Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dear Jon - Issue # 22

Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey.  I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, chickens, geese, ducks, one dog, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.

Being a fan of music – and many other things from the 40`s - I thought it would be keen to include the links to the songs mentioned in this story. Here`s Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. Feel free to play them as you read for atmosphere or wait until you’re done.

Enjoy!






Dear Jon

Chapter Twenty-Two

By

V.L. Locey

*~*~*

That evening was one of those nights that you never forget. Andrew and I had snuck over to see Ross after my day at work. What we found was Charlotte brazenly parked where I parked, as well as several other cars. I glanced down at my nephew. He shrugged a shoulder. Pulling off the road I backed up to the last large pine lining the drive. Laughter greeted Andy and I as we walked past the party-goers jitney`s all lined up neat as pins.

            The pond was filled with people I had never met. Ross was engaged in a rather lively conversation with Charlotte, who had changed into a swimsuit. Charlotte`s legs put Betty Grable`s to shame. The redhead waved her martini at me as she lounged on a chaise beside a record player that sat on the picnic table. Ross got to his feet, his cheeks turning pink when Charlotte patted his rump as he moved past.

            “Looks like you two are getting along well,” I hissed like a doused cat. Andrew stood at my side, his fingers linked in mine. Ross began to speak but was overshadowed by the redhead in the bright blue swimsuit.

            “Now, Jon darling, let`s not be priggish about things,” Charlotte called out from her chaise, “After all if you can dally behind my back, I can dally behind yours. Ross, would you fetch me another drink? This one seems to have evaporated in the heat!”

            “Why don`t you come with me and tell me how your ex- lover likes her martini?”

            I gaped at the man openly. Andrew shook free. I watched him run to Charlotte then stand beside her, staring at her like a love struck cottage cheese curd. We passed through folks milling around with cocktails. By the time Ross had steered me into the kitchen, I was stunned too stupid to talk.

            “Before you start, this was her idea and I for one think it`s a fabulous one.”

            “What idea?” I forced out, pulling my tie free then shoving it into my trouser pocket. Ross looked from the martini prep to me.

            “Charlotte seems to think we can pass her off as my lover now, which will get the local squares off my back while making you seem even more tragic, thus giving you the excuse to never love again since you`ve lost her.”

            “That sounds just like her,” I chuckled. Ross lowered the bottle of vermouth. Someone outside changed the record. Benny Goodman filled the airwaves.

            “So you`re okay with this little farce?” he asked, dropping three olives into Charlotte`s drink. I nodded with a smile.

            “As long as you and she aren`t doing more than acting, hell yeah, I`m fine with it,” I told him, reaching over to pluck out an olive then eat it. He eyed me dryly, leaned in to steal a kiss, and then dug into the olive jar with his long, skilled fingers to find me another treat to eat.

            “No one gets into my bed but you,” he assured me, placing the olive onto my tongue. “Now, let`s go celebrate.” And celebrate we did! By the time night fell, I was three sheets to the wind, and had lindy hopped until my hopper was exhausted. I had forgotten how great a dancer Charlotte was. That woman could cut the rug like nobody`s business! Ross declined to engage in the jitterbuggery that went on and on until we were all splayed in the grass, laughing and panting, our clothes wet with sweat and our hearts light as the glow bugs flittering past.

            Sometime after three AM Charlotte pronounced several of us too soused to drive. She laid down on the chaise, her long legs spread in a very unladylike manner, then she dropped off instantly, snoring like a lumberjack. I scooped Andrew up off the picnic table where he had fallen asleep. Ross appeared at my side, took the sleeping boy, and then led us both inside. I went to his bedroom, bouncing off the walls then giggling behind my hand at my silliness. I felt the bed dipping when Ross slid into it, but my head was resistant to leaving the pillow.

            “Love you, Boodles,” I grumbled then passed out.
*~*~*

When dawn came, so did my nephew. Andrew arrived with a hearty shout followed by a knee in the middle of my back. I yelped. Ross came in then chided the boy for waking up the lush.

            “What`s a lush?” I heard the lad ask. My gut began rolling. I did not recall being on a ship.

            “That`s what you call a man who knows his limits but exceeds them,” Ross explained as they left the seafaring lush to his misery. It took me thirty minutes to be able to extricate myself from the bedding, piss, and find the kitchen. Charlotte was draped over the round kitchen table, her long legs at weird angles and her head resting on her breakfast plate. That the plate had eggs and bacon on it seemed of no concern to the drag queen.

            “Shhh,” Andrew warned me as I tenderly sat down beside him, “Aunt Charlotte is so lushed she lost her hair.”

