Jobs. We all have them. Some of us would like different ones, some of us would like a day off from the ones we have, some of us covet other jobs, some of us even probably wish we didn’t have to have a job.
There are some of us who have jobs we love and adore and wouldn’t trade for anything, not really. It might not pay as great but all the sacrifice at some point becomes worth it. Hell, just working in pajamas is worth a hell of a lot, know what I mean?
But jobs, no matter what they are, are a necessary evil. We have bills to pay and well, for a lot of us, money doesn’t grow on trees and we would rather work hard for that money than not…
My characters all have jobs. They may not have started out having a job but they all end up with some sort of job in the end. Nor do they have the most glamorous of jobs… There are a lot of working man jobs, blue collar, doing jobs…
In Ink Spots, one of the things Jaz, the hero does, is tattoos…
Mandi sat backward in the chair, straddling the seat, and reclined so she was in a near prone position on her belly. She hadn’t planned on a tattoo for her birthday, but then she hadn’t planned on Jaz for her birthday either.
They’d agreed on her shoulder for the placement and he’d asked her to trust him as to what the design would be since she couldn’t seem to decide on anything herself. She hadn’t said she wanted to think about it, but he knew if he gave her a chance to do so, she’d likely never do it. He was so in love with ink and what it looked like on a body, on the beautiful canvas of skin, that he had a hard time understanding others who didn’t see the same beauty in it. His words.
He’d delivered on every other promise he’d given her that night, and she’d found she couldn’t deny him this. To give her something she’d have forever, something she’d always remember him by, remember this birthday and how very special and sexually awakening it was. And, man oh man, was it awakening her. She was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she was so fully awakened. She—
Behind her, Jaz chuckled. She didn’t know how long he’d been working on her, how long she’d been tense through the stinging pins and needles, how long she’d been trying to relax and breathe every time he told her to, how long she’d been riding the wet vinyl of the seat.
“You need to stay still.”
“I know. I love that you’re aroused by this.”
He slid a gloved finger under her ass to tease and stroke her. “Liar,” he whispered.
She groaned her humiliation at being caught. At the same time, there was no way she could hide it. “Maybe it’s not this that has me so aroused.”
“No doubt it’s not the only thing.”
“You think you might have something to do with it?”
“Only a few inches worth.”
It was her turn now. She giggled into the headrest her arms were wrapped around. “More than.”
Silence ensued for some minutes while Jaz worked. There was something profoundly intimate about getting a tattoo. She’d never given it much thought before obviously or she’d probably have gotten one. Though, at the same time, she’d have probably chickened out as she’d tried to do tonight.
It was permanent. It would always be there. And though she’d made the final decision, fully understanding, fully comprehending what she was doing, she wasn’t usually impulsive.
She smiled. But then, the last few hours had been anything but usual and every bit of it entirely impulsive.
Glancing around the small tattoo parlor, Mandi took in everything she could from the small bit of light coming from the lamp shining on her back.
It was a quaint shop with three mirrored stations, like one would find in a hair salon.
“How many people work with you?”
“One other full-time employee and three part-time. There’s always three people here at a time. Some tattoos take hours and I want someone to be available at all times to help other clients.”
There was a large picture window at the front of the store with the name of the business emblazoned from one end to the other. On the wall beside the front door hung a corkboard with instant pictures pinned to it. She assumed they were images Jaz or his employees had taken of freshly inked tattoos.
While she’d never been in a tattoo shop, she hadn’t expected one to feel so open and comfortable. She always thought to the uninitiated that the atmosphere would be intimidating and maybe during regular business hours it was, but right then, no.
“Why were you in jail?” Jaz tensed behind her and she turned her head to look over her shoulder. His normally open gaze was now slightly shuttered. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”
“No. It’s fine.”
“You don’t have to answer. I know it’s personal.”
“Yes, but then everything about the last hours we’ve spent together has been personal. Do you really want to know?”
“Yes,” she answered without hesitation.
“I snuck out of the house one night. I’d gotten into it with my foster dad and he pretty much grounded me. I was just barely eighteen and way too big for my britches. I went over to my buddy’s house with the intention just to hang out for a while. We were broke as shit and he wanted beer. There was only one option left. Stealing that beer and the packs of smokes all those years ago was about the dumbest thing I’d ever done or ever have done since. What really cinched it for the cops was that my buddy was packin’. I didn’t know but they didn’t care.”
“Did your friend go to jail too?”
“Yep. He got a couple years more than me and we’ve not spoken since.”
“I’m sorry.” She didn’t know what else to say. She definitely hadn’t done anything like stealing, never even so much as thought about shoplifting. She couldn’t imagine what it must have been like for him.
“I am too. I lost a few years that way, but from the second I got in to the second I got out and every second since I’ve tried hard to walk the straight and narrow. As far as illegal activities go. I don’t want to screw things up because they’re really good for me. I’m part owner in a couple of businesses, I’ve got good friends and a job I just lucked into being damn good at.”
And you’ve got me. She didn’t actually say those last words but they fairly shouted inside her head. She’d like to see him again, after her birthday. Jaz had admitted to having a crush on her, wanting her for as long as she’d wanted him, so maybe…
“You ready to see your ink?”
“I am. It’s just a little thing. I told you I wasn’t going to do anything fancy or big. Just a little reminder.”
He got up from the stool he was sitting on and offered a hand to help her up. “Let’s get you up out of that chair and over to the mirror.”
“I think I’m stuck.”
“Not all of you is stuck. Just use your legs and slide off.”
“Yes, and you’ve got a fine one.”
