Music Monday – When They Made It Seem Easy

This blog post stems from a conversation I had with a friend the other day. We’re in our 40’s now which means we were teenagers in the 80’s. Music was loud and fun and in some ways very suggestive and in other ways very blatant in the meaning and message. Love meant sex in songs. It didn’t matter if it was pop or metal. A lot of it was about sex.

“For sex and sex I’d sell my soul, All in the name of, All in the name of Rock”, sang Vince Neil, the front man of Motley Crue…

They and others like them sang about the glamour of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. They sang about the pitfalls too. They weren’t much older than my friends and I at the time and they made it seem so easy for the teenagers like us to get at the rockstars we idolized.

Yeah, they sang about 15 and 17 and talking dirty and cherry pie… But WE were 15 and 17 and wanted Bret Michaels to talk dirty to us, and many of us would’ve given it up to Warrant or a dozen other bands if we’d gotten close enough to the bus or the hotel. Many of us did.

We, the teenagers in the 80’s, were the target market for 80’s glam metal…

They lyrics were scadalous, the leather tight with cocks outlined perfectly, and the beats were infectious. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. I mean really, where do you think I got my taste for tattoos, piercings, and leather clad bad boys?

Music today is just as suggestive, the beats just as infectious if you know where to look and who to look to… The leather isn’t as prevalent anymore, now it’s casual and jeans, but hey, if you’ve got an imagination…

What about you? What did YOU listen to as a teenager?

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice

snippetsaturdayI love Author’s Choice. I can give you a snippet from any book at all and it doesn’t have to fit a particular theme. Makes it so much easier sometimes. 😉

So, let’s see… What do you want to read a snippet from? Something old or something new? How about something new. So new in fact it doesn’t yet have a cover but that’ll be coming soon… It’s unedited so any mistakes, just know when the final product comes out they will be corrected!

Slide Down On Me (Coming soon!)

Bella locked the flower shop. Her boss, Mrs. Cleary, had been her mother’s closest friend up until the plane crash that had killed Marianne and William Drake when Bella was in her freshman year at college.

Mrs. Cleary had lost her savings, same as everyone else in town had at the hands of Bella’s brother, Arthur ‘Artie’, but she didn’t hold it against Bella and had gladly given Bella a job.

Bella had been grateful for the help, for the kindness, but every time she looked at Mrs. Cleary, she couldn’t help feeling a little responsible. Then again, Bella felt a little responsible for what everyone had gone through.

When she was certain the lock was secure, she turned and couldn’t disguise her surprise to find Travis leaning against his truck in the front parking spot. “I thought we decided on Friday? I don’t have any more money now than I had at lunch.”

“I’m not here for money. Thought you could use a ride home. It’s about five miles out your place and I didn’t figure you’d be wanting to walk all that way after being on your feet all day.”

“Oh. That would be… You don’t have to do that. It’s out of your way and—”

“C’mon.” He cut her off and waved her forward. “I don’t mind.”

Bella stood at the edge of the curb, uncertain what to do. Travis was a secret, a wet dream, a fantasy she’d never be able to have. He was the only man in town who didn’t look at her with distain. Okay, make that the only person, aside from Mrs. Cleary, who didn’t look at her with disdain. She hadn’t had control over Artie or what he’d done, but the way people treated her, she figured they thought she should have.

“I won’t bite,” he teased and Bella laughed. It had been a long time since she had, since she’d even felt like smiling.

“From what I remember hearing, you used to like biting.” As soon as the words were out, she clamped her hand over her mouth and glanced around to see if anyone was within hearing distance.

Travis was grinning when she met his gaze again. He gave a slow wink and shoved his hands in the front pockets of his jeans. The move pulled the denim tight across his cock and the sight did things to her insides she’d only wished to experience with the hotter than hell mechanic.

“There were stories about you too, so don’t think I believe you’re any more innocent than I am.”

“Hush,” she urged. “This isn’t the place to discuss any of this.”

He leaned casually against the front quarter panel of his truck and chuckled. “Let’s see,” he started. “If I recall the rumors correctly, you liked your sex a little rough and tumble.”

