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Happy Halloween! from David & Katrina…

Hi all! It’s late night in Australia and as per usual, Halloween was pretty uneventful for most of us – it hasn’t really caught on yet – but I believe that one day it will. Although, some of us do have Halloween parties, and a couple of years ago, I wrote this Halloween short story featuring David and Katrina from the Beautiful Series for a blog called ‘Reading Between the Wines’. I thought it might be fun to dust it off and post it for Halloween this year. Enjoy…

A Beautiful Halloween – David & Katrina. 
By Lilliana Anderson

“Seriously Trina – a Halloween party? They know we’re in Australia. Right? – Who here, celebrates Halloween?”

“Fun people. That’s who,” I point out, as I drag David through the door of the costume shop.

“Please tell me that we aren’t going as a lame couple dress up. I don’t think I could take that if we did,” he groans.

“Yes we are David. But relax. We are going to look amazing. You are going to look amazing. So amazing in fact that when we get home I’m going to…” I lean close to his ear and whisper about all the delicious things I’d like to do to him, just envisioning him dressed up the way I want him.

“Whoa Trina,” he breathes, his voice sounding a little thicker than it did before. “That’s so not fair.”

“Well, sometimes a girl has to use all of her feminine charms to get her man to do what she wants,” I tell him with a wink.

The costume shop is surprisingly busy. David is right about people not really celebrating Halloween in Australia. It’s never been a big day on our holiday calendar, but I have noticed that over the last few years the stores are pushing it a lot more. I’m not sure that it will ever catch on, but at least kids can now go Trick or Treating without getting the door slammed in their face these days.

I link my arm with David’s as we join the queue in front of the register. I ordered our costumes online the moment I knew we were going to this party. I spent my lunch time at work scouring couple costumes. I didn’t want to do anything too lame – like go as sailors or something. I wanted to do something fun. So I did a google search and ended up finding the perfect outfits.

His outfit isn’t really that risqué, but mine is – and I know he’s going to love it. Just wait and see.

Once we make it to the front of the line, I give the teenage boy my name and he goes and gets our costumes. Thankfully, they’re in black garment bags because I would hate for the suspense to be over already.

“Show me what it is,” David presses, as I walk ahead of him to the car. “Come on Trina. I should get to know what I’m going as.”

I keep my mouth shut until we get home and I hand him his costume bag. “Han Solo,” I tell him as I press the bag to his chest.

He takes it and laughs. “That’s hilarious. You find old Harrison Ford sexy huh?”

“David, every girl finds Han Solo sexy. It’s just the way it is,” I smile, giving him a wink as I head to the bathroom to start getting ready.

“So you’re going to be Princess Leia? Are you going to have those side buns just like she does?” he calls after me, I can hear the smile in his voice as he does.

“If you’re lucky,” I call over my shoulder, before shutting and locking the door.

As soon as I’m in there, it’s go time. I hang the bag on the back of the door and unzip it, sliding the material out of the bag and letting it hang in front of me. I can’t help but grin to myself, as I know that David’s eyes are going to pop out of his head the moment he sees me in this.

I didn’t get your typical Princess Leia costume, I got the slave bikini. You know that metal bikini, with the split skirt she’s wearing when Jaba the Hut has her as a prisoner? Yeah. That one. I’ll actually be lucky if we manage to leave the house – that man can be insatiable sometimes.

It takes a while for me to apply the bronzer over my body, get the hair piece in and put on the costume. I can hear David out in the living area, asking if I’m done yet. I can just imagine the grin on his face as he’s imagining me coming out in the big white dress and a side bun headband.

I look at myself in the mirror, and I have to admit that I’m looking pretty amazing as an enslaved Leia. Moving over to the door, I open it a fraction and call out to David.

“Close your eyes.”

“Come on Trina. Just come out. I already know what you’re going to look like,” he laughs, and I can tell he’s enjoying this whole charade.

“Just close them,” I repeat.

“Alright, alright. They’re closed.”

“Ok, I’m coming,” I announce, walking out of the bathroom to stand in front of him.

I have to admit, that he is looking mighty fine in his Han Solo costume. He’s wearing a white shirt, with a black vest, dark blue pants and a gun belt with a fake blaster in it. All topped off with a pair of boots. In my eyes – he looks even better than the real thing.

“Oh baby. You look amazing,” I tell him. “Are you ready to see me?”

“Only if you say that ‘help me Obiwan’ bit that she does,” he laughs.

“Wrong scene,” I say in a slight whisper.

“What do you mea–” he starts to say as he opens his eyes. He stops speaking however, as his mouth drops open and his eyes do exactly what I was hoping for – they practically bug out of his head.

“Do you like it?” I ask, as he slowly circles around me.

“Oh Trina. This… this is not what I expected at all,” he breathes, shaking his head slightly from side to side.

“Good though?”

“Amazing,” he whispers, now moving toward me with a predatory glint in his eye.

“Whoa, whoa David Taylor! What do you think you’re doing?” I laugh, holding my hands out in front of me and moving back as he approaches.

“I don’t think we can go to the party,” he murmurs. “You just too…”

“Too what?” I whisper, as I back up into the wall.

He presses himself against me, gazing directly into my eyes, his eyes dropping to my lips as his breathing quickens. “You’re just too fucking sexy,” he growls, taking my mouth in his.

As his hands start to roam, my insides come alive, and my body revels in his touch. I couldn’t say no to this man if I wanted to – my body wouldn’t let me. As I find myself melting against him, I know we aren’t leaving our apartment any time soon.

It’s still fashionable to be a little late to parties… isn’t it?

Did you know that the first few books of the Beautiful Series are coming out in audio on December 1st? They’ll feature Australian narrators so you can actually hear David and Katrina talk in Too Close,  A Beautiful Struggle, and Commitment. Keep your eye out for more information.

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Hugo & Meg is LIVE!!! Student-Teacher, Fighter-Lover. This one has it all at 99cents for one day only!

 

The lovely ladies at Give Me Books have been awesome and put this amazing post together for Hugo & Meg’s release. But, before I let you get into all the teasers and excerpts, I want to let you know how much I loved writing about these two. It was hard at first because of Meg’s age and the fact her story runs alongside Zac’s, but in the end, I’m so incredibly happy with how it turned out, and I hope you will be too!
As a thank you to all of my loyal readers who preorder and buy on release day, Hugo & Meg is 99cents. The price will go back up on the 27th, so if you’re umming and ahhhing about grabbing it, now is the time.
Thanks for hanging in there with me, and happy reading!

 

 

Title: Drawn to Fight: Hugo & Meg
Series: Drawn to Fight #2
Author: Lilliana Anderson
Genre: New Adult/Fighter Romance
 Release Date: October 26, 2015
Blurb

 

Sometimes, it’s inappropriate to fall in love with a certain someone. I should know. When I met Hugo Sparks, I didn’t know he was my art teacher. But, by the time we found out, it was too late – we’d already fallen. But, we did the right thing, we tried to fight it. Eventually though, we gave in. That was when my brother Zac caught us. He said it would tear our family apart – we were already hanging on by a thread. I said I was in love. He didn’t believe me and did everything he could to keep us apart.

Including breaking my heart.

In return, I broke his.

My name is Meg Reid – Zac Rivers’ half sister. This is a tale of hurting the ones you love, and thinking it’s for the best.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / AU
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / AU

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
Excerpt
“Heads up!” I snapped my head up and saw the football just in time to lift my hands and catch it. “Thanks, sir!” A kid in year nine said as he ran toward me and took the burgundy ball from my hands. He stopped for a moment and squinted up at me, his freckled nose wrinkling as he seemed to consider something.“Something you need?” I asked.

“You see those girls over there?” He pointed behind me toward the English building where a group of year eleven seniors were sitting and talking while looking at their mobile phones. My stomach flipped. Meg was with them, sitting close to a boy I’d come to know as Blake Ryan. He spent an enormous amount of his free time glued to Meg’s side. I needed to suppress the growl before it reached my throat each time I looked at him.

“What about them?” I asked the boy, my restraint quiet, my nerves on edge.

“They have an Instagram account called ‘The Spark’. It’s full of pictures of you.”

My eyebrows lifted and I took a calming breath. “Is that right?”

“Yes, sir. Don’t tell them I told you though. My sister will shave my eyebrows if she finds out I blabbed.”

I try not to smile at the threat his sister gave him as I pat him on the shoulder. “You did the right thing,” I said, watching him leave while I considered my options.

I could ignore it, or I could report it to the principal and let him deal with it. Or, I could confront them myself and find out exactly what they’re playing at.

Did Meg know about it? Was she involved?

Aggravation boiled below the surface of my skin and I struggled to keep my temper in control. I couldn’t lose it at school, and in hindsight, I should have walked straight past them and reported it to the principal. I shouldn’t have done what I did. But I couldn’t stop myself. It had been six months since I’d spoken to her and I was losing control. I just wanted to be near her.

“Hi Mr Sparks,” a girl called Melinda said as I approached. She assumed a stance that she obviously felt was sexy as she smiled up at me and fluttered her eyelashes. I glanced at Meg, my heart beating a mile a minute being this close to her. She looked the other way. I had to force my eyes back to the matter at hand.

“I want your phone,” I said to Melinda, holding my hand out.

“Excuse me?” The girls who stood around her shifted uneasily and exchanged glances. I couldn’t help but notice the difference between the way they behaved compared to Meg. She was so different to them in the every way…

“Give me your phone,” I repeated and slowly she placed the iPhone in my hand. It had a pink sparkly case and when I hit the home button it asked for a passcode. “What is it?”

The heat was rising in her face and I could tell that she knew exactly why I was here and she hesitated for a moment.

“The code.”

“Eight one two six,” she said, her voice small as she wrung her hands together in front of her.

I keyed in the code and opened the Instagram app on screen. Sure enough, there I was. They’d taken a shot of me catching the ball and posted it with the caption ‘Oh my god! Look at those arms!’

Glaring at her, I could see her cowering as I scrolled through the many photos of me. Some weren’t even at school. Some were taken while I was out running. There were even a couple taken out at Londonderry while I was fighting with my shirt off. Shit.

“Who else was involved?” I asked, my jaw set tight as I continued to scroll.

“I…I don’t know everyone’s names. People just send photos…” Melinda stammered.

Meg had turned to pay attention to what was going on and I turned to her, my words escaping my mouth before I had the chance to think about the fact that singling her out could cause a problem. “Did you know about this?” She shook her head. And I narrowed my eyes at her. “I don’t believe you. You sit with these girls every day and you had no idea what was going on – didn’t even think to tell me that my privacy was being invaded?”

Meg opened her mouth to speak but it was that boy Blake who’s voice I heard. “She said she didn’t know, sir. I’ll kindly ask you to back off now.” He stood up and took Meg by the hand. “Come on, Meg, you don’t need this shit.” Then he led her away from the group. I stood there glaring after her, and she flashed an angry look in my direction.

“Um…sir?” Melinda’s voice broke through the desperate emotion in my mind. “Mr Sparks?”

I turned back to her and she was frowning, looking between me and Meg quizzically.

Shit. I’d just singled her out for no reason. I’m a fucking idiot.

Letting out my breath, I handed the phone back to Melinda. “Delete the account. If I find anything about it again, I’ll have you and everyone involved suspended. Is that understood?”

