This scene is taking from the beginning of chapter 3. It’s where Kalissa and Ayden meet for the first time in 15 years. Enjoy!
Kalissa sat on the edge of the hospital bed, swinging her legs back and forth in frustration. Anger swarmed inside her like pissed off bees trapped inside the hive. Her beloved car impounded and possibly totaled. If she hadn’t been knocked unconscious, the driver of the other car would have faced his … his what? Would she beat him with visions? The All-Seeing Eye?
Whatever. Who was she fooling? Yes, she took self-defense classes and sparred with her sister on a regular basis, but she was as tame as a lamb, with a fair temperament. She could never intentionally hurt anyone.
The clock on the wall said she’d been awake for forty-five minutes. She was still unsure how long she’d been out of it. She hated medical facilities. The heavy stench of antiseptic turned her stomach. Where was that freaking nurse with her discharge papers? Why did it always take ten times longer than it should to get in and out of the ER?
To make things worse, the ER was unusually and eerily quiet. The only sounds were the beeping from the monitors at the nurses’ station, footsteps outside her room, and muffled voices. Her closed door did nothing to calm her rattled nerves, or soothe her irritation.
Her legs stilled as a new set of footsteps halted outside her door. A familiar magical charge floated through the air. She listened, but couldn’t make out the hushed voices through the door.
After a few minutes of muffled conversation, the door opened slowly. A man slipped in and closed the door behind him.
At first, confusion clouded her mind. A dull headache crept in her temples and a hint of panic rose in her chest. The man seemed familiar and put off a magical energy that called to her. He had golden-brown hair, the most vivid baby-blue eyes, and a body that belonged on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. Her gaze roamed over his broad shoulders and down his chest.
Shifting her eyes back to his face before she embarrassed herself, realization struck. This was Zach’s cousin from California and the new Sheriff of Maxville.
“Ayden?” she said with a smile. “I hardly recognized you.” Now she remembered him. He had visited the coven during the summers and hung out with them when they were kids. Nevertheless, this man was a big change from the Ayden she knew fifteen years ago.
Her gaze drifted over him again. The T-shirt he wore left nothing to the imagination, clinging to him, showing off those hard muscles and tight abs perfectly. Kalissa had a sudden urge to run her hands down his chest.
Did he feel as good as he looked?
She forced her gaze away to the floor in front of her as heat rose in her cheeks.
Get a grip, she scolded herself. “Did Zach send you?” she asked, trying not to ogle him like a tiger did a piece of raw meat, but she couldn’t look away for long. As soon as he moved, her eyes flicked up and found his.
He narrowed his eyes as he stalked toward her, looking less than thrilled to be here. There was also a hint of something else in his eyes … something that resembled pain or sadness.
Several seconds passed before he spoke, and when he did, Kalissa’s heart skipped a beat. Her body warmed, reacting in a way it never had before. “Your sister’s worried.”
The statement confused her. It caught her off guard. She opened her mouth to reply, but he spoke first. “She’s the emergency contact on your driver’s license.”
She focused on her linked fingers in her lap and asked, “Why are you here?” Silence made her lift her gaze back up to see a pained expression passing across his face. “I didn’t mean it like it sounded. I meant …”
“I know what you meant.” He cut off her statement harshly.
She blanched at his tone, lowered her gaze, and picked nervously at her fingernails. Ayden’s words felt too close to a rejection. Her chest tightened, and she didn’t understand why.
His hand came out and captured her by the chin. She froze, finding it hard to breathe as he gently raised her face to meet his gaze. His expression softened, but he still watched her in irritation.
She hadn’t recalled doing anything to warrant such a reaction from him. Squaring her shoulders, she pushed the anxiety aside. “If it’s such a bother to come here, then leave. I’ll catch a cab to my hotel.”
He knitted his brows, and after a moment, he relaxed. Not saying a word or explaining, he reached up to move her hair away from her temple to examine her injury. She wanted to smack it away, but an electrifying current swept through her when the tips of his fingers touched her skin, drawing a gasp from her. Desire and heat swirled inside her, threatening to erupt into an inferno. And it scared the hell out of her.
The sensation left as soon as he lowered his hand, allowing the hair to fall back in place. Yet it returned when he touched her cheek with the backs of his fingers. “I was in the neighborhood.” His tone was gentler.
Was he bipolar? One minute he acted as if he didn’t want to be there and the next he was okay with it. What was his problem?
He smiled at her and said, “I was in town on personal business. Zach called and asked me to check on you.”
“Oh.” It was all she was able to say. She completely lost herself in Ayden’s baby blue eyes and the weird, erotic feelings he raised in her. Maybe his mood swings were contagious.
She was so captivated by the swirls of silver that appeared to dance around his pupils that she didn’t notice when Ayden shifted forward to stand between her legs. His hand cupped her cheek as he lowered his head to hers. Just before their lips touched, a light knock sounded on the door. Ayden dropped his hand and backed away from her a second before the nurse walked into the room.
Damn nurse. Kalissa resisted the urge to kick the woman out of the room.
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