by Jac Sherry
After losing the love of her life, sex with no strings is the only thing that Angel Lux is interested in. Seducing straight women seems the best way to keep her plan from going sideways. But this time she’s gotten herself involved with another man’s fiancé. And he’s hell-bent on getting revenge.
Soon Mike has convinced his friend Chris to help set a trap to steal away his ex-fiancé and teach Angel a lesson. At first reluctant, Chris soon finds herself knee deep in the scheme, complete with high heels, lipstick, and a sexy red dress.
What starts as a ruse for one and a game for the other quickly turns to a connection neither Chris nor Angel expected. The chemistry between them might just finally be a force strong enough to heal Angel’s broken heart. If Chris’s lies don’t come between them first.
GCLS Goldie Awards
The Seductress Trap — Finalist, Contemporary Romance: Short Novels and Debut Novel.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"The Seductress Trap is my first novel. I started out writing fanfiction for Xena Warrior Princess and some other shows in the 1990's. In 1997 I decided to try my hand at actual screenwriting and converted one of my Xena fanfics into a real screenplay. I submitted it to the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum contest, and I won first prize! The contest put me in touch with a Hollywood agent who advised me to move to L.A., but with a two-year-old at home and another one on the way plus a solid career I enjoyed, taking a gamble on writing screenplays in Hollywood seemed crazy. So I put writing out of my mind and got on with life.
Skip ahead twenty plus years to December of 2019 when I got a Kindle Unlimited subscription and discovered the lesfic genre. After pouring through virtual stacks of lesbian romances that I never knew existed, I found I was having trouble finding the books that I wanted to read. Then it occurred to me that if I couldn’t find the lesbian romances that I wanted to read, I could just write them!"
Ily R. - A great rom-com, The Seductress Trap was so much fun to read. I highly recommend this and as it’s the first book I have read by this author—I cannot wait to read more in the future! Great job!!
A pounding musical beat boomed through the dark space filled with people. The room was damp from sweat and spilled drinks. The smells of stale beer and faint vomit permeated the heat. A male voice interrupted over the house speakers again. “Are you ready to parrr-tay?”
“Woo!” came the resounding chorus of women and gay men in the crowd.
Angel Lux sat at the bar with a drink. She ran a thumb through the condensation dripping down the side of her glass, wetting her fingertips. Behind the bar glass shelves were stacked with multicolored liquor bottles of all shapes and sizes. Behind those was a bar-length mirror that deceptively doubled the inventory. She glanced past the bottles to eye the action on the reflected stage. Disco lights kaleidoscoped through the liquors and bounced into her eyes. She squinted and looked away.
“I didn’t hear you!” teased the emcee.
“Woooo!” the rowdy mob cheered, more enthusiastic than before.
Angel glanced at the mirror again, catching sight of a stray curl on the side of her head. She reached up and ran a hand past her ear to slick it back down with the rest. She took another drink and tidied her muted lipstick by trailing her fingernail along the edge of her bottom lip.
A tall drag queen with an enormous blue beehive wig buzzed behind the bar. She stepped over to wipe up the ring where Angel’s glass had been. The bourbon over ice in her hand, Angel lazily turned to face the stage and examine the crowd more closely.
The usual throng of gay men, the regulars, filled the left side of the dance floor in front of the stage. It was the right side of the floor, packed with carousing cashiers, college coeds, administrative assistants, professional women, and even a few housewives, that held her interest. Angel surveyed that crowd like a lioness studying a herd of gazelles on the savanna, sizing up one woman, then moving on to the next and the next. She had been watching and waiting for a while, and a few prospects had made themselves apparent.
The emcee cranked up the music even louder and the entire building began to thump. “Looks like this house needs some work done. Good thing somebody showed up to take care of that. How would you ladies and gentlemen like to party with…” The emcee paused for dramatic effect. “…the Handyman?”
The audience hooted in reply.
Angel watched as a fine, well-oiled specimen of a human male strode out from the left stage wing, his thumbs hooked in a leather tool belt mounted over extremely tight blue jeans that threatened to tear spontaneously at the breakaway seams.
“Because the Handyman loves to party!”
The crowd cheered, grabbed dollar bills from their pockets and purses, and surged forward as the performer took center stage.