“Ye…yes, sir.” Melinda took her phone and I abruptly turned and walked away, hearing the quiet murmurs of the girls behind me as I headed back to oval where I was the teacher on yard duty.

When I stopped, I turned around and spotted Meg with that Blake kid. He had his arm around her and she was shaking her head with her arms out as if she was denying something. I was too far away to hear anything they said or even see their lips move. And I tried to watch without being obvious, but then he hugged her. And I stopping pretending and openly stared.

Then he kissed her on the top of her head, and I wanted to punch his face in. I didn’t want him touching her.

I didn’t want anyone touching her…

 

Author Bio

 

Bestselling Author of the Drawn Series, the Beautiful Series, and 47 Things, Lilliana has always loved to read and write, considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer.Australian born and bred, she writes New Adult Romance revolving around her authentically Aussie characters.

Lilliana feels that the world should see Australia for more than just it’s outback and tries to show characters in more of a city setting.

When she isn’t writing, she wears the hat of ‘wife and mother’ to her husband and four children.

Before Lilliana turned to writing, she worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities and communications before transferring to commerce/law at university.

Originally from Sydney’s Western suburbs, she currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne.

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Hugo & Meg – 99cent Preorder + a look inside their heads

 

Hugo & Meg is on it’s way! It’s the second book in the Drawn to Fight series, but don’t worry if you haven’t read Zac & Evie as they’re both standalones that exist in a similar timeframe – they are two sides of a story revolving around a brother and sister (Zac and Meg) left to fend for themselves and their younger siblings. You can read one or both, and it doesn’t matter which order you read them in either. But those of you who have already read Zac & Evie are finally going to find out what Meg was thinking when she did what she did! As we know in our own lives, both sides of the story are rarely the same…

BIG bonus – the preorder is only 99cents! It’s releasing October 26th, and as I said, it’s a standalone story in the Drawn to Fight series. Full HEA. No cliffhanger. Just awesome angst and drama.

Let’s get into the fun part —>

BLURB

Sometimes, it’s inappropriate to fall in love with a certain someone. I should know. When I met Hugo Sparks, I didn’t know he was an art teacher at my school. But, by the time we found out, it was too late – we’d already fallen. But, we did the right thing, we tried to fight it. Eventually though, we gave in. That was when my brother Zac caught us. He said it would tear our family apart – we were already hanging on by a thread. I said I was in love. He didn’t believe me and did everything he could to keep us apart.

Including breaking my heart.

In return, I broke his.

My name is Meg Reid – Zac Rivers’ half sister. You may already know his story, and you may hate me for what I’ve done. But, that’s because you don’t understand. You only have one side.

This story is mine. It’s a tale of hurting the ones you love, and thinking it’s for the best. I wish things could have been different…

PREORDER LINKS 
AMAZON – http://mybook.to/HugoMeg

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/drawn-to-fight-hugo-meg/id958226357?mt=11

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drawn-to-fight-lilliana-anderson/1121082687?ean=2940046516234

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/drawn-to-fight-hugo-meg

ZAC & EVIE
If you’d like to find out Zac’s side of the story before you read Meg’s, you can get your copy via the links below

Amazon – http://mybook.to/zacevie

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/drawn-to-fight-zac-evie/id948766946?mt=11

SNEAK PEEK TIME!
(excuse any errors. This is unedited and could possibly change before release) —–>

Prologue

 

Meg

 

“Talk to me,” Hugo implored, his chest heaving as he stood in front of me, his emotions high, tension buzzing in the air as I stared into his ice blue eyes.

“I hate you,” I replied. “I love you.” My eyes stung, and when I licked my lips, all I could taste was salt from the torrents of tears I’d already shed.

“I have to do this, Meg. I can’t forfeit. That’s not the deal.”

“And I can’t stop what’s coming.” Folding my arms across my chest, I walked away from him. I didn’t want to talk about it.

He followed me and placed a strong hand on my slight shoulder. He was so gentle with me. No matter how he was feeling, he was always so gentle with me. It hurt my heart even more.

“If I don’t fight your brother, everything I’ve done – everything I’ve been working toward – fighting for – it’ll all be gone.”

“And if you do fight my brother, you’ll lose me for good.” I turned around and glared at him, showing him how much I understood. He gave me a pained look then ran his hand down the length of my hair.

“Now do you understand why we needed to wait?” he whispered, shaking slightly as he withdrew his hand and dropped it by his side. It’s then that I noticed the ring that was tied around his neck, attached by a leather cord.

Blinking back my tears, I reached and took it between my fingers, holding it between us, my breath unsteady as I squeezed my eyes shut tight. “What was the point of all this, Hugo? What were we even fighting for if you were just going to throw it all away?”

He looked down at the ring in my fingers and closed his hands over mine. “We were fighting for a chance.”

“And now we’re just fighting each other. What happened to us?”

He shook his head, his hand moving up to grip the back of his neck in frustration – a movement I’d come to know well in our time together. “I guess our timing was just wrong. Fate made us meet too soon.”

Pressing my lips into a straight line, I nodded. “I thought you didn’t believe in fate.”

Curving his lips in a sad smile, he reached behind his neck and untied the cord, letting it fall so that the ring was still in my hand. “With you in this world, I think I can believe in anything.”

I looked from the ring to him as he lowered his hand and pressed a kiss to my forehead before he stepped away.

“Take it,” he said. “It’s yours.”

The squeaking of brakes in the driveway caused me to lift my head, the crunch of gravel under tires let me know it was time to go. “That’s my ride,” I said, my voice almost a whisper as I reached down to pick up my bags.

“I wish you hadn’t done this.”

“I wish for a lot of things. But that was when I was a girl, and I still believed in magic. I’m not a little girl anymore, Hugo.”

“I know, Meg. I never thought you were.”

A buzzer sounded and I needed to go downstairs. He looked at me, his eyes flickering with a restrained panic.

“I have to go.”

“Meg…”

I paused and waited.

“The promise in your hand – it will always be true.”

Tears stung my eyes again and rising on my toes, I pressed my lips to his softly. “I never wanted a promise, Hugo. I only wanted you.”

Then I pressed the ring back into his hand and walked to the door. I placed my hand on the handle before turning back to him and giving his apartment one last look over. This was the place all my best memories were. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to.

I sniffed back a tear and forced a smile. “Hey. Maybe I’ll see you in school. You can get your job back now that I’m gone. You can teach again.” I knew it wasn’t possible, but pretending was what we did. It fit so well with all the secrets and the lies…

He nodded his head, his mouth open. He wanted to say something that could change what was happening, but he couldn’t. It was too late. We were already through. Fate was wrong to bring us together.

“Goodbye Hugo.”

“Goodbye Meg.”

When I left his apartment, I was driven away to an entirely new life. It wasn’t what I wanted, but someone had to put a stop to all the fighting and the secrets that were governing our lives and our decisions. Someone had to be the adult, even if it was a seventeen-year-old girl who took charge – going against the wishes of everyone else involved.

I didn’t do it for revenge.

You need to understand that. Everything was falling apart. I had to take a stand. Someone had to stand up and say that we were suffering. Someone had to save us from each other.

And, being that someone, it cost me everything…everything.

 

PART ONE

 

‘It is difficult to know at what moment love begins;

it is less difficult to know that it has begun.’

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

One

 

Meg

 

Falling for him wasn’t something I planned. In fact, it was entirely an accident that we were brought together – a literal accident. You see, shopping trolleys and car park aren’t exactly made for each other. Especially when said car park had a slight tilt to it, and the girl pushing the trolley was rail thin and not built for wrestling four uncooperative wheels over the tiny stones in the asphalt.

“Fucking, Zac.” I cursed my older half-brother under my breath as the one of the wheels jarred against a bump on the road. He was supposed to be doing the groceries. I was supposed to be at a friend’s house, swimming in their pool and enjoying just a moment of summer. But he’d gotten so badly beaten the Friday night before that his eye was swollen shut, and he couldn’t see to drive. That left me, a sixteen-year-old girl, to do the grocery shopping for our family of five kids abandoned by their parents. Well, there was almost one adult. Zac would soon be eighteen – not that it made much of a difference. If social services found out we didn’t have parental supervision, they’d put us all into foster care faster that you could list our short names. And that was our worst fear. We didn’t want to be separated. Zac insisted that no one would take on three primary school kids along with their sixteen-year-old sister. I’d be put in a group home. My three younger siblings would be split up and sent to whatever family could accommodate them, and Zac would be left alone, hating himself for not being able to keep us together. And Zac had suffered enough.

With a resounding sigh, I looked over the trolley full of food that we wouldn’t have been able to afford if Zac hadn’t fought as hard as he did. He did whatever he could to provide for us all and keep me in school. I felt guilty for being annoyed with him. He was trying his hardest – we all were.

I gave the trolley a shove with my hip to get it moving again.

“Holy shit!”

I shoved too hard, and it rolled out of my grasp then went hurtling toward the entry lane, bumping and bouncing along and picking up speed as though it was laughing at me for being unable to control it.

I ran after it. “Come back!” I yelled. I don’t know why I did that; it couldn’t hear me. But at the time, it seemed fitting, as it wouldn’t be long before it hit the street and then, well, it would all be ruined and Zac’s black eye would have been for nothing.

“No, no, no.” A blue sedan had turned into the drive, and I could see what was about to happen. In that moment I could actually peer into the future, and there was no way I was going to be able to stop it. Zac was going to kill me.

A screech of brakes. A crunch of metal. Shocked murmurs coming from people around me. I’d covered my eyes, not wanting to see, and when I peeked through my fingers the first thing I saw was a dark haired man standing at the slightly bent trolley while surveying the dent in his car. His hand was on the back of his neck, his arm muscular as it strained against the cotton of his dusty blue shirt. Milk dripped on the ground, leaving a massive white puddle that ran down to the gutter and took off toward the closest drain.

He turned to the side, looking around for the trolley’s owner. I lowered my hands and stepped forward, my heart thudding against my chest as I took in his features and prepared to meet my doom. He was beautiful. Ice blue eyes. Pitch black hair. A slight tan to his skin and a strong stubbled jaw. Pink lips… I noticed all this in seconds as his eyes met mine.

“Is this…yours?” He pointed to the trolley, and I saw that some of my groceries were on the hood of his car. I swallowed hard and nodded.

“I’m sorry. It slipped from my hands and…” I let the words trail off. “I’m sorry. I’ll fix it. I’ll…I’ll…” I shrugged my shoulders and bit my bottom lip. I didn’t know what to do. We couldn’t afford this. “I’m sorry,” I said again.

He stared at me for a long moment. Just enough for me to feel uncomfortable. I wondered if he would start yelling at me for being a ‘stupid girl’…

“I’m sorry.”

His eyes moved from my face, scanning the car park for a moment before he turned back to me. “Don’t worry about it,” he said with a sigh, surprising me with how calm he was being.

I stepped forward. “I should pay for the damage.” Don’t make me pay for the damage.

Reaching out, he picked up some of the loose groceries and returned them to the trolley. I moved quickly to help him. “There’s no serious damage. Just a few scratches,” he said softly as he pulled the trolley away from the side of his car and checked if it still worked.

My eyebrows shot up. “That’s not a scratch.” I pointed to the dent in the body of his car, just above the front wheel. A lot of the paint had been scratched off. He’d need to visit a panel beater to get it fixed.

