Posts in category Saturday Snippets

Something I’m playing with…

In my copious off-time. O.O

It’s …well, a slightly erotic SF.  She’s an assassin.

If I finish it, it will probably be a J.C. book.

“I hated to admit it to myself, but there are only two people who would have done this. Only two who would benefit.  My son and his wife.”

Arching my brows, I edged in closer, searching for weapons.  So far, I’d yet to see a single one.

“I cannot tell if the look on your face is curiosity or merely an attempt to distract me.”  He sighed and then reached out, pushed a plate toward me.  “If you are any good at your job, you’ll recognize this.”

My eyes moved to the plate, a thin disk of what looked like hammered gold.

The sight of the three small berries there made my belly clench, even if I was there to kill him.

Death’s seal, the most poisonous plant in three systems.  Deadly, and outlawed on almost every planet in those three systems.  Just the tongue of it on the tongue was enough to kill a child.  Half of a berry could kill a woman my size.  Three berries could kill three men.

“I’m going to make this easy,” he said quietly.  “My son seeks to kill me, thinking he’ll inherit.”

Cree reached for a berry.

“Wait,” I said, the word ripping out of me despite my intention not to speak.  “Why?  If you wish to fight him, then why do this?”

“I don’t wish to fight him.”  He smiled, rolling the berry between his fingers.  “I wish to deny him what he tries to take by betrayal.”  Then he shrugged.  “And I refuse to let him use another in his endless vendetta against me. Do you know…it’s our belief that for every life you take, you must save two more if you want to leave this existence with your soul intact?”

I inclined my head.  “I have no soul left.  You do this for nothing if you try to spare me.”

“If you had no soul, it wouldn’t concern you to see this berry in my hand.”

He smiled at me as he tossed it up in the air.

I don’t know why I did it.

It should mean nothing to me.

I could easily claim his death as my own.  Poison wasn’t unknown to me.  I suspected I even knew who had provided him with those three priceless, deadly berries.

But my hand moved, almost as though it had a mind of its own and the sliver-thin dart stole the berry from the air and I quickly used two more darts to destroy the other two berries.  He could still lick the plate, I supposed, but somehow I didn’t see this regal, elegant man choosing that route.

“Why?” he asked, his voice puzzled.

Staring at the plate, at the thin stalks of the darts, I shook my head.  “I don’t know,” I murmured.  Then I looked at him.  “Do you count now?  As one half of a life?”

He cocked his head.  “Well.  I suppose I would, even though you came to kill me.  Do you plan to walk away now?”

Walk away.  I’d never walked away from a job in my life.  I had failed before.  Twice.  And I’d suffer more pain than I cared to recall.  The breaking of my bones was a sound that had haunted my sleep for years.

But to walk away?  Never. Doing so meant my life.  It wasn’t much of a life, but it was the only one I had and as though the son of a bitch who held my leash already knew of my failure, I started to sweat.  It didn’t work like that.  I had time, weeks even.

But if I didn’t kill Cree, my handler could choose to end me.

It was as simple as that.

Staring into Cree’s wise old eyes, I made a decision.

I turned my back.

“How peculiar,” he murmured.

I didn’t stop.

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Even the nights are better…

Saturday snippet time…steamy scenes…

Hmmm.  How about one of my older ones?

His Every Desire

His Every Desire

 

“Imagining things,” she muttered to herself as she walked through the house one more time, checking all the locks, checking the windows.

She even got her gun out. Emery hated the cold, lifeless feel of it, but she’d be damned if she didn’t feel a little better as she checked the chamber.

Passing by the hall mirror, she paused and studied her pale reflection. She looked like a ghost.

A scared ghost.

How in the hell could just seeing a car do this?

Shaking her head, she started up the stairs, leaving the lights on behind her as she went.

Moving into her room, she closed the door and started toward the bed. She needed to get some sleep. Tomorrow…

“Hello, Tracy.”

That voice…swallowing, she turned slowly, lifting the gun and leveling it at the man who had been hiding behind the door.

Joel! For one split second, she almost flung herself at him. She stopped just in time…it had been three years. Three damned years.

“What are you doing here, Joel?”

A slow smile creased his face. “Watching you. But you already know that. You saw me earlier, didn’t you?”

“Is Vincent here?”

His dark blue eyes flashed at her as he snarled, “If he was, do you think I’d just be standing here?”

