An Excerpt from Taken by Lust coming soon from Amira Press!

Chapter One

Selene wasn’t particularly a fan of girl’s night out. Granted she loved to party, she loved to get on the dance floor and shake her troubles away, take a few shots of liquor, and call it a night. What she didn’t like was the persistent need for her so called friends to set her up with some man to take home for the night. She was no virgin, so it wasn’t a prudish nature that made her patently against the idea. It was the simple fact that she wasn’t going to treat her body like it was some kind of meat market. Every time they did this to her she imagined herself naked on a butcher’s counter with a sign around her neck that said “fresh meat”. She hadn’t felt that way since her freshman year in college when she, admittedly, been a little looser with her morals. Now, three years after graduating from law school, and at the ripe age of thirty-two she wasn’t in the mood for Mr. Right Now. She wanted Mr. Forever and her friends could take a long walk off a short pier if they thought she was going to change her mind on that.

Club Posh, an exclusive club that she and her friends had just recently gotten membership into, was full of exquisitely dressed people of the upper echelon. Posh was a place to rub elbows with doctors, lawyers, judges, celebrities, and old money. Selene and her friends represented the first three of those categories: Maddy the neurosurgeon, Sasha the judge who was pushing for an appellate seat early, and Selene the corporate lawyer. They were a mix for sure. This was a place they could let their hair down, so to speak, and Selene was happy for the opportunity. She’d both figuratively and truly let her hair down. The long roan strands, a color that was natural somehow to her, blame it on family genes, hung to her bra clasp. Her broad hips, high, full breasts, and slim waist were molded in a gold Chanel mini-dress. She’d completed the outfit with white heels. She always liked to be a little off. Her hazel gaze scanned the crowd, her plump lips pursing as she looked for her friends in the crowd from her seat at the bar.

She sighed, taking another shot. It was nice to feel kind of muddled. It made it easier for her to look at her friends Maddy and Sasha without thinking too hard about who she wanted to slap first when they walked up with three men. Maddy, the shortest of their trio of friends, swept back her mass of chocolate dread locks over one shoulder, watching Selene with laughing brown eyes. Selene had always found Maddy beautiful in a girl-next-door sort of way. She was just over five foot tall and was slender, just maybe one hundred and twenty pound soak and wet, her red mini dress hugging her shape nicely. She was one the arm of a tall olive skinned man whose hair was cut into a stylish mop of curls around his ears. He wore a nice pair of charcoal chinos with a lavender shirt. Any man who could wear that color with pride made her smile. She may just like him enough not to scream.

Sasha was taller than even Selene’s five-foot-ten height by at two inches. Her hair black was cut pixie short, showing off her heart shaped face, dark eyes, and full lips to perfection. Sasha was the fashionista of them all. She wore high-waist white shorts with a striped gold and black shirt tucked in. curvy in a way that made Selene envious, the outfit showed off her long legs and rounded hips nicely. One her arm was a man just about her height in a black on black suit. His smile was charming; his nicely tanned skin framed green eyes and blond hair falling to his shoulders. Selene had to admit that their choices were nice indeed. Too bad she just wasn’t in the mood.

The third man had an air about him. Selene just couldn’t put her finger on it, but she could sense it. He watched her with an unblinking stare, so still she wasn’t sure that he was breathing. She didn’t know how her mind felt about being watched like that but her stomach went flip flop. She was happy she was sitting down. He was taller than her. Taller than anyone in the group. She figured him to be at least six foot four. He was broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hips, and his black suit flowed over him like water. He wore a black shirt but broke it up with a pure white vest and tie. She’d always loved a man who wore vests. It looked classier to her for some reason. His jaw was strong, covered with a light five o’clock shadow. His lips were narrow, but sensual. She didn’t know why she thought that, but there it was. His midnight hair was thick and fell just above his shoulders before curling slightly.

What were most startling about him, over anything else, were his eyes. They weren’t real, they couldn’t be. But Lord were they mouthwatering. They were the color of vapor, not quiet light enough to be silver, but not dark enough to be grey. She felt trapped in those eyes, like she was falling in quicksand and couldn’t break free. He stepped closer to her and she couldn’t move. She waited, nearly on bated breath. She wanted him to touch her, wanted to feel those eyes on her. She was eager, to the point of wanting to squirm, but she didn’t. She just sat there, waiting for him. Waiting for the touch of his hands.

“Selene, this is Connor,” Maddy said, breaking the stare and Selene shook herself, feeling anger mount as swiftly as desire had seconds before. Selene didn’t even spare the man on Maddy’s arm a glance.

“This is William,” Sasha said then, but again, Selene didn’t react. She had found her anger again, just that fast. She was more comfortable with anger than she was with being embarrassed about the fact that she’d been staring at some stranger like he was all that existed in her world.

