Excerpt for Erotic Romance Starter Pack (7 Story Bundle) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Copyright © 2015 Mindy Wilde

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Dear Readers,

Thank you for purchasing Erotic Romance Starter Pack. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! This starter pack is a sampling of 7 different erotic romance series I have written.

The titles are a mixture of Alpha, Billionaire, Contemporary and Paranormal romance. Please feel free to read any combination of stories that interest you or all of them to explore the many different genres I write in.

If enjoy the book please consider leaving a review. Thank you so much!


XOXO,

Mindy Wilde


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Desires Part One (Prologue)

Prologue

The questions flooded over me and I felt my body begin to tremble. Instead of anticipating his touch all I could think of now was everything that might go wrong.

Oh god, what had I done?

Maybe I should just go?

I need to stop this now before it gets any worse.

Thenhis touch.

My mind came to a screeching halt as the sensation of his fingers commanded all of my attention.

I felt the weight of his body compress the mattress next to me. He didnt say a word.

The fingers that now rested on my cheek began to travel along the curve of my jaw and down my neck.

Goosebumps exploded on every inch of my skin.

His hand continued its journey across my shoulders and down my chest, eventually tracing every inch of my exposed curves.

I felt my mouth go dry as the lips between my legs became wet.

Never touching the hardened, sensitive nipples that yearned for attention, his fingers instead began their journey down the soft trembling skin of my stomach. My abdomen flexed in response. I could feel the heat of each individual finger as they crossed the boundary at my waist and headed towards an area rarely touched by any other man.

I reflexively squirmed, anticipating the trajectory of his touch.

His hand traveled slightly to the side, skipping my most sensitive lips. His fingers lingered, only inches from the now soaking mound that screamed for attention.

A brushthen another.

His fingers lightly slid across my slit causing a massive firing of nerve impulses throughout my body.

Ohhh…” I moaned in sexual frustration as my lack of sight and the slow deliberate nature of his touch tortured me.

Instinctually, I reached up to grab onto him, to hold him.

My hand was quickly snatched by a firm grip and pressed back into the bed. The mood in the room felt as though it had suddenly and dramatically shifted.

* * *

Four weeks earlier


Well fuck.I said out loud to no one in particular.

It was September and a chill had settled into the Northwoods autumn air. The leaves on the trees that circled the lake had mostly fallen but a brilliant selection of colors still clung to some of the branches.

The lightweight polar fleece jacket I had put on was not doing the trick so I crossed my arms in an attempt to keep warm against the rapidly falling temperature. The sun was low in the sky and soon it would be dark. A soft black micro-fiber fleece would not be enough to keep me warm if the forecasts were correct. It was going to hit almost freezing tonight and I was out on a boat in the middle of a lake with nothing more than a fall-weight jacket.

I just stared at the water as the ashes clung to the surface. The sight reminded me of what I learned last semester in Professor Linns chemistry class. The tension created by hydrogen at a waters surface was surprisingly strong and is what enabled all those bugs to walk across it during the warm summer months.

This time it was not bugs that refused to be consumed by the cold depths of Lake Tomahawk. Instead, it was something I desperately wished would sink. It was something too painful to linger. The ashes that floated on the surface of the lake next to the borrowed ski boat were all that was left of my family. Watching them slowly absorb water, gaining weight, and then sinking beneath the surface brought the last month of my life to a close.

The past thirty days had been a whirlwind of crying, condolences, funerals, and baked lasagne which everyone seemed to think I needed to get through my loss. I had enough frozen pasta to last me the rest of the year but what I didnt have was anyone to share it with. My mother and father were gone and I was alone in the world.

If that wasnt enough, I had spent the last two weeks finding out the only thing left for me to remember them by was a debt that I could not possibly pay. As a college student I had no job and no resources except a beater of a car and mounting student loans of my own. My entire family was gone and the only thing that I had left of them and of our life as a family was that cabin. That beautiful warm collection of logs and stone that stood on a hillside overlooking Tomahawk lake.

My parents never had much but they did work hard to provide a good life for me. Once I left the house for college they finally decided to take the plunge and live out the dream that they shared for so long. It had been almost a year since they sold everything and moved up north, buying the small log cabin on this lake that meant so much.

Dad had spent most of his childhood summers on Lake Tomahawk where his parents would rent a small cabin with some friends. He loved this lake and it is also the place where he found the love of his life. One summer while in high school my dad literally bumped into my mom while swimming across the lake. Mom had been kayaking and my father had not been paying enough attention to look up during his strokes. According to them it was love at first sight, if you believe in that kind of thing.

Now here I was returning them to the lake where it all began. The only proof of all that history was me and that cabin which I had been told would soon be gone.

My parents had scraped together enough money for the downpayment but there was a large mortgage on the property. This would normally not have been a problem but my parents, despite a strong work ethic, were not the most organized people in the world and had missed a payment on their life insurance policy. Despite my pleas and many, many tears the insurance company would not budge. They saw their get out of jail freecard and took it so I would not be getting a dime from the insurance my parents had paid into most of their adult life.

