Escape Into Romance - Ignite the Flames of Imagination
Stephanie ignores her attraction to Daniel who’s bought corporation under questionable circumstances. Daniel’s attracted to Stephanie’s fiery spirit. He’ll stop at nothing to possess her – including kidnapping her back to the 1700’s where he’s the lord of a Caribbean Island and she’s at his mercy
Stephanie Waltrip was the C.E.O. of her family’s business until Daniel Maxwell the head of a large conglomerate bought out all her stockholders stealing control of her company.
Suspicious Daniel had engineered her company’s hard times Stephanie is out for his revenge. When they meet the chemistry is strong and sparks fly between them. Stephanie hadn’t known Daniel was so attractive or the playboy Daniel would affect her so completely but she isn’t about to let him
know it. Daniel, accustomed to women falling at his feet, is resolve to get her into his bed any way he can.
Determined to bring the haughty Stephanie to heel, Daniel calls on one of his scientific companies which has discovered a way to travel back in time. Daniel kidnaps Stephanie back to the 1700’s and the Caribbean Island he is lord of.
With Stephanie captive at his side as his wife their adventures begins in the 1700’s. But can their desires for each other work for them or against them as they face the danger of pirates, treacherous island lords and their own passions if they are ever to return to the modern world.
Stephanie was ready when she heard Maxwell’s Porsche pull into her drive. She purposefully waited a few
moments after her doorbell rang, to answer. Her heart beat jumping faster than she could remember for any
date, and she reminded herself – this wasn’t a date but a business meeting. Stephanie purposefully took her
time to unlock the two dead-bolts and unlatch the chain, taking a deep breath with each.
She opened the door to be greeted by the devastatingly attractive, Daniel Maxwell standing on the other side.
The scent of his cologne was enough to make her legs unsure, her stomach didn’t have butterflies – her long
ignored cunt did.
“Good evening Mr. Maxwell,” she addressed him in a cool, even voice and didn’t ask him in. Stephanie stepped
out, locking the door behind her.
“Ms. Waltrip, you look ravishing.” He complimented her without a hint of insult at not being asked in.
She returned his perusal, affixing him with the same cool stare she had in the office for his compliment. “You
look nice yourself.”
His gaze leisurely traveled over her bare shoulders the heat in those steal orbs told her she looked more than
nice to him. Stephanie’s skin knew what it was to be caressed by molten mercury, as if the heat of his scrutiny
remained behind to scorch her flesh.
Daniel escorted her to the passenger side of his car, opening the door before she could reach for the handle.
She felt his ogle further caress her. Stephanie reassessed her choice of dress in the wine hued, strapless
cocktail dress she wore. It displayed a woman who stayed fit but wasn’t dedicated to the look of starved
anorexia so popular with many modern women.
Stephanie was accustomed to being admired by men but Daniel’s look took in each line of her body, as if he
caressed her without touching. His final visual feast fell on her black hose clad legs before he took the liberty
of placing her wrap around her and dared to touch her. Daniel had relieved her of the expensive faux fur wrap
as she slid into the bucket seat of his sports car. Before she could retrieve it, he wrapped it around her
shoulders caressing her soft, warm, and sensitive flesh with the back of his fingers. She threw him an icy
glance for his efforts, he returned a heated, feral your welcome smile. Stephanie projected an icy exterior,
hiding the heat the arousal of his slight caress left knotted in her belly.
You can look Mr. Maxwell, but you don’t get to touch – again.
Like an experienced racecar driver he slid into the driver’s seat next to her and buckled his seat belt. He started
to reach across to buckle hers, evidently noticing she hadn’t, but she clicked the restraint in place before he
could. Their stares met.
“I don’t like being restrained,” her voice was close to a growl, or was it a challenge.
“I see, but when I’m in control…” He paused for a fraction of a second, his stare holding hers. “In a car, a seat
belt is required.” Daniel informed her with such command in his voice the compulsion was persuasive. She
hoped he didn’t notice the slight tremble that rushed through her when he’d leaned over her. Before taking his
stare off her, he started the car’s powerful engine then directed his attention to driving. He backed-out slowly,
and drove out of the security-guaranteed development with a wave to the guards.
“By the way, how did you get by the security gate? They didn’t call for permission to admit you?”
He shrugged, “I own the development. The guards know me.”
Stephanie’s insides turned to mush.
