Posts Tagged ‘Loose-Id’
This is my new cover for my upcoming Christmas story with Loose-Id. The cover artist is the wonderfully creative Fiona Jayde. This is my first ever contemporary story. No paranormal elements at all! Writing this book was both terrifying and fun. This is also my first sports story, set in the world of hockey. I’m so excited to share this story with you.
Hockey player Brice Douglas has never gotten over the Christmas he spent with Ava Johnson back in college. Now, years later, he’s in trouble with his team, the Witch Fields Prowlers. Desperate to keep their rabble-rousing player’s head in the game, they hire a babysitter to keep his ass out of a sling and home in his bed at night: Ava. He’s determined to make up for lost time, while convincing her he’s not the man the team made h
im out to be, using every dirty, sexy trick he can.
Ava just got out a relationship with a cheating fiancé. She needs time to rebuild her life and babysitting her old college crush maybe the answer to her prayers–so long as sex isn’t involved. Yet, with his sexy nightly self-pleasuring sessions and dirty talk her resistance quickly starts wearing thin. With every day that passes, she’s growing more comfortable with him and his desire for her.
Will she be putting Brice on ice, or will he end up thawing Ava?
Thawing Ava comes out 12/24/13
We know this time of year could offer up the creepy and spooky. But what about the sexy and mysterious? Maybe you need a Ghost or Dragons or maybe a Scottish Werewolf or maybe a Vampire to spice up your holiday?
Maybe Ghosts are your cup of tea?
How about a Ghost to spice up your Halloween? This book went through a few re-writes but in the end I loved William and Alyssa. In the beginning William was an arrogant ass who used people and didn’t really value them. When he meets Alyssa he finds not only new creativity but also love. Will the curse cost him the woman he loves?
Lonely No More
Lonely No More
Excerpt Rating (PG-13): Could She?
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Five years ago on Halloween, author William Moore carelessly broke up with a witch. Needless to say, she didn’t take it well. Cursed to a lonely non-life as a ghost, trapped in his own home, he never expected to do more than exist in the world his ex had created. Except now he’s got a new roommate in the form of fellow author, Alyssa Washington, and he doesn’t anticipate his strong attraction to her. As their simmering emotion sparks life within, he yearns to become mortal once again.
Can his newfound feelings give him what he wishes for most?
I curse you, William Moore. By the moon and the stars. By the elements of life. Your body shall know the meaning of emptiness. Your soul shall be tied to these walls. You will hunger and thirst for nothing. Here on this land you shall remain until you know the meaning of love.” Irena hissed again. “I curse you, William Moore, for your insensitivity, your callousness and inconsideration. You will be tied to this house, never to leave it as you so clearly wish not to. I curse you, William Moore, until you find true love.”
Fire blazed through William’s body. His back bowed and his mouth opened on a silent scream. He writhed on the bed while Irena’s magic burst through him. His bones were melting, muscles being stretched taut. His heart was threatening to beat out of his chest, and pain shot through his brain, almost as if it was about to explode. He couldn’t think, breathe or move. Time passed lazily, yet swiftly at the same time. Squeezing his eyes shut, he prayed to whatever gods would listen, pleading with them to make it all stop.
Finally the fire ceased and a burst of cold shot through him. Shivering and weak, he eased his body back onto the mattress. He opened his eyes. At first the room seemed bleary, but after a moment his vision began to clear. The room appeared the same. The soft red-orange glow of the fire danced on the ceiling, the lingering scent of sex and perfume hung in the air. Turning his head slowly, ignoring the pain, he saw that the furniture looked the same–at least the items in his vision were.
He hissed when he felt the muscles in his legs jump. His stomach flipped and he moaned. He slid his arms around his abdomen and rolled over, groaning as he went. Pain wracked his body as his head began to pound again. As his body began to calm down, he rolled onto his back, panting. His eyelids felt heavy as exhaustion took hold. He tried to grasp at consciousness but it eluded him. After what seemed like an eternity of fighting, finally he drifted off to sleep. Night became day and then back to night.
The moon rose high above the trees that surrounded the house. William awoke with a start and, looking around, he tried to place the room he lay in. He had dreamed that he’d been floating over his body and throughout the house. He had watched the day pass, levitating and observing normal life as it rolled on. Now awake, he rolled out of bed, the pain in his body had ceased. He felt solid enough. Rising, he walked over to a set of double doors and undid the latch. Pushing them open, he breathed in the night air. He strode out onto the balcony and surveyed his property. Closing his eyes, he began to move haltingly, controlling his movements and breathing as he started his tai chi exercise. He let the concerns of his life float away.
In the distance he heard the door downstairs open and footsteps pounding their way up the stairs. His assistant’s voice called out to him, “Hey, Will! Willll? I have some papers for you to sign that the publisher needs ASAP.”
The door to his bedroom banged against the wall, followed by a gasp. “Oh, my God!”
The horrified words were followed by loud thuds, thumps and a clatter of something metallic falling on the wooden floor. Frowning, William pivoted and entered the room, his mouth open ready to ask what was wrong, when he saw the reason for Maggie’s shock. There on the bed, lay his naked body. It took him a few seconds to comprehend everything he saw.
Once it had sunk in, he dashed toward Maggie and started shouting at her. “I’m right here! Maggie, I’m right behind you!” He reached out to touch her on the shoulder, and watched in horror as his hand slipped right through her. He held his hand before his face, it seemed solid enough. He tried again, and the same thing happened.
Deciding to deal with that later, he tried talking to her. “Maggie, I’m right here. Maggie.”
She didn’t move, just stood before his bed staring at his naked body.
How about Vampires for Halloween?
Writing Trapped was so much fun. I wanted to write a story where the hero had to pursue the heroine and fight for her, to convince her of his true affections. Rysen and Kit were so much fun to write for and I would love to write for them again. Rysen is such a naughty vampire with a dirty mind.
Excerpt (R), Feeding
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial
Kit has never forgotten the cruel way Rysen rejected her as a possible consort over a hundred years ago. She’s striven to get stronger, pushing her attraction to him down and using her anger as fuel.
Rysen has always regretted the way he rejected Kit. As much as he loved her, Rysen despised the way her clan tried to use her as a political gambit for power and protection. But he never stopped wanting Kit, trying to make her his in every way possible.
When enemies attack, they use old magic to seal themselves off and stay safe. But now they find themselves trapped with a century of hunger rising between them….
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, domination.
“I felt your anger and insecurity. I had to come see for myself.”
She tried to jerk her arm away from his grip, but he refused to let go. “You’re aroused, my darling. You’re aroused by me.”
“Go to hell.” She refused to tell him just how aroused he was making her.
“Been there, got the T-shirt. Do you need help dressing?”
“No, let go of me.”
“So you can sway on your feet and fall over? I think not. Allow me to support you.”
“Pervert. You just want to watch me get dressed.”
“That is quite true. I am a pervert. You bring out the letch in me. I want nothing more than to watch you bend over as you put on your jeans. I want see that sweet ass exposed to my gaze. I long to part those deliciously rounded cheeks, fall to my knees, and lap at your anus until you become aroused, your pussy dripping with need for my cock. I want to tease you until you squirm against me, urging me to fuck you long, hard, and deep. I want you to admit you want my cock up your ass, in your pussy, and in your mouth. So yes, darling, I am a pervert.”
She shivered at his words, each syllable causing her aching channel to clench with need, gushing more cream. Her clit throbbed as her nipples tightened even further.
“I want to watch you put on your tank top. See those delicious nipples of yours pressed against the thin fabric of your shirt. I want to take those nipples in my mouth and suck on them while my fingers sink into your pussy, feel your juices slip over my hand and down my forearm. I want to finger fuck you until you come all over my hand, until the air is heavy and pungent with the scent of your sex.”
The image inflamed her. She wanted what he was saying so badly. Her cunt clenched with need. She felt the beginnings of an orgasm tightening, curling, writhing within her. She tried to control it, stop it, but it only twisted tighter, increasing the ache and fire between her legs.
“After that, I want to throw you against the wall and sink into you, balls deep. I want nothing between us, my darling. I want to feel your pussy spasm around me each time I slam into you. I want your legs wrapped around my waist, my hands holding your wrists up high over your head as I fuck you. I want to sink my fangs into your throat as I pound your pussy. I want to feel you come all over my cock, your cream slipping down my balls, over my thighs, and then I want to come inside you. I want to pump every last drop of my seed into you. I want to fuck you until my scent is rubbed into your skin. Yes, my darling, I am a letch. I am a pervert. For you, I will be all that and so much more. Don’t think for a second that once I have you, I won’t possess you, fuck you in private and in front of everyone. I want everyone to know who you belong to. Everyone.”
Need a Werewolf to have a Howling good Halloween?
Scottish. Kilted. Werewolf. Find out what happens when Iain shows Katherine what’s under his kilt.
Iain just wanted someone to help take the edge off before the full moon rose in a few days. When he met Katherine in the pub he felt he had found the perfect person to help him with his problem.
Katherine could not resist the kilted stranger who caught her eye at the bar. When he offered her a night of hot sex she couldn’t say no.
But what happens when she finds out that the stranger is her boss’s son?
The barman came over, smiling at her. “Another one for the road, lass?”
“Nope, I’m done for the day. How much –” She was stopped when he held up his hand.
“Already taken care of, love.” He nodded his head toward the man at her side. She rolled her eyes and sighed. Turning on her stool, she looked at him. His smile said it all. He thought he was going to get rewarded for his thoughtfulness. Not tonight, pal, she thought.
“I’m not going to sleep with you, give you a blow job or a hand job just because you bought me a drink. It was your money you wasted. Now if you’ll excuse me, thank you and good night.” She turned all the way around and hopped off the stool, hating the fact that she was only five foot three inches, and she had to jump down. Her booted heels clunked on the old wooden floor.
She just made it beyond the threshold when she felt a hand wrap around her wrist and jerk her back. Her spine hit the wall and two hands framed her head. His face was a contrast to the darkness of the entryway. “First, I never asked you to pay me back. Nor did I ask you to sleep with me, or give me a blow job or a hand job. I’d have loved for you to offer, but I didn’t ask. So don’t assume you know anything about me just because I buy you a drink.”
