Hey everyone! I’m excited to tell you that I have a short story out this week in an anthology that’s slipped its way into the world a touch early—hurray! On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories is out now on ebook with the paperback version available in just a few days. This lovely collection from Cleis Press houses both the sexy and the sweet, and since it’s edited by the fabulous Rachel Kramer Bussel, you know you’re in for something great!
I’m so pleased to share that a tender little old story of mine, “Paradise,” is included in this anthology. The story centers around Justin and Anna, a couple who are rekindling a long lost romance on Anna’s trip to Justin’s now island home of sunny Puerto Rico. This story is particularly dear to my heart, and I’d love to tell you why. See, I started this one quite a long time ago, after my own real life love affair with a man I’ll call G., who was in the military (and who very much inspired Justin’s character). I didn’t get far in my writing because I was more invested in the real life romance, which, sadly, didn’t last all that long after G. moved away. While we did attempt—and fail—at our own rekindling on a trip I took to Puerto Rico years later, we fortunately had a charming run-in years after that in San Francisco. 😉
Now, in real life, G. and I realized we would never work long term, though we both looked fondly on our earlier romance and all the intensity that comes from distance, oh so much distance…and that tension struck me as the sweetest basis for an erotic romance story when I saw Rachel’s call all those years later. So, I pulled out the two or three pages I’d written a decade before, added some details of my actual trip to Puerto Rico—because holy moly, that place is beautiful—and imagined what would happen if the couple was, say, more meant to be than G. and I were. The story found its way into Rachel’s hands a while back, and now I’m delighted to share it with you!
To celebrate On Fire’s release, I’ve got a little piece of “Paradise” for you to read below. And, to set the tone, two of my favorite pictures from my trip to Puerto Rico. One is from the island of Culebra, a short boat ride from the main island, and the other a splash of all the greenery you can find on the island itself. I hope you enjoy both pictures, and also the following story excerpt…
I admired the view while Justin stroked his fingers over my hand. The water beyond the sand glistened like polished glass, a topaz field of wetness beckoning us to swim in it.
“It’s beautiful,” I said. It was this same vast ocean that had kept us apart for so long, and I frowned. Justin stepped closer, his flip-flops slapping on the tile until his chest hovered a couple inches away. Against the cherry-colored walls of the room, he looked out of place—a southern gentleman turned beach-boy who yanked me hard enough that I collided into him.
“No, you’re beautiful,” he said. He slid his hands to my hips before lowering his mouth to mine again. I felt numb, content to be with him, here, but my vision clouded over as delighted tears rushed into my eyes. Justin noticed and swiped his fingers in long, tender strokes beneath my eyelashes. “Hey now, sweetheart. What are the tears for?” He said it softly, his twang making me giddy. His own eyes glistened and I laughed, shuddering as more tears, happy tears, fell to my chin.
“I’ve just…missed you,” I said.
Justin shook his head, then kissed my cheeks. He whispered, “No tears. We’re here, together now. No more waiting or wondering.”
I nodded. “I know.”
He snaked his arms around me, both of us hobbling back and forth while he nudged me toward the glass doors. His lips grazed my ear as he looked between my face and the ocean outside.
“You know, for three years, I’ve been out here thinking of you, Anna. I’ve been in the water, on the beach, living in this beautiful place, but…” He ran his fingertips through the hair at my brow, then used his other hand to pull me close enough to feel the hard bulge in his shorts. “None of it compared to seeing someone as beautiful as you.”
My knees grew weak. Those words, those sweet sentiments—the firm wedge of his cock rising to meet me—God how I’d missed them.
“Kiss me,” I said.
This time, the kiss was heavier—less desperate to close the distance, only eager to rekindle our fire. I melted into his lips, heat coiling through my body and sending tingles along my limbs as he plundered my mouth and took my tongue into his. When I nibbled his lip, he paused. He swooped me up and I gasped, mesmerized by the man who cradled me in his arms and carried me to the couch.
“Do you know how many nights I’ve dreamed of you?” he said. I laid my head back on the cushions as he sat beside me on the floor, then trailed his lips over my hands. “I should offer you a meal. A shower. More to make you comfortable, Anna, but all I can think about is making love to you.”
He grazed my neck with his fingertips, his roughened skin sending trembles through my body again, and I swallowed.
Justin grinned. He climbed beside me on the couch, sinking his hip against my thigh and running his hand along my leg beneath my shorts. He traced his fingertips over my knees, then down to slide off my sandals.
“I’ve always loved how blatant you are, darlin’.” He circled my ankles with his hands, caressing them like he used to, like every inch of me was a temple he worshipped. I reminded myself to breathe, the longing to feel him after such an extended time taking over my senses. He folded over me, sneaking his hands across my belly, then under my halter top, and when he slid them over the cups of my bra, our lips locked tight.
“Justin…” I muttered, loving the way his tongue moved so aggressively in my mouth while his hands made the gentlest of strokes over my breasts. He skimmed his fingers over my nipples, rubbing the tender peaks until I moaned. When he slid his lips to my neckline, he spread slow, soft pecks between the panels of my shirt, flicking his tongue in quick lashes over my skin. A blush filled my cheeks at the touch, a reminder of the way he used to kiss my sex for hours before ever driving into me.
“God, I’ve wanted this, wanted you…” he said. He unhooked the few buttons holding my shirt closed, our kisses growing more frenzied as he laid himself over me. Our hips were together instantly, both of us grinding against one other as I grabbed the hem of his shirt and yanked it over his head. He kissed me harder, his pelvis crashing against mine as he dragged his hands straight into my hair, then gathered it behind my head and yanked it tight just like I loved. I mewled.
“I want you too, Justin. I’ve missed you.”
“Oh…” He pulled back to look over me, keeping his fist in my hair, using his other hand to tease my nipples through my bra. His gaze was lost, hungry, lustful, his hands over me desperate and skilled. He pinched my nipples and I arched against him, ready for the wait to end.
“Please,” I growled.
There you have it! Some of your own “Paradise” to enjoy before you get your hands on On Fire, a delicious new erotic romance anthology available now. Pick up your copy on Amazon or at any of the buy links below…