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When Mourning Becomes Joy

Happy Blissemas, everyone!

For those of you who don’t know about Blissemas, a quick refresher. The season of Blissemas starts on the 1st December and will finish on the 24th December. Every day of Blissemas a different author will post up gems of delight in the guise of festive stories, excerpts, recipes, hints and tips and this year one lucky winner will receive a Kindle Voyage! Click here to find out how you can join in the Blissemas celebration and increase your chance of winning.



I love Blissemas! I always find it a time to be thankful for all of the blessings of the year and a chance to look forward with hope to all that will be in the New Year. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, and sometimes the joy of the season is mixed with tears and sadness, mourning and loss. I lost my brother to cancer on December 21st. It’s been fifteen years ago now, and I still remember the Christmas that followed as one of the richest, deepest Christmases, one of the ones in which I had the most to be thankful for of any I’ve ever had.


My husband and I were living abroad at the time. We’d gotten used to spending our holidays away from family, as so many people have, and while it was always a good experience for us, it had become very insular. At the news of my brother’s death – not unexpected, we were on the next plane to Colorado, and what could have easily become one of the worst Christmases of my life became a Christmas filled with wonder and love and appreciation for all that’s good in my life.


It was bitterly cold and snowing when we landed at Stapleton International Airport outside Denver after flying forever. We were met by old friends I’d not seen in years, who had heard the news of my brother’s death and insisted we spend the night with them before we headed over the treacherous mountain pass. They took us to their home, fed us, gave us a warm place to stay for the night along with a much-needed dose of laughter and good conversation. In the morning after a good breakfast, they insisted that for the trip over the mountains to my brother’s house in Wyoming, and for the duration of our stay in the Rockies, we take their four-wheel drive SUV instead of trusting to a rental. They drove the mountain roads in winter, and they were always prepared.


We arrived safely at my brother’s house in very rural Wyoming to find the whole family already gathered and the house full of food brought in by neighbors and friends. That night before the funeral, we put up the tree, something my husband and I hadn’t done in a long time, but something we all did together for my brother’s first grandchild, who was four at the time and just old enough to miss his papa and to delight in the magic of Christmas. It had been a long time since I’d seen the wonder of Christmas through a child’s eyes, and I found myself delighting in Timothy’s delight and remembering how it had been when I was a kid.


At the funeral, there were old friends, friends I hadn’t seen since childhood, all with memories to share of times they had spent with my brother and with all of our family. Some of them came back to my brother’s house afterwards and we all laughed and reminisced and remembered not only the best of my brother’s life – but how far we had all come in our own journeys and just how much we all had to be thankful for.


Christmas morning dawned just as bitterly cold as the rest of our time there had been, but with a dusting of new snow – the dry kind with more sparkle than substance, shining like diamonds in the cold winter sun. We all shared in Timothy’s excitement as he opened his gifts, as he laughed and squealed. One particular gift, I recall was a bowling ball – possibly a bit much for a four year old, but not for a four year old from a family who had a passion for bowling. “This is from Papa,” my sister-in-law told him.


“I miss Papa,” he said, looking down at the ball he held in his lap.


In a strange way, I think I felt my brother’s presence more that Christmas than I ever did when I was a child. We were not close then, and we understood little about each other. Before my brother became bedridden, he had successfully hunted elk that year with his friends, which meant he’d left the freezer well stocked for his family. He had also had time to make sure there was plenty of wood laid in for the winter. The house had a fireplace and a wood-burning stove. My brother was old school – fourteen years my senior, and caring for his family meant keeping them warm and well-fed. I know, that’s what every parent sees as their responsibility to their family, but in the open spaces of rural Wyoming, in the dead of winter, those basics were taken much more literally than they are for those of us living in a more urban setting.


Two days after Christmas, we set off back over the pass to catch our flight back to England. As we watched the smoke from the chimney and loaded our borrowed SUV, we walked past the woodpile. Probably every house in a community that was no more than a dozen homes spread over probably twice that many miles had a woodpile, but for me, it symbolized my brother’s last act of caring for his family.


That Christmas will always be a reminder for me that sometimes the very best of gifts come from the most painful places. Within the mourning, there was celebration, within the sadness there was joy, and surrounding the whole experience, there was love. That, I remember most of all.


Wishing you all celebration, joy and love this holiday season.



Here’s an outdoorsy wild wintery excerpt from the third of the Executive Decisions novel, The Exhibition. Enjoy!


