One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.
Symphony of Light and Winter
Symphony of Light and Winter
Magic is no match for love…
One night of pleasure teaches a lesson in love.
Symphony of Light and Winter
Symphony of Light and Winter
Symphony of Light and Winter
Symphony of Light and Winter
“It was need, Linden. I don’t want to need anything. I can make. I can destroy. Need implies something controls me and nothing controls me.”
“Please, always look at me this way. Stare into my eyes and see me for who I am and know that there is nothing more than this. When the world calls things into question, you need not question me because I will always be here for you.”
“The future be damned. Because right here, right now, I almost lost you. I won’t waste another moment.”
“I want so bloody bad to be your constant—what you cling to. But I want it to be because it is what you want and not because there is no other choice. If you’re truthful about not living for tomorrow, then prove it. Allow yourself to feel what you’ve been denying.”
Book Trailers for Symphony of Light and Winter and Between the Waters.
Produced by Beckey White – In the Pages Designs
Produced by Anne Lange, Erotic Romance author.
Enjoy a sample from the Symphony of Light Series and from Curing Doctor Vincent,the first book in a new erotic novella trilogy.
Copyright 2014 Renea Mason
Published by Etopia Press
Symphony of Light – Book One
Paranormal Erotic Romance
18 Years + Only
There was no warning. No ambiguous fortune in a cookie, no wrinkled blind woman who answered to the name Oracle, no chain letter in my e-mail predicting the disaster my day would become. Nothing.
Yet by the end of the day, I would ruin my reputation, doom my career, and be forced to reevaluate my entire existence. But only after being thrust back into a world I had always believed was nothing more than a delusion.
“Damn! You look like a leprechaun’s wet dream.” Clarence’s slight Southern drawl emerged when he teased. “Are we so far behind you had to take up hookin’?” Gesturing at my far from typical attire, my accomplice, employee, and friend took a seat beside me in the Mezzanine Lounge. The final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony resonated from beyond the red double doors of the concert hall.
“Very funny. It’s not the goal. It’s the target.” Glancing down at my plunging neckline, I realized the diamond necklace, a gift from my late husband, was the only thing I wore in good taste.
My objective was simple—convince two wealthy businessmen their financial contributions were key to the orchestra’s survival. After weeks of poring through hundreds of files and identifying the perfect prospects, I had selected esteemed guests for the night’s reception.
Clarence reached over and tugged on wispy strands of my hair. “The green shirt really sets off your fiery mane.”
“The lady at the salon did her best to tone it down.” I patted the locks, pinned in a loose bun. My brilliant copper-red hair was inspired by a documentary on South American tree frogs. Their vibrant cloaking cautioned predators to stay away. Fearing I had something in common with the frogs, I broadcast my own warning. Our secret? Venom. Waking next to a corpse on my honeymoon had been a pretty big omen. I could take a hint.
Unfortunately, this job called for a different strategy. Attraction was essential. I slid a folder toward Clarence.
“So you’ve decided on our final victim, Ms. Senior Director of Fund-raising.” He opened the front cover. “Martin Willoughby. That explains everything. Well, if anyone can loosen his pockets, it’s you.” Clarence stroked his impeccably trimmed goatee, which accented a hard-to-forget smile.
I glanced at the file and tapped a finger on the cover. “I’ve tried to avoid him, but Willoughby is our best chance. We only have a few more weeks to make our goal.” I looked down and adjusted my shirt. “The outfit ensures I’ll keep his attention long enough to make the ‘ask’, but it’s not without risk. Do you remember what happened to Allison last year?” I shifted on the slippery bar stool and tugged my short skirt, making sure it covered my ample bottom.
“How could I forget? She moaned for days about how hard he pinched her ass.” Clarence laughed, and the lights hanging above the bar highlighted small wrinkles on his smooth-shaven head.
I slapped another folder against the bar, harder than I intended. “Our second prospect is Stanton Overton. He’s bringing a guest.”
“Is Overton the one who wore the black pin- striped James Bond suit to the gala?”
I nodded. “I didn’t get a good feel for his giving potential because he kept refocusing the conversation on me.”
“Linden, the man is so fine he can keep his money. I’ll take his phone number.” Clarence cracked his knuckles as he let out a sigh, but I noticed the blush in his coffee-colored cheeks.
I needed to keep him on task. “I’m depending on you. I’ll get things wrapped up with Willoughby as fast as possible so I can see if Overton’s guest has potential.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure it’s all business.” He winked.
I shot back a suspicious half smile and leaned across the bar, stowing the folders out of sight.
The bustle of patrons exiting the concert hall filled the corridors. A few musicians arrived and assembled a string quartet in the corner of the lounge, adding to the ambience of the evening’s event. I waved to them and mouthed thank you from across the room.
From behind, a large hand snaked around my waist, causing me to slide off the barstool. I stumbled. Martin Willoughby steadied me, and then pulled me hard against his chest. He kissed me first on one
cheek and then the other while his eyes lingered on my cleavage between kisses. “Ms. Hill.”
I stared at him for a moment, trying to regain my wits. “So nice to see you again, Mr. Willoughby. Did you enjoy the performance?”
“Yes.” He pulled back and let his gaze roam the length of my body. “You look delectable.”
I blushed, tilted my head, and flashed a seductive smile. “Thank you. Can I get you a drink? Scotch, double malt, if I remember correctly?”
He beamed. “My dear, you certainly have a good memory.”
I smiled, hiding the truth—the subtle nuances my research had revealed about this man.
“One moment.” I steadied myself in my three- inch heels. When I turned to flag the bartender, Willoughby cupped my left butt cheek and squeezed. Even though I knew to expect it, the pinching took me by surprise. I stiffened.
He probably did too.
Nothing quite like Viagra bravado. He brushed a hand through his graying hair and gave a toothy grin.
I reminded myself how much the orchestra needed the money. Masking a grimace behind a coy smile, I mouthed oh, my. He may have been attractive in his day, but the liver spots and deep-etched lines on his face confirmed years of hard living.
I nudged Clarence, who still stood at the bar waiting for Overton, and motioned for the bartender. Clarence grinned, then leaned in whispering,
“How’s your ass?”
He snickered, leaned forward on his elbows, and took a drink.
I elbowed him in the side.
“Two scotches, double malt.” To hell with the girlie drinks. I needed the good stuff.
Schubert’s String Quartet no. 14, Death and the Maiden played as I accepted Willoughby’s outstretched arm and he guided us to a quieter spot in the room. When I offered him the scotch, he snaked his arm around my waist. “So where were we, Linden?”
“The performance.” I didn’t give him time to interject. “Next year, if I can raise all the necessary funds, your seats will have improved acoustics. We’re also adding a few private boxes for our patrons who like…discretion.” I shouldn’t have, but I threw him a tempting smile.
Segueing into the pitch early was risky, but if I didn’t get started, he might need to be surgically removed. Overton would be arriving at any moment. Time was not a luxury if I wanted any chance of hitting up his guest for a donation too.
“Is that so?” He pulled me into a tight hug. “And what would be required to get on the list for one of those boxes?”
I stood several inches taller than Willoughby, and his embrace positioned his face far too close to my not-so-well-contained cleavage. I held my glass in front of me, putting distance between us. “If you are
able to make a sizable donation this season, I’ll make sure you are first in line.”
He leaned in, his breath smelling of scotch, cigar smoke, and bad teeth. “Oh sweetheart, you can put me second in line behind you and I’ll show you how sizable my donation can be.”
I grimaced, willing my stomach not to heave as I struggled to laugh at his disgusting joke. Before preparing a forced flirty comeback, I glanced toward the door and saw Overton and his…oh God.
Electricity ignited my skin as the stranger entered the room. The hairs on my arms tingled. My heart halted beating. Words stuck in my throat and mind. My chest tightened. All motion slowed as if the world were suspended in liquid.
Overton’s guest removed a pair of dark glasses, tucked them into the inside pocket of his jacket, and stared directly at me. From the corner of the room the music crescendoed, and his penetrating gaze caused the glass to slip from my hand. The caramel-colored liquid made large wet splotches all over Martin Willoughby’s dress pants. Motionless, I returned the man’s scrutiny.
It was him. Impossible. Ten years ago, I held Overton’s guest as he bled out onto the snow. He died. This could not be real.
“Damn it!” Willoughby’s exclamation and step backward pulled me from my stupor.
“Oh! I am so sorry. Let me get that.” Long, clumsy strides took me to the bar for a stack of napkins, then back. I dropped to my knees and wiped
at the amber liquid. Anything to break eye contact. My hands shook, making the task difficult.
I mumbled apologies to Willoughby and looked up to see him staring down at me. The mischievous grin told me he could see down my shirt. From my knees, I ventured a guess at the fantasy running through his head.
I rose to my feet, careful not to look anywhere but at Willoughby. “I’m so sorry. Please let me pay for your dry cleaning.” Sincerity proved difficult when my mind couldn’t care less about the smelly man or his pants, given the new development.
“Nonsense. It’s just a little scotch. It will come out in the wash. Besides the image of you on your knees was payment enough.” He winked.
I faked a giggle and hid my trembling hands. A familiar heat coursed through my body, disturbing and undeniable. I needed a moment to gather myself. “I should probably go freshen up. I got scotch on me too.”
Willoughby grabbed my arm and looked into my eyes with surprising and welcome concern. I don’t know what he found. Fear? Exhaustion? Confusion?
“What’s wrong, Linden?”
“I feel bad about your pants,” I lied. “I didn’t ask you here to ruin your night.”
“I know.” He reached out and brushed one of the strands of hair from my face. As he did, I glanced up to verify the man who accompanied Overton remained in the room. He had not wavered.
Willoughby seemed to pick up on my emotions. “Ms. Hill, we both know what these gatherings are about. As much as we love the pretense, let me make this a little easier. How much do you need?”
I hoped he had a tight grip on his drink when he learned the amount. I gave him a weary smile. “Fifty thousand.”
He raised an eyebrow. “I’ll be first on the list for one of the boxes?”
He paused and stared into my eyes. His gaze then drifted to my cleavage. He sighed. “Done. I’ll have my assistant send over the check in the morning.”
“Thank you so much.” I extended my gratitude not only for the money, but also for the distraction. “Really, thank yo—”
“As always, Ms. Hill, it was my pleasure. My wife is waiting for me in the car. Call me when the box assignments are made.”
“Certainly. Thank you, again.”
He threw his arms around me and pulled me into a fierce hug, which landed his nose between my breasts. After one last squeeze of my bottom, he turned to leave.
Who would have thought I would be sorry to see Martin Willoughby go?
Overton stood at the bar conversing with Clarence, his guest no longer in the doorway. Exhaling a sigh of relief, hoping I imagined everything, I heard his voice come from behind me. Different accent; same tones. Light tremors racked my
body as he drew near. Even though I could not see him, the pulsing under my skin alerted me to his proximity. His scent, unmistakable.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Green?” The words slid like velvet from his tongue as he approached.
