Just wanted to post chapter one of the next installment of the Megalodon Team, Dimitri’s Moon. Enjoy!
“Damn this crazy shit going on in the world!” the petite woman cussed as she was jostled again. This most recent attack was mind-boggling. Someone or someones had attacked the American Embassy in Greece. She was heading away from the scene, just trying to make it out in one piece, when another explosion rocked the streets.
This time she was knocked to her knees. Palms scraped against rugged pavement while attempting to break her fall. The screams grew louder as the force of people moving near her turned to almost moving over her.
Fighting to regain leverage and her feet in the swarming crowd, she jumped when she felt a hand on her arm. “This isn’t a time to be on the ground, ma’am,” a deep voice said to her as she was lifted completely off the ground and placed back on her feet.
Ilanderae “Landi” Nycks looked over her shoulder at the man who had assisted her. He was dressed in a nice dark suit; his skin had the natural olive complexion that seemed to be common for the men of this area. He had black hair and a very tightly clipped goatee on his face. His eyes were dark green. Damn! “Thank you,” she mumbled.
“We should get moving,” he said as his hand secured a place on her arm, leading her through the throng of people to an open area.
Landi didn’t argue, just let him tug her along. Her palms were stinging and her knees were beginning to ache as well. She stumbled along after him, her short, five-two frame no match for the strides his over six-foot body took. “Can we slow down a bit?” she panted.
He glanced down at her sweat-covered face. “Sorry. Right in here. We can get you cleaned up.” The man pulled her into a restaurant, never even noticing its name as he ushered her in. If she had, she would not have entered.
The people inside were looking around full of suspicion and mistrust, as if anyone there could have a bomb strapped on as well. But all their eyes fell to her as she staggered in after the man towing her.
Momentarily stunned, Landi froze, her chest rising and falling with each breath she took. What the hell is up with the glares I’m getting? Tugging on her wrist, she got the man who had brought her in here to let her go.
“Anatole, get some warm water and soft rags. We need to get her cleaned up.” Turning to look at the woman beside him, he gestured to an empty booth. “Here, sit here and we will clean you up.”
“Thank you,” Landi said with a smile and did as he instructed.
The other people continued to watch her, but their expressions softened incredibly. When the young man approached her with the bowl and the rag, she sat up and reached for it.
Brushing her off, her savior took the cloth and dipped it in the water. Ringing it out, he applied it gently to her bloody knees, wiping them clean. “Better?” he asked in a low voice.
Swallowing, she nodded. “Much. I can do it,” Landi insisted, taking the rag from him and cleaning the other knee before moving onto her hands.
The man allowed her to do just that. He stood back, crossed his arms and watched Landi tend to her injuries. His dark-emerald eyes moved over her body as she finished with the rag. As she placed it back in the bowl of water, he waved forward a woman who was carrying a platter of food.
As the young lady set down the plate, Landi said, “Oh, I really need to get back to my hotel. But thank you for everything.”
“No. It’s not safe for you or any American out there right now. The streets are too dangerous. You will stay here.”
Shaking her head, Ilanderae protested, “No. No. I can’t do that. I have to get going to my hotel.”
The man stared at her for a moment as if testing her resolve. Finally, he nodded and spoke. “Okay, but only if you allow me to have an escort for you. My cousin will take you back to your place. I would do it, but I can’t be sure I wouldn’t take advantage of you. He is a gentleman.” That statement was delivered with a hearty wink.
Ilanderae shivered as his stare roved her body. This man was nothing short of handsome wrapped in a gorgeous package. “I can do that. Thank you so much for stopping to help me. I don’t know what’s going on here right now. I totally believe I would have just been run over by the hordes of people if you hadn’t stopped to help me out.”
Taking her dark hand in his sun-kissed one, the man bowed low over it, placing his lips tenderly on the back of the smooth, flawless skin. “My dear, it would have been a sin for me to leave a delicate woman such as yourself lying there.” He rolled his green eyes. “Not to mention very ungentlemanly of me.”
She couldn’t help it, she had to laugh. “Well, I, for one, am very grateful you decided you couldn’t be ungentlemanly.” Reluctantly, she took her hand away from his firm lips.
