Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 2

One night of passion tore them apart.
Desperation will bring them back together.

Michael Rannigan is running rogue. Since Maggie’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he’s been in a tailspin. As he limps along in the new normal, he misses her more than he ever imagined.

Maggie misses Michael as well. But she makes the best of her new job at the District Attorney’s office. Occasionally they cross paths in court, each assessing the other. Like Michael, she finds herself making questionable personal choices.

When opportunity knocks for Michael he leaps at it, maybe as much to avoid Maggie’s absence as anything else. The fact that his decision impacts everyone else at the firm doesn’t slow him down at all.

Then comes news that shakes him to his core. Now that he’s burned all his bridges, who will be there to help him pick up the pieces?

In this scene from RUNNING ROGUE, the proverbial shit hits the fan. Where can Michael and Maggie go from here?

*Warning: SPOILERS*

On Friday afternoon, Michael took the elevator to the 50th floor. He’d ended his vacation a couple of days early. Two weeks is really too long to be gone, he reflected. He figured he’d check up on what had happened in his absence then join the gang at Docs. He had Maggie’s bracelet in his pocket, figuring on returning it to her.

The first person he saw when he stepped off the elevator was Stan. “Hey, good, you made it for Maggie’s party,” Stan said, smiling.

Michael frowned. “Maggie’s party? It’s not her birthday already, is it?” How did that sneak up on me?

Stan tilted his head. “Her going-away party. You came back for her last day, right? She’s going to the DA’s office?”

Michael’s mouth fell open. “Her last…” He glanced around. “What the fuck?!”

He strode purposefully toward Maggie’s open office door. She was behind her desk, her back to the door. “What the fuck, Mags?!”

Maggie whirled around, her eyes wide. “Michael!”

“Explain to me what’s going on here,” he demanded.

She opened and closed her mouth, her face flushed. “I, well I, uh… I gave Brian my two week notice. I took a job working for Rance.”

“You gave Brian your notice?!”

“You weren’t here,” she said reasonably.

Michael began to stalk back and forth in front of her desk. “What the fuck possessed you to take a new job? And you couldn’t wait for me to get back? I would have offered you a raise.”

Maggie shook her head. “It’s not about the money. I hated what I did to win the LeRoi case. You know that really ate away at me. I can’t do that anymore. I feel…dirty, like I need redemption. I have to do something different, something good.”

Michael stopped pacing and placed his hands on her desk, leaning closer and speaking in a low tone. “Is this about us? About the fact that we slept together?”

She crossed her arms and leaned against the credenza. “News flash, Michael. Not everything in the world is about you.”

He stood straight and nodded his head angrily. “So it’s like this, is it? You’re just going to leave the firm.”

“I’ve been here five years. It’s time to move on.” She hung her bag over her shoulder and picked up her box, walking around the desk.

“Let me call security,” Michael told her coolly. “They can escort you out and see that you don’t take any property belonging to the firm.”

Maggie’s eyes bulged. “Are you serious? You want to make sure I don’t steal anything?!” She walked back to the desk and put down the box. “Fuck it. I don’t need any of this shit.”

She glared at Michael. “You worried about my purse?” She unzipped the bag and upended it, dumping a wallet, three pens, loose change, hand lotion, a lipstick, and two tampons all over the floor before dropping the bag.

She snatched up the wallet. “If you don’t mind, I’ll need my ID and my Metro card.” She turned on her heel and stalked out into the hallway.

Michael interlaced his fingers on top of his head and sighed. “Wait, Mags, I was out of line,” he said, following her.

“Out of line? You were out of line?” she shrieked. “Fuck you, Michael!” She jabbed the elevator button and entered it as soon as the doors parted, pressing the close door button even before the car was all the way open.

Action on the 50th floor had ground to a halt at the sound of raised voices and as Maggie disappeared, people remained frozen, staring at Michael.

“Fuck!” he growled, and retreated to his office, slamming the door behind him.

