Saturday, January 07, 2012

Snippet Saturday--Fears

When I saw the theme today is 'fears' I knew I wanted to share an excerpt from Tasting Candy. Candice Warner was date-raped and as a result she has a major fear of men. In this scene, a couple of guys flirt with Candice, not realizing that their attention brings out her worst fears comes badass Blade Vaughn to the rescue. :)

In a few long strides, he yanked two of the huge men away from Candice. He slammed them both against the opposite wall, then glared at the third man, promising bodily harm if he so much as blinked. "You three hassling the lady?"

They all stammered at once. Blade was about to hit one of them when Lacey arrived. "Let them go, Blade," she pleaded, but he wasn’t in the mood to be accommodating. "It’s okay. I don’t think they meant any harm."

Blade wasn’t so sure. Keeping his eyes on the three idiots, he asked, "Candy, are you okay?"

"I-I’m fine." Candice’s reply was so small he barely heard her. He released the two Casanovas and watched as all three men hurried off. When he turned around, Candice was red as a beet and breathing erratically. Even more puzzling, his sister was helping her back toward the private workout room.

"Lacey?" he asked, feeling like an intruder. Lacey’s stern expression forced him to hold all his questions for later. A sense of helplessness settled in his stomach as he followed behind the two women, blocking curious patrons. He might not know Candice well, but he realized she was probably embarrassed. Candice was shy and she wouldn’t appreciate the gawking stares.

Once they were back in Lacey’s private workout area, Blade closed the door, effectively shutting out prying eyes. Lacey seated Candice against the wall on the floor, then ran to fetch a bottle of water.

Blade stood back, watchful and unsure what to do to make the shell-shocked expression on Candice’s delicate, oval face go away. She breathed easier, but now her cheeks were deathly pale. Her huge, dark blue eyes appeared to stare at nothing. She kept clenching and unclenching her fists. He was afraid she’d hurt herself if she continued to dig her fingernails into her palms.

What could the three men have done to make her panic? It didn’t appear as if they’d done anything more than talk to her. Hell, there hadn’t been time for more than that, but why would she get so upset over a little harmless flirting? Answers. Blade needed answers and he wouldn’t get them by playing guard duty.
He closed the distance between them. Candice blinked and stared up at him, then smiled. God, she was pretty when she did that. There was such a sweet innocence about her. Every time Blade was in her presence, he felt out of her league.

He crouched in front of her and took her fists in his hands, then gently uncurled her fingers and smoothed his thumbs over the little crescent moons she’d created with her nails. "If those assholes hurt you, I’ll kill them. Just say the word, Candy."

She blinked as if dazed. "No, but thank you, Blade. They didn’t do anything wrong. I just had a panic attack, that’s all. And my name is Candice, not Candy." His sister returned and handed Candice the glass of water, then fussed over her, breaking the fragile connection between them.

"Why did you go out to the main floor?" Lacey asked as she started to fan her with her hands. "You know how busy it gets on weekends, hun."

Candice shrugged. "I wasn’t thinking. I only wanted to give you two some privacy and I thought if I could just get to the bathroom and back I’d be okay, but…" Her words trailed off and she peeked at him again, making it clear that she wasn’t about to discuss the strange episode in front of him. He wanted her to open up to him, but every time the opportunity arose, she managed to wiggle away again.

Lacey massaged her arm in a soothing gesture, and a pang of envy shot through him. He wanted to be the one massaging Candice’s smooth, ivory skin.

"I think we better quit for today, don’t you?" Lacey said, "You should get home and take a nice warm bath. Try to relax and forget about all this."

Candice nodded and started to rise, and just that quick, Blade was there, grabbing the opportunity to touch her again. He helped her to her feet, but she stepped back as soon as she was upright. He was forced to release her or look like an idiot.

"I’m fine now, really. I’m sorry you had to take your time searching for me, Blade. I know you’re a busy man." When he started to tell her he hadn’t been put out, she talked right over him in that soft way she had. "I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you were there to help me with those guys. Thank you."
She smiled one last smile and walked away. She retrieved her gym bag and left out a back entrance, leaving Blade to stare and wonder what the hell had just happened.

Buy From: MBaM | Kindle | Nook |

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