Excerpt 4 of Lake of Lies!

September 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are enjoying Lake of Lies.

Please check out Excerpt 4 and let me know what you think.

Chapter 4

 His lips brushed across hers tentatively.  She stiffened in an attempt to hide her reaction to him.  His hand came around to caress the side of her face.  His tongue traced the contours of her lower lip, the corners, and the stiff line where her lips held on to their last barrier.  When he began to nibble on her lower lip, a sigh of surrender escaped her mouth.  He immediately responded by deepening the kiss.   

She wanted to fight the feelings he was evoking, but there was no stopping it.  The sensation of him invading her mouth was too sweet.  She kissed him back with the same wild abandon that had always been reserved just for him.  Her arms came up to encircled his neck, her fingers tunneling through his hair.  He slid his leg between hers positioning himself, while his hands came up to her waist.  One hand ventured higher to trace the side of her breast, while the other pulled her leg around his waist.  Time seemed to stand still for both of them as they savored the touch and taste of each other. 

“God, I’ve missed you,” he murmured against her mouth. 

He trailed kisses down her neck nuzzling her ear on his journey.  His tongue traced the line of her collarbone.  “You are so beautiful,” he said in a husky voice.  He lowered the strap of her bathing suit.  Her breast was purt, her nipple taut.  He placed small tantalizing kisses along its surface teasing her, before taking the nipple into his mouth.  He circled it with his tongue, suckling her, until she thought she would cry out in ecstasy. 

When she thought she could take no more, he let his teeth lightly scrape the tender flesh.  A tortured moan escaped her lips.  Her body was on fire.  Every nerve inflamed by his touch, by his taste.  Her body craved his with a hunger she didn’t understand.   She wanted to feel him everywhere.  Parts of her body cried out to be filled.  The fire was consuming her.  She didn’t even notice when he lowered the other strap of her bathing suit.  She couldn’t stop her hips from rubbing shamelessly against his thigh.  One of his hands slid lower to clench her buttock as he let out a moan against her skin.  His tongue formed lazy circles across her flesh. 

When he started to lower her bathing suit further, reality hit, and it hit hard.  She pushed him away, quickly turning to the side to right her bathing suit.  In his confusion, she swam out of the alcove.  She heard him calling out to her, but she didn’t stop.  She swam across the lake as fast as she could.  Finally, she reached the shore. 

What was she doing? 

She was acting like a fool.  She had practically been ready to make love to him. She had all but begged him for it.  Damn him and the way he made her feel.  She didn’t want this.  She didn’t want him.  She gave her head a firm shake hoping that it would clear the warm tingling of her body.  Why the hell couldn’t he just stay away from her? 

He was Derek’s brother!  And she had just been making out with him!  She should be shot or maimed or some other horrible sentence that they do to traitors.  Why couldn’t she just have a normal conversation with him?  She grabbed her towel from the ground, her body still dripping.  She pulled it tightly around her leaving no room for air. 

How had things gotten so out of control? 

Nick was wondering that himself as he climbed out of the water.  “Samantha, I’m sorry,” he said standing before her dripping wet, his erection still visible underneath his trunks. 

He took a step closer to her, but she held up a hand to ward him off. 

“Just stay away from me, Nick,” she warned. 

He stopped in his tracks staring at her, as if to decide how best to proceed.  “Samantha, I didn’t mean for that to happen,” he admitted, taking a step closer. 

She backed away from him, shaking her head.  “I know, Nick.  You never mean for it to happen, but it always does.  So, let’s just try to stay away from each other from now on.” 

His face hardened.  A grim line formed on the mouth that had so sensuously destroyed her self-control only moments prior.  “If that’s what you want,” he conceded. 

“It is,” she agreed, turning to head back to the house.  As soon as she reached the worn path, she took off at a run.  She, who never lost control, seemed to have no power to stop herself where he was concerned.  No matter how many times she scolded herself, she couldn’t reign in her desire for him.  She entered the house through the back porch, hurrying up the stairs in case he followed her.  She could still feel the imprint of his mouth against her skin. 

