Unexpected – Full short story – now free to you


As my gift to my loyal readers and fans…. The short story, Unexpected (Originally published by Shara Azod and edited by Katerina Knights) is now yours free to say Happy Halloween!

Enjoy!

Arnold Edinborough wrote, “Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only that the cat died nobly.”
Well, Dinah Jacobs was thinking she was about to be one dead cat. The footsteps were coming closer. Hiding under a desk in her neighbor’s home, she knew she’d ventured into the wrong house. She didn’t even know what had possessed her to scale his seven-foot wooden fence into the man’s yard, let alone slip through the open patio door, through his kitchen, and into his home. She should have stopped at the yard because even his plush Kentucky bluegrass lawn had felt incredibly eerie, the way she sank into it like it was quicksand.

She kept telling herself she was merely a boring freelance travel writer with a cat that seemed to like the neighbor’s backyard, and that there was nothing strange about the way the mist of the night coiled and hung on the grass. Mentally, she blamed the stray Siamese she’d named Doll for everything that was going on at this moment. The cat showed up on her doorstep about the time Mr. Mysterious moved in. She had fed the cat, but it always seemed to go to his yard at night. During the day, it was at her house. So it was the cat that killed the cat, perhaps?

The footsteps had stopped. She tried to get her story straight in her head. I came home from shopping and Doll was on my patio. I’d bought a flea collar and was trying to put it on her when she took off running. I got to the fence and she wiggled her way through. I followed in pursuit. Yeah, that sounded like a good alibi in her head. She just hoped the owner would buy it.

“You can come out from under the desk now.” Light flooded the room. The voice seemed to vibrate off the walls and seep into her skin. It wasn’t husky, and it wasn’t deep—deep was too mundane a word. It was subterranean, and should have been illegal. She gulped and put her hand to her throat. Had her voice left? “I know you’re there, so you might as well come out. I can smell your fear.” She jumped and banged her head on the heavy oak desk.

“Son of a bitch,” she hissed, sliding out from under the desk and rubbing the back of her head.

“I didn’t realize you were acquainted with my mother.” The steel-edged voice didn’t seem amused.

As she crawled from under the desk on her hands and knees, she barely remembered how she even got this far into his house. He wasn’t going to buy her excuse—she looked like a damn thief. She was wearing black slacks, and they showed the grass stains on her bottom from falling off the fence. Luckily her turtleneck was also black and was hiding the scrape she’d gotten shouldering open the heavy wooden door to the den. She hadn’t yet gotten off her hands and knees before she started rambling into her alibi.

“Look, I am so sorry. I don’t know why I hid under your desk. I was trying to put this flea collar on Doll and she ran in here and I thought…” She finally got herself turned around and faced the source of the voice. She stopped mid-rant.

What she was staring at was the most surreal-looking human being she’d ever laid eyes on. She’d seen the sculptures at the Louvre in Paris, and this man was nothing near comparable. His skin was pale like the marble of those statues, but the statues didn’t glow like his skin did. She shook her head. That was impossible. People didn’t glow. She looked at his square, firm jaw-line, back to his face and swallowed. No, his flesh was glowing. It reminded her of staring at the moon after a fall rain. His inky black hair shone like wet tar, striking a sinister yet appealing contrast to his porcelain-like skin. It looked soft, and she felt immediately drawn to it, her hands itched to touch it. Yet, it was his eyes that made her lose her knack for babbling. They were a strange shade of blue, a hue stuck somewhere between midnight and dawn. Dinah had a master’s degree in English, and made a living off having a way with her words, and just his presence had robbed her of speech and thought. She only stared at him, wide eyed, because all her language skills had left.

His dark brows knitted together, and she swore she could feel his anger. This man had an aura of authority and anger. She started to inch around the desk, glancing at the door and judging the distance she’d have to make up. I’m going to make a run for it. Ten feet to the door and damn the cat.

“Don’t even think about running until you tell me why you’re here. Then I might let you leave.”

Let me leave? If her skin weren’t mocha colored, she probably would have looked as pale as he was. Fear hit first, quickly followed by anger. Did he think he could keep her here? Not without a fight, Mr. Dark and Morose. I’m a six-foot Amazon and proud of it. I haven’t met a man yet I couldn’t challenge and beat. She quirked an eyebrow, assessing if he was armed by letting her gaze wander over his body. No, the only weapon he had was those eyes, which were assessing her as she was assessing him.

She put her hands up, palms up and open, as if calling a truce. He just quirked his eyebrow and folded his arms across his broad chest.

“Hey, look, like I was saying. I followed Doll, the cat, from my backyard to yours. She snuck in the house through the patio door. I thought I would just get her out of here.”

Was he smiling? He’d just threatened her life, and he was smiling. He was a sick bastard. Gorgeous man but a sick bastard.

“Is this Doll a Siamese cat as big as a small dog?” Again, his voice seemed to be coming from around the room, not just from his mouth. It had to be the heavy, wood-paneled walls. She noticed, looking around the room, that everything was heavy wood. The door, the bookshelves, the coffee table. Everything except for the huge burgundy leather chair. It looked like it was fresh from the seventeenth century.

“Yes, that’s Doll. Have you seen her?” she said even as her feet slowly took her toward the door. Keep him talking and just back out the door.
“She is a he, and his name is Phantom. He is my cat.”

She gasped and stopped. All this time, it wasn’t a stray cat! She never felt so duped. And by a damn cat. At least it wasn’t a boyfriend this time. She shook her head, damn her rambling, even mentally she couldn’t stop. She started to move toward the door again.

“Look, uh, sorry, it was just that she…uh, it…he, uh, Phantom has been coming to the house in the morning and staying until night. I came to think of him as a stray and, well, mine. Sorry again. I don’t mind feeding him. It isn’t cat food, just leftover tuna and beef sometimes…” She was back to babbling. She managed to slide to the door and took a backward step over the threshold. Somehow, he was in front of her and staring into her eyes before she even knew he’d moved.

“If you ever darken my doorstep again…”

She didn’t give him a chance to finish. She turned and fled down the hall. The patio door was still cracked the way she’d left it, and she slid out of it sideways. She didn’t look back. Vaulting over the fence by leaping on his outdoor table, Dinah had run into her house before she dared to breathe. She closed her own patio door with a thud and turned the lock, the click of the deadbolt making her feel secure.

Walking around her kitchen and rubbing her arms, she couldn’t shake the feeling of dread she’d experienced. Seven damn words, but the way he said it made her blood run cold. She poured herself a large glass of red wine and took a fortifying swallow. She wasn’t a drinker, but something about that encounter had left her shaken to the point of almost being afraid. She felt like she needed something stiffer, like a whisky sour, but wine would have to do. She tried to rationalize the last four minutes of her life.

