Tag Archive: hot tiger shifters


That is what the roof of my car looked like a week or so ago when I went out to go to work one morning.  We had a bit of rain the night before, and then it cleared up overnight and got really cold, so I got treated to a pretty frozen picture on my car.  Even better, yesterday, we got our first snow, and I’m not talking flurries.  I’m talking between four and five inches of snow, starting in the morning, and going on all day.  It was gorgeous.  Of course, it’s already been melting, since it was sunny today, so by the time the really frigid temps get here later in the week, the snow will be gone.  Unless the “snow showers” in our forecast for Thursday turn out to be something more.

And (I can’t believe I’m saying this) I actually hope they’re just snow showers, because it looks like I have a long drive into another state for a family funeral at the end of the week.  So I will be okay with no more snow for the next week or so.  After that, maybe we can have a blizzard.

On a more positive note, we have a very pretty tree in our living room right now, with purple lights on it.  And I am working on my writing goals for 2018.  I did get a lot of writing done this year, but with all of the other things that have occurred in the past twelve months, I haven’t managed to get any of these things to the next step.  That needs to change for in the next twelve months.  I’m ready for the new year to kick off with all kinds of great possibilities, and I’m going to get my goals fine-tuned in the next week or two so when we get to this point next year, I have more than new words to show for my efforts.  Like re-releasing Hunting Medusa, and getting the other two books in the trilogy ready for readers, too.  I’ll have my work cut out for me in 2018, and I’m ready.

Goal Target Aiming Success Vision Concept

 

Are any of you working on your goals for 2018 yet?  How’s your list coming?  Almost there, or does it still need some fine-tuning like mine?

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful week!

 

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  We’re always busy, whether it’s with household chores, or day-jobs, or family things, or any of a thousand other things.  Responsibility trumps all else.  Sometimes, I think we should ditch the responsibilities for a few moments of relaxation and enjoyment.  Maybe more than just a few moments.

( Photo by jmd41280 on Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

This time of year, things get really crazy, and many of us forget to stop and breathe.  In my day-job, I’m always reminding people I work with to stop and breathe.  But I realized I sometimes forget to take my own advice.  This weekend, now that my day-job crazy season is winding down, I decided to get all of my chores done today, so that tomorrow I can spend my day reading or writing. Maybe a little bit of both.

We had a low-key Thanksgiving here, and I spent most of it in the kitchen.  It was a little weird without my aunt here, but I thought of her all day.  And the turkey looked and smelled amazing, but I didn’t miss it on my plate at all.

So today, I’m finishing my chores, and then tomorrow, I have big plans that involve only doing things I enjoy, like the big fat book sitting on my desk, and getting some of my handwritten pages from my breaks at the day-job into my laptop so I can keep going on this shifter story.

Speaking of shifters, I think I might have mentioned a story snippet last time, didn’t I?  And it’s been ages since I shared a little bit of story with you all, so I think I’m going to dig into the fourth shifter to give you a little bit of Laney and Anton today.

_______________

Laney smiled, watching Anton sitting on the floor with Boris’s youngest, in the center of a jumbled mess of blocks and toy cars, gamely making engine sounds and listening to the boy’s chatter. Perfectly at ease.

As if he sensed her gaze on him, he looked over and grinned, winking.

Her breath snagged. Gods, she was falling in love with him. Heat rushed to her face.

Anton’s grin faded, and his eyes darkened.

Shit. She swallowed and made her lips curve again. She could not fall in love with him. Lust was fine, but not anything more.

He pushed to his feet, slowly, holding her gaze, and her mouth went dry at the intent in his eyes.

She was supposed to be doing something, she thought, over the quick thumping of her pulse in her ears. She just couldn’t remember what, with Anton stalking her through the crush of his family, all male predator.

“Hey,” he said softly when he reached her, his warm fingers brushing her hair back from her cheek. He dipped down to feather a kiss on her mouth, still holding her gaze. “You ready to get out of this insane asylum?”

She took a shallow breath, inhaling the scent of him, and her pulse tripped up a notch. “Aren’t you playing with Bryce?”

“I’d rather play with you.” He nudged her nose with his.

