sssSotiaMy contemporary romance, The Tenant, is coming out on August 7th (what do you mean I’ve already told you?! :P) and I’ve been busy preparing material for a book blitz and blog hop to promote it.

Out of a total of fourteen posts for said hop, I still have thirteen to go, so you’re getting a little teaser in lieu of an actual post.

I hope you’ll forgive me.

This is the first chapter of my upcoming Erotic PNR/UF, Cherry Blossom (Book II of the Cherry Vampire series). You can find Book I, Cherry Stem, on Amazon, B&N, Apple, and other book sellers. Find it on Goodreads here.


Chapter One


image from 123rf.com

I like big beds.

I like wide, comfy mattresses that allow me to stretch to my heart’s desire and roll over as many times as I please. What’s more, I like bedmates that don’t take up the entire space I lovingly try to maintain around me.

Alex wasn’t that kind of a bedmate.

Alex was a cuddler, which I more than appreciated right after naughty-times, but suffocated me when I woke up to the weight of an arm pressing my chest down or a hard body keeping me from turning around.

He also snored from time to time, which made no sense, since he no longer needed to breathe. I guess old habits die hard.

I wouldn’t have made a big deal out of any of those things that morning, if I hadn’t woken up to Alex’s spooning me from behind, both of his arms wrapped around me like steel bars, and his voice whispering in my ear, “I want you to meet my mother.”

And I certainly wouldn’t have kicked him off the bed, if he hadn’t added, “And I want to meet your family.”


“What did you do that for?” Alex rubbed his head where it had impacted with the wall. He was still on the floor where he’d landed, blinking at me.

I sat up and bunched the covers around me, still not fully believing I’d done what I had—or that he’d actually said what I’d heard.

“Cherry? What’s up? And ow, by the way!” He didn’t seem as pissed off as I’d have been in his place. “Did you have another nightmare? Think I was Willoughby again?”

His concern made me feel bad. To be honest, I’d never had any nightmares of Willoughby. At times when Alex had been too clingy in my sleep, however, I might have elbowed him in the ribs or kicked him in the shin and afterward implied that I’d thought he was my maker, haunting my dreams. He’d been having nightmares of his turning too, so he believed me.

I shook my head. “Not him,” I said. “Different nightmare. About you wanting us to meet each other’s folks.”

That got him fuming in no time, which worked out quite well, because I wasn’t exactly feeling all lovey-dovey at that moment.

“Why’s that so bad? My mother’s been hearing about you for two months now. She wants to meet you.” And that was a glaring example of why we should let our family think we died after our turning. If the vampire council caught a whiff of Alex’s still staying in touch with his mother, they might resort to extreme measures.

Then again, they’d have to know he was a vampire for them to even care, so that was a moot point. We’d kept his…change in status a secret from them, to avoid dealing with the repercussions of breaking the law against turning new fledglings.

“What if she doesn’t like me?” ’Cause loveable as I am, there was always the possibility of that. I didn’t voice my worries that I might not like her. “And you can’t meet my family. I can’t meet my family again. They think I’m dead.”

“They think you’re missing. Finding out you’re still—” I could see he was searching for the right word, since alive wouldn’t cut it “—around would be the greatest thing to ever happen to them.” He was using his rational voice on me, something that probably worked when he interrogated suspects, but which I hated when I was feeling unreasonable. “And my mom will love you.” He got on his feet and dusted plaster off his hair. “Just like I do.”

Yeah, okay. Play the I-love-you card, why don’t you? “We’ll talk about it,” I said. “I’ll ask Constantine what he thinks. He knows the council better than I do, and they like him.” If they didn’t, they’d have publicly executed him for admitting to have killed two of their own. Instead, they’d had him join them. “If he thinks it’s safe for me to go home, we’ll visit my family.”

There was no way my ex would condone something like that. It was reckless and might endanger us all—plus he might be acting all cool and superior, but I could tell he wasn’t exactly happy with my relationship with Alex.

Alex must have realized Constantine would say no, because he kicked dejectedly at the floor and came back to bed with a scowl on his face. “I’ll talk to him too,” he said, standing right in front of me in his birthday suit. “Maybe I can convince him.”

He could certainly try. Meanwhile, I’d do my best to make him forget about the whole thing. I smiled, slid to the edge of the bed, and let the covers drop to reveal a state of undress that matched his, before letting my fingers trace the lines of his body—hard muscle under soft skin that shivered ever so slightly under my touch.

His gaze was locked on mine, as my mouth replaced my fingers down his stomach. I loved the texture, the smoothness of his skin. I feathered my lips along his hipbone and felt his legs tremble slightly. I loved his body’s involuntary responses. Smiling to myself, I brought one hand around him and dug my nails into his buttock, pushing him against my face.