“Sure, I committed a small crime of breaking and entering. I’ve been busted for trespassing before, amongst a few other petty misdemeanors…” She realized she was talking to herself. She’d never done that, but there was something frightening about her next-door neighbor that left her feeling nothing like herself.

“I have that affect on people.”

She whirled around, her eyes bulging as she looked at the face of the man in question. How did he get in? How did I not hear him? And why am I paying for an alarm system that obviously doesn’t work? She took one step back and, feeling behind her, grabbed a large carving knife from the butcher’s block on her center island. I’m not going to run in my own domain. I have a right to protect myself in my own home.

“So you mean I could have killed you in my home and everything would be fair?”
She looked up at him, meeting his steady gaze. She was positive hadn’t said that out loud. Then again, I was talking to myself just a moment ago, she thought, as she continued to stare at him. She thought her nerves were fried, but standing here, listening to a man who she didn’t know about death and killing. Shit. I’m going crazy. This is a dream. A nightmare.

“I’ve been called worse than a nightmare cherie. The look on your face is obvious. You haven’t spoken a word yet.” He kept still, his hands in the pockets of his black slacks. Dinah knew they looked like a formidable picture. They were both dressed in all black, both of them with jet-black hair, except she had bangs and looked more like a beatnik as opposed to his assassin look.
Clutching the knife, she willed herself to breathe.

“Look, I explained to you why I was in your place. Why are you here?” She risked taking her eyes off him to look at the patio door behind him. It was still closed and locked. He took a step closer, although it seemed more like he glided. She looked down at his feet and realized her wore a pair of dress shoes most men would only wear at funerals or christenings. And yet he hadn’t made a sound on her hardwood floor. She started to clutch the knife so tightly, she felt her nails begin to break through the skin of her palm.

“I believe you left this.” He tossed the forgotten flea collar onto the center island. She barely glanced at it as it skidded to a halt on the black, granite-top counter. She kept her eyes focused on him. She saw a hint of a smile playing at his lips, which seemed to be rather pink against his pale skin.

“Keep it—it’s your cat.” Looking at him with narrowed eyes, she wondered if he liked to scare people.

He rolled his eyes as if he could hear her thoughts. In her mind, she was trying to be fair, while maintaining her calm. She thought he could have found her frustrating as all hell. She did break into his house, hijacked his cat and left a flea collar behind. She’d been told she was stubborn and troublesome. Maybe he thought the same thing.

He looked down at the hand that was still clutching the knife. His eyes refocused on hers, his gaze locking on to her. She didn’t know why, but she felt compelled to put the knife down. Placing the knife on the counter, and fearing for her life the second she did, she folded her arms under her breasts and stared at him. She didn’t know his name, but the fact she had no idea who he was seemed to kick her libido into overdrive. She obviously needed to date more since the idea of making passionate love to this stranger seemed to be the only thing she could think about.

“Galien,” he said, although it seemed like his lips barely moved. “Galien Le’Coure.” Even his name put her on edge, the sound of his French accent making her shiver. Since he didn’t hold his hand out to shake, she kept hers folded and her fists balled.

“Dinah Jacobs, Galien Le’Coure. Boy, they don’t name ’em like that anymore.”

“I’m very—how would you put it? Ah, ‘old school’ is the term, I think.” She quirked an eyebrow at him. He didn’t seem like he belonged in her modern kitchen, and his slight French accent didn’t make him appear old school as much as old century.
Her writer’s mind took over as she began to analyze his look. He overtook her six-foot frame by at least eight inches. His narrow waist wasn’t hidden by the form-fitting sweater, but the sweater seemed to tighten around his broad shoulders and his deep, barrel chest. Despite the long sleeves of the sweater, she could see he had powerful arms. He could probably snap a neck with one hand.

She realized she was staring as soon as her eyes met his again. The pureness of the cerulean hue in his eyes made her breath catch. She stumbled backwards, beginning to cough. His hands were on her back, patting her soundly, before she realized he’d even moved.

Jumping away from his hands, she realized his touch was cold. It was almost sixty degrees out, which was warm for this time of year, but he was freezing. Maybe that was why he looked pale—his blood was cold.

“It can be. Right now, my blood is hot.” His voice boomed in her kitchen. How did he do that? One minute he was in her head and the next, his voice took over the whole space.

“What?” she said and inched away from him, her eyes darting back to the discarded knife.

“You don’t want that.” His gaze shifted to the knife. “What you want is me.”
Dinah gasped. It wasn’t that he had the audacity to say she wanted him. It was the fact that it was true. She did want him. She was afraid and still wanted him.

“I think you should go.” She finally found her voice, but the words were halfhearted and came out breathless.

“I don’t think I will.” His self-assured manner did nothing but make her want him more. Dinah was trying to get her mind around the fact that this man could be a psychopath, but neither her hormones nor her libido seemed to give a fuck.

“Why are you here?”

“To give your collar back,” he said as his eyes zeroed in on her throat. Her hands flew to her neck.

“Dude, you could have trashed it. Why are you really here?”

“You didn’t let me finish what I was saying.”

“Finish what? You said all you needed to say.” She honestly didn’t want to hear anymore. His presence was enough to turn her knees into jelly, and her heartbeat was racing. She was sure he could hear it thudding in her chest.

“I could hear your heartbeat as soon as I moved in next door,” he said as his lips parted into a smile. His look reminded her of the old saying—the smile of the cat who ate the canary. It was satisfied yet sinister. She shuddered, but then her mind snapped out of the fog it had been in since she’d encountered the man. Everything she thought, he responded to without her voicing it. It didn’t help that it was close to Halloween and she’d been jumping at shadows all month.

“Are you a mind reader? I know I didn’t say that out loud,” she finally said after her thoughts finally screeched to a halt.

“I’m much more than a mind reader. I’m what scares little children at night.”

“I’m not a little child.” She murmured, although his presence made her feel very much like one.

“No, you aren’t a little child. You’re very much a woman. A smart, chocolate woman I want to taste.” He came closer to her and bared a smile. As she watched, transfixed by his stunning white teeth, his incisors began to descend. His teeth are growing! The pointed ends seemed to shine in the dimly lit kitchen. He leaned in closer, his breath cold on her ear. “Can you imagine the ways I want to taste you? I want to bite you, then suck you, then bite you some more.” She shivered. Her heart was racing. But she couldn’t stop staring. She couldn’t stop looking at his teeth. “Do you want to know what I was going to say before you ran away?”

He was standing dangerously close to her, his breath cool on her neck. He pressed his body into hers and smiled, his fangs fully descended and fully visible. Her voice was breathy when she finally responded.