The Exhibition: Book Three of the Executive Decision Series


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 Excerpt — Call of the Wild:

The sun was just staining the sky pink when they topped the rise that overlooked an outcropping of rocks opposite them on the other side of a narrow canyon. And there on a ledge were the two mountain lions. Harris could feel the tensing of Stacie’s body in the excitement he knew she felt because he felt it too. From the looks of the situation the female had been calling for a mate, and the male, who crouched on the outcropping just above her, had just arrived. Harris breathed deeply and slowly to steady his hands as he aimed the camera. He was so engrossed in the cats that it took him a second to realize Stacie had her own camera, and he couldn’t help feeling a swell of pride at just how calm she was, already shooting next to him. But then he reminded himself she’d grown up in the Russian wilderness. Beneath the big city venire, she was made of stern stuff. He leaned close to her. ‘This is my cat all right. See the little notch in her left ear, some old injury.’ His voice was less than a whisper, but she nodded that she understood.


And then the action began as the two cats went about the business of getting acquainted, the female stretched long and lean across the rock before the male, not unlike Harris had seen Dee’s two tabbies do when they found a particularly nice place to sunbathe. In the crisp quiet of the morning, they could hear the rumble of the purr emanating from the female’s throat. It was a feline act through and through as the two made little grunts and growls at each other and the male sniffed the female’s readiness. It didn’t take long until the female rolled back onto her belly and positioned herself, flicking her tail to one side and lifting her bottom.


Being privy to such an intimate act of nature, such an intensely wild and primordial act made Harris’s pulse thunder against his throat. Simply seeing the two cats together like this was an unparalleled privilege, but to share it with Stacie made him feel as though he had somehow offered it to up her, as though he’d had something to do with the cats’ presence here. It felt right on a level that he had no words for. If he were ever to share such an experience, it should be with her. It couldn’t be with anyone else.


At some point he realized Stacie was taking pictures of him as well as the cats. He could see the rapid rise and fall of her chest through the dark green fleece she wore. He could almost feel her intense concentration and her delight at sharing the experience, at watching the cats as they got on with creating the next generation. He loved that she’d made no nervous twitters, no off-handed remarks about the cats’ mating. Most people would have. Most people would have been uncomfortable with seeing something so raw, so blatantly and unashamedly sexual.


The sky had gone from pink to blue and the monochromatic world had brightened to subtle desert shades of tan and mauve and kaki bathing the cats in golden light as they stretched and preened. Then Stacie and Harris watched as they moved on silent feet single file off the ledge and disappeared into the canyon. They stood and watched long after the cats were gone, as though to move, or to speak would somehow destroy the moment. Harris understood. He sat for nearly an hour after photographing the female with her kittens, unable to move, unable to do anything but try to take in what he’d just witnessed.


It was Stacie sniffling that brought him back to reality. He turned to find tear streaming unabated down her cheeks. She offered an embarrassed smile and wiped at her eyes with the backs of her hands. ‘Amazing,’ she managed. ‘They were amazing, so beautiful and powerful and …’ She looked up into his eyes. ‘Thank you for bringing me here.’


‘It was a pleasure,’ Harris managed, resisting the urge to take her into his arms. What she was feeling had nothing to do with him, and he didn’t want to take away from it.


‘I’d love to come back and try to find her after the kittens are born,’ she said.


It encouraged him that she was thinking in terms of the future, a future without Terrance Jamison. ‘I’m sure Doug’ll let us know when that happens. It’ll be three months, maybe a little more, before they’ll be born.’


‘In the dead of winter? That’s a harsh time to bring kittens into the world.’


‘Don’t worry. She’s up for it. Doug says she’s successfully raised at least two litters before the one I saw. She knows what she’s doing.’


Stacie looked after the cats again, and Harris couldn’t resist. He lifted his camera and took a couple of shots of her. When she flipped him off and then offered her usual teasing smile, he only shrugged and continued. ‘Just returning the favour.’


The blush that crawled up her throat made her look even more beautiful if that were possible. ‘Yes but you look outdoorsy and ruggedly handsome. I look all swollen-eyed and under-slept.’


He kept shooting. ‘To me you look beautiful. You belong here almost as much as those cats do.’




Instead of shoving at him as he’d expected her to do, she curled a hard fist in his hair and ravaged his mouth with every bit as much ferocity as he had given her, pulling him still closer, rubbing her body against his, making him instantly and startlingly erect.


She snaked a hand down between them and savaged his fly until he feared for what lay beneath, until her fingers wriggled and dug their way into his walking trousers to possess his cock with a tight grip as though it were a weapon, one she were about to use to do serious damage.


