Melissa MacNeal
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HOT FOR IT


Naughty, Naughty

Hot For It

Buying a private Caribbean island is a fantasy come true for romance writer Cat Gamble...gorgeous house, white sand beach, lush tropical gardens--and native caretakers Leilani and Ramon are part of the package!  But all work and no foreplay make Cat a very frustrated girl!

So she runs a personal ad on the Internet inviting good-looking (rich!) guys to come out and play.  And when Captain Jack Spankevopoulos offers to kidnap her for a love slave vacation aboard his pirate ship, the Captive Fantasy, she's hot for it--and for him.  What woman doesn't want a pirate lover with a British accent?

Who knew she'd be kidnapped by the wrong pirates?

Cat becomes the hostage of two very real, very WONG brothers, who hold her for ransom while they train her to become a love slave...take their own personal pleasure in teaching her the ins and outs of submission.  Cat plays along, hoping Captain Jack will find a way to rescue her, while discovering desires she can't wait to share with him aboard his magnificent ship.escue his damsel in distress?

WARNING! This is a REALLY HOT book. (Sexually Explicit)

HOT FOR IT
October 2007
Aphrodisia
ISBN
0-7582-1412-X

 


Excerpt

CHAPTER  1

Cat Gamble rested her aching head in her hands, squinting at the manuscript page on her laptop screen. Her lips moved as she read silently.

Clarissa's heart thundered when he tossed her  onto his bed. The pirate's lips, so brutally chiseled into his   sea-beaten but handsome face, parted in a hard smile as he ripped open her bodice.

"Ah, such lush beauties, these," he breathed, wedging his knee between her thighs. "Peaks like berries, just awaitin' my tongue...lappin' at your creamy skin, sweet lady, as I feast upon your fleshly delights."

Gasping with the sandpaper texture of his face, Clarissa curled in upon herself. Quite against her will, she writhed beneath his hot, solid weight. That was no ordinary sword pressing into her abdomen...surely long and thick enough to ravage her down there, the way this  swashbuckler had already taken her imagination captive. Again against her will, of course.

"Please, sir," she rasped. "I'm betrothed to Lord Lustingworth, pledged to him as a virgin bride--"

"Lustingworth, eh?" The buccaneer raised up, shaking with his laughter. "You haven't heard about all his    little bastards? By all the wenches a-workin' in his castle?    He won't notice your bein' broke in. Ripe and ready for--"

"YO HO HO!--"

"--and a bottle of rum!"

"--it's a poi-rate's loife fer me!"

"No! No! That's the wrong frickin' movie, Trev!" came a strident cry. "You can't play Captain Jack if you're gonna mess up the script and--"

A startled intake of breath made Cat look up from her story. From her nook in the loft, she peered over the railing to see the tallest of the three costumed swashbucklers pressing the point of his glimmering sword to his challenger's bare chest...right between the swells of that low-cut hot pink evening gown.

"It's my house," came Trevor Teague's terse reply. "If you don't like the way I play pirate, take your balls and bat and go elsewhere, Bruce."

"Gentlemen, gentlemen!" Grant Carey crooned. The sleeves of his flowing laced-front shirt billowed as he stepped up to deflect Trevor's sword with his finger. "I see no need for bickering over petty--"

"I am not being petty!" Bruce insisted with a swish of his long blonde wig. "As Elizabeth--the smart one, who gets things accomplished!--I'm only pointing out--"

"If you want to make points, stud your bra," Trevor muttered. "Cat should play the part of Elizabeth. She would at least bring some originality--and real breasts--to the role. Something besides flicking that fake hair in my face every time--"

"Don't even think about it, guys. I'm trying to work."  Cat immediately regretted the frustration in her voice, but it was getting late and she hadn't reached her page quota for today. Her story felt way too clichéd, and Lord Lustingworth's name had flown too far over the top. She'd lost sight of the solid grounding this whole book needed, but didn't have a clue what to do about it.