Bella blushed. She knew it, from the heat in her cheeks and the way her blood pumped through her body faster. It was summer in the South, but for the first time since she’d stepped outside the shop, she was sweating. “You heard about all that?”

“There was nothing you did that was a secret. Those private school jocks you dated weren’t worth shit when it came to keeping their mouths shut. You were an extremely naughty girl, Bella Drake.”

Oh dear God. Had her parents known? Her brother? The whole damn town? She wanted to look away, to look down at the ground and wait for it to swallow her whole, but she wouldn’t hide from who she’d been anymore than she hid from who she’d had to become.

She kept her gaze leveled at Travis. “Were being the operative word.”

“Pretty and perfect on the outside,” he continued, “Never a hair out of place, but behind closed doors, you were something else entirely. Heard tell the goth girls had nothing on you in the name of freak.”

Bella could only imagine what ‘freak’ things he was talking about. He was right that she’d been rather wild as a teen. She’d never been into the drinking or smoking or any of the drugs that floated around, but she was always up for a good time with guys and girls. Her time at Brown had mellowed her out quite a bit though, especially when her parents died. She’d taken the loss hard as they’d been on their way to see her on Parent’s Weekend.

Her grades had been high, her social life full, money at her fingertips. Then real life set in. She spent a lot of time alone, mouring. She tried to turn herself into something she wasn’t at the time, but that soon became second nature. She stopped dating for a while, and when she started again, it wasn’t at the same level it had once been. There were no more threesomes, no more female lovers, no more sex clubs. She’d been a young socialite with plastic in her pocket and nothing was off limits.

She’d been stifled. She did it to herself, but the definition was the same.

And her greatest temptation was offering her a ride home.

“Well, that’s all in the past. I’m completely respectable these days.” Or trying to be, at least. Too much more time spent in Travis’ company and everything she was trying to bury about herself in the name of respectable and sensible and trustworthy would go up in a pile of smoke and ash.

“Really?” At her nod, he clucked his tongue. “Now that’s a damn shame.”

How had they gotten on this topic? And how could they get off of it? “Why?” Of course, if she kept asking questions, they wouldn’t.

“Why, indeed. Let’s get you home.” He moved to the passenger side door and opened it for her.

“Won’t people talk if they see us together?” She was hedging, putting off accepting his kind gesture. Whatever sexual overtones or blatant conversation, his offer to take her home was kind. Heck, it would be the highlight of her week, but… “I mean, as we’ve just discussed, gossip is rampant around here. I don’t want to cause further harm to your business by you being seen with me. Guilt by association isn’t fun.” Of course, she had firsthand knowledge of that and she wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

However, that was only one of her objections to accepting a ride from him. Her other one was the sheer fact that it was him. She wanted his hands out of his pockets and on her. She wanted his cock out from behind his zipper and inside her. She wanted to toss away the respectability she’d been attempting to cloak herself in and get nasty with him the way she’d always wanted to.

Being in his truck, mere inches from him, she didn’t trust herself not to reach out.

“Don’t you worry about that. I can handle myself and any of my customers who may have issues. C’mon now. In the truck with ya. It’s screamin’ hot out here.”

Bella couldn’t find any other way to argue with him. She wanted to but couldn’t. Hurting his garage’s business wasn’t something she wanted. Heck, none of this was what she’d wanted. Her brother’s actions had killed something wonderful in a small town. They no longer trusted anyone, especially outsiders, and most especially her. Her family had always done right by the town, had always helped see to its prosperity, its charm, its way of life. Drakes had lived in the county since before the War Between the States and their money had kept the town from falling into Union hands, into enemy hands.

And now, she was the enemy. Southern pride was something strong and unyielding. As close as she’d come to breaking down, mentally and emotionally over the months, that pride had never faltered or failed her.

She nodded once and stepped off the curb. The door closed firmly once she’d climbed inside the truck and was seated. He joined her from the driver’s side where he slid behind the steering wheel. She stared straight ahead until they were passed the seed store on the edge of town. She didn’t want to see the accusatory looks from anyone. Oh she was used to it for herself, but those looks wouldn’t be aimed at her this time.

