Saturday, May 2, 2009

Just a Dream by Aliyah Burke

Caden buckled herself in as her savior tossed his coat into the backseat and did the same. The charcoal gray cable knit sweater didn’t mask the rippling muscles of his upper body. The light blue jeans did a wonderful job of outlining his rock-hard quads. Add to that the way he smelled; like a culmination of fresh waterfalls, warm amber, and smoky sandalwood. A scent with no boundaries. Her throat grew dry and she forced her attention back to her side of the warm vehicle.

It doesn’t matter how hot he is. Or seemingly perfect, he’s military. She recognized the DoD stickers on the front windshield and the cut of his hair screamed military to her He could be retired. Marines, if she had to take a guess at which branch. Her heart clenched with remorse as her husband’s image flashed before her. She felt she was doing something wrong by enjoying the way her companion looked. Still, her gaze drifted back over to where his strong hands gripped the steering wheel. Long powerful fingers with clean square nails, even after he checked out her vehicle.

“I’m Liam.” His voice jolted her out of her mesmerized state.

“Excuse me?”

He looked at her as they drove up the road and he smiled. The sight of his green eyes created a knot in the pit of her stomach, a knot of the sexual kind. “My name…it’s Liam. Liam Quinn.”

Caden returned his smile briefly before licking her lips. “Nice to meet you. I’m Caden Bradshaw. Thank you for helping me out.” One foot touched the briefcase between her shoes, making her breathe a bit easier.

She saw a flash of white teeth against bronze skin in the lights from the dash. “I’m sorry I couldn’t fix it for you there on the spot.”

“Stopping to help is more than enough. It isn’t done so much anymore.” She relaxed back against the seat as she followed the near-hypnotic beat of the wipers against the windshield. The snow was still falling. Feeling safe and warm, Caden felt exhaustion pour over her. Stifling a yawn, she did her best to stay awake.

“Caden.” The deep sexy voice broke through her dreams.

She was so warm and cozy the idea of being woken and disturbed didn’t sit well. Refusing to open her eyes, she groaned her frustration and tried to burrow back into the heat.

“Caden.” The single word shattered through the veil and she dragged her eyes open.

A windshield. She was looking out of a windshield. Brows furrowing, she turned her head toward the door and the direction the voice had come from. Liam leaned into the vehicle through the passenger side door and she knew they’d reached their destination. A deep emerald gaze stared back at her, filled with humor and another emotion she wasn’t ready to begin to acknowledge. In a flash, comprehension flooded her and jerked her wide awake.

“Welcome back,” he teased, backing up so she could get out. She noticed her suitcase behind him.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed. I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you like that.” She could feel the rush of blood to her neck and face.

“Not a problem. Come on in and I’ll show you where the phone is.”

Liam turned and walked toward a door, stopping to grab her suitcase. For a brief second, Caden watched the swagger in his stride. His ass, although partially hidden by the sweater he wore, was worth dropping to her knees and thanking the Almighty for. Grabbing her briefcase, she hurried after him, barely taking time to look around the garage they were in. He opened a door and stepped through before glancing at her over his shoulder. With only a slight hesitation, Caden stepped into his home.

She remained silent as she followed him through a short hallway and into the main part of the house. A silent gasp escaped her as she took in the stark whiteness of the decor. High ceilings, white carpet everywhere. It was beautiful, with its Native American artifacts and spaciousness, and yet it looked unlived in. Sterile.

“You have a lovely home,” she said as he led her past a kitchen with hardwood floors and through the living area. He stopped before an open door leading to a bedroom done in slate blue. It looked very welcoming. Liam placed her bag in the door and looked at her.

“Thank you. You can get cleaned up if you wish. There is a phone in the living room, feel free to use it and make yourself at home.” With a military spin, he left her alone, disappearing without a look back.

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Dragon's Lust by Savannah Reardon

Kiana awoke the morning after her capture and rose from the bearskin rug to pad quietly down the stone corridor. As she walked down the massive hall, she noticed doors that had escaped her detection the night before when she staggered wearily to the room the dragon indicated. They looked too small for the dragon to pass through. Each door she tried was locked tight. She wondered what purpose they could possibly serve.

The dragon was nowhere in sight. She sat in front of the fire and ate heartily from a tin platter resting on heated rocks. After filling her stomach, she decided to explore the cave. Her wanderings found nothing exciting, only a few meandering passageways. Each passage held more of the locked doors, and Kiana wondered if the cave had previously been home to a human.

When the dragon still hadn’t appeared after her foray into the stone dwelling, Kiana peeked outside. A sickening feeling crept over her when she realized her horse was missing. It took a few deep breaths to keep her breakfast from coming up. Surely not? She wiped sudden tears from her cheek. Even he couldn’t be that cruel.

