Will the Big Day actually happen or will he be stuck at the altar?

January 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

It has been a busy week.  Not only am I in the process of writing a new book, I am also editing my erotic romance, The One-Nighter.  Some of you might remember this book from when I posted it on my blog.  Now, I am in the process of “making it pretty” for the editors.   I’m also waiting for the first edits on the sequel to The Pleasure of Sin.   Plus, we are in the process of moving.   And, if that wasn’t enough, next week I’m helping my mom move.  But, on a more positive note, my husband is going to get me an ebook reader!  I couldn’t be more excited 🙂

I hope you all have a great week,

Shauna

Excerpt 21

 

Nick looked around his parent’s room, his blood racing through his veins.  The fact that he hadn’t been able to see her all morning put him on edge.   Thomas and Derek exchanged nervous glances as they watched him pace the length of the room.  Ever since, he found her gone this morning, a sense of dread had taken over.  Even though he knew that she was with his mother, it didn’t seem to pacify his unease. 

His father seemed completely bewildered by his attitude.  Derek, on the other hand, seemed to understand his unspoken fear.  He wasn’t normally the type to wear his heart on his sleeve, but something about Samantha would not allow him to hide.  As much as he told himself he was overreacting, he couldn’t help but wonder if she would show up.  With the way things had been between them lately, he couldn’t even say he blamed her.

A knock at the door broke the tense silence.  Nick’s spun on his heel to face the door.  “Come in,” he said sternly. 

Gladys poked her head around the door, not brave enough to venture inside.  After several run-ins with Nick’s unruly disposition already, even she now seemed to be a little gun-shy.  She cast a worried look at him that let him know that she wasn’t happy that he wasn’t dressed.  He had refused to get into his tuxedo until he knew that Samantha was back.   He wasn’t about to be a schmuck sitting in a tuxedo, while she was on a plane back home.  Everybody around the house seemed sure that it was just a case of the wedding jitters.  Everybody except Derek.  Derek was the only one that seemed to understand Nick’s discomfort. 

“Is she back yet?” Nick barked. 

Gladys had come upstairs several times to check on them, and each time she had informed them that Samantha wasn’t back from the salon yet.  Every time she said the words, the tension seemed to reach another all time high in the room.  The air around him vibrated.  Even though he loved Gladys like a mother, he still had to stifle the urge to throttle her each time he heard her say it.  He held his breath awaiting her answer. 

“Yes, they just got back,” she answered, offering him a warm smile. 

At first, he wasn’t sure he had heard her correctly, despite the audible sighs of relief that came from his brother and father.  “Samantha’s back?” 

She laughed at the pensive look on his face.  “Of course she is back.  Now, will you please hurry up and get ready?” 

Despite himself, Nick had to grin ruefully at his behavior.   He had to admit that if Derek had been acting so strangely, he would’ve probably had him committed to an institution by now.  Thankfully, the rest of his family wasn’t so quick to declare insanity.  He nodded his head at her request, a chuckle escaping deep in his throat.  As he began to get dressed, he chided himself inwardly.  Okay, so maybe he had been overreacting a little bit.  Maybe it was a lot, but the events of the past few months were enough to knock any man off his feet. 

Once they were dressed, Derek came over to pin on his corsage.   He looked into his eyes, smiling as he tacked the flower onto his tuxedo.  “Nervous?” 

Nick stared down at his brother.  He remembered when Derek used to follow him around like an obedient puppy.  Those days were long gone now.  It seemed ironic that after all that had happened between them, Derek had been the one that Nick had chosen to confide in about Samantha.  Nick knew that her reappearance in his life had definitely been the turning point in his relationship with his brother.  Finally, they both had a good reason to get past all of their resentment.  It had helped their relationship immensely.  His only regret was that they hadn’t stopped the stubbornness sooner. 

“Of course not,” he shrugged, trying desperately to deal with the tension that gripped his stomach. 

Derek’s smile widened, as he chuckled under his breath.  “Liar,” he accused playfully. 

He couldn’t help the grin that broke through the austere barrier on his face.  “Maybe a little bit,” he admitted.  “I just hope that everything works out alright.” 

Derek finished placing the corsage on his lapel, before leaning back to admire his handiwork.  “It will.  You two were meant to be together.  Everything will be perfect.” 

Nick watched his younger brother.  For years, their relationship had been strained at best for many different reasons.  Jealousy, competitiveness, Christina.  He had always disapproved of what was happening between him and Chris.  But now, he understood Derek better.  He knew better than anyone what Derek was going through.  He, also, knew that it was just a matter of time before Derek’s steel reserve broke down. 

“It will work out for you, too, Derek,” Nick replied. 

Surprise flickered in his eyes.  “You think so?” 

Nick laughed.  “Hey, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”              

Derek chuckled.  “I guess you’re right.  Maybe I do have a chance after all.  I mean if you found someone…” he trailed off, grinning mischievously.         

“Hey, watch it!  I’m still your older brother,” Nick reprimanded, his tone teasing.

Thomas stepped between them.  “Boys!  No fighting is allowed today.  It’s Nick’s wedding day.” 

