Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pandora: The Escape


Rodhan Apera and Emilee Utla are foster sisters and best friends.  They along with 6 other children are living in a special foster home with Mama Gia, who has been chosen because of her nurturing loving heart and her special ability to bring out the best in the unconventional children in her care.

When newcomer Mason arrives in town he threatens the lives of the children in her care, Mama Gia is forced to tell all of juvenile residents who they really are and how they came to be living with her.

She also has to take Rodhan and Emilee aside and tell them why Mason is hunting them and how they can protect themselves and possibly save the entire universe from the destruction of his wrath.

But when Mason delivers a devious present to Rodhan, will all of the preparation they endure be for naught? 

Chapter 1

Rodhan Apera and Emilee Ulta, along with the other child residents, walk out of the kitchen of the group home they live in with 6 other abandoned and unwanted kids.  The children living there range in age from 11 to 16 years old and the girls both being 13 years old share a room in the house.
Petting the menagerie of exotic animals on their way out the door, the brood bids farewell to each beastly companion that lives with them.  "Bye Calypso, bye Bartleby, bye Cali (short for Calliope),” they call out.  “Bye Shiloh and Sholoh,” they say as the pat the two enormous Xoloitzcuintli hounds, who are the size of adolescent male lions, who are sitting by the front door as if guarding the residents from the evils and ills of the natural and supernatural world. 
“Bye Dréa,” is whispered to their Alaunt, as she rests in the hallway leading to the front door.
“Bu-bye Günter,” they each say in a baby voice as they walk pass their pet Catahoula Leopard dog
“Bye Titi (short for Nefertiti),” all of the children pause and kiss the snout of the Afghan hound for good luck, peace and calm.  Emilee and Rodhan are the last to pay their respect to the exceptionally large but extraordinarily gentle animal that watches over and protects them.  They each separately place their forehead against his, take a deep breath and brace themselves for the day ahead. 
It had become a tradition for the kids to individually place their head against the head of one of the Xoloitzcuintli hounds and the Afghan hound before embarking on their day.  The practice gives them a sense of peace and security that none of the children get from anyone or anything else.  Even though they do not understand where the serene feeling comes from, none of them want to discontinue with the ritual.
All anyone knows is that the dogs balance the children in a way that only animals can, and no one is willing to question or change the routine that has worked for so long.      
Little did they know that the dogs were able to sense their moods and transfer their protection to their wards, if necessary, calming the children and allowing them to leave the home in peace.
“Bye Mama Gia.  Bye bye Mama G,” they say last, blowing a kiss to the 6’ tall, dark-skinned woman that is walking along behind them as she always does, escorting them to the door for one last goodbye.  The children separate at the curb and go to their different schools; Rodhan and Emilee make their way down the sidewalk to the middle school they attend, chatting about the things they like and dislike.  At the front door their ‘mother,’ lovingly referred to as Mama Gia or Mama G by all of the children, watches them walk arm in arm.  She smiles as she sees the bond between the two sisters of the soul as clearly as she sees the morning dew on the grass. 
A chilling wind blows across the front lawn, causing Mama Gia to tense up as her other-worldly senses take over, fearful that they have been found.  There is only one entity that causes her blood to freeze and a cold sweat to break out over her entire body.  There is only one thing that she’s afraid of, that the secret that they all have been harboring for years has been discovered and that she and her babies are in grave danger.  There is only one being that can do harm to her and the life she has made for the children of her heart.
“Not while I live and breathe, you contemptuous hoodlum,” she growls as she steps out of the house into the front yard.  Focusing her energy on her hands, she begins to rub them together furiously. “You will not get to my children; not without a war.  I have stopped your heinous plot before and I will do so again.”  Mama Gia rubs her hands faster and faster as smoke appears to rise from them.  Then, bending down, she grabs a handful of dirt and cups it in her steaming hot hands.  After mumbling a few words, she blows out a puff of air, causing the dirt to float out and encase the house she and her makeshift family live in.  She then swiftly repeats the process and eyeing the children off in the distance, she blows the dust towards them, cloaking them in a protective layer of her life’s blood, the ripe red Earth beneath her feet.   
Mama Gia, her pulse pounding and her breath coming fast, turns and enters the house, knowing that she and the other guardians that live there need to prepare for the upcoming battle.
“Guardians assemble,” she calls out as she closes the door on the outside world and encloses them in a masque of impenetrable seclusion.  “He is here, he has found us,” she says as the door slams close.  “I can feel his presence.  We need to prepare for the worse and get ready to move.  We have a plan of action for just this eventuality and we need to set it in motion.”
Rodhan and Emilee look around them, startled at the sudden wind that descended on them and the cloud of dust that seems to cling to them like a second skin.  “Do you feel that?” Rodhan asks as she brushes at her clothing and hands.  “It’s like the dirt has gotten under my clothes.  It is disgusting.”
“I know.  I feel it too,” Emilee adds, rubbing at her jeans, a frown marring her face.  On the rest of the two mile walk to school Rodhan and Emilee talk about their upcoming classes and other happenings in the school, forgetting about the puzzling dust storm that momentarily descended on them. 
“You know that Jones likes you,” Emilee said teasingly to her sister of the soul, “I do not know why you pretend that you do not see how he looks at you.  And he is always at your locker, wanting to ‘help’ you,” Emilee said as she made air quotes and a comical face.   
“Because he does not ‘like me,’ as you say, he is just a helpful boy,” Rodhan argues weakly as a blush creeps up her dusky neck to her cheeks.  “I mean, he is on the basketball team, for crying out loud.  Why would he be interested in me?”
Emilee went from teasing to irritated in a flash, “Uh, because you are pretty and smart and nice.  Duh!”
“Yeah, but he is totally babelicious and can date just about any girl in the school.”
“Well then, it might as well be you then, huh?” Emilee answered smugly as she grabs her friend around the neck and briefly hugs her.  They continued to school talking about less volatile topics, completely unaware that they were being watched from afar.
Off in the distance, behind a crumbling building he watches the girls as they walk side by side down the busy roadway.  He can sense that she could be the one he has been searching for for eons.  But there’s something blocking his usual perception, a cloak of some sort covers both of them.
“Ugh,” he mutters quietly to himself, “I can’t get a good read on them.  I had it for a second and now it is gone.”
Looking around to see if anyone is watching him, he opened all of his senses to detect if he has been found out.  “Who is blocking me; trying to confuse me?  I do not know who you are, but I know that you are here.  I can sense it, I can smell it.  I can smell you.”
Taking in another deep breath of air as he closes his eyes, the man tastes the essence of the cloaking spell.  He traps the scent on his pallet and in his brain.  “I can smell your fear and desperation.  Your little parlor tricks will not stop me.  I will find her and destroy her.”
Turning and looking at the backs of Emilee and Rodhan he growls, “And then I will find you and make you pay for your duplicity and deceit!  You and your conspirators will regret banding together against me.”
Disappearing in a puff of acrid black smoke, the man moves to put his plan into motion.
As Rodhan and Emilee finally reach Huntington Middle school, a black cloud suddenly blows over them and the school.  A bolt of lightning flashes and thunder rolls over their heads, causing the girls the squeak in surprise and run for the cover of the school building.  Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the cloud dissipates and the bright sunlight breaks through once again. 
“Wow, that was weird,” Emilee comments as she shakes her head.
“Yeah, freaky,” Rodhan agrees as a shiver passes over her body. 
As the friends enter the school Emilee with the usual spring in her step, but Rodhan’s mood changes.  She follows behind Emilee slowly, her mood suddenly somber, more morose than normal.  The girls, although the best of friends and what they term soul-sisters, are as different as night and day.  Rodhan is very serious, with an occasional burst of teenage angst and merriment, while Emilee sees the joy and laughter in everything, and seldom takes anyone or anything seriously.  But, as different as the girls are, their sisterly bond is stronger than that of blood related siblings. 
“I hate this,” 13 year old Rodhan complains as she walks down the hall of her school with Emilee.  Rodhan’s tawny face twists into a grimace as Emilee’s smile brightens thinking of the class they are about to enter. 
“Why are you so happy?” Rodhan grumbles.
“Because I love Greek and Latin Studies, you know that,” Emmie replies.
“Well I hate it and Etymology as well,” Rodhan continued to grouse.  “They are both boring and snooze worthy.  Why do I need to know about a bunch of ridiculous Greek gods anyway?  It’s not like they are roaming the Earth now.  Who wants to learn hear about ancient societies long buried under sand and rubble?  I don’t. 
And Etymology, really? What’s the purpose of learning where words originate?  All I am doing is learning a bunch of words that I will never use, because Latin is a DEAD language.”
“You are so overly dramatic,” Emilee says on a sigh.  “You might think that it is ‘boring and snooze worthy’” she adds air quotes to emphasize her point, “but you are acing both classes.” As well as every other class you take, she adds under her breath.  “So let’s just go inside so you can make yet another perfect score for the day.”
“Hi Mr. Turnbull,” Emilee and Rodhan greet their teacher as they enter their classroom and sit in their assigned seats.
“Good morning ladies,” their teacher replies as the bell rings for the class to begin.
Just as Mr. Turnbull is closing the door, a hand grabs the door and pulls it open.  Startled, the teacher turns and looks questioningly at the person standing in the hall.
“Yes, can I help you?” he asks the young man standing in front of him.
“Yes sir, my name is Mason Conroy and I’m in this class, I think.  I’m new here; today is my first day.”
“Okay, come on in and let me see your schedule.”  As Mr. Turnbull steps aside he allows the students in the room to get their first look at the new kid in their class.  The girls all gasp and the boys grunt in agitation, because Mason Conroy is very handsome; some might even say beautiful.  His sky blue eyes are framed by extra long eyelashes.  His wavy blond hair is brushed back and just touches his shoulders.  His pearly white teeth accentuate a fabulous smile as he scans the classroom full of people watching him; everyone except the two girls who had entered the class right before him.  They were busy arranging their desks for the lesson at hand.  Mason’s eyes stop on a few people then finally come to rest on Emilee before his eyes shift and he stares unblinkingly at Rodhan.
Rodhan, feeling his eyes on her, looks up at the newcomer.  She shivers and goose bumps cover her arms and legs.  As a feeling of fear and foreboding fills her body, she instinctively reaches out for her best friend and soul-sister, Emilee.    
“What?” Emilee whispers, startled at being grabbed so tightly.  “What’s wrong?”  Emilee moves her gaze from her desk to where her friend is staring.  “Oh my,” she whispers, as she too feels an uneasy sensation overcome her body.  Emilee pats Rodhan reassuringly on the hand, their solidarity bond giving them both a warm feeling of confidence.
