Afterburn

COMING AUGUST 15th FROM SYLVIA DAY, IM EXCITED FOR THIS ONE

afterburn The realization that Jax still affected me so strongly was a jagged pill to swallow. He’d only been part of my life for five short weeks two years ago. But now he was back. Walking into a deal I’d worked hard to close. And God, he was magnificent. His eyes were a brown so dark they were nearly black. Thickly lashed, they were relentless in their intensity. Had I really thought they were soft and warm? There was nothing soft about Jackson Rutledge. He was a hard and jaded man, cut from a ruthless cloth.

In that moment I understood how badly I wanted to unravel the mystery of Jax. Bad enough that I didn’t mind how much it was going to cost me…

READ AN EXCERT:

Jackson and I sized each other up for a long minute. He was wearing the gray sweater and slacks from earlier in the day, the casualness more familiar to me–and beloved. A lock of his dark hair fell over his brow, softening the severity of his beauty. He had his back against the door, his hands in his pockets, his legs crossed at the ankles. But only an idiot would fail to sense the predatory alertness in him. His hooded gaze was watchful and knowing, seeing way too much.

“I miss the curls in your hair,” he said finally.

I backed up to my father’s desk, resting my butt against it. I crossed my arms. “That’s a seriously delayed response.” A couple years too late…

“You were closing in on the kill when I got here. Are you thinking about fucking Chad Williams because you want to, or because you want him to sign on the dotted line?”

Some other woman might have held her tongue because the question didn’t deserve an answer. I didn’t say anything because I was too hurt. I’d never seen Jax deliberately mean or cruel–he’d just disappeared from my life.

“Gia…”

“Don’t call me that.”

“What would you prefer?”

My foot tapped restlessly. “I’d rather not see or hear from you.”

“Why not?”

“I would think that’d be obvious.”

His wonderfully sensitive mouth tightened. “Not to me. We know each other. We get along well. Very, very well.”

“I’m not fucking you again!” I snapped, feeling the walls close in on us. He’d always had that effect on me. When he was with me, I didn’t register anything else.

“Why not?”

“Stop asking me that!”

Jax straightened and the office got even smaller. My breathing quickened, my gaze darting to the door at his back.

“It’s a valid question.” He engaged the lock without taking his eyes off me. “Tell me why you’re so angry.”

A surge of panic got the better of me. “You fell off the face of the earth!”

“Did I?” He took a step toward me. “Are you saying you didn’t know how to find me?”

I frowned, confused. “What are you talking about?”

“It had to end, and it did.” He came closer. “Quietly. No messy scenes. No ugly memories. We–”

“Neat and tidy.” I sucked in a sharp breath, more wounded than I could say. I lashed out in self-defense. “So why rehash and screw it up?”

“Can’t we be friends?”

“No.”

Jax stepped into my space. “Can’t we do business together?”

“Nope.” I unfolded my arms, feeling the need to take the defensive. “You made this personal from the get-go, and business should never be personal.”

He smiled, flashing that damned dimple. “You’re sexy as hell when you’re mad at me. I should’ve pissed you off more often.”

“Back off, Jax.”

“I did. It didn’t take.”

“Actually, it did. For two years now. Go back to your world and forget me again.”

“My world.” The smile faded along with the light in his eyes. “Right.”

He’d stopped his advance, so I skirted him quickly, aware that I’d been gone too long and Chad was waiting.

Jax caught my arm, his hand flexing around it. He spoke in my ear. “Don’t fuck him.”

OK THAT LAST LINE REEEALLY GOT ME I CANT WAIT TO READ THIS NOVELLA!!

IT STARTED WITH AN AFTERBURN AND IT ENDS WITH AN AFTERSHOCK: COMING NOVEMBER 12 2013

aftershock

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