First Time ~ Meeting

There’s a new feature this year called “First Time”. This will be a recurring subject highlighting the first time a pair of our characters do something. 
This month, it’s First Meeting, which is pretty self-explanatory. All of us will include an excerpt where our chosen characters meet for the first time. Sometimes it’ll be already published works. Others, a WIP, or maybe just something we wrote on the blog, once upon a time. Anything is fair game, which makes it fun.

Of course, choosing which couple (or more, lol) to highlight is the truly hard part. I feel like I’m picking favorites, lol. I’ve been debating between Rigs and Addison, or Cannon and Jericho, which is releasing in February. I decided to go with Rigs this month…

It’s not the entire first chapter, lol, but still not short. SORE-ry. Not sorry.

Amazon, and KU


It’s for a good cause. Embrace the suck. Nothing new, there.

He repeated the mantra in his head, turning right at the corner of the building, and smacked into a woman standing with her back to the pathway. He inhaled, juggling both their weight as he took several stumbling steps forward before finally regaining his balance. Soft skin passed beneath his palms as he smoothed his hands down her arms before cupping her elbows and keeping her steady until he knew she wouldn’t fall. The woman grabbed ahold of his forearm for a few more moments, digging her fingers into his muscle, before gradually letting her hand fall to her side.

Did he miss the warmth of her touch?

“Shit. Er—sorry, ma’am. I didn’t see you before I was on top of you.”

Damn, had it sounded sexual other than inside his head? Because for the first time since Ice had dragged his ass out of the rubble amidst a blanket of gunfire, Rigs felt sexual. Maybe not like his old self, but there was a definite stirring in his pants—the kind he hadn’t experienced since before nearly dying. Since simply getting through each day took every ounce of effort. Yet, one touch of her silky flesh beneath his palms, and bam—his dick took notice. 

Thankfully, it wasn’t a full-on boner. Just a twitch. A small surge of blood. But after being basically dead meat between his legs for eighteen months, it felt like a raging hard-on.

Of course, she hadn’t turned and raised her gaze to his, yet. Hadn’t done much of anything other than gasp and breathe. But he knew, in about three seconds, the warm feeling building in his chest would be extinguished. Turn cold and unforgiving like her stare.

She shook her head, inhaling roughly when the motion seemed to shift her balance, again. Rigs stepped closer, holding her tight and praying his dick didn’t decide to swell to full attention. Because there’d be no way to hide it from her. Not with her body hugging his, her ass rubbing against his crotch. Damn, another few passes and he wouldn’t be able to will his growing erection away. Wouldn’t be able to do anything besides apologize after the fact.

The woman steadied herself, her small hands covering his at her waist. “That’s okay. I hadn’t realized I was standing so close to the corner. Guess my count was off.”

Her count was off?

“If I’d been completely focused, I would have noticed you in time to side-step around you.”

She chuckled, gently untangling them then taking a step away as she half turned. “No, really…”

Her voice cut into a gasp as her head whipped around, throwing her off-balance. He caught a glimpse of wide eyes in profile before she tanked to the right. Rigs lunged for her, catching her before she’d tumbled onto the stone path, then tugged her against his chest, again. He splayed one hand across her stomach, the other up by her rib cage as he kept her balanced.

Her heart kicked against his palm, and he didn’t miss the increased rhythm. The shiver that shook through her, or the sound of her frantically drawing in air.

“Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head, again, visibly pulling herself together. “No. I just…I thought for a moment there was a flash of…” She sighed, then slowly slipped free. “It’s nothing. Thank you.”

Rigs stayed close, sweeping his gaze the length of her. He took the opportunity to study her before she finally turned, and it all fell apart. To take in her blonde hair swept up into some kind of clip, and the silver pair of earrings dangling from dainty lobes. Her black dress skimming her form, flaring out just below her waist. It went over one shoulder, exposing the long sleek line of her neck and the hint of her other shoulder blade. Her pale skin gleamed in the early moonlight, and he wished he could hold on to her a bit longer. Give himself time to memorize the feel of her smooth flesh against his hands. The beat of her heart against his palm.

Instead, he slowly released her then stepped back. She shifted her weight, and the gently flowing skirt swished around her knees, showing off black boots with only an inch of height.

She finally turned, but before he could see what color her eyes were—or hide the left side of his face like he normally did—he caught a scratch of claws on stone. Rigs spun just as a large dog jumped over one of the planters, landing square on his chest. They fell back together, hitting hard. A tongue swept up the side of his face—right across the raised scars—followed by a playful bark.

“No. Blade. Leave it.”

Her voice barely sounded above a whisper, but the dog stilled, turned ever so slightly before retreating, circling her ankles then sitting at her left heel.

Rigs pushed onto his hands, watching her as he shook his head. Just his luck, he’d bumped into one of the dog handlers—maybe one still in training because the dog’s behavior seemed…off. Though, he’d thought all the bomb-sniffing dogs had left once the auction had started.

