Some of the differences are good, like Rory’s new look; some are bad, like whatever secret Karissa is keeping. And then some things are just confusing, like Weston.
Weston, her mysterious new co-worker, who is the cause of so many of the changes Laney hates. She wants to despise him, but she can’t deny the attraction she feels, nor the desire she has to be around the one person who didn’t know her before the summer - the one person she doesn’t have to pretend for.
Ripples pulsated against me, the tiniest change in movement, and I sensed he was behind me before I could actually feel him. Then, there he was, his hands resting gently on my hips below the water. I mentally braced myself for the involuntary tensing. It would come eventually; it did every time a man touched me. Except, I remembered, on the walk home. Not with Weston. Heat from his hands spread through my body, and a need built deep within me. So foreign, yet so familiar at the same time. The pull below my navel brought back sensations I thought I would never feel again. For the first time since that night, I felt fully like myself again.
I turned in his hands to face him. His eyes were slightly unfocused, and he wore a grin that barely pulled his lips up on one side of his mouth, but his desire was clear. Alcohol still warmed my veins, encouraging me as I let myself relax into him. I could let down my guard, follow my instincts and urges again. Right?
His lips had been chilled by the air, and were cold when they touched mine, ever so lightly, but they warmed up quickly when I pressed my mouth against his in return. He slipped one hand off my hip and wrapped his arm around my back, pulling my body against his. God, I fit in there so well. Urgently, but still gently, he pushed my mouth open with his own. His tongue played against mine, and desire roiled beneath the surface.
I have no idea how long we stayed like that, intertwined in each other’s arms. The thrill of kissing Weston was even more intoxicating than the bottle Derek sent home with us. Each brush of his lips excited me more, setting my nerve endings on fire. The water caressed my skin, tickling my back, as we bobbed there in our own little world. I couldn’t get enough. I pressed myself tighter and tighter against his slick skin until the tingle in the pit of my stomach grew into a silent roar. Finally, there with Weston, I was alive again.
He stroked his hand along my back as he kissed me even more deeply. He traced the line of my shoulder blade and down my arm. Then he reached my wrist, and his mouth froze against my own. His fingers played against my scar. And as quickly as things built up, they fell down again. His hand on my wrist brought the last four months crashing back, and the intensity swelling within me died out instantly.I pulled back and swam off to join Karissa and Rory, leaving Weston standing chest-deep in the water. I turned once to see him still watching me, but he never made a move to follow.
99 Days of Laney MacGuire is her first novel.