They were the baddest of the bad, the illegitimate sons and daughters of Satan, who had managed to make love, raise hell, and milk life in a manner worthy of their heritage. Until the day the devil himself needs to name his heir…
The mission? Each sibling must complete a task that is designed to stretch him or her to the limit. The prize? The Keys To Hell. The problem? Four mortals equally determined to ensure that the the Devil’s children fail…
So who will the next ruler of Sin City be?
I’m so thrilled that Dee Davis and I have the chance to bring these stories to you! Sexy and fun, I think you’re going to love meeting Nick, Marcus, Lucia and Jessie! One novella a week starting next Monday!
Raising Hell, excerpt
Lila fidgeted on her stool, unnerved by how much she’d revealed to this man. He probably thought she was an idiot, the way she’d blathered on and on. There was something about him, though. Something that drew her in and, apparently, affected her as potently as a few strong drinks.
Lord knew, he loosened her tongue. Not to mention that his mere proximity left her feeling warm and decadent. Itchy, even, but in a wholly sensual way. Like she might die if he didn’t scratch the itch… and she might melt if he did.
“So will you?” she asked, shaking off the languor in her bones. “Will you sketch me now?”
He leaned back, his silver-gray eyes examining her with an almost feral intensity as he looked her up, then down. She tried to sit still, but couldn’t quite manage. The heat of his gaze was so intense it might have been a caress, and her nipples peaked under his scrutiny, raising hard nubs under the soft Lycra of her top. Instinctively, she started to cross her arms over her chest, but fought the urge, keeping them at her sides, and feeling more exposed—and more turned on—than she ever had in her life.
His inspection finished, he met her eyes, the corner of his mouth curving up into a silent smile. He turned away, saying nothing, then took a quick sip of his scotch. He reached for two cocktail napkins, pulled them close, then patted his mouth with one.
Honestly, she wanted to scream. “Well?” she demanded, forcing her voice to remain calm and steady.
“Of course I’ll sketch you,” he said. He met her eyes, and a muscle twitched in his jaw. “In fact, at the moment I can think of only one thing I’d like to do more.”
“Oh.” She knew she shouldn’t ask, but she couldn’t help herself. “What’s that?”
One beat, then another. Her heart pounded in her chest, the rhythm so intense she was certain everyone in the bar could hear it.
And then, just when she was certain he wasn’t going to answer, he traced the curve of her cheekbone with his thumb, then leaned close. She closed her eyes as his lips brushed her hair, and his voice was a whisper against her ear, sending shivers trilling down her spine. “The only thing I want more than to sketch you,” he murmured, “is to paint you.”
Lila exhaled, her eyes still closed, her body burning from the remnants of his breath caressing her skin. That hadn’t been the response she’d expected. But somehow his words were all the more erotic, holding a promise of things more decadent and revealing than mere sex.
“Shall I?” he asked.
And then, opening her eyes to look at him, she nodded.
He grinned and reached into the inside pocket of his jacket to produce a stick of charcoal.
She lifted an eyebrow and he shrugged. “Accountants carry calculators,” he said. “It’s not that surprising.”
“Do you have a pad in there, too?”
He drew the napkin closer. “No need. Now sit quietly,” he directed. “And watch me.”
He cupped her face, tilting her head just slightly, then urged her hand up until she found herself resting her chin on her fist, watching him from this posed position. And watching the image of herself come to life on the tiny cocktail napkin.
He started with a sweep of the charcoal. One line that seemed to have no connection to her at all. No connection, that is, except for the smoldering way that he looked at her. A smoky gaze that seemed reflected in the smudged charcoal image emerging on the paper.
The curve of her jaw. Then the line of her neck. A flick of his wrist and the tendrils of her hair seemed to materialize from so many lines on the paper. And then, most miraculously of all, he caught the expression in her eyes. And, seeing that, she knew that he could never doubt that she’d agree to be painted. Because her expression was rapturous. And she knew the truth of what he’d sketched. Because with every piercing look—with every sure stroke of the charcoal—Lila realized that she couldn’t walk away without letting him paint her. His scrutiny made her feel both alive and unique. And even if she never did another bit of modeling, the portrait he’d create would fulfill her fantasies. More, Nicholas Velnias would be giving her the chance at immortality. And, really, what girl could say no to that?