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Secrets Volume 15
Copyright © CYNTHIA EDEN, LEIGH COURT, JANE THOMPSON, SASKIA WALKER, 2005
All Rights Reserved, RED SAGE PUBLISHING, INC.
BITE OF THE WOLF BY CYNTHIA EDEN EXCERPT
His gaze lifted. “You shouldn’t be out here…alone.” He motioned toward the limo. “Come with us, and I’ll take you home.”
She shook her head. Sexy or not, there was no way she was going to get into the car with him. She watched the news. She knew all about the horror stories. Take a ride with a handsome stranger…end up dead. “Thanks, but I can make it home on my own. My…um…my house isn’t that far from here.” She forced a smile to her lips, shivering slightly as she felt the sweat drying on her skin.
He frowned and glanced behind her at the dark, empty road.
The howl split the night once again.
Her stomach clenched. “Look, I’ve really got to go—”
He grabbed her arm, pulling her against his chest. His arms felt like steel bands around her.
“What the hell are you doing?” she screeched, struggling against his hold.
His arms tightened. His gaze was locked on the darkness behind her. “You’re too late,” he muttered.
“What?” What was he talking about? “Too late for what?” She jerked against him, but his hold was unbreakable. “Listen, buddy, I want you to let me go, now!”
Two other men climbed from the limousine, both tall and well-muscled. And absolutely freaking gorgeous.
“You have to come with me,” her captor said, turning the full force of his golden stare on her. “It’s not safe here for you.”
Yeah, she was really starting to get that impression. Three really big men were surrounding her, and some kind of dog was howling in the distance.
“Let me go,” she snapped.
He shook his head.
She kicked him in the shin as hard as she could.
He grunted in surprise and released her.
She spun around and took off running.
She glanced back, her eyes widening. How the hell did he know her name?
He was running after her, his features locked and tense.
Real fear lashed through her. She kept running as fast as she could until her thighs burned and her breath panted out. She could see the line of houses, could see the cheerful lights. Her neighbors were up there. If she could just get their attention—
She opened her mouth to scream.
He tackled her to the ground.
THE DISCIPLINARIAN BY LEIGH COURT EXCERPT
“You don’t have to fear me, Clarissa,” The Disciplinarian murmured.
Clarissa Babcock stared at the dark and dangerously handsome man seated across from her. No matter how attractive she found him, she must remember that he was her enemy. “I don’t fear you,” she said, her chin coming up a notch. “I hate you.”
The Disciplinarian gave a small shake of his head. “You don’t hate me,” he said, low. “I haven’t harmed you. I haven’t starved you. In point of fact, I’m here to help you.”
“You’re The Disciplinarian. You’re here to—”
“—instruct you, yes. Men send their wives to me to teach them a lesson. And I do. But perhaps not exactly the one their husbands expect. What I teach women is how to control their husbands. Subtly. I help women learn to exercise what limited freedom they have within the strictures of the Victorian marriage state. To enjoy what they can inside the tight bonds of matrimony.”
“What are you saying?” Clarissa demanded. “That you don’t hate women? That you— you help them?”
“Yes,” he agreed. “Usually my lessons are very straightforward. But you are a special case. It seems your husband wants more than a meek, biddable wife. He wants an heir.”
“I know that,” she admitted reluctantly.
“But you may not know that he blames you for the lack of success these last two years. He thinks it’s due to your... uncooperativeness... in the bedroom. He’s asked me to make you more receptive to his attentions.”
Clarissa shot up out of her chair. “Bastard!” she shouted, although The Disciplinarian wasn’t sure she was referring to him or to her own husband. “And you agreed?!”
“Clarissa,” he said calmly. “These are the cold, hard facts we are faced with: a woman is basically the property of her husband. He can do with her what he will. Your husband wants an heir, and he believes that your... frigidity... is preventing it. It doesn’t matter that he may be as much at fault— or more so— than you yourself. He wants me to warm you up to the sexual act so that he can produce an heir and be done with his duty.
“You have two choices. You can either allow me to tutor you in the ways of passion, or you can go on as you have been, risking your husband’s wrath, his fists, and possibly worse.”
The Disciplinarian held his breath as he waited for her answer. He had never feared a woman’s response as much as he feared Clarissa Babcock’s, because he knew her choice could mean life or death. And he prayed she realized it.
SIMON SAYS BY JANE THOMPSON EXCERPT
Topping the stairs, Simon paused to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He saw Georgina, a lone woman in a loose-fitting brown dress, slowly making her way deeper into the shadows, eschewing the confusion of light and noise below in favor of this dark gallery, lined by empty bookshelves. She paused to run her finger along a shelf, allowing him a clear view of her face in profile. With her hair resting at the nape of her neck in an intricately formed knot, she appeared a porcelain cameo, cool and finely drawn, above all the messy emotions that plagued normal human beings. When her mouth came to life in a close-lipped, wistful little grin, Simon lost his breath.
Tell me what you’re thinking, share yourself with me.
Stunned by the depth of longing behind that wholly unwelcome thought, Simon turned to leave her to her solitary wanderings. He’d come up here to mess with her, not yearn for a clue into what had brought on that sad smile. But then she turned her head, aware that she was no longer alone, and he hated her response when she realized who had joined her. The way she stiffened and drew back, crossed her arms over her chest and tipped her nose into the air, all of it shoved him forward, each reaction moving him one step closer until he was nearly on top of her.
She didn’t so much as flinch. Instead, she looked him up and down, as if she couldn’t quite believe he would dare approach her.
