Healing Gabriel

Healing Gabriel
Elizabeth Kelly's latest novel "Healing Gabriel"

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Red Moon Rising (The Red Moon Second Generation Series)

Hello everyone,

I've been hard at work the past couple of months on a new series.  This series will focus on the children of Avery and Tristan.

Below is the first chapter of "Red Moon Rising".  Red Moon Rising is set twenty-some years after Red Moon and tells the story of Avery and Tristan's son James.  This new book will be released on Amazon and Smashwords in January of 2014. 

Happy Reading and thank you again for your continued support! 

Red Moon Rising

Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Kelly

This book is the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, scanned or distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes.  Quotes used in reviews are the exception.  No alteration of content is allowed.

Your support and respect for the property of this author is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Adult Reading Material

She stumbled through the forest, her body trembling violently and her vision blurred.  The sun was setting slowly and she could see her breath in the cold air.  She had used her shirt as a bandage but the blood from the wounds on her side had already soaked through it and dark rivers of blood were streaming down her leg. 
She was dying.  She had managed to kill one of the beasts, more from luck than any kind of skill, but not before it had wounded her mortally.  She staggered on anyway.  The other two would soon discover their dead brother and it would not take them long to find her.  They would smell her blood and track her down.  If the gods were merciful she would already be dead before they found her and ripped her body to pieces.
She stopped and leaned against one of the thick trees, the bark scraping against her bare back as she took shallow, gasping breaths.  The small dog at her feet whined nervously and pawed at her leg.

“Tia.”  Her voice was thick and she coughed weakly, moaning when it made her sides burn.  Blood coated her mouth and lips.  Her ribs were broken, she was sure of it.  She had both heard and felt the crack when the beast threw her against the tree.   

She raised her hand and touched her face gingerly.  Her battle with the beast had left her face battered and bruised.  One eye was swollen shut completely and her lips were bruised and swollen from having her mouth punched.  She touched her front teeth experimentally with her tongue, wincing when they wiggled loosely in their sockets.  She was surprised they hadn’t been knocked out completely.

“Tia.”  She tried again.  “When I die, you have to leave me.”

The dog stood and rested its small paws on her shin.  It whined again and she smiled at the dog.  “Don’t stick around.  They’ll kill you if they see you.  You have to – “ 

She coughed again, moaning and crying out with the pain as fresh blood poured from the wounds on her side.

“You have to run away.  Find a new family okay?”  She whispered.

The dog barked once, shrilly, and she winced.  “Hush Tia.”

She made herself push away from the tree.  Oddly enough the pain was a little better.  It had been replaced by a curious feeling of numbness.  She pulled the sodden material of her shirt away from her wound and stared at the blood spurting from the four deep slashes. 

“That can’t be good.” She whispered and then laughed weakly.  She replaced the drenched material against the wounds, why she bothered she didn’t know, and stared down at the dog.

“Do you hear me Tia?  Find a new family.  Don’t stay with me.”  She stared into Tia’s soft brown eyes and then frowned when the dog cocked its head, stared into the trees, and then turned and bolted away.

“I’m not dead yet damn you.”  She muttered.  Her heart squeezed painfully.  The little dog’s abandonment hurt more than her broken body did but it was for the better.  She swiped a shaking hand across her mouth, staring dully at the blood on her fingers, and lurched on.

They would bring her head back and stick it on a pole beside the others.  She cringed at the thought that her brother would see it.  He had screamed and raged and begged the beasts to allow him to take her place in the hunt.  They had laughed and sneered at him.  He was too valuable to be used in hunting.  

They had stopped laughing when he had attacked and killed one of them with his bare hands.  Valuable or not, they would have torn him apart if she had not gotten on her knees and begged Draken to spare his life. 
They hadn’t let her say goodbye to him, hadn’t let her hug him and tell him she loved him.  The last time she had seen him he had been pinned to the ground, his face red and his muscles straining against his captors as he fought to get to her.

She swallowed thickly, tasting the metallic tang of blood, as tears began to slip down her cheeks.   She was suddenly so weary she couldn’t take another single step.  She collapsed to the ground, her breath wheezing in and out as her lungs laboured to draw air into them.

