American Title - The Final Round Entries!
First, a little background ... Cane Winslow has emerged from deep cover to salvage a critical overseas mission after a photograph of their most secret operative’s twin sister turns up on a monitored internet site. If the enemy finds sexy librarian Gracie Sinclair before Cane does, Gracie could be killed in retaliation, Cane’s operative assassinated, and years of intelligence destroyed. Naturally, Cane finds her first and spirits her away to an isolated beach house ...
Gracie brings her work with her, a French, antiquarian edition of the Kama Sutra that she must translate and examine in order to authenticate its age and history ...
In close quarters, with danger threatening, the tension builds ...
“So you speak French,” Gracie said. “What else do you do?”
“If I told you, I’d have to--”
“Kill me, I know. You’re funny and violent.”
“It’s a gift.”
“Maybe you can help me translate this.”
Cane shrugged and sat at the table across from her. Gracie turned the fragile old book around and pointed to the sentence under a drawing of a man and woman wrapped up in each other.
“It’s this word. Arracher.”
Cane stared hard at the page. “Arracher. To extract. Pull out.”
“Yes, but in this context...”
“La mangue mûre,” he said, finishing the phrase. “The ripe mango? Pull the ripe mango? Weird.”
“Maybe...pluck,” she whispered. Her vision was starting to fog up, making it difficult to write.
“Yeah, pluck the ripe mango,” he said, and took a long sip of beer. “What else?”
“Um...” She met his gaze. Was it getting hot in here? “I’ve got this one worked out. It’s, uh, ride the wild stallion.”
“Stallion.” He nodded. “Figures. Go on.”
She pointed to another illustration. “Driving the nail home.”
He shot her a lopsided grin. “An old favorite of mine.”
Gracie’s breath whooshed out. The man was sexy enough when he was scowling and rude, but when he smiled, she could feel her insides melting into a puddle of sexual need. She carefully flipped the page.
“Nice book,” he said, tapping the page. “And how about this?”
He was taunting her, right? How could he be carrying on a conversation? Why wasn’t he ripping her clothes off and driving the damn nail home?
She stared at her notes, trying to make sense of them through the haze of lust, then glanced back at the book. “The description’s sort of technical. The man’s got to be strong enough to bear the weight of the woman while thrusting at the same time. They recommend standing against a wall or maybe--”
“I get the drift.” He jerked his chin toward the next drawing. “And that?”
Grace turned to read the French words under a particularly obvious illustration. “Trapping the Snake.”
He pushed away from the table and paced the length of the room. “What’s going on here?”
She stared at him, confused by the anger in his voice. “I told you, I’m translating the text in order to authenticate the age of the book. After that, I’ll test the binding to determine--”
“I know, I know.” He shoved his hand through his hair and came to a halt directly behind her chair. “Aw jeez, how in hell do you translate that?”
Gracie didn’t have to look too closely at the drawing he referred to. A couple pressed together, facing opposite directions, holding each other’s ankles. She’d already spent way too much time studying it. “It’s supposed to be...more pleasurable for the woman.”
“Holy crap,” he muttered.
He was standing so close, she could feel the taut energy vibrating off him. Her nerves hummed with anticipation, anxious to be plucked.
Like a ripe mango.
“Why do you smell so damn good?” He brushed her hair aside and stroked her neck. “You’re killing me, you know that?”
She gasped as Cane pulled her up from the chair and turned her to face him.
“This can’t happen,” he said, his mouth inches from hers.
She shook her head. “Absolutely not.”
He swung his arms around and grabbed her bottom with both hands and hoisted her up, then took two steps and planted her butt on the kitchen counter. Their eyes were level and she watched him frown as he studied her.
“You’re bad news, you know.”
Gracie wrapped her legs around him, forcing him closer. “I’m bad news? You practically kidnapped me and you’re rude and you changed my dog’s name and--”
“You talk too much,” he muttered, kissing her jaw line and taking little bites along the way to her earlobe.
Gracie groaned. “Yeah, well, you’re not all that--”
He pulled back and grinned. “Bull.”
She shrugged. “Not my type at all.”
He kissed her full on the mouth, consuming her instantly. He was all heat, all hardness. His tongue urged her mouth open and she tasted beer and salt and chocolate and him as she tightened her hold. The world dissolved and all that mattered was his mouth on hers, his hands gripping her bottom as he aroused and devoured her.
Her heart pounded in her ribcage as their bodies strained to get closer. Abruptly, Cane pulled back and for the briefest moment, Gracie thought he might change his mind and stop. But he gave her a look of complete focus and urgency and she could see in his eyes he had no intention of leaving her unsatisfied. You had to love that in a man.
That's it for me! Read Jenny and Kim's Final Round entries and vote at RomanticTimes.com.