He fumbled to return the favor, with her ripping at her own fly to make room for him, to guide his fingers down over her mons. Her eyes locked his in a devastating gaze that felt as though she could see right through him. ‘I need you to touch me there.’ Her voice was a breathless whisper. ‘Where I’m wet, where I’m open, where I’m always, always hungry for you.’ Her breath caught; her eyelids fluttered and she sucked her bottom lip as he found her cleft, wet and open as she’d promised. ‘You can’t tell me you don’t want to be like those cats.’ She guided his hand still further and manipulated it until first two, then three fingers pressed up into her. ‘You can’t tell me that when I present myself to you all hot and ready and begging for it, you don’t want to service my need. You can’t tell me you don’t want to get a little primal with that cock of yours.’ She gave him a hard squeeze and drove her hand up and down his length, thumbing the already abundant pre-cum over and around the tip until he gritted his teeth and held his breath while his hips bucked hard against her efforts.

He scissored her deep with three fingers and raked the silky slickness of her up and over her clitoris, and the sounds from the back of her throat easily resembled the sounds the female cougar made when the male mounted her. They wildly, madly fucked each other’s hands. The wind had risen and even on the clear morning, the chill left no doubt about lingering for more than the quickest of releases. Then she shifted, pressed her back hard against the stone and rested both of her hands on his shoulders. Before he could protest the removal of her fingers from his cock, she wrapped her legs around his waist, her still clothed crotch rubbing tight and insanely hot against his exposed cock as she began to rock and gyrate, and it was all happening way too fast.


‘Stacie I –’


‘Shut up, Harris,’ she spoke between chattering teeth. ‘I need to come, and so do you. You can fuck me properly when we get back to the SUV. It’s too damn cold to linger.’ With each sentence she ground against him, baring down with the extra leverage the cliff at her back afforded and, almost before the words were out of her mouth, she convulsed. Her spine stiffened and her shivers had nothing to do with the cold. Harris could stand no more. He felt the eruption deep in his groin. It might have been embarrassing had the circumstances been different, but as he tried to cover himself, tried to hide the results of Stacie’s hard ride, she shoved his hand away, pushed him back and practically fell into the space between them positioning herself so that she caught his release, all of it in her mouth. What could he say to that? What could he do but hold her there, helplessly grunting the weight of his need into the back of her throat. It was an act as intimate and as primal as the cougars mating on the rocks minutes ago. And sex, any kind of sex, with Stacie Emerson was worlds apart from any other sexual experiences he’d ever had. As she stood and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand, the look of hunger in her eyes, the promise of more sex to come in the SUV before the trip home couldn’t help but lighten the mood. As they straightened and tucked and donned their packs, he wondered if that was maybe why she did it. Whatever her reason, it definitely worked for him in ways he was still trying to get his head around.



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Celebrating Blissemas with The Best Gift


Note: By commenting on this post you get 1 entry into the Blissemas  grand prize for a Kindle Paperwhite stuffed with smut. For a list of rules and other Blissemas blogs please check http://blissemas.co.uk .


Wow! I can’t believe it’s time for Blissemas already! This year has gone so fast. For me, Blissemas is always one of the best parts of December, and December has a lot of really great parts! I’ve decided that for Blissemas this year, I’m going to share with you, hands down, what is for me, the very best part of the season, my best gift ever.

blissemas-btn10I specifically asked Victoria and Kev if I could do my Blissemas post on the 15th of December because, for me, Christmas comes early every year. The big celebration at our house takes place on the 15th of December, because it’s the day I got Raymond. Most of you know we’re not very traditional. We met, fell in love and married in the former Yugoslavia. Raymond was project manager on a project for a refinery in Bosnia, and every weekend, he drove the three hours to see me in Zagreb, Croatia. We were good friends for over a year, laughing together, cooking together, having long conversations over coffee. Then one day we realized that we were more than just friends, and we decided we wanted to get married before Raymond’s company sent him elsewhere to work. Once the decision was made, the best date ended up being right before Christmas, on the 15th. We delayed our honeymoon because Raymond was short-handed and he needed to stay close. That came later – in January.

What I remember most about our first Christmas together was that I was still a bride, and we were still celebrating our wedding. Somehow that seemed to be the most important part of the holiday, the two of us together. We bought a small tree and hung it with foil-wrapped chocolate decorations we’d found at the open market. We knew we wouldn’t have room in our luggage for decorations when it came time for us to leave and go on the road, so we simply ate them.

The flat we were living in didn’t really get any heat until late morning. In fact it never really got very warm. We made cornbread dressing for our Christmas dinner, and to keep warm we sat on the rug in front of the oven. Later we laughed that for entertainment, we watched the cornbread rise.

