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The Smell of Traveling: When the Nose Knows

airport-2Airport encounters – who’s had one? I’ve never had the pleasure. Who’s fantasized about having one? Or maybe it would be better to ask who the hell hasn’t? Travel figures prominently in a lot of my romance novels and it has been that way since the beginning with my very first novel – in fact it’s been that way since my very first short story. As I mentioned in my last post, the thing about travel is that you spend a lot of time being in that space in between, and it’s in that space in between that unexpected things, almost magical things happen. No place represents the space in between more than airport lounges. Most of the time you do whatever you have to in order to keep busy and keep from getting bored. But there are times when you get way more from an airport lounge that just good coffee and a comfy place to wait for your flight. Certainly that’s Liza Calendar’s situation in To Rome with Lust. Liza’s all about olfactory encounters, and this particular one is a delight to the sense of smell. Enjoy!

 

To Rome with Lust

Book three of The Mount trilogy

(Click here for Book One | Book Two)

The adventure that Rita Holly began in The Mount in London and Nick Chase took up in Vegas continues when a sizzling encounter on a flight to Rome has journalist, Liza Calendar, and perfumer, Paulo ‘The Nose’ Delacour, in sexy olfactory heaven. The heir apparent of Martelli Fragrance, Paulo wants Liza’s magnificently sensitive nose to help develop Martelli’s controversial new line. Paulo has a secret weapon; Martelli Fragrance is the front for the original Mount, an ancient sex cult of which he is a part, and Paulo plans to use the scent of sex to enhance Martelli’s Innuendo line. As Liza and Paulo sniff out the scent of seduction, they become their own best lab rats. But when someone steals the perfume formulas and lays the blame at Liza’s feet, she and Paulo must sniff out the culprit and prove Liza’s innocence before more is exposed than just secret formulas.

 

To Rome with Lust – The Nose Knows Excerpt:

to-rome-with-lustLiza thought she had only dreamed such an exquisite scent. She’d certainly never smelled anything so sexy while she was awake. It was all very strange. Her dreams had always been the only part of her life that was olfactory-free. She sat in the business lounge at JFK dozing, blocking out the noise and the smell of the busy shuffle. But this smell was different. This smell was just too delicious to ignore. It intensified, then faded, and she snuffled and inhaled and shifted in her seat.

Delays due to heavy thunderstorms meant the place was packed with passengers awaiting a spate of flights going out at nearly the same time. But her flight wasn’t delayed. She was just there way early, thanks to Carl. After an unplanned night alone in a hotel room, she couldn’t get out of New York City fast enough — not after what she’d seen … and smelled. But she didn’t want to think about Carl. Time to move forward.

She had just slipped back into that space between wakefulness and sleep when the scent wafted over her again. There was no denying it was the primal smell of male. It was the smell of desert lightening, of sage and juniper and thick, dark night. It was the smell of sex – or at least the intimations of sex or what sex might be like with a man who smelled so irresistible.

Jesus, was she really going to have sexy dreams right here in the airport? What next? Would she be rubbing herself against the sofa while all the businessmen and the tourist pretended not to notice? Surely it was only because of the sex she’d expected to get last night, but didn’t. Surely it was just her angry unconscious inventing an olfactory fantasy, but God, the man smelled good – better than anyone she’d ever smelled, and she smelled everyone! She inhaled again and her deep intake of scent came out sounding like a sigh. Her lips parted just enough to take in the fullness of the experience. She could almost taste that hypnotic smell of masculinity. Her nipples chafed against her bra until they dominated the front of her sweater with an achy tetchy fullness that matched the tightening she felt between her thighs. It was as though the man stood right over her. She could smell expensive fabric weighted and warmed with the heat of his flesh. His crotch, where the delicious scent was purest, was so close that her mouth watered. The scent was heavy, thickening, male — driven by passion. Letting the dream take control, Liza shifted, uncrossed her legs and leaned forward to draw in his scent, wanting nothing so much as to touch, to caress, to experiment on ways to arouse from her dream man more of that delicious scent.

There was a soft grunt, a startled gasp, and a large hand came down heavily on her shoulder. There was a desperate clearing of a throat and a slightly accented ‘Pardon me.’

She opened her eyes and found herself nose to crotch with a very expensive suit not quite able to disguise a very nice package. Her fingers were fisted in the edges of the front pockets of the trousers, reeling their wearer ever closer and closer to her salivating mouth. She yelped and practically shoved the guy, who might have fallen if not for the hand resting on her shoulder. ‘Oh my god! I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,’ she gasped. ‘I was dreaming.’ Her face burning and her pulse did a drumroll in her ears as she raised her eyes up and up and up the length of the well filled-out charcoal suit to meet rich caramel eyes looking down at her from beneath thick midnight lashes. The scent hit her in waves, making her giddy, making her want to sniff like a dog in heat, making her feel wrong-footed and out of focus.

‘Must have been some dream.’ His eyes sparkled and he offered her a half-smile. His warm hands fell to cover hers and disengage them from his pockets. ‘I can’t tell you how sorry I am that I woke you, but I’d really hate it if your dream got us both kicked out of the lounge.’ His thumbs brushed over the backs of her knuckles before he released her. ‘Is it all right if I share you sofa? The lounge is really crowded.’

