Christmas Ice — new short story, free!

christmas ice freeNow through December 25 — a fun, sexy holiday romance!

Alise wasn’t expecting an ice storm when she hid away in a remote cabin to finish her novel. She also wasn’t expecting a pesky park maintenance man to keep interrupting. But the snow keeps falling and the temperature keeps dropping. What could possibly go wrong?

One click at

The Stranger

elevator copyI told myself no. A chorus of reasons shouted in my head—that I didn’t know him, that we were standing in a hotel hallway waiting for an elevator. Anyone could walk up. Additional major point: accosting a stranger simply wasn’t something I would do. Jennifer Franklin wasn’t that kind of girl.

The handle of my heavy briefcase itched against my sweaty palm. I could assign this momentary insanity to fatigue. Like all such conferences, this one had turned into a three-day blur of classes on everything from specialty cost coding and catastrophe adjustment to the latest on defining a collapse under a property insurance policy. Shaking hands, remembering names, smiling through dinners with speakers droning on about an adjuster’s duty to please both the insurer and the property owner. Keeping up with the latest industry standards and procedures zapped me with fresh confidence. But I was ready for a long hot soak in my tub and a mindless couch session with a bottle of wine and my cat Winston.

Yet here I was at the elevator a few feet from this man who made everything in my mind turn to mush. There was this urge, whatever recess of hell it sprang from, that caused my thighs to clench. I licked my lips, hoping my libido would tuck its tail and slink away. Maybe if I gave myself a few more minutes and couple of deep breaths…

Nope. Not working. Jesus, how did anyone exude such sensuality?

Okay, Jen, reason through this.

He wasn’t my type. I went for the slightly shorter, less sinewy man whereas this guy loomed several inches taller with an almost lanky frame. In the past, my tastes had ranged from blond and blue-eyed to dark and dangerous. I’d never given much consideration to men with light brown hair and eyes that were—what, amber? I stole another glance.

Damn. He caught my brief examination. One of his eyebrows rose slightly, asking. I quickly looked down and broke out in a little sweat. Damn damn damn.

His lips fascinated me, halfway between full and thin, sensual with a little flare at the bow and curling upwards at the corners. Tan and weathered, his skin stretched over prominent cheekbones and a bold jaw. And his neck, which happened to be directly in my line of vision—if I ever looked up again–what was it about his neck? Its intriguing cords and hollows disappeared into the open throat of his white shirt.

Oh, I could almost taste the salt on his skin. Feel the pulse in his throat against my lips.

I had seen him around the hotel, once passing along the corridor when I arrived for the first day of the conference, another time on the other side of the cocktail lounge where I hid at a dark corner table and sipped my wine. He’d been alone there, and I fantasized that he would appear at my table. I would allow him to join me and we would sit smiling in the dim light to pursue witty conversation with just enough innuendo. I refused to imagine what would happen afterwards, but I dreamed about him that night and woke up wet.

What the hell was wrong with me? I’d been around. No virgin here. Mild wear and tear, enough to consider any potential hook-up through slightly jaded eyes. No big hope left that some special ‘one’ lurked out there for me.

Now this? I wanted to slap myself for being ridiculous.

But, damn it, here I was at the elevator feeling as if my body had disconnected from my brain and would do what it pleased no matter what I thought.

Maybe it was that we were both leaving and I’d never see him again. Really, it wasn’t a choice I made, now that I look back on it. I was standing there with my briefcase gripped in my hand and a garment bag slung over my arm, my other hand seized on the handle of my wheeled travel case. Hands sweating. Knees trembling. Wanting a stranger so much I was about to embarrass myself in public.

The elevator was taking forever. He was standing a couple of feet away to my right, looking up to watch the elevator numbers frozen on floor twelve. He too had a garment bag over one arm and his travel case handle in his other hand, looking so incredibly fabulous in that simple white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up those tan forearms and in khaki slacks that looked a little wrinkled. I even checked out his shoes, Sixties style cordovan loafers, winey brown color, well-polished and clearly loved.

I could almost hear the switch flip in my head. Brain turned off. Instinct taking over.

I turned into him holding my gear on either side of me. He accommodated me by holding his luggage away from his body. With only a brief glance up at his face, I registered on his amusement, his welcome. As if we had known each other forever and this was going home.

I nestled my full length against him and brushed my lips against his neck, and oh god he felt good. At every point of contact, which actually was the entire front of me, he felt good. The strength of his thighs, the solid press of his loins, his hard chest—right there against me, holding his own, not backing away. And his neck—Jesus Christ, it was chocolate and musky wine and that skin, that soft velvet flesh that had served its time in the sun, warm and strong and scented with a heavenly fragrance that was aftershave and soap and him.

