Sexy Alpha Beau Shepard breaks it down…

Sexy Alpha Beau Shepard breaks it down...After writing my little tushy off, I am happy to announce Forever Beloved, the exciting conclusion to Forever Branded is here! It is a beautiful story of redemption and second chance love jammed pack with heart, humor and heat…three of my favorite things.  Check out this excerpt, told from Beau’s perspective.


I stopped by Scorch to check on things as they started to heat up.

Sitting on my usual couch, I took in the pretty scenery. Lots of beauties were getting down on the dance floor as the crowd started to thicken. Scanning the masses, I noticed a woman shaking her hips back and forth, as she got lost in the sensuality of the music. I watched her for a second, drawn in by the erotic, graceful way she moved.

What a hot ass.


Round as fuck.


I knew that grade A ass.

My Marla radar went off as I recognized her gorgeous body.

I hadn’t lost my ability to track her.

I could sniff her out anywhere.

Her beautiful curves were one of a kind, beckoning men from miles around.

I went on high alert as she glided across the dance floor, soaking up the rhythms of some Rihanna song. My cock tightened against my pants as my mind swam with dirty filthy thoughts.

I had always been so hard for her.

So goddamn hard.

I wanted to grab her hair, pull her close, and ride her until she came undone on my dick. Fuck, I needed to bury myself inside her.

Mesmerized, I watched her shake her curvaceous hips over and over.

But I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

Marla was attracting male attention right and left as they swarmed around her like a pack of wolves. One young punk approached her and she ushered him forward, swaying her hips as he stuck his leg between hers.

Son of a bitch, she was letting him grind all up in her business. I bolted up from my seat as rage blasted through me.

I wasn’t okay with another man touching her.

Marla was mine.

Always had been.

Always would be.

Her name coursed through my veins, like a junkie experiencing his first high. Anger rocked through my chest, moving up to the base of my brain, igniting a Neanderthal instinct to protect what was mine.

As I moved toward them, things became ten times worse as the douche bag claimed her lips in an obnoxious kiss while his hands found her luscious ass and squeezed, pulling her tight to his crotch.

That wasn’t going to fly with me. But before I got to them, Marla hauled off and slapped him.

Thatta girl.

Furious, the guy grabbed her wrist and tried to haul her away.

Na-uh. Not happening.

Marla tried to pull her wrist away from her would-be admirer as I arrived on the dance floor.

I stepped in front of the guy, getting in his face. “Whoa, buddy. Hands off,” I growled, trying to control my temper.

“I was here first,” he barked, as if in some universe he could claim her.

I stared hard at the young punk. “Let go of her. I’m only going to ask once,” I snarled, ready for battle.

I took a menacing step forward, which made the guy flinch. He was all bark and no bite as he released Marla. I chased him off with another confrontational step and he high-tailed it to the bar, like a scared little puppy.

“Thank you, Beau,” Marla offered, staring at me with relief in her doe eyes.

“I’ll be with you in a moment,” I snapped, mad she was even there.

That asshole needed to be thrown out. I signaled to one of the bouncers, pointing at the guy. He would be banished for good.

Then, I turned my full attention to Marla, who looked too sexy in a tight pink dress, which showed off her hot body.

“I can’t have you here, looking like this, acting like that!” I pointed toward her dress and then the dance floor.

Her brown eyes went wide with shock. “What? You don’t get to tell me where I can go.”

“I can kick you out of here!”

“Fine! I’ll go somewhere else.” She turned to walk away from me.

“Oh no, you won’t!” I said, picking her up in a fireman’s hold and slinging her over my shoulder with one hand.

“Put me down!” she demanded, as her legs flailed out in front of me.

I had always loved her curvy calves and I ran my hand along her soft skin as she struggled.

“No! I’m not putting you down!” I yelled, carrying her toward the office in the back.

I weaved my way through the thickening crowd as Marla continued to struggle against me. I made it down the hall, away from prying eyes. Once we were inside the office, I shut the door and put her down.

“Where are we?” she questioned sharply.

“My office.”

“Why do you have an office at Scorch?” she asked, glancing around at the dark green walls with wooden panels running along the bottom third of the paint.

“Because I own the damn club.”

“Is there anything you don’t own?” she shot back.

“Yeah, you.”

She shook her head. “That’s not happening, Beau. You will never own me. I can’t be bought.”