“It’s entirely possible that was already there,” he said with a smile as he took hold of the trolley then looked around the car park again. “Which one is yours?”

“Excuse me?”

“Car. Which one is yours?”

Unsure of why he wanted to know, I pointed to the large family van that Zac had spent all of his savings on when our stepfather had taken off – mum had left long before for many selfish reasons…

He nodded and began to push the trolley toward it with great speed. Oh god, I thought. He’s going to dent the van to get back at me.

“What are you doing?” I demanded, rushing up beside him, a slight edge of panic in my voice.

Glancing at me, he smiled and I noticed that one tooth was the tiniest bit crooked. A tiny blip in his perfection. I suppose that’s when it happened – when I started to like him. I liked faults. I could understand faults. When you’re a sixteen, your faults are all you see – all you can focus on. Sometimes they were the only things that seemed real.

“I’m helping you,” he said, pushing the bowed trolley with ease until we reached the back of the van and stopped.

I looked over to where his car was still sitting near the entrance of the car park. There were cars swerving around it, their drivers yelling out mouthfuls of expletives – ‘fucking idiot’ being the most common of them. “Don’t you think you should move your car?”

With a non-committal shrug of his shoulders, he held out his hand to me and without thinking, I handed him the keys. Then he opened the boot and began to load the bags into the van.

“You work at a florist?” he asked as he slid the bags in place. I helped, working beside him while checking the damage our accident had done to the food. Most of it was all right.

“I um…” I started to respond with the truth. I started to tell him that I was still at school, that I was only a kid. But, there was something in the way he treated me, something in the way he looked at me. He thought I was older. He thought I was like him – a grown-up – one who could actually drive legally. I was still six months off turning seventeen and getting my license.

I glanced in the back of the van. There were large white buckets and blue crates, along with the distinct scent of mixed pollens and still water, a scent synonymous with florists everywhere. Zac worked for the florist. I was about to become a high school senior.

When I looked back at him, he was still smiling, tilting his head curiously as he waited for my answer.

I didn’t want to lie to him, so I settled for a slightly different version of the truth. “This is my housemate’s van.”

“Housemate? What’s that like?”

“It’s all right.”

“All right? What are you, still at Uni or something?”

I nodded. Now I was lying. Now the sun felt incredibly hot and I was starting to sweat. “I’d better get back inside. I need to buy milk again,” I said, trying to change the subject.

Reaching for the last bag, he looked inside then closed it again. “And eggs. These are destroyed.” He placed the bag back in the trolley then reached up and shut the back of the van.

“I really am very sorry about your car.”

He shook his head and leaned against the back of the van, his eyes squinting in the bright sun as he looked over to his sedan. “Don’t be. It’s a bomb.”

“I still wrecked it.”

“Nah. It’s not your fault. They need to fix the parking lot.”

“Move your fucking car!” A man hit his horn, the loud burst of noise causing me to jump and turn sharply toward the sound.

“I guess I’d better go. It was nice to meet you…?” He held out his hand for me to take.

“Meg,” I said, placing my small hand into his large palm. He closed his hand around mine. I didn’t want him to let go.

“Meg,” he repeated, his eyes travelling over my face as he completely ignored the continued yelling of the man in the four-wheel drive stuck behind his sedan. “I’m Hugo.”

We shook once. I smiled at him. He smiled at me. Then he let go and jogged back to his car. I wanted to go with him and tell him to drive away and never look back. The idea seemed so perfect to me at the time.

***

“That will be eight dollars and sixty cents,” the cashier told me after she’d scanned the milk and eggs. I counted out the cash and thanked her, and as I took my receipt and went to pick up my bag, I realised it wasn’t there anymore.

“Thought I should make sure these make it to your car safely this time,” Hugo said, that smile of his calling to me like a siren at sea. My heart soared. He was back. All at once, I wanted this man to see me as a woman. I wanted to be his equal. I wanted to feel like more than I was. I wanted to be different – someone else.

He seemed like the perfect escape. But, I wasn’t supposed to let anyone get too close…

“You don’t have to do that. I can manage.”

“I want to. Besides…” He reached into his pocket. “I still have these.” He handed me back my keys.

“Jesus. Thanks. I don’t know how I would have gotten home without them.”

“Your housemates would have gotten hungry and come looking for you,” he said. It was meant to reassure me, but instead I looked at him sharply, worried that perhaps I’d already been caught in this lie.

“I suppose.”

We walked along quietly until we were once again at the van.

“Listen, I feel really bad about your car.”

“I’m sure we can find a way for you to make it up to me,” he started before his face went bright red and he shook his head. “That came out completely wrong and sounded creepy. I don’t normally do this by the way.”

I smiled up at him; it was kind of interesting to watch a man becoming nervous in front of me. I only knew boys, and while I knew I should have just gotten into the van and left, I couldn’t help but stay standing in front of him, wanting more of this moment.

“What is it you’re doing?” I asked after a while.

“It probably doesn’t seem like it, but I’m trying to ask you if you want to go to dinner sometime.”

“OK.”

“OK?”

I nodded. “Ask me.”

A nervous laugh escaped his lips and his tongue snaked out to wet them. “Would you like to have dinner with me?”

“No,” I said immediately.

“No? Wha– Oh wow, that was embarrassing. Do you…do you have a boyfriend, or…Jesus, I should just shut up. I’m sorry.”

“Give me your phone,” I told him, holding out my hand as I watched him flounder, his face almost bright red. It was endearing to say the least.

He frowned. “Seriously?”

“I don’t have a boyfriend.” With a dubious expression, he handed me his phone and watched while I entered my number and saved it. “But maybe, if you call me at the right time, I might answer.”

“OK.” He said the word slowly and grinned as he took his phone when I handed it back to him. “Wait,” he said when I went to get in the van. I stopped and turned to face him with my head tilted in question. He aimed the camera at me and took a shot. “Now I won’t forget which one you are.”

Laughing, I took a step away from him. “I thought you said you didn’t do this all the time?”

“I don’t. That was just a shitty joke.”

I smiled and moved to the driver’s side of the car. “I’ll see you around, Hugo.”

“I hope so.”

Grinning, I shut the door and started the engine. He was leaning against the car parked beside me as I reversed out, and I waved to him as I left, struggling to wipe the cheesy grin from my face the whole way back home.

I knew I’d never be able to date him. For one, he was older, and two, we weren’t allowed to let anyone get close. But, I still liked him. I liked him a lot.

 

Two

 

Hugo

 

The sound of the rubber mallet hitting against metal echoed with a crack in the distance, momentarily obscuring the noisy chirp of the cicadas in the eucalyptus trees overhead.

Pete paused for a moment, wiping the back of his forearm across his sweaty forehead before he picked up his beer, kept cold in the heat with a stubby holder depicting the Australian flag, and took a thirsty swig. “Jesus, mate. I hope you at least got this girl’s number. She did a good job fucking up the side of your car.” He took another mouthful of beer then set it back on the sandstone rock beside him.

“Yeah, I got her number.” Although, I’m not going to tell him I already called her and didn’t get an answer. Twice. That was over a week ago. “Want me to take over?” It was thirty-eight in the shade. I was sweating buckets just standing still.

He shook his head. “Just keep the cold ones flowing and we’re good. I’ll be finished soon.”

Pete was a panel beater by trade. He did jobs for those he knew in exchange for a slab of beer. He was my older brother’s best mate, and because my brother and I were so close in age that we were enrolled in the same school year, Pete was my mate too. Although, I hadn’t seen a lot of him socially in the last six months, things had been awkward for everybody since then. But, we preferred not to talk about it. It was easier that way.

“Looks good to me,” he stated, turning the panel over and running his hand along the chipped paint. “I can put something on here to seal it, but we’ll have to paint it another day when I have the right colour.”

Helping him carry the panel back to my car, I held it while he fixed it in place. “Still looking after your mum?”

“I am, and she’s still consistently drunk and irritable,” I replied with a smile.

“So no change from normal then.”

“No. No change.”

“You’d think she’d change her tune without Donovan anymore.” Pushing himself off the ground, he stood and dusted himself off before looking up at the clear blue sky.

“I’m pretty sure she thinks Donovan is my fault too. She barely says a word to me when I go over there.”

“Then why do you?’

I shrug. “She’s the only family I have.”

He looked at me for a moment then nodded his head before looking up to the sky. “Fuck this weather, mate. Fuck summer.”

I leaned down and pulled a fresh beer from the ice in the Esky and handed it to him, taking another for myself. We twisted off the tops and tilted the bottles toward each other without actually clinking.

“Cheers, mate,” he said, tipping it back and draining the ice-cold liquid before letting out a loud ‘ah’ when he finished. Then he sniffed and looked at me. “You wanna go a few rounds with the bag for old time’s sake?” He motioned toward the house where he’d installed a gym in his spare room, when he, my brother and I started training together for the Londonderry fights. We were just kids then, and to us, Londonderry was the height of every wannabe fighter’s dream. Although we knew better now. Experience had taught us that they were a trap that sucked you in and never let you go.

“Maybe some other time,” I said.

***

In the early morning air, my feet pounded the concrete path as I wound my way through the mulberry bushes, the scent of their rotting fruit mixing the hot damp earth and polluted river invaded my nose. There had been a storm last night that broke the worst of the heat, although it swelled the river and caused it to collect debris from its banks. It made the churning water a muddy brown as it rushed to wherever it emptied out, eager to become the clearer steady flow it was only a day before.

While the temperature had lowered, the storm had caused a humidity that hung heavy in the air. It caused my shirt to stick to my body uncomfortably, and I stopped running, breathing heavy as I walked toward the water to stand under the shade of a maple tree. Reaching down, I peeled my shirt off and wiped it across my face, tucking it into the side of my black running shorts as I looked out at the water and watched it rush by. A blowfly attacked my face, hitting against it angrily as I swatted it away.

“Fuck off,” I growled, trying to actually hit it so it wouldn’t bother me again.

“They’re terrible after the rain,” a voice said from above me. I jerked my head up and frowned – surprised – taken aback. It was her. It was Meg. I was staring, my mouth open. The blowfly seized its opportunity at a new source of moisture, and I jerked my head away quickly, blowing a raspberry in disgust at almost swallowing the repugnant insect.

She was kind enough not to laugh, but when I looked up at her again, she was smiling at me. “Of all the trees along the river, you chose mine.”

“Yours? You climb up there often?”

She giggled. “I do. The view is better up here than it is down there.” She let out a sigh and looked out in front of her, her long slim leg bent at the knee, swinging, as she balanced on the wide branch with feline ease. “You should climb up and see.” She looked back down and met my eyes, her long white-blonde hair, hanging over her shoulder in a long ponytail. She had blue eyes, darker than mine. They reminded me of an angry sea and had featured quite heavily in my dreams of late.

Without hesitating, I climbed the tree and she slid along the branch to make room for me.

“See?” She tilted her chin upward, indicating the view of the blue sky with its cumulus clouds peeking between the green leaves of the canopy. I could see homes across the river. I could watch the cars on the other side, driving along River Road. I could see all the way to the freeway bridge and in the opposite direction, to the railway bridge. I could even see the pontoon where there were rowers lined up and getting out of their skulls. “I like to come here too for a change of perspective. You can see the beauty in the world when you aren’t smack in the middle of it.”

I turned to look back at her, absorbing her words, deciding in that moment that she was probably the best part of this entire view. “I’d like to paint it. Or at least photograph it.”