She had no room for whining or feeling ungrateful, however: as Trevor's house guest, living rent-free thanks to the architect's compassion, she was damn glad for this loft...even if, as the choir loft of a Catholic church he'd renovated, it overlooked the open great room where voices carried with crystal clarity up into the vaulted, frescoed ceilings he'd restored.

"Oh, dear, we've interrupted you again," he said with an apologetic smile.  "I'm terribly sorry, sweetheart. Rough day?"

Her shoulders sagged. Cat shook her head, more at herself than at the three gay blades who loved to cavort in costume. This huge, unique house was the perfect place to pretend they were pirates instead of an architect, an attorney, and a landscape designer, and she envied them their sense of play. She'd never known grown men who gave themselves over to role playing with such childlike glee and dedication to detail.

"Just a little distracted. Conflicted. Whatever," she muttered. "The beginnings of books are always the hardest part."

"You've had enough on your plate since Laird died to distract even the most disciplined writer," Grant remarked. He placed a placating hand on his companions' shoulders. "Come on, guys, let's give her some peace and quiet while she--"

"No, it's all right. Tomorrow is another day," she drawled, trying to match their sense of movie drama. "Didn't mean to spoil your fun with my funk."

The three smiled up at her, raising two swords and a beaded fan in salute. They exited the great room through the door behind the tall, carved pulpit, which Trevor had ingeniously transformed into a freestanding waterfall.

The room--still a sanctuary in a very real sense--sighed with silence and the sound of the trickling water then. Tall stained glass windows depicting the miracles of Christ glowed with the direct rays of the sunset, casting the cavernous room in brilliant hues of ruby, cobalt, and amber. These colors had inspired Trevor's decor when he removed the pews and chose the groupings of furniture that made his unique home such a showplace. Cat sighed again, awed by the beauty of this sanctum...at how fortunate she was to be here after her husband's suicide had revealed his extensive gambling debts and an excessive lifestyle she'd had no idea about.

Things would be so much easier if she'd suspected Laird's secrets--if his creditors hadn't swooped down on the accounts and repo'd her car and her home the day after his funeral. She'd felt damn lucky to come away from the ordeal with her clothes and computer. Gazing at the stained glass Shepherd holding His sheep, alongside this choir loft, Cat wished He'd work a miracle for her about now.

But all this wishful thinking wasn't getting her new book written, was it? She couldn't keep calling herself a writer if she didn't land another contract soon. Couldn't land another contract if she didn't get a handle on these gawdawful characters who eluded her efforts to motivate them.

Cat looked at the half-page of crap she'd struggled over all day and clicked the file closed. Maybe writing a pirate romance wasn't such a hot idea--no matter how those "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies had recaptured the romance of swashbuckling and bad-boy heroes. She gathered up the notes she'd scribbled, wishing she'd been a better sport with Trevor and his friends. Where would she be if Trev hadn't invited her to live here? Or if Grant Carey hadn't taken her as a pro bono client, to fight the tangle of red tape those creditors had tied her up with?

As she focused on the top slip of paper, Cat blinked. It was a Powerball ticket, compliments of Bruce Bigelow--who, thank goodness, designed industrial parks and city greenways with more élan than he played the part of Elizabeth Swann. When the jackpot had swelled to $258 million last night, he'd bought tickets for all of them. Liquor had spurred his generosity, but the numbers still counted, didn't they?

"And I hope you win it, honey! The whole frickin' jackpot!" he'd slurred as he closed her hands around the ticket. "Nobody deserves a new life more than you, sweetheart."

Cat's gut fluttered. A whole new life...maybe even like the ones she'd been researching for her book, complete with a private island villa and a high-dollar yacht...white sand beaches with palm trees. The images in her mind were so vivid she could feel the ocean breeze caressing her cheek--

And that's the whole damn problem with you and your imagination, her mind muttered. Always wishing--spinning something from nothing. Then you get upset because it isn't real.

She stepped outside, to the small balcony Trevor had built between the bell tower and the main building. Maybe some cold evening air would clear her head. It was a brisk winter night just made for cuddling naked under the covers with a lover.

