Devyn Quinn resides in the scenic Southwest, though she has called several other states home. She lives with her cats (too many to be counted!), five ferrets (yes, five!), and single Shih Tzu, Tess.
Embracing Midnightby Devyn Quinn
Devyn Quinn tells a tale of dark and dangerous seduction as one woman experiences exquisitely erotic delights. . .with a very unusual man . . .
Undercover FBI agent Callie Whitten is tracking an outlaw like no other: Iollan Drake. And one hot night she finds him--and finds the ultimate in extreme sexual pleasure in his arms. Callie craves more./b>… See more details below
Devyn Quinn tells a tale of dark and dangerous seduction as one woman experiences exquisitely erotic delights. . .with a very unusual man . . .
Undercover FBI agent Callie Whitten is tracking an outlaw like no other: Iollan Drake. And one hot night she finds him--and finds the ultimate in extreme sexual pleasure in his arms. Callie craves more. And more. . .
But Iollan Drake has a lethal secret: he is a vampire, drawing his passionate strength from blood energized by sexual arousal. He in turn craves Callie. She is beautiful and yielding--and utterly fearless. Compelled to brand her as his own, wrapped in darkness, he whispers to her. Give me your soul, Callie. And your body. I will have you! She hears. . .and she obeys. . .
Praise for Devyn Quinn's novels. . .
"A great story. . .explicit and extremely sensual." --Just Erotic Romance Reviews on Sins Of The Flesh
"Intense. . .if you're looking for a wild ride, this is it." --Romantic Times on Flesh And The Devil
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- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
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By DEVYN QUINN
Copyright © 2008
All right reserved.
Chapter One Literally and figuratively, Iollan Drake had given feds the finger. And that was pissing Callie Whitten off. Time and time again the outlaw she was supposed to be tracking had turned the tables, dodging the night's stakeout. Despite her team's best efforts, Drake always seemed to be one step ahead.
"Maybe tomorrow." Muttering under her breath, Callie reached out and punched the call button for the elevator. Bone tired, she checked the clock in the lobby. Three thirty in the morning. Too late to be out, and too early to get up. A little groan escaped her lips. Goddamn. Another day gone and agents still weren't any closer to cornering their quarry. Drake's talent for appearing and disappearing seemingly at will was puzzling-and enviable.
Gaze dropping, Callie caught a brief glimpse of her face in the shiny doors. A thatch of messy blond hair ruled over bloodshot, kohl-lined eyes, painted cheeks, and a mouth slashed with crimson. A figure-shaping bustier, leather miniskirt, laced leather wrist cuffs, and Victorian-style boots completed her outfit.
The image didn't match the woman inside, which was part of the reason the bureau had picked her for this assignment. Her ability to change from grunge to glam in the blink of an eye meant she was able to work most any type of undercover operation. Her lack of a husband and children was another. Callie was one of the few female agents ready to pack and leave on ten minutes' notice.
Where the hell was the elevator? The only thing she wanted right now was a hot shower and cool sheets, and that was taking far too long in arriving.
Losing patience, Callie burrowed inside her purse for a cigarette. With her nerves on the edge of frayed, quitting was not an option. A shot of nicotine would help her relax. Extracting a cigarette from a crumpled pack, she put it between her lips.
A man stepped up, his shoulder lightly brushing hers. Engrossed in her search, she hadn't even noticed his arrival.
"Allow me, please."
His voice snapped her flagging senses to attention. Touched with an Irish brogue, his voice was familiar. Dangerously familiar.
Callie gasped. The man beside her was so drop-dead gorgeous her heart skipped a beat. His presence, so riskily close, heated her skin as heavy awareness pulsed through her veins.
Iollan Drake. In the flesh. Right here. Right now.
All lean muscle and sinew, the outlaw was stunning. Thick hair brushed his brow. An unusual shade best described as pearlescent smoke, it settled in tousled layers around his chiseled face. Deep-set eyes, wide strong nose, and an absolutely sensual mouth ruled over a jaw brushed with stubble. Narrow hips and long legs were hugged by a tight pair of boot-cut Levi's. A calf-length denim duster and polished black boots finished his sleek but casual style.
