Soul Bound isn’t just about an HEA. It’s about surviving the read…
Jace Camden is haunted by his past. One that has many believing he got away with murder. He’s run from it, trying to start a new life in a new town. But his past hasn’t let him escape and it’s determined that his future will not be a long one.
Death will demand its due.
And his late wife will make sure that debt is paid.
Kittra Thomas’ life is in a rut but that changed when she looked into the sad, haunted eyes of Jace Camden. Something about his wounded soul called to her–like a flicker in a very dark cave she should have had the sense not to step into.
But his past will make sure she is no more part of Jace’s future than life is.
Because he’s soul bound.
And that’s a bind that can only be broken by death.
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Kitt came happily back into the room and his heart skipped a strange thud at the transformation along with her assurance of being more like herself now. She had put her hair up in tighter ponytail, scrubbed off her makeup, and somehow seemed even more beautiful than she had before. Her face did indeed have a sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her nose and his mouth turned up in a smile he hid behind the wine glass and took a long drink in an effort of being robbed of thoughts for a moment—and being right.
Kitt walked over and held her hand out to him. Jace looked down at it, and then back up at her but he relented with a sigh at the disappointment flashed in her eyes. He put down his glass and let her tug him up to his feet and she frowned at him as he let out a groan.
“Gee Bud, don’t act like it’s walking the plank. It’s just a walk, on a beach, at night, with the human disaster. What trouble could there be?”
She grinned, crinkled her nose, and he smirked as he responded, “Well, you may fall and break the beach. Or fall and break me. Or some innocent crab may find itself crushed when we both fall. What do you have against poor little crabs?”
Kitt gawked and then screwed up her lips to punch him playfully in the arm. “Damn it man. I’m not that bad.”
Jace laughed as he rubbed his arm. “Ouch, you do not hit like a girl.” Kitt took his hand, winked at Skylar, and then led him thru the back door and onto the deck. He continued towards the stairs, but she stopped, looked down at his feet, and raised a brow.
He looked back at her when she commanded and raised a hand in dismissal as he replied, “Um, no. I’m cool.”
Kitt punched him in the arm again but this time harder. “Damn it, woman.”
But the determined look she gave him had him giving in once more. He bent down to unlace his converse, kick them off and dropped his socks into them. Standing up, he crossed his arms over his chest and asked, “Better?”
Kitt pursed her lips, looked him up and down in an approving manner but then she frowned as she completed her scrutiny. “Not quite.”
Suddenly, she squatted down on her haunches and it caused Jace to step back in alarm. She looked up at him with those wicked blue eyes as she ran her hands down his leg. Her closeness caused him to take a sudden intake of breath at her touch and which had her brow raised in amusement. She smiled deviously, brushed her fingers on his ankle, and then slowly cuffed one pant leg. She slowly repeated the task on the other leg before she bounced back up, tilted her head, stepped back and then smiled. “That will do.”
She took his hand again in hers, like they had known each other for longer than they had and Jace soaked up her warm touch in his palm. As they walked, she absent-mindedly rubbed her thumb over his knuckles and it sent thrills up his arm. God, he was behaving like a twelve-year old hormonal teen rather than a thirty-five-year old man. Or… a freaking virgin.
As they walked on a beach brightly lit by the full moon over the water, she looked down at the sand and asked quietly, her cute voice more sensual than she knew, “So, Skylar says you were married?”
Jace’s steps faltered and he tried to remove his hand, but she tightened her hold as she continued to rub across his knuckles. “Ok, wrong question, again,” she muttered.
Jace looked over at her and sighed, licking his bottom lip as his throat seemed suddenly too dry as he replied, “I was married. She died.”
Kitt’s steps faltered as she stopped and turned to face him. “As in no longer living?”
He nodded but a smile pulled at his lips, despite the trepidation running through him. He realized she didn’t mean anything in jest and the concerned care in her voice pulled at him. For once, the warning of a possible threat less than the need to soak up the emotions she stirred in him—dormant for far too long.
Kitt head tilted as she narrowed her eyes, and asked, “Want to talk about her?”
Jace turned his gaze to look out over the water and shook his head as his lips pressed into a thin line. She nodded, began walking more and he followed in relief— so grateful in the fact she didn’t push and had the intuition to know he didn’t want her to. His thumb rubbed over her knuckles as they walked in silence, with the sand still warm from the day under their toes. She stopped again and he turned to face her, mentally braced for her to inquire for more—dreaded what it would entail or how he could divert answering.
Jace sighed and closed his eyes before he answered, “Five years.”
She nodded in silence and squeezed his hand as they began moving again. He once more found himself smiling at Kitt’s unobtrusive questions and gentle manner with which she handled the situation. This time he paused their motion and Kitt turned to face him as he asked quietly, “You? Married? Boyfriend?”
She laughed softly and smiled as she shook her head. “No. Well. I’ve had boyfriends, but never married. None stayed around long enough to ask me to do the deed.”
Kitt did a cute “oh” expression at his raised eyebrow partnered with a smirk and clarified herself, “Oh I’ve done that deed. I mean. Oh hell, that was way too much information.” She blushed and he found it absolutely delicious. “Way to go, Kitt. Way. To. Go.” She mumbled and looked down at the sand.
