A lot of the fun in my favorite romances is the pursuit–one trying to convince the other to give them a chance, be it the hero or the heroine. (Or in the Toni Blake story I’m currently reading, trying to convince themselves.) One of my favorite scenes is where Sam is trying to convince Rosie to give him a chance…

Personal Protection
Copyright © 2009 by Leah Braemel

The next night Sam didn’t appear for their usual research session. Instead he bypassed their door and headed straight to his apartment. Andy gave her a shrug and trailed him while Scott ducked into their apartment. Ten minutes later Scott sat across from Rosie, burying himself in the files piled on the dining room table.

Dark circles ringed his eyes—evidence of the nightmares he denied having but they all heard every night. Not a surprise. After Sam’s cryptic comment, she’d read Scott’s file. He’d spent three months as a hostage of some obscure group in Colombia, escaping through hostile terrain with tales of brutality that had everyone worried about those left in the camp. When he’d been cleared medically, Troy and Sam had both tried to convince him to take some time off, he’d refused and so ended up on her team.

Personal_Protection_200x300For the next hour, she and Scott slogged through more of the Hauberk client files, while Kris finished going through the Security Guard files.

She placed the last of her current pile on the table and rubbed the back of her neck against the ache that was forming. “I’m not finding anything. How about you?”

“Nothing concrete.” Kris picked up the list he’d made. “Got a few trainees who might be bitter because they washed out the Protection Agency program and ended up guarding buildings. And there are a couple who got fired who might qualify but from what I’ve seen of their write-ups they couldn’t find their dicks with a magnifying glass.”

“Guess that makes you a suspect, too,” Scott said with a grin. “I found a few possibles in the client files, but one’s left the country, one’s dead, and the other hired some hot shot firm out in California to guard them. So I can’t see they’re viable suspects.”

Before she could reply, Rosie’s Berry chirped with a familiar double tone announcing a text message had arrived. Sam.

Table 4 2 set in 1201

She shook her head and went back to the list of employees working for the Security Guard division. Five minutes later, her Berry chimed again.

Chicken Creole.

“Is there a problem?” Scott asked.

“No, it’s just Sam wants me to eat at his place tonight.”

Kris, who had buried himself in yet another folder, looked up with a hopeful expression on his face. “What’s he cooking?”

When she told him, he closed the file. “Hey, if you don’t want it, I’ll go. I’ve got dibs.”

“Be my guest—”

Before she could finish, Kris dashed to the front door and slammed it behind him.

A minute later, her Berry chimed again.

Not Kris. You. On the heels of that message came another. Clothing optional. 😉

Sheesh! That one didn’t even warrant a reply.in.

The front door opened and Andy stomped in, obviously grumpy as Kris trailed him. “Sam says to get your butt over there before the champagne goes flat.”

“Champagne, as if,” she muttered. “He doesn’t have any. All he has is Heineken.”

“Yeah, he does,” Scott said. “He asked me to pick up a couple bottles of Dom Perignon this afternoon.”

“Kris, why don’t you go into the kitchen and toss one of those frozen cannellonis Rosie bought into the oven. Scott…” Andy paused. “Shoot, just leave us alone, will you? I want to have a private word with Rosie.”

Some sort of unspoken communication passed between the two men. Scott nodded and headed to his bedroom as her Berry rang again.

Apple Crumble & French vanilla ice cream 4 dessert.

What had he done? Called her mother to find out her favorite dessert? And vanilla ice cream, how ironic. If ice cream was a metaphor for sex, vanilla certainly described her love life lately. She had a feeling Sam’s would be Rocky Road.

“When are you going to admit there’s something between you two?” Andy asked quietly.

“You know the rules say operatives can’t get romantically involved with their principals.”

“Oh, screw the rules.” He groaned as he flopped onto the couch. “Come on, Rosie, you gotta give the rest of us poor shlubs some hope.”

“I’m not willing to risk my job for a couple of nights of…” mindblowing sex, but she wasn’t about to say that, “…fun. Because at some point it’ll end and I’ll be out of a job.”

He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Or you could end up Mrs. Rosie Watson, mother of 2.4 kids and part owner of Hauberk. You’re using the job as a shield, Rosie. Since when did you sprout a yellow stripe on your back?”

“It’s just…” She rubbed her face with her hands. Day by day, hour by hour, Sam had been chinking away at her armor until the barriers she’d thrown up were tissue-paper thin. “It’s just Sam’s so…Sam, you know?”

“Larger than life? I thought women liked that type.” He leaned back, sprawling his legs wide, his arms stretched along the back of the couch. “You’re not usually a coward, so what’s the problem?”

“He’s…he’s not like any other man I’ve ever dated before,” she said slowly. He makes me feel things with an intensity I’ve never felt before. He makes me want to do things with him, to him, for him I’ve never considered with another man.

Whenever she felt any of her other lovers gaining any modicum of control over her, her claws came out and they ended up running away with their tails between their legs. But for some reason she couldn’t fathom, all her need for control fled around Sam.

“Can’t say I know many people like him, so that makes sense.” He rubbed his thumbs across his eyes. “I have to be honest, Sam’s got his kinky side, but I don’t think he’d ever ask you to do something you weren’t willing to do. He’s not a big bad wolf who’s going to tear you apart. Besides I get the feeling you could wrap him around your little finger if you tried.”

What the hell did Sam’s got his kinky side mean? But before she could ask, he eyed her suspiciously. “You haven’t got some hang up about sex, have you?”

She plopped onto the couch beside him, her legs unable to support her. Her face felt like someone had just set a flamethrower to it. “No. It’s not about sex.”

No, sex with Sam Watson would be off the charts of the Incredible Scale. Look at the orgasm he’d given her with only his tongue and fingers. Her pussy started creaming just at the thought of his cock filling into her.

“The action, dialog, characters, and plot were all so well written that I found myself completely immersed.” ~ 5 stars & a “Creme de la Creme” pick! Slick, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

One of side of his mouth hitched up. “I’m just saying I think you could trust Sam not to overstep whatever boundaries you set, you know?” He gestured to her Blackberry which was buzzing again. “Besides, he’s only asking you to dinner.”

With her as dessert.

Trouble was, now she didn’t know if she’d simply become a challenge to be conquered. A rose to be pruned, enjoyed until the blossom faded, and then tossed aside and replaced with a new flower. She buried her face in her hands. “It’s not just dinner. It’s more than that.” It’s my whole life. My job. My home. My heart.

“You have a chance at love and you’re kicking it away like it’s an old tin can when the rest of us…” Andy trailed off. “Well, the some of us have it yanked from us, you know? And we’d give anything to grab it and hold onto it.”

She grabbed the only lifeline she could find. “I don’t know.”

Andy pushed himself to a stand. “Just think of it as your downtime. Pretend you went to bed early and let me look after things here. The place is secure—nothing’s going to happen. If someone wanted to take a pot shot at him, it’ll be somewhere public. Otherwise they’d have already gotten to him.”

“But it’s my—”

He pulled her to her feet and marched her to the door. “Go have dinner with Sam, Rosie. And if you two don’t hit it off, come back here.”

Her Berry beeped again. Trust me. Please.

It was the please that unraveled all her arguments, that had her walking down the hallway.

Just as she lifted her hand to knock, the door opened and Sam stood there, filling the doorway.

“About that accord…” she whispered.

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Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Felicity Heaton

Snippet Saturday – Hot Pursuit