Did this man own the world?
“What don’t you own Mr. Maxwell?”
“Vatican?” He laughed good-naturedly.
“Surprising.” Her tone was terse she looked away out into the dark night.
“I think you’ll enjoy where we’ll be eating. The menu is a varied. I like the quiet atmosphere, the privacy, and
the food. I can always find something to fit my mood.”
She didn’t answer. His close proximity and her nerves made glib conversation difficult. He turned up the subtle
music on his car’s sound system. A selected collection of music from classical to modern Stephanie figured he
put together himself. Expecting where they would dine to be a restaurant in the city she grew more
apprehensive as they drove away from the city’s lights and turned onto a smaller state road. Suddenly
anxious, the unwelcome notion he might be a rich murder entered her mind. As wealthy as he was, he could
get away with such a crime, leave the country and no one would ever know.
“Where is this restaurant Mr. Maxwell?” Stephanie queried her apprehension, curiosity, and trepidations
getting the best of her.
“Not much further now Ms. Waltrip… By the way – can we dispense with the formalities for the evening?”
She didn’t answer for a moment, “This is a working dinner… but yes, I suppose so.”
“Good Stephanie, conversation is much easier on a first name basis. Tell me about yourself.”
“I am sure you have a complete dossier on me Mr. Maxwell… Daniel.”
“As you do on me, but it isn’t the same as hearing about someone’s life from their own perspective.”
Stephanie looked at him critically. The last thing she wanted was to impart the private facts of her life to this
man. Already she felt drawn to him and the first and last time she allowed a man so close, it cost her – too
much. Lights through the thick trees caught her attention and she hoped they approached the restaurant. She
knew most of the up-scale ones in the city and one this far from the city, she had never heard of.
“Is this our restaurant?”
“In a matter of speaking, actually it’s my home.” He replied like a guilty schoolboy caught skipping class but
flashed a winning smile at her. “Please don’t be angry with me Stephanie, I wanted a private place where we
could talk, iron out our problems, and get a good meal. My chef can’t be beat, and as for privacy – there is
plenty of that here.”
“I don’t like being misled, and deceived, sir.” Her voice came out in a snarl, instant anger but controlled. “I
should ask to be taken home.”
Oh you are a sneaky one – Daniel. I’ll keep that in mind next time you want something.
Daniel twisted the steering wheel, using the break, clutch and the gas pedal in rapid movements he expertly put
the car into a boot-leg one eighty turn.
“If that is what you wish Ms. Waltrip – is it?” He inquired while controlling the car.
He accelerated through first and second gear, making Stephanie glad she wore the seatbelt but she couldn’t
surpass a startled gasp. Daniel looked over at her, his gray eyes flashed in anger. He popped the car into third
causing the tires to squeal. Her pulse raced.
“Or would you rather have a nice quiet dinner and get to know each other?”
Thrown forward against the seat belts when he pushed the brake lever and clutch to the floor, stopping in the
middle of the road it took a moment to catch her breath. Dark gray smoke from the abuse of the tires swept
“Which is it?” His gaze locked with hers.
“For now, if getting out of this car is quicker by going to that house than going back to my town-home, I’ll take
your house. I doubt my cell will pick-up this far out and I assume you have a land-line. I can call a cab to take
me home from your house. Your buy out of my company didn’t leave me so broke I can’t afford one.”
Stephanie bantered back at him her voice scathing.
Daniel leaned over, his face close to hers, “Good, I’m starving, and I will take you home, after dinner. As far as
your financial situation, I’m aware of how poor you – aren’t.”
He again swung the car around, causing her heart to accelerate as he controlled the car’s engine. She was
trembling inside and tried to cover her unease. Sitting next to him was disturbing. Stephanie glanced at Daniel,
convinced she was tapped in a speeding cage with a wild lion. His driving was rough enough on her body and
she hated seat-belts. Rarely buckled ‘in’, in her own car, despite the danger and the law, she didn’t wear seat-
Questioning her reasoning at having agreed to have dinner with Mr. Maxwell, she decided she’d let her
bravado overrule her sense and made a mistake. Glaring at Mr. Maxwell, she found her anger directed at him
and herself. Stephanie fought against the awareness she found him appealing and arousing. Frustrated, she
began to wonder if she was one of those women who fell for the same type of man, and didn’t doubt he was as
much of a scoundrel as her ex-fiancée. This little diversion was a good example. He’d mislead her to get lure
her to his home, and as naive as she was, she’d fallen for it.
