28 October 2008

Check out my interview...

Evenin' y'all:

If you have a chance swing by the Paperback Diva's blog and check out my interview. While you're there, don't forget to check out her work, she's a great author.

http://pbdiva.wordpress.com/

Happy reading,
~Aliyah

17 October 2008

It's Here!!!


Here we go y'all, Ernst's story is now available. Thanks to each and everyone of y'all who hung in there with me while I went through publishers until I came to this decision.
Enjoy!!
http://www.lulu.com/content/4226249
http://stores.lulu.com/aliyahburke

$14.94/print
$5/download
Blurb for Greeley’s Spyce
Kacy Travis can’t help but feel the electricity that flows between her and the handsome man she bumped into on the street. Flaxen blond hair and blue eyes that…seemed able to penetrate through to her soul. What’s a woman to do when faced with such temptation? Will she give in? Or will past memories ruin any chance she has even before it starts?
Navy SEAL Ernst Greeley couldn’t get the woman he’d run into outside the bar out of his mind. Luscious curves, beautiful skin that was like coffee with a splash of cream in it, straight dark brown hair, and some amazing copper eyes. he wanted her. He’d used to believe he had everything in the world, but once he laid his eyes on her, he knew that wasn’t the case. She was the one who could complete him.
From Hawaii to Virginia, Ernst woos the woman he knows is his future. Kacy throws up road blocks and an ugliness from her past may destroy any chance they have at a future. Her trust is slim, can she put her faith in a man who’s trained to hurt people? Will Ernst help her realize she is what he needs in life? She is after all…
Greeley’s Spyce

09 October 2008

Release Date for Greeley's Spyce


Afternoon y'all;
Just wanted to share that on 17 Oct 08 Greeley's Spyce will be released through Lulu. Thanks for the support while I got things sorted out.
Happy reading,
~Aliyah

30 September 2008

Released today @ TEB...Seducing Damian


Evenin' y'all.

Just wanted to share that my paranormal was released today at Total E-Bound. I've attached the cover and posted the blurb and a short unedited excerpt. Enjoy!!

Blurb for Seducing Damian
Can a mortal man, without magic or coercion, bring a goddess to her knees just with the power of his love?
Damian Keith teaches Ancient Egyptian history but his love lies in the magic of mythology. An amateur collector of artefacts, he spends much time reading ancient books. Lately his dreams have been invaded by a woman whose touch leaves him breathless and wanting more. Much more. But she never reveals her face to him.
Amenitré Seini is really the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Mortal, Damian Keith has enthralled her like no one before. She visits him in his dreams until she can no longer resist the urge to touch him while he’s awake and heads to Earth.
Do they stand a chance at a future together or will Damian push her away once he learns of her deception and who and what she truly is? Can she convince him her love is real and that only in the beginning was it about…
Seducing Damian

Unedited Excerpt from Seducing Damian
Expelling a huge sigh of relief, Damian shut the door to his apartment behind him. “Damn that woman,” he muttered as he kicked off his shoes. Angela had renewed her efforts all the way back to her place to get him to sleep there with her. To have a repeat of this afternoon. But every time she touched him, he felt himself fight not to pull away, repulsed. Like I want anyone after having been touched by perfection.
Leaning against the cool wood of the door, he ran his mind over the events of the evening. “I could have sworn that she had really touched me in that room,” he voiced his belief to the quiet of his apartment.
“I did.”
Damian felt his heart triple in speed. Her voice was everywhere. “Great, now I am hearing her voice outside my head,” he cursed as he pulled off his tie and marched to his bedroom. That sailed to land on a chair and he tugged off his socks as well.
“That’s because I am here, Damian. All you need to do is open your eyes and look.” There was mild censure in the tone.
Glancing around his room, Damian groaned in desperation. I’m going crazy. There was nothing to be seen. “I have officially lost it.”
“Come back into the living room,” the feminine voice ordered.
Unbuttoning the top three buttons of his dress shirt, he did as commanded. There leaning up against the wall by his artifact display stood none other than, Amenitré. “How…you…here…how…”
Her golden eyes ran over his body, and the dirty feel of Angela’s touch vanished as the warmth of her gaze caressed him. “I’m here because for some reason, I can’t get you out of my head. And we began something in that museum that needs to be finished.”
His indigo stare took in the fact that she wore a loose fitting red garment. It flowed about her and tantalized him the more he looked at it. There was a diamond of material missing allowing him to see her belly button and the tantalizing skin immediately around it. Her hair was still free and it settled about her like a cloud.
“How did you know where I live?” he asked. When she raised a jet black brow, he continued, “What happened at the museum? I don’t understand what is going on here.” He was getting frustrated. Fighting the urge to go to her was getting harder and harder.
Pushing away from the wall, she expelled a breath, showing off her annoyance. “Fine. You really want to know? I’ll tell you.”
Damian bit his lip as he saw the deep v-neck of her dress showed off tattoos on her breasts. There was another mark on her arm, but the sleeve concealed it from him. “I want you,” were the only words out of his mouth.

27 September 2008

New cover!!



This is my newest cover. My Christmas story will be released this fall at Phaze. I'll post the release date as soon as I recieve it.

Blurb for Add A Little Mistletoe…
Thirty-five year old Aspen Townsend was home for the holidays. She had a great job and wonderful friends. This holiday season, thanks to the disobedience of a four-year old, Aspen was also reunited with a tanned man who bore silver eyes from her past.
At thirty-eight and facing his first Christmas season out of the rodeo circuit in many years, Colt Larkin wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending the holidays in the sleep little town where he grew up. Until, he came face to face with the mocha beauty he had thought about since high school. Unfortunately, she seemed to harbor an intense dislike for him.
Can he convince her of the truth, or will the lie she has believed for the past twenty years keep them apart?
It happened once before, so perhaps all they need to do, to find their holiday hearts together is…
Add A Little Mistletoe…

Unedited excerpt:

Going around the corner, Aspen found herself facing a group of folks that she hadn’t liked even when they were in school. Apparently twenty years didn’t change her opinion. Still, she smiled as she passed them.
Laughter at her back made her stiffen. But she stopped dead when she heard them mention how the only way a man would kiss her was on a dare. Brown fire raged in her eyes as she turned toward them. The five people shut their mouths and before Aspen could say a word, that potent male voice from her dreams became reality beside her.
Colt Larkin.
“Hey, guys,” he said to the group. Then he put his attention on the woman next to him. With one index finger, he brought her eyes around to his. Her eyes lost their fire and filled with uncertainty. “What time do you want me to come over and help trim your tree?”
Aspen couldn’t speak. If she didn’t know better, she would say he was trying to help her. “I don’t know,” she mumbled.
Leaning in close, he looked over her head and into the cart. Whispering in her ear, “Eight.”
“Eight?” she barely managed to get out.
“Sounds great.” He moved away from her body, his hand lingering along her back. “By the way, thanks for a wonderful breakfast this morning.” He winked at her and glared at the people watching them dumbfounded before walking off.
Aspen was mortified. Not that the first rumor wasn’t bad enough, now this one would be circling around town. Livid, she stormed off after him, “Colt!” she yelled at his retreating back.
With effortless movement, he turned back around. “Yes, Aspen?”
She stomped over to him, leaving her cart behind along with the knowledge that they had an audience. “What the hell were you thinking, telling me ‘thank you’ for breakfast this morning?”
A gleam grew in his eyes that made her think of the devil-may-care attitude he had in high school, when he did what he wanted to get what he wanted. “So I shouldn’t have thanked you for breakfast, then? And, afterward, in the living room?”
“That is not what I meant. I don’t see the need to tell people.” She didn’t see the astonished looks from the town’s members.
“But it was six-thirty this morning. I didn’t want you to think I forgot.”
Fuming, Aspen actually stomped her foot in frustration. “Ohh, it isn’t anyone’s business that you were there. So kindly keep that to yourself from now on.”
“Like you are doing, right now?”
Realization crashed in. “You…you can rot in hell for all I care!” Aspen shouted, as she grabbed her cart and shoved it up to the line.

25 September 2008

New Release--Dark Waters anthology





Here is my latest release. I'm honored to be part of this anthology. So swing by Red Rose Publishing and check it out.

www.redrosepublishing.com

Upcoming release!!!

Good morning, y'all:

I just wanted to let people know that in Oct book 4 of the Megalodon Team was going to be released. I don't have an exact date at this time, but as soon as I know, I'll post it. Below is the awesome cover and the blurb. Enjoy!

Blurb for Greeley’s Spyce
Kacy Travis can’t help but feel the electricity that flows between her and the handsome man she bumped into on the street. Flaxen blond hair and blue eyes that…seemed able to penetrate through to her soul. What’s a woman to do when faced with such temptation? Will she give in? Or will past memories ruin any chance she has even before it starts?
Navy SEAL Ernst Greeley couldn’t get the woman he’d run into outside the bar out of his mind. Luscious curves, beautiful skin that was like coffee with a splash of cream in it, straight dark brown hair, and some amazing copper eyes. he wanted her. He’d used to believe he had everything in the world, but once he laid his eyes on her, he knew that wasn’t the case. She was the one who could complete him.
From Hawaii to Virginia, Ernst woos the woman he knows is his future. Kacy throws up road blocks and an ugliness from her past may destroy any chance they have at a future. Her trust is slim, can she put her faith in a man who’s trained to hurt people? Will Ernst help her realize she is what he needs in life? She is after all…Greeley’s Spyce

28 August 2008

Coming Together: At Last



August 28, 2008
Celebrate the Diversity of Desire
with Coming Together and Phaze Books
Cincinnati, OH – The latest in the critically acclaimed Coming Together anthology series,
Coming Together: At Last, will debut in January 2009 from Phaze Books. Due to the
overwhelming number and quality of the submissions, it was decided that two volumes of this
title would be published simultaneously, both containing the stirring Introduction penned by New
York Times bestselling author, L.A. Banks. A complete list of the contents can now be found
online at the Coming Together website: www.eroticanthology.com/atlast.htm.
The release of these collections of interracial erotic fiction and poetry will coincide with the
celebration of the birth of one of history's most passionate proponents for human rights and
equality, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and it is from his famous speech given forty-five years
ago on this day that the title words "At Last" are taken. Accordingly, proceeds from sales will
benefit Amnesty International.
Having published four of the nine currently available titles in the charitable anthology
series, Phaze Books is now poised to release its fifth and sixth. The diverse collections of erotic
fiction and poetry feature the work of many well-known authors in addition to fresh new voices in
the genre. Previous Phaze titles in the series include Coming Together: For the Cure, Coming Together: Under Fire, Coming
Together: Special Hurricane Relief Edition, and Coming Together: With Pride. Each is available in both ebook and print
from all major online booksellers.
All proceeds from the sales of Coming Together publications are donated to charity, with the authors and its EPPIE
Award-winning editor, Alessia Brio, donating their time and talents.
Coming Together anthologies have received many accolades including the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Award for
Erotica as well as Top Pick and four star reviews from the romance industry's premier publication: Romantic Times
BOOKreviews Magazine. In its most recent review, Romantic Times favorably compared the series to Susie Bright's Best
American Erotica series. In addition, the organization was a finalist for the Electronic Published Internet Connection's 2008
Friend of ePublishing Award for what Ms. Brio has termed "erotic altruism."
Phaze Books, the erotic imprint of Mundania Press LLC, is one of the fastest growing and most recognizable publishers
in an exploding genre. Its unprecedented support for Coming Together, a voluntary nonprofit association, puts Phaze on the
cutting edge of philanthropy in the publishing industry, a commitment that will continue with its upcoming releases in the
series. Coming Together: Against the Odds will have a mystery theme and will benefit Autism Speaks, while Coming
Together: Into the Light will include stories about the revelation of secrets and will benefit V-Day. Both are currently open
for submissions and will see publication in the coming year.
For more information about Coming Together, visit www.EroticAnthology.com or email editor Alessia Brio at
alessia@eroticanthology.com. For more information about Phaze Books, visit www.PHAZE.com or contact Promotions
Manager Crystal B. Bright at crystal@PHAZE.com.
# # #
Alessia Brio
Coming Together
alessia@eroticanthology.com
www.EroticAnthology.com
and/or
Crystal B. Bright
PHAZE BOOKS
crystal@PHAZE.com
www.PHAZE.com

07 August 2008

Contest Time!!

