Excerpt from Animal Heat

Vampyre Falls: Animal Heat by Adrianna Dane

Animal Heat

Hot. Hard. Handsome. And dangerously ravenous–for Rainna Spaulding. Rainna knows there’s something different about Treynor Black and if she could just keep her hands off him for five seconds she might find out what it is. But two seconds  in his company and she’s overwhelmed by the most intensely lustful, searing heat she could  imagine, and commonsense is not on the menu. So what if he likes his meat rare and his rendezvous at midnight during a full moon. She could handle it. He had secrets, well so did she.

And then she meets his brothers, Carson and Donovan. Talk about turning up the heat to scorching. Who were these brothers…or maybe she should ask what were they?

 

An Excerpt from Animal Heat (Wolf Pack, Bk. 1) (#MFMM, #multiples, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #darkfantasy, #paranormal)

“Well, look who’s finally up and around.”

She whirled around at the deep voice coming from the doorway behind her. Flashbacks to the man who had broken into her cabin assaulted her. She backed up against the counter when she realized it wasn’t Trey standing there, but a stranger. Tall, with a clean shaven angular face, dark, wavy hair that brushed at his broad shoulders. Where Trey’s eyes were a pale blue that were almost transparent, this man’s eyes were the deep fire of sapphire jewels.

“Who are you?” she asked. “Where’s Trey?”

He took a step into the room and closed the door behind him. Something about the way he did it made Rainna feel like she was being cornered. She slid to the side, tryin

g to move farther away from him. She frantically searched the room and saw there was another door leading to the outside quite near where she stood. Was it locked? At least she had another way out, unlike back at the cabin.

When he gave her a wolfish smile, his white teeth gleamed in the dying light filtering in through the kitchen window.

“There’s no need to be afraid of me, Rainna. I’m Trey’s pack brother.”

“His brother?”

His stare burned straight through her, and she found herself getting lightheaded and unable to move. Her body was responding in an altogether unexpected, sensual way that wasn’t right. This was Trey’s brother, not Trey.

He stepped closer to her. His scent was very similar to Trey’s, and obviously she was having some sort of reaction to it. This was definitely not right, yet she felt hers

 

elf drawn to him and helpless to deny the earthy attraction. It had to be because of her weakened condition after the attack.

“Yes, you might say that.” He was now close enough to touch her and he did just that, stroking her hair. It was a gentle touch as he petted her and then cupped her cheek. She found herself wanting to lean into that touch, to kiss the palm of his hand, to run her tongue along the callused flesh and to suck his finger into her mouth. Her heartbe

 

ats grew more rapid. His heady scent wafted over her and her pussy began to leak her juices, almost the same way it did when Trey was nearby. She clenched her thighs together, hoping to stem the reaction of her body to this man. Where was Trey?

He wound his hand in her hair and gently pulled her toward him. She couldn’t seem to resist him. Dropping his head, he inhaled loudly and then let out a satisfied breath.

“Ahhh, it’s been a long time. You wear his smell well.”

“Wh-what do you mean?”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been this close to a human female. Our female wa

 

s killed you know. Well, actually she was Carson’s mate, but we all cared for her. She belonged to all of us.”

She didn’t understand his words, wanted to ask questions, but the heat was already beginning to rise. He reached out and unbuttoned the top button on her shirt. And then another one. She held her breath, her body tightening, readying itself. She felt the familiar animal heat shoot through her, claiming every inch, demanding attention, and release, just as it did whenever she was with Trey, needing him to fuck her.

She fought against its control. She wanted Trey, not this man. She knew it in her heart. In her mind.

But her body didn’t seem to care what the rest of her wanted. It was responding to the touch of him. The familiar scent so much like Trey’s. And the smell of his lust.

She swayed toward him as the last button came undone and the shirt was suddenly puddled at her feet. He reached out to tweak her hardened nipple and she gasped at the intense sensation of pleasure-pain that erupted inside her. She felt herself opening, yielding, even against her better judgment.

