Fragment: In the Afterlight

Kto jeszcze nie czytał (i nie chce) to w rozwinięciu jest fragment In the Afterlight; dodatkowo kolejny fragment pojawi się już we wrześniu!
Fragment po angielsku, nie wiem czy pojawi się tłumaczenie.

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

My fingers were still gripping his shirt when I pulled back. My voice sounded low, rough to my ears. I had to fight for the words, and I was so self-conscious I wasn’t sure I was ever going to pick the right ones. “I want to—”

The dazed look faded from his face as he watched me, waiting. 

I want to … I felt my face flush, but I couldn’t tell if it was out of embarrassment or because of the images flashing through my mind. I’d never felt so awkward and tense. I’d kissed him before, really kissed him, but every time before had felt like it had been prompted by stress or urgency or anger, and each had been cut off by the demands of the world around us. This was really the first chance I’d had to think about him, all of him, slowly; to make a thorough study of him. The feel of his hands. The rasp of his stubble. The small, breathless sounds he made at the back of his throat.

We were in a pantry and there were kids working outside in the kitchen. The rational part of me knew the limits of this moment, but next time, if we were somewhere else, and if we had another moment to ourselves alone—what then? I felt a small tremor work through me, powered by equal parts panic and longing.

I wouldn’t know what to do. How not to mess it up.

Liam’s hands covered mine as he leaned back against the shelves. Relief broke over me when I saw his smile. He understood. Of course he did. From the moment I’d met him, he’d known me better than I’d known myself. When he spoke, his voice was sweet, but his expression was anything but. There was mischief in his eyes, a hungry look. There was a jolt low in my gut as I realized it was because of me.

“Now, darlin’, I just had myself a little thought.” 

“Did you?” I murmured, distracted by the way he reached up to run his thumb over my bottom lip.

“I did indeed. It being that you are seventeen and I’m eighteen, and we have every damn right to make out like teenagers. Like normal, happy, crazy kids.”

He hooked two fingers over the waistband of my jeans and tugged me closer. I loved his voice when he lowered it like that. His accent broadened, warmed like summer air in the minutes before a thunderstorm. It was the full-on Stewart charm assault, and I was totally helpless against it.

“You want to hear the rules?”

My heart jackhammered as I nodded. That same hand slid around my hip, up under my shirt, and felt warm and perfect against my lower back. I closed my eyes as his lips just barely brushed mine. His touch made me feel brave. It pushed the uncertainty back until it couldn’t reach me.

“The first one is you can’t think too hard about it. The second is you say when you want to stop. The third is you do whatever feels good to you. The fourth is—”

“—you stop talking,” I said, blindly reaching back to pull the door shut, “and kiss me?”

(c) Alexandra Bracken

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