Today’s the day! Can’t wait for you all to dig into this book, but for now, please enjoy a sneak peek of the first two chapters. When you’re done, I’d love for you to share, like, and comment! Release day is Sunday, October 9th, so Make sure you’re on my email list to get the notification as soon as it’s live!
And don’t forget, I still have a giveaway going for anyone interested in helping with my Release Day Countdown Event. For the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed paperback copy of OVERDOSE, plus a bunch of swag, just CLICK HERE to sign up and then you can come back to read 🙂
Also, if you like to party and LOVE winning prizes, come hang out with me and some of your favorite authors of bad boy romance at my Facebook party, Bad Boys Do It Better, taking place Thursday, October 6th. JOIN NOW!
❤ Blurb ❤
**Special Notice: This romance is of the darker variety, contains adult themes, and sexually explicit content. The hero is flawed and dirty. Consider yourself warned**
Insomniac. Narcissist. Sex addict.
…the only description sex therapist, Vanessa Ferris, was given of her newest patient, a fellow psychologist, Dr. Zander Hale.
From the moment he entered her office, she knew he’d be trouble—possibly the good kind. What she wasn’t prepared for was how he’d blindside her; how he would challenge everything she thought she knew about her profession, about herself.
There are certain lines a doctor is warned never to cross with their patients, but she didn’t listen.
Now, they’re both addicted.
One hit was all it took.
***AUTHOR NOTE: “OVERDOSE” is a full-length standalone, bursting at the seams with sexual heat, thanks to one smoking hot bad-boy and his feisty, no nonsense therapist. Expect a dark tale of erotic romance with no cliffhanger. This story is not for the faint of heart and is definitely intended for readers 18 and older.
❤ Chapter One ❤
“Your messages, Dr. Ferris.”
Vanessa flashed her secretary, Greta, the best smile she could muster this early in the morning and accepted the stack of pink memos. After uttering a quick, “Thank you,” she continued on toward her office at the end of the dimly lit hallway—a hallway with walls made of Tuscan fieldstone. The blend of ash and coal tones were too dark in her opinion, but there hadn’t been much consideration for her preferences when the décor was chosen. This practice was technically half hers, but these dark walls served as yet another reminder of how little that mattered.
She had no voice in this partnership.
During the half hour before her first appointment, she intended to return a few calls and finish the still-warm cup of coffee in her hand. Passing by Simon’s door, the sound of his and a patient’s muffled voices could be heard inside. It was likely this early session had been Vanessa’s saving grace; the only reason Simon wasn’t waiting at her desk already this morning. That was his latest ploy and she hated it. Since he wasn’t getting much conversation from her outside the office, he resorted to cornering her inside the building where he knew she’d be civil.
Now that the divorce proceedings had begun, all she offered her soon-to-be ex was one word answers and even those were few and far between. It was bad enough they were still linked as business partners by their joint practice. In her eyes, that was enough; he didn’t deserve her time off the clock, too.
Not after all he’d done.
Thumbing through the messages again as she settled into her seat, Vanessa zeroed in on one from a former colleague, Dr. James Keiser—or, Jim, as she was accustomed to calling him. Generally speaking, he only called when an interesting case presented itself, one he thought she’d be better equipped to handle. Tapping a pen on the edge of her desk, she contemplated.
Who would it be this time?
His referrals were always so colorful; clients who presented a welcomed challenge.
“Jim? Hey, it’s Vanessa. Looks like you called after I left the office yesterday?”
When he hesitated, she sat back in her seat and prepared herself, swallowing down a sip of coffee while she held the phone.
“As a matter of fact, I did,” came a gruff voice on the other end of the line. “I know you’re busy, as am I, so I’ll cut right to the chase. How’s your patient roster looking these days? I think I may have someone who could benefit from seeing you.”
Vanessa shrugged to herself and calculated. “Full enough, but there’s always room for more,” she answered. Now wasn’t the time to turn down new patients; not with her plans to branch off from Simon in the near future. “Who do you have for me?”
“Male. Thirty-five years old. Insomniac, possible narcissistic personality disorder—”
“That’s all very interesting, but how about you get to the good part,” she cut in, smirking at Jim’s tendency to tiptoe around his point. “Why’re you sending him my way?” she asked pointedly. “Nothing you’ve mentioned thus far warrants sex therapy.”
“Well, in addition to what I’ve already mentioned, the patient also suffers from hypersexual disorder—your area of expertise, not mine,” he finally added.
A sex addict; nothing Vanessa hadn’t dealt with before. She nodded to herself thinking this case would likely be routine. “Okay. That sounds simple enough. Can you tell me more?”
Jim hesitated again and Vanessa’s brow lifted as intrigue set in. “Actually… I’d like for you to delve into this one on your own. And the sooner you can avail yourself, the better.”
Resting both elbows on her desk, she frowned. Why the rush?
“By any chance, do you have an opening today?” Jim’s persistence definitely piqued her interest.
She checked her schedule. “I can fit him in at one.”
“Perfect. I’ll send him over.”
When the call ended, Vanessa sat back and drafted a mental list of reasons her former colleague could’ve been so eager to get this patient in to see her. Glancing at the clock, she dismissed the thoughts and opened the drawer that held her pen and notepad. Her first appointment would begin soon.
Within ten minutes, Greta buzzed the intercom. “Your nine o’clock is here.”
“Thanks. Send her in, please.”
Perched in her chocolate-colored, leather armchair, Vanessa stared at the blank sheet of paper and waited for Jasmine Emerson to enter. The three short knocks at the door carried an air of familiarity now after seven months of weekly sessions.
Jasmine stepped inside and took a seat. Pushing pale, blonde hair behind her shoulders, she gave a tight smile. Vanessa returned the gesture and assessed her patient’s posture and overall mood before speaking.
“Good morning, Jasmine.”
A distracted, “Morning, Dr. Ferris,” was returned. The heavy, southern drawl she spoke with slowed the pace of her words in a way Vanessa found charming. It wasn’t a common accent to hear in Denver, which made it even more pleasant.
Vanessa glanced down at her notes from the previous session. “So… how’d your little homework experiment turn out? Were you successful?”
Jasmine sighed, her expression speaking volumes. “No, not exactly. I mean, Drew and I tried what you said, but he was a little uncomfortable with the idea of me… you know… touching myself. According to him, masturbation isn’t natural for a woman.”
