Poor Lucas. He truly doesn’t know which end is up but one thing is certain….getting out of this particular mess may involve getting fired…for good which means blowing his cover…which means giving up on the very sexy life he’s made for himself in Istanbul…
And the Liz serialized novel now has a cool cover!
Welcome back to the Liz Crowe Serialized Sexy Thriller Novel Project:
Allow me to catch you up. Please click each of these links to get current. Go ahead. I can wait.
Ok….are you sufficiently titillated? Good.
Lucas’ whole body shook. He ran a hand across his face. This whole thing had escalated a lot faster and higher than he’d anticipated. Flat out fucking the woman on one side of a two-way piece of glass was probably a bit on the “overboard” side of the plan. But what’s done…was done. And he couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her bare ass just before she slid her skirt back down and turned to him.
He leaned in close, all thoughts of Jay, of Ebru and her horrific yet lovely manipulations of him the night before, even of the email he’d read late last night from Virginia stating his orders to be back on U.S. soil within forty eight hours or risk arrest, driven from his mind. All he knew were her sweet, full lips.
“Hey!” He flinched, shocked at the sting on his cheek. Alexa had her arm drawn back, her silvery gray eyes were snapping. Before he could stop her, she slapped him again, hard enough to make him stumble backwards. “What the hell?”
“You’re a cheating dickhead,” she spit out, one eyebrow raised. His post-orgasm rattled brain tried to focus on her words. “I can’t believe you did it… with her.”
“I…um…huh?” He dropped into the wheeled chair he’d pulled her up out of a few minutes before.
“You chose that Turkish slut over me?” Her voice was getting higher, as was his inner freak out. But under her breath she said, “Damn Lucas, go with it, will ya? Lover’s quarrel. I gotta get out of here.” She tilted her head towards the bank of screens still lit up with the horrifying latest chapter of the Tate Lincoln unraveling.
“Right. I mean…no, honey.” He got slowly to his feet, knees wobbly from the recent quickie and as his brain rushed to catch up. The last thing he remembered for about a solid minute was the sight of her fist, moving closer as if in slow motion, and then the sickening sound of his cartilage smushing in on itself. His butt hit the edge of the chair at the right angle to send it skittering backwards but not fast enough that the back of his head didn’t connect with it as he dropped like a washed up prize fighter, blood spurting from between the fingers he held over his face.
He blinked, processing the dull pain in his nose and the sharper one on the back of his skull. The fluorescents flickered. The massive computers hummed. Lucas rolled to his side, groaning when a wave of nausea rose in his throat. Waiting it out, he lay still, dripping blood onto the gray, static-free carpet. Finally, he sat, taking in the empty room and the very distinct odor of recent sexual activity filling his sorely injured nasal passages.
He pulled the chair close and used it to get very carefully to his feet. Groaning when dizziness made him stumble, he gripped the edge of the industrial work table and sat on it, processing the last half hour’s worth of craziness.
When his phone buzzed in his pocket, he tugged it out, trying not to get it too bloody and stared down at four consecutive texts from Alexa in the last three minutes he must have spent barely conscious thanks to her.
“Sorry. Had to make it look real,” was the first one. He touched his most realistically busted nose.
“I need your help encrypting something to send to Washington,” was the next. He frowned and kept scrolling, alarm bells ringing so loud in his head he winced.
“Tate Lincoln was named by a whistle blower as an NSA cover for international monitoring of ex-pat data. I gotta get in touch with my NGO contact somehow, off the grid.” His frown deepened as he realized she was using a very much not off-the-grid method to spill this to him.
“I’m pretty sure you know a good way to do that, eh Jr. G-man?”
His scalp prickled and he shot to his feet, glaring down at the message flashing at him, pointing like an accusatory, carefully manicured finger. He glanced up at the glass, then down at his bloody shirt, his brain spinning with the many possible ways this was going to go very, very badly for him. Opening the door quietly, he slipped out into the corridor and took long strides to the elevator, not even sure where he should go but figuring Alexa’s office as good a destination as any.
His phone buzzed once more while he leaned against the mirrored wall of the lift as it sped upwards, toward the executive suites. “You were pretty amazing. But I figured you would be.” she said. “Come to my flat. Be ready to tell me your real story.”
He typed out a quick response and question, then hit the stop button on the elevator which caused it to lurch, and the doors to snick open revealing a group of people from marketing and supplier relations, all clumped around Ebru like so many minions. She was in the middle of chewing one of them out in rapid-fire Turkish, but that person sucked in a breath at the sight of what must look pretty damn weird—Ms. Trillium’s current personal assistant, Lucas Cameron, (FBI Junior Grade) looking like he’d been in a street brawl.
Thank god the smell of blood covers up the smell of sex, he thought as he observed Ebru’s sharp, gorgeous face turn slowly, her full red lips curving downward at the sight of his messed up countenance. The crowd drew back as she stepped forward.
“What happened to you?” She touched his nose, seemingly unaffected by the blood smearing it, his lips, chin and shirt. Even in his extremis he could sense her power coiling around the base of his skull. He swayed on his feet as the elevator darkened. “We need to get you to a doctor.” She turned and barked something in Turkish which sent the entourage scrambling. “My poor, sweet, toy,” she cooed, as the doors slid shut and Lucas sensed himself sliding downward, onto the blessedly cool floor. He shook his aching head, trying to figure out if she meant “boy,” and guessing she hadn’t.
His phone buzzed, forcing him back from the edge of unconsciousness—thank god. He’d have to turn in his man card if he let himself faint like some teenaged girl after getting punched by a woman. He gripped the ice-cold stainless steel railing and gritted his teeth against the twin pains in his face and the back of his head. But before he could focus on the phone screen, Ebru had snatched it from him.
“No. Your eyes look strange. You shouldn’t try and focus on it right now.”
He reached for it, desperate for her not to see the most recent exchange with their mutual boss lady. She leaned away from him, frowning, then touched the power button while he watched, panicked and desperate.
“I’m gonna puke,” he declared with as much authority as he could muster. Hurling himself towards her, Lucas grabbed her shoulder and whacked the arm that had the phone in its hand so hard the thing went flying against the far wall, shattering into three pieces on the slate tile floor. She stumbled on her sky-high heels then regained her composure enough to shoot him an arch, somewhat alarming look.
The elevator doors opened, revealing the bustling, late afternoon, lobby traffic. Lucas took a step away from her, relieved he’d averted at least that one small potential disaster. Jesus help him if Ebru figured out what he’d just done to…with…Alexa Trillium. He pictured her a moment, waiting in her penthouse flat, toe tapping, waiting for him to appear and spill his guts.
Panic tightened its lethal grip around his chest when he realized he’d just squandered about three of his allotted forty-eight hours fucking his boss so her boss would think they were a couple, getting his block practically knocked off by her not thirty seconds post orgasm, then having to break his encrypted company phone all to hell to avoid his whack job of a girlfriend finding out about any of it. Oh, he thought, as his lunch rolled queasily around in his gut and the room started to spin before his eyes. Right, and throwing up all over the feet of people waiting to catch an elevator. Don’t forget about that.