She was speechless.
“I did kiss you, not because of the drink, but because I wanted to, and besides, you were staring at my kilt. You were wondering if it’s true what they say, weren’t you? I can tell you with great certainty that it’s all true,” he murmured as his lips brushed hers.
Maybe two Dragons are what you need to fire up your holiday?
I wanted to write a story for the fantasy mentioned in Dragon Ugly. I didn’t have time or room to write it but I knew that Brent would want to fulfill his mate Carissa’s desire to have sexy in a bookstore. I loved revisiting this couple and I can’t wait to write Fletch’s story. I even know his heroine and his story.
Excerpt Rating (PG-13),
Series: Halloween Heat II: Dragons at Samhain
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial, Ménage
It’s Samhain and Brent wants to fulfill Carissa’s fantasy of sex in a bookshop while it’s open. With help from Fletch he’s going to make it a hot, steamy night she’ll never forget.
Carissa only wanted to spend more time with her mate she didn’t know what to expect when they arrived in the mountains to visit his parents. After dressing her as a French maid, him as Highway man and their friend Fletch as Zorro, she’s pretty sure that he’s taken her fantasy to a whole new level.
Samhain has always been a magical time, now it’s about to get a whole lot hotter.
Author Note: This story comes after Dragon Ugly!
Carissa’s heart thudded against her ribcage as she allowed Brent to guide her past the shops declaring Halloween and Samhain sales and discounts. Children dressed up in various costumes rushed past them, chased by harried parents. None of that really registered. Brent’s solid, roughened palm against hers, the heat rolling off his body in waves, the aura of sexual determination and arousal coming from him wrapped around her. Her own desire pulsed between her thighs; her nipples tightened and ached for his touch. He’d dressed her tonight in a sleeveless French maid costume with crotchless panties and no bra. Cool night air brushed against her overheated sex, teasing her throbbing clit.
Fletch trailed behind them in a Zorro costume, complete with cape and mask. Brent had decided that the Highwayman costume was more to his liking, complete with a cape and mask of his own. Both men looked dashing and dangerous. A thrill raced down her spine as she glanced back at Fletch, who’d decided to go the scruffy route with a bit a coppery colored beard on his jaw. Brent’s darker five o’clock shadow made him look just as fierce. He had insisted that during the fantasy her wrists would be bound behind her back and she would be blindfolded so she wouldn’t know who was doing what. Carissa hadn’t thought that far for her fantasy, all she’d known was she wanted to fuck in a bookstore. Brent had taken it to a whole new level.
She’d even overheard them talking of using nipple clamps to help increase her pleasure. None of that mattered as much as being with the man she loved, her mate. Her wolf was just happy for a change in scenery. At the end of the night, when the clock struck Midnight, they would all shift, Brent and Fletch into dragons and Carissa into a wolf. According to Brent’s parents, it was a way to welcome Samhain in your purest form. New place to explore, and a new experience to add to the ones that Brent had brought into her once boring life.
They continued on down the block, passing more kids and parents and dodging late night drunks who were leaning on each other for support as they walked down the sidewalk. The air was filled with softness and anticipation, as if the world was holding its breath for the Witch’s New Year, when the veil between man and the dead was the thinnest. Or in this case, when the veil between mortals and the paranormal blended together to become one.
Tension shivered along her muscles as her arousal and excitement blended together. She hid her eagerness to act out this fantasy and move on to the next. Brent led the way, and she rushed to catch up with him.
“Whoa there, lover,” Carissa called out. “We have time, there’s no rush.”
Maybe a bit of Mystery is more your speed?
My last offering is from the Draven’s Crossing series. This book ties up the serial killer storyline started in Tempestuous Crossings and starts something new. I really enjoyed writing the ins and outs and trying to figure out how to lay out the mystery part of the book. Here’s a snippet.
Out Now at Purple Sword Publications
Draven’s Crossing: Hidden Diversions
With so many distractions, can they catch a killer before someone else dies?
Their passion may be the death of them…
Werewolf Chief of Police, Torger, is running into walls while tracking the Draven’s Crossing serial killer. No matter what he tries to do, he can’t find the clues needed to stop the terror that stalks the streets of his city. Things aren’t helped by his attraction to dragon shifter, Draven City News Reporter, Isadora Jones. With political pressure and bodies mounting, can he get through all these distractions to the truth before it’s too late?
Reporter, Isadora Jones wants to help with the investigation into the serial killer but Torger refuses to let her. She decides to do it on her own, but her world goes upside down when the killer sets his sights on her. Under Torger’s protection, they start to put the pieces together but will it be too late for them?
Things go from bad to worse when another killer appears. Draven’s Crossing just got a whole lot more dangerous.
Purple Sword Publications:
The sweetest perfume drifted under his door. He snorted and sat up. She was near. His eyes had already adjusted to the darkness. He saw a shadow move in front of his door but it didn’t go to the guest room across the hall. He waited; the seconds ticked by. Each moment like a drip of water on his face, it seemed to last forever and there was no end in sight. He swallowed. His lips became dry as his heartbeat sped up. The jangle of a hand on the door handle rang in his ears. The delicate shells prickled at the musical sound. He waited. His heart stuttered and then crashed against his ribcage in a heavy drum beat. His body heat spiked as his wolf waited. Need coiled in the pit of his stomach. He licked his lips again, hoping, praying for what, he didn’t know. All he saw was that if she didn’t do something soon, he would. And then there would be no turning back. Everything would change for them, and he wasn’t sure how everyone would react or how everything would land.
As the seconds ticked by, her shadow remained at the door. The hand had stopped jiggling. Opening up his senses, he allowed her emotions to wash over him. He tasted the tang of hesitation with the sweetness of eagerness. All of it was tinged with the bright spice of lust. Underneath it all, there was Isy’s own unique natural scent. Not wanting to let the torture for both of them continue, he called out, “Isy, you can come in.”
Purple Sword Publications:
Contest Time: Comment with your favorite paranormal creatures and be entered to win a print copy of Demon Heat with two stories one from myself and one from the awesome Milly Taiden. As well as a copy of Dragon Ugly! Good Luck!
Hot Seat Interview with Sindra van Yssel
13 Days of Halloween
Today’s Hot Seat Interview is with the scintillating Sindra van Yssel who has written some very steamy books. I set out some petit fours and coffee and have the Dom Cabana Men bring her into the room. After she settles in I adjust the spotlight and get to work on finding out more about this fantastic author.
1) Thank you so much for agreeing to do this Hot Seat Interview with me. I just finished reading Dom and Domme and just loved it.
Thank you Selena, it’s a pleasure to be here. Dom and Domme is one of my favorite books.
2) What inspired you to write Dom and Domme?
SvY: I like to break out of the mold where everyone is either a dominant or a submissive that seems to pervade a lot of BDSM books. Some people do find a role that suits them best, and stick with it. But there are a lot of people in the BDSM scene who switch. Maybe they submit to their life partner, but are dominant with casual partners. Maybe they just like variety. Maybe they start out on one side of the flogger and find they like the other more later on. In some gay male BDSM subcultures there’s even a notion that one should start out as a submissive and serve a sort of apprenticeship before asking another man to submit to you. I wanted to reflect the reality that people don’t fit into neat little descriptions, but they can still make their relationships work.
SI: I love that!
3) I loved Gray and Elizabeth. Their dynamic was fascinating. How difficult was it for you to write two characters who both wanted to be in charge?
SvY: Oh, very, very difficult. I should win a prize or something. See me suffer for my art!
Actually, a lot of the dialog wrote itself. Gray and Elizabeth have two very strong conflicting motivations – they absolutely want to be in charge, and they love the other person. It was often very easy to see how they’d handle the situations they put themselves into. I think they were actually easier to write than most.
SI: I love when that happens, it makes the writing of those stories such a joy.
4) Gray and Elizabeth found balance in their relationship and was able to find a common ground. From a writer’s perspective how did you plot out the balance between them to make sure that both characters got what they wanted without losing their core essence? Or did you just let it ride like a panster?
SvY: That was the tricky part. My approach is usually to write the first 10,000 words or so pantser style, and then to write an outline… which I may or may not follow exactly if something better comes to mind, but if I do veer off I usually write a new outline for the remainder. Gray and Elizabeth didn’t so much veer off as find a different path to the same ending.
A lot of BDSM books, and romances in general, don’t really require the characters to give up anything to be together… and that’s fine, and idyllic. But there’s something very lovely about two human beings being willing to make compromises, too… and Gray and Elizabeth find that maybe they aren’t exactly who they thought they were, in some ways. It’s a growth thing for both of them.
SI: Very true to life.
5) You’ve written such wonderful Doms and Subs. Which would you say is more difficult to write?
SvY: I’d say subs are harder to write well, on the whole, but it really depends on the book and the characters. There’s a delicate line – one wants a character to be assertive, but a submissive has to be yielding as well, and it’s more often the subs lines I have to rewrite as they head off too far in one direction. Doms are a challenge because they want to be in control, but there’s a line between being dominating (good) and domineering (bad).
6) Dom and Domme is part of a series that has three books in it so far. Are there anymore stories you’d like to tell in this world?
SvY: I don’t have a plan to write a fourth book – the idea for a long time was to feature Amanda in the third and last book, which I did with Brat and Master. If an idea comes up I’ll certainly be happy to revisit, but I don’t have a character who from the previous books that’s calling out for a story.
7) What was your favorite part of writing the three books in the series?
SvY: I found Elizabeth and Amanda (especially in the third book, where she’s more than a bit character) the most fun to write – I think because they are both feisty. I mentioned that I tend to write the first 10,000 words or so off the cuff, and almost always those are the most enjoyable to write. That’s true of these three books as well. It’s particularly true in Blonde and Owner, because I love the way Vincent comes to the rescue and takes control.
SI: Feisty characters seem to just come forward and tell you what they’re about rather than be sneaky and hold back like other characters.
8) Will we get to hear from Gray and Elizabeth again?
