Exotic dancer Monroe Calliste recognizes the reindeer shifter eyeing her with open curiosity as she performs on stage. She remembers too well the one night they allowed themselves free reign over each other’s bodies. But he doesn’t recall their tryst, or maybe pretends not to. Either way, Monroe sets out to give him a refresher course.
Dasher Petrovic has no memory of the coffee-colored temptress insisting they shared more than their bodies at one time. Monroe’s eyes reflect a mutual burn, but she can’t be right. If he’d spent even a second in her bed, he’d know. His ice melts under Monroe’s fire, but the question remains, what happened to his memory?
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Outside in the main area, she pulled the fedora low on her head, covering as much of her face as she could as she looked around for him. He was tall, way taller than her, but no matter how much she strained her neck she couldn’t find him. He’d left or maybe gone back into hiding.
Maybe the bartender, Ioan, remembered something about him. She pushed through the thick crowd and over to the bar. There he sat, beer still in hand, hunched over.
She allowed herself a quick drool over the way the white shirt he wore pulled tight over the muscles in his back, putting them on display. At one time, way back when, she’d had her legs around his neck, her fingers digging into all that muscle as he worked her over.
She was all wet, and he hadn’t even touched her, not that he would. She sidled up to the bar and hopped on to the stool next to him. Frustrated heat poured off him, intoxicating enough to make her forget place and time.
“Long time no see, shifter.”
His entire body froze.
Monroe smirked and turned her head as Ioan approached with her drink, a Grand Marnier, a splash of lemon juice, and three ice cubes.
To his credit, the shifter waited until Ioan moved away before he looked up at her. There again was the confusion, but he blinked, and it disappeared. Different expressions cycled quickly through his eyes; lust, need, confusion, until he settled on cold distrust. Oh, that one hurt.
“Do I know you?” A blank question before he raised the beer to his lips.
“Yes, you do.”
The blond hair he’d sported back then was shaved off until only a shadow remained on his scalp. His eyebrows and lashes gave him away. Lashes she’d been jealous of, they were so long and curly. His cheekbones were more prominent, the bump on his nose wasn’t there the last time, neither was the scruffy beard. Her shifter had gone through some changes.
“You do know me, shifter,” she said. “But more importantly, I know you.” She leaned forward and spoke into his ear. “The pretense doesn’t become you, reindeer.”
Except for the tightening of his knuckles around the beer bottle, he showed no outward signs of acknowledging her words. Monroe fisted her hands.
“Dasher Petrovic. Your name,” she whispered.
His body started shaking.
The shaking grew worse, and he’d closed his eyes.
“I’ve got more. I know more about you than I think you even know.”
“How?” The word rumbled in his throat. “How?”
Was he for real? Monroe frowned. “Two years ago you spent a weekend in my bed, Dash. I know everything because you told me.”
The beer slipped from his hands and spilled onto the bar top as his eyes stabbed into her. “No.”
Denial. Really? She lifted her head. “This isn’t the place for this conversation. Come with me.”
“Fuck that.” He shook his head. “Not happening.”
She smiled. “You and I both know you will.”
l always wanted to have a sexy bio, one to reflect who I am, but after drawing a blank, l could only come up with: I eat cake and I read books…ooh, and I write ‘em too. No one liked it and after massive peer-pressure and pouting, I managed something more…suitable?
A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant Spousal Equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother
Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.
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