Mason stares at Emilee and Rodhan sure that one of them is the girl he has been searching for.  As he looks over all of the occupants in the room, he is surer by the moment that he has found who he is looking for.  And once I have you, he thinks to himself, I will take you to that evil hag and she will have no choice but to do as I say. 
“Alright young man,” Mr. Turnbull speaks, breaking into Mason’s thoughts and releasing the tension from the room.  “It looks like you are supposed to be in this class.  Take a seat so we can get started.  Class,” the teacher turns and addresses the rest of the student body that is in the room, “This is Mason Conroy.  He’s new to our school and I hope you all will make him feel welcome and at home.”
Rodhan and Emilee look at each other with trepidation in their faces, Not me, each of them seem to say as they subconsciously shrink away from him, watching as he chooses one of the open seats in the classroom.  Mason walks to and sits in seat behind Emilee, three rows back, giving him a perfect unobstructed view of Rodhan’s profile and Emilee’s head. 
It is you.  I know it is.  I can smell her essence all over you.  Mason pauses as he scents something else.  Guardians?  Is that who I smell?  Is that why I have had the devil of a time finding you?  And what else is that I sense?  Are there more OlympiTitans about?  They were supposed to have been eliminated; expunged off the face of this and every planet.  The foul odor of their tainted breeding has been burned into my brain.  I will find you and I will make sure to end your tainted bloodline, forever.  Rage fills Mason’s body as he thinks about the subterfuge and disloyalty of his subjects, so much anger that his ice blue eyes turn almost black with emotion.  When I find out who has been protecting you, they will pay.  Those who have sheltered you, along with your cursed mother and anyone else who has stood in my way all of this time.
The room shakes as lightning flashes brightly outside the classroom windows and thunder cracks. 
“Ahhh,” one of the girls shrieks as she puts her head on her desk and covers her ears.
They will ALL pay!  Anger rolls off of Mason in palpable waves as he continues to shoot daggers with his eyes alternating between Rodhan and Emilee.
Rodhan and Emilee squirm uncomfortably in their chairs.  First Emilee looks back suddenly, then Rodhan follows suit.  “It feels like someone is behind me, touching me neck,” Rodhan whispers.
“Me too,” Emilee replies, her normal smile replaces with a furrowed brow and a frown.  “It’s creepy!  What is going on?  What is happening?” she whispers back.
“I don’t know, but it’s really creeping me out.”   Rodhan looks behind her again and catching Mason staring intently at her.  His ice blue eyes are shooting daggers of hatred at her.
Shivering, she whispers to Emilee, “The new boy is staring at me.”
Emilee looks back to see that Mason has not taken his eyes off of Rodhan, and he is indeed staring at her best friend.  He is evil, a voice whispers in her head.  Beware of him; he means you harm.  DANGER!  Just then Mason quickly shifts his malevolent gaze from Rodhan to Emilee, causing her to gasp audibly.
“Ladies, quiet,” Mr. Turnbull snaps, as he turns to look at Rodhan and Emilee. 
Emilee and Rodhan sat perfectly still for the rest of the class, not daring to look at Mason again.  But Rodhan could feel the cold hard stare of his ice blue eyes on her back.  Even though she did not look at him again, she knew he was watching her.  It felt as if the cold icy hand of Thanatos himself was raking down her scalp and back.
While Rodhan and Emilee are in school, the guardians, as commanded by Mama Gia, assemble in the kitchen of the vast house to discuss the approaching storm.  “Change,” Mama Gia says to the people and animals in the home as she walks into the roomy kitchen.  At her command, the collection of animals, the cynanthropes, shifts into their human forms and the adults morph into their godly bodies.  Mama Gia herself transforms from her human frame to her goddess form, Gaia the Mother Earth goddess.
To accommodate the sheer massive size of the god beings in the room, the kitchen takes on a different shape, at a thought from Gaia.  It transforms from the modest kitchen of a group home to a grand hall, complete with vaulted ceilings and a meeting table.
In her human body, Mama Gia is an imposing 6’ tall but when she changes into her godly figure, her imposing body blocks out the sunshine with its magnificent size and her presence fills the room with a commanding aura.
There’s a hum in the room as the godly beings whisper amongst themselves, trying to figure out why they have been ordered to change into their true forms during the day, a time when it has been forbidden to transform.  They are only allowed to change under the cloak of darkness so as not to be discovered by the ones that they are protecting or the ones that would cause them and their charges harm. 
Gaia takes her place at the head of the table while the other beings seat themselves in their usual spots. 
“Mother,” Calliope who had shifted from her Saluki form, had entered the room after Gaia had made her pronouncement, speaks first, “what is the problem?” she asks as she sits on the edge of her seat, tension etched on her face.  “You have forbidden us to transmogrify in the house during daylight hours.”
“Had you been her on time you would know what the problem is Calliope.  Your perpetual tardiness will be the death of us all,” Gaia chastises the cynanthrope as she sits in an empty chair.
Frustrated at having to begin again, Gaia repeats herself for Calliope’s benefit.  “I believe that Zeus has found us,” Gaia speaks solemnly to the assemblage.  “I can feel his ominous presence near.” 
There is an audible gasp in the room as the deities think about the repercussions of the head of all beings finding their location and the children.  They all know of his decree to dispose of all of the OlympiTitan babies, children who are the product of an Olympian and Titan.  When it comes to light what they have done, his anger will know no bounds and the punishment he metes out will be new and inventively horrifying. 
“What does this mean?  Do we flee or stand our ground and fight?” Bartleby, the guardian Rhodesian Ridgeback asks, cracking his knuckles and neck in preparation for a fight.
“To fight is futile.  With but one swipe of his hand, we will be wiped off the face of this and all other worlds!” Mystic the Sphinx cat replies, dread and fear filling her agile feline-like body as she thinks of the vengeance that will be exacted on them when the king of the gods locates them and sees the depths of their disobedience and betrayal.
Her sister Sphinx cat Jade disagrees, “But to give in and wait docilely for him to come and eradicate us and those left in our care is not within the realm of possibility either,” determination filling her face as she prepares to do whatever is necessary to protect her charges.  Then as she calculates all the different scenarios that could occur, confusion warps her beautiful face and she is at a loss for a successful solution. 
The cacophony of voices rises and more questions than answers are thrown out into the fray.  Gaia raises her hand and everyone stops, midsentence, and awaits her words of wisdom. 
“We will not flee, we will not budge.  We were sent here by the Queen and the Former to protect the children and that is what we will do.”  Gaia looks around the table and chooses her champions.  
“We had planned for this eventuality and we will begin at once.  We have to prepare the children for the upcoming altercation,” she tells the group.  “They are the only ones who can stand against Zeus and survive.  And Rodhan and Emilee, solely, are the ones who have the power to defeat him.  None before or since have been blessed with that strength.”
“So we have to tell them!  We have to tell them who they are and where they come from,” Sholoh and Shiloh, the Xoloitzcuintli guardians, speak at the same time. 
“We have to tell them WHAT they are,” Nefertiti, the Afghan hound guardian, clarifies.
“I know.  Training will start today.  I will tell the children the bare facts and you all will train them for combat,” Gaia decrees.  “I will also take Rodhan and Emilee aside and tell them who they really are.  They need to be prepared for battle.”
“Nefertiti, you will tutor Rodhan and Emilee in the art of spell casting and how they can work together to defeat Zeus; if it comes to that.
Shiloh and Sholoh, you two will train them in hand to hand combat.  The rest of you will take your wards and teach them how to use their gifts.”      
“Mystic, Jade,” Gaia turns to the two women she trusted most with the task of reconnaissance, “you will go out and track who I am sensing.  We need to know for sure that Zeus is about.  If you can determine how much he knows, that will be even better.”
The women smile malevolently as they mentally plot how to track the head of the gods without being caught themselves.  “This will be fun,” Jade whispers.  “This is not a game,” Mystic whispers in response.  “Our mission on this planet is to protect those children, to keep them safe from the evil intent of Zeus and his followers.  We will not fail.”
“Aetos,” Gaia calls out, pausing as her words flow into the air beckoning her ever-watchful protector agent.  The air temperature immediately drops and a frisson of electricity passes over everyone’s skin making their hair stand on end with the static electricity that suffused the air.  The lights flicker momentarily and when everything returns to normal a giant eagle is standing before them, surveying them with its beady eyes.  The assembled guardians do a double-take at the speed with which he appears.
“For such a large creature, he moves with great skill and covertness,” Bartleby whispers to no one in particular.
“Such stealth,” mutters Mystic, envy seeping through her words as she shifts in her chair.
“Aetos go to Prometheus,” Gaia continues speaks as if none of the guardians had uttered a sound.  “Tell him that we have been found, that I have sensed the presence of Zeus himself and that we are preparing the children for the end.”
“Yes Mother Gaia, as you will,” the humongous eagle answers shocking those present with his ability to comprehend and speak to their leader.
Startling the assembled group she adds, “Send your convocation here to protect the children; one per child should suffice.  We will have need of their special skills.  Also send one to the third child, he is with the foster mother and need protection as well.”
“We do not need any help protecting our protégés,” Bartleby complains.
“I do not want some bothersome eaglet around, spying on me and watching me train the children,” Calliope adds.
“It is an insult to suggest that we cannot guard the children on our own,”   
“Who is ‘the third?” Nefertiti whispered to the brother Xoloitzcuintli hounds.
“They will be here and at the ready, Mother Gaia.,” Aetos pledges.  “My offspring will do your bidding and protect the OlympiTitan young.”  Aetos lowers his large eagle head in a bow then with a flap of his gargantuan wing, he disappears as swiftly as he appeared, leaving nothing behind but a puff of wind and a cold chill in the air.
The guardians at the table grumble in discord at having the care and safety of their charges placed in the hands, or claws, of another. 
After Aetos disappears without a whisper of a sound, Gaia turns back to the guardians that are still assembled around the grand table.  “Do not forget your place.  Yours is not to reason why I enlist the help of the avian armament; yours is to do as I bid.  My main concern is the safety of the children that we have been blessed to raise and defend – with our lives if necessary. 
The Queen and the Former have both entrusted us with their most prized possessions, not to mention the other Olympians and Titans.  When the order went out to dispatch the OlympiTitan young, we were called into service.  Do not question your call to duty, just serve the greater good with honor and Hera will reward your diligence.       
Now, you have your orders,” she growls, anger at being discovered by the one entity she did not want knowing their location permeating her words with rage, “go prepare for the return of the children.  We have to train them quickly and I do not know how much time we have before Zeus turns up here, ready to eviscerate us all.”
As the guardians disperse and turn back into their mortal forms, Gaia morphs into her Mama Gia body and leaves the now normal sized kitchen.  “I could have waited another two lifetimes before this happened.  We are not prepared to deal with this,” she mutters as she walks down the hallway. 
“But you should have been,” Calypso whispers, her voice floating down the hall, buzzing around Gaia’s ear like a meddlesome fly. 