Drake looked devastating, much more appealing in person than the blurry photos she'd studied before joining the investigation. Solid, lean, and muscular, he was handsome in an unusual, edgy sort of way. His features weren't perfect, but were arranged in such a way as to make him striking enough to countenance a second-and third-look. The top button of his creamy silk shirt was undone, and below his beltline was a suggestive bulge she couldn't possibly miss even if she'd wanted to.
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Callie tugged the cigarette from her mouth. Numb fingers curled around the fragile paper cylinder, crushing it. "No thanks. I changed my mind." She dumped the remnants into the nearby receptacle, dusting off bits of lingering tobacco. "I'm trying to quit. That oral thing, you know-"
Pocketing his lighter, the outlaw smiled. The lithe way he moved compelled attention. "I understand. It's a difficult habit to break." Eyes a woman could drown in raked her body. Easily his most striking feature, the irises were a brilliant shade of copper, the pupils not quite round but slightly oval. Odd, but strangely attractive. "I'm glad I caught you, though. I was afraid you'd gotten away from me."
Blindsided, Callie made a grab for her wits. She gave her head a shake to clear it. "I didn't know you were looking for me." Holy shit. Had the criminal pegged her as a federal agent? Self-preservation conflicted with the need to remain cool. Whatever move he might make, she needed to be ready to counter without hesitation. Her mind sidetracked to the fact that she was unarmed and had no backup whatsoever. Being caught alone with a sex trafficker and suspected killer wasn't exactly an appealing thought.
He visually explored her, eyes lingering on her breasts pushed high and plump by her form-shaping bustier, then moving back up to her face. "I'm always looking, Calista."
She resisted the urge to fidget. He didn't act the least bit hostile, dangerous, or savage. Loose and relaxed, his face reflected nothing more than friendly interest. "How do you know my name?"
His eyes skimmed over her again. "The tag you're wearing," he said in the accent sprinkled with a dusting of leprechauns and blarney. "That's your name, I assume."
His brash attitude shot through Callie like a bolt of electricity and her cheeks heated. Her ability for thinking fast on her feet seemed to have vanished. Calista wasn't her real name, but close enough that she remembered to answer to it. Her cover as a waitress at Hell-Bound Train, the Goth club Drake frequented, gave her access to all areas of the club.
"Um, yes, it is. I usually don't have men following me home from work just to ask about it though."
"When I notice a beautiful woman, I want to know more about her." His comeback was smooth, a heart-stopping flash of charm.
Callie tried to detour around the remark. "I didn't even think you'd glanced twice at me."
He smiled. "Oh, I glanced. More than once, I assure you." He stepped closer, holding out his hand. "And in case you want to know whom your stalker is this evening, my name is Iollan Drake."
As if she didn't already know.
To be polite, Callie accepted his offering. Long graceful fingers curled around hers. His grip was sure, strong, and firm. Much to her surprise he hadn't pronounced his name the way it was spelled, ill-an, but had used a soft "y" instead, you-lan. She liked the sound of it better. Suddenly, coming from the lips of its owner, it was personal-belonging to more than the ink on a dry dossier.
"Unusual name." Feeling his skin against hers, a thrill wove its way through her veins and her body temperature inched higher. If she let him, he'd easily seduce her with his laid-back manner and obvious charm. That was his goal, no doubt. She hoped he didn't feel the tremble in her hand.
"Around here, yes. But I've had it all my life, so I'm used to it."
She grasped for an intelligent rejoinder and came up dry. "I guess you already know my name."
"I do." His grip tightened subtly. "And the pleasure is entirely mine."
Flustered, Callie drew back her hand. She'd bet dollars to donuts this man didn't have a problem charming women. His leading-man good looks and easy manner made him seem too good to be true. Were she not aiming to put him behind bars, she'd have been more than happy to be the object of his attention.
He let her hand go with seeming reluctance. "You're most welcome." The flash of white teeth revealed an alluring dimple.
