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Excerpt from “A Friend Request,” a novel by C.L. Gillmore


The next slow song the band played was “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” by Johnny Rivers. Jake set the sound and the lights and led me out onto the dance floor for the first time. I was so nervous I was shaking.

I was a terrible slow dancer, I never felt comfortable. There had been no one to teach me. I didn’t know how to follow. I felt awkward

and invariably stepped on my partner’s foot or missed a beat and tripped. Slow dancing was stressful—and it was too close, too intimate for me. 

That was before Jake.

We stopped in the middle of the dance floor and Jake put his arm around me and took my hand in his.

“What’s wrong? You’re shaking, Rose.”

“Jake, I can’t slow dance—can’t follow anyone. I’ll step all over your feet and…”

I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence. Jake pulled me closer, looked into my eyes and whispered in that low, steady voice, “Hush now. Take a breath and relax. I’m a strong lead. Close your eyes and move with me. Just move with me, Rose.”

I listened to his voice and did exactly what he said—took a deep breath, closed my eyes and moved with Jake.

Magic. That was the only word for what happened when Jake held me in his arms and we danced that night. It was magic.

All my fear—all my apprehension—faded away.

I heard the music. I felt Jake’s arms around me. I fit perfectly up against him, molding into his body as we danced. He pressed his lips against my neck, my ear—breathing, whispering—and left me breathless. That light caressing contact traveled to my core like lightning flashes.

He knew where to put each hand, how and when to apply just the right amount of pressure to lead me. I felt the slightest change of direction, every hesitation and turn as we moved around the dance floor. We moved as one—like we’d been dancing for years—and yet it was our first time. Our first dance together…as a couple.

Jake led—I followed.

Slow dancing with Jake was different. Very different than anything I’d experienced before. I felt safe in his arms. We connected so intimately as we danced. And with Jake, that was okay too. I loved how his body felt against mine, how his hands touched me—one securely on my shoulder, fingers trailing up the back of my neck and into my hair—the other sensuously pressed and softly kneading the small of my back. I clasped both hands over his shoulders and around his neck and rested my head against the side of his face. I felt him spread the fingers of each hand across my hips and pull me closer against him as we moved, brushing his lips across my cheek, my hair. Our bodies fit perfectly…the hardness of his against the softness of mine.

He continued to whisper softly into my ear and no matter what the words, when Jake spoke them—they became sensual, erotic. In between the words, he brushed his lips lightly over my cheek, my ear and I felt his breath against my skin. His chest moved against mine as he breathed in and out. Something ached deep inside me.

Jake took my breath away. He made me tremble. Made me long for him. And when I looked into his eyes, I saw that same longing for me. No one ever made me feel like this and I wondered if anyone affected him this way. I hoped not. I wanted to be the only one. I wanted him to always remember how he felt with me.

Jake was the most sensual young man I’d ever been with. There was something about him. I felt it from the moment we met—his manner, his touch, his sureness, the way he looked into my face. He knew what to do with a woman’s body when he danced with her—with me. It was lovely, more than lovely.

I never wanted the song to end. I never wanted the dance to end. I wanted to stay in Jake Richardson’s arms forever.

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