Mia the saint. Kolton the sinner.
Kolton Royce is a tatted, bad boy rock star at the top of his game. Mia Phoenix is an overly responsible nineteen-year-old striving for stardom since losing her parents in a house fire.
When Mia ends up on Kolton’s team for the debut of the new nationwide singing competition, The Stage, she’s not sure if it’s her or her voice that he’s hellbent to control.
After he takes special interest in her welfare, they’ve been warned, any contact between them outside of filming is strictly forbidden.
He has other ideas.
She’s a phoenix rising from the ashes, the only one who understands the pain that lies beneath the persona. Though he’s not sure if he’s too bad for her, he can’t stay away.
All sinners have a past. All saints have a future. But, does being born in fire make the fissures weak in all the wrong places, or stronger than they’ve ever known?
Author: Shelby Rebecca
Genre: New Adult, Rock Star Romance
Organized by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Release Date: 2nd July 2014
“Kole,” I whisper, and feel him shiver as I push my stomach up against his knees.
“Mia, if you don’t move back to your seat—”
“What, Kole? What will happen?” And when I call him that again his eyes shut, his legs tense up as I push up against them with my stomach. He opens his legs; his hand comes up from his thigh and moves to my lower back. His eyes move to mine as I slide in up to his chest. It’s so intimate, the way he’s touching me, and he smells so good. Slowly, his other hand moves up to cradle my neck.
“A kiss,” he whispers, pulling me closer. “Just a kiss and then we stop,” he says, his breath warm on my face. I nod my head as he bites his lip again, his gaze on my mouth. It feels like slow motion as he moves in, tilting his head to the left.
When his lips meet mine, they feel softer than I’d expected. His lips are wet and soft. Needy. They take and take, and I’m struggling to keep up with his pace. His tongue finds mine and the sensation tingles down my spine, all the way to my feet. I want more. I can’t get enough of his lips. His gifted tongue makes me feel like fire’s inside me forcing itself through the pores of my skin. And I know, until this moment, I’ve never truly been kissed. Not like this.
As we suckle each other’s lips, and moan, and lick, his hand moves down and cups me, his fingers moving in from behind to the hallow spot between my thighs. I push into his fingers, trying to find some relief from all of this physical teasing. He pulls me up onto his lap, legs spread, knees hitting the back seat. He finds my neck, nips and sucks—giving me a moment to catch my breath as he flicks his tongue all the way up to behind my ear. Under me, I feel his length filling out, trying to reach me through our clothes. My lips feel swollen and raw as the air inside the car starts to remind me his mouth has just been there.
Possessively, he moves his lips down my chest until he reaches the curve of my cleavage. Then I feel teeth sinking into the soft flesh there. I gasp, shove both hands in his hair. My head flings backward. One of his hands is kneading and feeding me into his mouth. The other is still pushing against the seam in my jeans, forcing me to rock into his swollen length to ease the building pressure. The sounds I’m making sound foreign to me. Primal.
Then, he growls. His hands move up to the collar of my shirt. I feel pressure and hear a loud rip. When I look down, my shirt’s completely open and tattered. My bra is pushed down so the cup is lifting my left breast up and out.
Kolton pulls away, pushing me at the same time as if I’m something he doesn't’ want anymore. With his long fingers, he gently pulls my bra back up, covering my breast, and then hastily yanks the tattered seems of my shirt together. The look on his face is shock. Anger. Disgust.
“Kolton?” I ask. “What’s wrong?” He doesn’t answer me, and he won’t look at me, his chest is moving up and down as he’s trying to catch his breath. I touch my swollen lips, as my eyebrows furrow together. I move off of his lap and push my back into the corner of the seat, as far away from him as I can get.
Why is he ignoring me? Why is he so disgusted by me? The car stops, and I realize we’re at the Wilshire Thayer. Kolton rolls down the partition glass.
“Can you pull us into the garage?” he asks Devon, unable to mask the emotion in his voice.