Good afternoon y'all:
Just wanted to let you know that I'm having another contest. I'm posting 3 questions and will pick one winner from those who send in the correct answers. Please send responses to
aliyah_burke@ hotmail.com and put "contest answers" in the subject line.

The winner will have the option of a free copy (pdf I believe) of either Through the Fire or Sin is Not a Four Letter Word when they are released on the 11th of August. I'll stop the contest on the night before and let people know who one, and the winner can let me know which story they'd prefer.

Okay, so here are the questions:
1) What is the name of Tahnee's business in A Little White Lie?
2) What city was the airport in where Niall and Torrye met in An Unlikely Encounter?
3) What is the name of the catering business that Zora and Cami started together in Zora's Chance?
Best of luck to everyone!! Have fun and happy reading!!
~Aliyah

05 August 2008

New cover!!

Here is the cover for the upcoming anthology from RRP in September.


New blurb, and excerpt!!

Good evening, Y'all:
Just wanted to share my blurb and the excerpt for an anthology that I'm part of. It's coming in September from Red Rose Publishing. I couldn't load the cover at the moment but will try again soon.

Blurb for Faith’s Tears
Can a woman who lives her life based on logic and tangible things believe and trust in the love of a man claiming to be a magical being, a selkie?
From the moment his gaze landed on her dark beauty, Rowan Kilgour knew she was his life-mate. Despite his feelings, he knew she deserved a chance to experience life before she was tied to him forever. So he waited. Seventeen years. And now that he’s found her again, he’ll be damned before he lets her go.
Faith Henderson still wore the pendant given to her years ago by a senior in high school when she was a sophomore. While visiting the Isle of Skye she is reunited with him. His dark hair, muscular body, and dark chocolate mousse eyes still had the power to turn her into a puddle. Add to that his thick Scottish brogue and she was putty.
Can Rowan convince Faith that their lives are intertwined? Will she get past her disbelief in magic to see him for what he truly is? And accept him for it? Or will a darkness from her past keep them separated for all eternity?
Sometimes all destiny needs is salt water, in Rowan’s case all he needed was…
Faith’s Tears

UNEDITED EXCERPT FOR WEBSITE:

This isn’t goodbye, Faith. The words skated across her skin and she fought down the urge to look over her shoulder at the tall handsome Scotsman she walked away from.
“Faith wait!” Sean’s voice reached her and she realized she’d moved past him as well.
Without any intention of waiting for him, she kept on up the street and as she rounded the corner Faith broke into a run. She headed toward the one place she knew Sean wouldn’t find her, for he didn’t know where it was. As she ran to the edge of the rock, she gasped for breath. There was no need for her to clear anything up with Sean, he’d made his bed and he could lie in it. The thing that was concerning her now, was her reaction to seeing Rowan Kilgour again. And his words of that she knew why she did what she did.
He’s right. You know why you allowed him to offer comfort. She couldn’t explain it, it was like when he touched her for the first time in a long time she felt complete. Like he was the other half of her soul.
“That’s just crazy,” she muttered. “It makes no sense at all why a man I haven’t seen since I was a sophomore in high school could have that affect on me.”
“If it helps, you have the same affect on me, Faith,” a deep voice flowed up from behind her and wrapped her in its sensual softness.
Faith didn’t jump, it was as if her body had already known he was there. “Seventeen years is a long time, Rowan.”
“I know,” he said in a graveled voice. “Trust me, leannan, I am well aware of how long it’s been.”
Squeezing her eyes tight, Faith wet her lips with her tongue then opened her eyes. She refused to turn around, unsure if this was just another dream or a cruel hoax. “What do you want, Rowan?”
“You know what I want. The same thing I wanted when I first laid eyes upon you. You, Faith. I want you.”
He said it with such finality and conviction, for a moment, she almost believed him.

29 July 2008

Cover for Seducing Damian

Morning y'all;


Just wanted to share my cover for my paranormal story coming from Total E-Bound in Sept.



Below is the blurb, enjoy!

Blurb for Seducing Damian


Can a mortal man, without magic or coercion, bring a goddess to her knees just with the power of his love?
Damian Keith teaches Ancient Egyptian history but his love lies in the magic of mythology. An amateur collector of artefacts, he spends much time reading ancient books. Lately his dreams have been invaded by a woman whose touch leaves him breathless and wanting more. Much more. But she never reveals her face to him.
Amenitre Seini is really the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Mortal, Damian Keith has enthralled her like no one before. She visits him in his dreams until she can no longer resist the urge to touch him while he’s awake and heads to Earth.
Do they stand a chance at a future together or will Damian push her away once he learns of her deception and who and what she truly is? Can she convince him her love is real and that only in the beginning was it about…
Seducing Damian

22 July 2008

New Release!!

Okay, y'all;



Just wanted to share that my story with Midnight Showcase (soon to be MS Fiction) is now available.



http://www.lulu.com/content/3148850


I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Happy reading,

~Aliyah

09 June 2008

Chapter 3 of Connelly's Flame--unedited

Well first off let me apologize for not putting up this chapter last Monday, there really is no excuse for my lapse.

I hope you enjoy this chp of Ross/Dez's story.

CHAPTER 3
Dezarae woke to the sound of a tree branch snapping. Well, we either have an ice storm or it is still snowing out. Sitting up, it took a second to realize that she was in her own bed. “What the hell?” Turning on the bedside light, she glanced around.
There was no stranger in her room. She wore the exact clothes she had been wearing when she went to sleep on the couch.
The couch.
So why was she here? Did I sleepwalk?
Swinging her feet to the floor she slipped into her slippers and headed for the door. The clock had 6:30 displayed on it. Where is my mystery man? A bit hesitant, she moved up the short hallway and stopped.
Sleeping on her couch, which was too small for his big frame, was her gray-eyed southern stranger. He was crammed onto her furniture in a way that didn’t look very comfortable.
Her dark eyes started at his feet, moving up until she halted for staring back at her were those intense gray ones of his. Blinking rapidly, Dezarae moved into the living room, stopping before him.
“What are you doing out here?” she questioned.
“Watching you watch me,” he replied smoothly.
Dezarae tried to ignore the spread of heat in her cheeks. “I mean, I went to bed here. I left you in my bed.”
Those eyes darkened as he muttered, “My little firebird, if we were in bed together you wouldn’t be leaving.” In a louder tone that she could hear he said, “I moved you back there around three.” He sat up exposing his muscled torso to her, which made her knees weak until her eyes hit that tattoo. “You shouldn’t have to give up your bed for me.”
She was still having a hard time pretending she hadn’t heard his comment. But she had and now that image was burned into her brain, overriding her aversion of the tattoo on his chest. “I took the couch because I can fit comfortably on it,” Dezarae stated.
“I’ve slept in way more uncomfortable places than a couch that I am too long for.”
“Really?” came the skeptical question.
“Yes, really,” he assured her.
“Great, that’s great!” she said, her dark eyes wide and her hands spread.
Raising a dark brow, he responded sarcastically, “Nice to know my uncomfortable sleeping situations are amusing to you.”
Dezarae shook her head as she crouched down in front of him, her darker hand covering his lighter one. “No, that’s not it. Not at all. You remembered.”
His eyes widened as the truth of her words sank in. “I did. I did!”
“Anything else?”
“No,” he said, disappointed even as his body reacted to her touch. “I don’t know how or where I know it from, but I know for a fact I have slept in worse conditions. It’s just not clear.”
“Well,” Dezarae spoke as she stood and retrieving her hand. “It’s a start. Let’s go see if we can find you something to wear.” ‘Cause I keep looking at your chest and I may find myself looking at that flag in a whole different light. Then again, I already do.
Dezarae led him down the hall towards her spare room. She had to lead or all she would think about would be how good he looked. Not that walking in front of him changed those images.
It worked out, though, because her visitor was enjoying the view of her in front of him. As he ogled her, she opened the closet to show him a few stacks of folded clothes. “I think you should find something in here that will fit you.” Dezarae backed up so he could walk in. “I’m gonna make some breakfast. Feel free to use the shower; there are clean towels in the cabinet.”
Why in the hell do you have men’s clothes in your home? Why, for that matter, do I care? “Thank you.” He turned towards her in time to catch her heated glance as her dark gaze took in his half-naked body.
“You’re welcome.” Then she was gone.
****
While the quiche cooked, Dezarae bundled up to go outside. There were still practically whiteout conditions. There hadn’t been a snow in the area like this in years.
Standing on her porch, she realized there was no way she was going to town. She could get to her workshop and CB the sheriff at least. That way they would know she had a visitor and would be aware of the accident.
Grabbing the rope, she made her way slowly across her yard. It was a bit of a struggle to force open the side door against the seemingly gale-force winds but soon she was in.
She hit the lights, silently thanking her foresight in having backup generators installed so the building was always warm, and headed for the CB radio that was at the end opposite to where she was, by the main doors.
Turning it on, she began transmitting. “Sheriff, you out there? This is Phoenix, come back.”
A very deep voice reached her waiting ears. “Phoenix, you okay up there, girl?”
“Fine, Dale, fine. Look last night on my way home I passed an accident. There is nothing left of the car except pieces. There was a survivor. He’s here w—”
“He? Damn it, Dez, you know better than that. Who is he?”
Dezarae smiled. Sheriff Dale Ship was her surrogate father. He was sixty and didn’t look a day over forty. He took her well-being very seriously.
“As I was saying,” Dezarae began again. “He is here with me. He is about six four, one hundred ninety, dark brown hair cut short and gray eyes. Oh, and a tat, an anchor, and a chain sitting on a rebel flag.”
“Why are you telling me this? Are you sure it was a rebel flag?”
“I know what a rebel flag looks like. Yes, I am sure. I am telling you because he doesn’t remember his name. He had a head wound and I didn’t find any form of identification on him. See if anyone reports a description like that. I will check in with you later today.”
“One more thing.”
“Go ahead.” She waited for him to say what he needed to.

