Excerpt from a new Eve Summers romance, MR RIGHT ONLINE:
Excerpt from a new Eve Summers romance, MR RIGHT ONLINE:
"I'll take care of Miss Taylor for you."
Ivy swung around with a gasp, her gaze clashing with the steely blue gaze that went with the deep sexy voice. That gaze moved down her body and back up again before she could take a steadying breath. That the owner was related to John Remington was apparent. A bigger, younger, handsomer version without the gray in his long black hair. His rugged expression was set in a way that Ivy remembered only too well. Jake Remington was still angry as hell at her.
"Thanks, son. Handle it however you see fit. I've got more important matters to attend to right now."
He turned and walked briskly away, leaving Ivy to face the devil alone. "This matter is between your father and my family."
"He filled me in on what happened. And as half owner of the company, I think I'm within my rights to make any decisions with regard to this matter. Besides, I'm interested to hear how you intend to bail your brother out of this one."
Ivy felt sick inside. That Jake hated her was apparent, no matter that his gaze moved over her with interest, lingering briefly on her breasts. It was obvious that he still found her attractive, but what was between them was in the past. Although facing him now was bringing it back at an alarming speed. She felt heat envelop her body and knew it probably colored her cheeks. She could barely meet Jake's quiet gaze.
Can I trust him not to take out his anger with me on my brother? As quick as the thought came to her, Ivy knew the answer. If he took it out on anyone, it would be her. "He's my only family. I'll do whatever it takes."
For the first time Ivy saw emotion flicker in his eyes. If she didn't know better she'd swear it was humor.
"Really?" This time when Jake's gaze moved over Ivy her nipples hardened into peaks of awareness. She resisted the urge to run her arm over her breasts to ease the tingle.
Damn him! He'd always had the power to make her body betray her in the most obvious way, letting him know she wanted him, no matter where they were. When they'd been together it had usually led to hot and heavy sex. Now it was the worst betrayal. She watched one brow lift arrogantly.
"Is that why you're dressed the way you are? Were you prepared to pitch that same remark to my father?"
It didn't take Ivy long to realize what Jake meant. There was nothing wrong with her silk blouse, short skirt and stilettos. This was how she usually dressed for a day of work at McCaffey's Jewelry Store. But the way his gaze was running over her, he made her feel as if she were dressed like a hooker or something.
She reacted before she could think, raising her hand to respond to his obvious insult. Too late, she saw his sensuous mouth turn up in a smile.
He stopped her hand in midair. "Easy, sweetheart. There's already one person in your family heading for jail." His comment took the fire right out of Ivy. She relaxed her arm, although Jake didn't release his hold. "That's better. I think we should finish this inside."
It was obvious he meant his father's office. Ivy cast a glance at the receptionist, who quickly averted her gaze and pretended to be looking at something on her desktop. Ivy wanted to get the hell out of there. Being alone with Jake wasn't a good idea. So why am I letting him drag me inside? She'd always been weak where he was concerned. She wasn't fooled into thinking anything had changed in three months. The man was too damn sexy. And the worn jeans, boots and work shirt only emphasized his rugged appeal.
It was too late to dig in her heels. Before she knew it they were in the office and Jake was closing the door. Her heart skipped a beat when he reached behind him and locked it, never taking his gaze off her. Something in his eyes and the sudden tautness of his body brought back the memory of the last time they'd been together. Big mistake.
The memory of that night opened the floodgates of emotion. Ivy stepped back nervously, gasping when she came up against the desk. She felt her heart beating out of control. A quiver of intense awareness in her belly released damp heat between her legs. The last time Jake had looked at her like he was now, they'd been naked and fucking like there was no tomorrow. He stepped forward and her eyes widened. "Why are you so nervous, Ivy?"
She cleared her throat. "I'm not afraid of you, Jake." He couldn't hurt her anymore. Could he?
A humorless chuckle passed through his lips. "Have I ever hurt you?"
Not physically. But a few months ago he'd broken her heart. A pain so raw she never wanted to go through it again. Ivy was determined not to rehash the past and decided to get right to the point. She took a calming breath. "I'm here on Wally's behalf."
"He's young, Jake. We've all made mistakes when we were his age. He deserves a second chance. He came to me the moment he realized he'd made a big mistake and asked me to help him make it right."
"Why isn't he here pleading his case? He's a man now. When are you going to start letting him run his own life and grow up?"
"You don't understand."
"I understand, remember? The last time he got into trouble I heard it all. Has it changed?"
