Rebecca Zanetti kicks off a brand new series this week, featuring a kick-ass new heroine, and I have a sneak peek for you.
My lungs stopped working. They didn’t hitch, and they didn’t stutter. They just up and froze. So did my feet. I stared at him across the stone walkway, acutely aware of the absence of distance between us. My girlhood fantasies about Aiden Devlin hadn’t prepared me for the reality of his focus as a man. He was predatory and did nothing to hide it.
For the first time, I saw him clearly. And I didn’t know a thing about him. Not really. “You’re trespassing,” I said.
His smile was slow and sure. “Turnabout, fair play, and all o’ that.”
I shivered, and my gaze caught on his mouth. Tingles pricked inside my chest and right down to my abdomen. Butterfly wings of both intrigue and warning. “Rumors fly fast. Are the Lordes running drugs out of the Tranquility Spa?”
He didn’t so much as twitch. “If we were, you’d never find the proof.”
That wasn’t informative in the slightest. Since he was obviously irritated with me, I wasn’t sure how to read into his bravado. Or maybe he was being perfectly honest. “I find it interesting that you’ve already been called with information about your old lady.” Man, I hoped I was using the biker gang lingo correctly. “Especially since there’s an obvious drug connection between the spa and the Lordes.”
“If it were obvious, I’d be in handcuffs,” he rumbled easily. “When somebody asks questions about my boys, claiming to be mine, then anybody with half a brain would give me a call. The chick at the spa has more than half a brain, even if her man doesn’t. Now. We gonna talk about you being mine?”
The archaic language ticked me off. Completely. I told myself that nothing inside me went a little bit gooey and warm at the possessive claim. Nope. I was not that woman and the caveman act didn’t work with me. Regardless of his hard-cut jaw and way too tough-guy body. My slightly quickened breath and weakened knees had everything to do with the disintegrating weather conditions and not the biker defender. Geez. I needed to talk to the shrink again, because lying to other people was understandable. Lying to myself was a huge mistake.
Thunder cracked in the distance, and I jumped. The clouds would be rolling in soon, and as if in warning, the air began to cool. Kicking myself into gear, I strode down the path, up my stairs, and to my door. “I’m investigating a case, Aiden.” I unlocked the door, barely sounding breathless. “If you don’t like it, then start cooperating with me.”
I didn’t hear him move. One second I had the key in the lock, and the next, I was flipped around and pressed against the door, a giant of a man towering over me.
My head snapped back, and I looked up, meeting his gaze directly, even though my heart thundered. “This is not cooperating.” For some reason, I’d always had the ability to think and feel two different things, and often my mouth had a mind of its own, which came in handy when my body was rioting like this. “Back up.”
He moved in. Both hands flattened on the door, and he leaned down, his angled jaw close to mine. “I don’t give a warning twice, Angel. Step off of my case.” The Irish was out full force in his deep voice this time. Intriguing and definitely sexy.
I’m not sure what a Lordes Defender expected when giving a threat, or an order, but he wasn’t going to get it. I levered up on my toes and leaned in closer, my nose nearly touching his. His pupils dilated, and I enjoyed the surprise there. “I’m trying to help you, and if you don’t knock it off, I’ll stop.” Then I planted both hands on his very hard chest. “You don’t want me for an enemy.” I pushed.
To my surprise, he stepped back. Then he studied me, his gaze probing and oh-so-damn blue. “You don’t know me anymore.”
The words, although they’d been said by my sisters as well as myself, still pierced with a truth that shattered the make-believe world I’d created years ago about him. Starring him. “You don’t know me, either,” I whispered. “I don’t need saving now. You do.”
“You keep investigating this case, and you will need saving,” he said evenly, the Irish lilt disappearing again.
“No.” He exhaled, frustration drawing his brows together as he ducked his head and studied his boots. “How can I get through to you?”
I held up a hand. “I get it. You want me to stay away from you.” Even though he was barely more than a stranger now, the idea still hurt.
His head snapped up. “Oh, baby. I’d like you to get as close as you can to me. Just drop your investigation. Let somebody else take those chances, and you stay safe.” Those eyes deepened along with his voice, which now held the low seduction of an Irish brogue. Full and thick with promises of stormy nights and raw passion.
Warmth spread through me like a heated port. There was nothing sexier than a bad boy bent on seduction, and I knew it. “I’m sure sleeping with the prosecutor would help your case. Nice try.” My voice remained shockingly steady.
His cheek creased. “Who said anything about sex?”
“Sweetheart,” I murmured, “I’ve dreamed of sex with you since I was sixteen years old.”