Welcome to TANTALIZING THURSDAYS!!!
This week on #Sexy Snippets and MidWeek Tease, I shared snippets from SPANKED BY AN ANGEL and SEDUCING THE CHAMBERMAID.
Today, I present the entire first chapter of TEMPTED BY TWO ANGELS - Notorious Nephilim 3. This series was written under my Carolyn Rosewood pen name, and is available HERE from Siren-BookStrand Enjoy!!
Caleigh Kensington stood on the stage, her eyes roaming over the four men and one woman who were there for the sole purpose of hearing her audition. Even without a spotlight, the rush of people waiting to hear her sing flooded her body with endorphins. The familiar tingling was almost as great as sex—almost.
As she glanced at their faces one more time, the two men on opposite ends of the row smiled at her. If she landed this gig, there might be more than one gorgeous hunk to have some fun with.
She’d asked for no backup music, as she preferred to sing acapella for auditions. It was too difficult to get the feel of an accompanist with whom she’d never worked for just one song. And Caleigh knew one song would be all it took.
Taking a deep breath, she opened her mouth and began to sing “I’ll Be Seeing You,” a newer song she’d recently fallen in love with. The song was already so familiar she didn’t need to concentrate. She’d been singing it in clubs up and down the East Coast for months now. All she had to do today was feel the words.
If only something as easy as singing a song could fix the mess she’d landed in. Why did relationships have to be so complicated, and why did all men think a woman’s ultimate goal was to get hitched?
She’d received three marriage proposals by letter from battle sites in Europe within the last two weeks. All three soldiers had been boys she knew in high school and had strung along since graduating almost ten years earlier. Each of the three thought they were the only man she was waiting on to come home from the war.
Even during her four years at Juilliard she’d managed to keep the three hopelessly devoted to her. Philly was only short a train ride from New York, after all, so she’d come home as often as possible. Caleigh had always been an incurable flirt, but she’d never imagined she would land herself in such a pickle. She simply believed that a girl ought to have choices.
When she reached the first chorus, she scanned her judges’ faces again, connecting briefly with each person in the row. She had them. She could read it in their eyes. Gigs during the war had become scarce, and she wanted this one. She was tired of moving from city to city, and there were too many memories in Philly to contend with. Fox Lake, Illinois, was only fifty miles from Chicago, but still out in the middle of nowhere, and that suited Caleigh just fine right now.
The guy on her extreme right sat forward in his seat, his mouth slightly open, green eyes shining with admiration and lust. Caleigh sang only to him for a few seconds, loving the delicious tingle that spread through her limbs at the thought of kissing his generous mouth. His blond hair was cut slightly longer than the current style, but on him it was captivating. He reminded her of a large cat—a lion or a perhaps a leopard—ready to pounce.
Turning her attention to the man on her extreme left, she was struck by the penetrating gaze of his gray eyes. They reminded her of the color of storm clouds, and indeed with his dark hair he was the epitome of a thunderstorm ready to strike. He watched her with a half smile on his handsome face, and Caleigh shivered as she imagined his eyes boring into hers as they made love.
As the song drew to a close, she made eye contact with the others in the row. The man sitting next to Mr. Storm Clouds had smoldering dark eyes and hair the color of chestnuts. His height towered above the others. On the other side of the blond-haired guy sat a man with piercing blue eyes.
The woman in the middle looked to be in her early thirties, and Caleigh felt a brief stab of jealousy at the beauty’s fair looks. She’d always wished she had curly blonde hair like that, instead of her own straight dark hair. Bright blue eyes radiated from a face that smiled wide as Caleigh held a long note at the end. She was the first in the row to begin clapping just before Caleigh took a bow.
The group stood as they clapped, so Caleigh took another bow, giving the men a generous view of her cleavage.
“That was exceptional, Miss Kensington,” said the green-eyed man. “How long have you been singing in clubs?”
