Elisabeth Naughton - Author of sexy romantic adventures and dark hot paranormals
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Saturday, August 29th, 2009


OMG, awesome AWESOME concert. We had such fun. I had no voice, couldn’t sing along, but I could dance. And it was a total blast. Nickelback didn’t sing the one song I LOVE from the new Dark Horse Album, so I’ve posted it in below. But they DID sing all my other favs, in addition to Highway to Hell (WOW is all I can say) and Friends in Low Places (hilarious!). Even the DH was rocking out with me.

Okay, now on to the post at hand. Today’s Saturday Snippet is supposed to be something humorous. This is taken from STOLEN FURY (in case you haven’t read it). One of my favorite scenes in the book.

Enjoy!

***

Excerpted from STOLEN FURY
Copyright Elisabeth Naughton (2009)
Dorchester Love Spell
ISBN: 978-0-505–52793-6

“God, you scared me.” Lisa pressed a hand against her heart. “Don’t do that.”

Rafe turned when she pushed past him into the apartment and dropped an armful of shopping bags on the leather couch in the middle of the room. She shrugged out of a winter white suede coat with fur trim he didn’t remember her leaving the apartment in earlier and tossed the garment over the back of a chair.

“Where the hell have you been?”

She looked up from the shopping bag she’d already started picking through. “Close the door. You’re letting in cold air.”

He blinked twice, unable to process her words. “What?”

“The door, Sullivan.”

When he didn’t respond, she frowned and stepped past him, closing it herself. “Winter. Cold air. Chicago. Ring a bell, Slick?” Shaking her head like he was a complete moron, she moved back to the bag.

Good God. The woman was a piece of work. He glanced down at his watch, a mixture of relief and confusion pumping through him. “You’ve been gone for five hours. You said you were shopping. What the hell happened?”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were worried about me.” She lifted a white garment bag.

Worried about her? Damn right he was worried about her. After what had happened last night, they had no idea who was out there watching them. He’d been utterly stupid to let her walk out of the apartment alone, when any number of things could have happened to her. He’d realized that shortly after she’d left, and he’d been stressing about it since then.

“Don’t worry, Slick.” Her smart-assed voice dragged at his consciousness. “I didn’t run off and go after Tisiphone on my own. I know that’s all you were worried about.” She walked out of the room.

Oh, shit. The blood drained from his cheeks. That thought hadn’t even crossed his mind.

He tossed his jacket across the couch and followed her into Shane’s bedroom. She still hadn’t explained where she’d been, and he wasn’t letting it go just yet. Not until he had some answers.

He stopped in the doorway, slipped his hands into the front pockets of his jeans and tried to settle the nerves still churning in his stomach before he laid into her again. His eyes took a careful sweep of the room. Her garment bag lay across Shane’s unmade bed. She stood at the closet pushing hangers and jackets aside, searching for God only knows what.

She’d changed. She wasn’t wearing the same ripped sweater and dirty jeans she’d left in that morning. A long-sleeved black-and-white horizontal-striped blouse highlighted her curves, dipped low at her cleavage and accentuated the swell of her breasts. Snug black slacks molded to her muscular legs, hugged her hips and perfect behind. Shiny black boots with thin heels covered her feet, and light-catching
silver drops hung from her ears.

She looked chic and stylish, and not a bit like the woman who’d walked out of here earlier, although that one had sent his blood soaring even before this little transformation. This one made his jeans grow tight. Even her hair seemed different, all tousled and wild from the wind, like she’d just rolled out of bed, like she’d just had a lover’s fingers run through her silky locks.

He straightened and coughed. Five hours. She’d been gone five freakin’ hours. She’d better not have been off with some other guy. Not when his insides were tied in knots because of her. Not when he’d spent the last hour going out of his mind because he didn’t know where she was.

“There it is,” she said, pulling a tux from the closet.

“Where have you been?”

She looked up at him, green eyes sparkling in the artificial light. Stepping forward, she held the jacket against his chest. “Should fit. You and Shane are about the same size.”

Fit? What the hell was she talking about? “What’s going on?”

She laid the jacket on the bed next to the white garment bag. “You and I are going to a party.”

“A what?”

She pushed past him, and he stood slack-jawed while she sashayed out to the living area, grabbed a couple of shopping bags and returned. “A party, Slick. As in, you and I both get dressed up and hobnob with the rich and famous.” She stopped in the doorway next to him, pinched his cheek. “I know it’ll be a stretch, but I think we can clean you up.”

She smelled like a sexy, exotic flower, looked like every man’s wet dream, and at the moment she was talking in complete riddles. He didn’t want to go to some party he couldn’t care less about. He didn’t want to do anything but discover what she’d been up to while she’d been gone. And tossing her onto that mussed bed so he could find something for that smart mouth of hers to do instead of flip sarcastic comments his way was sounding better and better by the minute. He turned away, rubbed a hand down his face and tried to refocus.

