A snippet from "Between Saints and Sinners"
They went out for dinner and lingered over dessert, then went back to the room to get Dolly and headed for the beach. It was a bit chilly, and they zipped their jackets as they walked. They stopped a few yards from the water and stared out at the ocean. The light was fading, but they could still see the waves crashing several yards offshore.
“It’s nice here,” Jaime said.
“I’ve always liked Charleston,” Levi said. “This is where I learned to surf.”
“Too bad it’s so cold. We could rent a couple of boards and go tomorrow while they fix the car.”
Levi smiled over at him. “I’ve converted you.”
Jaime laughed. “I guess so. But by the time it’s warm enough to go again, I’ll probably have forgotten how.”
Levi was watching him closely. His eyes were uncharacteristically intense, and Jaime found himself a bit disconcerted by what he saw in them. He couldn’t tell if Levi was laughing at him, or proud of him, or—
“I’ll just have to teach you again,” Levi said.
Jaime laughed, feeling uncomfortable for no reason he could put his finger on. “I’m sure you have better things to do with your time.”
Levi didn’t laugh. He stood there, looking gorgeous as he always did, and he continued to give Jaime that look. “Why would you think so?” he asked.
Jaime felt like they weren’t having the same conversation at all. He felt as if he was in a play, but only Levi had the script. His heart was suddenly hammering in his chest. “I was kidding,” he said, and was surprised to find his voice shook.
Levi hesitated, his head cocked to the side as if he was debating something. Then he seemed to make a decision. He reached over, very slowly so Jaime could pull away if he wanted to. But Jaime didn’t want to. He let Levi take his hand. Levi stepped closer. Jaime’s instinct was to back up, but Levi had anticipated him and used his grip on Jaime’s hand to keep him from stepping away. Jaime tried to stop shaking. He tried to make himself breathe.
Levi reached up with his other hand and brushed his finger down Jaime’s cheek. “I’ll always have time for you,” he said. He put his hand on the back of Jaime’s neck as he moved closer.
Was Levi going to kiss him? The very thought of it took his breath away. He closed his eyes and willed his heart to stop racing.
He was aware of everything. The surf pounded to his right. People laughed on his left. A cool breeze off the ocean ruffled his hair. He held Dolly’s leash in his left hand, and Levi still had hold of his right. His knees felt weak. Levi’s hand was warm and strong on the back of his neck. He had no idea what had come over Levi to prompt this moment, but he found he didn’t care.
He tried to make sense of what he was feeling. It was a bit like panic. It was a bit like joy. It felt like flying—giddiness and sheer, heart-stopping terror all rolled in one. It was the curve at the top of the big hill where the roller coaster train stops climbing, but gravity hasn’t quite pulled it down. It was the moment on top of the high board, knowing it was time to jump. It was a heartbeat of drawing breath, waiting to fall, waiting to scream. It was the most exhilarating moment of his life.
He wondered briefly how he’d manage to even go on living after this moment. He felt certain he’d never be able to think rationally again. He wondered how Levi would taste. He knew with sudden certainty he wanted to find out. He leaned a bit closer and heard Levi’s breath catch. He felt Levi’s breath against his lips.
OMG, Marie just gave us Levi and Jaime's first kiss! Between Saints and Sinners will be out from Amber Allure on May 29, 2011, and wow will that improve Memorial Day Weekend! I'll put a buy link here when it's live.
Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.
Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.
Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.
Keep an eye on Marie's blog for further updates.