“Lucas!” He heard Ebru’s voice coming from a very far distance as he dropped to his hands and knees, studying the suddenly fascinating pattern of his lunch’s reappearance on the floor. “Yardım edin! Birisi çağrı ambulans!” She was calling. Lucas spent about a half second being proud of himself for hearing it translate in his head before he fell face forward in his own puke and the lights went completely out.
Ok kids, things are getting more complicated by the minute…..come back soon for the next installment!
Dateline….Ann Arbor, Michigan….
A Potential Black Jack Gentlemen #4 Novel
By Liz Crowe
*All Rights Reserved
Coop stared down at his hands, attempting to focus on them, on the rubberized floor of the locker room, on the shooting pain in his shoulder, anything to ignore the deadly silence that permeated the normally raucous after-match space. The quiet was beyond eerie, and did nothing to calm the pounding in his chest and the booming between his ears.
His first year called up to play on the U.S. Men’s national soccer team as an utter rookie, a long shot, a cocky kid with no real international experience had ended with a bang and a simultaneous whimper. The fourteen years he’d spent of his almost twenty-two, falling in love with and finding his way at the highest level of the game had culminated today in a crushing, embarrassing defeat.
No, “defeat” was too nice a word for what had just happened in front of over fifty-thousand screaming, rabid American soccer fans and the smug Europeans and South Americans dying to say “I told you so,” to a team who slid into the cup by the skin of its teeth and held on through group play by their collective fingernails.
He sighed and leaned back, taking a full, deep breath of the stink of failure. Camden “Coop” Copper did not fail—not at anything. But especially not at soccer. Wincing, he rolled his sore shoulder and stood, figuring he might as well shower and get the hell out of this loser-riddled room.
“Nice try, kid,” the veteran goal keep slapped his back on his way past. “Seriously. We wouldn’t even be this far without you.”
Coop grunted and jerked his chin, knowing that wasn’t really the politest of responses but no longer caring. He wanted to go home, to get out of this god-forsaken jungle of a shit hole country and be back where the AC worked and he could breathe the air without coughing. And he needed to see his girlfriend. Not that he missed her per se, she’d been pretty annoying with all her jealous insinuations that he was scoring with all the hot Brazilian chicks. He had. But that was beside the point.
He grinned and his body stirred in an entirely normal way for a twenty-two-year-old healthy, athletic man at the memory of smooth, brown skin, full breasts, plump lips and what they all did for him just the other night, all at once. He shook his head to clear it of the fantasy come true. Maybe he would miss this place.
A couple of his teammates bumped his sore shoulder none to gently as they passed but Cam ignored the urge to curse at them. They all felt like shit and the anger over their apparent inability to keep possession of a simple soccer ball for the length of the scoreless overtime still made his jaw ache.
By the time he emerged from his shower, the locker room had mostly emptied out. It stank, but no worse than any other locker room he’d occupied in his years through high school, some college and then his two years at a farm league team in the middle of nowheresville Iowa.
Being called up to try out for the men’s team had been a dream come true. Making the roster was the equivalent of sheer fantasy. Being put in the game in the waning minutes of a do-or-die last match of group play was in the realm of “extreme wet dream with two girls on a beach.” And he had scored. He, Cam Fucking Cooper had won that god damned game on his own. He knew it. The world knew it.
So when he’d been put in at the twenty-minute mark after their star forward had to be carried off the pitch writhing in pain from what was likely a career ending, red-card inducing knee injury, he’d felt pretty damn good about it.
But he had, in a word, sucked. The jerks on the French team had been older, taller, faster, better and assholes. They’d toyed with the young American team like a cat with a mouse the entire time, scoring two goals in quick succession at the eightieth moment leaving the Yanks gasping and glaring at each other, their visions of glory fading faster than a suntan in Alaska.
With the towel wrapped around his waist and the buzzing in his ears down to a dull hum, he emerged from the thick steam into the empty room. Making his way by memory over to his locker he stopped, feeling around for the latch in the gloom, already pondering how he could parlay his brief moment in the bright light of international soccer attention into a ticket out of the cornfields.
“Hey,” a distinctly female voice cut through his mental haze. He frowned.
“What do you want? And how did you get in here…whoa…” He clutched at the towel that had somehow begun to slide down his thighs. He was not in the mood for this, not today. He whipped around and glared at his agent, the woman who’d stuck him in the shitty backwater club and had argued against trying out for the national team. He narrowed his eyes as her tall, womanly, tempting figure emerged from the steam.
No, not now, not here. You don’t need to be messing with her anyway Cam, you lame, weak….
“Cut it out,” he insisted as she kept yanking at his towel.
“I have some good news,” she cooed as she moved closer and put her cool palm around his stiffening cock. Her rich aroma invaded his nose, circled around up in his clanging head. She trailed the fingertips of the hand not encouraging his erection across his damp shoulders, down his pecs, tweaking his nipples on the way down to join her other one. God damn she was hot and horny and something like twenty years older than he was.
He groaned and gripped her face, smashing his lips onto hers, eager for her, for anything to drown out the drumbeat of failure that kept pounding in his chest. He yanked up her short skirt and pulled her panties down as she kept up that lovely hand movement that was making his hips thrust involuntarily.
“Really?” he grunted as he broke the kiss and turned them around, shoving her up against the lockers with a bang. “Tell me the good news Carrie, after I fuck you. That’s why you’re really here. I know you miss me.”
She smiled, and licked her lips, a slow, sexy thing she did that he had never see any other woman in his experience do quite the same way. It was maddening and made his whole body break out in goose bumps. “I’ve heard you have been a very bad boy down here Coop,” she whispered as she pulled him close and wrapped one, long leg around his waist. He sensed the heat of her sex against his, eager, too eager. He tried to step back.
“Yeah, so?” he said, attempting to get control over himself. But he could really smell her now—that sultry, spicy odor that always flipped his upper brain off and his lower one into overdrive. She flexed her thigh and kept him close, angling her hips and guiding him inside her even as she was talking.
“Yeah, so. Very, very bad things from my very, very bad boy.” She sighed as he propped his hands on either side of her and stroked in deep, groaning again at the sweet velvet grip of her pussy around him. “Show me how bad you are, Coop.” She gripped his hair, tugging at it and eyeballing him in a way that pissed him off. “Make me come.”
He nodded, breathless, desperately wanting the connection, but not at the same time.
Lame. Jesus Christ, man, your hot agent lady lets you fuck her six ways to Sunday. Just go with it. Too much thinking is making you stupid.
He shoved her soccer men’s team emblazoned shirt up and gripped her breasts, pinching her nipples hard like she wanted it, moving his hips slowly, surely relishing every wet stroke. She raised her leg higher and he gripped it, bending it against her so he could go ever deeper and harder.
The room darkened around him as he leaned close to he could suck her other nipple into his mouth. Their hips moved in unison, their breathing filled his ears. He knew the orgasm threatened, hovering on his horizon. He was tempted to hold it back, to please first before taking his own but something in him snapped then, releasing a different urge, one that made him release her breasts and prop his hands up again, go up on his tiptoes and pound into her so hard the entire row of lockers rattled.