For the rest of the school day, Emilee and Rodhan felt as if they were being watched, but whenever they looked, there was no one around.  A feeling of discomfort settled over them like an itchy blanket, causing both girls to feel ill-at-ease in their own skin.
When the day is done and the final bell rings for dismissal, Mason watches Rodhan and Emilee from an alley as they walk down the street towards their home.  “You thought you could hide her from me Hera, but we both knew that that was impossible.  One of you is the one that I seek, and I will find out who you are.”  With a malicious smile on his face, Mason shrinks into the shadows and plots his revenge.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Introduction To The Author

Hello readers

I am posting multiple books on this website, in multiple genres.  I currently have a Y/A fantasy on the site and an 18+ romance as well.  I will soon post a Children's book and a sequel to the 18+ romance.

I will post the type of book before each snippet so that there isn't any confusion about what you are reading.

Thank you for coming to my blog and enjoy whichever book you choose to partake.

The Khaos Series - Khaos' Betrayal (synopsis)
            Khaos is the creator of the universe; a domain she constructed of her own never-ending body.  On her surface are tattooed the constellations and starry formations that make up the night sky.  When she made the cosmos, she did so with the intention of passing her beautiful creation down to her progeny.  As time passed, she was more and more unwilling to turn her work and love over into the hands of her children, gods she was sure would not care for it in a reverent and precious manner.
            Khaos decided to keep her universe under her control and traps her children within her subconscious, much to their horror and ire.  They rant and rail against their imprisonment and plot ways to escape and exact their revenge for eons of suffering.  Khaos fights to contain the gods that are attempting to get out and assume their rightful place in the universe.  The battle she is fighting within her body and conscience causes her to lose control of the galaxies that paint her beautiful form.  Her neat and orderly cosmos has gone to ruin because she cannot control both realities.
            But then, after hearing the whisperings of her daughter Gaea, she succumbs to her conscience and decides to release one god at a time and train him or her in the way they should run the realm.  Khaos makes a choice of the first of her successors to emerge and...BAM, all hell breaks loose, literally.
            Some of the gods she has held captive for eons escape and want not only their part of her realm, but her hide as well.  They want vengeance for their imprisonment and retribution for their stolen sovereignty.  Alone and fighting a losing battle, Khaos is captured and tortured by Okeanos, Eurynome, Sporades and Ophioneus.  Khaos finds hope in the immature and naive goddess, Eurynome, but she must first convince Eurynome to trust her and allow her to escape.
            Torn between her allegiances to her fellow gods and the visions of the past and future she has been allowed to see, Eurynome must make a gut-wrenching decision of who to align herself with.  Determined to do what is best for herself and the universe, Eurynome decides to trust her instincts and follow a course that ensures that the universe is a thriving and prosperous realm.

            Complete at over 91,000 words, The Khaos Series - The Betrayal is a young adult fantasy novel based on mythological characters. 

The Hotel King and His Lingerie Queen

18+ romance/BWWM/BWW
this book contains some scenes of a sexual nature and adult language.  18+ is required before reading this novel.
standalone novel with a guaranteed HEA and no cliffhangers.

