Sneak peak at my upcoming BDSM novella that is part of The Club series…
I waited on him. It was my job. Or one of them. I owned the shop, both bookstore and café, so my jobs were numerous and unending. I could have let someone else, the only other someone else who was in the café working for me wait on him, but I didn’t want that. I wanted to wait on him. I wanted to serve him the cup of coffee, black with one ounce of heavy cream, no more and nothing less. I wanted to be the one who set it in front of him, who received his smile and nod of approval, his satisfied sigh. I wanted all that.
I wanted none of it. I didn’t want to need that feeling deep down in my soul that I’d pleased someone, him, only him. I didn’t want to feel anything again. Not for a man like him. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I’d vowed it, sworn it, done everything but write it in blood. But he walked in three months ago and I knew. I fucking knew in my gut there was no turning back. Not when he looked at me like that. Not when the corners of his lips tilted up or the desire lit his eyes when he saw me.
I was lost and he found me when I didn’t want to be found. Not ever again.
“Will that be all?” I asked the question each time I brought him coffee. And each time, he gave me the same response.
“No. I would like you to sit with me.”
I was running out of ways to say no. Truth was, I had run out of ways to say no the very first day I met him. I knew the questions he would ask and he knew the answers I would give. “Thank you, Sir. I can’t.”
I quickly bit by tongue. All the words were the same with the exception of Sir. It slipped out, unwarranted and unwanted and completely perfect. I hadn’t used the term in years. I promised him… I sighed inwardly at the lie. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t use it ever again. Not with anyone.
He smiled over the rim of his coffee cup and it lit his eyes in a way that caused my thighs to squeeze together, my belly to roll with need, and my palms to sweat. I knew he wanted me, and I knew I wanted him, but this was more than simple lust and my saying of the word Sir, admitted it to both of us.
“Why do you always say that you want me to sit with you?” I had an inkling of an idea, but until he said it, it was just that, an idea. However, once he did, it would be real, as everything was when spoken aloud.
It was something I’d always known, deep down inside, but had never thought about until that January day five years ago. If they didn’t speak the word, it couldn’t have been real, so I avoided them, the people and the word, existing in denial as long as I could. It hadn’t been long enough when I emerged and let it sink in.
He was and I wanted to be.
But now, there’s a new, different him when I never expected there to be, when I never wanted there to be, and he’s here every day, sipping my coffee, and wanting me to sit with him.
“Because I want to know where you go when you get that far away look in your eyes. Because I like looking at you and seeing one of your rare smiles. Because I want you to ask my name. Because I want to know what happened to him.”
My heart lurched in my chest and my throat threatened to close off all air from my lungs. I grasped the edge of the table to keep myself from falling. He reached out but I stumbled back before he could touch me.
I loved my name on his lips, even as I hated him knowing my name at all. To hear it uttered with concern, as though he cared, nearly broke me. “H-how do you know about him?” I whispered the question around the thickness of my tongue and through my dry lips.
The Club. I closed my eyes and moaned softly. The words evoked so many powerful memories and desires. The room spun and my world tilted. I’d forced myself not to think about The Club, not to remember its existence. For years, I drove out of my way so I wouldn’t be anywhere near it, so I wouldn’t be tempted.
“They had no right.”
“They didn’t. I saw the pictures on the wall. I did ask, once. I was told you were no longer owned, but for any more answers than that, I would need to ask you. I was also told I likely wouldn’t get very far.”
“But that’s why you’re here.”
“I’m here because I saw a woman in some pictures that I couldn’t get out of my head. I’m here because it was insane for me to want a woman I didn’t know. I’m here because I wanted to see you in person, to see if my reactions would be the same, to see if I would still be enchanted with more than a picture on a wall.”
He was too young to use words like enchanted. I wanted so badly to smile, to enjoy the fluttering going on inside my body at his admission to wanting me, whether he knew me or not. I wanted to revel in the very real fact that I wasn’t dead inside.
But I couldn’t. That would be a betrayal and I couldn’t do it. Saying Sir had been bad enough. Giving in to the pleasure of being wanted, even if I was the only one who knew, was another kind of betrayal altogether.
“I think you should go.”
“I think you want me to stay.”
Coming January 26th!
