Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dance of the Heart by Lisa Kessler

Gavin Thompson is the best bodyguard in the business. When he's hired to protect a dance instructor, he has no idea Tera Muldoon is actually the Muse of Dance, or that the guy threatening her life is actually Kronos, Father of the Gods. Being near her unlocks a new power inside of him -- and a love he can't deny.



Nate frowned. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

“I’m fine.” Gavin rolled his tight shoulders back. “I better check on Tera.”

Nate didn’t look convinced, but he took out his cell anyway and called for a tow while his partner secured evidence in the parking lot. Gavin returned to find Tera sitting on the pavement with her knees pulled into her chest. She lifted her head when he came around the car, and in one fluid movement, she was on her feet and in his arms.

He held her tightly, closing his eyes and breathing her in. They were alive. She was safe. That was all that fucking mattered.

“Nate’s calling a tow for your car,” he told her.

She trembled against him. “I want to go home.” She looked up into his eyes and whispered, “This is all my fault.”

“No, it’s not. I never should have agreed to come out here in the open. I know better.” He brought a hand up to cup her cheek. Her skin was even softer than he had imagined. “Until that asshole started shooting, this was the best night I’ve had in years. And that’s because of you, Tera. The rest of this mess is on that misguided psycho.”

For a second, it looked as if she was about to say something, but instead, she tipped her head and brushed her lips against his. Every synapse in his brain fired at once, like he’d been lost in the desert and had finally found water. One hand slid up into her hair as he tightened his hold on her, deepening the kiss. She moaned, the vibration rolling through him, sending blood rushing to his groin. He couldn’t get enough of her. 

Suddenly, Nate cleared his throat. Gavin stumbled back and blinked, struggling to clear his head. Damn. Never in his life had a woman intoxicated him like Tera did. Maybe it was just the rush of realizing they were still alive, but whatever it was, he was already aching for more.

Nate wiped his forehead, avoiding eye contact. “I called a black and white to take you back to Tera’s place.” He lifted his gaze to Gavin’s face. “Maybe you’re too close on this one. If the security systems are all upgraded, someone on your team can take over.”

Fuck no. Gavin’s shoulders tensed with the realization that he didn’t trust anyone else to keep her safe.

It was a sure sign that Nate was right. Gavin cared about Tera, and the job was getting personal. But the thought of not being with her, not keeping her safe, tied his gut in knots. 

He shook his head. “I’m good. I’ve got this.”

Nate nodded, looking less than convinced. He walked past him and over to Tera. “Are you all right?”

“Scared, but I’m okay.” She glanced at Gavin and then back to Nate. “Can I talk to you for a second? Alone?”

Nate nodded, and as they walked away, Gavin went around the back of the car, cursing himself for crossing that line with his client. He stared up at the stars, replaying the moment. He would’ve sworn she had kissed him, not the other way around. He looked back over his shoulder to where she and Nate were talking. Was she asking him for another bodyguard?

He ground his teeth and faced forward. Why wouldn’t she? Kissing her was bush-league, unprofessional bullshit. Being with her seemed so natural; it was too easy to forget she was also his client. 

But it had been her idea to shoot hoops. Had he misread everything?

He ran a hand through his hair. If she fired him, it was probably for the best anyway. He needed to get in and see the shrink. Human beings didn’t move as fast as he seemed to believe he could, not to mention his danger-sensing birthmark. He lifted his shirt. In the yellow light of the parking lot, he couldn’t tell if it was still red, but it didn’t sting anymore. The danger was gone.

I am losing my goddamn shit. He rubbed his hand down his face as Nate and Tera came back over to him. Gavin straightened up, steeling himself for being let go.

Nate clasped his shoulder. “See you at Callie’s tomorrow morning.” He glanced at Tera and back to Gavin. “Tera’s got plenty to explain tonight. And no matter how nuts it seems, trust me—” his gaze locked on Gavin’s “—it’s all true.”

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