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Out Now! Lisabet Sarai’s D&S Duos Book 4

Young woman with shibariToday I’m welcoming Lisabet Sarai back to celebrate Book 4 of her D&S series.

Blurb

Lisabet Sarai’s D&S Duos Book 4 celebrates the thrill of sexual power and the ecstasy of surrender. In “Like Riding a Bicycle”, after years of vanilla marriage, a couple resumes the kinky games that first drew them together. The characters in “Limbo” experience the ultimate erotic connection thanks to dangerous and addictive out-of-body technology. D&S Duos Book 4 also includes bonus story “Blind Obedience” and a transgressive excerpt from Lisabet’s erotic thriller Bangkok Noir.

Excerpt: 

We make our choices, often blindly. Then we live with the consequences.

It’s your fiftieth birthday, I’m half a world away, and married to someone else. I honestly don’t know which is the bigger obstacle. No, scratch that. If today’s experiment is successful, the distance will mean nothing.

I want to help you celebrate. To give you something special. Romantic and cynic that you are, I want to prove to you my enduring devotion, across time and space. I want to give back to you some of the magic you’ve shared with me.

I climb out of the taxi at the entrance to an alley too narrow for the compact Toyota to navigate, hand the driver a hundred baht and head toward my destination on foot. I’m somewhere in the maze of venerable lanes of Cholon. I smell star anise and decaying fish. I pass racks of drying laundry and bins of preserved fruit.

The address you emailed me belongs to a surprisingly grand, if somewhat decrepit, building, three stories of balconies and shutters. No sign. When I ring the bell, I am ushered into the waiting room by a powdered and rouged crone wearing too-tight silk and ropes of jade beads. She gestures for me to sit on the velvet banquette and shuffles away. The walls are mirrors, framed by faded brocade draperies. I can’t help grinning to myself; clearly, this state-of-the-art Monroe parlor used to be a brothel.

This was my idea, but you did all the research. I know that you’re somewhere in the basement of a fancy hotel in San Francisco. Very exclusive, top security. For executives who want the ultimate in “teleconferencing”.

The madame returns with a sheaf of papers. Release forms. Of course it’s all illegal anyway, but no one wants to take any chances. There are documented cases of people going astral and never returning. The parlor doesn’t want to be stuck with my still breathing but non-sentient body.

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excessica

Barnes and Noble

Kobo 

 

lisabetFace
About
Lisabet:

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels
includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse. Learn more at http://www.lisabetsarai.com.

 

 

 

 

Find Lisabet here:

Website: http://www.lisabetsarai.com

Blog: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83387.Lisabet_Sarai

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/lisabetsarai

Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lisabets_list

 

Hollywood Royalty! New Release by TS McKinney

Victoria thought that she would give anything for the role of Annabelle Hutchinson. She just didn’t realize what she would end up losing.

Victoria thought that she would give anything for the role of Annabelle Hutchinson. She just didn’t realize what she would end up losing.

 

Hollywood Royalty Book Blurb

Victoria Winstead: My parents are the reigning King and Queen of Hollywood and since I am their only child, that clearly means I am a pampered princess who is accustomed to getting everything I want, when I want it, and how I want it…and right now, I want the most coveted role in Hollywood. Only one thing stands in my way.

Grayson Leman: This bastard is the only son of the reigning Prince and Princess of Hollywood and I hate everything about him, always have and always will. Our families have a history and it isn’t pretty. It’s ugly, Hollywood style. Oh yeah, he’s the one thing standing in my way.

Annabelle Hutchinson: She’s the creation of a writing trio that has managed to rock the entire female population with their erotica novel, Dark Lovers. They have single-handedly brought mommy porn front and center and made it not only acceptable but sexy as hell. A movie deal was made and I am literally (this is embarrassing to say) having to actually fight for something for the first time in my life.

Not to worry, though…I am Hollywood Royalty.

Buy Link:

http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!hollywood-royalty/c1kpr

 

Hollywood Royalty Excerpt:

“You leaving in the morning, Gabe? Or staying the day?” His band members got up and shook his hand as he started to leave. They didn’t tease him, but I could tell they wanted to. Badly.

“I’m staying. I’ll see you Sunday night.”

“Great. Okay. You guys have an…an exciting night.” He was stalling. I swear he was stalling.

Honestly folks, I didn’t want to say anything. It had been my vow to myself to give him the silent treatment all evening long. I had done so well. I should probably be nominated for an Oscar for my performance. Not one time did I lean in to sniff his intoxicating scent. Nope, I didn’t. Nor did I allow my gaze to stray toward that body that was made for nothing but pure undiluted sin. Nope, the only time I looked at him was to roll my eyes or glare. Ignoring him had been my only task for the evening. I had been an awesome bitch…up until now. For some reason, unknown to me, I couldn’t stop the word from slipping between my lips as he turned to walk away.

“Pussy.”

Memphis had to struggle to keep the full blown smile from covering her face. Gabe didn’t even try to hide his reaction. He slammed his fist on the table. The rest of the table just looked shocked and appalled by my outburst. I felt a blush start to stain my cheeks and I fought furiously to clamp down on the feeling. I didn’t need to feel bad for being mean to him or embarrassing him. He, my friends, is the enemy. Yet, I wasn’t really as proud of myself like I’d always imagined I would be in a situation like this.

He stopped walking and stood with his back to us for several long, intimidating seconds. From the way the muscles in his back quivered, I believe he was trying to control his temper. Oh, well. I wasn’t really worried. It isn’t like Mister Boy Scout would ever hit a girl, right? I felt myself start to fidget when he just stood there. We had also caught the attention of several of the patrons that were seated around us. In fact, I believe we were making quite the spectacle of ourselves.

“Just go, Grayson. Don’t do it,” Gabe pleaded. He glared at me in disgust. “You don’t have anything to prove, especially to her.”

Finally, Grayson slowly turned around and looked me dead in the face…hard. This time, I definitely started fidgeting in my seat. His intense stare was breathtaking with his bright blue eyes and girly lashes. God, did I mention how hot he was? “What did you say to me?” he asked quietly. When he’d been on stage singing, his voice had sounded like hot whiskey – now he sounded cold and furious. Well, he could just get over himself. I didn’t like him. I wasn’t trying to be his friend or suck up to him to get him to star in their movie. I, my dear friends, didn’t give a flying fuck what he thought about me.

“She called you a pussy, dude.” Gabe answered loudly when I failed to answer promptly enough to suit him. Of course, when Gabe said it, everyone within a ten mile radius heard him. I was seriously getting tired of dear ole Gabe, really fast.

Grayson’s jaw ticked and his mouth formed a frown that didn’t do a damned thing to make him unattractive. I guess this is why our families had always worked so hard to keep us apart from each other. He was hot enough that I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands to myself and I was bitchy enough that my very touch would soil his pure skin.

“Yep, I called you a pussy, Grayson. Got a problem with that?” I sounded a lot tougher on the outside than I was feeling on the inside. It actually bothered me to be mean to him and I had no clue why.