‘Yes! Of course, please.’ She shifted and rearranged herself, resisting the urge to fold her arms across her perky nipples. It was even harder to resist the urge to pant and sniff. My God, if an aphrodisiac could be inhaled, his scent would so be that aphrodisiac. She felt moist and swollen, splayed in the crotch of her panties, too tender for the weight of her body against to sofa.

‘Are you all right?’ The man’s eyes had darkened with concern. ‘You seem in distress.’

‘Fine! I’m fine,’ she said with enthusiasm that made her sound like a dork. ‘Just outrageously embarrassed.’

‘Don’t be. You made my morning, and gave me something I’ll smile about for what’ll be a very long, very tedious flight. You sure you’re all right?’

‘You smell amazing,’ she blurted out before she could stop herself, then she felt the flash-fire burn rise to her cheeks again. Jeez! Could she sound any more stupid?

He raised an eyebrow and cocked his head. ‘Thanks. Ode d’ generic hotel soap,’ he said.

‘No, it’s not the soap, I mean I can smell that too, but …’ What the fuck was it with her? She practically attacked the guy — who handled an embarrassing situation very graciously all things considered — and now she informs him she’d been sniffing? ‘Never mind. I … like I said, I was dreaming.’

He leaned forward in a wave of scent that made her dizzy with lust. ‘No, please, don’t be embarrassed. I’m very airport-4interested in all things olfactory. And I’m really flattered that you like the way I smell.’

‘I’m sorry. I have a sensitive nose.’ She forced a laugh. ‘I guess maybe I’m a little closer to my animal roots than most people. I … I pick up on scent … way more than most people do. Bit of an evolutionary throw-back, I’m afraid.’

His smile was practically edible. ‘Humans are mammals. Mammals live through their sense of smell. We’ve just gotten lazy and forgotten how to do that. Real scent is hard to come by in a world that’s been deodorized, sanitized and scrubbed. Apparently you remember.’

Oh, she remembered all right. She remembered so much more than she wished she did at times. She could feel his dark, rich gaze against her, feel his scent baring down on her, now spiked with the cinnamon nip of curiosity. She knew what was coming. She waited for it.

‘So,’ he leaned still closer and everything in her felt giddy and humid. ‘Tell me what you smell?’

God, she knew he was going to ask that. She should have kept her damned mouth shut. To ask her to describe his scent was like asking her to describe what she thought sex with him would be like, and with a scent like his, she could imagine it would be pretty fucking amazing. On the other hand, if he stayed leaning close like this, she’d have a few more seconds to sniff and enjoy before he suspected her of total nutterdom.

‘Don’t be embarrassed. As I said, the sense of smell and the way we humans use it is of special interest to me.’

She leaned in and inhaled deeply through her nose. After all he had given her permission to sniff. ‘You smell like summer lightening … at high altitude. She inhaled again and closed her eyes, hearing the catch of his breath. ‘Beneath that, you smell like evergreen and the earth around tree roots.’ His breathing accelerated. She leaned still closer, and the slip and slide of fabric on fabric informed her that he’d done the same until they were nearly touching. She inhaled again. ‘You smell like a rainstorm on the wind just before it arrives, but that’s because you’re skeptical, and I don’t blame you.’

It became a competition to see who could breathe the hardest. Her belly muscles trembled and tensed way down low; in her panties, the clench and release, clench and release had left her swollen and pouty. She opened her eyes just a slit, then closed them again, but there was no mistaking the shape of his growing erection. Her own scent spiked all honey- butter and nutmeg.

‘What else?’ he breathed. ‘Is there more?’

‘Your curiosity smells of cinnamon and there’s a bit of irritation, tart, tangy, almost like lemon.’ Her eyes fluttered open at the same moment his did.

‘Oh it’s not you,’ he said quickly. ‘I mean I’m not irritated with you. It’s this trip. I didn’t plan to take it and now I find out … wait a minute. You can smell emotions?’

‘Kind of,’ she said, trying not to look at his erection, as he shifted to rearrange himself a little less conspicuously. Then she couldn’t resist. ‘What about me? Can you smell me?’ Jesus! Why did she ask such a loaded question?

mountboxsetHe squirmed again, which did nothing to hide his needy package. A blush rose to his cheeks. ‘Maybe … Possibly.’ He inhaled a shaky breath through his nose like he was afraid of what he might smell. ‘The more we talk … the more I smell.’ His eyes fluttered shut again. ‘You’re … not wearing perfume.’

‘I never do.’ She eased herself closer, resisting the urge to rest a hand on his thigh. ‘It interferes with other smells.’

He nodded, as though he completely understood. ‘You smell like the sea, but you also smell like honey and butter melting over hot bread.’

Did she just whimper? Oh god, please say she didn’t just whimper and shift her bottom against the sofa. Surely she
didn’t do that.

