It’s time for this week’s Saturday Snippet from one of my paranormal romance books. While I’m away, my snippets are going to be full chapters as it’s far easier to just post a whole chapter than try to hunt down a teasing snippet. So, here’s another full length Saturday Snippet from a very sexy paranormal angel romance book.
Amelia sat back in her seat when Marcus took his hand away from hers and leaned back in his chair. She toyed with her slim black mobile phone for a moment to distract herself from the disturbed look on Marcusâ€™s face. When he didnâ€™t stop glaring at her, she put her phone down on the round dark metal table and nursed her drink, feeling incredibly foolish for taking hold of his hand. She sipped her coffee, grimacing internally as the cold liquid touched her tongue. Nothing was going right for her today. No, some things had been going right. She hadnâ€™t been imagining the way Marcusâ€™s eyes had lingered on her body, or how quick he was to smile at her whenever she smiled at him. Those smiles had reached his beautiful silver-blue eyes too, lighting them in a way that wasnâ€™t fake and that told her they were real this time, not the usual polite ones he forced whenever someone spoke to him.
He had been different since last night.
She wasnâ€™t usually in the habit of relying on men to fight her battles for her but she had appreciated his intervention. It was the first time that a man had come to her rescue and when he had punched Mike, her heart had fluttered and she had looked at Marcus with new eyes. She had noticed him the moment he had moved in next door to her, had registered him as handsome, but she had never really taken the time to look at him. The man had a body that could put models to shame and she hadnâ€™t stopped wondering what he did for a profession since setting eyes on it. Was he a model? She hoped to God he wasnâ€™t a hand model because her own stupid choice of men had gone and wrecked one of his lovely strong hands.
Amelia stared at his injured one, her heart beating hard in her throat. He had large hands, made for cupping and holding, or made for fighting. He had landed a hefty punch on Mike, sending him down with one blow, and for a brief moment she had feared he wasnâ€™t going to get back up. She had almost gone to him but then instinct had kicked in and reminded her that Mike had been intent on fighting Marcus. He must have been drunk. Only an idiot would pick a fight with Marcus if they were sober, and Mike wasnâ€™t that stupid. He should have known he didnâ€™t stand a chance.
Marcus had a seriously cut physique, lithe muscles that radiated strength and raw masculinity.
Once she had noticed that he was topless, it had been difficult not to stare. The few times that she had managed to peel her eyes off his body and found the courage to meet his, he had been looking at her with wide pupils darkening his amazing eyes, a sure sign of desire.
So why had he been so quick to snatch his hand away from hers?
Amelia almost laughed at herself. Since when had she given a damn about what men thought of her? Men were trouble. Mike had hammered that nail so firmly into her head that she had got the message this time. Men were something she could live without and that life would certainly be a lot easier and less painful than hers had been up to this point.
Her eyes betrayed her and snuck back to Marcus. He sat opposite her with his head tilted back and eyes on the sky. The lines of his defined jaw led her gaze up to his square chin and sensual mouth and her pulse picked up, jittery in its beat, when she licked her lips and contemplated what kissing him would be like. He lowered his head, their eyes met and then he looked away, an air of irritation about him.
She had taken his hand last night when icing his knuckles and he hadnâ€™t reacted so coldly then. If anything, the desire in his eyes had increased. What had happened between then and today? Had she said or done something wrong? She could have sworn that she had read the signals right and that Marcus liked her. Now she felt as though a vast frigid ocean had opened between them and that she would drown if she tried to traverse it to reach him.
She wanted to.
Last night had opened her eyes to the fact that there was a fantastic man living next door to her and since then she had felt tied up in knots, twisted inside out and back to front. She had never been backwards about being forward before but something about Marcus made her hesitate. It wasnâ€™t just because he would think she was rebounding. It was because he seemed like a nice guy, a cut above gorgeous in looks and personality, and she didnâ€™t want to screw things up. He had been on her mind all day and she had tried to think of a way to bump into him again so she could strike up a conversation and get to know him better. When she had spotted him outside their building, it had felt as though fate had brought them together, but her nerve had failed at the sight of him standing staring at the floor as though it was the most fascinating thing in the world. He hadnâ€™t heard her at first. It had taken her three attempts before he had lifted his head and noticed her, and by then her confidence had been shattered. Had he been thinking too?
Amelia rolled her eyes at her thoughts. As if. The poor man was sleep-deprived thanks to her terrible choice in men. He had probably been spacing out just as she had said he was, unable to function with only a few hours sleep. When he had gone back to his own apartment half an hour after she had iced his left hand, she hadnâ€™t heard a peep out of him until gone six in the morning when there had been some movement next door. She hadnâ€™t been able to sleep herself. Fear had kept her awake and she had watched one movie after another in an attempt to push it to the back of her mind. She was running on empty today, half asleep and feeling as though what had been a dream was turning into a nightmare.