A young woman with bright red hair staggered through the crowd waving dollar bills in the air with alcohol-fueled vigor. Angel’s eyelids lowered and her focus fixed upon her.
“I love you, Mister Handyman!” the redhead yelled, loud enough to be heard all the way to the bar. She staggered forward a few more steps and then stumbled, falling into the crowd, where she disappeared. Angel craned her head, trying to glimpse her, but after a minute the woman bobbed up out of the crowd like a beachball that had been pushed under water and released. Holding a shoe with a broken heel overhead, she hobbled closer to the stage.
Angel watched the pretty, petite redhead for another few minutes. She drained the last of her drink and set the glass on the bar. She unhooked her heels from the barstool and stood up. The pulse of the music through the floor penetrated the leather soles of her polished, black oxfords. She put a few bills down for a tip.
The wigged bartender grabbed the empty glass. “Hey, Angel.” She turned to regard her. “Aren’t you tired of all of the drama yet?”
A sly smile crossed Angel’s face. “Do it right, and there’s no drama. Everybody just has a little fun.”
The bartender’s long, frosted-tipped, fake eyelashes flapped down and back up as she gave Angel a sideways glance of pure skepticism. “Mm-hmm.”
Angel turned back toward the dance floor and reached under her denim jacket to run her hands down her snug tank top and smooth its thin fabric over her generous breasts and flat stomach. She reached up, licked the pad of her thumb, and smoothed down a small, wild tuft of brow over a white scar through her dark, arched right eyebrow. Then she headed for the stage.
The performer on stage turned his tool belt so that the long, thick-handled hammer hanging from a loop there dangled between his legs.
“Best of all, the Handyman”—the performer slowly drew the hammer out of its loop using both hands, one over the other—“really knows how to use his favorite tool.”
The performer dropped the hammer back in the holster and reached down to rip off his pants, and the crowd of women in front of him screamed their wild approval.
As Angel made her way through the women and the few gay men on this side of the stage she lost sight of the redhead briefly, but then spied her climbing halfway onto the stage—where she plopped her torso down and stuck her hands up, holding her bills high in the air. Other screaming women held up bills behind her. Handyman spied the cash, tore off the bit of T-shirt still left on his body, and gyrated over to the frenzied women.
Angel picked her way to the front of the stage where hands were competing to stuff bills in the dancer’s G-string. Handyman turned his head and Angel followed his gaze. On the other side of the stage, significantly more bills were being waved by gay men.
The redhead stretched for Handyman’s G-string, but she couldn’t seem to get a grip on it while also holding her shoe and her money. She stuffed some of the bills in her teeth, grabbed the G-string, yanked it back, and popped a fist full of bills home. Other hands also delivered their tributes.
Glancing again at the other end of the stage, Handyman peeled the fingers of multiple hands away from his body and danced over to the other end of the bar. The crazed women behind the petite redhead backed away as the dancer went to entertain the gay men, making it easier for Angel to move closer to the front. Finally, she was able to climb up on the stage, where the single-shoed woman lay on her back, some dollar bills still clamped between her teeth. Her eyes were spinning in her head in sync with the motion of the swirling lights mounted on the ceiling above her and her rosy cheeks were starting to tinge a little green. Angel leaned over her, her frame blocking the lights from the redhead’s view. The woman blinked a couple of times and finally seemed to focus.
“Mm-ello!” she muffled through the dollar bills in her teeth. “Who argh you?”
Angel looked at the other end of the stage, where the Handyman had hooked the claw end of his hammer around the stripper pole and leaned back. He was swinging a large arc around the pole with all his weight on the hammer, his muscles bulging under his oiled skin.
She turned back to the redhead and leaned in close, so her low voice could be heard over the hoots and hollers at the other end of the stage. “I’m the woman your mother warned you about.”
The crowd went wild.
* * *
Mike Lundgren wrapped his cereal box-sized hand around a hammer and drove a nail into the mounting strip with one strike, securing the end just a little tighter along with the regular line of screws. His partner, Chris Karner, did the same on the other end.
“I’m telling you—I think she’s into you.”
Chris set her hammer down. “Who? What are you talking about, Mike? The homeowner?”
“Yeah, the homeowner. Linda.”
