Amber to Ashes excerpt. Amazon preorder link: Here.

Amber stares at me, her knee furiously ticking up and down while I wait for her to acknowledge the picture I’ve painted for her.

Nothing. She’s mute, her eyes gazing into mine.

I feel compelled to say something, so I go with the first thing that pops into my mind. “What color panties are you wearing?”

“Pink,” she answers through a shaky whisper, her breathing becoming sporadic.

“Matching bra?”

She nods, her teeth attacking her bottom lip.

Jesus. I have no clue where I’m going with this, but I’m not about to fucking stop. “Have you thought about our kiss?”

Another nod.

“The way I tasted?”

“Yes,” she breathes.

“How many times?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do.” My hand goes to the nape of her neck, and I gently guide her beautiful face within inches of mine. “How many times have you thought about it?”

“Why are you doing this to me, Ryder?”

“You started it, and not for nothing. I couldn’t stop if I wanted.” My rough breathing mirrors hers. “Now answer the fucking question, Amber. How many times have you thought about it?”

She trembles, confusion glazing the unsated want in her eyes. “I… I haven’t stopped thinking about it.”

“Then kiss me,” I whisper gruffly, unwilling to take it from her this time. I’ve already pulled the asshole card. I can’t do it again. Besides, I want it to come from her. Need it. “If you haven’t stopped thinking about it, then kiss me like you know you want to.”

“Fuck off,” she half hisses, half moans as I fist her hair. My lips graze her soft cheek, my head dizzy from her sweet raspberry scent. “You’re not even thinking about Brock.”

“Are you?” I pull back a fraction, my gaze digging into hers. “’Cause that’s not what I’m getting here. Nah, I’m not getting that at all.”

She swallows. “What do want me to say, Ryder? You want me to tell you that I want you? That I’ve pictured fucking you?”

I manage a smirk. “Yeah, we can start with that.”

“Fine! I’ve pictured fucking you a million different ways from Tuesday. I’ve pictured what it’d be like to ride your cock until neither of us could take it anymore. Pictured what it’d feel like sucking on it until my cheeks hurt.” Her eyes narrow. “But you wanna know something else?”

I’m positive I’ve never been this fucking hard, and I want her to kiss me now more than I did before, but I’m not sure I want to know what she’s about to say. My eyes hit every inch of her face.

“I think you’re spitting game,” she continues, not waiting for my response, “and I’m sick enough that I kind of like it. I like being dirty. Real dirty. But not dirty enough to screw over your friend, because I actually like him. He has something to offer me, and you don’t. You’re nowhere close to relationship material.”

Rebellion’s bold in her tone, but her eyes kill the delivery by showing a flash of remorse.

Fuck not pulling the asshole card. It’s officially pulled.

I crash my lips to Amber’s, and our tongues collide, exploding into a kiss charged with lust and anger. She moans, pulls her knees onto the seat, and all but crawls over the console. Furiously matching my strokes, her body hums as she sinks her fingers into my hair, gripping it tighter than I am hers.

“You think I have nothing to offer you?” I growl over her mouth. I nip and suck every exposed piece of skin—her collarbone, shoulder, neck, jaw, ear. Shit, if her tits were out, they’d be in my mouth. She moans again, her breathing clipped, her heart pounding as she unleashes her pent-up sexual anguish. “Is that what you think, Amber? I have nothing to offer you?”

“Yes,” she answers through a pant, digging her nails into my skull as she straddles my lap.

God help us both. I’m about to take her right here in my car.

Lips still plastered to mine, she reaches to the side and yanks up on the seat recliner, sending us flying back. She dives in for more, her kiss frantic, nearly begging me to pound the ever-loving shit out of her. Hard and fast, I lick into her mouth, my cock twitching as I rough my hands under her tank top, my fingers squeezing her ribs.

She moans, rocking her hips in rhythm with our rushed breathing. “The only thing you have to offer me is a good lay, Ryder, and I can find that anywhere.”

“You think so?” I snarl, kneading my thumbs under her bra. I brush a hardened nipple. Christ. “Are you sure about that?”

“I’m positive,” she hisses over another moan as she starts working the fly of my jeans.

I pull my hands from under her tank top, grip her waist, and tear my mouth from hers. “Then why the fuck are you still kissing me?”

Realization twists her face a split second before she pulls back. She looks at me, hungry for more, and just when I think she’s going to kiss me again, she smacks the very same cheek she smacked the day we met.

A smirk dusts my lips. “You have no idea how fucking hard you make me when you do that. Here.” I tap the cheek she has yet to assault. “Go at it, peach. Smack this one if I piss you off that much.”

“You’re an asshole!” She pushes open the door and stumbles out, her knees coming close to kissing the pavement.

I sit up and shake my head, not even attempting to understand what she’s thinking as she storms toward what I assume is her building.

Purse less.

I yank her purse from the seat, roll down the window, and punch the horn a few times. “Hey, Moretti!” I catch not only her attention, but several other students’. I dangle the fucking thing out the window. “You forgot this.”

Breathing heavily, she’s frozen in her spot.

I grin, step from the car, and lean against the hood, cheerfully swinging the strap around my finger. “Well? Do you want it back or not?”

“You drive me nuts, Ryder!” She throws her arms out to the side. “Fucking nuts!”

I chuckle, completely convinced the girl’s lost her shit. “Good!”

“Good?” she parrots, her eyes as wide as basketballs. “Good? You think this is good?”

“Did I fucking stutter?”

Acting like two certified idiots has officially gained us a large crowd who’s curiously watching us. Amused, I resume acting like an idiot, well aware that I might have to transport us both to the nearest psychiatric ward by the time we’re finished.

“And who’s driving who nuts, Amber?”  I point to my hardened cock. “I didn’t do this on my own. You’re a fucking tease.”

Her jaw hits the ground. “What?”

“You heard me.” I smirk, testing just how far I can take her. “You’re the queen of cock tease. Take a bow for the crowd.”

She looks around, and with a smirk of her own, she does just that. She takes a bow, straightens, and gives everyone the finger. “The show’s over, assholes. Time to go away.”

Yup. She’s my missing half.

Copyright © 2014 Gail McHugh