Teaser Tuesday from The Storm Inside
I am very excited to share the first excerpt from my new project: The Storm Inside.
Eve and Jake were madly in love until life tore them apart. Ten years later Jake is determined to get back the life his demons stole. Check out this extended teaser and let me know what you think!
Jake nodded slowly, his green eyes deadly serious as he spoke, “Trust me I understand completely, Josh. I will never, ever hurt her again. I can guarantee that.”
An ache developed in my chest as I watched him talk. How could he guarantee that? I knew with absolute certainty having Jake around me would lead to more. And more would lead to heartbreak. It was just what Jake did to me. It wasn’t his fault I loved him so deeply, so completely there was no choice but to give him all of me. Just as it wasn’t his fault that he loved me so passionately he couldn’t control it.
But then his stare swung over to me. He looked deep into my eyes and straight into my soul the way only he could. I swear he could see all of me. I was naked in front of him, it didn’t matter what I hid or wore, this man could see all of me. So when he spoke it wasn’t just words, it was a promise between his soul and mine. “Ten years ago I ran away from my demons. I’m back to make those demons afraid of me, to set things right, and- ”
The waiter returned with our appetizers, but Jake didn’t look away. He had me trapped with his eyes. They were smoldering and intense, undressing me slowly and caressing my skin, the heat between my legs was pulsing.
Whoever this man was, he was a strange mix of the man I had loved and the man I always knew he could be, plus something else entirely. Something unexpected. He was darker and more intense, he knew what he wanted and I had the very distinct impression he never took no for an answer. This Jake got what he wanted. Period.
Panic ripped through me again. I didn’t like this feeling, the concept he would win me back against my will. That I had no choice in what was going to happen between him and me. “Excuse me,” I mumbled, clumsily standing up and tossing my napkin on the chair. “I need the restroom.”
Josh didn’t seem to notice the look of panic in my eyes, but Jake didn’t miss it. His intense green eyes silently watched me as I left the room.
But I didn’t go to the restroom, I ran to the kitchen. It was open and guests were welcome inside, but on a tour. I wasn’t with a guide, so I stopped dead in my tracks, looking around. A chef smiled at me warmly as he looked up from his work. For some stupid reason that made me giggle and I wandered over to the fish tanks like I belonged there.
Poor ugly fish were hours or minutes away from being someone’s dinner. I felt like one of those fish. I had been happily swimming along, blissfully unaware danger was right around the corner. Jake wanted me for his dinner and I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep him from killing me.
A throat was cleared behind me. I expected to see one of the many waiters ready to request I leave the kitchen until a proper tour was scheduled, but instead as I turned around my eyes fell upon Jake.
He was like a kid, no matter where I ran he kept turning up with a smile on his face.
“I didn’t mean to scare you away,” he kept a good five feet between us and his hands behind his back. He was making a conscious effort to seem safe and non-confrontational. “But I did want you to know how serious I am. Nothing about me is the same and I have every intention of righting every wrong I did before I left.”
He was wrong about one thing, there were many things about him that were the same. His smile was the same, his voice, and his heart. It may have been scared and buried beneath layers of crap parenting, but I’d seen it then as clearly as I could see it now.
And Jake had a truly good heart.
Didn’t make me any less terrified of loving him.
“Did you pick Bern’s on purpose?” I asked. I noticed how straight he always stood, it gave him an extra air of confidence and control.
“Yes.” he said flatly. “I told you, I’m taking my life back. All of it. Even if you don’t want me back, I’m damn determined to make sure that’s what you want. I want you to be absolutely positive. Doubts will tear a person in two, trust me on that one. So, yes, I chose this restaurant on purpose just like I chose to pitch to you myself today. I’m not going away, but I’m not going to force myself on you either. I didn’t expect you to fall into my lap and forgive me. This is gonna take time, time I am more than willing to invest. Because it needs to be done right. When you tell me you don’t love me, I want you to know it with every fiber of your being.”
Have a great Tuesday everyone! xoxo