Saturday, May 25, 2013

Snippet Saturday: One Up On You

One Up On You
Dirty Tricks Series

Welcome back to the Ugly Stick Saloon with this short story of approximately 5500 words. Join Charli in her first adventure.
She's ready to leave Temptation behind...

Welcome back to the Ugly Stick Saloon with this short story about Charli's first erotic adventure.
Charli Sutton is tired of the same-ol-same-ol in Temptation, Texas and her job at the Ugly Stick Saloon. Her itchy feet tell her that if it ain't happenin' here, it's time to go back to Austin and raise a little hell.

Until a mystery man dared her...

Charli has every intention of packing up, until a sexy-voiced stranger calls her daring her to skinny dip in the judge's pool. The idea is crazy, ludicrous, and downright dangerous. Just the kind of dirty trick to get a girl's blood flowing. Add a cowboy in a black hat with a body that could boil the water in the pool and he's got one up on you!
Warning: Mystery Cowboy, lonely woman and one sexy dare leads to explosive sex under a watchful eyes...

Charli couldn't take her gaze off the man. Not until he disappeared through the entrance of the saloon did she realize her heartbeat had kicked up a notch. Not only that but she hadn't sighed in the past ten minutes, nor did she feel like it.
Connor Mason had her blood pumping like no other man had in the past two years since she'd been working the Ugly Stick.
With a lift in her step, she finished her shift, helped shut down the bar, slid into her black Mustang and pulled out of the parking lot. She lifted the hair from the back of her neck and let it fly in the wind from the open window.  Before she'd gone more than thirty yards down the road, her cell phone rang on the seat beside her.
Now who the hell was calling her at three o’clock in the morning?
She glanced at the caller ID.
Blocked Sender.
She debated not answering, but after the fourth ring, she hit the talk button. "This is Charli."
"Ever skinny dipped in someone else's pool?"
Deep and masculine, the voice in the receiver was the kind that made coffee commercials sound sexy. It reached out to caress Charli's ear and other more easily aroused places of her body. A shiver of awareness snaked across her skin. "Who is this?"
"Let's just say I overheard your conversation at the bar."
Her breath catching in her throat, Charli clutched the phone tighter.
"You can spice things up if you dare," he said, his voice a sensuous whisper.
Charli tried hard to think who had been sitting at the bar that evening, only conjuring one image. That of the sexy soldier who'd blatantly eavesdropped on her conversation with Audrey. "Connor?"
"I'm not tellin'."
A surge of anger spiked her adrenaline. "Look, I don't need a pervert daring me to skinny dip in someone else's pool. Do me a favor and don't call this number again."
"With a body as beautiful as yours, I'm surprised you're afraid."
Charli's thumb hovered over the off button, but the deep timbre of his voice had her mesmerized, her body heating at the rich tone. "I'm not afraid. I'm just not stupid." She'd hoped to come off indignant, but the best she could do was breathless.
"Suit yourself and play it safe...or take the dare. Judge Stephen’s pool, three fifteen—be there. I'll be watching."

Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Felicity Heaton
Jody Wallace

Snippet Saturday:

Trouble with Will
Tomb Raider Trouble Series Book #2

In 1924, William and his friend Harry, adventurous archeologists, uncover their greatest discovery--the magical stone of Azhi. Legend tells of the stone's great power to grant wishes. When Will lays his hands on the prize, he's sucked into a bottle to sleep for over eighty years.

In the twenty-first century, collector of rare objects of great value, Kate Brandt, purchases what she thinks is the Eye of the Serpent only to receive in its place a dusty ancient bottle. When she brushes away the dust of thousands of years, a naked Will appears out of thin air. Because she was the one to wake Will from his long sleep, Kate is able to wish for anything her heart desires and Will has to grant it. And boy, does she use it to get what she wants! Join Kate and Will in a wild ride through the streets of Riyadh and across the desert and learn that wishes can come true, even when you're not sure you wished for it!

“Oh, so now you’re the cocky one?” She raised her eyebrows and glanced at the pillow held in front of his penis. “I have the power to wish, you have to grant my wishes. I wouldn’t push me.” 