Derek backed away carefully, his hands held up in defeat.  “Well, I can tell when I’m not wanted.  I’m going to go check on the girls,” he explained, heading toward the door. 

“Hey, you can’t see my bride before I do.  Come back here,” Nick called out to him, as Derek opened the door. 

“That’s the breaks, big brother,” Derek taunted, giving him a devilish grin as he walked out.

Nick turned back to face his father, who was staring at him.  “Well, son, this is it,” he said, eyeing him with concern. 

“Yep, I guess so,” Nick replied, thinking about all the things that had brought them back together, here, on this day. 

“You know, if you still aren’t sure about this, you don’t have to go through with it,” Thomas prodded gently. 

The look he gave his father told him everything he needed to know.  “Dad, I’ve never been more sure about anything in my entire life.  She’s the one.” 

His response seemed to take the weight off his father’s chest, because he exhaled heavily.  He offered Nick a warm smile, as he nodded his head.  “Good.  Well, I guess that we had better get down there, then.”

Nick followed his father down the hallway thinking of the events to come.  Tonight she would be his wife.  He had never expected to feel the emotions that assaulted him as he made his way to the room where he would vow to love her forever.  Once, he had thought that he would feel boxed in if they married.  But now, he realized how wrong he had been.  He didn’t feel boxed in.  He felt lucky.  Extremely lucky that he was about to marry the only woman he had ever loved. 

Now, if she would see things the same way, everything would be perfect.

 

Margaret and Christina helped Samantha into her dress before starting to get ready themselves.  Samantha placed small pearl drop earrings in her ears and a pearl drop necklace around her neck.  Her mother had always loved pearls, which was why she had chosen to wear them on her wedding day.  She looked down at the diamond engagement ring that Nick had purchased a few weeks ago.  Questions raced through her mind.  Were they doing the right thing?  Or were they making a huge mistake? 

Only time would give her the answers. 

She twisted the ring nervously on her finger wondering what their life together would be like.  Margaret must have sensed her indecision, because she came to stand behind her looking at her reflection in the mirror.  She put reassuring hands on Samantha’s shoulders to provide the comfort she sought. 

“Everything is going to be fine.  You’ll see,” she assured her. 

Samantha smiled, hoping beyond hope that she was right.  A knock sounded at the door.  “I guess it’s time,” Margaret said brightly, as she went to answer it. 

Her stomach churned.  She wasn’t ready yet.  She still needed more time. 

“Hey ladies, it’s almost time.  Were you going to join us or were you going to stay in here all day?”  Derek asked, poking his head around the door. 

“Oh, Derek,” Margaret chided, as she scurried out of the room with Christina at her heels. 

Samantha stared down at the ring on her finger, her stomach tight with nerves.  What if she really was making a mistake today? She loved Nick, but was her love alone enough to make their marriage survive?  What if one day he hated her for trapping him into this marriage?  Thoughts raced through her mind making her dizzy. 

“Hey, don’t look so scared,” Derek warned, coming behind her to grin over her shoulder. 

She took a deep breath, trying her best to give him a rueful smile.  “You’re right,” she replied softly. 

He turned her to face him, taking her hands in his, and squeezing them gently.  “Of course I am.  This was meant to be.  Things are going to work out fine.  Just remember to put one foot in front of the other on the way down the aisle,” he instructed jokingly. 

She laughed, despite her nerves.  “I’ll do my best,” she replied, letting him lead her into the hall.  The doors to the banquet room seemed much larger than they were the day before.  They also seemed to be approaching way too fast. 

“I’ve got to go, but I’ll see you soon,” he offered, giving her a playful wink.  He leaned over giving her a chaste kiss on the cheek.  “By the way, you looked absolutely radiant.” 

Samantha smiled at his compliment.  “Thank you,” she replied, as she watched him walk inside.  She walked over to join Margaret and Christina where they stood patiently awaiting their cues.  The music started and Samantha’s heart lurched in her chest.  She wasn’t ready.  Thoughts raced through her mind.  Her stomach tightened, then rolled.  She took a deep breath, trying to still the feeling that she would soon pass out. 

Margaret started down the aisle, leaving Christina and Samantha alone.  Christina turned to face her.  “Don’t worry, everything will be fine,” she assured, before starting down the aisle herself. 

She was left alone outside.  Everyone kept telling her that things would be all right.  It was the kind of thing people said even when they didn’t believe it.  She just wished that she felt the words were true in her heart.  She tried to regulate her breathing as her head fell back.  The ceiling loomed overhead.  The music signaled her that it was her turn.  She gripped her bouquet in an iron lock grip, took a deep breath, and followed Derek’s advise by putting one foot in front of the other. 

When the doors opened, the first thing she saw was Nick standing at the end of the aisle.  His eyes brightened as her gaze met his.  She grinned realizing that she had worried for nothing.  The way he was looking at her made her truly believe that things would be okay.  When she reached him, she handed her bouquet to Christina.  He took her hands in his, infusing her with his warmth and strength.  The minister began to speak, but she barely heard the words.  All she could do was stare into Nick’s eyes with all the love she felt in her heart for him.  Yes, everything would be okay.

