Her Captive Muse, my first novel, was released by Noble Romance in January of 2011. You can find the first chapter excerpted here...
For my followers, a special treat... an exclusive excerpt you won't find anywhere else! The story continues with...
Brendan rubbed his hands together to warm them. He sneaked an appraising look at Morgan's slender form as she led him to the kitchen.
He didn't have a chance in hell with her, so he looked anyway. She's so far out of my league, she's in a different time zone.
"You want a drink?" Morgan asked. She crossed the open-plan kitchen to the wet-bar and poured herself a glass of white wine.
"Scotch. Neat." She owed him a drink after today. Hell, maybe two or three. "Make it a double."
"You deserve it." Morgan poured a heroic portion into a heavy, cut-glass tumbler and brought it to him at the table. "Nice work." The swell of her breast brushed against Brendan's upper arm as she passed him the drink.
Did she do that on purpose? He felt a rush of heat at the unexpected contact and tried to ignore the way it made him feel. Probably just an accident. Don't get your hopes up.
Something spicy and smoky simmered in a Crockpot on the counter. He rose and crossed the room to peek under the lid.
"That smells great." Brendan's stomach growled. He tried to remember the last time he'd eaten a real meal—something besides pizza and junk food—and couldn't recall. "You're a famous painter and a gourmet chef? I'm impressed."
Morgan laughed low. "I can't cook to save my life," she said. "Marie made this. She always leaves a hot dinner for me when I work late."
"Who's Marie—your girlfriend?" Brendan asked. He couldn't hide the tone of disappointment in his voice. Figures. She's gorgeous and funny, smart and talented—of course she's a lesbian.
Morgan shook her head no and laughed even harder. "Marie is my personal chef, not my girlfriend. Our relationship is strictly professional," Morgan said with an amused look. "The first thing I did when I made it big was hire Marie. Sick of eating my own cooking." She grinned at Brendan. "I was living on ramen noodles when I was your age—broke all the time. When I had money, I spent it on booze and drugs—not groceries." She sipped her wine and watched him over the rim of her glass. "Now I can afford good food and good drugs."
"Good Scotch too." Brendan tossed back a swallow of his drink. Pay me! Pay me, pay me, pay me so I can get the fuck out of here and go score.
"Yes. Speaking of which—let me top you off." Morgan took his glass and filled it to the brim with the fiery elixir. Then—as if she'd read his mind—she excused herself to retrieve an expensive little Chanel bag from the next room. She rifled through her purse and pulled out three crisp, hundred-dollar bills. She leaned close to press the money into his hand.
What's this shit? He eyed the money, his suspicions rising. He'd worked four hours—and she'd paid him for six. Why?
"You made a mistake. This is too much." He held out the extra bill and tried to hand it back. "Way too much."
"You look hungry." Morgan sounded matter of fact. "Want some soup?"
He nodded, but watched her warily. Never trust found money. That's what his mom always said. Brendan wondered what Morgan had up her sleeve.
Morgan dished up a huge bowl of green chili chicken stew and handed him a spoon.
"You didn't answer my question." Brendan took a bite and looked up at her, waiting for a reply.
"Yes, I did. I said, 'You look hungry.' Was I wrong?" She tilted her head and pierced him with an intense gaze.
"I'm doin' okay." Her predatory blue eyes made him shift in his chair. She knows all my secrets.
"You look fucking strung out—like your last decent meal was weeks ago. I remember the way it feels—running on empty." She offered a distant smile. "Take the money. You need it a hell of a lot more than I do."
"I think you should take the extra cash and invest in a heater for your fucking studio." Brendan tried to hand the money back again.
She waved it away. "It's yours. I insist."
Brendan sighed and pocketed the cash. Something about the whole exchange made him feel dirty, but she was right. He was hungry—too hungry to care. He shrugged off his guilty conscience and attacked the stew with gusto. "Fine—I'll buy a heater. I almost froze my balls off today."
Morgan laughed. "Poor baby." She stroked his arm and gave him a warm smile. She watched him eat for a long moment. "Don't worry. You'll be nice and toasty next time. I'll make sure of it. Can you come back tomorrow at noon? I'd like a longer session, if you're up for it."
