Harmony in Silence


(Contemporary Straight Romance for $3.99. Connected to Steamy Nights, Cool Lights)

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American billionaire Omar Segal has a life of luxury, power and prestige. Even though he may act the well-travelled playboy tycoon who loves fine wine and women, he prefers a quiet night at home adding to his collection of quirky themed socks or expensive outlandish suits and ties. But then an incredible opportunity arises where he can finally get his revenge against the man who stole the most important thing from him twenty years ago. He’ll reunite with the only women he has ever loved- Wilhelmina Kiraly, the first-born daughter of the richest winemaker in Hungary, and Omar’s sworn enemy.

Finally free of her domineering father after his well-deserved death, Willa Kiraly is now ready to embrace her new freedom and resurrect a career in music she had to sacrifice. She always blamed him for the destruction of her concert pianist mother, his former mistress he targeted for ownership when she was just a teenager. A product of her parents’ unstable and violent relationship, Willa has always felt she was never deserving of the Kiraly name and fortune. Laszlo Kiraly forced her to reject her love of classical music because of a dark secret he held over her head for so long. But when her past in the form of Omar reenters her life, all her doubts and fears threaten to rise up again and devastate her.

Omar wants to make every desire and dream of Willa’s a reality. He’ll take her on a magical journey across Vienna, Austria, seducing her senses with decadent chocolate and the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, her favorite composer. But how can she accept Omar when she suffers in silence about the truth surrounding her birth that led to her mother’s suicide and almost caused Willa to do the same in turn?

 

Excerpt:

Her eyes opened, glossy and red. “I would have had more time with you.”

He traced the side of her face and through her hair. She was on the edge of tears, making his own eyes wet. He’d last cried at his father’s funeral. All it took was for Willa to break apart for him to do the same.

“Hey, now.” He tucked her hair behind her ears. “Let’s stay in the present.”

“I should tell you what I did after I returned to Hungary with Father.” Her tears wet her eyelashes.

“No, you’re not ready to tell me. It can wait.” He scooped her up and deposited her on his lap, where she hid her face in his shirt. He enclosed her in his arms and rocked her, comforting her like he had wanted to do for so long.

So much talk of time between them, but the loss of time didn’t matter while he sat with her, waiting for her to recover from her emotional trauma. He would have moved heaven and earth to save her from finding her mother bleeding out from slit wrists in a bathtub. But despite the power she thought he had, it was impossible. All he could do was give her new memories to replace the sad ones.

Willa sniffed loudly and wiped her eyes. “I’m not the type of person to break down in tears.”

“It’s important to you to keep your emotions in check.” He hugged her tight and kissed under her ear.

She plucked at a button on his shirt. “It numbs the pain if I ignore it. But you’ve unleashed something inside me that has been dormant for many years.”

He relaxed his arms, wary of how to proceed. She wasn’t pushing him away, which was a good sign, but she’d said he brought out all the ugliness and sorrow she tried to keep in check. His goal was to let her experience the exact opposite of the pain she suffered.

“You lost some color on your face. Why? I’m not going to attack you or lash out at you.” She traced the bare skin under his collar. “You should be thrilled since gotten me to sit on your lap.”

He gripped her hip. He couldn’t trust his body not to respond to her. God forbid she shifted down in between his legs—

And she did, just under an inch, making him jerk up, which of course was a wrong move since his dick now poked her bottom.

Willa laid her cheek on his shoulder while she traced up and around his chest and neck.

“It’s nice, sitting here,” she sighed.

“We can stay all night.” He would, even if his cock went numb from the strain.

“As much as that sounds nice, I think it’s best we don’t.” She combed through his hair.

He moaned, relaxing into the cushions behind him but then froze when she pressed her mouth on the center of his throat.

“You’re playing with fire. I can’t trust myself not to kiss you.” He dug his fingers into her hips when she straddled him.

“Make me feel again.” She laid his palm on her breast. “I give you permission to touch me.”

He gave a quick squeeze—he would return to this luscious globe later. But he had something else in mind. He skimmed his fingers down her front and to her stomach, enjoying how her breath hitched and her eyelids fluttered as he tickled her belly button.

“Kiss me?” he asked, giving her control.

She dropped a damp kiss on his chin, sucking there. Then she moved up, meeting his mouth and possessing it. He responded by opening his wide and curling his tongue forward for her to claim her own.

Her tongue swept over his clumsily, not that he cared. Her unskilled technique made him want to beat his chest. Mine. Had he been the only one to have her? To be inside her?

He would ask later, but for now he was on a mission to make her fall apart in his arms and cry out in joy. He should abstain from going too far or fast since she was now willing to accept him, but he had to feel the silkiness hiding her special jewel.

She nibbled his lips and tongued the inside of his cheeks, moaning. She said his name like a prayer.

“Omar, touch me. I hurt so much.” She ground down on his knee.

“I’ll take care of you, dearest.”

