Series: Lotus House Series, Book #2
Author: Audrey Carlan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Twenty-two-year old Amber St. James’s focus is on her education. Her plan is clear―finish the elite San Francisco/Berkeley Medical School program early and become a pediatrician. She hasn’t given much thought to dating or to men in general, until she enrolls in the required human sexuality course…a subject foreign to her for religious and personal reasons. Tantric yoga practitioner Dash Alexander is Lotus House Yoga’s most sought after sensual teacher. Women flock to him for his unique teaching style, calm nature, and wicked hot body. When he hears of Amber’s plight, he offers to help. The condition? Amber must assist in his couples’ Tantra yoga class as his partner. The sizzling attraction between the two of them is beyond anything Dash has ever experienced…spiritually or otherwise. Through his teachings, Dash makes love to Amber’s mind and merges with her soul. Physically there’s only one problem, a secret that’s sacred. Amber St. James is a virgin…by choice.
“Do-overs” aren’t possible when it comes to a lady’s virginity. Once that precious gift is taken, it cannot be given again. Amber has waited her whole life of 22 years to give that gift, but she’s made a vow to God to give it only to her husband. Enter sex incarnate Dash Alexander, tantric yogi instructor. His 6 foot plus frame, golden locks and tanned, sculpted body tower even over Amber’s curvaceous, athletic 5’10” build. Amber has had naughty thoughts about this yoga God since first seeing him two years ago. A serious pre-med student though, her most urgent need at hand is to glean Dash’s knowledge of the practice of Tantric sex for her human sexuality coursework. Dash is reluctant to have an observer in his class, but in need of an assistant, and thinking of all the tantric sexual poses he could get this gorgeous creature into, he suggests that she could be his assistant in the class. Her safety net, he offers, “If something feels uncomfortable, scratch your nose.” “We do a lot of touching in this class, but I will never, ever lay my hand on a woman anywhere she isn’t comfortable. That’s why we have the itchy nose signal.”
(See end for more of my thoughts on Sacred Serenity, but first, you’ve got to read this excerpt/teaser!)
(I don’t normally include an excerpt quite this long, but I promise this taste is so very worth it! Audrey’s writing will leave your body panting, your mind spinning and your heart melting! In the time it takes you to read this, you too will get so caught up you’ll forget about all else around you.)
Today I entered the yoga room with anxiety and fear as my companions. The lighting was dimmed even more than the last session I’d assisted. On every available sturdy surface was a single red candle. My guess would be fifteen in all. The candlelight gave just enough of a glow that the couples setting up their mats could see the other patrons but not discern every texture or detail. A minty scent wafted across my senses. As if on autopilot, I inhaled a huge breath, appreciating the air expanding my lungs. The crispness that followed exhalation brought with it a sense of peace, calming the ravaged nerves I’d yet to shake.
I felt rooted to the floor. Mentally I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other, as I walked over to the dais. I’d worn a tracksuit over my sports bra and barely-there biking shorts. When I hit the riser, Dash turned around.
Good Lord. Did You have to make the male form so tempting?
I gobbled up his massive bare chest from the top of his clavicle down to the square firm pecs I wanted to feel pressed against my cheek. Each one of his abdominal muscles was a rectangular brick of finely toned magnificence, leading down to distinct indentations where his hip bones were. He had a trail of hair that started a couple inches above his navel and ran below the loose, white drawstring pants he wore. I cleared my throat and forced my gaze back up to focus on his eyes. The irises were yellow gold today and marked me in a way that could have lassoed me to his side. My feet seemed heavy, laden with weights as I inched closer. He smiled and then regarded me from head to toe in a quick glance.
“I thought I requested you wear…a little less clothing.” His voice was a sexy rumble.
Without saying a word, I lifted my hand, wrapped my fingers around the zipper-pull, and tugged down. I don’t know what in me called to do so at a leisurely pace, but I did it all the same. Dash watched, his jaw clenched and one eyebrow lifting into a point. Time and space around us slowed as I let each tooth release oh-so slowly, revealing a pale pink sports bra that in this light probably looked nonexistent.
Dash swallowed, his eyes riveted to my body as I let the jacket fall open, revealing my bare abdomen. Then I shrugged, the swish of the fabric the only sound between us. I held my breath but Dash did not. His chest moved powerfully up and down with each labored breath. He licked his lips just as I held the jacket loosely in my right hand before letting the thin material sink to the ground. Then once more, without speaking, I pulled at the drawstring and shimmied my hips left to right ever so slowly as the pants inched down, revealing the tiniest cotton shorts known to mankind. Lord knew I didn’t do that on purpose, but if the carnal way Dash looked at me was any indication, I might have to buy another pair. God help me. Once the pants hit my ankles I kicked them off, standing practically naked in front of the man I’d crushed on for two years. I felt bare. Bare of my misgivings. Bare of my need to hide. Bare of my control.
