Poughkeepsie, p.45
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       Poughkeepsie, p.45

           Debra Anastasia
“Change if you must, but leave the heels on, please.”

  Livia wondered if all new brides had their knees refuse to bend after hearing their husband’s lustful requests. Blake gently pulled the tiara from her hair and set it on the nightstand. Livia quickly grabbed her overnight bag, afraid he would distract her from changing. In the bathroom she traded her wedding dress for a cream-colored satin slip with spaghetti straps and hints of lace. She slid her heels back on and checked her hair once more.

  She opened the bathroom door to see the room bathed in golden candlelight, pulsing like a beating heart. Blake sat on the bed, his tux tie undone along with the first few buttons of his shirt.

  Blake stood when she stepped into the room. He held his hand out, and she gently put her hand and her trust in his. The scent of the candles and the look in his eyes were intoxicating.

  He moved to stand behind her. “How many times did I watch you? So many. Wondering what you smelled like, right here.” He lifted her hair and grazed his nose along the nape of her neck. “Exactly like fresh snow.” Blake grabbed two fistfuls of her hair, letting his lips brush her ear.

  “And how often did I wonder what you tasted like?” He used her hair to turn her head. He leaned down to sample her lips. “Vanilla and lust.” He leaned down and ran his hands up her calves. “When you wore heels to the station? I couldn’t think for hours about anything other than this curve, right here behind your knee.”

  She felt a chill of anticipation. He stood again, this time in front of her, and sculpted her shape against the satin of her nightgown.

  “There isn’t a single spot I’ll miss tonight, my wife.” Blake pulled her against him, tilting her head until he could kiss her again. His fingers and lips made her moan. He placed a hand on her stomach and the other behind her neck. “How many times can I make you come before you can’t take it anymore?”

  His green eyes smoldered, and his lips smirked. Livia felt her mouth go dry at the thought of his plans for her body.

  “I think we might have one to count already.” Livia gave him an embarrassed smile.

  “Really? Just from talking? Imagine what’ll happen when you feel my tongue inside you.” Blake backed her up against the bed.

  “Get on the bed, Livia. That lingerie is about to be a very pretty necklace.” She sat and waited. Blake removed his tie. He kept his eyes on hers as he threaded the silky fabric around her wrists. “Is this okay?”

  Livia smiled at his perpetual concern and nodded. He grabbed her around the waist and put her in the center of the bed, then stood and admired her.

  “I love you so much, I think there are burn marks on my heart.” Blake touched his chest.

  “Do they hurt?” Livia wondered aloud with a wink.

  “Only when I’m not holding you.” Blake trailed his fingertips from her ankle to the top of her thigh.

  “Hold me always then. I’m yours.” Livia batted her lashes playfully until one of his hands gripped her gently bound wrists, and the other abandoned her leg to trace her jaw.

  Blake kissed her lips until she finally fidgeted with anticipation.

  “Wait. I do believe there’s champagne, according to the receipt. Some for you?” Blake left her to open the mini-fridge.

  Livia sat up and held out her clam-shaped hands. “How am I going to manage that? You’ve captured me.”

  She batted her lashes again. He stopped and looked at her, his hands full of champagne, flutes, and a glass bowl full of strawberries. Blake bit his tongue.

  After a deep sigh he gave Livia a command. “Do not do that again. I’m trying to exercise some self-control here.”

  Livia pouted and batted her lashes some more.

  He smiled and shook his head. “Damn it. You’ll pay for that.”

  He put a champagne glass in her hands. Her job was to hold it still, he explained. Blake made an elaborate show of popping the cork and filling her glass. The gentle snaps of bubbles in the gold liquid tickled Livia’s nose.

  Blake stopped her from taking a sip. He dipped a deep red strawberry into the liquid instead. He tilted her head back gently with his fingertips and outlined her lips with the wet berry.

  Livia parted her lips and tickled the tip of the strawberry with her tongue.

  Blake knelt on the bed next to her, mesmerized.

  “More champagne, please?” she asked, licking her lips.

  Blake re-dipped the berry. She traced a circle around it again with her tongue and then scraped it gently with her teeth. He pulled the strawberry away and let it tumble to the floor. Their kiss tasted of champagne, berry, and victory.

  “You ready?” He took the glass from her hands and set it on the nightstand.

  “Yes.” Livia shook her head so her hair tumbled around her shoulders.

  He pulled her hands above her head by the tie. “Do you remember the pattern, Livia?”