Callie inwardly groaned. She loved dimples, would love to plant a soft kiss right at the corner of his fine mouth.
Swallowing over the lump in her throat, she took a step back. Widening the distance. She didn't know what his motives were, but she suspected he was looking for something more than a late-night diversion.
"Well," she said. "I guess I should get going."
His eyes clouded, then just as quickly cleared. "I don't suppose there's any chance I might get you to join me for a cup of coffee. It's late, I know, and I probably haven't got any right to ask."
She forced a casual shrug. "No harm in asking."
"Any chance I'll get an answer?"
Callie stared into his expressive face. Her training as an agent had taught her to delve past words and study body language. His unexpected appearance notwithstanding, nothing in Drake's manner hinted of intimidation. Trying to pick up a woman he'd seen in a bar was typical male behavior, partly opportunistic and partly sincere.
Except picking up women wasn't his hobby. Flesh peddling was his profession. Then it dawned on her. He didn't see her as a threat but as a potential victim. Callie wasn't one to flinch from the demands her job placed on her, but the idea of being alone with this man made her stomach clench. Not from fear. Desire.
The minefield she'd unexpectedly walked into was getting tricky. One false step and the situation could blow up in her face. She considered brushing him off, then quickly realized that wasn't an option. She had to continue to play her role.
Backed into a corner, she made a play for a little more time to think. "I, ah, I'm not sure."
Amused, his eyes crinkled at the edges, a hint of mischief woven with longing. "Perhaps you could use some help making up your mind."
Giving no warning, Drake bridged the brief distance separating them. The air sizzled as his strong hands slid over her hips.
A strong sensual tug filled her. "What-" Callie started to protest, but he gave her no chance to continue. His mouth descended, forcible and warm, branding her in a way promising pleasure if only she'd submit. She was surprised at the sense of strength emanating from him. Arousal-unexpected, potent, and definitely forbidden-reared its head, delivering a thrilling hum that stretched all the way to her toes. Physical tension ratcheted up. He was good. Better than good. Superb.
A shudder ran through her. Instead of pulling back, Callie opened her mouth, allowing him to deepen the kiss. He stroked her tongue with his in a manner making it clear he'd also like to claim her.
A soft moan escaped her. Ropes of desire tangled around her whole body as the heat from his palms seeped through her tight leather skirt. Her skin crackled with the electricity of his touch. Heart pounding, she felt her nipples harden. She'd played scenes with Drake in her mind a thousand times, and not once had she ever imagined herself as a target of his seduction.
Without warning, the elevator clamored open, expelling a couple of early-morning joggers. Disconcerted, Callie took a hasty step back, breaking their passionate embrace. The pair bustled by, heads turned and eyebrows notched in disapproval.
She ducked her head, swiping at her tingling lips in embarrassment. She'd lost her head, briefly succumbing to the excitement his kiss stirred inside her. No telling what would have happened if they hadn't been interrupted. "I guess they didn't approve."
"Seems like." Amusement danced in his eyes. "What about you? Not convincing enough?"
Think criminal, she reminded herself as a guard against his colossal appeal. "One kiss isn't anything special."
She started to reach for the elevator's call button, but his light touch on her arm stopped her hand in midair. "I'd like it to be."
As her scalp prickled deliciously, her inner mercury shot up another notch, into the red zone. She'd have to tread carefully to stay one step ahead. "This is moving a little fast. I wasn't expecting you to walk into my life tonight."
A touch of wryness brushed his expression. "This wasn't quite how I'd planned to ask you to spend a little time with me." His hand slid down her arm, his fingers finding hers. "Or maybe it was."
His words stroked the hunger deep inside her. "Sounds like you know exactly what you want."
"I do." He leaned in, an inch or two closer. "Say you will."
She hesitated. "I-I'm not sure...."
His hand squeezed hers. His intimate touch reminded her all over again of carnal hungers too long unfed. Desire became a palpable thing, creating a sheen of perspiration across her forehead and down her spine.
"It'll be good." He spoke intimately, his accented voice and entrancing copper eyes almost hypnotic. "I promise."
