Do you remember your first kiss?
A first kiss can be quite memorable ~ whether it is anticipated, unexpected, desired…or not.
It can be fireworks and sparklers or, unfortunately, it can be the opposite ~ a bit disappointing.
Abigail, in Christmas with the Outlaw, can be a bit … prickly. It’s her way of coping, her way of staving off disappointments and protecting herself. The only one she has ever let close is her brother. I thought it was high time she had her own book and her own Happy Ever After. With this in mind, I’d like to share a scene from my story in the Oak Grove Series ~ Abigail and Russ’s first kiss.
Excerpt ~ Christmas with the Outlaw
Every moment she spent with him increased the fullness in her heart and made her aware of how special, how important he was to her.
“I never meant to hurt you.” His voice—gentle and full of remorse—melted the last vestige of hurt inside.
“I’m glad you explained yourself. Let’s put it behind us. It’s over. No more regrets.” Even though neither of them had said the words I’m sorry, Abigail felt immeasurably better. She reached for the tray, intending to carry it downstairs.
“When I left the mine, all I could think about was getting away from Barton. If the first train that arrived had been going to Denver I would have ended up there.”
“I realize that.”
He rose to his feet. “It’s important that you understand. Seeing you again after all these years—it might have been chance…” He took her hand and seemed to search for the words he wanted to say.
Her arm tingled from his touch. “I do. Russ. But…it’s difficult to concentrate on what you’re saying when you touch me.”
Amusement flashed on his face, but then he grew serious again, his startling blue eyes earnest. “I’m glad that train came here. Very glad.”
Her heartbeat sped up. “I am too.”
He drew closer. “I’ve missed you, Abby. I didn’t know how much until I saw you again.”
The deep timbre of his voice thrilled her. His words thrilled her. She swallowed. “I feel the same.”
His gaze drifted to her lips.
A shiver of desire raced through her body. “Russ…” she whispered. “What…?”
He smiled. “Must you always analyze things? Come closer and I’ll show you.”
He wanted to kiss her! Her heart beat triple time. She couldn’t have taken a deep breath if she had wanted to.
He brushed aside a wisp of her hair, his light touch sending tingles over her temple. “Your thoughts are still churning. I can see it on your face. You know me, Abby. I won’t hurt you. I promise. Not ever again.”
“You will leave.”
His eyes clouded over. “Not because I want to.”
She leaned closer.
He slipped his hand behind her neck and pulled her toward him, closing the last inch between them. His lips met hers, warm and gentle and firm. Her breathing stopped…and then started again. And she melted inside. Everywhere he touched, he caressed, causing tingles to spread through her. A whirlwind swirled inside her. This…this was right. This was wonderful!
Her first kiss…
** ** **
His pulse kicked up as he breathed in the scent of cinnamon that was Abby. She relaxed, softening against him. Innocent. Honest in her feelings. She wasn’t like the other women he’d known. She didn’t flirt. She didn’t tease. She was a breath of fresh air. And precious. Little Abby!
He dropped light kisses across her cheek and delighted when he heard her sigh. Then he came back to her lips, wanting more of her. There was no maybe about it. He was getting in over his head. She had intrigued him as a girl and now she bewitched him as a woman.
Reluctantly, he pulled away.
That stub of a pencil still balanced on her ear. Seeing it, seeing her, a tenderness came over him that he’d never known before. He cared for her. Really cared for her. And he didn’t want to hurt her. He waited for her to speak.
Her cheeks were a bit flushed, her eyes overly bright. “Uh—”
Abby? At a loss for words? It was so unlike her that he grinned.
She swallowed. “Do you mind if we don’t talk about this? I’m afraid it will ruin things. And it was rather…special.”
He grew serious. It was special, whatever this was between them, and he wanted more of it. She was the type of woman who would expect a future. His was murky at best. He had no idea what his held, but he knew in this moment that he wanted it to hold her. “I don’t mind at all.”
“I’ll just take your tray down,” she said, her face, her eyes, still dazed.
She smiled softly. “You just had it.” Then she disappeared around the corner.
** ** ** ** ** **
Christmas with the Outlaw (A Western Christmas Homecoming Anthology)
© by Harlequin Books & Kathryn Albright
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt! And I hope you will check out my newest story,
Christmas with the Outlaw in A Western Christmas Homecoming Anthology!