The familiar itch to keep riding had been absent for several weeks after Gus met Bex, but ever since the wolf had shown up with all his theories and troublemaking, it was back. The desire to run as far away as he could get. Only, he couldn’t do that. Not now. He was in deep and leaving Bex behind was out of the question.
She was his home.
And he wouldn’t let her fight alone. He didn’t trust anyone to keep her safe better than he could.
He took a sharp curve, then another, and another. With each climb through the mountain pass, Bex clung tighter to him. Her thighs gripped around the hips. Her hands clasped at his t-shirt. But she didn’t tense. She wasn’t scared or frightened on the bike with him. She trusted him and he’d never betray that.
So, he’d stay. He’d resist the urge to run from his adoptive family, from the pain of the past being dredged up, from the tethers of falling in love with Bex. He’d resist it all and he’d stay.
Only, he didn’t know how to fight through it. He’d never had to. He’d always just picked up and left.
When the bike reached a stretch of road that was somewhat flat and straight, Gus took one hand off a handlebar and used it to cover her hands, linking their fingers. She calmed him. From the moment they’d met, she’d touched something inside him and the first time he touched her, peace unlike anything he’d ever known flowed through him.
He’d been scared ever since.
And none of it made sense to him. He was content to go with the flow, to take it however it came. But ever since the wolf, Luke Blackwood, had shown up, all Hell had broken loose and not only was Bex’s quiet life disrupted, but everything from her past and Gus’s past was coming back to haunt them.
He eased his fingers from hers and resumed holding onto the bike with both hands as the curves ahead came into view.
Bex leaned into him and laid her head on his back.
She was comfortable with him. She was at ease with him.
She’d never been scared of him, but she had been curious about him, something he’d relished. He’d been interested in her from the start. Her smile made him ache. Her body made hungry.
She had no idea what she did to him.
He knew for someone like Bex, trust didn’t come easy. She didn’t have many friends, no family left, had a sketchy coming into the world. She was naturally wary, but she was strong. And faced with what had been presented to her in recent weeks was more than any one person should have to deal with in a lifetime. She wasn’t who she’d always thought she was.
But she was who he needed her to be.
The winding country roads brought him freedom. Being out and away from the closeness of a family who didn’t really belong to him usually made him feel at one with nature, at one with who he really was. A bear. A shifter. A lover of the outdoors. An artist. The forests and the mountains were his inspiration for the art he used to express himself and that he used to help others find ways of expression through ink.
Bex relaxed against his back as he began to decelerate the closer they got to Dandridge. He loved it, the way she put her faith in him. As he turned down the side street that led to the Victorian house they were still in the process of renovating into her bed and breakfast, he scented the wolves, first. Blackwood must’ve left them behind. He also scented the bears of his adoptive family, namely his adoptive mother.
Bex gripped his shirt and lifted her head when he parked his bike. Her thighs didn’t ease their grip on his hips. Her arousal was strong, the way it always was when the wolves were around. It was the craziest damn thing that he scent of them made her angry and horny and aggressive.
If he hadn’t been on the receiving end of her horny aggression, or seen the split second shift from mild to angry aggression, he wouldn’t have believed Bex capable of it.
“She’s cooking,” Gus said, speaking of the woman who’d raised him as her own. He took his helmet off and hung it on the handlebars.
“I smelled it about a mile out,” Michael remarked as he mirrored Gus’s actions with his head gear.
“I can’t smell it. What’s she cooking? Anything good?” Bex swung her leg over and slid off the bike.
“She’s frying fish. Catfish.”
“Trout,” Gus countered.
“Nope. Catfish. It’s my favorite.”
“What does it being your favorite have to do with anything? She’s here at our house. So, it stands to reason that she’s making my favorite.”
Bex shook her head and took the back steps up to the kitchen door. “You two are pathetic.”
“They are,” Mama Bear agreed. “They’ve always argued about food. Especially fish. And sweets.”
“Other than fish, what are you making? Smells like hamburgers.”
“Yes. Hamburger steaks. The wolves didn’t want fish.”
“Why does it matter what they want?” Gus asked, elbowing Michael in the ribs. “Catfish. Told ya.”
“There’s trout too, you big baby.”
Michael grinned and hugged his mother. “I knew I was your favorite.”
There will be more information for you soon about a new set of Southern Shifter books coming in early February from some awesome paranormal romance authors, so stay tuned.
