EDIT: THIS BLOG POST ACTUALLY TURNED INTO AN ENTIRE NOVEL!
To Pre-order Losing Hope, just click here. It’s Holder’s POV of Hopeless and comes out July 9th.
How could I not give you guys a belated Christmas gift after seeing HOPELESS hit #2 on the Amazon bestsellers list?
I stayed up until 4am last night writing Holder’s point of view of one of the most highlighted scenes on Goodreads. The best first kiss in the history of first kisses, minus the kiss. <3 I only wrote this as a Christmas gift, not as a teaser to a whole book.
There are MAJOR SPOILERS in this scene. DO NOT READ if you have yet to read Hopeless, because it will SPOIL IT FOR YOU. Did you get that?
SPOILERS! HERE! BELOW THIS SENTENCE! MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ALL YOU HOPELESS VIRGINS!!! <<<That didn’t sound right.
Okay, here we go. And in case you skipped everything above this sentence, THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS BONUS SCENE!!!!!!!
Holder’s point of view
Saturday, September 1st, 2012.
I ball my hand up into a tight fist and keep it at my side, doing everything in my power not to touch her mouth.
I’ve just never seen anything so perfect before.
She’s been reading for well over half an hour now and I haven’t heard a damn word she’s said. Last night it was so much easier to pay attention to the actual story because I wasn’t looking directly at her. Tonight it’s taking every ounce of willpower I have not to claim her mouth with mine. She’s propped against me with her head on my chest, using me as her pillow. I’m hoping she can’t feel my heart pounding right now because every time she glances up at me when she flips a page, I squeeze my fists even tighter and try to keep my hands to myself but my resistance resonates in my pulse. And it’s not that I don’t want to touch her. I want to touch her and kiss her so fucking bad it physically hurts.
I just don’t want it to be insignificant to her. When I touch her…I want her to feel it. I want every single thing I say to her and every single thing I do to her to have significance.
Last night when she told me she’s never felt anything when she was kissed, my heart did this crazy thing where it felt bound, like it was being constricted, just like the lungs in my chest. I’ve dated a lot of girls, even though I might have downplayed that to her. Out of every single girl I’ve been with and even the one I thought I loved, my heart had never reacted like it reacts to her. And I’m not referring to my hearts feelings for her, because let’s be honest, I barely know her. I’m referring to my hearts literal, physical reaction to her. Every time she speaks or smiles or God forbid, laughs…my heart reacts like it’s been sucker-punched. I hate it and like it and somehow have become addicted to it. Every time she speaks, the sucker-punch in my chest reminds me that somehow, there’s still something there.
A huge internal part of me was lost thirteen years ago. Then last year, I was convinced Les took the very last contents of my chest with her when she died. I’m not so sure about that, anymore. I don’t think my chest has been empty this whole time like I thought. Whatever is left inside of me has just been asleep, and this girl is somehow slowly waking it up.
With every word she speaks and every glance she sends my way, she’s unknowingly pulling me out of this thirteen-year-long nightmare I’ve been trapped in.
I unclench my fist and bring it up to her hair that’s spilled across my chest. I pick up a loose strand and curl it around my finger, keeping my eyes trained on her mouth while she reads to me. I find myself comparing her to Hope every now and then, despite my efforts not to. I’m trying to recall exactly what Hope’s eyes looked like or if she had the same four freckles across the bridge of her nose that Sky has. Every time I start to compare them, I force myself to stop. It doesn’t matter anymore and I need to let it go. I have to find a way to let go of the constant need I have to rectify the fact that I just walked away.
Hope is gone and if I don’t accept it, the tricks my mind are trying to play on me when I’m with Sky will end up driving me insane. The chances of the girl I lost being right here, pressed against my chest, her strand of hair between my fingertips…it’s impossible. Their similarities are merely a coincidence and I need to stop speculating and comparing them, combining my memories and past with Hope to my present with Sky. I need to separate the two of them in my head before I screw up and do something stupid, like refer to Sky by the wrong name.
That would suck.
I notice her lips are pressed into a tight, thin line and she isn’t speaking anymore. It’s a damn shame because her mouth is fucking hypnotizing.
