Bring Me to Life Excerpt

Copyright © 2019 by Krista Harper

No portion of this may be printed or reproduced without written consent from the author.

        A hand tapped my shoulder startling me. I turned abruptly, elbowing Martin square in the chest. 

        “Oh shit! Sorry. I’m sorry.” He jumped back, knocking into a table. 

        I reached out to steady him, heat flooding my cheeks. “No, no, I’m sorry!” Jesus.

        It took me a second to settle myself before I could actually speak again. “Martin, right?”

        He nods.

        “Hi, um, I’m Kristin.” 

        “Yeah, I know who you are.”

        “You do?” 

        “Yeah, didn’t you graduate from Newport in like ’96?”

        “Oh. Um, wow. Yeah. Good memory.” 

        Now that he was up close I could definitely understand why Vivian had a crush on him back in school. Hell, why maybe everyone had a crush on him back in school. I tried not to stare. I wanted to hide; my now short hair leaving me without a shield. 

        He was nearly 6 foot with a muscular build and dark hair. Apparently he’d been training as a boxer for over ten years, putting in long hours at the gym daily. His eyes were dark, nearly black in the bar lighting. His looks were disarming.. Dangerous even.

        “I don’t think you ever really talked to me when we were growing up.” He had one hand in his front pocket and the other rubbing the back of his neck. 

        “I didn’t? Hmm, well maybe you never talked to me either?” I laughed nervously. “It was a long time ago. I don’t really remember.” My eyes were darting all over the place. I didn’t know where to look and I couldn’t stop fidgeting. Martin wasn’t just attractive. He was edible. And I was…well, me. 

        Turning back to the bar, I ordered a drink, my voice shaking just a touch. Martin was standing in my personal space and I could feel his eyes on me. A quick sideways glance, showed me his face lit with the power of his dazzling smile. He stood there, way too close, smiling and slowly shaking his head. It was unsettling, unnerving really. 

        A wave of emotions washed over me from my adolescence. The years of uncertainty, sadness, and fear wriggling in. His close proximity was somehow turning my vulnerability into something almost tangible and I was being suffocated by it. By my past. It was like being stripped bare. The warning bells ringing within every inch of my body and it was suddenly too much.

        “I’m sorry. You, um, seem to be looking at me like I’m supposed to be in on something. Only I’m not,” I breathed, the last few words barely audible. I didn’t feel like the woman I was. The woman who left it all behind. Locking it all away. 

        The insecurity was starting to win.

        “Oh shit, sorry. It’s just pretty fucking weird that you’re here.”

        “Yeah it is.” I laughed. “Viv made me come.”

        “Well, um. I’m glad she did.”

        He stepped back giving me more space, but I could still feel him staring.

        Uncertain of what he wanted, I turned to meet his eyes. 

        Pupils dilating.  

        Breathing hitched.

        He looked rough. Intense. Wild. 

        But then he smiled.

        And something shifted. 

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