Archive for September, 2018


( Photo by davidmulder61 on Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

I’m not quite to 0 days until vacation, but close…only 2 as I write this, Of course, they’re going to be two very long days involving overtime and bonus paid-time-off added to my month of September, but only two more days. Plus, for our extra long days, we’ll be fed at suppertime, which is nice, on top of the extra PTO just for this week’s extra hours. It is nice to be appreciated.

I’m pretty sure the first day of my vacation will be spent recovering from the past week, and I have an appointment on the second day (and probably another on the last day), but then I have my to-do list, and my oldest son’s birthday for the rest, and possibly a visit with my sister in there, too, depending on how much rain she ends up with from the hurricane and how much clean-up that causes.

One thing I do have on my list that I absolutely will get accomplished is writing. I want to put a big dent in the novella I’m working on for next year’s Common Elements project. Not sure if I’ve told you about that yet, but I will tell you more about it down the road.

I’ve also got to clean up here in my office. I need some work space cleared off, and haven’t had time to do that. It was on last year’s vacation week to-do list, before my vacation plans went to hell.  It’ll be easier to create when the clutter is put away where it belongs.

For now, though, I am going to start getting my things together for the next two days, and get to bed at a reasonable time so I’m well-rested and functional. Before I go, I have a little snippet of the first shifter story to share this week.

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When she made her way along the hall, her heart thundering in her ears, the low rumble of male voices grew louder. Tessa turned the corner and froze. The double doors to Boyd’s study were open wide, and the first person she saw was Harley.

His dark blazer fit snugly over his broad shoulders. The white shirt open at the neck exposed golden muscles.

Her mouth went dry at the sight of him. He was really taking her out to dinner. As a prelude to more. To be with her. Her heart stopped beating for a painful moment.

She couldn’t do this.
His gaze swung away from whatever he’d been looking at on the desk, and heat flared in the tawny depths when his gaze landed on her. He stepped around the desk, toward the hallway, and she resisted her sudden, desperate urge to flee under the very predatory expression on his face. He would only give chase if she did.

Not that she could run in these damned heels anyway.

He paused in the doorway, his amber gaze sliding down from her face to the neckline of her dress. Further. Then, just as slowly and trailing scorching heat all the way, back up to her face. “You look very nice, Tessa,” he murmured.

She realized the voices in the study had gone silent, and she slid along the wall a little, away from him.

A hint of a smile tugged at one corner of his mouth, and he mirrored the move.

She swallowed hard. “Thank you.” She couldn’t do any better than a ragged whisper.

“Are you ready?”

She stared into his eyes for a long moment, nervousness rising up to choke her, and then shook her head.

He raised one eyebrow.

She slid further along the wall, feeling her legs tremble as she side-stepped. Almost to the front door.

He stalked her to the door, the smile on his face growing with each measured step.

She fumbled behind her for the doorknob for several seconds. Surely by now he could hear her heart pounding against her ribs.

“Are you running away?” The question was almost a purr.

She finally closed her fingers around the knob. “Of c-course n-not.” Even her voice was shaking now. Fantastic. She tugged the door open and sidled out through the opening.

He continued to follow, backing her right up against one of the cars.

She hoped it was hers.

“You know it would be easier if you could see where you were going.”

If she turned and ran… A shudder ran through her, and it wasn’t all fear. Not even most of it. Too much anticipation flowed through her veins.

He took one last step toward her, pressing her flat between the car and himself.

Oh, my Gods. She shut her eyes for a second. Every inch of him was hard, and there were some inches pressing into her belly that were extra-hard.

“You’ve run before, Tessa,” he murmured, leaning down so his warm breath brushed her temple and cheek.

She swallowed, wishing for a little moisture in her dry mouth. It seemed every bit of liquid in her was pooling between her legs at the moment.

“You’ve walked away from me, turning your back on me. Presenting.”

She opened her mouth to protest that, knowing it would be a lie, but nothing came out.

