Dazzled by Silver ~ prequel to the Layers Trilogy
Gabe, Samantha & Kendra
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
If there was a place I could find a one night stand, it had to be here.
... a surfer look-a-like with chocolate-dark hair, strolled from the end of the bar and placed two shot glasses on the counter...
“To good orgasms. I hope they please you as much as I like to please.”
... the grin stretching across his face oozed sex and confidence...
... Gabe’s fingers pressed against the inside of a glass, cleaning it meticulously, and I imagined him working those fingers into my flesh...
But my best friend Kendra introduced me to new kind of pleasure I couldn't resist...
And Gabe Silver agreed to meet my every desire...
I wanted to experience her and yield to him.
That's how our cat and mouse game begun.
“What are you doing here?” My voice shook, and my hand flew up to cover my mouth.
“I keep my promises.” His stroll toward me seemed in slow motion.
The steps he took sent shivers through my body, each one finding its way to the hottest part between my legs.
The slight tremble in my voice tickled my throat. Gabe spun me around and pinned me against the velvety wallpaper as he collided with my body.
I inhaled sharply.
He tightened his hands on my wrists and lifted them above my head, his mouth lingering delightfully close. The sounds from the outside faded. I could only hear his heavy breathing, and feel his chest rising up and down in slow motion.
But trouble followed Kendra ...
She had debts to pay.
It happened fast... in the middle of the night...
...I feared that our time together was coming to an end...
...and if it weren't for Gabriel Silver, we wouldn't be alive to tell our story.
Layers Deep & Layers Peeled
Books 1 & 2 in the Layers Trilogy
Tristan and Allie
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
He needs to save a friend.
She needs to plan her revenge.
Their pasts scar them Layers Deep.
Their passion distracts them ...
... and distractions can be fatal
The moment he walked into the room my knees softened
and I knew I was in trouble.
But I didn’t know he’d flip my life upside down.
I quickly realized that I needed him
for more than revenge.
He showed me he wanted more as well.
And we couldn't get enough of each other.
Except I didn't know how to give him everything.
I wasn't ready to part with my past...
... because my past didn't want to part with me.
but until it caught up to me, I would enjoy every moment Tristan gave me.
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
“Is Cross Enterprises not good enough for you?” The sultry voice pinned me in my seat and I squeezed my eyes shut.
Shit! I threw my head back, downing the third shot of tequila. Wasn’t it just this morning that Cross had come to our headquarters? I needed more time to think. I had to make sure my mother was safe before I applied for any new position.
“Why do you say that?” I swiveled on the stool. In my mind, questions of how he’d found me and why flooded in. The ‘how’ wasn’t that difficult to figure out. If he wanted to find an honest cab driver in Manhattan, he would.
“I hope you’re not driving.” He sat down beside me, free of his boring cut-out suit. Like I had imagined him, Cross now wore a white T-shirt and black jeans. A leather jacket completed the ‘I’m a normal guy’ outfit, mixing his easy style with a little Grease.
“And you care because?” The bravado flowed out on the breath of my first shot of tequila, which has already worked itself into my bloodstream.
“Because I’ll be out on the road later and wouldn’t want to be your victim.”
The way he said ‘victim’ insinuated a deeper hunger, urging my thighs to tense.
“No, I’ll call a cab.” I gave in. I never gave in to anyone so quickly.
“Do you always swallow your shots in one gulp?” Cross leaned in closer. He seemed to have a habit of asking two-way questions. His mouth said one thing, but tone and body implied something else. A yearning I’d wanted discovered; preferably in his bed.
I narrowed my brows, trying to play his little game. “Yes, I always swallow well.”
He hid the hint of amusement that sparked in his eyes. “You didn’t apply for the position.”
I bit my lip. I’d seen men react well to the gesture before, and I needed Cross on my good side. “I prefer a more direct approach.”
He coughed into his fist, clearing his throat. A sexy grin stretched the side of his face. As much as I didn’t want to disclose my need to weasel into Cross Enterprises, he was pulling the answers out of me, like a pro. No one had ever done that before. Right now he was the cat and I was the mouse. At least, I had to make him believe that. And now that he was so close, that white scar, slightly off center on his upper lip, added to the aura of extra danger about him. I wondered who had blessed him with the sexy feature. Was it a bite from a girlfriend? I didn’t dare think he’d let a woman bite him so forcefully. No, it had to be from a fight. If he was into shit that kinky, he wasn’t my type. Gosh, what was I thinking? Since when had he become more than a potential employer?