“Yea, I guess I do,” he answered with a lazy shrug of his perfectly shaped shoulders—you know, not too much muscle releaseblitzbutton_hollywoodroyaltybut just enough to make a girl swoon? “Actually, I have a problem with how you’ve treated me all night long,” he explained as he closed the distance between us with a determined stride. Once he was close enough, he grabbed his vacated chair, swirled it around, slammed it right up against my knee, and straddled it. When we were practically eye to eye, he continued, “I’m pretty sure I’ve never done anything to offend you personally, but you still act like a bitch. Why is that, Vic? Are you afraid of me?” His voice was low enough that I was the only one that could hear him unless people rudely moved in closer. I knew they wanted to, but they didn’t. Actually, Memphis wouldn’t let them. It was a good thing Memphis could multi task because she was having to keep other patrons away from us and keep Gabe in line at the same time. Gabe was even more furious than Grayson was and that made about as much sense as the way I felt with Grayson being so close to me.

“Afraid of you? Mister Boy Scout? I seriously doubt that,” I answered smugly. “I just don’t like you.”

“You don’t know me.”

Well, he had me there, but I didn’t intend to back down. “I don’t have to know you to not like you. Don’t let it hurt your feelings, sweetie. Are you going to cry like your mommy did?”

Yea, I went there. The minute I did, I wished I hadn’t. Too late. I watched many emotions cross through those blue eyes—hurt, anger, surprise, lust…

He tilted his head to the side and studied me like I was some kind of sideshow freak. I could tell he was pondering something. Maybe punching me in the face and seeing if he could make me cry? Right when I was about to cave and apologize, he leaned in and whispered in my ear, “You want to make me scream, don’t you, Vic? You want to hurt me?” I could feel his hot breath tickling my neck and sending waves of desire rushing through me. Actually, those waves had started the minute he had gotten close to me. It was his hot breath or the way his tongue almost touched my ear when he spoke. “You wanna do it on stage? How brave are you?”

 

About TS McKinney:

TS McKinney lives in East Tennessee with her high school sweetheart/husband and all the countless dogs she picks up from deserted country roads. Her professional career has been in business but her heart has always belonged to the fantasy world found in books.

Creating wicked worlds where one can meet the perfect hero – and then do anything to him that you want – has been a hobby that has brought her plenty of hours of fun and naughty entertainment.

When not working, reading, or writing, she loves to spend her time with her family and forcing them (because they don’t really have another choice) to allow her to redecorate their house…and listen to her naughty…sometimes sadistic stories.

Find TS McKinney Here:

http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!ts-mckinney/c1mwz

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006245056875&fref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TSMcKinney1

 

 

I Make an Executive Decision to Interview Wade! Chapter 1

Aaaaand! One final Executive Decision on my part to round out the lot! Since Interviewing Wade is hot off the press, and you’ve now gotten a look at Wade’s friend’s and Wade’s world though the first chapters of An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis and The Exhibition, and it’s now time to give you a peek at the opening chapter of Interviewing Wade and give you an introduction to Carla Flannery and Wade Crittenden.

 

Happy Reading!

 

Interviewing Wade_edited-1Interviewing Wade

An Executive Decision follow up novel (Click Here for Book One | Book Two | Book Three)

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.

 

Chapter 1

Carla Flannery took a large gulp of what that was supposed to be coffee, but she suspected was actually lubricant for heavy machinery. She made a heroic effort to swallow, and then shuddered at the after-bite. The cut on her face stung, but it had stopped bleeding, so she ignored it as she went over her notes on the rescue of Devon Melbourne and the arrest of his kidnappers – well some of his kidnappers, anyway. The police suspected that Rigby Eberhardt was only the flunky but, for whatever reason, he was taking the fall. She had a good rapport with most of the cops at the station, so she would eventually find out. They didn’t trust many reporters, but they trusted her, probably because of her father and her inadvertent association with Wade Crittenden. It actually wasn’t much of an association. For the most part, Wade ignored her. At the best of times he tolerated her – probably because she was Martin Flannery’s daughter. Well, being a good reporter was all about contacts, networking and being able to namedrop when necessary, so if Wade’s name got her into certain inner sanctums, she wasn’t above dropping it.

She glanced down at her watch and then at the closed door of the interrogation room. She knew Wade wasn’t inside, but was pretty sure he was watching the questioning of Eberhardt from the two-way mirror. She’d seen him go down the hall with Detective Meyers. They’d been back there forever. She’d sent off a quick story to her editor from the scene of the rescue, as soon as she’d gotten over the shakes. Flannery scoops it again, she thought with a smile. She supposed a high-five from Wade was too much to ask, but he’d glared at her like she’d just killed his cat. Still, Wade, and his cat – if he had one – weren’t the issue. Carla had all ready updated her story after she’d talked to the police, and she wanted to talk to Wade for the next update. She knew the night’s rescue and subsequent arrest wouldn’t have happened without Wade’s help, but it wouldn’t have happened without hers either. It hadn’t been her intention to still be in the vacant apartment building when the police raided. She was a journalist, not a cop, and she didn’t make a habit of hanging out at crime scenes – well unless you counted the illegal landfill over by John Day or the warehouse outside Gresham where stolen cars were being cannibalised for parts. And that horrible stalker who tried to kidnap Kendra Davis well it was hardly Carla’s fault that he decided he wanted her to have an exclusive on his creepy brilliance. Wade had played a major part in saving Kendra Davis’s life too, but so had her quick actions. She would hardly go so far as to think of them as a damn good team. He certainly didn’t think of her at all. Not that she wanted him to, of course. Not that she cared what Wade Crittenden thought of her.

Back to the present situation though, the truth was, the police wouldn’t have raided at all if she hadn’t put two and two together, gone to the building and realised what was going on. They wouldn’t have known where Rigby Eberhardt was holding the heir to the Melbourne empire if Carla hadn’t figured it out and called them in. It wasn’t her fault that she got caught out when Eberhardt and his cohort showed up unexpectedly. Then when it became clear that they were getting ready to move Melbourne somewhere else, namely the bottom of the Willamette River in a weighted-down garbage bag, what else could she do but text Wade and the cops from her hiding place in the closet?

She looked at her watch one more time. What the hell was Wade doing? She wanted to make sure he was all right. He was favouring his arm when he came out of the derelict building with the police and Devon Melbourne. No other civilian but Wade Crittenden would have been allowed access. She’d been severely reprimanded by Detective Meyers for her part in the incident – never mind that it was her part that got Devon Melbourne back alive. All she wanted was just a few quotes from Wade before he told her to fuck off, he was busy. That was the man’s standard answer to everyone. Go away, he was busy. He wasn’t known for his social skills, and he certainly hadn’t been happy to see her tonight.