“I am—”

“I am out of here,” Selene said then, not wanting to admit that the deep timbre of mystery man’s voice could be panty dropping material if she let it. She didn’t want to know his name; she didn’t want to know him. She just wanted out of here.

“Selene!” Maddy gasped, but Selene pushed out of her seat and started to walk away from them. She had nowhere to go but forward, right next to snake eyes, but she wasn’t going to be deterred. She was going to get to the floor, dance a little, and then go home. She’d strangle her friends later.

“Pietr,” snake eyes finished, as if she hadn’t interrupted his earlier words and grasped her wrist as she passed by. She turned to jerk away and he was there, pulling her in close.

She could smell him. He smelled of the wild, of forest and brooks. She inhaled deeply, pulling his scent deep in to her belly, feeling off balance, lost. What the hell is wrong with me? She thought to herself. She couldn’t look away. His body was hard, solid, and she didn’t even realize that she’d gripped his lapels to balance herself. Her breasts were crushed against his chest, her hips just under his groin. She could feel the imprint of his cock in her stomach. In her head she knew that something was wrong, something was very wrong but she couldn’t stop herself. Where his hand gripped her wrist felt like it was being electrocuted. She could feel every zing with each pound of her heart. She could barely catch her breath. She had to get away, had to get to freedom. This wasn’t right. She’d never reacted to a man like this. Still holding her to his chest he wrapped his other arm around her, anchoring to the front of him. His large hand spread across her back, so hot it was like a furnace. He leaned down as if in slow motion.

“Mine,” he whispered in her ear and the slide of his exhalation over her shoulder sent chills over her skin.

“Well it’s a good thing we brought him along,” she heard Maddy saying from what seemed like a mile away.

“Finally hit one on the head,” Sasha tossed back.

“You have no idea,” Pietr said then, but he was looking at her. “Shall I order a drink for you mikro?”

“No,” she was finally able to whisper. She swallowed, and tried to speak again, her body was throbbing.

“I want to dance,” she whispered, trying to think of anything to get away, to get free. “Let me dance for you.”

“You haven’t seen anything until you see her dance.” She didn’t even know which one of her friends had said that, she was just happy they had. Pietr smiled down at her and slowly let her go.

“I will be right here. Dance for me.” As she turned away his hand glanced over the globes of her ass and she trembled.

He let her go and she could breath. Her mind was working again, and with its function came fear. What the hell was happening to her? She’d never had a connection with a man like that in her life. She wasn’t one for bouts of fancy. She either got to know them over time, and then felt something for them or she didn’t. Selene was not prone to moments of passion where she nearly lost her mind with wanting a man. Her friends came to her side, laughing and giggling. She bet they’d shared a high-five before they came after her, but she couldn’t seem to care. She just needed to get away.

“We did good this time, Sas. She couldn’t’ even think when that man came over.” Maddy said.

“Maybe she will get laid tonight. Lord knows she needs it. She works to hard,” Sasha said back.

Her friends appeared at her side just as a deep reggae song pumped over the speakers. They dipped and rolled at her sides and Selene fought to calm down. She needed to think. If she didn’t play this right, she wouldn’t get away. She sighed roughly, trying to push the tension out of her body and moved her hips to the beat. She dipped and rolled, raising her hands to the sky, for all intents and purposes looking as if she was dancing for Pietr at the bar. She didn’t dare look at him. She didn’t want to be lost again. Instead she looked around the club, for the exit, and thought about her escape. She kept dancing, turning around to get a better view of the exit. She moved, twirling around her friends, rubbing her hips at the right time, tossing her odd colored hair over one shoulder, and licking her lips. She did everything she could until she saw her opening. She back up as a waiter passed by her on the floor carrying champagne for the dancers. She kept backing up, dancing through guests, her friends following her in the weaving pattern. They’d done this enough that it wasn’t odd. When she broke away from them they were laughing too hard to care and she slipped out the back door.

The cool air kissed her skin and she took a deep breath, feeling her head clear. Maybe it had been the alcohol, or the fact that she hadn’t been sexually active in nearly a year. Maybe Pietr had just been like no man she’d ever met before. Either way, though, she couldn’t give in. She was a sensible woman, with an important career. She didn’t have time for one night stands or temporary flings. She knew she was being a bit childish to want love, real love, but she didn’t care. But if she didn’t have love, she didn’t want anything else. She shook her head, happy the cool air was clearing her head so quick. She pulled her small card purse from the bust of her dress and waived her hand to hail a cab.

If she felt a pang of disappointment to be riding away from Pietr instead of falling into his arms again she didn’t admit it out loud.

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