"He's sorry he borrowed that money!"
Jake snorted. "Borrowed?" Ivy watched him move around the desk and sit. "I don't want to hear any more. I'm not interested. All I want to hear now is how you're going to make it right." He paused before raising his brow and adding, "Twenty-thousand-dollars right."
Twenty thousand dollars! Oh god, it was worse than she thought. Wally had led her to believe it was significantly less. She took a deep breath, wishing she had the answer. She'd come here with the intention of offering a six-month payment plan but it would take years to pay back that kind of money.
"There must be something I can do."
She didn't like the way Jake leaned back and studied her. When he linked his hands behind his head, she couldn't take her gaze off his muscular biceps and the width of his chest. Then he brought his booted feet up and crossed them on top of the desk. Ivy's gaze followed the length of his legs and powerful thighs up to the front of his dusty jeans. There was no disguising the growing bulge behind his zipper.
Fire erupted through her. She'd never stopped loving him or wanting him. And she wanted him now. She'd been addicted to him since the moment they'd met four years ago. I wonder what he'd do if I walked around the desk and unzipped his pants. In the old days she would have had the nerve. "Well?"
His deep voice dragged Ivy back to the present and Wally. Her wayward brother was counting on her one last time. Because she'd made it clear this was it. The next time he screwed up he was on his own. Jake was right. He was a man now.
"Maybe we can work out some kind of a…ah, payment plan?" She chewed on the inside of her lip, realizing how weak and pitiful she sounded.
"I have a better idea, Ivy. Seeing you again has only reminded me of what I've been missing. With interest, a payment plan will take years. How about one weekend?"
One weekend? "I don't understand. You know I can't come up with that kind of money in one weekend."
Laughing, Jake slammed his feet to the floor and leaned forward. "Come on, honey, you're not stupid. But just in case you can't read between the lines, let me clarify. I want one weekend."
Her brows furrowed. "One weekend of what?"
There was a long pause. "Of you."
He can't be serious! "What?"
"One weekend of you, as many times as I want, wherever I want, in any position I want. One weekend of fucking you will erase the debt Wally owes our company."
If you fancy a holiday read, you may enjoy my sweet contemporary romantic suspense, HOLIDAY IN BOLOGNA. (5 Stars at Readers Favorite, 4.5 Stars at Single Titles, 4 Stars at BookReviewsRus)
Word Count: 30,268
Heat Level: SWEET
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Heidi Manelli, a bright, lively Anglo-Italian, arrives in Italy on a mission. A letter given to her on her 21st birthday revealed that her real name is Soleari and she has family living in Bologna. Orphaned, she is unsure how her estranged relatives will receive her.
Standing outside the Soleari villa, she encounters the quietly charismatic yet aloof Stefano. He's suspicious of her sudden appearance and disinclined to believe who she is. After pleading from her aunt, Heidi reluctantly agrees to stay at the villa, where she swiftly discovers more mysteries, and danger.
She turns to Stefano for help, but will he come through? Is their developing relationship a holiday romance, or something deeper? Is her holiday in Bologna going to change her life forever?
By this time they had reached a terrace with a small fountain that blew a cooling spray over Heidi’s scalding cheeks. Careless of the teasing spray, she stopped in front of the fountain, in the shade of a gnarled pine tree, twisted out of shape by the prevailing wind, and raised anxious eyes to her companion.
‘I’m sorry. That was insulting and unfair, especially when I’m not even a member of this family.’
A curious look of shame and alarm shadowed briefly across Stefano’s face, but it was gone as he took her hand in both of his. ‘You are family, Heidi. We all think so. You are family far more—well, than some of us,’ he finished obliquely. ‘As for Artemisia and Marco, why should they sabotage the bakery? They may differ in their plans for the business, but don’t forget they would lose out, too if Soleari’s reputation suffered. The big international bakery might even withdraw its offer if these incidents became common knowledge.’
He was standing right in front of her, so close that she could see the definition of his lean, muscular frame through his crisp cotton shirt. ‘Yes, I can see that,’ Heidi said, exasperated at herself. She would never agree to massage a fully naked man but she dealt with male clients in her armotherapy practice, treated their hands and feet, their necks and shoulders. Why should she be so flustered by Stefano? ‘How’s your sprain?’ she asked, seizing gratefully on the change of subject.
‘Better for this gentle walk,’ Stefano said, in a voice of amused indulgence. ‘But if you are offering to treat my aching shoulder and back...’
