Heart’s Desire (a YA paranormal romance)

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One touch. One look from Morgan’s hypnotic eyes and Skye can’t deny the magnetic pull.

High school senior, Morgan Raines was used to change, whether it was transferring to a new school or shifting into a were-jaguar under the full moon. Starting over didn’t bother him, but finding his mate pinned to her locker by her looser ex-boyfriend does.

Will turning furry during the full moon send her running scared or into his arms?

 

EXCERPT

As Skye put her books in her locker, Chris sneaked up behind her.  Turning, she looked up into his eyes.  If she was honest, she’d admit that she wasn’t surprised to see him.  Chris had been following her all over school for the past week.  It seemed that every time she turned around he was right in front of her, like a lost little puppy. Except puppies were cute.

“Hey babe, what’s up?  What do you say to you and me having lunch together today?” he asked with a cocky grin, seeming sure her answer would be yes.

“No thanks.  I have to go over some homework before I turn it in,” Skye told him, hoping the discussion was over. But she had a feeling it wouldn’t be that easy to get rid of him.

“Homework?  Ditch the homework and have some fun!  Sit with me,” Chris cajoled.

“I said no, Chris!” She wondered why he kept pestering her. Any girl in school would gladly go with him wherever he wanted. Any girl but her.

“Aw, come on!”

“No!” Skye replied adamantly.

“Okay, but if you won’t have lunch with me, at least give me a kiss.”

“Chris, why can’t you just leave me alone?” Skye asked, starting to get irritated.  When was he going to get the message?  How many times did she have to run him off before he finally understood she just wanted to be left alone?  He’d had his chance with her and blown it.

“Come on, you always liked kissing me!  What’s a little kiss between friends?” he asked with a smile that had once curled her toes.

“Nothing,” she replied.

“Well, there you go.  Come on, babe.  Please?” Chris continued relentlessly.  She doubted that he wanted her; it was more the challenge she presented. Ever since she’d pushed him aside, he’d hounded her every step.

“Who said that we were friends?  I remember telling you that I never wanted to see your face again. So, why are you in front of my locker?” she asked.  Why won’t he go away? Where’s a teacher when you need one? She glanced down the hall.

“Okay. I tried to be nice, but maybe you prefer guys who just take what they want.”

Chris advanced on Skye. He all but growled at her until her back was against the locker.  He put an arm on either side of her, pinning her in place. She had no way of escaping.  Just as he started to lean in to kiss her, someone tapped him on his shoulder. Skye, for one, was grateful for the interruption.

“What?” he asked, turning to face the interloper. He pierced the intruder with a glare.

“I believe she said no,” the new guy answered quietly.

“And just who the hell are you?” Chris sneered, eyeing the guy from head to toe. “In case you weren’t aware, Skye and I are an item.”

The boy grinned. “Are you sure about that?”

Skye used the distraction to slip under Chris’s arm. She quickly put some distance between them, moving to stand beside the new guy.  She didn’t know who he was, but he had excellent timing.  If he hadn’t come along right then, Chris would no doubt be pawing her at this very moment, more so than usual.

The boy reached out and took Skye’s hand, a current running through both of them.  If he was surprised, he hid it well.

“Come on, I’ll walk you to your class,” he said, giving her hand a gentle tug.

Skye smiled her thanks and walked off with him, leaving an angry Chris glaring after them.

* * *

 “Thanks… for what you did back there,” she said after they were a few feet away.

“No problem,” the boy murmured.

“I’m Skye by the way.  And the jerk back there was Chris,” she jabbered, trying to fill the silence.  Her body was hyper aware of the hot guy holding her hand, more so than it had ever been of a guy.

Glancing at him from the corner of her eye, she almost stopped breathing.  He was easily the most gorgeous boy she’d ever seen.  He topped her five-foot-one inches by over a foot.  He was tanned with sandy brown hair shot through with golden highlights.  His chiseled features made her mouth water. If he weren’t a high school student, she’d think he stepped off the cover of a magazine.

“I take it you used to date,” he commented.

Skye nodded, pulling her gaze from his face before she was caught staring. “Until I caught him making out with one of the cheerleaders.  I told him it was over, but he refuses to listen. He thinks he’s God’s gift, or something along those lines.”

He grunted in response.

“He wasn’t like that when we first started dating,” Skye said, trying to explain away Chris’s behavior.

He gave her a skeptical look.

“Where exactly are we going anyway?” he asked, looking around the hall.

“Oh, um, two doors down on the right.  I have English next,” Skye answered.

He grinned. “That makes two of us.”

He continued holding her hand all the way to the classroom.  As they approached the door, he dropped her hand and motioned for her to go in ahead of him. Following Skye into the classroom, he grabbed the empty seat next to her.  Setting his books down on the desk, he glanced her way and caught her watching him—again.  She was so embarrassed. It wasn’t like her to fawn over someone, especially someone she’d just met.

He flashed her a grin and faced forward as the teacher stepped into the room.

 

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Jessie Colter is the pen name for romance author Jessica Coulter Smith. With over 50 published stories, she isn’t new to the writing game, and while Heart’s Desire was her first foray into the world of Young Adult stories, she has written a few more since then, all with a paranormal twist.

 

 

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