"I'll still be in bed." Brendan saw her frown and took another bite of the spicy chicken stew.
"Make it three. I'm going out tonight—won't be home until late. Gotta make sure I get my beauty sleep." He chuckled and finished the soup.
Morgan reached for his bowl. Their fingertips touched for the briefest moment—just long enough for both to feel the spark of desire. Or, at least Brendan felt it. She probably didn't feel a thing.
"Seconds?" she asked.
"Please." He watched as she filled his bowl with soup and brought it to him at the table. She moved with the calm and studied grace of a ballet dancer. When she set the bowl before him, she let one hand linger on his shoulder for a moment. Brendan relished her nearness. He spooned up a bite, savoring the tender, smoky chicken. "Thank you. This is delicious."
"Come over whenever you're ready. I'll be in the studio all day." She ran her fingers through his hair. "You'll inspire my greatest painting yet. I can feel it. The work's developing so fast." Morgan gazed past him, a far-off look in her eyes.
She did that all the time. Got lost in her thoughts, in some other world where Brendan didn't exist—only Morgan's idea of him. He watched her blue eyes go cold and distant. It seemed as if Morgan was seeing only her vision of him, superimposed over the real Brendan eating a bowl of soup in her kitchen. It felt spooky—like being turned invisible against his will. Is this the way a bad poem feels when I erase it?
While she dwelled in some distant realm, Brendan took the opportunity to look at her. Really look at her. He couldn't bear to meet her strange, unseeing eyes, so he stared at her hands. Strong, capable hands with elegant, long fingers—a little rough—streaked with gold and ochre and cerulean. They are beautiful hands, artists' hands—imbued with a certain magic.
Brendan re-assessed her and discovered Morgan Roan was a beautiful woman. The revelation shocked him; he hadn't noticed her looks until now. He'd been more concerned with avoiding frostbite and staving off his hangover. After a solid meal and a big knock of Scotch, he saw the artist with a kinder eye.
Morgan was a cool, lethal blonde with indigo eyes and porcelain skin. He wanted to run his fingers through her silky, moon-milk blonde hair, which she wore up in a messy bun. What would it look like spread across a pillow? He had a sudden urge to write a poem about her, an itch he couldn't wait to scratch.
She took her hair down with a sigh of pleasure. Her face was beautiful—delicate and fierce—framed by long, pale hair streaked with amethyst and violet paint. She finished her glass of wine and went to the bar to pour another.
"You did well today, Brendan."
"You're not making it easy. I think I got frostbite of the prick."
Morgan laughed. Her snowy cheeks flushed rose pink. "Now, that would be a crying shame. I'm so sorry. Let me make it up to you." She placed a slender hand on his shoulder and leaned in close. She stroked his jaw with one cool finger and whispered in his ear. "Still cold?"
What the fuck? He pulled away and gave her a questioning look. "A little."
"Come into the library. There's a fire. Warmest room in the house."
Before Brendan could protest, Morgan was leading him through the house's labyrinth of corridors. He followed her into a cozy library with a roaring fire in the grate. She gestured for him to take a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs before the hearth. He sank down into the buttery suede and looked around. The room was alive with books. Morgan took a slim volume from one of the shelves near the fireplace and handed it to him. Brendan studied the cover—an old, hardbound copy of Alice in Wonderland.
"This was my favorite book when I was a little girl," she said with a smile.
"I'm too old for bedtime stories." Brendan started to hand the book back.
"Open it," she said. He rolled his eyes. What game is she playing at now?
Deciding to humor her, he opened the book. "Holy . . . ." Shit! The damn thing was hollowed out inside, and packed full of pot and rolling papers and pills and all kinds of other goodies. His mouth watered at the sight of white powder—balloons and glassine envelopes packed full of blow, H. Damn—Christmas came early this year.
"Roll us a joint, will you?" Morgan topped off their drinks.
"I'd love to." He surveyed the array of pills and powders with greedy eyes.
