Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Loving Amber is now on Kobo!



Hi Readers,

Loving Amber is now on Kobo! https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/loving-amber

Chapter One
 
Amber tapped out another e-mail, then sat back and picked up her coffee mug. She tipped back the last cold remnants before going over her schedule for the day. It was six in the morning, and she had most of the office to herself. She liked it that way. The quiet let her think clearly. Still, the early mornings and late nights were beginning to wear on her. In fact, she couldn’t think of the last time she’d had a vacation. It’d been at least two years. Her cell phone rang, and she peered down at the screen. Rachel, the only other person she knew up and about at this ungodly hour. She’d met Rachel in grade school. She’d been the shy girl in study hall reading Shakespeare, and not because it was a school assignment either. Amber had been intrigued and struck up a conversation. They’d been friends ever since.

Amber picked up the phone and hit the talk button. “Let me guess, you’re at the Brew already, waiting for that hot cop to show so you can ogle him from afar.”

Rachel tsked. “Mister Dreamy Eyes isn’t the reason I come here.”

“Ooh, he has a nickname now.” Amber knew her friend too well. Rachel was totally into the sexy blue-eyed officer, but she was too shy to do anything about it, so she would sit and stare and wish she had the courage to approach him.

“Okay, well, he’s not the only reason.”

Amber rolled her eyes. “Ask him out already.” When only silence greeted her, she added, “What’s the worst he can do? Turn you down?”

“Yes,” Rachel hissed. “And that would be mortifying.”

“Maybe he’s into you. Ever consider that?”

She scoffed. “Why would he be?”

“Because you’re a catch,” Rachel answered, wishing the woman would realize her own worth.
“Think about it. He goes there every day, same as you. Maybe it’s not just for the coffee.”

“I don’t know,” Rachel said, clearly hesitant. “He’s sort of a flirt. And I’m through with the flirtatious charmers of the world. I need a nice, stable guy. Someone who doesn’t lose his cool just because I forget to call—one time.”

“Okay, Jake was way too possessive. You can’t shut yourself away just because you had one bad apple.”

“That’s the thing, it’s been a string of bad apples. I have terrible taste in men. So, basically, if I like this guy, the cop, then that means he’s a loser,” she said, as if coming to some great realization. “What I really need to do is date the first guy I’m not into. That’ll be my Mister Right.”

Amber laughed. “That’s the most absurd bit of logic I’ve ever heard.”

“Whatever. Enough about me. What are you doing at work? Don’t you ever sleep?”

“Sure, you’re one to talk. And how do you know I’m at work? Maybe I’m at home, in bed.”

“First of all, of course you’re at work. You’re always at work. And the only reason I’m awake right now is so I can ogle, remember?”

Amber sighed. “Yeah. It’s been a long time since I stopped and ogled.”

“Maybe it’s time for a vacation,” she suggested. “You do tend to burn the candle at both ends.”
She flipped through at her planner sitting open on her desk in front of her. Meetings, meetings, meetings. God, when had her life gotten so predictable? “You’re right. It’s time I soaked up some sun and put some color back into my cheeks.”

“Great idea. I hear Miami is gorgeous this time of year.”

“Miami,” Amber repeated, remembering the last time she’d been to sunny Florida. Her senior year of college, she’d spent a week partying with some friends. Geez, Amber had done things then she wouldn’t even tell Rachel about. “I love it. I’m going to book a flight today. I’ve got a ton of vacation time coming.”

“And you deserve to use some of it.”

After they talked a bit more, Amber hung up and got back to work. At around noon, she took a break and called her mom. When a cheerful voice answered the phone, Amber said, “Hi, Mom.”

“Hi, sweetheart. How are you?”

“Good, I’ve got a full day ahead, but I was thinking of stopping by on my way home. Feel like some company?”

“Always,” she answered. “I’ll be sure to have the coffee ready.”


It was after six in the evening before Amber reached her mother’s small white ranch-style house. “Mom?” she called out as she stepped through the front door.