Emery swallowed and shook her head. “I don’t know. Joel, it’s been a long time…”

“Three years,” he murmured. “I’ve been trying to find you for a year now. You hid well.”

A year… “You’ve been looking for me?” she asked, her voice tight and rusty.

A slow smile spread across his face. She knew that smile. Knew it well…seconds later, he pulled her into his arms and she moaned as he slanted his mouth across hers, pushing his tongue deep inside, kissing her deeply, his tongue rubbing across hers, sweeping over the roof of her mouth, across the surface of her teeth.

Tasting her—like he had been starving for her.

Whimpering she pressed against him. Heaven knew, she had been starving for him. That worry, the gut-deep fear slowly faded away as he touched her. When he touched her…it didn’t feel as though even a minute had passed since he had last kissed her.

He paused just long enough to mutter, “Fuck, I’ve missed you.”

His hands stripped her clothes away as she rose onto her toes, burying her fingers in his hair. Cool air bit her flesh and then his hands were on her hips as he spun around. She felt the wall against her back, and then…oh, please. She whimpered as he let go of her for a second–

 excerpt

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel
Felicity Heaton

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From Broke Blade… in the doghouse

BrokenBlade72 (1)

“Go ahead.” Shoving away from the shower, he came closer. Violence, danger and anger radiated from him and fear pulsed inside me, despite the fact that I knew, deep inside, that he wouldn’t hurt me. Damon was one of the few people who was safe.

Too bad my body didn’t get that message.

He reached up and my breath froze in my lungs as he slid a hand inside my vest. The back of his hand brushed against my breast and the black band of terror grabbed me, held tight.

“You’re so fucking afraid now, Kit,” he whispered, dipping his head to murmur into my ear. “It’s killing me.”

Then he lifted his head and reached down. He caught my left hand and pushed one of my knives into it. “Bloody me.”

I jerked my hand away—or I tried. He still held my wrist and he wasn’t letting go.

“That’s a silver blade, you son of a bitch.”

“I know.” He guided my blade to his chest, his grip relentless. “Bloody me. I’d feel better for it. And if it would do something to take that fear away…” A muscle pulsed in his jaw and he was standing close enough, I could hear the thunderous sound of his heart, racing far too fast. I didn’t have ears as sensitive as his—if he’d been standing any farther away, I couldn’t have heard it. As it was, though, the roar of blood in my ears, the racing of his heart, the adrenaline crashing inside me and the torment I saw on his face…the torment I felt in me…it was too much. “Sam’s not the only one who owes you blood, baby girl.”

Once more, I tried to twist out of his grip. “Damn it, let go.”

Swearing, he dropped my wrist. I put the knife away and darted toward the door.

He slammed it shut before I managed to get it open an inch.

“Kit…”

“Don’t, okay?” I leaned my brow against the wood and closed my eyes. “I need to get out of here. I need to breathe. I need to…”

His fingers brushed across my shoulder and he pressed his head to the back of mine. “I miss you.”

Tears burned my eyes and although it didn’t seem possible, the ache in my heart spread.

I really, really wish that what I’d told Chang was true. That the woman I’d been was dead and gone, that nothing of my old life mattered. If I could believe that, then it wouldn’t hurt so much to stand there.

But I wasn’t going to make myself better, or stronger, or fight my way out of this hell I currently lived in if I kept lying to myself. About anything. “I miss you, too.”

He reached up, resting a hand on my hip.

“But that doesn’t mean anything,” I told him. “Not if I can’t find me again. I’m still lost, Damon. I have to find who I am…I have to find my way again.”

Easing around, I stared into his eyes. Close. He was so close.

And even though I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, the fear was there. He went to pull back and I surprised us both by reaching up and fisting my hands in his shirt, holding him there.

His eyes widened and he stilled, stayed there, one arm braced on the wall by my head while his hand rested on my hip. I could handle this, I decided. The fear was there, but I couldn’t expect that to go away so easily. And…hell. It was Damon. Just having him this close had my heart racing and not all of it had to do with fearful things.

Curious, I placed my hand to his chest and as his heart slammed against my palm, I felt the way my own sped up in answer.

I did miss this…even when it wasn’t a spur of the moment kiss. I missed this. I missed us.

But I wasn’t ready.

“That day, up in the mountains,” I said quietly. “I told you that I was broken…so far from me that I didn’t think I’d ever find my way back.”

