Saturday, December 11, 2010

Her Snowbound Knight by Kasey Moone

Anelle met her rescuer’s gaze head-on. She knew what he was thinking. That she was a fool for trying to save her J-Lo jeans. But he didn’t understand. They were for a dear friend.


She squirmed in her seat at the realization that he was even more gorgeous up close and personal. When she’d first seen him, his beauty had knocked the breath out of her, sending her libido into a wild tailspin. Now, in the warm intimacy of the cabinet, his handsomeness announced itself like a great beam of light.

Brilliant crystal blue eyes, shadowed by thick lashes, stared at her from a hard lean face. A dusting of dark hair fell on a chiseled jaw that rested below a pair of sensual pink lips. His teeth were white and straight. His nose slightly crooked. Absently, she wondered about the color and texture of his hair. Too bad his scruffy hat hid the view.

Her perusal went lower. A hefty jacket accentuated his sculpted shoulders nicely. He was definitely cornfed: tall, lean, and muscled in all the right places. Just like she liked them.

Sure, white guys had never been her thing, but when in Rome…

She suddenly noticed that he was still staring at her. Laughter danced in his eyes. Had he noticed her examination?

“What?”

“You really are something.”

Oh God. He had noticed. “What’re you talking about?”

“You could’ve died going after those jeans.”

She breathed a sigh of relief. Then she blushed, thankful her dark skin masked it. He was right about the jeans, but she wasn’t about to throw him a bone.

“You got some balls.”

“They cost me a fortune,” she said, trying to explain. “A fortune.”

“Some balls.”

She was just about to say something clever, when he cranked up the engine and pulled out of the emergency lane. He pulled out and drove down the long stretch of road. Minutes of silence passed between them; the crackle of the engine and car heater the only sounds. She would’ve let it stay that way if she didn’t have the overwhelming urge to speak.

“Do you have a cell phone?”

“Yep, but it doesn’t work out here. The signal always fades.”

“That’s what happened to me,” she offered, suddenly wanting him to know that she wasn’t a complete nitwit. That it was her cell phone’s fault, of course.

He suddenly turned into a narrow path. A family of trees flanked them on both sides.

“Where are we going?”

“I have a cabin up ahead. You can call someone from there.”

Annoyed, she shook her head. “No, I want to go to a gas station or store. Not somewhere in the boondocks with a complete stranger. No offense.”

He grinned. “None taken.”

“Really, though. Isn’t there a K-mart or Wal-mart around here?”

“There’s nothing but me, you, and my cabin, ma’am. Plus, I’m not going to risk my neck driving you around town in this shitfest. It’s dangerous out there.”

The temperature in the cab rose at his words. Anelle clenched her thighs.

Well, it feels a little dangerous in here, too.

A sexy smile curved his lips. “Don’t worry. I won’t paw you. I work for the state’s snow removal department. I’m a government worker.”

“Oh, that’s reassuring.”

“Really,” he said, with a wicked smile. “You’re safe.”

She sighed. What choice did she have? It was either him or the storm. At least with him she had a fighting chance. She clasped her hands in her thighs, a determined expression across her face. Yes. She’d play by his rules—for now at least. Then she’d get the hell out of dodge.

****

Jasper hid his smile. The woman must’ve been certifiable if she thought she could call the shots in a blizzard. Should he tell her now that no one was going to risk the storm to help her, just because she had car troubles? That she was going to have to wait it out with him? He looked at her uptight face.

He’d wait.

She’d probably bolt from the truck at the news. And if his bad luck held out, he’d have to go stomping through the storm in search of her. He’d already joined the search for two missing snowbound people this month. She didn’t need to be the third.

He shot a quick glance in her direction. Unfortunately, her large jacket still covered her from head to toe. His curiosity about her body was growing stronger by the minute. Was it soft and curvy? Big breasts, small waist, wide hips? Or small top, big bottom? The questions were blurring his vision, making him as horny and prickly as a teenage boy. He made a slight turn and pressed on the pedal.