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If You Only Knew (Lovestruck #3)

Contemporary Lesbian Romance featuring an art gallery owner and tattoo artist set in New York City for $3.99:

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World-renowned artist and successful New York City gallery art owner Stella Jennings has everything she could ever want, but she feels like life is passing her by. Because of her crazy work schedule, she doesn’t have time to date or even have a fling. She’s bored and stuck in a rut with no way out. But then one cold February night, she meets an eccentric and straight forward-thinking woman who’s more than willing to show her a good time without any promises.

Kristi Welch has finally kicked her faithless fiancé to the curb. Her life is about to become even more complicated because he’s also part owner of her popular tattoo shop and refuses to let her buy him out. Her ex-girlfriend, the rich Manhattan socialite Veronica Hardwicke, also wants her back in her bed and she won’t take “no” for an answer. Kristi needs a break from life in general, but after meeting Stella and engaging in some kinky sexual activity one night in her office, she’s willing to take what Stella’s offering.

Both women are looking for thrills, but on their own terms. As both develop strong feelings for one another, the dark secrets Kristi has kept hidden for so long emerge because of Veronica’s jealousy. Now Kristi has to decide how much she’s willing to reveal to Stella, knowing their relationship could be ruined forever. She could end up losing everything, including her heart.

 

Excerpt:

Kristi tugged off her scarf and wrapped it around Stella’s waist. Stella spread her hands on top of her shoulders and quirked her lips.

“Now I have you.” Kristi tilted back her head.

“You had me before that.” Stella dipped down.

She cupped Stella’s cheek, and a sexy smile appeared. She couldn’t wait to nibble and lick this adorable blonde’s lips. She bet they tasted as juicy as they looked. “I had you the moment we saw each other outside.”

She brushed her thumbs over J’s cheeks. A slight blush appeared on them. “Don’t be scared.” She moved her fingers across Stella’s mouth.

Stella glanced away at the same time her tongue slipped out and brushed the pads of Kristi’s fingers.

A pleased moan left her mouth and, as she lifted up for a kiss, Stella jerked back. “I’m not scared. Maybe nervous. It’s been a while—”

“Hush.” She tightened her grip on Stella’s face. “I’ll take care of you. Just relax and I’ll make you feel good.”

She pressed her lips to Stella’s open mouth, moaning low. When Stella fisted her hands in her hair, she swiped her tongue inside her mouth and stroked. Stella did the same with her tongue, and soon they were devouring each other.

She whimpered when Stella broke off the kiss.

“That’s nice,” Stella said. “You have a sweet mouth.”

Nice? Sweet? She didn’t want to be compared to a lollipop.

She moved her hands down until she cuddled Stella’s tits. Stella’s head fell back. She planted her mouth on the side of Stella’s neck and rubbed her thumbs over her covered nipples. Oh yeah. These puppies will fit perfectly in my mouth.

She turned Stella in her arms and stepped forward. A wicked idea popped in her head, and as she continued sucking on the soft skin of her neck and working over her breasts, she backed her into the desk.

Her breathing hitched and she came in for another kiss, this one with more passion and hunger. Stella’s honeyed taste exploded in her mouth, and she squeezed the aroused woman’s breasts.

“You’re the sweet one,” she whispered and moved back to gather her thoughts. Removing her trembling hands, she drew her shirt over her head. Shaking her hair to get rid of the static electricity, she unlatched her bra and tossed it on the floor. She kicked it away and dropped her hands on her hips. “Like what you see, J?”

 

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Lovestruck (Lovestruck #1)

Contemporary Lesbian Romance (with millionaire heroine) for or only $3.99:

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CEO hotel mogul Barbara Jennings has three months to decide whether to close her Manhattan hotel or cut costs by firing some of her employees. She meets her much-younger employee, Jennifer Caffey and is instantly smitten.

Now Barbara has another mission…to seduce the innocent Jenny.

Jenny is also attracted to the powerful and beautiful Barbara, but has never really had a steamy love affair with another woman. Unwittingly, she allows herself to be swept away by her passion for this older woman who may ruin her life.

 

Excerpt:

Jennifer hadn’t said more than two words to her since they got in the car. Something had changed, and Barbara had no clue what ran through the girl’s mind. Whatever it was, she didn’t like it.

“Are you okay, kiddo? Do you feel sick?” She reached over and pulled Jennifer’s hair away from her face.

Jennifer shrugged. “Just a little tired, Ms. Jennings.”

She let out a small huff. Back to ‘Ms. Jennings,’ were they?

“You can turn here. My building is on the corner.”

Barbara parked the car in front of Jennifer’s apartment and switched off the ignition. The streetlight overhead was apparently burnt out or broken. The street was dark and deserted.

“Pretty quiet here?” She tapped her nails on the steering wheel.