SvY: Maybe. I’d actually love to write about them more, if I could just write about them, because I think they have an adventurous life together ahead of them, but the way romances work that would have to be in the context of someone else’s story. I don’t think there’s anything unfinished about their story, but it’d be fun to just let them romp a bit
SI: Maybe just a mini story sneak peek into their busy lives, after all Gray is a professor and Elizabeth has a new business.
9) Can you tell us what your latest or upcoming release is that we will want to buy as soon as it comes out?
SvY: Please Sir, the 3rd book in the Submission Island Tetrology, is due out November 8th from Ellora’s Cave. His Little Treasure, a Bondage Ranch book, will be out from Loose Id sometime around January.
10) Please tell readers where they can find you on the internet (website, FB, Twitter, etc.)
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me. I have the Cabana Men escort her out of the room.
OUT NOW! Dom and Domme
Blurb: Master Gray Merritt is looking for a sub one night at Excess, a BDSM night club, but instead he finds Betsy Castle, the college lover that still haunts his fantasies. Betsy is now Mistress Elizabeth, and she has some fantasies of her own that don’t involve Gray being on top. They agree to try to reconnect by having vanilla sex, but neither of them is willing to let it stay vanilla for long, and the struggle to be on top begins.
One night isn’t enough for either of them, but how can two people used to being in control manage to make things work? If there’s a will, there’s a way, but they’re both going to have to put love before control.
Gray Merritt clasped Joe’s meaty hand and shook it hard. Joe was a fixture in the local scene even though the big burly man wasn’t really a part of it. Joe had been a bouncer at Excess as long as the place had been in existence. Seven years. As far as Gray knew, the man had no interest in any of the kinky games people played behind the dark steel door, but he knew everybody.
“Been a long time, my man,” said Joe.
“Weeks,” acknowledged Gray, not sure whether he was agreeing or disagreeing.
“Some fine, fine looking ladies on the inside,” Joe said. Gray wasn’t sure when Joe had started saying ladies and stopped saying pieces of ass, but it was a good change. “Some I haven’t seen before. One or two that are your type.”
His type. Joe meant submissive. Gray nodded. “I’ll have to check ’em out, see if I get lucky.”
“Do you ever get unlucky?” Joe shook his head. “Man, I don’t remember seeing the day.”
Gray shrugged. “It happens.” He had a good reputation as a caring dom who could give a sub what she needed, and a little empathy went a long way. Excess was a membership or invitation only club, and Joe was posted to make sure it stayed that way. Any sub either knew Gray already or knew someone who would vouch for him.
Gray walked in, declined the offer of a glass of wine from the waitress in the leather French maid outfit, and scanned the place. He let himself take in the pretty parts of the scenery. Most of the time when he came to Excess, he was content to hang out with friends. Subs would come to him, meekly avert their eyes, and he would play with one if he thought his whims and her desires would match that evening. If they didn’t, it never bothered him. He’d rather be picky than risk a bad scene. But tonight was different. Tonight he definitely wanted to get laid. And Betsy Castle was to blame.
It had been ten years since he’d seen Betsy. They were lovers their entire last year of college, way before he’d discovered BDSM. He’d thought they might build a life together, although there had never been any promises. Certainly the sex was blistering hot. Whether he’d find vanilla sex with any woman quite that arousing again, he didn’t know. Still, the memory of her–with her full breasts and rounded thighs, her soft, plump lips and darkest chocolate eyes–was enough to give him a raging hard-on. He didn’t know if she’d be at the reunion, but there was always a chance. She hadn’t shown up for the five year, so she probably wouldn’t be there for this one either, but he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the possibilities.
She’d gotten a job on the West Coast, San Francisco. He was blurry on the details, something in finance, in the foreign currency markets, working for a big English bank. Great pay for someone fresh out of college. She’d offered to take him with her and put him through grad school, but he wasn’t going to spend his life playing second fiddle to a woman. He supposed he had a little of the dominant in him even then. Or maybe he’d been plain stubborn. Too stubborn to let her know he wanted her to stay with him, because he knew it was selfish to deny her the golden opportunity. Too stubborn to write her so much as an e-mail once she’d left. She’d been just as stubborn. He wondered if she still thought of him. He doubted it.
He shook his head to clear his mind and started scanning again. He wasn’t after novelty tonight. He didn’t need to find yet another way to get a woman off. He just wanted a nice soft woman with a tight pussy and an insatiable appetite, a submissive he could enter time and time again until both of them were exhausted and satisfied. He didn’t think he’d find anyone to make him forget Betsy, but at least he would lack the energy to jerk off to his memories.
He spotted Amanda near the center of the room, talking to the waitress. She would do nicely. She didn’t want a collar any more than he wanted to collar anyone. She was wearing the sort of outfit she usually wore when she was trying to attract dominant attention, which was most of the time: a purple leather bra under a translucent white blouse tied to bare her stomach, and a plaid skirt that didn’t cover her ass. Her blonde hair was tied up, and her fake black-rimmed glasses were firmly in place, more librarian than schoolgirl, but what the hell. She’d never said no to him yet, and she knew full well any man would love to take those glasses off and make her long hair fall down around her shoulders. She was scrawnier than he would have preferred, but she was always fun. And what had she said to him the last time they’d played? “Anytime.” He knew she didn’t say that to everyone.
He strode down the five steps from the gallery, where people lounged and chatted, to the pit, as the regulars called it, and walked over to her. The pit was full of bondage equipment, some in use, some not. He ignored the scenes going on around him. Normally he appreciated seeing how other people did things, hoping to pick up ideas, but tonight he couldn’t care less. He intercepted Amanda after she took two cups of white wine, one in each hand. Offering a dom a glass of wine was one of many ways a sub could show interest without seeming impertinent. He suspected that was exactly Amanda’s plan. He was simply making sure it was him.
He took the glass out of her left hand and smiled at her. “For me?” He didn’t usually drink at Excess because alcohol and BDSM could be a bad mix. But one glass wouldn’t affect him.
She stopped and lowered her eyes. “Master Gray.”
He pushed her chin up. “Good girl,” he told her.
She still averted her eyes, which wasn’t a good sign. Something was definitely wrong. “Are you okay, Amanda?” It didn’t matter what his needs were tonight; if a friend needed a friend, thatwas what he’d be.
“I’m afraid, Sir, that I’m spoken for tonight.”
He blinked. The two glasses weren’t part of a come-on, after all. He handed her back the glass. On any other day he’d have let it go. But this time he asked. “Who is he?”
“Not a he this time. She. A new mistress at the club. I think she’s a pro domme.”
He vaguely recalled Amanda swung both ways. He smiled and nodded, graciously he hoped.
“Well, you’ll have to introduce me at least. Maybe she and I can come to an arrangement.”
She blinked at him twice. He was willing to bet her heart sped up at the thought. He was also willing to bet an offer to buy her from her mistress for the night would push all the right buttons. Even though he usually found auctions silly and the idea of buying someone ludicrous, since Amanda was her own woman except for a few hours at a time, he loved to please.
“Yes, Sir,” said Amanda. She walked across the pit, weaving her way politely around the backswing of a hefty dom flogging his petite sub. Gray followed. Mark had made Jolene’s bottom a pretty shade of pink, but she was tougher than she looked. Mark was getting a workout.
Sitting alone on a chair was a voluptuous leather-clad beauty. Her face was turned away, looking out the smoky window at the moonlit river beyond. She wasn’t very tall, although it was hard to tell for sure with her sitting down; still, in thigh-high boots with stiletto heels, her legs looked long, and there was healthy expanse of soft thigh between the top of the boots and her high-cut leather shorts. The tight corset she wore pushed her full breasts up so nicely he could almost imagine it was his hands doing the pushing. It was clear she was all soft woman in that austere outfit. Too bad she was a domme.
“Mistress Elizabeth, Master Gray requested an introduction.”
The domme turned and took the glass of wine. “Thank you, Amanda.” She looked up at Gray, and he found himself staring into the deepest chocolate brown eyes he’d ever seen.
“You!” said Mistress Elizabeth.
He didn’t have to ask. He’d never forget those eyes or the rest of her. No wonder he’d instantly thought of his hands on her breasts; the last time he’d seen her, his hands had been roaming her body, feeling her softness, trying to make good-bye sex something so good she’d want to come back for more. His cock was instantly, painfully hard. He wanted to climb on her, push her shorts aside, and fuck her senseless right then and there.
“My, my, my. Gray Merritt,” said Betsy. Her voice had lost some of the southern drawl it used to have, but it was still her voice. “I thought I’d play with a girl today–women are so much simpler and more sensible–but I could make an exception for you if you’d like to be my boy toy.”
Amanda’s jaw dropped. “Boy toy? Master Gray?”
Gray’s lips slowly curved into a smile. He wasn’t thrilled about Betsy having used his last name in front of Amanda, because he valued his privacy. Dr. Merritt, physics professor at RadsonUniversity, preferred not to be connected to Master Gray. He didn’t call her on it. Seeing him here might have been as much of a shock to her as seeing her had been for him. “Funny, I had been planning to play with a sub, but I’m happy enough to master you instead.” How many times had he played that scenario in his head? He’d lost count. He leaned forward until he was an inch away from her, nose to nose, eye to eye. “It’s been a while, Betsy.”
Her breath was hot against his, and for a moment, he thought she was going to go for it. Her gaze softened, and then she set her jaw. “It’s Elizabeth now, Gray. Mistress Elizabeth. No one calls me Betsy.”
“You two know each other?” asked Amanda.
“We go way back, don’t we, Betsy?”
“Uh-oh,” said Amanda.
Betsy stuck out her jaw and tilted her nose up until she had to look past it to see him. “I’m no sub, Gray, never was and never will be.”
Gray didn’t back up an inch. “Me neither.”
“You could both play with me,” said Amanda, her voice getting ever quieter.
Gray pulled Betsy half out of her chair, pressing his mouth hard against hers. Her lips parted, responsive, yielding for a moment as his tongue entered her mouth.
Then he felt her grab his hair and force his head back. That didn’t end the kiss, however, as her lips followed him, her tongue wrestling with his.