Listening carefully, Kiana stepped out of the cave. She heard only the sound of the small creatures living in the forest. This might be her only chance at escape. Disregarding her nakedness, she sprinted from the mouth of the cavern and took off down the path. It was a two-day ride back to her home. It would take twice that on foot. She didn’t care. She was going home.

Kiana felt no after effects of the warmth which had filled her sex the night before. Convinced the tale about his saliva was just that, she pushed any thought of consequence from her mind. Mostly, she kept to the path, veering into the dense blanket of trees only once when she heard the approaching sound of horse’s hooves. The rider flew by her, the colors of the King marking him as a courier. Kiana remained hidden until he passed. Her nakedness kept her from seeking out help.

When the sun shone high overhead, Kiana searched the area close to the path and found several bushes heavy with ripe red berries. Sitting upon the lush grass, she ate until she felt she would burst. Such a full stomach made her drowsy, so she lay down for a nap, confident the canopy of leaves would hide her from sight if the dragon flew overhead while she slept.

Images of the night before flooded her dreams. Pleasure-laden cries echoed through her mind as memories of his tongue sliding inside her ran like a river through her dream. As she reached climax, she woke suddenly. Her pussy felt swollen and hot. At first, she thought it only the effects of the dream. However, as she resumed walking, the warmth grew stronger.

“It’s not real. It’s just my imagination.” Despite her denial, heat flamed in her pussy, which throbbed with hungry need. The day dragged on, the sun beating down upon her bare skin. Kiana barely noticed the kiss of sunlight upon her body as the blazing inferno within her pussy burned hotter than any fire she’d ever known. Her nipples hardened and ached as the pulsing of her sex shot tendrils of heat through her body.

Her hands strayed to her breasts, fingers worrying her nipples, pinching and pulling them. She stumbled on a rock and fell, her body lurching to the side and landing upon the floor of the forest. Instead of getting up, she curled into a ball and whimpered as need coursed through her. On instinct, her hand moved between her trembling thighs and vigorously rubbed her pussy lips.

Desire made them swollen and wet as her fingers delved between them. She cried out when she brushed against the hard button. She stroked it, remembering how she felt when the dragon used his tongue there. Her body shook as pleasure coursed through her, the aroused state of her pussy sending her crashing over the edge almost immediately.

Tears of frustration flowed down her sun-kissed cheeks as the fire in her pussy raged, the orgasm doing nothing to stem the tide of heat. The need for relief ruled her, and she continued pleasuring herself. The heat would not abate. Her thoughts grew incoherent, and her body eventually gave out in exhaustion after multiple explosions. Even in sleep, her fingers rubbed against her pussy.

In the dark of the night, Kiana was vaguely aware of the sound of hoof beats and mumbled unintelligibly as strong arms plucked her from the ground and laid her over the smooth back of a horse. She returned to fitful dreams as the fluid movements of the animal lulled her back to sleep.

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The Craft of the Wise: Divination by Dee Carney

Jenna Whiteman threw her hands into the air as if praying for divine intervention during her conversation with the stubborn, arrogant werewolf.

She tried again. “We need to get the Book of Shadows back. It doesn’t matter how much protection we provide Ava if she doesn’t have the means with which to defend herself. And us, I might add!”

Frosty blue eyes did their level best to bore a hole into her forehead. She simply glared back. No way she’d let the lieutenant intimidate her in any shape or form. No matter how good looking he might be.

He slammed his fist against the table, then winced as the noise echoed in the large room. The growl that followed was low and contained. “My pack leader is upstairs recovering from severe injuries after trying to save the princess. From another witch, I might add. We are pledged to protect her. I will not break that pledge!”

Just to get him to stop talking, she wanted to scream her frustration at him.

If Ava Valentine’s cousin, Dina, didn’t possess the Book of Shadows, they wouldn’t be in this mess. But no, the thirteenth daughter of the coven had a relative who wanted the power the book and related tools could provide. Never mind she joined forces with the demons to do so. If they could get the book back, Ava might be able to permanently banish the demons from their realm. Until now, the werewolves’ protection was supposed to be a boon, not a hindrance, to that mission.

Jenna had no problems standing toe to toe with the pack’s lieutenant, Vince Albright, who wanted no part in trying to retrieve the book. He wouldn’t be budged without further instruction from his pack’s leader. Unfortunately for everyone, Aaron was still recovering in bed upstairs. Ava would not allow anyone to seek his guidance for their next steps in defending the witches from demons. Not, at least, until he had regained his full strength. That could take days. The longer Dina had the book, the more Jenna feared.

