A steamy Greek gods fantasy romance
Excerpt from Dream Rider
Set-up: Dream Weaver, Zane, takes a dream ride on one of Emily’s dreams to see if they could be more than friends.
“Ready to take her on a test spin?” he asked.
“What?” She let go of the handlebars as if they’d become too hot to touch. “No.”
“Come on. Give it a try. See if you can get it moving without killing the engine.”
“Uh uh.” She wiggled back on the seat, trying to find a way off it, because he was standing too close by her side.
He caught the handlebars when they twisted and the bike began to tip. “You’ll love it once you get started.”
“I thought you said you wanted to have more fun.”
That, finally, got through to her. She sat for a long moment, looking at the bike she was astride. His bike. He could practically see her assessing the trade-off between the risks and rewards, and his hopes sank. He rarely won when it came to that calculation.
“Ride with me?”
She might as well have hit him upside the head with a two-by-four.
Zane thought fast. It wasn’t an option he’d considered because it wasn’t feasible. In the real world. A dirt bike wasn’t meant for two, but she was asleep in the dream realm where anything was possible. And the thought of her riding behind him, holding on tight?
He jerked his thumb at her. “Let me in front.”
She clambered off, and he mounted the bike. Just like that, he wove changes into the dream that lengthened the dirt bike and added footrests.
“Here,” he said, leaning in to help her get her goggles into place. “You don’t want a face full of dirt.”
He put on his own helmet, latched it under his chin, and, finally, crooked a finger at her.
Time to put up or shut up.
She took a tentative step toward him, but then her hands were on his shoulders, and she was swinging her leg over the bike. She sat down behind him, but she tried to leave space between them. That wasn’t going to work. They had to act as one, balancing the bike on the straightaways and leaning into the curves. Reaching back, he caught her behind the knees and tugged her forward until she was snug against him. “Hang on to me and do what I do.”
If he could remember what that was…
Heat poured through him when she cautiously wrapped her arms around him. There was nowhere else for her to put her hands but against his waist, and her body was pressed all along his back and outer thighs.
“Ready?” he asked, his voice doing that gravelly thing again.
“No, but let’s do it.”
He grinned. That was his girl.
He stomped on the kick-start, and the engine roared to life. Settling down, he revved it and felt her arms tighten around him.
Oh yeah. He officially loved this dream. He might even store it for recurring play.
He put the bike into gear, and they took off.
* * *
Emily clung to Zane. Her heart was in her throat, but excitement exploded outward from her belly.
“Eeeee,” she squealed. They were racing down a straightaway so fast, her hair should be on fire. “Zane!”
He turned his head to yell over his shoulder, “We’re only in third gear.”
That was fast enough. The wind was whipping by, and they were balancing precariously on two wheels. Worse, there wasn’t the metal of a car surrounding and protecting them.
“Here comes a turn. Lean when I lean.”
She clung tighter and tried to follow his lead. She didn’t want to lean too far or not enough, but going anywhere from straight upright was terrifying. The dirt track had tight turns, and the dirt was sandy. It spurted upward when their back tire drifted. Instinct had her putting her foot down as they struggled to gain traction, and Zane did the same thing. The tire tread dug in, and then they were darting forward again.
Up a huge, terrifying mound of dirt.
She tried to bury her head into Zane’s back, but the stupid—no, make that “wonderful, life-saving, protective”—visor of the helmet got in the way. Instead, she tucked her chin against his shoulder and squeezed her eyes shut. She didn’t want to see. She didn’t want to know.
Ahhh, she had to know what was coming.
She opened her eyes in time to watch as they ascended the bump and went hurtling into the bright blue sky. Exhilaration burst inside her, even as her stomach dropped. She couldn’t help but let out an alarmed whoop.
They landed before she could process the sensation, and they were off to the next thrill and terror.
Emily flinched when Zane spoke right into her ear. It took her a moment to realize the helmet suddenly had built-in speakers and a microphone. When had that happened? “Holding on,” she said.
He laughed. “I can feel that.”
They were climbing a hill, and gravity pulled at her. She realized how tightly she was squeezing him. She was plastered against his back, and her thighs pressed into the outsides of his. She could feel the power of the machine beneath her—and the strength of the man in front of her. “Sorry.”
When she started to loosen her grip, he let go of the handlebar to catch her wrist. “Don’t. I’m not complaining.”
She quickly latched back on. She needed both his hands firmly on the controls. “I’d prefer that oxygen get to your brain.”
He let out a bark of laughter. “That isn’t where the blood’s going right now, darlin’.”
The tires spun, digging in and kicking up more dirt. The trail was rutted and bumpy enough to rattle her teeth. She saw the mud jump approaching and screeched, but then they were flying. Air rushed past them before the dry ground rose to meet them again.
They landed like an airplane greasing the runway, and, this time, her shout was one of triumph.
She couldn’t count how many times they circled the track. Her balance got better, and she learned how to use the muscles in her legs to cushion the landings. The ride was a thrill, and so was the man taking her on it. She spread her fingers wider against Zane’s flat stomach. He felt warm and hard against her. Muscled and in control.
She was exhilarated when he finally veered off the track and stopped.
He looked over his shoulder, and their helmets bumped. “Like it?”
She could see his wicked grin in her mind, even if she couldn’t see past his goggles to his face.
“Want to try it yourself?”
“Never in a million years.” Although the idea wasn’t as completely terrifying as it had been before. “Maybe if we found a nice, flat place with no trees.”
What she really wanted to do was continue riding with him, but all good things had to come to an end. Holding on to his shoulders for balance, she climbed off the gutsy little dirt bike and pulled off her helmet and goggles.
The breeze that lifted her hair felt blissful.
“Whew.” She felt like she was floating. “Is it always like that?”
“Not even close.” He took off his helmet. His face was flushed, and his eyes were bright. “That was special.”
Yes. Yes, it was.
Emily started to step back to give him room to dismount, but he looped his arm around her and pulled her back toward the bike. And him.
“You’re special,” he whispered.
He looked at her, making sure she understood what he was saying. When she didn’t protest, he pulled her into a kiss that shocked her right down to her tough biker-babe boots.
The feel of his mouth on hers was hot, intimate, and cataclysmic.
Emily let out a sound of surprise as pleasure burst like fireworks inside her chest. This was the ride she’d always wanted to take… the risk that she’d never worked up the nerve to try… He kissed like he rode, all in and right on the edge. Lifting her hand to cup the nape of his neck, she kissed him back.
He felt sweaty and male. Their mouths ate at each other’s, and her adrenaline surged all over again.
This was Zane—and he was kissing her. Like a woman, not his buddy.