Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tales - A Read From Love Knots, part of Evernight's Big Birthday Bash!

Day three and we're still rolling on the week long Evernight Publishing Big Birthday Bash! Today is Tuesday and that means I'm doing Tuesday Tales with a lot of other talented authors.  Now normally I put up a story but today I'm putting up a long excerpt from the most recent of my Love Covenant books from Evernight.   This is from Love Knots, third book of the series and this week's prompt was "midnight"
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I rode shotgun in a vintage, mint condition black 1959 Cadillac Sedan De Ville with Will Brennan at the wheel.  Since my Will proved to be one of the best drivers I ever rode beside, with nerves of steel and total control, I had no fear when we winged our way into the greater LA area at a high rate of speed.   After the two hour trek across the dark desert from Las Vegas, we entered LA before midnight.  I had no fear riding with Will and the only thing that surprised me was how much traffic still raced at that time.

            “Do you know how to get to Hollywood from here?” I asked, cozy against Will with the familiar strains of Johnny Horton’s rockabilly on the stereo.  Will liked my hometown hero’s music just fine and told me that he’d even seen Johnny – whose family around Rusk called Gale – on stage performing at The Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.

            “Aye, woman, I do.” he said, “We’ll go find someplace to stay and then you can take me out on your Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip.”

             I laughed.  With his overwhelming sense of smoldering sensual appeal and lithe grace, Will might attract a crowd who could mistake him for the current hot leading man.   Of course, if what he kept telling me was true, I just might be pegged as a movie star myself.  I had no ambitions to act but the idea that someone might mistake me for a screen idol flattered.

            We checked into a chain hotel not far from Hollywood Boulevard, a Best Western framed by tall palms.  Prices must be affordable by Hollywood standards but they had a whirlpool suite vacant and we took it.   After we dumped our gear into the basic but attractive room, plain after the opulence at the Venetian, we headed out to Hollywood Boulevard.

             Every famous street or venue has a personality; this did too.  I walked these streets alone once before but with Will at my side, I felt taller, sexier, and cooler in a very awesome way.   Crowds of tourists, some the quintessential travelers in their Bermuda shorts and loud Hawaiian shirts, filled the sidewalks even though for most, it must be the middle of the night.  Back home in their small towns or suburban neighborhoods, they would have been tucked into bed hours earlier but here, they wanted a bite of the Hollywood apple so they walked.

            We moved among them and I heard a few excited whispers.  Will, dressed all in black, cut a swath all his own and since I’d donned both sunglasses and my new denim jacket, bought in a Vegas boutique with Will’s winnings, I looked sharp.  Since the jacket boasted white leather fringe trim, it looked somehow both Western and eclectic, trippy enough for LA and I loved it.   So we caught the stares and the comments.  If Will even noticed, he offered no comment and I wondered just how many crowded streets in what exotic places he wandered in his time.   Because of Sallie Hawkins, I seldom liked to think about his English years but now, curious, I imagined him in a street setting like I’d seen in Oliver Twist, that old 1960’s musical.  

            “Have you always worn black or it that a newer thing?” I asked, the question popping out of my thoughts like a jack-in-the box.  Any other man I’d known would have thought it both strange and frivolous to ask like that but he didn’t.

            “I had a huge black cloak when I was a highwayman,” Will answered, with some nostalgic judging by the faraway smile that flirted with his lips.  “I swooped down on travelers like some giant black bird.  That’s where it began.   Over time, I added other black garments and long before Johnny Cash became known as ‘the man in black’, I already was one.  I thought black suited my night existence.”

            “It does,” I said, “And it suits you too.  You look good in black, very handsome, very sexy.”

            He liked the compliment.  “Do I?”

            “You know you do.”

            Will laughed a genuine laugh that broadened his mouth and echoed over the heads of the tourists like music.  “Aye, I suppose that I do.   I knew it the night that I met you, leannĂ¡n.”

            Unless something unexpected happened to me, I figured that I would feel the same sweet melting within when I thought about that first encounter for all eternity.

            “So did I.”

