One of my favorite people on the planet has a new release out TODAY! Getting Played, that latest in Lexxie Couper’s FANTASTIC Heart of Fame series is out. I have two words for you — MUST. HAVE.
Heart of Fame, Book 7
After yet another month without a lead singer, the band Synergy is on the verge of calling it quits. Which drives Jaxon Campbell, keyboardist and perpetual player, to do something dangerous—hit up a woman with contacts—and curves—in all the right places. Trouble is, the last time he saw her, he kind of broke her heart. And stole her cherished, autographed AC/DC album.
Natalie Thorton, Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, knows everyone who’s anyone in Australia’s music industry. She’s driven and utterly professional and doesn’t have room in her schedule for relationships.
When Jaxon strides into her office, all of Natalie’s suppressed sexual urges—the ones born in Jax’s arms—surge to the surface. He wants something from her? Well, she wants something from him. Orgasms. Lots of them.
How can Jax say no? He’s never forgotten her, and it’s not like they’re going to fall in love. But just who’s playing who? And whose heart is going to fall first?
Warning: Contains a sexual challenge involving sex in public places, sex in private places, sex in moving cars, sex against windows and sex in the company of an oblivious federal politician. So basically, we’re talking about getting laid. A lot.
Hands still behind his head, Jax shifted in his seat, craning a look at the fleeing woman as she pulled the door close behind her.
“She’s cute,” he said when he turned back to Nat.
“She’s nine,” Nat stated, making her voice as flat and threatening as possible. “And dating a cellist.”
He raised his eyebrows. “I just said she was cute.”
“And I know what she’s cute translates as in Jaxon Campbell speak.”
He studied her, lips curled, eyes…ambiguous. “You know I never said you were cute, don’t you, Boxhead?”
Nat closed her eyes. “Please don’t call me Boxhead.”
He didn’t respond. Silence stretched between them, long enough for Nat to open her eyes and cast him a cautious look. Jax rarely passed up a chance to shoot off his famous mouth.
“Want to know what I said you were, Nat?” he asked when her gaze found his, not a hint of flippant jest in his voice. Ah, his voice. She could come over and over again just listening to his voice.
She pulled a breath, the knot in her stomach now a full-blown granny knot. “Gullible?”
“Mine,” he answered.
Goddamn it, where did all the air go in the room? Where did all the ants crawling all over her body come from? And more to the point, where the hell did Jaxon Campbell—the guy who stole not only her heart but also her rare, mint-condition, fully-signed AC/DC Back in Black vinyl LP—come off pretending what they’d had was anything more than sex to him? Huh? Huh?
Shoving aside the sudden and all-too-vivid memory of sex with Jax—hot, wild sex, explosive, exhibitionistic sex, slow, soul-melting sex, playful, let’s-include-toys sex—she rolled her eyes. “I think I prefer Boxhead.”
He grinned at her. “Of course you do.”
Another surreal stretch of silence claimed them. Nat couldn’t help but study him. It had been twenty-one years since she’d seen him. Not just on the TV or in a magazine, but actually seen him, in the flesh. He hadn’t lost his boyish sexiness, but the passing of time had left its mark on him. The laugh lines on either side of his eyes were distractingly wonderful, as was the faint crease between his eyebrows and the hint of silver in the stubble dusting his jaw and chin. He wasn’t as sinewy and lean as he’d been when they were together, which only transformed him, in Nat’s begrudging opinion, into a delicious mix of sculpted muscle and natural early forties strength.
Damn, she’d love to feel those muscles sliding under her palms again. Would dine out on his newness even as she indulged in the familiarity of his body, a body she’d never ever forgotten.
As frustratingly annoying as he’d been—and still was, if this brief encounter was anything to go by—he was still the most amazing, talented, no-holds-barred lover she’d ever had. And she was so missing amazing, talented, no-holds-barred sex. Nothing had come close to Jax in all the years since they’d parted.
He’s still the utterly sexy rock star though, Nat. That hasn’t changed.
Letting out a slow breath, and killing the very naughty notion of a for-old-time’s-sake tumble forming in her head, she leant forward and rested her elbows on her desk. Time to be the professional, aloft woman she was known to be. She was the Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, not a Jaxonfire. “What do you want, Jax?” she asked, holding his gaze. “I’ve got another appointment in a few moments and I’d like to be done with this reunion ASAP. Are you here to return my AC/DC record?”
