To count down to the upcoming release of Fantasy Seduction, I''ll be posting several excerpts from Fantasy Resort. Although some of the characters appear in all the Fantasy Books, all titles are stand alone. Keep checking back for more...:)
Nicole smiled at Jaimee as she slipped her dress over her head. Last night had been incredible. The things he’d done she never dreamed of being able to go through with, but she hadn’t been afraid with him. For the first time in her life, she felt free.
Walking over to where he stood, she wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him. With a moan, he pulled her closer and held her tight. “What was that for?” He grinned down at her, his eyes shining with love.
“For just being you.”
He brushed her hair away from her face and placed a soft kiss against her forehead. “Tell me you love me,” he whispered.
“I love you.”
Just as his lips were about to touch hers, the door burst open and hit the wall behind it with a bang. Nicole squealed and turned to stare wide-eyed at Jerrod and Brett.
“What the hell’s going on?” Jaimee demanded.
“They’re here.” Brett said as he stepped forward and grabbed Nicole’s arm, pulling her away from Jaimee.
“What are you doing? Who’s here?”
“Sergeant, take her to Jerrod’s office with Kira, then stand guard.”
“Wait.” Nicole struggled to get free of his grip and turned to look at Jaimee’s worried expression.
“Go with him, Nicole,” Jaimee said sternly as he turned to take the gun Jerrod held out to him.
“What’s going on?” she demanded of the man dragging her down the hall.
“The men that are after Ethan are here.”
“Oh, God,” she sighed, her heart lodging in her throat.
* * * * *
Loranis heard someone approach and quickly shoved the other two men behind an open door.
“Don’t you think it was a little too easy getting in here?” Caric asked.
“Quiet,” Vorash snapped and motioned toward the crack in the door and the couple approaching.
“That’s her,” Caric whispered as they watched the officer pull Nicole behind him. They remained behind a partially open door, trying to see where he was taking her.
“Did he say Ethan?” Loranis asked with a frown.
“Ethan’s Jaimee, I’d bet my life on it. So this is where they’ve been hiding the son of a bitch. Follow him, Caric. We might need her. Loranis and I will go after Jaimee.”
Caric smiled as he slowly stepped out into the hallway.
* * * * *
“How did they find out?” Jaimee demanded.
“We’re not sure,” Brett sighed.
The six of them slowly made their way down the corridor. Jerrod and Brett in the front, the three guards in the back and Jaimee in the middle.
“So what now?” Jaimee snapped.
“Try to get out of this in one piece,” Jerrod said, throwing him a sideways grin over his shoulder.
“What about the women?”
“They’re safely locked away in my office. No one can get in without a passcode.”
Jaimee’s grip on his gun tightened as they came to the grand salon, a two-story great room with a balcony that overlooked the main level. They would cross the room on the lower level, which meant they would be sitting ducks to someone above them.
“Is there another way to the main entrance?” Brett asked as he surveyed the upper level.
“Not from this end.”
“We’d have a better shot of this outside.”
“Where are you taking me, anyway?” Jaimee asked.
“Well, we’re not really taking you anywhere,” Jerrod replied.
“Excuse me?” Jaimee narrowed his eyes. Jerrod outweighed him in muscle by a good seventy pounds or more, but that didn’t stop the anger from rising in his chest. “You’re using me as bait?”
“Yeah,” Jerrod and Brett replied in unison.
“Son of a bitch! You know, the three of us need to work on our communication.”
“If we make it out of this,” Brett snickered, “that will be the first thing on the agenda.”
Jaimee turned and pointed a finger at Brett, but the scathing put-down he was about to say was stopped short.
“Enough, both of you,” Jerrod snapped. “We don’t have time for this. The two of you can kill each other later.”
Nodding his head, Jaimee cocked the pistol he carried, his eyes scanning the room ahead. “So you deliberately let them in here, hoping they would try to get me.”
“We believe they were initially after Nicole, but we’re hoping they’ll see us escorting you and go after us instead.”
“Risky,” Jaimee snarled.
“Yeah, but if we’re lucky, effective.” Jerrod grinned.
“And if we’re unlucky?” Jaimee asked, raising an eyebrow.
“We’re not going to be unlucky,” Jerrod answered pointedly. “Keep positive.”
“Let’s do this. It’s now or never, I guess,” Brett sighed.
Motioning with his hand to move forward, the six of them made their way toward the glass doors on the other side of the room. It was empty, the usual crowd moved to a safer location in the building. It seemed strange, seeing it so empty when just yesterday it was packed full of people.