This time he inhaled boldly, pushing forward on the sofa, his eyes closed, suddenly making no attempt to cover the heavy strain against the front of his trousers. The cinnamon scent of him spiked and became more peppery. ‘Jesus, I can’t believe we’re doing this.’ His voice was little more than a whisper between parted lips, lips that Liza would only have to lean into to touch with her own. ‘I can’t believe I can smell all that. I’m probably imagining it.’

‘No you’re not. You’re not imagining it,’ she whispered back.

He was suddenly breathing as though he’d just ran a marathon, each breath through his nose, each breath followed by a gulp, almost as though he were eating the scent of her.

‘People are looking. We should stop.’ She barely got the words out before he leaned in just a tiny bit further and, in his enthusiasm, his lips brushed hers. Everything spiked in a sharp stab of scent that went straight to her pussy, as they both gasped and sat back, eyes wide, fingers pressed to lips.

The delayed flight to Paris was called over the intercom immediately after one to Frankfurt and, in the jostling and shifting and gathering of belongings, no one paid any attention to them. She wasn’t sure it would have made any difference even if they’d suddenly been center stage. Their gaze locked on each other, cheeks flushed, chests heaving, they sat locked in a moment so tight, so full that its breaking apart was inevitable. It was ridiculous. She was seconds away from coming, and his cock was about to burst his trousers. And his lips, my god his lips, she could think of so many places on her body she wanted those lips.

‘I have to know,’ he gasped. ‘Surely you want to know too.’ Then he did the unthinkable. He curled his fingers into the back of her hair and pulled her to him. This time their lips met with a clash of teeth and a gasped swallow of oxygen that transitioned into parted lips and darting tongues and an absolute explosion of scent. If he had smelled amazing by himself, if his scent had sharpened hers to the cutting edge of orgasm, then the mixing and blending that happened when they touched, when those two scents came together was shattering. ‘I’ve never smelled anything like it,’ she breathed into his mouth.

‘Me neither,’ He bit her lower lip and tugged and their blended smell became darker, more spicy, tones of earth and sea, pepper and honey and my god the guy could kiss!

She came first with a guttural grunt of an orgasm that began deep in her pussy and washed over her like a riptide. She tried desperately to hide it, but he knew it. He felt it, she even thought he smelled it, and he tightened his fist in her hair, breathing her into his open mouth. Both his hands then slid to her shoulders in a grip that was almost painful as he pulled back. His eyes locked on hers, and his whole body convulsed, and again, and again, his deep mocha gaze holding her tight as pupils dilated and eyelids shuddered.

For a moment they sat stunned, staring at each other, struggling to catch their breath. He looked shell-shocked, and she must have looked at least as bad. ‘I’m sorry,’ they both said at the same time as they mirrored each other in a airport-7nervous laugh.

Then the intercom called the flight to Rome. ‘That’s my flight,’ she gasped, awash in a wave of embarrassment. She
babbled something about duty free and gifts, sounding like a total idiot. She grabbed her bag and her laptop and fled, feeling certain everyone was watching, feeling certain everyone knew exactly what they had done. It didn’t matter though, at the end of the day, she’d never see the man again. And she’d never smell him again. That saddened her.

 

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Travelling with Pets!

airport-2I’m travelling for the next two weeks, so I’ve decided it’s time to give you lot a tasty sampling of travel writing. When I started thinking about it, I realized that travel figures prominently in a lot of my romance novels and in none more so than in The Pet Shop, which is set both sides of the pond. The thing about travel is that you spend a lot of time being in that space in between. Most of the time you do whatever you have to to keep busy and keep from getting bored. I guarantee my flight to Oregon won’t be anywhere nearly as exciting as Stella James’ flight to Oregon was. Enjoy!

 

Oh, and warning in advance! ADULT CONTENT!

 

The Pet Shop Blurb:

In appreciation for a job well done, STELLA JAMES’s boss sends her a Pet for the weekend – a human Pet. The mischievous TINO comes straight from THE PET SHOP complete with a collar, a leash, and an erection. Stella soon discovers that the pleasure of keeping Pets, especially this one, is extremely addicting.

Obsessed with Tino and with the reclusive philanthropist, VINCENT EVANSTON, who looks like Tino, but couldn’t be more different, Stella is drawn into the secret world of The Pet Shop. As her animal lust awakens, Stella must walk the thin line that separates the business of pleasure from the more dangerous business of the heart or suffer the consequences.

 

 The Pet Shop — Mile High and then Some! Excerpt:

 

Accompanied by a black-suited handler who carried the mauve and crème rucksack someone had selected for her, she thepetshoparrived at Heathrow, but not at departures. When the handler helped her out of her pet carrier, it was a smartly dressed male flight attendant who took her bag, and offered her his arm, leaving the handler looking on from the van. On board the attendant addressed her. ‘You are to relax and enjoy the flight, Ms James. I’ve been instructed that you have very bad laryngitis and can’t speak, so please feel free to write down any instructions you may have for me. I’ve left a pen and pad of paper in the seat pocket for you. Now buckle in. We’ll be underway in a few minute.’

She could barely manage the seat belt, she was trembling so badly. Her mind was vacillating between all the horrible things she could imagine might happen to her and memories of the last time she was put aboard a private jet.