“Don’t push you?” Will stalked across the room his ire rising with each step he took on the lush carpet emphasizing his nakedness. “Are you Daddy’s little girl used to getting her way at the expense of others? Good God, Kate, who died and made you princess of the world?” 

Her eyes widened and the proud and adventurous Kate whose eyes flashed fire a moment before glistened with a film of unshed tears. 

She met him halfway across the floor and poked her finger in his chest. “He is not dead. Do you hear me? Not!” On that final word, she turned, walked into the bedroom shutting the door between them. 

On the other side of the panel she continued to talk, the words muffled and hard to understand. 

“Now what?” Will asked the empty room. Without Kate in it, he was at a loss and not liking it. “If you really can make wishes come true you could at least wish me some decent clothing,” he shouted through the panel.
More muttering sounded from within and then the building rocked. As thunder rattled the windows, Will felt his skin tingle. When he looked down, he had the damned clown suit on again. 

“Just who the hell is Elvis, some freak in a sideshow?” he yelled at the panels of the closed door. 

The door crashed open and Kate stood there wearing what looked like a black, sleeveless undershirt and khaki pants and carrying a brush. Her hair hung down around her shoulders and the fire was back in her eyes. “Elvis was the king.” 

“King of what? Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus?” He had a hard time concentrating on the conversation when there was still so much of Kate’s arms and shoulders to see beneath the slip of a shirt.
“What do you know? If you really are from, what was it, 1924, you wouldn’t have a clue.” 

“I am and I don’t. Enlighten me.” 

As Kate raked the brush through her hair, she explained, “Elvis was the king of rock and roll, a new era in music that changed everything.” 

“Interesting. And did you know Elvis personally?” 

“No, he died before I was born.” 

“Then why did you say he wasn’t dead?” 

“I wasn’t talking about Elvis.” She turned away from him and strapped a knife to her forearm.
“If you weren’t talking about Elvis who had your knickers all in a twist?” 

“Oooh!” She faced him with the knife pointed at his chest. “I did not have my knickers in a twist.” 

“Did too.” Will pushed the knife aside. “Be careful where you point that. And tell me that isn’t all you’re going to wear. Do all women go around partially clothed and wearing men’s trousers?” 

With a deep breath, she blew air out her nose like an angry bull. “I wish you’d go to Hell, Will.” 

“Please tell me you didn’t wish me to go to Hell.” He grimaced and waited. As expected, the floor beneath him rolled. “I don’t have a good feeling about this.” 

“Too bad. You pissed me—” 

Before Kate finished her sentence, Will’s world went black. 

Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Lissa Matthews
Felicity Heaton
Mari Carr

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Snippet Saturday: You are Always on My Mind

Today's Theme is You are Always on My Mind. I had to laugh because I knew exactly which story I should post! This isn't the woman always on the man's mind snippet, this is a witch cursed to live in the body and mind of another woman. Her host is always on her mind! It's a wonderfully sexy and heartbreaking short story, should you choose to read the rest of it.
Witch's Curse

As punishment for using magic unwisely, Catherine Wein, ex-witch and totally cursed, is doomed to spend each year in a different woman's life. It's New Year's Eve and at the stroke of midnight she'll make the switch to another host's life. Catherine's determined to grab for as much happiness as she can with her remaining hours in Kindra Merlot's body. Enter sexy cop, Sam Cade. 

Dumped by his girlfriend right after Christmas, Sam isn't in the mood to celebrate until he sees the willowy beauty, Kindra. Her sensuality and sexual aggressiveness revives his lagging spirits. Is she the one for him or is she another lying, cheating woman like his ex? Will he have more than tonight to find out?
“Don’t forget to check on her every day. She needs people, even if she says she doesn’t. Trust me on this.” Catherine moved through the eighteenth-floor studio apartment in the Hell’s Kitchen district of New York City, straightening paintings, fluffing the bright pillows she’d added to the couch and watering the plants she’d grown from clippings off Dolly’s huge collection of houseplants and herbs. Basically, she was delaying her descent to the building lobby for the annual tenants’ New Year’s Eve party.

