Happy Wednesday, and thanks again to the lovely Angelica Dawson for organizing the MidWeekTeases 🙂
This week’s tease comes from my story SLICK, in the dark erotic fantasy anthology DARK & DIRTY.
Phone to his ear, Slick picks a bottle from a generous selection and spins to show it to me, lifting his brows as if to offer me a drink. The bottle has the rich gold-orange color of a bourbon.
Is he crazy? I don’t drink at work. I shake my head and walk out to give him some space. It was a nice gesture, though, making a point of treating me like his equal. I had no idea such an important person, a managerial director, apparently, could be so thoughtful. I’m too used to their looking down at me.
I arrange the coffee cups around the conference table, wheel the empty trolley to a corner, and go to the large window to have a look. Fourteen floors separate me from the ground, and rooftops of varying heights stretch into the horizon. Feels like the building is swaying.
This is power. You can drink alcohol in your work hours, come and go when you want, and have the most luxurious office on top of the city.
Still, I may be a cockroach living in a dump on the lugubrious side of town, I wouldn’t trade my miserable life for Slick’s privileges.
“No! They’re my kids, too!” A yell from the door, followed by a bang and the sound of shattering glass.
A shiver runs through me. I freeze and strain to hear.
Should I help him? He probably wants to deal with his personal issues on his own. When I have problems, I sure don’t want anyone to interfere.
Silence. So fucking quiet, I can hear the blood pulsing in my temples.
Alarm shoots through me. Broken glass and anger don’t do well together.
I swivel and hurry into the adjacent room.
Slick sits on the edge of the desk with a hand covering his ashen face and the other arm across his naked chest. His phone lies next to him. On one of the walls, a brown splatter narrows to a streak gliding down to the carpet, with sharp shards of glass at the bottom reflecting light.
“You okay?” I ask.
He nods, but doesn’t look at me. He seems petrified. Maybe the phone call was the drop that made the vase spill over, and he can’t handle the overload. Or maybe he’s ashamed of letting his anger get the better of him. Powerful people want to be in control, they don’t explode and destroy things. That’s what thugs like me do.
I circle his desk, find a trash bin, and squat in front of the pile of shards to help pick them up.
At last, he pushes from the table and kneels in front of me. He says something I don’t get because heat from his naked torso brushes me like the sensuous caress of a whore, and an ensnaring scent of musk mixed with cologne sneaks into the dark parts of my brain. Turning to mush, my head buzzing, I use my thick fingertips to pull the biggest shards out of the carpet slowly, placing them in the bin with exaggerated care to prolong the time I can be near him. This moment will be over too soon.
He puts a hand on mine, his fingers radiating heat.
Fuck, I can’t stand the intimacy. As if burned by fire, I retract my hand from underneath his.
He growls, “I said, be careful. You’re going to cut yourself.”
I suck in a breath. He’s referring to my trembling? My callused hands always tremble in every situation. It’s something I developed in prison. But he doesn’t know it’s normal for me. Maybe he thinks I’m a bundle of nerves and that the sight of broken glass shocked me. If he knew the things I’ve seen! Holding back a chuckle, I focus on the difficult task. Now that I’ve picked the bigger pieces of glass, miniature ones are revealed beneath, lodged between the carpet fibers.
“Didn’t you hear me?” From the hard tone in his voice, he’s used to giving orders.
For a while there, I forgot he’s a customer—thus the boss—and I the employee, the one who has to bow and give thanks for having a job at all.
Trembling hand mid-air, I gaze up into his stare and swim in the storm of emotions in his black, strained eyes, framed by long lashes. I can’t resist glancing downward, to his mustache, full lips, and bearded jaw.
Everything about him makes me sizzle. The vulnerability exposed by his ex’s phone call, dueling with the toughness he showed dealing with the suits earlier. His perfect muscles playing underneath tanned skin and a mat of manly hair. The very basic human way he kneels before a pile of glass shards, proving he’s mortal like the rest of us, while wearing one of the most expensive pant fabrics I’ve seen in my lifetime, in a luxurious office on the rooftop of the corporate-finance part of the city.
Copyright (c) 2016 Lea Bronsen
Introduction by USA Today bestselling author Jenika Snow.
Four dangerously dark and delicious stories that will awaken your dirtiest fantasies.
NOT ONE NIGHT by D.C. Stone:
One night of pleasure isn’t worth losing a lifetime of friendship. Or a reputation. Or a career. A spot in the social standing. That irritating innocence. Or the always-so-present pride.
But it is worth losing her heart.
REDEEMER by Kastil Eavenshade:
His family has the wealth and power to give him anything … except approval.
Gianni Bencivenni marks his time in lines of cocaine. One lover is the same as the next within the walls of addiction—until his family puts a contract out on his life. On the run with the last man he wants to be in close quarters with, Gianni has to decide whether his yearning for acceptance and love can overpower his need for a drug-filled haze.
Johnny “Butcher” Mascagni marks the black sins he commits. Death is his profession and ghosts of the dead haunt his waking moments. His penance for the dark life he’s led. Through all the men who have shared his bed, love is a promise that eludes him. When a former lover becomes his last assignment, Butcher must decide if he can set his demons free and open his heart again.
SLICK by Lea Bronsen:
Ex-convict Luke has been fortunate enough to land a small job as a kitchen assistant, but he’s lonely and crippled by baggage from the past.
CEO Roman Spencer also has his share of problems. It doesn’t help that a tough and hot-headed kitchen worker begins to plague his mind…and body.
The more Luke runs into Roman, the more his dark fantasy turns into attraction. If he surrenders, his thug pride will effectively go down the drain.
ADDICTIONS by R. Brennan:
Alexis Harrison is a mess. She’s managed to blow out her knee, lose her scholarship, and get hooked on pain killers. Now she’s playing mule to her dealer, who is her only friend, to support her ever increasing habit.
If something doesn’t change soon, her addiction is going to cost Lexi more than just everything.
Find out more about the book here
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