The only thing Derek Clayton has more of than secrets is money. He offers Sara help with one goal in mind – to keep her in the dark until he can work out the events that left her stranded without a memory. Can they give up the constraints of the past to find their happy ending or will his secrets and past love threaten their future?
This 17,000 word novella is intended for mature audiences. It contains a submissive amnesiac seduced by a sexy stranger whose smooth talking skills and sweet kisses leave them burning up the sheets with smoking hot sex.
Sara walked down the stairs to explore and heard Derek’s voice. She moved closer but slowed at the angry tone. She edged closer, wondering who he was speaking with.
“The situation could be better, but I have it under control.”
He paused. “It has nothing to do with Victoria.”
He sighed. “Yeah, I moved them this morning while she was in the shower. The headache is better.”
“It is. No doubt. “
“Thanks.” His voice was wry and his expression, tired. He straightened at whatever the other person said. “You stay away. I’m not ready yet. She’s not going anywhere.”
She flattened herself against the wall. So he was talking about her. She glanced around.
What had he moved, and where else would she go? Did he know who she was?
She quietly moved back upstairs to the bedroom. She glanced around at the space. Was there something here that would tell her who she was? He had clearly been talking about her, so what did he move? Victoria. The woman in the photos? She walked toward the closet.
“Let’s get outside for a while so you can sleep tonight.”
She jumped at Derek’s voice from the doorway. She composed her expression and turned. “What?”
“I just think a little fresh air will help you rest better.”
He led her to a mud room by the back door and pulled a thick jacket with a fluffy collar from the hook for her. She hesitated for a moment. “Is this the housekeeper’s?”
He tapped her nose lightly with the tip of his finger. “Aren’t you the curious one?”
She froze. “I don’t actually know.”
He slid his hand down her cheek before opening the back door. His touch was warm and welcome and from the look on his face, she was sure he knew that. They stepped into the bright sunshine, and Sara inhaled deeply. “Where are we going?”
“I thought we’d take a ride.”
She tilted her head, considering. “Horses?”
He laughed. “No horses. “
“You don’t like horses or they don’t like you?” She knew that people who didn’t have rapport with animals couldn’t be trusted.
“Neither. I just don’t have the time to properly care for horses.” He continued toward a large building in the backyard. The fields rolled into new hills for as far as the eye could see. The only thing breaking up the fields were a few tree lines in the distance and a pond off to one side. “I was thinking more of a two wheel ride.”
The gleaming black animal stood in the middle of an open space in the building. Metal and chrome, power and finesse. On a shelf sat several helmets. Derek pulled the band from Sara’s hair, and she shook it out, curls tangling down her back, as he watched. Then he helped her put on the helmet before grabbing one for himself.
“I’m not sure this is the best idea.”
“It is the absolute best idea I’ve had in a long time.” He slid onto the seat and gave her a sideways glance. “Coming?”
If she got onto that bike, she wasn’t sure what she’d be doing. He had secrets concerning her, and she needed to know what they were. She would just have to work hard to maintain a little distance because she really wanted to go with him. The idea of forgetting her troubles with a fast ride appealed to her on several levels. “You’re sure it’s safe?”
She waited. “We’ve?” Her mouth tilted into a soft grin on one side.
He leaned toward her then, no preamble, just touched his lips to hers. “We’ve got to get going if we’re going to get back before dark.” His lips were soft and warm and she felt bereft that the touch was so quick. She hadn’t seen it coming, hadn’t savored it at all. It was the first time a kiss on her mouth hadn’t been part of sex. The other was good but this was also very nice.
She gave a firm nod and got on behind him. He put on his own helmet before pulling from the building and weaving around to the road. As they passed the house, she was sure she saw the housekeeper watching from the window. But she hadn’t been alone. There was a man watching too.
Renee Burke has sampled life in Louisiana and the East Coast before finally settling down in the Midwest where she met her husband. She was destined to be a teacher and loves instilling a love of reading in her students and trying to draw out their inner writers.
Renee has enjoyed romance since she was old enough to buy her own books, but her writing developed slowly as she balanced life with her family and a desire to “do it right.” Her husband gave her the push she needed with a writing course several years ago, and she was off! She has finally learned that romance should be felt rather than overanalyzed. She loves reading and writing romance with a wide range of emotion and humor. Her close friends all enjoy swapping author and book suggestions and looking for the next hot, sweet love story.
Renee claims her phone e-reader app allows her more reading time than ever before. “People think I’m busy with important emails and let me read uninterrupted!” Besides writing, Renee is crazy about spending time with her two handsome sons and amazingly devoted husband.