Amelia leaned one elbow on the metal table and stared at Marcus, studying the nuances that crossed his handsome face as he watched the people passing them by on the pavement. For all she knew, Marcus was Mr Right for someone already. It wouldnâ€™t surprise her. He had looks, a fabulous body, was quick to defend women, and had proven himself intelligent in the brief conversations they had shared. Her younger sister would have taken one look at him, with his dark tousled hair that caressed the nape of his neck and sometimes fell down to brush his forehead, causing him to sweep his fingers through it to groom it back, incredible pale blue eyes, and scorching hot body, and declared him â€˜smexyâ€™. Smart and sexy apparently. Her mother would have taken one look at him and told her that he was a keeper and not to give up on him.
Someone else was probably already keeping him.
Maybe that was why he had taken his hand back so quickly.
Marcus looked across the table at her and Amelia felt cold inside from the emptiness in his eyes. Where had the nice Marcus gone? Had she chased him away? A sense of impatience surrounded him, as though he didnâ€™t want to sit with her anymore, and he couldnâ€™t hold her gaze for more than a few seconds.
Amelia mused that he was always detached from everyone and distant. She shouldnâ€™t be so surprised that he had withdrawn from her.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t be any good for you,â€ he said, his deep voice as devoid of emotion as his face, and Amelia held her hands up, desperate to shift the course of conversation away from her feelings. â€œYou are better off keeping away from me.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t mean it like that.â€ She had but he didnâ€™t need to know that. Her heart ached as he crushed it in her chest with just a glance and a handful of words. She blushed, her face on fire, and stuttered, trying to get an excuse into order.
She couldnâ€™t find the words as he stared at her, his expression gradually turning from awkwardness towards anger, and she knew in her heart that she couldnâ€™t have been more wrong about him.
His appearance now was a harsh contrast to how he had looked just a few minutes ago and last night. The heat that had touched his handsome features then, warming them and giving her the impression that she stood a chance with him, and the undeniable spark of desire that had lit his eyes, made her feel as though she had met a different person in that moment and not the real Marcus.
Perhaps all her thoughts about him were wrong, even last night, and he was right. She really didnâ€™t know anything about him. Her white knight might just be another black one in disguise and she really didnâ€™t need that on top of everything else. What would she do if Marcus turned out to be another wrong choice when he looked so much like a good man? It would certainly compound the growing notion inside her that she was doomed to spend her life with a string of Mr Wrongs in an impossible search for one Mr Right.
â€œDid I thank you for last night?â€ Desperate times called for desperate measures. All she could do now was try to deflect his attention away from what she had done in some dire hope of easing the tension mounting between them.
He nodded. Silent treatment was it? He was the first man to do that to her, but it wasnâ€™t going to deter her. Once they were back on steady ground, she would make her excuses and leave, and hopefully things wouldnâ€™t be too awkward between them whenever they met in the hallways of their apartment building.
â€œWas your coffee good?â€ Amelia looked at the white mug. He had barely touched it. In fact, he hadnâ€™t done or said much since sitting down with her. He really didnâ€™t want to be here. Had he only agreed to coffee out of politeness?
Marcus lifted his broad shoulders in a shrug. He had looked so good in only his deep grey sweat pants, his bare upper body on display as a midnight feast for her eyes. She tried to keep her focus on the more pressing matters of her present situation and failed, ending up picturing him as he had appeared last night instead. He had an athletic physique, toned and powerful but not overly built. The sort of body she would love to run her fingers over and had fantasised about. The sweat pants had barely hidden the muscular shape of his thighs and had rode low on his hips, revealing a V line that had stirred all manner of wicked thoughts in her head, as well as a treasure trail of dark hair that her lips and fingers ached to follow. When he had punched Mike, his entire body had come alive with movement, fascinating her. The way his muscles shifted and moved with him, tensing or stretching beneath his pale skin, had been mesmerising. It had taken her a moment to realise that Mike was flat on his backside and that she should react to it in some way other than gawping at Marcus.
When she had taken him into her apartment and iced his knuckles, she had put his body to memory, including the beautiful tattoo of angel wings he had on his back. She hadnâ€™t figured him as a tattoo type so the swirling blue-grey elaborate wings that decorated his shoulder blades had surprised her. She had wanted to ask him about them but hadnâ€™t been able to find her voice at the time, and asking him about them now certainly wouldnâ€™t help her cause, not when she wanted to ask him why such an elementally masculine man had such beautifully delicate tattoos. They seemed like a strange choice.
Unless he was gay.
Was that a possibility?
Ameliaâ€™s gaze darted to his face and her eyes widened when she caught him staring at her chest. He quickly looked away, turning his right cheek to her and taking in the people walking along the street, lending her a view of his noble profile. Bi? He was gorgeous, clearly looked after himself, and also kept to himself. Was that a bad sign? Amelia frowned at her thoughts. She was overanalysing things. Just because he was good looking and not interested in her didnâ€™t mean he was gay or involved in a relationship, or any of those things that she wanted him to be so she would feel better about his rejection.
He just didnâ€™t find her attractive.
He had said it straight. Stay away.
Maybe she would do just that.