It was the deep, familiar, rumbling growl coming from the doorway that awakened her from the heated trance-like state. Her gaze broke from his and arrowed toward the

 

doorway. She screamed and backed away, almost stumbling over her shirt that was tangled around her bare feet. The man reached out to steady her and looked around to see what had upset her.

She was shocked when she heard him laugh when he saw the big black wolf with bared teeth standing in the doorway, its pale blue eyes trained on the man holding her.

Purchase Animal Heat where fine ebooks are sold.

Universal purchase link: https://www.books2read.com/u/478Wq8

Natural – Word Drops

Word Drop of the Day – Natural

Being in accordance with or determined by nature; of, relating to, or operating in the physical  natural_63universe as opposed to the spiritual world; being neither sharps nor flats; one having natural skills, talents, or abilities…

intrinsically, instinctive, primal, essential, fundamental, original, native, raw, artless

 

 

Discreet inquiries at the hotel had gotten him no further personal information. If Casper wanted to find out something, he was going to have to get it directly from the man himself. Lando didn’t play poker with the other guys. He didn’t go out after work to any of the bars. He didn’t stay for the holiday parties for more than an extra moment or two. He seemed to be a very private kind of person, with a certain natural charisma that drew people to him, no matter what his position was. His sharing was discreet. Like his wardrobe. But looking at the car Lando drove, Casper knew there were depths yet unexplored.  —Love Me Tonight

Excerpt from Immortal Treasure

ImmortalTreasure_sm

Immortal Treasure by Adrianna Dane

Immortality demands a high price…

Khafeelamtek, First Vizier and Caretaker of the Secrets of the King, has been awoken one last time by the sun god, Ra, to perform an important task. His reward for successful completion will be peace in the afterlife–something he has coveted for millennia. But he did not count on becoming so quickly, and deeply, attracted to the lovely Dr. Cassandra Linsey, an Egyptologist and Linguist, who also happens to be the person selected by the gods as the caretaker of the secrets he must share.

Khafeel has five days in which to gain Dr. Linsey’s trust and reveal the existence of the mythical province of Niveka. Complicating things and adding a particularly irritating thorn in his side is the appearance of the beautiful, spoiled Sahrametatiri, twin sister and royal wife to the king, who has been awoken by Bast, to assure that Khafeel succeeds in his mission.

What should have been a simple chore of revealing proof of the existence of Niveka and thereby obtaining immortality for their ancient, doomed city, and achieving the long-sought peace in the afterlife for himself, has culminated in the painful realization that the most rare and precious treasure he has ever known must be abandoned…and there is nothing he could do to change their destinies. Or is there?

 

An Excerpt from Immortal Treasure (#fantasy, #MF, #eroticromance, #Egyptian gods&goddesses, #contemporary)

 

Had his mind left his body somewhere over the last centuries? This woman attracted him like no other of his own time. Why that was, he had no idea, except that he’d been without a woman for far too long.

Khafeel reminded himself that he needed to gain her trust. That’s all this was about. To learn more about her and make her comfortable with his presence.

Could he deceive himself that way? He studied her as he handed her the glass of chilled red wine and sat next to her at the table in the darkened corner of the smoky bar. He breathed in her scent, so different from the women of his time. Their scent had been dense and musky, meant to sexually arouse, and hers was clean and simple, reminiscent of sunshine and summer wind.

She didn’t wear the heavy cosmetics that were so popular with the women of his city. Yet, the small sandy freckles that covered her face and arms were very seductive, and he was consumed by the urgent desire to taste each one.

He sipped at his wine. He knew why Zyphir had chosen her. Isadora’s hair had been the color of mulled wine, dense and lush. He was certain the red hair had drawn his attention first. But unlike Isadora, this woman’s hair, though also red, was the color of an autumn sunset, vibrant and fiery, with sparkling energy.

