Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tantalizing Tuesday - Counter Balance by Patricia Bates

Welcome back to this weeks Tantalizing Tuesday! This week Patricia Bates is sharing an excerpt from Counter Balance.


"Slade?" Sleepy, warm, Alex’s voice drifted through the darkness.

Smothering a groan, Slade grabbed for his jeans. "Yeah?"

"I heard something."

He frowned. How the hell had she heard anything? She’d been sleeping so soundly he was amazed she’d even known he was in the house. He heard her step closer, and his body tensed, a lingering twinge in his loins telling him she was walking a fine line. "Just me moving around." Slade shifted, the soft pat of her feet on wood coming closer.


"Yes, really." Please go back upstairs, please go upstairs.
"Come on." Alex leaned over the back of the couch, her palm hot against his bare shoulder. "There’s no point in you sleeping on the couch. You can sleep—"

"Alex, go back to bed," Slade ground out. "While I have the strength to let you."


Closing his eyes against the question in her voice, he heaved a breath. He didn’t know how to get it through her head, but he knew he had to. There was something about her, something dangerous, he could feel it with every move. Alex wasn’t the kind of girl interested in short term, and short term was all he had. "It’s fine. I’m fine. Go back to bed, Alex."

"What the heck is going on?" Alex moved around the couch to stand before him. Shafts of pale moonlight flitted through the gap in the curtains, highlighting the shadow of her breasts, the curls between her legs visible through the tails of a dress shirt he’d given her to wear.

"Just go."

"You plotting my demise or something?" Alex crossed her arms over her chest. "I heard you talking to someone."

Slade groaned. Why couldn’t she be the meek, simpering type? "Yeah, I was talking to someone. Trying to figure things out."

"You talking to yourself? Because there ain’t nobody here. Or maybe you were asking me? It’s not like I know any more than you do." She pointed a finger at him. "But that ain’t why you’re down here, spitting curses and growling at me. I haven’t done a damn thing—" 

"Just go back to bed." Leaping to his feet, Slade cursed under his breath as the thin sheet he’d had cascaded to his feet. "Do you not get it? Are you really so—"

"Oh." Alex stepped back, shock in her voice. He heard her swallow, the sound loud in the silence. "I get it."

"Do you?"

"I didn’t…" Alex waved a hand and stepped back. She paused, before shaking her head and heading around the end of the couch. "Look, it’s not my fault you’re in that state. Biting my head off—"

"It’s exactly your fault." Slade grabbed her wrist, pulling her against him. "You have no idea what it’s like to want something, someone, and know you can’t touch them. You run around here in those jeans and skimpy little shirts, driving me crazy, and you think—"

"I do nothing of the sort." Indignation flared in her voice. "So what if I’m dressing comfortably. Why do you care? It’s not like I’m stopping you from going to see your girlfriend or whomever it is you’re lusting after. You know where the hell we are, I don’t."

Stepping back, Slade felt the press of the couch arm against the back of his thighs. His arm tightened around her as he twisted, lifting her so they crashed onto the couch. "I have the one I want." Low, guttural, his voice filled the silence.

He caught her shudder of awareness. The tensing of muscles, her breath catching in her throat as realization dawned. Briefly, he wondered if this was such a great idea. He couldn’t afford to get involved with a civilian. Not even one as hell-bent on getting into trouble as Alex Caden.

"You don’t want me," she whispered. "You just want sex. I’m convenient."

"Not by much." Slade pressed a hard, ruthless kiss to her lips. Tense, unresponsive, Alex froze beneath him, her palms pressed against his shoulders. He pulled back, his mouth softening slowly. Lifting his head, Slade stared down at the woman lying beneath him. He reached up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, his eyes following the movement.

"Slade?" So low he almost missed it, her voice stroked along his nerves. Heating his blood as her hands moved, tracing over the curves of his shoulders. He groaned as her fingers raked through the curls on his chest, her nails tweaking his nipples. Shots of pure want raced to his loins, his shaft hardening until it ached.

He took his time. The kiss was slow and deep, his tongue probing. Frustration gave way to seduction, to want. Repeatedly, his tongue tangled with hers, tasting her. A muted groan rumbled from within his chest as her hands crept around his sides to clutch at his back.

Heat enveloped him through the thin cotton of his shorts as he pressed against her loins. Rolling his hips, he thrust against her, a flare of satisfaction tightening his cock at the tremble in her body, the way she arched against him.



A woman with secrets. A man with honor. Can love survive?

When an unknown foe kidnaps Alex Caden, her rescue comes at the hands of an elite Navy SEAL team. But there are secrets that will keep those who want her dead on her trail.

Slade Lake has dedicated his life to keeping civilians safe. When he saves Alex, he knows as soon as he sees her that they’re meant to be together. With killers dogging their every step and secrets unfolding can they find love or will the enemies from the shadows destroy everything?

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