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1

 

 

Harlow Sweeting was ready for bed. Her first Saturday shift as the on-call family support officer had ended a couple of hours ago. Though that hadn’t meant any reprieve for her exhaustion. In her line of work, time became fluid. Leaving the family she’d been helping just because the clock had run out wasn’t an option.

So, being ready for bed had little to do with being able to curl up and close her eyes. Instead, she found herself trailing down a cold, dark street in the small hours of the night, making her way home one step at a time.

Her profession was more of a lifestyle than a vocation. No timecard could switch off its importance. There was no getting up and walking out just because she’d completed her allotted number of hours. People’s lives were more important than clocking out.

Social service work was hard. Harlow had ventured onto the path of her current profession in high school. At a career fair, she’d discussed her interests with one of the advisor’s who’d told her that social work suited the “confluence of her needs” and was a “natural evolution of her interests.”

Following the advisor’s suggestion, Harlow had done some research and decided it was an occupation where she could make a difference. After college, she’d joined a suburban division and stayed there until her recent move.

No one chose social work for its simplicity. But suburbia had not been a hotbed of need.

The last thing she wanted was a job that only required her to go through the motions. More. Harlow wanted more and had been ready to leap out of her comfort zone… no matter how big the challenge.

A challenge was exactly what she’d been ready for when she made the decision to move from the easy, less demanding suburban department to the tough inner city. Much as she’d loved her colleagues and many of her clients in her previous position, there had been nothing to sink her teeth into. In short, she’d gotten bored. Transferring to a deprived urban area and taking up a post with child and family services made sense. To her anyway, her family were less understanding.

The last thing that she wanted to do was concede that they might have been right. Harlow had thought she was ready for more. Truth was, she’d had no idea how difficult it would turn out to be. Reading about desperate scenarios in books was nothing like facing them in real life. Sometimes it felt like her heart was breaking every day.

Working with vulnerable children drove her. Protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves was a worthy cause. No matter how difficult she found witnessing or hearing about what they endured, she reminded herself that they were the ones enduring it. All Harlow had to do was listen and care, not live it every minute. Supporting the youngsters in their time of need, giving them a chance to realize their potential, was the least she could do.

Urban kids were savvy and street smart, even more so than her. Experience showed her how important it was to be confident, even when she was horrified. Being in the field, dealing with people hands on without fear, taught her more than she could learn from textbooks.

That didn’t mean she’d given up the book learning. Harlow was a strong believer that there was always more for everyone to learn. In addition to her day job, she was doing an online criminology degree in what little spare time she could scrape together.

Harlow hadn’t had the time to go back to traditional college. It hadn’t helped that her parents had refused to pay for a second degree, probably because they didn’t support the first one she’d chosen. And, they weren’t the only obstacle either. The man she’d been in a relationship with at the time saw her decision to study as a hobby rather than a way to challenge or better herself.

But, it turned out that she didn’t need anyone’s support, just her own resolve. Her first degree allowed her to work and pay for her continued education herself. Doing it on her own meant she could be proud of the achievement no one had helped her attain.

Completing the course online took twice as long as traditional channels. Relief had come when she entered her last year. At last, she was on the final stretch. The extra work had been worth it.

Looking back, she could see that embarking on the course had probably been a prelude to her move into the city. Her need for something more challenging and dynamic hadn’t come from nowhere.

Although, studying was a half-measure.

The course allowed her to read about and research dramatic, often tragic, situations full of thrills and excitement. Exactly the kind of stimulation that had been missing from her daily life.

Life had gotten harder after making the choice to move to the city. No doubt about that. Her parents hadn’t supported her breaking her engagement or making so many life changes and had vowed to cut her off. Even though they hadn’t paid her any sort of allowance for a long time, Harlow had lived in their house until moving in with her fiancé, and again after that relationship ended.

Leaving Rupert, and the safe suburb where she’d grown up, to strike out on her own was an achievement in itself. This was the first time in her life she was doing it all on her own. She could only rely on herself, and was proud of her financial independence, which wasn’t something her sibling could boast.

Walking down the dark street in this dilapidated neighborhood, there was no one around, but Harlow couldn’t say she was sorry to be by herself. Colleagues had warned her not to walk down certain streets alone, and this was one of the ones they’d named.