His smile deepened as Heidi was silent, torn between her professional life and this strange new shyness she seemed to have acquired while dealing with him. Perhaps it was because he had opened up to her a little and now, standing by this fountain, he was as close as her own shadow. Closer, because he was lowering that bright blond head and his clever, sensitive hands were encircling her narrow waist...
He kissed her lightly on the mouth and brushed a bead of fountain spray from her cheek. ‘I’ve wanted to do that for a long time,’ he said, kissing her again. He smelled of fresh bread and sun and his hands on her back held her tenderly, as if she was made of spun sugar.
‘Don’t you know how very pretty you are?’ he said softly, laughing as she stiffened at the compliment. ‘You are, you know. Like the little bride doll on top of a wedding cake.” Stefano blushed, clearly embarrassed at hearing himself say anything, so absurdly sentimental. ‘Thank you for your help,’ he said gruffly, taking a step back and releasing her.
It was only a thank you kiss, Heidi told herself. She’d known Stefano for only two weeks. What does that matter? an inner voice whispered, but Heidi ignored the voice and tried to control her rapidly beating heart, taking several slow deep breaths. ‘Shall we continue our walk?’ she said, grateful that her question was not a squeak.
Stefano stood back and pointed down the graveled path. ‘There you go.’
Moving first, Heidi set off along the path, scarcely conscious of the wafting spray from the fountain or
the opulent red peonies and roses lining the terrace walkway. Stefano had kissed her. She touched her lips with her hand, feeling truly sensual for the first time in her life, registering that she was wearing a blue cotton button-through sundress and sandals, items that had just become her favorite outfit.
‘Hey, wait!’ Stefano overtook her in a few strides. ‘It’s usually you trotting after me,’ he teased.
‘Pardon me, but I don’t trot.’ Feeling more composed, Heidi took Stefano’s hand in hers. ‘Got you!’ she teased in return. ‘Where to now?’
"I spent time with my husband in Northern Italy and we both fell in love with the region. Writing 'Holiday in Bologna' is my homage to the city. The incident of hearing someone playing bagpipes in one of the gardens as we climbed to the sanctuary of San Luca really happened, too!"
~ Lindsay ~
Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend.
by Giselle Renarde
Jody breathed in her girl's floral perfume, and that scent broke her. She melted in Renata's arms weaving her fingers together behind Renata's back, trying so hard to keep the tears at bay. "Nobody remembers me anymore. I used to be the pretty one, the actor, the girl everyone was excited to see. Now it's you. Everybody loves you, and that's great and I'm glad, but…"
Jody backed away to get a good look at Renata -- tall, dark hair, Spanish eyes, full pouting lips. In that long black swishy skirt and the silky blouse the colour of a South American sunset, Renata had been the most gorgeous woman at that restaurant. But, then, Renata was always the most beautiful woman in any room.
They floated to bed together, heads finding a pillow to share. "After everything we've been through together, how could you begrudge me the love and affection of others?"
Guilt welled up in Jody and coupled with shame. She couldn't contain the tears now. They streamed down her cheeks, soaking the pillow. "I'm just not used to it," was all she could think to say, but that sounded pathetic. "I'm jealous of you, Renata. I want what you have."
To Jody's amazement, Renata laughed -- laughed even as she kissed the tears from Jody's face and said, "Don't you think I wanted what you had when you were the star? My girlfriend the actress, everybody worships her, everybody wants her. Nobody saw me at your side."
"You were shy."
"I was an oddity, at best." Renata stroked Jody's arms, ran those pretty painted fingernails down her thighs. "I felt so ugly next to you."
Jody couldn't believe her ears. "You were never ugly. Why would you think that? You were mousier before -- before the surgery, I mean -- not quite as bold."
"I was so self-conscious, so worried about passing. The surgery changed more than just my body. Now nobody can call me into question. Nobody can tell me I'm not a real woman. I was mousy because I didn't have this confidence before. I didn't want to be seen. I was afraid, and I hid behind you because I knew little Jody would keep me safe. And I worried I was dragging you down, but I learned that nothing could drag you down, honey, nothing could…" Renata brushed the too-long bangs from Jody's eyes. "What's changed?"
In 2008, Torquere Press' fantastic authors decided to support a charity with an annual short story collection called our Charity Sip blitz. In the past three years, we've donated more than $13,000.00 to charitable organizations that support GLBT causes.