“So what else is in those bags? Kryptonite?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Drop it already.”

He shrugged. “Must be kryptonite...”

“For your information, I only have the basics: shoes, shirts, jeans, well I don’t have the jeans anymore, let’s see, scarves, lingerie, belts, and socks.”

“I’m sorry, did you say lingerie?”

“Yes.”

His voice grew husky. “Lingerie is not a basic, babe. Lingerie is a treat.”

“Oh, get real,” she stuttered. “It’s a basic.”

“It’s a treat.”

“Basic.”

“Treat.”

“Oh, shut up!”

Silence ensued. Jasper grinned. He couldn’t seem to stop teasing her. Acute sleep deprivation was fucking up his brain.

“What type?”

“Huh?”

“What type of lingerie?”

“Forget it.”

“Come on.”

“No.”

“Pretty, pretty please?”

“It ain’t going to happen,” she snapped, shooting daggers in his direction. She stuck a pinky in front of his face.

“You pinky sweared.”

He stared at her curved finger, perplexed.

“You promised you wouldn’t try anything,” she explained. “Remember?”

He chuckled. “I’m not trying anything. Just asking a harmless question is all.”

“Sure you are, white boy.”

“White boy?”

She glared.

“White boy.” He couldn’t help himself. “I like it.”

They suddenly looked at each other, shocked at the intimacy of their conversation. Jasper was the first to look away. He gripped the steering wheel.

“Er, sorry,” he managed. “The storm must’ve messed me up.”

A little “hmmph” was her only reply.

What was wrong with him? They’d just met! And he was doing exactly what he said he wouldn’t do: pawing her. He couldn’t seem to help himself though. She was cute when she was pissed. The realization annoyed him for some reason.

He decided to remain quiet for the rest of the journey. The last thing he needed was for her to punch him in the gut in retribution and leap from the truck. A short while later they arrived at his two-story cabin. He pulled up next to his black BMW and shut down the engine. The wind seemed to roar to life at his arrival.

“I’m leaving your bags in the snowplow.”

“But—”

“We’ll get them later.”

She sighed and threw up her hands. “Whatever you say, KISA.”

“KISA?”

“Knight in Shining Armor.”

He laughed. She was kind of sweet and funny when she wasn’t being certifiable.

“Stay close to me,” he said, reaching to fix a loose button on her coat. At the move he caught his first glimpse and feel of her chest. My God, she was stacked. The sashes and buttons did little to hide her magnificent breasts. Only made them prop up like a platter of goods. Satisfaction ripped through him. His already swollen cock grew harder. Fuck. He hadn’t sported a boner like this in ages. Luckily his coat concealed it well. With a loud grunt, he secured the last button. “I don’t want you to go flying off in the wind without protection.”

She growled. “Jeez--thanks.”

“What’s your name?”

“Anelle Franklin.”

“I’m Jasper Madison. Wish we could’ve met under different circumstances, Anelle.”

“Tell me about it.”

He shifted back in his seat, opened the door, and maneuvered his way around the truck to open her door. Then he guided her through the wind and snow, rocking all the way, and up the cabin steps. After much upheaval they finally made it into the warm sanctuary of his cabin. Safe.

Reindeer Games by Dana Littlejohn

Taylor Sinclair was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. Everything about him appealed to her. He was the perfect height. When he held her she could rest her head in the crook of his neck. His body was tight without being bulky. The Dudley Do Right cleft in his chin was so cute. His sandy brown hair was cut short around the sides and back, but hung low on his brow doing that Superman curl thing she found so damn sexy. His green eyes sparkled beautifully when he looked at her, especially when he smiled. The emotion in those emerald pools warmed her blood when they were filled with lust and passion, and spoke to her heart the way he looked at her before a kiss. Along with his physical beauty he was book smart, street smart and a genuinely nice guy. She had to make him hers.


“Get a room!” someone said.

They broke the kiss and turned to the voice.