A harsh, ragged breath escaped him. “I know.”

“You told me you’d find it for me.” The heat of him scalded me, even as it warmed me. “I didn’t want to hear it then…and I can’t be sorry for that. I can’t let somebody find my way for me. I just can’t. I’ve got to do it for myself. But I’m trying. Okay?”

He stroked a hand down my hair. “I told you…I’ll be waiting.”

“It may never happen.” Turning my face into his hand, I kissed his rough palm. It hurt more than a little as I pushed him away. “You have to understand that.”

He was quiet as he stepped back.

Just before I slipped out the door, he asked softly, “Do you want it to happen?”

The question stopped me in my tracks and I looked back at him. “Do I want what?”

“Us. This.” Those eyes watched me, so carefully. “I’ll wait. Forever. It doesn’t matter how long. But is that what you want from me? Are you coming back to me?”

“I…” I licked my lips and shook my head. It shouldn’t be such a hard question. “I don’t know.”

He smiled sadly, looking away. “That’s fine. Like I said. I’ll be waiting.”

Read more… Broken Blade

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Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
TJ Michaels

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The Protected…Author’s Choice!

m4s0n501

Snippets!

Due out next week…The Protected

 

Gus had planned to do . . . something.

He didn’t know what.

But he’d planned to do . . . something when she came inside.

She came inside, a dazed, almost drugged look on her face, like she didn’t know where she was. Who she was. Part of him wanted to grab her and shake her, scold her for her carelessness, because she didn’t even look around.

He wasn’t hiding. The room was dim, but he stood in the corner, leaning against the wall, and all she had to do was look around and she’d see him.

But all she did was shut the door and flip the locks.

Then . . . she stood there.

Her back to him. Her shoulders rose and fell rapidly, and distantly, he was aware of the harsh sounds of her breathing filling the room. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead to the door. A sob ripped out of her. She slammed a fist against the door and the sound of it caught him off guard.

Anger and grief rolled from her, and he felt frozen there. Guilt flooded him and part of him wanted to slip out of the room, disappear, and leave her alone with whatever hurt her.

The other part of him wanted to go to her and haul her against him, make her tell him what had hurt her . . . so he could kill it. Fix it. Whatever. He didn’t know which one he was supposed to do. He was good at killing things, but fixing them? Not so much.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

He wasn’t supposed to care . . . not for anything or anybody.

She wasn’t supposed to matter, yet she did. More than anybody or anything, save for Alex.

He didn’t want this inside him, but there it was.

She slammed her fist against the door and screamed and he just couldn’t take it anymore. Shoving off the wall, he crossed the floor. He didn’t know what he was going to do, what he was going to say—

“Damn you, Gus.” The words came out in a ragged sob.

His heart jumped into his throat.

She was crying . . . over him.

He almost tripped over his feet, his shoes scuffing on the hardwood floors.

She gasped and whirled around.

He saw her hand go to the weapon strapped to her waist, and he moved, catching her wrist and pinning it to the wall.

Her eyes went wide as she stared at him, damp and glinting with tears. Her mouth fell open.

“Gus . . .”

“Damning me finally?” he whispered.

She sucked in a breath and reached up, fisting her hand in his shirt. “You . . . you’re okay.”

Reaching over, he caught the weapon and tugged until she let go of her Glock. He laid it down on the small table to his left. “I wouldn’t go that far.” Reaching up, he cupped her face in his hands. “Why are you crying, Vaughnne?”

She sniffed and reached up, swiping the tears from her face. “I’m not.” She lifted her chin and glared at him.

“Of course you’re not.” Unable to resist another moment, he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to hers. She tasted of tears and her and he was starved for her. He lifted his head a fraction. “If you don’t want this, then you better stop me . . . now.”

Her response was to reach for his shirt and strip it off.

If he were any sort of decent, he’d slow this down. Talk to her. He’d be lying if he tried to tell himself he hadn’t come for this. He hadn’t come only for this. He’d wanted to touch her, feel her underneath one more time . . . to take her in a bed and take his time with her.

One night. One night when he didn’t have to worry about all the burdens he’d carried for so long. One night when all that mattered was the two of them.

But Gus had stopped worrying about being decent a long, long time ago. So as his shirt fell to the floor, he reached for the neat little line of buttons marching up the center of her prim white shirt. “You look so neat and put together, Vaughnne,” he murmured, freeing first one button, then another, watching as he bared one inch of skin at a time. “I’m going to enjoy watching you come apart for me.”