Of that she had no doubt. The thought of his hands exploring her naked skin sent a fresh pulse of moisture straight to her core. Callie felt as if she were burning up. His body heat seemed to enter through her lips and spread through her veins like molten lava.
Mind reeling, she pursed dry lips. The more she resisted, the harder he was going to try. "The least I can do is offer you a cup of coffee."
Drake's smile didn't ease her tension. "That's a start."
Thoughts tumbling through her mind, Callie eyed him like one would a cobra; beautiful, mesmerizing, and absolutely lethal. Iollan Drake was suspected of kidnapping women with cold-blooded regularity, then selling them into the sex trade. Two far more experienced agents pursuing the human trafficking ring Drake operated had lost their lives.
She shivered. She'd been instructed to take whatever steps were necessary to gain his trust, be it by hook or crook. Her superiors hadn't suggested using her own shapely ass. Dedicated to catching the bad guys, she'd never in her wildest fantasies thought of having sex with one. How far she intended to go, she didn't dare to imagine. At the moment only one thing was for sure.
The night was about to heat up.
Chapter Two They rode up the elevator to Callie's apartment in silence. As she eased open the door and snapped on a nearby lamp, apprehension warred with lust. She couldn't help but look forward to the few hours they might share, though she knew she was walking a thin line. Shivering, she let out a slow breath. You're getting in deep.
Stepping inside the narrow foyer, Iollan Drake squeezed past her. His body brushed hers, his hands lingering a second longer than necessary on her hips. "Excuse me."
"No problem." Though it only lasted a moment, it was enough to set Callie afire. Her heart raced, and her sexual senses were attuned to his masculine strength. Every beat inside her chest made her that much more aware this was a man she deeply desired.
She almost sighed with relief when he stepped back and slid off his coat. His tall frame seemed to fill every inch around her, hammering home his very presence. Did he know how aroused she was? Six months had passed since a man had touched her in an intimate way.
Oblivious to her thoughts, he glanced around for a place to hang his duster.
"Let me." She hung his coat on the rack beside the door.
"You're welcome." Callie debated whether or not to lock them in. After a moment's hesitation, she slid the dead bolt into place. There'd be no going back, no changing her mind.
"I'll make coffee," she said, leading the way into the living room. The apartment was miniscule. An open kitchen/living room arrangement branched off into a small bedroom with adjoining bathroom. The furniture was well used in a shabby chic sort of way: serviceable, but scarcely more. The next stop would be the junkyard instead of the Salvation Army. Nothing was amiss except the ashtray full of cigarette butts on the coffee table-and the dozen peach roses arranged in an exquisite crystal vase.
Seeing the flowers, Callie felt her gut spasm around the meager snack of peanuts and coffee she'd earlier consumed at the bar. They hadn't been there when she'd left this morning. Bile rose, burning the back of her throat. She didn't have to read the card tucked into the middle of the arrangement to know who'd sent them. Roger Reinke. Her current boss. And her ex-lover.
Her impromptu guest also noticed the flowers. "Special occasion?"
Callie cleared her throat. "My birthday."
An eyebrow rose. "Oh?"
"Yeah, today's my big three-oh."
He touched the delicate petals of one bloom. "From anyone special?"
"Not by a long shot." Dropping her purse, Callie plucked the small envelope from the roses. To my best girl, it read. There was no name. She rolled her eyes. Roger Reinke knew how to cover his tracks. The handwriting wasn't even his, but that of some female florist fulfilling the order.
She crumpled the card. She shouldn't let the gift disturb her, but it did. Now wasn't the time for Roger to try and make nice. She'd just convinced herself ending their affair was the right thing to do. Her life-and work-was much less complicated without a jealous lover.
But emptier, an inner voice pointed out.
Her sigh sounded defeated. "They're from an old boyfriend." A hairline crack opened up in her heart when she said the words. Apparently the mending was easier said than done.
Iollan raised an inquiring eyebrow. "Someone you still care about?"
Excerpted from EMBRACING MIDNIGHT by DEVYN QUINN Copyright © 2008 by Devyn Quinn. Excerpted by permission.
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