“A Difficult Proposal” — Excerpt from Underground, Book 2: MIND KILLER
Tamia sat on Rick’s bed, staring at the leather box that mocked her from the bedside stand. She knew he hadn’t left it there deliberately, but its presence stabbed her anew each time she saw it; it practically screamed traitor at her. Tamia’s gaze dropped to her hands. She couldn’t look at Rick, for fear of giving in, either to him or to tears. God, she loved him so much. So why did she do this to him? Because she loved him, and she couldn’t live a lie if it meant hurting him. She’d rather be in pain herself. But last night, after she convinced him that she was too tired to make love, she realized that the truth hurt him as much as a lie would, because he still didn’t know why she denied what they both wanted.
This verbal dancing around the truth wasn’t the kind of dancing she wanted to do with Rick. Her heart lurched as she remembered their very first dance together. They’d danced together since then, but not like that first time. That night was magical, a slow awareness of each other that she longed to recapture. Warmth rushed through Tamia as she looked up at Rick with a hesitant smile.
“No one’s ever proposed to me before.”
He bent to kiss her lightly. “No one?”
She shook her head, and her eyes turned away. “David didn’t believe that anything, or anyone, was worth that kind of faith. He was only looking for a body to fuck. He didn’t care what I thought, or how I felt, or even who I was.”
“Then he was a fool.” His voice was husky as he kissed her neck, and then drew away to look down into her eyes, his indigo with emotion. “Don’t ever judge me by him.”
She knew what he was saying, but she couldn’t give him the answer he wanted. Looking away, she gave him the only answer she could give; she changed the subject.
“You should go. You’ll be late.”
He studied her with hungry, but wary, eyes, and then glanced at the clock.
“Shit, you’re right.” He gave her a quick kiss. “See you later, babe.”
“Yeah. Later.” She murmured as she watched the door slide shut behind him. God, why was she doing this?