“In the kitchen,” her mother yelled back.

When Amber entered the brightly lit room, her mom pointed to the chair at the kitchen counter and handed her a cup of freshly brewed coffee. “Thanks,” she said as she breathed in the rich aroma. “Smells like heaven.”

Her mom stood across from her and frowned. “Did you eat today? You have dark circles under your eyes.”

She chuckled. “Gee, thanks.”

“I worry about you.” She reached over and patted her hand. “You work too hard.”

Amber admired her mom. At fifty-five, Betty Price stayed in relatively good shape with weekly yoga classes, and she kept the gray in her hair at bay with store-bought brown hair dye. And even though she had some laugh lines, the woman could still turn a few heads.

“Actually, I was considering taking a vacation.”

Her eyes widened. “Wow, when was the last time you did that?”

“It’s been at least a year.” She propped her head on her fist. “I’m thinking Miami.”

“Oh, that sounds lovely,” her mom said, a smile curving her lips. “Going alone or with someone special?”

She rolled her eyes at the not so subtle probe into her love life. “Nice try, but there isn’t currently a someone special.” Unfortunately, she added silently.

“What about that new neighbor of yours?” Mom perked up at that. “The one who moved in a few weeks ago? Didn’t you mention that he’s tall, dark, and handsome?”

Amber laughed. “Yes, I did. But I haven’t even said hi to him, and you want me to invite him on vacation with me?”

“Well, no, but you could introduce yourself and then maybe take a vacation at home.” She paused. “Don’t they call that a stay-cation?”

“Yes, they do,” she replied, and much to her surprise, the thought had merit. “I suppose it would be a nice gesture to welcome him to the neighborhood with one of my famous strawberry pies.” She had been super curious about the guy. He seemed so mysterious.

“Hmm, good idea,” Mom said with the hint of a smile. “So, tell me more about this guy.”

“He has black hair that hangs down to his shoulders. He’s tall, over six feet if I had to guess. And sort of…rugged.” Too late, Amber realized she’d made it acutely obvious that she’d totally checked him out from afar.

“Rugged, huh?” She winked. “Rugged sounds nice.”

“Okay, so maybe I’ll take a stay-cation.” Amber felt like a teenager in high school, blushing at the mere mention of a cute guy.

“You know, Alison from church noticed your new neighbor too. She said he’s downright yummy.”
Amber frowned. “Seriously?” She rolled her eyes. “She’s too young to be checking out men like him. I mean, she’s barely twenty years old.” And why did it bug her that other women had noticed her neighbor? It wasn’t like she had any claims on the guy.

Mom laughed. “Better get your butt in gear or you’ll have to take a number to get a date with him.”

The thought didn’t sit well at all. “I know, Mom,” she said. “And what would I do without you arranging my love life for me?” She got up and gave her mom a hug. “Die an old maid, I suppose.”
Her mother started to speak, but Amber’s cell phone rang. She checked the number on the screen but didn’t recognize it. She said, “Hello?”

There was a beat of silence and then, “Hi, baby.” The deep voice on the other end sent a chill down her spine.

Amber paled at the sound of her ex-husband. “Ted,” she bit out. The world tilted on its axis, and for a split second, she was thrown back in time to when that deep baritone first melted her heart, and then would later freeze her in fear. Never in a million years had she expected to hear from Ted again. At the conclusion of their disastrous marriage, they’d said good-bye and never once talked again. Until now.

There were some details of her marriage Amber hadn’t revealed to anyone. Ted had a mean streak a mile wide when he picked up “the drink.” She’d witnessed it on a few occasions when she’d inadvertently made Ted mad. He quite simply frightened the hell out of her, and she wanted him to keep out of her life.