Still learning her way around, Harlow hadn’t meant to come this way, but had been too tired to pay attention to the direction of her feet. Getting home was the only thing on her mind and her apartment was six blocks away.

Much as she wasn’t paying close attention to her route, her autopilot had been smart enough to steer her away from Floyd’s, a bar that was notorious for its less than savory clientele and numerous dodgy dealings. That was at least one small mercy.

Harlow smiled.

Her parents and sister wouldn’t be able to comprehend what her life had become. Sometimes she couldn’t comprehend it. No one in her family would be caught dead on a deserted street in the middle of a crime-ridden neighborhood well after midnight.

The odd thing was, Harlow didn’t feel fear. Empowerment was what flowed through her. She was proud of herself. Shunning her upbringing hadn’t been easy; few people would understand why she had done it. But, on nights like this, when she was filled with a sense of purpose and pride, she remembered why the difficult path was so attractive.

Breathing in, she sighed into the calm of this beautiful night that was just perfect for a walk, even if the setting wasn’t serene or romantic. Losing herself in her thoughts, Harlow took stock of where she was in life and where she might want to be next. She didn’t get too far into that train of thought.

Everything that happened next, happened fast.

Crossing the mouth of an alleyway, drifting on her mental distraction, she didn’t hear the rush of footsteps that must have preceded the impact of the body that hit hers hard.

Someone had burst out of the alley and crashed straight into her. Whoever he was, he only just managed to catch her as they went into a tumble onto the sidewalk. Somehow, he had the presence of mind to twist them in the descent so she landed on top of him.

But, he didn’t pause. Flipping them over, he put her on her back and pounced onto his feet in a crouch.

“Get him!” someone called.

The menacing voice bounced off the walls of the narrow alley making her assailant steal a quick glance over his shoulder to check the route he’d just travelled.

Lying stunned on the pavement, Harlow couldn’t breathe or compute until somehow she noticed there was blood soaking through his shirt. “Oh my God, you’re hurt,” she said, scrambling up.

The moment she found her feet, the stranger pulled her down again just as a series of bangs reverberated from the alley. Gunshots. That sound. It could only be gunshots.

In the cocoon of his crouch, nestled between his bent legs with his body sheltering hers, Harlow couldn’t register how fast her night had become a fight to keep her life.

“Got a weapon in that purse, Trinket?”

The bass of the deep voice shook her before she could figure out that it had come from the man bracing himself around her. “I… I… a… no.”

The click, click sound of an empty weapon came closer. “Good thing he’s out,” the voice said. “Ditch the heels and bolt.”

The stranger. Her attacker and protector. Was he telling her to run? The man was alone and possibly bleeding to death while his enemies bore down on them, and he was telling her to split? That didn’t gel with her instinctive urge to help those in need.

“You’re hurt,” she said, trying to see the blood on his shirt. The way his form was guarding hers left her in shadow and too close to see his injury. “You’re bleeding.”

“Bolt.”

Certain as he sounded, Harlow was more certain that she wouldn’t leave anyone alone in danger. “Like hell,” she said, shoving away to free herself from his shielding crouch.

Thrusting to her feet, she skirted around the stooped man, putting him behind her. It was her turn to protect him. Facing the alleyway, she prepared to confront whoever might emerge from it. The stranger could have been right about the gun being empty, but the people who faded from the darkness into her view weren’t unarmed.

Five guys strode from the shadows, mean and impatient. They wanted something from the bleeding man who’d sunk onto his knees on the asphalt behind her.

“Move, lady, we’ve got business to finish,” one of the alley guys said.

The stranger had shifted onto his knees. Seeing the movement had made her twist her head, so she hadn’t spotted which of the men was the speaker.

Whoever the man behind her was, he wasn’t in a good way. Harlow wanted to offer comfort, to call for help. Except, that was impossible while this threat was still looming.

Putting thoughts of the stranger’s possible demise to the back of her mind, she steeled herself to challenge the gang. “Not a chance,” she said, raising her chin with a defiant hair flick. “You’ve hurt him already. You’ve made your point.”

“Long as he’s breathing, I’ve got a point to make.” One of the alleyway gang moved closer to spearhead his group. “I’ve got orders to end him.”

“And I’ve got a point of my own to make.”

The alleyman sneered, probably thinking about how easy it would be to move her aside. “And what’s that?”