Vanessa had heard both men and women express this same notion—that self-gratification for a man is perfectly acceptable, but for a woman? Completely ‘unladylike’. If there was any truth to that theory, she was about as unladylike as they came, especially lately.
Clearing her throat, she pushed her personal issues to the back of her mind and focused on Jasmine.
“It’s not uncommon for men to have these views. Did you try talking to Drew about why he feels this way?”
Jasmine nodded, blinking blue eyes. “A little, but he wouldn’t really give me a straight answer. I guess the idea of it just freaked him out.” She sighed and slumped against the back of the couch.
“What’s on your mind?” Vanessa asked, seeing clear signs of frustration on her patient’s face and in her body language.
“Honestly? Sex. Sex is on my mind,” Jasmine admitted, laughing a little, but then her smile faded, giving way to the sadness Vanessa had grown accustomed to seeing her bear.
“I’m at my wits end,” she went on. “It’s been eighteen long months since my husband’s been a… a real husband to me and I’m losing hope that it’ll ever change. I suppose this would all be at least tolerable if the man believed in… you know… oral stimulation,” she added in a hushed tone, “but even that’s off the table. I shared with you that our families were deeply religious, but his upbringing was clearly stricter than mine. The man still believes anything other than plain, vanilla missionary is a sin.” There was a vacant look behind Jasmine’s eyes when she paused. “Lately… I’ve even considered filing for divorce.”
Hearing the word ‘divorce’ made Vanessa shudder. As someone currently going through that hell, she wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
“It’s common for soldiers with PTSD to suffer from prolonged impotence, Jasmine. No, not all of them manifest symptoms in the same way, but what your husband’s experiencing is actually quite normal.”
“Maybe. But what I’m going through isn’t normal. I find myself watching other men like a predator, Dr. Ferris. The pizza guy. My son’s high school friends—the legal ones,” she clarified. “The mailman.”
Vanessa cleared her throat again, but didn’t comment.
“Dr. Ferris, I’m not the type of woman to run around on her man, but this is my reality. It’s so… unnatural,” Jasmine added, not bothering to hide her frustration.
“Hold on to that feeling. Now tell me what ‘unnatural’ means? What exactly are you experiencing, feeling, when you say that?”
Jasmine toiled over Vanessa’s question for a moment. “I feel… vulnerable, like cheating is a very real possibility. And after twenty years of marriage, this is new to me. Drew and I went from four, five times a week to nothing. It’s hard to just turn off those feelings.”
“How did you deal with the sexual depravation while Drew was deployed? Is it possible to draw on those methods again?”
Jasmine sighed. “When he was away, I waited. The longest he was ever gone was six months, so I dealt with it. But we’re not talking six months; we’re at eighteen and counting.”
These sessions would’ve been so much more productive if Drew would give in and come to therapy with his wife. That would give Vanessa a chance to analyze his deep rooted sexual reservations and maybe offer some help. But for now, all she had to go on were Jasmine’s observations and assumptions.
She scribbled a few notes on her notepad and then met Jasmine’s gaze again.
“Do you truly believe you’d be happier being separated from your husband?” Vanessa asked, making sure she conveyed no judgment in her tone.
Jasmine shifted in her seat, becoming even more visibly flustered. “Yes and no.”
Jasmine shrugged her shoulders. “That part should be obvious.” Vanessa didn’t say anything, so her patient elaborated. “Because if I was… if I wasn’t married anymore, I could have sex with other men without feeling guilty.” She lowered her head when shame washed over her for having admitted such a thing.
“And why ‘no’?” Vanessa asked.
“Because I love my husband, Dr. Ferris. Despite what you may think, if I could, I wouldn’t be with anyone else for the rest of my life.”
Vanessa could hear the emotion heavy in her patient’s voice. “I’m not judging you, Jasmine.”
“Maybe not out loud, but you have to be thinking what a terrible person I am. Hell… I’d judge me, too, if it wasn’t my situation. I’m a married woman contemplating leaving her husband—the loyal war hero—just to get my itch scratched.” Jasmine seemed to get lost inside her head for a moment. “I don’t want to leave him, I… I just don’t know what else to do.”
Vanessa’s thoughts drifted to her own situation as she listened to Jasmine voice her frustrations. She had her own hurt to bear, hurt that ran deep. Making the decision to leave Simon wasn’t an easy one, but it felt like the only option. Their trust, their bond, had been severed. No amount of time or effort could mend that. When she came out of her thoughts, she tuned in to Jasmine’s voice again.
“I just want sex. Like… a lot of it. Now. Does that make me a bad person?”
“No,” Vanessa replied. “It makes you human.”
Jasmine sighed and sank deeper into the couch. Vanessa made a few more notes and then asked what goal Jasmine wanted to set for her next session.
She blew out a breath and gave her answer some thought, posing it as a question when she finally spoke. “I could try masturbating for Drew again? See if I can get him to loosen up a bit?”
“Are you comfortable with that?” Vanessa asked.
“I mean… I am. It’s Drew who can’t handle it. Maybe if we talk about it first, I can figure out what his issue is with it.” As she stood, she sighed heavily like before. “At this point, I almost don’t even care what he thinks. He’s lucky I haven’t resorted to dry-humping random household objects just to get off.”
Vanessa held in a laugh and lowered her gaze to her paper.
“Same time next week?” Jasmine asked.
“Your slot should be open. Just double-check with Greta on your way out.”
Jasmine nodded politely and then shut the door behind her.
Alone at last.
Each session was draining in its own way. Some patients were needier than others—looking for Vanessa to iron out all of their problems in one half-hour or hour-long session. Others left her feeling ineffective, which kept her on a constant search for new ways to approach their cases. Each one was like its own individual marathon. Some patients just wanted a hand to hold when they crossed the finish line; others wanted to sit on the sidelines and watch Vanessa run the distance all on her own. She soon came to realize that being a psychologist was tiring, thankless work.
The sound of a knock on the door startled her. “Come in.”
She watched as Simon peered around the door before entering and instantly regretted not asking who it was the second she laid eyes on him. That smug face of his made her sick to her stomach. He gave a half smile behind a gold-toned beard, one that had become equal parts gray over the last decade.
“Can I help you?” she asked in a clipped tone, hating that he continued to push like this.
Didn’t she deserve space?
Didn’t he owe her that after everything?
She was almost positive Simon had no clue just how deep this newfound hatred for him ran.