Amelia went to pick up her black leather handbag and then hesitated. Flushed with bravery and unwilling to give up so easily, she fixed Marcus with a hard look and was surprised when he turned his head and looked at her, as though he had felt her staring.
â€œIs something wrong?â€ Not a trace of a tremble in her voice. Her heart pounded, adrenaline thundering in her veins, but she held her ground. It was a horribly personal question to ask him but she had to find out whether his reaction to her touch was because he didnâ€™t want her or because he did but felt he wasnâ€™t good for her, as he had said.
Marcus stared at her for almost a full minute, the fading evening light reflecting off the windows and his white shirt, illuminating his face and chasing the shadows away. The edge of darkness his expression had gained lifted to reveal something that wasnâ€™t quite warmth, but wasnâ€™t icy cold either.
â€œWhy?â€ A slight frown pinched his black eyebrows together.
â€œYouâ€¦ itâ€™s just you seem more out of spirits than normal.â€
He gave her an odd look. It was the truth. He never seemed very happy and now she couldnâ€™t help wondering why. His warning to keep away from him had brought back all the previous times she had seen him and the distance he maintained between him and everyone in their building, and now she wanted to know whether the man sitting opposite her was more similar to her than she had thought possible.
Did he go from one bad experience to the next too?
He had to have a reason for wanting to keep his distance from everyone and not letting anyone in. Was he afraid of being hurt or feeling something for someone? She feared that too, entered into relationships believing that eventually they would end and she would be hurt, but as much as she tried to live alone and be the independent woman she wanted to be, she couldnâ€™t help feeling lonely and wanting to share her life with someone.
For a brief moment, Marcus had seemed like someone she could do that with, and this time she had felt it wouldnâ€™t end in tears.
He could have been her Mr Right, but such a man wouldnâ€™t have told her to keep away from him. That hadnâ€™t been in her dream of what would happen today when she bumped into him. She hadnâ€™t anticipated that response at all. She couldnâ€™t blame him though. Chatty old Mrs McCartney next door had probably told him all about her poor choice in men and he was telling her to keep away because he didnâ€™t want to get sucked into her miserable life.
Amelia jumped when her mobile phone rang, the jaunty tune breaking the heavy silence as it buzzed on the table. Marcus frowned, his blue eyes darting to it. She wanted to ignore it, knowing that it would be Mike calling to chew her ear off about last night and make her feel wretched for the rest of the weekend, but the ring was so loud that people around her were staring.
Instead of answering, she picked it up, put her handbag on the table, and dumped the phone into it, muffling the annoying ringtone.
â€œWhy didnâ€™t you answer it?â€ Marcus stared at her bag. Amelia tapped the table, cringing inside and wishing the phone would stop ringing.
â€œItâ€™s my ex.â€ Ignoring him was preferable to speaking with him.
Marcus surprised her by reaching across the table, fishing the phone out of her handbag, and flicking it open. Amelia could only stare as he brought the phone to his ear, his face set in grim dark lines, and glared at the table as though he wanted to kill it.
â€œI thought I told you to leave Amelia alone?â€ He paused, his expression darkening further and the muscle in his jaw tensing. Ameliaâ€™s heart pounded hard and she wished she could hear what Mike was saying to Marcus, because he looked close to going ahead and breaking something. Anger radiated from him in strong waves and everyone stared as he barked into the phone, â€œStay away from her because the next time you dare to go near her, Iâ€™m not going to be so kind as to let you walk away.â€
Ameliaâ€™s hands shook, her limbs trembling with them, and she joined everyone in staring at Marcus as he clicked the phone shut and dropped it back into her purse. What had just happened?
He had defended her again when she had been convinced that he wanted nothing to do with her.
His eyes met hers across the table and the trace of compassion in them only confused her further. He blinked slowly, dark lashes shuttering his pale blue irises, stealing them from view before lifting again to reveal the full extent of their beauty. Warmth shone in them, a softness that reached out and curled around her, filling her with a sense of safety even as her whole body quaked with the fear that Mike wouldnâ€™t heed Marcusâ€™s warning and would come after her again.
â€œI wonâ€™t let him near you, Amelia. You donâ€™t have to worry about him. I will keep you safe.â€ Those words, so softly spoken in his deep voice, werenâ€™t a lie. There was truth in his eyes and his open expression, and she believed him.
She just wasnâ€™t sure what to make of him.
What sort of man told a woman to stay away from him and then promised to keep her safe?
Marcus was an enigma and something inside her was telling her to take his advice and keep away from him, because if he turned out to be another black knight and broke her heart, she didnâ€™t think she would recover from it.
She gathered her things, rose from her seat and hesitated only long enough to catch the confusion surfacing in his eyes before making a swift exit.
Her Guardian Angel
A simple mission becomes a fight for survival in this fantastic instalment in the Her Angel series.
A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Ameliaâ€™s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.
Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesnâ€™t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But thereâ€™s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish worldâ€”a world where God and the Devil exist, and only one angel can save her from deathâ€”Marcus, the angel sheâ€™s falling in love with.
On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by Marcusâ€™s angel friends and their amazing women, fighting for survival against the odds, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.
A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.