“So you’ve made known. But I will not have the mother of my child dancing like that in public.”

“Charlie’s not six, anymore,” she countered.

It didn’t matter. “I didn’t get to do this when he was six, so I’m doing it now.”

She narrowed her furious gaze at me. “That doesn’t even make sense. You’re acting like I was some kind of neglectful mother, who went out and partied all the time and I wasn’t!”

“How would I know that? You could have been fucking any Tom, Dick, or Harry walking around for all I know.”

“Like you, then?” she zinged back. “I bet you don’t even know how many women you fucked in the last twenty years.”

Same old fire.

Giving as good as she got.

God, she made me hot.

“You’re probably right, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you need to be fucked good.”

She gasped as I bent down and claimed her mouth passionately. She fought me for a second, but there was no use denying our chemistry. I took possession of her beautiful lips as she gave in willingly. She melted against me as my tongue played with hers and I fucked her sweet, lush mouth.

She moaned in her throat, thirsting for more as I held her close. Sucking her bottom lip into my mouth, I slowed things down. I wanted to extract every last morsel of pleasure out of her.

Panting, she pulled back, her glance soft. “Do you remember how good it was between us?” she asked, her doe eyes filling with a vulnerability I didn’t want to acknowledge.

I wasn’t about to confess I remembered every moment I spent with her. “You know…it’s a blur. We happened a long time ago.”

“Then what do you remember?” she asked, as I ran my hand down her side.

“How good the sex was,” I murmured hotly against her ear before turning her around, so her backside was against my body.

Her hands clutched at my thighs, wanting what I was offering. I pushed her up against the door, lining my swollen cock up with her ass.

“Do you remember that?”

“Yes,” she gasped as she arched her back, shooting her bottom into me.

We both groaned as I went from hard to steel in an instant. My blood roared with the need to take her with the same intensity I had in high school.

I sniffed her hair, lime and coconut this time. “Why can’t I let you go?” I breathed against her ear.

The release date is July 18th, 2015 or pre-order now while the price is .99cents!

Amazon-Forever Beloved

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The Ache of Beau Shepard

The Ache of Beau Shepard Geesh, it seems like time flies when a story is pouring out of me! I am in awe of how this story came together and am very excited to invite you into the world of Marla Matthews and Beau Shepard.

They have been chomping at the bit, ready for me to tell their story, which is a weave of past and present. Forever Branded is a tale of love enduring when all hope is lost. Told from Marla and Beau’s perspective, this story will suck you in and let you dive into all the juicy details and secrets revealed! Check out the excerpt below!

Happy Reading!

~Jessa Eden

Enjoy this morsel of Marla and Beau’s story and check out Forever Branded available May 23rd or pre-order now.


Life had offered me a pretty sweet ride. I had money, status, and privilege. It bought me whatever I wanted, excused any indiscretion, and included me in a VIP world.

But I didn’t give a shit.

None of it really mattered.

I’d lived for years in a fog after Marla broke up with me. I’d only resurfaced when I had a car accident. It cost me my hockey career, my leg shattering as I wrapped my Ferrari F50 around a tree.

I was lucky to walk after that.

Having a near death experience scared me enough to straighten out my life.

I cut out the heavy partying and channeled my energy into becoming a workaholic and a fuckaholic. When I wasn’t at the office or working out, I was screwing every hot woman in Baltimore, trying to get Marla out of my head.

I could still remember how her soft skin tasted, the breathy, pitched moans she made as we went at it. It haunted me at times, even in the middle of a great fuck.

Marla was my first.

For everything.

I’d loved her so hard, I’d come apart at the seams when she left me.

I’d never been the same since.

Now, I just wanted to punish her.

Especially after seeing her at that party.

After all these years, she still took my breath away as she stood there wide-eyed. My blood ran hot and I wanted to make her squeal like the naughty girl she was hiding under that modest black dress she wore.

A rush of dirty flashbacks ran through my mind, mostly of her opening wide and welcoming me in. I had to control my first instinct to run over, scoop her up, and lay a hard kiss on her sweet, lush mouth.

I had never gotten over her.

I knew it. I lived with it.

I should have been able to let her go and move on.

But she became ground zero for me when she blasted a hole the size of Texas in my heart. For now, I would settle for fucking her up, the way she had so easily done to me.

