Sorry for the silence. I've been very, very busy working on roofs AND trying to finish this story. Maybe you'll forgive me if I let you have another little scene-peek?
DANGEROUSLY HOT (antho. by Gennita Low and Sylvia Day)
Luke had caught the car keys Konstantin had thrown in his direction as he’d hurried out of the flat, only stopping to get his jacket. He’d ignored the grin of triumph thrown at him. There hadn’t been time to stop to cuss his friend out for the deliberate delay. As it was, Konstantin had timed the whole incident, cutting it very close. Barring any accident, he might—damn it, Kostya, this wasn’t an online game.
Luke was very aware that he’d just shown his hand on how important the information was by practically running off without a word.
Never mind that he’d arrived with just enough time to wait for La Niina to conduct her business. He’d drunk enough to know he was acting more on emotion than reason. There hadn’t been much time to plan and here she was, strutting about in the back alleys of Talinn like she owned the place.
A woman of experience would know she was being followed. He didn’t bother being too covert. She had something he wanted.
“Twice in a night, Cowboy?” The mockery in her voice was obvious.
He didn’t want to flirt. He had questions that needed immediate answers. But the vodka had relaxed his mood, addled his usual caution. Right now, he felt more himself than he’d been for months.
“Or more,” he said, “if needed.”
Her laughter echoed softly in the darkened alley. “Tempting. But the night’s almost gone. Why are you here, tailing me?”
He suddenly realized she was speaking with an American accent. He shouldn’t be surprised. He’d heard her with different ones—thick French, slurred Russian, broken English. The woman had a gift with languages, which pretty much covered most of the citizens in this part of the world.
“I have business that can’t wait.”
“You knew where to find me. I’m curious. How?”
“Lady, this is our job, remember? Besides, maybe I have business inside the same place.”
She approached. Here, in the dark, with that bottle of vodka swirling in his brain, his other senses seemed to have taken over. Her every moment stroked him like soft velvet. He needed to implement a plan quickly or he was going to lose it.
“Our business seems to be crossing paths a lot,” she murmured. “Ever since that night in Nice, in fact.”
He took a step closer. Another and he would have her against the wall. He breathed in, instinctively seeking her scent. She always smelled good to him, a subtle combination that reminded him of home.
“Exactly,” he said. “I think it’s time we get further acquainted.”
Again, she laughed, sending a delicious shiver down his back. He was feeling amazingly reckless.
Hell. Caution be damned. As Kostya liked to say during his gaming, release the Kraken. “Luke,” he interrupted. “Let’s start with calling me Luke. I’d like to call you…Naya.”
Her sharply drawn breath gave him that one moment of advantage. Although not at 100 percent, he’d anticipated her attack. He dodged the fist. She grabbed his jacket and pulled. Turning, he sidestepped the knee to the groin. The jab to the back of his thigh brought his focus back.
Finesse was fine. But brute strength was far superior. His years in the rodeo circuit had been useful in this business in unexpected ways.
Twist. A snap of her arm—he was careful not to break it—and he had her front against the stone wall. She wasn’t giving up easily, though, moving her leg between his to try to break his hold.
He pressed harder, burying his face against her ear. Her scent invaded and he breathed in deeply. “Tell me, what perfume is that?”
The unexpected question paused her struggling to give him another extra second to secure her even more tightly under him. He wrapped his legs around hers, gripping her with his thighs like he would a bucking steer. Her ass felt good where it was.
She sniffed. “You’re drunk!”
“A bit. See, I’m no danger to you. Just wanted to get better acquainted. Want to answer a few questions?”
“Go to hell.”
Somehow he knew she wouldn’t be that cooperative. Her ass wiggled, rubbing in a way that just wasn’t conducive to calm questioning. He had things he needed to ask and all he could think of was turning her around and tasting those fine lips again.
“This isn’t quite the venue I have in mind, though,” he said.
Some things he could do blindfolded. Like securing a trapped calf. He reached for his back pocket. Timing was everything. He made quick work of making her his prisoner. Her strangled sound of outrage was choked off by a gag. Her hands reached up to undo it and he cuffed her easily. When she swung around, he squatted, jerking the chain on the cuff to unbalance her. She toppled over his waiting shoulder and he secured her ankles with ties. Not bad. Almost like old times.
“Sorry about this, but I can’t have you screaming murder while I take you back to my car.” He put her back on her feet and reached inside his jacket. He had a hood in one of the pockets. He slid it over her head, with the eye holes on the wrong side so she couldn’t see. “Can’t have you recognized either.”
Luke swung her over his shoulder again and strode out of the alley. At this hour, walking in public with an abducted female would hardly lift an eyebrow.
“Don’t wiggle like that, sweetheart. I don’t want to spank you.”
He had a pretty good idea the names she was calling him behind the gag. He was drunk and reckless and he didn’t care. He laid one hand on her cute ass and gave it a warning squeeze. She froze.
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