For Christmas dinner, we shared turkey we’d bought at the local market with Raymond’s colleagues from the refinery. Later in our flat, we wished our elderly landlord and his wife Sretan Bozic, then we cracked open one of the bottles of wedding champagne and sat on the floor in front of the oven where it was warm. We didn’t exchange Christmas gifts because we both got exactly what we wanted on the 15th of December. We’ve never really been big on giving gifts to each other. Maybe it’s because Christmas always comes early for us, and every year over and over again, we keep on getting exactly what we want, and so much more than we’d hoped for.

The excerpt I’m sharing with you today is from Cariad’s Love Under the Mistletoe collection. It’s from my novella, A Valentine for Christmas. Though it wasn’t my plan when I wrote the story or chose the title, it is pretty fitting, since on the 15th of December, a long time ago, in Zagreb Croatia, I did get my Valentine for Christmas.


And now, I’d like to celebrate the day with the gift of a Pet. With Blissemas, there’s always a whole lot of fantastic giveaways going on, and this time is no different, but if you’d like to comment and tell me what was the best gift you ever received, I’ll be giving away a copy of my novel, The Pet Shop, to the winning commenter.

Please remember: By commenting on this post you get 1 entry into the Blissemas  grand prize for a Kindle Paperwhite stuffed with smut. For a list of rules and other Blissemas blogs please check http://blissemas.co.uk .

The season of Blissemas starts on the Ist December and will finish on the 21st December. Every day of Blissemas a different author will post up gems of delight in the guise of festive stories, excerpts, recipes, hints and tips and more.

The Grand prize this year is a Kindle Paperwhite fully loaded with Smut with other hot and sexy random spot prizes EVERY DAY. So check back to the Blissemas site regularly and comment, share, like and tweet to win.


A Valentine for Christmas:

All work and no play, bah humbugging CEO, Gerard Jasper’s, anonymous Christmas gift is actually a Valentine — Moira ‘R.M.’ Valentine, the mysterious CEO of the Valentine Corporation. Moira’s walk on the wild side has accidentally landed her naked and bound with red ribbon under Gerard’s tree – not good when their companies are negotiating the deal of a lifetime. When two lonely people with enough baggage to fill a 747 come together for Christmas, the fireworks rivals New Years at Times Square, but can they overcome their pasts to give each other the true gift — a merger of hearts?

Excerpt from A Valentine for Christmas:

blissemas-btn6It was late when Gerard got home – even later than he’d anticipated, but that was fine. Being tired enough to sleep for a week made facing the next few days a lot easier. He shoved out of his jacket and slung it over the ladder-back chair by the door, then loosened his tie, somehow not finding the strength to actually remove it completely. Ignoring the evergreen bunting strung across the balcony above the stairs, he made his way into his study. From the credenza across from his desk, he poured himself a whiskey, neat, then dropped into the Cordovan leather chair beside the fireplace. He tossed back the shot, then closed his eyes. He only intended to rest them for a few minutes before he went to the kitchen where he knew Olga had left food prepared for him. He’d specifically overseen the menu this time to make certain not a slice of turkey nor a smidge of cranberry sauce darkened the fridge. It was bad enough his apartment was decked out like Rockefeller Center, but at least he could dictate his own meals.

Yes, he had only planned to close his eyes for a minute, but it was a scuffling sound and a soft moan that startled him from sleep and from dreams of falling into deep, icy water. He opened his eyes and looked around. In the silence he could hear heavy breathing. There was another moan. He exhaled slowly and looked around the room. Carefully, cautiously, he leaned forward in the chair, wrapped his fingers around the poker in front of the fireplace and pulled it free from its stand. Holding his breath, he came slowly to his feet.

There was more scuffling and a sharp, low grunt. It sounded as though it were coming from behind the Christmas tree. Fucking tree was a health hazard, a fire hazard, and Twyla never stopped to think that it was perfect for a thief to hide behind, though how the hell anyone could have gotten past his security was beyond him. He tightened his grip on the poker and raised it like a baseball bat. Bracing himself, he took a step forward, but the next moan he heard was decidedly feminine and it was coming from under the tree! With a quick movement, he reached for the lamp near the chair and switched it on, and the moan became a little yelp of surprise

‘What the …’ Words died in his mouth as he lowered his arm and dropped the poker against the chair. He blinked twice then rubbed his eyes. Surely he still had to be dreaming. Thought this dream beat the hell out of the usual drowning dream. There was another moan and, as his eyes adjusted to the light, he realized it came from the woman lying on her side under the tree. She was completely naked except for the red velvet ribbons that seductively bound her wrists and her ankles. The only other thing she wore was a sprig of mistletoe pinned in the muss of thick dark hair that fell over her shoulders partially obscuring breasts that were obviously full enough to balance the rest of a figure that curved dangerously in all the right places. Even in that confused post-wake-up state, Gerard’s cock got the picture just fine, thank you! But what the hell was a naked woman doing tied up beneath his Christmas tree?