“Why are you being nice to me?” she asked when the silence became too much for the small cab of the old truck. She was too aware of him seated within touching distance. Dirt, sweat, grease all assailed her, but underneath it all was the scent that was Travis. He’d always had dirt under his nails and oil smudges on his clothes and arms, but he smelled like the country. Fresh cut grass, hay bales, freedom. All of it went against the look of him; hard, inked, pierced. He’d had the tattoos and the ear piercings for as long as she could remember. Every time she saw him, it seemed there was some new piece of art on his body, but he still had that smell of springtime and summer all rolled into one.

The two lane road out to her side of the lake was deserted but that wasn’t unusual. She’d come to enjoy the solitude, the privacy that was so different than the social scenes and clubbing she’d been used to. She didn’t so much like the pariah stigma, but she’d had to get used to it real quick.

Out the passenger window, the lake glistened under the late afternoon sun. She’d gone swimming in it along with the rest of the county when she was growing up. Even Travis and his friends would hang out on the water. There were several floating docks that all the kids swam out to and sunbathed on, but Travis, his brother, and their friends would water ski, or fish at one end, or swing out and jump in from long hanging ropes that dangled from tree limbs.

It was her guilty pleasure to watch him. She did it discretely so her friends or whatever boy she happened to be dating at the time hadn’t noticed and if they did, she always told them she didn’t understand the foolishness. In truth, she was in awe of him, fascinated by him, crushing on him so hard it made her bathing suit bottoms wet and her heart beat fast in her chest.

She would’ve thought growing up, moving away, living among her own privileged kind in Nashville society, and finally the hell she’d been through would have cured her of fairy tales filled with hot, sex-in-a-pair-of-jeans Prince Charmings. She’d obviously been mistaken.

“Why shouldn’t I be nice to you? You didn’t do anything to me.”

He said it casually, easily, and Bella struggled not to look at his profile. Gone was the cold, businesslike tone he’d used on her earlier in the day, and while part of her was grateful for it, it made another part of her wary.

“No, I didn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that my name is Drake.”

“You’re not your brother or his actions.” Bella did look over at Travis then only to find him looking at her. There was something unreadable in his eyes, in the slight curve of his lips, but her heart thundered all the same. She nodded once, again grateful, and turned her head until she was looking back out over the water.

When the curve of her driveway came into view and Travis made the veer to the right that would take them to the front of her house, she couldn’t deny the pang of disappointment. She wasn’t ready to be out of his company yet. Though they’d said little after their little bantering conversation outside the flower shop, she found she wasn’t as prepared to be alone as she usually was.

He was magnetic, completely at home and yet out of place in this little country setting. Global warming had nothing on the heat of Travis’ Southern drawl and the crazy things it still did to her insides.

He pulled to a stop and before she could say anything, even a thank you for the ride, Travis had the truck in park and the keys out of the ignition. She gaped at him, but he didn’t look at her, only got out and came around to open her door. “Thanks,” she said, hopping down from the cab.

Travis inclined his head and gave a small smile. “My pleasure.”

She thought he’d leave then, but after he closed the door to the truck and she started up the steps to her porch, Travis cleared his throat. Bella turned. He was leaning against the same front quarter panel as he had been earlier. His arms were crossed over his chest and his feet crossed at the ankle. There was arrogance in eyes, and heat. She couldn’t mistake that because it matched her own. The arrogance however, made her shiver in the humid Tennessee heat with uncertainty. “Travis?”

“Sleep with me.”

Now, when you’ve fanned yourself off enough to read some more, please slip over to the following blogs for more snippets:

Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton
Mari Carr

Have a fantastic Saturday!

~lissa

Birthday Bash for Leah Braemel

Do y’all know Leah? She writes cowboy hotties! She writes a little kink too… And she’s forever clad in boots and a white cowboy hat. How do I know this? I’ve met her and she’s awesome. She’s one of the most down to earth authors I’ve met in the few years I’ve been in this business. And, she remembers my name. That may not mean a lot to you, but to me, damn… We’ve met several times at Lori Foster’s Reader/Author Get Together and her remembering little ole me means the world. She’s well thought of and well respected. She’s passionate about her writing too.

It’s her birthday we’re celebrating and she’s got a giveaway full of goodies and there are 31 of us participating…

birthday bash authors2_200x300

So, what do you have to do to win? Simply enter by the Rafflecopter widget below. Like my Facebook page, and other participants Facebook pages and of course Leah’s… The Rafflecopter widget is also displayed on those Facebook pages.