After I left the party and dumped the disappointed redhead back at her apartment, I sped off in my bright blue Bugatti Veyron as I high-tailed it across town. I had better things to do than waste my time dealing with her shit anyway. She was starting to look at me as if we were more than fuck buddies.

We weren’t ever going to be more than that.

I would never trust a woman again.

Not worth it.

I headed back to the Gators headquarters, where I conducted most of my business. Located in a high-rise, I keyed in my code and made my way up to the fifty-second floor in my private elevator.

As I set foot into the Gators office, everybody perked up.

The boss was in.

I passed a couple of women smiling in my direction, while men nodded in respect, through the glass-plated walls of their offices.

Power was good.

Walking into my spacious office that overlooked the scenic oceanfront, I was determined to dig up dirt on Marla. I had a million other projects that demanded my attention, but I didn’t care.

“Get Mitch on the phone for me, Donna,” I said to my secretary, taking off my jacket and throwing it on one of the leather high back chairs in front of my desk.

“You got it. Want some coffee?” she asked as I paced back and forth, trying to get a hold of myself.

Marla had me all whipped up. I could barely think straight.

“Sure.” I ran my hand through my hair, trying to settle my jets, wondering why that girl always got under my skin.

Donna brought me a cup of Joe, moseying in as if she had all the time in the world. She was in her mid-fifties, with her red hair in a French twist, dressed like she was Peggy on the show Mad Men. She wasn’t crazy about technology, but she was the best damn secretary I could ask for —sharp as a tack, didn’t miss much, and she kept things running smoothly. Just what I liked.

“What’s got you all worked up?” she asked as she watched me pace.

“You don’t want to know.”

“Mm-hmm,” she said, studying me with her perceptive light blue gaze. “I bet it’s a woman.”

“It might be…but you’ll never know.”

“Smart ass.”

I grinned. “You always keep it real, Donna.”

“Someone has to,” she shot back with a grin, turning around and heading toward the front of the office. A couple of seconds later, she shouted, “Mitch on line one,” as I grabbed the phone and sat down behind my big mahogany desk.

“What do you need?” my head of security asked as soon as he heard my voice.

“I need you to do some research for me.”

“On who?”

“Marla Matthews. I want everything on her. Leave no stone unturned.”

“Got it boss.”

I slammed down the phone and sat back in my black leather office chair. I lit a cigar, put my feet on my desk, and thought about what had just happened.

Goddamn Marla Matthews.

Still the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

Curvy, sensuous, and hot.

She still had it, after all these years.

Twenty-two goddamn years.

I figured she’d be married with two kids by now.

But she’d been at the party all by herself.


It didn’t make sense.

I needed to know why she wasn’t married and being taken care of by another man. My gut clenched as I thought about the last time I saw her. She said some horrible things I would never forgive her for.

I had been completely fooled by her innocent do-gooder act. But underneath her sweet veneer was a heartless woman who didn’t give a shit about anyone.

Least of all, me.

When I’d lived in Toronto, it been easier to put her into the back of my mind. Granted, I had been fucked up for many years, but still, I couldn’t see her because she was thousands of miles away.

However, here in Baltimore, it was hard to resist the temptation of knowing her every move. I could almost breathe her in. No matter where I went.

I knew I would run into her eventually. Still, it had been a shock to my system, watching her stare at me, like she was seeing a ghost.

FUCK! I couldn’t believe I still wanted to know what was going on in her life. It tore me up and I hated that she brought out so much emotion in me.

It hadn’t always been like this.

My first impression of Marla, when I saw her in the library all those years ago was that she was pretty, but a stick in the mud. I remember her being a little frumpy in her overalls and plaid shirt.

Then she got all feisty with me when I showed no interest in that stupid paper on Jane Eyre for that damn Honors English class my dad pushed me into. Her big, brown doe eyes had flashed with anger when I called her boring.

Most girls would have twirled their hair and tried to win me over with a giggle and a smile.

Not Marla.

With tears in her eyes, she told me off without a second thought. So much passion in each word as she angrily picked up her notebook from the library table.

Whoa. She had all of my attention as she stalked off, while I sat back, wondering who she was.

How had I not noticed her before?

The sweet, brown eyes.

The long lashes that gave her an innocent, come-hither stare.

And that backside.



Hips for days.

Damn, I got a woody just watching her walk away.

