Erotic Romance Author

Until I get everything fixed with my website, mainly finding someone smarter than me to handle, this is where all the information can be found. Check back often for reviews and posts and new releases. Below on the right is a list of books and their reading order. Looking forward to sharing with everyone...:)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


“Why can’t politicians keep their hands and dicks out of the cookie jar?” Jonah grumbled.
Sidious snickered as he opened his office door and stepped inside. “A question I’ve asked myself a dozen times or more.”
Lord Jonah Marcone stepped into his Uncle Sidious’s office on Daego and drew in a deep breath of air. He’d always loved this space. Entering into it never failed to put him at ease with the large windows overlooking the lake behind it and the fireplace with an actual wood burning fire flickering inside it.
His Aunt Mikayla had decorated the house based on her home world of Earth, which is also where Jonah’s mother was from. His mother, however, preferred the modern look of their home on Tillarus, but she loved the peace and tranquility of the moon Daego, which is why he’d spent a good chunk of his childhood here. He and his twin sister, Jacqueline were even born here. Right in this very house.
This house was the family center. It’s where they came to relax, to celebrate a birthday or big event. Mikayla even had an addition built so they had plenty of room for even more family, which seemed to be growing every time Jonah turned around.
His aunt and uncle had shown that family isn’t just who you’re born to. It’s who you pick up along the way, which was proven when they made Devlin and his sister, Rhianna part of the family. Although they don’t have the same name or even the same blood, Devlin and his family, as well as his sister Rhia and her family are just as much a Marcone and welcome here as the main family members.
There was constantly someone coming and going, but Sidious and Mikayla both loved it. If they wanted time to themselves, they would go somewhere else and leave the monstrocity of a house for the family to enjoy. It’s what it had been built for.
Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t here for relaxation.
“Does the Senator have any idea who’s blackmailing him or why?” Jonah asked as he took the seat across from his uncle’s desk.
“The why is the legislation that Christian and Alex have been working on,” Sidious replied.
“The bill that will limit the powers of the Regent?” Jonah asked.
Sidious sat back in the chair and ran a hand through his shoulder length platinum hair. “That would be the one. It would seem someone, my guess is the Regent, doesn’t want a cap on his powers, so he’s blackmailing senators to gain their support to squash it.”
“Are we sure it’s the Regent and not the corporate elite that stand behind him?” Jonah asked.
“You assume it’s the corporate elite that control the Regent, when it actuality, it’s the Regent who pulls the strings. He tells them what he wants for his support of whatever bill they want passed that might further their business.”
Jonah snorted. “I thought the Regent was suppose to watch out for the average person, to do what’s best for the people, not the corporate elite.”
Sidious’s lip curled. “In a perfect world. Unfortunately, this position appears to corrupt men.” His uncle studied him. “What we need is someone who is incorruptible.”
Jonah grinned. “What you need is a miracle.”
“Are you saying if you had the position, you could be corrupted?”
“I’ve grown up in politics my entire life. I’ve been groomed to take over as ruler of Tillarus once my father retires. I’ve had the luxury of seeing first hand how a good ruler takes care of his people. I’ve also seen good men ruined by greed. I hate the whole nature of politics. I say what I mean and mean what I say, just like dad. I don’t pander. I don’t believe in political spin. I do believe that I would always put the people first, but there’s not enough money in the galaxy for me to take on that job.”
