Anticipation: A Hearts & Handcuffs Anthology
by Lindsay Cross and Megan Mitcham
Publication date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance
He knew things had gone to hell in handcuffs. Work choked him on files and felons. Home’s honey-do lists weren't much better, because nowhere on the to-do list did it say, “wife.”
They had love, but how did they get back to lust?
With a little bit of Anticipation…
Anticipation contains two sizzling ten-thousand word short stories. In Megan Mitcham’s story “Climax,” a busty—and brainy—redhead arrests her police-chief husband and shows him exactly what she’s had to do to get by without him for the last two months. In Lindsay Cross’s story “Need,” a work-from-home mom pushed to the brink pushes back, revealing her un-sated desire and forcing her Dominant to reestablish his role.
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~ Excerpt ~
FROM MEGAN MITCHAM: NEED
Fox’s broad back faced her. He typed furiously on his cell with the thick collar of his overcoat up on both sides. “What? Oh.” He turned his dark gaze on her. The ruddiness in his cheeks from the spring wind outside faded to sheet-white. “Damnit, Lin.” He looked away so quickly he almost snapped his neck. “I still don’t understand how it’s your thing.” He shoved the phone inside his pocket and gripped the table he leaned against with both hands. “When we met you seemed so normal.”
“I am normal.” She grinned, pleased with herself for shaking him up enough to get him talking. He’d been so quiet on the car ride over, stuck in the mire of his thoughts. And now that she’d seen the tip of the proverbial iceberg that had wrecked their sex life she wanted to know more.
“You have brains all over your gloves and you’re not about to hurl. That’s not normal.” His shaggier-than-usual locks moved in time with his shaking head.
“Sure it is. You like to solve puzzles. It’s part of the reason you became a police officer. Every case for you is an intricate weave of timelines, witnesses, evidence, leads, and documentation. Well, I like to tell people’s stories when they can’t.”
“So, what’s White’s story?”
“This bastard got shot in the head.”
Fox’s shoulders shook. He doubled over and the most glorious sound filled her morgue. She hadn’t heard his laugh in so very long. Sure he’d laughed with the kids, but not with her, not that real belly-rolling laugh, in too long. He buried his face in his arm. “Oh God, it smells awful in here.” The coat and thickly-corded muscles muffled the words.
Lindley let the sound wash over her, soothing the ache in her heart. “It’s good to hear you laugh,” she breathed through the thin face mask.
“It’s good to laugh. It’s been a long time.” With that, the last of his mirth dried up.
“So why’d you come with me?”
“The logical thing for James to do is run, but why’d he kill White in my office, in my chair? Nothing was stolen. Nothing was out of place.” He resumed his grip on the table.
“A final FU?”
“Or it’s a threat.”
A tiny tendril of fear threaded itself around her heart. She strived to make light of the situation. But really, a man who’d eaten barbeque in her back yard had murdered the buddy he’d picked up on his way to their house. She could only blow off so much.
Lindley secured the metal spreader inside White’s entry wound and wiggled her fingers into his brain matter. “Why would he threaten you?”
“I pushed for the bust on Chino and his gang based on things we learned from following White and James.”
“Chino!” The tendril coiled tight and her fingers slipped off the tip of the metal slug.
“He’s not a problem for us. He knows how the system works. He’s a bad guy, but not The Godfather make-a-big-statement type. He’ll post bail within the hour. Whether he goes to jail or not, James is the one with the issue. He won’t have a prayer of showing his face in this town again. No matter what he says, Chino will believe he informed for us, and he’ll end up fish food.”
“And that’s not a statement?”
“It’s a little one.”
“James stealing the money was an FU to the force. White in my office was personal.”
Lindley pushed everything aside, concentrated, and steeled her grip. “I found the slug.”
“Great. Can we go now?”
“Can you grab me a small evidence bag and open it?”
He sighed and moved to the wall of metal cabinets and drawers behind her. “Can you bring it over here. If I don’t see the body, I’ll do better.”
“I still don’t understand how you made it through seven years as a detective.” Lindley sidled up next to him and dropped the hunk of compressed metal into the open bag.
“I could look at that as evidence. This is like finger painting or sculpting with brains, and guts, and… Okay, I’m about to gross myself out.”
It was her turn to laugh. Finally. Fox’s wide eyes and reciprocating smile said he enjoyed the sound as much as she did. They shared a moment together. He moved in, but his gaze dropped to her hands. He hit the brakes.
“So, can we go now?”
“I have to clean him up, and then me. It’ll take another hour, maybe.”
Fox looked at her extra-large clock on the wall. “One o’clock. I’ve officially been awake for thirty hours.”
“Sissy. It doesn’t get good until you’ve hit the fiftieth. Mental function shuts down and you find you can sleep standing up with a candy-bar hanging out of your mouth.”
“If this place didn’t freak me out so much, I’d already be asleep. You know I like my eight hours.”
“I know you haven’t gotten that many in a row in a while.”
“I haven’t gotten a lot of things in a while.” His shaky finger brushed a group of stray hairs from her forehead. “I’m sorry.”
“Not as sorry as I am.” She leaned into his hand. The tiny bit of skin-on-skin contact bolstered her resolve.
In 2009 Megan fell in love with books. Until then, books had been a source for research or the topic of tests. But one day she read Mercy by Julie Garwood. And Oh Mercy, she was hooked!
Megan lives in Southern Arkansas where she pens sizzling suspense novels.
~ Giveaway ~
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$10 Amazon gift card