Hump Day: Adriana Anders’s By Her Touch

BY HER TOUCH by Adriana AndersIf you’ve worked as hard as we have this week, then you are definitely in need of a much-deserved break! Put your work aside and settle in for a sexy read. Today’s Hump Day excerpt comes to us from Adriana Anders’s By Her Touch, available next month.

Clay is an undercover agent who’s infiltrated an infamous Motorcycle Club— a dangerous combination of good and bad all rolled into one. While he sits in hiding, waiting to testify against the gang, he also decides to get all of the gang’s tattoos removed, wiping the painful memories from his body. This is how he meets George, a widoed dermatologist working through her own issues. Is it possible for this unlikely pair to find love together? Let’s find out …

One ink-covered finger moved up to her face, where it lingered, knuckle-first, at her cheek, then stroked down to nudge her chin up. Her eyes, of course, followed, and she met his gaze and latched on, something swelling hard in her throat. So hard it came out on a big, fat sob, and rather than the kiss she’d anticipated, he pulled her into his arms. Tight and warm against the soft cotton of his shirt.

God, when was the last time she’d been held like this? Just held? She couldn’t remember. She didn’t want to remember those days when she’d been the one holding a husband who was too frail to hold her back.

She rubbed her face into the shirt and inhaled.

The smell of him broke her. It wasn’t her husband’s smell—not even close. And how wrong was it that she wanted more of this warm, masculine scent? She wanted to suck it in and revel in this body—solid and very much alive.

George lost control. It might have been from guilt or sadness or, more likely, the hormones. Whatever it was, she fell apart in a way that should have embarrassed her.

It didn’t, though.

They wound up on the sofa in the parlor, him sitting and her cradled like a baby across his lap, in tears.

Weird, so weird this reversal of roles. This man coming to her for some brand of comfort and her leaching it from him instead.

“I’m sorry,” she eventually choked out on a hiccup.

“’S okay,” he said before hunching forward to rub one rough, sandpaper cheek against hers. That, just that, brought a sound to George’s lips—a continuation of her sobbing, perhaps, but altogether different in nature—darker, warmer, and sparking deep inside.

She rubbed him back, her body taking over when her mind told her it was wrong. Her skin prickled where they touched—and not just from his five o’clock shadow. There was electricity in the air that shouldn’t have been there after she’d torn through any attraction with those sobs. Yet, it was still there, a chemical, skin-to-skin reaction that even her outburst hadn’t dampened.

“It’s okay.” The words were soft, placating, spoken as if to a child or a wayward animal. “It’s okay.”

“It isn’t okay.” She moved away, just a bit, because his pull was so darned strong. “You came here because you needed me, you needed—”

“No. I came here because I couldn’t stay away.” He sounded angry, but he kissed her anyway, good and firm so she could feel it deep in her bones, sharp like a chill, only searing hot.

It all happened fast then—no languid explorations for this man. No, he was rough and quick and pushy as hell and George found herself rising to the challenge, taking it in stride. From his lap, she somehow wound up on her back on the sofa, stretched out with him above. And there was biting. There’d never been biting before for George, but those were distinct nips he was giving her, and instead of stopping him, she opened her mouth and did it back—nothing painful. It couldn’t have hurt, since she’d barely felt the scrape of him under her teeth, but God, there was something powerful in that scrape. Wild and animalistic and perhaps just a little uncontrollable.

I’m out of control, she thought as he dipped his pelvis against hers and she recognized how vulnerable she was in her skirt, with her legs spread and this big body opening her up, grinding. The stiff seam of his jeans rubbed her inner thighs, and she wondered if there’d be burn marks in the morning.

They shouldn’t be doing this. They shouldn’t.

George pulled her mouth from Andrew’s, shocked at how out of breath she was, and, avoiding his eyes, said, “We should stop.”

He stilled and watched her, his breath fast and intimate and already so familiar against her mouth.

“Okay.” He inhaled loudly—getting himself together, she thought. “You’re right. I can’t do this to you.”

It was her turn to suck in a breath and look him straight in the eye. “What do you mean? Do what to me?”

