Monday, November 25, 2013

An Education in Love by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

An Education in Love

by Shara Azod and Marteeka Karland

Loralei couldn’t believe she was actually doing this. From the second she took Duff Hendry’s hand, she knew she was in trouble. For one thing, he didn’t let it go until he saw her safely to her car. Even then, he didn’t leave, making sure her seat belt was securely fastened and that her car actually started before going to his own. She followed him to one of the city’s nicer restaurants. Not a roadhouse, but not a “dress-up” restaurant, either.

All the way, her heart pounded. It’s just a drink. Maybe a little something to eat. Don’t read more into it than it really is. He’s known you for years. What’s a little dinner between two acquaintances? Was she really having a conversation with herself? Yeah. She was.

Time to face it. Loralei had it bad for the man. Her student’s father, no less. While there were no rules against it, Loralei was sure there would be ramifications. But when Duff opened her door, held his hand out for her as he flashed that grin that made her insides melt, she forgot exactly why.

“I hope this place is all right with you. They serve a variety of food in case there’s something you can’t eat.” Not many men would have considered that. In fact, she had an allergy to shellfish. As a result, she just didn’t bother with it.

“I’m sure it will be fine.”

Looking into his eyes, Loralei felt like she was falling. Duff stepped closer, his superior height never more apparent than it was in that moment. Swallowing, she looked up at him helplessly.

“Loralei…” His voice was a husky blend of sin and sex, one she couldn’t resist. She knew she should, but what was girl supposed to do in the face off all that maleness?

Drawing in a shuddering breath, Loralei tilted her head up at him, not knowing what to do, what to expect. His hand came to her face, his thumb brushing her bottom lip as if he contemplated kissing her. Duff moved closer to her, his body a shelter for hers. Just when she was sure Duff would kiss her, he raised his head slightly, as if catching himself doing something he shouldn’t. Then he smiled before stepping back a step, giving her room but not vacating her personal space completely. Still, Loralei was surprised at the bitter disappointment. She’d narrowly avoided disaster, hadn’t she? If they kissed, it wouldn’t be an innocent outing. She’d have no plausible deniability.

“Not now, Loralei,” he whispered. “Soon, but not now.”

Oh, God! Butterflies seemed to have been turned loose in her stomach as she struggled not to stumble all over herself. Not now? She wanted to grab him and scream “Why the hell not?” as she kissed him herself. But that wasn’t like her, and she just couldn’t bring herself to take what she wanted. Instead, she allowed him to take her hand, leading her inside.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coming Soon... Four Hard SWATs

Yup. A little excited about this one...
Look for it right after Christmas.