My lips savored him in that brief moment, brushing along the column of his neck as if he was my last sip of fresh water in the middle of a desert. In those few seconds—minutes?—that I stood there pressed against him, I had no sense of shame, no regret, no worry, no question. My mind stood still. I wanted never to move.

And then it ended. I don’t know how it ended. Maybe it was the elevator that ended it. A musical ‘ding.’ We moved apart. I really couldn’t remember, later, when I fought to overcome the searing embarrassment of what I’d done. One minute I was in full body contact with a man I didn’t know, oblivious to anything but him, and the next minute we were on opposite sides of the elevator with six people in between us including two kids and a dog.

I wanted to cry.

The Interview

The InterviewRachel let the job applicant, Rob W–, pour her a drink. She’d already gulped one martini in an effort to put the tiring day behind her. Sheer craziness to go into this tired. But the appointment had been made ten days earlier, and men eager for this particular job weren’t exactly thick on the ground.

Well, that wasn’t quite it. More like, men capable of meeting the job requirements weren’t easy to find. Plenty of men applied. Few were chosen. This one had all the credentials—gorgeous, tall, muscled, self-assured, and a hint of provocateur lurking at the corner of his sensual mouth.

She had taken her time dressing, trying to get in the mood with a fitted white spandex blouse and a straight gray skirt that fell from a wide waistband to just above her knees. Her breasts pressed against the spandex and crowded the low V-cut neckline. Underneath, she wore panties made in the new loose-leg style.

Somewhere midway through her therapeutic martini, she had examined herself in the mirror, infuriated that when she leaned close to see her skin, everything was out of focus. She had roamed around for a few minutes trying to find her reading glasses. Her dark auburn hair curled in an attractive jumbled mass around her head, but she thought her green eyes looked tired. She had jerked off the glasses and tossed them onto the bathroom counter. How would she know? She couldn’t see her eyes with the glasses over them, and couldn’t see up close without them. And then he’d knocked.

Why the hell was she nervous?

“Thanks,” she said as he handed her the glass. Anyway, it didn’t matter how she looked. His job was to make even the most unattractive woman feel supremely fabulous. He interested her only in a clinical way, which made things more difficult for him. His future clients, assuming he passed her test, would be eager to have him.

“Tough job?”

“Yes, in a way,” she mused, sipping the martini. “But it’s our careful preparation that allows us to offer such an exquisite selection to our clients.”  Her breath hitched slightly as he leaned toward her. Points for that.

She hurried on. “As I’m sure you know, when you meet with a client, the situation is entirely in your hands. You have to consider her special requests, of course, if she has any. Many women don’t. You have to put her at ease and pursue your seduction. She has to see you want her.” She ran her hand through her hair, feeling suddenly embarrassed.

He settled next to her on the couch and turned his body to face her. “Yes, I know, it’s a delicate situation,” he said smoothly, looking at her with dark blue eyes that crinkled at the corners. He leaned forward, set her glass aside, and brushed his lips over her mouth.

His mouth felt firm and yet sensitive, and she let herself respond. His hands came to her shoulders, tugging her slightly toward him. Then he slid his touch over the front of her blouse, pressing against her breasts in a motion that showed her he knew what a woman liked. Her nipples hardened, and he let his palms linger over the knotted peaks for a moment with his hands slowly circling.

The tip of his tongue tickled against her upper lip, and she inhaled at the sensation as her mouth opened slightly. He had a scent of cut grass, clean and sweet. The vodka asserted its gentle relaxation, and she felt moisture gathering between her thighs as he continued to stroke her breasts.

Moments later, he stood up and pulled her up in front of him. His smile said he knew he would please her. More points. She let him back her up to the wall while he kissed her again, until he pressed her between his muscled chest and the cool wall and she could feel his bulge against her belly.

His mouth trailed down her throat and into the valley between her breasts. One by one, he released the tight buttons and followed the trail with his lips, until her blouse and bra hung open and his mouth seized first one breast, then the other in an erotic play of tongue and teeth.

“Beautiful,” he whispered.

Christ. Her sex pulsed with a surge of moisture. She felt his hand at her knee, sliding up her thigh, and then he encountered the loose panty legs.

“Um, I love these,” he murmured against her breast. His hand slid inside the panties and found her wet secret, and his fingers immediately began stroking.

“Oh,” she breathed. “Um.” Okay, maybe not so clinical now.

His fingers teased and probed until her knees became wobbly. He crouched then, shoving her skirt up to her waist and sliding the loose panties to her ankles before bringing his mouth and hands to her center. His fingers pulled her swollen lips apart and she felt his tongue licking at her stiff bud.