She was cold and so very tired.  Her eyes slipped shut and she pictured her brother’s face - his strong jaw and clear blue eyes.  His eyes had once danced with laughter but it had been many months since there had been anything but anger and sorrow in them.  

There was snuffling beside her and a warm, wet tongue licked her forehead.  She forced her one good eye open and stared at the small dog.

“Tia.”  She whispered.  

Tia whimpered softly and looked behind her.  The dying woman followed the dog’s gaze, squinting at the two figures behind the dog.  Dread filled her body.  They had found her.

One of them crouched beside her and she realized with a faint thread of relief that it was not one of the beasts.  The man was as big as her brother, his shoulders broad and heavily muscled.  His eyes were a dark brown, they looked nearly black in the dim light, and his hair was a rich, dark red. 

The second figure knelt beside him, he was blonde and blue eyed, and almost as big as the redhead.  Even with only one eye working properly, she could see the horror and disgust on his face.

“Gods be damned James.  What happened to her?”

The redhead grunted.  “I don’t know Nicky.”

He leaned further over her.  “What is your name girl?”

She ignored his question and with the last of her strength reached up and brushed his face with her bloody fingers.  “Tia.  Please help her – “

A sudden, stabbing pain shot through her chest and she screamed hoarsely.  Darkness crept across her vision and the last thing she saw before it overtook her, was the redhead reaching for her.

* * *

The thumping in her head was loud and irritating.   With her eyes closed, she reached up and massaged at her temple.  It didn’t help.  The thumping continued - a solid constant beat that demanded her attention. 
She wanted to ignore it.  Her side hurt and her head hurt and she was exhausted.  She wanted to drift back into sleep but the thumping wouldn’t allow it.  She frowned.  Her bed was moving.  Only a little but it was definitely moving.  

She forced her eyelids up and her mouth dropped open with surprise.  Her bed wasn’t a bed at all but a human being.  She was sprawled across the body of a man twice her size.  Moving carefully she lifted her head from his chest.  The thumping stopped and she realized that it was the solid beat of his heart she had been hearing.  

Not daring to move anything but her head she looked around.  She was in a tent; cold sunlight was filtering through its walls and although she could see her breath, she wasn’t the least bit chilled.  The man beneath her radiated heat; it surrounded her entire body and – 

She realized with sudden horror that she was completely naked and the gods help her – so was the man underneath her.  She froze, her pulse thudding and her eyes widening as she stared at the man’s broad chest.  It was covered in a layer of reddish-brown hair and despite the cold weather, he was deeply tanned.  His chest was rising and falling evenly and she risked a glance at his face.  He was sleeping soundly and she studied his face carefully.   He had a broad nose and wide cheekbones and freckles covered his tanned cheeks.

He looked to be around her age and he was a handsome man, she decided.  He was also huge.  Her small frame fit neatly on top of him with room to spare.  He would be at least a foot and a half taller than her, her feet barely reached his knees.  If she –

For the gods sake – what are you doing?  In case you’ve forgotten, the man is very naked and very much a stranger.  Get your naked self off of him and get out of his tent before he wakes.

She decided that was excellent advice.  Moving slowly, she slithered off his body onto the blanket beside him.  He snorted, his hands twitching by his sides, but didn’t wake.  She almost screamed out loud when a cold nose poked into her back.  She twisted her head, flinching at the pain in her face, and stared into the face of the small dog.

“Tia!”  She breathed softly and the dog licked her face, her entire body wiggling.

“Hush Tia.” She said quietly before turning back to the man beside her.  She started to slide out from under the blankets that covered them and then paused, reaching for the edge of it.

What are you doing?  Have you gone mad?  What do you think he’ll do if he catches you staring at his naked body?  Her mind moaned at her.

