Captured Boxed Set:
9 Alpha Bad-Boys Who Will Capture Your Heart
athryn Fox, Eve Langlais, Mandy Rosko, Opal Carew, Pepper Winters, S.E. Smith, Sharon Page, T.J. Michaels, Teresa Morgan
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
CAPTURED is a steamy collection from today’s hottest authors featuring 9 sexy bad boys trying to capture your heart, every way they know how. New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Opal Carew, Cathryn Fox, Eve Langlais, T. J. Michaels, Sharon Page, S.E. Smith, and Pepper Winters, along with Teresa Morgan and Mandy Rosko bring you nine tales of sensual seduction featuring alpha male heroes determined to have their way, and willing to do anything to get it, even if that means a little seductive persuasion…We’ve included a real mix of stories, from light & funny to dark & sinister, contemporary to paranormal. Seriously, for .99 you can’t go wrong!
Angelica glanced down at the costume again. It was stunning in royal blue and gold with a gorgeous design formed by the intricate beadwork. The bottom of the bra and the hip band were dripping with beaded fringe. It cascaded from the bra and caressed her bare midriff. She had taken belly dance classes over the past couple of years and had eyed the instructors' costumes, wishing she could afford one for herself, yet this was more exquisite than any she'd ever seen."You like it, yes?" one of the women asked. She seemed to be the one in charge."It's … beautiful."The woman took her hand and drew her forward. "Wonderful. The master will be pleased."Angelica's eyes widened. They were taking her to him in this?When she slowed down, the women gathered around her and kept her moving forward."Stop it. I won't go dressed like this.""You must. The master has ordered it."They quickly approached the door. Panic flooded through her. She couldn't."I won't wear this!" She reached behind her back and tried to unfasten the bra, but the unfamiliar closure and the fussing hands of the women prevented her from succeeding. She pulled the straps off her shoulders and tried to pull it forward."No, miss. You might rip it," one panicked woman insisted.Rip it. That's exactly what she'd do. She tugged at the straps but they were securely fastened on. She switched to the belt and tugged hard. Despite the women pulling at her arms, she found where it fastened. She realized they had stopped their forward momentum as they struggled with her. She jerked several times until finally, she heard the belt tear, then it fell from her hips.The women spoke frantically in their own language. Next, she tore at the shimmering, diaphanous fabric of the skirt, ripping it from her body. She shoved her fingertips under the bra beside her left breast and pulled hard. The elastic gave a little and she tried to pull it upwards."Stop! You will ruin it."She felt fingers working at the fastening, then the bra loosened. One of her captors took it, scowling at Angelica.The woman in charge stepped in front of Angelica, her hands on her hips."The master will be very angry.""Then don't tell him.""His orders were for you to be brought to him in that outfit."Angelica placed her hands on her own hips, extremely conscious of her nudity but ignoring it."Well, maybe it's time for him to learn that not all his orders will be followed."One of the women gasped. Angelica suspected the only reason the other woman didn't seem surprised was because she didn't speak English.She marched away from them, snatched the silk coverlet from the bed and wrapped it around herself. She sat down, her arms crossed over her chest as she held the coverlet firmly around herself.She had shown them she wouldn't be pushed around, she thought smugly. But Angelica's smugness faded quickly when the women simply dragged her from the bed and led her through the hallways totally naked except for the cover she clung to.They stopped in front of a heavy wooden door in a tall, arched doorway. The head woman knocked and the door pulled open. A tall guard greeted her and waved them inside. The women led Angelica into a large, sumptuous room filled with plush, upholstered couches and chairs piled high with silk and velvet cushions, all in rich jewel tones, and ornately carved, ebony furniture. They prodded her to the middle of the room and stood behind her. The guard left, but she was certain he would be standing right outside, ensuring she didn't run for it."What is this?" a familiar, masculine voice demanded.She glanced around and saw Kadin, the sinfully gorgeous man who'd insisted she owed him a debt, and demanded she pay with her body. She opened her mouth to voice a protest at her treatment, but his dark, penetrating eyes stole her breath away.His stormy gaze drifted over the blue silk coverlet cloaking her.She straightened her shoulders, but tightened her hold on the fabric."They refused to provide me with decent clothes."His eyebrows raised and he stepped toward her. She could read nothing in his coal-black eyes. His mood, whether foul or fair, was a mystery to her. His presence filled the room and, as he approached, she had to force herself not to cringe. Yet at the same time, her body buzzed with an alarming excitement.Her body reacted to him far too easily. She reminded herself what might happen here tonight. Unfortunately, that kicked the excitement up several notches making her insides quiver."I see. So you decided to cover yourself with this." His tone, low and dangerous, sent alarm skittering through her.Before she could comprehend what was happening, he grabbed the blanket and yanked it from her grasp.