Jenna’s hands formed a mock strangling position. If An’ it harm none, do what thy will didn’t guide her life’s principles, she could have wrapped them around his thick neck and throttled to her heart’s content. The conversation–argument–had long since taken her past the tipping point.

What made matters so much worse was simply how irritatingly good looking Vince was. Long red hair tied in a ponytail, shocking blue eyes and a firm, muscled body were only a few of the attributes that held her attention when she talked–argued–with him. An intricate tattoo flexed over a meaty bicep. He walked with a hunter’s grace and carried himself in a manner that could intimidate lesser men. All of it made her heart thump louder.

She’d drown out the thumping by yelling at him if that’s what it took.

How could she get him to understand what her dreams foretold? Each hour they delayed, Dina strengthened her position within the demon community. As the days passed, she would seek other witches to join her cause. Congregate a coven of her own. Solo practitioners, dark arts idolizers, and any banned from covens would be quick to buy her twisted philosophies. The Craft would never be the same.

Jenna had already cost her coven by not interpreting the signs quickly enough. She might have been able to prevent the injuries already caused if she had done more. Guilt preyed on her mind every hour that passed. Dark circles under her eyes grew darker with each morning. Nights found her enveloped in black dreams.

She looked towards the High Priestess, who sat with a bemused expression on her face. Why didn’t she say something? “High Priestess, we need your guidance here. Please?”

Mayda Valentine waved absently and then leaned forward in her chair. “I suspect you object so vehemently because you know more than you’re telling us.” She arched her eyebrows. “Am I correct?”

Jenna stared into the soft green eyes. The older Valentine could always read her like a book. She fell back into her chair in a slump. Chewing on her bottom lip for a moment, she opened her mouth to reply but then caught a glimpse of Vince waiting expectantly for her answer. His expression made her snap her mouth shut.

Stupid, arrogant werewolf. He’d probably ridicule her or dismiss the unclear warnings if she voiced them out loud.

Closing her eyes, she shook her head. She didn’t know. Not for certain. Just fleeting images and feelings.

“See? There’s no rush. No need to move forward without a plan,” Vince sneered. He took his seat again and pointed a finger at Jenna. “Not until we hear from Aaron.”

She chanced a glance at Mayda only to feel a blush creep over her cheeks. The white-haired woman kept her gaze on Jenna. She probably knew full well there was more to the story. But she wasn’t ready to share it. Not yet, at least.

She couldn’t share with the group that she knew without a doubt waiting would be a mistake that would cost them dearly.

A huge mistake.

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Surrender to the Night by Jae Knight

In the dark realm of Tenebrae…

Evonn awaited her guests in the unoccupied throne room. Giving her orders in Davriel’s throne room would shed some credibility on the lie she would tell the small army she was about to send into Tellus, the human world. If Davriel knew what she was up to…but then he was so focused on persuading the Guardians not to seek the help of the Changeling vampires. He’d most likely never even notice a few of his warriors were missing.

Evonn paced the dais, her fingers running over the two thrones that sat proudly upon it. One day she would grace one of those prestigious seats as Queen. Soon…

The seven demons she had ordered to see walked gracefully into the room. Their stance was defiant, and she resented them for it. Evonn calmed her rising temper with the soothing thought that they would be punished for their insolence when she became Davriel’s queen. She smiled widely at them and watched them form rank around her before the dais.

“Mistress Evonn has asked for us?” the leader of the small group asked. He was called Beast. He had once been one of the few demons Davriel had trusted by his side to lead his armies. But Beast had become nigh uncontrollable. His blood-thirst was great and unquenchable. He ravaged hordes of humans. This was not his crime. His carelessness was what had made Davriel so angry that Beast was stripped of his rank and was now the leader of this small band of brigands.

And so the two brothers barely got along.

But Beast did have one weakness…lust. Evonn could twist a male’s lust for her own benefits. Mikhail, even, was not strong enough to resist her.

“Yes, Beast. I have asked specifically for the seven of you. You are all strong…brutal, actually…and I need your services. There is a vampire I need you to find. She is the key to finding a certain Halfling I must bring back here. You will find her and question her of the whereabouts of the vampire who changed her,” she explained. Evonn stepped down from the dais and walked around the warriors. She stopped to stand behind Beast, her fingers trailing up his back and into his long black hair. She smiled with satisfaction when she felt his muscles tense.

