TBT Ryder's POV from the Coffee Shop Kiss from The Rush

Ok... Confession. I've had a major book hangover since I finished The Fall.

Like major.

I'm just having a really hard time moving on from that story. And especially from Ryder!

That boy just owns my heart. I swear.

So for Throwback Thursday, I thought I would post this scene from however long ago! Just in case someone else is having issues leaving Ryder in the fictional world he belongs and reentering normal society like we're supposed to. :)

This is from The Rush. Their kiss at the end of the book.

Ryder’s Point of View
Coffee Shop Scene

I’d been working since after school got out, as was my normal schedule. The place was dead and there wasn’t much for me to do right now. Everything was stocked, cleaned and ready for my first customer.

Basically I was bored out of my mind.

And then the bells jangled over the door, and all the hair on my arms stood up.

I knew it was her before I lifted my eyes, before I saw the graceful forward motion that was decidedly and uniquely


There was something between us, some kind of connection or tie, or lust. No, it wasn’t lust. That was exactly what it wasn’t. Because even though Ivy was a very pretty girl, I needed something beyond a perfect smile and shiny hair. I’d been down the “pretty” road before and I was exhausted by it. I wanted someone with substance, someone with depth.

And that’s why I was able to keep Ivy at a distance for so long. At first glance, hell, maybe even at second and third, she didn’t seem like a girl with either of those things.

But then, maybe a little reluctantly, I got to know her.

There’s so much elemental matter to that girl it made my head spin. Maybe too much. Maybe she was too much everything for me.

Maybe I should stay away from her.

No, definitely I should stay away from her.

My entire body reacted to that thought, stiffening and fighting it. My thoughts warred against each other and I knew- this was it. I’d already made the decision sometime before, when I wasn’t thinking it through, when I’d done it absolutely irreversibly, when I’d binded myself to her before I could somehow talk myself out of it.

I’d never be able to stay away from her.

Never be able to let her go.

At least, not until I knew she was safe…. protected…. free.

“Hey, Red,” I called out and watched her ignite at my words. It was like my voice charged her, brought her to life and I knew that was dangerous for both of us. But hell, if I didn’t love watching it happen. “Caramel macchiato?”

“We need to talk,” she snapped at me. A flame was lit behind those gorgeous green eyes and her porcelain skin wore the gentlest flush. Her whole body screamed beauty, but it was that angry fire underneath that was drawing me to her, that dug its claws into my better judgment and confused all common sense.

Nobody else was in the shop and no one else was scheduled to work today, so I thought the best place to talk would be in the kitchen away from where people could walk in on us. As I looked her over again, a sudden, suffocating fear took hold. This might not have to do with anything normal; she might be pissed about her goddamn pimp. If he so much as shook her f-ing hand I would beat his face in. He didn’t get to touch her. He didn’t get to pervert her with his sickness. She was too good for that, for this life she lived.

“Ok, let’s go,” I agreed. I opened the counter gate and let her through, then led the way to the kitchen. She took in her surroundings, looking over the appliances and small space with her intelligent emerald eyes.

I pulled her to me, placing my arms on her biceps so she’d be forced to look at me when she confessed whatever was going on. I trusted her, but I knew she felt the need to hide things from me too. I wanted everything, all the ugly, filthy truth and I wanted to see the emotion flash across her face so I could decide how she was holding up. My hands swallowed her petite arms under their hold, and I tightened my grip, enjoying the feel of her while my fingers wrapped around her skin. It was messed up, given everything she was going through and the fact that the minute she recognized I had more than platonic feelings for her she would bolt out of here faster than I could blink.

She was fragile, delicate…. broken. In every part of her she needed rescuing. And I could only do that if I played this her way. If I made this friendship important enough to her- as it already was to me.

“Why didn’t you tell me you and Kenna broke up?” She was all fury and fire, and I drank her in- her just wild-enough red hair the perfect color to suit her current mood. She wasn’t pretending with me, she wasn’t putting on her show the rest of the world got to see. These emotions were just for me. Only for me.

And then I comprehended what exactly she was asking me. Friendship my ass, Ivy.

I laugh of release came out before I could stop myself. “I didn’t think it mattered,” I admitted on a shrug.

“It matters,” she argued with a stubborn lift of her chin.