She smiled in spite of herself and slowly slid backward off the chair. Her inner thigh muscles were sore from being stretched and used in ways that weren’t normal for her, and she had a hard time walking without Jaz’s steady weight next to her.
He turned her around and thrust a handheld mirror out to her. Over her shoulder, in the reflection, she saw the fresh tattoo. A small white and light purple swirled birthday candle with a tiny yellow flame. Under the candle was the date and beside that was the name Jaz.
She couldn’t have been more in love with it. “Th-thank you. It’s… I don’t know what I expected, but it’s perfect.” She raised her gaze to meet his and found him smiling from ear to ear.
“I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it.”
“Good. Birthday girls should always love their birthday presents and get immense joy from them.”
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It’s been a while, yeah? I simply needed a break, but for the next few months I’m back. This snippet is about celebration. I’ll have to pull out Ink Spots for this I think… It’s the closest I have to a celebration of any kind at this time.
Mandi glanced around when Jaz pulled into the Katz parking lot. “What are we doing here? I don’t work tonight.” The lot was fairly empty save for a few cars she recognized, a few trucks she didn’t and a few bikes she’d like to get to know really well.
“No, you don’t, but… I sorta do.”
She turned surprised eyes on him. “You do? Since when did Jackie hire you back on?”
He shrugged. “It’s a special event. I won’t be working long, and when I’m done, we can go if you want.”
Uh-huh. “So let me get this straight. Jackie gives me the awesome birthday present of you and the weekend off, but then she asks you to work a special event?”
“Yeah.” He pulled into a spot in front of the building and put the Charger in park. “Feel free to take it up with her.”
“I will be happy to.”
Jaz grinned across at her and got out of the car. He was acting a little weird, and truth be told, it was making her a little uneasy. He walked around and opened her door, helping her out, and kept hold of her hand.
His palm was a little clammy and there was a slight tremble in his fingers, but when she chanced a glance up to his face, it betrayed nothing. Yeah, something was going on. That uneasy feeling was churning in her belly and she didn’t like it.
Jaz opened the door to Katz for her and followed her inside. It was dark, there was no sound, there were no people, no—
Okay, there were people. Lots of them. And lights and noise and… Her hands flew to her mouth and she took an unconscious step back and found the solid body of Jaz behind her. He wrapped an arm around the front of her shoulders and held her tight against him. “Oh god.”
Mandi’s heart skittered to a stop then picked up speed. A surprise party. For her.
Jackie and her megawatt smile had come to hug her, and Mandi wrapped her arms tight around her friend. “I can’t believe you did this.”
“I don’t know why not. You’ve never had a surprise party and, well, now you have.”
It was true. She’d never had one, and while a small part of her had always secretly hoped for one, she’d truly never expected one. Ever. “How long have you been planning this?”
“Since you said you’d come work for me for a while.”
“You couldn’t have known I’d fall for him.”
“No, I had no idea you’d rather have a badass than a buttoned-up suit, but I should have. He was just the icing on the cake, so to speak, once I realized the attraction ran both ways.”
Mandi looked in the direction Jaz had gone. As soon as Jackie had come forward, he’d squeezed Mandi and kissed the top of her head, telling her he’d be back shortly. He went off to talk to his friends and they were… She turned her attention back to Jackie. “What are they doing?”
“It’s part of your surprise. You didn’t know they had a band?”
A band? “No. I didn’t know.”
“Oh yeah. Jaz is their drummer. He’s pretty damn good too. Hell, he’s pretty damn good at everything he’s ever tried. Creative little shit. No matter what it is, he can turn it into gold. He’s got so much talent. He couldn’t sit still when he got out of jail. Between working for me and tattooing at the shop, there were still hours left in the day. Usually the middle of the night or the crack of dawn. I don’t think he slept more than a couple hours at a time.
“He came to me a few months after he got out and said he would like to learn to play the drums. I bought him his first set, which we had to have custom designed because of his size, and I guess you could say the rest is history. He started taking lessons early mornings from the local high school music teacher and after awhile, he was on his own with it. The teacher said he didn’t have anything else to teach him. Jaz had the technique. He also has an ear that can hear any beat, any cadence, and play it after only a few bars of listening to it. About a year or so ago, he and Vinter and Dallon came up with the band idea. They’re not bad for a garage band.”
“I had no idea.” He was a musician, a drummer no less. That explained a few things, she thought with an inner smile. It especially explained his coordination when he played with her body using both hands. How he could touch her with such finesse, with such precision. Just thinking about it, the way he could manipulate her responses…
Jackie was right. Jaz was a creative little shit.
“He’s been fucking nervous too.”
Jackie’s comment drew Mandi’s undivided attention. “Why?”
“Girl, he’s got it so bad for you.”
“Well, that’s no reason to be nervous.”
“I think for him it is. He might look gruff and mean, but he’s a marshmallow inside.”
A damn lusty-hot-as-fucking-hell-she-was-surprised-he-hadn’t-melted-from-the-inside-out marshmallow. “I’m not sure he’d appreciate you saying that.”
Jackie laughed. “No, probably not, but so long as only you and I know I said it, it’s all good.” She took Mandi by the hand and started walking. “Let’s introduce you to a few people.”
“Might be a good idea.”
She was summarily introduced to Elise who was Vinter’s girlfriend and Carrie who was Dallon’s. Mandi had met both Vinter and Dallon over the past few months, but hadn’t met the women in their lives. Turned out, Elise had just moved closer to the small town after meeting Vinter in his bar, or was it Dallon’s bar?
“They all own it. Just like they all own the tattoo parlor. They split it three ways.”