"Oh, stop it!" Cat hugged herself, blinking at tears--tears that came way too easily these days. When would she get past this mess Laird had left her in? When would she feel like herself again, competent and capable and--

When you wish upon a star...

She held her breath, listening. Had the guys tuned in to an old Disney flick? It was the voice she remembered from her childhood crooning that sentimental tune--Jiminy Cricket in "Pinocchio," wasn't it? The music swelled, taking her weary heart with it, and she sighed up at the evening sky with tears dribbling down her cheeks. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a child again, to believe she could wish upon a star and her dreams would come true?

"I wish I could find a man who truly loved me," she whispered.

The solitary star above her shimmered. And then it winked.

Cat's mouth dropped open. She had not imagined that! That star had flickered--at her! And as she watched, it winked again--and then it shot across the sky with a glorious burst of starfire!

Got your attention yet, Cat?

She glanced quickly around. Had one of the guys come upstairs? Had anyone else heard that voice--or seen that shooting star?

Nope. It's just you and me, babe.

Cat swallowed hard. She gripped the railing, aware that her pulse was pounding and goose bumps were running up and down her spine. Was this how it felt when you lost your mind? First you thought stars were signaling, and then you heard disembodied voices, and then--

I'm not gonna show myself, so you better listen up. Check your Powerball numbers, got it?

"Who are you?" Cat was shaking now, looking anxiously around the little balcony. Inside, the loft she'd just left was shadowy enough that she was half afraid some weirdo was hiding behind the pipe organ to pounce on her if she--

Angels don't pounce, Cat. Get a grip.

"Angels," she rasped. "Right. An angel's telling me to check my Powerball ticket. Like I'm supposed to believe that."

Believing in things you can't see is the first lesson in Wish Fulfillment 101. I'm Spike, by the way. Your guardian angel, reporting for active duty.

Her pirate story was over the top, but this! Now she was hearing voices--some tough guy named Spike, claiming he was her guardian angel--

You've always wanted to believe in me, so here I am. It was a street-savvy baritone that spouted attitude all over the place and smelled like a sports bar on play-off night.

Cat wrinkled her nose. She did smell cigarettes! And beer!

Okay, fine, I'll take my Luckies and my Bud and butt outta your life, Cat. But I'm tellin' ya, you're already a winner. If you don't believe me, it's your loss, doll.

"Doll?" Cat snickered at the hint of gangster in his tone, still wondering why she was even holding this conversation. Yet she could see him perfectly in her mind's eye...realized her body was thrumming on a whole new wave length now. She felt the caress of an unseen hand as surely as she'd imagined the Caribbean breeze earlier.

And then he was gone. Only the subtle apple wood smoke from Trevor's fireplace wafted around her now.   

She glanced inside again, wondering what to believe. Should she check those numbers? Should she--

On instinct, Cat looked up. The dusk had deepened, and another star above her shone more brightly than the others coming out around it. When it winked at her, she went inside: who was she to disregard a third sign? Messing with stuff like that meant trouble...especially since there were no witnesses to this little incident. Except for Spike, of course.

She opened her laptop again, willing it to hurry as the familiar beeps and whirring sounds brought pictures to her screen. Wistfully she picked up the lottery ticket, wishing she could believe the brief conversation with an angel that already felt, well--unreal.

Cat typed in the URL listed on the ticket...Powerball.com. By now, the day's numbers would be displayed and they'd have upped the jackpot amount because no one's number's matched--

WINNER! WINNER! WINNER! flashed across the screen.

Cat scrolled down to where the numbers were listed--on a ticket purchased in Crystal City, just south of here, the sidebar said! Hadn't Bruce bought their tickets in a trendy little watering hole near the Interstate?

She held her breath, glancing from the cash register receipt to the screen. 34--and 34.18--and 18. 48--and 48--

Voices rose below her, as the three pretend pirates cussed the television in the parlor.

"Damn! Isn't Crystal City where you bought these--"

"So much for retiring early."