Laney set one hand on his shoulder to anchor herself. “Shouldn’t we–” Her breath caught again when he settled his hands on her hips and drew her closer.
“Yes, we should, but we’re going home instead,” he whispered, his breath warm on her lips.

She flushed when someone catcalled from the other end of the room.

Anton’s slow smile made her heart beat faster. “Time to go.” He turned her and steered her out of the room with his hands on her hips.

The hallway was cooler, but she was still too warm, and when he bent to plant a quick kiss on the side of her neck, her temperature rose a few more degrees. “Anton?”

He turned her again and pressed her against the wall. “Say that again,” he growled, one hand sliding down to squeeze her ass.

“An-Anton,” she managed.

“Fuck.” He caught her mouth roughly.

She hung onto his shoulders and let him take what he wanted. What she wanted.

He lifted his head too soon, eyes dark and dangerous. “Let’s go.”

Laney nodded, breathless, and pushed away from the wall. He found their coats in the hall closet and helped her into hers. Laney shivered, watching him shrug into his own.

When they got into the car, he set his hand on her leg and squeezed. She sucked in a shaky breath at the rush of need that shot into her belly.

_______________

Tomorrow, I won’t be working on Anton and Laney, but his cousin Joe’s story.  I hope you all find some time to stop and breathe this week, to find a little enjoyment amid all the busyness of your everyday life.  Let me know how you spend your few moments of down-time this week.

( Photo by scott1346 on Foter.com / CC BY )

 

 

( Photo credit: Foter.com  )

We’re heading into Thanksgiving week here in the U.S, which just happens to be one of our busiest weeks of the year at my day-job, though our crazy-busy is Monday and Tuesday, and then we’ll be a little slower the rest of the week.  Which is why I took an extra day off, so I can do less work in the kitchen on Thursday and enjoy the holiday more than some years when I spent most of the day working in the kitchen.  I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday all year long, though it is probably the one that is the most work.  Hours and hours in the kitchen cooking, baking, and in under an hour, the meal is over.

I should probably finish planning our meal–I have no idea what is for dessert yet, and I haven’t figured out what I’ll be eating instead of turkey.  This is my first holiday season since I quit eating poultry, so no turkey for me this time.  Maybe I’ll just be satisfied with all the sides and dessert.  I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out in the next couple of days.

But in the meantime, I’m going to work my butt off at the day-job and get in some writing time between bread-baking (gotta have homemade sage and onion bread for the stuffing!).  And I hope that all of you who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a wonderful day, with lots of amazing food and great company, and maybe even some reading time!  Next time, I should remember to share a little snippet of story, because we haven’t done that in a while.

Maybe some pumpkin cheesecake for dessert…

( Photo credit: apasciuto via Foter.com / CC BY )

 

Here it is Sunday evening, and I had planned on getting this up hours ago. Turns out the chores took longer than I expected, but they’re finally done, and now I get to relax just a little bit before calling it a night.  It’s crazy season at the day-job this month, but I am still making time to write in the mornings (and on the days when I have time for a lunch break). I would love a day, though, where I could sit with a big, fat book and a bottomless cup of tea.  This is the perfect time of year for it, and it finally feels like fall here.

Autumn leaves, book and cup of tea on wooden table isolated on white background

I should be thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and what we’re going to have for dessert, and what I’m going to eat with my vegetables and stuffing now that I have quit eating poultry. I haven’t missed it since I quit, but I am a little concerned about missing it on Thanksgiving–Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, mostly for the food, including the turkey.  I would love some suggestions on ways I can still enjoy the holiday without being tempted to eat something I’ll regret later. I’m also going to miss my aunt. She always spent the day with us, and it’s going to be weird not to have her here.

So I’ll still make the turkey, stuffing (with homemade sage & onion bread), mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn pudding, but I need to figure out dessert, and I would love some suggestions for my non-turkey Thanksgiving.  Hope you have a great week!

Resurfacing

 

My summer took an unexpected turn, as you will have noticed when I didn’t get to the rest of my birthday month celebrating in July.  I had mentioned here some time ago that I had two family members who were ill.  One of them is much better this year.  The other, my aunt, continued on a downhill path that ended in July.  Watching someone you love decline that way sucks.  The only good thing about it was that she did it the way she wanted.  There is a fantastic in-patient hospice in our area, and she was well-cared-for, between me and the staff there.