By some miracle, I managed to respond, “Yes?” My back to him, eyes closed. Michael, my late husband, convinced me I had concocted the man’s entire existence. I had always secretly hoped he was wrong, hating to think someone imaginary had affected me so deeply—that I was still in love with a dream. Wait, he called me by my married name? No one knew I was a widow.
“I’d like to introduce myself.” His words were almost a whisper, and so close his hot breath tickled my ear.
I turned to face him, trembling. Our eyes met, and the intensity nearly buckled my knees.
He extended his hand. “Morgan Peters.” Same blue eyes.
Deep breath. In slow motion, I slipped my hand into his. Electric, just as I remembered. A low voltage ran through my body. His touch simmered my blood and I worried my bones might turn to liquid. He was the nexus. My stare drifted to his hand, large and masculine, tightening around mine, then looked up into his wide, surprised eyes.
My tongue felt thick and dry from anxiety; beads of perspiration peppered my skin. I swallowed hard and exhaled. “It’s nice to meet you…Mr. Peters.”
Cyril Aristin was the man I watched die, not Morgan Peters.
He searched my face, his smile holding a hint of snide satisfaction. “Do I make you nervous? You seem a bit… Out of sorts.”
I took a deep breath and shook my head. “No. Ah…not at all, my apologies. I spilled my drink on someone and I feel awful. Can we start again? I’m Linden Hill. Did you attend the performance with Mr. Overton?”
“I did.” My memory, or imagination, had not done the ocean-blue of his eyes justice. So captivating. “Stanton and I are old friends. We’ve conducted many business transactions over the years. He told me of the superb orchestra you have in this city. Since I’ve never had the pleasure, I decided to accompany him tonight.” He took my hand in his once more, raised it, and kissed the back of it. “And what a pleasure it has been.” Even though the contact with his lips was only a quick passing, the sensation branded my skin with delightful heat.
When he released me, I instantly longed for his touch. I breathed in a scent that brought memories of teenage fantasies.
Attempting to reclaim dignity, I cleared my throat. “Di-did you enjoy the performance?”
“Yes, very much. Stanton told me you are undertaking quite the renovation project. Is that true?”
“Yes, we’re updating a lot of the original features, adding the private boxes, and remodeling backstage to help attract better touring companies.”
His brow furrowed and eyes narrowed. The intensity in his gaze frightened me. His hand rose toward my face.
Turning my head toward the bar, I pointed, and in the process dodged his touch. Unsettled by his expression, I broke the silence. “Can I get you a drink, Cy…Mr. Peters?”
“No, thank you. I must be going. Stanton told me on our way here tonight that you made a promise to make sure he upholds his obligations to the arts. He’ll be in touch.” He shot me the first true smile since our introduction.
“I look forward to speaking with him.” I smiled back, hoping my anxiety didn’t show.
“Again, my pleasure, Mrs. Green.” He brought my hand to his lips, but paused before touching my skin. He inhaled and released his breath with a long sigh, and it blew hot across my skin.
Dumbfounded, I managed nothing more than a stunned stare.
Placing his lips lightly against my hand, with deliberate slowness, he lingered. I hoped he didn’t notice my shiver, but the sly smile pulling at the corner of his mouth told me otherwise.
He released my hand and tucked his behind his back, gave a slight nod, and walked toward Overton. I watched as Peters whispered something to him.
I didn’t move.
Overton glanced at me and placed his drink on the counter. “Peters” stole one last look over his shoulder. His brow furrowed one last time when our gazes connected. Finally he turned, and they made their way down the hall to the exterior doors as the musicians completed the final stanza.
I watched him until they were out of sight. I moved to the far wall and slumped on the red leather bench.
I needed Clarence’s confirmation. Or Olivia’s. I refused to cry over a delusion. My closest friend, besides Clarence, and the daughter of our wealthiest patron, Olivia spent a lot of time hanging around the office. I thought for sure she would make an appearance. She loved crashing my gatherings.
Clarence took a seat beside me. “So, how’d you do? Did you land Willoughby? What about tall, dark, and dangerous? That man should be illegal.” Clarence tried to hide his grin, but failed.
That confirmed he was real at least. “I don’t want to talk about it. Have you seen Olivia? I thought for sure she would drop by.”
“I saw her in the lobby before the performance. She said she was going to stop by to see you.”
“I haven’t seen her, but I really need to talk to her.”
“She came with her dad. It’s possible he had to leave. He is a busy man, with City Council and the company.”
“Yeah…you’re probably right. What about you? How did you fare?”
“Overton seemed distracted. He told me Peters is a business partner. Said he’d donate something, but he kept watching Peters. I’ll follow up with him midweek.”
In the corner, the musicians packed their instruments. I waved. “Thank you for the beautiful performance.” A few free hands raised in acknowledgment.
“Well?” Clarence prompted.
I put my face in my hands and spoke through widespread fingers. “I got the fifty thousand from Willoughby.”
“Fabulous news! You didn’t have to get naked!”
I moved my hands away from my eyes enough to glare at him. “But I did indulge his oral sex fantasy while on my knees wiping scotch from his pants.”
“You’re lucky he didn’t ask you to help him take them off.”
“Did you get money from the Peters guy?” “No. Long story.”
He shot me a puzzled look. “What’s wrong,
Taking a deep breath, I tossed my head back and
stretched my neck from side to side. “Nothing. I’m tired. Go ahead and take off; I’ll close up here. We can talk about everything on Monday. Have a good weekend, and be careful on your way home.”
Giving a sympathetic smile, he patted my shoulder. “You too.”
I willed myself not to cry. A long night’s sleep was in order, courtesy of the sleeping pills Clarence gave me after a bad string of nightmares.
Exhausted from dealing with Mr. Undead, I removed my shoes, letting the plush carpet comfort my tired feet, and made my way to the restroom. The concertgoers and staff were long gone, making the hall eerie. Under normal circumstances, I would be reveling in the fortunate events of the evening, but encountering Cyril—rather, Mr. Peters—caused an old wound to fester. I wondered what the hell he was. A ghost? Long-lost twin? Or had I finally gone crazy?
I reached behind my neck with both hands and unclasped the necklace irritating my skin. Using my behind to bump open the bathroom door, I slipped inside.
The restroom was left over from a time when women escaped from overbearing men to powder shiny noses and gossip about how much other women gossiped. The walls were covered in a garish color best described as grandma-was-a-whore pink. I placed the necklace and my shoes on one of the worn sea-green velvet benches as the door on its pneumatic hinge creaked closed.
I shivered from a resurgence of the strange current that radiated through me earlier. Maybe Cyril wasn’t the cause. Maybe I was getting si—
He held me against the wall with such strength my feet no longer touched the ground. Supported by the crushing force of his body, the compression caused my breasts to escape an already bulging
blouse, and mashed my nipples against the horrid paint. His chest rose and fell against my back. He spoke, not with the same American accent he tried to deceive me with earlier, but rather the tones of the British Isles mixed with something ancient and familiar. “Who are you?” His breath, hot against my ear, and a soft, rich voice contrasted with the violence of the leg wedged between my thighs.
He restrained my hands above my head in the steel grasp of his fist. I attempted to answer him, but couldn’t force enough air into my lungs. He growled. His chest rumbled.
The intense heat of his body was a dramatic contrast to the cold wall on my exposed skin. My nipples hardened to painful peaks. He brought his free hand to my throat, cradling it in warning. The next moment he spoke in low, punctuated notes. “Who…the…fuck…are…you?” The words reverberated, sustaining the menace.
I managed only a whimper, too shocked to form complete words. His grip loosened, but he did not release me. I swallowed hard. “Lin—”
“I know your name, Mrs. Green. Don’t take me for a fool. Now tell me why you have seen fit to steal from me?” He inhaled a sharp breath. “How dare you take what was not freely given. Do you have any idea what you have done…” His last words were uttered on a groan as he lowered me, shifted, and then rubbed his swollen arousal against my ass.
The friction of his body did strange things to me. My head clouded with images of our earlier life
together, making it difficult to form rational thoughts. Flashes of a fantasy I once had of him where he took me against the glass wall of his cabin penetrated the fear.
I mustered as much air as possible and issued my indignant response. “You don’t have any right to complain about things that aren’t freely given. Hypocritical of you given our current position, isn’t it?”
He growled and moved his leg, still seated between mine, in a slow and rhythmic friction against my sex. It was a dare. He was egging me on. He wanted me to defy him again; it was evident in his every movement.
I groaned and slammed my eyes closed, trying to ignore the heat building in my stomach. Another deep inhalation made it easier to speak. “What exactly do you think I stole from you?”
He moaned as he slowly licked my neck from nape to ear and whispered, “Everything. You, my little thief, need to convince me that I shouldn’t take it back.”
Never had anyone touched me in such a way, and my traitorous body couldn’t care less about right or wrong, good or bad. It was need. The need to be touched. To feel alive. The need for him. Damn the consequences. I shivered as his breath blew cold across the wet trail his tongue left on my searing skin. He shifted, wedging his clothed erection firmly into the cleft of my ass, while his heat penetrated every place he touched.
He grabbed my chin with the hand he once had at my throat, and turned my face. In the mirror, our reflection was a disturbing yet erotic sight. Seeing myself pushed against the wall made the vision terrifying, but at the same time arousing.
As his body blanketed mine, a voice in the back of my mind whispered, Surrender. His height, broad shoulders, narrow hips, and well-defined muscles were all discernible through his custom-made black suit. His hair framed the sharp angles of his masculine face—straight nose, square, shadowed jaw, and full, sensual lips.
My red locks had fallen free from the pin, and my skirt had worked its way around my waist. With three small freckles exposed, the lacy strap of my thong highlighted my bare ass.
His body cocooned mine, but it was the ever-so- slight swirling motion of his hips rubbing his cock between my cheeks that precipitated my groan.
I raised my eyes to make contact with the brilliant pools of blue. Finally he broke the silence, but not his gaze.
“Are you going to start explaining, or do I need to find other means of persuasion?” He thrust his hips in warning.
I moaned. Somewhere deep in my mind, beyond the fear and intense lust, I knew I should start talking, but another part of me wanted to feel, more than anything, what it would be like to be fucked into submission—to be possessed by him. I had been cold
and alone inside for so long. He was life, sex, and death in one dangerous package.
Fortunately, the sensible side of me won the battle. I forced myself to think as clearly as possible. “Cyril, I…I…mean Morgan, ah…shit… Whatever your name is, tell me what it is you want. I’ll give it to you.”