The Hotel King and His Lingerie Queen

Chapter 1
          Joshua had just finished his morning run to his workplace; he thoroughly disliked working Saturdays.  Hell, he was the boss, so why should he?  Because he had not finished looking over the proposal for the renovations he wanted done to the hotel, and he still needed to choose a design for the new building being constructed in Madrid, Spain; both of which were due to be discussed in a meeting early Monday morning.  So, having decided to incorporate his work duties with his physical needs, he had run from his penthouse on Billionaire’s Row to his hotel, and he was pleasantly exhausted.  Tall and slim, his athletically muscular  body drew the eyes of the patrons entering the posh hotel he was approaching, but he was focused on his end goal; he had work to get to, then he could have a leisurely weekend.  He was covered in sweat, but he felt energized, running always helped to clear his mind and get his blood pumping.
            Smiling as the endorphins surged through him, Joshua walked up to the entrance of his grand hotel.   
            “Morning Bob, how’s it going?” he queried the doorman on duty, extending his smile to Bob as he walked through the door that was being held open for him.
            “Mornin’ Mr. Johnson.  Everything’s fine so far.  Good day for a run?” Bob replied then asked a question of his own.
            “Yeah, it is” Joshua called out as he continued into the lobby.  “It’s nice out, not too hot, but it’d be a better day if I didn’t have to come into work,” he added wryly.
            “Yeah, I know what you mean.  But I don’t have a choice of when I work a weekend shift.  You do!” Bob mumbled under his breath, not wanting to say anything that would get him on the hot seat, but unable to refrain from making the sardonic and mildly sarcastic reply.  Joshua, not hearing Bob’s soft reply, continued on his mission and briskly walked over to the concierge on duty to consult about a new car service that had just been put under contract.
            Speaking to himself, Joshua stopped at the concierge desk, “I’m going to get in and out of here as quickly as possible.”
            “Huh, what was that, sir?” Danny, the head concierge asked, momentarily looking up from the tags he was sorting. 
            “Nothing, Danny.  I was talking to myself,” a distracted Joshua replied.  “Since I’m here today I wanted to talk to you about...” Joshua trailed off as a bevy of beauties passed in front of him.  He stood beside the concierge desk watching the procession of tall, attractive, full figured women walk self-assuredly towards the function hall, and they were being led by the most captivating woman he had ever seen. 
            She was tall and elegant with skin the color of perfectly caramelized sugar.  She was shapely for sure, curving in all the right places.  Her hair, pulled back into a neat chignon, was dark with hints of red that glowed like fire when the light hit it just right and it was curly, very curly.  He imagined running his hands through it, caressing it, pulling it; would it be soft or coarse to the touch?  He couldn’t wait to find out.  Her eyes, zeroed in on her destination, were round and light, but he couldn’t tell the exact color, and her cute little nose just begged to be kissed.     Joshua looked at her lips, and licked his own in anticipation; juicy and full, he could see getting lost in kissing her and loving every second of it.  His imagination pressed ‘play’ on a movie in his mind, starring him and her featuring all of the naughty things he wanted to do with her lips and what he wanted those lips to do to him.   
            You are luscious!   He thought to himself.  Like a ripe, succulent peach and I can’t wait to take a bite.  Joshua’s mouth watered at the thought of taking tasty nibbles of her and his body responded by hardening and getting ready for action. 
            Walking with purpose and exuding confidence, she was sex in a pair of stilettos.  The smile on her face had a impish tilt to it, telegraphing that she knew what every man in her vicinity was thinking when they saw her; I want you...laid out... on my bed, begging for me to take you, hard and fast all...night...long. 
            Her curves called out to him, beckoning him to hold and caress them.  Her caramel skin looked as smooth and delicious as the candy for which it was named and he could imagine running his tongue along the delectable curve at the arch of her back to see if she tasted as sweet.  She had a body that was made for sex; hot, sweaty, mind-blowing sex,  His eyes glazed over as he had visions of that body beneath him, writhing in delight, its owner screamed his name as he made her cum again and again and again.  Joshua, adjusting himself to accommodate his growing erection, shook the thoughts from his head, for the moment.  He knew that, in his running shorts, he was about to show everyone in the lobby what his daddy gave him.  
            “Who is that?” he asked the head concierge Danny, nodding his head in the direction the women were walking. 
            “Who, sir?” replied the concierge, looking to see to whom Joshua was referring.
            “The tall woman, over there, in the skin tight black pants and the white shirt bursting at the seams,” Joshua said, lust filling his thoughts again.
            Danny, laughing huskily at his boss’ description, answered carefully, “That’s Ms. Tierney, sir.  She’s the owner of SJ Lingerie.  They have a booth set up for the convention.”
            “Um,” was the only reply Joshua gave, as he continued to watch the lovely woman make her way across the lobby and through the throngs of people milling around.  Beautiful, confident, smart AND sexy as hell...just my type of woman, Joshua thought to himself.  Concluding his business with the concierge, Joshua meandered over to the function hall to take a peek at the lovely Ms. Tierney and her exquisite curves, but feeling the rapidly cooling sweaty shirt he was wearing, he turned on his heal and walked to the bank of elevators instead.  Completely forgetting the main reason he was in the hotel on a Saturday, Joshua commented, “I need to get showered and changed and back down here as quickly as possible so I can introduce myself to that lovely morsel.”  
            Sarah-James walked through the lobby of the hotel towards the function hall; samples in hand and order forms at the ready.  All of her other paraphernalia had been deposited earlier and was awaiting her arrival at the venue.  Trailing behind her were her models, tall plus sized women for whom she tailored her line of everyday and special occasion lingerie.  With a confident smile on her face and a swagger to her walk, she knew that she was going to wow the buyers, other vendors and her audience. 
            She entered the hall and escorted her ladies to a corner area decorated to her specifications, expelling a nervous laugh when she saw the catwalk had been completed.  Sarah-James wanted everyone to get the feeling they were in Milan, Italy at a haute-couture fashion show, and from what she saw her vision had come to fruition.  She pulled back the heavy curtain blocking off the backstage area and showed her models the dressing area where they were to get changed.  Rubbing her hands together in excitement, she turned and smiled broadly in anticipation of the coming event.  She knew her designs were phenomenal and from the comments on her website,, Sara-James knew that she was going to get a record number of sales and orders.  The web was abuzz with how sexy yet comfortable her lingerie was and there were hundreds upon hundreds of requests for tickets to and the location of the event.     
            “This is going to be fabulous!” she said in a sing songy voice with a British accent still sporting the huge smile on her face.
            “I know, right?” Sarah-James’ cousin and seamstress, Sable, replied with a wide grin on her face as well.  “Did you see the number of women milling around in the lobby?  They have got to be here because of your wonderful designs.  You are an artiste unparalleled.  They’re just waiting for the convention to start so they can gobble up your products; buy buy buy...”  Sable could not contain her excitement as she sang the words to the tune of a popular pop song from the year 2000, then she began to dance as if the song was playing in her head. 
            Sarah-James looked at her companion and laughed, her honey brown eyes dancing with delight.  “You are utterly insane, you know that right?”
            Scrunching her nose at Sarah-James, Sable replied, “Yeah, but you love me, cuz.”  Then she batted her emerald green eyes at her and burst into joyous laughter.
            It was true, Sarah-James loved her cousin dearly, all of them.  Her mother, Afro-Caribbean, and her father, an Irish American, met on vacation, fell in love and still lived in wedded bliss in Great Britain.  Being born and raised in Manchester, Sarah-James was not brought up with her American cousins, but she did spend summers in the state-side.  Every year Sarah-James, her sister and her three brothers, along with their mother and father, would go on holiday to the United States to spend time with the American contingent of the family.  She had been given the privilege to travel to many parts of the US, since her father was one of six Tierney boys and one Tierney girl, and the Tierney clan had spread out to different parts of the US.  So she loved her American relatives very much and enjoyed working with and spending time with her aunts, uncles and cousins whenever she could.
            Sable was the daughter of her Uncle Clive and her Aunt Rosalinda, a hot-headed Cuban who was fiercely protective of her family, and Sable took after her mother in that respect.  Sarah-James thought back to the conversation she had with her aunt and her cousin when she first moved to the United States...
            “Where are you gonna live, Sobrina?” her Aunt Rosa asked.  Sarah-James loved the way Rosa called her Sobrina, niece, like a term of endearment.  “No, you can’t just move anywhere,” she said, wagging her finger and shaking her head at Sarah-James.    
            “Yeah, Prima, you can’t just move anywhere in the city.  Not all of the neighborhoods are safe for a beautiful Chica like you, on your own and all.”  Sable turned to look at her mother, and seeing the worry on her face, she offered up a solution.  “Look, Prima, why don’t you and I find a place to live together, huh?  We can split the rent and keep each other company.  Besides, you know I like sewing and shit like that, so I can help you out with your clothes and shit.”
            “Cuidado con la boca, mi hija.  Watch your mouth!  You know I don’t like it when you use foul language.  But I do think it’s a great idea, mi hija,” Aunt Rosa replied. 
            Sarah-James was stunned by the kindness of the offer and told them so.  “I can’t accept such a generous offer, Aunt Rosa, Sable.  It would be too much of an imposition for Sable to move out of here and find a place with me that we can afford.  Even with the money that Mum and Dad send me, I’ll be on a tight budget.”
            “That’s even more reason to have a roommate, Prima,” Sable said enthusiastically.  “We can split the bills and shit; I’ll still work at Fleetwood and Sons, ‘cuz I mean, fuck, I ain’t givin’ up my job or anything like that, but I can sew for you at night when I get home, you know,” Sable continued, dodging her mother’s outstretched hand swinging in her direction for using foul language in her presence again.  “Mami, you’re sure you’re okay with it, right?” Sable looked at her mother for confirmation that she was alright with Sable moving out of the familial home. 
            After receiving a nod confirming that it was indeed okay to move, Sable turned back to speak to Sarah-James, “I’m good for moving out of here and a getting my own place too.  She,” Sable indicated her mother “keeps hittin’ me for an innocent slip of the fucking tongue.”  Laughing, Sable quickly rose from the table to avoid her mother’s hand once again.
            And just like that, Sarah-James had a roommate and a bit of security.  Truth be told, she had been extremely nervous moving to another country, alone, with no job prospects and only her lingerie designs and a small allowance from her parents to provide her income.  She had come to stay with her uncle and aunt and their brood, her five cousins who still lived at home, temporarily, until she could find a place to stay that she could manage on her tight budget.  Well, now she was going to be able to afford so much more, with her cousin’s income added to her own. 
            Shortly thereafter Sarah-James and Sable were able to find a place to rent that fit their needs perfectly, not too far from Sable’s job or Aunt Rosa and Uncle Clive.  Sable was also able to help Sarah-James get hired on at Fleetwood and Sons, as the receptionist, and while Sarah-James sat at her front desk location answering calls and directing the clientele on where they needed to go, she enthusiastically worked on her designs, fine-tuning them, making them more alluring yet still comfortable.    
            Sarah-James looked over at her flamboyant Latina cousin as she made some last minute adjustments to the bow on a pair of lace panties and smiled; she would be forever grateful to all of her family, especially Sable and Aunt Rosa, for all of their help and support.  Sarah-James’ online lingerie sales had taken off like a wildfire within a matter of a few months and now she and Sable were doing conventions and shows to sell her products.  And while Sable stayed at her job as an insurance investigator at Fleetwood and Sons, Sarah-James was able to quit and run her lingerie business full time, taking orders and shipping from their flat.  She had even found a small manufacturer to construct her lingerie for a very reasonable fee, so now she and Sable were not tasked with the job of sewing late into the evenings anymore.  Of course it helped that the son of the manufacturer was infatuated with her cousin Sasha, and he, Paulie as she called him, would do anything to keep Sasha happy. 
          Sable, after finishing the bow on the panties, began adjusting the clothing on the models as they exited the dressing area, and Sarah-James brought herself out of her reverie.  Shaking her head, she marveled at Sable’s speed and skill; she was an asset to the company and Sarah-James was pleased that they got along so well. 
            “Look Sable, I’m going to go out front to make sure that everything is set up, then I’ll be back to help you with any last minute adjustments that need to be made, okay?”
            “Um hum,” was the only sound that Sable emitted, since her mouth was full of pins and her concentration was on the model standing in front of her with a wardrobe mishap just waiting to happen. 
            Sarah-James pulled back the heavy curtain and exited the backstage area; she had work to do, and it needed to be done quickly.  She adjusted the table where the order cards and catalogs were located.  Next she moved the mini speakers and dock adjusting them so they were at just the right angle.  She looked up to see if her twin cousins Shauna and Róisín had arrived yet, each having given Sarah-James a solemn oath that they would be there to help her man the order table and take care of any sales that were done on-site.  Expelling an irritated breath because of their absence, Sarah-James concentrated on putting the finishing touches on her area.  Everything had to be perfect, from the sales table to the catwalk to the models to the music, and she had just the right playlist on her phone set to go to ensure a good time and maximum sales.      
            Giving the area a final once over, Sarah-James nodded her head in approval.  “Done,” she said softly to herself.  Spinning on her heal, about to return backstage, she glanced around the room at the other booths, busy with people making their final adjustments as well, and saw a handsome, tall dark-haired man leaning on the doorjamb watching her.  Pausing, a blush creeping up her neck into her cheeks, she smiled tentatively at him and he smiled back at her and nodded his head in greeting. 
Channel Sable, she thought to herself.  Don’t be shy, be bold.  Be beautiful.  Be a Tierney.  Broadening her smile and increasing its radiance, Sarah-James raised her hand in a greeting and when she noticed the way the handsome man was heatedly looking at her, her body began to tingle with desire.  He was eyeing her body from top to bottom and back again, and from the look on his face, he liked what he saw, a lot. 
            Instinctively touching her lower lip with the tip of her tongue, she unconsciously bit it lightly.  Sarah-James felt warmth shoot from her belly and travel to between her legs and she tightened her thighs in response, savoring the delicious feeling that was converging there.  She let her gaze travel along his body, and when she saw his growing erection, her panties became saturated with her excitement.  Her breasts tingled and her nipples tightened in anticipation of his wet tongue and soft kisses. 
            The way he was looking at her was having a definite affect on her, and she liked it.  She shifted her body to relieve some of the discomfort she felt from her sexual arousal, inadvertently rubbing her alert nipples against her pristine white button down shirt through her brassiere.  Closing her eyes briefly as the sensation of her top rubbing her breasts ran through her, Sarah-James let out a slight moan of need, reminding her that it had been too long since she had partaken in the pleasures of a man’s body; and what a body this man has, she thought to herself.  It had been a years in fact, since she was last touched by a man, and back then it wasn’t anything that she had wanted to repeat. 