“What is your name?” he asked her. Even though he already knew it. It might make her wary if she thought he had prior information about her.

He caught a movement from the corner of his eye and turned his head to look up at a narrow shelf over the bar. Should he be surprised? He saw the shadow of a feline curled and watching, almond-shaped topaz eyes glittering in the half-light.

What was Sahra doing here? What did she expect to see? Didn’t she have enough to occupy her without spying on him? His gaze locked with hers, silently commanding her to disappear.

Slowly, the speckled cat uncurled, rose to its feet and stretched, then delicately leapt from the platform onto the end of the bar. As Kahfeel watched, it daintily stepped onto a barstool and then leapt to the floor, sauntering through the doorway as though she had every right to be there.

“Did you see that cat? I didn’t know they allowed animals in here.” Kahfeel turned his attention away from the cursed animal.

“I wouldn’t worry about it. It was probably a stray that wandered in through the front door. I’m sure someone will whisk it back outside.”

“Oh, I wasn’t worried, just surprised. It was actually quite a beautiful cat. I’ve never seen one before with that unusual speckled coloring.”

Sahra was unusual all right. And a pest.

Kahfeel leaned forward. “Your name, bright one?”

A blush of delightful color stole into her cheeks. “Cassie. Well, really it’s Cassandra, but everyone calls me Cassie.”

“Cassandra. It is a beautiful name, for a beautiful woman.” He tipped her head so he could look into her eyes. Bright emerald orbs glittered in the light, and reminded him of the lush ferns and palm trees of a desert oasis. “Do you know what I would like to do to you right now, Cassandra?”

She wore no lipstick, yet her bare, rosy lips tempted him to taste her. To him, she needed no enhancements—she was perfect as she was.

“N-no,” she whispered. “What do you want to do?”

This was not how it was supposed to go, but he couldn’t help himself. As he watched, her lips trembled and parted, her tongue darted out to trace a glistening path along her lower lip. It was too much to resist. He lowered his head and claimed her sweet taste, delved with his tongue into her hidden moist depths.

Ah, what sweet, passionate ambrosia.

He pulled her closer to him, felt her soft curves crushed against him as he lingered to sip leisurely at her seductive mouth, tasting succulent woman and fragrant wine.

He felt her hands inch upward along his back. His cock hardened against his leg, thickened with the desire to sink inside her moist, slippery channel. He’d never been so tempted by a woman, but this one was like no other he had known.

When they separated, the look she offered him was heavy with passion and, curse the gods, he knew he must have her.

“You have a room here, Cassandra?”

Purchase Immortal Treasure on Amazon

Also look for the accompanying story, Jewel of Niveka.

Insight into Keelan

Insight into Keelan, from Morganna’s Sacrifice.

Most days I do morning writings. And sometimes these writings give me insight into a character in one of my stories. And sometimes, even though I’ve written and published the story, the characters won’t leave me alone. Such is the case for Keelan and Morganna. And this is one such morning flash writing that came about regarding Keelan.

I use images to inspire and I begin by describing what I see, which soon enough morphs into something entirely different. Keelan was not in my thoughts as I started writing, but he entered soon enough. these are truly stream of consciousness writings that sometimes relate to a story or world that I’ve already created, and sometimes it brings about something new, leading to a longer story later. I usually start with a lot of questions – sometimes they’re answered, sometimes not. But then they might be answered later at the oddest moments.

Keelan and the Celebration

A raven sits atop his shoulder, eyes of red. the man with long hair cries tears of blood as he cradles a Venetian-like mask. He wears a black poet’s shirt. He is elven and has pointed ears and long sharp fingernails.

Perhaps he is Morganna’s lover, the vampire elf. why is he sad? Blood droplets  mark hiMorgannasSacrifices  chest. Yes, that is who he is, and he is caught up in his warring thoughts – the needs of his two very different lovers that at times like this tear him in two different directions.

