Today is the re-release of my book Inferno, so as a treat, I thought I'd post the first chapter ... :)
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/inferno-p945.php
Some Like It Hot
He wouldn’t. He fought the urge surrounding, overwhelming and overriding his senses. Mentally he struggled, trying in vain to get a grip on his faculties, trying desperately to disobey.
“Come on,” the taunt was a deep voiced hiss, slithering through his ears and into his brain. “You know you want this. Such warm pleasure…” The voice beckoned, enticed, demanded.
Out of desperation, he closed his eyes, clenching his jaws, looking skyward in a strained attempt to block the voice taunting him.
Warmth spread before him on the chilled night. Looking down with a start, he jolted. When had that happened? What had he done? Looking at the lighter in his hands, the incriminating evidence, he dropped it, shaking his hands and wiping them on his shirtfront as if to rid them of the evil he could not shake. But it was too late.
The flames rolled slowly over the vertical wood shingles, the golden tongues licking, consuming the wall in slow drags. He always felt the flames, the heat, as a molten lover. The mellow heat pulled him, drawing him closer, caressing his skin, seducing. His cock stiffened, sweat slicked his skin as the fire grew. The intensity surged through him, the flames becoming his master. A sleeping beast released to feed and he watched the hypnotic tongues, feeling them caress his flesh. His cock pulsed with imminent release.
He had to get away. He had to move. The flames held him captive, the beast growing, consuming, and roaring with life. Shivering violently, he came.
Realization fell over him. What had he done? Horrified, he jumped to his feet. He had to get away. He had to move.
Henri James rolled her head, stretching her shoulder and neck muscles. Tucking a stocking-clad foot under her thigh, she sighed and stretched. This seemed like the longest week in history. The season was changing from summer to autumn. The dreary Seattle weather was blowing the vibrance of summer away, leaving a stark world of grey, and silver skies.
“You’re here late.” She didn’t even need to turn to know it was Mr. Danno, her editor, addressing her.
“Yes, well, I was finishing up a project.”
“Are you going to interview that firefighter anytime soon?”
Henri looked at her watch. “As soon as I finish here, I’m meeting him for dinner over at the Palisade.” She looked up at him, curling the corners of her lips. “And you’re paying.” She batted her eyes dramatically at him.
“A date? I thought you were just going to pick this guy’s brain. Since when does an interview include five-star meals?”
“Since I’ve been busting my butt to get you your top stories. Besides, this guy saved that baby’s life. Think of it as a reward for him, compliments of Mr. Danno, the man-o.”
Mr. Danno sighed heavily in defeat. “Just keep it cheap.” He sighed again as he walked away, shaking his shining domed head.
Henri smirked. As if. Glancing at her watch again, she planted her warm foot into her cold pump. She opened up the file on her desk, perusing the notes and photos she had collected of her subject, one Mr. Cade Lane. She had to be honest and admit it; she’d loved collecting the information on this case. Remaining impartial under her journalistic decree was going to be difficult. She flipped over a photo of his handsome, rugged features to one that had been used in the Seattle Firefighters Calendar and then the next with him cuddling the small child. Good God, how can this man be single? She flipped to another photo, this one black and white. She paused, shaking off the effect his photo had on her and took a deep breath. She released it with a huff and closed the file, sliding it into her satchel on top of her laptop. Slipping into her long overcoat, she picked up her things and left for her meeting that wasn’t a date.
After leaving her Lexus with the valet, Henri strolled inside and gave her name to the hostess, who led her to a table overlooking the Puget Sound. Henri drew in a deep breath when she took in the view. The hostess waited while she set her purse and satchel down and seated herself.
“Would you care for something to drink?” Henri accepted the offered menu.
“Umm,” she glanced over the drink list. “I think I’ll have a Hefeweizen with a lemon twist.”
“Okay,” the waitress replied with a smile. “I’ll have that right out.”
Henri relaxed, watching the gentle water of the Puget Sound from the window. A lavender sky faded to distant hills silhouetted in deep purple. An iridescent pink glow reflected from the water, creating an enchanting setting where water birds came and went. She became so engaged with the scenery that she lost track of time and space.
“Ms. James?” The hostess voice cut through her enchantment, drawing her back to reality. She set her Hefeweizen down. “Mr. Lane is here. You were expecting him?”
“Oh. Yes. Thank you.”
The hostess turned on her heel, leading the man behind her to the table. Henri met his sharp, crystalline blue eyes. Her breath caught and she froze. The pictures didn’t do him justice. Sure, they had captured the sandy blond hair, the broad, weathered features and the unreal sea blue eyes. But the camera couldn’t capture the charisma, appeal and devastating charm that had her stunned.
“Anything to drink, sir?” The hostess asked, allowing Henri a moment to blink back and compose what small amount of professional dignity she had left.
Cade looked to what she was drinking. “I’ll have what she’s having, minus the lemon.” A broad smile crossed his lips.
Henri stood, stepping around the table and offered her hand. It was only when she looked up at him that she noticed she’d kicked her shoes off without realizing it. She blushed and introduced herself. “Hello, I’m Henri James and you must be Cade Lane.”
Cade took her hand in his; the rough skin of his large hands engulfed hers, making her shiver and heat flood her body as the muscles of her pussy clenched.
“I must be.” His baritone voice was soft and sensual and made her heart skip a beat.
