Posts tagged “kiss

Samina’s Chance: Chapter 35

Posted on 07/05/2015

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Before Samina could offer an explanation for her tears, Ezekiel was by her side. Karen inhaled sharply as he grabbing Samina’s hand and tugged her toward the door.

“Hey, where—” Karen’s protest was shut off when the door closed behind them.

Tears streamed down her face and as Ezekiel steered her to the porch, she tugged her hand from his hold and put it behind her, head bowed to hide her tears.

Not even the warmth of Ezekiel’s hands cupping her shoulder, pulling her into his strength could comfort her. Instead, his embrace only unsettled her. With her face pressed to his chest, she could hear his heart thumping hard and fast against her ear.

Samina leaned back and stared up at him. With the porch light beaming a soft halo around his head, half of his angular features was shadowed but she could clearly see the emotions etched on the other half. Worry. Concern. She blinked and started to shift from his arms.

His fingers tightened around her, holding her close. “Are you okay?”

She averted her gaze to his shoulder and nodded mutely.

A thumb caressed the nape of her neck and she shivered. He paused. “You’re cold?” he pulled her even closer.

Samina swallowed hard, trying not to imagine the aloof expression in Topher’s eyes from earlier that night. Tears welled up again, her throat tightening up. Don’t you dare. Samina. Not for him.

Ezekiel inclined his head, his face only inches from hers. Samina stiffened under his silent perusal. His hand swept the back of her head, smoothing her hair back. “Where were you tonight?” he asked gently, his warm breath caressing her face.

She started.

“I called you but it seems you left your phone at home.”

Samina peered up at him, trying to gauge annoyance or anger in his face since it was absent from his tone.

His thumb brushed her ear, sending warm shivers down her spine. One corner of his lips quirked upwards. “You look like Beulah caught doing something wrong.”

Heat spread to her cheeks and she blinked at him.

Ezekiel chuckled, thumb grazing her chin. “Relax… I’m not here to reprimand you.”

Her eyes swept over his face, unconvinced. “Then why are you here?”

He paused and then choked a laugh, dropping his hand. “Why am I here?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. Was he stalling?

“Well…” he finally released her, dragging one hand down the back of his head. “Uh…” Ezekiel moved to the corner of the porch and folded his arms across his chest. Now he was cloaked in shadows, his lean but strong frame a silhouette framed between the porch stands.

Samina wrapped her arms around herself and stared at him, waiting.

“I wanted to know if you’d made your decision.”

She frowned. “About what?”

He chuckled, pushing away from the shadows. There was mirth in his expression but also a resolve she’d never seen before. “About us.” He moved closer.

Samina took a step back.

Ezekiel paused in step, his brow furrowed slightly. “What’s wrong?”

She bit her lip, surprised by her reaction. Wasn’t this what she’d prayed for almost ten years? She’d dreamed this up time and time again; Ezekiel confessing his love for her, pursuing her to be his one and only. So why was she anxious and unsettled now that it was before her?

He closed the gap between them, his arms coming around her again. “I don’t want to rush you.”

The very same words Topher had said to her earlier that month. His voice was so clear in her thoughts, juxtaposed against Ezekiel’s now. Immediately, she thought of the birthday cupcake he presented her at the tea shop and the way his eyes danced with mirth when he teased her…

Ezekiel’s hand rested on the nape of her neck, his thumb pressed lightly on her chin, directing her attention back to him.

Samina blinked at him, rendered speechless by the tenderness in his gaze.

“I’ve been incredibly blind, Sam, and stubborn.” His breath caressed her face, his merely inches from hers.

Her breath caught as he leaned in closer, her pulse jumping with every inch he closed between them.

“All this time, I couldn’t see…” His gaze lowered to her parted lips. “But now I know and I won’t miss it again.” His gaze lifted to her eyes. “Sam, say you’ll give me a chance? Give us a chance?”

Samina couldn’t think clearly with him standing so close, his mouth barely inches from hers, her pulse racing against his hand. “I…”

Then he kissed her. His lips pressed lightly against hers, tentative as if seeking consent. When she gasped lightly against his, Ezekiel inclined his head and deepened the kiss.

At first, Samina stood stiff as a rod until he tilted his mouth against hers, then her eyes fluttered close and she relaxed against him as his arms gathered her close.

Karen and Obadiah were waiting for her as she trudged into the house, lips still tingling from Ezekiel’s fervent kiss. Dazed, she dragged her eyes to the disapproving glare in Karen’s face and the bemused expression on Obadiah’s.

“You okay Sis?” Obadiah drawled, looking pointedly at her.

Karen scowled darker.

Samina’s hands flew to her hair, imagining the tangled mess it was from Ezekiel’s roving fingers. Her face heated.

Karen folded her arms. “What was that?”

“Uh…” Samina was still tongue-tied.

“It’s called a kiss,” Obadiah replied.

Karen glared at him before turning it to Samina. “Why would you kiss Ezekiel?”

Pulling in her bottom lip, Samina started for her room.

