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God this is the last place I needed to be. I glanced around the large Hilton Hotel suite admiring the elegance of its interior. Sitting in a luxurious leather Barcelona chair, I pulled my leg up crossing it over my thigh and settled into the comfort of the soft material. Bringing my focus back to Julian, my limb bounced as I waited for him to answer my question.

His dark gray eyes stilled as he followed the spring of my leg, and I hoped I was making him as uncomfortable as he made me. I had many talks with myself on the drive over, once I found out lunch would be in his suite, my belly tossed. Suddenly, I was as warm as an oven. But, I managed not to stare at his smooth-shaven face no matter how bad his enticing mouth beckoned me to.

Straightening a bit in my seat, I reverted to my question. “I’ll take that as a no.”

Finally, his gaze left my legs and came back to my face; but not without riding the swell of my thighs, breasts, and lips first. I made it a point not to squirm at the ripple of chills crawling up my skin.

“No, it’s not a coincidence that I’m in Houston. Mr. Walls has been on my radar for a few years now, wanting to get first dibs on a spread.”

Mr. Walls being my boss, Fredrick Walls the third. “So, what made you finally give in?”

His fingers coiled together and sat in a fist on top of the table as he leaned in. “Let’s just say, I’ve been given a little motivation to help Mr. Walls out.”

I wanted to question him further but didn’t want to push the bounds of the professional space we were working in. He offered no more explanation, so I didn’t press him about his sudden appearance in my city.

“Is there a problem, Ms. Stevens?”

“Not at all,” I adjusted myself in the seat. “It’s just the last time I saw you was at Jaden and Claudia’s engagement dinner in Chicago. It seems,” I hesitated wondering if I should move forward with my thought.

“You’re free to speak, Ms. Stevens. Tell me, what does my appearance here in Houston seem to you?”

Exhaling lightly, I reached over to my briefcase and pulled out a note pad and ink pen.

“I’m good,” I said. “How about you tell me where the idea of shooting a spread in Dubai resonated from.”

His eyes fell to my notepad then back to my face. “Are you sure that’s what you want to know, Ms. Stevens?”

“Julian…” I said. He quirked an eyebrow. “It’s okay if I call you Julian, right?”

“I would prefer it.”

“You don’t have to call me Ms. Stevens. We’ve been on a casual name basis since I saw you sitting next to my mother in her hospital room.”

A wide grin trudged across his lips. “I wasn’t sure if it would be apropos in this particular situation. However, if you’re fine with it, so am I.”

“I’m fine with it,” I quipped. I’m fine with whatever you want, I thought. When Julian pulled his lip in with his teeth, I wondered if it was for the same reason that I did – to hold back the urge to jump his bones right here and now.

“Are you seeing someone, Desiree?”

The question caught me off guard. “I, um, no. You do mean as in am I dating someone?” I couldn’t believe I was stuttering like a buffoon. To make matters worse, my unease amused him as his lips held a shadow of a smile.

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”

“I’m dating, but nothing serious at the moment.”

So I told a small fib. I didn’t want Julian to think I had no takers. The gentle smile left, and his face became expressionless. I wondered where his mind went, then decided to play it safe and get back to business. Any more of his invasive stare and we’d use this room to do what it was meant for. I know I sound like a horny teenager, but I’d never been affected by another human being the way Julian affected me.

It felt dangerous and roguish like I could marry him now and live happily ever after. Some people might call that love at first sight, but I thought it was downright looney. I wouldn’t try and explain the temerarious emotions that assaulted me. I’d just do what I do best. Ignore them. My only concern was if I could withstand a trip to Dubai with him and not give in to those carnal inhibitions. One thing was for sure; I needed a drink.

“So, about my earlier question. What gave you the idea of shooting a spread in Dubai?”

“Dubai is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Prime Minister. He’s invited A Few Good Men to model a catalog for their top modeling agency and when the Prime Minister calls, you answer.”

“I see.” My cell phone rang, and we both pulled out our phones to check the screen. I silenced it then placed it back in my briefcase.

“Is that one of your dates?” Julian asked abruptly.

Again, he took me by surprise with his query. “Why do you want to know?”