She ignored the voice and lifted the blanket a little.  In all of her nineteen years she had never once seen what was between a man’s legs and curiosity was winning out over her fear.  She lifted the blanket higher, squinting to see in the dim light below it.  Before she could fully see what was between his legs, he muttered thickly and turned away from her.  She stared at his naked back and ass for a moment before scooting out gingerly from under the blankets.  Away from the heat of his body, the cool air brought goose bumps to her skin and she began to shiver.  Her clothes were nowhere to be seen but his were piled neatly on the ground and she picked out his shirt and slipped into it.  The material was cold but soft and it fell past her knees.  Tia scratched at her legs and she reached down and petted the small dog, wincing at the pain in her side.

She frowned.  Lying in the redhead’s bed she had felt tired but there had been only a dull ache in her side and her face.  Now, sharp pain was radiating from her side into her back and her face was throbbing dully.  She touched her face gingerly, noticing for the first time that she could see out of both eyes.  The one that had been puffed shut was tender and sore but not swollen the way it had been before.  She pressed her tongue against her front teeth.  They didn’t move and she frowned a little.  They had been loose last night, she was sure of it.

The evening came flooding back to her.  Her fight with the beast, the agonizing pain in her side and back when he had thrown her against the tree.  She paled and reached for the hem of the shirt, lifting it up and studying her side carefully.

It was swollen and bruised and she could see four barely-scabbed over cuts where the beast had swiped her with his long claws.  She blinked in astonishment.  Last night they had been wide, gaping slashes with blood pouring from them.  

She looked down at her dog.  “What’s happening to me Tia?”  She whispered fearfully as she dropped the shirt.

She decided that for the moment she didn’t care.  What mattered was getting out of here before he woke up.  Her side was burning and throbbing and she would have to move slowly.  She needed to put as much space between her and the stranger as possible.

“Come Tia.”  She whispered.  Her eye fell on the sword lying next to his pants.  She hesitated and then picked it up.  It was heavy and it hurt her side to hold it but she would take it anyway.

“Good morning.”

She screamed breathlessly and whirled around.  The cuts on her side split open and she could feel blood dripping down her side as she lifted the man’s sword and held it in front of her.

The redhead was sitting up in his nest of blankets.  He yawned and suddenly stood and her eyes dropped automatically.  She flushed scarlet at the sight of his penis.  It was partially erect and as big as the rest of him.
He walked towards her and she stumbled back, holding the handle of the sword tightly in her hand and giving him a warning look.  He ignored it and reached for his pants, slipping into them and smiling a little at the redness of her cheeks.

“Do you know how to use that?”  He pointed to the sword in her hand. 

“Yes.”  She lied.

He reached out with terrifying quickness and knocked the sword from her hand.  It clattered to the ground, barely missing her bare toes, and he picked it up quickly.  He held it out to her, handle-first and grinned at her.

“Try again.”

She glared at him and snatched it from him.  Her sudden movement ripped open the barely-healed cuts on her side even more and she fought back the wave of nausea that went through her as she felt the blood soaking into his shirt.  She swayed a little and he frowned.

“You’re not fully healed yet.”  He held out his hand.  “Come to me.”

She scowled and backed away towards the opening of the tent. 

“Do not be frightened of me little one.  I only wish to help you.”

“Stay away from me!”  She spat at him.

“Tia - that is your name is it not?”

She frowned in confusion at him as the dog at her feet perked its ears up and then ran to the man.  She stopped in front of him, her tail wagging happily and as the man reached down, rolled on to her back.
He rubbed the dog’s belly and the woman made a low moan of dismay.  She whistled softly and the dog, after licking the redhead’s hand, bounced to her feet and ran back to her.

“We’re leaving.  If you try and stop me, I’ll kill you.”  She whispered.

She backed out of the tent.  The man made no attempt to follow her as she stepped into the cold morning air.  She trembled violently and pressed her hand against her side.  It was getting hard to breathe again and she felt weak and faint.

She took a deep breath and turned to flee into the forest.  A blonde man, his expression amused, was standing behind her.

“Good morning.”  He stared at the sword in her hand.  “Are you planning on hunting for our breakfast?”

She lunged at him, lifting the sword and jabbing it at him weakly.  He sidestepped her easily and she tumbled to the ground, crying out at the bolt of pain that went through her side.  Dimly she could hear Tia barking and the blonde man cursing and then the redhead’s face was over hers and he was staring at her gravely.