I don’t need a babysitter. Kindra’s thought made her jump. So often lately, Kindra remained silent, preferring Catherine to handle everything in their shared existence.

“I’ll check on her.” Dolly stood by the door, a determined smile on her freckled face, although tears welled in her bright green eyes. “I can’t believe you won’t be here after tonight. I mean you will, but you won’t. Ah hell. I’ll miss you.”

“You promised me you wouldn’t get all mushy, so don’t go there.” Catherine spun away, refusing to give in to tears. Instead, she marched into the kitchen and yanked the refrigerator door open, snatching the bottle of Merlot from the sparkling clean shelves lined with healthy foods. All the groceries and cheerful decorations throughout the apartment would be her only legacy to Kindra to encourage her to maintain the healthy body Catherine had worked so hard to establish over the past year.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year since I met you.” Dolly took the bottle from Catherine and tucked it under her arm. “I still have a vivid memory of Kindra standing on the ledge outside that window as the clock struck midnight.” She nodded toward the tall window overlooking the bright lights of New York City. “If you hadn’t landed in her body at that exact minute, she’d be dead.”

You should have let me go. I only wanted peace.

“Peace my Aunt Fanny. You were sacrificing a perfectly good life and a boatload of talent. Think of all you’ve accomplished this year.”

I didn’t do it. You did. You’re the strong one.

“And you’re the one with all the talent. I can’t paint my way out of a shoebox.”

It’s not enough.

Dolly’s brows rose into the burnished copper curls brushing across her forehead. “You’re doing it again.”
Catherine’s gaze moved to Dolly and she took a moment to remember Dolly was physically the only other person in the room. “Sorry. Kindra and I were having a little discussion about talent and wasting it.”
Dolly stared at the paintings covering every free space on the walls of the apartment and some standing against the walls. “These are so beautiful. Why doesn’t she put them in a gallery and sell them?”

No! They’re not good enough!

“Kindra thinks they aren’t good enough.” Catherine shook her head. “Tell her, Dolly.”

“I’m glad I know about your little secret, otherwise I’d think you had that multiple personality disorder.” Dolly stared straight at Catherine and plunked her fist on one hip. “Kindra, get over it. These paintings are so stunning and full of emotion, they bring me to tears. The galleries will go wild over them. I have a buddy who works at a gallery down the street. I bet I can get them in there.”

Catherine shook with the force of Kindra’s fear. “Okay, okay. So you won’t take the paintings to the gallery. It’s okay. Dolly won’t make you do it.” She shrugged at Dolly. “You can’t force her.”

Dolly fingered the silver pentacle amulet around her neck, the sign of Wicca. “How do you do that? How can you stand to have two people in one mind?”

“I’m the guest. Kindra owns the body and soul. At midnight, I move on and Kindra is on her own again.” Though her words were flat and matter-of-fact, the closer she’d gotten to the midnight deadline, the more worried she’d been about Kindra. Could the young artist manage on her own? Would she try to commit suicide again?

“I think I would go nuts moving from body to body every year. How disconcerting to wake up in someone else’s life. You must have really pissed off the powers that be.”

Catherine’s jaw tightened. “Just heed my warning. Don’t use your powers for selfish reasons. Follow the Threefold Law to the letter.”

Dolly snorted. “Like I have powers.”

“We each have powers within us, we only have to learn to tap into them.”

“I’m only a play witch, you’re the real deal.”

“Was.” Ninety-nine years ago, she’d broken the Threefold Law of Wicca and used her magical powers to come between a man she thought she loved and the woman he truly loved. The cost for breaking the law was losing her powers and being cursed. And the curse couldn’t have been a simple wart on her nose. No. The Witches Council had to come up with something more elaborate and fitting the crime.

They cursed her to an endless existence of living each year in a different woman’s life. New Year’s Eve a hundred years ago, when the clock struck twelve, her body died and her soul drifted into the body of another woman. For an entire year, she lived in that woman’s life, in that woman’s body, sharing all her hopes, fears, trials and desires. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, she moved to another and so it had been for ninety-nine years.

