Ferdinand Lafitte can’t tell Bess the truth about his feelings for her, not while a powerful spell binds him. But he can guide her through the lush bayou in search of Mala LaCroix, whose fate means as much to him as it does to Bess. Yet as their search reveals the darkest kinds of sorcery, they find themselves drawn together more passionately than ever before . . .
With a gasp, I turn. He lounges against the doorframe, and I’m caught in his trap again, mesmerized by sheer perfection. He reminds me of a priceless Egyptian statue, painstakingly carved from ebony by a master craftsman. A real piece of work, this man. More beautiful than anything I saw in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more cunning than a grifter running a long con.
I blink to dispel the haze clouding my eyes. “I don’t like the idea, but it seems I don’t have a choice.”
Ferdinand shakes his head. “You have free will. It’s a gift, which shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
I refrain from snorting. It’s not at all lady-like. “Well, if I did, then I’d still have you in handcuffs.”
Ferdinand’s dark eyebrows rise. “Is that so?” His gaze travels leisurely down my body, leaving a trail of heat that pools between my thighs. “Your wish is my command, Chérie doux.” His accent thickens. “Any time. All I require is for you to say the magic word. Merci.”
My breath catches. It feels like I’ve got a stray piece of apple pie lodged in my throat, and no matter how much I swallow, I can’t clear the block. “I need some water,” I choke out, eyeing the door. Why won’t he move?
“I’ll go with you.” He turns sideways, waving his arm for me to precede him. As if I want him hovering behind where I can’t see his hands. Oh God. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Five quick steps take me to the door. My skin puckers as I brush past him. Every inch of me feels jittery, on edge, like I’m about to leap out of my skin. His long fingers skim the small of my back beneath the edge of my bulletproof vest, and a spark arcs between us. The resulting burst of liquid heat causes my overly sensitive nerves to tingle. My bound breasts ache from being confined.
The bathroom is only a few paces away, but I can’t reach it fast enough. Ferdinand almost walks on my heels. He’s so close that the space between our bodies hums with electricity. Does he plan on waiting for me to come out? That won’t do.
I throw open the door to the single stall bathroom and flip on the light. Ferdinand rocks forward on his toes, head close to brushing the top of the doorframe. My hand whips out, and I grab the waistband of his jeans and yank him into the room. The door slams shut behind us.
Confusion and hunger war within his dark eyes. The heady combination threatens to bring me to my knees. His long eyelashes fan down, then up. “Lieutenant Caine?”
“Shut up. Not another word.” I thumb the door lock. Neither of us can escape now. “I can’t…not one more second.”
His hand lifts, but I wrap my fingers around his wrist and shove it down. “Don’t touch me.” I can’t take it anymore. So why be miserable and keep fighting?
Rising onto my tiptoes, I grab his collar and drag him toward me. His lips part. Perfect. My mouth slams against his—hard and rough. I steal his kiss. The one owed to me. He’s been taunting me with the possibility for hours—holding this moment over my head while playing on my emotions. No more. It’s my reward for being so damn patient.
Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father’s family in Louisiana inspired this story.
Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.