Thanks to Anne for this awesome hot hump day excerpt. You'll be squirming as much as Grace by the end of it!
Blinking rapidly, Grace decided to get out of the heat. She was truly losing it. She crossed the street and went inside a restaurant to get a cold drink and cool off. It didn't make any sense. She spent all day in the sun for a living, why was the heat getting to her today?
She sat at the table in the air conditioning and drank her soda, waiting for the effects of Damien's sudden disappearance to wear off. Her mind's vision went green and a voice came to her.
"You're not crazy, Grace. These things are happening to you. Talk to me, Grace." It was Rafe's voice, and she realized that it had been Rafe's voice all along. Rafe's voice accompanied the green haze during her saves. Was that why he had seemed so familiar when they'd first met? Grace saw two scenarios to the situation. One, she was losing it. The stress of her job, the hurricane, and house-hunting, compounded with her confusion over her emotions about Rafe, and his admission of archangelness was causing some sort of break-down. Or two, it was all true.
That revelation caused her to call the waitress back over so she could order a basket of French fries covered with chili and cheese. Comfort food.
What was happening to her? Why was Rafe's voice inside her head? Had it been his voice the whole time? She wracked her brain, trying to remember details of the other experiences with the green light in her mind. Until Rafe had moved in with them, the green had only happened when she'd been working a save. She just couldn't be sure.This crazy man had worked his way completely under her skin, and she was beginning to doubt her own sanity.
She was overwhelmed suddenly with images of Rafe, sensations of his touch on her skin. His kisses. She lowered her head into her hands and groaned aloud, earning herself amused looks from neighboring tables.
Grace couldn't get him out of her head.
"I'm not leaving."
The voice again. Jeez, she was imagining him inside her head, his voice inside her head.
"You're not crazy." His voice was soft, reassuring. "And neither am I."
She made a conscious decision to talk back to him, being careful to keep it in her head. Grace didn't need any more looks from restaurant patrons. "Yes, you are. And I am, too. I'm talking to you, aren't I?" Her “inside the head” voice was a whisper, as if she didn't even want herself to hear.
His chuckle in her head made her warm all over. "Call me, Grace. I can explain some of this."
"Why do I need to call you? Apparently, we can talk this way."
"Because you don't believe this is really happening."
"You're right. I'm deluded." Apparently, this part came out aloud, because the waitress had just arrived with her chili-cheese fries and gave her a strange look.
"You okay, hon?" Grace nodded, before digging into her greasy comfort food.
"Are you?" The voice inside her head was persistent, and pissing her off.
"No. I'm not. I'm seeing things. I'm talking to myself. The only guy I can't stop thinking about is insane, I've effectively lost my job. I'm living in a hotel room. No I'm not okay!" She mentally screamed it at her imaginary Rafe voice.
"I'm coming to you."
"Fine, then." He sounded hurt, and Grace felt guilty for hurting her imaginary friend's feelings.
"Just leave me alone."
"No." The voice inside her head was resolute. "I can make you want me."
Suddenly, Grace felt warm and she could feel the flush rise up her cheeks. She already wanted him. That was part of the problem. Rafe chuckled inside her head. Suddenly, an intense pressure registered between her legs, and she crossed them. Her stomach sank. He could get inside her head, but could he do this?
"Yes. I can." She wasn't aware that she had consciously asked the question, but she couldn't squeeze her legs together hard enough to relieve the pressure, so she shifted in her seat, looking around to see if anybody was watching her.
Her breasts felt fuller suddenly, and her nipples were tingly and erect. She could feel the blood flow to her nether regions, and she sat up straight, arching her back to press down on the seat.
"Would you stop?" She hissed inside her head.
"Shh…I'm concentrating." She could almost feel his hands on her body, sending shivers of delight across her skin. Grace couldn't stop squirming in her seat, feeling the invisible pressure build at the apex of her thighs. She tried to squirm and press the seam of her shorts against herself, but it was only making the sensations worse. She looked around again, to make sure nobody was looking before pressing her hand against her sex, under the table. Another chuckle from inside her head.
Her mouth was dry, and she tried to swallow past the lump in her throat, but she couldn't. Her breath was coming in gasps, and she willed herself to not succumb to the desire that was filling her body. Keeping her body still and afraid to breathe, Grace pressed her hand against the crotch of her shorts, willing whatever was coming to come.
Just do it quietly.
The pressure was so intense she could barely breathe, and she could feel waves of heat crashing through her body. "Come on, Rafe…Just do it…Please." Her voice inside her head was a desperate plea. Nothing had ever made her feel this before. Not even herself.
“Really?” The voice in her head sounded smug.
“Do it or stop messing with me. Please…” She had crossed her legs, then wrapped her foot around her calf, squeezing furiously, hand on her crotch pressing to relieve pressure. She was almost out of her mind.
“I’m coming to you. I need you to be thinking of me this way. We could be so good together.”
His voice inside her head was picking at her seams, unravelling her with its husky depth. And then it was gone, leaving her aching with need.
Rafael is one of God’s Four Winds, the Archangel of Healing. He has answered the countless prayers for healing of loved ones, wondering what it was about the emotion that made humans willing to sacrifice so much.
Grace is a lifeguard who has been on Rafe’s radar since she lost a little boy three years ago. What she doesn’t realize is the green haze that comes over her during a rescue is actually a diving presence who’s about to give up his celestial body to become a very real entity in her life.
While Grace is trying to overcome her own demon, Rafe is discovering his own sexuality, but there’s a darker presence making himself known. The Deceiver wants what Rafe is getting, and he’ll do whatever it takes to have her.
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