Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pure Blog Tour: Exclusive Aiden POV Scene!


Hello again! Here is my second post for the Pure Blog Tour, organised by Valerie at StuckInBooks! If you haven't already, check out my review of Pure. Such a magnificent book - I hope you've all read it! Today I have the honour of revealing an exclusive scene from Half Blood. It involves Alex, Aiden, sweaty fighting and a steamy kiss. READ ON! <3

GIVEAWAY:  To gain an entry in either/both of the big tour-long giveaways for Pure, leave a comment here about what you thought about the scene and then go to StuckInBooks and/or A Cupcake and a Latte with this link to complete your entry. You are allowed to submit 5 comment entries everyday to their Rafflecopter forms. Check out the Tour Schedule Page to keep up with the latest news/posts and enter the giveaway to win a Covenant Series bracelet while you're there too!

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Aiden POV

My feet carried me toward Alex’s dorm before I realized what I was doing. Several times since she’d discovered the truth about her mother’s fate, I’d made this very same trip. Each time I knew she’d been inside and each time she hadn’t answered.
The
last thing Alex needed was to be alone right now. Gods, if anyone knew that, I did.

This time was no different. My knuckles rapped off her door and there was no answer. Frustration boiled my blood and I reach for the door knob. Surprisingly, it opened without protest.

“Alex?”

No answer. Something tripped up in my chest as I peered inside her dorm. A few of her belongings were scattered about. Flip flips by the small coffee table. A pair of jeans thrown over the arm of her couch and plastic plates piled on the counter next to the sink, but no Alex.

Backtracking out of her dorm, I blew out a long breath. Where in the hell was the girl? She wasn’t supposed to be anywhere but her dorm, but then again, when had Alex ever listened to anyone? That little trait of hers was enough to drive the most patient insane.

Stepping out in the warm, sea-salt scented air, I tipped my head back and for the thousandth time since that horrific meeting in the Dean’s office, I wished I’d told her the truth. Alex had deserved that much. What she was training for…

Then it struck me. I knew where to find Alex.

Minutes later, I entered the large training facility and stood still, listening for signs of Alex. After a few seconds, I heard that fleshy sound of someone putting a beating down on something. Hopefully not another student, but with Alex, one could never be too sure.

I followed the sound to the main training room, opened the door, and came to a complete stop.

So caught up in destroying the training dummy, Alex didn’t even realize I was there. Punch and kick after punch and kick she threw until sweat poured from her, and I winced with each blow she made. The pain she had to feel was a darkness I could easily see. Left with no outlet, it would gnaw away until the simplest thing like a smile would be razor sharp.

A sudden urge to go to her, to capture those red, bruised hands in mine, pull them away and… and hold her, sucker punched me in the stomach. I took a step forward but stopped. My muscles and every fiber of my being protested, but a pure did not comfort a half.

But she was amazing to watch. No doubt she would make an equally amazing Sentinel one day. Though, the thought of her out there on the streets, hunting down the deadliest of creatures, soured in my stomach.

Alex stopped her assault suddenly and stumbled back. Wiping a hand over her forehead, she turned.

Our gazes locked. So much pain was reflected in those whiskey colored eyes that the breath in my lungs fizzled out. Pain that I had still saw in Deacon’s eyes when he thought I didn’t notice. Pain that I had seen reflected in a mirror for far too many years. It wasn’t right for her to carry that kind of hurting—a grief made much worse by what her mother had become.

Wordlessly, I moved to the center of the room, knowing that there were no apologizes, no words that could make any of this okay for her.

She approached me as I watched her wryly. Part of me wanted her to stay away. The other part wanted—

Alex’s hand swung out so fast and unexpected that I didn’t realize she’d hit me until her fist connected with my jaw. Pain flared, but it was nothing compared to what she was feeling.

She doubled over, clutching her hand to her chest. “Dammit!”

I took a deep, long breath. “Did that make you feel better? Change anything for you?”

“No!” She straightened. “I’d like to do it again.”

“You wanna fight?” I stepped to the side, ready and willing to be the outlet she took her anger out on. It was better than it festering and destroying her strong spirit, the heart of her. “Then fight me.”

Alex flew at me. Hell, I didn’t have to ask twice. Blocking the first jab, I underestimated the strength of her anger. The broad side of her arm slipped past mine, slamming into my chest. We circled each other, and I knew she was getting pissed off because I wasn’t hitting back as hard as I could. Mostly, I was just in defensive mode, which made her attack harder, push harder.

And then she went for the face.

I caught her hand and pushed her back. “That’s enough.”