Sidious smiled. “Can’t say as I blame you.” His uncle’s smile died and worry clouded his gray eyes. “The corruption is getting out of hand. Christian was hoping this new bill would limit the Regent’s power, putting more of it in the hands of the Senate, taking it away from just one man and putting it in the hands of the majority.”
“That’s a problem in and of itself,” Jonah replied. “Not that the power lies with the majority, but just getting the majority to agree on a course of action. I’ve heard Jonah complain for months now about bipartisanship being dead and how it’s nearly impossible to get anyone to agree on anything. It’s become a do-nothing government. Even if you expose the Regent, what then? Who’s to say the next Regent won’t be just as bad?”
Sidious sighed and tapped the top of his desk. “So you’re suggesting we leave him be? Let him continue on, using executive orders to further his power and agenda?”
Jonah rubbed his hand over the top of his head in frustration. “No. That wouldn’t work either.” Jonah stood and began to pace around the room. “The problem is the position. It’s too corruptible, too many favors exchanging hands. Even a good man could be overwhelmed by it all, swayed.”
“I agree. When your father and I finally took the dictator down and reinstated the Senate, the Regent was primarily only supposed to be a figurehead. All the power was in the hands of the Senators. Over the years, the power has slowly shifted to now it mostly resides with the Regent. It needs to go back to the way it was.”
“Which is what Chris’s bill is supposed to do,” Jonah said as he leaned on the back of the chair. With a sigh, he continued. “So basically, I need to find the proof that the Regent is behind it.”
“Any ideas where to start?” Sidious asked.
“Follow the money,” Jonah replied as he pushed back off the chair and stood straight. “Where did the Senator send it?”
“He hasn’t yet.”
Jonah grinned. “Perfect. All I have to do now is get with Aspen and have her tag it, then we can see where it goes.”
“Your Uncle Taron will kick your ass for getting his daughter Aspen involved in this.”
“She’s a freakin’ hacker. A damn good one. If anyone can tag that currency transfer it’s her. She tags it, we track it and then hopefully, I can link wherever its going to the Regent, proving he was behind it.”
“The link may be the hardest part. The Regent is a smart man. I’m sure its not going to be obvious.”
Jonah grinned. “But isn’t that why you came to me?”
Sidious laughed just as a beep came over his computer screen. He hit one of the keys on the keyboard and smiled at the screen. “Hey, Jack.”
“Hi, Uncle Sidious.”
Sidious’s brow creased into a frown as Jonah’s chest tightened with concern. He suddenly had an uneasy feeling and knew instinctively it had something to do with his twin sister, who Sidious was talking to on the computer.
“You okay, sweetheart?” Sidious asked. “You look tired.”
Jonah walked around to stand beside his uncle, just out of her line of vision, and studied his twin sister. She did look tired.
“I’m fine,” she said, faking a smile.
“Don’t listen to her, Sidious.” Jacqueline’s husband Haydrien appeared in the screen behind her. “She’s not been sleeping.”
“It’s nothing,” she said, waving her hand in dismissal. “My brother isn’t by chance there with you, is he? I called his ship, but he didn’t answer.”
“He’s here.” Sidiosu turned in his chair to look at him. He nodded his head to the screen and stood so Jonah could have the chair. “I’ll go get some coffee and let you two talk.”
Jonah nodded and sat down. If something had upset her, she would tell him and if she was tracking him down, something must have upset het. “Is Haydrien being an ass again?” Jonah asked, teasing his brother-in-law.
Haydrien bent forward slightly and stuck his middle finger up, making Jonah chuckle. “That’s not very kingly of you brother-in-law. You’ve been hanging around our cousin Shane too much, I think.”