The Best is saved for last….Micah and Emma’s last dance

It is with a joyful heart that I release Micah, The Fierce Fights for Emma, The Brave.  It has truly been a labor of love…these characters have taken me to depths that have surprised and wowed me.  From dancing in her underwear to standing up for herself, we have seen Emma grow and be empowered by her experiences with Micah.  He, on the other hand, has opened up to a whole new emotional, techno-color world that has scared and wowed him.  This is their last story…for now.  I want to explore some other worlds  I will be putting together the entire series into one book soon.  That is my summer project.  For now, enjoy this excerpt from Micah, The Fierce Fights For Emma, The Brave.

Told from Emma’s perspective.  This is the first scene in Micah, The Fierce Fights For Emma, The Brave


When I arrived at the ESPY’s, I had hoped to be entertained, meet a few famous people and then be on my merry way back to Baltimore. Nice and simple…right?

Yep…until Micah went live with his feelings.

I had been minding my own business and enjoying my evening when he came out on stage. As usual, Micah exuded a primal hotness that made every woman in the auditorium ache to tear his clothes off. So damn sexy, that boy.

I would never get used to the way he made me feel when he walked into a room. It was a mixture of raw lust and sweet tenderness that always made me want to throw my arms around him.

I tried to feign disinterest as he commanded the attention of the auditorium. I picked at my pink nail polish as he rattled off the usual set of obligations, thanking the Baltimore organization and the fans.

He sounded like every other athlete that accepted an award that night—safe and conventional. Little did I know, that would be the last normal thing he would say.

He finished his speech in record time, but didn’t leave the stage. He stayed quiet for a long minute, obviously contemplating his next words.

The stale air crackled with a different kind of energy. An electric, pulsing intensity filled the theater, sending shockwaves through the crowd.

Micah was going rogue. I could feel it.

Things got more intriguing as he pulled a purple cloth out of his jacket pocket and tied it around his bicep. I watched, riveted, as the material fell softly against his massive upper arm.

It took me another second to recognize the purple silk as the blouse I had sneaked into his luggage. I had totally forgotten about that. Funny, that he should have something of mine wrapped around his arm.

Oh My God.

This was about me.

I became lightheaded as I realized that my world was going to be turned upside down by whatever Micah wanted to say.

The atmosphere sizzled with excitement, and goose bumps spread like wild fire down my arms and across my chest. My tummy flipped-flopped insistently as anticipation ran headily through my blood.

My gut clenched again as I saw him search the crowd. Holy mother of all that was brave…what was he up to?

His eyes locked on mine as I held perfectly still. His passionate gaze told me that he was taking a risk and daring himself to step into the unknown world of vulnerability.

An immediate connection unfurled between us; one that gripped me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. I held my breath, waiting for him to speak.

He started to explain that he had been fighting hard against the wrong thing.

Yes, and it had damn near broken me. It hadn’t been easy to pick up the shattered pieces of my heart and put myself back together again. But, I had survived it all and now I was on the precipice of a magnificent moment.

Wow me, Micah….Give me your best shot.

He did not disappoint.

He continued to talk and said I was the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Whoa. You had me at hello.

Then, it got better. Much better. Gloriously better.

Micah uttered those three magical words I longed to hear—I love you.

Gasp. Sputter. Sputter.

My ears rang…did he just say he loved me?


Wildly and completely, he said.

Holy Crap!!


Those words banged around my heart like a pinball machine gone mad. My stunned brain took a minute to process that information and then…


I got it.

Micah loved me!…Micah loved me!

Gasps of air escaped my throat as my chest heaved in euphoria.

Oh, happy day…Oooh happy day!

The chorus of the old hymn played out in soul-choir fashion in my head as I locked onto the feelings flowing through me.



I burst into tears, wells of emotion running through me. A sweet, heady balm flowed through my insides, releasing lovely sparks of life, igniting every last drop of hope I possessed in long forgotten places, like the depths of my soul.

I had yearned, panted and endured heartbreak to get to a moment like this. But no fantasy could compare to the amazing reality of Micah professing his love.

The heavens continued to open and manna flowed forth as he poured out the feelings I had longed to hear. …Phrases like fight for me and ready to breathe underwater rolled off his tongue, his face bright with passion and dare I say it…LOVE.  

God…could it get any better?

I melted into my seat as ooey-gooey, punch drunk feelings of mad joy coursed through my body. Wonder filled me as I savored the giddiness transforming my soul. It was like waking up on Christmas morning and finding the best gift ever waiting for me under the tree.