And since then, when I haven’t been at work, I have been working on clearing out her house, which was my grandparents’ house.  It’s been a huge project, and I am still not finished, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I think.  It’s also been interesting, digging through old papers that I can’t imagine why anyone left in a box (or in this case, many boxes!) in the attic for over 60 years.  But there have been fun finds, too, like pretty postcards saved from vacations, or adorable little wedding cards, or photos.  I actually spent a lot of weekends there, just to avoid all the driving back and forth.  The sunset picture above is from one evening  a couple of weeks ago after a rainy day had cleared out.

But because the Great Clear-Out is starting to wind down, I need to get back into a more regular routine again.  The one thing I haven’t stopped in the past four months is writing.  Even while sitting in a quiet hospice room, I wrote, which surprised me.  July was exhausting, from start to finish, but my story kept me company, which was a real comfort–I actually got to the end of a shifter manuscript at my monthly writing group, which was a huge boost.

So now I’m back here, too.  My writing goals for the year have all gone to hell, so I guess I should start thinking about what I want to accomplish next year–like what to do with my Medusas since I have the rights to the first one back and haven’t gotten to do anything about that.  I’ve still got some work to do at my aunt’s house, but it isn’t going to be as all-consuming anymore, which is nice.  More time for my brain to focus on writing, rather than how to deal with 8 chests full of blankets, or ripping up carpet that’s been on the floor since I was a little girl.  Nope, I’m coming up for air, and, unlike the humpback whale below, I won’t be diving as deep again into this project.  Now it’s time to breathe and get things back to normal.

Humback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaching.

 

 

 

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

We are officially into my birthday month now, so the party is on!  I’m not counting anymore, but this one is a big one, which means lots of celebrating this year.  Cake and balloons and probably a new tattoo, too.

How do you mark a big birthday?  Something casual or understated?  Or a giant blow-out party?

I’m going to start the party with a snippet of story for you.  Maybe a little snippet from the shifter story I’m hoping to finish this weekend?

________________

Then she realized he’d asked her a question, and her cheeks flamed hot again.  She dragged her gaze back up, expecting him to be smirking.  Then she realized he’d asked her a question, and her cheeks flamed hot again.  She dragged her gaze back up, expecting him to be smirking.

But he wasn’t, just watching her with those somber green eyes.   “I’m not hungry,” she managed.

He nodded, then turned away again.

She heard his light steps on the stairs, and she dropped flat onto the pillow behind her, eyes shutting.  Holy shit, she needed to get herself together.  She wondered if she could get dressed and go across the hall to the guest room.  Then frowned.  What was wrong with her?  A gorgeous man who had been very pleasant company earlier had just made her brain melt down.  If she got dressed and went down to sleep in his guest room, he think he’d done something wrong.

And he had definitely done everything very right.  She totally understood what the fuss was all about.  She hadn’t before.  Self-induced orgasms were nothing like that.  At least hers weren’t.  totally understood what the fuss was all about.  She hadn’t before.  Self-induced orgasms were nothing like that.  At least hers weren’t.

Anton reappeared, water bottles in hand.  She swallowed and pushed herself upright, then fumbled for the rumpled sheet.

He caught her wrist before she found the edge.  “Are you getting modest now?”  One of his eyebrows quirked up a little.

“Too late for that, I guess,” she muttered, taking the water bottle he offered.

“Oh, much,” he agreed, uncapping his water while she took a drink.  “I’ve already seen it all.”

She choked on her first sip of water, and he patted her helpfully on the back, then sat down facing her on the side of the bed.   She wiped at her watering eyes a moment later.  “That wasn’t nice.”

“Sorry.”

She gave his unrepentant expression a narrow-eyed stare, then she shook her head and took another careful sip.  “You know,” she started, cautiously, “I can go back to the guest room.  I mean, you said last night you don’t bring anyone home, so I don’t want this to be weird for you.”

His green eyes went to slits.  “What?”

________________

So tell me.  How do you celebrate milestone birthdays?  I really want to know.  Especially if you’ve come up with something I should have on my list for this month.

