Ainslie Paton romance author

Friendship is Overrated: A Snippet from Sold Short

Sold Short – book  3 in Sidelined comes out on October 5.

It’s friends to lovers and a not so secret baby or two.  But like all the Sidelined stories it’s about characters who are striving to make their best lives and to fall in love.

Here’s a snippet of Dev and Sarina.

“I’m going to kiss you now.”

He leaned in, took her shoulders and brushed his nose on hers, tentatively touched his lips to hers. The whole world held its breath with her, waiting for him to take more and when he did, putting a hand to the back of her head, nipping, teasing then finally fastening on and opening up, traffic lights changed, planes took off, babies cried, men laughed and women sighed, the temperature rose, the seas shivered, coral spawned, plants unfurled and animals howled.

It was there in that kiss, all the busy of the world and all the power. It went into her body like a truth serum that made her chase his lips, twist around to get closer, hold onto his knee to make sure nothing prevented the descent into a deeper kiss that started on her lips and landed on her senses with the weight of history and the future combined.

Someone groaned first. Someone licked first. Her teeth and his clicked, eyes closed to feel it more, or to survive the soul suck of it. He angled her head and went for her neck and she sizzled inside the drag of his lips, trembled when he hit on a spot behind her ear. Her make-out sessions with Colby had been hot and fun, this with Dev was more like a contagion. Serious. Unstoppable. The more they touched the more she wanted, the harder it got not to care about his stupid car, and his decade and more of lying about what his hands and his kiss and his closeness could make her feel.

“Inside,” he said against her ear, and an epidemic started in her chest.

“No,” she said, a bite to his chin, eyes clashing. Didn’t matter if he meant inside the house or inside her body, both were too much of a risk. She had to quarantine his attack to make it out alive.

“You want this.”

Yes, yes, but it was too late and too mad and so gorgeously desperate it couldn’t be real, it was a mind trick, a fever dream. Left her weakened and made the struggle too hard. “I want.”

“Yes.” He was at her throat now, licking, mouthing, and she was braced on the door. There was a handle stabbing her in the back of her ribs but if she moved he might stop and the press of his body, the urgency in his hands was as much sickness as it was wellness.

What made her laugh was something less than panic but greater than joy. And once she’d started, she couldn’t stop. It shook through her and pinned her eyes open, made her hands drop from Dev’s neck. He pulled away confused, and his mussed-up hair and those million-lash eyes blinking in surprise cut her breath off.

This was wrong, she wasn’t some teenager testing the limits. They’d had a no-kiss limit for years. They had approved touch zones that were friendly and affectionate, comforting and familiar, they weren’t intimate, incendiary and too late to matter.

She sat away from the door. “You don’t get to do this to me.”

Dev put his hands to his head. “I’m not on my own in this. I’m not doing anything you’re not doing back.”

That laughter must’ve been the beginning of losing it. She scrambled to her knees and launched herself on him, getting a steering wheel slammed into her hip but his arms and his lips and his impossibly sexy helpless groan as he wrapped her tight and kissed her mean and dirty, and the truth of this was she’d made a mistake, she hadn’t expected enough from him and had discovered what he could give too late.

It was a sour realization and it broke her.

The sound she made next was more a sob, a shock of awareness; his hold loosened and she pushed away. “We can’t.” She might be pregnant and not to Dev. She didn’t look back, put both hands to the door handle and yanked it down, pushed on the door and tumbled out. “Go.”

She waited inside her house, standing in the entryway for a long time before she heard Gita’s engine come to life, and when the car pulled out, she heard its distinctive throaty rumble as a battle cry.

You can get her at Amazon

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