Title: Out of the Blue
Author: E.L. Irwin
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: October 21
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
KatyBeth Reilly, horse-trainer extraordinaire, is capable, responsible and hard-working—she hates backing down in a fight. When she meets—completely by chance—Hollywood heartthrob, Asher Fitzpatrick, she decides she wants nothing to do with him. He’s arrogant, self-assured, and seemingly very assured of her.
Asher doesn’t like taking no for an answer—he’s determined to get to know Katy—so he makes a couple of phone calls that set the stage for their second meeting. When Katy comes face to face with Asher again, she knows she’s going to need help this time—not because she feels out-maneuvered, but because for the first time in her life she knows she doesn’t want to fight.
I woke with a start, my head felt slightly thick and throbbed mildly. I blinked my eyes slowly, trying to understand where I was.
I was sitting on a horse; it was walking steadily. The rocking motion of its movement was soothing and I nearly went back to sleep. Well, with the rocking motion and the warm, comforting chest I was snuggled against, who could blame me? I began to think about that warm, comforting chest. It really was nice. It smelled good. It felt good. I nuzzled my face closer into its embrace, enjoying the deep murmur of pleasure I heard rumble softly from within.
Strong arms tightened around me, pulling me closer still.
Asher was holding me. I was sitting across his lap. He was sitting astride a horse. And it was dark.
What were we doing riding a horse together in the dark?
I sat up, a part of me suddenly alert to the idea that not all was right. Another part became annoyed at the first part and wanted to lean back into his embrace. The alert part told the other part to can it.
Asher pulled his horse to a stop.
We were a little way south of the Jump Off. The sky was clear now and the moon was full — I could see our location quite clearly. I sat still for a moment and then, as my memory replayed all that I last remembered I launched myself off his horse. I was pleased to see the horse shy violently away from me, snorting and bucking.
I felt even more pleasure when I saw Asher hit the ground a minute later. I didn’t wait for him to speak; I attacked.
“You JERK! How dare you do that to me! Just who do you think you are?” I roared at him.
Asher rolled over into a sitting position; I could see that he was all right, that he was not hurt by the fall. A small part of me breathed a sigh of relief. He stayed seated on the ground. This had probably been a wise and calculated move on his part. If he’d stood up, I was sure I would have hit him. I wasn’t sure right now that I wouldn’t hit him, even if he was down.
“Answer me!” I hurled at him. Asher continued to watch me in silence. He offered no apology. “Dang it! Answer me, Asher! This is serious! What you did… You had NO right to treat me like that,” I said, fury ringing in my voice.
Still, he sat silent. He just watched me.
“Fine,” I said, fury so hot inside me I felt physically sick. I turned away from him and began walking — well stomping was more accurate — home. I didn’t hear him rise, didn’t hear him move. I was suddenly seized from behind, spun around, and then found myself flat on my back in the damp grass. Dang him! How was he able to move like that? I raged to myself.
Asher strategically lowered himself on top of me, effectively pinning me beneath him. He was just too heavy for me to move. I couldn’t even move my legs. Though I knew my efforts were sure to be wasted, I tried to punch him. Asher partially blocked me; my fist grazed his cheek. He easily, curse him, caught both of my arms, forcing them back, entrapping them against the earth.
I glared at him. My mouth was tight. I was sure that fire was erupting from my eyes. To his credit, he didn’t look amused. He looked serious. He was calm. He watched me.
“Get. Off. Me. Now,” I said through stiff lips.
“Not just yet,” Asher said, finally speaking.
“You jerk! I’m not in the mood for this crap. Get off me and just leave me alone. I don’t want to see you right now. Maybe not ever again.”
“Kate. Sweet, Kate. I can see you’re furious with me, I expected no less. I’m not moving until we work this out. You mean too much to me,” he said, his voice low and soothing.
“Bully for you,” I said acidly, turning my head away from him. My jaw ached from clenching it as hard as I was. I tried loosening those muscles, seeking relief from the discomfort.
“Please, understand. I was just making sure you were safe. You were being stubborn. You wouldn’t stay behind. I didn’t know what I was going to find in that clearing. If there was any chance you might have been harmed… please, don’t fault me for wanting to keep you safe. Kate, Love, I love you.” Asher’s voice was soft and pleading.
I considered what he’d just told me. I took a deep breath. At least, I tried too. It’s kind of hard to breathe deeply with a massive weight sitting on your chest. I squirmed, trying to stretch a bit. Asher caught his breath. His eyes were unfocused, half closed. His head was thrown back, the moon glowing on his skin. The muscles in his neck stood out in acute strain. His lips were parted; I could see his teeth were clenched.
I froze my movements, holding myself still, not even breathing. I watched him in fascination — his facial expressions.
Pleasure, that’s what was on his face. Pure pleasure. I felt a ripple of echoing pleasure in my stomach.
Asher looked down at me now, his blue eyes burning with intensity. He refocused his gaze suddenly to my mouth; his nostrils flared. Quickly, gently, he took both of my wrists, holding them now in his right hand. His left hand, as he relinquished its hold on my wrist, slid slowly, firmly down my arm, just grazing my armpit. He continued down to my thigh. There he reversed and moved back up my side, taking the same path he’d burned before. His hand now moved over to my face. He brushed my hair back; his thumb firmly rubbed against my lips.
I watched as he lowered his mouth to meet mine. My heart was pounding in excitement. My lips parted in anticipation. He hesitated, breathing against my mouth. Slowly Asher rubbed his lips against mine, his nose caressed me. He kissed me then, deeply.
I forgot my anger. I forgot what we’d been fighting over. The only thing I knew right now was him. Asher. With his mouth, his hands, he claimed every part of my awareness.
One of his legs settled heavily between mine. I met his mouth with as much desire, as much need, as he had for me. I tugged against the grip he had on my wrists. I wanted to hold him now, not fight him. Asher released me and my arms wrapped around him, were in his hair, feeling his back, his shoulders, his neck, his face. I strained against him, trying to get closer. Asher’s arms were under me now, lifting me up to him. Then we were rolling and somehow I was on top of him.
Asher’s hands were firm against my thighs, kneading them, holding me tightly to him. He leaned up, growling softly against my skin. When his mouth left mine, I was gasping. My head was spinning.
“Kate …” he growled against my fevered skin. “Oooh, Kate. I… Please….”
The sound of his voice brought some clarity to my mind. I was barely able to discern what we were doing. A small warning bell was ringing in my head. I almost, almost, ignored it. I took a deep, shuddering breath; oxygen hit my brain and I could think a little clearer, and said, “Stop.”
Asher growled in response, his arms pulling me closer to him. He rolled over again, once more pinning me beneath him. I felt a moment of sheer panic, because I wanted, desperately wanted to surrender to him. Right here. Right now.
A child of divorce and abuse, E L Irwin found escape in reading and writing, and through the school of hard-knocks, learned to be a fighter. She’s a self-described romantic-rebel who wears her heart on her sleeve and tends to shoot from the hip on subjects that matter. She enjoys riding horses, wearing heels, shooting her X D .40, tattoos, and of course, a good book and hot coffee.