“Wha-what… What were you going to say?” she stuttered.

“I was going to say, if you ever darken my doorstep again, I will show you what you do to a man, even a dead one.”

“No,” she whispered although it wasn’t in protest. The images of Galien—a vampire—and her entwined in sheets, her face contorted in pleasure sped through her brain. Her whispered plea was one of denial. Vampires didn’t exist, they certainly didn’t, and there wasn’t one standing in her kitchen. Any minute now she was going to wake up.

“You aren’t dreaming.” His voice was gruff, and he finally had her pinned, his strong arms on either side of her, trapping her against the countertop. “You are very much awake. Let me show you how awake you are.”

His head dropped to her neck, and she felt his tongue caress her skin. It sent a shiver through her, and her whole body tensed. He licked from her earlobe to under her chin, his fingers pulling the turtleneck sweater down from her neck. She gasped. Was he going to bite her? He chuckled.

“Not yet, but I will.” His promise made her shudder in anticipation. He grabbed the sides of her face with his calloused hands. It felt so different than anything she’d ever experienced. His head angled toward hers and she felt his mouth on hers, his fangs nipping at her bottom lip as his mouth moved over hers. His kiss was expert, moving over her top lip then her bottom, nipping until her mouth opened. His tongue slipped inside her mouth, and it felt like electricity ran down her spine.
She tried to push at his chest. The realization of what he was danced at the edge of her logic, defied everything she knew, and he was kissing her and she liked it. Finally, she tore her mouth from his, gasping for breath.

“You’re, you’re…a…vampire,” she said, proud she could finally voice her thoughts.

“I am.” He grabbed her chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting her face until she was looking into his eyes. She realized why his eyes looked so strange. Where most people had flecks of different shades surrounding their pupils, his were pure cerulean, unmarred by anything but his black pupil.

“Am I under a spell or trance?” She felt like she should be scared, but she wasn’t. That fact alone convinced her she was in some sort of vampiric, hypnotic spell where she lost all common sense. He chuckled as he stroked her cheek with his thumb.

“No. You’re not under any spell or trance. Earlier, I made you put the knife down, but that is the extent of it. You aren’t scared because you want me. I feel your true desire, no gimmicks.” His matter-of-fact way of saying things made her stomach flip and twist into knots.

“You keep saying that. What makes you think—” He put his mouth to her lips, tsking at her.

“I may be a demon, but let’s not lie to each other, mon chéri. I know you want me.”
Her eyes went wide. He was either arrogant or… Who the fuck was she kidding? She’d just let him kiss her senseless. He chuckled again, his teeth gleaming.
“Are you going to kill me?” she whispered. Galien was right. She wanted him, but she didn’t want to die for desire. Nothing was worth that.

“You’ve been to France, oui?”

She could only nod.

“Then you know what le petit mort means.”

She nodded again.

“And…?” he said, his fingers tracing a line under her jaw to her earlobe.

“It means the little death, or orgasm,” she said, her voice sounding small, helpless, breathless, and completely in need.

“Then, oui, I’m going to kill you over and over and over again.” His smile was sweet, his tone sincere, and his eyes shone with lust, promise, and confidence.

“That…” She didn’t finish her sentence; his lips were on hers again, this time aggressive, commanding, and unyielding in their onslaught on her mouth.
His lips were surprisingly soft, and she let go of the counter, willing her hands to touch him, to feel if he was indeed real. She pressed her hand against his abdomen, pulling his sweater up, her fingers grazing his muscled torso. He hissed into her mouth, deepening the kiss.
She was definitely crazy.

Chapter Two

She doesn’t know the definition of crazy, Galien thought as his tongue played against hers. Crazy was the stage he’d been in the first week he’d moved into the old riverfront-manor-style home. He’d picked the house because he had easy access to a river, it was at the end of a cul de sac, and no one would bother him. Then, he’d smelled her. Her blood was so sweet, it reminded him 0f the crème brûlée he’d adored when he still ate food. He could taste it on his tongue.

Insane—he’d approached that point a month ago. His cat, the traitorous beast, would come home, his fur smelling of her, enticing him to the point of no control. Tonight, finding her in his home, he thought finally he’d earned some sort of reward for the involuntary vow of celibacy, a limp cock, and no desire to fuck or feed.
It was true. He’d been cursed by a witch who couldn’t take the hint. He didn’t do relationships—he didn’t do more than one night. He was over four hundred years old, and the need to feed on human blood was few and far between, but the need to have sex—ahhh, but he was still a man. Human women couldn’t handle him for more than a night or two. The sexy witch, he thought, could at least handle a week of what he called his sword.

Then she had to say the infamous Where is this going line, and his honest response was to bed and not an inch farther. He’d been honest. He’d been a French noble, one of the last powerful ones before unrest and le Revolution began to spring forth, and honesty was one of his traits. Noble, on the other hand? Some women would disagree.

The witch had been wrong. She said he wouldn’t get another erection until he experienced what it was like to want someone as badly as she’d wanted him. The spinster sorceress assumed that meant he’d want her. No, the witch been absolutely wrong. Dinah was what he wanted, the smell of her made his mouth water. The curse had been broken as soon as he’d moved in to the empty house next door. He’d gone to into his day slumber with Dinah’s name on his lips, visions of her brown skin disturbing his sleep of the dead. Now, she was here in his arms, and his erection was painful.

After Dinah had fled down his hall, he wouldn’t let their first meeting end there. The smell of her lavender vanilla perfume had stayed in the air, spurring him into action. He closed his eyes, and thought of being in her home, his supernatural powers taking him inside of her house in the blink of an eye. He’d beaten her home, cloaked himself in the shadows and, listened to her talk to herself. She was so innocent, he almost couldn’t stand it. Toying with her by answering her thoughts, well, he’d only meant to put her off guard, but he found disorienting her turned him on immensely. Now, feeling her fingers explore his body in wonder, he stopped reading her mind for a moment. It was an unfair advantage anyway, but he found it difficult to concentrate on her thoughts when her touch had his thoughts coming and going.

He pressed his body into hers, the feeling warm and inviting. Relishing in the sensation of his hard cock pressed into her stomach, he allowed himself to just feel her, and to hear the beating of her heart. It was beating fast, but strong.

“You have on too many clothes,” he whispered against her mouth. His hands gripped the neck of her sweater, and, without flinching or a guilty thought, he ripped the garment from her body, tearing it in two. Her breasts sat high in a black lace bra, and he felt like he’d never seen anything so artistically perfect. Her skin was so chocolate in color, he had memories of the flavor. He groaned deep in his throat, so much he could feel the vibration through his body. Her forgotten wine began to shake in its glass—he could hear the stem of the flute quiver gently. Easy, Galien. Kissing Dinah made him forget what he was, forget the demon inside him and he thought like a man. He licked the top of one orb, circling his tongue, enjoying the sensation of her leaping pulse on his tongue. It was like being shocked over and over again.

