rosemary laurey

the wooing of lady elisa

The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance
ISBN-10: 1420100424
ISBN: 978-1849014670
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These 25 unashamedly modern short romances don't shy away at the bedroom door, from the crème de la crème of contemporary romance writers. Includes my story "After Hours".



excerpt

“A Pixie?” Ella Carrack had been a high school teacher far too long to believe that for one second. Pixies - if they existed, which was highly unlikely in her opinion - were not six foot hunks wearing police uniforms and lots of heavy-looking equipment hanging from shoulders and belt. In the dark, (she’d always thought the school had better perimeter lights) the shadowy figure looked vaguely familiar. A student celebrating Halloween far too early no doubt.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he replied.

Might as well play along before handing out a Saturday detention. “And you’re here, why?” She stepped forward wanting to see exactly whom she’d be writing up for trespass after school hours.

In reply, he grabbed her by the waist and threw her to the ground, his firm, powerful body landing directly on top of her as a bullet whined overhead. “Because somebody’s shooting ahead of time.”

Sounded like several some bodies but now wasn’t the time to quibble. Nor was it the right moment to fully appreciate the male body that covered every inch of hers. This was clearly no adolescent.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, his breath warm against her hair.

“I came in to pick up some ninth grade math tests,” she muttered. Mid term reports were due Monday. Mind you, if the bullets kept flying, she might not have to worry about getting her paper work in on time. “What the hell’s going on?” She didn’t normally swear at a police officer but excused herself in the circumstances. “And would you please get off me.” By the pressure against the small of her back, he was enjoying the closeness a lot more than she was.

“Didn’t Mr. Bryce request no one work late this evening?” the Pixie policeman asked. Not budging an inch.

“Nipping back for five minutes for something I forgot isn’t working late.”

“But just as dangerous,” he said. She wasn’t about to argue as another bullet whined overhead and pinged against the dumpster, followed by an unearthly yell. “You need to get out of here.”

She wouldn’t argue that point. “Okay.” He sifted halfway off her. She still couldn’t move but at least she had full use of her lungs back. “What on earth’s happening? And what are you doing here?” Shouldn’t he be calling back up?

“I’m here to adjudicate.”

“Adjudicate what?” A loud bang and a whoop that could have been a yell of pain sounded a few yards away. “Why the hell are people shooting?”

He gave a little gasp, as if suddenly understanding. “Damn, you’re a Mundane! What are you doing here?”

“I told you. I forgot some papers.”

He muttered something but didn’t budge much. She tried to wriggle from under him, but it was like trying to lift a car off her back. Not that she’d ever had to do that, but lying on the grimy ground of the school yard left her unable (or perhaps unwilling) to appreciate the fine male bod mashed against hers.

“Will you get off me so I can go home?”

He paused as if pondering that possibility. The weight on her back eased, as if he’d moved, when he muttered, “Too late, I’m afraid.” There were shouts and running feet coming toward them as he leapt up, grabbed her by the arm and lifted her up against his body, her face rubbing his shirt and his badge pressing against her left eye. “Don’t say a freaking word,” he whispered.

Speak? She was lucky to be breathing the way he held her. She was starting to worry about the health of her ribs, when he lifted her off her feet, took a few steps back toward the building and opened the door she’d just exited. How the heck did he do that? It didn’t open from the outside and she knew darn well she’d latched it properly. No outside door was ever left unlocked in this neighborhood.

Only the emergency lights lit the hallway. Ella couldn’t see much in the gloom and being half slung over his shoulder didn’t improve her line of vision but it was enough for her to see he had blond hair, a bit tousled after their roll on the ground, and he was minus his hat, no doubt left it outside with her left shoe.

“What now?” She forgave herself for snapping.

“I get you away before someone scents you.”

“What?” His breath didn’t smell of drink but he was certainly acting that way. “You just got me in here. I want to go home.” That sounded a bit pathetic. “How about you put me down?”

“Okay.” She was almost vertical, toes brushing the ground when he muttered, “Shit,” as shouts and yells came toward them from a hallway to the right. He pushed open the door to the gym and pulled her in. “They’re going to be coming this way any minute. Quick.”

She blamed the shriek on nerves, as he ran the length of the gym dragging her with him. He paused at the end, pushed a door open and slammed it behind them.

“Don’t make a sound!”

To late for that, as she stumbled and sent a drum set crashing. Someone turned on the gym lights and in shaft of light from the transom, she looked into the face of her insane police officer.

No wonder his voice sounded vaguely familiar. It was their DARE Officer. “Officer Willard? Leigh?”

He stared at her. “Miss Carrack? Ella? Sweet heaven! What the heck am I going to do with you?”

“Let me go home and finish my report cards?” Just a suggestion. With luck she might just manage to reason her way out of this.

“If you go out there, you’re dead. They’re never going to let a Mundane like you walk away to tell.”

There was a way out of this. Had to be. This was Officer Willard. A sensible man. A reasonable man. Okay, a sexy man but that was irrelevant right now. An officer sworn to uphold the law. Or he had been last time she saw him. “What the blazes is going on out there.”

“A turf was between the Vampires and the Wolves.”

Two of the local gangs. The fact they were fighting wasn’t surprising. Sad, worrisome, troubling but not surprising. ”Why are they fighting in the school building?”

“We try to keep them on school property. Easier to clean up afterwards and we have the area cleared to avoid the possibility of involving stray Mundanes. Usually,” he added with a frown clearly aimed at her.

“And what is a ‘Mundane’?”

“Someone like you. A plain, ordinary human with no special gifts.”

“No special gifts? I’ve survived teaching here for ten years, when half the new teachers quit before Christmas.” Bit of an exaggeration that, there were always a few who made it to spring break before throwing in their lesson plan books.

“I’ll concede that but you’re still a Mundane. No special gifts.”

“I don’t know about that. I’ve run a marathon have you?” He visibly bristled at her challenge. What made her say that? Stress at being imprisoned with a cop gone insane. A cop who’d claimed he was a Pixie but Pixie or madman, he had a gun on his hip, a pair of handcuffs dangling from his belt, and who knew what in his pockets.

“Ella, if I were you, I’d keep very, very quiet.”

It sounded more like advice than threat but either way, she followed his suggestion. He still blocked the only door, so she sat down on a stack of instrument cases and looked at her captor.

She’d always thought Officer Willard good looking. He’d always seemed committed and down to earth, even sane. She’d obviously been misled by a nice exterior and a dark uniform and the scent of leather.

“If there’s a gang war going on, shouldn’t you call in back up and get out there and put a stop to it?”

He stepped away from the door and squatted to be eye level. “I told you. Best if they fight it out among themselves in a contained area. And yes, I should be out there, but if anyone found you, they’d eat you or tear you to pieces.”

“Officer Willard. I’ve faced down a lot of recalcitrant students in my time. I don’t scare easily.”

“You’ve never faced rampaging Vampires at night or a Werewolf during full moon.”

 

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