Chapter Reveal: The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent

Posted July 10, 2017 by Wil in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Promo Post / 0 Comments

 

Title: The Unrequited
Author: Saffron A. Kent
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: July 13, 2017


Blurb
Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from
unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive
calling.
What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps
seeing around campus could be a great one—only he is the new poetry
professor—the married poetry professor.
Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist—rude, arrogant, and
broody—but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry,
but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade,
Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.
Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in
the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he
kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you
again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget
all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.
NOTE: Please be aware that this book deals with sensitive
topics like cheating and death. 18+ Only.

 

 

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AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Thomas & Layla’s First Kiss
It’s Saturday and I’m at The Alchemy with Emma, Dylan, and
Matt. We find a table in the middle of the room and Emma thumps the big bag of
goodies down on it. It’s prompt night for the Labyrinth and Emma is in charge
of producing the prompts.
“Explain to me one more time why you need this giant-ass bag
again?” Matt says, taking off his coat and hanging it on the chair as he takes
a seat.
Dylan gives him a disdainful look. “She’s got her prompts in
it, dumbass.”
Emma smiles in pleasure, her eyes on the bag as she looks
for something. It’s adorable how shy she is in front of him when she’s normally
so self-assured. Dylan and Emma have gone on a few dates this week. Turns out,
Dylan loved the tangerine. I knew it.
“And why can’t you show them a picture or something on your
phone?” He bumps his shoulder with mine. “Back me up here, Layla. This freaking
bag is a monstrosity.”
“I don’t have a problem with it, actually,” I say. “It’s
kind of fun to look at something while writing about it.”
When Emma told me about the Labyrinth’s prompt night, my
first reaction was panic. I didn’t think I could be a part of it. I wasn’t
prepared. I haven’t even read all the books I own.
Reading has become a vital part of my life, now. In the past
week, I’ve only roamed on the street once. I haven’t been to Thomas’ house at
all. I stay up late reading. There’s so much to discover, and I’ve been living
inside this fog for so long. I feel like time is running out on me. I’ll
probably die before reading all the books out there.
I try to calm myself. I’m here to be a part of something
greater than me—art—and I don’t have to be perfect. The only thing I should be
worried about is seeing Thomas.
It’s been six days since I cried in front of him, told him
my ugly love story, and sort of licked his hand, trying to taste him. Since
then I’ve seen him all around campus, at Crème and Beans with Nicky, in the
corridors at the Labyrinth when Emma dragged me to a play reading. I’ve even
seen him in the park, at the bench, the one time I went out at night. He was
smoking and battling with himself, as usual, and I was hiding behind the
tree. 
It’s like he’s everywhere. My secret keeper. The one person
who knows what I did.
And he is disgusted by me. He never looks at me. To him, I’m
invisible. Somehow, this hurts even more because deep down I thought he could
relate to me, but he doesn’t.
I really am a freak of nature.
The front door of the bar opens and in strides Sarah Turner,
followed by Professor Masters and Thomas. The snowflakes swirl behind his back
as he enters and the door swings shut.
“Hello children,” Professor Masters greets us in a jovial
voice as he saunters forward. There is a chorus of chuckles and Hi Professor
around the room.
Without paying attention to anyone, Thomas breaks off from
the trio and heads for the bar. Sarah throws him an annoyed look but Professor
Masters steers her toward their destination.
Thomas orders a drink and sits on the barstool, his long
legs straddling the small seat. He takes off his jacket, revealing a plain grey
t-shirt that stretches across his shoulders and biceps. His jean-covered thighs
bulge as he bounces his right leg with impatience.
The bartender sets down a chocolate martini in front of him
and I look away, embarrassed. His weakness for chocolate awakens something raw
and melty inside my stomach. I haven’t thought about what I’ll do come Monday.
Will I go back to class? Will I hide and never show my face again?
Emma gets up from beside me, greets the room, and explains
the instructions. She digs inside her bag and fishes something out. “So the
first prompt is this bottle of hot sauce. You have to write a short poem, no
more than twenty lines, with whatever comes to mind when you see a red bottle
with H.O.T. written on it. I’m going to pass this around for a bit so you guys
can look at it.”
My first thought is that I hate hot sauce. I’m more of a
