A definite RECOMMENDED READ. You have to check this one out
Hanging By A Moment by Susie Charles. A unique and erotic paranormal tale.
COMING 11 MAY! Book 2 in the Were Watching series: Hanging By A Moment by Susie Charles
Ziggy Trudeau, Were Watching’s Mr. Responsible, neither wants nor needs a mate.
Blocked to the whole thought of taking a mate due to a horrific incident that still haunts him, Ziggy is totally unprepared when he meets Summer Grayson, and his mating instinct goes off the radar. She’s about as far from his “typical” woman as it’s possible to get.
Summer, still tentatively feeling her way among people again after an attack by an ex-lover that almost killed her, is knocked six ways to Sunday when the hunky werewolf makes a move on her. But her ex-lover is still searching for her, bent on hurting her again. Ziggy, so protective of Summer that no other man can even breathe near her without having a death wish, appoints himself as Summer’s personal “bodyguard”, his sole focus being to “protect” her.
The only person who believes that’s the reason is Ziggy, so deep in denial he can’t see the forest for the trees.
But if Ziggy wants more from Summer, he needs to come to terms with his past and make up his mind—fast! He’s going to have to fight for his mate…to the death.
EXCERPT Hanging By A Moment
Ziggy’s whole body tightened as he finally caught sight of the “who” Rico’s eyes were latched onto. A lady in a deep ruby-red cheongsam with side slits from ankle to just short of indecent, showing a flash of thighs in black silk stockings and four-inch heels as she walked. Long, dead-straight, blue-black hair fell in a glossy rope from the ponytail she wore high on her head, a dainty mask covering her eyes providing a hint of mystery.
Yeah baby, he thought as the vision headed their way. A steady throb set up in his groin, and it was no wonder. The dress she wore was neither flashy nor as overtly sexual as the clothing most of the females in the club wore. In fact it was simple and understated by comparison—a touch of feminine sophistication in a world dominated by leather and chains—and amplified her considerable charms to the extreme. But the effect was so overwhelmingly sexy, so…classy. Definitely very classy. “Who is she?”
Unbidden, a vision of her naked sprang to mind, her riding him, all that long hair falling around them in a shiny curtain as he gripped her waist and thrust up inside her. The image was so real his cock surged inside his pants, pinching against the studs on his fly. The throb became an uncomfortable pounding and he was glad for the industrial strength studs—making an introduction by having his cock bust out of his pants was not the way he preferred to impress ladies.
Ignoring the aching discomfort, Ziggy sniffed the air discreetly, trying to pinpoint her particular scent. And when he caught it—a soft orange blossom fragrance—every nerve ending in his body rioted, his cock going from hard to rock-solid stiff so fast he jolted, slipping a little off the barstool. Taking the hint, he stood, giving the steel-hard pike in his pants a bit more room.
Rico cast a curious eye over his shoulder at Ziggy and grinned. “Oh, you’ve finally seen something you like?”
“Give me a break, Rico. A man would have to be dead not to like that.”
“Even so,” chuckled Rico.
“Funny. Who’s the comedian now?” Ziggy rolled his eyes. “So?”
“She’s my hostess.”
“You have a hostess? Since when?”
“Only on the weekends.” Rico cast Ziggy a sideways glance. “It certainly has been a while, hasn’t it…”
Well that would explain why he hadn’t seen her—he’d made a few forays to Dark Side over the past months, but they’d been mostly midweek when things were a little quieter. “And she does what, exactly?”
“Keeps the customers happy.”
“Not what you’re thinking, my friend. Summer is off limits.”
Summer…summer… “This wouldn’t be the ‘summer’ of the ‘summer bet’, would it?” The name certainly fit. Sultry, even the scent of her reminded him of warm nights, sea breezes…naked bodies sliding over silky sheets… In particular his and hers.
“You got it. We had a small wager on a new lady member I’ve had my eye on. I lost…” Rico watched Summer, his eyebrow lifting as he scanned her from head to toe. “Or so I thought.”
“But has she…does she ever…” Ziggy coughed to cover the husky croak in his voice.
The deception didn’t fool Rico and he let out a short bark of a laugh before turning serious. “No. Not that most of the Doms in here wouldn’t grab her in a second if she gave them half a chance.”