Quinn Montgomery took one look at the flight manifest and felt his cock swell with an excitement he hadn’t felt in a long time. As the Dom in him stirred to life, he carefully set the paper on his desk and took two measured steps to his office window. He adjusted his tie and blinked against the bright morning rays glistening on the wings of the Cessna idling quietly on the tarmac below. He turned his attention to his ground crew, who were performing maintenance checks before today’s scheduled flights, but his thoughts were too preoccupied with the names on his manifest, one name in particular, to follow their progress.Rebecca Andrews.Now what were the odds that the lawyer who’d cost his company hundreds of thousands of dollars had booked a charter on one of his crafts? A charter to a hedonistic resort, nonetheless.His mind raced back to last year’s trial, and to the lawsuit Ms. Andrews’ client never should have won. How it was his company’s fault that Ms. Andrews’ client had booked a package though a shady travel agent, only to find herself alone and stranded on Nantucket Island during one of the year’s worst storm was beyond him. Yet in the end, his company had to go good for the damages, as well as the mental stress and loss of wages that the woman had allegedly suffered.Quinn’s mouth twitched and he scrubbed his hand over his chin as he rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet. While the money was only a drop in the bucket for his company, the tricks the lawyer had used to get what she wanted from him, left him wanting to use a few tricks of his own—to get what he wanted from her.Oh yeah, watching her from the hot seat during his trial, watching that sharp tongue of hers in action, had him wanting to find other ways to put that smart mouth of hers to work. Heat prowled through his body as he thought about how Ms. Andrews kept her control close, kept her body poised and her head held high. But during the proceeding, every time her glance had landed on him and she lowered her gaze in a submissive move, he knew she was in denial. Damned if he didn’t want to be the one to open her eyes and her body, and put her in touch with her deeper needs.Even though they’d never crossed paths since the trial, she’d consumed his thoughts for well over a year now. He’d spent many nights thinking about the ways he’d like to strip her bare and give her ass a good hard paddling for wrongfully stealing money from his company. But the truth was, what he wanted had little to do with revenge, and more to do with showing the woman who dressed in prim and proper business suits that real control came in the form of surrender.With his cock throbbing, and heat coursing through him, he moved back to his desk to look over the day’s schedule a second time. He glanced at her name again, and his entire body came alive, because there was no denying that he’d just been gifted the perfect opportunity to help her free her submissive side. Of course, given that he’d only have one weekend, he’d have no choice but to push her limits and resort to some stronger methods to seduce the submission out of her. His fingers itched as he thought about that lush heart-shaped ass of hers and how much it needed his attention.He inspected the itinerary closer and discovered that Jack Armstrong, a pilot that had been with the company since its early days was scheduled to depart for Freedom at nine sharp—Ms. Andrews the only passenger on board. Quinn considered her final destination. Not only had his company taken guests to the private island numerous time, he personally knew the resort well, having played there a time or two. Although this time he suspected the plane wasn’t going to make it to the well-known island nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, especially if he was the one in the pilot seat.He picked up the paper, and traced his finger over her name as a devious plan began to formulate in his mind. As he sorted through all the naughty details, all the tricks he was going to use on her, he checked his watch then picked up his phone to call his personal assistant. After giving her a list of things he needed before takeoff, he dialed a friend and called in a favor. Once all the pieces were in place, and the discreet information he needed was on its way, he crossed Jack’s name off the manifesto, shrugged out of his dress jacket and grabbed his flight suit. Ms. Andrews might be looking for a little adventure at Freedom, but he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to be the guy to give her what she really wanted, yet had no idea how much she needed.
Whole in body, unsure of her spirit, and with more questions than a cop, Megan prowled around the edges of the room, running her hands along the surface looking for a seam or something to press that would allow her to exit. She also really wished she could find something to wear. Somehow encountering alien life while in the buff didn’t seem like it would put her at an advantage, so when she heard a whisper of sound behind her, she whirled while slapping one hand over her crotch and flinging the other across her boobs.
Given her generous size, that didn’t accomplish much other than make her alien kidnapper open his eyes wide before laughing, an apparently universal sound.
“I fail to see the humor,” she growled through gritted teeth. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate you turn around, or even better, run along to fetch me some clothes.”
That shut him up even if he remained facing her. “Xfinewfikagdolpa?” He spoke to her in a guttural tongue that sent shivers dancing along her skin.
She ignored how his voice affected her and concentrated on the fact she didn’t understand a damned thing he said. “I don’t know what the hell you just said, so do you want to try again in English instead of whatever alien language you’re using.” She tapped a bare foot as she glared at him imperiously—naked or not, she refused to show fear even if inside, she quivered at the situation.
He snarled some foreign words before throwing something at her and stalking out of the room. Fabric hit her as she watched in stunned amazement how the previously unseen door just slid across the opening, leaving the wall seamless again.
Unsure of when the annoyed alien freak would return, she scrambled to get into the clothes, his she surmised judging by the size and style: a white tunic shirt that hung to her knees and pants that hugged her rounded ass but went well past her ankle. She sat down and rolled the bottoms until her feet peeked out. As attire went, she was well covered if braless.
As she waited for the Martian to return, her mind took the time to dissect his appearance properly. First, immense didn’t begin to describe him. The man had to tower over her by at least a foot or more, and at five foot eight, she wasn’t some dainty little flower. And talk about wide. Holy freaking chest. She had only to look down at the shirt that draped her body to swallow in awe at the width of his torso.Big from muscle or fat? Or does he have like alien parts hidden under there?
She couldn’t deny a curiosity to find out. Ignoring his body for a minute, she thought on his face and the color of his skin. Purple, he’s freaking purple. Not a light pansy violet, but a deep rich mauve that made his almost opaque blue eyes pop. His dark hair, with its slight wave, hung almost to his shoulders, the color matching the neatly trimmed goatee on his square chin. He wore a silver ring in one nostril and another in his arched brow. His lips appeared black, but his teeth gleamed brightly—and pointed. Definitely a carnivore with chompers like that. And when he spoke in that strange gibberish, he’d rumbled low and sexy, a gruff voice to go with his tough ass look. She vaguely recalled calling him Han Solo on crack, but she revised that to Johnny Depp in his pirate role commuted to space. Dark, dangerous, and wickedly hot looking. Given his alien characteristics, she had to wonder just what other surprises he hid other than his skin color and teeth, like maybe a forked dick or acidic jizz. She slapped a hand over her mouth before she could giggle aloud, not sure if he or some other E.T. watched her from some hidden camera.
Good looks aside, she wasn’t here on an intergalactic cruise to pick up sexy aliens—even if she couldn’t deny curiosity. She’d narrowly escaped her last lover, and now that she had a second chance at life, she needed to swear off men—even hot space ones—for a while. A long while.Hell, maybe I’ll check out what it’s like on the other side. Maybe I’d have better luck with another woman. The idea didn’t enthuse her. A carpet muncher she was not.
