Series: Iron Portal #1
Length: 110 pages
Publisher: Laurie London Books (November 1, 2012)
Haunted by loss, Cascadian assassin Rickert D’Angelus is on a mission of vengeance. Determined to stop the Pacifican army from finding a portal to his world, he leads a group of warriors into New Seattle with one goal—to kill all Pacifican soldiers.
Neyla Trihorn had the perfect life until a deadly accident revealed her latent para-abilities. Now, the former fashion designer is the Pacifican army’s hottest commodity in their fight against the invaders.
When Rickert discovers a beautiful, unconscious soldier on a cold mountain ledge near the portal, he realizes she’s a Protection-Talent and cannot be killed. To prevent the army from using her skills again, he takes her as his prisoner instead.
One fated touch…
But when he pulls her into his arms, a sexy and compelling vision appears, awakening something inside him. Something he can’t ignore.
Torn between duty and passion, Rickert must decide if the vision is a Talent trick designed to foil the enemy or the answer to his deepest desires...
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EXCERPT“You’d pick sleeping on a cold stone floor to this?” Rickert asked, the criss-crossed swords on his back clanking as he spread his arms wide. “It’s the finest Vengold silk. And the bed is stuffed with river goose down. The best.”
It did look soft, and Neyla was very— No. She would not let herself be charmed like this. “I will not let you suck me into a game with you.”
She stood there with as much dignity as she could muster. If a suit could make a man, being naked under an oversized tunic and wearing big clunky boots definitely did not make a woman. At least, not a confident one. Maybe if she were wearing army fatigues or even jeans and a T-shirt, she wouldn’t be feeling so unsettled. But all she had of herself on this side of the portal was her wits. And right now, they felt pretty thin.
“This is no game,” he countered. “Stop being so stubborn. In the brig, you’d get maybe one pan of water—cold water—every few days in which to wash up. Despite your current appearance, you do seem to value good hygiene.”
She stifled a laugh. Yeah, I suppose that’s true.
His gaze roamed up and down her body. She willed herself to stand taller.
“And depending on whether or not there are other prisoners in the pits, the wash water may be shared among several of you.”
She swallowed nervously. Other prisoners? To hell with sharing bath water. Would they be sharing her? Her resolve was quickly fading.
“You’d honestly prefer that to this?” he asked mockingly. “I can have the house maids bring in warm water and scented oils for a bath.” He removed the cork from one of the tiny bottles on his dressing table and held it to his nose. “Heatherwood is my personal favorite, but there are others you may enjoy more. I can ask Tierney’s daughters for their suggestions.”
God, how her muscles ached. A warm bath would be heavenly. She’d sink up to her neck in lightly scented water, close her eyes and wash away the—
Wait. He wanted her to use his favorite scent? She was suddenly reminded of a former customer who’d tried on a medieval costume she’d made for him. He’d burst from the dressing room and exclaimed, “Bathe her and bring her to me.” His girlfriend and the other couple with them had erupted in laughter. It was funny at the time, but there was nothing funny about Rickert’s implication of the very same thing.
“I will not share a bed with you. Or service you.”
“You know? Sex. Like your stallion servicing the mares at the Guthrie farm in exchange for room and board.”
One corner of his mouth twitched and a devilish gleam sparkled in his eyes. “I do not need to make such elaborate arrangements to bed women. They come willingly or not at all.”
She reluctantly admitted to herself that he was probably telling the truth. He was the most attractive man she’d ever seen and certainly she wasn’t the only female who thought this way. Given what she’d glimpsed of him at the portal crossing, it was obvious the pleasures his body would bring to a woman. Sex for him wasn’t a question. The question was, with whom would he choose to have it? A man like him would have plenty of options.
Excerpt from ASSASSIN'S TOUCH ©2013 by Laurie London. All rights reserved.