“Hot Wings” Excerpt

Pomona lifted the tray. Passing through the door felt like walking by an open flame. Maybe it was all in her head, but the man radiated pure heat. Her head buzzed from the proximity to his body, her upper arm nearly brushing against the bulging bulk of his chest and the snug, knit shirt he wore. He even smelled hot—like spices that would burn so deliciously if they landed on her tongue. God, the recipes she would craft if she could bottle that scent for flavoring.

She swallowed, struggling to banish the sudden image she had of the sweat-covered tower of muscle she’d seen in the gym earlier lying on a bed and allowing her to lick him all over.

Get it together, Pomona. He’s your boss.

She gripped the tray tighter and paused once she passed him, waiting for him to lead the way …

… and nearly whimpered at the way his ass flexed in his trousers as he walked.

She hadn’t counted on landing a job with a pair of celebrities so gorgeous and athletic. It wasn’t even about their celebrity status here, either … not to her. On Earth, she’d wondered if she’d wind up too star-struck by her client to do her job well, should she ever succeed in getting hired for her dream job. But it wasn’t something that ever really worried her. She was a professional, after all.

But there was something about this man … both men … that just sent her mind spinning whenever she was in the same room with them.

She was here to do a job, she kept reminding herself. Part of that job was to make sure both these perfect male specimens were well cared for. Did that make her a sort of dragon-keeper, in a sense? Huh … maybe when her six months were up, she could write a cookbook: The Care and Feeding of Nova Aurora Arena Champions.

Hah. That was ridiculous.

“Did you say something?” Ignazio asked, pausing halfway up a staircase to look back at her.

Pomona stopped with one foot on the next step and stared at him. Fuck, she’d laughed out loud, hadn’t she?

“Um, no … I was just … you know, making up new recipes in my head.”

Ignazio chuckled and started climbing again. “You make up many recipes designed for humor? I’d like to taste one. What goes in it?”

“Oh, the usual …” A teaspoon of whatever that delicious scent of yours is. “That’s nice cologne you’re wearing, by the way. Is it the essence of some plant that grows on this planet?”

“I don’t wear cologne. It confuses Bryer’s animal when we train. We need to be able to scent each other in the arena.”

She paused on the steps, baffled by his response. Men were not supposed to smell that good. He kept walking.

“So, that’s all you, then, huh?” she murmured to herself when she thought he was out of earshot. Moving faster to catch up, she reached the landing where Ignazio was standing, grinning at her.

“You like my scent?”

“Um … sure! Of course! What’s not to like?” she stammered.

“Yours is nice, too,” he said. He leaned down then, his broad shoulders and chest filling her vision as he dipped his head to her neck and inhaled deeply.

Pomona stood frozen in place, her heart racing. Her awareness filled completely with him —that spicy scent; the black waves of his hair that from this close looked shot through with radiant copper strands; the searing heat that didn’t cease and made her hope her shower had an “ice” setting on it. And god, the slightest brush of his nose against her throat that instantly made her panties wet.

“Good enough to eat,” he rumbled as he leaned back again. For a guy who’d just eaten enough food to feed ten men on Earth, he’d taken on a distinctly hungry look.

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