He dragged his mouth over hers, lightly, sending a shocking jolt of heat rushing through her. “And now it’s time to do it for real.” He nipped at her lower lip. “Turn around, Tessa.” His hand cupped her hip.

She shook her head.

“You’ve been playing with fire.” His open mouth slid along her cheek. “I’ve enjoyed the play. Now it’s time to get serious.” His hand at her hip slipped between her ass and the side of the car. “Turn around.” He punctuated the command with a sharp nip at her earlobe.

“We have an audience,” she managed, her pulse racing so fast she wondered how long it would take before she either hyperventilated or passed out.

“Go away,” he called without turning around. The front door closed with a bang behind him. “Better?” He sucked her earlobe between his lips for a second.

She shook her head. “Picture windows,” she managed.

He squeezed her bottom, lifting her into the erection that scalded her through their clothing, and caught her mouth with his, deeper this time.

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Here’s to a great week for you all!

 

 

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( Photo by Auntie K on Foter.com / CC BY )

Our weekend has been very wet again, but this time it was actually in the forecast, so I planned ahead, knowing what the next week and a half look like for me at the day-job: chores on Saturday, mental health break day on Sunday. I almost accomplished all the chores yesterday, but I definitely accomplished my mental health break today after wrapping up the last couple of chores. I watched a couple of movies, read a favorite author and relaxed. It was a good day for it, too, since it rained pretty hard most of the day. It probably would have been a good day for a nap, too, but I had other things on my lazy Sunday to-do list. Tomorrow it’ll be back to the insanity at the day-job, with no break for about 9 days. Then it’s vacation week, and I will probably spend the entire first day doing nothing to recuperate.

Before I get my things together for tomorrow, I have a little story snippet for you, from Hunting Medusa.

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She wouldn’t be able to come back to her house if she didn’t kill him, concern or no concern. He hadn’t needed to take such good care of her, though, in order to keep her alive. She frowned. He could have handcuffed her in the basement and tossed down bread and water. She pushed aside the brewing confusion—she had bigger problems right now than trying to figure out the Harvester’s motivation.

He steered her downstairs to the kitchen, and she didn’t argue when he pointed to one of the chairs at the table and went to work on breakfast.

Even if she did kill him, it sounded like his cousin was well on his way to finding her, which meant she still couldn’t come back to her house.

The thought made her a bit sad. She loved this house—alone in the woods, with the beautiful forest in summer, and a fantastic view of the valley below in the fall and winter. Even if she was lonely sometimes.

His laptop beeped from its spot on the counter, and he turned away from the stove to look at it. His expression hardened in a flash. “Damn.”

Andi didn’t like that look. “What?”

“Stavros.”

A shiver snaked its way up her spine, and she folded her arms over her chest. “Not so happy with you?”

“He’s already on his way back. He’ll be here by tonight.”

She shot to her feet. Dealing with one Harvester at a time was a challenge, but she couldn’t possibly handle two. Not now. Thalia’s words rang in her head. Danger is coming from more than one direction. Well, hell.

Kallan caught her gaze. “We can’t wait until tomorrow, Andrea.”

She shook her head, panic freezing her lungs, then swelling and rising into her throat so it nearly choked her.

“All right. Breakfast, and then we need to go.” He stirred something in the pot and then shut off the burner.

Andi didn’t want breakfast. She just wanted to move. Her stomach churned uneasily, and her head started to thump in time with her heart.

He put a bowl on the table in front of her and touched her shoulder. “You need to eat.”

She glanced down at the bowl, filled with steaming oatmeal, sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins, and felt a lump in her throat. “I’m not hungry.”

“You’ll need it later.” He pushed her shoulder gently, and she sank back onto the chair.

He sat beside her, tucking into his own breakfast.

After a moment, she picked up her spoon and stuck it into the oatmeal. He was right, damn him.

“Andrea.”

She looked up at his gentle tone.

“Will you trust me not to let him get you?”

How could she trust a man destined to kill her?