On one such occasion, Amber had come home from work late to find Ted drunk and sitting quietly in the dark. He’d asked where she’d been. She told him she’d been working, but he was disinclined to believe her. He got angry, and to teach her a lesson for lying to him, he landed a blow to her cheek. It had put her out cold on the floor. When she came to, Ted pleaded with her to please not leave him. He was so sorry, and it would never happen again. She naively believed he was sincere. Of course, it happened again. The second time it wasn’t just a blow to the face but also a kick to her stomach. She’d doubled over in agony, pleading with him to please stop. That was right before she’d caught him in their marriage bed with another woman. Amber decided enough was enough and filed for divorce.

“What do you want, Ted?” Amber tried to force a measure of calm in her tone, but found she was sorely lacking.

“Now is that any way to talk to your ex-husband, baby?” Ted said laughingly.

“Do not ever call me baby again,” she yelled. “You lost that right.” Now her temperature began to climb along with her temper. How dare he simply phone her after all this time and attempt to sweet-talk her. He was in for a rude awakening if he thought that tactic was going to work. She was no longer an innocent young girl.

“Come on, Amber. It’s been ages, and I’ve changed a lot,” Ted said earnestly. “I know I made lots of mistakes by you, but just hear what I have to say, and then I’ll leave you alone, Okay?” he implored.
Amber sighed and decided to let him say his piece and then hang up on the jerk. She turned and saw her mom watching, worry creasing her brow. In her anxiety over hearing Ted again, Amber had forgotten she wasn’t alone. She walked over to her mother and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“Very well, Ted, get on with it, then,” Amber said, getting more perturbed every second she spent on the phone.

“I just wanted you to know I’m back in town, and I thought it’d be real nice if we got together and talked about old times. What do you say, Amber? We could go to the Tasty Freeze and have burgers and fries like we use to when we were married.”

She rolled her eyes at his sheer stupidity. “Ted, I’m going to say this once, and then I’m hanging up. I will not go anywhere with you ever again. Our marriage is over, and I’ve moved on with my life. I suggest you do the same. Do not attempt to call me again.” She spoke with calm authority and hit the end-call button. After taking a deep breath, she once again turned toward her mom.

“What did he want?” her mother asked fretfully.

“He says he’s back in town and wants to get together for old time’s sake. Can you believe the nerve of him to call and expect to just pick right up where we left off?” She clenched her fists, just thinking of the whole thing. “Of course I told him not a chance, and don’t call me again.” She sat across from her mother and took a long drink from her iced tea in an effort to cool her temper.

Mom began chewing her lower lip. “Is there anything you want to tell me, Amber? About Ted and your marriage, I mean?”

Did she suspect there was more to the story? Amber squashed her growing panic. “You already know everything of importance, and besides, I don’t want to rehash all that depressing stuff. I’d rather just forget about it and move forward.” She went on with forced cheer. “I won’t allow him to ruin our visit together. He isn’t worth my time.”

“Okay, dear, if that’s want you want. Just know that I’m here if you ever feel like talking, okay?” Mom said with love in her eyes.

“Thank you, that means so much to me.” She covered her mother’s hand with her own and squeezed. Amber only hoped she’d be able to keep the past buried where it belonged, but knowing Ted was back in town made all the old fears resurface and gave her a sense of foreboding. Ted wasn’t used to being told no. There was no telling what he might do. However, she was determined to live her life and deal with her own problems. She refused to cower and run to her mom or her brother every time something bad happened.

After they shared a dinner of pork chops and steamed asparagus, her mom saw her out the door with a hug. Before she left, Amber promised to call when she got home.

With them both alone in the evenings, they often had dinner together. Mom could never get used to cooking for just herself. She’d always cooked for herself and Dad before he passed away. Amber suspected her mom was lonely, but Betty refused to even consider dating. In her heart, she was still married.

Amber had done a good job of reassuring her mother that all was well and she shouldn’t worry about Ted, but deep down, Amber wished she could convince herself of the same thing. She shivered, but quickly shook it off. She was taking a vacation, and she wouldn’t let anything spoil it.
When Amber reached her own house, she closed and locked the front door, and finally kicked off her shoes. She sighed, emotionally exhausted. She was just glad the day was at last at an end. In two weeks, she would start her vacation. Or, stay-cation, as it turned out. And maybe, just maybe, she’d work up the nerve to introduce herself to her sexy new neighbor. She smiled. If there was a God, maybe she’d even go out on a date.