Jax wriggled deeper into his chair, his eyes glinting. “Your next appointment is outside with his son. I’ve already said g’day.”
Nat blinked. “Nick Blackthorne is here already?”
Jax nodded. “I left him in the waiting room—nice ficus in the corner, by the way—chewing Josh a new one. That’s an angry father out there. And a disgruntled son.”
Before she could stop herself, Nat half-rose to her feet. Goddamn it, she was in here thinking about sex with Jax and the Con’s biggest financial benefactor was on the other side of the door?
Jax burst out laughing. “Geez, Nat, you really do have a thing for Nick. How did I miss this all those years ago?”
Dropping back into her seat, cheeks hot, she picked up a pen and glared at Jax. “I don’t have a thing for Blackthorne. It was only ever you, dickwad.”
So much for being professional.
The smile Jax gave her at her unplanned confession sent a flutter of traitorous suggestions through her body. Suggestions involving things like rope and whipped cream and handcuffs and open windows…
Nat squeezed her thighs together and ground her teeth. She had to get rid of him now. Before she did something stupid.
Just one for-old-time’s-sake bonk, Nat. Just one? Right here on your desk would be good.
“What are you doing here, Jaxon?” she asked, ignoring the increasing throb between her thighs. “And please, just a simple, straight-to-the-point, honest answer would be appreciated.”
He regarded her, an uncharacteristic seriousness falling over his face. Her heart pounded. Jax rarely was serious, but when he was…damn, he used to rock her world.
She fidgeted on her seat. “Jax?”
His Adam’s apple slid up and down his throat and then, like a burst of charged energy, he leant forward in his seat and pinned her with a wide grin. “I want you to find me someone better than Nick Blackthorne.”
Nat blinked. She hadn’t expected that.
But when she’d arrived at work this morning, she hadn’t expected to find herself sitting in her office having entirely dangerous thoughts about entirely unwise sex with Jaxon Campbell either, had she?
She frowned at her ex. “Excuse me?”
Jax’s grin grew wider. “We’re looking for a new lead singer. And by we, I mean me, Strings, Levi and Noah. You remember us, right? The band behind the man that is Blackthorne? Anyways, Levi got us a gig writing and recording the end-credit track to the next Chris Huntley movie, Dead Even 2, and we’ve spent the last few months trying to find someone to replace Nick with no success. The guys are about to give up and I said you’d be able to find us someone because you are incredible at recognising talent. Oh, the guys say hi, by the way. Damn, I’ve just realized something. I owe Noah ten grand.”
Nat stared at Jax, not sure what to say. “Why?” she croaked out, head spinning.
Jax flashed his teeth at her in one of those boyish grins that always led to them bonking like rabbits when they were together, no matter where they were. “Because he reckoned you’d deck me within five seconds of being in my presence.” He paused, cocking an eyebrow at her. “And you didn’t.”
She didn’t say a word. Once again, she really didn’t know what word she should say.
Jax’s grin grew more devilish. A debauched promise she remembered all too well danced in his eyes. “C’mon, Boxhead,” he murmured. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
The word blurted from her before her brain registered it had formed on her lips.
Jax’s eyebrows shot up his head. “What?”
“I’ll find you a replacement for Nick Blackthorne,” Nat said, her voice a raspy, rapid breath. It was as if she was having some surreal, out-of-body experience, except she suspected it was actually her body in charge of her brain and mouth and tongue and voice box. Her body, after all, had never forgotten what sex with Jax was like. And never forgave her for denying it more. “On the condition you give me—”
“Sex?” he cut her off, lips twitching.
Her belly fluttered. Damn, there was no backing out of this lunacy now. Now, all she could do was take the upper hand, take charge of the situation and make him suffer. And by suffer, she meant make him make her come more times than she could ever hope to count.
The way he used to.
“Not just sex, Jaxon,” she corrected, her brain slowly catching up with her body’s licentious intent. If she was doing this—and it appeared she was—she was doing it big. The bastard had stolen her AC/DC album, after all. It was high time she got something back. “Mind-blowing, earth-shattering sex. Let’s call them a series of sexual challenges, shall we? For each challenge you achieve, I’ll introduce you to a possible candidate to replace Blackthorne.”
Jax studied her, his expression ambiguous. But there, in his eyes, was that promise.
A quote for writers!