I took a step closer to her, I couldn’t stop myself. My body was demanding that I touch her, draw her into me. She wanted to play games about our friendship and me not falling for her, fine. Any other day fine. But not today. I had been terrified something horrible had happened to her or was going to happen and she had been mad I was single.

We weren’t going to play any more games today.

“Why?” I asked her bluntly.

“It just does,” she countered vaguely.

Alright, so I wasn’t going to get her to admit anything of value to me. But that was Ok. She wasn’t backing away; she wasn’t bolting out the door. She was staying in my arms, and that was enough for me.

Her gaze slid to my lips for just a second and I took another step toward her. We were so close to touching I wanted to groan in frustration, but for Ivy I would take this slow. Her eyes snapped up to meet mine again and they were bright, dark green with want.

My heart hammered an unsteady rhythm in my chest and a hundred different songs started writing themselves in my head.
This was how love songs were created- from moments like this.

“Yeah?” I asked in a growl. God, she was beautiful, but broken. So beautifully broken that my heart ached at the same time it crashed against my chest in a nervous anticipation. It was here, in this moment before I kissed her- and I would kiss her- that I would spend the next fifty years of my life. This moment was about to change me, to alter me irrevocably.

And I was going to let it.

Then I was going to try to recreate as many more of these moments as I could. Because Ivy was it. She was my inspiration, my muse, my goddamn heartbeat.

“So it matters to you that I’m single,” I stated, not questioned. I wasn’t going to give her the option to deny it.

She shivered so violently at my words that she stumbled into me. I caught her easily, because I had been waiting for the magnetic attraction between us to pull her all the way to me anyway.

It was bound to happen.

Even she couldn’t have fought it much longer.

And as soon as she was in my arms I bent down to kiss her. My mouth couldn’t wait to be on hers for one more second.
She was mine and it was time I let her know that too.

I kissed her gently, terrified of scaring her, or making her mad. She’d told me time and time again that we couldn’t be anything, that the minute she thought I had feelings for her we were over. But if she thought I’d be able to stop myself from falling for her she was out of her mind. She’d bewitched me- not because of what she was but because of who she was. And if I even tried to deny myself this kiss I would shatter into a million unfixable pieces.

This was as necessary as my next breath.

Only, she wasn’t kissing me back. She was thinking about this- thinking it through, thinking too much.

If she wasn’t ready to admit this to herself, then I was going to have to convince her.

I deepened the kiss and didn’t give her the option to pull away. And that was all it took. She fell into my arms, hungry and desperate and I groaned at the contact. God, this was the most perfect kiss of my life, of maybe anybody’s life.

And I was damned and determined to prove that it was the same for her.

I kissed her like she was mine, like she would always be mine, like there wasn’t a choice for her- just like there was no longer a choice for me.

I wanted to own those lips, to possess them forever.

She opened her mouth and I carefully deepened the kiss, tasting her on my tongue, memorizing the feel and sweetness of her. With each sweep of my tongue, each nip at her bottom lip or devouring kiss, she fell deeper into me, deeper into this moment.

Unable to take it anymore, I slipped my hand under her shirt, pressing it against her spine. I craved her skin, thirsted to know what it felt like against mine- her perfect, so soft skin against the calloused, worn pads of my fingers. Her arms tightened around my neck and I knew her reaction was as instantaneous as mine.

For the rest of my life I would search out ways to make this contact again, to feel this over and over. There wasn’t anything else worth living for as perfect as this.

And now I needed more.

So much more.

I brought my hand down to her willowy thigh and cupped the back of her knee, bringing it up and around my waist. She responded exactly like I hoped she would, bringing her other leg up immediately and wrapping both around me.

She was completely in my arms, her legs securely and tightly hugging me, exactly where they should be. I stumbled at the intoxicating feeling of desire that shot through me. I somehow righted myself and made it to the counter, but the desperate need to taste every part of her consumed me now.

I tore my lips from hers to explore the rest of her, to taste as much of her as I could- her jaw, her slender neck, her sweet collarbones. God she was perfection. And she was my every thought, my every heartbeat, every pump of my blood. Conscious, rational thought left me as soon as our mouths touched for the first time and the only thoughts remaining were everything I wanted to do and be to Ivy.

“Ryder,” she whispered my name on a gasp.