She continued. “The Changeling you seek is named Korinna MacDougal. She is a second generation vampire of Scottish origin and currently hunting our kind in New York. The vampire she is following will be moving on to New Orleans. Search for her there. The vampire who made her goes by the name Siobhan O’Conghaile, a first generation vampire of Irish descent. Her whereabouts are unknown. Siobhan was made by the Halfling I seek. She is the one most likely to help me find him. You must find Korinna and make her tell you where Siobhan is. If she is…difficult…find a way to bring her to me and we will question her together.”

Walking sedately back up to the dais, Evonn glanced at the group over her shoulder and grazed Beast with a smoldering stare. His eyes narrowed briefly but then traveled down her body and came to rest on her bare feet where the shadows swirled around her slender ankles.

“And the Halfling?” Beast prompted, his eyes coming back to rest on her face.

“Oh…we’ll worry about the Halfling when we know where we can find him. Just find the Changelings and question them. That is all you must do. If you succeed, maybe I can put in a few complimentary words to Davriel for the lot of you. Oh, and you can do what you will with the Changelings,” she added as an afterthought.

“Does Davriel know of this plan of yours, Mistress? I fail to see why a Halfling should concern you,” one of the demons asked. His name was Kevarr and had once been an elite warrior before he dared to question Davriel. He had lost an eye for his defiance. And he was questioning her now…

“Dear, dear Kevarr…how foolhardy you are! Questions will not do you any good. Care to lose the other pretty blue? I didn’t think so. Anyone else care to question Davriel’s Head Mistress? No? Good. Obey me and you will be rewarded,” Evonn promised them and saw the eager gleam in their eyes…or eye, in Kevarr’s case.

“And exactly how will we be rewarded, Mistress Evonn?” Beast asked, and she was not surprised by the question. She knew what he wanted.

“A higher position in Davriel’s army, for one. And for you, Beast, oh, I have something more in mind for you if you can lead your demons successfully in this task of mine,” she answered. He did not misunderstand her, and his eyes devoured her again.

Satisfied that she had delivered her orders clearly, Evonn waved them out with a few parting words. “You may go now. Do not draw attention to yourselves, I beg you. You will be sorry if you do.”

Beast bowed sarcastically to her, a lusty smirk etched on his beautiful face, which was marred only by the two rough stumps of horn where Davriel had snapped them off when Beast had been stripped of his ranking as a Prince of Tenebrae and followed the others out of the throne room. Evonn was left alone with the shadows of the deceased undulating around her. The fire blazed cold and black in the braziers around the throne room. Yet she smiled.

Oren would give her such sway with Davriel, she was sure. The Halfling son of her King was the surest way to get herself on the throne. Davriel kept his family close and his Halfling son would be no different. She would be the one responsible for giving him his son and for uniting the demons with their Halfling children. Think of the alliance, the power it would bring to join forces and double their numbers! Evonn would be praised. Davriel would soon be her mate, and she would give him strong children to fight beside him.

She needed to work fast. Her mating cycle was fast approaching, and Davriel was too careful not to sire any children with a mistress. He had made only one mistake with a human female, whose cycles were nothing like a demon female’s cycle. Evonn was the only one to hold that secret close.

She would find a way to dispose of Mikhail for he would always be standing in her way. He was the son of the King and the only Queen that Tenebrae had ever known. But the Queen had died long ago with a little help from Evonn and no one knew her terrible secret.

Evonn had thought Mikhail would be easy to control. She had been so wrong. He was the only one who had seen through her. So he must go. Oren, the first child of Davriel, would be there to take Mikhail’s place. Oren would be completely loyal to her. After all, she would be the one to give Oren his father when he had never known what it was to have a family.

Nothing and no one would stop her from becoming the new Queen.

After all these years of waiting for the perfect opportunity, Evonn finally had a plan. And it would work. No one could withstand Beast. Soon, she would have all the answers she needed to find Davriel’s estranged son.

Wouldn’t Davriel be surprised to find he had another child?

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

History Lessons by Jennifer Mueller

The fire burned brightly in the fireplace when he found his room. A mist outside made it a dreary night. A perfect night for feeling sorry for oneself. Why couldn’t he just endure the night and make his family happy?

A voice came out of nowhere. “Not very gentlemanly to leave a lady at table alone in a sea of gossipers.”

“I am sorry, Miss Beaufort. I assure you it is no slight to you.”

A hand touched his neck softly where there should be none. A gentle thumb traced his cheek. “My name is Rose.”

Edward pulled his eyes from the fire as she bent down, eye to eye with him. She glowed; there was no other word to describe it. Golden skin, copper hair, emerald eyes. “You blushed earlier, and yet now act as if we are long engaged.”

“Have you thought that is perhaps why I am here? No one has made me blush before and many have tried. My heart pounds, my knees are weak, and thoughts are in my head no one has put there before, not even my dead husband.”