            I glanced more closely at the woman. Yep, her wig had left her skull, revealing the short, flat, dark hair beneath. My head was pounding. I felt slightly nauseous. I heard people outside moaning in agony.

            “When did . . . did she become ‘Aunt Charlotte’?” I asked then smiled up at my lover when he placed two aspirin in my trembling hand followed by a fresh cup of joe.

            “Last night, right before that Jed fellow fell into the pond,” Ross said as he took his seat across from me.
            “Please, stop talking or I`ll be . . . forced to vomit in my shoe again,” Charlotte croaked, never lifting her head from the table.

            “Uncle Ross said that after breakfast we`re going searching for Aunt Charlotte`s hair! Whoever finds it gets to wear it all the way back to the house!” Andrew bubbled. I nodded, winced, sighed, and sipped at a cup of coffee.

            “I don`t recall much after talking about a wedding ceremony,” I told the guys.

            “Did someone catch . . . the. . .  the bouquet?” Charlotte asked. Ross informed her that yes, the goldenrod bouquet had been caught by the daughter of the mayor of Hannity Hills, who in turn spun around and kissed the Negro man she had brought to the impromptu party.

            “Bless her heart,” Charlotte groaned then slithered from the chair to the floor, where she resumed snoring.

            “Who was it that tied the knot?” I inquired, my eyes drifting shut as hot coffee trickled down my throat.

            “You and Uncle Ross,” Andy informed me between bites of egg. Once the sip of coffee had been pounded out of my lung, Ross bent down, kissed my cheek, called me sugar-cakes then winked at Andrew, who howled at our antics. If only he knew that this was how I dreamed my life could be.

            Well, minus the drunken drag queen sleeping on my foot.

*~*~*

Issue # 21


Friday, December 27, 2013

'Tis the Season for Seduction - Conclusion


Lucas finally got his woman, but will he catch the art thief?



Part One

Part Two

Part Three






'Tis the Season for Seduction
by
Fiona Summerville


"Lucas, it’s too small in here for both of us."

Caitlyn’s protest dissolved into giggles as Lucas drew back the shower curtain and squeezed into the tiny stall beside her. He towered over her, his massive form overwhelming the small space and her. Dipping his head to capture her lips, he pinned her against the cool tile.

"Mmmm…not too small. Cozy," he chuckled, as his hands drifted downward and grabbed her bottom, sliding her up the wall. The cool tiles at her back did little to dampen the heat her body was radiating. She wrapped her legs around his waist and moaned softly as he reached between their bodies, dipping two fingers into her core.

“God, Caitlyn. You’re already so wet.”

“You do seem to have that effect on me,” she gasped as he withdrew his fingers, sliding them leisurely up over her clit. A shudder ran through her and she dropped her head, resting her forehead on his. She wasn’t so much surprised at the effect he had on her body, as much as she was about her unslakable need for him.

“Lucas, I need to feel you inside me…now…please.”

A soft growl rumbled deep in his chest as he nipped and laved her perk, pink nipple. When he lifted his head, he wore a wolfish grin.

“Well, since you said, please,” he murmured, sliding her up the wall a little further before bringing her down, impaling her hard and deep on his cock.

***

When they finally emerged from the shower stall, the water had run tepid, the bathroom floor was flooded and Caitlyn’s cheeks bore the mark of his five o’clock shadow.

"You’re looking a bit scruffy there, my handsome man," she grinned up at him, running her hand along his cheek. “Why don’t you have a shave and while you do, I’ll cook breakfast."

Clean shaven and dressed, Lucas walked into the tiny kitchen and wrapped his arms around Caitlyn’s waist as she was filling two plates.

“Mmm… smells wonderful. And the food looks great too.”

“Och, go on with ye,” she giggled. “Sit yourself down. Can’t ye see I’m in the midst of creating a masterpiece?”

Planting a kiss on her cheek, Lucas obeyed and plopped into one of the chairs at her dining table. As she served up two plates filled with fried tomatoes, bacon, sausage, cold-boiled potatoes, beans, black pudding and fried eggs, she couldn’t help but note how Lucas dwarfed the table, and the room, for that matter. The man was larger than life. Thankfully, in more ways than one, she thought wickedly as she walked over to the table.

"Do you eat like this every morning?" he asked with a look of delight as she set a plate down in front of him.

"Pretty much. Oh, and I made coffee, too. Unless you prefer tea."

"Coffee, please" he said enthusiastically, as he forked and bit into a sausage.

Caitlyn fell a little in love with him in that moment. Maybe it was his boyish smile and the way he attacked his breakfast. Or the snow drifting down outside the window. Or maybe it was the way his every touch made her feel safe, secure and cherished.

Whatever the reason, she decided right then and there to stop over-analyzing and simply relish every moment of their remaining time together.

