From Synithia's WIP, Making It Real, Book 3 in her Henderson Family series :
One glance through the peephole and buzzing started in her midsection. Kareem stood on the other side. Encased in shadows and resembling a dangerous temptation the throbbing sensation between her legs didn’t want to resist.
“Um … just a second, okay.”
She couldn’t make out his muffled response before she hurried down the hall to the bedroom. Flinging open the drawer that contained her scarves she found nothing but a few socks and empty space.
“Damn!” They were all in the wash. Her heart tripled the crazy dance in her chest. She lifted a hand to one of the rollers at the end of her twists. Of course he would come when she looked like her Grandmother Mabel.
She took a deep breath and trudged back to the front door. Her sweaty palm slipped on the door knob. It’s not like he’s interested and you do need to talk to him. Her heart still hammered.
Patrice swung open the door before she could freak herself out more. “Hey, what’s up?” She aimed for nonchalant, but didn’t quite stick the landing.
Kareem’s flat black eyes roamed over her. Pausing for a second on her hips in the red pajama bottoms. Shit, the hole at the hip.
“Umm … hey?” Kareem crossed the threshold. Completely filling the door with wide black leather encased shoulders.
Patrice sucked in a breath, but her lungs refused to accept the oxygen. The enticing mixture of cold air, leather, and Kareem made her body hum.
She met his direct gaze. The scar above his lip danced and the corners of his mouth twitched. Dark thick brows drew in then out.
Patrice narrowed her eyes and placed a hand on her hip. “Don’t you dare laugh.”
“I’m not,” he said, his mouth trembling. “I swear. I just … I mean … interesting hair.”
“I swear I’ll kick you out if you dare laugh.”
“Nah, you look very cute. Kind of like my grandmother.” Then he grinned. Full-fledged, teeth showing grin. Something Patrice had never seen and hadn’t been sure he could actually do. Her heart constricted then vibrated in her chest. Hard features were transformed, taking ten years off and gave a glimpse of the carefree young man he might have been; before mistakes sandpapered his smooth edges.
David took a sip from his beer before meeting the woman his brother was anxious for him to check out. When their eyes met his heart constricted, while the beer went down his windpipe with an icy burn. Fierce coughs were his only response to the shock of making contact with the hazel eyes that haunted him every year on his birthday.
He spun back to the bar and set the drinks on the surface. Rough coughs racked his body, and he pressed a hand to his chest to stop it. Hands hit his back. Voices asked if he was okay. But it was all background noise, drowned out by memories of her voice whispering his name in the dark, a secret smile directed his way, her soft body warm and welcoming beneath his.
It couldn’t be her.
When the burn subsided, he took a deep breath and reassured his sister he was okay. He mentally braced himself before turning around. His heart beat harder than the bass of the music. He faced the group. It was her. Ten years had passed, and damned if she wasn’t better with age. Cinnamon-colored skin; he used to call her his cinnamon bun. Damn, he was corny back then. He quickly let his eyes flick over her green dress. It stopped above the knee, and a black belt cinched her waist, accenting the flare of her hips. Black heels gave added height to her five feet nine inch frame. He remembered her exact height, the only woman that fit against him perfectly. Her hair was shorter now, in an asymmetrical cut, short on one side and long on the other. Nostalgia sent a drum roll of desire through his body.
She didn’t appear surprised to see him. Her full lips curved into a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. She wasn’t happy to see him.
“Oh, wow, David Henderson.” Her voice was low, husky. A reminder of nights spent in a twin bed in her dorm room while she moaned his name. “It’s good to see you.” A lie if he ever heard one. Her eyes were frigid.
Seeing her released a floodgate of memories. Memories he’d long suppressed and said no longer mattered. For a split second he considered reaching out to hug or touch her, pull her against him to confirm she was really there. Kareem shifted at her side. That’s right, she was here for Kareem.
“Sandra Brevard. I haven’t seen you since … ”
“College. You’re Kareem’s brother. Now I know why he looked so familiar.” She turned to Kareem and smiled. “You’ve got the same eyes.”
His stomach clenched. His eyes, what she used to call her favorite feature. Now she saw them in his brother. A raw and violent jealousy surged inside him at the thought of another man with her. That too wasn’t new, but he’d lost the ability to act on it years ago.
David Henderson is willing to do just about anything to stop his father from selling the family's successful automotive dealership. And that means proving to his pops that he's serious about his future. Even getting married and having kids is on the table - especially when the love of his life, a woman he hurt through foolish mistakes, walks back in on his brother's arm. He vows he'll grab this second chance to make things right.
Sandra Miller didn't think twice about the opportunity to move to a new city for her career. But the success she needs comes at a high price: she'll have to partner with David Henderson, the man who said he loved her then crushed her heart. He's making it clear he wants her back, but is the potential personal pain worth the professional gain?
Neither can ignore the desire simmering between them. But the mistrust and jealousy that tore them apart before is determined to prevent a replay of their love.
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Synithia Williams has enjoyed romance novels since she was 13 years old, so it’s no surprise that she began writing her own. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s working on water quality in the Midlands of South Carolina. She lives with her husband, Eric, and two boys.
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