Damn her lips feel good. He tried to shake her hand out of his hair, but of course that only caused her to pull more. He’d never seen her hair anything but short before; now it hung in long and luxurious black waves over her shoulders. He grabbed it and tugged. He knew he was stronger than she was, but he’d never used his strength against a woman who wasn’t fully willing, and he steeled himself to pull only slightly harder than she was. He had more to grip, that was all. She bit his lip, hard, and he tasted blood. Reluctantly, he let go. So did she.
“Damn, Betsy.” He wiped his lip with his arm, which he instantly realized was a mistake. Scratch one white shirt. That bloodstain wasn’t likely to come out.
“Fuck, Gray.” She kicked the chair to the side as she stood up. Even in those heels, she was several inches shorter than he was, but it didn’t seem to faze her. She stood toe-to-toe with him, staring him down. He stared back. Neither gave any ground.
“Ten years, you never wrote.”
“Ten years, you never did either.”
People were gathering around, making a half circle around the two of them. Amanda took a step back, joining the spectators, and Gray felt a twinge of guilt. He was violating one of the club’s big rules, breaking into a scene negotiated between two other consenting adults. The only reason he hadn’t gotten busted for it was Betsy and Amanda hadn’t gotten hot and heavy yet. Normally he would have found the idea of watching the two of them a turn-on, but right now he wanted to pick Betsy up, put her over his shoulder, and carry her out of the club. He’d have to hold in the caveman impulse for now. It was painfully obvious Betsy wasn’t going to consent to that kind of treatment. He was only a Neanderthal when it was mutually satisfying. He took a breath.
Betsy stood legs apart, her hands on her hips. That she hadn’t called him on the carpet for busting her scene was the only thing that gave Gray any sense of optimism the confrontation might turn out well. And what did he want anyway? He wanted to fuck her, sure. He wanted her back in his life, maybe. She was almost certainly only here for the weekend, with her high-finance career and all in California. What the hell was she doing here? And when had she become “Mistress Elizabeth”?
He took in the sight of the soft curves. Watching her breasts swell and strain against the black leather of the corset wasn’t going to help him think. He shifted his gaze back to her face and saw her plump lips curve slightly at one corner. She’d caught him looking, and she wanted him to know his wandering gaze had been noticed.
“I’m sorry,” he said. He hadn’t had to apologize for much in his years of going to Excess, and the words felt strange. “I was taken by surprise. I didn’t expect to see you here, of course. Can we start again?”
Betsy nodded and turned. “Amanda.”
“Yes, Mistress Elizabeth.” Amanda stepped forward but didn’t kneel the way Gray half expected her to.
“I’m sorry to have been distracted. If you wish, I will proceed as we discussed, as is my obligation to you for your lovely gift of submission. Or, if you prefer, I will release you.”
Amanda nodded. “It’s no fun to serve someone who would rather be elsewhere, Mistress. And besides, I don’t really wish to have Master Gray pissed at me. Please release me.”
Betsy nodded. “You are released, Amanda, and thank you for the glass of wine.”
Gray knew Amanda would have no trouble finding a play partner. She never did. Still, he appreciated her graciousness. “Amanda, I owe you.”
“I’ll take you up on that sometime.” Amanda curtsied and stepped back out of his line of vision.
“Thank you, Betsy,” Gray said.
Betsy glared at him. “Elizabeth.”
“Elizabeth,” Gray conceded through gritted teeth. He let out a breath, then dropped his voice low so the onlookers couldn’t hear. “You know what I’ve been dreaming of for ten years?”
Betsy’s face softened, and her eyes twinkled. “What?”
“Of taking you, stripping you naked, tying you to my bed, and fucking you until you scream.”
She chuckled. “What a coincidence.”
He wasn’t nearly enough of an optimist to think she wanted what he wanted. “How so?”
She leaned forward and rubbed her breasts against him. He could feel the boning of the corset digging into his flesh, and it didn’t feel at all like the soft Betsy he remembered. She smiled up at him. “I’ve had this dream of taking you, stripping you naked, tying you to my bed, letting you pleasure me, and then teasing you until you beg me to let you come.” She took a step back and smirked at him.
Right. “Not going to happen.”
“You’re not going to top me,” Elizabeth told him, “but don’t worry, no one else is either. There’s only one way I like it. That’s with me on top.”
“What a coincidence,” he said, matching her earlier tone. This was getting nowhere, and the gossip-hungry crowd wasn’t helping. He glanced around. “None of this is any of your business, so scram.”
He would normally be more polite, especially as some of the people were his friends, but she’d gotten under his skin and good. A few walked away, enough so those remaining felt self-conscious and followed. He turned back toward Betsy. “So, Elizabeth, how’ve you been?”
“Very well, actually. And you?”
He thought for a moment. He had tenure at the university, taught two classes a week, had a big research grant, and had a wide variety of sex partners. Something was missing, to be sure, but he didn’t feel like he had a right to complain. “Fine, fine. Taking the world of finance by storm?”
“I quit after a year.”
“You what?” It was the thing that broke them up, and she quit?
She shrugged. “I started doing a few dominatrix gigs on the side, and it wasn’t long before I realized it paid nearly as well and was a heck of a lot more fun.” She took note of the expression on his face and added, “People change, Gray. I’m sorry you thought I was obligated to stay in one line of work to satisfy your ego.”
Ouch. Was that it? He didn’t like to think so, but it was too close to what he had been thinking for him to refute it.
“You’re a full professor now, one of the fastest to tenure of any faculty in the history of our alma mater,” Elizabeth told him. “Very impressive.”
She’d obviously taken the time to look him up. He smiled. “Boned up before the exam at the reunion, I see. Just like old times.”
“Except some of the boning back then wasn’t studying.” She licked her upper lip seductively, and his cock twitched. No, some of it hadn’t been. Some of it had been hard, hot, sweaty sex, in the bed, against the wall, wherever. And the way she licked her lip reminded him of what her lips had felt like around his cock.
“Good point. You can have some more of that action if you like. All you have to do is submit to me.” He reached out, stroked her cheek, and then slid his hand down to her neck. Right where a collar would go. She tilted her head to let him. For a moment, he thought he had her.
She brought her hand forward and gripped his rigid cock, kneading it through his pants. A little friction made it ache. He had to have her, or he was going to be thinking about her hand there for the next ten years.
“I’ll get you off, Gray. Just like old times. I’ll have you gasping and squirting hot, wet cum. Maybe I’ll let you come on my tits. Would you like that? Or if you’re very, very good, I might even let you come inside me.” She licked her lips again, indicating where. “All you have to do is follow instructions. That’s not very much to ask, is it? You know I won’t hurt you.” She squeezed his cock extra hard, and he was about to tell her that was something very much like hurting, but it felt too damn good. He wondered if she could feel him pulse through the fabric. “And you really want to come, don’t you, Gray?”
He grabbed her around the waist and held her firmly so she couldn’t escape what he was going to do next. All’s fair in love and war. He wasn’t entirely sure if this was love or war as he grabbed her crotch and insinuated a finger under the inseam of her shorts. Moisture rewarded his touch immediately. “I’m not the only one,” he said, trying not to look at the shocked expression on her face. She tried to wiggle away. There was a club safe word–mayday–and she could use if she really wanted to be let go. Assuming she’d read the rules. If she wanted to be a dominatrix at Excess, she’d better have read the rules.
“Get your finger out of my pussy, Gray,” she whispered.
“Only if you quit squeezing my cock, Betsy. You want me. Face it.”
For answer, she squeezed harder. If it was meant as a power play, she’d be better off going for his balls, but if she did, he was sure he could make her regret it. If her point was he wanted her as badly, well, damn straight.
“Elizabeth,” she said.
It took him a moment to remember he’d called her Betsy several seconds ago. Elizabeth was going to take some getting used to, but he could see why “Mistress Betsy” didn’t have the same ring. Although it wasn’t like he was ever going to call her Mistress anyway. “Fine. My house or your hotel?”
“What’s wrong with right here, right now?” Elizabeth asked, challenging him.
There were private rooms at the club. It wasn’t unheard of for people to have sex in the gallery, but it was usually done at least somewhat discreetly. Even at Excess, some things were gauche. For a change, though, he barely cared. “Sure. I’ll come to San Francisco and fuck you in front of your friends, just to make it equal. Let’s see if the Orient room is busy.” At least that room didn’t have too much traffic in front of it. All the rooms had small windows at head height through which people could watch from the gallery, partly to satisfy the desire of the voyeurs, partly to facilitate education in techniques, but above all to secure everyone’s safety.
“How about the dungeon room? That way if you decide you’d like to worship me…”
“Dream on, B-Elizabeth.”
She chuckled at his recovery.
“That’s prime voyeur territory anyway,” Gray went on. “Not that I mind being watched, normally, but…” He left the rest unspoken. It would be a lot easier for her to submit if she didn’t feel like she was being humiliated in the process. If he said it, she’d only tell him it wasn’t going to happen.
“But we have private business to attend to, don’t we? Very well.” She spun on her spikes and walked off in the direction of the Orient room. For a first timer, she’d made herself quite acquainted with the layout, but then Betsy had always done her homework.
Whose guest is she anyway? The idea that it might be some guy made a knot tighten in his chest. He knew he had no right to feel that way after ten years. And damn her for making it look like he was following her when he knew and she knew going to the Orient room had been his idea. He hurried after her, caught up, and opened the red door in time to invite her into the Orient room like a gracious host.
Copyright © Sindra van Yssel
Contest: Comment to win a copy of Dom and Domme.
13 Days of Halloween
Holiday Spotlight: Loose-Id
Demon Hunter 3: A Very Demon Halloween
by Evanne Lorraine
Duec, head of the demon hunters and La Ceinture Noire’s owner, is master of all he surveys, except fate. Death shadows him, drawing closer each day. A different foreboding whispers of danger to Belinda, the damaged halfling he’s sworn to protect. He’s waited a lifetime for her. She’s the other half of his soul, a true submissive too wounded to accept him as her master. He must make her safe from his enemies without him.