He moved to her other breast, the one closest to her heart. The steady rhythm of her breathing combined with the soft melodic thuds of her beating heart sounded like a symphony in his preternatural ears. He brushed her tattered sweater from her shoulders. Her skin was so hot beneath his cold fingers. Never before had the contrast been a turn-on for him before, but now, with her skin beginning to glow with arousal, he savored it. Nuzzling his nose into her supple breasts, he let his fingers touch wherever he pleased.
His hands roamed over the black silk lace of her bra and pulled the lace down, exposing an erect nipple.

“You’re delicious,” he murmured as he sucked the tip into his mouth, circling his tongue over her until the nipple felt like a blackberry on his tongue. He raised his head and blew, knowing his breath would be like an ice cube on her wet and heated flesh. As he’d wanted, she gasped, her back arching up and her mouth forming an O. He couldn’t resist—the temptation was too much. He let his incisor graze her stiff nipple, not cutting her, just enough to scratch a bit. The shudder he felt course through her body was exhilarating.

“You make me use all of my senses, mon chéri,” he whispered in the valley of her breasts as he moved to the other nipple.

“Is that a good thing?” Her voice seemed far away, breathless, but amused. He liked that.

“Let me show you how good it is.” He loathed to do it, but he took a step back from her. He had to or their clothes would be mangled shreds if he had his true desire. She might not want to lose another piece of clothing. He smiled at his own joke and pulled his sweater over his head. Even in the dark, he could see her eyes glowing with amusement.

“Thank you for allowing me the option to take my own pants off instead of you ripping them off.”

At that he did laugh as he watched her unbutton her pants and kick off her shoes. Again, she’d made him feel like a man with just a simple statement. He quickly kicked off his shoes and pulled down his slacks, no shame in his stiff cock jutting at the ceiling.

“Phew, take it easy on me with that, okay?” she said, her eyes zeroed in on his cock. That made it swell harder, as if it was putting on a proud show. He couldn’t take any more. Before he could finish the thought, he was towering over her, grabbing her by the waist, and hoisting her onto her counter. He sank to his knees and opened her legs, breathing in her aroused scent. His mouth watered for her; he needed to taste what he could smell.

Pushing her knees over his shoulders, Galien inhaled before he dove in. He might not be able to eat food, but he was going to dine on Dinah all night long. Nothing was going to stop him from doing so. The initial sensation of her wet pussy on his tongue made him moan. The taste of her wetness in his mouth made his eyes roll back in his head.

She moaned, her fingers sinking into his hair, her nails scraping his scalp. She didn’t know what she was doing—she couldn’t. Inflicting the tiniest bit of pain on him was highly arousing. It would cause… Hell, he didn’t even know what it would cause. No one had ever dared try.

“Dinah,” he murmured into her pussy. “Mon chéri, don’t do that, I can’t think…”

“Do this?” she said as she traced a firm line with her nail behind his ear. His mouth clamped down on her pussy, his tongue lashing at her clit like a whip. Her hips bucked, and she was no match for his strength, but her endeavor was cute. He held her in place, suckling her clit until it swelled. Her thrashing and bucking only excited him more.

Then she did the unthinkable. Her hands moved from his head to his biceps, her nails skimming a light line on his arm. He growled this time, delving his tongue deeper inside her pussy in warning, and, if he were honest with himself, as a dare. He braced, knowing she would do it. She sank her thumbnail deep into his flesh, actually breaking the skin. He watched her face as she watched his arm, her eyes wide in wonder and arousal. His blood only pooled for a moment, then stopped. Her thumb swiped across the mark she’d made, his blood deep crimson on the cappuccino color of the pad of her thumb. The wound was gone—nothing lay underneath. Her eyes flickered to her thumb for a moment. He heard her thought even as he watched her hand move toward her mouth.

I wonder what he tastes like. He grabbed her wrist with one hand, stopping her.

“Do you know what you are doing?”

“Not really.” Her voice was husky but her eyes were fixated on his blood.

“You lick mine, chéri and I will lick yours, make no mistake about it.”

Her lips curved into a smile. “Deal,” she murmured as she slipped her thumb into her mouth. He felt like she sucked his soul into her body, if he still had one. The sight of her taking his blood on her pink tongue made him salivate.

“So, tell me how I taste. No one has ever told me that.”

“You taste like cinnamon candy—spicy, sweet, hot, like fire on my tongue followed by cool honey.”

He moaned and stood, wrapping her legs around his waist. He pressed his cock against her slick opening, rubbing his glans against the moist folds. Pressing the tip of his dick against her clit, he began to grind his pelvis against hers. The things she said and thought drove him into a frenzy. He needed to hear her beg for him more than he needed anything.
He rubbed his cock up and down her slit, teasing the entrance to her pussy with just his head. His hands clamped on to her waist, forcing her hips to match his pace. Her eyes rolled back, and he could feel her getting wetter.

“Tell me you want me.”

“You know I do, Galien.” She sighed, her hands clutching his shoulders.

“I want to hear you say it out loud, so I can hear your voice.”

“I want you, Galien.”

“Tell me more.” He pressed harder against her opening, still not entering her.

“I want you inside me, Galien.” Her voice was so husky, he bit his lip. He slid the head of his rigid dick only an inch into her pussy and let it sit, throbbing inside her.

“More, tell me more, my precious mortal.” He gritted his teeth, biting his bottom lip to keep him from pushing farther into her heat.
He wants it as bad as I do. How astute she was, but that still wouldn’t make him budge.

“I want to feel your cock deep inside my walls, Galien. I want to feel what you feel like filling me. I want to know all of you, Galien. Give it to me.” Her arms slid up his arms and locked around his neck.

“As you wish,” he said, looking down at her mouth before catching her lips in a deep kiss. Her pussy was so wet, his cock glided in, slowly because he wanted to enjoy every sigh she made. Her walls clenched around him, pulsing at every inch, sucking him in deeper until he was fully seated in her.

“Breathe, Dinah,” he whispered against her lips. He felt her intake of breath as he slowly withdrew, enjoying the scalding heat of her canal. Slowly he rocked inside her, never completely leaving the warmth of her walls, never wanting to. It was slow, even for him, but he couldn’t help it—he needed to inhale every second of every moment with her.

“Galien, please, I’m going to come.”

It was all the encouragement he needed. He sped up just a little, letting the tip of his cock caress her g-spot with every re-entry. Her walls quivered around him; her wetness increased.

