Excerpt from The Lion in Russia


This is one of favorite scenes from the book, The Lion in Russia (Pussycat Death Squad #2):

“Doesn’t look like your boy is coming,” Deringer said as he took up a position beside her. He stood close enough to portray the look of an ardent suitor, but not so close as to intimate a consummated affair.

“He’ll be here. Gianni is one of his best friends. He wouldn’t miss his party.”

“I don’t know why you couldn’t just call him up and tell him you’re ready to go to bed with him.”

Vries rolled her eyes. “Because I’m not a Bond girl.”


“It’s a good thing you’re so pretty. Otherwise I don’t know how you would ever get a date. That’s not how it’s done you have to…” She broke off, surprised by the sudden grimness of his expression. Before she could question him a sudden awareness washed over her. Leo is here, her spidey senses were telling her. She moved closer to Deringer who immediately picked up on her movement and leaned in as though whispering sweet nothings in her ear.

“He’s dead ahead at high noon, sweetheart. Looking daggers at us,” Deringer said in not quite a whisper.

Vries followed Dare’s gaze and locked onto the glacial gray of Leo’s eyes. Deringer was right; he did look pissed. She took a deep breath as she forced herself to maintain control when deep inside she had to admit the man scared the living hell out of her. He began moving toward them with a calm deliberation that reminded of a scene from Jaws. For a fanciful moment she even thought she heard the shark’s theme music as Leo cut a swathe through the crowd with the single-mindedness of an apex predator, his gaze never leaving hers as she stared, mesmerized and captured in his thrall. She was being stalked and though she should be terrified,

every nerve ending in her body tingled in anticipation. Desperately longing to know what he would do. Knowing what she wanted him to do. Even simple autonomic responses like breathing seemed unnecessary and she just stood there waiting for him to reach her side. When he took her in his arms she responded immediately to the warm embrace. His mouth took hers like a conquering warrior all soft tongue and firm lips refusing to accept or even consider anything but her complete surrender. Not that she was capable of anything else. He tasted just as she’d always imagined he would, masculine and woodsy, almost smoky though she knew he didn’t use tobacco. It was the way he smelled too, making him distinctive in a room full of men wearing expensive designer fragrances Leo smelled only like himself, and her entire being absorbed the aroma wanting to synthesize it into her own DNA.

It wasn’t until he raised his head that she realized that a minor hush had fallen over their little corner of the room. At the moment she didn’t care. Instead she stared into his eyes, which were usually a soft gray, but right now his pupils were so dilated that his eyes were almost black, almost obscuring the lighter silver ring that encircled his pupils. Though she could breathe she was still incapable of speech.

“Good evening Vries. Surprised to see you here,” Leo said.

It annoyed her that he could be so unaffected when it was all she could do to remain upright, and actually she probably would’ve collapsed had she not still been pressed so tightly against him. And that’s when she realized he wasn’t indifferent after all. There was a faint tremor in the arms that still encircle her waist, and she could feel his erection pressed against the vee of her legs. That might explain why he hadn’t stepped away as their embrace had certainly superseded the norm of a public greeting, even between lovers.

Vries stepped back anyway. She would never regain coherence standing so close to him. To her relief her legs supported her and she could provide a reasonable response. “I can’t imagine why. Gianni gives the best parties in the city, and you know I never miss a good party.” She nodded toward Deringer who was staring at both of them looking very annoyed, the frown marring his aristocratic forehead. “Do you know my–uh–friend?” she asked hesitating just enough to imply there was more to the relationship. When Leo shook his head in the negative she made the introductions.

Leo gave Deringer a narrow-eyed stare. “You weren’t seeing anyone the last time I was in town.”

“That was over a year ago. Besides, as I said, Deringer and I are friends, nothing more.”

A surprised expression passed over the planes of Deringer’s face. Vries knew it wasn’t real, but she could tell by the way he stiffened next to her that Leo believed the act.

“If you say so,” Deringer murmured. “Then again, you told me that the two of you are just friends as well.”

Leo made a sound that was close to a growl as a human could make. Vries pursed her lips hoping Deringer wasn’t over-playing his hand. “We are friends.”

“It certainly didn’t look like it to me,” Deringer snarled in response. He sounded so convincing that for a moment Vries was worried. She knew he didn’t have romantic feelings toward her, but no one listening to their conversation would believe it.

7 thoughts on “Excerpt from The Lion in Russia

  1. Question, will Derringer be getting his own story? Even if it’s a side one, or one of those jobs where there are two love stories and he’s like, a part of the secondary couple? I think I came across him in Dark Star, and I’d pay money to see him to fall for anyone (was it Roshumba in Dark Star, iic?), even if he’s a second stringer. Please, make it so?

  2. Of course, he and Roshonda will have their own story. The title is Love Me Some Him, and it will probably be out this summer. I’m working out my production schedule right now.

  3. Aw snap about Derringer and Roshonda but I really would like a pronuncuation for Vries. I know something is silent in there… don’t laugh I swear I’m college educated!

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