Arouse: A Spiral of Bliss Novel (Book One)
Author:Lane, Nina

I stare at a pink, knitted hat. The memory of Penny clouds over with images too black to be transparent. A cold, icy ball tightens in my throat.

 

“Liv!” The sound of Dean’s voice breaks the still dawn air.

 

I look up with a start. He’s hurrying toward me, his expression dark with concern. A strange fear grabs me suddenly. I run to meet him and fold myself against his strong, warm chest.

 

“Jesus, Liv.” He closes his arms tight around me. His breathing is hard against my ear. “I woke up and you were gone. Your cell was off.”

 

“I forgot to bring it.” I pull back to look at him. It takes me a second to process the fact that he was scared. “I went for a walk. What… where did you think I’d gone?”

 

“I didn’t know.” Dean lets out his breath and scrapes a hand through his damp, messy hair. “You’re never up before seven. I thought you were in the kitchen, but when I got out of the shower…”

 

“I’m sorry.” I put my hand on his chest, feeling the beat of his heart. Unease roils in my stomach. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”

 

“Just… next time, tell me, okay?”

 

I nod, unable to shake the edgy sense of fear surrounding both of us, the stretching reach of old shadows.

 

Dean wraps his arm around my shoulders as we head home. Once inside, he slides his hand to the back of my head, a slight pressure that turns me toward him. Tension still ripples through him as his lips come down on mine.

 

I curl my fingers into the front of his shirt and tug him down harder. His mouth is cold and minty. Heat burns through the morning chill clinging to our clothes.

 

A sudden, hard rush of longing fills my chest. My eyes sting. I put my hand on his stubbled cheek and part my lips under his. He works the zipper on my jacket and pushes it to the floor, then slides his big hands under my bottom to lift me against him. I fold my arms around him as he goes into the bedroom and lowers me to the bed.

 

I grab his shirt and yank him down to me.

 

“Hurry,” I gasp.

 

A burn flares in his eyes. He levers himself over me, planting his hands on either side of my head before descending for another kiss. I arch upward to meet him and wrap my legs around his hips.

 

He is the one who once rescued me from bitter isolation. I need him to defeat it again now.

 

I pull his lower lip between my teeth, drive my hands into his thick hair. He matches my swift urgency without hesitation, tugging off my shirt and bra, then pulling my sweatpants and panties off and dropping them to the floor.

 

He’s hard already. I can feel his cock pressing against me beneath his jeans. A tremble quakes through me, centering in the throb of my heart. Dean’s breath skims over my neck, his tongue dipping into the hollow of my throat as he slides a hand up my inner thigh and into my cleft.

 

“Open,” he whispers, brushing his mouth across mine.

 

I part my legs to give him access and fist my hands in his shirt. He strokes a path over my folds, his adept touch wrenching a gasp from my throat. I twist underneath him, tears blurring my vision, heat surging across my skin. When his forefinger slides into my body, I push upward and grasp his wrist to keep him inside me.

 

He’s saying something, a steady stream of murmurs in my ear, but I can’t make out his words past the sound of my heartbeat. He circles his thumb around my clit, pressing against a spot he knows is especially sensitive.

 

My nerves stretch hard, a rubber band close to snapping. I fumble for the button-fly of his jeans. My hands shake.

 

“Dean.”

 

“Easy, beauty…” He presses his mouth to the tears that have slipped from the corners of my eyes and down my temples. His breath rasps against my ear. “Come first, and then I’ll fuck you.”

 

A wave of heat pours over me. I turn toward him, and our mouths collide hot and wet. Our arrested lust and the strain of the previous night suddenly explode into crazed need. He splays his fingers over my clit and with one stroke, I come hard, bucking up against him and crying out his name.

 

When the sensations ebb, he moves away just long enough to take off his clothes before descending over me, his body hard and straining with urgency. Gasping, I wind my arms around him, crushing my breasts against his chest, pushing my tongue into his mouth.

 

His cock throbs against my thigh, and I writhe around to try and nudge him into the right position, aching to feel him immersed deep inside me.

 

“Wait.” He pulls back to grab a condom from the bedside table. Then he slides his hand down my side and kneels between my legs. His eyes smolder as he strokes his gaze over my damp, naked body, lingering on the swells of my breasts and taut nipples. “You’re so damn sexy, Liv.”