Even though there was no other debt on the estate, the property around Lake Tomahawk was expensive. This small modest cabin carried a mortgage balance of over three hundred thousand dollars. I was college student, with loans of my own, and no income that I could use pay the bills. If I did sell the cabin I wasnt even sure what I was going to do with all my familys belongings, which I so desperately wanted to keep.

The walls were constructed of dark honey brown stained logs and contained inside their protection was every picture, home video, and personal possession that my family had accumulated over a lifetime. Even if I wanted to, there was no way I could afford a storage unit big enough to hold it all. It looked as though I had not only lost my family but I was going to lose all proof that our family ever existed.

My parents had no brothers and sisters. Their parents had all passed away. I had no one to turn to. I had no one to ask for help.

As I watched the last of the ashes finally descend into the cold crystal clear water I realized that life as I knew it was over.

* * *

I turned the ignition of the boat back on and pointed the bow towards shore. Pushing the throttle forward I felt the wind dance over the windshield and across the tears streaming down my face. I wiped them away with my sleeve and focused on trying to stem the flow. There was no more time to be sad and to feel sorry for myself. That time had passed.

The wind rustling through the remaining leaves caused them to dance and flicker like red and yellow flames of a fire. The sight reminded me just how much I loved this place. I didnt want to lose it but there was just nothing I could do. Even if I quit college and moved up here to live in the cabin I could never find a job that paid enough to cover the mortgage and expenses.

I needed to face the fact that I was fucked.

Tomorrow I would need to start going through all of my parents possessions to see what I could keep. Then I would need to contact a realtor and get the process moving before another mortgage payment arrived that I could not pay.

This of course was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to figuring everything out.

“Oh fuck!” I yelled when I realized that the very boat I was riding in needed to be returned.

The ski boat I had driven to the center of the lake in order to spread my familys ashes was actually owned by another family, the Archers. They owned what seemed like half the lake and my mother had recently become friends with Ellen Archer. Since all my parents had been able to afford was a stripped down and heavily used pontoon boat, Ellen had insisted that our family borrow one of their ski boats for the summer.

For anyone else this would have probably seemed like a grand gesture of friendship but for the Archers borrowing a boat would be like borrowing a baking dish. They had a dock with seven slips and seven different kind of watercraft to fill them.

Mr. Archer had inherited a small commercial contracting company from his father and went on to grow it into a multi-billion dollar corporation that works around the world. I didnt really know any of them except by reputation but they seemed like decent people. I knew the Archers had a few kids that were a bit older than me but I didnt know any of their names.

As the boat closed in on our shore line, I slowed down and lined up the bow to our dock. Nudging the throttle forward gently, the boat drifted into the end of the pier at a forty-five degrees angle. Just when it looked like the fiberglass hull was going to strike I nudged the throttle into reverse and the boats stern pulled in gently towards the dock. I killed the throttle and grabbed a rope. One foot stepped on the seat while the other launched over the short walls of the boat and onto the wooden planks of the pier.

The boat gently kissed the side of the dock and I tied it off. It looked like my final cruise would end with my best docking ever.

* * *

With a bottle of wine and a blanket over my lap I sat by the outdoor fire. It was cold, too cold really to be doing a bonfire outside tonight but I figuredfuck it. There would be no better weather to wait for. This was my last chance to experience all the things I enjoyed about this place. Granted, my mother would have frowned on the wine consumption given that I was still technically underage to be drinking it, but my father would have looked the other way.

I threw another log on the already roaring flames and took a swig from the exceptionally cold glass of cabernet sauvignon I was holding. I made sure to add cuts of pine to the hardwoods already burning. There was just something about the smell of burning pine in the Northwoods that I loved.

I decided that tomorrow I would return the boat first thing in the morning and then go find a realtor to sell the cabin. After that, I would pack the things that I could fit into the trunk of my car and sell the cabin as-is. There was no more point in me trying to save a life that no longer existed. The new owners could keep what they wanted and throw out the rest.

Ouch,I said as I grabbed at my jaw.

Though I had been trying to act tough this week, my body was protesting my pseudo-strength by unconscious tooth grinding.

The normally calming effect of a flickering fire and the sweet earthy warm of the red wine did not seem to be working this evening. Realizing that I needed to take a different approach I did the only logical thing that I could think to do. I got up from the log bench next to the fire, turned towards the cabin, and headed back inside directly for the liquor cabinet that I knew was well stocked.

It looked like I was going to need a little something stronger to take the edge off tonight.



Desires Chapter 1

Shit!

The pain was intense as the sun sliced through the windows and bored into my booze rattled brain. I wasnt sure what time it was, but I knew that I was really hung-over and that I had forgotten to close the blinds.

The thought of getting out of the bed was equally as horrible as letting that light continue to penetrate my eyelids. Eventually, in a stroke of brilliance I realized the cloaking power of my thick Northwoods themed quilt and pulled it up over my head. This provided the darkness my mind needed to slip back into another two hours of recuperative sleep.

When my brain next slipped back into consciousness I looked at the clock and realized it was almost lunch.

Fuck…”

The words slipped past my lips as I realized all I had on my to-do list. Today was going to suck anyways and adding a hangover was definitely not going to help.