 

She had never looked more lovely.  Did every groom think that of his bride on their wedding day?  He wasn’t sure.  All he knew was that his bride looked ravishing.  The look in her eyes made his heart beat a little bit faster.  His breath caught in his throat.  He knew that he would remember this moment for the rest of his life, no matter what happened between them.  The day she became his wife.  He repeated the words the minister instructed, without really hearing them.  All he could do was stare into eyes as blue as the ocean, eyes that were sometimes stormy, and other times crystal clear.  Eyes that never failed to express everything she felt.  Looking at her now, he knew that he would do whatever it took to keep her by his side. 

Losing her was no longer an option.   

His heart seemed to stop as she repeated the words that pledged her life to his forever.  The minister talked about the sanctity of marriage, and the vows that the two of them had just spoken.  He had heard the ceremony through two full rehearsals, but today he didn’t hear it at all.  All he could do was stare into the eyes of the woman who was becoming his wife.  A crystal tear hovered in the corner of her eye, before sliding down the length of her cheek. 

His eyes followed its path.  He ached to kiss it away.  He wanted to taste the saltiness on his tongue.  Words couldn’t begin to express how relieved he was that she had stayed with him.       “Now, you may kiss your bride,” the minister said, beaming at him. 

He turned to look at him for the green light, before bending down to brush his lips against hers.  He couldn’t help but allow himself a small taste of her lower lip.  He smiled down at her, when he pulled back.  Then, he turned his new flustered bride to face their guests, and led her slowly down the aisle.  Her hand automatically curved around his elbow, as if it was made to fit there. 

Once outside the doors, he pulled her into his arms, and kissed her with a passion that promised much more that night.  When he felt that she was sufficiently breathless, he led her into the side room while they waited for the guests to enter the tent his mother had erected in the back for the reception.  She was truly his. 

Nick was watching her make the rounds thanking everyone for attending, when Derek came up to slap him on the back. 

“Well, you finally did it,” Derek said.  He handed him a glass of champagne, and they both turned to look at the woman who had changed their lives. 

“Finally,” Nick repeated, smiling wistfully.

“I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks,” Nick replied, taking one last look at Samantha before turning to face his brother.  “Now, what about you?” he prodded ruthlessly. 

Derek scanned the crowd, his eyes inevitably straying to Christina before turning back guiltily.  “Maybe some day I’ll find someone that makes me as happy as Samantha makes you,” Derek relented, taking a sip of the champagne. 

Nick looked at Christina, noticing that she couldn’t help but glance at Derek every so often.  “Maybe that person is closer than you think,” he suggested. 

Derek’s gaze shot up to collide with Nick’s.  Surprise registered, before becoming quickly guarded.  “I don’t think so,” he denied in an icy tone. 

Nick put a consoling hand on his shoulder.  “You know, I know what it’s like to try to shut out the woman you love.  I’ve done it more often than I care to admit, but all it does is make you miserable.” 

Derek brushed off his arm, giving him a stern glare.  “You’re the one who so graciously pointed out the problems with such a match,” Derek replied curtly, motioning Christina’s way. 

He sighed deeply.  His brother was right.  He had been a big part of the reason that Derek and Christina had stayed apart.  When he was younger, he just couldn’t see past the fact that Christina was supposed to be their sister.  Unfortunately, he had never let Derek forget that fact, either.  Now, after what he had been through with Samantha, he knew that what they had didn’t come around often.  And when it did, you had to jump on it.  People weren’t always able choose the person they fell in love with, he knew that now. 

“Derek, I’m sorry if the things that I said influenced you.  Don’t listen to me.  Look at how long it took me to admit my feelings for Sam.  Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is you should do what makes you happy, because I want that kind of happiness for you.  If it’s Christina, then I think you should go for it.  It’s obvious how you two feel about each other.” 

Derek stared at Nick, as if trying to judge the sincerity of his words.  When he realized that the words were genuine, the tension in his body seemed to ease.  “It’s more complicated than that, but I appreciate what you’re saying,” Derek said solemnly.         

Nick glanced over, noticing that Samantha had taken her seat at their table.  “Well, at least, let me offer you one last piece of advice.” 

Derek looked up expectantly.  “What?” 

“Don’t let the woman you love walk away.  You might not get another chance.” 

With that last thought, he left Derek and went to take his seat by his wife.  Just thinking those words made him smile.  His wife.  He would’ve never thought that he could be so content with marriage.  But here he sat, next to his wife, and he couldn’t have been happier.  Now, all he had to do was convince her that married life would make her happy too.  And, he planned to. 

In fact, he was going to start tonight.

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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Will cold feet kick in?

January 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all having a wonderful week!  I have had a busy week this week with trying to market my new release, The Pleasure of Sin, and starting to write a new book.   My husband and I are also starting an author promotions company called Hall & Hart Promotions, so we have been working overtime.

I hope that you are all enjoying Lake of Lies…

 

Excerpt 20

Before she could even catch her breath from the tumultuous events that happened between them, it was time for the wedding rehearsal.  The wedding was to be held in a large banquet room in the back of the house.  Nick escorted her into the room, which had already been decorated in preparation for the ceremony tomorrow.  Beautiful yellow ribbons were lined on the rows of chairs.  Candles were placed strategically around the room to create a romantic ambiance.  A small altar had been erected in the front of the room where she and Nick would stand when they took their vows. 