AED_teaserShe nearly choked on the last of the lube-oil coffee as the door to the interrogation room burst open disgorging Detective Meyers, who was joined almost immediately by a very stern-looking Wade Crittenden. She had to do a double take. Wade wasn’t cloaked his usual baggy hoodie. He had given it to Devon Melbourne, who was wearing only a singlet and a pair of shorts when the kidnappers had taken him during his morning run along the river. She had never seen Wade without the baggy jacket, even in the heat of the summer. But Wow! The man clearly did more than just play with computers. He wore a faded black Portland State t-shirt that was not tight, but was definitely not baggy enough to hide broad well-muscled shoulders and that squared, ramrod upper body that had fit written all over it. His left bicep looked as though it might burst from a strip of gauze bandage wrapped carelessly around it several times. God, what the hell did the man do with himself when he wasn’t being Pneuma Inc’s genius nerd? She knew he bowled, but she’d never heard of anyone getting that ripped from bowling. He wore the shirt tucked into a pair of threadbare low-riding Levis settled over scuffed hiking boots that looked well past their sell-by date. And bed head! Wade Crittenden had bed head. His rich brown hair, sorely in need of a cut, had the just up from a romp between the sheets look prissy men moussed and blow-dried to get. But Wade Crittenden didn’t have a fashion-conscious bone in his body and try though she might, she couldn’t keep from thinking of the man just up out of bed. Preferably her bed. Nope, the look was most definitely not dress for success billionaire, and yet Carla couldn’t take her eyes off him, as he bent to talk to Meyers. The detective was a fireplug of a man, several inches shorter than Wade, who she figured to be about 6’2”. She strained to catch what they were saying, but could hear nothing over the hum of the air conditioning.

And then Wade looked up. Her stomach did a summersault, and her face flushed. Damn pale Flannery skin meant that, beneath the freckles, she glowed like a fire engine when she blushed. And why the fuck was she blushing? There was no need to blush. It was just Wade. But as his gaze came to rest on her she felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a Mack Truck. He nodded to Meyers and said something else before the detective turned down the hall, but Wade’s eyes never left Carla’s, and the shift of muscle along the square jaw now sporting the stubble of a very long night told her that he wasn’t happy. Her pulse jumped with a little shiver of fear. She’d never seen the man when he wasn’t totally focused on something that wasn’t her. He never got angry, never got happy, never got anything but slightly annoyed at being interrupted from whatever work of genius had his totally tunnel-visioned attention. That had never upset her, since she wasn’t sure any person was actually worth Wade Crittenden’s full attention when he had other things on his mind – which he always did. He’d never done more than offer her an acknowledging glance, and that grudgingly, as though her presence startled him slightly, but not enough to pay any real attention to.

She wiped hands, suddenly gone sweaty, against her own jeans and rose from the orange plastic chair. For a moment he didn’t move, only stood glaring at her so, like any good journalist, she took the initiative. She offered him her best Flannery smile and moved boldly toward him. ‘There you are. I was hoping we’d get a chance to talk. What happened,’ she said, nodding to his arm.

He looked down at is as though he hadn’t actually realised he was wounded, as though he hadn’t realised he had an arm there at all. Said arm was apparently far less obvious to him that it was to her. ‘It’s nothing. Just a scratch.’

‘Detective Brewster said it’s a knife wound, that Eberhardt tried to stab you.’ Even as she said it, her knees felt strangely weak. Knife wounds were often fatal. People died every day from stabbings.

‘It’s nothing,’ he repeated. ‘Eberhard’s not good with a knife.’ His hard gaze returned to her. His eyes weren’t exactly green, but they weren’t hazel either. They reminded her of moss or lichen or some mix of the two.

‘That’s good. I’m glad. I wonder if I could ask you a few questions,’ she ploughed on before he could shove past her and ignore her like he always did. ‘I’ve already talked to the police, but –’

‘What the hell were you doing?’ his voice was so soft, she almost didn’t hear the question.

‘Excuse me.’

‘Why the hell were you there? In the building?’

‘I had a lead from one of Eberhardt’s old school mates, and I … What are you doing? Wade?’

IC_teaserThe man grabbed her forearm in a bruising grip and half marched, half dragged her down the hall and into an empty interrogation room, where he slammed the door behind them and gave her a shove. She stumbled and steadied herself

‘Ouch! What the fuck to you think you’re doing?’ She turned to face him, feeling her cheeks heat up, but her stomach turn to ice at the angry mountain of a man that only a few minutes ago was mild-mannered nerd genius, Wade Crittenden.

‘You could have gotten yourself killed.’ He moved on her, forcing her back until she had to catch herself to keep from falling on top of the small table at the centre of the room.

‘You’re a fine one to talk,’ she said, skirting the table and shoving him with the flat of her hand in the centre of his hard chest. ‘Besides if I hadn’t texted it in, no one would have known Eberhardt was there and Devon Melbourne would be dead by now.’

‘Text it in! I got that. But text it in, Carla!’ He grabbed her by the lapels of her white shirt and gave her a shake that made her teeth rattle. Christ! She had never seen Wade like this before, and she could never remember him calling her by name. She was doubtful that he even knew it. He continued. ‘You don’t have to go into the goddamned building to text us the location.’

‘I wasn’t planning to stay!’ Her words came out high pitched and a lot less indignant that she intended. ‘I didn’t expect Eberhardt to show up while I was investigating.’

‘While you were investigating? While you were investigating!’ With his hands still on her lapels, he walked her backward in an urgent, cockeyed tango until her spine was up against the institution-green of the wall. ‘Christ, Carla, you could have been killed!’ He repeated.

‘I would have left if I could have, goddamn it, and don’t talk to me like I’m some stupid little kid. A man’s alive because of me, because of what I found out. You think I’m gonna stay safely locked up in my little apartment and let a man die because I’m a coward? And you? What about you? You’re not a cop. Eberhardt pulled a knife on you when you should have been back in the Dungeon safely calling the shots over your juiced-up Android.’ This time she gave him an elbow in the solar plexus and the bastard didn’t even budge. ‘I’m doing my job, damn it, Wade. I’m doing my job.’

‘They could have killed you!’ He shook her again. ‘They could have killed you.’ It was only as he brought his hand down to trace the wound along her cheekbone that she realised he was shaking. She barely had time to wonder if he could really be that angry at her before he pushed her again, then pulled her up on her toes, fists still curled in her shirt. And then … and then… he kissed her. Wade Crittenden, the epitome of obliviousness, the man who was always too busy doing important stuff to notice Martin Flannery’s daughter, suddenly had her mouth in a lip-lock that was so vicious and so demanding that if it had been a wrestling move, she would have very happily submitted.