“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.” – Peter de Vries
On July 29, FINDING JULIA will be available for preorder. Watch for the links. This is Desiree Holt’s first book for Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Imprint and I’m helping her get the word out. She has also signed a contract for a football series and is well into the first draft of Book One: Forward Pass. Hooray!
Get a taste of FINDING JULIA here: http://bit.ly/1rMi7c5
Never Been Kissed will come out on August 19 (my birthday) and Falling Softly will release on Sept. 9.
Since Never Been Kissed is coming in just one short month, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of the story today.
She’d heard people talk about standing at a crossroads, facing one of those do-or-die moments in their lives. Shelly was there. If she walked off the floor right now, she’d regret it for the rest of her life. She already had twenty-eight years’ worth of those regrets piled up in her closet. God knew she didn’t need any more.
So, she closed her eyes and allowed Georgie to emerge. She’d gone out with her free-spirited friend several times in the past. She’d always admired Georgie’s ability to lose herself in the music, to dance like no one was watching.
Shelly found the beat, letting her body move without restraint. Josie hadn’t lied. Shelly really did love to dance. Of course, she’d always done her boogieing behind closed doors.
She was surprised when she felt strong hands on her hips. She lifted her eyelids and found Lance’s gaze on hers.
“You’re a great dancer.”
His compliment sent waves of joy through her. She smiled, then took her Georgie impersonation one step further. Lifting her arms, she placed her hands on Lance’s shoulders and moved a bit closer. His hands remained on her hips and she shut away the tiny part of her that worried what he thought about her chubby waist. Was he repulsed?
No! Her inner Georgie screamed at her to shut up, so she did.
At this rate, she’d be schizophrenic by the end of the night. There were too many women inside her clamoring for control.
Lance’s grip tightened on her waist and he leaned closer. For a split second, she thought he was going to kiss her and she panicked until he spoke into her ear loudly. “I think your friend is trying to get your attention.”
Shelly tried to suck enough air into her lungs to get her brain functioning again. She’d been in the bar less than thirty minutes and yet it was shaping up to be the most exciting, terrifying, surreal night of her life. Lance pointed toward the edge of the dance floor and she followed the direction until she spotted Josie waving at her.
Josie pointed at Jake who was standing next to her and mouthed, “Full moon.” Shelly grinned. Damn. She’d picked the wrong friend to emulate. Josie was off to have sex in public with the gorgeous man standing next to her. What a night. Shelly never wanted it to end.
She lifted her finger. “One hour?”
Lance watched the exchange, but mercifully he didn’t ask questions. Instead, he tugged her closer. “Looks like I’ve got you to myself for another hour.”
Shelly laughed. Not because he’d said anything funny. But because she was so incredibly happy. She’d have to buy Georgie the world’s biggest box of chocolate to thank her for her advice.
A new song began and Shelly did something she’d never done before. She let go of all her inhibitions and simply lost herself to the music, the moment. She and Lance picked up the rhythm of the sultry tune, each of them trying to outdo each other with their sexy dance moves.
Unfortunately, reality came crashing down in the form of a blonde barracuda. Miss Size Two jeans/DD boobs knocked into Shelly, pushing her away from Lance. At first, Shelly assumed it was an accident. After all, the dance floor was packed.
The woman said, “Excuse me,” but Shelly noticed she didn’t relinquish the space she’d just cleared. Size Two moved closer to Lance, her dancing an overt sexual invitation.
Lance glanced at Shelly over the woman’s shoulder, his gaze darkening as the blonde thrust her breasts against his chest. Shelly couldn’t tell if it was lust or anger on his face. She didn’t have much experience with either. She’d never managed to provoke those sorts of hot emotions in anyone.
Shelly continued to move to the beat, as her mind whirled over what to do. The woman truly was beautiful. And built. And definitely interested in Lance.
He’d have to be blind not to pick up on the signals the blonde was giving him. Maybe it was time for Shelly to step aside. She didn’t want to cramp his style. It had been nice of him to dance with her while Josie was occupied, but it wouldn’t be right for her to monopolize his entire evening.
She took one step toward the table, then froze as a spark of anger flared. If anyone had asked her yesterday, she would have sworn she didn’t have a temper. Shelly could count on one hand the times she’d blown a fuse and all of those had been years earlier, in high school, before life had beaten her down and taught her it just doesn’t get any better.
Tonight had proven to her that was wrong. In the past, she’d taken her lumps in silence because she’d given up.
But dammit, she was tired of lying down and playing possum, while others took and took and took.
