Excerpt from Punting on the River Cam by Lainey-Jo Charles

Copyright © Lainey-Jo Charles, 2015

Carissa willed her heart and breathing rates to slow down. Niell had quite the introspective look on his face and she didn’t know him well enough to know whether that was good or bad.

“I was just thinking how you make me forget that I didn’t know you yesterday.”

“Wow,” she whispered in answer. “I’m assuming that’s a good thing, right?”

“Very much so.”

He dropped his gaze to her lips, and they suddenly felt as dry as a desert. She slipped her tongue out to wet them, and Niell closed the distance between them, his lips landing on hers, not too light, but not too rough. Perfect. His lips were soft as they moved against hers. He pulled back slightly, looked into her eyes, and his stomach growled.

Carissa tried so hard not to laugh. She truly did. But she obviously wasn’t doing a very good job.

“Oh, just let loose. Of course my stomach would have to add a punch line to a beautiful moment. At least I thought it was.”

She scooted her chair back and stood next to him, looking down into his gorgeous face. “It was a perfect moment.” She initiated the kiss this time, taking a half step closer to him and leaning down to press a quick kiss to his lips. “Let’s go find you some food for that stomach of yours before you decide you need to eat me for lunch instead.”

“That idea has some merit.”

“What? Oh my God. You are not eating me for lunch. And I so cannot believe I just said that out loud. You’re a menace.” She could feel the blush heating her cheeks.

“No one’s ever called me that before. Must just be you.”

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Let’s go find you some food.”

Niell took her hand this time and a small thrill zinged through Carissa. She’d grabbed his hand earlier without thinking, but he hadn’t tried to turn loose, and in fact, had continued holding it the entire time they were walking around after that. Now he initiated the gesture, and she was feeling like a teenager walking through the halls of school, holding hands with her boyfriend.

A boyfriend she’d only known for a few hours and had already kissed.

Maybe not quite like high school. And definitely not a boy.

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