The Lust Garden Book Tour Excerpt
Gianna has just come off her surprise club gig and is feeling very ecstatic. She and Zak have a moment in the back of a limo after she’s escaped the paparazzi…
“You were absolutely amazing tonight! We should be toasting you. I quite feel responsible for your mood. Allow me,” he said and bent forward grabbing a bottle of champagne that he’d stashed in the car earlier. “A little bubbly for my lady?”
Gianna smiled and agreed, “Yes, please!”
Zak popped the cork and immediately the sweet liquid sprayed everywhere, hosing them.
Gianna shielded her eyes and watched Zak quickly put his mouth over the small opening to control the burst. Like a teenage girl with a mad crush, she wished she were the bottle.
“I was never very good at this,” he said, laughing.
“My turn,” she countered, taking the bottle from him and drinking.
Gianna’s phone was ringing, but she ignored it, swigging from the bottle again. It was Vance. She didn’t have to look for confirmation. She’d left without saying goodbye to him, and she’d have to deal with the ramifications later.
“I just wanna scream!” she yelled inside the car.
“Have at it!” he said, encouraging her. And she did.
“God… That felt good,” she sighed. “Was I really amazing?”
She was shaking her head, sipping from the bottle again.
“What are you feeling?” he questioned.
“Everything is still a blur. I don’t even know who I am right now.”
“I have something for you,” Zak said, reaching over her and into one of the coat pockets. He pulled out a small black box and held it in his hand in front of her. He smiled. “Here.”
“What… What is this?” Gianna said, smiling back excitedly.
“For all your hard work, Miss Salvani. You’ve certainly earned it.”
Gianna held the small box in her hand. She couldn’t think to guess what he would gift her with, so she opened it with anticipation and immediately gushed, her hand moving to her chest to cover her heart. In the box was a necklace with the letter “G” hanging from a thin chain. Her letter initial was covered in tiny diamonds that glimmered in the light that penetrated from the post lamps of passing streets.
“This is so beautiful!” she gasped, crushing hard for him. “Thank you! It’s perfect.”
“You like it?” Zak asked, looking for reassurance.
Gianna nodded and placed her hand on his.
“Help me put it on,” she requested, handing him the necklace so she could pull her hair back. When it was on, the “G” hung gently against her chest and continued to sparkle in the dark against her skin.
Gianna’s phone was ringing again.
“Don’t,” she said, watching Zak look away with obvious disappointment.
She placed her hand against his face, felt the beginning stages of scruff, which she loved and pulled him to her so their lips could touch. It was a soft kiss, but his hand gripped hers and he pulled away. It was torture. She didn’t want him to stop.
For the remainder of the ride to Zak’s hotel, they sat together holding hands. Neither spoke until it was time for him to get out of the car.
“I’m gonna go,” he said, touching her face.
She wanted to cry.
“Will I see you again?” she asked, confused.
There was serious doubt in her mind. The performance was over and he had no other obligation to stay. He had his own life to get back to. They weren’t a couple. She wasn’t even single.
She waited for his answer like her life depended on it and his continued silence said everything. He touched her face again and then the door was closing behind him, his coat still wrapped around her body, which was shivering again in response.