Tingle Thursday travels to Italy for a peek into the Book One of Dancing Barefoot--IN BETWEEN, a contemporary romance drama about risking it all on a dream and on love.
Two strangers become lovers and everything seems possible, but the weight of duty and obligations threaten to seal their Fate. Will love be enough?
Exclusively on Amazon (for a limited time)
Tingle worthy excerpt for the 18+ crowd...
"Tell me one thing about yourself that you're scared to admit. One thing."
She met his gaze in the reflection on the window and saw the dare in his eyes. Swallowing the doubt and shrugging off the thoughts of her mother, she faced him.
Life back in Boston equaled friends, a career, and dysfunctional relationships with her mother and with a certain man named Marc who had convinced everyone they were getting married when she returned from her self-indulgent trip to Italy. They weren't. The mere idea of it all squeezed the air from her chest and dampened the enjoyment of the moment.
"No one back home knows exactly where I am because I don't want them showing up here trying to take me back," she whispered without breaking eye contact. "They know I am in Florence, yes, but that is all. I don't want anyone from there ruining this for me."
He frowned but did not look away. "Why would people who love you want to ruin anything for you?"
She shook her head and looked away, hating that the perfect evening now had a crack in it.
"So you are really all mine while you're here, then?" Jacques kissed her hand, his breath warm on her flesh.
"As long as I turn off the phone and not post on Instagram, we should be good."
"Ah, that is why I avoid all of those things. My assistant—"
"You have an assistant?"
"Is that so surprising?"
"Yes, I thought you were a nomad, beholden to no one, answered only to yourself, too good for social media like the rest of us commoners and all of that." She liked teasing him and seeing surprise light his eyes. "How does he get in touch with you if you are so mysterious?"
"I get in touch with him when I am in the mood to listen to his lectures about my lack of technological savvy." He winked before reaching for his drink. "You are skilled at changing the subject away from yourself. I doubt anything you could say would make me want you less."
"Maybe it's less about what you may think and more about me wanting to disconnect for awhile. You can relate to that, can't you, Mr. Invisible from the World?"
"I suppose I can." He paid extraordinary attention to the liquor in the glass as he swirled it side to side.
"It must be liberating to go wherever you want in life, simply pick a place on the map and disappear." She liked looking at their reflection superimposed on the window. They looked good together. Her fingers ached to draw, to paint, to throw all of her emotions onto a canvas and capture all that filled her heart.
"Isn't that what you have done? You said no one knows about Luca or his apartment building...or me or Ava. You picked a place on a map and disappeared from your life, Jessica. We are not that different."
She closed her eyes and leaned back against his chest. Sudden panic of having all that she'd created here shatter merely by mentioning home.
"Let's go to our home and get naked," he whispered against her ear. "That is what we are both thinking, yes?"
She twisted in her seat and smiled up at him. "Yes, that's exactly what I want."
"I like a woman who knows and says what she wants, especially when she wants me." He winked before standing to hold the chair out for her. "I will drive fast. Let's go."
He sped back to Florence whose gleaming lights spread out beneath them as the motorcycle conquered the twists and turns of the hills. She rested her head on his back, wrapped her arms around his waist, and allowed the rhythmic hum of the bike's tires on the pavement lull her into a sense of calm.
Need pumped through her blood, not only for Jacques, but also for Italy to somehow set her free. She'd read all the self-help books, heard all the stories about being in control of her own decisions and her own life; but complications entangled her and bound her like a net holding down a struggling porpoise who slowly drowned beneath the waves.
Once at their apartment building, she practically ran up the stairs, already thinking of the many ways she wanted to make love with him.
Clothes came off once the door closed behind them until they were both skin on skin and mouth to mouth on the bed. Slower than last night, the kisses lingered and the caresses discovered. Her hands roamed the hardness of his back to the roundness of his ass and back again while their tongues danced together. Eyes wide open they looked at each other in the moonlight that played across their skin and over the bed.
"Tell me you didn't stay in Florence because of me," she whispered against his lips.
"I stayed because of you. I do what I want. I want this, here and now."
Tears blurred her vision because she'd secretly hoped he had chosen to stay for her, but hadn't dared believe. "You don't know me."
"I know you." He silenced the rest of her words with a kiss that curled her toes.
"I don't want to be a speed bump in your life."
"Let it be, Jess. Let us be whatever we become...or not. Let it be."
He slid himself slowly inside of her, slow enough where she felt each inch fill her before he eased out in a torturous rhythm that both savored sensation and teased satisfaction. He propped himself above her, hair falling across his eyes, and let his gaze move down her naked torso.
She moved her hands up his chest, linked her heels behind his thighs, and glanced down to where their bodies joined. Moonlight perfectly spotlighted his hips moving against hers. Pushing up on her elbows, she kissed his neck, his chest, and his face.
They fused together, slowly, having all the time in the world to indulge in one another. With each stroke of his hips against hers, she felt dread fall away to be replaced with the crescendo of rightness drumming in her heart.
She clung to his shoulders when he kissed her. Freedom to do and be whatever she needed to be...possibilities...set her blood on fire.
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