Tag Archives: steamy contemporary

Sexy Sunday Snippet: Shakedown

12 Aug

by Elizabeth SaFleur

For three years Trick Masters was consumed with revenge. Then she walks back into the door demanding an apology, money and restitution for what she suffered? How rich. She’ll have to earn her way back into his good graces starting with spilling the truth—which turns out neither of them has or ever did.

Read chapter one of the latest novella, Shakedown, which will debut the Shakedown series (debut 2019).

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CHAPTER ONE

“Blend in more? Just how does a cocktail waitress do that?” For ten minutes Rachel had stood in her manager’s office, feet aching and her tables unmanned, listening to this crap. She crossed her arms, an unwise, defiant move, but really, this “chat” was ridiculous. “Are you accusing me of something specific, Mr. Jones?”

“The other waitresses have implied you banter with the customers a little too vehemently. There’s flirting, and then there’s . . . well, they’ve complained that you lure—”

“Lure?” She choked back a laugh. She made better tips than the other girls because she was personable. A little harmless flirting never killed anyone, and she was well aware of the game she played. “People like my service. I thought you’d be pleased. In fact, I’d like more shifts. As you said, I’m popular. You’d make more money with me.”

“And, lose my other help.” He stood signaling the meeting was over. “Thanks, Rachel. I know this is uncomfortable. The men at Talman’s are used to getting what they want, but let’s make sure they know you’re not on the menu, too.” He winked.

Un-fricking-believable.

As she fought her way through business suits and raucous laughter to the waitress station at the bar, she attempted to shake off the insinuations her manager had lobbed at her. She needed this job, and she would not succumb to the suggestion she practically prostituted herself for tips. She wasn’t on anyone’s “menu.” So what if a few patrons had asked her out? Big effing deal. She’d turned them all down.

As she waited for Gabe to finish her cocktail order, she glanced down at her phone to see if Jay had returned her call. He hadn’t. Shocker. She wanted to float an idea by her stepbrother, launching a for-hire bartending business they could work together to get them both out of their rut. Jay would never get very far ahead by working on an oil rig, and she’d never finish her bachelor’s degree by waitressing. They both needed something new.

“Order up, Rachel,” Gabe said with a smile and nodded at the drinks he’d prepared. “You outdid yourself with this suggestion.”

“Thanks. They look great.” She adjusted a sprig of lavender on one of the martinis du jour she’d “invented” with Gabe’s help. The same four women, members of the Red Hat Club, came in every Friday with the same request: “Surprise us with the cocktail of the day.” So she did, and her imagination earned her a guaranteed thirty percent tip.

“Interesting, indeed.” A male voice sounded behind her.

Her heart rocketed up her throat, and her knees buckled. She set the tray down to the bar just in time. She knew that voice. It was rougher, deeper than she recalled, but there was no mistaking who that rumble belonged to. She slowly turned and couldn’t believe her eyes. Trick Masters. Jesus, he looked good, but then Trick always had.

“Rachel Grant. As I live and breathe.”

The heartless, deceitful thief peered down at her with those same blue-gray eyes she’d thought so kind—but weren’t. He leered at her with that same charming smile—but which hid a thousand lies.

The floor underneath her threatened to give way, and she stepped backward. He reached around and grasped the side of her tray to prevent the three lavender martinis from crashing to the floor. His suit coat brushed her arm, and just as if a lit match touched a puddle of gasoline, a ball of fire ignited in her belly and all the anger she thought she’d released years ago consumed her. Her therapist’s words flooded her brain. Visualize a stop sign whenever your mind starts to race. Stop the negative feelings, thoughts, and pictures.

“Rachel, you alright?” Gabe asked.

No, she wasn’t alright. At the sound of her name said with kindness, her anger backslid to grief. It started with a tickle inside her nose, then her breath burning hot in her throat, then the prick in her eyes, a cascade of emotion threatening to let loose.

Do not cry. Stop sign. Do not cry. Stop sign.

“Can I get you something else, sir?”

Gabe’s voice likely saved her from doing the unthinkable: shedding another useless, wasted tear over Trick Masters. She lifted her tray. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing her come undone.

“Another club soda.” Trick leaned his elbow on the bar and stared at her. “Gabe, no offense to you, but Rachel’s got some interesting mixology ideas. You should put her behind the bar. She’s good at dishing out fantasies.”

His words snapped a lid on her simmering emotion and her anger returned.