She shook her head. “Not me. Then I’d have to share it. I like having it all to myself.”

“You’re sharing it with me.”

A smile curved her pink soft looking lips. “That’s because I like you.”

I smiled in return. It’s funny how often you spend smiling at someone when you don’t really know them. There are so many things you want to say. So many questions you could ask, but instead, you smile, and hope they don’t see the secrets you’re hiding just behind the light of your eyes.

“I tried calling you,” I started, rubbing my palms together as I looked down at the ground below, littered with dead leaves and dark dirt.

“I know.”

“Twice.”

“Yes.”

“You didn’t call back.”

“I didn’t know what to say.”

We stared at each other, and without knowing much about her, I felt sure she was the most interesting person I’d ever met. There was something about her, something that made me want to learn all there was to know about her, while at the same time, I wanted nothing at all. It was like she was a moment in time, one I couldn’t quite grasp, but I wanted her just the same.

“Are you hungry?” I asked.

“I’m starving.”

“Come on then.” I pushed off from the branch and dropped to the ground, bending my knees softly to break the fall. She dropped next to me almost immediately, and stood there watching as I pulled my shirt back over my head.

“You have a nice body,” she stated, her tone serious, her expression even as if she was just rattling off a fact.

“So do you,” I returned, a smile curling at my lips from her compliment. I liked the way she looked at me. I liked the way I felt when I looked at her…

“So they tell me.”

I grinned fully. “I’m sure they do.”

Then she did that curious tilt of her head before she turned around and began to walk back toward the path. I followed, drawn to her side, and together we walked to where I’d parked my car, a gentle hum between our bodies where we almost touched.

“You fixed it.”

“A friend did.” I leaned in front of her and unlocked the passenger door, holding it open to let her in, hoping I didn’t smell too bad after running in the heat. She thanked me and I walked around to my side, starting the engine before driving us both to the nearest café.

We both ordered their big breakfast, an apple juice and coffee, and while we were waiting for our order we continued to make small talk, asking questions, learning answers.

“What are you studying?”

“I’d like to be a lab technician,” she said, twisting the saltshaker between her fingers.

“As in pharmaceuticals?”

“Yes. My brother seems to think I’m going to discover the cure to cancer or something.”

“Or the common cold. I hear they’re after a cure for that as well.”

She glanced up at me. There was that smile again. “What about you? Are you an artist or something?”

“I studied art, yes.”

“Studied? So you’re finished with school?”

I sat back in my chair. “For the most part, yes.”

The server brought over a tray with our drinks and placed them in front of us before returning to the counter and bringing out our meals.

“Smells wonderful,” she commented as she inhaled the scent of bacon, eggs, tomato and mushrooms with a wedge of buttered toast on the side.

My stomach grumbled in agreement and we both laughed, eating and chatting away with ease. I was leaning so much yet so little. I didn’t want it to end. But her phone rang, and without answering it, she simply looked at the screen and silenced the call before announcing that she had to go. She wasn’t even finished eating.

“Wait. Can I see you again?” I asked as she stood to leave.

She smiled again, her hands sliding into the back pockets of her jean shorts as she stopped beside me. Then without warning, she leaned down and she kissed me. It shocked me, and at first I didn’t respond. But that was a momentary pause before I reached up, my hands sliding along either side of her face, holding her steady as I entwined my lips and moved my tongue with hers, taking that first stomach flipping taste of her. Immediately I was addicted. I breathed in deeply, drawing her scent inside me, memorising her taste, my head spinning, my body feeling more alive than it had in months.

Regretfully, I released her, my eyes locked with hers as she pulled away, her cheeks pink, her blue eyes dark, her lips red. She was prettier than the most perfect oil painting.

“We’ll let fate decide,” she whispered.

“I don’t believe in fate.”

She shrugged. “You should. It led you to my tree.”

Then she turned away and left the café without even looking back, and I wondered if she was right. I wondered if fate really had intervened…

PREORDER LINKS 
AMAZON – http://mybook.to/HugoMeg

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/drawn-to-fight-hugo-meg/id958226357?mt=11

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drawn-to-fight-lilliana-anderson/1121082687?ean=2940046516234

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/drawn-to-fight-hugo-meg

 

Happy reading!

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47 Things is now available!

 

Wow. For a while there, I didn’t know if this book was going to make it out of my head. It’s been in there for so long and I really liked having these characters dancing about in my mind. But, now there out of my head and out in the big world of readers, who may, or may not love them as much as I have.

Our main man, Tyler, is that guy we all knew from high school – you know the one who seems like he’s got it all going on. He’s the guy who infuriates the hell out of you because it seems no matter what he does, everyone loves him. But, like many popular boys, he’s hiding something behind that million dollar smile…

Sarah is our narrator and of course, she’s Tyler’s love interest. They grew up in the same town and she was the girl who was smart and tough, and dreamt of bigger things than a country town could offer her. She was that girl, sitting there, looking at the popular kids and wondering what made them so darn special. She wasn’t blinded by the facade Tyler put up to the world, and as a result, she was the one person he could never win over. That is, until their final days of university when a stick of gum intervenes…

 

★* ღ 47 Things is LIVE!ღ*★ and it debuted at #2 overall on iBooks AU! So excited! Thanks to all who preordered.
And for a limited time, it’s only ‪#99cents‬!
So grab your copy now and be sure to grab a box of tissues. This one’s a tearjerker. heart emoticon

Here are you links –

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1SDcuWR
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1MJlE2k
Amazon AU – http://bit.ly/1HSUuT8
Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/1SDcF4q

 

Here’s the blurb –

“What’s your name, sweetheart?”….

That was the first thing. I wasn’t his sweetheart, and he should already have known my name. But that was the moment I became caught in Tyler Lohan’s sight. He was wonderful and complicated and I’d spent my life trying to hate him for being the golden boy who had everything easy. But once we gave in, there was no stopping what we had.

There would be a total of forty-seven things that sucked me into Tyler’s life then forced me away. Forty-seven things that ruined me forever.

Forty-seven was never going to be enough.
There was no number great enough…

47 Things. A standalone new adult romance that follows a couple as they come to terms with falling love in a world they can’t control, and the certainty of the inevitable.

 

Enjoy!

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Cover Reveal – DRAWN TO FIGHT: Zac & Evie by Lilliana Anderson

zac and evie website

 

It’s that time again! Here’s the official cover reveal for Lilliana Anderson’s Drawn to Fight: Zac & Evie, releasing on all platforms February 10th, 2015! Preorder via iBooks, B&N and Kobo. (Amazon live on release day)

Drawn to fight small

SYNOPSIS

New Adult romance, for 18+ only due to sexual content and adult themes

Drawn to Fight begins a new series in the world of the Drawn Series, following Redemption and featuring, Damien and Etta’s daughter, Evie, in her own coming of age drama filled with angst, love, passion, need, and a healthy dose of obsession.

Zac Rivers. A boy no one wanted to know. Always angry. Always fighting his way in and out of trouble. It was no surprise when he was expelled from school and never heard from again.

Until now.

I found him at the Londonderry Brawl, and I watched him fight like an animal. Strong. Controlled. But desperate. I sensed in him a purpose – a need to win – and I wanted to know what was so important to him. The way he fought was mesmerising, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Then, it was over, he’d won and I needed to leave. 

He didn’t want me to. 

When his lips met mine, somehow, he stole my heart, and in that moment, I knew my world was forever changed. I needed to know this boy. I needed to discover all there was to know about him or I’d never be able to breathe again. No one thinks we should be together. They say his bad news.

Well, people say I’m bad news too. 

Then, as fate would have it, I was forced to introduce him to my most fierce protector. A man whose past is riddled with secrets and mistakes; a man who fought his way from the darkness and into the light; a man called Damien – my father. 

My name is Yvonne Rhodes, although, you may prefer to call me Evie. I’m the eldest daughter of Damien and Henrietta Rhodes. Inside me, I have my mother’s sense, and my father’s passion.

This is Zac’s and my story. It’s about needing someone to the point of obsession. It’s about losing control, and finding a way to pick up the pieces when everything seems broken.

And it’s about love. One that’s so strong, nothing can stop it.

 

Interested? You can read CHAPTER ONE HERE, or if you like, you can preorder via the following links

iBooks – http://bit.ly/D2FZacEvie  ;

Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/DrawntoFightNOOK ;

Kobo – http://bit.ly/DrawntoFightKOBO

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 Website –  Blog  – Fan Page –  Facebook – Goodreads –  Twitter  – Newsletter – InstagramPinterest Tsū

 

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Merry Christmas! I have a surprise for you!

Merry Christmas to all! I can’t tell you how wonderful 2014 has been getting to know you all and interacting with you about life in general and of course, books!

Now, as a special treat for all those who were unable to get a copy of A Drawn Christmas because it wasn’t available on your platform, I have it for you here today! And to those of you who did buy a copy of the 12 Days of Christmas Anthology, I can’t thank you enough – your donation is going towards helping further cancer research at the American Cancer Society.

Without blabbing on further, here it is. Merry Christmas! I can’t wait to share Drawn to Fight with you early next year! You can find it on iBooks, Barnes&Noble & Kobo pre-release, and on Amazon Kindle on release day.

 

A Drawn Christmas

 

 

Chapter One

Damien

 

“Is that the last of it?” I ask, my hands on my hips as I survey the massive pile of presents under the tree for Henrietta and my four children, each of whom are currently tucked up in bed with smiles on their faces, excited for the sun to rise and announce the arrival of Christmas morning.

“Yep. That’s it. Santa Claus has done his job for this year,” Henrietta replies, kneeling beside me and arranging all the presents in order. She has this thing about each child getting exactly the same amount at the same time, so there aren’t any fights.

“There’s a lot here,” I comment, feeling pretty sure our lounge room is going to look like a toy store tomorrow morning.

The lights blink on the artificial tree. It’s covered in a mishmash of baubles and various homemade decorations that we’ve collected over the years. Beside it, the fan whirs from side to side in the hot room, blowing air across my bare chest. In Australia’s summer heat, I’m only wearing a pair of black shorts in an attempt to keep cool.

“Well, if you can’t spoil your kids at Christmas, when can you?” she replies, pushing up to her feet and sliding her arms around my waist. She rests her head against my chest, right where the tattoo of her name resides.

I drop a kiss on the top of her head and inhale the scent of her auburn hair. After almost seven years together, it’s still intoxicating to me. I remember thinking the scent was the shampoo she uses, but over the years, she’s changed brands and she still smells the same. Intoxicating. Mine.

“I’d like to spoil my wife for Christmas too,” I murmur, sliding my arms around her waist and slipping my fingers beneath her thin cotton tank top. Gently, I skim my touch over her skin, causing her to let out a gentle hum as she tilts her head upward, smiling at me with those gorgeous blue eyes of hers as she waits for me to take her with a kiss.

“In the bedroom, I hope,” she replies, as addicted to me as I am to her.

“In the shower, on the floor, in our bed, against the wall,” I grin, grazing my lips over hers.

“Well, pleasure is my favourite gift,” she smiles, pulling at my bottom lip with her teeth before slowly letting go.

“Then we better get started, it’s after midnight now. We have until the birds sing to make the most of our time. Merry Christmas, my beautiful wife.” I brush my lips along hers as my hands slide down her body to cup her arse and pull her against me.

“Merry Christmas,” she whispers in return, her voice laced with that need that always seems to exist between us.