I’m in the process of writing a second Southern Shifters novella for Eliza Gayle’s Southern Shifters Kindle World. I don’t usually drop everything else, or push other things back in order to work unexpected stories in, but this werebear did better than any other paranormal I’ve written, so while it was still doing fairly well, I figured I’d give in to the urging of readers, and Eliza, and The Blackraven, and try to get one out…
September 17th will be the next one… That’s right around the corner. Next week. ACK!
Did you read the first one? Ink To Bear? Here’s a little snippet for you, if you didn’t…
Bex shifted her weight from one foot to the other. Her orange canvas sneakers were bright in the pre-dawn light compared to her companion’s black motorcycle boots, the same one’s he’d been wearing the day before. His shirt had changed from black to a deep, dark espresso brown. The pair of jeans he wore were loose on his hips and threadbare. She wanted to lick him up and down and she wished she looked even a fraction as sexy as he did in jeans and t-shirt.
That’s all she’d brought with her to Bryson City, but hers didn’t do the justice for her body the way his did. She traveled light and hadn’t brought anything fit for riding a motorcycle while wrapped around Gus.
She probably shouldn’t let her mind travel down that particular road either. She’d wanted him so much just a few hours ago and when he’d teased her, but said it wasn’t the right time… No. She wasn’t going there at the moment. There were more pressing things she needed to focus on.
Like the fact her life was changing rapidly. So much so, she hadn’t had a chance to catch her breath. Maybe she didn’t want to. Maybe she didn’t want to stop and think about what she was doing. If she did —
“You seem nervous,” Gus remarked, interrupting her thoughts. She was grateful.
“You’re observant.” It was apparent she was also a smartass.
“Prickly, too.” His offhand remark did exactly what he knew it would; make her smile, in spite of herself.
“Are you sure I’m going to fit? There doesn’t seem to be room for me,” she said. Midnight blue fenders. Handlebars that were low in the middle like a U and wide at the top. Bags on the side that weren’t leather like those she’d seen on other motorcycles. No, these were hard plastic or something. She didn’t know anything really about motorcycles, not enough to be able to distinguish one from another other than cosmetic differences.
Gus’s was beautiful. All shiny chrome, black leather, and that shade of blue that would match the sky just as it shifted to black.
The dashboard… Was that what it was? Like in a car? The speedometer and other gauges looked old fashioned and fit the bike, but if she knew Gus, they were probably more high tech than what they seemed at face value.
She was consistently surprised by him.
“You’ll fit.” It was all he said as he attached a small seat to the back of the bike, bringing her back to the conversation. She’d been so lost in looking at the bike, that she’d almost forgotten her concerns. He turned toward her, a helmet in his hand.
“You came prepared.”
“You never know when there might be a damsel in need of assistance.”
She smirked and took the headgear. “Run into a lot of those, do ya?”
“Not one I’ve ever used the seat and helmet for.”
“I should consider myself special, then?”
“Without a doubt, pretty girl.”
Bex smiled at the endearment. She settled the helmet on her head and fumbled with the strap beneath her chin until she got it snug enough to not fly off. “Good thing I’m not vain enough to worry about having helmet head.”
“No one would care anyway.”
She scrunched her face in displeasure. “That’s not nice.”
“Not what I meant, but if it makes you feel better, I care. I care so much I’ll probably be unable to look at you after you remove the helmet. Happy?”
Bex did her best to keep from laughing, but her best wasn’t good enough. “You’re a jerk,” she said, in the midst of her laugh and shoved at his shoulder.
“Nah. Just a shifter trying to make you happy.”
Now, you should go grab the book, if you hadn’t before, so you’ll be ready to read the next one next week!
Let me tempt you with the books I’ve read over the last 3 days… Because I’ve read 5 of JM Darhower’s books since Sunday night and I’m on a 6th one. I happened up The Mad Tatter and haven’t been able to stop reading. This is a rare thing for me, for books to capture me so completely. And to be unable to stop. To continue reading from one author, moment after moment. (more…)
April 15th. Tax Day. We all dread it. I’ve already paid my taxes. We always have to pay. Ever since I started working for myself, we’ve had to pay taxes. Living in a state with a state income tax just adds to the fun. NOT. (more…)