With no warning, the wall slid open again and her dark pirate stepped in, his clear eyes glittering. He tossed something small at her and she lifted her hands to catch it—and missed. She’d never excelled at sports, outside the bedroom that was. Naked, she could keep up with any skinny bitch.
The little black object clattered to the floor and she heard an exasperated sigh. “Well, excuse me for not being Miss Agile. You try getting almost drowned by your boyfriend, sucked into some spaceship by a tractor beam, and then having some weird machine experiment on you. I guarantee your reflexes would suck, too.”
He didn’t reply, just crossed his arms across his massive chest and inclined his head at the object on the floor. She stooped to pick it up and turned it in her hand, not recognizing the item at all. “What is it?”
Another sigh sounded followed by movement. She flicked her gaze at him and sucked in a breath as she discovered him coming at her, almost seven feet of bristling, purple alien pirate. In a disgustingly girly reaction, she backed up. He growled, and in reflex, she growled back. Her response made his brows shoot up. She couldn’t help the smirk that crossed her face as she threw him off balance.
In a lightning quick move, his hand shot out toward her and she squeaked before she dashed behind the table she’d woken up on.
“Don’t come near me,” she yelled. “You—you giant, purple weirdo.”
“Kddwolsgewo.” He spoke gibberish again and motioned her forward with his hand.
She snorted. Not likely. He snarled, baring his pointed teeth. With nothing to protect herself, she threw the black thing at him. He caught it with a blurring movement of his hand and she gulped. He displayed remarkable reflexes. He moved around the table, and she shuffled her feet, keeping herself away.
It wasn’t like her to act so cowardly, but truly, the guy—if an alien could be called a guy—was freaking huge, and he didn’t look happy. She screamed when he leapt over the table and snagged an arm around her waist. She continued to shriek and thrash as he whirled her around. He yanked her back into his hard chest, his one arm an immovable anchor around her waist. His other hand fiddled at her ear, and she screamed. “Let go of me you freakish brute.”
“Would you shut up, you annoying female, before I give into my first impulse to kill you.”
As his words penetrated her panic, she stilled, her chest heaving. “I understood you,” she whispered.
“Of course you did, silly human. If you hadn’t panicked, like your kind are wont to do, I would have shown you how to insert the translator yourself.”
“Well, how the hell was I supposed to know?” she snapped back. “It’s not like I’ve ever met an alien before. In my world, we don’t shove things in people’s ears when we meet them for the first time.”
“Yes, I am well aware of your planet’s barbarian status,” he retorted with a disgusted snort.
“What?” she sputtered. “Look who’s calling the kettle black. I’d say you aren’t that far from caveman status yourself.”
“I knew I should have killed you,” he grumbled from behind her.
It occurred to Megan that perhaps she should shut up for a moment before he acted on his words. The silence, though, made her aware of where she stood, more against whom. Pressed against her back, the alien heated her even through the fabric separating them. The palm pressed against her stomach branded her through the thin linen shirt and held her firmly against him. She wiggled in a sudden attempt to get away, but this served only to have him bring her closer and her eyes widened as she felt something poking her in the back. That better not be what I think it is.
Instead of smartly shutting up, she took in a breath. “Oh, no fucking way. If you think I’m going to service you sexually, you are out of your mind. I don’t bang guys I don’t know, and that goes double for aliens. I don’t care if you accidentally rescued me.”
He thrust her from him and snorted. “You think highly of yourself, female, if you think I would stoop to copulating with your pale form. Your mouth alone is enough to shrivel any man’s cock.”
Megan whirled and planted her hands on her hip. “Pale? I’m the one with some normal color here instead of freaking purple. And I’ll have you know, my mouth has never received any complaints; on the contrary, my oral techniques are well known among my lovers.” When his lips twitched into a partial grin, she grasped what she’d said and red heat rose up her neck to color her cheeks. However, she didn’t cower or run. She stood straighter and faced him with a glare.
“Thank you for advising me of your aptitude. I shall be sure to add it to your list of skills when I auction you off at the first available port.”
And with those words, he whirled on his heel and began walking away.
Auction? Oh, hell no. She steeled herself for battle and took off after him.*Tren bristled with anger, not at the Earthling who’d amused him with her brave posturing and inane chattering, but at himself for his interest in finding out just how good her oral skills were. He had no interest in the barbarian creature. Although, shoving his cock into her chatterbox would at least muffle the sound of her complaining for a while, something his turgid shaft urged him to try.
And there lay another issue—his attraction to her. It didn’t help she’d gone from drowned, wretched looking sea creature to feisty and surprisingly attractive female. Dry, her hair was streaked yellow and brown in a strangely attractive manner and curled slightly. Her backside, which he’d not noticed previously, was round and inviting. As for her two breasted shape, he enjoyed the way her round breasts filled out the fabric of his shirt and how her nipples protruded through the fabric, begging for a mouth to suck them.
No. We do not play with the merchandise. Wait, that applied to virgin stock. From the way this one spoke, she was far from that state. Although, she might end up as frozen food if she keeps haranguing me. She followed close on his heels as he strode away in an attempt to escape her tirade.
“There will be no selling of me and my services,” she screeched from behind him.
Tren ignored her and kept walking. What she wanted didn’t even factor into his decisions.
“Ooh.” Exasperation colored her exclamation, and a moment later, she attacked him, pummeling his back in a fury with her fists.
Seriously? He turned and her blows rained on his rock hard abdomen. He stared down at her while she vented her wrath and only when she slowed did he drawl. “Done yet?”
She raised sparking brown eyes to his, and he couldn’t help notice the pink flush on her cheeks. He found himself captivated by the redness of her lips, their natural color, he assumed, now that she’d warmed up. He missed seeing her knee, though, which connected with his cock with unerring accuracy.
“Now I am,” she sassed, sounding all too pleased with herself.
Tren gritted his teeth through the burning pain, and before she could inflict more damage, he grabbed her and upended her over his shoulder.