“Confirm. Go, no go.”
“Assault team is a go.”
“I’m a go out here, Top.”
“I have eyes on the target. Go.” Tawni Bolten ignored the sweat dripping down her face in favor of keeping a line of sight on her target. As the rear guard for their SWAT team, she was charged with sniper duty. Yes, she was nearly a crack shot with the M14 sniper rifle, but. as the newest member of their team and the only woman, Tawni had the feeling they guys just wanted her out of the way.
They were going after a suspected drug lord in the city. The mission was to arrest all in the area, which intel said was only three, including the main target. If all went well, her services wouldn’t be required.
“Assault team is active.” Grayson Baker and Wyatt Johnson made up the assault team with Sebastian Cross being their scout. Bastian had confirmed the intelligence report on the number of men in the small house and also had the men covered with a long ranged riffle. Their leader, Nicholas Baker, or Niko, kept a close watch in a position where he was able to get to his team should something go wrong. All of them were top notch in the field. All of them were sexy as hell.
Tawni watched as the two men approached the house. Gray squatted underneath an open window while Wyatt secured the door. The back door was covered by Bastian while Tawni had a good view of the front where Wyatt now readied himself to kick in. Though none of the four men on the team were small by any means, Wyatt was the biggest of the bunch.
With one swift, hard kick, the door exploded inward accompanied by the shout of male voices. Wyatt could be heard over them all shouting, “Freeze! Police!” Naturally, that didn’t do one damned bit of good.
Tawni adjusted her grip on her riffle, making minor adjustments incase her talents were needed. Gray tossed a flash grenade through the window. The thing went off with a flash of light in the dark and a loud bang. More shouts and Tawni’s heart pounded. Gray and Wyatt entered the building.
“Police!” Gray shouted again. Before he could say more, however, the distinct “pop pop pop” of gunfire punctuated the night.
“Shots fired, shots fired,” Wyatt’s voice rang out over the radio. He sounded completely calm and in control, as if he did this every day.
“Return fire,” Niko responded, keeping it short. Tawni could hear the implied, “Don’t let those bastards get away,” but Niko didn’t say it. Dispatch was listening, as well as people throughout the city who had nothing better to do than listen to the police scanner.
Immediately, the distinctive sound of the assault team’s Berettas popped from the tiny house. Tawni wondered if the team had killed their targets or wounded them. The rule was, don’t fire unless you’re prepared to kill, but these guys were better than the average cop on the street. All of them, with the exception of Tawni, were former military. Special forces. They were good enough to completely take down a target without killing him if Niko told them to.
“I can take out lead target,” she intoned, trying not to sound eager or, worse, nervous, but she wasn’t sure she managed either. It wasn’t that she wanted to kill anyone, she just needed to prove her worth to these battle hardened men.
“Negative, Snipe. Hold.” Niko effectively called her off, obviously believing the assault team had it under control. Tawni took several deep breaths, trying to calm herself. The heat of the moment was definitely different from training. Adrenaline rushed through her veins with every beat of her heart. If she were honest with herself, it was difficult to tell if it were fear or excitement. Probably a little of both.
Scope firmly on the house, her target still in the cross hairs, movement to her left caught her eye. Immediately, she warned the team. “Top, movement on the ground to the left of the house. There’s a second target moving fast.” There was something familiar about the man moving to intercept her team, but she couldn’t place him. Tawni’s gut tightened. If Gray and Wyatt missed the man’s entrance, they’d be vulnerable.
“Bastian, do you have eyes on him?” Niko’s voice was calm as ever. How the hell did the man stay so fucking under control? Tawni wanted to scream, to run to their aid no matter what Niko said. The newcomer was an unknown. No one had a clue how he was armed.
“Negative, Top. I got nothing. Snipe, how far out is he?”
“Left of the front of the house. Thirty meters out and closing fast.” Tawni’s heart pounded in her ears, her breath came in shallow gasps. Sweat continued to trickle down her face, dripping off her eyelashes, but she refused to take her eye away from the scope to wipe her hand across her forehead. “I’ll have a clear shot for a couple more seconds and that’s it.”
“I’m ready for him, Top,” Gray’s voice came over the radio over yells and the occasional chorus of gunfire. “Let him inside so we know who we’re dealing with.”
Tawni ground her teeth. Was he fucking kidding?
“Copy that,” Niko said. “Hold position, Snipe.”
Tawni hated that they called her “Snipe.” They’d said “Tawni” was too girlie to use over the radio, laughing as they’d insulted her. Oh, they hadn’t been condescending or actually meant to be insulting. They were teasing. Like they constantly ragged Wyatt calling him Erp. Still, it grated. She was well aware they were all physically bigger and stronger than she was. It was something they just loved pointing out on a daily basis calling her Shrimp, or Short Stuff. Their sizes were part of their appeal to her. All in all, even if she didn’t like it, she supposed Snipe was the better alternative.
From the day she’d met them, started training with them, she’d tried to view them as one of the guys. Part of her team. Instead, she’d developed a very unhealthy attraction to all of them, secretly loving it when they manhandled her, tossing her to the top of a training wall or pinning her beneath them when they trained in weaponless combat. Now, watching them move from a distance, she had to wonder if they were taking advantage of her skill as a sniper or simply getting her out of their way while the "men went to work."
As if sensing the trap, the newcomer changed direction, heading into the tree line next to the house. The cover was dense there, the woods thick in the mountains on the outskirts of the Appellation city.
“He’s headed for cover. Into the woods,” Tawni advised.
“Let him go for now. Concentrate on the house, Snipe.” His command was sharp. Cutting. Like he expected her to drop her scope and run after the unknown man.
Gritting her teeth, she replied, “copy,” again adjusting her grip.
