OK, I promised and excerpt and I'm a woman of my word. But I don't really have time to blog, so this is going to be quick and nasty. I'm just going to post and that's it...
This is from Unlawful Contact. Marc has persuaded Sophie to help him find the men who are after his sister, and just to make sure she's keeping up her end of the bargain, he follows her to lunch one day. Please note the special guest appearances by RBLers who don't know I'm running them on my blog! Oh, the photos I could have used. Mmmhmmm. I'm ROFL just thinking of it...
(This is kind of long. Sorry!)
Marc watched the two of them disappear inside, not liking it one bit when the man opened the door for Sophie and ushered her inside, his hand resting in the small of her back as if he knew her well. Giving them a few minutes to be seated—how well did she know this jerk?—he stood, tucked the paper under his arm, and went inside.
“How many today?” The hostess, a young Asian woman whose nametag read Leiha, drew a menu from the stack, a warm smile on her face, her blouse low-cut enough to reveal a tattoo of a dagger on the swell of her left breast.
“Just one.” Marc looked through the restaurant, saw where Sophie was sitting, and picked his spot. He kept his voice quiet. “I’d like the small table in the back.”
“This way, please.” Leiha smiled at him with bright red lips.
He sat on the far end of the table, facing Mr. Mustache’s back, able to see both Sophie and the restaurant’s front door.
A young Asian woman with long dark hair walked up with a glass of water with lemon and a hot, wet washcloth on a little tray. “My name is Su, and I’ll be your server today.”
Su told him about the specials, her gaze traveling over him as if he were lunch, then left him to decide. He washed his hands, glanced down at the rectangular paper menu, and found himself staring at the page.
Tuna. Salmon. Yellowtail. Snapper. Shrimp.
How long had it been since he’d eaten sushi? Hell, he’d forgotten it existed.
And then he went insane.
Only after he’d finished filling out the menu did he realize he’d ordered enough sushi and sashimi to feed a shark. Painstakingly he scratched out most of what he’d checked. He’d get the sashimi lunch platter now and order of sushi to go. Then he heard Sophie laugh and remembered that he hadn’t come here to stuff his face.
Today was Day Three. Today DOC was required by law to respond to her open-records request about the report from Denver Juvenile. He was here to make sure Sophie gave him a copy of that report whether she felt like sharing information or not.
He watched as another server brought Sophie and Mr. Mustache two bowls of miso and a pot of tea. Sophie smiled, said something that made the guy laugh. Then she reached out and touched his arm.
She was flirting with him.
The realization hit Marc like a brick between the eyes.
The bastard was almost old enough to be her father! Half the hair on his head was likely made in China. He probably needed Viagra to beat off and had a sperm count of two.
You’re jealous, Hunter.
Hell, yes, he was jealous!
She’s better off with him than she’d be with you, dumbshit, and she knows it.
That thought snapped him out of it—but only for a moment.
Then Sophie smiled, tilted her head to the side, exposed the delicious column of her throat—and Marc felt his teeth grind.
It was fortunate for all of them that Mr. Mustache chose that moment to take a leak. He excused himself, stood, and walked toward the restrooms in the back, leaving Sophie alone.
Marc fixed her with his gaze, leaned back in his chair, and waited.
The smile that had been on her face disappeared the moment the guy left the table, and she looked more irritated than excited or flirtatious. She glanced off to the side, her eyes focused on nothing in particular, as if she were thinking. Then slowly, her gaze traveled back across the room—and collided with his.
Astonished, Sophie could do no more than stare.
He sat no more than ten feet away from her dressed to kill in a single-breasted black suit and gray silk tie, his face clean shaven, his gaze laser-sharp. He looked so unbelievably… hot.
But that didn’t stop her from wanting to bite his head off. His being here couldn’t be a coincidence. He had followed her!
“What are you doing here?” she mouthed.
“Having lunch,” he mouthed back. “Who’s he?”
Was he jealous? Good!
“My date.” She smiled, lifted her chin.
He gave a snort, shook his head.
“He’s a parole officer and a nice man, and he’s armed.” Furious, she spoke in a loud whisper. “You shouldn’t be here!”
“A nice parole officer? Well, that explains the ugly suit.”
