In The Works
Sex In The City
My Secret Obsession
!!! COMING SOON !!!
Did you know
Well I am off to Atlanta today. We are flying out ...
YAY!! Six authors are happy to announce contr...
Not only do I have a new website by weekend I have...
What is it about starbucks? I have to have it. I a...
Well, it was a long weekend. Diego's 34 year old u...
Well, I haven't been blogging because I have a ne...
Winner of the Soul Mate prize
Pick your favorite Author Chef - VOTE FOR ME!!...
Thursday, January 12, 2006Chapter One HURT SO GOOD
And thank you Romance Junkies for the new Five Ribbon review for HURT SO GOOD!
She wanted him, and she planned to have him.
He oozed sex and power. Tall and dark with shoulder length black hair. The minute he’d entered the clinic, her eyes had locked with his. She’d felt heat rocket to her thighs, burning a path to her core. Raw with blatant sensuality, his eyes dropped to her cleavage, lingering and then lifting. She knew he wanted to fuck her.
Her brow lifted. A silent challenge. What was he willing to do about it? He smiled at her. A bring-it-on kind of one dimple job. And she knew the only cure for sizzling need this stranger evoked was hot, behind-closed-doors sex.
It was only minutes later when she knew he was alone in his room that she acted on her need. Entering his examination room, she shut the door and leaned against it. Watching him watch her. Her eyes dropped to the crotch of his pressed black pants. She could see his cock pressing against his zipper. As hard as she was wet, it was clear they both felt the power of nameless, potent lust.
She’d never seen him before today. Somehow, it only made the encounter more erotic. A forbidden interlude was what they would share. Her body pulsed with sensations she knew he could easily turn to ecstasy. And he would. It was in his deep, blue eyes…a sensual ability to please.
Eyes glittering with intent, his gaze slid along the lines of her body, lingering at her hips and breasts. Her nipples tingled with anticipation, pressing against the lace covering of her bra. His perusal was bold and hot, as if he’d touched her with his hand rather than by sight.
Her lips parted slightly, a long, blonde strand of hair falling over her cheek. His shoulders were wide, his chest impressive as it stretched over the rippling muscle she would soon have beneath her palms. Pressed to her body.
“Hard to believe a body like yours is injured,” she said, a husky quality to her voice. “I might not be able to take away the pain, but I know how to make a hurt feel oh, so good.” She paused for effect. “I promise.”
He pinned her in a stare, eyes narrowed with questions but still hot with obvious interest. “Who are you?”
“I’m your physical therapist.”
His eyes narrowed. “But you’re not in scrubs. You’re dressed like a nurse.”
The tip of her tongue slid along her bottom lip. She reached for a button on her white blouse and slid it free. And another. “Darn,” she said, “wrong outfit. I better take it off.” Buttons came free until there were no more. Pushing open her neckline, she knew what he saw. High, full breasts barely covered by sheer lace. But she didn’t stop there. Her shirt fell to the floor. Her bra came off next.
The hungry look in his eyes turned her on, and her nipples ached as they tightened, begging for his hands and his mouth. But yet, she loved this little game they were playing. “Like what you see?” she purred.
“Yes,” he said in a deep, low voice, his gaze lifting to hers. “Show me more.”
Pleased to comply, she reached behind her, sliding her zipper down before letting her skirt drop to the floor. That left her standing before him wearing white lacy panties and thigh highs.
She stepped forward, ready to feel his hands explore her body. Positioning herself directly in front of him, she reached for his shirt. He sat there, unmoving as she undressed him, shoving his shirt over his shoulders, hands trailing over the muscles. The move thrust her breasts closer to him, the warmth of his body and the power beneath her palms making her burn with anticipation.
Her hands settled on his shoulders, but he still didn’t touch. Then he surprised her. The control became his.
“Tell me what you want,” he ordered.
Eyes locking with his, the fire of lust was almost too much to bear. “Touch my breasts,” she whispered.
“Whatever you want,” he said, a tease of a smile on his lips as he filled his hands.
She sucked in a breath as he squeezed and then pinched her nipples. “Yes,” she whispered. “Lick them.”
He pushed the full mounds together, and his tongue lapped one and then the other. Teeth scraped. Mouth suckling. Her hands went into his silky hair, her moans begging for more.
“You like that, do you?”
He was looking at her, tweaking her nipple roughly, but oh so perfect. She bit her bottom lip with the pleasure of the moment and nodded.
“So do I,” he said, lowering his head to taste her again. “So do I.”
Suddenly, he stood up and she found herself bent over the examination table, her ass in the air and his warm hands exploring. Without warning, his fingers slipped beyond the silk barrier between her thighs, pressing into the slippery proof of her arousal.
“Damn, you’re wet, woman,” he murmured, hunger in his voice. His finger slid inside her, but she knew he was unbuttoning his pants. She could hear him and feel the movement.
“Yes,” she whispered, arching as he hit a sweet spot. “I want you inside me.”
His hands went to her hips, her panties yanked down her legs. She kicked them away, wanting what came next. His fingers slid along her sensitive flesh, preparing to enter her. And then he was there, his cock sliding inside her body, pushing deep to her core. She cried out.
“Ah, yes,” he half groaned, moving from side to side as if he could get an inch deeper.
Then he pulled back, lingering with just the head of his cock inside her. She cried out, frustrated, needing him inside her. And then he thrust hard and deep. “Yes!” she cried out. He felt so damn good. So hard. She closed her eyes, arching into him. And then he was over the edge, pounding her with stroke after stroke of breathtaking pleasure. Pleasure swirled in her center, the tiny beginning of orgasm pressing close.
But then a loud beeping noise made her freeze. He started to pull out of her. “No!” she screamed, needing him, needing this. He was so hard, and she was so close.
And then everything was black. But the noise kept ringing in her ears…
* * * * *
Kelly Marshall blinked, the sound of her alarm clock inching into her mind with the reality of a new day. “Oh, hell,” she said, feeling the wetness slick between her thighs. “Not another sex dream!”
Beating the pillow, she rolled to her side. What in the heck was wrong with her? She never, ever, acted like she did in those dreams. She hadn’t even had sex in damn near two years.
She frowned. Was this some way her body and mind had teamed up on her to tell her she had gone too long without a man?
“He asked if he could kiss my feet.”
Kelly’s fork stopped with lettuce dangling just out of reach of her now gaping mouth. “He did what?”
Stephanie Archer, her best friend since grade school, grinned and nodded. “Yes he did. Can you imagine?”
The fork went down on the plate, all thoughts of food forgotten. “I hope you told him to take his freaky ass hiking.”
Stephanie’s grin turned wicked. “I’d had a few drinks and a pedicure that morning so I figured, what the hell? I mean he was hot.”
Kelly’s eyes went wide. “Tell me no.”
She nodded, looking incredibly pleased with herself.
“And?” Kelly demanded, shoving her long brunette locks behind her ears in earnest.