“Why’d you stop talking?” I ask her, without looking at her eyes. I keep my gaze trained on her lips, hoping they start moving again.
“Talking?” she says, her top lip curling up in a grin. “Holder, I’m reading. There’s a difference. And from the looks of it, you haven’t been paying a lick of attention.”
The false feistiness in her reply makes me smile. “Oh, I’ve been paying attention,” I say, lifting up onto my elbows. “To your mouth. Maybe not to the words coming out of it, but definitely to your mouth.” I slide out from under her until she’s on her back, then I scoot down until I’m beside her. I pull her against me and take her hair between my fingertips again. The fact that she doesn’t resist in the slightest only means I’ll be at war with myself the rest of the damn night. She’s already made it clear she wants me to kiss her, and I’ll be damned if backing away from having her pressed up against the refrigerator wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Shit. Just thinking about it is almost as intense as when it was actually happening.
I drop the strand of hair and watch as my fingers fall straight to her lips. I don’t know how the last five seconds just occurred, but I’m looking down at my hand as it grazes over her mouth like I have no control over my limbs anymore. My hand has a mind of its own but I really don’t care…or want to stop it.
I feel her breath against my fingertips and I have to bite the inside of my cheek to center my focus on something else other than on what I want. Because it’s not my wants that are important right now—it’s hers. And I highly doubt she wants to taste my mouth as much as I need to taste hers right now.
“You have a nice mouth,” I say, still slowly tracing it with the tips of my fingers. “I can’t stop looking at it.”
“You should taste it,” she says. “It’s quite lovely.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and drop my head to her neck, forcing my focus away from those lips. “Stop it, you evil wench.”
She laughs. “No way. This is your stupid rule; why should I be the one to enforce it?”
Oh, Jesus. It’s a game to her. This whole not kissing thing is a game to her and she’s going to tease the hell out of me. I can’t do this. If I give in and kiss her before she’s ready I know I won’t be able to stop. And I don’t know what the hell is going on inside my chest right now but I really like the way it feels when I’m around her and if I can drag whatever this is out to make sure she feels the same way, then that’s exactly what I’ll do. If it takes me weeks to ensure she gets to that point before I give in to my own wants, then I guess I’ll wait weeks. In the meantime, I’ll do whatever I can to make sure her next first is anything but insignificant.
“Because, you know I’m right,” I say, explaining exactly why she needs to help me enforce this rule. “I can’t kiss you tonight because kissing leads to the next thing, which leads to the next thing, and at the rate we’re going we’ll be all out of firsts by next weekend. Don’t you want to drag our firsts out a little longer?” I pull away from her neck and look down at her, very aware that there is less space between our mouths right now than between our bodies.
“Firsts?” she says, looking up at me curiously. “How many firsts are there?”
“There aren’t that many, which is why we need to drag them out. We’ve already passed too many since we met.”
She tilts her head and her expression grows attractively serious. “What firsts have we already passed?”
“The easy ones,” I say. “First hug, first date, first fight, first time we slept together, although I wasn’t the one sleeping. Now we barely have any left. First kiss. First time to sleep together when we’re both actually awake. First marriage. First kid. We’re done after that. Our lives will become mundane and boring and I’ll have to divorce you and marry a wife who’s twenty years younger than me so I can have a lot more firsts and you’ll be stuck raising the kids.” I bring my hand to her cheek and smile at her. “So you see, babe? I’m only doing this for your benefit. The longer I wait to kiss you, the longer it’ll be before I’m forced to leave you high and dry.”
She laughs and the sound is so toxic I’m forced to swallow the huge lump in my throat so I can make room to breathe again.
“Your logic terrifies me,” she says. “I sort of don’t find you attractive anymore.”
I slowly slide on top of her, careful to hold my weight up with my hands. If my body were to touch any part of hers right now, we’d already be moving on to seconds and thirds. “You sort of don’t find me attractive?” I say, staring straight down into her eyes. “That can also mean you sort of do find me attractive.”
Her eyes grow dark and she shakes her head. I can see the dip in the base of her throat barely move as she gulps before speaking. “I don’t find you attractive at all. You repulse me. In fact, you better not kiss me because I’m pretty sure I just threw up in my mouth.”
