It’s #TBT #Throwbackthursday and today’s excerpt comes to you from Seducing Allie. Available on Amazon and other ebook retailers!
“I’m hungry.” Her words cut through the faint country music he had playing. “I don’t suppose you planned my kidnapping enough to bring food?”
“There should be a granola bar in the backpack on the floor. And we’ll be stopping for food in about another hour.”
She leaned over and grabbed the backpack, rummaging through the bag for the granola bar. After she found it, she unwrapped it and took a bite. Ugh. When was the last time she’d eaten this stuff?
Chewing absently on the bar, she tried to block out the bland taste. Unfortunately it wasn’t even one of those sugary, chocolate dipped kinds—because chocolate would have been good right about now. It was one that actually had health benefits, full of nuts and berries and shit.
She glanced at the back of Clint’s dark head as he drove the SUV steadily down the two-lane road, singing a country song out of key.
When he’d kissed her, thrusting his tongue into her mouth and grinding his erection into her belly, she’d wanted to push her fingers into his thick dark hair. Pull him closer in a move that could help ease the ache between her legs.
Don’t go there. You will not go there. Wanting to fuck the man who kidnapped you cannot be a good thing. I don’t care how good of friends you used to be.
She ate the last bite of the granola bar and crumpled the wrapper in her hand. Then, even knowing it was petty and rebellious, she threw it at the back of his head.
Clint laughed as it bounced right back off and landed on the seat somewhere. She sighed and looked out the window.
What a mess. Kidnapped. And all because Clint was convinced she wanted Kenneth back and was crazy enough to break up his wedding. Maybe she did want to break it up, but it sure as hell wasn’t because she wanted Kenneth back.
“Seriously.” She sighed and leaned her head back against the seat. “I give up, Clint. I won’t say anything to Kenneth. He can marry Ashley and get taken to the cleaners. I’ll stay away from him all week—I promise.”
“No can do, Allie.” Clint turned up the volume on the radio.
“Well you suck.” Frustration made the granola bar churn in her stomach and she ground her teeth together. If he wasn’t taking her to a cheap motel, then where was he taking her?
“And I’m still running the first chance I get,” she muttered under her breath.
No matter what it cost, she’d call a taxi, take a train or fly if needed. But there was no way she was— damn. He had her purse. It was sitting up front by him. She’d have to grab it back.
“How long were you planning this? To kidnap me?”
“As of last night when I gave you your final warning. And let’s get rid of the word kidnap, okay? I prefer to think of it as two old friends just spending some time together.”
Allison gave a snort of laughter and shook her head. “I’m calling a spade a spade.”
She clenched her hands into fists in her lap, trying not to think about what he had planned for the week. Or his statement that they’d be sleeping together. The image of it had her body trembling. “And I won’t have sex with you. If that was your goal by this whole kidnapping thing.”
“My goal, as I clarified earlier, was to keep you from breaking up the wedding.” He gave a husky laugh. “Sleeping with you will be the bonus.”
“Clint. I’m not sleeping with you.”
“Whatever you say, kitten.” He didn’t sound the least bit unsure of himself.
She scowled. And why should he be? She’d lost herself in that kiss. She’d been ready to hike her dress around her hips, pull off her panties and jump him. That’s what he’d done to her.
“You know, we got a later start than I thought we would.” He sighed. “I think we may have to check into a cheap motel tonight after all.”
“A motel?” Alarm slid through her. Visions of sharing one small room with him, having him shower just feet away. Oh God. This week…how was she going to make it through?
Guess what? I’m currently writing another A is for Alpha book for those who’ve loved that series. So today, for Throwback Thursday, I’m sharing a scene from Beauty and the Sheikh (another book in the series!).
Swallowing her pride and tumultuous emotions, she sat back down in the chair. It took every ounce of willpower not to snap out a churlish reply that she wasn’t hungry. “How long will you keep me?”
“As your pretend mistress.”
His soft, lazy laugh was so potently masculine and self-assured it sent tingles racing over her skin and resentment rising inside her.
“Until I no longer want you, habiba.”
“As charming as that reply is, I’m going to need a much more definitive answer, Rafiq.”
His laughter died abruptly. “Three months. Or earlier, if my use for you runs its course.”
“Until you find a suitable, biddable wife, you mean?” Her stomach cramped and she lifted her head to cast him a sardonic smile. Three months in his palace. Oh God, could she do it? “Well then, we’ll have to see about finding you a wife quite quickly, won’t we?”
