I promised some snippets earlier this week – how about an excerpt from INSATIABLE?
PHANTOM CORPS: INSATIABLE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing July 6
“Daniel.” She poked him. “Wake up.”
“Why?” he mumbled.
“Three hours are up.”
“No. I had another short dream. I had time left.” He rolled to sit up, and the cold air got under the blankets.
“I don’t think so. Maybe time moves differently in your ‘Verse. But here we use chronos. Mine says our three hours have passed.”
He got out of bed, grabbing his pants and pulling them on.
“And even if you did have a short time left, you needn’t be so cross.”
“I have a very good internal chrono.” He went to wash his face and noted his skin had gone very pale and his hair very dark. After the pills kicked in, his eyes had gone from green to brown. He added a scar on his neck, leading up to his ear.
She barged around the corner to continue pestering him. “You’re a pain in the—” Her eyes widened. “You’re very good at this disguise part of the job. I should cut my hair, don’t you think?”
His gut cramped at the thought. “It’s very beautiful,” he said before he could say something sane and professional. “I mean, you’d still be beautiful with short hair and—”
She put two fingers over his lips and froze, before moving her hand away. Then she pressed her mouth to his. He hadn’t expected it, but he couldn’t step away either.
Her lips were sweet, sweet as the kiss was. A soft exploration of his mouth with hers. At first. It wasn’t so much innocent as it was unexpected. It snared him, much like her taste had. She was warm against him, relaxed, obviously trusting him more than any rational woman should have. His blood surged with need for her, with want, demand for more.
He fisted his hands to keep from hauling her against him, from stroking the elegant curve of her spine down to her ass. A groan bubbled from deep within his gut at the memory of the fantasy he’d had the day before. She sighed, taking it into herself.
It was when she stepped closer, her fingers digging into the front of his shirt, molding herself to his body and her tongue sliding into his mouth, that he finally found his sanity about a meter from where all the blood in his body had gathered.
“Seven hells,” he gusted as he set her back from him, holding her upper arms firmly. “That can’t happen again.” Her mouth called to him, those luscious lips just so slightly swollen.
“Why?” She licked her lips, and he groaned.
“Stop that. Carina, this is a bad idea.”
A smile played on her lips as she realized the extent of her power. Gods, he was in trouble now.
“Why? Really? You kissed me back. You’re attracted to me. I can see it. I can taste it.” She pressed fingers to her lips, and he struggled to breathe.
“You’re my cargo. You have something that could save the lives of millions. You’re . . . I bet you’re untouched, aren’t you?” He forged on without an answer. “I’m not. I’m not a nice man. I kill people. All the time. You need a nice man. A gentle man who can give you the life you were bred for.”
She waved a hand as she turned. He took advantage of her distraction and headed back out toward the main room.
“Where are you going? I need your help with my hair,” she called out.
“Tell me when to come back there.” He scrubbed his hands through his hair, standing it on end.
“Now. Gods, did your mother drop you on your head a lot as a child?”
“You’re pretty mouthy,” he mumbled as he headed around the corner and found her in little more than sheer underclothes. “Hey!” He turned his back. “You’re naked. I said when you were ready.”
“You’ll get hair in my clothes and it will itch. Cut it short.” She handed him shears as he turned back around and tried in vain not to look at the shadow of dark pink nipples against the pale material.
“Are you sure about this?” He sifted fingers through it, so long and soft. Beautiful and feminine. “If you braid it, you can tuck it into a watch cap, and no one will know the difference. Women of all ranks have long hair. You don’t have to cut it.”
She turned, so close she brushed against him. “Women of all classes have short hair, too. Do you like it?” Tossing her head, pale burnt-sugar hair tumbled around her shoulders.
The scent of her choked him in the best kind of way. This chemistry between them was so very delicious, even if he knew anything else between them was totally impossible.
“It’s lovely. It’s up to you.” He tried to step back, but he was boxed in, and she knew it.
“I am a virgin, you know. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have desires.” She leaned in, brushing her cheek against his chest. His cock ached, the pulse as he got harder and harder was an angry throb. “I do. Have desires, that is. I’ve never had the opportunity to express them and certainly not with anyone like you. There’s no one quite like you, Daniel.”
“You’d do well to remember that, Carina.” He pointed to the stuff he’d left on a ledge near the basin. “You’re my sister again. We’ll call you Carrie, and I am Neil. We’re itinerant workers, looking to get on with the grain shipments. Do you know anything about wheat? It’s a crop brought from Earth, and I know it’s grown out here. We’re from Suerte.”
He managed to step neatly away once she’d turned to look. “I always wanted blue eyes.” She began to plait her hair into two long braids as she spoke. “I’ll keep it long for now. And I’m very well aware that there’s no one like you. This isn’t over.”
She wanted to laugh when he scurried from the room. An altogether new sort of power surged through her veins. Her allure as a woman wasn’t new, not really. But this sort of romantic chase, the sensual dance they did as he pretended to resist her, was something she’d never imagined, and it was thrilling.
If she had to risk her life, leave her family behind and hare off into new territory with a man like him, she planned to enjoy every moment of it.