As soon as she saw them, Margaret crossed the room to join them.  She placed a reassuring arm around Samantha as she led her around the room.  “I know that it looks a little sparse right now, dear, but tomorrow it will be beautiful.  I’ve arranged for the room to be filled with the most gorgeous lilies you have ever seen.” 

Nick walked over to talk to the minister, while Margaret continued on about the decorations.  Samantha glanced around the room.  Everyone seemed caught up in the excitement of the coming day.  She and Nick seemed to be the only two that were immune to the festivities.  They were both still too wary of each other and this new delicate truce they had so recently forged. 

Thankfully, the rehearsal was short, and she couldn’t help but be extremely thankful that no one chose to prolong it.  She wondered if they could all sense the tension between the bride and groom.  Tears sprung to her eyes as she looked around the room after the rehearsal.  Despite how much she loved Nick’s family she felt an ache in her heart that her parents could not be with her.  She could just imagine them enjoying all the fuss that was being made.  The car wreck that stole their lives had robbed her of this moment, and moments sure to come.  As a little girl, she had dreamed of the day when she would get married.  Unfortunately, this was not the way she had envisioned it happening. 

She gave herself a mental shake.  Thinking about the things she didn’t have wouldn’t bring them back.  If it would, things would’ve been different long before now.  Still, she couldn’t help but hope that they would be watching her from above. 

That night at dinner everyone celebrated the impending union by making congratulatory toasts.  Nick held her hand tightly, and she knew that he was trying to assure her that she made the right choice in staying.  She smiled as everyone told them how happy they would be together, but deep down she couldn’t help but wonder if they were right.  Or were they making a mistake that would haunt them for the rest of their lives? 

“Well, I guess that we are going to get some sleep,” Nick suggested. 

Margaret’s eyes widened in surprise.  “You can’t sleep together the night before your wedding.” 

Nick offered her a curious smile, one eyebrow quirked up.  “You don’t really believe those old superstitions, do you?” 

Margaret slapped his hand.  “Bite you tongue!  You will not sleep in the same bed the night before your wedding in this house!” she admonished. 

Nick laughed, leaning casually back in his chair.  Mom, I can’t believe you!  Those are just old wives tales!” 

Margaret grinned at him.  “You’ll thank me on your fiftieth wedding anniversary.  I promise,” she assured him.

That night as Nick lay in the guest room bed staring up at the ceiling, he thought about the events that happened.  He had almost lost her.  It was only by dumb luck that he had been able to hold on to her for now.  His body still needed reassurance.  He needed to feel her beneath him.  He needed to be inside her to feel sure that she wouldn’t leave.  He contemplated going to her room.  He wanted to make love to her until the sun came up, but he knew he couldn’t. 

He shifted uneasily on the mattress, knowing that sleep would probably elude him tonight.  He prayed that his mother was right.  He prayed that they would make it to their fiftieth anniversary.  At this point, he would settle for making it to their first.  That night for the first time in a long time, he prayed.  He prayed that some how, some way, they would be able to make this marriage work.  He just hoped the Lord was listening.

The next morning Samantha slept in.  She knew that most brides were up early with the excitement of the day.  But she barely made it up in time to take a shower.  Afterwards, she pulled on a robe stepping out of the bathroom covertly, so she wouldn’t run into Nick.  When she heard a door open at the end of the hallway, she panicked sprinting the distance to her room in lightning speed. 

As she leaned her head back against the door, a giggle escaped her mouth.  This was ridiculous!  Nick was right.  It was just an old wives tale.  As quickly as she had dismissed the notion, she remembered that old wives probably had a lot more knowledge about making a marriage work than she did.  She supposed it would be wise not to tempt fate.  She barely had time to change before Christina and Margaret whisked her away to a quaint cafe for breakfast.  They ate leisurely, each speculating on the coming day.  She couldn’t help but be grateful for their cheerful banter.  It took her mind off everything that had transpired in the last day. 

Then, they were off to the salon to be primped and prodded into perfection.  They joked and giggled as the stylists fixed their hair.  Samantha began to feel the first signs of morning sickness as she sat in the chair.  The stylist twisted her hair before spraying the hairspray.  She breathed in deeply, but only succeeded in sucking in more of the irritating spray.  Finally by the second row of curlers, she could endure no more.  As the stylist turned to pick up a few more curlers, she flew out of her chair barely making it into the bathroom before losing the remains of her breakfast. 

She sat in a huddle on the floor, praying that this torture would end soon.  As if her prayers had been answered, the violent heaving finally stopped allowing her a moment to catch her breath.  After remaining on the floor for a while to make sure that her stomach had stilled, she slowly crawled to her feet to flush the evidence of her humiliation down the toilet.  As she looked into the mirror patting cool water on her face, she sighed deeply.  The sickly pallor in her face was unmistakable. 

Unable to contain herself, she released a small chuckle at the irony of the situation.  It seemed fitting that her child wanted to make its presence known on the day of their wedding.   When she returned to the other room, Margaret and Christina looked at her in concern. 