She shrieked and clutched his ass, digging in deep and likely leaving familiar, Carrie-fingernail-shaped welts but he didn’t even feel it. He took a long breath and blew it out, buried his face in her sweaty neck and let it happen. He went blind and deaf for a split second, then roared with satisfaction when all his senses returned in a rush of raw, erotic pleasure.
He kept pounding, loving the sound of the metallic banging, of her moans and cries, of his own grunts. And then, like that, it was over. He pulled out of her fast, not even caring that she almost fell over. His dick was still rock hard and slick from her. But he stood with his hands on his hips, trying to catch his breath, glaring at her, hating her and himself at that moment.
She sighed and grabbed a towel, passing it between her legs before tugging her skirt down, never taking her deep green gaze from him. When she reached for him, he flinched and backed away.
“About that good news?” he asked, his throat closing up with a strange sort of pre-cognitive panic.
“Detroit,” she said, as she stepped back into her panties.
He blinked. “What did you say?” Anger was rushing in to fill the space left empty by his monster orgasm. “I hope it was not ‘Detroit.’”
“Yep, stud, it was.” She threw the towel down and crossed her arms over her reassembled tee-shirt covered chest. “It’s why I came all the way down here. Well, that and…” She reached for him too quickly for him to escape, covering his lips, shoving her tongue into his mouth.
He jerked out of her grip. “I am not playing for those guys. I fucking hate Parker Rollings. I hated him in high school. They…they’re…”
“They are one of the hottest, up-and-coming teams in the new league. And theywant you, bad. Besides, you won’t have to play with Parker, sweet cheeks.” She pulled her long hair up off her neck. Cam attempted not to stare at the way her breasts shifted under the tee shirt when she did that. The buzzing was back and getting louder. He clenched his eyes shut and willed this moment away from him. “That’s right Coop. I got you the plumb spot, right up top, guaranteed starting position. And they had to sell their little sweetie midfielder to afford you, bless his poster-boy-for-gay-athletes heart. You can thank me more later, at the hotel.” She turned and sashayed away, leaving him breathless, and feeling more like a piece of meat than ever.
“I am not playing in Detroit.”
“Oh yes you are and for a shit ton of money too. Now hurry up. We can still catch the bus back to the hotel.” She turned and winked at him. “Oh and your girlfriend’s been calling me trying to reach you after that horrible excuse for a match.” She made a little tsk tsk sound and cocked her hip. “Such a bad boy. It’s what I love about you. Let’s go Coop. We have things to discuss, contracts to sign, etcetera.”
He glared at her retreating form, wondering just how far off the rails he’d suddenly gone. While at the same time acknowledging how much he wanted to fuck her again and again and again, just to drive out this sick, sinking feeling in his gut.
Was he truly this weak?
Cam glanced up and caught his own gaze in the mirror. His thick brown hair was wild where she’d clutched at him. His face flushed red from exertion and hormones. He shivered and looked away, unwilling to acknowledge anything other than how badly he just wanted to go home.
The stink emanating from the locker room permeated the entire lower level of the Black Jacks state-of-the-art facility. As she sped up to get past the worst of it on her way out to the field, Ashley reminded herself that it was really no worse than any of the many facilities she’d been subjected to in her many years of playing. But somehow, it was that much grosser thanks to the fact that she had to use the space, to share it like some kind of junior varsity high school player.
She had played at the University of Virginia for crying out loud, had scored the winning goal at the NCAA championship game as a senior, right before heading off to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team under 22 farm league. She was the shit, in a word. Her knee chose that moment to sing out in pain, making her stop, curse and readjust the bulky brace effectively shoving her down off the “I’m the shit” mountain. Again. Just like the damn thing had done the last day of tryouts for the national team, in a fairly spectacular, ACL rending way.
Leaning against the wall as close to the outdoor entryway as she could go so as not to have to breathe the locker room’s reek, she messed around with the straps, Velcro and other random fasteners holding her knee together now. Two surgeries, one nasty infection, and nine months of agonizing, torturous recovery later and she was at the right place, right time for the junior grade agent she’d been assigned post-injury to stuff her into this hellhole—Detroit Michigan of all places on earth. On a team called—she had to muscle past the urge to scream and punch the wall every time she even thought it—the “Lady Jacks.”
While she’d been laid up, pondering her lack of skills to do anything other than play soccer, both of the major soccer leagues’ marketing brains had concocted a “great idea” to get more people to support the women’s soccer leagues other than every four years for World Cup or the Olympics. Each of the existing teams in both leagues would add a “girl’s side,” a “Lady-whatevers,” which, they claimed loudly and proudly, would add two dozen professional outlets for all the talented women soccer players.
There had been relatively little protest. The bottom line was, fans did not support women’s professional sports, period. Three women’s leagues had started up with full rosters, money and hoopla and had all folded, one after just a single season. The best way to get butts in seats for women’s games was to offer them in tandem with the men’s teams, many of whose popularity had soared past some of their fellow local pro sports teams in town.
The Black Jack Gentlemen, the “Black Jacks,” or—even better—the “BJ’s” were won of the more well-funded, marketing savvy outfits. They’d been founded with an eye towards social networking, quick time media and encouraging total fan buy-in to the team as a “culture.” It had worked. It had been amusing, cool, and fun. And then, the team actually got good, which made some of the more well-established teams get nasty, overpaying to lure away players, rumor-mongering more than was already inherent in the “BJs culture.” All sorts of dirty tricks, up to and including accusations of match fixing, all of which had faded, thanks to the super savvy legal and marketing departments housed right across from where Ashley stood leaning, staring out onto the one place in the world where she felt one hundred percent at home—the soccer pitch.
So, she’d been signed off by her surgeons and therapists and had packed her bags in California, arriving in the dead middle of the coldest winter in the last one hundred years in the Motor City. She’d been terrified by the snow and ice and spent four months freezing her ass off until she figured out how to use her condo’s programmable temperature control. The Lady Jacks assembled a pretty motley crew of fresh-faced rookies and middle of the roaders like herself, all of them lamed up in some way or another. Their training room was always busy thanks to all the old injuries they shared.
Now that it was finally spring, the last snow melted, the last of the ubiquitous salt and mush wiped off her condo’s small entry-way for the final time, the team had it’s first season’s schedule and it was gonna be a doozy. The women’s team had no say in who they played. They literally followed the men around, playing the “lady-whatevers” version of the men’s team opposite theirs. They shared the locker room, the training facilities, the practice fields, and in some cases, beds with the men. It made Ashley furious that at least five of her teammates had decided fucking those prima donna dickheads was preferable to actually becoming a competitive team. It was maddening, embarrassing and all she had.
With a grunt, she pushed herself off the wall and trotted out onto the pitch, cursing when the still cold air hit her skin. It was bloody well May tenth. When would spring show up in this hellhole anyway? She could still see her breath as she light-jogged around the perimeter, waiting for the men’s team to vacate the area.
Glancing down at her fitbit she noted they were already fifteen minutes over, still scrimmaging, showing off for the gaggle of media twits that were gathered on the sidelines. She tugged the ear coverings down a bit more so she couldn’t hear them all grunting and cursing and acting like a bunch of gorillas angling for the alpha females. She hated this, truly despised being put on like a pre-game warmup show, and was giving the league at least a season before making them wear skirts to play.