sweet-loving person. In fact, I’m the only sweet-loving person in my family or
the families I’ve had over the years. My mom, Caleb, my dad, Caleb’s dad, even
Henry—they all shy away from sweet things.
The thought of Caleb makes me aware of the phone in my
jacket pocket. Since those missed calls at Crème and Beans, he’s called several
times, but I haven’t picked up. I was hoping he’d leave a message or something
so I’d know what it’s about, but he hasn’t.
Why does he keep calling me? As impulsive as I am, a strange
fear is keeping me from taking his call.
Emma bumps my elbow and tells me to get writing.
Right, hot sauce. I nibble at my pen, trying to think…no,
trying to feel. How does hot sauce make me feel? H.O.T. Feel. Feel.
I close my eyes and the first thing I see is Thomas’ face.
His beautiful, intense gaze. How every molecule of my body, every inch of my
flesh burns when he is near. How he has the power to change the weather, cold
to hot.
Gasping, my eyes whip open. Thomas Abrams is a
fire-breather. He breathes flames and lust, makes me forget everything and say
yes. Yes to obsession. Yes to stalking. Yes to insanity. Yes to licking.
With shaking hands, I begin to write and capture him in
words. The pen moves and the words flow out. They keep flowing without my
knowledge. All I can feel is the heat seesawing through my body.
Next thing I know I’m jolted by Emma’s clap and shrill
voice. “All right guys, it’s time to stop. Put down your pens.”
Murmurs escalate and the room breaks out in conversation, as
Emma asks someone to volunteer their poem first. With flushed cheeks, I pocket
my small notebook. While the entire room is busy, I get up and shuffle into the
hallway in the back. I need to get to the ladies’ room and calm myself down.
I rub my arms at the unexpected chill in the dank hallway
and take a deep breath. My legs can barely support themselves. Is this how
poets feel when they put feelings into words? Is this how Thomas feels? It’s
like bleeding. It’s like running for miles and running out of breath.
Before I can reach my destination, I’m being hauled into a
dark, tiny room. I don’t even have time to squeal before the flimsy wooden door
is shut, and I’m surrounded by a very familiar heat.
It’s Thomas.
He has me trapped inside what looks to be a storage room,
his hand banded around my elbow, pushing me back against the dank wall.
“T-Thomas.” I’m panting. “What… What’s happening? What’re
you doing?”
His chiseled face is a study of thick shadows and thin
slices of light under the flickering yellow bulb. The only bright spots on his
features are those fire-starting eyes of his. I can smell the delicious smoke
rising from my body, can feel the sting.
Now that the initial shock is gone, my body sags, relieved
to be the center of his attention after days. He sees us. There are things to
worry about, I know that, but I can’t muster the energy to.
“Thomas?” I whisper when it’s clear he won’t say anything.
“Wh-What are you doing?”
His breaths are choppy, short jabs of air inhaled and
exhaled as he stares at every inch of my face. “Do you still love him?”
“What?”
“Do you still love that guy?”
“I… Yes.”
“How much?”
My breaths match his, succinct and sharp. I study him, this
man in front of me. There’s a hint of vulnerability to him. His usually cool
persona is frayed. Is it because I told him my story? Maybe he relates to me
after all.
“Thomas, what’s going on?”
“How much do you love him, Layla? Do you love him so much
that you hate yourself? That you can’t stand your own sight? Do you constantly
think about how to fix it? How to make it better? How to be better?”
He isn’t merely frayed—he’s coming apart. Naked agony dances
on his features. It’s too bright and glaring. It’s too similar to mine, but I’m
not worried about that right now. I’m worried about him.
“Yes,” I whisper. I lift my hand and press it to his
stubbled face. His cheekbone is arched and high, seemingly made of granite as
it pulses beneath my palm. “But I’m so tired of it,” I admit, and his eyes
flare. Fire-breathing eyes. I wonder why I didn’t notice it before. It’s so
obvious now. They never fail to start a fire in my soul.
He crowds me against the wall, as if sinking his hard body
into mine, but there isn’t any touch involved. His frame sort of hovers over
me, heating me up, jumpstarting my nerves. I’m a mesh of live wires, firing
lust and adrenaline. I’m sticky as sugar and drunk as whiskey.
Thomas arranges his body and places both his palms on the
wall, caging me in. The vein on his bicep becomes taut, a purple string tugging
on my senses.
I watch him watch my parted lips, and suddenly, it’s the
only piece of my body I can feel. My mouth, throbbing, puffy, swollen with the
need.
“Me too,” he whispers, almost to himself.
I wasn’t meant to hear it, but I did. Again, I’m hit by a
storm of desire to kiss him better. It’s a tornado, an avalanche in my body,
and in one breathless moment, I decide to go for it. It’s okay. I can take the
blame for it later.
I break the rules and reach up and kiss him. A feathery peck
on his plump lips, it’s a kiss of solidarity, a kiss that intends to tell him I
understand—but one isn’t enough. It only manages to ratchet up my lust. So I
give him another, this time on the corner of his mouth, and then another one on