His knuckle traced the edge of her low-cut neckline and she gasped. “Miss Beaufort, is it?” He asked it as her eyes closed, when his hand dipped beneath the dark red muslin. Full breasts, with nipples that turned hard the moment he touched one.

“Lady MacGillivray brought me as companion when she received the invitation. I believe she imagines that your brother would find a Miss more desirable a wife than a widow. Biggest matchmaker in Edinburgh, so I hear. My husband fought in the peninsula. He came back different, not the man I knew. He wouldn’t even let me comfort him. Then Waterloo took him for good.”

Nothing stopped him as he pulled one breast from its confines. “Rose, you should stop me.”

“I came to comfort you, I suppose, the way I was never allowed with Graham. Please don’t send me away. I think it’s gotten turned around now.”

Edward pulled on her gently and she fell in his lap. “Send you away?” Her face was hidden in his neck, but it left the breast he had bared only a hair width from his mouth. The sigh that escaped when his tongue touched her was pure music. Rose turned, giving him access. “God, it’s been too long. Did you at least lock the door?”

Her smile was radiant when she pulled back. “Of course.”

Edward reached behind and undid the few buttons holding her dress tight. She seemed even more eager than he was as she pulled it over her head. The corset and chemise followed quickly. The brief glimpse he was given earlier was nothing compared to the full view.

“No indeed, Mrs. Beaufort, nothing ill about you at all.”

She sat there on his lap nude and smiling as she offered up her breasts once more. Suckling made her moan with pure abandon. “More,” she sighed breathlessly, and almost screamed when Edward broke off, moving her from his lap until she was straddling him.

“Please, Edward.”

Such wide green eyes pleaded for release. “How long had Graham not let you comfort him?”

The words never came, though, as he ran a finger through her folds stretched open across his lap. Wet for him like no one before, she cried out as he slipped three full fingers deep within her. As he slowly thrust them in and out, her eyes opened, and lids heavy.

“How are you when you have room to maneuver?”

His thumb swiped through her folds once more, this time laying claim to her mound, and she shattered. Even with the noise of the dancing in the other wing, she bit her lip to keep from crying out at full volume. Edward stood as her head rested on his shoulder and carried her to the bed. She looked like Aphrodite lying there on the bed, sated.

“It was 1812 the last time, and you know well when Waterloo was,” she murmured. There was no way any sane man could have ever denied her, looking at him with those eyes. Away in battle yes, but lying next to her and denying her had just been cruel.

“I want you, Edward, all of you.” Her hand ran up his thigh. With nothing under his kilt, there was nothing to stop her finding out how much he wished the same.

He let out a curse in Gaelic when her thumb ran over the top of his cock. She wasn’t making it easy to get his clothes off as she stroked him throughout his attempts. Rose licked her lips when the kilt finally fell to the floor. “Please,” she whispered, her breath coming short. But as much as she pleaded it didn’t hurry her as her fingers traced the scars that covered him. A knock on the door made them both freeze.

“Are you in there, Eudard? Your mother is worried.” Erskine called out.

“Never better.” He grinned wider as he climbed on the bed, hovering just at her opening. “I’ve been on the road a long time, I just need some rest. I’ll play the good Duke tomorrow.”

Rose ran her fingernails up his back. He knew she was trying to pull him inside, but he resisted for just a moment longer.

“And what are you tonight then, the naughty Duke?” she whispered in his ear, as Erskine said goodnight.

“The luckiest Duke in the world. Never a finer welcome home a man could have.”

Her lips curled up in a cat-like grin. Only then did he slowly push his way in, watching the grin fade as her mouth opened in a silent gasp. He lay there unmoving, inhaling the scent of her in deep gratitude--a woman to comfort him, when war was always in his mind. Lucky didn’t start to describe it.

Rose picked his head up from her shoulder. “Come with me this time.” Her kiss was soft, and with it, she set the pace as he started moving. When she moved faster so did he, harder so did he, and just as he felt the start of going over the edge, she rolled. She sat there on him unmoving, holding him captive, her breasts barely rubbing on his chest.


“Say it again. I like hearing you saying my name with that burr of yours.”

“Rose, don’t tease.”

With that, she sat up. “I never tease. A proper welcome isn’t over in five minutes.” She held his hands, kissing each fingertip before pulling one into her mouth. Edward swore he felt matching pulls on his cock.

“A proper welcome can happen over and over and over,” he corrected. With that, Edward started thrusting, while she rode him like a horse. He’d never look at a woman on horseback the same again. It didn’t take long before she was on all fours again, matching his strokes, forcing them harder and harder. This time, he took her cries away as he kissed her. It was his last thought before he found his end.