She gave a little yelp that he took full advantage of, his tongue finding its way in to battle hers and to snake over her teeth and her hard pallet. Almost as though her arms had a mind of their own, they went around his neck and curled into fists in the back of his t-shirt. And his hands – well his hands were all over the place. One, fisted in her hair, held her so that there was no taking her mouth away from where he totally controlled it, not that she was very anxious to do so. The other hand slid down low onto her hip and then moved to cup her ass, bringing her up on her toes even further, as though he were trying to drag her up his body, and damned if she wasn’t doing her best to aid his efforts. Then he slid a knee in between hers, for support, she was sure, because her knees had turned to jelly at the first signs of mouth-to-mouth. And he was hot, like sitting too close to a campfire that felt so good you just couldn’t bring yourself to move away from the heat, even though it scorched you. Hard against soft, that was all she could think – that and how good it felt and how surprised she was at the hardness of Wade Crittenden’s body. At some remote control centre in her brain, some bit that had stayed marginally online in the wake of the kiss that would now and forevermore be known as The Kiss, she became aware that some parts of Wade Crittenden were harder than others. There had been major expansion in the general area of his fly, and her efforts to climb him, and his efforts to help her were an attempt to position said hardness for maximum effect.

‘Wade if you’ve got a minute – Oh shit! Sorry!’

TE_teaserIt all happened so fast. Detective Meyers shoved into the interrogation room and was already mid-sentence before he realised there was a very private interrogation going on. Wade jumped back from her as though she had given him an electrical shock, and she bit her tongue to keep from yelping. Whatever Wade said beneath his breath, Carla was certain it wasn’t nice.

‘I’ll be right there, Meyers,’ he said, without taking his eyes off Carla, who just stood there like a lump with her hand against her mouth, breathing like she’d run a marathon. The desperate rise and fall of Wade’s chest helped to keep her eyes above his waist and the fire of anger still in his eyes, kept her from moving until he stepped back and raked her with a gaze that would have scorched metal. ‘Go home, Carla, and don’t try to play dangerous games you don’t understand.’ Then he turned and left her in the interrogation room leaning heavily against the wall, one hand still pressed to her lips, the other clenched in a furious fist at her side. She would have run after him and given him a piece of her mind, but at the moment, she wasn’t entirely sure she could even walk. Come to think of it, she couldn’t imagine walking was too easy for him at the moment either. That at least brought a smirk of satisfaction to her kiss-bruised lips.

 

The Exhibition, Another First Chapter, Another Executive Decisions Novel

Interviewing Wade_edited-1Knowing that everyone is enjoying a long weekend, and for some people that will involve relaxing in the sunshine (provided you’re lucky enough to get some) with a good read, I thought I’d continue on with the spirit of the Interviewing Wade Blog Tour and Giveaway by giving you something to read. It was the first three Executive Decisions novels that led fans to demand Wade’s story. And while Wade is a secondary character in each of those novels, his role is vital and vibrant. So I’ve decided to celebrate the release of Interviewing Wade by sharing the first chapter of each of the first three Executive Decisions novels with you. To date I’ve shared the first chapter of An Executive Decision and Identity Crisis and today I’m sharing the prologue and chapter 1 of The Exhibition

 

Happy Reading!

And be sure to check out all the Interviewing Wade Blog Tour and Giveaway sites and sign up for the Amazon Gift Card by following this link!

  

The ExhibitionThe Exhibition

Book Three of the Executive Decision Trilogy (Click Here for Book One, Book Two, Interviewing Wade)

Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?

 

The Exhibition:

Prologue

What she was about to ask was a terrible thing to ask of a friend. Stacie Emerson had ridden MAX in from Gresham, which had taken forever, but the long ride on public transport gave her time to think about it, to back out and turn the whole event into just two friends meeting for coffee. And then what? Where else could she turn? The two met in Pioneer Square just before the deluge began.

Kendra Davis gave her a fierce hug, and they hurried the few blocks to the coffee shop that looked up onto Raymond Kaskey’s colossal sculpture, Portlandia, which graced the third story of the Portland Building. Just as the downpour got serious, they shoved their way into the cafe and settled into a table near the window with a good view of the sculpture. It had always been one of Stacie’s favourite things about Portland. She never got tired of it, no matter how many times she looked up at Portlandia with her hair caught up in the artist’s imagined breeze, with her strong Amazon body leaning down from on high, trident in one hand while the other arm reached out to the world below. Stacie never got over the urge to lift her arms up to the sculpture in hopes of being drawn into her magnanimous, muscular embrace.

When both women had given Portlandia the homage she so richly deserved, they turned their attention to each other. ‘How’s Garrett?’ Stacie asked.

‘He’s recovering nicely, thanks. He’s a horrible patient though. I practically have to tie him to the bed to get him to rest.’

AED_teaserStacie offered her a wicked smile. ‘Somehow I can’t picture him really minding that too much, you tying him to the bed, I mean.’ Was she mistaken, or did Kendra actually blush? ‘And what about you? How are you doing? I mean recovering from what you’ve been through can’t be an easy task.’ Stacie shivered at the thought of the stalker and what might have happened if Kendra hadn’t been made of sterner stuff than just about anyone she’d ever met.

Kendra looked down at her hands folded around her cup and the smile she offered, though genuine, clearly took some effort. ‘I’m alright. The dreams are coming less and less often, and I’m seeing a psychologist. We both are. I won’t lie; sometimes it’s rough, but we have each other and…’ This time her face broke into a broad, easy smile. ‘God, I can’t get used to saying that … we have each other. It sounds do presumptuous, and yet I love it.’

‘It sounds just perfect,’ Stacie said, giving her arm a squeeze. ‘And you two deserve to be very, very happy together.’

Kendra reached up and patted her hand. ‘You should stop by for dinner some night. I don’t cook, but I’ve discovered Garrett makes a mean bolognaise.’

Stacie offered her a knowing smile. ‘He certainly does. Who do you think taught him how to make it?’ She waved a dismissive hand. ‘But honestly, to see the two of you so happy, I’d come for peanut butter sandwiches.’

‘That I think I could almost manage,’ Kendra said. Then the smile slipped from her face, and she held Stacie in a gaze that was all business. ‘Now that you know how Garrett and I are, I imagine it’s K. Ryde you really need to talk to, or you would have met me at Garrett’s or invited me for a look-see at the progress you’re making at the gallery.’

Kendra was dressed in a white t-shirt, faded jeans and a pair of black ankle boots. Her hair, once again golden-blond, was pulled back in a ponytail and she wore no make-up. No one would have ever imagined her to be the best in her field. In fact only a small handful of people knew anything about the mysterious P.R. guru, K. Ryde, and if they did, they’d certainly never met the legend in person. K. Ryde had worked for Stacie all this time, and it had only been during the horrible incident with the stalker, when K. Ryde was working for Garrett, that she’d actually discovered Ryde’s true identity.

‘When I hired the Ryde Agency,’ Stacie began, ‘it was a long term project, and then, well, then it was all so nebulous. I mean I had no idea who K. Ryde really was, and it didn’t matter. But now,’ she scooted closer to the table and leaned over it. ‘Now it does.’

Kendra laid down the spoon that she’d just used to scoop a mound of cinnamon-dusted foam from her cappuccino into her mouth. ‘Then you’re ready for the next phase.’

