I'm shy by nature. Even as I say that I can hear people who know me arguing. I've gotten better at being more outgoing in recent years, but I still get that butterfly belly from time to time. When I write, however, all butterflies go on vacation. Not just when I write a story but even a letter or e-mail. Something about hiding within the words rather than staring the person in the face really boosts the confidence.
Zoie Qwin has the same affliction with divulging her feeling for Nash Beagan in my December 7th release, Stupendously Yours at http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=635. Her not-so-shy ego takes on the name of Lady Zest in a string of steamy letters to the drool worthy lieutenant while he's stationed over seas. By the time he comes home for Christmas, Zoie is tired of hiding behind Lady Zest and ready to claim the gift she wants most of all...Nash.
Tired of mediocre sex, Zoie Qwin is hot for adventure. When she can't find the excitement she craves in the men around town, she reaches across the world to the one man who's ready and capable if not willing to take her hormones on a fanciful journey to Multiple Orgasmville. Zoie Qwin never managed to snag Lieutenant Commander Nash Beagan's sexually daring heart, but Lady Zest in all her erotically written letters has.
Living out her escapades in a pen and paper relationship with her fantasy man proves to be enough, until Nash, home on a short leave, takes the stage at a male Christmas auction. Lady Zest is ready to break the bank for the Christmas present of the millennium, but Zoie wants the wicked desire in Nash's bedroom-blues all for herself. A snack in the parking lot, a drink at the theatre, and a window feast next to the Christmas tree delivers exactly that, until Zoie realises her cover's been blown and Nash is out to make her and Lady Zest stupendously his forever.
Zoie froze with her glass halfway to her lips. Dear God, could it be?
“Let’s get those crisp bills crackling and those credit cards humming for the soldier of our town we all know and love.” The announcer drew it out, building the suspense and nearly causing Zoie to go into cardiac arrest. She felt faint with the possibility. Was the room really beginning to spin?
“Lieutenant Commander Nash Beagan.”
“Ohmigod.” Zoie put down her wine glass, certain she’d had enough alcohol. She’d kidded herself into three shots and was working on her second glass of wine, all with the stupid notion she’d drink enough to fool herself into thinking Mr. Surprise was Nash Beagan. Except, the combat boots, BDUs, shirtless torso, and smug smile walking onto the dance floor was Nash Beagan.
Everything inside Zoie ignited in sensory overload of desire. Her nipples beaded as her gaze moved over the deeply tanned ridges of Nash’s chest. Her hands tingled to glide over the wide expanse of his shoulders. Her teeth ached to nibble on his strong jaw. Her tongue pulsed to lick his full, arrogantly tilted lips. But when her gaze reached his danceable bedroom-blues beneath the fuzzy white rim of the Santa hat, her pussy released a surf of moisture that drenched her panties.
“You’re looking for a change from the ordinary, sister, there you go.” Dalia had to yell for Zoie to hear her over the cacophony of ruckus Nash’s presence exuded from the club of women.
Dalia didn’t know about the letters Zoie had written to Nash. Rather than share that piece of personal information with her best friend, Zoie decided to embrace it as her own pleasure-filled, erotic secret. Dalia was right about one thing, Nash Beagan was definitely a change from the ordinary. Precisely the change Zoie had been craving, and sanity had abandoned her just enough the minute he’d stepped onto that dance floor for her to feed.
“Time to boogie,” she muttered and held her sixty-nine bidding paddle high in the air. Perhaps the number had been an omen after all. Her rapidly aching channel convulsed at the thought.
The auctioneer bellowed an amount she didn’t hear and Nash’s bedroom-blues collided with hers. Zoie drew her bottom lip between her teeth to hold back the whimpering purr that rose in her throat. Not that the sound would’ve been heard over the outrageous noise Nash’s presence on the dance floor had elicited from the crowd of horny women.
They can stay horny too because he’s mine, Zoie thought determinedly and held the paddle higher still. Nash’s brow did an erogenous-inspiring climb. Did his lips twitch too? She couldn’t quite tell. Something flashed through his expression, a quick race of emotion she couldn’t define. Was it hope that she’d be out bid? Surprise that she’d be a part of this goggling, randy, club crowd? Intrigue that she’d have the nerve to try for him after all these years? She couldn’t be sure. Maybe he wondered if she knew what she might be getting herself into.
Whatever the flicker of reaction, all sound, thought and breath left her as their gazes locked and held. Dimly she noted the rising of the bid and the screaming of her bank account. Only when the auctioneer shouted his, “Sold,” and pointed at her did she blink and the slow, seemingly satisfied smile that curved Nash’s lips nearly made her orgasm on the spot.
“I can’t believe you bought him!” Dalia bubbled more than the glasses of champagne being served a half an hour later as they stood once again in line, this time working their way to the payment table to settle their ‘purchases’. “Question is, now that you’ve got him, what are you going to do with him?”
Zoie ran her tongue over her teeth and let the grin spread her lips. “Enjoy him.”
“Great answer!” Dalia hooted with laughter. “For the price you’re paying, he better give you a hell of a ride.”
Zoie slid her Visa card through the fingers of one hand and drank from the champagne she held in the other. She had to force herself to sip the cool bubbly rather than gulp because, despite her show of confidence, her insides were reaching a quivering boil. Had she lost her mind? She’d maxed out her credit card on Nash Beagan!
For a good cause, she reminded herself as she stepped up to the table and handed Santa’s helper her Visa. She winced at the total on the printed slip as she signed on the dotted line. She’d definitely broken the bank tonight.
Lady Zest broke the bank.
Zoie handed over the slip, took her copy and card and shoved both in her tiny handbag. She saw Dalia and Travis first as she moved away from the table and took a step in their direction. Her steps faltered when her gaze slammed into Nash’s as he walked up behind Travis.
What have I done?
The first slivers of panic leaked from her shuddering stomach to poison her veins. I can’t do this. I can’t be alone with this man in the flesh. What in the name of Christmas was I thinking?
Exchanging months of provocative letters with this man she hungered for more than chocolate was one thing. He didn’t know she’d written all those heated fantasies. But she couldn’t hide her identity when she was face-to-face with him. Well, not quite face-to-face given their height difference. Eye-to-collarbone would be more like it, breasts-to-rigid abdomen, belly-to-groin…
I’m so screwed.
She forced herself to take another step and wondered that she didn’t teeter on her heels. Or run, she thought frantically. Running would be smart right about now, safe. It would preserve both her dignity and her secret.
That same slow smile that melted her panties from the dance floor unfolded on Nash’s lips as he neared and a trickle of wetness slid down her inner thigh. Dignity was entirely way over rated. As for her secret, perhaps she should reveal all about Lady Zest. What was the worst Nash could do, laugh at her? He’d always been too much of a boy scout for that. It was one of the many things about this amazing man now less than two feet from her that had stolen her heart. He could be almost unbearably kind.
But even kindness skirts on the edge of adventure sometimes.
Yes, and it was that adventure she’d just paid a pretty penny for tonight. She wouldn’t acknowledge the tightness behind her breastbone telling her she’d paid for more than a little fun. She’d paid for hope, for more. What she got was this moment and any memories she could manage to store before morning.
She had to get a handle on this nervousness because she didn’t have a moment to waste.
~~~ Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas:)