For 2011, Torquere's authors have chosen the theme "Getting Better" in honor of the It Gets Better project, which helps LGBT youth understand that life as an openly queer adult is not only possible, but happening for millions of people, worldwide. More than thirty authors have written short fiction pieces and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the sales of these stories to this year's charitable organization. Torquere Press Inc. will match the authors' donations completely.
This year, we're also pleased to announce that our distribution partner, Rainbow eBooks, has agreed to be the title sponsor of our Sip collection, and will be our sole distributor outside of the Torquere Books website. Please support our sponsor by visiting them at www.rainbowebooks. com
Torquere Press and our authors truly believe we can make a difference by donating to organizations that promote awareness and equality. If you'd like to help, please support the Charity Sip Blitz and enjoy some great romance today!
Available September 17, 2011 at www.torquerebooks. com and www.rainbowebooks. com
Hot on the heels of Stacy's Dad Has Got It Going On, another sizzling story hits the market. Callie and the Hipsters is part of Secret Cravings' Hot Flash line of Cougar fiction. This baby's all Multicultural MMF and wickedness hotness. Well, not all, because there's also some family drama you're sure to enjoy. Although it's written primarily as an (erotic) romantic comedy, you might just find it a bit of a tearjerker, too.
When Callie’s husband leaves her for a younger woman, she drives all the way out to the summerhouse only to find it's been taken over by hipsters--twenty-somethings who wear plaid and listen to indie rock and eat nothing but raw broccoli. They're friends of her son, Dante, all queer and quirky students at the nearby university.
At first, Callie's irritated that her son has thrown a party in her haven of relaxation, but when she and a bottle of Kahlua stumble upon two young men gettin' it on in her bed her annoyance morphs into arousal. The drink and the day's multitude of disappointments encourage her to join Vish and Evan, pansexual and polyamorous young men who are more than happy to welcome a vibrant older woman into their bed. How will they feel about inviting Callie into their lives?
Callie froze after pressing the door to the master suite open with her hip. She was still in the doorframe when she realized she wasn't alone. The lights were off, but the moon and its twin in the lake illuminated the space well enough for her to make out two bodies writhing in her bed. Hers and Winston‟s bed. Well, not anymore. She very nearly turned tail and left them to it before remembering this was her bedroom, not theirs, and she'd most likely had a much crappier day than they'd had, so she deserved it more.
And then she thought, well, what am I going to use it for? Drinking alone until she passed out? At least they were having fun. They were young! Let them enjoy life.
Callie didn't move. She wasn't really sure where to go, now. There were two girls making out on the couch downstairs, and up here…were these girls too? Whoever they were, they were too into each other to notice her presence. She waited for her eyes to adjust to the moonlight, and when they did she nearly dropped her Kahlua. They were boys—both of them! At first she wasn't sure. She tried to convince herself the white guy underneath the brown guy was actually female, but they were both buck naked and there was no mistaking balls.
Both guys were skinny. Thin arms, thin frames, thin legs—skinny. She had a much better view of the brown guy—Indian, maybe? South Asian, at any rate. He was fucking the white guy doggie-style—did gay guys call it that? Callie didn‟t know—with the covers and sheets all pushed down to the foot of the bed. Although she felt like a total perv for doing it, Callie crept further inside the bedroom and concealed herself in the darkness of the corner by the door. She gulped down her second bathroom cup of Kahlua and poured herself a third. If she was going to act like an utter reprobate, she should at least have an excuse. Drunkenness was a fine justification for any misbehaviour.
The Indian boy had a hand in the white boy's sandy hair now. Callie could just make out the clutch and pull as he forced his lips against the boy's ear. “You like that, don‟t you? You like my cock in your ass.”
The white boy moaned, but that obviously wasn't good enough. “Tell me you like it,” the Indian guy insisted. “Tell me you like my fat dick in your tight little asshole.”
“I like it,” the white boy cried. It was the first time Callie heard his voice, and it was higher in pitch than she'd anticipated. “Give me your big dick, Vish. Fuck me hard.”
It seemed to Callie that this boy, Vish, was already fucking him hard, but apparently Vish could go harder. “You sure you can handle any more?” he taunted.
“I can take everything you've got, babe.”
Author: Susanne Marie Knight
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Available electronically at Amazon.com.
Buy link: http://tinyurl.com/3m9nk5r
Available in Print at www.susanneknight.com/orders.htm
Price: $13.95 plus s/h.
