A Free Unedited Read – Reckless


This has been a labor of love for the last few months.   It is finished in its entirety on the site.    One big factor that is different about this piece, there is no sex.  That is right, NO SEX.   It is a romantic suspenseful ride, but the characters had their own stories to tell, and quite frankly, it is meant to be an emotional tale, not a horny one.    There is plenty of that around here, poke around in the other free reads and you will find that plenty and abound.   However, if you are looking for that same amount of tension and heat that you have come to learn from my characters, then please enjoy this read from the bottom of my heart.    Enjoy being Reckless ….

 

Reckless -One Busy Morning – Chapter One

 

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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.

Burning Down Montana – Chapter Two


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – COPYRIGHT

Vesta could smell.   She could smell the bleach,  the aerosol of linen and the stench of awful hospital food.  Hospitals, plainly, sucked, and she hated them.  She immediately wanted out.  In her mind, she could feel herself turning to move, as if she could walk away from the smell and the hospital.   Her body, however, didn’t respond quite the way she had imagined.  Her arms and legs hit metal.  Well son of a bitch.

“Are you trying to go somewhere pet?”  Ah, she could hear too, and she could hear a man with an English accent calling a her a fucking pet? She tried to turn toward the direction of the voice only to have searing pain tear through her left side.   She couldn’t scream,  but the pain was enough to spring tears to her eyes and she felt the salty water run down hehr cheeks.

“Ahh pet, don’t cry.    Don’t move either, its going to hurt.”   She could hear the voice had gotten closer,  and she was in no condition to protest as she felt large,  warm fingers swipe away the tears from her cheeks.  There was an odd comfort in his touch,  he must have been a doctor, no one had ever touched her and made her feel safe.   She opened her eyes, not that it did her any good as she couldn’t see past the thin layer of guaze.  The blinding flourescnet lights overhead made the doctor look like a very big blur.

“Oh my, damnit Vesta!”   at the sound of her brother’s voice, she wanted to turn and smile, but she held back, remembering what the last attempt to move did to her.

“Doc, what happened?”

“I’m not the doctor.”….

Continue reading at the link below…

https://nevealane.wordpress.com/burning-down-montana-chapter-one/burning-down-montana-chapter-two/

 

 

Interviewing the Italian – A Free Read as a Thanks and a Gift


I will be posting a free read, in chapters, on here and on Wattpad as a gift to you, the readers and the fans, it will take some time to get it all posted, it is actually a lengthy read, but well, you guys deserve it.  A few caveats: it is written in first person, I know how some of you don’t like that, but that is your prerogative…Also, it is roughly edited, real rough, that is why it is free, and here, not on Amazon or anything like that.  This was supposed to be out there somewhere, but things happen, ish implodes, et cetera… but that is neither here nor there… On with the goodness… Chapter One starts here…..

 

Chapter One

“Please tell me you aren’t wearing those sneakers to the interview?” My best friend stared  at me with her mouth agape and her brown eyes bugging out of her head.. I laughed at her horrified expression. Lena Bath, self-proclaimed tomboy, wasn’t going to let me wear sneakers to an interview?

“Lena, Lena, when have you known me not to wear my lucky sneakers to an interview? This one is no different.” I looked at my outfit in the full-length mirror. Lena was on my bed still in her scrubs.  Most people would have been mortified to have a coroner sitting on their bed still in their scrubs, but I didn’t care. I found her stories about working with the DC police fascinating.

“Yvonne, please, you are about to interview Augostino Romani.. You can’t possibly wear those ratty high tops. I don’t care how good that Donna Karan suit looks on you, ditch those shoes[Km1] .” She pointed at the offensive [Km2] sneakers on my feet. I looked down at them knowing what I would see. White Reebok classics, with Velcro straps, scuffed and marred from walking, running, and sticking my foot in closing doors.  There was a huge grass stain on the left shoe and a pinkish spot of unknown origins on one of them . I smirked, the shoes were ratty, hell, downright ugly, but I wasn’t taking them off.  

“Girl, please, I’m not trying to jump his bones! It is an interview. Like all my other interviewees, there is no sex, no dates and no flirting. Even though he is fine as I-don’t-know-what.” I said, sighing. Yes, Augostino was handsome, but zero fraternizing with the interviewees.  That was my firm policy. I was twenty-seven year old journalist and I was determined not to let my work be judged on who I slept with. . Crossing my arms under my chest, I gave Lena the hard stare.

“Don’t give me that look. Yvonne, you have been itching for this interview for years. You can’t fool me. I’ve seen the  pages and pages of notes you hoard on the man, not to mention you  have several of his software programs. Let’s not forget, you made it out of grad school on one of his company’s scholarships. You’ve talked about this  interview for what, three years? Don’t give me that just another day bull.”

“This is why I am wearing the shoes! I can’t be drooling all over the man and looking like some inexperienced deranged stalker, now can I?  I have to have the sneakers to remind me why I am there.”

