Cassandra Woods is ready to give Dr. Chance Crawford her whole heart despite his past betrayal, but the road to forgiveness is not an easy one. Those close to her seem hell bent on keeping them apart and their doubts seep in like poison. When someone reports the new professor for inappropriate behavior with a student, Cassandra must find a way to keep it together just as everything begins falling apart...
The Test is part three of the His Dark lessons series.
Excerpt from The Test:
"Just where the hell do you think you're going, Cassandra?" Chance yelled after me, the anger in his voice almost grinding me to a halt.
"Back to Alicia's,” I hollered over my shoulder. “Apparently, I owe her a huge apology for standing up for my boyfriend."
Boyfriend. This dark, intensely handsome guy with tattoos snaking up his arms and weaving onto his back didn't really fit the cutesy sounding descriptor. Words like 'mate’ and ‘lover’ seemed closer to the truth; words that evoked passion and trembling knees instead of valentines and first loves. It was easy to forget that once upon a time I’d called him that without hesitation, giving my whole heart and committing myself to him. But that was before the bottom fell out, spilling my hopes and dreams. Ruining that word. Ruining me.
I shied away from the ‘b’ word even when I dated other guys that made it official on Facebook. I never said it out loud after I broke up with Chance. Boyfriend meant being attached. It meant being vulnerable. But I’d called him that at dinner tonight without even thinking about it.
My heart hitched in my chest and without seeing it with my own eyes, I knew that Chance had stopped advancing toward me. The word caught him off guard too.
I shivered as his deep voice rushed over the syllables, thinking of anything but candy hearts. I thought about how his lips would feel pressed against my heated flesh. I thought about the simmering pull in my lower abdomen that overwhelmed my will to hoof it back to Alicia’s. I thought about turning around and telling him to take me right there in the middle of the road.
"Does that mean we're official?" he probed, words like warm honey as they went down. Even with the insects call I could hear him rock back to motion, each step matching the staccato tap in my chest.
The nearness of him sent goosebumps up and down my arms. The blush that started in my cheeks spread outward, the current of warmth extending to my toes. How did he do it? Chance Crawford made everything else fade to nothing except the stomp of my heart. I was so rapt, so freaking sensitive, that even the slightest touch from him would send me spiraling into bliss.
I let out a tiny gasp as his fingers combed through my windswept hair and all of the dark strands spilt over one shoulder. The goosebumps along my exposed neck stood at attention, waiting with bated breath for what came next. I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed for strength that evaporated as soon as his lips pressed against the nape of my neck.
Length: 20,980 words.