He laughed, low and mocking. “You can’t give it back. Did you not consider the consequences?” He lowered his face to my neck and nipped gently. “Was it your goal to weaken me? I will not suffer weakness!” He bellowed a whisper, his mouth close to my ear. “The Awakening was wrong. I thought it might have been the ritual, wondered if the magics were incompatible. Then I felt you tonight and all the pieces fell into place. Your attempts to compromise me will not work. The question now is what to do about it? Perhaps I should kill you?” He blew a soft stream air into my ear, sending shivers through me. “Or I could take my time and savor you first?” He paused and ran his nose along my throat. His rough stubble scraped my skin, leaving behind a sinful burn. “Oh, the possibilities. I bet you’d even thank me for it.” He placed a kiss under my jaw. “But before I decide, I need to know how you did it? Are you one of Myghal’s? Tell me!”
I had no doubt about his conviction. He was dead serious.
I trembled. Wetness flowed freely from my eyes as anger consumed me. Like a woman possessed, I couldn’t stop myself. Sealing my fate, I rambled,
“What about me, you bastard? How dare you demand answers? It’s been ten years. I watched you die! I would have given my life to save you.” I panted. “What are you?”
He shifted and his grip softened.
My body shook. I sucked air through my teeth. “They found me covered in blood, with no explanation. The police thought I staged everything for attention, assuming it was a suicide attempt, because all evidence, including your body, disappeared. The only thing they saw was my sliced wrist. If not for Michael, they would have taken me to the psych ward.”
He showed no emotion, but his attention remained focused on my lips.
“The coma lasted seven months. Not one doctor could explain it. A psychotic break, they called it.” Tears cascaded over my cheeks and landed on the tops of my breasts. “Michael tried to convince me you didn’t exist. I suffered your death in silence. No one believed me, but in my soul, I knew you were real.” A sob caught in my throat, but I choked it back. My body stiffened, steeling my resolve. “So, fuck you! Go ahead. Kill me. I don’t care. Because what you did to me makes dying the lesser of two evils. You cursed me. Anyone close to me dies. You stole my future, you son of a bitch.” I tilted my head to give him better access to my throat.
He inhaled a shaky breath.
Rigid, I awaited his response, wanting it to be over. “Take what you want because the only thing I own is my regret at ever meeting you.”
He didn’t move and remained expressionless.
“But I should warn you, if you fuck me, it might not end so well. The last man didn’t live to regret it.”
He said nothing while watching my cleansing tears expel grief, anger, and regret. My chest heaved with rapid breaths, bracing myself for his strike.
His hold loosened, releasing my hands from above my head.
My arms hung limp at my sides in defeat. He bent, placing tender kisses along my neck. He grasped my chin, turned my head, and captured my lips. His kiss started soft, but built as he rocked against me. He kissed me like a long-lost lover, the lover I had always wished him to be. There was no doubt about it now. He was Cyril.
His kiss was nothing like our first. Full, soft lips laced with electric sin traveled straight to my depths. I had dreamed of experiencing him as much more. Not the chaste kiss he placed upon my lips while dying, but rather a man desperate to affirm life.
I inhaled. His scent intoxicated me, clouding my head and igniting the liquid heat between my legs, welcoming him.
He paused and tilted his head as if listening for something, then resumed his kiss. His teeth tugged gently on my lower lip as he caressed the edge with the tip of his velvet tongue.
His mouth met my lips, neck, cheeks, and shoulders, in a shower of passion-filled caresses.
I expected sharp teeth to pierce my skin at any moment. Instead, he ground his erection against me. He moaned, sighed, and panted rhythmically in my ear. His knee seated between my thighs became saturated with my arousal as he rubbed sensitive flesh, keeping time with his breaths.
His thrusts against my body suggested the need for release. Thinking of his impending orgasm brought me closer to the edge. I closed my eyes, feeling the escalating warmth. To feel him shudder and groan from absolute pleasure would be too much. “Oh, Cyri—”
A loud female gasp stunned me. Margie, the orchestra assistant, stood with her mouth gaping at finding me nearly naked and pressed against the wall by a commanding stranger. It didn’t help that Margie had the well-earned title of office gossip.
He peeled away and turned me to help right my clothes, positioning himself between Margie and me as if to shield my modesty. I tried to steady my breathing. Slapping his hands away, I peered around him to glare at Margie, who remained frozen in place. I tucked in my breasts, pulled down my skirt, cleared my throat, and attempted to speak through gritted teeth. “Something you need, Margie?”
“Oh… No. Sorry, Linden.” She headed for a stall. Wait. She wasn’t leaving? Bitch!
His disheveled appearance, accentuated by a light coat of sweat and a large wet spot on his right knee,
made my breath catch. His pupils dilated and his breathing labored as he stared back with eyes ringed in sapphire.
I blushed and shook my head to dislodge the lust. I stared at him and whispered, “I guess you’re going to have to kill me quietly or increase the body count?”
His gaze raked over my body before he bent to place a light kiss on the top of my head. Searching my face for a moment, his lips pulled at the edges in a wicked smile.
He bent, speaking close to my ear in an overly formal tone. “Mrs. Green, nice to make your acquaintance. It certainly has been a pleasure meeting you. Good evening.” He turned and left, his departure a blur.
Too stunned to follow, I stood transfixed.
Margie vacated the stall, pushing past my motionless form, and began to wash her hands. I wanted to slap her and thank her at the same time. Exiting the restroom, she appeared rattled, but the smirk didn’t go unnoticed.
Standing still, trying to gather my wits, my body trembled from overstimulation and fear. So much deserved contemplation, but my mind kept repeating the same words over and over again.
What the fuck?
Copyright 2014 Renea Mason
Published by Etopia Press
Symphony of Light – Book Two
Paranormal Erotic Romance
18 Years + Only
“Linden…take your clothes off.” Cyril’s voice, low and commanding, laced tendrils of seduction through my mind. Even without his six feet five inches of supernatural perfection looming, he had control.
“Absolutely not. You’re not talking me into that again.” A world away, he still commanded my body. My stomach filled with warmth, and hairs raised on my arms with the cadence and tone in my mind. Damn it.
“How was I to know the man would be walking his dog so late? If your inferior senses had detected his presence, you could have hidden instead of running naked through the streets.” He snickered. “Look at it this way…you were lighter without clothes, and Michael’s
power infusion gave you the ability to outrun the beast. Important knowledge, even if your hearing sucks.”
Ever since the accident, which left Cyril in another plane of existence, tormenting me remained his main form of entertainment. He took great pleasure in my uncertainty. Being separated from his body left him with metaphorical idle hands, and my brain the only thing within reach. He blamed his actions on not knowing which abilities I inherited when I destroyed Michael—my short-lived husband and all-around supernatural nuisance. The moment I plunged the knife into Michael’s back, something in me changed. Beyond the branching pattern of raised skin covering my back, the experience also altered my soul, but how was unclear. With Cyril as my guide, I never knew if I’d end up the victor or the prey.
“My hearing is fine. Besides, I couldn’t hear around all the bullshit you were spewing in my head.” I crossed my arms, still not quite comfortable speaking to him out loud. A delay occurred between my thoughts and his access to them. His interpretation of them was accurate about sixty percent of the time. Verbal communication allowed for instant understanding, when it worked.
“You’re not questioning me, are you? Do you want to learn or not?” The huskiness surrounding his words accented power and his centuries of experience. Since he was at my mercy until he once again inhabited his
body, desperation for control led him to push boundaries.
As much as I hated to admit it, I needed him too, but letting him know was not an option. He was cocky enough. Another ounce of ego would make him unbearable.
“Mr. Aristin, do not think for one moment you are going to manipulate me. There needs to be trust.”
“I couldn’t agree more. Had you trusted me, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” He sighed and in a soft tone wrapped with demand said, “Now take your clothes off.”
“Can’t I just stick to releasing souls? That was easy, and I could leave my pants on.”
“No. You have much to learn.”
Cyril had let me know that he was not sure why, but the mixture of his blood in my veins and my proximity to Michael’s destruction gave me the ability to release souls. He had said that mankind should be damn thankful I was there to take his place as the gateway to the afterlife. Freeing their souls for the journey to heaven or hell saved them from an eternity in purgatory. But apparently that was only part of it.
“As long as you don’t start calling me Grim.” Maybe it wasn’t fair to forbid the nickname I bestowed upon him for his role as the soul deliverer, but I was beyond worrying about his sensitivities.
“I have far better names for you. Would you like to
hear how you inspired them?”
“No. Let’s get this over with. It’s freezing.”
“Magic is more than an ability. It’s a skill. Surely our previous lessons have taught you that. Channeling the energy takes practice.”
“But you say it’s equal parts will and magic. Some situations require an influence and focus—spell component and chant. Like how you told me you created your family with the souls of three men, your blood, magic, and focused will. What does any of that have to do with getting naked?”
He growled. “Stop talking and do it. Trust me.” His use of trust as a trump card to win arguments was getting old.
I inhaled the crisp night air as the moon shone bright in the night sky, outlining everything in a strange, opaque aura. Its shadows appeared astral. It was almost midnight, and the night was cold. I looked behind me to make sure I was alone. Cyril’s lessons had brought us back to the cemetery where we originally met. The energy resulting from the intersection of two powerful ley lines would make it easier for me to learn. I moved my hands to the zipper on my coat.
“They are magical; the moon shadows, I mean.”
It sucked having him in my mind. A few seconds after a thought crossed he had full access to it
as a memory. I was never alone except when he grew too weary to maintain the connection or when it dropped like bad cell phone reception. His presence was always a surprise. During rare merciful times, he’d let an embarrassing stray notion vanish without comment, but that was a rarity most days. The constant focus on controlling my thoughts wore on me. It was impossible to stop them from forming without thinking of why they shouldn’t be formed in the first place. Either way, I was screwed.
He must have sensed my turmoil because he changed tactics. “If you’d be so kind as to oblige my request…” But his attempt at manners was undermined by the growl reverberating between my ears. I couldn’t even roll my eyes in peace.
“Request, my ass. Besides, it’s cold.” No matter how much I wanted to resist, the guilt that gripped me for trapping him outside his body softened my response to his bullshit every time.
“You won’t be for long. Now get on with it; we haven’t got all night. I’m growing tired.”
Another quick look around revealed row after row of headstones. The crisp nip of winter air and the moon-bathed landscape awaited me. I shrugged off my coat, removed my shoes and socks, shimmied the jeans over my hips, and pulled the sweater over my head. Standing next to a pile of clothes in only panties and bra, I wrapped my arms across my chest. With
the temperature near the low thirties, I shivered and looked up to the sky. Closing my eyes, I grumbled, “Now what?”
He laughed. “Oh, my dearest Linden, open your eyes and look down.”
Busted. I looked, but focused several feet away, avoiding my body. I focused on the grass trimmed in tiny white crystals of frost. So fucking cold.
“You naughty girl. When I told you to take your clothes off, I meant all of them. Do it. Then let me see.”
I huffed and reached around to unfasten my bra. The task proved difficult as my hands shook from the temperature, anger, and anxiety. Working the panties down my legs, I complained, “I’m going to die from hypothermia.”
Standing on a hill overlooking the Laurel Mountain range, in a cemetery, at midnight, talking to nothing but the night air while taking orders from a voice in my head was all the evidence I needed. I had finally gone insane.