Her eyes went all pleasure filled. “I never knew feet could be so incredibly erotic. The way he acted, as if he was holding something precious, and then gently kneaded the arches. God, by the time he kissed my foot, I thought I was going to go nuts.”
Images of feet, ugly, stinky, gross feet danced across her brain. “I can’t believe this. Feet are not erotic. They’re gross.”
Stephanie made a face. “Not mine, darling. Mine are sexy.”
Waving off the comment, because in her book nobody had sexy feet, Kelly moved forward with her questions. “Then what happened? I mean he kissed your foot, and?”
“Feet, as in both of them. Then he took me to his place and gave me the best damn orgasm of my life. I’m seeing him again tonight.”
Kelly dropped back against her chair. “God, my life is boring.”
Stephanie leaned forward, a challenge in her eye. “What are you going to do about it?”
* * * * *
Kelly glanced at the clock as she went to check on one of the patients, Mr. Martinez. She’d worked at the clinic for years, and it seemed today was like most. Jose, the bilingual physical therapist, was late coming back from lunch.
“Hola, Mr. Martinez.”
He waved, showing lots of teeth. “Hola.” Then he continued to speak a string of Spanish of which she understood not one word.
Kelly blinked. Forcing a smile, she called out across the room. “Hey, Jenn, where the heck is Jose?”
Jennifer Knight, a staff therapist like herself and Jose, walked into the fitness room and rolled her eyes. “You expected him back on time?”
Kelly made a face. “What am I supposed to do? I don’t speak Spanish.”
Jennifer grinned, showing her perfect white teeth. She was young, maybe twenty-two, with cute, girl-next-door-type looks. “I can. I’ve been dating a guy who’s teaching me.” She walked to stand next to Kelly. “What do you want him to do?”
“I need to test his range of motion.”
Jennifer nodded. “Got it.” She looked at Mr. Martinez. “Tocame.”
“You just told him to touch you.” It was Jose.
“What!” Jennifer exclaimed. “No. I said bend your knees.”
Jose shook his head. “No. You told him to touch you.”
Jennifer covered her gasp with her hand. Jose and Mr. Martinez exchanged words in Spanish and they both laughed. Jose struggled to stop laughing. “Good thing I got here when I did,” Jose said.
Kelly shot him a go to hell look. “You should have been on time.”
“Yes, Ms. Perfect,” he taunted her. “I will try and live up to your standards. Unfortunately, the rest of us here in this world are human.”
Jennifer acted as if she heard nothing. “I still can’t believe I said that to Mr. Martinez.” Hearing his name, he smiled at her, a little too eagerly. “I’m so embarrassed.”
“He’s not,” Jose said. “He was more than willing to follow instructions.”
“Grow up, Jose,” Kelly said shortly. “We have real patients here, needing real care, on time.”
Jose glared at her. “You know what your problem is?”
Kelly knew he was about to tell her. Rather than listen to his rants, she answered for him. “You. You are my problem.”
Jose let out a snort and a laugh. “You’re so damn school-girl proper, you put everyone else on edge. This place would be completely different if you weren’t around.”
Fighting the impact of his words, ignoring the emotion spiraling, she focused on the more important thing. “You have a patient and you’re talking like a sailor.”
Jose sneered. “He doesn’t speak English.”
Kelly fixed him in a hard look. “He knows we’re arguing.”
“Mr. Martinez is fine. Let me do my job my way. Go straighten your desk or butt in someone else’s affairs.”
Kelly opened her mouth and then shut it again. Sparring with Jose wasn’t abnormal, but something about his words hit home this time. A dull discomfort settled in her stomach.
Without another word, she turned on her heels and walked towards the kitchen. Thinking a sugar rush might do her good, she opened the refrigerator and pulled out an orange soda, her favorite drink. She always kept a case at work.
Turning to lean on the counter, she found herself facing Jennifer. “Sorry that turned so nasty,” she said as she sat down in a chair by the break table.
Kelly sighed and sat down across from her. “Yeah, well, he and I have never gotten along.”
Jennifer studied her closely. “When was the last time you went out and had fun?”
Kelly stared at her drink can. The truth was, she couldn’t remember. “You know I’m saving for med school.” She was twenty-nine. School at night had made her education go slowly. But she only had two classes left and then she could take the MCAT entrance exam. Once she passed she was off to school.
Her savings account was almost big enough, along with student loans, to get her through med school.
“Yes,” Jennifer said, “but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax a little here and there.”
Kelly bit her bottom lip. She needed some fun. Actually, a man was feeling necessary. All those damn dreams had her all wanting. The problem was, she was obsessed with not becoming her mother.
Kelly cringed just thinking of the wild way her mother lived. It was all fun and no focus on family or a future. Five stepfathers had come and gone like a light bulb. I the end, they all burned out.
“It’s Friday. I’m going to this really neat club downtown. Why don’t you come with me? It’ll be fun.”
“I don’t know,” Kelly said but she wanted to say yes. It had been so long since she had done anything for fun. Surely one night wouldn’t turn her into her mother. Still…losing focus was bad news.
“Come on,” Jennifer said with a plea in her voice. “Come with me. You deserve one night of fun.”
What could one night hurt? She needed it. “Yes, all right. What time and where?”
* * * * *
Leaning across her bathroom sink, Kelly pressed her lips together, smoothing out her pink lipstick. An inspection of her image followed. Dressed in a black skirt she had bought one day on a whim a good two years back, she showed far more leg than usual.
A black spaghetti strap silk tank complemented the skirt. It showed a lot of skin and clung nicely to her full breasts. It had been a birthday gift from Stef. She made a mental note to tell her she finally wore it.
The doorbell rang, and Kelly did a last-minute inspection, patting her long blonde hair. It had been a long time since she had felt sexy. Tonight she felt like a woman, and it made her smile.
The doorbell rang again.
Kelly turned off the bathroom light and grabbed her purse. She was going to enjoy herself and not let the future get in the way of the present.
For one night, she wanted to live for the moment.
Tomorrow she would get back to the grind of getting to med school.
Tonight, she was going to be a woman having fun. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I got an offer to be in an AVON BOOKS Anthology!!! It will come out in the spring of 2007. My story is called the HOTTEST ONE NIGHT STAND! I am walking on water excited!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006First Chapter of RED HOT SECRETS
“Red Hot Secrets.”
Lauren Reynolds never missed an episode of the over-the-top, overtly sensual, late-night soap. She taped it with as much ritual as she brushed her teeth twice a day. The half-hour she devoted to that show each evening constituted her only true indulgence. And the closest thing to sex she’d had in about two years. It was her escape from reality. Her way of getting a little passion in her life, because she couldn’t risk the distraction of a real relationship.
Her goals were too important.
