Since I moved over to the new website I’ve had several request for the Dank (i.e. Death) excerpts that had been on my old blog. So… here is one of them. The first part is an actual excerpt from EXISTENCE and then the special addition is below it. The same scene retold in Death’s POV.

Existence excerpt

The night breeze had cooled down in the last couple of weeks. I wrapped my arms around my waist and walked toward the deserted football field. The emotions churning inside me gave me a sense of bravado. I walked on, away from the music and laughter. I thought back to last summer at my aunt’s ranch and how easy things had been. I’d spent my time riding horses and helping my aunt deal with the death of my uncle. Mom had suggested I go visit her so she wouldn’t be alone. I’d agreed to go, thinking that being away from this town and my memories of Jay would help. It had, in a sense. After a few weeks, I’d come to realize Jay and I were never meant to be. Another pro about being on the ranch had been the wandering souls had seemed to be sparse.

It had been a brief reprieve from my life. However, the last few weeks of the summer, I’d looked forward to coming home. I glanced back at the gym and thought of how crazy things had gotten since my return.

“Why aren’t you inside dancing with your date?” Dank’s voice broke the silence and I turned to see him leaning up against the cement wall of the stadium.

I shrugged and ducked my head as if studying my feet. I didn’t want him to see the hurt or jealousy in my eyes. It was bad enough he probably already knew.

“He’s looking rather forlorn sitting at a table all alone,” Dank said quietly into the night. A flicker of guilt deep in my stomach wasn’t enough to send me back inside. I shrugged again and didn’t meet his probing gaze. He chuckled and the low, sexy sound sent a shiver through me.

“So, have you decided to try the ignoring me thing again, to see if I go away?” he asked with a touch of humor in his voice.

I bit my lip to keep from smiling and shook my head no. “I know that doesn’t work with you.”

“Why are you out here, Pagan? What’s wrong?” he asked quietly. I reluctantly glanced up at him. He was so incredibly beautiful standing with his arms crossed in front of his chest. The dark hair that curled at the ends seemed to dance in the breeze.

“Nothing that concerns you,” I lied. He tilted his head to one side and flashed me a wicked grin.

“Really?”

I nodded. “Really.”

His hands fell to his sides as he stepped away from the wall and took a step toward me. “Seeing me dance with Kendra doesn’t bother you?” he asked in a husky whisper.

I shook my head and looked away from him, refusing to step back from his nearness. His eyes bore down on me so intensely it was as if he were actually touching me. My heart started beating hard against my ribs and I looked at him.

His eyes flickered from my dress back to my face. “I knew pale pink would suit you. Most girls can’t pull it off but on you it’s perfect.”

I swallowed, afraid my heart was about to pound right out of my chest. I didn’t want to think about the way his gaze made every cell in my body come alive.

“You think I don’t want to touch you the way I touch Kendra. You’re right.”

His words washed over me like ice water and I stepped back away from him as if he’d just slapped me. My pounding heart constricted and I took a quick intake of air, afraid, for a moment, that I wouldn’t be able to breathe.

His hand reached out, grabbed mine, and pulled me up against him.   “When I touch Kendra I mentally cringe at having to continue to pull off the farce of being interested in her.”

I stopped trying to pull my hand out of his and stared up at him. This sounded like something I wanted to hear.

“When I can’t control my need for you and allow myself to touch you it ignites a monster inside of me that I’m afraid I’ll lose control over. You make me feel things I’ve never felt before. Something happens,” he paused and lowered his gaze from my eyes to my lips, “when I’m near you like this.” He touched my lips with his fingertip and I trembled. He closed his eyes as if in pain. “And when you react the way you do, I feel the clawing inside me to take what I want.”

He opened his eyes and stared at me with an intensity that would have frightened me had I not trusted him so completely. “You’re the one thing I want the most in the world yet the one thing I cannot have. Because to have you completely would be impossible. You can’t go where I walk.” He stopped and cradled my face in his hands.      “The purpose of my existence is not to have a mate. It is lonely and cold. Until now it has been all I’ve known. Then you became the appointed and everything changed.” He dropped his hands from me and backed away as a pained desperation clouded his eyes. “Go, Pagan. Run, please, run. I am not what you think I am. I am not ‘intelligent, honest, talented, and compassionate’ although hearing you say those words in my defense felt like warm liquid pouring through my cold veins. You want to know what I am and I can’t tell you. If you knew, I wouldn’t have to beg you to run.”