As midnight approached, Catherine knew her time in this body had reached an end. Kindra Marshall, her current host, wouldn’t remember her when she’d gone, but she’d remember everything else from the past year and hopefully continue on where Catherine had left off.

From the moment she’d leaped into Kindra’s body, Catherine knew she could help the woman. First thing was to get her down off the ledge and back on track in her life.
Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Lissa Matthews
TJ Michaels
Mari Carr

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Snippet Saturday - Woman to love

This Snippet is geared toward the hero's first glimpse of the heroine. I chose SEX ED since it gives the hero his first "grownup" glimpse of the heroine. She's no longer his best buddy's little sister. Enjoy!
 If you post a comment today, you’ll be entered to win
a free download of one of my Ugly Stick Saloon books!



She wanted lessons in how to make a cowboy hot...
He was the cowboy to teach her
Kendall has loved sexy cowboy Ed Johnson since the first time she saw him taming wild horses. Now Kendall is twenty-one, legal and ready to be more than friends. In her bid to win his affections she asks Ed to give her a few Sex Education lessons about what makes a cowboy hot.

Ed promised Kendall's brother he'd keep an eye on his little sister while he's away defending their country. But Ed's pretty darn certain Sex Education lessons aren't what big brother had in mind. Caught between his pledge and a recently matured little sex kitten, Ed struggles to keep his word, while giving Kendall what she wants, Sex Ed.


As he turned onto the street where the old Ross house stood, a convertible backed out of the driveway he shared with the other two occupants. A muscular, bare-chested young man smiled and waved as he passed by with the top down, his long, bright blond hair blowing in the breeze.

His fingers tightened on the steering wheel and a frown settled between Ed’s brows. Who the hell was that leaving the house he shared with Kendall and Lacey? Better be one of Lacey’s conquests. She was old enough to manage her own affairs. Kendall, on the other hand, had barely been twenty-one for a few weeks. She’d better not be messing around on Ed’s watch.

As he shifted into park, he glanced up at the window to Kendall’s apartment. The blinds were open and Kendall stood with her side to the window, wearing nothing but a thin, lace bra and thong panties. She turned her back to the window and unclipped the bra, letting it fall down over her arms to the floor.

She might as well be naked—the thin strap of the thong cutting a line between her butt cheeks hid nothing.
Ed moaned, his cock twitched, and blood rushed in to make it swell behind his zipper. He forced anger to follow the powerful rush of lust. Did the girl have so little sense as to leave her window wide open so that any peeping Tom could look in?

With the storm of lust and righteous anger driving him forward, Ed leaped out of the car, passed the door to his apartment on the first floor and took the steps two at a time to the upper apartment where Kendall lived. He hammered on the door until Kendall flung it open.

"Oh, Ed." She cupped her hands over her naked breasts, like that did anything to hide their beautiful, lush fullness from Ed’s vision. "Where’s the fire?"

Ed pushed past her and marched to the window on the other side of the apartment, yanking the string on the shade so hard, the shade popped out of its slot and clattered to the floor.

Kendall giggled behind him, her eyes going wide when Ed glared.

He gathered the shade from the floor, fit the ends into the slot and lowered it with more precision and care this time. When he was done, he faced Kendall, and breathed a sigh to find her clutching a shirt to her chest. "Don’t undress in front of the window. I thought your mother taught you better than that."

"There’s not anyone on this street who’d care but Old Man Frantzen." She tossed her hair. "I’m sure he’s so blind he couldn’t see that far anyway."

Ed jerked his thumb toward the window. "You never know what perverts are lurking out there looking for an eyeful. And honey, you were giving an eyeful and then some."

Her eyelids closed to half-mast and she sidled close. "Perverts? Hum…sounds interesting." Slim fingers climbed up his chest and the shirt she held slipped lower, letting one perky nipple peek through.

Ed reached out and lifted the shirt to cover her flesh, realizing his mistake as soon as the backs of his fingers brushed over her naked skin. Stifling a groan, he jumped back. "Just close the blinds before you strip, will ya?"
"Yes, sir!" Kendall popped a salute.

