Read Prelude to a Fantasy: Prequel to Harmless Book 8 Online

Authors: Melissa Schroeder

Tags: #erotic, #short story, #hawaii, #wwbm, #prequel, #romance adult fiction, #melissa schroeder, #harmless, #erotic adult, #a little harmless fantasy

Prelude to a Fantasy: Prequel to Harmless Book 8 (3 page)

BOOK: Prelude to a Fantasy: Prequel to Harmless Book 8
13.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Maura Dillon
 has always been
someone who lived life on her own terms. From the time she in
college she knew she had different needs than most of her friends.
But she never thought she would find herself torn between two very
sexy men, or that they would want to add her to their

 have known each other
for years. Their casual relationship has spanned a decade, but now
that they are living together things are on a whole other level.
Add in their mutual attraction for Maura and things are just
getting out of hand.

Rory understands their desires and suggests
a week in Hawaii. No rules, no limits, no regrets. But as their
nights are filled with unimaginable erotic pleasure, there is
someone lurking in the shadows. Someone who wants revenge, and will
stop at nothing to succeed.

WARNING: this book contains the
following: Two sexy men who are hot for each other and the heroine,
more Hawaiian scenery, a Dom who thinks he can control everything,
two lovers who know he can't, and scenes that push even Harmless
Addicts over the edge.


Enjoy the entire first chapter (unedited and


Chapter One


For the fourth time in less than ten
minutes, Maura Dillon found her mind wandering. She looked out over
the late afternoon Miami traffic and felt herself her brother’s
voice in her ear, and just spaced out. A second later, she realized
that her brother had stopped talking.

“What did you just say?” she asked leaning
back in her desk chair closing her eyes. She felt herself drifting
again, as if she were floating in the Pacific, enjoying the warm
sun on her skin. She could almost smell the salt of the ocean and
feel the breeze shift over her. It did nothing to help her the
pounding in her head. She felt as if she hadn’t had a good night’s
sleep in three weeks. Probably because she hadn’t.

You sound distracted,”
Conner said.

Inwardly, she sighed. Her brother could
always sniff out her mood, even five thousand miles away. It was
one of his most irritating traits—and he had a lot of them.

“I’m not distracted. I’m just a little

There was a beat of silence. With most men,
it didn’t mean anything. With Conner, it was a lethal situation.
She turned her chair back so she faced her desk waiting for the
other shoe to drop.

“No, this is distracted, not tired. When
you’re tired, you’re bitchy.”

She ignored that comment, mostly because it
was true. “I got the preliminary report on that group you want us
to work with.”

“You’re going to ignore my question then?”
her brother asked.

“Yes. When did you get all loving and want
to talk feelings?”

“I didn’t say it was about
feelings. You just did. So you

She was, but how did she tell her brother
she was testy because she needed sex. She didn’t. She shared a lot
with her brother, much to his irritation, but this, she could not.
It was hard enough dealing with the dream team of Zeke O’Brian and
Rory McAllister.

“I’m distracted by this job. It doesn’t help
that I am now a blonde.” She shoved her hand through her now chin
length hair. It had been a whim a few days ago and she had loved
it. But, now she wasn’t so sure.

Another beat of silence. “You only mess with
your hair color when you’re depressed.”

She held the phone out from her ear and
looked at it, then put it back. “This is Conner Dillon, right? Or
has Jillian been giving you inside information?”

“Jillian hasn’t and I know you better than
you think I do.”

That was probably true. Conner was devious
that way. He seemed like the ultimate Alpha in any group, but one
thing that had made him an excellent FBI agent was his observation
skills. It was the bane of her existence when she was growing
up—especially when he was left to raise her on his own. Nothing
like having a criminal profiler watching your every move. Not that
her teenage years had been that exciting.

“How do you know about the hair color thing,
then?” she asked.

Maura recognized the aggravated sigh. She
had first heard it when she was fifteen and asked her brother about
lubricant. “The first boyfriend breakup you dyed it that disturbing
bright red shade.”

