Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Branded Hearts Excerpt

Welcome, readers! 

I know I haven't been posting like I should be, but I've been very busy with revisions on the first book in my sci-fi/paranormal romance, Untamed Hawaiian Heat. Working hard to get it ready to resubmit. :) In the meantime, please enjoy an excerpt from my latest release, "Branded Hearts" from Sizzler Editions.





CHAPTER ONE
New York 2180

   Magarit St. James glanced around at each member sitting in the
boardroom. This was the end of her first week as head of the Branded
Division of St. James Virtual Publishing. She was more than a little
pissed off that her father, Franklin St. James, had refused to give her
control of the Action Adventure Division like she'd asked. Instead
he'd given her the romance division. He couldn't have been more
clear on his message with the move either.

   You're just like your mother. You can have control of the division
she started. That irritated her more than she wanted to admit. She'd
done everything she could to distance herself from her mother's
behavior before she'd walked out, but because she resembled her so
much he'd turned his back on her.

   She shook herself mentally. She didn't have time to think about
that right now. Her Vice President of Operations, Alex Barrett, was
missing.

   Again.

   Since she'd taken over his job at the beginning of the week she
hadn't seen him at any of the meetings. In fact, he hadn't been into the
office at all. She reached for her tablet PC and made a note to call
him later and inform him that he better be in on Monday or there
would be hell to pay.

   She knew how the publishing industry worked, but she was new to
the virtual divisions St. James Publishing had established. And she
intended to learn all there was to learn so she could make Branded the
top grossing division. Maybe Father will reconsider once he sees
what I can do.

   "Alright, everyone. I'm pleased with the progress that each of you
has reported for your individual departments." She glanced down at
her watch then regarded her team again. "I'll be coming around to
each section of the virtual department this afternoon. Being new to
the virtual part of publishing, I'd like to see what goes into developing
a manuscript into a virtual world. Would anyone be willing to give
me the tour? I don't want to skip ahead and miss any aspects."

   "I'll give you the tour."

   Margarit turned in her seat to face the door, her mouth going dry.
Leaning against the doorframe like he owned the room was the most
impressive specimen of the male population she'd ever seen. And the
one she'd never been able to forget.

   Her heart skipped a beat as an image of him swirled to the surface
of her mind. He was leaning over her as she sat on his lap. His mouth
capturing the moans of pleasure escaping hers despite her best efforts
to remain quiet. His tongue thrusting inside tangling with hers in tune
with the rhythm to his fingers plunging in and out of her pussy.

   Alex Barrett ... her missing VP, walked – no, “walked” was too
tame a word for the way he moved; he prowled like a big jungle cat
along the edge of the conference room, not stopping until he reached
the chair to her right. He met her gaze and held it as he sat down.
The predatory look in those incredible green eyes stunned her.

   He scooted his chair closer to hers.

   She felt herself flush. She'd thought she recognized the name, but
then dismissed the notion that it would be him. What were the odds
that he'd be working for her father? Slim at best. She was relieved
when it seemed that he didn't remember her.

   She watched as the tall, raven-haired goddess, Jasmyn Carrara,
followed Alex's lead and pulled a chair up next to his. Her lush
curves strained against the confines of her white poplin shirt, which
was unbuttoned to just below her breasts, revealing a pale pink lacy
shirt beneath. She met the woman's whisky colored eyes and found
them roaming over her body like she was undressing her in her mind.
It wasn't the first time she'd found the woman doing that in the last
week.

   Maggie glanced at her full pouty lips and imagined biting into the
lower one as she sucked on it. When Jasmyn's tongue swept out and
wet it, she looked up to find her watching her intently. The look in
her eyes said she knew what she'd been thinking about.

   The air around her suddenly felt too hot. She glanced around the
room to see if anyone else felt the heat. She frowned inwardly when
she noted no one else was affected by the sudden rise in temperature.
Returning her eyes to Alex and Jasmyn she said, "Ms. Carrara, Mr.
Barrett, so glad you could join us."