Here is the blog link to Leah’s blog where she’s listed all the prizes…  http://leahbraemel.com/2013/07/26/leahs-birthday-bash/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Kay Jaybee

Lyrical Inspiration

By Kay Jaybee

The question I’m most frequently asked as a writer of erotica is, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ The truth is that my creative processes can be sparked off by literally anything; overheard conversations, pictures, locations, even aromas. Another influence has to be music. Or to be more specific; lyrics. No matter how much I like or dislike the tune of a particular piece of music, it is the words that sell a song to me.

A fascination with listening intently to every single word of a song began back in my high school days. Many a fad swept my secondary school; one of which was to select hit songs that summed up the personality of each pupil, and ‘label’ them with that song. My shy persona and general wallflower status, led to me being forever associated with the song Goodie Two Shoes by Adam and the Ants, with particular reference to the line ‘Don’t drink, don’t smoke. What do you do?’ – (oh the irony!!! If they knew me now!!)

I just love the way lyrics can be woven together to tell a story. You only have to pay close attention to the words someone like Adele sings, to hear how beautifully they can be linked to tell short musical stories that we can all relate to.

The first erotic poem I ever wrote, Regrets, illustrates how lyrics can set off my imagination. The opening line of this poem is ‘Regrets, I’ve had a few…’

I’m not sure whether Frank Sinatra would have approved of my borrowing of 5 words from My Way, but then again, as Mr Sinatra wasn’t exactly “Mr Shrinking Violet”, he might have loved my rhyming words of desperate eroticism!!

“Regrets, I’ve had a few.

Most of them to do with you.

I should have shagged you on the floor.

In the kitchen; against a door.

I could have pressed you to a mirror,

And seen your sweat marks shine and shimmer…”

Getting more up to date; it was a line from the Snow Patrol song, You’re All I Have, that sowed the seeds of inspirations for the nature of the lead male character, Mark Parker, in the my erotic BDSM psychological romance, The Voyeur. The lyric in question is ‘There is a darkness deep in you; a frightening magic I cling to…’ A sentence which hints at a compelling obsession, a willing coercion that (in the case of The Voyeur) weaves the dominant character of Mark, and his two female employees, (Bi lovers Anya and Clara), into an uncertain game of dominance and control.

So, what music do I play while writing my erotica; which let’s face it, tends to feature the rougher side of sex?

Over the years I have put together a few playlists to urge my work frazzled brain into writing mode. Each is varied, and is fashioned to whether I’m writing down and dirty BDSM, or slightly milder calmer S&M kink. Two songs however, appear on every one of my playlists, for there is something deeply erotic and edgy about each of them.

Despite not being a big fan of David Bowie, the first track is his classic ‘Let’s Dance.’ Just the rasping way he sings the introductory line, (Let’s dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues), is enough to make all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The lyrics are both romantic and sexy, and yet hopelessly so. You just know that whoever the song is being aimed at isn’t going to get the happy ending they yearn for. Such is the lot for so many of my poor characters! (Just check out my Fem Dom anthology Yes Ma’am to find some hot sexy encounters, but without the happy ever afters!)

The second song that always features on my playlists is Underwear by Britpop group Pulp. I’ve lost count of how many individual stories that song has kick started. Nearly everything Pulp’s lead singer, Jarvis Cocker, sings has a heady kinky edge to it, but Underwear is the cream on the cake for me. If you’ve never heard it- then you must find it on You Tube or treat yourself to the mega sexy album Different Class!  I promise that inspiration will soon follow.

Alongside the confessions of my local couriers, the entire manuscript of Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man (1001 Nights Press) was sparked by the concept the song presents. Why might someone feel compelled to keep meeting someone secretly for sex?  Are they really helpless to fight that compulsion, despite the wrestling they do with their conscience?

