Ellora's Cavemen [Tales From the Temple IV] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Jaid Black & Tawny Taylor & Annie Windsor
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: "Body Chemistry" by Tawny Taylor--Lukas Brenner is master of Case Pharmaceuticals' research lab. He can light a Bunsen burner with one hand tied behind his back, and even the most stubborn glass tubing bends to his will. But when it comes to women, he's a complete dud. The minute he opens his mouth, they run. That is, until the night of the company Christmas party. Allie Larson has a soft spot for the underdog, including bald cats, poodles with screeching barks ... and Lukas. Who wouldn't? He's one gorgeous man but his social skills are abysmal. Unfortunately, at the company Christmas party, her best friend stops her before she takes on another project--making Lukas over into the suave stud she suspects he could be. After he quietly slips away, she figures he's gone for the night. Whoa mama, is she wrong! The chemistry blazing through Case Pharmaceuticals has nothing to do with weight loss formulas, lab rats or test tubes. Lukas' quick trip to the laboratory before heading home has sparked a different kind of chemical reaction that takes them both by surprise. The major byproduct is heat, lots of it! "Earthwork" by Annie Windsor--Earth, 2800. The Warriors of Ais are too scarred to love. They possess. They dominate. They know no other way ... Dram Wolfel with his dark hair, dark eyes, and darker temper, intrigues and terrifies Keli Dunkirk. For years, he has been her teacher in the craft of Earthwork. Now she wants to learn more from him¬maybe more than she can handle. Keli dreams of bending her knees to the most dangerous Warrior of all, giving herself to his mastery so totally that his sleeping heart might finally wake. She wants to serve his every sexual whim, no matter how dark. No matter how painful. Somehow she knows the reward will be beyond her imagination. "Ghost of a Chance" by Shiloh Walker--More than a hundred and fifty years ago, two lovers lost each other through an act of violence so horrific, none would dare speak of it. The time is coming, though, when all touched by that night will have to revisit it. Lucas has been waiting...waiting for Katie to come back to him, to get past her fear of what happened on that night. Now she's here, reborn into the body of another woman. He saw her and knew it was her. Soon he would have her back in his arms, holding her sweet warm body against him in the cold of the night. But before they can be together, as they always should have been, there is an evil that must be faced and destroyed. Otherwise, they don't have a ghost of a chance. "Special Investigations Agency: Night Scream" by Denise A Agnew--The Special Investigations Agency thought they'd seen the last of monsters ... Evelyn Layne hears screams coming from the hallway outside her SIA office, but when she investigates she runs into the powerful physique of the most arrogant, intriguing, gorgeous agent she's ever seen. Special Agent Conall Tierney has roamed the world for over two hundred years, his desire to protect the innocent his only need. Yet when he feels the beautiful body and detects the soul-stirring needs of the spunky wanna-be agent by the name of Evelyn, he desires her with a potent urgency deep in his immortal blood. He knows it isn't just the creature haunting the hallways of SIA that he will need to protect Evelyn from... "Past Running" by Mlyn Hurn--Aeryn Michaels wants to leave her past behind her. Her ex-husband, Craig Morelli, was a charmer. But as so many high school romances do, theirs collapsed. Craig tried to take the short road to success, and is now serving a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery. The new sheriff, Devlin McDonald, had to wonder if this beautiful woman was hiding the stolen money, never recovered, until Craig got paroled, and then the two of them would be able to live a life of luxury. Passion flares when Aeryn and Devlin meet, but Aeryn is reluctant to get involved with any man again. Devlin knows it could be bad news to fall for the ex-wife of a convicted felon. But denying their need for each other becomes impossible. Craig has escaped and is holding Aeryn and her family hostage. Before he leaves the country, he wants something. Devlin is racing against time to rescue the hostages and recapture the escapees without anyone getting hurt. "The Beckoned" by Jaid Black--Wai Ashley has dreamt of Jack Elliot ever since she was a little girl. Back then the dreams were sweet and utterly harmless--Jack singing her a lullaby, Jack protecting and cradling her in his arms. But as Wai grew into womanhood, Jack's nocturnal role in her life changed, too. He became more possessive, more territorial--and mercilessly carnal. Wai believes Jack to be a figment of her overactive imagination. She's determined to get rid of him, hoping that when she does she'll be able to settle for and find happiness with a real man. En route to a job assignment, a rainstorm forces her to seek shelter in a run-down motel. Soon she will find out that Jack is anything but imaginary. He lived over two hundred years ago. And he is demanding that Wai come home to him...
eBook Publisher: Ellora's Cave/Ellora's Cave, Published: Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc., 2004
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2005
Chapter One: Special Investigations Agency Section Chief's Office Location: Top Secret
9 Reader Ratings:
Evelyn Layne heard a faint noise coming from the corridor outside the office and stopped typing.
