by Kiersten Hallie Krum
Happy Sunday, Lady Smutters. Are you feeling particularly holy today? Or are you unexpectedly in need of something for which to atone? Well, look no further! As part of our on-going excerpt Sundays, here is a *very* early taste of my upcoming novella, SEALed With a Twist.
A sequel to my debut novel Wild on the Rocks that released earlier this year, SEALed With a Twist features Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti and the defrocked debutante he once happily fished out of a pool at the Casa Blanca resort on Barefoot Bay. Six months after the events in Wild on the Rocks, Twist has returned to Barefoot Bay to stand with his best friend and former commander, Jasper, as he remarries his ex-wife, Quinn. But all things are not happy-go-lucky with the man who’s twisted sense of humor earned him his call sign. And they’re about to get even more complicated.
SEALed With a Twist will be available to buy in February. Keep an eye out for the novella’s upcoming smokin’ cover reveal and, in the meantime, enjoy this early taste of Twist.
Grant unlocked the villa with the key card and a faint regret for the lack of a hard key in his hand. Hard to defend yourself against some asshole who might shove inside the room right behind you with only a key card.
The default to combat readiness reassured him. Not that he expected to stumble upon violent crime here—recent Russian mob incursions notwithstanding. But it felt good to know his head might be screwed up, but his training looked to be intact.
It was that training that had Grant scanning the villa’s interior as he ambled in. Someone had left a light on in the living area and another over the kitchen sink leaving an ambient haze to hover over the main rooms. He noted the food set up on the island block before breaking off to reconnoiter the bedrooms and baths. Satisfied no one else had breached the perimeter, he was halfway to the patio when his phone chimed with Jasper’s reply.
Even through the flat, emotionless language of a text, Jasper’s words were resolute. NEED YOU TO BRIEF ME ON WHAT THIS SHIT IS ABOUT.
Grant snorted. Like that was gonna happen. He pulled back the wide glass doors that led out to the patio and pool before typing out WHATEVER, MAN. KISS QUINN FOR ME.
This time, the reply came quick: FUCK OFF.
And now they were back on the easy ground where Grant felt most comfortable. It was his job to dig into the emotions of his Team, to make sure their heads were in a place where they could continue to complete their duty.
Hell, if he’d have any of them, even Jasper, do the same to him.
He let Jasper keep the last word and tucked his phone in his back pocket just as his foot tangled in a pair of shorts left in a pile on the pool deck.
His gaze tracked along to land on a matching golf shirt. He could just make out the Merry Maids logo in the glow of the pool lights
Shit. A gatecrasher. He was not in the mood to deal with this shit. Feelin’ too much today already. Watching Jasper and Quinn get their happy ending, dealing with Putter, working to keep that devil may care attitude at the forefront so his friends didn’t cotton on to the shit messin’ with his head. He didn’t have it in him to deal with some employee taking advantage of the late-day wedding and plush environs.
The muscle in his jaw clenched when he saw the bra and panties discarded at the edge of the deep end. A soft splash caught his attention and he turned his head in time to catch glimpse of arms cutting through the water with smooth, sharp strokes.
Her body had length, most of it in the legs that kicked rhythmically in time with her arms, calf muscles cut in relief. Her head tilted his way for her to take a breath, eyes shut, the oval shape of her face perfectly bisected by the water like a Carnivàle half mask. Grant’s eyes tracked down to the equally round and, it had to be said, pert shape of her bare ass with tight cheeks he guessed would comfortably fit in each of his hands.
She reached the end of the pool and executed a perfect flip that set her feet in precise location to launch into another lap. The floor lights in the pool illuminated the gleam of her body as she undulated under the surface for near half the pool’s length before breaching the surface with the sharp bob of a breast stroke.
Emphasis on breasts, plural, as both globes were revealed to Grant’s growing admiration. The SEAL in him admired her skill. She was an amateur but a damn good one who knew to move with the water rather than against it. Not many amateurs cottoned on to that trick, instead thought swimming was a battle to tame the water to their forms. All too many of them never learned the truth.