Shoving the key into the lock of her tiny apartment, she pushed open the door, not surprised to be greeted by darkness. Her mother had developed a Thursday night bingo habit. Their sixty-something neighbor hosted the event. Lauren flipped on the light and smiled. The winning pot wasn’t money. It was clothespins, of all things. For those ladies it wasn’t about collecting the prize. It was about fun. Lauren’s chest tightened as she thought of the months of chemotherapy her mother had endured to survive breast cancer. Seeing her happy, and living life, was like the answer to Lauren’s prayers.
Depositing her purse on the entrance table, Lauren looked around the living room, taking in the sparse, worn furnishings. For once, she did it with hope. Of escape. She’d known a long time she needed to get her mother out of this perpetual state of poverty. Lauren walked to the end table and picked up a picture of her father. She touched the glass, wondering if things would be different if he was still alive. She wished she remembered him more clearly, but he’d died when she was only five.
“I’m trying to take care of her, Daddy,” she whispered.
And as of yesterday, Lauren had taken a huge leap toward a brighter tomorrow. She’d landed an intern job at a reputable Manhattan advertising firm. That thought lifted her spirits and brought her back to the present. She set the picture back down. Eager to get to her show, Lauren made fast tracks to the bedroom and then straight to the bathroom. Her skirt slipped to the cracked tile. She wanted a future without that worn-out floor she hated so much. She’d scrubbed the surface too many times to count, yet it still looked dirty. Disposing of the rest of her clothes, her mind focused on what lay before her. Maybe one day, she’d have a modern floor that responded to a mop.
She thought of her favorite character on “Red Hot Secrets“, Tara Ross. She’d gone from the slums to running her own high-powered cosmetics company. Lauren intended to do the same and escape the slums. She wasn’t allowing her mother to end her days in a crummy neighborhood fretting over the bills.
Of course, Tara had extra perks in the form of two sexy guys fighting for her affection and both felt her pleasure was the ticket to success. The heated lovemaking sizzled and kept Lauren glued to the television. Lauren made a soft little sound of appreciation. It was quite fun to watch.
A sigh escaped Lauren’s lips. Both of Tara’s hunky men had inspired more than one fantasy probably because it had been far too long since she’d had a man. Even for just one night. An image flashed in her mind. He’d be tall, dark, and muscular, with dark eyes, and perfect hands…of course, she’d never have the courage to do such a thing.
Standing in front of the mirror, Lauren stared at her image and for the first time in many years, she actually looked. Her job interview had demanded a good trim of her long hair and a purchase of fresh makeup. A highlighting kit had given her brown locks auburn highlights.
Her eyes drifted downward to her body. Being too thin had been a curse as a teen. It had made her the butt of far too many jokes in high school. But since she hit twenty-five just two years before, she’d actually grown a few curves. Her breasts were full and high. Not big. Not small. She bit her bottom lip as a tiny ache began to build deep inside her core. It had been so very long since she’d had sex. With a slow, upward slide, her hand followed the curve of her hips, and then cupped her breasts, trying to remember what it felt like to have a man do the same. God, how she longed to remember.
And then a thought occurred. She deserved a reward for years of working two jobs. And for landing a top-notch job. Long hours and a lot of hard work lie before her. Yes, she deserved a reward. And she knew what she wanted—a nice, tight, hard-bodied, one-night stand. With a frustrated sound, her hands fell to her sides. She was tired of self-satisfaction. A man felt incredible necessary. A tight laugh slipped from her lips. Like she had the courage for that?
She’d have to settle for “Red Hot Secrets”.
Besides, she wasn’t even sure she remembered what to do in bed with a naked man. Bending over the tub, she flipped the stopper in place and then turned on the water. A generous amount of bubbles followed. A floral-smelling bath was one of the few luxuries she allowed herself on a regular basis. And even then she bought the bargain brand rose petal smell when she really wanted the brand-name version.
A few minutes later, she reached in her purse and grabbed her phone, expecting a call from her best friend, Catherine “Cat” Maxwell. She placed her cell on the edge of the tub, and stepped inside. Immersing herself in the water, she sank back. The soothing warmth did nothing to ease the dull throb of her body. A one-night stand was a great fantasy but it wasn’t her style. A long-term man would only be a distraction. So where did that leave her?
Beside her, the phone rang. Lauren sat up, wiped her hand on a towel and reached for it. “How’s the new advertising exec feeling?” Cat asked.
Lauren smiled into the phone and leaned back once more. “I’m only an intern. Very low on the totem pole.”
“You’ll be an exec in no time. You’ve worked two jobs for years. With one you’ll shine. So, let’s celebrate in style and go to the Red Apple Club.”
“What is the Red Apple Club and why do I know it will cost way more money than I have?”
“I have this contact that told me this is the ‘it’ place for advertising people, which means it’s where you should be.”
That Lauren had a contact wasn’t a surprise. As a reporter of The New York Times she was well connected. She was also rich. Something that despite their friendship often made Lauren uncomfortable.
“Like I said, sounds like money I don’t have. No. I don’t think so.”
“Don’t get on the money kick again. This is on me and I won’t argue with you about it. And before you say you have nothing to wear, borrow from me. You’re already raiding my work wardrobe. Grab something fun and sexy while you’re at it.”
“Stop Lauren. Do as I say. You have a key to my place and use it. We’re going out. Besides, I hear the Red Apple is packed with prime men. Lord knows you need one.”
“I do not need a man,” she lied.
“Okay, sex. You need sex, and don’t lie.”
“There is a difference between want and need,” Lauren said, but she wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince Cat or herself.
“Not when it’s been as long as it has for you,” Cat retorted. “You’re damn near a medical emergency.”
“Enough about my sex life—”
“You mean lack of,” Cat said, cutting her off.
Lauren rolled her eyes. “Stop already. I’m in the bath and my water is getting cold.”
“Say yes to tomorrow night and I’ll hang up.”
Cat laughed. “Talk to you tomorrow. Love ya, sweetie.”
And then the line went dead. Lauren frowned at her phone as she disposed of it on the edge of the tub. Why had she just agreed to a night out? The question and possible answers ran through her mind for the next thirty minutes. Finally, dressed in her boxers and t-shirt, she sat on the edge of the bed, and hit the play button on her VCR remote control.
The first thing she heard was, “I want you, Tara.”
For the next ten minutes, Lauren stared at the television as one of Tara’s admirers did a delicious job of stripping her naked. Lauren pulsed with desire. Her nipples tingled and she could feel the dampness of arousal between her legs.
And she knew, she had to do something about this burn her body had created. She needed her own red-hot secret.
A little look into the world I am writing now...
As the door shut behind her, she turned to face the man she had to assume to be Drago, their eyes locking. A man so big, the small space became tiny. Only a few steps separated them, and she could almost feel the heat of his body. Or maybe it was she who heated at their closeness. He was perhaps the sexiest she’d ever seen. The attraction she felt for this man clouded her mind. Fear and adrenaline coursed through her body, as did the unbidden, unexplainable, rage of desire. She didn’t get overwhelmed by a man often. She liked sex, just not the heartache and complications a relationship might yield. Since bed hopping didn’t appeal, she found herself simply going without. After a while, she found she didn’t need it as much as she had once thought.
