Today I am so pleased to welcome Teodora Kostova to Joyfully Jay. Teodora has come to talk to us about her latest release, Stoking the Fire. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
The sun warms my skin. The light sinks through my closed lids, too bright to ignore.
With an annoyed grunt, I open an eye. And then the other. The sun’s high in the sky, the light flowing freely inside the bedroom through the floor-to-ceiling windows. There’re no curtains or blinds to stop it. In fact, as my brain slowly wakes up, I realize all the giant windows in the cabin are bare.
My focus shifts to the warm body next to me. Alec’s lying on his stomach, head buried under the pillow, snoring softly. The blanket barely covers his ass, as I’ve pulled most of it around myself, and I’m currently lying in a nest of soft blankets, while Alec has a meager triangle left to use.
I bite my lip against a smile as I imagine him trying to unsuccessfully hustle the blanket away from me during the night.
My fingers itch with the need to touch all that gorgeous skin, to run them over the striking, black lines of the tattoos covering his body. Both my arms are covered in ink, but it looks so much different on Alec. So much sharper. More intentional. More intense.
Everything about this man is intense.
Before I realize, my hand’s reaching for Alec, my palm gliding over sharp lines and smooth skin. I feel the moment he wakes up even though he doesn’t move. His body stiffens under my touch, but he doesn’t try to move away.
Emboldened, I shut off the part of my brain that’s screaming at me to back off, not complicate things, slow the fuck down, and scoot closer, my body flush against Alec’s side. His breathing quickens, his chest rising and falling faster. Bending down, I kiss his nape, my hand gliding over a never-ending expanse of skin.
Alec moves, angling his body toward me, his head coming out from under the pillow. Squinting, he studies me, face inches away from mine.
“What are you doing?” he whispers.
My hand slides down to his ass, squeezing the firm flesh, wishing the pajama bottoms were not in the way. “Isn’t it obvious?” I raise an eyebrow, then bump his nose with mine.
“That’s not why I invited you here last night,” he says.
The rejection stings more than I anticipate. I make to move away, my hand falling limply on the mattress.
Alec catches my wrist and holds me in place. “I didn’t mean…” He closes his eyes, his brows furrowing. “I didn’t mean you should stop,” he says, firmly. “I only meant that I didn’t invite you here to take advantage of…” He gestures around, as if searching for the right words. “The situation. I just wanted you to get some sleep.”
The sincerity in his tone, written all over his face, and the spark of lust in his eyes as they roam over me, makes the last shred of control slip between my fingers as they dig into Alec’s arm.
“I’m pretty sure I’m the one taking advantage right now,” I say, never giving him a chance to reply.
I crash my mouth to his, not waiting for his approval.
It comes anyway.
He kisses me back as eagerly as I’m kissing him, no prelude, no exploring, just a raw rush of emotions and need that stands no chance of being stopped by the flimsy barrier of rationality.
“You hired my ex as my bodyguard?”
When Alec left NYC – left me – I was a broken mess. All my days blurred into a continuous haze of alcohol, parties, and meaningless hook-ups.
Until my sister nearly died in a car accident. Her recovery was the wake-up call I needed.
Now, three years later, I’ve cleaned up my act, sobered up, and finally became the son my father always wished I was – the heir of Van Dorf Media Group.
But being part of one of the most influential families in America has its disadvantages. Like fanatic supremacists trying to kill you.
My father’s solution? Hire Alec Bonovich to protect me.
Doesn’t matter that he’s my ex.
Doesn’t matter that just seeing him makes my pulse quicken.
Doesn’t matter that he’s the only man who’s ever broken my heart.
Because Alec is the best.
And he’s the only one I trust to protect me when my life is in danger.