“Oh. Well, what does Vinter do if Jaz runs the tattoo place and Dallon runs the bar?”
The blush that covered Elise from the opening in the low-cut blouse to her sweet, heart-shaped face was priceless. And telling. Mandi couldn’t help but blush herself, feeling the heat creep up. She couldn’t stop herself from glancing around for Jaz. Her eyes locked onto his from across the room and how the hell she read what his look said, she’d never know.
He was in front of her before she caught her breath, and he didn’t even give her the chance to excuse herself from the conversation she’d been having. He had her down the back hallway and his mouth on hers, his tongue between her lips, her body hiked up the wall and her legs wrapped around him…
Damn, but he took her breath away.
“You can’t look at me like that,” he growled at her.
“Like you can’t get enough.”
“Well, I can’t, but I didn’t think that’s what that look said.”
“Trust me, that’s exactly what that look said.”
“Okay, so does that mean I can’t look at you at all then? ’Cause I’m pretty sure I always look at you like I can’t get enough.”
Jaz laughed and thrust upward slightly. Damn they both had way too many clothes on.
Now y’all please take a few minutes and visit the following blogs for more awesome snippets:
Bad Boys. At Night. Oh. My.
I have a few of those. Vinter. Dallon. Jaz. And readers LOVE bad boys…
Snippet: Simple Need
Vinter grinned again. He couldn’t help it. He’d watched her from the moment she walked in, to the moment she sat down at the bar, to the moment he couldn’t stand it any longer and he got up to sit next to her. He’d never seen her before, and while the bar attracted all sorts, the buttoned-up type of woman usually wasn’t it. He’d had innocent intentions from the get-go. He only wanted to say hello, talk to her for a few minutes, give her a friendly ear, listen to whatever her story was, because often people went to a bar for the first time because they didn’t know where else to go. They wanted to get lost in a place no one would know them and some would open up in that safe environment of anonymity.
Vinter wanted to know what had brought her into his bar, and getting her into bed had been the farthest thing from his mind. However, the second he sat next to her and she turned those big emerald eyes on him, he’d been a goner.
Lust flared in the green depths when she looked at him, and his gut twisted into a knot that slid down to his nuts and tugged hard. She tried to bank it, to mask it, but it remained steady as her eyes traveled up and down his body, lingering on the tats on his arms, zeroing in on his mouth. Hers went slack and her tongue slid out to lick her lips. He would have kissed her but he had the feeling the moment his mouth touched hers they’d be on the bar making out with him trying to get them both naked. Not that he would care.
“What’s your name?”
“Does it matter?”
Does it matter? Of course to hell it mattered. How was he supposed to whisper it in her ear as he pounded her ass if he didn’t know it? “Yes.”
“Really? Why? This is just about sex. Names don’t figure into it.”
Was she serious? It might start out as just being about sex, but he had a feeling that it wouldn’t end that way. “Trust me, names do figure into it. Maybe not tonight or even tomorrow, but by the end of the weekend, names will be figuring into it a lot.” When she stood there with her lips compressed into a thin line and her eyes looking everywhere but at him, he relented. Only for the time being, though. “Very well. You don’t have to tell me yours. Yet. However, mine is Vinter.”
Her eyes snapped up to meet his. He read relief there that he wasn’t going to press the issue. “Thank you. I just think names are a complication this kind of thing doesn’t need.”
“This kind of thing? Just what do you think this is?”
“You know, one night.”
“Huh.” He nodded once, though he completely disagreed and slid off the barstool, gesturing for her to walk ahead of him. She stopped short and had he not been paying attention, he’d have bumped right into her. As it was, he was able to catch himself just a hairsbreadth from her. When she turned around, her nose brushed his chest and she ended up being the one to stumble back in surprise. He caught her around the back of the neck only to haul her into his body.
Her breath came out on in a whoosh. “Th-the drink. Are you sure?” she panted out, her gaze locked in the center of his chest.
“I’m sure.” Vinter breathed in deep, the warm scents of fruit and spice wrapping around him. She looked up, questions in her eyes, and he smiled. “I own part of the house.”
“Oh. Okay then.”
She gave him a short, crisp nod and maneuvered out of his hold and out the door. He ignored the laughter ringing out behind him from the bartender and followed her outside into the cool night air.
She was on him in a second. The force of her launching herself at him pressed him back against the wall of the building as she pulled his mouth down to hers. Maybe she wasn’t as buttoned down as he’d first thought.
Her kiss was hungry and desperate. He hated that she’d been driven to need what he could give, but at the same time, he’d give it all and then some, grateful that he had what she needed. He was suddenly very glad that he’d stopped at the bar on his way home.
Snippet – Carnal Ecstasy
Dallon wiped down the bar for what seemed the hundredth time. Damn. Was the night ever going to end? He didn’t want to be there. It was that simple, but what he couldn’t figure out was why. He loved the bar, loved being in the bar, loved owning his third of the bar. It was his home, his safe haven, but tonight he just couldn’t muster up the love for it.
Tossing the rag in the sink, he knew exactly why he was so restless. Carrie. The woman he’d met at the grocery store earlier in the day. He’d walked out, carrying his purchases and stopped dead when he heard her voice as she talked on the phone and just stared at her. Dressed conservatively in a knee-length skirt that hugged her hips and a blindingly white, stiffly starched button-down shirt, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Her dark brown hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and all he wanted to do was pull it. He’d wanted her on her knees right then and there, sucking the hell out of his dick while he held his bags of pretzels and cans of peanuts in one hand and pulled on that ponytail with the other. And here hours later, he wanted her still, naked on the bar, with her legs over his shoulders while he ate at her pussy. He wanted her and the innocence in her eyes so much he hurt.
