As Last Flight of the Ark heads to the proof editor, I find myself mentally reviewing the metamorphosis of this story. In the last month it’s grown and changed in ways I hadn’t originally imagined. At one point I extracted an entire plot thread. It took two weeks to unweave it from various chapters, to get the leaner meaner version that’s soon to be released with Liquid Silver Books. I worked through Christmas, crammed to get it done before I traveled south to Parris Island for my son’s boot camp graduation and spent countless hours in my car on my lunch break to plug those holes I’d opened.
I’d like to show you the chops, the bits and pieces you won’t see in the story that give you a glimpse at the lost threads.
Warning: This is an erotic romance. Excerpts contain graphic language.
He’d gone down to the hold to check the animals and the crew. Everyone appeared a little shaken but fine, until he’d reached the final cage. Frank blinked and rubbed his eyes. He hit the button on his com and opened a channel to the flight deck. “Uh, Captain Deluzio, this is Lieutenant Jeffers.”
“Captain Deluzio, here.”
“You might want to come down to the predator bay. There’s something you’ve got to see.”
“Roger, I’ll be right there.”
Frank stared into the bars at the naked people. They’d been wolves an hour ago. Where did the wolves go? He glanced into the other cages. Wolves. Real wolves, but what was in this cage was anything but animal.
A blonde rose to her feet. As beautiful a woman as he’d ever seen. Long legs, full breasts that didn’t have the slightest sag, platinum hair and the sweetest mouth he’d ever seen. A walking wet-dream. She stumbled toward him and placed her palms against the bars as though her fingers didn’t work, or she was uncertain how they did.
“Hello,” Frank said.
“Olo,” she repeated and cocked her head, holding his gaze so intensely he couldn’t break away. Frost and fire, sunshine and moonlight and Frank suddenly became a believer in love at first sight.
“I Frunk,” she repeated.
“No, I’m Frank.” He patted his chest then pointed at her. “Who are you?”
She leaned forward and sniffed him. A male behind her rose to his feet and snarled. She swung around and growled in response. He sank back to the ground and rolled to his back. Frank flinched. Dang dude, grow some balls.
The woman turned back around to study him. Her gaze traveled from his boots, stopping at his groin for longer than appropriate and then up to his face. The corner of her mouth curled and a dimple emerged. Frank’s heart skipped and squeezed in his chest. He was gay. What the hell was going on with him? He wanted a woman?
Scratch that. Women? Oh shit, he’d mutated into a heterosexual.
Twice today he’d gotten hard. Once with Melissa in the bay and now with this delicate, very naked female. It just wasn’t natural.
She pressed tighter to the bars, her breasts protruded through and her nipples were close enough to make more than a polite introduction. Heat washed through his body and his erection became painful. What the hell. He coughed and tried to take his eyes off her. Impossible. His gaze remained on her breasts. “You need some clothes.”
“Clothes?” She drew her brows together, as though she thought nothing of being naked. Then again, there was nothing wrong with what she was wearing. Fuck. Yes there was. She was a chick. No matter how he tried to be disgusted, he couldn’t. Oh God, Bryant wasn’t going to like this a bit.
“Clothes”, she said softly. Her eyes lit and she reached through the bars to tug on his sleeve. “Clothes.”
“That’s right. Your boyfriend could use some too.” The man wasn’t bad looking, but the wood Frank had wasn’t because of him.
Her mouth turned into a full smile, illuminating that perfect face. She pushed on the bars and gave him a pleading look. She was beautiful. Inhumanly beautiful. Frank studied her face and contemplated if he should let her out. She didn’t look dangerous.
Oh hell, why wait for Melissa? He unlocked the latch and the door swung open. She stepped through and stopped a foot from him. She reached up, touched his jaw and moved closer, pressing her naked body against him.
“Clothes.” She tugged on his shirt.
“No. These are mine. I’ll get something to fit you.”
“Mine,” she said and pulled at his top again. She brought both hands up and sandwiched his face between her palms. She sniffed his neck.“Mine, Frunk.” She obviously had no inhibitions. She pressed closer, grinding her hips into him. None at all. Damn he was going to need to bathe in ice to knock his hard-on down.
It didn’t help that he could sense her interest. Hell, any red-blooded male would have to be blind not to sense it, but he’d caught all the extras a normal man wouldn’t. Her heart pounded staccato in her chest, beating out a primitive thrum that made his body ache. And...he could smell her. Wet. Excited. She ran her hand across the scruff on his jaw, practically inhaling him while she did it. She liked him.
“Frunk,” she whispered and ran her hand down his body to grope his nuts. “Mine.”
“Whoa, hey there.” Frank pulled her hand away. No, not liked, wanted and that knowledge had his pants growing tighter. Her breath grazed his face as though she wanted to kiss him. He closed his eyes and took in her essence, waiting for her lips to touch his. Oh hell, he’d never experimented with the opposite sex before. What could it hurt?
Instead, a soft, wet tongue ran from his chin to his forehead.
Frank’s eyes snapped open. What the fuck?
“Olo, Frank. I’m Sheba.” Pain rocketed through his head as the back of his skull bounced off the iron bars. Teeth clamped onto his shoulder and punched through flesh and fabric. Seconds later, everything went dark.
“I can’t believe you let her out,” Melissa snarled. “She’s not human. She’s dangerous.”
“Yeah, I figured that out. After she bashed my head into the side of that cage, bit me and stole my clothes.” Frank slapped a bag of ice against the back of his head. Melissa had offered him a blanket, which he now wore wrapped around his body like a toga. “She looked pretty damn human to me. She even spoke.”
Melissa lifted a brow. “Spoke? What did she say?”
“Olo, Frank. I’m Sheba.”
“She did not.”
“Uh, think again. If that girl was a wolf, that’s a thing of the past. She’s humanoid and a quick learner.”
“Organize a team. We have to find them.”
“I’ll get dressed first.” Frank gathered the blanket around him and headed for the bay.