Even Alex, a physically sexy male, hadn’t pulled a reaction. Not from her. From Carrie, Alex has drawn pure lust. Even near obsession. But this man…this man, sent a rush of lust through her body she couldn’t control. Right now, feeling the craziness of instant desire, Joline understood a bit of what Carrie had felt. And she didn’t like it. Didn’t like the feeling of being out of control. Of reacting without conscious thought.
Silence lingered as sexual heat pulsed between Joline and this man. Awareness seemed to prevent words. They simply stood there, absorbed in each other, neither moving.
“You shouldn’t have come here,” he said, finally, breaking the spell that had held them entranced.
“I had no choice. I have to find my friend.”
“And what of you? Who will find you?”
Her throat went dry at his words, a bit of fear zipping through her gut. He was testing her. She was sure of it. For what? That was the question. Resolve? True desire to find her friend. Or was he taunting her? What if she’d made a mistake entering his apartment? “I’m not stupid,” Joline managed in a strong voice. “People know I’m here.”
He took a step towards her. “I don’t think so.” She forced herself to keep her feet solidly planted. Not to back away. “I think you’re desperate to find your friend. Someone gave you my name, and you rushed over here without considering the consequences.”
“You’re right about my friend,” she said as he stopped directly in front of her forcing her to tilt her chin upward to meet his gaze. With her height at five foot five, he towered over her a good foot. “I am desperate to find her. She was dating Alex. He…made her act out of character. She started going to…places she normally wouldn’t.”
His response was immediate. “Sex clubs.”
She nodded. “Right. And now she’s gone.”
He stared at her. One second. Two. Three. Then, he moved away, putting distance between himself and Jolene. She cast him a slanted look, watching him stop in the corner kitchen area of the rectangular shaped room. His actions seemed to indicate less aggression. Less intention to cause harm. Relief slid across her body, though her heart still beat like a drum against her chest.
“How about a drink?” he asked as he pulled two glasses out of the cabinet and a bottle of bourbon.
She turned to face him. “No.” A pause. “Thank you.” She swallowed. “So…you know Alex?”
He poured amber colored liquid into a glass and took a sip. “I know him.”
Hope filled her thoughts. She widened her eyes and took a tentative step forward. “Then you can tell me how to find him?”
He leaned against the counter crossing one booted leg over the other. “Nope.”
Disappointed rip through her gut. “Why?” she demanded, desperation taking hold. “Please. I have to find my friend.”
“You have no idea what you are dealing with here. Let the police handle this.”
Frustration rolled inside, and her fists balled by her sides. He had to know the police were no help. “You think I haven’t tried that route? The police do nothing. I need to find my friend. Tell me where Alex is. I’ll pay you.” But she had no more money, and she knew it. She’d find it though. Somehow. For Carrie. For her ‘sister’. The only family she had left since her parents’ car accident three years ago. She couldn’t lose Carrie, too. “I heard you can get me into the clubs he frequents.”
Before she could breathe, let along think, Drago had set his glass down and closed the distance between them. In one move, she was against the wall, his muscular legs framing hers, pressing against her thighs. His spicy male scent surrounding her, the impact sensual, and drugging. Her limbs felt heavy with desire. Her nipples tight with uncontrollable arousal.
“You think you have what it takes to enter Alex’s world?” he demanded.
“I know I do,” she lied, forcing herself to meet his gaze, not allowing him to see fear. He was trying to scare her, and if he succeeded, she knew she’d leave here with no more information than she’d had before coming. “I’ll do whatever it takes to find my friend. I need inside his world, and I know you can get me there.”
With the words, she stared into his deep, dark eyes and prayed he would help. She remembered the name of two clubs Carrie had talked about, but neither allowed you inside without a recommendation from a member. If she didn’t get inside those places she’d never find her friend. She could feel it with every ounce of her being. She’d do what it took to save Carrie. No matter what the price.
Even bargain with the devil. And Drago might just be that. She didn’t know if he was friend or foe, but then, it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but finding Carrie.
Monday, January 09, 2006Chapter One of Christmas King
Click on the cover on the side bar to purchase!
Once upon a time on the planet Warcon…
There was a mighty warrior and prince named Alcron, part the prehistoric beast of his heritage and part the man of evolution. He was the only Warcon born part Warcon and part Fae, possessing the strength of three human males and the speed of a lethal panther. This Prince was a brave creature who would one day be King. A magical being only beginning to know the full potential of his skills. And he was a sexual creature. One who could only control his beast so long without claiming his true mate. Until that day, Alcron had to wait. To endure. To battle his beast.
Alcron, like all the Warcon and Fae, could have lived for centuries. But over time the man would die, and the animal inside would eventually gain control. The beast would then be put to death, his heir assuming the role of King. It had happened to all the Warcon leaders except Alcron’s father.
See, Alcron’s father had done the unthinkable, throwing away convention, and claiming a Fae as a mate. He’d insisted this Fae beauty called to him, both man and beast. That she was his perfect woman, capable of proving the Warcon male was not destined to destruction and death. With this act, by claiming a Fae rather than a Warcon wife, a miracle had occurred. The beast in the king had calmed, leaving peace for the man within.
Logic said Alcron could find his perfect mate in Fae, especially being half Fae himself. But as time pressed onward, no mate appeared. Just when his beast began to pull him beneath in dark victory, hope emerged. Alcron knew the moment his perfect mate was born. Felt it in every inch of his existence. It no longer mattered that his wilder side raged with a passion to steal his honor, threatening his existence. Somehow, Alcron would survive until his mate, who bore the name Alexis, achieved the age of twenty-five. Not until then was it safe for a Fae to mate. But knowing he had found Alexis, and made his claim on her, receiving her parents’ approval for their future union, brought comfort to Alcron.
And so time progressed, and Alexis grew. Alcron’s people knew nothing of his battle to control the beast. They saw only a brilliant young leader who stood by his father’s side.
Everything should have been a fairy tale from there. A handsome prince who knew he would one day claim his princess and show her the meaning of happily ever after. But there was darkness in the future. His battle for happiness had only just begun. For when Alexis was a mere three years old, a violent attack by the Warcon’s deadly enemy left both Alcron and Alexis without parents, forcing him into the role of king without his queen. With most of the Fae also destroyed, Alcron had no choice but to hide his future queen until she came of age to mate.
To protect both his princess and the ability to produce a future heir to the Kingdom, Alcron chose Earth as the shelter for his beloved mate. With Alexis, Alcron sent a powerful elder Fae to act as Guardian Angel. Now, Alcron waits for his mate, battling his beast, impatient for the day his princess will become his queen.
Alexis Martin plugged in the Christmas lights and stared at the tree, now twinkling in various colors. Today was her birthday, but she felt no joy. Only pain over losing a loved one.
