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interviews) have been fighting their growing attraction for one another. Unfortunately, current events keep bringing them together. The scene below is one such scene. While at an annual ball involving the three different Nightling races, Kate is dancing with the Vampire King, Gabriel—who also happens to be Caleb’s cousin. A little family rivalry, perhaps?
Note: This is an excerpt from a never before seen chapter—meaning, it is unedited by both my critique group and my partner. As always, feel free to comment and critique.
Caleb had managed to distract himself from Kate by mingling with their foreign dignitaries. Unfortunately, he’d only made it halfway through the First Dance when his eyes betrayed him and honed in on Kate like a magnet. She was drop dead gorgeous tonight, just like every night, but tonight, she was in Gabriel’s arm. As they twirled around the dance floor, she laughed at something he’d said.
Damn it, Gabe.
He was probably using his charm on her.
It had been hell watching Kate dance with his cousin. The First Dance was similar to a waltz—very classy with no real sexual undertones, but Gabriel still managed to make his dance with Kate look intimate.
Caleb had to stop this. His cousin was seriously crossing a line, even if he didn’t know there was a line to be crossed. As if scripted to piss Caleb off, Gabe leaned in and whispered something against Kate’s neck. Son of a bitch. He had to stop this and he had just the opportunity.
The First Dance opened with only the three Immortal King’s and their dance partners. As the dance continued, members of the royal families were expected to chime in, followed by advisors. By the end of the dance, anyone could join in; the ball had officially begun. Luckily, it was halfway through the song, and time for the royal family to join the dance. It wasn’t exactly proper to steal the dance partner of a king, but Caleb didn’t care. If Gabe wanted to bitch about it later—big whoop; there wasn’t a rule against it.
Caleb didn’t remember making his way onto the dance floor. One moment he was standing near the head table, and the next, he was placing a firm hand on Gabriel’s right shoulder.
“Cousin,” he said, glancing at Gabe before looking to Kate and offering her his hand. “You can’t expect me to do work of finding her if you’re the only one who gets to dance with her.”
Gabe chuckled and stepped away from Kate. “Be my guest, Caleb,” he said. Then, so that only Caleb could hear, “Take your prize.”
What was he doing? Was he crazy? Did he not understand that she’d put a stop to…to whatever was going on between them, the night before? She didn’t want this. Well, she did but she couldn’t—shouldn’t—want this. But here he was, taking her hand in one of his and pulling her against him with the other.
Electricity sparked in her arm when she placed her left hand on his shoulder and settled her body into his hold. His muscles were hard, his steps confident. Her mind began a picture show of last night’s highlights. His touch. His kiss—it was all too much, too good.
“You’re blushing,” he said, his voice deep. Stepping into motion, he forced her to dance with him.
“I’m pissed,” she spat at him, then looked around to make sure she hadn’t attracted any unwanted attention. She hadn’t; the other dancers looked only at their partners. When she looked back at Caleb she was annoyed to see he was trying to hide a grin. “Is something funny?”
“Just wondering why you’re upset…”
“Because of you!”
“Me? What did I do?”
“You’re dancing with me!”
“And dancing makes you mad?”
“Dancing with you makes me mad. You make me mad.”
“Why’s that? I thought we got along well last night…”
“Why’s that?” She repeated, angry that he seemed so have forgotten that she’d put a stop to their…encounter. “Last night’s why’s that!”
“You didn’t enjoy kissing me?”
“What?” She stumbled but he pulled her harder against himself to keep her from falling. “I…it was...last night was… It doesn’t matter. It happened, now it’s done with. I won’t happen again.”
“I thought I’d made it clear—
“By running off? I suppose it could be taken that way. Of course, it could also mean other things…”
“Other things? Like what—no! Nevermind, don’t answer that; I don’t want to know.” She breathed in deeply to try to clear her head of the images still flashing in her head, but she only managed to breath in the scent of him and that only made the images stronger. “Caleb, I can’t do—
“Shh,” he said softly. “It’s just a dance, Kate. I’m only dancing.”
His eyes were so kind that she felt hypnotized—lost in their depth. He was right. They were only dancing. It wasn’t like she’d make some crazy mistake like falling in love with him, right here on the dance floor. This was safe. Two people, dancing, in a room filled with people. There was no danger in that.
She didn’t reply; only nodded her head once in acceptance, then followed his lead as they danced.
The longer they danced, the more the music entranced her. Kate didn’t fight the images of the night before; rather, she indulged in them. And she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Caleb. His face was a work of art: a chiseled perfection. He had a strong jaw, and straight, white teeth framed by full, soft lips—lips that she couldn’t help but want to suck on. Again.
The song ended but neither of them released the other. His eyes…she was lost in those pools of blue and green.
How had she missed the flecks of silver that were sprinkled atop the blue and green? The silver specks added an icy, cool hue to the irises, but, as if watching them transform, the silver turned to gray, and his eyes grew dark with…something. Desire, maybe?
A couple brushed past them, exiting the dance floor, but still, they didn’t separate. His gaze was so intense; she licked her lips and started to pull away, but Caleb held her firm.
“Not yet,” he breathed, so quietly that only she could hear him. The music started again, this time a deep, lusty rhythm that matched her beating heart. “Try to relax this time; let go and enjoy it.”
She didn’t respond. She couldn’t. Letting him lead her into the next dance was natural—like breathing. It wasn’t as if she could have said no. For some reason, her damn throat couldn’t seem to muster up the energy to even try to speak. She simply gave in, and did as he asked: let go and enjoyed it.