It’s shaping up for a hot summer down here and a thunderstorm this evening made me think of my story about rain catchers; “Rauni’s Mistress”.
Rauni’s Mistress can be found at:
In 2147 the world is devastated by global warming. Pollution has poisoned the earth, the seas and the air. Fresh, clean water is as precious as gold.
Tasmania is the center of the southern hemisphere's fresh water distribution industry and in the squalid red light district of Hobart Town, Roxy Talia earns her living as a porn star to make ends meet, but yearns to attend university.
Tobin Kane is an out of work captain of the Rauni, an independent rain catcher. He follows the monsoon rains across the ocean, collecting the precious fresh water before it falls into the polluted seas. He and his crew have been blackballed within the industry, but Tobin is determined to find a way to keep his ship.
Keeping his beloved Rauni involves Roxy. The sexy vixen holds the key to saving his future and has been the star of his lusty fantasies for years.
Tobin will do whatever it takes to realize his goal -- even if he has to kidnap Roxy to do it…
Five Angels from Jean from Fallen Angel Romance Reviews
"The characters of Talon and Roxy are complex and engage the reader's interest; they have brains, too."
Four Hearts from Dee Daily from The Romance Studio
"This is a great story of good people doing what ever they have to in a world full of greed and corruption."
With wide eyes and a madly beating heart, Roxy Talia watched the tall, good- looking stranger enter the crowded hotel bar.
He was absolutely perfect.
His crisp uniform proclaimed him to be an officer, non-military, a merchant mariner of some sort. Standing in the doorway, silhouetted against the street lights, he presented an imposing figure, broad shoulders, trim waist, nicely shaped legs. Once he'd removed his face mask, he'd scanned the dimly lit bar room with barely disguised distaste. His chiseled features wore a sad, resigned expression.
When his dark, intense eyes settled on her where she sat at the bar and the spare stool beside her, Roxy's heart fluttered. Her nipples had hardened the instant his eyes met hers. That warm feeling in her belly she'd thought she'd never feel again washed through her like a spring tide.
He fit her needs exactly, but what was it about him? Her response was as bewildering as it was desired. She'd often thought these last few years that she'd become anesthetized to good-looking men. After all, she had her pick yet here he was, the man she had assumed didn't exist, shattering her jaded expectations.
He strode toward Roxy, fixing her with an unwavering gaze.
Roxy gasped, and her sudden intake of breath surprised her. She was actually nervous at the approach of this man. She took a deep breath to calm herself and tamped down the fear that her disguise was not good enough.
That afternoon, Roxy had taken considerable steps to prepare her deception. She'd dressed in a conservative business suit with a white blouse and knee-length gray skirt. She'd chosen platform stilettos to give her height, a tight bandeau to minimize her bust and a platinum wig to disguise her natural jet hair. For her face, she'd applied ivory foundation and powder to hide her golden skin, blue lipstick to alter the line of her lips and a fake mole on her right cheek. To hide her trademark green eyes, she'd inserted blue contacts and added azure eyeliner and turquoise shadow to alter their shape.
The hodgepodge of styles, business and tart, created a jarring amalgam of looks that would confuse any observer. At least that was what she'd intended. She believed herself to be unrecognizable and the three drunks who had tried to pick her up so far tonight hadn't seen her for who she truly was.
This man, however, was sober. It would be the test of her preparation and acting skills to fool him. He towered above her, his face impassive, his attitude commanding. "This seat taken?"
His voice was like honey. It flowed into her ear like sweet syrup, warming her all the way down to her fluttering belly.
"No," she said. The voice she'd decided on was deeper than her own, husky with a faint European accent to hide the Australasian nasal twang. She'd been practicing all afternoon, intending it to lead any listener to think she was just another environmental refugee trying to fit into Hobart Town and not quite succeeding.
The officer sat down. There hadn't been even a flicker of recognition. If anything, he displayed total indifference.
