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Author Archives: Olivia

About Olivia

New York Times best-selling author of Erotic Romance that rocks. Most known for the Sinners on Tour series, Exodus End World Tour series and the One Night with Sole Regret series which are all about rock stars. Or check out the Lovers' Leap series for something a little different.

Hot Ticket – Chapter One

Hot Ticket – Chapter One

Hot Ticketfrom Hot Ticket

by Olivia Cunning

©2013

Within seconds of meeting a man, Aggie could assign him to one of two lists.
List A: Men Not Worth My Time.
List B: Men I’d Like to Fuck.
List A grew in length every hour she worked at the nightclub, Paradise Found. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had landed himself on List B. That might explain why Aggie dropped her bullwhip when he caught her attention. Whoever he was. Potential List B strode across the floor as if he owned the place. He had that stereotypical bad boy look—leather, tattoos, and a giant chip on his shoulder—which was contradicted by the sweetest face she’d ever seen. When he took a seat at the table closest to her stage, he leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs at the ankle, as if he planned to stay for a while.
Interesting. And entirely fuckable.
Sipping his beverage, Angel Face gazed up at her with an odd gleam of challenge in his dark eyes. Something about him had her instantly thinking naughty thoughts. Only half of them involved inflicting pain on his tight body. Oh, the guy was a looker, no denying that, but that wasn’t his main appeal. Strange thing was she didn’t know what set him apart from the other nightclub patrons. Perhaps
she needed a new list just for him.
Temporary List C: Men I Can’t Instantly Label. She had no
doubt that this list’s only assignee would quickly land himself on List
A. In no way would she ever consider a customer List B potential. It
didn’t matter how attractive he was.
Aggie retrieved her bullwhip from the stage floor (how embarrassing)and cracked it next to Hottie’s cheek. He didn’t flinch. His body tensed, but not with fear. From the slight gasp he emitted and the flutter of his lashes, she could tell her threat turned him on.
Most men liked to watch Aggie’s routine from the shadows and think they could take her abuse. Trying to show their toughness, they chose the dominatrix in leather to entertain them at Paradise Found, but few sat within striking distance of her bullwhip. Not that she’d actually hit anyone at the club. If a man wanted her to punish him for being born with a Y chromosome, he had to pay extra.
Aggie drew her arm back and lashed her whip at the new arrival’s
cheek again. The leather snapped centimeters from his skin. She was satisfied when he didn’t flinch this time either. Oh Lord, he’d be fun to break. It had been forever since she’d had a real challenge in her dungeon.
He stared directly into her eyes as she danced closer. He looked
quite young—midtwenties, maybe—but he had eyes wise beyond his years. She’d bet he’d seen a lot of tragedy in his life. Many of those who sought her for release had.
The young man beckoned her closer with a crooked finger. Surprised, she arched a brow at him and glanced at Eli, the bouncer who stood near the stage. She wasn’t supposed to discuss her side business at the club. As far as her coworkers were concerned, Aggie’s dominatrix routine was entirely an act. Later, when she moved to the floor to interact with customers on a more personal basis, she would
slip her card to potential slaves, but her stage set wasn’t over yet. She needed to concentrate on her dancing and not daydream about making some tough-looking übercutie her bitch.
Aggie hooked her leg around a silver pole and twirled around it, her long, black hair flying out behind her. When she stopped, she found the guy had vacated his chair and was standing against the stage at her feet. He pulled a bill from his back pocket and held it out to her between two fingers. Hello, C-note. Mama needs a new pair of boots.
Holding onto the pole with one hand, she leaned toward the customer, offering the tops of her full breasts to his view. His gaze shifted to her bare skin, and he drew his tongue over his upper lip.
Usually, one guy looked as mundane as another to her, but she took in every inch of this one, from his heavy black boots to his spiked platinum blond hair. Dark eyes. Dark eyebrows. Dark beard stubble. The hint of a tattoo revealed itself above the neckline of his T-shirt. A studded leather band adorned his right wrist. He looked hard and tough, yet saccharine sweet at the same time. A hell’s angel, heavy on the angel. She wondered if his beard stubble was an attempt to cover up that undeniably cute face of his.
He slid the bill between Aggie’s breasts and into the bodice of her black leather bustier. As his fingertips brushed her skin, her nipples tightened. Totally unusual reaction for her. Customers typically gave her the heebie-jeebies when they touched her. This one had all her systems set to go. The small silver hoop in his earlobe caught a strobe light. Aggie gnawed on her tongue, wanting to nibble on his ear instead. She did have a thing for ears.
Um, wrong answer, Aggie. Customers were never fair game for action in the sack.
“Do you do private dances?” he asked, his chocolate-brown eyes locked with hers. His voice was deeper than she’d expected and so quiet, she wouldn’t have heard him over the throbbing club music if she hadn’t been leaning so close.
“You mean like a lap dance?”
“If that’s what you do. How much?”
“Fifty bucks.”
He handed her another hundred. The guy must have had a good day at the casino. He didn’t look rich. He wore a plain white Tshirt, worn black leather jacket, and snug blue jeans, which clung to the huge bulge in his pants. Well, hello there, big guy. She was glad she wasn’t the only one thinking her next dance should be the
horizontal mamba.
Aggie, pull yourself together, woman. He’s a customer. No can do.
Oh, but she so wanted to. Do. Him.
His gaze lowered to the floor, and he flushed. “Do you offer other services?”
Whoa, buddy. Brakes engaged. “I’m not a prostitute, if that’s what you’re asking.”
He shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I want you to hurt me.” He drew a deep, shuddering breath into his expanding chest. “Hard-core.”
Oh yeah. Can do, sugar.
Aggie glanced over at the bouncer again to make sure he wasn’t watching her side transaction. Eli’s attention was on the far stage, where Paradise Found’s newest dancer, Jessica, a.k.a. Feather, was dancing in her white feathers and silk scarf. Men were mesmerized by her. Even though Jessica had a fantastic body and knew how to move it, she simply didn’t have the right mind-set to be an exotic
dancer. None of the drooling men who surrounded Feather’s stage with slightly bulging eyes and excessively bulging flies would agree with Aggie’s opinion. All they saw was her beautiful outer package—not the severely broken heart within. Aggie saw it though. She’d recognized it the instant she’d met Jessica and helped her land this job. Poor lamb. So confused and conflicted.
Aggie returned her attention to the guy at her feet. She didn’t have the same sympathy for men. “I do indulge for a price,” Aggie told him, “but no sex.”
“I don’t need sex.”
She nodded. He wasn’t new to this. Which made him so much more fun than her usual victims. She had a few regulars who visited her dungeon, but most of her customers were guys visiting Vegas who wanted to explore their darker sides for a night. She never saw most of them again, which suited her just fine. Many dommes preferred regulars, but Aggie would rather turn over a quick buck and avoid growing fond of one of her submissives.
Her current interest’s body held tension in every line. When he glanced up at her, the deep emotional pain in his gaze made her belly quiver. Yeah, blondie, you’re exactly the challenge I need right now. “I can work you over, angel, but not here. I’ll slip you my card later, and you can call me. If you’re lucky, I’ll show you my dungeon.”
He shuddered, his breath coming out in an excited gasp.
Maybe she should take him backstage and give him a taste of what she had to offer. He looked ready to explode with the strain of containing his pain. He needed the release she could give him. And she needed to see him grovel at her boots so she could dismiss him as not worth her time. The sooner he joined the thousands of men
on List A, the better.
Aggie dropped down on her knees on the stage to continue dancing as she talked to him. “When do you need this?”
“As soon as possible.”
“I think I have an opening in a few days.”
“Tonight. I’ve got money. Name your price.”
Name your price? He was definitely speaking her language, but making him wait would do half her work for her. She ran her bloodred, pointed nails down the side of his neck, leaving light scratches in their wake. “I’ll check my calendar and see if I can squeeze you in. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day.” She was eager to raise welts on his flesh and hear him cry out in pain. Wanted the ultimate prize he would gift her: begging her for mercy, begging her to stop. That sweet instant he gave her all of his power and she owned him. That’s what she wanted. What she needed to keep herself elevated from that deep, dark pit she’d once resided in. But it was too soon to indulge him. He’d attain greater fulfillment if she put him off a few days. Let the anticipation settle into his body and his thoughts until he could think of nothing but the delicious agony she promised.
A commotion on the other side of the room drew her attention.
Eli, Aggie’s bouncer, darted toward Feather’s stage. Some big, goodlooking
customer had captured Jessica in his arms. She was wrapped in a leather jacket with her arms trapped helplessly. Several bouncers were trying to secure her release. Several others were escorting some tall, thin guy out of the club. A third guy standing next to Jessica’s captor shook his head in disgrace. All three customers had a similar look to them. Like they were in some rock band or something. Come
to think of it, the cute guy at the end of her stage had a similar appearance. A matching set. She looked down to find her potential good time had vanished.
“Motherfuckers!” her blond angel yelled as he launched himself onto the back of one of the bouncers.
~~~
When Jace saw that a bouncer was dragging Sinners’ drummer, Eric, toward the exit, he didn’t think, he just acted. All thoughts of the beautiful, black-haired dominatrix and what glorious things she could do to his body fled his mind.
Jace raced across the club, hurdled a chair, and landed on the bouncer’s back. He knew he wasn’t big enough to take him down, but Jace could fight. If things had turned out differently, he might have become a professional boxer, instead of the bass guitarist for a rock band.
He didn’t mind an occasional brawl—he was good at fighting and knew how to knock a man out in one punch—but Jace wasn’t even sure why they were engaging with a bunch of bouncers at Brian’s bachelor party. They were supposed to be celebrating, not stirring up shit. Eric had better have a good reason for making eight club bouncers pissed enough to hit anything that moved. As the fight moved to the sidewalk outside the club, it escalated. Jace took out a couple of guys with one punch, before pausing to assess the situation.
Tall and wiry, Eric was putting up a fine fight, but was outnumbered
four to one. Surrounded on all sides with no way out, Eric unexpectedly pointed to the sky. “Look, the Flying Elvises!”
All four bouncers stared up at the dark sky like turkeys in a hailstorm. When their attention turned skyward, Eric crashed into one of the bouncers at waist level, trying to escape the circle of muscle, but as soon as they realized there were no parachuting icons to entertain them, all four bouncers pounded Eric in rapid succession.
Jace decided to even the odds. Two uppercuts and a couple dozen jabs later, two more bouncers lay on the sidewalk: one out cold, the other attempting to rise, but failing to regain his equilibrium.
Eric wiped the blood out of his eye, his surprised gaze shifting from the human debris at his feet to Jace. “Jesus, little man, you’re a one-man wrecking crew.”
Distracted by Eric’s compliment, Jace found an unexpected fist against his jaw. Pain radiated up the side of his face. His ears rang. Vision blurred. The pain he didn’t mind, but the jar to his senses left him unbalanced. He took another hit to the jaw before he could focus well enough to knock his adversary out with one hard punch under the chin.
Breathing hard, Jace spun and saw some guy whack Sinners’rhythm guitarist, Trey, in the back of the head with an aluminum bat. Trey hadn’t even been in the club when the fight broke out. Why had he been targeted? “Fuckin’ queer,” the bouncer growled.
Trey dropped to the sidewalk, instantly unconscious. Eric went after the fucktard with the bat, yanking the weapon out of his hands, and tossing it into the road beyond the sidewalk.
“No one.” Eric punched the guy in the face. “Calls him.” Hit him again. “A queer.” And again. “Ever.” Eric continued to pummel the guy until he stopped getting up.
Their lead guitarist, Brian (when in the hell had he joined the fray?), had a one-on-one fight going with the last bouncer standing. The two of them went back and forth with blows down the sidewalk. Brian took a hard fist to the nose, which pissed him off enough to take the guy down with a couple of quick punches.
Jace took a deep breath. Glad it was over. Now maybe he could finish his whiskey and make that appointment with that hot-as-blue-flames dominatrix. Sinners’ vocalist, Sed, burst out of the club. Apparently, he’d gotten tired of the stripper he’d captured off the stage and was ready to fight. They could have used him earlier. Sed was huge. A bodybuilder who would have made a good bouncer had
he not been gifted with a voice from the heavens. Sed glanced around, looking for someone to hit, but every bouncer was already down.
Unfortunately, so was Trey.
Sed crossed the sidewalk in two strides and bent over Trey. Sed took him by both shoulders, lifted his torso off the ground, and gave him a gentle shake. Out cold, Trey’s head lolled loosely. “Trey? Trey! Trey, open your eyes.” Sed glanced at Eric. “What the fuck happened to him?”
“That douche bag whacked him in the back of the head with a ball bat.” Said douche bag was groaning in the middle of the sidewalk. Eric had made a mess of the guy’s face.
“What the fuck?” Sed eased Trey down to the sidewalk, dropped to his knees, and put his ear to Trey’s chest. “His heart’s still beating. He’s breathing.”
“Well, duh. You didn’t think he was dead, did you? He isn’t even bleeding.”
Brian staggered his way back up the sidewalk to join them. He massaged the knuckles of his right hand, his dark brows drawn together in an angry scowl. “Damn it, Eric, why do you always have to start shit?”
“It was Sed’s fault. He’s the one who grabbed Jessica off the stage.”
Jace’s gaze swiveled toward Sed in astonishment. Jessica? Sed’s fiancée who’d dumped him almost two years ago? Small world. Jace hadn’t recognized her without clothes.
“Who cares who started it? It’s over,” Sed said. “Let’s get the fuck out of here before the cops show up. I doubt Myrna will want to bail Brian out of jail on their wedding day, and then there’s the concert tomorrow. Kind of can’t miss it.”
They probably should have thought about that before they messed up their hands, faces, and bodies in a brawl that seemed pointless now that it had ended. While a world record contender for the Shortest Bachelor Party Ever, Brian’s last night as a single man had definitely been one to remember.
Jace glanced at the club’s door and released a frustrated sigh. He hadn’t gotten that wood-inducing dominatrix’s card, and he so needed to see her in private. Fighting tended to release some of his tension—that’s why he continued to box for recreation, even though he had a better gig in a rock band now—but getting in a bar fight didn’t sooth his soul’s turmoil. Not in the same way being whipped to the limits of his tolerance by a woman in spiked heels and black leather would.
Sed scooped Trey off the sidewalk, tossed him over one broad shoulder, and headed to the pink ’57 Thunderbird parked at the curb. The sound of sirens grew increasingly loud.
“Jace, let’s go!” Eric shouted.
After one last look of longing at the club’s swinging doors, Jace climbed on his Harley, waited for Eric to settle down behind him, and then followed the car back to their tour bus behind the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Surely someone would report their vehicles. There were plenty of witnesses to the fight. Every member of his
band was probably screwed. Busted. In huge trouble. Their manager, Jerry, had told them if any of them were arrested again, not to bother calling him. He refused to bail them out. He also threatened their stage crew with immediate termination should they lend their aid. Jerry didn’t make idle threats.
When Jace pulled to a stop behind the tour bus, Trey stumbled out of Myrna’s car and leaned against the fender. At least he was conscious now. Jace rocked the bike back on its kickstand, shut off the engine, and went to check on Trey.
“You all right, man?” Jace asked.
None of his bandmates were what Jace would consider tan, but Trey looked downright ghostly.
“Yeah. Just a little dizzy.” Trey pressed on his temples with both hands. “Fuck, my head hurts.”
Brian leaned out the driver’s window. “Get back in the car, Trey, and we’ll take you to the hospital.”
“Fuck that. You know I hate hospitals. Why do you think I never followed in my father’s footsteps?”
“Because you’re too dumb to be a doctor,” Brian said. “Now get back in the car.”
