by Bella Roccaforte
Plot Summary:INK: Fine Lines follows the twisted path of Shay Baynes, an up-and-coming comic book artist. A horrific series of tragedies strike just as she’s finally about to hit it big.
When paranormal investigator McNab uncovers a pattern of disturbing coincidences it becomes clear that this is more than just a bout of bad luck.
Everyone’s in danger including Aiden & Eli who have divided Shay’s heart down the middle since childhood. McNab teams up with them to stop the killing before it’s too late for Shay!
***Warning this book contains adult language and situations.
Book Excerpt:He’s let his caramel hair grow out to his shoulders. I love when his hair is longer. The t-shirt clinging to his muscles in all the right places is mesmerizing. He somehow looks both leaner and more substantial at the same time. Even though he’s only a little taller than I am, that’s never bothered me. His arms are so strong the way they hold me is sublime. When he smiles, his amber eyes sparkle with all the mystery of who Aiden Roth really is.
Realizing that I’m being lured like a moth to flame, I snap back on point. Don’t get soft Shay, stay strong. Don’t forget your anger; he won’t be here long. “You can’t just sneak into my house late at night.” My head lowers to hide the tears forming. “I could have killed you, thinking you were some kind of murderer.”
The corner of Aiden’s mouth tugs at a smile, and he raises an eyebrow playfully. “You mean with the deadly loofa?” He can no longer suppress a gentle laugh, reaching for the ‘weapon.’
“It’s not funny. How the hell did you get in here anyway?” I gather the strength to look at him and close my robe tighter, obstructing his view.
Aiden pulls a key from his jeans. “With my key, of course.” He slides it quickly back into his pocket.
“Remind me to change the locks again,” I say. “You shouldn’t be here. You need to leave.” I have to turn away from him and put some distance between us. Moving into the living room, leaning back on the arm of the couch, my arms folded defensively across my chest. My gaze is firmly fixed on the floor in front of me trying hard to focus on the hurt and anger, to suppress the sadness.
“Shay, don’t be like that. I just don’t want you to be alone on your birthday.” He comes and takes my hands in his. “I’ve missed you.” He leans into me, so close I can feel his breath. There’s a chemical reaction that happens when we are together. It’s so hard to resist. It seems that no matter how angry I am, my body succumbs to the warm hum he sends through me with his touch. He looks up from our hands to my eyes, searching for a glimmer of softening.
To push him back my hands rest on his chest. “That doesn’t work on me anymore. I‘m immune to the ‘soulful brown eyes’ bit.” I glare at him with all my bitterness. “My birthday never mattered to you before.” I catch myself sounding weak and have to take a breath to summon the new Shay who doesn’t put up with bullshit. “Why should it matter to you now?”
Aiden steps in closer again, putting his hands on my shoulders, His eyes are closed and he touches his forehead to mine. I can feel his heat, his strength, and his words are quiet and pleading. “No strings attached; just let me cook you dinner.” He allows a tinge of sadness through, as though I hurt him. “I brought your favorite: lamb chops, asparagus, and new potatoes seasoned just how you like them.”
My resolve is crumbling, the capacity for rational thought seeping away. Aiden dons an expectant smile as I take him in. His strong chiseled body, bronzed by the sun, his rugged jaw line, his kissable lips and his gorgeous golden eyes. All of that allows him the confidence to walk in and out of my life at his cruel convenience. He slides his hands down my arms, presses my fingers with his, and breathes into my ear, “Shay, no excuses, no promises; just a happy birthday.”
He brushes his lips against my ear, then down my neck. His breath on my skin sends a current down my spine bent on demolishing the barriers I have spent a year and half building in his absence. I quickly exhale to suppress a moan and push him away, sliding out from under him.
To escape him I walk into the kitchen, stopping to smile sadly at the flowers. All my favorites. My resolve is all but gone as I dip down to smell them.
Aiden slides in behind me, looping his arms around my waist. “Gardenias because I know how you love the scent.” He lays a gentle kiss on my shoulder. “Lilac because you loved to pick it for your mother when you were a little girl,” another kiss, “and gladiolas because I remember you telling me how they remind you that you can be different and beautiful.” He turns me around and gently glides his thumb on my cheek, pleading into my eyes with a touch of melancholy. “It doesn’t matter how near or far I am from you, you are always in my heart.”