Two commenters will win an ebook copy of Wicked Pleasures (Book 1 of the Wicked Wolves Series) Winners will be chosen randomly. Good luck!!!!!
I love Halloween. It's a favorite time of year for me. With all of the color changes, the brisk mornings, the scents that remind me of home...what's not to love?
I also enjoy Haunted Houses and Trails. I'm always looking for one with a spectacular spook rating. Honestly, I'm not easily frightened. In fact, I tend to laugh at spook. It's not a nervous laugh, but a humorous one.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I, along with friends, went a few hours away to visit a haunted trail that we'd heard could scare the panties off of the bravest. I was skeptical, of course, considering I haven't been spooked by a goblin since I stopped wearing pigtails. But I was up for the challenge. When we arrived I was happy to find a short line. We'd arrived early to beat the crowds. I'm a bit impatient. As we waited, dressed-up characters zombie-walked the perimeter and some Johnny Depp look alike drove a souped up hearse around. Not bad, but definitely not scary.
Then it was our turn to aboard the topless school bus. At this point, I was more concerned with the approaching rain cloud than the looming killer holding a switchblade. Once the bus began it's path into the dark woods, I was curious who hid in the rows of corn to my right. I mean, isn't that the ultimate scare tactic? Jump out from the corn stalk like a deranged kid from Children of the Corn? I was a bit disappointed...no creatures lurked in the corn.
I'm a critic. But I've got to give credit where credit is due. The decorations were real enough looking and having zombie-like characters jumping on the bus with chainsaws, swords and blades can be a little daunting and the semi that chased us for a good half mile spiked the adrenaline a touch. I guess it was the wetness that ruined it for me. Before we were halfway done on the forty-five minute ride, the sky had opened and let out the biggest roar...a rain storm. It's hard to have fun when one's panties are soaked--with rain, that is.
Ride came to an end. Dripping and cold, we exited. As we were walking out we decided (well, I didn't. The men who had body mass to keep them warm decided) to check out the haunted house. At least it was inside, out of the rain.
Inside, they had a nice little set up. I'm thinking the entire time how much fun my kids would have here. My hubby is in the lead, and following close behind was the bestie, who WAS scared and had us cracking up laughing at his fear. Yes, I'm a great friend, I know...
And then it happens. I'm led into a narrow, dark tunnel. My worst fear. Seriously. Not I'm-spooked-this-is-great fear. I'm talking get-me-the-hell-out-before-I-hurt-someone fear. As the tunnel becomes narrower, and I'm certain we will be stuck here, in this hole, forever, I stop turn and tell my friend "Move it! I'm coming out!" Running him down while gritting my teeth to keep from peeing my pants (never any fun involved when one soaks their panties with pee), panting like I'd run a marathon, I come face-to-face with a group of teens who had the nerve to tell me, "We can't go back. The guy out there told us we have to finish. Sorry." My response, "Get the hell out of my way or I will go through you, over you, around you...got it?" The path was cleared. It must have been the demon-like tone in my voice. I'm remembering how useful it is so that I can conjure it at home when my kids misbehave.
Salvation. I've found the open room where I can breathe, only to be met by some awkward spidey-man-wanna-be who said, "You're not supposed to, but you can use a light." Great! How thoughtful of Spidey, considering we didn't have a light!
My hubby, who knows me better than anyone. He has seen me through the birth of our children, through anger and many other obstacles, then turns to me, "You can do this. Just hold on to me." And as I look at his calming face, his sincere gaze, his reassuring smile I pat him lovingly on the cheek. And then, I say, "Screw you!" And I'm gone like a ghost.
BRONTE SNUGGLED DEEPER into the nest of pleasing warmth. She’d never felt such comfort. Stretching her muscles, she sighed languidly as a rush of indulgence whirled through her. The nightmare of being held hostage by an arrogant ass couldn’t even fade the glorious feeling. No other time had she slept all night.
Rolling over, her face pressed against something iron hard. Inhaling deeply, she froze. Her heart skipped a beat. The smell was familiar—woodsy mixed with mint. And who the hell was breathing in her ear?
Sliding one eye open, she jerked. Shit! She darted across the bed, pulling the red satin sheet with her. The kidnapping wasn’t a dream. The arrogant ass was here, in bed,with her! Worse, she was in his bed and he was sleeping soundly. Damn! He was naked!
She raked her gaze downward, soaking up every inch of his nudity.
