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About the author:
Lorain O’Neil is the author of Coquina Hard [Historical Fiction Standalone], Alien Advantage [Humorous Adventure Standalone], The Dangerous Path of Loving Jaesha [Very Dark Erotic Humorous Standalone Thriller], Angelique Rising [Humorous Standalone Dark Thriller], A Kiss From Moët [Humorous Paranormal Standalone Romance], The Liar Charms [Humorous Urban Fantasy Thriller], Firecrystal Deep [humorous sci-fi romance], Bound Fairy [Fantasy romance adventure], and co-author of Bedmonsters are Cool [Humorous Standalone Fantasy], all available on Amazon.
What inspired you to write your book?
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
Here is a short sample from the book:
Seething, Wyatt was once again searching for Angelique who’d stealthily fled sometime around dawn without even a see ya. And what really pissed him off was though she hadn’t taken the time to say goodbye to him (much less show any gratitude for his care of her) she had taken the time to make the bed! And make it immaculately, not leaving so much as a wrinkle. So Wyatt Cochran was spending his Saturday morning querulously clomping along river dock moorage slips with barely contained fury looking for a houseboat named Sunflower. He hadn’t found it, but he did spot a large houseboat with big ceramic planters on its deck filled with brightly blooming yellow sunflowers.
I’m gonna KILL her.
He stomped down onto the houseboat’s deck and glanced through a window. It was her all right, but she was with a man. And all she was wearing was a black lace bustier set and spiked shoes. Well tough! He was going in.
He banged on the door and the man answered it, gawking at him.
“Damn, May-May, you were NOT kidding!” the man chuckled ogling Wyatt.
Wyatt took a tentative step into the houseboat, this was not the greeting he’d expected.
The room was spacious, a third of it a kitchen, the rest living room, with one narrow wooden staircase leading above. Beyond startled, Angelique stood in her black bustier on a coffee table before a small elevated fireplace, her mouth a frozen comical O.
“Wyatt!” she finally gasped, unbelieving.
“Angelique,” he snarled in his frostiest voice.
“Hoo-wee, he’s thermonuclear at you, girl,” the man said, “no wonder you took a powder last night, the boss wants to murder you too.”
Wyatt fixed a harsh, menacing glare on the man.
“And you are?”
“I’m Anthony Rodriguez, Mr. Cochran, costume manager and designer for the Company. Hope you liked my costumes at your Gala last night. Did you notice the way May-May’s stayed up? Never a malfunction with her! I need one more minute here then she’s all yours. In a manner of speaking,” he added.
Wyatt shot a stern dark glare at “Angelique.” May-May?
“C’mon, slip it on,” Anthony pounced on Angelique throwing a long dress over her head causing her to temporarily disappear, “now wiggle your ass.”
Reluctantly she did and Anthony grabbed the dress and pinched.
“Need to take this in a scootch,” he jabbered, all of them feeling the tension in the room almost crackling.
Wyatt considered Anthony as he touched Angelique’s butt –he wasn’t the least bit interested in it, just the dress. Anthony was clearly gay and for some reason that made Wyatt feel better. As Anthony pulled the dress up over Angelique’s head Wyatt felt himself stir involuntarily.
“What are you doing here?” Angelique huffed as she hopped down off the coffee table desperately pulling on a pair of jeans and buttoning a blouse.
“Our conversation last night was not finished,” he answered in cold formality arching his eyebrow at her.
Anthony and Angelique exchanged furtive looks and Wyatt’s phone rang.
“Hello.” Wyatt didn’t speak it like a question but rather a declaration of war.
The voice on the other end of the phone hesitated but then plunged onward.
“I don’t have it all yet sir,” the caller said in Wyatt’s ear, “but some things I thought you should know right away.”
Anthony was hurriedly packing up costumes strewn about on the furniture while Angelique appeared to be entreating him to stay (Wyatt heard a rattled not on your life).
“Okay –Angelique Sonja Reising. Parents killed in a car crash when she was eleven. A Catholic priest named Ralph Wadzniak petitioned the court and got a legal guardianship over her. Can’t find anything after that until two years later when the priest filed a missing person report on her. Then, nothing until she was sixteen years old and that’s when it gets interesting.”
“Tell me.” Wyatt saw Anthony scuttle with surprising speed out the door, Angelique attempting futily to hold on in protest while keeping one wary eye on him.