Reya followed Dr. Matons out of her bedroom and closed the door with a quiet snap. After brewing herself a cup of tea, she joined her old friend out on the screened veranda and plopped down in her favorite plastic patio chair. The smell of the passing storm was heavy in the air, along with the scent of charred wood and jet fuel. In spite of the evening’s hair-raising events, she was calm and determined.Vanilla and clove scented smoke floated up from Dr. Matons’ pipe. She should have never asked her Aunt Sulu to send the stuff. Now the old curmudgeon would never again settle for the local tobaccos."Well, our little patient was lucky tonight," Dr. Matons drawled around his pipe."Little patient?" Reya queried with amusement. She was sure she’d never met a man so long his feet practically hung off the edge of her bed, or a more muscularly perfect specimen as the one lying in her bedroom. She and Dr. Matons had spent the past several hours removing glass and plastic from various patches of skin. They’d stitched the deeper cuts across his back, wrapped his chest tightly and cleaned off all the blood. She’d seen every inch of his magnificent body and there was nothing, and she meant nothing, little about him."It’s a good thing you were out on patrol when his plane went down. I don’t know if he would have made it otherwise," the doctor said, blowing out a ring of thick smoke. "He is certainly handsome, as men go." His eyes crinkled at the sides as he watched her. The old matchmaker. Always looking for someone to pair her up with. Even an unconscious man in serious condition.When she didn’t answer but stared out into the night, he continued. "I gave him a strong painkiller, but he’s not out of the woods. Do you mind if I sleep here so I can check on him during the night?""No, I don’t mind at all. Why don’t you take the office? The futon in there is pretty comfy. I’ll take the couch." Her eyes hadn’t strayed from the tangle of ferns and vines leading into the dark canopy of jungle no more than a hundred yards from her back stairs."You’re not planning on going back out in this deluge, are you?""The storm is almost past. I’ll be fine. Besides, something weird happened out there tonight. If you’re still awake when I get back, I’ll tell you about it."The moon, pale and obscured by dark thunderheads, was the only light shining onto her second-story veranda. Reya unlaced her boots, toed them off and set them beside the screen door that led down the back stairs. Dr. Matons continued to puff on his pipe while she peeled off her tank top and blood-spattered pants, tossed them in a pile and loosely tied a small bundle around her neck."Be careful, my dear. Wake me when you return," Dr. Matons called quietly. Extinguishing his pipe, he rose and slipped through the sliding glass door and into her living room. Reya watched his retreating back until the subtle snap of the office door told her she was alone. Shirt, pants and shoes in a neat pile on the floor, she dropped to her knees. Muscles rippled and bunched as raw power surged through her limbs—heady, thunderous power as her body shortened then stretched. Her tall frame shuddered as thick fur burst through her pores, replacing smooth skin. The cooling breeze ruffled the sleek fur on the tufts of the ears of a black jaguar as she stalked down the stairs and loped into the surrounding jungle.
"You are very quiet," her abductor said, in a casual tone, steering the bike even more casually. "Have you thought about apologizing to me? Offering an explanation? Perhaps some begging? I do enjoy your begging, under other circumstances."She seesawed between rage and disbelief. Why should she apologize to him? He was the one who'd just committed a crime and he wanted to blame her for it? Acid growled in her gut at the injustice of it. But his words made her brain skip in confusion, like a CD with a scratch. He spoke like he knew her."I will never apologize to you," she spewed at him, as if the words were poisonous.He slammed the brakes so hard the bike jerked. On instinct, she grabbed him for support.With her hands clamped to his chest, she felt his heart beating a furious tempo, even through his jacket. He'd handled the bike... hell, he'd committed the act of abduction with such calm, but underneath the outward signs, he hid some great emotion. Excitement at his upcoming torture session? Or maybe something else?She felt him slow his breaths as if measuring them out. He removed his helmet leisurely, with a controlled deliberateness.The moon, emerging from behind its cloudy screen for an instant, made his hair gleam blue-black. His profile, all strong chin and harsh lines, made her suck in a breath. His all-male gorgeousness seemed designed to melt women in their tracks. Combined with his powerful body, he didn't seem like the kind of guy who needed to abduct any girl. In fact, she could picture women lining up to be kidnapped by him.If he wasn't pure crazy, she might have considered joining the queue.He dismounted the bike, dragging her off against her will, since her arms were shackled around him. Without stopping, as if she was just a fly stuck to his back, he strode across the pine needle-strewn yard. His long steps forced her to scramble to keep from tripping."Hey," she protested, but he clearly couldn't hear her muffled voice without the helmet speaker. So she took the opportunity to curse him out in privacy. Each creative swear word strengthened her courage.Her helmet blocked her peripheral vision, so she couldn't see much of what looked like a three or four-room cabin with walls of raw wood and tiles falling off the roof. The bike was probably worth twice what the cabin was. It didn't add up.He twisted a key in the lock, and she zoned in on him putting the key away in his inside pocket, in case that info came in handy later. She paid such close attention that she nearly missed him place his thumb on a knot in the wood next to the door—and the subtle green light that swept over his thumbprint. She heard the distinct click of metal locks unbolting.Really? A high tech security system for this tumble-down place? Her throat nearly closed. Maybe he intended on assaulting her and disposing of the body after all. If so, he could definitely give Dexter a run for his money.The kitchen they stepped into was no less high tech. He turned on the light to reveal gleaming black appliances, polished granite countertops, and restaurant-quality gadgets. The outside of the 'cabin' might seem like it was about to fall over, but the inside? Pure luxury. The whole place was built to deceive someone into dismissing the exterior while the inhabitants lived in lavish comfort.With one abrupt motion, he turned in place. Instead of being held against his back, Max faced him, getting a close-up view of the stiff curling hairs escaping the slight V of his dark shirt. He snapped the strap under her chin and lifted the helmet away, setting it on the counter next to his own.Her mouth dried up. There had never been a man more handsome than this one. Flawless dark Arabian skin and eyes greyer than the granite that surrounded her. Lips—God above, those lips would seduce her all by themselves. It wasn't