 ***

Caitlyn felt herself slowly being seduced. Not only by the intelligent, articulate, hunk of a man sharing her company, but by the spirit of Christmas. For the first time, since her gran’s death, Caitlyn reveled in the joys of the season. She delighted in the bright and cheerful Christmas lights strung across the streets, the holly boughs and wreaths on every door, and the warm cheerful greetings from strangers in the street.

They spent the days leading up to Christmas wandering through the narrow, cobblestone streets of Dublin, arm in arm, soaking up the festive holiday atmosphere while Caitlyn shared the history of her beloved, adopted city. In the evenings, while she worked, Lucas became a fixture at the O’Brien’s. Winning over the regulars as easily as he’d won her heart. And oh, had he won her heart.

Each time the realization that their relationship was only temporary crept in, threatening to put a damper on her joy, Caitlyn forced the thought back into the “things to be ignored for as long as possible” corner of her mind. Logically she knew it wasn’t meant to last, but that didn’t keep her from falling. All it took was a smile or kiss and her heart melted for him a little more every day…and night.

And her nights with Lucas were epic. He was an amazing lover who ravaged her, mind, body and soul. Giving and tender at times. Hard, greedy and relentless at others. Caitlyn had fallen for him after their first night together. By Christmas Eve, she knew she’d tumbled the rest of the way.

Her mind was busy making plans for New Year’s Eve as they crunched through the snow to Dublin’s medieval Christ Church Cathedral for the annual Christmas Eve concert. She smiled as they rounded the corner, her breath catching at the scene of the majestic cathedral bathed in light, its tower and turrets dusted with new fallen snow.

"You know, Henry II attended the Christmas service here in 1171," Caitlyn told Lucas, tucking herself into his side for warmth.

His eyes crinkled with mirth as he smiled down at her. "You don’t suppose we’ll see old Henry floating around, do you?"

She giggled and swatted at his arm with a gloved hand. "Tonight’s concert will be wonderful, but we definitely need to come back on New Year’s Eve at midnight to hear the change ringers do their thing."

"Change ringers? Who or what are change ringers?" He asked, staring down at her wearing a befuddled look.

"The change ringers are a four-hundred-year-old society of bell ringers who ring the bells in mathematical patterns called ‘changes’. Christ Church Cathedral has a total of nineteen bells used for change ringing—that’s the most bells in any one tower worldwide. New Year’s Eve is the only time all nineteen are rung together. It’s an magical way to literally ring in the –“

She broke off and came to a dead stop.

"Lucas! That hat! The man that hit me at Newgrange was wearing that hat!"

His chin jerked up as he followed her pointing finger and zeroed in on the figure of a statuesque woman wearing a round-brimmed hat about a dozen or so yards ahead, milling her way through the crowd.

"Sweetheart, that’s probably a popular unisex-style of hat," he said, following Caitlyn as she forged a path toward the woman.

“No,” Caitlyn said, shaking her head vehemently. “I only caught a glimpse before I was attacked, but I remember thinking how distinctive that herringbone pattern was. It's not Irish. I’ve never seen it in any store in Dublin."

Willing to chase down any possible lead, Lucas shoved his way through the crowd, planting himself in front of the woman as he reached into his breast pocket for his credentials.

"Excuse me, ma’am, Special Agent Lucas Conner with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. I’d like to ask you a couple of que— Hey!"

The woman spun on her heel and ran. She careened through the crowd, knocking down concert goers indiscriminately before breaking left and heading straight toward Caitlyn.

When their glances met, a flash of surprised recognition leapt into the redhead’s eyes. She sneered at Caitlyn. Och, sneer at me will ye? Ye brazen wench. We’ll see about that. Caitlyn stuck her foot out and leaned her shoulder toward the woman as she passed, sending the assumed art thief face first into the snow.

Lucas wore a look of amused appreciation as he approached, giving Caitlyn a wink before kneeling down to cuff the snow-sputtering woman.

“Good job, partner.”

“’Tis all in a day’s work, doncha know?” Caitlyn joked before stepping back as the constables swarmed the scene.

Caitlyn watched as Lucas and the local authorities bustled the woman away taking with them her dream of a cozy Christmas Eve snuggled in front of a fire with the man of her dreams.

As Caitlyn presumed, the next forty-eight hours passed in a disappointing blur. She spent the remainder of Christmas Eve at the police station, and most of Christmas day alone while Lucas and Inspector O’Malley worked the case. Their search of the woman’s hotel room yielded not only the Newgrange stone, but a Bronze Age dagger reported stolen some weeks prior from a museum in Cobh. Lucas had been correct in his assumption that she had been waiting for the heat to die down before attempting to smuggle the treasures out of Ireland.