“Are you guys coming to the party or what? It’s in the conference room, you know.”

“Yes, Natasha, we’ll be there. Aren’t you going to change out of your elf costume?” Kinze asked.

“Nah,” she answered with a wave. “When I change I want to be home so I can get into my warm fuzzy pajamas and drink me a hot toddy! I’ll see you guys up there.” She waved at them again and left the room.

“Okay.” Kinze turned back to Taylor.

“Do you really want to go to that party?” Taylor inquired with a small frown.

“Not really. I kinda have a better idea.”

“Mmm, I’ve seen that look in your eye before, Kinney,” Taylor said, tilting his head. “I know what you’re thinking...and I like it.”

Kinze laughed. “You think you know me so well.”

“Oh yes, I know you much better than you think I do.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yeah, like now you’re thinking about how much you want to snatch my clothes off and ride me right on this table.”

Kinze laughed harder. “Is that right?”

“Yup.”

She looked around conspiratorially, then gripped the front of his velvety red pants. “You’re right.”

Taylor’s groan vibrated through her, as he slid one hand up under her short green skirt to cup one of her butt cheeks. “I knew I was right. I like being right.”

Kinze pressed against his hardening bulge and leaned forward to kiss his neck. “So about that ride...”

“Ooooo, that feels good. You know you have a free pass to ride any time you’re ready, baby.”

“I’m ready now,” she whispered, giving his throat a lick.

“Mmm, I got just the place.”

Kinze let him lead her to a nearby storeroom. They had snuck in for a quickie a time or two before. She followed him to an out-of-the-way corner where he pulled her into his arms, kissing along her neck and exposed shoulders.

“I’ve missed you, Kinney. Seeing you every day and not being able to have you was like some crazy mix of pleasure and torture.”

“I know. Our schedules just haven’t been meshing lately.”

“I hated only being able to see you for a few hours a day these last few weeks. This gig was the hardest job I ever had to do. I can’t tell you how tough it was not to get a hard-on watching you prance around in this damn costume.”

“It will get better after the holidays. Everything will go back to normal.”

“Yes it will,” he whispered.

A throaty moan rose from her as Taylor intensified his kisses and gripped her breasts.

“Kinney, you have no idea what this outfit does for your body. It shows off your sexy shoulders and clings to your lovely curves. This damn shirt was made to only come down far enough to sit on this tight-ass booty of yours.” He emphasized his words by grabbing her butt and squeezing. “I don’t know whether to hug the designer or strangle them,” he added with a chuckle. “I do know that the men only brought their kids to see Santa just so they could get a look at my little reindeer helper. It drove me nuts watching them ogle you like fiends, but I couldn’t be mad at them because I did the same thing.”

“No one is paying attention to me like that.”

Taylor snatched down her shirt and exposed the strapless black bra that encased her full breasts. He pushed the cup out of the way to lift one.

“Oh yes, my love, they are and so am I,” he confessed.

My love? Could it be? No. Don’t read into it, Kinze. They’re just words spoken in the heat of the moment.

Kinze’s mind cleared as he sucked the tip of her breast into his mouth with a muffled moan, her hands instantly going to his head. She ran her fingers along his scalp mussing his hair more than the wig had. The scruffy white beard he still wore tickled her skin when his tongue swirled around her responsive dark bud before his teeth pulled it gently. He licked and nibbled on one then gave its twin the same treatment turning them both into sensitive little peaks.

Excitement shot from her nipples straight to her core. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the sensations. Moisture filled her panties. She needed more and Taylor seemed to know it, too. His hand slid up the side of her leg and into her tights. His fingers slithered around to the front and slipped smoothly into her slick core. Her grip tightened around him.

“Oh, Taylor,” she moaned into his ear.

“Damn baby, you are so wet.”

She loved when he talked dirty to her.

“I can smell how much you want me. It’s driving me insane.”

Her knees threatened to buckle under his administrations. He released her breast and pushed her against the wall. Taylor pinned her there kissing and sucking along her neckline.

