Welcome to TANTALIZING THURSDAYS!!!
Today, I give you a sneak peek at Tortured Love 4 - UNDENIABLE. This book will release soon from Evernight!!
The casserole had been reheated twice and Rosanna thought it tasted overcooked, but Houston gobbled it up like he hadn’t seen food in a week. He even loved the salad, although she felt it had wilted from being placed back in the fridge after being out in the warm air of her apartment kitchen.
“Stop thinking I need everything so damn perfect,” he said, planting a wet, tasty kiss on her lips. “That you bother taking the time to cook for me after I keep you waiting for hours is perfect, in my eyes.”
“You don’t have a nine-to-five job. That’s simply how it is. I understand. When I leave the office at five, most of the attorneys are still there, and more than once I’ve walked in the next morning to find one of them had spent the night.”
Houston swallowed the food in his mouth and gave her a sly grin. “That’s because they were calling judges all night, trying to get one of them to grant a motion for some serial killer.”
As she rose to begin clearing the table, she chuckled. It was an old joke between them by now. Her job as a paralegal with the Graves Law Firm in downtown Cleveland stuck in Houston’s craw because they were primarily a criminal defense firm. “We haven’t had a serial killer for a client yet in the eight years I’ve worked there.”
“No, but you’ve had plenty of rapists, thieves, and arsonists.”
“That we have, Houston.” She couldn’t begrudge him his cynicism. He’d been a robbery/homicide detective now for twelve years, and he never stopped working. That dedication to his chosen profession was only one of the many qualities she loved about the man.
“Does it ever bother you?”
She glanced over her shoulder to find him leaning back in the chair, shoes propped up on the corner of the table. One stern look from her and he placed them back on the floor. “Sorry. Old habit.”
“No wonder you’ve been married three times.” Rosanna returned her attention to the dishes she was rinsing off in the sink.
“Hey … low blow, babe. And you changed the subject.”
The teasing humor in his voice made her smile. He had admitted his marriages failed because he kept insane work hours. It didn’t bother her that he’d been married three times, and she was glad they could joke about it. Better than having to step on eggshells every time the subject came up.
“Yeah, I did. You caught me officer.”
“So answer the question.”
“I’m there to do a job.”
“Wasn’t intended to be. Answer the question, babe.”
Whenever Rosanna was faced with this question, or one similar, she felt off balance. During her interview, they’d asked her the same thing. Would it bother her working for a firm that defended criminals?
And each time Houston asked it now, or someone else did, a wisp of memory floated up, dark and scary. But it was gone before she could put a name, a face, or even a shape to it. She had no idea why. She only knew that it had been going on since she was still in high school. It never got worse or better. It was simply there.
The day she walked into the law firm, fresh out of classes to become a paralegal and excited about her first real interview, she had wanted to work there. But that wasn’t enough for Houston. He wanted an answer and she knew he wouldn’t give up until he got one.
That perseverance was what made him a great detective. And likely one of the many things that had driven away his three ex-wives, but she wasn’t going to joke about that again. She was going to try to explain why she enjoyed working for a criminal defense firm, because the truth was that she didn’t mind Houston’s insistent questioning. It fed a need inside her she understood even less than the memories that refused to surface.
After wiping her hands on the dish towel, she opened the dishwasher and began to load. “I find it fascinating. The law, that is. When I was a teen and even younger, courtroom dramas on TV were always my favorite.”
“What did you like about them?”
“I wish I could tell you. I think it was the perception that laws are immovable, yet they became flexible when it suited their needs. The way the attorneys would find loopholes or some obscure case law that would lead to either convicting or acquitting the killer. Either way the episode went, I found myself rooting for the lawyers.”
“In my world, we call that unfair justice at work.”
She closed the door and started the machine before walking over to sit on his lap. His satisfied grunt forced a smile to her face. “Is this really what you want to talk about right now?”
Eyes as blue as a summer sky twinkled with amusement. He desperately needed a shave, but that only added to his allure. His brown hair was a mess, and she loved running her fingers through it. He had the softest hair of any man she’d ever met. “Are you sure, officer?”
“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life, Miss Selim.” He brushed his hands up and down her back, which did nothing for her attempts at forming cohesive sentences. He smelled like the food he’d just eaten, mixed with a hint of sweat. Rosanna found the scent sexy as hell.
“Our job is to make sure the clients who hire us get a fair trial.”
“Blah, blah, blah.” His hand slipped down to her ass, and Rosanna couldn’t stop the soft moans. “That still doesn’t explain why you find criminals so alluring.”
“I don’t find them alluring. I find the way the laws can be interpreted alluring.”
He smacked her left ass cheek, hard. Even through her jeans, she knew if he really let loose on her, it would be a deliciously hard spanking. “Ah-ha! So you admit attorneys bend the rules.”
“I didn’t say that. But you have to admit it’s both macabre and fascinating to watch someone guilty as hell walk away because of a technicality.”
“Macabre, yes. Fascinating, no. Not to a cop, babe.”
The dark, wispy images were back, and Rosanna wasn’t in the mood to deal with them. She’d never told anyone about them. Not even Houston. In an effort to distract him and herself, she slid one hand over his shirt, across his nipple line. The smoothness of the cotton made it easy to tease him through the fabric.
“You kept me waiting a long time, detective. What do you have to say for yourself?”
“You’re changing the subject again.” His voice was raspy, and judging by the way his eyes glazed over, her attempts at distraction were finally working. Rosanna licked his neck, just under his jaw where she knew he loved it. He tasted musky and warm, and her pussy was now soaking wet. She’d been waiting hours for this.
“Am I?” She repositioned herself on his lap so she straddled his thighs, and braced her body, bare feet on the floor, until her groin pushed against the bulge in his pants.
“How about now?” Rosanna moved slowly, tilting her hips up and down in a seductive dance. “Is this an obvious enough change of subject for you, officer?” Her clit throbbed. She moaned slightly as an orgasm began to build.
“You are the sexiest, most beautiful woman I have ever met.” He cupped her face with one hand and covered her left breast with the other. “It’s those eyes. Dark, deep, mysterious.” When he teased her nipple through the silk fabric of her top, Rosanna moaned louder. “And that hair … wild and dark, just like you.” He captured her mouth in a kiss so hot, she expected her kitchen to catch fire.
As his tongue moved inside her mouth, she wrapped her arms around his strong, hard torso and pushed closer, wanting him inside her. The man’s kisses drove her to distraction. She savored the heady sensation of matching her movements to his, loving the way her body tingled at his touch.
He released her mouth and slid his tongue to her neck, planting tiny bites and kisses along her jaw line. It made her crazy when he did that, and he knew it. Which was probably why he loved to tease her that way. Shivers ran down her spine as she pushed closer to his body.
“Let’s go into your bedroom.” His breath was hot against her skin, his voice gruff in her ear.