Today’s theme for Snippet’s Saturday is Outtakes. I thought I’d share one of the original “first chapters” from Personal Protection. (I think I wrote it four different first chapters before I settled on the one that’s in the final version.)
During Private Property, Sam had lost a bet – which meant he had to enter himself into a Bachelor Auction benefiting a DC area Women’s Shelter. So I figured I’d start off his story by showing him honoring that bet. The reason it got cut was: a) I decided there needed to be more time between the auction and when Sam finally buckles to pressure to take action about his stalker, and b) I didn’t like how Rosie comes off in this chapter. (If you’ve already read Personal Protection you may recognize certain paragraphs/descriptions as the characters of Mandy and Tawny were just too fun to cut completely. They show up at a party Sam attends part-way through the book.)
This scene takes place shortly after Private Property ends but three months before Personal Protection begins. It’s lengthy … Note: it’s unedited by anyone at Samhain, although it had gone through my critique partners before I decided to ditch it. Be warned – it’s spicy, so you should be over 18 to read this particular excerpt.
“Are you prepared to be submit to my whip tonight, Sam? Because I intend to take you home and make you my slave.” A tall blonde pushed past Rosalinda Ramos as if she didn’t exist and slithered her body against the object of her attention.
“First you have to make the winnin’ bid, Mandy. And then the terms of the auction state that I get to choose the evening’s activities. Not the other way around.” Sam Watson caught her wrist before she could cup his groin and held it so any of the other participants in the D.C. Women’s Shelter’s annual fundraiser would think they were simply holding hands. “Isn’t that right, Miz Ramos?”
His deep voice flowed like dark chocolate through Rosalinda Ramos’ chest, rippling down her sternum and warmed her core until her panties dampened. How many nights had she pretended his full lips had pressed against hers, kissing her, lapping her? She clamped her thighs together to ease the ache that built at the fantasy and realized he was staring at her, waiting for … something. Damn it, he’d asked her a question. What the hell was it again? Oh, right, the conditions of the auction.
“You’re absolutely correct, Mr. Watson.”
Any hope that her boss, owner of Hauberk Protection and Bachelor Number Five in tonight’s auction might finally notice her died a quick death when she compared her own body to the blonde’s. Where she was short, Mandy was tall. Not just tall, but as graceful as a ballerina. Where she had black hair that looked like she’d stuck her finger in a light socket until it had burnt to a crisp, Mandy’s long blonde hair streamed in golden waves over her shoulders and down the bare expanse of her back.
Rosie slowly released her breath so no one around them would notice her sigh. Mandy’s body, like most of the other hopeful bidders, was the epitome of surgical perfection. How could a regular gal like her compete? Especially for someone like Sam Watson.
It was her own fault he was there – she’d suggested the bet after all. A bet she’d won. But seeing the heads swivel when he’d walked into the fundraiser, hearing the murmurs about how much the women were willing to bid and just what they wanted to do with him when they’d won—
An even taller brunette slithered through the crowd and hooked her arm in Sam’s as she purred, “It’s time for me to escort you to the stage, Mr. Watson.”
As every other man in the vicinity had, Sam glanced down the woman’s slinky red dress, lingering on the deep swell of her cleavage and again on the thigh peeking out from the slit up her hip. If Mandy was a ballerina, this woman was a pole dancer.
Rosalinda narrowed her eyes. No real boobs in the world retained their shape like that. Not unless they were supported by an underwire which the other woman obviously wasn’t using considering the design of the dress and the way her taut dark nipples taut showed through the sheer fabric. Not that Rosie thought she was any slouch in that department, but the brunette’s perky missiles could have drilled holes into granite.
“What’s your name, darlin’?”
Giving a breathy little sigh, she leaned in to allow him a better view of her cleavage and murmured, “I’m Tawny. Tawny Valentine.”
Giving a wink in Rosalinda’s direction, Sam patted Tawny’s hand and affected a long suffering sigh. “Then lead me to my doom, Miz Valentine.”
Before he could get a single pace away, Mandy grabbed Sam’s other arm, intent on claiming Sam even before the bidding had started.
Tawny frowned. “Only the gentlemen and their escorts are allowed on the stage, ma’am.” She batted her eyelashes up at Sam and stuck out her chest making Rosie wonder if the title she’d given herself for the evening was really her profession. “Unless you’d like your mother up on stage with you, Mr. Watson?”