Hell, she didn’t want to look at him, but for the life of her, she couldn’t help herself. Admiring his physique broke some unwritten rule about captive not ogling her captor, but if he wasn’t aware, maybe it wasn’t so wrong. He was the description of perfect male, making her self-conscious of her own less-than-perfect body. From his broad shoulders, over massive chest, narrow waist, and—she jerked her glance away. Oh hell! He was hard and a size that matched every other large part of him. It was so wrong that such a jerk had a body of Adonis.
“Forget the body,” she whispered. She wondered how he’d gotten naked. She lifted the sheet. And how the hell did I get naked?
She was going to be sick. Stomach twirling, she squeezed the bridge of her nose between her forefinger and thumb. She couldn’t remember anything after he’d pulled out needle and thread and—
Biting back a moan, she held up her bandaged hand. With haste she’d never known, she tore off the white gauzy material. Shit! Shit! Her heart beat faster. She stared at her wounded hand neatly stitched and covered in clear salve. Looking over at the sleeping man, her mind fabricated ways she could teach him a lesson on boundaries, and so proudly flaunting his goods. Her eyes naturally fell to his long cock. She should follow through with a few of her own evil ideas. Wonder how he’d like a few stitches in his tool?
No use. She was a wimp. At the mere sight of blood she’d probably pass out, and ending up unconscious was the last thing she wanted.
A horrible notion flashed through her mind. Was it possible they had sex? If she was out while he stitched her wound, anything could have happened. She reached down and touched her inner thighs. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, no swelling or sensitivity, and with a cock his size, she’d have physical evidence.
Some tension left her muscles. Although he didn’t violate her, would he next time?
How had he knocked her out? Had he hypnotized her?
There was no time to stick around and debate her questions. She knew this could be her one and only chance to get the hell away.
Bronte gave the sleeping figure one more glance. He still slept. His breathing was heavy and his chest rose and fell evenly. As quietly as possible, she slid to the edge of the bed, eased her legs over the side and placed her feet onto the cool floor. She stood and wrapped the sheet around her body as she scanned the room for her clothes. They were gone. She guessed Roark had hid them from her, thinking she wouldn’t escape without clothes. Dressed or not, she’d get out of this place. Nudity was nothing compared to spending more time in Roark’s loony bin.
With a quick glimpse over her shoulder to make sure he was still asleep, Bronte started across the room toward the door. She took each tiptoed step with great care, but every breath and every time her foot pressed against the wood, it sounded like an explosion in her ears. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Her heart fluttered at the possibility of freedom. Reaching the exit, she placed her palm on the knob, twisted and her hope dropped. Nothing happened. It was locked. The bastard! Maybe she could stand the sight of blood, just this once, if it meant getting revenge. She turned on heel and ran into a wall of flesh and muscle. Bringing her gaze up into an expression of pure wickedness, she gulped loudly.
“You didn’t think I’d allow you to walk out of here, did you?” His voice was husky from sleep. He yawned and wiped his eyes.
His laid-back attitude made her want to rip his eyes out. And having him stand there naked and proud, made her fury multiply. How dare he be so smug! “You can’t keep me here forever.”
“How long you stay is completely up to you, sweetheart. You’re in control more than you think.”
She slanted her eyes, wishing she could shoot daggers into his head. “I’ll never have your child. You said you have plenty of willing women so why not find someone who is eager to have your baby?”
The corner of his lips curved downward. “I also told you that I didn’t pick you.”
Holding the sheet over her with one hand, she used the other to rub her aching temple. It wasn’t possible to have a conversation with someone who was in serious need of mental help. “Okay, you’ve told me that. You didn’t pick me.” It was no use. “Where are my clothes? I am allowed to wear something, right?” He lowered his eyes over her sheet-covered body and every part of her quivered, in a very bad, but good, way. She tugged the satin material tighter as if it was a shield from his view. He brought his gaze back to hers and his twinkling eyes offended her, yet excited her. She’d need to see a therapist after this.
He laughed. How could he think this was humorous?
“Of course clothes are permitted. That is until you decide you want to frolic naked. It’s such a feeling of freedom, not to mention, without all of that material in the way it’s much easier to gain access to the lovely parts.”
Her face flamed with heat. She wanted to tell him just what she thought, but knew he’d give her some egotistical response. For now, she needed to get dressed. “Clothes? Where are they? White top, black pants.”
“You can’t wear those.” He turned his back to her and went to the wardrobe. “I’ve already thrown them out.”