“Taylor, wait, baby, we...we forgot...to lock...the door.” Her words alternated with her gasps.

Christmas Nick For Everyone by Jaxx Steele

Chapter One

“Evan, honey, I got a favor to ask.”

“What’s up, sis?” Evan wiped crumbs off the table into a napkin and blew out the small candle in its center.

“Well, I know we usually spend Christmas Eve helping the Salvation Army guys pass out gifts together, but do you think you can handle it alone this year?”

“What?” Evan turned to his sister. “How come?”

“Well, I met someone and he wants to spend some time with me.”

His eyebrows rose. “You got a date?”

“What does that mean?” She sputtered as she donned her coat. “I can have a date.”

Evan tossed down his bar towel and trash, before going over to his sister.

“Now Mariah,” he said, taking her hand. “You know I didn’t mean no harm. All I meant was, well, there have been plenty of men that have asked you out since Ray died. You shot them all down, honey. Are you sure you’re ready to start dating again?”

“Yeah, I think I am...finally.”

“Okay, so what’s this guy’s name?”

“His name is Nick.”

“Nick,” Evan repeated, then shrugged. “It’s a good strong name.”

“He’s really nice, Evan. I think you’ll like him.”

“Oh yeah, why do you think that?”

“He’s good man. We met at Mary’s Halloween party. You remember her, right?”

Evan nodded and took a seat.

“Well, he’s my friend Mary’s cousin. He moved to town at the end of the summer and she finally got him out of the house. We connected instantly,” she concluded brightly.

“Well, I’m glad. I’d like to meet him some time, preferably before I go home.”

“Of course. You can meet him tonight if you want.”

“Okay, great. I think it’s pass time you got back out there anyway.”

Mariah chuckled. “I agree. I think it’s pass time that we both got back out there.”

Evan made a frustrated noise as he jumped off the stool. “Let’s not start that conversation again. We’re talking about you, Mariah, not me,” Evan pointed out, going back to the row of tables.

“Oh, so it’s okay to talk about my love life, but not yours?” Mariah countered with her hands on her hips.

“I’m not saying that.”

“Okay, so what are you saying?”

“I’m just saying it’s different for us.”

“What’s different? We want the same things, Evan. A handsome man with a decent job and a good grasp on what romance is so he can sweep us off our feet. Isn’t that what you want too?”

Evan listened to his sister as he moved to another table and couldn’t deny her statement. That’s exactly what he wanted. If she could throw in a little courtesy, some common sense and a sense of humor that would make him, whoever he is, close to perfect.

But was that too much to ask?

He would gladly give the same and much more to have a man like that in his life. Evan knew he couldn’t be the only one out there that felt this way, but it sure seemed like it.

When he was younger he thought it was all about looks. The beautiful people seemed to get whatever they wanted. That life called to him, especially when he worked behind the scenes at the TV station in the next town over. Beautiful men were everywhere. Damon though, taught him some were monsters on the inside. Their relationship left scars on the inside as well as the out. It was a lesson he would not forget.

“Well then, what’s the problem?” His sister questioned breaking into his thoughts. “I’m ready now and you should be too. It has been way too long for both of us.”

Evan released a sigh, gripping the table before him. “Mariah,” he said, turning to face his sibling. “The difference between me and you is you want to start dating again. I don’t.”

Mariah left the bar and stood in front of her younger brother. “Look Evan, I hate that you had to get one of the crazies for your first real relationship, but everyone isn’t psycho. Men like Damon do not represent the majority. There are plenty of sane, available men out there. You can’t keep denying yourself a true chance at happiness because you’re afraid.”

“Mimi,” he griped using her childhood nickname.

“Please say you’ll try, little brother. You can’t live in fear forever. I just want to see you happy.”

Her words struck a chord in him. He knew she was right. Evan rested against the table and threw his hands up in surrender.

“All right, all right, I’ll try.”