I stumbled out of the bed and into the bathroom. As the shower gathered steam I brushed my teeth and tried to suppress the rumbling in my stomach. At this point I wasnt sure whether I was hungry or ready to throw up but I didnt want to find out. The toothpaste and mouthwash helped and by the time I stepped into the shower the main complaint I had was a headache.

After getting my body cleaned up from the previous day I stayed in the shower, emerged in the steam, until the hot-water heater ran dry. By the time I was dressed I almost felt normal, whatever that was these days.

It was lunchtime now and the first order of business was to return that boat. The Archers lived in Chicago for work and spent their weekends at the lake. I wasnt sure if they would be at their cabin this weekend but I hoped they wouldnt be. The past month had been a deluge of hugs and well wishes from neighbors and strangers. I was emotionally tapped out and would rather just drop off the boat without having to engage with more people I barely knew as they awkwardly tried to comfort me.

* * *

The boat started right up despite the cool temperatures and after untying the ropes I set off for the other side of the lake. The Archers owned what seemed like twenty-five percent of the shoreline on this rather large lake. I had heard rumors from others that the Archer family had actually bought up thousands of acres surrounding this small Northwoods town to prevent anyone from developing it and taking away that small town charm.

Sure must be nice.I mumbled to myself as I thought about what I would do with millions or billions of dollars. I wondered just how much the Archers were worth. The more I thought about the Archers the more envious I became. The thought of all they had and the thought of all I lost did nothing but piss me off, even though I realized it wasnt justified. The Archers had earned their fortune and all the rewards that came with it.

Shut the fuck up,I yelled at myself aloud.

Quit feeling sorry for yourself.

I had never been one to dwell on what I didnt have. I worked damn hard for everything I had in my life just like my parents had done. However, as I thought to the future and just how much harder everything was going to be I couldnt help but think of all that I had lost. Then, as the Archers log mansion came into view I felt that same envious sensation rise inside me and it became too hard to suppress.

* * *

Their dock currently had two slips available. I picked the farthest one to the left and easily slid the ski-boat into place.

It was hard not to sit in awe of the palace the Archers had built. From the three story tall glass wall overlooking the lake to the floatplane hanger next to the dock, this family really did have it all.

I tied the bow and stern snugly to the cleats and then double-checked the boat. I wasnt sure if they were up North right now or when they would be getting back to their cabin but I wanted to make sure the boat was secure for them when they arrived. The last thing I needed was to owe one of the richest families in Chicago money for damaging their boat.

When I was finally satisfied that the boat was secure I set off up the long staircase that led to their cabin and the road back home. The stairway cut back and forth up the hill and had many well appointed landings on which you could sit and enjoy the view. It probably took me ten minutes to get to the top but when I was finally there I proceeded to take the pathway around the cabin towards the driveway.

Their property was quiet, exceptionally quiet. The entire Northwoods was quiet compared to Chicago but with the amount of property the Archers owned there was a sound buffer that was quite pronounced. Normally there would be the sound of ski boats pulling young screaming kids around the lake in their tubes and birds chirping as they bounced from branch to branch in the trees. With the cold air settling into the North and the leaves already falling away, the city dwellers had all shut down their second homes for the winter and the animals were starting to do the same.

When I finally made it around the large perimeter of the cabin and saw the driveway it was not empty like I had hoped. There were several cars parked on the pad and I froze, debating what I should do. The right thing was to go knock on the door and let them know I had returned the boat. I should go and thank them profusely for their generosity but I just didnt think I was up to having the same conversation yet again.

I didnt want to hear how sorry everyone was and how it was Gods plan or that they were in a better place. People get very strange around those who have lost someone. Right when you need people to be normal and add some consistency to your life they go off on a quest to somehow find the perfect words to comfort you and make everything better.

The fact was there is nothing that anyone can say to make things better. Sometimes life sucks and you get dealt a really shitty hand. It would be much better if everyone could just acknowledge that and move on but they can’t.

I looked at the door and then back up the long winding driveway. It occurred to me that there had been a flaw in my hasty planning. I had totally forgotten that I wouldnt have a car to get home once I returned the boat. Tomahawk was a large lake and I had no idea how long of a hike I had in front of me to get back to my cabin.

Despite this sudden realization I determined there was no way that I could go knock on that door. I just needed to go. They would find their boat and no matter how long of a walk back it was, it would be better if I went ahead and started the trek.

I quietly walked past the parked cars, hugging as closely as I could to the trees that lined the driveway. Once clear of the car pad I hurried down the crushed gravel path towards the main road. I had made it almost halfway when I saw a car turn off the road and start heading towards me.

“Shit!”

For a moment I contemplated running off into the woods and hoping I had not been spotted but that proved to be futile as a horn lightly honked to let me know I had been spotted.

The car slowed as it approached me until it pulled up along side my position and the window rolled down.

Um, excuse me. Can I…”

I saw a look of recognition cross the womans face.

Oh my god…Emma?”

I had never met her before but I am sure my mother had showed her pictures.

Ms. Archer parked the car and jumped out, embracing me in an unsolicited hug. We stood there silently for a few moments before she finally loosened her grip.

I just heard about what happened to your parents. Are you ok? What are you doing here? Is there something I can help you with?