Sed unfolded his six-foot-four frame from the little car. “Listen to Brian, Trey. Get back in the car.” He grabbed Trey by the shoulders and tried to force him.
Trey pulled out of his grasp. “Eric’s bleeding all over the fuckin’ place, and you aren’t threatening to take him to the hospital.”
Sed shrugged. “Whatever. It’s just Eric.”
“Thank you very fucking much for your concern, Sed,” Eric said. “Really. Appreciate it.” From the gash on the side of his head, blood continued to drip down Eric’s face and onto his black T-shirt.
“Do you need stitches?” Jace asked.
Eric’s brows drew together. “Do you?”
Jace shook his head. “I’m not bleeding anywhere.”
“And why is that, little man?”
Jace shrugged, shifting his gaze to the ground to prevent Eric from recognizing that he’d managed to push his buttons. Again. He just couldn’t win with Eric. Ever. And he respected him too much to knock him on his ass. Jace took a deep breath and released it slowly as he stared at the ground. He took a lot of shit from Eric, but if that’s what he had to do to stay in this band, he’d continue to take it. Nothing else on this whole fucking planet meant more to him than these four brilliant musicians.
“Sed, give me your sunglasses,” Brian said, now standing in their little huddle and waving a hand at Sed.
“What the fuck do you need sunglasses for? It’s almost midnight.”
“Just hand them over.”
Sed retrieved his shades from his jacket pocket, handed them to Brian, and then took a deep breath. “Okay, I’m going in. Myrna is going to kill me for letting Brian get his ass kicked the night before their wedding.”
“I didn’t get my ass kicked.”
“You’ve looked better, my friend. Trust me on that.”
Sed headed up the tour bus steps, followed by Eric.
“You sure you’re okay, Trey?” Jace asked.
“Yeah. I just need some ice.” Trey fingered the back of his head and winced. He followed Eric up the steps, only veering slightly to the left.
“You go next,” Brian insisted of Jace.
Jace grinned at him. “Afraid of Myrna?”
“Hell, yeah, I’m afraid of Myrna. I hate arguing with her. She always wins. And she has every reason to be pissed at me. Who wants to stand at the altar with a guy who has two black eyes?”
Jace’s grin widened, and the warmth of embarrassment spread across his face. “Myrna does. She loves you.”
Brian took a deep breath. “I hope you’re right. God, I can’t get that ring on her finger fast enough. Okay, Jace, go. Sed’s probably broken the news to her by now. I need multiple obstacles in her path, and I don’t think she’d actually hit you. She thinks you’re the sweet one.” Brian almost choked on his laugh.
Jace had never given Myrna a reason to think otherwise.
“Everything will be okay. Just grovel.”
“Grovel?” Brian looked reflective for a moment, and then nodded. “Can do.”
Jace climbed the steps to find Myrna, still wearing her business suit and looking all prim and proper, when she was decidedly not prim and proper by any stretch of the imagination, fussing over the cut near Eric’s temple. Eric ate up every minute of her concern. He had a little, make that big, crush on Brian’s woman, so any attention she paid him made him giddy and stupid. Trey was searching the freezer for ice. Sed stood next to the dining table looking like he’d robbed a bank.
It didn’t even take two minutes for Myrna to put Brian in his place. She was conscious enough of the lack of privacy to take their argument to the bedroom at the back of the bus, but even with the door closed, Jace could hear Brian’s groveling. He was doing a fine job by Jace’s estimation, though Myrna still didn’t sound too forgiving about her fiancé’s matching black eyes.
Jace rubbed his swollen knuckles, wondering how he was going to play the next night. He couldn’t let himself get into any more fights. If he hurt his hands, Sinners would undoubtedly get rid of him. He didn’t want to give them a reason to fire him from the band.
Not after he’d worked so hard to become a part of it.
Sed retrieved a bottle of aspirin from the bathroom and grinned as he handed it to Trey. He nodded toward the thin bedroom door.
“I guess they made up.”
No more sounds of Brian groveling. Just the unmistakable cries of ecstasy that Myrna produced on a very regular basis.
Trey laughed. “Who can stay mad at Brian?” He swallowed several pills and passed the bottle to Eric.
“I’m glad they made up,” Eric said, holding a bloody dish towel to his temple. “I’d have felt terrible if she called the wedding off.”
“You should feel terrible,” Jace said, staring at the floor, as he knew his gaze would hold a challenge. Through all the lessons his father tried to teach him, keeping defiance out of his gaze had never stuck. “You started the whole thing.”
“Well, I didn’t ask for your help, little man, now did I?” Eric said.
Nope, he hadn’t. Jace should have stayed out of it and let those bouncers rearrange Eric’s face.
Jace pursed his lips and nodded slightly. He left the bus without a word, not in the mood for another confrontation. Not with Eric. The man who had no idea how much of a positive impact he’d had on Jace’s life. If he’d thought of Eric as anything less than his hero, he would have punched him in the face years ago.
Jace climbed on his Harley, secured his helmet, and started the bike. The engine roared to life beneath him. The freedom the sound represented instantly brought him peace of mind. He headed off, not really knowing where he was going, but his thoughts had settled on a black-haired beauty with a whip. That woman was exactly what he needed.
He wondered if she was still at the club. He needed to pick up that card she’d promised him and make an appointment for her perfect abuse.
Immediately.

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Wicked Beat – Chapter One

Wicked Beat – Chapter One

Wicked Beat

from Wicked Beat

by Olivia Cunning

©2013

Rebekah adjusted the pillow beneath her older brother’s head. She smoothed the blanket over his lap. Plucked a stray hair from his hospital gown and flicked it onto the powder-blue carpet. Shifted his arm into a more natural looking position at his side. Licked her thumb and rubbed at a spot of mustard near the corner of his mouth.

Wincing, Dave turned his head, trying to escape her spit bath. “Will you knock it off, Reb?”

“Sorry,” she said. “I’m just nervous. Are they really coming?”

“Of course they’re coming. They’re back on tour next week and haven’t fired me yet.” Dave scowled and clutched at his blanket with one hand. He could almost grip it tightly now. Rebekah wavered between pride and despair when confronted by how far Dave had come since his accident and how far he had left to go in his recovery. “And they are never going to go for this plan, Reb. Never. Never.”

“I’ll just be filling in for you temporarily, Dave. Until you can go back on tour with them. You’re unquestionably the best front of house engineer on the planet, and you’ve come up with the perfect solution for their dilemma. They’re not going to fire you.”

“They don’t really have a choice, Reb. I can’t continue as their FOH if I can’t reach my soundboard. And even if I could reach it, there’s no way I can adjust the sliders fast enough to keep up with the band during a live show.”

“But you will, Dave. You just need more time to recover. I can work your soundboard until you’re ready to go back to work. I’m happy to help you out.” In reality, he was helping her as much as she was helping him. No metal band wanted to hire a female live sound engineer. Dave had warned her before she started school. Told her she’d be stuck mixing pop music at mall concerts. She’d been determined to show him otherwise, but so far, determination had gotten her a long way toward nowhere. If someone would just give her a chance, she could show them that a woman could be just as metal as a man.

“I know how much you want to help, sis, but I don’t think they’re going to agree to this. You’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up, not expect to land a job with one of the biggest bands in the industry straight out of school.”

Heart sinking, she sighed. Tried not to pout too much. She knew he was right, but

patience had never been Rebekah’s greatest virtue. Actually, patience didn’t even know where she lived.

“But I will do my best to make them see that this is a viable solution,” he said. “That you’re good enough to take my place.”

She smiled a make-big-brother-feel-like-a-superhero smile. “Really?”

“Just don’t be too disappointed if they say no.”

It would crush her. She worshipped Sinners and every note of every song that had ever been produced by their talented hands, fingers, mouths, feet, and any other body part they used to create music. In college, Rebekah had done her capstone project on Sinners. It had been proclaimed brilliant and propelled her to the head of her graduating class. Dave smiled at her, his gaze moving from hers to her recently dyed hair. He cringed.

“Has Mom seen your hair?” he asked.

Rebekah grinned and smoothed her platinum blond shoulder-length hair with one hand. She’d recently dyed the under-layer cobalt blue. Since she’d regrown hair, she liked doing things that brought attention to it. Strange how being entirely bald at twenty-four would do that to a girl. Besides, Rebekah had always loved putting her mother into apoplectic fits, even if it meant being subjected to regular exorcisms. “Do you think she’ll like it?”

“Um, no.”

“Good.” She giggled. “So are all the band members coming to visit you?” Her heart thudded with excitement.

Dave grinned at her. “Will Trey be with them, you mean?”

Busted. She sorta had a panting-lust-thing for Sinners’ rhythm guitarist, Trey Mills, and Dave knew it. Probably because every time she talked to Dave, texted, or emailed him she always asked how Trey was doing. Dave would always tell her who Trey was doing instead. It had not managed to decrease her interest even a little. On the contrary, Trey’s long list of conquests had made him more intriguing. Rebekah was sure he could teach her a thing or two in the bedroom, and she was sorely in need of some attention in that department.

“I’m not sure if Brian’s back in town yet,” Dave said. “He’s probably still in Kansas City with his wife, but I’m pretty sure the rest of them will stop in. Including TreyCan’t-Keep-It-In-His-Pants Mills. You’d do best to stay away from him, Reb.”

Uh, no, that would not be best by any stretch of the imagination. The man was made to be

devoured whole. Who cared about the following indigestion? Not her.

A set of knuckles rapped against the outside of the door.

Was that them? Rebekah’s heart skipped a beat.

“Come in,” Dave called.

The door swung open and the man of Rebekah’s wet dreams poked his head into the room. Jet-black hair obscuring one sultry green eye, sexiness oozing from every pore, Trey Mills scanned Rebekah from head to toe. Her entire body flushed with heat. Trey offered Dave a crooked grin. Her temperature rose another few degrees.

“Sorry to interrupt the festivities, dude.” Trey lifted both dark brows, one of them pierced with a tiny silver hoop. “We’ll come back later.”

He closed the door.

Oh my God, he was getting away!

Rebekah raced across the room and jerked the door open. “Wait, don’t go. There are no festivities. I’m Dave’s younger sister, Rebekah.”

***

Eric dropped his hand from Jace’s forehead and gaped.

At her.

For like five minutes.

He forgot why he’d had Jace in a stranglehold. Something about an engagement ring and Jace’s dominatrix girlfriend, Aggie. Forgot that he couldn’t wait to pick up a new custom-made cymbal for his drum kit after they visited what’s-his-name—Dave!—who’d just been brought home from the hospital. Forgot that walking required a sequence of left foot right—not left foot, left, left, stumble, right foot. Forgot that in order to inhale his chest had to expand.

Eric choked on his own tongue.

It was her. Standing right there. About shoulder high. Petite. Feminine. Blond-and-blue-haired. Both beautiful and adorable in her mismatched tube socks, a purple tank top, and a green miniskirt. It really was her. The woman of Eric’s wet dreams.

And she was gushing all over Trey.

Son of a bitch.

Wait, Eric thought. Maybe he was jumping to conclusions. Perhaps the signs were all wrong. He’d never actually seen her before, so he had to be sure. Eric lifted the long lock of hair

that he dyed a different vibrant color every forty-nine days without fail and stared at it. His memory had served him correctly. It was currently cobalt blue—the exact same shade as the under-layer of her hair. What were the chances? It had to be kismet. Destiny. Fate. Providence. All of the above…

She’d said her name was Rebekah. That was Eric’s favorite name. At least now it was.

Rebekah tore her eyes off Trey long enough to notice Eric examining his own hair like an idiot. “Nice color,” she said with a devilish grin.

Eric gaped.

At her.

For like five minutes.

Conversation continued all around him, but he couldn’t stop staring. His eyes grew dry and itchy because he refused to blink.

Something slapped him alongside the head. Eric started and turned his head to find Sed, Sinners’ lead vocalist, looking at him as if waiting for something. “Well?”

“Well, what?”

“Do you think we should give her a chance?” Sed asked.

Apparently, Eric had missed something while he’d been gaping, stumbling, asphyxiating, gaping some more, and not blinking—in that order.

Jace pounded Eric on the back. “You okay in there, Sticks?” he asked. “Did you have some bad cheese?”

Cheese? What the fuck is cheese?

Eric’s brain usually worked pretty well, but apparently not with that sexalicious creature in the room.

“I promise to do my best,” Rebekah said, her soft voice mixing all sorts of strange emotions in Eric’s chest. She released Trey’s arm and moved to stand directly in front of Eric. The strawberry scent of her shampoo made his knees weak. Or maybe it was that pair of baby blue eyes gazing up at him from beneath thick, black lashes. “Will you let me work for you?” She touched the center of his chest and his heart leapt against her fingertips. “You won’t regret it.”

Eric swallowed hard. He had no idea what she was talking about, but her working for him in any capacity sounded fine and dandy to him. “Yes.”

She emitted a happy little squeal, wrapped her arms around him, and squeezed. She almost set him off balance as she hopped up and down excitedly. Before he could sweep her into his arms and carry her off to the nearest justice of the peace to recite eternal vows, she released him and hugged Jace, then Sed. Eric cringed when she plastered herself to Trey. It was one hundred percent obvious who she wanted. Now that he and Trey Mills were the only two single guys left in this band, Eric thought he would have pretty good odds of picking up a nice girl for himself.

No such luck.

Trey whispered something in her ear. She giggled and whispered, “Not here.”

Eric turned, found the nearest wall, and repeatedly banged his head against it.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Wicked Beat Excerpts

 

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Double Time – Chapter One

Double Time – Chapter One

Double Time

from Double Time

© 2012 by Olivia Cunning

“Trey.” The sound of Brian’s deep voice tugged at Trey’s heart. His soul. His will. Brian comprised Trey’s hopes. His dreams. Embodied his love. His desire. Represented his past. His present. His future. Everything Trey had ever been or ever could be, he associated with the man. Trey knew Brian would never love him. Not with the same all-encompassing, soul-wrenching possessiveness with which Trey loved him, but they maintained a close friendship. It wasn’t nearly enough for Trey, but was better than nothing.

“Trey?” Brian whispered against his ear, his bare chest pressed against Trey’s naked back. “I want you.”

The flood of lust that coursed through Trey’s body was punctuated with an inrush of breath. Yes… “Now?”

“Shh,” Brian breathed. “Quiet. Or someone will hear us.”

Trey was naked. Had he gone to bed naked? He didn’t remember. It didn’t matter. In the darkness, Brian pressed him facedown on the mattress of his bunk on Sinners’ tour bus. Trey felt Brian’s weight over his back. His warmth seeped into his skin. The scent of leather, Brian’s sweet aftershave, and male surrounded him. Trey closed his eyes and relished the sensations. The texture of Brian’s skin. The raspy quality of his breath.

Emotion washed over Trey. His only regret was that they weren’t face to face, so he couldn’t stare into Brian’s intense brown eyes, bury his hands in his messy, shoulder-length hair, and kiss his firm lips as he took him. Whenever Brian visited him, it was always like this. Face down. Total surrender.

Trey felt Brian’s cock against his throbbing ass. He relaxed, opening himself to possession. Brian surged forward, filling him with one deep thrust.

“Ah,” Trey gasped brokenly as a mix of pain and pleasure pulsed through the core of his body. He loved that Brian’s cock was huge. That it stretched him to his limits. Loved how Brian clasped his hands on either side of his head to pin him down. It made Trey feel helpless. Fucked. Used. Exactly how he needed to feel, because he knew this wasn’t right. Brian loved another.