“Nu-uh.” Karen hurried to block her path. “Not when we have much to discuss.”

Samina slanted a warning glare to her younger sister. “No we don’t. Move.”

Karen’s jaw tightened, eyes narrowed. “No.”

Brows lifted. “No?” Samina moved one step closer, almost nose to nose with Karen.

Karen didn’t back down. “You heard me.”

“What’s the big deal? Sam’s a grown person and can date whoever she wants.”

Samina dipped her head in acknowledgment, offering a smile to her ally of a brother.

“How ridiculous!” Karen scoffed, stepping away. “Why would she date him?”

“Why not?” Obadiah tossed back.

Samina frowned, disturbed by Karen’s disdain. “…Why not?”

“You mean besides the fact that he’s a widower and a father of two…?”

Obadiah rolled his eyes. “So because he was married before, he’s off limits? Is he a monk?”

Samina’s lips twitched a smile. Maybe having Obadiah around wasn’t such a bad idea.

Karen waved him off and looked pointedly at Samina. “Then what about Topher?”

Samina stiffened.

“Who’s Topher?”

Karen heaved an exasperated sigh. “You don’t know anything. Topher’s this really handsome, tall guy who likes Sam.”

Obadiah shrugged. “Big deal. He wasn’t the one snogging her on the porch.”

Face heated, Samina coughed against her shoulder.

Karen scowled. “Obviously, she was confused.”

“Who confuses kissing someone?” Obadiah shook his head. “Obviously, she doesn’t like this Topher guy so—”

“I do like him!”

Both siblings turned at Samina’s outburst and her face burst into flames.

“Wait a minute…” Obadiah frowned. “You like both guys?”

Samina grimaced at the censure in his tone. Her teenage brother who’d been caught fooling around in the backseat of their father’s car was now judging her. Unbelievable!

“Well duh,” Karen tossed back, a strange smile on her face.

Mortified, Samina spun on her heels, hurrying to her bedroom. “This conversation is over. Goodnight!”

“No it’s not, Samina.” Karen’s stern reply slowed her steps. “Wanna tell us why St. Jude’s hospital called you about a post-operation check in?”

Dread slithered down her spine and Samina froze at the door. She’d been caught.

<<Chapter 34 || Chapter 36>>

Chasing Truth: Chapter 9

Posted on 15/08/2014

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Weeks passed, marked by tours during the day and nights with Tyler. The more time she spent with him, the more she liked what she saw. He kept her charmed and laughing, effortlessly wiping away the stress and strain of packed days. They went swimming, biking, and hiking. They lied out and watched the stars. He cooked for her. Amid the sandcastle competitions, movie choosing ceremonies, and the hilariously competitive game nights, spending time with him became the highlight of her day and she was looking forward to their night together.

Unfortunately she was currently stuck cleaning up from a late diving tour with Keon. She peeked into the boat to see how much equipment there was and glanced down at her watch.

“Got another date with the resident wannabe?”

“Actually, yeah. Are you going to be a brat about him forever?”

Keon hadn’t softened his stance about Tyler since their first time out together. The times Tyler stopped by the shop he alternated between ignoring him and watching him like a suspected thief. Then there were the snarky comments. She chalked it up as the protectiveness of a man who was like a brother to her and ignored him most of the time. Tonight his attitude bothered her.

“He’s a good guy, Keon. Really. He hasn’t even tried to kiss me, let alone make any type of move. You can relax.”

Tyler was the perfect gentleman. He never pushed or went beyond holding her hand , a hug, or a playful wrestle. She hadn’t dated since her freshman year of college and hadn’t missed it. She didn’t want to get into another relationship, but with Tyler she found herself not only willing to, but also wanting to.

Every outing with him was fun. It was more than that though. He made her feel cherished. He was always caring and considerate. He was an amazing listener and whenever she brought something to him he knew when to help her work through it and when to just let her vent. He was honest, some might even say to a fault, but she liked that about him. He never left her wondering what he was thinking. A smile curved her lips.

She glanced at her watch again.

“I just don’t like the vibe I get from him.” Keon passed her two tanks before grabbing two of his own. “He’s a stranger.”

“Have you tried actually getting to know him?” It wasn’t like Keon to act like this. Sure he was always a little overprotective but she expected the animosity to have faded by now. She frowned back at him as she unlocked the shop and preceded him inside.

“Just be careful, alright? We don’t know a ton about him.”

“You know me. I’m always careful.”

The sound of Tyler’s truck pulling up cut off whatever else he planned to say. They went through the required equipment checks before returning them to their proper place. Mari took one last look around the shop to make sure everything was in place.

“Go ahead. I’ll lock up.”

She raised a brow.

“Go ahead before I change my mind. Just remember what I said.”

She smiled and kissed his cheek. It was more than him letting her leave a little early. This was his way of trying to show his support of whatever made her happy and they both knew it.

“Thanks, Keon.”