As if he read the question on her face, his jaw clenched. “I promise, agaph, he won’t kill you. I won’t let him.”

His vow rang out in the still room, and for some reason, it made her panic subside just a little. She let out a shaky breath and lifted some oatmeal to her mouth.

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Now I’m off to wrap up a couple little things before I call it a day. I hope you all have an easy week ahead!

 

( Photo by Dougtone on Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

I actually can see the light at the end of the tunnel at long last, in more than one situation. My crazy work schedule has just under 3 weeks before my vacation (and I may get to visit with my sister that week, so yay!), and we’re starting to wind down the settlement of my aunt’s estate, finally. That will be a huge relief to wrap that up after all this time. But I’m starting this (short) work week with a horrible cold. One of my co-workers had it last week, and mine started Saturday. I’m just glad it waited till then, because we went out Friday night to see a band we like, and it would have sucked to be sick for that. I have to say, though, I’m not looking forward to working while feeling this way, especially when we’re so busy. But grown-ups have to suck it up, right?

I had big plans for the weekend, since it’s Labor Day, so an extra day off meant chores, reading, writing. Or just resting and generally being lazy and grumpy while blowing my nose non-stop instead. My head hurts too much to read, and I have been sneezing non-stop. I did think I might get to sleep a little later than usual this morning, but the company that has been replacing the roof and siding on my next door neighbor’s house actually came out to work today, bright and early, so no resting going on. I should get some earplugs maybe. I’ve given up on the cold medicine, because I didn’t notice any difference at all yesterday or last night, so I’ll just keep popping vitamin C tablets like a fiend, drinking soup and lots of tea, and go to bed early tonight.

I do want to get some reading done, though, before the weekend is over, so I think I’m going to give that another try shortly. But I also wanted to say hi, and drop in a little story snippet for the week, from the first tiger shifter story.

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India had given her more than one speculative glance during the evening, but thankfully, she hadn’t asked the questions Tessa knew were on her mind. It was late when they returned to the house, so Tessa didn’t argue about spending the night–the house was quiet when they went inside, and she hoped everyone was already sleeping. Or at least, that Harley was. Remembering what she’d let him do earlier kept her awake far later that night. How could she be so weak?

She wanted to settle into bed after India went into her suite, but her brain wouldn’t stop circling back to what she’d done earlier. She paced the room for a few minutes, trying to force her mind to clear.

When pacing didn’t work, she went to the window. The small solar lights below lit up the shadowy gardens in places the moonlight didn’t reach.
Brighter lights shone in the pool, where a large shape moved through the water.

Harley. Her mouth went dry. Beautiful.

And naked.

She swallowed hard, watching his powerful strokes through the water, strong arms and legs propelling him quickly from one end of the pool to the other.

It was a very pretty sight, she mused, admiring the play of his muscles, his sleek, wet skin. Her cheeks heated.

He stopped suddenly at the near end of the pool, lifting his head to look up at her.

Caught. The warmth in her cheeks spread to the rest of her.

He couldn’t see her. She’d turned off the bedroom light when India had gone to bed.

But she knew he knew she was there, even though he resumed swimming his laps, a little slower now.

And when he climbed the steps at the shallow end of the pool a few minutes later, she covered her mouth with one hand. Whoa!

Harley, naked, was an incredible sight. And wet, naked, aroused Harley made her knees weak.

He picked up a towel from one of the chairs nearby, and rubbed his back briskly, as he turned his face up toward her window. She backed away, heart pounding. He did not know she was there. He couldn’t.

She crawled into bed and curled into a ball in the center of the mattress, but no matter how tight she closed her eyes, she couldn’t stop seeing him emerging from the pool, water sluicing down his body, his erection jutting out in front of him.

That would have mortified her teenage self, and her adult self was more than a little embarrassed to have been gawking.

But wow… That would fuel plenty of fantasies in the future.

And kept her wide awake for hours.

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( Photo by out of ideas on Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

Now I’m off to try to read a little before I call it a day. I’ll see you back here next weekend!