Unable to tolerate another’s dominance, Belinda, contract witch to the demon hunters, plays at Duec’s club as an icy Domme. She earned her nickname, Control Queen by giving other submissives the discipline they need to find release without ever seeking personal satisfaction. No matter how skillfully she manages her subs, the only male she longs for never sees the strong mistress she’s grown into, only the frightened, damaged child he rescued.
Then his enemies strike, capturing Belinda–changing everything. A failing Duec must battle ancient evil to save his mate and Belinda must find Duec before it’s too late.
Note:This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM elements, violence.
Belinda gave an exaggerated shudder and turned to Holly. “You’re so much braver than I would ever be. I can’t even imagine getting naked in front of this crowd.”
Or anywhere else, for that matter. No one needs to see the scars under my leather.
“There’s no courage required. I just stand there and follow Colin’s orders.” Holly’s thick blonde lashes dropped, and her fair skin pinked becomingly. “Nude is fine, because my obedience pleases Colin, but I’d love to wear a pair of boots like yours.”
“No way.” Colin shook his head. “Not in public. You’d cause a riot in those shoes. I have to think about crowd control.”
Holly smiled at the implied compliment. “Yes, Sir.”
“It’s almost showtime.” Colin’s voice deepened.
“I’ll try to catch part of your demonstration. Better move along before your fans get restless.” Belinda made a shooing motion at the couple.
Holly sketched a wave over her shoulder as Colin propelled her toward the glass-enclosed, center scene room. It was hard not to be envious of their mutual devotion. Belinda shook off the mood-dampening petty jealousy on her way to the bar. Colin and Holly were perfect together. She couldn’t imagine either of them with anyone else. She found a vacant seat, tucked her toy bag under it, and then perched her butt on top of the padded stool.
Ramon, another demon hunter and super-popular Dom, worked the bar. He made his way over to where she waited. There were seven demon hunters, not counting Duec. Each one different, but they were all hot and hunky. She fully enjoyed the view while he prowled toward her.
“What can I get for you, beautiful?”
“A little respect and a diet cola, easy on the ice,” she said with enough bite to remind him she wasn’t one of his human groupies.
“Gotcha covered, Ma’am.” He winked at her with no sign of repentance.
Copyright © Evanne Lorraine
Heaven Sent: Sly Spectral Trick
By Jet Mykles
Chris is warding the house against ghosts? Huh? Darien’s pretty sure Chris is pulling his leg, but his dignified lawyer lover seems awfully serious when he tells Darien that there’s a history of ghosts in his family and he needs to ward the house before Samhain officially starts. His grandmother even calls to make sure he’s doing it.
They’re kidding, right?
When he finds out the truth, it’s better, and sexier, than he could’ve imagined.
Note:This book contains elements that may be objectionable to some readers: m/m sex practices.
Chris faced him for a moment. He opened his mouth, then shut it. Light glinted on the light frames of his square glasses. Then he laughed, but it was forced. And brief. “All right, magpie. You got me.” He turned back to continue painting.
Darien’s laughter died. “Chris, quit it.”
“Everything will be fine if you let me finish.”
He pushed from the doorframe, fisting his hands at his sides. “Quit it. I’m not falling for it.”
“You mentioned that.”
“All right. Tell me why you’re warding against ghosts.”
Chris used a knuckle to push his glasses up higher on his nose before he resumed drawing patterns. “My family is descended from druids. As such, we’re rather attractive to ghosts.”
Darien fell back a step, eyes wide on his lover. “What?”
Chris shrugged, never taking his eyes off the window. He paused, fingers in the air, painting patterns.
He held up one long finger toward Darien, then resumed his air painting, muttering to himself as he stared intently at the pane of glass before him.
Darien was starting to get a bad feeling about this.
When Chris stopped muttering, he turned to force a smile at Darien. “Don’t worry about it, magpie. Nothing will happen if I can finish this.” He came back to stand before Darien. He used a knuckle to tilt Darien’s face up, bestowing a light, lingering kiss on Darien’s lips. “Why don’t you take a shower and I’ll finish, then we can carve pumpkins and you can make me watch that deplorable slasher movie you wanted to watch.”
Copyright © Jet Mykles
Match Game: Ghost Style
By Cynnara Tregarth
Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead is here. For Ben Cameron, this holiday is painful without his best friend, Manuel “Manny” Cervantes.
For Shari Livingston, this is a day to remember just how much Manny has done for all of their friends. She never expects Manny to appear at the Dumb Supper she and the others have put together or to demand that she and Ben admit their true feelings for one another.
However, Manny the ghost isn’t about to let them get away with just sleeping together to make him happy. He knows more about them than they want to admit even to themselves. Can this matchmaking ghost get Ben and Shari together or will he be forced to play the ultimate match game to show the love between them both?
Note:This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable. This story was previously released in Spirited.
Closing her eyes briefly, Shari listened to his heart, allowing herself to see if he was lying to her. His pulse was steady, there were no other telltale signs of lying, and she wanted to believe him. She had wanted him just as much as he wanted her. Why not give into one night of passion? Tonight could celebrate the joy of life after losing someone like Manny, who brought love and life into each person he touched. Opening her eyes, she nodded briefly. “Fine. One night, my home, my rules. Our friendship remains even if this romantic interlude doesn’t work and even if it does.”
“One night, your home, our rules. I won’t let you have the upper hand in this.” This time his smile reached his eyes. “I know how you can be; you forget how many times you’ve told me about the latest sex escapade, not realizing how hot it made me to claim you myself.” Tugging her close, Ben slid one hand into her loosened hair, then pulled, guiding her lips toward his. “Tonight won’t be like anything you’ve ever had before, Shari. That, I promise.”
His lips were warm and demanding while his tongue swept along her lips, trying to slide between them. With a soft moan, she opened to him as she slid her hands up his chest to his strong shoulders. His taste was not just maleness at its finest, but a combination of the wine he had drunk, the chocolate cake, and something spicy that defied recognition to her sensitive taste buds. Her tongue slid against his, teasing him with bold and then soft strokes as she pressed her body against him. Too long she had denied herself even thinking of the only kiss they had shared so long ago. This kiss seared the old one away, leaving behind quaking need as his tongue caressed the roof of her mouth before slowly withdrawing to outline her lips.
“Gods above, Shari,” he hoarsely whispered against her lips as their foreheads touched. “I need you tonight. Say yes.”
Deep blue eyes filled with desire, respect, and something else captured her gaze. There was no other answer to give. To deny this one night would be denying the dreams she’d had for months now. “Yes.”
Copyright © Cynnara Tregarth
Hero Sandwich: Voodoo
By Angela Knight
Ever since his brother, Cougar, married Paparazzi, bad girl gone good, the crimefighting duo of Cougar and Lynx had become a trio: Cougar and Paparazzi, plus Lynx. Before he put the ring on his lady’s finger, his brother might’ve joined them to join in a hot little threesome, but marriage had made him possessive.
It’s not that he begrudges the newlyweds their quality time, but Lynx could use a little quality of his own. He’s in desperate need of a little action to take the edge off his gnawing frustration. He figures he’ll spend Halloween in Manhattan beating the crap out of super villains.
A rooftop encounter with a sexy psi-siren with her mind on seduction changes everything. Maybe he doesn’t need a fight.
He just needs a little (or a lot) of Voodoo.
Note:This book contains elements that may be objectionable to some readers: bdsm.
Breathing hard, Lynx paused and scanned the darkness. This was Voodoo’s unofficial patrol zone, so with any luck, he should run into her again tonight.
He’d known a lot of superheroines over the years, but she was something special. No dilettante adrenaline junkie or spandex-clad wannabe, she was determined and serious, even after the attack that had come so close to killing her. Like him, she really believed in the necessity of what they did.
He’d been strongly tempted to beat Reaper to death for hurting her.
Lynx gave the skyline another questing scan, looking for the flap of a familiar cape. Nothing…
A female mouth suddenly closed around his cock, wet and hungry. He gasped and almost tumbled off his perch. Catching himself against a metal pipe, he threw a look downward. Despite his rioting senses, his groin armor was still firmly in place.
A clever tongue swirled and danced around his thickening shaft as ghostly fingers gently squeezed his balls. He grabbed for his dick, wondering if some invisible superwoman…
Copyright © Angela Knight
Alpha: Hunted Down
By Treva Harte
Dunne has always wanted his Alpha more than Hunt, the head of his pack, wanted him. Dunne could live with that. But he can’t live with Hunt’s latest fetish…at least not until Hunt convinces him otherwise. And when he does, it’s a real Halloween treat.
Note:This book contains elements that may be objectionable to some readers: m/m sex practices.
“You’re not going to let this go, are you? All right, then.” Hunt sighed and stood up. “Pull your pants down, boy. I see it’s time for a lesson.”
Dunne’s hands moved before he thought. It had been days since they’d been together. For a moment he remembered he was going hold out on principle and not make it easy on Hunt — to hell with principles, especially ones that only he seemed to have. By now he’d take anything Hunt was willing to give.
Dunne turned, trying not to fumble with his belt as he obeyed. He could hear Hunt unzipping his own pants, but Dunne knew better than to look around. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to see Hunt’s cock, full and erect, ready to plow into his more-than-willing asshole. Not at all. That erect cock was a sight to worship while on bended knees.
But when Hunt said it was lesson time, Dunne knew to keep his eyes and his pants down until Hunt told him differently. Hunt was Alpha. Hunt was boss. Just the idea made Dunne’s cock twitch.
Copyright © Treva Harte
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Character interview questions—Beck Stryker, High Concept
What is your name and occupation? Beck Stryker. I’m mid-thirties, and I work as a homicide detective for the Denver Police Department.
Do you like your job? Why or why not? I like it, but I miss the cop I used to work with: Danny Halliday. He died in the shootout where I got this (Points to left shoulder). I don’t want to get shot again.
Who is the person you dislike the most? Right now, I’m not big on Warren Sands. He’s the director of the Minneapolis division of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Sands keeps roping my… (clears throat) boyfriend, Zach, roped in to further investigations.
Is there anyone special in your life? Zach Littman. We worked together on a recent case, and we’re…working on a together kind of thing. Still pretty much on the lowdown. I haven’t come out at work. Yet.
