For those of you who haven’t read First Night, or may not even know it exists, First Night is a short story I wrote back in 2008 as part of a Samhain holiday celebration. Since it came out before Private Property, it was my way of introducing the world to my writing and Jodi and Mark, the hero and heroine from Private Property. (At the time I had no idea Private Property would be the start of the Hauberk Protection series.) Two years ago, the head of my street team started nudging me to lengthen it and put it up on Amazon and other vendors so more readers could find it. Well, I finally sat down and followed her advice. First Night is now doubled in length and explains how Mark’s company ended up becoming part of Hauberk Protection (yes, Sam is in it — on a video call at least). It is currently available on Amazon, Scribd and Kobo, and will be available through Barnes & Noble and iBooks shortly.
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copyright© 2014 Leah Braemel
“What do you say, Mark? Do we have a deal? You ready for a little R&R?”
He caught her hand. “Are you aware of what I might ask of you?”
Her gaze dropped to the tent in his pants, then slowly raised to meet his. The heat in her eyes seared a path all the way up his chest. “I’ll be at your command for the night. In the bed. Up against the wall. Or on the floor if you prefer. Whatever you say, I’ll do.”
He forced his mind from the image of tying her hands behind her, of pressing her to her knees, when he realized she was still talking.
She ran a finger along his jaw, tracing her thumb over his lips. “Just tell me what you want.”
He pulled her toward him so she tumbled onto his lap. He cupped her head with one hand until her mouth hovered a hairsbreadth from his. “Let’s start with this.”
Despite the danger signals ringing in his head, he couldn’t pull back if someone held a knife to his balls. She tasted of champagne, and paradise. There was no hesitation from her when he slid his tongue past the part in her lips, no regrets, no second thoughts. If anything, there was a tenderness he’d rarely experienced, and never expected from his hard-ass operative.
Everything about her softened, and when he stroked her throat she leaned into his touch. A need to protect her, to treat her gently, while at the same time the need to master her roared over him.