Trey lifted his hips slightly in an attempt to get his own attentive cock into a more pleasurable position.

“Don’t move,” Brian growled. “Take it.”

Trey took it. No pain now. Just intense, pulsating pleasure.

Brian fucked him harder. Harder. Until Trey wanted to scream I love you, I love you, I love you at the top of his lungs. He didn’t dare. He knew Brian would disappear the moment he said anything that remotely stupid.

Trey bit his lip and struggled to lift his hips off the bed. He wanted Brian’s hands on his cock as he fucked him. Stroking him from base to tip. Giving him pleasure. Making him come. Come by his hand. In his hands. The hands that created the guitar music that was as much a part of Trey as it was of Brian.

“Brian?” he whispered. “Please.”

“No.”

Trey groaned and rocked his hips, rubbing his cock against the mattress. He needed to come so bad. Oh, please. I need it. Need you.

“Hold still, Trey. You know how this works.”

Trey stopped moving. Brian had been visiting him like this more and more frequently. Especially since Brian had gotten his wife, Myrna, pregnant. It was pretty much a nightly occurrence at this point. Trey wanted him. Not just in bed. In his life. Each moment, he felt Brian slipping further away and Trey didn’t know how to hold on to him.

Brian. Stay with me. Please.

“Trey?” A hand grabbed Trey’s shoulder and gave him a hard shake. “Trey! Wake up. It’s time.”

Trey opened his eyes. The Brian of his dreams vanished and was replaced by the real Brian. This one was not fucking him good, hard, and selfishly up the ass. This one was fully clothed and grinning at him from just outside the curtain of Trey’s bunk. Trey’s balls tightened unexpectedly and he reached down to pull off his sock. He buried his cock in the soft, warm cotton. His belly clenched. Muscles at the base of his cock gave a hard spasm. He came with a tortured gasp.

Goddammit. He ruined more socks that way.

“Sorry to interrupt your wet dreams, dude,” Brian said, “but we’ve got to catch a plane. Like immediately. Get dressed.”

Still disoriented, still trembling with the aftereffects of his unexpected orgasm (while Brian watched—he’d undoubtedly relive that in his fantasies for weeks), Trey forced himself to sit up on his bunk.

Feet dangling over the edge, he bent his back at an uncomfortable angle so he didn’t whack his head on the tour bus’ ceiling. “What time is it?” Trey rubbed his eyes and blinked in the overly bright cabin lights.

“Three.”

“In the morning? What the hell, Brian? I need sleep.”

“Myrna’s in labor.”

Trey’s heart twisted unpleasantly. “She’s not due for…”

“Two weeks. I know. It’s the real deal though. She’s already at the hospital.” Brian grabbed Trey’s arm and jerked him out of his bunk to the floor. “Hurry up. I will not miss the birth of my first child.”

“I don’t understand why I have to go,” Trey said.

Brian looked a little hurt and Trey immediately wanted to take that comment back.

“You have to go because I need you there,” Brian said.

“Fine. I’ll go. Whatever,” Trey said as if his heart wasn’t singing with delight. Brian needed him? There was a first time for everything, he supposed.

Trey rearranged his boxer shorts and located his jeans on the floor next to their new soundboard operator’s empty bunk. Rebekah’s bunk didn’t get much use. She and the band’s drummer, Eric Sticks, spent most nights in the back bedroom claiming they were still on their honeymoon. Seven months of honeymooning was a bit much by anyone’s standards. Even Trey’s. Trey hopped into his pants, tugged a T-shirt over his head, and began his search for a spare sock.

Brian chuckled at him when he tossed his ruined sock in the garbage. “That must’ve been some dream. What was it about?”

Trey raked a hand through his long bangs. “These three really hot chicks,” he lied without missing a beat. “I had three cocks and each of them was sucking one.”

Brian quirked an eyebrow at him and Trey’s heart skipped a beat. The man was so fucking gorgeous, it was a sin. “Weird.”

But not as weird as having homoerotic dreams about your best friend. Your married best friend who was about to become a father.

“Did you get plane tickets already?” Trey asked.

“Your brother’s jet is meeting us at the airstrip. It’s already on its way. Should be landing by the time we get there.”

“So Dare’s coming with?”

“Nope. Just you and me.”

Alone on a private jet. Trey was pretty sure they wouldn’t be initiating each other into the mile high club. Bummer.

By the time they reached the hospital four hours later, Brian was in a panic. When Trey hesitated on the threshold of Myrna’s delivery and recovery room, Brian grabbed his arm and hauled him inside.

“I didn’t miss it, did I?” Brian asked the doctor who was between Myrna’s legs with his bloody surgical gloves trying to ease a blackhaired head out of something Trey wished he had never ever seen.

Oh fuck. That had to hurt.

Trey’s eyelids fluttered, the floor disappeared from beneath him, and everything went black.

The squall of a baby and the declaration, “It’s a boy!” flittered around Trey’s semiconscious mind. That and some strange ammonia smell just beneath his nose.

“Come on, gorgeous,” a soft feminine voice said nearby. “Open your eyes for me. The messy part is all over now.”

Trey regained full consciousness with a sudden intake of breath.

He instinctively knocked the offensive smelling salts from beneath his nose and sat up.

“There, he’s back with us,” someone said from the opposite side of the room. The doctor maybe? Trey couldn’t get his eyes to focus.

“Did I pass out?” Trey asked.

“Out like a light, buddy,” Brian said from beside Myrna’s bed.

He chuckled much too gleefully.

“You cannot tell anyone about this,” Trey said, struggling to climb to his feet. He leaned his back against a wall to steady himself.

He hated hospitals. He’d spent far too many hours in them as a child, including one entire summer when his father had been serving his residency and his mother had decided to ride a bicycle across the country. Just the smell of a hospital made his skin crawl.

“Yeah right,” Brian said. “I’m having T-shirts made. I wanted to wait to cut the cord, but you refused to wake up in time to watch.”

Trey’s stomach did a summersault. Cut the cord? Yuck. “Sorry I missed it.” Not.

“That’s okay. I got it on film.”

“Great…” Trey ducked his head to hide his crinkled nose.

A stunning brunette dressed in pink scrubs bent down to enter    Trey’s field of vision. She stroked his hair out of his face. The slim brows over her striking blue eyes drew together in concern. “Feeling better now?”

He grinned at her and she flushed. “I think I’ll live,” he said.

Her hand slid to the back of his head. “You bumped your head.” Her fingers found the scar that ran beneath his hair in a wide arch over his left ear. She traced the ridge with her index finger. “What’s this?”

Trey captured her hand in his and pulled it away from his scalp. “Old war injury.” If getting hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat during a bar fight could be considered war. That little incident had landed him in a hospital for days. Not one of his better memories. “You have really pretty eyes,” he told the nurse, still holding her hand.

Her breath caught, pupils dilated slightly as she focused on his interested gaze. “Thank you,” she whispered, lowering her lashes to hide her deep blue eyes.

Trey released her hand and she sagged against the wall. He turned his attention to the bed, glad a blue drape cloth concealed whatever the doctor was doing between Myrna’s legs. Trey was pretty sure the doc was giving Myrna stitches and he did not want to know why that was necessary.

“So where’s this baby we’ve been waiting to see for nine months now?” Trey asked.

Brian waved him over to the bed. Trey approached cautiously.

Myrna looked exhausted, and he knew better than to tick her off. He was prepared to make a run for it, if necessary. Brian wrapped an arm around Trey’s shoulders and they gazed down at the bundle in Myrna’s arms. A miniature, red-faced Brian jabbed his fist in his mouth and sucked earnestly. Trey’s heart skipped a beat before melting inside his chest. Brian’s son was the most perfect thing Trey had ever seen in his entire life.

Brian scooped up the baby and handed him to Trey. Trey drew his little body against his chest and stared down at him in breathless awe.

“We named him Malcolm Trey,” Myrna said. “After Brian’s father. And, well, you.”

Trey tore his gaze from the small wonder to gape at Myrna. “Me? Why would you name him after me?”

She smiled. “It seemed appropriate to name him after the two most important men in Brian’s life.”

“We want you to be his godfather,” Brian said.

“I…” Trey was honored, but he wasn’t an appropriate godfather. He was scarcely responsible enough to take care of himself. How could they ever expect him to be responsible enough to care for their child? “I don’t think…”

The baby in his arms gurgled, and Trey looked down to find him staring up at him with unfocused brown eyes. His father’s eyes. Brian’s eyes. Brian had made this. This perfect, beautiful little person. Brian was a father.

Trey glanced at Brian and the enormity of it all stole his breath. Brian didn’t notice Trey. He only had eyes for his son. His pride in the little guy was tangible.

Trey turned his attention to the baby in his arms. He stroked Malcolm’s cheek and then touched his tiny hand, fascinated with his tiny fingers. His tiny fingernails. Tiny knuckles. Everything so tiny. Malcolm gripped Trey’s finger with surprising strength. “You’re going to be a master guitarist like your daddy someday,” Trey told him.

Malcolm scrunched up his face and Trey laughed, totally enamored with Brian’s son. The son born from the love Brian shared with his wife, Myrna. The son Trey could have never given Brian no matter how much he loved him. Trey took a steadying breath, kissed the baby’s forehead, and handed Malcolm back to his father. “Here. I’ll probably break him or something.”

“Good-lookin’ kid, ain’t he?” Brian pressed a kiss to Malcolm’s temple.

“Of course,” Myrna said, love shining in her hazel eyes as she stared up at her husband and son. “He looks like his father.”

“He has your lips,” Brian said.

“And your hair.”

Trey chuckled. Father and son both had tufts of black hair sticking up in all directions.
“I hope he has your brains,” Brian said.

“And your talent,” Myrna added.

“He’s perfect,” Trey said, unable to resist the impulse to smooth Malcolm’s fuzzy hair with his palm. It did no good. The baby’s downy black hair immediately returned to standing on end.

“You’ll be his godfather then?” Brian asked.

Trey lifted his gaze to Brian’s. As if he could deny him anything.

“Yeah. I guess so.”

Brian smiled. “I think you need to get busy, Mills—find yourself a nice girl and make Malcolm a best friend. You’re already nine months behind.”

“Ha! Like that’s ever going to happen,” Trey said flippantly, but something inside him wanted that. Wanted something he and Brian could share. Pride of their respective sons. He could almost picture Malcolm and Trey Junior playing together in the backyard, learning how to play guitar together, getting into mischief, growing. Trey Junior? What the fuck was he thinking? There would never be a Trey Junior. He didn’t even like kids. Not even cute little shits who were cursed with the name Malcolm Trey. The baby cooed and Trey melted into a puddle of mush. Okay, so there was one exception to his dislike of kids, but only one.

“I should probably leave you three alone so you can bond as a family or whatever.”
“You can stay,” Myrna said. “You’re part of our family.”

He appreciated the gesture, but Trey knew better. Things would never go back to the way they’d been before Myrna had crashed onto the scene. He’d been sulking over it long enough. It was time to finally let Brian go. As agonizing as that decision was for Trey, he’d lost all hope of Brian ever returning his feelings. Brian belonged to Myrna. Belonged with Myrna. And Malcolm. Trey had been fooling himself into thinking Brian might eventually come to think of him as more than a friend, but now he didn’t even want him to. He wanted Brian to continue to be a wonderful husband and an amazing daddy. Myrna deserved that. Malcolm deserved that. Trey couldn’t interfere with something that important. It wouldn’t be right.

“You know I hate hospitals,” Trey said. “I’m going to go see what Dare is up to. Hang out with my big bro in his McMansion until we have to head back to the tour bus. You can call me if you need me to change a diaper or something.”

“You’re willing to change diapers?” Brian asked.

Trey chuckled at his startled expression.

Trey glanced down at little Malcolm who was making a face that led Trey to believe he was already cooking up a ripe diaper in his honor. “Nah, but I’m sure I can talk some sweet fangirl into doing it for me.” He winked at Brian.

“You will not use my son as a chick magnet, Mills,” Brian said.

Trey laughed and then bent over the bed to offer Myrna a hug.

She met his eyes and cupped his cheek. “You okay?” she whispered, seeming to recognize that Trey was moving beyond his infatuation with her husband. Giving up on Brian. Letting her win. She’d been infinitely patient with him. And trusting of her husband. Because she’d recognized the truth far sooner than Trey had. Brian didn’t love him—not the way he wanted him to—and he never would.

Trey leaned closer and whispered, “Love him enough for both of us. Okay? Just promise me that.”

Her hand pressed against the back of his head as she hugged him close. “I will. I promise.”
When he stood upright, he offered Brian a vigorous, onearmed bro hug. He met Brian’s intense brown-eyed gaze steadily.

“Good-bye.” He could scarcely get the word out through his constricted chest and throat. Brian obviously had no clue that there was significance behind that single word of farewell.

“Later,” Brain said. “If I don’t see you before, we have a show tomorrow night.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Trey said with a smile.

Brian’s gaze shifted to his son’s face. “Yeah,” he said breathlessly.

Trey could practically see his separation anxiety and pictured Brian onstage with a baby sling strapped to his chest above his electric guitar and tiny, sound-blocking headphones on Malcolm’s fuzzy head. So not Sinners’ style. But totally Brian’s.

Trey kissed Malcolm’s forehead. “See you soon, godson. Don’t break too many hearts.”

Brian chuckled. “Look who’s talking.”

Trey left the room, forcing himself not to look back at the scene of domestic bliss he left behind. He really needed to do something fun to take his mind off things. Something or someone. What he needed was sex. His drug of choice.

The pretty, young nurse who had woken him with smelling salts stood just outside the delivery room door. When he walked past her, she perked up and grabbed his arm. She’d been waiting for him. Too easy.

“Hey,” she said breathlessly. “Hey, um, Trey, right?”

He offered her a crooked grin, and she flushed before lowering her wide blue eyes to his chest. He watched her, noting the submission in her stance, the way she swayed toward him slightly. The way her thumb stroked his bare arm just above his elbow.

“Um…” she pressed onward. “I was just about to take a break and wondered if you’d like to go grab a cup of coffee with me.”

Trey’s heart rate kicked up a notch. He turned and took her firmly by both wrists, pressing her back against the wall, their bodies separated by mere inches. He bent his head so his breath would caress her ear as he spoke to her in a low voice. “You don’t want coffee.”

Her pulse raced out of control beneath his fingertips. “I don’t?”

“No, but I know what you do want.”

“What’s that?” Her dark blue eyes flicked upward to meet his.

She’d already surrendered, and he rarely turned down a good time.

“A hard, slow fuck against the wall.”

“Here?” she whispered, her eyes wide.

He didn’t dare laugh. That would have broken his spell over her.

“In that supply closet.” He nodded down the hall.

He held her gaze in challenge, daring her to deny him. She tore her gaze from his and peeked around his body for witnesses before grabbing a handful of his shirt, racing down the hall, unlocking the supply closet, and dragging him inside. The instant the door closed, she wrapped both arms around his neck and plastered her mouth to his. He let her kiss him. Let her touch the hoop piercing his eyebrow and the ones in his ear. He’d show her the one in his nipple, but she was still a little skittish and he knew if he took the upper hand too quickly, she’d balk and either leave or pretend he’d taken advantage of her.

“You’re so sexy,” she murmured against his lips. “Why are you so sexy? I shouldn’t be doing this.”

By this, he assumed she meant unfastening his belt, tugging at his T-shirt, rubbing her firm breasts into his chest, biting his lip.