A VACATION RUINED--Heather Woods suddenly learns her boyfriend, Connor, cancelled their summer plans. Determined to forget about him, she visits her flaky godmother, Nerissa, instead, for an impromptu vacation. Nerissa insists that Heather has a healing gift, something Heather doesn’t believe. But when she experiences visions... hallucinations... or whatever her jaunts back to Camelot are, she fears for her sanity. Meeting a man that might actually be Merlin the magician, and his very attractive nephew, Matthew, convince Heather that she’s in the middle of a strange, metaphysical phenomenon.
A VACATION CHANGED--Judge Matthew Limner also finds his vacation plans changed. He receives a call from a long-lost Uncle Mallory--so long-lost that he hadn’t even known Mallory existed. Mallory flies in from London, and expects to go sightseeing with Matthew. Resigned, Matthew plays the host. First stop: the Stonehenge Memorial in southern Washington. A chance encounter--or is it?--with Nerissa and Heather convince Matthew that something much more than coincidence is happening in this tiny corner of the world.
After just experiencing a vision featuring Merlin the Magician, Heather Woods can't believe her eyes when a man resembling Merlin introduces himself to her and her godmother, Nerissa. He calls himself Mallory Limner, and also introduces his nephew, Matthew.
Nerissa clapped her hands, which caused her many bracelets to jingle from the movement. “I have an excellent idea. Why don’t we explore the monument with our new friends?”
Heather stared at her godmother. Friends?
“I’m certain Mallory can give us his prospective on the true Stonehenge,” Nerissa continued.
You can’t possibly be serious.
But Nerissa was serious. She kept fondling her beaded necklace, along with wetting her lips and darting glances at Mallory. Preening gestures.
Heather sighed. How Nerissa could be sexually interested in a man as old as Mallory was beyond her. Different strokes for different folks, obviously. But if this was important to her godmother, then she really should acquiesce.
She shrugged. “Sure. We’ll explore. Why not?”
Mallory didn’t waste time. He extended his arm to Nerissa. “Come, my lady. Let us peruse these sacred stones while I regale you with tales of the Druids.”
Off the two of them went, leaving Heather in the dust. But that was just as well. Being in that man’s company set her teeth on edge. Since she usually was so easygoing, it was hard to reconcile her abnormal behavior.
She flipped back hair. Perhaps it was she who should be sent to the time-out corner.
Turning to go back to the lawn chair and her sketchpad, she was stopped by a touch on her arm.
“I believe the idea is that you and I pair up as well.” Matthew Limner gazed down at her, looking less green than he had before. “Just for the duration of this visit, of course. Unless you have other plans?”
She flushed. She’d forgotten about him. Although on any other day, that would’ve been extremely difficult to do. Square-jawed, dark wavy hair, and peek-a-boo dimples, he was a very handsome man. From her height, she had an excellent view of his prominent Adam’s apple.
Her preferences in men were California types, though. Athletic, blond, devil-may-care. Like Connor, and that man she’d met yesterday--one of Nerissa’s new clients. A man with shoulder pain--Desmond Redmord. He certainly had been of the finger-licking-good variety.
If she’d been interested to taste. Right now, she wasn’t--not tasting any man.
And Matthew? She looked him up and down. There was something stuffy about him. Something patronizing. Something that made her stomach churn.
“Look, I’m not interested in--”
“In being polite?” He shifted his gaze away from her, and instead, concentrated on the ring of heavy blocks resting on top of the solid ones.
He was right. She was being rude. She had no call to take her anger out on him--a stranger.
“I’m sorry. Really. This has been quite a bizarre day. Actually it’s been a strange few days.”
Taking a technique she used on her students when they got into arguments, she took a deep breath, released it, then held out her hand. “Let’s start over. Hello, I’m Heather Woods.”
His gaze flickered over her. Then he smiled briefly, which dimpled his cheeks. “Nice to meet you, Heather. I’m Matthew. Matthew Limner.” He stressed his last name.
She grinned back. “Yeah, sorry. I was an ass about it, wasn’t I?”
He strolled forward at a leisurely pace, walking around the inside of the concrete slabs. “I wouldn’t phrase it in those words, Heather.”
Following alongside him, she walked in the shade. “No, I didn’t think you would.”
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!
by Zenobia Renquist
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-674-4
Genre: Erotic, Paranormal/Fantasy, Vampire, Action/Adventure, BBW, Interracial, Magic
To save their love, Sicily may have to sacrifice her life.
Sicily has volunteered to put herself on the front lines in the vampires' fight against the mages. Lamon has no choice but to go with her to keep her safe. When the worst happens, Sicily has to find out just what she's willing to sacrifice to save the lives of her lover and her friends.
