What happens when lovers face-off in the courtroom? Six months of hell.
Not only has Russell been without his woman, he’s also had to put up with her kicking his ass all over the courtroom. Well, the trial is over.
His woman, his sub, has managed to do what no one else could — beat him. Now it’s time to remind her of who is really in charge.
Valerie’s seen a side of Russell she doesn’t like. Gone is the caring lover and Dom who captured her heart. In his place is a vicious opponent who will stop at nothing to win. If he thinks he can take that attitude with her outside the legal arena, Valerie has news for him. Yeah, she’s missed him, craved him, even while she hated seeing Courtroom Russell, but she refuses to allow him to charge back into her life with that chip on his shoulder.
If all that weren’t enough, someone determines justice will be done, even if that means killing everyone involved in the case.
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Bees buzzed along Valerie’s nerves. She gave up trying to pass it off as an aftereffect of the accident. Each time she was near Russell she started ticking like a Geiger counter. And when he’d wrapped his arms around her and drew her close? Holy shit, what a feeling. His words laced with promises of things she’d longed for — things she wasn’t sure she wanted after all they’d been through but couldn’t stand to be without — dredged up a hunger that clawed at her to be fulfilled.
She let those fantasies play through her head while the final details were tied up. It kept her from worrying about everything yet to comeinsurance, finding a new car and the fact that two people had lost their lives.
Valerie closed her eyes on that thought. Telling herself it wasn’t her fault didn’t matter. It’d still made her sick inside.
“You ready?” Russell’s hand skimmed her lower back.
“More than ready.” Her car was in the hands of the tow truck driver. She’d given all her info to the police, unloaded the few things she had from her car to Russell’s, and even reported the accident to her insurance company. She didn’t need to watch firefighters cut the deceased from the other vehicle.
Her legs shook with every step. She still gripped the edges of Russell’s jacket around her. Her shield against the world. Her knight by her side. Her man taking control, making it all better, seeing she had everything she needed.
Valerie jerked to a stop in mid-step. Russell glanced down, worry furrowing his brow. “You all right?”
“Yes. I think I may have hurt my ankle.” A lie, but the only thing she could come up with.
Russell scooped her into his arms. Her heart ran away with new fantasies, dreaming things it really shouldn’t. She told it to stop, that there were too many issues left to deal with. The foremost being her trust in him had been shaken. Her heart didn’t listen. Neither did those blasted bees swarming through her body.
“I’ve got an emergency ice pack in my car. It’ll help until we can get you home.”
Only if she could put it on her crotch.
He carried her effortlessly to his car, then set her on her feet only as long as it took to open the door. She’d barely sunk into the passenger seat when he was crouched beside her, removing her heels.
“Which one?” He ran his hands over her ankles. “I don’t see or feel any swelling.”
He would if he searched higherlike between her legs.
“Maybe it was just a twinge.” The words came out a tad too breathy. She hoped he took that as a reaction to pain and not to his touch.
“I hope so. An ice pack won’t hurt though. Just in case.”
He moved away to retrieve it from the trunk. Footsteps stampeded their way. Without the barrier of police tape, reporters converged on them. Their numbers had increased over the last hour, once word filtered out who had been involved in the accident. It wasn’t enough that they’d hovered outside the courtroom for sound bites. They wanted more, always more. Fodder for whatever story they wanted to spin. Valerie’s patience was on a short leash. They could make something out of nothing. God only knew what they were going to make of this.
The vehicle rocked as Russell slammed the trunk closed. He beat the reporters to her side by mere seconds. Squatting, he ignored the blast of questions and placed the ice pack around her right ankle. Valerie squinted against the blare of lights. Only the quick pat of his hand to her knee as he stood kept her from exploding. He faced the throng in one smooth move, blocking their view of her, hands on hips.
“You can address your questions regarding the accident to the police officers. As to your inevitable and unending questions about the Estavarez case… Those were answered this afternoon.”
She loved the don’t-fuck-with-us tone in his voice.
“Why are you here, Mr. Cambridge?” one female asked.
Valerie fought the urge to roll her eyes. They were oblivious as always, asking stupidly obvious questions.
Russell shifted. Valerie recognized the stance well even from behind. He’d clasped one hand over his wrist and stared them down.
“Do you not stop to render aid when you witness an accident?” Idiots was implied, at least to Valerie.
A new flurry of questions burst out, each reporter talking over the other. Russell let them make fools of themselves for only so long before he slowly raised his hand for silence.
“It’s been a long day capped by a traumatic event. Good night.” He stepped forward, pushing them back by sheer force of his will.