“Good!” She grabbed his shoulders, kissed his cheek and smiled. “I think this upcoming year will be a good one for the both of us,” she exclaimed happily. Moving toward the door, she buttoned her coat. “Is it still okay that I leave early? It’s flurrying and the temperature is starting to drop. You know my hooptie barely runs when the weather is good,” she mentioned with a chuckle.

“You’re going to see Nick tonight, too?”

“Yes,” she answered over her shoulder.

“Do I need to find some place to go?” he asked in a teasing tone.

Mariah giggled. “No Evan, it’s not like that...not yet anyway,” she added with a lewd wink.

“Come on, Mimi! I could have lived a lifetime without the visual you just put in my head.” Evan waved her away and went back to cleaning tables.

Mariah laughed heartily. “I’ll see you at the house,” she said and shut the door behind her.

Evan shook his head and chuckled softly. He knew she meant well, but she was driving him crazy. With Mariah being almost ten years older than he, she had always been a little too over protective of him. Evan walked along the bar collecting the left behind glasses into a small grey tub he found under the bar.

If Mariah had her own love life to concentrate on she would leave his alone. He dropped one of the on the rocks glasses into the tub with a loud clank and scoffed. Love life. That was a joke. More like, lack thereof, if the truth be told. He hadn’t had anything that even closely resembled a love life since before Mariah’s husband died. A few dates here and there, a booty call once in a while, but no relationships.

“If it wasn’t for my job I’d have no reason for getting out of bed,” he mumbled.

Evan stopped and stood silent for several moments as the realization set in.

“Oh my God. I’m pitiful. My life is starting to mimic a country song. Maybe Mimi is right. I need to move on and try to be more positive like she is. If she can find someone after all this time maybe I can too.” He lifted the dirty dishes, heading for the back. “This New Year will bring something good for both of us because we deserve it.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Than Friends: Brad by Marie Rochelle

Prologue


I can’t believe the words coming out of my boss’s mouth. Alicia Hart listened in utter shock to the next assignment that her boss Tiffany Henry was handing down to her. It took all of her willpower to sit up straight and not fall out of the expensive chair. There was no way in hell that she could do it. Why did Tiffany think that she could or would? Ever since her old boss left for a better job and Tiffany found out she knew the family she had been pushing her to become a part of this story. Well, she would just turn it down and that was that.

Another reporter could volunteer to take it and do a better job than her. Yes, she wanted to move up through the ranks of the news station, but this wasn’t the next story she wanted to be a part of in any way, shape or form.

“Tiffany, are you sure about this?” Alicia asked as she laid her pen back down on the notepad on her lap.

“Alicia, you will be the perfect reporter for this assignment. They have turned the news station down countless times, but since you’re friends with one of the brothers I know you could get them to agree this interview without a problem.” Tiffany grinned at her like she had it all planned out in her head and nothing would go wrong.

Tiffany wasn’t aware of her true relationship with the aloof Drace Brothers. She hadn’t even spoken to Brad in a while and if Lee had anything to do with it she wouldn’t for the rest of her life. The oldest and most outspoken of the elite Drace Brothers hated, and she meant, hated her!

“Didn’t you tell me that you want to start doing something like the Barbara Walters’ specials? Well, this is your first big step there,” Tiffany encouraged. “If you do a good job with this, I see bigger and better things in your future.”

“Brad Drace and his brothers are very private men. Most of them are already married and don’t want eyes prying into their personal lives,” Alicia pointed out, trying to get off this topic as quickly as possible. Tiffany didn’t understand that she really didn’t have any pull with the family.

She could already see Lee giving her that unblinking stare of his. He wouldn’t need to give her an answer after that because his look spoke volumes. No...she wasn’t going to allow herself to be put into that position by Tiffany or anyone else.

“I really don’t think any of them will agree to this behind the scenes type of thing anyway. I’ll be thrilled to do another spot on television and report something else going on in the news. Wasn’t there a recent drug raid that I can cover instead?” Alicia wasn’t that fond of doing drug dealers pieces, but it would get her away from the Drace Brothers story.