Buy Now: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1674
Read Excerpt: http://www.changelingpress.com/content.php?utype=note&uid=5231
Join me today (08 Sep) over at The Romance Studio Release Party <http://theromancestudio.com/party/> for a chance to win a PDF copy of CE4: Anguished Lover.
Discover Different and Unique Romance
Caveat Emptor Series - Follow three couples as they struggle with love during a vampire-mage war.
Just released! Highway Nights!
Highway Nights goes way back in my stack of idea folders, and stems from one of my youthful adventures. I used to keep company with a fellow a few years my junior, and we liked to trip down the Interstate to a little place by the river for a late night snack and a few rounds of pool. I was quite fond of that little out-of-the-way place with its welcoming proprietor and friendly bartender. (At least they were to me, but I always smiled and never gave them any grief.) So The Downshift Diner is a little nod to that time in my life.
Here's the blurb and excerpts from HIGHWAY NIGHTS, now available at Amber Allure. Thanks for reading!
PS - For the next week you can get a copy of Highway Nights at the deep new release discount at Amber Allue. After that, it goes to the regular price.
* * *
Erotic contemporary gay romance
Now available at Amber Allure
Garrett Webb has a five-point plan for starting his own business. To keep it on track, he takes a second job and settles into the evening delivery run between Owensville and Mt. Franklin. The solitude of being on the road clears his head and enables him to chart a better future for himself. When a foggy night sends him to the safety of The Downshift Diner and its owner, Oliver Sanderson, that future takes an unforeseen turn.
Oliver Sanderson enjoys a quiet life along the lonely stretch of highway that’s home to his diner. The road brings all manner of interesting souls to his door. When Garrett Webb steps out of the fog seeking shelter, his openness and honesty draws Oliver’s interest. He’s ready to take the next step, but needs to be cautious. Trouble is coming to the diner, and Oliver wants Garrett clear of it.
Good intentions can’t hold out against their budding attraction. Garrett makes the diner a regular stop during his nightly run, and the men get better acquainted. But Garrett’s past isn’t done with him. In a single heart-stopping moment, Garrett is forced to a decision that risks Oliver’s life – one that could forever end their highway nights.
Oliver settled in the booth and stared across the table. “You gonna tell me why you’re really here?”
“I told you. Food and conversation.”
The young man didn’t bat an eye. Oliver had a good sense about men, and it said Garrett was interested in a lot more than talk. He saw no point in calling the fellow on it, not yet. It could be Garrett didn’t consciously realize what he wanted. Life handed you moments like that, and Oliver had had his fair share of them. But if the lad wanted talk, he’d be glad to get the ball rolling.
“All right, then. I’ll be nosey and start our chat. So why are you working two jobs? A young fellow like you should be out clubbing every night.”
“My five-point plan suffered a setback. I’m working to recoup some losses.”
Garrett sighed. “Not any longer.”
And, no doubt, the ex-boyfriend was reason the five-point plan had been derailed. It usually was. Oliver could say he’d been there and done that, too, but he’d wait to see if Garrett asked first. He didn’t, so Oliver tried another topic.
“Thanks. I got a great deal on them. Twenty bucks at a yard sale.”
Yard sale? No wonder Garrett dressed like a prince. Oliver could, too, if he had the patience to treasure hunt, because that’s what a yard sale really was.
“Good looking, hard working and frugal. You don’t find that combination every day.”
Garrett sipped his cola, his blue gaze fastened on Oliver’s. “That’s me. Do you like the back pockets of my pants?”
“Ah, a flaw. Vanity.” Oliver leaned back, unable to refrain from grinning at Garrett. “I noticed. I’ll say it since your ego appears to need it.” He leaned forward and kept his voice down. “Nice ass.”
Oliver grinned and stopped in front of him.
“Happy to see me?”
Garrett glanced down. “As happy as you appear to be. Can a guy get a soda to go in this joint?”
Oliver shook his head. “I’ve better at the house. Let me tell Shirl and Billy not to call me unless it’s an emergency.” He disappeared into the kitchen, and sauntered back out in less than thirty seconds. Oliver motioned at the front entrance. “Let’s go.”
Garrett turned and held the door open for Oliver. “What constitutes an emergency?”
“Someone is bleeding, choking, or keels over all the way to the floor.” He placed his hand on the small of Garrett’s back and guided him around the corner of the building.
Garrett leaned closer to the warmth of Oliver’s body. “Not fire?”