Once inside her room, she changed into her robe and hurried across the hall to the bathroom.  After a quick shower to rinse the lake and Nick off her body, she felt a little bit better.  But disappointment loomed.  She still couldn’t believe she had been so stupid, so weak.  She returned to her room, hoping that Nick would stay at the lake for a while.  She couldn’t take another bout with him today. 

Not after what happened. 

She sat at the vanity table brushing her wet hair.  The brush stilled in her hand as she looked at herself.  What was she going to do?  She had to tell Derek about her past with Nick.  There was no way to avoid it now.  She couldn’t be alone with Nick.  And soon enough, Derek would realize that something was wrong between them.  Her stomach turned as she thought of what his reaction would be.  This week was stressful enough for him.  She didn’t want to add to that.  Maybe she could avoid Nick without making it noticeable?  Her hand fell into her lap. 

Why did this have to happen, when she had finally found some sense of peace and security in her life? 

 He felt like an idiot.  Worse, he felt like an idiot who was a horny teenager.  What had he been thinking when he’d reached for her?  Had he learned nothing over the years?  He shook his head from his vantage point on the large rock by the lake.  He hadn’t even tried to go back to the house yet.  Besides the fact that she didn’t want to see him, he still had a very noticeable reaction in his lower region that was a testament to her seductive power. 

Okay, so he had wanted to touch her, to kiss her.  He was a big enough man to admit that to himself.  Still, watching her with his brother for the next week was going to be pure hell.  He couldn’t do it.  He wished he was a better man, but he had to face the fact that, in this case, he wasn’t.  He stared off into the distance.  His options weighed in his mind. 

Should he go? 

Leave in the middle of the night when no one could pose an argument? 

If he did, there would be hell to pay from his mother.  Of that, he was sure.   Still, it was obvious that he was just making things more difficult by being here.  He climbed down from the rock pulling on his jeans.  As he started up the trail, he pulled his shirt over his head.  He had only wanted to talk to her.  To find out why things went so wrong between them.  Instead, he had ended up making things worse.  He didn’t want her to hate him.  And from the look in her eyes earlier, that was what was going to happen if he stayed.  There was only one way to make things better.  He hurried up to the house.   

“Gladys,” he called out. 

“I’m in here,” he heard her reply from the kitchen. 

He walked through the open door to find her at the sink cleaning vegetables.  “When is my mother going to be back?” he asked.  

Gladys turned around to look at him with raised eyebrows.  “She should be back any minute now.  What’s got your goat?” 

He pulled a chair around to straddle it, his forearms resting on the back.  “Nothing, I just need to talk to her.”  He rested his chin on his arms. 

Gladys chuckled.  “You can’t fool me, boy.  I didn’t believe it when you told me you didn’t break that vase fifteen years ago, and I don’t believe you now.” 

He sat in silence hoping that she would loose interest.  Unfortunately, when Gladys knew something was up she never lost interest. 

“It’s the girl, isn’t it?” 

He kept his eyes averted, so that she wouldn’t see the effect her question had on him.  “What girl?” 

“Derek’s girl!  What other girl is in this house at the moment?” she chided. 

His eyebrows arched.  She couldn’t know.  Could she?

Gladys turned around to study him for a moment giving him a smile.  “Did you think that I didn’t notice those long looks at dinner?” 

Had he really been that transparent?  An unwelcome warmth crept into his cheeks at her question.

“Okay, tell me all about it.”  He hesitated not wanting to reveal anything for Samantha’s sake.  “Nick, you know that anything you tell me will stay between us.  But you have to talk about it.  It looks like it’s about to eat you up,” she observed.

He sighed.  He hated to admit it, but she was right.  He did need to talk about it. His gaze met hers.  She knew him too well.  He had confided in her many times as a boy.  The time he had put a dent in his father’s car.  The time she had caught him smoking behind the house.  Never, in all those times, had she broken their confidence.  Sure, he had been forced to sit through a few stern lectures, but she had never told his parents. 

“Well, I told you that I knew Samantha before,” he began slowly. 