“Rachel, I need to talk to you,” Trick said. A fire brewed behind those blue-gray eyes.

“No.”

The haughty bastard’s mouth twitched up at her tone. She’d meant the simple word to land hard—like the punch she never got to deliver on his smug, model-perfect face.

She balanced the tray on her palm and turned away. Her feet finally escaped the invisible concrete that had kept her in place for far too long. Two men parted for her to scoot by, one of them skimming her with his gaze. She hoped Trick saw the man’s admiration.

Shit. Claire, another waitress, stood in front of her table of The Three Suits who had “big tippers” written all over them from their cufflinks to their Berluti handmade shoes.

Rachel quickly hustled over. “Gentleman, I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you. Let me deliver these and I’ll pop back over.”

“No need. I’ve got it, Rachel,” Claire said.

The three men were oblivious, of course, and had returned to their talks of mergers and return on investment.

“What are you doing?” she whispered to Claire.

“Nothing more than you do every night.”

“I told you, those guys last night asked for me, so they got seated in my section. Get over it.” Fury had returned in full force, which was precisely the emotion she should be feeling right now given she’d just encountered Trick Masters. Her therapist would disagree, but whatever.

After delivering her martinis and ensuring her tip from The Three Suits wasn’t in jeopardy, she hustled back to the bar praying Trick’s presence was an illusion or a mental delusion. He couldn’t have been here. The betrayer couldn’t be here in Baltimore.

Stop sign. Stop sign. Stop sign.

Gabe leaned toward her so she could hear him over the symphony of happy hour chatter and laughter. “You know that guy?” He cocked his head toward the exit. She caught Trick’s broad back as he slipped through the revolving doors. “He told Mr. Jones you should join me behind the bar,” Gabe said and then straightened.

“Rachel.” Mr. Jones’s voice behind her made her jump.

“I’d be no good behind the bar,” she said quickly, turning to face her manager. Bartending tips sucked.

“I have a better idea,” Mr. Jones said. “See those two guys over there? They asked for you. I’m putting you on hostess duties. As you said, you’re popular.”

“But—”

“See me when your shift ends. We’ll talk details.”

She dropped her empty tray on the bar. Tears? No way. The wrath she’d suppressed for three years? Bring it on.

“I’m taking a break, Gabe,” she said. Breaks weren’t allowed during peak hours, yet fate presented a gift. She could finally confront the man who had derailed her life. From college student to waitress. What a cliché. She’d spent the last three years scraping dollars and change off dirty tablecloths because of that two-faced bastard.

She pushed her way through a gaggle of women holding martinis and then the revolving door. With any luck he’d still be in the parking lot. She found him leaning against a black sedan parked across the street, casually scrolling through the latest iPhone like he hadn’t care in the world. A hot ball of anger rolled over her so hard, her mental stop sign melted into a puddle. She jogged across the road to him, and immediately a woody scent of cologne wafted between them. The effing nerve of the man, the unbelievable gall to smell good, to look good, to . . .

“Rachel.” He straightened with that same smirk he’d delivered fifteen minutes ago.

He grasped her wrist in mid-air before she could land a satisfying crack on his cheek.

“What the hell?” he barked.

“How dare you be here!” she screamed. So much for her two years and eight months of therapy. Stop sign, meet Trick Masters, the man who ruined my life.

 

Join Elizabeth’s Sexy, Saucy, Sometimes Naughty list to get a notice when this novella releases. (Psst. It’s September 4!) JOIN HERE.

~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary romance that dares to “go there.” Expect alpha males (and females), seductive encounters, and love. Learn more about her steamy and sexy stories by following her on Amazon and Bookbub.

 

 

An Excerpt for MC, Gangster and Burlesque Book Lovers

26 Jul

by Elizabeth SaFleur

Hey, lady Smutters. Who’s in the mood for Friday fun? How about an excerpt from my next novella, Shakedown, which will launch the brand, spanking new series, The Shakedown Series. Like motorcycle club reads? Gangsters? Cons? Burlesque? This series will have All Of That and more. Read on for an excerpt of Shakedown.

Releases on September 4! To get a notice of its official release, follow me on Amazon, Bookbub or join my email newsletter.

~~Sexy Excerpt~~

Rachel’s Uber driver had looked at her like she was crazy when she gave him the address to Shakedown. He asked her twice if he should wait for her when she stepped out of his minivan onto the crumbling pavement of the club’s parking lot. Over an old warehouse, an obnoxiously large sign lit up by Broadway lights read Shakedown.