Since the moment he walked into the room.
“You have me intrigued.” He sat down beside me as casually as if we’d been acquainted for years. When he swiveled on his stool, his knee brushed against my thigh. Even through my jeans, the one spot felt as if he’d burnt a hole in it. Or perhaps I’d had one shot too many.
With a deep breath, I continued. “You interview your future employees, don’t you?” I asked.
“True, but how do you get an interview if you don’t apply?”
“I guess you’re just going to have to wait and see.” I tapped on the counter, and Mike the barman recognized my sign for ‘another one, please.’ I knew I was stalling. I wasn’t ready to give him the answers he sought. How could I tell him the only reason I was interested in Cross Enterprises was to kill someone and cover my tracks? It was the only way my mother would be safe. And before I even applied, I had to ensure he hadn’t found her yet. Otherwise we’d both be on the run and Cross would be left behind. The thought strangled my heart.
“Why are you following me?” I’d asked.
“Just because I came to the same bar as you doesn’t mean I am.”
But his tone had changed; his face mellowed and his shoulders relaxed. He leaned forward and casually to the side. At that moment Cross was no longer a potential employer, but a man on the prowl for a good time. My gut wasn’t wrong about him after all.
“And I don’t believe in coincidences.” I threw back the glass, without licking the salt this time, and sucked on the lemon in my mouth.
He watched every move I made. My attempt to seem indifferent would fail soon, especially since I’d been drinking. I couldn’t let Cross know he was someone I needed more than the air I breathed. It would come out wrong, and he would misunderstand my motive as another obsessive woman looking to throw herself at his rich ass and pockets full of money. Although I wouldn’t mind if he threw me around on his bed, or on the floor, or right there on the bar. The swift push of his perfectly narrow hips had to include a delicious jab or two. And since when had a dimple in a chin made a man so attractive?
I set the shot glass aside, and out of nowhere Cross lifted his thumb to my mouth, wiping away a stray drop. He sucked it off his finger, all the while piercing me with his undivided attention. The pursed lips compelled me to kiss and bite them, and it took all my strength not to crush into Cross right then.
Holy fuck! Yes, as much as I reserved swearing out loud for special occasions, my mind was a beast of its own. Everything inside me tightened and released with urgent pulsing, all concentrating below my belt. The burning touch remained under my mouth for a few seconds before it crawled down my chin toward the valley between my breasts where his gaze now wandered.
“There are better places to drink than this.” He pulled out his cell phone and pressed a button.
I shook the tantalizing heat away from my body when he wasn’t looking.
“Are you referring to your club, Kissed?” I tapped the bar again.
Cross turned to Mike, who passed him a shot identical to mine. He hadn’t even tapped the bar, and now he had me intrigued. How did he do that?
“No, but I see you’ve done your homework.”
“I’m just that good at everything I do.” That’s right, I can play as well as you can, Cross.
Behind the dark hazels, Cross seemed to struggle. I could feel he wanted to continue the double-tiered conversation, but something or someone was pulling his attention away from me and away from the reason he’d come here: to see whether I’d apply for his job offering.
“I’ve been coming here for years. It’s not as bad as you think.” I broke the tension.
“So far the company is good.”
Did he just flirt?
He removed his jacket. The smell of leather mixed with freshly cut grass and a hint of scotch wafted around me. I pictured him out in the fields, mowing the acres of land around his mansion before he sat down by a fireplace with a single malt in his hand. A piece of a thorn tattoo on his left arm peeked from underneath his short sleeve. A few spots of inked blood glistened red in places where the thorns appeared to break his skin.
Suddenly my plot to use Cross Enterprises for my own gain began falling apart. Cross was too hot for his own good. I couldn’t let his Zeus-like looks and charming mouth derail my plans. There was only one way I could think of to relieve the sexual tension between us. And it had to happen before he hired me.
“Why did you follow me?” I asked again.
“Because you didn’t apply, and you seem like someone who’d be good at the position I’m hiring for.”
“And what position is that, exactly? The application only specified details to be disclosed after interview.”
“This is between us.” His brows rose. “I’m looking for a hooker.”