I grabbed my trusted worn brown leather shoulder bag. Lena was right about one thing. I had idolized Augostino Romani for five years. Maybe it was because he came from nowhere, under the radar and into the spotlight or perhaps it was because most software engineers didn’t look like him, or it could be that Mr. Romani only does only one interview a year. I don’t know what had made Romani Industries call my editor and offer the coveted interview, but I am glad they did. I remembered when my editor pulled me to the side after the morning meeting and told me that he wanted me to do it..

Gary, the editor, cleared his throat and asked me to stay behind while the other reporters cleared out. Normally jovial, Gary looked at me with an assessing stare. He started down at my tennis shoes, traveled up my khaki chinos and stopped at the men’s button down oxford that I’d adorned with a wide chain link belt. As he finished his survey of my clothes, he nodded and spoke.

“You would be perfect to interview Mr. Augostino Romani. I like your no-nonsense attitude, and you don’t preen and cluck like a hen around good looking men. Plus, your last story gave me a good laugh.”  Gary handed me a card and shooed me out with a wave of his hand. “Oh, and Martin?” I looked back over my shoulder at Gary, his brown eyes looking stern and unforgiving,  . Savannah Martin was my pen name. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my real name, Yvonne Mason, for some reason most of my work was rejected when turned in as Yvonne Mason.  Perhaps it told people I was a stubborn person, but I chose Savannah Martin because it sounded softer, not because I was soft!   If Shakespeare asked again, ‘what’s in a name?’ I would tell him a whole lot! 

“Yes, sir?” I said, almost wanting to salut him.  The way Gary gave me the assignment, I felt like I was in the military. .

“I don’t need to remind you that this is a confidential interview. Not a word, to anyone.” I nodded and walked out.  Of course I knew how everyone tech hound coveted this interview, if I said anything it would be to Lena, but everyone else, no way.  They would run me over with a MACK truck before they let me have this interview unhindered.   It was the big break I needed.   The only reason my editor picked me because I wouldn’t be speechless from hero worship like the men at my job, nor would I try to audition to be Mrs. Augostino Romani. Women like me do not catch the attention of men like him. Unlike my friend Lena, mixed with Asian and African-American, there was nothing exotic about me.  My skin was an ordinary milk chocolate color. Almond shaped eyes were my best asset, and I had worn contacts for years, but more people took me seriously when I wearing my glasses. For my interview with the reclusive Romani, I picked out a chocolate brown and pink pants suit to make me feel confidant and look older. I piled my hair on my head into a loose bun, put on my black rimmed glasses. Again, I reminded myself, don’t get slack jawed; he is still just a mere man.

Yet, I still couldn’t help but feel like I won the lottery. I had to work my way up to get the interviews of engineers that were lower on the totem pole.  I figured I had at least another year of waiting for the ‘great Romani interview’ as I dubbed it in my journal. 

“He is still a software engineer. I have had all my notes pre-approved, and I am sure we’ll be monitored by his entourage so I don’t ask any off the wall questions.  He is just a man.”

“Right Vonne, he is good looking and available man. He has, been called one of Washington D.C.’s eligible bachelors for the past four years. He is constantly giving back to the community by donating computers, software, and his time. Don’t tell me you don’t find all of that attractive?”

“Lena, despite his humanitarian efforts, according to the tabloids, he was known for being a flirt, elusive, and arrogant.  Not to mention a different flavor of woman every month.  So no, I know he is a philanthropist and all that, but I don’t understand how you can be so caring for the community one minute and then pretty much be called a dog the other fifty-nine minutes of the hour.”

 Lena giggled and stood up.  She eyed me and sighed, I knew she had given up arguing with me. “Yeah, ok Vonne, just don’t forget, you are human. A red-blooded, human woman about to meet, for an exclusive interview, a man that you have followed his career ever since yours took off. Have I mentioned he is  good looking? The man is  intelligent obviously, and available. Just because you are interviewing him now, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be something later.” Giving a careless shrug, Lena looked down at her watch. “I’ll see myself out. I got to get to the lab.”

“Yeah I got to get going too; I want to get there early so I’m ready.”

I drove to the location the marketing department told me where Mr. Romani wanted to be interviewed. He respected his privacy and preferred not to be out in the open.  I pulled up to what appeared to be a town home turned into a private restaurant of sorts. I walked into the front door and was greeting by a fidgeting, barely five foot woman talking rapidly in Italian.  I couldn’t catch most of what she was saying because whatever she was saying, wasn’t in any formal Italian classes I’d taken.  She erratically pointed at walls, and said pareti hanno bisogno di pittura, which from what I understood her walls were painted for her but why was she telling me this?   Was she just as nervous to have the great August Romani in her restaurant?  Up and down she pointed, to the hardwood floors, the ceiling fans, and one really big chandelier.  If this was supposed to be a tour, I wasn’t grasping a thing.  The only thing I could do was stay behind her and try to follow her erratic shifts in direction.  How she managed to move that fast on wood floors in heels was beyond me.   Finally she led me to the bar area and stopped so fast in front of me,  I almost barreled right over her.  She turned to look at me, her eyes full of tears.