Faced with mounds of evidence, Jewel Banks, one of her many aliases, admitted to a long history of well-planned art heists throughout Europe and the United States. She also agreed to provide the FBI with information about her wealthy Miami-based client in exchange for protection and immunity from prosecution. As a result, Lucas pushed through the extradition paperwork, and made arrangements to leave for the States late Christmas afternoon.

"I need to get her back and into interrogation before Saldana hears she’s been arrested," he told Caitlyn during a rushed farewell at her flat. "If nothing else, we’ll get the bastard on at least four felony counts of commissioning and financing the trafficking of stolen goods. I want more, though." He growled. "Much more."

Caitlyn watched Lucas pace around her tiny flat. If she needed any further proof of how much he loved his job, she had it. Edgy impatience poured off of him. She knew that in his mind he was already on that plane and headed across the Atlantic…away from her. Knowing there was no way she could ever compete with his profession stung.

"There was a reward for information leading to the recovery of the dagger," he told her. "It’s not much, only a few hundred euros, but Inspector O’Malley promised to make sure it came to you."

She nodded her thanks, her throat too tight to speak.

"Oh, and before I forget…" He walked over to the bag he’d set by the door when he’d entered and returned with it. "I thought I was going to have time to wrap it, but…well. Merry Christmas, Caitlyn."

Her heart aching, she dug through the tissue in the bag and pulled out a soft pashmina scarf in the most vibrant shade of emerald green she’d ever seen. She looked down at the scarf, not willing to meet Lucas’ gaze until the tears that threatened were well in check.

"It reminded me of your eyes," he whispered softly, tucking a finger under her chin and tilting her head back until their eyes met. He saw the tears, but said nothing. He simply pulled her into a tight embrace.

Caitlyn snaked her arms around his waist and held on for dear life. In her heart she knew this was all she’d have of him. The memories of the last few days and a scarf, both of which she would cherish for a lifetime.

"I got you something, too. Nothing grand, but…"

Extracting herself from his embrace, she walked over to the table near the tree, returning with a small box wrapped in cheerful Christmas paper. She smiled watching as he tore off the paper. She could almost imagine what he’d been like as a child on Christmas morning. The thought made the tears well again.

He grinned up at her as he pulled out the keychain. It was made of braided black leather with a silver ring at one end and a weighted Celtic knot at the other. She didn’t tell him it was a love knot. She couldn’t. Not with him leaving, no doubt never to return.

"It’s beautiful, Caitlyn. Thank you." He curled a knuckle under her chin and tipped her face to his. "I’ll be back."

"Och, will ye now?" Swallowing the lump in her throat, she dredged up a saucy tone. "And when might that be, me boyo?"

"As soon as I possibly can. I swear.”

***

Once again Caitlyn was alone. Only this time the loneliness was almost too much to bear.  

In the week that led up to New Year’s she kept up appearances. Moving through each day in a haze of half-hearted smiles and feigned holiday cheer, but inside she was miserable. The colored lights on the street mocked her. Her footsteps echoing in the empty quad at Trinity College, reflected the lonely ache in her heart. Even the pub was quiet. Most of the students were gone for the holidays and only a scant number of tourists were hardy enough to brave the weather. Leaving her to wallow and mourn a love that was never meant to be.

Lucas had emailed her the morning after his return to the States. He’d written that Banks was stumbling over herself to provide information knowing the FBI was the only thing standing between her and any death warrant Saldana might issue.

The following day he emailed again. This time to say he wouldn’t be able to communicate for a while. Caitlyn interpreted that to mean he was going undercover and worried nonstop the rest of the week for his safety.

The fear and worry were still with her on New Year’s Eve, when the entire pub emptied as everyone headed to Christ Church for the ringing of the bells. Mick, the pub’s owner, tried to cajole Caitlyn into joining them.

"Aren’t ye going to hear the bells, love?"

"Nah, Mick. You go on. I’ll mind the pub."

"Are ye sure? I'll be happy tae stay behind."

"I’m sure. Go. Enjoy yourself."

As the chimes began to sound, faint and clear in the distance, Caitlyn tried to numb the empty ache around her heart by keeping busy. She wiped down the counter and then set up rows of glasses for the patrons who would return ready to toast the New Year.

"Och, I’m nothin’ but a bloody fool," she muttered as the pub door opened and a late customer entered on a blast of cold air and the pealing of bells. "What was I thinking? How could I fall in love with a great glom I’ll probably never see again."

She heaved a heavy sigh and turned to tend to the customer, only to find him grinning at her.

"So I’m a great glom, huh?"

