I had an entire post written (after fighting with the new plug-in WP installed for my blog site without asking me) and now it’s gone. So I’m going to start fresh and keep the cursing to myself. But I do hate when sites update things without warning or asking users beforehand. So annoying. Like going to the grocery store and discovering they’ve completely rearranged everything.
I can never decide if spring or fall is my favorite season, and in each one, I think that’s the one. Right now, I’m thinking it’s fall. The beautiful cool days, chilly nights. Flowers still blooming, and leaves thinking about changing colors. I’ve started drinking lots of tea again. Normally, I drink it year round, at least my breakfast tea, but this summer, from about late July through most of August, it was so hot and miserable here that even with our a/c running 24/7, I didn’t want my hot breakfast tea. Now, though, it’s tea all day, and a couple weeks ago when we had a few really chilly days, I even broke out the hot chocolate. I ordered more tea from one of my favorite places recently, too, but I am going to have to order their seasonal teas soon to make sure they have some left. I’ve left it too late some years and not gotten my favorites, so lesson learned.
My September accountability challenge went great. So great, that some friends and I have set up our own for the rest of the year so we can keep the momentum going. I am so glad it isn’t just me who needs someone else asking, how many pages did you do today? This month’s project is the second Medusa story, Protecting Medusa, and I have a snippet below.
Philomena let him seat her at a corner booth in the bright, busy diner he found and didn’t protest when he told the waitress they both wanted the dinner special. She just kept thinking of her mother and Jason and the danger they were in because of her. Because if she didn’t think about that, she’d be thinking instead of the coming night and the monstrous bed in the tiny cabin she was about to share with Ryder. And that was unsafe territory after the past twenty-four hours, just as dangerous as the Harvesters, but in a much different manner.
“You’re thinking way too hard about this, Mena,” he said softly, stroking the back of her hand where it lay on the table.
She glanced up from her mound of mashed potatoes, aware of the warmth climbing her arm from where he touched her. “How can I not?”
“Danny will make sure they’re safe.” His low voice was soothing, though it sent shivers up her spine for far different reasons. “They’ll be getting ready to travel tomorrow, then hit the road the following day.”
“Jason should be in school.” She didn’t let herself think of the other thing.
He smiled, setting his hand more securely over hers. “It’ll be fine, baby. I promise.”
She set her fork down. “You shouldn’t make promises like that. You can’t know for sure.”
His dark eyes went serious in a flash. “I will keep the two of you safe, Mena.”
Her stomach twisted at his words. “You should worry about keeping Jason safe first.”
“And how do you think he’d feel if I let something happen to you?” His grip on her hand tightened.
She looked away, swallowing. She didn’t want to think about the possibility.
“For all intents and purposes, you’re his mother, Mena. You’ve raised him since he was born. No–” he held up his other hand when she opened her mouth to protest– “just because she gave birth to him and sends him a birthday card if she thinks of it, that means nothing. Desi is a lousy mother, but you aren’t, and Jason knows it. He’d be devastated if I let something happen to you.” He shot her a hard glance. “And even if I didn’t want you so bad my zipper’s about to burst, I’d need to keep you safe just because you’re family.”
His argument didn’t make her feel better. “So you have control issues and a knight in shining armor complex,” she said, lifting one shoulder.
He tugged on her hand, regaining her attention. “I may work well in protector mode, Mena, but I’m no knight in shining armor.” He held her gaze this time, his own heated. “Having a sheet of solid metal between us is my idea of torture.”
“Ryder, it’s sex,” she said, keeping her voice low, pleased when it didn’t shake. “Good chemistry doesn’t mean you should put your life in danger. Not when you have a child to think about.” Still, the warmth from his fingers around hers had spread, all the way up her arm, to her face, her breasts, into her belly, lower.
His jaw hardened. “I don’t think there’s another woman I’ve ever made love to before you, or a woman I’ve slept with that I’d ever risk my life for. Just you,” he whispered.
His words made her breath catch. Too scary. Too soon. Too impossible. And, in her experience, a big fat lie. She tugged at her hand, but he refused to let go, his dark gaze searching her face. Her heart pounded crazily, and she wanted to go. Needed to go. Somewhere. Anywhere, as long it wasn’t this close to a man who’d just made such a claim. Her pulse tripped over itself in its haste.
“You should eat a little more of your supper,” he said at last, his tone gruff. “I plan to exhaust you into oblivion on our heart-shaped bed when we get back to the cabin.”
Just like that, the fear was obliterated by the explosion of heat in her core. For years, she’d managed not to let any man too close. They couldn’t be trusted to keep their word. She’d learned it when her father abandoned them when Desi was two. She’d relearned it in high school when her true love decided he’d rather sleep with her wild younger sister than date Philomena, who wouldn’t put out.
And now Ryder had bulldozed his way into her life and her bed. At least she knew better now than to believe pretty words.
But her mouth went dry with the images her brain summoned up at his words, and she lifted her water glass with her free hand, ignoring the slight tremor of her fingers to take a quick drink.
“I realized earlier you’ve seen all of me, but I haven’t seen you yet,” he continued, his eyes growing darker as he spoke. “So we need a big fire in the fireplace, and all the lights on.”
Philomena shut her eyes against those images, but it didn’t work. She remembered all too well the ways he’d touched her last night, first outside and then later, in her bed.
She thanked all the Gods she wasn’t getting ready to PMS, or her wild hormones would have her leaping over the table to get at him now.
“Then I can spread you out on the bed and take my time with you. The way I should have last night. Taste every inch of that pretty body, tease you to the brink and back again.”
Her breathing hitched, and she realized she was shaking. With desire. Lust. Need. For Ryder. Apparently men weren’t the only ones with big brain-little brain issues.
“I could almost lay you on this table now and take you,” he rasped, “I’m so hard. But I’m going to take very, very good care of you tonight.” His thumb slid along the outside of hers, slowly. “It’s going to be so good, Mena.”
She swallowed back a tiny moan when he nudged her knee under the table with his, and she forced her eyes to open. She tried to focus her gaze on the plate of half-eaten food in front of her, but he kept stroking her hand, and her imagination kept supplying her with other places and ways he could touch her.
“Are you wet for me, Mena?” he whispered, leaning nearer.
She couldn’t stop herself from meeting his gaze this time, and she swallowed hard at the dangerous expression on his face. Predatory. Hungry. She wouldn’t admit it, not here, but her panties were drenched.
“Wet enough for me to slide deep?”
Her breath rushed past her lips. How did he know? Or did he know his words would have just that effect on her?
“Let’s go.” He freed her hand and took out his wallet, tossing some money on the table, then pushed to his feet and grabbed their coats.
She got to her feet, willing her knees to hold her up when they wobbled. He helped her into her coat and then guided her out into the cold night, one big hand low on her back to steer her to the truck.
She wasn’t going to stop him, she realized.
Dangerous or not, she was going to indulge just a little.
I wanted to have the Medusa trilogy out ages ago, and am disappointed that I haven’t gotten them finished and ready yet. Next month, I’ll work on finishing the third, Freeing Medusa, and then I can start thinking about things like edits and cover art, and formatting and release dates. Not there yet, but hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be closer.
If you need something quick and light now, though, Light the Way Home is available at all your favorite booksellers, and if you click the title, it will take you there. Hot single dad, lighthouse with a ghost, and a heroine who is on a temporary hideaway. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d love it you checked it out.
I hope you all have a wonderful, happy week!
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