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Authors: Skylar Cross

Flame

BOOK: Flame
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Flame:

The
Stark Affair Book 2

 

by

Skylar
Cross

Copyright 2014 D2Rev
Publishing /
Skylar
Cross

 

First edition

October 29, 2014

 

Promotion: Mark My
Words Book Publicity (markmywordsbookpublicity.com)

 

Cover design:
Romantic Book Affairs (designs.romanticbookaffairs.com)

 

Concept/Story Editing:
Cathy Yardley (rockyourwriting.com)

 

Editing: Missy
Borucki
(missyborucki.com)

 

All rights reserved. No part
of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or
mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher,
except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain
other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

 

All characters depicted in
this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is
purely coincidental.

Acknowledgements

 
 

Special thanks to Morgan
Black,
Brina
Courtney, Rachel Marks, Cathy Yardley,
Missy
Borucki
,
Letitia
Hasser
,
Dede
Nesbitt, Babel Td,
Kayla Ann
Bennerotte
,
LaTashia
Outlaw, all the amazing bloggers who promote me, and everyone who reads my
books and cheers me on. I so appreciate you.

Chapter
1

 
 

Colton

 

As soon as I saw her I knew
it was her.

Don’t
know how. I just knew.

Maybe
it was the way she looked at me, right through me, with those penetrating brown
eyes. Gorgeous. Intelligent. Determined.

And humorously
out of place.

I swear
the music stopped. Actually, the entire world stopped as I swam in her eyes.

We seemed
to hold on together for a few long moments. Breaking the connection, she moved
toward the bar. Some chubby guy joined her.

Two things
are for sure. One, she’s the cop they sent. Obvious. I know cops a mile away.

Second,
I could study that face for days. Might even want to paint it.

And I
don’t paint.

Fuck
it, I’ll learn how.

I
tried not to laugh as I chatted her up. It was almost as if she was trying to act
like the usual girls I talk to.

But
she didn’t stand a chance. Too much intelligence behind the eyes. Too much awareness
of her surroundings. Taking everything in, recording it, mapping it.

God,
I love that. So refreshing.

Not to
mention the fact that she didn’t swoon all over me like every other girl.

I sensed
she wanted to but was distracted by something.

I was
right. She excused herself and went toward the restrooms, but didn’t go in the ladies’
room. Instead, she had a conversation with Jag, my restroom attendant, and went
in the men’s room. A girl came out of the men’s room looking dazed. I watched her
find her friends who sat with her on a couch.

Then
I saw Sofia emerge with a lowlife in tow, heading out the side door.

Nobody
knows there’s a side door. That alone is impressive.

Immediately,
I figured out the situation and called
Ziv
, my manager.
He said he would take care of Jag and send down a replacement.

I walked
out the side door onto the street.

There
was something primal watching her beat up that guy. My dick got hard all by itself
as her fist rammed into his nose.

That
never happens anymore.

Used
to. All the time.

Now girls
are just girls.

But this
one... brains and toughness... not to mention that body.

Holy fuck!

I could
be in some serious trouble.

She was
about to leave but I talked her into a drink on the roof deck.

Now I’m
leading her back in through the club, then over to a private door. A stairwell is
in front of us.

She follows
me up.

I pull
the chair out for her. She looks around, but I can’t tell if she’s impressed or
not. Most girls are in awe at the private little outdoor dining room I have up here
with its spectacular view of the beach and Ocean Drive on one side and the city
on the other.

Enrique
arrives from the other stairwell, a tray in hand.

He
places two
mojitos
on the table between us.


Graçias
, Enrique,”
I say.

Enrique
just nods and disappears as fast as he arrived.

I pick
up my drink and raise it.

“To kicking
ass,” I say.

She
smiles. A real one. It is spectacular. The lights of the city don’t even come
close.

She picks
up her drink.

“To
kicking ass,” she says. Her voice is all diaphragm, a growly challenging tone. My
dick moves.

“Hope
you actually wanted the
mojito
,” I say. “I could get you
a protein shake or some Gatorade if you prefer.”

She shoots
me a dirty look. She can do that all night long. “What the fuck’s that supposed
to mean?”

“I
have three other guys that need their asses kicked and I was going to send this
guy Bruno but I thought I’d ask you instead.”

“Funny,
Mr. Billionaire Colton Stark.”

Oh, God,
I love the way she says Mr. Billionaire Colton Stark. Like she’s completely
unimpressed. Not to mention the way she swears so easily.