Haydrien smiled as he dropped his hand and gave Jonah’s sister a pat on the shoulder. “She’s been a little upset, Jonah. See if you can calm her down.”
Jonah nodded as Haydrien turned and walked from the room, leaving he and his sister alone. “What’s going on, Jack?” he asked with concern.
“Do you remember when we were teenagers and I had that string of really bad nightmares right before you crashed your speeder and broke your legs?”
Jonah cringed at the memory. That had been one hell of a painful crash and recovery. Despite all their medical advancements, breaks like that took a while to heal. “Unfortunately, yes. Why?”
“I’m having nightmares again, but much worse. I wake up shaking and screaming. I can hardly breath. Jonah, I feel as though something awful is going to happen.”
“Jack,” Jonah tried to reason. “I know because we’re twins we have this weird mental connection, but you’re not psychic. Those nightmares were just a coincidence. Nothing more.”
She shook her head, dismissing what he said. “If you’re getting ready to do something for Uncle Sidious, please don’t.”
“I have a really bad feeling, Jonah. Promise me you won’t do this.”
Jonah sighed. “I’m just going to meet Aspen. She’s going to do some hacking for me. That’s all.”
She stared at him, a look of helpless worry in her eyes. Jonah wanted desperately to make her feel better, but he didn’t know how. He couldn’t lie to her. She would know, just like he would know if she lied. He could tell this really concerned her. He could feel it in his gut, her tension, her fear. Now that he’d picked up on it, the sensations would continue to nag at him until she felt better. Despite their physical distance.”
“Jack, I promise. I have no intentions of going up against anyone.”
She shook her head just as Haydrien walked back into the room. “It’s not that. It’s something else. Something I can’t see, but its…its awful…painful. The pain is…”
She swallowed and Jonah frowned. He wanted to reach through the screen and hug her, but he couldn’t.
“I’ll be okay, sis. I promise.”
A single tear slipped from the corner of her eye and she gave him a nod of understanding before moving and allowing Haydrien to sit down. Haydrien touched her arm softly. “The cook needs to see you in the kitchen, love.”
She nodded silently and with her arms around her middle, hugging herself, she walked from the room, Haydrien watching her go. He turned back to the screen with a frown. “I don’t know what’s going on, Jonah, but she’s freaking the hell out. She wakes up screaming, crying, she can’t get back to sleep. Last night she didn’t even want to go to sleep at all. Has she done this before?”
“Once, but not that bad. It was right before I crashed my speeder. I had always thought it was just a coincidence. We can feel things about each other, but she’s not psychic, so I don’t know what the hell this is.”
“She’s not here and can’t hear us, so are you about to do something dangerous?”
Jonah shook his head. “Not from my view point. It’s strictly just a fact finding mission.”
Haydrien snorted. “Who are you looking for facts on, Jonah?”
Jonah sighed, but didn’t answer.
Haydrien shook his head. “My guess is what makes this dangerous is not what you’re doing, but who you’re looking into.”
“Maybe,” Jonah replied, although silently agreeing with his brother-in-law.
“If you need help let me know,” Haydrien said firmly. “I may not be pirating anymore, but I still have connections, friends in low places.”
Jonah grinned at that last one. “I’ll keep that in mind. It won’t do any good for me to lie to her and tell her I won’t do it. She’ll know. Keep her calm, if you can. Try to get her busy doing something to keep her mind off it.”
“Are you kidding? Your sister can run circles around me. She’s already got so much going on, I can barely keep up with her. The people here love her, though. She’s always there for them.”
Jonah smiled. “She had a good teacher. She’s just like our mom.”
Haydrien smiled as well. “Krista is a good woman. I’ll do what I can with Jack, but…”
Jonah gave a nod. “She’ll worry no matter what. I’ll talk to you later, Haydrien.”