Before he could ask, the woman moaned again – louder this time – and doubled over as though she were in pain

‘What is it? What’s wrong?’ He asked, dropping to his knees, forgetting the fact that this chick had invaded his privacy

Rockefeller Center at Christmas‘Oh, God!’ She gasped. ‘It’s my leg. I have a cramp. In my left hip and it’s making my butt numb.’ She bit back a curse that he was pretty sure would have curled his hair if she’d let it fly. But he figured perhaps she was on her best behavior – red ribbons, mistletoe and all.

It was then that both he and his cock remembered, at exactly the same time, that she was tied up. He was in complete control. He settled on his haunches and folded his arms across his chest. ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ He asked

She moaned again and tried to shift to a more comfortable position, which made her breasts bounce and her hair slide away to reveal nipples darkened and stiff atop goose-fleshed areolae. ‘I’m your Christmas present.’

He blinked. ‘My what?’

‘Christmas present? You know, happy holidays, noel, peace on earth … ouch! Oh hell that hurts.’ She hissed between barely parted lips and writhed in a way that should have made him sympathetic, but only made him hornier. ‘Could you please untie me so I can take care of this cramp.

‘My Christmas present?’

‘Yup. Ouch! Ow! Please!’

‘From whom?’ Oh fuck, the more she shifted and shimmied, the more her breasts bounced and they were exquisite, and the more they bounced, the more of his brain function rerouted itself to his cock.

‘I don’t know,’ she bit back. ‘It’s a surprise.’

‘Clearly,’ he said. ‘But how do I know you’re for real?’ Surely Terrill and Twyla wouldn’t be so cheeky. Would they? He added quickly, ‘How do I know that the minute I untie you, you won’t try shoot me and rob me?’

She gave him a sour look. ‘Seriously? Where would I put a gun?’

His eyes followed down the curves of her body to the juncture between her legs with its tight nest of dark curls

Whatever it was she was about to say, she swallowed it and offered a forced smile that was not quite coquettish, and all the sexier for it. ‘You’re welcome to frisk me.’ She nodded down over he belly. ‘Just please untie me so I can work out this damned cramp.’

He studied her for a long moment while she writhed and bit a full bottom lip he found himself wanting to taste. ‘It was pretty ballsy of someone, anyone really, to send me a prostitute as a Christmas present.’ He leaned forward. ‘I don’t need to buy sex, you know?’

‘I’m not a prostitute and you’re not buying me.’ She sucked back a sharp breath. ‘I’m a gift. Pleeeeese,’ she begged, ‘Untie me.’

I don’t need a gift. I didn’t ask for a gift.’

‘Of course you didn’t ask. That’s why they call it a gift.’ She practically bounced off the floor as another wave of pain hit.

‘I still don’t trust you,’ he said. ‘But I don’t like to see a woman in pain either.’ He heaved a hard-put-upon sigh and leaned forward, pulling her into blissemas-btn1his arms. She yelped as he scrambled to his feet and moved to the leather sofa in front of the fireplace. But instead of laying her down on it, he sat and turned her over his knee. What the hell was he doing? He should untie her, toss her in a taxi and send her on her way.

‘You’re gonna spank me?’ her voice came out high pitched and breathy. ‘I haven’t done anything.’

‘Might do, if you give me any grief,’ he said, realizing too late that draped across his lap as she was, she could definitely feel his erection. Well she was naked, wasn’t she? And he was a healthy male. How the hell was he supposed to respond? Besides, it wasn’t like she hadn’t been expecting to make him hard. ‘So tell me now,’ he said, keeping his voice as neutral as he did in the boardroom in spite of the message his body was giving, ‘where does it hurt?’

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Please remember: By commenting on this post you get 1 entry into the Blissemas  grand prize for a Kindle Paperwhite stuffed with smut. For a list of rules and other Blissemas blogs please check http://blissemas.co.uk .

Filthy Foodie Frolic and Giveaway Day 2

Happy Christmas to all, and fabulous, fun, filthy feasting to everyone!