Of course he would bring up her breakup with
Tommy Foster—otherwise known as the Scumbag from Boca Raton. “There
was nothing disturbing about it.”

“It glowed in the dark.”

She remembered the look on Conner’s face
when she stepped out of the bathroom and chuckled. “Okay, I will
give you that. It was pretty bad.”

“If you aren’t going to tell me, talk to
Jillian when you get over here.”

“I can talk to Jillian some other time, but
there’s nothing to talk about.” Then she realized what he had just
said. “Get over there? What are you talking about?”

“I want you to come over to Hawaii for a

Stranger and
It was never a good idea to
underestimate Conner, especially when he was scheming. And she
definitely defined this as scheming. He was devious and most people
wouldn’t pick up on it. They would see him as being efficient. She
knew better. Conner was born creating plots.

She cleared her throat and readied herself
for battle. Well, possible “I wasn’t planning on coming over
anytime soon. I was just there six weeks ago for your wedding.”

No matter how much she wanted to run away
from the office and her personal infatuation with Rory and Zeke,
she would not use a trip to Hawaii to get away. Which, even as she
thought it, made her crazy. Insane. Bonkers. Any sane woman would
do it without much thought. She had gone over the edge.

And that is what those two had done to her.
They had pushed her to the point that she was turning down
vacations from her brother.

“I need someone who is good at being a nerd
and it comes to you naturally. “

Most people would be upset with that
comment, but not Maura. She was a nerd and proud of it. It was one
of the many things Conner had taught her. On top of it, she knew he
was lying.

“First, you’re lying. Big lying, but I love
you for it so okay, I’ll come see you and Jillian.”

“And I want Rory and Zeke with you.”

That made her to pause. Going to Hawaii
would be a great escape. She could forget her problems, spend some
time recharging her brain. Bringing the source of her problem with
her wouldn’t give her a break. Her concentration was already shot
and now she had to deal with them dressed in trunks and all oiled
up? She shivered.

“But who will run the office?” she

“Tina is well trained and former FBI. I’m
sending a few of the new hires here to be trained in the office
with her.”

Which made sense, but it didn’t explain why
she needed to be in Hawaii. Maura knew she could definitely help
with that and keeping the office running while Tina was training.
Maura could also help with part of the training.

“The Petersen case is going to trial next
week. Don’t you think one of us should be here?”

“No. The federal prosecutor said he didn’t
need you. Which is for the best.”

She frowned. She didn’t think so. They did
all the legwork and found out that Petersen had been funneling
millions of dollars through the company he was CFO for. The owner
had thought there was something hinky up, so he brought Dillon
Securities in to look it over.

They just didn’t know Petersen had been
working for the Columbians.

“Are you trying to get me out of the

“Hawaii is part of the country. And when you
get here, you would be smart to remember that.”

She rolled her eyes. Conner had become more
Kama’aina than Jillian who had lived there for a several years.
Heck, he even took off early every Friday to celebrate Aloha
Fridays. That was so not like Conner—and she was glad for it.
Jillian had definitely loosened her brother up. Before falling for
her best friend, Conner had been uptight—and he still was to a
point. But now he had someone to tell him to take a break when he
got too intense.

“Sure, sure. But, why do Rory and Zeke need
to come with me?” she asked and then cringed at the whiny tone in
her voice. It was worse that she didn’t know what her brother’s
motives were. There were times she knew him better than she knew
herself, but lately, he’d been acting very un-Conner like. If he
wanted to talk about feelings, there was something very wrong. The
idea that she had to spend a week with them in Hawaii didn’t
appeal. Okay, that was a lie. It did. But in the wrong way.

“Because they are associated with the case
too. It would be best if you three are unreachable.”

“So, Hawaii isn’t connected to the rest of
the world. I think the Hawaiians would be more pissed about your
comments than some stupid haole tourist made?” she asked.