“I don’t want you to think I normally do this kind of thing,” she said, her hand slipping into his silk boxers to toy with his hardening cock.

He did this kind of thing almost daily, but he wouldn’t make the mistake of telling her that.

“Take off your pants,” he whispered.

When she obeyed, he knew she was in this until the end. Which he estimated would be approximately fifteen minutes in the future.

“Are you really in a rock band?” she asked.

Trey chuckled. Couldn’t help it. Did she seriously not know who he was? It had been a while since a woman had jumped him without knowing he was notorious for this kind of thing. “Yeah, I’m really in a rock band. And I play an actual instrument.”

“Guitar?”

He grinned. “How did you guess?”

The excitement in her eyes led him to believe she wasn’t halfnaked in a supply closet at work because she wanted famous-guitarist Trey. She was pantsless and submissive because she wanted bad-boy Trey. He was all about giving her exactly what she wanted. The walls were concealed behind floor-to-ceiling shelves, so he pressed her back up against the door and trapped her arms on either side of her head. She gasped when he lowered his head to kiss her neck. He nibbled, suckled, and licked the pulse point under her jaw until she began to fight his hold with impatience.

“You’re driving me insane,” she said. “Do you have a condom?”

“Are you in a hurry?” he murmured.

“Kinda. My fifteen-minute break is almost over.”

“You’re going to be late.” He nipped her earlobe and released her wrist. Trey’s left hand moved down her body and gave her breast a gentle squeeze before moving between her legs. She clung to his hair and then fingered the tiny hoops in his ear, then his eyebrow again.

“Do you like piercings?” he whispered. “I have a couple more.”

“Where?” she whispered.

“I didn’t wear the one in my tongue. Didn’t realize I’d have a sweet pussy to lick this early in the morning.”

She moaned in torment. When Trey’s fingers found her clit, she cried out. Damn, she was swollen. And wet. And eager. He liked eager. The chase meant nothing to him. He just liked to fuck. Kissing her neck, he stroked her clit rhythmically.

“There’s another in my nipple,” he whispered.

Her hand moved to his chest. She found the ridge of his jewelry under his T-shirt, and then she slid her hand up under his clothes to finger it.

“Pull it,” he encouraged. “It makes my balls throb.”

“Do you like that?”

“Try it and see.”

She tugged and he shuddered. “Oh,” she gasped when his hard cock leaped against her thigh.

“Come for me.” He rubbed her clit faster in wide circles until she shuddered hard with orgasm. Her gasping breaths in his ear made him want to join her in bliss. He lifted his head to look at her then. “Where do you want it?”

Dazed, she gazed up at him. “Where do I want what?”
“My cock.”

“I have more than one choice?”
He slid a finger inside her slippery pussy and she jerked. “There’s here.” A second finger probed her ass and her eyes widened. “Back here.” He licked her lip and then the ridge of her teeth. “In here.”

He slid his hand up from her wrist to intertwine their fingers. “Your capable hands.” He lowered his head to whisper in her ear while he palmed her full breasts with both hands. “Or you can hold me between these. If you’re really kinky…”

“What do you want?” she asked breathlessly.

“No preference.” Which wasn’t exactly true. Seeing the startled look on her face when he’d probed her ass made him crave some backdoor action, but that probably wasn’t the best choice for her if she had to go back to work.

“Regular,” she whispered.

Regular? Since when was anything he did regular? He stifled a laugh, trying to be sensitive to her feelings. “I assume by regular you mean vaginal sex.”

She nodded. “Say it.”
He found a condom in the back pocket of his jeans and tore it open with his teeth. She watched him as if amazed, but she didn’t say a word as he applied it.

“Tell me what you want,” he pressed. He had already decided she needed the added psychological stimulation to get off. Demands and directions. Whatever she liked was fine by him. He was game.

“I want you to say it.”

She grabbed his hair in both fists and said, “A slow, hard fuck against the wall, just like you said.”

“Where do you want me?”

She shuddered as if the very thought had her near orgasm. “Inside.”

“Inside what?”

“M-my vagina.”

“Your pussy?”

Her hands tightened in his hair, and the last shred of her resistance crumbled. “My cunt. Fuck it hard, Trey.”

He lifted her off the floor, pressing her against the door for leverage, and then directed his cock inside her. He loved losing himself in mindless fucking. No worries. No heartache. Just pleasure. He gave her what she wanted, possessing her with hard, deep, slow strokes, but she gave him what he needed to. A temporary reprieve from his turbulent thoughts and his perpetually broken heart. Trey concentrated solely on sensation. He felt no emotional connection as he thrust into her. Never did. Hadn’t since Brian had made love to him back in high school and he’d tossed his heart at the guy’s feet. Twelve years of sex without love. Twelve years of love without sex. And now that Trey had given up on Brian ever loving him or making love to him, he just felt hollow. Empty. Desolate. He doubted anything could fill the empty chasm inside. Certainly not some pretty nurse he’d just met and was fucking in a supply closet. He didn’t even know her name. Didn’t care to.

When she came, he followed her over the edge, his release bringing him that state of tranquility he craved. He wished it lasted longer than thirty seconds. And didn’t have to be followed by a whole lot of awkwardness. He pulled out and removed the expended condom, tossing it in a convenient garbage can on the janitor’s cart, and then refastened his jeans and belt. He let her find her panties and scrub pants. Waited until she was dressed before he looked at her. Not that he didn’t want to watch the hot stranger he’d just fucked slide her panties up her legs. He just knew that if he did, she’d start seeing things that weren’t there. Feelings. With feelings came attachment. With attachment came complications. That was the last thing Trey ever wanted.

“I…” she said breathlessly.

“You don’t have to say anything,” he said. He pinned her with the look that got him almost anything he wanted. He’d perfected it as a child, modified it as a man, used it unabashedly. She flushed and leaned against the door for support.

“Sometimes a beautiful woman just needs a hard, slow fuck against a wall with a perfect stranger. I understand.”

She gazed at him, looking more dazed than a pothead at a Grateful Dead concert. “Yeah… Perfect.”

“I’ll leave first. I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble.”

“Yeah…”

He waited for her to collect enough sense to move out of the way of the door. One hand on the doorknob, Trey took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and kissed her trembling lips. “That is the best sex I’ve ever had against a door in a hospital supply closet.”

“Yeah…”

“You’re an amazing woman.”

“Will you call me?” she gushed.

He shook his head slightly. “I want to keep my memory of this moment untainted. Let’s not complicate it. Let it be what it’s meant to be. Pleasure for the sake of pleasure.”

Her face twitched with disappointment, but she nodded.

He gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead and then let himself into the corridor. He strode toward the bank of elevators at the end of the hall.

Hot nurse a fuzzy memory already, Trey dug his cell phone out of his pocket and called his brother.

“What’s up?” Dare answered.

“Brian and Myrna had a boy.” Trey smiled at the thought of holding Brian’s perfect son for the first time. “They named him Malcolm Trey.”

Dare sniggered. “What the fuck are they thinking? Poor kid.”

“You home?”

“Yeah, but I’m busy.”

Trey grinned. “Busy, huh? What’s her name? I’ll help you entertain her.”

“Not that kind of busy. Remember that stupid contest our publicist came up with: Guitarist for a Year with Exodus End? Today we’re auditioning studio musicians to identify the winner. We do need to find someone to take over for Max on rhythm guitar, but this is fuckin’ stupid.” Max was the lead singer of Dare’s band, Exodus End. Max had also played rhythm guitar until recently.

“We hoped his carpal tunnel surgery would get us out of this mess, but the surgery fucked up his hand even more. He can’t stand the pain of playing, and he’s been advised not to move his wrist for several weeks.”

“That should make jerking off a challenge,” Trey said.

“As if Max needs to jerk off.”

True. The man could have any woman he wanted.

“Hey,” Dare said, “you should come try out. We can make it seem like you entered the contest.”
“You know I can’t do that. I’d never leave Sinners. Not even for you.” Trey stepped on the elevator and made his way down to the lobby. The well-built guy in the elevator smiled at him and let his eyes drift down Trey’s body with appreciation. Trey had to admit he was tempted by the open invitation, but he had a powerful need to hang out with his big brother. Dare understood him. Trey needed that at the moment. More than he needed more meaningless, but amazing, sex with yet another attractive stranger.

“You can help us decide then,” Dare said, drawing Trey’s attention from the way elevator-guy was gnawing on his lips and making Trey want to kiss him. “We’ve narrowed it down to five guitarists based on their demos, but there’s no way to know how many times they redid them before sending them in. They’ll all be playing live for us in about an hour. They can’t fake that.”

Trey stepped off the elevator, winking at Open Invitation before wandering toward the exit to find a cab.

“Okay, sure. Sounds like fun.” Trey’s phone beeped. “I’ll be there in a few. I’ve got another call.”

“Later.”

Trey disconnected and checked his phone’s screen. Mark? Shit. He considered ignoring him but knew Mark would just keep calling and calling until Trey finally talked to him. The guy could not take a hint. Might as well get this over with.

“Hey,” Trey answered.

“Are you in town?” Mark asked.

“I’m on tour. You know that.”

“The Sinners’ News Blog said you flew into L.A. this morning because Brian’s wife was in labor.”

Trey wasn’t sure how the owners of that blog knew what was going on with Sinners so quickly. Sometimes they knew more about Sinners’ goings-on than Trey knew and he was living it. He guessed he couldn’t deny that he was in town. “Yeah, they had a little boy. Adorable little shit.”

“Yeah, that’s what the site said. 7 pounds 9 ounces. 21 inches. Named him Malcolm Trey. Are you still at the hospital? I could stop by.”

Stalker alert! “Mark, we’ve been through this. I’m not interested in a relationship with you.” Men! They could be such a pain in the ass. Especially if they didn’t know what they were doing back there. Trey had slept with Mark more than once. They’d met in Portland
over a year ago and after relieving him of his anal and oral virginity, Trey had taken him to get a tattoo. The guy had moved to Los Angeles a few months later. Trey suspected it was because of him, as Mark was relentless in his pursuit. Trey had no problem fucking him, but when Mark had started trying to forge a commitment, Trey was finished with him. The guy could not take a hint. Or blatant rejections. Or flashing neon signs that read: Go the fuck away.

“Who said anything about a relationship? I just wanted to congratulate Brian,” Mark said.

“Do whatever you want. I’ve already left the hospital.”

“Oh.” Mark hesitated. “Are you hungry? I could take you out for breakf—”

“No, I’ve got plans.”

“What kind of plans? Are you seeing someone else?” The jealousy in Mark’s voice was so fucking annoying Trey considered hanging up on him. But then Mark would just call back and blame a bad connection or some stupid shit.

“Yeah,” Trey lied. “I am seeing someone. I’m seriously dating a woman right now.”

“Bullshit,” Mark said.

“It’s not bullshit. I’ve sworn off men for the rest of my life.”

When the lie had formed, Trey hadn’t meant it, but now that he’d said it, he decided it was the best idea he’d ever had. Women he could deal with. Men either broke his heart or complicated his life. Exhibit A was upstairs bonding with his son. Exhibit B was on the phone. Exhibits C through triple X were scattered across the US and Canada waiting for Sinners to pass through their area again.

“Whatever, Trey. Come over to my place tonight and I’ll make you dinner. Suck your cock.”

Mark was a decent cook. And he did suck good cock. He was also exceedingly easy on the eyes and had a spectacularly tight ass, but the guy needed to move on. Trey had tried to hook him up with a few different men, but Mark was too hung up on Trey to consider anyone else.

“I can’t.”

“Can’t or won’t?” he challenged.

“Don’t want to—how’s that?”

Mark sighed loudly. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Mark, what do I have to do to convince you that it’s over between us?”
“I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Shit. Trey was going to have to get his number changed. Again. He honestly didn’t understand why some people couldn’t take a hint. He didn’t want to be in a relationship. Why was that concept so difficult for his sex partners to grasp?

 
 

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Sinners at the Altar – Excerpts

Sinners at the Altar – Excerpts

Sinners at the Altar Cover finalThis book contains a collection of wedding stories. The first chapter of each story can be read below.

from Appetite for Seduction (Brian and Myrna’s wedding)

Chapter One

A LINE OF SUNLIGHT FILTERED through the window blinds and angled across Brian’s eyelids. Wincing against the red glare, he turned his face into his pillow. Something felt wrong this morning. He recognized the bed as the one at the back of Sinners’ tour bus, so it wasn’t because he was waking up in an unfamiliar hotel room. He was accustomed to life on the road and opening his eyes to a new city almost every morning, so why did he feel like something was different from his norm?

It was too quiet. The motion of the tour bus and the din of its engine were missing. It was such a familiar lullaby that his mornings felt off if he didn’t wake to the sound.

With a sleepy smile, he rubbed his face against his pillow, still trying to grasp full consciousness, and cringed as pain shot across the bridge of his nose. Fuck, his face hurt. And not because he’d slept on it again. He felt as if someone had pounded him between the eyes with a hard fist.

Probably because someone had.

All at once his mind grasped why the bus was stationary this morning and the reason his nose felt like it had been moshing with a wall in his sleep. They were in Las Vegas. Vegas. Myrna had agreed to marry him in Vegas. His botched bachelor party the night before had resulted in his worse-for-wear face, which meant…

Today was his wedding day.

Holy shit!

Instantly awake, Brian shot his hand out into the space beside him to find nothing but an expanse of empty mattress. Had it been a dream? The woman had been throwing off his proposals for weeks, so maybe he had imagined her telling him she loved him. Dreamed that she’d agreed to marry him. Brian’s heart panged unpleasantly.

He reached farther, needing the tangible evidence of her skin beneath his touch. More cool and empty sheet met his seeking fingertips. Had Myrna changed her mind and left him? She had been pissed when he’d shown up with two black eyes the night before.

He couldn’t blame her for having second thoughts after he’d gotten into a fight at a strip club. A strip club he hadn’t even wanted to go to, but still…

He stretched his arm as far as it would go, and his fingers found warm, soft skin. He breathed a sigh of relief and spooned against Myrna’s back, inhaling her delicate scent. Not a dream. Not his imagination. Sweet reality.

Myrna murmured his name in her sleep. The corners of Brian’s mouth turned up, and his heart warmed. He snuggled closer to her back, placing a tender kiss behind her ear.

“I love you,” he whispered. It felt so good to say it openly without worrying about her getting upset. The only thing better than verbally expressing his love was hearing her say it in return. He should probably let her sleep—their make-up sex had kept them awake well into the night—but he needed to see the love shining in her hazel eyes and hear her put the sentiment to words. In a few hours, she’d be his wife—Mrs. Myrna Sinclair. As far as he was concerned, the honeymoon started now.

Brian flicked Myrna’s earlobe with his tongue and sucked it into his mouth. The breathy sigh she emitted grabbed him by the balls. It was always like this with her; she ignited an insatiable sexual hunger within him. And so many things about her contributed to it. Her openness to any sexual experience blew his mind and challenged him to invent new experiences to share with her. Her scent, her taste, the sexy little sounds she made while their bodies were joined, the texture of her skin, the way the light danced in her auburn hair, the gleam of naughtiness in her hazel eyes, how her pouty lips always begged for his kisses… The entirety of her physical being burned his body with awareness. The music he composed while making love to her inspired his soul. Her hard-won trust set his heart ablaze. He loved everything about her, even her stubbornness. She wasn’t an easy woman, but she was the only woman for him. He’d known it the first time they’d made love. And now she knew it too. At least she said she did. He decided she needed a few reminders so she wouldn’t forget.