So she stole a page out of Size Two’s book. Stepping next to the dancing couple, she accidentally swung her hip too far, propelling the petite woman at least five feet across the floor. Shelly suspected she would have gone even farther if another pack of dancers hadn’t broken her flight.
Shelly raised her hand to her mouth as if mortified by what had happened and said a less than sincere sorry that had Lance laughing loudly.
“Looks like my kickboxing lessons are paying off. That was completely bad ass.”
She grinned. “Maybe if she ate a cracker or two occasionally she wouldn’t be so easy to throw.”
Lance took Shelly’s hands and spun her as the music slowed down. Without a second’s pause, he pulled her closer and started swaying.
Can you believe that all the books listed below released in just the last month? Have you loaded up your Kindle with these titles…because this is the perfect summer beach reads list!
I don’t think there are many people out there who realize exactly how funny Sami Lee is. She and I roomed together in New Orleans this past May at the Romantic Times convention and honestly, I can’t remember when I’ve never laughed so much. Sami’s humor and tell-it-like-it-is abilities always translate so well to her stories. If you haven’t checked anything out by this incredible author, I hope you’ll pick up her latest release (out today!), Irrepressible Jasmine. Check out the warning on this book! Um…YES PLEASE!
Wild Crush, Book 2
After an affair with a Dom turns sour, Jasmine Campbell returns to Leyton’s Headland to build up some good karma by keeping her sister’s business afloat. For that, she needs help from real estate developer Aaron Sanderson—an old school mate who’s grown up movie-star handsome.
When Jasmine knocks on his office door, Aaron can barely contain his triumph. In high school he had an unrequited crush on Jasmine, but ten years on he’s better at close encounters with the opposite sex. He thinks he knows just how to handle Jasmine—with an aloof demeanor and a firm hand.
Little does he know just how firm a hand Jasmine needs.
Jasmine figures a fun vanilla fling will cleanse her sexual palate. Yet her lover proves himself surprisingly adept at satisfying her submissive desires. And soon she’s in serious danger of doing the one thing she swore never to do: fall in love.
Warning: Contains casual sex, intimate sex, slow sex, fast sex, rough sex, roleplay sex and spanking. So basically, lots of sex and spanking.
Aaron was on the phone when he glanced out the window and saw Jasmine Campbell striding across the street, making a beeline for his office. His gut clenched, his pulse rate leapt and he totally lost the thread of the conversation he’d been having.
Fortunately, the estate agent on the other end of the line loved the sound of his own voice and continued to drone on when Aaron fell silent. He was too focused on the sight of Jasmine walking toward him to participate in their discussion any longer.
She wore a sheer blouse in deep purple teamed with a miniskirt that barely came to mid-thigh—no stockings—and knee-high leather boots. Her hair tumbled around her shoulders, and the morning sun glanced off the dark strands, making them shine well enough for a shampoo commercial. Her striking eyes where hidden behind a pair of large-framed sunglasses. Her strides were bold, purposeful, as though she was a woman who’d just realized what she wanted and was determined to get it.
Christ Almighty, she was a knockout. She’d left him with a killer hard-on last week, and every male instinct he possessed had screamed at him to ask her out afterward, but he’d refrained by force of sheer will. He hadn’t wanted to come off too eager. Desperation was a major turnoff to women, especially women like Jasmine.
“I’m free for meetings right now, Vera.”
It was Trevor Long, one of Aaron’s best estate agents who spoke to the receptionist. Aaron had his own glassed-in office, but he kept the door open. His dad hadn’t done that, had always believed in keeping a separation between himself and his employees. But Aaron had never been overly comfortable playing the hardass, unless it was absolutely necessary. The open-door policy meant his staff felt free coming to him with issues or advice. It also meant Aaron could hear everything that was going on around the office.
Right now, Trevor had his ravenous attention fixed on Jasmine. He slicked back his already jelled-into-submission blond hair and fairly licked his lips in anticipation.
A wholly unearned sense of territoriality gripped Aaron. He covered the phone mouthpiece and called out the open office door. “Vera, when Ms. Campbell comes in, can you show her to my office?”
Vera Wilmington—a woman in her late forties with four kids and a twenty-year marriage under her belt—turned and looked at Aaron over the top of her half-frame glasses. Her gaze slid from him to Trevor and back. Her lips twitched. “Sure thing.”