“Stay away from me.”  She whispered weakly as he plucked the sword from her limp hand.

“We won’t harm you little one.”  The man said as she fainted again.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Tempted Quickie

So have I mentioned how awesome I think you guys are?  Because if I haven't, I'll say it right now.


Although I've been writing for years, I'm new to the world of self-publishing and to be honest, I really wasn't sure what to expect.  I hoped that there would be people out there who enjoyed reading my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them but as I started the process of self-publishing I reminded myself constantly that writing was a tough business.

Years of being rejected by traditional publishing houses had made me certain that self-publishing would fail as well.  I tried anyway.  I wanted people to read my stories and I figured if even a couple of people read them and enjoyed them, I would be thrilled.

I took a deep breath and published one of my favourite stories.  A short little novel about two people finding love in an unexpected place.  The response I received was both overwhelming and exhilarating.  You loved Lucy and Jason as much as I did and your enthusiasm for them inspired me to write a second part to their story.

I can't say thank you enough for your support.  As a small token of appreciation, I'm offering a short excerpt that didn't make the final cut of Twice Tempted.  It's just a fun and light-hearted glimpse at what happens when  Lucy turns the tables on Jason.  A sweet (and a little naughty) "quickie" if you will.  ;)

If you would like this FREE pdf excerpt, just send me an email at elizabethkellybooks at gmail dot com with "Tempted Quickie" in the subject line and I'll email it off to you.

Thank you so much for your support, for reading my stories, and most importantly - for sharing with me how much you like them.  Talking with readers has been the best part of this journey.



Friday, 20 September 2013

Death by Shaving

The weather is starting to turn cool and I couldn't be happier.  Not because I hate the heat (although I do) and not because I'm looking forward to cozy sweaters and jeans and boots again (although I am), but because I hate to shave.   And let's be honest - there's less shaving of the legs in the winter.  I mean, I'm not going full on Sasquatch over here but I don't shave my gams every single day (sorry honey).

Lots of women hate to shave but I really hate it.  I like to think I have a good reason for hating it.  About fifteen years ago I nearly died from shaving my legs. 

I was in my mid-twenties and living on my own in a tiny little apartment.  One morning I woke up and realized that my leg was kind of sore.  In fact it was so sore I was limping.  Upon investigation I discovered a large red bump on the inside of my upper thigh, just above my knee.  It was so painful to the touch that I was forced to wear a skirt to work that day.  My pant leg brushing against it was like being brushed with fire.

Later that morning I went to my family doctor, a lovely woman named Dr. Meg, assuming I had a boil or something on my leg.  She took one long look at it, probed it gently with her fingers and then gave me a strange look.

Dr. Meg:  Elizabeth, you need to go to the hospital right now.
Me:  What?  I can't go to the hospital.  I have to go back to work.
Dr. Meg:  No, you're going to the hospital.  I am not kidding about this.  You leave my office and go straight to the hospital.
Me:  Um, okay?
Dr. Meg:  See how it's red all around the lump?  I'm going to take this pen and mark where the red is.
Me:  Why?
Dr. Meg:  It's an easy way to let us know how quickly the red is spreading.
Me:  Oh.
Dr. Meg:  I'll call ahead to the hospital and let the infectious disease people know you're coming.
Me:  Infectious disease?  Am I dying?  I'm dying aren't I?
Dr. Meg:  *pauses* Noooo...but you have a really bad strep infection.
Me:  Strep infection?  My throat's not sore!
Dr. Meg:  Sweet Jesus Elizabeth!  Stop arguing with me and get your ass to the hospital right now!

When I arrived at the hospital the infectious disease team was waiting for me.  I was hustled into a room and a stern-looking doctor and an intern showed up within minutes.  The stern-looking doctor examined my leg for a few minutes, poking and prodding at the lump as I hollered and cursed every time he touched it.

He frowned at the pen marks and asked when they had been made.  At that point, the red had nearly doubled in size and was well past the pen marks Dr. Meg had made.  When I told him twenty minutes give or take a few, he grunted loudly in alarm and turned to his intern.

