by Melissa Aragon

unexpectedly out of focus

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Mary is a married wedding photographer who thinks she can live with the safe life she secured seven years ago when she married strait-laced, boy next door, Alex. What she didn’t plan on was how lonely the safe side of the road can be. When she meets the new sexy, British photographer her boss just hired to be her partner Mary struggles with doing the right thing and doing what feels so right.

Excerpt #1

My heart started to race when he didn’t step back and I was trapped between him and the backseat, our bodies barely touching. We were on the tightrope again. I could hear his breathing was just as affected as mine. I knew if I pressed my ear to his chest the staccato of his heartbeat would match my own. My fingers itched to touch, my lips begged to taste and my body buzzed with a frenzied energy, but my mind screamed to move far away from him fast. We stood there for mere seconds, but it felt more like stretched out minutes. I watched his hands start to move in when I pulled myself out of my heated stupor and stopped him. “We should get going,” I said then sidestepped around him and got into the front seat. I made small talk about nothing in particular until my nervous hormones quieted and I felt relaxed around him again.

Excerpt #2

Of course, that was all a fantasy and the lunch was pretty much work related with the exception of a few moments where fantasy seemed too close to becoming reality. Like when he lightly placed his hand slightly above the small of my back as we walked into the restaurant and again as we stepped out onto the patio to our table. It took a lot of effort to step away when all my body wanted was to press into the warmth of that strong hand. I sucked in the cool air as a chill ran through me at the tingling feel of his hand sliding across my back as I stepped away.

“Are you cold? I don’t mind eating inside.” He offered when he saw my body lightly shake and goose bumps blossomed across my skin.

I tried to suppress the oncoming rosy stain of embarrassment threatening to give me away and shook my head with a smile, “Thank you, but I’m fine. We don’t get too many days like this in Arizona so we really should take advantage while it’s here.” He smiled back and nodded in agreement.

When we got to the table he politely pulled my chair out for me, his fingers lightly grazing my shoulders as I sat back into the chair and again my body reacted. I quickly grabbed the intricately folded napkin sitting on the white plate in front of me hoping to hide the second shiver to run through my body. Get a hold of yourself woman! I scolded myself internally and shook out my napkin with a little more force than was necessary.

“Whoa! Is everything alright?” Bryce asked when the napkin made a slapping sound.

I smiled sheepishly and nodded, “Yes, sorry, there was…a fly I was trying to shoo it away.”

“Pesky little things,” he said looking down at his menu pressing his lips in thought as he scanned. My eyes immediately drawn to the movement, I licked my own wondering if they were as soft as they looked. “Do you see anything you like?” he asked looking up from the menu in time to catch me bite down on my lip, my eyes still glued to his lips.

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