"Fabulous. I'm going to wash up. I won't be long." Morgan turned and walked out of the room, leaving him alone with her stash.
He couldn't believe she'd be stupid enough to trust him. It'd be so easy to clean her out and make a run for it. His hands shook, and sweat peppered his brow. Goddamn, I want to get high. Tap up a nice fat vein, cook it up right here in front of the fire. Fill a needle and shoot up right here in front of the fire.
Something inside Brendan wouldn't let him cut and run. I don't want to burn this bridge—not yet. He'd roll a joint and wait for Morgan's return.
When Morgan reappeared, Brendan saw she had taken the time to shower and change. She'd washed most of the paint out of her hair, but a few stubborn streaks of violet and rose still stained her pale locks. Clad in a scanty, blue sheath, she moved across the room with leonine grace. The silk clung to her slight curves, drawing his eyes to her perfect breasts. As Morgan brushed past him, Brendan smelled sandalwood and cedar. Musk. Sweet smoke. She lit the joint. Passed it to Brendan. Poured him another drink, playing hostess. She handed him the tumbler of Scotch and sat at his feet on the hearth rug, staring into the flames.
Brendan passed her the jay. She took a toke and leaned against him, resting her head against his thigh. They smoked in silence for a few moments. He relished in her proximity.
"You're beautiful, you know." Her voice was low and confidential, rich with sweet smoke. "Anybody ever tell you that? Not that you'd believe it."
"No. You're stoned." He laughed at the idea. Beautiful? I'm just a club rat—a fucking junkie. Nothing but a street kid with three hundred bucks in his pocket. Chump change to her—but more money than he'd seen in months. The fact she saw something she liked in his features only made him feel worse. He couldn't wait to go score some skank and get low.
Every time Brendan looked in the mirror, he hated himself more. Not just for what he'd allowed himself to become, but for who he used to be. A kid with big dreams. When he was ten years old, Brendan wanted to be a pitcher for the New York Yankees. By the time he was twelve, he'd decided a career as an astronaut was what he desired. When he was thirteen, he'd harbored dreams of becoming a big-time artist like Morgan or a famous writer. But by the time he was fifteen he was lost. Stealing cars. Fucking up. Screwing and smoking and snorting whatever he could get his hands on.
Beautiful? Hell—who's she kidding? I'm just a small-time hood with a big, fat monkey on my back.
"The Man Downstairs," my newest offering, is a tale of dark desires and supernatural passions. When Caitlin moves into a new apartment, she notices her mysterious new neighbor right away. But she quickly discovers Damon's not what he seems...
"Cherry-Boy" is a short story I wrote recently...the excerpt featured here is the beginning of a naughty tale about corrupting a virgin- one of my spiciest fantasies, served up here for your fictional delectation!
"Confession" is an excerpt from a saucy short story written from the point of view of Claudia LaRue, a bad-girl Southern Belle who won't let anything stand in the way of her passion. She's set her sights on the parish priest, who finds himself unable to resist her feminine wiles.
"Her Captive Muse," my first novel, has been picked up by Noble Romance Publishing. This dark, twisted tale tells the story of Brendan Delaney, a young man who is caught in a web of seduction and obsession when he answers Morgan Roan's ad for an artist's model. What price pleasure?
The Man Downstairs
My first night in my new apartment, I decide to throw a huge housewarming party for all of my old friends- and my new neighbors. It’s a great bash, and being newly single, I’m eager to get some action and christen my new bedroom.
On my own after a nasty breakup, I’m ready for some single-girl fun. My best friends, Mandy and Chris, are here to cheer me on, get me drunk, and introduce me to all the available guys in the vicinity.
“What about the guy with the ponytail?” Chris asks, yelling to be heard over the blaring house music.
“Ew, no! You must be drunk,” I tell her. “He’s ancient. And, FYI, Chris, that’s a comb-over, not a ponytail.”
“You’re cut off,” Mandy teases her, taking away Chris’s beer and swilling half of it herself. “Beer goggles, beer goggles, beer goggles,” she chants, downing the rest at a go. I laugh as they continue to fight. They fight like sisters- with much humor, and great love for each other.