Kobo! https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/loving-amber

 photo vl01va8r6vysyflc61ss_zpsnmqz9gfz.png
A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!
http://annerainey.com

Monday, February 29, 2016

Loving Amber is available on the Nook!!


Hi Readers,

I thought I'd let you all know that Loving Amber is now on the Nook for only .99!

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loving-amber-anne-rainey/1123474915?ean=2940158026904


She’s about to get up close and personal…

Amber is seriously overworked and in bad need of a vacation. At first she’s thinking a week in sultry Miami might do the trick. But when the sexy and mysterious Sean Gunner moves in next door, Amber decides a stay-cation is just the sort of break she needs. His dark hair and bedroom eyes give her lots of sinful ideas. And not even Amber’s nuisance of an ex-husband is going to derail her from getting up close and personal with the hottie next door.

Sean moved to the small burb for some much needed peace and quiet to work on his latest novel. But there’s just something about Amber. When she bakes him a strawberry pie to welcome him to the neighborhood, Sean sees it as a chance to get to know the sexy woman a little better. Later, Sean is forced to come to Amber’s rescue and save her from her ex, Sean finds he’s loath to ignore the sensual woman. In fact, before Amber’s vacation is over Sean intends to leave the woman breathless and begging for more.



 
 
A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!
http://annerainey.com

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Loving Amber--Excerpt


Hi Readers,

How about an excerpt from my newest release? You can purchase Loving Amber for only .99 on Amazon Kindle. (coming to other bookstores very soon!)

BUY HERE: http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Amber-Morgan-County-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01A7KGS0S/


Excerpt:

Amber was just getting a carton of eggs out of the refrigerator while Ruger talked about the case he currently worked on, when a knock sounded on the back door that led into the kitchen. Ruger got up to answer it. When she turned around, a frowning Sean stood in the open doorway. Jitters of excitement skipped through her bloodstream. God, she’d missed him.

The big man standing with one hand anchored against Amber’s doorjamb and the other on the door, effectively blocking the entrance, had the coldest eyes Sean had ever seen. He certainly would have intimidated the hell out of most men. Still, Sean wasn’t so much intimidated as pretty damned jealous. After all, the guy stood in Amber’s kitchen and she still wore a nightshirt. If you could call the tiny thing a nightshirt. It came to mid-thigh, had a plunging V line, and was plain white. It appeared suspiciously to be a man’s undershirt, and that thought incensed him even more. His mouth thinned and his body tensed in unconscious preparation to do battle.

“Can I help you?” the man asked, still not permitting Sean to enter.

“I’m here to speak to Amber.” He peered around the man’s shoulder and stared directly at her.

“She’s busy right now.”

“Oh for God’s sake, Ruger,” she growled. “I know Mom taught you better than that. This is Sean,” she explained as she motioned his way. “My neighbor and my date for Friday night. Sean, do come in, please.” She shoved at Ruger’s block of an arm.

“You need to get dressed, sis.” He stayed firm and eyed her nightshirt. “Like now.”

“That’s the second time I’ve been told what to do by a man, and I’m done with it. You both need to step into the twenty-first century and get your heads out of your butts.”

Sean watched her stomp out of the room, noticing the lovely way her backside bounced. Damn, she was sexy when she was mad. So much fire in such a small package, it made a man wonder what she’d be like in bed. His gaze locked on to the other man’s, and he arched one brow, silently asking if he was going to comply or risk Amber’s wrath.

“Might as well come in.” Ruger stepped aside to allow him to enter. “So you’re the new guy in town. I’d like to know your intentions toward my sister.”

“Your sister?” He thought about that for a second and then let out a huge laugh.
 


Happy reading,

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A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!
http://annerainey.com

Friday, February 26, 2016

Loving Amber -- Out Now!