Sam’s chuckle had heads turning and the vultures in silk and satin reaching for their wallets. She had a feeling that the bidding might be frenzied when Bachelor Number Five strode down the runway. And the very first bid would probably be more than she could afford.
But a girl could dream. Especially about having Sam Watson as her slave. She’d command him to strip off his clothes. Slowly. Watch him reveal each inch of finely honed body. First she’d have him shrug off the tuxedo jacket that clung to his shoulders. Then his shirt to reveal that rock hard stomach that she’d often admired in Hauberk’s private gym. Then the pants to display thighs that could crush cars between them.
Her eyes drifted down to his ass. Ay bendito, that man had the best ass of any man she’d ever seen.
Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips as she imagined him kneeling in front of her, ready to do her bidding, his cock pendulous between his legs. No! Bobbing high against his abdomen. If it matched the rest of him, he was probably as wide as her wrist. The ache in her pussy increased exponentially, her panties now drenched at the thought of him suckling her nipples, his full lips feathering down her belly until his tongue lapped at her labia, taunted her pulsing clit. He’d probably be really good at making a woman come with his tongue. She’d lay back and feel those muscular thighs between hers as he pounded her into the mattress. And all the while he’d murmur to her softly in French, or growl at her in German. She’d heard he spoke six languages, four fluently. Body parts always sounded so much sexier in a different language.
“Oh, honey, I am bidding on him, try to stop me,” she heard a woman say to another as Sam climbed the stairs to the stage. Rosie used her peripheral vision to find the speaker and saw the middle-aged woman fanning herself with one hand. “I’d sure like to see him playing my cabana boy. I’ll bet he’s hung like a stallion.”
“That’ll be a change from your ex’s dick’,” Trisha snickered. “Do you think they’d let us pool our money?”
Damn, the man made all the other bachelors on tonight’s auction block invisible. Of the three Hauberk employees she’d strong-armed into volunteering, only Chris currently strutting down the runway, came close to Sam’s height, though his build was more on the wiry side compared to Sam’s linebacker shoulders. But while all had turned heads when they’d arrived in the various limos sent to collect them – courtesy of Hauberk of course – only Sam had a presence – a power – that drew everyone’s attention to him.
Another sigh left her. No, plain little Rosalinda Ramos would never be noticed by a man like Sam Watson, especially when there were women like Mandy and Tawny around.
“I have a favor to ask,” said a quiet voice beside her. “Or perhaps I should say, a friend requires a favor.”
Grateful for the reprieve from her pity party, Rosie faced her boss and Sam’s second-in-command, Chad Miller. Five inches shorter than Sam, at just over six feet Chad still towered over her by almost a foot. Those around him would look at his businessman’s haircut with a few prematurely silver strands at his temple, and his double-breasted black suit, and be taken in by the relaxed image he projected. They’d assume he was just another D.C. businessman. Or perhaps they’d catch his dark grey eyes and notice his sharp assessment and think him one of the thousands of lawyers that populated the nation’s capital. Only if they managed to spot the shoulder holster he wore beneath his jacket, or the baby Glock strapped on his ankle, might anyone guess he was former FBI agent now in charge of the D.C. office of Hauberk Protection.
“Don’t tell me. You and Sam have cooked up some plan to get him out of this auction.” She tilted her head as she considered him. “Let me guess, you want me to stage a distraction so Sam can sneak out the back door?”
“Sam’s not part of this,” he said as he tucked his Blackberry into its holster at his waist. “I’ve a friend who can’t be here tonight who would like you to bid for Sam on her behalf.” At her look of confusion, he added. “I can’t very well bid for him myself, can I?”
“How much does she want me to bid? And why isn’t she here herself?”
“Bid whatever it takes to buy him – there’s no limit. And she can’t bid herself because she’s not in town.”
She watched the bidding on Chris spiral up over two thousand – higher than the congressman who had led off the auction, and holding pace with the two fireman who’d been next. If the women taking pictures of him had to pay ten bucks a pop, they’d probably raise twice that. Maybe she should suggest that for next year. “Is it someone Sam knows? Or is this part of a scheme to get back for Sam setting you up with that seventy year old woman last month?”
“If that was the case, I’d be handing a blank check to Mandy over there along with a pair of handcuffs.” Interpreting her continuing silence as disagreement, Chad continued, “Come on, Rosie. You get to have a night out on the town with Sam, all on someone else’s dime.”