   The smile he flashed her held such a smugness that she had to curb
the urge to say something to wipe it off his handsome face; a face she
was sure the Greek gods would have envied, had they still been
around. "My pleasure. But call me Alex. We all address each other
by first names around here, Maggie."

   "It's Ms. St. James. Are you sure you have time to give me the
tour? I mean you haven't been here all week, don't you have a lot of
work piled up on your desk" she asked, silently hoping he'd say he did
have too much to do. Something about this man had always gotten
too her. Made her crave things she didn't want to acknowledge.
That he seemed to be connected to the woman who'd haunted her
dreams for the last week didn't help any either. If anything, it only
added fuel to the fire already burning inside her.

   A grin spread across his face, his eyes twinkling with a devilish
glint. "I may not have been here, Maggie, but I can assure you that I
was working. Indeed, I can guarantee that I'm actually ahead of
schedule in all my accounts." His eyes roved over her face, lingering
on her lips.

   Did he remember her? Would he say anything if he did? She
shoved that thought away before she could think on it more. She
didn't need the complications he was sure to bring should she allow
him into her life.

   Why? Oh, why did she always have to deal with men who were so
self-assured? She was really beginning to think she was cursed to
never be one–up on any man. Ever. All the men in her life had ever
done was disappoint her, in one-way or another.

   He looked around the room as though daring anyone else to pipe up
and take the task of tour guide from him. When he returned his eyes
to her, the heat she saw in their jungle–green depths sent a flood of
desire coursing through her, pooling between her thighs unlike
anything she'd ever known.

   She broke eye contact and cleared her throat. "Alright then. It's
settled. Mr. Barrett will be giving me the tour. I'll see the rest of you
at the meeting on Monday morning." She sat quietly while they all
filed out the door. It was only then that she realized that most of the
people had only given their first name when they'd introduced
themselves.

   She turned in her seat and noticed that Alex and Jasmyn were still
seated. She met each of their gazes. "Is there something you needed
to talk to me about, Ms. Carrara?"

   Jasmyn shook her head; her waist length black tresses trembled
with the movement. She shifted her striking dark amber eyes to look
at Alex before answering. "No, I don't have any questions."

   "Then why don't you get back to work." Maggie's irritation at the
girl's manner rose with each passing second.
Again she shifted her gaze to Alex. "Is there anything else that you
need, Maestro?"

   She had the disconcerting feeling that they were communicating by
another means. Maybe with some of the new cybernetic links she'd
heard about that allowed you to talk to someone who you were
connected with. She didn't like it one bit.

   Maggie shook her head. She couldn't have heard what she thought
she'd heard. She watched in shock when Alex leaned over in his chair
and grasped Jasmyn behind the neck. She watched them from the
corner of her eye with more interest than she wanted to admit.

   Especially to herself.

   Alex stroked her cheek. "Yes, mi sumisa. You've been very
defiant today. I want you to think about the spanking you'll get for
lusting after someone else in front of me." He closed the space
between them and licked the seam of her lips until she opened for
him.

   Maggie watched him devour her mouth without actually deepening
the kiss very much. The thought of being kissed like that had her
squirming where she sat. Although she didn't understand exactly what
kind of relationship they had, it was obvious they practiced the
Lifestyle.

   Alex finally pulled back, brushing the pad of his thumb across her
bottom lip before he releasing her.

   Even though Jasmyn seemed disappointed with his withdrawal she
didn't say anything. Instead she rose and left the room, although she
glanced back at her and Alex before disappearing through the door.

   Maggie wasn't surprised by the provocative look Jasmyn cast in her
direction; her eyes traveled over Maggie's body with blatant sexual
desire burning in them. She fought the urge to shift in her seat under
the woman's perusal. When she finally returned her gaze to Alex, he
was staring at her, his eyes perceiving too much of what she was
trying to hide.

   She stood; shaking off the feelings the two had evoked in her and
began walking toward the door. "I don't know what the hell that little
display was, Mr. Barrett, but don't let it happen in front of me again.
If it does, I'll make sure you regret it. Now I'll be ready for the tour in
fifteen minutes." She reached for the doorknob and started to pull it
open, only to have it pushed shut again.