He took in the sight of her sitting in her chair, his soon-to-be ex-wife, rocking the hell out of a navy blue power-suit. When he failed to respond to her previous question, Vanessa stared, observing him right back as he ogled her.
Ignorant to Vanessa’s mounting intolerance, Simon’s gaze came to rest on her thighs—smooth, tight, the shade of a rich, expensive blend of coffee with just a small drop of cream. A memory flashed in his head, a vision of those same legs spread across his desk just after office hours in the Psych Building.
Their story began more than a decade ago, back when he was a prominent Psychology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Vanessa was nothing more to him than an eager student who couldn’t outrun his charm. He was nearly twenty-years her senior, but the age difference was rarely felt. He had no trouble keeping up with her insatiable sexual appetite then or now.
Damn… he missed those days, when he was still allowed to touch her. After only one night with him, he had her thoroughly hooked, and she had him wrapped around her dainty finger.
But now… all he had to go on was the memory of what was.
From the start of their relationship, sex had been a major part of the connection. In fact, they hadn’t even gone on an actual date until Vanessa graduated with her Master’s degree. Meaning, for an entire year, commencing with the first day he saw her sitting in the front row of his lecture hall, the relationship was strictly sexual. Sure there was conversation afterward, but it wasn’t so much the intellectual or emotional bond that made them fall in love; it was the physical.
His eyes continued to wander as nostalgia reminded him of all he’d had and lost. He always loved her legs, especially when she had on a sleek pair of high heels like she did now. However, all he was allowed to do these days was look. Touching her was out of the question.
Six months had passed since Vanessa found pale-pink lipstick on the collar of a shirt he’d worn. It didn’t matter that he’d take all the cheating back if he could. To Vanessa, all that mattered was that her husband of nine years had been unfaithful… and he couldn’t blame her for that.
Feeling the cold hands of guilt inching their way up his back, Simon cleared his throat and stepped closer, running a hand through his blond and gray-streaked hair.
Vanessa continued to stare, repeating the phrase, “Can I help you?”
Simon initially thought to have a seat on the couch, but he knew he wasn’t welcome. That feeling should’ve been enough to keep him away altogether, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t fathom the idea of just letting his wife go. In his mind, regardless of how many offenses he committed, she would always belong to him.
“Did you uh… did you get my boy off to school all right this morning?” he asked, trying like hell to sound confident. It wasn’t like he didn’t have the right to inquire about their son, but damn if she didn’t make him feel like he didn’t. That icy glare of hers…
Blinking dark lashes Simon’s way, Vanessa sighed. “Don’t I always?”
Simon nodded and gave a tight smile, knowing his face had become red when it heated. Yes, he really did want to hear about his son, but that wasn’t the only reason he’d come to Vanessa’s office. He hated that, soon, the paperwork would all be final and he’d lose her for good. It was hard enough not getting to go home to her every night, but the idea of her no longer being his, the idea of her moving on one day… it was almost too much to handle. He loved her. She had to know that despite his actions; had to feel that.
In a fit of pure desperation, he spoke without giving much thought to what he might say. All he knew was that he had to say something. Time was running out. According to his lawyer, in a matter of weeks, maybe only two, everything would be finalized and he will have officially lost one of the two most important people in his life.
If only he’d been able to show her that. If only he’d been a better husband, a better man.
The words, “Let me take you to dinner this weekend,” kind of fell at Vanessa’s feet when they tumbled from Simon’s mouth. The statement came out forced and clumsy, but he didn’t care. For her, he’d be awkward and vulnerable, two things he’d never been, but he’d do whatever it took to win his wife back.
“We can call a babysitter for Ryan… or, or even take him with us if that’s what you want. I don’t care,” he went on. “Just… please.” He paused to evaluate Vanessa’s blank expression.
When she puffed a short sigh and slid her glasses off, his gaze was trained on her dark-brown eyes. “Simon… I don’t know how much clearer I can make this.”
“Dammit, Nessa! Don’t shut me out!” He hadn’t meant to get upset, but he knew she was getting ready to reject this offer just like she had all the ones before it.
Weren’t they worth some sort of fight?
He felt like she’d been so dismissive about this whole thing. Granted, what he’d done was wrong, but… he was never given a chance to explain himself; was never given a chance to seek the help he knew he needed to resolve his… issues.
Issues he kept to himself.
Issues he knew could potentially push Vanessa even further away.
She’d cut him off with no real dialogue. Surely, someone with her expertise should’ve understood there was more to the story, he thought. His infidelity was just the tip of the iceberg.
That night was still so clear in his head. The second he walked through the door there wasn’t a question in his mind… she knew. At the time, he had no idea how she figured it out, but she knew. He could tell by the brokenness in her eyes. As soon as he stepped foot inside their bedroom, Vanessa came at him full-force, throwing her fists until he was able to restrain her. Through a blur of profanity and tears, she laid it all out on the table—what she found, how it made her feel, and what she wanted to happen next… she wanted him gone.
That was the end of it.
Simon had never been given the opportunity to tell her his side and that made him feel like he’d explode.
Vanessa stared after his outburst, trying to remember the last time Simon had raised his voice at her. She couldn’t recall, but knew it’d been years. She couldn’t understand why he’d even think she would accept such an invitation. Had she given him the idea that there was room to reconcile? No, she was sure she hadn’t. Yet and still, he was bold enough to ask.
“I think you should leave my office,” she said calmly, feeling the familiar sting of tears in the corners of her eyes. She could not and would not do this here, not in their place of business. Hell! She didn’t want to do it anywhere. There was nothing to talk about, nothing left of their relationship to salvage.
Simon read her mind, or read her face, rather.
The sound of Greta’s voice over the intercom broke the silence. “Your next appointment’s in, Dr. Ferris. Should I send her in?”
A chill passed between Vanessa and Simon as they stared at one another, frustrated for two very different reasons.
“Sure,” Vanessa replied flatly.
Simon moved toward the door, feeling his back and shoulders tense after the fruitless exchange with his wife. She’d always been stubborn, but once upon a time he loved that about her. However, it was different when that stubbornness was aimed at him, serving the express purpose of keeping him out of her life.
Now, more than ever, he felt that their end was inevitable.
❤ Chapter Two ❤
“Your one o’clock, Dr. Ferris.”
Vanessa sighed heavily, second-guessing her decision to do this favor for her former colleague.
“Thanks, Greta. Send him in.”