Letting her music fill her ears and drown everything out but the sound of her breath as she went from jog to trot to run, Ashley started the familiar interior ultimatum game: If I stick out this season and don’t get hurt, I’ll look for something else, get somewhere warm again. She missed her home state so much it hurt—the beaches only a mile from her childhood home, the pool, the sun, the…
“What the fuck!” She shrieked when something heavy slammed into her shoulder, shoving her sideways and making her bad knee buckle underneath her. The something kept shoving, until it was on top of her, a sweaty, hairy lump of cursing male complete with flailing cleats that grazed her calf. “Get the hell off me!” She pushed at him, yanking the tiny speakers out of her ears. The ground was still frozen in the shade and her hip ached where she’d landed on it.
“Mother fucking son of a…” the man still sprawled on top of her pushed against her in his effort to get up, smearing her arm and leg with grass and spit and god knows what else. Once he’d regained his feet he stared down at her, his shaggy brown hair half in his eyes. She held out a hand. He hauled her up and smacked her ass. “Sorry, sweetheart. But thanks for the nice soft landing pad.”
A blinding rage the likes of which Ashley hadn’t felt in years made her go deaf from the loud roar of rushing blood to her face. She shouldered her way in front of him, the ball at her feet, and took off into the scrum of Black Jacks standing around laughing at their collision. She sped past a the midfield, darted around a dazed looking defender or two, and planted the ball in the back of the net, then turned and flipped off everyone still staring at her.
As she was trotting back to the sidelines, the huge lump of asshole that had landed on her earlier intercepted her, stealing the ball and somehow managing to grab her left tit in the process. “Ow!” She shoved his hand away, then ran after him, catching up with ease and tangling her left foot between his. When he dropped to the ground with curse, she batted the ball away and headed the other way once more. The team had rallied now but she didn’t care. She was in better shape that over half of these jerks so she dribbled past all of them, ducking around, nutmegging not one, but two players and basically walking into the goal.
She blew the scowling goal keeper a kiss, picked up the ball and turned. “Okay, are we done fucking around her boys? It’s my team’s turn to practice.” The men slunk off, muttering, grabbing water and ignoring her. With a grin, she motioned for the women who had shown up for practice to take the field.
Just as she was headed towards them, mister fumble feet planted his six-foot-four inch sweaty self in her way. She dropped the ball and put her cleated toe on it. “What, Coop? You need me to school you a little more? If not, clear out. I’m sure there are groupies waiting to suck your dick.” Ashley despised this kid in particular. He represented everything wrong about her current situation she could imagine.
He was a hottie, no doubt, fitter than most, huge green eyes and a shit eating grin with truly legit skills at forward. He’d been the rising male star counterpart to hers on the women’s side for the national teams, before her stupid knee had made other plans. When she’d figured out the cocky so-and-so was a Black Jack and she had to play “Lady” to his team it was almost a deal breaker for her. But she’d had no other viable option. It was play soccer or, what, work at Target, basically. She’d been a shitty student and barely gotten her degree.
He laughed and ran a hand through his hair. She clenched her jaw. “Beat it, man whore. Some of us have work to do.” As she as moving past him, he smacked her ass again, hard. She whirled on him, fist raised and planted it in his nose, driving him to his knees with a loud curse.
She stood over him, ignoring the cheers and cat-calls from both sidelines. “Touch me again, pervert and I’ll be the one sneaking in on you at night to slice off your man-meat.”
He shook his head and wiped a drop off blood off with the back of his hand. He held out the other one and she took it, thinking she’d help him up since he’d done the same for her earlier. Just as she was doubting the advisability of that move, he jerked her arm and she lurched forward, landing right on top of him as he was sprawled on his back, her legs on either side of his hips.
Her face flushed and she tried to scramble off but he had hold of her thighs in his large, surprisingly strong hands.
“Don’t deny it, Ash,” he said through clenched teeth. “You’re dying to get a piece of this,” he said, giving his hips a little thrust upward, miming sex. “And punching boys in the nose is no way to get laid, no matter how much like a hot cheerleader you might look.”
She put her hands on his chest and pushed hard, making him grunt as she levered herself up and to her feet, her heart pounding in anger…and in lust. Damn it had been a while since she’d gotten laid. Coop just lay there, arms behind his head, one dark eyebrow raised, his shorts…she looked away, biting her lip.
“I wouldn’t let your gangrenous cock near me if you were the last man capable of fucking me on this planet, Camden,” she said with a smile. But she was already thinking about it, yes, she was. And his cock was not green an oozing. It was perfect.
“Touche sweets,” he said, jumping to his feet. “I hear ya loud and clear. Anyone who calls me ‘Camden’ is obviously not interested in yelling my name while I rock her world. Later, toots. Have a great practice.” He winked at her and trotted off in the other direction, leaving her breathless with base, raw, need. The sort of need she’d hoped never to succumb to again. With a sigh, she reset her ponytail, ignored her quivery insides and reminded herself that Camden Cooper had no more interest in her than he would a kissing cousin. They were buddies, is all. Fellow players.
Before she made it over to her cheering teammates, she turned and spotted him, standing in the middle of the pitch with his arms crossed, staring right at her. She flipped him off. He returned the gesture. And like that things were back on a familiar even keel.
AND OPTION #2:
PROPOSED: Black Jack Gentlemen book 4
By Liz Crowe
All Rights Reserved
It was a match like any other. The crowd roared. The heat baked his skin. All he heard was the breathing of the defenders, the men he barreled through on his way to the goal, to his goal, to winning the game, again. Because this was what he got paid to do—win soccer games.
Never mind this was some kind of lame-ass friendly, pre-season bullshit.
“BJs! BJs! BJs!” the raucous fans chanted, having latched onto the short hand of their team name—the Black Jacks—in way that was fitting, considering what a soap opera of a place it had turned out to be. He blocked the noise, set his jaw and kept moving through the thin wall of protection and planted the ball in the upper left corner of the net, giving the flat-footed goal keeper a little salute and a smile as he jogged around him.
Too fucking easy.
His teammates joined him in a scrum near the edge of the pitch, already celebrating the now guaranteed victory over their archrivals, the Pittsburgh arseholes or whatever they were called. He didn’t know or care. He accepted the kudos, trotted to the middle of the field so the arseholes could start over and immediately snagged the ball from one of them and played keep away for the final five minutes of the match.
Game over, Black Jacks 2-Pittsburgh Arseholes 1.
Not that it mattered.
“Declan! Declan! Declan!” The crowd had a new cry now and one that made him blush beet red every time. Which in turn made a distinctly female contingent squeal in embarrassingly loud delight. He sighed, and whipped off his uniform jersey, a stupid ploy that the marketing geniuses forced on them, and which got the whole team endless internet press for being the “expansion team with the most naked flesh” award or some stupid, yet important designation.
