It’s been a minute, but I’ve been busy! For starters, Mind Over Matter is nearly done with its journey through beta reader land, and the cover reveal is coming June 3rd! It’s on time to be here in July and I’m very excited! I’ll miss the Loose Ends series, but I’m also happy it will finally be out there for you guys, edited, with gorgeous cover art.

Of course that means I have to get to work on new stories, and that’s just what I’ve been doing. Forgotten is coming along nicely and so I figured it was time to share a piece.

Here’s is an unedited taste of Forgotten (pardon the typos, I’ll fix ’em if I see ’em). It’s also a taste of a new character named Cai. He’s a gorgeous Asian club owner that Evie works for when she starts getting back on her feet. Gird your loins, he likes to take advantage. Hope you enjoy! Feedback is always welcome. Plagiarism is not. 🙂

***

Evie gathered up all of her strength, forced her hands to stop shaking and pushed open the large frosted glass doors that led into the office. Before she could think, before the sounds of the club dissipated behind the sound proof walls of her boss’s office, she began speaking.

“I need answers and I know you have them—“

Evie paused. Cai was in a meeting of sorts. The Russian twins stared over his shoulders while be pointed something out on a tablet behind his desk. Or at least he had been before she barged in. Everyone was staring at her now instead. He quirked an eyebrow at her.

“Is there something I can do for you Ms. Pierce?”

Instead of dwelling on how much she hated it when he called her “Ms. Pierce”, she swallowed deep, squared back her shoulders. “I need to speak to you in private, Cai.”

“As you can see, I’m in the middle of—”

“Now. “

The twins turned away at the same time as if she’d really stepped in it and their green eyes couldn’t stand to see what would happen next. On the totem pole of employees working for her Cai, she was at the bottom. But here she was, imposing herself on him and his business schedule as if she were co-owner of Club Asylum.

“It’s important. It can’t wait.” She pushed before she could mentally retreat from his penetrating gaze, his gorgeous face.

If she let her voice waver even an inch, she had no doubt he’d embarrass her and send her packing, and she didn’t think she had the courage to ask for this a second time. Instead he stood, buttoned his suit jacket and said, “Ivan, Irina?” He spoke briefly in Russian, so fluidly that she shivered recalling that acrobatic tongue inside her mouth, the thrill of those few seconds lingering in her mind as if he’d done more sinister things. The twins nodded, made their exit. Their blond curly heads shook in unison when they passed her. Then there were two.

Cai came around the desk then leaned against it, legs crossed at the heels, arms crossing his chest. He should have been irritated or brusque and indifferent. He was faintly smiling instead.

“You needed something from me?”

Why was her throat suddenly so damn dry?

“I can’t remember what happened to me, but you can, can’t you? You can see it?” She figured it was best to cut to the chase. No room for pretense or sidling up to the weirdness, the supernatural slant of their relationship.

Don’t you mean attraction?

Cai’s dark eyes narrowed. “I can’t see anything but a blank space, not yet. You’ve put up a wall that makes it impossible for anyone to see. It’s like you built it especially for yourself. And your mind is a crazy little maze, Ms. Pierce.”

She was relieved he didn’t try to hide it, what she was , what he was, and what he knew. She was much less relieved to find out he didn’t know what she hoped he did. At least not right away. She was hoping to get this all out in the open tonight.

“So you admit it? You can read my mind? If I…if I gave you more access maybe you could see something I can’t?”

“I can read just about everyone’s mind, yes. They just don’t usually realize it. How did you?”

Evie ran her fingers over her forehead, recalling the way it felt to have him so close, cool skin to her warm. The way it felt to have him pushing up against her in the alleyway. The kiss, vibrating through her like a heartbeat. And then something else, something deeper inside, something his fingers and his cock couldn’t touch, though she’d seen his desire for that. It felt too good, to intimate. Almost like Josh’s touch, but so different. Sharper.

“I could feel you in here,” she said. She tapped her temple before dropping her hands. “I could feel you wiggling around without permission, distinct as a fingerprint. People usually brush past, but you were so deliberate I couldn’t miss you there.”

She looked up and found his dark eyes keenly interested in her response, his obsidian gaze warring with her dark brown one. Her own eyes narrowed.

“Have you always been able to do that?” he asked softly.

“Stop distracting me. I didn’t come here to talk about my origin story.”

Cai huffed and rolled his eyes standing upright. “I’m a busy man. So how about you tell me what you want. And then I’ll tell you the price.”

She had to form the words. This was the hard part. The part where she knew she’d have to give something to get something.

“I want…”

She couldn’t believe she was asking him to do this. She couldn’t believe she was going to let him anywhere near her mind.

“I need you to dig deeper, to pull my memories out. I can resist whatever it is you do, but it’s hard for me. I can’t keep it up forever. If you could break down the wall for me, I could remember, I know it. I just need you to…”

//Push me. Break me. Wake me up. I want you to…//

She didn’t want to say it let alone think it. But she couldn’t help herself. Her mind was willful, traitorous and he was too strong. He could see probably hear her panting for him inside.

Cai assessed her. He hadn’t moved an inch but the very air surrounding him vibrated with sexual tension. The stillness reminded her of a panther just before it strikes. Her nipples hardened, goose bumps prickled over her skin. The shiver that wracked her body was downright embarrassing. He moved then. He licked his lips, his smiling pink lips.

“My mental walls, Cai. That’s all.”

“You’d be surprised how often one wall leads to another,” he murmured. He tilted his head. “I can smell you getting wet. Did you know that?”

She took a step back., horrified. He still hadn’t moved an inch.

“I saw something like me flash briefly in your mind before you drowned the image,” he continued. “Right before you ended our kiss. Maybe you have a thing for my kind. Maybe you have a thing for me.”

“I’m being serious. Stop trying to rattle me, it’s just going to make things worse. It’s going to push me into a mental corner—”

In an instant he was in front of her. She only saw the remnants of his movement, his ghost-like speed echoing in the air, fear struggling to catch up with him. Her back thumped against the wall. Only then did she realize he’d moved her too.

He wasn’t touching her now, but he might as well have been inside her when he leaned in, his height towering over her. He was a shadow, his raven hair and black suit no match for the blackness of his dilated brown eyes. She shuddered when that darkness bled out into the whites, consuming her consuming the very illusion of his humanity. His gaze was nearly black in an instant and it terrified her. She knew that wasn’t the extent of his transformation. She knew that hidden behind his lips, sharp teeth waited for her, as unyielding as the hard column of flesh pressed against her thigh when he leaned into her finally.

“You’re already in a corner, Evelyn,” he whispered. He rarely said her name. He never called her Evie. It made her feel like someone else. “You’ve been hiding for too long. It’s time. It’s time for you to come out and play with me…”

She was shivering so fiercely that when he touched her cheek she almost stilled with fear, with need. His knee slipped between her legs, strong thigh muscles flexing and rising, lifting her onto her toes. She couldn’t help but pump against him, the thrumming need hidden beneath her skirt threatening to soak into his expensively tailored slacks.

“Don’t you want to play with me, Evelyn?”

She gasped as he flexed his thigh again, grinding against her clit with practiced, delicious friction.

//Yes.//

She hadn’t said it aloud. She didn’t need to. He knew. Every dirty thing she’d imagined was as exposed as a raw nerve in her mind. He smiled.

“Good girl.”

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