his jaw.
It’s not enough, these small, barely-there touches. I want
more, but I won’t take it. I’ll be good; I’ll only give.
Abruptly, he fists my curls and stops me. I look at him
fearfully, ready to apologize—not for the kiss, but for being the kisser. His
gaze reflects passion, stark, raving need, and I shiver, despite wearing layers
and sweating with his heat.
“Are you trying to kiss me, Layla?” he rasps, flexing his
fingers on my makeshift ponytail.
He couldn’t tell? Blush rises to the surface and I know I’m
glowing like a neon sign. Swallowing, I nod. “Yes.”
He inches closer to me, still not touching—as impossible as
that is—but infinitely closer. “You want to kiss me, Miss Robinson, you do it
right.”
Oh God, does he have to call me that? Now, here? My spine
arches on its own and my heavy tits graze the contours of his shuddering chest.
“H-How?” I ask innocently, belying the daring action of my
body. His stern, professor-y voice is doing things to me, making me wild,
uncontrolled.
For a second, he’s silent, just watching. I’m afraid he’ll
back out from whatever this is, whatever insanity we’re about to commit—but
then I sense the shift in the liquor-laced air as he opens his mouth and
growls, “Like this.”
Twisting my hair in his grasp, he swallows my lips in his
mouth. He sucks on the shape of my sensitive flesh and all I can do is let him.
I put my palms on his shoulders, feeling the heated muscles under the soft
material of his t-shirt. His chest shifts and slides over my breasts, like a
wave of water. I want to be drenched with it. I want every drop of his sweat,
his lust on every inch of my skin. I pull him toward me so he can crush me with
his massive weight.
He doesn’t budge though. He stands there, unfazed, still
devouring my lips, immobile. His tongue thrusts in and licks me from the
inside—the roof of my mouth, my tongue, my teeth. He is after my essence, the
special taste that lives deep. He growls when he gets it, my flavor, and the
pressure of his grip on my hair increases tenfold.
It’s painful, but not enough to tamp down my arousal. I give
up my attempts to bring him to me. Rather, I go to him. I lift my leg and wrap
it around his waist. My hands creep up and lock around his neck. I climb him
like an ivy, toxic and poisonous and shameless.
I press my body to his and kiss him back with everything I
am. I pour my soul into it. For these few moments, I become a balm to his pain.
But it doesn’t last long. My selfishness and my need for him
take over. My core starts leaking and it becomes hard to remember I’m only
meant to give, not to take.
I rotate my hips, searching for that magical friction
against the ridged planes of his body. Then I feel it—his erection against my
upper tummy. It’s huge. Hard. A heated rod. It’s alive, and when I move against
it, I feel it throb. A tortured moan rips out of his chest.
Thomas tears his mouth away from me and even my soul mourns
the loss. We stare at each other, gasping for breath. I’m still clung around
him and his cock is still nestled between our aroused bodies. I adjust my thigh
around his hip, and it throbs with the small movement.
“Don’t fucking move,” he tells me, emphasizing it with a tug
on my hair.
“Okay.” I swallow. “I’m sorry.”
A pained chuckle. “For what?”
“I made you kiss me.”
The legendary tic makes its appearance at the heel of my
words. It drums on his jaw like a secondary heart, or maybe a time bomb. “You
did, didn’t you?”
Unable to talk, I simply nod.
In answer, he lodges his thigh between my legs and presses
on my core. It’s an electric shock multiplied by a strike of lightning, and I
almost burst into flames.
“Wh-What…” I try to speak but he increases the pressure,
eliciting a moan from me.
“Why?” he whispers, noting my lusty reactions. “Why did you
make me do it, Layla?”
“Because I—”
Again, he repeats his movements, reducing me to wordless,
needy moans. What is he doing?
“Because you what?”
“Because I do this kind of thing. I-I’m selfish and bad…” I
moan, doused in shame and arousal. “I take what I want because I can’t control
myself. I don’t want to.”
“And you want me, don’t you?” When I don’t answer, he tugs
on my hair sharply. “You want me, Layla.”
It’s not a question, but still I nod my head. Yes, I want
him. I’ve wanted him since the first time I saw him. I want him more and more
with each passing day. I want him because he’s like me. He’s in unrequited love
and I want to save him, somehow.
His eyes shine with satisfaction, a sense of victory at my
answer. He loves my desperation and it makes me hornier.
We’re so fucked, my omniscient heart says. I agree.
“I can do whatever I want with you and you’ll let me. Isn’t
that right, Layla?” He licks his lips as if savoring his own words. “I can tell
you to jump and you’ll ask how high. I can tell you to strip and you’ll strip
as if your clothes are on fire.”
“Yes,” I moan.
He rewards me by grinding his muscular thigh and my cunt
pulses. My lust-addled brain commands me to move, to chase the friction, and I
do it. I slide up and down his maddening leg, digging my nails into his scalp
as the pleasure mounts.
I feel the angry and rhythmic jerk of his cock on my stomach
and I love it. I love the fact that I’ve shed all my inhibitions and am reduced
to this, a lust-drunk puppet. I love that it gives Thomas pleasure. He isn’t