Has there been a masquerade? Perhaps a night of celebration as he and Daffyd, the vampire he serves, recall how each  escaped from Romulus. Romulus, their hated sire.

Keelan is with Daffyd now. He cries for all he has lost because of Romulus. The appetite he’d left Keelan with. The need for a special kind of  pain, which now only Daffyd can provide, because Daffyd had taught Keelan how to survive, how to derive pleasure from the pain he now craved.

He wishes he could be the man Morganna had once loved, but that dark eleven boy exists no more. Romulus had seen to that.

As much as Keelan loves his beautiful fairy lover, Morganna, he needs Daffyd. Daffyd, his vampire lover, his partner in the dark arts. Daffyd, who knows how to draw out the exquisiteness of the pain to a sharp, needful edge and make Keelan beg for more. And once they are both satisfied, Keelan will go to Morganna to be healed, to be loved. And as much as Morganna accepts these truths about Keelen, it doesn’t stop the guilt he experiences each time he must leave her side when Daffyd summons.

Daffyd calls to him from across the room. With hesitation, Keelan sets the mask aside. He stares off into the darkness thinking of the what-might-have-beens if he had never left the fairy realm in search of adventure in the human world. Daffyd calls again, his voice more insistent this time. Keelan turns to face him. He feels the pull of need, his skin eager for a demanding touch. Keelan will submit as he always does. There is no help for it. His appetite is far too fierce, his need too great, as is Daffyd’s.

He thinks of Morganna as he crosses the room to Daffyd, shedding his clothing as he goes. Morganna, his light. He holds out his arms, and Daffyd affixes the iron bands to his wrists, then his ankles. Keelan closes his eyes.

His Morganna will be waiting, but now, in this moment, it is Daffyd who commands his every attention and will quench his need. The blindfold is set in place, and all is darkness.

 

Read more about Morganna, Keelan, and Daffyd in Morganna’s Sacrifice now available on Amazon.

 

 

 

An Excerpt from Trailmaster Phelix

TrailmasterPhelix_Ep3_sm

Brotherhood of the Midnight Pearl, Ep. 3: Trailmaster Phelix. Now available on Amazon.

 

Island paradise hardly describes the erotic secret man-society Alonzo has entered…lust, love, passion, submission…possession…

There’s danger in the initiates becoming too closely acquainted. After a night of passion, Trailmaster Phelix arrives to change the balance. He’s been watching them and now he has an eye for Alonzo in particular. The jungle may not be the only challenge awaiting Alonzo…

 

An Excerpt from Trailmaster Phelix:

The Trailmaster’s firm hand clamped onto Alonzo’s jaw and tilted his head back. Flinty gray eyes that reminded Alonzo of forged iron looked down at him from a very great height. A flash of sunlight changed the color, suddenly reminding Alonzo of the barred cage at Wetham’s private club.

Just for you, Alonzo.

Wetham’s ghostly voice whispered inside his head. He heard the sharp clang as the door to the cage was closed, shutting him inside. The click of the steel lock, imprisoning him securely. The laughter of the men as they clinked glasses.

“So. You are Alonzo,” the Trailmaster said. “I’ve heard of you. You were much desired at the ceremony the other night. So much so in fact, that it’s said one of the Ancients had to have you.” Eyes focused on the sand, Alonzo said nothing. There was no question in that statement that required his response.

For you, Alonzo. Just for you.

“Well, we shall see just how amenable you are. That is what they call you, right? Amenable Alonzo?” The Trailmaster dropped his hand away, but he did not order Alonzo to join the others. “I am Trailmaster Phelix. You will address me as Master Phelix at all times. And you will follow every order I give you without question. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Master Phelix.”

“For this trip you shall serve as my…personal servant. You will track me, stay at my side, a step behind, serve my meals, attend to me in all ways. I’ve chosen you instead of one of the others because if I’ve judged right, your submissive nature will keep you in line without an inordinate amount of discipline. You’ve served men before, haven’t you? And not just common men, but gentlemen.”