“That’s what the firemen are for. Call ‘em. Besides, I like firemen. Don’t you?”
“Sure. Big, burly men turn me on.” Garrett stroked Oliver’s well-formed bicep. Oliver laughed softly and backed Garrett against the rear wall of the diner, out of sight from the clientele and staff.
“To each, their own.”
Garrett grasped Oliver’s hips and yanked him against him. He held him there and soaked up the heat from Oliver’s body. The corner of his mouth quirked in a small smile.
“So, am I going to have to beg you to kiss me again?”
Oliver ran his thumb over Garrett’s lower lip. He swallowed, the muscles in his throat moving. “Garrett. Be sure you want this. Don’t lead me on then tell me to stop.”
“I came for this, Oliver.”
Something dark and unsettled sparked in Oliver’s eyes. “Don’t get too attached to me, either, boy.”
“I’m horny. I want to fuck you, not marry you.”
Oliver leaned in, his breath warm on Garrett’s moist lips. In the back of his mind, Garrett registered surprise at Oliver’s reticence but he’d ponder it later. He shifted forward and touched his lips to Oliver’s.
Need burst through him, a siren song in his blood that built as Oliver’s tongue licked into his in a bold stroke. The larger man pressed his body to the sun-warmed bricks, pinning him, his pelvis grinding against Garrett’s in a mock taking. Garrett thrust his tongue into the heat of Oliver’s mouth. Back and forth they tested, well matched, as the world spun behind his closed eyes. Suddenly breathless, Garrett tore his lips from Oliver’s. Oliver rested his forehead to his, breathing hard.
“You should go home, Garrett.”
“I don’t think so. Why are you afraid of me?” He ran his fingers through Oliver’s short hair.
Oliver brushed a kiss to his lips. “I’m too old for someone in his twenties, Garrett.”
“I’m going to surprise you. I’m thirty-two.” He laughed as the man’s eyebrows shot up. “Told you I was older than I look.”
Oliver’s eyes darkened. “I can’t tell you how relieved I am, but I still feel like a dirty old pervert chasing chickens.” He levered off the wall, grabbed Garrett’s hand, and pulled him along the flagstone path to the bungalow-style house.
Garrett fell into step beside him and slipped their linked hands behind Oliver’s back. There was one sure way he knew to find out Oliver’s age—give him a little dig.
“You can’t be that old. What are you? Fifty?”
“Fifty! No, smart-ass, I’m forty-four. Happy to know that?” Oliver eased his hand free as they climbed the steps to the wide veranda. He pulled keys out of his pocket and unlocked the front door. “I should spank you for that.”
Garrett stepped into the foyer and patted his butt. “A spanking might be fun sometime, but not tonight...”
Erotic contemporary gay romance
Now available at Amber Allure
Website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Join mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
Blog: Between the Keys: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com
MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kckendricks
‘Marcus, our clothes,’ she said, in almost a whisper, as he touched her waist and then her breast through the clinging wet linen.
‘We will change at home. Tell Hadrian and the others we were caught in a local storm.’ Marcus was already caught. More than the finest painting he had ever seen or hoped to produce, more than the most evocative of scents or music, Flavia stirred him, but at present it was his own earthier desire that was the problem. If she touched him at all, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to hold back.
‘Is this a dream?’ she murmured, capturing his mood exactly as she rested her head against his shoulder, giving in a moment to temptation, Marcus guessed. ‘Dreams can be dangerous.’
‘Not this one,’ Marcus reassured. He was determined it wouldn’t be. She was locked in his arms, standing with him in the middle of this amazing pool, with the steam from the waters releasing the perfume of the enclosing rosemary and lavender bushes. Their own private, secret bathing place.
‘I have wanted to do this for so long,’ he said, drawing off her belt, feeling her gown billowing around his legs.
‘Did you bathe Drusilla?’
Her face was burrowed against his chest, so Marcus couldn’t see her expression. ‘Little Aurelia used to join me in the barracks bath house in Germania,’ he answered truthfully. ‘She and the other youngsters used to play games in the baths.’
‘No more talk.’ Marcus raised her chin with his thumb and kissed her, tumbling her clothes off with swift, sure hands. I have you now, little water goddess, and in your own element, he thought, his voice abandoned in the heat of the moment. She made his very skin crackle.
He wanted her to revel in every instant. The desire to honor and promote her enjoyment helped Marcus to control his own aching need as he gathered her back to himself with undisguised delight.