He walked through the house looking for the woman who had taken him in. Showered and dressed in a pair of clothes he found in the closet, he wandered around her home.
“What would a woman like her be living alone out here for? Where is her man to take care of her?” He looked at all these pictures on her wall of cars. Antiques, classics, they were beautiful.
Dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, he moved to the door and looked out into the dark. He could barely make out the glow of a light from across the way. As the smell of cooking food filled the air, he grabbed a thick jacket and stepped out into nature’s wrath.
Eyes squinted against the wind, he grabbed the rope that was secured to the porch and began to follow it. His feet were freezing as he finally made it to a large building. Opening the door he slipped inside, grateful to be out of the wind and cold. The place wasn’t hot but it was tolerable.
He brushed the snow from his hair and his ears picked up her voice. It sounded like she was on the other side of the building or in a room, for it was muted. When he heard a man’s voice, his gray eyes narrowed.
Stepping out to make his presence known, he took two strides and stopped dead. There were four cars under the lights in various stages of rebuilding. They were classics; they were astounding.
In amazement, he walked closer to the first one. It was cobalt blue and gleamed under the bright lights. “Jesus,” he muttered.
“It’s a 1965 Aston Martin DB6 with a Vantage engine,” a feminine voice said.
He looked up to see her weaving her way across the building to his side. “Whose are they?” One hand gestured to encompass all the vehicles in there.
“Clients. I’m almost done with this one. I’m just making sure the triple twin-choke carburetors and pumps are working properly.” She moved down the line.
“This is the same thing, only a convertible. Both of them are five-speed manuals. They only made 215 of the convertibles. I have a bit more to do on him.”
Gray eyes took in the black convertible. The top was removed and he could see that the gears and wheel were on the right side of the car. The interior was leather, wall-to-wall carpeting, lots of gauges and a wood/metal steering wheel.
“You do this?” the incredulous question came.
“Yep. I do.” With a smile, she took him farther into the shop to the next car. A dark green color. “This is a 1964 Ford Fairlane. And down here is my latest addition to the garage.”
Wordlessly, he followed her to stop in front of a whit car. “What is it?”
“An Oldsmobile Toronado. A 1966 Toronado.”
“You repair cars,” he stated.
“No, I restore cars. My business is Phoenix Restorations and Rebuilds.”
“And you do all this by yourself?”
Chocolate eyes narrowed as she crossed her arms and leaned against the car. “Why are you snooping around out here?”
He seemed taken aback. “What are you talking about? I was looking for you.”
“What difference does it make if I do this myself or not?”
“Hey, I was just asking. Why are you being so defensive?” He took a step towards her.
Even though she was scared, Dezarae refused to budge. “Because you are asking a lot of personal questions and I don’t know you.”
“I am not going to hurt you.” He tried again.
“Look, nothing overly personal, but I have been having some trouble with a few of the locals and I am not inclined to totally trust a man who has a rebel flag tattooed on his chest.”
His eyes hardened. “Nothing personal?” He shook his head, “You tell me you are judging me because of a tattoo but I am not supposed to take it personally. How exactly should I take it?”
“Like it is. Fact. I am just getting a bit nervous here.” Her eyes moved from his tense body back to his eyes.
Taking a deep breath, he held out his hands. “I’ll go. I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.” He turned around and missed her shocked expression.
“You don’t have to go. I just don’t want to tell you everything about me,” she shouted as he walked away from her.
“Thanks for everything.” Within moments he was gone from the building.
“Shit!” Dezarae ran up to the door and out into the storm after him. “Hey!” she yelled into the wind. “Hey!”
Nothing.

Way to go, Dezarae, send a man to his death just because of a tattoo. She hurried into the house and found him walking out of her room wearing nothing but the clothes he had worn when she found him. Shaking the snow off her head, she held up her hand.
“You don’t have to leave.” She tried again.
“I think it would be best.” He kept walking towards her with sure strides.
“Look, you won’t survive out there,” she pled. I don’t need his death on my conscience.
“I’ll think of something.” He opened the door, after barely touching her, to get by.
“Fine!” She yelled, as he pulled the door shut after him. “Be an idiot, Johnny Reb, I don’t give a damn!” Ripping off her coat, she was totally unprepared for the blast of cold air that hit her as he shoved the door wide open again.
“What did you call me?” he growled, reaching for her and clamping a hand around her.
“An idiot,” she muttered.
“No, after that.” His eyes were fierce as they bore into hers.
“Um, Johnny Reb,” she said quietly, suddenly not as confident as she had been.
He dropped her arm and shut the door with one strong slam. “Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb…Jeb. Jeb, that sounds familiar to me. Jeb, I remember people calling me Jeb.” She was the recipient of a winning smile.
“My name is Jeb,” he said as he hugged her in gratitude.
As the smell of man surrounded Dezarae, she found her body trembling. How was it that one look, one touch from this man could set her to quivering this badly? She moved out of his embrace and smiled back. “Hello, Jeb, I’m Dezarae.”
“Hello, Dezarae, I’m, Jeb, an idiot, can I stay?”
“Of course you can.” She began to walk away but he latched onto her arm again.
“Hey, I’m sorry my tattoo bothers you.”
“I’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.” Your chest bothers me more. I’d like to lick warm chocolate and caramel off it. “Let’s eat. I have to get to work.”
Falling into step beside her, he asked. “Out in the shop?”
“No, I have some paperwork that I have to get done.”
“Let me know if there is anything, anything that I can do.” He fairly purred in her ear.
Swallowing hard, she managed to stutter, “I’ll do that.”

06 June 2008

Cover for Through The Fire

Here is the cover for my story Through The Fire coming 11 Aug 08 from Total E-Bound.


26 May 2008

Chapter 2 of Connelly's Flame--unedited

Here is chapter 2. I know it's early, but I have a busy day planned for tomorrow. Enjoy and happy reading.

CHAPTER 2
Her dark eyes grew big, “What do you mean you don’t know?” She questioned.
A void had settled over him as he saw the information he needed from afar in his mind’s eye and craved but it was just out of reach. “I mean, I don’t know who I am. I don’t know anything. I don’t know who you are or where I am.” He gripped the blanket between lean fingers.
“Easy, easy now. We were never properly introduced so you shouldn’t know who I am. Okay. Calm down, my name is Dezarae. Just take it easy.” One dark hand reached out to touch him in a comforting gesture but at the last second she decided against it and withdrew it to rest at her side.
He began to breathe a bit easier. His mind raced as he tried to figure out what was going on. If he could just remember one thing, anything... “So you didn’t ask me to test me, did you?” The dark head looked around her definitely feminine room and he asked, “You don’t know who I am either, do you?”
“No. I don’t.” A bit uncomfortable, she moved back away from the bed, cup in hand. “You should get some rest. It’s not like you can go anywhere, anyway.” For a brief second, she spotted a dangerous glint in his eyes before it was gone, masked under a face of indifference. “Your clothes are still being washed; that’s why I said what I said.” For the second time in a matter of an hour, she bolted from her own bedroom.
In the kitchen, she held her hand over her chest and tried to slow the out-of-control beating of her heart. Her gaze took in the rattling of the windows as the storm only increased in intensity. The phones were down, she had already tried to call the sheriff but she would go in the morning and see if anyone knew her mysterious guest. Assuming the weather would cooperate.
Eyes open or closed, it didn’t matter. All she could see was his chiseled body. He wasn’t a small man but he wasn’t huge, either. Full of defined muscles from his head down. Undressing him had been fun; if only he hadn’t been near death she might have enjoyed it even more. Even so, she had not missed eyeing over what he offered.

Back in the floral bedroom, the dark haired, gray eyed man fought his growing panic. He had no clothes save for the boxers he was wearing, no idea of where he was, how he got there, or what he was doing in this woman’s bed. Topping it off, he had no freaking idea who he was.
The more he tried to come up with his God-given name, the worse his head felt. Looking down his near-naked body, he frowned as he located a tattoo over one pectoral. It was of an anchor and a chain and the backdrop was a rebel flag. “Who am I?”
Well, she had been right about one thing. He needed some more sleep and so he snuggled down deeper into the plush mattress on the full-size bed and allowed the gentle smell of some flower he couldn’t quite identify to cocoon around him as he fell asleep.
He was sound asleep when she came back into the room.
Dezarae smiled as she took in the stranger in her bed. He had curled up against her stuffed tow truck. His face was finally at peace. Moving silently, she left the room and went to make herself some dinner.

While it was cooking, she took his clothes from the dryer, folded them, and placed them beside the bed where he still slept. Again, Dezarae reached out her hand like she was going to stroke his face only to again withdraw it. There was something about this man that called to her but she wasn’t sure what. It could have been the real fear she had seen when he couldn’t remember his own name but she didn’t know.
One more glance at his body and she slipped back out of the room with an extra blanket for her own use that night. As she was leaving the room, she didn’t notice the slate gaze that settled upon her retreating back watching the sway of her hips with considerable less mistrust in them.
Glancing at her watch, she knew how long she had before dinner and so, sliding on her coveralls, Dezarae went to the garage and began to work on her vehicle. She was restoring a classic. It was a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500, obsidian black.
Her hands were gentle as they moved over the shell of the car. Restoring cars was her passion. She was good at it, as the shop next to her would suggest, but it was this car that she worked on in her free time. Little by little, savoring the experience, for it relaxed her immensely.
So, with a grin, she lifted out the dismantled engine and began to clean parts again, laying them out to dry after she was done. James Blunt played through her garage as she worked. When her watch beeped she stood up, degreased her hands, and unzipped the coveralls, draping them across one worktable, and tuned off the radio before going back into the warm house.
Her house was small, a two-bedroom, one-bath home. It worked for her but with the extra guest she was going to be sleeping on the couch. Which was fine, she had done it before.
Pulling the casserole out of the oven, she placed it on the hot pad on the countertop. The smell filled her kitchen as she walked to the cupboards and got down some dishes. As she turned around, she froze. Leaning in her doorway stood the man she had picked up along side the road.
He stood there like he owned the place. His body was dressed in his jeans that she had left folded beside the bed. No shirt and she could see the defined abs that disappeared below the waistband of those blue jeans. Her eyes traveled over the anchor tattoo that sat on his left pec. Suddenly the rebel flag didn’t give her shivers; well, it did, but not like it usually did.
He oozed sex as he leaned there watching her with those intense gray eyes. Eyes that roamed over her body again as if he owned her and the property rights to her. Up and down, slowly, his gaze moved. Burning her, branding her. It was as if he was learning her most private thoughts just from a look.
“I’m sorry I scared you earlier,” he said in a deep voice.
“How are you feeling?” Dezarae asked him, ignoring the trembles his voice hand delivered her body.
“Good.” He took a step towards her but stopped as she shrank back. A sad expression filled his handsome face. “I won’t hurt you.”

It was hard for him to explain how her recoil from him felt. It hurt but it was more than that. This feeling of wanting to make her feel safe and protected felt familiar to him. But she said they didn’t know each other.
Still, the fact that her beautiful sepia face would fill with apprehension at his forward motion crushed him. He didn’t want that expression anywhere near her face. So he stayed in the doorway. But his eyes never left her; he willed her to believe him.
How could she when he didn’t even know who he was or what he was? A groan of frustration left him as he realized this situation was bordering on hopeless.

Hearing the groan, Dezarae took a step towards him immediately concerned for his wellbeing. “Are you okay?” She walked up to him and realized just how much bigger than her he was. He stood about six feet four inches and all of it was well-muscled.
The man managed to contain the next groan that was about to slip out because of his body’s reaction to her nearness. He didn’t understand it. “Fine. I’m fine.”
“Do you feel well enough to eat something?” she asked as she retreated back to the cupboard and took down another set of dishes.
“I think so.” His gaze wandered over her butt as it was exposed from her reaching to the top shelf. Regardless of the circumstances that brought him here, his body obviously wasn’t broken as far as sexual reactions. She was making him feel some very intense sensations. And, considering his lack of memory, if there was a woman out there who made him feel something more intense it would kill him.
“Well, it isn’t fancy but it will stick to your ribs. I hope you don’t mind chicken casserole.”
“Not at all.” He kept staring at her, hoping she would turn and meet his gaze, but she steadfastly avoided his eyes. After she set the table, she turned and began to prepare a salad as the house shook from the force of the winds.
“Grab a seat,” she murmured, as she opened the fridge to take out the pitcher of cold water she had in there. Turning towards the table, Dezarae sent the man sitting there a nervous smile, wishing he wouldn’t stare at her so.
She dished up the food silently and put the plate in front of him. Turning her attention to her food, not the bronzed torso muscles he had. Concentrating on keeping her gaze firmly on the plate in front of her, she began to eat. Stay firm and concentrate on food. Girl, you know he is firm.