Rage heightened the color in her cheeks and something flickered in her eyes an instant before she used one of the offensive moves I’d taught her days ago. Catching her around the waist, I brought her down on the mat as carefully as I could.

I rocked back on my heels. “I know you’re angry. I know you’re confused and hurt. What you’re feeling is unimaginable.”

Her chest rose and fell rapidly, and she started to sit up, but I pushed her down with one hand. “Yes, I’m angry!” she screamed.

“You have every right to be.”

“You should’ve told me!” Her voice was hoarse. “Someone should’ve told me! If not Marcus, then you should have.”

I could see the wetness gathering in her eyes and I hated it, couldn’t bear to see it. Looking away, I said, “You’re right.”

Alex reared off the mat so damn fast, reaching for my hair like a little hellion. Jerking back, I captured her wrists, pinning them above her head before I went prematurely bald.

“Stop this!” And then much lower, “Stop this, Alex.”

Throwing her head back, she thrashed under me, trying to get her leg free and with Alex that would be a very bad thing. Most of her power was in her legs. And then her damp lashes swept up, and she finally stilled. Alex drew in a sharp breath and the hue of her eyes deepened. Anger didn’t color them. Something I shouldn’t see did.

In an instant, I became aware of the fact that it was Alex under me. Not just some half-blood. Not just some girl I’d volunteered to help, but it was Alex. And she felt like no one else.

I knew I needed to get away. What charged the air now had nothing to do with anger or revenge. It was heavier, more powerful and… and tempting.

I couldn’t move. Or maybe I didn’t want to. All I did know was that Alex was softer than I imaged she’d be. I knew from training her that she had muscle and for some reason I thought she’d be all lean muscle and little else, but was I wrong. What had she been hiding under those Covenant issued training clothes? A lot of warm, soft and supple body… I really shouldn’t even be thinking about.

But once my mind went there, yeah, it was kind of hard to stop that train.

I felt my own lips part.

When she lifted her head, I almost expected her to head-butt me. So when her lips brushed mine I was more than shocked. I was immobile, frozen above her and then she pressed her lips against mine again. The touch turned from something soft and innocent, to something more.

Fire lit through my veins as I released her wrists, wholly intending to push away, but hands slid down her arms.

The kiss deepened into a tangled taste of passion and anger. The fire was spreading out of control, burning away thousands of years of rules, stigma, and a great deal of common sense. My body lowered onto hers fully. Control slipped away as my lips coaxed hers open and with the taste of her on the tip of my tongue, I heard her breathy sigh.

It was like thunder in my skull.

Pushing off, I sprang back, putting several feet between us I struggled to gain control of my breathing and what my body so obviously wanted. And what it wanted was wrong. What I had done—what I had allowed could’ve destroyed her if someone saw us.

Alex sat up and scrabbled back. A sweet flush spread across her cheeks rapidly, drifting down her throat. Her wide eyes met mine.

I stood slowly, swallowing thickly. “It’s all right.” My voice rasped as I tried to make sense of what just went done. “These things happen… when you’re feeling a lot of stress.”

That sounded lame to my own ears.

She blinked several times. “I… can’t believe I did that.”

“It’s just stress.” Every part of me strained to go back to her, push her down and spread my body over hers. And that was so not helping. “It’s okay, Alex.”

Alex jumped to her feet. “I think I should go now.”

Wanting to reassure her, I started forward but stopped. I couldn’t be near her, not when my blood pulsed faster than it ever had my entire life. “Alex… it’s all right.”

“Yeah, damn stress thing, huh? Whoa. Okay. Everything is totally okay.” She backed up, looking everywhere but at me. “I needed that—not the last thing! Or the thing when I punched you! But the things when I was… you know, working out my aggression… and stuff. All right…see you tomorrow.”

And then she fled the training room before I could say another word.

I thrust both hands through my hair. Holy hell… what just happened? Alex had kissed me. I kissed her. And I still wanted to be doing that and so much more. Wrong. Dangerous. Insane. But those things didn’t change what I wanted.

It was the last thing I should want.

Pivoting around, I threw my arm, sweeping it across the neck of the neck with such force it broke through the synthetic flesh, knocking the head to the side, destroying it.

I stared at the destruction I had caused, numbly aware of how close I had come to a very different kind of devastation.

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How are you feeling? Okay? A little bit more satisfied now because there wasn't enough Aiden steam for you in Pure? ;)

Remember, leave a comment here about what you thought about the scene and grab an entry for the big giveaway! You can also get another entry by commenting on my Pure review ;)
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