She had her eyes tightly closed again and he scooped water and lightly washed her face, smiling as her lips quivered and almost kissed his fingers. He sensed the conflict within her between pleasure and propriety and longed to prove to her what a sexy little creature she was, but he did not want her to feel ashamed afterwards by anything they did.
He stopped her hand as he felt her fingers on his belt. ‘Next time you can bathe me,’ he said, with a lightness he did not feel. He found her caresses far too erotic. ‘That is a promise.’
Her throaty giggle almost drove him over the edge. He felt her stand on top-toe and then, using the water itself as an added support, bounce lightly off her toes to snatch a kiss as light as the beat of a moth’s wing from his mouth.
‘Flavia!’ He lowered his head and kissed her back. The provoking wench was playing with fire.
‘We have no bathing oil,’ he said, keeping to the practical. ‘But I am sure we will manage.’
It was easy to begin with her hair, which fascinated him, and hard, too, when he really wanted to share so much more with her than bathing. But they were learning each other, he sensed, and he wanted her to trust him. That mattered above everything.
He released her plait, hearing her muttered apology that she was wearing none of the combs he had bought her and responding with a hand-ruffle of her loosened hair, saying, ‘Those are probably gone with the fire, but I will buy you more.’
‘I will buy my own,’ she shot back instantly. ‘From my wages.’
‘Well said!’ Marcus grunted, teasing her in return by tickling her under her arms until Flavia was giggling and thrashing against him, water splashing everywhere.
‘Stop, stop!’ she cried, almost hiccupping with laughter.
He spun her round, the water making her virtually weightless, and tucked an arm around her waist. ‘Now for your back,’ he said.
He stroked the water over her, gently kneading the muscles on either side of her spine, hearing her breath quicken each time his hand approached her waist. Thinking about the faint sprinkling of freckles by her right shoulder blade and how taut and fine her skin was, he washed her arms. She seemed to shimmer in his arms, the rising steam wreathing her face so that she almost appeared to be wearing a veil made of mist.
Torn between passion and a strange sense of mystery, Marcus again reminded himself what he was supposed to be doing. Although he had not yet touched certain areas, he could not resist kissing the back of her freshly-bathed neck.
‘And your legs.’
With her damp head pillowed against his middle ribs, he lifted her quickly so that her feet flipped off the pool bottom. He caught her right leg and brought it closer to the surface, the warm water adding a further dimension of sensation as he ran his hand slowly over her sleek calf and thigh. He was equally scrupulous in his attention to her left leg.
‘And the rest.’
Flavia shivered as he turned her round to face him, his legs threading through hers. She felt increasingly strange in this soft, mobile, warm medium of water, and not only because she was an indifferent swimmer.
‘Marcus.’ She tried to think of the words to express concern and found she had forgotten them. She was rapidly forgetting any sense of decorum. The secret pool itself added to her confusion, the scents of its lavender and rosemary bushes perfuming the air and its steam condensing and sparkling on Marcus’ long black eyelashes, dampening the ends of his tough, dark brown hair.
‘Close your eyes a moment,’ he said.
To show her trust in him, she did so, feeling the water rise and fall in a subtle lingering embrace against her breasts. Everything here was voluptuous; she could imagine losing track of time and place.
‘You can open them now,’ Marcus said against her ear.
He was naked—his tunic, belt and loin cloth mere shadows on the bottom of the pool. ‘I will fetch them up later.’ He smiled. ‘With your own.’
‘Oh!’ Flavia had forgotten that her gown and under-tunic languished under this flood of gently swirling, gray-green water. Above the water, his upper torso glistened in the spray and sun, the harsh contours of his face softened by the rising steam.
And by love, perhaps? Flavia hoped it was love, although when she recalled her jealous question about his bathing habits with his wife she was ashamed.
She gasped afresh as he took her hand and laid it against the middle of his chest. She could feel his strongly beating heart, the pulse increasing as her fingers moved, almost of her own volition, touching his bronzed skin below and above the water. She found herself smiling at her own exploration.
He touched her in return. Gathering water and allowing it to run through his fingers, he bathed her breasts and her trim, flat stomach. The water trickled between her breasts like the gentlest and warmest of rain-showers as his hand followed, defining every curve.
‘Marcus!’ She felt to be splitting in two between shock and delight. She twisted in his arms, shy and at the same time proud, because he made her feel beautiful, desirable.
To read more, please see my 'Flavia's Secret' - now only 99c at Bookstrand.
For more details of my ancient world historical romances, please see my Bookstrand author page:
Or go to my website: http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/
Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend