Blue Haven (Sunshine & Shadow Book 1) (4 page)

BOOK: Blue Haven (Sunshine & Shadow Book 1)
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“Lex kissed me,”
April said. She held her breath, waiting for Kip’s reaction.

She could feel him
tense and then freeze. He didn't say anything for so long; April wondered if he
even heard her.

“I said, Lex ...”

“Yeah.” Kip
cleared his throat. “Yeah, I heard you.”

“So what do you
think?”

Kip shielded his
eyes from her and she reached for the brim of his hat, tipping it back as much
as she could. “I mean, what do you think I should think?”

Kip looked out
into the forest, his face clouded by some emotion April couldn’t understand.

“I thought you
didn't like him ...” he murmured.

“I didn't ...”

“And now?”

“Now ...” April
thought about how she felt now. She was still angry that he had kissed her. But
did she like him? Did she like the kiss? She wasn’t sure. “Now, I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

April pulled away
completely and shifted on the bench to face Kip. “No, I don’t know. I mean, how
am I supposed to know? This guy that I’ve never even met before shows up and
acts like a spoiled brat ...”

“And injures your
horse,” Kip said.

“And injures my
horse. And thinks he can just waltz in here and control everything because he’s
so used to getting his way. And then
kisses
me and ...”

“And what?” Kip
finally looked at April.

“Everything that
he did before just doesn’t seem to matter anymore.”

That was the
honest truth. The second Lex’s lips had connected with April’s his attitude,
his career, his selfishness...it all just didn't matter. It didn't matter that
he was spoiled and used to getting everything he could ever want. It didn't
matter that he had lied to them about his riding experience—and it didn't
matter that he was Lex Mitchell. The second he kissed her, the only thing that
mattered to April was his lips on hers. She forgot everything. She forgot the
world and her place in the world. She forgot where she was, or when it was, or
even
who
she was. It just didn't matter anymore.

With Lex, she felt
spontaneous. She felt free. The burden of her mind was lifted and instead of
thinking, she just
felt
. And she felt good.

“So do you have
feelings for him?” Kip asked.

April closed her
eyes. Her mind was reeling. “I don’t know ...”

A noise behind them
made them both turn around.

Lex stood in the
trees in front of his tent. He seemed sheepish, like a child caught with his
hand in the cookie jar, and April knew he had heard everything she had just
said.

“Hope I’m not
interrupting,” he said, after clearing his throat. Even his voice sounded
guilty, and he held his hands awkwardly at his sides.

April and Kip
looked at each other. Kip turned back to Lex. “No, you’re not. April is going
to check on the horses down by the river, and I’m going to bed.”

Kip stepped over
the bench and offered his hand for Lex to shake. Lex took it, confusion clear
on his face. Kip dipped his hat and disappeared into his tent on the far side
of the campsite.

April looked at
Lex without speaking.

He smiled, a small
twitch at the corners of his mouth, and approached the bench. She was
speechless. He had heard everything she said; what more was there to say?

“Why are you up so
early?”

“The beds out here
aren’t exactly comfortable...plus I heard you talking.”

April stood, her
cheeks getting warm. “I’m going to check the horses.”

“Do you mind if I
come?”

April stared at
him and shook her head.

They walked in
silence down to the river banks. The horses grazed quietly in the small paddock
that bordered the river, watching them approach with curious eyes. When they
were satisfied that the humans meant them no harm, their heads dipped back to
the grass and their teeth nipped at the fresh, green shoots. April focused on
the sounds of the water rushing past them and the smell of new pine needles,
instead of the man standing at her side.

Lex seemed
uncomfortable, or maybe he was cold in the crisp, night air. He wore only a
long sleeved t-shirt and jeans.

She turned around
to face him. No point avoiding the inevitable anymore. Looking up into his
eyes, she was struck once again by the intense way his gaze seemed to penetrate
her soul. She felt exposed, like he knew all her secrets and she had no walls
left to protect herself from those eyes.

His mouth
twitched. “So, you don’t know, eh?”

April shook her
head, not breaking eye contact with him; not wanting to.

“Hmm ...” Lex
said.

“I don’t even know
you.”

He nodded, but it
seemed like he did it only to placate her. “That’s true.”

“We’re so
different ...”

He nodded again
and walked around the stump that separated them.

“I’m so confused
...”

Lex stepped closer
and leaned his face down to hers. He was close enough that she could feel his
breath on her skin and feel the warmth of his body against hers. She couldn’t
move. Her feet felt like they had been nailed to the ground.

“What can I do to
help?” He dropped his head lower and let his lips graze her cheek.

She closed her
eyes and let the sensation overwhelm her. She was so mystified by her feelings
for this stranger.

“That’s a help,”
she breathed into the crook of his neck as he lowered his lips to her throat.

Lex pulled back
just enough to press his lips on April’s.
It was gentle, yet intense.
Their lips moved against one another, powerfully but softly, transporting April
to another world. Their breathing was ragged as their tongues danced in a fiery
heat. The rest of the world seemed to disappear.

Desire ignited inside her. It
was a spicy, powerful combination that sent waves of passion crashing over both
of them. The kisses grew more urgent. As their lips pulled apart for a moment,
a gentle breeze fluttered through the trees, whipping April’s hair around her
face and bringing her back to earth. Their breathing came in short, desperate
gasps.

Lex reached for her hand,
brushing the strand of hair off her cheek as it slid ever so lightly past her
ear. His thumb caressed her earlobe; his strong fingers supporting the back of
her head. He leaned in and suggestively placed his lips on hers. She could feel
him inhale quickly as she surprised him by pulling his body closer. She melted
into his embrace as he held her tightly against him, feeling the race of their
hearts as one.