RUNNING ROGUE by Pandora Spocks

RUNNING ROGUE, Book 2 of Rannigan’s Redemption, is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/RunningRogue

But you might want to start at the beginning,
RESISTING RISK, Book 1.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

A traumatized young woman held hostage for years.
The rancher who comes to her rescue.
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.

Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his pet, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she’s apparently mute. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.

When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?

If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.

JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series.
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist.

Here’s a little teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.

As he stepped inside, he was immediately surrounded by the tantalizing aroma of something cooking. He set down the bag and followed Jenny into the kitchen. The first thing he noticed was the table, set for two, a pretty bouquet of field flowers arranged in a Mason jar in the center.

He looked to Jenny, who was carefully watching his reaction. “What’s going on here?” He smiled encouragingly. “And what smells so good?”

Jenny used a folded kitchen towel to remove a dish from the oven and set it on the stove. Cole peered into the dish, where golden chicken breasts sizzled in a thin sauce.

“That looks amazing, Jenny. What is it?”

Her board was lying facedown on the counter. She picked it up and showed him what she’d already written on the other side. Chicken piccata.

“Chicken piccata? I had all the stuff to make that?”

Jenny nodded proudly.

Cole squinted, looking more closely at the dish. “What are the little burned peas-looking things?”

Jenny rolled her eyes. She jotted on her board. Capers.

“I had capers? Where the hell did I get capers?”

She shrugged and hooked a thumb at one of the upper cupboards.

“Oh, it must have been in that basket one of my clients gave me for Christmas.” Cole shook his head. “All sorts of fancy shit–I mean stuff.” He looked to Jenny. “Sorry about that.”

Jenny grinned, then jotted quickly, You can say shit. I’m a big girl. She laughed lightly.

Cole laughed, too. “Good. Well, shit! Yeah, that feels good.”

Waving with her hand, Jenny gestured toward the table.

“Is dinner ready?” Cole asked, and she nodded.

“Alright, let me go wash up and I’ll be right back.”

Cole headed upstairs. As he washed his hands, he wondered about how Jenny had created such a dish with the simple things he kept at the house. She seemed pleased with herself, too. Quite a difference in her from the first time he’d seen her in the back of the horse trailer.

He sighed to himself. They were making progress, and he found that gratifying. Would it be possible that one day she’d decide to talk to him?

When he returned downstairs, the chicken was arranged on a platter. Jenny had placed a bowl of salad on the table, along with a bowl of rice. She’d poured Dr. Pepper for herself, while at his place she’d set out a bottle of Heineken.

“I know this is the fanciest dinner this table has seen in years,” Cole said, sitting in his chair. “We have a centerpiece and everything. You picked these?”

Pleased, Jenny nodded as she took her seat.

“They’re beautiful. The purple ones match your dress and everything.” He smiled at her. “You look pretty tonight.”

Jenny blushed profusely and looked down at her plate, trying to suppress a smile.

“Let’s dig into this fine dinner, what do you say?”

She nodded, and Cole took the platter, serving her first, then himself. They passed the rice and the salad as well. Cole took a bite of chicken and closed his eyes, savoring the flavor. When he opened his eyes again, she was watching him carefully.

“Oh my God, Jenny, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. How did you know how to make this?”

Jenny’s smile faded a bit and she hesitated. Then she jotted on her board. It’s a long story.

Cole regarded her thoughtfully. “Maybe you can tell me sometime.”

She chewed her lower lip. Maybe.

They ate in awkward silence for a few minutes, and Cole silently cursed himself for stepping into something that made Jenny uncomfortable. Wishing to restore their easy rapport, he cleared his throat.

“I know. You’re an undercover chef.”

She gave him a sideways glance and snorted.

Encouraged, he tried again. “You’re a secret chef, and you’re on a mission to educate dumb cowboys like me in the ways of international cuisine.” He drew out the last two words in an exaggerated drawl.

Jenny giggled, tossing her napkin at him.

