Swap — If You Can't Handle the Heat — Sin Bin

Thursday 10 January 2019

Sesto and Syn are back in the re-release of - If You Can't Handle the Heat #erotic #contemporary #romance

If You Can’t Handle the Heat
H K Carlton

Release Date: December 28, 2018

Welcome to the relaunch of If You Can't Handle the Heat, and my first foray into self-publishing. I'm so excited to once again share this story with my readers. With some added content, it has been re-edited and re-formatted for re-release, along with a cover re-vamp designed by the incredible Emmy from Studioenp

An unlikely couple is brought together as celebrity judges on a new reality-based cooking show.

Sesto Théodore, is an arrogant yet well respected American-Italian chef, with several five-star restaurants.

Once bitten, twice shy, Syn Fully, is a jaded author of erotica, rocketing her way up all the best sellers lists.

From the moment Syn and Sesto meet, their personalities clash, yet behind the scenes sparks fly. Getting together would be a recipe for disaster, but hot sex with no-strings couldn’t hurt. At least not until real feelings get involved.

But just when Syn considers opening her damaged heart to the cocky chef, video of rather personal content is leaked online. Sesto immediately jumps to conclusions and accuses Syn of the privacy breach.

Can the arrogant chef forgive and forget, or will his pride leave him out in the cold?

Somebody’s about to get burned…

Possible Triggers: Please note one scene contains borderline bdsm and dubious consent/forcible confinement. Also in this story intimate video is obtained without the knowledge or consent of the participants involved, and later distributed online

Author’s Note: This erotic story has been previously published with the title, If You Can’t Stand the Heat. Though there is a little bit of added content, the story remains relatively the same. It has been re-edited and re-formatted for re-release, and has a sizzling new cover thanks to Studioenp

* * * Purchase your copy HERE * * *

Chapter One

Sesto Théodore walked confidently through the atrium lobby of the swanky New York hotel, one of three celebrity judges, about to shoot a pilot episode for the newest reality show competition.

Protégés, was a lame imitation of the cooking channel’s popular Hacked, as far as Sesto was concerned. But if the network was willing to pay him an exorbitant amount of money to insult young chefs and kill their dreams, who was he to argue?

Sesto had paid his dues and slugged his way through culinary school the hard way, without having to pimp out his talents for twenty-five grand on some pathetic TV show. Instead, he’d methodically achieved everything he’d set out to do in his career, including owning his own restaurants, all of which boasted five-star ratings. He was handsome, rich—a rock-star in the culinary world. Women quite literally got on their knees for a man who could cook. “And they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!” Sesto chuckled to himself as he pulled open the door to the convention center.

Flicking an imaginary piece of lint off the shoulder of his designer suit coat, Sesto glanced at the judge’s table where the other two celebs were supposed to be seated by now. He’d been fashionably late on purpose, intending to make them wait on him. But, foiled again, besides the camera crew, the contestants, and the harassed-looking producer, Sesto was the only judge present.

* * * *

Surreptitiously, Syn Fully, slipped unnoticed onto the Protégés set. With the help of some large artificial potted ferns as cover, she observed the scene before her. As a writer, she was an avid people watcher. But for today she was intent on getting the lay of the land, and a good look at the people she would be working with.

This whole proposal—or conspiracy, Syn hadn’t decided which yet—had been an underhanded collaboration between her assistant and her agent. Starring in a reality show wasn’t something Syn would have elected to do on her own. But between her two colleagues, they’d convinced her the exposure would be good for her career, and garner a bit of free publicity, not to mention, her fans would eat it up, so to speak.

The entire kitchen area impressed her. It appeared quite professional. One worry quashed. This was only a pilot episode, and she knew certain aspects would get streamlined if the network decided to pick up the show. But she didn’t want to be involved in a second rate production. Preferring to hide behind her pen, up until now, Syn hadn’t done any television. Other than a few guest spots on talk-radio where she’d shared some steamy excerpts from her latest release, and a couple of photo shoots for jacket covers, she maintained a low profile. Syn even kept conventions, book signings, and special appearances to a bare minimum.

A small commotion to her left brought Syn out of her musings, and she finally caught sight of the man that the Protégés show had been adapted for.

Sesto Théodore, strode across the conference room, exuding self-confidence. Syn had done a little research on the man before she’d agreed to work with him. She and her personal assistant, Sam, had watched some of the chef’s interviews. And Syn had reached out to several mutual friends who had worked with him in the past. By all accounts and reputation, he was an arrogant asshole and difficult to work with. But in addition, he was an expert in his field, renowned and respected as a chef and restaurateur. A perfectionist, he demanded the same from everyone around him. Syn could respect that.

One thing she hadn’t bargained for though, was how deliciously handsome he was in person. He not only conveyed self-assurance, but with his size he also radiated power, and possessed an animal magnetism that was undeniable. With a critical eye, Syn gave him a full body-scan, the kind of subjective once-over she often used when selecting a suitable cover model for one of her book jackets. Unquestionably, Sesto Théodore could fill out a suit quite like no other.

