I’m proud to be part of Code Redhead, a serial novel with 16 romance authors.
All proceeds will be donated to The Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
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Featuring Red-HOT by Tina Donahue
A chance meeting between strangers. A steamy hook-up that burns the sheets. Who says opposites don’t attract? Not him. Now if only he can find her again…
Eric Neal shouldered past too much humanity at 2Nite, a popular Manhattan dance spot. Lyrics shrieked, bass pounded, orange, yellow, and purple spotlights swept past, the neon colors bright enough to burn retinas.
After a brutal day’s work, he should have fled this commotion for his staid club and a relaxing swim followed by a few drinks. He couldn’t now.
She drew him to her.
His breathing picked up. Cock thickened. Balls tightened.
In a sea of outrageous colors, her flame-red hair stood out like a sultry beacon. Cut as short as a guy’s, those glossy waves were somehow dangerously feminine.
An elbow rammed into his arm, another in his back. He gasped.
Someone shouted, “Sorry, man.”
Wincing, he sidestepped the voice’s owner and craned his neck.
Arms above her head, she bounced in place and pumped her fists to This is My Fight Song. Her gyrations weren’t exactly dance steps, but more like Sylvester Stallone’s moves in Rocky when he’d jumped up and down outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Given the sweltering summer night, she wore a silvery tank top that glittered wildly. Her super-short black skirt bobbed above her slender thighs.
Eric swigged his Heineken.
Her combat boots ruled. Adorable and oddly sexy, pulling him closer.
Perspiration beaded on her temples. A soft rose tint blushed beneath her pale skin, not a freckle in sight.
He guessed her to be mid-twenties or so. If it hadn’t looked weird, he would have leaned closer and tried to catch her scent.
She opened her eyes.
Those babies couldn’t have been bluer, her features cute, rather than drop-dead gorgeous, fitting her perfectly.
His legs weakened.
She grinned and danced for him alone, it seemed, their gazes welded. When she turned, he followed and circled her.
Her laughter tinkled within the raucous noise. He joined her, enjoying himself.
The music wound down. She lifted her face to the ceiling, exposing her long, creamy throat. “Whew. That was something.”
No fucking kidding. A few times in his life, sex hadn’t been this good.
Without asking, she took his beer, enjoyed a long sip, and returned the bottle with a sweet smile. “Thanks, I needed that. Hey.”
Her husky voice surprised him. “Hey. You were really into the song.”
“Yeah?” She fingered beer off her lips.
If she’d given him the chance, he would have licked the drops away.
The couple behind her horsed around and ran into her. She lurched forward.
Eric caught her arm to keep her from falling. Her cinnamon-and-vanilla scent enhanced her natural musk. His heart walloped. “You okay?”
“Never been better.” She beamed. “Thanks for rescuing me. I’m Rusty. Short for Russell.”
He stepped back as far as he could on the crowded dance floor. Unlike the other women here, she wasn’t busty. Her boobs were barely a handful for a man. What some might call pert and hopefully real. Courtesy of nature not doctor-prescribed hormones. “Huh?”
Her laughter pealed above the others’ shouted conversations. “Don’t worry. Dad named me—his only child and daughter—in honor of my grandfather. I’m not a guy.”
Thank god. That would have been disappointment he couldn’t have handled. “Nice to meet you, Rusty. I’m Eric.” He offered his hand.
She slid her fingers across his, her palm satiny and warm.
His mouth got drier than dust. He squeezed gently and stroked her thumb. “You come here often?” This was his first time. For some reason, he’d gone through the front door tonight rather than walking past this place as he usually did.
“I come whenever I can, if I’m not busy.”
“Or protesting. You gotta do what you gotta do to make things right. Agreed?”
He supposed. “What do you protest?”
Her reddish eyebrows lifted. He wasn’t certain if she was surprised or excited by his question.
“Unfairness. People taking advantage of others because they can. Stuff that needs to change.” She smiled broadly. “I’m proud to say the cops ordered me to get lost at OWS.”
Occupy Wall Street. Eric had seen the disturbance from his office window. His fellow attorneys had laughed off the protest as a mere nuisance. Nothing that would damage them or the corporate heads they represented. Of all the women for him to meet, he had to choose one who would probably snarl at his occupation. Maybe kick him in the balls when he would have preferred she fondle them.
Good sense told him to bow out gracefully and run for the street. He couldn’t budge. Didn’t want to. Her scent was too entrancing. Everything about her fascinated him. If she wouldn’t have thought him odd, he would have held onto her hand for hours. Her other parts too. Reluctantly, he released her. “What do you do when you’re not protesting? Where do you work?”
“For my dad.” She took the beer, enjoyed another sip, and licked her lips. “But I’m also developing a website.”
Eric warned himself not to stare too much at her mouth or her tongue. Wet and pink, it kept darting out to lick her ruby-red lips. “Yeah? What are you trying to sell?”
“Nothing.” She frowned. “That’s the point.”
She wanted to discuss her revolution. Who was he to deny her? “You’re creating an informational spot for what’s wrong with the world?”
“Not a bad idea.” Her lovely smile returned. “But that would take more time than I have and people don’t bother reading stuff even if it’s the truth. They’re too busy surviving. That’s what I’m trying to help them with.”
Weapons, ammunition, and dried foodstuffs came to mind. Items survivalists coveted. He hoped that wasn’t what she was talking about. “Sorry, I’m not following.”
“No prob. Let me explain.” She touched his forearm.
He’d folded his shirt sleeves back. Skin touched skin. His sizzled.