Trevor’s face fell. “Oh come on.”
“The boss’s prerogative, Trevor.” Aaron grinned. “And she’s an old friend of mine who would, I guarantee, eat you alive.”
“Yeah, but what a way to go,” Trevor mumbled, returning to his desk with a serious case of the sulks.
Aaron worked at finishing up with Bill Leadbeater as he watched Jasmine walk into the reception area, perch her sunglasses atop her head and ask for him by name. Aaron’s heart performed a ridiculous little flip. She’d come to see him specifically. That was interesting.
When Jasmine walked in, Aaron nodded in acknowledgment. She took a seat in the chair across from his desk and crossed her legs, causing her black skirt to ride farther up her thighs. Aaron couldn’t help the way his attention snagged on the exposed length of supple flesh. Damn, she had great legs. Too easy and too damn fun to imagine them wrapped around his waist as he pumped into her. The images accosted him, and the stirring in his loins became more of a frenzy. Jesus. At least pretend to be professional, dickhead.
Seeing the direction of his gaze, Jasmine uncrossed her legs and squeezed them together, sitting up straighter in her chair with her hands in her lap. The pose said “good Catholic schoolgirl”, something which Jasmine had never been. At least not in any way that wasn’t thoroughly filthy.
And now he was picturing her in a short checkered skirt and knee-high socks. Man, he really had reverted to schoolboy thoughts.
“Anyway, a client just walked in, Bill. I gotta go.” Aaron waited while Bill wound up the conversation, using the time to cleanse his mind of dirty imaginings involving the woman sitting across from him. It was bad enough last time that she’d seen how strongly she affected him. If he let her see it again, she’d know he could be reduced to putty in her hands, if she was so inclined.
But then, maybe Trevor had a point. What a way to go.
At last he got rid of Bill and hung up the phone. He turned his full attention to Jasmine. “Well, hello again.”
“How are things, AJ?”
AJ. It was what his pop had called him when he was a kid, what some had called him in school, so it always made Aaron feel about twelve years old. Considering he felt a little like a pubescent boy with his first boner, Aaron figured he probably deserved the assignation right now. “All good with me, Jas. You?”
“Good. Great.” She drummed her fingernails on her knee and bit her lip. “Actually no, I’m not that great.”
Aaron’s smile dropped a little as her words sunk in. “Why—what’s wrong?”
“Business is slow.” Jasmine gestured through the glass, where they could both see Summer’s Retreat. “My sister’s business.”
“We’re heading into the cooler months. Everyone’s business slows down a bit.”
“Not yours,” Jasmine noted. “I hear AJ Sanderson’s is booming.”
“I wouldn’t say booming, not in this property market.” Aaron tried not to be thrilled that she’d apparently been asking about him. “But we do okay.”
“I hear you’ve turned into a savvy businessman. Like your father.”
Aaron was sure she’d meant it as a compliment, so he didn’t deny it even though every cell in his body wanted to protest the comparison. He’d taken over AJ Sanderson’s when his father retired last year, he sat in the same office his father had inhabited for much of his career. The comparisons were inevitable.
Usually he let them roll off his back like water. For some reason it bugged him that Jasmine, of all people, thought he was like Andrew Sanderson, even though she could have no concept of the man’s faults.
“I prefer to think I’m my own man.”
Jasmine’s face fell. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”
Aaron realized he hadn’t masked his irritation well. He held up a hand. “Sorry. The comparisons get a little old sometimes.”
“I can understand that.”
Aaron remembered how people—people like his mother and her friends—used to say what a shame it was that Rex Campbell’s eldest daughter showed no signs of the same ambition or intelligence that her father or her sister possessed. He felt like a spoiled prick. His dad hadn’t been perfect, but despite what went on behind the scenes people generally admired him. By association, Aaron had been afforded the same level of respect. The comparisons to his father might bug him from time to time, but at least they didn’t have the power to demoralize him.
Aaron wondered if Jasmine had ever been demoralized by what people said. If she had, she’d never shown it. But as Aaron well knew, people put on fronts all the time.
“So the thing is, I came to ask for your help.”
From the way she clenched her hands together in her lap, Aaron could tell that had been a very difficult sentence for Jasmine to utter. He sat forward and put his elbows on his desk. “What can I do for you?”
This week I’m participating in a HUGE blog party with the Smutketeers. Tons of prizes, excerpts and fun. The Smutketeers are holding the party so you know it’s going to be a blast!