Syn caught herself biting on the tip of her index finger. Sam, often teased her about the bad habit. Apparently, it was something she did while she was writing, mainly when she was plotting out a particularly steamy sex scene. It would seem Chef Théodore’s good looks had just become author fodder for another time. Suddenly, sitting next to him for the next week or so didn’t seem like such a chore.

Syn watched on with interest as Sesto approached the unsuspecting crew.

“Where is Ms. Fully?” The producer ranted.

“Her PA assures me she’s on the way, Mr. Parks,” said one of the production assistants.

“And the Russian hockey player?” Parks demanded.

“He just entered the lobby.”

“Good. And the over-inflated chef? What’s his name? Theodore? Where’s he?”

Syn chewed her lip, stifling a good chuckle, when the producer butchered the gourmet chef’s surname.

“Um, uhhh,” one of the production assistants stuttered, as he gestured over the producer’s shoulder, to the over-inflated chef in question.

Sesto stared down at his well-groomed fingernails and drawled, “It’s pronounced Tee-a-door. And if you ever refer to me in such a manner again, I will walk. And you’d best remember I’m the only credible judge you’ve got here. What do a hockey player and a trashy romance novelist know about food?”

That was her cue. Syn stepped out from behind the greenery.

“We both eat, Mr. Théodore,” she said, in what she hoped was a haughty tone.

* * * *

Sesto scrutinized the owner of the sultry voice. An exotic brunette stared up at him, challengingly. She wore a red come-fuck-me dress that dipped almost to her navel. Her lovely breasts spilled appealingly out the sides of the form-fitting halter. Sesto clenched his hands into fists, fighting the urge to reach out and caress some creamy side-boob. What on earth did women do before double-sided tape?

“I believe owning taste buds is qualification enough,” she continued insolently, snapping him out of his reverie.

Reluctantly, Sesto pried his gaze from her magnificent pale tits, long enough to look at her face.

She lifted a perfectly shaped eyebrow. In that one exchange, he was certain she knew precisely where his dirty little mind had been. But that was her fault. A woman couldn’t possibly slip into a dress like that and then expect scintillating conversation.

“Sesto, may I call you Sesto?” Parks, the producer interrupted. Then not waiting for a response, he said, “This is your fellow judge, Ms. Syn Fully.”

Sesto snorted in disdain. In part, because he found the pen-name quite comical, and secondly, he couldn’t believe a grown woman would go around calling herself such a ridiculous pseudonym. In the beginning of his career, he’d considered changing his name because people botched the pronunciation all the time. But he discarded the idea, he was proud of his American-Italian background. Besides he enjoyed correcting people. And even if they mangled his name, they always remembered it.

“Seriously, you couldn’t come up with a better alias as far as romance novelists go?” Sesto mocked.

“Laugh if you will Mr. Théodore, but no one ever forgets my name,” she replied, as if she’d just read his thought. Although she’d pronounced it wrong, too, coming from her full beautiful lips, he found he didn’t mind. She’d said Tay-a-door with a bit of an accent, giving it an almost French nuance. Nevertheless, he’d still correct her just to be an ass.

“Yeah, after they quit busting a gut,” he returned. “I’m sure mommy and daddy Fully are incredibly proud of the titillating mommy-porn you push down despondent women’s throats. And I can assure you, it’s not your name they’re remembering.” Blatantly, he dropped his gaze to her ample bosom. “And it’s Tee-a-door,” he said slowly as if she were not overly bright.

Simultaneously, Syn rolled her shapely shoulder, while trailing her tongue over the line of her full bottom lip. Sesto’s cock jerked as he followed the mesmerizing gesture closely.

The woman was carefully made up. Her green eyes were dramatically shadowed with sweeping black lashes and darkly lined to give her a catlike gaze. Yet her lips were totally bare, devoid of any color save the richness of natural pigment. He liked that. One would expect flashy red lipstick to go along with the crimson French-tip fingernails and the cherry fuck-me dress.

“And just for the record, I’m not a romance novelist, Chef Tay-a-door.” This time she said his last name slowly, as if he was the unintelligent one, and there was no doubt she’d deliberately mispronounced it. “I write erotica, pure sex. Screw romance.”

With that strident pronouncement she turned away, giving him an excellent view of her bare back.

Damn, I wish she’d worn that dress backwards. His gaze was drawn to the curve of her slim waist. Fortunately, his hands were still in fists. Though it didn’t stop him from wanting to skim his fingers up her spine. Would she shiver at my touch or slap my damn smug face?

“Ahh, I see,” Sesto retorted. “So Syn actually stands for cynical, not sinful.”

She barely afforded him a glance over her shoulder, instead, Ms. Fully greeted the newly arrived hockey player—standing on the tips of her stilettos she placed a kiss on his cheek. Sesto wondered why she hadn’t given him a nice little peck.