“Show me.” The menace gone, seduction in its place.
I sighed and complied. My nipples were so puckered and hard they could have chiseled ice. My skin reddened from windburn.
A sound in my head like air being sucked through teeth echoed between my ears. “You are so
beautiful. When I’m back, I’m going to dedicate a week to savoring each part of your body. I’m going to wrap my lips around each of those rosy buds. Without touching any other part of your body, I’ll make you writhe, pant, and moan for me.”
Damn him. The breeze blew, but I was immune. The heat that grew from within, negating its effects. “Cyril, please…” I intended a warning, but he interpreted my words as a plea.
“I feel your need. If I was there, I’d bend you over the bench, watch your red hair drape over your back, and fuck you until you screamed my name. When the echoes of your passion stopped filling my ears, I’d sit you atop me and bury myself inside you and lathe the milky white skin of your breasts with my tongue. When those beautiful green eyes told me you surrendered, I’d bite and consume you as you consumed me.”
“Stop. Cyril, please. I am on edge. I’m ready to ignite. You can feel it. Please don’t make it worse.” He held a switch to my body’s thermostat. The only thing chilled was the place between my legs where moisture pooled. What other woman could say that she bedded a god made for sex? The goddess who created him, to see to her every physical need, perfected every detail. The man was a Titan in bed, and damn my luck, the universe gave me a taste before taking him, just so I’d know what I was missing. Fucking fates.
“When you bring me back to you, where I belong, I’ll make it up to you. You have my word. Are you still cold?”
“No.” In fact, I was surprised I didn’t combust.
“See, you should trust me more often.”
“Now your lesson…Light, close your eyes.”
Lowering my lids, I did as he asked.
“Can you feel the pulse?”
I focused, blocking out the whistle caused by the breeze blowing across my ears. The cold numbed my skin once my Cyril-induced inferno extinguished. It shook the hairs on my arms, tickling.
“Walk to it.”
I did. As I got closer, it thundered in my brain. Cyril’s identity, my anxiety, and the strange sensation caused something akin to a headache to take hold. “It’s making my head hurt.”
“That’s expected. The pulse has increased. Now, find the place where it’s so fast, it’s sustained. The pain will subside when you are in the precise spot. You’ll learn how to pace out the pinnacle, and you won’t need to focus on the feeling.”
“Is that what you were doing the first time I saw you here? You were counting.”
“Yes. The lines shift with the season, and winter is two paces to the left of summer. It’s easier to count since I’ve been here before. Better than getting naked and risk
“I never would have attacked you!”
“You may have been young, but the hunger in your eyes for me, even then, was unmistakable.”
“You are impossible. Hurry, I’m getting cold.”
“Do you need me to heat you up again? Should I tell you about how, if I was there, I’d drop to my knees, spread your legs and run my tongue up the inside of your thigh, savoring the essence. I’d lick—”
“Stop it. You can’t keep talking about sex.”
“Yes, I can. I’m made for sex. I am inseparable from sex.”
“But you’re not here, and it’s torture.”
“Seems a fitting price for not trusting me with our future.”
“I was only trying to help.”
“By giving yourself to a psychopath in a ridiculous effort to save me? I’m the closest thing to a god that exists here, and you thought to save me? My only vulnerability is you. You will be my destruction. Now that I have you, I won’t be without you. It’s your stubbornness that risks us both.”
“Well, sorry I told you I loved you. I should have left with Michael and kept you in the dark, wondering.”
“I would have found you. Besides, it was your careless disregard of magic that lead to my imprisonment.”
“Imprisonment? Really? Could you be more dramatic? I was trying to protect you.”
A sound that reminded me of a snort resonated. “Yes, and a ridiculous notion it was. Keep moving toward the source.”
“Whatever.” I cracked my lids the slightest bit to look for obstacles in my path. The pulsing stabilized at the center of the large circle of gravestones. The Nester family, I remembered. “Now what am I supposed to do? The frequency is sustained, and the headache is gone.”
“Fuck you.” He knew I wasn’t. Another one of his games was to ask questions he already knew the answer to just to prove his point.
“That’s my girl.” He laughed. “Clear your mind.”
“Easier said than done with the current infestation.” Removing all thoughts of Cyril and his tongue proved difficult. I focused on the grass, taking in the uneven blades.
“Now visualize. Look through the surface of the Earth and picture the energy. Picture pulling it through your body. As I said before, magic is little more than focused will, woven with the forces that sustain this world.”
It took a while to clear my head, and thankfully, he remained silent. Allowing numbness to fill my limbs and seep into my mind, I penetrated
layers of earth, reaching the electric white lights branching under the surface. Each juncture enhanced the brightness. I focused on the nearest point and pictured drawing it toward me.
Soon a surge started in my feet, pins and needles followed, as the energy crept through my nervous system. I closed my eyes. The current continued until I was enveloped in the light, feeling invincible, but only for a moment. The energy started to recede.
“Linden, don’t let go. Use the chant. Remember how I told you to use the words to focus. Say them slowly. Nium parnum omsti narum.”
Mentally I grasped at the light as my lips formed the words. Even though not magical, each syllable helped channel the essence. I regained control and was once again overcome.
His next command caught me off guard. “Do not speak. Think of Clarence.”
Clarence? Why? I thought it odd but didn’t comment. Clarence, my friend and colleague, was the furthest thing from my mind. We spoke the night before. He was still vacillating between being pissed at me for bringing him into all this supernatural bullshit and appreciating me for adding excitement to his life.
Another set of instructions. “Think of how he looks. What he sounds like.”
Clarence. His smooth, coffee-colored complexion, baldhead, swimmer’s build, and slight Southern drawl.
My skin rippled like water and blended with the tingling caused by the energy. A straining from within—stretching muscle, shifting bone—caught me by surprise. It was not wholly painful, as the pulse served as an excellent analgesic.
“Keep thinking of him, concentrate.”
Entranced by the light and Cyril’s words, Clarence’s mannerisms came to mind. The way he fiddled with his collar, the strange way he cleared his throat when we passed a sexy man and how he held my elbow each time we crossed the street. I was all- things Clarence. I held the image, unmoving.
“That’s it. Feel him, know him, become him.”
Another focused thought on Clarence’s wide, mischievous smile and the corners of my lips lifted, mirroring my thoughts of his actions.
“That’s it, become Clarence.”
Deep breaths helped my concentration. I embodied his six plus feet of height. His toes, his large hands, his… “What the hell?” My eyes flew open.
Cyril screamed in my mind, “No, gain focus. Gain focus! Use the chant!”
Oh, dear God. I was a six-foot-tall…African- American…man. Holy shit. I was Clarence. What.
“Linden, you have to calm down. Don’t let the magic snap back. If you do, it will be much worse. It’s going to be bad enough already.”
I turned my hands over and over again, taking in their size, color, and masculinity. Another glance revealed I no longer had breasts and a little lower… I was going to need more therapy.
The hands I scrutinized shook, and the sight disoriented. Rippling started in my skin, and the light began to recede.
“Damn it. Too late. Linden, I’m so sorry.”
Why was he sorry? For turning me into Clarence? But my knees buckled, and I fell to the ground. The energy sucked the last bit of warmth with it as it receded into the earth. My bones gave and muscles cramped in places I didn’t know I had. The pain crippled as I lay writhing on the ground.
“So sorry. Breathe through the pain.”
“Ahhhh…” The scream escaped from between my teeth. My eyes closed from contractions that raked my body. Some kind of grunting pushed through my throat. I was going to die.
“You’ll be OK. I wish I could help you.”
“Fuck you! What did you do?” Another violent spasm and sweat broke out across my skin. So cold.
“It should end soon. Just a little longer.”
Another groan I couldn’t control. I gritted my
teeth from pain and the chill. More perspiration. I wanted to cry, but it would’ve hurt too much.
The jerking muscles quieted, and with that came the ability to move my limbs. I forced my eyes to open. Thank God! I had never been so happy to see my breasts.
“Light, I didn’t do anything. It’s all you.” Because Light was his pet name for me, I both loved and loathed him in that moment.
I formed my mouth into an O, and I steadied my breathing. Something wet slid down my forehead. What on earth? I opened my eyes to find my entire body covered in a thick, clear, mucous substance. It wasn’t sweat after all. I collected some and flung it from my fingertips. “What the fuck is this?”
“That, my dear, is shifting residue. It’s the by- product your cells produce when you take the form of another. You used to be quite found of it. It’s what your dearly departed Michael used to craft those little animal figurines he gifted you. Isn’t it romantic?”
“I would so punch you if I could.” I wiped the sticky disgusting liquid from my cheek.
“Do you have any idea what this means?” Elation sounded in his voice. My body felt like I fell from a thirty-story building, and he sounded like it was his fucking birthday.
“It means I’m bare-ass naked, lying on the ground after midnight, in a cemetery covered in goo.
Oh…and a minute ago I hallucinated that I had a penis.”
“That was no hallucination, Light. Isn’t this wonderful?” He was excited. Cyril didn’t get excited. Even when we first met and he discovered my immunity to his curse, he never let his enthusiasm show.
Another sweep of goo from my arm, I breathed heavy, rising on all fours. The slime dripped from my body, leaving tiny pools. “You’ll excuse me if I don’t see the wonder in all of this.”
“Linden, you mimicked Clarence. You changed shapes. You became him. I can’t even do that. I always envied Michael. Think of the possibilities.”
“Became Clarence? I feel like I gave birth to him.” The substance coating my skin started to harden. My clothes lay in a pile about ten feet away, but it felt more like ten miles.
“The process is a bit messier than I expected, but do you know what else this means?”
Right hand, left knee, then left hand, right knee. Each movement required thought, conviction. I needed to get to my sweater before the stuff hardened. “I.” Breath. “Don’t.” Huff. “Know.” Grunt. “What. Does. It.” Hyperventilate. “Fucking.” Growl. “Mean?” I fisted the sweater and rubbed at the small crystals forming on my skin.
“It means you are much stronger than I thought. Of
course, you’ll need practice.”
I shrugged on my coat. Screw the underwear. Wiping down my legs, the residue splintered and flaked to the ground like small snowflakes. “Great. I can be Clarence. You know, one Clarence is more than enough.”
“You can do something I cannot. I wonder what else you can do.”
“Hell. No. We are done with your experiments.” I leaned back, wiggled my bottom into my jeans and eyed my car. Another ten feet. Fuck!
“You are strong enough to bring me back after all.”
On my hands and knees, I came to a halt. Why I looked up when he pissed me off was beyond me. It wasn’t as if he could hear me any better. “What? There was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to do it? When were you planning to tell me you might be stuck forever?” Five more feet. Never gonna make it.
“Everything is equally possible and impossible, Light. I hadn’t planned to tell you.”
“Oh, save your philosophical bullshit. I’m not in the mood.” My hand slapped hard against the door of my black Pontiac Solstice, and I pulled myself up, leaning against the car, still trying to catch my breath.