Hi Readers,

My first romance--in much too long--is now available for purchase on Amazon Kindle for .99. I'm super excited and nervous about this release. I dearly hope you all download a copy of Loving Amber and enjoy the first story in this fun trilogy. NOTE: It will be available at other bookstores very soon! I'll keep you all updated. :)


Loving Amber
Morgan County trilogy--book 1


She’s about to get up close and personal…

Amber is seriously overworked and in bad need of a vacation. At first she’s thinking a week in sultry Miami might do the trick. But when the sexy and mysterious Sean Gunner moves in next door, Amber decides a stay-cation is just the sort of break she needs. His dark hair and bedroom eyes give her lots of sinful ideas. And not even Amber’s nuisance of an ex-husband is going to derail her from getting up close and personal with the hottie next door.

Sean moved to the small burb for some much needed peace and quiet to work on his latest novel. But there’s just something about Amber. When she bakes him a strawberry pie to welcome him to the neighborhood, Sean sees it as a chance to get to know the sexy woman a little better. Later, Sean is forced to come to Amber’s rescue and save her from her ex, Sean finds he’s loath to ignore the sensual woman. In fact, before Amber’s vacation is over Sean intends to leave the woman breathless and begging for more.

 Buy on Amazon KindleRead Chapter One

 

 

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A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!

http://annerainey.com

Monday, January 18, 2016

BookBub and other fun stuff!

 
Hi Readers,

I wanted to let you all know that I have a BookBub page. https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anne-rainey Click the link and hit the 'follow' button to keep up with all my new and upcoming releases!



Also, I felt A Diamond at Midnight wasn't really up for free very long so I've made it available to you all again for FREE. Grab this paranormal romance while you can!  http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-at-Midnight-Anne-Rainey-ebook/dp/B004MMEFEE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

And a quick reminder, Loving Amber is up for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for $0.99. It's the first story in my Morgan County Trilogy.


Loving Amber by Anne Rainey
Format: Ebook
Length: Novella
Release date: February 26, 2016

Description
She’s about to get up close and personal…
Amber is seriously overworked and in bad need of a vacation. At first she’s thinking a week in sultry Miami might do the trick. But when the sexy and mysterious Sean Gunner moves in next door, Amber decides a stay-cation is just the sort of break she needs. His dark hair and bedroom eyes give her lots of sinful ideas. And not even Amber’s nuisance of an ex-husband is going to derail her from getting up close and personal with the hottie next door.

Sean moved to the small burb for some much needed peace and quiet to work on his latest novel. But there’s just something about Amber. When she bakes him a batch of cookies to welcome him to the neighborhood, Sean sees it as a chance to get to know the sexy woman a little better. Later, Sean is forced to come to Amber’s rescue and save her from her ex, Sean finds he’s loath to ignore the sensual woman. In fact, before Amber’s vacation is over Sean intends to leave the woman breathless and begging for more.

Pre-order here: http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Amber-Morgan-County-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01A7KGS0S/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Read Chapter One

NOTE: And get a glimpse at the next two books in the trilogy, Teasing Rachael and Enticing Tabitha HERE


Happy reading,
 photo vl01va8r6vysyflc61ss_zpsnmqz9gfz.png
A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!
http://annerainey.com

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Loving Amber--up for pre-order!



Hi Readers,

I have some exciting news to share with you. Loving Amber is up for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. I'm very excited about this book because it's the first romance story that I've written in about a year. Also, it's the start of a trilogy. Don't you just love trilogies? I've always been a fan of trilogies ever since I first read Nora Roberts Born In trilogy. Pre-order From Amazon Kindle | Read Chapter One

  
Loving Amber--Coming February 16, 2016
 

Loving Amber
She’s about to get up close and personal…
Amber is seriously overworked and in bad need of a vacation. At first she’s thinking a week in sultry Miami might do the trick. But when the sexy and mysterious Sean Gunner moves in next door, Amber decides a stay-cation is just the sort of break she needs. His dark hair and bedroom eyes give her lots of sinful ideas. And not even Amber’s nuisance of an ex-husband is going to derail her from getting up close and personal with the hottie next door.