“My own angel,” he said, awe tingeing each breathy word.
I smiled and felt a heat so intense race up my chest it set my cheeks aflame.
“Have you come to save me?” he teased.
The tone in his voice rumbled around my body, making my knees feel weak and shaky.
Taking from every seductive movie I’d ever watched each time Vivvie told me to let loose, as well as somehow finding the inner vixen in me and setting her free, I responded, “Do you need to be saved?”
His lips twitched as he put one foot in front of the other. I glanced down at his feet. Large, squared-off toes, just a smidgen of hair along the tops. Nice as far as male feet went. I’d bet that hair on top was incredibly soft, too. Not realizing how long I stared at his metatarsals, I shivered when a single finger touched my chin and lifted my head up.
“Would you if you could? Save me, that is?” I licked my lips and bit down on the flesh. The only answer I could muster lifted me on gossamer wings of honesty. “Yes, I would.”
“Do I deserve saving, little bird?” He pushed a lock of hair behind my ear.
I closed my eyes against the onslaught of emotions that battered against my heart. He was too close. Too warm. Too everything.
“All of God’s creatures deserve redemption.”
Dash got really close. So close I could no longer discern the presence of air between our bodies. He put one hand on my shoulder and trailed two fingers down my arm. I didn’t move. Couldn’t. With God as my witness, I didn’t want to, either. Near him, I felt safe. Safe in the way I did when attending Sunday mass.
“I’ll guess we’ll see about that after today’s class. Go ahead and have a seat on the mat facing my mat. And remember, you always have the itchy nose signal to use. I won’t judge you.”
I huffed. “Only God can truly judge me.”
He smiled huge. Again, that weak feeling hit my knees, and I scrambled to the mat. I took in the dim room and noticed that all the couples were just about finished getting ready and were facing the front of the class.
“Everyone, we’re not going to start with Hatha yoga. Today, I want the full ninety minutes to be about your partner. Equally. In Tantra so much of the connection to our mate depends on our five senses. We’re going to work on two of them. Sound and touch. Let’s start by facing one another.”
Dash came over to his mat and sat in front of me. “Make sure that your knees are touching your partner’s. Then I want you to place your hands on just the outer thighs of the other’s legs. Ground into the Earth together. Close your eyes and start your pranayama breathing technique you learned last week.”
I closed my eyes and started breathing in full and deep. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
“Now, connect your foreheads and keep breathing. Synchronize your breathing.”
Dash’s forehead was warm when it touched mine. The hairs on the back of my neck stood before sensation, like the flapping of butterfly’s wings, tingled down my spine. I jolted until Dash’s hand cupped the side of my neck holding us together.
“Breathe with me, Amber. In…and out. Slow it down. Do what comes naturally.”
His voice had deepened when he continued speaking to the class again.
“Once your breathing is paired, I want you to slow it down and then alter your breathing pattern. Reciprocate your inhalations so that you are breathing in your partner’s air and vice versa. Do this for a few minutes. If you need to, touch your partners face or neck, letting them know you’re there for them. Holding one another, you are in the safest place possible. Together, allow yourselves to be vulnerable. Trust your mate to breathe life into you.”
I sucked in a fast breath, suddenly uncertain. Both of Dash’s hands came up and cupped my neck. He rubbed his forehead back and forth. Every time I’d take a breath, he’d exhale and when he’d exhale, I’d inhale. For long minutes, we shared life, breathing in one another’s breath. My body became weightless, practically floating on the yoga mat as if it were on a magic carpet. The room didn’t matter. The people taking the class were gone. It was just Dash and Amber. Two souls living one for the other.
“Now that we’ve activated the third eye chakra through breathing, I want you to stay where you are and for five minutes, with your eyes closed and breathing reciprocally, share something you love and adore about your partner. Whisper it quietly to only them.”
I waited, holding my breath, as the warmth from Dash’s head settled against mine. I swear it was like a puzzle piece notching itself home. I shook off the thought and tried to let it disappear, but Dash would have none of it, instead, wooing me with his sultry voice.