The passenger door was already open when she walked out. She hopped in and leaned over to give Tyler a hug. He knew her schedule almost as well as she did and had taken to picking her up and helping her wind down after full days of work. Tonight he drove her down to the beach to enjoy the stars over her favorite order from Joe’s Shack.

“You’re getting really good at this.” She popped a piece of shrimp into her mouth.

“We’ve been doing this for a while now. I’d like to think so.”

She nudged him and stole one of his fries, drawing laughter from him.

“And no matter how well I think I ordered, you always find something of mine you want.”

“The fact that it’s yours adds a different flavor to it.”

She said it with a straight face, but couldn’t maintain it when he stared at her in amused disbelief.

“Finish your food, woman.”

When she finished her dinner he took her hand for a stroll down the beach. A soft smile touched her face and she inhaled the rich ocean scent. Tyler and the beach. It didn’t get much better than this. It would be very easy for a woman to get used to being the center of his focus.

“What are you smiling about?”

She cocked her head to the side and her smile widened. “You.”

“Ah sweetheart, you don’t look at a man and tell him something like that.”

“You asked a question. I’m just being honest.”

He gently tugged her to a stop, water lapping over their feet. “A man could really like the look of you,” he murmured as he trailed his fingers down the side of her face. “And I’m only being honest.”

“Oh yeah?” she challenged with a smile.

“Yeah,” he breathed seconds before he leaned in. “If you don’t want this, now’s a good time to stop me.”

He was so close the words were practically said against her lips. Without realizing it, she brought her hands up to grip his arms when he cupped her face.

“I don’t see anyone stopping you.”

No sooner than she said the words, he took her lips in a strong kiss. It was a shock to her system. He never did anything in half measures and this kiss was no different. She was on the tips of her toes, meeting him in the hungry kiss. He drew her in tighter until she was flush against him and her arms locked around his neck.

It was every bit as intense as the man holding her. She didn’t want it to end.

“I was afraid of that,” he murmured when he finally pulled back.

She rested her forehead against his shoulder and felt his fingers comb through the loosened strands of hair.

“Afraid of what?”

“You. Wanting more if I had a taste.”

She lifted her head to look into his eyes. He smiled that crooked smile she was coming to love.

“Just being honest.”

She smacked his chest lightly and then smoothed her hand over the fabric there. “Yeah, well if it makes you feel any better…I want more too.”

He groaned softly. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, her nose, and finally her lips. She melted into his hold with her lips clinging to his. Kissing with Tyler was more than it ever was with anyone else. She wanted to sink in and never come back up.

“Easy.” He was breathing hard when he ripped his mouth from hers. “You could kill a man.”

“Same goes.”

He pressed his forehead to her and laughed breathlessly. “Yeah, we’re going to do this. You’re mine, sweetheart.”

“You weren’t sure up until now?”

He laughed again. “Don’t be cute right now.”

“Sorry, I’ll see what I can do about turning that off.”

She barely got the last word out before he kissed her again.

“I’m trying to find some control,” he murmured against her lips. “Help me out.”

“Sorry.”

He stole one more kiss before he pulled back, grabbing her hands and squeezing.

“Let me get you home.”

“Scared?”

“Out of my mind.”

She laughed and let him turn her back toward the truck. When his arms wrapped around her waist she nestled into him. They walked back up the beach like that, laughing and teasing each other as they went.

He helped her into the truck and stilled, his eyes on something in the distance. She settled into the seat and frowned up at him. All signs of amusement left his face. His eyes were hard and his jaw set as he scanned the night.

“What is it?” she asked, trying to find whatever held his attention.

“Nothing.”

He gently swung her legs into the truck and closed the door with a smile. With more look out at the road, he climbed in and drove off.

By the time he pulled up to the house, she was exhausted but still reluctant to leave him. He surprised her when he opened his car door. Usually he pulled up to the guesthouse, waited for her to get inside, and then left. He was helping her down from the truck when she found her tongue.

“What are you doing?”

“Walking you to your door.”

She studied him, but he seemed as easygoing as he was earlier. Whatever bothered him before, he was over it now. She searched through her pack for her keys and came up with them just as they reached the door.

“Get inside, sweetheart.”

“I’m going. Thank you for tonight. I needed that. Somehow you always seemed to know.”

He kissed her temple. Then her cheek. “You’re welcome. Go.”

She grinned up at him. “You really like me,” she teased.

“I don’t know why. You’re a brat.”

“You like my mean streak.” She stroked a hand over his cheek. “Goodnight Tyler.”

He turned his head to kiss her palm. “Goodnight sweetheart.”

She reluctantly pulled away and unlocked the door. He was already backpedaling toward the stairs.

She couldn’t resist one last tease. “Still scared?”

“Shaking in my boots, baby. Lock up.”

She nodded and shut the door, waiting. A knock sounded against door and she burst into laughter. She turned the lock.

“Better?” she asked the door.

“Brat.” And then all she heard were his footsteps and the truck starting back up.

 

<< Chapter 8 || Chapter 10 >>

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