#SampleSunday: HARDBALL by V.K. Sykes

For #Sample Sunday, here’s another excerpt from Hardball, the sexy contemporary romance I wrote with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes.  Nate, a superstar baseball player, and Holly, a serious and rather shy pediatric surgeon, have been dating for several weeks – and it’s been hot and heavy.  But problems for both of them at work have been putting strains on their relationship, so Nate has surprised Holly with a get-away weekend to the Florida coast.  After dinner in a five star restaurant, they head out to the beach…

A sliver of moonlight allowed Nate and Holly to pick their way along the narrow path through the dunes.  He glanced back at the lights of the Ritz shining behind them.  Ahead lay only the darkness of the sand and the glow of the moonlight on the still water.  With the low tide, the beach seemed to stretch forever toward the sea.

They had ditched their shoes at the end of the fake wood walkway that traversed most of the wide dunes between the hotel and the shoreline.  Holly looked elegant in her sexy cocktail dress, but as for him—well, bare feet and rolled up trouser legs didn’t exactly go with the Armani look.

Leading the way, wine bottle under one arm and a long-stemmed glass stuffed in each outside pocket of his jacket, he swept the beach ahead with the small flashlight a valet had retrieved from the BMW.  Holly followed right behind, her left hand loosely gripping the back of his jacket and her right clutching the blanket.

Suddenly, she cried out.  “Ouch!”

“What’s wrong?”  He swung around and flashed the light in her direction.

“Man, that really hurt!”  Holly flopped down in the sand like a little kid and examined the bottom of her foot.  “I must have I stepped on a sharp shell.  I think it’s okay, though.  Just stings a lot.”

Nate trained the flashlight on her foot.  Just inches away, he noticed a big, bumpy oyster shell poking up out of the otherwise pristine sand.  “You sure you’re okay?”

She nodded as she dusted the sand from her foot and then held out her hand.  He grasped it and helped her up.  She balanced on one foot for a moment before gingerly putting the injured foot down.  “It was more a shock than anything.  No big deal.  Let’s keep going.”

“As soon as we stop, I’ll kiss it better,” he murmured in her ear.

“Maybe I should step on things more often,” she said in a sex-laden voice as she reached around his neck and leaned her body into him.

Nate dropped the wine and the flashlight onto the soft sand and pulled her against him, his hands reaching down to the small of her waist and then to her bottom.  Feeling the smooth, rounded warmth in his hands as his mouth eagerly found hers made him hard in a split-second.  He knew Holly could feel his erection against her stomach, as she moaned and melted against him.

“I thought you wanted to keep going?” Nate growled, running a string of damp kisses over her ear and neck.

“I do,” Holly whispered.  “But just far enough.  We’re too exposed here.”

“You had this planned all along, didn’t you?”  He squeezed her waist, desire ripping through him.

“Are you complaining?” she retorted, giving him a nudge in the back.  “It’s time you found us a nice, private place.”

Small dunes covered in sea oats lined the beach as far into the distance as Nate could see.  They slowly walked south past some medium-height condo buildings until he spotted a kind of small semi-circle formed by two dunes.   He could see that it offered protection from view on three sides—only people walking by on the beach directly in front of the indentation could see inside it.  And it was highly unlikely that anybody else would be walking here on this dark beach, so late at night.

“Over there,” he said, pointing.  “That’s our spot.”

Holly gave him a thumbs-up and quickened her pace, despite her foot.  Nate laughed and followed.  By the time he caught up to her in the dunes, she had already spread out the blanket.  He set the wine bottle down, pulled the glasses and corkscrew out of his pockets and tossed them onto the blanket.  Then he reached for her.

“Oh no,” she protested, sitting down.  “You promised something first.”  She reclined onto her back and gracefully lifted her right leg into the air, wiggling the foot.

“I did, didn’t I?  He sank to his knees and took her slender foot in his hands.  Brushing off the film of fine sand, he kissed it—not just once, but all over, running his lips lightly from her heel to her toes and back again.

“That tickles!” she yelped.  “You, sir, could use a shave.”

“Now look who’s complaining,” he murmured, gently sucking on her little toe.

“Okay,” she sighed, “that’s better.”  She laid back, her hair cascading over on the blanket.  “Do it some more.”

Hardball is available on the Nook, Amazon and at Smashwords for $2.99.  You can read all about it, including another excerpt, on my VK Sykes website.

Have a great Sunday!

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