Saturday, September 23, 2023

Excerpt Reveal: I've Watched You Die by Karina Banks

 I’ve Watched You Die
Karina Banks

Publication date: September 22nd 2023
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult



I unlock the bathroom door and step out into the warm lighting of the dorm room. I stop in my tracks when I see Ryker, frozen, standing next to the undecorated desk in the corner of the room.

My cheeks flame instantly as I meet his gaze and my heart does a funny little flip in my chest. I am hyper-aware of the fact that I am totally naked beneath the towel. Check another box on the this-is-a-dream list. 

If this is a dream, why does Ryker look so real? So… amazing. He’s dressed in a clean, dark gray t-shirt and faded jeans, fresh from his own shower. His hair is wet and hangs in waves, and he’s clutching a bundle of clothes in his hands that looks like it’s for me. I don’t normally go for pink, but beggars can’t be choosers.

His eyes scan me up and down, taking everything in before settling on mine again. He clears his throat and shifts his gaze away from my body. “I brought you some clean clothes. I figured they might be more comfortable than your own right now.” He places the bundle of clean clothing on the wooden desk, his cheeks bright pink. “Sorry, I thought I could—I didn’t know... I’m gonna go.”

He walks toward the door, head down, but I stop him with a hand on his wrist. “Ryker...” I swallow hard, my throat tightening with emotions. I take a hesitant step toward him. The air between us is thick, but I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to act. I want to reach out and touch him. I want so badly for him to wrap his arms around me and make the last hour fade away. Being alone with a boy would normally make me too nervous to speak. But being with him feels so right. Simple. Easy.

I want to burrow into his arms and pretend everything is okay. Instead, all I can manage is a nervous smile as our eyes meet again. “Thanks.”

I watch him intently as his ice-blue eyes, rimmed with gold, burn right through me. My heart races as move toward him. I know my eyes are wide and lips slightly parted. I ache to kiss him.

His muscles tense under his freshly laundered t-shirt and he takes a step back. “Dani...we can’t”

Pour an ice-cold bucket of water over me, why don’t you? I want to be cool and composed, but after the night I’ve had, I don’t have it in me. Instead, I blurt out my insecurity like an idiot. “You don’t want to?”

“I don’t want to? No. Trust me. I want to.”

My breath catches in my throat at the raw desire I hear in his voice. 

“You’re in front of me, looking gorgeous, in nothing but a towel. If we start... one kiss won’t be enough.”

My cheeks burn and I tear my gaze from the heat in his eyes, look somewhere much safer, the floor. “Maybe you should go.”

Ryker nods and turns toward the door. His hand rests on the doorknob as he pauses for a moment and looks back to me with a fire in his eyes that’s difficult to ignore. 

The thought of dropping the towel and doing something really stupid sends sparks down my spine. I don’t. Of course I don’t. I’m scared, nervous, and I’ve only really been kissed once. By him. I’m not ready for more than that, no matter how insistently my horny teenage body demands otherwise. One thing regular nightmares taught me, is control.

“Dress quickly. It’s time to go.”

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