Bites Of Books - The Secret In Room 823

I recently completed and submitted my thirtieth book. I'm celebrating by offering a taste from each one. 

I was shopping with my sister when I picked up an email from my editor, asking if I would like to write an erotic short for the Chatsfield series. I was given a premise of an aristocrat meeting her lover in a hotel room on the sly and this time she leaves her case there. Uh oh.

My sister and I wandered down the street to the adult toy store where I picked up some inspiration. The wig, the web, and the pendant necklace that doubles as a toy were all window shopped that day. 

Here's the opening pages of The Secret In Room 823.
~ * ~
Gwen loved this walk from the elevator, when the slippery lining of her trench coat caressed her bare skin and the only sound was the crush of carpet beneath her heels in the quiet hallway. Occasionally she passed another guest, but this time of evening most had already left for their dinner and entertainment.
Her senses sharpened as she drew closer to her own entertainment. Her deep inhalation caused warmed satin to shift against her nipples. Tingles of anticipation flowed down behind her navel into the place already heating between her thighs. 
This was becoming an addiction, she knew that, and like every addict, she didn’t care about anything except getting her fix. She knocked on the door.
He didn’t keep her waiting. He never did. Not for the opening of the door, at least. Once they were into it, he could be a complete bastard and torture the hell out of her with making her wait, but she was always on time for their appointment and so was he.
Which a part of her wanted to interpret as him looking forward to their sessions as much as she did, but she was a realist, not a romantic. Her life was about rules and protocol and being polite instead of revealing your true feelings. Therefore, she found herself fighting the beaming grin that wanted to break across her face and offering him her cool Lady Hamilton-Smythe barely-there smile. 
That was, after all, the bitch who was meant to be exorcised tonight.
But appearing aloof was hard when his mouth pulled into a sneer of dismay at her white wig with its prism of color streaked over her left eyebrow. 
Call me Hayes, he’d said at their first meeting. She didn’t know if that was because of the deceptive color of his eyes, shifting between brown and green with his level of arousal, or whether it was his real name, first or last. She only knew that she’d looked into those clear, steady eyes at their initial meeting and trusted, blindly and probably very stupidly, but here she was. Again.
He was only wearing his jeans, as if he’d thrown off his shirt in a fit of overheating. Another hint that she affected him as strongly as he affected her, but she squelched the yearning for an emotional connection and focused on the physical. Tanned skin stretched taut over gorgeous shoulders, hard pecs and washboard abs as he hooked one disgusted hand at his waist, the other continuing to hold the door open. 
Behind his fly, he was hard, making her pulse lunge into a gallop. 
‘No,’ he said flatly, demanding that she lift her gaze to his uncompromising stare. She took in the whole of his face with his stubbled jaw set in displeasure, his black hair getting long again and messy, as if he’d run his fingers through it. His mouth, dear God that erotic mouth with the stern peaks on his upper lip and the wide thick line of his lower, shortened at this moment into a statement of dictatorship.
He almost always treated her like this, like he was one of the many arrogant, titled SOBs who ran her life, only occasionally softening into something that was so warm and melting and dangerous, she refused to dwell on it. 
‘I can do what I like,’ she scoffed, saying exactly what she always wanted to say to all those aristocrats and traditionalists. She walked past him into the room, deliberately leaving her case in the hall.
She liked to do that sometimes, treat him like a stable hand. When she wanted to provoke him. After the hellish week she’d had, she was looking for not just a fight, but a war.
He released the door and let it slam shut without retrieving the case. 
Her stomach plummeted in dread. Wrong day to take this stand. Her whole life was in that case at the moment. Not just new toys, but a personal item she’d retrieved from her anonymous post box here in London. She hadn’t had the nerve to open it, but she hadn’t felt comfortable leaving it in the boot of her car either. The paparazzi were on her badly enough as it was. If they got hold of that secret, she’d be destroyed. 
‘We’re not doing this then?’ she asked testily, fighting panic as she heard herself issue an ultimatum she couldn’t live with. She needed this. 
Oh God, what a lowering admission. She prayed he didn’t realise how much.
His eyes narrowed in a small flinch and she thought he stopped breathing a moment as he debated his response. 
‘Take off the wig,’ he finally said, and folded his arms. 
A flood of relief went through her. His demand for payment before he’d fetch her case told her he didn’t want to end this either. That was good, but she didn’t obey him. Her attention was splintered, half of it screaming with urgency that the case be brought inside the locked door for safety, but she refused to give in to any sort of weakness in herself. Plus, she hadn’t even brought out her best weapon yet.
Calmly unbuckling the belt on her coat, she opened it and slid it down her arms, then threw it on the foot of the bed. She spent hours on her fitness beyond her daily rides. She was as well-honed as her mount when she went into the ring. Aside from the occasional bruise, there wasn’t a flaw on her long limbs or a badly proportioned curve from her full breasts to her firm backside. Men responded very well to this body. 
She cocked herself into a Wonder Woman pose, shoes set apart, hands on hips, spine proud and chin up, giving him a What now lift of her brows.
Without taking his eyes off her, not even adjusting himself even though he seemed ready to burst through his fly, he reached to open the door and held it that way, saying, ‘Get it yourself.’
Oh he was a bastard and she love-hated him for it, the same way she love-hated Black Satin for his stubborn, fierce spirit that challenged her every second if she wanted to stay in the saddle. 
She was glad to see the case still there, however, and nodded at it. ‘I brought some new things that interested me.’
‘So did I,’ he responded, making a fear-laced excitement curl in the pit of her belly. 
She searched for a clue in his expression, but he only held that confident look of being entirely in control of the moment. 
That was the source of his power over her, she realised. She held onto her control twenty-nine days out of thirty and this was her time of release, when she let go and relaxed. She only did it here, though. Behind this door, where he was the only witness. She abandoned her tense grip on her control and after complete collapse, she slowly found herself, gathered her strength and took up the load again.
His holding of the door was a dare to take that beyond this room. She wouldn’t. Couldn’t. It stayed here. Just between the two of them. 
So even though she loathed him to the core for forcing her into submission, she peeled the wig off her head and threw it towards his bare feet.
~ * ~
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