Prologue: Love in the Dark by Mia Asher, a contemporary romance releasing Spring 2017!
Ten years ago … I’m strumming my fingers on the windowsill, watching the rain fall outside the apartment, when I feel small, warm arms hugging me from behind. “Good morning,” she says hoarsely before placing a kiss on my shoulder. I cover her hands with mine, enjoying the feel of her naked body pressed against me. “Sleep well?” “Like a rock.” “I didn’t know rocks snored.” She bites my shoulder. “Idiot,” she adds teasingly. Chuckling, I reach for her and bring her to stand in front of me. “Hello,” I say, kissing the tip of her nose. A halo of fire frames her delicate features accentuating the milky whiteness of her skin and the blue of her eyes. Poppy Kent. I met her over two years ago when she spilled hot coffee on my lap by “accident.” According to her, I was rude to one of her coworkers at the coffee shop where she worked, so she wanted to put me in my place. It’s funny because at first, I didn’t even notice her, but as my gaze rested on her slim, coltish figure covered in colorful clothes that didn’t match, her chipped manicure, and her peaceful yet stubborn features, I was a goner. I never stood a chance against Poppy and her thirst for life. “Hello.” She pushes herself away from me and makes her way back to bed. I’m watching her perfect ass, imagining what I’ve done to it, when she glances back and smiles a smile full of promises, the kind to drive one to an early grave. I don’t know what I did to get so damn lucky, but thank you, Jesus. You’re the man. “Hungry?” My breathing accelerates as my cock stirs awake, blood pumping hard. Need and want palpable in the air. “Starving.” She lies down on the bed, spreading her legs apart. Her fingers begin to trace a small path down to my fucking heaven. An enticing grin on her beautiful face, she gives me a saucy look. “Why are you still standing there, then? Come over here and have your breakfast.” Again, thank you, Jesus. I owe you a big one. I join her in no time, moving to lie down next to her. I take her in my arms, kissing the curve where her neck and shoulder meet, a place that I’ve claimed as mine. I remember the news from last night. “Wait …” I splay my fingers across her growing stomach, feeling primal pride and happiness. “Hello there, buddy. Can you hear us? It’s your very horny dad,” I whisper against Poppy’s skin while showering kisses on her jawline. “Time to put those earmuffs on, little one.” Poppy laughs softly as she places a hand behind my neck, pulling me toward her, rubbing herself on my cock—lighting me up like Fourth of July fireworks. “How about Daddy does less talking and more …” The rest of her words get lost between my lips when I cover her body with mine, silencing her with my mouth, with my tongue, with my never-ending need. A lifetime spent like this, in our bed, our limbs tangled like a rope, sweat on our skin, and full of each other would never be enough for me. Even if I lived a thousand lifetimes, it still wouldn’t be enough. After we spend the rest of the morning satiating our bodies, we begrudgingly get out of bed. Poppy goes to take a shower while my gaze lingers on the twisted, guilty sheets. I’m tempted to call Poppy’s parents and make up an excuse as to why we can’t make it after all, then join my girlfriend in the shower. However, I stop myself. Poppy misses them, and she should go home for a visit. Shaking my head, I sigh, get dressed and go downstairs. Once I finish packing her car in the rain, we stand in the kitchen ready to say goodbye. I’m going to join her tomorrow after I drop off a few paintings at a gallery, and together we’ll share the news with them. “Drive safely,” I say, staring out of the window. The wind has picked up, and the rain is falling harder than earlier in the day. “It’s a short drive to Oxford.” She wraps her arms around my waist and leans her head on my chest. “I can make it with my eyes closed. Don’t worry about it, sir.” I pull her closer to me, suddenly afraid to let her go. “Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.” There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. “Are you trying to get lucky again?” Poppy rubs her cheek on my shirt, a small smile playing on her face. “Because let me tell you, quoting George Sand will definitely get you laid.” “Maybe.” I lower my head and bury my nose in her hair. I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with her essence. “Is it working?” “You have no idea.” She kisses my chest. “Unfortunately, Mum made me promise her that I’d be there for dinner, and if I don’t leave now, I’ll never make it. Peter’s bringing his new girlfriend.” “What happened to Millie?” “Who knows. But I’ll make it up to you tomorrow?” she asks, lowering her hand and running her fingers along the front of my jeans. Slowly. Decadently. “Good God, woman. You’re going to be the death of me,” I groan, closing my eyes momentarily. Giggling, she stands on her tiptoes and cups my cheeks with her hands. “Je t’aime, my horny man,” she says before pressing her lips against mine, kissing me with everything that she is. My woman. My life. After I say goodbye to Poppy and watch her drive away, I head to the bedroom. As I’m going up the stairs, there’s sharp pang in the middle of my chest. Must be the Indian food we had last night, I think as I rub the pain away in circles. When it’s passed, I finish climbing the few remaining steps that lead to the room. I walk to the closet, pull out an old battered shoebox, and open it, finding what I’m looking for. Heart drumming in my chest, I take out the small velvet box that holds my happiness and put it in the front pocket of my jeans. Tomorrow. A few hours later … I see Peter’s incoming call. “Bonjour, fucker,” I say over the phone, looking at the diamond ring in my hand, smiling as I picture Poppy’s surprise when she sees it. Some people might say we’re too young to get married or to start a family, but what the hell do they know? When you meet the one person who gives your life meaning, who makes you a better man so you can be worthy of her love, you don’t wait for the “right time” to come along. You jump. You run. You fly. “Has Pops arrived yet? She’s not answering her phone—” “Sébastien … you need to come home …” Peter’s voice sends a chill running down my spine. “We’re at the hospital. It’s Poppy …” And just like that, my world goes dark