Last week, I turned in the final proof of TAKEOVER. In a little over two months…it’ll be released! *bites nails* To keep myself busy, I’ve been working on the next book, JUST BUSINESS. It’s somewhat of a sequel to TAKEOVER, in that the MCs of that book appear in this one, but the focus is on an entirely different couple: Eli and Justin.
Here’s a glimpse of the two from early in the book. (Note that this *is* a draft. No guarantee that this will even end up in the final book. And if it does, it’ll be, you know, edited.)
A week and a half after Eli had handed Justin his offer letter, he let Justin back into the office. Justin held a backpack and a bike helmet. The eyeliner was back, highlighting those intense blue eyes. Black jeans, dark blue t-shirt with mottled black accents. A toned-down version of his coffee shop outfits, though Justin had added a black cord tight around his neck as an accent.
Interesting. Leather, from the looks of it. How hard would it be to tuck a finger under that and yank? Eli let his gaze linger, aware that Justin shifted from foot to foot, but that swallow, and the tick of his pulse…how lovely.
No, this man was not anything close to the man Noah would have become. What had he been thinking?
“Um.” Justin licked his lips. “You’re not going to come out here every day to let me in, are you?”
Eli met Justin’s gaze and smiled. “Only today.” He handed over a keycard to the office. “Please don’t lose that. They’re a pain to replace.”
Justin looked at the card for a moment, then slid it into his back pocket. “Wouldn’t want to cause you any extra work.” A lilt to that, and a sly grin.
Oh, Justin was going to be quite the handful. “Given that job is now yours, you’d only be causing yourself pain.”
“Self-flagellation isn’t my thing.”
Eli turned toward the inner door. “Oh?”
“It’s no fun whipping yourself.”
Eli stumbled at that and the thought that chased it—Justin’s naked back stretched out and open, the weight of a flogger in Eli’s hand, the smell of the leather and flesh—and he caught himself against the door.
“Shit, are you okay?” Justin gripped his arm at the elbow, helping him upright.
Eli had never been so grateful for his leg injury. “Yes.” He caught his breath, not that it would stop the sudden pressure in his balls or the tightness of his pants. “Sometimes it gives out when I least expect it.” True, though in this case? Not at all.
Justin let him go. But that momentary touch…Lord. He never reacted this way to anyone. Not since…
And there he was again. Noah.
In the faint reflection of the glass door, Eli saw questions chase across Justin’s features, but he was good enough not to ask a single one. Eli pulled the door open and answered anyway. “I was in a car accident when I was fifteen. My leg was crushed.”
Yes, Justin certainly had a very pretty blush. “I wasn’t—I didn’t—” He stood rooted to the floor.
Well, that wouldn’t do. Nor would grabbing that tiny cord and leading him down the hall. Instead, Eli gripped Justin’s shoulder, savoring the tiny tremor that ran through Justin, and squeezed. “It’s the question everyone asks. I’m not offended.” Turned on? Yes. But that had nothing to do with his leg and everything to do with those very blue eyes and the tongue that swept across those lips. He gave Justin a little pull. “Come on.”
This time, Justin moved and Eli followed. “We’ll start at your new desk.”