Now she had to come up with something. “If you want to end him, you’ll have to end me too.” Maintaining her defiance, Harlow didn’t so much as blink. Strength was crucial. “And, believe me, sir, people will notice if I go missing. You do not want to screw with the people who’ll come looking for me.” This was a battle of wills and she would not lose. She would not. Tilting her head to the side, Harlow showed more determination. “Do you have orders to end me too?”

Though he did his best to disguise his concern, she could tell she’d pressed one of Alleyman’s buttons. Ignoring her hammering heart, Harlow kept her eyes locked on his. His tense lips moved in a show of frustrated aggravation. A breath later, she felt him stand down.

“Your girl’s got your back, asshole. She won’t be around to save you next time.”

Whoever Alleyman was, he spat on the ground beside her and turned away, spinning a finger, indicating to his posse that they should head back the way they’d come.

Harlow kept watching until the shadows had taken them again. The moment they were gone, she whirled in a descent, ending in a crouch. Examining the man who hadn’t stood since she’d left his shelter, Harlow feared his injuries could be grave.

Flopping forward, he barely managed to brace the weight of his upper body on his hands. It took him more than a few tries to lock his elbows. Scraping his palms on the asphalt, he crawled on all fours to the wall just on the inside of the alley. Wilting, he slumped against the brick and rolled on his shoulder until his back made contact with the structure.

Rushing over, Harlow scooped a hand around the back of his head. His eyes were rolling in his skull, unable to focus. Feeling the pulse in his neck increased her concern. It was there, but it wasn’t strong or steady.

“Oh, God,” she exhaled, letting him go to dig around in her purse that was hanging across her body, resting in her lap. “Don’t worry, I’m calling 9-1-1, I’ll get help—”

His hand shot up. The weight of it landed on her purse, pulling it down, and crushing her hand inside. His heavy eyes still weren’t focused. “No, no calls,” he grumbled, his voice weakening. “Floyd’s.”

Her lips parted in a quiet gasp. “I… I can’t go in there, it’s dangerous.”

A feeble smile touched his lips at the same time his eyes closed. “You just stood up to Hagan’s goons,” he said and coughed, his teeth gritted in a tight grimace of pain. “You can handle Floyd’s.”

There were too many thoughts to comprehend; she couldn’t focus, couldn’t make a choice. How could she get this guy who had to be at least six three up onto his feet and to a bar that was a block and a half over? Who was Hagan? Would he or Alleyman be back?

Forgetting about the people who’d done this, she triaged the problems. No matter what, she couldn’t leave this stranger here alone, not when he was seriously hurt. The most pressing matter was his life; that had to be her only focus.

He hissed, trying to pull himself into more of a seated position. “Shh,” she said, stroking him from his face to his shoulder. “Don’t move.”

The red stain on his tee-shirt was growing into a darker hue. Swallowing hard, Harlow moistened her lips a few times, gathering the gumption to pick the fabric up so she could see the state of what was beneath.

The moment she did, she wished she hadn’t.

“Fuck,” he grumbled and winced in a recoil.

Just above his hip was a gash that was still spouting new blood. “Oh my God,” she said, tugging off her scarf to scrunch it and push it hard against the wound.

She had no idea how he’d got hurt like this, though she had an idea about who was responsible. It frustrated her that he was refusing to go to hospital and she couldn’t begin to figure out why someone would want to avoid the place that could save them.

Despite all the unknowns, one thing was clear as day. The time for speculation and indecision was over. If she left him there, he’d die either way.

“That good, huh?” Doing a double take, Harlow realized the stranger was reading the seriousness of the situation from her expression through his scarcely open eyes. “You’re hot, Trinket. Does a guy get a last request?”

“Not tonight, Crash,” she said, shifting closer to loop his arm up over her shoulders. “I can’t believe you’re on the brink of death and trying to put the moves on me.”

She struggled to pull him from the wall. It took a few attempts and to get more traction, she had to press his hand onto the scarf to give him responsibility for stemming his own bleeding.

The stranger hissed again, holding the scarf against his wound. “I’m a guy with the right priorities.”

He might be able to make jokes, but she didn’t find this situation funny at all. “You’re going to be alright,” she said, putting his mischief down to the effects of blood loss. “We’re going to get you to Floyd’s. But you’re going to have to help me. I can’t do this alone.”

