Darius was used to making a primal impression. Ex-Navy flyer, reasonably good-looking and gainfully employed in the manly profession of Alaskan bush and rescue team pilot, normally generated some interest. Since when did a woman look right through him?
He'd come up with a strategy to casually insert himself in Dr. Jesse Reese's life while displaying his finest qualities. It failed. Betrayed by a raging hard-on that created a black hole where his witty brain used to be, he was fresh out of ideas. Unwilling to let her slip away, he'd almost been forced to simply ask her out when he discovered the manuals. Instructional manuals for the erotic capture of a modern woman. He'd studied ten of them and was now ready to implement a bold plan to gain the most elusive prize. His saucy little heroine.
The new plan worked. Right up to the part where he takes complete control and she adores him for it. Saucy little heroine types come with their own plans and a few surprises.
There should be a warning--being a hero is damn hard work. When done after forty, can cause serious muscle pain.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Darius by Gail Faulkner
Darius took a deep breath and searched her face. It was still blank and closed. Her eyes were steady but not wide with fear. She remained lying perfectly still beneath him. Even her breathing was slow and steady. He wanted to swoop down and kiss the stillness out of her. Make her accept what he was saying and know it for truth. Her soft body under him was making his inner savage crazy.
Just fucking her brains out was damn attractive at the moment. He'd never worked this hard to retain focus with a woman. Usually all he wanted from them was exactly what they wanted from him. By the time a female body was under him, it was wet and ready. This one was too but her spirit wasn't. She was working at not inciting him to irrational behavior. The fact that she thought she had to remain frozen so she'd not encourage him was damn insulting but he deserved it.
In what seemed like a single move, Darius lifted off her and was standing across the small cabin. His hands rested on lean hips and his chest heaved as if he'd been running. Jesse remained perfectly still, her hands stretched over her head where he'd held her on the floor. The only part of her that moved were her eyes watching him.
Darius waved a hand at her. "Go ahead. Move. I'm not going to jump you."
The deep rumble of his voice was both tired and flat as he glanced at her and fought back the primitive demands his body was clamoring to relieve. This was not how he wanted her acceptance. His inner savage was not used to denial after feeling a wet welcome, but the look on her face was a blow to the back of the idiot's head. He'd never seen that look on a woman's face. It was fear held behind a blank mask of endurance. It cut him like a knife. It was the look of a victim who refused to give her abuser the pleasure of seeing pain on her face.
"The one thing I want you to understand is that I'm the last person who'd ever hurt you, damn it. Looking at me like that is your most effective weapon. It hurts me. You have the power to hurt me with a look." He turned his face away from her as he handed her control. It was damn difficult and the only way he could think of to make her understand and remove that look from her face.
Jesse slowly stood up and smoothed the tank top down her body. Her eyes never left him as he faced her again. He was watching her with a calm face but his hands were white-knuckled, gripping his own hips as his butt leaned against the kitchen counter.
The air around them almost crackled with tension. Sexual tension was only a part of it. Control was the issue about to combust into a wild fire of abandon. He was handing her control in an incredibly civilized gesture. Yet she could see the ghost of his predator pacing behind the bars of civilization. That beast was aroused and stalking her.
Out here in the middle of nowhere, alone and completely cut off, well, if he were lying, there'd be nothing she could do about it. Whatever transpired would either create a hell she couldn't escape or a fantasy she'd wanted to indulge for three years. All that vibrating sexuality focused on her was stroking her inner slut who apparently loved being stretched out on the floor as the big savage lost control.
Jesse wasn't exactly shocked to realize being the focus of his lust was so gratifying. What woman hasn't dreamed of being seen as the irresistible sexual prey who drives reason from a man's mind? The elemental power of that woman was dizzying. It was also simple biology 101. She wasn't ready to abandon centuries of evolution to indulge a primitive itch like a hormone-crazed teenager. Fear had evaporated though. She believed him on a basic level that was part of the elemental woman who wanted him more than she wanted dignity. It was becoming difficult to keep that slut in check.
"You want me to believe you've been lusting in silence?" she asked calmly. "Now that we're finally talking, you're confessing to some deep longing?" Incredulity dripped off her tone, which was much too sweet.
Darius felt like cursing. The atmosphere was filled with disbelief instead of passion and carnal need. He'd fucked up and forgotten a key fact the manuals had taught him. Emotional vulnerability is not allowed in the hero until the last chapter. Here he was confessing to a freaking crush like a desperate schoolboy. He didn't move. Expressing his frustration would be violent and scare the shit out of her.
She'd asked a question and he had to answer, but he hated opening his mouth one more time. Crap that he had no control over seemed to fall out of it.
"Look. You're frightened and it's my fault. I'll grab my stuff and get out of here." He sighed heavily but didn't move. She held him firmly in place as her hands came up in a defensive hold motion.
"Wait. You're leaving? You open this can of worms and now you want to run out the door and hide from it?" Jesse crossed her arms and frowned at him. "Are you a coward, Darius?"
Darius's jaw clenched. Little warrior woman was baiting him. There was no fear in her softly spoken question, just a giant challenge. He'd read the room all wrong and she'd hit him with a blow he wasn't prepared for, again! His head tilted to the side and a smile hovered in the laugh lines around his eyes.
"I just confessed to a crush on you. Is that the risk of a coward, Jesse? Leaving was so you'd feel safe. I thought you were frightened."
"I'm not a stupid virgin who's gonna drown herself when faced with a big, sexy guy. Give me a little credit, asshole. What I want to know is what exactly do you mean by the word crush? Is it like an itch? Crush is a childish word. I need to be clear on where we are."
Satisfaction purred through Darius. She was a full-grown cat and more than able to handle him. Facing him as she did, she'd handed back his male ego with a woman's confidence. She'd done it while letting the tension between them build.
His voice dropped to match the dark pleasure this banter gave him. "Crush in this case means a man who's seen a fucking sexy, smart woman and knows just taking her would be a one-time event and involve jail time later. Since he wants her over and over, he has to find a way to convince her she wants him too."