“You two work it out. I’m going outside for a smoke,” I tell Mandy.
“I thought you quit,” she says, narrowing her green eyes at me in an evil glare. “Is this a drunk cigarette, or are you starting again?” she asks, hands on her hips.
“It’s definitely a drunk cigarette.” They both give me suspicious looks, which makes them seem more like sisters than ever. “It is. I’ve got two left in my emergency pack and when they’re gone, I’m quitting again.” I give them both big hugs and say, “Find someone cute for me to flirt with.”
I slip outside on a warm wave of party-laughter. The porch is crowded with smokers. I edge past them and down the stairs to the little courtyard below. It’s beautiful in the moonlight, with pepper-trees and rose-vines bordering a small labyrinth of white stones. A chill breeze blows over me as I open the gate and enter the deserted courtyard.
There’s a little gazebo under the boughs of an ancient pepper tree near to hand, and I venture inside for shelter. I’m hoping to get out of the wind long enough to light my cigarette. It’s dark in there, all overgrown with rose-vines, and I take a seat in one of the wrought iron chairs. I dig through my purse, finally locating my emergency cigarettes. But I can’t seem to to find my lighter. Not even a cheap pack of matches from a bar. Nothing.
“Damn it,” I mutter, cigarette bobbing between my expectant lips.
“Need a light?” I look up, startled, and see a dark figure emerge from the shadows beneath the pepper tree. Although his voice is quiet, it is oddly penetrating. I can hear every word clearly, in spite of the howling wind.
“I’d love one,” I tell him, beckoning him into the gazebo with me. “Come in out of the wind,” I tell him. “Aren’t you cold?” I ask him, shivering. He’s not dressed for this storm, wearing only a red T-shirt and a baggy pair of torn-up jeans.
He shakes his head no, and lights a wooden match from a box in his pocket. I smell sulfur and damnation on his fingers. Where his hand touches mine to shield that bright little flame from the wind, I notice that his skin seems to be radiating heat. Touching him only makes the rest of me colder. I button up my sweater all the way to my neck.
“Could I bum one of those?” he asks. I nod, and hand over my last emergency cigarette. He sees it’s my last one and thanks me- tries to give it back, in fact.
But I insist. “No. Take it. My friend Mandy will be thrilled. I promised her I’d quit when this pack was gone.” He holds it up wordlessly, one more time, making sure. But I wave it away. “It’s all yours.”
He lights up, the flame revealing dark curly hair and a serious, intent face. His eyes are hidden behind a pair of wire-rim glasses. His skin exudes a sort of ruddy good health; and he’s got a wicked smile. We smoke in silence for a moment, and then abruptly he says, “You’re my new neighbor. Caitlin, right?”
“Right. But how did you-” I begin.
“I saw your flier in the laundry room. I’m Damon. Damon Hirsch.” He puts out a hand for me to shake. Again, I’m struck by how warm he is. His skin feels like a brick that’s been baking in the sun all day- he’s that warm.
“Caitlin O’Rourke,” I say politely, hugging my sweater close around me. The warmth and liveliness of my housewarming party seems suddenly very far away. I realize no one knows where I am, and this frightens me a little.
“Poor thing…you’re freezing, aren’t you?” he asks sympathetically.
“It’s a little windy, is all,” I say, teeth chattering out the words in short staccato bursts like machine-gun fire.
“Wait right here.” He leaves the gazebo and disappears beneath the shadows of the pepper tree, returning with a beat-up leather jacket. Cut for his broad-shouldered frame, it fairly swims on me- but it’s warm, and it keeps the wind at bay.
“Thanks,” I say, when my teeth stop chattering.
I finish my smoke and say, “I should get back to my party. Stop by later, if you want,” I tell him, knowing he won’t.
“Not my scene,” he laughs. “Why don’t you come over to my place when the party’s over? I’m downstairs, in 2-C. I stay up late,” he tells me, with a wicked grin. “See you later?”
“Maybe,” I shrug, trying to play it cool. “If I can sneak away.” He smirks and turns to go. “Wait- your jacket!”
