Jun 25 2014 8:30am
H&H Quickies #2, Part 2: Lora Leigh Presents a Hometown Festival Scene
Today we are over the moon to bring you an exclusive Quickie scene from Lora Leigh, whose next Callahan novel, Ultimate Sins, will be out in August.
Back in March, we asked you to offer suggestions (“prompts”) as inspiration for a short original scene, and you blew us away with a ton of great prompts.
So today we're happy to announce that as a treat, Lora actually wrote TWO special scenes! You can read the first one—set in the Elite Ops universe!—here and don't forget to become H&H member and newsletter subscriber for more exclusive content!
Here is the prompt she chose for Part 2 (with thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, because there were so many fantastic options):
LorenaAW: Handsome SEAL on leave for injury reasons meets shy librarian at hometown festival.
It was just another hometown festival, until the young woman plowed into him with a force she shouldn’t have been capable of, as delicate as she was.
Automatically, Collier gripped her slender waist, holding her securely as his gaze swept the darkened area between the game booths where she’d exploded from. Shadows shifted there, and though he sensed a possible threat, it was gone before he could be certain.
In the next second his gaze lowered to the woman he was holding, his eyes narrowing at the hint of fear that lingered in hers before they dropped to the hands curling into the material of his shirt.
Small, fragile hands, graceful fingers, unpolished nails. They flattened against his chest as her head tipped back and wide violet eyes stared up at him in shock.
Damn. She was pretty. A peaches and cream complexion, long, heavy dark lashes and a scent so intriguing it would probably haunt him long after she was gone.
And in that second, he made a decision he could sense would threaten the precarious balance he’d found in his life over the past few years.
But first things first. “Who were you running from?”
What was the danger to her, how to eliminate it quickly, and what measures would have to be taken to secure her presence in his bed? And his bed was exactly where he intended to have her. Preferably tonight. If not, as soon as possible.
“Umm, running?” Glancing behind her, her delicate body all but shuddering in reaction, she checked the area before turning back to him.
And what he saw in those pretty eyes had his jaw tightening in determination.
“I can see the lie in your eyes, pretty thing,” he assured her softly, the noise of the crowd moving past them, their chatter and excited voices no more than background now.
“Pretty thing?” Those oddly colored eyes widened, a frown pulling at her brow as she tried to push away from him. “Listen here, cowboy.”
“I’m not a cowboy,” he broke in, correcting her assumption before she continued on with it.
“Then stop acting like one,” she ordered briskly.
Collier lifted his brows mockingly, continuing to hold her upper arms and keeping her flush against his body.
She felt damned good there.
“And neither am I acting like one,” he refuted. “Now, answer the question. Who were you running from? And you’re no liar, so don’t bother trying that route.”
She wasn’t going to tell him and that knowledge only had the determination hardening inside him.
Pouty pink lips tightened as pure stubbornness filled her eyes as well as her expression. The fact that she highly resented his questions wasn’t lost on him either.
“Are you an August? A cousin or something?” she snapped, referring to one of the more powerful families in Madison county.
“You didn’t get that lucky tonight,” he grunted mockingly. “Sorry sweet thing, just a single SEAL killing a few hours before he gets his orders out of here.”
Dark brown lashes swept over her violet-colored eyes, but not before he caught that little glitter of relief.
Relief because he was leaving soon or relief that he wasn’t part of the August family?
He chuckled, pulling her gaze back to his.
“You’re not getting off the hook that easily.” Keeping his grip on one arm firm, but gentle, he began leading her through the crowd to the parking lot. “Come on, if you don’t want to tell me who was following you, maybe you’ll tell the sheriff.”
“No.” She dug her heels in, or tried to. “Not a good idea.”
Pausing, he turned back to her, his gaze narrowing on her thoughtfully. “He have something to do with why you were running from whoever disappeared behind those game shacks?”
“Not hardly,” she snorted.
That was all he needed to know at this point.
“Come on then darling.” Pulling her along behind him, Collier headed for his truck. “Let’s go discuss it then. And I’ll just see if I can take care of it for you.”
“Take care of it for me?”
He almost grinned at the disbelief in her voice.
“That’s what I said,” he assured her. “Then, we’ll see just how thankful you can be.”
“Oh, just let me show you right now how thankful I can be…”
Copyright © 2014 by Lora Leigh
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#1 New York Times bestseller LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, including Ultimate Sins, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.