By Glenys O'Connell @GlenysOConnell
We're all about The Most here at the Roses of Prose this month. I like my romance and suspense seasoned with a bit of humor, and banter between two lovers - or would-be lovers - can be very sexy indeed!
In Resort to Murder, Det. Ellie Fitzpatrick is becoming re-acquainted with her former lover, Detective Superintendent Liam Reilly, who's now her boss. Even though the relationshop broke up, Reilly's instincts to protect Ellie reignite when her home is broken into and searched. He spends the night outside her seaside cottage, keeping watch....and an early morning shower in Ellie's bathroom gives him the opportunity to bait the current man in Ellie's life, Brad, as well as teasing Ellie.....
"So, again, what are you doing on my doorstep at...?" Ellie paused to peer at the kitchen clock, "Good God, Reilly, it's barely six o'clock!"
"Yeah, well, I have an early meeting in
Leeds, and I
need to use your shower," Reilly replied, as if dropping in on her for
bathroom facilities was routine. He opened the cupboard doors, studying the
contents, before shutting them in disgust. He repeated the process at the
refrigerator. "Ellie, don't you have anything to eat in this place?"
She couldn't help but smile as memories returned of Reilly, heavy eyed from a night of passion, climbing back into their love-scented bed with tea and toast as morning light filled the room. "You never were much good without your tea and toast."
"There was a time you thought I was pretty good." His temper flared and she blushed. Giving her an evil look, he dropped two bags into the teapot; made a martyred sounding request that she make tea when the kettle boiled, and asked where she kept the towels.
Ellie, about to snap a vitriolic reply, suddenly realized that if Reilly was here so early, it probably meant he'd spent the night in his car. She almost burst out laughing, except that a tiny core deep inside her bloomed with sudden tenderness. He stood watch outside, in the cold, damp, sea-seasoned night, to make sure my intruder didn't return.
A sensuous awareness snaked lazily from the pit of her stomach and Ellie swallowed on a suddenly dry mouth. Had she known he was there, so close, she would have felt so much safer, so much more secure. Would she have invited him in so that they could keep watch together? Ah, now, that would have been exposing herself to danger for sure. That hungry little quiver beat low in her stomach as her every nerve ending responded to feelings she'd thought had died of neglect. Regretfully, she pushed them away now. She'd need all her wits about her today – her first day back at work. Ellie had bigger fish to fry than Liam Reilly.
Deep in thought, she poured hot water on the tea bags in the pot. A shadow fell across the thin net curtains and, startled, she sloshed boiling water onto the counter. It took her a moment to realize the shadow was Brad passing her kitchen window en route to the patio. She flicked the lock up and slid the door open to let him in.
"Must be my day for early visitors," she commented, sniffing the air appreciatively as she saw the small white bakery box in his hands.
"Thought I'd bring breakfast for us again– croissants fresh from the oven," Brad said, his arms going around her and drawing her to him as his mouth sought hers.
"Don't let me interrupt anything." Reilly sauntered out of Ellie's bathroom, obviously naked except for the bath towel wrapped precariously around his waist. He rubbed at his damp hair with the end of another towel draped around his neck, the movement causing the towel around his waist to slip ever more slowly downward. Mesmerized, she stared at the tiny drops of moisture clinging to the fine mat of hair on his chest, her eyes following them downward. Once upon a time she'd have licked away those tiny droplets and he'd have…Ellie shook herself back to the present.
Brad was staring, too, his face contorted with rage. Only Reilly seemed comfortable with the scenario as he took the bakery box from Brad's hand.
"Uhmm, are those croissants? They smell wonderful," he said, casually helping himself to the pastries, then pouring a hot mug of tea, apparently oblivious to the way his presence had exploded into the room.
Ellie had time only to register the scene herself, noting with a little shock the puckered scar, a flash of glossy pink snaking in a livid line from his upper arm across to Liam's shoulder before Brad, white-faced with anger, asked, "What the hell's he doing here?"
"Brad, there's an explanation..." Ellie stammered.
Resort to Murder is published by The Wild Rose Press and available here or on Amazon here . Glenys O'Connell is working on a new contemporary romance, The No Sex Clause, and finishing edits on her soon to be released romantic suspense, Saving Maggie, coming December 31st from Crimson Romance