“Keep it,” he says, walking away. Before I can say any more, he vanishes into the deep realm of shadows at the base of the vast old pepper tree.
It’s a cold night, windy and superstitious. I dig my hands deep into the pockets of Damon’s coat. I feel something in the right pocket- a little book, maybe, or a notepad. Curious, I pull it out, stopping under a streetlight to investigate. It’s a small, rectangular object, wrapped in a cloudy grey silk scarf. I untie the complicated knots, revealing an odd deck of cards, battered and ancient-looking, oddly warm to the touch. They make my hands smell like him- sulfur and ashes; smoke and sweet, sweet sin.
I look at them wonderingly, realizing it’s a pack of Tarot cards. The Tower, The Hanged Man, The Moon, The Devil, The Lovers. I recognize the images, but the words are in some language that’s unfamiliar to me. Did he mean to give me this deck, as well as his coat? I decide that a gift like this was never meant for me- he must have left them in his pocket accidentally. I wrap them back up in the scarf, and put the pack back where I found it. I decide to go over to his place tonight and give his coat back. I won’t even mention the cards.
All through the rest of the night, I think of Damon- his dark eyes; his serious face. I want him; there’s no doubt about it- but he’s my new neighbor. This fact makes me hesitate- it could be an awkward situation, if things don’t work out between us.
It makes me hesitate until about three o’clock in the morning. After that, all bets are off...
Curious about the ending? Email me at email@example.com.
“It’s my first time. I’m a little nervous,” Michael tells me, unbuttoning his shirt.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle,” I tell him. “I know what to do.” But inside, I’m thinking, oh, shit. He’s a virgin? I’m screwed. What the hell do I do now?
“It’s not, uh, a problem…is it?” he asks.
“Of course not,” I smile, stroking his lean chest. “Everybody’s nervous the first time,” I reassure him. Thinking, why didn’t you ever mention this before? I take him in my arms and give him a lingering kiss.
“Even you?” he asks, with a crooked grin. Michael’s smile is what attracted me first- like the sunshine after a storm.
“Yes. Even me,” I tell him, laughing. What I don’t tell him is that it was ten years ago, when I was only sixteen. I’ve had a lot of experience since then, and a lot of orgasms.
“Tell me about it- your first time,” he says, lying back on my bed.
“I lost my virginity in the back seat of my car,” I tell him. “Not very romantic, huh?”
“Did it hurt?” he asks, toying with one of my curls.
“Yeah. Not as much as I thought it would…my boyfriend was sweet about it, though. He was very gentle…but he didn’t really know what the hell he was doing, to be honest with you. There’s not much to tell. He was so excited it was over in, like, five minutes, so there’s not much to tell.” We laugh together. “Don’t worry,” I tell him. “I’ll make sure you have a lot more fun than I did, my first time,” I say, unbuttoning the fly of his jeans and easing them down to his ankles. He kicks them onto the floor.
“I’m sure I will,” he smiles, and we share a long, passionate kiss.
“We can go slow,” I tell him, stroking the smooth muscles of his chest. “Are you sure you’re ready?” I ask. We’ve been dating for a few months, and he had confided that a traumatic breakup with his last girlfriend had made him gun-shy. I’d just been burned by a savage divorce, and was amenable to taking things slowly. And so, for the past three months, we’ve been taking it slow, and falling for each other fast.
He nods. “I’m ready.” I’ve been waiting for this for ages, or so it seems. The first instant I met Michael, I wanted him. Now, all of my long chats and walks on the beach and marathon make-out sessions were finally paying off. To own the truth, I’d been feeling more than a little frustrated; impatient to take our relationship to the next level. All of that is about to change.
Michael says, “I love you. I want my first time to be tonight, with you.” He frames my face with his hands and pulls me close for a kiss. “I trust you.” He slides his hands down my back, squeezing my ass, and then reaching under my skirt. I’m wearing a little pair of pink panties underneath, with lace, and black silk ribbons.
