Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at BookShelfery. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story. [indie-author-excerpt] “Do you ever feel lost living in such a big house by yourself?”
Drake started, unprepared for her question. Ellie was definitely in a strange mood today. She’d been to his house countless times before and never asked something so personal.
Her cheeks coloured. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to be so nosey.”
“It’s a valid question.” He shrugged. “I don’t feel lost. It’s just a house. Somewhere to sleep, store my stuff, invest my money.”
His four-bedroom mansion complete with harbour views and swimming pool was a good investment. He’d hired a decorator to furnish it appropriately, bought artworks which were also investments, and employed a team of housekeepers and gardeners to maintain his property. Other than that, he didn’t spare it much thought.
He opened the refrigerator to get some drinks.
“And Tiger Hollow?” Ellie asked.
His hand tightened around the bottle of mineral water. Very few people knew about Tiger Hollow. Even Ellie didn’t know exactly where his private hideaway was. All she knew was that it was somewhere in the wilderness of Tasmania’s west coast, and she only knew that because she arranged the charter helicopter flights from Launceston. Drake never talked about Tiger Hollow and he intended keeping it that way.
He pulled out a bottle of mineral water and grabbed a couple of glasses.
“Is my little secret,” he said, pouring out two drinks and passing one to her.
The pink in her cheeks deepened again. He’d never seen his personal assistant blush so much, and he had to admit he liked it. In the past she’d appeared remote, cut off, but now she was coming alive and doing the most startling and inappropriate things. Hell, wasn’t that kiss of hers exhibit A?
Which reminded him of why he’d got her away from the office environment. They needed to have a serious talk, or he was in danger of losing the best personal assistant he’d ever had, and at this crucial juncture he needed all the help he could get to land Leone Enterprises. Yes, he was excited and turned on by her, but bringing down Anthony Leone was far more important. So he had to douse out this sudden flaring attraction between them as quickly as possible.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked without warning.
She raised startled eyes to him. “No.” She sounded shocked.
She clasped her fingers around her glass of water. “Is this a trick question?”
“No.” He tried to soften his tone. “I really want to know.”
“Because I kissed you downstairs?” She tossed back her hair. “You think I’m sexually repressed and because I rescued you I have this warped idea that you’re mine?” Her eyes sparked. “Look, I know you’re sex on a stick, but I am not some crazy-eyed witch who’s going to jump your bones when you’re not looking.”
She stopped, her face bright pink, her hair almost crackling with emotion. Lust caught fire and burned through Drake. Once again he couldn’t believe this reticent woman who never raised her voice could be saying such things. Now he really needed to come up with a reply that would lower the temperature of the conversation and cool the heat in his blood.
Drake cleared his throat. “So you do want to go to bed with me, then?”
Holy shit. Where had that come from? He’d lost all control of his mouth. And his libido.
Silence swelled between them, thick with desire and disbelief. A silence that wrapped itself around Drake’s chest and squeezed until he could hardly breathe. Ellie’s face was blank with astonishment, but in her eyes a myriad emotions flared, and her lips were parted in what seemed to him a mute affirmative to his question.
Then, the mobile phone on the counter began to beep, and they both jumped as if a gun had blasted off. The silence binding them together shattered as Ellie snatched up the phone and answered it, her voice so breathless it was unrecognisable.
Drake spun on his heel and stalked over to the sink, cursing his runaway tongue. He couldn’t fathom how he’d lost all self-control. Maybe the accident had taken more out of him than he was prepared to admit. Maybe Charles was right about taking a two week break.
He rubbed the dressing on his forehead absentmindedly. His doctor hadn’t approved of him returning to work, even though it was from home. He’d been advised to take a proper break from all stress, but he’d scoffed at the idea. Rest and recuperation was for wimps.
But now both he and Ellie had two whole weeks off. Maybe he should head for Tiger Hollow and leave Ellie in Sydney to cool her heels and get her brain in order. Maybe after a few weeks’ absence she’d recover and return to being the capable, unobtrusive personal assistant he needed.
But he couldn’t forget her warm, soft lips waking him up so sweetly. Just remembering it made him hard. Maybe he should take Ellie with him to Tiger Hollow, and they could do a little recuperating together.
Hell no! That was the worst idea ever. He’d never taken any woman to Tiger Hollow. If he did that, he’d well and truly trample down all the barriers between them, and they’d never get back to their previous standing.
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