“Why don’t you close the door and shut the curtains
‘cos you’re not going anywhere.
He’s coming up the stairs and in a moment he’ll want to see your underwear.
You couldn’t stop it now. There’s no way to get out.
He’s standing far too near. How the hell did you get here.
Semi-naked in somebody else’s room.
I’d give my whole life to see it.
Just you stood there only in your underwear…”

If I’m really struggling to write, then I always turn to the music of 80’s pop group, Depeche Mode. More or less everything they performed is cut with undertones of submission and dominance. How could they not be with titles such as Master and Servant and Just Can’t Get Enough? My favourite of their works has to be Personal Jesus. The catch line, ‘Reach out and touch me’ was running through my head as I created Jess Saunders, the lead character and unwitting new sub, from my novel The Perfect Submissive. Bless her; no matter how much Jess pleads to be touched, she just has to wait until everyone else has had their fun first, (and even then she is sometimes left wanting).

So, do you see a pattern building in my song choices? Need more clues? Other tracks on my erotica writing playlist include Love is a Stranger by The Eurythmics, Human by The Killers, Big Mistake by Natalie Imbruglia, I Want Your Love by Transvision Vamp…and so on…They are compulsion songs. All about power, control, and simmering sexual tension; and if you have never read any of my work, then just a quick listen to that lot would give you a big clue as to what you can expect!!

Thanks for inviting me over Lissa!

Kay xx

Kay Jaybee wrote the novels Making Him Wait, (Sweetmeats Press, 2012), The Voyeur (Xcite, 2012), The Perfect Submissive (Xcite 2012), as well as the novellas, Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man (2nd ed. 1001 NightsPress, 2013), Digging Deep (Xcite, 2013), A Sticky Situation, (Xcite, 2012), and The Circus, (Sweetmeats Press). She has also written the anthologies The Collector (Austin & Macauley, 2012 & 2008), The Best of Kay Jaybee (Xcite, 2012), Tied to the Kitchen Sink, Equipment, (All Romance, 2012), Yes Ma’am (Xcite e-books, 2011), Quick Kink One and Quick Kink Two (Xcite e-books, 2010). Kay has had over 70 short stories published by Cleis Press, Black Lace, Mammoth, Xcite, Penguin, Seal, and Sweetmeats Press.

Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

You can follow Kay on Twitter- kay_jaybee

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

Brit Babes Site- http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Snippet Saturday – Boys of Summer

snippetsaturdayBoys of Summer. The Don Henley song. I loved that one. You remember it?

“I can see you-

Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun

You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby

And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong

After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you-

Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun

You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby

I can tell you my love for you will still be strong

After the boys of summer have gone”

Sometimes that’s what Summer is. Long days. Long night. Finding love, losing love… The memories coming back, making you yearn for those carefree days and what slipped away.

And sometimes, there’s a little bit of Summer, all year ’round, found in the most unlikely places…

So, I’ve taken a completely different approach to our theme and am giving you a little something to cool you down from the heat wave many have been experiencing…

LM_ArrestedHoliday_coverin

“You have something warm to wear? Gloves? Heavy shoes?”

“My other shoes are back in my car and so are my gloves. I have some sweaters and such.”

“Long underwear?”

“No. I hate it and didn’t expect I’d need it. Why?”

“Hold on. Let me see what I can find for you.”

He winked and moved away from her to rummage through a chest of drawers. He pulled out a few sweats and thick socks and tossed them on the bed. “What are we doing?”

“We’re going outside. You get dressed, and I’ll be right back.”

Holli was still standing there confused when he left the room and then left the apartment. “What the hell?”

Still a little uncertain, she took off the clothes she’d slept in and grabbed the clothes he’d laid out and went into the bathroom. The least she could do with the loaned, too-long-in-the-leg and too-snug-in-the-hips-and-ass, ill-fitting sweats and pair of men’s wooly socks was put on some deodorant. Brushing her teeth, washing her face, and combing her hair couldn’t hurt either. She could make herself a little more presentable.

She was rummaging through her makeup bag for her moisturizer when she heard the door to the apartment shut again. After pulling the ends of the sweats up over her feet and ankles and grabbing the sweatshirt, she went to see where he’d been.

“Boots,” he said, holding up a pair of galoshes. His gaze narrowed on her. “Everything fit okay?”

“Just peachy. It’s snowing, and you want to go outside?”

“Have you ever played in the snow?”

“Not really, not this kind of snow.”