“Derek said you did some sort of business deal together,” she replied. 

He ran his fingers through his hair.  “It was a little bit more than that.” 

She looked at him, her gaze intent.  “How much more?” she asked. 

He hesitated for a moment.  Somehow, he couldn’t find the words to describe the thoughts racing through his mind.  Unfortunately, he didn’t have to, because his silence gave him away. 

“I see,” she said knowingly.  She looked away, a crease marking her forehead as she weighed the depth of the situation in her mind.  “I take it Derek doesn’t know about any of this,” she questioned. 

He quickly shook his head. 

“I doubt that they would still be here if he did,” she murmured lost in thought.  She studied him intently.  It was her piercing look.  The one that made him feel that she could see right through his soul.   He shifted uneasily in his chair. 

“Well, how do you feel about this girl, Nick?” 

His eyes met hers, mixed emotions flooding through him.  How did he feel about Samantha?  Where should he start?   “What do you mean?” he asked defensively.  “She’s with Derek, now.” 

She smiled.  “Well, good,” she said getting up to return to the sink.  “I’m glad that you realize that fact, and respect it.  After all, apparently you had your chance and you blew it, right?”           The anger that had been carefully contained bubbled up to the surface at her words.  “No!  It’s not good!  It’s driving me crazy!  And, no, sorry to disappoint you, I don’t respect her choice.  Every time I think about it, I want to shake her until she realizes what a fool she really is.  She shouldn’t be with him.”  His outburst shocked him as much as it did her. 

She looked over her shoulder at him as she continued her work.  “And just why not?  Derek is quite a catch.  Any woman would be lucky to have him.”

He snorted his frustration, as he rolled his eyes.  “You know what I mean.  They just don’t fit together.  He’s not…He’s not…”

“You?”

He came to his feet so suddenly the chair scraped along the floor.  Her head came up from the task she was completing.  He couldn’t see her expression, because her back was turned to him.  She spun around.  “It seems to me you better figure out just how you feel about this girl, before its too late,” she warned.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Oh Nick, when have you ever given in easily?  Face it, boy!  It’s not in you!”

“On this, I have to,” he reminded solemnly. 

She offered him a sad smile.  “Are you sure?” she asked. 

He stared at the floor for a moment, before nodding his head.  “I’m sure,” he said with a finality that made his heart sink.   He had lost Samantha, and it was time that he accepted that fact.  Wallowing in self-pity wasn’t his style. 

“Is anybody home?” he heard his mother call out from the other room. 

“I need to talk to mom,” he explained getting to his feet. “Thank, Gladys.”  He leaned over to give her a short hug. 

            “Anytime, you know that,” she offered, returning the hug.  He turned to leave, but she stopped him.  “Follow your heart, Nick.  It’ll steer you in the right direction.” 

Follow his heart? 

Somebody should’ve told him to be careful of what you let go of, because you might not get it back again instead.  Still, he smiled at her as he left the room.  Gladys loved him like a son.  She knew him too well sometimes.  And he loved her for it. 

He entered the front room to find his mother juggling several packages.  Mom, let me help you with those,” he offered, hurrying across the room to take the bags from her arms. 

“Thank you, honey,” she greeted, putting her purse down on the table. 

He carried the bags into the kitchen, and returned to join her.  Mom, can we talk for a minute?” he asked. 

“Sure, honey, what is it?” she replied breathlessly. 

“I have to go out of town tonight,” he explained in a rush, before he could think twice about it. 

Her head snapped up.  “What?  But you just got here,” she exclaimed, grabbing his arm as if she could physically restrain him from leaving. 

“I know, mom.  Believe me, I tried to get around it, but I can’t.  A big deal is about to fall through, and I have to go save it.  I’ll be back in a day or so.  You won’t even know I’m gone,” he explained, trying to placate her.  He hated lying to her, but he had no choice.  He couldn’t tell her the real reason he was leaving, and he couldn’t stay.  Being this close to Samantha was driving him insane.  He couldn’t be here, and not want to touch her.  Hell, he had already proven that…twice. 