She leaned back against the door, her hands falling to hang loose at her sides. “I’ve been doing that almost since the first second I laid eyes on you, sugar.” A smile curved her wide, sexy mouth, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes, and if he’d let himself look, he knew what he would have seen.

She knew, he realized. Had some idea of just why he was there.

And it just made him that much more of a bastard. But he didn’t care.

When he reached the final button, instead of pushing the shirt off her shoulders, he let it hang open, revealing the narrow line of her sleek torso, the lace edging of her bra. He traced one finger down the midline of her body, stopping when he reached the waist of her trousers, the sturdy leather of her holster. Still holding her gaze, he unbuckled it, unbuttoned her trousers.

Vaughnne stood there, silent and watching him with solemn eyes. He leaned in and nipped her lower lip, pressed a kiss to her neck, moving in a line straight downward until he was kneeling in front of her.

She wore a pair of low-heel ankle boots and he tugged them off, setting them neatly by the door. Vaughnne kept a tidy little nest, something he’d noticed when he let himself inside. He wouldn’t leave any sign of himself when he left . . . other than what he was doing to her now. Glancing up at her, he saw her lashes were closed, her head was tipped back, and her hands were braced against the door, curled into tight fists that left her knuckles bloodless.

He wanted her clutching at him that tightly.

Wanted to hear that smart mouth, the cocky attitude that had driven him insane the past few weeks.

But when he tried to reach for the words to say something, anything to tease it out of her, he couldn’t find them. So instead of saying anything, he leaned in and pressed his mouth to her belly as he caught the waist of her trousers and dragged them down over the swell of her hips, her thighs, down until she could step out of the puddle of material.

Rising, he stood in front of her, arms braced on the door by either side of her head, waiting for her to look at him.

Seconds ticked away, and finally, she lifted her lids, staring at him with dark, unreadable eyes.

He opened his mouth, determined to find something to say. Something. Anything. It shouldn’t be this hard to find a handful of words. He’d lived most of his life by them. Glib lies, charming little half-truths . . . all of them said to people who meant less than nothing. And here he stood with a woman who meant everything and he couldn’t find anything to ease the pain he sensed was inside her.

Before he managed to find even one damn thing to say, Vaughnne reached up and laid her hand on his cheek. “Take me to bed, Gus,” she said quietly. “We can have that one night now, right?”

Please note if you wish to get this book in print from your local store, you might want to make sure they pre-order it.  A lot of stores aren’t carrying as many of my books in print.  Thank you!

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Felicity Heaton
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr

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Stop draggin’ my heart around…

 

Gus…like I said, he’s a sexy, sexy bastard.  I really loved this son of a bitch.

The Protected

She was going to miss him.

Every day for the rest of her life. It shouldn’t happen like this. Damn it to hell, it shouldn’t happen like this. If she was going to fall for a guy, why couldn’t she have fallen for one she could keep?

She rolled onto her side and watched him climb out of the bed and her heart skipped a beat. Wistful, she bit back a sigh. Then again, she was being stupid. She had absolutely no desire to undo a minute with him. Maybe she couldn’t keep him, but the days she’d spent with him burned brighter on her memory than any other she could recall.

If she had to settle for something vivid like this that would end in heartache, or something just . . . mediocre that she barely recalled a few months, a few years later? This was better, she thought. She hoped she could remember that later on down the road when she was cussing him out for leaving her.

He didn’t speak as he dressed. She didn’t bother saying anything. There was no point in trying to get him to change his mind. He’d already decided what he needed to do. He wasn’t there looking to see if she wanted him even. If he’d shown any sign of that, then she’d be all over him, giving him all the reasons he needed to stay.

But he’d come with a purpose in mind.

So fine.

Let him go.

Swallowing around the knot in her throat, she told herself she could get through this. The first few days would be the worst, right? After her father had thrown her out, once she’d gotten through the first few weeks, the first month or so, she’d figured out how to get along and she’d been okay. This couldn’t really be any worse than that.

In the dim light, he turned to face her after he’d pulled his shirt on, and she rolled onto her back as he came to sit on the side of the bed.

He reached up and touched her cheek. “Thank—”

“If you say thank you to me, I’m going to break your nose,” she warned softly.