Sean moved to the small burb for some much needed peace and quiet to work on his latest novel. But there’s just something about Amber. When she bakes him a batch of cookies to welcome him to the neighborhood, Sean sees it as a chance to get to know the sexy woman a little better. Later, Sean is forced to come to Amber’s rescue and save her from her ex, Sean finds he’s loath to ignore the sensual woman. In fact, before Amber’s vacation is over Sean intends to leave the woman breathless and begging for more.

Pre-order From Amazon Kindle | Read Chapter One





Loving Amber-- February 16, 2016!

http://annerainey.com

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Diamond at Midnight--Free



Hi Readers,

 Starting tomorrow for a limited time my short story, A Diamond at Midnight, will be FREE on Kindle. This story is my one and only paranormal romance. I really enjoyed writing it and wanted to do more, but other projects came along and it never seemed to be the right time. I'm hoping to dip my toes back into the supernatural world again someday soon though. I think it'd be a fun addition to my contemporary romance, don't you?

 At any rate, here's more about A Diamond at Midnight. :) 


Amazon Kindle --Free January 6th through January 10th!

 


About the book:

Diamonique's life is changed forever when she stumbles across Cain Reed on a dark, lonely New York street. With a single bite, she's given immortality and shown unimaginable pleasure. But before she can explore eternal love his betrayal tears them apart.

One hundred years later, Cain is back to save her from a dark enemy. Rafael, the depraved leader of The Dominion, will stop at nothing to settle an ancient score between him and Cain. Caught in the middle, Diamonique will need to swallow her pride and rely on Cain if she's to survive. But is she handing her trust over to the right immortal or is she merely trading one evil for another?



Excerpt:
Standing at the railing of her balcony, Diamonique stared at the cool, crisp Autumn evening. Tears threatened to spill over, as she recalled the exact moment in time when she first tasted immortality. The young and naïve girl she’d been, gone for all eternity. Unbidden, an image of Cain sprang to mind. She’d fallen in love with him. Even though he’d turned her world upside down, she’d still given him her heart and soul.


Her body tightened, her craving for blood mounting. She’d waited far too long to feed. Her sigh mingled with the air. She would need to hunt soon. Not even her plush and exotic penthouse suite could calm the hunger. Too much a coward to face the dawn, hence giving herself back to death like a present wrapped in charred flesh, Diamonique’s existence was nothing more than an empty tunnel of nights.


Once upon a time, she’d believed in happily ever after, but the relationships she’d tried to conceive over the centuries had been but a bandage for her loneliness. At first, after Cain’s betrayal, she’d sought out her fiancé only to learn he’d been shot for having an affair with a married women. That solidified her feeling that men were not to be trusted. Due to constant relocations to keep her ageless appearance from being questioned, she’d never bothered to pursue a deep relationship. As the sole heir to her family’s fortune and her own knack for choosing the right stocks, she’d become independent in her own right, never having to rely on another man or immortal. Cain’s monetary guilt offerings over the decades were given to charity. And although wealth came in handy, it was still no comparison to loneliness.


Diamonique shook off her self-imposed pity-party, shifted her body and took to the sky. She soared on raven wings, streaking off into the night in search of sustenance.


She landed silently in a dirty, empty alley, before quickly taking to the sidewalks. Moving through the crowds of people with ease, Diamonique sneered in contempt at how stupid mortals were. Oblivious to the peril they were in just by being in her presence. She could have them, any one of them, with but a flick of a wrist, a bat of her lashes, and a curve of her lips. She knew her own power and reveled in it.


Hunger turned her more dangerous than ever. She was a law unto herself and God help the one who thought to step between her and food this night. The only pleasure she received these days, came from the blood she drank. The sweet warm flow of it as it dripped onto her greedy tongue.