‘Here, let me get that for you.’ Suddenly Vincent Evanston, well turned out in Armani, clean shaven, every hair in place, knelt in front of her, placed his large hands over hers and buckled the belt. And she collapsed in a puddle of shakes.

“Oh for heaven sake, Stellla, it’s all right. There, there, now. Calm down.’ He settled in next to her and slipped his arms around her. ‘It’s all right. What did you think, that they had sold you to the highest bidder to be added to some despot’s harem in outer bumfuck somewhere. It’s just me. That’s all, just me. I promise no harem, no outer bumfuck, and I’ll have you back in time for work on Monday.’ He shrugged and offered her a crooked smile. ‘More or less.’ He tut-tutted. ‘And I can only imagine how long this weekend is going to be for the mighty Stellla James, a whole forty-eight hours bursting at the seams with so many burning questions, and not being allowed to ask any of them, you poor thing.’

The laugh that forced its way up her throat sounded pathetically like a sob. She tried to shove him away playfully, but he caught her face and landed a kiss across her lips, with just the tiniest flick of tongue to make her catch her breath. ‘Don’t think I’m a softie, Stellla. That would be a mistake. I’ll happily punish you soundly for misbehaving. How else are you going to learn to be a proper Pet?’

The pilot announced departure and Vincent buckled in next to her. As soon as the plane was leveled at cruising altitude and the seat belt sign was switched off, he unbuckled himself and her, took her hand, and hurried her to the back of the plane, which was partitioned off with a built-in bed. He motioned to the bed. Once she was on it, he pushed her to the centered and practically tore her clothes off, with her using all the control she had not to help him. At last, when he had her naked and her clothes shoved onto the floor, she rose on her haunches to sniff and nuzzle him in the getting acquainted ritual, but Vincent rolled on top of her and pinned her spread-eagle beneath him. ‘You don’t need to get to know me, Stellla. You already have my scent, and I yours.’ Then he sat astraddle her and shoved and pushed his own clothes off until expensive Armani lay as casually discarded as cheap jersey.

But when he lowered himself onto her she bit him hard on the right pec just above his nipple.

‘Ouch! You little devil, you!’ He pinned her to the bed with his knees pressing almost painfully against her biceps and examined the bite. Then he offered a throaty chuckle. ‘Marking territory are we? Well at least you had the decency not to piss on me.’ His eyes sparked like fire. ‘Two can play at that game though.’ He dropped his full weight on her and lowered his mouth to her throat just where the boney press of the trachea gave way to the soft smooth flesh of the nape and he bit hard enough to cause her to yelp, hard enough to make her eyes water, before his lips took over the effort and he suckled and nibbled the soft flesh of her until she could feel the intensity of his pull clear down to her pussy. His fingers curled tight in her hair and held her, neck exposed. The other hand found its way to the nearest breast and airport-7raked at her nipple with a rough thumb.

The sounds coming from her throat were incoherent as he brought every nerve ending in her body to tingle and rage at his attention. He forced her legs apart with his knees and dropped to rake his demanding erection against the swell and splay of her cunt, and suddenly she was struggling with every ounce of her subdued strength to position her hips to get his cock where she needed it.
He didn’t deny her. A slight shift of his hips and a grunting thrust and he was in deep and hard not easing his efforts to give her time to adjust to his thickness. She responded by wrapping her legs around him and kicking like he was a bronco and she intended to break him.

He brought his arms down the side of his body and trapped her legs for damage control, then pulled away from her throat with another painful nip. ‘Now, everyone will know that you’re mine,’ he gasped. ‘You won’t even need a collar.’

Jesus, she couldn’t believe he’d marked her right on her neck where everyone could see like she was some horny chav. She had to work on Monday. It was too damned hot to wear a high necked blouse. But even as she thought about it, the idea of wearing his mark so that everyone could see, everyone could imagine how he had fucked her, how he had subdued her made her pussy clench and gush around his thrusting cock, and she made another futile attempt to kick him. He just held her closer and thrust harder. And it was enough. Suddenly the shaking all over her body had nothing to do with nerves as she bucked and convulsed her orgasm while he rode harder until the bed shook and he stiffened and jerked his load into her gripping cunt. Then he collapsed on top of her.

After he’d managed to catch his breath, he pulled out, leaving a warm trail of sticky come on the inside of her thigh. Then he cleaned himself and began to dress. He started to put on his tie, but thought better of it and tossed it on the nightstand. ‘I have work to do,’ he said. Then he bent and kissed her cheek. ‘But you have nothing to do but lie here all wet and sticky and smelling of our sex until I get back to you.’ He settled a wet kiss onto each of her nipples, then pulled the blanket up over her. ‘And I will get back to you before we land. I’m not nearly finished with the in-flight entertainment yet.’

She never slept on planes, and yet she did this time, deeply, peacefully. At some point in the timeless void that was airline travel, she woke to find him curled around her, naked, his hard penis nestled against her arse, one large airport-6hand curved against her pubis, middle finger stretched between her folds.

‘Tino?’ She spoke his name from the muzzy-minded state of half-sleep, and felt his sleepy whisper against the back of her neck.