Stacie nodded, feeling the tremor of nerves in her belly as she thought about what the next phase would mean. To both of them. ‘And I need to know if I’ve been handed over to the agency or if you’re still in charge. I assume you were in charge.’

Kendra offered her a half-smile. ‘I was always in charge, and your … request intrigued me a lot so I took a personal interest. You’re one of the few clients I kept after I sold the agency, one of the few that I could continue working for on my own without anyone being the wiser for it. And I only did that because it interested me so much.’

‘Even after everything with Dee and Ellis?’ Stacie said. ‘I mean I know you blamed me, and rightfully so.’

Kendra studied her for a moment then nodded slowly. ‘K. Ryde’s business is business, Stacie. My personal feelings didn’t figure into it. K. Ryde never got involved personally … not until Garrett came into the picture, and that was … well that was something I could have never foreseen.’

Love was like that, Stacie thought. She released a shaky breath and wiped sweaty palms on her trousers. ‘I guess I need to know if I’ll be continuing to work with you, now that I’m ready to move forward with … my project, or if I’ll be working with someone I don’t know.’

Again Kendra studied her. ‘Do you want someone to take over?’

Stacie shook her head and stared down into her cup, trying to gather her thoughts. ‘It’s just that, well what happens next … what happens next you probably won’t like, and now that our situation has changed, I’m not sure I like having my friend involved. In fact, what I’m about to ask is a pretty terrible thing to do to a friend, if you want the truth.’

‘Stacie if you want me to hand you over to the agency, all you have to do is ask. But …’

‘But no one else could handle it like you could, if they could handle it at all, right?’

Kendra didn’t answer. She only held Stacie’s gaze.

‘I know that, and yet I also know what it’ll mean.’ Stacie looked out at the sculpture with its outstretched hand as though somehow it would offer her an easy answer for what she knew was ahead of her. But there were no easy answers. There could be none. She knew that. ‘It’s just that I … Well it’s complicated.’

‘Most of what K. Ryde deals with is complicated, Stacie. That’s why K. Ryde deals with it.’

There was a sudden flash of sunshine through the rainclouds bathing the sculpture in bright light and Stacie blinked back the after image, then turned her gaze back to Kendra, who sat for a second with Portlandia’s features super-imposed onto her own. Then Stacie blinked again and it was Kendra who sat across from her offering a sympathetic smile.

She knew how tough Kendra was, how much fire there was in that slender frame. But she also knew what the woman had already been through, and what she was about to ask her seemed cruel. ‘After everything that’s happened … to you, to Garrett, I don’t know …’

‘Stacie, Garrett and I are both struggling to put what happened with Edge behind us and move on. For me, that means finally being able to have my life back. Oh, I’m not moving back to California.’ She nodded up at the sculpture. ‘Portland is my home and I want to stay here – especially the way things are with Garrett and me now. But I have no intention of not working, and frankly, you know me well enough to know how bored I’d be with anything that wasn’t up to K. Ryde’s usual clientele.’

‘What about Garrett?’

Kendra raised a golden eyebrow. ‘What about Garrett? My love life most definitely doesn’t involve breaking client confidentiality. If you want me to finish what we started, Stacie, I will. In fact, I’ve always had every intention to.’

Stacie gripped her hands in her lap to keep them from shaking. ‘You won’t like it.’

‘Tell me, and let me decide,’ Kendra said.

Forty-five minutes and two more lattes and a Diet Pepsi later, Kendra blew out a sharp breath and scrubbed a hand over her face. ‘You’re right. I don’t like it.’

Stacie felt her stomach drop and the fear that all of her efforts, everything she had done so far had been for nothing threatened to overwhelm her. ‘Then I need to find someone else?’

Kendra shook her head slowly. ‘I didn’t say that. I said I didn’t like it. Besides, you wouldn’t find anyone else who’d do this for you, even if they could.’

‘I don’t want to … I never wanted to put you at risk.’

Kendra reached across the table and took Stacie’s hand in a strong grip. ‘Some things are worth the risk, Sweetie. But this is the last time we meet like this. From now on you only see Kendra Davis in person. K. Ryde will be in touch and inform you of what comes next.’ She squeezed her hand hard. ‘I mean it, Stacie. From this moment on, you’ve never met K. Ryde, and you won’t ever meet him again. Are we clear?’

Stacie squared her shoulders and nodded, unable to speak around the claw of nerves in her chest.

Kendra’s face softened to a warm smile and she released Stacie’s hand with a soft pat. ‘Good. Now the sun’s out and I’m dying for a walk along the river so that I can bore you beyond words with the latest about Garrett and me.’

And really, there was nothing in the whole world Stacie needed more at that moment.

 

Chapter 1

Stacie nearly fell off the chair behind her desk as she jerked to wakefulness. It took her a second to realize she was in her office at the gallery. A quick glance at her watch told her she had maybe a half hour before the workmen arrived. She yawned and stretched then shoved to her feet to open the utilitarian mini blinds. They would soon be replaced with lush spring green drapes at windows that would be flanked by plants from the same nursery that had furnished the greenery for Ellis when he’d opened the Pneuma Building.

IC_teaserEven unfinished as it was, she loved the feel of the place and what she was building it into. Stacie already owned a thriving gallery, and she had every intention of making the new West Coast gallery as successful as the one in New York. Two trips to Japan in as many months and the constant yo-yoing back and forth to New York until she could get her manager there trained and up to speed had pretty much guaranteed that she wasn’t getting enough rest. She was jetlagged as hell, so she tried to make the best of it and get some work done when she couldn’t sleep. That was all to be expected. It was a challenging time. It wouldn’t last forever. But the stress of opening the new gallery meant that the nightmare she had lived through in the early days of the New York gallery was bound to bubble up and kick her unconscious in the butt. It had been a bad dream that had woke her in the wee hours this morning. Even the pep talk she had given herself — that this time was different, that this time she was going in with her eyes open, that this time she knew what she was doing — didn’t lull her back to sleep, so here she was.

She glanced around her make-shift office with its folding chair and battered pine desk buried beneath shipping documents for the Japanese part of the exhibition and plans for the completion of the interior of the gallery. In her office, the walls were already painted, the floor was laid. The furniture would be delivered next week, and that included a comfy chair and a sofa for her to doze on when she was jet-lagged. It was coming together, she thought. It was coming together.

Just then her BlackBerry buzzed, and she scrabbled to find it beneath the stack of papers, nearly dropping it in the trash can when she finally unburied it and read the reminder to call Harris Walker. Again. She’d already rescheduled the call three times in the past twenty-four hours because she knew the drill. Either she’d get his voice mail and he wouldn’t return her call or he’d tell her he couldn’t talk right now, but he’d get back to her, and then he wouldn’t. But Harris Walker had no idea just how tenacious she was and how badly she wanted his work for the gallery’s opening exhibition. He’d have to personally tell her to fuck of and die before she would even begin to take the hint. And though Harris Walker didn’t much like her, she knew he was way too nice to tell her to fuck off and die.