fair that he also had a strong column of neck and shoulders like rock cliffs. Not an ounce of fat on him. Carbs probably ran from this man in sheer terror.She tried to lean away from him so he couldn't feel her heart pounding a crazy beat under her ribs. Her entire body had turned traitor. How could her hormones go into overdrive for the guy who'd just drugged and abducted her? It wasn’t fair. She looked at the floor, praying the blush incinerating her cheeks wouldn't betray her.No hope. He caught her chin in one hand and forced her to look into his. For an instant, she thought she saw a spark of amusement there, before he narrowed his gaze to grey slits."On your knees, Maxine Rosalie Foss," he ordered.Kneel? But that would put her at eye level with his... What did he want her to do?Incensed by the unfairness of it, she wanted to scream 'never,' but she didn't trust her voice with that many syllables. "No.""Do you prefer to be locked together like this forever? I don't mind if you don't." His seducer's lips quirked up at one corner.In a flash, she saw what he wanted. She was supposed to lower her arms so he could step out of the circle made by the handcuffs. She hadn't thought she could blush any harder. Damn, she must be purple in the face by now."You could unlock me instead," she suggested, without much hope."But hayati." A scarlet tongue wet his full bottom lip. "That would be so much less fun for me."He was in control—she couldn't do a thing about it. The more she resisted, the more he'd enjoy watching her writhe. Before she could think too much about it, she lowered herself to one knee and put her hands on the floor. Her cheek touched muscled thighs encased in dark, soft denim. She tried not to think about that, either.He took his time stepping back, drawing out her mortification as long as possible. Before she could stand again, he planted a leather boot on the chain of the cuffs. She couldn’t misread the message. He had all the power. She could submit, or suffer.On instinct, she looked up to see pitiless grey eyes smoldering at her. "Are you certain you will never apologize to me, Max?"
When we leave the restaurant, Sawyer slips his arm around my waist. Walking beside him, I feel tiny. My head reaches his shoulder. A cool autumn wind whirls leaves around our feet as we walk. We leave his car, as it’s only two blocks to the theatre.Westingham’s movie theatre is in an old clapboard building and it plays up the small New England town feel. Movie posters are tacked up outside.Sawyer says it’s my choice—he’s happy to watch anything I want. There’s a romantic comedy, an action movie, and a serious drama. I go for the comedy. I figure there should be enough raunchiness built into it to make it guy-acceptable.We take a seat near the back. I have the popcorn on my lap and I’m munching (it’s drenched in that gooey buttery stuff—oh yeah), when Sawyer puts his arm around me again. My heart leaps as his fingers stroke my shoulder.Does he think this is the lead up to a one night stand? What if he does? I asked him for one. Could I actually do it?The truth is, I really, really want him. But to jump right into bed with him?I ache to do something physical to him in the theatre. Run my foot along his? Touch his leg? Kiss him?I’m paralysed by a lack of daring when suddenly a woman on screen yanks off her shirt and two of the largest breasts in history bounce toward the camera. She’s supposed to be attempting to seduce the hero. I guess the hero’s struggle is that if he’s true to love, he doesn’t get to play with the huge boobs.I squirm a little in my seat and shoot a glance at Sawyer. A lot of the guys in the audience are laughing, obviously attempting to deal with the sudden shot of arousal over being faced by boobs that could smother them.Sawyer looks…bemused. That’s the only word to describe it. He has one brow raised. Then he bends over to me. “Sorry. I had no idea it was this kind of movie, Claire. You okay with it? We could go.”“Uh, I’m okay.”His mouth is so close to mine. Then he leans in that last inch and his mouth covers mine. He tastes of butter-stuff from the popcorn. Of heat. His lips are so soft, but firm too. He captures my lower lip between his, tugs lightly, lets me go.Desire rushes through me. I really squirm on the seat.On screen, the large breasts are bouncing over the hero’s head. Sparkly red heart-shaped pasties cover her nipples—to get the appropriate rating, I guess. If the nipples aren’t bare, all that wobbly naked flesh is okay.Sawyer isn’t paying any attention to the defy-gravity boobs. His lips brush my ear. It is barely a touch, but I feel like he just stroked me with a sparkler. Hot, tingly, sizzling.I turn and kiss him on his gorgeous, sensual lips. In my excitement—and nervousness—I do it too hard. His kiss was slow and seductive. I know mine is clumsy.His hand comes up and I expect he’s going to break the kiss. Instead, he tenderly cups my cheek and guides me, turning my awkward attempt into a hot, sensual open-mouthed ecstasy of a kiss.I’m necking in a theatre. I’ve never done this.I always thought it was weird that kissing is acceptable—that no one thinks much of it, and it’s okay to do it in public. It’s your mouth engaged with someone else’s mouth. It seems like the most intimate thing in the world, since your mouth is part of your head. When I think about it, joining private parts seems like a more distant form of contact than mouths.Of course I would never voice these things. I would sound geeky, weird, socially strange.Sawyer’s kiss makes me spin. I feel like I’m whirling in dizzying circles. And I want more. Daringly, I touch his forearm. It’s like stroking iron, even through his jacket.“I should put the popcorn on the floor,” I murmur against his mouth.He moves it for me, then his strong arm slides around me and he draws me into a deep kiss that sets me on fire.His seductive mouth melts me, turns me into a gasping, moaning puddle of desire. I’m floating in the heat he exudes, in the sexy, unique scent of his skin. He moves from my mouth and nuzzles my jaw, then my neck. My head falls back as I go weak with desire. I moan way too loud.People turn. I clamp my hand over my mouth. Look at Sawyer with horror.“I’ll stop,” he murmurs.“No. Let’s get out of here.”“My place?” he says.Maybe this is it. Where our date moves into a hot sexual encounter and I get to try everything I’ve dreamed of with the most gorgeous guy on earth. Not to mention a guy who kisses like a god. A guy who saved a little boy’s life by being smart, observant, and having quick reflexes.“Yeah. Your place sounds good,” I say. This could be it—my night to experience sex, if I want to. And, inside, I’m trembling with uncertainty.(Excerpt from Fast and Mine ©2014 Sharon Page)
BURNS LIKE FIRE by Mandy Rosko
Jack Marilla is out for revenge for the deaths of his family, and the burn scars that cover his body. To get it, he has to hunt down the woman he used to love, the paranormal fire starter who set his house ablaze with him, and his family, locked inside of it. When he catches her, however, he faces his biggest challenge yet. To not believe her when she claims to be innocent, or fall for her seduction..
