Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Best of Torrid Teasers Vol. 2 - Susan M Sailors' Excerpt #2

Susan M Sailors is in the Best of Torrid Teasers Vol. 2 with me and Cheri Valmont. This is day two and here is another excerpt for her Torrid Teasers:

TREASURE (Ghost/Pirate Erotic Romance)

Katie O'Brien came to the Bluebird Inn hoping for a long, relaxing vacation. But when a pirate named Jack shows up in her room, seduces her, then confesses that he's a ghost, her plans change drastically. Jack has spent four hundred years feeling guilty for the deceitful actions that resulted in the death of his true love, but he never thought he'd really be able to end his curse by finding true love again. But when Katie walks into the Inn, looking as though she just stepped down from the portrait of his lost love, he starts to hope again. Their sexual chemistry is undeniable, and Jack hopes he can convince Katie to give them both the chance to find something even greater--the true love that could save them both.

Excerpt [G-rated content]

Jack watched the girl standing in the lobby. She had fiery red hair and a voluptuous figure that would have stood out anywhere, not just in the Bluebird Inn with its typical over-fifty clientele. She turned to face him, though of course she wouldn't be able to see him, and he noticed her sparkling green eyes and full lips. He smiled, wondering how long it would be before dear old Annabel made her way up to his tower room and reminded him that the guests were off limits and that she'd have his head if he tried his romantic swashbuckler routine on this pretty little thing.

He knew it was probably best not to get involved with the guests, especially since he had been dead for over four hundred years, but the inn still belonged to him, truth be told, and he didn't see why he shouldn't at least make sure the beautiful lady went away satisfied. Or didn't go away at all.

He shook his head, telling himself a bit of fun was all that would be possible. He'd given up on breaking his curse over a century before, and he wasn't about to start hoping again now. No matter how much this lovely lass looked like his darling Katie. He sighed. His hope lay buried at the bottom of the sea, along with the gold he'd lost his beloved Katie for.

He watched as Annabel emerged from the office and handed the woman her credit card back and gave her a piece of paper to sign. He ducked back into the hallway, knowing Annabel would sense him watching, even if he made himself invisible, and shoot daggers at him from behind her kind, grandmotherly eyes.

As he made his way back to the pool area, he heard Annabel say, “I hope you enjoy your stay, Miss O'Brien.”

“Thank you,” the woman replied in a rich, melodic voice. “But do call me Katie. I'll be here long enough, so we don't need to be formal.”

Jack stopped outside the dining hall and raised his eyebrows. Katie? The woman grew more interesting with every passing moment. And she would be here a long time? That definitely presented some interesting possibilities. He listened to Katie O'Brien heading up the stairs and thought about going back to the office to ask about her. But he decided against it. He couldn't allow himself to wish for anything more than a few nights in the arms of a warm, living woman. It was simply too dangerous to his own sanity. He pushed his hopeful thoughts aside and headed for the pool, hoping a good lungful of sea air would help clear his head.

* * * *
“So, I suppose you saw her?”

Jack turned and saw Annabel standing beside him. “Yes, I did.” He folded his arms and leaned against a nearby tree. “And I in turn suppose that you are here to tell me to stay away from her.”

Annabel smiled, an almost mischievous light coming into her gray eyes. “Actually, I was coming to make sure you'd gotten a good look at her.”

“Any man passing within a thousand feet couldn't help getting a good look at her.”

“She looks like your Katie.”

Jack frowned, unsure what Annabel might be driving at. “I obviously noticed that. I'd think you'd be anxious to keep me away from her.”

“Not necessarily. It could be significant.”

Jack groaned. “You know, your mother tried this and your grandmother tried this and lots of other women besides them have tried this in one way or another. I might believe in the curse, but I don't believe in the part about it being broken.”

She waved her hand at him dismissively. “It never happened before because you had to wait for her to come back.”

“What?” Jack had been lost in his own thoughts, trying to convince himself that he didn't believe he could be saved as much as he was trying to convince Annabel. “Come back?”

“Pay attention, you old scoundrel. That woman is your Katie. I'm sure of it.”

Jack roared with laughter, not giving a damn if any of the guests heard and wondered why Annabel was talking to a man dressed like a pirate. “So it's okay for me to seduce this one because you think she's been reincarnated or whatever the hell it is? You've got to be putting me on, Annabel.”

She shook her head. “I don't see how you can't see it. Don't you even recognize your own true love? You ought to be ashamed, after what you did to her.”

Jack stopped laughing and took a step forward, pointing his finger at Annabel. “Look here now. You can believe in that hooey all you like, but that doesn't give you the right to tell me what to believe, what to do, or what to be ashamed of.” He turned away and kicked at a patch of weeds in the sand. After a moment, Annabel approached him.

“I'm sorry, Jack, but I really do believe it. And that is what I came to tell you, in a way.”

“What?” he asked sullenly, having lost his place in the argument. He didn't mean to be cross with Annabel, but even after four hundred years, he didn't like being reminded of the mistake he'd made.

“I wasn't going to tell you to keep away from her. I want you to be near her, because then at least you'll have a chance.”

“I'm almost inclined to ignore her completely now.”

This time Annabel let out a roar of laughter. “Even if your Katie had looked nothing like this woman, you couldn't stay away from her if you tried.”

“Oh, yes, of course, because I'm just a dirty-minded old scoundrel with no respect for women and a permanent hard-on. All men in the seventeenth century were like that.”

“You just hush up. You're angry and sarcastic because I reminded you of how this all started. You're a gentleman, Jack. You can deny it, but you are. You might have been a scoundrel once, but the love of a good woman changed that.”

Jack stared out to sea for a long moment before adding, “But not in the end.” He looked back to Annabel. “It didn't change me enough to think of her before my gold.”

Annabel nodded. “That was why you were cursed. And that is why she has come back to you. You've learned your lesson and more than paid your debt in guilt and suffering. Now her love can save you again.”

Jack smiled slightly. “You sound so sure, I almost believe you.”

“Spend a couple of days getting to know your Katie and maybe you will believe.”

Jack sighed. He didn't want to become attached to this woman. He didn't want to hope that Annabel's words were true. “You've had your say. Will you trust me enough not to nag me for however long this woman will be here?”

She smiled. “She'll be here two months.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “Well, then, if you are right, that's more than enough time for both of us to figure it out for ourselves, wouldn't you say?”

“I'll leave you to it then. Just don't forget what I said. Don't let fear take control of you the way greed did once before.”

He groaned. “Yes, Mother, now go back to your guests.”

Annabel shook her head and went back inside.

Jack rubbed his hands over his face. Annabel could be so heavy-handed. She was better than her mother had been, he would give her that. Annabel's mother Louise had accomplished her own ends through very silent but very deadly guilt. Annabel, on the other hand, persuaded people to do what she wanted them to do by convincing them it was for their own good.

He knew she had his best interests at heart, but that didn't make him feel better. What he needed was a good drink and a good woman. He looked up at the window of Katie's room. He'd seen her open the window earlier, but he'd done his best to look away, not trusting himself at all. As he watched the curtains fluttering, an idea occurred to him. Maybe this woman was exactly what he needed, though not in the way Annabel thought. Perhaps a good romp with her would quench his lust and put his mind at rest. When nothing happened and he proved Annabel wrong, he could finally put all this curse business to rest. He had built the Bluebird, so he belonged here. He wasn't waiting for redemption or a lost love. He was just taking care of his home.

The sooner he convinced himself of that, the sooner he could move on and give some final ease to the ache deep in his heart.

Now available from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

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