In the morning, Rose’s eyes were closed as he licked the nipple that tempted him so much. As he made sure the other wasn’t neglected, her eyes opened. “I’ll be woken here soon. You should get back to your room unless you are prepared to marry a stranger.”

Rose stretched like a cat. “For a moment there, I thought I was dreaming and I would wake in an empty bed as usual. I’m sick of empty beds.”

“As long as I’m around, you won’t have an empty anything.”

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Murder by Design by Jade Falconer

Greg waited in the room adjoining the interrogation room. It was important not to let it appear that he was waiting for Sidney, but to make Sidney wait for him.

Sidney was led in. He looked pale under the harsh lights, and he looked around at the empty room. Then he sighed and took a seat at the end of the table, folding his hands in his lap.

Greg looked at him for a moment through the two-way glass. He felt as if he knew him already, though they’d never met. He slipped out of the observation room and into the other room, taking a seat across from him. “Mr. Singer, I’m Detective Wilson. I’ve been investigating the murder of Mr. Spencer. I’ve asked you here to answer a few additional questions with regards to your earlier statement.”

Sidney’s gaze took in the detective, and a slight frown creased his forehead. “Okay, but listen. Are you in charge here? ‘Cause my car got impounded, and it’s really a pain in the ass ‘cause I couldn’t even get my stuff out of it. Will I get it back soon?”

He was even more stunning up close, and Greg had to think for a moment to understand what he’d asked. “Yes. I apologize for the inconvenience. I’m in charge of the investigation. As soon as the car is ready it will be returned to you. Now, I had a question about your whereabouts on the night of the twenty-first. In your statement, you said you were with a Mr. Andrew Dowling between the hours of one-thirty AM and two-thirty AM, is that correct?” he asked.

A smirk played about Sidney’s lips. “Yeah. Andrew. I’d been working that one for a while. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, you know?” His gaze flicked over Greg, and his head turned to the side as he really looked at him.

“Do you know of anyone else who might have seen you together?” he asked. He didn’t need a thorough explanation of what they were doing together. He could imagine. He again cursed a little twinge of jealousy. It was completely ridiculous. This man didn’t know him, and surely wouldn’t be interested in him even if he did.

Sidney seemed to think about it. “There were lots of people there,” he said. “None of the names I gave you?” He trailed off, looking searchingly at Greg’s face. “Andrew denied it, didn’t he?”

Greg could see the very moment that the realization dawned on Sidney. “I’m afraid he did. I’ve been unable to locate anyone that saw you during that period of time. If there’s anyone else you can think of, anyone at all.” His heart went out to him. Greg knew this man wasn’t guilty. He had no evidence to support it; he just knew.

Sidney was silent for a long moment. “I loved Alan. I couldn’t have killed him,” he whispered, eyes shining with unshed tears. He looked down, blinking them away. “No one whose name I know, other than the ones I gave you,” he whispered. His hands twisted together in his lap.

Greg was rarely moved by a suspect’s tears, but this time was different. “I’m not saying that you killed him, Mr. Singer. I’m saying that all the evidence is pointing towards you. We are canvassing the employees of the club and people identified as regular patrons, but we still haven’t come up with anyone who can verify that they saw you during that period of time. And if you were in a private situation with Mr. Dowling, I doubt we will, either.”

“A private situation?” Sidney snapped, looking up directly into Greg’s eyes. “I was sucking his cock, Detective. He was coming in my mouth. And he’s so scared he’s pretending it never happened. That asshole. I’m so screwed now.” He buried his face in his hands.

Greg regarded him seriously. “I know this is a difficult time for you, Mr. Singer, but I do have a few more questions I need to ask.” He waited for Sidney to compose himself. He wanted to tell him that he’d been searching for evidence to prove his innocence, but that would sound weird. “I can assure you, we are doing everything possible to make sure that the right person is brought to justice.”

Sidney blinked at him. “You just said that there’s no proof that I was with Andrew. So you obviously think I’m the right person.” His voice held a small tremor but no more tears flowed. “Are you going to arrest me?”

“My opinion isn’t what’s important. It’s what the evidence suggests. I may have to arrest you, yes, but I’m hoping to avoid it.” He knew he shouldn’t have admitted that, but he knew no one was observing the interrogation. “Can you tell me if there’s anyone that you can think of who might want to frame you for this crime?” he asked delicately.

Sidney’s eyes widened and he leaned closer. “Frame me?” he repeated, biting at his lip. “Does that really happen outside of books and movies?” He gazed at Greg uncertainly.