"Hi, Cindy."Cindy stared at him. Her bright amethyst eyes widened so he could see the whites all around. Her glossy peach lips dropped open as her facial expression changed from scared to all hell to just plain confused. He got a real dumb sense of satisfaction over that. Yeah, she'd thought he was good and dead."Jack?" she practically shrieked his name.She was so focused on his face, probably wondering why it wasn't melted, or why he was even alive, that she didn't look down and see the rag or the shackles hanging in his free hand until it was too late.She tried to jump to the passenger side, to get away, but Jack lunged. He grabbed her by her frail shoulders and pushed her down across the seats. He pushed the rag hard over her mouth and nose before she could shriek for help.He had the shackle in his other hand and he almost got it down on her wrist before she punched him good and hard in the nose. Her thin, tiny knuckles didn't look like much, but they hurt like a bitch on impact. He thought he even heard a crunch."Ah, fuck!" He reared back and dropped the cuffs to the floor of her car, but he didn't take the cloth off of her nose as he cursed and yelled.That fucking hurt! Blood dripped from his nose and onto her pale collarbone and dress in the struggle. She got him good that time. He wasn't about to let her do it to him again.Her sharp manicured nails scratched at his hands, drawing even more blood. Jack grabbed both of her wrists and yanked them above her head, holding them down with one hand while he kept up the pressure of the cloth with the other. She kicked and struggled as she breathed in the chemical, but she didn't have the strength to buck him off and he avoided her knees when she tried to get him in the balls.Don't summon fire. Don't summon fire, he chanted in his head over and over again. She had it in her eyes, he could see it building up around her as the temperature of her body increased.If she burned him, he wouldn't be able to handle it. He'd fly right off her and she'd be as good as gone. She'd get away and he might never find her again.Cindy's struggles beneath him started to let up. There wasn't much physical strength to begin with, but now it was almost nonexistent as the hint of flames left her eyes, and her body went limp.Jack released her hands. He panted for breath as if he was the one who'd just lost the fight. The car stank of sweat mixed with the sweet scent of the chloroform. He was careful to keep the rag away from his own face, already starting to feel sort of dizzy himself."I finally got you," he said.Then Cindy's eyes widened as she came alive again. She clawed at his hands and arms with her manicured nails, scratching deep."Fuck! Stop that!" Jack roared, grabbing onto her wrists and yanking them above her head again.Holy shit, she'd just faked that. Smart. It pissed him the hell off, but he had to admit it was smart.When blood beaded up from the scratches on his hand, Jack growled, and he forgot all about being impressed. Was she ever going to pass out? Had he used enough of the chemical? If she didn't go under soon then that fire would come and light him up like his father and brothers.No fire came. Cindy's struggles weakened, for real this time as he held the rag to her face, for longer this time.Her bright, fearful eyes slid shut as she gave one last jerk before going under.Jack sighed, relaxing his tense muscles as the only sound in the car was his own heavy breathing. He wiped the sweat off his brow. Not the worst paranormal he'd put under by far, but she hadn't given in easily.Adrenaline rushed through him as he stared down at her unconscious form. Cindy's hair was all over the damned place, her arms up high as her breasts rose and fell in sleep. She could have just dozed off for how innocent she looked. The only thing that gave away the struggle was her flushed skin.He pulled the damp cloth away from her mouth and nose. He hadn't even realized his heart was beating so fast, and he lifted himself off of her.Being on top of an unconscious woman was creepy, regardless of who she was and why they were both there."Holy Christ," he sighed, letting himself drop to the cool and dirty pavement of the parking lot. He sucked in a breath of clean, fresh air, and carded his fingers through his hair.Though he hated having to touch her again, even for the capture, he'd still noticed how smooth her skin felt when he'd grabbed her arms. Her body beneath his had been exactly the same. It was like muscle memory had taken over when he'd straddled her, and as she'd bucked her hips up to try and push him off, his body had responded.It wasn't his fault his dick didn't know the difference between fighting and fucking, that it didn't realize she'd been trying to get him off of her, not gyrating against his heavy prick for friction.Jack shook his head. That was too weird, especially considering she'd burned down the house he and his family had been sleeping in..Fuck that and fuck her. He wasn't going to feel guilty because he was a healthy male who was reacting to a beautiful woman. She was the one with something to answer for, not him.All because Jack had been the one guy in the whole history of time stupid enough to tell a pyro that his family made their profession out of hunting paranormals for the government.Really, what had he expected her to do? Be happy about it?"I got you," he said again, and then he laughed as he stared up at the night sky. The stars were bright. "I got you."