They spoke briefly when she’d approached him and asked for directions to her new job. She’d explained that she was new in town, knew how to find her way from her apartment to where she would be working, but that she’d gotten all turned around while running errands and was lost. As she talked, all he could see in his mind was his ass burning in hell for the outrageously impure thoughts he was having about her mouth, her tits inside a bra he figured was serviceable and not at all sexy, and the holy land between her thighs. He’d had virgins and innocents before, and at times loved being the one to pop cherries. But this particular cherry was not going to be picked by him because she worked at the one place in town he swore never to associate with again, and that included the people there. She was off limits.
What a goddamn fucking shame too.
She’d asked his name and had willingly given hers, something he could have gone without knowing because now he knew what to call out when he came later. And that was just going to make it worse. Her name on his lips, in his mind.
Dallon looked up at the clock. Thirty minutes and he could close everything down for the night. He could lock up and head upstairs, jack off to the memory of her sweet, soft self. It was probably a good thing he didn’t know where she lived or that’s where he’d be going. He didn’t think someone like her would venture into a bar, so he was safe there too, even though she’d asked where he worked and if it was likely she’d be seeing him again, how it would be nice to have at least one friend.
He’d cursed himself for telling her where the bar was at the same moment he was giving her those directions too. Resisting temptation had never been his strong suit and damned if he wasn’t tempted from head to toe by her lush body and sweet voice and dark, melted chocolate eyes.
His head shot up and his gaze landed on her. “What the hell are you doing here?” he barked.
Her eyes widened at his harsh tone and the question he’d carelessly thrown out at her. He hadn’t meant to, but he was too close to the edge. He couldn’t remember the last time he wanted someone so much. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way, I just…”
She smiled and walked closer to the bar and to him, undeterred. God help him. He flinched inwardly at his choice of word. “It’s okay. I’m sure we’re both equally surprised.”
She was so pretty, so downy and pure. He wanted to defile every inch of her flesh until nothing could ever erase the memory of him from her skin. He wanted so much but he fucking needed her to leave. “You shouldn’t be here, Carrie.” Literally, the man or woman upstairs needed to send a bolt of lightning south and strike him dead for the thoughts he was having about this woman.
“Why not? This is a bar and I want a drink.” She sat down on a barstool directly across from him and linked her fingers on top of the dark, scarred wood.
He sighed. Why not? Oh, because the kind of things he wanted to do to her would ruin him for any other woman. And he’d bet she’d never had a drop of alcohol before. “You do, huh? Anything in particular?” There’s no way he’d give her just anything. He didn’t want her throwing up.
“Maybe a beer? One of those kinds with lime. You know, from the commercials of the couple on the beach. I like lime.”
Right. Beer wasn’t a bad choice. He personally couldn’t stand the stuff, but it was milder than a whiskey or tequila or rum. He dug around in the ice chest to his right for a Corona, popped the top off with the bottle opener and placed it on a cardboard coaster in front of her. “Take it slow. Don’t take a big swallow at first.”
She nodded and picked up the bottle and inhaled. It was the cutest thing how her nose wrinkled. She tentatively put the beer to her mouth, and just before she wrapped her lips around the opening, she looked up at him and lowered it slightly. “Do you like beer?”
Should he be honest or should he tell a little white lie? “Yes, every now and then.” What could the fib hurt? Whether he drank beer or not didn’t matter. What did matter was her feeling as if she weren’t completely alone in this.
When she wrapped her mouth around the lip of the bottle and tilted it up, letting some of the smooth, golden liquid flow across her tongue, Dallon fought back a groan. She swallowed, and as he watched her throat working, all he could think of was her mouth wrapped around his dick and her swallowing his come. “What do you think?”
She took another small sip then a bigger sip, and then set the bottle back down on the coaster. “It’s hard to describe. It’s not really a pleasant taste but it’s not a bad one either.” She smiled. “I think I like it. How much do I owe you?”
“You don’t. It’s on the house.”
“Oh no, I couldn’t accept that,” she said, and reached into her purse.
Dallon reached across the bar and stayed her hand. The contact was sizzling hot. “Yes, you can accept it. It’s on the house,” he said again. He didn’t want to let go of her wrist, but he did. It was time for her to go, time for him to lock up and forget he’d ever met her. He liked being single, unencumbered. He liked one-night stands and no morning-after awkwardness. If he had her once, he’d have her again and again. Not good for his peace of mind and his carefree existence. “I need to close up.”
He didn’t know what else he should say, but she didn’t respond. She was looking around the bar, turning full circle on the stool. When she faced him again, she picked up the bottle and took another swallow. Damn, but she had a pretty mouth.
“I don’t want to leave.”
Shit. Don’t say anything. Not a word. Not a single solitary word. “You should.”
She raised her eyes to look him square in his, a silent challenge reflected there. “Why?”
Dammit. He planted his hands on the edge of the bar and leaned toward her until he could smell the beer on her breath. “Because you don’t know who I am and you don’t know what fire you’re playing with.”
She licked at her lips. He wasn’t even sure she knew she did it. “W-who are you?”
No sense lying about it or anything else now. “The devil himself.”
Snippet – Ink Spots
“Did she tell you why I couldn’t be there for her?”
And she took that moment, that one serious moment to use that tongue of hers on her fork. It snaked out and licked at a drop of the liquid sugar before it could drip back onto the plate. His dick ached painfully under the table. He had to force himself not to reach down and adjust himself. The damn woman was hell on him.
“It doesn’t bother you?” he managed to croak out.
“What? That you were in jail for a bit? No. Should it?”
