Jul 24, 2020

Pirate's Persuasion by Lisa Kessler


A dark coven possesses the figurehead from the Flying Dutchman, and if Heather and the immortal Sea Dog crew don't locate the relic soon, Drake may be lost to them forever. Heather has seen the passionate man behind the veil of guilt, and she's determined to free him from his self-imposed prison, and persuade this pirate to love again.

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Drake fought through the angry spatters of bacon grease to turn the strips, stealing glances at Heather as she mixed the batter for waffles. He’d been alive for over two hundred years now, and he’d lost count of the exact number, but he was certain this was the first time he’d ever cooked with a woman. Sure, he’d prepared food for himself and helped One-Eyed Bob in the galley on the Sea Dog before, but the salty old sailor was far from a female.
Everything Heather did had fluidity to it, almost ethereal, like she moved to a symphony only she could hear. She fascinated him. 
The waffle iron hissed as she poured the batter in and clamped it closed. She peeked back over her shoulder and caught him staring. Color flushed her pale skin, warming him all over. 
“How’s the bacon coming along?”
As if the cursed bubbling oil heard her, it popped, hitting his bare forearm while he was focused on her. “Shit!” 
He jumped back from the stove, bumping into her. With tongs in one hand, he caught her waist with the other, steadying her. 
Their gazes locked and time slowed. He struggled to breathe, his voice a raw whisper. “Tell me something.”
She stared into his eyes. “Okay.”
For a moment, he couldn’t find words. Maybe it was having her so close that he caught the lavender scent of her hair, or the way her ice-blue eyes looked right into his soul. He swallowed the lump in his throat. “How do you make me forget?”
She blinked, her full lips curving into a tentative smile. “Forget what?”
“Everything.” He smirked at his own lack of vocabulary. Think, man. He tried again. “When I have you in my arms, the rest of the world fades. My inadequacies, my guilt, the ghosts from the past, they all take a back seat. I’ve tried to silence them for lifetimes.” He searched her face. “You’re magic.”
Heather brought her hand to his cheek and whispered, “Kiss me.”
He didn’t hesitate, tasting her soft lips until his pulse thrummed in his ears.
Her mouth welcomed him as his tongue tangled slowly with hers. He held her tighter, losing himself in the feel of her body pressed against his. The tongs clanked against the granite countertop as he wrapped his other arm around her, his large hand exploring her back. She moaned into the kiss as his fingertips slipped underneath the back of her shirt. His calloused hands caressed the silky-smooth skin of her back, his erection threatening to break free of the zipper of his jeans.
He’d never wanted anyone so badly in his long life. Lost in his hunger, he boosted her up onto the kitchen counter. She parted her thighs and he moved even closer. They had on far too many clothes. 
Before he could lift her shirt over her head, a loud beeping pierced his ears. Drake broke the kiss, turning to find smoke pluming from the cast-iron skillet. 
“Aw, fuck!” He grabbed the oven mitt and pulled the heavy pan away from the flame. 
Heather reached around him to twist off the burner, and then opened the window over the sink. Coughing from the smoke, he set the pan back down, waving the bank of fog away with the pot holder until the smoke detector was finally appeased. He peered down at what used to be bacon. The strips looked more like charcoal than meat.
Her hand slid up his back as she laughed. “I didn’t want bacon anyway.”
“Yer sayin’ I battled that grease for nothing?” He brandished the tiny burn on his arm. It would be gone in a few minutes. Fast healing was one of the perks of drinking from the Grail.
She pressed her lips to his forearm right beside the wound. The sight making him forget all about the fucking bacon. She was the most beautiful, sexy, intriguing woman he’d ever seen. 
Her breath caressed his skin as she whispered, “My hero.”
He wanted to be more than that. Following that path would be riddled with heartbreak as time stole her from him and left him behind. 
A new beep mercifully interrupted his thoughts. Heather turned around and opened the waffle iron, revealing a perfectly browned Belgian waffle. His stomach growled in response, and the smile on her face made him wish he could stop time. 
She put the waffle on a plate and refilled the iron. “I’ll split it with you while the next one cooks.”
He opened a couple of drawers and withdrew two forks. “Deal.”
They sat next to each other at the antique dining table. He admired the woodworking while she spread butter and syrup over the waffle. He hadn’t built this furniture, but he could appreciate the craftsmanship.
She peered over at him and plucked a fork from his hand. “Don’t tell me you made this table. It’s been in my family since the 1800s.”
He chuckled, shaking his head. “No, but I bet I knew the bloke who did. Not many furniture makers in Savannah back then. I was working on cabinetry and doors back then. Not much for furniture in those days.”
He took a bite of the waffle and groaned as the sweet buttery squares assaulted his taste buds. Meeting her eyes, he swallowed and grinned. “Thanks for making breakfast. I’m sorry I wasn’t more help.”
Her ice-blue eyes sparkled. “Oh, you were plenty of help…just maybe not with the bacon.”
“I enjoy helping you.” He placed his free hand on her thigh under the table, stunned by the way she coaxed this playful side out of him. So often his thoughts wandered down dark paths, but she shined light into the shadows of his soul, showing him a new future.
She bumped him with her shoulder. “I have clients coming soon, but I could use some more help…tonight.”
Flirting. They were fucking flirting. Amazing he still knew how.
He leaned in, his lips brushing her ear. “Until tonight, then.”
A small shiver ran through her, and instantly blood was pumping far from his brain. She stabbed a piece of waffle and lifted it to his lips. “Tonight.”
He took the bite into his mouth slowly, drinking in the desire in her eyes. He’d believed this part of himself to be long dead, but every second with her drew him back toward the light, toward life. She was a miracle.

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