E X C E R P T
Raphael North stands on the other side of the abnormally thick glass. He’s dressed in a plain dark blue t-shirt, and a pair of washed out blue jeans. His feet are completely bare. His hair is even darker than it was in his picture, if that’s at all possible. Almost curly, too. It’s then that I realize it’s wet—he must have just gotten out of the shower. There are small dark patches on his t-shirt where water has obviously soaked through the material.
He turns those startling vivid green eyes on me and I’m breathless all over again. It feels like I’m tumbling over some steep cliff face, a weightless sensation turning my stomach over as I fall. Inside, I’m back to wanting to flee the building. Externally, I’m praying to deities of faiths and religions all over the world that I don’t look like I’m about to slump in an unconscious mess on the floor right in front of him. My top lip begins to twitch—something that only happens when I’m really, really anxious. Without thinking, I press my fingertips to my mouth, as if I can put a halt to the twitching by touch alone. A strange look passes over Raphael’s face. A slight movement at the corner of his mouth. I can’t decide if it’s displeasure or amusement. Either way, the reaction is fleeting, barely noticeable at all, and then his face is a blank mask again. He places his hand on a curved silver handle on the other side of the door, and then pulls it toward him, opening it. There are no barriers now. Nothing standing between myself and a man whispered and gossiped about by an entire city. Screw that, an entire nation. I’m in an enviable position right now, but I’d gladly thank the universe if the ground opened up and swallowed me whole.
The first words Raphael North speaks to me will haunt me until the day I die. He angles his head ever so slightly to one side, then says, “Your toenail polish is chipped, Ms. Dreymon.”
Lord have mercy. His voice is deep but soft. It has no hard edges, but at the same time his tone is overflowing with self-confidence and command.
“I’m sorry, I…wasn’t aware of your no-shoe policy.”
A U T H O R B I O
Callie Hart is a USA Today bestselling author of dark romance novels. She is an obsessive romantic who loves throwing a dark twist into her stories. Her characters are imperfect, flawed individuals who dictate when she eats, sleeps and breathes. She loves to travel, and often pens her books when she's on the road, drawing inspiration from her often unique and wild surroundings.
If she's not writing, you'll undoubtedly find her with her nose buried deep in a book, or binge watching Game of Thrones.
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