“I didn’t think it was possible, but I love you even more.”
“Funny, I didn’t think…that I’d want to strangle you any more than the night I ran naked
through the street while being chased by that beast of a dog. But again, you’ve outdone yourself, my love.”
“Light, necessity is the mother of invention.”
I groaned at the pain and his words and opened the car door, falling into the seat. I grabbed each leg and pulled them inside one at a time. The smell of the leather soothed, familiar. I took a deep breath. “Nice quote. Who said it?”
I slumped against the steering wheel, trying to muster the strength to drive. “No, I mean originally.”
“That’s what I meant. Many attribute it to an old English proverb, but it was in a speech I gave in Greece, around 400 BC.”
Immortals. Bah! “Is there anything you haven’t done? I mean you’re essentially a vampire with your fangs, you’re immortal, you can summon wings, use magic like a wizard, and escort the dead. How does anyone compete with that?”
My groan of frustration surprised even me. I turned the key. The engine roared to life. “Why Clarence?” I cranked up the heat and rubbed my hands together, trying to generate warmth from friction. Finally, I slumped back in the seat and rested my hand on the gearshift.
I had no energy for his games. Enigmatic pain
“I heard that.”
“Good. Now shut up and let me drive.” My teeth chattered.
“Would you like me to warm you up? I could—”
“God help you…” I grabbed the rearview mirror and stared into it. Glaring at myself, knowing he’d see my reflection, I focused my anger. Goo had crystallized in my hair, and faint bruises formed under my skin. “If you say one more word, I will pull over and hack my own head off just to stop your incessant bullshit. Then who will you annoy? Huh?”
I reached up and moved a strand of hair, and they all moved. My hair was so hard an eighties girl would’ve been envious. “And Cyril, if I have to shave my head because of this, I’m not bringing you back. Do you hear me? Never. Coming. Back.”
He laughed. “Did I ever tell you that your feistiness makes me hard? If I were there I’d—”
“Don’t push me.”
Copyright 2014 Renea Mason
Published by Etopia Press
Prequel to Symphony of Light and Winter
Paranormal/Historical Erotic Romance
18 Years + Only
Dying sucked. Not just the pain. Sure, the agony—that moment just before the heart stops—and the uncertainty of how and when I might wake up left an impression. But the holes, those missing points in my timeline aggravated me most. Each time I died, I wondered how much of myself I’d lose. How many of those defining moments would remain forever dead? And most of all, despite being all-powerful, I became powerless to know what I had lost.
My family filled in the gaps, when I read their minds. Seeing my life through their eyes was like watching a movie—always tainted with the director’s perception. The events were clear, but my analysis lost. I’d tried journaling, but given the vast amount of time my existence spanned, it proved impractical. Frustrating to think that in the millenniums I had existed, there were mistakes I was damned to commit again because I had no recollection of the consequences.
From the beginning, only a few prominent memories had stuck with me. Like my time as Emperor in Asia, long before the Great Wall was built. I remember each of my family members’ creations too. And…her. From the moment I existed, her vision has haunted me. I had no idea who she was, only that one day she would come to me. Losing her image was my greatest fear, so I painted her, wrote the words I imagined she’d say, and thought of her often in hopes that the next time I reincarnated, she’d make the journey with me.
It had been three hundred years since my last death, but I sensed that I would soon be facing an important crossroads in my destiny.
Copyright 2014 Renea Mason
Unedited Sneak Peek
18 Years + Only
Elaine Watkins, Director of Marketing at Nexus Pharmaceuticals, is surprised when she receives a summons from the very attractive and enigmatic Dr. Xavier Vincent. She worships the talented physician and company icon, responsible for developing the cure that saved her sister’s life. Even though puzzled by his request, she is excited and eager to get started on his latest project.
But Doctor Vincent has other ideas. Instead of discussing cures, drugs or marketing strategies, he asks Elaine to join him in Paris and indulge his unique sexual appetites.
Torn between gratitude for saving her sister and compromising her pre-conceived notions of sexuality, she must decide if it’s easier to feed his desires or walk away. Until she devises a plan of her own. COMING SOON…
The elevator opened on the twenty-fifth floor. The mahogany doors, embossed with a silver plate that read Stanley Howard, Executive Vice President – Nexus Pharmaceuticals, stood in front of me. Stanley had been a friend of mine since college and his recommendation was instrumental in securing my position as Director of Marketing. Even so, a summons to his office was unusual.
I scanned my security badge and the door clicked, allowing me to turn the handle. Marcia’s bright smile greeted me.
“Elaine, it’s so good to see you. Did you do something new with your hair?” She pushed her dark-rimmed glasses with the tip of one finger.
I ran my hand through my hair. It was shorter than my usual bob, but I declined the hairdresser’s suggestion to go platinum, and stuck to the dark mane God gifted me. The change was subtle, so I didn’t expect anyone to notice.
“Yes, I thought it was time for a change.”
“Well it frames your face nicely.” She patted her fluffy gray curls. “I was thinking of going a little shorter myself.” She beamed again. “You can go in, he’s expecting you.”
Walking to the black door accented with the brushed chrome, I thought of Stan’s wild antics back in college. We hadn’t seen each other for years and then one day I sat across the desk from him in my interview suit.
The door opened without a whisper.
“Elaine.” He smiled and pointed at a black leather chair in front of his desk.
“Stan…” I paused. “Or should I call you Executive Vice President, Sir.”
He lowered his head, but the blush was still evident. “You saw me naked when they tied me to the light post during Rush Week. I think we’re past formalities.”
I laughed. “Yes, and if I remember that cold night didn’t do you any favors.” “Hey now, I had hoped you’d forgotten that part.”
“Believe me, I tried.” I smiled and took the seat.
“So you’re probably wondering why I asked you here.” He folded his arms across his desk and cufflinks gleamed in the sunlight entering through the Venetian blinds.
“I am.” I studied his deep brown eyes for any hint of anxiety. Was I to be let go? Maybe he was leaving. Restructuring perhaps?
He took a long breath and chestnut curls bounced when he tilted his head back. “Yesterday…” He paused.
Why did he seem so nervous?
“After the presentation with Dr. Vincent, what did you say to him?” He rubbed his jaw while maintaining eye contact.
“Nothing important, just small talk. I couldn’t believe he spoke to me. I was a bit star struck.”
I had been nervous as hell to meet Dr. Vincent. It’s not every day one gets to present to the man responsible for saving my sister’s life. .
“Nothing is small regarding Dr. Vincent. Come on, what did he say?” “He asked me why I chose marketing as a profession.”
“I told him it pays a hell of a lot better than acting.” I shot him a suspicious glare. “Why? I was so nervous speaking to the man I could barely form words, so I can assure you, I didn’t say much. If you had told me he’d be there, I don’t think I could have given the presentation.”
“I know. That’s why I didn’t tell you.” He grinned.
“Did I say something wrong? I swear, I didn’t say anything about you or the company. It was all about my sister and me.”
“Okay.” He sighed. “Dr. Vincent is very important to this company.”
“Of course. He’s the entire reason it exists.”
“Yes. And there are rumors that he is very volatile and decisive.”
I gasped. “Shit. He didn’t fire me, did he? Son of—” A grasped the arms of the chair, squeezing, trying to keep my cool. I needed this job.
“No! No, he didn’t fire you. Calm down.”
“What the hell is going on? Please just say it. I can handle it.” I rubbed my hands along the seam of my skirt. This couldn’t be good.
Stanley cleared his throat. “He has requested your presence.”
“Okay. That is surprising.” I ran my hand through my hair. “Where and when?”
He handed me an envelope. “You leave tonight.”
“Tonight? Where to? Is he crazy?” I took the thick white rectangle from his outstretched hand.
“Maybe so. But please, Elaine, don’t screw this up. Whatever you do is going to be a reflection on me.”
“Gee, Stan, thanks for the vote of confidence.” I glared at him.
“No, you don’t understand. There are rumors about Dr. Vincent, and with your hotheaded temper… ”
“My temper?” The heat flooding my cheeks made it difficult to deny his accusation. I pitched a fit in one meeting and now I’m the stuff of legends. In my defense, it was an ethical issue. But when I picked my hill to die on, my demise was theatrical.
“Yes. You can be rather… opinionated.”
The fact that he was right irritated me more. “What kind of rumors?”
“You know, eccentric genius and all that. He might ask you to walk his cat or something stupid. If he does, just suck it up and go with it. The reason I’m Executive Vice President is because of Dr. Vincent.”
“Well if the guy promoted you, why are you so afraid?” I fiddled with the thick, white envelope in my hand.
“He didn’t promote me. He demanded the old EVP be fired. No reason. Just up and fired him. You’ve got to be careful. My four kids are depending on you.”
“No pressure, huh?” I rolled my eyes.
“Elaine.” It almost sounded like a whine.
“All right. I’ll walk his damn cat with a smile on my face.”
“Thank you.” He relaxed in his seat.
I stood, stuffed the envelope under my arm and pointed at him. “You’re going to owe me. I don’t even like cats.”
He laughed. “But you said you were in awe of the man.”
“I am. He saved my sister. I just don’t know if I can keep myself together enough not to say something stupid.” I smiled and glanced over my shoulder. “I’ll call and let you know if you still have a job.”
He stopped laughing. His brow furrowed. “That’s not funny.”
Making my exit, I pulled the door shut behind me.
Now to see where I needed to be this evening. I tore open the envelope. Oh my God!
One Week in Paris
Sixteen hours later the plane touched down in Paris. Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, anxiety hit. Did I pack enough underwear? What could be so important?
At the airport, a gentleman with salt and pepper hair dressed in a black uniform, held up a sign with ‘Elaine’ written in shaky script. I moved to stand in front of him.
“Elaine?” The thick French accent blended the two syllables of my name as though they were silk and satin. Such a beautiful language.
I nodded and he grabbed my bags.
His long legs made his stride swift. I struggled to keep up. We stopped outside of baggage claim in front of a black stretch limo. He opened the door for me.
As my bottom slid across the smooth leather seat, I looked up into the older man’s hazel eyes. “Where are we going?”
“Perdon, mademoiselle. Je ne parle pas anglais,” he said with a shake of his head or shrug of his shoulders and his hands spread.
I smiled. “Wonderful.”
I prayed the ride would be short but no such luck. The worry that I might be the wrong Elaine or the driver—a serial killer, plagued me. Yet the dancing light of the city, served as great distraction as we navigated the narrow streets. Soon the city gave way to the scenic French countryside, small farms with stone barns dotted the hills.
After two hours and fifteen minutes of driving in a faint glow of moonlight, we arrived at a large security gate. The driver pushed a button, muttered something in French and the gate opened. Another half-mile down a winding narrow road, a large structure emerged from the darkness.
The driver parked the car in front of a large gothic stone mansion. Beautiful gray stonework formed an elegant archway leading to the iron and stained glass doors. Light from inside the building made the cut roses and ivy shimmer. I paused to take in the breathtaking architecture.