“Me?” Her voice came out in a squeak. “What do you mean I’d get to go out – do you mean whoever your … sponsor is, she wouldn’t show up to claim her prize?”
“She’s married, but she wants to donate to a good cause.”
Yeah, the cause to save Sam a night with Mandy when he’d rather have Tawny. Or whatever the bimbo’s name was. “All right. I’ll bid for him. But I want the day off before we go out. And Sam pays for the dress I’ll have to buy because none of the ones I have will suit wherever he’ll take me.”
The auctioneer banged his gavel and announced the winning bid of twenty five hundred. A lady on the other side of the room squealed “I won, I won,” and raced to the desk while Chris ambled off the stage like he’d just stepped off a horse.
“By the way, how’d you blackmail Chris into participating tonight?” Chad asked.
“I bought him a double cheeseburger and fries and he said yes.”
“For our next victim, ladies,” the master of ceremonies chuckled, “may I present Samuel Watson. Sam is the owner of the Hauberk Protection Agency. Yes, ladies, Sam here is as close to James Bond as you’ll get tonight.”
Nate covered his choke by turning it into a cough earning not a few glares.
“Not only does Sam run a group of bodyguards,” the MC continued, “but he also oversees Hauberk Security who are providing security for us tonight, and recently acquired Celada Security of Texas. Sam is the driving force behind the Safe and Sound program that provides free protection for victims of domestic abuse . Yes, ladies, you are well protected with Sam and his people around. As you will be—”
Rosie tuned out the auctioneer as he went on to laud Sam’s merits. Instead she watched Sam who to her amazement was staring at her. When he caught her eye, a cheeky smile slowly spread across his face. Then he winked. Sure he had to be winking at someone else, she glanced around trying to find the object of his attention but could find no one.
When her gaze finally met his again, everyone around her disappeared into a fog. Ay, he looked so handsome in that tux. But none of the other women in the room knew of the muscles that rippled beneath his shirt, had watched him lifting weights in the company gym. And thanks to some anonymous benefactor, one night soon, he’d be hers. All hers. But would one night be enough?
It would have to be.
An elbow to her ribcage brought her back from her daydreams. “Rosie!” Chad hissed. “Bid something!”
“I have four thousand, do I hear five?”
Ay Bendito! Rosie held up the paddle she’d been issued and yelled, “Six!”
“We have a new bidder! I have six, do I hear seven?”
Mandy languidly held up her paddle, and shooting Rosalinda a scowl, called, “I bid ten thousand.”
Rose bid, “Twelve,” before Tawny lowered her paddle.
No one in the audience could mistake the venom in Mandy’s voice when she called “Fifteen!”
These bitches were going down! “Twenty!”
“Um, Rosie?” Chad murmured.
“Twenty five!” Tawny countered.
“Thirty.” Rosie’s hands clenched around the paddle ready to trump the next bid, her feet dancing as if she were fighting in a boxing ring.
What felt like an hour later but was in actuality less than five minutes, Rosie tottered over to the desk to pay for her winning bid, Chad’s hand firmly on her elbow. Had she really spent seventy thousand of someone else’s money? What the hell had just happened?
“Did you get one we can use?” He pulled up a chair beside her.
“Of course, my prince. I had a front row seat. The best vantage point in the house.” She rolled her wheelchair over to the desk and handed him her camera.
He removed the Smart Disk and inserted it into his computer, then scrolled through the photos. Scrolled past the photo of the Congressman – a member of her club, past two firemen and past the first young Hauberk bodyguard before he paused on a photo of Samuel Watson, a blonde and brunette hanging on either arm. “That’s him, isn’t it?
At her nod, he asked, “Do you want to use this one?”
She shook her head. “No. We’ll want one of him alone so there’s no mistaking that he’s the target.”
The next picture had the Master of Ceremonies in the shot. “I could edit him out.”
After some discussion between various different photos she’d taken, she settled upon one and he opened up Photoshop.
“This may take a while,” he murmured.
She slipped her hand under his shirt and played with his nipple ring, tugging on it until it hurt. “When you’re finished, crawl to my bedroom wearing only your collar. I’ll be waiting. Bring a copy of the picture with you. If you’ve done a good job, I’ll reward you.”
“Yes, my lady.” He waited until he heard the bedroom door close then set to work, wondering what type of reward she had planned for him.
Gratification was sweeter when you had to wait.