Against her better judgment, she was here—at the club Trick insisted was not a strip joint. She didn’t know how long this confrontation would take so she sent the driver on his way. She charged up to the door powered by the tornado that had been whirling inside her over the last few days. In fact, her anger had grown into an F5. She’d emptied her mental warehouse of stop signs. Every time she’d raised one up, she punched it back down. It was time for Trick to make restitution and return the trust fund that she and Jay were to use for school.

Old movie poster shadow boxes were tacked to the brick walls by the entrance. She took a moment to look at the depictions of dancing girls and Vaudeville acts behind the scratched glass. Not a strip club, huh?

Rachel slung open the door and stepped into the blackness. The large, glass front door hadn’t been easy to yank open, but that was the thing about rage—it gave you strength. She paused just inside the empty club to let her eyes adjust. As the interior’s details crystallized, her first thought was that she’d stepped onto a movie set.

“Well, this is way nicer than I imagined,” she muttered. White tablecloths draped dozens of small tables crammed into the center of the room. Half moon–shaped booths in dark green, tufted velvet lined the far left wall. A long, polished oak bar with a brass rail ran the length of the club to her right.

“Applications are at the end of the bar. Auditions start tomorrow.”

She turned. A man with a goatee, a scar riding high on his right cheek, and poured into a gray Henley leaned on the bar over a newspaper spread across the surface. The paper crackled as he turned a page.

“Audition? No, I’m looking for Trick Masters.”

He eyed her suspiciously. “Who’s asking?”

She crossed her arms. “The woman he stole three million dollars from.”

The man straightened and laughed. “I’ll get him for you, Rachel.”

“How did you know my name?”

“He said if the most beautiful woman in the world walks in and demands money her name is Rachel.”

Great. So Trick believed she was a foregone conclusion? Think again, buddy.

While the guy ducked behind a curtain near the bar, ostensibly to find Trick, she pulled out her cell phone to see if Jay had returned any of the dozen messages she’d left in the last two days. He hadn’t.

She hit his number again and again went straight to voice mail. “Jay, are you ever going to call me back? The Betrayer is in Baltimore. Don’t they ever let you make calls? A text at least?”

Jay’s oil rig tour had to be up soon. Nothing like having your trust fund-slash-tuition money disappear to make you take any job that pays well. Too bad waitressing at the fanciest restaurant in Baltimore didn’t turn out as well for her.

She looked around the room. “And, you will not believe where I am,” she said into the silence on the other end of the phone. Jay needed to come back and see where Trick—once the darling of the Washington, D.C. investment scene—had landed—for shits, grins, and giggles if nothing else. She shook her head as she took in the stage framed in heavy, red velvet drapes, empty except for a tall microphone stand in the center. Lights aimed at the stage hung from girders in the ceiling. At least no dance cages or stripper poles were in view, and the scent of orange blossoms and cedar wafted in the air rather than the usual stale beer and sweat smell of most “gentleman’s clubs”—or what she’d imagined they’d smelled like. A rustling behind her caused her to kill the one-sided call.

“Rachel.”

Stupid shivers ran up her spine from hearing Trick’s baritone. She swiveled to come face to face with the man, the Betrayer, ready to do battle, something she should have done long ago. Hell, she should have started the day he left the courtroom in handcuffs. Instead, she’d hidden in the back, watching and crying like a baby. No more tears now, she told herself. She put as much steel into her backbone as possible. “How dare you offer me a job.”

He had the nerve to raise an eyebrow. “Pretty generous on my part, I’d say.”

“Generous?” She chuffed. “You stole my money and then want me to work for it? You humiliated me once. You won’t do it again.” She strode forward until there were just six inches between them and jabbed her finger on his hard pec. “How did you find me anyway?”

No way was Trick’s presence at Talman’s a coincidence. Trick did nothing accidentally.

She didn’t know how he found her as she and Jay had changed their mobile phone numbers and left no forwarding address when they fled Washington and their creditors. Then, when she thought she couldn’t be shamed anymore, Trick Masters shows up at Talman’s, gets her demoted to hostess and has the unbelievable nerve to offer her a job. Did he expect her to work to get back the money he stole? He accused her of being afraid.  Afraid my ass. She jabbed him with her finger again for good measure.

He grabbed her wrist. “Since you can’t stop touching me,” he said, cocking his head, “let’s make this private. Office.”