I laugh, then drop onto my elbow so I can move closer to her ear, still careful not to touch any other part of her.
“You’re a liar,” I whisper. “You’re a whole lot attracted to me and I’m about to prove it.”
I had every intention of pulling away, but as soon as the scent of her hits me, I can’t pull back. My lips are pressed against her neck before I even have a chance to weigh the decision. But right now it feels a hell of a lot more like a necessity to taste her rather than just a decision. She gasps when I pull back and I can’t help but hope that her gasp was genuine. The thought of her actually feeling what I felt when my lips touched her neck makes me feel ridiculously victorious. It’s too bad I like a challenge because that gasp just made me want to up my game. I drop my mouth back to her ear and whisper, “Did you feel that?”
Her eyes are closed and she’s shaking her head no, breathing heavily. I look down at her chest, heaving dangerously close to mine.
“You want me to do it again?” I whisper.
I want her to beg me to do it again, but she shakes her head no. She’s breathing twice as fast as she was sixty seconds ago, so I know I’m getting to her. I laugh that she’s so adamantly shaking her head no, while at the same time clenching the sheet next to her with her fist. I move closer to her mouth because I suddenly have an overwhelming need to take in some of the breaths she’s wasting. It feels like I need them more than she does right now, so I inhale at the same time my lips meet her cheek. I don’t stop there, though. I can’t stop there. I continue to trail kisses from her cheek, down to her ear. I pause and catch my breath enough to speak in a steady voice. “How about that?”
Again, she stubbornly shakes her head, but tilts it back and slightly to the left, allowing me better access to her skin. I lift my hand from the bed and bring it to her waist, keeping my eyes trained on her as I slip my hand under her shirt, just far enough to graze her stomach with my thumb. I watch for any kind of reaction from her, but she’s got a stern, tight-lipped expression on her face now, like she’s trying to hold her breath. I don’t want her to hold her breath. I need to hear her breathe.
When I drop my mouth and nose to her jawline, she releases her pent up breaths just like I was hoping she would. I trail my nose across her jaw, inhaling the scent of her, then move down, listening intently to every single gasp that escapes her lips as if they’re the last sounds I’ll ever hear. When I reach her ear, four of my senses are in overdrive and one is seriously lacking—taste. I know I can’t taste her mouth tonight, but I have got to taste at least one part of her. I press my lips to her ear and she immediately brings her hand up to my neck, pulling me in deeper. Feeling her need my mouth against her skin rips my chest wide open and I completely give in, wanting to feel that need from her even more. I immediately part my lips and glide my tongue across her skin, taking in the sweetness of her and locking it in my memory. I’ve never tasted anything that rivaled perfection like she does.
Then she moans and holy hell. Everything I thought I previously knew about my desires or wants or needs becomes moot and lost in that sound. From this point forward, my new and only goal in life is to find a way to get her to make that exact same sound again.
I bring my hand to the side of her head and completely let loose, kissing and teasing every inch of her neck, trying to find that exact spot that got to her a few seconds ago. She drops her head against her pillow and I take the opportunity to explore more of her neck. As soon as my lips begin to trail toward the rise in her chest, I force myself north again, not wanting to push it to the point that she asks me to stop. Because I absolutely don’t want to stop whatever this is we’re doing.
Her eyes are still closed and I drop my gaze to her lips, kissing her softly near the corner of her mouth.
And there it is. The softest, most delicate sound escapes her throat again. I can’t ignore the fact that another internal part of me wakes up with that sound. I continue kissing a full circle around the edges of her lips, impressed that I’m somehow able to find strength to pull back.
I have to stop for a moment because if I don’t, I’ll for sure break my one and only rule tonight—which is absolutely no mouth contact. I know if I kiss her right now it’ll be great. But I don’t want her to have great. I want her to have incredible.
Looking at her lips right now, I know for a fact it’ll be incredible for me.
“They’re so perfect,” I say. “Like hearts. I could literally stare at your lips for days and never get bored.”
She opens her eyes and smiles. “No. Don’t do that. If all you do is stare, then I’ll be the bored one.”
