Friday, February 10, 2012

First Kiss: Michael and Jacqueline

For my contribution to the 'first kiss' contest, I bring you Michael Tanner and Jacqueline Anderson of The Phoenix Rebellion Book Four: End Game. Michael takes everything slow, for reasons you won't understand without reading, but you should also know Jackie isn't quite so slow moving. :-) They met in Book Two: Outcasts, so it took awhile to get here. Enjoy...

"Michael, am I alone here?" Her voice was rough and whispered near his ear.

He scowled, pulling back to study her face. "I'm here."

She shifted her hands across the back of his neck and shoulders to rest above his elbows. He let his palms slide naturally to her back again, splaying over her warm skin. A voice in the back of his mind told him he should take his hands away. To touch her skin-to-skin -- as her caregiver -- was acceptable. But, at this moment, he felt as far from her doctor as he could be.

"Trust me, there is no doubt in my mind just how here you are. What I mean is... am I alone with just how nuts it makes me to have you this close? Touching me?"

Michael swallowed, watching the small dimple that threatened to appear in her cheek each time her lips curled up in a smile. He compulsively tightened his hold on her, pulling her closer, and her eyelids slid heavily over her eyes.

"No," he finally managed to say through the desert in his throat.

"Are you planning on doing anything about it any time soon?"

He slid his hand along her spine, the hem of her sweater slipping up her stomach. Her muscles slowly rolled beneath his touch. She sighed, her head tipping back slightly and Michael watched, mesmerized. The arch of her neck was beautiful, and the flash of desire to press his mouth to her skin surprised and shook him. His blood hummed just beneath the surface of his skin, and the layers of clothing he wore in defense against the drafts and chill in the old building now smothered him.

Without making the conscious decision to do it, Michael leaned into to her, speaking close to her cheek. "What do you want me to do?"

Her breath skimmed his skin and her lips parted, dark eyes watching him. "That's a loaded question."

"Tell me."

"Kissing me might be a good start."

Michael pulled one hand free from its warm place beneath her sweater to lay his palm against her cheek. His lungs burned and he carefully schooled each breath, his heart pounding hard, rushing blood hot and thick through his veins. He touched her lower lip with the pad of his thumb, and she parted them, her breath warming his skin. He couldn't tear his eyes away from the glistening smoothness on the inside of her lip and the tip of her tongue as it moistened her skin, brushing his thumb.

The need to follow her tongue and taste her crashed into him, and he lowered his mouth to hers. Their lips brushed along each other, open and slick, and her soft moan whispered between them. Michael hovered over her, matching her movements as she tipped her chin, letting their breath mingle together. He still needed to taste her, to know the feel of her wet lips. Slowly, he slid his tongue against her lips, her teeth and finally her own tongue, and pure energy vibrated through him.

He pushed his fingers into her hair, the silken threads weaving around his hand, as he tilted her head and let the power of the jolt reverberate from head to toe. Her hands curled into his shirt and he pulled her harder against him, the need to be careful a persistent whisper in the back of his mind. The slow, learning kiss catapulted into a devouring need.

Only when the demand for oxygen overpowered the furor did Michael break the contact, pulling deep breaths of air into his burning lungs as he rested his forehead against hers. A small tremor shifted through her and he pulled her closer, once again sliding both hands beneath the sweater to touch her skin.

Her skin.

Silk and satin and heat.

Michael swallowed his groan.

"Damn," Jacqueline finally said, breaking the sound of their rasped and out-of-sync breathing. "Where did you learn to kiss like that?"

Michael shook his head, letting his forehead roll against hers. He couldn't form a thought, let alone an answer, and pulled her closer. He wanted to kiss her again, wanted it as much as he wanted to live, but didn't trust himself to do it. His body screamed for more. Screamed too loud and too hard to be ignored.

He pulled her closer and pressed his face into the fragrant curve of her throat.

Read more about The Phoenix Rebellion at my website.


  1. Wow! Great build up and definitely makes you want to know what happens next.Hope he's not too slow!

    1. Thank you, Angela. If you read the series, you know Michael is... um... shall we say cautious? Not just about women, Jackie... but anything. When you know what circumstances he comes from, you'll understand. Jackie is just what he needs... someone to push him along.

  2. Hey Gail! I LOVE Michael. He was one of my favorite characters ever :) I also really loved this Phoenix Rebellion series. Very different and inventive.

    1. Thank you, Jenn.

      I know we as parents (LOL) aren't supposed to pick favorites, but Michael also one of my favorites. He's so very different from any other hero I've ever written (or could write again) simply because of what he comes from and who he is. I love writing the new Phoenix Rising series because I get to write Michael again. :-)

      I like to say Michael is a contrast in so many ways -- he's old beyond his years, but yet he's naive. He's brave but afraid. He's hesitant, but when he loves -- whether it be Jackie, his father, a dear friend -- he gives his whole being to it. He doesn't understand holding back, and wouldn't want to understand.

      Yeah... I gush a bit about Michael. :-)

  3. After that, you can gush all you want!

  4. Is it just me, or is it getting warm in here? I adore Michael and Jacqueline and The End Game was an edge of your seat adventure I still think about. Great kiss, Gail, when I grow up, I want to write just like you!!!!

    1. Oh, it's warm... that's for sure. These two just sizzle, without even trying. Just wait until you see what's in store for them in the next series! You might want to hurt me... just sayin'

  5. *fans self* I want to meet Michael. Wow. Since I'm new to the series, I think I'll start with the first, but oh it's going to be difficult to be patient to reach this one.

  6. :-) Well, the good thing is, Laurel, that you meet Michael from book one. He just doesn't get the chance for *this* until book four. :-)