That made him breathe out. “Up?” he asked, bracing, despite the obvious pain behind his clenched expression.

“Up,” she said, pleased that she’d managed to focus him. “On three.”

Getting him onto his feet was only the first obstacle. Harlow learned fast that muscle weighed a lot more than it looked. This guy was no quarterback, but his body was solid, athletic in its ability, and definitely muscular.

His being healthy would work in his favor; he’d need all the help and luck he could muster to get out of this.

Guiding him out of the alley, they spanned the sidewalk and managed to get across the street. One step at a time, Harlow counted each as progress. This was the right block, but they still had to get to the corner and walk to the furthest end to get to Floyd’s, which, if she remembered the pictures she’d seen in her research of the neighborhood, was on the opposite corner.

The stranger’s shuffling steps were slowing. “What do I get?” he grumbled, maybe as a way to stay conscious.

“Get for what?” she asked, spitting her hair from her mouth, trying her best to keep her legs straight though his weight was beginning to crush her.

“Helping you out.”

“Helping me out?” she said, and realized he meant getting him to his feet and moving. “You get to live.”

He groaned. “Not good enough.”

Keeping him talking was a good idea. The uncertainty of his slowing walk was less concerning than the slurring of his speech. His head drooped, lolling on his shoulders; he wasn’t even looking where they were going. Each of his movements was blind. It seemed he trusted that she was taking him in the right direction. Though, in this state of vulnerability, he couldn’t put up much of a fight against any threat.

She’d say anything if it would keep him conscious; Harlow couldn’t do this without his help. “What is it you want, Crash? Because it doesn’t seem you’re up to the challenge of a woman like me right now.”

The faint mumble of his laugh became a grunt of pain. “Feel free to take advantage when I pass out.”

“No,” she said, pulling his arm further around her. “You’re not going to pass out, Crash. Stay with me.” All the wishing in the world didn’t prevent the inevitable. Her stranger slumped further, making her stagger to the side. “Shit, you’re heavy.”

Sweat dampened her forehead. She could feel her hair sticking to the back of her neck where it wasn’t being pulled by the leather of his jacket.

“You…” he slurred. “I…”

Determined to traverse half the block, they got around the corner but were still the length of this full block from the bar. Supporting him was getting more difficult by the second. The weight of his body shifted.

Blowing out the strain of his burden, Harlow struggled just to stop without falling over. “Crash,” she said because she didn’t know what else to call him. He’d crashed into her, so the moniker seemed appropriate. “I can’t… are you…”

Falling against the wall of the building next to them, he didn’t spend any time leaning and instead slid down onto the sidewalk.

The sight of his loose body crumpling filled her with dread. It was obvious he had little control. If he was unconscious, that was it, there would be nothing else she could do.

Desperate and terrified, Harlow dropped down beside his slumped figure. With a hand on his chest, she shuffled nearer and scooped his head up. His stubble was rough on her palm, but when she relaxed her hand, his head flopped.

His eyes were closed.

Picking up his head again, she tried to give him a shake. “Hey,” she said, slapping his cheek.

Getting no response, she hit him again, a little harder. It was useless. He was no longer conscious.

Unwilling to give up, she grabbed his shirt and pulled him forward, shaking him. Nothing happened. There was no sign of life.

Snatching her blood stained scarf from the ground next to him, she pressed it to his wound.

Panic surged through her. This man was going to die right there on the concrete if she didn’t do something. “Oh, please,” she whispered, crawling closer to stroke his face. “Please. Wake up, please.”

The stranger didn’t move, didn’t respond. His pallor set fear alight within her. That spark of emotion ignited her fortitude. Harlow wouldn’t let this happen. She wouldn’t sit whimpering while he slipped away. Without fail, she’d always let fight win before she thought about giving in to fear. Resolve consolidated the mess of emotions warring within her. Action. She had to do something. She had to take action.

Surging to her feet, she left him there and ran down the rest of the block at full speed.

Shoving into Floyd’s, she burst into the busy room, immediately drawing the attention of all those sitting around drinking. Looking left then right, she didn’t even know who she was seeking, adrenaline drove her forward.

The bartender was already turning toward her. Dubious concern and suspicion gathered on his face as he scanned her. She could feel thick blood drying on her hands and was sure her clothes were covered in it, but she didn’t care.