As they watched, Summer stopped at a table. Ziggy knew the three men she spoke to—by sight, at least. Although two of the men had their subs with them, he watched in growing aggravation as she was pulled, laughing, onto the lap of Miles Romansky, the owner of the largest trucking firm in the state. The man was well-known as being partial to the more hardcore fetishes, and Ziggy’s whole body stiffened and went on alert as the man pulled her closer, looking up at her with a determined expression on his face.
The feel of Rico’s fingers gripping his arm made him aware that he’d actually taken a step toward them. “It will be fine. Just watch.”
With some reluctance he took his seat again. Unable to relinquish the tension zinging through his body, Ziggy watched in amazement as Summer smiled at the overbearing Dom and whispered something in his ear. The hardened expression erased so that the man smiled and laughed, caressing her generous ass in an almost affectionate way before he kissed her palm briefly and released her so that she could stand.
“Damn!” Ziggy let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.
“She does have a way about her, doesn’t she?” said Rico, fondness, almost pride in his tone.
She had a way that Ziggy was dying to get to know all right. Preferably with his cock first and her mouth later. Except it seemed to be taking forever for her to reach them. Dammit!
He was distracted momentarily as his view of Summer was blocked by the lady in red. Since her subtle “messages” had failed to do the job, she was trying the more direct approach, and stood in front of him, not saying a word, her “message”, though, quite blatant.
It was patently obvious now to Ziggy why she hadn’t managed to snag his attention on any of her previous forays past him. Compared to the understated elegance of Summer, the “Lady in Red” barely rated a first glance, let alone a second. Brash, a surly curl to her highly glossed lips, even the outfit she wore was like a billboard advertising what she had to offer, rather than one to entice and seductively lure a discerning male. Irritated at having his observation of Summer interrupted, he faced the woman, his expression impassive.
It was the slight slur on the title that made him stiffen.
“Well, Mindy, I’m not sure if you’re new or not, but if you want to get a Dom’s attention, this is not the way to do it. Now move away.”
He glowered at her. “Move. Away.”
When she pouted and walked off in a huff, a breath of relief whistled through his lips, earning him a soft laugh from Rico.
He was annoyed, though, that during that small distraction, another male, one he wasn’t familiar with, had swung Summer out onto the dance floor.
Every possessive, dominant bone in his body hardened as he watched the man hold Summer close, one hand sliding down her back to hold her at waist level while the other one caressed down over the womanly swell of her hip, then buttock, holding her firm against him as they did a slow bump and grind to the heavy sensual beat.
The thought of anyone else touching her like that made him choke on the irritation that surged through him, and when the man’s head dipped down to whisper something in her ear, Ziggy rose from his barstool, hands clenching and unclenching, unable to sit still with the restless energy infecting him. A surge of biting hunger, so strong he could almost taste it, filled him. And he wasn’t the only one—a continuous rumble vibrated through him from the wolf inside.
Ziggy turned to see Rico looking at him, rather than Summer, sappy smile gone. “So, what’s the deal, Rico?” he said, trying to flush the tension from his body and force a casualness to his words in spite of the unreasonable, unfamiliar emotions afflicting him. “Is she yours? Is she taken?”
Rico wasn’t fooled for a second and cast a knowing eye over him. “My, my. I do believe I detect a spark of interest. Will wonders never cease…”
“Smart-ass. Just answer the questions.”
“I don’t know…maybe I should make you sweat a bit…”
“You know, I’m sure that DJ must have a copy of YMCA there somewhere…”
“Oooh, nasty!” Rico’s eyes flared and a mock-snarl tilted his upper lip. “Fine, she’s a very, very dear friend…no, she’s not mine, no, she’s not taken, and…” he locked eyes with Ziggy, “she’s under my personal protection. All my other regulars know it, and now you do too.”
Rico’s eyes turned frosty, the ever-present humor absent for once, his expression deadly serious. “Anyone who hurts her dies. Simple.”
Ziggy was taken aback by the chilling menace in Rico’s tone. But he’d spent too many years reading the men he worked with, fought with through three tours of duty in the Special Forces, tuning in to undercurrents that often told more than words. So his ire of moments before abated slightly as incredulity swept through him at the change that had come over his friend—he’d bet his last dime that Rico was in love with the woman. It was the only explanation he could think of.
Rico looked away as their gazes settled once more on Summer.