Her look of concern was genuine and she seemed very sweet but I still felt the overwhelming urge to run.

Oh no, its ok Mrs. Archer. I just came by to return the boat you let me parents borrow this summer. That was incredibly kind of you guys.

Oh dearyou didnt have to do that. You have enough to think about right now.

She looked me up and down as if assessing my condition.

Come down to the house with me and let me make you some lunch.

I was starving as the hangover faded from my body but I still did not feel like getting sucked into another pity party.

“No…really…it’s ok Mrs. Archer. I am just going to walk back to the cabin and start boxing things up.

Mrs. Archers face looked shocked.

Emma dear, your cabin must be over ten miles from here. You cant walk all that way.

I frowned as the realization of the distance solidified in my mind. I responded again, although this time in a much more hesitant tone.

Oh, thats ok. I like to walk and think. I could probably use the exercise anyways.

Absolutely not, I wont hear of it. Now come back to our place and let me fix you something.

There seemed to be little use in fighting her so I relented. I walked back to the cabin while she parked her car and I tried to steel myself against the onslaught of comforting that I knew was coming.



Desires Chapter 2

Walking through the large oversized doorway into the sweepingly huge foyer was breathtaking. This place was not so much a cabin as a log palace. The foyer looked directly through the living room and out the three story glass wall that lined the back of the home. Throughout the open floor-plan there were enormous thick pillars or more accurately whole trees that were being used to hold up the massive weight of its construction.

Let me take your jacket dear.Mrs. Archer said as she opened the coat closet to my left. I did as I was told and handed her my fleece. There was no need for it in this place because despite its vast size, the home was extremely warm and decorated with a cozy feel. Given the amazingly even warmth in this cavernous space I assumed they must have radiant floor heating throughout as well as an industrial strength HVAC system. I couldnt even imagine what it would cost to keep something this size warm during the sub-zero winter months of the Northwoods.

Come, follow me into the kitchen and I will get us something to drink.

I followed Mrs. Archer down a hallway and into a room that was about the size of our entire cabin. There was an amazingly appointed cooking area. Every appliance and cabinet handle blended into the woodsy theme that ran throughout the house. Towards the middle of the room was a large table that appeared to also have been carved from logs. An elaborate antler chandelier hung over the table and beyond that appeared to be a separate breakfast nook area that was almost entirely encased in glass and had a perfect view out onto the lake.

So what do you drink?Mrs. Archer asked.

I froze thinking of how to respond. At this point I could really go for something stiff to take the edge off my nervousness but since I was still underage I felt like I needed to respond appropriately.

Anything is fine. Maybe a Coke?

Ms. Archers face broke out into a mischievous smile.

Nonsense Emma. If there is anyone in this world right now that deserves a stiff drink it is you. Let me fix you up something my mother used to make me.

She set to work pulling all sorts of supplies from the cabinets and I turned back to stare out the windows. I couldnt believe that this was it. This might well be the last time I look out over Lake Tomahawk. The dream that my parents had worked so hard for, the cabin that they had finally been able to build just one year ago. Now, it was all gone.

I then thought about what I was going to return to at school. The truth was that I still wasnt sure what to major in. I had been bouncing around the university for a year and a half now and I wasnt any closer to figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. It had been a luxury before, trying to find something I loved, something I was passionate about. Now that was all going to change.

As soon as I returned I needed to figure out what I must do to survive. I was racking up loans quickly but there would be no parents to turn to once I got out for help. I was going to leave the school tens of thousands of dollars in debt and I needed to figure out a plan on what career would allow me to pay all of that back. I needed security, that is if the bank would even continue lending me money. I had qualified for those loans with my parents as co-signors. Now that they were gone and I was left without a penny to my name I might have to figure out a different path to take.

Ok Emma,Ms. Archer said as she returned with our drinks. If nothing else, this should warm you up a bit on this cold autumn day.

I took a sip. Too big a sip.

My hand flew up to cover my mouth as I tried not to spit out the stiff concoction. It was sweet and flavorful but also tasted strong enough to be flammable.

I finally managed to get the liquid down my throat as Mrs. Archer chuckled.

That was my response the first time I tried it as well but it grows on you. This is a true woodsman punch with a kick.

I took a second, much smaller sip. I had never tasted anything quite like it before but I really enjoyed the flavor.

Thank you so much Mrs. Archer.

Oh please, call me Ellen,she responded.

I am sorry that I didnt get to meet you this summer. Your mother said that you needed to stay at school and work on some coursework.

I nodded. The truth was that after yearning to be independent my whole childhood I decided to stay at college during the summer and keep my freedom. I now regretted that decision. What I wouldnt give for the opportunity to live under my parents oppressive rules right now. My parents had been a bit overprotective but if I was being honest they had been pretty fair with me. I had just wanted to grow up so fast and now here I was, all alone, and wishing I could just be a kid again.

Your mother and I met earlier this summer at the Lake Tomahawk community picnic. She was an amazing woman and I really enjoyed her company. I am terribly sorry for your loss.

I had heard that phrase one too many times over the past month but coming from her it sounded sincere.

Your father was a good man too. We had a lot of fun with them on the lake this summer.