“Where are we?” he asked her as they were finishing up dinner.
“The middle of nowhere. You are about twenty miles from a town called Shadyville. In Montana.”
Shadyville. Why did that name seem familiar to him? Why can’t I remember anything? “Damn it,” he swore as his fist pounded on the tabletop.
Unable to help it, Dezarae jumped and squealed, an act that brought him to a halt.
“Jesus, I did it again. I don’t mean to scare you. I am just so frustrated that I can’t remember anything. I try but it is all just a complete blank.” His frustration was palpable even to her.
“I’m sorry. I am just not used to having a…a…a…” She had no idea of how to finish that sentence.
For the first time a half smile cracked that face. Firm lips twitched as he filled it in, “A man in the house.” He was glad she wasn’t.
“Well…yes, I guess.”
“Or a white man?” His eyes grabbed hers and forced a connection.
She nodded and said candidly, for if there was one thing about Dezarae Phoenix Kerry, it was honest. “Especially not a white man.” Even more, not one sporting a freaking rebel flag tattoo.
“Do you have something against white men?” The blunt question was asked as charcoal gray held dark chocolate. Please say no.
“Not that I’m aware of. Have something against black women?” she asked in return. On the other hand, do I want to know if you do?
“No, not at all.” If I ever did, I don’t remember it and I don’t now. I wish she wasn’t glancing at my tattoo so often.
“Well, at least we got that out of the way. I have to tell you,” she said as she cleared off the dinner dishes and set down a blueberry cobbler and a pot of coffee. “I don’t know if I will be able to take you to town tomorrow if this storm keeps going the way it is.”
“And you don’t mind me being here?” His head cocked to the side as he accepted the helping of warm cobbler and a hot mug of coffee.
“I’m not going to send you out in the storm, if that is your concern. You didn’t even have a coat on. And, while I don’t know you from a hole in the ground, I don’t want to send you to your death.”
“That’s good, ‘cause it would severely hamper our courting,” he said with a bone-melting grin.
A brilliant smile filled her face. “Our courting?”
“Well, I don’t always let women undress me down to my boxers, and let me sleep in their bed. So I figure we must be courting.”
Her body shook at some images her mind painted for her. “That is an interesting piece of logic you have there. What makes you think you I am interested in being courted by you?” She arched her brows and stared at the handsome stranger across from her.
He took a bite of the cobbler, washed it down with a swig of the coffee she had placed there, and never once released her gaze. “You just said you didn’t have anything against white men.”
“I don’t, but it doesn’t mean you are my kind of man, does it?” she questioned him.
There was a flash of something foreign in his eyes as they moved over her upper torso. “Oh, I’m your kind of man. I can see how you react to me,” he purred as he drew the fork slowly out of his firm mouth.
He is a tease. “So you are handsome, big deal.” It was a struggle to keep her true feelings off her face.
He shrugged. “Glad you find me handsome, and I know you think it is a big deal.” He winked suddenly. “I think you are enchanting.”
“You don’t know me.”
“True. Tell me about you.” His request came out more like an order.
Standing, she removed the dishes and put them in the dishwasher, got it set, and turned it on. “It’s late; you should get some sleep.” She put her hand out, gesturing for him to leave the kitchen first.
He acquiesced. His body was exhausted still, so he didn’t put up much of an argument. As he got to the entrance to the bedroom, he stopped suddenly. Turning to face the beautiful woman trailing him, he reached out one tanned hand and caressed her face. “Thank you for all you are doing for me.”
“Anybody would have done it,” she said, moving back, uncomfortable with the feelings his simple touch evoked in her.
I don’t think they would have. “Tell me something.” This time it was a request, not a command.
“If I tell you what you want to know, then will you go to bed?” Dezarae questioned.
“I’ll even let you tuck me in,” came his saucy reply.
How nice that could be. “Ask your question.”
“What is your full name?” One hand reached for her before clenching and remaining at his side.
“Dezarae spelled D-E-Z-A-R-A-E, Phoenix Kerry. Now, get some sleep.” It was a gentle push that she gave him to send him in the door. “Good night.”
Both trembled from the contact but neither responded to it. “Night.” My little firebird. He walked into the room, stopping by the bed to turn around and meet her gaze. “Sure you don’t want to tuck me in?”
“I’m sure a strong man like yourself can handle that,” she smirked, liking how his teasing brightened his whole persona, making him less severe.
“Glad to you know also think I am strong,” he teased back.
Dezarae refused to answer him, just left the room with a shake of her head.

The digital readout on the clock said 3:00 in the morning. Body not as sore but feeling just as disoriented, the man who had no name got out of the soft bed and padded silently to the door. His gray eyes easily adjusted to the dark as he stuck his head out into the hallway.
There was another door to his right and he cracked it open, looking for his hostess. Nothing in there but books and papers that were scattered all over the room. He walked past the bathroom door and, as he walked into the living room, he found her.
She lay on the couch sound asleep. A blanket covered her from toes to chin. I can’t believe she took the couch and let me have her bed. A gentle smile crossed his face as he moved silently into the room and knelt down beside her.
“Thank you for saving my life, Dezarae Phoenix Kerry. Thank you.” he whispered as his hand trailed down the side of her sleeping face, almost—but not quite—touching the skin that was smoother than silk.
When she moaned softly and tried to burrow deeper into the couch, he reacted. With ease, he slid his arms under her and lifted her off the couch and carried her back down the hall to place her in her own bed. She never woke.
After tucking her in, he brushed some wayward curls off her face, staring at her like he couldn’t get enough. “Sleep well, my little firebird, sleep well.” Before he did something he couldn’t take back, the man with the gray eyes left the room, carrying the blanket she had used on the couch, and took her place.

19 May 2008

Chapter 1 of Connelly's Flame--unedited

Here is the first chapter to Connelly's Flame. Unedited. Enjoy.

Prologue
So this is what it feels like to be at the end of your life.
The car careened out of control, spilling hot coffee all over the dark-haired man behind the wheel burning his leg. A burn that soon faded from memory. As the vehicle crashed through the guardrail along the isolated highway to flip down the snow-covered embankment, the relatively short life of its driver flashed before steel gray eyes.
Ross Murdock Connelly wished he would just be able to see the love of his life one more time. He knew he had been driving too fast along the slick roads but the desire to see her overcame his normal sense. To be able to hold her in his arms one more time. So he had taken this supposed shortcut, an idea that seemed pointless as he grew dizzy from the revolutions the car made.
As he was tossed from the vehicle he lost consciousnesses. Waking in the snow moments later he felt rather than saw the incinerating blast that engulfed the totaled vehicle. The swirling winds covered the sound of the explosion as the metal ripped apart and flew into the night sky.
“Charmane,” his injured voice muttered as his eyes closed again, submitting him to the pain free world of oblivion where a beautiful face with sparkling doe eyes beckoned to him.
CHAPTER 1
“Where the hell is that smoke coming from?” the scratchy voice asked the interior of her vehicle. “I’m the only one that lives up this way. For that matter, who the hell is traveling on this road this time of the year?”
The old Land Rover was moving about five miles an hour. Even at night the smoke was obvious, billowing across the beams her headlights made as they cut through the snow and wind. As the dented vehicle passed the broken guardrail, she knew.
“Damn it,” she swore as she stopped as carefully as she could. Setting the brake, she turned the heat to high and began to shove her body into the thick coat and other winter accessories that had been eagerly discarded the second her body was warm enough in the car.
Fighting the wind and snow whose chill cut right through the thick layers of clothing she wore, Dezarae Phoenix Kerry began to yell into the night. “Hello? Hello! Is anyone down here?”
Struggling to slip only a minimal amount, she gazed through slitted eyes as she approached the wreckage. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.” Gathering the thick coat tighter against her body, she realized that if there had been anyone in the car, they were dead now. Still, she looked around.
By some miraculous stroke of luck Dezarae found her eyes drawn to what looked like a human lying face first in the snow, illuminated by the burning glow of the car. Eyes watering from the stinging force of snow pellets, she struggled to get to him.
“Are you okay?” she screamed only to have her words whipped away into the night. No response. Kneeling beside the body, she touched the shoulder and asked again. Nothing.
The person lying there was a man. A large man wearing only a long-sleeved shirt and pants. No jacket or anything. “How the hell am I going to get you up the hill?” she muttered as she cleared away the snow from his face so he could breathe. Then she checked for a pulse; he had one.
****
A groan barely reached her ears. But she took it as a good sign. “Hey! Hey, Mister. You okay?” Dezarae noticed his body shivering and, without a second thought, took off her heavy wool coat and put it over his body.
“Mister. Come on, wake up!” she yelled down by his ear. Even through the layers of clothes she wore she immediately felt winter’s bite down to her bones. “Can you move?” Dezarae knew the dangers of moving an accident victim but he would die out here if he didn’t move. Her teeth began to chatter.
“I’m here,” a gravely voice said.
Thank the good Lord. “Can you move? Do you think you can help me get you up? Or does it feel like you have a neck injury?”
“I can move,” he rasped.
“Okay, slowly now. I will help you.”
Inch by tortuous inch, the man moved. Dezarae felt her eyes grow wide as she looked at his body. Dear Lord, he is fine and big. As he managed to get to his hands and knees, she helped him slip the coat on. It barely seemed to fit him while it engulfed her.
Dropping into the snow, Dezarae slipped under his shoulder to help support him. He smells like leather and spices. Shaking her head she waited for him to drop more of his weight on her. Come on man, I’m freezing here. “I can help you. Let’s go.”
Almost reluctantly it seemed, he let her have some more of his weight. As he got unsteadily to his feet they began the climb up the hill. The farther up they got, the more of his weight she supported.
“Good thing I am not a weakling here, Man,” she mumbled under her breath. “You weigh a lot more than it looks like you would.” Dezarae had never been so happy to see her car.
Opening the door, she helped him into the back and just kind of pushed him in. He toppled over to the side and, after making sure his feet were in, she shut the door to move to the other side and drag him across the seat so he was almost stretched out. Then it was back to the tailgate to grab another blanket to cover him with.
Climbing into the driver’s seat, she allowed the warmth to seep into her body. Taking a drink of her now-lukewarm coffee she pulled off her gloves, wiped her eyes, and began to drive home. She glanced back frequently at the man in her backseat. He had apparently drifted back into unconsciousness.

Pulling into her garage, she turned off her vehicle and got out. “Good work today, Old Man,” she said as she patted the green door affectionately. Dezarae moved to the back and opened it.
The man lying there had a cut on his head. He had dark hair that was cut short. A face that was beginning to show the signs of a shadow seemed sad. Thick black lashes rested against his cheeks.
Cocking her head to the side, Dezarae smiled as she looked at him. He was very handsome. And in danger of getting pneumonia if she didn’t get to work. “I don’t know who you are, Mister, but you have to wake up again.”
“I’m awake,” that deep voice grated although the eyes never opened.
“Sit up and we will get you inside where it is warm. Come on,” she insisted.
Like before, he moved slowly. But this time there was no wind, snow, or hill to fight. So it didn’t take long before she was helping him into her bed dressed in only his boxers. Great, I find a man and he has a damn rebel flag tat on his chest as a backdrop for an anchor. Damn, he is fine, even with that tat; I hope he doesn’t get frostbite.
She gazed over his limbs and didn’t see any signs of it, but time would tell. It was important now to get him warm. Dezarae covered him in her blankets and thick comforter before she left to change into dry clothes herself and make him something warm to drink.

