Two arms slipped around my bare shoulders. I could tell she was on her tip-toes by how her body leaned into mine for support. I reached behind and ran my hand over her thigh. Her smooth skin warmed my palm. My interest grew as I stirred the Alfredo sauce with my free hand one last time before sliding it off the element.
It was her favorite meal and tonight of all nights had to be perfect.
I knew what I’d see before I even turned around. We spent a lot of nights together like this and she always wore the same relaxed expression. Her long blonde hair fell around her shoulders in waves. It was thick, just like the rest of her petite yet curvy body, and I loved running my fingers through her silken strands.
Oh, who was I kidding?
I loved every inch of her. She was a masterpiece of a woman.
But an impatient one.
“You couldn’t wait to seduce me until I finished making dinner?”
She pouted, her eyes dancing over my exposed chest as she walked two fingers down it toward the waistband of my lounge pants. “Maybe I’m not feeling hungry yet.”
I reached around her and gripped each meaty thigh where it met the curve of her ass, cradling it in the palm of my hands.
The naughty girl was naked underneath the short dress she wore. My fingers dipped into her wetness as I lifted her up to seat her on the marble countertop.
“Oh.” She shuffled. “That’s cold.”
“Good, you could use a little cooling off.” Thankfully, I had a smidge more self-control than she did, but that didn’t stop me from getting hard at the feel of her. I rubbed my wet fingertips together, looked up, and reached out for her. “You left something behind.” I put my fingers to her lips, she parted them, and I popped them into her mouth before she sucked them clean.
A fire raged within me, fueled by my lust for her. But it was the way she mirrored the same desire back to me that told me one thing for certain.
She was mine.
All fucking mine.
I cleared my throat, fighting off the temptation to ruin my surprise.
I wondered what it was…
What had I planned to surprise her with?
How odd, I was drawing a complete blank.
“It’s ready. Are you sure I can’t interest you in it while it’s fresh? I added basil, just like you like. Even though it’s—”
“I know, I know, it’s not Alfredo sauce then. But who cares? That’s the way I like it. And, fine, I’ll eat a bite or two.” I was all for giving things to her just how she liked them, so I sank my teeth into the soft hollow of her neck.
She gasped. “Again.”
“No. A taste for a taste. It’s only fair.”
When I turned to slide the drawer open to grab a spoon, I furrowed my brow.
It was empty except for a little black box. I reached into the drawer and pulled it out. There was something I was supposed to do with it.
I knew that much for sure.
Turning the little box over in my hand I remembered I’d tucked it away in the drawer for this very moment. It was too flat to be a ring box, so an engagement ring was out of the question.
Or was it?
Or were we already engaged?
It felt like we should have been.
She was leaning back on her hands when I glanced back at her. Her ring finger was out of sight.
I turned to face her. Whatever was in the box must’ve been hers. I held it out to her and a searing pain shot through my head. It was so sharp and direct it felt like an arrow had pierced my left temple and exited through the right.
I grabbed my head, my vision blurring from the impact. The box slipped from my grip but the sound of it hitting the floor didn’t follow.
“Zane, are you sure?” I struggled to see the smile on her lips as she looked up from the box in her hands. Her face was obscured by a thick fog surrounding us.
No, it wasn’t fog. The smell of burning plastic and wood filled the air. I knew that smell all too well from my years working for the fire department. It was smoke, but not just any smoke. Though I couldn’t see it, I knew the house was on fire.
“We have to get out of here.” I coughed out. The cloud was so dense between us I couldn’t see her anymore, but I heard her laugh.
“Babe, you’re such a tease. You said you weren’t ready last week.”
How could she remain calm at a time like this? When I reached through the smoke, I grabbed her by the waist and threw her over my shoulder. I looked down at my chest. The bare skin she’d been caressing only minutes before was now covered by full turnout gear. I felt relieved to see I was ready for action.
I had to be quick, but I could get her out of there safely. “Everything’s going to be okay.” She felt limp and light on my shoulder as I gripped her harder. I looked over to find my jacket draped where she’d once been.
My mouth fell open. I wanted to call out to her, but I didn’t know her name.
“Sweetie? Are you still in here?”
I opened the front door and the sky was orange. I’d only ever seen it look like that when I was in California, and the wildfires were raging. They had sent us out to take shifts trying to control the path of the burn. An act of total futility for even the most experienced of firefighters.
When a fire burns that hot, it’s almost impossible to quell until it’s ready.
Just like her.
I darted back into the house. She was in there. I knew it. And I had to find her.
I hope you enjoyed this short excerpt from Here Ghost Nothing, if you’d like to continue with Zane and Piper’s story you can do so here.