After opening my door, he waved me toward the stoop. I took his cue. He placed my bags on the walk beside me and returned to the car. I raised my fist to knock when the door opened. Dr. Vincent welcomed me instead of the butler.
“Good evening, Elaine.” He reached down, took my hand and kissed the back of it.
“Ah…Good evening… Dr. Vincent.” I managed to smile through the nerves.
His furrowed brow drove away his welcoming expression. “Something wrong?”
I glanced around, taking in the hand cut stones that framed the threshold. The place must have cost a fortune. Pushing away my disconcertion, “No, nothing is wrong, Doctor.”
He reached for my bags, but my hands beat him to the handles. This was the great Doctor Vincent. There was no way he was taking my bags.
He paused. “Elaine, may I take your baggage?”
“I’m okay. I’ll just keep them with me until I leave for the hotel.”
“Did you honestly think I would have you come all this way to sleep in a hotel?
You are my guest and will stay here. Unless of course it’s not to your—”
“No. No. It’s perfect.” Certainly unexpected.
He reached for my bags again and this time, I released my grip and allowed him to take them.
He smiled and nodded his approval. “I will only be a moment.” He led us into the foyer.
As he walked away, I wound my arms around my chest and gazed up to see the massive cathedral ceiling decorated with shadows cast by the crystal chandelier. I took a deep breath, clenched and unclenched my hands. Not only was I standing in pure opulence, I was as the guest of the man who saved my sister’s life. Much more than a celebrity, He was a saint in my book.
It didn’t take long before he appeared in the archway to the foyer. His dark hair, laced with gray, highlighted the sharp angles of his face. It seemed unfair for a man with his beauty to also be gifted with such intelligence. Nature should be careful to balance such things. I had never thought of him in those terms before, but he was handsome beyond compare— untouchable, god-like even, and here I stood in his house.
He moved in from behind me, he grabbed the shoulders of my coat and coaxed it down my arms. He spoke in soft tones, so close to my ear I could feel his breath.
“Thank you again for traveling all this way.” The scent of musk and woodsy cologne soothed me—utter masculinity. Too wrapped up in my work, it had been years since I was this close to a man, and I couldn’t afford to feel such things for the good doctor. Not only were there professional boundaries, but also the ring on his finger spoke of his commitments.
He smoothed my sleeves, his hands pausing for a moment on my biceps. He then moved in front of me and draped my coat over his arm and motioned forward. We made our way into the mahogany paneled sitting room.
“If I hadn’t made the trip, I would have never had the chance to see your magnificent home.”
“Well, thank you but this is all my wife’s doing. I have much simpler tastes.”
The large room, with a roaring fire in the oversized stone hearth, was accented by a burgundy and cream color palette reminiscent of royalty. “Please have a seat.” He gestured to the large velvet brocade chair.
He waited as I scooted back in the chair, straightening my skirt. “Do you prefer red or white?”
“Excuse me?” I was such a bundle of nerves. What the hell was I doing here? The situation was surreal.
“Wine, my dear. Do you prefer red or white? Or maybe I’ve read you wrong and you’d like something a little stronger.” He smiled.
This was going to be the longest week of my life. “Red, please.”
He winked. “That’s what I thought.” With my coat in hand, he headed back into the foyer.
The warmth of the fire felt wonderful, almost too soothing, as jet lag and exhaustion overcame me. It wouldn’t look good if I fell asleep. The wine was not a good idea, but how could I refuse?
Moments later he returned with two glasses and handed one to me. “Here, my dear.” He made sure I had a firm grasp before releasing the glass. “Romanée Conti.”
“Romanée Conti is one of the finest pinot noirs in all of France.”
“Wow. I don’t know my French wines, sorry.” I took a sip and allowed the flavor to coat my lower lip and tongue. Delicious.
He watched me, eyes fixated on my mouth.
“It’s wonderful.” I licked my lower lip, not allowing any to go un-savored.
“I’m glad you approve. My wife was the connoisseur.” He fiddled with the ring on his left ring finger.
“Is she going to join us?”
He took a seat in the chair opposite me, sighed and crossed his legs. He looked deep into his glass of wine, running his finger around the rim. “No. I’m sorry. She passed away years ago.”
“I am so sorry.” Nice way to stick my foot in my mouth.
“Everything you see here, including who I am, is all because of her.”
Now he really had my attention. I sat forward in the chair, dangling the wine over the arm.
“What happened?” A pained look crossed his face. “If you don’t mind me asking? I don’t want to bring up old memories.”
He exhaled a long breath and leaned back in his chair. “No, it’s okay.” He paused. “It was the cancer. I wasn’t able to save her, but her death fueled my focus. I hunted the horrid disease until it could no longer hide.”
“Again, I’m so sorry about…”
“Yes… Lydia. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for my sister and my family. Her death was not in vain.” Guilt hit. I too benefited from her death.
“That’s what keeps me going.” His face brightened for a moment. “I’m close to isolating another.”
“Fantastic news. Is that why I’m here? Are you preparing to go to market?”
He looked down at his hands. “Elaine I’m sorry, but the reason you are here is not work related.”
Now that was news. I sat up straight. “I’m afraid I don’t understand.”
“I suspect not. It’s not the kind of thing I can place in a letter. But the moment I saw you at the presentation, I had no doubts. I needed you.”
I laughed and looked down trying to hide my schoolgirl blush. The Great Doctor Vincent needed me? A thousand possibilities flooded my mind, many I’m sure the good doctor would not appreciate. Surely, I wasn’t here to walk his cat? I toyed with a button on my suit jacket and cleared my throat. “What can I do for you?”
“Do you know what my wife did for a living?”
“No. There isn’t much written about you or her from a personal perspective. I didn’t even know she had passed.”
He smiled. “Did your homework, did you, Ms. Watkins?”
The playful tone in his voice was welcome given the heaviness of the conversation. “I tried but you don’t give up much.”
“You are right. Before I started doing research, I was a practicing psychiatrist. Keeping one’s private life concealed is essential when dealing with patients and their most personal problems. Some can make unhealthy connections.”
“I can imagine. Was it a hard jump from private practice to research?”
“Yes. I miss the patient interaction. The way the human mind works fascinates me. Did you know people wear their ethics on their sleeves? Most don’t look for it but I can tell when someone is trustworthy.” He took a sip of wine and the slightest bit dripped from his chin. He lifted it with his finger, placed the droplet on his tongue and sucked his finger into his mouth.
I pretended not to notice but warmth started in my belly. The man was sex in a suit—sensual without even meaning to be. Knowing he wasn’t married somehow opened a world of possibilities I never considered.
“You are trustworthy.” He leaned forward, directing his full attention at my rosy cheeks.
His words pulled me from my daydream. “Huh? Oh… Really?”
“Yes. Why do you think there is so little written about me? It isn’t that people don’t know my secrets, I only impart them to those who would never betray me.”
“You’ll have to teach me that trick. It could have saved me a lot of heartache.”
He laughed. “Ah… matters of the heart are tricky. I find it best to avoid them. Perhaps you’ll leave here knowing a little more about yourself than you did when you got here.”
I met his gaze. “I’m learning already.”
“That’s my girl. Now why don’t we get down to business? You are tired. It was a long flight.” He reached down into the side of the chair and pulled out a folder obscured by the cushions. “Please wait to open it until I tell you.”
“Okay.” I reached out took the folder and laid it in my lap.
“I met my wife when I was in med school. She was an instructor specializing in sexuality—specifically, sexual dysfunction. She moved to America to study the role of inhibition in American culture.”
“Sounds interesting, but if she was an instructor and you were a student…”
He took a deep breath. “Yes. You are beginning to see. My wife loved to blur lines, defy social norms, when it came to sex. I became a challenge. Abuse in early childhood lead to my adoption by a very loving and supportive family, but it left its mark. We married after my graduation. Our marriage was not… conventional. My wife’s desire to push boundaries and my hang-ups from childhood lead to a unique arrangement.”
This was not the conversation I expected. “Doctor, you don’t need to tell me all of this. It’s personal…”
“Unfortunately, it’s essential.” He leaned back in his chair, took a sip of wine, and inhaled.
Where in the hell was this going? I shifted in my seat.
On a long sigh he continued, “It took years of coaching until I was comfortable orgasming in front of another human being.”
The gulp of wine I took to speed through the conversation caught in my throat. I began cough. Whoa. When the good doctor decides to share, he really shares. Why on earth do I need to know this?
“Are you alright, Elaine?”
One last sputter. “Yes. Sorry. Go on.” I smiled, hoping to mask my distress.
“She took pity on me and made me her lifelong project. But I progressed further. We never made love in the conventional sense. We compromised. She had sex with others while I watched and directed. She got what she wanted. By calling the shots, I participated. It gave me a sense of control, and eventually, I learned enough to let go.”
Stunned. Why is he telling me this? “I’m so sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry about, we had a wonderful fulfilling marriage. When one engages in the abnormal long enough. it becomes the normal. I loved her with all my heart and I have no doubt she loved me. It was our intimacy. It’s been a long time since her death and even longer since I’ve known companionship. I won’t give up my job for a relationship. How could I explain all of this?”
“You didn’t seem to have a problem telling me.”
“Only because I’ve been rehearsing this conversation in my head for two years. Do you remember the speech you gave at the convention in Vegas?”
“Yes.” Yet another twist.
“I was there and knew then, if I was to try this crazy idea, it had to be with you. Speaking with you in the meeting yesterday, steeled my resolve. I told myself in Vegas, if our paths ever crossed again, it would be my sign.”
“You don’t seem one to bank on fate. Wait… What crazy idea? I’m still not quite sure what you are asking.”
“Open the folder.” He gestured toward it.
I opened the cover. A photo of the most beautiful nude male model filled the page. He was perfection, from the firm muscles in his tight rounded ass, to his massive erect cock. His dark hair hung in waves to his shoulders, featuring the sharp angle of his jaw and straight nose. My mouth ran dry.
“That’s Marco. Exquisite isn’t he? It took me years to find him.” He laced his fingers together and leaned forward to gaze upon the picture. “Turn the page. Sebastian.”
The man on the next page looked even better than the first, which I didn’t think possible. His short, cropped blonde hair framed defined Scandinavian features, and his tall frame was toned and unblemished.
“Doctor, what are you asking?”
“I’m asking you to surrender to five days of passion. To discover physical delights you’ve never known and will never know again.”
I couldn’t help but stare at the doctor, at the photos, then back again.
He pointed to the page. “I want to watch those two men ravish you under my direction.”
“I’m not a prostitute!” I stood, ready to leave.
“Of course you’re not.” He stood and grabbed my hand. “I didn’t mean to imply that you are. You’ll notice I’ve made you no promises. There isn’t a promotion or prize. I was hoping you’d choose me. There is something about you, Elaine. I would have worked to seduce you, if I were capable, but this is what I have to offer.”