Finally warm, dry, and comfortable, Dezarae slipped back into her bedroom to check on her ‘guest’. He had drunk the cup of broth she had made for him but she wanted to wake him up every now and then. His head injury was cleaned and bandaged and, as she looked at him, she saw he was sleeping comfortably.
Gathering up his wet clothes, she searched for any kind of identification and couldn’t find a single thing. No wallet, nothing.
“Well,” she whispered as she took his clothes out of the room and put them in the washer. “I sure hope you aren’t a serial killer.” After the load was set, she returned to her room.
“Wake up,” she said softly. Nothing. Fearing the worst, Dezarae reached down to pat him on the cheek. “Hey,” she spoke in a normal tone. “Wake up.”
The second her hand landed on his stubbled face, her wrist was caught in an ironclad grasp. Panicked, she flashed her eyes to his and found herself looking into the steeliest gunmetal eyes she had ever seen. They were alert and they scared her.
◊◊◊◊
Warm. Comfortable. Dry.
Finally he was warm.
Fuzzy recollections flashed through his head as he remembered being helped into a vehicle. The most vivid thing he could remember was the cold. The biting pain of the cold.
Now it was warm. He felt better.
The faint sound of the door opening brought him as alert as he could be. Watching through his lashes he lay still as the figure of a woman filled the doorway.
She was pretty, if he wanted to think about it. A thick green sweatshirt concealed most of her figure from him but he would guess she was very curvaceous. Her skin was brown, nut-brown. He would put her about five-five. Her hair was thick and curly, hanging down past her shoulders, framing her face gently. Her lips were full and lush.
It was her eyes that got him. They were dark and they stared directly at him as she moved quietly into the room. It seemed to be almost concern he saw in them and he wanted to know what color they were. He noticed she wore a pair of black sweatpants and had large fuzzy red slippers on her feet, as if she had killed Elmo or Animal and turned one of them into a pair of slippers.
As he lay there, he watched her go through his clothes, searching for something. She took his clothes and left just as silently as she had appeared. He didn’t know who she was and that bothered him.
His mind was just too jumbled right now to figure things out. Before he could do anything one way or the other, the doorway was once again filled by his mysterious woman.
She moved effortlessly across the floor to stop beside the bed. Her head tilted to the side as she gazed upon him. “Wake up,” her silken voice said. He refused to move and she spoke again. “Hey, wake up.”
He’d had an instinctive reaction when her hand touched his face. Without conscious thought, he grabbed her and captured her wrist in his hand. She gave a frightened gasp as her eyes moved up to meet his.
Chocolate. Sinfully dark chocolates were what her eyes reminded him of.
◊◊◊◊
A pink tongue snuck out and licked full dusky lips. “Can you let me go please? I am not going to hurt you. I just had to wake you up.” Dezarae could feel the intense pounding of her heart. “Please, you’re hurting me.”
Those eyes never left hers as he dropped her wrist as if it burned him. He remained silent as she stood straight and rubbed her sore wrist. “Sorry I frightened you but I was worried that you had fallen unconscious again,” she muttered, still absently rubbing her wrist.
Those smoky eyes moved down her body slowly and back up again making Dezarae feel as if she stood before him totally naked. When that intense gaze reached her eyes again, she felt flushed.
Damn it. No man has made me feel like this before. At least not a man I don’t know and have never met. Swallowing to give herself extra time to regain her composure, Dezarae tried to affect a look of indifference.
“Can you stay awake until I get you some more broth to drink?” she asked, glad he didn’t know her well enough to know just how affected her voice sounded.
Still, all he did was stare at her. Jesus, that is one unnerving stare. “I will take that as a ‘Yes’. I’ll be right back.” Dezarae fled to the solitude of her kitchen and made him another cup of broth. By the time it was ready, her heartbeat had returned to normal.

This time she knocked on the doorframe before she walked in, holding the cup as if it would keep her safe from him and his stare. With determined steps, she moved to the bedside and held it out to him even as his eyes held hers.
“Here, drink this.” She flicked her gaze from his to the drink and back again. My God, he is suspicious. “What, you think it’s poisoned?”
Well, those eyes narrowed as they moved from her face down her chest and back again. They stared into her soul and assessed her. Unnerved her.
“Look.” She put the cup up to her lips and took a drink of the warm liquid. “It is fine, now come on you need to get some nourishment in you.” Dezarae offered him the cup again.
One strong tanned hand reached up and took the cup from hers. A quivering began in her belly as she felt his fingers graze against hers. Bringing the cup to his mouth at the very last second, he turned it and drank from the exact spot that she had put her lips. Those gray eyes never left hers as he drained the cup.
What would it be like to have his lips on mine? Guess he doesn’t have anything against me yet. Knees trembling from the erotic picture his lips touching the same place as hers had she took the cup back and swallowed. Now was as good a time as any. “Who are you?”
He blinked as he looked almost hesitant since she had seen him awake. Dark masculine brows furrowed in thought. Only to scrunch together tighter before he looked up at her and said in a confused voice. “I don’t know.”

Different Cover Art

Well...we've changed the cover of The Princess & The Marquess a tiny bit, so here is the new cover. Still coming this summer from MS Fiction.



Enjoy and Happy reading,

~Aliyah

16 May 2008

New cover

Morning Y'all:


Just wanted to share my cover for the story coming this summer to MS Fiction.


And here is the blurb for this story.

LUCIEN ST. MARTIN, Marquess of Heartstone, is ordered to travel to the “the uncivilized” part of the world. The Colonies. How was he to know everything was about to shift on its axis.


CIARA MCKAY is known as “The heart of the Mountain.” She lives near a town but chooses to remain alone up in the mountains. Her world is changed the day she encounters a man being tossed about by an enraged mother bear.


Long winter nights lead to explosive passions. Seven years pass before they meet again. Can they overcome the “accepted” rules of society? Or will “the heart of the mountain” cease to be?
Is it possible that Lucien can convince her to give them another chance? Will Ciara accept her destiny that together is the only way for them to be, as the…
The Princess and the Marquess

12 May 2008

Chapter 3 of Harrier's Healer--unedited

CHAPTER THREE
“Sir, I believe I asked you a question,” the smaller officer said.
“What’s going on here?” Scott asked, moving to stand closer to the woman he was going to protect for the rest of her life. That and marry her.
“We are looking for a man who was injured in this area who fits your description. Can I see your identification, please?” The officer held out his hand.
“Sure, but if you don’t know who the man is, then what good is my identification going to do?” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet to get his card.
“You sure are asking a lot of questions. What’s your name?” He gestured impatiently for the piece of plastic.
“Lieutenant Commander Scott Leighton,” he snapped in return, handing over his military identification. He didn’t like the way the men looked at Alexis. Hell, I don’t like any man looking at Alexis. My Alexis.
“How do you know Ms. Rogets here?” the larger man asked in a snide tone.
Thick arms crossed, showing Alexis not one shred of pain from his wound, as a blonde eyebrow rose. “Are you trying to imply something, Officer?” He looked at the nametag. “Johnson?”
The officer took a deep breath and tried to look as impressive as Scott, only to fail miserably. “Of course not, it’s just that we are wondering what you are doing here.”
Aren’t we all, Alexis thought as she relocated next to the statue of carved muscle in her living room. “We are both in the Navy and have,” she glanced at him, “served time on the same ship.”
Scott looked at the woman standing next to him, her head barely coming to his shoulder. She was ready to defend him. He held out his tanned hand for his ID. It was returned to him with great reluctance. “I had some business to do around here and came to ask Alexis for her help on it.” His eyes dared the men to say anything to dispute him.
Clearing their throats, the police looked at the five young men also in the room and the smaller one, Officer Petrasla, nodded his head at them. “What are they doing here?”
Fists clenching, Alexis took a step forward. “They have every right to be here. They were here last night. This is my cousin and his friends. Are you implying something, now?” Her tone had grown cold.
It was a simple action by Scott, reaching out and touching her shoulder, but it halted her forward movement. “I’m sure,” he drawled, “that these officers wouldn’t insinuate anything when it is obvious that I am not the man they are looking for and the young men here are not doing a single thing wrong.”
Officer Johnson got the hint and shrugged. “Well, if you see him, Ms. Rogets, please give us a call.” He grabbed his partner’s arm and led him back out the screen door and down to the patrol car.
“What made them come here?” That deep voice caressed her, chasing away the anger she had from the visit.
“They always come here. I don’t always know them but the officers always know me.” Alexis looked at the young men in her house. “Well, come on then. Breakfast is ready. Put your things away and get into the kitchen. I have better things to do today than baby-sit you bunch of ragamuffins,” she huffed even as she winked at them.
“We love you too, Lex,” the group said as one before they headed for their sleeping bags to put them back in the hall closet.
She grumbled and walked off, just expecting that Scott would follow her. “Well, get yourself some breakfast, Commander, unless it isn’t your kind of food.”
Scott looked at the sideboard that teemed with steaming food. It looked like enough to feed an army, or at least his SEAL team. His stomach growled as the intoxicating aromas filled his nose.
“Go on, if you want any. Better get it before they get here.” Alexis nodded toward the stack of plates.
“And you?” His question fell as he reached for a plate, trying to hand it to her.
“No, I already ate.” I can’t eat in front of him. I have enough of a hard time just trying to swallow in front of him.
His eyes moved slowly up and down her body. “Really?” he asked doubtfully.
“I snacked while I made breakfast.” The noise from the boys grew louder.
“Don’t you know I know you are lying to me? Trust me; I like a woman who’s willing to eat in front of me. Are you back to being scared, Alexis?” he challenged.
Damn you, Scott. Just kiss me. She snatched a plate and before she could say a word, he interjected, “Or did you need a good morning kiss?” His mouth was right next to her ear.
Jesú, it’s like he is reading my mind. “I don’t think so,” she managed to mutter.
“I do.” His arm snaked around her waist, spinning her towards his body…and his mouth. Unlike their first kiss on the carrier, this one was gentle. A learning kiss. Scott slipped his tongue into her mouth and stroked it against her own. A slow-drugging kiss that had her shaking on her feet.
This man could kiss. Time stood still for the two as they were locked in an embrace. Scott had one arm around her and her one free arm slowly made its way around his lean waist.
“Uh-hmmm,” came the interruption. “Lex, what the hell is Casper doing sucking on your face?”
They moved slowly apart, like snails in winter. Scott drew her bottom lip into his mouth as they separated, keeping her close for a moment longer. “I love how you taste,” he whispered as he released her.
“Eat your breakfast, Jay.” Her chest heaved as she moved towards the food herself.
“And Casper here?”
“Why do you keep calling me that?” Scott asked.
“Have you noticed your skin color, man?” Jay snapped, taking his plate and making it so Scott couldn’t stand next to Lex.
“I get it, Casper, as in the ghost, the Friendly Ghost.” He moved to the other side of Alexis and ignored the warning glare from her pintsized bodyguard.
“Man, I don’t want your lips anywhere near Lex,” Jay threatened.
Setting down his plate beside the seat that Alexis took, Scott sat down and pinned the young man with a purposefully-bland stare. “My relationship with Alexis is not any of your concern.”
“Jay, sit down,” she interjected because she knew where this was heading. “Commander Leighton and I don’t have a relationship other than a working one. What you saw was a mistake and it won’t be happening again,” Alexis said firmly.
Like hell it won’t be happening again. “There you have it.” Scott sent Alexis a small shake of his head before dropping it and digging into his breakfast with relish. His relationship was too new for him to hash things out with a young man who wanted to protect her.