A faint smile danced across his face, there, then gone. “Do you really think I can leave without saying thank you for helping me with Alex?”

She sat up and leaned in until they were nose to nose. “Anything else and I’m punching you, Gus. I did my job. Period.”

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Please note if you wish to get this book in print from your local store, you might want to make sure they pre-order it.  A lot of stores aren’t carrying as many of my books in print.  Thank you!

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels

Kindle

talking about smooth operators today…

Saturday Snippets! I don’t think I have anybody as smooth as Gus. His edges are kind of rough right now, but he’s under a lot of pressure.

The Protected

Seconds later, the bathroom door closed at her back.

And then, she seemed to be the one who needed protection.

Gus went from the quiet protector to the warrior who’d leveled a gun at her, fully prepared to kill her. Before she could even catch her breath, he slammed her against the door, his forearm at her throat, pressing hard enough that she couldn’t draw her breath to scream.

She could have fought back.

She knew that.

And she knew how.

But as his misty eyes stared into hers, her heart slammed against her chest and she couldn’t breathe, could barely even think.

It wasn’t fear that seemed to crowd out all of her thoughts, though. Fear she could have handled.

This was so, so much worse.

“You need to understand something.” He leaned in, pressing his mouth to her ear. “And I want you to listen to me, very, very closely . . . Vaughnne. Is that even your name?”

She was pleased that her voice was almost steady as she said, “Yes. It’s my name. I gave you a false last name, but my first name is Vaughnne.”

“Hmmm.” He nuzzled her neck and little licks of pleasure shot all the way through her. “And FBI . . . are you really FBI?”

“Yes.” She closed her eyes as he pushed his thigh between hers. Oh, hell. What the hell was this? “You can call DC. They can verify.”

“They routinely give out names of their agents, Vaughnne?”

He licked her. What . . . the . . . hell? She shuddered as he crowded in closer. His forearm was still wedged against her throat, preventing her from moving, but it was no longer pressing against her so tight that it was a chore just to breathe. Well, it was, but that was because of the sheer, burning weight of lust. He traced his tongue down the line of her neck. “You did not answer me.”

Accent, she noticed dimly. He had an accent—she hadn’t ever heard it before. And she would have noticed, too, which meant the man’s skills just went from Category 4 strange to Category 5. At least.

Swallowing, she focused on his question. “Generally, no. But if you call and ask for the man I tell you to ask for, he will verify.”

“And isn’t that convenient?” He laughed a little, resting his free hand on her hip. His fingers flexed and she felt the imprint everywhere he touched. Every single place, from his thumb, to his little finger, curving over her flesh, kneading back and forth . . . “You give me a false number. A false name. So easy to fool me, you think?”

As his mouth came to cover hers, she averted her head. Finally, her brain was engaging.

Sex as a weapon. Not something she’d ever had directed at her, but whoa. Damn. That’s what this was and he was potent as hell. “You can look the damn number up on Google. I’m pretty sure I can’t control Google, although if I can get them to give me some major shares in the stock, hey, I’m game to try. You call that number, I’ll tell you how to get connected to the man who can vouch for me.”

His knee pushed between her thighs, and this time, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t keep from shuddering. Couldn’t keep from whimpering as he drew her in until she was all but riding his thigh. Oh. Hell.

“And what will he tell me when he vouches for you? What happens then? Somebody comes in here to take the child from me? I don’t think so, Vaughnne.”

“Nobody wants to take him away,” she snapped. And then she curled her hands into fists to keep from reaching for him as he shifted and settled his hips squarely between her own. She felt him now. All of him, the ridge of his cock, hot and thick, and damn it, if he hadn’t been aroused, this would have been easier, so much easier.

But sex as a weapon wasn’t really useful if the weapon wasn’t primed and ready to fire, she supposed.

Summoning up what little strength she had, she closed her eyes. She went through her options and discarded all but a few. As she was busy with that, he shifted the forearm he had wedged across her upper body. Cooler air kissed her flesh and she hissed as she realized he had freed the top button of her shirt.

No. Absolutely no.

As he reached for the second one, she opened her eyes and stared at him.

He stared right back at her.

Read more… it’s due out next month.  FYI, for those who enjoy this series, if you want the book in print from your local bookstore, you might want to have them pre-order it.  More and more stores aren’t carrying as many of my titles.

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel
Mari Carr

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