Below is an excerpt from my upcoming TWRP release The Model Man.
When Derek tipped her back in his arms and again took her lips, Kelly didn’t resist. Was it the champagne, the unreal feel of this night or had she completely lost her mind?
For a moment, she indulged herself. She tangled her fingers into his silken mane of hair and gave herself up to the ferocity of his kiss.
Somehow they had become entangled, his thigh between hers, her skirt hiked nearly to her hips.
He stiffened suddenly in her arms and pulled back from the kiss. “Did you hear that?”
The only sound she had heard was the blood rushing in her head. “I didn’t hear a thing.”
“Goddammit.” He rolled away from her.
A second later he lunged from the chaise and took off on a run. It was only when he rounded the corner that she saw he was in pursuit of a man with a camera.
From the hotel parking lot came the screeching of tires and moments later, a very frustrated-looking Derek returned. He latched onto her hand, pulled her from the chaise and urged her toward the doors. “Let’s get inside.”
“What was that all about?”
He darted a glance over his shoulder. “Just get inside; there are probably more of them.”
“More of who?” She stopped in the shadows cast by the awning hanging over the patio door to peek around him.
“Miz Michaels,” called an unfamiliar voice. “Over here.”
Derek stepped in front of her as a flash went off. “Will you just do what I asked?” Yanking on the doors, he scooted her through.
“Who was that man? How did he know my name?”
He had yet to let go of her arm, and she had to double her steps to match his as they passed party-goers and bar patrons on their way to the elevators.
When he stopped to press the call button, she wrenched her arm from his grasp. “What the hell is going on?”
“You don’t know what that was?”
“Would I be asking if I did? Photographers, obviously. But why would they—” Realization hit. “Paparazzi? You’re their favorite poster boy.”
“That’s putting it mildly.”
The elevator doors slid open, and she entered. “My God, you did it again.”
“Made it look like we were—is that why you wanted to meet me someplace public?”
“You think I set that up?”
"Yes." She placed a hand to her forehead. Between the kissing, the champagne, and the run through the lobby, she was almost dizzy. “No. I don’t know.”
The car dinged as it reached her floor, and she moved forward. Derek smacked a hand over the “close door” button.
“You’re the one who didn’t trust yourself alone with me.”
“Trust myself?” She squeezed her purse when she would have rather tightened her hands around his arrogant neck.
“We met there to make you more comfortable, remember?”
“Sweetheart, the sparks were flying from both sides. If we’d been in a room instead of the patio, we’d be in bed right now.”
“What did—you self-centered, pompous—I can’t even think of a name bad enough to call you!” She slapped his hand away from the elevator button. The doors opened, and she stormed past him, right into a startled
“Hey, there you are, Kel.”
Ignoring her friend, she turned and faced Derek. “I was wrong to think you could embody the heroes I create. You aren’t fit to wear Captain Connery’s leather pants!” Turning to
Derek shoved his hands in his pockets, bracing the elevator door open with his shoulder. He watched Kelly until she reached her room, wincing as the door closed behind her with a bang that echoed down the empty hallway.
The redhead turned and gave him a wide-eyed look. “What did you do to her?”
“I kissed her.” He heaved a sigh. “Things sort of went downhill from there.”
She stepped on the elevator and took his arm, giving it a sympathetic pat. “Come on, big guy, lemme buy you a beer.”