My new book, Give Yourself to Me, drops at midnight tonight over at Loose Id. After the cover, check out the excerpt!
He scented her before he saw her, and shocked to his core, he stiffened in recognition. It might have been fourteen long years since he’d detected her scent, but it was one he’d never forget. Like a wolf sensing its mate, Cumberland Hilliard unerringly looked in the direction from which she came. Except for where he and the others were standing under the bright lights, it was pitch-dark, but he saw her at least a minute before anyone else did, or could have, even if they’d been paying attention. She wore black skinny jeans and a breast-hugging black T-shirt over her tall, thin frame, tying everything together at her waist with a wide red leather belt. Black ballet flats covered her feet.
Of course she still had that lazy, graceful walk that had always driven him mad with lust and made her look like she had no place special to be, and if she did, then it could wait. He narrowed his eyes. Everyone could wait, as far as she was concerned.
Two large dogs, one on either side, loped down the street with her. They too appeared to be in no hurry. When she was about a hundred feet from where he stood, Hill heard her give the dogs a soft command and watched as each dog obediently stopped and gazed adoringly after her as she kept walking. Finally she came into the light, and still she took her time.
“Here comes La Belle Dangereuse,” Hill heard one of the men next to him say in a thick Cajun accent, and fascinatingly, as one unit, everyone — the paramedics, the crime-scene techs, and even the damned police officers who were supposed to be watching him, their suspect — stopped what they were doing to turn to watch her approach. Hill refrained from shaking his head in disgust. She’d always had that effect on people.
“Not too fond of that dick of yours, are you, boy?” an older man asked the Cajun. “You’d better not let the good doctor hear you call her that, or you’ll find out just how well you can get along without it.”
Hill heard a deep, heartfelt sigh of longing come from the young technician next to him and had to agree with the sentiment, even as he hated himself for it.
Laughing heartily, someone slapped the sighing man on the back. “Don’t even think it. Dr. Hollis Delacroix isn’t even in your stratosphere, son.”
Hollis Delacroix? What the fuck? Hill thought. She really had wanted to get away from me.
“Jesus, just look at her,” a female paramedic said in a low voice about thirty feet from Hill. His sensitive ears picked up the words and the envy. “She looks gorgeous even at this time of night.”
“Yeah, how dare she,” the lone female cop said drily. “What a selfish bitch. Hey! Dangerous Beauty!” she yelled and emphasized the nickname. “When you’re done attracting helpless supplicants, you want to get your heavenly ass to work so we mortals can get out of here sometime tonight?”
Hill, who had listened to all the conversations going on around him but hadn’t taken his eyes off his target once, watched as a fond smile split the doctor’s face and she turned her head in the other woman’s direction.
“Bite me, bitch,” she said mildly, making the cop laugh.
“Not tonight, honey. I’ve got work to do. And besides, I wouldn’t want to make anyone jealous.”
Her lips twisted, and she obligingly flipped the cop the bird, but Hill could tell the doctor’s attention was focused on the dead body as she gave a general greeting to everyone and pulled on latex gloves. She hadn’t seen him yet, and Hill wondered what her reaction would be when she finally did notice him. He didn’t have long to wait. Her searching eyes eventually came to rest on him. One elegant arched brow was the only indication of her surprise.
“Well, Cumberland Hilliard,” she drawled in that same husky voice that had seductively dogged his dreams as a nineteen-year-old and still did all these years later. But now, Hill just considered the act cruel. “What on earth are you doing at my murder scene?” she asked. And then that damned familiar crooked grin appeared on her face.
“You my murderer, cher?”
So? What do you guys think?