He chuckled as he tugged her back into motion and she closed the distance between them, scuffing her feet in the sand. Now their hands and their arms made contact; the sensation from her touch set Jace at a low burn. Her flesh so warm, soft yet firm and he found himself wondering once again what she tasted like. It sent his mind once again on a path he had not traveled in years and he blocked it off—the draw to her like a flickering flame to his in the dark soul. One he must keep in check and his soul would have to stay where the nightmare of his existence had placed it.
They continued in silence with Jace catching Kitt cutting side glances his way. He hoped he seemed relaxed, and prayed she didn’t try to look deeper. She would see an underlying tension of him preparing for something bad to happen—as it always did. Well, she knew he had lost someone he loved which was bound to make anyone edgy—perhaps she would notch his nerves to that. When they reached a small fishing pier, she pulled on his hand to bring him to a stop once again. He readied himself to answer another one of her gentle questions. But instead, she stepped forward, reached out with a feather light touch and brushed his cheek with her fingertips. Jace frowned in puzzlement as he fought the urge to step away from the gesture. But he relished her warmth as he closed his eyes when she pressed her palm against his cheek and ran her thumb along his temple.
“Why do I feel like you need to be touched?” She said in a hushed whisper. “Why do you seem so sad? What is going on under your surface and why am I so drawn to it?”
Jace swallowed and thought. Please don’t be. He knew that he was like the darkest of riptides and Kitt seemed like such a wonderful person—he would hate for her to be sucked under the surface of his sorrow and drown with him. The guilt would be too great and he could not carry more. “This was a mistake.”
He went to pull away to correct that misstep in judgement but then she cupped his face. Jace’s eyes slid open to find her looking perplexed and realized she must have thought him strange. He let out a pained sound, continued to move away but she grabbed his arms and stopped him gently. She suddenly needed to learn and try to understand the enigma of Jace Camden—not sure as to why—as she stepped closer to him and said softly, “Jace.”
Kitt kept eye contact with him and slowly slipped an arm around him only to feel him flinch away from her embrace. He swallowed and she could see the panic stark on his features at the intimate meshing of their personal spaces. As she pulled her arms tighter, slowly placed her head on his shoulder, and then settled into the hug.
Jace didn’t move. His breath quickened as did his heart at her touch but he willed himself to be still. Her hair was scented of sunny sea air and he found he had tilted his head to breathe it in. As she pressed herself against him, he looked down at the sight of her doing so. It has been so long. Warmer than the sand beneath their feet and so yieldingly alive—not rigorously cold. He let out a staggered breath and brought his arms up to slowly wrap around her. Such a simple move which had become completely foreign to his body to enact.
Then as Kitt rubbed her hand across his back, he became undone and with a deep moan, he lowered his head to rest on her shoulder. How could something as simple as a hug reduce him to a mass of want? Feeling both ashamed and pitiful, but he would be damned if he withdrew from this precious moment of tenderness. His soul starved for it, a hunger gone unfed for far too long.
Jace looked down at her and immediately struck with such aching desire to taste her—it was like he needed it more than oxygen to live one second longer. He let out a low moan, brought his hands up to cup her face, and bent his down to her. But then he stopped and paused within inches from her lips as doubt started to crumble the desire.
Kitt must have seen the fissure, smiled and finished his move as she brought her lips up to capture his. It shocked Jace’s personal wiring as her lips touched his and his system screamed awake when her sweet tongue teased his—as if all his nerves had been in a deep sleep. God he had forgotten the sweetness and passion two people could share with just a kiss. But damn, she was a really good kisser and he pulled her tighter against him to give himself completely to this kiss. This may be all he ever got and he would savor it like a dying man would his last meal. The small flame from before was now like a raging blaze in his blood and he was burning from the inside out from it.
Breathless, Jace knew he needed to stop. It had been far too long—his desire almost to the brink where he would embarrass himself and run the possibility of being crushed by her rejection. “Kitt, I…”
Kitt was amazed how Jace gave so much into a mere kiss; awed at the realization he treated it like some precious gift only she could give him. The raw hunger and need in kissing made her feel more sensually passionate than sex ever had. And this simple act of their bodies getting to know each other.
She was totally swept away.
Jace seemed to force himself to step back, but still cupped her face and appeared to linger his gaze on her face but she didn’t feel embarrassed at all. God, his gaze made her feel like she was the most beautiful woman in the world. As Kitt stepped back, she looked up at him and her heart ached for the raw emotions she seen there. This poor, sorrowful man, she thought as she rubbed his face gently with her fingertips.
“Okay, well, at least I didn’t bruise you. And the little crabs shall live another day,” Jace joked with a soft smile as they both let out a slow breath to cool the inner burn she hoped he felt as much as she.
Kitt laughed softly and took his hand again when he lowered it, as they walked back to Skylar’s house. “I didn’t even fall down.” But Kitt knew the falling approached, and a fall she really wouldn’t mind.
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About the author:
Jas T. Ward has always used writing as a necessary escape. With a past that is marred with a difficult childhood and domestic violence as well as being homeless as an adult, Ms. Ward lost her creative voice when she lost her soul mate to suicide.
Finding that creative voice once again in writing in social media via blogs and creative writing groups, it was the fans that encouraged her to put her literary weavings to paper for them to enjoy.
When asked why she writes, Ms. Ward answers simply: “Reading saved me. It was my salvation and my haven. I now strive to pay that gift back by writing books that can give the same to others. And to keep myself sane.”
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