(Heart in sand on Atlantic coast -Depositphotos)
I’m capping off my birthday week celebration today with family dinner with my guys, but we have a little while until our early dinner. It’s been a good week, and I’ve spent some of it looking at the new month ahead. I have my writing goals, of course, but I admit to being really distracted the last few days. I have a store of photos for hero inspiration, current and future, and periodically, I stumble across a photo I’ve loved previously and wish I had a story for the face. Well, this week, a cover designer I liked was finishing out her going-out-of-business sale, which is sad. The exciting part, though, is that she had a cover design with this same man, and it’s just gorgeous. I still don’t have a story to go with his face, but I bought the cover anyway, and now my brain is busy trying to figure one out. That wasn’t on the goal list for this month. Or even this year. But I couldn’t let him go, so I’ll let my brain work on it, but I need to keep going on the goal list.
While I get in a little work on that list, I have a little story snippet to leave you with for the week, from Hunting Medusa.
Kallan wiped his sweaty hand down his jeans, hoping the shriek of the Medusa’s alarm shutting off hadn’t wakened her. He didn’t want her prepared for an attack. He’d prefer to kill her quickly and get the hell out. He could be back in Baltimore by supper tomorrow with the amulet in hand for Uncle Ari to destroy, ending the protective spell for the rest of the Medusa’s descendants.
He touched the doorknob, felt the locks disengage beneath his hand, then turned the handle and swung the door wide. Silence greeted him, and he took that as a good sign. No creaking came from upstairs, as there would be if she’d wakened. Good. Nevertheless, he stepped inside cautiously, listening hard. He took another step after a few heartbeats, trying to remember just where the kitchen table and chairs stood from his limited view the day before.
He made it past the furniture and paused to listen again. Still nothing. He frowned. With the power off, the house was too quiet. Surely the sudden and complete silence would wake her, even if she hadn’t heard the brief noise of the alarm shutting down. He slid one foot forward on the smooth wooden floor, and suddenly she was there. Fiery pain shot up his left arm. He grunted, realized she’d stabbed him deeply. He swung his other hand up, managing to hit her on the side of the head.
She cried out but didn’t go down, swinging her blade again. He caught her wrist, but she managed to get another slice to his already-injured forearm before he yanked her arm behind her.
Her booted foot connected with his knee—hard—and he bit back a string of curses at the pain, but didn’t let her go. Why wasn’t she barefoot? If she’d been sleeping, she should be barefoot. His left arm was nearly useless, blood pumping steadily from his wounds, so he crowded her up against the nearest surface. The refrigerator. He shoved hard, hearing her moan when he twisted her arm a little more.
Her blade hit the floor between them. She kicked backward again, and her foot hit his knee from the other side this time. “Dammit,” he muttered, flattening her between his body and the appliance’s cool metal surface. His arm burned, warm blood dripping from his fingers.
“Get off me, you murdering bastard,” she said, her words slurred slightly from her face being mashed into the refrigerator.
“Well now, that’s not very nice. Especially since I’ve never murdered anyone. Yet,” he added darkly, tightening his grip on her wrist. The bones in her arm were fragile and he was fully aware he could crush them, render her arm as useless as she had his. But he didn’t. He wasn’t Stavros.
“You’re not going to start with me, either, Harvester.”
Mouthy. He grinned at the back of her head. Even trapped and defenseless as she was now, she didn’t stop fighting, even verbally. He had to work to keep from laughing as she continued to threaten him. No one had warned him the Medusa would be talkative. Or soft, he realized when her bottom shifted back into his groin. He concentrated on breathing evenly when his nerve endings all came to life. He’d never imagined he might be aroused by the Medusa.
“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked suddenly.
Kallan realized he wasn’t moving—or most of him wasn’t. He shut his eyes for a second, clenching his jaw. Her ass now cushioned his throbbing erection.
“Hey!” She shrank closer to the fridge, making a soft sound when the move forced her arm higher behind her.
He shifted, easing her wrist a little lower. This wasn’t going at all as he’d imagined it. “Stop moving.” He forced himself to unclench his jaw.
“If you think I’m going to make it easy for you to kill me, Harvester, you have another thing coming.” She didn’t stop wriggling.
Growling, he flattened her completely between his body and the refrigerator again.
She froze, and he could feel her pulse beating crazily in the wrist he still held. Fear? He imagined that was one cause. Anger too, probably.
He doubted she was having the same unexpected reaction to him that he was to her.
Not that it was a bad thing that she wasn’t suddenly aroused, too.
He just needed to stop thinking about it.
Concentrate on the task at hand.
Kill the Medusa.
Feel how soft her ass was against him. If he shifted his hips just a little—
No. He growled again, and she shifted, just as he’d imagined so her softness cradled him even more.
“Get off, Harvester,” she whispered.
“Stop calling me that.” He hated hearing it from her lips for some reason. Yes, it was what his name meant. It was what he was destined to do. But the contempt in her tone… He didn’t like it at all.
As though the Medusa had room to be contemptuous of him.
“It’s your name.” Her voice was stronger now, as if she’d somehow sensed his unexpected inner struggle. “Why shouldn’t I use it?”
“You won’t be alive long enough to worry about it.” He ignored her behind against his groin for the moment and took a slow breath, trying to remember his plan.
Get in, find her, kill her, get the amulet, and get out.
Well, his plan was not going very well at all.
What are your plans for this hot week? Are you on track with your goals, or have you been sidetracked by shiny new things, too? Are you looking for another shiny new read? Maybe Light the Way Home will fit the bill.
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