Officially, the 17th is my last day in the office for the year for both editing and writing. I have no desire to do much but read and hang out, catch up on cleaning and chores that have been piling up. It’s been a long year, not a bad one, but a busy one.
Year in Recap: Taught Male POV for CalWriters Berkeley LIVE for the first time
Frolicon – back to back panels on Saturday, hanging with Cecilia Tan, LaDonna Allison and Barefoot Bill, (smoking on their porch at night talking to LaDonna!) Also, the Cigar Herf!
DragonCON 2012 – more appearances, more panels, more Sascha, and more cigar herfing!
New covers posted below!
TesseracT – Those who followed my journey writing Paula’s Craving understand.
The Gathering – New Album called Disclosure makes me think of a certain Moldovan Pen Pal…we’ve talked more lately. It’s good to have a reminder of who I am.
Releases, “Treasure’s Gift” “Menage Bound“, “Stuck” and “Dark Sensualities”
All the RWA Classes I’ve taught this year, thank you each and every one of you!
My agents of awesomeness, for pulling me off the cliff when I was about to jump – Saritza and Marisa.
My Publicist Deborah Riley Magnus
Mary Hardin-Moore – you’re one simply hell of a fan.
Melissa, you’re awesome sauce. Thank you for all you do for me at DragonCON
My beta readers, old, new, up coming
Waking up every day
I think I reconnected with a part of me I’d buried both as an author and a person.
Bad things –
Fun with coumadin and alcohol: November’s hospital trip
Fun trying to catch a bus and only running maybe 200 meters, resulting in a hospital trip because I’m BACK in goddamn Afib.
Because of a careless asshole from PG&E, I was walking home one night and tripped on a grate, shoving most of my left leg through the tiny circle. I’m still bruised.
The closing of Grants Tobacconist – This is important because it’s a historical landmark AND I spent a LOT of downtime there. Thanks for the memories, guys.
Misunderstandings that led to another cliff I almost launched myself from
Waking up every day since the last hospital trip and not knowing what I’m getting up for or why.
Looks like overall the good outweighed the bad. It tends to do that honestly. Yeah, some things conflict, oh well. That’s life.
Now, an excerpt for the holidays from Her Shelter – An Alexandria Rayne treat
A few moments later, Reinhold made his way downstairs, dressed sans collar. He wanted to make a statement to Crissy. He was not to be taken lightly. He was a wolf.
She was a human. Powerful or not, she was the weaker one.
Moments later, he leaned against the granite countertop, sipping a cup of coffee before pouring his owner one. Smelling Crissy’s scent mixed in with the peppery aroma of the winter outside, he picked up the cup of coffee and blew on it, letting the steam waft towards his face. Crissy came in through the swinging doors, her lips pursed in a thin line. Dressed in black hip-hugging jeans, black socks and a grey shirt that had a large skull across her breasts, she wore her hair tied back. It was still damp like his.
Picking up the cup of coffee, he handed it to her.
She accepted it without a word. Taking a long sip, she set the cup down on the countertop and looked him in the eye.
For a minute, neither said a word. Their gazes locked with him feeling the intensity of her stare. Goddess, how he thought her eyes were the most beautiful he’d ever seen. She’d
hidden so much of herself from him in the last several weeks since they’d been together, yet he picked up everything unspoken because she couldn’t look at him without giving a part of herself away.
“Is my collar not good enough for you?” She interrupted the silence.
Lifting his head, his eyes widened. “It’s fine.”
“Then why aren’t you wearing it?” She tapped her neck.
“It needed to dry. And you need—” He stopped. Closing his eyes, he searched for the words. Inhaling her scent, he picked up on the addition of cayenne. She was clearly annoyed with him.
“I need what, Reinhold?”
He opened his eyes to see her arms folded across her chest.
Returning to his coffee, he said nothing.
She stepped forward and put a finger in his chest. “What do I need?”
“Skip it,” he growled in response. The wolf inside of him let his ears lay flat across his head, a show of annoyance.
“No,” she argued. “What is it you so desperately think I need that you’d mention it not once, but twice? Tell me. I’d like to know.” She stepped back and crossed her arms over her chest again.
