Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Hero to Master Me

It's finally here. The last Carver Brother book. Mike is a bad boy... That's all ima sayin'.

Zaraiah Nelson is in a bad place. Has been since she spent time in hell. No one knows her secret, but it eats at her every day. Burns her soul at night. Even those closest to her don’t understand the needs that drive her, the need for action. The need to punish herself for her fatal failure. No one, that is, until Mike Carver

Mike recognizes Zaraiah the moment he meets her but can’t place where. He knows she has issues, that something isn’t quite what it seems with the dark-skinned beauty, but she refuses to tell him willingly. What she doesn’t understand is that he’s Force Recon. Gathering information is what he does. No mission has ever been this important, and Mike has only ever failed one mission. That one time in his life will prove to be the key to Zaraiah. If only he can put all the pieces together…


“Fuck that,” Mike muttered as he shoved the man out of the way. Desperation clawed at him. He had to get to her, get her to safety. Again, one of the bouncers tried to detain him. Again, he shoved the guy out of the way, but the first guy now grabbed his arm. Jerking away, Mike powered his way through the crowd to Zaraiah.

“I said stop!” The first bouncer now had Mike by the arm, jerking him backward. The second one snagged his other arm, both pulling him away from Zaraiah. With a snarl, Mike let go all pretense at playing nice.

A quick jab to the ribs to one man, a punch to the face for the other, and Mike ran headlong to Zaraiah. People were standing around her now. Some laughing. Some looking concerned. Others muttered, “crack whore,” as they turned away. Only Mike knew the truth. The continuing “pops” put her in the grip of a panic unlike any of those bastards had ever known.

“Move!” he shouted over the din, reaching Zaraiah just she made eye contact with him.

“Help…me…” Then her eyes rolled back and she passed out.

It was all Mike could do not to bellow in rage. Instead, he scooped her up and headed out of the club. When one of the bouncers he’d confronted moments before stood in his way, whatever he saw in Mike’s face had him raising his hands and backing away. Pussy-ass motherfuckers should be protecting Zaraiah instead of letting Mike waltz right out of there with her, but no one lifted a finger to help. Funny how that worked. He knew he couldn’t have it both ways, but damn if it didn’t focus all his anger and fear in a different direction than the horrible worry over Zaraiah. Without that shift in focus, he’d lose his goddamned mind.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