Just as they passed the halfway point, a shot rang out from the upper level. Heat seared the back of Jaimee’s shoulder as a laser shot grazed his upper back. “Damn it,” he snapped and ducked behind a chair.
“You all right?” Jerrod asked as he crouched behind a chair next to him. A shot hit the wooden edge, splintering it. The shards rained down on him and he bent his head to keep them out of his face.
“Yeah, I’m fine. It just grazed me,” Jaimee answered and then ducked as well as another shot hit his chair.
Glancing behind Jerrod, he noticed Brett and two of the guards behind a sofa. One of the guards had been shot and remained motionless on the floor. Glancing at his back, he could see he was still breathing. “He’s still alive,” he said to Jerrod and motioned his head toward the fallen guard.
Jerrod looked as well and let out a curse. “Cover me,” he said and as Jaimee and Brett fired toward the balcony, Jerrod made a run for the guard, dragging him with him behind the chair.
Jaimee quickly examined the wound, making sure it wasn’t life-threatening. It had hit the man’s shoulder but it looked like he may have hit his head as he went down. Blood seeped from an open wound at his temple.
“He’ll be okay for now, but he’ll need attention soon,” Jaimee said to Jerrod, who nodded in understanding.
A shout was heard from the upper level and Jaimee glanced around the edge of his hiding spot to see one of the men fall to the floor below. “One down.”
“Two to go,” Brett answered back.
Jerrod shook his head. “There’s only two up there. There’s only two guns firing.”
“How they hell can you tell that?” one of the guards snapped.
Brett sighed. “They’re using lasers, we’re not. They sound different.”
“Then where’s the third?” Jaimee asked, dread filling his chest.
“The women,” Jerrod murmured.
Fear gripped Jaimee’s chest. Nicole. He couldn’t let anything happen to her. Standing, he scanned the balcony for the figure he’d seen earlier.
“Jaimee, get the fuck down,” Jerrod snapped.
Jaimee shook his head as he continued to look for him. No one was firing. Had he left? Finally, he found him. He sat close to the edge, his fingers frantically fiddling with his gun, which had apparently jammed.
“I got you, you son of a bitch.”
The man looked up just in time to see Jaimee fire his gun, hitting him point-blank between the eyes.
Brett shook his head. “You’re either braver than hell or dumber than shit.”
“I just want to get to Nicole.” With that he turned and ran in the direction of Jerrod’s office.
“Take care of him,” Jerrod said to one of the remaining officers, pointing toward the injured man, and took off after Jaimee, Brett close on his heels.
* * * * *
Kira paced the room, her eyes continually straying to the gun lying on Jerrod’s desk. He’d taught her quite some time ago how to use it. It was lightweight and shot burner rounds instead of lasers. The small pellets entered your body and burned like lava, usually rendering the victim unconscious regardless of where you shot him. A perfect gun for her since you didn’t have to be a good shot.
“Why on earth did I agree to stay here?” she murmured to herself. She could be out there helping them. And where was Nicole?
The light on the door panel turned green, and she tensed. Glancing toward the desk, she realized she was too far away to get to the gun in time.
Nicole’s voice made her sigh in relief and she started for the door. “Nicole, are you—”
A shot was fired from the hallway and the guard behind Kira lurched into the room. Nicole turned to see what had happened and a man stepped forward, backhanding her across the face. She yelped and fell sideways onto the floor.
Kira quickly stepped closer to the wall and picked up the heavy brass candlestick resting on a small side table. The man hadn’t seen her yet, and she took a second to look at Nicole. She was struggling to stand, a moan slipping past her lips. The man walked over to Nicole, and as quietly as possible Kira crept up behind him. With as much power as she had, she swung the candlestick, hitting him in the back of the head.
He fell to the floor with a groan and she let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. Running to Nicole, she tried to help her stand, but was pulled up by her hair. She squealed as pain raced through her scalp.
“Kira,” Nicole shouted as the man threw her across the room toward Jerrod’s desk.
Nicole struggled to get away, but her mind was still foggy from the blow. He pulled her up roughly by the collar of her dress, her feet dangling off the ground.
“Let me down,” she sneered. She fought off waves of fear and unwanted memories. She’d sworn she’d never let another man do this to her. She had to keep her wits about her.
“Such a pretty little thing you are,” he purred.
His nasty breath brushed across her face and she winced, her nostrils flaring. “Oh, God. You stink. Let me down!”