I take her mouth in mine, my tongue gliding along hers as she lets out a light whimper as her hands slide up the skin of my back, her fingers pressing into my skin as our bodies align.

Feeling the heat of our arousal, and the heat of the room pressing around us, I slide my hands down lower and grip her thighs, lifting her off the ground and carrying her to our bedroom, kissing her the entire way.

This feeling between us, it never gets old, and it has never faded. I love kissing her. I love being with her. Every moment is as good as it was in the beginning. As I walk her into our ensuite bathroom and lower her to the ground, I drink in her beautiful face, my fingers travelling up her body lightly, as I drag her thin top off her body, revealing her beautiful naked chest.

Dropping her top on the floor, my eyes drink in her body. It’s perfect to me, even more so as every change and every line in her skin has been a result of her carrying and caring for our children.

Bringing my eyes back to hers, I reach out and turn our shower on, holding my hand beneath the cool water as I look down at her, taking in her silent beauty as she rests her hands against my chest, moving them gradually downward.

I grin at her when her fingers hook into the waistband of my shorts and pushes them down, kneeling as she lowers them and releases my throbbing cock.

She looks up at me with that cheeky grin she gets when she’s about to rock my world. “I hope you weren’t planning on getting an early night, my love,” she murmurs, before taking my cock in her hand and bringing it to her lips.

I let out a low moan as the warmth of her mouth surrounds my shaft, one hand reaching up to hold the frame of the open shower door, and the other sliding into her thick hair, holding onto her head as moves back and forth, licking and sucking, swirling around my tip, devouring my cock with a fervent hunger.

The sensation causes me to me to groan. “Holy fuck, you’re amazing,” I say, as she expertly brings me closer and closer to climax.

But I’m not ready. I don’t want to come in her mouth. I want to come inside her.

 

Henrietta

 

Drawing his long hard shaft as deep inside my mouth as I can, I taste his arousal. It’s a sign that he’s close to climaxing. My core clenches at the thought of him erupting so soon. I become greedy, sucking just a little harder as I reach up and massage the underside of his shaft with my hand, stroking him with my thumb, licking him with my tongue. He’s so close, I can feel the throb.

“Henrietta,” he moans, both of his hands now gripping my hair as he pulls me upward. I whimper, missing his cock in my mouth already. But, my body comes alive as he devours my mouth with a soul-searing kiss before he growls, “I need to be inside you.” His voice is like an erotic hum that rolls through my body, igniting my desire even further.

Working together, we push my pants and underwear down, leaving it on the floor as we step together into the cool running water of the shower. It hits our heated skin, feeling like heaven as he lifts me up and with one swift movement and drives himself into me.

My arms wrap around his neck, my fingers curling through his dark hair, as his hazel eyes lock with mine and his hips thrust. His shaft glides against my walls, filling me with his size, driving me wild as his pelvis hits against my clit.

We watch each other, the ecstasy in our gaze adding to our arousal as we drive toward a combined orgasm. Erupting, my body quakes as I grip around him, letting out a low moan as he takes my mouth in his and spills himself inside me.

“God, I love you so fucking much, Henrietta,” he moans, lifting me off the wall and holding me under the jet of water so it hits my back and cools me.

“I know,” I whisper. “And I love you too. Always.”

Lowering me to the floor, he cleans between my legs before shutting off the water and lifting me up again, cradling me in his arms.

The heat in our room is stifling. So, without drying off, he lays me on the bed and switches on the fan. The air flow flutters over my skin, causing the cool beads of water to chill, giving me goose bumps as he holds himself above me.

“Things are about to get a hell of a lot hotter in here,” he says, dipping his head to take my nipple in his mouth. A hard suck and a nibble before he does the same to the other one, then kisses his way down my stomach.

“Are you ready to come again?” he asks, sliding his hands down my thighs, then pressing at my knees, pushing my legs apart so he can look at my core.

“Always for you.”

Grinning, he positions himself between my thighs and tastes me. His tongue is gentle in its exploration and he moans softly. It’s as if this is the first time he’s done this as opposed to being a time in the thousands.

Damien has been my lover since I was eighteen. And despite a three year gap in what many would call our ‘toxic’ relationship, we have loved each other fiercely, consumed by our need from the moment we met.

It would seem ridiculous to most, and I can understand that they don’t get it. They don’t get what it is that’s between us. It’s crazy, it’s beautiful and it’s scary, all at the same time.

But we love each other intensely, and after getting married a little over six years ago, we’ve never once regretted fighting for each other.

Two fingers slip inside my entrance, teasing me with their gentle probing as his tongue swirls around my still sensitive clit. “Oh yes,” I gasp.

“You like that?” he whispers, even though he knows exactly what I like. We enjoy the back and forth, talking through our pleasure, connecting completely with each other.

“I do. I want more.”

He slides his fingers inside me, twisting them around as he slowly pulses back and forth. “More?” he asks.

“More.”

He inserts another finger, filling me further, massaging my depths. I moan, tilting my hips and rocking along with his motion, enjoying the sensation of my walls stretching around him. “More?”

“More,” I urge, gasping as his fingers delve inside me, the slick sound of my arousal coating him as he stretches me.

“Mmmmmm,” he murmurs, looking down as he watches his fingers slide in and out of me. “So wet for me. And your taste,” he dips his head and slides his tongue around the edge of my entrance as his fingers continue to move. “Is sublime.”

Then, sliding his tongue upwards, he sucks back on my bundle of nerves. Hard. And his teeth graze over my most sensitive spot.

With his fingers curled inside, pressing against my G spot and his mouth cupped around my clit, he moans, the vibration sending me over the edge, spiralling out of control.

I grab his hair, my hips bucking up beneath him, my thighs closing around his ears as I stifle my yell, keeping it at a low moan.

“Oh Damien!”

With strong hands, he grips my hips and flips me onto my stomach, parting my legs. And with one skillful motion, he drives his thick cock into my ready and dripping core.

The angle and the pressure cause me to cry out in ecstasy, sending me spiralling towards yet another orgasm.

“God, you’re so fucking tight like this,” he groans. His voice strains as he drives his cock forward, hitting my insides, while creating a pressure that tips me over the edge yet again. He shudders within me, coming hard as he moans my name.

Dropping his head, he kisses me between my shoulder blades then on the back of my neck. I turn my head and he presses a kiss to the side of my mouth, withdrawing from me as I turn beneath him. He then replaces his cock inside me as soon as we’re face to face again. My arms slide around his neck and our mouths meet, our tongues sharing our tastes.

This time, the build-up is slow as we lose ourselves in the ecstasy that we share in our own private cocoon of love. A place where only we exist. My legs wrap around him and he moves inside me, his pace languid as we kiss and make slow, sensual love that lasts for a glorious amount of time.

And when we finally shudder together, our bodies now tired and sated, we whisper about our love and our dying devotion. We are each other’s world and not one of us exists without the other.

Our everything…

After cleaning us up, Damien returns to the bed, lying next to me in all his tattooed and naked glory. His eyes meet mine as the fan breezes over our warm bodies, twisting its head from side to side to move the humid air around the small space of our room.

“I think that next year, we should ask Santa for some air conditioning,” I suggest with a smile, placing my hand on his stomach then skimming my fingers upward over the contours of his muscled physique. My giant of a man. So beautiful to me.

“Then I won’t have an excuse to get you all hot and sweaty so I can shower you off,” he grins, his eyes travelling down the length of my body as I lay beside him, unabashedly naked.

“I actually have something else for you for Christmas. Well, besides a non-stop sex marathon,” I smile, tracing my fingertips over the Viper tattoo that coils around his right bicep and shoulder.

It used to be the only tattoo on his arm when we were first married. But as his career as a tattoo artist took off, he added to his body art. Now, his entire right arm is covered in various animals and symbols that represent his struggle with his bipolar disorder, as well as his journey to me, and the love of our small family.

Balancing Damien’s medication is still something we have to be careful of. And I need to keep a close eye on him for any manic symptoms. But over the years, with careful consideration we’ve been episode free. And we hope to keep things that way. Neither Damien nor I, want things to go back the way they were at the beginning when we lost control.

Rolling over, I reach under the bed and pull out a box then lift it onto the bed and place between us on the mattress.

“Merry Christmas, Damien,” I grin, excited to have found something I’m sure he’ll love.

“Do I open it now?” he asks, his eyes shining brightly as his hands move slowly, reverently, over the festive paper.

Damien is a man who is always so focused on providing for, and doing for our family that he has trouble receiving gifts. That’s why I try so hard to find things he’ll love. I understand how much he cherishes every loving gesture between us.

“Please. I really think you’ll like this one.”

Meeting my eyes, he leans forward and presses his lips to mine.

“I love everything you ever give me, just because it’s from you,” he murmurs.

Then I watch the ripple of his stomach muscles as he sits up and faces me.

Damien

 

Lying beside me, her head propped up by her elbow and hand, Henrietta watches me expectantly as she waits for me to open her gift.

Slipping my fingers under the paper, I pause, looking at her with a smile. My gazes drifts over her body, taking in her naked length. She’s like an Amazon queen, tall, strong and proud. She’s been the glue in my life since I met her, and I cherish every moment we have together.

Looking at her, my cock stirs, and I drag my eyes away from her body and focus on unwrapping the gift.

“You really didn’t have to do this. You know that spending time with you is the only gift I’ll ever need.”

“Just open the damn present,” she laughs. “We go through this every year. Just open it. I saw it, and I thought of you.”

Every year, we promise not to get each other a gift because essentially, being together after all we went through, is enough of a gift for the both of us.

There aren’t many women who would stand by a man with a criminal record and a mental disorder. But, Henrietta could always see my heart, and as confusing as our draw to each other was in the beginning, she was the only reason I got better. The reason why I finally dragged myself out of the pit of darkness I was in and accepted help. She’s been like an angel of light, guiding me in my darkest moments. Knowing her gave my dead soul life. That’s the only gift I will ever need in this world.

“Open it!” she urges.

I smile and pop the tape, carefully pulling off the paper to reveal a white cardboard box, the size of an old-style photo album.

Glancing at her, I can’t help but enjoy the eagerness in her eyes, as she watches me lift the lid to reveal a leather bound sketchbook. On the cover is a metal snake, embedded in the leather and shaped in an infinity symbol, with the snake’s mouth holding its tail.

I run my fingers over it, inhaling the scent of new leather as I study the intricacies of the snake’s design.

“I was at the markets and I saw this. The snake, of course, reminded me of your tattoo and your strength of mind. And the infinity symbol, well, that’s for us, because we’re forever,” she explains.

“It’s perfect,” I whisper. “Thank you.” Leaning forward, I press a grateful kiss against her lips before pulling away and smiling.

“Actually, my gift to you is artistic in nature also.”

“Really? I’m intrigued,” she smiles.

Leaning forward, I kiss her again. “Good. I’m building the suspense,” I say, as I get off the bed and open the top drawer of our dresser where I keep my drawing supplies. Then, finding what I need, I turn around.

“But first, I need to christen this new gift.”

Raising her brow she shifts her blue eyes to my hands that are now holding graphite pencils. “Stay exactly where you are,” I tell her, taking a seat at the end of the bed and opening the thick sketchbook. “I want the very first sketch to be of your beautiful sated body.”

