Take it away, Cynthia!
In Sinful Rewards 11, the second last sizzling installment in my contemporary erotic romance serial, Bee, our heroine, has a date for a fancy ball. She’s super excited because she’s never been to an event like this before. She didn’t even attend her high school prom.
Here’s a snippet with her explaining why.
“Ohhh . . . I’m going to a ball, a real live ball.” I clap my hands, unable to stay still. “I’ve never been to such a fancy party.”
“You didn’t go to your prom?”
“No.” My smile wavers. “A prom is an event for respectable young ladies, not the daughter of Happydale’s wild woman.” I quote Mrs. Davis, imitating her condescending tone. I would have fought her decree if I’d had support. But all of my friends had deserted me by graduation, chased away by rumors and peer pressure.
Hawke’s face darkens. “Do you want me to have them killed?”
My military man’s bloodthirsty reaction extinguishes the sadness of my past. “I don’t want them killed today.” I grin. “Because today, I’m going to a ball.”
Like Bee, I also missed my high school prom. I was working and I figured I’d eventually attend my university ‘prom’. For that event, I hoped to have the experience we often see in movies—shopping for a big gown, fixing my makeup and hair with chatty girlfriends, being presented with a corsage, arriving in a limo on the arm of a tux and boutonnière-wearing man, drinking champagne under a ceiling covered in balloons.
Except everyone attending my university grad party had been there, done that. It was so high school and we were university graduates now. The party was a sedate, semi-professional affair, a dinner and nothing more. My girlfriends humored me with the makeup and hair experience, making a big fuss over me. My super understanding date was the only man in a tuxedo (and remains one of my good friends two decades later). I was the only woman with a corsage. There were no limos or balloons or crazy dance routines.
It taught me two great lessons—life experiences shouldn’t be taken for granted and there are some absolutely wonderful people in this world.
Have you ever attended a prom or a fancy ball? Did you have fun? What was your favorite part? I want to hear all about it!
“We’ll greet our new cat together,” Hawke assures me. The elevator doors open and we exit, our fingers linked together. “But after Gisele’s settled, I have to leave.” He brushes his shoulder against mine. “I’m personally supervising the venue’s preliminary security scan.”
“Do you usually supervise that?” I slow my pace to a crawl, wishing to spend more time with him.
“No.” Hawke matches my stride, his gait smooth and silent. “Normally, I assign the task to my team.”
But he isn’t tonight. I don’t delude myself that this personal attention is because of me. “There will be a lot of media at the event.”
Hawke’s lips flatten. “The media is the number one reason why our clients need security. If a hostile’s sole goal is to eliminate an individual, he’d avoid an event like this ball. He’d approach his target when she’s out of the spotlight and alone, minimizing casualties and the possibility of being apprehended.”
I consider his words. “I don’t have to worry about that type of hostile.” No one would specifically target me. I’m not that important. “That’s why I was safe in the French restaurant.”
“You were safer in the restaurant,” Hawke corrects. “You’re never completely safe.” He touches the barbed wire tattoo on his arm, a reminder of how random violence can be. “The media and an event like tonight’s ball attract a different type of hostile. They wish to make a statement. They do this by taking out their target and as many bystanders as possible, ensuring coverage of their cause.”
This is the scary world he lives in. I shiver. “That doesn’t happen very often.” I would have seen reports on the Internet, on TV.
“But it does happen.” My military man waves his passcard over our condo’s sensor. “You’ll obey my team tonight, Belinda.” He opens the door. “If they say move, you move.”
“I’ll follow orders.” I step over the threshold. There’s a speck of gravel on my previously cleaned floor. I frown. That shouldn’t be there. I cleaned the condo before I left. No one has entered it since then.
Or have they? I freeze, my body temperature dropping. “Hawke?” I whisper.
“Yes, love?” He moves forward and the door shuts behind him.
I extend my arms, preventing my big man from passing me. “Back into the hallway and call your team.” I keep my voice soft and calm, suppressing the terror swirling inside me. “Someone entered our condo while we were gone.”
Sinful Rewards 11
A Billionaires and Bikers Novella
May 12, 2015
Avon Red Impulse
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Bee Carter has been invited to one of Chicago's most glamorous charity balls. Attending this high-society event will be a dream come true, giving her the sense of belonging she's always craved and memories she could never duplicate.
But it will also test her relationship. Because her date won't be the man she believes she loves. Instead, she'll be arriving on the tuxedo-clad arm of his rival, a man who has never stopped wanting her, desiring her touch, her kisses, and her passion.
How much will Bee risk to make a dream come true? Will her newfound love withstand the temptation of another, a man willing to do anything to claim her?
Cynthia Sax lives in a world filled with magic and romance. Although her heroes may not always say, "I love you," they will do anything for the women they adore. They live passionately. They play hard. They love the same women forever. Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.