That pesky shirt slipped down again to expose the other pretty breast.

A moan escaped Ed's throat and he dove for the door.

Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Felicity Heaton
Lissa Matthews
TJ Michaels

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Snippet Saturday - Her Man

Tomb Raider Trouble:
Trouble with Harry


In 1924, Harry, and adventurous archeologist, uncovers his greatest find--the tomb of the daughter of Shah Azhi "the devil king", containing the magical stone of Azhi. Legend tells of the stone's great power to grant wishes. When Harry lays his hands on the prize, he's sucked into a bottle to sleep for over eighty years.
In the twenty-first century, lonely museum worker, Edie Ragsdale, has been tasked with cataloguing the contents of a sarcophagus. Among the mummified remains of a long-dead princess. Edie finds a bottle. When she grushes away the duts of a thousand years, a naked Harry appears out of thin air. Because she was the one to wake Harry from his long sleep, Edie is able to wish for anything her heart desires and Harry has to grant it! Only her wishes don't always turn out as she plans and Harry can't control all the outcomes. Come along for a rollicking rom and learn that wishes don't always come true, and maybe that's a good thing!


Edie trudged through the aisles of crates and cartons carefully stacked on shelves and racks in the warehouse. When she reached the overhead doors at the rear of the museum where delivery trucks deposited new arrivals, she found the box marked “Zagros Dig, Iraq”.
“This must be it.” Pulling a crowbar off the wall, she began the laborious task of stripping the wooden slats from the crate. She’d do as much as she could by herself before she asked for help. She didn’t like to ask anyone for help, because that would mean actually making conversation with someone besides her boss. A shiver ran down her spine and her stomach burbled.
In her imagination, she was strong, fearless and desirable, capable of speaking to huge gatherings of people without a problem.
But reality had a way of showing her for her true self—doormat, Edie Ragsdale. Scared of her shadow, dowdy as a dishrag, Ms. Ragsdale. Destined to be alone.
Edie sighed. She couldn’t change who she was, and why should she? She’d still work in this musty old museum, she’d still live alone. Who could possibly find her interesting?
When the boards were cleared away, the carved stone sarcophagus stood in solitary dignity, out of place in the modern cardboard and foam-peanut world of the warehouse.
Edie wondered who this person was to have such an intricately carved casket. The likeness on top indicated a female. Etched over her head was the shape of a two-headed dragon, its body tangled over the woman’s head as if protecting or imprisoning her.
Was she a great queen of some legendary kingdom? Or had she been the wife of a cruel ruler, who beat her to death for some imagined infraction. Perhaps she was the lover of a man who’d worshiped the ground she walked on.
Whoever she was, Edie suddenly couldn’t wait to get the lid off and see what, if anything, was inside. She ran to find Ernie, the janitor.
“Don’t know why ya gotta open old smelly caskets,” Ernie mumbled. “Some things are best left in the ground where they belong.” Within minutes, Ernie had the lid off and carefully placed to the side of the sarcophagus. As quickly as he’d come, he left, muttering something about cleaning toilets in another part of the vast museum.
The mummified remains of the woman smelled like dust and old bones. Edie had seen her share of mummies, each telling a story of its own. Tucked next to the mummy’s feet was a bottle, coated in the dust of perhaps thousands of years.
Curious, Edie carefully lifted the bottle and rubbed the sides with the soft cloth she kept tucked in her pocket.
The floor shimmied and thunder rumbled outside.
Edie set the bottle back in the sarcophagus and strode to the dingy window. Was it going to rain? She hadn’t brought an umbrella and she’d be walking home soon. Damn.Why didn’t I bring an umbrella?
What little bit of sky she could see between the buildings looked as it had that morning, although the gloom of dusk cast long shadows into the alley. No clouds skittered by, no hint of rain. Then why had she heard thunder? Maybe it was a garbage truck dropping a dumpster onto the pavement. Sometimes they made enough noise she’d mistake it for thunder.
No matter. The skies were clear and, as soon as she cataloged the items, she could go home. With a shrug, she turned back to her work only to stop dead in her tracks.
