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Not What He Expected ~ Excerpt from 'Men Under Fire'

Talley’s nails clicked on the wood floors as they approached the door. Nick’s heart beat erratically, his palms were sweaty, and his mouth was dry.

Hollie looked up from her desk as he walked through the door. Surprise registered on her face as she stood and came around her desk. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a high ponytail, and she wore a soft white dress that clung to all her curves. Her sweet and innocent look was a fist to his chest. He was having trouble moving air in and out of his lungs.

“Talley, Sgt. Welby, is something wrong? You don’t have an appointment today.”

She looked young and virginal, nothing like the dominatrix that his male mind had created in the late nights. The swimming regime recommended by Dr. Walters to help Talley was taking the edge off the long days, but the nights were still bad. And when he woke from the same nightmare, he lay in bed and fantasized about Hollie, her incredible bod in the tight black skirt, fishnet stockings, and black boots, and her gentle touch of his dog.

She looked closely at Talley. “Is Talley ill?”

He couldn’t speak but stared at the enticing woman as his heart thudded against his chest like a marching band drum. He shook his head. “No, we’re good. Really good.” God, he sounded like a simpleton. He could feel his ears burning in embarrassment. “We were in Seattle and thought we’d stop by. That’s not a problem, is it?” Of all the lame shit to say.

“Oh, I’m glad nothing’s wrong.” Hollie bent and patted Talley. “It’s good to see you, Talley,” she crooned in a soft, alluring voice.

Talley’s ears perked up, and her body relaxed at Hollie’s voice.

As she was bent over Talley, he tracked the creamy angle of her neck and a coiled black curl. He could feel her heat, and he caught a whiff of her flowery fragrance.

She didn’t look like the badass woman of just three days ago. She was soft, womanly, and enthralling.

Men Under Fire

The Invalid ~ Excerpt from 'A Code of the Heart'

A Code of the Heart by Jacki DeleckiAmelia didn’t share Gwyneth’s amusement. She wanted to believe that Lord Brinsley cared about her, but who could rely on the opinion of a blissful bride? She wished she wasn’t lying in bed like an invalid with her tangled hair and a bandage wrapped around her head, but Gwyneth was adamant she had to remain recumbent. Doctor’s orders.

Gwyneth opened the door with the sound of the footman’s tap and waved in the visitor.

“Brinsley. Please come and see for yourself that the patient is doing fine.”

Gwyneth waited at the door, as Lord Brinsley entered. His brown, curly hair was tousled; his shirt and cravat were stained with blood. His eyes were dark and sunken with anxiety.

Amelia had been unaware of the tenderness she felt for him until now; she wanted to hold him, to comfort him, but she didn’t dare.

“Thank you, Lady Gwyneth.” Brinsley’s voice and manner were much subdued.

Gwyneth curtsied to the gentleman and left the room, closing the door behind her.

Amelia clenched her hands on the damask coverlet. She’d be scolding Gwyneth for this newest attempt at matchmaking. Gwyneth’s maid was in the dressing room a few yards away, but Gwyneth had left her alone with Lord Brinsley.

He edged closer to the bed, scrutinizing her face, noting details of the bandage and the facial swelling.

“Miss Amelia, are you comfortable?” His voice was hoarse with emotion.

She tried to lighten his serious mood. “My injury doesn’t warrant bed rest, but Lady Gwyneth and the doctor were quite fearsome.”

“Of course, you must rest. You lost a great deal of blood, and you’re quite pale.”

“I doubt greatly that I’m pale. This is my normal skin color. I suspect you look worse than I do.” There was purple bruising below his eye, covering his strong cheekbone almost back to his ear. “I stopped a ball, but by the looks of it, you stopped a very large fist. We make quite a pair; now we’re matching.” She teased, but the gorgeous man stared at her as if she were on her deathbed.

He stepped closer and she got a whiff of his scent—lime and male muskiness. “I’m truly sorry. This was my fault. If I had stayed quiet, you wouldn’t be injured.”

The way he looked at her, with such concern and care, she couldn’t look away. Butterflies danced a fast tempo in her stomach. She was captured again in his all-consuming stare.

A Code of the Heart

The Witness - Excerpt from 'An Inner Fire'

Davis stared down the hallway after Dr. Walters left. He hated surprises. Getting back late to the office, he hadn’t been able to do a rudimentary background check before the interview.

The delectable Dr. Walters was more than disorienting. Her big green eyes, short skirt, and the way she laughed, lying on the ground with Henny licking her face, was a shock to his system. And he wasn’t sure he liked the jolt.

He sat down and opened his computer to do the witness profile he hadn’t been able to do before the interview. The woman was brilliant, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan, honors from Vet School at Cornell. There were endless pages on her research, papers, and presentations. Now, she practiced animal acupuncture. What the hell was that?