He ignored her question. “And, there’s that
house I rented for us during the wedding crap—”

“Oh, how I love to hear my husband say our
wedding was crap,” Jillian said in the background. The amusement in
her voice had Maura smiling.

“Now you did it, Conner. And I am not
helping you with Jillian.”

He grunted and Maura imagined that Jillian
had plopped down on his lap. It was something that she did on a
regular basis.

I don’t need help with
Jillian. I can handle her all on my own.”

The tone in his voice left little to figure
out just what he was talking about.

“Ugh, ew. I am going to bleach my brain
after that image suggestion.”

He chuckled. “It’s your fault. You sent me
over here.”

“Okay, moving onto other things, you said
you had the house that you rented?”

“Yes. I found out someone backed out of the
week’s rent for it, and I jumped on it. Use the jet.”

She wanted to argue with him, just for the
fact that she didn’t want to be with the two men while they were
together. Zeke and she had mutually decided he could not give her
what she needed, so they had split. It was hard enough to working
together, but seeing him with his old lover Rory, knowing the two
of them were living together now, was a little too much to take.
Worse, she was attracted to both of the men. Having them in the
same house, day in and day out, might just be the death of any
sanity she had left.

Before she could talk to Conner about not
inviting the guys, Zeke walked through her office door, and of
course, Rory followed behind him.

“Has Conner talked to you about this trip?”
she asked.

“No I haven’t,” Conner said on the

“Trip?” Zeke asked, his brow furrowing.

“Let me talk to him,” Conner said.

“No. I’ll tell him.”

She didn’t need her brother sniffing out her
mood with Zeke. Both men were relentless and they would badger her.
At least in Hawaii, she could ignore them and enjoy the sunshine.
Not to mention, a trip to Rough ‘n Ready would help.


“Love you,” she said and hung up.

She took a second to gather her composure.
Maura had found it best when confronted by the dual assault of
having both Rory and Zeke in the room to be prepared. If she
didn’t, her tongue stuck to the top of her mouth. When she felt she
was ready to address them and not drool on herself, she looked at

“He wants us to be in Hawaii when the trial

The men shared a glance. It irritated her on
some level she didn’t completely understand. What was she thinking?
Of course she understood. It made her feel small and petty but she
seemed unable to move past it. She hated they knew each other so
well a glance was all they needed to communicate. Worse, she hated
being jealous it. She was envious of their intimacy and their
secrets. It would be bad enough if she was just hot for one of
them, but both of them had her hot.

Both of them—and that was the problem.

She was definitely mental. What sane woman
would be jealous of two men who obviously have the hots for each

What made it even crappier were the dreams
she had started having about both of them. It was disturbing her
sleep and now disrupting her work. That was not good. Going to
Hawaii was going to make it worse—unless she could find herself a
Dom to play with while she was there. It might help her work out
the demons that seem to be chasing her for the last few months.

She glanced at Zeke and tried to keep her
mind on the conversation. It was hard to do because the man was
beyond gorgeous. What made him even more tempting was the fact that
he didn’t see himself as attractive. His mother was Haitian and his
father had been Irish, and both of them were easy to see in his
character and his looks—not to mention his voice. His skin was dark
brown, his eyes the color of milk chocolate and he had the body of
a tough Irish fighter. All sculpted muscles and that stiff upper
lip. Now that he had shaved his head and grown a goatee, he was
even sexier. He was often times too serious, but maybe that is what
appealed to her. He was hot and smart, two things that weren’t
always easy to find.

“Maura?” he asked, those dangerous lips
turning down.

She pushed those thoughts aside. Thinking
about his lips wasn’t something she should do. Especially since
Rory was now in the picture.

“As I said, he wants us there. It is kind of
odd, but then, I can work on computer stuff there with no

“And you agree with it?” Zeke asked.

She didn’t really pay attention to the
question. He had a baritone voice with that Irish lilt to it that
just made her melt. She could remember hearing it first thing in
the morning after their first night together.

BOOK: Prelude to a Fantasy: Prequel to Harmless Book 8
13.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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