ONE DAY! That’s it . . . only one more day until the release of Two Hearts: Beyond Control. One day until I can call myself a published author.
The past two days we’ve peeked under the cover for an early look at chapter 1. It’s a pretty long chapter, so I’ve split it into thirds–one for each day leading up to tomorrow’s release. Today’s post is the last section. (If you missed the previous posts, click the links below to start at the beginning of the chapter . . . wouldn’t want you to miss any of the fun.)
Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy! ~CJ
Chapter 1, Countdown
I’d noticed him earlier. Dinner was already being served when he’d arrived, late and alone. He’d crossed the ballroom in long, easy strides, looking confident and sexy in a black tailored tux. All the women had turned to watch him, including me. He’d disappeared into a section of tables, and I hadn’t seen him for the rest of the evening . . . until now.
Checking out this guy was wrong, especially while I was in my husband’s arms, but something about him intrigued me. I couldn’t resist.
No harm in looking, right?
He was tall, about six foot three, with jet-black hair that stopped just short of touching his collar. His fitted white shirt tapered to a narrow waist. The sleeves were turned up at the cuffs, revealing just a hint of his toned forearms and an expensive looking black-and-silver watch. My gaze drifted toward his face, stopping to notice that his tie and top button were undone.
My eyes continued their journey to his jaw, admiring the dark stubble that covered his olive skin, then moved on to his warm chocolate eyes that were staring right at mine.
Busted. I sucked in a sharp breath.
He winked then smiled at me, igniting a fire in my cheeks.
I buried my face in Will’s chest, trying to hide and wanting him to keep me safe like he always did. I needed to get out of here, now, and placed a single kiss on Will’s neck. “Let’s go back to our room and finish what we started.”
One hand tightened on my waist while his other tipped my chin toward him. “It’s still early, babe. I thought you were having fun.”
I shrugged and tried to look away. His dismissal stung, but I didn’t want him to see that. “I was, but—”
Will placed a finger over my lips. “How about we relax and have a drink or two. You look so beautiful tonight. I want to show you off a little longer.” He caressed the side of my face and gave me a tender kiss. “Then you can have me all to yourself for the rest of the night.”
I didn’t want to stay, but maybe a drink and a little flirting would restore my mood. “Sure. Whatever.” My response sounded as deflated as I felt.
When the song ended, Will led me to a small table in one of the alcoves. He gave me a quick peck on the cheek, pulled out a chair, and motioned for me to sit down.
“The usual?” he asked over his shoulder as he walked away.
I nodded in response.
“I’ll be right back.” He disappeared into the crowd of people gathered around the bar.
Will returned a few minutes later with our drinks: a whiskey on the rocks for him and an absolutely huge strawberry margarita for me.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” I teased, attempting to get us back on track. I swirled my straw in my drink and took a tentative sip. It was sweet and refreshing. “Mmmm, this is really good.” I took another sip, this one longer.
Will tossed back half of his drink then laughed as he sat down across from me. “Better take it easy, lightweight. You will get drunk at that pace.” He reached across the table and took my hand. “And then I just might be forced to take advantage of you.”
I wiggled my eyebrows and took another long sip of my drink, daring him to bring it on.
Will glanced at his watch then let his eyes wander slowly around the room before settling on me. We sat there silently, enjoying each other’s company. He caressed my hand and watched while I sipped away at my drink.
Before I realized it, I’d sucked down the entire thing. My head felt a little woozy, but my mood had definitely improved.
“You really do look very beautiful tonight, Danielle.”
It wasn’t something I heard often. Will’s compliment, a few simple words, was more perfect than any gift he could have given me. Except for one, maybe, but the night wasn’t over yet.
“Why thank you, Mr. DeLaney, and you’re looking quite handsome yourself.” I continued in a less playful voice. “Thanks for bringing me here tonight. I know I gave you a really hard time about going out, but I’m glad we’re here . . . and”—I motioned for him to come closer—“if you come upstairs with me, I’ll show you just how glad I am.”
Will leaned back in his chair. He picked up his glass and swirled its contents then downed the last of his drink. When he returned the glass to the table, he kept his fingers wrapped around it, mindlessly wiping at the condensation.
Clearly, he was stalling.
“I was thinking we could hit the dance floor one more time before we call it a night,” he finally said, his eyes fixed on his glass.
Well, that wasn’t the response I was looking for. I didn’t say anything—I couldn’t. My efforts to rekindle our sex life couldn’t be so ambiguous as to go unnoticed, which meant he was ignoring my attempts to seduce him. But why? I waited for him to look at me, hoping he was teasing.
Instead he stood and leaned across the table to give me a quick kiss. “I just need to use the restroom first. Wait here.”
That quickly, he was gone, walking across the room toward the lobby.
I had no idea what had just happened. What man wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to take his wife to bed?
I needed a distraction, something to keep me entertained until Will returned. I pulled out my phone to check my messages. A long list of birthday wishes and New Year’s greetings waited for me when I signed into my social network. I scrolled through, reading and acknowledging each one. When I reached the end of the list, I checked the time—twenty minutes had gone by. Will should have been back by now.
When the waitress passed by, I asked her to bring me another giant margarita—so much for staying sober tonight—then went back to surfing the web.
Still no sign of Will. I was beginning to get worried and, I had to admit, a bit annoyed. He’d better have a good reason for leaving me alone for so long.
I called his cell. No answer. I typed a quick text—Where are you? I’m lonely—and hit the send button just as my drink arrived . . . in the hands of the hot-as-hell stranger from the dance floor.
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter and are anxious for more. Get your copy of Two Hearts: Beyond Control to continue reading Danni’s story.
The paperback version is available today at CreateSpace.com.
© CJ Andrews 2016. All rights reserved.