Valerie locked the door the second it closed and snapped her seat belt in place. The reporters scattered, cameras still captured every move. She closed her eyes and leaned into the seat, shutting them out. There was nothing she could do to quiet the rabble of voices.
“Miss Oswald, how does it feel to put a murderer and rapist back on the streets?”
She shot upright.
Russell caught her forearm before she could explode. “Let it go.”
The engine purred to life, classic-rock music covered more questions, and he steered his car to freedom. God help the fool who tried to block him. In minutes they were heading toward her home. She punched off the music.
“Are they following?”
“Not yet,” he said. “They don’t have to. They know where we both live. They can stake us out anytime they want.”
Too true. She’d kept the drapes closed for months to avoid being snooped on. Her poor houseplants had paid the price. Valerie had too. She hated not letting the sunshine into her home.
“You can’t stay tonight.”
His grip on the steering wheel tightened.
“They’ll see,” she quickly pointed out.
“Then I’ll park in your garage.”
“And in the morning?”
“They’ll have found a new story to chase.”
He pulled to the curb, cut the engine and leaned her way. One arm draped over her seat. The other slid over her knee, crawled up her thigh, bunching her dress. His intent was clear and all the “red lights” she could stutter weren’t going to stop him. After all, this wasn’t about a Dom and a sub. It was about a man wanting his woman. Russell wanting her. They were in a public location where anyone who drove or walked by would see what they were doing. That only added to the allure and made her heart race with anticipation.
“I want you, Valerie. These last six months have been like a slow death.”
About Caitlyn Willows
Blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination, Caitlyn Willows eventually learned to turn that “talent” inward. Readers will find deep emotions and sizzling sensuality seamlessly woven into her action-filled stories. Believing life is to be lived and felt, not merely watched, Caitlyn delivers real-to-life characters in unforgettable tales of love, adventure, and always steamy passion. No one is more surprised than she at the direction life has taken her. Caitlyn lives in the beautiful desert of Southern California with her husband (a genealogist) and the animals she loves. Her most recent explorations include learning to make Native American style pottery and basketweaving, and she is always on the lookout for the next interesting tidbit that will help fill her writing well.
Also by Caitlyn Willows
Alone At Last
Like There’s No Tomorrow
To Die For
Into The Lair
Into The Night
Into The Wild
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Caitlyn, thank you for talking with us at The Romance Studio. Your featured book is Full On. Where did you get the idea for this sizzling romance?
CW: I guess it wouldn’t be fair to say I have no idea. LOL! I wanted a couple for whom roles were somewhat reversed. I wanted to be able to show that no matter what transpires in the bedroom, in the real world rules change. What happens when the submissive in a relationship suddens has the dominate on the ropes…and there isn’t a thing he can do about it?
In Full On you have two attorneys in love, on opposite sides of the courtroom. Because one is an assistant district attorney and the other is a public defender, they’ve kept their relationship under wraps since it could be considered a conflict of interest and forbidden. Both Valerie and Russell are good at what they do and both are ambitious. This case is a career maker and neither are willing to back away from it.
HH: What do you like best about Valerie and why will readers like her?
CW: I like that she is a strong woman who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants in her life. She might be submissive in the bedroom and love every second, but heaven help the soul who thinks they can run over her in the business world.
HH: What do you like best about Russell and why will readers love him?
CW: I like that this role reversal has him flustered to the breaking point. Yet even when he could very well take what he wants, even though he’s angry as heck his sub wiped the courtroom floor with him, he’s still sensitive to her needs. Having said that…he’s still determined to get what he wants…her…back in his bed.
HH: What makes this work different from your other stories?
CW: I would say it’s not different. I try to give readers a compelling story with real-life characters and emotions. (And hot sex, of course.)
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
CW: In March Lies That Bind (another erotic suspense novel) releasing with Loose Id.
HH: What do you enjoy most about being an author?
CW: I like when I get in that special zone where the words flow. It’s like I’m channeling the story from another plane. It’s magical.
HH: What experience or experiences in your writing career have defined you to this point?
CW: The fact I’m still here writing is an experience all it’s own. It’s been 28 years and quite the ride.
HH: What goals have you set for yourself at this point in your career?
CW: When I first began writing I did so to the exclusion of all else. I’m no longer willing to do that. My family and other interests share the stage with the writing. Doing so has help me be a more balanced individual.
HH: What do you enjoy reading?
CW: Oddly, I don’t read erotic romance for pleasure. I enjoy horror, suspense, young adult, historical romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, adventure… As you can see, I simply enjoy reading.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
CW: My website is www.caitlynwillows.com.