"Hey, I bought you the damn chances, guys!" Bruce's tenor whine rang out. "It's not like my numbers were any better than--"

"Holy shit," Cat whispered. Her hand shook so badly the receipt fluttered to the floor. Surely she'd misread--she turned on the desk lamp to compare those numbers again.

A few moments later, Trevor's voice ascended the narrow wooden stairway ahead of their footsteps. "Let's see if Cat's checked her numbers yet. We need to help her lighten up tonight, guys. Maybe order in some pizzas and--"

She stared at the three men approaching from the other side of the pipe organ console. Trevor Teague, in his mascara and beaded scarf; Grant Carey in his flowing shirt with a sword swinging from his magenta sash; Bruce Bigelow, who'd ditched the blonde wig but still wore a fitted gown of hot pink brocade with matching kid slippers.

"Are you all right, Cat? You--"

"--look like you saw a ghost or--"

"I won," she squeaked. "I think, anyway. Here--you check the numbers!"

Trevor snatched the receipt from her hand and then murmured the digits in turn as he checked her screen. "Holy mother of God, would you look at--she won it!" he crowed. "Our very own Cat Woman won the fuckin' Powerball!"

"On my ticket!" Bruce chimed in. "Do I know how to pick numbers, or what?!"

"And--and by all rights that money is yours. Fair and square, Bruce."

Cat swallowed hard and held out the receipt. Damn that angel for showing up and telling her she'd won, when it wasn't rightfully her money anyway!

Bruce Bigelow's eyes glowed an enhanced emerald green as he gripped the other end of the lottery ticket. He had the sun-bleached hair and perfectly bronzed pecs of an all-American surf bum, and Cat had no trouble imagining him as some rich bitch's cabana boy, hot and tanned and alluring in his Speedo. Without the dress, of course.

Bruce folded her fingers around the receipt and then kissed her fist. "This calls for champagne. A toast to your new life, Catalina Gamble."

"Hear, hear!" Trevor cried. "I'll go fetch a bottle from the cellar!"

"If--if the lottery board verifies these numbers for two hundred fifty-eight million dollars," Grant intoned in his low courtroom voice, "you'll have some important decisions to make very quickly, my dear. If your husband's creditors get wind of this, they'll try to--"

"Screw them."

Cat looked into hypnotic eyes that glistened like indigo crystals. Just like that bad-ass angel had said, she suddenly had answers to all her problems! And thanks to her hours of online research, she knew exactly what she would do and where she wanted to go. At last, she could escape the annoying phone calls and threatening letters from Laird's loan sharks!

"You're my attorney, Grant," she said earnestly, "and you're going to get those bastards off my back. I did not accumulate those gambling debts, nor did I put the house in hock--and--and I'm not going to answer another one of their calls or accusations!"

Grant arched an eyebrow. "You're not suggesting I blow them off? I'm not sure we can--"

"Whatever it takes. Keep it legal without caving in to them," she breathed. "This windfall has just bought you all the time you need, and it's my ticket out of a nightmare." 

"You go, girl!" Bruce hooted.

Still in shock from this lucky turn of events, Cat placed her hand on Bigelow's smooth bronzed shoulder. "Even if I split this jackpot with you, Bruce, I'll have more than enough to--"

"I want you to dream big, Cat," the landscaper replied with a happy sigh. "Hey--I never figured on winning, so I won't miss it. Easy come, easy go."

"Don't you tell those guys a thing before I get back up there!" Trevor called from downstairs. "I'm coming as fast as I can!"

"That is so Trevor," Bruce breathed with a roll of his eyes.

Cat smiled. Idiosyncrasies aside, these guys were better friends than she'd had for a long, long time. The perfect buffers and pick-me-ups during the bleak six months since Laird took that overdose. Had Grant Carey not read of her predicament in the papers, she wouldn't be sitting in this remodeled cathedral with a silver fox of an attorney dressed in a flowing poet's shirt...and tights that hugged a whole lot of manhood. Nor would Grant's friend Trevor have invited her to be his house guest, with perfectly honorable intentions! Too bad these three fascinating men were after each other rather than her.