“Hang on.” Ziggy swung narrowed eyes at Rico. “Protected, how?”
“Sonofabitch! You’ve fucking bitten her?” He forced the words out through clenched teeth. “Why? And you’d better have a damn good reason.”
Rico sat back, leaning his elbows on the padded armrest of the bar, and raised an eyebrow at Ziggy’s outburst. “My, my. Aren’t we the possessive one.”
Ziggy turned back to Summer, who had left her dance partner—about fucking time!—feeling a crushing need to get closer, touch her, hold her, beat at him as she finally neared them. “She’s mine,” he whispered under his breath, and then wondered what the hell he was saying.
“Oh, really?” Rico flashed him a quick grin then stood as Summer approached.
Damned vamps and their super-sharp hearing!
“Yes, well, you might want to run that by Summer first,” Rico continued. “In here, what Summer wants, Summer gets.” Rico turned to the lady in question, a big smile on his face. “Well, well, if it isn’t little Suzie Wong…”
Suzie Wong? What the hell happened to “Summer”?
“Howdy, cowboy,” a sultry voice purred. “In that getup, a gal…or a guy will be thinkin’ you’re lookin’ for a ride tonight…”
“Wench!” laughed Rico, wrapping his arm around her waist. “I thought I lost the bet. So what’s with your outfit?”
“I decided to take pity on you, old man. Now we can both look ridiculous. By the way, who’s Suzie Wong?”
Ridiculous? thought Ziggy in disbelief. Rico, maybe—no, definitely—but Summer? Hell no! But yeah, the Suzie Wong bit had him beat, too.
“Old movie with William Holden and Nancy Kwan…The World of Suzie Wong…” Rico stopped when two blank faces greeted his words. “Never mind. I’m obviously showing my age…”
“And then some,” mumbled Ziggy. Rico responded with a dour look in reply.
But Ziggy’s attention was pulled back to Summer as she tugged at the dress, the movement of trying to smooth it down over her generous hips just drawing his eyes to the seductive curves his hands were itching to mold and caress. “These dresses are designed for tiny little Asian ladies who have two percent body fat, and the curves of a pre-pubescent teenager—do you have any idea how hard it was to pour my body into this thing? You need to stop Michel feeding me all that Gateau de Sirop. I feel like I’ll bust a seam if I breathe out. God help me if I sneeze.” She fingered the fringe on Rico’s vest and chuckled.
Sexual hunger like he hadn’t felt in years flooded through Ziggy as his eyes followed the full curve of her ass. When she lifted a leg to rest a foot delicately clad in a strappy stiletto on the rung of Rico’s stool, the split in her skirt widened, and Ziggy’s mouth dried out at the generous expanse of thigh she revealed in sheer black stockings.
Rico pulled her close. “Well, it was worth every calorie. You look beautiful. Now come here and give me a kiss.”
Ziggy had to grit his teeth as Summer, laughing, wound her arms around Rico’s neck, the vamp wrapping her in a full body hug that set Ziggy’s teeth on edge. It was hard to say what she really looked like, even close up, since the little mask covered the top half of her face. But that mouth alone was the stuff of fantasies. Small, tipping up at the corners, with a slightly fuller lower lip that just begged to be bitten and tugged on.
His groin clenched when she kissed Rico—and it was no “hello” peck like the other men received. If there was any tongue in there, he might just turn rabid. In fact, he wanted nothing more than to rip her out of the vamp’s arms and drag her away. Run her to ground… Oh yeah, chase her until she submitted, on her hands and knees, offering her swollen, dripping cunt up to him and then cover her body with his, burying himself inside her over and over until… Until what?
A low, warning growl rumbled out of Ziggy’s chest like a long roll of thunder, and he stopped. Shook himself. Sweat had broken out all over his body and he was so close to the change it shocked him. Just to be sure, he held up a trembling hand, relieved to see it looked normal. God, what the hell was wrong with him? The wolf never came out unless he set it free. And here he was about to go all furry and he hadn’t even realized, hadn’t even felt it coming. He’d never been like this with a woman before. Never. He came to the club, purged some demons with a willing sub, got some relief, and slipped back into his life again. No ties, no commitment, and definitely no mating. Just how he liked it.
But this… He had no fucking idea what was wrong with him, but he was sure as hell going to find out.