By Chelsea Landon
Available Feb 3, 2014
It was one night, one fate and something tragic destroying something beautiful.
Heavy sheets of smoke curling and rolling together constricting my visions of this life I had.
You see that there?
That wrenching pain in your gut knowing not everything as it seems?
Look closer. That nervous energy you now have, stumbling over words you can’t say, a voice muffled under a mask, a moaning plea to be saved, slurred words on the tip of your tongue, there’s the something tragic.
When I have nothing left to give, nothing left to say, it’s him that brings me back to the moment, in the arms of my firefighter, the warmth of his heart and body, struggling to save his family.
Since that night I smacked him in the face with my elbow, we hadn’t had sex. Not since Logan’s death, either.
Tonight I planned on changing that.
“Hey, Aubrey.” I could hear Jayden screaming in the living room, refusing to get his shoes on. “Maybe we could just stay here.”
“I have a better idea.” I walked out in full view for him.
Jace’s tongue touched his bottom lip, his confusion still obvious, and then he looked at my dress. “I like it better already.”
“I have a plan tonight.”
He leaned forward, smiling. “Is that so?” Scratching his jaw, he studied me.
“Yes. And we’re dropping the kids off with Brooke, and I will show you.”
“Are you sure?”
We were dropping the kids off with Brooke – as they were both having a slumber party with Amelia tonight – when Brooke asked what our plans were for the evening.
Naturally, she knew we had talked and planned to go out. A few drinks, maybe go to a bar or something. Things we hadn’t done since we first started dating.
That was how you found the spark again. In my opinion, at least.
My plan was to have a good time, get drunk, have sex, and then have sex again.
I wasn’t even sure which order that would happen in, either.
Once we were at the nightclub, everyone seemed to start drinking immediately. And by everyone, I mean Jace, Lauren, Axe, Kari, Kasey, and me. Even Shanna showed up. Since Logan died, no one had done anything fun. Now we were just trying to have a little fun for the first time in a month. On a Thursday night, of all nights.
“I have so many plans for tonight, but sobriety is just not one of them,” Lauren said. It seemed to be her new mantra.
Her pledge started an endless flow of drinks to our table in the back of Trinity nightclub.
“So have you guys...you know...made up?” Kari asked, curious as always. “And you know what kind of ‘making up’ I’m talking about.”
Immediately Shanna and Lauren were all ears, too.
Jace let out a deep throaty laugh at something Axe had just said and stretched his arms over his head and one around my shoulder, drawing me closer to his side.
I whispered to Kari, “No...not exactly.”
“Dance for him, then.”
“What should I do...like, a lap dance or something?”
When Jace and Axe went to get drinks, Kari immediately pulled out her phone and Googled lap dances. I think Kasey knew what we were doing, but he just shook his head and continued drinking from the pitcher of beer at the table.
Can you believe there are how-to videos for lap dances?
Suddenly I wanted a stripper pole in our room. It seemed fitting.
It was decided pretty quickly that I was going to give him a lap dance.
“I can’t believe I’m about to do this!” I said, chickening out once we were away from the table, huddled in the corner, and planning how I might do it.
“Oh, don’t be a pussy!” She slapped at my ass, not exactly what I needed right then, either.
“Hey, I’m trying,” I said, biting at my nails and trying desperately to tug at my skirt again.
What if it ripped? But then I realized the clothes were coming off anyway. Right?
This was such a very bad idea. I didn’t have the body to do this.
Shanna and Lauren noticed my hesitation. “You’re sexy, Aubrey. Remember that.”
Shanna smiled. “Remember, this is to cheer him up. My husband makes my ankles touch my ears. You should be happy it’s just a lap dance. Clearly I’ve resorted to less. No thanks to Lauren.”
“And the closest I’ve come to this kind of excitement is having my panties ripped off,” Kari said, adding to my anxiety.
“Did he rip them off with his teeth?” Shanna seemed like she was taking notes or something. Probably anything to keep from having to be so bendy, but still keep the spark in their relationship.
“It’s not very smart, though.” Kari reached inside her bag and dug out her makeup and hairspray. “He nearly pulled out his front tooth doing it. His tooth was loose for, like, a month.”