A tall, naked man stood next to the ancient coffin, stretching as if he’d just woken from a long sleep.
Edie gasped, the only sound in an otherwise silent cavern. This man very much resembled the pirate in her daydream. Dark-haired, suntanned. Her heart skittered erratically, her pulse banging against her throat. He was naked. Totally naked. Her gaze skimmed—okay, slowly perused—from the top of his shiny black hair and over his angular face, continuing downward. She panned the wide expanse of his smooth brown chest tapering to narrow hips. Nestled in the dark shadow of curly hair, his penis hung flaccid, but still most impressive.
Ohmigod! Edie’s face heated. She’d been staring at his privates. She’d never stared at a man’s privates before. What would he think? Then again, what was a naked man doing in her warehouse? Perhaps he was crazy. Maybe he was a sexually perverted lunatic out to deflower lonely virgins. Edie sank to the floor and gathered up a loose slat from the crate she’d dismembered.
If he was going to rape her, she wasn’t going down without a fight. She stood, her hand gripping the splintered wood. “Who are you and what do you want?”
The man rubbed his eyes and blinked, before he straightened and looked directly at her. “Who are you? And where the hell am I?”
The woman standing before him brandished a wooden slat in his face. “I asked first.”
Harry stepped back and, for the first time, realized he was completely naked. “Holy Jesus.” He leaned over to grab a board but the sharp corner of a board poked his chest. Reflexively, he crossed his hands over his groin.
“Don’t move, or I’ll scream.” The woman poked him again. “What are you doing here? And more importantly, why aren’t you wearing any clothes?”
“Look, lady. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I do not have designs on your person.” He reached to push the point off his ribs, baring his groin, again. “If you’d quit jabbing me with that stick, I’ll cover myself.”
Edie tried really hard to keep her gaze above his shoulders, but some things were just too noticeable to be ignored from the corner of her eye. “Oh.” Her cheeks burned and she stepped back. “Yes, of course.”
He leaned down again to reach for a board.
“Not with that!” The sharp edge caught him in the throat this time, puncturing the skin. Warm liquid oozed down his neck.
He straightened, his hands rising to rest on his hips. “How am I supposed to cover myself with you trying to stab holes in me?”
 “Here, use this.” She struggled with one hand to untie the strap around her neck and waist while maintaining her grip on the board. Then she tossed her canvas apron at him.
Harry deftly caught the apron in a single hand and held it like a fig leaf over the lower half of his torso. Had he drunk himself into a stupor last night? And where was he? Obviously, not in the desert. And why was this woman waving a stick at him. Had his performance in bed been that dismal?
“Go ahead, put it on,” she said, her face flaming, her voice shaking like dry leaves rattling in the wind.
“A lady would look away while a man dressed himself,” he grumbled.
“Look, buster, I’m not turning away for a second, so don’t even think about jumping me.” Her words sounded tough but her hand shook.
She was scared of him.
Come to think of it, a naked man in the presence of a woman would be cause for alarm in anyone’s book—unless, of course, they’d already shared a passionate night together. Although by the look on her face, that probably wasn’t the case. “All right, but could you at least look at my face, instead of staring at my—” He cleared his throat and glanced down. Damned if he wasn’t hardening. Good Lord, and the woman wasn’t his usual long-stemmed blonde beauty.
Will would have a good laugh over his reaction.
Will. A lead weight settled in Harry’s gut. Where was his friend? Had he ended up in as peculiar a situation as he had? Or was he still back at the tomb, possibly buried in the sand?
Feeling downright silly, Harry tied the apron around his waist, creating a distinctive tent in front while cool air continued to brush his naked backside. “Perhaps we could start over. I’m Harrington Taylor from America. I don’t really know what I’m doing here. And you are?”
“Not buying it.”
“Excuse me?” What the hell did she think he was selling? “I’m not selling anything, if that’s what’s got you worried.”
“I may not be very worldly, but I know a con when I see it.” She shook her board at him. “No sane man shows up in the back of a warehouse in New York City naked unless he’s crazy or out to rape some unsuspecting female.”
