Monthly Archives: January 2016
Hey everyone! Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “wood”. We’re back with Gideon and Emma in my Steampunk tale.
Katarina’s smile was pure evil. “Are you here to see me give my gift to my husband?”
Gideon smirked back to her, an equal amount sin in his grin. “Of course. I built it, did I not?”
General Hellwig’s face lit up excitedly. “You did? Edgar has told me what a great inventor you’ve become. I cannot wait to see what this is.”
“Soon, my dear,” Katarina grumbled.
Gideon could see the apprehension flicker in her eyes. A growl escaped her throat as he offered his arm to Emma. “Come, my love. Let’s have a quick dance before Katarina reveals the General’s gift.”
“Of course, my sweet.” Emma intertwined her arm with his as he led her to the floor. The crowd broke into pairs as the musicians picked up their instruments from where they were left on the floor. A waltz was accompanied by the patter of footsteps gliding along the wood floor. He held her close as they swayed to the music. It wasn’t difficult to tell she was distracted.
“Emma, what is it?” Gideon coaxed.
She didn’t answer. Instead she pulled from his grasp then wrapped her arms around him. She dove her lips against his, taking the first chance she had to deepen it. He groaned as he held her tight against him.
He smiled at the end of the kiss. “What was that for?”
Emma glared away from him. He looked up to see the silent war waged between her and Katarina. The older woman was furious. He chuckled. “Emma.”
“I know she wants me dead. She needs to realize who you belong to. You are mine, not hers.”
“Is that so?”
Emma stared at her, the anger draining from her face. “Well…I thought…I did not realize…”
Gideon laughed as he pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. “I am glad we are on the same page. Yes, love. I am only yours. And you are only mine.”
“Everyone, it is time!” Katarina interrupted. “Please follow me into the study. Gideon, I believe you should have a front row seat to witness my husband’s fully functioning humidor.”
The ballroom fell hushed at the sight of Gideon, Emma and Edgar. Every head turned as a voice rang out over the crowd. “Gideon, my boy! And Edgar, too.”
General Hellwig parted the crowd as the crossed the ballroom to the trio. He threw his arms around Gideon in a bear hug. Gideon allowed his guard to drop for a moment. This man had been like a father to him while he served. As he pulled free from the embrace he glanced around. The crowd of merry markers had formed a circle around them. “It is good to see you, sir.”
“It is wonderful to see you. It’s been too long since you left that house. I was afraid you passed amongst your books and inventions.” The General turned to Edgar and shook his hand emphatically. “It is good to see you too, Edgar. You kept true to your word. You did get him out.”
Edgar grinned. “That I did, sir.”
General Hellwig turned to Emma nestled at Gideon’s side. “And you found yourself a lass. I hope this means you are done mourning Sophia.”
Gideon wrapped his hand around her’s. “That I have.”
The General took Emma’s free hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it. “Well, my lady, you are a blessing. I worried about him. I am glad to see him find new love.”
The entire assembly turned to see Katarina sashaying through the crowd. The large, gaudy, scarlet gown brushed the floor with each step. Her face was painted with heavy powder making her complexion ghostly white. She stopped at her husband’s side and wrapped her hands around his bicep before she continued. “You remember my maid, Emma? Dearest child, I thought you were dead.”
Emma tightened her hold on Gideon’s hand as she curled closer. Katarina met Gideon’s glare. “Gideon.”
His heart raged as his eyes narrowed. “Katarina.”
Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened with deportation, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the U.S.?
Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life—not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality—or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding?
Excerpt One – PG:
Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.
Until he entered her world, obviously.
Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with many. At one time it had been a different one every few nights for months. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.
He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump rose-colored lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.
Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract potentially worth millions over a fear of him.
He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.
Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract potentially worth millions over a fear of him. He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.
Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”
Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”
Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates who had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.
“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.
“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.
“You don’t even know me.”
“I know.” He watched her gaze wander across him. He could have sworn he saw her shudder. “This whole thing is overwhelming. I don’t think it’s for me.”
“You won’t know unless you try.”
Abbey’s voice came out a soft moan. “I would certainly like to try.” She shook her head. “I’m sorry to waste your time, Mr. O’Riley.”
Sloan caught her hand in his before she could escape. “Then don’t waste my time.”
“Let me go.”
“Give me a legitimate reason why.”
Abbey’s mouth opened in protest then snapped shut. Finally she huffed. “I don’t need to.”
“I believe you do. If you leave, I lose fifty thousand dollars. So I think you owe me fifty thousand reasons.”
“Are you serious?”
“Reason one. You’re an ass.”
Sloan chuckled. It helped hide the burning lust building in his core. “You’ve got quite a mouth, lass.”
“I’m just getting started.”
“Does your man approve of such language?”
“My boyfriend…” Her words trailed off as her eyes grew wide. She ripped her hand from his grip as she looked away.
Ah. There it is. I hit the nerve. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. He was almost willing to surrender to her naïve beauty alone. But after this hellion laid into him he wasn’t about to let her go.
Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat to you or this boyfriend of yours.”
He could hear her voice quake. “I never said you were a threat.”
“Then there isn’t a reason for you to go.”
Abbey paused. “Why exactly aren’t you a threat to us?”
He smirked. “I’m gay.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Seriously?”
“Yes, Abbey. Gay. You don’t believe me?”
“I don’t know you well enough to trust you.”
“Is this all worth walking away from your dream?”
Abbey stared at him. A smile spread across her face. “No. Of course not.”
“So you will stay and undertake this project with me?”
“I would love to.”
“Then let’s go sign the contracts and get started.” Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. So she believes I’m gay. I’ll go with it to keep her here. A little white lie. She’ll never know. At least not until I’m ready for her. And when that time comes, she’ll be mine.
Where to buy Black Irish:
All Romance E-book: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-blackirish-1960458-149.html