This is the Midweek Tease blog hop, run by Angelica Dawson. Writers post teasers about their newest release, or their work-in-progress, or their backlist.
I’m posting again from my near-future romance, Newborn. In previous teases, you’ve met Jo Beaverpaw, who’s been programmed to assassinate her alien world’s most wanted fugitive. But after an accidental fall, she wakes up in hospital, where’s she guarded by Darby Lapierre, her target’s bodyguard. Jo was born to kill, not love, so her programming tells her little about everyday life.
I’m jumping around a bit. Here’s what happens right after the tease from two weeks ago. That one ended with “As he reached me, my hospital gown fluttered to the carpet.”.
Startled by the urgency in Darby’s shout, I turned too fast and nearly fell. Only his strong hands, one on my shoulder and one at my waist, kept me from crumpling into a dizzy, pain-sodden heap.
The horrified expression on his face made me cringe. My body was ugly, too ugly for him to look at. He stared over my head to avoid seeing my repulsive flesh.
“Jesus,” he muttered.
“What?” I held my splinted arm over my chest. My cringe deepened until I was bent at the waist. “What?”
“Josette, you can’t just undress in front of a man like that.”
Other people—everyone else—would’ve known not to commit the horrible sin of undressing where a man could see. Not me, though. Not me.
My legs gave out and I would’ve fallen if not for his help. Instead of collapsing, I sank gradually into a crouch that strained my legs and pinpointed the exact spot where each was broken. My belly contracted, forcing a sound up and out of my mouth. A sob. I hated hated hated the feel of it, yet I did it again. Then again.
I didn’t belong here. My head lunged and whirled. Deep on the inside, my legs hurt. I shouldn’t have walked on them, couldn’t walk any more, and I was farther from my Destiny than when I was born. This agony was what utter failure felt like.
Darby shuffled his feet as though uncertain whether to go left or right. His black shoes were shined to a high gloss that reflected my long hair, which fell forward, veiling my humiliation.
He crouched beside me. “There, there.”
The English words made no sense to me. My face was wet with tears, and that made no sense, either. When Darby let go of me, I tottered, yelped and fell against him, knocking him to a sitting position with me on top as though embracing him. I would’ve fallen to the floor if he hadn’t put his arms around me.
I gasped. His touch felt warm and alive and…and something. I waited, hoping my brain would supply a word. After a truculent pause, it did.
Arousal. Darby’s touch aroused me.
I waited for the dizziness to slow, then carefully straightened and lifted my head to peer at his arms in wonderment.
Click here to view teasers from other great writers exercising their powers to tease you.
She was born to kill. Not love.
Jo Beaverpaw is born fully dressed, well-armed, and impatient to tackle her Destiny. Namely, killing her alien nation’s most wanted fugitive. Her programmers want her to live a few hours, kill, then die.
But something goes wrong.
Darby Lapierre has the thankless task of protecting Jo’s target while the woman heals from gunshot wounds. It’s a hard job, but not impossible for a skillful bodyguard like Darby.
Until, that is, Jo shows up at the private hospital after an accident. Beautiful, naive, young Jo knows nothing about life and love, and wants Darby to teach her. Just until she’s well enough to attack her Destiny, of course.
And then Darby will be in her way . . . .