With a twist of her stomach, she reached for the angel tree topper and pushed to her tiptoes. Her grandmother had loved that Angel, just as she loved Christmas. A tear trickled down Alexis’ cheek as she thought of the past week’s events. A small funeral with only close friends and a good-bye to the only person she’d ever called family since losing her parents in a car accident when she was an infant. And Christmas only two days away.
Decorating the tree was meant to honor her grandmother. A private way of saying how much she missed her. How much her grandmother had touched her life. With a loud sigh and heaviness in her heart, Alexis walked to the darkened kitchen, not bothering with the light. She didn’t have to. For some reason she’d never discovered, she could see even without lights. Complete darkness did nothing to dim her vision. Her grandmother had told her it was a family gene.
Alexis pulled open the refrigerator door and retrieved a jug of eggnog. Alexis set the container on the counter and eyed the symbol on her left arm. Her fingers traced the dark ridges of the black, half circle. It looked like a tattoo that she didn’t get finished, like a half moon that hadn’t been completed. Her grandmother claimed it to be a birthmark, but Alexis knew better. The mark was too perfect. Too much like artwork. Somehow, she knew it was some sort of symbol and the secret to why she felt so different from others. With a heavy sigh, Alexis grabbed a mug and poured her drink, thinking of the lectures her grandmother had given her often.
People turn things they don’t understand into problems. It’s best for your safety you keep your differences secret. One day, when the time is right, I will tell you more of your family history. Then you will understand.
She played the words over again as she replaced the carton in the refrigerator and blew a lock of long red hair from her eyes. Leaning on the counter, palms on the edge, Alexis let her head drop between her shoulders. She’d never understand her differences. Her one link to her true origins had left her with no hope of answers. So many times she’d wanted to push her grandmother, even tried. Her response had always been the same. When you are ready. Have faith.
And Alexis had listened and believed. But that was then and this was now. With no ties to the past and no real ties to the present, she felt like a ship out of water. She grabbed her mug and walked back to the coziness of the tiny living room. Though their apartment was small, it had always felt like home. Big cushioned couches in warm browns, matching chairs and a fireplace often in use, comforting and calming even in the toughest of times.
Sinking onto the couch and curling her bare feet to the side, Alexis sipped from her mug and stared into the crackling fire. Over the years she had made friends, but the secrets she held often felt like obstacles. Holly, the one person she would call close, had recently married and moved ninety miles away. Still, Holly had come to the funeral and stayed with Alexis as long as she could. Since her departure, the emptiness inside had grown and taken a more raw form.
Swallowing another sip of her drink, Alexis set it on the table. She had an interview the next day for a teaching job, but she really wanted to cancel it. She wasn’t herself. Yes, that’s exactly what she’d do—cancel and hit the library. She looked at her wrist. Somewhere in some book, she’d find the meaning of the mark on her arm. And she wouldn’t stop looking until she did.
For the first time in days, her eyes felt heavy. Not wanting to go to her room, she grabbed the crocheted blanket her grandmother had made off the back of the couch and lay down. As her eyes drifted shut, she prayed her dream lover, the one who’d been visiting for as long as she could remember, would come to her. Alcron.. Her dark hero, her warrior. Her mind conjured his image. Long dark hair, wildly framing his strong jaw and high cheek bones. A smile touched her lips, even as heaviness claimed her body. He had a body of steel and the sensual touch bred of something magical. He was her secret escape. Sadness slipped into her happier thoughts of Alcron and the pleasure and comfort he often gifted her with.
Because now, her dream lover, someone not quite real, but not quite imaginary either, was all she had left.
* * * * *
She heard his voice, the deep resonating sound like music playing in her dream. Alexis sighed, enjoying the sweet bliss of slumber and the escape it offered from so many days of pain. Alcron.
“Hello, Princess.” The words were spoken near her ear, the warm trickle of his breath teasing her neck. Alexis turned toward him, finding him sitting on the edge of the couch, his muscular body nude and as perfect as a fine work of art. No human was made as fine as he. No man of flesh and blood. But in her fantasy world, she could conjure perfection and had been for years.
His hand slid to her cheek. “You are in pain.”
Reaching for him, her fingers settled on his wrist and she leaned into his palm. The sharing of mutual touch brought comfort. He felt so alive. So real. “I’m better now. Much better.”
“There is much we have to discuss, Princess.”
She laughed. Over the years he often talked her through her tough times. Even as a small child, before their relationship had turned sexual, he’d comforted her. She’d aged, but he’d remained the same. “Conversation isn’t what I need tonight.”
“It is time—”
Sitting up, she pressed her lips to his, cutting off his words. Needing the passion and tenderness of his lovemaking. No. She wanted him to show the wildness of his beast. The part of him that took her and claimed her as his. She needed to feel…taken. Like she belonged somewhere. With someone. For an instant he hesitated, but the second her tongue slid past his teeth, his resistance faded. With a low growl, he claimed her mouth, his hands sliding around her body and pulling her close. And just like that, her nightgown disappeared. God, how she loved his magical way of undressing her.
Pressing into him, she tried to get closer. “I need you,” she whispered into his mouth. “I am yours. I always have been. Just as you are mine.”
“I wish that were true,” she said, breathless as emotion and desired welled inside. If only he were real. If only she could be his.
“You are mine,” he replied, conviction low and intense in his voice. “You know I speak the truth.” But instead of holding her tighter, he moved away, his actions contrasting his words. He sat on the far end of the couch, putting distance between them, leaving her aching for his touch. And she knew why. He was proving a point. That she had to go to him. That she would. Because she couldn’t help herself.
Alexis shifted to her knees, biting her bottom lip as she stared at Alcron, knowing the truth in his challenge. Not caring. Feeling desire burn in the ache between her thighs and the tightening of her nipples. She wanted to be his. And though this was a dream, she had no problem slipping into the fantasy. Here she felt safe. Strong. Like she belonged.
He sat there, arms on the back of the couch, cock thick with arousal, looking like some sort of warrior prince. She licked her bottom lip, watching his erection bob in response. Her eyes lifted to his, and she smiled. She loved knowing she affected him.
Extending her arm, she wrapped her palm around his width, feeling him pulse beneath her skin. The temptation to lean over and draw him into her mouth called to her, but tonight, she wanted him inside her.
“I missed you,” Alexis said, spreading the dampness on the tip of his cock. “It’s been days—”
“That felt like lifetimes,” he responded, his hand closing over hers and urging her to stroke his length.
She did as he wished and scooted closer to him, leaning so that her mouth lingered just inches from his. “Why didn’t you come to me?”
“I was never far away.” His hand slid to the side of her face and then into her hair. He pulled her lips to his. For long moments they simply held the position, and it felt as if they were absorbing each other.