The woman reached down and clicked a leash on the brute, her other hand rising to her mouth. “Oh my god, are you okay? First, I nearly trip you, and now, this. I’m so sorry. I’d just let him off to have a bit of a run—he gets nervous around people sometimes, and there’re so many inside. We’re both doing some training—adjusting, really—and we needed some air, but I thought we were alone out here. Did he hurt you?”

Rigs laughed. Fuck, he tried not to, but her words came out as an endless stream, all pushed together as if it had been one long word. And the way she was staring at him—Christ, it knocked him off his feet in a completely different way. No horror. No revulsion. Not even idle curiosity that he got from people who wanted to know how he’d gotten the marks.

No, her face was relaxed and flushed, and so damn pretty, it made his chest hurt. Right in the center. Over his withered, shredded heart. She extended a hand—off to the right and not really close enough to help him up—but he didn’t need it. He rose easily to his feet, brushing the dust off his pants. 

She jerked upward once he’d risen, lips pursed, her gaze searching in front of her. “Are you okay?”

“Fine. He’s a big boy. What was his name?”

She smiled as she angled to better face him, one hand gently stroking the dog’s head as it sat at her feet, tail thumping, tongue lolling out one side. “Blade.”

“Blade. That’s…different.”

“It’s after the movie. The trilogy. Wesley Snipes. Vampires.”

“Right. He was some kind of half-breed savior or something.”

“Anyway, I’m really sorry. I don’t usually let him loose away from home. He gets…excited.”

“And playful. Haven’t known a bomb dog to tackle someone who isn’t carrying explosives.” But, maybe the animal just had really good instincts. Could smell that Rigs had made a career out of blowing shit up. For all he knew, he had C4 in his blood. Sweated powder out his skin.

If anything, her smile widened, and he swore he heard her chuckling. “Actually, he’s not one of the bomb dogs.” She fidgeted with the end of the handle. “He used to be. Served two years in Afghanistan, but he was…injured. He recovered,” she added as she scratched Blade’s head, again. “But he’s…got some issues. No one would take him, would even consider trying to retrain him. Except I have this friend, Carl, who’s amazing. He trains animals for movies and law enforcement and for personal assistance, and he’s always rescuing them off of death row—giving them a second chance. He figured we’d make a good match, since I needed…” She sighed. “I’m rambling, aren’t I?”

He didn’t miss the breathy quality to her voice or the hint of flush on her cheeks and neck. If he didn’t know better, he’d have thought there was something sparking between them. One of those instant attractions he’d heard about but had never experienced.

“It’s fine. I did nearly bowl you over. So, he’s part of the security here, then? You’re training?”

“Not exactly. We’re just…” She swallowed. “It’s a long story. Anyway, I’m really sorry he knocked you down.”

Rigs narrowed his eyes. There was something different about her. The way she kept tilting her head. The tone of her voice. While he had excellent night vision—maybe not as perfect in his left eye, anymore—the way she was standing with her back to the moonlight, the deep shadows masked most of her expressions, making it hard to get a true reading on her. He kept trying to see what color her eyes were, but he couldn’t make them out in the dim light.

He offered her a smile and prayed he wasn’t simply baring his teeth. “No harm done. I hope I didn’t ruin your break.”

“No. I was just about to call him and head back in. If I hide out here much longer, I might never leave.”

She’d said it as a joke. He knew it, but it was painfully obvious there was a healthy dose of truth in her words.

“You’re not a fan of auctions?”

“I’m not a fan of crowds.” She cringed as soon as the words were free before lifting her chin and pursing her lips. “Enjoy your walk. It’s a lovely night. Must be why there were others taking advantage of it earlier.”

“There are others out here?”

“There were. I mean, I heard a lot of footsteps. Scuffing noises. So… But they pretty much stopped after I came out about ten minutes ago.”

Rigs scanned the area. The auction was in full swing. It didn’t make sense that more than one or two of the guests would be walking the grounds. The hairs on his neck prickled.

“I’ll keep an eye out. Perhaps, I’ll see you later. Though, I’ll try not to crash into you, next time.”

The muscle in her jaw clenched, and she looked away. “Right. See you later. Blade, up.”

The dog stood, moving a few steps over with her to a bench that was hidden in the shadows. She turned away from Rigs, fusing with something before shifting back. She had a handle in her left hand, a folded cane in her right.

She seemed to orient herself. “Blade, forward.”

Blade started up the path, walking diligently at her side. Rigs stared after her, unable to do anything other than watch her disappear around the building. Everything shifted into place. Her odd behavior. The dog. Her seeming indifference to his scars. If he hadn’t been half-focused on the way she’d felt in his arms for those precious few moments, or how much he wished he could get her back into them, he would have realized it straight off. Wouldn’t have been an utter ass and told her he’d see her later.

Because his mystery woman wouldn’t see anything later. She was blind.


And that’s it for me. Please join the rest of the ladies and see which First Meeting they showcased…

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Kayleigh  | Gwendolyn  |  Siobhan

7 Replies to “First Time ~ Meeting”

  1. I loved this story! This was an amazing first meeting that only got better (or worse, depending on pov) as the evening progressed. Fantastic characters, though Blade was my pick for hero of the book! I think I may have to read this again.

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