Drako Alexandre isn’t the handsome billionaire playboy everyone thinks he is. The mysterious jeweler to the wealthy is also a Black Gryffon, a guardian of a dark secret. Commanded to marry, he is more than happy to take a wife. Duty is duty. But he won't give up his lovers, nor will he ever allow himself to love a woman. For to love is to become vulnerable. At least, that is what he has always believed...
Rin Mitchell, a woman with a few secrets of her own, accepts Drako's unexpected marriage proposal, not expecting their loveless arrangement to be a marriage made in heaven. It's a convenient solution to an overwhelming problem, until she realizes her lethally seductive husband is a lot more deadly than the demons that had chased her into his arms.
Drako must defeat a powerful adversary.
Rin must stoke the Gryphon?'s dark fire.
Their love ignites the flame.
UNEDITED excerpt from DARKEST FIRE
Aphrodisia, Dec. 2010
Copyright 2009 Tawny Taylor
Sin in stilettos hunted him.
In Drago Alexandre’s lifetime, lust had worn many masks--fair and sweet, dark and exotic, male, and female--but whatever form it took, it always, without fail, seized its prey. There was no escape. Yet, like the quail in Drako’s favorite sutta, The Hawk, he knew he would eventually break free from the predator’s grip…and shatter its heart.
Tonight, lust was a redhead, in an itty bitty fuck-me dress, her mile-long legs bared to there, her full tits a sigh away from tumbling out of her dress, and a dozen erotic promises glittering in her eyes. She didn’t know it yet, but the hunter would soon be the hunted.
Drako acknowledged her with a hard, piercing stare. In response, lush lips pursed in a seductive pout.
Yes, he’d have this one. But on his terms.
Let the games begin.
Eyes on the prize, expression guarded to keep her guessing, Drako tipped his beer back, pulling a mouthful of bitter ale from the bottle. As he swallowed, the heavy bass of the music thrummed through his body, pounding along nerves pulled tight with erotic need. Red and blue lights blinked on and off, casting every body in the bar, male and female, in an alternating crimson and deep indigo glow.
Her gaze shifted.
His body tightened.
Oh, yeah. He liked this place. A lot. He slowly swept the crowded room again with his eyes. Writhing, sweaty bodies, mostly female, packed the small dance floor. Groups of people crowded around tables, the flickering red tips of their burning cigarettes dancing in the shadows.
“I’ve got the redhead,” he announced.
“That’s just as well.” His brother, Talen, set his empty glass on the bar’s polished top and shoved his fingers through his spiked, platinum hair. “I’m not in the mood for this tonight.”
“Not in the mood? Are you kidding me? Look around, baby brother.” Sitting on the other side of Drako, Malek, shot Talen a bewildered glance. About a dozen women gaped as his shaggy blond surfer-punk waves danced on a breeze.
Drako slid his quarry a heated glance then twisted to flag down the bartender. “Yeah, well, if you spent half as much time working as you do playing, Malek, we’d–”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it before, big brother.” Malek ordered another beer for Drako then clapped him on the shoulder. “But like I say, life is short. You gotta live while you can.” He slipped from the stool, peeled off a twenty and handed it to the bartender. “Do either of you have a bad feeling about tomorrow’s meeting with the old man...? Ohhhh, shit. Yes. Talk to you later.” Not waiting for them to answer, he headed toward the nearest flock of admirers.
“I think I’m calling it a night.” Talen said, watching Malek gather a small herd of women around him.
“Okay, bro. See you at home.” Drako checked his redhead again. Still sitting at the table with her friend. She was looking a little less certain of herself now. One hand wrapped delicately around a wineglass, the other nervously tugged at a lock of hair.
That was better. An aggressive woman did nothing for him.
Letting the corners of his mouth curl slightly, he lifted his fresh beer to his mouth and waited for their gazes to meet again.
Uh huh. Much, much better.
He held her gaze and everyone and everything else in the crowded bar seemed to slowly drift away, until nobody but his redhead existed to him. Electricity sizzled between their bodies, like heat lightning arcing between storm clouds.
Her tongue darted out, swept across her plump lip then slipped back inside. She set her glass down and, breaking eye contact, leaned over to her friend sitting next to her. They both glanced his way. The friend smiled and nodded, and then the pair of them stood.
Their arms linked at the elbow, their gazes flitting back and forth between him and the back of the bar, they hurried in the opposite direction, toward the bathroom.
That was an interesting reaction. Nothing like what he’d expected.
Was she playing him? Were they both?
Mmmm. Both. Maybe he’d have two women tonight. Two was always better than one.
He dropped a fifty on the bar. And with his beer clutched in one fist, he walked around the far side of the room, taking the scenic route to the dark corridor at the rear. He’d catch them out there, where it was quieter, more intimate.
Go Ahead, Share Your Thoughts! .