There was no taming the water. Not in any form.
The man in him was impressed by her other intriguing assets. He crossed his arms and settled in at rest to enjoy the show.
She was halfway through the return lap when she finally tagged him. Immediately, she floundered, getting a good swallow of pool water as she did, which led to an epic bout of choking while she got her feet under her.
Fixed on him, her eyes bugged out wide, but the pool light now put her face in shadow, hiding their color. Her once fluid limbs locked with alarm and a shocked embarrassment that grudgingly intrigued him.
‘Cept he wasn’t in the mood to tangle with a moonlit mermaid.
“You’ve got some nerve.”
“You’re not supposed to be here,” she accused between coughs.
“Pretty sure I am given how much I’m paying for it.” His gaze swept over her without a sign of his admiration. “Don’t remember checking off the ‘naked water nymph’ perk on the reservation.”
“It’s –it’s only—” A final harsh gurgle cleared her throat. “It’s only offered to Gold Star members.”
She had the nerve to joke? Her job in his hands and she was jerking his chain?
“I’ll remember to thank management for the upgrade when I report you.”
That took care of her cheek. “You can’t do that,” she whispered.
“Think you’re wrong there, nymph.”
Something odd flashed through the shocked embarrassment in her face. Odd and…familiar.
His vision narrowed to pinpoint on her features. Her wet hair left her face in relief and that whisper of warning teased the back of his neck again. The one that’d saved his life countless times in the field. The one that told him he’d missed something important.
He felt it, but didn’t get it, so he got pissed. For once, Grant let the aggravation show. “Tell me your name”
She started at his bark. “Ska—Skye.” She checked the distance to where she’d left her clothes. It was the new angle of her head that finally clicked.
“You’re the maid who snuck behind me when I was on the phone.”
“I hardly ‘snucked’,” she denied with instinctive insult. “But yes, that was me” She swallowed and he could see her rally right before his eyes. Her shoulders rolled back, chin tilting with an arrogance he’d expect from his Yankee, blue-blooded mother, not a housemaid at a Florida beach resort. “And don’t speak to me like that,” she demanded, all traces of embarrassed guilt gone.
He showed her the edge of her amusement. “Not in the position to make demands, darlin’.”
She turned that rigid shoulder to him, exposing plump side boob and a very nice back whose spine was ramrod straight. She swished her way to the edge of the pool where she’d left her clothes—which were now at his feet.
This seemed not to bother her at all. Once at the side of the pool, she looked up, fingers curling around the rim, and, fuck him, his dick finally dialed in to take acute notice, rousing despite her breasts being out-of-sight crushed to the wall
Her legs kicked idly in the water, muddying his view, but he’d seen enough to know she’d be worth the time and effort—if he was in the mood to make either. Well, parts of him were in the mood, but it’d been a long time since he’d been led around by his dick. One tempting water nymph wasn’t going to make him revert.
“You gonna stand there all night or you gonna report me?”
More cheek. He really didn’t want to like this woman.
“Haven’t decided. Maybe if you were a little nicer, you could talk me out of it.”
Any other woman would’ve cut and run by now, especially when he was deliberately being this much of an outright asshole.
Instead, Skye contemplated him from below and then, shocking the shit outta him, she flattened her hands and hoisted herself out of the pool. A whoosh of water heralded her expulsion and then there she stood, naked and without a hint of shame.
He took her in, half aware of the effort it took not to have his mouth gaping like a mouth-breather. Water dripped down her chest and over her high, pert breasts whose nipples raised to points against the cooler air. Down the concave slope of her belly and over the natural flare of her hips and vee of her exposed sex to pool around her feet on the asphalt.
A surge of lust contorted him. He wanted his hands on those hips, his mouth on those breasts, and those lithe legs wrapped tight and high on his back as he surged inside her. He felt the pull of her expectation and somehow wrenched his eyes from the feast of her body to the no less bounty of her face. When Skye caught his gaze, her lush mouth curved in a Cheshire smile.
“How much nicer do you want me to be?”
Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocks, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.