When I flip my skirt up to show him, he swallows hard, and kisses me hotly. I feel the bulge in his boxers grow, and caress his stiffening cock through the soft fabric. “Show me how to make you happy,” he whispers. I nibble at his earlobe, and make him shiver.
“Since this is your first time, why don’t you just lie back and relax, gorgeous? I’ll show you everything you need to know to get me off.” I slip my skirt off and it joins his clothes on the floor. I straddle his hips, clad only in a pair of stockings, a black lace bra, and my lucky pink panties. They say redheads can’t wear pink, but I make it work.
Slowly, slowly, I begin to grind the crotch of my silky panties against his cock. Teasing him a little with my tits, I arch my back and let him kiss my perky pink nipples. He cups my breasts in his hands, sucking and licking my nips eagerly. I feel the hard curve of his cock against my panties, rubbing harder. “Oh, God,” he gasps, his hips thrusting forward. I reach down, take his cock out, and push my panties aside, rubbing the silken skin of his mushroom-tip over my clit. I moan, and start to feel my juices spilling sown my thighs. I bite my lower lip, and begin to tease his cock with my hot slit, grinding hard, and than pulling away at the last possible second...
Want to find out how the story ends? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
It is hot and stuffy in the confessional. I am claustrophobic in my best black coat and heels. I clear my throat, to let the priest know I'm ready. When the screen between us slides back, I can smell his clean skin- soap and green grass. Father Matthew- it must be. In choir practice last week, I leaned up against him at the piano, and he smelled just like this.
"Yes? I'm here to listen, here to help you..." He doesn't do anything by the book, which is one of the reasons I like him. I'm glad it's Father Matthew, not Father Peter, who's too strict and smells of wine in the mornings.
"Bless me, O Father, for I have sinned," I say dutifully. I don't admit that I loved every minute of it, and I'm planning to go forth and sin again as soon as I can. "It's been two weeks since my last confession."
"What was the nature of your sin?" he asks. His voice is kind; low and sexy. Too sexy for a priest. That's the whole problem.
"Do I have to pick just one?" I ask, laughing.
"Claudia?" he says, suddenly on his guard.
"Yes. It's me. I just couldn't stay away..."
"You shouldn't be here. Remember what happened last time? I- I can't let you-"
"Of course I remember. It was one of the greatest fucks of my life. Why the hell do you think I came back? The wine list?" I ask him.
"Confession. Salvation. I hope that's why you're here," he says.
"Liar." He gasps at this accusation, but he can't deny he's got something more than my salvation on his mind. "So...what are you wearing?" I say in a slutty voice, just to tease him. Inspite of himself, he laughs.
Trying to sound stern, he whispers, "Claudia...please leave. Now. And in the future, I'll ask you to confess when one of the other priests is on duty. Father Peter will be here at noon. He'll hear your confession then."
"He's not really my type," I joke. I can see Matthew's dark shape behind the ornate wooden screen that separates us. He shifts uncomfortably, only inches away. Then, he gets up, as if to leave. "Don't do that," I warn him, silken kisses and danger in my voice. Like it or not, I'm in control here, and he'd do well to remember that. "I'd hate to have to confess to Father Peter that you fucked my brains out after choir practice on Wednesday night. I doubt he'd approve."
Father Matthew sits back down like a man in a daze. "Claudia- please-"
"There is more joy in Heaven over the one lost lamb..." I quote, to tease him. "Come on, Father Matthew, have pity on a poor sinner. I can't help myself." The Devil's got ahold of my soul, all right. Hell is probably full of bad girls just like me- I figure it'll probably be a pretty good time, all in all. Girl's Night Out in Hades.
"What do you want?" he hisses.
"I thought you'd never ask," I laugh. "I want to suck your cock until you scream for mercy. I want to fuck you hard, fuck you soft. I want to corrupt you, and make you come," I purr. "And you'd better deliver the goods, too...otherwise, Father Peter just might have to find out you've been slipping me something a hell of a lot more substantial than the Holy Wafer."
"You wouldn't do that." He sounds sure of himself, but he isn't, not really.