“Cummings & Wadsworth pushed a bill through the Legislature granting her emancipation, made her an adult. First thing she did was get a restraining order against the priest, second thing a passport and the third thing was to travel to Singapore with Ira Silverberg. She’s living in a houseboat now that Silverberg paid the lease on for ten years! I can’t find anything connecting her to him in the last four but I’m still looking. But sheesh. Ira Silverberg.”
“Call me when you get more,” Wyatt said snapping the phone shut as Anthony snapped the houseboat door shut –behind himself.
“Ira Silverberg,” Wyatt spat. “Explain.”
“Your connection to him.”
“That’s none of your business.”
Wyatt’s eyes narrowed.
“Lady you are on my last nerve. I swear I will take you over my knee right now and spank the living shit out of you if you don’t tell me how you, as a sixteen year old girl, got mixed up with that dickwad!”
She was aghast. He wouldn’t do something like that, would he? She squinted at him uncertainly.
“I… he hired me. I needed help. He helped me.”
With all the self control Wyatt could summon he pointed at her couch in a clear command of sit. Protecting the identified target, she sure did.
“From the beginning.”
“You know I really don’t like your tone, Wyatt, I mean I’m not one of your employees or—”
He stood over her. Looming.
“From. The. Beginning.”
“I was being harassed.”
“How do you know about that?”
“Tell me about Silverberg.”
She felt trapped into answering.
“We met ’cause we were both involved in the same sport. And I told him I was a waitress in a restaurant and he started coming into it a lot. He always tipped me well. One day he was there with another man –a business meeting.”
“I have… certain talents. You saw one of them.”
“At the hospital.”
“Yeah. Well, Ira saw another one of them. One he thought he could use in a business deal he wanted to do.”
“Back then, once in a while, I could… y’know… tell… stuff. That was going on. Or maybe about to,” she added hastily. “Not very often but I knew what was really happening with the guy he was sitting with, Ira was a good tipper so I told him. And he… offered to help me.”
“If you went to Singapore with him.”
“Jeez! You are one heck of a snoop, Wyatt. But yes, he had a big business deal there and he wanted an edge so I went.”
“But he needed to get rid of your legal guardian first and get you a passport.”
“That was the deal.”
“How does the houseboat fit in?”
She was popeyed.
“If he got the deal because of me, I’d get a lease on this place. I like the feel of a river flowing under me.”
“And after? With Silverberg?”
“Nothing after. Ira and I parted ways.”
“Do you know what Ira Silverberg is?”
She didn’t answer.
“Ira Silverberg,” he growled, incensed, “is the most unscrupulous cheating lying piece of filth in half the fucking business world and that’s including Asia! That deal he did in Singapore? That was mine. I set the whole thing up, he swooped in and stole it, I could never figure out how. Now I guess I know.”
He started pacing, towering above her.
“Sorry,” she mumbled.
“What else?” he demanded bluntly. “What else can you do?”
At that she recovered her composure.
“Look Wyatt, I owed you for the university. But you know very well I saved that kid for you last night and believe me that is not something I’m ever gonna do again. That kid had cancer cells under his flippin’ toenails! And I zapped every single one of ’em. You and I –we are even. I don’t owe you squat and that includes explanations.”
He bit back his anger and Angelique felt the air in the room quiver.
“Ira would never have just given you up.”
“He calls from time to time, offers me money. Quite a lot. I say no.”
“I kinda figured out his ethical deficiencies, Wyatt.”
“God damn,” he muttered, “I need some water.” Stepping into her kitchen area without invitation he flung open her refrigerator door.
“What the –there’s nothing in here.”
“I don’t get my paycheck until this afternoon. Assuming you’ve paid up.”
“You don’t have money for food?” he asked, a pained troubled look of perplexed annoyance crossing his face.
“We’re not all rich like you, Wyatt.”
“Get up. I’m taking you to lunch then grocery shopping. And if you don’t lose the attitude, Angelique, I’m having my uncle fire your ass from the Company for what you pulled last night at the Gala. You can come work for me. On the ground.”
“He owns the Performance Center –that you work for. Now get up.”
“You’re an obnoxious shit, Wyatt.”
“No doubt. But compared to Ira Silverberg I’m a fucking paragon of virtue May-May.”
“You’re not allowed to call me that, I don’t know you!” she retorted.
“You want your costume back?”
“What? They’ll dock me for it if you don’t return it!”
“Well the price is that you are going to get to know me. And you’d better believe it’s going to be reciprocal.”
My God she’s gorgeous he thought yet again; a beautiful woman who needs neither deference nor reassurance, like a precious but incomprehensible treasure.
That was when he realized he positively had to have her.
And something in the heavens above smiled.