Ha pagato per tutto!”  Ahh, I see.  He’d paid for it all.  That was why she was showing me everything, Mr. Romani had paid for the extensive renovations to her restaurant.    She didn’t have to sell me on the fact that August Romani was a good guy, he was just a reclusive guy that everyone wanted. 

 She showed me to the bar area and very politely asked me to wait.  She waddled out of the room at a much slower pace than when she was showing me the place. As I looked at everything from the painted ceilings to watercolor frescos on the wall, I realized that he must have thrown a lot of money into this place.  As I was flipping through the pages of my approved questions, the aura in the room changed. I no longer heard the hostess clicking around in her heeled shoes and it seemed as though the ceiling fans turned slower.   I felt a tenseness course up my spine and in my heart knew that Augostino Romani had entered the room.  I turned to look. As soon as my eyes landed on him, I went from looking to staring. He was not someone you just ‘look’ at, he was to be admired. As his eyes swept the room I studied his form and movements. He was wearing a deep navy suit, tailored, with pin stripes. His tie was turquoise while his shirt was an innocent white. The simplistic hues seemed at odds with his dark hair. He looked at me with a gaze as acute as a hawk and it took every ounce of will power I had to not gasp and to not put my hand to my chest like some fainting southern belle. This man was a walking advertisement for sex. There is no other way to put it. I was in over my head. I knew it, I felt it, and as he started to walk towards me, his demeanor said it. The long strides he took put him in front of me in mere seconds. I don’t remember blinking, but as soon as I did, he took my hand and raised it to his mouth.  A brief kiss, his warm lips grazing the tops of my knuckles and then he was sitting in the barstool. I felt like I was so was screwed because  I didn’t expect him to look half as good as he did in the tabloid pictures or even on TV. No, he looked even better.  Turning, I took a sip of my water and counted to ten before I twisted back to him.   His gaze finally met mine and I paused.  Was he even looking at me?  It looked like he was looking right through me, as intense as his eyes were.

“Buongiorno, signore Romani. I’m glad to have this interview.”  I thought maybe it would snap his attention back to the moment, and ok, who am I kidding, I wanted  to impress him with my knowledge of Italian. I’m so pathetic that I wanted his approval. Luckily for me, he wasn’t impressed. In fact, he barely acknowledged that I had spoken to him at all. There was a slight tilt of the head, and perhaps his lips pursed into a line, but that was it. Not even a grunt. Most men at least grunted. Better get this over with.  That quickly put me back into professional mode.  No longer wanting to impress the man, I wanted to get to the heart of the interview.  

I started off with simple enough questions. 

“So what is this new software? What makes it revolutionary?”  Then I saw something flicker across his face as if he was ready to put on a show.  From several years of interviewing, I knew this was about to be a long rehearsed answer.

“The concept behind this software is to provide heightened security to even the most casual of computer users. We have used the theory behind human DNA to develop this new security software. We are calling it Double Helix…” his deep voice was monotone and perfunctory. I could have had more fun reading instructions on cooking rice. Something wasn’t right with this. Most people get excited, animated and antsy when discussing something they are passionate about. This guy, nothing. He stared at me with this intense stare, as if he was trying to hypnotize me. I sat and listened to the bits of sentences, only scribbling a few lines here and there. Even there, Mr. Romani’s eyes never left my face. Most media shy or even the slightly insecure will want to try a peek at what you are scribbling. No, his eyes were trained on my face. I frowned and tried to listen more intently.

“The software is not faulty like the current finger print masking. Masking is never efficient. Masks will eventually be cracked,” Mr. Romani’s voice cracked from that monotone voice. That made my ears perk. He just said ‘mask’ several times, and each time he got more agitated. That is more than just my boredom, hoping for something, I had to know more. A new line of questions began to formulate, ones that were not approved in the slightest, but I was a journalist, it was my job to dig. . From behind my glasses, I slyly look around and that is when I noticed, there was no one here but us. He didn’t have a huge entourage, no doppelgangers. It was me and him, although I am sure the jittery host was lurking somewhere.

I hated myself for wanting to ask it, but I felt the question itch and burn on my tongue. I knew then that the rest of interview would not go as smooth as I hoped. Before my rational, professional mind could clamp down on the words, they shot out my mouth like a bullet from an automatic weapon.

“So what mask are you wearing?” Damn it, damn it, damn it. I would have sworn out loud if he was not already staring at me in contempt.  

“Excuse me?” He practically hissed at me. Had I just pissed off one of the most influential men in the engineering business?  Yeah  I did, yet, from the quiet intensity of his expression, I didn’t think it took much to stir the dragon within him.  I continued to stare at him as if I wasn’t petrified.  

Mr. Romani looked at me and I looked at him from the top of my glasses, and said it again with the most sincerity.

“What mask are you wearing?”

