Hump Day Excerpt: Intrusion by Charlotte Stein
One of my favorite fall romances this year is Intrusion by Charlotte Stein. It's sexy, intense and a little bizarre. Beth is perplexed by her shut-in neighbor Noah, but after she catches him sleepwalking in her yard, she discovers there's much more to the recluse than the stories she's made up in her head. I normally don't gravitate to first-person POV in romance, but it works perfectly in Stein's stories. All of Beth's insecurities are laid out, making this erotic tale feel that much more uninhibited and thrilling. Happy reading!
But nothing beats what happens once we get to my door. He walks me up to it, just as he always does when we part. However, instead of leaving me there he takes a step inside. He takes a step inside without being invited, and the thrill of that is something else, I tell you what. It almost beats the leg and the hand, even though I’m not entirely sure why.
Because it promises something bigger? I think that might be the case. This is kind of our third date, really. This is the part where people do something other than just talk and watch movies and walk in the sunlight. At the very least, our farewell needs to be a little more than the previous casual good-byes.
It’s just that I don’t know what more to give. I think about briefly rubbing his shoulder, but that doesn’t seem quite right. For a start, rubbing someone’s shoulder isn’t really a thing. It might look weird. Most likely he’ll turn his head and watch me doing it with those overanalyzing eyes, as though I’m an alien sent from Mars who doesn’t know how to interact with human beings.
So I consider something bigger — like hugging. Hugging seems much more normal and traditional in this sort of situation, and yet when I start imagining the whole thing it kind of falls apart. I would have to put my arms under his arms and around his body. My breasts might brush his chest. My nipples might brush his chest. He could very well react by freezing into a statue of himself, which seems way worse than just making curious eyes at me.
Is it any wonder that I settle on a handshake? Sticking out one trembling clenched fist is easy, by comparison. And for a second, he even responds as though he understands and thinks this is appropriate. His doesn’t laugh at my barely unfurled fingers or refuse in some other embarrassing way. His hand reaches for mine, without question.
And then stops about an inch from me.
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