“This. Make you…do things with me.” He started to pull away, and she stopped him with a hand on his arm. “You’re not making me do anything.” She moved her hand to his side, a place she knew was safe to touch without hurting him. “I…I just needed a second. I haven’t felt this much…” No, no, don’t talk about feelings. “I haven’t done this in forever.”

“No?” He sat back a bit on his haunches, looking down at her, at the way she writhed on the sofa beneath him, her treacherous skin nothing but a network of nerve endings, begging to be tweaked. “I don’t get that. You’re so…beautiful.”

“I’m not—”

“You are.” He lifted a hand to her jaw, not quite grazing her skin. Even that almost-touch seemed proprietary, and suddenly, George wanted him to do it for real.

“Touch me there,” she whispered.

After only the briefest of hesitations, he did it, although not rough and bossy as she’d imagined, but gently—as if he were in awe—and that careful caress almost broke her.

“Do it harder,” she ordered, an edge to her voice.

His eyes met hers. “Thought you wanted to stop.”

“I should, but I don’t.”

He nodded, easily accepting her change of heart, before moving that big hand over her shoulder, to her chest. George’s body liked that. It gave its undeniable response.

“God, look at you, George. Look at this.” He reached a finger to nudge one painfully hard nipple and slipped his hand down between them, to where her flimsy skirt had flipped back, leaving her exposed, open, and wanting.

She made a noise deep in her throat.

“And what about this, George?” He pulled her soaked underwear aside and ran one finger along her. “How the hell can I stay away when you’re like this for me, huh?” he asked, and she truly, truly didn’t know. She felt the same, after all. She wasn’t just attracted to the man; she was drawn to him, inevitably, magnetized by his presence.

And he knew how turned-on she was. He had to, with her…arousal all over his hand. His fingers, for goodness sake, couldn’t even find purchase. They just slid and slid until, somehow, finally, one of them worked its way slowly inside her, and George’s throat let out a noise—an unsexy grunt that proved just how long it’d been since anything that exciting had breached her body.

“I’m sorry,” she said, because it was true. She shouldn’t be doing this with a patient, a man too messed up to know better. She should be the one to know better. “I’m not… I don’t know what to do. I want to see you too, but I can’t even—”

“Yeah?” At her nod, he leaned back again, removed his hand, leaving her cold, undid his belt, yanked down his zipper, and with a quick glance at her face, reached inside his underwear to pull himself out.

No ink, she thought with relief. He was big. Thick, veined, and somehow glorious—not a word she’d ever used before for a penis. Penises had always seemed like such utilitarian features. But this one… Too big, thought George, who’d used nothing but a crappy little AA-fueled bullet vibrator for the last decade. She wanted to touch it, feel how unyielding and stiff it was, how soft his skin, measure its weight in her palm.

Her eyes returned to his face, where the dark imprint on his lids gave him such a look of violence that she shivered, utterly certain that this was the worst mistake she’d ever make. And yet, everything in her pushed her toward this man. Everything made her yearn for this, to be with him, to taste him and touch him and remember what it felt like to be alive.

“We don’t have to do anything,” he whispered, no doubt mistaking her trembling for fear. But it wasn’t. It was something else—excitement, perhaps? Titillation? She didn’t know. How could she know?

“Oh God. I want to.” Another glance showed that body she couldn’t stop thinking of. She’d die if they didn’t do this soon. She’d burst into flames, her skin was so scorching hot.


“Yes. Yes, I want to.” She writhed against him, asking him to touch her again without words. “Do it. Make me…make me feel…” Good Lord, what was it she was going to say? Make me feel whole again? Those weren’t the right words, she knew. But she couldn’t, for the life of her, make the words come out.

Instead of talking, she let go of her doubts, sucked in a big, shaky breath, and made a decision. This was it—a letting go she hadn’t realized she was capable of. She threw worry and shame and responsibility to the wind as she reached down and grasped the hot, hard sex of this man who’d taken her life and torn it into a million beautiful, little pieces. 

By Her Touch will be available in digital and print on April 4. Digital copies start at $6.15, grab yours here: Amazon | BN | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo. And if more Hump Day excerpts is what you crave (who wouldn’t?) we’ve got you covered.

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