“Amber, I see your beauty even when you don’t. Everyone does. It is only you who are blind to it, “Dash whispered. I could feel his breath against my face.
Were we doing this? Really doing this? “We barely know each other,” I returned.
He chuckled so low I had to strain to hear him. “The heart knows its mate instinctively.”
“Are you suggesting I’m your mate?”
Dash inhaled as I exhaled, breathing in life-sustaining air. A breath of air I gave him. One that came from my life source. Something incredibly intimate could be found in that single act. One I most assuredly would not feel with another human being again.
“I believe anything is possible. I also know that I’m drawn to you.”
“You’re drawn to anything with legs. I’ve been told you love all women.”
He rubbed his forehead back and forth against mine so that I had no choice but to feel the intention behind the act. “Not true. Women are beautiful, as are men. I’m attracted to those unique qualities in a person. Like you. When you entered today, you were frightened, anxious, am I right?”
I didn’t answer. He knew too much already from the way I tensed up. This time, he responded by using both hands on my shoulders and massaging my neck, relaxing me physically as an emotional bomb was about to explode internally.
“You don’t have to answer. I know the truth. Yet you took off your clothes as if presenting me with my wildest fantasy come to life.”
With that statement, I attempted to rise, but he held me down. “You were so powerful. With the simple touch of your hands to your clothing, you had me wrapped around your little finger. You could have asked for anything, and I would have given it to you. Absolutely intoxicating.”
“Dash….” I warned, squirming in my seat. My entire body started to tremble.
He stroked my cheeks with his thumbs, never releasing our physical connection. “I watched you shimmy off your clothes as if you were leaving behind an outer layer of skin and baring your soul to me for the taking.”
I didn’t know how to respond. Denying the truth in his statement would be a sin. Not that I didn’t sin regularly. Father McDowell could attest to that, but on average, I attempted to fib as little as possible. Dash made me want to lie. Want to pretend this unholy connection to him was just physical. Did I want to physically be near him? Yes. Lord, yes, a million times over. But doing so would end everything I’d worked for. The true essence of who I wanted to be for the man I would one day wed, bear children for, spend the rest of my days with. I didn’t think it likely that this yoga teacher, a Tantric professor, was that man, but oh, did he tempt me.
“My soul will be gifted to the man who is destined to be my mate.” Her words were even and succinct, conviction breathing confidence.
I grinned. “And why are you so sure that man isn’t me?” I said before I removed our connection and spoke to the class.
“All right, now I want the women to lie long ways on the mat. Men, I have set out a basket full of tactile items you can use. First, blindfold your mate. Ladies, if you are uncomfortable with this practice, you can close your eyes, but remember trust doesn’t come easy. It’s a gift. This is a good time to practice that trust.”
Amber lay down on the mat. I held up the blindfold. “Do you trust me?”
Her eyes looked panicked, but her bravado stopped her from giving into it. With a stiff upper lip she responded. “Not particularly, but I’m not afraid of you. Just give me the blindfold.”
I handed it to her, and she looped it over her head. The red satin was a rich contrast against her pale white skin and dark brown waves. She pursed her lips and then sucked in a breath.
“Now class, I want you to use whatever items you like from the basket to tease and entice your partner. Only do not speak, and for this round only touch with the item. Let’s keep it PG for now. Ladies, lay back and enjoy the pampering.”
Amber was stiff as a board. I’d definitely need to loosen her up. The girl was wound so damn tight. Before I started in on my victim, I turned on some music. Indian songs were ideal and expected in a yoga setting, but I wanted something that would soothe and entice my clients. Get them outside of their comfort zone and into one far more hypnotic. I pressed play and allowed the flowing strains of Atlas Powers’ guitar to echo through the room. He’d paired his acoustic guitar with a tentative tapping against the wood of the instrument and dubbed it over itself. The result was a mesmerizing forty-five minutes of music for seduction.
Going back to Amber, I sat close enough that she’d feel my heat but not know exactly where I was. She’d have to use her senses and focus on the moment instead of the finicky side of her intellectual mind. Tantra was not about academics or scholarly facts. It’s about what a person feels, that meditative space within each of us being tapped and coalescing with the universe and, when in perfect harmony, coexisting with our mate. I wanted that so badly with a woman. Not just any woman. The One.
I had no idea if Amber St. James was my One, but every time I was in her presence, I couldn’t shut down the urge to make her mine, an uncontrollable desire, a lust so pure, it burned like white-hot fire through my veins. That had to be my sign, one impossible to ignore. Whether ordained by the Great One, Mother Earth, the Universe, or God Himself, she was put in my path for a reason. One I rejoiced in finding out.
