It’s been crazy busy since the last time I posted. Closer is finally done with formatting and that means ARCs have gone out! You guys have been awesome with pre-ordering too! Thank you so much for all your wonderful feedback on the teasers and the cover while you wait for March 31st to get here.
In other quick news, it’s possible editing will start on Book 3 at the end of the month. The tentative timeline for publication is June/July, but nothing is set in stone just yet. I just know you won’t have to wait crazy, unknown lengths of time for it since the first draft is done. I’m also working on the first draft of Forgotten and mulling over what my next contemporary erotic work will be. Something dark, or something heartwarming? Not sure yet, but I’ve got stories with a little bit of everything waiting to be written. I’m going to try and sort some of the clutter out during Camp NaNoWriMo. 😉
Now it’s time for an excerpt! I hope you enjoy this little taste of Nicole and Gabriel, and I can’t wait for you to read the whole thing!
“Wow,” Gabriel said, standing in Nicole’s doorway feeling two-thirds dumbstruck and one-third pissed. “What… are you wearing?”
Nicole’s hip swayed to the side and she placed a hand on it, staring up at him with enough attitude to rival Jackie’s. “It’s called a dress, Gabriel. Girls usually wear them to parties like the one we’re going to.”
“I know what a dress is, little girl,” he practically growled, his eyes roving over her body lasciviously. “But where’s the rest of yours?”
She came closer to him, tilting her face up to place a teasing kiss on his lips.
“I’ll take that as a compliment. I think,” she said with a laugh.
“Oh, it was meant to be.” He chuckled and pulled her in for a longer kiss. She smacked him on the shoulder and pulled away, swiping at her smudged lipstick before turning to grab her coat.
Seeing the dress from the back literally made his jaw slacken and his mind roar, Oh, hell-fucking-no!
In truth, he may have been overreacting. Nicole looked great. Sexy as hell.
The dress was a champagne color with a slight shimmer to the material, the thin spaghetti straps caressing her creamy brown shoulders and bringing out the glow of her skin. It barely fell to mid-thigh, and those long, toned legs were even longer in the light gold heels she was wearing. The front of the dress could be considered modest despite the fact that it hugged her full breasts, the sharp indent of her waist, and the full curves of her hips.
It was the first time since seeing her dressed for work that he realized just how far from the sweet little college girl she’d come. She was womanly and sexy one minute, cute the next, and he figured she would always flit seamlessly back and forth between those opposite poles. These days he was seeing more and more of the sexy side, the self-assured, confident and relaxed woman she was becoming. Might have something to do with him finally being in one place long enough to witness more than just her orgasms. Might have something to do with him finally saying he wanted to be with only her. But he liked it, and he liked the parallels between how she navigated the world and how she submitted to him in bed. He liked watching her toy with her own sex appeal. She was his girl now and he would reap the benefits of her transformation. And if not for the fact there was a cab waiting for them downstairs she’d be working on the hard-on growing in his jeans.
He wasn’t the only one that appreciated her new look. All he needed to do was catch the glances of strangers on the street, and the look on Nuke’s face as they hopped into the cab to see he had more self-control than he realized.
Lucky for him he wasn’t some slouch in the looks department and it was clear they were a couple when he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him. Seeing their reflection in the window of the cab made him realize they really were a good-looking couple. But she was definitely his better half, with her hair blow dried straight and falling past her shoulders, her pretty face sporting minimal make up, and her outrageous curves poured into that soft shimmering dress.
He’d opted to keep it dressy-casual and was wearing a black velvety suit jacket over a white shirt. He’d chosen his favorite pair of worn, light blue jeans, and black boots to complete the outfit. The front of his shirt was tucked into his jeans, leaving just the silver buckle of his belt visible. Jewelry was just the necklace he wore most of the time now, the black cord and silver pendant that sat in the hollow of his throat.
It wasn’t a long ride to get to the party and the other guys were already there waiting inside. The look on their faces when Nicole took off her jacket and gave them all hugs made him both proud and possessive. Much as he loved her new look, he really didn’t want to get into any fights tonight. He was going to have to stay close to her if his friends were trying this hard not to stare at his woman’s ass.
He laughed to himself. His woman. He was becoming such a caveman. Being in a relationship again after spending so long avoiding one took some getting used to.
