Today we have an exclusive excerpt to share with you from Cardeno C and IN YOUR EYES.
EXCERPT – IN YOUR EYES BY CARDENO C.
I knew he was there before I opened my eyes. His strong arms were around me, I was using his shoulder as a pillow, and I had my leg over his hip. I had never rested more soundly and peacefully than I did that night.
“Good morning,” I croaked, my voice weak from lack of use.
“I think at this point, we can call it evening.”
“Evening?” I rubbed my hands over my eyes. “Really?”
I wanted to look at him, but I was too nervous, so I picked at the sheet instead.
“It’s four o’clock,” he said. “I’d say that counts as early evening.” He brushed my hair back, kissed my forehead, and then tilted my chin up until our eyes met. “You really needed sleep. How do you feel?”
I blinked until I could focus on his face. It was so close and I wanted to kiss him, but I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to.
“You’re my mate,” he said. “Of course you’re allowed to kiss me.”
I hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
“Would it make you feel better if I kissed you instead?”
My brain was short-circuiting from the knowledge that I was in bed with someone. That the someone was a male was particularly odd, but truly, it wasn’t the biggest reason for my anxiety. I had never kissed anyone before the previous night, and the few touches I had endured were either affection given by my parents or attempts at seduction by females; none of those involved my bare skin and none had lasted more than a few seconds. So everything about my current position—lying in bed tangled with a man, having nothing more than one pair of underwear between us, feeling him caress me and wanting to push into the touch instead of run away from it—was completely outside the scope of my life experiences. And yet Korban seemed perfectly comfortable, completely at ease.
Narrowing my eyes at him, I sat up. “Why are you so casual about this?”
He tilted his head to the side and furrowed his brow in confusion. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
“This. Us.” I pointed back and forth between us. “We slept together. All night. We were in bed. Touching and holding. Last night we kissed. You’re naked right now.” I pointed to the sheet covering his groin. “Under there, you’re naked and I was just under there, so your, uh, you know was pressed against me.”
“I still don’t… What?”
“How is it you’re calm and collected about all this?” I squeaked. “Are you used to it? Is that it? Are you used to taking off your clothes and climbing in bed with people?”
His frown smoothed into a grin. “Oh, I see.” He covered my tightly closed fists with his hands. “You’re jealous.”
That was completely ridiculous. I had never been jealous of anything. Jealousy was a weak emotion; it didn’t portray strength and confidence. Alphas were not jealous.
“I am not jealous,” I huffed. “I am merely listing facts.”
“Listing facts?” he repeated with a chuckle.
“Yes.” I crossed my arms over my chest, trying to look calm and authoritative. It wasn’t easy to pull off while almost naked. “I can’t help but notice how easy this has been for you. And I know how friendly you are. I’ve heard about you.”
“Heard about me?” He pressed his lips together, like he was holding back laughter.
“Yes. You were the presumptive Alpha of a neighboring pack. It was my duty to learn about you. I heard all about how you were shiny, happy, friendly, and beloved.” I paused when my chest grumbled involuntarily. “How friendly and beloved were you?”
Without warning, Korban shot up, clutched my shoulders, and tackled me onto my back. He crouched above me, his knees on either side of my thighs, and grinned.
“I’m tempted to string this out so I can see how much you want to keep me to yourself, but I can’t do that to you.” He squeezed my shoulders. “You’re my true mate, Samuel. True mates are made to be together. I could never want to share anyone’s bed but yours.”
“What about before you knew I was your mate?” I asked, thinking of all the nights I’d traveled to other regions’ meetings searching for someone to tie with. Had Korban done the same thing? Had he succeeded?
“I knew when I was eleven, honey,” he said gently, moving one hand from my shoulder to the side of my neck. “I have known who you were to me from the moment I first saw you.”