“Let’s go, stripper.” Kari pushed me forward. “Into the bathroom to get you slutty.”
I didn’t go. Instead I stood firm, trying to work out every detail. My anxiety about this was shooting through the roof right about now.
“Okay...but how do you think they’re going to let us do this? This isn’t exactly a strip club.” The dark bar was sleek and way more upscale than the average strip club in Seattle. It wasn’t the kind of place where I would expect someone to break out into a lap dance.
“I know the DJ,” Lauren said, pointing to him and then a back room I knew that she of all people probably knew well. “You can do it in there. I’ll get him in there, and you do the rest.”
“Let me guess, you’ve done this before?” I rolled my eyes before Lauren even answered. It was just like her to do something like this.
I...was scared. Never in my life would I have willingly done something like this. But after three more shots, the idea seemed like a good one.
It wasn’t lost on me that this was the liquor talking, but hey, if it brought back what was missing, this could be good, right?
“How do you know the DJ?” Kari handed me another shot, and I looked to Lauren for her to answer my question.
“I dated him for, like, a week.” She shrugged as if it meant nothing and then said, completely serious, “He turned me into some kind of suicide risk.”
“I’m not surprised by that.” After a closer look at him through the darkness and the waves of dim light in the club, I could tell he was just the type of guy she dated. Tattooed up to his jaw, pierced lip, eyebrow, and nose. I had no doubt those piercings went lower, too.
“‘Darling Nikki,’” Lauren said immediately, and walked over to the DJ like she owned the place. He smiled. Apparently that was how you did it here.
And then I panicked. “I’ve never danced to that song.” I think they could tell I was moments away from chickening out.
“You don’t need to know it.” Kari pushed me forward. “Just feel the music and move. I know these hips of yours know how to. You got Jace Ryan.”
I whipped around to face her. “What the fuck does that mean?”
Shanna waved in my face, distracting me. “You know what it means. He’s hot. Take it as a compliment and just focus. This is our entertainment for tonight.”
Of course I was their entertainment.
“Stop thinking.” Shanna nudged me forward. “Just do it. It’s, like, a four-minute song, and then it will be over. Own it.”
While I tightened up my makeup, pushed my dress down a little more in the front, and hiked it up around my upper thighs, Kari teased my hair a little.
Stepping back, she eyed her handiwork with her hands on her hips. “Perfect. You look like you were just fucked.”
“We want that look?” I think they knew I was moments away from bitching out.
“Yes. We do.”
I took a peek in the mirror. Talk about humiliating. Did she really expect me to go out there like this?
Yes. Look at her. She expected it, all right.
Lauren got Jace into the room, sitting in a chair with his drink in hand. The fact that he had gone willingly into a dark room, led by my sister of all people, wasn’t lost on me, either. He was drunk. Which was even better for me, because than I wouldn’t feel like such a fool.
When I heard the song come on, Kari all but pushed me into the room where he was sitting.
No going back now.
I went for it and played the part of a dirty stripper. And, I might add, I owned it.
As the song started, with the slow, rocking motion it had to it, I think it took him a minute to realize what exactly I was doing, but he caught on pretty quickly.
As did everyone else outside the room.
I was nervous, and I think he gathered that, too. I thought for sure that once he caught on to what I was doing, he would tell me to stop. But here’s the thing. Firefighters live a demanding job where the attention to detail is critical. They have to wake up and make life-changing decisions in split seconds. For that reason, when they’re not at the station, they like to let loose. And I do mean let loose. Most are heavy drinkers and like to have a good time.
He was having a good time, and I like to think I was making it a little better. Or at least I was about to.
His eyes were wide, a wild fire in them as he watched me moving toward him in a sexy strut I never thought I of all people could actually carry off.
Showing him another side of myself, I moved closer and made my intentions clear. I was about to ride his fire pole.
With one leg on the edge of his chair, the other planted firmly on the ground, I swiveled my hips and ran my hands from my thighs up my body until they were over my head, letting him see the entire length of my body and the alterations we had made to the dress.