Infectious Disease Doctor (IDD):  If we start her on IV antibiotics immediately there's a chance we'll be able to save the leg.
Me:  *blink, blink*
IDD:  She's allergic to pencillin so let's try her on clindamycin.  It should be powerful enough to knock back the infection.
Me:  Um, I'm starting to feel slightly alarmed here.
IDD:  Have you had clindamycin before young lady?
Me:  No, but if I may, did you say there's a chance you'll be able to save my leg?  Because it sounded like you said that but obviously I have misheard you.
IDD:  You heard me correctly.
Me:  Am I dying?  I'm dying aren't I?
IDD:  You have an extremely serious strep infection that is on the verge of turning into flesh-eating disease.  We're going to start IV antibiotics today.  If we're lucky and caught it in time and if the antibiotics are powerful enough, you'll keep your leg.  If it doesn't work and turns into flesh-eating disease, best case scenario - you lose your leg.  Worst case scenario - you die.  Do you understand me?
Me:  Perfectly.  Also - do you have a bucket I can vomit into?
IDD:  You can vomit after we get an IV into you and start the antibiotics.

Obviously the treatment worked as I have all four limbs, but it was the scariest moment of my life.  After a few days of having an IV lodged in my hand and going twice a day to the infectious disease center to have antibiotics pumped into my body, the doctor actually ended up lancing the lump (at that point, the most painful experience of my entire life).  Apparently it was full of an astonishing amount of pus.

Oh, and it turns out that I was also allergic to the clindamycin, but it had already knocked back a significant amount of the infection before I turned into a giant walking rash and had to switch to yet another antibiotic.

The strep infection was caused from an ingrown hair.  The ingrown hair was caused from shaving.  Ingrown hairs are quite common and happen to a lot of people.  Only in my case I nearly died from an ingrown hair.  How lame would that sound in an obituary?  Seriously, I would have been all, "Tell people I was killed pushing a small child out of the path of a speeding bus."

Monday, 9 September 2013

Contest Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the "Twice Tempted" contest.  A winner was drawn this morning!

Congratulations to Malissa Gaiter! 

Malissa, please send me an email at elizabethkellybooks @ gmail . com and I'll email you your pdf copy of "Twice Tempted" first thing tomorrow morning.

Thanks again everyone!



Friday, 6 September 2013

Twice Tempted Contest

Hello all!

To celebrate the release of  "Twice Tempted", the conclusion to Lucy and Jason's story, I'm running a contest where a reader can win a free pdf copy.

It`s super easy to enter the contest - just leave a comment on this post.  The contest will be open until midnight (pacific time) on September 8th.  One comment will be drawn randomly and if it's yours - you win!

On September 9th I'll announce the winner on this blog and I'll send you your pdf copy of "Twice Tempted" by email.

Good luck and Happy Reading!



Monday, 2 September 2013

Twice Tempted - An Excerpt

"Twice Tempted" - the conclusion to Lucy and Jason's story - will be available September 10th on Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99!

Please enjoy an excerpt from "Twice Tempted" and check back on the 6th of September to participate in a contest to win a free copy of my latest novella, "Twice Tempted".

Excerpt from "Twice Tempted" by Elizabeth Kelly.
Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Kelly

* * *

Chapter 1

Lucy rang the doorbell of the large and impressive looking two-story house.  She had hemmed and hawed over going for most of the afternoon and still wasn’t sure that she had made the right decision.  The door opened; Jerry’s wife Heather beamed at her in delight and she was suddenly glad she came.

“Lucy!  Honey, it’s so good to see you!  I keep telling Jerry to invite you over for dinner but you know him – he just grumbles about keeping his professional life separate and sneaks off to his shop in the back to tinker with his cars.  Which is just silly because the man loves you like you’re one of his own daughters you know.”

Lucy flushed a little and Heather laughed.  “It’s true.  I know he acts all gruff and serious at the office but he’s such a softie.  Oh, he’d kill me if he knew I was telling you this.”  She looked around before leaning forward and whispering conspiratorially, “You’ve always been his favourite at the office.”

Lucy laughed.  “Well don’t you tell him this but he’s always been my favourite as well.”