What an incredible sight it was to watch Micah pour his heart out. It was so courageous of him to take that leap of faith and declare his love for me on live television.

Exhilaration coursed through my body as my mind warned me to be cautious. I glanced over and watched Bill’s pensive face absorb my emotional, tearful reaction. I instantly sobered, a harsh truth hitting me in the face.

Was I really willing to throw away what I was starting with Bill for the possibility that Micah may follow through with his powerful words? What exactly happened after this moment?

Confusion flooded me, drowning out my joy. Micah had finally given me the words I had longed to hear from him, and yet, I still had doubts.

What was really going on here? What did this mean? If I gave Micah what he wanted, would he still be around when we hit our first bump in the road?

*****Please check out Micah, The Fierce Fights For Emma, The Brave!


Excerpt from Micah, The Fierce Knocks Up Emma, The Brave

Excerpt from Micah, The Fierce Knocks Up Emma, The Brave

I started to move forward, alright. And not in any way I expected. It all happened on an innocent Thursday night.
I happened to be dying.
Not literally, but I was dying for a slushy. It was 8:30pm and I could no longer ignore my need for something cold and sweet. I was just getting ready to run out and get one when my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway.
I was thrilled when I heard Bill’s voice on the other end.
“Hey Emma,” he said pleasantly as I answered the phone.
“Hey Bill!” I greeted excitedly. Play it cool, Emma.
“How’s the ankle?”
I had totally forgotten about that. “Uuh…it’s good. It’s healed.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear it. Ankles can be tricky, sometimes.”
“Yes, they can.” I rotated my ankle, making sure it really did work.
“So what’s up?” I asked.
“I was wondering if you wanted to go out for dinner next Saturday.”
“Saturday? Hmmm…I gotta think about that.” That sounded like a date.
“Okay,” he said in a puzzled voice.
That obviously wasn’t the answer he expected. But, I had something better in mind. Can someone say slushy run?
“I’m about to get a slushy…you wanna go with me?” I asked cheerfully.
He chuckled in surprise. “What? You need a slushy right now?”
“Yeah, it’s a pretty dire situation. If I don’t get one, I may be a danger to the Baltimore community…Wanna come along?”
“Sure. Can’t have you out there alone,” he teased and played along. “I’ll come pick you up,” he offered generously.
“Well, that’s mighty kind of you,” I said in a corny Southern belle accent.
“Just doin’ my job, ma’am,” he answered in a bad John Wayne impression.
I laughed heartily and soon, his laugh joined with mine. Well, this evening was certainly looking up.
“You really wanna come with me?” I asked, giving him an opportunity to back out.
Wow, I liked that he was up for a spur of the moment get together. I wanted to keep this light and fun. No fussing or 1st date-like anxieties allowed. I was gonna keep it real.
“Full disclosure, Bill. I’m in my sweats and I have no intention of changing.”
“Me, too,” he chuckled in agreement
“Well then, come as you are,” I encouraged flirtatiously.
“You’re my kind of girl, Emma!”
“I aim to please.”
I gave him directions to my house and we said goodbye. I grabbed my purse and waited for him to pull up. I didn’t have to wait long. He must have hauled ass to get my house. A gentleman eager for company…I could definitely deal with that.
He arrived in a stylish GTO red convertible. He rolled into up my driveway and I tried to hold back my excitement. This had fun written all over it.
“Hey good lookin’,” he said and winked at me as I approached his cool ride.
“What’s happenin’ hot stuff?” I shot back in my best impression of the Asian dude in Sixteen Candles.
Bill threw back his head and chuckled loudly. “You‘re funny!”
“I try,” I quipped. “You goin’ somewhere?” I saddled up to the passenger side door.
“Yep, we’re gonna get you a slurpy.”
“You mean a slushy?” I corrected in a teasing voice.
“There’s a difference?” he asked thoughtfully.
