Mrs. Nguyen’s gifts had been tossed inside the apartment the other night and left in their bags. Grateful as I was, I had not given much thought to them. Cain must have seen the bags and remembered. I reached up to hide my smile behind my fingers when I saw him pulling out lacy and shimmering fabrics, undergarments and dresses.
He was muttering under his breath as he moved them from one pile to another and stilled on a blood colored dress. He reached up to grasp his hair with his free hand and I leaned closer to hear him whisper, “—that crazy old bat is trying to kill me?”
“Why would a bat try to kill you?” I asked, genuinely curious.
Cain jumped and twisted around so quickly he began to wobble. Trying to hide the red dress behind his back was not helping him keep his balance. I laughed aloud when he fell onto his backside. He grimaced and held up the dress like it offended him at first. The lines about his eyes smoothed, however, when I crossed my legs beneath me and joined him before the piles.
“What are you doing?” I asked while resting a hand on his knee.
Cain’s mouth opened and closed. His eyes shifted back and forth between the piles of clothing and me, like an animal caught in a trap. Finally he held up the red dress Mrs. Nguyen had made me try on and trade paper for. “Finding something to wear for tonight.” He wagged his eyebrows at me suggestively.
I laughed when he held the dress to his chest and posed. “Cain, those were not meant for you!” I protested and reached to claw it away from him.
He easily dodged me. “You sure about that? I think this is more my color than yours, babe.”
“Cain, please do not wear that. Mrs. Nguyen gave a lot of green paper for that one!” I cried and stood on my knees to grip his broad shoulders.
His composure finally broke then and a brilliant white grin split his face in two. “Well you sure ain’t wearing this to the club tonight. Those guys were salivating all over my girl last time. I’m the only one who gets to look at you like that,” he said with a wink.
I frowned and sank back onto my haunches, crossing my arms over my chest after. “What do you propose then?” Keeping a frown on my face was hard when his blue eyes lit up like that.
After scooting back to better display his work, he held up a finger and said, “Before you judge me, try and see this from my perspective. I’m a slightly stronger than average dude, granted. But I’ve also got this really hot and sexy foreign girlfriend and while I’m appreciative of that fact, it also makes me a little bit paranoid.” He stuck his tongue slightly out the corner of his mouth while digging through the nearest pile in a childlike manner. “Here I bring you Exhibit A.”
The dress he held up before my eyes was one of my contributions to Mrs. Nguyen’s gifts. I had picked out the blue color while she chose the style. The neck scooped down, though not quite so dangerously as the garments piled together in the untouched heap.
I reached out to feel the fabric and smiled at him. “I love this one. But I am confused. What has you so worried?”
He threw up his hands and the dress in the process as he said, “She doesn’t even know… Didn’t my neighbor pick at least one decent get up? I’ve been going through all these clothes trying to find something that isn’t going to distract me on stage.”
I scrunched my nose when he fingered his mother’s shawl and threatened to wrap me up in that instead. But then I remembered everything he had said and was left unsaid. Hope and dread filled me as I asked, “On stage? Are you…did you…”
Cain shrugged as he reached for another sack and dug to reach the bottom. “I may have called Jude earlier and told him to sign us up.”
Pausing for only a beat, I then asked, “What about your work at the site?” His gaze traveled over me in a way that made me strangely self-conscious. My fingers began to tug at the tattered hem of one of his old tee shirts.
“They don’t need me today,” he said. “We’re going to the club early to practice. I haven’t written much lately, so I’m going to wing it and see what happens tonight.” His search at the bottom of the last bag halted when I heard the brush of fabric against plastic. Lifting a quizzical eyebrow, he tore his gaze from me and looked at the purple fabric he had just pulled out.
The underlining of the dress was a smoky purple, the same as the skies after a storm and draped with other sheer and glittering fabrics. When Cain shifted to his knees and leaned to drape it across me, his sea blue eyes turned a smoldering gray.
“What about this one?” he roughly intoned.
“I like it,” I replied, then closed the space between us to kiss him.
Quick Note: Thanks to everyone who has either purchased or helped spread the word about Silver Hollow! For all of you book bloggers out there, I’m always available to do interviews, guest posts or anything else that will help bring you press too. 🙂
So excited to continue on this journey with you!
Today’s Teaser is taken from the novel I’ve been working on, “Stay.” It’s a paranormal romance but it’s also something of a study on love. Hope you enjoy 🙂