Happy Sunday everyone! And Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies (and mommy-figures)! Hopefully your day is full of peace, love and some much-deserved rest. Seriously--go take a nap. But before you do, here's an unedited excerpt from Finding Kennedy, coming May 20. Hope you dig it!
“You can’t boo me, man! Keep beatboxing!”
“You’re failing hard right now. You need to be boo’d ‘man’,” Travis said, laughing. He said ‘man’ like Mickey Mouse and I glared at him then flipped him off.
“Oh word?” He raised his brow, still chuckling. “You feeling yourself, Lil Bit?”
“One more time,” I said, ignoring him and positioning myself in front of the bed again. I lifted my leg, preparing to try to hop over it like that guy in that 90s movie, House Party. Cassie loved that movie. I looked at him, waving my hand in his direction.
“Come on, dude! You have to beatbox, Travis! I need the momentum of the rhythm.”
He laughed and shook his head, but did as I asked, beatboxing and bobbing his head as he watched me. I danced around on the ugly brown and white hotel carpet for a minute before finally lifting my leg and attempting the stunt.
His beatboxing stuttered to a stop when he burst into laughter.
“Kennedy, stop, before your uncoordinated-ass breaks somethin’,” he said, as I barely righted myself before I fell. I grabbed onto the ledge of the TV stand. It wobbled like it was about to fall.
“I promise, I can do it. I did it once when I was eight. There’s just not enough space between the bed and the TV. This room is too small.”
“Right. That’s definitely the problem.”
He ran his hand over his head as he laughed. He was perched on the edge of the bed, barechested because his shirt drying on the vent on the other side of the small room. He’d gone in the bathroom and tried to blow dry his jeans and even though they were damp and probably a little uncomfortable, I was glad he hadn’t taken them off. Travis in boxer briefs would’ve been sensory overload and I was already hanging on by a thread. Hell, we’d been in the room for almost three hours already and I still was having a hard time not staring at his chest.
I tilted my head and looked at him.
“You’re talking big shit. Let me see you do it then.”
“Hell no. I’m not trying to break my neck,” he said, grinning as he grabbed another Twizzler out of the bag he supposedly bought for me.
He stuck it in his mouth his gaze skating lazily over me. I still had the towel wrapped around my waist and when his eyes landed on it, I could tell he was holding in a smile. He did that every time he looked at it.
“I thought these were for me.” I closed the space between us and snatched the last one out of the bag that was laying next to him on the bed, arching my brow at him. “You ate 80 percent of them.”
He chuckled. “80 percent of them?” He was mimicking me again and I pushed at his bare shoulder. He grabbed my hand, jerking me toward him and I almost fell into his chest. His eyes were playful when he looked up at me.
“You don’t want me to have your candy, Kennedy?”
I bit back a smile, my skin tingling when he grabbed my other hand, interlacing our fingers, and pulled me further between his legs. His eyes were dancing with amusement.
“You’ve already had some of my candy, Travis. Whether I wanted you to have it or not.”
He grinned, biting on the Twizzler the same way he did his toothpicks before finishing it off. I looked down into his eyes and drew in a breath when he gently urged me closer, resting his forehead against my abdomen. He pressed a kiss against my navel through the cotton material of my t-shirt and I couldn’t help it, I pulled my hands from his, running my fingers through his hair, which was still a little wet from our run through the rain. He lifted his head from my belly and looked up at me, grabbing my hips, then sliding them up to my waist. My heart was thumping staccato, matching my breathing because I wanted to climb onto his lap and let him chase away the memories that a bike ride and the beer we’d been drinking couldn’t with his touch. I knew he could do it, even if it was temporary.
He reached for the towel that was knotted at my waist, untying it with one small tug. It dropped and I sucked in a breath.
“You don’t need the towel,” he assured me with a small grin. “I can see more in those tiny shorts you wear.”
I looked away, toward the large window where the rain was still pounding, my face hot. He waited until I met his eyes again, his thumbs drawing slow circles on my lower back as he held me.
“I got you, Lil Bit, alright?” His raspy voice was low and he raised his brows. “You don’t have to hide. You’re safe with me.”
I tugged at a lock of my hair, unable to hide my smile.
“You sure about that?”
He grinned, gently nipping my belly as he slid his fingers up, suddenly tickling my rib cage. I yelped and squirmed, giggling as I tried to move from in between his legs but he held me.
“You’re funny, huh?” he said huskily, continuing his assault on my rib cage.
I squealed, laughing as I attempted to pull away, holding my arms close to my sides as he attempted to tickle me there.
“Okay, okay, stop, Travis!” I barely managed between my laughter.
There was a satisfied glint in his eyes when he finally stopped tickling me, drawing me completely between his legs again by my waist. He pulled on the bottom hem of my shirt, urging me downward and tilted his chin up, biting on the corner of his lip as he grinned. He was so sexy. I leaned down, brushing my nose against his but pulled back a little when he lifted his head, so that he couldn’t reach my lips.
He chuckled, his brown eyes turning the shade of burnt sienna. He pulled at my shirt again and this time I acquiesced, leaning down and brushing my lips against his softly before leaning further into the kiss. He immediately reached up, placing a hand on my nape as he kissed my bottom lip, offering me a low hum of approval. His tongue barely traced the seam of my lips, as if he just had to taste me, before he toned it down again, kissing me lightly. With me standing and him sitting on the edge of the bed, it would seem like I’d be the one in power but Travis was definitely in control of this kiss.
He was controlling the tempo and right now it was slow, his lips molding against mine sweetly, demanding nothing but my presence. He kissed my forehead then the bridge of my nose. He pulled away before I was ready, releasing me, and I sighed, my entire body alive and tingling because of his touch. But it was more than that. It was his presence. It was him.
“You do look good in my shirt though.”
Finding Kennedy arrives 5.20.16.