He hit the keyboard, closing down the communication. Were her nightmares something to be concerned about? He gave his head a shake. No. He refused to go down that path. They were just a coincidence, nothing more.  

* * * *  
“Asa? What are you doing here?”
Asa froze in her tracks and took a deep breath before turning to smile at her little sister Andrea. “I was looking for you,” she lied.
Andrea Morlick wasn’t an idiot. Asa had hoped to avoid her sister on this trip, since she had an uncanny ability to tell when Asa was upset. You’d think after all these years Asa would be better at hiding that, but she could never hide it from Andrea.
Shrewd hazel eyes so much like her own stared hard at her. Andrea looked so much older than her twenty-four years. She’d come so far in her life and career in such a short amount of time. Some of it had been hard work, but a lot of luck had landed her as the personal assistant to the Senate Regent Varn.
“If you were really looking for me you could’ve had me paged,” Andrea said with a frown. “What were you doing in Regent Varn’s office?”
Asa sighed and decided to somewhat tell the truth. “He… he hired me for a job.”
Andrea’s eyes narrowed. “What kind of job, Asa?”
Asa’s face heated, and she licked her lips as discomfort made her whole body tighten. Asa had done a lot of illegal things in her past to make sure her baby sister had all the best that life could offer. After their parent’s death in a transport explosion, Andrea had become Asa’s responsibility. The money their parents had didn’t last, so Asa had to make a living somehow.
She’d kept most of it hidden from Andrea. She’d moved them to Earth, gotten her sister in all the best schools, and it was two years into college that Andrea began to question just how Asa could afford it all.
She’d promised Andrea she would quit and she had. Until today.
Asa shook her head, silently begging her sister to understand and hopefully not ask too many questions. “It’s not what you think. It’s sort of a government job. The Regent just needs something retrieved for him. That’s all.”
“And why would he need you to retrieve it?” she asked with suspicion as she stepped closer so she could lower her voice. “Look, I’m not stupid. I know there’s a lot goes on behind the closed doors here, but I don’t want you involved in any of that, Asa. You promised me you would keep yourself out of trouble.”
Asa put her hands on her hips and frowned in aggravation. “You know, maybe you should question what your boss needs retrieved as opposed to who he asked to retrieve it.”
Drawing a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Asa counted to ten in her head. “I’m sorry, Andrea,” she said, hoping to put an end to this conversation. “It’s nothing illegal, I’m just familiar with its whereabouts. You know. The seedier side of the galaxy.”
Andrea glanced around before she spoke again. “You don’t have to do this stuff anymore. You took care of me all those years ago, let me take care of you.”
Asa shook her head. “This isn’t about money,” she murmured softly.
“Then what?” Andrea asked.
“Just trust me,” Asa pleaded. “Don’t ask him about this, just pretend you know nothing about it.”
“Andrea please. Promise me you’ll stay out of this, let me do what he asked me to do.”
Andrea scowled at her older sister, making guilt eat away at Asa’s insides. It would’ve been so much better if they hadn’t run into one another.
“I have to do this. I don’t have a choice.”
“Oh, like that makes me feel loads better,” Andrea snarled.
“Damn it, Andrea. You weren’t supposed to see me!”
With that she turned to leave.
“Asa,” Andrea called as she began to chase after her.
Asa turned and walked backward as she spoke. “I love you, Andy. Remember that. Always remember that. And please, just do what I asked.”
She stepped into the elevator and quickly hit the button to shut the door, effectively cutting her sister off. Closing her eyes, Asa forced back the tears that threatened to spill over. She’d thought she could put her past to rest, that she could move on, but that wasn’t the case. She’d earned a reputation, one the Regent made clear he planned to utilize.
If she refused, he would kill her sister.
Her mission. Find Lord Jonah Marcone, steal back what Jonah had stolen from him, and return it to Regent Varn.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ellora's Cave waiver...

Why I signed.

I'm sure everyone has heard about the letter EC sent out and the waiver that was attached. For those that haven't seen it, I posted it below...

Ellora’s Cave Publishing: Final Announcement – October 3, 2016
My mom and I would like to thank the vast majority of you for 16 incredible years. The first ≈ 13 of them were life-changing and genre-changing for all of us. We made history together, which is a feat most people will never be able to lay claim to. I’m honored and proud to have been a part of this heady accomplishment—a victory for female sexual autonomy that no one can take away from us. For this reason and so many others, it is with a heavy heart that my mother and I have made the decision to begin the process of closing Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
We did everything we could possibly do to turn things around—my mom more so than anyone—but it simply wasn’t meant to be. Between the oversaturation of erotic romance titles available, the financial devaluation of said titles, and being buried in Amazon’s search engines, the prospect of the market once again turning in our favor is grim at best, impossible at worst, and requires government intervention either way. We don’t want to leave you in limbo based on such unfavorable odds. We have gone around and around trying to figure out the least complicated way to get your rights back to you...the best compromise we have to offer follows on page 2.
My mom and I will be closing this chapter of our lives with many fond memories. For every utterance of false gossip hurled our way, we have three times as many happy moments to counter them with. In other words, thank you for being a part of Ellora’s Cave. We are choosing to hold onto the wonderful memories and carry them with us into whatever comes next. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you and for you.
Tina and Patty

P.S. We realize our announcement, while likely not unexpected, still leaves everyone with questions concerning their books, especially rights reversions. Bear in mind when reading the remainder of this email that EC is now (a) down to a staff of 2 and (b) doesn’t have the people power to continue answering emails, which is why (c) we need a couple of months to accomplish closing down in the most efficient way possible. We don’t want to leave anyone’s rights in limbo—which could definitely happen if we don’t take the time to individually revert them back to you—so please read carefully from this point forward.