Had to do a little shouting about this book simply because the author, Kelly Jameson, is one of the nicest gals I know. Had the opportunity to hang out with her at the RT convention in New Orleans in May and she was one of the highlights of that trip for me. She’s classy, funny and she is never without a glass of wine in her hands. That alone means she’s “good people”! lol She had a new book out today, Reward of Three, that is the third in a series that takes a look at three people trying to find happily ever after in a menage. Kelly’s really taken a look at the dynamics and difficulties that come into play once you leave the realm of fantasy and enter that of reality. But don’t worry–it’s a Kelly Jameson book–hotness abounds! You really should check it out.
Rule of Three, Book 3
When the pregnancy test turns positive, Kassidy, Dag and Chris are thrilled they’re going to be parents at last. Their polyamorous relationship has blossomed, and there’s more than enough love to go around for their long-awaited little “Belly Bean”.
Then reality sets in. Dag grew up without a father. Does that mean he’s too damaged to be a good role model? Kassidy is at a critical point in her career, working long hours on a high-profile project. And Chris gets a disappointing—but not exactly unexpected—reaction when he contacts his parents with the news.
As worry nibbles at the edges of their happiness, fate is poised to tear it to shreds, leaving a loving foundation three years in the making cracking under the weight of grief and guilt. And the trio in the fight of their lives to repair their unconventional bonds.
Our sexy threesome is back for their happy ending. Keep extra tissues on hand for tears, a fan on standby for hot sex, and a post-it note to remind you to take a deep breath. It’s time to find out if the juice is really worth the squeeze.
She didn’t know how to tell them.
There was the straight-up, open and honest way. There was the sneaky cute way. There was the vague hinting way.
Kassidy wasn’t sure if she was any good at sneaky and cute. Maybe if she thought about it enough, she’d come up with an idea. Vague hints might work. But sometimes her guys were clueless. They also weren’t always good at subtle. That left straightforward.
But this was a pretty momentous moment. Heh.
In the end, the sneaky cute way came to her like a divine intervention at the most mundane time. Friday nights they often stayed home and watched movies or played board games. Dag had scoffed at the tameness of it all, but as the three of them had settled into their poly relationship, he’d been the first to stretch out on the couch with a beer Friday night and ask what movie they were watching or what game they were playing.
“Scrabble,” Chris said tonight.
There was a brief argument between the guys because Dag hated Scrabble. Kassidy sipped her herbal tea and watched them with a smile. Then the Scrabble board came out.
“Man, we’re acting more and more like old people,” Dag commented, lining up his tiles. “Friday night sitting at home playing Scrabble.”
Chris laughed, eyes on his own tiles. “You are old. Besides, we’re going out tomorrow night.”
Kassidy nibbled her bottom lip, her insides fluttering. Was this going to be good news for them? For Dag? If he was worried about staying home on a Friday night, living a staid, boring life…well, this might not be news he wanted to hear.
But they’d talked about it. They’d all agreed. They wanted this.
The game began, and Kassidy glumly surveyed her tiles. She had nothing. She managed to add a couple of tiles to Chris’s “ascot” and create “cat”. She rolled her eyes. The game continued and then Chris spelled the word “gnat”. Kassidy looked at her tiles and the letters P, R and E jumped out at her. Pregnat. Her eyes widened. And then she saw the I and M tiles. Her heart started thumping as she waited for Dag to take a turn, praying he wouldn’t touch that word.
Her fingers trembled as she tried to place the little tiles on the board, messing them up, then straightening them. When she drew back, she read her creation: IMPREGNAT.
She looked up at Chris and then Dag. They both frowned at her word.
“That’s not a word, sweetheart,” Chris said. “You need an E on the end.”
“No,” she said, “actually I need another N. Right here.” She touched the tiles with her index finger. Then she totally cheated by picking up an N from another word and moving it there.
“You can’t do that,” Dag objected.
She laughed. She’d been so right about the subtle thing. “Oh my God. Read it.”
They both looked at the word again and then she saw their faces change at the exact same moment as understanding dawned. They turned shocked eyes to her and she smiled at them. They blinked and in unison, their gazes dropped to her stomach, then back up. She nodded.
“F**k,” Dag breathed. In a flash, they were both kneeling in front of her where she sat on the couch.
“Sweetheart. Really?” Chris gazed at her. “You’re pregnant?”
“F**k,” Dag said again.
