Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Excerpt - Beauty in the Ashes BY Micalea Smeltzer


Standalone Dark Contemporary Romance 

Some stories are a fairytale...but this isn't one.

Caelan Gregory’s life fell apart the night he went home and opened the door to find his whole family murdered. Since then, his life has held no meaning. He’s angry. He’s bitter. He’s barely human anymore. There’s nothing left to remind him of the straight A student, and football quarterback he once was…but he wasn’t a good person then, and he’s certainly not a good person now. He’s retreated into a world where all that exists is numbness and his passion for painting. 

When Sutton Hale moves into the apartment across the hall from Caelan she’s not prepared for her reaction to him. Something in his broken blue eyes calls to her—after all she’s always had an irrational need to fix everything. 

But Caelan doesn’t do relationships or feelings. He does drugs and alcohol. However, he can’t ignore his desire to get to know the raven-haired woman across the hall.

Two broken souls trying to mend one another. 

But not everything can be fixed.

In the end, Caelan and Sutton will have to learn that there is beauty in the ashes.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20761170-beauty-in-the-ashes

unedited and subject to change
“This is the best night of my life!” Okay, it was safe to say that this was not, indeed, the best night of my life and it was just the alcohol talking, but I was willing to roll with it.
I stood on Cyrus’ coffee table, shaking my ass to the beat of the song, and screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs whenever there was actually a line that I knew.
The party had been raging for a good hour now, and more people were arriving all the time.
When the door opened and in walked a familiar figure, I let out a cry of joy. “Memphis! I love you!”
Memphis turned at the sound of my voice, sweeping his copper colored hair from his eyes. He smiled widely, and I crooked my finger in a come-hither gesture. Yes, I had basically lost all rational thought.
“Come dance with me!”
He stopped in front of me, our eyes level at the height the coffee table put me at.
“I will if you get down from there,” he chuckled like I was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
“I don’t wanna,” I pouted, still swaying the beat of the song, my arms flailing above my head in what I hoped came across as an enticing gesture. I probably just looked like I was having an out of body experience, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
“How about I go get a drink, and when I come back then you get down?” He suggested, amusement sparkling in his eyes.
I pointed a finger at him, nails painted gold to match the dress per Daphne’s orders, and exclaimed, “Deal!”
With a shake of his head, he went in search of a drink.
I continued to move and shake my body. I felt the eyes of more than one man on me and God it felt good to be looked at. To be wanted. It had been far too long. And if I had my way, one lucky man would be accompanying me to my bed, because I seriously needed to get laid. It had been…I tried to count it up in my head, but it was futile. I was far too drunk and numbers were running together. Suffice to say, it had been a long time. Stupid, cheating, no good ex-fiancĂ©. After that experience, I was done with relationships. They only ended in disaster. No-Strings-Attached-Sex was exactly what I needed.
Somehow I found myself climbing off the coffee table and going in search of Memphis.
When I found him, he was surrounded by a group of guys, sipping on a beer.
“Hey!” I shouted when I found him.
He turned towards me, as did the rest of the guys.
“Let’s have sex!”
Memphis spit out his beer, spraying it all across the floor. Thankfully it missed me, but hit a few of the guys, who were currently laughing hysterically at my declaration. I didn’t see what was so funny. I was serious.
“Sutton,” he wiped his mouth, trying to catch his breath from nearly choking, “I think you’re drunk.”
“No, I’m not!” I declared with a pout. “I’m perfectly in control of all my faculties.”
 “Uh-huh,” he muttered, looking at me in disbelief.
“I am!”
It looked like I was going to have to take matters into my own hands if this was to progress to more fun activities other than standing here discussing my current state of drunkenness—which I wasn’t, drunk that is.
I took his hand in mine, noting how his nearly swallowed mine whole and was rough with callouses.
Cyrus had all the furniture pushed against the walls, so the entire center of the apartment was cleared as a dance floor. I was surprised by how many people were packed into the small space. Well, it was larger than my apartment, a twin of Daphne and Frankie’s, but still not the biggest space in the world and there were between thirty and fifty people.
“What are you doing?” Memphis asked, a slight chuckle to his tone.
We are going to dance. Did you know that dancing can be great foreplay?”