“Are you alright, dear?” Margaret asked, putting an arm around her waist as she led her back to the chair. 

“I’m fine,” she laughed, a little embarrassed at the fuss they were making over her. 

When they still exchanged worried glances over her head, her eyebrows rose.  “I’m fine, really.  Now, get over there and get in your chairs.  You wouldn’t want me to be late to my own wedding, would you?” 

At her not-so-subtle instigation, they hurried back to their chairs to finish.  Samantha’s stylist offered her a warm smile as she patted her shoulders before continuing her work.  When their hair was finally perfect, the makeup stylist did their makeup one by one.  She insisted that Margaret and Christina go first hoping so that she could take a minute to catch her breath.  When the stylist was applying Christina’s eye shadow, Margaret came to sit beside her. 

She handed her a glass of Sprite and a package of crackers.  “Here, dear, I know how my morning sickness was with the boys.  I’m sure that you must feel the same way I did then, and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted anyone trying to make me look beautiful on those occasions,” she offered sympathetically. 

Samantha smiled as she took a sip from the glass and began to nibble the crackers.  Her stomach seemed to thank her by settling down completely.  Margaret rubbed her back.  Tears sprung to her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.  She missed having a mother so much in moments like these.  But now, with Nick’s help, she finally had one. 

Soon, she would be his wife, and she would have a family again.  He had given that to her, even if he didn’t truly want her.  She would always love him for that.  She wished that things could be like they used to between them before everything went so wrong.  All she could hope for now was that he would come to love her again. 

But what if he didn’t? 

What if he ended up resenting her for stealing the life he wanted for himself? 

 Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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Will Samantha take the plunge? Or will she run from him again?

January 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

It has been a busy week!  I just received a new contract from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid for the second book in my Club X series, Den of Desire.   Also, if you haven’t checked out the first book in the Club X series, The Pleasure of Sin, be sure to check it out at:  http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=364&zenid=ff9eff93c36a8a0e769b019b5b9d77d7.

I hope that you are all enjoying Lake of Lies.  Thanks to the wonderful emails you’ve been sending me, I’m planning to go back through this book and try to re-submit it for publication.  I’ll let you know when it becomes available.

Will Samantha take the plunge?  Or will she run from him again? 

Find out in Lake of Lies…

Excerpt 19

             Tears began to slide down her cheeks at his reaction to what had just occurred between them.  He had taken her without love or feeling only to leave her lying there like some common whore.  She curled onto her side wishing she had stopped him, wishing that she had not succumbed so easily to his seduction.  At that moment, she would have let him do anything he wanted with her.  She was hopeless.  In her attempt to leave him, she had just effectively raised the white flag in surrender. 

            She grabbed a corner of the bedspread, pulling it around her to shield her nakedness.  But it did nothing to cover her vulnerability.  Even if she left now, it wouldn’t stop her pain.  He would come after her.  Or worse, he wouldn’t come after her at all.  She wasn’t sure which would hurt more.    She had lost the only thing she had left, control.  In one moment, he had forced her to realize that it had all been a mirage.  She had never had any control in the situation.  She had been lying to herself when she thought she could so casually walk away.  The worst part of coming to that realization was knowing that she had just confirmed it for him.

Nick walked into the guest room slamming the door behind him.  He couldn’t deny it.  She got to him.  She twisted him in knots and made all rational thought disappear.  He hadn’t meant to let her know just how intense his feelings were.  He had only meant to show her that no matter how far she ran, she couldn’t escape what they had together.  Neither of them could.  It was an indisputable fact that he had had to come to terms with.  They were bound together forever, and it was time that she admitted it.  Instead, he had ended up touching her in ways that left little doubt about the depth of his true feelings. 

In his quest to expose her true vulnerability, he had revealed his own.   

He sat on the bed, remembering the events of the morning.  Christina rushed downstairs stammering about Samantha leaving.  When he had finally been able to decipher what her ramblings meant, he had been outraged.  He hadn’t allowed himself a moment to reconsider rash acts.  He had all but blocked out that voice of reason.  He had just reacted.   

The whole thing was a joke.  He knew now that he could never let her go.  He would fight her and anyone else, even if he knew letting her go was the right thing to do.  If he let her walk away, he wouldn’t survive it.  He had barely survived it last time.  He wouldn’t go through that again.

He couldn’t. 

God, the way he slammed out of the room earlier, he felt like a fool.  She probably thought that he was insane.  At this point, she might be right.  If she hadn’t hated him before, she surely did now.  Disgusted with himself, he got up crossing the room to stand before the door.  This wasn’t going to be easy, but it had to be done.  He took a deep breath, before pulling the door open to stalk across the hall.  He looked at the closed door, knowing that the harsh scene he was about to face was his own doing.

Refusing to give himself too much time to reconsider, he opened the door.  She looked so fragile, curled up in the middle of the bed with the cover pulled around her.  Was this the same girl who had so brazenly surrendered to him earlier?  

The bed dipped as he eased down beside her.  She immediately stirred.  He tried to be quiet, but it was too late.  She turned on her side, her eyes meeting his.  She pulled herself upright, yanking the bedspread even tighter around her.  Her eyes wary, she leaned back against the headboard to study him. 