“Thrown them out? Why?” Bronte wanted to scream. She watched him take out clothes from the cabinet, thinking he was going to give her something to wear, but instead he shook out a pair of dark denims and started to put them on. Her eyeballs itched to watch his tight backside, but she refused herself the pleasure. Nope, she wouldn’t do it. But as the jeans moved upward, her gaze went downward. She swore the man was a devil with power. And to top it off, his sex was hard…again. Did it ever deflate? She wondered how he’d fit himself inside the pants?
He turned and she made sure her stare was on his face. “They were spotted with blood.”
“Huh?” Her mind was confused.
“Your clothes. That’s what we were talking about.”
“And whose fault is it that they were bloody?” She huffed.
“Relax, Bronte. That color of pale doesn’t work for you,” he said as he passed her to the door. With his back to her, she wondered if she had time to find something to crack him over the head. She scanned the room until his voice snapped her into reality. “Tsk, tsk. Such brutal thoughts for a wisp of a woman. I’m not sure you could reach high enough. I liked you admiring my body much better.”
She opened her mouth to blast him with a four-letter word when her mind wrapped around the fact that he’d just read her thoughts. Every hair on her body stood erect. It wasn’t the first time he seemed to know what she was thinking.
He looked at her over his shoulder. “Do you think you can behave outside of the confines of this room? I’d hate to tie your wrists again. Touching you is much more tempting when you’re bound and pissed off.” He wriggled his brows.
“You’re unbelievable,” she snarled.
“Unbelievable is not the right word, sweetheart. I haven’t lied to you once to earn that label.” He smirked. “Now, answer the question or I’ll leave you in here until you lose some of that ladylike charm.”
“I deserve answers to my questions as well.” Her strength was weakening. Her hope of getting away was fading. This man had her right where he wanted her, but she refused to give up. Maybe he’d come to his senses.
His jaw loosened and his features softened. “You’re right. In time, you’ll get the answers you want. For now, let’s go to your room. Your new clothes are in there.”
“My room?” The words spilled out like a bitter morsel of veracity. She had a room. He planned to keep her. The madness grew deeper.
He reached above the frame of the door and grabbed the key. She bit her bottom lip.So that was his hiding place. He opened the thick wooden door and stepped back, motioning for her to lead the way into the hall. “Remember what I said, fiery wench. Bounds and defiance are irresistible to me. I’ve wanted to kiss you since the moment you cocked me in the jaw.”
He only mocked her, but she wasn’t ready to test him. “Get over yourself and show me this room,” she said with animosity. “And then I hope I can have some privacy.”
Walking into the hall, she looked around her. She half expected a camera crew to jump out from behind the scenes, yelling, “You’ve been punked.” No such luck. She moved farther down the corridor, fully aware he was following her, like a predator.
“Here we are,” he said and she stopped at the closed doorway. It figured he’d have her next door to his own bedroom. He pushed past her and unlocked the door, then dropped the key back into his front pocket. He opened the door. “After you, sweetheart.”
Bronte wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting of the room. She wouldn’t have imagined it’d be extravagant, yet it was a bedroom fit for a queen—superbly designed and tastefully furnished. He’d gone to great lengths in every detail, making her wonder if he’d done all of this for her. She’d only seen rooms like this in magazines.
From the doorway, she admired the white wall with the intricate pearlescent stencil design, which was contemporary and sophisticated. Silk curtains framed the queen bed, which was adorned with matching bright mulberry colored bedding. Delicate crystal beads hung on one side of the bed, catching the rich colors of the blanket. Beautiful oil paintings of flowers and cherubs hung on the walls, elaborating on the romantic theme. French doors led to a balcony.
“Well, are you going to go in?” Roark asked from behind her.
“Yes, I guess I should.” She was in awe as she strolled further into the suite, wanting to bask in its beauty but she wouldn’t allow him the pleasure. “So, where are my clothes?”
“You’ll find everything you need in here. Clothes are in the drawers. The bathroom is here.” He pointed to a door to her right.
“Okay. You can go now.” The quicker he was out of her hair the sooner she could get dressed and get plotting her getaway.
He seemed to hesitate and then nodded. “Come downstairs in thirty minutes.”
“Your attitude is improving already.”
She gritted her teeth. He stepped out, closed the door behind him and she heard his laughter all the way down the hall. “Bastard,” she whispered. She half expected him to pop back in and scold her.