What’s your favorite meal, and do you fix it yourself or have someone fix it for you? Steak and baked potato. No one makes a meaner steak than Zach. I’m not much of a chef, and he enjoys cooking.
Football or baseball? Football. The Denver Broncos.
Favorite holiday? Christmas could be it, depending on how things go this year (grins).
Damn rainy weather.
Beck’s left shoulder ached, and he rearranged his holster. If this kept up, he’d need pain meds to sleep tonight. Meanwhile, time to take a break and sneak some ibuprofen. Even if it was a nonsteroidal, couldn’t have the boss thinking he wasn’t 100 percent and ready for the field.
He made for the men’s room. In a stall, he dry-swallowed three of the blue gelcaps, then peed and washed his hands. On the way back to his desk, he stopped at the drinking fountain and gulped water, making sure the pills would dissolve. Twenty minutes, and relief should kick in.
Beck reached his desk and lowered himself into the chair. A pile of reports sat waiting for his attention. Ridiculous. He was a homicide detective, not a secretary. This was a waste of his skills. Field cases waited, infinitely more interesting and requiring a detective’s intuition.
Across the room, Van met his gaze and looked away. Beck spun his chair toward the windows behind him. Sheets of water rippled down the windows, blurring the building across the street.
After the shooting, Beck’s ex-lover had made it clear as still water that there was nothing left between them. At least Van had understood the pressures of the job, the danger, both on the street and in the department. Homicide was a macho division, and the other detectives were unlikely to accept an alternate orientation. He and Van had agreed to keep their relationship under wraps. Had they had a relationship or just been fuck buddies?
Nights in a soft bed, Van’s hot tongue everywhere until Beck squirmed with need. A firm grip on his cock, stroking.
“What would you like tonight?”
Heat rushed to his groin. Mind-blowing sex—no doubt about that—but was that all they’d had?
They’d never eaten at a restaurant unless it was out of town. They’d never taken a vacation together. Van liked sun and sand and room service; Beck preferred snow and skiing and grilled steaks at the lodge. And they never stayed over at each other’s places.
Sure didn’t sound like a relationship. Hell, when he’d been lying in the hospital with his shattered shoulder pinned together, wondering if his hand would ever work again, he’d turned to Van expecting emotional support, and his lover had gunned down the only thing Beck had left.
Van had left nothing at Beck’s apartment except travel brochures.
The first time Beck had risked his heart, and he’d gotten blown away for his trouble. Staying secreted in the closet precluded Van paying attention to a disabled boyfriend. “It would look strange if I spent extra time with you,” Van had said, and he’d been careful not to visit more often than any of the others. At that point, Beck had wished his injuries had been more severe, that the bullet had hit a few inches to the right and down, preempting Van’s assault on Beck’s heart. Death had sounded better than total bereavement.
Anger had overtaken depression in short order. The first thing he’d done after arriving home was deep-six the tropical-vacation brochures littering the kitchen counter.
In the ensuing weeks, Beck had fought through the pain of physical therapy and the loss of the relationship.
As Beck’s psychologist, Jay had helped him work through most of that. And the painful inquiry about the shootings.
“Hey.” Soft brown eyes gazed down at him, wary, not welcoming. The familiar scent of Van’s bay rum aftershave reached Beck, and his stomach clenched.
“Well. What can I do for you, Detective Gates?”
Van plopped a folder on his desk. “Got a computer request that needs your expertise.”
“Don’t think I can help you.” Beck picked up a pen, tapped it on the folder. “I’m not a computer expert.”
Van’s full mouth thinned, lips pressed together. “It’s a search for vehicle license plates. Need it for the murder book.”
Helpless to resist, Beck’s gaze wandered down Van’s chambray-clad torso. The memory of burying his face in Van’s groin set off a twitch in his own.
“Hey, dickhead. I need the information.”
Head in the game, Stryker. “What’s the case?”
For a moment, Van said nothing, as if he hadn’t heard. Then, “It’s a home invasion.”
It was Beck’s turn to stare. Another one? “When did that happen?”
“A week ago.”
“What’ve you got so far?”
“You’re not on active duty in the field, Stryker. And you’re not part of my investigation.”
Beck barked a laugh. “Same supportive bastard, aren’t you?”
A faint pink materialized high on Van’s cheeks. He opened his mouth, closed it.
Beck waited, twirling the pen.
“Just get the information.” Van turned on his heel. In spite of himself, Beck took a surreptitious look at Van’s ass as he marched back to his desk. Too bad there wasn’t more to him than a hot body.
Across the room, Van’s partner, Katie Coleman, gave him a huge smile. If she were a guy, maybe she’d pique Van’s interest. As it was, she’d be wasting her time. Bats for my team, Coleman. Beck swung his gaze toward the folder.
Whether Van acknowledged it or not, Beck was part of the investigation now.
Copyright © Whitley Gray
Blood Claim 2: Prelude is up on Amazon.
Blood Claim: Prelude
Excerpt (R), Encounter with Sen
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial
It’s the anniversary of Kit being inducted into Vampyre society and Rysen has a few sexy plans up his sleeve — one of which is to reenact the first night he and Kit made love. He’s got the mask, had the room made up. The only problem? A misunderstanding with Kit.
Kit’s ready to for a nice lovers’ getaway with Rysen. The inn is almost done, Jessye hasn’t killed Syrus yet and life is good. That is, until she overhears Rysen on the phone sending roses to another woman. At first she’s confused then anger takes over. She’s not going to let Rysen make a fool of her.
Is he going to have to tie her down to unveil his surprise and explain it?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, ménage (m/m/f), spanking.
Any minute now, Rysen’s heart was going to burst through his chest. Never in his life had he waited so long to go after a woman or been so afraid of the consequences. His spies had reported her every movement, every like and dislike. He knew practically everything about her, and yet it wasn’t enough. He wanted the woman herself to tell him all her secrets. Kit was a decadent treat he couldn’t wait to taste and savor.
There was an innocence and purity about her. He wanted to be careful, to hold his darker tastes back. Tonight he would seduce her, show her the delights that he, and only he, could offer her.
“So tell me, Sen, what do you have planned for me tonight? It is traditional to give the newly inducted a gift after six months of being part of vampyre society.” There was heat in her dark brown eyes. Her gaze stoked the fire burning within him.
The carriage felt too small, the enclosed space was like a furnace. He swallowed as his cock twitched. “I have several things planned to help you celebrate your induction. You just have to trust me. Can you do that?”
He waited for her response, excitement pumping through his veins. The games were really about to begin.
“Yes, I can do that. Could you please take off the mask?” She gave him a hopeful look and he shifted in his seat, the leather creaking with his movement.
He smiled at her and shook his head.
“I wish to see your face. I wish to know what you look like.”
He shook his head again. “No. This is part of the present I give to you. Tonight, you must trust me. Do you trust me?”
He watched her face. Emotions moved and swirled in her eyes, but he saw no doubts or hesitations, much to his relief. He had to play his part, and he would play it in full tonight.
“All right. I trust you, Sen. I put myself in your hands.” She leaned forward, giving him the perfect view of her cleavage. “Now give me my present.”
He swallowed. His plan was now tilting on its axis as she stared up at him. “Present?”
Kit nodded. “Present. I want my present now. Make me forget about what I have to go back to when morning comes. I don’t want to think about suitors or men who may or may not be interested in me.”
Rysen felt his control slipping from his hands as he gazed into her eyes. He needed to regain his composure fast. “I promise you, I will make you forget every last one of them.”
He brought his head down until their lips were only a few millimeters apart. “First, I plan on kissing you slowly. If you’ll allow me, I plan on undressing you, exploring this beautiful body with my mouth and hands. Do you like the sound of that?”
He waited for her answer. His heart was pounding so hard he was afraid it would burst through his rib cage. He had to tread slowly. Rysen was very sure she had never experienced anyone like him. He didn’t want to scare her or make her uncomfortable. Besides, he was in enough trouble as it was with Jessye.
Ignoring the demand of his body to close the distance and kiss her, drag her toward him, and feel her curves against him, Rysen watched her reaction to his words. His cock and fangs throbbed with need. He didn’t want to just taste her blood; he wanted to fuck her until she screamed. Clearing his thoughts, he took in a deep breath and waited for her response.
It didn’t take long. She brought her face closer to his and brushed her lips against his, once, twice, three times. The slight contact fired his blood. Growling, he took hold of her head and held it still. He kissed her with passion, nipping her bottom lip and sucking the plump flesh into his mouth.
His fangs burst forth, pain shot through his mouth, but he didn’t care; the thudding of his heart against his rib cage, the silken feel of her hair against his palms, the light vanilla scent of her were all he knew. Rysen bit down, his fangs sank into her lip, and her blood spilled into his mouth.
In the back of his mind he cautioned himself not to take too much of her blood, only a small taste. Too much would bind them together. He didn’t want that just yet. Closing his eyes, he lost himself in the salty, sweet taste of her. Inhaling deeply, he let himself drown in the musky perfume of her arousal.
Her soft cry made his groin tighten. His heart pounded against his chest as need surged through his veins. He sucked harder, drinking more of her blood into his mouth. The fiery liquid rushed over his taste buds. The sweet elixir was the thing that broke him.
He growled again. He used his vampyric quickness and strength to push her against the opposite seat. His body pressed hers into the cushions. Her hands clutched his biceps, her nails dug into the silk-covered flesh. That was all it took to regain his control. Swearing, he pulled back. He licked the last drop of her blood off his lips and bowed his head. “I’m sorry, Kit. I truly am. I lost myself.”
“Did I tell you to stop?” Her eyes flashed, glittering dangerously. She leaned forward, grabbed him by the lapels of his jacket, and pulled him to her.
Her strength surprised him. Then all his thoughts scattered when her breasts pressed against his chest.
He groaned. “I need to see you. I need to taste you.”
She let go of his lapels and untied the ribbon of her corset. He watched her hands deftly undo the silken strips, pulling the sides of the corset apart to reveal a camisole underneath. He let out a sound of frustration. “You women have far too much underclothing for my liking.”