“Of course there is…” I started seriously. “A slushy has…” I stalled, trying to think of something clever. But, a slushy and slurpy were almost identical. “Nah…just messin’ with you,” I finished lightheartedly.
He chuckled deeply again, his green eyes lighting up in amusement. I found his laugh sexy and a flash of attraction leapt through me.
He gave me a genuine grin as I hopped into the front seat. He backed out of the driveway, giving me a chance to study him. He appeared fresh from the shower and wore a tight blue t-shirt that showed off his impressive build.
True to his word, he was in dark blue sweats. He was clean and crisp, almost with military precision. His light brown hair was very short with a crew cut on top. The only untamed thing about him was a thick, reddish-brown beard covering his handsome face. What was up with the scruffy facial hair?
“So, what’s with the wild beard?” I asked as we waited at a stoplight. “You trackin’ some bears?” I added in a hillbilly accent.
He chuckled as he put his hand up to his face. “This old thing? It’s driving me crazy. I can’t wait to shave it off, but it’s tradition.”
“What kind of tradition?”
“When you’re in the play-offs, you grow a beard until you win the cup or get sent home. It’s always been that way. The whole team looks like loggers coming down from the mountains.”
“Oh, really?”
“Yeah. It’s kind of scary.”
“I can imagine,” I said, thinking about what Micah would look like with a play-off beard. Don’t worry about it. Let it go. I shook the sexy picture of Micah sporting a beard out of my head.
A tendril of hair flew into my chapstick covered lips, reminding me of the wild bun atop of my head that was threatening to come down at any minute. I suddenly was conscious of the fact that I hadn’t primped or even bothered to look at myself in a mirror for two seconds before this unexpected slushy run.
I was in a pink t-shirt that was too big, one shoulder hanging off, but it was my favorite. I’m pretty sure the grey sweats I was wearing had a hole in them somewhere. My pink flip flops had seen better days. Oh well. This wasn’t a date. It didn’t matter what I wore.
We were strictly friends, going out to enjoy the wonders of a slushy. I appreciated that Bill was humoring my craving. I ignored the delicious way his arm muscles rippled as he turned the corner. I tried not to think about how long it had been since I had sex.
Instead, I concentrated on his beautiful car. The deep roar of the engine spoke of power and speed. The seats were white leather, with red trim. Shiny chrome metal was all over the interior, from the turn signal to the door handles.
An old fashioned car radio sat in the middle of the console, belting out Night Ranger’s Sister Christian. Love that song. It reminded me of when I was a kid and life was carefree.
The car was immaculate, just like him. I secretly wondered how Bill did when life got messy. Things in my life were going to get very messy soon, like dirty diapers and snotty kids messy.
We drove to a convenience store a couple of blocks from my house. I got a giant blue raspberry slushy, filling it up to the brim.
Bill settled on a kid’s size…What was the point of that?
“Watching your figure?” I teased lightly as we stood in line to pay.
“Play-off hockey, Emma,” he said seriously.
“Oh yeah. How’s that going?”
‘Not so great. We’re down in the series against New York,” he answered brusquely.
“Oh. Sorry to hear that.”
He nodded solemnly. We didn’t need to talk about anything hockey-related. That was fine with me.
We wandered back out to his hot car and drove to the park near my house. The sun was setting, the park was mostly deserted. We had a perfect view of the state of the art playground. Brightly colored plastic tubes, durable swings and rubber mats abounded throughout the play area. I wondered if I would be spending hours here with my kiddo.
“That is such a cool play area. I wish they had this kind of stuff when I was kid,” I remarked nostalgically.
“Yeah. Remember the crazy hot metal that would scald your skin when you went down the slide?” Bill asked as I swirled my slushy with my straw.
I giggled softly, recalling how common it was to come home with some kind of war wound. “Totally. Those were the wild-west days of the playground. These days, it’s all plastic and child-proofed. These kids won’t have any battle scars from their days on the playground.”