Sucking and nibbling on her ear, he moved his hand to cover her breast. She arched into his palm, her hardened nipple pressing into his flesh.

“Brian!” she gasped.

It would be the one and only name she’d call out in ecstasy for

the rest of their lives. He couldn’t ever imagine growing tired of hearing her say it.

He slid his hand lower, over her ribs, her belly, seeking the center of her pleasure at the juncture of her thighs. His fingers brushed the crisp curls between her legs, and she shuddered. He already knew what he wanted to do to her. He’d stroke her clit until she came and then press her down on her belly, suspend himself over her back and fuck her slow from behind. Grind his hips each time he buried his cock deep inside. Tease her clit with his balls until she begged him to make her come.

Myrna caught his hand before he could find his target.

“No,” she said firmly.

“No?” How could she say no? She never told him no. Never.

“Not until the honeymoon.”

He grinned. “Which I’ve already decided starts now.”

She rolled over to face him and winced. “Oh, baby, your face! And I thought you looked bad last night.”

“Thanks.”

Bar fights never ended well, even when you won. It hadn’t necessarily been the brightest idea to get in a brawl at his bachelor party, but the instigator of the fight—one Eric Sticks—wasn’t known for coming up with bright ideas. Impulsive ideas? Yeah. Troublemaking ideas? Definitely. But not bright ones. And the cause of the fight—one Jessica Chase. Well, he didn’t want his morning ruined by thoughts of that gold digger.

For a few tense moments the night before, Brian had thought Myrna would call off their wedding. Thought his world would end. But after telling him off, she’d listened. She allowed him to explain. And while she hadn’t condoned his idiocy—or Eric’s—she’d forgiven him. He’d made sure to thank her body profusely for her forgiveness well into the night.

Myrna kissed the bridge of his nose, and his flesh throbbed in protest. Wincing, he drew a pained breath through his teeth.

“Does it hurt?” she asked, rubbing her thumb along his cheekbone.

“Doesn’t feel good. Are both eyes black now?”

“Yep. You’re the sexiest raccoon rock-god on the planet.”

He grinned. “Well, as long as you think I’m sexy.”

“Always.” She kissed him and pulled away to stare into his eyes.

He stared back, his heart thudding with a mixture of love and lust and unadulterated joy. He couldn’t believe Myrna was openly his. That she wanted to marry him. Today.

Holy shit!

“I love you,” she said. She burrowed her fingers into his hair. “I love you,” she said more firmly. “Do you believe me?”

Almost—it was still very new coming from her lips—but he said, “Yes.”

“I think I fell in love with you when I saw you standing in the terminal in Portland waiting for me. Do you remember that?”

“Yeah, but you didn’t love me then. I asked you if you were opening up possibilities between us and you said only sexual ones. And then you gave me your panties to make sure I understood exactly what you meant.” He still had those panties somewhere.

“Well, I was an idiot. And I did love you, Brian, I just didn’t want to admit it. I was scared.”

“And you’re not scared anymore?”

She shook her head.

“And you promise not to break my heart?” he asked.

“I promise.”

“And you’ll love me forever?”

“Forever.”

“And we can start the honeymoon right now?”

She laughed. “Nope. I’m going to make you wait.”

“It’s the two black eyes, isn’t it?”

He blinked at her, knowing he looked like shit. He felt like shit. He wasn’t sure why he’d let his band mates talk him into going to a strip club for his bachelor party. They hadn’t believed him when he’d told them he’d rather spend his last night of freedom with Myrna. He’d had enough of bachelorhood; it was only more of the same. The love he shared with Myrna was new and exciting. Exactly what he wanted. Needed. His smart and sexy Myrna. His heart.

“Nope, it’s not the black eyes. It’s knowing how hard you’re going to fuck me after I tease you all day.”

She offered him a devilish grin, and his cock pulsed with excitement.

“Are you sure you’re not punishing me for getting into a fight last night?”

“Well, maybe a little.” She kissed him again. “But I love you regardless.” She stared at him with such intensity he had to look

away.

“I love you,” she said with conviction, and he met her eyes again. “I love you. I love you. Which way do you like me to say it?”

“Any way is fine with me as long as it’s frequent and you mean it.”

She continued to stare into his eyes. “I do. I do. I do. How should I say that?”

He grinned. “You just have to say that once.”

She smiled and there was no mistaking that her level of happiness matched his.

“We have a busy day ahead of us,” she said. “Rings. Dress. Makeover. Wedding. Sinners concert. Honeymoon. We’d better get out of bed.”

“Or we can stay in bed, forget the dress, and get married right here while participating in the honeymoon. I’m a firm believer in multitasking.” He grinned hopefully and nodded, encouraging her to mimic his motion and agree with his perfect plan.

The eyebrow she raised at him told him that wasn’t happening.

Damn.

He released a defeated sigh and pulled out of her arms. “Let’s go pick out that ring. It’ll be huge and expensive—no protests out of you.”

She opened her mouth, and he covered it with one hand.

“No protests.”

The corners of her mouth turned up against his palm. He knew damned well he’d get her whatever ring she wanted.

“We’re in agreement?”

She nodded, and he moved his hand so he could kiss her lips. “Are you ready to go pick it out?”

He so wanted to put that physical token of his affection on her left ring finger. The slender digit looked hopelessly bare at the moment. He drew her hand to his lips to kiss spot that would soon be obscured by his eternal rock.

She tossed the covers aside. “I need a shower first.”

“I’ll join you.”

She appraised him for a moment, her gaze skimming over his naked flesh from head to toe. Her concentration focused mostly in the middle. When his cock hardened beneath her appreciative attention, her tongue darted out to wet her lips.

“Yeah, you will,” she said.

♥♥~♥♥

from Sweet Love of Mine (Eric and Rebekah’s Wedding)

©2014 by Olivia Cunning

SITTING AT A RED LIGHT, Eric banged his head to the music blaring from the speakers and drummed his fingers on the steering wheel of his beloved ’67 Corvette. He followed the song’s drum progression around the circle with his improvised drumsticks and reached over to the passenger seat to tap his cymbal—Rebekah’s pert nose. His most beloved giggled, which warmed him far more than the California sunshine streaming in through the car’s open convertible top. It also prompted him to use her thigh as his cowbell and her nose as his cymbal again.

“You’re in a good mood,” she said, smiling crookedly at the dashboard.

Well, what did she expect? He was in love. He paused his live in-traffic performance to look at her. Really look at her. His Rebekah. His heart.

She couldn’t possibly love him with the same all-encompassing intensity with which he loved her, but he was okay with that. He was used to being unloved. And Rebekah hadn’t done anything to make him doubt her feelings. On the contrary, she did things to remind him of her devotion on a regular basis. He just had a hard time wrapping his head around the idea that someone could love him. Correction: that someone did love him. Perhaps if he stared at her long enough, his head would catch up with what his heart already knew.

A breeze caught her chin-length blond hair—accented with splotches of purple dye—and blew it against her adorable face. She pushed the silky strands aside impatiently and tucked them behind her small ears. Everything about her was tiny. Except her heart. And her sexual appetite. Two characteristics he happened to hold in high regard. When Rebekah realized he was staring, she turned her head to him and he immediately got lost in her sky-blue eyes.

Eric released a contented sigh, certain that he had a loopy expression on his face, but he didn’t care who knew he was one hundred percent invested in this woman. He saw forever in those

eyes. He could scarcely believe she was his, really his. He hadn’t had to kidnap her or drug her or anything. He lifted a hand to touch her face and make sure he wasn’t just imagining her gazing at him with adoration. But that loving look really was directed toward him. He wanted her to look at him just like that forever.

Only forever would do.

When they’d been waiting for her biopsy results at the hospital that morning, he’d thought his world might end then and there. Her oncologist’s concern of metastasis had been a false alarm, so Eric had decided he wanted to celebrate her clean bill of health by marrying her. Immediately. Our forever starts now, baby. But as they made their way across town toward the courthouse to make it official, he thought perhaps he’d been a bit hasty. He wasn’t sure if Rebekah was as keen on the idea as he was. He hadn’t consulted her, after all. He had just assumed that she was as ready to be legally wed as he was.

The car behind Eric’s honked obnoxiously, reminding him that he was supposed to punch the gas pedal as soon as the light turned green. Normally he’d have sent the impatient jackass a one-fingered salute, but nothing could put a damper on his spirits today. Not when the woman beside him was alive and healthy and his.

“I love you,” he said before he dropped his hand to the gearshift, slammed it in gear, popped the clutch, and took off with an impressive squeal of tires.

“I love you too!” Rebekah yelled, clinging to the dashboard as the car fishtailed slightly, found its grip, and jetted forward.

Unfortunately, traffic was too thick to have any real fun and Eric had to stop at the next light. And wait. God, he was sick of waiting. While he drummed his overabundance of energy into his steering wheel—again—a faded wooden sign hanging over a storefront on the next block caught his attention: Malachi’s Costume Emporium.

His pulse surged with excitement, and he glanced at Rebekah. Would she go for it? A regular courthouse wedding was a bit too normal for the two of them, but perhaps…

“I have an idea,” he said.

She stiffened and peeked at him from under her long lashes. She was usually gung-ho for any crazy idea that crossed his mind, so he wondered about her uncharacteristic hesitation.

“What kind of an idea?” she squeaked.

“Maybe we should get married in costumes.”

“Costumes?”

“Yeah, costumes!” The idea was really catching on with him. “Wouldn’t that be fun?”

“I’m not sure,” she said and worried her small hands together.

He lifted an eyebrow at her. She wasn’t having second thoughts about marrying him today, was she? Maybe he shouldn’t rock her boat too much. He knew her emotions were all over the place after that appointment. But he couldn’t help but want to make their wedding as memorable as possible considering their complete lack of planning and provisions.

Not waiting for her to be sure, Eric parallel parked in one of the five unoccupied spaces in front of the costume shop and turned off the engine.

“Come on,” he said, taking her hand. “Let’s go see how much trouble we can get into.”

Still she hesitated.

“Don’t you want today to be special?” he asked.

She tore her gaze away from the store window, which had several costumes on display, including some fancy old blue dress that Rebekah had been examining with interest. Her eyes bored into his with all the enthusiasm for life and adventure that he’d come to expect from her.

“It’s already special,” she said. “Marrying you will undoubtedly be the most memorable five minutes of my life.”

“But don’t you want it to be an experience unique to us?” He leaned in closer, hoping to sway her with his obey me, woman look.

She just laughed at him. “Will it make you happy?”

He beamed a grin at her. “It will.”

“Okay,” she said. “Then I guess I’ll make a fool of myself.”

His brief kiss of gratitude soon turned into a hands-pawing, tongue-mingling, cock-raising expression of his undying lust for the woman. His heart raced as he tugged her closer. Kissed her deeper. Loved her a bit more every moment they were together for making him so deliriously happy.

When had he become such a fucking sap?

She tore her mouth from his and sucked in a deep breath. “Easy there, tiger,” she said. “You’re making my panties all squishy.”

“Mmm,” he said in appreciation. “Those are my favorite kind

of panties.”

Maybe they should forgo the selection of costumes and get to the courthouse as soon as possible. He had a sudden urge to start the wedding night festivities sooner rather than later.

A bell over the door jangled as they entered the musty-smelling shop. A wrinkled old man in a white shirt, black suspenders, and red bow tie sat behind a long wooden counter near the door. On second glance, Eric noticed the thin man’s eyes were closed. Was he actually asleep sitting up?

“Are you open?” Eric asked loudly.

He didn’t stir.

“Are you alive?” Eric yelled.

The man started and smiled a greeting when his slightly cloudy eyes squinted at the pair of them.

“Welcome to Malachi’s Costume Emporium,” he said from his seat in a tall ladder-backed wooden chair next to the wall. “If you need assistance, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy your browsing experience.”

He rubbed his beak-like nose with the back of his wrist, leaned against the wall, and closed his eyes once more. Within seconds his breathing had become deep and even. He was undoubtedly asleep again.

Eric glanced at Rebekah to share a moment of mutual surprise at the proprietor’s trusting disposition—he supposed costume-shop business would be especially light in December, but still…

Rebekah wasn’t paying attention. Some costume had already caught her eye. She released Eric’s hand and immediately gravitated toward the ugliest wedding dress Eric had ever seen. The yellowed and limp lace collar looked like an enormous bib that covered both shoulders and half of the front. The skirt was layered with wide ruffles and some net-like fabric that looked as if had been caught in a paper shredder. Rebekah touched the ugly thing as though it were made of solid gold.

His heart panged as he realized what was bothering her. She didn’t want to get married in a courthouse. She wanted a real wedding. One with flowers and bridesmaids and a church and an extravagant white dress.

“You look around,” he said. “I need to call Jace and let him know we’ll be at the courthouse a little later than anticipated.”

His best man and witness wouldn’t appreciate spending his

entire day waiting at the courthouse while he and Rebekah goofed off in Malachi’s Costume Emporium.

“I should call my mom and let her know too,” she said, turning the dress to stare at the equally ugly reverse side. Five bows exploded from the rump in shameless celebration of the dress’s gaudiness.

“I’ll call her,” Eric said.

Rebekah tore her gaze from her strange obsession and blinked at him with her mouth hanging open. “You’re volunteering to call my mother.” She pointed at him and then at her chest.

He’d had a moment of bonding with Rebekah’s mother at the hospital that morning, and he wanted to use it to his advantage before he screwed something up and she went back to hating him again. He figured he had a couple days in Mrs. Blake’s good favor. Tops.

“Yeah, I’ll call her. No problem.”

Rebekah shrugged and went back to worshiping the ugly wedding gown.

Eric bit his lip as he watched her, wondering how to make her happy. He had a pathological need to bring her as much joy as she brought him. He figured it was time to call in a few favors. He stepped outside to make several calls because he didn’t want Rebekah to overhear his sudden change of plans. He hoped his friends would be willing to drop everything for him today and wondered how long he’d be able to stall his bride at the costume shop while they made his plan happen. His stomach was doing all sorts of acrobatics as he dialed his soon-to-be in-laws’ house and waited for someone to answer. He prayed his hesitant bride liked his impromptu surprise. He’d be crushed if he couldn’t make her burst with joy by the end of the day.

♥♥~♥♥

from Patience

© 2014 by Olivia Cunning

GROGGY FROM SLEEP, SED ROLLED OVER in bed and reached for Jessica. When he found nothing but empty pillow, he felt a moment of panic. He lifted his head to see if the bathroom light was on and then checked the clock. Even though it was past eight, the room was more dimly lit than was typical for a southern Californian morning. It probably had something to do with the storm clouds he could see outside the French doors to the balcony. And the absence of his heart and soul probably had something to do with it being his wedding day.

And hers.

Jessica had wanted to stay in a hotel room the night before so they wouldn’t see each other before the wedding, but three orgasms had exhausted her enough to keep her in his bed. At least for the night. She must have risen early and vacated the place. He could almost picture her with her hand over her eyes as she scooted out of the bed to avoid glimpsing him even in sleep. He made a mental note to tease her about it later. He’d only agreed to a traditional wedding because his family was expecting it and Jessica said she wanted one. He didn’t care how the deed was done as long as he could make that woman his in the eyes of God, his friends and family, and the fine state of California. That way she would never leave him again.