Damn that smile. It’s painful having to watch that mouth smile and frown and pout and laugh and speak when all I want to watch it do is kiss me.
But then she licks her lips and everything I thought I just knew about pain actually starts to feel good compared to the way my heart is gouged out of my chest with that small tease. Jesus Christ, this girl.
I groan and press my forehead to hers. Having her mouth this close to mine sucks the self-control right out of me. I drop myself on top of her and it’s as if a rush of warm air swarms the room and encircles us. We both feel everything simultaneously and we moan together, move together and breathe together.
Then we completely give in together. All four of our hands are frantically pulling off my shirt as if two hands can’t do it fast enough. As soon as it’s off, her legs lock around my waist and she pulls me tightly against her. I drop my forehead back to hers and move against her, finding a new way to force those tiny sounds from her mouth that have quickly become my new favorite song. We continue to move together and the more she gasps and quietly moans, the closer my lips move to hers, wanting to experience those sounds first-hand. I just need a tiny sample of what her kiss will feel like. A little preview, that’s all. I allow my lips to brush against hers and we both suck in a breath.
She feels it. She actually fucking feels this right now and I think I’m drowning in satisfaction. I don’t want to speed things up and I definitely don’t want to slow things down. I just want to keep things exactly as they are right now because it’s perfect.
I bring my hand to the side of her head and keep my forehead pressed against hers, my lips resting against hers. I love the feel of our mouths sliding together, so I pull back and lick my lips to create smoother traction. I straighten my legs out, taking some of my weight off of my knees, not expecting the small shift to do what it does to her. She arches her back and whispers, “Oh, God.” I feel like I should answer her, because it sure as hell seems like she’s referring to me right now with the way she throws her arms around my neck and tucks her head against me. Her arms are trembling and her legs are clenching my waist and I realize that not only is she feeling this right now, she’s doing everything in her power to fight it.
“Holder,” she whispers, clenching onto my back. I’m not sure if she’s wanting me to answer her or not, but I forgot how to speak so it doesn’t matter. I can barely even remember how to breathe right now.
She says my name with more urgency this time so I kiss the side of her head and slow my movements against her. She hasn’t asked me to stop or slow down yet but I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s about to do. I do whatever I can to intercept her plea.
“Sky, if you’re asking me to stop, I will. But I’m hoping you’re not, because I really don’t want to stop, so please.” I lift up and look down at her, still barely moving against her. She still hasn’t asked me to stop yet and honestly, I’m afraid to. I’m afraid if I stop, then whatever she’s feeling right now will disappear. That scares me because I know that with me, I’ll be feeling her for days after this. I love knowing that what I’m doing to her right now is having enough of an effect that she feels she needs me to stop before she passes an unexpected first tonight.
I reach to her cheek and stroke it with the back of my hand, wanting…no, needing for her to pass this first tonight. “We won’t go any further than this, I promise,” I say to her. “But please don’t ask me to stop where we already are. I need to watch you and I need to hear you because the fact that I know you’re actually feeling this right now is so fucking amazing. You feel incredible and this feels incredible and please. Just…please.”
I drop my mouth to hers and kiss her softly, immediately pulling back before that amazing connection turns into more than just a peck. Her lips felt so incredible just now; I have to lift off of her completely in order to regain my bearings. Otherwise, I won’t be able to hold myself at bay for another second. I look down at her and she’s looking back up at me, searching my eyes for an answer to a question she can only answer for herself. I wait patiently for her to decide where we go from here.
Her head begins to shake back and forth and she places her hands on my chest.
“Don’t. Whatever you do, don’t stop.”
I remain still for a few seconds, repeating what she just said in my head several times until I’m absolutely certain she just told me not to stop. I slip my hand behind her neck and pull her forehead to mine. “Thank you,” I say breathlessly. I ease myself back down on top of her until we recapture our rhythm. She feels so incredible pressed against me, I don’t know that I’ll ever be the same again. This girl just raised the bar so far above all other girls’ heads, no one could ever even come close.