Panting, Harlow tried to catch her breath and gather the energy to speak. “Please,” she said, beseeching the bartender. “Please help him.”

His chin rose slowly. “Him? Him who?”

“Here,” she said, taking a backward step and gesturing for him to follow. “Please, he’s outside. Help him.” In reverse, she retreated all the way to the door. Though there were more people out of their seats, and more looks of confused doubt, no one was following her. Frustration became anger. It erupted from her chest. “Get your fucking asses out here now!”

The desperation of her furious plea was enough to snap the bartender to attention. He disappeared around the corner of the bar, but reappeared at the same corner a moment later, this time on the customer side. Coming toward her with determination in his gait, two others materialized to flank him, matching the pace of his stride.

Harlow didn’t loiter. Rushing outside, she hurried back down the sidewalk. Relief infused her when she found her patient where she’d left him. Crouching beside him, she put pressure on his wound and was stroking his face when the men from Floyd’s joined her.

The first she became aware of them was a voice cutting through the night air. “It’s Ryske,” the voice said. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw the bartender on the phone. Of the two men who’d been with him, only one remained. The other had disappeared. “Definitely blue.” He lowered the microphone from his mouth. “Is he out?” She nodded. “How long?”

“Less than five minutes,” she said, feeling so protective that she twisted to prop a shoulder on the wall next to her unconscious friend. Easing Crash away from the cold concrete, she caught his deadweight and cradled his head against her chest. When she peeled her scarf from his wound, he didn’t even flinch, which scared her even more. “He’s lost a lot of blood. He wouldn’t let me call 9-1-1. I tried. I wanted to, I…” Biting her lip, it didn’t matter that she knew her sudden emotion was irrational, she couldn’t control it. Harlow didn’t even know this guy, yet grief was gripping her. “I should’ve done it, shouldn’t I? I should’ve called 9-1-1.”

The second man was about a half inch taller than the bulky bartender but was much leaner. Both were fit, leaving her to wonder if everyone in this neighborhood hit the gym.

“No,” he said. “Definitely not. You did the right thing bringing him here. No 9-1-1… Let’s see it.”

Both men came in closer and the bartender lowered the mouthpiece of the phone again. The leaner one nodded toward her hand that was holding the scarf to the wound. Though it pained her to peel back the fabric again, Harlow wanted these men to help. Revealing the injury to the bartender and his companion, she blinked up just as they winced. The bartender turned his back to keep talking into the phone.

Harlow held the patient close, stroking his hair away from his forehead. “You’re going to be okay, Crash. You’re going to be okay.”

The second guy hunkered down next to Crash, wearing an odd kind of smirk. “Asshole,” he mumbled and socked Crash’s knee with a light punch. “Even unconscious you snag ‘em.”

The act was peculiar. Although she couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to punch or taunt an unconscious person, it made Harlow more protective. Holding Crash close, she used her body to block as much of him as she could. Whispering words of comfort, she tried to ignore the man crouched close to them.

Just as she was about to throw him the evil eye in hopes of getting him to back off, a car came skidding around the corner. Harlow tightened her embrace, praying this wasn’t anyone coming to finish the job they’d started.

The bartender and the punching guy weren’t concerned when the car came to a screeching halt in front of them. They opened both doors on the passenger’s side, front and back, while the driver climbed out to come rushing over to her. Punching Guy stuck with the driver while the bartender stayed by the vehicle.

The bartender was off the phone and apparently the one in charge. “Get him up.”

The driver and Punching Guy did as they were told, jostling her aside to pick up Crash from the sidewalk. Punching Guy hooked his forearms under Crash’s arms, while the driver took his legs.

“You have to maintain pressure,” she said, moving with them to press on the wound for as long as she could.

It pained her to back off. The driver put Crash’s legs into the backseat and ran around to open the opposite door to pull him inside. Punching Guy kept control of Crash’s upper body. Harlow couldn’t tear her eyes away. She feared what would become of the stranger once they took him.

“Don’t worry about that, Nightingale. You’re going to be there to keep our boy going,” the bartender said, putting a heavy arm around her shoulders.

“What?” she asked, but was given little choice.

The bartender urged her toward the vehicle and Punching Guy stepped aside once Crash was bundled into the backseat.

