from Oliver to Mr Breckt in horror, realising what this must look like, and notice that Mr Breckt is grinning. His strong arms pull me up to standing, and I am against his chest, my heart beating maddeningly against him.
“Ollie, this err… this isn’t what it looks like,” I stammer the typical cliché.
What? It really isn’t what it looks like.
However, it makes no difference what I say to Oliver, as he strides towards us, fists raised.
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