Greg’s eyebrows furrowed. “Mr. Singer, if you were going to murder someone, wouldn’t you want to make it look like someone else did it?” he asked. The other man looked so fragile and pale. Greg wanted to offer him comfort, but he couldn’t.

Sidney pouted. “I wouldn’t want to murder anyone,” he protested. “I don’t know. I suppose people might be jealous of Alan and me. But I work hard. I didn’t just live off him.”

There was another question Greg wanted to ask. It was the only source of doubt in his mind, though he knew the other man might take offense. “In your statement, you referred to Mr. Spencer as your boyfriend, and yet it wasn’t a monogamous relationship, is that correct?”

Sidney once again regarded Greg for a long moment before answering. “Alan liked to watch. He couldn’t...” He looked down, tears leaking out of his eyes. “He’d had some kind of surgery and he couldn’t have sex. But he loved to watch me. I know it sounds weird, but he wanted it. It was his idea.” He looked up at Greg. “I didn’t kill him.” The tears trickled down his face unheeded, running his eyeliner.

Greg pulled a soft cotton handkerchief out of the pocket of his jacket and handed it to Sidney. “Were you aware that you were his sole beneficiary?” he asked. The question was really more to bring to Sidney’s attention that the case against him was grave.

Sidney took the handkerchief and dabbed at his eyes. “No. I didn’t know,” he said quietly. He looked up at Greg. “That looks really bad, doesn’t it?”

“I can’t lie to you, Mr. Singer. All the evidence points to you so far. Money is certainly motive enough for most juries. Your whereabouts at the time of the murder can’t be corroborated. The only thing we’re missing is the murder weapon.” He frowned. “If you can think of anything that might eliminate you as a suspect, I’d be more than happy to investigate it.”

Sidney stood up abruptly, hands on the table. “How about the fact that I didn’t fucking do it?” he demanded, but he was trembling. He sank back into the chair. “Oh God, I don’t want to go to jail,” he sobbed into his hands.

Greg’s hands were tied. There were so many things he wanted to say that would be completely inappropriate. “I wish I had better news for you, but unfortunately, those are the facts. I don’t have any more questions for you. You’re free to go. But I have to advise you not to leave town.” He stood as well, feeling awkward. “Can I offer you a ride somewhere?”

“I was supposed to meet Justin for lunch. I guess you could drop me at the restaurant,” he sniffled. He held out the sodden handkerchief. “Um, here. Sorry.”

Greg accepted the handkerchief. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, going to hold the door open for Sidney. “Oh,” he said, pulling his business card out of his pocket. “I want you to take this. My cell number is on the back. If you think of anything, anything at all, I want you to call me right away, all right?”

Sidney stepped closer and took the card, looking at, it then up at Greg. “Thanks,” he breathed. “You, you’ve been very nice. Considering.”

Greg stared into the warmest brown eyes he’d ever seen. He swallowed hard, feeling even more flustered than he had at Chris’ obvious overtures. “I’m just doing my job,” he said quietly. “I don’t want to arrest the wrong person.”

Sidney gazed back without moving for a long moment, then spoke. “Then don’t arrest me. I didn’t do it.” Then he turned and walked out the door.

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Dreams Delivered by Jaxx Steele

Mitch hardly ever worked on Saturdays, but he had leftover business because he left early on Friday to get to Luke’s house for the card game on time. He quit just after lunch, wanting to use the rest of the day to catch a nap and do some things around the house. He had plans to meet up with Barry tonight. It would be their fourth date. He had a good time with Barry and they had a lot in common. They had spoken every day since their first date. Barry’s adventurous spirit called to him and so did those sweet little bow lips.

Pulling into his parking lot, he took his keys out and walked inside of his building just as someone came up from behind him. Caught off guard, he stumbled forward and his dropped keys made a loud clank on the floor. He turned to fight and opened his mouth to scream, but the scream never left his lips. A large hand covered his mouth and nose with a damp handkerchief. Mitch’s arm was wrenched up behind him and his face pressed into the wall.

What the fuck!

Mitch struggled against his assailant’s arm with his free hand trying to breathe, but he was losing and fear started to creep into his consciousness. Mitch was not a small man. He stood six-foot-two-inches tall and weighed close to two hundred and twenty pounds. For this man to manhandle him with such ease, he had to be just as big or bigger. Mitch could tell the man was his height when his back pressed against the man’s shoulders during the struggle. Mitch reeled back, knocking his head into his attacker’s face in an effort to dislodge him. He heard the man grunt in pain, but he didn’t release him as they stumbled against the far wall. The man was unyielding and would not go down.

