What happens when a landscaper finds herself tangled up in a drug ring and the only man who can save her believes she’s guilty as sin?
Please enjoy this new excerpt from Love’s Bounty the second in the Tilling Passions series available from Liquid Silver Books.
“So, Miss Tilling, tell us again what happened.”
“Do I need a lawyer?”
“You’re welcome to call one, if you’d like.”
“But I didn’t do anything. The drugs aren’t mine. I don’t know how they got in my truck. I was just headed back to Delmont to dump the refuse. I’m a landscaper, and I have a job here in Cutler. I’ve told you all that.”
Ayden paced the little room, watching Deirdre through the window. He had all he could do not to storm into the interrogation room and pull her into his arms. Over the past half hour, she seemed to be shrinking into herself. She’d told the same story a half dozen times, never once wavering about her innocence.
Did he believe her? Or was his opinion colored by their evening together? He scrubbed his hands over his face. This is why you never got involved with women when you were on a case.
“I demand to see her,” a man’s voice bellowed.
The commotion in the hallway happened only seconds before the door of the interrogation room flew open. Shawn Jameson shook off the officer trying unsuccessfully to detain him.
“Mr. Jameson … what are you doing here?” The chief stood up so fast he toppled the chair. It fell with a thunderous clatter.
“This woman is an employee of mine.” He put his arm around Deirdre’s shoulder.
“Shawn, I…” She looked up at him as if her savior had just arrived riding a white horse.
“Don’t say another word, Deirdre. My lawyer is on his way.”
“An employee? We weren’t aware. I don’t think the lawyer is necessary, Mr. Jameson.” The chief sputtered out the words. “We haven’t charged her with anything yet.”
“And yet you continue to interrogate an innocent woman?”
What the fuck? Ayden sat down hard in the closest chair, feeling like he’d just been kicked in the gut.
* * * *
Ayden leaned over the steering wheel of the Saab in the back lot of the precinct. Dark had descended hours ago, and night hadn’t been far behind. He’d been trapped in the little room for an hour, watching the chief fawn over Jameson. But that had been only half the show.
Jameson’s blustery lawyer showed up, shouting and pontificating, and the Cutler police’s big arrest had turned into a circus act, with Deirdre sitting center ring. In the end, they’d charged her with only a misdemeanor possession, no intent to traffic, no court date or jail time. A simple fine that could be paid through the mail.
Who was he kidding? She had pulled the wool over his eyes and led him around by his dick. All fluttery lashes and innocent smiles. “Innocent, my ass.” Ayden slammed back into the seat, banging his head against the leather. “Jameson came to your rescue and offered to post bail a little too quickly for my taste, Deirdre, m’dear. Methinks you’re more than his landscaper.”
He started the engine and backed out of the lot.
“And to top it off, I’m beginning to wonder if the chief’s on his payroll as well. Obviously someone tipped Jameson off about the arrest.” He looked in the rearview mirror. No headlights behind him. He would take a circuitous route back to the 7-Eleven just to be sure.
For the last forty-five minutes, Ayden had been grilling the chief about the citizens of Cutler. He hadn’t let on that Jameson was the suspected drug trafficker the DEA was after, but he’d steered the conversation in his direction several times. The chief assured him he knew Jameson only as a legitimate real estate mogul. It was his business to know the townspeople of Cutler. And Jameson was just that, a citizen who had purchased the rundown estate up on the hill.
Ayden wasn’t sure he believed the story. Not after the way Lafflin had tripped all over himself to make Jameson happy and cut Deirdre loose. It bothered him more than he wanted to acknowledge, when Deirdre walked out of the interrogation room huddled against Jameson. He had no idea where the woman was now.
“Probably cozied up with Jameson at the estate.” Ayden was such a fool.
He floored the pedal of the Saab, racing through the darkness, trying to outrun the prickly unease that had settled itself on the back of his neck.
The night had turned cold, and the thin sports jacket did nothing to keep the chill from penetrating straight to Ayden’s bones as he ran through the house lots back to his condo. The timer had tripped the lights as usual, and Ayden hoped whoever was watching him believed he’d been tucked in since late this afternoon when he’d parked the Jag out front. Slipping through the glass slider, he headed straight for the fridge and a cold brew. He flipped a couple CDs in the stereo just as the knock came at the front door.
Start with one polymorphic shifter female, add two hot alpha male leaders, mix generously and watch the passion ignite!
BONDED by NEED was released yesterday at Ellora’s Cave. This story begins the the new “Shifting Bonds” series. Lonesome Fork, Montana holds many secrets including the cougar and wolf shifter populations, but nothing is as mysterious as one woman who can transform herself into both!
Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One …No. This night would not end with her death.
With one last Herculean effort of kicking, her head broke the surface, and Jayda yelped, her mouth filling with more water and choking her. She managed another strangled cry. Could he hear her?
Her body slammed into a rock and pain seared through her ribs. Jayda had no idea how long she could continue to fight. Rolling away from the boulder, her body twisted and turned in the current, pulling her into its depths again.
When a muzzle came up under her belly, she knew immediately he had found her. He pushed at her body, and when Jayda’s head broke the surface, she gulped in the sweet night air, filling her lungs, waiting for the water to envelope her once again. But it didn’t. Her feet paddled furiously and she tried desperately not to kick him. But her limbs seemed to have a mind of their own. Her back claws raked his skull and Jayda prayed she wouldn’t drown them both.
