Set up: Taliya loves Tristan, and Tristan loves Taliya. Everything should be peachy, right? Not so much. Burned by her former lover, Taliya is convinced no one will ever like her again. Especially not someone as perfect as Tristan. After about a thousand almost-kisses, their slow burn romance comes to a head when Taliya finally gets up the courage to confront him about it...
“It’s not like that,” he insisted, shaking his head. Tristan reached out and gently, gently, tucked my hair behind my ear. His hand lingered by the side of my face, his fingers tiptoeing down my neck, thumb tracing the outline of my jaw. I shivered with desire, entranced by his touch— warm and soft as a midsummer’s breeze. I almost could’ve imagined it.
“Then what’s it like?”
Tristan's hands slipped behind my shoulders and pulled me in. Forehead to forehead. The tips of our noses pressed together. His blue eyes burning into mine; hungry— like he’d been dying of thirst for centuries and I was the cool, lapping water that could save him. The rest of the room faded away. The walls disappeared, as did his four-poster bed and the armoire in the corner. There was nothing but him, me. Us. Together on the ottoman.
“It’s like this,” he whispered. He took a deep breath, tilted my chin up, and pressed his lips to mine. Softly. Earnestly. Our lips slightly parted, moving and melting in perfect unison. I’d been kissed plenty of times before, but those kisses were different: wild and desperate, lustful, with heaving chests and groping hands. This kiss was everything those weren’t. It was more honest, somehow. Like it actually meant something. Like we were two halves of one person, coming together at last.
His hands raked through my hair, riding the dark, thick waves down my back, fingertips skimming my sides till they found my hips and drew me in. I leaned into the pressure, eager to close the distance between us. His fine, satin doublet wrung through my fingers as I pulled myself onto his lap, as I loosed the silver buttons one by one, revealing his collarbone and chest. He buried his face in my hair, in my neck, his breath hot and sweet, tingling my skin as he planted tiny kisses from my ear, along my cheek, and back to my mouth.
Yes, yes, yes! This was what I wanted.