Roxy relaxed. Surreptitiously she gazed at the stranger in the bar's mirror. In between the bottles of imported and domestic Aqua and Hydra water and the ubiquitous range of Gills Beer, she considered his heavily defined features, trying to get a handle on his personality, as if facial lines told you anything about the inner workings of the mind.
His ebony skin, wearing the sheen of perspiration which was unavoidable in Hobart Town's enervating humidity, glowed in the bar's dim lighting. His short, black hair was closely cropped, exposing a nicely shaped skull. His face was heavily textured and seemed to attract the shadows.
"I'm Tobin," he said and she jumped in surprise.
He was staring back at her reflection. "I'm Su Sha Xie," she said, quickly adopting the name of her worst enemy in kindergarten, a petulant little girl who once had stolen her crayons.
His dark eyes narrowed. "Funny, you don't look Chinese."
"It's a long story."
Tobin signaled to the barman. "I'm not into long stories today. Want another?"
He fished out his card, scowled and flicked it to the barman. "Wanna sit?"
She followed his gaze to a newly vacated table in the corner. "I thought we were."
"Something more comfortable."
"I'm not a hooker," she said.
"I didn't think you were." He stood up and waited, looking down at her. "Coming?"
Tobin's self-confidence was staggering. Then she figured out what it really was. He didn't care if she came with him or not. She was just a woman to him, one of thousands out on this hot Hobart night. Roxy quelled her momentary annoyance by reminding herself that this was exactly why she was here in disguise. She wanted, for once, to be just an ordinary woman.
The barman returned with two beers. Tobin took his card, picked up the bottles and, weaving through a group of drunken marines, strode over to the table.
Roxy followed. The view of his physique from behind was as impressive as from the front. His broad shoulders gave way to bulging biceps which were barely contained by the short sleeves of his shirt. He sported a trim waist, slim hips and oh so tight buns atop sturdy but shapely legs. The musculature of which screamed both stamina and strength.
Roxy approved. Unlike the men she knew, Tobin's body lacked the artificial contours gained in the gym. He was used to real work, and hard work at that.
Tobin sat down without waiting for her. "I meant it. I'm not a hooker."
"I believe you." He took a swig of his beer, his eyes fixed on hers. "I'm not looking for a hooker."
"What are you looking for?"
He took a swig of beer and motioned to the chair.
"So, keeping it short, what's your story?" she asked finally, putting an amused tone in her voice.
He looked into his beer. "No potted histories, please. Let me tell you who you are and then I'll tell you who I am."
Her heart stopped. Damn it, he'd recognized her after all. She'd hoped she could have at least one encounter with someone who didn't know who she was. Her anticipation of the night she'd planned collapsed and the despair in the bottom of her chest stirred.
"We are two of a kind," he said slowly. "You tell me you're not a hooker, I say I believe you. Then you tell me again to make sure. You are balancing on stiletto heels to make you appear taller than you really are. You are wearing an appalling wig and, geeze, to apply all that makeup you must have used a bricklayer's trowel. So, I'm assuming you don't want to be recognized."
His eyes trapped her in an inescapable gaze and she felt like she was falling into their dark depths. Within her chest her heart thudded like a prisoner beating against prison bars and in her ears, her blood roared. She could barely breathe waiting for him to say her name and shatter her desire. She so much wanted this stranger not to recognize her.
"You don't want to be recognized," he repeated. "Well, that's fine by me. I don't want to know who you really are, and I'll believe whatever you tell me."
Confusion roiled inside her mind. What game was he playing? Did he recognize her or not?
Roxy cleared her throat. "You said we are two of a kind."
"Well, you see, Su, I don't want to be me tonight either. So the reason I'm here, in this bar in this dodgy hotel in this stinking rotten town, is to be anyone but me, okay? Like you, I want to be someone else, if just for the night."
copyright 2012 Changeling Press, LLC
Cheers from Down Under
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