“Sated?” she teases, holding her pose as I begin my sketch. “We’ve been married almost seven years, and there hasn’t been a moment when I didn’t want to. I will never be sated with you–pleasured, happy, loved. Those are all things I am, but I will never ever have had enough of you to consider my desire sated. You, Damien Rhodes, are my drug of choice, and I will be addicted to you for all of eternity.”

Pausing my sketch, I still my pencil and I glance up at her, meeting her eyes with mine. “I hope so, Henrietta. I hope that we’re still doing exactly this when we’re ninety and wrinkled but still desperately in love.”

She laughs, her breasts bouncing lightly with her joy as she imagines us doing just that. “Oh, I sincerely hope so, Damien.”

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Henrietta

 

 

 

“There,” he says, rubbing his finger over the page one last time before he places his pencil between his teeth. Then he turns the book for me to see the sketch he’s now finished.

Pulling my lip between my teeth, I look at the drawing and grin, rolling onto my knees and scooting down the bed to take a closer look.

I sit behind him, sliding my arm across his broad back as I thread my fingers into his dark hair and peer over his shoulder to admire his work.

As always, it’s picture perfect. In it, I’m lying on my side, a coy smile on my face not unlike the Mona Lisa’s, as I watch him concentrate on capturing my curves.

“You know, I always critique everything I draw harshly. But each time I draw you, I see nothing but perfection.”

“It’s beautiful,” I whisper, pressing a kiss in the curve of his neck. “I love seeing myself through your eyes.”

“This isn’t what you see in the mirror?” he asks, narrowing his eye a little. We’ve been through something like this before.

“It is, and it isn’t. I think I’m beautiful through your eyes. But I still critique myself like any other woman out there does. You don’t see the same imperfections I do.”

Setting the book and pencil aside, he turns to me, his hand sliding up to cup the side of my face as he studies my features.

“We all have imperfections, Henrietta. What I see when I look at you is the beauty of your face, your body and your soul. And that’s what comes out in my drawings of you.”

“See,” I smile. “I like the way you see me. It’s special. You’re special.”

I slide my leg over his waist, and my hands travel across his broad chest and up his neck, blazing the trail for my fingertips to brush over the rough stubble on his cheeks. Slowly, I move over to feel the softness of his full lips, and I study this beautiful man beneath me, thanking my lucky stars that he’s in my life.

I think back, remembering the day I met him, an accidental knock on a door that put me in this path and cemented our destinies.

“What’s going on in that head of yours?” he asks.

“Oh, I was just thinking about how I met you, and then that first night I spent with you after I’d drank too much and caught you street fighting. You were a bad boy, Mr Rhodes,” I whisper, rolling my lips slightly against his already firm cock.

“A bad boy who had eyes only for you.”

“You were something special then. I knew it straight away. I still feel that loss of those three years. I regret leaving you the way I did.”

He tightens his arms around my waist and slides his fingers through the ends of my long red hair, twirling it about his fingers as he shifts his hips upward.

“No regrets, Henrietta. We were young, and what we had was too intense for us to understand. If I hadn’t made the mistakes I did, I wouldn’t have gone to prison and I wouldn’t have gotten the help I needed. In the end, the time apart made sure we knew what we wanted and could handle what was to come. All that matters is now. And right now,” he says, his hand sliding down to grip my hips, “I want to be inside you, enjoying your body as I bring you pleasure.”

Lifting me up slightly, he shifts his hips, his cock standing proudly between us as he lowers me down, impaling me with his shaft, causing me to gasp as he fills me entirely.

“Ohhhh,” I moan, my body shuddering with a gentle pleasure as I begin to move up and down his rod. “I like the way you think,” I whisper, bringing my mouth to his, sucking his lips, licking his tongue, his teeth, the roof of his mouth. I love the way he tastes and the feeling I get when we’re completely entwined.

If the world were to ever end, I’d want to be in his arms, with him inside me, kissing me, when we went out.

“I like the way you feel,” he murmurs, tilting his hips up to push deeper inside. I gasp.

“I love the way you feel inside me,” I whisper in return, kissing him, pushing through my thighs and experiencing every inch of his impressive cock as I draw it inside me.

Being over six foot myself, I had never imagined that I’d find a man who could make me feel protected the way that Damien does. I’m tall, I’m strong and I’ve trained in Aikido since I was a child. I’ve always felt that I would be the one to take care of me. That I’d be independent and not need a man for anything. Then I met Damien and realised how wrong I was.

I need him. He’s so large that he dwarfs me with his size and he’s far more trained in Aikido than I’ll ever be. He was high level when I met him, and while he hasn’t gone back to competing, he has returned to training and has begun to help my father, teaching at my family’s gym. It helps to keep him fit and strong while he keeps his gorgeous body maintained and in peak condition.

A man like Damien, commands respects wherever he goes. Not only is his physique imposing, but he also has this air about him that causes those around him to feel a need to follow his lead. He’s a natural protector and where his family is concerned, he is the lion, strong, brave and fierce. His entire focus is governed by his need to protect and provide for his pride – myself and our four children.

He is a natural father, firm and capable with the children. Patient in his guidance. He cares for us as a father and husband should. I’ve never known a man so unselfish and devoted.

When the children are in bed, it’s time for his focus to shift to me. As much as we love losing ourselves in each other’s bodies, there are many nights where we simply just enjoy each other’s company, whether it be reading, creating, watching, talking – we do all the regular things couples do. But there isn’t a day or a moment when I don’t feel completely loved and worshipped by him. And I know he feels the same way.

I move my hands to his face, pulling back a little as I take him deep inside me and grind myself at the base of his cock. Squeezing my internal muscles, I grip him tightly as his impressive appendage delves deep, pressing against my erogenous zones as I study the beauty in his face and connect to his soul through my heart and his light eyes.

I whisper to him, private things, about love and what his body does to me. He responds by grinning then gripping my thighs, pulling back and flipping us so that he’s on top. He holds my thighs in the crook of his arms and drives into me, his speed increasing as I let out a groan, my mind reeling from the pleasure.

“And what does this do to you?” he asks, his skillful hips pumping into me, slapping our bodies together. I’m ready to explode.

“It makes me… Oh God, Damien, it’s making me come!” My eyes close and my mouth opens as I focus on the tight coil of feeling, unfurling inside of me.

“My eyes, Henrietta,” he reminds me. “I need to see you come.”

“Oh!” I moan, opening my eyes and locking them with his. As my face freezes in ecstasy, my body floods with endorphins. I come even harder than before.

At the same time, I see his face change and his cock pulse inside me as he shoots his hot come into my depths, pushing forward one last time and holding us together firmly. We’re connected, our eyes locked, caught together in a moment of pure bliss.

Lowering my legs so they wrap around his waist, he lightly traces his fingertips over my thighs. It sends a shiver through me that causes my already hard nipples to peak and tingle.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous. I will never grow tired of watching you come,” he murmurs, leaning over me, his cock still hard inside my body.

“I hope not. We’ve got a long life ahead of us, buddy,” I smile, wrapping my hands around the bulging muscles in his upper arms. He watches me adoringly and begins to move slowly inside me again, the last waves of our orgasms still present in our bodies, our bliss continuing.

 

Damien

 

If I had to count the number of times I’ve made love to my wife, I’d struggle to come up with a number. Over the years we’ve easily made it to the thousands and each time has been amazing and unparalleled by any other.

Before Henrietta, I had never made love. I’d been with numerous women, though we’d always fucked. There was never this deep soul connection that I have with the woman I’m moving inside right now.

When I first met Henrietta, my soul came to life, and I knew I wouldn’t be complete without her. Just knowing her meant that I couldn’t look at another woman. It felt wrong. My body and my mind was only interested in my Amazon woman with her flaming red hair.

I’m still inside her, the last of our shudders dying down as she grips me hard with her amazing cunt. I press my lips to hers.

“It is so fucking hot tonight,” I comment, both of our bodies coated in a sheen of sweat from the oppressive heat.

Looking up at me, she smiles, running her fingernails up and down my back, scraping at my skin, sending shivers down my spine. “You’re so fucking hot tonight,” she comments as she grips me internally one last time.

I grin back at her, leaning down to kiss her again, luxuriating in her mouth, and her soft tongue as it glides against mine.

“Take me for another shower and we can cool down. Maybe we can even get a couple of hours sleep before the kids wake us up for presents,” she suggests.

“All right,” I say, pulling her up to carry her to the bathroom. “And after sleep, I get to give you your gift.”

“I can’t wait,” she whispers, laying her head against my chest. The action swells my heart with love for her as she allows me to reverently care for her body and dress her for bed.

Most people would find our ritual strange, but our relationship works because I take pleasure in catering to her needs and caring for her. Of course she still does many things for herself, but I see her surrender to my loving help as her ultimate trust. She knows I need this. She knows I need to be here for her. She knows I need to care for her.

After slipping a thin cotton nightgown over her head, I carry her to our bed then dress myself in a pair of boxers. They’re black, because it’s really the only colour I wear. Whereas Henrietta’s nightgown is white. She is my perfect opposite.

I slide in the bed beside her between the cotton sheets, wrapping my arm around her and pulling her tightly against me despite the heat. I inhale her fresh clean scent, soothing and erotic all at the same time, and press my lips to her pale skin.

“Good night, beautiful. Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas, Damien,” she returns, her voice soft and relaxed–ready for sleep.

Chapter Three

 

Henrietta

 

“Santa Claus was here! Santa was here!” The children chorus as they burst into our room and jump on our bed.

“What? Today? But it isn’t even Christmas!” Damien jokes.

“It is daddy!” our three-year-old, Keith, yells, a huge smile on his face as he jumps up and down, his dark curls bouncing about his head like springs as he does. He looks so like his father with hazel eyes and full lips just like Damien. The other children have a good mix of both of us. Evie, our oldest at nine, has my blue eyes and her father’s dark hair with my pale complexion. She will be a true beauty one day. I can already see it in her.

Rose, our second child who is five, has red hair like me, my complexion to go with it, as well as her father’s eyes and his full mouth. Then there’s Craig, who is already a heartbreaker at four. His hair is dark like his father’s but straight like mine. He has his own eyes, a rare genetic mix that has seen him get blue eyes with flecks of hazel. It’s as if someone took Damien’s and my eye colours, put them in a jar and shook them together really hard. The resulting mixture is what was then poured out to create our son’s eyes.

“No,” Damien says, drawing out the word as he clicks our children in his arms. “Christmas isn’t for two more weeks. You’re all mistaken.”

“Daddy, stop!” Evie laughs. “We already saw all the presents and I know what the date is. We’ve been counting down since December first.”

“You, my dear girl, are far too smart for me. It’s genetics. You’re smart, just like your mother.” He releases the children and slides out of bed. “All right, show me this mystical mountain of presents.”

“You come too, mummy!” Craig says, pulling at my arm. I roll my tired body out of bed and go with them, grabbing my phone on the way to take photographs.

“Say ‘Merry Christmas’, kids” I say, holding out my phone to snap a shot of their happy faces as they surround the Christmas tree.

“Merry Christmas!” they yell as I tap the screen and capture their youthful joy.

From behind me, Damien slides his hands around my waist and hugs me to his chest. “Merry Christmas, Mrs Rhodes,” he whispers, his voice like a soft blanket wrapping around my shoulders in the cool air of the morning.

“I’m surprised they slept in until 7:30,” I say, leaning against him as I take a few other photos of the kids inspecting their presents.

