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Atlanta, GA, United States
I am the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best Selling author of The Proposition, Proposal, Music of the Heart, and Nets and Lies. I am represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich for all books except for Proposition and Proposal.
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The Proposition

The Proposition



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strings of the Heart Teaser

Howdy guys! I missed Teaser Tuesday, but how's Teaser Thursday sound? lol

In one fluid movement, Rhys closed the space between us, backing us into the corner of the drawing room. Immediately my head spun as I went into sensory overload at the nearness of him. His deep musky scent filled my nose while the heat radiating off his tux-clad body almost singed the skin exposed by my strapless couture. While I stared questioningly into his face, his dark eyes remained locked on my chest. To the average observer, one would have assumed Rhys was exhibiting typical male behavior by ogling my breasts, but I knew better. Most of all, I knew him better than that. His attention was drawn to the pendant nestled in the valley between my average-sized cleavage. 

When his fingers grazed against the bare skin of my breastbone, I couldn’t help the tremble that went through my body. I wanted nothing more than to feel his hands on me. If I was honest, I fantasized about them most nights, especially to get me through a dry spell without an orgasm. 

Once he had grasped the pendant, Rhys weighed it in his hand, taking in every aspect of it before his gaze flicked up to mine. “I can’t believe you still have this, least of all wear it.”

His almost accusatory tone momentarily stung me, and I jerked back from him. His grasp remained firm on the pendant, causing the satin ribbon to slice into my neck almost like I was on a leash. “Why wouldn’t I still have it?”

He shrugged. “I guess because it was so long ago when I gave it to you.”

“It was at my Sweet Sixteen party,” I reminded him. 

“I remember,” he murmured. 

“You do?”

He held my gaze as he fingered the raised magnolia on the pendant. “Of course I do.” One side of his lip quirked up in a half smile. “That was only four years ago, Allie-Bean. I’m not so old that I’m having memory loss.”

A nervous laugh escaped my lips. “You’re not old.”

“Just older than you,” he mused. 

“Only by a few years,” I countered, kicking my chin up determinedly. 

In his brown eyes flecked with gold, I saw the question he would never dare to verbalize. Four and half a years had passed since that momentous night out by the fountain at my party. There had been other loves and other life experiences for me. After all that time and distance, he wondered what was it about the simple necklace, hand painted by his sister, that made me continue to wear it, especially on the choker so close to my heart? 

What I wanted so desperately to tell him was I wore the necklace because in spite of all the loves and other life experiences for me, I was still madly and completely in love with him. Swallowing hard, I replied, “I like to wear it because I love magnolias—I always have. Magnolias remind me of strong women—the kind I aspire to be like. But most of all, it reminds me of home.”

Rhys slowly nodded his head, accepting my half-truths as if they were the gospel. In the end, maybe avoidance was better for both of us. At least for now, I would keep telling myself that. Now that we were on the cusp of uncharted territory, I would play the game for as long as I had to win his heart.

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