Does adrenaline make you fall faster and harder...?
His head dipped towards her, his eyes still fixed on hers.
He paused, briefly, his breath hot on her cheek, and then his lips pressed against hers, dry and hard, tense. It wasn't a romantic kiss. It wasn't a kiss of passion, where the first contact of lips broke the tension like a flood barrier giving way.
It was a hesitancy that shifted to something that was almost aggressive and then a moment that fled rapidly. Something raw, governed by an incredible tension.
He pulled away, and an instant later she pulled back, too. Or had it been the other way around? Had she been the first to break the contact?
She stumbled back, one arm flailing as she realized she was at the top of the stairs. Catching herself. Finding the wall and pressing her spine against it, arms before her again, the bundle of dustsheets for protection.
She swallowed, and it was as if she were trying to swallow her pounding heart.
He stepped back, put the back of his hand to his mouth, turned his body away even as his eyes remained fixed on her, his frame twisting.
She turned, moved to the first step and glanced back, and already he was retreating to his attic room.
//end of extract//