Coming on Strong
A Red Hot New Year

A Red Hot New Year


Sam Jones's laid-back charm and Aussie drawl have never failed him - until he meets Gina McBride. The little Yank has to be the most skittish woman he's ever met, and the most intriguing. Making love with her is an experience that makes Sam's eyes roll back in his head, but she won't do it with the light on. Then there's that sexy little growl in the back of her throat when she comes, and she's so strong.


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As you'll find out, I can't do an American accent to save my life, so it helps that we're in Sam's (very Aussie and very male) head. *grin* This is his first meeting with Gina - not the same as the excerpt below. The file is 6Mb.

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Coming on Strong

"I'm back!" she called, opening the door. "Do you like Chinese?"


"Sam? Where are-"

The bathroom room door opened and Sam Jones appeared out of a billow of steam, wearing a towel knotted about his hips and nothing else. The take out hit the floor with a soggy thud, followed closely by the beer.

The view from the bedroom door had been stunning enough, but this was even more so, because now Gina received the full brunt of his personality, the intensity of the blue eyes, the flashing grin-along with a chest a mile wide, decorated with a silky mat of hair that dived happily beneath the towel.

"Nngh," she said eloquently.

"Bugger!" Sam's brow creased as his gaze dropped. "That's no way to treat beer. Lucky they didn't break. Here, let me-"

He bent to scoop up the bottles and the bag, giving her the best view possible of the fluid play of muscle and sinew, the strong knobs of his spine. Gina swallowed.

God knew how far her tongue was hanging out, but when Sam straightened, his cheekbones were stained with pink. "I'll put these in the kitchen, shall I?"

Wordlessly, she nodded, and he edged past her, smelling of soap and shaving cream and masculinity. His bare chest grazed her arm and she had to suppress the startled twitch. Unable to help herself, she swiveled to watch his ass flex under the towel as he padded down the passageway, so that she was standing in the same place when he returned.

His composure regained, he paused when he reached her, looking down into her face, his blue eyes dark as dusk on the water. He tapped her nose with a long forefinger and Gina gurgled. "Guess I'd better dress for dinner?" She nodded. That slow smile broke over his face. "Don't start without me, okay?" She nodded again.

Sam took two steps toward the spare room. Something near the back door made a sizzling noise and the lights went out.

"Shit!" They spoke simultaneously.

The darkness was as thick as a blanket, the cabin so isolated there were no street lights.

"It's probably a fuse." Sam's voice came deep and reassuring. "Find me a torch and I'll fix it."

"Yes." Gina licked her lips. "I think. Maybe there's one in the kitchen."


She sensed his body heat as he took a step closer. "Sorry," she muttered, moving to the right.

Sam grunted an acknowledgement and took a step to his left, just as she attempted to shift out of his way. In the same direction. Abruptly, they were standing breast to breast, thigh to thigh. Nudged off balance, Gina reached out in a panic, clutching at skin and chest hair.

"Ow." Sam picked up her hand in his big one and transferred it to the smooth hard swell of his biceps. "Hang on here if you're scared, darl. Doesn't hurt as much."

Oh God, she was going to die! Self-combust, right here in the dark! "I'm not scared," she husked. But you should be. Each scale of the pattern burned individually beneath her skin and the fire flowered deep in her empty, weeping core, all the flesh there throbbing like a jungle drum in tune with the hammering of her heart.

"Don't give me that. Gina, you're shaking." A big warm hand rubbed soothingly between her shoulder blades, clasped the nape of her neck. It paused. "Crikey, you're hot! You're not sick? Do you have a thermometer?"

"No, but I remember." Gina had to stop and clear her throat, relax her death grip on hard biceps. "When I was ill, my Mom used to bend down and put her cheek against my forehead. Did yours do that?"

"Yeah, when I was a little fella." His voice came softly out of the gloom. "Hold still."

His hands slid up her arms to rest on her shoulders, pressing her into a wall of warm, hard muscle. Soft, silky hair still damp from the shower brushed her cheek and she tilted her chin. Slowly, oh so slowly, Sam bent his head until his clean-shaven cheek rested against her forehead. His skin was cool and smooth, with a hint of the underlying heat of his blood. Gina closed her eyes, luxuriating, sensing the soft whisper of his breath, blessing the complete absence of light. All she had to do was rise on tiptoes and turn her head the slightest bit to bury her nose in his neck.

