Excerpt from FRAGILE

“I’ll manage.” Reaching the front porch, he shifted her weight around and then, as Devon squealed, he draped her over his left shoulder in a fireman’s hold, one arm over the back of her thighs to hold her in place.

As he unlocked the front door, he slid a hand up one sleek thigh, under the short, flirty skirt of her black velvet dress, cupping it over her rounded ass. “This skirt was much shorter, we could get arrested for this,” he said.
“You’re the one carrying me around with my butt up in the air. They can arrest you,” she said, her voice muffled against his back.

Opening the door, he toyed with the lacy edge of her panties. “You’re wearing a thong, Devon…damn, I spent the whole damn day not knowing you’ve been wearing a thong?”

“Yeah, well, it’s not like you’ve had a lot of chances to stick your hand up my skirt today,” she said. His body went stiff and he moved so quick, the world started to spin as he abruptly put her on her feet. Devon wobbled a little and fell against him, reaching out to grab his arm–only to stumble into the hard, ridged line of his back.

“Be quiet,” he said, his voice flat, hard. Commanding.
Peering around his arm up at his face, she stared at him. The skin on the back of her neck started to crawl as she saw the look on his flat, stony features. “Luke?”

“Shhh.” Without looking at her, he reached up, laid a finger across her lips. Then, he took a deep breath, dragging it in through flared nostrils.
Instinctively, Devon did the same thing–and that was when she smelled it. Her belly rebelled. It was faint, whatever it was, cloying and noxious and foul.

Devon knew that stink. She hadn’t been around too much death, although she’d seen more than her share of violence. But death was the sort of thing that only required a brief meeting and then you never forgot. The stench filled her nostrils and she reached up, covered her mouth and nose with her hand.

“Go back outside, Devon. Lock yourself in the car and call the police,” Luke said, pushing his keys into her hand.

“Oh, hell, no,” Devon said, shaking her head adamantly. She took the keys, though, shifting them in her palm so one of the keys protruded out between her first and second knuckle.

“Devon, go outside,” Luke insisted.


He shot her a narrow look, his gaze dropping to her hand. When he saw the makeshift weapon, a slow, faint smile curled his lips. He heaved out a harsh breath and then swore, shifting so he stood in front of her. “You stay behind me. Get your phone, call 911. Tell them somebody broke in.”

Releases next week…if you’d like another excerpt, you check out the one on my site.  🙂