The sunshine was just beginning to make a golden path onto the newly laid wood floor, and she had it on good authority that Harris would be up. In fact she had it on good authority that he had spent the past night in a hide photographing great horned owls. Owls slept in the daytime so she figured he’d just be finishing up, but not yet have had time to tuck up in his jammies for a nap. She’d invite him to breakfast. Surely he must be starving after spending the night in the woods. Of course, even if he were, he’d still tell her no. Then she’d invite him for coffee and work her way down from there. Maybe they could compromise on a glass of tepid water in her disaster of an office.

She really didn’t need to refresh her memory on Harris Walker’s work. She had studied his photographs in detail long before she knew him in person, back when she had no reason to believe that when they actually met he wouldn’t like her. But as she pulled up the Wilderness Vanguard Website, she told herself it was to give him time to get back to civilization before she became the unpleasant point in his morning. He was the editor of Wilderness Vanguard, and some of his work was in almost every issue. After she’d looked through the latest edition, she pulled up his own website and flipped through the photo galleries. She flipped past the photos of pristine Cascade scenery, past the photos of birds preening and elk rutting, past the photos of sunsets over the Pacific Ocean and sea lions lolling in the sand near Lincoln City. She even flipped past the gripping photo-diary he had done of his trip to the forests of Valderia with Ellis a few months ago. She flipped instead to the images of mining run-off and erosion-ravaged landscapes, to the photos of landfills, oil-slickened waterways and clear-cuts, to the photos of small dying communities that had lost their livelihood when the lumber industry went belly-up. As she studied them for the hundredth time, she wondered how he did it, how he could revel in such beauty as the Northwest was famous for, then immerse himself in landscapes from hell without somehow damaging his soul. She’d like to ask him if he’d ever consent to at least meet her for coffee.

TE_teaser2She really thought that of Dee Henning’s two best friends, Harris would be the easiest to win over. Stacie knew what men saw when they looked at her, and she seldom had to do much more than smile at a man to get his attention. Socially, she wasn’t even close to desperate. She was used to being able to date anyone she wanted whenever she wanted.

And though Harris Walker was definitely the stuff of sex dreams with his broad shoulders and outdoorsy good looks, all she wanted was the man’s photos. It was business, strictly business. At first she thought he simply couldn’t forgive her for her inadvertent role in her and Garrett’s bumbling attempt to get Dee and Ellis together, the attempt that had nearly had the opposite result. But Garrett, he seemed to have forgiven, so she suspected his less than warm feelings toward her had as much to do with her past relationship with Garrett and Ellis as anything. Ex fiancée to one, ex wife to the other. Okay, it wasn’t a shining resume, but she had only been eighteen, for fuck sake, and that horrible mistake had cost her way more than she could have ever imagined.

Anyway, it wasn’t like she was asking Harris to marry her or even to like her. What, could he possibly think she’d try to seduce him? There were at least five other wildlife photographers who were practically begging to be a part of her opening exhibition, but it was Harris she wanted. She flipped back through the pictures of devastation one last time, then grabbed the BlackBerry and pulled up his number.

It rang until it went to voice mail. She rolled her eyes, then put on her sweetest voice and asked him, for the hundredth time, if they could get together to talk about the exhibition. When she hung up, she left a text as well, all the while having visions of the man slapping a restraining order on her. Well, that’s what he’d have to do if he wanted her to give up. She’d beg, bargain and grovel if she had to. She’d try again a little later.

While she made herself coffee in the small kitchenette next to her office, she went down the mental list of questions she’d ask him, just in case today was the day when he actually gave in and returned her call.

Still thinking about the uncooperative Harris Walker, she started a second pot of coffee. The workmen would be here soon and the bakery around the corner would be delivering shortly. She had made special arrangements for a delivery daily as long as the workers were finishing up the gallery. She needed them happy and pleased to do things exactly the way she wanted, and nothing said do it my way quite as nicely as fresh pastries and quality French roast coffee.

That done, she took her own coffee and went back to her desk. She glanced through Harris’s photo galleries again, studying the horrendous detail of some of the scenes of destruction and environmental damage. She took a pen and a small pad of paper and scribbled notes about the ones she hoped to include in her exhibition. While she was at it, she made a note to call the young reporter, Carla Flannery, for more details about the illegal landfill she had uncovered in the John Day area. There was a whole series of photos on Harris’s site from that unfortunate incident.

While jotting down notes, she pulled up Harris’ number and tried again. Still no answer. She left another message and decided to let it go for the day. She could only do so much harassing before she had to give the poor guy a break. She had dinner plans with Dee and Ellis this evening before she took the red-eye to New York, and if he hadn’t gotten back to her by then, she would exercise her option to manipulate and get the two of them to talk to him. He’d probably like her less for it, but since she didn’t know him well enough to know how much less he was still capable of liking her, she supposed she could live with that. The man was just being stubborn. He’d exhibited his work all over the Northwest and beyond. She’d made it clear the proceeds from the exhibition would go to funding the Vigilant Trust, which Wilderness Vanguard and Ellis and his company had been instrumental in starting. The Vigilant Trust was money for reclaiming land that had been damaged and for helping communities that had suffered from job losses. Stacie was proud that her gallery would begin its life supporting such a good cause.

Into her silent reverie, her BlackBerry buzzed the arrival of a text causing her to jump and drop the notepad onto the floor. Maybe this was it then. Maybe Harris Walker was finally getting back to her. Her mind was already racing as she grabbed for it. She had no doubt she could convince him to allow her to exhibit his work if he’d just listen to her. She was sure he’d be intrigued.

She pulled up the text, and all thoughts of the exhibition, all thoughts of Harris Walker, all thoughts of the workmen she could now hear arriving, went out of her head. Her stomach rebelled, and for a second, she thought she would vomit her coffee. But she forced a deep breath, forced herself to calm and focus. After all, this was not unexpected. She had lived in the shadow of this moment for ten years, and she would never be more ready to face it than she was now. She took another deep breath, squared her shoulders and read:

Welcome to the West Coast, Stacie. It’s such a pleasure to have you close once again. Feels like old times. We must meet for drinks and dinner. I’m dying to catch up on all your news. I do hope the gallery renovations are going without a snag. So many unexpected, and expensive, glitches can happen when you’re on a tight deadline.

Yours always,

TJ

The BlackBerry slipped from her hands and disappeared in the mound of papers on her desk as she shoved back the chair and ran for the stairs.

‘What the fuck?’ She heard one of the workmen exclaim, and she nearly ran into Ted, the foreman who was racing up the stairs toward her. He caught her before she could lose her balance. His expression was hard; his voice tightly controlled. ‘Ms Emerson, you’d better come look at this.’