             I linked my arm through his and by then, we were at the Chinese Theater.  I slowed to a crawl so we could read the famous names on the Walk of Fame.   I chattered away about each one, tossing out little trivia tidbits and Will humored me, pretending interest when I knew he really didn’t care. We followed a pair of tourists from far away back to their parked car on a quiet side street, and took a blood donation without any difficulty at all.  After that, we popped in and out of some of the cheesy little souvenir shops.

            I sent some postcards home to my family, one to Malachi too.   We laughed over the cheap junk sold in the shops, virtually the same in all of them and I bought a T-shirt for my sister who collects funky tees from everywhere.

             “I’m hungry,” he announced as we exited one more tourist trap shop.  “Let’s find somewhere to get a hamburger.”

              “Sounds good,” I said as we walked on.  I could smell the enticing aroma coming from Juicy Hamburgers so we went inside for a burger.   We waited, with little patience, in the crowded and small dining area but when we got our food, it tasted good enough to make the wait worthwhile.   Midway through the meal while seated a table so small that our knees touched beneath it, Will stopped, burger in hand, with a faraway stare.

            I paused in mid-natter. “Will?”

            My chest tightened for a moment because his distraction reminded me too much of the way he acted when he first felt Sallie Hawkins’ negative presence reaching into his consciousness but he didn’t look scared, sick, or afraid, just dreamy.

            “Aye, Cara?”

            “What is it?” I asked, “You look like you saw a ghost or something.”

            Will grinned, his expression restoring his face to normal as the faraway look faded.

            “That’s close enough,” he said, wonderment touching his voice. “I got a flicker, just a faint little flash of Seamus.  I could feel him.   ‘Twas the first time, ever and so it felt strange.  Good but odd.”

            His delight flared like summer lightning, brilliant and quick, between us and I smiled.  No matter what he said to the contrary, I knew how very much he wanted to find his brother.

            “I’m glad, Will.  What was it like? I mean did you see him or just feel him?

            He wolfed down the last third of his burger in a huge bite and swallowed before he replied, “It’s a bit of both.  I felt him and I recognize his personality which gives me hope that he’s not changed beyond all recognition but I saw him too, just a glimmer.”

            “Could you tell where he was?” If he saw anything to narrow down the location, it might save us days or weeks or even months of searching.

            “He was onstage,” Will told me.  “I think he was singing.”

            “Really?” That intrigued me, a singer myself. “Do you think it was out here, in LA or California someplace?”

            He shook his head.  “No, somehow I don’t.  I could be wrong but he felt distant.”

            I sighed; I hoped for somewhere nearby or at least within the state.   It was, however, a start and he seemed happy enough about the experience.

            “I guess there weren’t any clues to where it could be.”

            “No, it was just a small stage in a small theater.”

            That could be anywhere, I thought, in any auditorium or theater any place from New York to some tiny town.

            “Well, I have that list of places to narrow it down,” I said with cautious hope.  “We can find him, honey.  Maybe you’ll get more flashes with better clues.”

            “Aye, that would be good if I do.  Do you think it’s strange I should feel him? I never did before.”

            I pondered that as I chewed another bite of burger.  “No, it’s not really.  Will, until not long ago, you had no idea he was alive so you wouldn’t have noticed it even if you did.  You would have just figured you were thinking about him.”

            He nodded. “That makes some sense.”

            “Mama always says if she thinks about somebody, she’ll probably hear from them and she usually does.  It’s like she somehow calls them and they respond without ever realizing it.  Maybe it’s like that with Seamus.   You’re thinking of him now, a lot, and so it reached him, somehow.  He thinks that you’re dead so if anything, he thinks it’s just memory but it’s more than that.  He just doesn’t know yet.”

            “You make it all make sense,” he said, with a smile.  “If you’re finished, we can go whenever you’re ready.”

            I swallowed the last bit of meat and their fabulous buns.  “I’m ready now.”

