Monday, March 1, 2010

Personal Protection by Leah Braemel - Excerpt Two

Personal Protection
Leah Braemel

Sam Watson excels at keeping other people safe. Now a stalker is targeting him, but so what? A few doctored photos and a couple threatening phone calls are no big deal. He can watch his own back. Then again, the view from behind the sexy spitfire assigned to protect him isn’t so bad…

Rosalinda Ramos has managed to keep her attraction to Hauberk Security’s owner tightly under wraps. It’s just as well he doesn’t know. One slip—in the bedroom or on the job—will cost her her heart and her career, so she’s got only one thing on her mind. Protect Sam, whether he wants it or not.

The stakes—and the heat—rise exponentially when she discovers Sam belongs to an exclusive sex club—one she must investigate for potential suspects. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a world that pushes her boundaries.

Sam delights in leading Rosie deep into his sexual shadows—until they go one game too far. Making him wonder if he can allow the woman he loves to take a bullet for him.

Copyright 2010 Leah Braemel

ISBN: 978-1-60504-526-9 (ebook) and 978-1605045597 (print version)

Buy as an ebook at MBaM

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No wonder he kept offering her a beer—he’d been trying to find a way to get rid of her. If she’d accepted, she’d have given him grounds for dismissal.

Sam wandered toward the kitchen. “I was fixin’ to make some dinner. I could grill us some chicken and toss a coupla sweet potatoes in the oven. We could finish it all up with that pecan pie you bought.”

Normally she found the way he pronounced pecan more like pehcawn sexy, but now his drawl shredded her nerves.

“No, thank you.” Rosie turned her back on Sam and marched to the spare bedroom. She pulled her suitcase from the closet, tossed it on the bed.

“Is there a problem?” Sam said from the doorway.

“Not at all.” She grabbed the clothes she’d put in the top drawer and tossed them into the suitcase.

He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe, his forehead furrowing. “Then why are you packing like there’s a four alarm fire on the floor below?”

“I’ve decided to switch off with Kris or Andy. We’ll all be happier that way.” Well, she wouldn’t be. Goddamn, when would men realize that just because she was only 5’1 and didn’t have a penis didn’t mean she couldn’t provide proper protection or run an effective op?

“Happier? You wanna tell me why you think I’d be happier with them? What bee crawled up your— What’d I do to send you running like someone tied a bottle rocket to your tail?”

She whirled, her arms held rigidly at her side. “Oh, let’s see, you wanted someone else protecting you, not a little bitty woman who wasn’t a former Navy MP or D.C. City cop or CIA spook. And then when I asked you earlier if you had a problem with me being on your detail, you lied to me. Outright lied! I’ve put up with a lot of crap, Mr. Watson, but I don’t tolerate lies. You don’t want me guarding you, fine. But you should have said that when I asked.”

“I didn’t lie. I never said I didn’t want you protecting me because you were a woman.”

“But you told Chad you didn’t want me assigned to you, didn’t you?”

“Yes, that part’s true. But—”

“Ay bendito. I knew it.” She advanced on him. “Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t take you down—just ask Kris or Andy. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m not a damned good shot. I’ve been trained in counter-surveillance, and bomb disposal.”

“I know that, I—”

“Just because I’ve never worn a uniform or carried a badge doesn’t mean I can’t guard you. I’ve been on details guarding an Oscar winning actor while he was making that movie down in Savannah and got him to safety when the barricades failed to hold back hundreds of screaming fans.” Then the asshole had expected her to put out in the limo. “I’ve protected those three country music singers—did I mention how much I hate country music—and let’s not forget the gentleman from Saudi Arabia with his three wives and sixteen kids, or the dozens of women from the Safe and Sound program.”

“I know you’re good at your job. That wasn’t why I wanted someone else.”

“Ha! So you did want someone else. You admit it.”

“Yeah, I already admitted it. But—”

“But you don’t trust me to protect you.” She closed the cover on the suitcase and zipped it.

“I trust you. But—damn it! I wasn’t objecting to you because you’re a woman, Rosie. Well, yeah, it’s sort of because you’re a woman. Aw, hell, you’re reading this all wrong.”

“For all your bullshit about equal opportunities, it’s still just bullshit. You want to be a big macho he-man who guards the ‘little woman’ but God help you now it’s the other way around.”

“Rosie—Ms. Ramos—”

“I’ll stay until Chad can get someone else over here to replace me, but then I’m out of here. And not just this assignment but D.C. I refuse to work for someone who doesn’t respect my abilities. I’ll expect you to approve my transfer first thing in the morning. Because if you don’t, then I’ll file a lawsuit for sexual discrimination.” She stopped talking, the words clogging her throat. Oh Lord. Fifteen minutes ago, she was feeling so proud and now she was about to walk away from the job she loved.

“Goddamn it, I don’t want you to leave Hauberk, Rosie. I didn’t want you guardin’ me because I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to keep my hands off you!”

The breath whooshed from her lungs. Of all the excuses he could have given her, that was one she wasn’t expecting. A blast of heat, of desire, filled her veins, headed straight for her nipples, her pussy. “You—”

“You drive me crazy, woman!” Heavy hands landed on her shoulders, spun her around. “All you have to do is walk by and I get hard. I’m so hard right now it hurts.”

A glance down proved him correct.

Her traitorous eyes refused to return to his face, instead they sent a message to her knees to drop down to the floor, to her hands to cup him, caress him, free him. Her traitorous tongue flicked out and licked her upper lip in anticipation of taking that impressive erection into her mouth. Luckily enough, a part of her mind retained just enough control to override those urges.

“All I can think of is getting you out of those clothes and beneath me, Rosie. I know that you could slap me with a sexual harassment suit just for saying that. But it’s true.” He muttered something about the difficulty of herding cats—whatever the hell that meant—then moved closer, the heat from his body like a blast from a foundry. “I can tell when you’ve been in a room by the scent of your shampoo. That’s all it takes to stop my brain from workin’. Then my dick takes command.”

Just like her pussy heated and creamed whenever she smelled his aftershave. Or heard his deep chuckle floating through the office. Just like her breasts ached watching him roll his cigar between his fingers, wishing it was her nipples he was touching.

So why did her chest hurt hearing him say what she’d fantasized about for months? Because he was lying. For all his smooth words, he was trying to find some lame ass explanation to weasel out of having her as his lead op.

“That’s why I asked Chad not to assign you. Not because I don’t trust you to guard me. But because I don’t trust myself to leave you alone.” His voice dropped an octave. “I want you, Rosie. And not as my bodyguard.”

“I don’t…I don’t believe you.” Why wouldn’t her knees support her? What had happened to all the oxygen in the room?

“You want proof?” He pulled her until her breasts mashed into his chest. Before she knew it his lips were pressing against hers in a hard hungry kiss.

His tongue lightly stroked the seal of her lips. One of his hands cradled her head, holding her in place, his thumb toying with the skin below her ear, rhythmically stroking, calming her. His other hand kneaded her behind, pressing her against his erection. “Do you feel what you do to me? Do you believe I’m not lying when I say I want you?”