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Excerpt: Just Not Mine

Excerpt: Just Not Mine

Book 6: Escape to New Zealand

A Trained Professional

Dr. Eva Parker opened her white lab coat and revealed what she was wearing beneath it, smiled in slow satisfaction at the reaction in the shocked eyes that were definitely not staring into her own.

Her outfit matched the coat, if sheer white lace could ever be said to match starched white cotton. A hard-working, low-cut demibra offered up her full, round breasts like treats on a shelf, while the tiniest thong curved over the perfectly smooth, perfectly moisturized skin of her rigorously-dieted hips, highlighted her absolutely, positively flat stomach. A diamond winked from the concave slit that was her tummy button, and a suspender belt kept her stockings clinging to the endless legs that tapered to the exclamation point of the killer black heels she always wore at work. Unless she was in the operating room, of course.

“Eva.” Bruce Dixon, the hospital’s administrative officer, groaned out the word. “I’m a married man.”

“My favorite kind,” she purred.

Her fingers worked through his neatly combed blond hair, lingered on his smoothly shaved cheek, then traveled downward to splay against his chest. But not for long, because her hand was on a mission now, a heat-seeking missile homing in on its target, stroking down and down as she watched his eyes glaze, as she touched his abdomen with the lightest of caresses, landing at last on his belt buckle, her long, slim fingers with their red-polished nails playing with the leather strip, letting him know that she was more than ready to take it off, that he was well and truly hers.

“Ah, yes. My very favorite kind.” Her voice was low, sensuous, full of promise. “The talented kind. Because I can tell you’ve got a major talent right here. Talents are meant to be used, you know. I can’t wait to see how you’ll use yours. I plan to use it myself, too, be warned. And be afraid.” She smiled, a red-lipsticked thing that was pure predator. “Because I plan to use it, to use you, until you’re begging for mercy.”

“I can’t make the charges go away,” he protested, sounding weaker by the moment.

“Of course you can.” She took hold of his necktie, leaned against his desk, and pulled him into her. She gave him a long, slow kiss, saw his eyes closing, felt every lingering bit of his reserve weakening, and smiled again. She was seductive, oh, yes, she was. She was deadly. She was a man-eater, a Black Widow, and she loved it.

“A man as powerful as you,” she told him, sweeping an arm behind her to send his pile of files tumbling to the floor, “can do anything. Anything you like.”

“And . . . cut!” Mike said with satisfaction. “That one’s in the can.”

Josie sat up, let go of Clive’s tie, and grinned at him. “Got you going there, didn’t I?”

“I am a trained professional,” he said, grinning back at her. “Just like you.”

Flight of the Hummingbirds

The Dance of the Ladybugs was cute enough. Six or seven three-year-olds wandered around the stage seemingly at random, bumping into each other to the accompaniment of clearly audible hisses from the wings. By the time the Waltz of the Butterflies came around, though, Hugh Latimer was bored. And endless minutes—or hours­—later, when a bunch of little girls in pink tutus were earnestly performing the Flight of the Hummingbirds, he was just about catatonic.

“How long till Amelia’s?” he muttered to his Aunt Cora under cover of the applause as the latest group trooped off the stage.

“Next but three,” she told him.

“I’ll come back for that,” he started to say. “Because, sorry, I can’t take much more of this.”

The brunette in the row ahead of him turned around, a frown drawing her dark eyebrows together, and he shut up and looked at her.

She was lost from sight, unfortunately, because sure enough, the music had started up again, and the lights were dimming. Hugh sat back with a sigh. More tinkly music, more birds, or bugs, or some damn thing with wings. Again.

There was normal time, which was . . . normal, he decided as girls came on and girls went off, as somebody lost her place and ran crying into the wings, as the music stopped and started. There was rugby time, which was fast. And there was Dance Recital time. Which was endless.

“This is it,” Charlie told him from his other side. “This is Amelia’s.”

Hugh looked down at his younger brother. Leaning forward, every line of his eight-year-old body straining, that intense look on his finely-carved features. He could feel the tension from Charlie, sense his toe tapping out the rhythm as the music swelled, the girls danced onto the stage. He cared.

“Pas de bourre, pirouette,” he could heard Charlie mutter. “Too stiff, though.” And indeed, Amelia’s arms weren’t curved into the graceful lines some of the other girls had achieved, even Hugh could tell that. The music picked up, and the girls started leaping about.

“Aw, she’s wobbled,” Charlie muttered. Sure enough, the sturdy figure of Amelia, her dark hair scraped back like the other girls’ into a painfully tight knot at the back of her head, was losing its line, her pink-clad leg showing a distinct tendency to tremble as the girls stopped leaping and ended with a foot stuck out behind them, and Hugh watched his sister set her errant foot down a full second ahead of the other girls.

He sighed with relief when the piece was over, began to stand up.

“Still four more to go,” Aunt Cora told him.

“I could come back and meet you,” Hugh suggested. “After.”

The brunette from the row ahead turned around again, Aunt Cora looked at him reprovingly again, and Hugh sat back again, sighed, closed his eyes, and surrendered to the inevitable.

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