At the age of twenty-three, Stephanie wasn’t experienced but neither was she innocent. After one love affair in
her final year at college, she prepared to walk down the aisle in a fairytale romance. The wedding date set, the
plans made, she wore a huge diamond on her left hand for almost a year.
All her rose-colored dreams came crashing down days before the ceremony when she caught her fiancée in
bed with not one, but two women. He brushed it off as a last fling and tried to make-up. She brushed him off,
for good, but the pain cut deep. Theirs had been an intimate relationship, while she couldn’t say it had been
satisfying, Stephanie believed it would be.
After so much pain, she didn’t plan to ever be so close to a man again. Sex just wasn’t worth the agony. From
what she understood from several college girl friends, what happened to her wasn’t uncommon. Beneath her
lashes, she glanced at Mr. Maxwell.
Maybe I will call a taxi when I get there. Surely, he won’t try to stop me.
His home loomed before them, a mansion larger than her childhood home. He pulled up to the front portico in a
screeching stop that rocked her in the stiff seat of the sports car. Stephanie threw him an ugly glare. Her body
would be sore tomorrow from the rough ride.
An older gentleman stepped from the covered portico, and with gloved hands opened the door. Their manner
of arrival didn’t seem to affect him. He presented a gloved hand to assist her from the car.
“Madam,” he said cordially, “welcome to Falcon’s Talon.”
“Thank you,” she replied simply, taking his gloved hand. Glad it was the butler’s hand and not Mr. Maxwell’s
who may have noticed her tremor as she exited the car. Somehow, Stephanie wasn’t surprised Mr. Maxwell
had named his home and she made a mental note to speak with her security people about their lack of
thoroughness in investigating him.
Mr. Maxwell joined her and moved to take her hand from the butler but she withdrew it before he had the
chance, giving him a cold stare, daring him to touch her.
An amused steel gray gaze clashed with an angry hazel-green one that flashed gold flames. Without breaking
eye contact, Stephanie withdrew her cell phone and attempted to dial out. Daniel’s big hand covered the phone
and removed it from her hand.
“You take a great deal for granted Mr. Maxwell!”
“I thought we had foregone formalities Stephanie?”
“And I thought we were going to a public restaurant, you tricked me sir. Now if you will please return my
phone?” She managed to keep a cool timber in her voice.
“It won’t pick-up here Stephanie.”
“In that case, Mr. Maxwell, please allow me to call a taxi-cab from your house phone.”
“Stephanie, after dinner, I will return you to your home, as I promised. Come now and we’ll have drinks and
dine. You might find it enjoyable,” his gaze looked deeply into hers, “if you will allow yourself to.” His voice
dropped to a low, throaty challenge. She squelched the urge to smack the smirk off his face.
His hand found the small of her back. She stiffened at his touch and move ahead.
He dared to touch her after that fiasco?
Stepping away, she walked inside his mammoth home to find his hand again on the small of her back directing
her through his home to a spacious family room overlooking the back of the dwelling through sliding glass
doors that opened onto a large deck and pool complex and further out, the darkened estate. She stared out into
the darkness thinking about this man who had all but kidnapped her. He was compelling, aggressive, and
authoritative – a glass of wine appeared before her. Looking up, slightly, she took the fluted glass of sparkling
wine from him.
“Thank you.” Stephanie nodded and sipped the wine.
“Wouldn’t you like to sit down?” He indicated the numerous chairs and couches in the room with a wave of his
Thinking to prevent him sitting next to her, Stephanie sat in an overstuffed chair – he sat on the wide, padded
arm. To her dismay, giving him a full view of the low cut of her dress and an intimate closeness she found
“I really shouldn’t have agreed to dinner, we have little to discuss. The manner you steer my… our company
will determine our relationship. You have control by a slim margin.”
“Stephanie, I don’t wish to ruin this company. I would prefer to turn a good margin of profit than lose it. There
isn’t any reason we can’t have a healthy relationship.” He smiled winningly down into her upturned face.
“That said, we’ve covered any problems for now.” She finished her glass of wine and sat the fine crystal fluted
glass on the dark wood table. “Out of curiosity Mr. Maxwell, what other business ventures do you involve
An inscrutable smile lit his face, “Many, I have a varied portfolio of interests. Thanks to parents who were of
similar nature. I would rather hear about you Stephanie.”