He rudely interrupted my efforts at driving him crazy with anticipation, by stepping back, grabbing my knees, and laying me flat on the bed in one smooth move. Before I could voice my protest, he was kissing me.

I arched upward and wrapped my legs around his hips, but he resisted, his body hovering above me. “No.” The single word was heavy with promise.

He kissed me again slowly, his tongue teasing my mouth open before finding my tongue. The kiss deepened, as did my need for him. When he sucked on my lower lip, I ran one hand down the length of my body and between my legs, where I wanted him the most.

He closed his fingers around my wrist and forced my hand to the mattress. His cool breath tickled my ear. “Be a good girl, and don’t move.”

It’s not like me to submit without thought, but the lust burning in his gaze stifled my rebellious side. I tangled both hands in the sheets to keep from touching him.

His mouth moved down the side of my neck, kissing and licking the area over my jugular. I wanted him to bite me. I wanted to push against him. I held back. He barely let a fang graze my skin, and chuckled at the whiny sound that escaped my throat.

The bastard.

He made his way down my body with his lips and fingers, pulling sighs and moans out of me with every kiss, every caress, every nip. My nipples hardened at his touch, my stomach tightened. Every nerve in my body was screaming for more, but he refused to give it. By the time his face was at the apex of my thighs, I was craving him beyond reason. I could not be held accountable for my actions, if he didn’t sink inside me immediately.

Only Alex wasn’t done teasing me yet.

He gently closed his teeth over the sensitive flesh at the inside of my thigh without breaking the skin, and sucked while pushing a finger inside me.

My hips flew off the mattress, and my eyes watered at the pressure that had been building up in my belly. I needed just a bit more. More pressure. More friction. I needed him to add another finger and pump them both. I needed him to eat me out. I needed him to—Oh God…

He didn’t do what I wanted but he didn’t withdraw, either. Instead, he splayed the fingers of his free hand on my stomach to hold me down and pierced my skin with his fangs at the same time he pressed his thumb on my clit.

I thought I was going to scream, but only a hoarse whisper reached my ears when I managed to form a word. “Please.”

He either didn’t hear me or ignored me. His thumb drew lazy circles around my clitoris, and his finger slid in and out so slowly, I couldn’t get the more I needed. His mouth kept pulling at my blood, and the sensation was enough to drive me to the precipice but not to throw me over.

Pleading obviously hadn’t worked for me, so this time I went with an order. “Now.”

Alex was not in a compliant mood. He stopped touching me entirely and raised his gaze to mine, making sure I watched as he licked his lips. Once he had my undivided attention, he lowered his head again and slowly ran his tongue along my cleft.

That was about when I stopped being nice.

I grabbed his hair to anchor him to me and began grinding against his face, urging him to go faster, harder. If he wanted to play Hold off Cherry’s Release, I’d take matters in my own hands.

I was so close—so fucking close—when he forcefully removed my hands from his head and rolled me over.

Now we’re talking!

The bed was too tall for my knees to reach the ground, and my legs were dangling awkwardly while I tried to find purchase on the floor with my toes. Just when I was about to, Alex nudged my thighs apart with one knee, throwing me completely off balance, and pushed inside me.

Can’t say I complained about the manhandling. Perhaps I would have, if I weren’t enjoying it so much. I’ve always loved seeing Alex’s mild manners put aside in the bedroom—or bathroom, kitchen, public place, wherever—and this dominant side of his come out.

His fingers dug into my hips, lifting me to meet his thrusts. I didn’t even find time to push my body up with my arms. My face was rubbing against the mattress, but all I could feel was the fire inside me, the one he was stoking with every plunge. Every time he withdrew, I clenched around him, trying to lock him and the pleasure in place. My fangs popped out, and I bit at the sheets, uncaring that I’d leave holes in them. I was nearly there nearly there nearly—

Alex’s movements became jerkier, shorter. He draped his body over mine, his hands leaving my hips so his arms could wrap around my torso. I let him draw me to him and tilted my head to the side, so my hair could get out of his way.

The moment his fangs pierced my throat, everything I’d wanted, everything my body had craved for was suddenly flooding my senses, short-circuiting my brain. I couldn’t tell which of us was trembling; all I knew was that, pinned to him, torn sheets hanging forgotten from my mouth, I felt my body shudder with waves of pleasure until I could no longer keep my eyes open.

Alex obviously had some problem controlling himself, too, because his knees buckled what seemed an eternity later, and we both toppled forward, his teeth and cock still inside me.

In my fuzziness, I barely registered his tongue gently licking the wounds he’d inflicted, before he rolled to the side and gathered me close. It’s possible I purred with delight; this was one of the times I not only didn’t mind the cuddling but welcomed it.

I don’t know if I drifted off or just zoned out, but in my efforts to distract him, I’d ended up distracting myself too, enough that I didn’t even realize someone else was in the room until I heard Constantine clearing his throat.