Coming October 31, 2017!
Totally His is the third book in the Opposites Attract series coming from me and Forever Romance (Grand Central Publishing)!
Theater geek Sophie Birch has put everything into running her own playhouse-until she almost loses everything. But hot cop Finn Marshall is staging a play of his own… starring a sexy drama nerd as his leading lady.
Totally His is up for pre-order now! :)
© copyright Erin Nicholas, 2017
Finn shoved the office door open, but as it banged against an interior wall, he realized the room was empty. The lights were on, the computer was still running, but there was no one in sight. He also smelled smoke.
He turned a full circle, not sure where to go next. It was a typical office, and there was a safe under the desk in front of him. So she hadn't come for the money. Well, what the hell?
"She's not here," he told Tripp.
"She's in there somewhere."
Just then Finn heard a door slam shut somewhere behind him. He swung toward the sound. "Hang on." He moved back into the lobby just in time to see the woman step out from a room behind the coffee machine.
Her eyes went wide when she saw him.
"Boston PD! Stop!" Finn shouted.
She had covered up. Kind of. She now wore a robe, short, sheer, and unbelted. Which really did nothing to cover his view of her panties and bra. Or all that skin.
And maybe that was why she suddenly took off at a run.
Finn stared after her for a moment, a little stunned. She was actually running from him?
"She's running," he told Tripp grimly.
"You need backup?" Tripp still sounded amused. The bastard.
"Maybe. You know anyone good?" Finn asked, starting after her.
"Ha ha. You need to hang up so you can run? If you huff and puff into the phone, I'll make fun of you."
"If you make fun of me, I'll kick your ass on our next run. Again."
"Go get the girl," Tripp said.
Finn disconnected, mentally calling his friend names. But nothing he hadn't called him out loud and in person.
The woman made it to the other end of the lobby and through one of the doors leading into the main theater before Finn got to her. He grabbed the door as it was swinging shut, nearly smashing his fingers. The lights were off in the inner theater, but as he plunged into the darkness, he got a big whiff of whatever body spray or perfume she wore. He took a deep breath. It was nice. Lemony. Sweet and…
Finn scowled and turned his flashlight back on. He was thinking about how she smelled? How about the smell of smoke that was going to be chasing them both pretty soon?
"Hey!" he called into the theater. "You can't be in here. Just come out with me now. No problem. You're not in trouble."
He heard what sounded like papers rustling behind him, and he swung around. He had to lift the beam of light above his eye level. The sound was coming from the room up behind the rows of theater seats, where the lighting and sound equipment were. The door to the booth was hanging open, and he heard muttered swearing in addition to the papers.
He started in that direction, but suddenly the door slammed shut.
He strode to the door and banged his fist against it. "You have to come out, ma'am. It's not safe for you to stay in the building."
"Just give me a damned minute!" she shouted through the door.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, I can't do that," Finn said.
"I have to find something. Then I'm coming right out."
"Ma'am, the fire could be spreading. You need to evacuate the building." Finn shone his flashlight on the door, wondering if he could break it down.
"I will!" she called back. "I promise."
"Ma'am, I will have to remove you myself if you don't come out immediately."
"Oh, for fuck's sake!" he heard her exclaim. Something in the room banged-a file cabinet closing, if he had to guess. Then it sounded as if she slid something across the floor. Like a chair or a table.
As something heavy thumped against the other side of the door, Finn frowned and grabbed the doorknob, turning it easily. It wasn't locked. He started to push it open and realized that yes, she'd slid something across the floor-and put whatever it was in front of the door. He shoved hard, moving the object several inches. He could see now that she was bent over a short filing cabinet, a small flashlight held in her teeth as she rifled through the folders frantically.
Maybe she wasn't going for the safe in the front office, but she was clearly messing with someone's stuff. "Ma'am, this is your last warning. Stop what you're doing and come with me."
She took the flashlight from her teeth and glanced over, her eyes meeting his. She didn't look scared. She looked irritated. Her dark hair lay against her cheek, her mouth was a grim line, and the beam from his flashlight easily penetrated the sheer fabric of her robe, highlighting the curves of her right breast and hip. They stared at one another for several beats, and Finn felt heat sweep through him. Damn, that was stupid. And careless. He was working here.
But she broke the spell a moment later when she bent back over the files, her fingers flying over the folders. Okay, well, he'd warned her. Whatever she'd been able to move in front of the door wouldn't slow Finn down much.
He put his shoulder against the door and shoved. The table scraped across the floor, and as soon as the opening was wide enough, Finn slipped inside.
She straightened, looking even more irritated now. "I have to check one more place."
He shook his head. "No way. Let's go."
"Officer, I understand what you're doing. But I promise you that I'm not going near the fire. I just need to-"
Enough of this. Finn stalked to her, put a hand around her upper arm, and turned to remove her from the sound booth. And the building.
She dug her heels in, though, pulling against his hold. "Hey, you can't-"
"Oh yes I can," he told her calmly, careful to keep his eyes off her body. The heat from her skin had immediately soaked through the thin robe, and Finn felt it traveling from his palm up his arm. "I've given you several opportunities to cooperate."
"You're arresting me?" she asked.
"Are you doing something that you need to be arrested for?" he asked, moving her toward the door, despite her resistance.
"No! I need to get something. It's very important. It belongs to a friend of mine. It's irreplaceable."
"Ma'am," he said calmly, "don't make me carry you out of here."
He really didn't want to carry her out. That would involve him touching a lot more of her. And the fact that she was barely clothed would become even more of an issue. As it was, he was far too aware not only of her body heat and how much skin was on display, but also that the scent surrounding her was definitely lemony. And it was completely inappropriate to acknowledge how badly he wanted to take a really big, deep breath.
"You can't give me two more minutes?" she asked.
"Absolutely not." Finn took a risk and glanced at her. Then gritted his teeth against the sheen in her eyes. It wasn't as if he'd never had someone cry when he was trying to get them to do something they didn't want to do. But sometimes it got to him and sometimes it didn't. This time it did.
She pulled against his grip and leaned all her weight into fighting the forward motion across the room.
Well, shit. He'd kind of figured it would come to this, but he wasn't sure he was ready to touch her more. Still, it didn't look as if he had a lot of choice. Reminding himself that he was a professional, he bent and hooked an arm behind her knees, looped the other around her back, and lifted her.
She gasped, and for a moment she didn't fight. And he thought maybe the hard part was over. But as he headed out the door, trying to ignore how warm and soft and fucking lemony she was, she started to wiggle.