Sed rolled out of bed and stood naked before the French doors, scowling at the angry clouds overhead. Jessica would be heartbroken if it rained today. He wanted her to be happy every day, but especially today. He wondered if the band’s manager could do something about the weather. Jerry was a miracle worker when it came to keeping the band from falling apart, even though they’d gone through plenty of tragic events in the past couple of years. Surely the guy could stop a few rainclouds from dampening his day.

Sed’s cellphone rang and he recognized the guitar-solo ringtone of his best man, Brian Sinclair.

“Are you up?” Brian asked in greeting.

Sed glanced down at his morning wood, which would have been stone hard if Jessica was in his morning routine, but it was

already subsiding in her absence. “Not quite,” he said.

“Jessica and Myrna just left with an entire van full of giggling women. We need to go round up the guys and pick up our tuxedos.”

And how Jessica had ever talked him into wearing one of those, Sed would never know. At least she hadn’t insisted he wear one of those ridiculous bow ties. That was not happening.

“I’ll be over as soon as I get out of the shower.”

“You nervous?” Brian asked.

“No,” he said, but as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his stomach lurched in protest. “Not much,” he amended.

“Jessica is a wreck this morning. Not that I blame her. Look who she’s marrying.”

One corner of Sed’s mouth lifted in amusement. “Great, Brian. That’s just what I need to hear this morning.”

“Just remember I’m the nice one. Wait until Eric gets going.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sed said with a laugh. Nothing anyone said or did would keep him from marrying Jessica today. Not even Eric Sticks.

He found it hilarious that Jessica had set out proper socks and underwear for him in the bathroom. He’d gotten her really worked up the night before when he’d told her he was wearing white tube socks with his black tux and dress shoes. He did enjoy riling her. But he’d behave himself today. She was already under enough stress. Tonight, on the other hand, her temper was bound to get poked. And that wouldn’t be the only thing he poked.

Like a good husband-to-be, he wore those dumbass, thin black dress socks with his basketball shorts, T-shirt, and cross-trainers. He just hoped no paparazzi were waiting at the gate of his condominium complex this morning. He felt as lame in the dress socks as he looked.

When he arrived at Brian’s house, a party of cars was already parked in the long driveway. He recognized Aggie’s black Mustang, his sister’s Toyota, Eric’s Corvette, and the big van that Rebekah drove to haul her brother Dave and his wheelchair around. Jessica’s car was there as well. He really wished he’d gotten to see her that morning. His day never started right when he had to start it without her.

Sed rang the doorbell and was ushered into the house by Brian. He was surprised the man wasn’t holding his son. The kid was

always attached to Brian’s arm except when he was on stage playing his guitar. He occasionally let Sed hold him. And nothing filled Sed with wonder more than snuggling his friend’s baby against chest except the knowledge that in seven months he’d be cuddling one of his own.

“Where’s Malcolm?” Sed asked.

“With his mother,” Brian said. “Come in. Did you have breakfast? Myrna said to make sure you ate something. She doesn’t want you fainting at the altar.”

Sed laughed. “Why the fuck would I faint?”

“It happens more than you think. Remember when Trey fainted at Malcolm’s birth?”

“Shut up, assmunch,” Trey said as he entered the room on cue.

“I missed that, unfortunately,” Sed said.

“Invite him to Jessica’s delivery,” Brian said, “and behold the hilarity for yourself.”

“I don’t think Jessica will want an audience of Trey.”

“I don’t know,” Trey said. “It’s not like I’ve never witnessed the two of you fucking in the bed right beside me.”

“We thought you were asleep,” Sed said.

“Dude,” Eric said, loping into the foyer to join the festivities, “where the fuck did you get those socks?”

“Jessica said I have to wear them with my tux.” Sed looked down at his socks and scowled.

“You could have brought them and changed into them later instead of wearing them now,” Eric said.

He punched Eric in the shoulder. “But I want to make sure they’re nice and smelly before the ceremony.”

The mechanical whir of Dave’s wheelchair announced his arrival into the increasingly crowded foyer.

“Why are we all congregating out here?” Dave said. “The strippers are getting lonely.”

“Strippers?” Sed’s band and crew had thrown him a wild and rather incriminating bachelor party a few nights before. He didn’t need any repeats this morning.

Brian chuckled and shook his head. “Myrna’s having some work done in the dining room. They’re stripping wallpaper off the walls this morning.”

“Good one, Dave!” Eric said with a hearty laugh.

“I think I’ve been hanging around with you too much,” Dave

said. “Your lame sense of humor is wearing off on me.”

“Five minutes is too much when it comes to Eric,” Sed teased.

“That’s what she said,” Dave added with a laugh.

Eric had no qualms against smacking his brother-in-law in the forehead.

“Where’s Jace?” Sed asked, noting the absence of the final member of his band.

“Asleep on Brian’s couch,” Trey said. “You know he doesn’t function before noon.”

“I think Aggie got a little vicious with him last night in the dungeon,” Eric said. “It’s got to be rough for them on the road without their St. Andrew’s cross.”

“I heard that,” Jace called from the living room off to the right of the foyer.

“What are you going to do about it, Tripod?” Eric asked.

“Gift you an hour-long session from Aggie when she’s on her period.”

“Eww, why when she’s on her period?” Eric asked, his long nose crinkled in disgust.

“Because she’s twice as vicious when she’s in a really bad mood.”

Sed still hadn’t taken Jessica for a training session with Aggie. He wasn’t afraid or anything. But now that Jess was pregnant, he couldn’t imagine that her using a cane on him to work through her frustrations would be good for the baby. Yeah, good excuse. It was bad for the baby.

Brian presented Sed with a piece of paper. “Jessica said you are to follow this schedule and not deviate from it at all.”

Sed scanned the contents, scowling at things like trim nails and brush teeth. What? Was he five? He glanced at his fingernails and decided they could use a trim, but still… He could plan things on his own. In fact, he’d planned their entire wedding dinner on his own. When he’d realized that a morning wedding and an afternoon reception meant they’d have the evening free, he’d taken it upon himself to arrange something special so he could celebrate his new wife in style. Having sex in another unusual location had only been part of his motivation for devising his plan. He’d rock her world tonight, he had no doubt. But he knew how important it was for her day to go without a hitch, so he’d follow her stupid list without argument.

Eric handed him a pink box that looked like something a three-year-old would store her beloved plastic princess tiara in.

“What’s this?” Sed asked.

“This is where you’ll keep your balls once you’re married,” Eric said. “Jess probably doesn’t want to continue keeping them for you.”

Eric ducked in time to avoid Sed’s retaliating slap.

“It only hurts for a minute,” Brian said, “and then you’ll wonder why you ever insisted on holding on to them in the first place.”

This bit of teasing was nothing compared to the massive ball and chain they’d manacled to his leg during his bachelor party. They hadn’t removed it until late the next day. Luckily, Jess thought it was hilarious when he came to bed that night and had to sleep in his jeans with his leg dangling outside the covers. It had been Jace who’d finally come to his rescue. Probably because the manacle had originated in Aggie’s dungeon.

“I need mine for baby making,” Sed said and handed the box back to Eric. “And keeping my woman in line.”

Even the strippers in the dining room laughed at that claim.

♥♥~♥♥

from November Rain

© 2014 by Olivia Cunning

AGGIE WRAPPED HER ARMS AROUND JACE and stole a kiss. Distracted, he kissed her back, but he didn’t seem to mean it. She gave his ass an appreciative squeeze and drew away to stare into his dark brown eyes.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Just a bit…” His eyebrows drew together. “Cold.”

While June in London wasn’t as warm as June in southern California, it wasn’t cold. Not even close.

“Cold?”

“I’ve been cold since we left the Tower of London yesterday.” He pursed his lips and shook his head.

“Are you coming down with something?” She touched his forehead, then his cheeks. He didn’t feel feverish. “Jet lag maybe?” He’d been a bit off all day. She hadn’t even been able to convince him to join her in the shower that morning.

“Maybe,” he said and wrapped his arms around his body to hold in a hard shudder.

Because she’d wanted to play tourist, she and Jace had rented a car to make their way from London to Donington Park for Sinners’ stage performance at the Download Festival. The rest of the band had left on the tour bus the day before. Maybe Jace was just worried they wouldn’t make it to the show in time. Their set didn’t start until late that night and driving across England wasn’t quite the same as driving across the United States.

“We’ll make it. We just have one more castle I want to see, and it’s only an hour and a half to the venue from there.”

“Another castle?” He grinned crookedly. “I’ve seen a different side of you these past two days. I never knew you were such a history buff.”

“History is so dark.”

He chuckled. “Just the parts that interest you.”

At her insistence, they’d spent the night in Mailmaison Oxford Castle—a creepy castle that had been used as a prison; their room

had once been a cell. Jace had been a bit skittish the entire time, claiming some presence was lurking around him. She’d laughed his claims off, and he’d gone quiet on her, internalizing as he did when he didn’t think anyone understood where he was coming from. She’d wanted to play tourist and had easily talked Jace into seeing some real dungeons, but while he’d started their adventure with enthusiasm yesterday morning, he’d been uneasy and listless the rest of the day. A restless night’s sleep hadn’t improved his disposition.

“Are you having any fun?” she asked.

“Do you really think I’d have fun touring the English countryside looking at old castles?”

“And dungeons,” she reminded him.

His gaze lowered, and he smiled. “But not the good kind of dungeons.”

“We don’t have to leave home for the good kind. If you want to go directly to Donington and skip our last stop—”

He tipped his head to rest his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. They stayed like that a long moment while he mulled over his thoughts. They’d been together long enough that she knew he wasn’t ignoring her when he was silent. He was merely thinking. At first, her natural instinct to demand a reaction had made it difficult for her to give him these quiet moments of contemplation, and they’d gotten into plenty of arguments over it, but she now understood if she gave him a moment to put his thoughts in order, he would share them with her. Eventually.

“I’m not having fun, not exactly,” he said.

Her heart sank with disappointment.

“But I am enjoying my time alone with you away from the insanity of the tour. Even if I have to listen to history lessons all day, at least the British accents are entertaining.”

Aggie chuckled. “What would you rather do?”

“Well, that would require one of those fun dungeons, but since I haven’t seen one of those since we arrived, I’m content following your evil guidebook.”

She pulled the dog-eared copy of Tour the Scandals of England from the back pocket of her jeans. “Not evil. Just a bit naughty.”

They were working their way through the Tudor period, visiting sites where noteworthy members of society had done their dirty deeds or been punished for them.

“What’s next?” he asked, his strong fingers sneaking under the

hem of her T-shirt to stroke the bare skin of her back.

Pretending not to be affected by that simple touch, Aggie flipped to the next stop on their self-directed tour. “Sudeley Castle, once home of Queen Katherine Parr. Only six months after the death of her husband, King Henry the Eighth, she married Thomas Seymour.” She glanced up from her reading and met Jace’s eyes. “Any relation?”

He shrugged. “Not that I know of. My father’s family was originally from England, so maybe, but I really doubt it. Do I look like royalty to you?”

“You’re king of my domain.”

He chuckled. “That’s more power than the King of England could ever claim.”

She shifted on her feet. It was hard for her to admit that he held power over her. Not because he dominated her but because she loved him so much, she knew she’d do anything necessary to be with him. Not a comfortable position to find herself in, but Jace was worth the compromise. Unequivocally worth it.

“Let’s go check out your ancestral home,” she said and tapped his leather-encased arm with her book. “Maybe you’re a baron or a duke and never even knew it.”

He chuckled. “If I’m related to Thomas Seymour of Sudeley Castle, I’m sure my branch of the family tree was sawed off centuries ago.”

“We can pretend; it’ll be fun,” she said and kissed him gently before opening the rental car’s door and slipping inside. She inexplicably had a steering wheel in front of her. Crazy backwards cars. Grinning sheepishly, she slipped back out of the car and said, “I changed my mind. You should drive.”

“You meant to do that, did you?” He winked at her knowingly.

“Of course,” she said and hurried around to the other side of the car.

In her wrong-side-of-the-car passenger seat, she unfolded the large map of England and traced the road they’d be traveling to their next destination. “It’s about a hundred kilometers from Oxford,” she told him when he settled into the car beside her.

He scowled. “Which is how many miles?”

“Sixty or so.”

“That’s not far.”

Once they were on the main road, they settled into a

comfortable silence for several miles. It had been weeks since they’d been completely alone without interruptions. She enjoyed touring with his band all over Europe, but she was looking forward to getting back home in October. She missed her dungeon and her customers, but mostly she missed quiet evenings with Jace and his silly cat, Brownie. They’d had to leave the feline behind when the tour had brought them to Europe.

“I’m glad I decided to take a day off,” she said, watching his face while he concentrated on driving on the wrong side of the road.

He glanced at her and smiled. “Me too. You’ve been working so hard on filling orders for corsets that I hardly see you without a needle in your hand.”

Her business was definitely keeping her busy. Too busy. She’d collected so many orders while the band was touring the U.S. that she had enough to keep her fingers sore for months. She was horribly behind in her embroidery work, but everyone needed a day off every now and then, so she didn’t feel too guilty.

“I’ve been thinking of working with some other fabrics. The silk corsets on display at that museum this morning were gorgeous.”

“I like yours better,” Jace said with a sheepish grin.

Hers were all made of leather, so of course he liked them better. He rarely went without his leather motorcycle jacket. And that was another thing she missed—riding behind him astride his rumbling Harley. But sitting on the wrong side of the car and taking in the sites was fun too. Smiling to herself as they passed through a quaint village, she caressed the platinum band of the solitaire engagement ring on her finger. Every moment with Jace brought her joy. She’d never thought she’d fall in love with a man. She definitely never thought one could hold her heart so completely and that she’d actually relish the feeling. She still pretended to be a badass dominatrix, but she’d come to terms with having an uncharacteristic soft spot for Sinners’ silent bass player the day he’d crumpled at her feet and begged for mercy.

They arrived at their destination without mishap. Jace parked in a small lot. Through the trees, Aggie caught a glimpse of the enormous sandstone castle.

“I’ve seen this place before,” Jace said.

“I thought you’d never been to England before.”

He shook his head. “I haven’t. I must have seen a picture of it

or something. It looks familiar.”

He opened his door and climbed out. He paused before the car’s hood and stared up at the stone façade of the immense structure. Still inside the car, Aggie saw a shudder ripple through his entire body. He took a hesitant step in the direction of the castle. And then another.

He was halfway down the path to the gardens before Aggie opened the car door and climbed out. “Didn’t you forget something?” she called after him.

He froze and turned to look at her. His breathing was uncharacteristically rapid and shallow. For a second he seemed not to recognize her. He lifted a hand to massage the golden hoop in one ear and tilted his head. “What did I forget?”

“Me!”

He held out a hand, and she trotted toward him to take it. As soon as his fingers wrapped around hers, he hurried down the walkway toward the entrance. After having to drag him through attractions for two days, his sudden change in enthusiasm baffled her.

“What’s gotten into you?” she asked as he bounded the steps and swung the entrance door open.

“We’re going to miss the last tour,” he said, pointing at a sign.

This week only—Rare opportunity to tour the castle’s private living quarters at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Tour space is limited.

So maybe he was having a better time than he’d let on. Or maybe there was something unique about this place. She wasn’t sure why he was in such a hurry to catch another tour.