I coughed until my lungs were ready to pop out. Was he serious, or had I had too much to drink? I covered my mouth, forcing it shut. My breathing stilled for a moment. If it weren’t for the liquor in my veins, I’d have punched him. Yet something deep inside stirred and warmed my blood at the quick thoughts that ran through my mind—of me as a hooker in his bed. My skin itched, begging to come in contact with his.
Get a grip, Allie!
I knew he was trying to bait me into asking for details, but I was determined not to be drawn. I’d find out in my own time, on my own terms.
“You have a way with words, Mr. Cross.” The liquid in my system began to seep out of my pores as I felt myself swinging on the stool. “I thought your company dealt more with security and protection?”
“Our company deals with anything from providing body guards to surveillance systems and undercover jobs. Most of them are classified, as we deal with the government and high profile clientele. Security and surveillance is my partner’s division. I take care of the undercover jobs: anything from exposing cheating husbands to infiltrating corrupt government agencies. You’ll never see us or hear us, but we’re always there.”
It was safe to assume he needed a woman to pose as a hooker, then. Was he looking to bust a pimp? The room spun and my thoughts vanished as quickly as they appeared.
He regarded me closely before downing the tequila, and at that moment I wished I hadn’t been drinking so much. What he’d described was not only a dream job, but also had resources I needed. I shook my head, wanting my wit to return, but in his company that was impossible to do.
Yet I tapped the bar again.
Since he’d walked into the auditorium, I’d never considered this man as an employer, which he might soon be. At first, Cross was just a means by which I’d get my revenge. What a waste of a perfectly taut body, to be bound by professionalism, but I couldn’t allow him to be anything more. Why did this charming man have to be Cross? Why couldn’t he have been a stranger I’d met at a bar who took my breath away?
I tipped my head back, no longer caring to suck on the lemon.
The alcohol worked its way into my head with lightning speed. I pulled out my wallet, but Cross gently placed his hand on top of mine. The gesture, so innocent yet calculated, as if he’d been waiting to touch me all night, sent all the arousing sensors to his palm, specifically for that single moment. The instant he covered my hands, his warmth spread from them through my body in hormonal waves.
My nipples ached, and I felt like a chocolate bar left out in the sun.
“Put it on my tab, Mike,” he said to the barman, without turning away from me.
“Yes, Mr. Cross.”
He’s been here before.
He hadn’t come for me after all. Was that what I wanted? I cursed at the tequila in my veins clouding my thoughts. My only interest was in the job, not him. Of all the men who’d ever hit on me, it couldn’t be him. Why did he have to be so damn sexy?
With his hand still covering mine, he said, “It’s been interesting, Ms. … ?”
I doubted he didn’t know my name, but I’d humor him. “Officer Green.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Allie.”
My heart thumped harder. Cross must have done a background check on me already. Shit! Was it a thorough check? Probably. He might know my history, but I was sure not all of it. Some things weren’t written, hidden well to protect others.
“The pleasure is all mine, Tristan.” I hoped my guess at one of the two Cross brother names was correct.
“So fast on first name basis with a potential employer?” He smirked again. And that was even sexier than the tattoo. I loved the way a dimple formed on his chin and the small scar on his lip lifted. The innocent feature decorated his face as if all worries had left his mind and he was a simple, uncomplicated man. Tristan Cross was not who I’d thought him to be.
“This isn’t an interview, is it?”
“No. But I’m looking forward to seeing how you manage to be interviewed.”
“I can guarantee it’s one you won’t forget.”
“I don’t doubt it, Allie.” The way he said my name had me squeezing my knees together again. I bet he could make words like cow pie and vomit sound sexy. And I hoped I wouldn’t see either one tonight. And why was the room spinning faster and faster?
Curse you, tequila!
“May I offer you a ride home?” He looked out the window for a moment where a black Bentley was parked in front.
“Thank you, but I don’t want special treatment.”
“It’s just an offer from someone you had a drink with, Allie. Not from an employer.”
I leaned in closer and lowered my hands to his knees. The courage must have floated on a large sail of liquor. My cheek brushed against his as I whispered into his ear.
“I don’t do rides with strangers. They usually expect something in return.”
Cross covered both my hands with his, pressing them to his knees. His warm breath brushed my cheek before his lip reached my ear, lightly tickling my earlobe as he whispered, “Then I’ll make sure we’re not strangers soon enough, Allie. However, I must insist my potential employee gets to her apartment safely.”