UNEDITED EXCERPT...A Hero to Master Me


A Hero to Master Me
by Marteeka Karland

There was pain in her eyes. And resignation. Mike recognized it the second she truly met his gaze, knowing him for the predator he was. Even his family had no idea what he'd really done while in the Marines. They knew it hadn't been pleasant -- one reason he never talked about it -- but most of what he'd done had been so classified Mike was surprised he hadn't been targeted for some kind of kill list. Score one for the good 'ole US of A. Black Ops only touched the surface of what he'd done, the things he'd seen. Only once had he broken protocol and he'd been thankful he hadn't lost so much of himself to the Corp that he'd followed the strict letter of his orders. He knew pain. He knew sorrow. And this woman held both in spades. Now, as then, he felt like a critical piece of his life was about to click into place. That failed mission had signaled his retirement -- his own decision. What would this lap dance do for him?
"Are you going to kick me out of my apartment," she asked. Over the din of the music and drunken laughter, it was hard to hear her, but Mike was focused on her so completely, she could have whispered the question and he'd have heard her.
"I'm taking a dance," was his matter-of-fact response.
"And if I refuse?"
"You won't."
Did she shiver? Her skin glimmered under the lights but Mike couldn't tell if it were from the lotion she used to give her skin a slight shimmer or from sweat. A sure sign of nerves.
The section she took him to created the illusion of privacy. There were dividers, but cameras still canvassed the place. No doors or solid walls. Looking around him, Mike saw silhouettes of dancers and their patrons all around him. He hated that they'd potentially have an audience but he was just damned selfish enough to take this from her.
"You can sit here," she said, gesturing to a small couch. Perfume seemed to waft from the upholstery hanging in a haze through the whole area. What he wouldn't give to get a good, unimpeded whiff of her scent. No matter. That would come later. Right now, he had work to do. Without a word, he sat. "You need to sit on your hands." Like hell.
"I know the rules," he growled. "Hands off the ladies. I won't touch you." With a grin he added, "tonight," and stretched his arms over the back of the couch.
Zaraiah swallowed, her eyes going wide. Oh yeah. she knew. Mike was ready to begin this, though he had no idea where he was going. He knew he was moving in her direction. Where they went together would ultimately be up to her, but he had the feeling she needed this as much as he did. His sexual tastes had always been more kink that vanilla, but he'd repress himself if necessary. Anything to have her. Mike was a Dominant in his heart of hearts. One reason the military had agreed with him. But in bed, he craved dominating a woman just to see her blossom under his touch. Could he give that up for her?
When he nodded for her to begin. Zarriah gave a defeated sigh, her shoulders relaxing as if a weight had been lifted. Then she began to dance.
The sensual sway of her hips mesmerized Mike as she moved around him. Her movements should have looked practiced. Instead, she was naturally sensual, as if her dance had always been for him alone. In that moment, Mike felt like he was the only man in her world. Thank God he'd sent the two pups away before they'd gotten a look at her like this. Mike was sure he'd have lost his ever loving shit if they had. As it was, he knew this was her last night in this place. She was his. Pure and simple. Now, he just had to convince her of it.
With a sigh, she gave herself up to the music, dipping in front of him, rubbing and stroking his thighs. Naturally, Mike's mind went straight to one theme and he nearly groaned out loud. Now wasn't the time. He had to have complete control of himself. Figuring her out would take some doing, but he was confident he could unravel this mystery. Melanie said she'd seemed restless. Like she needed something. Looking at her now, he could see the fine muscle underneath all that silky looking skin. She was obviously athletic. More than just dancing. There was evidence of hard work in her limbs and torso. Did she work out? If so, it had to involve more than weight training. She was too nimble and graceful. As she twirled around, presenting him with the perfectly rounded globes of her ass, he saw it. His breath caught.
Just above the dimple at the small of her back, was a tiny tattoo. The symbol? A sword standing on end with a snake wrapped around it. Zaraiah was a fucking combat medic. He'd bet his life on it. A few more things clicked into place. The anxiousness. Restlessness. If she hadn't had time to adjust to civi life, she was likely feeling the need for action. The superb condition of her body said she was either newly discharged or continued her daily workouts to ease the stress. But why had she taken up stripping instead of using her skills in the civilian world?
Right. With an ass like hers, why wouldn't she. She had to make more doing this  than she could as an EMT. But, if she did this regularly, why not get a more up scale apartment? Perhaps her boyfriend had frowned on her working here more than a night or two a month? Mike knew he sure would. Hell, he wouldn't want her to at all! Not because he looked down at her or her chosen profession, but he was a territorial bastard. He wanted no eyes on his woman but him. And, God help him, Zaraiah Nelson was his woman.
When Zaraiah bent to scratch her nails up his thighs, then up his chest, raising herself up to straddle him, Mike nearly forgot why it was so important to stay in control. She had the power here, but his dominant nature demanded he prove that he was the one calling the shots.
"You look relaxed," she commented, tilting her head as if she found him intriguing. "Most men are generally struggling to keep their hands to themselves."
"Oh, make no mistake, I want my hands on you right now."
"You don't look like you do." Did she look...disappointed? Hurt?
"I can't touch you, so why try to do what would get me tossed out on my ear. I'm not leaving your side tonight. As much as this situation...tempts me, get used to me. I'm not going anywhere."
Her breath hitched before she got control again. "You know you can't monopolize my time. I have work to do."
"That you do. And you'll do it with me. I'll pay for your time and you'll do as I command."
She grinned at him then, a breathtaking display of dimpled cheeks that nearly took his breath. "I doubt the manager would approve."
"You let me worry about that."
For the first time, she let her facade falter, her gaze looking stricken for the briefest moment. "Mr. Carver, I don't want you to pay for my time."
"Mike," he said.
"That's not appropriate." With a shaky breath, she gingerly rested her hands on his shoulders. "Are you going to use this against me?"
"Not in the way you're obviously thinking." Mike wanted her anxious. Nervous. He had plans for the little beauty on his lap but they didn't include her prostituting herself. For him or anyone else.
"If not that, then what?"
"Melanie said your boyfriend was gone. Is that true?" She bit her bottom lip before starting to slide off his lap. "No!" His command was sharp, an order to be obeyed even though his hands stayed resting on the back of the couch, not clutching her hips and urging her forward. The Army inside her responded. As did the woman. Before his eyes, her nipples hardened to tight peaks around her piercings, their color darkening subtly. Mike doubted she was even aware of the little whimper that escaped her. "You stay where you are until I tell you to move. Understood."
She gave a shaky nod, sliding her body back on his lap fully. The move was purely sensual, a glide up his rigid cock with her silken clad sex. Had the situation been different, Mike's eyes would have rolled back in his head and he'd have gripped her hips digging his fingers in to keep her close. As it was, he let her move, his gaze remaining fixed on her lovely, honey colored eyes.
"Tell me why he left."
Zaraiah paused in her movements, a confused look on her face. "You want to know this now?"
"Yes. And don't stop your dance."
A shudder seemed to flutter through, as if the idea of having a serious conversation with her straddling his lap in only a thong wasn't so much surreal as titillating.
"I--" she swallowed. "You're crazy."
"Now, Zaraiah." He kept his voice firm, knowing what he had to do to get the information from her, what she'd respond to the easiest.
She cleared her throat, pausing her movements only briefly before taking a deep breath and continuing. "I was Army," she began. "Field medic. I saw a lot of action. It...affected me. John couldn't deal with it and finally left."
"I gathered as much," Mike said. "I saw the tattoo on your back. There's more you're not telling me."
"Maybe," she said, lifting her chin, her first real show of defiance with him. "But that's all I'm telling you."
"Then ride me."

She did.