Friday, January 4, 2008

Flashback Friday - Unclose Me

It's probably redundant to say, but Pepper and I love our characters. So much so, we hate to leave them behind. So every Friday, we're going to do what we call Flashback Fridays. We're going to be selecting titles from our backlists - Jamie Craig's, Pepper Espinoza's, and Vivien Dean's - and posting an excerpt, just to remind people and ourselves of some of the worlds we've traveled in.

First up is Unclose Me.

Dr. Elliot Black has known since the night he met her that Jude Strand is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. But as he senses her drifting away, he fears that their relationship will end the same way all his relationships end--a quiet, slow death that will leave him exhausted and bitter. The difference is, this time, he refuses to let her go without a fight.

Officer Jude Strand has a high-risk, high-stress job, and while she loves Elliot, she knows that they live in two different worlds. When she learns of a possible infidelity, she assumes that she’s lost him for good. Then he shows up at her apartment, with a packed bag on the back of his motorcycle, and she can’t resist one final weekend with him.

In the beautiful wine country of the Napa Valley, Elliot and Jude seek out the connection that they both fear is lost, and in the process, find something much stronger than either expected.


It was a beautiful day with cloudless, blue skies, and the wind bound Elliot and Jude together as he maneuvered the bike off the highway and onto roads that wound through rich, green countryside. Jude kept her arms wrapped around his waist, and he reveled in every shift of her body against his. Her strong thighs molded against his. Her breasts rubbed against his back. She moved with him like it was the only thing she knew. He hoped that Jude was wearing the same satisfied smile he was. Because this was good. Very good.

Elliot finally came to a full stop on the far side of a small village he didn’t catch the name of. Beside them, a sprawling, three-story home advertised itself as a bed and breakfast, brilliant rose bushes and perfectly trimmed hedges matching the rest of the picturesque landscaping. A sign on the front lawn announced vacancies.

“This place looks appropriately expensive,” Elliot commented as he killed the motor.

Climbing off the bike, Jude removed her helmet and shook her hair free. “Good thing for me I’ve got a rich boyfriend then,” she teased.

“I always knew that was my biggest selling point,” he said with an exaggerated sigh. His legs felt a little stiff as he dismounted, and his back cracked and popped as he straightened. He untied the bag from the back, hefting it over his shoulder before wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her against him. “But you don’t just love me for my money, do you?”

“Nope.” She tilted her head back and brushed her mouth against his. “I love you for the hot bike, too.”

“It’s a chick magnet,” Elliot agreed. He threaded his fingers through hers and pulled her towards the front door. “Let’s see what we can do about that tub.”

The house was dimly lit and comfortably cool. The interior was decorated in shades of red and gold, and it smelled vaguely of bananas and cinnamon. A young lady was dusting around the large, empty fireplace, but when she noticed them, she stopped and smiled.

“Hi,” she greeted brightly. “What can I do for you?”

Jude jumped in before Elliot could speak. “We’d like a room for the weekend.” Behind her back, she squeezed his hand. “With a big tub, if you have one.”

The young lady flashed a quick grin. “I think I can help you with that.” She tapped quickly on her computer--the machine looking out of place in the lobby--quoted a price, and then gave Elliot the key. “It’s the first room on the left at the top of the stairs.”

Elliot was more interested in Jude’s reaction than the room itself, though he wasn’t disappointed in the room in the least. Cool hardwood floors gleamed beneath their feet, broken by a lone white rug at the side of the four-poster bed. A massive bay window had the setting sun shining through the sheer curtains covering it, and huge oak furniture gave enough storage space for an entire family to move in and live comfortably. Even the bed was huge, the top of the mattress higher than Jude’s waist, buried beneath so many pillows that Elliot wondered if there was even a blanket.

He set the bag down and wandered into the white and yellow bathroom. The oversized tub and bright décor was exactly what he had in mind, and he hoped Jude would be pleased as well.

“Bath now?” Elliot asked over his shoulder from the doorway.

She was already kicking off her shoes, her hands on the hem of her shirt as she started to strip. “What do you think?”

Jude didn’t wait for him to respond, tossing her shirt aside before brushing past him to head straight for the tub. She shed her bra and jeans along the way, so that by the time she was bending over to turn on the hot water, all she wore was the red thong he’d picked out for her that morning.

Elliot sighed softly, leaning against the door and simply appreciating the view. It wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before, of course, but he was fascinated by the line of her thong, the curve of her ass, and the hint of her breasts as she turned the tap. She looked over her shoulder with an impish smile, and he roused himself, moving to stand behind her, her ass against his hardening cock. He slid his fingers along the edge of her thong as he kissed her neck. Her skin was still hot from the long ride.

Exhaling, Jude relaxed against his body, tilting her head to the side to allow him better access to her neck. “Did you finally give up on being the strong one?” she murmured.

Elliot continued to trace the edge of her thong with one hand, teasing them both with light fingers, and reached around her for the bottle of complimentary bubble bath. He unscrewed the top with his thumb, then dumped the contents into the swirling water. “I think we both know I’m really not the strong one,” he said against her skin...

For more information, visit Liquid Silver Books.

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