The party was already jumping. There were strobe lights, DJs, hired dancers perched all around, silver and gold spiraling decorations lining the ceiling. The place was packed with other artists from the label, execs, and guests who were willing to pay to get in. Beside him Nicole laughed in awe and he couldn’t help but join her, thinking he couldn’t have picked a better time to be a musician on the rise. It was definitely more than he’d ever expected an indie label to spring for, and it only took a couple of minutes for the guys to come to a consensus that they were going to stay for a while and, as they put it, start prowling for “model bitches”. That made Nicole laugh and look up at Gabriel.
“Don’t feel like joining the hunt, babe?” she said with a half-smile.
“I don’t know what you mean, miss. I have a girlfriend.”
“Oh, really,” she said, tilting her head to the side. “What’s she look like? She cute?”
Gabriel smiled down at her, pulling her towards him so he could stroke the soft skin of her back. “She’s smoking hot. Perfect curves. Perfect brown skin.” He leaned down and whispered in her ear, “And the sweetest pussy I’ve tasted. She’s got me hard just thinking about her.” He laughed at the way she clutched his sleeve and her breath came out hot against his neck. Well, at least he wasn’t the only one suffering now.
“Careful, Gabe,” she whispered back. “Keep talking like that and you’re gonna get me all wet, and that could be awkward.” She nibbled on his earlobe, adding, “Especially since I didn’t wear panties tonight,” before turning on those spiked heels and walking away.
Gabriel tripped over someone’s shoe walking after her as she made her way to the bar. He was staring after Nicole’s ass as it swayed underneath that little champagne-colored dress. When she turned and looked over her shoulder at him, as if to say, “Are you coming, or what?” he wanted to make her pay for teasing him so mercilessly. The night had only just begun, and he was already counting the hours and trying to figure out if there was a place around here where two people could be alone. This was shaping up to be a painful, blue balls kind of affair.
He made a silent vow to wear her out later tonight and joined her at the bar.
They danced. They met other artists. They got tipsy. It should have made him more chill, since he was a pretty happy drunk. But watching her dance, feeling her smooth ass rub against his raging hard-on and knowing all the while she wasn’t wearing anything underneath her dress, drove him crazy.
His mood also wasn’t helped by his catching glimpses of Meredith Rowe in the crowd. She stayed away, but every so often he would look up and see those Husky-blue eyes trained on him and Nicole. He thought he saw a little smile cross her lips, and then she faded into the crowd.
Nicole was relieved and pissed when they finally left the Phantom Records party and headed over to Kiki’s. She’d seen Meredith once or twice in the crowd and noticed Gabe had been watching her. She also noticed the knowing smile on the cool blonde’s lips. Not that Gabe’s gaze had been the lustful kind. It was almost hostile and wary. But still, Meredith had caught his attention towards the end of the night and she hated how that made her feel. Vulnerable and out of the loop. Meredith was the constant reminder that Gabe had been just fine being free to roam and there was nothing to say he might not return to that life. So when they finally made it over to Kiki’s, Nicole was determined to show, in her slightly illogical and drunken way, that she wasn’t in the mood for this mysterious-musician-with-a-secret bullshit. She was the girl who should have all of his attention, finally.
She decided ignoring him and toying with his emotions for a change might be fun. Every time he tried to dance with her, she didn’t feel like it. Every time he went to go get a drink, he found her talking to some dude. He actually resembled the Terminator a few times, staring down guys until they retreated, but all she said when he asked her about what was up was, “What? Is something wrong?”
This was so unlike her. She knew she was being immature, but part of her was tired of being the go-along-to-get-along girl, the one who was content not to see. She was scared. Another year was fast approaching and for the first time ever she could look forward to spending it with him. Instead she was scared the past was already catching up. What if he decided girls like Meredith were what he wanted after all?
So she toyed with the new role she’d decided to play tonight. She became the seductress, the benevolent mistress that allowed Gabriel to be her own personal cabana boy. She became distant but playful. He got the drinks and looked pretty. It was strange for her to flex her power over him in such a trivial way, in a way that was sure to make him jealous. But she wanted to try. She wanted him to feel for a second what she felt every time she imagined his former life with women like Marta and Meredith.
He didn’t look pleased. A couple of times, she actually saw his eyes narrow and his jaw clench. That’s when she decided to stop. She’d talk with him about Meredith later. She just needed to figure out how to do it without coming off as clingy. Bit early in the game to start sabotaging such a good thing.
Midnight approached. Nicole was talking to Chase and Trish when Gabe came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. She immediately sank into his embrace, swaying with him and reveling in the feel of this showing of public affection.