Luckily for them, there was space in the tour due to a last-minute cancellation. As they moved from room to room and the guide droned on about dates and lords and ladies, Aggie watched Jace with more curiosity than she held for any artifact or tidbit of historical information. Even though his eyes scanned every inch of every room, he didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the tour. As they made their way through the luxurious castle, his stride became more and more stiff and his brow furrowed deeper and deeper with displeasure.

“Jace,” she whispered as he glared at a set of drapes, “is something bothering you?”

“This is all wrong,” he said. “She wouldn’t approve of any of this.”

“Who?”

“Katherine.”

Aggie stiffened. “Who the fuck is Katherine?” While Aggie trusted him, she sure didn’t like the name of another woman tumbling affectionately from his delectable lips.

Jace stared at her wordlessly for a long moment. If she hadn’t known better, she’d have said he didn’t know who she was.

“Jace?”

He closed his eyes, shook his head, and shuddered violently. The tour group had entered another room by the time he flipped his eyes open to look at her again. “Aggie?”

“You’re acting weird,” she said.

“I’m feeling weird. It’s like I’ve been here before, but nothing is exactly how I remember it.”

“Déjà vu?”

“I guess. I’ve never felt this way about a place before.” He wrapped his arms around his torso and rubbed his upper arms. “It’s chilly in here, isn’t it?”

It wasn’t. She touched her fingers to his forehead to check again for fever. She almost hoped he was coming down with the flu; at least his odd behavior would have an explanation. “You don’t feel feverish, but I have to admit you’re sort of freaking me out,” she said.

He released a soft laugh. “You and me both, babe.”

“Should we go? Maybe you should lie down for a while before you have to be onstage.”

“No,” he said hastily. “I like it here. I want to see every inch of the place, even though something feels a bit off and I don’t know why that would be.”

“Maybe you were here as a small child and that’s why you remember it. And things look different to the adult you.”

“Maybe,” he said with a shrug.

She got the feeling he was only saying that to make her feel better about the bizarreness of what he was explaining, and she truly appreciated him for soothing her fears.

Based on appearances, the castle wasn’t the least bit creepy. The décor was elegant and inviting, the ceilings high and the rooms filled with abundant natural light from the enormous windows. But she couldn’t deny the shivers racing along her spine or the goose bumps on her arms. Maybe it was a little chilly in here.

At least she thought so until Jace leaned closer and captured her lips in a heated kiss. Nope. Not chilly in the castle at all. A bit too warm, if anything.

The chandelier overhead creaked. Aggie tugged her mouth from Jace’s and glanced up at the enormous light fixture, her heart hammering.

“Are you sure you like it here?” she asked, taking his arm and moving him out from beneath the inexplicably swaying chandelier.

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s like I belong here or something.”

She knew he didn’t get that feeling often. Hell, he hadn’t even felt like he belonged in his band, and it was obvious to everyone but him that he was tailor-made to fit their ranks. She patted his back and smiled, truly happy that he found a place that he connected to, no matter how many heebie jeebies were tickling her belly.

“Maybe you really are related to that Seymour guy. We should ask about him.”

Expecting him to disagree, he surprised her by smiling brightly and nodding. “Yeah, I think I will.”

They caught up with the tour group in the next room. Aggie stared at Jace in disbelief as he raised his hand and snapped his fingers to gain the tour guide’s attention.

“Yes?” the woman asked, her head cocked slightly.

“Did someone named Thomas Seymour live here at one time?”

“Indeed,” the guide said. “I usually talk about him in the chapel where his wife, Queen Katherine, is buried.”

“His wife is buried there, but he isn’t?” Jace asked.

“He was executed for treason less than a year after her death. Quite the scoundrel, that one. Well, depending on whom you ask.” She giggled.

“Oh,” Jace said flatly. His eyebrows scrunched together. “Would you mind telling me where he was executed?”

“In the Tower of London.”

“Wasn’t everyone?” an older man in the tour group asked, which elicited a round of laughter.

Jace didn’t look amused. A bit nauseated maybe, but not amused.

“He was only lord of Sudeley Castle for two years,” the guide continued. “He didn’t have much claim to the place.”

“I don’t think he’d agree with that,” Jace said under his breath.

The guide cocked a brow at him. “What do you mean?”

“Nothing. Please continue.”

The guide gave him a long look and then took a deep breath to continue with her rehearsed spiel about a different lord of Sudeley Castle.

“Scoundrel, eh?” Jace said, and then he produced an unfamiliar soft laugh. “If only the truth were half as interesting as the lies.”

“Have you completely lost it?” Aggie asked Jace.

He looped his arm through hers and trailed after the group, looking mildly amused for some inexplicable reason.

“It is a distinct possibility, my dear,” he said in a perfect English accent.

She gaped at him, but allowed him to lead her into the next room. “You’re full of surprises today.”

“Am I?”

She nodded.

“Must be a side effect of basking in your splendid beauty, lovey,” he said.

She stopped, drawing him to a halt beside her, and checked him for fever yet again. Jace didn’t say things like that unless they were in bed and he was sure there was no one around to hear him. Or even see his lips move. She hadn’t known he even knew the word splendid. And when the fuck had he started calling her lovey? “I think you need to see a doctor, baby.”

“I think you need to kiss me.” He drew her against him and brushed his lips against hers. A nearby door slammed. Jace pulled away and cupped her cheek. “She always was the jealous sort.”

Aggie drew her eyebrows together and shook her head. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s nothing. I’m just teasing.”

She might have believed him if he were the type to tease. He wasn’t. Jace turned and tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow again. He led her to a closed door, the one that had slammed for no apparent reason when Jace had kissed her. Even his gait was stiffer than usual as he opened the door and ushered her through it. He looked like Jace, but he didn’t talk like Jace or act like Jace or even walk like Jace. If she believed in ghosts and the supernatural—and she didn’t—she’d have insisted they turn back. Something was filling her with a dread she couldn’t explain.

“Uh,” Jace said, “I think we’ll skip the next room.”

“Why?”

“It’s Mary’s nursery. I don’t want to go in there.”

“How do you know that?”

“I… overheard the guide say as much.” He nodded resolutely.

“Jace…” A chill raced down her spine as he took a step back from the room where the tour guide was speaking rather loudly about the child born to Queen Katherine and her fourth husband, Thomas Seymour.

“Very tragic,” the guide said. “The baby was only days old when her mother died of puerperal fever.”

“I don’t think you should go in there either,” he said.

Aggie straightened her spine, wondering when it had become a yellow wet noodle, and strode across the hall to the door with as much confidence as she could muster. “I’m going in.”

When she was about to cross the threshold, the door slammed in her face. Aggie’s breath caught in her throat.

She glanced at Jace, who was looking around as if completely lost.

“How did I get here?” he asked.

“You walked. I need to find a bathroom,” Aggie said. “I suddenly need to go really bad.” And she wanted to get away from that nursery as soon as possible. Part of her wanted to get away from Jace as soon as possible.

“We shouldn’t leave the tour,” Jace said.

“Do you want me to piss my pants?”

“Maybe.” He grinned his usual adorable grin.

She hugged him against her tightly, relief settling over her. “You’re you.”

“Who else would I be?”

“Something weird is going on here.”

“I’ll say,” he said. He squeezed her even harder than she was squeezing him and then took a deep breath before releasing his hold. “Let’s find you a bathroom.”

Aggie nodded gratefully. Ghosts didn’t haunt toilets, did they? Hopefully they only did so in Harry Potter novels.

 
 

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One Starry Night – Chapter One

One Starry Night – Chapter One

One Starry Night Cover vFinal 300dpi

“Why am I here? Why am I here?” Michelle muttered under her breath as she pushed open the double doors and stepped into her old high school’s gymnasium.

She brushed her damp palms over the red silk at her hips and glanced around looking for direction.

She already wished she had followed her first instinct and avoided this event as if it were a contagious disease. She no longer had anything in common with these people. She still wasn’t sure how her once best friend, Dee Peterson, had talked her into attending their ten-year high school reunion. In her high school formal gown, no less. Like they were reliving senior prom all over again. She felt like a fool. She was pretty sure she was a fool. Why else would she have agreed to this?

The entire gym was decorated the way it had been ten years before—from the purple and silver balloons to the copious white streamers to the tinfoil-crafted stars taped to the walls and dangling from strings on the ceiling. The theme was written across a huge white banner above the stage. One Starry Night. Who had thought this was a good idea? A prom revival? Really? Michelle struggled to keep her eyes from rolling.

She had been glad to leave the cliques of high school behind. She hadn’t known who she was back then, but she had a pretty good handle on what she stood for now. And she was no longer the scared little follower who’d done anything and everything Dee Peterson asked of her. Well sort of. She was here at Dee’s whim after all. Apparently, old habits died hard. But maybe she hadn’t actually come because Dee had pleaded with her. Maybe she’d come to see if her so-called friends from high school had become more interesting people or if they were still the same group of mean bitches she’d allowed to rule her social life all those years ago.

Michelle walked up to the reception table and hunted for her nametag among the dozens still there. She recognized several names, especially those belonging to the collection of jocks and cheerleaders who she’d once considered her best friends. One name in particular jumped out at her. He’d been somewhat of a jock—built like a tank in high school and, therefore, recruited by an enthusiastic coach—but he’d spent more time with the choir geeks than his football teammates.

Sedric Lionheart. She was surprised he’d even consider attending. Michelle glanced up at the attendant. The smiling woman looked familiar, but even the name Claudia Bennett on her badge didn’t ring any real bells.

“Is Sedric Lionheart really attending?” He happened to be the most famous member of their graduating class. The lead singer of the metal band Sinners.

“He’s on the maybe list. Along with Jake Tremaine.”

Michelle’s cheeks went hot. She wasn’t sure how Claudia knew that she’d be interested in seeing Jake. Or more likely avoiding Jake. Jake—the guy who’d claimed her virginity, her sanity, her hold on propriety. Jake—the guy who’d fucked her body right and done her heart wrong. No one knew that she’d met him in secret under the boardwalk late at night or how hot that guy had once made her. Did they? How could they know? Neither she nor Jake had wanted their secret out. She was too goodie goodie to run with his crowd and he was too misfit to hang with hers, but dear Lord when they’d been alone together… There had been more than sparks

between them. Their tryst had been an insatiable inferno. And she had definitely gotten burned in the end.

Michelle hadn’t seen Jake since graduation, when he’d pretty much told her he had better things to do than her. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to see him now. Part of her wanted to know what he’d done with his life. Another part was afraid those old wounds would reopen and burn her again. She’d been over him for a while now, but it hadn’t been easy. Their breakup had likely changed the entire course of her life. And, unfortunately, she’d yet to find a lover that made her burn the way he had, so she still compared all men to the guy. And, she couldn’t lie, that really ticked her off.

“Oh, I figured everyone already knew about the connection,” Claudia said.

Connection? That was a nice way to put it. Shit. Maybe Michelle should flee now.

“Jake’s a roadie for Sed’s band,” Claudia continued. “So they’ll probably come together, if they come at all. I think Sinners is touring in Europe now.”

Michelle’s breath came out in a whoosh. So Claudia didn’t know about her affair with Jake. Not that it mattered much now, but in her popular-crowd teen years, she hadn’t wanted anyone to know how a troublemaking bad boy had gotten under her skin and between her thighs. And all the while she’d shamelessly worn her purity ring like the other virginal cheerleaders. She remembered being terrified of getting kicked off the squad and somehow that had made being fucked senseless while wearing that preppy cheerleading uniform all the hotter.

She found Jake’s badge in the lineup right below hers, but it was the badge resting above hers that she touched with bitter regret. Devlin McAllister. The sweetest boy she’d ever known. He’d asked her to prom in front of all her friends and she’d had to turn him down. None too gently, she recalled. If he’d have asked her in private, she’d have been more careful with his feelings. She might have even asked him on a date. Not prom—she’d been expected to go with the football team’s star running back and had done her duty as vice squad leader and Dee’s fucking minion. But because everyone had been watching the scene and had heard Devlin ask her, she’d shredded him. And she still felt like a complete bitch for doing so. When she’d tried to apologize to him later, he’d avoided her. Not that she blamed him. She would have avoided seventeen-year-old-Michelle too. She’d been horrible to people. And not just to Devlin. It made her sick to her stomach to think of how mean she’d been to some of her classmates. Why had it taken her so long to grow a goddamned spine and stand up for what she believed in? She doubted she’d ever figure out the answer to that question.

“Was I ever mean to you in high school?” she asked Claudia.

The round faced woman shook her head. “I don’t think we ever crossed paths in high school. All I ever cared about was singing in the choir.”

“I’m glad I wasn’t mean to you,” Michelle said.

“You did make my best friend, Joan Carmichael, cry once.”

“I did? Is she here? I want to apologize to her for whatever I did.” Maybe this was why she’d really come. Not because Dee had begged her or because she cared what her co-bitches had become, but to make amends with everyone she’d ever hurt in high school. Michelle hoped she hadn’t done any permanent damage to anyone. She hadn’t realized how long a person could carry emotional scars. She had a few from Jake Tremaine that still pained her on occasion.

“Joan said she wouldn’t come to this thing for a million dollars,” Claudia said, “but I’ll tell her you’re sorry…”

“For?” Michelle asked.

“Telling her she was too fat and clumsy to be on the cheer squad.”

Michelle’s face went numb and she rubbed her lips with two fingertips. “I didn’t say that, did I?”

Fuck. She was sure she had. Dee had hand selected who she wanted on the cheer squad and had employed her friends to make the other hopefuls feel so bad about themselves that they didn’t bother to try out. It had worked for the most part. The only girl who’d been brave enough to try out against Dee’s wishes had been Phoebe Gates. She’d made the squad because the coach had recognized her talent, but she had never been welcomed into the group because Dee had never wanted her in the group in the first place.

“Tell Joan I was wrong. And I wish she wouldn’t have listened to me and had tried out anyway. I’m sure she was good enough and no one had the right to make her feel otherwise. Not me. Not Dee Peterson. Not anyone.”

Claudia stared at her with wide eyes. “I’ll tell her. She won’t believe you actually said that, but I’ll tell her.”

“Is Phoebe Gates here?” Because Michelle wanted to apologize to her next.

Claudia shook her head. “I think Dee intentionally forgot to invite her.”

Michelle wondered why she’d ever called that woman her best friend. She didn’t even speak to Dee anymore and as far as she was concerned she never wanted to speak to her again.

“Mishy!” a loud and enthusiastic voice carried across the gymnasium followed by the rapid clicking of stilettos in her direction.

Michelle cringed. Never was apparently a very short span of time. Only one person called her Mishy and refused to stop no matter how many times Michelle told her that she didn’t like to be called that. It seemed she’d be unable to avoid speaking to Dee after all.

Michelle turned to find Dee standing uncomfortably close. “Oh, just look at you!” Dee squealed and smacked a kiss near each of Michelle’s cheeks. “Stunning as always. And in your actual prom dress.” She whispered close to Michelle’s ear, “None of the others can still fit in theirs. Not a single one of them. Can you believe they all let themselves go?”

“I see you were able to fit into yours,” Michelle commented as she scanned Dee’s perfectly maintained figure and the deep purple satin that encased it. The six-foot tall, willowy blonde still looked as svelte and athletic as she had when she’d been leading the cheer squad.

Dee slid her hands down her slim waist and rested them on her narrow hips. “My husband would divorce me if I let myself go,” she said and tossed her head to send long golden waves dancing about her shoulders.