“You are so tight, mon chéri, it is so exquisitely tight.” Her pussy fluttered around his. She was close. The vein in her neck pulsed as she gasped for air. The sight of it made the sound of her rushing blood roar in his ears. His control began to unravel, his hips thrusting faster and faster.
Her arms tensed and locked tighter around him, and her hips rose to meet every single one of his thrusts.

“Fuck, Galien. I feel like I’m on fire.”

“That’s my blood in you, chéri. You can feel my desire and yours.”

“Galien, please, oh, ah…”

He thrust harder, coiling one arm around her waist. Using his other arm, he held her close while his hand pulled her hair tie from her hair. His fingers entwined in her thick black tresses, shaking the strands free until they spilled over her shoulders. She looked like a goddess. He pulled her hair back and forced her to look at him. He knew what she would see. His eyes would be eerily yellow. His incisors lengthened to the point of pain.

“Look at me, Dinah.” His voice vibrated off the walls, this time causing the wine glass to tip over.
Her eyes opened, and they were the most glazed-over, lustful eyes he’d ever seen.

“Your voice, why does it do that?”

He almost laughed. “I’m very powerful. I can move things with a thought. When I’m out of control like this, it…” She put her fingers on his lips, quieting him.

“You’re not out of control yet.” She kissed him, hard, and then bit down on his lip, drawing more of his blood. Her warm tongue licked at his wound, making him groan.

“I think I’m addicted to you, Galien.” She smiled as she said the words, her lips against his.

There went the last of his control. He pulled her hair back, exposing her neck and watching her throat bob with each breath. Her veins were pulsing. He slammed his cock into her. Driving himself in her as deep as he could go, he pushed his hips up into her, over and over again. Faster and faster, he couldn’t help it if he wanted to.

“Deep, so deep,” she murmured, her pussy quivering uncontrollably around him.

“That’s right. I am.” He watched, fascinated, as her eyes stayed with him, locked with his, unafraid. Again, she made him feel like just a man.

“Do you want to taste me, Galien?” she asked, her voice a whisper. He couldn’t tell what she was thinking, he was too dazed.

“Yes,” was all he could think. Yes to any part of her she wanted him to taste. She chuckled.

“Oh, yeah, any part?” He smiled. She could hear his thoughts now that she’d tasted his blood. That thought, of his blood in her body, made him pick up the pace, the full brunt of the demon beginning to unleash. Her thrusts matched his, going faster and faster, taking all of his hard cock in her pussy. “Do you want to know what it’s like feeling both our desire, Galien?” She let her neck fall to the side, exposing her chocolate skin, her vein pulsing with her blood.

“Bite me. You promised.” Her breath was husky. She was a daring, beautiful creature. She had no idea…

“Oh, yes, I do, but I don’t want an idea. I want to know. Show me.” She thrust her neck in his direction, enticing him.

It was the only invitation he needed. He let his lips curl back, feeling the pleasure of fully exposing his teeth, his demon finally at the surface. Ahhh, yes, he was free…

Chapter Three

She wanted it, asked for it, begged for it. It was magnificent to watch. Galien’s eyes were no longer blue or yellow. No, she was looking at deep crimson eyes with a faint black outer ring. Wow. It wasn’t fear—no, she felt her pussy flutter at the sight of his teeth. It was just amazement.

He felt so good inside her, she felt her insides tighten at the thought of those teeth inside her flesh. Her pussy clenched at the thought.
Again, she thrust her neck at his mouth. “Do it.”

Her eyes closed as his mouth came toward her, and she took a breath. The first initial prick wasn’t so bad, like getting her ears pierced, but then his lips clamped down and she felt the full length of his incisors in her flesh. It was glorious. The feeling of his cold lips against her hot skin sent her into a frenzy, and she bucked. His arms clamped around her in a vise-like grip, and his suction deepened.

He moaned into her neck, the feeling vibrating through her body. She could feel the blood leave her, flow into his mouth, and it was euphoric, like floating on a cloud. His tongue swiped against her skin and that was it for her. Her pleasure unleashed in waves, first a small orgasm that left her tingling, then a bigger one that made her take a gulp. A third wave rushed over her and her body stilled, and the fourth ripped through her, finally causing her to let out a deep groan.

Galien pumped harder and faster into her, relentless. She held on, another rocking orgasm building within her.

“Galien, come with me, please,” she murmured, her vision beginning to blur.

Galien growled and slammed himself into her, his cock pulsing deep within. Then she felt it swell. With one last draught from her neck, Galien let go, licked her wound, and exploded deep within her. She felt his seed fill her; her pussy clenched in reaction, pushing her over the edge into another orgasm.

She clutched at him as her breathing slowed. She felt delirious. Her eyes drooped closed, and she felt herself being carried up. She didn’t care where. She felt him chuckle even as he laid her down in her bed, covering her up in her sheets.
“Galien, I’m not dreaming, am I?” she murmured sleepily.

You’ll have a nice little love bite to show for it in the morning. Good thing you like turtlenecks, my little mortal. Sleep well. I’ll see you tomorrow.

The last thing she thought as she drifted off to sleep was, We are going to have to address this “little” thing. I’m not little. She felt him chuckle in her head as her mind went completely dark.

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Coloring Outside the Lines (with a New Release)


Why did you do this to me? 

I’m an extremely dominant woman and usually can’t be told what to do, unless it is in role-play, but unless you are my mate, don’t even think about it.  So, what I concluded is that I have a very hard time hearing ‘you belong to this box’.  I belong in no-one’s box.    So I did not write a non-interracial book to irritate fans or to do anything but the obvious: to avoid being pigeon-holed.    I could have come up with another pseudonym but I  already have enough muses talking to me, I really don’t need another ‘voice’ coming at me with ideas.  So I wrote a non-IR work for no other purpose but to flex my literary muscle.

Love is colorless 

It doesn’t matter what color of skin you live in, all that matters is that love conquers all things.  Now, could I take some flack for not being a certain color and writing about a heroine in that color? Yep, but I’m not hearing you.  Love is colorless and no matter your pigment, you know distress, you know romance and you know emotions.  Emotions are not based upon how much melanin is in your skin or what ‘hood’ you grew up in.  As far as I know, rage is rage, hurt is hurt and love is love.

The New Release

As you can tell from the cover, this is a non-Interracial book that exceeds color lines.  LOOK AT THAT COVER!  How could you not want to write about them?  Look at that embrace, the look in their eyes.  It is sensual, seductive and erotic.  How could I not craft a story for this wonderful couple?

Initate and Ignite
Initate and Ignite

So now that you know somewhat why I wrote this  touching and endearing story of a PTSD suffering Marine and a touch therapist, how about an excerpt to entice you?