As Mike dropped his hammer into his tool belt loop and moved to stand in front of a large, solid, cherrywood cabinet, Chris moved into position next to the mounting strip. Mike bent down and, opening his enormous wingspan, wrapped his arms around the oversized cabinet. He lifted the heavy thing off the ground while Chris grabbed a corner to guide it onto the mounting strip. Once the cabinet was resting on the strip, Mike turned to pin it there with his beefy shoulder, straining hard so the weighty thing didn’t slip from its mooring and come crashing down. Chris deftly set a ladder in place and grabbed her drill and some anchors. She shimmied her lanky frame up the ladder, then leaned her torso into the cabinet over the top of the ladder.
“She’s been watching you all day.” Mike grunted as Chris screwed in the anchors from the inside. He peeked at the figure at the other end of the room. “She’s watching you right now.”
“What?” Chris strained to hear him over the noise from the drill and the blood that was pounding in her ears due to the awkward position she was holding herself. As she prepared to drive in the next anchor, she peered under her armpit to see what Mike was talking about. She could just barely see the mature, attractive woman who had hired them, who was standing in the far corner of the room with her right hand in the air like she was holding an invisible cigarette. Even though her view from this angle was upside down, Chris noticed the homeowner’s appreciative smile and her hooded gaze as she regarded Chris’s backside draped over the ladder.
Startled by the animalistic regard of her rear end, Chris accidentally leaned into the drill, triggering it to drive in the last anchor at an angle just shy of square.
“Shit!” she mumbled as she squinted at the fastener inside the dark cabinet. She ran a fingertip over the top to confirm that head was askance, but only slightly. Not perfect, but it would do.
She slapped her drill into the holster at her side. “Done!” She slowly backed out of the cabinet and descended the ladder, uncomfortably aware that her ass was being watched the entire time. Mike took a big breath as he let go of the cabinet and gingerly stepped away from it, seemingly worried that it could come crashing down at any moment even though Chris knew that, at this point, such a catastrophe was impossible.
Mike swiped a paw through his red hair. “That’s the last one, Ms. Pawlowski.”
Chris wiped the sawdust on her fingers onto the thighs of her dusty overalls and glanced up surreptitiously at the homeowner, who seemed to be in a steamy trance. Chris felt a hot blush rise up her neck and across her cheeks at the look of pure desire on the older woman’s face.
Mike continued, louder this time, “The hard part is over. We’re just going to put away some of these tools now and then clean up a bit. We can finish putting on the cabinet doors this afternoon. That won’t take long!”
Mike’s rising volume as he spoke seemed to snap Ms. Pawlowski out of her reverie; she blinked several times as she was transported back to the present. Mike waved and smiled at her as he watched her reorient and she waved back. Chris slid over to the toolbox with her drill, kneeling with her head down and her front to the homeowner, self-conscious about her bottom and the woman’s keen regard for it.
Mike came over and dropped his hammer and other tools in the box, and then, with his back to Linda, he hissed under his breath, “Go talk to her. God, you are the worst lesbian ever! You are never gonna get laid.”
Chris scowled as Mike snapped the box shut, picked it up, and headed for the door.
“I’ll be just a bit,” he called to Ms. Pawlowski. “I’m going to grab a sandwich out in the truck. I’ll be back in thirty minutes or so? A half hour, say? Yeah, a half hour. Two thirty, the time. Pay attention.”
He glanced at Chris with a look that appalled her, parking the toolbox on his hip to open the back door. He then turned and, with the top of his head barely clearing the doorframe, strode out into the summer heat, not bothering to close the door.
Chris took a deep breath and stood up, glancing around at the little bit of dust on the floor of the posh home in Shorewood, the tony, Madison, Wisconsin, suburb north of the downtown isthmus situated between the two large lakes of the Midwest capital city. Chris considered following Mike out to the truck to get a broom.
“That is a thing of beauty.”
Chris, startled at the sound of Linda’s low, raspy voice in her ear, spun around. She found herself face-to-face with the woman, maybe thirty years older than herself, though maybe significantly less, given the fine lines around her mouth that suggested a history of too much sun and smoking.
Chris took a step back. Ms. Pawlowski took a step closer.
“Oh, well, th-thank you.” Chris felt her blush deepen and she took another step back.
