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Cedric Compton was tired. His flight had been delayed and his bags lost. He'd checked into the Mystic Harbour, a fellow author's condo he was using for the next few weeks. He probably should have grabbed a bite to eat and crashed for the night. But he was too pumped to sleep.
The moment he stepped off the plane he'd felt it. The burst of energy, the unknown and yet familiar.
Cedric was a best-selling novelist, his books at the top of the fantasy genre. His editor and agent loved him but didn't hesitate to tighten the noose when he was close to deadline and they still had no book. After ten years of writing and researching mythical beings, paranormal occurrences, ghosts, witches, and so much more, Cedric was sad to say he was stumped. His new book needed an element, something he wasn't sure how to infuse. He'd researched and researched until he'd thought he had his world and his characters down to a science, but as he read the pages stored on his laptop, he felt there was still something missing.
He'd read about Sahara Baker's kind in the many books he'd purchased. Rather, he'd read about the Desirables, an elite coven of witches who were super fine and super good in bed. Could there be anything better than a magical body in your bed? He'd quickly shaken that thought off. He couldn't imagine being intimate with a woman that powerful, no matter how good she looked.
In his current project there was a power, an evil that Cedric could not accurately explain. There was also a human element he felt was missing. Raising his fist, he pounded on the door again. He needed answers, even though he wasn't quite sure what the questions were.
She was at home. He'd seen thelights upstairs while he'd sat in his car for the past ten minutes deciding whether or not to get out. She lived in a huge peach-colored colonial. The shutters, railings, and doors were white. The gardens, from what he could see in the dark, were well tended. His first thought was that there was no way a witch could live here. Then he'd chuckled--he should be the last one judging on legend alone.
Finally, he'd gotten out of his car and walked through the short picket gate, up the cobble-stoned walkway and matching steps, and onto the porch, which held quaint, cushioned chairs and huge potted plants. For a minute he had imagined this was the house of someone's grandmother. Then he'd seen the knocker. Three crescent moons overlapping back to back--the Desirable shield.
He'd still been deep in thought when the door was snatched open. He should have known the books he'd read were not one hundred percent accurate. She took his breath away. She was tall, almost eye-level with him, which put her close to six feet. Her hair was raven black, pulled away from her face so tightly it should have made her eyes bulge. But those eyes weren't protruding in the least. No, the exotic slant to eyes the color of jade wasn't disconcerting. It was sexy as hell.
Her skin looked smooth as silk, the color of fresh honey. Her lips were full but with a heart shape that put him in mind of a doll. And her body ... ghost, werewolf, cat, dog, or man would have a hard-on to rival none other at the sight of her curvaceous body. It was just his luck that she wore a robe, a bright lime-green robe that reached her knees and cinched tightly at her waist. Yet the hard-on he felt currently rising in his pants was definitely something to compare to his last few.
Swallowing deeply, Cedric gave her his most charming smile and said, "Good evening."
No. It wasn't good. It hadn't been good for the last five hours, and just when it had been about to become fantastic, he'd banged on the damn door. These words skidded to a halt in Sahara's mind as she looked at the intruder.
He fit the description of her perfect bedmate to precision. He was tall, with skin almost the color of her precious Onyx. And gorgeous, in a rugged, urban sort of way. His dark brown eyes had a fiercely intelligent quality, his eyebrows were just a tad on the bushy side, his nose was crooked, and his lips were nice and thick. He had a strong jaw, his lips and chin covered by a thin goatee, and just beneath his left eye was a scar that gave him a dangerous quality. Finally, there was that bald head. Her heart thumped--she loved a bald-headed man.
All that aside, it was after midnight and he was intruding. The question was, why? Instinctively she reached out, touched a hand to his elbow, and smiled. "Good evening."
"I'm sorry to stop by so late at night," he began, "but I just got to town and I had to see you."
"Did you now?" Sahara moved her hand up and down his arm, her mind searching, seeking. "You're not from around here," she said with certainty.
"No. I'm not. My name is Cedric Compton. I'm here--"
"Cedric Compton?" She snatched her hand away from his arm. "Cedric Compton, the novelist?"
Sahara took a step back and the man chuckled. "Yes. Does that make me contagious or something?" He looked down at his arm, then back to her face with confusion.
"No ... ah ... I mean," she stumbled, then looked straight at him and took a deep breath. "I've read your books. You do good work."
"Thank you. I think." He sounded confused.
Sahara was almost beyond her threshold of tolerance tonight. On top of the unwanted visitor's arrival, she couldn't even get a damned reading off of him. Not a stray lustful thought or even the murky cloud of dishonesty. She'd touched him and felt nothing, saw nothing. This baffled her because she was a touch-empath. One of her Desirable powers was her insight into people's minds, their souls. This was the way she helped her wards. "Why did you need to see me?"
Even though she hadn't invited him in, he took a step forward into the house. She didn't budge. He took another step, and they were toe to toe. Again she did not budge. "I'm doing some research for my next novel, and your name keeps coming up."
"Really?" She tilted her head so that her ponytail swished to the side.
His arm came forward, his hand grasping the swinging thatch of hair.
"Is your next novel about hair?" she asked coyly.
Sahara felt her excitement dripping onto her thighs. She'd been wrong when she thought she got no feelings from him. She did feel something--lust, pure and simple.
He visibly inhaled, and Sahara wondered if he'd picked up the scent of her arousal. "No. It's about good and evil. Pleasure and pain."
She licked her lips. "And which do you prefer?"
He leaned in closer, so close she felt his breath against her lips. "I'll let you know in a minute," he whispered before crushing her mouth with his own.