He pulled away, letting his lips linger inches from mine. God, he smelled so good!
“Fine,” I whispered, regretting that my female strength had been stolen. Appearing weak was the last thing I wanted tonight. Cross had come to the bar at an inconvenient time, when I was at my lowest. See, it had been a while since my mother moved. When it quieted down so much, when I let my guard down and thought she was safe, I knew it was almost time to find her a new place to live. This was the calm before the storm. I could remain in New York; the apartment was leased only in Laura’s name, so my identity was somewhat protected. We usually worked opposite shifts, and other than the occasional time at work, we hardly ever ran into each other. It had been over a year now since we’d stepped out of school, ready to face the cruel world of crime.
I jumped off the stool. The sway of my body agreed with gravity a bit too much. Cross caught me under my elbow. The gesture was too caring even for him.
No, I can’t let that happen. I can’t let him be anything more than an employer.
But the little devil sitting on my left shoulder laughed, fire bursting out of his ears. He knew the silk sheets had been already laid out for us deep in hell. It’s all his fault! I turned my head to the left, furrowing at the invisible beast.
God, I must be really drunk!
“I hope you don’t drink when you’re on the job.” Cross led me toward the exit, and I welcomed the cool fall wind. It held a hint of frost and sobered my lungs with a fresh breath.
Thunder sounded, shaking the ground underneath me. A flash of lightning in the distance illuminated the sky, along with a silhouette of Manhattan skyscrapers.
“You should know that in our business, it depends on the job,” I replied.
“I guess you’re right. I’ll have to teach you some tricks, then, to avoid too many shots.”
“And what makes you think I don’t know them?”
His brows rose as he opened the passenger door of his Bentley. “Fair enough. I’ll leave the interview questions for the interview, then?”
“I guarantee I’m quite witty when I’m sober.” I laughed, feeling a new swell of bravery pull me closer to Cross’s side instead of inside the car. He didn’t seem to mind and wrapped his arm around my waist.
“I don’t doubt that.” He squeezed his palm on my hip.
Why did Cross appear to be this normal guy who was actually into me? Did I have the same effect on him as he had on me?
“I don’t usually mix business with pleasure, but you should know that this position is... unique.”
“Meaning you’d want the ‘hooker’ profession to be treated seriously.”
“Very seriously. Beyond anything you’d expect, which means playing out the role like you’re in the running for an Oscar.”
I stepped closer until his tangy breath mingled with mine, and I brushed against his front feeling his enticing curve against my belly. His eyes clouded as both his hands held my hips steady. When he inhaled, his sculpted chest touched my breasts and I pressed in, asking, “How am I doing so far?”
“Not bad, but you’re forgetting this isn’t an interview.”
Of course it wasn’t. This was all me; me and the tequila. My body ached in all the right places, ready to be touched and caressed by his manicured hands. But he wouldn’t hire me if I pushed it too far.
Keep focused, Allie!
“I can guarantee you I haven’t forgotten. Now, are you going to drive me home or not?”
Book 3 in the Layers Trilogy
Julian and Kendra
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
She’s gone through hell and back.
He’s kept a secret that could send her there again.
And they’re fighting their way back to each other.
He saved me from the monsters...
the sex trafficking...
I helped him with his monsters ...
As he healed my body
I tried to heal his soul.
But the lies he's told me since the day we met, were unforgivable.
And his truth, broke me all over again ...
Secrets can forge greatest connections, but they can also tear them apart.
From surprise first encounters to daring rescue missions, the Layers Trilogy follows a family of alpha millionaire private investigators who struggle to keep the women they love, safe and satisfied.
This special boxed collection includes four novels, each with a story filled with loving alpha-male heroes, feisty heroines and complicated plots that satisfy with unexpected endings.
Step inside the secret world of the Cross brothers as the chivalrous men steal your heart, one page at a time. Fall in love with their unique families, watch them grow and become stronger, and indulge in their sizzling romances.
Order the Layers Trilogy Box Set today and get wrapped up in a love story filled with layers of secrets.
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“The characters hit close to home and felt like I was reading about parts of my own life.” ★★★★★ from Texas Angel
“The way she skillfully intertwines love, steamy sex, romance, danger and intrigue had me on the edge of my seat on more than one occasion.” ★★★★★ from Merabai