It's a new week of Marvelous March and my friend, Te Russ is heating it up with a spicy excerpt from Vigilante Love! Check it out and leave a comment to be entered into the #giveaway.
About Vigilante Love...
Newly appointed District Attorney Trish Barnes is determined to win the biggest case of her career and nothing is going to stop her...not even her life being in danger. When Boomer Thompson steps up to protect her, Trish quickly realizes that the man who once had her heart, just might still have it.
Boomer never thought Trish would ever be back in his life, but here she is and she needs him now more than ever. He’ll do everything in his power to keep her safe, but he realizes that he’s also in danger...of falling in love with her all over again.
Boomer Thompson adjusted the mask on his face as he strolled the outer perimeter of the ballroom where the Mayor’s Masquerade Gala was being held. Officially he was only there as a guest. Unofficially he, along with Silas Stone, were there on behalf of McAllister Security, as their branch was the hired protection for the evening’s events.
They had men scattered throughout the room, blending in as if they were guests, but ready in case anything went down. Boomer didn’t foresee anything bad happening, but with so many prominent figures in one room, he wasn’t about to let his guard down.
He was ready for anything.
Well...almost anything, he thought to himself as he froze.
It didn’t matter that she was wearing an intricate mask, he recognized her instantly as she entered the room, on the arm of a man who was wearing a tux that was obviously a rental.
He took his time openly taking her in from head to toe. Her hair was up high, showing off her neck – one of his favorite body parts on her. She looked amazing in the cream, strapless gown that hugged her waist before flaring out all around her. Looking at her in that dress, he couldn’t help but imagine what it would have been like to see her walking down the aisle...towards him.
“You good, man?” he heard Silas ask him. He’d obviously seen her too.
“Never better,” Boomer replied, watching her date hold her chair out for her.
“Don’t do anything stupid, Boom,” Silas warned.
Boomer gave Silas a smirk as he finished off the drink in his tumbler. Since he wasn’t technically on the clock tonight, he definitely wasn’t about to turn down a perfectly good glass of bourbon. He placed his glass on the tray of a passing waiter and weaved his way through the crowd.
It had been years since Boomer had seen her in person, but dammit if that woman didn’t still make his heart skip a beat whenever he was in her presence. He probably should just leave her be, especially since she wasn’t alone, but he couldn’t seem to stop his feet from making their way over to her table, where she’d just settled down into her seat.
“District Attorney Barnes,” he said, and her head whipped around at the sound of his voice. He watched as those beautiful brown eyes of hers grew wide with shock as her gaze quickly swept over him.
“Andre,” she nearly whispered.
Not many people called him by his first name, but she’d always insisted on it. And it always sounded good rolling off her lips.
“Been a long time, Trish,” he said.
“It has,” she replied, her eyes still locked with his.
The sound of the man sitting next to her clearing his throat forced them to sever their eye contact.
“Oh...umm...Andre, this is Dr. Connor Dickenson. Connor, this is Andre Thompson. My...”
His eyebrow raised out of curiosity on how she intended on finishing that phrase.
“Dear, old friend,” she finally said.
“Nice to meet you,” Connor said, holding his hand out to Boomer. He took Connor’s hand and firmly gripped it.
“Likewise,” he said. He released Connor’s hand and turned back to Trish. “I do hope you save a dance...for your ‘dear, old friend’.”
And then he turned and walked off.
He made his way back to the bar and ordered another drink. He turned and found her eyes on him. She quickly looked away, trying to focus on whatever it was her date was talking about.
He grinned as he picked up his drink, nodding his thanks to the bartender.
Tonight was going to be more fun than he’d anticipated.
She’d felt his eyes on her all night.
She’d be lying if she said she didn’t steal a few glances of her own. Why did he have to look so damn good, she wondered as she took another sip of her wine.
Connor didn’t seem to notice any difference; of course he’d been spending most of the evening droning on about the surgery that had forced him to cancel their dinner plans several nights ago.
He was a nice enough guy, but sometimes Connor seemed a little self-absorbed.
She’d actually been glad when a phone call pulled him away and she’d taken the opportunity to go to the ladies room.
