“The Request” — Excerpt from BETWEEN WORLDS (Project Prometheus)

Project Prometheus BadgeIt’s my birthday, and I felt like sharing a little something with everyone (call it a birthday gift – from me, to you). So, without further ado, here’s an excerpt from one of my upcoming Project Prometheus books, for your enjoyment. 🙂

“The Request” – Excerpted from BETWEEN WORLDS (Project Prometheus, Book 5) —

“Stay.”

That stopped him dead, but he still refused to turn.  Breath bated, Delila wished she could call the request back.  Hadn’t she promised she wouldn’t put herself in this position again?

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, one hand to her mouth in dismay.

That brought Jim around, his gaze wary as he searched her face for something she wasn’t sure she could give.  Then, in two strides, he was standing before her, his work-roughened fingers skimming her face as he lifted her chin until she was forced to meet his gaze.  “You’re sure?”

She nodded mutely, swallowing the lump that stopped the breath escaping her throat, even as her heart skittered around the confines of her chest.  Blessed Ishtar, what did she agree to?  One touch, and already her body went crazy.

Dark fire flared in Jim’s eyes, and Delila’s blood burned beneath that steady regard.  She couldn’t make a move forward, though her hands itched to touch him.  In all her time at the Temple, she never took the initiation of an ishtaristu.  Some mistakes jaundiced for life, and  the memory of everything she suffered as John’s wife made the idea of trusting a man again impossible.  She wanted to weep, because as much as she wanted to trust Jim, she was afraid she could never take that step forward.  She was afraid she lost that trust forever.

He must have read her turbulent emotions, because he sighed and the heat in his gaze banked.  Gently, he enfolded her in an embrace so tender her eyes burned and overflowed.

“I’m sorry,” she repeated, dismayed when her voice emerged small and broken.

“Shh.”  He stroked her hair, back, and shoulder.  His touch stayed gentle and tender without being sexual.  “Quit apologizing, Delila.  You don’t owe me anything.”

She shuddered against him.  He had no idea exactly how much she did owe him.  She hadn’t yet found the words to tell him he’d saved her life not once, but three times, when she was still trapped by John.  He still had no idea how his kindness led to her escape.  She didn’t have the courage to tell him.  Which made her the world’s biggest coward.  She grimaced.  Not the most flattering image.

“Jim, I…”  The words stuck in her throat again, and she closed her eyes, drawing a breath for courage.  She was in so much trouble.

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