I SAT ON my newest purchase, resting like a mechanical shadow by the curb. It didn’t glintor gleam. It waited in black silence ready to charge into the night.Give her options. Don’t make her suspect. Threaten only when necessary. Above all, take her without causing attention.The rules my father told me the morning I left to fly to Milan, repeated in my head. I was obeying. Even though it was fucking hard. I struggled to balance my true nature with that of apolite gentleman, coaxing a skittish woman out for dinner.As if I would be interested in a girl like her. Meek. Skinny. Beyond fucking sheltered it was insane.Grabbing the throttle of my bike, I waged with ignoring my father’s rules and stalking into the venue and stealing Nila Weaver in front of everyone. She could scream, shout—it wouldn’t make a difference. But that wasn’t allowed.The other option was I could just fuck off and kidnap her from her hotel room.She has to come willingly.My father’s voice again. Kidnapping was the last resort.I growled under my breath.I’d let her go, not because of some decency, or concern of what would happen to her family’s happiness, or even the upcoming pain in her future. No, I let her go, because I was my father’s son and followed a plan. But there was a deeper reason, too.I was a hunter. Skilled with both bow and arrow and gun. I stalked the weaker and slit their throats when they succumbed to my careful aim.But sometimes I liked to…miss. I liked to give them a small window of safety, all while closing the noose when they didn’t expect it.I liked to play with my food.The chase was the best part. Hunting was intoxicating. And knowing I had the power to snuff out Nila Weaver’s life the moment I caught her gave me a certain…thrill.That was the only reason I restrained myself and followed the rules.I had no secrets of why I would stain my hands with her blood. I had no misplaced vendettas or agendas. Everything that would come to pass was for one simple and undisputable fact.There was a debt to be paid. And I was the method of extraction. Plain and simple.I’m a Hawk. She’s a Weaver.That was all I needed to know.In the library a week ago, while sipping on a ten thousand pound bottle of cognac, my father proceeded to tell me a little of our history. He told me gruesome things. Dastardly things. Tears shed. Blood spilled. He told me what happened to Nila’s mother.He also told me why every firstborn Weaver girl had a stain upon her life. I understood it. I accepted it. I was given the task to uphold my family’s honour. And I fully intended to extract payment as meticulously and as painfully as possible.It wasn’t often I was given the opportunity to make my bastard of a father proud. I didn’t intend to let him down.Even though I wouldn’t enjoy it.Liar. You will enjoy it.A tight smile twisted my lips. Fine. I would enjoy it. Nila Weaver would be my greatest trophy. I might not be able to display her head on my wall once I was through, but I would treasure the memories. Something told me I would no longer find pleasure in hunting hapless deer after I’d hunted a woman.Oh, yes. I would enjoy ruining Nila, because I liked breaking things. But not in a gruesome barbaric way. I liked to break them smoothly, gently, ruthlessly. I liked to think I transformed creatures from their present to their potential.Pity once Nila was transformed she wouldn’t be allowed to enjoy her evolution. She would be dead. That was the final toll. That was her future.To kill something so naïvely pretty…It made me angry in a way to think of such delicate perfection snuffed out. But there was no point thinking of the end when the chase had just begun."Nice bike."My head snapped up, eyes locking onto my prey. The same prey who’d run yet returned.She’d returned? I was right before. She truly is stupid.Nila drifted forward, threading and unthreading her fingers. I didn’t move or utter a sound.She responded to my silence—like everything. I’d learned that cursing and yelling could be frightening—but silence…it was the empty void where enemies’ fears polluted. Stay quiet long enough and horror would be struck with one whisper instead of a multitude of profanities.She waved at my bike, her eyes wider than before…darker than before.Deciding to grant her a reply, I said, "It’s my version of accessorising." The Harley-Davidson was a new purchase. Sleek and sharp, nicknamed The Little Black Dress.Stroking the throttle, I tilted my head. Her dusky skin had colour. Her pronounced cheekbones were flushed, trailing residual temper down her neck. Something had happened.Something had upset her.Did she find her father, only for him to disown her and send her back to me?I frowned. Could Archibald Weaver truly send his only daughter not once, but twice, to her death? He knew what awaited her. He knew what would happen if he didn’t give her up. But was family honour that strong? Or was there more to this debt than I’d been told?Either way, it was time to go. Time to begin her nightmare."You returned."She nodded. "I returned. I want something from you. And I’m not going to be shy about asking."A flicker of surprise caught me unaware. She came across shy and timid, but there lurked steel in her voice. Little did she know what I wanted from her in return."Fair enough. I have something to discuss with you."Don’t make her suspect."What?"Your future. Your death."Nothing important, but we need to go."Time to begin. The time is nigh to pay your debts.Nila came closer, shedding the tameness, and embracing courage. I would’ve been intrigued if I didn’t already know everything about her.Such a silly girl. A silly toy.Whatever she wanted from me, I’d oblige. After all, she’d been given to me to do as I pleased.And everyone knows you don’t give a pet to a killer.
