Thirteen stories up. Two broken hearts. One last chance...
Surgeon Grant Sullivan's once-perfect life lies in ruins. His daughter is gone--lost in a tragic accident he dare not allow himself to remember--and his beautiful wife now stares at him from across a legal table, insisting she wants nothing from him.
Julia Sullivan lost everything, especially her illusions about her marriage, after the accident. Her grief only seemed to drive Grant further into his emotional shell--except for the nights he turned to her in silent, furious passion. Unable to live like a ghost in her old life, she's packed up what's left of her broken heart and is ready to move on. Alone.
Determined to break their stalemate, Grant follows Julia onto the elevator just in time for an earthquake. Trapped for hours in a building pressure cooker of unspoken pain, he'll do anything to remind her what she's leaving behind, as deliciously as he can. But giving her what she needs to save their marriage is the one thing that could destroy his soul.
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October 18, 2010
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Excerpt from Shaken by Dee Tenorio
Julia leaned against the wall of the elevator car, watching her husband come ever closer, each step a slow, stalking movement. She could still taste him on her lips, knew what he planned to do if she let him close enough. The question was whether or not she wanted to.
No, that wasn't even a question.
Whether she should.
Her body shook, not in fear--she could never be afraid of Grant--but with need. That kiss ignited too many feelings, awakening something in her that had been blessedly numb since she'd left their home. Desire.
He stood almost over her now, their bodies nearly touching. His warmth called to her, his breath. If she wanted him, all she had to do was reach out and touch. Undo the buttons on that gray shirt, find the muscled flesh beneath. Then she'd be able to press her face to his skin, taste it with wet, sucking kisses that made him groan deep in his chest. Her fingers itched, ready to seek out the muscled ripples along his ribs.
She tightened them on the metal handrail instead.
This was why she'd left. Because Grant turned every quiet moment, every opportunity to talk, into sex. He disappeared from her emotionally, verbally, physically in every way except for the moments he was stripping her. Pleasuring her. Filling her until she screamed from the raw pleasure of it. And then he'd always leave her afterward. Leave her more alone with each experience, until she felt as if there were nothing left of her. She couldn't face it again.
"This is hardly the place for what you're thinking," she said, but the argument lacked the strength she knew it needed.
"This is the only place we have left, don't you think?" His fingertip touched her jaw, soft as a feather, tilting her face up to his. "Haven't you missed this, Julia?"
So much her body, her soul, ached day and night.
His lips grazed hers. "I feel like I'm breathing again for the first time in months." Firmer pressure...or had she lifted onto her toes to press closer? She wasn't sure. "Like my heart's beating again, just touching you."
Hers, too. Beating so fast it felt like a flutter.
His fingers left her jaw, the backs of them trailing down her neck to the collar of her blouse, which felt like it was strangling her. He tugged on the tie, gently. Asking permission. God, how she wanted to give it to him.
She stared up, his face so close to hers, but his gaze was on the tie at her neck. His black lashes spread like thick fans just above his stark cheekbones. So haggard, so...lost. She lifted her hand to his cheek, his heavy stubble tickling her palm. If she gave in, though, he'd be gone in a heartbeat...
It hit her then. Gone where? They were trapped. He couldn't walk away this time. Couldn't leave her behind. Couldn't hide from her questions. Her love.
Against all her better judgment, hope flared in her heart.
"Let me touch you, Jules," he whispered roughly, lowering his mouth to the corner of hers. Slowly he made his way down her body, touching but not taking. Almost as if he couldn't help himself. Until he knelt before her, hands on her thighs, waiting. Watching her. "Let me make it better."
God, did she have the strength? Could she take one more risk, after everything she'd already lost? Her daughter, her marriage... Could she bear it if she tried to reach for her husband and everything she feared about their relationship was true?
Could she bear it if she was wrong and never took the opportunity to find out for sure?
Closing her eyes, she finally let go of the rail. She reached blindly for his hands, guiding them to the hem of her skirt...and underneath. Her breath slipped out in a rush when he began lifting the fabric, sliding the skirt higher and higher up her thighs.
Her breath disappeared altogether when she felt the first hot lick of his tongue.