“They’ve been tired from the heat,” he muses, pressing a light kiss to the curve of my neck as he comments that my last photo was a good shot of the kids.

“Well, they’ll be thoroughly exhausted after the beach today. Are we picking up mum and dad or are we meeting them there?” I ask, knowing that Damien had trained with my father at the Aikido gym last night.

“We’re picking them up on the way through. Parking will be hard enough with only one car.”

“Good idea,” I say, turning in his arms to press a kiss to his lips. “Oh, nice hat.” I smile, reaching up to tap on the ball at the end of his hat.

“Tis the season,” he says with a wink, just as Rose rushes over to grab him by the hand.

“Come on! You have to play Santa, daddy!” she squeals, dragging him toward the tree as I take more photos with my phone.

“Okay, okay!” he laughs. “But first, I think mummy should get her present. Then, we can see how much coal and potatoes Santa gave to you little monsters,” he teases.

“We didn’t get coal and potatoes,” Evie argues with a smile. “That’s only for the naughty kids, and we’re very good.”

I have to laugh, knowing that Evie will never be one to have the wool pulled over her eyes.

“You’re so right, Evelyn. You are all perfect little angels,” Damien laughs, roughing up Evie’s curls as he walks toward the Christmas tree. “But I still think mummy should go first, yeah?”

“Yes,” she agrees, looking at me with a loving smile that touches my heart.

“What is it?” Keith asks as Damien slides a large wrapped rectangle out from behind the couch. It’s at least a metre and a half wide and a metre tall.

“Wow, what have you been up to?” I ask, giving him a slightly suspicious look.

He grins, and responds as if he’s reading my mind. “It’s kid friendly. I assure you. Open it.”

Picking up my phone, Evie holds it up to take pictures of me as she mimics Damien’s words, “Open it.”

Tearing the paper right down the centre with my finger, I’m treated to my first sight of what I already guessed was a painting. But it’s a painting like no other I have seen Damien do. I’ve only ever seen his abstract and boudoir paintings, but this one looks almost ethereal.

“Wow,” I say, sliding the last of the paper off and taking in the work of art that must have taken months for Damien to complete.

“Do you like it?” his deep voice rumbles eagerly.

I meet his eyes for a moment before I return to the painting. “Like it? Damien, this is magnificent. You really should be in a gallery.” I respond, in awe of his precious talent.

“What is it?” Craig asks, and I turn the painting around to show everyone.

“It’s us!” Rose gasps.

“It is,” I smile, admiring the image that shows me and the children, sitting in a field of wildflowers. The girls and I are making chains of flowers, and the boys are chasing colourful dragonflies around us. It looks so real that I feel like I could reach in and touch it all, smell the flowers and run my fingers through the tall grass. But it also has this beautiful dreamlike quality that speaks of love and perfection.

“I love it,” I breathe, moving to hug and kiss Damien and to thank him for something so wonderful.

“I love you,” he murmurs, kissing me softly as we stay together in the middle of the room.

“Do you think we could have our presents now?” Craig asks, grown tired of waiting.

Pulling back, Damien gives me a wink and moves to lift the first present from under the tree. Then Evie returns my phone to me, before eagerly sitting down. And I once again take photos, watching our children open gift after gift as they squeal happily, getting lost in the fun that is Christmas when you’re a kid.

Damien

After giving the kids time to play with their toys, we get in the car with a picnic lunch in the boot, and drive to Henrietta’s parents, Barry and Jan to pick them up. We exchange gifts with them and then load into the van to drive through the city towards Bondi Beach.

Finding a parking spot, we gather the children and our supplies as we head to the beach and stake out somewhere to sit. It’s at that point we run through the safety rules with the children so they don’t get lost on the crowded beach.

Another family sets up not far from us with two small children and another on the way. Craig makes a comment about the massive tattoo of a phoenix on the woman’s back. “Did you make that tattoo, daddy?” he asks at the top of his voice, pointing at her and attracting her attention. She turns and smiles, pushing her thick dark curly hair out of her catlike eyes appearing amused by my son’s loud comment.

I turn my attention back to my son. “No, Buddy. There are lots of tattoo artists around.” I tell him, before redirecting his attention toward where Henrietta and her mother are sitting under our shade umbrellas, reapplying sunscreen to all the children before they are allowed in the water.

All of them are wonderful swimmers. They’ve been having lessons since they were babies, and they spend a lot of time in the pool at the grandparents’ house. But we keep reiterating that they must stay with an adult at all times and stay between the safety flags. There is a very strong rip at Bondi that can pull even the strongest swimmers out to sea.

Henrietta stands up, almost ready to take the children to the water, and I watch her as she reaches down and pulls off her colourful kaftan then begins to reapply her own sunscreen.

My jaw hangs open as I see the swimsuit she is wearing, or, more correctly — not wearing. Then I march over to her.

“What the hell is this?” I hiss in her ear as I pull the strap of her bikini and glance around, noticing more than a few men giving my wife’s body an appreciative glance.

“My swimsuit?” she responds slowly, as if it’s a question because she’s not sure what my problem is.

“No. That is not a swimsuit. It’s three triangles and some string,” I state, my eyes bulging as I look down at her body, at her smooth muscular stomach and the exposed tattoo on her side. She may as well be naked.

“What’s wrong? You don’t like people seeing your artwork? I thought you’d be pleased that I want to show it off.”

I grit my teeth as she proudly turns to the side and curls her body so I can get a better view of the artwork that adorns her left side, starting just below her shoulder and stretching down to her hip. This one I designed myself. Its shows two swallows, flying free from their gilded cage to join with four smaller swallows. It represents our journey to each other and with each child I’ve added a new bird.

“You don’t need to show everything with it. This suit doesn’t exactly leave much to the imagination now does it?”

She places her hands on her hips and gives me that look that all redheads are known for. A look that says she won’t back down. “If you’re allowed to show off your abs, then I’m allowed to show off mine. What would you have me do, Damien? Put my kaftan back on and wrap myself in a towel so no one can see me?” she demands. “What about you? You’re standing there, looking like Christmas dinner to every woman with a set of eyes on this beach. Do you see me complaining about it? Or, do you see me feeling secure in the knowledge that the hottest guy on the beach is mine and mine only?”

“You look like a walking wet dream,” I argue.

“And you look like a sex god.”

“I don’t like other men ogling my woman.”

“They may look but only you get to touch. I deal with women drooling over you, so you can deal with the one or two guys who will notice me.” She leans in close to my ear. “Besides, you’re the one who gets to take me home tonight and tear off these little triangles.”

“Don’t give me a hard on at the beach, Henrietta. I’m already sporting a semi over your lack of a swimming costume.”

“Do you think that maybe that was my goal—to give my husband a nice view for the day?”

“Hmmmm,” I growl, slightly. “A little too nice. But I’ll deal with it. Just prepare for me to claim you pretty hard tonight.”

She steps away and grins at me. “I’m counting on it,” she says, as she walks over to where her mum is waiting with the kids, building sand castles in the sun.

 

 

Chapter 4

 

Henrietta

 

After spending the day in the surf and the sun with my parents and our children, we pack up the van and set out on the ninety minute drive back home.

“Bring the kids in. We can all have a light dinner together, and they can cool down in the pool again before you head back home,” my mother suggests when we pull into their driveway.

“I don’t know why we couldn’t have a bloody pool party for Christmas instead of trekking all the way to blasted Bondi,” my father grumbles, as he climbs out of our van then stretches his long limbs, his back cracking audibly as he twists at the waist.

“Aw, come on, dad. Going to the beach on Christmas day is the Aussie thing to do. The kids got to play with other kids and jump in the surf and bury each other in the sand. You don’t get that experience in a backyard pool.” I respond, helping all the children, who are now excited to go swimming, to get out of the van.

“Backyard barbecues and Aussie way of life too, you know,” he responds.

“Quit it, Barry. You had a great time today. He’s grumpy from the car ride. Like a petulant three-year-old child sometimes,” my mother teases, before my dad wraps his arms around her, pulling her into a bear hug to growl out something about showing her how petulant he can be. She ends up laughing and slapping his big chest before he lets her go, his eyes twinkling with mischief as they return their attention to us.

“We can leave you two alone if you like,” Damien comments, with a grin as he carries a fairly tired three-year-old on his side.

“I aanna swim!” Keith whines as he leans against Damien’s shoulder.

“And a swim is what you’ll get, little man,” my dad booms, taking Keith from Damien’s arms and carrying him like he’s an aeroplane around the side of the house to access the pool out back.

The other three children chase them excitedly and Damien follows, yelling about throwing them into the water.

“They don’t run out of energy do they?” mum muses as we follow them around. “The little ones had a tiny nap in the car and now they’re all good to go.”

I laugh. “They’ll crash the moment the sun goes down, I think.”

“At least it will be cool tonight. We’re supposed to get a cool change and a thunderstorm in the next few hours.”

“I can’t wait. It was so stifling last night… Oh god, what are they doing?” I ask, as we round the corner and find my dad and Damien throwing the children up in the air while they squeal with joy and vie to be the one who gets the next turn.

“Peas in a pod those two,” mum comments, her eyes soft and loving as she watches Dad and Damien with the children.

“They sure are,” I smile, taking a moment to watch the only two men I’ve ever fully loved, before following mum into the house where we prepare a basic meal of cold sliced meat and salad for dinner. We carry it outside, and set it out on the outdoor table.

“Feel that?” my mother asks, tilting her head up to the sky as she allows the light breeze to flow over her skin. “It’s coming.”

I pause, feeling the cool wind whisper over my hot skin and I inhale, smelling the cool moisture in the air that signals the heat breaking.

“I can’t wait,” I smile, always loving that moment of cool when the heat feels like it will go on forever. I inhale the air one last time before heading to the pool with mum to help collect the children and the men for dinner.

We all settle in around the large tempered glass table and share our meal. Dad finds a packet of Christmas bonbons and we all take turns cracking them open to see what’s inside before putting on our paper hats and listening while the adults read the silly jokes and the children laugh hysterically.

Slowly, the sun goes down and the air cools further, prompting us all to move inside just as a distant rumble of thunder is heard above us.

We bathe the children and get them in their pyjamas. We keep a set for them at mum and dads for evenings such as this. Then they settle in on the couch with their grandparents while watching Elf on TV.

“Why don’t you two spend some quiet time alone? The kids are happy. We’ll finish watching the movie and they can have a Christmas sleepover in your old room, Etta.”

“Yeah!” The kids agree, Evie and Rose pumping their fists into the air.

“Well, when you put it like that how can we say no,” Damien smiles, walking over to the couch and pressing a kiss to each child’s head.

I do the same, hugging and kissing my parents as I do.

“Thanks for today and Merry Christmas,” I call, blowing kisses and waving as we’re wished happy Christmas as well and head outside to make our way home, promising to see them all in the morning.

“The whole night to ourselves. What are we going to do with all that time?” Damien grins as he kisses me before we climb into the car.

“I’m sure we’ll figure something out,” I return. “I could give you your final Christmas present…”

“Another gift?” He glances at me as he traverses the darkened streets as a flash of light splits the sky overhead. “What did I do to deserve another gift?”

“Oh you were just your usual studly self.”

With a laugh, he pulls into the driveway of our five bedroom home and cuts the engine.