 

 

 

It’s been a pretty decent writing week this week, which was nice.  I didn’t expect it with my work schedule at the day-job.  I’m going to hope I get as much in this week as well, though the day-job should be busier.  If I do manage it, I should be pretty near the end of the first draft of this shifter story, if not to the very end.  That would be a great way to wind down the month.  Especially since I didn’t get much accomplished this weekend, except for household stuff.  I suppose accomplishing anything is good, but I’d rather have gotten more writing in than I did.  On the other hand, there is clean laundry, and my guys have enough leftovers in the fridge to last the week, and I have juice for the next two days.  Now if I could get the mp3 player to import my audiobooks so I can listen at work, I’d be all set.  To be honest, I wasted too much time fighting with that earlier, more than I should.

We have a baby bunny in the backyard again, still little enough I could hold it in one hand.  I won’t, of course, but he (or she) is absolutely adorable.  That was the first thing I saw this morning when I was in the kitchen, making tea.  Not a bad start to the day.

Now I just have to hope none of the feral cats in the neighborhood get him.

Is it wrong that I’m already thinking about vacation when it isn’t scheduled until the end of next month?  I don’t know why.  Maybe my brain is just ready for a break.  I am going to take a slightly longer weekend in a couple weeks, and I’m overdue to drive out to see my dad, though I may try to time that for when my sister drives up from the south to visit, too–I haven’t seen her in even longer, and I worry.   Silly, maybe when we’re adults with grown children, but what can I say.

Before I get back to the tiger shifter, I think maybe a little snippet of Hunting Medusa for you…

________________

“You know there are drawings and sculptures of the original Medusa, with the snakes and her still very beautiful face.”

“I’m aware.” Her jaw clenched, and she glared at the floor. “Not too many men are in the market for a woman so dangerous, however. Not to mention going out in public like that would be like sending out a worldwide bulletin to your family: ‘here I am, come kill me’.”

He nudged her shoulder with his own. “I’m attempting to cheer you up, Andrea.”

“It’s not working, but thanks.” A larger divot had appeared in the floor, and she slid her shoe forward to touch the mark with the toe.

Kallan released her hand and put his arm around her shoulders. “Should I distract you in a different way?”

“I thought we agreed that wasn’t happening.” She didn’t move away, though she knew she needed to. Before her hormones really kicked in. She rubbed the bigger dip in the wood floor with her toe again.

“Stop glaring holes into the floor,” he murmured, nuzzling the top of her ear.

“Better the floor than you, wouldn’t you say?” She tilted her head away from him, but he just bent to the side of her neck.

“You smell good.” He licked her skin, sending a shock through her. “Taste good.”

Andi jumped when his other hand settled on her thigh. “Harvester.”

“That isn’t going to work,” he whispered, nipping her throat.

“Neither is this.” She resisted the need to whimper when his teeth grazed her neck in advance of a slow, open-mouthed kiss over the same spot.

He squeezed her thigh lightly, and heat shot into her middle.

Well, okay, maybe it was working. A little.

When he tilted her back, she let him catch her mouth. Just for a minute. She wouldn’t admit it to him, but this really was a pretty good distraction.

His kiss was even better now than that morning. Much better than last night. It turned her brain to mush and made her pulse quicken. Made her ache.

When his tongue slid along her lower lip, she met it with her own, coaxing him into her mouth, and then the mush of her brain disintegrated into ash. Poof—nothing left.

________________

So what did you intend to get accomplished over the weekend that you didn’t cross off your list?

 

 

 

( Photo credit: donnierayjones via Foter.com / CC BY )

I remember being a kid and being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.  When you’re young, there are lots of things you might want to do when you’re a grown up.  I remember playing with a doctor kit and thinking I wanted to be a nurse–but that was way before science classes, which weren’t my strong suit.  I remember playing with my younger siblings and thinking how great it would be if I was a teacher when I grew up, but that idea went away as I got older–not nearly enough patience for that job.  When I was ten and started writing stories, I just knew I wanted to be a writer.

When you’re ten you have no idea how hard it will be to do the thing you want to do as a grown up, but if you’re lucky, no one will discourage you yet, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll get encouragement as you continue to work on it.  I was lucky there, as I had teachers all through high school who did that.  Many times, though, you’ll also hear about how hard something might be, and shouldn’t you have a back-up plan?