Welcome to day TWO of the Filthy Foodie Frolic and Giveaway. A big part of the holiday season is food and feasting. A big part of any celebration is food and feasting and the eating and the preparing of food often finds its way into story. My stories are no exception. Raymond and I associate time spent together in the kitchen cooking with dating. We met, dated and married in the former Yugoslavia and a lot of our dating time was spent over preparing meals. We’ve never lost that association of meals prepared together with romance and dating. Our Christmas feast is even more special because it involves a melding of Raymond’s Southern upbringing and my upbringing in the Rocky Mountains, with a few British treats we’ve grown to love and appreciate in our time in the UK.

EXEC-DECISIONThough I’ve never written any seasonal erotica, as I think about the days leading up to Christmas and New Year, I can’t help thinking about all the feasting and celebrating that goes on during that time and how often, in romance, erotica, in story in general, scenes take place with the sharing of a meal. With that in mind, I’d like to share some filthy feasting from my stories with you for the holiday season, along with a giveaway for each new foodie frolic.

Since this is Christmas Day, there’ll be a special giveaway today, something a little more romantic, but with no sortage of heat. My counterpart, Grace Marshall, is in charge of the giveaway today, and she’s offering a PDF of her novel, An Executive Decision. Here’s all you have to do for your chance to win:

Leave a comment about one of your favourite foodie memories. It doesn’t have to be sexy, but it can be. The winner for the second Filthy Foodie Frolic will receive a PDF of Grace’s novel An Executive Decision.


And today’s Filthy Foodie Frolic is from my short story, Encounter at Eddie’s All-Night Diner, from Best Women’s Erotica 2012.

‘Encounter At Eddie’s All-night Diner’

Eddie’s All-night Diner may not be in the Michelin guides, but when a voyeuristic, self-proclaimed “food intuitive” meets the king of the carnivores – a man who enjoys food he can get messy with — intuition is out the plate-glass window and messy, saucy, dripping lust is the main course.


“May I share your table?”

I jump at the unexpected intrusion, and jerk my guilty peripherals away from the couple.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, are you alright?” The voice is a resonant baritone that I could easily curl up and purr in.

“Fine,” I say, and I find myself looking up, and up, and up at a mountain of a man. Not fat, mind you – far from it. He’s well proportioned and christmas-dinner-champagne-celebration-thumb20800291displayed in a muscle shirt stretched over – well — big muscles, tight muscles, muscles that set everything beneath my skirt aquiver. He carries a rolled-up newspaper tucked under his arm. He wears loose fitting summer shorts that come just to his knees and a pair of Birkenstocks the size of small cruise ships. I have never seen feet so big. I know it’s cliché, but I can’t help wondering just how well proportioned he really is. I nod to the other side of my booth, and offer a polite smile. There are other tables available. But it doesn’t matter. I’m intrigued by the size of his Birkenstocks.

His long legs jostle mine as he sits down, offering an embarrassed apology. My stomach does a pirouette. The brush of flesh against flesh is something I’m quite familiar with here at Eddie’s, but I’ve never actually felt it myself. I pretend to find my place in the copy of Anna Karenina I’ve been bringing with me for the past month, then I pretend to lose myself in the story. He opens the menu flat on the table and leans over it, one thick finger following down the list of entrees. He’s leaned over the table so far that he’s practically engulfing it. Just a little sniff and I catch the scent of high summer and man-heat in his hair, and I feel ripples low in my belly.

“What’ll you have?”

I start at the sound of the waitress’s bored voice.

“I’ll have the ribs,” he says.

The combine stare of my table companion and the waitress is my clue that the little whimper I thought was only mental has actually made its way past my lips and out into the public domain.

“Sorry,” I say nodding down to the open pages of my novel. “Very moving.”

He gives me a look that might be sympathetic. The waitress only shoves her pad in her apron and strides back to the counter with the man’s order. The order for ribs.

Nothing is more revealing about a person than the way he eats ribs. I would never touch them. I’d just feel too vulnerable. The man with the huge Birkenstocks is going to sit right here in front of the queen of food intuition and expose himself.

I can’t believe my luck.

But then it hits me. I’m not watching him safely from a corner somewhere. How stealthy can I be when the man is practically sitting on my lap?

He pushes aside the menu, opens his paper flat on the table and starts to read like it’s no big deal.

There are tables full of people all around us. They’re all eating and drinking and exposing themselves to me, but suddenly all I notice is the man sitting across from me, occasionally brushing my knee with his.

My crème brulee arrives and I stare down at it, suddenly too timid to crack the burnt sugar shell and wriggle my spoon down through the smooth creaminess to the tart, plump raspberries at the bottom.

“Looks good,” he says, smiling up at me.

