Teaser from Hot Target
The silhouette of a man standing in her darkened living room startled a gasp from her. The door thumped shut behind her. With the blinds closed and her lights out, the shadowy figure brought to mind her parents' killer.
Juliet's hand reached automatically into the depths of her purse where she stowed her 9mm pistol when she wasn't working. But then the intruder swiveled her blinds, flooding the room with light and revealing his identity.
"Tristan!" Astonishment rooted her in place. "How the hell did you get in here?"
He shook his head, tsking in disapproval as he walked toward her. His dark blue eyes gleamed predatorily. Every hair on her body rose in wariness as he closed the distance between them.
"You don't get to ask the questions, honey."
She ordered herself to pull out her gun, but she'd frozen. Jeremiah's earlier comment made sudden sense. That's not the word I would use. He'd known Tristan was beyond angry. He was, in fact, so upset he had left the restaurant to pursue her. Jeremiah and Emma hadn't managed to stop him. If anything, they had helped him find his way in.
Damn it, she wasn't going to get away with disappearing and apologizing later. Her resolve to stay single was suddenly under siege. If she didn't hold the line, she would surely suffer for it down the road. God help her because she wasn't sure she had the strength to resist what Tristan had to offer.
"Ah-ah." Spotting Juliet's hand sliding into her purse, Tristan wagged a warning finger at her. "No you don't. Give me the bag."
The outrage that had goaded him to ride his motorcycle like a demon through a suburban neighborhood still flowed through him like lava. The relentless and inexorable heat of anger staved off the insecure voice in his head insisting Juliet didn't want him. Like his birth mother, she'd rather walk away than get to know him.
"Give it to me." He thrust out his hand.
Her full upper lip curled into a sneer. Tristan had to give her credit for looking unafraid. Yet the flutter at the base of her slender neck revealed that he'd succeeded in freaking her out. Good. It was about time he got her attention.
"Or what?" she taunted.
He snatched the purse so fast she only had time to blink. Digging into it, he found her Ruger and tossed the handbag down. He made a show of checking the magazine and shaking his head when he found it full of bullets.
"If there's going to be a crime of passion here," he grated in his best Dirty Harry impersonation, "it's not going to involve bullets." Slapping the magazine closed, he laid the empty pistol on the narrow table in the entryway and gave her a "what now?" look.
Juliet lunged for the purse, most likely going for her cellphone. He grabbed her, catching her up in his arms and eliciting a growl as he carried her, fighting him vigorously, toward the couch. She landed a few good blows, but her physicality didn't surprise him. He'd found out down in Mexico she handled herself like a cage fighter. That was something he liked about her, actually. However, their wrestling wasn't so much a fight as it was a prelude to lovemaking.
Her heeled pumps struck his shins before they mercifully fell off. He tossed her onto the sofa, but she'd sunk her hands into his hair, so he went down with her. As they descended, she kicked his upper thigh—three inches from the nuts she was targeting.
He had to admit her training was thorough, but his was more extensive in scope. Plus, he was twice her size.
Exerting pressure on her wrists, Tristan freed his hair from Juliet's grasp. Straightening, he picked her up again and flipped her belly-side down onto the cushions, promptly sitting on her bottom to keep her from going anywhere.
"Get off me, you son of a bitch."
"No name calling," he warned. Catching Juliet's flailing arms, he pinned them behind her back. "You don't want to go there. I'm not the one reneging on a promise or running away from an honest conversation. If we start slinging names, I'm bound to call you a manipulative bitch or a low-life coward. See what I mean? Doesn't get us anywhere."