She just kept licking syrup from the tines. Heaven help him. She dipped the fork in the syrup on her plate then lifted it to her mouth and slowly licked at it, front and back, repeating the process a few more times, making it really difficult to resist the urge to pull her across the table and shove his cock to the back of her throat. “You need to stop that.”
Wide eyes flew up to lock with his gaze and that damnedable blush was back. She took one more long, slow lick of the piece of silverware before putting it down. The tip of her tongue took a swipe of her lower lip before retreating back behind her teeth.
She didn’t look one bit contrite, so he wasn’t sure he believed her on that. “How many candles?” There, he was changing the subject to something very, very safe.
“It’s not polite to ask a woman her age.”
“I didn’t. I asked how many candles. You could say one, two, thirty.”
“Uh-huh.” She smirked and he winked. “Forty.”
“You’re shittin’ me.”
“You don’t look a day over thirty. Not that I’ve ever been good with guessing people’s ages, but you don’t look any older than me.”
“How old are you?”
“Well, I’m not too much older than you and Jackie is my age.”
“I know, but she doesn’t look it either, and if I had to guess her age, I wouldn’t think she’s forty.”
“Forty is the new thirty, you know.”
“Age really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me.”
“What does? And if age doesn’t mean anything to you, why’d you ask?”
“So, I’d know how many birthday swats you get. And at the moment? You. You naked means a whole hell of a lot to me.”
The last blush hadn’t completely faded before another took its place, and he couldn’t stop himself. He pushed his plate then hers out of the way and leaned across the table. His intent was to give her a small kiss, but the second his lips touched hers, his tongue was inside her mouth, tasting sweetness that had him on the brink of a whole lot of improper public displays of affection.
When he pulled back, her eyes were dilated and her pulse was visibly throbbing in her neck. Reluctantly he nudged her back down and he sat, both frustrated and pleased with himself at the reactions he could cause in her. “Can’t very well do that here in the pancake place though.”
“Then I guess we need to go.”
Her words caused his dick to jerk in his jeans and Jaz couldn’t blame it for wanting at her as soon as possible. He looked around the very busy and full-for-one-thirty-in-the-morning restaurant and lifted his hand when he spotted their waitress. She nodded and would eventually make her way over to them.
Mandi picked up her fork again and was drawing designs in the syrup with it. He could think of a lot of things he would like to do with the syrup and her body. He cleared his throat and took a sip of his water. For not even trying, the woman had him so horny, so damn ready to fuck on the table. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman had made him feel that way.
Every time he saw her at Katz, he was ready to throw down and fuck her. Right now, in the middle of a family restaurant, was no different. There weren’t really any families to speak of at the moment, but… Even he didn’t know what it was about her that had him so tied up in knots, but that was quite all right with him. He didn’t need to know. He just needed to make sure she never forgot him, never forgot anything he did to her earlier, or would do to her later. He wanted to imprint himself on her body, on her mind, eventually on her heart.
“You really don’t care about age?”
“Nope. It’s just a number.”
“Good. I have a confession to make then.”
“I’m all ears.”
“I’ve been crushing on you since my first night at Katz. I argued with Jackie when she wanted to seat you and your friends at one of my tables.”
“Why were you arguing?”
“Lust at first sight, I think. I don’t know. I saw you walk in behind Vinter and Dallon and…” She shook her head and looked away. Hell if he wasn’t going to make her finish that statement.
“I can’t say it.”
“Oh yes you can. Spill it.”
“No, I can’t.”
He couldn’t tell if she was just being a tease or if she really was embarrassed because she still wasn’t looking at him. “What do you want to do after we leave here?”
That got her attention. She turned back to him. “Ummm…you.”
“Good. I wanna do you too. But we’re not leaving here until you tell me what comes after the ‘and’.”
Her mouth dropped open for a split second before she closed it. “That’s not nice.”
“I didn’t say anything about nice.”
“You make me wetter than any man I’ve ever known.”
“Is that what—”
“Yes. I creamed my panties when I saw you. Felt them get all wet as I watched you looking around. Every other guy paled in comparison. I told Jackie I couldn’t wait on you. That I couldn’t talk to you. She just smiled and said she understood.”
“So she was matchmaking from the very beginning.”
“We need to go. Now.” And lucky for them, their waitress chose that moment to stop and drop off the check. Jaz didn’t hesitate in picking it up. He tossed a few bills down for the tip and held his hand out for Mandi. When she took it, he pulled her up against him. “And we’re even too.”
“What do you mean?”
“You give me more hard-ons than any woman I’ve ever known.”
I just couldn’t resist. Now, once you’ve fanned yourself, head off to enjoy snippets from the following awesome authors.
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Yesterday, Bethany, my editor with Samhain Publishing, offered yours truly a contract for Cowboy Justin, his girl Ella, and their book, Twisted Up.
The earliest the book will come out is December, thought it may even be January. I’ll let y’all know when I know. I have also turned in the partial of Forever in Blue Jeans, Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 3. We’ll see how she likes what I’ve got so far and if she’s interested.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say I’ve got anything new coming, but WOOT! I’ve got new stuff coming! I’m still working on the book that I will be self publishing this summer, Trouble In The Making. I will also be turning Masked, my free read, into a longer work (though not by much) and self-publishing it. After I finish Forever in Blue Jeans and Trouble In The Making, I’ll be getting back to work on Drive Shaft (Alli’s book from Stick Shift) and Too Bad (Jackie and Mac’s book from Ink Spots).
I’m working on a lot of stuff so just bear with me. It’s been a lean year for us, I know, but there will be a few things this year and then next year will be full!