‘Tino’s not here. Just Vincent, and if you speak again, I’ll have to spank your little bottom, won’t I?’ He pulled her closer.

They were already on the ground when he woke her again. He was fully dressed in jeans and a jumper looking amazingly no worse for the wear. ‘Come on woman. Let’s get you dressed and out to the Jeep. We still have a couple hours drive ahead of us.’

Reviews:

“I loved The Pet Shop. It was so well done that I could hardly wait to turn each page. Of course the sex was delicious, but the background story, the premise of The Pet Shop, and the magic between the various characters was much more than just delicious sex. Great job bringing me something completely different to read.” 5 out of 5 Manic Readers

*****

“The sex is smoking hot, the storyline intriguing, and the whole thing is so brilliantly written that you’ll emerge from the end gasping for breath. This book is a whirlwind of fun and naughtiness perfect for erotica fans.” – Lucy Felthouse, Erotic Author

*****

 

 

 

Coffee Time Romance“Full of decadent desire, sensual eroticism and hedonistic promises, Ms. Grace uses a wicked pen that enticed this reader into a world of pleasure unlike anything I have read before. The interaction between Stella and Tino is so scorching hot I practically left burn marks on the computer screen. To top it off, there are so many other erotic fantasies intertwined in this tale that this book must have hit upon everyone’s favorite desire. Whether it is male/male, male/female, male/female/male, female/male/female/female or BDSM this novel has it all. The Pet Shop is the cat’s meow!” 5 out of 5, Coffee Time Romance

 

 

Shameless Selfie Peek at a Shameless Diary

Dreams imageIMG_0347

 

It’s Shameless Selfie time again, and with me being in the honeymoon stage of this year’s NaNoWriMo I find myself thinking a lot about what it means to be a scribe, to be a wordsmith. That being the case, I thought it would be a good time to take a little shameless peek at In The Flesh and Susan’s secret diary. Enjoy!

 

In The Flesh Blurb:

When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.

 

kdgrace-itf-finalIn The Flesh Excerpt — Not Alone in the Dark:

I wasn’t alone in the dark. I knew that the first time I entered the crypt at Chapel House. I could feel a presence there, almost as though someone stood just behind me, about to reach out and touch me. The shiver over my skin was not so much from fear, though certainly there was an element of fear, as it was from longing, bone-deep longing. I could barely breathe for it, I could barely stand under the weight of it, and I couldn’t imagine how such an ache, such a hunger could exist inside my flesh and not tear me apart. I was astonished that Annie seemed completely unaware of anything out of the ordinary, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t anxious to share it with her.

She continued to chatter on about her plans to make Chapel House over with a state of the art kitchen—she who didn’t cook, and a master suite that would rival the finest hotels in London. Strange that I could listen with one part of my brain and comment on her ideas for an open plan living space, for a library in the choir loft, for a wet room in the sacristy, while with another part of my brain I felt like every cell of my body was responding to whatever it was, whoever it was that I was certain waited there in the darkness, just beyond the beam of Annie’s Maglite.

 

*****

 

The departmentalizing of Annie’s plans and the feel of the presence in the darkness became much more difficult when I felt the closeness of a warm, hard body against my back and the humid nip of a kiss on the nape of my neck. I explained away my little gasp of surprise to Annie by saying I’d almost lost my footing. I should have been frightened. I should have been terrified, and believe me, I was. But by the time I felt a large hand splayed low against my belly, by the time I was certain of the maleness pressed hard and low just above my butt, I was far more intrigued than I was frightened. Even if terror had won out, I don’t think I could have forced myself to move as the hand in the darkness migrated to cup my breasts and thumb my nipples, first one, then the other, and the slow grind and undulation from behind became more demanding.

“The roses, they smell lovely.” I managed a breathless response to Annie’s ramblings about plans for the overgrown mess of a garden. “You might want to consider a scent garden.”

She laughed. “I can’t smell anything, but then you were always the one with the sensitive nose. Of course I’ll make sure there are lots of roses.” She knew they were my favorite, but I couldn’t imagine her not smelling them; the scent was nearly overwhelming in the tight space of the crypt. To my surprise, as she rambled on about a patio with a Jacuzzi, the smell of roses was subsumed in my own scent and the humid, piquant scent of a man well aroused. The hand on my breast began a slow, torturous descent, and I wanted nothing more than for Annie to keep talking, keep planning, anything to keep her from dragging me away from this place, at least for a few more minutes.

I asked about the Jacuzzi, hoping that would give me another minute. By the time she got started about the sites she’d looked up online and the builders she’d talked to, I was rocking back against the hardness, craning my neck to yield as much bare skin as possible to teeth and tongue and lips all soft and warm and wet and sharp and hard and demanding. Oh,

I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, but looking back, I wonder how the hell Annie couldn’t see? How could she have missed it? But she rattled on and on about some builder just up the road near Keswick who was supposed to be really good, some guy named Michael. Like I gave a fuck.

The study suddenly felt stuffy and overheated, and Michael’s grip on my hand convulsed. His jaw tightened, but he didn’t look at me.

Magda paid little attention to either my discomfort or Michael’s. She just kept on reading.