He turned his head unable to bear the hurt and accusations he saw in her eyes.  He knew he was responsible.  He knew that he deserved whatever punishment she dealt out. 

“Sam, we need to talk,” he began. 

She sighed heavily.  “I don’t have anything to say.” 

“Well, I do,” he interrupted, his tone firm. 

She rolled her eyes.  “Fine,” she hissed. 

He stood, unable to sit down through this conversation.  He paced the length of the room, raking a hand haphazardly through his hair. 

God, he didn’t know what to say to her. 

What could he say that would make things better between them? 

“Look, I’m sorry about earlier.  I shouldn’t have done that,” he started. 

Samantha snorted loudly, pulling the covers tighter around her. 

He spun around.  “I mean it okay.  I’m sorry,” he repeated. 

Samantha got out of bed, taking the bedspread with her.  She walked around the room collecting her clothing. 

“Fine, you’re sorry.  Are we done yet?” she asked furiously. 

He grabbed her arms, spinning her around to face him.  “No, don’t you get it!  We will never be done, Sam.  That’s what I’m trying to tell you.  You and I will never be over.  It’s time that we both face that.” 

She stared at him, angry at the truth of his words.  She knew that he was right.  Maybe she had always known that it was the truth in her heart, the only place where she could admit to her desires so freely.  The one place that you never wanted to trust, even when you knew you should.  

“I know, Nick.  Are you happy now?” 

He released her.  He couldn’t bear the look in her eyes.  God, what was he doing?  He had to get out of here.  He brushed past her on his way to the door, unable to take anymore. 

“Nick,” she called out after him. 

He stopped, his hand poised over the door handle.  He didn’t turn around to face her, he couldn’t.  This was going to be hard enough. 

“If you want to leave me, I can’t stop you,” he admitted in a broken voice.  

With those simple, devastating words, he left her.  She sat on the bed, staring at the door.  She had to face the truth.  There was no place that she could run to escape her heart.  No matter what he said or did to her, she still loved him.  She had always loved him.  No one had captured her heart the way he had.  And, now she was pregnant with his child.  

Leaving him now would be a mistake she would not be able to take back.  Deep in her heart, she would regret it.  He had proved that fact to her today completely.  No matter where she went she would never be able to get over him.  No one else would ever do.  Marrying Nick was the right thing to do.  It was the only thing she could do, for her baby and for herself. 

Could a marriage that began this way actually last?  She wasn’t sure.  But she would never forgive herself if she denied her baby the chance to have a family.  She wanted that for her child more than anything.  Even if they failed, she had to try.

She pulled her clothes on quickly, creeping across the hall to the bathroom trying not to arouse attention.  She quickly showered and returned to their room to change into fresh clothes.  As she was finishing buttoning her blue dress, Nick walked into the room.  His surprise that she hadn’t left was evident.  He gently closed the door behind him.  Neither of them could break the hypnotic gaze that sparkled with questions. 

He glanced around the room searching for her suitcase.  When he didn’t find it, he asked the obvious question. 

“You’re not leaving?” 

She took a deep breath as she saw the disbelief in his eyes.  Her heart began to flutter.  She suddenly realized that the prospect of her leaving had truly terrified him.  It wasn’t a declaration of undying love, but it was a start.  She wanted to rush over to him and take him in her arms, but she held back. 

“No, I’m not leaving, Nick,” she replied quietly. 

He breathed a sigh of relief, stumbling over to the bed to sit on the edge.  “Thank you,” he said, after a moment of silence.

She walked across the room to take a seat beside him on the bed.  She turned toward him, taking his hand in hers as she looked deeply into his eyes.  “I want to make this work, Nick,” she explained softly. 

He held her hand, squeezing it gently.  “It will, I promise.  It has to,” he vowed. 

The moment was almost perfect.  But that forced edge in his tone warned her that the road ahead was not going to be an easy one.  Would he ever truly want her for a wife? 

Or were they destined to act out a lie instead?

 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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The Time has come for BIG changes!

January 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that you are all enjoying the holiday!  It is a New Year with New Possibilities.  One thing I love to do at this time is decide what my goals are for 2009.   Decide what you want out of life and plan a road map to get there.  Don’t just say “I want to be published”, “I want a job making $60,000 a year” or “I want to lose 20 pounds.”  For your goals, write down how you will go about getting there.  For instance, write down that you will enter 2 contests for writing, that you will come up with 2 different ways to impress the boss or that you will join a gym by a certain date and visit at least 2 times a week.  These are ways to get yourself to the end result.  And by doing these things, you will reach the level you want to be.  Make a decision that this year will be The Year that you make the changes you have always wanted to make. 

 

Good Luck!

 

Now, find out what Samantha will do that will change her life forever…

Excerpt 18

Samantha took a deep breath as she heard the door close.  A single tear slid down her cheek.  She looked up at the ceiling, wishing that she had some fairy godmother to come down and rescue her.  Unfortunately, she had been taught a long time ago when her parents died, that fairy tales didn’t come true.  They certainly didn’t happen to people like her. 