Heather looked her up and down.  “You look lovely tonight Lucy.”

“Thank you.”  Lucy tugged at the hem of her shirt.  “I wasn’t sure if this was a formal or casual event so I threw a skirt on rather than my jeans just in case.”

“You would have looked just as lovely in jeans my dear.  Besides, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing – we’ve got a mixture of everything tonight.”

“It was really nice of Jerry to do this.”  Lucy said.

“I thought so too.  Jerry thought it would be good to have a bit of a shindig for everyone at the office.  You’ve all been working so hard for the last six months and the company has been doing so well – you deserve a night of celebration.”

Lucy was still standing on the doorstep and Heather smacked herself lightly in the head.  “Oh for heaven’s sake!  Come in – come in!  I didn’t mean to leave you standing on the doorstep like a lost little waif!”
She stepped back and Lucy followed her into the house.  “Don’t worry about your shoes Lucy.”  Heather called over her shoulder.  “The others are gathered in the living room and the dining room – go on and start mingling and I’ll grab you a glass of wine.”

Lucy went down the hallway and into the living room.  She scanned the room quickly.  Nearly everyone from the office was there, and the living room and adjoining dining room were filled with people.  Alex was standing by the fireplace talking with Maureen and Wallace, and Jerry was standing next to Carol and gesturing wildly, his face already a bit red from the wine. 
She scanned the room again, refusing to admit to herself who it was she was looking for.  When she didn’t see him her pulse, which had been thudding loudly in her ears, quieted down.  Ignoring her disappointment she headed towards Penny who was standing next to the large bay window.

* * *

“Oh my God!  Look who just walked through the door!”  Penny couldn’t hide the glee from her voice.  It was just over an hour later and Lucy had been telling Penny about the time her brother had tried to stuff her into the dryer when Penny had interrupted her with a soft squeal.

She looked behind her.  Jason had just walked into the living room.  Immediately her face flushed and her heartbeat quickened.  She turned away swiftly.  

“Damn, he looks good.”  Penny sighed.  “I wonder where he’s been for the last two weeks.”

Lucy shrugged.  “I don’t know and I don’t care.” 

It was a lie of course.  Two weeks ago she had been in Jason’s bed having the best sex of her life and not caring that he was her boss.  But, she thought grimly, a lot could change in two weeks.  The Monday after the weekend she had spent with Jason, she had been on cloud nine, but that had changed quickly.  By Tuesday he was gone from the office and no one knew why.  Not even Carol knew and she could always be counted on to know exactly where everyone was at any given moment.  Lucy had overheard her and Maureen talking in the lunch room one day and Carol had shrugged when Maureen had asked her about it.

“I don’t know.  All I know is he had to leave to attend a personal matter.”  The woman had bitten into her apple.  “Jerry’s been taking all his calls and I don’t even know when he’ll be back.”

For the first few days Lucy had checked her cell phone constantly, positive that Jason would text her, but when she heard nothing from him her worry had turned to anger.  He had been so sweet to her at the beach house that weekend, making it sound like he wanted something more than sex.  He had certainly fooled her.
Lucy sighed softly and stared into her wine glass.  From the day he started, Jason had been cold and rude to her.  She had been positive that he hated her and she hadn’t been that fond of him. 
“Liar!”  Her mind screamed immediately at her.

She had been attracted to him from the start, and the night they had gotten trapped in the elevator together Jason had finally admitted his rude behavior had been an attempt to hide his attraction to her.  They had given in to their mutual attraction and had mind-blowing sex on the floor of the elevator.  She had tried to stay away from him – sleeping with the boss was about the stupidest career limiting move you could make – but by the following weekend she had been at his beach house and in his bed and couldn’t have been happier about it.

It hadn’t taken long for the women in the office to start drooling over him and an office bet had been started.  The first one to bed their sexy new boss would win a gift certificate to the spa.  Lucy had not been invited to join the bet and she had told no one about sleeping with Jason.  But, after discovering the bet, Jason had bought her a gift certificate to Heaven’s Gate Spa.   

