Three women haunted by horrors from their pasts. Four men who want to show them there’s Nothing to Fear…
In the Air
If Kirk Healey hadn’t threatened to steal her biggest client, Meadow Gardiner would never have boarded another plane. In flight, only Kirk’s smoldering touch keeps Meadow from succumbing to soul-numbing fear. As kisses lead to a frantic encounter in the airplane lavatory, Meadow must trust her greatest rival to see her safely back on solid ground.
In the Dark
When a total blackout forces Shelly O’Rourke to face her paralyzing fear of the dark, she’s rescued from engulfing terror by the scorching caress (and occasional spanking!) of her estranged-and presumed dead-husband. Making love to a memory forces Shelly to confront her deepest fears…and some are just as menacing by the light of day.
In their Arms
Jennifer Meehan has no qualms about taking two lovers. A long history of cruel betrayal has taught her that unbridled sex is the only way to guard her heart. But the men she’s been seeing separately have joined forces, and now the time has come to reveal all: her body, her soul, and every secret fear she harbors in her heart.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual interaction, ménage (m/f/m), mild spanking.
Excerpt (Rated PG-13):
The last time Meadow had boarded an airplane, she had been sixteen. Unlike this massive three-hundred-passenger jet, that aircraft had been a four-seater private plane with one pilot, no flight attendants, and only two additional passengers — Meadow and her mother, Diane. Her father, John, had piloted, a celebratory maiden voyage after gaining his license. His first and last.
The recycled air flooding the cabin slipped beneath Meadow’s jacket sleeves and raised gooseflesh on her arms. She’d strapped the seat belt tight around her midsection, for all the good it would do her. She’d also listened to the flight attendant go through all the appropriate safety precautions, listening with rapt attention for every bit of advice she could use should the unthinkable happen again.
Now there was nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.
Or in her case, sit ramrod straight, clutch the armrests as though her life depended on it — which it well could — and try to remember to breathe.
The plane’s engines growled beneath her feet. The sound traveled all the way up her legs and settled like lead in the pit of her stomach. She sat motionless, fingernails digging into the plastic armrest, teeth embedded in the soft flesh of her lower lip. Squeezing her eyes shut, she waited for the inevitable lurching motion of the plane pulling away from the gate. When it came, a whimper escaped her throat.
“I bet you’re not wearing anything under that suit.”
The unashamed bluntness of Kirk’s statement yanked her thoughts from their hysterical downward spiral. She froze, breath lodged in her throat. “What did you say to me?”
His full lips quirked up in a teasing grin that didn’t quite reach his eyes. Instead of mirth, she found nothing but concern and a hint of predatory heat in the green depths.
He leaned in, his mouth close enough to brush her earlobe. “I said, I’m willing to bet you’re not wearing a bra. In fact, I’d go as far as to say you’ve got no panties on, either. Which would mean your pussy’s clamped tight around the fabric of those pants, moistening the surface just a little each time you shift in your seat.”
A sudden flutter of desire breezed through her, bringing back a small measure of self-control. She couldn’t believe he’d spoken the words aloud, much less in public.
She and Kirk were the only two passengers in a three-seat row close to the back of the plane. While chances of someone having overheard him were low, the forbidden thrill of his statement had a profound, immediate impact on her libido.
Her nipples pebbled beneath the thin shift she wore under the suit jacket. His guess had been half-right. She hadn’t bothered with a bra, preferring instead the silky smoothness of the leopard-print shift she’d picked out from among Cuero y Cordón’s delectable offerings.
Not that he needed to know that. And if she’d been just a little less paralyzed with fear, she’d have told him exactly what she thought of his inappropriate comment.
Instead, she scowled and glanced out the window. She shouldn’t have.
Although night had fallen, red, blue, and white lights flooded the airport runway. A few feet away, a man waved two flares, no doubt signaling the pilot in preparation for takeoff. Rain pattered against the metal skeleton of the aircraft and dotted the small windowpane with shimmering beads of colored water. Fog rose from the dark pavement in patches, reaching diaphanous tendrils to brush against the plane’s wings.
The wheels rolled to an abrupt stop. A massive rumbling whirr boomed from the bowels of the jet, gathering force. The trembling whine caused Meadow’s seat to vibrate, and she gripped the armrests tighter in an effort to keep them from shaking.
Her stomach lurched. Unable to bear the menacing sights around her, she squeezed her eyes shut once more. If she could have dared to let go of the armrests, she’d have clamped both palms over her ears too.