To expedite an otherwise lengthy process, Ellora’s Cave will revert the rights of all remaining books back to every author who agrees to the following six terms:
  1. You understand and agree you will receive your reversion letter on or before December 31, 2016 via the email address you return this signed release from. (For those moving their titles to New York, the reversion letter is all the proof you need that your rights are indeed exclusively yours again. Even if you do not plan to go the New York route, I highly suggest keeping your reversion letter accessible; self-publishing is still in its infancy so it’s difficult to guess what will be considered standard proof to vendors in the near or distant future.)
  2. You understand and agree all vendors will be given notice that your books are to be removed from their sites by midnight on December 31, 2016.
  3. You understand and agree you are free to republish your books beginning January 1, 2017 at 12:01 am EST.
  4. You understand and agree to waive any claim/s to outstanding royalty monies owed.
  5. You understand and agree you are permitted to keep the cover art to your books if you choose to, but that you are solely responsible for “stripping” the Ellora’s Cave name and logo/s from the artwork before uploading it to retailers.
  6. You understand and agree that ISBNs are publisher-specific and therefore cannot and will not be transferred to you. (You currently don’t need an ISBN to self-publish through Amazon and New York houses provide their own ISBNs.)
Your Pen Name: _________________________ Your Legal Name: ________________________________
Your Signature: ______________________________________ Today’s Date: ______________________
List of all Titles: ________________________________________________________________________
Please email this completed form to: no later than November 1, 2016 in order to have your title/s included in the master list we are creating for each vendor, which notifies them of all books to be taken down from their sites by midnight on December 31, 2016. The proof of rights reversion letter legally required to republish is separate and will be processed in the order they are received, but will arrive via email no later than December 31, 2016.


Understandably, most everyone was angry, including myself. 

When I was first published with EC well over ten years ago, I was so excited. And over the next couple of years, I gave them several books. 7 in total. It wasn't long after that, probably around 2010, that I started having issues with royalties. 

At first it was just me and a very few others who said anything publicly. Surely I wasn't the only one who saw the problems, but if any others were having issues, they weren't talking, except for a tiny few.

Finally, a couple of years ago, more authors began to talk, blogs were written, then the lawsuit against Dear Author happened and everything exploded. We all know what happened next.

I'd been trying for a while to get my rights back, but they always refused. They claimed I sold too many copies, but yet wouldn't pay me. I kept hitting them with emails, and yes, I got nasty. She even posted them on her bullying site, which I think now has been taken down. There's no love loss there between me, Jaid and Patty. I think I've made it pretty clear what I think of them and their business tactics.

I even went with several other authors to see a lawyer. We were told that EC was in breach of contract, not on just one issue, but three. We had a case, unfortunately, we didn't have the money. Six figures was the estimate. We talked about a possible class action, but there just wasn't enough money there for the lawyers to waste their time, not to mention they assumed they would probably never see a dime of it, so our case was not taken on. Once again, EC would get away with their thievery.

I had pretty much given up and could only hope that they would eventually close their doors. Then the waiver arrived.

At first, I was angry. Seriously? They want me to waive my royalties?? Tell me again how you're not a thief, Jaid?

After thinking about it and talking about with my husband, I decided to go ahead and sign the waiver. In truth, I would never see the money that's owed to me anyway and at least this way, I can finally get my books back and early this morning, I received the rights reversion letter in my email.

I will have the rights back to all my books as of January 1st, 2017, but I will not see a dime of any sales between now and the time they take them down. But you know what? As mad as that makes me, I continue to tell myself that it's almost over.

I will re-cover, re-edit those books and starting January 2nd, I will begin self-publishing them on Amazon, not all at once, but as I get them done. I should have them all out by summer 2017.

Even though I had to give up my royalties, I can at least see a light at the end of the tunnel and I can only hope that eventually, Karma will rule.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

My life through the lens...

Finally got out of the house last weekend and did a little hiking. It wore me out, but it felt good to be out after that horrible week of recovery.

We hiked to Laurel Falls, a small waterfall outside of Gatlinburg, Tn.

The hike is fairly easy and the trail is concrete, or at least the parts that haven't washed away.

The weather was hot, but the trail is pretty much shaded the entire way. And when you get to your destination, the cool airflow off the falls feels incredible...:)

It's a hike I could do over and over again. And probably will once the weather cools off. Fall in the Smokies is absolutely gorgeous..:)

Since I did so well, I'm now challenging you to get out and get some fresh air. Enjoy the summer!



Friday, July 22, 2016


It can certainly get in the way.

And that's why I'm so far behind. Life.