Upon returning to the ballroom and realizing that Connor was still preoccupied on the phone, Trish decided to circulate and speak to a few familiar faces, including the mayor.
“Congratulations, District Attorney Barnes.”
“Thank you, Madam Mayor. As usual, you’re throwing a lovely event.”
“Of course it’s the biggest benefit of the year for raising awareness, and funds, to help students who are looking to go to college.”
“And we’re behind you one hundred percent. Not only has the DA’s office made a contribution, but I’ve personally made one myself.”
“We appreciate that so much.”
The mayor’s eyes lit up and the hairs on the back of Trish’s neck suddenly stood up.
“Mr. Thompson!” the mayor exclaimed.
“Madam Mayor,” Boomer said, gracing her with that charming smile of his. “Wonderful event.”
“Thank you, Mr. Thompson,” the mayor responded. Was she blushing?! Trish refrained from rolling her eyes. The man was too charismatic for his own good.
“I just wanted to see if I could steal DA Barnes away for a dance. But if I’m interrupting...”
“Not at all!” the mayor exclaimed. “You two go on.”
Trish turned and looked up at Boomer, who had his hand outstretched towards her.
“May I have this dance?”
Trish swallowed hard and then took a step forward, placing her hand in his.
Heat shot through every cell in her body; and when he pulled her flush against his body and placed his hand dangerously low on her back, she couldn’t fight the tremor that raced down her spine.
They danced for a few minutes in silence before he spoke.
“‘A dear, old friend’,” Boomer murmured into her ear. “So that’s how you introduce me?”
She should have known he wasn’t going to just let that slide.
“Andre,” she sighed. “How else was I supposed to introduce you?”
His eyes shot up to the ceiling in thought and she couldn’t help but study his face. The mask he was wearing did nothing to hide his strong jawline. She’d always been mesmerized by his eyes. And his lips.
Full, sensuous lips that used to do wickedly, wonderful things to her body.
As if reading her mind, he looked down into her eyes before he pressed his lip close to her ear again and whispered, “You could have told him that I was the best lover you’d ever had.”
Trish couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped her lips.
“I see you’re still a smug son of a bitch.”
“I’m only repeating words that came from your sexy ass mouth, baby,” he said, a teasing grin on his lips. “I am curious as to whether or not someone new has taken up the mantle...”
“That’s really none of your business,” she snapped. His comment hadn’t irritated her as much as the way her body was responding to the gentle way his fingers were circling her back had.
“I suppose not,” he said, with a nonchalant shrug. Changing the subject, he looked at her again and asked, “Did you get my flowers?”
“I did,” she said, nodding. “Thank you, Andre. They were beautiful.”
“I’m proud of you, Trish. I hope you know that.”
His words sent warmth through her body. He’d always been supportive of her dreams and goals. She licked her lips and she felt his hold on her body tighten.
“Don’t do that, Bee,” he growled.
She drew in a sharp breath at the nickname she hadn’t heard in years. He used to call her his ‘honey bee’. Because even though she was tough as hell and her words could sting like an aggravated bee, she also had a sweet side, like honey.
“Dre,” she sighed, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment before opening them again, only to find him staring at her heatedly.
He opened his mouth to respond, but before he could, Trish heard, “Mind if I cut in?”
She looked over her shoulder and saw Connor standing there.
“Not at all,” Boomer said.
She shouldn’t have been as disappointed as she was when Boomer released his arm from around her waist, and she hoped it didn’t show on her face.
“Thank you for the dance, DA Barnes,” Boomer said, lifting her hand up to his mouth and placing a kiss there, never taking his eyes off of her face.
Before he released her hand, she felt him discreetly run his thumb over the bracelet she almost never took off, and he gave her a knowing grin.
She watched as he disappeared into the crowd and nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt Connor’s hand on her shoulder.
She plastered a smile onto her face and moved into Connor’s arms, not feeling an ounce of spark like what she’d felt the moment she’d touched Boomer’s hand.
Té Russ is a contemporary romance author who focuses on stories centered around black love. With over 30 projects under her belt, she continues to bring soulful tales to life. In addition to writing, Té is also a certified aerial yoga instructor and teaches at a local studio. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, baking or reading.
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