Without saying a word, Simon waited until her eyes met his. Then he pushed forward, breaching that invisible line people set up between themselves and the unknown, barging into her personal space. That got her. She backed up with a soft gasp and a small, stumbling step that left her trapped between the bookshelves and his body. He felt a rush of triumph at having shaken her reserve but it wasn’t nearly enough. He lifted his arm, set his drink on the shelf next to her head and then gripped the edge of that same shelf, caging her on one side.
She didn’t like that. Her eyes widened and she drew in her breath. Simon thoroughly enjoyed the tremulous sound as he let his gaze roam over her face.
Large, dark eyes, smooth pale skin and a gorgeous mouth he hated to admit he’d entertained a few fantasies about since the last time he’d seen her. Wide and soft and gently curved, her mouth was the one sensuous aspect of her appearance she couldn’t downplay or hide altogether. It probably drove her nuts that she had a mouth any man would pay good money to use.
FALLING FOR TROUBLE BY SASKIA WALKER EXCERPT
Before she had time to quiz Oliver some more, the sound of whistling rose up from the floor below. “Oh, my god, it’s the security guard.”
“I thought you said he did his round on the hour.” He glanced at the time display on the computer and then passed his torch over his watch. “It’s only ten minutes to two.”
“He obviously doesn’t stick to his schedule,” she snapped, panic swamping her. “What are we going to do now?”
He retrieved the disc from the PC and put it back in his pocket, closing down the mail program as he stood up. He gripped her upper arms, forcing her to focus on him.
“Trust me, we can cover up.”
“Cover up? Cover up a breaking and entering?” Panic had hit her and hit her hard.
“You didn’t break and enter, you simply let us in.”
“Oh please! “Don’t bloody remind me.”
“We just need to find a good excuse to be here.” He glanced around the room. “Do you know him?”
“The security guard.” He switched the PC off and shifted the chair back into place.
“Yes, I saw him coming on duty as I left the office.”
Good? Was he mad? To her mind, that only made matters worse.
“Does he flirt with you?”
What? “I suppose so, but what the hell has that to do with anything?”
He rested his hands on her arms, urging her to move to the end of the desk. She swallowed, the rising tide of physical awareness between them jangling her nerves.
“You’re a very sexy woman.” He looked her up and down as he said it and winked. “Trust me.”
He let her go and she had to grip the edge of the desk for support. That was the second time he’d called her ‘sexy.’ Sonia just stared at him, confused and nonplussed by his comments and his actions. And now he was shifting objects off Tarquin’s desk.
“Take off your jacket.”
“Like I said earlier, you’re going to have to trust me.”
How could he be so calm? She felt like her emotions were on a crazy roller coaster ride all of their own.
A door slammed down the corridor. Oliver frowned and gestured at her. “Take off your jacket and get on the desk. When he comes in, tell him I’m your boyfriend and we were playing out a fantasy that you’ve had about having sex on your boss’s desk.”
She glared at him, her jaw dropping. “You can’t be serious?”
He began unbuttoning his shirt, revealing a strong muscular chest and abdomen. In the pit of her belly, an ache of longing sprang up. She tried to ignore it.
“Believe me he’ll be so fascinated, he won’t question why else we would be here.” He winked again. “I’ll offer him a bribe to keep quiet. We can’t afford to have your boss hear about this.”
She could only stare at him, incredulous. Surely this was all some weird nightmare from which she would awake at any moment? But the whistling was getting louder, doors were opening and closing. The guard was getting closer. Her heart beat out a fierce, erratic rhythm. Sex on Tarquin’s desk? He was mad! Who would believe that? She glanced at the door to the corridor. There didn’t seem to be any alternative. With shaking hands she pulled off her jacket and dumped it on the floor. Shimmying up onto the end of the desk, she laid back and cursed under her breath.
He loomed over her, pulled open the buckle on his belt and lowered his zipper.
“What are you doing now?” she hissed, her focus shifting.
“Making it look real.” He left his jeans hanging open, revealing white jockeys molded to the rather spectacular bulge inside them. She wouldn’t have been able to stop staring, had he not shocked her out of that particular line of behavior by manhandling her body closer with sudden force and pushing her skirt up around her hips with strong, knowing hands.
The soft jersey dress she was wearing had bunched easily at her waist leaving her exposed, all but for her flimsy lace panties. Heat raced through her and her cheeks flamed. How dare he?
As if she wasn’t exposed enough already, he wrenched her legs apart and she felt the hard pressure of his belt against her inner thigh. That wasn’t all. She could feel him. That enticing bulge. She was lying on her boss’s desk at two in the morning with Oliver Eaglestone; her skirt was up around her waist and she could feel his cock. She bit her lip in effort to keep a hold onto her sanity. A door sounded nearby. The guard was getting close. She looked at Oliver, beseechingly. He was eyeing her body, appreciatively. He gave a low sound of approval, almost a growl. The muscles of her sex clenched in response.
“I think you’re taking advantage of the situation,” she muttered, while trying to ignore her body’s reactions to his proximity. Her clit was pounding and his weight against it was only making it worse.
“I think we’re going to have to deal with this trust issue you have.”
“Trust issue?” she blurted, her hands fisting against the desk. The tension was unbearable.
He put one finger against her lips. “Yes, you’re going to have to trust me if we’re going to get through this.” He shrugged off her accusing stare. “Sexy undies,” he added, moving his hand to run his finger under the black lace edge of her panties.
Sensation flew out from his fingertips to race across her skin, desire spiraling through her whole body. Her hips moved under his, her body reacting to his touch. She wanted to hold him, wrap herself around him and take him inside.
The expression in his eyes sharpened.
“Oliver Eaglestone, back off!” She glared at him. Another wave of heat spotted her cheeks. He had her compromised and she was on fire, she could die of embarrassment.
But instead of backing off, he bent closer and kissed her neck.
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