Seems like just when things are starting to level out...Boom. Life knocks you back down again. My latest explosion began with a gallbladder attack and ended with emergency surgery to remove it.

Everyone told me how easy the surgery would be. Well...since I never do anything halfway, the surgical experience for me turned out to be one of the worst I've ever had.

I had a slight complication where they hit my diaphragm and abdominal wall with the surgical trocar. I ended up with a lot of inflammation under my ribcage, which made it incredibly difficult to breathe. At first, they thought I had a pulmonary embolism. CT scan showed the inflammation instead and the surgeon realized the problem.

It took much longer for me to heal, which sucked..:(

I'm finally beginning to feel like myself again and I'm hoping to get back into writing. Hoping.

There are so many projects I want to get finished. I have Daniel's story, I have the next in the Entwined Fates series, I have a new one I'm working on that would probably be considered a new adult, and I also have a romantic suspense menage in mind. It should be a busy fall season for me if I can ever get back in gear..:/

Writing for me is sort of like going to the gym. I have to get back in the habit.

Today's goal....Write just a little. Then tomorrow...write a little more...:)


Friday, June 03, 2016

Summer camping...

We went camping this past weekend, our first with our grandson, Mason. We went to Pine Mountain RV park in Pigeon Forge, Tn. 

Pine Mountain is probably one of the better parks we've been too recently. Each spot had it's own tree and I really like how the lots had pine trees between them for an added bit of privacy.

The bathhouse was spacious and clean. Thank god for that. Some places it seems don't even bother to clean their bathrooms, but this one did.

The pool was nice too and you could also use the pool at the hotel across the street since they were both owned by the same people.

The only thing I didn't like about our spot was the fire pit and picnic table were too close to the road, but that was my own fault for waiting too late to make reservations and I got the last spot available. Next time, I want to try for one of the spots along the river..:)

Other than that, we had a fabulous time. We spent all day Saturday at Dollywood and roasted marshmallows that night by the fire. Our grandson had a blast and we promised to take him on another camping trip soon.

So far, I've really enjoyed the new camper we bought and can't wait for our next adventure..:)


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Excerpt 13...Fantasy

To count down to the upcoming release of Fantasy Seduction, I''ll be posting several excerpts from Fantasy Resort. Although some of the characters appear in all the Fantasy Books, all titles are stand alone. Keep checking back for more...:)