He snarled and turned away from me, stalking off toward the darkness. I couldn’t let him go.

I ran after him and he turned abruptly. His angry glare stunned me and I froze. The anger seemed to leave him immediately and a tortured expression came over his perfectly-chiseled features. I gasped at the transformation.

         “I don’t care what you are,” I said, taking a step toward him. “You can’t scare me off and I’m not running away. What is it the song you sing to me says?  ‘Yet you stay. Holding on to me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you’.” I repeated his words to him in the darkness. His face contorted in pain.

“Go, Pagan. Now. I can’t control myself much longer,” he whispered into the

darkness. I took another step toward him. A low growl erupted from his chest and he seized me in one swift movement. His mouth found mine instantly. His teeth nipped my  bottom lip and then he gently swiped his tongue over the bite. My first taste of him sent my world spinning. Somehow I’d known it would be like this.

I grabbed handfuls of Dank’s shirt. I needed to keep him here against me, finally allowing me to have what I’d been craving. His arms tightened around me and I heard a moan in the darkness but I wasn’t sure if it was his or mine. My purpose in life was complete. There was nothing else I wanted or desired more than this. There was a darkness pulling at us, I couldn’t grasp what it was exactly but even through the haze of pleasure I knew it was there.

Dank trailed kisses down my neck and murmured words I didn’t understand. I released his shirt to grab his face, hungrily bringing his mouth back to mine. His hands slowly ran up my back and slipped over my ribs. My breath hitched as his thumbs grazed the bottom of my bra. Dank tore his mouth from mine, panting loudly. It thrilled me to see him as needy as I was for this.

“I can’t, Pagan. I want this so damn bad. But I can’t.”

In the blink of an eye I was alone, sitting on the cold grass in the middle of the football field.

 

 

Retold in Dank’s POV

 

The Kiss

 

She was defending me. Intelligent, honest, talented, and compassionate. No one had ever defended me. The silly blond in my arms let out a trill of giggles unappealingly similar to the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. This isn’t where I wanted to be. I’d stayed because of Pagan. Being near her, watching her, touching her, those were all the reasons I’d made this choice. Yet, here I stood forcing myself to tolerate the annoying girl draping her body against mine.

The door to the gym opened as Pagan shot one last look my way then disappeared outside. What was she thinking? She didn’t need to be alone. She knew this. Glaring angrily toward the boy she’d left behind, I almost felt sympathy toward him. He hadn’t meant to upset her. But the simple fact their fight was over me gave me some ridiculous amount of joy.

“Go play with your friends for awhile Kendra,” I ordered before detaching myself from her claws. I needed to guard Pagan.

 

If I didn’t know better I’d swear she wasn’t real. The gulf breeze caused her hair to gently dance around her shoulders giving her an ethereal appearance. The confusion, sadness, anger were all rolling off her in waves. Knowing I had something to do with those emotions pained me.

“Why aren’t you inside dancing with your date?” I asked. Her head snapped up and relief flickered in her eyes before she shrugged and turned her gaze from mine so she could stare at her feet.

“He’s looking rather forlorn sitting at a table all alone,” I said softly hoping to defuse the real reason I was here. She did’t need to know how desperately I needed to be near her. She shrugged again and continued to study her feet. I couldn’t keep from letting the amused laughter escape me. Her attempt at acting as if she wasn’t just as happy to have me alone as I was to have her all to myself was cute. “So, have you decided to try the ignoring me thing again, to see if I go away?”

Biting her bottom lip, she shook her head no. “I know that doesn’t work with you.”

“Why are you out here, Pagan? What’s wrong?” I wanted to hear her say it. Why? I wasn’t sure. It would only torture me further. But I needed to know she desired me too.              “Nothing that concerns you,” she tartly replied.

Grinning at her attempt to act indifferent when I could hear her heart racing in her chest, I  managed to keep from out right laughing.

“Really?” I asked

“Really.”

I closed the distance between us, “Seeing me dance with Kendra doesn’t bother you?”