She quickly wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.  There would be enough time for tears later.  Now, she had to concentrate on getting out of here in one piece. After she had cleared out a few more drawers, the bedroom door flew open. 

Nick stood silhouetted in the light from the hallway.  He looked like a towering medieval warrior prepared to begin a battle.  His gaze flew back and forth from the suitcase to her, then they narrowed dangerously.  He slammed the door closing the distance between them in two long strides.

“You’re leaving me?”

She tried desperately to still her shaking hands as she crossed the room to place a folded tshirt in the suitcase.  “Yes, I am,” she said, her voice so low it was almost a whisper.  She gathered her resolve turning to confront his wrath.   “I think it’s for the best, Nick.” 

He took a step toward her causing her to take a step back.  She collided with the wall behind her.  He was so close to her that each time he inhaled his midriff brushed against her middle.  “Is it?” he asked, his voice deceptively soft. 

She could tell by the clenching of his jaw that he was trying to keep a hold on his temper.  She couldn’t help but feel a moment of fear at what might happen if that hold were to somehow slip.  She used the only thing she could think of, the only thing she had…reason. 

“Nick, we both know that this would never work.” 

The way his shoulders stiffened made her all too aware that her gamble had not paid off.  He placed his hands on either side of her head leaning in.  She was effectively caged.  She tried to assure herself that he would never hurt her, but the look in his eyes warned her not to underestimate him. 

He leaned in a little closer so that his face was a breath away from hers.  “Are you that eager to be rid of me, Sam?” he questioned, his voice a husky whisper. 

God, why did he have to stand so close?  It had been so long, and her body was beginning to betray her by responding.  Her eyes fluttered involuntarily shaken by his nearness.  “You know that that’s not it, Nick,” she denied, her voice quivering. 

He leaned in, rubbing his cheek against hers hypnotically as he whispered in her ear.  “Do I?  All I know is that every time I turn my back you end up trying to run away from me again, Sam.  Why is that?  What are you afraid of?” 

Her thoughts were becoming scattered due to his close proximity.  His breath teased her ear making it tingle under the attention he gave it.   The friction of his cheek rubbing seductively against hers was electric.  She couldn’t think straight.  Her nipples tightened under her shirt. 

“Answer me,” he commanded softly. 

She answered the only way she could.  “You…this…I’m afraid of this,” she whispered honestly. 

His tongue snaked out to encircle her earlobe taking it into the warm splendor of his mouth.  A delighted sigh escaped her lips. His tongue plundered the sweet hollow of her ear making her tremble.  His hands clutched her hips, pulling her against him.  He rubbed her lower body against his in a rhythm that was maddening.  She could feel the length of his erection prod at the notch between her thighs and an impatient cry left her lips. 

She knew that she should stop him.  She knew that this was wrong, but she couldn’t control her longing for him.  Her physical reaction was too intense to contain.  He moved his attention to her neck, his tongue swirling delicate circles on the sensitive flesh.  She longed to feel his hands on every part of her body.  She couldn’t get enough of him.  She wanted to feel him everywhere, invading.  She squirmed against him like a wild animal. 

Frantically, her hands came up to clutch at his shoulders pulling him closer.  A low chuckle sounded deep in his throat at her not-so-subtle invitation, but she didn’t care.  Just when she thought she would cry out, his hands came down to still her swaying hips.  They slid around to cup her buttocks pulling them up so that she cradled his burgeoning erection.  Her hands blazed trails in his hair, as she emitted a soft moan of release. 

Suddenly, he swept her off her feet.  Her legs instinctively wrapped themselves around his waist in welcome.  His tongue trailed a fiery path down to the collar of her shirt.  One hand undid the buttons allowing him further access, while the other remained firmly locked around her waist.  All the while, he continued his erotic movements against the aching spot between her legs.  It was an ache that only he could fill and they both knew it. 

Finally, she could take no more.  “Please, Nick,” she begged, unable to stop herself from saying the desperate words. 

Before she knew what was happening, he had spun her around placing her on the bed.  With the room spinning, she focused on the only figure that remained still…Nick.  With him hovering over her, he reminded her of a Greek god.  Flames of passion sparked in his eyes that threatened to rage out of control consuming them both. 

She lay beneath him watching his every movement as he slowly began to remove her clothing piece by piece.  His touch was so light that she barely felt the pressure of his hands.  Hands that she longed to feel covering her naked body.  With each piece of clothing he removed, he stared at her for a long, lingering moment.  When she tried to help him to speed up the process, he stayed her. 

Finally, when she thought she would go mad if he didn’t hurry, he removed the last piece of clothing.  She lay before him completely naked and vulnerable.  The look in his eyes told her that the true torture had only just began.  He kneeled on the floor beside the bed, his face level with her tempting body.  He lightly trailed his fingers from the tips of her toes up the length of her thigh.  He lightly skimmed her inner thigh coming dangerously close to the downy curls between her legs before callously veering over her stomach. 