“The same reason I want to know why you moved to Houston and what’s keeping you here.” I raised a questionable brow. “You intrigue me, Desiree. Do you know why that is?”

I honestly had no idea. I was just about as interesting as a singing frog. The doorbell rang, saving me momentarily. Julian rose to his feet and strolled to the door. I couldn’t help myself from undressing him with my eyes, and I wondered if he did the same to me. Julian allowed what I assumed was room service to enter with silver trays adorned with food.

“Desiree, this is Lawrence, my personal chef. He’s endured long days and nights of me shuffling him around from city to city, and I wouldn’t give him up for the world.”

“Oh sir, you’re too kind. I don’t mind being shuffled at all. Seeing the world while cooking your favorite dishes, who could have a problem with that, eh?”

I smiled and shook my head in agreement. “I’m with you there. What do you have for us, Lawrence? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Oh no, no, not at all.” Lawrence removed one of the silver tray tops and steam fled from the dish.

“Mmmm, that smells delightful.”

Lawrence smiled brightly. “It’s shrimp fettuccini and crab cake with a side of fresh Caesar salad. Would you mind if I made you a plate?”

“I would feel exiled if you didn’t. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until you mentioned it.”

Julian and Lawrence chuckled. He fixed our plates, poured glasses of wine, then saw himself out.

“I don’t know if I should be drinking in the middle of the day,” I said. I was being modest. I favored white wine, probably more than I should have.

“You’re more than welcome to have something else. Water, lemonade, sweet tea?”

“No it’s fine, I’m beginning to feel bossy.”

“It would be my pleasure to serve you, Desiree.”

A spark of heat crawled up the middle of my back and spread over my shoulders. If the hungry gaze in his eyes was an indication that Julian wanted me and not the food, I wasn’t sure how long being able to hold out would work. Then I had a thought. Why was I holding out? I hadn’t had sex in years; since that last mistake, I dated. But deep inside, I knew what it was. I didn’t want to seem easy with him. For whatever reason, I wanted to make a good impression on Julian. I was still trying to figure out why I cared.

“I’ll take sweet tea,” I said.

He made his way to the connecting kitchen giving me an extensive look at his broad back. I picked up my wine glass and took a sip anyway, but quickly put it down when the sweet alcohol raced down my throat causing more heat to stream inside me. Wrong move, I thought pushing the glass to the side. The last thing I needed was heat.

When Julian returned, he noticed the purple lip stain on the glass and smirked but did not comment.

“You know what, on second thought…” I lifted the glass and took a bigger sip then chased my lips. “Tell me, Julian, why’d you want to know if I’m dating anyone?”

He sat down getting comfortable at the table in front of me.

“Because Desiree,” he said. “I have plans for you.”

 

1

Only If You Dare is available now on Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

Risky Retreat!

Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat!  Here you can find a teaser of the romance that flows 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!

Safe with Me (Falling for a Rose Book One)

Quickly, Samiyah left the bed and shuffled to the open bathroom door but halted in her tracks when she noticed what looked like huge belts decorating a shelf. Curiosity getting the better of her, Samiyah strode over to the shelf to gain a closer look. The green strap was made of Ferrari leather with a gold plaque in the middle.

The words written on the plaque said, World Champion, with the flag from each country embedded on the trim. There were gold coins on the belt with a picture inside. Samiyah’s face lit up and the memories from last night came back to her. It was Jonas’ face; the supremely handsome gentleman that saved her from the creep at the bar. Her eyes traveled to the belts sitting next to each other, and she felt a small sense of pride. Samiyah didn’t even know Jonas, but these trophies were beautiful.

“I don’t fight anymore; I retired five years ago.”

Samiyah whipped around and staggered. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.”

He folded his arms. “It’s not a problem.”

Samiyah surveyed Jonas; he was just as handsome now as he was in her drunken haze, even more so. His caramel skin was toned showing muscular arms and a chiseled bare chest. Samiyah reached up and touched her mouth to make sure her tongue wasn’t hanging out. When she found it wasn’t, she quickly slid her hand back down. Jonas seemed amused. Samiyah blinked several times trying to clear her thoughts. “Um, I guess I’m in your house?” The question was rhetorical.

“You are,” he confirmed. “Don’t worry, you’re safe with me.”