  “Blow…lick…bite.” Livia wanted to say something cute, something funny, but he licked his lips and she forgot how to make any more words.

  He moved the satin up over her hips, revealing her stomach. He seemed completely absorbed by the sight of her panting. He took his sweet time in removing her panties, sliding them carefully down her legs. She could feel his excitement as he crawled back up her body, pulling the hem of her slip to reveal even more of her with the movement.

  He drew the fabric even higher until finally, her breasts were revealed for his eyes. Bare. To him, for him—she was bare.

  His mouth took a journey it had been obviously plotting for quite some time. She kept track as he blew a gentle stream on her ear, down her neck, across one breast, circling her nipple slowly, and to the other breast. The other nipple received an up and down pattern. Then he traveled down the side of her ribs to the curve of her hip and slowly across her stomach to linger there.

  She began to swear and pray at the same time when he skipped down to her knee. As if his breath could move matter, she opened her legs. He continued his travels to her ankle, then up her other leg until he had nowhere else to go. His five o’clock shadow scratched her inner thigh.

  In me. Come in me. Have me.

  Livia heard her thoughts echoing in the room and realized she’d said them out loud. His hands gripped her thighs, letting her know this was becoming impossible for him.

  “Lick, Blake. That’s next.” Livia watched as he growled on his way to her ear.

  “You’re going to kill me. God, you smell so good.” Blake let his clever tongue find its way on her skin.

  The ear, the neck, the breasts, slow circles and up and down, the curve of her body, the thighs, the ankle. He stopped the relentless assault to take off his shirt. His chest was hard and tempting, with the scars from his move to save her carved forever on his skin.

  Oh, God.

  With that, finally, finally, his scratchy jaw and strong shoulders were where she needed him more than anything.

  He paused until she locked eyes with him. “Count, Livia. Count out loud when you come for me.”

  Blake’s tongue eased her need. Pure talent and muscle. She wanted his hands, she wanted his fingers. But he only gave her his mouth.

  “Two, oh, three, God, oh, God.”

  Blake pulled himself up to nibble her ear with a look of sheer determination.

  “Screw the biting. Just please, just more,” she begged.

  Livia realized her hands were free when she found them on his chest, tracing his trauma. His tie was nowhere in sight. Her flailing must have freed her.

  He held himself above her, grinding his teeth as she ran her hands along his skin, finding his belt and zipper.

  He cupped a handful of her breast, and she stilled, pressing into his hand.

  “Biting is next,” he said.

  True to his word, Blake continued with her ear, then nibbled her neck.

  By the time he was nibbling circles, she was counting again. “Four—your hands, use your hands.”

  Blake groaned again. He nibbled his way over to h
er side, his teeth becoming more insistent. One nip to her inner thigh and Livia arched her back. When Blake’s face nestled between her legs again, he held true to his penchant for patterns: nibbling, testing, driving.

  “Five…six…seven. I’m never going to stop…” She was almost panicked in her frenzy.

  Blake stood and let his unbuttoned pants fall to the floor. When Livia saw him for all he was worth, she thanked God again. After all the teasing, after the panting and begging, they were here, in front of one another, starting their marriage. Livia stood on the bed and half bounced over to him, towering above his messy hair with her body once again covered by satin. He kicked off his shoes and socks, his eyes never leaving her. She tilted his face toward hers and took the straps off her shoulders, letting the glossy cloth slide to the floor.

  “Make me lose count, Blake Hartt.”

  Livia let him lift her and guide her body onto him.

  Joined. Inside. Together.

  “I love you,” they breathed.

  His legs were powerful, his balance extraordinary, his sex, perfection. Inside Livia there was a spot made just for him. He laid her on the bed so he could find it again and again—so hard and so completely that she was useless by the time he finally gave in to his own release.

  They laughed and cuddled in the wake of their ecstasy. Livia curled around the warmth of his skin, suddenly shivering from their exertion.

  “Whoever said marriage is boring didn’t marry you!” Livia kissed his cheek. “Thank you for that.”

  Blake kissed her forehead. “That was okay for you?”

  “No, that made my orgasms have orgasms, so it was anything but okay.” She smiled.

  Blake propped himself up on an elbow to stroke her face. “My beautiful wife, welcome to forever.”

  Livia’s eyes filled with grateful tears.

  Blake brushed them away. “Now you cry? After I’ve made love to you?”