Cole grinned good-naturedly. “It really is good, Jenny, no lie. Thank you for making dinner.”

After dinner dishes were cleared, Cole remembered the bag he’d left by the door. “Oh, Jenny, I almost forgot. I have a surprise for you.” He reached out his hand. “Come see.”

Her eyes widened, but she took his hand. He led her to the family room and pointed at the couch. “Sit down and close your eyes.”

She hesitated a moment, then sat down. She glanced up at Cole.

“Close’em.”

Pursing her lips, she complied, knee bobbing anxiously. Cole retrieved the bag and placed in on Jenny’s lap. “Okay, now you can open them.”

With a glance at Cole, Jenny peered into the bag. Brow knit in a frown, she pulled a brown cardboard box out of the bag, setting the bag on the floor. With another glance at him, she lifted the lid and gasped.

Cole couldn’t stop the smile as Jenny picked up first one boot, then the other, eyes wide, running her fingers across the purple embroidery.

“I figured, if you’re going to be working in the barn, you’re going to need some good boots. I saw these at the saddle shop and I knew they were supposed to be yours.”

She looked up at him as a smile spread across her face. Standing, she let the box fall to the floor as she came to him, a boot in either hand, and wrapped him in a hug.

“Do you like them?” Cole laughed.

Jenny stepped back and nodded vigorously. Then she pointed up the stairs.

“You want to try them on?”

She nodded again. Gathering up the box, lid, and bag, she hurried upstairs. From where he stood, Cole heard her moving around, drawers opening, the creak of her bed. Then came the clomp of boots on the hardwood floor as she came back downstairs, her face beaming.

She crossed to him, then back to the bottom of the stairs like a fashion model on a catwalk, rocking the new boots with her dress.

Cole couldn’t stop his grin. “How do they feel? Do they fit?”

Jenny nodded happily.

“Okay, then. Wanna go help me out in the barn?”

She nodded again, taking his arm as they headed out the door and across the yard. Every few steps, she looked down at the boots. Cole couldn’t remember ever feeling so pleased with himself.

The horses were waiting near the gate as they approached. Cole opened it, and he and Jenny watched them head straight for the barn. He looked to her. “You do the feed and I’ll do the hay?” he asked.

She nodded, heading for the buckets and feed cans at the end of the barn. As Cole lugged a bale of hay into the first stall, he started singing a cowboy song about not being buried on the lone prairie. When Jenny smirked at him, he winked at her and continued with more gusto.

By the time the horses were in their stalls with buckets of feed and fresh hay, Cole had started the song over, and Jenny was grinning broadly and shaking her head.

“What? Does my singing suck?” he asked.

She shook her head. No, it’s very brave, she jotted on her board.

“Brave?” he laughed. “That’s what they tell people who can’t sing.”

He took Jenny’s hand and twirled her around as he sang, pulling her to himself and launching into an impromptu waltz down the center of the barn.

Cole relished her giggles as he spun them around, drawing out the final note. Breathless, they stopped, Jenny smiling up at him, her emerald eyes wide. Cole’s gaze drifted to her lips, pillowy and soft, no trace of the trauma that had once been there. He felt an almost irresistible pull, as though a magnet drew his lips to hers, but he blinked hard and spun her one last time before letting go.

“Who knew those were dancing boots?” he joked softly. When he looked back at her, he saw a glint of sadness in her eyes. She’d felt the same pull he had. But he knew he couldn’t take advantage of her. That wasn’t who Cole Caldwell was.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–RUNNING ROGUE

With Maggie gone, Michael’s just running rogue.

RUNNING ROGUE is the second book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.

At the end of the first book, lawyer Maggie Flynn makes a heartbreaking decision. With her attraction to her boss, high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan, all but hopeless, and her growing discontent with her work at the firm, she opts to walk away.

Devastated, Michael begins to make questionable choices, as does Maggie, both professionally and personally. One night of passion tore them apart. One rainy night will bring them together.

Here’s an excerpt from RUNNING ROGUE.