My mind wandered, thinking about all the memories I missed by staying at school. I wished I had been here. If I had only known that it would be my last opportunity.

So how long are you here for?Mrs. Archer asked as I sipped again on her especially intoxicating brew.

Today is my last day. I just have a few things to take care of and then I will be driving back to school.

I took another, this time longer sip from the woodsy cocktail.

We sat chatting for a few more minutes before she asked So Emma, I have an idea. If it is ok with you I would like to have my son Erik drive you home. I know that the cabin is new to your family and there are things you should do before the cold winter weather hits. Erik can make sure that you are all set over there and show you how to maintain everything.

I thought about telling her I was selling it and about all the financial trouble I was in but then thought better of it.

Thats ok. I am sure Ill be fine.

Mrs. Archer was not easily dissuaded.

Please Emma, it would make me feel better. He can do any heavy lifting you might need done as well.

I examined her face and quickly realized that fighting her was pointless.

Ok, thanks Mrsthanks Ellen, that would be nice.

Great. Erik should be back shortly, he is just out for a run.

Ellen and I continued to reminisce as we talked about my parents. One glass turned into two and by the end of it my head was feeling nice and buzzed.

Then I heard the clicking of a knob and the swoosh of a door opening.

* * *

Honey?

Yes Mom?

Come here a minute, will you?Mrs. Archer yelled across the house.

I heard his footsteps approach and I swallowed the last of my drink. It was time to head back to the cabin and face the inevitable loss that was coming.

“Hey Mom.” A rich, almost baritone voice said as a man emerged from the hallway.

Holy shit!I screamed inside my own head as I looked upon one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen.

Despite the outside chill I could see the sweat glistening on his well toned skin. Erik was trim but seemed to carry a substantial amount of well built muscle. His dark hair was tousled in a magnetically attractive way.

His eyes switched from his mother to me and I felt them penetrate my slightly intoxicated body. My legs tingled and I averted my gaze, staring down into my now empty cup. Maybe it was the happy juiceMrs. Archer had given me but Erik was one of the most gorgeous men I had ever seen.

Erik this is Emma Adams from across the lake.

Eriks expression shifted and it became obvious that he knew my tale.

She needs a lift back to her place and I was wondering if you could check it over to make sure everything is secure for the winter before she leaves.

I looked back up and met Eriks fixed gaze. His expression was nondescript and masked his thoughts. I wasnt sure if he was upset with the task his mother had given him or was feeling pity for me.

Sure Mom. Emma, let me just shower off and I will be right with you.

Umsurethanks.

Eriks expression never changed as he turned and set off for the bedroom upstairs.

Well, now that Erik is here I am going to head into town to run some errands. Here, I want you to take this.

Mrs. Archer scribbled on a small piece of paper and handed it to me.

That is my cell phone number. I know we dont know each other but if you need anything please dont hesitate to call.

Thank you.I said as I took the paper and shoved it into my pocket. Mrs. Archer wrapped her arms around me and pulled me in for a big hug. She may have been ridiculously wealthy and a stranger to me, but I could tell that she was kind and genuinely a good person.

She took one last look at me after releasing me from her embrace. Then she turned around and headed out the garage door and I was left alone to wander around this cavernous log castle on my own.

* * *

I headed out into the great room and looked up at the incredibly high ceiling. It was made from knotty pine planks and had gigantic log beams stretched across its length. In the center was an antler chandelier that must have been twenty feet wide with hundreds of small lights illuminating the room.

Behind and above me was a open walkway that functioned as the upstairs hallway. Small log beams formed a handrail and through the spindles beneath it I could make out the light coming from Eriks room. If I listened closely I could hear the shower.

The sound was interrupted from its steady flow as water bounced off and cascaded down Eriks naked body. I closed my eyes and imagined what it would be like to be up there now. My troubles seemed to fade away the more detailed my fantasies became.

I was single but didnt often find myself so distracted by men. I was too busy trying to figure out the rest of my life to worry about it much.

But Erik

It had been awhile sense such explicit dreams played out in my mind. This of course was all the more inappropriate because he was obviously older than me but still

The world was now nothing but background noise. I was up in that room, in that shower with him. The build-up of steam causing both our bodies to sweat.

He put his hands on my face, using his fingers to wipe the beading perspiration from my forehead. I let my fingers wander from his chest down to what I imagine could only be an incredibly tight and well defined abdomen.

His excitement brushes against my hand and I decide to look down to take in his engorged cock.

My eyes scan his chest, his abs, the tan-line just below his waist and

Emma.

Holy shit,I yelp as my eyes open and I see Erik standing on the landing above me. He is wrapped in nothing but a towel and even at this distance I can make out beads of water trickling down his torso. If I just took a few more steps forward I might have the angle to see

“Emma?”

Um…yes…sorry…I…I just was…um…thinking.

I felt mortified and I am sure that a flush face betrayed me. For the first time I saw Eriks face break into a smile.

Have you had lunch yet?

Umno, not yet. I just had some drinks with your mom.

He chuckled.

Mom likes to mix them strong so we better get something in that stomach of yours. Let me just finish getting ready and I will take you out for lunch before we head back to your place. Is that ok?