Chapter Thirteen
Four weeks later

“Hello? Are you decent?” Kira asked as she stuck her head into the front door of the tiny cabin, a platter of lobster tails from Earth in her hand.
“If we weren’t would you join us?” Jaimee teased with a smile from the kitchen.
“Watch it, Romeo,” Jerrod replied dryly as he stepped in behind Kira.
“What’s the matter, Jerrod? Afraid she’d like me better?”
“All right,” Nicole chided as she walked in from the patio. “That’s enough from the two of you.”
Jerrod and Jaimee shared a grin.
“It’s such a nice day, I thought we could eat outside,” Nicole said as she grabbed the plate of vegetables and a bottle of wine.
The four of them headed out to the patio. Jaimee had moved the table beneath the wide umbrella tree, allowing them some shade from the warmer afternoon sun.
“Have you heard from Brett?” Jaimee asked as he opened the wine bottle and filled their glasses.
“Actually, he arrived here last night.”
“And already paired off with someone.” Kira smiled behind her glass of wine. “He bid for a slave.”
Nicole raised an eyebrow. “Really? He didn’t seem the type.”
Jerrod frowned. “There’s a specific type that buys a slave?”
“Well. Not really a type. He just seemed more charming than…” Kira scrunched her nose, struggling to find the right word.
“Than a Dom?” Nicole offered.
“Exactly,” Kira said with a smile.
“Well, whatever the reason, he paid a fortune for her. Seemed determined to have her,” Jerrod said.
“Maybe she was the woman of his dreams,” Nicole sighed.
Jaimee snorted. “Maybe buying a slave was the only way he could get a woman.”
“Jaimee,” Nicole scolded. “Brett is a nice-looking man. Any woman would be interested.”
“Any woman, huh?” Jaimee scowled.
Jerrod chuckled. “Somehow I don’t think that was the right thing to say.”
Leaning closer, Nicole placed a soft kiss against his lips. “He has nothing to worry about and he knows it.”
With a smile, Jaimee playfully chucked her under the chin.
“Before he headed to the auction, Brett told me the man you ladies shot will survive and stand trial.” He inclined his head toward Jaimee. “They’ll need you when it goes to trial.”
“I’ll be there,” Jaimee said and reached for one of the lobster tails.
“Have you thought about where you’re going from here?” Jerrod asked as he too filled his plate. “The offer of resort physician is still yours if you want it.”
“I appreciate the offer, but Nicole and I have talked about it and I’m going to return to Earth and teach at Cambridge. I talked to them last week about coming back.”
“England?” Kira asked.
“This cabin is yours, so whenever you want to come back, it’s here.”
Jaimee smiled. “Thanks, Jerrod. I’m sure we’ll be back often.”
“You better be,” Kira grumbled. “Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked Nicole.
“I wanted to wait and be sure that’s what we were doing.”
“What are you two going to do about the bar?” Jerrod asked.
“I’ve been thinking about that and I believe we should make Dax a full partner. What do you think?” Nicole asked Kira.
She smiled broadly. “I like the idea. He’s been with us since the beginning.”
“Speaking of which, have either of you ever seen him participate in the bar?” Jaimee asked.
Nicole pursed her lips, thinking back. “No. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I have. Have you, Kira?”
Kira shook her head, a frown creasing her brow. “No.”
“Maybe the man’s a eunuch,” Jerrod offered as he scooped vegetables onto his plate.
“He’s not a eunuch,” Kira replied with a snort.
Three pairs of eyes stared at her, waiting for her to elaborate. Kira’s gaze moved around the table, looking at each of their shocked and questioning expressions. “What? I walked in on him one morning in the shower.” When they didn’t say anything, just continued to stare at her, she sighed. “Nothing happened. I saw him, I left. That’s it.” She glared at their continued silence. “Moving on.”
Jerrod chuckled and placed a hand on her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. Nicole took the platter Jaimee offered and inhaled the strong scent of butter and spices. She overfilled her plate, piling it full of vegetables and bread. She didn’t think twice about the amount until Jerrod pointed it out to her.
“Nicole, honey. Are you hungry?” Jerrod asked, his voice filled with amusement.
Licking the butter from her finger, Nicole studied the plate before her with a frown. “You know it’s weird, but I can’t seem to get enough to eat this week. I’ve been hungry all the time.”
“Hungry all the time? Last week you were sick every morning. And just yesterday you were complaining your breasts hurt.” Kira grinned. “Honey, are you pregnant?”
Nicole’s hand froze halfway to her mouth, the glass of wine she’d picked up completely forgotten as she stared in shock at her friend. Pregnant? She hadn’t even thought of that.
Jaimee quickly grabbed the wineglass from her hand and set it back down on the table. “Don’t drink that.”
“What?” she asked, slightly confused.
“Nicole, when was your last birth control shot?” Jaimee asked.
“I know I had one when I first arrived.” Glancing at Kira, she shook her head. “But I can’t remember. Did I have any more after that?”
“I don’t know, honey. If you did, you didn’t tell me.”
“Come with me.” Standing, Jaimee grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet. “We’ll settle this right now.”
Kira began to stand as well, but Jerrod grabbed her hand and pulled her back down. “Don’t go in there, Kira. Let them do this alone.”