My dick
is fully hard now. That used to happen all the time when I got a girl up here,
but it’s been a while. Months. No, years.

Goddamn.

This girl, Colton? Really?

She
has a masculine edge, even though she’s all girl. Muscular shoulders. A hint of
biceps. Solid legs. Nice curves, though. Perfect ass, that’s for sure. Couldn’t
help staring at it as she pushed that guy out the side door.

I think
I’ll just lose myself in her eyes a little more.

Chapter
2

 
 

Sofia

 

Shit, what’s going on? Did I
blow this or not? He must have figured out I’m a cop by now.

Oddly,
I don’t seem to care. I’m lost in the netherworld of those amazing eyes. They’re
like vast universes to explore.

Not to
mention they keep staring at me like they’re trying to see into my soul. If he keeps
that up, I’m in trouble.

Criminal, Sofia! He’s a criminal! Stop it!

“So what
brings you to Heat tonight?” he says.

His voice
is deep, but with a soft and velvety edge. Like it bypasses his throat completely
and comes out of his massive chest.

“Wanted
to check it out. I’ve heard so much about it.”

“Where?”

I
take a sip of my
mojito
. “Some website.
MiamiImproper.com
, I think.”

He
snorts again. “You don’t strike me as the type of girl to read
MiamiImproper.com
. Which is now defunct anyway.
You must have done a Google search.”

Damn,
this guy is smarter than I thought. And taller. And bigger. His shoulders
stretch the fabric of the shiny shirt. As he turns, I see his chest muscles
grow and shrink.

Zing!

Damn.
My clit is throbbing.

This
can’t be happening to me.

Time
to take charge. I’ve got to throw his challenge back at him.

“So
what are you saying? That I’m not a
party-girly-girl?

“You’re
not,” he says.

“And
what leads you to this conclusion, Mr.
Bigshot
Billionaire?”

His
eyes widen and he shifts in his seat, tugging on his pants.

“Because,
Ms. Badass,” he says, “a
party-girly-girl
would never refer to herself as a
party-girly-girl
.
She would also never come here alone. Not to mention kick a guy’s ass like that.
You box?”

Oooh
, I
like the way he calls me Ms. Badass. Yep, panties getting soaked now.

Control yourself, Sofia! You’re a goddamned professional!

I take
a deep breath, uncrossing and re-crossing my legs.

“Used
to,” I say.

“Me too.”

“No you
didn’t.”

“Yeah,
got into it in college. Trained with a street hoodlum in East Cambridge while I
was at MIT. Went semi-pro for a couple of years under the name Johnny
Eszterhaus
.”

I get
a mental picture of him in the ring pounding on another guy. Shoulder muscles flexing
and sweating under that glorious tattoo.

That’s
it, I’m melting. Don’t know how else to describe it. I think if he touched me, I
would dissolve into jelly.

Steady, Sofia, steady!

Fuck
it. Whatever. I can’t seem to fight it. Go ahead, baby. Flow.

I take
a huge gulp of my drink.

Dios
mio
, that’s
strong.

“Why
the fake name?” I say.

“Family
shit. My dad thought I was being an idiot. He wanted me to go to Wharton. I
wanted to knock out Floyd
Mayweather
.”

“So what
happened?”

“I
never knocked out Floyd
Mayweather
.”

“Shocking.”

He looks
down. “And, my dad died.”

“Oh,
sorry.”

“I’m
not. He was the world’s biggest prick. I had to become the face of his business.”

“Which
is now your business.”

“Ha,
that’s a laugh. I’m the face of Stark Worldwide for the press. Just a puppet.
It’s controlled by my dad’s
bestie
, Jasper van
der
Voort
, and the Board.” He
pauses and frowns while folding his arms. “Why am I telling you all this,
Sofia? It is Sofia, right?”

“Yes,
it’s Sofia.”

“Are
you sure it’s Sofia?”

“Yes,”
I say.

Although
it came out as
yesh
.

Oh
God, the alcohol is hitting me.

“What
do you do, Sofia?”

His eyes
narrow as he purses his lips. I imagine those lips forcefully pressing against mine,
his tongue probing my mouth without mercy, his stubble grazing my face.

“I’m
a student,” I say. I had an entire spiel planned for this.

“Student,”
he repeats.

Fuck,
he’s definitely onto me. He’s not buying that. Alarm bells go off.

