There’s fire, and I’m walkin’ through it naked. Angel’s somewhere in the flames, and I’m lookin’ for her. I can feel the flames against my skin but they don’t hurt. Then I see her. She’s screamin’. Burnin’ up. I run to her, and cover her with my body, to protect her. The flames start hurtin’ now. I can feel my flesh getting’ hot. I can feel my skin begin to peel, I scream in pain… “Hey, you ok?” I wake up feelin’ like I just slammed into a fuckin’ wall. My body’s hot, my blood pumpin’. Angel puts a cool hand against my face, and it feels good against my hot, sweaty skin. “It’s nothin’.” I look at her. Seein’ her face next to me calms me down a little, makes me feel a little fuckin’ cooler, but I feel a whole new sense of frustration and edginess lookin’ at her. “I need a drink,” I say, getting’ out of bed and walkin’ to the kitchen. I feel like somethin’ is pullin’ at me. A naggin’ feelin’ in my gut that somethin’ needs to be done. Soon. I turn on the tap and put my head under it, gulpin’ down water into my dry throat. I splash some on my face. Angel walks into the kitchen. “Coffee?” she asks. I nod. I can’t be near her. I can’t look at her. I go to the bathroom, lock the door, and sit on the toilet, my head in my hands. Today. I have to do somethin’ today. “Coffee’s done,” Angel calls from the other side of the bathroom door. I realize I’ve been sittin’ in there for a full ten minutes, just losin’ my mind, barely able to think. I have to get my shit together. Maybe coffee will help. I join Angel in the room. There’s a little table by the window, and Angel has the cups there. She’s opened the shutters. I sit opposite her, lookin’ out of them, avoidin’ those eyes… “Is there something…” Angel trails off. Maybe she sees the fire burnin’ inside me, the ragin’ fuckin’ forces that are beatin’ the shit out of each other, with me in the middle. I gulp my coffee. “I feel a lot better,” Angel says. I turn away from the window to look at her. “Am I supposed to care?” “I just thought--” “You thought wrong, bitch. You don’t think at all when you’re with me, ok?” Angel stiffens and looks at me, her eyes wide. “O-ok.” “Good,” I say. The frustration is fillin’ up in me, burstin’ to get out, and she’s close enough to feel it. I can’t let myself get close to her. I can’t let her inside. She’s already under my skin. Makin’ me feel things I don’t wanna feel, think things that I don’t wanna be thinkin’. This bitch will destroy me.
Kelli Maine is the erotic romance author of USA Today Bestseller and #1 Nook book, Taken, and the Give & Take series, along with the Dolls & Doms novellas and Chains. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and kids. When she’s not writing, Kelli enjoys watching reality T.V., getting lost in random Wikipedia pages and searching online ads for vintage muscle cars. Favorite Author: Diana Gabaldon Favorite Food: Japanese Favorite Superhero: Spiderman Favorite Place I’ve Been: Yucatan Peninsula Writing Must Haves: Coffee and chocolate