Blurb – Massage therapist Celine Beauregard came across all types of people in her line of work; those who were nice, and those who could be classified as the scum of the earth. Then there was Gunnery Sergeant Xerxes Talmay, a war-weary vet with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Something always ached in Celine when she set eyes on the tall handsome Marine, and her job was to help. The soldier needed different therapy, and Celine decided it was time to initiate the man to the true power of touch.

EXCERPT

Perhaps it was her mind playing tricks on her. She’d like to think she’d always kept the relationship between her and Xerxes one hundred percent professional, but in his arms now, she questioned why she always made him the last appointment of her day. Maybe it was because she wanted his face to be the last face she saw before she settled in for the evening.

“I’ve never tried to dance with a client before, Xerxes. This isn’t typical.” Celine felt like she needed to defend what she was doing in his arms, as if there was some sort of code of conduct she signed. The only code she was going by was her own personal morals, and she didn’t want to feel like she was taking advantage of someone.

“I wouldn’t think it was typical for you, and if I had any inkling that it was, you wouldn’t have seen me after the first session. I’m a Marine, Celine. I’m trained to spot inconsistencies.”

“Then you and I are a lot alike. I’m trained to spot them as well. Care to tell me what you think your anchor is, since I’ve been trying to figure it out,” Celine said. She didn’t expect him to twirl her around and dip her in a move that could have been in a Fred Astaire movie. When he pulled her into his embrace, and wrapped his arms around her, her body involuntarily shuddered with delight.

“My guess is that my anchor,” Xerxes said as he looked her up and down, “is you.” His gaze strayed to her lips again. She knew he was going to kiss her even before he licked his lips. It was the look in his eyes, and she wasn’t going to stop him. Her eyes fluttered closed even as he took his time leaning down to her lips.

The kiss was as soft as a whisper, at first, dancing across her lips, leaving the memory of his mouth on hers. Working with Xerxes over the past months, she’d always kept her distance, letting him find his own pace with their sessions. Now, in his arms, she realized the months of touching him, trying to soothe him, she’d formed an attraction to him that went beyond his mere physical appearance.

He raised his head from the kiss, his deep brown eyes burrowing into hers, making her feel hot, desired, wanton and scared shitless all at the same time. She met his gaze unwaveringly, and tried to read his expression. It was lust for sure. She’d seen that plenty times before. However, Xerxes lustful look contained just enough longing to make her womanhood clench.

“Will you be my anchor?” He asked as his lips descended on hers again, this time, the light kisses were gone. His tongue plundered her mouth as if he was on a mission to capture every single one of her breaths and inhale it as his own. Over her mouth, his tongue raked against her lips, his teeth nipping the corners, his hands roaming over her bare back. Every motion whipped up a frenzy of lust that made her feel faint. He broke the kiss, and she had to take in big gulps of air.

“Anchor me, Celine. Be the calm in the midst of the noise.”

If you want more, click the cover and head on over to Beautiful Trouble Publishing to get your copy. 

Until we meet again, love is limitless, color outside the lines and break free from stereotypes.  

99 Cents at ARe! Prima Materia by Nevea Lane


Prima Materia by Nevea Lane
Prima Materia by Nevea Lane

 

 

Fatima had an immense amount of time to think being over three hundred years old. When she wasn’t administering her own version of justice, preternatural style, she was thinking of only one other being: Pero Franco, her sire and her lover. Although she’d hadn’t lain sight on him in over two hundred years, her love for him still ruled over everything. Pero’s disappearing act turned her into the cold vampyre she was, and only Pero could save her from her loneliness. A part of her wanted to tear him limb from limb, and the other wanted to caress every inch of his skin. Can Fatima find peace once she comes face to face of the one that created her and abandoned her?

New Release! Get Ready To Chase Nickels…


 

Chasing Nickels Around Dollar Signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for a little treat?  This inexpensive little treat will definitely get you revved and ready.  Are you ready for a little heat to start your summer off just right?

I know, enough with the questions right? (See what I did there *smirk*) The tax season is finally over and we all get a little punch drunk and woozy during those times.  Let’s face it,  working into all hours of the night, your mind tends to run away with you.  You never know what may happen once your brain is fogged.

Take Sasha Nickels for example.  She works hard and well…take a peek ~

The April tax deadline is fast approaching for Sasha Nickels, and the last thing she needs is an unannounced visit from her questionable client Cesar Parisi and his associate Sonny Amato.  Cesar and Sonny are two men who won’t take no for an answer. Obedience is expected.

When they show up unannounced on the busiest tax day of the year, she wants give them both a good piece of her mind.  However, Cesar and Sonny make it known they’ll take a piece of her mind, but they want her body as well…

Excerpt:

It was difficult to stand in their menacing presence one at a time, let alone both of them at the same time.  They both stood well over six feet, but Sonny had the advantage by an inch.   The stare down couldn’t last all night.  She moved to the side and pushed her hair behind her ears.  Keep it quick and simple, stick to the points, and don’t think about touching their hair.    Touching their hair was always on her mind, as Sonny’s hair was jet black and Mr. Parisi’s hair was a tussle of blonds and browns.  For the two years of their working relationship, she was more often tempted to touch their hair than their money. Clearing her throat, she motioned to the leather chairs in front of the desk.  She watched as they sat and noticed there wasn’t a briefcase between them.  What the hell is going on?

“So to what do I owe the pleasure of your presence, Mr. Parisi?”
Sasha walked to her desk, sat down, and folded her arms in front of her.
“Come on, Sasha.”  His voice dipped, and her name sounded like a melodic seduction rather than a greeting.  “You’ve known me for years now. Can’t you bring yourself to call me Cesar?”

Not if I want to keep myself from sitting in your lap as if you’re Santa.
“Mr. Parisi, I’m a busy woman.”

“And Mr. Parisi is a busy man.”  Sonny’s voice was as gruff as always.  She cut her gaze to him. Like she didn’t know that.
“Since we are both so busy, why don’t we skip this verbal sparring and get to the point of why you’re here?”   She’d directed her question at Sonny, but it was Cesar who answered.

“You’re amazing.”
That wasn’t what she’d expected.
“Excuse me?”
“You said to drop the verbal sparring and that is exactly what I’m doing.  Sasha, mia cara, you’ve done an amazing job for me for the last few years, and I wanted to show you that I’m more than grateful.”

“Send me a bottle of Chianti and a box of chocolates and we’ll call it even.”  She waved him off with a flick of her wrist and picked up her pencil with the other hand.  Sasha didn’t have time for this. She needed to review returns and try to get at least three hours of sleep tonight.