But thanks to them, she had a new dream to plan--a whole new life to plot out! It sounded like a helluva lot more fun than bemoaning the crappy pirate drivel she'd written today, and wondering if she'd ever sell another book. The thunder of boots in the stairway prompted her to click into Yahoo! so she could access her bookmarks.

"Here's the scoop, guys," she began, breathless with feeling so alive again. "I took this online class about how to disappear--legally," she added with a pointed look toward Grant. "So now I can get a J2 phone--load up on calling cards--and--and buy myself an island! I'll--"    

"What's a J2 phone?" Trevor peeled the foil from the neck of his champagne bottle, and then shot the cork over the railing with a satisfying pop. "You're sharp, Cat, but you don't impress me as the cloak-and-dagger type. Too damn beautiful to remain hidden or anonymous for long, no matter where you go. Technology being what it is, and all."

She grinned brightly. Teague had never told her she was beautiful--and by God, she was starting to feel that way now! "J2 phone calls can't be traced, which means Laird's loan sharks can't harass me. And here--I've got URL's for opening offshore accounts! What do you know about setting those up, Grant?"

The attorney leaned closer to her laptop screen, absently accepting a flute of fizzing champagne from Trevor. "I have colleagues who do it all the time, for corporate clients diverting assets away from taxes. Cat, honey, you're moving awfully fast here--"

"Not when you consider I've been looking into this stuff for months, as research for a book someday. Look!"

She clicked to another site...pointed at a listing of articles about how to find jobs and buy homes on the cheap, in places like Nicaragua and Guam and the Pacific Islands. "Here's info on how to have my mail forwarded to a mail drop. Real estate listings for entire islands that cost less than this house, Trev!"

Her host handed her a glass with fizzy bubbles dancing around its rim. "Escape Artist dot com?" he demanded. "Cat, this sounds like something your husband should've looked into before--well, before he did such a number on you!"

"Makes it sound like there's a whole frickin' world of people from the States relocating to these places!"

"You're right on the money, Bruce. Expatriates living abroad...for whatever reason," she said, clicking through to her favorite bookmarked site. "And get a load of this place! I've been imagining it as my setting for a book--four bedrooms, rosewood staircase, cabinets and floors. Wraparound balconies with jacuzzi facing the sunsets and a full view of the ocean, where you can watch the dolphins play. Lush tropical trees and flowering--"

"Cat, this place runs a million eight."

"And your point would be?" Giddy triumph surged through her as she raised her glass to the three astounded men hovering around her laptop. "Why would I not want it? Even after the taxes on my jackpot, I'll have plenty to spend on such a home. And with four bedrooms--"

"We could be your house guests!" Trevor crowed. He tapped his flute to hers, and the ringing of crystal lingered in the loft. "Here's to Cat's new life and new home!"

"Long may she wave!" Bruce called out. He downed half of his champagne before Cat got her glass to her lips.

Ah, it was sweet this victory. Far more exhilarating than the rush of cold fizz down her throat. Grant, ever the practical one, had taken her mouse to click on the pictures of this idyllic property, his obsidian eyes narrowing.

"You'll have to arrange for a viewing of this property, dear heart," he mused aloud. "Pictures don't always tell the whole story--"

"Of course I will! And I might find something just as nice for less!"

"--and you'll need a passport to leave the U.S.--"

"Got one."

"--and before any of this can come to pass," he continued, gazing at her over his champagne, "we'll need to confirm your winnings with the lottery board and see if other winners share your pot. We'll have papers to sign. Payments to arrange."

Cat drained her glass, gazing at him over its rim. This alluring attorney was probably ten years her senior, but hot to the point of making her wet. So powerful was Grant Carey in legal circles that she'd been totally intimidated by his custom-cut suits--his awesome presence--and those shining black eyes that seemed to see through to her deepest secrets. Until now.

She winked at him, holding her flute toward Trevor for more champagne. "So what're you doing tomorrow, Grant?"

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