            Back out on the famous Boulevard, the crowds thinned out as morning approached.  By the time we left Juicy Hamburgers, the place was about to close and after we walked the blocks back to our hotel, dawn seemed imminent but it was hard to tell what was an actual glow in the east, what might just be the many lights of LA reflected against the clouds.

            I knew he thought about his brother and so did I, wondering just when and where we might find Seamus.   We walked hand in hand in the pre-dawn milk light, pensive but in accord.  Once we reached our suite, however, Will’s priorities shifted.

            Love is begun by time,” he quoted from Hamlet, “and time qualifies the spark and fire of it.”

             I cited him back lyrics from the Pointer Sisters, an old 70’s tune that I liked.

            Then burn me with fire,” I said.

             Will seared me with that look of his that consumes and commands at the same time.  His lips sought mine as if he thirsted and they offered water.  He drank of me and I sipped from the cup of his mouth, a vessel that held heated passion that affected me like the finest wine.   As we kissed, I loved the way that heat crept over me with slow tread, heavy and yet soft like the warmth of a hot Texas afternoon.  As I yielded to it, I felt my nipples harden even as my other parts softened, moist and ready for what would come.  His hands and mine intertwined to pull my shirt off.  It flew into a corner, unwanted and I stood before him, bare as the day I got born.

            He toyed with me, played with me the way a kitten will entertain himself with a stray string or musical ball.  Will removed his mouth from mine, leaving my lips aching for more, and dropped to the tender skin of my throat.   I quivered with pleasure as his mouth ignited flames that flickered from one place to another as he kissed, then nibbled with just enough force that I could feel his teeth.

            The sharp edges teased my flesh until ecstasy ran through my veins with the same kind of heat that enough whiskey brings to my blood, warm and so sweet.   To give back that kind of pleasure, I snapped open his shirt and ran my hands over his chest.  Beneath my fingers, I felt his nipples stiffen into twin rocks and bent my mouth to one so that I could tempt him with my tongue.

            I stroked his vulnerable nipple with my tongue and it made him wilder.   With bold hands, he grasped me around the waist and lifted me to the bed, letting me fall back onto the comforter.   He snaked my jeans off with one swift motion and then he went to his knees.  From that position he leaned into the cleft between my legs.  Without thinking about it, crazy with need and riding a rush of passion, I spread them wider for him and he put his mouth down on my inner lips, still tasting and gnawing but with such delicacy that each bite felt no more substantial than a butterfly’s brush as it passed.

            When I could bear no more, when my mind emptied of all sensible thought and I became a creature of physical feeling, he reared up, proud and beautiful as a thoroughbred stallion.  Will entered me with hungry power, seeking as well as giving.   He filled me and I heaved my body toward him, straining as much as any wild mare in heat.   We impacted, collided, and joined with a terrific force that shook me, body and soul, to my foundations.  I shrieked with the might of it, shouted my joy, and yelled wit appreciation for the finale.

               Will cried out too, a hoarse guttural burst of wordless delight but when he gathered himself, collected his wits, he said, “When you do dance, I wish you a wave of the sea that you might ever do nothing but that.”

            What we did was a dance, an ancient mating ritual, I mused as I lay beside him, weak with contentment.  “Say it and we will,” I whispered, “We can do nothing but that and I’ll never get tired of it.”

             Will laughed, a light easy sound that touched my ears like caresses, and I scooted so that I could languish in the circle of his arms.

            “I’ve given you sunshine,” he whispered as I began to slip out of consciousness, “tomorrow it will be the sea.”

Today's question:
What does Will Brennan drive? 

Leave your answer as a comment with name and email for your chance to win a PDF of any of the Love Covenant books!

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  1. Hi LeeAnn,

    Great to "meet" you through Evernight's Birthday Bash! Love the hot excerpt !!!

    Thanks for the fab giveaway. Definitely Count me in. judimello AT gmail DOT com

    Answer : Will drives a vintage, mint condition black 1959 Cadillac Sedan Deville!

  2. Either a big black rig or a black 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville in perfect condition.
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  3. thank you for the awesome giveaway! he drives a black 1959 cadillac sedan deville. :)
    gfc- shadow_kohler


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