Whatever sold tickets. He got that. So he smiled, wiped his streaming face with the uni and heaved it into a crowd of girls who were positively apoplectic with joy at the sight of him. It was a buzz, he’d give it that. He smiled, the nearly perpetual blush still heating his face. How they built the cost of new uniform shirts into the team’s budget he had no idea. It was a waste as far as he was concerned, but he was a tightwad Scott as his teammates liked to remind him, daily, when he would pass on yet another opportunity to throw his hard earned cash onto a poker table or tuck it into a stripper’s g-string.
“You know I don’t like to…” Declan sighed when his teammate and friend Jason climbed behind the wheel of his Shelby Mustang, a royal blue monstrosity of Detroit rolling iron and fired up the roar under the hood.
He sighed, trudged around to the passenger’s side and dropped into the soft black leather seat. “I don’t like these fucking clubs, you know that. I… I had plans for tonight. I’m…I was….” He gripped the dashboard when Jason peeled out of the garage under their condo building.
“You are a lame, tight fisted, boring mother fucker and I have taken it upon myself to get you laid, hard. Maybe more than once.” Jason glanced at him as they idled at a stop light. Declan frowned at him. “No, no don’t thank me yet. Because I am sick and tired of you wasting all your god given goods on sitting around and counting your money or whatever the hell it is you do when we aren’t practicing or playing.”
Declan blew out a breath. Anger made his face burn. He did have a life. He liked his routines and was perfectly happy. Declan MacGuire didn’t do nightclubs, strip joints, one night stands or groupies. Not that he didn’t have the option to exercise them all. His mysterious man persona only seemed to make the Declan Ginger Lover Brigadelouder and more determined to do exactly what his best friend on the team had stated he would do tonight. His skin prickled slightly. He had not gotten laid in an alarmingly long time. For good reason. He’d left behind the one woman he’d loved when he’d moved here. And had determined to focus on his career for a while, leaving romance for the saps.
“My red headed, goal-scoring friend, you are gonna get your ginger world rocked tonight.” Jason laughed and screeched away from the intersection.
Declan sighed and kept silent. And by the time he and Jason entered the penthouse nightclub in some random Detroit suburb he was resigned to tolerate it, have a couple of drinks and get the hell home.
He was on his second beer when he saw her, or more precisely, her hair. It was an ebony satin curtain, hiding half her face as she sipped some kind of drink through a straw. Her bright red lips were puckered just enough to make the skin on the back of Declan’s neck prickle. She looked bored sitting next to some other girl he hardly even saw. A drop of sweat formed on his temple but his hand wouldn’t move to brush it away. He was frozen. Pinned to his spot by the woman’s eyes which met his the very instant he was about to look away.
They were an odd, purplish shade of blue, a night sky sort of color that shocked him to his toes. She blinked them, slowly, as if processing him and his gawping stare. He felt something alarming rise in him, clamber up his spine in into his brain. By the end of the night he had worked up the nerve to approach her, buy her a drink and had fallen under a strange spell he’d never experienced before.
“This must be love,” he marveled as she sighed into his lips when they finally kissed, just briefly, out on the dance floor.
“Well, it’s lust anyway,” she giggled as she pulled away and made him walk her to her car. “Call me, Scottie.” She tucked his phone into the front pocket of his dress shirt, letting her fingertips trail up to his jaw before turning away.
“It’s Declan…” he said, hands in his pockets, heart somewhere up in his throat.
“No, to me, you’re Scottie.” She blew him a kiss.
He caught it, like the raised-in-a-house-full-of-sisters sap he was and pressed it to his heart. He watched her pull into the near empty downtown street in a crappy sounding car and then she was gone, in a puff of exhaust. “I’ll buy her a car,” he thought, apropos of nothing. “Tomorrow.”
In a daze, he made his way back into the crowd, found Jason and shouted above the noise that he was getting a cab and going home. He leaned on the cold window and imagined her…Christine.
“Saw you left with the queen of groupies.”
He saw Jason’s text and frowned.
“What are you talking about?”he responded, his head still full of her voice, her smell, the brief taste of her soft lips.
“Just watch yourself, young Declan. Christine Reynolds is a man-eater.”
He shrugged, turned off the phone and smiled, already planning their first date.
“You know what?” Gina held her husband’s phone with the incriminating text message glowing, nearly blinding her in the darkened living room. “You can fucking go to hell.” She kept her voice low and calm, belying everything in her that screamed to just tell him the truth. The phone, slick with sweat from her palm, dropped to the overpriced carpet covering the maple hardwood floors. It landed face up, drawing her eyes once more to the glaring, overt sex text she’d seen pop up there. An obvious continuation of some kind of rehash of a tryst her husband—the handsome, rich, older banker whom she hated with every fiber of her being—had apparently had the weekend before with someone named “Steph.”
“Gina, it’s not…I mean…shit.” Marcus stammered. “This looks…well…”
“Stop trying to come up with anything resembling an excuse.” Gina glared at the man she’d spent the last fifteen years learning to despise. Tears stung her eyes. God, she was such a hypocrite.
Memories of skin that was not Marcus’s grazing hers. Lips not her husband’s owning hers. The young, firm flesh of the man she’d spent the entire afternoon with not two weeks ago bombarded her, making her squeeze her eyes shut. Rage still roiled in her. Fucking asshole—what had she done to make him do this to her?
Well, same thing he did to make you turn to the cute college kid who mowed the neighbor’s lawn and cleaned their pool, and screw him like a sick, depraved cougar in his lame apartment.
Gina shook her head. Marcus’ gaze was on her now. His deep green eyes took her right back to the moment she made a similarly ill-advised decision about him at a United State Bank offsite event. She blew out a puff of air.
Yep, that’s me—queen of the badly timed dirty screw. The one with Marcus netted her a daughter, a marriage to a twice-divorced alpha male and a firm place in the soulless hell of the Detroit suburbs. This last one…Gina bit her lip and tried to keep from flushing red at the memory of the pool guy’s amazing energy and enthusiasm. And how much she had been looking forward to another round. Mainly because she was going bat shit crazy with boredom.
She swallowed hard, turned on her heel and walked out of the giant, never-used living room of her over-the-top completely obnoxious mini mansion in Birmingham. The kitchen was even worse, and mocked her with its expensive perfection. The granite counter top was ice cold against her palms. The spotless, echoing room gleamed even in the dark. She had made the dinner after dragging the girls back from soccer practice after a long day reading books, practicing yoga, pretending to give a fuck about her garden.
“I want a divorce,” she said.
“What a coincidence. So do I,” he said, and walked out of the kitchen leaving her breathless at how easy that had been.
“Wait,” she called out. He stopped, turned and glared at her. How in the hell had she ever believed she loved the man she had no idea. He was a walking, talking man whore. Capable of compartmentalizing better than anyone she knew. Loved to spoil her on the surface but neglected her emotionally and physically once he had her and the child he’d fathered ensconced in the giant McMansion and was free to pursue the rest of the females in his immediate universe.
“What?” He glared at her, expensive dress-shirt-clad arms crossed over obsessively-gym-toned chest.
She swallowed, put a shaking hand on the cold granite counter. “I, um…I’m sorry.”
“No. You’re not. You’re a selfish bitch. But I love our daughter and will take care of her. And you, because the law says I have to take care of you. I’ll be at the condo. Downtown. After I talk to Shelley.” He looked at her, as if expecting her to say something to convince him otherwise.