 “Scusi?” He barked in Italian and he quirked his eyebrow. Perhaps it was that slight raise of his eyebrow that was supposed to command a response. I am sure the dark black contrast of brow to his pure blue eyes caused a heart or two to stop. It was obvious he was agitated. I didn’t blame him; he was in the middle of an explanation on the concept behind his new software program. Honestly, I just did not care. The answers were rehearsed, until he went off on the mask tirade, and I did not want the light stuff. I wanted his soul. As dark as that sounded, I wanted to know what drove him.  

The best plan was quickly rephrase the question to a friendlier, less Barbara Walters and more the journalist that I was. I wrote for a magazine, not Nightline.

“That is to say,” I said, clearing my throat for emphasis, “your new software shows a different side of you, different than what we seen before. Is it because you’ve changed your line of thinking at thirty-six years old or did you just want to try something new?”

I hope I sounded sweet enough to make him answer the question. I was not some young cotton for brains writer seeking squeal points; I was a journalist and I wanted to know what set him off on that tirade and I wanted just a hint of the man behind the engineer.  

He still looked at me like he wanted to take my head off. I wasn’t going to budge. Some people might have backed down from that glare of those icebergs they call his eyes, but I was not moving.

“I just wanted to try something new.” That was it? No tears? No sniffles, not even a glimpse into his inner most secrets?

“Did you experience something new?” I was going to have to be scientific about this but he was starting to piss me off, I don’t give a damn how fine he is, I want my Pulitzer award-winning interview.

“No. I wanted to create something that I had been playing around with. The concept is very simple, but the design was complicated. Plus I had to see if the audience would even like the concept.”

If I were the reaching type, I would take that as being insecure, yet it wasn’t enough. I liked cold hard facts, facts which he did not want to seem to give me.    

“How long were you experimenting with the new software?”

“About 2 years. Then I had a test group and it seemed to work the way I intended.”

“Did you run these by your friends or the executive…?”

“No, I am the only executive on this project, so I did what I felt to do.” There’s the arrogance I heard so much about.

 “Point taken and what was the feeling behind the December 24th release date?” I said, getting irritated more by the moment.  He might as well have been a robot his tone was so controlled. 

His eyes narrowed into slits, but still no emotion.   Well, him shooting me with shitty stares could be classified as lack of control right?  No, as quickly as his eyes had given him away, he recovered to his normal bored look. 

From the side of his mouth he murmured the words “Early Christmas present.”

That was it? What person does not want to talk about a new project they were working on? I knew then I was about to blow up at my dream interview. I looked down at my notes, all of my questions I had spent almost 3 years coming up with, and felt rage. I had wanted above all things to interview the man whose products were exciting to a tech junkie like me. Now face to face with him, I wanted to do nothing but scream at him, that no one could possibly be this emotionless. As I flipped through my pages of questions, the more frustrated I got.  All of the questions would only produce one word answers.  No wonder he only gave one interview a year, he was either dull as fuck or he knew damn well he wouldn’t give up any more information than was necessary. The wheels started to turn in my head on how  I was going to make this the interview I’d fantasized about for years.  I was not particularly one for reverse psychology but anything was worth a shot.

“Ok, well that does it for me,” I clicked my lucky pen, retracting the point as I was retracting form the interview. He looked startled.

“You only asked me a few questions. Is it really over?” Now he was looking at me from above the rim of his glasses.  

“Yes, it is really over. The information you are telling me I can get from the press release notes when the software drops in another month. I see no need to waste your time any further Mr. Romani. I am sure that you have some Thanksgiving festivities to fly to or something, I know I still have to get to the grocery store…” I was putting my purse on my shoulder. I was staking my career on this act; if my editor found out I did this and didn’t come back with any good information for pissing off the most formidable software developer on the east coast I will be back to writing columns for the local community college.  

“Please don’t call me that.”

“Ok, Signore Romani.” I said sarcastically. I think I saw him smirk but I held firm, I was taking a huge gamble.  “Seriously, I am sure there is something else you would rather be doing. Please do not linger on my account. I waited three years for this interview. I think I can wait a month for your new software to come to the stores to get the information that I need.”

I took a breath, this was my last chance.  I stared at him in silence and waited. Something strange happened in his eyes. Either it was a spark of interest or I pissed him off royally.  The irises became dilated and the color became such a vibrant hue of blue, it looked like the sky.

“Sit. Down. Miss. Martin.” Augostino Romani carefully enunciated each word as he took off his glasses. From the tone in his voice, I would say I had succeeded in really making him angry. He gingerly folded his silver rimmed glasses and set them down on the dark wood bar top. I noticed the lenses in his glasses don’t magnify anything. Why would this man hide behind a pair of glasses with his gorgeous yet intimidating eyes? He gestured toward the chair I just vacated. So what could I do? I sat. “I don’t like being talked to that way, but I am making an exception for you.” His voice was stern and cold.

“I will take your word for it.” His eyebrows shot up and his eyes narrowed again.  I was putting on the not interested anymore act a little thick, but hell, he started it. 

“Why Christmas Eve, because that was the one night I knew I would have everyone’s attention. I like attention. So what better than a holiday?”