She shook her head and her chest began rising and falling erratically with each quick breath. I let my eyes travel down her dress and enjoyed the simple fact she’d bought it for me. I’d suggested this color. This dress hadn’t been bought for the quarterback. The need to growl my approval was overwhelming.

“I knew pale pink would suit you. Most girls can’t pull it off but on you it’s perfect.”

Her pale throat constricted as she swallowed hard. I affected her. I reveled in that knowledge.

“You think I don’t want to touch you the way I touch Kendra. You’re right.”

Pagan stepped back away from me. The pain in her eyes almost brought me to my knees. I hadn’t meant to hurt her. Immediately, I reached out and grabbed her hand and pulled her against me. This was what I’d tried so hard to keep from happening. The more we touched the stronger my need to possess her became. But right now, I needed to erase the look in her eyes. Nothing else mattered.

“When I touch Kendra I mentally cringe at having to continue to pull off the farce of being interested in her. When I can’t control my need for you and allow myself to touch you it ignites a monster inside of me that I’m afraid I’ll lose control over. You make me feel things I’ve never felt before. Something happens,” I paused and let my gaze drop to her full pink lips, “when I’m near you like this.” I couldn’t stop myself. I needed more. Gently I ran my thumb over her bottom lip. The silky texture caused a sharp hot painful need to grip me. I closed my eyes from the intoxicating sight of her mouth and tried hard to fight for control.  “And when you react the way you do, I feel the clawing inside me to take what I want.”

The soft warm breaths against my thumb might as well have been iron bars wrapping around me pulling me toward her. Making me hers. Opening my eyes, I stared directly into hers. I needed her to understand. To let me go.

“You’re the one thing I want the most in the world yet the one thing I cannot have. Because to have you completely would be impossible. You can’t go where I walk.” Unable to step away, I cradled her face in my hands.  “The purpose of my existence is not to have a mate. It is lonely and cold. Until now it has been all I’ve known. Then you became the appointed and everything changed.”

Something irreparable was happening. I couldn’t harm her. I wasn’t meant for her. Terrified I’d gone too far, risked her life with my obsessive need, I quickly stepped away from her. Desperate to save her from myself.

“Go, Pagan. Run, please, run. I am not what you think I am. I am not ‘intelligent, honest, talented, and compassionate’ although hearing you say those words in my defense felt like warm liquid pouring through my cold veins. You want to know what I am and I can’t tell you. If you knew, I wouldn’t have to beg you to run.”

I needed to leave now. This was a mistake. As I began walking off, I heard her running after me. Didn’t she hear me? I’d told her so much more than she was supposed to know. Stopping, I slowly turned back around and glared at her. Maybe fear was the only solution. But the instant I saw it flicker across her face, I recoiled. I couldn’t scare her. Souls feared me. But not her. Never her. That wasn’t what I wanted.

             “I don’t care what you are,” she stated loudly taking a step toward me,  “You can’t scare me off and I’m not running away. What is it the song you sing to me says? ‘Yet you stay. Holding on to me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you’.”

She’d memorized my words to her. My chest felt as if someone had ripped it in two.

 

 

“Go, Pagan. Now. I can’t control myself much longer,” I managed to  whisper through my pain.

Instead, she took another cautious step toward me. The pleading look in her eyes was my undoing. How could I stay away? A growl erupted from my chest and I seized her in one swift movement. My mouth was on hers instantly. I needed to know her flavor. To experience it. This was the only chance I’d have to taste her and I wanted it all. I nipped her bottom lip then gently soothed the bite with my tongue. She was delicious. She was exotic. I needed more. Her small hands grabbed handfuls of my shirt and I wanted to roar in triumph. I was no longer in control of my choices. Pagan was. I’d do anything to keep her. The sweet taste that I could give no label because it was uniquely hers consumed me.

Somewhere in the haze of the ecstasy I sensed danger. But Pagan controlled me now. Her soul owned me. I began tasting the soft skin along her neck as words Death should never promise anyone spilled from my lips. The touch of her hands sent a tremble through me as she grabbed my face and claimed my mouth.  More. I needed more. Mine. She was mine. Then I recognized the danger. Her soul was releasing from her body. With each hungry touch from Death she relinquished herself to me. Terror washed over me as I jerked out of her embrace and stepped back.

“I can’t, Pagan. I want this so damn bad. But I can’t.”

Before she could stop me, I fled.