Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.
Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed.
He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.
“Sure.” He smiled at me, and my stomach flipped. “I have a study room reserved in the back.”
That surprised me. “Why did you get a study room? I didn’t even know I was coming here.” I cringed, hoping he wouldn’t ask about how I’d ended up here accidentally.
“I get them all the time.” He shrugged. “I prefer the solitude and quiet of the room when I’m studying.”
“Okay,” I said. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or scared of the idea of being in a private room with Paul. This ought to be interesting.
“I grabbed a bunch of books already. I was getting one more when I saw you over there.” He held out a book. He led the way to the back of the library and opened a study room with a key hanging from his wrist. The room was tiny—a desk against the far wall and two uncomfortable looking plastic chairs, with barely enough room to pull a chair out and sit. When Paul closed the door, his scent filled the room, and my skin tingled with how close we were. He handed me the book he was holding. “Do you want to start with this one, and I’ll take one of these others?”
“Okay.” I took the book and sat down, then realized something. “Um, do you have paper? I didn’t bring anything with me.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me a notebook, and I shivered. “Are you cold?” Paul asked, placing his hand on my shoulder.
I shook my head as the heat from his hand swirled through me. Focus, Emmy. You need to get to work before you do something embarrassing. I turned to the desk and opened the book and notebook. Then realized something else.
“Um. I don’t have a pen.” Oh, God. I am such a dumbass.
With a slight smirk, Paul handed me one.
“Thanks.” Blushing, I settled in and tried to focus on the research. But I couldn’t concentrate no matter how hard I tried. I’d get a couple of sentences read, or a note written, and then his scent would distract me. Or I’d become aware of how close he was. If I scoot over just a couple inches, we’ll be touching. And the thought of us touching made my breath speed up and my heart pound.
After an hour, I had half a page of notes, and I was reading paragraphs three times each, I was so distracted. I’m not sure this is going to work.
“So, uh, not getting too far, are we?” Paul’s voice startled me.
I glanced over and saw that he didn’t have any more notes than I did. I wondered why he was having trouble, but said, “I guess not.”
He turned, scooting his chair so it was angled toward me. “Can I ask you something?” His brown eyes burned into mine, and my stomach flipped again.
He dropped his eyes to his hands. “It’s…kind of personal, so you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” He paused for so long, I wondered if he was going to continue, which made my heart pound, worrying about what personal question he could possibly want to ask me. Finally, he asked,
“Why did you kiss Jake?”
I closed my eyes. I wasn’t expecting that question. What could I say? I was jealous and upset? I so wasn’t telling him that. “I don’t really know, Paul.” Why was everyone so damn obsessed with me kissing? My hand clenched into a fist as the anger I’d come to the library to escape bubbled up again. Calm down. He’s not Mom or Lily, and he doesn’t know about any of that. Taking a deep breath, I relaxed my hand and opened my eyes, avoiding his. He’d kissed someone, too. I sighed. “Why did you kiss Meredith?”
He took my hand, startling me into looking at him. “I don’t know. I didn’t want to, but when I saw you dancing with Jake, I just…I don’t know.” He dropped his gaze again and rubbed his thumb over the back of my hand. It sent tingles up my arm and straight to my stomach.
Something strengthened inside me, and I felt bold. “I really wanted to kiss you.” I can’t believe I just said that out loud.
His eyes snapped up, and the heat in them made me tremble. He’s going to kiss me. He leaned forward, eyes locked to mine, and I felt myself copying him. It was just like in the gym, only this time, there wasn’t a whistle to stop us, and I didn’t want to stop.
About the Larissa C. Hardesty:
Larissa Hardesty is a Young Adult author of speculative fiction. Having lived a fairytale when she met her husband while on vacation at Disney World as a high school senior, all of her stories have at least a touch of romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found pursuing her passion for music as an elementary music teacher and handbell choir director. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and three children. Connect:Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads