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What an intriguing guest post title:
THE THREESOME THAT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE…
I didn’t plan to give Rae, the heroine of my novel Blue Maneuver, two love interests. Like most urban scifi/fantasy books, the romance isn’t a big part of the story. But having two romance subplots certainly livened things up and Rae is definitely interested, despite both men threatening to kill her at various points. So who are these two men and how did they become love interests?
First there was Colonel Tobias Werner. He’s a bit uptight, a real rules and regs kind of guy except when it doesn’t suit him. And he has lots of scars both the ones on his body and the ones that make it so he blows hot then cold. He has an honorable streak and he does look out for Rae, even disobeying orders so he doesn’t have to kill her. But he’s shackled to the past and he wears copper memorial bracelets to remind him of the consequences. I love the complexity of his character. And since Rae is around him a lot, she experienced his protective alpha male streak as well as the bluntness of a war weary veteran and his distrust of those new to the fight.
Here’s Rae and Tobias:
Someone had been inside here while I showered.
Get a grip. You’re in a facility with multiple doodads and high tech thingamabobs. How could anyone get in and why would they only do so to steal your underwear? Okay. Enough. It was a Homer Simpson moment. Layla must have done it, no doubt checking on her patient in the process.
Or avoiding the inventory she had to take.
I needed to find a way to help, to contribute. It’s what team members did. I raked my fingers through my damp hair and opened the door.
Tobias stood by the small dresser, delving into the open duffle bag on top of it. A nearly naked Tobias. And the BVDs clinging to his firm bottom left little to the imagination.
My heart tripped over a few beats. Oh man, oh mama. The guy’s muscles were so well defined he could pose for an anatomy class. And I would sign up to take it. Biceps, triceps and ceps I didn’t know people had formed well defined peaks over his arms, across his back and down his legs.
So did scars.
Faint white trails criss-crossed his back and thighs. Large red welts circled his arms, no doubt where they’d been reattached or re-grown. Other tissue swelled in irregular blobs like the knife wounds I’d seen on veterans. I curled my hands into fists to keep from reaching for him, soothing away the testament of pain and suffering.
“I hope you didn’t take all the hot water.” Tobias turned around.
It was purely primal instinct. Every red-blooded female would have looked. My mouth dried as my gaze traveled down his ten-pack abs to the package below. Holy Toledo! The man’s BVDs must have extra fabric in front to contain that. Liquid heat shimmered through me and my breasts tightened.
A smile lifted Tobias’s lips as his gaze swept over me.
Aw snap. I crossed my arms over my chest. Stupid mood rings of the libido. Raising my chin, I stared back at him. “I don’t have any underwear.”
“You don’t need any either.” His attention remained on my chest.
I raised my hand over my forehead. Someone needed to turn on the air conditioner.
Red stained his cheeks and he raised his attention to my face. Reaching behind him, he plucked a ball of socks off the dresser. He lobbed them from hand to hand a couple of times before tossing them at me. “Except maybe for socks. You seem a little cold.”
I caught the socks mid-air and dug my fingers into the soft terry cloth. “Douche.”
He shrugged, gathered the stack of clothes off the dresser and strode toward me.
I resisted the urge to let my gaze wander. Unfortunately, it also meant I remained rooted in place. “You should know I used up every drop of hot water.”
Tobias squeezed into the doorway facing me. Lust blazed in his eyes as his gaze once more focused on my chest. Leaning forward slightly, he inhaled deeply and moaned softly.
How did he do that? Heat radiated off his skin, warming me with purely feminine pleasure. My legs trembled and the doorjamb propped up my spine. Any moment now, I’d melt around him.
His fingers caressed my shoulder before trailing down my arm to cup my elbow. “I think a cold shower will do me a galaxy of good, right now.”
Tobias’s opposite is Victor Konstantin. Victor is suave and charming. He comes from a middle class family and used to serve the same side as Tobias, but thanks to political machinations, he was courtmartialed and did time. Now, he’s out for vengeance. And to get it, he’s sided with the bad guys. While he doesn’t quite buy the bad guy’s party line, and flaunts their authority when he can, he’s using them to bring the men responsible for destroying his career to justice.
Here’s Rae and Victor:
“You have a beautiful soul.” He released one eye to focus on the other.
“Soul?” Had I blacked out and missed part of the conversation? Another alarm thrilled low inside me. Was it possible to hit my head so hard, my brain had to rewire itself.
“The eyes tell me.” Amusement lightened the serious tone of his words. “They’re the windows to the soul, you know.”
Ahh. That sounded familiar. “I’ve heard that before.”
“I’ll bet lots of males will say anything to peer into those beautiful brown eyes of yours.” He clicked the light off and released my eyelid but his fingers skimmed my cheek to trace my jaw before falling away.
Pleasure warmed me like summer sunshine. I closed my eyes, giving my vision time to adjust to the new light level. “You think I have beautiful eyes?”
“More than beautiful.” Sowing goosebumps in their wake, his hands skimmed down my arms to toy with my ring finger. “But obviously no one has convinced you, yet.”
Wow! I shivered and the brain bands cranked up the volume. I could deal with that. My special order hero was actually flirting with me. Should I flirt back? Did I even remember how?
He shifted, moving between me and the eyeball skewering light of the dawn.
Good heavens. Where had this guy been all my life?
“Can you stand?” His hand eased back up my forearm to cup my elbow.
Stand. Walk. I raised my chin. If he kept flirting with me, I could samba. The world shimmied and shook to the bass pulsing inside my head. Okay, maybe the dancing was a bit optimistic. Still, I’d have to move if I wanted to get home. “I think so.”
“Good. I’m going to shift to your side, wrap my arm around your waist then we’ll see if we can get you on your feet.”
The royal we. I hated when health care workers used it, like they shared a patient’s suffering. Still… There was no way I could stand on my own. And he said it in that yummy voice. “Okay.”
True to his word, he shifted to my right. Fire trailed in his fingers’ wake as they skimmed my waist.
I sucked in my gut. Maybe he wouldn’t notice the pooch I’d acquired since hitting the big three-oh, two months ago.
He paused before cupping my hip. “Sorry if I hurt you.”
“Nuh-uh.” Obviously the bump on my head had affected my ability to multitask. Of course, I’d always been tongue-tied around men. As my hand crept around his narrow waist, I felt the play of muscles under my palm. Lordy, the man was ripped.
“Let me know when you’re ready to stand.”
“Okay.” When he didn’t begin to rise with me, I turned to look at him. Despite the rockets of agony, my heart stilled in my chest. I knew that chiseled jaw, straight nose and jet hair with a single lock hanging over his cafe-au-lait brow.
My personal hero was none other than my condominium complex’s own Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Latino.
And he was touching me, holding me. Oh, man. Oh, mama. Air rushed out of my lungs in a gurgle.
He peered down at me. Sunlight glinted off the cobalt blue depths of his eyes and danced over the soft lines radiating from the corners. “Perhaps you should sit a bit longer.”
He caught me against him, thigh to thigh and chest to breasts. Tingles zinged through me and a soft humming joined the banging inside my head. Oh, baby.
With his free hand he tucked a lock of my hair behind my ear. “Maybe I should carry you.”
Carry me. Marry me. Rational Rae might stick obsessively to her plans, but Lusting Rae could be flexible. My palm molded the contours of his firm pecs. “Umm.”
Conversation was not my strong suit.
Both men are very similar, explaining not just their hatred of each other but Rae’s attraction. They both get wrapped up in their ultimate goals that she gets caught in some dire circumstances. And because they both live by their code of honor, they do their best to rescue her.
So who do you find more attractive?
The extraterrestrials have landed and they’re human.
Rae Hemplewhite didn’t believe in aliens until a close encounter with out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her.
And that’s the good news.
The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn’t keep her witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield.
Blue Maneuver available now:
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