The large wolf abandoned that idea and came up beside her. His muscular body pressed to hers, lifting her from the moving water. His powerful shoulder muscles bunched as he swam, redirecting her flailing body toward the shore. Briefly, Jayda slipped below the surface. His muzzle came up under hers, lifting her nose from the water. She churned her paws at twice the speed of his more effective pulls. Her breath whistled with her efforts.
When her paws bumped a rock, Jayda wanted to weep with relief. The marshy grass of the shore swayed placidly in the gentle breeze. It had never looked sweeter. Not until all four feet found purchase on the sandy bottom did the wolf beside her relax. She dragged herself to the grass and lay whimpering. The soft fronds cushioned her belly and Jayda took a moment to enjoy the sturdy feel of the earth beneath her.
Her lungs screamed in agony as Jayda worked to fill them. Relaxing, she willed her body to shift. Muscles rippled and bones warped. Her wolf gave way to her human form. Fur receded, leaving the damp satin of her skin. As her muzzle shortened and she became fully human, she rolled on her back, trying to find him.
The wolf strode over to her, fury sparking in his narrowed eyes. Anger rippled over his lips curled back in a snarl. Moonlight flashed off hungry fangs just above her face. Though his breathing was labored, his chest heaving with the effort, he managed a low growl that rumbled through Jayda’s heart. Fear and relief warred inside her, rendering her unable to apologize.
With ease borne of years of shifting, the wolf before her rippled and shuddered until it too became human. The man towered over her, his fists planted firmly on his narrow hips. The wild mane of dark hair framed the scowl on his face and stuck to his wide shoulders. She couldn’t stop her eyes from traveling down his furred chest and lower still over his flat belly to his sex. A primal need pulled at her womb. Even angry, this man, her lover, was a powerful aphrodisiac.
The lump in her throat became an acute throb of lust that nearly swallowed her voice. “Cole, I’m-”
Without warning he pulled her to her feet, wrapped his arms around her and covered her mouth with a fierce kiss. His tongue swept her lips and she opened for him, tasting the familiar flavor. The heat of him exploded in her mouth. His hands wound into her damp hair as he changed the angle and deepened the kiss until she was breathless from the assault.
Cole pulled from her, his gaze raking her face. “Christ, Jayda, what the hell were you thinking?” His hands cupped her face, his thumbs skimming her jaw.
She read the anger in the deep lines of his face, but it was fear riding on his words.
“I couldn’t find you. All that black fur in the river,” he said, pulling her tight to him again, his heart thumping loudly against her cheek. “Don’t do that again. Winning isn’t that important.”
She laughed. He was right of course. Their little race through the woods had nearly turned deadly because of her competitive streak. She had only wanted to beat him to the ridge, not nearly drown them both. “I assumed swimming as an animal was instinctual.” Jayda looked up at him, his features softening.
“Only one thing’s instinctual, Jayda,” he whispered.
This excerpt is from my erotic suspense novella Blind Love book I of the Tilling Passions series available from Liquid Silver Books.
Damon strode along the back of the bar on his way to Elvis’ office, trying to avoid the crowd. He and Elvis were good friends. He liked the man. Elvis was one of the few people who knew the real Damon Corey.
He stopped when he saw the black-haired beauty from the dance contest staring down the bouncer. She stood defiantly with her hands on her hips. Her breasts pushed forward, brushing Joe’s barrel chest.
“Well, I guess I just don’t understand. You’ve let all kinds of people go through that door behind you. I’ve seen them coming and going. Why not me?”
Twenty minutes ago, this woman had acted like she didn’t understand what was going on when the spotlight flooded over her. Damon had seen lots of women appear all innocent until they were nearly naked, gyrating in front of the crowd. Not this one.
He’d watched as she’d ridden her partner’s thigh, her lids hanging heavy with desire. Damon thought she’d be like all the rest, slithering out of her clothes and satisfying herself in public. But she wasn’t. She’d done some kind of slink and roll and extricated herself quite gracefully from the writhing bodies on the dance floor. Then disappeared.
“As I told you, only members can go through, or guests on the list.” Joe looked down his crooked nose at her, the strobe lights reflecting off his bald head. He pounded his stubby finger on his clipboard. “Ma’am, if you’re not on the list, you’re not going in.”
“Ma’am? Do I look like a ma’am to you?” she asked, poking Joe in the sternum.
She was feisty. Joe intimidated most patrons of Starry Knight, but not this one. Damon’s c**k throbbed behind his zipper. Maybe he could save Joe, give the woman what she wanted and get a little something on the side as well. A man couldn’t watch people getting it on all night, and not be looking for a little piece of action for himself.
“Hey, Joe.” Damon stepped out of the shadows, getting a closer look at the sexy brunette. “How’s it going?”
“Hey, Demon. It’s going just fine. Nothing I can’t handle.” He inflated his chest and stepped between Damon and the woman. “You going back to see Elvis?” Joe reached for the door handle behind him.
“Yeah, and I’d like to take the lady with me.”
“This one?” Joe’s face wrinkled in confusion. Quarrelsome women weren’t usually Demon’s style, but tonight a little intellectual stimulation might be an interesting mix with some slap and tickle.
“Yeah, she probably didn’t mention she was waiting for me.” He took the woman by the arm and pulled her around Joe’s sizable bulk. “I guess we got our signals crossed, babe.” He leaned in and gave her a gentlemanly peck on the cheek. “I wanted you to wait by the bar, not the door.” He winked at her.
She flipped her hair and batted her lashes. “I just can’t keep anything straight.”
Damon bit back a laugh as the woman sent Joe a smug look and filled her lungs, no doubt to tell Joe exactly where he could go. Not wanting to referee another confrontation, Damon hustled her through the door Joe reluctantly held open for them.