As the rest of the group sat down at her long table to eat, talk was turned towards Alexis and her plans for the day. “What gives you boys the right to think you can run my life?” she asked the young men.
“We’re family,” they responded as one.
“And, yet, you don’t stay out of trouble. I can’t help you out next time. You know that, don’t you?” Her tawny gaze pinned each and every young man there.
“Yes, Lex. We know.”
One by one they finished and put their dishes in the sink before kissing her on the cheek and leaving the kitchen. “Dinner’s at six-thirty; it’s ribs. I’ll do some laundry tomorrow as well, so bring a change of clothes,” she yelled to their retreating backs.
As the screen door slammed, it dawned on the two adults that they were completely alone. No young people, no crew, no ship, no regulations. Just them. A man and a woman who had a fierce attraction for one another.
Swallowing hard, Alexis shoved back from the table and took her dishes to the sink. She opened the dishwasher and began to load it. Trying hard to stay focused on the job at hand. He’s hard. And so much more fun to focus on.
“You can’t ignore me forever, Alexis.” His velvet tone moved over her.
I will do my damnedest. “I’m not ignoring you,” she lied. “I am just cleaning up.”
His chair scraped the wooden floor as he rose with his plate in hand. A glance at the sideboard showed nothing but empty dishes. Those boys had cleaned up every bit of food she made for them. “Wow, they sure can eat a lot,” he said as he handed her the plate.
“They are growing boys,” she replied easily. It was nothing new for her to feed them. It was just something she did.
“So am I,” he muttered as his gaze swept over her denim-covered ass.
Shutting the black door of the dishwasher, she leaned against it and met the blue gaze of the only person who could make her lose her mind. “Tell me where you got the gunshot wound.” Her tone was doctor-like, demanding an answer.
“There was some kind of shootout a few streets over from where you found me. It was a stray bullet.”
Her eyes narrowed. “What were you doing down here, anyway? No offense, Commander, but you don’t exactly fit the look of the majority of people that come down here.”
“Would you please not call me Commander? If you won’t call me Scott, call me Harrier. But for the love of God, Alexis, we aren’t on any military installation anymore. Don’t call me Commander.”
“It’s easier for me to call you Commander, but I will try to call you Scott for the time being.” At his gesture, she took a seat across from him at the table. “What are you doing here? I’m not going to believe you have family down here.” She raised a brow quizzically.
The one that I am here to see will be family soon. “I needed to see you.” His blatant statement made her eyes grow wide.
Insides trembling, she didn’t want to ask the question that slipped out of her mouth. “Why?”
He sent her a look like ‘you can’t be serious’. “Because since I met you in Norfolk, I can think of nothing but you. Jesus, Alexis, I know this will sound corny but you have bewitched me. Totally.”
It was a good thing she was sitting down, because her knees were shaking like there was an earthquake rumbling beneath them. “We can’t do this,” came her inevitable protest.
“Don’t give me that whole code of behavior or modus operandi shit, Alexis. Where is the nearest military base from here?” At her silence he continued, “See, there is no reason for that to be an issue. You do realize that, although it is frowned upon, people do fraternize in the Navy.”
“It may not be a problem for you, being a commissioned officer, but for us non-coms it is. I am not willing to risk my career for a roll in the sack with you, no matter how much I want to, only to have you need to put me somewhere where I won’t be able to ruin your career, or to please your ‘trophy’ wife. I worked my ass off in Harvard and I love serving in the Navy, so no matter how tempting it may be.” Her eyes roved over the exposed part of his body as her voice deepened with desire, “And it is tempting, but not worth my career.” Sure it would be, to be loved all over by that man. Hell, yeah!
His tall body rose gracefully out of the chair and lifted her boldly out of hers, cradling her in his steel-lined arms. He walked to the countertop and set her down, wedging his body between her spread thighs. “I would never,” he stated as his hands found the hem of her shirt and moved under it, searching for the skin he knew would be smooth as silk. “Never do anything like that to you. I’m not looking for a roll in the hay with you, my little healer. I was thinking something much more permanent than that.”
“What do you want from me?” she gasped as his large hands moved up her sides over the lace of her bra.
“I want everything from you.” He took a deep breath and moved his hands down out of her shirt and placed them on her sides. “Everything.” Then he stepped back and allowed her to jump down from the counter.
“So you took a chance in coming down here, to maybe run into me and what, try out sex with the HMC?” She narrowed her eyes at him. “For that matter, how did you know where to find me?”
He moved towards her again, “I’m a SEAL. That’s what I do. And I know you are on leave for the next twenty days.” His eyes looked at her directly, “Just like you know all about my file.”
God, everything about him made her tremble. “I don’t know anything about you, Commander.” She was using his title as a barrier.
He knew it. “Don’t start with that shit again, Alexis,” his warning came.
“I have things to do.” The fiery woman stomped off to the living room where she began to clean it up and get it ready for the evening.
Scott followed her. He leaned in the doorway and watched as she moved around her living room picking up things and fluffing pillows. “What were you doing over there last night?” His question startled her.
“If you must know, I was on a date.” She never missed a beat with her cleaning.
“With who?” Those two words were growled with such animosity she stopped and looked at the man who uttered them. His eyes were shards of ice and there was a very pronounced tick in his jaw.
“That is none of your business.” He’s jealous, Alexis told herself with one hand on her hip.
The hell it isn’t. “Believe what you will, but you’re wrong. It is my business. Everything about you is my business.”
“So says you,” she muttered.
“At least you are beginning to see it my way,” came his smart-ass remark. His hard body plunked itself down on the couch that she had just finished straightening as if it had every right to.
Throwing the pillow she held in her hand at him, she just sat down in a leather chair and watched as he snatched it out of the air, nice and easy-like. “So tell me what you are doing here, in my neck of the woods?”
“I told you, I came to see you.”
“Well, you have seen me.”
Not as much of you as I want to. “Take a vacation with me,” he blurted out.
“What?”
“Come on, take a vacation with me. I have some down time, at least a week. We could take a cruise,” he grimaced. “Sorry, I forget you are on the water all the time. A rail ride, spend a few days with me. Get to know me, inside and out.”
There’s a loaded statement. “I am on vacation.”
“Is this really the vacation you want? Or would you rather spend time with me? I will do whatever you want, anoint you with baby oil, rub you down anytime you want. We can go to movies, whatever. Spend about a week with me, have room service, let me take care of you.”
This has to be a dream, because there wouldn’t be a cold chance in hell that Lt. Commander would want to spend a vacation with her. “I get it, this is another dream. Very funny, Lex, come on wake up. Keep this up and before long you are going to be naked with this man of your every fantasy and erotic dream. Commander Leighton. And then, as usual, we will wake up before we actually get to what I have wanted since I was almost run over by his fine-ass body,” She mumbled as she got up off the chair and walked back to her bedroom, rubbing her head totally ignorant of the wide grin on the very real and now very knowledgeable Commander Leighton about her fantasies in which he was the star player.

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. Hope it's a great one.

Happy reading,
~Aliyah

06 May 2008

News

Well I just wanted to share with everyone my wonderful news.

First, I've signed three contracts with publishers. Two with Total E-Bound and one with Phaze. The stories are Seducing Damian, Through the Fire, and Add A Little Mistletoe... The first two are the ones which will be out with TEB and the thrid is coming out with Phaze.

Second, the anthology, Camouflaged Hearts is being released in print. The date we've been told is 15 May 08. Below is the print flat of the cover. I'm so excited. I love all the stories in this anthology and am so proud to have been a part of it.




Chapter 2 of Harrier's Healer--unedited

I'm so sorry I'm so late in the day in posting this. But here you go, the unedited chp 2.

CHAPTER TWO
Six months later…
The bullet wound in his side seemed to be getting worse. What did you expect Scott, that it would feel better? He stumbled down the darkened street knowing that he had just as much chance of dying from the bullet as he did from the people whose neighborhood he was in. He was not of the right persuasion to be down here, but he didn’t care.
The sudden lights blinded him and he stumbled to a halt, holding his hand in front of his eyes. As he lowered his hand he found himself surrounded by a group of younger men of a variety of races who didn’t look at all happy to see him. He saw their weapons, shoved into the waistbands of their pants and his body; although extremely fatigued, he went into battle mode.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” one of the men asked his friends.
“I think you took the wrong street, man,” another said as a third shoved the intruder to the ground.
Scott showed no emotion as he was forced to the pavement. Maybe they just want to scare me, he told himself. The second he felt a kick in his side he knew he had been wrong. He was about to get beaten up by a gang. His body reacted violently as the next person kicked him.
Reaching out, he grabbed the leg and twisted it, tossing the man off balance. As that man hit the ground, the others began to swarm over him. The loss of blood slowed Scott down considerably. The men were high and felt no pain, whereas he did. He was holding his own until he felt a hit into the back of his head and he dropped like a light, losing what little ground he had gained.
*****
What are they up to now? Alexis hurried towards the group of guys that seemed to be kicking or at least prodding something. Last week she had found them beating a helpless puppy in a bag, this was getting old. “Hey!” she shouted, getting their attention. “Back off,” she ordered. Her hair bounced in time with her steps; she had just left the corner bar from her date and wasn’t in the mood for Jay and his gang. They knew better.
The ringleader looked up and rolled his eyes. “Lex, go home,” he yelled back as her steps brought her closer. “It ain’t got nuttin’ to do with you.”
She ignored him and shoved her way through only to stop and gasp. The form on the ground was a man. “What the hell are you doing?” Instantly, she placed herself over the man and began to check him for injuries, each one she found making her angrier. The Caucasian male was either unconscious or very close to it. Checking for a pulse, she breathed a bit easier when she found it, faint but steady. Her body trembled as she touched him.
“Leave him alone, he shouldn’t be down here. And we found him like this” the oldest boy protested.
Rising to her full height, she glared back at him, totally unintimidated. “What the hell do you think you were doing? The puppy was bad enough but damn it, Jay, this is a man.”
“He was trespassing. We were just looking to see if he were dead. We didn’t beat him up.”
Trespassing? The man on the ground moaned. “I suppose he got these injuries by himself? Get out of here,” she hissed as she knelt back down beside him. “Easy now.” Her voice dropped into her soothing bedside manner voice.
“Alexis?” The voice reached her causing her to panic.
No, it couldn’t be. Not here. Carefully, she rolled the man over so she could see his face. Oh, dear Lord. It was. “Commander?” She asked softly.
“You know him?” Jay asked.
“Get over here, Jay, you and the rest of your friends who seem to think I am not serious. Pick him up and take him to my car.” She stood quickly. “Hang in there, Commander.” Her eyes snapped with impatience. “Now! Damnit, move!”
The five remaining men struggled to carry him to her sport utility vehicle, before they climbed in at her glare and carried him into Alexis’ house. A small three-bedroom rambler. She led the way to her spare room and told them to put him down.
“Where do you know Casper from, Lex?” Jay asked her.
“He is a Commander in the US Navy and a SEAL so if you guys weren’t getting the shit kicked out of you then he has another injury somewhere.” Her eyes took in the man lying there. He still looked so good.
“Alexis?” The slur came again.
“I’m here, Commander. Right here.” Instantly she was beside him, touching his face. “I have to check you out. Can you tell me where you are injured?”
Those eyes opened and settled on her face. A quirky smile tugged at the side of his mouth. “Still so beautiful, I like your hair down. I have a gunshot wound in the side.” He looked around the room at the men. “Is it safe here?”
Jay stepped forward, “We’ll be the ones asking questions, Casper. Where did you get shot at?”
Alexis waved him away, her insides trembling at his words. “You’re fine. You are at my house.”
“Them?”
“They helped bring you here. Close your eyes, Commander,” she ordered as she moved towards her doctor’s bag. “I have to get you stabilized and to a hospital.”
“No!” He grabbed her arm, sending shivers through them both. “No hospital.”
She removed his hand carefully, ignoring his comment, and got her bag. “Quiet. Conserve your energy.” He had fallen unconscious.
“You gonna call the police, Lex?” Jay asked as he watched her skillfully remove his shirt to expose the gunshot wound. It sat about an inch lower than the scar made from when she had sewn him up on the Endeavor the last time they met.
“You better pray I don’t. You boys would be in serious trouble, attacking a man just because. Don’t tell me you are trying to join that damn gang.”
Jay turned away from the man’s scarred body. There were dark bruises forming from where he and his boys had kicked him. “I swear we didn’t shoot him, Lex.”
“Quiet, Jay, let me concentrate.” There was silence in the room as her now-clean fingers probed into the wound, until she stuck in some clamps and pulled out the bullet. Correction, bullets. There were two inside his flesh. Holding the second one up, she frowned, “Hmmm. It’s a .38. Interesting.” She dropped it into the metal dish, the loud clang grabbing the attention of the boys who were in the room.
Her arresting gaze took in each and every one of the young men in her room. “Think about the choices you make, 'cause I don’t want to be doing this to you one day.” Her lean hand reached out and shook the container holding the bullets. “Now, go on, get some sleep.”
“It started to rain, guys…it’s gonna be a wet night.” Jay told his crew.
“Guys,” Lex interrupted. “I meant go crash in the living room. You know you are welcome to stay here. Just make sure you don’t disturb him.” Five young men smiled at her as they went to grab their usual sleeping gear from her hall closet to make up their beds.
*****
The whispering grew louder. He opened his eyes and found two men in the room with him. They were going through the closet. His body tried to react but he felt almost paralyzed.
“He’s awake, go get Lex,” one of the guys said. The other one disappeared out the door. Dark, distrustful eyes fell onto the man lying on the bed.
Scott didn’t move, just stared back. Movement at the door caught his attention. It was Alexis. She wore a cream-colored short-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans that should have been declared illegal, they fit her so tight. Even hurt and feeling like this his body reacted to her.
“Morning, Commander, I see you made it through the night.” Her eyes flashed with humor.
“You didn’t take me to a hospital,” he stated the obvious.
“Nope, you didn’t want me to and so, against my better judgment…I treated you here.” She moved to the bed and the deep breath he took was filled with her scent. Her hands were professional and steady as she checked the wound. “Gonna tell me how you got this, Commander?”
“Thank you,” he murmured as his hand reached for hers. She froze at his touch.
Dear God, how can he turn me into such a quivering mass of Jell-o with something as simple as a touch? “For what?”
“Finding me.”
It was as if there were no one else in the room with them, the tension grew so thick. “About that wound, Commander,” she insisted removing her hand from his. Her gaze was direct.
“We aren’t on the ship, Alexis; you can call me Scott,” he said.
“I’m afraid that doesn’t change who we are or protocol, Sir.”
With an energy he didn’t know he had, Scott sat up in the bed, oblivious to the fact that he had no shirt on. His face got right into Alexis’. “That is where you are wrong. It changes everything.” He dropped his voice even more, “Not that it would matter. I’m a SEAL, Alexis, and I do things my way.” And I want you, regulations be damned.
God, if it were only that simple. “Well, I’m not a SEAL, I’m a doctor and it would affect my career.” Her words were level and direct.
Nose to nose, they faced off, neither backing down. “Do you really think I would do something to hurt your career?” His hand cupped the side of her face. “I feel how you react to my touch Alexis, and my body reacts the same way to you.”
She swallowed hard. His touch was sinful. “I don’t know you, except that you are an officer…a superior officer…and it is against regulations to have that kind of relationship with you.”
He clucked his disapproval. “We aren’t serving in the same place. We are both consenting adults and therefore there is no coercion on either part.”
“What makes you think that?” She barely breathed the question.
“I have known that since the first day we met.” His fingers moved again, sending those impulses back down her body. “And each time after that. It was only a matter of time.” His voice just as low as hers, so although they were observed by the group of young men, their conversation was unheard.
“You seem mighty sure of yourself, Commander.” She wasn’t about to give in and call him by his first name. That would be admitting he was right. And she was firmly aware of his naked chest.
He nodded slightly. “I am. Just like I know you are dying to say my name, to hear it rolling off your tongue, just like I am. I am very arrogant. I know that and so do you, but you love it.” His thumb moved over her lower lip. “You loved how I kissed you standing at the fantail on the Endeavor.”
Like I needed that reminder, she thought ruefully. She whimpered, helpless to move out of his touch. Her entire body ached to be touched by his callused fingers.
“Don’t worry. I will wait to hear you scream my name. That will be as I am sliding my thick, hard length deep inside your body.” As potent as liqueur, his voice poured over her. “Alexis, when we make love it will be like nothing either of us has ever experienced. I can’t wait much longer.” He dropped his hand as he slumped back on the bed, exhausted. His eyes twinkled as he licked his firm lips, “Nice to know you want me.” That blue gaze fell to her chest and she knew he could see her hardened nipples through the shirt.
A loud pounding on her screen door jolted her attention back to earth, where making love to him was once again just an erotic fantasy, not almost a reality. “Excuse me, Commander.” She rose off the bed and walked past the boys who were standing there, watching the whole interaction avidly.
“You can run, my little healer, but be forewarned: there is no place for you to hide.” His words followed her out of the room and up the hall to where she looked out the door and found the police.