“Come,” he says, his voice soft and dripping with promise. As the electricity in the air crackles around us and the storm rumbles in the distance, I know that this man has only one thing on his mind. We are alone and we can be as noisy as we like.

 

 

Chapter Five

 

 

Damien

 

Being home on our own, there’s no way in hell I’m taking Henrietta straight to the bedroom. Instead, I take her the moment we walk through the door, pressing her body up against the oak, pinning her beneath me as I devour her mouth with mine, something I’ve been dying to do all day after watching her strutting around in that ridiculous bikini.

With my dick rock hard in my pants, I reach down and pull her kaftan off her body and I remove my shirt, my hands skimming over her soft skin, craving the feel of her beneath my fingertips.

“Now, I’m getting this poor excuse for a swimsuit off you,” I growl, gently biting her ear as I pull at the thin straps, undoing the bows one by one, until the thin fabric drops to the floor, leaving her naked before me. “Don’t ever wear that thing again.”

She grins, a sexy glint in her eyes. And I half think she chose that bloody thing on purpose, because she knew I’d go crazy with protectiveness and desire. I drop my board shorts, kicking them to the side as I lean down and lift one of her legs in the crook of my arm, my cock finding her already wet entrance without fail as I slam into her.

She gasps. It’s loud and erotic and I feel her pussy clench around me. It’s fucking amazing and I almost blow. Almost. Taking a deep inhale, I slip myself back and forth through her juices, loving the vice-like grip she has on me as I hit my stride, our mouths coming together as we kiss franticly, like we’re starved for sex and each other.

Her body knocks against the door with each hard pump, and she cries out in pleasure, fingers curled and digging into my skin as she loses control and comes around me, her pussy pulsing, causing my cock to eject it’s juices and unload inside her.

She lifts her other leg as we still against each other, and I hold her in my arms as our kissing becomes more sensual. Above our heads, we hear a loud crack and the distinct sound of a downpour hitting the hot ground outside.

“Ever made love in a thunderstorm?” she whispers in between kisses. I make a low noise in the negative. “Take me outside. I want to love you in the rain.”

Just when I think it isn’t possible to become even more turned on by her, my cock grows instantly harder, almost ready blow from the thought of being with her as the cool rain hammers down and hits the heat of my skin.

I carry her to the back door, grabbing a blanket on the way and I step out into the storm, the rain hitting us in cool heavy drops as I dump the blanket and lay her down on it, kissing her like a man starved the entire time.

“Feel what you do to me?” I murmur, jerking my hips back and pushing into her, showing her my hard length from the inside.

“Yes,” she cries. Rocking her hips back against mine. This connection we have is insane. We both know it. But neither of us can seem to stop it. It’s like our bodies speak the same language and we crave each other. It’s as simple as that.

We roll over, sitting up together and kissing as Henrietta takes me deeply, working me with her tight walls as she rocks her hips. A flash of lightening lights up the sky, illuminating her ecstasy claimed face as she keeps her eyes on mine, watching for the moment when we share our release.

A few seconds later, the thunder claps and I grip her breast, rolling her nipple between my fingers as she whimpers into my mouth. It’s so fucking hot, and I can feel that pressure building, demanding its release.

I lean back, creating a gap between us where I can reach between our connection and rub on that precious clit of hers, that bundle of nerves that throbs against my touch and sends her writhing and moaning.

So close. I can feel it in her movement, hear it in her voice. She’s about to come.

Lightening flashing, rain pouring down, cooling our heated bodies. Her moaning increases, her body quivers and I know she’s there. I know it.

Boom. The thunder shakes the sky and she lets go along with it, crying out my names as her body releases, pulsing around my cock and forcing out my juices. The gripping and the grinding, milking me for all I’m worth. I grab her wet hair, my fingers taking it in fistfuls and I pull her against me, my mouth crashing into hers as I grind our hips together, dragging the last of the moment out as our tongues slide, connecting, loving.

The lightening flashes again, but the thunder takes longer to come, indicating that the storm is passing. We continue to kiss, staying together as the rain continues to drop at a steadier pace, the heat of the ground rising beneath us as the water on our skin slowly lowers our temperature.

“This has been a pretty amazing Christmas,” I tell her, listening as the thunder rumbles in the distance like a memory.

She sits back slightly, sliding her hands over the top of my head and pushing my wet hair off my forehead as she smiles down at me.

“It has. But I have one last gift for you. Are you ready for it?”

“Not if we have to go inside. I’m quite happy right here.” I grin, leaning in to kiss her warm neck, my hand sliding down her body to cup her full breast.

“I can give it to you here. We don’t need to move at all,” she says, her breathing growing deeper as I massage and suck.

“Ok,” I murmur, the rain a gentle patter now as I continue to touch her silky skin.

“I’m pregnant.”

I freeze, pulling back so I can look into her eyes. “You’re pregnant?”

Smiling, she nods. “About ten weeks now.”

A smile stretches across my mouth and I reach up to cup her beautiful face. “Another baby? That, my gorgeous wife, is the best gift I could receive,” I murmur, taking her mouth with mine, struggling with my smile as I’m flooded with happiness over the news of another family member.

Five children may seem like a lot to some. But to Henrietta and I, it’s what we want. A large family to love and cherish together. To grow old, surrounded by children and grandchildren. To us, that is a perfect life.

And as our kissing grows passionate once more, and we lie back down on the now soaked blanket, I worship her body, showing her just how happy she makes me as we end Christmas day the same way we started it, in each other’s arms, knowing that together, we are everything.

 

 

The End

 

Hope you enjoyed that final look into the relationship of Damien and Etta! Don’t forget that the Drawn series is continuing with their daughter Evie in Drawn to Fight and is available for preorder now at the following estores – iBooks, Barnes&Noble & Kobo  and on Amazon Kindle on release day, Feb 10, 2015.

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Giveaway time!

To celebrate the release of A Beautiful Star, I’m giving away a gorgeous Beautiful Star Swag pack thanks to Tammies Treasures, and a $50 prepaid visa giftcard from me. To enter, simply screenshot your copy of A Beautiful Star on your device and post it HERE on my Facebook page.

Good luck! Giveaway will run until November 25th Australian time.

If you’re yet to get your copy, here are the links –

iBooks – http://tinyurl.com/klazbbv
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PP5F654
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PP5F654
Amazon AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00PP5F654
B&N – http://tinyurl.com/kcykmwf
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/noxnyns

(The link to copy and paste if you were unable to click through – https://www.facebook.com/LillianaAndersonAuthor/photos/a.466229720113784.1073741828.444649528938470/751295868273833/?type=1 )

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A Beautiful Star is LIVE!!!

It’s live! Grab your copy via the following links!

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PP5F654
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PP5F654
Amazon AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00PP5F654
iBooks – http://tinyurl.com/klazbbv
B&N – http://tinyurl.com/kcykmwf
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/noxnyns

PLEASE NOTE – You DO NOT have to have read the previous Beautiful Series books to enjoy this. It is a love story all of its own.

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Partners – It’s out. What did you think?

So, this new series I’ve been banging on about has been out for a few days, and so far the response has been pretty awesome. I’m getting lots of messages, desperate for the next book so we can all understand why Chloe did what she did!  I love getting those messages, it really makes my day when readers let me know how they felt at the end of the book. And it really makes my day to load up my book pages and see new reviews sitting there, because then you’re also letting other readers know how much you enjoyed it, which is a great bonus to us as authors, because this industry operate HUGELY on word of mouth.

So, please, if you have read Partners, consider leaving a quick review or mentioning it as an awesome read the next book loving friend you’re chatting to, or even mention it to any reader groups you’re a part of. Every little bit helps and it keeps me in business so I can keep putting new books out for you all to enjoy.

iBooks http://bit.ly/1nxFnVp
Amazon – http://amzn.to/1oL2uMZ
B&N – http://bit.ly/1s5vEML
kobo – http://bit.ly/1uTmJz5

For those of you who are yet to read it, or haven’t even heard about it yet, here’s a bit of information and a couple of teasers to introduce you to our main characters, Chloe and Aiden.

Chloe is the down and out heiress to the Donovan Corporation that fell when her father was framed for embezzlement. Chloe is after the evidence to clear her father’s name, and to get it, she needs to access a safety deposit box that isn’t hers. This will require her to, you guessed it–rob the bank.

This is where Aiden comes in, he’s ex-military, and was the head of security at the Donovan Corporation before one night with Chloe, saw Aiden lose his job. As a result, he’s pissed at Chloe and has left his old life to start Price Security, a firm that specialises in club security and a little side project he likes to call ‘Recoveries’…

Anyway, have a read of their thoughts on the novel and see what you think. You may just want to tell every you know about it 😉

10662048_727258030677617_3357550531160091940_o 8 days

Happy reading!!

Lilli xoxox

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Window into my Overtired Mind

**Be warned: I’m about to ramble, and it’s possible that there’s no point to this blog post.**

A friend of mine (I’m looking at you Cj) told me I should blog more, even if it’s just about random things I’m feeling because we always think we’re alone in this world (especially the writing one, because we literally are, sitting in an office alone most days with only a virtual connection to our colleagues). So, here I am, taking her advice, because she’s my Yoda and I’m going to ramble a bit about the world as I see it.

I’m a bit of a sporadic blogger, I go through times when all I do is put some information up about upcoming releases, and then at other times, I’m on here all the time, trying to find interesting things to share and talk about.

On Facebook, the majority of my feed is basically the same, although I have a penchant for sharing funny images or news articles because I love to have a laugh. I don’t get involved in any sort of public rants and one of my pet hates are those posts that are so vague that even your closest friend has no idea what you’re on about.

Twitter, is so fast moving, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do, so I tweet about books. And instagram, well, occasionally, there’s a photo worth sharing. But most of the time, there isn’t, because I spend most of my time, sitting on my arse, typing away doing the thing I love–writing books.

So, essentially, I really do think I suck at this social media thing. I try hard to be entertaining, but more often than not, I’m not feeling particularly entertaining at all.  You see, I’m just a person, and I’m struggling along, trying to write enough to keep readers happy and to keep up with the ridiculously fast pace of Bookworld. And on top of that, I’m trying to be a mother to my four kids and a wife to my husband.

It’s hard, and there are a lot of demands on my time, and I seriously feel like this most days –

But then I talk to some of my writer friends, and guess what? We’re all feeling the same way. We’re all feeling beat down by our inner critic that’s telling us we’re crap, or we’re not doing enough, or that no one will ever like our stories. We all seem to have a fear that we’re a flash in the pan and that we’re going to get lost in tidal wave of books that are available these days.

I seriously, feel incredibly blessed that somehow, someone picked up A Beautiful Struggle and started reading it, and then someone else did, and someone else did. Never, when I was writing it, did I actually think that two years later, I’d have made a career out of writing. And never did I think, that it would be quite this hard.

And it’s not that I’m complaining, in fact, I couldn’t imagine having any other job. I freaking love my job. And the fact that I work so hard, is attributed to the fact that I am passionate about my writing, and I’d rather be working than doing anything else. And I suppose, in my rambling way (this is why we have editors, people 😉 ) what I’m trying to do with this post, is to simply say – me too. I’m stressed too. Other writers, other mums, other dads, or carers, or students–anyone, who works their arse off and flops into bed every night with 6,452 things still to do on their list–I just want to say, I get it. I feel stressed and overwhelmed too. But I’m doing my best. And really, that’s all any of us can do.

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