One of the servers approached his table and set his miso and salad on the table with a set of chopsticks. “I’ll be back with your sashimi.”
Hunt gave the server a slow, sexy smile. “Thank you, Su.”
Was he trying to make Sophie feel jealous, too?
Sophie waited for the blushing server to skedaddle then leaned forward to make certain he could hear her. “You should go!
Now! All I have to do—”
“You won’t do it, and we both know that. Did you get the report?”
So that’s what this was about. He’d followed her, not because he wanted to see her, but because he wanted to get a hold of the report. Feeling strangely hurt, Sophie was about to tell him exactly what he could do with that report, when he suddenly turned to glance out the window.
Ken reappeared beside her and took his seat. “So what were you saying about DOC?”
Sophie forced herself to focus on Ken, doing her best to ignore the man who sat not far behind him. “Hmm? Oh. Not only are they trying to blame me in part for the escape, they’re giving me the runaround on an open-records request that I filed with Denver Juvenile on Monday.”
He picked up his chopsticks and attacked his California rolls. “What are you trying to lay your pretty hands on? I might already have it in my files.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.” She gave him a bright smile, weighing her words carefully. “I have reason to believe a series of sex assaults occurred there some years back. I’ve asked for a copy of a report that was made as part of the investigation into her allegations.”
Ken frowned. “Does this have to do with Megan?”
Behind Ken, Hunt was sipping his tea and eating his miso, his gaze never wandering far from her. She leaned to her left, using Ken’s head to block her view.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t answer that one way or another. Source confidentiality.”
“I understand.” Ken nodded, then his face sank into a boyish pout. “And here I was hoping you’d asked me to lunch because you found me irresistible and wanted to see me again. You don’t have to go out with me to ask for my help, Sophie.”
Behind him, Hunt scooted back into her range of vision, just as the server appeared with a plate of sashimi. He gave the server another sexy smile, unwrapped his chopsticks and picked up a piece of what looked like yellowtail.
Sophie felt a stab of guilt. “Well, of course I wanted to see—”
Hunt lifted the sushi to his lips, curled the tip of his tongue around it, and drew it slowly into his mouth, then chewed, his gaze riveted on her.
Heat unfurled in Sophie’s belly, and her pulse tripped, every coherent thought in her brain vanishing. “—you.”
For a moment she could do nothing but gape at him.
Then she jerked her gaze away from Hunt and was relieved to see that Ken was focused on his lunch. “It was sweet of you to worry about me.”
“Of course I was worried about you. The entire state was worried about you.”
Ken was saying telling her how he’d felt when he’d learned she’d been taken hostage, but Sophie barely heard him, her gaze drawn back to Hunt—who lifted a pale piece of tuna with his chopsticks, licked off its juices with the tip of his tongue, and dropped it into his mouth, a look of bliss on his face.
Her breath caught in her throat, the heat in her belly spreading, moisture building between her thigh. Realizing that Ken had stopped talking and was watching her, she jerked her gaze away from Hunt.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “It must be hard for you to talk about this. I just thought maybe he’d given you some idea where Megan might be.”
Sophie realized Ken was talking about Hunt and felt an absurd impulse to laugh.
He’s sitting right behind you!
“Yes,” she said instead. “I mean no! No, he didn’t say anything, but, yes, I guess it is still hard to talk about it.”
Ignore him, Alton!
But she couldn’t ignore him.
As if under a spell, she found herself compelled to watch as Hunt picked up a rosy piece of salmon. He flicked the pink fold of flesh with this tongue, licked off its juices, then sucked it into his mouth. This time he closed his eyes, and she swore she heard him moan.
Her inner muscles clenched—hard.
Instinctively, she crossed her legs, squeezing her thighs together to ease the inner ache, her gaze fixed on his face. But the pressure only made it worse, and she couldn’t help but squirm in her chair.
“—do you know this report really exists?”
Snap out of it, Alton!
Sophie jerked her gaze off Hunt, found Ken watching her. “Well, I… Yes, I do.”
“I asked you how you know it exists. Are you okay? You seem really nervous.” Ken’s eyebrows drew together in a concerned frown. He reached out, took her hand in his, gave her fingers a gentle squeeze.
Behind him, Hunt shot out of his chair, fists clenched.