Excerpts from Avenging Kiss
Logan pushed his cart around an endcap and started down another aisle. He stopped suddenly when he saw her, the woman from the bar. She looked just as good standing in the aisle in yoga pants as she had last night in her dress. She held jars of spaghetti sauce and was clearly debating between the brands.
Was it kismet that she stood in his grocery store the day after spotting her at the bar? He inhaled and worked out his plan as he approached.
“That one has a stronger garlic flavor.” Logan pointed to one of the jars in her hands. “The other one’s sweeter.”
Aditya turned her head to look over her shoulder at the man talking to her about pasta sauce. She liked what she saw. “Really?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. She didn’t hide that she was checking him out. She made it obvious as her eyes raked over his body. He was cute, and he probably knew it. He had that ‘guy next door’ look about him, but his body was clearly more fit than the average Joe. “How lucky for me that I ran into a spaghetti sauce connoisseur.”
Her smile and the flirty lilt in her voice nearly undid him. She was flirting back. He could work with that. “Logan Murphy.” He held out his hand, and when her feminine fingers smoothed across his, his manhood took notice.
“Aditya Chopra,” she replied. She held up the jar in her left hand and waved it. “Garlic can be so off-putting.” She set the jar back on the shelf and eyed him again. “I prefer sweet and smooth.” She knew her lips eased into a natural smile. Spending time with this man could end up being very pleasurable.
Sweet and smooth, that was exactly how he saw her. She didn’t hide her sweet curves, and Logan had a feeling she’d be smooth under his touch. “I think I saw you last night.” Had she noticed him?
“At The Grill House?” she asked. Her eyebrows rose in recognition. “I thought you looked familiar.” She rested one arm on the shopping cart and took a more relaxed stance.
“A few men offered to buy you a drink, but you refused,” he stated. He was determined to find out if she was dating someone before he got too invested in this flirtation.
Her eyes sparkled as she understood his statement for what it was. A fishing expedition. “I was supposed to meet a friend, but he never showed,” she said with a shrug. A smart woman lets a man think she has other potential suitors. It activated some sort of primal need in men to hunt and claim what they wanted.
Logan wanted to sink his hands into the dark spiraling curls that hung below her shoulders and press his lips against hers. Her beauty mysteriously called to him, like some siren captivating unsuspecting men. He’d watched her all night at The Grill House. He wasn’t going to waste this opportunity. “If you’re hungry, I make lasagna that will melt in your mouth.” He knew he’d melt in her mouth.
Her lips curved into a smile as her dark brown eyes shimmered with playfulness. “Lasagna, huh?” She inhaled deeply and caught his subtle glance at her chest. She knew she was smaller than a lot of women, but a man had never not enjoyed being with her. She understood that how one used their assets was more important than size. Some men used their manhood like battering rams, endlessly pounding furiously against a woman’s most tender spot. Sex with those men was the worst. That tender area could only take so much friction before discomfort settled in. How that wasn’t obvious was a mystery to her. She preferred the smooth glide of a firm cock caressing her, teasing and tempting her towards release.
“So,” she began, “I could bring a salad,” she paused and one side of her lips rose in a tempting smile, “or dessert?”
Logan liked the way she said dessert. Like it was something filled with possibilities that she planned to savor and enjoy. “Either would be fine.”
“Hmm,” she eyed him as she nibbled on her lip. “I don’t make a habit of going to strange men’s homes.”
“Then you’re in luck. I’m not strange.” He casually shrugged his shoulders. “You can text my address to a BFF if that makes you more comfortable.” Was that the phrase women used? “That way she’ll know where you are. I promise… I’m safe.” He pressed his hand to his chest.
“Said the spider to the fly.” She set the jar of sauce in her cart. “Curious though,” she already knew that she’d go, but she still wanted to flirt a little to see his reaction. “What makes you so sure that you’ll be safe with me?” She cocked her head to the side and maintained eye contact.
He knew far too well how a tiny woman could destroy a man. There was no sufficient armor to protect the heart. “I have a feeling you’re worth the risk.”
Aditya had waited outside the American base, hoping to catch sight of him. His look was very distinct. At six foot four with hair the color of a raging fire, he’d been easy to spot. He’d pulled out of the base with another man in a jeep. The hot wind pulled at his scraggly red hair as he’d laughed at something the other man said.
She’d known where they were going. There was a hotel nearby that catered to Europeans and Americans. It boasted a full bar with live music, decent food, and willing women.
After donning her black garments and niqab, she’d made her way into the hotel. Other than the cameras that covered the entrances and exits, security at the hotel was poor. One only had to get inside to enjoy privacy.
Aditya had entered the hotel a few feet behind the men. As they’d headed towards the bar, she’d walked directly to the bathroom off the lobby. Entering the stall, she’d quickly removed her outer clothes and shoved them into her bag. Then she’d stopped in front of the bathroom mirror to check her appearance. After adjusting her skirt, she’d decided to open another button on her shirt. While he’d get a peek at her cleavage, she’d still look like a respectable woman. Playing a whore gathered too much attention. She’d added a touch of lipstick and powdered her face. And finally, she’d adjusted the Kanzashi Geisha sticks in her hair to make sure it would be easily accessible. Hidden inside the stick was a sharp two-sided blade. It was thin and slid easily from the decorative case. And after one more look in the mirror, she was ready.
