Excerpt – Women Under Fire

A hot summer night—perfect for Mariners baseball. Davis gazed over at the empty seat and swallowed against the feelings tightening his throat. These were the same seats he and his dad had shared for years of cold, rainy baseball seasons. His dad should have been here, awaiting Felix Hernandez’s first pitch.

Davis kept scanning the crowd for Grayce as the stadium filled. She had been detained in her veterinarian office to take care of a yellow lab that had indulged in an overdose of chocolate.

He watched Hernandez go through his warm up. Armed with his wicked split finger fastball, Hernandez had the mojo to go up against tonight’s strong Red Sox batting order. The pitcher’s predictable ritual of rubbing down the ball with both hands, smoothing the mound with his right foot, didn’t bring the usual comfort. For Davis, the familiar rituals of baseball were fused with loss.

“Davis, what great seats.” Grayce scrambled over the men in the aisle to get to the center.

What the hell was she wearing? His dad’s cronies, the old lechers, were watching her sashay toward the middle seat in her short shorts and a tight top showcasing her snug yoga body.

He was suddenly hot and irritated. What was she thinking wearing that outfit? Where were her usual blue jeans? And her ponytail? She had pinned her dazzling blonde hair on top of her head and little wisps of hair clung to her graceful neck. Davis took a deep breath. He was in shorts and a t-shirt, but hell, he looked nothing like luscious Grayce.

“Davis, what’s the matter?” Grayce slipped into the seat next to him. She had no clue that she had just heated the entire male fan section.

He pulled her close and pressed a hard, possessive kiss to her lips.

Shouts came from behind. “Davis, you’re killin’ us man.”

There were more hoots and loud laughs. He knew what was on the men’s minds; the same thing that rampaged through his body. Grayce’s face turned red, either from the heat or his demanding kiss.

Her green eyes were rounded in surprise. “I’m glad to see you, too.”

“How’s your patient?” His voice was gruff.

“Recovering. Gus ate half of a Martha Stewart chocolate ganache cake. He had a few tremors, nothing like Mitzi.”

“Mitzi was poisoned.” He still couldn’t believe that bastard had come after his dog during his last investigation.

He looked down at Grayce. His height gave him full view of Grayce’s cleavage. His mind drifted away from criminals.

“Davis, your face is bright red. Is this heat bothering you?”

It took all his control not to comment that it was her exposed body causing the blood to flow in hot rushes through his body. He had learned early from his sisters never to criticize what a woman wore. Never. He was struggling to find a happy balance, somewhere between frustration and lust.

“Do you like my new shoes?” Grayce stretched out her toned leg. “They’re called espadrilles. James talked me into them.”

Davis admired her finely shaped leg. Her shoes tied with a ribbon that wrapped around her delicate ankle. He wanted to untie that ribbon. He took a deep breath, trying not to betray his rapid breathing. How could a woman’s shoe affect him this much? Damn James. It was just like Grayce’s best friend, a cross-dresser, to find the sexiest shoes.

The blood thundered in his head. Oblivious to his friends and the game, Davis stood, pretending interest in Felix’s position at home plate to give himself time to control his need to ravish Grayce. Grayce stood when he did. She pressed her warm woman’s body against his side. He was in trouble.

“Man, Davis, down!”

Davis and Grayce both sat.

“Do you know everyone in this section?” Grayce asked.

“Just the ones you’re driving crazy.”

“What?”

“Your outfit…men like that kind of outfit. And your shoes are…”

Grayce looked at him. “My outfit? I’m in shorts and tank top…just like every other woman here.”

Davis ran his hand along her toned thigh. “But you don’t look like every woman here. You look…you look so damn perfect.” He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer. “You make me forget I’m at a baseball game. You make me want to go home.”