The question hung there, rhetorical or not.   I looked at him, knowing damn well he didn’t expect an answer, but from the way his eyes steadily stared at me, I could tell he was gauging my reaction. 

“So,”  I said drawing the words out,  “do you enjoy being a spectacle?” The press had a field day with his career so far. It has been ten years and they have not ceased to be on his heels at every moment.  

“I am always going to be a spectacle, whether I like it or not. Fame has a way of doing that to you.” I had never met anyone so cynical, well despite myself of course.  

“That is true, but fame also affords you money to slink back into the mountains of Montana or Idaho if you wanted to.”

“Are you always this direct?”

“Depends on the subject…”

“Am I a subject to be studied under a microscope?”  his words sounding clipped. Augostino Romani fenced with words.  Each question was either deflected or swayed.  While his way of deflecting and avoiding real questions may have been useful anywhere else,  I was the one giving the interview not him.

“No. What you are, sir, is trying to avoid answering my question.”

“Touché Miss Martin.  Why do I keep going out? I love to invent. That is why. I love what I do. Going out to a few events every once and while pads my pockets so I can fund my personal side projects without using company funds.”

“Was there ever a time that you fell out of love with inventing new software? It is a pretty frustrating field.”

“Before I made this program, yes, I had fallen out of love with it. After a while, you do get tired.”

“You mean you were suffering from exhaustion?” Captivated that he was giving me so much information, I had to keep on prying.

“No, the touring, showcasing and selling was the easy part. It was the politics, the promos, and the interviews, no offense.”

“None taken. So why aren’t you tired now?”

“I grew up. I realized that people take more than they give. So I am going to give a whole lot that they didn’t ask for.”

“And who is the ‘they’?”

“Anyone who stands in my way.” He looked at me with the glare that I am sure the big bad wolf gave one of those pigs before he blew their house down.  I am not easily intimidated, but the gleam in his eyes made me want to stay far away from him when he was angry. I had already accomplished pushing his buttons twice in fifteen minutes. Not off to a good start, but I was not finished yet. We were just getting to the good stuff, and I had waited too long for this.

“Has anyone been in your way recently?”

“Yes, myself.” His eyes slunk off into the distance staring at something beyond me. Considering we were the only two people in the room, I find it impossible that someone else had his attention.

“So did you go around yourself or did you mow yourself down?” I knew all too well what he saying. Sometimes you find the only thing that is keeping you from getting to the next level that you want to achieve is yourself. You have either to tear it down, or go with the flow. I spent most of the time tearing down my own personal walls, just to get an adrenaline rush.  

“I mowed it down. And this is getting too personal…” I could see the invisible fortress he keeps himself in going up in front of my eyes, and I had to stop it. Not for the sake of the article, but because now I was generally intrigued. I stopped the tape recorder.  

“Ok, fair enough. Why don’t you ask me some questions?”

He quirked his eyebrow at me and did not believe that I would put my own neck on the line.

“Look, I spend most of my time getting people to talk about themselves; I don’t talk about myself a whole lot. Things got a little heavy, so this is like a cease fire.”

“Ok, is Savannah really your name? “

“It is my middle name. Why do you ask?”

“Because you don’t look like a Savannah. I was to walk in here, expecting some blonde nitwit, and instead I get a leggy chocolate dessert, whose skin reminds me of gelato.” Yeah sure, Casanova. I had my fair share of smooth talkers in my lifetime, and that was not the smoothest line I have heard.

“Yeah, Ok Mr. Romani, you don’t have to try flattering me, I have waited for this interview for years.” And there was no way he was going to convince me that I was like a Tyra Banks or Naomi Campbell, even if I did stand five feet ten. That is where the similarities ended. I packed a little more in my derriere. I wasn’t thin, that I knew, and his offhand flirting made me self-conscious. I don’t diet, and I eat a steak when I can. I am thick and I like it that way, but not when he is staring at me as if I am standing here in a bikini instead of a pants suit. He quirked an eyebrow again and who taught him that one eyebrow trick anyway? He posed an unasked question as if he did not understand, I added, “There is no need for you to flirt with me in order to get the good stuff in the article. I know all about your company already .”

“Well, someone with integrity, it is about time. But that does not mean that I don’t think your skin is satin like gelato, just an observation.  As an engineer I have to observe every detail of everything.” I groaned and rolled my eyes. If he weren’t so Italian, it would have came off as being extremely corny.  I looked at him over the rim of my glasses, and he smirked again. Arrogant bastard.

“So what else do you want to ask me?”

“What is your first name?”

“Yvonne,”

“I like your first name better. Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?”

“No, I am pretty young yet, I don’t wish to be doing this much longer, but until I finish my novel, well this is writing, and I like it.”

“So are you a journalist or a writer?”

“What makes you separate the two? Most people don’t…”

“Anyone can write. Every so often, I have to write a memo, or write a press release, or something to stay published. A journalist, well there is a difference. Only you would know that.” I looked at him and realized that maybe turning the tables on myself was not a good idea.

