by Jennifer Bonds
As writers we create all kinds of characters. Some get the spotlight and others? Well, they don’t. Heck, sometimes they don’t even get a first name. In the movies we’d call them Extra #7 and Waitress #1. In the world of romance novels, there are no closing credits and these characters fade quietly into the background. But sometimes, every now and then, those characters don’t go quietly into the night. They steal the spotlight without even meaning to. That was the case with Chloe Jacobs, the comedic sidekick I wrote when I started the Risky Business series.
Chloe was full to bursting with a sassy spirit that all but demanded she get her own story. And much to my surprise, when I sat down to write it, she quickly became one of my favorite characters of all time. With her larger than life personality, Chloe’s exactly the kind of woman I want to be my best friend in real life and who I’d love to share a beer with on Friday night.
So, it shouldn’t have been any great surprise to me when Chloe’s meet-cute involved a bodega, an argument in the produce section with a sexy stranger, and a late night robbery. After all, she’s far from conventional and that’s one of the qualities that made her story so much fun to write!
Once Upon a Power Play
Should she invite him up? Offer him a drink? What was protocol for a near death situation among strangers?
Before she could overthink it, Ryan took the decision out of her hands.
His lips descended upon hers, gentle at first, but growing hungry and desperate when she stretched up on her toes and kissed him back. Opening herself to him, she took the kiss deeper, tangling her fingers in his damp hair and pulling him closer. It was hot and cold and hard and soft all at once. Everything she’d expected and nothing she’d imagined. Unable to process the conflicting feelings, her brain shorted out from sensory overload. He snaked his arms around her back, gripping her ass and pulling her body flush to him as her tongue mated with his, caressing and massaging in response to his dominating thrusts. She was vaguely aware that he’d lifted her from her feet and the realization sent white-hot need tearing through her. The groan that rolled from his lips confirmed that he also craved more. Sucking his lower lip, she teased him mercilessly, enjoying the taste of spearmint on his breath.
When they finally broke apart, she was breathless, gasping at the icy cold air that filled her lungs but did nothing to mitigate the scorching hot lust burning up her skin. “I’m Chloe, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Chloe.” He grinned, looking entirely too pleased with himself. “You should know I’ve wanted to do that from the moment I first saw you.”
For the second time that evening, she found herself speechless. That kiss? It had been seductive, and sweet, and mind-blowing. And jackass or not, she kind of wanted another one. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been so thoroughly kissed. Probably never. The guys she normally dated were a little lacking in the passion department. She’d never kissed a man with facial hair before and she was surprised to discover she didn’t hate it. There was something very masculine about the way it scratched her face, no doubt leaving her lips red and swollen.
Oh, who was she kidding? Everything about him was masculine. It wasn’t just his size. It was his protective nature. He was a throwback to another age. With a little encouragement, he’d probably throw her over his shoulder, tote her upstairs, and screw her eight ways to Sunday. She just had to say the word.
Too bad she’d sworn off men just an hour ago. She was over them. Completely. Totally. Over them. On the other hand, she didn’t feel like being alone tonight. What harm could come from one little drink? Or one more kiss, for that matter? They’d been through hell. They deserved it, didn’t they? The words were on her lips before she could stop them. “Come up for a drink?”