April reached for Lex’s hand.
She wandered slowly back towards the camp, leading him.

Was she really about to do
this? Was she really about to ask this guy that she had only just met to spend
the night with her?

But it felt right. When she
thought about parting ways with Lex and sleeping alone, a tight, uneasy feeling
developed in her stomach. That was all the sign she needed.

Stepping through the thick
canvas, she held it open for Lex. He stepped through and stood on one side of
the small tent. April lowered herself onto the foot of the bed and gestured for
him to sit as well. He lay back against the pillows and heaved a sigh. They
sat
that way for a while, silently. He had his eyes closed and the soft, white
light from the moon dripped into the tent, making him look like a painting.
April’s eyes travelled down his body, admiring the way he laid there. Like a
sculpture, he seemed too good to be real. She reached for his hand and stroked
his palm. Looking at his face, she met his eyes.

“I suppose I
should go to my tent.” Lex made no move to get up.

April continued to
trail her fingertips over his hand, feeling each of his knuckles, letting her
nails roll across his skin. She let her fingers play up his forearm. The
muscles tensed as she reached the crease of his elbow and she assumed he was
ticklish there, so she moved back down. She drew small patterns on the back of
his hand.

“I guess your dad
will be up soon,” he said, letting his eyes fall shut again.

April nodded and
said, “Yes.”

“And I wouldn’t
want him to catch me.”

She felt a tremble
run through him. “No.”

“So maybe I should
just ...”

“Stay,” she said.
He reached out and pulled her on top of him, wrapping his arms around her waist
and holding her close. Then he rolled, pinned her to the bed and bent down to
touch her lips. The kiss was hesitant, both trying to find the boundaries of
spending their first night together. The fire was slow burning and April
allowed herself to be swept up in the sensations. She drifted in Lex’s kiss,
comfortable and effortless, like the dried leaf getting picked up by the wind.
There was something different about this kiss. The passion was deep.

Lex’s lips moved
onto her neck and she watched the moon through a gap in the tent wall over his
shoulder.

Seeing the moon
almost grounded April and doubt began to fill her mind. She braced herself
against Lex by placing her hands on his ribcage, trying not to notice how firm
his stomach was. He felt her resistance and pulled away, looking into her eyes.

“What?” he asked.

“Wait. Are we
making a mistake here? Moving too fast?”

Lex leaned down
again and starting kissing along her collarbone. “Too fast?” He murmured into
her skin. “I can kiss you slower if you’d like.”

She tried not to
laugh and pushed against him again. This time he obliged, groaning and rolling
onto his back beside her.

“Sorry,” she
muttered.

Lex stroked his
hand down her arm, found her hand and brought it to his mouth. He propped
himself up on his elbow and kissed the back of her wrist, keeping his eyes on
hers.

“Don’t apologize.
Let’s talk.”

Suddenly April had
no words. Especially with Lex’s intense, green gaze on her, illuminated by the
rising sun shining through the tent wall. She looked away.

“I don’t want to
do anything we might regret tomorrow,” she finally said.

She felt him sigh,
though he tried to hide it.

“Why would we
regret it tomorrow?”

“Well because we
don’t know each other. And we’re so different Lex.”

“So?” Lex began
running his lips from April’s wrist to her elbow as she spoke. She tried to
concentrate and block out the sensation of his lips on her skin.

“This can’t work.
We’re from completely different worlds. You live in the middle of L.A., and I’m
just a regular girl from Canada, who grew up on a ranch and only goes to the
city to buy pallets of grain for the horses. And bullets.”

Lex chuckled, his
breath tickling her.

“Plus, you’re...you.
Whenever you look at me, my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my
chest, but you could have anyone you want, like models and actresses, and
I’m...just ordinary.”

Lex froze. April
held her breath.

Slowly,
agonizingly, he raised his lips from her skin and looked away from her with
sadness in his eyes.

April could see
him shaking.

He spoke so
quietly that even in the silence of the darkness, she could barely hear him.
“Do you honestly believe that?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

“You think when
you smile I don’t feel something?” He looked up at her. She was surprised to
see his eyes were full of reserved anger. “The first time you said my name, I
didn’t know anything could hit me so hard! I don’t even really know you! All I
know is that when I’m with you, I’m happy, and when we’re apart, I wonder where
you are. It’s never been like that before.” Lex stood and started to pace. “I
didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing, how I was living, until I came
here! Because finally, I couldn’t pretend my life was perfect anymore. This...this
is
perfect.” He gripped both of April’s hands. Subconsciously, she
leaned away from him, refusing to believe his words.

His eyes were full
of controlled sadness and she knew the anger was his defense mechanism, like it
was hers.

“April, I have no
idea what is happening here. All I know of you is what you’ve told me in the
last 24 hours. We’re basically strangers. But for some reason I feel more
comfortable around you than people I’ve known my entire life.”

April nodded. “I
feel the same way.”

She smiled and
squeezed his hand. She tried to stop herself but couldn’t.

“I don’t know what
this is, what I’m feeling right now, and I know it’s wrong. But I...I don’t
know, it feels so
right
. Doesn’t it?” he looked at her, willing her to
feel it too.

“It does,” she
whispered.

Their eyes met and
he didn’t say anything for a while. Then his lips twitched and his face broke
into a lopsided grin.

BOOK: Blue Haven (Sunshine & Shadow Book 1)
13.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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