sad anymore, or vulnerable.
Yes, I love all that.
His pain has become my pain, and it’s going to make me come
on his leg. I watch Thomas with hazy eyes. I watch the arrogant slope of his
flushed cheeks. I watch his dilated pupils, his wet, parted lips. All the
while, I’m moving, humping his leg. Up and down. Up and down.
“Of course you will,” he rasps. “Will you come for me,
Layla?”
I jerk out a nod. In the back of my mind, I know how wrong
this is, how shameful, but I can’t stop myself. As Thomas said, I’ll do
anything for him in this moment.
My movements are haphazard now, jerky, epileptic. I want it
so bad. I want my cum to gush so hard it seeps through my panties and leaves a
wet patch on his jeans.
The graphic, vulgar thought pushes me over the edge. Hard
and moaning, I come, just the way I wanted—no, just the way he wanted. I was
simply following his orders. My mind is filled with cotton and shooting stars
and static. I want to bask in it forever.
Oh God, it’s so good. So good.
The pressure on my body eases. I don’t feel his muscles
between my legs, and the harsh grip on my hair has vanished. In the wake of my
orgasm, Thomas has let me go, and in turn, forced me to unwind my body from
his.
I’m still recovering from my climax, leaning against the
wall for balance, but I try to focus. Thomas is watching me, intensely, his
flaming eyes working double-time to take me in, his hands on either side of my
head.
“Do you understand what I’m telling you, Layla? Can you hear
your heart beating? Is it trying to pound through your chest? Do you think you
can control it? Tell it to calm down? Your hips are still shaking. I bet you’re
still leaking cum, aren’t you? Do you think you can control any of that?”
I shake my head.
“Yeah, that’s right. You’d be surprised to know how many
things aren’t your fault at all.” His eyes bore into mine, as if telling me the
importance of his declaration.
For a second, I can’t make the connection between what he’s
telling me and what happened here, but then I get it. He’s absolving me. He’s
rendering me blameless for kissing him, for making him kiss me. I wonder if
this absolution includes what happened with Caleb. Am I free of those sins too?
My heart scoffs. Are you kidding? We tricked him into having
sex.
“I saw you,” I blurt out without thinking.
As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I know in my bones
that this will destroy whatever kindness he’s harboring toward me.
“Through the window,” I add, because I can’t handle not
being blamed.
Everything is always my fault. The broken vases at home.
Muddy footprints on the tile floors. The missing bottles of liquor from the
cabinet. Caleb’s missing underwear. The fact that he ran off to college a month
early and won’t even visit home. The fact that I shoplifted, drank and drove
numerous times, crashed parties, broke my mom’s ice sculpture.
It’s all my fault. It’s just like me to do those things. I
want Thomas’ accusation too.
“I saw how lonely you were. I saw the anger on your face,
the way you…the way you paced around the room, like you were trapped.” The
scene plays in my head: his frantic steps, his hands tugging at his hair.
Then the scene changes and I’m outside his bedroom window.
“And-And then you were with her—Hadley. I… You were talking and you looked so
sad and angry, and then she left. I kept watching your back and your shoulders.
They were so tight and I could see the effort it took you to keep yourself
together. Then you picked up a vase and I thought you’d throw it against the
wall, break it, because I know your heart was breaking, but you held on to it.
You set it down gently. You were better than me. I-I could never have done
that.”
Nothing moves on his body. I don’t know if he’s breathing,
if he’s even seeing me.
“Thomas, I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to see it. I…”
Then he shifts on his feet and the overhead light slashes
his face into two halves of shadow and light. He appears beastly, like an
animal with bright eyes and hard face. For the first time since I began my
confession, I feel a tinge of true fear.
I can see he wants to do something, maybe harm me
physically. His body is taut with violence. He looks bigger, enlarged with the
barely leashed control. For a second, I think he does lose control. His hands
jerk and ball into fists, but then he takes a shallow, choppy breath.
“Stay the fuck away from me,” he says softly, deadly.
 With that, he marches
out of the storage room.
 

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About Saffron A. Kent

Writer of bad romances. Coffee Addict. White Russian
Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer and poetess. Aspiring Lana Del Ray of the book
world.
I'm a big believer in love (obviously). I believe in happily ever after, the
butterflies and the tingling. But I also believe in edgy, rough and gutsy kind
of love. I believe in pushing the boundaries, darker (sometimes morally
ambiguous) emotions and imperfections.

The kind of love I write about is flawed just like my characters. And I hope by
the end of it, you'll come to root for them just as much as me. Because love,
no matter where it comes from, is always pure and beautiful. 

 

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