At first she couldn't be sure she'd heard anything. Considering the weird stories going on around SIA about a haunting, it would be easy to accumulate a case of the creeps.
"I don't believe in ghosts," she whispered to the empty office.
Well, okay, she did believe in ghosts, but that didn't mean SIA was haunted. No, the rumors flying around the watercooler resulted from people spending too much time in front of computers and not enough downtime.
Right. Look who is talking. You've worked overtime for three weeks.
With a sniff of disdain for any goblins lurking around the big building, she continued her work. Friday night had come, but since she didn't have plans, she might as well stay.
Clacking away in order to finish her report for Section Chief Mac Tudor, she realized her neck and back felt stiff. After Mac's last assignment battling the man-eating genetic mutants in the Colorado mountains, he'd received a raise and promotion. While she adored Mac, she couldn't say the increased duties she'd experienced as a result of his promotion pleased her.
Neither did the fact he'd found the love of his life in Cora Destiny Tremayne, a talented, beautiful agent that had assisted him with the Maneater case. Not that Evelyn ever believed she had a chance with Mac, but a woman could dream.
She sighed and stopped typing. The little cursor on the screen blinked madly and drove her to within an inch of screaming. Her eyes itched and her stomach growled. She glanced at the bland black and white office clock above the file cabinets.
She groaned. Life had gotten too damn mundane. Or as her English friends would say, bloody-assed boring.
Disgusted, she muttered to the empty office, "Okay, enough pity party. Get over it."
Several minutes passed before lightning flashed across the sky and a distant rumble of thunder interrupted her. Grumbling, she backed up her documents just in case and started to shut down the computer.
She wondered if the new Special Agent, Conall Tierney, would prowl the halls tonight. Mixed pleasure and wariness entered her thoughts. The few times she'd met Conall qualified as way off the charts interesting.
Try mind-blowing, irritating, and uncomfortably arousing. Her body reacted as she thought about the exciting agent. Heat curled through Evelyn's stomach, a sweet, annoying arousal reminding her that she had ignored her female needs for too long.
The first time she'd spied the tall agent, every gonad in her body had taken full notice. His collar-length wavy hair tossed about his head in unmanageable strands, and she'd caught a flash of his deep-set eyes. Cut in a rugged, handsome line, his jaw spoke of stubbornness. His patrician nose fit his face, not too big or too small.
He'd caught her gaze with his for one startling, intense moment. Deep, emerald green with a hint of the sea, his eyes commanded attention. Then his crusty exterior had melted, replaced by the most stunning, unbelievably gorgeous smile she'd ever seen. Before she could do more than gape at him, he'd followed Mac into his office.
Evelyn thought back to their last encounter. Conall had walked in about a week ago around six o'clock in the evening. Before she could turn toward him, he planted both hands on her desk and glared at her like she'd committed a crime. His musk and sandalwood scent stirred her senses and she took a deep breath of the pleasant combination. Too bad his attitude didn't match his delicious cologne.
"I need to see Mac." His voice, laced with velvet richness, held a husky timbre that spelled hot days and steamier nights. "Now."
Thrown off by his briskness, she frowned and swiveled her chair toward him. "Good evening, Mr. Tierney."
"Is Mac here?"
Bristling, she kept her voice steady. "He has an appointment with him right now."
He leaned in closer, his presence intimidating and his mere size reason to give a person pause. Something earthy, mysterious, and powerful radiated from him that didn't seem ordinary. "Break in on the appointment and tell him I'm here."
Annoyed, she stood and faced him, despite her discomfort with making a scene. "I can't break in to his meeting. He asked me to hold all calls and visitors." A strange light flashed through his eyes, yellow as a monster in a horror flick, then he blinked and it disappeared. Shaken and not sure what she'd seen, she said, "If you want to leave a message, I'm sure he'll call you."
Reluctant admiration mixed with continued urgency in his eyes. He wore dark gray dress slacks and a pressed white long-sleeved oxford shirt without a tie. He might look tailored, but the potency in his stare, his sheer masculinity, ignored the mundane. Instead, he looked like a gladiator ready to take on an opponent.
One corner of his finely carved mouth turned upward. As he watched her the tension rose, the spark and pop in her veins making her more aware of him as a virile, intriguing man. As his gaze locked with hers, a strange lethargy built inside her. She should be flaming angry with him, but unprecedented desire slowly eroded the irritation.
"What can I do to convince you this is important enough to interrupt?" he asked.
She moved around the desk and stood in front of Mac's door to illustrate her firmness on the subject. Just because this man defined sex on two legs didn't mean she couldn't handle him.
She plastered on a smile. "Maybe if you told me the problem, I could help you solve it."
His return grin held sarcasm. "I doubt it. You wouldn't believe what I have to say."
Again he came closer. With her two-inch heels she stood five-nine, but this man towered over her. "Are you sure you want me to try you?"