“Get in the car.”

Punching Guy went around them to get in the front passenger seat while the driver leaped back in his side.

Putting a hand on her head, the bartender pushed her down, crowding her into the back. “But, I…”

Almost sitting on Crash, Harlow had to grab his head up just to stop herself from landing on him.

“Keep him alive, Nightingale,” the bartender said, pushing her in and slamming the door. “He’s counting on you.”

The second the door was closed, the bartender hit the roof twice and the car sped off, giving her no choice but to scoop up her patient’s shoulders to lay his head in her lap.

Harlow was no nurse, except she was sure that if the bleeding hadn’t at least slowed by now, the patient probably had no chance of making it. But for lack of anything else to do, she put pressure on the wound and looked out the window, wondering where the hell she was going and what could possibly happen next.

(C) Scarlett Finn 2019

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Raven

Posted: August 6, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Raven FB

Raven

He’s mysterious and alluring,
Dominant and powerful.
He keeps her grounded,
And lets her fly.

After a date ends in disaster, Zara Bandini is drawn into a conspiracy of dark lies and hidden motives. Bidding farewell to blissful ignorance, she must betray those who trust her to prevent evil from murdering innocent civilians.

Raven guides her, shields her, and seduces her…
Now Zara has to protect her heart while saving the world.

Warning: Contains explicit language and imagery. Suitable only for ages 18 and over.

 

First Raven

Raven Teaser2POSS

 

She boosted herself up using the bed as a support and encouraged him on by opening her mouth on his jaw to rasp her teeth on his stubble. She wasn’t afraid of him. She wanted to provoke him. To unleash the truth of his darkness that he tried so hard to hide. But before her tongue could meet his skin, he grabbed her face and urged her away.

He scowled, aiming his hostility toward her mouth. “You’re my plaything now. My house means my rules.”

Shoving her jacket and her shirt down her arms, he twisted her elbows to yank the apparel off and cast it aside. Unsatisfied with what he’d revealed, he ripped the fabric strip connecting her bra cups to expose her breasts.

He bent his knees to collect up her half-naked body and closed his mouth on one breast while perching her on the frame of his bed. Hooking her feet on the plank that supported the mattress, she opened her legs around him to arch herself into his imploring mouth. He sucked and licked one breast, and took the other in his palm to fondle it. Then, sucking his mouth free of her bosom for long enough to lick his fingertips, he swirled and circled her nipples between them, alternating his fingers and his mouth, until the cramp in her belly made her hiss.

Massaging her nipples with the pads of his thumbs, he kissed the corner of her mouth. “Oh, she’s pretty,” he said with perverse pleasure. “Knows just what that hot body can get her.”

Her constricted lungs barely allowed words to seep from the threshold of her mouth. “There’s only one thing I want,” she ground the words out through her gritted teeth.

Zara combed her fingers into his hair as he moved south to kiss her chest again. When he snagged her nipple in his teeth, she coiled her digits tight against his scalp.

Pulling the taut peak in his mouth with him as he retreated, he only released it when it would come no further. “You think you’ll find it here?” he asked.

Sliding her hands through his tresses, to his jaw and up to his face, she compelled his head up, away from its task, so that she could look him in the eye. “I already have,” she said and wrapped her legs around him.

As her ankles locked, he reached around to grab them and wrench them apart. Using his hold on her limbs, he yanked her forward, forcing her to stand. One of his strong hands drove itself beneath her waistband and sent her skirt fluttering to the floor, before he stepped back to get a better view. Left in only her panties and stockings, she was fired up by being on show for him, and from the reaction in his jeans, she’d say he liked what he saw.

“She’s naughty,” he muttered as though to himself. “Do you like dressing dirty?” With one arm, he lunged forward to capture her. He yanked her body onto his so tight that she struggled to breathe. But she loved the way he held her, how his strength could overpower her. Despite what he was capable of, he could never use that strength or his lethal skills against her. Having immunity from him was a thrill in itself. “You dress to drive men wild?”

“I dress for me,” she said, trying to push away from his embrace simply because she knew she couldn’t.

Using his mass, he crushed her against the end of the bed. She was lost in the intensity of his eyes, but yelped when he snatched her panties and ripped them away from her fizzing skin before he let his other arm enclose around her.

