Drip Drop Teardrop Page 14

They ended up at a club downtown she had never gone to before. It was a lot smaller than 4.0 and it was in a basement, but the DJ had good taste in music. At first she felt awkward walking into the club with Brennus. People stared and Brennus had to hold her hand and infuse that calm over her so she wouldn’t hyperventilate. Inside, the staring continued, following Brennus as he left Avery at the edge of the dance floor to get drinks. He was back in record time and she shook her head in bemusement as her gaze took in the crowds around the bar. I’m not even going to ask, she thought as she sipped her JD and coke. As they watched the people on the throbbing dance floor, the music teasing Avery, twitching its fingers on her hips and urging her towards the main floor, she wondered if Brennus even enjoyed this kind of dancing. Sure, he liked holding her close and swaying to the lilt of good old Paul Weller… but R&B, hip hop…?

When she finished her drink, Brennus took her glass and dumped it on a nearby table with his own. Then he was taking her hand and leading her into the throng of figures. His strong arms caught around her waist, nudging up the silk of her shirt so his fingers brushed her bare skin. She sucked in her breath as goosebumps exploded in ripples across her flesh. Her heart raced harder, faster as he drew her into the heat of his body. She had her answer.

Brennus knew how to dance.

The music was like a drug. She forgot who she was. Who he was. That he scared people. That people were staring. Instead she slid her arms up across his chest to lock around his neck, enjoying the way his eyes flared with heat. It was enthralling to have someone with his power in her control.

Seconds later Avery wished she had never dared that arrogant thought.

As his hips caught hers, their bodies sliding across one another, she realised he wasn’t in her control.

His head dipped and he brushed a tentative kiss across her lips.

She was in his.

Avery groaned and tugged him back, pressing her lips harder against his gorgeous mouth, widening her own invitingly. He took the invitation with a dangerous growl that shocked her, his kiss deep, his tongue dancing with hers in the most carnal make-out session she’d ever had. As she felt the press of him, felt his excitement against her hip, Avery curled into him, her fingernails clawing into his skin as if afraid he wasn’t real. She deepened the kiss. It was wet. Hard. Aggressive. So not her. Yet she’d never felt more like herself. His hand slid down her back, stroking the sensitive dimples on her lower back, his other sliding up, his thumb stroking the underside of her breast. Her needy whimper purred against his mouth and Brennus broke the kiss abruptly. They both stared wide-eyed at one another, struggling to draw breath. Avery’s whole body was on fire and she knew by the heat in his dark eyes, Brennus’ was feeling that burn.

Oh my God, she stumbled back a little. What the hell was she doing?!

“I um… I’m going to get a drink,” she muttered, knowing somehow he could hear her.

He nodded tightly, his gaze unwavering. “I’ll have a beer. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Brennus brushed past her, blurring through the crowds.

Avery exhaled, pressing a hand to her chest where her heart beat a rapid tattoo. “I’m officially losing it,” she whispered and made her way towards the bar.

For some reason Avery seemed to have whatever magic Brennus had, and people groaned in irritation as the bartender ignored everyone to take her order. She was back on the dance floor in minutes. But there was still no Brennus. She sipped her drink, suddenly feeling awkward to be alone. She’d never felt that way before. Only 48 hours in this guy’s company and he’s stripping you of your independence. She shook her head in determination. Stay strong, Ave, stay strong. She licked her lips. She could still taste him. Avery winced at her own weakness.

As she waited, a good-looking guy a few inches shorter than Brennus sauntered up to her, all arrogant smile and cocky twinkle in the eye. She studied him as he approached. His hair was an in-between colour. Not dark brown, not light brown. Not dark enough, she mused. And his eyes, she thought, as he stopped in front of her. They were blue. She liked dark eyes. Black as jet.

“Hey sweetheart.” The guy knocked his glass against hers in greeting. “What’s a gorgeous girl like you doing standing here all alone?”

The guy turned out to be pretty hard to shake. He went from casual flirty to obnoxious in knot to sixty seconds. His hand brushed familiarly down her cheek and she jerked back, telling him politely to back off. He didn’t. Instead he urged her to dance with him. She said no. He wrapped an arm around her waist, laughing, and cajoling her onto the dance floor. She dug in her heels and told him if he didn’t remove his hand she’d remove his testicles.

He blanched and backed off, muttering under his breath about the trials of frigid high school girls.

Avery shook her head at his departure and turned a little. Her breath caught. Brennus just stood there a few metres away, watching her. He gave her a slight smile and headed over to her. She decided he had a sexy walk. Confident, even though he had to be aware people were staring at his scar, pointing and judging, making him ‘other’.

“You OK?” He asked, taking his beer from her and placing a proprietary hand on her hip. She tried to mind. But it was too exhausting.

“You saw?”

“The jerk? Yeah.”

Avery frowned. If Josh had been there, there would have been blood and drama and hyperventilation. “He was an ass**le.”

Brennus shrugged and smiled at her. “I knew you could handle it.”

Delicious warmth spread across her chest and she answered his smile with a wide grin. He made her feel eight feet tall. “Yeah?”

“Of course. I would have stepped in if you needed me, but I knew you didn’t.”

“Josh doesn’t think I can handle anything.”

“Well, Josh isn’t a two thousand year old Ankou who fought you for your life and lost.”

At that she burst out laughing. Real, happy laughter. The first in many months.

She hated to admit it, but she was kind of starting to like this guy. “Thank you.”

Brennus grinned back and took her hand, leading her back onto the dance floor. By the look in his eyes, she knew he was going to kiss her again.

And she was going to let him.

The Song You Sing Today

Wasn’t Always in Your Head

Avery was thankful that Brennus was sleeping elsewhere. He seemed to render her willpower non-existent. That’s why, the next morning, after lying in bed replaying the night before over and over in her head, flushing hot with how intimate it got, Avery began to pull away. At breakfast she answered his questions in monosyllabic tones, one word responses. When they took a walk in the estate in the woods, she pretended to hate the fresh crisp air and stunning surroundings. When he reached to brush her hair off her face and press a kiss to her lips, she jerked away from him like she’d been stung and made her way into the sitting room. Despite the fact her heart was racing a mile a minute and her lips tingled as if he really had kissed her, Avery flopped down on the sofa with an air of indifference and clicked on the flat screen. She only got through the first minute of a Friends re-run before the television screen blinked, the screen going black. Drawing on all her determination, she craned her neck around to see Brennus holding the remote and glaring down at her.

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