Blogs by Brenda Williamson
Devil's Kiss........ excerpt
3/24/2007 5:37:20 AM
U.S. Marshal Jack McCay tracks outlaws for a profession and sweet-talks pretty women out of their clothes, for pleasure. But when he begins to hunt a vicious killer, he finds one beautiful woman resistant to his charm.
Tessa Jane Creager is also in search of the renegade half-breed for murdering her brother and his wife. The wanted poster says dead or alive, and she figures dead couldn't be better. However, while on the trail, she gains the help of an unwanted Marshal-turned-Bounty Hunter.
Figuring he's like all men, she works hard at resisting his relentless sweet-talk. Yet, on a long, difficult trail, a lot changes by the time she faces the Devil's Kiss.
Not long after dinner, when they had the dishes all washed up and put away, Harvey pointed out rooms for everyone.
"There's a cot in the storage room for the little lady, and Mr. McCay, you and your missus can take my room. It's got a double bed."
"Where will you sleep?" TJ asked, hoping to change the arrangement.
"Loft." He pointed above them.
"I hate to put you out of your room."
"It's no trouble. You even got lucky. This morning I put clean sheets on the bed."
Harvey didn't waste much time at deciding to go to bed either. He mounted the ladder and disappeared overhead.
"Come on, gorgeous." Jack took her hand. "Any place I can lay down with you is a welcome idea."
"IÖ" What could she say? It was her idea to let Harvey believe they were married. "If you were a gentleman, you'd find someplace else to sleep."
"Yes, if only I were a gentleman." He chuckled low and his breath lifted the fringe of loose hair on the nape of her neck.
She shivered and glared at the curtain he drew aside.
"Night, folks," Henry called down.
TJ didn't respond.
"Night." Jack answered for them both, and then he waved TJ into the partitioned off area.
"After you, precious."
She grunted her displeasure at the circumstances and brushed past him. "We can't sleep on that bed." She tried to back up but his presence held her steady. "It's barely big enough to hold Emily."
"Cozy, huh?" Jack gently shoved her to the mattress. "Get in."
"I will not. You sleep next to the wall."
She had already taken great note of the gleam in Jack's pale blue eyes. It made her heart speed up and her lungs expand. She wiped her sweaty palms on her shirt waiting for him to give into her demand.
"Can't, sweetness, my shoulder, remember? I can't lay on it."
"Then face the wall." She shook his hands off her shoulders.
"That's not safe if I have to get up quick." He reached up behind her head and pulled the tie she had knotting her hair up. "This should come down and get brushed out."
"I haven't a brush on me." She unbuckled her gun belt and hitched it over the bedpost.
"But Harvey does." He picked up one from the bureau and wiggled it in front of her. "Sit on the bed and I'll comb it out for you."
TJ sat, but it was to pull off her boots and scoot back by the wall. "I don't want to comb it now. I'm tired."
"Have it your way, but in the morning it'll be all tangled."
She laid down with her back to the wall, leaving her injured arm up. Once all settled, Jack followed.
"You know you still have your back to the doorway," she commented.
"I'll trust you to guard it." He grinned. "Then there's always the possibility that my back may face the ceiling since I like sleeping on my stomach."
"It may also face the floor if you don't keep your hands to yourself."
"Whatever you want, Tessa Jane. I did want to point out that if we had slept with our heads at the opposite end I'd be against the wall."
There was no end to his little pokes at her.
"You're just asking to get hit, aren't you?"
"Aw, come on, sugar, you know you like me."
She looked at Jack's chin all prickly with black hairs. She'd seen it shaven and it was a strong shaped jaw line. The stars outside the window offered a little light and it let her gaze follow the contour of his nose. Other than his arrogance, she liked everything else about him. His affection was constant, continual, and in ways she didn't understand, it was very nice.
They both squirmed to find a suitable position. TJ, never being bashful, made the first move toward something she wanted. Lifting up slightly, she sidled closer to him and audaciously laid her head on his good shoulder as if he were a pillow.
Jack stiffened and she waited for him to gloat. Instead of saying anything, he put his arm around her. It was comfortable and as Jack had previously pointed out, it was cozy.
She tipped her head back to look at him. With one finger, she took a curious inspection of the stiff whiskers on his upper lip. She couldn't stop herself from engaging him in some confrontation. It was an addiction, a wonderful compulsion she used to communicate with him.
"Fire, Tessa Jane. You're really getting close to the flame." He kissed the finger rubbing his bottom lip.
"Do you think everyone is still asleep?" she whispered, hoping Jack would know why she tempted him.
"I don't know, precious. You want me to give a shout out to tell them not to go peeking in here?"
"I'm trying to be serious."
"Then I'll show you how seriously I want you tonight."
READ MORE - http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/devils-kiss
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