He kept a protective hand under her elbow as he led her into the main exhibition hall, and it was probably a good thing he did. The red paint was splashed over the newly laid wood floor and onto the freshly painted wall where it dried in thick spatters. Oxygen rushed from her lungs and everything else disappeared as the past forced its way into the void. ‘Zoe!’ Stacie could never remember if she had actually called out her friend’s name or if it were only in her head. She was no longer in the vandalized gallery. She was transported back to Zoe’s flat, back to the gunshot that shattered her world, back to the blood on the walls.

‘Everything was locked up just like we left it last night just like always,’ Ted was saying, but the rest of his words were drowned out by the ringing in her ears and the present fell further away.

When she allowed herself to think about that horrible time, it was always with thoughts of what might have been if she could have gotten Zoe away from him, if they could have gone somewhere, somewhere that he couldn’t find them. Strangely it was his scent that permeated all of her memories of him. Every time she had ever been with him it had surrounded her, practically drowned her; when he held her, when he stroked her hair, when he caressed her. He always smelled like the desert, with everything that was dangerous about it. Everything that was poisonous or desolate or sharp angled and deadly seemed to seep through his pores in a way that was both dark and compelling. How was it that something as simple as the way someone smelled could illicit such desire, such hope, such terror, such rage? How was it that the scent of the man was the first thing she remembered about him and the last thing that haunted her in her dreams?

When she came back to herself she was seated on a folding chair and Ted was offering her a glass of water. This is how it all begins, she reminded herself. And this was not the time to be squeamish. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t expected to hear from Terrance Jamison. That was inevitable. It was just that she hadn’t expected to hear from him quite so soon, and she had at least expected a little grace period before the harassing began.

‘Shall I call the police?’ Ted was saying.

She shook her head. ‘No.’ There was a shuffling and a mumble of surprise among the workers. She drank the water down and stood. ‘I know what this is all about, and I don’t have time to go through a police investigation, which will turn up nothing, not if this gallery’s going to open on schedule. How soon can you fix it?’ she asked Ted. Before he could respond, she added. ‘I don’t care how much it costs. I don’t care what it takes. I need it fixed immediately if not sooner.’

Wade_teaser2The foreman looked around at his crew. ‘Alright, I can call in some extra workers, we can arrange for an extra shift, work into the night if we have to, but are you sure you don’t want the police to check this out. This is vandalism, ma’am, and no doubt –’

She cut him off. ‘I know what it is, and I’m sure. Just do whatever it takes. I’ll be in my office if you need me.’ She turned on shaky legs and walked carefully back to the stairs. Already Ted was barking orders and the place erupted into action. Back in her office she forced herself to read the text through one more time and then again. She forced herself to remember, to remember all of it, all that she knew and all that she couldn’t prove, but she knew with a certainty that was unshakeable. She forced herself to remember every detail, every nuance, every injury suffered, and when it felt like a cold, hard stone in the pit of her stomach, she closed the text without answering it.

 

Spy Games — Another Fab New Anthology Edited by Jillian Boyd

It’s totally my pleasure to announce that the wonderful author and editor, Jillian Boyd, has an exciting new anthology Cover2out called Spy Games — a sizzling collection of nine stories, by nine delicious authors, all about spies and detectives. Move over Mr Bond! Make room for something truly sexy!

SPY GAMES Blurb:

From the sunny streets of South Florida, to the bars of Paris, to the backstreets of Rome where a secret club for old spies lies hidden, Spy Games is a collection of nine tantalizing tales in which spies and detectives seduce and deduce in all corners of the world.

Edited by Jillian Boyd and featuring stories from the likes of Zak Jane Keir, Slave Nano, Emily L. Byrne and F. Leonora Solomon, Spy Games is filled with danger, desire and the thrill of sex and spying. Unleash your inner Mata Hari and devour this collection… should you choose to accept this mission, of course.

Spy Games Buy links:

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spy-Games-Thrilling-Erotica-ebook/dp/B00V5659WW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427644792&sr=8-1&keywords=Spy+Games%3A+Thrilling+Spy+Erotica

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Spy+Games%3A+Thrilling+Spy+Erotica

ARe – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-spygames-1766800-362.html

 

Spy GamesExcerpt:

from Mid-Life Career Changes by Jessica Taylor

On my last night with Roman, I dropped from a contorted perch in the airshaft of his kitchen. I knew he kept no security in his house overnight, perhaps the only honest mistake I ever saw him make. My bare feet made no sound as I landed like a small grasshopper next to his purring refrigerator in the warm, inky dark. The lights of the city pulsed like stars through the glass walls of his home. I remember almost deviating, almost going to stand next to his round, thick dining table in front of those transparent walls overlooking the up lit trees of the park below. Roman had eaten there last, sipping magenta borscht and reading the paper Nash Gorod – Our City. Then he had gone to his freezer and pulled a translucent bottle of anise liqueur from the drawer. Dressed in silk black pyjama bottoms, his nipples hardened when he slowly kissed the bottle, leaning back peacefully onto the cold metal. His Adam’s apple bobbed finely as he pulled on the cloudy fluid.

I stole across his open home until I came to the ornately carved door of his master suite. In the centre of the room, my man was sleeping soundlessly, innocently tucked into the folds of his red silk bed. Talismans and the charms of the superstitious decorated the high ceiling above the entrance and I knew from months of watching that he crossed himself each night before he finally entered. I had smelled sage and peppercorn as I envisioned him walking down the hall, shirtless and stretching his arms above his head, scratching his shoulder blade lazily.

My hands, I remember, had shaken. It was a miniscule vibration but still it was there. It took moments longer to pick the lock than it normally would have. I suspect I even made noise, as if I was subconsciously warning him. But when I slithered in, he remained asleep and undisturbed. Then my steps were choppy, without confidence or grace, as I moved across the room to my sleeping, waiting man.  He had slept so noiselessly, I thought to myself he would not keep even me, such a light sleeper, awake the way other men had with their lip smacking and snoring. I would have been at peace beside him.

When he opened his eyes, there was no fear or surprise. He looked at me as if he was awaiting me and I had finally emerged from between the trees. His eyes travelled my tightly shrouded body, taking in my small frame, my bare feet. In those days, I carried no weapons. Perhaps when he noticed this, he thought he might have a chance. Or maybe he thought escape from the situation possible when he saw the confusion in my own eyes, the hesitance in my stance. He pushed himself up slowly, as if to not ignite a wild animal, as we continued our mutual gaze. He spoke first, with a voice I knew well; scratchy and deep, caressing my ears like a symphony.

“You don’t look like one of my normal girls,” Roman announced sarcastically but calmly. “Who sent you?” he continued.

I wonder now what my voice sounded like to him the first time he heard me speak. Was it instantly intoxicating, as his was for me? “I don’t actually know,” I responded, honestly but quietly. “It’s not the way that I operate.” I spared him the explanation that I always opted out of knowing who wanted it done or why. I found that such information hindered my efficiency.

He slowly sat up, the red sheets falling into his lap. He drew his hands to his chest in submission as his carved, naked muscles flexed. “How long have you been with me?”