While she waited, she tugged the hem of her skirt down over her crossed legs.
The door opened silently, minus the usual courtesy knock she expected. Watching from her seat, she observed her newest patient as he stepped into her office and surveyed the room, tucking a black, motorcycle helmet beneath his arm.
The first thought that came to her mind was how terribly attractive he was, like the kind of attractive that could easily make a woman do things she wouldn’t otherwise; the kind of attractive that bred trouble. This thought reminded her of the reason Jim had sent him her way—sex addiction. If she had to guess, his good looks made finding women to satisfy his urges pretty damn easy.
The distance between them disappeared as the beautiful stranger stepped closer. Thick, dark hair on the crown of his head was neatly styled while the sides were shaven low. Vanessa stood and held in a breath as she continued to stare into eyes a peculiar shade of golden-brown. They sized her up slowly. The flecked orbs of his pupils seemed to burn brighter when he met her gaze and a dim smile touched his lips—damp as if he’d just moistened them with his tongue before crossing the threshold.
The fragrance he wore was subtle enough that it didn’t precede him. Instead, the scent came as sort of an afterthought once the two stood face to face. There was a perfect measure of sweetness and spice that made Vanessa breathe more deeply than what felt natural; drawing it in, savoring it, savoring him. She caught herself on the brink of getting carried away and drove the temporary fog from her thoughts.
In usual fashion, she greeted the gentleman with a smile just like she did all her other patients.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Vanessa Ferris,” she said, extending a hand.
“Zander Hale. Pleasure meeting you,” he said, taking Vanessa’s hand in his. Her eyes flickered at the sound of a heavy, British accent.
That was unexpected.
Motioning for Zander to have a seat on the burgundy couch across from her, Vanessa sank down into her own chair again, cross-legged just like before he entered. She skimmed the few details Dr. Keiser had shared—insomniac, possible narcissistic personality disorder, sex addiction. Gazing up, she found Zander already watching with inquisitive eyes as he eased his arms from the dark, leather riding jacket that clung to his frame.
Vanessa took a breath and did her best not to stare.
“I’d like to get to know you. Can you tell me a few things about yourself, Mr. Hale?”
“Zander,” he corrected. “And where exactly would you like me to start? Your request is a bit broad.” He stared at Vanessa expectantly, waiting for a more specific question.
She looked down at her mostly blank notepad and away from Zander’s intensity. “Well… your accent tells me you’re not from the States. Are you from England?”
“Yes. Beckenham, South London, to be more specific.”
When her patient fell silent again, Vanessa nodded. “Okay. What about family? Wife? Children? Parents or siblings close by?”
Zander perched an elbow on the arm of the couch and cocked his head. “My mother is right where I left her. I have a brother. Younger. He moved here with me a decade ago. And no wife. No kids.”
“It’s interesting that you brought your brother here with you. Did he follow you for a reason?”
“I don’t see how that’s relevant,” Zander shot back, expressionless.
Vanessa took a shallow breath. No stranger to difficult patients, she was unmoved by Zander’s callousness.
“Well, today’s session is about me getting to know you.”
“That hardly seems fair,” he said with a smirk. “Sounds rather one-sided, wouldn’t you say? I’m just supposed to let you inside my head; let you poke around a bit, and then what? You feed me your ‘expert’ diagnosis after leeching off my bank account for a few years?” he asked.
“Is that your perception of therapy?” Vanessa asked calmly.
“Why’s that?” She jotted down a note while waiting.
“Because that’s precisely the reason I chose the profession myself.”
Her pen stopped and she looked up into Zander’s intense gaze. “You’re a psychologist,” she reiterated.
He answered with a slow smile. “Does that scare you?”
“Why would that scare me? Your profession has very little to do with your treatment.”
He laughed cynically. “It has everything to do with it, actually.” He leaned forward and rested both elbows on his knees, closing the distance between himself and Vanessa just a bit. He liked to see a woman’s eyes dilate when he entered into that invisible bubble of personal space; the one that sets off all types of physiological alarms within the body when breached.
“Aren’t you the least bit interested in knowing what sort of sick, maniacal bastard has written textbooks on psychosis, neurosis, and erotomania, but can’t cure his own damn issues?” He laughed again. “I mean… aren’t you a little curious about what’s going on inside this head of mine?”
Vanessa remained still and void of expression after Zander’s outburst.
He held her cold gaze and couldn’t resist the urge to smile again as he realized something; his new doctor wasn’t easily rattled.
He liked that.
“I tell you what. Let’s cut to the chase. Let’s leave family out of it and just… dig right in, shall we?” he said, tapping a finger to his temple.
Vanessa nodded. “All right, you talk. I’ll listen.” If she was going to handle this case, she had to keep the upper hand.
Zander’s smile faded as he leaned his back against the couch, letting his eyes drag up the length of Vanessa’s brown legs. She cleared her throat, but didn’t look away from him.
“What’d the doc tell you I was in for?” Zander finally asked.
“The description I got was vague, so let’s just assume I know nothing.”
“Fair enough. To simplify things, I like sex. Need… sex,” he clarified.
Vanessa leaned her head to the side. “That doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary. Everyone’s sex drive is different. What makes yours qualify as a problem?”
The corners of Zander’s mouth lifted. He detected undertones of a challenge in Vanessa’s response.
“How often would you say you think about sex in a day?” she asked more pointedly.
She smiled, glancing down at the term ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ written on the sheet of paper. “I’m sure that’s an exaggeration.”
Zander remained stone-faced, prepared to prove his point. “Since entering your office, roughly…” he paused to look down at his watch, “…oh, six minutes ago, I’ve already imagined you sucking my cock from beneath your desk, fantasized about bending you over that table,” he said, pointing toward the mahogany antique to his right without breaking eye contact. “And, pardon my candor, but I’m currently fighting the urge to drop to my knees for a taste of you as we speak.”
While Vanessa sat still as a statue, Zander invaded that delicate boundary of space again before repeating the one word that summed it all up:
She tried to steady her breathing while making another note. Zander turned to gaze out the window and Vanessa took a moment to watch him while his attention was elsewhere. His demeanor had shifted tremendously since he walked in. When the topic transitioned to sex, he became increasingly aggressive. Even now, his leg was shaking.
“How long have you suffered from—”
“Decades,” he answered, cutting her off. “Since I was fourteen, fifteen maybe.”
“You had your first sexual experience at fourteen?”