Alexis settled her hands on his shoulders and climbed on top of him, straddling his hips, feeling his hard length against her ass. The look in his eyes, sizzling with desire, made her skin warm even more than the caress of his hands up her back. His gaze held heat. Fire. And…love. So much so that she shivered with excitement and emotions, yet, at the same time, burned with desire and yearning.
When his mouth claimed hers, hungrily devouring her as if he was a starving man taking what he needed, she thought she might catch fire. She needed this in a way she’d never been able to understand. It had been years since she’d tried. Still, each time she dreamt of him, felt him touch her, tasted his unique male flavor, she marveled at the absoluteness of her pleasure. At the completeness of the minutes spent with him.
He made her feel whole.
“Take me inside you,” he ordered in a husky voice.
She didn’t argue. His hands went to her waist, and he urged her into position. Alexis wrapped his shaft with her fingers and guided him to her core, sliding the top of his erection into her body. Anticipation had her anxious. Desire drove her wild. Slow wasn’t an option. She took his cock in one long slide and settled him deep in her core. He pressed downward on her hips and lunged upward in one grinding move. “This is where I belong. You are mine.” Possessiveness came from him in the husky declaration, and she felt his cock thicken inside her, as if the thought of owning her made him hotter.
It certainly did her. Her arms went around his neck. “Yes,” she whispered, the pleasure of his words, along with the hard pulse of him inside her, making it hard to keep her eyes open.
He pulled her mouth to his, hungrily taking it as he palmed her breasts and pinched her nipples with hard tugs. Just the way she liked it. He knew her so well, she thought, arching into his touch. He was the reason no flesh and blood man had ever drawn her desire. And deep inside, she knew a fantasy man shouldn’t own her, yet, allowing another to be this intimate felt wrong. Even unwanted.
There was something different about him tonight, she realized, as he molded her breasts against the dark hair of his chest and began to rock. In slow caresses, his cock moved against her inner wall, pushing her excitement higher, making her burn for more. Her body gushed around him, muscles tightening, hips rocking.
Frenzy built between them. A flurry of urgency expressed in a rush of touches, a press of bodies. Inside her he moved. Inside her he breathed. It was as if he existed as a second part of her. Yet still, she ached for more. She couldn’t move fast enough, take him deep enough. She could simply never get enough.
And then, out of nowhere, the rise toward orgasm came upon Alexis. “No,” she cried out, desperate to stop it. Not wanting this to end. But it was too late. The room twinkled, her vision going blank as the first wave of pleasure literally shook her body. What she felt was nothing shy of explosive. She seemed to travel to a different place, to a far-off distant land where pleasure ruled and nothing else mattered.
A low growl came from Alcron and, hands on her hips, he lifted his body as he pulled her down his shaft. Alexis started on the downward slide from bliss, sinking against him and burying her face in his neck. The warmth of his release spilling inside her brought a different kind of satisfaction. A feeling of completeness at their shared release.
When finally his body calmed, he stroked her back with his hand. Touched her hair. Kissed her cheek. With a smile on her lips, she let him maneuver their bodies to lie down. She curled under his arm, half on top of him, and for the first time in days, Alexis slipped into peaceful sleep.
* * * * *
The dark-haired sorcerer, Gamlin, stood inside a circle of truth. A circle drawn with blood and rich with answers. Incense filled the air, rich with the taint of a bittersweet bite.
“The Fae guarding the princess has been dealt with,” Gamlin stated. “She will no longer shield the Princess from my vision.”
Coplan, the leader of the planet Rosmon, smiled at the good news. This confirmed that his quest to control Warcon, his neighboring planet, was close to completion. For years, the final fall of Warcon had depended on the destruction of the last female capable of producing an heir. The mate of Alcron would soon be his. Coplan’s rebels had weakened the Warcon king’s resources. And without his mate, the King would lose the battle against the primitive beast merged within his being.
Already, King Alcron grew weak, his beast tearing at him, begging for life. The Warcon people saw these changes and grew uneasy. How Alcron had managed without his mate for so many years, Coplan had no clue. “Where is she?” Coplan demanded of the sorcerer.
Gamlin fixed him in a hard stare, pure evil in his eyes. “Mind your tongue. I am not an animal like the Warcons to be ordered about. You are lucky I hate them as much as you do. Otherwise, it might be you I make crumble.”
“But you do.” Coplan sneered. “The Warcon killed your son for sorcery as they killed my father in war. I will deliver your revenge, just as I will see my father’s wish to control Warcon come to life.” He paused to let his words take root. “So where is she? I will retrieve the princess personally.”
Long minutes later, the location of the princess established, Coplan smiled. The great beauty and power of the Fae Princess would soon be his. He’d claim Alexis as his Queen. The thought brought great satisfaction. Nothing would destroy the Warcon more than to have his woman not only controlled, but pleasured, by his worst enemy.
Perhaps he’d even make Alcron watch.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Chapter One of HEALER
Buy it here: http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=1-4199-0288-1
The world will never be the same.
In the year 2015, Area 51 proved to be more than a place where alien rumors existed. It was here that the United States government decided to create Super Soldiers. Alien DNA purporting to be immunizations was injected into elite soldiers and a new race was created—soldiers with unique powers. Humans to the normal eye, but not quite so human anymore. Some stronger and more powerful than others, but all dangerous. All were fighters with incredible strength and speed along with unique mind powers. Some have fangs and claws they can use at will. Rapid metabolism has given them an amazing ability to heal from injuries. With muscles like steel, a simple bullet is no longer deadly.
They are deadly fighting machines.
Along with this new breed of soldier came a thirst for power. A thirst he intended to sate. This soldier developed a vision for a “perfect race”. David Alexander became the new Hitler, even calling his followers, enhanced soldiers, the ‘Arions’, as Hitler had his perfect race.
The first step in his plan to rule humanity was to take over Area 51. His one obstacle is breeding and he has a team of scientists working to ensure it is conquered. An Arion can only bear children if mated. An Arion only has one true mate. This means he must find compatible women for his men. A task he finds difficult. This leaves him looking for genetic and alternative birthing methods. He uses humans like tokens, promising them power or conversion, or threatening their families.
Once he perfects a way to grow his race, there will be no stopping him.
But there is one other challenge David must overcome to achieve world dominance. Mason Alexander, his brother, has risen as a leader and Guardian of the humans. David wants Mason to join him, and they will be stronger. Two brothers ruling the world.
Mason will never go to the dark side. He and many other Super Soldiers will do whatever it takes to stop the Arions.
Because good must conquer evil.
Diego Montez stepped outside of the cave, feeling the fresh air like a long-lost friend. Living his life beneath the ground, in the secret society of his people, he sometimes forgot how amazing the world above could be. It had been over a year since life had changed so drastically. Since that day in the lab when a government experiment to mix alien DNA with a human’s had backfired.
Sometimes he still felt like he was living some bad dream. Elite soldiers, he included, had been told they were being immunized. Instead, they were turned into a new race. But the government’s deceit became their demise. One power-hungry soldier developed aspirations of ruling a better race. He’d overtaken the research facility and declared war against humanity. Following in Hitler’s footsteps, he named his people Arions…the perfect race.
