Okay…so Blind is running behind schedule for multiple reasons. I’m sorry! As an apology for my tardiness, I present to you part of the first chapter of Blind. I cut it short because it gets pretty…uh…steamy about there. Too many things to star out. I hope you enjoy this small excerpt, though! There’s more on the way very soon!!! I promise!
Nicki Sosebee was driving home after stopping by the grocery store. She didn’t go shopping that often, but she’d been thinking of making something for dinner for her and her new boyfriend Sean.
God, she still couldn’t wrap her mind around that thought. Sean was her f***ing boyfriend.
Hell, he was her lover.
They’d been together for about a week, and Nicki still had a hard time believing it, probably because they’d avoided a relationship for far too long. And they still hadn’t talked much about it, maybe because Sean couldn’t believe it either.
So Nicki decided to cook dinner for them. She’d had more free time lately, thanks to her job as a waitress at Napoli. Ever since new owners had taken over, her hours had been cut, and since she and Sean had hooked up, she hadn’t minded much. He’d let her move into his apartment to help with her expenses, so she was able to live on less. She still earned money through her work as a freelance reporter at the Winchester Tribune as well, but it only paid when she wrote.
She’d been lying low for a few days, though. She’d spent more than a month reporting on the meth problem in her town of Winchester, a problem that it seemed most residents had wanted to turn a blind eye to, and she’d pointed a finger at one of the richest, most influential citizens as being behind it all. Nicki was convinced that a prostitute she’d interviewed had been killed because of her last article, so even though she wanted to do more, she was waiting a few days for the dust to settle.
Lucky Sean would get all of her extra attention.
She’d spent the day at her parents’ house, just visiting and chatting with her mother. And the whole time, Nicki hadn’t said a word about her relationship with Sean.
It was weird…it wasn’t that Nicki was ashamed or embarrassed. Hell no. And it wasn’t like her infatuation had ever been secret. In fact, she’d thought her attraction to Sean had been well disguised, but apparently even her mother knew. The only reason why Nicki had even figured that one out had been from her mother’s comments when Nicki had first moved in with Sean. Her mother had clarified, wanting to make sure they would just be roommates.
She knew what caused part of her reluctance to tell. Her best friends Brandy and Jillian hadn’t ever seemed to care much for Sean. They’d both thought Sean had just been stringing Nicki along. Now Nicki knew better. He’d just felt vulnerable, like she herself had.
That wasn’t all of it, though. Nicki was almost afraid that if she said anything, it would curse the magic…break the spell. Well, she’d thought that at first. Now, though, she just didn’t care. Eventually, she knew, everyone would find out, but she wasn’t in any big hurry to put out a press release.
In the meantime, though, she wanted to swing by Sean’s shop. He didn’t always leave right at five o’clock, because he’d usually stay there and work out. He’d moved all his exercise equipment to his garage when Nicki had moved in so she could stay in his extra bedroom. Maybe now that she didn’t actually sleep in there anymore, he could move it all back.
She drove to his garage and saw light spilling out of the bay door windows. Yep…he was still there. She wanted to let him know she was cooking dinner so he wouldn’t bring anything home. Turned out Sean cooked more than she did, and she didn’t want him to swing by the store too. Sure, she could have called him, but she wanted to see him. She hadn’t seen him since lunch time and she felt like she was dying.
The door was unlocked but she could hear sounds of…hmmm…not his usual poison. Usually, Sean cranked Godsmack or Pantera when he worked, but not today. But he played hard and heavy music, especially when he was working, so maybe he was still tinkering on his latest bike. And she finally identified the CD as she reached the door…it was Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil, about midway through.
She opened the door, though, and saw him in the corner farthest from the door, and then the full blast of the music hit her. Sean had a boxing bag–a speed bag, Nicki thought he’d called it–hanging in the corner, but he also had a Bowflex tucked away next to it. Since Sean did most of his bike work closer to the middle of the garage, near the office area, his exercise equipment didn’t look out of place and it certainly wasn’t crowding the work area. In fact, Nicki had almost forgotten he’d moved it here.
Sean was moving his arms rhythmically and at a pace that Nicki figured had given the piece of equipment the name speed bag in the first place. He was moving his arms to a steady rhythm, matching the beat of “Red Hot,” the song that was blaring out of the speakers. Just as soon as the side of one fist would smack the bag, the next one would follow up, and so on and so on. It was almost mesmerizing, and after standing just inside the doorway for a minute, Nicki had to shake herself out of her hypnotic daze.
She set her purse on his workbench and continued walking toward the corner, in a trance from the steady beat he was pounding out. It was chilly in the garage, but Sean wasn’t wearing a shirt, and as Nicki got closer, she appreciated the view. Sean’s biceps–not bulky but muscular just the same–were glistening in spite of the cool air, and the definition stood out, probably because he was working them out. She said his name but not loudly enough, because he didn’t even turn, even though she was just two yards away. So she decided to touch him lightly on the shoulder and then move into his line of sight. The way he was turned, he couldn’t see her.
And as she approached, she continued taking in details about her boyfriend, all the things she’d always loved about Sean…not just his well-cared-for physique, but his tousled dark blonde hair, his flared sideburns, his smattering of tattoos. She couldn’t see her favorite one, the acronym BAMF tattooed on the knuckles of his right hand, because he had both hands wrapped in gauze. From this angle, she couldn’t see his dark blue eyes or the soul patch on his chin either, but she knew she would soon enough.
As she touched his upper arm with her fingertips, he responded, not missing a beat, but it was almost like Sean wasn’t in his own body. In an instant that passed so quickly Nicki couldn’t register what happened, Sean spun, grabbing her arm and turning her more than one-hundred-eighty degrees, pushing her back up against the wall. The curled-up fist on his other arm was just inches from her face. By the time Sean gained control of himself, realizing it was Nicki, she was breathless, her nerves tingling, her body filled with fear.
Her breath was rapid but shallow, and she knew that Sean’s brain must have been turned off while he’d been beating on the bag, working out his demons. His blue eyes searched her brown ones as though he were confused, trying to sort out what had just happened. In that moment, she realized she’d put her hands on his chest in a self-defensive maneuver that actually wouldn’t have done s**t if his basic instincts had followed through.
Instead she saw Sean emerge, his eyes flooding with understanding, but the look was still mixed with a primal energy that Nicki had never seen in him before. And she felt the hunger deep in the pit of her belly, a hunger for Sean that had been with her so long, she didn’t think it would ever be satisfied.
F**k. Sean had been just inches away from hitting her in the face and she was turned on?
Yeah. And she couldn’t tell if her uneven breathing was caused by fear or arousal. She couldn’t explain it, nor did she want to. Not right now anyway. Her eyes searched his, and she saw his pupils widen, probably in response to her. So she kissed him, unable to hold herself back anymore, and he responded, his tongue in her mouth the instant her lips touched his. He pressed up against her, and she knew then that she wanted him, right then and there, even though it was cold in the garage.