More wine, boy. Fill our cups.

Alonzo, his legs manacled, the clink of chains rustling filling his ears, had served the gentlemen, filling each cut-glass, gold-rimmed goblet with the expensive wine. The chains, forged and fashioned in the ironworks owned by one of the fine gentleman, banded his wrists, grinding together as he moved to each man. His cock bobbed free as he shuffled from place to place.

Wetham’s specter, like some demon, constantly rode him, ever at the forefront of Alonzo’s mind. A collage of the other men, Wetham’s friends, marched across his memories.

Trailmaster Phelix, Ep. 3 of the Midnight Pearl Brotherhood

Now available on Amazon.

Saved for Inspired Thought

I have a page of quotes in my bullet journal. I use it to capture those quotes that inspire thoughtful consideration. One for my memory page.

In the largest sense we find only the world we look for.

–Thoreau

It applies to life, it applies to writing and reading, it applies when I’m out with my camera photographing nature. My personal perception colors everything I see, from minute to large. As a creative, I don’t always see things the way others see them. It’s a quirk.

mushroomhalo-2648
Backyard fairyland

An excerpt from Jewel of Niveka

JewelofNiveka_smJewel of Niveka, now available for preorder on Amazon

Bastet plays matchmaker to Sahrametatiri as a reward for her eternal service.  But Sahra doesn’t think she’s ready for love or trust.  It isn’t the powerful Queen of Niveka Ben Solomon wants–it’s the desirable woman he made love to in one night of sizzling sexual desire.

 

Excerpt from Jewel of Niveka

 

“Wake up, Ben Solomon. Wake up.”

He heard the velvet, accented voice through a fog of dreams. Had he been asleep longer than he thought? Was it morning already?

“Who’s there?” he mumbled as he righted himself in the chair. Damn, he must have been exhausted because he’d been deep into la-la land. Then he saw the vision in front of him. “What the hell?” He rubbed his eyes, but the image didn’t fade. “This can’t be right. I must still be asleep.” The statue of Bast that had been resting on his desk now apparently stood before him, full of life.

“No, Ben, you aren’t asleep. I have come to give you a message.”

He straightened in his chair, wary of what he was seeing, knowing that he must still be asleep. There couldn’t be any other explanation.

“I am Bastet and I know you recognize me. I have come with a message. Zyphirasesammon is sending you a gift. It is the jewel of Niveka that he places into your keeping.”

“What are you talking about? What jewel?”

“This jewel is very precious to him. He has determined that you are the one man to understand its value and to treasure it as it deserves. You will understand how to handle it.” She held up a length of delicate gold chain. “To aid you, he sends this necklace which will bind the jewel to the earth. Only the person who places it on the jewel is able to remove it.” She laid the glittering necklace on the desk. “It will halt her shapeshifting abilities. Use it wisely, Ben Solomon, and care for this jewel well.”

Ben looked down at the chain and then back at Bastet. “Why me?”

“You have been chosen by the gods of Egypt. You alone can satisfy the need that lies in the heart of the jewel. You alone will make the jewel shine brightly once again.”

She began to shimmer and Ben jumped to his feet. “No. Wait. You can’t leave yet. Where is the jewel? How will I recognize it?” Was he nuts? The goddess wasn’t real. It was just a dream.

“You will know her. She is the crown jewel of Niveka who has walked through eternity alone. Her gift is love and only you can free her to shine brightly. Use this time well. Zyphir, the god-king, has spoken.”

And then she was gone. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, and then walked around the desk to where she had stood. He leaned down and picked up some sort of gritty, glittering substance. It looked like gold sand. He then walked over to the window and opened the blind to find the beginnings of a foggy morning about to emerge. He turned back to look at the desk and the chain was still there. What the hell had just happened?