She focused on the thoughts of the city as it awakened with the promise of lusty desires. Those who lived in a dull world by day would emerge by night, changed. They thought to sate their wicked appetites under the cover of darkness. Still, one mind was different. She closed her eyes and stopped dead in her tracks, then tuned her every nerve, her every thought to that one pattern of thought. His boredom struck her like a cattle prod. His need to escape the madness of the city, to leave behind all that was colorful and slip inside his pale loneliness. She searched him out. Coming to an open door, music blasting so loudly the windows vibrated with the intensity, she stepped over the threshold and became like all the other partygoers. With the power of suggestion, they would see an image of mist and beauty and nothing more.


Diamonique weaved through the gyrating bodies, until she was directly in front of the one she’d chosen to give her nourishment. As if sensing her, he turned around. The beauty of his eyes struck her. Eyes the color of the daytime sky she missed so much; striking and sensual, as they caressed her face. Something about his eyes seemed familiar, but she couldn’t think why. The song changed to a slow romantic tune and a woman’s lilting voice filled the room. 


Her lids closed and an image of Cain sprang to mind. It startled her. Thinking of him made her remember all the passion they’d shared. The music, the soft lights, all of it coaxed her into wishing for the unattainable. For once, she let herself float along, feeling the rhythm catch in her heart. Cain’s face, his strong arms and powerful body took over her thoughts. She ached to have his lips pressed to hers just once more. Diamonique wanted his hot gaze searing her and seeing into her soul the way only he could. She needed and wanted and the music gave it to her. If only in her imagination, it was enough.


With her eyes closed, it felt as if she were drifting in a dream. Her hands went where she wanted Cain’s to be once more, stroking her own neck the way his lips once had—driving her mad with the tease of his tongue. Her hands journeyed downward, until her fingers hooked beneath the hem of her skirt. A hot breath against her cheek startled her out of her fantasy.


“You’re beautiful.”


It was the man she’d come to entice.


Not Cain.


That should have pleased her. Cain was the past.


The song ended, she stepped back and breathed a sigh of relief. But as she studied the handsome stranger, his silent intensity washed over her. His eyes were dark with an enticing promise of an inner fire. She could see and feel what he wanted so clearly in her mind. His body covering hers, entering hers, their passions mounting and dueling. It stopped abruptly; the images disappearing so fast she wondered if she were truly in charge of her own mind.


The music changed once again, the tempo faster, the romantic tune gone, but the mood was still there. She was still as edgy, still as ready, and the stranger was still standing in front of her, staring at her, waiting for her to surrender.


Diamonique glided a step closer, bringing their bodies into contact. She could smell his natural masculine scent. For the first time, she realized what it was about a man that made women lose their heads. That smell, that all too enthralling maleness. It made her long to run her tongue over his beautiful full lips.


Rising up on her tiptoes, she took a taste. Initiating the first contact gave her a sense of feminine power. He kept his hands at his sides, as if not sure how to respond. As her fingers went to his hair, his arms closed around her in a tight embrace. Diamonique grabbed handfuls of dark silk and pressed her lips to his, she was eager to taste him. She coaxed his lips apart with her tongue and delved inside. She angled her head, deepening the kiss and felt the sudden change in him. He’d had enough of standing and doing nothing. When she was ready to pull back, the room spun. She’d gone too long without blood. Her cells were shriveling with each second that passed, her mind turned to mush, as she tried to concentrate on the male in her arms. She wanted to kick herself for using her power of flight when she was already so weak. It made her vulnerable. Not since Cain had she felt this way.


Diamonique longed to feel this man succumb to her lips at his throat. She used her voice like a weapon, softly luring him outside, away from the revelry. To her shock, he smiled and took her by the hand as if unaffected by the hypnotic notes. Suddenly, he was the one in control as he steered her down the alley behind the nightclub, beyond the eyes of the curious.


She tuned out the smells, the stench of the trash that hugged every crevice and seemed to cling to her skin like a sickening glove. She frowned as she tried to concentrate, but all she received for her efforts was a headache and no answer as to why she was letting him take the lead.


