Be sure to post! I’ll be choosing the first winner tomorrow!
Can’t have a strong hero without a heroine to match him, lick for lick! Chessa Tomas had a big role in the first book, and enjoyed a lusty menage with the Natalie and Rene. In SEDUCED BY DARKNESS, Chessa learns to take some risks with her heart where Nic is concerned.
Only she isn’t sparkin’ on the hero in this scene. Enter one more complication. Alexander is a strong, romantic secondary character who’s a bit of a mystery. Here’s our heroine’s first meet with Alex. Rest assured, Alex will have his own story to tell! ~DD
Chessa slammed a palm against the vending machine, jostling it, but not loosening the Coke hung up in the mechanism.
She cursed and gave it another slam, then heard a throat clear behind her.
“Go easy, Cheech. That’s public property.” Police Lieutenant Byron Williams stood behind her wearing a lop-sided grin.
Chessa aimed a killing glare his way, but Byron didn’t scare easily.
His smile widened in his dark face. “Wake up on the wrong side of the bed?”
Chessa let his comment slide, wincing inwardly at how close he’d nailed it. She’d mentored him when he was a rookie cop. She never commented on her private life—something he knew all too well. “Did May and the kids get out okay?”
Byron’s smile dimmed, and he nodded. “They’re staying with her parents in Baton Rouge.”
“That has to be rough. Your house?”
Byron grimaced and shook his head. “Can’t get out there. Word is the whole block’s underwater. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.” He fed the machine another dollar and his Coke pushed hers down. “Meantime, we gotta keep busy. The streets are gettin’ meaner by the minute, and we’re short-handed.” He bent and pulled out two cans.
Chessa grabbed hers and held it away, popping the top and cursing again when foam spat over her hand. She ignored his chuckle and drank down the soda in several gulps.
His eyebrows rose. “A little thirsty?”
“This’ll do for now.”
“Why don’t you cut through the Quarter and check out the blood bars? Kill two birds. Reba has reports from hotels complainin’ about guests stackin’ up in the rooms. You know what that means.”
Chessa grimaced. Only a vamp on a binge could add a little carnage to the chaos.
Byron held up his Coke and started to turn. The wicked glint in his eyes had her stiffening. “Oh, and just to make your life a little easier, you got a new partner.”
Surprised, since she’d only reported Rene’s desertion that morning, she called after him, “Wait a damn second! Who the hell did you find in the middle of all this shit to take Rene’s place? You know I need a little time to take care of his desk—”
Byron just shook his head. “Came from higher up. Not a thing you can do. Just suck it up, Tomas. Seemed like they knew it was gonna happen.”
Chessa drew in a deep breath, trying to calm the sparks setting off a blaze of red-hot anger. How could the brass drop this on her now? Every cop deserved downtime after losing a partner. “Where is he?” she blurted, barely holding back the list of expletives she’d rather let loose.
Byron winked. “Checkin’ out his new digs. Almost wish I had time to make the introductions.” He chuckled as he left.
“Dammit!” Chessa stalked toward the cubicle she’d shared with Rene for four years. “The bastard had better keep his paws off Rene’s things,” she muttered.
She rounded the corner, drawing up short at the sight of a broad pair of shoulders stretching a dark T-shirt and a round, tight ass nicely displayed in many-times-washed blue jeans. That great ass was bent over a desk drawer. “Those aren’t your things,” she bit out.
Her new partner straightened and glanced over his shoulder, giving her a slow, delicious once-over that left her hot and confused.
How could you meet somebody and be immediately aroused and pissed off at the same time? She’d had handsome before—Nicolas was on par with this one’s rugged good looks. Dark, wavy brown hair worn a little long, wide, muscled shoulders, a taut trim waist and flanks shouldn’t leave her salivating.
Must have been the smile. A slight amused curl of firm lips. Or maybe the steady stare of his gorgeous blue eyes that seemed to note every detail of her appearance, but didn’t ogle or hold a hint of any judgment. His gaze was appreciative, assessing—as though gauging her for game.
She’d worn a T-shirt and leather pants despite the muggy heat outside. She’d been feeling a little Goth—no makeup, but she’d ringed her eyes in black. She felt like a ghoul, planning a hunt—the scarier she looked, the better.
But she hadn’t planned on having to drag a partner around behind her. Even one who ignited every red corpuscle of her being into a sensual frenzy. He’d be a major distraction.
How could she get rid of this guy? She lifted her chin.
She’d let out The Bitch.