BWE2012Just then his ribs arrive — a mountain of ribs, slathered in rich, savory barbeque sauce, steam rising in little swirls like a bevy of miniature dancing girls wafting their way upward. The waitress slaps down a couple of extra napkins and a plate for the bones and leaves us to it.

When she’s gone I force a smile. “Those look good too.” My voice sounds breathless and thin, like it’s gone off to chase after the rib-scented dancing girls.

“I love ribs,” he says. “I love food I can eat with my fingers, food it’s alright to be messy with.”

I barely manage to suppress another whimper, and my pussy suddenly feels as sticky as the ribs.

“Bon apetit,” he says, nodding to my crème brulee.

“Bon apetit,” I manage to rasp.

He lifts the biggest, thickest, most succulent rib to his lips, one sopping with barbeque sauce and dripping with juice. Then he bites into the steamy meaty side of it, his gaze never leaving mine. I give the burnt sugar shell of my crème brulee a sharp rap with my spoon, unable to take my eyes of the catlike way his tongue slakes up the bone, the way his teeth peel back the meat, the way the juice drips down his fingers and his chin, all so unselfconsciously done, all so deliciously carnivorous. A meat-eater through and through, a primal force to be reckoned with. My god, he’s magnificent!

As he tosses the spent bone onto the extra plate and lifts a second rib to his lips, I mirror his actions with my first spoonful of crème brulee, rich and velvety with just the tip of a single raspberry peaking out from under the crème like a tart, pink nipple. He laps the droplets of meat juice and sauce from the end of the rib just before it can drip onto the table, catching the dribble that slides down his chin on the end of his finger, which he shoves into his mouth, licking and sucking all the way to his knuckle.

I gasp, and he raises a questioning eyebrow.

“Good. It’s good,” I force my breathless voice around a creamy mouthful.

He nods his agreement with a juicy smile and a flutter of dark lashes.

I eat my dessert in big, lusty bites, swallowing down the texture of cream and the tang of raspberry overlaid by the bite of burnt sugar. He’s like a lion at the kill. I half expect him to snarl as he rips the meat from the bone. Just when I’m beginning to suspect, that for him, the pleasure of meat is a total body experience, I realize he’s watching me watch him eat. He’s watching me rock and shift against the naugahide seat with the ecstatic pleasure of the over-all experience.

I freeze. A flash of heat rises to my face like the air conditioner is suddenly blowing hot air. Carefully, I lay down my spoon and wipe the corners of my mouth demurely.

He offers a lazy smile, tosses aside another bone and wipes his mouth, before lowering the napkin back into his lap. “You enjoy food, don’t you?”

I blush harder. “I might say the same about you.”

His smile expands to a soft chuckle. “You can learn so much about people by watching them eat. Don’t you agree?”

My stomach summersaults. Has he read my mind? I’ve always thought watching people eat was almost like reading their mind, but I thought that was my little secret. And granted the choice of the crème brulee was a bit flashy on my part, but I never imagined someone would actually watch me eat.

His knee, which has been resting lightly against the outside of mine shifts and maneuvers until it’s positioned between my legs, and I catch my breath with the delicious impropriety of it. But he just continues eating like it’s no big deal. He’s gnawing and slurping and licking and all the while his knee is gently rubbing against the inside of mine.

I’m in the middle of a luscious creamy mouthful when I feel his leg withdraw. Then he shifts slightly in the booth without missing a beat in his efficient devouring of ribs, and before I know it, his knee has been replaced by his warm, bare foot. It snakes its way up the inside of my thigh, pushing and scrunching my skirt ahead of it as it goes. He seems to be completely focused on his ribs, nipping and ripping and making yummy little animal sounds, almost as though he’s completely unaware of what his very naughty foot is doing under the table.

I’m a captive audience. And after all this time, all my observations and fantasies at Eddie’s All-night Diner come home to roost, right between my legs. Under the table I rearrange my skirt and shift my bottom, opening my legs a little wider until I’m sure the approach is clear, all the while eating crème brulee like it’s nobody’s business.

He makes circular motions high on the inside of my thigh with long, expressive toes. I’m glad the noisy clatter of dishes and the babble of a full house cover my involuntary gasps and sighs. Here I am acting like one of them, one of those people I quietly and smugly observe night in, night out. But I forget all about that when the ball of his foot presses against my mons, caressing my tightly trimmed curls, gently tap-tap-tapping against my pubic bone. And all the while he’s chomping and gnawing like king carnivore himself come to feast.