Tiffany glared at her as she tapped her French manicured nails on her desk. Great...she knew her boss only did that when she thinking of a way to get what she wanted and didn’t care who she had to bully to get it done.

Alicia was trying her best not to agree to this. For the past four and a half years, she had worked very hard making Brad understand that they couldn’t be more than friends. Yet, if she accepted this new project it would put her around him all of the time and she wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Brad really thought that she didn’t care about him, but that wasn’t the real reason that she pushed him away all of the time. So, it was for the best if he kept thinking that she wasn’t interested in him. It would work out better for the both of them in the end.

“Alicia, I’m not going to let you back out of this. You don’t seem to understand that my boss wants this interview done and I’m not about to lose my job because of you. Now, you can be the one that does it or I can give it to one of the new girls working here. It’s up to you, but it will be done.”

“I’m still not sure about this,” Alicia said, worried. She knew Tiffany wouldn’t hire a good person to take over the project. As much as she didn’t want to be involved with this, she did know the Drace brothers and their wives better than anyone else at the station.

“I was trying to do a good thing here. Everyone here knows that you’re close to Brad because he used to give you tennis lessons. He might be more open to granting you an interview and then you could get something from him other people couldn’t.

“Do you know that most people here in Houston don’t know much about Lee, Richard, Zack or Brad? All of them are very influential men and the public wants to know what makes them tick and how their wives were lucky enough to get them to the altar.”

Pushing up her glasses with her index finger, Alicia thought over what Tiffany was telling her. She hated it, but she had to agree that her boss did have a point.

The Drace brothers had moved to Texas years ago. It seemed like all of the brothers had made their fortunes overnight, except Brad who worked for Lee part-time about twenty hours a week and then gave tennis lessons for the rest of the time.

Were the handsome brothers hiding a rag to riches story that the community would love to hear about? This could really be the big break she had been dreaming about and it would give her a chance to be around Brad. She did truly love the moments she had spent with him during her tennis lessons. With this assignment, she would be doing her job and spending quality time with the attractive Brad.

Alicia wasn’t going to allow someone else to be around Brad when she could do it herself while working on a kick ass job assignment. “We haven’t spoken to each other for a couple of weeks, but I’ll call Brad and try to run the idea past him. However, I can’t promise that he’ll agree to do anything. I know that he’ll talk it over with his brothers first before he gives me any kind of answer.”

“Excellent,” Tiffany said as she stood up from behind her desk. “I’m late for my lunch date, but I’ll talk to you later on in the week to see where things are with this. I know that you aren’t going to disappoint me

Alicia stood up from her seat and pressed the notepad against her chest. She wasn’t going to hold out for a lot of hope that Brad would agree to this. He was probably still mad at her because she didn’t attend Lee’s engagement party with him several weeks back, but she truly had been working late on an assignment. Brad most likely thought it was another excuse she had used to get out of going on a first date with him...which wasn’t the case at all.

Lee’s engagement party was going to be her initial step at trying to see if she could become get involved in a relationship with Brad. Yes...she had been trying for God knows how long to find ways to avoid Brad. Or keep him out of her life because she was apprehensive about getting drawn in by him. Because he came from a pretty well-known family and she wasn’t positive she could handle all of the notoriety that came along with dating a Drace Brother.

“Okay, how about we go out to lunch and we can discuss everything then?” Alicia suggested. “I’m free next Friday if you want to do it then since you’re going out of town for a couple of days next week.”

“I like that. I’ll mark it on my calendar and then leave myself a reminder on my Blackberry.” Tiffany headed for her office door. “Please...don’t take no for an answer. This will be an outstanding piece, if can get all of them to agree to do it.” Tiffany waved good-bye to her before opening her office door and walking out.

Standing alone inside of her boss’s office, Alicia wondered how she was going to pull off interviewing Brad about his successful family plus continued to pretend like she was uninterested in him when that was the furthest thing from the truth.