“Sutton,” he warned.
“I’m not drunk!” I hiccupped. “Okay, maybe a little. But let’s just dance.”
“Sure thing,” he smiled with amusement.
I listened to the song for a few seconds before I started to move my body.
My hips rolled against his and his body instantly responded by coming closer to mine. His large hands grasped me just below my breasts, pushing me into him. Our bodies moved in sync, even our breaths taking on the same rhythm.
“Think of grandma. Grandma. Grandma. Grandma.”
“Why the fuck are you muttering about your grandma for?” I questioned, my back to his front as I reached behind me to twine my hands around his neck. He felt so good, nice and muscular and warm. He smelled good too. Yummy.
His lips brushed against my ear, and he said, “I try to picture my grandma when I don’t want to get a boner and think with the wrong head, and end up taking advantage of drunk girls that have no idea what they’re doing.”
Smiling coyly, I licked my lips. His eyes zeroed in on my tongue. “Oh, I want you to take complete and utter advantage.”
“Grandma, grandma, grandma,” he went back to muttering.
I turned quickly in his arms so that we were face to face. I grasped the silky strands of his hair in my fingers, and bit my lip in what I hoped was a seductive manner. I probably looked like I was hungry and my lip was just there for the biting. “Would you shut up?”
And then, I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him. His body was stiff beneath mine, but then began to relax. I was in control of this kiss, and it felt nice to be in charge and take what I wanted. The kiss was hot and demanding, a tornado of desire. His tongue lightly flicked against mine, his fingers digging into my waist. A soft purr sounded in the back of my throat. This kiss was nothing like the one I’d shared with Caelan, where he’d been trying to make a point. This kiss was thick with want. But it was probably a bad sign that my brain, even while drunk, had thought of Caelan while I was kissing another man. I was a serious head case. Pissed at myself for thinking of Caelan, I threw myself even more into the kiss, taking it to scorching levels. I think someone told us to get a room. Didn’t they know that was my plan? Duh.
When our lips broke apart, Memphis looked down at me with a small smile. “Well, that was something.”
“Yeah, it was,” I muttered, angry that when he looked at me I’d been hoping to see blond hair and blue eyes. “I need another drink.”
Several drinks later, I thought it would be a good idea to give Memphis a lap dance. Alcohol was a wicked witch and it did dangerous things to my thought process. I was going to end up regretting this later…if I remembered it, that it is. Right now, I thought it was the greatest thing ever.
I pushed Memphis down on a chair, praying that I didn’t fall over my wobbly legs and that I could pull this off by looking sexy and alluring.
The crowd cheered me on, enjoying the show. Cyrus watched from the sidelines with a funny little smirk on his lips.
Swaying my hips to the latest Jason Derulo song, something about talking dirty, I lowered my hips so my ass grazed Memphis’ crotch. Air hissed out between his teeth. His hands reached up to cup my hips, but I slapped his arm.
“You can look, but you can’t touch,” I warned with a coy smile.
“Yes ma’am,” he grinned, letting his hands fall to his sides. His eyes were now glassy with intoxication.
I dipped low, and then back up. I ran my fingers through my hair, lifting it up and then letting it fall as I turned my head slightly to watch his reaction out of the corner of my eyes. His mouth was slightly opened and he swallowed thickly as his eyes grazed my body. At least he was no longer muttering about his grandma. This might be easier than I thought.
I turned around so I faced him, doing a little shimmy before grasping the back of the chair he was sitting in. The position all but shoved my boobs in his face. Poor Memphis was a saint for obeying my command of no touching, because I was right there in front of him, his for the taking.
I trailed my finger down his shirtfront, basking in the hard ridges of his pecs and abdominals. Mmm, I wanted to rip that shirt off so damn bad. Ideserved to be inducted into sainthood for resisting the urge to straddle him right here.
“I thought you said no touching,” he murmured, trying and failing, to keep his eyes away from the swell of my breasts.
“I said you couldn’t touch. I was not included in that statement,” I murmured, itching to kiss him again.
“Ah, I see.”
I turned around so that my back was to him once more.
I moved my hips in a tantalizing rhythm, lowering so that with each sway of my hips my ass brushed against the growing bulge in his pants. I smiled in satisfaction.
And that was when Caelan came storming in and disrupted everything.

Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.
Follow Micalea:
Twitter: @msmeltzer9793
Instagram: micaleasmeltzer
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