“Is that strange?”
Vanessa ignored the question, assuming it was rhetorical anyway. “What made you decide to seek help now?”
Zander let his eyes shift from the window, to Vanessa’s face again. “In short? These… urges, if you will, are a bit difficult to control. And judging by the myriad of credentials framed on that back wall,” he added, pointing, “I’m sure you can imagine how a condition such as this would eventually become an issue.”
Vanessa eased her glasses up from the tip of her nose and back into their rightful position. “How so?”
The question visibly annoyed her patient, but she confidently maintained eye contact while waiting for further explanation.
A sharp breath puffed from Zander’s lips. “Professionally. Romantically. Socially. What else would you like me to say?”
Vanessa again noted his hostility. He was seething in his seat while she stared on, indifferent to his unprovoked outburst.
“Sex brings about a plethora of reactions—physical, emotional, psychological—what is it that sex makes you feel?”
The silence that filled the air was unforeseen. She expected Zander to have a response readily available. As a psychologist himself, she assumed this was something he’d thought of before.
“Physically, it’s about the heat.”
Not what she expected to hear. “Tell me more.”
Zander shrugged and stared at the ceiling while he explained. “Body heat—that simple, and yet very significant, indicator that you’re not alone.”
“Does being alone—”
“Scare me?” he cut in. “No, but I don’t think any of us would choose it over the alternative.”
Inwardly, Vanessa agreed with Zander’s logic. “Okay… is that all for the physical?”
His eyes flickered a little before he gave way to a smile. “Really? You’re going make me say it?”
The corner of Vanessa’s mouth turned up, too. “We’re both adults, professionals. I’m only trying to gain an understanding of where this addiction stems from.”
Still smirking, Zander nodded and gave her the answer she sought. “Suit yourself. Physically? I love that first plunge—that initial burst of wet heat enveloping my cock.” He smiled bigger just thinking about it. “Drives me absolutely mad.”
Vanessa took a deep breath and squeezed her thighs together. She’d gone too long without sex—with someone other than herself, anyway—to listen to such explicit details without it affecting her. Although she figured Zander was none-the-wiser, she felt embarrassed by her body’s very human reaction to his words all the same.
Her cheeks blazed hot. When the corner of his mouth turned up into a smile, she held her breath.
“Do you think the feeling is equally as intense for women as it is for men? Sex, I mean?” he asked out the blue. “I’ve always wondered that.”
Vanessa shifted in her seat. “I can’t answer that.”
“Because it would be inappropriate.”
Zander chuckled, nodding as he analyzed Vanessa’s statement. “So… it’s okay for you to ask me intimate questions, but I can’t do the same?”
She nodded. “That’s the nature of the doctor/patient relationship. You know that. You’re a professional.”
“Precisely my point. My occupation blurs those lines a little, doesn’t it? We’re not simply doctor and patient; we’re equals, two well-seasoned professionals exploring the depths of my sub-conscious… together. I just think this would be far more interesting if you stepped out of the role of bartender and pulled up a stool on this side of the bar for a change. Perhaps there’s even an issue or two rolling around inside that head of yours, just waiting for someone like me to pluck it from the shadows.”
Vanessa felt a strong need to shift the conversation back to Zander. She ignored his reasoning and asked, “Does it make you uncomfortable to share with me?”
He stared in silence.
“You don’t want to continue?” she asked.
“Pardon me if this offends you in some way,” he cut in, ignoring her inquiry, “but I find you… incredibly attractive. Almost to the point of it being a distraction.”
She cleared her throat, but never missed a beat otherwise. “Thank you, but we have to stay on topic. Let’s talk about the emotions you attach to sex.”
Her quick, verbal maneuver made Zander smile. He’d cooperate for now. “Sex makes me feel… centered.”
“Yes. Specifically, the moment I ejaculate—in a woman, on her… doesn’t much matter where.” He paused to smile again. “Even when I masturbate. Granted, the satisfaction isn’t quite as fulfilling, but it holds me over until I find another willing victim.”
Zander watched Vanessa squirm at the mere mention of him coming. He was pretty sure she thought he hadn’t noticed, but he did. Clearly, she’d never been in the presence of a man like him. Not much went unobserved. For instance, she’d licked her lips approximately four times in the last sixty seconds. Also, she’d crossed and uncrossed her legs every other minute since he entered her office—one of many tell-tale signs of sexual frustration in women. Zander felt a primal instinct kick in, resonating from deep within his chest.
“Victims? That’s how you view the women you sleep with?” Vanessa asked, cutting into his thoughts.
He shrugged. “No. Just a clever play on words. I’m actually very sure I’ve left each and every one of my customers feeling quite satisfied.”
“Now they’re customers,” she said flatly. “So you consider sex a service?”
Zander laughed and draped his arm casually over the back of the couch, watching as Vanessa pushed her long, dark hair behind her shoulder. It was thick and he imagined it to be very soft to the touch. He envisioned himself raking his fingers through it when he spoke again.
“Do you always take everything so literally? Perhaps I should’ve warned you of my perpetual sarcasm, too, when I introduced myself. Is there a treatment for that?”
When Vanessa didn’t respond, or smile for that matter, Zander shook his head. With a sigh, he answered, “No, Dr. Ferris… sex is not a service.”
She wrote in her notepad instead of speaking. While he stared, it was like a switch flipped within him. All of a sudden, Zander regained the ability to see through the smoky haze of lust that overtakes him at inopportune times such as this. He was like a man possessed, but every now and again, the true Zander Hale was able to break through and redirect his own path.
When Vanessa looked up again, she tried to analyze the expression on Zander’s face.
He’d lost himself in her dark eyes, memorizing their exact shade in contrast to her chestnut-brown skin. Again, he felt conflicted.
While she waited for him to speak, she counted her breaths to keep them steady. The way he stared at her, into her, it was unnerving. She couldn’t let someone like him know her defenses were down; couldn’t let him know she was experiencing the longest sexual drought of her life thanks to the untimely demise of her marriage.
“I’m not entirely sure this arrangement is going to work out,” Zander finally blurted, the abruptness of the statement catching Vanessa by surprise.
She frowned a little. “And why is that?”
His eyes dropped to her breasts, watching as they rose and fell with each intake of air. The charm to her gold necklace rested in her cleavage and he forced himself to look up at her face again. However, this helped very little. Now, there were her full lips to fixate on, still moist from that incessant licking she’d been torturing him with. He turned away. It was all he could do to clear his thoughts.
