Jarod Prentiss doesn’t wear a mask and a cape after work but he does keep a major part of his identity under wraps. Noted child psychologist by day; popular romance author by night. Shari Dunham, freelance writer has come cross-country to San Diego specifically to interview Jarod and learn about his work as a fiction writer, as well as ferret out his secrets. But Jarod isn’t the only one holding something back. Shari has a secret too, but it’s not one she will tell willingly.
Note from the author: this story does contain some mature themes and is not meant to be read by anyone under the age of 18.
This story was originally featured in full on this blog under the title Flawed Spirit. It has been removed to go back to the editing phase before it is published in 2014 under its new title.
Jarod pulled into the long circular driveway of her hotel but he stopped the car and disengaged the engine at least 25 feet from the entrance. He sat staring out the window for a beat before he spoke.
“I need to ask you a question.”
“Before you do Jarod, I really have to say something. I’m so sorry about the way I acted back there. What I said while we were on the dance floor about your wife…your ex-wife, I mean. I don’t know what came over me or what I was thinking, or why I even thought I had the right to be so suspicious. I really hope you can forgive me.”
“I can,” he said without hesitation, “on one condition. I need you to answer a question for me honestly.”
Shari was reminded of a similar request she made of Jarod earlier that day and said frankly “I can do that.”
“Are you interested in Brandon?”
Unbuckling his seat belt he turned his upper body fully in her direction, “I said are you interested in Brandon Keller?”
“NO! Why would you even think that?”
“Because it’s clear in the few minutes you spent with him that he’s very interested in you.”
Shari kept moving her head back and forth as if it were a salt shaker and she could just shake what Jarod was saying out of it.
“No, I don’t think that’s right. He was just being ah…oh, I don’t even know him well enough to know what he was being.”
“Suggestive? Seductive? Interested?” Jarod had taken her hand as he said the words and was looking down at it pensively while gently rubbing his thumb along the back. “See, I do know him well enough. I also know what you meant earlier. I don’t recognize myself right now either. I’ve never wanted to kick someone’s teeth in so badly because they sniffed someone.” Jarod looked up into her eyes then; his, a little lost, questioning. “I don’t have a frame of reference for my behavior tonight. It’s unnerving.”
Smiling she said, “You’re sounding like a therapist again.”
Ignoring her he asked another question, “Is there someone else, at home I mean, in New York?”
“No…not anymore. Not for a…”
His arms were clasped around her and his lips were on hers before she could finish answering the question. Sliding his hand down her side and to her hip he tapped the button of the seat belt freeing her then pulled her gently but firmly to his lap. She thought she’d heard a groan coming from deep in his throat as he plundered her mouth with his.
Her head felt light and her breath was thin. The taste and feel of him had put her in the center of a vortex with no supports, no hand or footholds. She tried to focus but realized with some surprise that her panties and inner thighs were very moist. Vibrantly aware of the power and strength in his legs underneath her; she adjusted her backside, swiveling her hips and desperately seeking some purchase for her throbbing core. She was so turned on and everything was moving quickly. Even though they’d just met today If he wanted to he could take her right now, in the car, in front of the hotel, and she wouldn’t stop him.
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