She turned to him wide-eyed and pointed toward the door that Nicole and Jaimee had just entered. “But she…”
A soft smile touched his lips. “She’ll be fine. Jaimee’s with her. He is a doctor, after all.”
“I know, but…”
Again, she glanced at the door, a frown pulling at her brow. Nicole was her best friend and it just seemed strange not being there.
Leaning forward, Jerrod cupped her chin and turned her so she would face him. “You know, all this talk about babies has me thinking.”
“About maybe having one of our own.”
His finger brushed along her jaw sending a shiver down her spine. Had she heard him correctly? Her heart jumped in excitement at the very idea of having his baby. “You want to have a baby?”
“We talked about this, remember? I told you I wanted lots of babies.” For a second, he looked unsure, almost nervous. “Have you changed your mind? Do you not want any?”
“Jerrod,” she sighed, then smiled from ear to ear as she jumped from her chair and into his lap. He grunted, then laughed as she landed on his thighs and planted a hot, wet kiss on his lips.
“I take it that’s a yes,” he smiled between kisses.
“Yes,” she giggled, then deepened it, sliding her tongue into his awaiting mouth.
He moaned and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer. Her soft hands cupped his face, then moved into his hair as the kiss deepened. His free hand moved up to cup her cheek, softly brushing his thumb across her warm flesh. “I love you,” she whispered.
“I love you more,” he said with a grin.
“But wait.” Suddenly, she sat straighter, her eyes widening with worry. “We can’t raise a baby here.”
“Honey, we’re beyond wealthy. We can raise this baby wherever you want.”
“Really?” she asked, a small smile curving her lips. He was so good to her. Spoiled her, if the truth were known. She was just so thrilled he wanted to have a baby. She’d been thinking about it for a while, but for some reason had been afraid to broach the subject. Unsure that it was the right time.
“Really,” he murmured as he cupped her chin and tugged her face back to his for a slow, deep kiss.
* * * * *
Nicole bit at her lower lip as she watched Jaimee prick her finger then place the blood sample within the med scanner. He looked angry and tense. Was he mad? Did he not want a baby?
The ten seconds it took seemed like forever and she took several deep breaths trying to calm her racing heart. A baby. Would she make a good mother? And what if Jaimee didn’t want it?
The scanner beeped and she watched the expression on Jaimee’s face. He looked almost relieved as he smiled at the scanner. Her heart sank. “I’m not pregnant.”
Jaimee’s gaze shot to hers and he shook his head no. Nicole glanced at the ground, her heart breaking. She’d had no idea how much she wanted kids until just this second.
“No, sweetheart, you misunderstood.” His finger tipped up her chin and she met his shining, happy gaze. “You’re pregnant. We’re going to have a baby.”
“What?” She gaped. “I’m pregnant?”
“Yeah.” He nodded, his smile widening.
He set the scanner on the counter and gently engulfed her in his arms. Once the shock wore off, she laughed. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she held him tight. “We’re having a baby,” she giggled.
“I love you, Nikki,” he whispered in her ear.
“I love you too.” Pulling away, she stared into his eyes. “You’re happy about this right? I mean, it’s not too soon?”
His strong hands framed her face, and he smiled down at her with the most loving expression—it made her chest tighten. “I’ve never been happier about anything in my life.” He inclined his head toward the patio. “How about we go share the good news?”
She returned his smile with one of her own. “Yeah.”
Arm in arm, they walked back out to the patio, ready to share the news with their friends. Kira was on Jerrod’s lap, the two of them engaged in a slow kiss that made Nicole grin. Jerrod’s hand rested on the side of Kira’s cheek, his other at her back, holding her close. They were so cute, so perfect together.
Jaimee cleared his throat, catching their attention. “We can’t leave the two of you alone together for five minutes.”
They broke apart slowly, as though not the least bit embarrassed or upset that they’d been caught. Kira smiled at Jerrod dreamily before turning back to Nicole. With a start, she sat up straight. “Well?” she asked.
Nicole smiled, her face she was sure beaming with happiness and pride. “We’re going to have a baby.”
Kira squealed and jumped from Jerrod’s lap. Jerrod grunted as her hand landed on his crotch in her haste to get off him. Jaimee laughed and Jerrod scowled back at him. “Be quiet. I’m already pissed you interrupted.”
“You’re all bark, old man,” Jaimee teased as Jerrod stepped next to him and slapped his shoulder in congratulations.
“Oh, honey. I’m so happy for you,” Kira said as she engulfed Nicole in a hug.
Jerrod hugged her as well, placing a loud, wet kiss on her cheek, making her laugh.
She was still laughing when Kira grabbed her hand and tugged her toward the table. “Come back and eat. You need to feed that baby.”
Nicole sat back down in her chair and placed her hand over her stomach. A baby, she thought in wonder.
“Something else to drink for the mother-to-be,” Jaimee said as he placed a glass of tea in front of her. Sitting, Jaimee leaned over and kissed her cheek. She smiled at him and softly touched the side of his face with her hand.
She had everything she would ever need. The love of her life, a baby on the way, and two of the best friends she could ever hope to have.
Life was perfect.
The End