Sure, sounds great.

Erik retreated back into his room and I finally remembered to breathe. I wasnt sure what the hell had come over me but Erik seemed to have an effect on my body and mind like no-one ever had before.

The embarrassment was overwhelming but I spent the rest of the time trying to convince myself that he didnt see anything. I tried to convince myself that there was nothing wrong with standing in the middle of a strangers house facing the room where they are showering with your eyes closed…yep…totally normal.



Desires Chapter 3

When Erik finally did come down the stairs, my hard fought composure went out the window. He looked even more sexy now in his flannel shirt and jeans then he had looked before with just a towel. I couldnt figure out why this guy had me so worked up but I figured it had something to do with the horrible month I had just been through combined with whatever Mrs. Archer had put in that drink.

Alright, you ready to go?Erik asked as his eyes subdued me.

Yes,to anything and everything he might ask of me.

Erik led me through the front door and out to a black SUV he had parked in the driveway. We hopped up into the car and the large V8 engine roared to life. Erik flipped on the heat warmers and adjusted the thermostat. Oh what I wouldnt give for a car like this, my air-conditioning and heat barely functioned anymore. Although, as I felt the engine rumbling beneath my feet I realized that not only could I not afford the car but I could not even afford the gas to feed it.

With the truck slipped into drive we headed up the crushed granite driveway and onto the pine tree lined road that would take us into town.

I am sorry to hear about your parents Emma. How are you holding up?

Oh…I’m fine.

There was silence until I finally looked over and saw Erik staring at me.

Seriously, how are you doing?

Well I…”

I wasnt sure quite how to answer him. In addition, I barely knew this man sitting next to me and it felt inappropriate to unload the shit-storm that was my life on him.

Wellto be honestI am fucking awful.

I was surprised by my own candor.

Every fucking thing that can go wrong has and I dont know what the hell I am going to do.

I looked down at the floor of the car feeling particularly vulnerable at that moment.

Well then, I would say it sounds like a good day to go have lunch at Callahans.

I looked back up at him and was met by a smile and a wink. Callahans was the best hole-in-the-wall drinking establishment that was known for their greasy food and stiff cocktails.

That sounds great, thanks.

Erik tuned the radio to the local hits station and we drove the rest of the way without speaking. After a severe morning hangover followed by Mrs. Archers cocktails, I was definitely ready for some greasy food in my rather empty stomach.

* * *

It was an off weekend up in the Northwoods since the Chicago area schools were back in session. This weekend it was locals, retired couples, and people whos family just died that inhabited this small sleepy town. With that being the case we were able to snag a great parking spot right in front of Callahan’s.

After grabbing a seat at the bar the bartender came over and I knew exactly what I wanted.

What can I get for you two?

My mouth was already watering just thinking about it.

Can I have the patty melt fully loaded with a shot of whiskey and whatever amber beer you have on tap.

Erik smiled at me, seeming amused at my order.

Go ahead and make that two.He responded to the bartender.

Well, a woman that knows what she wants.

Hardly.I responded with a roll of the eyes.

Really. You seemed pretty sure about that whiskey.

It helps numb the fact that I am about to lose everything.

Erik got quiet for a moment, seeming to contemplate my response. He decided to probe further.

I am really sorry about your family but I get the sense that there is more going on. Do you want to talk about it?

I was hesitant to delve into my problems with this strange, wealthy, and unbelievably hot man sitting next to me. My mind hemmed and hawed as I consider what to divulge. Just then, I was interrupted by the bartender setting down a pair of whiskey shots and two frosted beer mugs, glowing red, by the amber ale contained within.

Erik reached for his shot glass and raised it toward me in toast. I grabbed my shot glass and did the same.

Heres to numbing the pain,Erik said with a smirk on his face.

Cheers,I responded, clinking the glass and downing the liquid fire.

I savored the burn as it traveled over my tongue and down my throat. It wasnt until I felt it reach my stomach that I lifted the frosty glass of beer and rinsed my mouth with liquid hops.

The liquor, or the action of drinking it, seemed to suddenly loosen me up.

Fuck it. The truth is that not only did my parents die but they forgot to pay their life insurance bill so now I am left with nothing but debts. I am in school with loans of my own and just enough part-time income to pay for gas. My parents left everything they own in that cabin and I dont have enough money to cover even one of their mortgage payments.

I took another swig of my beer.

So it looks like I am going to lose the cabin, most of the stuff in it, and my family all in the same month. When I head back to college all I will have is some pictures, a cabin I need to sell quickly before another payment is due, extensive school loans, and a car that is ready to break down at a moments notice.

I looked at the beer again and then decided to drain the whole thing. The cold beer felt good and slid down my throat easily. Then, a little loud and obnoxiously, I yelled for the bartender.

Another round please!

The rest of the meal was a bit of a blur as I downed multiple whiskey shots and mugs of beer. The greasy food tasted great and before I knew it my sexy knight in shining armorwas carrying me to the car.

Erik rolled down the window so the poor drunk girl could get some cool fresh air. It took about ten minutes to get back to my cabin and by the time we arrived I was feeling pretty socially lubricated. I had forgotten all about my problems and instead could only seem to focus on the young wealthy stud I had sitting next to me.