“You are worth far more than a box of chocolates and some wine,” Sonny said. For once, he didn’t sound ticked off.

She turned to look at him.  In her line of work, as frigid as it may seem, she wasn’t surprised by much.  In her life, being the only child, growing up dirt poor and having barely enough to eat, she could match attitude for attitude, but this bad cop, good cop or whatever these two were doing was unraveling her carefully constructed wall of self-preservation.

“Your eyes are sparking.  Does that mean you are interested, mia cara?”  Sonny’s voice was definitely lethal, and he was using it to his full advantage.  She’d never bothered to wonder if her eyes sparked or not because they were hidden behind her glasses most of the time.   Sasha stared at him a long time before she spoke.
“Interested in what, Sonny?  You haven’t proposed anything for me to be interested in.”

“A proposal would be a bit premature. How about one night together first? We’ll get around to wedding plans later.”

End Excerpt

Want to know how Sasha responds?   Pick it up: Available at the Beautiful Trouble Publishing website ONLY:

http://beautifultroublepublishing.com/genres/new-releases-home-page/chasing-nickels-around-dollar-signs-ebook.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW RELEASE – Silver Bells and Straps by Nevea Lane


Silver Bells and Straps by Nevea Lane CLICK TO BUY!

Yes, I did it. My first light BDSM tale.   I fear I haven’t been completely honest with you all.  I like kink. I’m not sure if that was a confession or just a ‘just so you know’ announcement.   Shara Azod LLC knows a little something about kink.  I’m pleased to throw my name into their marvelous Whipped Dreams line.    For those of you who know the imprints works, you know that Whipped Dreams center around BDSM or D/s story lines.   I took it one step further.  This time, the heroine is the Domme.

Below is the blurb and a spicy little excerpt to get you wondering.  Click the link, buy the tale, and warm up your holiday season with a bit a sugar, spice and and a whole lot of kink.

BLURB

Athena Divan had it good; her own company, a premium New York apartment and a secret.   Gerard Bourdain was much the same; his own company, a premium New York apartment, a restless spirit and a secret.  These two had butted heads in the board room, but they were about to find they had a lot more in common when their secrets collide at the Black Tie bondage club.

The only thing is, Athena was Mistress Minerva. She knew who he was, but Gerard was in the dark about her secret identity.   Would she take the opportunity to have a bit of revenge at Gerard’s expense?  Of course.  Yet, could she keep herself in check and not step over the line and jeopardize her identity?
*EXCERPT*

As he stood on the other side of the door, he took a deep breath. This
mistress was supposed to be the best, as the owner kept telling him. A second generation dominatrix. He’d never heard of such a thing. Pushing the heavy
door open, he stepped into the room.
His stomach immediately tightened when his eyes focused on the woman
perched on the throne. She looked like a deity, her shoulders back and her long
legs crossed in a striking pose. Her mouth was pursed, and her burgundy
lipstick looked like a fine wine staining her lips. The black masquerade mask
did little to hide her features. Her high cheekbones stood out in the dim
lighting, but her eyes were the most striking almond color he’d ever seen.
He swallowed hard. She raised her arm and, in a regal movement, turned
her palm upward and curled her fingers forward, beckoning him to her. He
dropped his head and took slow steps toward her. He stopped a mere foot away
from his appointed mistress. For the first time, he was intimidated by a woman.
His mother didn’t intimidate him, and she threw her weight around better than
any man he’d met.
“Well, well, well,” his mistress said in a husky, breathless tone. She
uncrossed her legs and stood. Her heels didn’t make a sound as she walked
toward him across the carpeted floor.
Without pausing, she began to walk around him, looking him up and
down. He didn’t dare move his head to follow her movements, knowing that
would bring him punishment. The leather of her glove felt cool as she laid the
palm of her hand against the small of his back. The simple touch made his cock
stir.
“Mmmm. There is nothing I like more than fresh meat.” She smacked his
ass with an echoing slap that stung his flesh even through the leather pants.
Her palm cupped his ass in a soothing motion, and she began to rub his
stinging cheek as if to soothe the sting. The smell of her hung in the air, and it
was all he could think about as he tried to force himself to breathe in through
his nose and out through his mouth.
“What is your name, slave?”

*End Excerpt* 

Well there you have it, what do you think?

 

New Release – Java Rain by Nevea Lane


That is right,  its  my turn in the 31 Days of Steamy Mocha going on at Mocha Memoirs Press.   The little heater will make you love coffee and rain.  It would be a wise dollar invested…and less money than a large coffee. 

Blurb: In the rolling valley of Papua New Guinea, Ansley, a coffee bean farmer has his sight set on Kalia, the American bean buyer whom he’s known for years. The skies open and rain falls, but Ansley wants Kalia to open for him and to admit the one thing that he already knows, she was meant to be his.

http://www.mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/2012/07/31-days-of-steamy-mocha-nevea-lanes.html

Buy Now!
Quick and Hot, like a shot of espresso.

Coming Soon to Mocha Memoirs Press


Are you looking for a short and hot read, something like a shot of espresso to your senses?  How about something that will get you going and in the mood like your favorite cup of coffee? Look for Java Rain, by yours truly coming soon to Mocha Memoirs Press and an eReader near you.  

Java Rain by Nevea Lane

New Holiday Hotness – Eight Ball Side Pocket by Nevea Lane


From Shara Azod and Marteeka Karland

Need a little pick me up after shopping, wrapping and decorating?  Take a little bite to make your Season bright!

Brand New Quel Scandale Shorts~

Little Bites With a Touch of Spice!!!

What’s your fantasy? We all have them, even women. Quel Scandale is a woman’s answer to Penthouse ~ hot, steamy fantasy naughty enough for a man, but made for a woman. Perfect for a quick me up in the middle of the day or a bed time read guaranteed to give you delicious dreams.

On Set by Billy London

On Set by Billy London $0.99

Sean McNeil is about to take on the role of a lifetime. Getting film critic and blogger Melanie Beckford to play his lover on screen. Without the acting part.

 Eight  Ball Side Pocket

Eight Ball Side Pocket by Nevea Lane $0.99

One bet, winner takes all.  What’s a woman to do when she is challenged to a game of pool and the stakes are high? Play to win, of course.

My, My, My by Serenity King

My, My, My by Serenity King $0.99

As far as fantasies went Sherida Tomlin was getting ready to live out every one of hers. The moment Harrison Whitney walked into her office she’d known that he’d been the star of every erotic dream she’d ever had. And when he touched her…let’s just say that the real thing is even better than any fantasy could ever be.

And Brand Spanking New~

Force Me

Some women don’t want a sweet, gentle lover. Some women like to saunter up to a man and whisper in his ear, “Force me.”