She was a good witness, factual not emotional. Her lack of reaction left him suspicious. Most witnesses needed to describe the experience of encountering criminals. Not the intrepid Dr. Walters. She seemed frightened as she described the man with red hair. But unlike most witnesses, she disclosed none of her fears.

He appreciated the irony of the situation. She had given the perfect interview logical, precise and it made him suspect her. Dr. Walters hadn’t offered any personal insights. He was familiar with the tactic; he used it all the time. When his neatly constructed world had careened out of control two years ago after his father’s slow, agonizing death, Davis learned the only way to survive was not to reveal anything.

There was something inexplicable about Dr. Walters, something he couldn’t grasp. She bore watching. God, who was he kidding? Her tight little body and her legs bore watching.

An Inner Fire

A man, a dog...and a woman - Excerpt from 'Men Under Fire'

Men Under Fire by Jacki DeleckiDr. Walters looked up from her note taking. “I’d like to treat Talley once a week for the next three months. You live in Auburn. Will it be a problem to drive into Seattle?”

“Not a problem, ma’am. I’d do anything for this dog.”

She leaned across her desk. “Do you swim, Sergeant?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He didn’t get what swimming had to do with acupuncture.

“I’d like you and Talley to start swimming in a lake or deep river. It’s important you do it together.”

“Lake Young is close by our family farm. Talley and I can swim there.”

“Water will soothe Talley’s ratcheted up nervous system.”

Why did he feel as if the doctor wasn’t talking just about Talley?

“Don’t do any training around the swimming. Talley needs a real break from her work. Her senses, especially her focus and her nose, are working overtime. She’ll have a break in the water.”

He nodded. “It will be great to swim after our morning runs.”

“Sounds like we’ve got a plan. Let’s see how the swimming works.” Dr. Walters stood from her desk and walked toward the door. “I can hear that my assistant is back. She’ll make your appointment for next week.”

Talley woke up with the doctor’s movements. With her front paws planted forward, the usually hyper dog stretched her spine and then slowly hoisted herself to follow Dr. Walters. He couldn’t explain exactly what had happened, but like Talley, he felt a deep sense of relaxation. For the first time since he had arrived stateside, he could breathe calmly and catch glimpses of the contented man before the war. He and a tranquil Talley followed the doctor to the outer office.

Dr. Walters stopped suddenly in the doorway. A young, curvaceous woman was balanced on a stool, reaching into cupboards, as she sang the painful lyrics from Nirvana’s song “Sliver.”

When she stretched her entire body forward, her short, black skirt inched higher, giving him an incredible view of her sweet, rounded backside. He swore under his breath at the tempting sight. She wore fishnet tights and thigh-high boots that were right out of every red-blooded male’s fantasy.

His whole body tightened, not in danger but in hunger. Lust and need hummed through him, an invigorating feeling that he hadn’t experienced in a very long time.

Men Under Fire

The Foolish Man - Excerpt from 'A Code of the Heart'

Stunned by his abrupt manner, and his obvious rejection, Amelia stood in shock and watc

A Code of the Heart by Jacki Delecki

hed Derrick walk away. What a striking figure he cut in his formal clothes. In black and white, he looked formidable and aloof, and more appealing. But she knew his soft and caring side, and she would’ve chosen a waistcoat with spring colors of gold or green for him.

All the young debutantes and married women watched him make his way with his forceful stride across the crowded ballroom.

Her feelings were reeling. Why had he treated her so cold and distant? She had gotten use to his intense stares and his enticing smiles. He seemed to be both hurt and angry. Aunt Euphemia had referred to better times.

Whatever had distressed him, he showed no inclination to talk to her. And what had he said to her after Aunt Euphemia left? “Congratulations…” Awareness dawned. He had witnessed Michael and her together and concluded that she still cared about Michael. Was that the reason for his hasty departure and his rejection of her?

She needed to talk with him, explain that she was finally clear about her feelings for Michael. But how could she explain to the foolish man when he wasn’t going to listen? She had to find a way to make him listen. She also needed his help in rescuing Elodie.

She’d wait for a

break after his dance with Lady Rowley. Why had his aunt arranged for him to dance with the flirtatious widow? Derrick didn’t seem to mind the crude cut of the dress or the way her wobbly breasts jiggled. In fact, his eyes hadn’t left Lady Rowley’s very voluptuous bosom the entire time they danced.

Her face burned to watch his obvious attraction and the woman’s blatant flirtation. The lady had feigned ignorance of the turn in the dance, allowing herself to bump against him, so he had to catch her from stumbling, affording him a perfect view down her dress. Derrick smiled at the lady in appreciation. Jealousy and anger formed a molten mix of hurt.

Just then Derrick looked up at her, as if he knew she was blazing with jealousy. He gave her a cold smile, filled with a grim satisfaction. The look scalded her. Why was he angry with her? He was the one flaunting himself with Lady Rowley.