“Because,” he replied, “I just have a feeling our sessions will be very counterproductive to my treatment. And, contrary to what you’ve observed here today, I do actually want to be cured.”
“Well, for starters,” Vanessa interjected, “I think ‘cured’ is the wrong word. That would imply there’s something wrong with you.”
Zander laughed cynically. “Wouldn’t you say that there is, in fact, something very wrong with me, Dr. Ferris?”
Vanessa shook her head. “No, Zander, I wouldn’t. There’re varying degrees of normal. Some of us are extreme in areas where others aren’t. You just so happen to be extremely sexual. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.”
She crossed her legs again and his heart raced.
Vanessa noticed him staring and cleared her throat to regain his attention.
“Now, I can’t force you to return next week, but I’ll schedule you anyway. Hopefully, you’ll go home and think about it, see that our session today did at least a little good, and you’ll be back here to see me next week.” She flashed a confident smile and Zander actually felt guilty that she had so much confidence in him.
“As you wish,” he breathed, standing to his feet.
Vanessa stood, too. “It was very nice meeting you.”
Zander nodded, but deep down he knew he should end things here, leave this building, and forget that it, or Dr. Ferris, even existed. However, it was a little late for that. She’d already left a lasting impression.
Vanessa extended her hand to shake his. “I’m sure that, if you give this a chance, you’ll be very happy you did.”
Reluctantly, Zander returned the gesture and held Vanessa’s gaze, feeling her soft, supple skin against his palm.
“I agree,” he replied, thinking to himself, ‘…But will you be happy I did?’
(My Muse for Dr. Zander Hale: Actor, Joseph Morgan)
Wanna know what happens next? Make sure you add yourself to my email list before chapter three is delivered the morning of Friday, September 16th 😀 Just click here!
❤ The Official Trailer ❤
Add OVERDOSE on Goodreads today, by simply clicking HERE 😀
First things first, Congrats to the winner of my $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, Crystal Franklin!!! A huge THANK YOU to her and everyone who participated in the cover reveal for my upcoming release, OVERDOSE: A British Bad Boy Romance! You all truly made it a special event and I appreciate you tremendously. As an indie author, it’s sometimes difficult getting the word out about new projects, so I can’t express enough how priceless your efforts have been 🙂
Side Note: If anyone would like another chance to win in the coming weeks, I could use your help sharing my release day announcement. The prize will be another $50 Amazon gift card, a signed paperback copy of Overdose, and a ton of swag! CLICK HERE to sign up if you’re interested 😀
In other news…
ESPOSED, Book three of my AMBW, interracial romance series, “Free Falling“, was nominated in the romance category of the Summer Indie Romance Awards last week!!! I’m super appreciative of whoever thought to nominate me ❤ Voting will start in a few days, so I’ll be sure to share the link and info for that when available.
Further updates coming soon!
Release Date: October 9th, 2016
***TRIGGER WARNING: Please be advised, this book contains a brief, nondescript reference to sexual abuse and other violent acts that some readers may find offensive.
A native of the Midwest, Raven has been writing for most of her life. Dreams of becoming a full-time writer seemed afar off, but she’s ecstatic to say that dream has been realized. In addition to growing her list of completed works, she also does some writing/publishing/marketing consulting on the side. With several novels already published, she looks forward to adding many more in the years to come. If you enjoy stories told from the heart with beautifully flawed characters, then she definitely has something just for you.
I’m a businesswoman, too 🙂 As I’m sure all my fellow indie authors (published and aspiring) have already discovered, no one is going to manage your writing career but you. The sooner you embrace this fact and accept it, the better lol.
Sharing your work with the world reaches far beyond simply crafting a story; you have to also find savvy ways to let others know your work exists. It took me a long time to find my rhythm. I started my writing journey quite… haphazardly. Yes, that’s a good word for it. Publishing my first book consisted of very little thought where marketing was concerned because I was such a novice. I, literally, spent a few days researching how to self-publish and then just went for it. No planning, no preparation whatsoever, just went for it. Thank God people saw potential in the story and purchased and shared their thoughts about the book with others. Had it not been for that, Gravity, would’ve just faded into the abyss. Makes me shudder when I think of how it could’ve gone, but there would’ve been no one to blame but myself.
Here’s my story:
I finished my first full-length book in 2009 not knowing I didn’t need a big publisher behind me. To me, that was the only way to go. So, cut to me spending hours at a time researching publishers and literary agents I thought might be interested in my particular style of writing. I sent countless email messages and snail-mail inquiries hoping just ONE of them would see the commercial potential in my work and contact me.
Yeah… that never happened lol.
Interracial and African-American Romance are niches within the romance genre and I suspect part of the problem was that my work wasn’t mainstream enough in publishers’ eyes; therefore, they likely thought it would be a hard sell. In other words, they may not have been sure the effort to find an audience for my books would have been worth the trouble. But don’t cry for me just yet! I’m actually okay with that! Had I not been rejected, I would’ve never known the joy of being in business for myself.
In fall of 2013 I was a stay-at-home mom/aunt who, all of a sudden, found herself kid-free during the day. My three kidlets and two nephews (whom I took care of during the day) had all officially started school and I made preparations to return to the workforce. I accepted a job offer for a high-paying position that I thought was the job of my dreams, but it was my husband who helped me see the light. He loved the idea of me staying home to pursue my writing career. Naturally, I thought he was insane for even suggesting it lol. I mean… I was offered the job of my dreams, remember? He was quite persuasive, though. His belief in me caused me to take a second-look. When I did, I couldn’t believe the conclusion I came to, but, long story short, I passed up the job offer and chose to spend my days doing what I love the most–writing.
The rest is history, I guess 😀
Now, here I am roughly two and a half years later, still doing what I love and earning a living at the same time. I’m contacted often by writers who have the same goal in mind and I offer whatever advice I can to help them. The last thing I want is for someone to encounter one of the same roadblocks I did and quit because of it. So, in an effort to aid fellow authors in achieving their dreams, too, I’ve decided to lend myself as a writing/publishing consultant. Whether you’re still in the plotting phase or you’re ready to release your first (or fifth) “book baby” to the world, I want to help you!