“New York City? Warehouse?” Harry staggered backward. “What the hell are you talking about? And why would I want to rape you?”
“Don’t play dumb. I’ve heard about your type. Preying on lone females. I have a good set of lungs on me. I’ll scream if you try anything.”
Harry’s head spun, his mind grasping for answers. “Let me get this straight, I’m not in Iraq? I’m back in America?”
The woman rolled her light green eyes. She’d almost be pretty if her hair wasn’t pulled back so severely. And her skin was translucent white sprinkled with a dusting of freckles, complimenting the amber tint of her eyebrows and the thin wisps curling around her ears. “No and yes.”
“How the hell did I get here?”
“That’s my question.”
He shook his head, trying to clear his mind of the fog. “One moment, Will and I were opening the sarcophagus—”
“Who’s Will?” The woman darted a glance around her.
“My assistant on the dig.” Harry looked around too. “And apparently not here.”
“So you’re one of the men from the Iraq dig?” Her hand wavered for a moment, then she shifted the stick to the other. “That still doesn’t explain why you’re here and without clothing.”
“I told you, I don’t know.” His head ached, and the damp of the warehouse seeped through his bare skin into his bones. He shivered. “I don’t suppose you have something more substantial than this apron for me to wear?”
“You’re the one running around without clothes in the middle of a cool snap.”
“Nevertheless, I am a bit cold.” He reached behind him to try to close the edges of the apron to stop the breeze cooling his backside.
She didn’t budge. “So you’re telling me you were at the archeological dig in Iraq, and you don’t know how you got here?”
He scrubbed his hand through his hair and smiled sheepishly. How strange he must look. “All I can remember is touching the stone of Azhi and the rest is a blur.”
“Huh?” Her eyes narrowed. “What’s the stone of Azhi?”
How much should he tell a complete stranger? He’d spent so much time searching. “Does it matter?”
“You really don’t know what happened?”
“And you were at the dig in Iraq?” The stick bobbed and lowered an inch.
“Yes.” How could he make her believe? “I’d been working on that site since nineteen.”
Her head tilted to the side. “Nineteen what?”
“Nineteen nineteen.”
“You didn’t answer my question. Nineteen what? Since you were nineteen?”
“No.” What was her problem? Didn’t she understand English? He spoke in slow, deliberate words. “The year nineteen nineteen.”
“You mean nineteen ninety-nine.”
She’d accused him of being a lunatic only now, Harry could swear she was the crazy one. “No, I meant nineteen-nineteen.”
“The next thing you’ll tell me you’re, what…” Her eyes tipped toward the ceiling. “…one hundred years old.”
“No, I just turned thirty.”
The stick leveled off, chest high. “What year were you born?” She shot the question at him, her words brisk and clear.
“1894,” he answered without hesitation.
Her mouth dropped slightly, her eyes widening for a brief moment. Then she glanced around the warehouse. “Oh, I get it, this is a joke.” She laughed out loud, a smile curving her lips, softening the tight lines of her face. When she allowed her features to relax, she could almost be considered pretty.
“What’s so funny?”
“You. This situation. Whoever put you up to this charade? Which one of my colleagues? Who was it?”
“What charade?”
“You either have a really bad memory, can’t add or are pulling the hell out of my leg.” She shook the fractured board at him. “Which one is it?”
Feeling more confused by the moment, he snapped, “I’ve always been very good with my numbers, and I have an exceptional memory.”
“That leaves pulling my leg.” She poked his chest. “I’m calling the police.”
“Why, what year were you born?”
“Nineteen seventy-five. Which, I suspect is about when you were born, give or take a few years.”
“Nineteen seventy-five.” Harry snorted. “This game has gone on long enough, woman. When I woke up this morning, it was the year of our lord nineteen hundred and twenty-four. I know I couldn’t have been out for very long. What is today’s date?”
“March fourteenth, two thousand and five. Now, as you so eloquently put it, I’m tired of playing games. Who are you and why are you naked in the warehouse of the New York City Anthropological Museum?”

Other authors participating in Snippet Saturday:

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Jody Wallace
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Felicity Heaton
Lissa Matthews
TJ Michaels