And somehow, amongst the darkness of the events, he’d found himself claimed by the Arions.
But just as he knew the difference between right and wrong, good and evil always managed to split from one another. Diego knew if he waited, his opportunity to fight for the right side would come. And he’d been right. Soon the war became about two brothers, one an honorable leader and the other a power-hungry dominator. A silent war for total control now raged hidden from humanity. Diego thought back to his early days, trapped with the evil half of the two men.
It had been pure hell.
Now a part of the Black Knights, the good part of this craziness, he was both doctor and warrior. One with the challenge of learning the healing ways of a new race. The challenges had been immense. Gifted with special mind powers, the Knights had not learned to master them, as had their enemy. They needed help.
Marcella Hunter, a woman considered more myth than reality, might just be the answer. Said to heal with her touch and move objects with her mind, many called her the devil. Some, a saint.
And now, as he slid onto a motorcycle and kickstarted it into action, Diego prepared himself for his newest challenge. He was going to his homeland. Mexico. To Monterey, the city of his birth, and there he would find Marcella Hunter before the enemy did.
Everything male in him roared to life the moment he saw Marcella Hunter.
With one booted foot crossed over the top of the other, leaning against the hotel’s exterior brick wall, Diego Montez appeared relaxed. He’d had plenty of practice maintaining a cool facade. Calm and unflappable under pressure, he was a doctor, a healer for his people, who knew how to take things with ease while others panicked. Despite his exterior, a combination of arousal and possessiveness lurked beneath his surface, growing with each passing second. It burned within his veins like hot lava. Even as he grasped for control of his unexpected reaction, Marcella Hunter walked towards him with a sexy little sway to her curvy yet slim hips. She was a seduction by pure existence, evoking feelings both hot and protective. Unfamiliar feelings consuming both body and mind. He forgot all else.
Forgot his mission.
Petite, with long, auburn hair that fell in little ringlets around her heart-shaped face, she was perfection from head to toe. A flowing skirt caught in the wind, hugging her lush body and displaying curves in all the right places. She dressed simply with no flair, no desire to stand out.
But there was nothing simple about this woman.
His body responded even before his mind. His cock hardened and his pulse pounded triple time. He was aroused for the first time in well over a year—since he became what he called “GTECH” enhanced—in other words he had been genetically upgraded using alien DNA. The kick of passion he felt was like a white-hot rush and a complete shock. He no longer had the ability to feel this way for just any female. There was only one he could desire…his mate.
Why, he didn’t know. It was a mystery he continued to work on unraveling. They’d only discovered it had something to do with a certain human genetic line. And only when properly mated could reproduction occur. His enemy hunted those within this group of females with vengeance, determined to grow their new race.
To find his own partner in this new assignment was an unexpected twist to his already complicated position.
She moved towards the Monterey Hightower Hotel, two people beside her. One, an older, Hispanic grandmotherly type. The other was a thirty-something male, also Hispanic, with military-style dark hair. Diego instantly disliked the man. He didn’t like the way he seemed to hover near Marcella as if she was his captive. Nor did he like the possessive way he touched her elbow.
An animalistic urge to claim her as his own roared to life, screaming at his body, mind and soul—begging for action. Shackling the turbulence of his feelings, he forced out a slow breath. Drawing unneeded attention could be dangerous. His enemy, the Arions, had become sneaky, using humans to do their bidding. They lured them with the promise of money and power and even special powers.
Control was everything.
And he’d always considered himself a man of control, but as the man beside Marcella ran his hand down her arm, Diego all but came unglued. At that moment, he wondered if he was losing grip on that aspect of his personality. Discarding the idea, he reminded himself of the facts as he knew them. His genetic enhancements didn’t change who he was as a person.
It gave him special talents, more physical power and a multitude of other things. The man, good or evil, remained the same. But it didn’t change the fact that these enhancements had used Area 51 discoveries. He was no longer human. Another life form had become a part of his genetic code. A new race existed. One that was far more aggressive than humans. They were hunters who fought for what they wanted, driven by more animal instinct than human motives.
Even he, as a doctor, a man who had lived his life to care for others, sometimes felt his beast rise to life.
Without taking his eyes off the woman he would soon call his own, he turned up his enhanced senses to scan for danger. At the same time, as if she sensed his presence, Marcella’s eyes moved to his. Her steps slowed. For long seconds, it was as if time stopped. As if their souls were merging.
Suddenly, she was walking in his direction.
* * * * *
Marcella needed to know who he was.
She approached the dark, sexy stranger, feeling a sense of urgency she didn’t quite understand. God, he was big. The dark t-shirt he wore clung to rippling muscles—defined and perfectly developed—but without bulk. Tall, broad and with short hair, he was hard to miss. Even more so for her because somehow, she knew him. She just didn’t know how. What she felt was very…intimate. Sensual.
“Marcella, come back here.”
The voice of her bodyguard, David Martinez, registered but was ignored. She was in no danger from this man. She felt below his surface. Knew him to be no risk. Knew him beyond what she should. He didn’t move as she approached. But he watched her every step.
She stopped directly in front of him. “Do I know you?”
“No,” he said, his voice low and sultry with just a tiny hint of amusement in it. “Not yet.”
Marcella shoved a lock of hair behind her ear. “Who are you?”
A deep voice called her from behind. “Marcella.” David was now standing directly behind her. “Come with me,” he said. It was a command.
“She stays,” Diego said, his voice just tight enough to hint at anger he couldn’t quite contain.
Marcella turned to David, cutting off the words he was about to speak. “Give me a minute.”
David didn’t waver from his position. “Marcella—”
“No. Give me a minute.” This time she spoke with authority, clearly making it known she was in charge, not him.
David looked at Diego, their eyes locking in a challenge. Marcella didn’t miss the undertone of battle between them. Great. Just what she needed, some kind of macho showdown.
“David, please,” she said with a plea in her voice. “I know him. Give me a minute.”
David looked as if he might argue, his eyes searching her face before he finally turned and walked towards the other woman.
“Who is he to you?” Diego asked.
She turned to face him. “How is that your business?”
One brow inched upward in challenge, an undertone of interest in both his voice and words. “Everything about you is my business, and you know it. Already you have admitted knowing me.” He paused. “Because you do.”
His words should have offended. Instead, they aroused. She wanted this man. It was frightening how much. Her head tilted to the side as she studied his handsome features. She did know him, but perhaps on a level no one but she could understand. But then, maybe that wasn’t true. This man was different. He felt what she did. She could see it in his sultry, midnight eyes.
Feeling a bit nervous because of the impact he was having on her, it took effort to find her voice. “You said I didn’t know you. Not yet, but I do. How?”
“In time you will understand.” He held her gaze as he spoke the silky words. His voice, deep and sexy, seemed laced with a caress. Her skin felt the warmth of a touch. Her stomach fluttered. “Right now we must leave. You are in danger.”