“They’re missin’ out. Nothin’ builds character like surviving a day at the park,” Bill surmised as he fiddled with his drink.
We shared a smile as we slurped our slushies. I was definitely feeling comfortable hanging out with Bill.
So comfortable in fact that I chugged my blue raspberry slushy right there in front of him, like it was my drug of choice.
“Wow, impressive,” Bill praised as he watched me, amused that I gulped down most of my drink.
He didn’t know the half of it. I was serious about eating for two. I could wolf down a couple of burgers without blinking an eye.
Blinding pain ripped through my brain. “Oh crap! Brain freeze!” I pinched the points between my eyebrows, hoping to lessen the agony. “I forgot about that,” I uttered as sharp pain continued to slash through the front part of my head.
“Yeah, brain freeze can kill a good sugar buzz,” Bill sympathized.
“Tell me about it,” I uttered through the agony, wishing it would end soon.
The pain started to fade until it no longer held my brain hostage. Bill wisely slurped his drink a little at a time. He struck me as a cautious guy. I didn’t know what to think about that.
Micah would have raced me in a chugging contest and then kissed me wildly. Stop making comparisons…You’re moving on.
Yes, I was. I switched gears and concentrated on Bill’s cool ride.
“Did you buy this car in this condition or restore it?” I asked, hoping he would distract me from thinking about Micah.
“Well, it was a little bit of both. I found the car and hired someone to restore it. I made the big decisions, like what color to paint it and what kind of stereo it needed,” he said with humor in his husky voice.
“Yeah, that’s a lot of pressure,” I joked. “The red just sings though, doesn’t it?” I praised sincerely.
“Yes, it does. I love this car,” he said wistfully, like the car was the girl of his dreams.
Could a guy who loved his car this much even keep a girlfriend? I needed to find out.
“So what’s a great guy like you still doing single?” I asked, curious as to what he would say.
He took another sip from his banana slushy as he thought about his answer. “I’m guess I’m just waiting for the right girl,”
“Well, what qualities does the right girl have?” I prodded softly.
He thought for a moment. “She’s gotta be sweet, smart, fun…” he trailed off temporarily. “And she has to be sexy…” he added sheepishly and shot me a sideways look.
Not so subtle, was he? I played blissfully ignorant. “Lots of women fit that description.”
“How about with eyes as blue as the ocean?” His gaze met mine unexpectedly.
A sizzle of attraction sparked between us. This slushy run was taking another fun turn.
I smiled brazenly. “Well, that does significantly cut down your choices.”
“Are you one of my choices, Emma?” he asked flirtatiously.
“Maybe,” I answered coyly. Bill didn’t know how complicated my life was right now.
“Alright, I’ll take that,” he replied good-naturedly.
Our chemistry was simmering nicely and I wasn’t sure how I felt about starting something with him. But, it was hard not to get caught up in the magic of this fine summer evening. The air was warm and all of nature seemed to be vibrant and alive as we heard the cicadas sing their nightly song.
We continued to laugh and talk like old friends late into the evening. He dropped me off around midnight and I knew that we were at a crucial part of the evening. He parked in my driveway and turned towards me.
“Emma, I had a great time. Best date in my sweats, hands down.”
Now, it was my turn to laugh. “Yeah, I would give it a solid 8.”
“An 8?! What’s a guy gotta do to get a 10?” he said with a challenge in his eye.
“Hmmm…I’ll have to get back to you,” I replied mysteriously.
“Well, I really enjoyed my evening with you. Thanks for inviting to get a slurpy…I mean a slushy,” he teased playfully.
“I had a good time, too,” I agreed softly.
He brushed an errant hair out of my face. He looked ready to slide across the seat and give me a goodnight kiss. I was definitely curious to find out how Bill’s mouth would feel pressed against mine.