“Office?” she sputtered as he pulled her into a long hallway, plush carpeting muffling their footfalls.

“Desk and everything.” He opened a door and gestured her inside.

“Nice digs.” She surveyed the large mahogany desk and oil paintings on the wall. “This Oriental carpet real? Probably. You can obviously afford to pay restitution.”

He closed the door behind them, strode to his desk and perched on the edge. “I was wrongly convicted. I don’t have your money. I never did.” He scratched his chin, the sound of fingers on stubble sounding masculine, if such a thing were possible.

“Bullshit.” She stepped closer and slapped him on the pec. He still wore that woodsy aftershave. Damn, he smelled good, which she should not be noticing.

He gave a snort of cynical amusement. “Stop poking me. Try being a grownup.” He grasped her wrist—hard.

“You find this funny? Screw you.”

“If you are offering, I might consider it. You always did excel in that area.”

She did a double take. “Forget about it.”

“Gladly. I make a habit of avoiding women who set me up and then abandon me, sweetheart.” He stood, and his grip turned vicious, backing her up a step.

“Abandon you? You were convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to jail, and don’t call me sweetheart.”

“I told you I didn’t take your money.” He backed her up until her shoulder blades pressed the door.

“A judge felt otherwise.”

“I was set up, but you already know all that.”

“Ha! And you say I’m good at fantasy. Who took it then? The fairies?” She jabbed him with her other hand. He grasped that wrist, and lifted both her arms above her head, not gently, but not enough to leave bruises.

“Stop jabbing me. Or perhaps you’re doing it on purpose simply to make me mad. You always did like make-up sex.” He leaned toward her so close she could feel his warm breath on her face, smell his woodsy cologne.

“Coming on to me?” She tried to yank her wrists free but he held them fast.

“I’m impervious to your come-ons, Rachel.”

“You couldn’t handle me anyway.” When she tried to push forward, her crotch met a semi-hard cock trapped behind those pants.

“Keep pushing, Rachel . . . you already left me once—”

“You left me.”

“I wouldn’t call incarceration voluntary ‘leaving’.”

“You almost put me out on the street. Proud of that?” she spat. Memories flooded her brain and swamped her with a cocktail of emotions she’d been working for years to neutralize. Weeks after Trick’s incarceration for embezzlement, the fancy apartment she and Trick shared overlooking the Potomac was the first to go. The same week, with no tuition money, she’d had to leave school—in her freakin’ fourth year! The Audi he’d given her? Ha! Not paid off. If she thought getting a bikini wax humiliating, the degradation bar undoubtedly had been raised the day her car was lifted up onto a flatbed tow truck, a man with a substantial pot belly leering at her and mumbling tough break, lady.

“I’m sorry your life went to hell, Princess,” he said. “But prison isn’t exactly the Four Seasons.”

“Did you think about me in jail?” she taunted. She lifted one leg and wrapped it around his calf. She rubbed it up and down. “Or did you get a new boyfriend there?”

He’d once called her legs God’s gift to mankind. She’d get the truth out of him one way or the other, even if she had to use herself as bait. She wasn’t leaving until he confessed he’d taken the $3 million.

“I hocked your ring, by the way,” she said.

“Get a good price?”

“The diamond was real. Paid rent for a bit.”

“Everything I ever gave you was real, Rachel.” He ground his pelvis into hers, his cock growing harder and thicker.

“Real trouble.”

He stared at her mouth as if he were mesmerized, like he couldn’t decide what to do next. He used to do that when he was about to kiss her.

“See something you like?” she breathed with a sneer. He scowled when she pulled him closer to her with her leg. One thing about waitressing, it built strong leg muscles.

“You wish,” he circled his pelvis to match her moving hips.

Jesus, she was getting wet, and her hips would not stay still. Well, she started this, and she wasn’t a quitter. She glided her leg higher on his hip. The perfect fit of their bodies felt good—too damned good. Man, it’d been a long time since she’d had sex.

He pulled his head back and stared down at her. Suspicion flashed across his eyes.

“Now who’s afraid?” she asked.

His lips came down on hers—hard and possessive. His tongue mapped her mouth with the ease of an explorer upon familiar territory. Oh, God, she’d forgotten how good he was at this, but she had to remember. She was kissing a con man.

~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary romance that dares to “go there.” Expect alpha males (and females), seductive encounters, and love. Learn more about her steamy and sexy stories by following her on Amazon and Bookbub.

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