We’re back with our second excerpt and quote from Aftermath Of Secrets.
In our last post, we had the opportunity to enjoy Molly and Brad’s Scrabble game and smack-talk. Today there’s plenty more Brad and Molly banter, plus hints of the romantic undercurrents complicating their lifelong friendship (Oh, they’re juicy!).
Aftermath Of Secrets Excerpt
Today had been great—like the last four days. Normal, yet different. She and Brad could never entirely go back to the way things used to be, but now that he was around so often, she realized how much she’d missed having him here on the island for more than a handful of days throughout the year. They’d made the most of their four nights of fun—tree decorating, bowling, enjoying dinner out and a movie, and today they’d spent the latter part of the morning and afternoon outdoors. “What do you think it’s been, five or six years since you’ve been home for more than a week in a row?”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah, something like that.”
“It’s like the good old days.”
He shrugged, pushing off the wall, moving her way. “Sort of.”
She winced, foolishly forgetting that life for Brad was currently unrecognizable. “I guess that was pretty dumb of me to say.”
“No, I just meant Nate isn’t here hanging out in his boxers, and I haven’t done this yet.”
She frowned. “What?”
“Dunked you,” he said as he pressed his hand on top of her head and sent her under.
She sank beneath the watery depths, slapping at his hand and arm as he kept her submerged for a good three or four seconds. She came up sputtering and glaring. “You idiot.” She coughed again. “Are you trying to drown me?”
He dismissed her with a chuckle and flippant raise of his brow. “So dramatic. We had about three minutes before we needed to start worrying about brain damage.”
Her eyes narrowed again. “Oh, you’re dead,” she said, gritting her teeth, charging after him.
He laughed, swimming away.
But they were well-matched, both of them excellent swimmers. All the Sanderson and Carter kids had had numerous lessons in their younger days due to their proximity to the Atlantic.
She hooked her arm around his neck, maneuvered her way onto his back, and sent them both underwater, her legs locking around his waist to keep her leverage. But his sheer size and strength were her disadvantage.
Then they both surfaced for air, Brad laughing before she brought him under again. Within seconds, he had their positions reversed, and he held her against him, one arm wrapped around the front of her waist, the other around her shoulders as they came up for another draw of air.
His breath puffed against her neck in hot torrents as their legs brushed with their kicks to stay afloat, while he let her waist go and used his arm to tread water. “Molls, this is quite a predicament.”
He wasn’t kidding. She was pinned beneath his strong arm, and her back was pressed against his solid chest, with no choice but to grip his muscular forearm caging her in place. “Fine. You win.” She just needed him to let her go.
“That’s it? Since when do you give up so easy?”
Since he’d kissed her brainless and taken her to bed. “Since I realized it’s time to get home and get changed for your party at Nate and Callie’s.” She tried to move away from him.
He switched arms, now holding her around the waist, and began keeping their heads above water with his opposite arm. “No problem. Just say, Brad, you’re the best Scrabble player I know. I bow to you, you genius.”
She huffed out a laugh, raising her arm to the surface to help keep their chins from bobbing under. “I won. Three years in a row now.”
“Just luck.” He held her tighter, whispering next to her ear, his voice full of teasing. “You’re the best, Brad. That’s all I need to hear.”
“Broody Brad,” she murmured, knowing he hated it when she called him that—a slight from their childhood.
“What was that?” he asked, drilling his fingers into her side, tickling her.
She scream-laughed. “Damn it, Brad.” She fought him enough to turn and immediately realized her huge mistake as he held her chest to chest, and they stared into each other’s eyes.
He grinned. “This is certainly a situation.”
A droplet trailed down his face to land on his firm bottom lip, and his eyelashes were webbed together, making him even more irresistible than he already was. Her heart pounded, her pulse thundering in her throat, and she glared at him, needing to be free of him, well aware he was enjoying this far too much.
There was an undeniable attraction between them. All she had to do was press her mouth to his, and they would have a repeat of August. But they weren’t going there again. She wasn’t risking their friendship a second time. “You’re the best Scrabble player I know. I bow to you, you genius.”
He tipped his head back. “Victory is sweet.”
“Now let me go, so I can get out of here and get dressed.”
He released her.
She swam to the side, hoisted herself up, and immediately froze her butt off as the wind gusted in the barely thirty-degree temperatures. “Oh my God, it’s cold.”
He hoisted himself up next to her. “Holy shit.”
They wrapped themselves in their towels and beelined it to the French doors along the back patio of the rambling house.
He closed them inside, locking the door behind them. “I don’t know what we’re going to do about underwear for you—throw it in the dryer or something?”
“I’m all set. I’ll just take these off and wear my jeans and sweater home.”
She watched him swallow and turned away, a smug smile spreading across her face. He’d fought dirty in the pool, and she was fighting back. But that was officially the end of their game.
Molly is doing her best to fight her attraction to Brad, but how long can she resist?
I’ll be back with our last Aftermath of Secrets excerpt and steamiest quote by far.