"I just might, if you don't get me off good enough. I want you to make me come with your hands; with your beautiful mouth; your cock. Meet me in the choir loft upstairs in five minutes or you'll find out I'm not fucking around," I snap. Then I remind him, "You started this. I intend to make sure you finish it." With that, I get to my feet, leaving the confessional. My high heels click on the stone floor of the deserted church, as I walk away from him, leaving him hot and hard and desperate for more.
As I climb the stairs to the choir loft, I smile, remembering the day we met...
I was at a church picnic with my friend Sharon and her boyfriend Jay, and a boring fucking banker they'd fixed me up with. Bored by Robert's stock talk and male blustering, I grabbed Sharon for a quick chat on the way to the drinks table. We were dishing about Jay and Robert and complaining about being bored when I saw a young man with his shirt off catching a red frisbee and laughing.
"Oh, my Lord. Who is that?" I asked Sharon.
"Settle down, Thornbird. That's the new priest. Father Matthew. He just transferred here from the mission in Laos." Seeing the look on my face, she said, "Don't even think about it! He's only 23, for Christ's sake!"
"Just the way I like 'em," I grinned. "Young, dumb, and... you know the rest!"
"Girl, you crazy!" she giggled. "You wouldn't-"
"Watch me." With that, I walked right over to the new priest and introduced myself. He was all sweaty and bronzed from playing in the sun. I wanted to lick him clean, right then and there, but patience is a virtue- or so the Bible says. And so I made up my mind to find a chance to get him alone. Something told me it wouldn't be too tough- he was the type to be easily tempted by a pretty redhead in a pink dress with sinning on her mind. He was endearingly sweet and nervous. "Since you seem to be ignoring me, I thought I'd come over and introduce myself," I said. "I'm Claudia LaRue. It's a pleasure to finally meet you. I figured it was high time for the good shepherd to meet the blackest sheep in the flock."
He shook my hand, but he couldn't quite meet my eyes. He stammered out, "I'm Father Matthew Johnson. I didn't mean to ignore you...I'm just shy," he said, and then: "You're very pink today, Miss Claudia." He turned bright red, tried to backtrack. "I mean, that's a pretty dress, and it's pink too- I mean-"
I leaned in close and told him, in a soft purr, "You have no idea how pink I am under this pretty pink dress. I got a sunburn while I was gardening, and it hurts like hell."
He gave me a wide-eyed deer in the headlights look and laughed. "Surely, you're Jezebel herself, sent by the Devil to tempt me," he said, flirting easily with me now.
"I just might be," I told him, and walked away with an extra swing in my hips. The next day, he called to personally invite me to join the Ladies' Chorale Society, which had snubbed me for years. I was delighted at the chance to get my own back on those goody-two-shoes bitches, but at first I'd resisted, playing hard to get.
"But, Father Matthew, I can't sing a lick. Are you sure you've got the right girl?"
"I'm sure," he said warmly. "I can teach you; I'll even give you private lessons. You've got a beautiful alto voice. Please say yes? You'd make me a very happy man. Please?" he begged. And I liked the sound of that just fine.
"Private lessons?" I purr. "That sounds fabulous. I've got a very busy schedule, but I could meet you early Friday morning. Seven-thirty, then?"
"I'll be there with bells on." And that's how it started. When we were alone together, it wasn't long before he began to stand too close; to let his hand linger on mine when he passed me a piece of sheet music. I thought it was only a matter of time, and patience...and I was right.
Halfway up the staircase, I hear the sound of his quick footsteps, hurrying after me. I pretend to pay him no mind, still ascending while he enjoys the view from behind. He catches up to me quickly, and grabs my arm, tight. He turns me around to face him, a little roughly.
"You're putting me in an impossible position," he says fiercely.
"Oooh... if you're gonna talk dirty, let's go back to my place," I tease him. This makes him laugh, disarming him and alleviating the tension between us.
"You drive me crazy. I can't stop myself from having impure thoughts about you, night and day. Even in my dreams, you tempt me," he confesses.
"That's what I do best," I grin...
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Her Captive Muse
Coming Soon from Noble Romance Publishing!