An Excerpt from Micah, The Fierce Toys With Emma, The Brave(pt. 5)

kiss2I couldn’t take my eyes off of Emma all evening. I gritted my teeth, watching her flirt and chat with other men…all I knew was I didn’t like it.
I didn’t like my teammates making moves on her or playing hero to her damsel in distress. I saw the way they lusted over her body, how she put them at ease, enough to think they had a chance with her.
I found myself not able to concentrate on anything, but her, and that’s one of the reasons I was sitting in the dark on the front porch.
I saw her come out, her pretty form moving through the night. I called out to her before I could restrain myself. She turned in the light, an artificial smile plastered on her face. That burned me. She was trying to brush me off.
I spoke again, determined to get a true reaction and now I stood here, not sure what had just happened, wishing I kept my mouth shut.
She certainly wasn’t responding to me like she used to. Something wasn’t right. Emma was saying something like she wanted to be done with me.
“I gotta go, Micah,” she said dejectedly, looking sad and distant. Where was the feisty and passionate Emma ? The Emma who wouldn’t give up on me?
She turned and started to walk away, but my hand shot out and grabbed hers before I even realized that I was unwilling to let her depart.
I intertwined my long fingers around hers and brought her back to me. We stood, inches apart, her face resolute.
“What, Micah, what?” she asked impatiently as her blue eyes dared me to say the right thing. I didn’t know what that was, so I stalled.
“Well, I thought we could just have a conversation,” I replied casually, hoping that I could buy some time and think of the right thing to say.
“Oh, you mean like the kind that friends have?” she countered, a hint of subtle mocking in her voice.
“Haven’t we always been friends, Emma?” I argued softly, knowing that she was only woman I had ever enjoyed hanging out with.
“When did this happen? Did I miss the meeting where we became friends?”
“I don’t know, did you?” I cajoled lightly and winked, hoping to charm her out of her funk. Her eyes didn’t light up, nor did she smile. Wow, tough customer. I was gonna have to find another way around her defenses.
“The last time I saw you, you were obviously not interested in having me in your life in any capacity. So, what gives?” she asked pointedly.
Ok, so she wasn’t willing to let her issues go. I still didn’t like where this was going, so I answered vaguely, “It’s complicated, Emma.” I shrugged my shoulders and avoided sharing anything truthful, like I woke up thinking about her every god-damn day.
“Explain it to me.” Her eyes were begging for answers I couldn’t give.
“All I know, Emma, is I don’t like seeing you with another guy,” I said evenly, as I tapped my cigar and watched the ash fall to the cement.
“Yes,” she said annoyed. “We’ve established the fact that you don’t want me to be with any other man. It doesn’t matter, though. You don’t get a say anymore.”
A say? Didn’t she realize that this was the closest I had ever come to caring about a woman? Why was she talking like this? Couldn’t we still get together and hang out?
“Well, what if I want a say?” I couldn’t help, but blurt out recklessly.
Her eyes flared with fire. “That would require something of you, Micah. A sacrifice. One you’re clearly not willing to make,” she said like she meant it.
I couldn’t believe she was writing me off. She didn’t think I had it in me to be with her. “Well, what kind of sacrifice?” I might have cringed a little.
“You really wanna know?” she questioned skeptically as she put her hands on her hips.
How bad could it be? This was kind, sweet Emma who didn’t have a mean bone in her body.
“Come on, tell me,” I pleaded, my curiosity piqued. She held my gaze, her eyes blazing with tenacity.
She held nothing back as her words rang in my ears, “The kind where you don’t get to leave every time you’re uncomfortable. The kind where you put our relationship above your own wants and needs,” she paused dramatically, “The kind where you fight for us when things get tough,” she finished fiercely, her eyes full of conviction.
Whoa, that was heavy. I wasn’t ready for that, but I wasn’t willing to let her go, either. I had one last thing to try. I threw down my cigar and made my move.
“Micah—” she started to say as I took 2 steps and curled my arms around her, crushing my lips to her surprised ones.

An Excerpt from Micah Aches For Emma

We’d had a long road trip and I was tired and cranky when I got back to my hotel.  I’d been in a foul mood for several days now and everything was pissing me off.  I was watching Sports Center when the maid came in, holding something in her hand.

“Mr. Turner.”  She said in her thick Spanish accent.

“What is it, Maria?”  I asked, annoyed at being disturbed.  There was supposed to be a segment on the demise of Micah Turner.  I wanted to see what those assholes had to say about me.

“This doesn’t look like one of your shirts.” She held it out for my inspection and brought it over to me.

“Where did you find this?” I asked suspiciously as I took it and examined it.  The blouse was purple, frilly and silky.  What was a woman’s shirt doing in my things?

“Your suitcase.”

“Really?”  I asked in disbelief.

“Yes, it was in the front, in the secret pocket, Mr. Turner.” She said patiently.

“Thanks, Marie.” I said distractedly as I stared at the blouse.  She nodded and left the room.

A whiff of perfume hit my nose…Emma.   What was her shirt doing in my suitcase?  Had I accidentally picked it up when I left?

I looked at it more closely.  There was something hanging from the sleeve.

It was a little note that read:

A little something to keep me near, come back to me soon. 


She must’ve put it in my suitcase before she realized that I was leaving. I tried to put the blouse down, but my hand wouldn’t release it.  She’d always smelled so good- like summer wildflowers with a touch of vanilla-sweet and wild at the same time.

I couldn’t help myself.  I brought the shirt to my nose and inhaled sharply.  A deep craving overtook me as my senses were flooded with visions of her.  I had never known a woman like her…..kind, nurturing, sexy as hell.  She had brought me to my knees in every way.  I had never talked so dirty to a woman or been so driven to give pleasure like that.

The scent lingered in the air, making me ache for her.  My usual defenses crumbled, memories assaulted me, my heartbeat quickened.  God…sweet Emma