When he bowed nearer, she tipped her head back to avoid his kiss, because riling him enlivened her. But he opened his mouth and sucked the neck she’d exposed for him.

The bite of power in that kiss made her yelp. “Oh, God…”

 

 

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Find chapter one on Scarlett’s website at: www.scarlettfinn.com

 

Writer of the Explicit Series, Scarlett Finn has published over a dozen romance novels.

Finding her solace in books, reading and writing have been her eternal companions through all the highs and lows of life.

Be it romantic suspense or contemporary romance, she loves to explore the mystery of love and is guided by the complex heroes and strong heroines who lead the way.

Writing what she loves to read, her raunchy novels jump into action from page one and keep the reader on their toes all the way to the end.

It’s an adventure and you’re invited along for the ride!

 

 

LINKS

 

Website: http://www.scarlettfinn.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/finnscarlett

FB: www.facebook.com/scarlett.finn.9

Blog: scarlettfinn.wordpress.com

GR Author: https://www.goodreads.com/ScarlettFinn

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Scarlett-Finn/e/B00J9S1QJ8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/scarlett-finn

 

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Explicit, #1

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Synopsis

‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’

Stranded and searching for a phone, Flick inadvertently walks into danger, and finds herself living in a nightmare. But an unexpected reprieve comes in the form of a stranger, a looming silhouette more terrifying than the evil that captured her. From him she learns that danger has an alias, Rushe. He is abrupt, crude, domineering…and her only hope for survival.
With freedom a distant memory, Flick is reluctantly drawn into the criminal plot. As she descends further, her entanglement with Rushe becomes deeper. The adventure she started by accident threatens them; but Flick knows it’s not only her life she is battling for, it’s her heart as well.

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Explicit, #2

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Synopsis

‘I make my own rules.’

Integrating Flick into his life has given Rushe a new priority, to keep his woman where he wants her – safe and in his bed. But saving women who have no hope is a part of who he is, and it doesn’t take long for the next job to seek them out.
Rushe knows the rules, but Flick has never played the game from this side of the table before. Working in parallel, our couple go undercover to expose the crucial details of an intrigue that sinks deeper than they could have predicted.
Ready to get her hands dirty, Flick wades in, relishing the challenge. Except danger closes in on her from all sides, and Rushe has his own cards to play. They have to learn to work together before the job drives them apart.
But if their union is revealed, it could cost them their lives.

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Explicit. #3

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Synopsis

‘There’s no place for that here.’

The past that they’d hoped to outrun has chased them down, and now it wants payback.
To appease their debtors, they must delve into Rushe’s own history. As they come face to face with the situation that brought them together in the first place, Flick learns more about the man who she’s pledged her heart, and her body, to.
When danger encroaches, Flick will resort to whatever measures are necessary to achieve their goal, but could that mean sacrificing their relationship?

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Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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I’ve been thinking about the qualities of the alpha males that we all love to read and I’ve been trying to decipher what the most important one is. Of course there are several, so it’s been a tough decision. But the one I’ve decided to blog about today is this: drive.
Our alpha male must be determined, he must have a goal and a purpose. In one novel he will usually be driving towards several goals, which is why I believe this quality is so important. He’ll be driving towards solving the mystery, saving the world, and/or taking down the bad guy. Sometimes there are personal goals with regards to friends, business, or family. And of course, the most important goal he is driving towards is: getting the girl.
It intrigues me because it sort of proves that without that fierce drive pushing him along we wouldn’t see the other qualities. We wouldn’t see his stubbornness or his arrogance. Without the drive being displayed we might not see how resiliant he is, when failure is merely a minor setback to be progressed from.
Usually our alpha male is hotness in a can, so with a perfect physique he must have the discipline required to work out hard, regularly, and push through the pain.
Perhaps the reason this is most interesting to me at the moment is that as a writer we must share so many of these qualities, a part of us must be this hero. We must push through to get the book written and edited. We must keep going despite failure and rejection. We have to continue our lives and fight our personal battles whilst continually maintaining that focus on what’s important and where we’re going. Alphas have to be optimistic and be able to face problems head on and come up with solutions, just like writers must.
I know a lot of us display these qualities in life, we have to, and these traits could be applied to many. But it’s important to point out that writers do write what they know, even if they’re coming at it from a very different angle.

Good luck on your adventures

xSx