Taste: Take It Off #9
One taste is never enough…
Spencer Waller’s main purpose in life is to protect and serve. After spending years in the military, he gets a coveted spot on the Secret Service detail protecting the president. Spence doesn’t have time for women or all the work having a relationship with one requires. But just because he isn’t looking for a lady doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a beautiful one when he sees her.
And he makes it a point to see one in particular every single day.
Elle Bond has literally chopped and fried her way to the top of the food chain. Earning a coveted position in the White House as the president’s personal chef, she figures her professional life can only get better. Her personal life, on the other hand, could use a little bit of an overhaul, and because of that, she tries to ignore the charm-dripping cookie thief every time he comes into her kitchen. After all, she knows better than anyone that just one taste of something good is never enough.
One night after work, Elle is assaulted, threatened, and given an ultimatum. She can’t go to the police, and she sure as hell can’t do what she was ordered.
But she has to. Or else.
Pale, shaken, and scared to death, Elle confides in Spence, and his protective instincts take over. Together, Elle and Spencer have to uncover a sinister plot and stop it before someone ends up dead.
From this close I could see the scruff growing in on his jaw area, it was dark blond too and made him look totally delicious.
Holding my shirt up with one hand he reached out with the other, gliding his fingers across my stomach, just below my ribcage. “Here?” he whispered, staring at the area.
I nodded, not bothering to glance down. The skin stung lightly as he caressed it. I didn’t care. Frankly, it could hurt like hell and I still would have let him touch it. Desire suffused my limbs, making them heavy. I felt goose bumps break out over my bare skin, and maybe I should have been embarrassed at my reaction because really there wasn’t anything sexual to what he was doing but my body sure as well acted like there was.
He frowned a little when my muscled trembled beneath him and glanced up. “Does it hurt?”
I shook my head, unable to speak.
“It’s just red. No blisters,” he answered, not looking back down at the “burn” but not pulling his fingers away either. Spencer watched me as he dragged the tops of his knuckles down the curve of my waist and moved across my navel.
“You burned anywhere else?” he rumbled in a low, throaty tone.
Man, I wish I was. I wished I could point out a thousand injuries just to give him a reason to not lift his hand.
“No,” I whispered.
He glided his hand over my hip and curved his palm around the dip in my waist, tugging me just a little bit closer. Just one step… that’s all I needed to take to bring my bare waist up against his body.
I tilted my head back when he bent, lowering his face toward mine. I anticipated his kiss, I craved it… part of me thought I might need it.
He stopped just inches away, his heavy lidded eyes spearing mine. “Nice drawers,” he whispered.
It took me a second to realize what he said, I was too far under his spell.
But when his lips turned up in an onery smirk his words penetrated my lust laden brain I gasped and leaped back, pulling my shirt from his hand and yanking it down over my “drawers”.
“Oh my God!” I burst out. “You are such a pig!”
He laughed. “What? I was paying you a compliment.”
I groaned, still yanking at the hem of my shirt. “You’re making fun of me!” I challenged.
He laid a hand over his heart and looked at me solemnly. “I do swear that no one wears polka dots like you do.”
I. Was. Going. To. Die. Of embarrassment.
The room was completely silent except for the light scrawling of my pen across paper. Maybe that’s why I heard the sound.
It was a low scraping sound, like wood rubbing against wood. I tilted my head, confused. It was an odd sound to hear in the middle of the night, something I might not even think twice about if it were daylight.
But it wasn’t.
A muffled thump overhead caused my entire body to tighten like a shoelace with a double knot. My head snapped back to stare up at the ceiling.
I was being crazy.
I was being paranoid.
There was someone in the apartment!
A surge of adrenaline so powerful it blurred my vision for a few seconds rocketed through me. My brain tried to think as my body went into overdrive. That first sound, someone had opened a window upstairs. The thump was when that someone dropped their up-to-no-good ass into my house.
Still clutching the pen, I raced for the stairs, out of my mind with fear. All the times my mother told me I needed to get a landline phone installed haunted me in that moment. My only means of calling for help was upstairs, beside my bed, in the form of my smart phone.
She was never going to let me hear the end of this.
If I survive. The thought floated through my head like a vicious taunt. Another light scuffling sound upstairs had my heart thumping even harder.
My God, it might not be me they hurt!
I wasn’t quiet on my way up the old wooden steps. In fact, I sounded like a herd of elephants that needed to lose about twenty pounds.
It would draw all the attention of the no good dirty rotten bastards in here.
Come get me, assholes.
It was dark upstairs except for the nightlight that lit up the hallway. Against the long wall across from that light, I saw a dark, lurking shadow pass. I gasped and my blood pressure skyrocketed so high that my scalp likely should have blown off the top of my head.
Holy shit, this was scary.
But I had to be strong. I had to be a fighter. I was a fighter.
The intruder appeared at the top of the stairs, slipping out of my bedroom just as I cleared the top step. His body tensed when he saw me, and then he rushed me without warning.
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com