Sitting quietly, I picked up a long feather from the basket of trinkets. Starting at her forehead, I tickled her third eye chakra known in Sanskrit as the Ajna. She smiled and her chest puffed several times in silent laughter. I’d take laughter over irritation any day. Definitely a good start to this practice.
With a light caress, I ran the feather down the side of her face and over her clavicle. She sighed. Another pleasant response. In my peripheral vision, I could see her fingers tightening as I ran the tip of the silky feather between her breasts, never straying or disrespecting her trust. Once the touch met her abdomen, I twirled it around the spherical indention of her navel. Her mouth opened on a soft gasp. That reaction was key. I had her.
As the guitar strings where plucked, I moved with the highs and lows, running the feather up and down each arm until I could see gooseflesh rise up. I’d made sure the room was set at a comfortable seventy-four degrees. For a moment, I stopped and watched her breathe. With every rise of her diaphragm, I counted her breaths, and paired mine with hers so that we were connected through pranayama as well as through the tip of the feather.
Speaking barely above a whisper, I addressed the class. “Good. Next, I want you to follow the same path of the instrument, but use just your fingertips.”
Amber shivered, and her hands tightened into fists. I started there, hoping to ease her. Breaking my own rules, I hovered near her head and brought my lips to her ear. “Itchy nose if it becomes too much. Trust me.” I covered one of her fists with my hands. I uncurled each finger and brushed each one with a single stroke of the tip of my index finger until she relaxed. Then I moved from her hand up her arm. When I got to the crease in her elbow, she inhaled. I used that reaction as my guide, wanting more of those little gasps and unexpected breaths. Every new spot I uncovered was like opening the locks hiding a precious treasure.
Being careful not to startle her, I pressed my entire palm over her heart, allowing the warmth of my hand chakra to meld with her heart’s energy. I could have sworn a delicate thread of pure turquoise blue weaved from her heart chakra into my hand, infusing my own senses with pure love. The sensation careened through my hand, up my arm and straight into my own heart where it squeezed tight. It sounded so ridiculous even as I thought it, but it seemed as if her heart’s energy was embracing my own.
I became overwhelmed with a pride so strong it filled every single one of my senses down to the tips of my toes. I leaned forward and replaced my hands with my lips. Slowly, I nuzzled the space between her breasts and pressed my lips over her heartbeat. She gasped and wrapped her hands around my head and held me to her.
As quickly as the need came, it went. Whispered words around us brought me out of the meditative state. This woman completely tore away any restraint I had and renewed me with a simple heart-to-heart connection.
I cleared my throat and pulled off Amber’s blindfold, needing to see her eyes. I had to know if she regretted what I’d done. I hadn’t planned it, but it had happened, and I needed to know if she felt it too. When she opened her eyes, they were filled with love. She’d felt it. Taking a deep breath, and without speaking, I closed my eyes and handed her the blindfold. She put it back on.
“Okay, men, now you have carte blanche. The goal of this last exercise is to kiss every bit of skin you touched. Remember, respect your mate and don’t take it too far. This is a test of your will and control as much as it is for you to feel as one with each other.”
I turned back to Amber and saw her now in a completely different light. Whatever had happened between us through our heart chakra was real and intense, and I’d never experienced it with another woman before. A first for me, which told me exactly what I needed to know.
“Amber, if you don’t want to do this, I won’t.” I had to be sure. With all the other assistants, I wouldn’t continue with the kissing. Usually we’d just sit quietly and mediate while the others performed the act on their mate. Now though, touching her was like a siren’s call; I wanted nothing more than to put my lips all over her beautiful body and glowing skin. I salivated at the mere thought.
And then Amber floored me. I don’t know if it was the aphrodisiac of the breathing, the touching, the feather, or more, but whatever it was, I would worship this moment later, reliving it a hundred times over.
“I trust you, Dash.”
Those four words gripped my heart and squeezed like before. I’d never forget the moment I’d finally earned this woman’s trust. All I knew was that I would die before I betrayed it.
Leaning forward, I started at her forehead, placing a dry kiss. Silently, I sent her joy, peace, and love. Being this close, the scent of strawberries warred with the peppermint diffuser. I wanted to rub my face all over her hair and neck, imprinting the fruity smell so I’d smell like her later. Not being able to contain myself, I laid a row of kisses down her temple, cheek, and along the silky column of her neck. When I reached the tender patch behind her ear, I nipped the flesh. Her mouth opened in a soft “O” that made my dick stand at attention.