  “It’s just that you’re the kindest person in the world. And you’re here with me. I’ll never stop feeling lucky.” She burrowed her face into his warm hug. She felt his kiss on her hair.

  “Livia, the luck belongs to me,” he whispered. “The kindness belongs to you. One lifetime will never be enough for us.”


  First, always and ever, to my son and daughter: You are air for me. I’m happier when I can see your faces. I love you both so very much.

  Todd: This thing we’ve got? It’s everything that matters. I’m very lucky you put up with me. I love you.

  To Mom and Dad S: I can be anything because you were crazy enough to try everything. You taught me unconditional love, and I feel that lovely blanket of support from you every day.

  To Mom and Dad D: You’re in here. This book is the best I can do to let more people know how amazing you are.

  Pam: Thanks for remembering my past, believing in my future, and being the only sister I could ever want. Wonder twins unite.

  To my little nephew: You blow me away. Those are some wonderful parents you picked! I love you.

  To the aunts and uncles: You’ve always been there, but to be here too? You guys know how to do love so very big.

  To Kim, Jo, The Poughkeepsie Street Team, My Angels and Vixens, The Bookshelves Girls, UU group, and the readers that took a chance on reading a crazy story: You gave me so very much. Thank you!

  Shannon: You I’m keeping. Your soul is gorgeous, funny, and endless. Your designs, time, edits, and late-night chats have kept me from tearing out my hair.

  To Micha: For now and for back then, having you here has been wonderful.

  Karen: To a friendship that stays strong through piles of years. Your voice is one I welcome in my ear. Your guidance and cheerleading make risks seem reasonable.

  To the ladies at work who are reading this stuff: Let’s all pretend we didn’t read the romance scenes. Okay? And thank you so much for reading.

  To the real John McHugh: If I’m not having a good time, it’s my own goddamn fault. You’re not here but you’ll never be gone. Aaron and Bea: Wish you were here. Florence: The conversation we aren’t having is so loud. Ted: What an honor to be your granddaughter.

  To the Omnific staff and authors: What a fun ride. I’m proud to be on it with you. Elizabeth, thank you for treating my dream with such respect and care.

  Jessica Royer Ocken: You do to my words what my heart wants to see. You read my mind, and you understand the characters, the commas, and the plot like a superhero. I’m so glad someone tricked you into working with me. ; )

  About the Author

  Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There’s dinner, the dogs, the kids, and their homework. The laundry pile turns into a big, heaping monster. When the clothes finally make it into the washer, it gets unbalanced and puts on an elaborate show before it cuts out. This crazy job that never ends is her first love and her crowning achievement.

  Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when along with the dogs, cat, kids, and husband, the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra’s ear. Insomnia was the gateway for the plots that wouldn’t give up, wouldn’t let go. In the shower, a twist would take hold and—dripping and frenzied—she’d find somewhere, anywhere to write it down.

  Debra grew up in New York and got a bachelor’s degree in political science at SUNY New Paltz. At the start of her marriage, she moved to southern Maryland with her husband. She still doesn’t trust crabs and all their legs, though everyone else in her family thinks they’re delicious. Her favorite hobbies include knitting, painting furniture and wall murals, and slapping clowns.

  Earlier this year Omnific Publishing published her debut novel, Crushed Seraphim, and she’s currently pounding out the sequel to angel Emma’s adventures. You can visit her website at DebraAnastasia.com and find her on twitter @Debra_Anastasia.

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  Young Adult

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  A Valentine Anthology including short stories by Alice Clayton, Jennifer DeLucy, Nicki Elson, Jessica McQuinn, Victoria Michaels, and Alison Oburia

  Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Summer Breeze including short stories by Hannah Downing, Nicki Elson, Sarah M. Glover, Jennifer Lane, Killian McRae, Carol Oates, and Susan Kaye Quinn

  Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave including short stories by Kasi Alexander, Debra Anastasia, Robin DeJarnett, Jessica McQuinn, Lisa Sanchez, and BJ Thornton

  Coming Soon From Omnific Publishing

  Grave Refrain by Sarah M. Glover

  Destiny’s Fire
by Trisha Wolfe

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  And more from Sylvain Reynard, Jennifer DeLucy, Alice Clayton, and Hannah Fielding

  Table of Contents


  title page

  Copyright Information





















































  About the Author

  Check Out These Titles From Omnific Publishing

  Coming Soon From Omnific Publishing



  Debra Anastasia, Poughkeepsie



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