“Well, put these on, and let’s go. You’ve been cooped up inside for days, and some time outside will do you good.”

Holli took the boots from him and sat down to put them on. “It’s cold out.”

“I know.”

“Taking me outside to play in the snow isn’t going to violate my house arrest agreement?” she asked as he was walking into the bedroom and she was tugging the sweatshirt on over her head. Layering clothes had never been her favorite thing about winter, but at least it kept her warm. She reached up inside the arms and pulled the sleeves of the long-sleeved T-shirts down and smoothed everything into place as best she could. Everything she wore was black. She had to look like a charred marshmallow.

“No more than what was going on before in the bed and no more than the attraction between us.”

He was pulling on a sweater over a long-sleeved T-shirt as he walked back into the living room. The sweater being pulled over his head ruffled his hair, and the casual intimacy of the moment struck something deep inside her. Spending time with him alone, playing, laughing, talking as though they were friends, involved…it wasn’t a good idea. She was going to fall for him, and it was going to be more than his good looks and his kindness that wormed its way under her skin. “Maybe you should have taken me to a hotel and had someone else guard me.”

He tweaked her nose as he passed her to get some boots sitting by the door. “No. Trust me; there’s no one better for the job than me.”

“I’m not going to run.”

“That’s not what I mean. C’mon. Put some of that lotion on your face and let’s go.”

He was like a kid, and his excitement was contagious. Holli quickly put the moisturizer on and set the tube on the counter before letting him help her into her jacket. He shoved a baseball cap on her head and ushered her out into the cold hallway. She shivered.

“Oh damn. Here.” He handed her a pair of gloves he pulled from his pants pocket. “I forgot to give these to you. Mrs. Collins said you could hold on to them until you leave.”

“Nice of her.” Holli quickly put them on, and though it wasn’t immediate or scalding warmth, they were wonderful against the bite of the wind as they stepped outside. “These her boots too?”

“Yep.”

The snow was even more blinding outside and even more beautiful. She stood there, looking up, letting it fall on her face. “This is real snow. We don’t get this in Atlanta.”

“What do you get?”

“It’s not powder. It’s wet and icy, but this is…this is delicate, and there are actual snowflakes.”

“We get the icy stuff too, but we’ve gotten a lot more powder this year than normal.”

Holli walked a little farther out into the small backyard but stopped short when a ball of snow hit her square in the chest. “Hey!” Michael’s smile was all innocence. She didn’t buy it for a second. “Weren’t you ever taught not to hit girls?”

“Yes, but snowball fights don’t count.”

“How do they not count?” He was already rolling another ball between his hands, his eyes trained on her. “Oh I see. You’re not gonna play fair.”

“I always play fair.”

“Right.”

“Unless…”

He drew back his arm, his fingers… Wait. Were those his knuckles on top of the snowball? She squinted and tried her best to focus, to see clearly. Was he going to…? Oh hell no. He was going to send a knuckleball her way? Two could play that game. One of the greatest knuckleball pitchers of all time played for the Atlanta Braves, and Officer “Pretty Boy” Hunky wasn’t about to show her up. “Unless what?”

Holli dropped down, shed her gloves for the time it took to mold the snow into the right size ball. Her fingers were so numb and cold she could hardly feel what she was doing, but it was going to be well worth it. She pinched off little bits of snow until she had the perfect size pile of powder sitting in her palm. “Unless what, Hunky?”

Carefully she laid the mock baseball down, then picked up the gloves again, making sure to pick a few pieces of fuzz off. After slipping her fingers back inside the blessed semiwarmth, she scooped up the snow baseball, packed the fuzz from the gloves into it so that it could be seen clearly, and took her stance.

“Unless it’s something I really want.”

He looked for all the world like he was waiting patiently, but she knew better. He was in competition mode, just like she was, and there was no patiently waiting about either of them.

“And then?”

“And then I stop at nothing until I get it.”

He let his snowball fly the second she drew her arm back, then shot it forward to let hers go. She moved as soon as it was out of her hand, narrowly missing getting tagged dead center of her chest. Officer Hunky wasn’t quite so fortunate.

He placed a hand over his heart. “Where’d you learn to throw like that?”