Sadly, lots of people will listen to those suggestions instead of the encouragers.

I admit that I let other voices sway me for a while.  Oh, sure I was still writing, but not seriously.  After all, succeeding as an author was really rare.  I heard it a lot, but I kept writing, just because I had to, not because I expected to ever publish any of it.

Then one year I discovered there was a nearby writers’ conference, so I went.  I met some amazing writers there, made some great friendships that have lasted twenty-odd years.   Even better, I started to think maybe I could really do something with my stories.

I’ve been trying to remember that feeling this spring, after the ups and downs with my publisher over the past year.  It’s been a challenge some days.  But I’ve been trying to just keep in mind the encouragement, rather than the helpful, practical voices suggesting other things, because this is the one thing I love, still love after all this time, and I know I can do this.

Have you had to ignore helpful, ‘well-meaning’ suggestions about something you love?  Or did you take it to heart for too long?  Me, I want to be a writer when I grow up, so I’m going back to my tiger shifters for a while.  How about you?

________________

Excerpt from Hunting Medusa:

Andrea rested her head n her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

( Photo credit: Lida Rose via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

This week has been absolutely gorgeous here, finally.  After a week or so of mostly rainy days, the beautiful weather the past week has been a glorious change.  I got a couple of tomatoes planted, though the greenhouse didn’t have the lemon basil I wanted, so I’ll have to go back again and look soon, because that is my favorite.  I have lemon balm in my garden that is like two shrubs at this point, but the lemon basil has the best smell ever.

I’m really not just getting my hands dirty in the garden, though.  I’ve also gotten a lot of writing done in the last couple of weeks.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have almost reached the end of the first draft of this shifter story.  I suppose I’m like most romance writers this way, but I think the hero of this story is one of my favorites.  He’s so yummy and wounded and hot as hell.

I’m not saying that I don’t love all the heroes who came before.  I do.  But he just happens to be the one getting most of my attention right now, which means I like him best.  And maybe you will, too.

________________

Anton reappeared, water bottles in hand. She swallowed and pushed herself upright, then fumbled for the rumpled sheet.

He caught her wrist before she found the edge. “Are you getting modest now?” One of his eyebrows quirked up a little.

“Too late for that, I guess,” she muttered, taking the water bottle he offered.

“Oh, much,” he agreed, uncapping his water while she took a drink. “I’ve already seen it all.”

She choked on her first sip of water, and he patted her helpfully on the back, then sat down facing her on the side of the bed.

She wiped at her watering eyes a moment later. “That wasn’t nice.”

“Sorry.”

She gave his unrepentant expression a narrow-eyed stare, then she shook her head and took another careful sip. “You know,” she started, cautiously, “I can go back to the guest room. I mean, you said last night you don’t bring anyone home, so I don’t want this to be weird for you.”

His green eyes went to slits. “What?”

She glanced away.

“You really just said you’d rather sleep across the hall than here in my bed?”

His dangerous tone made her look up at him again, eyes widening. “That isn’t what I meant.”

________________

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

Now I’m going to do a little editing, and then more writing tomorrow.  Hope you all have a good week!

 

 

I have to start with any apology for missing my regular blog post last week.  Work has been really busy, but mostly it was sick family that made me miss last weekend’s post.  Now that that is resolved (at least for the moment), things are closer to normal.  As close as close as things will ever be, I suppose.

( Photo credit: Foter.com )

So this weekend is much more relaxing than last, even with the household chores that always need to be done.  The big things are done now, and tomorrow will be for the smaller ones, and for writing, which makes me very happy.  I’ve also been re-watching Hell on Wheels, which I loved.  The characters and storytelling were terrific, and I still absolutely hate the Swede.  I still can’t decide if he’s more crazy or evil, but he’s awful either way. And Cullen Bohannon is still a great hero, even if he doesn’t want to be.  Even though I know how all of this turns out, I’ll still keep watching.  There are parts I had forgotten, characters whose contributions to the story that are important for Cullen, and for the final outcome.  Plus Cullen is yummy, right?  If you haven’t watched it and you have any interest in the old west or how the U.S. came to be, you should check it out.