Thank you to all my readers that have been so very supportive and unwavering in your loyalty. Thank you to those of you that have sent me wonderful and encouraging emails, even if some threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t get another book out. Grins… I love all of you more than I can say.(Just imagine the release party we’ll be having for Twisted Up!)
Back to work now…
Happy Saturday! I am feeling so much better. My mouth is back to normal! Grins… For those of you that didn’t read about my going to the dentist, well…nevermind.
Today’s theme is the female protagonist.
Now, I don’t write the typical female in my books. She’s usually older, she’s full-figured, she’s got an interesting or different kind of career not in a corporate high power field. She’s been through life, sometimes a divorce. She’s vulnerable, she shy at times. She’s deeply passionate, definitely kinky. She knows herself and what she wants and she’s willing to walk away from it if she thinks it’ll benefit the other person. She’s open minded, open hearted. She’s sometimes interested in younger men, and sometimes interested in men her own age. She’ll sleep with a guy she’s hot for on the first date but she’s not cheap or loose.
I read and have read enough romance and erotic romance and erotica to know I write her a little different. She’s not every man’s dream, but for the hero, she’s perfect for his dream.
So, as I think about today’s snippet and trying to decide on what female to highlight, I’m kind of struggling. Each female character has something awesome about her, has a piece of me, is strong and independent in her own way. But, I think I’m going to go with Mandi, from Ink Spots.
She’s helping out a friend. She’s turning 40. She’s got curves that go on forever. She’s independent and makes her own choices. She’s shy and hungry all at the same time. I love her.
Mandi dried her freshly washed face and looked into the mirror above the sink. She was naked save for her bra, hardly able to believe Jaz was there, standing on the other side of the room, waiting for her. She could hardly believe he’d just taken her from behind against one of the tables the other girls used to put on their makeup. She could hardly believe she’d admitted to crushing on him and that he’d admitted the same thing…
Turning forty wasn’t so damn bad after all.
“So, where do you want to get something to eat from? Here?”
Jaz’s voice curled in her belly, warm and sexy. She’d never come across anyone like him before. He was a huge brick wall of a man, covered in tattoos, looking every inch like a man who would just as soon rip someone limb from limb as to look at them if they crossed him wrong. He had good friends, a couple of businesses, and Jackie thought the sun rose and set with him.
“No, not here.”
She remembered being a little afraid to talk to him when she first met him. He looked as though he hated her on sight, but then he’d watch her intently with lust burning in his dark blue eyes. Her own reactions bothered her a little at first too. Every time she saw him, she wanted to climb up his large, solid body and never climb down. She wanted those strong arms around her, that deep voice rumbling through him into her, his lips on hers, his penis easing the ache inside her. And it all made her shy around him for fear she’d blurt out her feelings, her desires.
All that changed the minute he walked into the dressing room. He was hers for the entire twenty-four hours of her birthday. She was going to have to hug Jackie for making the move it seemed neither Jaz nor Mandi were going to make on their own.
“Then where? It’s not like we’ve got a huge selection of places that are open after midnight here.”
Mandi pulled a black sweater and a pair of jeans out of her bag, along with a new pair of panties. She always carried a duffle with her when she went to work with a change of clothes inside. Tonight she was doubly grateful for it. After snapping the jeans and pulling the sweater on over her head, she slid her bare feet into a pair of glittery flip-flops, grabbed her purse, her duffle now filled with her work clothes, her boots and her wig, and walked back out to the main area of the room to a waiting Jaz.
His gaze took her in from head to toe, stopping in the center of her chest at the v-neck of the sweater. She hadn’t put any more makeup on, just a light tinted moisturizer and a little dab of lip gloss. It really wasn’t until right then, standing in front of him for the first time without her boots, that she realized just how big a difference there was in their heights. He dwarfed her, and she inwardly grinned at the odd picture they would make being out together.
He raised his eyes to meet hers, one dark brown brow lifted in question. “Pancakes?”
Mandi nodded emphatically. “Yes. One of my favorite foods in all the world and a tradition on my birthday.”
“Well then, if it’s pancakes my birthday girl wants, then it’s pancakes she shall have.”
He stepped back and opened door for her in a grand gesture, sweeping his arm for her to walk out ahead of him. She couldn’t help or stop the smile, knowing she must look goofy with it plastered on her face from ear to ear, but she didn’t care. She also wasn’t going to touch his comment, wasn’t going to ask about the possessive word “my”. She was just going to enjoy the unbelievable reality of having him all to herself for a while when she hadn’t for a second imagined he would be interested in her.
Once in the hallway, she turned away from the noise coming from the front of the building and slipped out the back entrance to the employee parking lot. “I’ll take you around to your car and I guess… Do we want to take one car?”
“Yeah. You can leave yours back here. Jackie’ll make sure it’s safe. I’ll be your driver tonight.” He took her hand and pulled her along after him. His long legs ate up the gravel lot, and it was all she could do to keep up, in flip-flops no less, until he stopped and lifted her in his arms much as he had earlier.
“Jaz, put me down.”
“Nope. I like holding you and carrying you.”
“I can walk.”
“I know, but we’ll get there faster if I have you like this. Besides, it makes my cock happy to have your pussy so near.”
“Oh god,” she groaned. “I can’t believe you said that. Out loud. Outside.” Mandi buried her face against his neck as he laughed. The sound vibrated through her and she laughed a little too. He was different than she thought he’d be—lighter, fun, easy to be around and not at all intimidating. Although the sexual side of him, the lust she’d glimpsed and briefly touched… She wanted more of it.