“I am a journalist. I take what I see and push deeper. You know the old adage; a picture is worth a thousand words?” He smirked and gave a brief nod. “I try to use a thousand words to paint a picture. Something that is tangible or real. Whether you were a can opener or the formidable Augostino Romani, you are still going to get the best that I got.” I stared at him and he was smiling at me. God he had some killer dimples. Then his countenance changed.

“I am not formidable.” He said, casually, as if it never occured to him that he was an intimidating figure.

I let out a pent up breath and mumbled, “If you say so.” I went back to looking at my notes. He was formidable to me. When he walked in the room earlier, I had felt his presence before I saw him. He seemed to emit masculinity from all his pores and it is almost suffocating.  As I flipped through my notes, I realized that I did not want to ask him anything that I had previously written down, I wanted to have a conversation with this man. Shaking my head, I thought that I was just falling for his rumored charm.  I looked back up at him, and he was regarding me with, damned if I know, but it was not friendly.

“I am not anything of what they paint of me.” He said in a low growl, and there was definitely an accent there. Oh my, was he pissed. I just could not tell if he was pissed off at me or at the they. Either way, that was the third time he growled.  

“I figured that much Mr. Romani. Most of what people write is fluff. But they don’t know you, and I can’t say that I do either. You’re still an intimidating figure. I mean have you looked in the mirror? Not to mention you have a multibillion dollar company and you are merely thirty-six. ” Not that the man needed to have his ego stroked, but he couldn’t be that obtuse to his own charm.  

“Was that a rhetorical question? I think it was, so I won’t answer it.  Miss, what is your last name?”  

“What makes you think that Martin is not my last name?” I was getting a little peeved at him asking me these questions about my name.  

“It does not suit you. Why did you pick such a plain name? It is not you.”  

I was not about to get into the reasons behind me changing my name to be taken seriously as a journalist. Having a name like Savannah Martin opened more doors than having a name like Yvonne Mason did.  I tended to hit an invisible wall when shopping around my other work as Yvonne Mason.  One editor told me it sounded too ethic.   That is why my name was a touchy subject. 

“Yes, it was a rhetorical question and my last name is Mason.”

“So then paint my picture, tell me what you see that is so intimidating.”

Was this guy serious? I mean, I thought I had hit the gold mine by getting this interview but I was beginning to think that I was in way over my head here. Looking at him,  I don’t imagine anyone has told this man no and not had to pay some consequences.  I licked my lips and played with my pen. How many times had I described him to myself? Did I really even need to look at him to describe what I already knew to be there? I was never good at backing down at challenges and his question was definitely a challenge.   So I told him what I had written as part of my thesis on the Sexual Appeal of Engineers and Programmers.  

“Mr. Romani stands at a proud six foot three inches, broad shoulders defined by ten years of swimming. Although his height is daunting and the span of his chest would make you think twice about picking a fight, that is not the most foreboding factor about Augostino Romani. His eyes are an azure blue, as the sky is during a summer rain, but when he is troubled, bothered or angry, they turn to a deep navy, storming like the angry sea in Homer’s Odyssey. This combined with his well-set square jaw proves that he is a man that knows what he wants and gets it, no matter what.”  It was the truth, but the way his eyes were watching me, just as stormy as I described, I felt like I bared a bit more than truth and felt like I left a part of my soul on the table.  I sounded like some sex starved lunatic. That was not journalism, I chastised myself.  I was supposed to be a professional and sharing with him my thesis statement didn’t paint that picture.   

We sat and stared at each other for a few more seconds before he broke the silence.  

“That was not a thousand words, but I will take it for now.” He said in a softer, gentler voice. It was still deep, but it sounded more like a caress than an order this time.  I did not realize that I was holding my breath until I exhaled.  Then he smiled.  

“I got a wonderful idea, Ms. Mason. It is Miss, right? Otherwise this isn’t going to work.”

“Yeah, no rings, no offers, no boyfriends.” Oh man do I ever know when to shut up?

“Good, you are going to by my personal journalist.  You will follow me where I go, you will send press releases and you will write my biography.”  He stood up and handed me a card.  “Stop here at eight Friday morning. I will call your editor and explain. You will still get the exclusive interview, but he will be without you for a few months. Don’t be late.” Mr. Romani just exited the room. I didn’t say yes, but I damn sure was not going to say no.  All I did say was,

“Oh shit.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NEXT BIG THING – Blog Hop


BLOG HOP-The Next Big Thing

Okay, I was tagged for the BLOG HOP- The Next Big Thing

Thank you to Kimmie Thomas from http://shereallysaidit.wordpress.com.  Now, I’ve blogged and ranted, but I’ve never hopped, so this should really be fun.

The rules for the Blog Hop are as follows:

*****Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you

*****Post the rules for the blog hop

*****Answer these ten questions about the current WIP (Work in Progress) on your blog

*****Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Nest Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

I’ve been real busy.  First there was Falling Leaves in Autumn which is out now.

 

Right now, I’ve submitted one story for a new series I am working on, Midnight and Mayhem.  It is my first foray into paranormal with a sexy vampire.  It is is the editing stage now.