*          *          *

Sahra sauntered into the room toward the dais where Bast waited.

“What is it this time?” she asked. “Another tomb to unearth? Who is it now?”

Bast studied her with her usual haughty I-am-Goddess look. It was one Sahra had practiced herself when she had been young, so she was untouched by its use now.

“The artifacts from your tomb will be on exhibition at the Solomon Museum in the United States. You will go there to watch over them.”

Sahra huffed. “Why me? That sounds like an extremely boring assignment. Isn’t there anyone else to handle it?”

“You are the one to accomplish this task. Only you are…intimately…familiar with the contents of the exhibition. It must remain intact. There are many who would try to steal from your past.”

“Isn’t there someone at the museum to take care of this?” A look of impatience crossed Bast’s face and her whiskers twitched. “All right, all right, I’ll handle it. When do I have to be there?”

“The exhibition will arrive in two days.”

“Well, at least that gives me some time for myself. I can get an idea of what’s available to keep me entertained.”

“Don’t get into trouble,” Bast admonished her.

Sahra opened her eyes wide and batted her long lashes. “Who? Me? I’m here to serve, aren’t I? I do what you tell me.”

Bast nodded regally. “Just accomplish the task.”

Sahra bowed and backed away. “As you wish, Goddess.” She then pivoted and, turning around, and leisurely walked out of the temple audience room.

There had to be something more to this immortality than what she had experienced over the last millennia. It had come to a point where there seemed no purpose to what she did. Of course, that one task when she’d had Khafeel to watch while he contacted Cassandra Linsey wasn’t bad. That was sort of interesting, especially when it was her own tomb that was to be discovered. Finally, these mortals would know about Niveka and its people.

There were times when she simply felt invisible. Well, actually she was for the most part. Why had she ever accepted this immortality stuff anyway?

Because she thought she might have a chance at finding out what this emotion called love was all about. But after all this time she still didn’t have a clue. Oh, she’d had her share of men, but not a one that she’d wanted to keep. There were times when she felt like the cat she shapeshifted into, always on the prowl and never satisfied. But the human side of her wanted something she wasn’t sure she was meant to find or to ever have.

Another task, another city. She truly was becoming weary of it all. Khafeel had managed to find the love of his life, why couldn’t she?

Preorder Jewel of Niveka on Amazon, releasing December 12th.

 

 

 

Today’s Pin of Interest

Always looking for interesting images to spark my muse. This is one I added this morning to my “Eyecatching” board on Pinterest.

Love that intense look. He might do well in my Vampyre Falls shapeshifter series. I’ll have to ponder more on that. He has a good look for Donovan, the third brother. Currently working on his story, “Raw Moan.” Donovan’s story is currently a work in progress.

The pack had found some measure of rhythm over that last year or so. Rainna, who was skilled as a nurse and they’d discovered had a healing touch, now assisted Morganna, the faerie healer, in serving the medical needs of the community. Petra, Carson’s mate, hunted on occasion, but usually handled the organizational and financial matters for the family. Rainna and Petra together managed to keep the house running quite efficiently and got along very well, considering Rainna was human and Petra was shifter by virtue of an experimental operation that had tied her to the pack in an altogether unforeseeable and monstrous way by government machinations. One might say Carson and Petra’s mating was certainly fate.

Donovan, in wolf form, scented human–government assassin. But there was a more prevalent scent of blood than he would have expected. He also scented death. He proceeded with caution knowing never to trust the tricky nature of an assassin. The site that met him as he rounded some thick undergrowth startled him and almost dropped him back on his haunches.

It was a she–white as snow, covered in blood. Her fangs were bared as she stared down at the corpse of the government tracker. She nudged the body with her muzzle, then seemed satisfied. And then suddenly, right there, she shifted to human form. Her scent wafted over Donovan. And something about it got beneath his skin, bore into him and without consciously calling for it, he shifted to human form as well.