Maggie strode purposefully across the lobby of Michael’s building. It had been a shit week and knowing that she had to work all weekend to make up for what she’d missed, all she wanted to do was to check in on Michael, deliver his soup, and head home to a nice hot bath and a large glass of wine. Ahead of her a man was just stepping into the elevator and she increased her pace, hoping to make it before the doors closed. He turned and their eyes met just as the doors slid shut.

“Well, shit!” she muttered, juggling her purse, her briefcase, and the bag from the deli. Just then the doors slid back open.

“Sorry about that,” the man said, “I didn’t realize you were right behind me.” He held open the door as she stepped in and turned around. “What floor?”

Maggie glanced up at him. He was tall with broad shoulders, muscular without being muscle-bound, with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen on a man. She’d noticed a bit of a drawl when he spoke. Dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, he’d apparently been working out in the gym. He stood beaming at her with a boyish grin on his face and he seemed to be waiting for her. She realized she was staring.

Oh, shit! What floor? “Oh, sorry, um, twenty-one, please.”

He grinned again. “Twenty-one. That’s my floor, too.” He held out a hand. “I’ve only been here a couple of months. We haven’t met yet. I’m Bobby.”

Maggie shifted the deli bag and grasped his hand. “Um, I’m Maggie. I don’t actually live here. I’m visiting a friend.” She paused. “Do you know Michael in 2101?”

Bobby’s eyes widened and he took a step back. “Oh. You’re one of Michael’s girls.”

Maggie frowned. “No. I am absolutely not one of Michael’s girls. Nope. Not me. No way.” She shook her head emphatically.

Bobby grinned wryly. “So you’re not one of Michael’s girls.”

She felt her face flush. “I’ve known Michael for a long time. We used to work together. He’s a little…under the weather, and I told him I’d stop by, bring him some soup.” She held up the deli bag for emphasis.

He flashed the boyish grin, blue eyes sparkling with amusement. Maggie felt her pulse race and a warm flush crept up her neck. What the hell?

“So you’re a lawyer.”

She nodded. “Yep. Sorry.”

“Why sorry?”

“Everybody hates lawyers,” she replied as the elevator doors opened on the twenty-first floor. She stepped out into the hallway and immediately went down hard on her left knee.

“Motherfucker!” she cried out.

Bobby was beside her instantly. “Are you alright? What happened?”

Maggie looked around. “My shoe.” The heel of her right shoe was caught in the space between the elevator and the hallway. It had snapped off as she stepped forward. Bobby grabbed it before the doors closed, then gently took her arm and helped her up.

“Did you hurt yourself?” he asked, concerned.

“I’m alright, really,” she replied shakily. Blood was dripping from her knee and running in rivulets all the way down her shin.

“You banged up your knee.”

“But I saved the soup, so there’s that,” she quipped.

He placed a hand on the small of her back and walked her down the hall, stopping at a door. “This is me,” he said. “Come in and let me at least bandage you up.” Maggie regarded him warily.

“I’m not an axe murderer, I promise,” he laughed.

She frowned. “Isn’t that exactly what an axe murderer would say?” she said as he unlocked the door.

“Tell you what-we’ll leave the door open. You can sit right here.” He pointed to a bench in the foyer. “If I make any sudden moves you can run for it,” he chuckled.

Sheepishly, Maggie sank onto the bench. Truthfully, her knee hurt. She set down her things and glanced up at him. “Thanks,” she said quietly.

Bobby smiled and gestured to his right. “I’ll just…go get my axe.”

She could hear him in another room rummaging around through something. She removed her broken shoe and held up the dismembered heel. It had come clean off the sole. An image flashed through her mind of the shoe repair shop just around the corner from her apartment.

“I can fix that for you.” Startled, she looked up. Bobby had returned with first aid supplies.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said quickly. “There’s a shop near my place.”

He poured alcohol on some gauze and knelt beside her. “It won’t take me two seconds,” he murmured, dabbing at her knee.