"Gina, you're burning!" She felt his throat vibrate as he spoke.

"I know," she said. "Don't worry about it." Almost gladly, she stopped fighting, let the fire roar right over her, incinerating every particle of common sense she'd ever possessed. He was so wonderful, Sam Jones, so perfect. The fates had conspired to give her this man, and the concealing dark. She'd be mad to pass the opportunity by, regardless of the consequences on the morrow. There'd never be another chance like it.

"Yes, but shouldn't we-"

She nipped the smooth skin below his ear, soothed the spot with her tongue.

Sam's whole body went rigid against her. "Christ!"

"You can say no," she breathed into his neck, trailing small, stinging nibbles along his jaw. God, he tasted fabulous, like salty, honeyed sin.

"No?" he croaked. One hand slid up under her hair, cradled her skull. "You think I'm crazy?"

The other palm cupped her cheek, holding her steady. Firm, cool lips traced her eyebrow, whispered over her eyelid. A thumb stroked across her lower lip, pressed gently. She scraped it with her teeth, bit. Sam made an unintelligible noise, deep in his throat, as if something had snapped inside him. His fingers tightened against her cheek and his mouth came down hard on hers.

Why on earth had she thought his lips were cool? They were furnace hot, his tongue a searing brand that slid into her mouth like a marauder, a conquering king. Her head spinning, Gina strained upward, her breasts mashed against his unyielding chest, accepting the invader, loving it, letting it do as it willed. Oh God, yes, yes! The pattern writhed, turning her universe into a soft dark space of wet and warmth in which nothing existed except the urgent dance of lips and tongues and hard desire.

It took her long, drugged moments to realize Sam was withdrawing, very slowly and gently, but nonetheless. His arms were still banded about her, one big hand splayed over her ass, pressing what felt like a long, thick bar of molten metal into her belly. From neck to knee, there wasn't room to slip a piece of paper between their bodies, but now his lips were feather light on hers, no more than the merest brush. Instinctively, she slid her arms around his neck and raised her head, seeking, chasing more of that addictive taste, feeling the towel begin to slip. She wiggled her hips against it, delighted.

"Gina." It was no more than a rasp in the blackness. "Love, stop." His chest rose and fell against hers, the breath sawing out of him. He sank his fingers into her hair, tugging gently. "Stop, I said!"

He might as well have dunked her in cold, greasy washing-up water. Ah shit! Tears of humiliation welled in her eyes. Abruptly, she jerked back, very nearly succeeding in tearing herself out of his arms. Reflexively, they tightened around her. "No," he said. "No, that's not what I meant. Strewth, I can't see a fucking thing!"

"I said you could say no." Gina braced herself on the hard slabs of his pectorals and shoved backward, feeling the silky hair tickle her palms. "Let me go!"

"Nu-uh." He stepped forward, one thigh coming up firmly between her legs, so that she rode him, the thick seam of her jeans catching her quivering clit fair and square. As he backed her into the wall, the towel slid off completely, flopping softly over her feet, and her core released a slick gush of fluid. Oh God, she could smell her own arousal! What must Sam be thinking? She moaned her distress.

"Gina, listen." He lowered his head, his nose brushing hers and she caught the gleam of his eyes. "Don't push me." His voice dropped an octave, the Aussie drawl very pronounced. "I'm within a hairs-breadth of shoving you against the wall and fucking your brains out."

She froze, allowing herself to feel the bulky throb of his cock pressing into her stomach, the way he was crowding her, looming above her, so she felt small and helpless and oh-so-female. Surging up from the depths, her spirits rose so high, so quickly, the rollercoaster of emotions made her dizzy. Digging her fingers into Sam's shoulders, she flicked out her tongue, licking his upper lip.

He groaned, the sexiest sound she'd ever heard. "Darl, it's darker than the devil's armpit in here. Tell me I haven't got it wrong." She sensed him run a hand through his hair. "Shit, Gina, you don't know me from a bar of soap." He swiveled his hips against her and she whimpered. "Jesus, I reckon I've got two seconds left- Talk quick."

"Suppose I." She couldn't catch her breath, couldn't hear herself think over the pounding of her blood. Something about the dark interfered with her inhibitions, made it an erotic dream, a fantasy in which all things were possible. In which she was bold and beautiful and impossibly sexy. "Suppose I tell you what I want. Explicitly."

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© 2007 Denise Rossetti

Rose graphic courtesy of Corbis