There was radio silence for several long minutes. The occasional yell or curse from the house echoing in the night, but no more gun fire. Gray and Wyatt shoved their prisoners out of the door, hands behind their backs. Three men, all subdued. Only one appeared to have been injured in the shootout, favoring his right leg before dropping to his knees on the ground with his companions.
“All present and accounted for, Top, including Mr. Messer.” Gray tipped a two fingered saluted in the general direction Niko kept watch over his team.
“That’s good work people,” Niko praised, the radio clipping his voice with slight static.
Immediately, Tawni swung her scope to the tree line, looking for the man who’d fled, needing to get a line on him. If she could find him, she could prove how valuable an asset she could be to them. All of the men had been in the military together. She had no idea which branch or what they did, only that they’d been friends for years. Had been together, watching each other’s back for years. Niko had always led, the others willingly followed his lead even though all of them could have had their own team.
They had set up the city’s SWAT team after a particularly nasty bank robbery where several people had been injured and three killed. There had been a question as to whether or not such a highly trained, expensive team was needed in the area, but since all four of them were already trained, the chief had agreed to let Niko hand pick police officers to add to their unit. Tawni had narrowly made the cut only months before, and she got the feeling the only reason she was there was because of her academy recommendations.
Then she saw him. A shadowy figure moving her way. If he continued in the same direction, he’d pass between her and the woods.
“Top, I’ve got the other guy. He’s headed up the hill to my left. I can intercept him.”
“Negative, Snipe, negative!” Niko said instantly.
Before he could finish ordering her to stay, the guy stopped, pulled out his own rifle and took aim at the team below her.
“Shooter!” Tawni yelled over the radio, catching the attention of the attacker. Pulling her Beretta from her hip, she scrambled to her feet, aiming as she went. “Police!”
The gunman swung his rifle in her direction, squeezing the trigger as he did. The gun fired with a loud boom, the bullet kissing Tawni’s arm with fiery lips. She cried out in pain, squeezing the trigger of her own gun. The shot went wide and the man sprinted for the woods. Tawni ran after him, aware of Niko ordering her to stay put but ignoring him. This bastard was not getting away from her.
Smashing through the dense underbrush, the man was easy to follow. Tawni ran headlong after him, never taking her eyes from the shadowy figure in front of her.
Which was probably why the second guy was able to crack her skull with a tree branch, sending her sprawling to the ground. Stars swam before her eyes, threatening unconsciousness. Instinctively, she brought her gun hand up in a wide arch, looking to drive the butt into someone’s leg, arm, or face. She connected with something, evidenced by the loud swearing, but she had no idea what.
Dimly, she was aware of her team headed to her. Bastian and Niko by the sound of it. The earpiece had stayed put somehow, even though she’d been whacked hard. In front of her, the first guy came back to her, his form silhouetted by the dim moonlight. He raised his weapon, aiming the rifle right at her.
Somehow, Tawni managed to swing her gun around, firing two shots as she did. Both connected with the man’s leg and he went crashing to the ground with a sharp, shrill scream. That was when Niko’s heavy footfalls became apparent as he charged through the woods after her.
The second guy swore under his breath, but took off, running faster than Tawni would have thought possible in the dark. Man obviously knew the territory well.
“What the fuck were you thinking, Tawni!”
That would be Niko. Pissed as hell. No surprise there. He always got that way when someone disobeyed a direct order.
“He was about to shoot down on the team,” she offered weakly, trying to sit up, her head swimming.
“You hit?” Bastian’s voice was calm where Niko’s was barely controlled fury.
“My arm,” she managed.
“What about your head?” Bastian had a flashlight and seemed to be shining it directly into her face on purpose. Fingers gently touched a spot on her forehead. Tawni gasped and flinched back when pain seemed to explode through her head.
“Son of a bitch!” She gasped. “Don’t do that!”
“Pump knot,” Bastian said, switching off the light. “She probably has a slight concussion, but I won’t know until I can examine her.” Bastian had been a field medic during his military stint. Probably why it had been him who joined Niko in the hunt.
“Get her back to the  others,” Niko growled. “We’ll wrap this up then take her to the ER.”
“I’m fine –“
“Do not cross me, Tawni,” Niko snapped. “I’ll deal with you after you’re patched up.” His movements as he cuffed the injured assailant were jerky, hard. The guy actually yelped more than once as Niko secured him.
Tawni bit back tears of frustration. Would he kick her out of SWAT? “If I’d been a man, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You’ve never held the others back.”
“If you were a man, I’d kick your ass right now!” The anger in Niko’s voice was all too apparent. If it hadn’t been, the smoldering look in his eyes as he got all up in her face certainly did. “The reason I don’t  hold the others back is because I know what they are capable of and that they know when not to push their luck. If they try to do something I think is too risky, I reign them in. You, on the other hand, are green as goose shit. You’re may have had a couple years on the force, did exceedingly well in Police Academy, but you have exactly zero combat experience. Until I know damned well what can and can not do, you will do exactly what I tell you or you’re gone.” He was nose to nose with her now, his voice that of a drill sergeant. A none too happy drill sergeant at that. “Are we clear?”
“As crystal, Top,” she answered.
“Did you get a look at the second guy?”
“No. He hit me before I knew there was someone else near. After that, he stood between me and the moon. All I know is he’s a big son of a bitch. Tall. Broad shouldered. Not hardly as big as Wyatt, but damned big just the same.”
“Can you walk?” Sebastian helped her too her feet. Unsteady as she was, she still wasn’t about to admit how dizzy she felt.
“I’m fine.”
“Like hell,” he said and scooped her up in his arms. Tawni protested Sebastian’s handling of her, but when Niko growled, she shut up, not willing to push her luck any more with him tonight.
This was so like her. Not only had she not proven herself to the four men, but now she was being carried home like a child. Could this night possibly get any worse?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bountiful by Mareteeka Karland and Shara Azod