I study my craft and the writing industry almost as much as I write. As a result, I’ve garnered a wealth of knowledge I’d love to share. With eleven novels currently published, I aim to advise others on the “do’s” and “don’ts” I’ve learned along the way. Whether you’re just looking to publish your books and don’t really have any expectations where potential earnings are concerned or you want to delve into this as your full-time gig, I want to take the next step with you. If you’re interested in gaining insight into the world of writing, complete the form below to tell me more about your specific needs and where you are in the writing/publishing phase. Once you’ve submitted your responses, I’ll be in touch to set up an appointment to discuss things further 🙂
Until then, happy writing!
Who is Marco Rios?
Most would say guys like him are only good at one thing… breaking hearts.
By day he’s a tattoo artist who took the plunge and started his own business, but by night…
He’ll be whoever you want him to be—a wet dream in the flesh.
Brynn Palmer was content, enjoying her low-key life, one that rarely sprouted surprises. That is, until she crossed paths with the force better known as Marco.
It was only one night, but that one night changed everything.
*To the guys, Indecent Exposure is more than just their place of business; it’s a place where they make women’s fantasies come true… and have a ton of fun doing it. “Marco” is the first standalone in “The Men of Indecent Exposure” series, so kick back and enjoy, but don’t get too comfortable. You never know when you’ll need to have your singles ready!*
*Save the date! Release day will be April 25th, 2016*
CLICK HERE to read the beginning of Marco and Brynn’s story!
Photo: Courtesy of DepositPhotos.com
Cover Artist: Raven St. Pierre
Length: 129,000+ words
Categories: Interracial Romance (BW/HM), Curvy Romance
Full-Length | No Cliffhanger | HEA
Connect with me!
DELIVERED: Angel & Kai
Coming January 18th, 2016!!!
❤ Blurb ❤
There were three simple rules:
Don’t fall in love.
They followed them all… except one.
Kai carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, always putting the needs of others before his own. Angel is almost thirty and finds herself starting over in more ways than one. Both sought an outlet, a no-strings-attached arrangement to escape reality, but what happens when that fantasy becomes the realest thing they’ve ever felt?
*** DELIVERED is a standalone romance within the Free Falling Series and features secondary characters from the saga. This book can be read out of sequence of the series***
If you missed the preview of the entire first chapter, click here!!!
***cover art provided by Najla Qamber of Najla Qamber Designs***
❤ Special thanks to all the friends/bloggers who helped me share the cover and trailer for DELIVERED today! Check them out and give their blogs a follow! ❤
❤ Follow Me ❤
If we haven’t connected on Facebook yet, you may be wondering what I’ve been up to. I’m clearly alive and kicking, but I’ve been doing more than just breathing and waiting to find out if GLENN IS FREAKIN’ BREATHING, TOO!!!
Sorry… The Walking Dead CLEARLY has my emotions in limbo, but I digress. Here’s a little of what’s been going on in my writing world 🙂
- The latest installment of the FREE FALLING series, “Delivered: Angel & Kai” is done and in the process of being edited as we speak! This will be another AMBW romance featuring Angel, the cousin of the previous heroine, and Kai, a colleague of the previous hero. I’ve set a firm release date of January 18th, 2016 and I’m sooooooooooooo EXCITED! Cover/Trailer reveal coming soon!
- I’ve been working on another standalone title, “Overdose“, and I’ve had a blast working on this one! It’s a little darker than my usual stuff, but I think you’re gonna LOVE Dr. Zander Hale 🙂
- I’ll be introducing a new series of standalones this spring/summer and these guys will be HAWT! I can’t give too much away about their connection, but I CAN share a glimpse of what’s to come. Just check out the series Pinterest board, but for a sneak peek of my couple from book one, “Marco”, click here. This will be my first book featuring a Puerto Rican hero and BBW heroine and I hope you love them as much as I do ❤
- And lastly… *drum roll, please* I’ve started doing a little writing/self-publishing/marketing consultant work on the side. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) a lot since publishing, and I love being able to help others attain their writing goals, too! To inquire, just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject header: Consultation Inquiry.
That’s pretty much what I have going on! I hope you’ve ALL been doing well and as always, feel free to comment below or friend me on Facebook! I love keeping in touch with you guys!
Dates to put on your calendar
❤ November 24th, 2015: Chapters 1&2 of Delivered are being released to newsletter subscribers.
Are you signed up? Here’s the link if you’re not 🙂
❤ December 1st, 2015: “Delivered” Cover/Trailer Reveal
❤ January 18th, 2016: “Delivered” Release Day
❤ Release Date: August 6th, 2015 ❤
Only four more weeks until the release of my ninth novel, “Matt & Brooklyn: A Standalone in the “Again for the First Time” Family Saga”! I’m extremely excited about this one 🙂 😀 🙂 😀 🙂 (Hence my overuse of smiley emoticons!!) If you’d like to be notified of the book’s availability on release day, click here to sigh up for my newsletter. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on the special release price of $2.99 before it’s raised!
❤ In the meantime, enjoy the video! ❤
❤ My Muses ❤
As always, feel free to like, share, and comment!!!
Heyyyy!! I’ve got something new being released August 6th!
If you read my contemporary, interracial romance, “Again for the First Time“, you were already introduced to Matt and Brooklyn in that story. However, if you DIDN’T read the first book to see how they met… it doesn’t matter LOL. “Matt and Brooklyn” is a full-length standalone within the series so they definitely don’t have to be read in any particular order.
She tells herself he’s just a friend, but in her heart he’s so much more…
Matteo Valente is an up-and-coming filmmaker whose award-winning documentary put him on the map two short years ago. It was that very documentary that also led him to the beautiful, intriguingly elusive Brooklyn James. From the moment he laid eyes on her through the lens of his camera, he couldn’t shake the feeling that their meeting was no mistake. Their connection was instant, but Brook has been hell-bent on keeping him in the dreaded “friend zone” while she chases after her own dream.
When Matt pays a surprise visit to Brook the day she graduates with her master’s degree, she is forced to take a second look. “Come with me” were not the words she expected to hear as Matt prepared to leave town again. The invitation to spend a week in L.A. left her breathless, but there were so many reasons to turn him down; so many scenarios that could ruin their close friendship, but… at the risk of regretting it later… she said yes.
“Matt & Brooklyn” is the second STANDALONE in the “Again for the First Time” family saga.