Next on my list is a Christmas Domination tale that will be placed with a very special publishing house (Shara Azod, some of you may know her) I’m working on the plot line now, although I might need to  post some thoughts on my blog to get some feedback.  This one is going to be way way different and outside the box, so stay tuned for that.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Like any fiction writer, I think a bit of our stories always involve real life scenarios.  Some of us write true to life scenarios and take only a bit of creative license.

What genre does your book fall under?

Romantica? Romance with a little Erotica? Erotic?  I can’t be pigeonholed but you can bet your bottom dollar it will be hot.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Eric Bana play Clark Pinot in Falling Leaves in Autumn..  He is so Clark  and I think I was watching him in an Adam Sandler movie when I came up with the character of Clark.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Never judge a book by its cover.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

I use several publishers but my absolutely favorites are Beautiful Trouble Publishing, Mocha Memoirs Press and Shara Azod Presents.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

That depends on what manuscript I am working on.  I can write one in a week or take several months to draw it out.  For example, my free read, Private Dancer took me a year to write.  So I guess I should say that all depends.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think my books are more like movies.  Since I practice safe short writing I try to start with a bang and end with a bang.   So if I were to label my writing style it is like Crash or  Mobsters. 🙂

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Falling Leaves in Autumn was inspired by life events.  I tried so hard to keep my husband a ‘late night snack’ he just kept getting into my heart and mind and eventually became my husband.

What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?


It is written in first person, but the characters do come alive.  I know that is the biggest issue with some who write in first person is getting to know the other characters.

The writers I’m tagging are:

http://sherrodstory.wordpress.com

http://valloryv.wordpress.com

http://roslynhardyholcomb.com/

http://musetracks.wordpress.com

http://liviaellis.com

Tag!

Well That was fun…  I hope everyone can participate.

 

New Release! “Falling Leaves in Autumn” Available Now


Click Here to Buy Now!
 
 
I love Autumn!  I love the smell, the sounds of leaves crunching under your feet.  Your eyes become sensitive to all the sensitive hues of orange, yellow and gold…  Which is why I had to give Autumn its own book in the Seasons of Love series.   There was “Disturbing the Yuletide” then “Shaking up the New Year” and now you have “Falling Leaves in Autumn.” Check out the excerpt below and enjoy! 

 

Justine Marshall is in a mood. Not that she doesn’t adore the fact that her best friend Topaz is was marrying the great love of her life; she’s ecstatic, but being alone while trying to plan the wedding to end all weddings has her in a funk and admittedly jealous. In an effort to keep her emotions from spilling into Topaz’s happy day, Justine comes up with one surefire solution: find a bed buddy. 

Clark Pinot has been trying to get Justine’s attention for months, which is the only reason he volunteered to go shopping with the guarded woman in the first place. When she comes to him with the ridiculous idea of being her “booty call,” he sees it as the one opportunity to prove he isn’t the Casanova she thinks he is and what he wants is much more than a tumble in the sack. Breaking down Justine’s defenses won’t be easy, but he’s determined to see them fall like the leaves in autumn.


**EXCERPT**The sun was setting, casting a comforting orange glow over the turning leaves. It was my favorite time of year, the transition into autumn, and I found the hues of oranges, yellows, and reds comforting. Taking in a deep breath, letting the partially chilled air fill my lungs, I knew I had to get a grip. What are you doing? You know dang well Clark Pinot is nothing but a rolling stone with an accent. Who’s to say you can’t have a bit of a fling before he leaves? I sighed. Flings weren’t in my nature. Even as I tried to summon up some of my courage to just flirt with the man, I couldn’t even do that. It’s funny how when you are warring with yourself, you can’t pick a side. 

“Well that is one way to end a discussion.” His voice made me gasp. It was a rich baritone that vibrated when he laughed, like it was doing now. I had to cross my legs to keep my wayward womanhood under control. 

“There was nothing to discuss. You have your opinion, and I’ve got mine. You don’t make it in this world without having to drop the rose-colored glasses sometimes. I’m not jaded on love, I just don’t think it is perfect, and I haven’t found the other half to my imperfection yet, just like you, Clark.” 

“I can see that, Justine.” Oh the way he said my name made me want to curl up beside him and purr. Yet, I still couldn’t bring myself to even entertain the idea of making a bed buddy out of Clark. It would be too dangerous. 

“So, you want to take some bags with you back to…” His lips touched mine before I even realized he was standing that close to me. It was a gentle, tentative, and explorative kiss that left me breathless. His hand, which was resting slightly on my shoulder, moved down my biceps, down my forearm, and then, just when I thought I couldn’t take any more of his subtle touches, his large, tanned fingers intertwined with mine. It wasn’t the kisses I’d read about and hoped for in my novels, the ones that bruise your lips, but a light kiss, an appetizer with the promise of so much more.