He leaned back in his chair and flashed a smile that displayed perfect, white teeth. “Careful, Holly, or I might begin to think you are jealous.”
Unfortunately, he was entirely too close to the mark, but she’d die before letting him know that. It was ludicrous she’d hold any emotion but resentment for him. “It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve made assumptions.”
Irritation flickered across his face, but she was saved from his response when breakfast was delivered by a handful of servants. An array of food was placed in front of them. Holly glanced over the various cheeses, olives, flat breads, hard-boiled eggs, and beans, and her stomach growled. She hadn’t been hungry, but the mouth-watering smells were rousing her appetite.
She ate a small amount of food, enough to ease her hunger, before her worries once again consumed her. All too soon she pushed her plate away and sipped on strong tea instead.
Rafiq glanced at her plate and then back at her. “Do you not care for the meal?”
“It’s absolutely wonderful.” She could hardly lie, because the food had tasted as amazing as it had smelled.
“You hardly ate a thing.”
“Well, forgive me for not having much of an appetite while knowing my brother sits in your prison.”
“Criminals are treated fairly in my country, Holly. I’m hardly about to have his hand chopped off. But in stealing from me, he made a deliberate choice.” Rafiq paused to lift his tea, bracketing the mug between two hands. “And now you must make yours.”
A laugh of disbelief gurgled from her throat. “What choice? Dammit, I have no choice. You’ve seen personally to that.”
Triumph flickered in his gaze, but his words were calm. “So you agree to my terms?”
Holly closed her eyes. It was a bargain with the devil, and she’d have to be very careful with her heart this time around.
Andrew’s freedom. You’re doing this for your brother’s freedom.
The words had barely left her mouth before Rafiq barked out something in Arabic. She opened her eyes to a flurry of activity. Plates were being cleared and servants rushed about.
Her stomach clenched. “What’s happening?”
“You said you were no longer hungry.” Rafiq set down his drink and stood. “And since I have a meeting this morning, breakfast is finished.”
She pushed her chair back and stood as well. When he moved to leave the room, she quickly followed after him. Her heart rose in her throat.
“And my brother?”
“Will be free within a few hours.”
“But what guarantee do I have?”
He froze in his brisk stride and turned around to face her. The disbelief and anger blazing in his eyes had her falling back a few steps. “My word is my guarantee, Holly. Do you question my integrity?”
“No, of course not.” But she had. And they both knew it.
Rafiq reached out and cupped her chin, his face just inches from hers and his mouth entirely too close to her lips. Her nerves came alive with anticipation and it was almost as if the air between them crackled with tension.
The quiet in the room hit her. They were alone, all the servants gone, and it was just the two of them.
Her heart began to pound so loud, she waited for him to comment on it.
“Let me be clear about one thing. When I make a promise, I keep it.” He lowered his head so his mouth was just a breath above hers. “I promise to release your brother. I promise I will make love to that decadent body of yours. And then I promise to dismiss you from my life by the time fall comes around.”
The emotions that slammed through her ran the gauntlet. From relief at the promised release of her brother, to the conflicting anger and hot desire at his promise to bed her, and then a soul-searing pain that she would be so easily discarded.
Well, if that’s the way he wanted to play, then she would certainly hold nothing back.
“Let me promise you something in return then, Rafiq. I will never again call you Your Majesty. But I will play the role of your mistress out in public in a performance so damn worthy that you may just find me nominated for a damn Academy Award,” she bit out. “But remember, it will only be a performance. Because I also promise you will never—ever—have me in your bed as your lover.”
It was hard to keep her momentum with his hot breath falling against her mouth.
Rafiq’s laugh was languid and knowing. “I’m going to enjoy making you break that promise, habiba. Almost as much as I will enjoy hearing you beg for my touch.”
A shiver of foreboding ran through her. “You’re delusional.”
* * * * *
His price is her innocence…
Holly Winchester is desperate. With her brother facing theft charges and a potential prison sentence in a foreign country, she seeks help from the one man she knows can give it. But will the ruthless, billionaire sheikh who once broke her heart be able to forget and forgive their painful past?
Two years ago, Sheikh Rafiq Al Hakimi allowed a beautiful foreigner not only into his country, but nearly his heart. It was all too easy, falling for the one woman who didn’t fear him or his scars. Until he discovered her intentions were as shallow as the modeling world she thrived in.
Now Holly’s returned to his country, begging for his help. He’s willing to give her brother his freedom—if Holly gives up hers by agreeing to become his mistress…
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