|Posted on December 13, 2010 at 12:40 PM|
Topaz Aura Sinclair, aka DJ Bluefire, has been feeling a little lonely this holiday season—the first one she’s spending without her family. She’s even taken on extra gigs just to stay active during the season. At one of her assignments, she meets Sebastian Rosser, an ex-military officer turned caterer. Sparks fly immediately… But when one of Topaz’s gigs turns dangerous, will she and Sebastian find a way to keep their holiday bright?
Topaz laughed and looked at Sebastian. She finally took the moment to really study the man who was before her. He looked delicious and dark in his black slacks and turtleneck. His toned arms seemed about to split the shirt at the seams. The deep green of his eyes gave him a dangerous air and made Topaz shudder. Then she remembered the way he’d gotten her out of the brawling fiasco at the Den.
“What did you do before you became a chef, Sebastian?” He couldn’t possibly have been just a caterer all his life, not with those moves. “I was in the British Army. I enlisted young, and applied for my discharge about three years ago.” “I kinda figured you were military. You’re too sharp.” Sebastian lifted his eyebrow at her. She giggled and took another sip.
“What I mean is that you were cool under pressure. You didn’t seem to mind I was poking around in the kitchen when we met. Most caterers I know aren’t like that—they’re territorial.”
“Oh, I’m territorial, but not about food,” Sebastian countered, his tone serious. “I see. So what brings you to the States?” Topaz knew the hour was late, but she didn’t want to let him go just yet. It was better than being in her small apartment, lonely and cold. Christmas was merely a week away, and she didn’t want to think about spending it alone.
“Opportunity and a change of pace. Working with The Det, I spent most of my time in Northern Ireland, and London no longer seemed like home after my parents died, so the States seemed logical.” Topaz could relate to what Sebastian was feeling. She knew what it was like to feel out of place. “
"The ‘Det.’ What is that?” Topaz asked. “It’s a special recon unit. We’re plainclothes operatives, and that’s all I’m telling you,” Sebastian said, his lips playing around with the idea of a smile.
“Oh, it’s like that?” Topaz said, lifting her own eyebrow and staring at him. Sebastian gave a slight nod, and this time he actually did smile. Topaz gasped at the smile that transformed his face. It seemed to make the hard lines around his mouth disappear, and he looked so human. She felt a lump in her throat, and her words were lost. Sebastian Rosser was one fine man when he smiled.
* * *
Sebastian felt the sides of his face ache as he broke into a grin. He was sure he had smiled before he entered the military, but he’d never remembered it feeling so good. He was sure it was because of the company of one Topaz Sinclair. From his days in the military, Sebastian had used his contacts to dig up important information on Topaz.
Even with the little information he could find, he found that she soothed the restlessness he had been plagued with most of his life. He’d always been known as the one to take the first shot, the one to take the lead. With her, he didn’t want to jump in too fast, but he felt like he was on a roller coaster of emotions. “So tell me about you.”Sebastian said, knowing her soothing voice would calm the restlessness he was feeling again.
“What do you want to know?” Topaz asked, taking another sip of her coffee.
“Everything. Every last detail.” Sebastian didn’t mince words, but he didn’t think she would mind.
“Well, let’s see. I’m an only child. My mom and dad had me late in life, so they didn’t get the chance to have other children. They passed away earlier this year.” Sebastian nodded and again grabbed her hands. He was amazed at how small they seemed in his own. His thumbs circled over her palms, mindlessly tracing figure-eights on her warm skin. He looked at her long fingers, nails without polish, the simple silver thumb ring the only jewelry she wore.
She was simplicity personified, and he wanted to know everything about her. “I’m sorry. This time of year must be rough for you.” Sebastian gave his sympathy, but he couldn’t help but wonder if she would mind spending the holiday with him.
“Yeah, that’s why I took on so many extra gigs. I needed to be moving, doing something, anything.”
“So, what are your plans for the holiday then? More shows? Your calendar seemed pretty open.”
Topaz looked at him, and Sebastian could see the scrutiny. He braced himself for the question.
“Was tonight the only night you came looking for me, Sebastian?”
“No. I think I’ve been looking for you all my life.”