Samiyah didn’t doubt it even though she probably should. “I’m not in the habit of going home with strangers you know.”

“That’s good to know.”

“Did we have sex last night?”

There it was that award-winning smile she knew lingered behind those hinted grins he gave out last night.

“You don’t remember?” He teased.

Samiyah gasped, throwing her hands to her mouth. Jonas stepped closer invading her space. He pinched her chin. “I assure you, if we made love, I would never let you forget it.”

Safe With Me

 

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Trouble In Paradise

How Hard Would You Fight For Love?

Falling in love shouldn’t be this complicated, nevertheless…

Victoria and Joshua have moved to Chicago Illinois while Victoria pursues a career in psychology. Recently engaged, the southern bred couple are in love and set out to start anew. Just when Victoria thinks she’ll get her happily ever after, Joshua’s past catches up with them.

They’ve barely unpacked before trouble is in their midst. Victoria can withstand the pressure until secrets are revealed, lies are told, and unexpected events occur. Will the couple weather the storm together or will they crash and burn?

Grab your free copy of Trouble In Paradise here!

Prowl

2017 will be my breakout year for collaborations. I penned this novel with Celebrated Author Deidra Ds Green. High stakes crime at its finest. Check out what we have in store for you with Prowl. We’re about to feed your need to read for sure!

Brooklyn, Drew, Symone and Leah grew up the best of friends. Their parents co-own and operate Patterson Pharmaceutical Company, a thriving business that has continuously grown over the last ten years. But after the economy took a hard turn, the family business suffered major losses, leaving the family’s income on pins and needles.

To make matters worse, the property the Patterson’s inherited from their late grandparents is up for auction from missed payments the family wasn’t aware they’d missed. With the family’s debt growing and relationships being tested, the four friends decide to take drastic measures to get the funds needed to secure generational survival. Being high end thieves wasn’t something they agreed on overnight. Taking from the less fortunate they couldn’t stomach. But stealing from those who already had plenty might just save the family from ruin.

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Risky Retreat!

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)

When Caroline left the house, she hit the alarm on her car and put the phone to her ear. “Yes, I’m on my way right now, tell them not to leave. Take them refreshments,” she barked through the phone. She jumped in her Mercedes Benz and pulled out of the driveway. Her license plate read; Mrs. Right4You. Speeding off down the road, she never noticed the blue two thousand and one Ford Taurus parked across the street in the driveway of a vacant house.

Tim adjusted his mirror. He was sweating bullets. The last thing he wanted to do was go back inside that house. There was no telling what lay inside it, but he had to help. He just couldn’t go through with this. Maybe he should wait until it was dark. He could, but then he’d run the risk of running into Caroline. She was the last person he wanted to run into. As far as he was concerned, she was scarier than Nightmare on Elm Street. He’d rather have bad dreams about Freddie Kruger than to deal with a woman on a mission who would pay money like that to set someone up. That was real life a bad dream he couldn’t deal with.

He steadied his breath and manned up. Then, he got of the car and closed the door quietly. The house wasn’t located in a busy part of town, and this neighborhood held mostly vacant houses. The next occupied house was about two blocks away. It was a good spot for anyone to hold someone against their will. Nobody would hear them. Just thinking about it gave Tim the creeps.

Tim crossed the street, tip toeing as if someone could hear him. He checked the front door and it was locked. He crept around to the side entrance, it was also locked. There was a door in the back of the house. He was all too ready to breathe a sigh of relief and leave, telling his conscience he tried but couldn’t help. He crept down a slope the house sat on and rounded to the back. Once there, he checked the door and it turned. There was a pained expression on his face as he realized getting away that easy was too good to be true.

Stepping into the shadowy room, he gently closed the door. He moved in deeper to find a room with saws, and carpenter tools lying around the top of a wooden table. There was a stench he couldn’t make out, but it was the worst of worst. He bent over and regurgitated, spilling his guts on the floor. He went down to one knee and continued to spill his guts, literally. He tried to shake it off.

“Come on, get up,” he said, giving himself a pep talk.