Moving along her clavicle, I bit into the bony protrusions, losing myself in the exotic taste of her skin. After I’d kissed down each arm, nibbling on every finger, her legs were shifting restlessly and a musky scent overwhelmed both the strawberry and mint of the room. Oh sweet mother, she was turned on. Her arousal was soaking her panties right here on the stage in front of a roomful of people. The woman was a gift from God. Absolutely perfect.
I wrapped my fingers around her hips and held her steady. I glanced around the room, making sure everyone was in their zone. They were. Not one couple was paying attention to us, all lost in one another. Man, I loved my job.
Back to Amber, I straddled her legs and squeezed. Her body went rubber-band-tight until I circled her waist with both hands. Then I did exactly what I’d wanted to do when I saw her bare midriff exposed. I kissed and then drug my tongue around her navel.
She mumbled a sleepy, “Dash.”
I sighed, resting my forehead against her abdomen. The musky smell was intense this close to her center, making my mind dizzy with a lusty haze. My cock was thick, long, and so hard I could have pounded a nail into wood with it. This close to her sex, I could so easily imagine pulling down her shorts and burying my mouth in her slick heat. I didn’t need to be a sorcerer to know it would be the sweetest pussy I’d ever have the honor of tasting.
Breathing shallowly, I lifted my head away from the temptress’s sweet spot and focused my gaze on something far less likely to get me slapped, punched, or thrown in jail for misconduct—Amber’s pretty, plump lips. She’d licked, pouted, pursed, and bitten down on the tender bits of flesh so much throughout this session that they held a raspberry hue.
Easing up her abdomen with firmer, more staccato kisses, I went over her sports bra along her neck where I was gifted with another sensual sigh. I traced her jawline and kissed just the corner of her lips.
“Is your nose itching?” I asked, kissing the other side of her jaw up toward her lips.
“Not even a little.” Her voice shook.
I smiled. My brave little bird. She wanted this as much as I did, but she didn’t want to take it herself. If I gave it to her, she’d have no choice. Well, less so than if she’d instigated it.
Breathing close, I rubbed my nose along hers and allowed just the tip of my lips to barely touch hers. “How about now? Do you need to scratch anything?”
She moved her head from left to right.
My lips got so close I could inhale her breath directly. I was only centimeters from kissing her. “I’m going to kiss you.”
“Oh God,” she said against my lips.
“Unless you suddenly have a need to scratch, my lips are going to take yours in a kiss that will change everything. All you have to do is touch your nose.”
For long moments, I held myself above Amber, waiting for her to move away, to do something, anything.
Our breath mingled until she closed the distance and touched her nose to mine in a simple Eskimo kiss. That was it. I had the ability to hold back but no will. No longer caring about the circumstances, I covered her lips with mine.
She moaned, my mouth masking any sound outside of the cavern of our joined lips. She tasted of bubble gum and walks through the park, innocence and warmth wrapped in one package. I ate it up, delving my tongue in further to taste, devour, and mark as my own. I wanted the kiss to go on forever. Amber responded with long licks of her tongue into my mouth and nibbles against my bottom lip while I tended to her top one. I lost all track of time and space, beginning to understand that Amber narrowed everything down to one simple thing. Us.
Kissing her, laying my body over hers was one of the single most pleasurable moments of my entire life, and I’d had some wild experiences. Maybe that’s the reason it was so special. It couldn’t be duplicated. Nothing had ever been this perfect in my twenty-eight years of life. No woman had broken me down to my base self where the core of my being lay at rest. She woke me up, made me see, and with every swipe of my tongue against hers, she brought me to a higher plane of existence where alone was a thing of the past. Not something I’d ever wish for again. With her under me, wrapped around me, inside me, I was whole.
A distant clapping noise filtered into my subconscious mind. Dash’s lips kept at mine. I had no intention of stopping our kiss, save for the sound…roaring, cresting getting louder by the second, prodding at my concentration on the finest lips I’d ever touched. Eventually, the cheering poked and pierced the little bubble of heaven we’d created around us until all I could hear were twittering birds. No, not birds, laugher. Chatter rising in volume until it could no longer be ignored. Dash pulled back first. I lifted my head, my mouth chasing his lips in the dark. He plucked the blindfold off my eyes with a flourish. Speckles of light flickered and colorful starbursts flared against my vision before I could see his face clearly. His eyes were black as night. He grinned and then oddly, looked to his left.