He was cute, Annie said. That led to observations about this Michael’s broad shoulders and nice arse and speculation as to whether or not he would be any good in bed, and was it wise to seduce him before he put in her Jacuzzi or wait till after and seduce him in it. All the while I nodded and pretended to be interested.

I was thankful for the extra time, but Christ, how could she not notice me standing there, legs apart, rocking back and forth and shifting from foot to foot like I had ants in my knickers? In truth, what I wanted in my knickers surely couldn’t actually be there, and yet I felt it, fucking hell, how I felt it! I swear, I could feel muscle and sinew. Hell, I could feel the actual shape of an erection as though we were both naked, as though all he need do, this dark being who surely was just my imagination, was bend me over and open me, me struggling to keep my breathing quiet, me struggling to focus enough attention on my friend that she wouldn’t suspect I was about to come. Oh yes, I was terrified. I would graveyard-angel-1have, should have, run, if I hadn’t been so intrigued, so turned on. I just wanted one more second, and then another and another.

In desperation that shocks me even now as I write this in the dark silence of Annie’s flat, I grabbed onto a wrist that I swear was as solid and warm as my own and guided the caress, the tease, the fondling of fingers and palm down my belly toward where I really needed it to be.

Annie yammered on about this Michael, all the things she’d heard about him, all the things she wanted to do to him—at least I think she did. My God, my whole body felt alive, every cell, every molecule. I could damn near feel the coursing of my own blood through my veins. You have no idea what an exhilarating combination fear and arousal make. I lost track of what Annie was saying, and the air was filled with the scent of sex. I could smell him, actually smell this phantom man, who was as near release as I was, and I was sure, as my knees gave beneath me, I felt the warm wet of his orgasm against my lower back. And then for an instant everything around me was silk and darkness, so perfect, so ecstatic. But just beyond that warm tight space, I knew. I knew as well as I know my own breath, I was terrified, and what I felt was like no terror I’d ever known before and, holy God in heaven, I want to feel it again.

 

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“No one writes paranormal fiction like KD Grace. In penning her tales of myths and magic, she plumbs psychological and spiritual depths that most authors don’t even realize exist. Ms. Grace ignores tropes and conventions, following the trail of her stories down the rabbit hole of her own fertile imagination. The truths she unearths amaze, arouse, terrify and delight.” Lisabet Sarai

 

Another Visit to Vegas & a New WIP

S6302679I’m taking you back to Vegas today. Not that you weren’t expecting it, right? I take you there every chance I get. I thought I’d take you there on a warm summer evening, and not to one of the better parts of town, but to someplace a lot more dangerous. My new Work In Progress, Buried Pleasures, follows the adventures of Samantha Black, a woman with a talent everyone is after. Samantha is not in Vegas for the glitz and the glam. Sam has come to get her friend, Evie Holt, out of a very bad situation, a task that could very well get her killed or worse. Enjoy the beginning of this paranormal romance!

Buried Pleasures

He was the biggest damn dog Sam had ever seen, and she’d nearly jumped out of her skin when he slipped out of the growing evening gloom and rubbed up against her hip nudging the remains of her peanut butter sandwich with a cold nose. ‘Hey you! That’s my lunch.’ And her breakfast too, she thought. In fact it would be her last meal until she made enough in tips tonight to buy something else. The dog plopped down on his enormous haunches in front of her, effectively blocking further progress unless she wanted to wrestle him out of the way, which she figured was a losing proposition. He offered a small whine, and what she could have sworn was a smile. Then he licked his chops with an enormous pink tongue, the large golden eyes locked on her sandwich. If this hadn’t been Las Vegas, if she’d been in the wilds of Wyoming of Montana, she would have sworn the beast was a wolf instead of a dog, and that he was about to call out the rest of his pack to help him bring down dinner that involved a whole lot more than a partially eaten peanut butter sandwich. Though she figured said dinner would be a bit on the under-fed side at the moment. But the dog made no threatening moves. She’d seen him before, seen him dozing in the sun next to a homeless man who often settled in the shade near the storm tunnel.

Come to think of it though, it was the man who’d always drawn her attention rather than the dog. He was big enough and looked dangerous, big enough to be a woodsman with a wolf dog. But though it was more than his size that always drew her eye when she walked past the entrances to the tunnel, it wasn’t anything she could really put her finger on. She never looked directly at him, because for some really stupid reason, to do so felt dangerous. Besides, she always felt like he was watching her. Though he never was. If anything he seemed to be watching everything, like he was taking it all in. And she was a part of what he took in. Somehow just being in the man’s vicinity made her feel, well exposed – not like he was a stalking her, but like he knew her, like he could see her secrets. Like he could see everybody’s secrets. She shivered. This whole nasty situation with Darian Fox and Evie had left her suspicious and feeling as though there were threats around every corner. But then there were, weren’t there? Why couldn’t she make Evie see that?