Jesus, how was she going to make it through this interview without doing something stupid? She looked down at their still-clasped hands and realized it was too late for that. She began to pull her hand away and Cade firmed his grip ever so slightly, drawing her eyes to the knot of their joined hands. The heat of his masculine energy seemed to fuse them together, she looked back up into his eyes, surprised to see the light of the instant attraction she felt. He released her hand and the rapid pulse at her throat echoed in her sex as she sat. She avoided his gaze, crossing her legs, hoping to quell the scent and feel of her aching arousal. It had been too long, much too long since she had been with a man.
The hostess breezed back to their table with the ale in her hand, giving Henri the chance to compose herself with the distraction. “Here you are; someone will be here in a moment to take your orders.”
“Thank you,” they replied in unison. The hostess glanced at both of them before leaving with a knowing grin on her face.
Henri gave an inward groan, ducking to retrieve her good old-fashioned recorder from her bag. If she couldn’t hide her attraction to this man from the hostess, then how could she hide it from Cade? So much for the impartial part. She could see the article now: Henri James would desperately love for Cade Lane to throw her down and fuck her senseless.
After fiddling with the little recorder, she looked up again into those incredible eyes that melted her to the core, feeling her face flush.
An amused smile tilted Cade’s lips. “Are you all right?”
“Umm,” Crap, she’d blown it. “Maybe this was a bad idea for me to interview you, Mr. umm—” Henri stared at him; her mind barren. Despite all the outstanding awards she had won, all of the years she had put into journalism, and all of the people she had interviewed over the years, Henri James was drawing a blank.
“Lane. Cade Lane,” he finished.
Mortified, Henri moved to say something, anything and yet still, nothing.
A warm, understanding smile slid over Cade’s lips again. “If it makes you feel any better, I was expecting someone different.”
Henri felt like she’d been slapped. “What do you mean?” Her brow furrowed.
“Well, with a name like Henri James, I was expecting someone fat and short and male.” He paused, gazing at her with seductive eyes. “You’re not so fat, or short, or male.” A ruddy color spread over his face, just as his smile did. Reaching over the table, he placed his hand over hers in a gentle touch. “It’s a pleasant surprise, I must say. I’m happy to see a mutual attraction here, glad I’m not the only one. Would you like to start again?”
Henri sighed out a nervous laugh. “Oh, Mr. Lane—”
Henri’s furious blush colored her cheeks again as heat pulsed through her body. “Cade. Cade, you don’t know how happy I am that you’ll let me start over.”
Cade’s fingers moved over the back of her hand, tickling awareness through her. She left it beneath his, enjoying the touch and the sensations that poured through her.
A young man came to the table, interrupting. “Are you ready to order?”
“Oh dear, well, I’m afraid we haven’t had a chance to look yet.” Henri looked to Cade. “This is Mr. Danno’s treat, so please—” She nodded to the menu, indicating that he order big. She looked back to the young man. “I’ll have the salmon.”
“Okay.” He committed her order to memory.
Cade smiled. “And I’ll have the New York steak, medium rare, please.
“Very good.” The waiter turned and left them alone again.
“Well, I suppose we should get this going.” Henri pushed the record button on the recorder. “Do you mind if I record our interview?”
“No, not at all.” He leaned forward, his gaze still following her movements, sliding over her face, her throat and her breasts, making her nipples tighten.
Henri struggled against the spell he had over her; she shook her head and moved her hair back off her shoulders. She moved her hand away from his touch and entwined them before her, steepling her first fingers as she thought. “Mr. Lane—”
“Cade,” his voice slid softly around her.
“Cade.” Shaking her head again, she laughed. “This is very difficult.” She admitted.
Reaching over the table, Cade grasped her hand again. “Then maybe we could save the interview for another time and enjoy the sunset together now. It seems such a waste to not enjoy it.” He reached over and clicked the recorder off.
“Cade.” He lifted her hand, kissing her knuckles as he breathed his name onto her skin.
The heat of his breath made her heart pound and visions of his breath on her body made her swallow hard. “Cade, I don’t usually do things like this,” she whispered.
Cade’s sultry smile reflected in his soft gaze. “Neither do I. But sometimes when you get that deep-down feeling, you have to follow it.”
Henri’s eyes held his and she smiled.
Their dinner arrived shortly thereafter and Henri found that food had never tasted so good. The atmosphere was perfect in that subtle romantic way. With the windows now darkened by night, the soft tinkling of the piano in the background and her handsome dinner companion, it was very easy to forget that she was supposed to be here on business.
When their meal was complete, including the sharing of a large sundae, she felt the bitter ache of having to go home, alone. She didn’t want to leave him, but didn’t want to ask him into her bed…yet.
“Would you like to go up to Snoqualmie Falls?” Cade asked as they pushed back from their empty dishes. “Maybe your interview would work better if I could show you the who, what, where and when.”
“That would be lovely!” Henri felt as if a light had come on inside. “When would you like to do that?”
“Well, I happen to have the day off tomorrow, would that be okay?”
“I’d really like that.”
“Say, eleven o’clock? That will give you plenty of time to get there without being in a hurry.”
The hostess approached them. “Our dining room will be closing in a few minutes. If you would like to move into the bar area, that will be open longer.”
Henri looked at her watch. “It is getting late, I really should be going. It has been so nice meeting you.” She stood, with Cade right behind her.
“I’ll walk you out. I should be going too.”
Henri shouldered her purse, stepping in front of him as he waited. He was such a gentleman. Why was it all she could think of was ravishing him?