Indigo Knights by A.J. Downey Book Tour and Giveaway :)
I heard Tony’s jacket hit the back of the chair he usually hung it on, and those heavy footfalls come my way, his shadow looming over me at the sink. He started to move my hair aside and I turned, whirling on my sneaker and backed up against the counter.
“Don’t … please?” His blue eyes penetrated mine and he nodded carefully, leaning in none the less to kiss me. My eyes fluttered shut as his mouth moved carefully over mine. I kissed him back, and it was just as magical and as beautiful as the kiss the day before. I blindly set my glass aside on the counter and went to reach for him, but dammit, I’d misjudged and it slipped off the counter’s edge and shattered on the floor. The crash of breaking glass made me jump and cry out, and I stuffed my hand against my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut. Cringing from my memories. “It’s okay; it’s totally okay … ” he murmured soothingly and smoothed some of my hair out of the way of my face so he could see me. “It’s just water and just glass, I’ve got it… no big deal.” He gently moved me the opposite direction of the mess around the kitchen island and said, “Go grab a stool, sit down.” I swallowed hard, on the verge of tears, my heart racing, pulse jumping painfully out of the side of my neck, chest crushed as I struggled to breathe normally, in through my nose hold for a few seconds, and out. The first panic attack had happened in the hospital, Pasquale had recognized it instantly and had helped me through some exercises. I knew what they were now. I am in control. I told myself. Tony went about cleaning up, letting me have some space and by the time he was done, I felt better. Still rattled, but better. “You alright?” he asked, and I nodded. I knew in the front of my mind that it didn’t matter, that Tony was the last person who would judge, that any number of medical personnel had seen the scars, but for some irrational reason, Tony was different. He wasn’t someone I wanted to see the ugliness … He just … wasn’t. He came around to me and I twisted in my seat to face him, looking up at him and biting my bottom lip. He looked like he was going to give me a pep talk but the words died on his lips. He searched my face and stepped in close, between my knees and lowered his face to mine. I closed my eyes, and let him kiss me, kissing him back and sighing out with relief. I wanted so badly to feel something good and Tony’s kiss was like heaven. His hands smoothed over my hips and up to my ribs and he gathered the hem of my fitted workout tank with his fingers, slipping his hand underneath and putting it against my skin. My desire for him shot through the roof at the same time my anxiety rose. I broke the kiss and pulled back and said breathlessly, “I can’t … my scars.” He growled low and intense and said, “Baby, you’re gonna be on your back; no way I’m even going to see your scars.”
I dragged my fingertips over her body, rearing up to look down at her and used my thumb to tease her clitoris gently. She cried out again, arching, heavenly. So beautiful, she came around my cock and as she bent beneath me, I fully expected pure, white, wings to erupt from her back.
The dude held her hands in the middle of the table and was talking to her in low and earnest tones but her eyes were too wide, glassy with shock, and I knew the look. I’d felt it myself only a few weeks ago, as one of the guys at the firehouse had told me the same thing that I would bet my last paycheck that this guy was telling her. Cheater. “Look, I’m sorry, I… I never expected things to go this far, but being with you… I’m sorry, Lillian; it just showed me how much I love her. Reminded me why I fell in love with her in the first place.” The woman abruptly pulled her hands from his and put them in her lap, those wide, storm-chased blue eyes of hers finally letting loose, twin crystalline tears slipping over the careful makeup she’d put on before their date, tracking mascara down her cheeks. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” she uttered, her voice hollow, and I knew that feeling, too. I put things together with lightning speed. This guy was breaking up with his side chick and the side chick had absolutely no idea there even was a main. Holy shit. That was a new kind of low, even for me. “Did I just hear that dude say what I think I did?” Golden demanded, and I held up a hand and waved him off. Aly’s face was set in surprise as I abruptly walked away from the table. Yale held his girl practically in his lap, protectively, and I was struck by how this piece of shit should be doing the same to the petite little thing across from him. Instead, he was smashing her heart with a ball-peen hammer, and in one of the most humiliating ways possible, to boot. The motion of my stalking away from our table caught those devastated blue eyes of hers and she made eye contact with me. I got the full brunt of the pain she was desperately trying to mask and god, wasn’t that a familiar ache? My heart went out to her, and I read clearly the pleading in her eyes for me not to intercede, but chose to misinterpret it. I couldn’t ignore what was going on right in front of me. I wouldn’t. Some pains were indeed private, but she needed to get the hell away from this guy, like yesterday. “I’ll be back later,” I muttered at Golden who’d kept pace with me, and with a shrug, he broke off and went back to his beer. He didn’t say a word; neither did Blaze, who I caught out of the corner of my eye, leaning back on his stool. They both knew better.
He cleared his throat behind me and I jumped. I don’t know why I jumped. I knew he was home. I’d seen him walk past the mouth of the alley, had heard him come in the front door. Still, I jumped, and then I closed my eyes and felt my shoulders droop in defeat.
“Hey,” he said, haltingly, and I opened my eyes again to watch the rain lash the window and trickle down the pane. “Hey,” I intoned back. “I see you found my good whiskey.” I snorted a derisive laugh and said back, “Yeah, well, I figured you owed me a stiff drink.” I picked up the glass at my hip and took a sip. The bite of the alcohol was strong, the flavor very oaky, but pleasant as the warmth trickled across my tongue and down my throat. “That’s fair enough,” he said and I sighed, lifting my head from the wood window frame and turning it slowly. He stood in my doorway, hands stuffed into the pockets of a pair of jeans, the button undone but the fly mercifully up. He was shirtless and comfortable, and looked entirely too delicious. And I really couldn’t believe my brain was even going there right now. Then again, if I drank enough, I might become attractive to him, too. That’s the way he seemed to like them. Drunk and horny, not a lot of class.
I swallowed my bitterness and turned to face back out the window. He sighed and I heard him pad barefoot across the carpet in here. He came into view, leaning a hip against the dresser near my feet. “You know,” he said softly, “You’re doing this all wrong.” “Oh, yeah?” I challenged him. “How’s that?” “The kind of pain you’re trying to drink away? It’s the straight-from-the-bottle kind. No need for a glass.” He picked up the bottle by the neck and took a swig, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He held the bottle out to me. I took it, and the peace offering that it stood for, and took a swig myself. He picked up my glass and gave me a nod. “There you go.”