A featherlight touch against her collarbone startled her. She tensed, every muscle in her body taut with frightened awareness. His fingertips slid down her skin, from the base of her throat to the valley between her breasts, where they paused for the length of a stuttering heartbeat.
“What are you doing?” she ground out between gritted teeth.
The plane moved. It gathered speed, zoomed down the runway. She pictured it sliding along the slick pavement, its sharp nose intent on splitting the air as it soared up into the darkness.
His fingers dipped beneath the lapel of her suit jacket. He found the top edge of her camisole and slipped beneath that too. The heat of his hand warmed her breast, sending a stream of erotic impulses to flood her tense body.
His other hand worked its way up to her throat. He cupped the back of her neck, slipped his fingers among her curls, and formed small circles with his thumb against her skin.
Intriguing though it was, she knew his touch couldn’t distract her from the inevitable lurch of the plane taking off. She braced herself for the moment her stomach would plummet to her ankles.
It never came. Instead, at the exact instant the airplane’s wheels left the runway, his lips fused over hers. His mouth claimed hers and settled there, soft and warm. He didn’t push or force the kiss to become more than what it was — a soothing, genuine anchor to the world dropping away into oblivion.
Meadow’s reality shifted, righting itself as the airplane tilted, rocketing skyward. Unable to trust herself, she curled her fingers into her palm to keep from running them down his chest.
At that moment, she understood what his plan had been all along. He’d meant to distract her, and against all reason, it had worked.
But now that they were in the air, she could handle the fear. She’d gotten over the worst of it. Besides, she couldn’t very well keep her lips flush against Kirk’s for the next eight hours. She had to move away, to break the connection between them, and reestablish some much-needed boundaries.
She told herself it was gratitude that kept her from doing just that. But when the tip of his tongue caressed the seam of her lips, the desire pulsing through her veins took on a life of its own. Rather than pull back, she parted her lips and met his tongue with hers.
A sharp stab of need arrowed deep between her thighs at the contact. Her sex pulsed, fluttering madly against the leopard-print silk of her thong.
She caught his answering groan. His grip on the back of her neck tightened, and he pulled her closer as his tongue invaded her mouth. The tension keeping her spine rigid melted just a fraction, allowing her to lean into his kiss.
He tasted just as she remembered, like cinnamon and male heat. The rough scrape of his beard against her chin sent another wave of longing to shimmer through her veins, stoking the twin flames of desire and curiosity.
What would it feel like to have those lips pressed against her flushed sex? To know the intimate brush of his beard along her inner thigh? To clamp her thighs tight around his head as his tongue delved deep within her folds and —
“Pillow, ma’am? Sir?”
She barely heard the flight attendant’s question. She’d have ignored it altogether, but Kirk swiped at her lower lip one last time before pulling back and glancing up at the woman.
“We’ll take two of those.” He reached out and grabbed the offered pillows. “And two more blankets, if you wouldn’t mind.”
Meadow’s lips hummed with the lingering sensation of the kiss. Flexing her stiff fingers, she risked letting go of the armrest long enough to bring them to her mouth. Just as she feared, her lips were swollen from the kiss.
A blush crept up her neck and into her cheeks. Her heart pummeled her breastbone, yet Kirk looked as calm and unperturbed as ever.
For a fleeting moment, she had the urge to slap him, just to see if he’d react with something other than a quirky grin. Squelching the impulse, she waited until the flight attendant returned with the blankets. The woman’s name tag read Shelly O’Rourke. When Shelly winked before turning away to tend to another passenger’s needs, it took all of Meadow’s self-control to ignore her.
Shifting so her back lodged against the armrest, she folded her arms across her chest and pinned Kirk with a long stare. “You had no right to do that.”
He studied her face for what felt to her like an eternity. The heat of his gaze lingered on her skin as sure as if he’d touched her.
“I wanted to,” he said at last, his voice low and husky. “More importantly, you wanted me to.”
Lingering traces of panic whispered through her mind. To her surprise, the terror had lost some of its severity. “I didn’t ask you to –“
“You didn’t have to.”
He unfolded one of the blankets, then spread it out over her legs. He did the same to the second and laid it across his lap.
She’d just opened her mouth to say she wasn’t cold when the lights in the cabin dimmed.
“I think they want us to go to sleep.” He reached out and tucked a stray curl behind her ear. His knuckles brushed against her cheek. “Do you want to go to sleep, Meadow?”