“Sorry class. Looks like Amber and I got a little swept away in the exercise.”
“Amber, I’m going to show you how desirable you are. Mark my words, little bird, one day you, too, will see the siren hiding just under the surface. And I want to be the man who brings her out.”
“In my experience, it’s the road not traveled that we miss the most. The same can be said for lost connections.” His eyes were laser-focused on mine. “I think you do miss them because they are a part of what makes you you. The same way the soul calls out for its missing half. It’s why men and women go through so many relationships, because they’re aching for what they’re missing.”
Sacred Serenity is written in dual POVs, so not only do we get Amber’s open thoughts and perspective, we get the sensual joy of listening to Dash’s inner thoughts, the dirty ones, the sweet ones, the intellectual ones. That and how he speaks to his “Little Bird” made me want to wrap myself around his heart, my legs around his waist and hang on tight! Damn that man is HOT!
But before you go thinking this is story is only about a relationship between Amber and Dash with some steamy tantric yoga, think again. A secret, something buried long ago will come to light in the most bizarre of circumstances. It will rock Amber’s world as she knows it. And whereas Amber brings her religious upbringing and vow into this relationship, Dash comes with his own baggage too. The conflict between their two worlds may just be too much for these two lovers to overcome.
One last thing I want to mention with respect to this story. With a character such as Amber and her deeply held views on religion and premarital sex, some might think this story could be a bit preachy. Believe me, I don’t like preachy and while I have read a couple Christian romances (didn’t know it going in), they were good, just not my cup of tea. Sacred Serenity never felt preachy to me. As a reader, you could have another experience. Sometimes I think one’s take on a story has much to do with their own experiences and preconceived notions. It’s hard sometimes, but I try to strip those external influences and biases out and read just for the pure enjoyment of it and to experience the story for what it is, a story. I hope to feel the angst, the love, the happiness, the sadness, the feels and all those other emotions the author is willing to take me along for. Me, I’m in it for the ride and Sacred Serenity delivers all I can handle and an HEA. Can’t ask for more than that.
Grade: A+++ (No doubt about it!)
She pinched her glossy lips together before tipping her head to Atlas. “Who’s curly?”
I snickered. “Curly? Oh Mila, I’d kiss you again just for that if my girlfriend would approve.”
“Curly? Curly? You’ve got to be kidding?” Atlas ran a hand through his mop of hair.
“If the shoe fits,” Milas said.
“Put it on then wrap those legs around my waist,” Atlas shot back.
Her eyes blazed white-hot fire and her perfectly shaped brows pointed down much like devil forks. “How about I take it off and spike you with it.”
Atlas took two steps closer, and I backed up, read to watch the fireworks.
“So it will be a stiletto.” He grinned and licked his lips. “Nice. Your legs will look a mile long in a pair of sky-high heels.” He leaned closer, his face only a few inches from Mila’s.
I’m certain my eyes were the size of milk jugs, and I was afraid to take a breath for fear I’d screw up the animal sniffing or sparring these two were doing.
Mila put her hands on her small hips and started walking around Atlas. “You think so, eh?”
His eyes shifted, practically walking all over her tiny form. From her bare feet with red painted toes, up her yoga pants to her bare midriff to her chest, where she wore only a sports bra to cover two healthy handfuls of fine womanly curves.
Her eyes turned into steely points of irritation. “Did you just check me out?”
“Hell yes, I did, wildcat. Your body is insane. You must work hard to look this good.”
Mila’s lips curled up into the smallest smile. I noticed the brief sip in her bravado, but more importantly, so did Atlas. “I do. Work hard. Speaking of . . . get ready to be worked over.” Mila turned around swiftly, leaving Atlas off balance.
“You could work me over any day, wildcat.”
“Simmer down, man. Damn. I thought the two of you were going to catch fire circling around one another like that. Like oil and vinegar.”
Atlas didn’t take his eyes off Mila when he spoke hoarsely. “Yeah, put us together and we taste fantastic on a salad. Shit man. That girl just got my number but good. I think I’m in love.”
I shook my head and clapped him on the back. “Easy boy. Mila’s a tough one.”
“Challenge accepted. I’m all over that.”
I have a feeling we’re going to hear more about Dash’s good friend Atlas Powers in a future edition in the Lotus House series. Hard to resist a soulful musician who is also into yoga and who wears a shiny single key necklace he’s reluctant to talk about. Hmm? What could that be all about? Bring it on Audrey Carlan!!