Lucas! She gasped. If they’d passed each other on the street, she wouldn’t have recognized him. He looked battle worn. Exhausted. His eyes were blood shot, and a vicious bruise mottled one side of his face, but he radiated triumph.

"We got him, Caitlyn. Saldana’s done."

She smiled through the tears that filled her eyes.

“Oh, Lucas. I'm so happy for you. Congratulations!”

A twinkle of mirth danced in his eyes. "Not only that, my superiors were so impressed with my knowledge of prehistoric art that I’ve been assigned to a special Interpol task force based here in Dublin."

"Really? For how long?" Her heart swelled with hope, but at the same time feared his response. She couldn't do temporary. Not with him.

"For at least as long as it takes for you to finish your doctorate. Forever, if you want. I'll make sure of it, sweetheart."

“I…I...you…”

“Save it woman,” he chuckled, holding his arms open to her. “By my estimation you’ve got about ten seconds to get out from behind that bar so we can kiss in the New Year. Now move it!"

“Yes, sir!”

Laughing, Caitlyn ducked under the counter and rushed into his arms, the thunderous pounding of her heart drowning out the cacophony of bells ringing in the New Year. And as his lips crushed down on hers, she melted against him, basking not only in his warmth, but in the knowledge that she'd never spend another Christmas alone.


THE END



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dear Jon - Issue # 21

Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey.  I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, chickens, geese, ducks, one dog, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.

Enough about me, let`s get back to the romance!





Dear Jon

Chapter Twenty-One

By

V.L. Locey

*~*~*


            The night was hot. Summer had blown in early ahead of a cripplingly hot storm mass. The air was thick as maple syrup. Moisture clung to skin tenaciously. Not a breath moved the curtains of Ross` bedroom window. I was still lying on the bed, my face buried in pillows that wore their cases with a damp miasma.

Ross had kicked the sheets to the floor during our frenzied love making. My fingers were just now relaxing their fevered grip on the mattress; my body still tingled from my lover`s repeated claiming of it. A moan escaped me when Ross slid from the bed. His hand moved over my thigh gently. My leg muscles twitched.

            “How goes the relationship with Miss Abigail?” I heard Ross ask. I rolled to my back. He stood beside the open window, his back shimmering with sweat, his shoulders tensed. “It was my idea and yet I find myself sickened by the thought of what you have to endure.”

            He didn`t seem capable of saying more. I went to him. I pressed my sodden skin to his, chest to back. My arms went around him as I lay my cheek to his sweaty spine.

            “She`s agreeable, if not a bit of a lush,” I told him. He chuckled sadly then turned in my arms. “I would date Eva Braun if it meant being able to stay here with you.” I saw in the dim light of a small bedside lamp that he thought to argue. I placed my hands on his face. “I will never leave you. Something will break soon. We`re entitled to some good news.” I pulled a moue. “See what you`ve done to me? Now I`m spouting optimistic drivel!” I teased then kissed him with all I possessed.

We feasted on each other’s mouths then tripped back to the bed. This time it was me taking his body with punishing thrusts that he begged for with a voice thick with smoky desire. There would be no holding back this night. I planned to show him just how true my love, and newfound sunny-side-of-life outlook, was.

            The following morning I woke up beside Ross. It was brazen, I know, but I just had to give the world a giant middle finger and damn, did it feel good. Then I went home, dressed, dropped Andrew off at the sitters, and ran into that bit of good news waiting impatiently outside the tax collectors office. I stumbled over my feet when I first saw her.

I mean a redhead in a bright green dress, slim belt, and fashionable green hat with a yellow bow festooned artfully on the brim, leaning against a brilliantly red nineteen forty convertible Cadillac seemed to stand out. Shit, Charlotte stood out in Manhattan. In Hannity Hills she was like a million watt bulb of simmering sexuality. The milkman ran up over the curb as he rubber-necked the beauty lazily smoking a cigarette with a long silver holder.

            “I`m put out with you,” she said as we bussed cheeks. I think I said something apologetic. “You left two months ago and not one phone call?”

            “I don`t have a phone where I live,” I told her. She took my arm, glanced at me as if I had said I was hiding Mussolini`s body in my closet, and then allowed me the pleasure of escorting her out of the blistering early morning sun. The treasurer’s office never looked so good as it did with Charlotte decorating it. 

            “Stop teasing me,” Charlotte purred, crossed one shapely gam over the other then arranged her skirt to cover her knee. God, it was good to hear her throaty voice again. “Everyone has a phone.”

            “Not out here they don`t,” I told her as I buzzed around opening windows.

            “And you`re still out here why? I`d like you to know that I have had to turn down at least twenty offers on that oil of the Hudson in your front window. And the show? People are climbing up my skirt to know when you`ll be back for your show,” she said as she patted her neatly coiffed hair.