In the mood for a little football?

Coach Gunnar Davidson felt that he needed to see a therapist. It was simply a coincidence that the woman he wanted to ease all of his...uh...aches had a body made from original sin and an oblivious innocence that caused lust to churn in his gut, right? And he had absolutely no intention of showing her exactly what a man his size could do with all the fruitful bearings her physique offered him, right? Wrong...


“Say something, Eliza,” Gunnar growled in her ear.

What the hell could she say? This had to be a trick. No way was the very large, very sexy linebacker into her.

“You don’t want me.” Even though she tried to inject strength in her voice, it came out as a mere whisper. “This is a trick.”

It had to be right—this had to be a trick. Maybe he was pissed about...well, something. Or maybe someone had put him up to it.

That was it! Someone had put Coach Davidson up to this! Well, wasn’t that just the story of her life? How many times did she have to be the victim of stupid, asshole jocks who found it funny to torment the fat chick? Goddamn it, she was a grown-ass woman. No way was she going to be a victim of heartless jocks. If it cost her this job, so be it, but she was not going to stand here and be the butt of his sick joke.

“Get the hell off me.” With more power than she knew she had, she batted at his hands, stepping away from him. “Maybe you and your friends think this is funny, but I assure you I do not.”

Fueled by righteous indignation, Eliza was able to put some space between them. Lord, the man was a menace. Knowing what a dirty trick he was trying to pull should’ve killed all attraction she felt toward him, but it didn’t. That pissed her off even more.

“You think this is a joke?” How dumbfounded he sounded. Right, like she was going to fall for the innocent act.

“What, I’m supposed to believe you have a burning desire for...for...” No matter how mad she was, she just couldn’t say it out loud.

It wasn’t that she was ashamed of herself. She loved who she was; she was comfortable—no, happy—in her own skin. But society didn’t feel the same way she did about women her size. No amount of diets and exercise was going to make her a size six. Eliza had come to grips with that years ago. But it still hurt when men belittled her or thought she was fair game for sadistic jokes.

Ah, shit, the tears were building in her eyes. Turning away so he wouldn’t see her weakness, she took a deep breath. She had to be strong. No way was she letting any asshole see he had hurt her; she wouldn’t give anyone that kind of power over her.

“Does this feel like I am joking?” Eliza would have jumped if Gunnar Davidson hadn’t wrapped an incredibly strong arm around her, holding her completely captive. “You don’t feel how much I want you?”

Oh, sweet Lord, she did. The steely length of his erection rubbed along the crack of her behind in slow, purposeful movements. A knot formed in her throat as she attempted like hell to find the will to push away from him. But damn, his dick felt so good! How long had it been since she was well and truly satisfied? Generally her dating life consisted of overly serious professional types. They were usually very staid, very ordinary. How many nights had she longed for some rough, hot and dirty sex, just once?

“Do you have any idea the things I want to do to you?” he growled right in her ear. The rich tone made her stomach quiver. Lord, he was very large. She was willing to bet he could handle her riding as hard as he liked, something she had never really been able to do. “And we will do each and every thing I have fantasized about. Then we are going to make up some new ones.”

“You can’t just waltz into my office and... Oh!”

Eliza’s words were cut off when Gunnar used both his hands to cup her breasts. But he didn’t stand there and fondle her. Instead his fingers found her aching nipples, pinching and squeezing the sensitive nubbins just right.

“Ummm. Dr. E, I think I might have found one of your weak spots. Wanna bet I can find them all?”

Nope, she really didn’t. As it was now, she was drowning. All kinds of naughty visions danced in front of her closed eyes. This was all so— Hell, she had no idea what to call it.

“Why?” Keeping him talking was her only chance of breaking away. Just because she was leaning back against his deliciously huge frame, rubbing her ass against his cock like a lap dancer working for a huge tip didn’t mean she was just going to allow him to make a fool of her.

Only it certainly didn’t feel like he was pulling her leg. It very much felt like he wanted her.

“Oh, baby, how can any red-blooded man not want you?” Okay, her knees just got weak. “It’s not just this…” He tweaked her nipples again, making her whimper at the exquisite pain. “Though I do admit I love your reaction. You’re smart, sexy...and mine.”

There was no chance for Eliza to argue more. Gunnar had whipped her around, his mouth crashing down against hers in a blink of an eye. Not one to have ever been manhandled so expertly, she had to admit the action thrilled her right down to her increasingly wet panties. Here was a man who could bend her completely to his will, no matter how hard she fought against it.

And that was just what the doctor ordered.