“Sure thing,” Devon responds. I didn’t know there was a parking garage here. As Devon drives through the garage entrance and down under the building, I pull my knees up to my chest and squeeze my eyes shut.
I feel the car stop and then hear Kolton say, “Devon, can you go upstairs and get me a jacket for Mia?”
“Yes,” he says, as I open my eyes and watch Devon walk toward the elevator door. I’m shaking with adrenaline, breathless, still completely turned on, swollen and achy for him—which makes me seethe.
“I don’t want you getting out of the car with your shirt open like that,” Kolton says, his face is stone cold, and he’s now resting his knuckles on his lips. I don't respond. I hate him right now. I just want to be as far away from him as I can be. I contemplate just running out of the car, but I’m sure he’d chase me. It’d make it worse for me if we made a scene and someone took a picture or something.
No, he won’t chase me, I think, but I don’t want anyone to see me like this with my shirt ripped open, so I wait. Kolton adjusts himself in his pants. When I look down, he’s still obviously aroused, but why, then—why push me away? Did I do something wrong. That was the opposite of frigid. I’ve never felt like that before. Ever.
“Why did you want to kiss me?” he asks. He seems so genuine, but I hate him so I don’t answer. “Answer me.”
“I don’t know. You were talking about your mom—I.” I look down, confused.
“I went too far,” he whispers. “But this is not your fault.”
“You’re right. You went too far—and I want off your team next week.” To this, his eyes shut. I wipe a humiliated-tear from my cheek. The door opens and Devon hands Kolton a leather jacket from his room-sized closet collection.
I reach to take it, but Kolton moves his arm away so I can’t. “Just a minute,” he says, sliding forward and motioning for me to scoot my back away from the inside of the car.
“Just—do what I say for once. They you can get away from me. Okay? Lean forward.”
When I do, I feel his warm breath as he wraps the jacket around my shoulders. I take a deep breath. It smells of him. Cologne, and Kolton. All man.
Gently, he coaxes me to put my arms in. It makes my heart ache. He’s so gentle with me, like I’m a porcelain doll with a hairline crack.
He cautiously moves my hair off my face and then pulls the length of my hair out of the back of the jacket. I watch his long fingers as he feeds the zipper in, moving it slowly up my front. I’m tingling and aching for him again. “I’ll think about your request,” he says, his voice soft, controlled. “But the team you’re on at the end of next week will be up to me.”
“I’m moving out of your apartment,” I say. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not staying here under his control anymore.
“What about Riley?” he asks. “Deloris is my employee and she’s going to take care of Riley in my apartment.” He knows I have nothing. I can’t really leave. He knows I need him.
“It’s just a few more weeks until I go back to Sac. What are you going to do then?” His jaw twitches and he glares at me.
“You’ll have to come back. It’s just a few months off. Deloris will be with you.” But he looks worried about it.
“I will never trust you, Kolton. Never,” I say, and watch his face change in front of me. I know that hurts him. “Because you’re an asshole. A controlling asshole,” I say, forcing myself away from the heat of his body. I purposely sever the draw of my soul to his, find the door handle, and bolt out. My heels clicking as I run atop the concrete floor of the parking garage. I’m frantically tapping the button for the elevator when I hear him approaching me from behind.
I keep my back to him. When the doors open, I step inside. As the doors are closing behind me, I turn and catch a glimpse of Kolton standing there, helplessly watching me leave. The look on his face is pure conflict, pain, and remorse.
The doors press together, closing him out, and I’m pulled upward. What have we done? I’m drenched in his scent, lips swollen and body singing from his hands having been all over me. Do I even want to try and understand him when I can barely understand myself? He’ll burn me. Consume me. I know I have to protect myself. But with every interaction, he’s making that harder to do.
Shelby grew up between two mountains and a lake in Wasilla, Alaska. She used to run around in the tall grass, catch frogs, rescue dragonflies, ride horses, and ice-skate during recess. She still likes adventures and has even gone skydiving. Today she lives in Northern California with her husband, John, and their daughter, Elise, their two dogs, and a fish named Jade.
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