            Andrew, her now ex-boyfriend, had pursued her relentlessly for months and when she had finally consented to date and ultimately consummate their relationship, he was very rough and selfish with her virgin body.  She was only with him twice sexually but she knew that he and his brand of intercourse was not what she wanted, at all.  She had never had the desire to repeat the experience, before now. 
The man standing on the other side of the extraordinarily large room looked to be more competent and more virile than Andrew could ever hope to be.  
            Sarah-James opened her eyes and looked at him once more; she couldn’t take her eyes off of the gorgeous man standing in the doorway, nor did she want to.  His thick chestnut hair was slightly damp and begged to be tousled by her very willing hands; his naturally tanned complexion caused her lips to tingle in anticipation of ravaging him.  She felt drawn to him and all she wanted to do was to close the gap that separated them and kiss his full lips, explore his lovely mouth.  It was as if she was under his spell and she was being compelled to do things she normally would never even contemplate doing with a stranger who was standing across room bustling with vendors preparing for the imminent crowd of people sure to attend the convention that was stating soon. 
            Absently while still biting her lower lip and eyes locked with his, Sarah-James ran her index finger along the v-neck of her blouse, just grazing the tops of her luscious full breasts, imagining his hands there; rubbing and cupping her with his strong powerful fingers.  From behind the curtains, a woman’s voice rang out making Sarah-James jump and the spell between them was broken
            After Joshua left the concierge desk he went upstairs to his suite of offices and took a quick shower to remove the vestiges of his run from his apartment to his hotel.  Moving faster than he ever had before, Joshua finished in record time.  He wanted to make sure that he was able to talk to the exotic chocolate beauty he spotted earlier; he didn’t want to risk her leaving or being scooped up by another man.  Doesn’t matter though, he thought to himself.  As long as she’s not married then she will be mine.  Suitors be warned, I never miss my target, and Ms. Tierney is now on my radar.  Target locked and loaded.  With an almost arrogant smile, Joshua stepped out of the shower, dried and got dressed; all the while he plotted his attack on his captivating prey.
Joshua exited his suite thirty minutes after he entered; cleaned, dressed and ready to impress.  Not once did he even think of the work that he had originally come to the hotel to do; later he would kick himself for his faux pas because he would have to stay late to get the job done.  But for now, he was in a state of blissful ignorance, thinking only of the lovely lady he had seen before. 
He rode the elevator down, whistling to himself, as thoughts of Ms. Tierney floated through his brain.  Not one to have to practice an approach where women were concerned, Joshua went through several ways to introduce himself.  He was, after all Joshua Johnson, one of New York’s most eligible bachelors.  With eyes as blue as the Caribbean sea and a dimpled smile that had melted more than one woman’s heart, Joshua was confident that she would succumb to his infinite charms.   
The elevator reached the ground floor and after shaking the nerves off, he walked towards the function hall to take a look inside.  He had not been in there since it had been transformed for this occasion.  He usually avoided these types of events leaving the set up and break down details to his very qualified manager, but he was curious about the exotic looking woman that had passed through his lobby earlier.  There was something about her that imprinted on him; leaving him with the desire to get to know her, even if all he had done thus far was to see her across a very crowded lobby.
He walked to the entrance of the hall, nodding hello to the bellman standing at the door where the velvet ropes were set up, watching the people in the lobby pass by and answering queries about the upcoming event, and he entered the venue.  There were a dozen or so booths set up with different items on display; from clothing to designer footwear to hats and handmade scarves.  Then he saw the banner for SJ Lingerie.  It was a simple setup, but it was captivating.  Someone had had the bright idea to construct a catwalk, but instead of a regular catwalk it looked like a four-poster bed.   And on either side of a catwalk/bed were large banners hanging down with photographs of sultry looking women in beautifully crafted ladies under things; I would love to see that on the captivating Ms Tierney. 
            Just as he was having visions of slowly removing those items off of Sarah-James curvaceous body, she had appeared from behind a heavy curtain.  She was fussing with papers on a table, bending and stretching her curvaceous body in a way that made her supple ass talk to him through her form fitting slacks; calling out ‘hold me, caress me, smack me.’  Damn, he thought to himself, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment, I could have some fun with that.  
Joshua resumed his not so covert stakeout when she looked up and spied him watching her.  Hesitantly smiling at him, Sarah-James caused Joshua’s heart to miss a beat or two.  Mesmerized, all he could do was smile back at her, as if he were hypnotized, while he gave her luscious body a thorough once over.  Somewhere in the back of his mind registered her tentative wave, which he knew he should return, but his mind was careening in other, more carnal directions.  Nodding in appreciation for the images that were flashing through his mind, he was not aware that she believed him to be nodding a distant hello to her.  Sarah-James’ smile got bigger and bolder and his heart went from missing a beat to a full on gallop.  Man, she has some affect on me.  How does she have this kind of effect on me? he thought to himself.  Then she bit her bottom lip and his only thought was Oh, fuck yes! Nibble on me like that and see what happens, as blood rushed to his groin.
            Libido, the little man inside of him that runs amuck when Joshua gets very aroused, woke from his slumber.  Yea!!! It’s time to play.  Where is she?  Where is she?  Oh, I see her now; the cutie patootie with the great big bootie.  Let me at her.  Rubbing his little hands together salaciously Libido prepared to make his presence known.  He threw Joshua’s sexual instincts into overdrive, eliciting all sorts of visions to flood his brain.  Libido sat and waited patiently for Joshua’s urges to reach their maximum capacity, then he would go down to Joshua’s manhood and ensure that it was fully erect, hard and ready for business.  Then his job would be done.  Libido sat back and waited until Joshua needed him again, basking in the flood of testosterone that was swirling around him.  
            Joshua imagined being the one biting her softly on that lower lip, asking for and gaining entry into her sweet soft mouth.  Dipping his tongue in slowly, savoring the taste of her, getting her body ready for another kind of thrusting invasion.  He had visions of those teeth grazing his skin, traveling down from his neck across his sensitive nipples to his throbbing manhood.  Then she would run her hot wet tongue around his pulsating head, teasing him before her full beautiful lips encased his pulsating rod in her warm waiting mouth. “Um,” was the soft sound that escaped his throat. 
            Thinking his boss was summoning him, the bellman turned his head to answer the query and quickly turned back towards the lobby when he noticed Joshua’s obvious erection and the direction of his gaze.  That ain’t none of my business, he thought to himself, and he took a discrete step away to be less obtrusive. 
            Her nipples, visible beneath her white shirt, hardened and called for him to sooth the ache that was assaulting them; then she shifted and closed her eyes as her top rubbed against her breasts.  She likes to have her nipples touched and rubbed.  Good to know, Joshua thought to himself.  Oh, I’m going to do so much more than that.  
            Lust gripped Joshua by the balls, and refused to relent, when she brazenly ran her finger down the front of her shirt and over the mounds of her soft lick-able breasts.  FUCKKKK!!!!’ was the only word that could come to mind.  Eyes widening and body ready to do some damage to her bodacious frame, Joshua prepared to go to Sarah-James and make her his, by whatever means necessary. 
            Sarah-James felt Joshua’s eyes heatedly looking at her body.  She could see from the look on his face that he was feeling their attraction as well, and glancing down his body, she could see the physical affect he was displaying for the whole world, or at least the hotel, to see; more than double the size of what she had seen just moments before. 
            Damn, he would make a girl bow-legged, she lustily thought to herself, more than willing to accept that challenge.  It’s been too long, she mused.     
            Suddenly Sable called out to Sarah-James from behind the curtain, “Prima, where are you?”  Shaking her head to clear the fog that had formed, Sarah-James broke her connection to Joshua.  Embarrassed at the direction her thoughts traveled, she blushed, dark pink staining her cheeks and neck.  Chastising herself for her wayward thoughts Sarah-James turned to retreat behind the safety of the curtain to do the job she was here for.  Blast it all to Hell, Sarah-James; where did that come from?  Get ahold of yourself old girl.  You have serious business to attend; no virtual sex in your mind with eye-candy man across the room today.  No wait…not just today, any day.  It’s just not done.   
Joshua retired to his office for a little hand to gland combat, to relieve himself of the distress he felt in his pants.  Afterwards, he came up with a plan of attack to get the gorgeous caramel colored Sarah-James Tierney into his bed.
            “Damn it,” she muttered to herself.  “I cannot let myself get side-tracked.  Come on Sara-James, focus,” she muttered to herself as she headed back to where she was being beckoned.  Reaching Sable, Sarah-James said in a clear voice, “Is there a problem?”
            Sable looked up then did a double take when she saw Sarah-James’ face; it was flushed and looked rather peculiar.  “You alright?” she enquired.
            “Yes, I’m fine.  What’s going on?” she replied, her voice filled with agitation.  Feeling guilty for snapping at her cousin, Sarah-James let out a deep sigh, and repeated her question more calmly this time. “What’s going on?” adding a smile to soften the words. 
            Shaking her head, knowing that when Sarah-James wanted to talk, she would talk, and not a moment before, Sable told her what issues had arisen in her absence.  Sarah-James listened to her cousin as she immediately began working on resolving the problems that had cropped up.  Grabbing her sewing supplies and the spare fabric she always kept handy, Sarah-James and Sable worked their magic and nipped, tucked and mended their way through every mishap that occurred.       
            Sarah-James’ alarm went off, startling her; it was her ten minute warning.  “Sable, 10 minutes left.  Quickly finish what you are doing then get ready to send them out on the catwalk then help with the models with their clothing changes.  I’m almost done here so I will get Devon over there.”  Sarah-James nodded in the direction of a model who was more ample than the outfit allowed, causing more cleavage to be exposed than Sarah-James wanted. 
            “No nip-slips today,” she muttered as she finished the last stitch on Marley’s bottom.  “Devon, come here darling.  Let me add a little lace to that bodice.  Wouldn’t want all of the men of New York rushing the stage, now would we, dear?”  Devon laughed at Sarah-James and shook her head. 
            “You see, that’s why I like working with you.  Y’all have such good personalities and are so easy to work with.  You don’t let nothing stress you out,” she said with a bit of a country twang to her words. 
            Sarah-James smiled, thinking of her brief encounter a few moments before and laughed to herself.  Dear, she thought to herself, if you only knew and she quickly added a bit of lace to the edges of the bodice, giving the chesty girl more coverage in the bodice of the lacy nightie.  “That will do you, dear,” she said as she shooed Devon away.  Just as Sarah-James finished the alterations, two more of her cousins popped their heads inside the curtains.
            “Hey, we’re here.”
            “Where do you need us?” 
            Sarah-James looked up to see identical twins Shauna and Róisín starring at her. “It’s about time you two showed up!  You were supposed to have been here a half an hour ago,” she said, letting out an exasperated huff.
            “You’re lucky we showed up at all,” Shauna replied with an exaggerated Irish accent, wagging her plucked eyebrows up and down.
            “We’re not gettin’ paid for this, Lassie.  You might want to be a little nicer,” Róisín added with a thicker accent than her sister, throwing her hands on her hips to emphasize her point.
            Sarah-James looked at the two curly haired blondes, with café au lait colored skin tones, starring at her then she looked over at Sable, who shook her head and held up her hands in surrender; raising her eyebrows Sarah-James commented in an equally thick Irish accent, “Do you believe these two?” speaking to Sable with a laugh in her voice.  “What, they been kissing the blarney stone again, so full of it they are.” 
            Continuing with her Irish accent, Sarah-James said, “Get on with you, go to the table and prepare yourselves for sales.  Mind that you act like proper salesgirls and not the vagabonds that you really are,” turning back speaking to the girls at the curtain. 
            “They’re your cousins.  You wanted to hire them,” Sable was heard muttering under her breath, not even attempting an Irish brogue of her own. 
            With her thick Irish accent still rolling off of her tongue, Sarah-James turned towards Sable, “Well, I’ll be damned if they not your cousins too.  And you damn well didn’t stop me from askin’ ‘em to work with us when we spoke to them on the phone a few days ago.”  All four of the women looked at each other and burst into laughter and the twins exited the area and went where they were instructed.        
            Sarah-James shook her head and laughed a moment longer but knowing it was time to get serious, she cleared her throat and all eyes focused on her.  “Alright, is everyone ready?  Just a couple of minutes left then it’s show time.  I want to see bright smiles and lots of sass.”
            “Ass?  I’ve got plenty of ass,” Nichole called out from the back of the crowd of models, smacking herself on the backside as if to prove her point.
            “Not ASS, Nichole...sass; as in attitude,” Noël said jokingly, elbowing Nichole gently.
            “I gots that too.”  Nichole replied with raised eyebrows and a wiggle in her head.
            Everyone laughed at the stress reliving comedy routine and prepared to go out and WOW the crowd. 
            As if on cue, they all heard hundreds of feet shuffling into the function hall and checking her watch, Sable nodded to Sarah-James, indicating it was time to go.  Sarah-James took a deep cleansing breath and stepped from behind the thick curtains, opening them as she exited the backstage area. 
Sarah-James noted that the majority of the people who were entering the function hall were headed in her direction.  She knew, from the posts on her website, that there were going to be a lot of people there, both consumers wanting to but her products in person and buyers from major department stores looking into supplying their customers with her intimate apparel. 
Filled with excitement and anticipation, she then took three short steps off the catwalk and set her phone in its cradle.  Turning on a funky playlist that was sure to get the attention of the buyers and the consumers in the hall, Sarah-James got ready to promote the hell out of her designs and lingerie. 
            As soon as the music started heads turned in the direction of their display and everyone got quiet.  Sarah-James smiled a secret smile, I knew this would get their attention, she thought to herself and she moved to a small podium to make her speech. 
            While her song played its intro, Sarah-James gave a short introductory speech about herself and her company, emphasizing her desire to make full figured women feel sexy every day.  She wrapped up her speech as the song changed tempo and like clockwork the models exited the backstage area and began to strut their stuff. 
            One after another, beautiful plus sized women walked the catwalk/four-poster bed in Sarah-James’ wonderful designs.  The crowd was transfixed, astonished at the number and variety of delicacies there were available.  Buyers for major stores walked over to the table where the order cards were and took handfuls, to the point where Shauna had to quickly replenish the supply.
            There were also people at the tables buying bits and pieces for themselves, having been notified via the company website that a limited number of items would be available for sale and representatives would be available to take orders onsite.  For the next 3 hours, Sarah-James watched as everything flowed smoothly.  The models, showing a tremendous amount of stamina, worked the crowd like professionals; they smiled, they winked and they worked the audience into a frenzy, sauntering up and down the stage.  Every woman in the crowd, plus sized or otherwise, wanted to wear the under garments that were on display. 
Sara-James was working it as well, talking to the audience, consumers and buyers alike, explaining her designs and highlighting their comfort and versatility.  She had charisma and charm and a business acumen that was enviable, and Joshua watched as she worked her magic on everyone around her.   

