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As a gift just for being a subscriber, here’s a scene from Black Soul:
I woke to Caroline in such a tizzy I thought she would have a nervous breakdown.
“Noah! You’re in the floor! Why didn’t you…ohmygosh, you fell didn’t you? You fell. I let
you fall off the sofa. I’m such a—” I interrupted her.
“You’re fine. I chose to sleep here. I didn’t want you to wake and—” she interrupted me.
“And what? You should have woken me! I would have taken you back to your bed.” Her curls fell over the side of the sofa as she stared at me in horror.
I smiled and said, though I wish I’d kept my mouth shut, “Yeah, and maybe that’s what I was trying to avoid. It’s been awhile since I had a girl stay overnight.”
She flopped back and huffed in exasperation missing my innuendo completely. She was difficult to flirt with.
“If the agency walked in here right now, I can’t even imagine.” She shoved the throw off her and wrestled to get up at the same time. She tripped and rolled right off the sofa onto me.
My hands caught her.
Caroline stared down into my eyes, the whole length of her resting on me, and I could feel it all. Every glorious inch. I’m sure my eyes, among other things, didn’t hide my reaction.
“Yeah, the agency might wonder about your intentions,” I said with a grin.
Caroline’s shocked eyes flashed exasperation.
Though I appeared cool, calm and collected, I was breathless. The oxygen in the room was no longer oxygen. It was her. Everything was her.
Her hair was all around my face. Her nose touched mine. Her arms held her up, but her hands were flat on my chest and the contrast of their fragility on the muscles I’d tried to hide was even more troubling. Hot lava shot to my stomach igniting my groin.
She fumbled to get up.
I held her there, my hands feeling more powerful than they’d ever been.
“Noah?” she whispered. Had she noticed I was using both hands?
Damn. Damn. Damn. I loosened my grip and shoved the all too human response to her away. “Sorry. It might be the last time I ever hold someone.”
Her mouth fell open then clamped shut.
I smiled to hide my almost botched my cover.
“Do you have feeling in both hands today? You were…you were holding me with both of them.” She rolled off me and wobbled to a sitting position. Pulling my hands into her lap, she massaged both of them with fearful hope in her eyes.
“That happens sometimes. One day something might not work, the next day, I’ll have a little use of it, then the following day the sensation is totally gone, and it never comes back.” I couldn’t meet her gaze. The lie weighted me down as much as the paralysis did.
Caroline scrambled to get up. “I’ve got to get you out of the floor, and wash you up and then…Me. Oh, god, I bet I’m a mess. I bet I look—”
“Heavenly.” My mouth betrayed me.
She flashed me a surprised look.
“Lies.” With hands shaking, she smoothed her hair as she stood. “This coming from a man who almost froze to death in the floor overnight. You probably have hypothermia.”
She took both my hands again and tested their warmth on her cheeks. “I’m such an irresponsible, poor excuse for a caregiver.”
“I thought you were great. And all that talking you did in your sleep. One could learn a lot about what makes you tick.” I smirked.
She gasped. “I didn’t?”
I smiled, nodding. “No, but it would have been interesting if you had.”
She half-nudged/half-kicked me.
“Throw me off the sofa into the floor, make me sleep there, and now you’re kicking me? I might have to report you,” I said as she pulled me to a sitting position.
“You’re so cold.” She ignored me.
“It’s just poor circulation.” It was the truth. Just as the sun sliced through the part in the curtains, my left hand and the lower portion of my arm lost sensation.
Within a minute, she got me to my wheelchair, then to my bed. Beneath me, the bed was much softer than that hard floor. I’d focused on Caroline so much the whole night, I hadn’t realized how sore the floor had made me.