Brushing aside her hands, he grabbed the delicate material and ripped it.
She gasped and then giggled. “You’re very eager, aren’t you?”
“To see and taste you? Yes, I’m more than eager.” He pushed the sides of the corset and camisole farther apart, exposing her small, high breasts. In the soft, golden light, her skin glowed. Her dark chocolate nipples beckoned to him. He lowered his head, swirling just the tip of his tongue around one dark brown areola. She squirmed underneath him; her hips ground against his. Her movements fanned the fire roaring through him. He could just imagine what it would be like to feel her body move underneath him as they made love.
He pulled his head back and blew, watching the tip tighten. Again, he circled the turgid peak before taking it between his teeth and sucking it into his mouth. Her moan inflamed him further. He ground his hips against her, but the friction was not enough. His cock pressed against his breeches, needing to be released.
He scraped a fang over her nipple. She gasped and shuddered beneath him. He transferred his attention to the other nipple. She buried her fingers into his hair, nails scraping his scalp as she held his head against her breast. Arching her back, she ground her hips harder against his. She moaned his name, and that nearly broke him.
The carriage rolled to a stop, and a moment later, there came a tap on the door. Releasing her nipple with a soft?pop, he kissed his way upward until he reached her lips. He pressed his mouth to hers softly, then shrugged out of his jacket and handed it to her. “Put this on. I don’t want anyone to see your beautiful breasts but me.”
She laughed. “Possessive, aren’t we?”
“You don’t know how much. Now hurry,” he murmured. “I need you, and I can smell the intoxicating scent of your arousal.”
She took his coat and pulled it on, then buttoned it up with deft fingers. He pushed open the door and got out before turning and helping her down from the carriage. In the dim light of the carriage house, he could see her hair was mussed. The silver ribbon was threatening to escape, weaving through the waves and curls that fell around her shoulders. He reached out and tucked a few strands behind her ear, letting his fingers run over the delicate strands.
Rysen watched her body shudder, and smiled. Whatever happened this night, he knew this would bind them together. She had mesmerized him, intoxicated him, and he didn’t want to let go of her. But he had to remain in control. If what he had heard was true, and Ryu really had abandoned his clan, it could lead to an alliance between their two houses, despite Jessye’s obvious dislike of him. Rysen wanted Kit to be his consort. He couldn’t picture anyone else at his side but her.
Kit looked up at him, a question in her eyes. “Are you going to stand there and let me freeze?” Her lips curved into a smile, and for a moment, he was caught off guard. “If you’re not careful, I shall need help warming up.”
Reaching out, he cupped her cheek, and she turned toward his touch. He brushed his thumb over her plump lower lip. The flesh looked bruised. He preened at that.?I will be her lover. No one else will be with her.
His stomach dropped at the thought, and a shiver raced up his spine. It felt almost as if someone were walking on his grave. Ignoring the sensation, he trailed his hand down, caressing her neck and shoulder, and let it glide down her arm to take hold of her hand. Their fingers threaded together. The feeling seemed honest and right, as if the world had fallen into place. Home.
“Come, darling; let’s go inside so I can warm you up properly.” His voice was surprisingly hoarse with emotion. He started to turn away and head to the door when she tugged on his arm.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.
He raised an eyebrow rose in question. “No, why?”
“Something happened between us, something I can’t name.” Her face scrunched in concentration.
“I’m not sure what you mean.” He knew he was lying, but to tell her what was on his mind would scare them both.
He turned and led her toward the door. Inside, the golden glow of the wall sconces led him upstairs and to his bedroom. He pushed open the door, pulled her inside, and then tugged her against his body. Using his mind, he closed the door and then wrapped his arms around her. “Ready for your presents?”
With a thought, he lit the room. Candles flared to life and bathed them in a soft, warm light. She gasped and looked around her. Rose petals and candles were everywhere. Her eyes wide, she looked up at him. “Is this all for me?”
The wonderful Qwillia Rain has allowed me to interview one of her sexy heroes from her new series the Poker Posse. Come along and find out more about this sexy and mysterious man.
With Se beside me, I head toward the small table in front of Sweet Rose Treats and wave at the older gentlemen rising from the chair. He ducks his head to avoid bumping into the red and white striped umbrella shading the table and pulls out two chairs, motioning for Se and I to sit down. The summer heat in Georgia has miraculously cooled in the last few days, but I don’t expect it to last.
Hiding the smirk at the sigh Se gives as she gazes up at the tall, handsome man, I begin the introductions. “Selena Illyria, this is Vladamir Presnaytz. Vlad, Selena Illyria. She’s a friend and fellow author.”
He takes her hand in his and lifts it to his lips for a soft, courtly kiss to the back of her hand. “A pleasure to meet you, Miss Illyria. Miss Rain has told me you were interested in discussing Magnolia and the Omen.”
I can’t help but roll my eyes at Vlad’s intentional thickening of his Slovakian accent. The fact that the man looks like a very well-preserved Michael Nouri when he played a vampire in the 1990s doesn’t hurt either. Well over six feet tall, he waits until both of us are seated then takes his seat and offers to pour tea from the pitcher on the table.
We accept his offer and wait until the glasses are filled and placed before us, then I ask, “Are we early?”
Vlad shook his head. “No. I spoke with the others but,” he fought to keep from grinning—and lost. “They were all too busy dealing with —things— to be able to sit down for an interview.”
I glance at Se. “I’ll corral a couple of them later for you. Promise.”
“I hope I will be able to quell your curiosity, Miss Illyria.”
Leaning back, I sip the sweet tea and watch as Se begins the interrog—interview.
Selena Illyria: Okay, why don’t you tell me a little about yourself? What do you do for a living? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? You know the basics.
Vlad: I dabble in many things. He motioned to the building behind him, the strip mall where Rose and Ibraham’s shops were located. Wine making. Real Estate. Business. Whatever interests me. I am fortunate that my family has prospered since coming to America. Slova Wines and the profits I receive as a stock holder has allowed me to explore a great many things over the years. As for my favorite ice cream— he makes a low purring sound paired with a slow smile— Vanilla.
Selena Illyria fans herself but manages to ask another question.: What would you say is your best trait? Your worst habit?
Vlad: He seems to ponder his answer. Best trait? Focus. Once I’ve established a goal and the path to achieving it, nothing can distract me from succeeding at it. Worst? He released a heavy sigh. Focus. He doesn’t expound on it, but it’s apparent by the sadness in his dark gray eyes that his memories of the years without the woman he loves are close to the surface.
Selena Illyria: Now you are a Dom. Vlad nods. Besides RACK what personal rules do you have for subs?
Vlad: There hasn’t been much need for rules, until recently, since I rarely entered into negotiations for anything beyond a night or two. After Viola, my primary rule became “full disclosure”. No holding back about anything.
I watch his expression and understand his reasoning. If he’d practiced that rule when he first met Viola, things would have been much different than they’d been. At the same time, there’s no telling if Rose and Viola would have been the same people they are now, or if Ibraham would have ever looked at Rose the way he does.
Selena Illyria: Let’s get personal. What do you look for in a romantic partner?
Vlad: After a slow shake of his head, he sipped his tea and waited a moment before answering. I don’t. Viola was it. The whole package. Smart, funny, feisty—everything I never knew I wanted. My myš. If I’d paid better attention to my instincts things would have been very different.
I pipe up. No telling what it would have been like, Vlad. It might have been worse than it is now.
Vlad: he doesn’t ignore my suggestion, but a weary look crosses his face. Ah, but there would have definitely been more than one child.
I nod and keep my lips firmly sealed.
Selena Illyria: What’s your best pick up line? What’s your worst? Do you even have to use one?
Vlad: Laughing, he leans forward then lets a smile slowly lift his lips, the gray of his eyes lightens and his deep voice drops to a low purr. Pick up lines are for amateurs, my dear.
Selena Illyria: looks away, takes a sip of sweet tea, then brushes her hands on her jeans before she manages to look up and asks, If you were a dessert what kind would you be?
Vlad: A playful grin makes him look nearly as young as his godson, Ibraham. Black Forest Cake. Dark, rich, and sinfully decadent.
Selena Illyria takes another sip of tea, fans herself before she asks: What is your sexiest fantasy?
Vlad: Feeling my mouse’s arms around me again. Hearing her soft Southern drawl whisper against my skin telling me all the things she can’t wait for me to do to her. Listening for the tiny squeaks she makes as she comes. Knowing she is mine. Always.
Selena Illyria: Even though they aren’t here, how would you describe the other guys? Let’s start with Damian.
Vlad: I have only just met my godson’s friend so I have no way of knowing what each of them are like. But Damian, that boy doesn’t let anyone close. A crease formed between his brows then slowly eased. I worry about him.
Selena Illyria: Silly time, what would you say is your most embarrassing moment?
Vlad: Shifting in his seat, a flush darkens his cheeks. I’d rather not repeat it, but suffice to say, there is now a very sturdy lock on the laundry room door and plans to put a door and lock on the doorway into the kitchen.
Selena Illyria: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Last one I promise. What would you say, in one sentence, to get a person to check out the Omen?
Vlad: Despite its name, the Omen is a well-managed, well-respected club. Damian runs a tight ship and he protects those who come there as long as they follow the rules of SSC. Safewords are inviolate. Break the rules and there’s no returning.
Selena Illyria: That’s more than one sentence.
Vlad: Vlad laughed and leaned forward, his forearms braced on the table, his gaze focused on Se, the expression on his face sensually compelling. It was no wonder Viola fell for the man the instant she met him all those years ago. In a low tone, his Slovakian accent heavy, reminding me again of Michael Nouri’s vampire— If a taste of the dark side is your desire, the Omen is the perfect choice to keep you safe—for now.
Movement across the street catches his attention and a broad smile lights up his face. Getting to his feet, it’s clear the interview is over as he kisses first Se’s hand then mine.
Vlad: It has been a pleasure, but if you will excuse me, I have to go catch a mouse.
He didn’t wait for us to agree before he stepped off the sidewalk and strode across the street toward Viola Whittman, Rose’s mother, as she hovered outside the bank, a letter gripped in her hand, a stern look on her face.