Chapter 2
            Joshua, having returned from his office after taking care of his erection problem, was not able to leave the function hall once Sara-James’ fashion show began; after their initial heated glances across the hall, he knew that he had to have her.  Now, watching her in her element, showing her lingerie and promoting it to the audience, he was spellbound once again.  Never before had he met anyone who possessed all of the qualities that he desired in a woman, and now here she was out of the blue, his dream girl.  He wasn’t looking for her, but now that she was here he was going to take full advantage and explore where his heart wanted to take him.  His lust was making way for other emotions; he wanted to get to know her better, to talk to her, to listen to her, just to be in her presence.    
            At 33, Joshua had already begun thinking about his future and who he would settle down with.  Having played the field in his younger days, a lot, Joshua was tired of the games and manipulations that women chose to play.  He was also tired of the empty feeling he had in the morning after he bedded another in an endless line of women ready and willing to jump into bed with him.  He wanted stability, he wanted reliability; he wanted a woman who could stand on her own two feet and do her own thing.  He wanted an intelligent beautiful woman with whom he could have intellectual conversations but he also wanted one who made him rock hard at the mere thought of caressing her heavenly body.  And it looked like Sarah-James Tierney would fit the bill nicely. 
            “She is amazing,” Joshua said to himself, watching her work the crowd and charm anyone who came close to her. 
            Sarah-James was explaining why her designs were so comfortable to one of her online followers when she looked up and saw him watching her again.  Oh, he’s back.  Her heart skipped a beat and she let out a soft, “Oh.”  Taken aback, the young lady she was speaking with said, “Are you okay?  You were explaining about the fabrics you use then you just stopped.”
            Irritated that she allowed the man to interrupt her train of thought, Sarah-James looked at the young lady, gave her a brilliant smile and said, “My apologies for being distracted.  As I was saying...” and she continued with her brief story about where she got her fabrics and why she uses them.  The young lady, impressed with all of the designs and Sarah-James, went over to the table where Shauna and Róisín were working and happily purchased a few items.
            Sarah-James, assured that she had redeemed herself and satisfied her customer, turned in irritation to look for the man who had claimed her attention earlier.  It was damn rude and unnerving to be stared at like an animal on display at the zoo, and she intended to tell him just that.  Turning to look for him... “Oh,” she said as she bumped into his chiseled chest.  My word, but you are gorgeous, she thought to herself, and all of her irritation and admonishments went away like clouds on a windy day.  Out loud she whispered breathlessly, “I didn’t know that anyone was standing there.”  She looked up and found herself drowning in his ocean blue eyes.
            Being 5’9” Sarah-James was used to looking men in the eye, or down on them if she wore her 3” heals, but she was shocked to note that, even in her tallest stilettos, she still had to look up at Joshua; and she liked it.  She liked the breadth of his wide shoulders and the strong biceps she could see beneath his tailored jacket.  Can you pick me up and carry me to your bed or are you all fluff and no substance.  I think you have braided steel underneath this fine suit, and I think you have a wild man underneath you smooth exterior, she thought to herself.     
            Joshua had instinctively grabbed her arms to steady her when they collided, and now he was awestruck.  His nostrils flared, filling with her intoxicating scent, and his jaw tightened.  He wanted to kiss her slightly parted lips and taste her delicious mouth.  His temperature skyrocketed and blood rushed to his lower extremities again as he thought of all of the things he could do to her.  I’m going to taste you; all over, from your glorious mouth down to your wet dripping box.  I’m going to make you writhe in agony as I tongue you, then I’m going to make you cum in my mouth.  I’m going to ride you hard and make you scream my name as I ruin you for any other man.  When I get done with you, you will be begging me for more, he thought lustily, his erection once again making an appearance. 
            Libido sprang into action again.  We gonna make this happen?  Don’t get me moving with no place to go, man.  Let do this.  Let’s jump on this chick and hit it hard; let her know that we are a MAN!!! 
            Sarah-James’ hands rested on his chest, making his muscles jump and his nipples ache for her touch, and her honey colored eyes transfixed him.  Having never seen anyone with eyes the color of honey, Joshua could not stop staring into them, imagining them growing larger with wonder as he undressed in front of her, stroked himself as he brought his hot throbbing tool to her mouth for her to taste.  Stop it, Josh, he thought to himself. 
            No, don’t stop it, Libido fussed, becoming irritated with the slow pace Joshua was moving.  That’s how this works.  You think it, I supply the necessary visual motivation and chemical assistance and you hit it home.  There is no slowing down; there is no break.  There is only CONQUER and PILLAGE.  Come on man, let’s get this shit done.
            Joshua’s mind filled with images of Sarah-James in the various positions he wanted to put her in and thanks to Libido the pictures were vivid and realistic.  It was as if he had already seen her in all of her naked glory and was reliving the experience; and Joshua’s body, not caring if it was live or imaginary, reacted in a very appropriate way.
            Always one to take advantage of an opportunity, Libido was hard at work.  He was ensuring Joshua’s blood flow was going to the right area to ensure that Joshua lasted a long time.  I’m going to make sure that we hit that shit hard.  Hell, by the time I’m done we’ll be able to secure railroad spikes without a sledge hammer.
            Sarah-James emitted another little “Oh,” as if she could see through his oceanic blue eyes into his carnal thoughts, drawing his attention to her lush full lips; lips that begged to be licked and kissed by him.  Oh yes, I can’t wait to see those beautiful lips wrapped around my... 
            “Release me please,” Sarah-James said quietly.                                           
            “Hmm, what?” was all the reply she got because Joshua was still in the midst of his very lascivious fantasy.
            “Will you please let me go?  You still have hold of my arms.”
            This bit of news broke the spell that held Joshua and, releasing her, he took a step back.  Running his hands through his thick dark hair, Joshua opened his mouth to speak to his dream girl. “Sorry,” was all he could come up with.  “I didn’t mean to grab you like that.  I just didn’t want you to fall.”  Idiot, he thought to himself.  You can’t come up with something better than that?  You used to be a ladies’ man, for fucks sake.   Now, when it really matters, you walk around like a dumb fuck with your thumb up your ass!!  DO SOMETHING, before she walks away and you lose her!
            “That’s quite alright,” Sarah-James replied a little too breathlessly.  Really, is that all you have to say for yourself, you twit, she scolded herself.  THINK.  Here is this gorgeous man directly in front of you, looking like he would like to put you on his dessert plate, and all you say is Duh Duh Duh.  Think of something clever to say, girl.
            What would Sable do if this were her?  Of course, she would say something witty like, ‘If I fall for you will you catch me then?’  But I can’t pull anything like that off without sounding cheesy.  Ughhh.    Sarah-James had long admired her bolder cousin when it came to the opposite sex and dating.  Sable seemed to automatically know what to say to men to let them know if she was interested in them or not.  Sarah-James had seen her cousin reject many a male suitor, and she had also seen Sable work her magic on the select few she was interested in.  Sarah-James had seen Sable hook a man from across a crowded room with nothing more than a look and a smile.  But Sarah-James was not Sable; she didn’t have at her disposal the arsenal that Sable employed. 
            Be straight forward and honest, girl.  If that’s not good enough, then screw him, she thought to herself.  Then, taking a deep calming breath and putting her brightest smile on her face, Sarah-James spoke to her handsome stranger again.
            Extending her hand, she said, “Hello, I’m Sarah-James,” simple and to the point.  Okay, she thought to herself, not quite, Sable-like, but it’s a start.  Her smile broadening as she amused herself with her thoughts. 
            Joshua’s breath caught in his throat; her smile was spectacular, like the rest of her, and her accent was as exotic as an islander new to the US.  He enclosed her hand with his larger one and introduced himself, “Hi, Sarah-James, I’m Joshua.  You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.”  Then Joshua smiled, filled with sincerity and promise; his smile took her breath away.  He had to be the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes upon.
            “Thank you,” she shyly responded, lowering her beautiful accessories a bit in response to his compliment.  All around her people were moving about, doing business with the vendors in the hall and talking amongst themselves, but Sarah-James only had eyes for the handsome man that had her hand in a firm grasp. 
            “Sarah-James, darlin’, thar’s a lot of people ‘round here that want to talk to you ‘bout your designs.  Don’t cha think you should be lettin’ go of the man’s hand here and get back to business?” said a female voice, heavy with an Irish lilt, loudly in her ear. 
            Startled, Sarah-James withdrew her hand from Joshua’s grasp and turned around to see her cousin Róisín standing next to her with a knowing look and a smug smile plastered on her face.  Shauna, still at the table watching the episode while helping a customer, snickered.  Embarrassed to have been caught daydreaming and practically drooling over the handsome man in front of her, Sarah-James brazenly replied with an equally thick Irish accent, “Get back to work, you cheeky child.  I’m not payin’ ya to stand around and watch me; although ya might learn a trick or two.  Bahh.  Go on with ya now!”
            Joshua burst into laughter at the exchange he just witnessed; he had never seen a display quite like that.  Sarah-James was quite the character, it was going to be fun getting to know her, and even more fun bedding her, he thought as he took another longing look at her body.  Because, although she had on a simple white collared shirt and black dress pants, they clung to her curves like a second skin, and he had an itching desire to peel layer after layer off of her delectable body.        
            “Sorry about that,” Sarah-James said returning to her perfectly adorable British accent.  “That was my cousin, Róisín.  She’s a bit fresh,” Sarah-James called out loudly to Róisín’s retreating back, “but I love her just the same.
            But she was right when she said that I need to get back to the task at hand.  I mustn’t stand here making eyes at you while there are sales to be made and buyers to schmooze; although it has been quite wonderful making your acquaintance.’  
            Clearing his voice, Joshua spoke as he enveloped her hand in his again, “I would like to speak with you at the end of this event, Sarah-James, if that is okay with you?  Say, 1 o’clock by the front desk?”
            “That would be lovely, Joshua.  I look forward to it,” and with that she removed her hand from his and melted into the crowd, smiling back at him one last time before disappearing.
            Sarah-James walked over to the catwalk and ascended the stairs as a song with a slower beat and lower volume began to play.  She spoke of her quest to make all women feel special with her designs and of her desire to design a product that would go from all day wear to evening sexy.  The audience was spellbound, frozen in time, listening to her speech.
            Amazing, Joshua thought.  She is a marketing genius.  Her timing, flair for the dramatic, and her approach to the audience is outstanding. 
            Sarah-James then concluded her show by asking all of the models to join her out on the stage to be given a well-deserved round of applause, and flanked by scantily clad women, Sarah-James, fully clothed, was the most alluring and sexiest of them all.  She smiled and waved to members of the audience who called out to her, her joy for her success showing on her face like a glorious sunrise; bright and shining. 
            When the event was finally over, Sarah-James, Sable, Shauna and Róisín worked as one to break down their area and box up what remained of their booth.  Business cards, order forms, sales slips, the last remaining vestiges of Sarah-James lingerie were sorted through and labeled.  Sarah-James looked at the other vendors, still hard at work at noon, and silently wished them luck.  With the models now gone and their area cleaned of all of their personal items, the quartet breathed a collective sigh of relief. 
            “Well ladies,” Sable spoke tiredly, “it’s time to go home and take a good, long, well-deserved rest.  It has been a rough couple of weeks, but we did it.” 