“If only I were to take you to the hotel, the pleasures I could show you,” he murmured in her ear, sending delightful shivers across her body. The clearing of a throat made him groan in dismay. “That would be my cousin,” he muttered, standing up to his full seventy-four–inch height, “who’s come to take this lovely vixen away from me.”
Landi shook her head at his dramatic antics. It had been a long time since a man had made her laugh this much or feel this special. “Well, thank you for your kindness and your hospitality. I won’t ever forget it.”
He winked roguishly at her and asked, “Will I be able to see you again, or are you leaving our fair country soon?”
Unable to get out of the booth because of where he was standing, Landi remained seated. “I am here for a few more days. Then I have to get back to the States.”
“Perfect. Then we can go out on a date before you leave.”
She rolled her eyes. “I don’t even know your name.”
Before he could respond, a deep voice interrupted them. “AJ, I don’t want to stand here while you flirt with another woman. I was asked to escort her back to the hotel, and I don’t have time to waste.”
If the feelings her rescuer had caused had rocked and shocked her, the ones that rocketed through her at the sound of the new masculine voice were like the finale at a huge fireworks show. Only one man had the power to deliver that feeling to her body; and the last time she had seen him…was over a year ago.
It can’t be!
The man blocking her view stepped back and allowed their eyes to meet. Standing before her was none other than the one who had shown her an incredible weekend of pleasure and then walked out of her life, leaving her heartbroken. Dimitri Androcles Melonakos.
Golden eyes met rich brown and both people’s breaths hitched.
Dimitri froze. When he had been called down to the restaurant to do an “escorting” job of a tourist, he’d felt a growl of anger. He was supposed to be on vacation and he didn’t want to baby-sit some lost person who couldn’t find her way back to the hotel where she had been staying. Hell, he didn’t even want to be on vacation! He was so bored. But the cousin who’d called had said AJ was fighting his attraction for her and didn’t think it would be wise to allow him to escort the cute American.
Cute American. Well, that was one hell of an understatement. The woman who sat on the blue leather booth seat was way more than just cute. He knew every inch of her body; each curve was committed to memory. The taste of her skin was imprinted in his brain.
Three days, two nights of incredible and exquisite pleasure was what they had shared with one another. The emotions he had begun to feel for this woman had been off the charts, and they had frightened him. Since that weekend, Dimitri had seen her from a distance, but had not ever spoken to her again. Not even at the wedding of their mutual friends.
Now, he was across the world from where he had left her only to find they were, once again, face to face. His every wet dream sat dressed in pink, her wavy hair pulled up off her thin neck into a high ponytail.
Staring at her took him back to the time they had last spent together, the weekend they had rented a cabin along the beach and used their time together to make love and play. Away from anyone who might know them, away from prying eyes. Time for just the two of them. Then, he had left, leaving her with more unanswered questions than answers.
The look in her light-chestnut eyes holding his own was anything but loving. It was stark animosity. But then she blinked and a small smile crossed her face. Sliding out of the booth, Landi stood beside AJ.
“This, my dear,” AJ said as his hand settled on the small of her back, “is my cousin, Dimitri. He will see you safely back to the hotel where you are staying. I will be by this evening to take you to dinner.” His fingers danced along the smoothness of her pink shirt.
“Thank you, AJ,” she purred softly. “I can’t wait to see you again. My name is Ilanderae Nycks, but everyone calls me Landi. Pick me up at seven.” Light-brown eyes tipped up to meet the sparkling green ones of the man beside her who nodded his agreement.
Dimitri gritted his teeth. Stepping forward, he nodded brusquely. “Are you ready, ma’am?”
“Of course.” Her response had as much warmth in it as a polar ice cap. That fact wasn’t lost on anyone there.
Reaching out his hand, Dimitri waited for her to take it. Instead, she smiled up again at his cousin and walked right past him to the door, where she paused, tossed her ponytail, and looked over her shoulder at him. Impatience was all over her expression.
With a sigh, Dimitri followed and held the door for her. “Where are you staying?” he asked as she waved to his cousin again before they finally left the restaurant.