Her stomach growled. The dog whined and licked his chops, and she was brought back to the present moment. Frankly she found the dog’s company the most pleasant she’d experienced since her reluctant arrival in Vegas. Christ! Had it really been two months ago? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun,’ she growled under her breath. She reached out and scratched the animal’s ruff feeling strangely comforted by the feel of thick fir. She wondered how he handled the heat in July and August. It hadn’t entered her mind that he could practically bite her whole arm of in lieu of the peanut butter sandwich if he chose too, though he seemed fairly well mannered at the moment. He’d never shown any inclination to be friendly to her, or any interest in her at all when she’d walked by here before, but then again, she’d not been eating a peanut butter sandwich before. Golden eyes shifted from the sandwich to her face and back. He whined again and offered her an open-mouthed yawn sporting teeth like daggers, then his tongue lolled out the side of his mouth in a relaxed, but attentive pant, and he inched closer, eyes still locked on the sandwich.

She sighed and her stomach growled again. ‘God I’m so gullible! But only with animals,’ she added as he inched his way closer. ‘People, I know better than to trust. Especially in Vegas.’ The dog cocked his head, as though he understood every word, and he very well might, she thought. ‘Well, I suppose I could stand to lose another few pounds.’ She tore a corner off the sandwich, and stuffed it in her mouth savoring the last of her very scant meal. Then, as the dog inched forward again, she handed him the rest of the sandwich. He took it from her almost daintily before it disappeared down his gullet in a single gulp. He offered another whine and a little woof of a bark. ‘Sorry Bud. There isn’t anymore,’ she said, stroking an enormous soft ear. ‘But if tips are good tonight, I’ll bring you a Big Mac tomorrow. How would that be?’

‘Leave off the special sauce if you do. It makes him fart, and I have to sleep with the mutt.’

With a little yelp of her own, she turned to find the dog’s master towering over her. She stepped back, in danger of falling on the dog, who gave an indignant woof, which she wasn’t sure was from her nearly landing on him or from his owner’s lack of discretion in discussing his digestion. Either way if the man hadn’t caught her by the arm with a large hand she would have flattened the poor pooch.

The man was big and rugged like the dog, she thought, as he slid an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the beast, swiftly enough that she realized with a start that he didn’t trust the dog with her. For a second she tensed and her skin prickled. But it wasn’t the dog she feared at all. She trusted him almost instantly and she knew the feeling was mutual, peanut butter or not. She wasn’t keen on being touched by people she knew well, let alone strangers, and this man made her knees weak from a distance, let alone up close and personal. Before she could panic, she was engulfed in the scent of juniper and wood smoke and dry desert heat. Perhaps it was the desire to sniff again that relaxed her, that made her forget that she could be in real danger, but before she had time to really consider her safety, he settled her onto her feet and stepped back. ‘Excuse me. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just that Gus isn’t usually great with people.’ The dog scooted forward and sniffed her fingers with a cool nose, then looked up at the man as though he wondered what the hell the problem was.

‘It’s fine. I’m all right,’ she managed without sounding too disconcerted. ‘I just wasn’t expecting company for lunch.’P1010641

The man offered her a smile that made her stomach bottom and, for a tiny moment, made her feel like there was nothing solid beneath her feet. Then everything righted itself and settled around her again. ‘And Gus wasn’t expecting to be invited to lunch with such charming company,’ he said. ‘The mutt’s a bit of a mooch.’

The man wore faded fatigues –patched and threadbare in a couple of places – along with heavy-duty biker boots that were scuffed and well worn. But the clothes didn’t hang on him like clothes often did on the homeless people who sheltered here. He filled them out. In fact he filled them out way too nicely for a man with whom regular meals were not guaranteed.

‘I’m just glad he was happy with peanut butter and didn’t find it necessary to have a bit more protein with his meal.’ She wriggled her fingers, and the man chuckled, and held her gaze with startling eyes that were winter storm grey and not clouded by drugs – not that she would know much about that sort of thing. His hair was dark and mussed and the stubble on his face made him look tragic and romantic, if more than a little bit dangerous. She forced herself not to look away. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t have anything else.’ She flushed in a wave of embarrassment. ‘Believe me, I really don’t.’ She suddenly found herself fighting back tears and lowered her gaze. He had no idea, she thought. There wasn’t even any change left in the bottom of her bag. She’d rounded up all of that and the few pennies she found down behind the cushions of the couch to buy a loaf of bread and the peanut butter. Even if he decided to steal her bag, fat lot of good it would do him. Even the phone was a worthless pay as you go job with barely enough time on it to call 911 in an emergency. Truth was he could easily take from her whatever he wanted. He could even take her if he wanted, and there would be nothing she could do, certainly no one would miss her. She should have been scared, she supposed, after all she knew very well that the storm tunnels could be dangerous places, but she was just too damn tired to care. She could feel his gaze move over her. It made her feel giddy and flushed and … strangely naked, but not like he was leering, more like he could … well just like he could see things.

‘I know,’ he said softly. ‘I know what you have.’ He curled a finger beneath her chin and lifted her head so their eyes met again, and the prickle of her skin returned, but this time she felt as though she were suddenly bathed in champagne bubbles, suddenly falling into the storm blizzard depths of his eyes, suddenly unable to catch enough breath. ‘I have something for you, though.’ He stepped back, sliding his hand down her arm to curl his fingers around her wrist. Then just before the strength of his grip, the power it transmitted could panic her, he took her hand and folded something into her palm. Then he whispered against her ear, ‘Gus’ll be looking forward to his Big Mac.’