            “Yes we did,” Sarah-James looked at her cousin and roommate and smiled.  “Truer words have never been spoken.”  Sarah-James looked at her family and was proud to be a Tierney.  We help each other out when needed.  We might argue and bicker and tease a lot, but we will never let each other down.  “Thanks ladies for all of the help and a job excellently done.  I couldn’t have done it without your help.”
            There was a chorus of ‘no problem,’ and ‘don’t mention it,’ from the ladies as they continued with their task.   
            “You know, despite not being paid and working my fingers to the bone filling out order forms,” Róisín grumpily said, but with a smile on her beautiful face, “it was fun working here today,” all hints of her Irish accent gone.   
            “Yeah, Sis, I know what you mean.  I had fun too, even though I chipped a fingernail opening a box for some lady,” Shauna was quick to jump in, even going so far as to show the group the offending digit.  “Now I’m gonna have to go and get them redone,” sans the Irish accent as well. 
            “Oh stop complaining, you big baby,” Róisín snapped at her twin.  “You told me that you loved talking to all of the people here; that you were having a blast.  You’re such a drama queen!”
            Shauna looked shocked then offended then she burst into laughter.  “Loosen up your panties, Róisín, I was just bullshittin’.  You’re such a tight ass...”
            “And you are a pain in my ass...” Róisín replied as she and Shauna started walking away from the group.
            “Bye girls.  Thanks again.”  Sarah-James called out, only to receive a dual set of raised hands in the air waving goodbye as the sisters exited the venue, continuing their bickering. 
            Just as they were about to clear Sarah-James’ sight, Róisín turned around and called back to the two ladies standing staring at each other in wonder, “Are you guys coming to Sunday dinner tomorrow?  Ma wants to know and I forgot to ask when we got here.  I was supposed to call you a few days ago to find out and it slipped my mind.  She will kick my ass if I forget to ask you again.”
            Bubbling with laughter and taking in Sarah-James’ nodding head as her reply, Sable answered for them both, “Yeah, we’ll be there.  2 o’clock okay?  We can help out if necessary.”
            “That should be okay, but you know Ma won’t want you in her kitchen.  Hell, she doesn’t even let ME,” Róisín stressed her words by pointing at herself, “in the damn kitchen.”
            “That’s because the last time you were in her kitchen you nearly caused a grease fire,” Shauna snipped at her sister. 
            “Shut up!!!” Róisín all but screamed into Shauna’s face.
            Sarah-James and Sable, unable to contain their amusement any longer, burst into raucous laughter; so much so that tears were streaming down their respective faces. 
            “Oh my god!!!  They are absolutely hilarious.  Better than any comedic duo I have ever seen,” Sarah-James said, trying to get herself under control.
            “I know, right?  They are going to end up killing each other one of these days,” was Sable’s reply.
            “Sable?”  Sarah-James said in a wheedling voice that raised Sable’s suspicions as to what was going to come next, usually it was a request to stay up late and sew some new patters or hand stitch something.  
            “Oh god what?” Sable groaned in exasperation.  All she wanted to do was to go home, soak her feet in some hot water and watch some silly happily ever after romantic comedy with her best friend...Rocky Road ice cream. 
            Ignoring the tone in Sable’s voice, Sarah-James continues, “Do you think you can manage to get these boxes home,” Sarah-James paused indicating the last two boxes that were sitting at their feet, “alone?”
            Breathing a sigh of relief, Sable gladly replied, “Oh yeah, sure.  Fuck, I thought you were going to ask me to start sewing a new pattern idea as soon as we got home or something like that.  That,” Sable pointed to the two small boxes that remained, “won’t be a problem.” 
            “Oh, well, since you mentioned it...” Sarah-James laughingly commented.
            “Shut up!!!” Sable said, in her best Róisín voice.  Both of the girls laughed and then Sable asked, “What’s up?  What are you doing that’s gonna keep you from going home and enjoying the rest of your Saturday?”
            Responding vaguely, Sarah-James said, “I just have a meeting at 1pm.  That’s all.  Nothing major,” but even as she spoke of meeting with Joshua her heart fluttered and her clitoris beginning to tingle in anticipation. 
            “Okay, good luck.  I’m outta here.”  Sarah-James then watched the last of her cousins exit the function hall, boxes in hand. 
            Looking at her watch, Sarah-James noted that she has about 15 minutes before her date with Joshua, It’s not a date, you little twit.  Get ahold of yourself, Sarah-James admonished herself as she left the room in search of a restroom in which to freshen up. 
            Walking into the opulent restroom of the hotel was like walking into a grand ballroom.  Around the sitting room were plush armchairs to recline and relax in, then past a set of opaque double doors were the restroom stalls themselves, large in size and attended by a quiet older lady sitting in yet another comfortable looking chair.  When Sarah-James entered the room, the attendant stood and smiled demurely.  “Hello,” she said quietly.
            “Good afternoon,” Sarah-James replied.  Listening to the smooth jazz playing on the speakers, Sarah-James reapplied her lipstick and touched up her eye liner, she never wore much more than that, preferring her natural beauty to shine through.  When she was done, she washed her hands and spritzed herself with a small amount of her favorite perfume.  Using a little of lotion the attendant offered, Sarah-James surveyed herself in the mirror.  Smiling at the picture she made, she tipped the attendant, said “Have a nice afternoon,” and exited the room. 
            Sarah-James arrived at the designated location exactly at 1pm to find Joshua waiting for her.  He was speaking to one of the clerks at the desk, leaning sideways scanning the lobby for her arrival.  Laughing at something the pretty clerk said Joshua straightened as Sarah-James approached.
            Sarah-James felt a twinge of jealousy when she saw Joshua flirting with the clerk, but she quickly recovered her good spirits when she saw the smile of pleasure spread across Joshua’s face when he saw her.  And it didn’t hurt that the clerk gave a little pout and wandered off to help a customer who had just arrived at the desk.    
            Good Lord, you’re beautiful!   Joshua thought when he first spotted Sarah-James walking toward him.  “You look beautiful, Sarah-James,” Joshua said once she had reached his side.  Damn, girl.  I can’t wait to get you out of those tight clothes and on my bed, naked and begging for me to end your torture.  And I will, several times throughout the night, baby; count on it. As soon as Joshua had the lascivious thought his body reacted, vigorously.  In a bid to control his increasing manhood, Joshua screamed at himself to stop the runaway train of lusty thoughts. 
            Good Lord, you’re handsome!   Sarah-James thought when she reached Joshua.  “Thank you, Joshua,” she said boldly looking directly in the eyes.  Channel Sable, channel Sable, channel Sable. Be bold, be strong, be sexy.  Do Not go all quiet and shy, was the chant that Sarah-James had on a replay in her head.  Giving Joshua a once over, Sarah-James noticed the distinct bulge in his pants.  Raising one eyebrow, Sarah-James tilted her head to the side and gave Joshua a questioning look, unable to keep a brazen smirk from forming on her face.
            Refusing to be embarrassed, Joshua boldly held Sarah-James’ gaze.  Fuck yeah, I want you, he thought.  Who wouldn’t?  You’re like a fine cognac in the shapeliest snifter I have ever seen, and I am going to taste and savor every drop of your creamy tanginess.  Out loud, Joshua said huskily, “Would you care to join me for lunch?  There’s a deli just down the street that makes a Pastrami on Rye that I would kill for.”
            Realizing that she had not had anything to eat all day, Sarah-James replied, “You know what?  I would love to.  I haven’t had anything to eat all day and I’m quite famished.”  Sensually biting her lower lip, Sarah-James gave his bulging pants another look, as if to say she would like to dine on that and not on any fare that the deli had to offer.  Then she coyly looked at Joshua again and continued, “A sandwich sounds divine,” and she fell into step beside Joshua.  
            Joshua, instinctively knowing what her thoughts were, tried to get the image of her luscious mouth gobbling him up for her lunchtime delight out of his mind as they walked towards the door.  She’s a minx for sure; she knows exactly what she’s doing and saying and how it’s affecting me.  Payback is a bitch, babe, and I’m going to give you everything that you are asking for and more than you can handle. 
Ushering her through the front doors, held open by a uniformed doorman, Joshua placed his hand on the small of Sarah-James’ back. The contact was electric, sending hundreds upon hundreds of tingling sensations through Joshua’s fingers straight to his heart and groin.  If I get any harder I’m not going to be able to walk, flashed through his mind as the electric sensations increased the longer he touched her lovely back. 
            Sarah-James felt the vibrations as well.  Walking down the bustling sidewalk, Joshua beside her with his hand on the small of her back, all Sarah-James could think about was how his hands would feel traveling over the rest of her body.  She reveled in the feel of his strong hand on her and felt zinging sensations as they stroked and caressed her vagina, wetting her from the inside out.  If he makes me wet my panties by placing his hand on my back what the hell would happen if he kisses my lady lips, licking and nibbling them until I come?  The fucking second coming of Noah and the flood, I would imagine.
            Sarah-James, having visions of Joshua’s head disappearing between her legs and his fingers doing magical things to her body, misstepped and tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk.  “Are you okay?” Joshua enquired.  Blushing furiously because of her heated thoughts, Sarah-James could only nod and mumble, ‘Um hum.’    
            Joshua wondered what was causing Sarah-James to blush so adorably, but didn’t get the chance to inquire, because, seeing a large group of tourists heading towards them, he gallantly moved behind Sarah-James so that she was walking in front of him.  Sarah-James, allowing the imp in her to come to the surface, put a bit more wiggle into her walk, and Joshua appreciated every step she took.  Dropping back a half-step more, Joshua enjoyed this walk to the deli more than any other time; the scenery had never been better.  Smiling, he caught up to Sarah-James one shop before the deli and held open the door for her.
            “Hey, Mr. Johnson, how are you doing today?  Take a seat anywhere and we’ll get to you guys in a sec.  Hello, ma’am.  Welcome to DeLucas’ Deli,” a hostess said as she walked past them carrying an armload of menus.
            “Come here a lot?” Sarah-James asked with amusement in her voice. 
            Joshua laughingly answered, “Hey, they have great sandwiches.  What can I say?  When I find a good thing I don’t let it go.”  Looking pointedly at Sarah-James, Joshua indicated a cozy booth in the back for their luncheon date.  Seated across from each other, Joshua and Sarah-James engaged in comfortable conversation with one another.
            “You have a wonderful accent.  British?”
            “Yes, I am from Manchester, England.  It’s the Northwest of England. Where are you from?”                       
            “I’m from right here in Manhattan,” and their conversation flowed smoothly from there with Sarah-James telling Joshua about her extended family in the US and Joshua telling her about his family here in the city.  They talked through lunch and coffee afterwards. 
            Joshua was captivated; never before had spoken to such an interesting woman.  All of his past dates had either been vapid dilettantes who want only to go from spending Daddy’s money to spending hubby’s money or uber-independent A-type business women who made a point of telling him that they didn’t need either him or his money.  Joshua listened intently as Sarah-James told stories about her upbringing with her sister and brothers and the trouble they used to get into, making him laugh at their antics. 
            She also told him of her American cousins and her yearly visits to her father’s siblings and their families. She said wistfully, as if she were reliving the times of her youth, “during those visits I learned to love the United States.  I knew from a young age that I wanted to immigrate here and worked towards that goal.  My family, both here and in Manchester, have been very supportive and helpful.”
            She told him of her lingerie business and that she designed the lacy confections herself and how she and Sable would sew until their fingers were numb until her cousin Sasha enlisted the help of her friend Paul and his father to manufacture her creations.  “I was bound and determined to make a go of it.  I had some success back in Manchester, but I knew that New York, being a larger venue, would be where I would make a name for myself.”
            Holy shit!!!  I think I’m in love.  Is she for real?  She’s got brains, a kick-ass personality and a banging body to boot.  Fuck.   
