(My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2)
Published by Entangled Teen on August 6th, 2013
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.
With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
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When I emerge from the changing room, cold and drafty, I cannot feel my feet, yet somehow they carry me onto the plush carpet. Austin is leaned against the counter, fingers flying on his phone. I must make a noise because he abruptly lifts his head, instantly causing my suit to feel as though it is shrinking on my body. My nails pierce the flesh of my palms, fighting the urge to cover myself…but then I notice Austin’s slow appraisal.
His eyes skim over my exposed skin, heating it where a moment before it felt numb, and the muscles of his neck work as he swallows. Although he is careful to keep any emotion from his face, his approval radiates from his tense shoulders all the way to the fingers twitching at his sides. The realization emboldens me.
I wanted adventure. I wanted a taste of more, of what confident women like Cat experience every day. And here it is.
I straighten my shoulders and sashay forward, even venturing to add a sway to my hips as I do so. When Austin’s eyes finally widen, I want to do a dance of triumph. Instead, I grin and let myself perform my own assessment. I’ve been so caught up in worry about my clothing that I did not pause to consider what Austin would wear. Now I know…a pair of long shorts molded to the thick muscles of his thighs, and that is all.
His strong, contoured chest is utterly and altogether bare.
I pause mid-stride.
Austin shirtless is a glorious sight.
My mouth goes dry and an irrepressible grin springs upon my lips. I force my gaze to meet his, now back to aloof and unbothered, and begin to chide myself for my wanton behavior. But then I remember this is a challenge. And although I am certain the main test lies in the water itself, I am equally sure my behavior now is just as vital.
Recalling his impudent wink and saucy grin from Friday, I give him the same and repeat the words he asked me. “Like what you see?”
Perhaps my voice shook during the delivery but I give myself an internal hug at the evident shock my audacious words create. Austin’s mouth opens slightly and his gaze sharpens as if seeing me for the first time.
But alas, my victory is short-lived. He recovers and then moves toward me, closing the distance between us with quick, determined footsteps. He stops so close I have to look up to meet the predator’s gleam in his eyes. Running a calloused fingertip along my collarbone slowly and seductively, his minty breath fans across my lips as he says, “Yep.”
And time goes still.
Oh, Signore in heaven, now what do I do?
If it was not evident before, it is now—I am not meant to flirt. All I can do is stand here, breathing in the smell of his warm skin, with no clue how to react, what to say, or how to fight the extreme need to take at least a dozen steps back to a safe distance.
The silence stretches. Austin watches me, no doubt seeing every insecurity highlighted on my face. He lifts his hand and begins to reach out, and I forget to breathe.
His hand hesitates near my shoulder…and then shoots past it.
And he laughs.
Opening the glass door leading to the patio, he grins and walks out, leaving me alone. Again. Frustrated—and if I am to be perfectly honest, disappointed.
He was teasing me, testing me. And I failed.
But I will not fail again.