The Girl Upstairs Excerpt

“What’s a near kiss?”

“I was serious before when I said I’m sad that I’ve only met you tonight. I’ve enjoyed sharing a meal with you and wish I didn’t have to leave in the morning,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed tonight too. I promised my best friend I’d venture out at least once. All week I put it off, and as I can’t lie to save my life, I had to at least try once, or he would kick my ass for maintaining my hermit lifestyle.”

“Your best friend is a bloke?”

“Yeah, I know, odd, right? We met in junior school and lived in the same town growing up. We stayed friends when he went off to university, and I stayed local. I didn’t fancy exploring the country to get a degree. There are two perfectly great universities in the county. I saved a boatload of student debt, but then I was lucky. My parents are fabulous where his weren’t so great. He left as soon as he could. I still live in the same town I grew up in, albeit not with my parents. I have a small house that’s perfect for me.”

“That’s a lot of personal information for someone who agreed to keep things vague.”

I nudged his shoulder in reply. “I dare you to track me down based solely on that information.”

“True, it could be Bristol, Brighton, London, or Edinburgh. They have two Universities, don’t they?”

I shrugged in reply, not wanting to give away he’d got it right in the four cities he threw out there.

“So, you two never got together as a couple?”

“Nope, I don’t see him like that. He’s more of a brother than anything else. I’m an only child, and he filled the gap of a sibling.”

“Not even a near kiss?”

“What’s a near kiss?”

Half a bottle of wine, and I was feeling bold. Pav leaned forward, his lips so close. “I think we were here earlier when the server arrived. That was a near kiss.”

I couldn’t see his mouth we were so close. His hand moved over my stomach to curl around my waist. He pulled me closer to his side. The feeling of his hard body against my breasts was intoxicating—this perfect stranger.

“And what’s this?” I whispered, quieter this time.

The noise from the port silenced as the blood rushed around my head, making me deaf to everything. Pav’s eyes closed as he pressed his lips against mine. My eyelids closed as soon as we connected. He was softly kissing me, moving his arm further around my body, with his palm flat on my back. I curled my legs up to cuddle in against his body.

When he broke the kiss and leaned his head back a few inches, I matched his grin.

“That was a near kiss, moving into an actual,” he answered.

With our bodies squashed together and the blanket covering us, I felt like it cocooned me from the world. Pav silenced my busy mind and brought my body alive.

“It was a nice kiss,” I said.

“Nice?”

“Yeah, don’t you like nice kisses?”

“I prefer sexy, thrilling, arousing, and obscene.”

“Oh,” I replied.

Pav moved forward again, his eyes firmly on my mouth. I parted my lips, ready for one of his sexy, thrilling kisses, and hoped I’d be aroused, and we weren’t too obscene. Just as his mouth covered mine, he brought the blanket up over our heads. The first sweep of his tongue sent shock waves around my body. I needed to get closer and opened my mouth wider, matching his passion, clutching his shirt to bring him closer.

His moan drove me crazy wild with our kiss. How could this man I’d met hours before press all my arousal buttons with one kiss? His hand left my back and made its way up to my breast, squeezing hard. It was my turn to cry out. My boobs were so tender under his touch. My fingers reached his collar, and I scraped my nails at his nape. He broke the kiss immediately.

“You’re going to have me panting like a teenager if you keep doing that,” he whispered while he kissed my cheek.

Pav dropped the blanket, keeping it high at our shoulders.

“I think you fulfilled all four of your descriptions with a single kiss.”

“Your lips are the softest I’ve ever kissed,” he replied, stroking his thumb across my bottom lip. “I had to stop, else we’d be kicked out for indecency.”

I chuckled at his confession because the kiss was so hot, I wouldn’t have had the strength to stop his hands wherever they roamed.

“Excuse me,” a staff member said after he opened the glass door to our left. “We need to close up the outside area. We’re due to have a rainstorm.”

“Ok,” I replied. “We’ll come in now.”

Pav stood first, holding the blanket to his body, offering his hand to help me up. Once I was upright, I glanced at Pav, waiting for him to move.

“Are you going to let go of the blanket?” I asked him.

He was clutching it like a lifeline.

He looked at my breasts and then back at my face. I followed his gaze to my boobs and saw that my nipples were hard and erect, clear for anyone to see.

“I have that problem too, except mine is more pronounced.”

I laughed behind my hand. Pav’s face was contorted with embarrassment as he searched the veranda for help.

“Put your suit jacket on?” I suggested.

It was draped over the arm of the sofa where we’d been sitting.

As soon as he dropped the blanket, I looked at his crotch, and he was showing an impressive erection against the zip of his suit trousers.

“Stop looking with that heady gaze. It’s making it harder,” Pav said through gritted teeth while he smiled and nodded at someone behind me.

I had no clue what he was nodding to. This man was hard for me after one kiss, and that felt exhilarating. Added to that, he wasn’t ashamed to tell me or show me. I’d never met a man apart from Parker, who was open to talking about lust, love, and attraction.

I turned my back, picked up my handbag to allow Pav to sort himself out, and walked to the glass door the staff member held open for us. I scooted around him and stepped into the bar area. The crowds had thinned, and the noise levels were significantly lower than when I’d first entered. A glance at my watch said that I’d been with Pav for four hours, as it was just past midnight.

An arm circled my back, and I looked to my left to see Pav staring down at me. “Fancy a nightcap?”

“Not for me. I have to get up early for my flight home. I don’t want a hangover on a plane journey.”

“Good point. My train leaves early too. Which floor are you on?”

“The seventh, how about you?”

“The sixth. Let me walk you to your door?” he asked.

I nodded rather than answered with words, as all I could think of was hell yes.

Published by Grace Harper

Grace Harper is a British author who loves to write about strong women and the friends and lovers who make them stronger. She adores writing steamy scenes of first encounters and there is always a little twist along the way. When Grace is not writing, she can be found mooching about in stationery stores, dreaming up tattoo designs or teasing her friends until everyone is in fits of giggles. Grace might have a Maltesers addiction but is not ready to stand up and own that just yet. If you want to get in touch, please do, Grace is pretty laid back and friendly.

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