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    9/13/2006
    Pleasure Exchange, Fall 07, Avon Red
    When journalist Cat Nichols writes an article highlighting scientist Sam York's sexual experiments, animal rights activists mistakenly assumes he is testing the experimental female libido enhancer on his pet chimpanzee.

    With the media breathing down his neck he is unable to complete his project, and Cat proposes a solution...her, in exchange for the chimpanzee.


    No cover yet but....

    EXCERPT!
    Pleasure Exchange, Fall 07, Avon Red

    “I’ve figured out a way I can help you finish the experiment.”

    He transferred his thoughts back to the situation. “Help?” He poured a generous amount of cream into his coffee and met her at the table.

    She cleared her throat before speaking. Her voice thinned to a whisper as she proceeded. “Yeah, me in exchange for the chimp.” With a quick nod, she motioned to Rio.

    Had she read his mind?

    Blood racing, he came up short. His knees nearly went right out from under him, causing him to spill his coffee. Suddenly it took effort to stand. He pulled out a chair and lowered himself into it. He met her gaze from across the table.

    She had to be kidding.

    He paused and cocked his head, assessing her. They stared at each other for a long, quiet moment. He furrowed his brow, unable to believe her offer.

    “Are you serious?”

    Her sensuous mouth twisted into a frown, clearly indicating her silent apology. She wrapped her slender hands around her mug and blew out a slow breath. “I got you into this mess, it’s the least I could do to get you out.”

    He got quiet for a moment as he mulled over her offer. Did she have any idea what she was getting herself into? Any idea of how they’d have to test the serum. Provocative images of how he’d like to test her responses to the libido enhancer made his pulse rate kick up a notch. He bit back a low growl of longing as his desire mounted.

    He threaded his fingers through his hair and kept his voice controlled. “Do you have any idea what this entails?”

    She nodded, dark lashes opening wide over come-hither eyes. “Testing a female libido enhancer,” she rushed out, leaning toward him. He caught another whiff of her delectable orange scent.

    Sam had to admit, right now there were two things he wanted. One, to complete his assignment on time, and two, Cat Nichols. Not necessarily in that order. Damned if she wasn’t offering him a way to have both. He’d never mixed work and pleasure before. The two had never gone hand in hand. Until now.

    “Cat, do you understand what you’d have to do to help me?”

    “Not exactly,” she confessed.

    Sam leaned back in his chair and stretched his legs. Warmth coiled through him as his calf brushed hers. She didn’t flinch, nor did she pull away. What she did do was shift in her chair, allowing more of her leg to brush his.

    It took all his effort to force his arousal-fogged brain back to their conversation. “First we have to test and record your sexual responses to stimuli without the enhancer. Then we wait twenty-four hours, give you the serum, and test your responses again.”

    Her eyes darkened. “Sam?” she asked, her voice a little uneven, a little raspy. “What stimuli?”

    He angled closer, gauging her reactions. He spent a long moment just looking at her before he answered in a soft tone, “Me.”

    “I see.” The seductive lilt to her voice made his body tighten. Twirling a damp lock through her fingers, she stared into the depths of her coffee mug, her expression a mixture of apprehension and intrigue.

    “Second thoughts?”

    He watched her throat work as she swallowed. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get the media off your back, and help you complete your experiment, even if that means taking Rio’s place.” She gestured toward Rio and signed the words I love you.

    Sam smiled as he watched the exchange. The way she’d taken to his chimp, and vice versa, surprised and pleased him. Probably a hell of a lot more than it should have.

    “The thing is, Cat. I wasn’t testing the enhancer on Rio.”

    Her head came up with a start. “No?”

    “No. It’s not Rio you’re replacing, it’s her.” Jerking his thumb in the air, he pointed to Bonnie, his lab rat. “I was going to test the serum on Bonnie, but the Board of Directors halted all animal experiments until the protest died down.”

    Cat’s eyes opened wide. “Oh?”

    He leaned into her and grinned. “You’ll be taking the place of my lab rat. Does that change things for you?” he said, giving her a way out, hoping like hell she didn’t take it.

    She drew a shaky breath, slid her tongue over her bottom lip and swiped away a raindrop that slipped from her bangs. She closed her hand over his, a combination of heat and desire flickering in her eyes.

    “Of course not, Sam. Why would you think that?” she asked, her voice darkly seductive. Suddenly, the air around them changed as sexual energy arced between them.

    Heat pooled in his thighs as her warm breath wafted across his face. A slow grin curled his lips. The look in her eyes spoke volumes. Her needs and desires matched his. Hot damn! His mind began racing, plotting and tweaking the finite details of his experiment.

    “One question, Sam.”

    “Yeah?”

    She grinned. “Were you the stimuli for the rat too?”

    A low chuckle rumbled in his throat. “No.”

    Her eyes darkened. Her voice turned low, breathy. “Must be my lucky day.”

    He smiled. Damned if he didn’t like a woman who made no bones about what she wanted. He was quickly learning that Cat Nichols wasn’t the kind of woman to play coy, or hard to get, like most other women he knew. With her, there were no cat and mouse games. And he found that damn refreshing.

    He squeezed her hand, bringing passion to her green eyes. All teasing disappeared from his voice. “Not yet it isn’t.”

    He watched the way her body trembled, despite the warm, dry clothes.

    “So what do you say?” Her voice sounded edgy. “Do you accept my apology and my proposition?”

    He opened his mouth to reply when reality hit him full force. It went completely against protocol to test the serum on humans before written approval. If his Director got wind of it, he’d kick Sam’s ass to the curb. But if he wanted to prove his findings to the Grant Governing Board and secure future grants, he’d have to break protocol. Who knew how much time it’d take for protestors to settle down and testing to begin again, and since time was something he didn’t have….

    He scrubbed his hand over his chin and considered his options. There really was only one solution. To make sure what happened in the research room, stayed in the research room.

    Could he trust Cat to abide by those rules? If he wanted to complete this assignment, and get the little wildcat out of his system, he had no choice.

    He narrowed his gaze. “This won’t make it into your paper?” he asked.

    “Never.” There was nothing in her voice to suggest otherwise.

    He glanced into her seductive bedroom eyes. Heat curled a lazy path to his loins. Blonde curls had begun to dry and spring upward to frame her honey tanned skin. Beautiful.

    “Well…?” she inquired.

    Oh yeah, he planned on taking her up on her offer alright. He had many reasons to accept, but right now most of them had nothing to do with the experiment.

    Labels: , , ,

    4 Comments:
    1. Well, this series has my attention! Can't wait!

      By Blogger Zeek, at 9/14/2006 01:47:00 PM  

    2. Yay Zeek, so glad to hear that. Thank you!!

      By Anonymous cathryn fox, at 9/14/2006 02:50:00 PM  

    3. sounds like a great story. looking forward to reading more about it


      caity_mack@yahoo.com

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/14/2006 03:02:00 PM  

    4. Ooh!! I want, I want!!!

      By Blogger Kris, at 9/14/2006 03:19:00 PM  

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