Excerpt Time (Laws of Physics #3; Hypothesis #2.3) by Penny Reid
I wrapped my arms around her body, lifted her off the ground, and kissed her lips.
She was warm, and soft, and tasted like peppermint and honey. I bit back a groan.
God, she felt good. Great. Celestial. Heavenly. I may have surprised her, but she responded immediately, enthusiastically, twisting her arms around my neck, opening her mouth and welcoming the invasion of mine.
It wasn’t enough.
It was a crumb, and I was starving. Desire—to tighten my hold, devour, take, keep, cherish, to never let her go—obscured thought and sight, and I slipped a hand under her shirt to touch the silky skin of her back, sliding my fingers upward until they rested under her bra strap.
Mona lifted her chin, breaking our mouths apart, and I kissed the point of it, the elegant line of her jaw, the tender spot beneath her ear, the hot skin where Mona’s graceful neck met the slope of her shoulder. I was so hungry for her, I couldn’t stop myself from tasting every exposed inch.
“Abram,” she said, her voice a breathless, disbelieving whisper, followed by a little laugh. Her fingers flexed at the back of my neck, pressing me closer. Every part of my body hummed and vibrated, unable to contain the immensity of now, of this divine feeling.
“You’re here,” she said, her soft voice full of wonder and happiness, soothing the ravenous panic holding me hostage for the past six days. It had been a peculiar kind of madness, not being able to reach her while pretending all was fine, pretending she didn’t occupy my mind every second of the day. But receding now, it left a new kind of turmoil and urgency in its wake.
We had no time.
No, I corrected myself, We have time. We have the rest of our lives.
“I need your fu—your phone number.” I spoke gruffly against her neck, squeezing my eyes shut and breathing her in, again and again, the heat and sweetness of Mona.
I’d missed her, and that was a gross understatement. I’d been speeding toward this moment for days and being with her now felt like the aftermath of a head-on collision. Stupefied, frantic, but determined to enjoy every shared second remaining. My hands were shaking.
We have time. Calm down. Calm down.
Mona laughed lightly, the sound melodic, beautiful, and she pressed a kiss under my ear. “Why didn’t you just ask Leo? Or send me an email?”
I worked to keep the darkness of my thoughts from showing on my face as I leaned away, letting her slide to the ground but unwilling to release her fully, fisting my unsteady hands into her T-shirt. “I couldn’t find an email for you anywhere, and neither could Marie. She tried calling your department for me. They told her all media requests had to go through the PR department at the university and it would take two weeks to a month for a response.”
“Ah, that’s true. My email is on lockdown, otherwise it gets out of hand.” She nodded contritely. “But what about Leo?”
“Leo.” I forced my jaw to relax and I lowered my voice but couldn’t completely disguise the intensity of my wrath. “Leo wouldn’t give me your number.”
Mona’s hand moved to my face, her palm pressed against my cheek, the pads of her fingers softly stroking my beard. “What? Are you serious?”
“Yes,” I ground out. “He said he was doing me a favor. So I flew to LA.”
“You flew to LA?” I felt her body tense, and the moment realization dawned, her beautiful eyes growing impossibly large as they moved over my face. “You must be so tired and—but I wasn’t in LA, I was—”
“Here. Yes. I found that out yesterday when I stopped by your department at Caltech and they told me you weren’t due back until Friday,” I rushed to explain, multitasking, using the time to devour the sight of her, soak and submerge in the reality of being here with her.
Calm down. We. Have. Time.