Looking down the line of her body, he resisted the urge to lick his lips in front of her. Reinhold didn’t want her having any advantage over him now. His body was already begging for another taste of hers, another touch, another kiss. His heart ached at the lack of contact but he mentally told himself to shut the fuck up.
“I’m waiting.” She tapped her foot.
Reinhold met her gaze. Something flashed in her eyes that looked like sorrow or some other sad emotion. Suddenly, it clicked in his mind. Crissy was scared and feeling a little protective. He wasn’t sure why, but her actions no longer seemed assholish. They reminded him of his own defensive manoeuvres.
He cleared his throat. “You’re—” He stopped, studying her. She stood with her shoulders back, breasts jutting forward and her chin out. The challenging glare in her eyes sparked the attention of the wolf inside him.
Still, Reinhold tamped the beast down. If he was to be a successful alpha, he would have to stop going off on people as though they were stupid.
Crissy wasn’t stupid. She just acted that way as a defensive move.
“I’m what?” She tilted her head to one side.
“You’re beautiful,” he spoke in a low tone. Reaching for her hair, he touched her, the soft strands slipping through his fingers.
An eyebrow rose. “I didn’t expect that.” Her voice was gravelly, diffused.
“What did you expect?” Reinhold sipped his coffee, smiling as he looked over the rim of his mug at her.
“I expected to be told what a bitch I’ve been. Not that I care, but it’s what everyone says.”
He smirked. “Even your sisters?”
Crissy nodded. “Yeah. Well, not in so many words. Lynne thinks I need to open up and get out more. She thinks I lack contact with others. I told her others bore me. Others do not thrill me.”
“You want someone dangerous and exciting, don’t you?”
She smiled. “Yeah,” she let the word drag on as a smile crept up her face.
“It’s why you want me.”
Setting his cup down on the counter, he took hers from her and poured another cup for her. “Why the frown?”
“I don’t like being analysed.” She spoke matter-of-factly.
He snickered. “Fine. Let’s play twenty questions then.”
She grinned, her lips turning upwards into a smile that actually made his heart flutter. “You’re cute.”
“Question one, why the attitude problem?”
“See?” She set a hand on her hip. “Already a bad start.”
He shot her a wry grin. “Masochistic tendencies?”
She sipped her coffee and smiled. “Yup, you’re cute.”
“You love it.” His smile was sincere. Reinhold licked his lips and took a step closer. Determined to get what he wanted, a physical release, he made sure to keep his posture somewhat submissive.
“Why do you always insist on making me submit? It’s against my nature as a wolf.” He touched her shoulder.
She flinched. A moment later, she eased into his hand. “Because you’re mine. All wolves are mine and will submit to me.”
“Hmm.” He bent over her, scenting for arousal. “I could kill you though. If I let my human form drop in mid-fuck, the pain would tear you apart.”
“I’m pretty resistant that way.” She smirked.
“True.” He nodded. “But you hope I’d never do that to you. Doubt is always in the back of your mind. Isn’t it?”
“Is that question three?” she frowned.
His lips hung just in front of hers. He smelled the coffee, rich black cocoa mixed in with her natural aromas. Gone were the spicy scents from earlier which had been replaced by roses. “Odd, you smell of roses.”
A blonde eyebrow rose. “I do?”
His tongue darted out over her lips. A hand cupped her shoulder and pulled her closer. “Yes. You do.” He purposely let his canines extend.
She jerked back, but the defiant gaze in her eyes reappeared. “You’re trying to frighten me?”
A smile crept over his lips. He shook his head. “Why would I do that? I’m trying to seduce you.” His voice dropped a notch. Fangs in his mouth lengthened.
Her hands went to his sides. Sliding up the length of his body, she captured his face in her hands and pressed her lips into his.
Reinhold tasted the coffee along with her supple lips.
Nibbling on his lower lip, she suckled and flicked her tongue over the contours of his mouth before pulling back from the kiss.
He made a noise and let his fingers tangle in her baby fine hair. Grabbing a handful, he tugged her mouth away and dragged his teeth along the smooth edge of her jaw, making sure to nip and nibble frequently.
