Imagine, if you will, that you're single (if you aren’t already). Now, picture your old high school. Good memories or bad, it doesn’t matter. What I want you to think about is him. You know about whom I’m referring. The one guy you had a crush on. The one person you could – or did – fall madly in love with. The male specimen you would have done anything - or you did do anything, naughty you – to be with.
Now, flash forward to the pretend-you’re-single-present. What do you think he’s doing now? What would you like to happen on this first meeting? Would you stammer? Would you ignore him? Play hard to get? Would you saunter up to him, lose yourself in his gorgeous eyes and wrap yourself around him when he murmurs, “let’s go back to my place to…catch up”?
Oh, so many ways this scenario can go.
Aly Delaney, the heroine in my upcoming story, The Deciding Factor, finds herself face-to-face with men from her past. One of the men is her high school love. Ten years have passed. She’s teaching at a night school and has long since moved on from old crushes…or has she? Too bad he steps into her life at such an inconvenient time…
She froze and stared in shocked disbelief. Her heart tripped.
Her startled eyes met a ghost from her past. A ghost in the very physical form of Luke Coldwell. Her first love from high school and the one that got away, as the saying went. She hadn’t seen him since graduation. He’d been handsome as a teenager. As the man coming into her class now, his looks were devastatingly stunning.
His eyes caught hers. Recognition flashed in their dark depths and his lips curved into a wicked smile.
“Sorry I’m late,” he offered as an apology.
Luke sauntered into the room, his stride purposeful but easy. He didn’t just walk, he moved. The very air around him seemed to part. His hair, thicker and blacker than hers, complimented his permanent, deep tan—which was courtesy, he’d once told her, of Shoshone blood from somewhere in his ancestry.
He slid, gracefully for his large, well muscled size, into a chair next to Ms. Arbuckle, who had earlier introduced herself with pride as a young sixty-year old, one of the oldest students in the class. To Aly’s astonishment, Ms. Arbuckle tried to pinch Luke on the thigh. He must have expected the move because he easily avoided her and sent the older woman a devilish grin.
“That’s Alycia Delaney.” Aly watched mutely as Ms. Arbuckle filled him in. “She’s new here.”
Luke turned his hooded gaze to Aly. “Hi.”
She didn’t know what to say.
“Alycia?” a student asked, drawing Aly’s attention.
“Um, yes, Derrick?” As Aly tried to concentrate on his question, she couldn’t get Luke out of her mind. Or her eyesight. He sat right in front of her, decked out in designer slacks and a deep blue silk shirt, the top two buttons undone, sleeves rolled up. She bit her tongue to keep from licking her lips. She wanted to taste that exposed part of his neck so badly she hurt. This man radiated sin like it was free for the taking.
This is not right. I should not be feeling like this.
Then again, Luke had always been sexually devastating. Why she never slept with him when they’d dated in high school, she couldn’t fathom.
Yes, she could. Stupidity on her part. Only sixteen, she’d been stupid in love and had wanted forever with him. Yet even as a teen she’d known that he didn’t love her in the same endless way she did him.
Luke caught her eye and winked. Her heart jumped. Nah, she couldn’t still feel that love for him, could she?
Oh, please let the class end soon.
Aly did her best to ignore Luke, even though his stare made her feel like she taught naked. He never said a word, but simply sat in his chair, making various notes in his notebook and giving her dark, intense looks that made her constantly lose her train of thought.
When his long, thick fingers idly stroked the pen in his hand, she had to fight the imagery of him caressing her skin. When she caught him giving her a slow bodily once-over, finishing with an open smile of promise, her throat dried up and the words she’d been speaking died on her tongue, embarrassing her when one of the students asked if she was okay.
No, I’m not okay, she’d wanted to shout. My skin is burning and my insides are melting and if Luke doesn’t leave this classroom right now I’m going to straddle his lap and lay to rest all the curiosities I’ve always had about having his body inside mine!
To find out what happens with Aly and Luke,
make sure to grab a copy of
The Deciding Factor
January 17, 2010!