Margaret laid a hand on her son’s cheek, as if she could sense his internal struggle.  “Alright, dear.  If you have to go, I understand.  Only for a day or so, though, no more.  You aren’t going to miss my birthday party, are you?” she inquired, a worried look crossing her face. 

He placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.  Mom, you know I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  It will only be a short trip.  I wouldn’t go if I didn’t have to, you know that.” 

She smiled up at him.  “Okay, then,” she agreed, giving him a kiss on the cheek.  “Hurry back.  I love you.” 

“I love you too, Mom,” he replied, watching her turn to enter the kitchen.  He stared after her for a moment.  He didn’t want to leave.  He knew that she had been planning this for months.  She wanted everyone home for a peaceful visit.  It was the peaceful part that was the problem.  It seemed like every time he and Derek were together it was anything but peaceful.  Add Samantha to that mix and things could become volatile.  Normally, he would’ve let Derek take the lead, like he always did.  Wasn’t that why he had turned down the family business?  To let Derek take the lead? 

Samantha, on the other hand, was a different story.  He was doing his best to let Derek take the lead, but everything in him was rebelling.  He didn’t feel like walking away right now.  He felt like staying, and making her admit to the fact that she still wanted him as much as he wanted her.  But he couldn’t.  He couldn’t do it to Derek, no matter how much he pissed him off. He turned and started up the stairs, only to find Samantha perched at the top. 

For a moment, they just stared at each other motionless.  She hadn’t meant to eavesdrop, but when she had heard him talking she couldn’t stop herself from listening.  He was leaving; and, despite herself, she couldn’t stop the sinking feeling in her chest.  This was all her fault.  He was leaving his family, his home, because of her.            

He started up the staircase, brushing past her when he reached the top.  He headed down the hall to his room, with Samantha right on his heels.  “You’re leaving?” she asked, stopping at the doorway to his room. 

He walked over to the closet to grab his bags.  She glanced around the room.  A four poster oak bed stood boldly in the center of the room.  A dark green comforter adorned it beckoning her.  An oak dresser stood to the right of the large walk in closet, a huge mirror resting on the top of it.  A few picture frames adorned the top of the dresser.  One was a picture of Nick standing proudly between his parents in cap and gown.  Another was a family picture with everyone sitting together smiling happily.  Looking at the pictures made her feel even worse.  She should be the one leaving, not him. 

“Nick, don’t go.  If anyone should leave, it should be me,” she pleaded. 

He took a bag from the closet, and began to fill it with clothes.  “And just how do you plan on explaining that to Derek?” he chided with a sneer. 

“I’ll figure something out.  You shouldn’t have to leave.  This is your house.  I’ll go,” she continued. 

He closed his bag quickly picking it up as he started toward the door where she stood.  When she blocked his way, he let out an exasperated sigh.  “Sam, listen to me.  I’m leaving, you’re staying, and that’s it.  This isn’t up for discussion.” 

She was taken aback by the sound of her name being shortened.  He hadn’t called her that since they were dating.  Still, she wouldn’t allow him to bully her into his decision.  She had to stand her ground.  

Her proximity was doing something to his senses, and he knew he had to get out of here soon or he would do something stupid…again.  If she would just move out of the way, he could leave before he screwed things up any worse. 

“Nick, don’t go, please.  If this is about what happened at the lake,” she ventured.         

He held up a hand to halt her from going any further.  “Sam, let’s not get into this again,” he warned. 

“Nick,” she pleaded softly.  She wanted to make him stay, but she couldn’t find the words.  After losing her parents, she knew how important it was to spend time with family.  When his eyes met hers, her breath caught in her throat.  She could see the battle he was fighting.  She knew it all too well, because she was fighting the same war.

“Sam, please.  Just let me go,” he offered, his patience slipping.  

Those words, harmless as they were meant to be, pierced her heart.  Still, she couldn’t find an argument that would stop him.  She stepped aside in defeat.  He brushed past her disappearing down the hall.  Tears hovered in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. 

She had cried enough over Nick Daniels.

 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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