“Can I help you, Officers?” she asked, taking in the two who stood there on the other side of her screen door.
“We are looking for a man who was last seen in this area,” the larger of the two cops said.
“Sorry, Officer, you are going to need to be a bit more specific than that. There are a lot of men around here.”
His eyes narrowed at her quick retort, but he continued. “He may be injured.”
Years of keeping a bland expression on her face came in handy now as she merely said, “And?”
“Can we come in?” the other cop asked.
She shrugged and opened the door, inviting them in. “Can you give me a bit more information about this person you are looking for?”
“Well, he is reported to be tall, muscular, blond…” the officer trailed off as something caught his eye. Alexis followed his gaze and prayed for strength as she saw Scott enter the room chatting with the other boys like he belonged there. “And you are?” the officer asked, taking in the out-of-place white man in the house.
Alexis watched as his broad-shouldered body filled her living room. He wore his shirt which she had washed and had sewn up the tear in last night so it was hidden from the officers’ view. His body looked poured into his jeans and tennis shoes were on his feet. In no way did he look like the man from whom she had removed two bullets last night. His blue eyes immediately moved to her as if assessing that she was okay. Touched by his concern, she nodded slightly.

28 April 2008

Unedited first chapter of Harrier's Healer

I know it isn't Monday yet, but my day tomorrow is hectic and I didn't want to forget to post. Happy Monday, y'all:

CHAPTER ONE

Somewhere in the western Pacific…
“HMC Rogets, report to the bridge. HMC Rogets, report to the bridge!”
Shit, I just got off a ten-hour shift. What now? The head turned to hear the loud squawk coming over the speaker as the baseball cap hid the narrowing of eyes that looked like tiger’s eyes, the semiprecious stones prized by some as jewels. Her shoulders rose and fell with the realization she had no choice; it wasn’t her imagination or a voice in her head that she had been hearing. “See you later,” the curvaceous woman promised the group of people she stood amongst. They nodded and waved as she left to navigate the narrow stairwells and passageways.
“HMC Rogets reporting as ordered, Sir.” The alto voice intruded into the noisy bustle of the bridge.
Commander Touchette waved the woman waiting to be acknowledged forward. She was one of his favorite chiefs and he hated to lose her, even for this short time. He felt good having her expertise on board. They were lucky to get her for she could have easily chosen the carrier, but she wanted the destroyer. Touchette was the commanding officer of the USS Everett DDG, a guided missile destroyer.
His hand waved her closer yet as he read over the missive in front of him. Looking up, he found her direct gaze resting on him, patiently waiting for him to speak. Her eyes were clear and sharp and he wasn’t able to tell she was just off of a long day.
“Chief Rogets,” he said as she stopped and stood straight in front of him.
“Sir,” she replied waiting.
“I hate to do this to you considering you just got done in medical for the day, but the carrier has sent out a request for another doc. Since you know some of the men they are bringing in a little already, they want you.” His blue eyes never left her darker, exotic ones.
The carrier. Chief Petty Officer Alexis Rogets had recently been assigned to this DESRON, destroyer squadron, and as she requested this destroyer, she had apparently anticipated that she would fit in well. The ‘small boy’ was much different than when she had served on an aircraft carrier, or floating city, as she called it. But she was a doctor and would go wherever needed. “When do I go, Sir?”
“Now.” He waited for a look of surprise or anything suggesting shock. He was once again disappointed. Nothing seemed to rile her, which was why the crew loved her. She was level-headed and polite with a hint of prankster when she felt she knew you well enough. She got along well with both officers and enlisted personnel.
Chief Rogets was unique. Generally, any full-fledged doctor would be an officer, but not her. She was finishing her schooling while enlisted and managed to graduate from Harvard as a doctor and a non-commissioned officer. Many believed that was one reason she was easy to get along with on both sides. She was almost like a liaison between the two if needed. An exception to the rule and one she was happy with.

Alexis Rogets maintained her emotionless facade. Now. Her stuff was stowed away so it would take very little for someone to send it to her. She was upset and a bit disappointed for she preferred being on the smaller vessel. “Very well, Sir.”
“Does anything surprise you, Rogets?” The CO asked with a grin.
“It’s not good for me to get surprised,” came her twinkling response. “Especially in my line of work.”
“I have yet to see anything faze you. Stay over there until things have calmed down a bit, and then give us a yell. We’ll send a helo over for you.” He smiled. “Don’t want them thinking they’re going to be allowed to keep the best doc in the Navy. Now go on. Dismissed.”

USS Endeavor CVN
Snapping out a salute to the petty officer who met her on the flight deck, Alexis made her way swiftly down to sickbay. Here not even five minutes and I miss the destroyer, she mused. Pushing open the door to the ship’s medical room she was not sure what to expect.
Corpsmen were running all around and the place seemed chaotic to the untrained eye, but to her it was business like usual. Searching for the nearest khaki uniform, Alexis went up to its wearer and reported in. “Glad to have you aboard, Chief. I hear nothing but good things about you. Heard about you when I was stationed out in Norfolk,” the tall ensign said.
“What’s going on here, Sir?” She waved one dark hand to encompass the room in her question. “Who are the injured?”
Before he could respond, the most sinful voice in God’s creation reached her, easily cutting through the surrounding noise. “Chief Rogets, glad to know you will be taking care of me.” There was a slight hesitation that she could have imagined before the words came again. “And my men.”
Well, Commander Touchette would be pleased to know that there is something to faze me. She took a deep breath and turned to face the man that belonged to that voice. Commander Scott Leighton. Well, Lieutenant Commander Harrington Prescott Broderick Leighton III, if she were to be specific. A name which she only knew from having seen his records. Yeah, right.
For a mere moment Alexis was speechless. In front of her stood her very own secret and undisclosed erotic dream. All her fantasies about men ended up with her and this man in some amazing sexual act.
All six feet five inches of tanned body stood there covered with rippling muscles. Eyes that were cornflower blue and belonged in the bedroom only topped off his god-like body. Everything about his physique and presence screamed virile, sensual and downright mouthwatering. All he would have to do is crook his finger and I would follow him anywhere.
She noticed his blond hair looked like it could use a wash. Not even the black paint streaked on his face could take away from his magnetic pull on her. And it had been like that since the day they met. Can’t think about that now, Lex, need to acknowledge him before he gets suspicious, she admonished herself with a mental shake to bring her back to business at hand.
“Commander Leighton,” she said. “I will go see what I can do to help your men.” She cast a questioning glance at the ensign, who pointed her to the area she would be using. She hurried off without responding to either officer, knowing she could get away with it because of the rush to get attention to the men.
Pushing back the curtain, she reached for a pair of medium surgical gloves. Alexis turned back to get her first patient and froze. Commander Leighton stood before her. “What do you need, Commander? I am just about to go grab one of your men.”
Like hell you are. A sexy half smile crossed his face. “I’m the only one from my team left who needs attention. The rest of the men here are the ones we rescued. So I’m all yours…” Again that almost indiscernible hesitation. “…Chief.”
If that were only so. “Sit down.” She was all business. “What happened?”
“I got a few scrapes, nothing too serious.” His blue eyes burned a hole into her as he spoke.
“Uh-huh,” she muttered as she moved towards him. What was nothing serious in the SEAL way of thinking was way different than what it might mean to her as a doctor.