The moment they were out of sight of the establishment, Landi stopped walking and glared at the man beside her. “I don’t need or want you to take me anywhere. I’ll be fine.” Tossing her head once more, she began to walk off without another word.
Two steps were as far as she got. A firm hand jerked her back around to face him. An involuntary groan left both of them as they touched. Licking his firm lips, Dimitri shook his head. “I don’t think so, sweetheart. My cousin wants you to have an escort and I will do just that. It’s too damn dangerous for you to be alone here.”
“I think I am in more danger from you, Dimitri Melonakos. Just tell your cousin you escorted me. I don’t really care what you say. I just want you away from me!” She jerked back from his touch as if it burned.
Golden flames burned in his leonine gaze. “Don’t challenge me, sweetheart. We both know how we react to one another. How much you want to bet you are wet right now?”
Her fawn-colored eyes narrowed as her nostrils flared. “You know, you’re probably right. I am wet, but then that cousin of yours is something else.” Landi spun around so fast her ponytail almost smacked him in the face.
A furious snarl erupted from his chest and he was on her heels in seconds. Grabbing her again, this time when he spun her around his mouth was waiting to land on hers. The kiss lasted maybe five seconds before her palm connected with the side of his face.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?!” she demanded even as her chest heaved with the exertion it took to find her lost breath.
“Has it been that long since you’ve been kissed?” he taunted. She’d practically melted in his arms before remembering she was angry at him.
“By an ass? Yes!” For the second time in mere moments, she yanked away from him. “Leave me alone!” Ilanderae whirled around and began storming off.
Dimitri followed, but this time he stayed behind her. What the hell was wrong with him? He was the one who had broken things off with her, not the other way around. Believing he was over her went up like smoke the second his eyes had landed on her pink-clothed body.
Ilanderae Nycks was stunning. She was a very small, petite woman who loved the color pink. Every time he had seen her there was some form of the hue on her somewhere. She could work the color, and work it she did.
A wry smile crossed his face as he followed his stomping woman through the streets of Athens. His cousin had no reason to worry; Landi knew her way and was traveling like a pro. Of course she was; he knew she had been here many times, coming for both business and pleasure. Which is she here for this time?
He felt the trouble before he actually saw it. The tension in the crowd was escalating faster than he would have believed possible. Immediately his body went into protect mode, and his gaze zeroed in on Landi.
“Landi,” he shouted over the increasing noise. When she looked back at him with an irritated look, he commanded, “Get back here to me.”
Her eyes flashed dangerously. She hated being told what to do. As she opened her mouth to dispute him, someone shoved her from behind. Dimitri was there to keep her from kissing the pavement.
“God damn it!” she swore. “I am so sick of this!” Her hands curved about his muscular forearms as he led them to the doorway of an old building.
The crowd began chanting; it was obvious a riot was about to ensue. This time when her eyes met his, they weren’t full of anything but concern. “What the hell is going on here, Dimitri?”
“Civil unrest.” His sharp eyes scanned for the safest route to get her out of danger. “Hold on to my hand. Whatever you do, don’t let me go.”
His tone must have told Landi just how serious he was. Normally she would have taken exception to the command, but knowing what he did for a living, she kept quiet. He wouldn’t tell her that unless it was imperative for her wellbeing. “I won’t.”
“Good girl, agapi.” His endearment rolled so naturally off his tongue that it took a moment for either of them to realize what he said.
Landi felt so right near him. Later he could hash out what had—or hadn’t—happened between them. Right now, he had to get them out of this in one piece…even though he’d smashed her heart into millions of them.
Dimitri saw the war waging in her eyes. Tipping her face up more toward his, he asked, “Ready?”
“I think so,” she murmured even as she noticed how much rowdier the crowd was becoming.
“I won’t let anything happen to you, Landi. I’ll keep you safe.”
“Okay,” she uttered as her grip on his hand tightened.
He smiled at her, revealing the dimple in his right cheek. “You’ll be fine.”
“I know,” she said immediately. “You’re with me.”
At that second, Dimitri felt invincible. His head lowered and he placed his mouth over hers one more time. Gently. Tenderly.
The rush of emotions that swarmed them took them both back to the beach. To the time they had spent with one another.