Viola Whittman has only ever loved one man, Vladamir Presnaytz. Now that’s he’s reentered her life will she be able to make him understand the decision she made that kept him separated from his child?
Now that Vladamir has discovered her secret, it threatens to destroy their second chance together. Can the past be forgiven or will their dreams of happily ever after die when the full extent of her betrayal is revealed?
Viola flinched as the quiet closing of the door confirmed her suspicions regarding how tightly Vladamir held his anger in check. The time of reckoning was upon her.
Despite the flurry of activity at Mirabeth’s baby shower, Viola had sensed the gradual rise of emotion in Vlad. Raelene hadn’t helped matters any. Her other friends had covered their shock at how much Rose looked like Vlad with awkward smiles, but they kept their questions to themselves.
Not Rae. Oh no. That woman was biologically incapable of passing up an opportunity to gossip. Having been fodder for Rae’s wicked tongue in the past, Viola had done her best not to respond when Rae sidled up to her and chuckled. “Seems someone’s been keepin’ a very big secret.”
It was harder not to snatch her friend bald when Rae decided to turn her charms on Vlad. Maybe Rae thought he’d talk when Viola refused to rise to her bait. The fact that Vlad stayed beside Viola and ignored Rae’s overtures eased Viola’s temper some.
But she wished she didn’t feel ready to jump out of her skin. Vlad’s prolonged silence on the drive back from Mabel’s had stretched her nerves thin. Now that she was alone with Vlad, and as the sun sank below the horizon, Viola knew she had some explaining to do.
Over the years she’d practiced how she’d tell Vlad about Rose, but the instant he turned and she saw his face, her blood went cold and any courage she had drained out of her. Viola headed for the kitchen. “I’ll make us some tea.”
“No.” The deep resonance of his voice filled the living room.
Viola halted in her tracks, but she couldn’t bring herself to turn and face him again. His flat expression and icy eyes frightened her more than she could have imagined.
Her fingers tangled together. Her heart slammed against her ribs. It felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room, and she couldn’t breathe as she worked up the strength to look at him. No matter how she tried to convince herself, and even after the careful way he’d made love to her this morning, Viola had wondered if a relationship between them could last, considering the secret she’d kept from him. Though twenty-seven years separated her from the naive young woman who’d fallen head over heels for Vlad the moment he rescued her from unwanted attentions at a night club, Viola easily recognized that a man like Vladamir, someone who’d instinctively protected a stranger, would never forgive her for staying quiet about his daughter the way she had.
She shook off the temptation to cower and beg forgiveness. She’d done nothing wrong based on the information she’d had all those years ago. She’d done what was best for her and her—their—daughter. She needed to remember that. Straightening her shoulders, Viola drew a deep breath and turned to face her lover. She’d learned to stand on her own two feet after her trip to California and meeting Vlad. She’d survived the sudden death of her husband five years earlier. She wouldn’t crumble when Vlad turned his back on her. At least not for long.
“What do you want me to say?” She forced herself to meet his gaze. The chill in his eyes didn’t make her feel any better—only worse.
“The truth. Tell me why you kept my child from me.”
She winced at the sorrow in his voice. “Because I thought you were married.”
“I know that now, but not then.” The tension in her body eased when he turned his focus away from her and began to pace the living room like a tiger in a too-small cage. A tiger ready to pounce on anything or anyone that got in its way.
Selena Note: I loved this book when it first came out. Belinda is re-releasing this book with Loose-Id, revised and extended. If you haven’t picked it up yet snap up your copy today!
There are three things that Dr. Briony Theale loves. Her job as a veterinarian, a good bar of rich, dark chocolate, and Rico, the ranger in charge of the Wildlife Rescue center. When a casual dinner with Rico turns surprisingly intimate, Briony realizes that she might just have a chance with him after all, if only she could lose a few pounds. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, but Briony goes cold turkey, and swears off chocolate forever.
Rico Montgomery fell hard for Briony the first time he set eyes on the curvy little doctor. Her rich brown hair and cocoa skin trigger cravings that he can barely control, and her fragrance is like the sweetest, richest chocolate he’s ever scented in his life. That’s a bad thing for Rico, because to a werewolf like him, chocolate is literally a toxin.
After his pack warns him off the very human doctor, Rico finds himself even more drawn to Briony.
Rico can’t live with it, and Briony can’t live without it. And when a certain wandering wolf finds a bag of chocolate in the trash near Briony’s clinic, these two will find out just how toxic love can be.
This is a substantially expanded and revised version of the short story Sex and Chocolate: Toxic which was previously published.
“Why’d you decide to be a vet?” He sucked a bit of sauce from his knuckle, noting how her eyes followed the movement.
“I just love animals, and they seem to like me back. I’m good at science, so it seemed to be the right field for me. And I do love it.” She finished her second piece, and this time he let it go. He’d send her home with leftovers. “How did you become a ranger?”
“Oh, I love animals, and I seem to be pretty good at science…” The corners of her eyes crinkled in laughter. “I’m a biologist, and most of what I do is in the field. So while I’m assigned to Rescue, I’m also in charge of monitoring raptors in this region. It ties in closely to what we do here. Luckily I have a good volunteer coordinator, because sometimes I spend days up in the mountains. Can’t think of a better job.”
She nodded, and he could sense she was getting ready to leave. Quickly he began gathering the leftovers and plates. “Dessert? I have ice cream.” He peeked into the freezer and pulled out a carton. “It’s that type with three flavors.”
“Neapolitan!” She laughed and rose to help him clean up. “Okay, but just a little. I’ll take a scoop from the chocolate side.”
They ate while standing. Rico leaned against the sink, letting the cool taste of strawberry melt over his tongue. He’d rather have chocolate, but that would be a bad idea. A very bad idea.
Briony clearly savored the flavors as she ate. “When I was a kid, my mom would buy this kind of ice cream. My little brother would eat the strawberry, and I’d eat the chocolate.”
“Leaving the vanilla behind.”
“Mom would get so mad!”
“Well, I can have the vanilla and the strawberry, but I have to leave the chocolate alone.”
“Don’t you like chocolate? I can’t imagine anyone not liking chocolate.”
He smiled at her expression of sympathy. “I love chocolate, but it doesn’t like me. It makes me a bit sick.”
“Wow. I can’t imagine…” She stared down at her bowl, dragging her spoon through the melted remains of the ice cream.
“There’s one way I can have chocolate.”
She looked at him, tilting her head just a bit. “How?”
“Like this.” Rico bent down and kissed her lightly, letting the tip of his tongue catch the flavor from her parted lips. He moved back slightly and smiled at her surprised expression. “Was that okay?”
She blinked and cleared her throat a little. The warm scent of chocolate filled the air, and Rico’s body responded, going hard and tight with need. “Uh…yeah… Yes.”
Taking that as permission, he rested the tips of his fingers on her cheek, knowing they were chilled from the ice cream bowl. Her eyes fluttered closed, her dark lashes making a crescent against the curve of her cheek. Slowly he kissed her again, drawing it out this time. He ran his fingers into the silky curls of her hair, then supported the back of her head as he took the kiss deeper. He tasted her, absorbing the essence of chocolate from her mouth, from her very skin. He shivered at the sensations that raced through his body.
Rico knew exactly when to break the kiss. “Nice,” he whispered in her ear, then stood up straight so she could move away. He trailed his fingers from her hair over her ear and down to her jaw. Her skin was fine and soft. “You taste so sweet. Chocolate kisses.”
He was about to kiss her again when she blinked and straightened. “Chocolate… Oh! I really need to leave.”
Rico stifled his disappointment, taking the bowl she still held.
“I’m sorry. I really do need to go. My night help can’t stay long, and I’ve got a dog in for chocolate toxicosis. I’ll need to stay at the clinic tonight.”
Rico turned to the sink, not liking that idea at all. He’d had girlfriends, some serious, but this protective streak surprised him. It took him a moment to regain control of his voice. “Will you be safe there alone?” He watched her reflection in the little window over the counter.
She laughed, and he was stunned by the dimples and the sudden spark of humor in her brown eyes. “Perfectly safe. I’ve got excellent security plus a nice overnight room for the weekend staff. In fact, when I first moved to town, I lived in the clinic until I found my house.”
He turned and leaned against the sink. “Just how good is your security?” He lifted a brow. He wasn’t an expert but knew people who were. The average security installation was little more than an illusion of safety.
“It’s the best.” She smiled up at him. “Designed by my own mother.”
“Seriously. That’s what she does for a living; she’s a security consultant. Former military.”
Well, that didn’t mean much either as far as Rico was concerned. Somehow he’d wrangle Kurt and Ethan into checking the place out. For tonight, though, he’d make certain she was safe.
He sighed, following as she gathered her things. “Okay, Bree, but if you need anything at all, don’t hesitate to call. Any time.”
“Oh, I couldn’t trouble you, Rico!”
“No trouble. Honest.” He grinned. “If the big bad wolf comes knocking at the door, I’m the man to call!”
She laughed in delight. “There aren’t any wolves in California! You told me that months ago.”
“You’re right. There aren’t any wolves in California. At least, not the four-legged kind. Not yet.”
Visit Belinda at http://www.belindamcbride.com
I finished this book Sunday night and LOVED it.
Your Biggest Fan is a beautiful story about Love, Acceptance of yourself and recognizing that you sometimes need to look up and see that life is better than you thought it was.
This may be an M/M story but I really did relate to the absolutely adorable Truman “Tru”. Up until a few years ago I had the hardest time accepting my depression or the fact that I had indeed made friends and that life was better than I thought it was. It took a lot of knocks before I finally got the message. I may still be skittish when it comes to certain things and open up but I know now that I have friends who love me and speak “Selena” even when I make no sense whatsoever.
The themes of this book transcends simply a GLBTQ story and is truly a human story that can help anyone who needs someone to relate to about accepting one’s self and accepting the gift of love.
A truly wonderful read that you will leave you wanting more of this new series from the talented Ms. Welsh.
Buy Links for Your Biggest Fan:
And she will write more of this series, right Missy?
Don’t make me break out the Kitten of Guilt.