From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes The Professional, the first installment in her “Game Maker” series, an erotica collection that features the intense love stories, the family dynamics, the alpha heroes and adventurous women that Cole is known for, except apparently with even more naughtiness! Below is an excerpt from The Professional; here’s the set up:
When grad student Natalie Porter encounters the sexiest man she’s ever seen, a Russian named Aleksandr Sevastyan, he spurns her determined advances in public—only to abduct her from her Lincoln, Nebraska home later that night (when she’s wearing nothing but a short bathrobe!). He tells her that she’s the heir of a Russian mafiya billionaire, she’s in danger, and that Sevastyan himself will be her new bodyguard. Oh, and that he’s flying her to the motherland—immediately. At a small hidden airstrip, Natalie has second thoughts and runs from her towering protector….
Corn leaves slapped my face, raking my hair. My bare feet kicked up loose soil.
How much of a head start had I managed? Was he already crashing behind me?
“Stop this, Natalie!”
I gave a cry. My God, he was fast! I’d felt like prey before; now I literally was. This man was running me down, bent on capturing me! I dug deeper, sprinting even faster—
One second I was fleeing at full speed, the next I was flying. He’d lunged for me, snagging me around the waist. At the last instant, he twisted and took the impact on his back, crushing stalks beneath us.
“Damn you! Let go of me!” I struggled against him. Like fighting a steel vise.
Before I could blink, he’d flipped me to my back onto a mat of leaves.
“Get off me!” I battered his chest with the bottoms of my fists.
Huge and furious above me, he wedged his hips between my legs, snagging my wrists in one big hand. “Do not ever run from me again.” The moon shone down on him, highlighting the tight lines of his face. He seemed to be grappling with his fury, drawing on some inner iron control.
“Let me go!”
Over the familiar scents of rich soil, fragrant crops, and cold night, I detected his scent: aggression and raw masculinity. His shirt had gaped open, and I could see more of his skin, with the edge of another tattoo just visible past the material.
“Sevastyan, release me. Please.”
At that word, his grip on my wrists loosened a degree. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Only to protect you.” Behind that inscrutable mask, so much was going on, but I could read so little.
Under the moonlight, his prominent cheekbones shaded his lean cheeks. His collar-length black hair gleamed like a raven’s feather, the ends tripping across his jawline. Wavering almost hypnotically.
“You must remain with me,” he grated, his gaze on my lips, his brows drawn tight. He looked like he was struggling not to kiss me.
Kiss? What was happening here? Confusion began to drown out my panic; I had nothing to draw on as a reference for my predicament—because I’d never been in a situation like this.
A sexual situation I didn’t control.
I was embroiled in dangerous circumstances with a mysterious stranger, but I felt no fear. I felt … anticipation. And I suspected the lack of control was fueling it.
Was danger turning me on? The tension between us seemed to shift; as smoothly as a machine switching gears, my confusion morphed into hazy heat. I hadn’t known I had this in me! Who am I??
When my gaze dropped, I spied the shadowy bulge in his pants. He wasn’t indifferent to me! He might’ve disdained me in the bar, but he couldn’t disguise his erection straining to be freed.
At the sight of it, arousal muddled my thoughts like a fog rolling into my mind. I’d heard the expression stupid with lust. I was getting there.
“Sevastyan?” That feeling of connection surged within me. Desire, need, and something more. “What do you want from me?”
No answer. All I could hear was our breaths.
In this position, he could unzip his fly and be inside me in a heartbeat’s time, covering me on the ground. Like animals in the dirt.
Him. Inside me. Here.
The mere thought made my body vibrate with a need so strong, I suspected I might allow him to do anything he wanted to me. My staggering level of arousal began to unnerve me more than this entire situation. I had no control with him, needed to get away!
I shook my head hard. “You let me go now.” I squirmed in his grip, digging my bare heels into the ground to propel myself back. Managed maybe a foot. I was furious—at him, at my out-of-control body. Another heel-digging lunge back.
With his free hand, he gripped my waist and yanked me back against him, forcing my thighs wider. His gaze descended, his eyes going wide before narrowing intently.
I felt cold air between my legs, just as I saw that my robe had come open at the belted waist. Everything below was exposed. My pale skin glowed in the moonlight, the trimmed thatch of red curls stark in comparison.
I was too stunned to react, pinned by his gaze. His lids grew heavy, his nostrils flaring. His broad chest seemed to struggle for breath. I was naked from the waist down but had no way to cover myself. I twisted my arms to free my wrists—until I saw that look of his.
Dark, hungry, molten. Dangerous. As before, I felt like his captured prey, his to enjoy.
My fury dwindled. When my body decided to soften beneath his, he gave a curt nod, as if I’d pleased him, and his free hand landed on my bare hip. Skin to skin. He groaned at the contact; I shivered from the electric heat of his rough palm. Hadn’t I imagined those hands kneading me everywhere?
Shaking, I watched as he straightened his ringed thumb from my hip until it reached my mons. He brushed the tip of his finger along the edge of my curls. It was so slow and unexpected, so tender, I couldn’t bite back a moan.
He touched me as if with … reverence.
I no longer saw signs of that iron control; instead he looked lost.
Like I probably looked in that moment.
I murmured, “Sevastyan?” as my hips rolled. “What are you doing to me?” He’d somehow spellbound me, making me feel empty and desperate.
Still riveted to my sex, he grated words in Russian, something about how he couldn’t be expected to deny himself in the face of this.
How no one should expect him to.