Maggie breathed in sharply. “Ouch! Ow ow ow!” she protested softly.

Bobby looked up at her. “Sorry, cher,” he said, “we’ve got to get it cleaned out.” Gently he grasped the back of her calf and raised her leg, wiping away the streaks of blood.

Maggie stared at him, scarcely breathing. There was something electric about his touch, so strong yet so tender.

He finished cleaning her shin and returned to her knee, carefully placing a large bandage over the scrape. “There you are, good as new. Well, almost,” he smiled.

He took the shoe and heel from her. “I really can fix this for you. I’d just have to find my tools,” he nodded his head toward the other room. “I should really unpack anyway,” he smiled ruefully.

Maggie rose from the bench and stood lopsided on one heel. “I don’t want to be more trouble than I’ve already been.”

Something tells me that you’re all kinds of trouble, cher. “It’s no trouble. Besides, I’d be worried about you limping along like Quasimodo on your way home,” he laughed.

She laughed, too. “Well, alright then. Thank you. And thanks for…” She glanced down at her knee.

“It’s my pleasure, cher,” he said quietly.

Maggie felt as though suddenly all the air had gone out of the room. She stared up into his amazing blue eyes. She opened her mouth but no words came out.

He spoke. “Just stop by when you’re finished at Michael’s. If I have to leave before that, I’ll bring you your shoe.”

RUNNING ROGUE, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 2 by Pandora Spocks

RUNNING ROGUE
is available at your favorite online bookseller.
Why not start at the beginning?
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption

Weekend Excerpt–RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1

Sometimes you meet someone who changes your life forever.
In ways you could never imagine.

 

Hot-shot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged just the way he likes it, thank you very much.

A founding partner of the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, and Metheny, his high-profile criminal defense practice runs like a well-oiled machine.  He has competent associates who do all the leg work, leaving Michael to do what he does best–charm juries and leave a sound bite on the evening news.

His personal life is no less organized.  He has a contact list of surgically-enhanced bottle blondes at his beck and call, whether he needs a date for a charity function…or he just wants to get laid.

Hiring red-haired Maggie Flynn to join his elite firm changes his life in ways he could never see coming.  She’s far from his usual type.  She’s way too smart, for one thing.  But there’s something about Mary Margaret Flynn that he can’t quite shake.

Maggie is attracted to Michael from the beginning.  Beneath his cavalier exterior, she’s seen the man he could be.  She knows her crush is all but hopeless.  For the time being she’s content just to work with him.

What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

Read an excerpt from RESISTING RISK:

They sat chatting about the fireworks and the music, leaving out their time on the dance floor.  Maggie wasn’t sure how she felt about it.  Being in Michael’s arms had been glorious.  Wearing his coat, surrounded by his seductive scent, the memory of his voice in her ear…  She furtively glanced at him, desire causing her pulse to pound.   She knew that she wanted him.  She also knew that she was a little tipsy and that she might not be making the best decisions.

“What is your cologne?” she blurted out.  Case in point of reckless decisions, she thought.

He grinned in amusement.  “It’s Bleu de Chanel.”

“It’s heavenly,” she said before she could stop herself.  “It’s just that, well, your jacket smells like you, which is good, really.  I mean it’s very nice.”

“You’re drunk, Mags,” he observed quietly.

She made a valiant attempt to look at him squarely.  “Maybe just a tiny little bit.”

Michael checked his phone.  “The car’s out front.  Are we ready?”  Between the two of them, they managed to get Ben to his feet and across the expanse of lawn to the driveway where a medium sized stretch limousine waited, driver holding open the back door for them.

Wide-eyed, Maggie looked around Ben to Michael.  For his part, Michael looked a little embarrassed.  “Jana likes to ride in a limo,” he shrugged.

Ben had fallen asleep again and together they maneuvered him into the car, laying him gently onto the black leather couch that ran down the driver’s side of the passenger compartment before they settled back into the plush leather seat at the rear of the car.

