Stealing Chance

stealing-chance-300Chance can divine the future using only a set of dice. This gift is her livelihood but it’s also the reason she’s on the run from a corrupt homicide detective. With the help of her crush, sultry computer savant Ren—a woman on the run for her own reasons—Chance eludes everyone looking for her. Until megastar Devin tracks down his favorite psychic phone line operator.

This happily ever after romance features a sizzling hot actor, spanking and some F/F elements.

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Excerpt

“You hung up on me.”

It was a full second before I worked out that the silky bass voice didn’t belong to Detective Steve. It was my mystery caller.

“That was rather rude of you,” he said, words drawled in amusement.

I ignored the anticipation that wound up my chest and somehow managed to speak a cool question. “What is your psychic query?”

“Do you know why I like to talk to you, Talia?”

“I hope to God it’s something I can change,” I said nearly as sharply as I’d meant to.

He let out one of his soft laughs. “You probably can,” he said in all seriousness. “Wanna try?”

“God yes,” said the paranoid part of me that wanted to be minus one stalker. “What do I have to do?”

“Divine who I am.”

I stared at the faces flickering on the television screen in front of me for a score of silent moments without thinking of a damn thing.

His voice interrupted the blankness I’d achieved. “Or have you already?”

“I haven’t.” I’d wanted to. Many many times. But the fear of running over another homeless man if I used my power for my own gain kept me from doing it. I could do it now without fear of reprisal because he’d demanded it of me.

“You never wanted to know who I was?” The uncertain lift in his voice also held a healthy dose of disbelief. “Even after I told you I was a billionaire, you didn’t wonder?”

“The only reason I’d want to know who you are would be so I could avoid you. And I don’t believe you’re actually a billionaire. Billionaires don’t call psychic hot lines.”

“This one does.” His tone was hard as nails. “Do it, Talia. Grab your dice and tell me who I am.”

My fingers closed over the alphabet die. I lifted my palm with the intention of tossing the object. But I didn’t release it.

Why was he making me do this? Clearly he thought I’d recognize his name. How many billionaires in the world would I know merely by name? I wouldn’t know him unless he’d appeared on my favorite news shows. Even then, I hardly remembered the guest who had been on last night, let alone the names of every other one.

“I don’t keep up on current events,” I said. “I don’t know the names of many billionaires.”

“You’ll know me.”

Something very like a shiver shot up my back. Half of me desperately wanted to know the answer to his query. The other half knew I should hang up on him and block the number.

He let out an impatient puff of air. “I don’t hear any dice.”

“I don’t want to know who you are,” I said, pitching rising. “I don’t want to meet you on Saturday no matter how famous you are. I just want you to leave me alone.”

“Saturday?”

“Oh shit,” I whispered.

My mystery caller’s voice went low and more than a little angry. “Your dice told you that we’d meet on Saturday. What else have you lied about? Did you lie about when I’ll get my award? Was the blonde pregnant with my kid after all?”

“All of that is true. I only lied about us meeting because I don’t want to meet you.”

“You sure about that, Talia?”

I forced myself to ignore how irate that silky bass voice sounded so I could reply with an emphatic, “I’m sure.”

“You’re absolutely fucking sure you have no interest in meeting Devin North?”

My heart jumped clear into my throat upon hearing him snarl out the name of one of the world’s most famous actors. Devin North had made fifty million dollars on his last movie—fifty million dollars for a few months worth of work in which the only hardship had been wearing a strange wig and odd contact lenses.

He wasn’t kidding when he’d said I’d know him.

Which meant only one thing could be true. “You’re not Devin North.”

His laugh was sardonic. “No? What do the dice say, Talia?”

My fingers clenched convulsively on the alphabet die. I was afraid to ask it. The dice never lied, no matter how dearly I wanted them to.

This is my psychic query,” he said. “I want you to roll that die of yours and tell me my fucking name. I have all night to be patient with you. And I’ll keep calling back until you do it.”

He sounded impatient despite his words.

The threat stuck in my craw. “I can block you,” I said. Of course all he need do was get a hold of a second phone. If he truly were Devin North, that would be ridiculously easy for him. He’d have employees galore lingering around whatever mansion he resided.

My mystery caller’s response was a sour warning, “Blocking me is the surest way to get me to where you are on Saturday, sweetheart.”

I clung to the words he’d said at the very beginning of this call—there was something I could change that would stop the phone calls. At least that was what he’d implied. Did he think my learning his identity would change the tone of our conversations?

“What is the caller’s surname,” I asked aloud, and then released the alphabet die.

It landed on the letter N. My heartbeat quickened.

I needed to calm the hell down. N was just one letter. Simply seeing one N didn’t mean he was truly megastar Devin North.

The next letter rolled both improved my mood and lowered my spirits. Triumph surged through me because it was an I rather than an O. He’d lied to me. We were even now. While another far more ridiculous part of me was secretly disappointed that I wasn’t being telephonically stalked by an actor millions drooled over.

“Your surname is Nieter,” I said moments later.

Calmly he replied, “And my Christian name?”

I repeated the question, and then went to work with the die. Sure enough it rolled up the name Devin.

“Devin Nieter,” I informed him. “That’s close but no cigar. Why did you lie?”

“Talia,” he said in a patient tone as if I were a small child he looked after. “Look me up in the Internet Movie Database.”

“I don’t have the Internet,” I lied through my teeth.

There was no soft chuckle when he snapped, “You’re lying to me again. I know you have Internet. It’s how you mark yourself as available on the psychic line. And it’s how you block a caller like you just threatened to do. Look me up in the database.”

“How do you know any of that?” There is a frequency of the human voice that shatters glass, and I was sure I neared it.

“Not all of the operators are as paranoid as you are.”

My fingers shook as I typed in the address on the computer. He was quiet while I did so, perhaps because he could hear the keys depressing. The Wi-Fi wasn’t particularly quick in Indianapolis. As a result the website loaded painfully slowly.

Before I’d finished typing “Devin North” in the search box I exclaimed. “I don’t want to know.”

“You already know.”

And he was right. I had little doubt that the entry for Devin North would say he’d changed his name from Nieter. Now that he’d told me his identity I could hear it in his voice. The tones that floated into my ear weren’t precisely the sounds I’d heard on the television or on the silver screen, but they were close enough.

His silky bass voice, so like the actor’s, demanded, “Where shall we meet on Saturday?”

“I don’t want to meet you.”

The only noise in the space was someone walking by in the corridor.

“Even though I’m Devin North?” He was no longer furious, instead forming the words in slow disbelief.

Especially because you’re Devin North.” I put undue emphasis on the first word because I meant every syllable of it and he needed to know that.

“Why the fuck not?”

It wasn’t really an answer but it was all I was willing to give him. “I’m saving up money to leave the country—”

“Work for me and I’ll give you as much as you need.”

“No.”

“Then what do you want, Chance?”

My sharp intake of air was the only sound I made for several moments.

He’d learned my identity.

I blurted out a reply. “I just want to be left alone.”

And then I blocked his number.

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