If you’d like to receive the first two chapters of the book to sample this coming Thursday, June 25th, subscribe to my newsletter before it’s too late! (Go ahead… don’t be scared. I promise not to spam you lol) While you’re at it, feel free to check out my inspiration board on Pinterest and add “Matt & Brooklyn” on Goodreads today! Also, if you didn’t already read “Again for the First Time”, check out the trailer here 😀
Tags: 2015 new release, AA literary fiction, AA romance, AA woman's fiction, African-American author, Amazon, Author, books, bwwm, friends to lovers, interracial couple, interracial dating, Interracial Romance, multicultural, Writer
WARNING: For anyone who has not yet finished the Free Falling series, I strongly suggest that you read no further because this excerpt contains spoilers.
Events and decisions of the past almost cost her everything, but she was given a second chance.
He marvels at the beautiful life that almost slipped through his fingers, vowing never to let anything come between them again.
The memory of being apart lingers with both Sam and AJ, but those days are long gone. Now that the dust has settled, all that remains is their unwavering love and an impenetrable bond many have tried and failed to break.
“Today. Tomorrow. Always.” is a glimpse into the life this couple has managed to build together and a chance to catch up with old friends you’ve grown to love throughout the Free Falling series.
Available now for pre-order 😀
A set of small hands reached up and the little guy attached to them stared at me with watery eyes. He had the hardest time accepting that I had to first put my things down before picking him up. With a fistful of my pant leg gathered in his hand to steady himself, he followed me over to the counter where I placed my keys, a few pieces of mail, and my suit jacket. This was the warm greeting he always gave when I came home from work and I found myself looking forward to it every day.
With my hands free, I stooped to take him into my arms. The second I did, a big grin spread across his face, showing off two teeth on the top and two on the bottom as his pacifier clattered to the tiled floor. Gentle pats hit both sides of my face as he gurgled a few syllables.
A sound from the living room led me in that direction, carrying Anthony with me as I left the kitchen.
“Is that mommy in there?” I asked him.
He gave a big nod.
“Good. Let’s go get her.”
Turning the corner, the sound of my steps no longer echoed throughout the house as I made it onto carpet. There, on all fours with her head and arm underneath the couch, was Sam. Whatever she was searching for, she looked good doing it.
“Now that’s what I call a greeting.”
She laughed when she heard my voice, but continued to fumble around under the couch. “Hello to you, too, and quit being nasty.”
I tilted my head to the side for a better view. “You can’t have all that in my face and expect me not to say something.”
Her laughter filled the room again as the boy and I watched, staring intently for two totally different reasons. I’m sure seeing Sam made him think of snacks and hugs and whatnot. Me? Not so much. Hugs weren’t exactly what came to mind.
“Ha! Found ‘em,” she announced, hopping up with her keys in hand. She dangled them triumphantly in my face, although I had no idea what was going on.
She rolled her eyes at me with a grin. “Your son here is a menace to society.” Before going on, she landed a kiss on my lips and lightly pinched Anthony’s cheek. He smiled and rested his head on my shoulder, popping his thumb into his mouth in place of the pacifier he’d lost.
“Thanks to him, I’ve spent the last hour looking for my keys.”
“Nah… you have zero proof he did it,” I rebutted, defending my son despite fully believing he was responsible. He’d done the same thing to me about a week ago. I was ready to leave for work, only to find that my keys were missing. That time Sam and I found them in the back of his toy dump-truck. Since he started walking a few weeks back, things have been coming up missing left and right.
“No, no, no… don’t let that cute face fool you. The little booger stole them, and then hid them, because he enjoys seeing me search all over the house like a crazy person.”
As if he knew he was in the hot-seat, Anthony reached for his mom and she gladly accepted the tight squeeze he gave her neck, making sure he knew she wasn’t really upset. With my arms now free, I could greet my wife properly, grabbing her, pulling her close as she eased our little boy over to her hip. I sought a kiss and she gave me what I was after.
There was a high-pitched giggle and a screech off to my left as the kiss with Sam deepened, keeping it PG since we wouldn’t be getting any alone time until later tonight.
“I think he’s watching us,” Sam said breathily as her lips moved with mine.
“Let him. The boy has to learn from somewhere.”
She shoved me away a few inches when she burst out laughing. “Get your hormones in check! What’re you gonna do when our guests get here? Three whole days of no… contact.”
Did she just say three days? Since when did we start caring if someone was around or not?
“Terrell and Maisha are hardly guests; they’re family,” I countered. “And besides, with the whole… ‘kid situation’ we have going on here—” I paused to gesture toward our son. “I’m pretty sure they know we have sex.”
“AJ! Don’t say that word in front of him!” Sam screeched, trying not to smile as she covered one of Anthony’s ears with her free hand and pressed his other to her chest. “All we need is for our parents to call to talk to him and he blurts that out.”
I imagined the scenario she just described and smiled. “C’mon… Tell me that wouldn’t be funny, though.”
She couldn’t even deny it, giggling a bit at the thought. “Oh my gosh… I can’t even deal with you two right now. You’re both trouble.”
She handed my namesake back over to me, mussing his dark curls with her fingers right after. “I’ll be back in a few. My plan was to be done at the store by the time you made it home, but somebody decided to mess up my plan. I won’t mention the perp’s name, but he’s the shortest person in the room. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
A kiss went to Anthony’s cheek and then mine as Sam passed by.
I followed her with my eyes. “Need me to do anything while you’re gone? The guest room’s all set?” I asked.
She nodded. “Yup, I freshened up the sheets and everything while he napped. But if you’re looking for something to do, could you put him in the tub for me? I still have to cook when I get back and I don’t want to have to worry about it after they get here.”
“No problem.” I headed toward to the stairs to run the bathwater.
“Don’t forget to put a towel down on the floor first. You know he likes to splash,” she warned, as if I hadn’t done this a hundred times before.
“And don’t forget—”
“—the faucet cover so he doesn’t bump his head. I know,” I said with a laugh, already halfway up the steps. “I’ll handle bathing the boy; you go do your thing at the store and quit worrying.”
When I turned around, she was standing in the foyer. A warm smile crossed her face as it often did when she watched me with our son. She knew I had things under control. “Ok… I shouldn’t be gone long.”
“Be careful,” I said as she turned to leave.
“I will; try to stay out of trouble. Both of you,” she called out, closing the door behind herself.
I turned toward Anthony and he smiled like he knew what was going on. I shook my head. “Geez… Mommy doesn’t let us have any fun, does she?”
That’s it for now! Hope you all enjoyed 😀