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milaramos
March 15th, 2008, 06:35 PM
Torrid Teasers 44: Touch of Fire
To buy this book, click here (http://whiskeycreekpresstorrid.com/authors/Mila_Ramos.shtml)!
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Prologue<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>
She leaned against the cold window pane; the vibrations of the storm mirrored those in her mind. Love was a tricky four-letter word. Depending on the person and the situation, it flipped a coin on whether it ended good or bad. Her ended relationship with Jared Malloy consisted of bad from beginning. What she construed with the man, the heavens only knew. Jared never was the man she loved.<o:p></o:p>

Another roll of thunder passed over the city. The freezing cold outside matched her heart. She kept her hand on the windowpane and looked to the street below.<o:p></o:p>

I just need to hold out a bit longer. That is the last time. No more . She curled her hand into a fist. Tears slid down her cheeks as she repeated her feelings over and over. I have to start living; I can’t…do this anymore. C’mon, Kat, wake up!<o:p></o:p>

Taking a deep breath, she straightened her back and held poised her posture, shoulders back, head high. Once a dancer, she dedicated her entire being to the art of ballet. If she had continued with her dream, she could have been one of the leading dance choreographers instead of mending from another abusive round. When did she give up on herself? When did staring out the window with a busted lip and a black eye become okay?<o:p></o:p>

She was a beautiful woman inside and out and deserved another shot, with the hazel eyes of a person with a warm, kind personality, full lips she constantly chewed on, and a dancer’s frame with lithe and agile limbs. But it was her hair that defined her: fiery, auburn hair with riotous curls. They were tricky curls that behaved when they wanted and cooperated on rare occasions. Yet, those gifts couldn’t be seen through the dark glasses, baseball cap, and heavy sweats.<o:p></o:p>

No more, never again .<o:p></o:p>

“Now, ma’am, may I have your name for the record?”<o:p></o:p>

Kat turned around, took off her glasses and looked at the agent square in the eyes. “Katherine O’Brien.”<o:p></o:p>

“Miss O’Brien, you stated you wished to press charges against Jared Malloy and testify in the grand jury case against the Roman family?”<o:p></o:p>

The moment arrived. Either she took charge of her life, or continued down the same road. She nodded; the beginning of a long-buried dream stimulated her nerves.<o:p></o:p>

“Miss O’Brien, I would like to introduce you to Agent Thomas Walters. He will be helping you every step of the way.”<o:p></o:p>

Kat shook hands with the man she surmised was at least five years older. Though his rather towering frame was a bit intimidating, it was his warm gray eyes and kind smile that assured her for the first time—in quite a long time—everything would be okay.
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<o:p> </o:p>

Chapter 1<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>
Several Years Later…<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Thud.<o:p></o:p>

“Aw sh…that’s gonna leave a mark.”<o:p></o:p>

Jumping on one foot, Kat saw the culprit. The deep mahogany oak table, known to take its aggressions out on her, had managed to sneak from its current location and move to a new one. This elusive plot was executed through a long, drawn-out process, and resulted in another stubbed toe. That wasn’t the surprising part. Not only did this table do the stealth operation with fast and efficient ease, but managed to get Murphy’s Law to call her at that exact moment, especially when the phone was located fifty feet away in the receptionist area and didn’t have an answering machine attached to it.<o:p></o:p>

“Kat, are you going to get the phone?” her business and dancing partner, Adrian Jackson, yelled from the back of the studio.<o:p></o:p>

She rolled her eyes and hobbled closer to the phone. “No, I’m going to wait for you to do it, Adrian!”<o:p></o:p>

As she made her way to the receptionist area, the pain doubled. “Thank you for calling Dancing Spirits; how may I help you?” The voice of her long-time friend and confidant distracted her from the swelling toe. “Hi, Cassandra, what’s up?”<o:p></o:p>

“Kat, sweetie, are you busy?”<o:p></o:p>

“Yeah, Cass. Remember, I have that benefit performance?”<o:p></o:p>

“That’s why I’m asking; Noah wanted to bring you food before the performance.”<o:p></o:p>

“That’s so sweet. Tell that angel of course he can.” Her god-son, Noah, was too precious for words. “I’ll be here for a few more hours before heading out.”<o:p></o:p>

“Okay, we’ll be down soon.”<o:p></o:p>

“Bye, Cass.”<o:p></o:p>

Kat placed the phone on its receiver and hopped up on the counter to better examine the site of pain. Focused on her task, she didn’t notice Adrian entering.<o:p></o:p>

“My goodness, woman, I’m amazed you have feet.” Adrian chuckled as he filed the papers in his hand. “We should get beepers on your toes—ear-piercing shrills any time you come close to a corner. Then again, knowing you, you’d actually hit those walls with the intent of destroying those shoes.”<o:p></o:p>