Shaking off her lethargy, Diamonique moved in front of him and let him look his fill, allowed his eyes to travel the length of her body. His gaze took in the flow of the silky dress, breasts that threatened to spill out of the scoop neckline, and the black spiked heels encrusted with the diamonds that were her namesake. He watched as she moved her legs apart and let the silk fall away from one calf, the slit reaching clear to her waistline. His eyes heated instantly. His heart beat loud in her ears, his blood pumping hard.


Beckoning her to drink.


Pleading for Diamonique to sate herself with this stranger.


She lifted her hand to the back of his neck and pulled him down, then silently slipped inside his mind, reading his thoughts easily. He was a flurry of sexual lust. He ached to sink his heavy length inside her body. Nothing seemed to matter to him except the swell of hip that protruded from the open dress.


Diamonique felt his hands there, even as her teeth scored his soft skin. His musky male scent bombarded her senses, as she tasted his sweet blood. Only once before had she tasted such nectar. Before she could explore the remembrance, his strong capable hands massaged the junction of her thighs. Her tongue continued to tease the blood from his willing veins, each in their own way fulfilling their lust. She let the moment drag out, longer than ever before. She loved his strong, capable hands massaging where she needed him the most. Even as her tongue continued to lap sweet sustenance, Diamonique felt her own climax mounting.


Then he spoke.


“My beautiful, Diamond, I thought I’d lost you forever.”


That voice! Warm velvet skimmed the length of Diamonique’s body. Every muscle went rigid with disbelief.


It was Cain!


The one who’d turned her into this monster of the dark.


She wrenched out of his arms.


“You were projecting false thoughts,” she accused, “so I wouldn’t know it was you.” She readied herself for battle. But he only stood there, eyes full of laughter as if mocking her. His grin triggered Diamonique’s rage as his gaze traveled over her body with a possessiveness he had no right to.


Her blood craving withered.


“You must have a death wish.” Her voice deliberately harsh and cold as her cells began to pulse with life once more, giving back her strength as her rage grew. Unfortunately, she was also able to see the man who’d so easily hidden his true self from her. No wonder she hadn’t recognized him, as an ancient, Cain had cloaked his appearance.


“Now why would you say that, love?”


“You dare come to me after what you’ve done!”


His eyes lit up with understanding, as if just remembering. “Ah, you must mean the whore. Is that what has you all in a lather?”


Diamonique’s spine stiffened. Her fists clenched and unclenched in an effort to stay in control. “She has a name, use it.”


“Sareena is dead.”


She hadn’t expected that, but then she didn’t really care. “And you’re telling me why?”


He drove a hand through his long black hair and sighed, as if tired. “It’s a long story, but her death affects you a great deal.”


“Screw off.”


“You have a wicked mouth, Diamond.”


“And you and I were finished a century ago. Leave here, Cain. This is my turf.”



"Afraid I can’t do that, love.”


“Then I will.”


She turned to go, but he grabbed her and hauled her close.


Too close.


She tried to jerk free, but he was too strong. “Let go, damn you!”


“No. You will listen to what I have to say.”


Diamonique knew it was useless. Cain’s stubbornness would continue until she heard him out.


“Fine. Speak.”


****


Cain couldn’t help himself; he so enjoyed watching Diamond get all riled. She was just so damn delicious when her face heated and her breasts rose and fell in agitation.


“Good girl.” He hoped to piss her off more. He was rewarded when she stiffened her spine and stuck her impertinent nose in the air. Good. He’d take stubborn any day over the cold, empty look he’d seen in her pretty, green eyes moments earlier.


“You stepped over the line when you took Sareena to bed.”


She swiped her tongue over her lips and licked the remaining droplets of his blood into her voracious mouth, causing his body to ache for her touch. “She meant nothing to me. There was never anything more than sex and only that once. Why must you read more into it?”


She smirked at him, which set off his own anger.


“It’s always just sex with you, Cain.”


Cain looked her over with renewed interest. “Who says?” 




 


A Touch of Amber-- February 2016!

http://annerainey.com