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

Why Are Free BWWM books Hard to Find


writing
All of this work isn't free

Why Are Free BWWM Books Hard To Find (or How the Internet told on You)…

I love technology.  I’ve been given the title Techy by a select few and here is an example why I love technology, the internet and the right to free speech.   I was checking my WordPress analytic for the search terms people have used to stumble across my blog.  (Savvy, I know, right?)   This one came across my radar today: why are free BWWM books hard to find?   Obviously this was typed in a browser search engine and someone wanted to know why.  I’ll be happy to step up to the plate and answer that question with some bias but with stark honesty.

It depends if you are looking for GOOD free BW/WM books.  Of course the emphasis being on GOOD.  Now, you can go on to Smashwords, Literotica and various other places to find BW/WM stories.  They are all over and you have to ask yourself the question: is it good?  If you want just a ‘story’ there are plenty and they aren’t hard to find.   If you want GOOD, well let me break it down for you why it won’t be free.

We know we are a niche group, and for those of us that band together, we know just how small or large this niche can be while writing.   We know that we are a quiet genre that doesn’t get much exposure except for among ourselves, and what we represent, we want to represent it well.    Let’s say you are getting dressed for the prom, are you going to put on your holed up jeans, a mustard stained t-shirt and flip-flops?   No, you are going to present your best side because it is important to you.   I will only speak for myself, but being ‘good’ in the world of authors these days is hard work.  You have to know your own worth, you have to know your story’s worth and you have to be willing to grind out that manuscript, sit down and write as the muse strikes, not to mention work your job that has nothing to do with writing.  You have to hone your skill, learn vocabulary, research your topic, ferret out facts, learn your characters, get their habits straight, and come up with a story that will compel readers to go beyond page 1.   Not only do you have to know what you are talking about, you also have to make time to write.  I’m  a short story author, and if I could have a nickel every time I heard a story was too short, well, I wouldn’t have to work so much overtime some days to cover my bills.   So not only do we have to make time to write, we have to pour out our character’s heart, our heart and our story into something that won’t get slandered as ‘too short’.  Try writing 9,000 words that string together beautifully and you will see it ain’t a pretty picture or process.  Now, do you expect a free work to be error free and without some grammatical mistakes? No, so we use proofers and beta-readers.  They don’t work for free either.

So after our hard work. our toiling, back-spacing and rewriting until we find a better word for ‘said’, why would we throw it up for free?  We all go to work every day, but wouldn’t one get mad if they asked you to work for free?  I love my job, but seriously, free?    Some of us, myself included, have written plenty of free stories.  We felt like we owed something to our fans, we felt like we needed to ‘give back’.  Guess how we were repaid: plagiarism.  Plagiarism and having our free work lampooned for various reasons.  A free work,  shared out of love for the genre and knowing there isn’t much out there to get your hands on, gets plagiarized,   and some other is making money off of what you put out there in love.   That would be one reason that some of us don’t post free reads anymore.  We find our work repackaged and our name replaced with someone who didn’t write not once sentence in it.   Can you believe that?

Good BW/WM is so hard to come by, true.  It is hard to come by, and it is harder  to please the readers of BW/WM or any other interracial combination you can think because we are picky.  We want a GOOD read.   If you want a GOOD steak, do you really expect someone to be on the street corner giving away 16 oz porterhouse steaks for free?  No you go to a steak house and you pay for what you want.  The same thing with books.    You pay for what you want.

As much as I would love to live a life of leisure and spend the day writing, I can’t.  I’ve got obligations, a mate, a job, a car to pay for… none of which are free.  We’ve been nice, we’ve tried the ‘free’ route and got screwed.

So to the searcher out there looking for free bwwm, there are plenty, but if you want quality, ante up and just buy what you crave.

 

Getting Better, All the Time


Can you believe that it has only been one year since I was actually published?  (Thanks Beautiful Trouble Publishing for taking a chance on me.)  Today I stopped and wondered, how do authors improve?   That being said, let me state that writers/authors/songstresses/singers all get better over time.  I don’t think anyone can look back and say they haven’t grown in some way, shape or form.  I don’t want to be the same I was last year, I want to be better.

How do we get better?  Taking criticism for starters is the only way that you can get better.  Some of us may get down in the dumps after being criticized.  I used to be one of those that would sulk and wonder why don’t they like me (cue sad puppy eyes and violin).   After a while, I got tired of hearing the same sad song and decided to let the violin be a fiddle.   I looked at everything with the critical eye and said to myself, yes, this could be better, longer, easier.

So back to my original point; how do we get better?   Run towards everything with fresh eyes and with courage.  We are going to be scared to try new things and we are going to always be skittish to step out of our comfort zone, but do it with courage.   Courage is one of those things that separates the movers and shakers from the wallflowers.

How else do we get better? We listen.   Sometimes the best things you get out of life is when you just shut up and listen.  Say nothing.  Be Silent for a moment and listen, let it come to you.

How am I improving?  I’m writing longer works for one.   I love the short story format,  a lot of yum in a little space.  I realize that sometimes people need, want and earn for a longer work.  I’m trying to do that but to do so in a way that makes me proud of my work and not something that is just long for the sake of being long.

So that was my quick check in… Back to the races people… some of us are chained to our laptops .