“You don’t give up easily do you? I really don’t care to talk about myself. In any case it has been my
experience, men prefer to talk about themselves and women’s concerns soon bore them.”
Before he could reply, the butler announced dinner. Daniel rose and offered her his hand. She disregarded his
gesture and stood without his assistance.
Did he think her a weakling that she couldn’t get out of a chair?
His closeness was troubling enough without him touching her. Not wishing to be escorted again, she paused,
arched an eyebrow and invited him, “After you sir,” she told him with a smirk, refusing to allow him any
opportunity to touch her if it could be avoided.
Stephanie found his gaze had become a strong magnet which drew hers into his, “On the contrary, ladies
first.” His hand was again on the small of her back sending heat through her body to center in the depths
between her legs. For a moment she froze and knew what a person feels when trapped, and held by unseen
electricity. His lips were inches from hers, his hand pulled her closer. She knew he would attempt to kiss her.
Part of her wanted him to.
Feeling spellbound, she suddenly remembered her fiancée had once trapped her as a game. The sensation
returned and she bolted forward away from him, almost falling over a table. Daniel caught her with both his
arms. Now truly ensnared, his mouth covered hers for a short kiss and releasing her without a word, he led
her to the dining room.
Dinner was a quiet affair. Stephanie found conversation difficult with a man who disturbed her so completely.
She knew of nothing they had in common other than her company that she resented him for stealing. He
finished his plate, having a hearty appetite and she realized her plate was scantily touched.
“I fear your chef will be insulted by my poor appetite.”
“No, he won’t. Is there something else you would prefer?”
“Come,” Daniel stood, “I’ll show you around the house. My parents furnished it with some unique pieces. My
mother is an artist and a collector.”
“I certainly don’t mean to insult your mother’s taste but I would like to return home. I’ll just call a cab…”
“No, I’ll drive you.” Daniel’s disappointment was clear in his voice and on his face. “Allow me to summon the
car.” He left the room.
Stephanie didn’t want a repeat performance of the drive up to his home and she didn’t want to be under his
control any longer. Certainly, by the time she reached the main road her cell phone would pick-up. It wasn’t
further than a mile or so and she could walk that easily, she ran ten miles every other morning. Quietly she
walked from the dining room and out the front door.
Knowing Daniel would quickly come looking for her she slipped into the woods along the road and tried her
cell phone. No activation bars. Damn. She walked, parallel to the road and saw Daniel rush out the front door
just after she’d tried her phone. He appeared concerned and called her name a couple of times.
Like she’d answer?
She covered her mouth to stifle her giggle. Tomorrow morning at the office was going to be interesting. She
chuckled to herself. Mr. Maxwell would soon learn – she wasn’t a simpering female who depended on a man to
see to her every need.
He whizzed passed her in his Porsche, looking for her. In a while, her feet hurting from the heels she wore and
her hose were torn but otherwise unscathed she reached the main road and, thankfully, as expected her cell
phone worked. She called a cab. After another half an hour the transport arrived. Exhausted she sat down in
the back seat, gave the driver directions and though it cost a nice chunk of change, she arrived safely home.
Unlocking her door, her shoes in her hand, her feet sore, she walked inside but something felt – wrong.
“Glad to see you got home in one piece Stephanie,” Daniel greeted in a low throaty voice as he stood from his
reclining position on her couch.
“How dare you!”
“Me!” he shouted, his timbre enough to shake the building. “You scared the hell out of me. What kind of man
do you think I am to allow you to disappear from my home in the middle of the night?”
“Obviously a liar after you tricked me about dinner. Get out,” she roared. “You stole my company, I have no
doubt, and I couldn’t do a thing about it, but this is my home, now out!”
“Stupid little…” he crossed the room in a bolt; both his strong hands on her shoulder drew her into his hard
embrace. His mouth covered hers in a possessive kiss. He released her. Stephanie almost knocked him down
with a well delivered left hook.
“Out – now!” Stephanie demanded. Her blood raced through her body from his embrace. The fact it aroused
her only angered further.
“This isn’t over Ms. Waltrip!” he left.
Shaking from the encounter Stephanie poured herself a stiff shot of Hennessey’s Brandy and sat down to
Oh good heavens – it went straight to her…