“Holy sh*t,” Chris said.
They both reached for her and she slid an arm around both their shoulders, bending her head toward theirs. The corners of her eyes stung and she squeezed them shut.
“You okay, babe?” Dag asked in a rough voice that sounded like he was near tears. “Feeling okay, I mean?”
“I feel great.”
“When is this gonna happen?”
“According to the website I used, we’re due November 9. I haven’t been to the doctor yet, but I did two pregnancy tests to make sure.”
“You need to go to the doctor!” Chris said.
“I will. I have an appointment next week.” She smoothed a hand over his dark gold hair. “I’m fine.”
“Wow. November. Okay.” Chris swallowed. “Wow.”
She tightened her arms around them and they hugged, heads together. “I know. It is pretty wow.”
Emotion rose inside her and she felt it in her guys too, their short breathing and vibrating bodies.
“This scares the sh*t out of me,” Dag muttered.
She touched his dark hair. “Why?”
He lifted his head and looked at her, lips pressed together. “It’s just…a lot.”
She studied him. “Talk to us.” She suspected where his thoughts were going. “Wait, get off the floor, both of you.”
They rose and sat beside her on the couch, flanking her as they almost always did, on the couch or in bed, or walking down the street. They were always there for each other, but even more, they were always there for her, protecting her, caring for her.
“Why are you scared?” she asked again.
Dag took in a breath. “I never had a dad growing up. My dad didn’t give a shit. He took off when I was three. I never had any kind of father figure.” He met Kassidy’s eyes. “I don’t know how to be a dad.”
“Yes, you do.” She laid a hand on his darkly stubbled cheek. “All you have to do is love our son or daughter. And besides, I don’t know how to be a mom.”
“At least you had a mom who gave you some kind of good example. Even my mother was a crappy parent. What if I screw up? What if I turn out to be like them?”
“You won’t.” Chris spoke up. “You’re not like them. And Kass is right. None of us knows how to do this. We’ll figure it out together. We’ll be there for each other like we always are.”
They didn’t mention the things they’d talked about in the past when they’d considered the decision to have children. They didn’t talk about bringing a child into their unconventional relationship. They didn’t talk about the kinds of reactions their child might encounter when people learned about their unusual family. They didn’t talk about who was the biological father of the baby…because they’d all agreed it didn’t matter.
They were all three going to be parents to this baby and genetics didn’t change that.
They’d learned a lot from the people they’d met through the counselor they’d seen when starting this relationship. They’d become friends with other poly couples, including some with children. They were fully aware that there were going to be obstacles and hard times. But they were also confident that they could give a child—or two, if Kassidy got her way—enough love and support that their children would be strong and resilient and able to deal with whatever life brought them.
They’d shared their doubts and misgivings, but the desire to have a child and be a family had prevailed and they’d stopped using any kind of birth control two months ago.
Happiness expanded inside Kassidy that it had come to pass, that she was carrying their baby and she was going to give that precious gift to these two men she loved so much.
“What should we name her?” she asked.
Chris and Dag both laughed. “Her?” they said.
She grinned. “It could be a girl.”
“You want a girl, babe?” Dag laid his palm on her stomach.
“I’m supposed to say I just want a healthy baby, but I kind of do want a little girl.”
“A little girl would be awesome.”
“But I really do just want a healthy baby,” she added. “Boys can be fun too, and since he’ll have two dads, I won’t have to worry that I don’t know how to entertain him.”
“We’ll take him to strip clubs,” Dag said. “And teach him how to shoot tequila.”
Kassidy giggled and gave him a little punch. “Right.”
“Hey,” he said. “Those are important things in a man’s life. Along with hookers, fast cars and guns.”
Kassidy stared at him in horror. “Hookers?” Her forehead tightened. “You’ve never gone to a hooker, have you?”
“Hell no. I’m kidding, babe. About the guns too. Fast cars, maybe not.”
“Oh. For a minute there I was having second thoughts about this.”
Dag nuzzled her neck and Chris laughed. “You know he’s full of it.”
“November.” Dag sighed. “That’s not far.”
“About nine months,” Kassidy said, trying not to smile, and earned herself a tickle.
“Can we have sex?” Chris asked.
“Right this minute?”
His lips twitched. “I meant for the next nine months.”
“Christ,” Dag said. “Please say yes.”
“God yes,” Kassidy said.
“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.” -Eudora Welty