I pulled my hand out of his. “This is crazy! You want me to sleep with these men so you can get off watching.”
“No. I want to tell these men how to touch your body so that I can bring you pleasure. It will be me making love to you. I chose them to make the experience as stimulating as possible. Understand in all of this, it’s me who is in charge, it’s me you’ll be intimate with. Those two men will be an extra set of lips, an additional tongue, another cock at my disposal to make you writhe.”
His words did things to me—a strange, hot seduction. “Why two men?” “Ever make love to two men at once?”
I wasn’t a prude by any means but… “No!”
“It was Lydia’s favorite indulgence on special occasions. And you, my dear, are special. I want this to be an encounter you’ll never forget. Perhaps I’m selfish for wanting to give you an experience you’ll never be able to duplicate. But isn’t that every man’s desire when he makes love to his woman?”
It was all so unbelievable. I fell back into the chair, shifted again but this time it was because of the heat building between my thighs. I looked at the photos again and then back at him. “And if I don’t agree?” Would I be fired?
He sat. “You return home and nothing changes.”
“Just like that. Nothing changes?”
“Well other than you’ll always wonder what it would have been like. Imagining just how good it could have been. Either way, you choose. When you return home, you go back to being you and I remain me, half a world away. Prostitution is a financial transaction; I have no interest in that. What I’m asking is for you to be my lover for this one week in Paris.”
I put my face in my hands. This was a train wreck. What in the hell was I going to do?
“If you choose to indulge me, you’ll discover ecstasy that few ever experience. I don’t want your answer tonight. You’re tired and in need of a good night’s sleep.” He stood and reached for my hand. “Let me show you to your room.”
Speechless. I stood but took the glass of wine instead of his hand. I would need it. Stowing the folder under my arm, I followed him up the winding staircase.
At the door to my room, he paused. “Elaine, there is no pressure. I only want this to happen if you want it to. If you have any doubt, please decline. I have no desire to force your will. I chose you of all the women I see day in and day out for several reasons. Your confidence for one. It tells me you’ll see the offer for what it is—an opportunity. Your strong independence will let you to see this situation without gender bias. Someone
weaker would allow social norms of what a woman should do or not do sexually get in the way of enjoyment. You will not and that is important to me.”
“You don’t know me. This is insane.” I brought the glass to lips and drained it over every last drop.
“Is it? It was your compassion and admiration that sealed the deal for me. You can see past my limitations and your honesty and ethics will keep you from destroying me with this knowledge if you choose to walk away. Is that insane?”
“Yes. Yes it is.” I reached for the door handle.
“Sleep on it. Look over the files. Remember, you are in a foreign city. No one will ever know.” He leaned in and kissed me on the cheek but paused to breathe in my ear, “I would be ever so grateful. Sweet dreams, my Elaine.”
I turned the handle and stumbled through the door. The photos of the nude men, along with various other pieces of paper, scattered across the floor. I bent over to pick them up, hand still on the knob. I paused and stared at the man named Marco’s with the over-sized penis. Damn! Do they make men like that? The feeling of being watched overcame me and I lifted my eyes to find the doctor observing with a mischievous grin.
“Good night, Doctor.” I slammed the door.
Le Jules Verne
The car door opened. Dr. Vincent’s driver helped me out. The Eiffel Tower. The doctor’s flair for the dramatic had no bounds.
“Thank you.” I nodded. He returned the gesture, but otherwise remained still with his hands clasped behind his back.
When I agreed to dinner, a small French bistro came to mind, not this. The dusty rose awning that covered the iron stairs read, Le Jules Verne. The metal amplified the click of my heels and the crisp Parisian air filled my lungs, causing a shiver to rush through my body. Achill or fear of the unknown.
I took each step slow, hiking the hem of the blue velvet dress that appeared outside my bedroom door that morning. It was gift wrapped along with a note for the driver, should I decide to accept the good doctor’s invitation to dinner.
After thinking all night and hours of drinking in the Paris sunlight that saturated the veranda attached to my quarters, I decided not knowing what could have been would be the greater burden. Was I crazy? Perhaps. Was I certain? Absolutely not. But I was decisive.
I was confident enough to make the decision and live with it, but what brought me here was the deep seeded hope entwined with guilt. Hope that I might give back more than a vicarious thrill. The Doctor changed my life forever. Could I do the same for him?
This was it. No turning back.
I didn’t pass a single person on the way to the elevator, which seemed odd given the bustle of nightlife on the street outside.
The doors opened into a beautiful modern restaurant filled with empty tables. It was silent except for soft vintage French music playing overhead. The windows that lined the space provided breathtaking view of the city.
“Mademoiselle, if you’ll follow me.” A man in his twenties, wearing a black tie, white shirt, black pants and white linen napkin tucked into the waist of his half-apron, lead me to a booth against the far wall. “Dr. Vincent and his associates will be here shortly.” His English was perfect but accented. He motioned me toward the black leather booth.
Mesmerized by the twinkling city lights, I stared out the window as the maître d’ poured water into a glass on the table.
“Breathtaking.” With just one word he lit a flame—the promise of things to come. In his black business suit and tie, the Doctor exuded sophistication. His American accent held a hint of his highbrow upbringing.
“Yes, it is.”
“Not Paris. You. When I imagined you wearing that dress I didn’t think there could be a more pleasing picture, but seeing you now… You are exquisite.”
I folded my hands in my lap and focused on them, not wanting him to see the blush that flooded my cheeks that he caused far too often. He pulled out his chair to sit and I made to rise, but he motioned for me to remain seated. He no sooner sat and the waiter filled his glass with the same sparkling water. The man paused and asked, “Your usual vintage, Doctor?”
“Yes. Thank you, Jacques.”
“Where is everyone?” I couldn’t imagine a tourist attraction being closed with the amount of foot traffic outside.
“This place is ours for the evening. We have… important matters to discuss.” He winked. “I figured the fewer spectators the better.”
I raised the glass to my lips and swallowed hard. “Yes, very wise.”
A smile crossed his face. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am you came tonight. As nervous as I’m sure you have been, the uncertainty gnawed at me all night. I know it’s a lot to ask.”
“It is a lot to ask, to be honest with you. I can’t promise I’ll be able to see it through.”
“The fact that you are willing to try means more than you will ever know. A few housekeeping things…”
The waiter placed two glasses of red wine on the table and a tray of cheeses.
The doctor took the small knife and sliced off a thin piece, placed it on a cracker and handed it to me. He spoke as he prepared his own, “You saw the medical files I included with their photos. Marco and Sebastian have been tested. There is no risk to you and for their safety you were tested during your physical last week.”
“What?” Son of a bitch! The crumbs of the cracker stuck in my throat, choking me. I coughed.
“I’m a doctor, Elaine. I called in a favor with Dr. Lawrence. I told her that you agreed to participate in one of my studies as a control subject and that I needed additional samples.” He took a sip of wine.
“You had no right.”
“You’re right, but for this to work I had to make sure everyone was safe and needed to know you were taking precautions. The only lasting consequence I want from this encounter is to have heat flood your cheeks every time you think of me.”
There was heat but it was anger, not desire. “Doctor, I don’t think this is such a good—“
“Marco. Welcome.” The doctor rose and motioned for the man to sit beside me.
Holy shit. Men like him do exist. His pictures didn’t do him justice. His massive… Whoa. Deep breath.
“Marco. This is my Elaine.”
Marco took my hand out of my lap and brought it to his full lips and kissed the back. “Elaine. It is all my pleasure.” His dark hair made him look mysterious and ruggedly handsome.
“Elaine. This is Marco.”
I stared at the man as his fingers entwined with mine. Blink, I needed to blink. “Ah… hi.”
“Marco, Elaine was just telling me that she was having second thoughts.” I looked for any trace of smugness but there was none to be found. Simple fact.
“Won’t you at least enjoy a meal?” The heavy Italian accent amplified Marco’s sex appeal. The waiter placed a glass of wine in front of him. “No one will force you into anything. If you change your mind, it’s fine.”
“Fine, but I’m not happy you invaded my privacy.” I glared at the Doctor.
“I’m sorry. I hope that you’ll understand, I meant you no harm. Marco is a close friend of mine. He’s one of the scientists on my team and I needed to make sure he was safe. Please understand.”
“So I’m the only stranger?”
“Yes. Sebastian is a fellow doctor. I told you trust is important to me. They would never do anything to hurt you.”
This was crazier than I thought. I looked at Marco. “You’re okay with this?”
“Xavier has been my friend for a very long time. I want to help him and it’s not as though we don’t get something out of it. You’re a beautiful woman. It would be my honor to give you pleasure for days on end. Has he told you what he likes best?”
Was that a blush on the good doctor’s face? “No. He hasn’t.”
“He likes to watch a woman come. So it’s my job to keep you on the edge of ecstasy for the next week. Of course, only if you agree.”
I didn’t answer, but took another gulp of wine.
“And when Xavier said, ‘Oh fuck it. I’m going to Barbados.’ We all thought he was kidding. Several hours later, he sent us a picture of his pasty white feet with the ocean in the background. That’s how he deals with stress.” They both laughed.
“That’s too funny.” I chuckled and washed down the last bite of chocolate soufflé with the heady wine. Not sure if it was the wine, the food, or that fact that both men seemed so at ease with the situation and each other, but my nerves had settled and I enjoyed the company.
In the several hours that passed, Marcos painted a picture of Dr. Vincent as a man who loved the people he worked with and who garnered the same respect. He also spoke of his undying devotion to his wife.
Dr. Vincent glanced out the window and sighed. “Elaine… my sweet, would you do me a huge favor?”
I wiped a smudge of chocolate from my lip with the napkin. “Sure. What do you need?”
He leaned across the table, locked his gaze with mine. “I want you to slide that velvet up your thighs until it’s gathered at your waist. Then I want you to take your panties off and hand them to me. Can you do that for me?”
Stunned. I stared. His steel blue eyes memorized.
“Elaine, you are so beautiful. Please, I want to see you. All of you.”
Trapped in his sights and as if commanded, I gathered the hem of the dress in my fists, lifting. The lace tickled my legs as I removed the first foot and the other. Still shielded by the tablecloth, I handed the small strip of fabric to the doctor.
He rolled them up and placed them in his pocket. He pulled the table toward him so I was no longer obscured. “Did you know there’s a connection between the shape of a woman’s mouth and her ability to orgasm?”
“Ah… no.” His brilliant eyes reflected the specs of light cast by the city.
“You can. When I looked at you for the first time…” He reached out and outlined my lips but never touched me. “It’s right there. It tells all. When you’re in a public place and desire hits, do you rub your thighs together? Do you look around and wonder if anyone knows your secret? Well, I do.”
I couldn’t speak. He was right. I had always been in touch with my sexual side. In the theater, in my classes, in meetings at work. It was my guilty pleasure. Damn, he was good.