Caleigh hopped off the stage and advanced toward him, walking slowly so he could get a good look at her curvy hips and long legs. “I’ve been performing since I was a teenager.”
“Have you taken voice lessons?” asked Mr. Storm Clouds.
“Yes. I studied at Juilliard.”
“Impressive.” He held out his hand. “Forgive me. We didn’t introduce ourselves. I’m Hugh Fallon, one of the owners of Lilith’s Playground.”
As soon as Caleigh touched his hand, a jolt of electricity shot through her body as if she’d put her wet finger into a light socket. She took a deep breath and held his firm grip, wondering what those hands on her breasts or ass would feel like. “Nice to meet you.”
“Sterling Neville, another owner.” The green-eyed man also had a firm grip, and Caleigh caught the distinct scent of honeysuckle as she stepped closer to shake his hand. Had the woman bathed with scented soap? Surely the smell wasn’t coming from any of the men.
He held her gaze far longer than necessary, and Caleigh had the distinct impression he could see right into her soul. She took a step back as she was introduced to Reeve Neville, the tall man, and Niko Fallon, the man with the piercing blue eyes. Reeve explained he played bass and Niko played percussion for the band that performed at the nightclub. He also told her Zachary Neville, another owner, was one of their singers as well.
“Keeping it in the family, I see.” She assumed since they shared two surnames they were related.
“Yes,” said Hugh. “Something like that.” He indicated the woman. “This is Blair Lorring. She helps Leo Fallon, another owner, and Sterling run the nightclub’s day-to-day operations.”
“How do you do?” Blair shook her hand, the smile still plastered across her pretty face. “We’ve auditioned so many singers already, but you’re by far the best. Such a smooth voice.”
“Thank you,” said Caleigh. She liked this woman, even if she was envious of her looks. She was warm and friendly. “How many others are you auditioning, and when will you make a decision?”
Hugh raised his eyebrows. Apparently he wasn’t used to woman taking the initiative. Well, he’d best get used to it if he hired her. Caleigh wasn’t one to be a shrinking violet.
“We have three more to see,” said Sterling, shuffling through papers on a clipboard, “and then we’ll make a decision and let you know.”
“And when might that be?” She kept a smile on her face so Hugh wouldn’t think she was too brash. This time the corners of his mouth turned up, and it looked like he was trying to stifle a laugh.
“A few days,” said Sterling.
“Do we have her telephone number?” asked Blair, peering over the clipboard in Sterling’s hands.
“Yes. It’s here.”
“Are you staying in Chicago, or will we need to call long distance to Philadelphia?” asked Hugh.
“I’m in Chicago for a few days.” Caleigh held his gaze. She was seized with a sudden urge to provide him with the address of her hotel and to leave a room key at the front desk.
“I’ll show you out, Caleigh” said Blair.
“I look forward to hearing from you,” said Caleigh, glancing over her shoulder and giving Hugh a long glance. She walked slowly so the men could watch her ass under the tight skirt.
* * * *
“Do we really need to hear the others?” asked Hugh, as soon as Caleigh and Blair had left the ballroom.
“I think we should at least audition them,” said Sterling, flipping through his papers. “One trained at the Chicago Musical College.”
“I’m not sure I like the idea of hiring someone from Chicago,” said Reeve. “That bad business with Frankie Fillipone wasn’t all that long ago. Plus, Caleigh has exactly the kind of sultry voice we’re looking for.”
“I wasn’t thinking of her voice,” said Hugh, grinning. He was thinking of that curvy ass she’d been so eager to show him. The entire time she sang, his dick had been rock hard as he imagined putting her over his knee and spanking that luscious ass until it was as red as a freshly boiled lobster.
Sterling glared at him. “Knock it off, Hugh. We’ve all agreed that staff is off-limits from now on.”
“I didn’t see you look away when she turned those dark eyes on you.”
Sterling averted his gaze. “That’s not the point.”
“Sure it is.”