She started to, mainly because she thought it was her responsibility. Then she closed her mouth, unable to conjure anything that resembled a plea to stay, to resume their usual, shitty lives. She shook her head and heard him suck in a breath. That sent a shaft of self-righteous fury straight through her.
“I am hardly a selfish bitch Marcus.” She bit off the words as she said them. “I’m the one sitting here like a stupid cow while you fuck every random pussy between here and Ann Arbor. I’m the one who doesn’t work anymore because you ‘don’t think I should have to.’” She hooked her fingers around the words. “I’m the one who has to tell our daughter lies about why daddy works late nearly every night.” She moved closer to him. He stood his ground, his eyes snapping with amusement at her. “I’m the one…”
He grabbed her hand and yanked her close. His lips hovered over hers, teasing. “You’re the one fucking the pool boy.” He kissed her lightly, then shoved her away hard enough to make her stumble back and nearly fall. “Hypocritical cunt.” He muttered almost pleasantly as he shot his cuffs, turned, and walked upstairs, calling out for his daughter.
Tears stung her eyes. Rising slowly, her brain calculating where they would go if he came downstairs and demanded she and Michelle leave the house Gina tried very, very hard not to panic. She plucked her phone out of the expensive purse—a gift from Marcus their first Christmas together. Her vision was blurry. She swiped at her eyes, determined that this was the right thing to do.
“Ok, I’ll take the job.” She tapped out a text and hit send.
The response was nearly immediate. “Great! You will be an amazing addition to the team’s PR department. See you Monday?”
Gina blew out a breath. She’d had lunch with some friends a few weeks ago, without realizing that one of them was head of public relations for the new Detroit soccer team. Their conversation had drifted into backgrounds and Gina’s as marketing director for a large Midwest bank had come up, making her blush with embarrassed fury at herself over giving that up in favor of the cold, loveless marriage with one of the bank’s many VPs.
By the time she’d gotten home that day, she’d received a text from the soccer team PR lady. They’d met again, just yesterday, but Gina had put her off, not sure why she should take the job. Now, however, she was never more grateful for that fateful lunch. “Yes,” she typed out. “Thanks.”
Just as she shoved the phone back into her bag, Marcus emerged from the stairwell, suitcase in hand. She watched as he grabbed his keys and opened the door to the four-car garage. Just when she figured he was leaving without a word, he turned. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to push you so hard earlier.” His voice was low, the voice she’d fallen in mad lust with years ago.
She stood, heart pounding. “I loved you.” She said, simply. Because she had, once.
“I know,” he said. “Let’s let the lawyers talk now. It’s for the best. You and Shelley can stay here as long as you want.” He turned and shut the door behind him, leaving her mad, sad, disappointed, relieved and exhausted all in one moment. She got up and watched as he backed his Jaguar out, did the turn around and squealed onto their quiet, suburban street.
The team rushed through the morning practice, everyone tired, grumpy and put out over their run of shit matches. The way everyone blamed everyone else was familiar to Declan but that did not make it any less annoying. He, himself, figured it for a bit of bad chemistry on the defensive line. The tall blonde kid, Gabe, had settled in to his position at midfield just fine after showing up and being presented by their coaches as a substitute player one day then ended up starting when their star midfielder got a DUI and had to sit out six games.
Declan liked Gabe. He was easy going and friendly and hardly knew a stranger. He was not a show off, or a show boat, but a solid, skilled player in a position that was crucial when your defense was a porous line of shitheel prima donnas. But this morning his face was tense, his jaw set and he exhibited all the symptoms of having come from a huge argument with a wife.
Declan knew Gabe’s wife too. He had gone out to Ann Arbor and had dinner with them a couple of times, which ended with all of them drunk and trying to play Euchre, including the girl he still could not believe was his girlfriend. Fun times. But awkward because Declan know Gabe was one of the many who hated his new girl. A lot.
Today, Gabe kept trotting over to the bench and staring at his mobile phone repeatedly. “What’s up mate,” he asked under his breath as the man came back out to the scrimmage pitch after yet another phone check. Gabe and Lillian had a couple of kids and said they were “trying” for another which sounded weird to Declan as something you’d declare to people. But that was the Presbyterian Scott in him, he knew. These Americans spouted about anything that popped into their heads, he’d learned. Christine was forever talking about her “period” and her “vagina” to her friends, right in front of him. She also liked to brag about how big his cock was, to her friends, within his earshot. He loved her, but sometimes she was a little too American for his taste.
“Oh, it’s my sister,” Gabe said as they ran backwards to catch up with the advancing players headed their way on a break away. “She’s about to…” He stopped when he saw the equipment manger waving his arms and shouting his name. “Oh shit,” he broke into a dead run for the sidelines, grabbed his kit bag and put the phone the kid was holding out to his ear. Declan stopped and watched while the young man screeched to a halt, leaned against the wall outside the tunnel down to the locker rooms and slid to his heels, still clutching the phone.
After he hung up, he took a breath and glanced out onto the pitch before smiling weakly at Declan and making his way quickly towards the tunnel.
“Anything I can do?” Declan called out. He truly liked Gabe. He hoped everything was all right.
“Yeah, dump that bitch of a girlfriend.” Gabe grinned. “I gotta go see my sister.” Declan waved him off.
“Go on then,” he said, willing to ignore the mean comment about his woman. He didn’t care what anyone said. He loved her and felt that everyone just didn’t get her like he did. “Good luck with…whatever. And for the record, I’m about to ask her to marry me.”
Gabe sighed and turned to face him, arms crossed over his chest. “Congratulations my friend. And good luck.”
“Go on with ya,” Declan said. “Keep me posted.”
Gabe missed the next game, an important one against the roughnecks from Toronto that the Black Jacks needed to win.
They did not.
Tempers were at a fever pitch, with cursing and blame tossed around the sidelines and in the locker room afterward. Declan remained calm for the most part. He didn’t like to give away how he felt to many people. They could have used Gabe’s level head at midfield. But Declan figured whatever had taken him so abruptly from the practice pitch must still be a crisis. He whistled to himself, palming the box containing a piece of jewelry he’d spent more on than he’d put down on his house—a small one, granted, but his first house, located in Ann Arbor, the college town about forty minutes to the west of Detroit. A perfect place, he thought, to have and raise a family with Christine.
“Yo, Scottie,” a voice called out from the depths of the locker room as he was trying to escape. He had a romantic night planned and wanted to get on with it, to get past this shitty fucking game before he started shouting and laying blame at the feet of their god-forsaken defensive line.
“Yeah?” he said, running his hands through his mop of wet hair and grabbing his toothbrush. He could already picture her lovely, exotic face, her full lips split into a wide grin at the sight of the massive rock of an engagement ring he was going to lay on her tonight. His scalp tingled in anticipation. He had it bad, he knew. And Christine was by all accounts on the “high maintenance” side of the female equation. But he wanted it—all the maintenance the woman required he would provide, forever.
