His fingers touched my jaw and slithered down, softly tracing the contours of my neck and the scrapes until he reached the top of my tank top. My eyes closed as I drowned in the pleasure of his touch. His other thumb swept gingerly across my bottom lip. My lips parted, catching his thumb in my mouth, and sucked on it. A soft moan came from his throat, making the yearning burn deeper in my body. My eyes fluttered open to see him staring down at me. For a brief time we stayed like that, lost in everything we had left unsaid. Urgently, he slid his hands to the back of my neck, cupping my face. He concentrated intently on my lips as he lowered his slowly to mine, which ached for his touch.
A burst of electric shocks rippled through my body, sparking an intense passion that completely overtook me. There was nothing in the world I wanted more. Every touch was like fire, the taste of his lips spurred a divine hunger, a craving that was an insatiable, endless need for him.
My eyes darted around the forest and the canopy. The air that shimmered between a break in the trees grabbed my attention. Like ocean waves, the air danced and bobbed between the trees with increasing urgency. It twisted and rolled until a tall, broad, gorgeous man with piercing blue eyes stood there. A high pitch noise escaped me as I stared at him in fear. He was dressed in black leather pants and a black fitted shirt, which hugged every muscle to perfection. He was the vision from the dance, but this time I could see all of him clearly. And, wow, even though I was scared to death, I could appreciate the man’s breathtaking looks and toned physique.
He looked to be in his mid-to-late twenties, although there was something ageless and ancient about him at the same time. If his black hair and alluring smile didn’t bring me to my knees, the magnetic energy resonating off him did. It seized me and turned my senses into an overcharged battlefield. I was mesmerized, terrified, and aroused by him all at the same time. As he stepped closer, I jerked back. I stumbled over a rock and fell to the ground, scrapping my arm. My throat strained as I tried to choke out a cry.
Without even seeing him move, he was now only inches from me. “I am Torin.” He said his name with honor and pride. Taking my hand, his lips brushed against my knuckles, sending butterflies to duke it out in my stomach. Okay Em, now you are letting your hallucinations name themselves and touch you.
At eighteen, I still had imaginary friends. Hot ones, granted, but still . . .
“I won’t deny I’m good at it, but it’s definitely not one of my many hidden talents. Or so I’ve been told.”
His expression revealed nothing, but there was no doubt as to what he was hinting at. My cheeks turned
a deep shade of pink and I quickly turned away from him. I didn’t miss the smirk cutting across his face.
“T-that’s not . . . I mean . . . I wasn’t insinuating . . .” It usually wasn’t easy to turn me into a stammering mess, but he seemed to do it effortlessly.
“What’s wrong, Ember?” A cruel, smug smile tugged at the corner of Eli’s mouth. “You don’t strike me as the type who gets thwarted so easily.” Eli’s bright eyes penetrated so deeply into mine it made me feel as if all my inner thoughts and feelings were being unveiled.
“Thwart suggests you defeated or outwitted me.” My eyebrows arched in a mocking response, challenging him. A slow, unsettling grin spread over his face, but he stayed silent. “What’s wrong Eli?
You don’t strike me as the type who gets surmounted so easily.”
You want to play vocabulary? Fine, bring it, I thought.
His eyebrow cocked, and I immediately wanted to slap myself. Oh, you idiot. Why did you have to use that word?
“It’s a little early in our relationship for us to be ‘surmounting,’ but, hey, I’m game if you are. I’ll even let you be on top.” He looked directly at me, a coy smile playing on his lips.
Whenever I thought I had the upper hand, Eli seemed to be able to pull my legs out from under me, knocking me off my game. I grappled for any kind of thought not including images of this boy’s naked body or his fingers against my bare skin. I shook my head, trying to rid my mind of the vivid images playing out in my head.
He moved in closer, causing warmth to flare through me as he brushed my arm. He leaned down and whispered in my ear, his hot breath slipping teasingly down my neck and spine. “I’ll be waiting eagerly for a good retort from that wicked tongue of yours. I’m sure you will come back with some mindblowing licks for me.” He stepped back away from me. Watching me flounder for words and the chagrin spreading over my cheeks only widened his smile.
Darkness of Light
by Stacey Marie Brown
Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.
Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.
When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.
Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted.
But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.
Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.
When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.