Ms. Pawlowski took a step closer. A casual smile tugged at one corner of her mouth as her gaze traveled from Chris’s wide hips to her narrow waist and then up and past Chris to the far end of the room. Chris followed her glance to the newly hung cabinets. “Oh, the cabinets!” Chris twirled her hand toward the wall of luxurious cabinetry and giggled awkwardly. “Of course, the cabinets. You are talking about the beautiful cabinets.”
The older woman nodded, taking another step closer.
Chris took another step back. “What else would you be talking about? The high-end solid cherry was an excellent choice. Their strength contrasts so well with the light curtains and the—”
The homeowner suddenly ceased her slow-motion pursuit of Chris, turned on her heel, and strode over toward a cardboard box next to the fridge. “Yeah, I decided to splurge with the divorce settlement money.” She pulled two glasses out of the box and filled them with ice from the fridge icemaker.
“My ex-wife”—Ms. Pawlowski glanced briefly at Chris at the word “ex-wife” before returning her attention to the glasses—“always wanted the kitchen updated, but I would never let her. You know, I thought we were saving money for our future.” She took the glasses and strode over to a table covered in bottles that would be going in one of the new cabinets. “She just called me cheap. I’m not cheap. I’m a CPA. I’m careful with money.”
She pulled a very expensive-looking bottle out of a large box with a toilet-paper logo on it and popped the cork off the bottle.
“See this?” she asked, holding the bottle in the air. “Dailuaine single malt thirty-four-year scotch. Six hundred dollars a bottle. Six hundred dollars! Would somebody who’s cheap spend that on scotch?”
Chris thought only someone who was insane would spend six hundred dollars on a single bottle of liquor. She wasn’t sure her car was worth six hundred dollars.
“Well, the cabinets are a good investment, Ms. Pawlowski.” Chris hurriedly gathered up boxes of fasteners and furring strips and deposited them in a well-worn milk crate. “High quality cabinets like these will last a lifetime.”
The homeowner poured three fingers of scotch into one glass and two fingers into the other and started to walk toward Chris. “Call me Linda.” She extended the two fingers of scotch to Chris. “Thirty-six dollars in that glass. That’s not cheap.”
“Thank you.” Chris cautiously took the glass from Linda and contemplated the fact that the liquor in it was about six years older than herself. “Sorry about the divorce,” she added, not sure at all what she should say at this point, but that seemed safe. She took a sip of the smoky fluid. The fiery liquor tingled where it touched her tongue and made her lips buzz.
Linda took a mouthful of whiskey and closed her eyes in pleasure. “Sorry? Don’t be sorry. Second best day of my life.”
“Second? What was the first?”
“My wedding day. Happiest day of my life.” Then Linda’s eyes dropped to slowly scan Chris from her steel-toed work boots up her long, overall-covered legs, up her torso, over her breasts and her neck to rest on Chris’s lips. Linda’s voice went low. “Love is like that, you know.”
Chris didn’t realize she had run the tip of her tongue over her buzzing top lip until she watched Linda’s eyes follow it. She quickly pulled her tongue back in her mouth, and the older woman took another swig.
“How about you, Chris? Got a boyfriend you’re in love with?” Linda put the glass up to her mouth again and spoke from behind it. “Or a girlfriend, maybe?” She carefully watched Chris as she took another sip.
Chris took a gulp from her glass. “Girlfriend. If I was in love. It would be a girl— woman, friend. Girl. None of those. It’s been a long time, actually.”
“I’m single right now.” Chris took another gulp, grimacing at the fire in her throat and thinking she should be taking more time to savor this very expensive scotch instead of slugging it down like a cheap wine cooler.
“Oh, I see.” Linda paused for a moment, then took several determined steps toward Chris. Chris took a couple of quick steps back and yelped as she tripped over the milk crate behind her. She landed hard onto the generous, round derriere that Linda had demonstrated so much interest in earlier.
The objects in the crate clattered loudly on the kitchen floor, and the glass formerly in Chris’s hand spun across the tile—where it collided with a spectacular smash against the baseboard, showering everything within a ten-foot radius with ice and shards and very, very expensive scotch.
Mike peeked in the still open back door, holding a half-eaten sandwich. “Everything okay in here?”