Title: Curtain Call
Author Brianna Stark
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Women’s Fiction
Release Date: March 15, 2020
Cover Design: Sarah Hansen
I am just one more dancer on a mission in New York City, sleeping on a studio couch.
I’ve spent my last five dollars.
My bag is gone.
There’s no one left to call.
Until he gives me a break.
He’s the Kent Morgan.
I call him my director.
My dance partner calls him the God.
And like all gods, he’s terrifying, mysterious, and the greatest thing to ever happen to the art form.
I came back to this city to give the performance of my life—before it’s too late.
Kent Morgan is my best shot.
But the world is turning against us.
And when the God sets his sights on me, I don’t know how to resist.
Turns out the performance of my life might just happen behind the curtain.
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I am not sure where to start because I would like to shake the words out of him and his whole mysterious persona. That or absorb him whole.
“So what did you want to talk about?” I ask, but all he does is look at me like he wants to avoid telling me what he wanted in the first place. Not that it matters anymore. He’s in my bedroom, and it seems we are both adjusting to that. After a moment, I become self-conscious about how I look, and I shift around trying to create that perfect pose. It’s an old habit—when I realize what I am doing, I place my hands in my lap and look down at my twiddling thumbs.
He lets out a breath and adjusts himself to face me. I have no idea what to say. I sense his hesitation as the tops of our heads sink closer together until they are almost touching. His cheek moves in next to my cheek. We pause, and I close my eyes. His breath is warm, while mine is tight, and we slowly exhale. We release a little more, and his rough jaw grazes mine, then his smooth nose and lashes. I imagine this is how blind people see each other. We get lost in the touching, maybe because we don’t have the words, as we respond to each other’s signals. Before I know it, we are lying on the bed. He looks unsure about this development, but it’s happening so naturally.
Then, finally, he brushes his lips against mine and we gradually open and join inside, and he is seeing me through his lips and touching every detail of my soul. I feel so utterly visible as his fingers trace the outside of my sweater. It doesn’t take much longer for the kiss to become heavy, desperate, as though we are trying to consume one another and can’t get enough. Ever.
Kent pulls back. He rubs his hands quickly over his face and looks at me. “Is this a good idea?” His gaze pleads with mine.
“What? Sleeping together?” I’m dozy. Weak.
The muscle in his jaw clenches.
He stands up from the end of my bed and starts pacing in my tiny room, his hand scrubbing that worn spot on his neck. “I don’t know what my problem is,” he smirks. “This isn’t something I do.”
I reach for him and rest my hands flat on his hard, warm chest. “It’s okay,” I whisper, and he looks at me in a way that is disapproving, or maybe questioning. “Maybe you put too much pressure on yourself. We are human.” I’m not sure if I know what I am talking about, but it seems like something he needs to hear.
But my fingers have a mind of their own as they travel the cool cotton draped over his shoulders and curl over the collar of his shirt. I study his sharp eyes where his focus slices into me.
He inhales through his nose, my fingers tremble as they pull him closer by the collar, and our noses brush as our eyelids graze together.
“If I sleep with you…” His voice is coarse breath.
If you sleep with me…
The rest is said in our eyes as our focus falls away and our heads drop. We both fall onto our backs with a heavy sigh.
Brianna Stark writes romance with an edge. She spends her summers with her BF in a log cabin in the Pacific Northwest, where she is happiest writing. In her spare time she practices yoga, craves coffee more than she would like, and goes for walks with her three-pound Pomchi, who stops to kiss everyone. She is the author of the Driven Dance Theater series.
LIGHTS UP is available now. CURTAIN CALL is coming soon!
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