I sighed as I stared longingly between the lines of his muscles, “Six months.” His face had reddened then, thinking perhaps about whom he would personally execute for the oversight of my presence. I let him slide his feet to the floor in the same way I had seen him do so many times before. Perhaps because I am so small, he thought he could out manoeuvre me. He thrust forward like a beast released from a cage, groping towards the spot where I knew he kept a 9mm Glock.

I dropped to my knees, thinking to swipe his ankles. With my legs spread, and my shins pressed to the ground, I looked up into his clear blue eyes. My mouth hung open in awe. I had never seen his eyes this close and they mesmerized me. My sex began to throb and my breasts swelled with heaviness. A dull ache stirred in my clitoris. I was overcome with sensation I thought I could suppress. He hovered over me, looking down at me between his legs. I must have seemed so inane, so slight, perhaps even so lovely straddled there beneath him, looking up at him like a confused but lovesick dog. All I would have had to do was rise onto my knees and I could take him into my empty mouth as I kept staring into those calm eyes.

I will never know why he stopped going for the gun, why he looked down at me with a new expectation, or why he pulled on the black silk tie of his sleeping pants to give me a chance. They drifted with the speed of a feather to the ground at my knees and all of the fantasies I could not suppress over the past few months filled me like a dam had broken. I saw us walking through the park with the lost, white dog prancing along beside us. I saw us sparring, and then falling to make love on the mat. I saw myself as his warrior, his personal assassin for any man he needed taken down.

After months watching him, he had made me doubt my solitude and even my consuming profession, and I was deeply grateful to be beneath him watching his cock elegantly harden. I suddenly wanted to express my respect and longing for him. I wanted to show him how he had changed me, though I was still unsure in what ways I was different. When he ever so slightly nodded his head to me, my mouth watered, saliva jumping from the buds in my mouth.

I arched my back and leaned my small breasts in to rub at his knees. For a second only I worried for his hands having access to my neck, where we both know places for that smooth snap. But the skin of his cock had turned dark and burgundy against the white of his muscular thighs and I was magnetised. I placed my hand at the base of his shaft, opened my mouth and flattened my tongue over his balls. I dragged my tongue up him, each taste bud softly abrading and then absorbing him as I moved up to the head of his cock. I ascended so slowly, as if every cell of his skin needed to be tasted. I licked it ravenously, the way Eve had when she first beheld and then tasted her own apple.

I hovered there, at the bright head of his dick, and dug my nails into his inner thighs as I tried to hold myself back from swallowing him too deeply. When I finally let myself take him slowly into the back of my throat, he had begun to softly groan “yes” with each exhale. He pulled at my bundled brown hair so it fell down my arched, begging back. When he dug a powerful hand into the roots and shoved my head farther onto his dick, I moaned loudly and my nipples tightened, fiercely longing to be thumbed.

He lifted me without effort just before he could no longer keep himself from erupting hotly onto my face. That would have been enough for me, to swallow him reverently. He sat me on the heavy wooden bed in front of him and peeled off my black pants. He set his teeth against the inside of my ripped thigh and squeezed his teeth on my muscle. I thought briefly of the major arteries available to his mouth, if he was considering using it for a different kind of destruction. As he bit, he pulled back the skin of my hood and rubbed the head of my clit, already engorged and slick just from sucking him. I drew my knees toward me as I balanced back onto my arms and spread with trust for him.

When I lifted my eyes from his dirty blond head, I discovered a mirror behind us and watched his gluteal muscles ripple and twitch as he thrust his tongue into me. Misty grey tattoos covered his back and I could see a scar where one had been dug from his body by the blade of another man’s knife. If I were his, he would be perfectly protected for life. A white, shiny scar had healed there but threads of leftover ink still peppered the new skin. I first came quietly and deeply with his face between my legs, lapping my clitoris while his two fingers calmly caressed me. I stared into the white dwarf star of that scar that swallowed me whole.

As he stood, I returned my hands to his cock and stroked him as he discarded my tight black top and I stared up into his blue eyes, biting my lip and wishing for this moment to continue on and on. He spat on my breasts and then sat his dick between them and slid himself up and down. He stroked my hard, dark nipples, exactly as I’d dreamed before. I grew wetter and wetter, the energy in my pelvis growing as I began to moan softly for him. Just then, he could have done anything to end me. He could have slit my throat or choked my breath from me. I submerged myself in the moments with him, avoiding myself and the decisions I would need to make, lost from my consciousness as he rubbed me and showed me his beautiful cock and let me pet his tattooed chest and abdomen. My cheeks and neck flushed red like they did when I sprinted after him in the park below, like they did when we pounded ourselves into switch kicks and hooks.

I let him turn me and set me on my knees in front of him on the bed. He could have made a horror movie of me, dark and sadistic with my blood smeared on the walls and my insides brutalized entirely differently. I didn’t worry about his hands groping for a gun as he kept on massaging both my nipples while he pumped himself deeply into me from behind. Eventually, he grabbed my ass and split my cheeks as he slowly pulled his length from me, floated at my entrance, and then painfully slowly slid back into me. I dripped sweat when he sped up, fucking me deep, hard, and rhythmically. I was too weak with desire to fear him when he set his hands on top of his head, continuing to bang into me. “Harder,” I begged as I stroked myself and pressed my face into the red sheets.

He could have shot me, stabbed me, broken my neck. Instead, he fucked me until I came twice more. The last time, I was on my back and he had smiled deep into my eyes. This was the smile I had seen when he was deeply happy, deeply at peace. This was his smile for lost dogs in the park, for toasting frozen vodka at midnight, for singing off key in the gym late at night. He withdrew from me as I stared hazily at him and the world exploded around me. He erupted searing cum onto my belly and chest. Then he massaged it into my breasts and nipples as he softly made love to my lips and tongue with his mouth.

After, Roman lay behind me—he spooned me tenderly and I allowed it—as we spoke softly for some time. He asked me what I had seen over the past months, and I told him, which was everything. He sighed deeply as if it mattered what one murderer saw another do, as if he still planned on us both making it out of there.  Telling Roman the complexity of his life, I finally admitted to myself how I had come to fall in love with him. And I failed to recognize that the story could have a different ending.

Find Jessica Here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessahtaylor

 

About Jillian Boyd:

Jillian Boyd is an erotica author and blogger, who has been putting dirty words on paper and on her blog for the past three years. She likes taking everyday, seemingly mundane situations and making them sexy and sensual – and when she’s not doing that, she lets her imagination fly off into history and distant planets. Where she also tries to find everyday situations and make them sexy and sensual.

She’s been published in several House of Erotica anthologies, contributed to Tiffany Reisz’s office supply erotica charity anthology Felt Tips and has a story in the Golden Crown Literary Award-winning Best Lesbian Romance 2014, published by Cleis Press. She is currently working on her first novella, a sci-fi erotic thriller called In Another Life.

Find Jillian here:

Spy Games Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/spygamesantho

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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