“Hugh, we had enough trouble when Leo and Andras got involved with Blair,” said Niko, glancing toward the doors. “If this is going to be an issue for you, maybe you shouldn’t be part of the hiring committee?”
“The trouble we had would have happened whether Leo and Andras had fucked Blair or not,” said Hugh. “She was being hunted by a mob boss. As long as Caleigh isn’t in the same boat, we’ll be fine.”
Footsteps echoed in the hallway. Blair was returning. Hugh lowered his voice. “And besides, I’m not looking to choose a mortal life with Caleigh the way those two chose one with her.” He crooked his thumb toward the doors. “I just want to see if Caleigh fucks as well as she sings.”
* * * *
Sterling sat across from Leo and went over each candidate’s qualifications, and the notes he, Hugh, Reeve, Niko, and Blair had taken while auditioning them. “She’s by far the best singer, and she trained at Juilliard.”
Leo narrowed his eyes. “This isn’t going to be an issue for Hugh, is it? Reeve told me what he said.”
Sterling frowned. The anger at Hugh’s words was still fresh, two days later. Seducing the guests was one thing. They all did that, except for Leo and Andras, of course. But the guests came here expecting it. Staff was different, and a classy dame like Caleigh deserved more consideration than one of the owners musing out loud whether she was a good fuck. “I’ll keep an eye on Hugh.”
“We’ve all tried to keep an eye on Hugh. He’s worse now than ever.”
Sterling sighed and leaned back in his chair. “We’re all worse than ever, Leo. It’s been over twenty years since we were imprisoned on this forsaken rock.”
“You’re not worse. If anything, you’ve withdrawn further into yourself.”
“I’m frustrated and lonely, but I’m also tired of seducing the guests. You and Andras have Blair, and you’re mortal again. It doesn’t affect you anymore like it does the rest of us.”
“That doesn’t mean we don’t remember what it was like.” Leo lowered his voice and frowned. “I was like Hugh when Blair first came here. I didn’t want to let any of them under my skin. I don’t care who Hugh sleeps with. I only care that we don’t compromise our secrecy by having one of us fool around with a member of the staff again.”
“None of us hold that against you or Andras. Surely you know that?”
“I know, but in retrospect it was dangerous. I still can’t believe Frankie never sent more men here to look for Blair or didn’t show up himself.”
“And now he’s dead, killed by his own men. You did read that in the Trib last week, didn’t you?”
Leo snorted. “Yeah. Talk about karma in action. But I wonder who took over his operation? The Trib won’t be printing that little tidbit.”
“I don’t know, but let’s not assume his replacement cares what we’re doing up here.” Sterling tapped a finger on the papers in front of Leo. “Back to this list.” Sterling didn’t want to talk about mob bosses. He wanted to hire Caleigh. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on, and if she was off limits, so what? He could still go down to the club every night she performed and listen to her sing. And, he could keep Hugh from bothering her.
He’d never admit this to anyone but Leo, but he was sick and tired of their punishment. He no longer wanted to seduce the guests and indulge in vices without consequences. He wanted true love like Leo and Andras had found with Blair. No one knew how much he envied them. It was true he’d withdrawn, and for good reason. He was miserable.
“Sterling, if you think Caleigh Kensington is the best one to hire, then I say give her the gig. She’s all right with moving up here from Philly?”
“Yes. She’s worked all over the Eastern Seaboard, including New York. She told Blair she wants to get away from big cities, and thinks this place is perfect.”
Leo frowned. “What else did she say? She’s not hiding from anyone, is she?”
Sterling shook his head, hoping Leo wouldn’t push the matter. “No, she’s clean.” Sterling had no idea if Caleigh was hiding from someone or why she’d want to live and work so far away from a large city. Blair hadn’t been able to get much out of her while she walked her to the parking lot. If this backfired, they’d blame him, but right now Sterling didn’t care. He had to see Caleigh again, and listen to that smoky, sexy voice.
“All right then,” said Leo. “Let’s telephone her and offer her the job.”