“Oh, yes.” Her head fell back against the wall. With her lower body on fire, her breasts full and tingling, she honestly didn’t know how much longer she could stand up. His hands swooped around her buttocks, massaging and tugging while his face buried between her thighs. A finger penetrated and her knees gave.

With a quiet chuckle, he stood up, wiping his mouth on his sleeve before starting to unbutton his shirt. His chest came into view, far more incredible than the application photos had led her to believe. Muscled shoulders, lean ripples down his abdomen, a dusting of dark body hair over the chest that narrowed to a thin line at his belt—she licked her lips and leaned to graze his flat nipples with her mouth.

He pulled the belt open and unbuttoned his pants, but didn’t go further. He kissed her again, stroking his tongue along her lips and plunging deep into her mouth. His hands worked at her skirt fastening until he had dropped it to her feet and only her blouse and bra remained hanging from her shoulders. He half carried, half walked her to the bedroom while his mouth again sucked at her nipples. She longed for him now, her entire body throbbing with need.

Random thoughts raced through her mind. What was it about men that made their lovemaking so intense? Size, for one thing—bigger, stronger in every dimension. Scent, for another, musky and sharp, probably a hundred pheromones she couldn’t consciously identify but which nevertheless called to her in some mysterious primal language.

Spread back on the bed, she closed her eyes as he sucked and toyed between her legs. Blissfully erotic, his teasing brought her to the brink and held her there. She wanted to scream.

Finally plunging inside with fingers and his mouth clamped on her hard bud, he sent her over the edge. Her body writhed and bucked, captured in his strong hands, at the mercy of his tongue. Heat seared through her in the long aching climax.

His voice whispered close to her ear as his face brushed through her hair.

“Do you want me?” he challenged her.

“Yes,” she whispered back. “Yes.”

He leaned back to a kneeling position between her legs, and made a deliberate play of unzipping. He let the slacks fall down his thighs to expose the stunning manhood peeking out from his shirt tails. No briefs, her brain registered. A fresh wave of heat rolled down her belly.

He ripped his clothes off and then lowered his body over hers, spearing her with his thick cock and sliding all the way in.

“Oh, Christ,” she groaned.

He felt huge inside her. Her hips spread to accommodate him. He moved after a few seconds, sliding out a small distance before ramming back up to the hilt. Oh, shit. She twisted underneath him, deliciously caught between pleasure and pain and suddenly desperate to have more.

He slid out slightly further, then rammed all the way in again. Distantly, her rational brain analyzed his method and gave him a ten out of ten for everything. But more to the point, he was fucking her real nice, thick cock sliding in and out, his mouth reaching down to capture her nipples or forcing her mouth open for an invasion of his tongue.

Damn. Gooseflesh broke over her body as his cock kept driving at her, out almost the whole way, in as far as he could go, now slightly faster, and her pussy clenched repeatedly in orgasmic surges as he shook her body with his plunges. Her hands streamed over his chest, his biceps, his broad shoulders straining in his exertion as his body filmed in sweat.

“Do you want me to come?” he breathed.

“Oh, yes,” she begged as her hips thrust up against him. “Please.”

He shifted to a faster, harder movement then, scooting her slightly up the bed as he drove into her. His hands seized her shoulders, forcing her down against his assaulting hips. His cock filled her belly.

His chest hair brushed her nipples and his pubic bone repeatedly crushed against her throbbing bud until the hard knot exploded in waves of orgasmic frenzy.  Pleasure shuddered over her as his hips bucked and pushed. She felt his semen burst into her in fast hot jabs and she grabbed his buttocks, wanting him never to stop.

Dimly, she acknowledged the session had ended. He kept his arms around her shoulders as he eased onto one elbow, then lay beside her for a few minutes. When his breathing slowed, he kissed her again and caressed her breasts, bringing a fresh wave of arousal over her. She turned toward him and traced his jawline with her finger.

“You are good,” she smiled, “and hired.”

“That’s good to hear,” he said in a husky voice. His eyes lingered on her face for a moment before examining her body. “Not difficult. Do they all look as great as you do?”

“Spoken like a true gigilo You flatter now. But no, not to be vain, but you surely realize lots of the women you see will not be greatly attractive or young. Can you handle that?”

“I think I can.” He heaved himself up from the bed and tossed her the panties. “Just wear those, no blouse or skirt allowed,” he joked as she sat up.

She felt warm and happy, just how all their clients should feel at the end of a session. When she had pulled the panties up her legs and reached for the blouse, he came up behind her and grabbed her breasts. He pulled her back against his hips, and she was incredulous to feel his cock already hardening against her buttocks.

“You are our kind of guy, Rob,” she muttered as her nipples tightened under his hands. Maybe, in this case, a bit more interview time would be required…