There You Stand (Between Breaths #5)
by Christina Lee
From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male standalone romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…
Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.
As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.
The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…
"Chopper, get your ass back here!”
While he was distracted, I silently moved toward him, hoping to grab hold of that leash. But just as I approached, he took off again, following that same squirrel who’d taken a leap to the next large maple.
I was out of breath and now beyond frustrated. I shoved my hand in my hoodie, my fingers closing on a sturdy dog cookie.
When I looked up again, Chopper was headed straight for the skate park. Shit.
“Chopper, goddamn it,” I called in some last-ditch effort. “You don’t listen for shit.”
Unexpectedly, Jude York neared the cement barrier at the entrance to the bowl. His board clenched in his fist, he seemed to be assessing the situation as the large dog charged nearer.
He left his skateboard on the concrete walkway and stepped into the lawn. He squatted down in the grass, made eye contact with Chopper, and the dog changed course to sail directly toward him. What the hell was that about?
Some type of deep whistle emitted from Jude’s lips and instead of slamming into his chest, Chopper came to a sudden halt beside him. Like Jude was a damn dog whisperer or something. His strong fingers grabbed hold of his collar and he reached down to mutter something in the dog’s ear. Chopper sat down in the grass. Actually fucking sat down—I had never been able to get him to do that.
I became motionless as I watched them, even though Ace was eager to inch closer. At least one animal heeded my command. I wondered what it was about Jude that compelled Chopper to run toward him. I mean, I got the appeal, so maybe it was just pure animal instinct.
The muscles in Jude’s forearm flexed as he stroked Chopper’s head and the dog’s tongue hung out in a happy pant. The little fucker.
As I walked closer to Chopper, Jude’s eyes lifted to mine. And for the first time I saw an array of other emotions alight in them. The most blatant being amusement, as if his irises contained a flicker of light. His lips tilted at the corners in an almost imperceptible smile and he looked so dazzling right then. As he held my gaze for the first time ever, something tightened like a fist inside my chest.
Shit, he was stunning. In that exotic kind of way. His hair was a mass of short blond dreadlocks, his skin inked mainly in black, and his eyes were the most gorgeous light green I’d ever seen—almost like cellophane. And now those same eyes locked on mine and held steady.
She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK, WHISPER TO ME and PROMISE ME THIS available now. Book five in the series, THERE YOU STAND, coming in April, 2015.
Also, her Adult Contemporary Romance, TWO OF HEARTS is releasing on May 5th, 2015.
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