He opened his door and walked around to help me out. My mind flashed back to his dripping wet naked torso.

Oh how I wish I could have been in that shower.

Ok, lets get you inside.

He opened my door and put his arm around me. We walked up the two steps leading to the screen porch. Somehow I managed not to trip and fall. The world was beginning to spin and I was thankful that Erik had me in his grip.

The door was unlocked and after pulling it open we proceeded inside.

I was getting more drunk by the second. How much had I had to drink?

Everything was a bit of a blur except the slight stubble on his face.

I stared at this subtle beard which led my eyes to his lips. Oh his lips.

They looked so fucking kissable and the longer I stared, the more my body compelled me forward.

Erik said something that I couldnt make out.

I was lost in a trance.

Suddenly, without thinking, my body pushed forward and my lips landed squarely on his.

They were so warm and soft. I felt my nipples tighten and my body continued to push into his.

His lips responded, enveloping mine with eagerness.

A tongue.

A hand sliding down my back.

Thenthenblackness.



Desires Chapter 4

I woke up the next morning with another killer headache. My head was still spinning a little and it took a moment to get my bearings.

OH SHIT!

The realization of what I had done last night came rushing into my brain. Things had become a bit fuzzy after lunch but I definitely remembered that kiss.

Oh no. What the hell did I do?

I didnt remember anything. How the hell did I end up in bed? What happened after that kiss?

Using my fingers I tried to rub my forehead and alleviate the pain but was unsuccessful. Reluctantly, I slid out from underneath the covers and headed to the bathroom to get some Ibuprofen for my headache.

I was grateful to find when I stood up that I was still wearing my clothes from yesterday. Whatever had happened, at least I had kept my clothes on.

After swallowing the pain pills and getting my bearings back I decided to head downstairs to the kitchen. The master bedroom opened out into a small loft overlooking the living room. I peered out of the door slowly to confirm I was alone and when I was certain the coast was clear I proceeded down the stairs. As I stepped off the last stair and turned the corner towards the kitchen I saw two notes had been left on the island.

One note looked like a checklist of some sort and the other one looked to be a letter. I picked up the letter and began to read.


Emma,

I looked through the cabin and made sure that everything was ready for the winter. I also wrote out a checklist for you so that you will know what to do in the future. I had a great time at lunch and hope you were able to have a long restful sleep. Call me if there if you need anything. - Erik


Below the note he had written his phone number. I thought about calling him to apologize but I couldnt bring myself to have that conversation. My sober mind was mortified at what I had done and I couldnt bear to talk about it with him. I just needed to get everything done and get the hell out of here.

With my unexpected intoxication yesterday I had slept right through the chores I needed to accomplish. I was already going to be late getting back to school and I couldnt afford to screw up that part of my life as well. I needed to finish boxing up the belongings I wanted to take and find a realtor to list the cabin.

It was going to be a tough day to get through with a hangover and so I started the coffee pot with an extra strong brew.

* * *

After breakfast and several cups of highly caffeinated coffee, I stepped outside to find the temperature had dropped quite a bit. My car was barely running as it was, and it seemed to have a particularly hard time in the cold. I decided a preheat was in order before heading into town.

As I opened the door and slid into the drivers seat it appeared that my car had a different idea of what it was going to do today. I pushed the key into the ignition and gave it a turn.

Nothing.

I tried again.

Nothing.

I took a moment to think about what I was doing wrong. Had I left the lights on? Was the car not in park? Everything I looked to fix ended up already being in the correct position.

Come on babypleasenot today.

I tried again but did not even get a token crank. My car was as dead as a doornail and I wasnt going anywhere.

Running back inside I picked up my phone and began to call local car mechanics. Unfortunately for me things run a little differently in the remote Northwoods during this time a year. With all the summer crowds from Chicago having gone back to work and school, the locals adjust their work hours accordingly.

Each number I tried ended up with in voicemail or a message saying essentially they were shut down for hunting, fishing, or just because. I became more desperate with each dial of the phone and eventually gave up on fixing my car. I decided at this point to just get a cab so that I might make it to town. Yet again, with every number I dialed I was met with a machine.

Our sleepy little Northwoods town had apparently gone into hibernation and I was abandoned to fend for myself. Most of the cabins around our lake were owned by Chicagoans as vacation homes which meant that all of my neighbors would not be home. I didnt know any of the few locals that did live on the lake year round and so I sat there in my kitchen feeling alone and defeated.

Just as I was about to completely lose my shit and burst out crying my eyes caught sight of the noteand of his number.

An internal battle raged in my mind as I debated having to face him again. It was the obvious solution but my embarrassment was profound. I grabbed the piece of paper and stared intently at the number, hoping for a solution to appear.

Eventually desperation overcame fear, and I decided it was time to call the only one I knew that might be able to help.

* * *

Although mortifying, it was so good to hear his voice again. Erik had answered on the second ring and the tone of his voice was soothing. He acted as if nothing had happened last night, so much so that I almost questioned my memories of the event.

I heard the crush of gravel outside and knew that he had arrived. I grabbed my jacket and walked out onto the porch to greet him.

