I’m counting down the days until Release Me hits the shelves with a page reveal. Two or three pages daily, in order, from the book!
Today’s excerpt starts right after yesterday’s left off! You can find all the posted excerpts by going to the Release Me Page Reveal category of the blog!
This isn’t exactly true, but it’s close enough. It’s a story that I can spin and weave without losing the thread of reality.
It’s another layer of armor, and where Damien Stark is concerned, I need as much protection as I can get.
He is right behind me on the stairs, but they are too narrow for us to stand side by side.
“Nikki,” he says, his voice like a command.
I stop and turn to face him, looking down from my position three steps above him. It’s an interesting perspective. I don’t think there are many people who’ve had the opportunity to look down on Damien Stark.
“What is Mr. McKee to you now?”
I’m probably imagining it, but I think I see something vulnerable in Stark’s eyes.
“He’s a friend,” I say. “A very good friend.”
I think that’s relief on his face, and the juxtaposition of those two emotions—relief and vulnerability—make my breath hitch.
They disappear quickly, though, and his, “Are you sleeping with him now?” comes out decidedly frosty.
I press my fingertips to my temple. His shifts from cold to hot to cold again are dizzying. “Am I on some sort of game show? Have you and your millions invested in a new version of Candid Camera? A spin-off of Punk’d?”
He looks utterly bewildered. “What are you talking about?”
“You’re nice, then you’re ice.”
“Don’t even pretend not to know what I’m talking about. One minute you’re so rude I want to slap your face—”
“And yet you don’t.”
I scowl, but otherwise ignore the interruption. “And then you turn on a dime and you’re all warm and fuzzy.”
His brow lifts. “Fuzzy?”
“Point taken. Fuzzy is not a word anyone should use to describe you. Forget warm and fuzzy. We’ll go with hot and intense.”
“Intense.” He murmurs the word, making it sound much more sensual than I had intended. “I like the sound of that.”
At the moment, so did I.
I swallow, my mouth suddenly dry. “The point is, you’re dizzying.”
He looks at me with unabashed amusement. “I like the sound of that, too.”
“Dizzying and exasperating. And impertinent.”
“Impertinent?” he repeats. He doesn’t smile, but I swear I hear laughter in his voice.
“You ask questions you have no right to ask.”
“And you’ve steered this conversation in a very elegant circle. But you still haven’t answered my impertinent question.”
“I would have thought that a man as intelligent as you are would realize that I was avoiding it.”
“A man doesn’t get where I’ve gotten by allowing details to remain ignored. I’m both diligent and persistent, Ms. Fairchild.” He has me trapped, locked tight in his sights. “When I seek to acquire something, I learn everything I can about it, and then I pursue it wholeheartedly.”
I have to pause a bit to remember how to form words. “Do you?”
“I believe there’s an interview with me in last month’s Forbes. I’m certain the reporter outlined my tenacity.”
“I’ll be sure to pick up a copy.”
“I’ll have my office send you one. Perhaps then you’ll understand just how persistent I can be.”
“I already understand it. What I don’t get is why you’re so fascinated with who I’m sleeping with. Why exactly does that interest you?” I’m treading on dangerous territory, and I suddenly understand that old adage about flirting with danger.
He climbs a step, putting his body in much closer proximity to mine. “There are a number of things that fascinate me about you.”
Oh my. I move carefully up to the next level. “I’m an open book, Mr. Stark.” I ascend one more step.
“You and I both know that’s not true, Ms. Fairchild. But someday . . .”
He trails off, and though I know better, I have to ask. “Someday, what?”
“Someday you will be open for me, Ms. Fairchild. In so very many ways.”
I hope you enjoyed! Come back tomorrow for more!
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