My heart swelled so suddenly at the sound of reverence in her voice it actually hurt. I gripped her in my arms, holding on to her, using her as an anchor to Earth. This was a life-shattering kiss and without her to hold onto I would have fallen hard and deep into the abyss.

I worked my way back up the column of her throat and finally reconnected our lips. It was like a heady sigh of relief when we were finally kissing again. Her legs tightened around my waist and she drew herself closer to me. My fingers dug into her waist, worshipping the feel of her in my arms, the hold I had on her gorgeous body. Goddamn, I needed this to last forever.

But it couldn’t.

Nothing this good could last.

My mind probably would have exploded from the rush of endorphins and pheromones. God, she was so perfect. So mind-alteringly perfect for me.

The door chimed to the entrance of the store and a million filthy curses looped through my head. I felt her pull back and immediately released her. The fallout from this was going to be rough and I would be lucky if I held on to her with the skin of my teeth.

We stared at each other for a moment, neither one wanting to be the first one to say something. She was more stunning than ever freshly ravaged. Her eyes were bright and brilliant, her heart-shaped lips swollen and full. She was deliciously out of breath and her hair looked good and tussled. She looked like mine. And I could have stared at her like that all day, and when the effects of our kiss wore off I would have devoured her some more just to prolong the effect.

I watched all the emotions play across her beautiful face- fear, doubt, panic.

I had to make this better. I had to do it now.

“Ivy, I-“ I tried

She waved me off with a flick of her hand and her expression deepened to utter heartbreak. Hell, no. She was not running from me.

“Well, that was um….” she trailed off and I could see her feet itching to bolt.

She was not recovering well from this.

Obviously she needed some help- like a strong healthy dose of denial.

“Do not read anything into that,” I commanded in my most authoritative voice.

“Uh, Ok,” she agreed with a crinkled brow.

Ok, she needed more than that. “That was not a kiss,” I repeated firmly. She would believe me. I would not f this up the first time I got to taste her sweet lips. Maybe the second or third time, but I was determined to make sure there were more times to screw up than just this once.

“It wasn’t?” she asked with a small smile playing at the corners of her full mouth.

“No, definitely not,” I promised. “It was…. it was a, uh, experiment.” I ran my hands through my hair nervously. I was grasping at straws here, relying completely on my talent to bullshit my way through most things. “I just wanted to see if it was as repulsive as I thought it would be.” I cringed at how stupid I sounded while my entire body protested the idea of that kiss being anything close to repulsive. But it seemed to work with Ivy. Her shoulders relaxed, her forehead smoothed out and her eyes softened just the tiniest bit.

“And was it?” she asked in a shaky voice.

“Yes, Definitely,” I promised, even while my whole body hummed and vibrated with the very idea of kissing her again, of holding her again. To cover my physical reaction to her I lied some more, “Actually it was much worse. You’re a terrible kisser.”

She broke out into real laughter that felt like heaven as it floated over me. “Thanks for the critique.” She smiled at me and we were back to that safe place again- that platonic place. But I let out a deep breath of relief. I could work with this when I had to.

“That’s what friends are for,” I smirked at her. Friends. And that’s when I knew I was in true trouble with Ivy- when I was willing to be whatever she needed me to be, however she needed me to be it. She needed a friend. I would be a goddamn friend, the best she’d ever had until the moment she let me be more.

“Ok, I should,” I had to get out of here before I recanted every ugly, bastard lie I’d just fed her. “Right.” I mumbled.

But as soon as I was through the door I wanted to back up my life, get in an f-ing time machine and stay in that kitchen forever. Because facing me from the other side of the register, with a shithead smug look on his face was the very reason for Ivy’s pain and suffering. Nix.

And he was looking me over like I was some poor shmuck he’d just tossed his pocket change to on the street. He thought he knew me. Worse, he thought he knew Ivy. Thought he could control her.

But I would never let that happen. I would never let Ivy get sucked into his screwed up, sick world.
I was going to war against this, against the world Ivy lived in. And I would fight with everything I had in me until she was safe. Until she was free.

She was my righteous cause, my crusade- she was my future.

And not one of those reasons was because we were friends.


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  1. Wow! That is just raw emotion. :) More! More!

  2. :) This is my favorite scene from this series... and I love Ryder!! This was an epic POV!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Blimy teddy, that was breathtakingly good..........yum.