            Not one prone to being self-centered Sarah-James also asked insightful questions of Joshua, she enquired about everything from his childhood to his favorite super hero to his dream job.  Joshua indulged her and answered all of her questions, even making her laugh at times; however, he did not tell her that he was the owner of the hotel where the convention had taken place, nor did he tell her that there were 12 more hotels across the United States that he owned. 
            It had been his experience that when he told women that he was, for lack of a better word, loaded they tended to see dollar signs and not the man standing in front of them.  And, although he didn’t get that impression from Sarah-James he was still hesitant to divulge his actual net worth.  He wanted her to want him, not his money.  That was important to him, surprisingly so, so he withheld that vital piece of information.
            Sarah-James was nervous as HELL, and she just couldn’t stop talking.  Never in her life had she ever run her mouth so much, but today, here with a gorgeous man paying attention to her and only her, she could not stop blathering on.  Oh, but you are a stunning man; tall, well-built and intelligent.  What more could a girl ask for?  Kiss me and we shall find out.  No! Stop it Sarah-James Tierney.  It is not proper to kiss a perfect stranger, no matter how perfect he is.  Stop it, you randy girl!  Get yourself under control.
            Sarah-James was a rapt listener, intent on every word Joshua uttered, or at least she was trying to be.  She just had to keep her eyes from wandering to his lips, pondering the feel of them on her body; and she had to keep from staring at his oh so capable looking hands, one’s she imagined could bring her unparalleled pleasures.  Sarah-James really tried to listen to what Joshua had to say, and she heard all of it, well most of it. 
            Lunch drew to a close and as much pleasure they had in each other’s company, Joshua needed to get back to work and Sarah-James needed to get home.  Silently they rose in unison and exited the deli and walked along the streets of New York back towards the hotel they had come from.
            “Well, it has been lovely getting to know you, Joshua.  Thank you for lunch.  I will be sure to go to DeLucas’ again.”
            “You’re very welcome, Sarah-James.  Anytime you would like some company give me a call and I would be more than happy to join you.”
            “Okay,” she said shyly.  He wants to see me again.  Yippee!!!
            “Here, give me your phone and I’ll put my numbers in for you,” he said, putting his hand out for her to place her phone in the palm of his very large hand.
            “Why don’t we swap?  I’ll give you my phone and you give me yours,” she offered as a counter suggestion.
            Joshua gladly reached into his inner jacket pocket and gave her his cell phone.  It seemed to him like she was testing him.  Just what did she think she would find in his phone anyway, maybe a hidden wife or pictures of naked girlfriends?  Whatever, he didn’t have anything to hide and he was going to have her information and that’s all that really mattered to him.
            After exchanging and retrieving their phones, they continued walking for a while, until they reached the entrance to the subway.  “This is my stop,” Sarah-James said, reluctantly, a sad smile affixed on her lovely face. 
            “Alright then, I guess I will talk to you soon,” Joshua said, hesitating momentarily because he really didn’t want to leave her.  Seemingly as one, each looked into the others eyes, took a small step forward and were in each other’s arms.  Lips meeting softly, Joshua tentatively placed small kisses along Sarah-James’ lips, requesting entry into her warm waiting mouth.  With an imperceptible moan, Sarah-James opened her mouth and ran the tip of her tongue along Joshua’s bottom lip.  Fire shot through him straight to his groin, making him rock hard and ready to ride her to completion.
            Damn, no woman has EVER affected me like this.  Never have I wanted to take a woman as badly as I want Sara-James. 
            Libido, having gone into a state of rest, jumped to life and was already working at getting Joshua ready for his big ‘O.’  That’s it man.  Keep going.  Kiss her deeply and rub up on her.  Get her wet so when we slip inside of her it’ll be like going down a wet and wild water slide.
            Letting out a more audible moan, Joshua took what he was being offered; he opened his mouth and let his tongue to meet with hers.  And there, on a busy bustling New York street in front of a subway entrance, Joshua kissed Sarah-James, thoroughly.  Knees turning to jelly, Sarah-James grabbed the lapels of his jacket for some stability.  Feeling the rock hard muscles beneath his jacket she changed tactic.  She no longer cared if she fell she just wanted to feel more of him.  She moved his jacket aside and raked her fingernails down his chest; then she headed towards his beaded nipples, pinching them lightly over the top of his shirt.  Lightning shot from everywhere she touched straight to his crotch, making his manhood harder and thicker every second she touched him. 
            “Oh, god,” he moaned and, gripping her hips mercilessly, he ground his pelvis into her, trying to relieve some of the pressure that was fast approaching red line status.
            Hearing his approval of her actions and feeling his arousal, Sarah-James felt emboldened; she wanted to get him so hot he would melt into a puddle at her feet.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  I have never been so bold in my life.  Never have I touched a man like this.  Hell, Andrew barely took his shirt off in front of me let alone allowing me access to his body in such a manner.  Whatever you have done to me, Joshua, I like it.  I like the feelings coursing through me.  I like knowing that I can make you moan and groan.  I like knowing that you have a stiffy in your pants because of what I’m doing to you.
            Raking her fingers across his nipples again, she moved her hands further south, towards his thick throbbing tool.  She wanted to feel it, taste it, and ride it until he came uncontrollably inside of her. 
            “GET A ROOM!!” a passerby screamed, causing them to jump and hastily part.  Embarrassed and bereft of his warmth, Sarah-James threw one hand up to her mouth, still tingling and swollen from being thoroughly kissed, and her other arm around herself and lowered her eyes.  All of her brazenness was gone now, and she wasn’t sure what to do with herself. 
            Joshua, breathing as if he had just run a marathon, looked around for the offensive spectator, but he only saw the normal rushing to and fro on the busy street.  He looked down at his companion and seeing the look on Sarah-James’ face, he pulled her to him: shielding her, warming her, protecting her.  Placing his crooked forefinger under her chin, Joshua raised her eyes to meet his. 
            “That was fucking amazing,” he said passionately.  “You don’t have anything to be embarrassed about.  You are a fine looking woman and you deserve to be kissed to distraction, something I hope to repeat very soon, ‘cause...DAMN.”  Joshua licked his lips, still tasting Sarah-James on them. 
            Smiling as a blush rose up her cheeks, Sarah-James held Joshua’s gaze.  “That kiss was TOTALLY fucking amazing,” reiterating and adding to his sentiment.  “And I can’t wait to repeat it, too.  Call me,” and after placing another softer kiss on his still wet lips, Sarah-James disengaged herself from Joshua’s embrace and walked down the stairs, entering the subway tunnel.  Joshua watched her until she disappeared, loving the wiggle of her derriere as she descended the stairs.
            When he walked the short distance back to work there was a smile on his face.  Licking his lips, he could still taste Sarah-James.  Will her juices be so sweet and long-lasting? he thought to himself.  “I am definitely going to find out,” he said softly, smiling to himself.  Taking the elevator to his penthouse office, Joshua leaned back on the railing and relived the kiss he had just shared with Sarah-James.  No woman had ever affected him the way she did.  Feeling his arousal stirring again, Joshua tried to get himself under control.   
            Exiting the elevator, he went into his office and tried to calm his rising ardor.  That woman is driving me fucking crazy, ran through his mind as he remembered her nicely rounded ass swaying in front of him on their walk to the deli.  Taking off his suit jacket, Joshua caught a whiff of Sarah-James’ perfume.  Putting the fabric to his face, Joshua deeply breathed in her intoxicating fragrance.  Subtle and sweet, with just a hint of flowers, it was distinctly Sarah-James.  Unable to control his desire any longer, Joshua decided to relieve himself in the only manner he could at the time. 
            Turning towards his en-suite bathroom, Joshua tossed his jacket along the back of his chair.  Discarding the rest of his clothes en route to the shower, he had visions of Sarah-James bent over his desk, her beautifully curvaceous buttocks in the air waiting to be tenderized by his ever present rock hard member.  Standing naked in front of the shower, Joshua grabbed himself firmly and stroked his hardness in preparation for what was to come.  Turning the water on full blast, steaming up the close quarters, Joshua stepped into the shower stall and grabbed the soap and worked to relieve the tension that had built up during the kiss and his subsequent daydreams.  As ready as he was to take her, it didn’t take long for him to finish himself off, as images of a naked Sarah-James danced in front of his closed eyes.
            Sarah-James took the subway to Queens, having let Sable have the car to transport the boxes back to their flat.  As she sat and made the hour long trip home, Sarah-James relived the lustful kiss again and again.  It thrilled her to know that Joshua wanted her, badly from the looks of it.  It also filled her with glee that he said that the kiss would be repeated, soon.  He must feel the extraordinary attraction that I feel.  I mean, men can fake some things, but not THAT.  His desire was practically stabbing me in the stomach.    
Sarah-James could still smell his musky cologne on her hands and her blouse and she could still feel his kiss on her lips.  They tingled with remembered passion and desire.  She wished that he was there with her, kissing her and rubbing her like he had earlier.  Her breath quickened as she felt a familiar warmth begin to develop in her nether region. 
Shifting in her seat to relieve the pressure building in her, she accidentally rubbed her clit against the seam of her pants.  Sarah-James groaned as she let her mind wander to what it would feel like to lie beneath Joshua while he slowly entered her, his manhood hard and pulsing as he held himself back from pounding into her tight wet spot.  Letting her reach the pinnacle of her orgasm before thrusting into her mindlessly in search of his own sweet release. 
Boy, am I in trouble.  One kiss and I am ready to drop my panties and open my legs for the first hot guy that comes along.  No, Sarah-James, you will not be a wanton strumpet.  You will wait and see if he is the right man for you and not just the right man right now.
            Determining to do just that, wait and see if Joshua was worth her time and body, Sarah-James spent the remainder of her time on the train planning her next convention.  The time passed quickly and without realizing it Sarah-James was at her stop.  Exiting the car, she went up to the street level and briskly walked home.  Upon reaching the flat, Sarah-James encountered Sable sleeping on the couch, “Wake up Sleepyhead,” Sarah-James yelled, slamming the door for emphasis. 
            “What the hell are you doing, Chica?  What was that for?” Sable grumbled as she slowly woke up from a deep sleep.
            Laughing, Sarah-James answered, “Well I had to wake you up somehow, now didn’t I?  I mean, it’s gone past 4pm and you can’t very well sleep the day away now can you?  Come the fuck on, Lazy Bones.  Get up and get moving.”
            “Wow, what has gotten into to you, Prima?  You certainly are in a cheerful mood, aren’t you?  You must have had a very successful meeting.  How was it, by the way?”
            “Well, it wasn’t exactly a meeting per se, it was more like a date,” Sarah-James said as she meandered over to the recliner to have a seat.
            Sable jumped up, surprise written all over her expressive face, “What?  A date!  When did that happen, Chica?  Why didn’t you tell me you had a date?  Who was it?  Was it that tall glass of sexy from the show I saw you talking with?  He was F. I. N. E. fine.”
            Sarah-James laughed as she was barraged with questions from her cousin, “This is the exact reason I didn’t tell you about the date before I went; so many questions.
            Yes, it was with Joshua, the tall man you saw me talking to.  He works at the hotel; I think he’s a manager or something high up like that.  He never did say.  Huh?  Anyway, we went to this little deli that’s down the street from the hotel, brilliant food by the way, and we just ate lunch and talked.  Then he walked me to the subway and we kissed goodbye and now I’m here.”  Sarah-James got up and casually walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water as her words sank in.

            A full thirty seconds passed before she heard her cousin scream in delight, “Ahhhhhh.  You kissed him?  Ahhhhhh.  That’s wonderful.  You deserve someone nice who will treat you right, not like the sleazebag ex-boyfriend from Trashy-town whose name shall never pass my lips again,” Sable yelled as she ran into the kitchen to join Sarah-James.  They continued taking about Sarah-James’ date and subsequent kiss while they tidied up the flat, Sarah-James getting warm tingles again at the mere thought of the kiss.