I love sharing these sneak peeks with you guys! Hope you enjoy this look into mature young adult, paranormal romance. (Due to strong some strong language, this read may only suitable for readers 16+)
(Echo sets the mood for the beginning of Obsessed - the beginning of Chapter 4
Chapter 4 : Obsessed
SOFT KNOCKS SOUND AGAINST THE FRONT DOOR NO SOONER than my mind blanks.
I grumble as I stand, feeling a demanding presence make my skin scatter with hair-raising goosebumps. Cracking open the door, I peek out at the late night visitor.
“Hey, Tracey. It’s Nathan.” My heart stutters as I widen the door to the familiar voice. I look up at expectant, brown eyes. “I’m sorry for stopping by so late. I wanted to check and make sure everything was okay with your car,” he says, looking over his shoulder. “I came by earlier, but you were gone.” His voice oddly feeds the transgressing desperation I’ve had for him all day. The freedom I regained earlier dissipates and again, I slowly succumb to this dynamic need.
“Umm, uh, yeah. Erum.” I clear my throat to remove the mumble. “Excuse me. Yes, everything is fine. My friend and I were at the mall, and I drove it to school. I didn’t see or hear anything out of place.” I smile, hoping he’ll return it.
He does, flashing an evenly aligned set of white teeth behind welcoming lips. I watch them as he says, “You two came back here together?” He smiles wider, a little deviously. “You having a sleepover?” His caring smile morphs cocky as an idea musters a glimmer in his eyes.
I sneer at his tool-ish remark. “No,” I answer wryly. “She’s just staying over, and we’re going to school together in the morning, and then to this party. She’ll probably come back over here after―.” Snapping my mouth shut, I stop myself from blabbering my entire life story. He did not ask for all that!
“Oh, okay.” He tilts his head to the side a bit, leaning his shoulder against the door panel. His expression darkens, bringing to mind what Scott had warned me about.
“Can I ask you a question?” I ask, observing him.
His weary expression shows his skepticism for my question. “Depends. But I didn’t come over to stay long. Seeing everything’s okay for you, I’ll be on my way. Cool?”
“Right,” I drag, shifting my gaze away from him to the full moon. It’s big and bright tonight and with how high it is in the sky; it must be late. Realizing that draws on my tired. I feel the yawn coming, but I can’t stop it. “Crap. I am so sorry.” I stare, shocked I just wide-mouth and watery-eyed yawned in front of him without covering it up. Clamping my hand over my mouth, I feel the tear escape and race down my cheek.
He reaches up, grazing his knuckles across my cheekbone. His thumb follows, wiping away the remaining moisture beneath my eye. My body reacts to the softness of his touch, turning my head to lean in against it.
“Looks like someone’s sleepy,” he drawls, dropping his hand. “Go back to bed, Tracey. Sorry I bothered you this late.”
He pivots and my hand shoots out, grabbing his. Realizing what I’ve done, I want to let go, but I am flooded with the burning, a comfort, and an unusual happiness. Even though I resent my actions, touching him makes everything right.
“Wait,” is all I can muster, becoming overwhelmed by the overpowering sensations his touch brings.
He turns back, head hung low, gaze cast on our hands. It’s hard to see his face with the moonlight behind him, but I can make out the light in his eyes when he looks at me. They reflect my want. But his mouth says, “Tracey,” in a whisper, “don’t.”
Saying a lot, without saying anything at all.
“I’m, I’m s-sorry,” I stutter as he removes his hand from my grasp. My chest cracks as it falls from mine.
He reluctantly steps closer, as if it’s against his inner will. “No, Tracey, don’t be sorry. I don’t want to hold you up any longer. I know you have to get up early for school.”
“Nathan?” His eyes focus in on me as his name leaves my lips. With him closer, I can see he’s fighting his words, maybe even fighting his feelings. His bottom lip twitches and his eyes squint a bit. “What are you trying not to say?” I ask with narrowed eyes. It bothers me I can’t figure him out.
He places his hand on the side of my face. Palm covering most of my lower jaw and his fingers resting against my neck, belonging there and allowing him the perfect cup of my face. “Don’t, Tracey,” he utters, rubbing his thumb back and forth against my cheek. “I can’t. I’m sorry. But I can’t.”
Heat radiates beneath his palm against my skin. I forget about all my worries and insecurities. I close my eyes and lean into it, craving more, feeling his eyes wash me with a studious stare, but I will say nothing. His touch is too amazing to interrupt; it’s too comfortable of a feeling from which to break away.
Please, I beg to myself, feeling the warmth surf through my neck, down to my chest. It burns and aches, and I realize he causes the discomfort I feel every time he’s around and leaves my presence. It’s worse when he’s gone, practically unbearable, but when he is around it’s warm and comforting. That’s something else I can’t explain.
I press my hand against his, wanting to feel him under my touch. He lets me, but for only a second and his hand slips away. And like the last leaf falling from an oak tree in the fall, I’m empty and cold. An ache quakes my tightening chest.
“I’ll see you around, Tracey.”
I shake my head. “Then why come by? Why are you here? Give me something,” I say, trying not to raise my voice as I’m consumed by an overbearing numbness and irritation.
“Go in the house and go to sleep, Tracey,” he instructs and glares, bored and ready for me to turn away.
I stand, with my offense reflected in my gaze. It’s unnerving and tormenting, his rejections and this unfulfilled need. I can’t explain it, but I know he makes it better . . . but then again, he makes it worse.
Nearing me, he takes me by my shoulders. “No. Okay? Accept the no.” He turns me around, and beside my ear he whispers, “I don’t want to make this worse for you. Good night, Tracey. I’m sorry, again, but no.” He places the softest kiss to the slope of my neck. “There’s your something.”
My heart forgets how to beat as he gently pushes me in the house. The no beat feels better than the spasms. The door closes behind me and I back against it, sliding to the floor. With my heart stuck in mid-beat, I force myself to breathe as I listen to his truck start up and pull away. I listen to it until I hear it disappear in the distance.
Throwing my face in my hands, I’m sure at this point of desperation I’ve lost my mind.
I force myself from the floor to the family room. Lying down, I close my eyes, and his soft lips haunt my skin, his eyes haunt the darkness behind my lids, and his elusive words crowd my mind. I hate I’m feeling this and can’t get over it. I hate I’m like this because of him.
It takes me forever to fall asleep. I toss and turn, thinking about all the things I shouldn’t, trying to fight it.
I don’t remember at what point my heart decided to start beating again. But as it flutters, I shiver.
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