            “About that,” I said, my hand rubbing the back of my neck. Her grey eyes left her perfectly painted green nails. I felt my face grow rosy. Charlotte leaned forward an inch, her eyes narrowed, the ash from her smoke dropped to the floor. She flipped the holder to the ashtray on my desk.

            “You`ve found someone! How in the world did a flaming fag like you ever find someone to suck your dick way out here in the-”

            “Be quiet!” I hissed. Charlotte`s plump red lips puckered. The front door opened. We both turned to look at Miss Abigail Jenkins. The librarian was quite windblown. I started to say something, but the brunette stalking up to, and then slapping Charlotte across the face, kind of blew me out of the water mentally. I was still standing beside a window that refused to open when Charlotte rose to her rather imposing six foot tall height. Her left cheek was bright red. Miss Jenkins then stormed over to me, slapped me as well, called me a flighty, dirty, two-timing bastard then left with her chin held high. My, word travels fast in Hannity Hills.

            Charlotte said nothing, merely stood there looking striking and rubbing her offended cheek.

            “That`s not the person that I – I mean, she is sort of involved but only as a misdirection tool of sorts,” I said meekly, my face stinging terribly. Charlotte cocked one thin eyebrow. The door blew open again. This time my lover stood in the doorway, his thunderous eyes darting to Charlotte then me then back to Charlotte.

            “Wait!” Charlotte cried out with rising good humor, “This dreamboat is the person that has swiped Greenwich so neatly from your mind, isn`t it?!”

            I nodded silently.

            “Jon, I think I deserve an explanation here!” Ross snarled. Charlotte, ever the stage presence, sashayed over to Ross, took his hand, then placed it between her legs. “Ah, I see,” the man said as his ears turned bright red. Charlotte snickered sinfully, ran a hand down over the bulge in her skirt, and then informed me that she was staying for a few days.

            “Just to make sure you`re happy here, Darling,” she added as my coworkers began to arrive. Charlotte winked at the brittle women I worked with, slid her arm through Ross`, and then led him outside giggling madly.

            “And here all these years I thought he was . . . you know,” Mrs. Dillwhittle said then made her right hand drop down floppily.

            “You just can`t judge a woodworker by his whittling,” I replied jovially. It seemed that we just got one big stroke of luck in the form of one knockout female impersonator.
           

*~*~*


Chapter Twenty

Friday, December 20, 2013

'Tis the Season for Seduction

In our previous installment, Lucas and Caitlyn had made their way to Newgrange on toe morning of Winter Solstice in hopes of catching an art thief connected to an American drug lord. Lucas assumed the art thief would be one of the fifty people selected to witness solstice from inside the tomb. He was wrong. 

In the midst of her reverie, Caitlyn stumbles upon a person wearing a very distinctive hat chipping away at the exterior of the tomb but before she can sound the alarm, she is attacked by the would-be thief. 


Does Lucas arrive in time to save Caitlyn and will he catch his thief?



Part One


Part Two






'Tis the Season for Seduction
by
Fiona Summerville

Part Three

"Caitlyn. Sweetheart."

A deep, reassuring voice penetrated the pain. Caitlyn struggled to sit up, but gentle hands pushed her back onto the icy ground. Which was just as well, her head was spinning.

"Don’t move, baby. The paramedics are on their way."

Caitlyn opened her eyes, blinking rapidly as her eyes struggled to focus, when they did, they met Lucas’ worried gaze.

She reached up, touching her temple with tentative fingers only to have his gloved hands cup her hand and bring it to his chest.

"Shhh…just lay still. You must have slipped and hit one of the stones going down. You’ve got a nasty bump on your temple. You may very well have a concussion."

Her temple throbbed, but Lucas’ words pierced through the fog and Caitlyn gasped with sudden recollection.

"I didn’t slip! He hit me with his cane."

"He who?"

"It had to be the art thief! He was prying loose one of the quartz stones. Everyone was focused on the sunrise… Oh, no!"

At her cry, alarm leaped into his amber eyes. "It’s okay, baby. Shhh, you’re going to be fine." Lucas snarled at a uniformed officer standing off to the side. "Where the hell are those paramedics?"

"Lucas, I’m fine. Really.” Using the resistance of his grip on her hand, she pulled herself up to a seated position and leaned her head against his chest. “It’s just that…I missed the sunrise.” Her voice tapered off into another soft cry.

"Oh sweetheart, there’ll be more sunrises." His voice was rough with concern as he gently stroked her hair. "Do you think you can give us a description of the man who attacked you?"

