Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat! Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write. Even though this is only a teaser, it will still feed your need to read. Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you! Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!
Until My Last Breath (Trouble In Paradise Book 4)
The day had been long and exhausting. Caroline sat in her office chair, legs crossed, bouncing her pointy toe heels. The back and forth flights from Chicago to Atlanta were making her exhausted. She’d done this so frequently that she now had enough frequent flyer miles to use to catch flights without using her credit card on file. In her thoughts Caroline pondered on Greg and the interesting morning they had. She wondered if he was serious about the things he said. A girl could hope, right? A part of her told her he was full of it and just telling her what she wanted to hear so he could get Victoria out of there safe and sound, but that would never happen. Even if he was serious, she would never let Victoria live where there was a chance she could come around and snatch him away again. Caroline had made that mistake on more than one occasion. She wouldn’t make it again.
Since being out of the psych ward she’d pick up a few bad habits. One being the pack of cigarettes in the inside pocket of her Vera Wang handbag. She tried not to smoke unless she was done with business. Nobody wanted to be around a walking ashtray all day, and she’d known from personal experience how unpleasant it was to sit next to someone who’d just taken a cigarette break.
Her phone buzzed and her assistant came through. “Mrs. Banks, you have a visitor.”
Caroline straightened up and stood to her feet. She checked her schedule to make sure she didn’t forget a client, but there weren’t any other appointments. She buzzed her assistant back.
“Pick up,” she said through the loud speaker. Caroline held the receiver to her mouth, “Who is it?” she said.
“He said his name is Mr. Faragosse,” she said.
Caroline froze. “First name, please,” she responded.
“Brandon,” her assistant replied.
Caroline dropped down into her seat. She hadn’t heard from Brandon Faragosse in a year, she wondered what he was doing here now.
“Send him in,” she said.
She quickly removed the mirror from her second drawer and checked her reflection. Confident that her look was on point, she replaced it no sooner than the mahogany double doors to her office opened, and in walked a sexy specimen of a man. Six foot two inches of dark skin, low fade, full beard, moist full lips, and dark brown eyes. Caroline crossed her legs letting her eyes roam the full length of him.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked.
He smiled. “The pleasure is all mine,” he responded. “I’ve been thinking about you.”
Caroline’s eyebrows lifted. “Is that so?” She watched his eyes assess her, moving from her curls to her lips, neck, and down her blouse. “Why don’t you have a seat,” she said.
“Don’t mind if I do.” He sat down and relaxed in his chair.
“So what can I do for you?”
“I’m glad you asked.” He paused. “I thought maybe we could get to know each other again. I miss talking to you, and more than anything I miss our midday office flings.”
Caroline grinned and shook her head up and down. “Yes, those were some good times, but you know I was a woman on a mission then. I needed you, and you wanted me, so we we’re looking out for each other,” she said.
He tipped his head forward in agreement, “I think we still could be of service to each other.”
“I have a problem with an inmate who needs to get an early release. In order for that to happen she’ll need to have a professional on the stand tell the jury that she’s been evaluated and holds no threat to society. I figured since we’ve done this before you’d be willing to do it again.”
Caroline held the smile on her face. She stood and rounded the desk, once in front of him she perched her booty on the front of it and crossed her legs at the ankles. This man had lost his mind. He seemed so sure of himself too. It was too bad.
“That was a one time deal,” she said.
He also stood, coming face to face with her. He smelled of peppermint and oozed masculinity. Caroline was very aware of his closeness and was not naïve to his hypnotic lure. “I understand that, but it doesn’t need to be,” he said. “Besides, I have something you want.” He grabbed her arms and ran his hands down them to her wrists turning her full circle pulling her backside into his center.
Charmed, Caroline said, “Proceed.” She couldn’t imagine what he could possibly have that she would want, well she could think of a thing or too. A rumble wouldn’t be so bad. She could definitely use the tryst but it wouldn’t be enough to put her neck on the line.
“Let’s just say I’ll make sure,” his lips touched her neck, his tongue tracing up to her ears, “no one ever finds out about those two women you have chained up in your basement.” Chills ran throughout her whole being. She jerked away instantly almost falling over her own two feet trying to get away from him. “You know,” he said, “you can get Alexis to do it, she’s got the credentials too. It shouldn’t be too hard since you’ve got her wrapped around your little fingers.”
Caroline was completely disturbed. “You can’t be serious. Blackmail, that’s what you’ve got?”