“I have a feeling there are going to be a few things in the course of the next hours that you won’t believe I’d say or do or…” He pushed his face against her ear, sliding a hand down her ass and between her spread-around-his-waist thighs, cupping her and making her moan. “Make you do.”
Jaz pulled into a parking spot in front his tattoo shop. She’d never been in it, but she’d known what he did for a living. She knew a lot about him from Jackie.
Jackie. She was the absolute best, best friend a girl could ask for. Mandi would have never gone after Jaz on her own, and she had to thank Jackie for knowing that.
Mandi looked over at him when he turned the car off. “You really are turning out to be the best birthday present I could have ever wished for.”
His brows quirked up and he waggled them. He smiled and leaned over, kissing just under her earlobe. “Good. I plan to keep showing you that for the rest of the night and day. I plan to be the best fucking present you’ve ever gotten.”
Fire curled in her belly at his words, at his breath fanning her skin. For the first time since they’d gotten in the car at the restaurant, he removed his hand from between her thighs. She didn’t like it. She wanted him back.
“I’ll let you unwrap me when we get inside. Kick off your flip-flops and shuck your jeans and panties, sweater and bra too.”
“No. You can strip inside the car here then you can scurry your sexy little ass across the sidewalk to the door.”
“You want me to walk across the sidewalk naked?”
“Jaz…” she started to protest, but he wagged a finger in her face that had her biting back a laugh.
“Oh no. Don’t even, Mandi. Not with the way you got off a little while ago. Don’t even think about pulling that shy act with me again.”
“But that was different.”
He had her. He knew he had her. She knew he had her. She’d strip naked and walk proudly from the car into his shop so long as he walked with her. She’d had all sorts of naughty fantasies about him since meeting him at Katz. She hadn’t known what kind of woman he was attracted to, but she knew she wanted him. He had tattoos, and the most interesting and amazing blue glass tunnels in his earlobes in which the holes had been stretched to accommodate them. His head was shaved and he usually came in wearing baggy shorts to the knees or cargo pants and high-top Converse. Each time she saw him, he wore a different color and she didn’t think she’d seen him wearing the same pair twice. His t-shirts were always just as colorful as his shoes too. But it was his bright eyes that drew her in, his full mouth, easy laugh. His big muscles didn’t hurt either. He had the size that would make a girl feel safe, protected, adored.
He was the kind of fantasy she’d always hoped for but who never looked her way. Now he was, thanks to Jackie bringing them together all those months ago and right now, tonight.
And he wanted her to walk about thirty feet. Naked.
“Do it, Mandi. Be even naughtier and get naked for me.”
For him. Anything at all for him. She slid her feet free of her shoes and then worked them free of her jeans and panties. The sweater and bra were next, and though she probably should feel a little self-conscious about being naked with him, she didn’t. He wanted her. Curves, pudge and extra padding. He wanted her. His eyes said it. His mouth said it. His actions said it.
Right then, in the way his breath stopped and his gaze raked her body from head to toe, stopping at different points, like her breasts. The longer he stared at them, the harder her nipples became, as though reaching out for him. Every part of her was reaching out for him, wanting him, wanting his touch again.
“Ready?” He didn’t say anything, just kept looking at her.
Slowly those brilliant eyes looked up into her face. “I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than a woman so open and willing.”
“It’s my birthday. I can be and do anything on this one day.”
“More than this one day, Mandi.”
She wasn’t going to ask what he meant by that. She was afraid to. She just wanted to enjoy him for as long as she was allowed. “I’m ready to open my present, Jaz.”
He winked. “I’ll meet you at the door.”
Together they exited the car. She walked up to the door of his shop leisurely, as though her heart weren’t pounding in her chest and her pulse racing, as though she hadn’t a care in the world. She heard his car door shut and then he was there behind her, pulling her into his body, and she couldn’t stop the moan from escaping her lips.
The feel of his hard, completely clothed body while she was naked was more of a turn-on than she’d ever imagined it would be. She rubbed herself against him, and when she went to turn around, he held her tighter. “No. Stay just like that but stop moving or we’ll be fucking out here. I’m pretty sure Mac wouldn’t let me get away with that.”
“Cop on duty tonight. We need to get inside. He should be making a pass soon.”
Something about being caught teased her, but not enough to try it out right then. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her birthday in jail. The arm that wasn’t holding her against him reached out and slid the key home, turned it to the left with his wrist and slid the lock from its mooring. He nudged her inside the building and had her backed against the door with his mouth on hers.
For a split second, she wondered how this was much different than being naked outside when anyone who passed by could see her bare ass through the glass, but she quickly didn’t care. Jaz’s mouth devoured hers much as hers had done to him in the car. She couldn’t get enough of his tongue, his taste, his feel, and then he was licking a trail down her throat, the center of her chest, and when she thought he might take a nip at her nipples, he just kept going.
Jaz held her in his lap and she was curled up like a kitten across his thighs in one of the chairs used for tattoos. It was attached to the floor in such a way that they’d have to rip up the tile flooring to get the chair out. The shop had a variety of seating for a variety of positions and tattoos and now, well, he could definitely see other possibilities for them.
He liked having her in his arms. She protested more than once that she was too heavy for him, but he just laughed at that. He’d held her more tonight than he’d ever dreamed he’d get the chance to in one lifetime, and they both knew she wasn’t too heavy for him. She might not be the long-legged skinny pole dancer or the short tight-bodied bartender, but she wasn’t fat. She wasn’t anything other than perfect for him. He knew fucking her wouldn’t break her, that he could be on her body and it not hurt her. He was hard and she was soft, and he couldn’t think of wanting her any different than the way she was.