She’d walked into the bar with the confidence of a Western woman and noticed Lieutenant Shaw sitting alone at the bar. His friend was dancing with a woman, his hand palming her ass and pulling her close to his body. Aditya didn’t waste time. She needed to get to Shaw before he found someone to screw.
She’d slipped onto the bar stool next to him and offered him a shy smile. He’d grinned as he raked his gaze over her. His high-wattage smile had nearly knocked her over. The heat in his gaze as he’d mentally undressed her pleased her. She returned his smile and stared at his muscular arms as she bit into her bottom lip. With that one interaction, she knew that he wanted her. He’d come to the hotel in search of sex, and she didn’t plan to disappoint.
He’d been such an easy target. Arrogant men never realized the threat a woman could pose to them, and she’d tirelessly worked that advantage. They’d quickly exchanged names and engaged in meaningless chatter. But once she’d stroked his knee, he’d taken the bait and asked her to join him in a room.
She’d played coy at first, acting as if she’d needed to think about it. But then he’d leaned in close and whispered in her ear promises of pleasure. And then, as he’d pulled away, he playfully tugged on her earlobe with his teeth. She’d responded by stroking higher on his thigh. That worked for him, and he stood to go back to a room. His pants had tented nicely; apparently it didn’t take much to turn him on.
She’d followed him to a room. He’d unlocked the door and waited for her to enter first. As she’d stood in the entrance, he’d closed the door and turned the bolt. After a dangerous smile, he’d lifted her and pressed her against the wall with his muscular body. She’d instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. In response, he’d rubbed his cock against her center. The pressure of his body against her had lit her up. He knew how to kiss, and Aditya realized that fucking him would be fun. So many of the other men she’d entertained cared little about her pleasure. She hadn’t expected much from those lowlifes anyway. But little had they known that there was nothing more erotic than the warmth of your prey’s blood washing over your skin as you take their life.
The moment Jack had been waiting for finally arrived when the restaurant door opened and in walked Bella. Jack took her in. Her petite form was sheathed in a red dress that hugged her in all the right places. The plunging neckline accentuated her firm breasts and the skirt cradled her ass. He’d never seen her wear anything like that to work.
Bella’s smile radiated joy, and her eyes sparkled with happiness. Her long black hair with the pink tips fell beautifully over her shoulders. She was Jack’s weakness. He wasn’t sure which part of her called to him more. Her sweet personality that brightened every day at Savage Security, or her fantasy worthy, smoking hot body. Those two traits combined made her the most desirable woman he’d ever known. From the moment they’d met, he’d recognized the sincerity and kindness in her eyes. In his line of work, he didn’t see much of that. He dealt with the dregs of society, and when he’d met Bella, he realized that she was the antidote to the cynicism that orbited him. And now as he took her in, he knew that he either needed to get over her or claim her as his own.
Bella looked over her shoulder and reached back with one hand. Behind her, a man reached out and locked hands with her. She smiled at him as he stepped beside her. Jack’s brows pulled together as the man’s body brushed against hers. Jack’s blood turned molten. He stared at them as they made their way towards the Christmas tree to drop off the toy she carried.
Cole couldn’t have been happier as he watched Jack’s reaction to Bella’s friend. If he’d realized Bella would show up with a man, he would have taken out his phone to record the look on Jack’s face.
The air around Jack thinned. He struggled to catch his breath. It felt like he’d been sucker punched by a gorilla.
Bella looked happy. With a man.
Jack shook his head in shock and finally remembered to breathe. “Who the hell is that?” Jack sneered. Irritation laced his words. His night had gone from promising to miserable in the period of a heartbeat. With each step the man took, Jack studied the intruder. The man’s short cropped blond hair stood in a messy, spikey jumble on top with the sides cut short. A short-trimmed beard and mustache completed his look. His clothes fit him well, the style current and fashionable. He looked like he’d stepped out of a magazine photoshoot after being prepped and perfected by professionals.
This male version of a fashionista’s relationship with Bella was not going to continue. Jack would definitely put an end to this man’s dreams of bedding his woman.
Mike watched the happy couple stroll to the Christmas tree. This was a new development. He hadn’t heard Bella talk about a man. Did Alisha know about this? He’d be sure to ask her.
Jack tore his eyes from Bella and looked at Cole. “Did you know about this?” He subtly pointed towards Bella and the mystery man on the other side of the room. “Did you know that she was bringing a friend tonight?”
Cole chuckled low. His shoulders rose and fell as his chuckle strengthened into a laugh. “No, but I think the night just got a hell of a lot better.” At least Cole suddenly felt much better. It was clear from Jack’s reaction that he didn’t need to worry about Julia. Jack’s OCD was about to be unleashed on the stranger who’d dared to put the moves on Bella. He knew it was going to kill Jack to watch her with a man tonight, especially one that may go home with her. He almost started to feel sorry for him.
Bella squeezed Eric’s hand. She was thankful that her dry spell was over. It had been a while since she’d been with a man. Sure, she was surrounded by macho, manly-men all day, and her friends were jealous that she worked in the midst of all that sexy testosterone, but they didn’t know the downside.
She was surrounded by all that testosterone.
The men she worked with were intense. Not the ‘their favorite team is playing their rival so they turn into madmen for a few hours’. No, everything about her coworkers was hardcore. They took everything seriously, and even their presence could be intimidating. Sometimes she felt as if she worked in a pressure cooker. She figured the men were probably sitting in the restaurant right now assessing threats, probably had been since they’d entered and probably would until they left. They never let their guard down.
Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.