And I am going to get some rest before I  spend most of tomorrow writing.  So before I head off to dream-land, I have a little story snippet from Hunting Medusa for you.

________________

Kallan wiped his sweaty hand down his jeans, hoping the shriek of the Medusa’s alarm shutting off hadn’t wakened her. He didn’t want her prepared for an attack. He’d prefer to kill her quickly and get the hell out. He could be back in Baltimore by supper tomorrow with the amulet in hand for Uncle Ari to destroy, ending the protective spell for the rest of the Medusa’s descendants.
He touched the doorknob, felt the locks disengage beneath his hand, then turned the handle and swung the door wide.
Silence greeted him, and he took that as a good sign. No creaking came from upstairs, as there would be if she’d wakened. Good. Nevertheless, he stepped inside cautiously, listening hard. He took another step after a few heartbeats, trying to remember just where the kitchen table and chairs stood from his limited view the day before.
He made it past the furniture and paused to listen again. Still nothing. He frowned. With the power off, the house was too quiet. Surely the sudden and complete silence would wake her, even if she hadn’t heard the brief noise of the alarm shutting down. He slid one foot forward on the smooth wooden floor, and suddenly she was there. Fiery pain shot up his left arm. He grunted, realized she’d stabbed him deeply. He swung his other hand up, managing to hit her on the side of the head.

She cried out but didn’t go down, swinging her blade again. He caught her wrist, but she managed to get another slice to his already-injured forearm before he yanked her arm behind her.
Her booted foot connected with his knee—hard—and he bit back a string of curses at the pain, but didn’t let her go. Why wasn’t she barefoot? If she’d been sleeping, she should be barefoot. His left arm was nearly useless, blood pumping steadily from his wounds, so he crowded her up against the nearest surface. The refrigerator. He shoved hard, hearing her moan when he twisted her arm a little more.
Her blade hit the floor between them. She kicked backward again, and her foot hit his knee from the other side this time.
“Dammit,” he muttered, flattening her between his body and the appliance’s cool metal surface. His arm burned, warm blood dripping from his fingers.
“Get off me, you murdering bastard,” she said, her words slurred slightly from her face being mashed into the refrigerator.
“Well now, that’s not very nice. Especially since I’ve never murdered anyone. Yet,” he added darkly, tightening his grip on her wrist. The bones in her arm were fragile and he was fully aware he could crush them, render her arm as useless as she had his. But he didn’t. He wasn’t Stavros.
“You’re not going to start with me, either, Harvester.”
Mouthy. He grinned at the back of her head. Even trapped and defenseless as she was now, she didn’t stop fighting, even verbally. He had to work to keep from laughing as she continued to threaten him. No one had warned him the Medusa would be talkative. Or soft, he realized when her bottom shifted back into his groin. He concentrated on breathing evenly when his nerve endings all came to life. He’d never imagined he might be aroused by the Medusa.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked suddenly.
Kallan realized he wasn’t moving—or most of him wasn’t. He shut his eyes for a second, clenching his jaw. Her ass now cushioned his throbbing erection.
“Hey!” She shrank closer to the fridge, making a soft sound when the move forced her arm higher behind her.
He shifted, easing her wrist a little lower. This wasn’t going at all as he’d imagined it. “Stop moving.” He forced himself to unclench his jaw.
“If you think I’m going to make it easy for you to kill me, Harvester, you have another thing coming.” She didn’t stop wriggling.
Growling, he flattened her completely between his body and the refrigerator again.

She froze, and he could feel her pulse beating crazily in the wrist he still held. Fear? He imagined that was one cause. Anger too, probably.
He doubted she was having the same unexpected reaction to him that he was to her.
Not that it was a bad thing that she wasn’t suddenly aroused, too.
He just needed to stop thinking about it.
Concentrate on the task at hand.
Kill the Medusa.
Feel how soft her ass was against him. If he shifted his hips just a little—
No. He growled again, and she shifted, just as he’d imagined so her softness cradled him even more.
“Get off, Harvester,” she whispered.
“Stop calling me that.” He hated hearing it from her lips for some reason. Yes, it was what his name meant. It was what he was destined to do. But the contempt in her tone… He didn’t like it at all.
As though the Medusa had room to be contemptuous of him.

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Here’s hoping for a great week for everyone!