But still he hovered at the perimeter of the small clearing where carnage was scattered across the ground. The woman knelt there, her oddly colored long hair tangled and covering her face. She knelt on one knee, the other leg curled beneath her, hunched over, clutching her knee. Her hair, so pale a platinum it looked like a dense fog, yet jet black intermixed with the white. She looked like a ghost and Donovan had to wonder if he was seeing things and if there was some conjurer of magic nearby.

Cautiously, he stepped into the clearing. For long moments, she didn’t move. Within several feet of her, she finally lifted her head. Her face was spattered with blood and Donovan could now see a wound in her side leaking a far too steady stream of blood.

An Excerpt from No Choice

NoChoice_smNo Choice – Available December 19th

 

Back in high school she dated both Mason and Derrick, two best friends, and rather than making a choice between them and taking a chance on destroying their friendship–Ginnie had chosen to leave town.

Now her old Mustang has broken down in front of the garage they own and she’s going to be confronted by a choice she couldn’t make back then. She’s about to be faced with an unexpected revelation–one that could change everything and offer her a chance to snuggle into the very position where she truly yearned to be.

 

An Excerpt from No Choice

…He stopped on the landing and she almost bumped into his hard abdomen as he turned toward her. She found herself staring directly at his belt, and just beneath that the evidence of a very hard erection bulging against the zipper of his jeans. She remembered the feel of that thick shaft—she remembered it very well.

Only self-control stopped her from licking her lips and reaching up to feel the cock that had given her so much enjoyment in the past. He turned her on now no less than he had seven years ago, and, in fact, it seemed more so, as she had ideas of ripping his clothes off right here on the landing and asking him to fuck her.

She couldn’t do that, of course. She was a mature businesswoman, not a teenager any longer. Back then, the minute he parked the car out at Overlook Cliffs she was all over him like hot chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream.

“I—uhhhh—can’t wait to see him,” she managed to mumble. He stepped back to allow her room to ascend to the landing beside him. Stepping up, she joined him, her body responding with all the passion of remembered teenage trysts running rampant through her mind—and her body.

They stood there staring at each other for moments that seemed to stretch on and on. “We missed you after you left for college. We thought sure you’d come back, but you never did.” He stroked the side of her face. “You’re just as pretty as you ever were. More so. The years look good on you, Gin. Real good.”

“I-I meant to come back, but things came up. You know how it is when you’re a teenager.” She was stalling, not wanting to tell him the real reason she hadn’t returned.

He lifted her left hand and stared at her bare fingers, then his gaze again rose to hers, questioning. “No rings? We thought for sure you’d be married by now.”

“No. No marriage, no engagement, no steady.” She lifted his hand and smiled. “And you?”

He grinned. “Nope, free as a bird. Mason, too. Guess we never found the right woman. Nobody who could measure up to you.”

He was silent for a long moment as he looked past her, as though seeing into the past. “We were going to come see you at the beginning of your sophomore year in college. But then we thought it might not be a good idea. You’d have come home if you’d wanted to be with us.”

Us. She knew he meant him and Mason. Oh, she’d wanted to see them all right, but they would have wanted something from her she couldn’t give them. They’d have wanted her to make a choice, and she just couldn’t do it. She hadn’t wanted to give up either of them.

Mason was Derek’s best friend, almost a brother—had been since the time they’d entered kindergarten. They were both on the football team. Derek had sable hair with lighter, caramel highlights and Mason had the summer-streaked blond. Mason looked more like he belonged on a surfboard, and Derek—well, he belonged on a windswept mountaintop. They both loved the outdoors and shared a passion for working on old cars. The last time she saw them, they were in their own sophomore year at college, and sharing an apartment. They had always been inseparable so it was no surprise when she heard they’d gone into business together. Mason’s dad had decided to retire and had sold the station to the two of them. She really shouldn’t have been surprised.

Preorder No Choice on Amazon.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