“My family, namely my grandpa and my dad, watch baseball religiously. I watch too. It’s what we do in our house every summer. Hot dogs, chips, sodas, baseball. If we aren’t at the games, we’re planted in front of the television watching them.”

“But that was a knuckleball.”

Holli grinned. “It was,” she said proudly. “How could you tell?”

“I saw the dark speck of something coming right at me.”

Her grin grew bigger. “My dad was a big Phil Neikro fan, and when he left the Braves,  dad kind of broke tradition and would watch Phil play wherever he was and when I was old enough, he taught me how to throw one. I can throw all kinds of pitches. My aim is generally way off, but well, you’re a pretty good-sized target.”

As she’d been talking, she’d been kneeling down in an ever-growing pile of snow, making snowballs. She kept her eyes on him for the most part, making sure she didn’t look like a threat, making it appear she was just playing in the snow.

“I’m a baseball fan too.”

“I didn’t see anything in your apartment for a team.”

“I’m a Phillies fan. And you’re wearing my Phillies hat.”

She yanked the hat off her head. Sure enough she was. She hadn’t noticed what was on the cap when he’d stuffed it on her. “Yuck.” She tossed it at him, then made a sour face and stuck her tongue out as though she were spitting something out. “Terrible taste. I can’t believe I had that on. If my family ever finds out, they’ll skin me alive.”

“Terrible?”

He looked so affronted she forgot her own distress, genuine though it was, and had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing out loud. “Yes, terrible. A Braves fan does not wear a Phillies hat, no matter the circumstances.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“Oh yeah, that’s exactly it.” Sarcasm dripped from her tongue and another snowball hit him square upside the head.

“Now you’re playing dirty. I wasn’t looking.”

“Me? Play dirty? No.” She shook her head. “I wouldn’t do that.” Two more snowballs flew at him, small ones that, when held together, were about the size of a regulation softball. Her aim had been his stomach but went a little south. “Oh God.”

She ran toward him as fast as the cockamamy outfit and boots would let her. The piling snow didn’t help either. He dropped to his knees and fell over, clutching his crotch. She dropped down beside him, wanting to touch him but afraid of hurting him. “Oh God, Michael. I am so sorry.” And she was. She’d been hoping to play with that part of his anatomy later, and now she’d just drilled him with hard-packed snow. “How bad are you hurt? Do you need to go to the hospital? Talk to me, say something.”

“You play dirty snowball fight,” he croaked out. He followed that with a great deal of whimpering and rolling around.

“Michael?” When he didn’t answer her and just kept mewling like a wounded animal… “Well, I guess there’s nothing else to do but hide your body.”

Holli scooped up an armful of snow and dropped it over his hips and groin area.

“What the –”

She followed that with an armful dumped on his chest and then one over his face.

“Holli.”

“Yes?”

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Burying you.” She pushed snow up against his body and packed it in tight. “You’re evidently on death’s door, what with all the dramatics. Your body should keep for a few months as long as the temperature stays around freezing. In the spring they’ll find you, and I’ll be long gone.”

He blew snow out of his mouth and shook his head against the ground to dislodge even more from his face. “You’re a coldhearted woman, Holli. I was trying to show you a good time, and you insult my choice of baseball team and then fire shots below my belt. That’s just wrong.”

“And has the snow reduced the swelling and the pain?”

He laughed, low and dark. The sound made her shiver, and for once since she’d been in the north, she welcomed it.

“No. In fact, it’s even more swollen now, and the pain is excruciating.”

Holli clucked her tongue and shook her head sadly. “I guess the only decent thing for me to do then is to put you out of your misery.”

“Definitely. I think that’s your only recourse.”

Next thing she knew, she was flat on her back in the snow, and he was braced on his arms above her. They stared at one another for a few excruciatingly long seconds before his mouth was on hers, his tongue in her mouth, his body heating hers from the inside out.

He tasted like chocolate, like a fantasy, and she kissed him with an urgency she absolutely felt. She only had him for a couple of days, just a small moment in time before life would return to normal again.

If you have some time today, take some of it and read through snippets on the following blogs:

Lauren Dane
Shelli Stevens
Leah Braemel
Jody Wallace
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
TJ Michaels
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton

Have a great weekend!

~lissa

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