She blinked and caught her breath. Did he say that, or did she just imagine it. But he had already turned, given a soft whistle, and the dog followed him into the maw of the tunnel. She watched them for as long as her eyes could see shape and movement before the blackness swallowed them up. Then she looked down in her clenched fist and opened her fingers. There was just enough light left in the evening sky that she could make out the words Buried Pleasures engraved on both sides of a poker chip. How the hell did a homeless man get a poker chip from a place like that, she wondered. She turned it over in her hand a couple of times squinting in the low light, but it seemed genuine enough. Then she shrugged, dropped it in her bag and headed for the casino, picking up her pace so she wouldn’t be late for her shift. It was a helluva walk from her apartment to the 6 Spot, and she always tried to make it before it got too dark. Not only was it a long walk, but it took her through areas that were not the safest places for a stroll. On top of that, she was in danger of being late, thanks to her encounter with Gus and his owner. She’d made enough money busking yesterday to pay the rent, but not enough to put gas in the car.

She didn’t feel good about the busking. Vegas was way too small. It would be too easy for her to draw attention, and she especially didn’t want to draw Darian Fox’s attention again. On the other hand, she didn’t feel good about joining the homeless man and his dog in the tunnels if she got kicked out of her apartment either. If the city were bigger, another day, maybe two of busking and she’d have made enough money to give her at least a bit of a cushion, but she couldn’t risk it. Word got round, even when she downplayed her abilities, which she always did. Not for the first time she resented the hell out of Evie’s little rich girl naiveté, and not for the first time she wondered why she didn’t just call Evie’s father and let him come and sort her out. How the hell did she get mixed up in this mess to begin with? But she was expendable, right? She was a nobody, not an heiress wanting to thumb her nose at daddy by trying out life on the wild side.

S6304352She heaved a sigh and picked up her pace again. She was just feeling sorry for herself. She was just tired. Evie was her friend, and she knew damn well that if the shoe were on the other foot and she were the one acting like an idiot with Darian Fox, Evie would move heaven and hell to get her out of a bad situation.

She picked up her pace yet again, telling herself dryly that she would be able to take up competitive race walking if she went a few more days with no gas money. That would beat the hell out of her job as a cocktail waitress. True, it was a shit job, but right now beggars couldn’t be choosers. While she could make good money busking, even maybe find a job at a piano bar someplace, she knew that wasn’t safe, but she had to have some money if she were going to survive until she could get Evie away from that bastard, Fox. And that meant stuffing herself into the tiny spandex excuse for a uniform and letting the half-drunk partiers at the Black Jack tables ogle her while she delivered their watered-down drinks because, what were friends for, right?

 

A Sneak Peek at Carla Flannery’s Notes for Interviewing Wade

Interviewing WadeI’ve been very privileged to get a sneak peek at some of ace reporter, Carla Flannery’s, notes and observations on her challenging interview with Wade Crittenden. I thought maybe you’d like to see some of her preliminary scribblings about the enigmatic man in his dungeon and the ordeal of interviewing him. I’d happily share Wade’s opinions of Carla with you too, but I caught him at the bowling alley and he wasn’t exactly happy about the interruption. He bowled a strike that nearly took the back wall of Clyde’s bowling alley out and then told me to go away, he was busy … 

 

Notes: Wade Crittenden article

C. Flannery

 The man has limited social skills and no understanding of what’s acceptable behaviour in social situations. Locking me in the Dungeon is a prime example. (Not sure how I’ll put this in the article. I don’t want to humiliate him, though at the moment, I’d like to kill him) ‘I’m busy. Don’t bother me.’ That’s Wade Crittenden’s standard answer to everyone, except maybe Dee Henning and Ellison Thorne, his business partners. Probably Martin Flannery can get a more amiable response from him, at least on some days.

After waking up to find myself locked in the dungeon, after getting over being furious, I’ve come to think that possibly Wade’s interaction, or lack thereof, with people is a matter of trust. It’s not so much that he doesn’t trust them, though I have no doubt he doesn’t. It’s more that he doesn’t trust himself with other people. He misses the cues most of us pick up on in our social interaction with each other. He also lacks the ability to put on the social mask as needed for keeping things polite, especially when dealing with uncomfortable situations. We humans have a need to keep the peace as much as possible, to keep our interactions civil. I shiver to think of the carnage and chaos if we didn’t. And though Wade has dedicated his life’s work to making things better for humanity, he never gets overly concerned about the carnage or the chaos his lack of a social mask may cause. (To be honest, I’m not entirely sure Wade really has dedicated his life’s work to making things better for humanity. I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe he does it because he can, because there’s always another question to be answered, another problem to be solved and he’s intrigued by riddles, problems, puzzles. People — not so much. However, making the world a better place is a nice side effect.)

 

 

Wade_EFAad

 

 

Blurb Interviewing Wade:

The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.

Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.

 

Pre-Order Your Copy of INTERVIEWING WADE Here:

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© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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