And yeah, even though she had hips, a bigger-than-a-size-eight ass, big tits and a slightly rounded belly, she was incredible to him. She was made the way a woman was intended to be…full and curvy. He didn’t want to see his lover’s bones or rib cage. He didn’t want to feel caverns and hollows under her skin when he held her. He wanted to feel flesh, soft and giving. He wanted to feel her weight on his body, letting him know his woman was there.
Mandi was all that and more, and once he’d convinced her to settle in his lap, she’d found comfort in his arms the way he’d always imagined a woman might, the way for six months he’d imagined she might.
“Do you enjoy working at Katz?”
“It’s been okay. I’ve been able to help out my friend and try something new for a while. It’s the first time waitressing for me. I’ve found that the lower cut the shirt is or the higher hem of the skirt, the better the tips.”
He unconsciously tensed under her. “How long are you going to keep working there?”
“Why?” She licked his chin and sank her teeth into it, just enough for him to feel the edges. “Jealous?”
“Not a bit.” Just a tiny white lie. He had no problem with her dressing in a skimpy outfit while she served food. The problem he would have was if someone else touched her, fondled her, insisted on meeting her outside work. But she and Jaz, they weren’t there yet, and for all he knew, after today was over, they wouldn’t ever be there.
And he wasn’t going to think about it. “No. Just curious.”
He stroked her hair, sifting his fingers through it, letting it fall back down against her naked shoulders. She smelled of sex, of him, and he liked it. A lot. He wanted to coat her body in his come, rub it into her skin, become a part of her inside and out.
Okay, so maybe he was going to think about it. But only a little.
“I have a boutique handmade jewelry business. I started it a few years ago when handmade things started coming back in popularity. Working at Katz has allowed me to build my business online with a better web presence, and I now have some steady work coming in. A lot of people like custom work, custom designs.”
“Do they design it or do you when they want custom?”
“Sometimes me, sometimes them. I’ve met a few really good, independent designers and artists at trade shows who help me out when I need it. Working for Jackie has paid the bills, and she even had me design some custom chains for nipple rings.”
“Did she now?” He wouldn’t mind seeing Mandi’s nipples pierced with a pretty chain hanging between them, one he could tug on until she gasped from the mingled pain and pleasure.
“Yes she did. Some of the dancers and waitresses and even customers have given me business I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It’s been a good experience.”
His hand rubbed her arm, her shoulder, her hand, down the side of her neck to the top of her chest. He caressed her and she mewled just as a little kitten might have purred at the attention. She relaxed deeper into him too, and though he wasn’t sure she was aware of the move, he was. Her weight was now more even between his chest and legs. Her hip pressed into his cock, and if she noticed the way it nudged her, she didn’t let on. That was fine with him. He liked this. There was no pressure to have sex again, but they would. A ton of it. Until well past dawn. It was enough though, in those moments, in the dark of his shop, to sit with her, learn about her, connect with her in other ways.
“Other than the chains, what do you make?”
“Hmmm. Most just want earrings, bracelets, normal things, but made just for them. I’ve done a few chokers, necklaces.”
“Can you make other things?”
She was teasing him with her fingers, running them up and down his side, his shoulder, his arm, his hip. She was exploring him. He knew because she hadn’t once looked up at his face. She was so focused on his body, on touching him, feeding her crush on him.
She’d tugged more than once on the barbell in his nipple, sending a jolt straight to his cock, and she’d given a lot of silent, almost reverent attention to the tattoos on his shoulder and chest. He had no doubt she’d give the same attention to the ones on his back if she could reach them.
Her crush on him. Damn but that was so unbelievably hot. It made his heart race and his mouth unable to stop smiling. The sex with her was intensified by the crush they shared on one another. It was something he couldn’t remember feeling for anyone else, but then the Mandi he’d known for all this time wasn’t exactly the same Mandi he held in his arms. She was more and she was knocking his entire world right on its side.
“Like nipple rings? Belly rings? Tunnels for ears?” Even as he said the words, he wondered if she would ever get her nipples or her bellybutton pierced. Or…her clit. He had to bite back a groan at that thought. He knew she wouldn’t do something like body piercing to make a statement but rather because she’d simply want it. He didn’t imagine Mandi did anything she didn’t want to do. But she’d be even more scorching, smoking-hot with piercings. Her already sensitive nipples and clit would become even more so.
“I suppose I could. There’s a glass bead making series of classes being offered in a few months that I want to take and a metalsmithing class coming up too. Right now I just embellish, add to and enhance. I take wire and shape it. I add to chains and links. I use beads and crystals, but I want to actually learn how to create more unique designs, my own signature designs. And the more I learn how to do on my own, the more custom pieces I can make for people.”
As she talked, her face became animated and her eyes brightened. She had that same spark, that same fire for her art that he had for his. “I understand. I’m the same way. I’m always wanting to know more about tattooing, about the new technology in the business, about new ways to make the ink come to life. I don’t want it to simply sit on the skin, I want it to move, to reach out and grab you.”
“Kind of like 3D?”
“Yeah, exactly. A whole new dimension of art for the body. Some people can do it already. I’ve got some contacts with artists who can, so like you, I’ll be learning new things to give my customers more custom work.”
Her eyes became serious then. They were still animated but had turned serious and heated. “Maybe…”
She licked her lips and Jaz bit back yet another groan. She pressed herself closer to his body, though how she could get any closer was beyond him. She was already so deep under his skin… “Maybe what?”
“Maybe we should consider working together some.”
What kind of heroine touches you?
Don’t forget to check out the following authors and their blogs of snippets:
Have a great weekend!