Holy hell, he was losing it. He needed to get a grip. Fast.

“You find anything on the Landau Gallery?”

Landau Gallery. Right. That’s where he was supposed to be focused. He tried to remember what he’d found earlier in his research, tried to get images of her writhing beneath him out of his mind and glanced back at her, where she stood next to the bed, pulling items from the bag. “Specializes in rare sculpture. High-end clients.” If he wasn’t going to get lucky, he might as well get serious. “Your brother mention the assistant who was murdered last week?”

She stiffened. “Yes. What else?”

It was clear she thought the murder might be related to their predicament. A thread of guilt slithered through him as he watched the color drain from her cheeks. Guilt for bringing her into this, for putting her life on the line, all for a few bucks. He raked a hand through his hair. “Not much. Doesn’t sound like they have many leads on the investigation. But the woman was definitely working on a new collection, and rumor has it she was more than his assistant.”

She glanced up. “His lover?”

He shrugged. “Maybe. He hasn’t admitted to it, but that’s the word going around.”

“Alan Landau’s unveiling that new collection tonight. I get the impression this little party is a way to get the public’s focus off her murder and back on his gallery. I think it’s our best chance to get close to him, find out what he’s up to. Get inside his place.”

“How do you plan to get into this little soiree?”

“I have connections.” A smile curled her sensuous lips, highlighting her sparkling teeth. “Had my assistant back in San Francisco arrange for two tickets.”

That explained the tux. And the men’s white dress shirt she pulled out of the bag. “I had to guess on your size. Hopefully it fits.”

Wonderful. Just what he wanted to do with his evening. He stepped forward with a frown and reached for the garment she handed him. His fingers slid over hers, and electricity zinged up his arm at the simple touch.

She wasn’t his type. Not by a long shot. He liked his women a lot more agreeable and a lot less mouthy. So how come every time she got close, he had trouble thinking straight? The woman had little use for him, had made that perfectly clear by ditching his ass all day and going off on her own. And the fact that that didn’t even seem to bother her only made him more frustrated and more determined to prove her wrong.

When she looked up, her eyes held his for a brief moment, shimmering gems that seemed to soften as he looked at her, as if they could read his thoughts, as if…as if they wanted him to prove her wrong. Eyes—to his utter surprise—that tugged on something deep in his chest and made the aggravation he was feeling slip away inch by
inch.

Yes. Keep looking at me like that, querida.

Warmth pooled in his stomach, and he felt the overwhelming urge to pull her into his arms so he could find out if her skin was as soft as he imagined, so he could make her remember what it had been like between them in Italy.

She tugged her hand back and looked down before he was ready to break the contact. And just like that, whatever gentleness he’d seen flicker in her eyes faded behind her iron shield.

He glanced down and fingered the cold cotton in his hands. So much for that idea. He must have read her wrong. Just like every other time they’d been in the same room together.

She went back to pulling items from the bag. “I would have been back sooner, but I had to wait to pick up the invite. Then I had to find something to wear for tonight. It’s a zoo out there. Took longer than I thought it would.”

She picked up a bag at her feet and handed it to him—not, he noticed, in any way apologizing. “Here. I got you a few things while I was out. You can pay me back later.”

He opened the bag and peered inside. Disbelief knit his brow as he lifted a black thong and held it up by one finger. A paper tag hung from one side. His eyes narrowed on what was obviously not a piece of female lingerie. “This had better be for you.”

When she didn’t respond, his gaze snapped to her. Head down, she continued to paw through a shopping bag. “Lisa?”

She huffed and finally looked up. “I didn’t have a lot of time, and I didn’t feel like guessing about your style.” She pinned him with a look. “For heaven’s sake, it’s just underwear, Sullivan.”

“Real men don’t wear thongs. And I’m not wearing this.” He held it out to her. The scrap wouldn’t cover anything. Especially not anything he had. No doubt she’d bought it just to get under his skin. The woman wasn’t happy unless she was taking cheap shots at him.

“Fine.” She lifted one elegant brow. “Wear your day-old dirty Jockeys. Or go commando. Not my problem.”

“What the hell’s going on in here?”

Shane’s voice from the doorway made them both turn.

Great.

Tension worked its way back into Rafe’s shoulders. Lisa’s brother’s gaze darted from the thong in his hand to Lisa to the rumpled bed and back to Rafe, and there was no missing the back-off-mysister- you-sexual-predator warning in his dark eyes.

Fucking fantastic.

Rafe crumpled the thong and tossed it into the bag in front of him. This day was ranking up there as one of his finest.

“Sullivan’s going to borrow your tux,” Lisa said. “We’re headed to the Landau Gallery’s unveiling tonight.”

“No one’s going commando in my tux.” Shane’s scrutinizing gaze darted to Rafe again.
Lisa’s sarcastic smile followed.

Holy hell. Rafe pinched the bridge of his nose and blew out a long breath. Walking into that damn auditorium in Italy had been the biggest mistake of his life.

***

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