I know we’ve had a fun time chatting about the real science in SINS OF THE FLESH — okay so maybe it’s just me whose had fun with that — but without passion, the science is meaningless isn’t it?
For me, the greater enjoyment in SINS OF THE FLESH came from taking two people who had externalized their passion – Caterina with her music and Mick with his family – and placing them in a situation where they had to acknowledge a different kind of desire. Both Caterina and Mick had been avoiding their own needs for love for a variety of reasons, but when brought together by Fate, they can only deny what they both need for only so long.
Today’s Wicked Wednesday is an excerpt from SINS where Mick and Caterina are finally admitting that there is something growing between them. Something neither of them has experienced before.
In this scene, Mick has just returned home from a visit to the laboratories where Caterina had been genetically engineered against her will. He has gone there to try and get more information on what was done to Caterina. While heading to the building, he runs into an old adversary – Mad Dog Donnelly. Mad Dog has been hired by the scientists to eliminate any loose ends, namely Mick and Caterina.
Mick arrives at home, bloodied and injured and Caterina takes charge, determined to help Mick with the injuries he has suffered on her behalf. Along the way, passion builds . . .
Carefully she tended to the cuts and scrapes on his face, the look on her face intense as she worked. Concerned and guilt-ridden.
He tried to reassure her as she cleaned a scrape on his chin with light strokes. “Like I said, the other guy looks worse. Besides, the fight had little to do with you.”
“I don’t understand,” she said and leaned one hip against the edge of the table as she worked.
“The guy I fought has a problem with me. We used to work together.”
“In the Army?” she questioned as she started to pick up the dirty swabs and remnants of gauze and tape, shooting him a half-glance as she waited for his answer.
“They’d never take a psycho like him into the Army.”
He rose from the chair and the motion brought him close to her. Too close. Her shoulder brushed against the wall of his chest, creating that skitter of reaction once more.
Her head snapped up. Her eyes were that intense ocean blue once more, the pupils wide. The blush even stronger across the high slashes of her cheekbones. She licked her lips in a nervous gesture and the moisture glistened on her lips.
Very luscious womanly lips.
He dipped his head down, hesitating when he was about an inch away. Warning himself that if he took a taste . . .
He did, barely brushing his lips against hers. Experiencing the hitch in her breath that spoke of surprise. Shocked at the moment where surprise became acceptance.
Caterina joined her lips to his, the need for human contact overwhelming any caution about the logic of what she was doing.
His lips were warm and surprisingly soft beneath hers. Mobile as they gently explored hers, pizzicato plucks playing at her heart strings.
She laid her hand against his chest to steady herself. That rock hard chest. Too warm beneath her hand. The skin smooth.
So smooth, she thought as she skimmed her fingers down the length of his body.
He ripped away, toppling the kitchen chair behind him in his haste to be away from her.
Raising his hands, he said, “That should not have happened. I’m sorry.”
She hated that he was right. It shouldn’t have happened. “I’m sorry as well, it was just . . .”
“The satisfaction of surviving. I’ve been through it before. It’s a natural reaction after a battle,” he said and she imagined that he had experienced this same feeling before. The conquering hero coming home to whatever woman awaited him in that place. Celebrating the victory over an opponent. Thumbing his nose at Death.
She understood. Her father had been a warrior in a suit, vanquishing opponents in the marketplace. He would come home, drunk with victory and liquor. Beating his chest and belittling her mother’s accomplishments and joys. Diminishing them to aggrandize himself until her mother had stopped believing in herself.
Until her mother had ceased to exit.
“I understand,” she said, not that she approved. But she couldn’t control herself from reaching up and running her fingers across her lips to savor the lingering feel of him.
His gaze tracked that motion too intently, but then he shuttered that gaze. His face turned stony and his lips thinned into a tight line as he reined himself in.
“I’m going to go get changed,” he said and left the room.
She watched his retreating back, wondering about the kind of man he really was. If there was anything to him other than the warrior who lived only for his own gain and success.
A gain that had to be substantial, she assumed, thinking that Edwards would be willing to pay a great deal to get her back. Would Mick tire of the challenge she seemed to be presenting and turn her over to Edwards for that bounty?
Or was he a man of honor beneath the dangerous and hard persona he insisted on displaying to others?
As she stood there, considering it, she realized either scenario was risky for her. And she realized that just like she had refused to let her father determine where her life would go, she couldn’t just rely on him to get her life back for her.
She had to find a way to take care of it herself.
I hope you enjoyed that little teaser! If you’d like to read more, check out the chapters with this cool widget from Grand Central Publishing. For those of you who cannot see the widget, you can click on this link for some more free reads of SINS OF THE FLESH.