Her body shuddered against his, crushing her breasts into his chest. Her fingers held his head firmly as her mouth worked a trail of kisses up his neck and to his mouth.
Pulling away, Reinhold cocked his head to one side.
“What’s the matter, no longer feeling like the aggressor?” Her voice was a faint whisper.
Snickering, Reinhold shook his head before advancing for another kiss. “No,” he muttered against her mouth, smelling the faint traces of her musky arousal. “Waiting and observing.”
“For what?” Her mouth continued a sensual assault on his, her tongue thrusting past his lips.
Suckling on her tongue, he let her explore his mouth, his body hardening against hers. He’d been letting her control the kiss he’d initiated. Her tongue wrestled his for control until her hands slid down his body, cupping his swollen prick through his jeans. He wanted this, wanted her. But…
He had to wait.
He broke from the kiss. “Impatient, Mistress?”
Panting, Crissy shook her head. “No. Just making sure you’re not trying to top from the bottom again. You’re fun. That shit’s cute with my sister but not with me.” She gave him a grin and turned on her heels to leave. Walking out of the kitchen, she stopped at the door. “And remember, that’s my cock and you’re not to lay a hand on it unless I say so.” With that, she pushed through the door and walked away.
At least he’d made her smile and break away from that damned stolid image she’d always put out, even if it was just momentarily.
She’d poked her head back through the door. “One more thing, Reinhold?”
“Yes?” He looked up.
“If you want my collar back, I suggest you do something to earn it, young pup. Bye!” She slipped through the door and was gone.
His mouth dropped. “Lynne didn’t do that! It’s not fair!” Of course, he hadn’t received Lynne’s collar yet. Doubt that he would earn such a treasure filled his mind.
He heard her whistling a tune before footsteps sounded on the stairs.
Without his collar, he was just a submissive, not belonging to someone. What the fuck did that matter though? He was a wolf, they didn’t belong. They owned. They conquered,
Fuck the D/s aspect of their relationship. Reinhold knew it had to be that wolves were a gift to the sisters from Diana, but he didn’t have to like it.
Still, the burning pit in his stomach let him know he’d fucked up. Crissy had been the first to offer, but he stupidly forgot to put it back on after he finished his shower. Well, to be honest he didn’t forget. The gesture was done deliberately to spite Mistress Crissy.
The fact was that he was a wolf. He was never a bottom. He was a wolf who had control stripped from him at a young age. Memories of a rough childhood filled his mind, the beatings when others thought he was the weak member of the pack.
In his teenage years, he proved them wrong but was repeatedly told he’d become too aggressive.
When he entered the business world, he’d made sure to study the habits of successful humans. Those humans kept their emotions in check no matter what the perception of others. Those in power were in power for a reason.
Quite simply, they believed they were in power.
He scoffed. Wolves and humans were not so different after all. The realisation that Crissy had offered a piece of herself to him struck him in the gut with enough force to knock the wind out of him. Annoyed that he was actually fighting his baser instinct with his human one, Reinhold spun around and glanced out the window. Snowfall had dusted the tree tops and ground. The strong pull of the forest called to him. So did the call of Diana’s bond with the sisters, the bond that was ultimately a human one.
Clenching his fists, he stormed out of the kitchen. He had to apologise. Had to—
Stopping in his tracks, he realised he had to do something else other than apologise.
Reinhold had to beg his mistress for her collar.
A thousand more thoughts flew through his head. He didn’t know she was offering a permanent collar. Didn’t realise he was never to take it off. He even thought that he could tell her that she made him so hot and bothered that he simply forgot to put it back on after his shower, but ultimately the mistake was his. He’d simply taken the gesture for granted.
It wasn’t hard to do. She did tend to come off as callous and unfeeling much of the time he’d spent with her.
Was that enough to make him miss the grand gesture?
He lowered his head. He didn’t know.
Whatever she’d make him do to earn his collar would be way worse than him having to eat his own cum out of her sweet, delicious pussy.
“Fuck.” He set a hand on the door frame. “Fuck, fuck and more fuck!”