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The Collector
by Melissa Harlow

Category: Erotica/Romance
Description: Dalton is a man whose job it is to collect debts, by any means necessary. He's been taught to be ruthless and uncaring, business is business. During a routine collection he is offered a bribe to buy more time, a young woman who the other man has kidnapped.

Something about Ava softens him and he not only rescues her, but he kills the man who took her merely because she asks him too. Now he has a lot of problems; what to do with this girl, and how to explain it to his boss...

Ava is relieved that the man is dead and can never hurt her again, but something more sinister is going on and secrets lie hidden in the basement of the house where she was once held captive.

Dalton tries to show her that men can be trusted. Ava doesn't realize just how much danger she's getting herself into when she falls in love with him, and things aren't what they seem to be. Did Ava somehow make the mistake of trusting the wrong man again? Is Dalton really going to be her savior or is he really the ruthless debt collector he was trained to be?
eBook Publisher: Whispers Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: January 2010


20 Reader Ratings:
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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [144 KB]
Words: 32850
Reading time: 93-131 min.

"Talk to me about Robert Arlow," he said. "Get it all out."

She shook her head furiously, "No!"

"I know he hurt you. You don't have to tell me what he did to you if you don't want to. I just want to know one thing."

She looked at him warily. "What?"

"Was he the only man who ever touched you?"

Her eyes narrowed. "What?" she said angrily.

"Had you been with a man before this happened?"

"That's none of your business. Why do you want to know that?"

"Because I don't think you ever were, and all you know now is that you don't want it to happen again."

"I don't know how I feel about anything right now," she said. "I feel empty inside."

"Tell me. If you trust me, then tell me. Is Robert Arlow the only man who ever touched you?"

Her hands flew over her face tightly and she sobbed. Dalton stroked her hair softly. "Its not supposed to be that way, Ava. It won't always be like that.

"I hate to think that all you ever felt with a man was pain. That's not the way you are supposed to feel."

"I know what you are trying to tell me," she said through tears. Her voice lowered to a mere whisper, "You're saying it won't be like that...with you."

His heart thudded. He had thought she was too naive to realize what he was implying.

"It won't be," he promised.

"I know," she said in a small, wavering voice.

Spurred on by the whiskey, and her admission, he pulled her against him tightly. "I won't ever hurt you. I promise. I want to make you feel good."

Her eyes were open wide, "I want you, Dalton, but I'm afraid. I'm all mixed up right now."

"Can I kiss you?"

Her lip trembled. "Do you want to?"

"More than anything."

His mouth was against hers, and her breath bathed his lips.

"I bet your lips are sweet," he murmured. He leaned towards her.

Her lips were as soft as he had imagined they would be. She opened her mouth slightly, and his tongue touched hers. He reached to cup her jaw as he kissed her more deeply. She was moaning quietly in her throat, and his cock was so hard now that it hurt. His tongue stroked hers and he kissed her over and over.

She finally pulled away. Her breathing was harsh and uneven.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" he asked.

"It was nice," she said, with the sweetest little sigh he'd ever heard.

He stroked down the curve of her hip with his hand. Her skin was so soft it was hard to tell where the silk of her nightgown ended.

"Is this okay, me touching you?"

Her eyes were half closed and she sighed again. "Yes."

"Good." He traced her chin line and lowered his hand to her neck, before skimming it gently over her breasts.

"I'm going to touch you." His hand slid down her hip to her thigh. It might be a long time before he'd be inside of her, but he wanted to show her there was more to be experienced at the hands of a man than pain.

He kissed her ear, and breathed against it. "I want you to just lay here and let me touch you. I won't hurt you, Ava. I promise."

Her eyes locked to his, and she swallowed hard. "Where are you going to touch me?"

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