I slipped a little and decided that if I was going to do this, two feet had to be on the floor at all times. I had no balance after all those shots I’d consumed.
Dancing in front of him was easier. Tempting, even. Let him see what I had to offer without being able to touch.
Turning and turning, on my knees but with a teasing control to my moves.
Bending at my knees, I arched my back, threw my ass out there, and then turned so he had a nice view. To tease him more, I bent at the waist and touched the floor with my hands, then shook my ass a little and looked back at him.
He was leaning back in his chair, slouched slightly to one side. His head was down, lashes shadowing his cheeks when he shifted, his arms draped over the back of the chair next to him. One leg was kicked out in front of him, the other bent, a resting point for the drink in his hand as he studied my every move.
He was aroused but clearly very entertained. “Don’t stop now. Show me what you got, dirty girl.”
I was about to. Rising up from my position, I turned around to face him.
With my hands on his chest, I went for it and straddled him. Bending my knees and planting my hands firmly on his shoulders now, I rose up on my toes, rocked forward, and ground against him.
Up until then, he hadn’t touched me. Maybe I’d caught him off guard.
And then he touched me.
I felt each fingertip as he dragged it over my ass slowly, but said nothing. My skin ignited at his touch. It’d been so long.
I’d never seen him so entranced, and the fact that I was doing this to him, creating that hunger deep within his steady stare, well, that did things to me, too.
With my arms around the back of his neck — slick with sweat — my hands moved slowly to his hair, threading tightly in his curls. He moaned, a growl rumbling from deep within, shaking his chest.
A low rumble left his chest, and a shudder ran through me that I was making him feel this way.
Cursing under his breath, he took a firm hold on me. “Don’t stop.”
2. Breathe Me – Sia
3. Grey Blue Eyes – Dave Matthews
4. Closer – Nine Inch Nails
5. This Moment – Katy Perry
6. As I’m Leaving – David Gray
7. In My Veins – Andrew Belle
8. Be Still – The Fray
9. Darling Nikki – Prince
10. Stroke Me – Mickey Avalon
11. The One I Love – David Gray
12. Say Something – A Great Big World
13. Syrup & Honey – Duffy
14. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
15. You Found Me – The Fray
3 Signed Copies of Something With Saving
Erin Evans is the kind of girl no guy wants to be in a relationship with. She’s controlling and never backs down when she thinks she’s right. Knowing this, and rightfully fearing her last few years in her twenties will be like the last five, she looks for some adventure.
That’s when her best friend convinces her to go on vacation with her to the Bahamas.
On the land of white sand, coconut rum, and a cloudless sky, what she never expects is to meet Tyler Weston, a local bar tender with a sweet tongue for the pretty girls. He’s tattooed, entertaining, and living the dream in paradise as he sets her drinks and world on fire.
As the moon lights the city, Erin unexpectedly becomes infatuated with Tyler and his bartending skills when he offers her a challenge to try his Black Magic drink.
With a mission to now try every drink on the menu, one night she can barely remember turns into two weeks of exciting possibilities she never saw coming.
Can Erin put aside her cynical side and let the dirty mouthed bartender show her what island life is really like?
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Just Enough – Releasing Aug 2014
I want out of this town.
I want to leave and never look back.
He doesn’t knock when he comes in, he never needs to. He knows, as well as I do, my door is always open, waiting.
I crave him. I do. He knows this, I think, I know, and I believe he craves me too. Why else would he come back?
It’s his determination and his will that gets me. That determination keeps me waiting for him in a dreary bay. I’ve always heard my friends say they wanted the rich guy to take them out of this small town that seems to hold us all captive.
Lincoln wasn’t that guy. At first look, he’s a fisherman, married to the sea and weighted by her waves.
Who is he to me?
He’s someone who gives just enough.
He shows me a different way of thinking. A way to give more than just enough.
A stay-at-home mom, Chelsea Landon spends her days drinking entirely too much caffeine, baking sugar-sweet treats she never eats, and jotting down notes for her novels. A dreamer at heart, she’s creating happily ever afters. She’s a lover, a writer, a dreamer, would rather type than speak, wants to remember everything, loves lots of ice in her drinks, and is slightly introverted.
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