“Traffic is heavier than usual, Mr. Rannigan,” the driver told him.  “The drive may take a couple of hours.”

“Thank you, Mason.  And thanks for taking care of Ms. Hansen.”

“Of course, Mr. Rannigan.  Happy to help,” the man replied before closing the door.

Michael turned to Maggie as the car began moving away from the house.  “Hope you don’t mind a bit of a drive.  I hadn’t counted on traffic.”

“Please!” Maggie said.  “This beats the hell out of public transportation.  And traffic or no, we’ll still get back before we would have on the train.  Thank you for the ride.”

He smiled.  “My pleasure,” he said.  And meant it, he was mildly surprised to realize.  Impeccable manners had been instilled in him by the aunt with whom he’d lived after his mother had died.  At the time, he’d resented it, but they had served him well.  On the other hand, he often found himself mouthing words he didn’t mean.  Not this time, he thought to himself.

“Can I offer you a drink?” he asked, motioning to the bar that was opposite the couch on which Ben lay snoring.  Loudly.  “There’s bourbon and pink champagne.”  Maggie frowned quizzically.  “Pink champagne is Jana’s favorite,” he elaborated somewhat apologetically.

“I’ll take bourbon if it’s all the same to you,” Maggie responded, trying not to smirk and hoping that she was successful.  Michael turned over two glasses and began to carefully pour bourbon from a crystal decanter.

“Boy, renting a stretch limo, stocking it with pink champagne,” she muttered to herself.  “She must be some kind of lay.”  Michael glanced at her, shock registering on his face.  “Shit, was that out loud?” she asked.

“It was,” he answered, handing her a glass of bourbon as he settled back into the seat.  “And truthfully, she’s not all that.”

It was Maggie’s turn to look shocked.  Michael gave her a wry smile and clinked his glass to hers.  “To nights that turn out differently from the way you expected.”

They sipped their bourbon wordlessly, occupied with their own thoughts for a few miles.

“I know it’s none of my business,” Maggie began.

“Those words are always followed by a ‘but’,” Michael interjected, shaking his head.

“BUT,” Maggie continued, “I don’t know how you do that.”

“Do what?”

“How do you sleep with someone that you don’t even like?  I could tell from the moment we sat at the table that you didn’t like that girl.”

“Okay, I don’t want to have in-depth conversations with Jana, but did you see her?  Like I said before, it was just the wrong event for her.  She’s great at Nets games, music awards, things like that.”

“I just couldn’t sleep with someone that I wasn’t attracted to intellectually, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Is that what’s wrong with Dan?” he probed, happy to be talking about someone besides Jana.

“He’s a nice guy.  He’s smart and articulate, and not bad looking,” Maggie conceded.  “I just don’t feel that…spark, that’s all.  If I went out with him it wouldn’t be genuine.”

“You’re picky,” Michael concluded, shaking his head.

“I deserve to be,” she said quietly.  “You do too.”

They passed another few miles in silence.

“You know,” Maggie said, “I hear Disney’s coming out with a new princess movie soon.  And you could take her out for ice cream after.”  She gave Michael a mischievous look.

Michael gave a reluctant grin and his eyes sparkled in the lights of passing cars.  “You, Mary Margaret Flynn, are a smart ass.  It’s kind of endearing.”

She grinned at him.  “You’re welcome!” she teased.

He poured them both more bourbon.  “In a pain-in-the-ass sort of way.”  They both laughed.

***

“Mags,” she heard out of the shifting fog.  “We’re back in town.  I need you to tell us where to go.”

She opened her eyes and realized that she’d been sleeping with her head on Michael’s shoulder.   “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”  She sat up abruptly.  “I didn’t realize…  I wish you’d awakened me.”

“No worries.  But we need to know exactly where to take Ben and where your place is.”

Maggie could see the driver watching her in the rear view mirror.  “My place.  Right.”  She gave the address and the driver thanked her, the partition whooshing back into place.  “Ben can sleep it off on my couch.  It won’t be the first time.”

