Excerpt #1 : Fire and Ice by Victoria Paige
“You ready?” Jack asked Maia. He had her left arm bent at the elbow at 90 degrees. He was standing so close, she could smell his after-shave. She hung onto his clean scent to prepare for the unpleasant business of popping her dislocated joint back into place.
Maia nodded. Then Jack without further warning rotated the shoulder and arm outward coaxing the joint back into place.
“Ah! Damn!” Maia hissed through her teeth, her eyes watered as her badly-abused shoulder slid back into its socket. “I hate when that happens.” Her whisper was strangled.
“I know, babe.” Maia felt Jack’s lips on her hair. Did he just kiss her hair? His arms came around her in a gentle hug. God, she hated to move away from the circle of his warmth, feeling so secure in a strange way. But she remembered who and what she was and squirmed out of his arms.
“Er … thanks, Jack.”
“No problem. You may want to put that in a sling for a while.”
Derek was working on the files on Maia’s laptop. “Almost done! Shoulder back to normal?”
“I see you’ve been working surveillance on the Russians. Is that why you hung around town?”
“Um, hate to say this Maia, but was that a good idea?”
“That’s an idiotic idea. That’s a dumb fuck idea,” Jack interjected, a bit too forcefully.
“I was careful,” she replied defensively.
Jack raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, maybe I wasn’t too discreet,” Maia admitted grudgingly.
Derek frowned. “It’s unlike you to be sloppy, sweetie. You need a break and regroup.”
Maia chewed her bottom lip as if pondering what her friend had just said. “I’m going to pack up and come back to set the charges,” Maia replied, not wanting the men to know she was doubting herself. They were so perceptive, damn them. Jack had been stirring something unfamiliar within her too because he rattled her defenses like no man ever had. She was fully aware of his virile masculinity – sucking the oxygen out of the room such that she had trouble breathing smoothly in his presence. She did not need this complication right now with Reznikov at large.
She moved to her dressing area and pulled out two oversized duffel bags. To her consternation, Jack followed her, observing her like a hawk. She ignored him and started shoving clothes into her bag.
“Where are you heading?” Jack asked casually.
“It’s really none of your business,” Maia replied, a little more harsher than she had intended to. She wanted to keep her tone neutral, not act like he had gotten under her skin.
“I can offer you protection. I have some properties in a couple of small towns that are well-equipped to keep you hidden.”
“And what’s in it for you?”
“Damn it, Maia, I’m trying to keep you safe.”
“I don’t need you to keep me safe. You barely know me. I can take care of myself.”
“I can see that. But you think this Russian whatever-he-is won’t finally figure out how to get to you with the attempts he’s made? Yeah, I know those mercs who stormed Castle were connected to him. I’ve got the resources, probably more than even the AGS.”
Maia zipped up her bag that held her clothes and started working on the second duffel to hold her weapons.
“I don’t need to fuck someone for protection,” Maia retorted and almost regretted the words when she saw Jack’s eyes grow icy and a muscle begin to twitch his jaw.
Without saying another word, Jack took the first duffel bag, turned around and stalked out, informing Derek over his shoulder, “I’ll wait in the car.”
Excerpt #2 contains mature language and some adult content
Excerpt #2: Fire and Ice by Victoria Paige
Jack was furious about two things: that some jerks had touched Maia and that she would do anything—even let those assholes touch her—just to protect her cover. The questions that had twisted in his gut early that morning came rushing back. How far was she willing to go to protect her precious job? Was sex really a part of her arsenal, what kind of company was AGS to allow that?
Well, he intended to find out right away.
He didn’t even bother parking the truck in the garage, but he stopped just in front of the stonehouse, yanked the keys out of the ignition, slammed out of the car and darted right around to the passenger side. Maia had already started exiting the truck, but Jack tugged the door from out of her grasp, reached in for her wrist and dragged her around to the side of the truck. Caging her between his arms, he pressed down her body with the length of his.
“Hey!“ Maia yelped, more in annoyance than anger.
“So what exactly would you do to protect your cover?” Jack asked softly.
He didn’t budge.
“I’m warning you, Jack!” Maia eyes glittered with her rising temper.
“Go to hell! Stop pissing me off!”
She tried to kick out but his muscular thighs were keeping her locked in. He quickly held both her wrists down to keep her arms immobile at her sides. Jack knew that in close proximity his strength had the advantage over her, she had no momentum and no leverage. He had her.
“Do you fuck them?”
“It’s none of your goddamn business!”
“Do. You. Fuck. Them?” he thundered.
“Well, sweetheart, that’s the idea.”
He crushed his mouth against her so savagely he tasted blood. He leaned her across the hood of the pick-up and pulled her arms apart while viciously thrusting his tongue through her lips not caring if she bit him.
She ignited and started returning his kisses. He groaned and delved further into her mouth, coaxing her tongue to tangle with his. He released her wrists and lifted her a little to spread her legs to accommodate his hips. Her newly freed hands slid up his head to sift wildly through his thick black hair. He became instantly hard, his erection straining against his jeans, and he started grinding and rubbing against her crotch. One hand went to cradle the back of her head while the other lifted one leg to grip her closer as he continued thrusting into her.
“Jack…” Maia breathed, her gorgeous eyes glazed with desire.