Two weeks without seeing him, without hearing his deep voice or having him touch her in the way she had grown way too accustomed to in way too short of a time, had left her feeling lonely and blue.  She had been confused by her reaction.  A weekend of sex did not make a relationship and she had never been the type of girl to fall quickly for someone.  In fact, she hadn’t had a serious relationship in three years and she had been perfectly content with that.  

Although Jason had mentioned he wanted it to be more than sex between them, they weren’t actually dating yet and he was under no obligation to share anything with her.  Still, she couldn’t shake her hurt over his two weeks of silence.

“He probably regretted what he said.”  A voice inside of her whispered.  “He probably changed his mind about having a relationship with you and used his two weeks away from the office as the perfect way to send a message to you.  You’re stupid if you think he would risk his entire career just to spend some time between your legs.  You’re good in bed girl but you’re not that good.”

Lucy took a large gulp of wine.  That was another thing – despite her poofy hair, extra few pounds, and pale-as-a-freaking-vampire skin – she’d always had loads of self-confidence.  She’d never doubted her ability to get or keep a man until Jason Young had come along, and she hated that he had rattled her confidence so much.

So what if he didn’t want her?  Like her mom always said - there were plenty of other fish in the sea.  And not one of those fish was her boss.  She was better off not having anything to do with Jason Young.

“Lucy?  Are you okay?”  Penny was staring at her oddly and Lucy forced herself to smile at her.
“Just fine.  Why?”

“You looked weird for a minute there.”  Penny studied her closely and Lucy widened her smile. 

“I’m good.”

“Okay, well if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go and say hello to Jason.”

Lucy rolled her eyes.  “Seriously Penny?”

Penny wiggled her eyebrows at her.  “Hey, I have an office bet to win remember.  Alex is already glued to his side and Maureen and Jamie are eyeing him up from across the room.”

Lucy moved to the dining room as Penny practically sprinted across the living room to Jason.  She stared out the patio doors into the backyard and reminded herself repeatedly not to turn around and scan the living room for Jason.  

She smiled when a familiar voice said, “Hello Lucy.”

She looked down at the short website developer standing next to her.  “Hey Carlos.  How are you?”

“I’m good.  How are you?”

“I’m well thanks.  Enjoying the party?”  Lucy asked politely.  Carlos was a nice guy and she had a feeling he was interested in her as more than a co-worker, but he was definitely not her type.  Forgetting that he was four inches shorter than her, he was loud and boisterous and commanded the attention of the room.  She had always preferred the quiet types.  She was attracted to the type of guy who radiated a quiet confidence and didn’t need to use loud words and grand gestures to get people’s attention.  

Jason’s type. Her inner voice whispered immediately.  She groaned irritably to herself.  Would she have even one day where she wasn’t thinking about her stupidly hot boss?

“I am.  It was nice of Jerry to throw this for us.” Carlos moved a little closer and squeezed her arm lightly. 
“Have you gotten something to eat yet?”  He asked.

She shook her head.  “No, I was chatting with Penny and haven’t hit the buffet table yet.”  She looked behind her at the dining room table that was laden with food.  

He tugged on her arm and she allowed him to lead her to the table.  “Let’s grab a bite to eat then.”

Jason looked over Alex’s shoulder, tamping down his irritation when he watched Carlos squeeze Lucy’s arm.  He led her to the table and they began to help themselves to the food.  Carlos said something to Lucy that made her laugh and Jason frowned.  The shorter man was standing way too close to her, his arm brushing against hers, and when he led her out of the dining room and into the backyard he had to stop himself from following.

“Jason?”  Alex brushed her hand across his chest.  “Earth to Jason?”

“Sorry?  What?”  He said a bit impatiently.

“I asked where you’ve been for the last two weeks.”  The blonde woman smiled at him as Penny and Maureen stared at him expectantly.

“It was a personal matter.”  He said shortly.  

“Oh of course, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to pry.”  Alex said hastily.

He peered over her shoulder again but Carlos and Lucy had moved away from the patio door and he couldn’t see them any longer. 

“So, what do you like to do for fun Jason?”  Penny asked eagerly.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this small excerpt from "Twice Tempted".  Remember to check back on September 6th for your chance to win a free copy!