"I only caught a glimpse of him." She closed her eyes, searching her pain addled brain for anything that might help. "I think he was older, but that might have been because of the cane. I didn’t see his face. His scarf was pulled up and he was wearing a big bulky overcoat and a hat.”

The police constable nearest to them, turned away and barked into his radio. "All units! Be on the lookout for a gentleman with a cane, wearing an overcoat, muffler and hat. Hold him for questioning concerning an assault."

"And for defacing an antiquity," Caitlyn muttered, pointing to the small hole in the tomb’s upper ring. Indiscernible to most, but to her the jagged, empty hole made a mockery of everything she held dear.

"There was a design there," she said softly. "A triple spiral. I showed you a picture of it last night at the library, remember? How dare some greedy bastard defile something that has withstood time and the elements for over five thousand years!"

Caitlyn winced, pain shooting through her head as she raised her voice in anger. Lucas pulled her close, hoping to sooth not only the pain in her head but also her heart. In the short time he’d been with Caitlyn, he’d learned how deeply she revered the megaliths she studied. It was one of the many things he’d grown to love about her. Love? Aw hell no.

He stared down into her face. Even etched with pain, her beauty and fiery temper shone through. She was a bright and gifted scholar with so much knowledge to offer the world. He should never have involved her in this op. But he’d been so certain his target would be inside the tomb, not outside with Caitlyn. Dammit. She could have been killed.

Lucas stood stock-still, cursing himself silently as the paramedics arrived and guided her from his arms to start their examination. He let out an audible sigh of relief when they confirmed her pupils were refracting normally and that her pulse and blood pressure were strong and steady. Still, it was decided that she should have a doctor look her over at the hospital.

Lucas helped her onto the gurney and walked along side to the waiting ambulance. He was about to climb in when Inspector O’Malley stopped him.

"We’re searching everyone on the site. Purses. Pockets. Thermoses. So far we’ve come up empty."

"I have a feeling you’ll find the cane under a bush somewhere," Lucas said grimly. "It’s served its purpose, both as a tool and a weapon. No doubt part of the disguise, too."

“You’re probably right, but we’ll keep at it anyway.”

***

Two hours later, the attending physician declared Caitlyn well enough to go home.

"You’ve a sizable lump on your head, so just take it easy until the pain and swelling subsides, alright?"

"I will."

"Watch her closely for the next twenty-four hours," he warned Lucas. "If her headache worsens, her speech slurs or she seems confused, bring her right back, do y’hear?"

“Yes, doctor and thank you."

Caitlyn shot Lucas a glance, but held her tongue until the doctor left the room.

"Oh for goodness sake, there’s no need for you to watch over me for the next twenty-four hours."

"Doctor’s orders. Unless there’s someone else available," he added casually. "A roommate, maybe?

"She’s gone home for the holidays. But I’m working this evening. They’ll watch out for me there."
Lucas snorted softly. “You’re supposed to take it easy. There’s no way you’re going to work tonight.  You’d best call to let them know you won’t be in."

"But…"

"No buts, Caitlyn." He placed a hand under each arm and lifted her off the exam table. "I should never have involved you. It’s my fault you got hurt. It’s my responsibility to make sure you get better.”

***

Lucas’ cell phone rang as he and Caitlyn walked across the parking lot to his rental car. He listened for a moment and gave a terse response before ending the call.

"That was Inspector O’Malley. They found the cane, but no trace of your attacker or the stone. They’re widening the search, but something tells me our guy has gone to ground."

“Lucas, we have to find him before he gets the stone out of the country. We can’t let him get away with this.”

Lucas nodded as he loaded her into the passenger seat and then made his way around to the driver’s side.

"You know, I’ve got vacation built up. I was thinking I might stay here in Dublin over the holidays. Would you like to spend them with me? I mean, that is if you don’t have any other plans."

Caitlyn’s heart soared at the thought of spending Christmas cuddled in front of a fire with Lucas. She was already envisioning New Year’s Eve wrapped in his arms listening to the bells ring through the night when he sent her crashing back to reality.

"The target may have gone to ground, but the way I see it, he’ll want to get the stone to Saldana within the next week or so, and I want to be here when he does."

She stared over at Lucas in the driver’s seat. Despite knowing his only real interest in staying over was to nab the art thief. Caitlyn resolved to make the best of his offer. Girls like her didn’t meet men like him on a regular basis. Why not enjoy the time while it’s afforded to her? She smiled brightly at him.

“That’s a great idea, Lucas. I’d be happy to spend time with you while you’re here.”

***

Once home, Caitlyn reveled in the distraction named Lucas Connor. She watched in amused wonder as he tucked a blanket around her before making his way into the kitchen. She heard cupboards opening and closing and the click of the stove’s pilot light catching. Before long Lucas emerged with a tray piled high with sandwiches and a fairly decent pot of tea. As the afternoon wore on, Lucas entertained her with what she suspected were highly embellished tales of some of his more memorable adventures as an FBI agent.