I run my tongue over the bottom of the spoon, slurping back a mouthful of brulee goodness, and I imagine doing the same to his cock. I wonder just how much of it I could fit into my mouth. Surely he must be hard and uncomfortable. Surely he must be aching for some relief. He shifts against the booth and grunts softly, almost as though he’s read my thoughts again. Then his big toe dips to circle my clit, and I practically bounce off the seat, barley managing to collect myself as the waitress comes by to refill our water glasses. A little more maneuvering and he’s tweaking me between his big toe and the second toe. It’s almost like he’s got a third set of fingers under the table fiddling between my legs like they know their way around the place.

I can’t reach his cock. My legs aren’t long enough. I’ll have to rely on visual stimulation. With the hand not shoveling dessert into my mouth, I reach up under my blouse and play with my tits. They feel so stretched and heavy, like they’re trying to get to him. I pinch my nipples until they’re as big as the raspberries in my crème brulee, and he watches like he has x-ray vision. The toe dance intensifies and his Schwarzenegger pecs rise and fall as though eating ribs has suddenly become hard labor.

I shamelessly undo the front of my blouse, watching his eyes get bigger and bigger with each button. And when the waitress’s back is turned and I’m pretty sure no one’s looking, I let the blouse gape open. I knead and cup and pinch until I can see his pulse hammering against his temples, and his chest is heaving so hard I fear he’ll rip the seams out of the muscle shirt like he’s the Incredible Hulk.

He shifts and maneuvers, and with a tight, sharp thrust, suddenly his big toe pushes into my grudging pussy, and goddamned if it isn’t almost as big as the average cock! Or at least that’s how if feels all thrust up inside me.

“Messy business, ribs,” I rasp. My pussy clenches tight around his toe and I wince as he slips in a second. “So juicy.” I force the words between gritted teeth.

“I told you, I like messy food.” He finds his rhythm. It’s a subtle rhythm, a rhythm no one else notices, though I’d like to think I would have noticed if it had been happening to someone else. The tight rocking and straining of his hips convinces me that I may not be the only one skilled in the art of stealth orgasms. With amazing finesse, he eases yet another toe into my dilating pout, and I’m suddenly so full, I feel like I’ll split in two. But I just keep pressing harder and harder onto him because I can’t help myself, because I’ve never been foot-fucked before, and because he’s just so damned, deliciously huge! I can feel the connection between our bodies, I can feel the shifting of his weight from one buttock to the other, and I’m sure I can almost hear the slurping of my wet cunt grasping at his toes, hungrily sucking in every bit of him until there’s absolutely no room for more.

He stops eating ribs. I stop eating crème brulee. His face is red, and I’m sure mine is too. I’m grinding against him like I’m riding a big horse. and his muscles go so tight I fear he’ll strain something, and God what I wouldn’t give for a peek under the table.

The tightly swallowed yelp is mine as my pussy convulses and I feel the orgasm exploding all the way up through the crown of my head. The groan wrapped in baritone silk is his. His face scrunches briefly, and he inhales sharply like he’s in pain, then I feel something warm and sticky against my knee and the top of my bare thigh.

We both sit stunned as the waitress approaches to refill our coffee cups. “I think I’ll need a few more napkins,” he says sweetly to the woman. He doesn’t sound at all like someone who’s just shot his load under the table on the bare thigh of a stranger in an all-night diner.

From her apron pocket, the waitress hurriedly slaps down enough napkins to paper the walls of the ladies room and trots off to wait on a party of eight two tables down.

When he’s sure she’s gone, he takes several napkins from the stack and proceeds to wipe his cock like it’s no big deal. The man is actually wiping his cock under the table with half his foot still buried in my cunt. The very thought makes my pussy grasp and twitch again. Considerately he waits until I stop spasming before slowly, one at a time, he slips his toes out from between my pussy lips and offers a little nod of his head to the stack of napkins.

Blushing clear to the roots of my hair, I grab a handful and do my own stealth clean-up beneath the table, while he smiles down at me like I’m a well-behaved child.

The waitress clears the dishes and brings his check. I go back to pretending to read Anna Karenina. Once he’s paid, he grabs his newspaper and stands to go. But as he does so, he moves to my side of the booth, and I strain my neck to look up at him. “Thanks for sharing your table,” he says. Then he leans down to meet my gaze. “I hear next Friday night is surf and turf. The steak’s a little overcooked for my taste, but the prawns aren’t bad with a little tartar sauce.” Still holding my gaze, he guides my hand behind the shielding newspaper to rest against the crotch of his shorts, tracing my fingers along the very substantial geography of the cock beneath. As I gasp my admiration, he offers a knowing smile. “Thought you might like to know”

I give him a little squeeze. “I appreciate the tip,” I say. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

He thanks the waitress, offers me a slight nod, then turns and walks out into the steamy night.