“Yes,
I’m studying criminal forensics at FIU.”

He takes
a sip of his drink and leans forward. “You are no student.”

“Excuse
me?”

“You’re
a cop.”

Shit.

I
look directly into his eyes. He knows. He knows I know he knows.

Zing!

Something
about the way he called me out so directly is so fucking hot.

But
the fact remains I’m blown. I’m a complete failure. This assignment is trash. I’m
going to be sent back to the Pit. Some fucking detective I turned out to be. Maybe
my dad is right.

“Look,
I’d better go,” I say as I slurp down the last of my drink.

“No,
it’s okay. I like cops. Have a friend at MPD.
Goffman
.
Know him?

I begin
to stand up. “No, I’m not a cop. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m also
leaving.”

“C’mon,
you blew whatever it was by letting me see you kick that guy’s ass.
Gotta
work on that, officer. OCS?”

Fuck me.

I grit
my teeth and nod.

He leans
back, putting his hands behind his head. “Hmm, next time I’d go with bodyguard instead
of student. More convincing.”

I stand.

“Nice
to meet you, Mr. Stark,” I say.

“It’s
Colton,” he says. “And, you’re not going anywhere.”

“Look,
you know who I am. I blew it. We can drop the charade. I’m leaving.”

I pick
up my purse and move toward the stairs.

“Let’s
go for a ride in my Bentley,” he says as he gets up.

“Yeah,
right. That may work on your usual
party-girly-girls
,
but Bentleys don’t impress me, Mr. Billionaire Playboy. I’m going home.”

I reach
the door to the stairs.

He’s
now up and following me.

“Goodbye,”
I say as I open the door.

He moves
toward me, grabs my arm, and turns me toward him. My self-defense mechanism activates,
but I sense he’s prepared for it. His grip is just forceful enough.

I look
up into his eyes.

Which
is a huge mistake.

Because
they’re deep. Dark. And penetrating.

My knees
go weak.

He moves
his hands up to my shoulders, freezing me in place.

And kisses
me.

I can’t
believe it, but I let him.

It’s
a hard forceful kiss. His tongue finds mine.

Oh,
God.

No, Sofia! Don’t! You’re kissing a criminal!

I push
him back. I have too much self-respect to allow this to happen.

“I’m
leaving!” I say in my officer-in-charge voice. His eyes go wide. I swear I see his
cock move in his pants. I wonder what it looks like. My hand drifts down his shirt
from where I pushed him away.

Stop, Sofia!

“Goodbye!”
I say and walk into the stairwell. I need to get the fuck out of here and
figure out what I’m going to tell
LaTashia
.

 

He follows
me down the stairs.

“This
way,” he says, taking me straight down another access stairwell that opens into
the very same alley out back, completely bypassing the club, thank God.

We
step out of the darkness and over to the side street. There’s still some blood
on the ground from
Dickwad’s
nose.

I turn
and face him, my arms folded.

“Thank
you for the drink,” I say.

“I’ll
walk you to your car. Not that you can’t handle yourself.”

“Very
fucking funny. No, please don’t. I’d rather just go.”

The look
I give him tells him I’m serious. Even though a part of me longs to stay. I’ve got
to get out of here and get a handle on all the conflicting thoughts in my head.

“Fine,”
he says. “You win. But I want to see you again, Officer Sofia Badass. Tell you
what, let’s meet in a place you’ll feel comfortable. Monday at three at
Tony’s
Gym on 14th Street.”

Is he serious?

“For
what?”

“So I
can kick your ass at boxing.”

I laugh.
“Don’t. You’ll only embarrass yourself.”

He takes
a step forward.

“I’ll
destroy you,” he growls with a squint that makes me think he really believes he
could.

Ha!

I
laugh. Shit, maybe I can still work this. Maybe I can get the info I need even
though he knows who I am. Think about it. I’ve already blown it. What could I
possibly lose by spending more time with him?

Not to
mention, I’d love to see the expression on his face when I knock him senseless.

“Fine,
Mr. Billionaire Playboy,” I say. “Monday at three.
Tony’s
Gym on 14th.”

“Monday
at three,” he says. “
Tony’s
Gym on 14th.”

I turn
and walk toward Collins.

“Hey!”
he says. I stop and look back.

“You’re
going down.”

I give
him the finger and walk away.

Monday
at three.

Me and
Colton Stark.

Boxing.

Hm.

BOOK: Flame
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