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A Kiss to Tell by W. Winters, Willow Winters (1)

Prologue

Chloe

The kiss was bruising, just like his presence always was.

On the last Tuesday before school let out for the summer, and my ninth-grade year was over forever, Sebastian Black kissed me. No. He devoured me.

He destroyed everything I had in that moment. He took every bit and he made it his. I was his for that all-consuming kiss. My first kiss.

I still remember it so well. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do anything but let the heat and electricity rip through my body as Sebastian pinned me against the wall. The rough brick scraped harshly against the small of my back, but I hadn’t even noticed. I wouldn’t notice until hours later, standing under the stream of water in a scalding shower. The sting I felt proved his kiss had left more than one mark on me.

His tongue was hot, his grip intense and his presence dominating as ever. When he followed me outside as I tried to hide around the corner behind the school, I didn’t even see him coming. The chill in the air struck against my heated face as soon as the door swung open, and I could barely manage to feel anything but the cold sensation that flowed over my skin. I needed to hide. From the other kids, from the teachers who didn’t care… from reality. I was always good at that.

I didn’t expect anyone to follow me. No one had for the past few days. Each day proved harder than the last, although the nights were the worst.

I was still carelessly wiping away my tears—they were an unwanted nuisance just like how everyone else saw me—when I heard his hard steps behind me.

The sudden spike of fear I felt, paled in comparison to the effect Sebastian had on me. The sound of my startled gasp was dwarfed by the feel of my heart racing rapidly against his as he pinned me where he wanted me.

He always took what he wanted.

But I’d never once thought he wanted me.

His warm breath flowed over my face, and suddenly the iciness in the air was nonexistent. Nothing existed but him. Not even the air that separated us.

If I hadn’t been stunned, the confusion would have shown on my face. I’d always wondered what it would be like to be kissed by a boy like Sebastian. I’d assumed it would always be nothing more than a passing thought. But every time he walked by me, every time I caught him staring at me, I knew there was something between us. His piercing gaze seemed to capture me in place while also looking right through me.

I was no one, but I wanted it that way. Not being noticed was the best thing that could happen when you lived where I did. Unless you were Sebastian, and then everyone noticed you and everyone feared you just the same.

He pulled away from me before I could react to his lips on mine, both of us gasping for air.

I’ll never forget that his eyes were closed, or how slowly he opened them to paralyze me with those steely blues of his. A mask of indifference slipped over his face, but I know my expression showed my awe, my shock… my lust that I had so painfully hidden since the first day I’d laid eyes on him.

“Stop crying,” he said, and his command was harsh as if my tears were an insult to him. As if my pain had anything at all to do with him. His nostrils flared and the rage he was so well known for was evident on his handsome features.

But just as it had never affected me before, it didn’t affect me then either. I knew he was forbidden. I knew I was supposed to be afraid of him. Maybe I was just stupid because I never felt anything but desire for him.

“Stop fucking crying,” he gritted out between his clenched teeth, “and don’t tell anyone I did this. Not a single fucking person,” he threatened. He brought his lips even closer to mine in a gesture that should have been menacing, but I’d be damned if it didn’t make me hot for him where I’d never felt heat before. His eyes searched mine.

“Or else I’ll make you cry those tears harder than you can imagine.” His words caused my gaze to move from his lips to his cold stare. He would never know how hard I had cried in the middle of the night. He didn’t know what had really happened and how guilty I was.

I shook my head gently and replied, “You can’t.”

His grin was accompanied by a huff of masculine laughter like he thought it was a challenge, but before he could say whatever was on the tip of his tongue, I cut him off.

“You won’t make me cry. I know you won’t,” I said and shook my head, meeting his gaze with every ounce of sincerity I could muster. “And I won’t tell anyone.” The last bit broke my heart in two, but I don’t know why when there wasn’t a single soul to tell anyway. There was no one I wanted to run to. No one but the boy who had lost control, kissed me, and obviously regretted it.

I watched as he swallowed, his throat tightening. The bit of stubble that ran up his neck tempted me to touch it. Whatever it was that had caused him to kiss me, whether it was only to silence my crying or something else, was gone. And I knew he’d never kiss me again.

Letting out a long breath, my lips still parted, I said nothing and let him walk away.

The masculine scent of a boy I should have feared and a boy I should have never wanted, was all that filled my lungs as I tried to steady myself. I sagged against the brick building and tried to make sense of what had just happened.

I stopped crying that day and didn’t shed another tear. Not that week, and not at the funeral. Not when my uncle let me move in with him, so I would have a place to stay.

I never spoke of what happened and I started to question my sanity when he never spoke of it either.

Nothing changed in the way he acted, or in the way he looked through me.

But I remember the way I touched my lips as he stalked away.

I remember how it felt and how it was everything I needed in that moment.

He could never have known what he’d done to me that day.

But neither of us would ever forget.