He ignored the rest of the chatter, figuring whomever had called out for him had lost interest. After brushing his teeth, flossing, using mouthwash and rubbing a small bit of sticky, white product into his hair (Christine’s idea) he squared his shoulders, touched the box once more and turned to come face to face with Jason and Kago, the dark-skinned teammate, once their lead scorer, until Declan had hit town. They stood there, arms crossed, blocking his way out the door. “Yes, can I help you gentlemen?” he asked, trying to squeeze between them, irritation blooming in his chest.
“Just hold up a second,” Jason insisted, grabbing his arm and shooting Kago a look. Declan saw it, rolled his eyes and jerked out of his friend’s grip.
“Stop trying to talk me out of this.” He said, stepping into his brown, square-toed leather shoes. Christine liked him to dress up. So he had on his best trousers, a crisp, off-white dress shirt and these toe-squeezing kicks.
“You are making a giant mistake mate,” Kago said, easing towards the door, as if to literally block Declan’s exit. “Huge. Gargantuan. That woman is not worthy of you.” Kago’s dark eyes looked honestly concerned. His own wedding ring flashed silver in the corner of Declan’s eye.
“Listen, guys, I’m sorry you don’t like her but stop trying to bad mouth her to me. I’m convinced. She’s the one. The future Mrs. Declan MacGuire, end of story. Full Stop. Now back the fuck off.”
Jason threw up his hands and walked off, muttering about “groupie whores,” and giving Declan a brief thrill of anger. Kago remained at the door, glaring at him.
“She is not worthy of you,” his teammate, repeated. But Declan shoved him aside, angry enough now to know better than to engage.
His temper was one thing he had never truly shown to anyone in this country, not coaches, not teammates, not even opponents. It was a work of art, a living creature with a pulsing heartbeat, his temper. And he had spent the near entire twenty-seven years of his life wrestling with it, letting it best him on occasion and getting him in so much trouble at one point his mother had kicked him out of the house. But he had it now. He channeled it into playing the game he loved, and staying in the very best shape possible for that game—hours of running, lifting, swimming, anything to distract and settle his mind.
It had worked. He’d not lost it in a long, long time. But at that moment, with the man still blocking his god damn way out the mother fucking door he felt it flame, tickle his consciousness with a sickeningly familiar pleasant sensation—almost, but not quite, like the ragged edge of a huge orgasm. He swallowed hard, took a breath, closed his eyes and opened them again. Kago was gone. The door was there, available to him once more.
He pulled it open slowly, calmly, holding everything back for a few more seconds until the urge to slam it against the far wall and stomp out had faded. He walked out, jingling his keys, whistling, and focusing on Christine. The parking lot was dark, just a few of the high priced players’ cars sat along the near wall. The coaches had left with few words. They’d save the reaming out for tomorrow’s team meeting. He grinned, proud of himself. The temper demon had been bested again.
He heard noises nearby, a female voice and a lower, gravelly male one. Ignoring them, he spotted his convertible and hit the key fob to start it from a few feet away. It roared to life, bringing a bigger grin to his face. The female voice broke into a laugh, which was throaty, raspy, and very familiar.
He frowned, slowing his pace towards the car. A cold child hit his spine and spread around to his chest, making it tighten as his throat closed up at the sound of the next words coming from the woman’s lips. “Yeah…right there…that’s it…oh…” The distinct sounds of kissing filled the air.
Declan froze, literally. If he could look at himself right then, he figured he’d see a statue shaped like Declan, with Declan’s fucked-up, gelled red hair, Declan’s shit-eating, idiot grin and holding Declan’s girlfriend’s engagement ring gripped so tight in his hand the edges were cutting into his palm. He gasped, stumbled, and nearly fell against the nearest car, an over-the-top black Escalade owned by some redneck attempting to be cool, a new kid on the team Declan had barely registered as existing.
He put both hands on the SUV’s tailgate, gathering his wits and trying like hell to keep the dangerous red from creeping past the edges of his vision. If it did, he honestly had no idea what he would do, and who would remain standing when he was done.
He heard the man’s voice then, a hard German accent giving it away as Max, the stupid fucktwit center defender who’d lost their last four games for them, mostly single-handedly. Declan let out the breath he’d been holding with a hiss. “I will make you come…harder than the last time, right here in the parking lot.” There was a shifting noise, clothes-like, slipping, sliding, moving and the woman sighed and cooed and made those noises he liked to hear…in his bedroom…thanks to his efforts.
“Oh Jesus!” She yelped. “Oh God! Yes!”
Declan flinched. Yeah. That would be it. The deity-inflected orgasm. Christine was hair trigger and Declan had accused her more than once of faking it. But she’d encouraged him to watch her once, close up, as she fingered herself so he could see it, hear it…smell it.
He clenched his fists, and without realizing what he was doing, put matching dents in the back of the redneck mobile. He didn’t even feel it.
“Shit. Shit. Shit.” He heard them, heard her, the grasping slut. He had to get out of here. Had to get away from what was right in front of his damn eyes or he was going to …. He clenched his eyes shut. Counted to ten. Opened his eyes. The couple had disappeared, if the absence of the shadows he’d watched, as his teammate fingered his woman right in the parking lot was any indication.
Declan groaned, low, loud, and dropped to his heels trying to catch a breath. After about five minutes sucking oxygen, he got up, wobbled over to his car which sat, still making that sexy, throaty engine rumble. In a total daze, he climbed in, got behind the wheel, put the ring box on the seat next to him and gunned it out of the parking lot.
Five Years Later
Declan stared, rendered utterly speechless, holding back the monster inside him, the horrific, gut-churning compulsion to put his fist through the wall, or the doorframe, or the face of the woman staring at him now. She had her defiant, “I don’t care what you think” look on again. The look he once found endearing and independent and now believed could go his entire life and never see again. It did not help that she was swaying; could barely stand up or focus those huge blue eyes he fell for so long ago.
“Why did you drive? With her in the car?” He admired himself for sounding like a sane man, when inside him a devil raged, rattling the cage of his psyche, begging to be let out, to make her pay for her stupidity. “Why didn’t you call me?” He clenched his fists when she blew smoke in his face, but if anything the rage had settled him and helped him make a decision. “Get out. Get your fucking shit and get out of my house.”
“Dec,” the little girl tugged at his sleeve, distracting him. Christine rolled her eyes. “Dec!”
He glared at his her, then knelt down to come face to face with his daughter. “I’m sorry, Agnes, my love. Go on to your room now. I’ll be back to tuck you in.” The girl pouted a half second, then turned and dashed down the long hall singing to herself. It nearly broke his heart. But gave him more resolve. “Go Christine. I’m done.”
“You can’t keep her,” his wife claimed, looking a little rattled. “This is not some kind of…of….oh.” She cringed, and dropped into a chair when he touched her arm. The tears would be next. He was not disappointed.
“I can. I will. And I am. Get out of the house Chris. I don’t care where you go. You could have killed her tonight. I won’t stand for it. Not anymore.”
“She’s mine you fucking red-headed asshole.” His wife spit the words at him. He absorbed them, smiling, proud of himself for not rising to her bait.
“You aren’t fit to mother a litter of baby rats Christine. You’re a drunk, a pot head and a lazy, lying, cheating, climbing bitch. Now leave. You can have your lawyer contact mine. Don’t make me say it again.”