It was too late for him to turn back now. He’d already gotten himself into it and left his mark in the corner of the room. He might as well help them out. Finally getting himself together Tim stood to his feet. On his toes he went down a darkened hallway. The smell was getting stronger. He peeked into an open doorway where the putrid smell was the strongest. Bile rose in his throat when he saw the two women bound. He bent over and spilled more of his guts out onto the floor.

The sound caught the attention of Victoria. She looked over, unable to see out of one eye.

“Who’s there?” she called in the weakest voice he’d ever heard.

Tim continued to throw up. Who was he kidding? He was not made for this. Caroline was a monster. What had he done? His conscience was right; he was going to hell for this. He shook his head and asked the Lord for forgiveness right then and there.

“Please,” Victoria begged, “help me.”

Tim got to his feet. He went to her and examined the rope she was tied to. The other woman was lifted in the air by her hands, but Victoria was in a pile of feces on the floor.

Victoria looked at him with her one good eye and knew who he was. Surprise flew across her face as recognition hit her. “Aren’t you Greg’s friend?”

He shook his head yes shamefully. “Please tell me you have a cell phone.”

Tim took out his cell phone, his hand shaking fitfully. Victoria gave him a number to dial.

“Talk to me,” Joshua answered the phone.

“Please,” she said, starting to weep softly.

Joshua turned the CD down. “Hello!” he said, alarmed, but unable to make out the raspy voice on the other end. “It’s me, Victoria, please.”

Tim took the phone away from her ear. “We should probably get you out of here before anyone comes back,” he said.

“Tell him where this is. Do you know where this is?” she asked.

Tim’s nerves were getting the better of him. He didn’t want anybody else to know he was involved. Maybe he should just get Victoria out of there and drop her off somewhere. He fidgeted thinking about his options which weren’t many.

“Hello! Victoria!” Joshua was screaming through the phone.

Tim put the phone to his ear. “Sh-she’s in trouble, man,” he stuttered.

“Who is this?” Joshua roared. Tim shook taking the phone away from his ear, he took too long to respond, “HELLO!” Joshua barked.

“Please,” Victoria begged, “please tell him.”

Tim put the phone back to Victoria’s ear. “Baby,” she said, about to pass out now, “I’m sorry.”

Her head fell backward as she went off into a slumber. No energy left in her.

“VICTORIA!” Joshua screamed. He’d pulled over to the side of the highway now and had the phone on speaker.

Tim put the phone to his ear. “Hold on,” he said. He moved throughout the room and found an old rusty sink sitting in the back with a water drip. There wasn’t any cups, so he reached for an aluminum can he saw sitting on top of the sink. He put his nose to it and sniffed. There was just an old rusty smell to it. It was his only choice, he turned the faucet on and let the water run into the cup. He did what he could to rinse it out before filling it halfway with water.

“HELLO?” He could hear Joshua yelling through his cell phone. He put the phone back to his ear as he walked back over to Victoria.

“I’m giving her some water,” he said.

“Who is this?”

“A friend, just know if I don’t get her out of here, we’re both dead.”

An ominous feeling ran through Joshua. “Where are you?” he barked.

Tim lifted Victoria’s head and put the can to her lips the water ran out and covered her mouth, spilling down both sides of her face. She began to choke on water that had seeped into her throat. Tim pulled back and gave her a second.

“I said, where are you!” Joshua shouted, unable to keep his cool. He was on the edge of hysteria.

“Hold on,” Tim said again.

Joshua cursed and threw his hands up. Tim put the cup back to Victoria’s lips as she became more aware of the cold liquid oozing through her mouth. She drank slowly at first then hastily as if she hadn’t had water in years.

Tim put the phone back to his ear while Victoria drank from the can in his hand, “She’s on Magnolia Street in Marietta three blocks from East Cobb Park. The address is 204—”

A sharp pain hit Tim in the side of his head and he went to the floor, landing on top of Victoria. She let out a sharp cry before his phone hit the ground and shattered into pieces. Alexis stood over him with the butt of her gun raised in the air prepared to hit him again. She wouldn’t need to. Tim was weak. He tried to get up but stumbled forward and fell to the floor. She turned her gun on him and pulled out her cell phone. She dialed Caroline but there was no answer. Alexis cursed. Caroline must have been in the meeting. She had no choice but to tie him up.

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Until My last breath

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