Michelle struggled not to scowl. “Nice man you have there.”

“He’s such a wonderful provider. I have everything I want. Come say hello to the girls.” She whispered out of the corner of her mouth, “I must warn you. Most of them look like hell.”

So that’s why Dee had insisted on a prom revival. So that she could boast that she still fit in her prom dress. That her outer beauty hadn’t faded—yet—and she didn’t much care if her inner core was as rotten as ever. She never had recognized the worth of a beautiful soul and that obviously hadn’t changed. Wearing that dress and looking fabulous allowed Dee to brag and make others feel inferior to her. It’s how she’d once maintained her iron fist over the young women of the cheer squad, who had so desperately needed to belong—by giving everyone an inferiority complex. Including Michelle. She hadn’t recognized it in her youth. She’d been too naïve to see it. Michelle had always assumed Dee was just a bitch, but seeing her now made Michelle realize that Dee was a sad and empty person. Had she always been that way? Michelle wondered if she could get through an evening of dealing with the woman’s bizarre emotional needs. She doubted she’d tolerate it long. She didn’t have much patience for this kind of bullshit

anymore. She’d seen too much of the world and its true horrors to tolerate First-World pettiness. And that’s exactly what this was: pettiness.

“I don’t keep slim on purpose,” Michelle said, wishing she’d worn anything but her prom dress tonight. Even flannel pajamas would have been preferable. “It’s more of an occupational hazard in my case.” Crawling through savannahs and jungles and tundra with a camera practically glued to her face kept her fit and often hungry. Her photography didn’t provide much opportunity for gluttony or laziness. There weren’t any McDonald’s restaurants in Madagascar and Greenland and if she was running, it wasn’t for recreational purposes. It was for her life.

“You do have a unique career, Mishy,” Dee said, gazing down her nose in such a way to indicate that she thought such work was beneath her.

“I have been lucky in that regard,” she said. She wouldn’t trade her job for the world. Not even for Dee’s once-coveted approval.

“Dee!” Caroline Mitchell and Jenna Farrow started waving Dee over from across the room, looking positively giddy when Dee waved back. Apparently, Michelle was the only one who no longer coveted that approval.

“Are you coming?” Dee asked. “Jenna knows all the latest gossip on Phoebe Gates. Did you know she’s on food stamps now? I guess that’s what happens when you marry a loser and pop out five kids in the span of ten years.”

Michelle didn’t want to gossip about Phoebe. She’d been such a sweet girl. Michelle was certain there was more to Phoebe’s story than Jenna knew or cared to share. But if the details didn’t somehow elevate Dee’s self-worth, she wouldn’t want to hear them.

“I’ll be over in a bit,” Michelle said. “I need a drink.” She eyed the punch bowl, doubting it contained the kind of drink she would need to get through the evening. And while she wouldn’t mind getting caught up with the rest of her friends, she didn’t want to be anywhere near the joy-poison that was Dee Peterson. Or the women who still felt the need to feed her hunger for superiority.

Michelle feared this particular starry night was going to be the longest, most unbearable night of her life.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Sinners on Tour Extras

 

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Almost Paradise – Excerpt

Almost Paradise – Excerpt

Almost Paradise Cover v300dpifrom Almost Paradise

© 2016 by Olivia Cunning

Eric paused in the formal dining room’s doorway and gazed at the adorable woman sitting in one of twelve matching Elizabethan high-backed chairs surrounding the highly polished mahogany table. Her blond and purple hair was mussed from sleep, and one bare leg was tucked up into the tattered, baggy recesses of a faded UCLA sweatshirt, but she fit there. In his home. In his life. She fit. She was his everything. His Rebekah.

Unable to resist her allure for another moment, Eric approached her chair and leaned over the back. He slid his palms over Rebekah’s lower belly, pressed his cheek against her head, and closed his eyes, taking a moment to inhale her scent and bask in her warmth—she was so alive beneath his hands, so vibrant. Days ago when she’d thought her cancer had come back, Eric had thought he might lose her. And though they’d said forever vows soon after their fears had been vanquished, he still had a hard time grasping that this perfect woman was his, that he’d found someone to love and to love him. Later today they were going to the tattoo parlor to get additional vows etched into their skin. Not that he’d ever forget what he’d pledged in her church before her family and his friends. He’d meant every word. He knew millions of men had recited those same words to their special woman, but Eric would honor Rebekah, love her, cherish her, in sickness if it came to that and in health for as long as he lived. The vows they were getting tattooed as part of sleeves from shoulder to wrist were unique, but the ones he’d spoken were just as heartfelt, no matter how canned they’d become over the years.

“Breakfast is ready,” he murmured, remembering why he’d sought her company in the first place.

“What did you put in my scrambled eggs this time?” she asked, craning her neck to look at him. A spark of mischief danced in her pretty blue eyes and a grin teased the corner of her mouth.

“Anise and paprika.”

She bit her lip. “Can’t even imagine what that’s going to taste like.”

But he knew she’d try them. It touched him that she’d risk her taste buds to make him happy. Not even Jace—the most amenable of his bandmates—would sample Eric’s culinary experiments.

The laptop Rebekah had been using clicked shut, and she covered the backs of his hands with her palms to press them into more firmly into her belly.

He shifted his gaze to stare at the lid of the computer, wondering why she’d hidden what she was doing. “Watching a little porn this morning?”

“Who needs porn when married to you?” She laughed when his hands moved up her body to cup her breasts. “Case in point.”

“If you weren’t so damned irresistible, I might be able to keep my hands off you. Or get through at least part of my day without a stiffy.”

“Those stiffies only make me want to be more irresistible to you,” she said and slid her hands up his arms.

“Not possible.” He turned his head to kiss her temple, but the idea that she might be hiding something from him wouldn’t leave his thoughts. “So what were you doing on my computer?”

“You’re not going to be one of those husbands who checks my browsing history and secretly reads my emails, are you?”

Maybe. “You wouldn’t like that?”

“Would you like it?”

He shrugged. “I don’t have anything to hide.” Did she?

“I happen to be planning a big surprise for you,” she said, “and I’d appreciate that it stay a surprise. So no peeking.”

Eric’s heart skipped a beat. He remembered the last time Rebekah had surprised him. She’d made his birthday one of the most special days of his life, topped only by the first time they’d had sex and by his wedding day. It wasn’t a coincidence that all the favorite days of his life centered on Rebekah. She was his everything.

He grinned and lifted his eyebrows at her. “A surprise?”

“Well, less of one now since I had to say something to keep you from snooping.” She elbowed him in the ribs.

He released her to rub at his side, and she slipped from her chair, scooping the laptop off the table and holding it securely to her chest.

“I wouldn’t have snooped.” Maybe. “So what kind of surprise?”

“A honeymoon surprise.” She offered him a mischievous smile and practically skipped into the kitchen toward the plate of eggs on the counter.

Honeymoon? Hell, yeah. He liked the sound of that. That would involve lots of sex and cocktails on the beach and more sex. He trailed after her. “So where are we going? Aruba? Jamaica?”

Her laugh interrupted him. “We’re not going to Kokomo.”

He brightened as another paradise occurred to him. “Hawaii?”

“No. No tropical islands.”

He scrunched one brow at her. “Then where?”

“Maine.” She beamed as if it were her dream vacation destination.

“Maine? The state?” His tone was almost as flat as his interest in going to Maine.

“Eventually. We’ll start here and drive across the entire United States to Bangor.”

He shook his head in confusion. “What’s in Bangor?”

“Aw, come on—you don’t want to bang her in Bangor?” She shimmied her shoulders and winked at him.

He snorted. This was why he married her. Well, her twisted sense of humor was one of thousands of reasons. “Of course I want to bang her—er, you—in Bangor. I want to bang you in every town on the planet. But you don’t seriously want to drive that far, do you? We’re on the road constantly when we tour with the band. Aren’t you sick of it?”

“I love traveling with Sinners, but we never get to see anything when we’re on the road. We’re too busy working. There are a whole lot of stops I want to make between here and there that we’d never get to see while we’re on tour. I’ve been marking them on my super-secret map.”

“It’s winter up there right now,” Eric said. As far as he was concerned, Maine in December was not for thin-blooded southern Californians such as himself.

“Exactly! Don’t you want to do donuts in the snow with the top down?”

Drive his classic Corvette in the snow? Uh, he was thinking no. “I’d rather eat donuts in the sand with your top down.”

The excited smile dropped from her face. “Fine. If you don’t like my surprise, forget it.”

His heart sank. Disappointing her crushed him. He took the laptop from her hands and set it on the kitchen counter before wrapping her in his arms. “We’ll go anywhere you want to go,” he said, pressing a kiss to her head. “I can’t wait to see where you take me.”

She snuggled into his chest and tightened her arms around his waist. “Too easy,” she said with a giggle.

Somehow, Eric felt he’d been had.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Sinners in Paradise Excerpts

 

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Take Me to Paradise – Excerpt

Take Me to Paradise – Excerpt

Take Me to Paradise Cover v1c.jpgfrom Take Me to Paradise

© 2014 by Olivia Cunning

Only one thing could top being woken by a skilled lover expertly sucking his cock: knowing—without even opening his eyes—that his wakeup call was being delivered by his sensational wife.

“Well, good morning to you too,” Brian said, lifting his head from the pillow to watch her work her magic.

Myrna smiled a greeting with her pretty hazel eyes since her mouth was otherwise occupied. She took him deep into the back of her throat and increased the strength of her suction as she pulled back.

His belly tightened in an involuntary spasm of delight, and he dropped his head back on the pillow, wondering what he’d done to deserve this phenomenal alarm clock.

Myrna bobbed her head until Brian was so hard he could have used his dick to carve marble, and then she pulled back until he popped out of her mouth. He watched her in silent awe as she crawled up his body to straddle his hips.

“My temperature is optimal,” she explained, reaching between her legs to press his cockhead into her slick opening. His flesh throbbed with pleasure as her tight pussy swallowed him inch by glorious inch.

Myrna wanted a baby almost as much as he did, and though they’d been trying for months, they hadn’t found success. She had recently resorted to taking her temperature near the middle of her cycle, hoping to find her fertile time. She’d switched from a romantic approach to a more scientific one when fucking like rabbits any time they were in the same room together hadn’t done the trick.

“I should be on top,” he said, “so gravity isn’t working against us.”

She pursed her lips and nodded, blinking against the sudden flood of tears in her eyes.

He sat up and wrapped both arms around her. “Don’t cry, baby. It will happen.”

She clung to him as if afraid he was about to desert her again. He knew half of their problem was that his tour schedule with Sinners kept them apart most of the time.

“How can it happen when you’re always on the road?” she said and snuggled her face into his neck.

“I’m not on the road now,” he said.

“Only because the tour bus was ripped in two.”

“Maybe your ovaries planned it that way,” he said and rolled her onto her back. He was hoping to bring a smile to her face, but she just scowled at him.

“Don’t joke about the crash. That was the most terrifying experience of my life.”

She’d done well at hiding her fear until they’d been alone together and she’d completely fallen apart. He’d loved how she’d needed his strength to help her come to terms with the accident that had nearly taken their lives, but he didn’t love that it always took a life-threatening crisis for her to show any weakness.

He kissed her deeply and began to rock his hips, willing memories of that horrible experience to leave her mind and his. When she relaxed beneath him and began to explore his back with gentle fingertips, he churned his hips to give her more pleasure. He knew he could give her pleasure, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever give her the baby she wanted so badly. He was starting to think there was something wrong with his potency, which made him want to make a baby even more. To prove that what he kept in his pants wasn’t just for show. That it could get the job done properly.

Myrna moaned softly, grinding against him as her excitement built. He lifted onto his elbows so he could watch her as he thrust into her, pulled back, and then plunged into her again. He would never tire of looking at her face or its countless expressions—her joy, her anxiety, her passion. Her fear and sorrow. Her anger and tenderness and wonder and love. He cherished every nuance of her beautiful face and doubted he’d ever grow tired of watching her—not even when they were both old and wrinkled like a pair of enamored raisins.

“I love you,” he whispered when the emotion became too raw to hold inside.

She smiled up at him and lifted a hand to touch his beard-stubbled jaw. “I love you too Brian.”

They deserved to have the ultimate expression of their love. They deserved to have a baby. So why was making one so fucking difficult for them?

He made love to her slowly, filling her deeply, waiting for her to find her peak. He followed her in orgasm, planting himself firmly against the entrance of her womb as he found release inside her. He withdrew slowly, trying not to disrupt what he’d left behind, and then rested his head on her chest as he slowly regained his breath. She ran her fingers through his hair while he prayed that they’d made it happen this time. Please God, let her be happy. Let her have a baby. My baby. Please.

“Let’s go away somewhere,” she said after a moment. “Just the two of us. We never got to have a real honeymoon after our wedding, and Jerry said it will be awhile before you’re able to get back on tour. Plus, my leave of absence from work extends for another full week.”

Going on a honeymoon sounded like a great idea to him. While spending time with Myrna in Kansas City was wonderful, it would be spectacular to get away from everything for a while. Maybe staying in the apartment where her creep of an ex-husband had shown up and made her feel unsafe was stressing Myrna out. His mom had told him that women sometimes had a hard time conceiving when they were stressed. She’d also told him that older women often struggled to get pregnant, but he’d immediately dismissed that reason. And he had not told Myrna that he’d been worried enough to call his mom for advice. His mother wasn’t on Myrna’s list of favorite people. Especially after his mom blamed Myrna for not getting to attend her own son’s wedding and was unabashedly vocal about her disapproval of his and Myrna’s age difference. It wasn’t as if seven years was eons. And he loved Myrna. Adored her. He was euphorically overjoyed to have Myrna as his wife. Shouldn’t that be what his mother cared about? Not their age difference, but their happiness together? He often didn’t understand how his mother’s mind worked.

“Where would you like to go?” Brian asked.

“I’ll go anywhere,” Myrna said, “as long as I’m with you.”

His heart warmed. He loved the rare occasions when she said romantic things to him.

She crinkled her pert nose, and he knew her atom-thin romantic streak had already vanished. “Except Canada,” she said. “Canada doesn’t seem to like me much.”

The bus accident had occurred in Canada, and they both knew the crash had nothing to do with a place liking anyone, but he understood her hesitation to return there so soon after tragedy had struck the family of their little metal band.

“I’ll call a travel agent and see what’s available in a hurry,” he said. “Are you hungry?” He lowered his head and kissed her flat belly. He wondered what she’d look like with his baby growing inside her. He was positive that it would be the most beautiful sight he’d ever see.

“A little. Are you?”

“Starving,” he said.

“I’ll get up and make you breakfast.”

He pressed her firmly into the mattress. “You stay here and incubate,” he said. “I’ll bring you something.”

“I appreciate that,” she said, her eyes growing moist again.

Damn, she was emotional while trying to get pregnant. He couldn’t even imagine how emotional she’d be once she actually conceived. He wouldn’t mind, though. He was more than happy to make midnight runs for pickles and ice cream to keep a smile on her face. He’d do anything to make her happy.

“No problem,” he said and kissed her pouty pink lips. “It’s the least I can do after that wonderful wake-up you gifted me with this morning.”

“When my ovaries say it’s time, it’s time,” she said with a laugh.

“We have at least twelve more hours to take advantage of their cooperation,” he said.

“Better make that breakfast a quick one.” She patted his ass. “I’m ready for you to take advantage of me again.”

 

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