He felt it again then-the raw, visceral, nearly orgasm-like approach of a true release of his temper. But he held it back, like he had been for years, ever since….He shook his head, walked to the door, opened it, holding out the expensive purse she’d dropped when she’d wobbled into the door. If he’d gone five years without letting it burst through and show itself to this woman, the one he had loved–that he still loved god help his lame soul–then he would not do it now. Now was the time for calm, for sane decisions. Emotion was for later, maybe.
“You’ll be sorry for this, you shit.” She whispered, yanking the bag out of his hand and stomping out the door. “I’ll be back for my daughter. No judge will let you keep her, you overgrown, attention-hogging little soccer boy.”
They glared at each other. He counted to twenty, then spoke, his voice low and calm.
“I already am sorry.” He ducked her attempt to grab him, kiss him with her s
BY Debra Presley
Release Date: March 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions (http://bookenthusiastpromotions.com @BookEnthuPromo )
Pop star Abby Murphy has fame and fortune and handsome boyfriend and guitarist, Sean. That changes the night she finds him in the arms of another woman. But Sean won’t accept the breakup, and she soon finds out he’s working with her mother, who’s also her manager, to keep him in her good graces.
As Sean ratchets up his threats against her, Abby turns to her bodyguard, Danny Nucci, who will do everything in his power to keep her safe.
But when Abby realizes her feelings for Danny run much deeper than she’d like, she pushes him away as much to keep her own independence as to protect him from Sean’s machinations.
When Abby finally finds the strength to confront all that is wrong with her life, she seeks refuge with Danny, but is it too late? Has she pushed him away one too many times for him to trust her now? Or can he put his own demons aside to help repair them both?
Debra is a native New Yorker who made her escape to the suburbs. She often visits her hometown to enjoy a bagel with butter from her favorite deli, because there’s no better bagel than a New York bagel. When not in search of bagels, Debra spends her time running Book Enthusiast Promotions, an online promotions company that helps indie authors spread the word about their books. She’s also the owner of The Book Enthusiast blog.
She started writing lyrics in her wall-to-wall NKOTB bedroom at the tender age of thirteen while dreaming of the day she’d become Mrs. Jordan Knight. That dream never came to fruition, but she has continued to write. Now she’s working on her first novel.
Google +: http://bit.ly/1B0SOGz
Enter to win
Today I welcome the lovely and talented KATALINA LEON to the Books, Beer & More blog. She has a totally cool SciFi thing goin’ on.
We talk in writerly circles a lot about “paying it forward,” and I’m here to tell you, Ms. Leon has done that for me and then some. Back when I was flailing about in various writer’s groups, asking rookie questions and making rookie errors she was the first and most consistent offerer of advice. She even agreed to READ some of my early, crappy efforts! And I think were I to ask her to pick a favorite Liz book it would be Cheeky Blonde….
She is a calm, cool, talented force to be reckoned with and I’m honored to call her a friend.
Now….check out her new release!
On The Run, Bounty Hunters.
“Retrieval specialist” is a fancy term for high-level corporate bounty hunting and Agent Gemmina Nayar is the best in her league. She’s a sense-enhanced, level-seven bounty hunter from New Mumbai who receives an exclusive invitation to track a dangerous criminal on private property. She arrives on the tropical planetoid eager to hunt and release her inner tigress, but is disappointed to discover the bounty has already been captured.
Syan is a Kironian, an off-limits alien race. He’s gorgeous, rugged and all male. Even sedated and forced to wear an electronic silence collar, he resembles a coppery skinned refugee from Mount Olympus. Gemmina’s unaware Kironian saliva is loaded with pheromones that can turn even the most indifferent woman into a willing mate. A single kiss or bite is sabotage.
When the mission turns lethal, she realizes she’s not only been tricked into bringing the wrong man to justice, but the harsh jungle below is a calculated trap.
Gemmina faced the open bay doors of the complex. Shouts and several loud howls rang from within.
The guard mumbled into the communicator. “What’s going on in there? Ms. Nayar is waiting to collect the retrieval.”
A frantic response burst from the device. “He ripped the second silence collar off! We’re replacing it now.”
The guard appeared visibly shaken. “The collar’s made of carbon compound. How did he do that? This is not good. Obviously, we can’t count on the collar. Don’t you have him sedated?”
“The sedation burns through him. We’ve given him enough to knock a rhino down.”
“Then try something stronger.” The guard scowled.
A burst of static buzzed from the communicator. “Kironian physiognomy is tricky shit. This guy’s a puzzle. There’s something weird going on with his blood. He keeps adapting to whatever sedation we give him.”
The guard glanced up. His eyes widened when he realized she had heard the conversation. “I have Ms. Nayar right beside me. I advise we use force cuffs on the subject, even if they violate intergalactic ethics protocols. They work. Treat the sedation as back up.”
“Force cuffs?” A wave of disgust curled her lips. “Really? Are we living in the Dark Ages? Not that I feel a great deal of pity for a psychopath who nuked innocent people, but it looks bad on my side. The cuffs are notorious for causing nerve and tissue damage, and they’re considered cruel and unusual. I’ve never had to use them to get a retrieval under control.”
“Once you’re out of Naveen’s orbit you’re free to do things your way, but I advise you to not let your guard down with this guy.”
A shiver of apprehension gripped her. What the hell had she gotten herself into? Considering she had extensive experience with many humanoid species, she should have felt confident in her abilities. But she didn’t know exactly what a Kironian was.
“Listen, guys, even with access to a warp tunnel for part of the journey, Penal Colony X57 is eighty flight hours away. I cannot leave a man in force cuffs that long. Add to that the fact he’s Kironian and under political sequester and none of us are legally authorized to punish or even interact with this species. I see a perfect recipe for disaster. I don’t want to harm him and cause an intergalactic incident. What are we talking about here? How humanoid is a Kironian?”
“Very human.” The guard was quick to answer. “But better—smarter, and stronger. Most are peace-loving except for this character, who seems to be something of a rogue. I’ll bet the Kironians will cheer when they discover we took him out of the equation.”
Four guards wearing head-to-toe body armor and face shields, and carrying ionized bang sticks with the tips glowing hot, marched toward her, dragging a semi-conscious man between them. The captive was slumped forward with head hanging and a tousle of dark, wavy hair concealing his face. His splayed legs hung limp, and the toes of his heavy boots dug deep furrows into the beach. The current sedation seemed to be effective…”
Bio: Katalina Leon
Katalina Leon is an artist and author who can’t commit to a single genre. Her favorite playgrounds are historical, Sci-fi, contemporary, and most of all paranormal realms. Katalina brings a sense of adventure and a touch of the mystical to erotic romance. She believes there’s a daring heroine inside every woman who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.
“Forsaken Realms” Is part of Bounty Hunters United and Fated Desires Publishing Special Lines.
Fated Desires Publishing: http://fateddesires.com/
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Greetings Liz fans and others!Here we are, week 2 of my first self published series release! Both Love Garage and Coach Love are getting some nice, thoughtful reviews (and yeah, the trolls are out but I tossed them a few table scraps because I fel…