In turn, Caitlyn opened up a little more about her life in Dublin and about her grandmother. It was more than she’d ever shared with anyone before and despite her best efforts, the ever-present loneliness and pain crept into her voice.

Lucas ran a lazy finger down her forearm. "It must be hard being alone this time of year."

"It is, a bit. But I’ve got a good group of friends and school and work to keep me plenty busy."

His astute, beautiful eyes searched her face, but probed no further. "How’s your head feel?" he asked instead.

"Great. The headache faded hours ago."

"You sure?"

"Absolutely."

“How about some dinner then? I’m starved and you don’t have much in the way of food in that kitchen.” He said with a wink before bundling up against the weather and heading down the row to O’Brien’s.

He returned with snow dusting his brown waves and the tantalizing scent of fish and chips wafting from a brown paper bag. They ate in front of the fire. Lucas crunched down on his deep-fried haddock while Caitlyn sprinkled vinegar over her fish and chips before digging in. She was midway through her portion when she felt him watching her. When she looked up, giving him a quizzical look, he smiled.

"How can you eat fries without ketchup?"

"They’re better with vinegar."

At his dubious look, she help up a fry.

"Och, at least try one before ye go hatin’ on it."

Caitlyn’s heart fluttered when he dipped his head and ate it from her hand. Her breath hitched as he licked the salt and vinegar from her fingers. And when he raised his head, and pinned her with his gaze, she forgot how to breathe altogether.

Knotting a hand in her hair, Lucas pulled her to him as he shoved their half-eaten meal aside with the other. His mouth molded onto hers and Caitlyn locked her arms around his neck, straining against him, reveling his warmth.

His lips sent electric charges surging through her body as he trailed kisses along her jawline and down her neck. It had been so long… Oh, who was she kidding? She’d never felt like this with another man, ever. Lucas Connor made her blood boil and every nerve ending sing.

Unadulterated need and hunger raged through her body like a wildfire, unchecked and uncontainable. His teeth scraped and nipped their way along her collar bone, and Caitlyn dropped her head to the side allowing him better access, crying out when he bit down on her shoulder before dragging his lips up to claim hers again. Greedy mouths fed off one another as impatient hands stripped away layers of clothing and before long, Caitlyn was stretched out beneath Lucas, arching into every caress.

"God, Caitlyn, you’re beautiful,” he whispered, raking her with hot, hungry eyes.

She moaned softly as he leaned over and captured her breast with his lips, flicking and swiping his tongue over her pebbled nipple. She writhed beneath him, her hands threading their way through his waves, as she pulled him closer.

“Patience, sweetheart. I’ll give you what you need.”

Moaning her assent, Caitlyn bucked against his hips as he spread her legs and wedged himself between them. His hands took the place of his lips, kneading and pinching her breasts as his lips traveled down along her belly, nipping at her hip bone and coming to a halt hovering just above her mound.

A small shudder coursed through her body as his breath tickled her sensitized bud of nerves. He nuzzled her inner thighs. Licked and teased her smooth inner folds. Circling but never landing on her clit. She cried out her frustration, rocking her hips, straining to reach his lips as he broke off his torture and grinned up at her.

“Hush, baby. I’ll let you come soon. Just relax and enjoy it. I know I am.”

“Please, Lucas. Stop teasing. I need…need…Oh my God!”

Lucas spread her wide, lashing her with his tongue. Caitlyn arched toward him, his name tumbling from her lips on moan. She fisted his hair with both hands, holding him in place. Now that he was there, she wasn’t going to let him wander off.

His tongue laved and dipped in her weeping core. She spread her legs further, her heels digging furrows in the carpet.

“More,” she heard herself cry and Lucas obliged.

Spearing her with two fingers, Lucas thrust deep, finding and stroking the so oft times elusive spot deep within her core as he suckled her clit. Caitlyn flexed toward him, clamping down on his fingers. Through the haze she heard and felt Lucas growl against her mound, the vibrations sending her screaming over the edge and into an untamed climax. She bucked hard against his mouth, screaming his name over and over. He held her tight, forcing her through it until the last of her shudders subsided. Only then did he move up alongside her, enveloping her in a possessive embrace. His rock hard presence pressing into the small of her back.

“I guess I did good?” He murmured, pressing a gentle kiss to her temple.

“Och, aye,” she quipped softly in an exaggerated brogue. “I’d say ye took top honor.”

She turned in his arms to face him, reaching her hand down to stroke his cock.

“What do ye say, boyo? Are ye ready tae claim your prize?”