She whimpered at his blatant disregard for the one spot that cried out for his touch the most. His palm never made contact.  Only the light touch of his fingertips skimmed her body.  Tension began to swirl in her abdomen.  When his fingers reached her breast, his index finger lightly circled the straining bud until it flared into a tightened peak.  Just when she didn’t think her nipples could possibly get any harder, he turned his attention elsewhere.  His fingers journeyed up her neck to the fullness of her lips.  Her lips slowly parted to allow him access, but he turned his attention elsewhere.  His fingers trailed over to the delicate lobe of her ear denying her a taste of her tormenter.  Her body was on fire, and she didn’t think she could take anymore. 

“Nick, please,” she pleaded, writhing on the bed. 

He got up to lie down on the bed beside her.  She folded into his arms easily.  Her mouth opened, ready and demanding, for his much anticipated kiss.  Unfortunately, Nick had other ideas.  He denied her the pleasure of his mouth by allowing his tongue to stroke the length of her neck instead. 

She pulled frantically at his clothing, but he would not let her accomplish her feat.  Unable to control herself, her hands went to his jeans trying desperately to divest him of the barriers that stood between them.  He leaned forward, pulling her hands above her head and pinning them there in his grip.  He wanted her completely vulnerable to his sensually administered pleasures.  “Uh, uh.  Not this time,” he breathed heavily. 

His mouth drifted down to take her nipple inside, swirling his tongue around the straining bud.  “Nick,” she whimpered softly, unable to take any further temptation.  One hand ventured lower to caress her quivering mound.  Her hips moved of their own volition against him willing him to take her.   She moaned as he finally rewarded her by slipping one finger inside her tender folds.  She didn’t know how much longer she could take this. 

He groaned as her sweet nectar slid down his finger.  Unable to bear any more, he slid between her legs.  One hand held her arms firmly above her head, while the other undid the buttons on his jeans sliding them and his boxer shorts down to his knees in one swift motion.  He hesitated looking into her eyes as his manhood began to gently prod its way into her entrance.  She seemed completely lost in the sensual haze he had created.  Her eyes clouded in passion.             She knew what he was doing.  She also knew that he had succeeded in what he began.  He had kept himself so rigidly in control to teach her a lesson.  He was showing her just how much he could control her.  She was his no matter what she said, and he wanted to make sure she knew it.  He was showing her that no matter what she told herself she could deny him nothing, not even the pleasure of her body. He wanted her to remember that he could take her however he wanted, with her naked and vulnerable to his every whim while he remained completely closed and in control. 

Part of her hated him for that realization, even though, she couldn’t stop herself from wanting him.  She had allowed him that victory today, unable to stop her body from reacting to his.  The things that he was doing to her, showing her, both infuriated her and set her body on fire with passion.  She was powerless to stop him. 

God, he thought to himself, he had never seen a more beautiful temptress than the one that lay before him now.  She seemed to have all the answers to drive him to new heights of arousal.  And she was his, even if she didn’t seem to be willing to admit it.  Seeing her lying beneath him naked and vulnerable and loving every minute of his touch drove that fact home to him even more.  He could take her today and tomorrow.  He could take her any way he wanted to, and she would enjoy it calling out to him for more.  The thought made his erection twitch against her slick folds.  God, he had never wanted a woman more than he wanted the one beneath him.  He wanted to be inside every part of her.  She had consumed his thoughts, his soul.  The thought jarred him more than he wanted to admit.

When she looked up at him questioning his hesitation, he drove into her releasing a groan of pure satisfaction.  It was always this way with her, he thought.  Every time he was inside of her, he never wanted to leave.  She must have felt the same way for she emitted a husky moan at his entrance.  His rhythm was slow at first, teasing her, taunting her.  Then, he increased it faster and faster, until they both thought they would explode. 

She wanted to reach out, she wanted to grab him, but she was helpless.  Helpless to stop him from whatever sensual torture he had devised for her next.  She ached to feel the exquisite pressure of his lips against hers.  He hadn’t kissed her once since this sexual foray had begun.  God, he looked so beautiful moving in and out of her body, his eyes closed tightly in passionate surrender.  His muscles tightened with each thrust. 

She pulsed around him, her body begging for more.  “Nick, please, kiss me,” she begged softly. 

He stopped in mid stroke staring down at her, his breathing labored.  He gently eased his body down further, his mouth hovering over hers.  His eyes searched hers as if he was trying to discover the motive for her request.  What he saw must have pleased him, because he rewarded her by fitting his mouth against hers.  His tongue delved into her mouth searching its warm barriers.  Her tongue met his, dancing playfully around it.  All the time their eyes remained locked together.  His grip on her wrists loosened, and he finally released her.  Her hands came up to caress his face as she kissed him.  His hips began to move again, slowly at first until neither one of them could stand the built up tension any longer. 

Then, his body began to drive into hers with a single-minded goal.  Her hands came down to clutch his buttocks pulling him inside her faster and faster until she thought she would explode.  A minute later, a white-hot rush of release claimed her.  He followed her lead releasing a harsh groan, his head thrown back in ecstasy before collapsing on top of her.  He stayed there for a moment, his breath fluttering along the sensitive skin of her neck. 

Suddenly, he rolled away getting to his feet.  He righted his clothing, cursing under his breath, before casting a scowl at her.  “Damn you, Samantha,” he muttered. 

With that, he left her naked and alone.

 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

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