His statement made her blink. "Was that supposed to be a double entendre?"
Without losing a beat, he said, "Yes."
Okay, what do I say to that?
Evelyn knew he wouldn't back down, at least not if she allowed him to intimidate with his barely veiled allusions. "I have clearance. Remember, I type Mac's correspondence and documents."
"Not for this, you don't."
His fists clenched at his sides, and growing exasperation grew along with his dark frown. Narrowed and turning more molten by the second, his eyes held desperation. Perhaps he thought friendliness would get him in to see Mac. Little did he know.
"The Section Chief will be available in the morning at eight o'clock if you want to make an appointment to see him then," she said.
She started to move away from his disturbing closeness when he put a hand down near her head, palm flat on the door. Inhaling his wonderful, heady masculine scent, she felt enveloped in corporeal heat. A strange dreaminess came over her. Her mind skittered around looking for an explanation for why she felt so languorous and couldn't resurrect a single excuse other than finding this man way too stimulating.
Right then the door snapped open and she started to tumble backwards. A tiny squeak of surprise left her throat. Conall grabbed her by the shoulders and tugged her toward him. His impersonal grip moved her aside and Mac strode through the door with his appointment in tow.
Needless to say, Conall did get to see Mac that evening. That night she'd dreamed of Conall's hands warming her arms, sliding into her hair, touching her breasts, her nipples, her clit. The rest of this week, though she hadn't seen him once, she'd fantasized about what could happen if she ran into him again. The man might be a pain in the ass, but her libido made her wonder what it would be like to have sex with him.
Returning to the present, Evelyn sighed. She needed to ignore her weird obsession with Conall and remember her goal.
She wanted to be an agent, not fuck an agent.
Since she'd started concentrating on her goals by picturing them, plus taking concrete steps such as physical fitness and completing her Bachelor's in criminology last month, good things began happening for her. Mac had said he'd write her a recommendation if she applied for a special agent position in the next round of applications. Still, selection of agents didn't come easy. SIA could turn her down.
No, no, no. Think positive. I will become an agent. I will become an agent. I will become an agent.
An odd screech, almost like a bat, echoed in the hall. Fear born of uncertainty rolled up her spine and started goose bumps along her skin.
Thunder rumbled and rain splattered hard against the windows. She decided she'd challenge whoever or whatever prowled the halls. She went around her desk and headed toward the closed office door. Pausing, she reconnoitered for weapon possibilities and located her oversized stapler. Hefting the stapler in her right hand, she opened the door and peered into the corridor. With caution she looked right, then left. Nothing but empty space.
Another high-pitched screech came from somewhere in the building. Her skin prickled as she cringed from the nails-over-a-blackboard sound. She paused and considered options. A night shift manned the communications complex in the center of the building, and security stayed tight at this top secret location. Someone else must have heard the noises, too. A howl came from the bowels of the building.
"Good God. What is that?"
The last thing she wanted to be remembered for was the ubiquitous too-stupid-to-live award. She went back into the office and put down the stapler. She dialed security and waited for an answer. The phone line crackled and popped, then the connection went dead. Lovely. She might be in the building with the most sophisticated communications equipment on the planet, and somehow nothing worked. It must be the storm.
She opened Mac's office and tried his phone, with the same results. Sighing, she strode back into her office area and retrieved the stapler again. As she crossed the threshold, the lights went out.
She ran face-first into a body. "Oof!"
Big hands caught her shoulders and fiery yellow eyes blinked at her.
With a startled gasp, she realized whatever made the horrible noises must be in the room with her.
Training kicked in and she swung at the creature's head with the stapler. The creature grunted and blocked her swing. Impact made her drop the stapler.
Right onto her foot.
Madder than spit, she resisted the temptation to hop on one foot and lunged toward the general direction of her desk. Maybe she could fumble for her letter opener. Before she could reach the new weapon, a powerful arm looped around her waist and yanked her back against him.
With the last of her strength she aimed a kick at its shin and made contact. The creature grunted and increased pressure on her ribs. One hand covered her mouth.
She mumbled her rage against his hand. "Mmpht. Assoool. Letmf mef goul!"
With a growl of undeniably male frustration, the thing said, "Stop. I'm not going to hurt you."
She struggled, her breath rasping, adrenaline surging. Fear and determination made her heart bang against her ribs. Before she could elbow him in the stomach, a curious exhaustion made her stop struggling. Like the warmest, most delicious embrace, the feeling cascaded and intruded on her ability to think. With a half-hearted lunge, she kicked back and hit her attacker in the shin again.
"Shit!" The man's grip tightened and she couldn't breathe. "Little she-cat!"
Panic ensued. If she didn't think of a way to fight back, she'd be dead. Her knees weakened and before she could formulate her next move, her focus narrowed, then blinked out.