He forced Mitch back across the hall against the wall near his door and wrenched his arm behind him, smashing Mitch’s other arm between him and the wall. When Mitch tried to reel back again the man forcibly held him flat to the wall as the handkerchief slipped away from Mitch’s face. Pressing his body against Mitch’s and giving his arm a jerk, the man held Mitch in place against the wall again. The man let out a pleasing sound against Mitch’s neck and his cock was hard against Mitch’s ass.

Is he rubbing his cock on me?

Mitch was breathing hard and the handkerchief was still close to his face. His strength was weakening. The mugger didn’t have to work as hard to hold him against the wall and he readjusted the handkerchief on Mitch’s face. Mitch could feel the man’s face press against his neck as he ground on his ass again.

Is this guy enjoying this?

Suddenly Mitch’s world started to spin. His heartbeat was thumping hard in his chest, his head was banging and his knees started to buckle. Instead of releasing his captive, the man tightened his grip to assist Mitch as he slid down the wall to the floor. As Mitch’s struggles ceased he heard a soft soothing voice whispered in his ear before the darkness claimed him.

“Yes, that’s it, Mitch, it will be all right. In fact, it will be better than all right. This just may be the start of the best night of your life.”

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Termination of Employment by Nicole Gestalt

None of this was meant to happen. It was meant to be just a routine mission. Her contact was to hand over the last piece of a puzzle and then she was to report back to her unit. Now her contact was dead, and the people who had killed him were searching the train that she was stuck on. Worse still, she thought she had recognised one of the people, which meant one of two things: either he was working as a double agent, or her agency decided she had outlived her usefulness. Neither of the scenarios were ones she wanted to think about, and wished she had had a better look at the perpetrators so that she could have been sure.

Taking a deep breath, she looked around the cabin. It was a large cabin for only one person. Frowning, she looked at him again. He had sat himself on the bench seat across from her, waiting patiently for an answer. It occurred to Becca that he might be of some use if she could keep him on her side. If she was now classed as a rogue agent she would need all the help she could get, and as people went he wasn’t bad looking.

Having decided to give him at least some sort of explanation, she began.

“My name’s Rhi. Those two men were escorting me to somewhere I didn’t want to go. When we went through the tunnel I took the opportunity to leave their sides.” It was a total lie, but she didn’t think telling him he was presently harboring an international spy would go down too well, and at least this way he wouldn’t be able to give her true identity away.

He nodded.

“All right, Rhi. My name’s Andrew, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He smiled. The fact he didn’t ask any questions gave Becca a glimmer of hope. She slid the knife back into its place in her boot and hopped off the bed. Grinning at him, she sat down in the vacant space on the bench seat.

“Thanks for not saying anything,” she looked around once more. “Who else is here with you?” she asked nonchalantly.

Andrews shrugged.

“No one, I felt like splashing out a little, although I did have a different cabin but swapped it with a newlywed couple who wanted an even bigger bed.”

Becca was impressed. The cabins were expensive even for a single-sized bed, and this one had a double-sized bed, seats, and a small washroom compartment. She knew it must have been expensive, yet looking at Andrew he didn’t look like he had money.

“What is it you do?”

“I run a farm. I’m just on my way back from a farming conference, thought I’d go visit a few friends on the way.”

Becca noticed from his body language he was warming up to her being there.

One of the reasons she had been so successful as a spy was the way she melded into the different societies they placed her in. She worked best when she was able to use both her femininity and her training to get the information they required. She had been taught to be aware of situations changing, and to read body language to such a degree that she could tell from just seeing a person for the first time if they where friendly and at least vaguely trustworthy. Andrew seemed to tick all the right boxes and she looked him up and down approvingly. She was about to begin to talk once more when shouts from the corridor could be heard. Jumping up she looked around.

“Go back into the bed. Don’t worry, I’ll cover for you. I won’t let them get you, Rhi,” he said, smiling at her. Doing as he advised, Becca found herself once again squashed up in the bed as it was pushed up against the cabin walls. She knew it couldn’t have been the people looking for her again, it would have taken them much longer to get to the other end of the train and back, especially if they were going into every cabin.

Richard…someone must have found Richard’s body. A moment of sadness flooded through her but she pushed the feelings down. She couldn’t deal with his loss just yet. Once she was out and safe she would, but for now she had to continue on as if he hadn’t been killed in front of her. She shivered, and felt helpless just waiting.

Finally, the bed was pulled open again and Andrew’s face came into view.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” he asked, his voice harsher than it had been. Trying to feign ignorance, she frowned.

“What do you mean?”

“Well how about you turning up in my cabin for a start. Then there’s the two gentlemen who look more like thugs then anything else. Oh yes, and the dead body?”

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