 Force Me - Asking For it Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

Asking For It by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod $0.99

If she switched her ass in front of him one more time, Micaiah swore he was going to bend her over and spank hers. Seriously… Little Miss Trina was asking for it.

 Death by Sex by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

Death by Sex by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod $0.99

“You’re about to die,” the deep gravelly voice rumbled next to her ear. “But don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”  The words were chilling to Mia, but not nearly as good as what happened next.

 The Alley - Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

The Alley by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod $0.99

Alana gets a taste of the forbidden in the alley. She should be repulsed, frightened even. Instead, all she feels is… unbearable pleasure.

The Princess by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

The Princess by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod $0.99

Princess Mia has a problem. A BIG one. In the form of one very muscular, very Alpha Barbarian King.

Not Hot Enough For You – New Books Available from Nevea Lane, Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod


Take a trip into the back seat for a spicy lunch or midnight snack to get you all hot under the collar!!
Click the Pic to Purchase!


Zoe was content with her life as the king’s gardener. She had a home and the finest garden in the galaxy. What more could a girl want?

Well, there was the king’s son, Prince Abbas. He was Zoe’s greatest wet dream come true. For five years, she’d fantasized about him from afar, but never dared to approach him. Besides, he was too… royal for her liking.

When the king arranges a marriage for Abbas, Zoe’s life is changed forever. Will she be content to forever lust after the prince, or will she grab what she wants and take it?

Or will he make that decision for her…

Paxton Wainwright never planned on coming home to Essex, Connecticut, especially after fifteen years of being free of the title of the `mayor’s son’. The small town held nothing but dark memories and an unrequited need for one female, Delilah Gibbs.

Imagine his surprise when he returned home to see none other than Delilah in his father’s bedroom, acting as his physical therapist.   Paxton still felt the same flash of need as he did all those years ago.

The question is, can he make Delilah feel it too?

Skylar Moore had been looking for a new, exciting job. Taking a position as a civilian contractor in the middle of a war zone was probably a tad extreme, but it was the best decision she had ever made. 


How could she complain when she had not one, but two of the sexiest body guards/escorts on the face of the earth. Majors Ashe Marshall and Shannon O’Shea were the finest damn Marines in the entire Corps. It was hard to pretend she wasn’t interested in more than an escort to local Afghan villages. The problem was which one did she like the most? There was no way she could choose.

Luckily she didn’t have to…

Disturbing the Yuletide – Available now at Beautiful Trouble Publishing


Disturbing the Yuletide [EBOOK]

 

Disturbing the Yuletide
Click the Link to Purchase
Topaz Aura Sinclair, aka DJ Bluefire, has been feeling a little lonely this holiday season—the first one she’s spending without her family. She’s even taken on extra gigs just to stay active during the season. At one of her assignments, she meets Sebastian Rosser, an ex-military officer turned caterer. Sparks fly immediately… But when one of Topaz’s gigs turns dangerous, will she and Sebastian find a way to keep their holiday bright? 


**EXCERPT**

Topaz laughed and looked at Sebastian. She finally took the moment to really study the man who was before her. He looked delicious and dark in his black slacks and turtleneck. His toned arms seemed about to split the shirt at the seams. The deep green of his eyes gave him a dangerous air and made Topaz shudder. Then she remembered the way he’d gotten her out of the brawling fiasco at the Den. 

“What did you do before you became a chef, Sebastian?” He couldn’t possibly have been just a caterer all his life, not with those moves.

“I was in the British Army. I enlisted young, and applied for my discharge about three years ago.”

“I kinda figured you were military. You’re too sharp.” 

Sebastian lifted his eyebrow at her. She giggled and took another sip.

“What I mean is that you were cool under pressure. You didn’t seem to mind I was poking around in the kitchen when we met. Most caterers I know aren’t like that—they’re territorial.”
“Oh, I’m territorial, but not about food,” Sebastian countered, his tone serious.
“I see. So what brings you to the States?” Topaz knew the hour was late, but she didn’t want to let him go just yet. It was better than being in her small apartment, lonely and cold. Christmas was merely a week away, and she didn’t want to think about spending it alone. 

“Opportunity and a change of pace. Working with The Det, I spent most of my time in Northern Ireland, and London no longer seemed like home after my parents died, so the States seemed logical.”

Topaz could relate to what Sebastian was feeling. She knew what it was like to feel out of place. “The ‘Det.’ What is that?” Topaz asked.

“It’s a special recon unit. We’re plainclothes operatives, and that’s all I’m telling you,” Sebastian said, his lips playing around with the idea of a smile.
“Oh, it’s like that?” Topaz said, lifting her own eyebrow and staring at him. Sebastian gave a slight nod, and this time he actually did smile. 

Topaz gasped at the smile that transformed his face. It seemed to make the hard lines around his mouth disappear, and he looked so human. She felt a lump in her throat, and her words were lost. Sebastian Rosser was one fine man when he smiled.

* * *

Sebastian felt the sides of his face ache as he broke into a grin. He was sure he had smiled before he entered the military, but he’d never remembered it feeling so good. He was sure it was because of the company of one Topaz Sinclair.

From his days in the military, Sebastian had used his contacts to dig up important information on Topaz. Even with the little information he could find, he found that she soothed the restlessness he had been plagued with most of his life. He’d always been known as the one to take the first shot, the one to take the lead. With her, he didn’t want to jump in too fast, but he felt like he was on a roller coaster of emotions. “So tell me about you.” Sebastian said, knowing her soothing voice would calm the restlessness he was feeling again.

“What do you want to know?” Topaz asked, taking another sip of her coffee.

“Everything. Every last detail.” Sebastian didn’t mince words, but he didn’t think she would mind.
“Well, let’s see. I’m an only child. My mom and dad had me late in life, so they didn’t get the chance to have other children. They passed away earlier this year.” 

Sebastian nodded and again grabbed her hands. He was amazed at how small they seemed in his own. His thumbs circled over her palms, mindlessly tracing figure-eights on her warm skin. He looked at her long fingers, nails without polish, the simple silver thumb ring the only jewelry she wore. She was simplicity personified, and he wanted to know everything about her.

“I’m sorry. This time of year must be rough for you.” Sebastian gave his sympathy, but he couldn’t help but wonder if she would mind spending the holiday with him.

“Yeah, that’s why I took on so many extra gigs. I needed to be moving, doing something, anything.”

“So, what are your plans for the holiday then? More shows? Your calendar seemed pretty open.” 

Topaz looked at him, and Sebastian could see the scrutiny. He braced himself for the question.
“Was tonight the only night you came looking for me, Sebastian?”
“No. I think I’ve been looking for you all my life.”