His eyes narrowed dangerously and fear gripped Nicole’s chest. “All in due time, wench.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Kira going for the gun. Blood roared through her ears as she tried to think of something to do. Raising her hand, she pressed her thumb into his eye socket. He yelled as her thumb pressed deeper, pushing his eye back into his head.
“You bitch!” He dropped her and Nicole crouched on the floor, giving Kira a clear shot.
Kira fired and with a yell, he fell back. His screams echoed throughout the room as the burner bullet burned him from the inside out. Kira ran over and helped Nicole to her feet, engulfing her in a hug.
“Are you okay?” they asked in unison.
Jaimee burst through the door, almost tripping over the guard on the floor. “Nicole,” he sighed when he noticed her by the desk.
Running over, he pulled her into his arms. Nicole held tight, her eyes clenched shut to ward off the tears that threatened. “Thank God you’re okay,” he whispered.
“Kira?” Jerrod yelled as he too came barreling through the door. Kira launched herself into his arms.
“Don’t you ever leave me alone again. Do you hear me?” she sobbed.
“I don’t know,” Brett teased as he surveyed the damage. “Looks like you ladies can take care of yourselves.”
“If it’s all the same,” Nicole said from the safety of Jaimee’s arms, “I think I’d rather be protected.”
“Me, too,” Kira sighed, still not releasing her hold on Jerrod.
Leaning over the fallen officer, Brett felt for a pulse. “He’s still alive, call for a medic transport,” Brett said to the other officer standing in the doorway.
Moving to the man who’d attacked the women, Brett nudged him with his boot, causing him to moan. “I’ll be damned. He’s still alive as well.”
“Give me two minutes,” Jaimee sneered.
Brett shot him a scowl. “This one will stand trial. You worry about her, let me handle this one.”
* * * * *
Nicole sat on a wicker sofa watching the guards load the bodies into a transport bound for Meenus Prime. Jaimee sat next to her, applying a cold compress to her cheek, which had begun to swell.
“Better?” he asked.
She nodded, her lips lifting into a small smile. It hurt to do any more than that.
“Well, looks like we’re all set,” Brett said as he came to stand next to Jerrod and Kira. “I’m sorry you were left out of the loop, Jerrod.”
Jerrod scowled. “Just know that in the future, if you want my help again, you’ll tell me everything.”
Brett nodded. “Fair enough. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.” He glanced around then turned back to Jerrod with a grin. “Interesting place you have here. I’ll have to come back and check it out a little more.”
“I’ll save you a room.”
He nodded, then turned to Jaimee. For a moment they just stared at one another, lost in silent battle.
Nicole sighed and removed the cold compress. “Will the two of you just knock it off? Shake hands,” she demanded.
Brett snorted and Jaimee laughed. “I guess we better do as she says,” Brett said with a grin and held out his hand.
Jaimee stood and accepted it. “Take care, Brett.”
“I will,” he said and turned to leave. “See you soon, Jerrod.”
“We’ll be here,” he replied, then turned a pointed look to Jaimee. “Don’t you think it’s time we got that back looked at?”
“Back?” Nicole asked, then pushed Jaimee’s shoulder, making him turn. A large tear went across the back of his shirt and she pulled it apart to see the long, deep burn beneath. “Jaimee,” she gasped. “A few more inches and the laser could have cut your head off.”
“But it didn’t, Nicole,” he whispered to her over his shoulder.
Her hands began to shake at just how closely she’d come to losing him again. Jaimee grabbed then and held them tight as he turned to face her. “I’m okay.” Bringing her hands up, he kissed them. “See. I’m okay.”
She nodded, the tears building in her eyes. “I know. It’s just a delayed reaction, I guess.”
Jerrod squeezed her shoulder and handed her a med kit. “Why don’t you take him to the cabin and fix him up?”
She took the kit and smiled up at the man she considered a brother. “I will. Thank you, Jerrod.”
He smiled and placed a soft kiss to her cheek. Kira walked over as well and kissed her forehead, then smiled at Jaimee. “Take good care of her.”
“I will,” he said with a wink.
Jerrod placed his hand on the small of Kira’s back to escort her back to the grand salon, which was now in the middle of some much-needed cleanup as the guests quickly trickled back in.
“Come on, baby. Let’s go home,” he said as he pulled her to her feet.
Home, she thought with a grin. It was funny how she now considered this place home. But in her heart, she knew anywhere she went with Jaimee would be home.