“Hey, I’m just gonna borrow her for a second,” he said to Trish and Chase.
Before she could protest, she found herself being led through the crowded apartment. People were making out in the hallway, by the kitchen. He led her past all of them towards the bedroom at the end of the hall.
“What are we doing back here—”
She didn’t have time to finish the sentence before she was practically tossed into the bedroom where all the guests’ coats were kept. “What the fuck, Gabriel?! You trying to twist my ankle?”
Gabriel closed the door and locked it.
His expression was one she hadn’t seen before as he came toward her and demanded, “What’s wrong with you? Huh? What’s with all the attitude?”
She put her hands on her hips and gave him a cold stare. “Why don’t you ask Meredith Rowe what’s wrong with me?”
Gabriel’s brow furrowed, but he was silent.
“Nothing to say about her, huh? Why is that, exactly?” Nicole pushed.
Gabriel shrugged his shoulders. “Because there’s nothing to say about her.”
“Then why is it every time she’s in the room your eyes are glued to her? Why is she always staring back?”
“Did you fuck her?” Nicole asked. Her voice was quiet, but her gaze was steady. So much for playing it cool and broaching the subject later.
Gabe inhaled deeply. “Yeah, a while ago. But I don’t even see her that way anymore. It’s ancient history.”
She exhaled slowly, relieved if not entirely relaxed. “Then why couldn’t you just say that? Why did you feel like you needed to hide it if she doesn’t mean anything to you?”
Gabriel looked away and the unease settled over her again. What could be worse than admitting they’d had sex? What else could there be to say that would explain why he’d kept it from her? Honesty had always been their best policy, the glue that kept their strange arrangement intact before they’d committed to each other. His hesitation made her nervous.
He smirked and came closer still. “You remember your buddy, Travis? Remember how easy it was for you to tell me about him? Well, as awkward as that was for you, it was rough for me, too. How do you feel now that you know about Meredith?”
Like shit, she thought.
To him she said, “Trying to spare my feelings doesn’t change the fact she’s around. She’s going on tour with you. And if you really don’t want things to be rough for me, then don’t keep me in the dark. We’re supposed to be honest with each other—”
“Like you were being all night when you were ignoring me and playing stupid fucking games?” he countered, advancing quickly.
“Just giving you a taste of your own medicine,” she threw back. But her voice wasn’t exactly assertive, nor were her tentative steps backwards. Why was she so nervous? She wasn’t afraid of Gabriel. This was her Gabriel. Sweet, a little kinky. But he wouldn’t hurt a fly…
“You know what, sweetheart? You’re right.” He closed the distance between them in half a step and she found her ass pressed up against a dresser, her eyes darting over him as he slipped off his jacket. “Maybe you should let me return the favor,” he said with a little smile.
“What?” she murmured.
“You’ve been teasing the fuck out of me, little girl.” He calmly unbuttoned his cuffs and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt. “So, let’s see if you like it when I tease you back.”
Her legs began to tremble. She started to speak.
“Lift up your dress,” he ordered, unbuckling his belt.
“Do you know many people are out there?”
“Do I look like I give a fuck about anyone else but you right now?” Nicole’s jaw dropped. “You spent all night teasing me about not wearing anything under that dress. You were punishing me because you thought I had my eyes on someone else. Now you know better.”
Her thighs clenched and she felt the dampening inner lips of her pussy moving easily against each other. Fuck. She probably should have gotten a less hot boyfriend if she was going to go without panties. His eyes roved hungrily over her body. He was mad, and a little tipsy, but he was so turned on. He only had eyes for her and he was proving it.
“Lift the dress, Nicole.”
The dominance in his nature was familiar. But this sinister edge was something new. She reached down, her fingers shaking as they slid the hem of her dress up her thighs. She lifted it slowly, bringing it up so her bare pussy was visible, but cast in shadow.
“Higher,” he ordered.
He licked his lips, his eyes trained on what he said he’d been imagining all night. The hem came up to her belly button. Her thighs moved smooth and slick against each other, the need for friction and embarrassment mingling.
He motioned with his finger for her to lift the dress higher. She did as he commanded, finally revealing her body from her naked breasts on down. He ran his hands over bare skin, but just the tips of fingers, his strokes were so feather-light it was more torture than pleasure.
He leaned in and nipped her lower lip hard, harder than he ever had, before swiping his tongue across it. “You ready to get fucked?”