Lieutenant Commander Scott “Harrier” Leighton felt the familiar butterflies reemerge in his belly. Strangely enough, the fluttering only happened when this woman was around. He didn’t understand it, he towered over her and outweighed her by almost one hundred pounds, yet here he sat, nervous as a child on their first day of school. His blue eyes roved over her as she approached.
She wore her dark hair secured tightly off her face and hidden way under a cap marked, USS Everett DDG. He loved it when her hair was down; it was thick and fell gently around her face and shoulders. Or it had the last time he had seen it down. She looked so feminine that way, not that she didn’t now, for she was hot in anything but she looked gentle with her hair free.
Her face was, to him, perfect. Thick eyelashes framed her exotic-looking tiger eye gaze. Scott reflected on the cute nose and those succulent full lips that he had wanted to kiss the very first time he saw her. This was the eighth time they had met and that desire was still just as strong today as it was the first day. Scott knew it was only a matter of time before he gave into that yearning.
She was five-seven and had all the right curves in just the right places. Her breasts were full and her hips made him imagine nothing except his hands holding them as he drove into her body as deep as he could go. Over and over, all night long. Her ass made his mouth go dry; it was flawless.
She was the total package. Beautiful, smart, energetic, strong and very sexy. Topping it off, her body looked as if it had been covered by rich toffee. I would sell my soul for one night with this ebony goddess, he ruminated.
Scott knew all about her because he had pulled up her file and read up on her. He knew where she considered her permanent address to be and how many family members she had. He knew where she was born and all this wasn’t enough. Everything he knew was technical; he wanted to know this woman.
He blinked as he realized she was staring at him, waiting for a response. “I’m sorry, what?” I sound like a moron, he thought ruefully.
“I said you need to take off your shirt. There is a deep tear and I want to evaluate whether or not you require stitches,” she informed him in a crisp and professional voice.
His eyes blazed with a heat that could have burned a hole right into the hull of the ship. “Sure, just a sec.” He began to remove his shirt and couldn’t stop the hiss of pain that slipped out from between his teeth.
Her fingers were there, brushing his out of the way as she searched. “Hang on, let me look.” A couple of noncommittal murmurs left her mouth and went straight into his ears, traveling quickly to his groin. “This needs stitches.” She turned her head and found their faces were inches apart.
The busy room seemed to fade away into silence as their twin gazes bore into each other. Alexis found herself first and shook her head free of the cobwebs that this man put there. “Take it off,” she ordered in a brisk tone.
One eyebrow, covered with paint, arched as he said, “What?”
“Your shirt. Take it off and I will clean the wound and get someone to stitch you up,” she elaborated insistently.
Oh, hell no, I am not about to let you weasel your way out of looking at or touching my body. “I want you,” that damn hesitation again, “to do it.”
I want you too, her mind screamed in return. “Why me? There are plenty of corpsmen who can stitch a wound just fine. There are other people in here hurt worse than you.”
“I remember how well you took care of Cade on the carrier in the Caribbean.” His voice was such a turn-on to listen to.
Alexis remembered. They had taken them on board after recovering them from the mountains of Belize. Her previous duty had been on that aircraft carrier. Now she was in a different ocean and still facing the man that made her tremble. “Very well,” she said reluctantly. She was only reluctant because she didn’t know how she would respond to touching him; this was why she had planned on having someone else do it.
“You’re not scared of touching me are you, Alexis?” his deep tone purred.
Her eyes flew open wide at his use of her first name; he had never done that before. It was as if her name was made to roll off his tongue. While there had always been an attraction between them, he had never before said anything like this. It was such a breach of protocol. He would be in so much trouble if she were to report it. “Why would I be scared? Did you pick something up that I might catch?” she sassed him back, as she helped him remove his shirt. Seconds later she tried to remain not at all impressed by the massive chest exposed to her gaze.
I can’t believe those words came out of my mouth. At least she is joking about it. “I have never picked anything up. Ever.”
Alexis knew what he was saying. He was clear of any and all sexually transmitted diseases. If only he weren’t a superior officer. “I’m sure your wife or girlfriend is very pleased to know that,” Alexis ventured primly.
He grimaced slightly as she applied the sterilizer to the gash. “You know I don’t have a wife.”
She didn’t even look at him. “I don’t know anything about you, Commander,” she said, reminding them of the protocol.
“Don’t lie to me or yourself.” His words were soft and they caressed her body.
“Don’t move. And keep your arm where it is,” she said as she threaded a needle. “Are you sure you don’t want a local?”
“I’m sure. Just keep talking to me and I will be fine.” You could amputate my left leg if you talked to me through it. I just want to hear your seductive voice.
“You’re the boss,” she muttered.
I will be soon. “Tell me about yourself then, so I can get to know you,” he ordered as she slid the needle into his flesh.
“What has you so interested in my life, Sc…Commander?” Her eyes were narrowed with concentration as she made tiny, even stitches in his side. Trying hard to ignore the wide expanse of muscles and the smell of pure man that was in front of her. Trying and failing.
He heard her slip and smiled as he looked at the top of her head. “The same thing that has you interested in mine,” he whispered, falling silent as another person walked into the small area.
“Chief Rogets,” the corpsmen said. “We need your help with one of the other men.”
“Is it an emergency, Corpsman?” she asked, not taking her eyes off her work.
“No, Ma’am, just as soon as you can.” He looked at the bare-chested man that sat on the bed while the woman sewed up his side. “Sir, Ma’am.” Then he was gone.
Finishing swiftly, she tied off the last suture and cut it. Pushing away on her wheeled stool, Alexis rolled to the sink, removed the gloves from her hands, and began to wash them as she talked to the man sitting behind her. “There you go, Commander. Take it easy and you should be fine in a couple of weeks.” Not that your ass ain’t fine now. Alexis reached for the towel and found him holding it out to her. He moves so fast and silently.
“Thanks for taking such good care of me,” he murmured. His hand moved almost as if he were going to touch her until a yell from across the room got her attention.
“Lex! He’s crashing.” Another chief and friend yelled for her. With barely a glance at the handsome SEAL, Alexis ‘Lex’ Rogets was dashing over to the table to lend her expertise.
Picking up his discarded and possibly ruined shirt along with his pack, Scott gazed across the room and watched in amazement as she worked diligently on the man. Even when blood sprayed up at her she seemed unfazed. She was a damn good doctor, sexy as hell and someday soon, his. With one final look, he left medical to hit the showers and check on the rest of his men.
Alexis knew the moment he left. Somehow the room just felt emptier. Her hands deep in the chest they just cracked open she wondered what twist of fate would bring them together next. That thought was brief and fleeting because her mind focused back on the task before her. And although she was tired, she knew it wouldn’t be an issue as her mind was still sharp. Residency hours had been way worse than this.

Peeling off the blood-covered gloves and tossing them in the trash receptacle, Alexis rolled her head around trying to loosen up her neck muscles. Hands washed, she put on some lotion trying to preemptively ease the dryness. They were done. All the men were stabilized.
“Great job, Lex,” a masculine voice said from behind her.
A smile formed as she answered, “Thanks, Tom. You, too.” She turned and walked with him towards the door. A few corpsmen were cleaning up bloody gauze and washing down tables. But the room was silent now. “It was good to work with you again. I didn’t know you were out here.” Tom had served with her before on the carrier in Norfolk.
He flashed her a grin, his white teeth standing out vividly against his dark skin. “Wanna get some chow?”
“Thanks but no thanks, Tom. I had just pulled a ten-hour stint on the Everett before they sent me here. I need to unwind, but it’s nice to know you’re nearby.” She patted him on the arm.
“We will have to do something in port together. Grab a meal or something.”
Lex nodded. “Great, you know how to reach me. I’ll see ya around. By the way,” she tossed over her shoulder as she walked off, “congrats on being frocked.” He sent her back another sparkling grin as she moved away from him.

Shutting the hatch behind her Alexis sighed. I’ll just give it a few minutes before I call Touchette for the helo. Her gaze took in the sun as it began its evening descent. She loved it out here. This was one of her favorite spots, the fantail. There weren’t many places on an aircraft carrier where one could feel alone, but this was one of them.
“Too bad I won’t be here to watch the sunset,” she said to the rushing wind.
“Why not?” a sexy baritone voice asked from behind her.
She jumped, hand pressed to her chest, unwittingly drawing his gaze there. “Jesú, you scared me.” As her dark eyes landed on the man who stood there she fought for sanity. “Excuse me, Sir. Hello, Commander.”
His striking eyes glanced around making sure they were alone out there. Finding the answer to be to his satisfaction, he settled those beautiful blue eyes back on her body, setting it to burn, a heat that rivaled the late afternoon sun. “Come on now, Alexis,” his hard body moved closer to her. “How long are we going to do this?”
Dear God, this man’s voice is potent. “Do what, Commander?”
He took a deep breath and leaned on the rail beside her, almost but not quite touching her. “Why aren’t you going to be around for the sunset?” He didn’t want to push her into anything. He wanted to push into her.
“I’m going back to the Everett. I just came out here to relax for a bit.” Her body turned around and leaned on the rail like he did. “How are you feeling?”
“Good, you did a wonderful job.” I don’t want you to go back to the Everett, I want you to go to my bed and stay there forever. “How long are we going to keep this up?” Leighton questioned her.
I bet you can keep it up for a long, long time. “I don’t know.”
“Do you remember the day we first met?” he asked, not admiring anything but her dark beauty beside him. Hell, even on the fantail of an aircraft carrier she smelled like she just took a shower.
“Yes. It was in Norfolk,” she said.
“I almost ran you over and you…well, you wanted to say something a lot worse than you did.”
She chuckled, a low seductive sound that stirred up his groin even more. “I remember. And you’re right; I definitely wanted to say something else.”
“You are—”
“Well, it’s been a pleasure Commander, but I have to go. Take care of yourself out there.” Alexis stepped away from the rail and took a few steps toward the door, not wanting or ready to hear what he was going to say.
“It will be a pleasure,” he purred in her ear.
She froze. There were two choices here, file a complaint and get him in trouble or flirt back. Girl, like there was any choice. “What will?”
His hand touched her back, leading her towards the hatch. Unless she opened the thick door, there was nowhere to go except into him if she turned around. “Us.”
She turned. “Commander, what exactly are you talking about?” Her eyes were direct and he liked that about her.
“You know what I’m talking about.” His words were smooth.
And she did. But for the life of her she didn’t want to admit it. “No, I don’t. I have to get going.” She paused with one hand on the handle. “Goodbye, Commander.”
His body clenched. He couldn’t be angry; she was doing the right thing. He was the one breaking protocol. Scott could be sent for a Captain’s Mass and she could get in trouble as well. Suddenly he didn’t give a damn. The seven previous times he had been in her presence, he had not done what he longed so much to do, so now he had to taste her. Two seconds later, he hauled her up against the solid wall of his chest and his lips were on hers.
His tongue slid around her full mouth before plunging into hers, not asking. Oh, no, he was demanding her acceptance. Her taste was amazing; he couldn’t get enough. Every small sample he got increased his desire for more one hundredfold.

Alexis had no idea what was happening to her body. This kiss was nothing like it was in her dreams. She moaned into his mouth as she sucked harder on his invading tongue. Heaven. That was what this felt like.
Suddenly the handle for the hatch began to move. They sprang apart and were leaning on the railing staring out at the ocean by the time the intruder made it through the opening. Two ensigns looked at the commander and nodded before leaving. It was obvious what they were up to. Nothing too different from what Commander Leighton had planned for the lovely Chief Rogets.
Close on their heels was Alexis, who was stopped by that deep tone. “We aren’t done, Alexis.”
Refusing to turn and let him see how much those words affected her, she swallowed and said, “Take care of yourself, Commander.” Then she was gone, leaving him alone. He stayed there even as he watched the helicopter that carried her further away from him against the bright sky.