She laughed. Nervous. “Right. Leave. With you? You have to be joking.” His scent traveled the warm air, lacing her nostrils with its addictive male allure and taking the edge off her words.
His reply was firm, full of resolve. “I couldn’t be more serious.”
His eye held hers. It was as if he invited her to look deep into his soul. To confirm the intent in his words. But she couldn’t focus on anything except the simmering sensuality just below his surface. It had been many years since she had felt the heat of physical need. Her gifts had given her a duty to help those in need. Her own satisfaction had never been her quest. So why now was this dark stranger making her feel such awareness? Such attraction? Every nerve ending she owned had gone from dormant to wildly alive.
A sudden shiver raced up her spine. “Who are you?”
“Who I am is not as important as why I’m here. As I said, you’re in grave danger. Your abilities are a resource some would abuse.”
Obviously, he knew things about her a mere stranger wouldn’t. Or shouldn’t. “How would you know?”
“Does it matter?” he asked
“Maybe you’re the danger.”
“Your enemy is mine as well. And you know those things which make you unique are gifts but they also put you at risk.”
“If I have gifts, and I’m not saying I do, how can I be sure you aren’t after them?” She crossed her arms in front of her body.
“You know I’m not.” He said his words with absolute certainty.
She stared at him. It was true. She did know. Still… “This is crazy.”
He held out his hand, and there was expectancy to the action. For her to simply accept his words. For her to trust him. “We must leave,” Diego said. “The people who hunt you are like none you have ever known. You will not resist them without my help.”
His words made her insides quiver because deep down she did believe him. There was no logic to why. But then, her mind knew things others had to reason to conclude. For Marcella, things simply were or they weren’t. Someone was hunting her. She’d felt it for a lifetime, but over the course of the last few days, there had been something darker in the shadows. A force so evil it had tainted the very air she breathed. But going out in public made her so nervous she decided not to overreact. She didn’t want to upset her aunt over a bad case of apprehension. Though Marcella barely remembered the loss of her parents, it was still a source of pain to her aunt. But the feeling hadn’t gotten better. It seemed to be growing.
Even being on edge, when she’d seen Diego watching her, she’d been certain he wasn’t the source of her discomfort. Still was.
His hand stayed mid-air, palm up in invitation. She looked down at it. Large but somehow gentle, it welcomed her. His soul was compassionate. But there was also a warrior in him, deadly and intent on winning. He would fight to death if needed. And the color of his skin, a milk chocolate tone, was a contrast to her pale, white skin. An image of them naked, dark and light entwined, came from nowhere and made her eyes dart to his.
“I can’t leave,” she insisted. “No. I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Yes,” he said, no give to his voice. “You are.”
Marcella couldn’t believe she was even having this conversation. “No. I have a bodyguard.” Her eyes went to David and then back to Diego. “He takes good care of me.” She hoped she sounded convincing. Diego seemed so sure of himself. She was a bit concerned he might just grab her and go. Even sensed he considered as much.
Yet calling for David seemed the wrong choice.
Diego’s eyes darted behind her towards David. “So he’s your bodyguard.”
He studied him and then looked back at her. “He wants to fuck you.” His eyes held anger and his tone a hint of hostility.
Marcella gasped, shocked at the abruptness of his words. Most people didn’t verbalize such thoughts. “He does not!” She was quite certain Diego was a kind and gentle man. Why she didn’t know but it was there, a part of him. She always got a sense about a person. With Diego it was clearer than normal but at the same time unlike anything she’d read from another. There was something she didn’t understand. It conflicted with the other things she sensed. It was…more animalistic beneath his surface.
His look was a reprimand. “You know I speak the truth. You sense what he feels for you even if you choose to pretend it’s something different. Some form of affection not built of lust.” He paused. “Besides, he is not capable of protecting you as I am.”
She frowned at his arrogance. “He is just as good as you.” But she knew he wasn’t.
“No.” His lips twitched as if he knew she had lied. “He cannot win against the enemy that hunts you.”
She didn’t like the way he phrased things. It rang so true to her feelings over the past days, it was frightening. “Do you have to use the word hunt?” It bothered her. Maybe because it was so true to the dark feelings she had been having. “For all I know, you are the one hunting me. Perhaps you are simply trying to confuse me.”
“We both know you can sense my motives. I speak the truth. Nothing less. Nothing more. I am your only hope of survival. You must come with me.”
“I’m staying,” she responded instantly and then added, “I’m here to heal a child. I will not walk away from her need.” Why she felt the need to justify declining to go with him, she didn’t know. This man was a stranger.
He took a long time to answer. “When do you see the child?”
Why she told him anything, she didn’t know. Something inside her wanted to trust him. And she had been conditioned to let no one into her inner circle. It could get her killed or captured like some animal. “Soon. Tonight. In just a few hours.”
His eyes narrowed and she had the distinct feeling he reached for her mind. A whisper of a touch, but it was there. “We leave the instant you have completed your duty.”
“Duty?” she asked. “Why did you call it that?”
“Because that is how you see it.” There was absoluteness to his words.
He had touched her mind as she had thought. But it had been done with such precision even with her level of skill he had been barely perceivable. “How would you know that?”
Taking her off guard, he pushed off the wall, closing the distance between them. He stood within a breath of touching her. The heat he generated warmed her skin, stirring a flutter in her stomach.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, but the words were barely there.
His body was big enough to frame hers, and again, unbidden images flashed in her mind. Him naked. Her naked. Him on top of her, inside her, all around her.
He lowered his head near her ear, his breath trickling along her neck, enticing goose bumps along her skin. “I know you, as you do me.” Her mind processed his words, even as her body responded to the deep tone of his voice as if it were a physical caress. Her nipples tingled. Her thighs ached. “I can feel you,” he said,” as you do me.”
She swallowed and raised her eyes to his. “Who are you?”
“Meet me in this exact spot at midnight. If you don’t, I’ll come for you.”
Who did he think he was? He couldn’t just order her around. “I won’t be here.”
His gaze locked with hers, and she heard his voice in her head. You will.
Her eyes went wide. She’d never met anyone who could communicate with her telepathically. “Who are you?”
He ignored her question. “Go take care of the child. We don’t have much time.”
And then his hand slid to the side of her face. The touch was like an electric charge. It, no, he ran though her body, touching each and every nerve ending. Her nipples tightened, her heart kicked up a beat and she had to fight the urge to reach up and touch his hand. She needed to touch him as he did her. Speaking didn’t even seem an option. For the briefest of moments, she was completely lost in this man.
David’s voice, bellowing through the air, snapped her back into reality. She forced herself to step away from his touch. And it took effort. Lots of it. “I have to go.”
“Meet me or I will come for you.”
:: In PRINT in March!!! ::
Lisa Renee Jones
Doreen Orsini's Bed of Thorns