I kiss her everywhere my lips have already touched her tonight, picking up pace with the timing of her gasps and moans. When I feel her body tensing around mine I pull away from her neck and look down at her. She digs her nails deeper into my skin, then tilts her head back and closes her eyes. She looks absolutely beautiful like this, but I need her eyes on mine. I need to watch her feel this.
“Open your eyes,” I tell her. She winces, but doesn’t look up at me. “Please.”
Her eyes immediately open beneath me when I say please. Her eyebrows crease together and she loses all rhythm to her breathing pattern. She’s fighting to breathe now as her body begins to tremble beneath me, all the while keeping our gaze locked together. All I can do is hold my breath and watch the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen unfold beneath me. When the loudest of her moans has escaped her lips, she can no longer keep her eyes open. As soon as she closes them, I drop my lips back to hers, needing to feel them against mine again. When she’s finally calm, I move my lips down to her neck and kiss it like I wish I could be kissing her mouth right now.
But seeing how much she needs me to kiss her mouth right now is making the wait even more important for me. Considering what just happened between us, it almost seems absurd to keep up the assurance of not kissing her. But I’m stubborn and I like knowing that the next time we’re together like this; we’ll be able to experience another first that’s likely to drive me even more insane than tonight has.
I press my lips to her shoulder and push up on my arm. I trail my fingers down her hairline and wipe away the loose strands from her face. She looks absolutely content and it’s the most beautiful, satisfying thing I’ve ever felt.
“You’re incredible,” I say, knowing that word is a severe understatement for what she actually is. She smiles at me and inhales a deep breath at the same time I do. I collapse beside her on the bed, needing to get off of her immediately. My chest is completely alive right now and the only thing that I know can satisfy me is her mouth on mine. I force the image of it out of my mind and attempt to cool myself off by matching my breathing pattern with hers.
After silently finding a stable enough point to touch her again, I move my hand closer to hers on the bed and wrap my pinky around hers. The sensation of her pinky in mine feels way too familiar. Way too right. Way too long overdue. I squeeze my eyes shut and attempt to deny my conscience the satisfaction of being right.
She’s Sky. That’s who she is. I only doubt this because of how she feels so familiar. Familiarity is hardly enough to convince me otherwise.
I realize as we’re lying here that this is the first time in the past thirteen years I’m hoping my instincts are wrong, because if I’m right, the truth will devastate her.
Please, just let her be Sky.
My fear of being right keeps pushing through and I sit up on the bed, needing to separate myself from her. I need to clear my head of all this craziness. “I have to go,” I say, looking down at her. “I can’t be on this bed with you for another second.”
I’m being honest. I can’t be on this bed with her for another second, although I’m sure she thinks it’s for other reasons. Not for the reason I really need to separate myself from her—the fact that I’m terrified my intuition is finally right for once.
I stand and pull my shirt over my head and notice that she’s looking at me like I’m rejecting her. I know she probably thought I’d end up kissing her tonight, but she’s got a lot to learn when it comes to doubting my word.
I lean in close to her and smile reassuringly. “When I said you weren’t getting kissed tonight, I meant it. But dammit, Sky. I had no idea how fucking difficult you would make it.” I slip my hand behind her neck and lean in to kiss her cheek. When she gasps, it takes everything I have to release my hold and climb off the bed. I watch her as I walk toward the window and pull my phone from my pocket. I send her a quick text, then wink at her, right before I climb outside. I pull the window shut and back a few steps away. As soon as the window is shut, she jumps off her bed and runs out of her bedroom, more than likely to go grab her phone and check her text. Normally, her excitement would more than likely make me laugh. Instead I find myself staring blankly through her bedroom window. My heart feels heavy and my mind even heavier as the pieces of the puzzle slowly begin to fit together, right down to her name.
“The sky is always beautiful…”
The memory causes me to flinch. I brace my hand against the brick wall and inhale a deep breath. It’s almost laughable, really—the fact that I can sit here and entertain the possibility that this could actually happen after thirteen years. If it were true…if she really were her…it would ruin her. Which is exactly why I refuse to accept it without tangible proof—something I can actually touch that would confirm it. Without tangible proof, she’ll remain Sky to me.
I just want her to be Sky.