   She closed her eyes and tried to remember to breathe. She could
feel the heat of his body just inches away from her back. "Mr.
Barrett, this is highly inappropriate. I demand that you move your
person away and let me out of this room." It took all her strength to
force the words from her mouth, when what she wanted to do was turn
around and shove him against the door. Pin him with her body while
she fucked his mouth with her tongue.

   She hadn't forgotten what it had been like to kiss him even though
it had been four years since she'd seen him.

   Alex pressed closer and nipped the shell of her ear with his teeth.
"That wasn't what you were begging me to do the last time I saw you,
Maggie."

   He purred her name in such a way as to conjure images of them
lying in a bed covered with satin sheets completely naked.

   Oh, God! He remembered. Her heart pounded in her ears as she
tried to think of how to respond to that.

   He pushed the hair away from her neck and nuzzled her there. "I
can still hear your cries of pleasure as I thrust my fingers in and out of
your hot pussy ... your cream coating my hand when you came.
MMM..." He bit the sensitive spot where her neck met her shoulder.

   Maggie shuddered. Shivers of delight raced down her spine. Her
breath came in shallow gasps. How was she supposed to work with
him when he still made her feel all hot and bothered? And that was
just with a few simple words. She gathered her courage and pushed
back with her entire body.

   Alex stumbled back a couple of steps.

   She turned to look at him. She could feel the color rise in her
cheeks. Part of her wanted to push him back until he lay across the
conference table and have her way with him. The other part wanted to
slap his face for daring to touch her without her permission. "I don't
care what you remember from back then, Mr. Barrett. I'm a different
person now. And I'm your boss. Now if you'll excuse me I need to
make a couple of calls before we begin the tour." She turned and
grasped the doorknob again. She paused before she opened it.
Looking over her shoulder she said, "Remember what I said. Don't
display whatever it is between you and Ms. Carrara in front of me
again." She let the threat hang between them and left before he could
say anything.

   After that little scene, she needed a few minutes to compose herself
before facing any other employees with him at her side. She entered
her office and closed the door behind her. Leaning back against it she
thought about what she'd just seen.

   The display she'd just witnessed between Alex and Jas has made
her yearn to explore that side of herself again. She'd known a long
time ago that the idea of dominating someone else aroused her.

   She'd been perplexed by the way Alex had reacted at the graduation
party four years earlier. After he'd brought her to a soul-shattering
climax, she'd tried to take control of the love play. When she'd started
to pin his hands above his head he'd freaked out and pushed her away.
Now it seemed that the tables had flipped.

   She'd been in a similar situation two years before and it hadn't
ended well. She rubbed her wrist absently before she realized what
she was doing. She'd become more than a little intimidated by
dominant men after she'd left Chase.

   What worried her most was the way she'd been drawn to the two of
them as they'd interacted. Of course, their play hadn't been anything
like what Chase had wanted from her. She'd seen a tenderness pass
between them that she'd never felt with Chase.

   She took a deep breath as visions of that horrible evening
threatened to wash over her. No! She refused to think about that.
About him. He'd been a thorn in her side for far longer than she'd
realized.

   She didn't need or want a relationship. She wasn't willing to put
herself through that again. She'd been fine with her decision. That is
until Alex had walked into the conference room ... back into her life.

   The very air around him seemed to crackle with unseen energy; like
it wanted to touch the man beneath the hard exterior by whatever
means possible. She knew that if she allowed him close, that feeling
would consume her. It didn't help matters that she'd ousted him from
his job as President of the Branded Division.

   If she read the look in his eyes right, he was determined to force her
to submit to his will and give up her new job. Well, she'd show him a
thing or two. There was no way she was giving it up. It was her only
hope of showing her father she was capable of running a more
prominent division of the company.

   If she couldn't convince him ... well she didn't want to think about
what would happen. She wasn't going to fail. That wasn't an option.



I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "Branded Hearts". If you'd like to read more you can find it at Sizzler Editions and Amazon.

Until we meet again...where passion breathes...

Shay

2 comments:

  1. This was great! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Kathleen. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    ReplyDelete