From the First to Fall, Available now wherever eBooks are sold.
For a moment she thought she’d imagined him, but there he was sitting near a window, looking delicious in a dark blue t-shirt, a gray hoodie with a spiraling navy design running up one arm and bursting into an eagle across his chest. He wore dark denim jeans that wrapped around his muscular thighs and white sneakers. He was reading the sports section of the paper, sipping a cappuccino. When she received and paid for her coffee and cookie, she walked over, making sure he was alone, before she approached.
“Are you stalking me, Dr. Kent?” He asked as she approached his eyes still on the paper. She took off her hat and tossed it on the table, a sly grin on her lips.
“I’m not interrupting anything am I? I don’t want to impose.” He shook his head, folding the paper and putting it aside.
“Not at all. Please.” He motioned for her to take the seat across from him. She sat and suddenly became nervous.
“So,” She started. “I guess the whole missing body case has been closed.” She said in a nervous rush.
“Yea, I guess the higher ups thought it would look bad to have the police force lose a body. Either that or some big muckity-muck used his pull to avoid media frenzy. You wouldn’t know about that would you?” He was looking at her so intently, that she found it hard to concentrate on anything other than his steady gaze on her face. He was watching her every move as if he half expected her to disappear in a puff of smoke.
“I’m surprised to see you here. I come here a lot. I would have remembered seeing you.” She offered him a piece of her cookie, he politely declined.
“It’s my first time here.” He admitted. “It’s my day off. Riley and his boyfriend invited a bunch of us over for brunch. I just didn’t feel like heading home yet.”
“Boyfriend?” She raised an eyebrow. It was rare to come across a man like Elijah Cain, handsome, smart, overtly male and obviously enlightened.
“Yea, Adam. He’s a uniformed patrolman. Nice guy makes a terrific Belgium waffle. He’s a step up from some of Riley’s other boyfriends.” She nodded, a slow smile forming on her lips, and looked down at her cookie
“I’m not gay.” He said before the question arose.
“Oh, there was never a question.” She briefly met his gaze, her cheeks flushed hotly. His phone buzzed to life on the table. He looked at it and rolled his eyes, but didn’t answer.
“Problem?” She asked, taking a sip of her drink, her eyes on him.
“Just someone I would rather not talk to right now.” He sighed
“Ahh, Ms. Deadwood, I presume.” She deduced and he chuckled.
“Yes. She’s been calling me non-stop. I tried to let her down easy, but she’s persistent and doesn’t seem to understand subtlety.”
“She understands. You’re just a hard man to forget.” She met his eyes and he paused, his cup half way to his lips. Silently, he placed the cup back on the table, his eyes smoldered and she could feel the room warm as the electricity in air rose. The lights dimmed slightly and flickered. The other patrons glanced up a few groaned but no one paid a great deal of attention to the change.
“Really?” He asked a twinkle in his eyes. In this light, they seemed more of an aquamarine than turquoise. He leaned back in his seat, openly observing her. She waved a hand at him.
“Please,” She snorted, trying to rein in the growing warmth of her body. “You know you’re gorgeous.” She said her voice low. “Just look around the room. The women are eating you up.” He glanced around the room and found that a few women and a couple of men were openly ogling him. Slightly embarrassed, he shook it off.
“Once Ms. Deadwood got a taste, albeit a tiny taste, she realized that you are something special.”
“What about you?” He absently reached for her hand; his thumb stroking the delicate skin of her inner wrist, and her mouth went dry. She looked down, loving the feel of his thumb against her skin. Just a few years ago, she would have pulled away. She had always been sensitive to anyone holding her like that, touching the delicate skin of her wrists, but with Eli it was okay, it was actually arousing. His voice deepened and he leaned closer, his eyes darkening to a deep navy.
“Would you like a taste?” Her cheeks grew hot and she crossed her ankles squeezing her thighs closed as a new heat began to grow. He gave her a wicked smile and in one swift movement, he pulled her chair closer until her thighs were trapped between his legs, holding her still just in case she’d planned on running again. His smile widened and those dimples made an appearance. Damn those dimples.
“Are you flirting with me, Detective?” She finally managed once she found her voice. She’d meant for it to sound light and fun, instead it came out low and throaty. She couldn’t help but focus on his lips; they were full and soft, tilted up in the most delicious smile. She wanted to nip his bottom lip with her teeth.
“Well, I’m trying my damnedest.”