“Hi Erik, I’m so sorry.

Not a problem.He responded with a smile.

“I’m just glad you caught me this morning since I am leaving tonight.

For some reason those words made my stomach drop. I wasnt sure exactly why I felt this way. There was nothing between us. He was all but a stranger to meyet the thought of him leaving made me profoundly sad.

So, do you have the keys?

Oh…yes…sorrylet me get them.

I ran back inside and grabbed them off the counter and then returned to the dead scrap of metal that was my transportation.

“Let’s try jumping it first to see what we are dealing with.

Erik pulled cables from the back of his car and after popping both hoods attached them to the appropriate connectors.

“Let’s just give it a minute before you try and crank it.

“Ok.” I responded as I found myself uncontrollably staring at him again.

So, how did you sleep?Erik asked with a wink.

Oh good lord. I am so sorry about yesterday. I dont know what happened. It was just…”

Erik cut me off with the wave of his hand.

Its ok Emma. You have had a rather interesting month and you deserved to blow off a little steam. BesidesI got something out of it too,he said with a smile.

It was silent for an uncomfortably long time as I digested what he had just said.

Ok, why dont you give it a shot.

It took me a moment to snap out of my lustful haze but finally I realized he was talking about the car.

Oh, yesof course.

I slid back into the front seat and tried to turn the key.

Nothing.

Are you turning the key?Erik yelled from behind the hood.

Yes.I yelled back out the open car door.

Well thats not good. Why dont you go back inside and get warm while I look at what we have here.

Are you sure? I can stay here with you.

Its ok Emma. Tell you what, why dont you go ahead and brew a pot of coffee and I will join you inside as soon as I get a handle on this.

His expression was commanding and I felt like I would do whatever he asked of me.

Ok. I will see you inside.

I turned back to walk into the warmth of the cabin and marveled at the power he had over me. I had always been independent to a fault but when I was with him I had this strange feeling of wanting to submit. I wasnt sure if it was his looks, his piercing gaze, or just my own fucked up brain that seemed to be melting down this week. Either way, I was glad he was here.



Desires Chapter 5

Well its dead.Erik said as he slid off his jacket and I fixed him a cup of coffee.

Yes, I know. Thats why I called you.

He chuckled.

“No…I mean it is dead, as in never coming back. Frankly I am surprised that you kept it running this long. That car needs a complete engine overhaul which quite frankly would cost more than its worth.

You have to be fucking kidding me!I yelled at no one in particular.

“Shit!”

That was itthe last straw. That car was the only thing I had left and now I didnt even have that. I couldnt get back to school and yet I couldnt stay in the cabin I needed to sell. How could it all go wrong so fast?

My face fell into my hands and I tried desperately to keep from crying. I had been strong everyday for the past month. From my family dying to the news of the cabin I had worked so hard to keep it together and not to fall apart but nowit was just too much.

But then, a hand reached out and rubbed my back. It felt good to be touched.

Another hand reached out and wrapped itself around my waist. Suddenly I was picked up and pulled into Eriks lap. His arms enveloped me and I buried myself into him. It felt so good to be held. It felt so good to not be alone.

We must have stayed in that position for an hour as I rotated through bouts of crying. Finally, too exhausted to sob anymore, I pulled away from his grasp and looked him in the eye.

“I’m sorry. Thank you.

It’s ok.” Erik responded as he ran his fingers through my hair.

His touch was soothing and exactly what I needed in that moment. His smell was intoxicating and soon my worries began to drift away and my thoughts all turned to him. Damn it, what was it about this man that had such a hold over me.

Emma, what is it that you want?

The question was vague and I wasnt sure quite how to answer it. I had been so busy dealing with losing everything in my life that I hadnt really thought about what I wanted going forward. The future seemed so unknown and so uncertain I didnt dare hope for anything.

I dont know.I responded timidly.

Erik was not ready to accept this answer.

What would it take to get rid of this feeling that you are struggling with?

I thought some more, trying to come up with an acceptable answer.

WellI guessI want some way to not lose this cabin and all my familys possessions. This is all I have left of them.

Is that all? Would that fix everything?Erik asked, probing me in a way I had not done myself.

Well…I…I dont know. I guess…”

My thoughts were scattered and I focused hard to wrestle them into submission.

Well, I guess what I want is some security. I not only want to keep the cabin but I want to be in a position to make sure I never feel this helpless again. I want to pay for school without burying myself underneath impossible loans. I guessI guess what I really want is to regain some fucking control over my life.

Control huh? Do you like to be in control?Erik asked with his penetrating gaze.

Umyes, wellsometimes,I responded more timidly, submitted by his stare.

Eriks eyes stayed locked on mine as I sat in his lap, completely vulnerable to him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.

Emma, since your car is not working anyways I would like you to stay in your place one more night. Dont worry about the realtor and dont worry about school. I will help you take care of everything tomorrow and I will fly you myself to wherever you need to go.

That last sentence threw me until I remembered floatplane hanger next to their boat slip. Of course he was a pilot. He seemed to be everything else, why would he not also be a pilot.

I want you to take the night off from drinking and get a proper nights rest. I will come by tomorrow morning at ten and we will talk then.


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