"Choose," the disembodied voice said.Choose? Choose what? Riley thought, looking around her in disbelief at the rock walls.Choose to get the fuck out of this crazy nightmare? Hell, yeah. Choose to kill the bastards who put me in this miserable spot? Oh, hell yeah. Choose…Riley jerked when she felt the ice-cold claw poke her in the back for the third time. Looking around, she followed the arm of the creature standing next to her as it pointed down over the edge of a small platform. She really was trying for that nice stage of being totally zoned out, but the damn creatures who kidnapped her twenty days before had an annoying habit of bringing her back to the unfortunate situation she was in."Choose," the nearly eight-foot-tall stick figure said again, this time losing some of the disembodied tone.Riley couldn’t help the little smirk that lifted the corner of her mouth. She really couldn’t.After the first week of captivity, she had moved from being mind-numbingly terrified to just downright pissed off at life. She figured if she was going to die, she might as well do what she did best: piss everyone off around her. That was what had gotten her into this situation in the first place—her big mouth and smart-ass attitude.Okay, maybe she shouldn’t have pissed off her boss by telling him what he could do with his wandering hands when he grabbed her ass for the third time that day. Better yet, she shouldn’t have broken his nose, his hand, and more than likely his nuts since he had been screaming more than an octave or two higher than a soprano. Yeah, that probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do.Especially since his daddy happened to be the local sheriff. She was a bail bondsman, for heaven’s sake. Any freaking idiot should have known better than to mess with her. Her line of work required she know a certain amount of self-defense.God, she thought. I really should have never taken that job.When her boss swore she would never leave town alive after she beat the shit out of him, she figured it was time to get the hell out of Righteous, New Mexico. Of course, the fact her boss owned the local bail bond company and had a somewhat lucrative business going with his daddy should have been her first warning that something wasn’t right, she’d thought as she grabbed her purse and a large manila folder full of incriminating evidence against both of them. Finding out that daddy and junior were also running illegal weapons and drugs were definitely her second and third warnings. Of course, the little tidbit of information she had found that morning about the dead guy buried under the storage unit had been the real reason she figured she had made a bad mistake. That information was now safely tucked into the manila folder stuffed in her purse, and it had gone along with her as she left the small town she had been living in for the past six months as fast as her old Ford could drive.She actually might have had a chance to live a little longer if a series of life’s usual little hiccups hadn’t been blessed upon her. Again. Of course, if the car had been further than one push to the nearest junkyard it would have helped her great nonexistent getaway plans. It would have been better yet if the damn car hadn’t broken down just over the state line on the outskirts of the desert. She knew she should have purchased a new one last month, but she was such a tightwad she wanted to get every last mile out of it. And boy, did she!Oh, and she couldn’t forget her best idea yet—getting in a truck with a guy who had more piercings and tattoos than a model for Prick Magazine instead of walking the three miles to the bar she had seen a roadside sign for.No, I had to get my fat—Riley sighed. No, my maturely figured ass into the scum-bucket’s truck.Riley sighed again. I really, really should have taken those anger management classes like my sainted sister, Tina, said I needed.Unable to keep the grin off her face, Riley thought back to the look on the pierced, tattooed guy’s face when she shot him the bird as he drove off, leaving her in the middle of that godforsaken hell’s beach just as it was getting dark.Give him a fucking blow job if I wanted a ride out of the desert, Riley thought savagely. Not bloody likely.She showed him! As soon as he pulled over to the side of the road, she had been out of the truck cussing him up one side and down the other. Her Grandma Pearl would have been proud of her. She remembered every cuss word her grandmother ever said and a few her grandma probably didn’t even know. Of course, he had left her mature ass in the middle of nowhere.Riley thought she was a goner until she had seen all those little lights coming toward her. How the hell was she supposed to know the fucking aliens had messed up where Area 51 was and ended up in Nowhere, Arizona? Riley had thought she was about to be rescued by a dwarf biker gang riding dirt bikes, not some alien spaceship out for a Monday night cruise for well-endowed women.Riley thought she was a goner until she had seen all those little lights coming toward her. How the hell was she supposed to know the fucking aliens had messed up where Area 51 was and ended up in Nowhere, Arizona? Riley had thought she was about to be rescued by a dwarf biker gang riding dirt bikes, not some alien spaceship out for a Monday night cruise for well-endowed women."Choose!" the tall creature growled out loudly.Riley cleared her throat before turning to the stick-figured alien dwarfing her. "Choose what?" she asked, unable to hold back the slightly crazed giggle that had been threatening to escape her.She giggled again at finally making the creature’s blank face break into a frustrated scowl. The creature slowly fisted its clawed hands before its shoulders actually drooped."Choose a male," Antrox 785 said wearily.Riley raised her perfectly arched eyebrows at the creature before turning to look at the selection of men who had been paraded in while she had been reflecting on how her attitude might have played a part in her present predicament. She had been watching haphazardly as a different female—at least she thought they were female—had been led to stand where she was now. She was told—in a rather rude manner if you asked her—that she was being given the last choice because of her being so disagreeable, unpleasant, and downright ugly. She had, of course, taken it all in stride until the last comment and had to be restrained again after she‘d punched the stickman guarding her in what she hoped was his balls. Whatever the creatures had under their tunics, it laid the guy out cold.Now, she was staring at one eight-foot-tall glob of green, oozing snot, something resembling a two-foot, two-headed lizard, and three six-foot-four or more drop-dead gorgeous hunks.Riley’s eyes widened. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was thirstier than hell so she didn’t have the capacity to produce enough spit, she would have sworn she was drooling.She could tell by their build and their eyes and maybe the markings on their arms, chest, and shoulders, oh and did she mention their sharp teeth as they growled at the stick-alien, that they weren’t human, but man-oh-man did they look yummy! Riley thought dreamily for a moment before perking up again."What happens to the males that aren’t chosen?" Riley asked curiously, never taking her eyes off the three males."They will be used as food," Antrox said with a frown. "Choose! All mated males will be kept to work in the mines. Mated males are easier to control as they are protective of their female. Now choose your male!""What if I don’t want to choose a male?" Riley asked sarcastically as she turned to face the tall creature next to her. "What if I don’t feel like choosing a male? What if I don’t even like males?" Riley added.Right at that moment, she honestly believed she might not ever like any male ever again! After all, it was men who had started this whole hateful series of events starting with her no-good, dimwitted boss. Now, this overgrown toothpick expected her to just pick one of the bastards and mate with him?That is so seriously not going to happen. Restraints or not, I will beat the shit out of any guy who tries to mate with me, she thought fiercely.She wasn’t going to mate with any alien, no matter how cute they looked. She had watched enough science fiction movies to cure her of ever wanting any alien booty! What if those things decided to do some body snatching or exploding out of her? A shudder went through Riley at the thought.Antrox 785 looked back and forth between Riley and the men on the platform below him with a confused expression on his face. "Why would you not want to choose a male? You are female! All of our data points to you being the weaker of your species and in need of a male for protection." Antrox looked from the males back to Riley again. "Why would you not like males?"Riley let loose a slightly hysterical laugh. Okay, maybe she was still just a little terrified. "Why don’t I like males? Now, that is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, isn’t it? How about we go get a bottle or two of your strongest booze, get good and drunk, and I’ll tell you why I don’t like males anymore!" Riley’s voice was growing louder with each word. "Let’s start with you!"
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