Brandon tipped his head in agreement. “We don’t have to call it blackmail, we can just call it a business deal. After all, blackmail is when you’re threatening someone. I wouldn’t threaten you, Caroline, because I know I don’t need to. You’re a good friend and I know you would want what’s best for the both of us. Moreover, I’d be willing to be of some assistance if you needed me. Now that doesn’t sound like blackmail, does it?”
“What is in it for you? Is this person another one of your bed bugs?”
Brandon laughed. “I would be offended, but you are so cute when you’re feisty.” He went to her and caressed her face. She jerked away. He put his arms around her waist and pulled her in hard, holding on to her tight. Their feet did a dance, backing up until he was pressing her against her windowsill. “I’ve always enjoyed this view from your office,” he said. “It’s nice to see it again. You should really appreciate it more often.”
“Why are you doing this?” she asked. “What have I ever done to you?”
“Oh, come on now, is what I’m doing really so bad? I mean when you wanted to be rid of Victoria, did you not hire me to do the same thing I’m asking you to do. Put your neck on the line. Did I not get rid of the evidence you needed so that Danielle’s charges could be dropped and she be released to wreak havoc on Victoria’s life? I did all you asked honey, and I didn’t bat an eye about it, did I?”
“I also paid you, not blackmailed you,” she said.
“Would you rather have payment? I’d be more than happy to pay you.”
“You know I don’t need the money,” she growled. He kissed her lips and she tried to bite him.
He laughed. “Woo hoo, feisty!” he said. “I figured you would say you didn’t need the money. Besides, you only paid me five thousand dollars. That wasn’t nearly enough for what I did.”
“Oh, please, you got your fill of her, didn’t you?” He raised an eyebrow, “Oh what, you thought I didn’t know? Please. Every chance you got you were rolling in the sack with her, and I was giving you more than money anyway. Don’t act like you didn’t like it,” she said.
“On the contrary, I did like it, as a matter of fact I loved it. Tell you what, just name your price. Do you want money? Or do you want me?” He licked his tongue out, tasting her lips.
His breath warm, sending chills across her skin. Although he was blackmailing her, he was still a force to be reckoned with. When they’d had their affair it was the most exhilarated she’d ever felt before, except of course, with Greg. She thought about his proposition. She didn’t really have a choice.
“And if I say no?” she tried him.
He pulled back slightly to study her face. “Come on now, don’t make me beg,” he said. He resumed kissing her neck moving to her shoulders. Slowly he unbutton her blouse. He kissed down her neckline to her breast. He drop to one knee and unzipped the back of her skirt. She grabbed his hands his gaze piercing through her. “Don’t stop me, you know you want this.”
Lord help her, she did want it, but she couldn’t let him know that. Not just yet anyway. She stepped away from him. “How do you know about the two women in the basement anyway?”
“Are we back to square one?” He asked standing back to his feet.
“I never asked you,” she said.
“I didn’t think you needed to. Come on you know I’m good at what I do. I watch people, that’s how I’m able to be where I need to be when I need to be there. That’s how I’m able to make moves and get what I want.” He was back in her face now, “That’s how I know about the two women in your basement, that’s how I know about Alexis Patrice, that’s how I know that you’ve got two men in your attic. I see, I watched, and I know,” he whispered into her ear. “You know, I can’t believe you’re still after him. After all this time you’d think you’d be tired of the chase by now. I mean, either he loves you or not—
She slapped him hard. “Don’t pretend to act like you know what’s going on in my life.” She sneered. He’d hit a nerve and she wasn’t having it.
He put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t come here to fight with you. Nowhere near it. I just came to get your help and maybe give you something in return.”
He stepped back in her face. “I will never understand how any man could turn his back on a beautiful, educated, successful woman as yourself. The man must be blind, crazy and confused.”
“Didn’t you get enough of me the first time?” she said.
“Never. Anyway, you were done with me before I was done with you, so I’ve got some built up frustration.” She stood with her back to him. He turned her around. “Listen, I need this done next week. Thursday to be exact.”
“Thursday!” she said. “That is too soon, I have appointments, clients,” she said.
“I know. I wish I could’ve had the chance to get to you sooner, but it’s okay. You can stand to cancel an appointment or two. I’ll be calling you Monday, but if you need me sooner,” he pulled out a business card and placed it on her desk, “you know how to contact me.”
Brandon grabbed her throat forcefully and shoved his tongue in her mouth. She fell off balance and he made sure to tighten his hold on her. Finishing her off, he sucked her lips in his mouth. He backed up, winked, and strolled out of the office.
Caroline didn’t know whether to be mad, horny, or irritated. She was starting to think it was a combination of all three.
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