“It’s been a long time, Kiska,” the toothless athlete said in stilted English, then he placed a kiss to each of her cheeks.

Kiska. If memory served him correctly, the endearment meant kitten.

“It’s been years, Maksim,” Syn gushed.

Sesto detected a smile in the author’s voice and perhaps even some genuine affection for the big Russian. Not at all the chilly tone she’d reserved for him.

“Yes, at least three. You were still with Dmitri, when I was traded. I was sorry to hear it ended. But not too sorry.” He smiled at her as if he’d like to take her home.

Like a simpering idiot, the set’s little gopher-boy hovered at the statuesque brunette’s elbow. “Here’s some water for you, Ms. Fully.”

Turning, she smiled down at the kid. “Thank you…Chase, isn’t it?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Call me Syn. I only insist the clientele call me ma’am,” she said with a wink, giving the impression she not only wrote stories about kink but she also lived them.

“Yes, ma’am,” the kid stuttered, shoving his hands in his pockets. Sesto resisted the urge to do the same.

What is it about this woman? Yes, she was lovely and she had a bangin’ body, but he’d been with beautiful women before. Nonetheless, it would seem the athlete, the key grip, and the chef, all had hard-ons for the erotica writer.

Was that it? Men assumed because she wrote about it, she could dish it out? No harm in finding out.

The producer along with the director approached and began to explain what was expected. It was shaping up to be a long day of waiting around while the contestants cooked.

“I’m Ken, the director. So if you’ll take your seats, we’ll have the host introduce you on camera, we’ll present the competitors and then while they cook, you can have some down time or you’re free to watch them prepare what you’ll be sampling. There will be four rounds, an appetizer, a soup, a main, and a dessert. You will eliminate a contestant after every round. When there are only two contestants left, we have a surprise for them, when our own Chef Théodore will prepare a meal. Each competitor will be given the unenviable task of duplicating his dish by taste alone, as they will be sequestered while he cooks. The one closest to Chef’s recipe will be our winner and the final decision will be his, given that the victor will also gain a position in Chef’s most recent restaurant. Any questions?”

“Good,” Ken said when all three judges shook their heads. He then pulled out the middle chair at the evaluation table. “Syn.”

While she elegantly took a seat, Ken leaned in and whispered something in her ear. She grinned and stared down at the tabletop, giving no hint anything untoward had just been mumbled into her ear. Most likely she was used to men talking dirty to her.

Sesto sat next to her.

“Have you been properly introduced to Maksim, Chef Tay-a-door?” The huskiness in Syn’s voice went straight to his groin.

“No, and there’s no need. The host is about to do so,” Sesto responded in short.

Syn turned to the hockey puck with legs, and whispered to him. Maks threw his blond head back and roared at whatever she’d said. Then the two of them focused on him. It was nice that they were having a laugh at his expense.

“Something you’d like to share with the class, Ms. Fully?” Sesto asked, coldly.

“Mmm, I usually don’t like to share with strangers. At least not until I’ve known them more than ten minutes. But if you insist.”

She tapped her pointy little tongue repeatedly on the center of her upper lip before answering. Sesto was fascinated by the action, and almost forgot the question.

“I said that you looked like you could use a good blow job. Release some of that obvious tension,” Syn said straight faced.

Sesto’s cock swelled not only at her words, but also that crazy thing she’d done with her tongue. Fuck! How was he to maintain a cool demeanor when he felt like she’d just licked his dick?

“Save your crass vocabulary for your adoring yet easily stimulated fans, Ms. Fully, it won’t work on me.”

The corner of her mouth quirked and her eyes narrowed. “Oh, really,” she breathed as if she damn well knew the painful state she had him in. “I almost wish to verify your quick denial for myself, Chef Tay-a-dor.” He watched her plump lips as she enunciated his name.

Fisting his hands, so that he wouldn’t be tempted to grab one of hers and place it in his crotch, and prove she was absolutely correct in her assumption—instead he addressed the director. “Can we get on with this?”

“Places everyone,” Ken called.

The host appeared wearing a cheap suit. He looked more like a used car salesman.

“That’s not going to work.” Sesto pointed. “Get him a decent suit. And if he opens his mouth and sounds like a cheesy game show host, I’m walking. I will not be associated with the circus this production is shaping up to be.”

Patience gone, Sesto stood and tucked his hands in his trouser pockets. “Washed up athletes, half-dressed trashy novelists, and a garish emcee,” he mumbled. “I was looking for some class and sophistication not a spectacle. Don’t forget whose name is on that marquee.” He waved in the direction of the sign above the temporary kitchen.

“Yes, sir, Chef,” Ken said in a rush. “We’ll take care of it.”

Sesto had half a mind to call his agent. This was bullshit. What the hell had he gotten him into? He’d be a laughingstock among the other television chefs.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, he remembered lambasting other top culinary experts when they’d first done shows similar to Protégés. Why was he doing this? He certainly didn’t need the money. But his agent thought it might help the public’s perception of him. He thought his public image was just fine.

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