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WARFLESH – by Kim Knox
Here’s a sneaky peek at my latest novella for Ellora’s Cave. No date yet, it hasn’t been edited and I think it’s only me, my editor… and now you who’ve read this… *grin*
The emperor of the Hatrailt is old, dying and he needs spice-water to stay alive. He will sacrifice almost anything to get it…and that includes Fina Brodie
Fina is warflesh. Enhanced by her government to bring ultimate pleasure, her negotiation skills secure anything her superiors want. The choice of pleasure she offers has always been hers. Until now. She’s not meeting Kian, Lord of the Tir, with her guard, Jon Raegh, to negotiate . She–they’re–payment.
The warm scent of his skin taunted her and she focused on every breath. She had to, because the need to surge forward and take his luscious mouth consumed her. “This is a part of the mission, Jon. We drink the water and we…resist.”
Her flesh tightened at the promise in his question. He moved closer, his hands sliding over the smooth leather of the seat, bringing his tempting mouth so much closer to hers. She swallowed and couldn’t stop her instinct to lift her face to his. “As I said—”
“I could take you right here, right now and no one would have to know.”
Jon’s warm breath brushed over her lips and she groaned. It had nothing to do with her reawakened longing for him. Nothing at all. Her years of training had evaporated under the force of a too pretty face and an alien drink. “Captain…”
“This isn’t whatever the hell was in that water.” He fixed his gaze on her mouth and her lips parted involuntarily. “Had a senior Captain not been on the deck, I would’ve pushed you up against the hull of this transport and fucked you.” His thumb traced over her jaw, her chin, the contract electric. “You wanted that. You want me.”
Her throat tightened, the thud of her heart too loud in her ears. This wasn’t the Jon she knew. No, the spice-water had him in its grip. The painful memory from the darkened alley reared again, of how she had witnessed the heat die in his eyes. She’d thought to grab her chance after he’d been called up to the Antilles Squadron as she was unlikely ever to see him again. But Jon had pushed her away, stood back and coolly said he was sorry for giving her the wrong impression. The memory pricked at her growing need. Seven years and the pain of his rejection still twisted her insides. His desire for her was false. And it stabbed at her, more than his disinterest ever could.
She forced out her answer. “No. It never occurred to me.”
Fina straightened, her fingers pressing the cup hard into her palm. She needed something to distract her, but even the pain of the cold metal into her skin didn’t work. “I don’t appreciate being called a liar, Captain Raegh.”
His eyebrow lifted. “I could use my mouth for things other than accusation.”
“Our orders are to drink only.”
“Really?” His thumb drew light across her bottom lip and the simple touch pulsed hot under her skin. Her tongue tip flicked against his thumb tip and he sucked in a quick, harsh breath. “Why?”
“Orders are orders.”
His thumb slipped away, but his fingers splayed over her cheek, her neck, tangled in her hair. His lips almost, almost brushed hers. It forced her heart into her throat and she couldn’t breathe. “You’re an ambassador.”
“Today. Most other days, I’m a grunt.” And that was an unwanted truth. She had no power, no say in her mission. She pulled in air and his breath mixed with hers, sweet, wanted and her spine arched, closing the millimetres that separated their mouths. Her lips touched his and her chest hitched. Jon’s fingers curled in her hair and his slow tasting of her upper lip, the light graze of his teeth pulled a low moan from her. “We…shouldn’t.”
“Who’s to know?”
The question sank through her and the little cup in her hand bit hard into her palm as she squeezed it. “Lord Kian would…” His tongue teased over her lip and she tilted her head, drawing them closer until her mouth covered his.
Fina closed her eyes and listened to the wild beat of her heart. What the hell was happening? How could a simple, almost chaste kiss have her blood pounding and her flesh tight? And a kiss would hardly be considered a breach of his orders. Wouldn’t it? It had to be, because she couldn’t pull away.
The thought of pushing for more peaked her nipples. Jon. This was Jonathon Raegh, a man she had ached for. She teased her tongue against his and his fingers curled, fisted into her hair, his moan mixing with hers. Damn, he tasted…incredible. Just sweet and hot and unlike any man in her long, long career. Fina deepened the kiss and it was just a kiss, nothing more. Harmless. Innocent. She broke her grip away from the cup to trace light fingertips along his smooth, warm jaw, to ease into his hair and urge him closer, harder.
“This is resistance?”
His question, rushed, wild burned through her and she took his mouth again. Couldn’t help herself. His taste was addictive. Just a kiss. Harmless. But not innocent. Not this time.
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