The car came to a stop in front of Maggie’s apartment.  “Nice building, Mags.  Is the whole thing yours?”

She fairly snorted.  “In my dreams!  One day when I’m rich and famous, I’ll have my own brownstone.  For now I’m happy with a tiny part of the second floor.”  She smiled gratefully.  “Thanks again for the ride.  You are a life saver.”  She moved to open the door but the driver was there first.

“Let me help you get him inside,” Michael offered.  They both glanced at Ben, who hadn’t so much as shifted during the entire ride.

She looked back at Michael.  “Probably a good idea.  I won’t be able to get him up the stairs by myself.”  They succeeded in rousing Ben enough for him to put his arms around their shoulders and they moved him to the sidewalk.

Michael spoke quietly to the driver, who nodded before returning to the driver’s seat and slowly driving away.  Maggie looked at him questioningly.  “I told him to find a place to park.  I’ll call him after we get your date settled.”

They managed the stairs and Michael leaned Ben between himself and the wall as Maggie unlocked the door and let them into her apartment.  “Let’s just lay him on the couch,” she said, cocking her head in the direction of a large grey velvet sofa with navy blue accent pillows.

They worked together to get the unconscious and snoring Ben safely onto the couch, Michael studiously ignoring the way his jacket gapped open, inviting views of Maggie’s breasts as she leaned over to place a pillow under Ben’s head.

“Thank you so much, Michael,” she said as she removed his jacket and held it uncertainly.  “Can I offer you a beer or coffee or something?  Or do you need to go?”

“Coffee sounds good,” he answered.

Maggie smiled brightly as she gently placed his jacket over the back of a kitchen chair and set about making coffee.  Michael wandered around the living room area to the bay window and looked out over the street.  He turned back around to take in the view of the room.  It was small, of course, but nice in a quirky sort of way.  She’d left on a dim lamp near the window that gave enough light to the space without being intrusive.  “This is a nice place,” he commented.

She smiled at him from the kitchen counter.  “Thanks.  And again, I really appreciate your giving us a ride.”

“Mags, you’ve thanked me about a thousand times,” he said gently.

She blushed slightly.  “Well, I didn’t want to forget,” she said sheepishly.

He watched her as she worked in the kitchen, measuring out coffee into a French press, putting a kettle of water on the stove, little mundane domestic tasks.  His mind skipped to flashes of her from throughout the night.  Slowly it dawned on him what it was about Maggie that made him uncomfortable.

She’s real.  She has no hidden agenda.  She isn’t playing some game, she doesn’t want anything from me.  He sighed deeply. She’s the kind of girl who could make you forget your own rules.

Michael slowly crossed the room and stood by the kitchen counter.  “Can I help with something?”

“No, it’s all done.  We’re just waiting for the water to boil.”  She leaned back resting her hand on the counter.

He gently placed his hand on hers.  “You…are very dangerous,” he whispered, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly, his deep brown eyes peering into hers.  Her brow furrowed, perplexed.

Gently, he tilted up her chin with his fingers and leaned down, meeting her lips with his own, lightly at first, and then more urgently.  He ran his other hand down the smooth fabric of the back of her dress coming to rest on her firm ass as he probed her mouth with his tongue, seeking hers.

Maggie responded, matching the heat of his kiss, reaching up, tangling her fingers in the hair behind his ear, giving herself over to his embrace.  Michael’s hand left her ass and smoothed its way back up to her side, her ribs, stopping just under her breast.  Reluctantly he pulled himself away.

Maggie breathlessly gazed up at him.  He smiled gently.  “We’re both a little drunk,” he said.  “Which is why I’d better go.”  Tenderly, he kissed her once again and walked out the door.

Michael and Maggie’s story, Rannigan’s Redemption,
is a three-novel erotic romance law drama.
Start with RESISTING RISK: books2read.com/ResistingRisk
Follow up with RUNNING ROGUE and
RANSOMING REDEMPTION.