The Veil, Book 1
by B.J. McCall
Ebook ISBN: 07590-02447
[ Paranormal Holiday Romance, MF ]
New Year’s resolutions are challenges for Hazel, annual goals to be conquered. A chance meeting with a sexy stranger just after midnight puts Hazel’s resolve to the test. Quinn challenges her to give up chocolate until the clock strikes the New Year, but if she fails, she belongs to him until sunrise.
Note: This title has no chapter breaks.
“Happy New Year.”
Wishing the bartender the same, Hazel picked up the wine he’d delivered. She took a sip, enjoying the crisp taste and cool liquid sliding down her throat.
“May I join you?”
Hazel looked in the direction of the deep, male voice. A stranger with coal black hair and very blue eyes stood by the adjacent bar stool, waiting for her response.
The place was packed, seating options were few and the stranger was handsome as sin. “Be my guest.”
He slid onto the stool next to her. “Hi. I’m Quinn.”
Quinn ordered Scotch. “Are you here on business or pleasure, Hazel?”
“Pleasure. My college roommate and I get together every year to ring in the New Year, but this year she caught the flu at the last minute and wasn’t able to make it.”
“You spent the evening alone?”
“It happens. What about you, Quinn?”
Hazel sipped her wine, waiting for him to elaborate. Her experience was that most men who dressed in business suits and red ties loved to talk about their work.
“So tell me about yourself, Hazel. What do you do for a living?”
The guy was smooth. He was making it all about her which meant he was most likely in sales.
“If I suffer an injury I hope my therapist looks like you.”
Hazel wished all of her patients looked like him.
Quinn smiled, displaying perfect white teeth. Had his parents sold their souls to pay his orthodontist or had he’d been blessed by the tooth fairy?
“A new year lies before us,” he said. “Have you made your New Year’s resolution?”
Since rooming together in college, Hazel and Vicki had made annual New Year’s resolutions a challenge, but without Vicki, making a resolution wasn’t much fun. “I haven’t made one.”
Quinn sipped his Scotch. “Everyone makes a resolution even if they don’t intend to keep it.”
Vicki had trained her well – she was a formidable opponent. “If I make a resolution, I keep it.”
“You’re goal oriented?”
“Afraid so. What’s your New Year’s resolution, Quinn?”
“To win a promotion. Your turn, Hazel, but it can’t be the same resolution.”
“There’s a rule?”
“There’s always a rule or a tradition. Come on, Hazel, make a resolution, a real challenge.”
Hazel loved a challenge. “Okay. I’ll give up chocolate.”
“That’s means no chocolate chip cookies and no truffles.”
How did he know her favorite cookie was chocolate chip and she’d kill for a truffle? Must be a lucky guess. “No chips. No truffles. No chocolate.”
Quinn lifted his glass, but didn’t drink. “That’s a big challenge. Can you do it?”
Why did men think women were weak willed? “Of course.”
Quinn looked her in the eye. “If you don’t keep your resolution there will be a penalty.”
Okay, she’d play along. “Penalty? Like what?”
“If chocolate touches your lips before midnight on December thirty-first, you belong to me until sunrise New Year’s Day.”
Was he kidding? “Belong to you?”
He leaned toward her so close his lips were but a breath away.
Wondering what it would like to kiss him, Hazel was tempted to press her lips to his.
His eyes gleamed, compelling, drawing her in. “Yes, Hazel. You’ll be mine in every conceivable way.”
Heat coiled in Hazel’s pussy. The desire to touch him welled up.
“Hazel, do you agree to the terms and conditions?”
She’d never see him again, anyway. “Yes,” Hazel agreed.
He smiled, displaying his beautiful white teeth. “We have a contract, verbal but binding.”
“Are you a lawyer?”
“Sorry, I do a lot of business with attorneys. They’re sticklers for details.”
A blonde woman stepped into the bar. She wore a short red dress that clung to her body. Her gaze darted around the room, hesitating on Quinn.
Maybe Quinn was in town for business, but he obviously had a date. “I think your girlfriend has arrived.”
Quinn turned away from Hazel. The woman in red smiled.
He set down his unfinished drink and looked at Hazel. “Duty calls.” He slid off the stool and placed several bills on the bar. “See you next New Year’s Eve, Hazel.”
Hazel lifted her glass. “Next year.”
He started to turn away, but hesitated. “You look stunning. I like what you’ve done with your hair.”
She’d recently changed her hairstyle. How did he know? Then she grinned. Quinn had the chat-up thing down pat. “Have a good year, Quinn.”
Hazel watched Quinn greet the woman in red with a quick kiss on the lips. Then the two of them walked out of the bar.
Sighing, Hazel sipped her wine. The holiday trip hadn’t worked out the way she planned and now she faced the New Year, twelve long months without chocolate.