“How many times? Once is never enough, is it? Dozens. I bet you’re swollen and ready and we haven’t even started. Let me see.”
I often explored my body but always when I was alone. An audience was new territory. We were in a restaurant. Granted an empty one but… Opening my legs would be the tipping point. I could still change my mind.
Marco leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Show him.” His hot breath tickled. I shivered. He placed his hand on my thigh, giving the slightest nudge.
My leg moved and Marco took it as a sign of victory. I closed my eyes as his hands, smooth, large and masculine urged them apart. The cold breeze from the air conditioning blew across my wet flesh, chilling. The thought of these two men eyeing me with lust, boiled my blood.
A gasp left the doctor’s lips. “Even better than I imagined.”
I couldn’t breathe. Was it embarrassment or anticipation? Or the heady combination of the two? What an intoxicating mixture.
“Marco, open her up to me. Show me all she hides.”
Marco scraped his stubble along my neck and grasped my chin with one hand. His lips captured mine, soft and full, tasting of wine and chocolate. His other hand ran up the inside of my thigh and then rested his fingers between my slick folds.
He halted his kiss and directed his attention back to the doctor. He parted my folds. “What do you think, Xavier?”
Just then Jacques appeared with another round of water. I tried to close my legs but Marco held them open with a firm hand on each thigh.
Dr. Vincent motioned for Jacques. “Jacques, tell me. Is that not the most beautiful pussy you’ve ever seen?”
“Yes, it is Doctor. By far.”
“What do you think I should do? She’s dripping wet.”
Jacques tucked the towel that was once wrapped around the bottle of sparkling water and tucked it under his arm and placed the glass on the table. “She’s begging to be fucked. I say do what any gentleman would do and give the lady all she desires.”
“Good answer. You always give the best advice.” Jacques turned and walked toward the kitchen like this was an everyday occurrence.
I couldn’t have uttered a sound if I had wanted to. The scene was so surreal.
Dr. Vincent leaned back in the chair and fumbled with his pants. The thought of
him touching himself because of me added a new emotion to the mix.
Then he spoke, “You heard the man, Marco. Fuck her… With your fingers.”
Marco slid his fingers through my wetness and one entered me. Marco’s cock pressed hard against my leg. Every time he pushed his finger back inside he rubbed his cock against me harder.
His fingers were long and when he added another, he curved them so each time he breached my core it hit a place that sent electricity through my body.
Marco moaned against my neck. “You’re like silk. So tight. I can’t wait to fuck you.” His fingers moved faster and his palm grazed my clit with each penetration.
I opened my eyes to see the doctor, leaning back in the chair, his pants unzipped and his cock in his hand. The size of him surprised me. What a waste that no woman would ever know the pleasure of having him. He caressed it with long confident strokes; his eyes darted from mine to Marco’s work and back.
With his free hand, Marco pulled down my dress sleeve and exposed my breast. His lips closed around my nipple and his tongue flicked back and forth in time with the rhythm of his hand.
Then the Doctor spoke. “Marco, I think she needs more.”
Marco complied. His hand moved in frantic motions, pulling all the way out then slamming back in rapid succession.
“That’s it Marco. Work her juicy pussy.” Sucking sounds filled the air. I moaned. I was close but still fought my anxiety.
The doctor leaned to the side. “Look in the glass.”
In the window, the superimposed image of Marco’s performance and the doctor’s hand wrapped around his own cock, reflected back at me.
I tried to hold back but it was too much. I came undone. My legs went rigid and my muscles closed around Marco’s fingers. I groaned, trying to choke back a scream. The cloud of euphoria filled my head and in that moment I didn’t care where I was or why I was here. It was peace. A warm gush of liquid coated my thighs, Marco’s hand and the bench. I threw my head back and gritted my teeth as his fingers maintained their movement. I fought to remain in the moment but soon the gravity of reality took hold and little by little brought me back.
My breathing labored and Marco’s rhythm slowed as I recovered from the most intense experience of my life.
“Oh, Elaine. I could not have chosen better.” Dr. Vincent beamed.
I fought for words to respond but they wouldn’t come.
The doctor shifted in his seat. Still erect. Still free. “Marco, it seems you made a mess. Why don’t you go ahead and clean that up?”
“Gladly.” Marco smiled and dropped to his knees. When he pushed my legs open wider, I felt the brush of stubble on the inside of my thigh.
“What are you… Ahhh…” With the first swipe of his tongue I lost all desire to object.
Marco’s tongue delved, flicked and fucked its way between my legs. I squirmed, but his hand held my hips in place.
“Marco. I. Oh.” I couldn’t speak.
The doctor’s breathing was ragged. “How does she taste, Marco?”
Marco lifted his head from between my legs. “Like. Fucking. Heaven. I can’t get enough.” Face first he lunged again, shadow-beard scraping the sensitive flesh, leaving a delicious burn. He pulled on my hip, forcing a snug fit against his face. His nose teased, while his tongue explored.
The Doctor’s strokes took on a frantic pace and my mind focused on one goal. “Elaine,” He panted. “Do you like watching me as much as I like watching you?” He smoothed his hand over the pre-cum that beaded at the top of his erection. “Do you see what you do to me?”
Marco nipped my clit with his teeth and the “yes” I intended to be seductive and confident erupted as squeal.
The doctor’s shaft glided through his fingers as he pistoned his fist along his length.
He was right. I did like watching him. In that moment, I formulated a plan of my own.
As Marco focused the tip of his tongue on my clit, I knew I didn’t have much longer.
Dr. Vincent sensed it. “That’s it. You’re close. I can see it.” His fist squeezed his erection tighter, his arm more ridged with each stroke. “Cum on Marco’s face. Drown him in it. I want to see your desire drip from his chin.”
Those words, and the tightening of Marco’s fingers on my ass sent me crashing. I did as the doctor asked and let go. A growl-groan escaped my lips, while the rush that started between my legs flooded my brain. My legs stiffened and I fisted Marco’s hair as wave after wave of pleasure consumed me.
Marco peppered my soaking flesh with soft kisses, and then lifted his head from between my legs. Just as the doctor ordered, drips fell from his chin leaving small dark dots on his steel blue shirt. I turned to face Xavier who was biting his lip. Sweat highlighted his forehead and his cock stood hard, red and straining. He inhaled and breathed on the exhale, “Kiss her.”
Marco crushed his lips to mine. The taste, a honeyed musk, invaded my mouth. When a groan sounded, Marco pulled back and turned. Stream after stream of cum flowed and erupted from Dr. Vincent’s cock. His pants and shirt splattered with release. His chest heaved from his heavy breaths. Slow lazy strokes milked his shaft of every last drop.
Marco took his seat beside me, but kept his hand on my thigh. I pulled down my dress, but wondered if the night’s festivities were over.
With one of the black linen napkins from the table, the doctor cleaned himself and tucked his cock back into his pants before Jacques returned to wish us good night.
I looked at Marco. “What about you?” He was the only one left unsatisfied. He leaned in, kissed my cheek and said, “I’ll take you up on that tomorrow.”
I tried not to let the small amount of disappointment I felt show. I had assumed fucking him was part of the plan and if the man’s skills at oral translated to other things, I was in for a treat.
Dr. Vincent sat watching me with a grin of satisfaction. “So I take it you have no more second thoughts.” It was a statement, not a question because he already knew the answer.
To be continued in 2014
Take a moment to check out current and future releases from Renea Mason.
A series of short stories that give readers an appreciation for what Linden endures when she experiences each Cyril Six’s dreams. COMING SOON…
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - “If you love Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynsay Sands, Laura Wright, and all those other amazing paranormal authors that I absolutely love with all my heart…then you will LOVE Renea Mason and her brand new “Symphony of Light” Series. - Book Reads and Reviews
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - “The book was a fascinating and enjoyable treat to read. It was one book that I devoured in less than a day.” - In the Pages of a Good Book
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - "The chemistry is steamy. The mystery keeps you turning the pages. I would recommend this to any paranormal lover. It felt well thought out and you would not know this was the author's first book." - Books N Pearls
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - “This book will keep you on your toes, and guessing until the very end...and past the end, making you NEED to know what happens next! I was very, very sad leading up to the very end of the novel, but when I got to the last page or two, I was cracking up! I promise, this book will not disappoint!” - Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - “There are a lot of secrets, romance, violence and mystery. Linden and Cyril are wonderful characters you can't help but love. Can their love survive all the secrets surrounding who and what he is? Although he drinks blood he is not a vampire; he is something totally different and unique. This is not your typical paranormal book. There are times as you get to know Cyril more, you come close to tears. Linden is a feisty woman who is not afraid to stand up to Cyril, in spite of not knowing exactly what he is capable of. The book is keeps your interest throughout. - Paranormal Romance Guild
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - “I love both these characters! They were very dynamic and had a lot going for them but they just clicked and Bam! Sparks and old flames are fired up and ready to bang~ with heads, bodies and hearts!” - Doing Some Reading
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - "A supporting cast of hunky and hilarious friends, as well as enemies keeps this story from being simply a love story, and into more of mystery. A Symphony of Light and Winter is a great read! I definitely recommend it." - Inner Goddess Forum
5 Stars for Symphony of Light and Winter - "Very well written with intense character interaction, attitude and the growing heat of romance, Ms. Mason has proven she can write with a magnetic pull that will grip your imagination and hold you prisoner until that very last page!" - Tome Tender
5 Stars for Between the Waters - "A great follow up to the first. I loved that the story picked up right where the last left off. there is so much action that it is hard to put down. The comedic sarcasm and witty banner will make you laugh out loud. I like Cyril and his love for linden, but exploring Overton's devotion actually had me switching sides and it broke my heart to think they couldn't really be together. This cannot be read as a stand alone. you have to read the first book for this book to make sense. I cannot wait for the next tale. the ending made me gasp out loud a phrase I will not repeat here." - Books N Pearls
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Renea Mason writes steamy romances to help even out the estrogen to testosterone imbalance caused by living in a house full of men.
When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural and larger-than-life lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.
Her debut novel, Symphony of Light and Winter, finished second for Best New Paranormal Series of 2013 in Paranormal Cravings’ Battle of the Books and received a third place award for Best New Paranormal Romance of 2013 in The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards.
It is also a finalist in several Romance Writers of America Chapter Competitions.
Second Place for Erotica/Romantica for Write Touch Contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Romance Writers – Romance Writers of America Chapter.
Finalist in the Paranormal category for the Passionate Plume Contest sponsored by the special interest chapter of the Romance Writers of America – Passionate Ink.
Finalist for Best First Book in the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award sponsored by the First Coast Romance Writers – Romance Writers of America Chapter
Finalist in the Heart of Denver Romance Writers of America Chapter’s Heart Aspen Gold Contest for Paranormal Romances. Winners to be announced in October.
Renea is a member of Romance Writers of America, The Paranormal Romance Guild, The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal subchapter of the Romance Writers of America, Coffee Talk Writers and publishes the Symphony of Light Series with Etopia Press.