“Yeah. Everyone in the neighborhood is in by dusk, usually. No one roams the streets that much. I guess they’re all tired from working. But it’s a pretty safe neighborhood.” Jennifer viewed the building. “Mike, my roommate, doesn’t seem to be home yet. There aren’t any lights on. I guess he’s at The Watering Hole. He has a crush on the bartender—”

Barbara cut her words off with a kiss, pressing her lips gently but insistently on Jennifer’s mouth. The girl sat there in stunned silence. When she didn’t respond, Barbara raised her head. She held Jennifer’s face in a tight grip, wanting to feel her tongue on her own.

She gave her another tiny peck. “Please, let me in. Let me make you feel good.”

“Yes, please,” Jennifer whispered, ever so politely. She touched her tongue to Barbara’s.

She let out another moan and deepened the kiss. Jennifer inhaled and sighed. Barbara kissed her harder. they groaned in unison, and Jennifer reached out and wrapped her arms around Barbara’s waist.

She released her seat belt then unhooked Jennifer’s, needing more space for what she wanted to do to Jennifer. She should have given a quick look out the windows, but didn’t want to break the mood or draw Jennifer’s attention to where they were. She was on a mission to make Jennifer come, and she hoped she’d find some relief, too.

Jennifer allowed her to take control. Barbara rubbed her cheeks with her thumbs, and her fingers caressed each side of her mouth.

“Oh, Jennifer. You undo me,” she whispered on her mouth and then dipped her head to suck on her neck.

Jennifer’s hand fell away from Barbara’s waist to her own crotch. She chuckled against Jennifer’s throat and gave her a nip. Jennifer flinched.

“That’s my job,” she whispered and covered her hand.

“I ache. I need…I need.…”

“I know what you need.” Barbara looked her straight in the eye and gave her another deep kiss.

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Shine On

New Adult Lesbian Romance for only .99 cents!

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Jade Moretti’s job at Lovely Diamonds, the most popular gentlemen’s club in Las Vegas, pays well. She’s not a stripper but an accountant who loves running numbers and watching revenues rise. Lovely Diamonds is a family business, run by her former stripper mother for over thirty years. At twenty-three, Jade is ready to embrace adulthood and live life on her own terms.

As Jade catches the eye of a former popular classmate from high school from her past reenters her life. Her former best friend, international rock star Ivy Falls has returned, not only to shake up the town, but to jumpstart her relationship with Jade, who she left behind for fame and fortune.

Ivy wants a second chance, and won’t take no for an answer. Is Jade willing to forgive the woman who walked out on her, leaving her heart shattered in the process?

Excerpt:

Five years is a long time.” She shifted toward me, her arm brushing mine.

Tingles shot down my hand from her touch. “Yes, it is. Too long.”

What are—”

A loud siren went off behind us. Two women jumped up and down in front of the lit machine, and a robotic voice repeated winner.

“Someone won a big jackpot,” I indicated, now anxious to try my luck at my favorite slot machine. “Right before you stopped by, I was going to play one of the slots. Want to join me?”

“Sure. It’s been awhile since I’ve played.” She held out her hand for me.

I drew out a twenty dollar bill instead of taking her hand. “Off to the quarter slots.”

When I moved out, Ivy followed me. She was silent for some reason. I was fine with it because I was on a mission to win money. We passed the two women who had won a nice sum. They hugged and kissed. The majority of people ignored them probably more absorbed with their technique of hitting a button in the hopes of winning their own big prize.

Anticipation bubbled inside of me as I notice my favorite slot machine was vacant. It was next to two others, but I always chose the one on the far left. I parked my butt in the seat, and Ivy did the same next to me. I inserted my club card and the twenty dollar bill. The machine roared to life.

“Care to make a friendly wager?” she asked.

“What type of wager?”

“If you win the big progressive, you spend the night with me.”

I froze before pressing the button. She couldn’t be serious. “If I win the big jackpot, you want me to spend the night with you in bed?”

She snickered. “I never said anything about us in a bed, but if you want to up the ante—”

“Lay it out for me.” My entire body hummed with excitement. Whether the high of gambling or Ivy’s suggestive proposal, I couldn’t say.

“You, Miss Moretti have a dirty mind. The mention of us enjoying self-loving put your mind in the gutter.” She leaned toward me and dropped her hand on my knee. “I have a suite at the Deus, and I would love you to see it, perhaps sleep over like we used to do as kids. It would be innocent, unless you decide otherwise.” She traced a circle on my knee, making me restless.” I also have a hot tub that takes up half the living room.”

I pressed my hand on hers. “I’ve been playing this machine for years and never won the progressive.”

“I have a feeling the odds are in my favor tonight.” She turned her hand over and linked our fingers. “You giving me a shot proves that.”

The insinuation underneath her statement was loud and clear. A win for Ivy meant a win for me either way.

“Maybe I don’t want to win so much. I would have the headache of paying the taxes on it.” I hit the spin-reel button, and the spins circled around on the screen, stopping on three cherries that awarded me a dollar.

“Nice excuse.” She bent her head to mine, her mouth right under my ear. “But I can tell you’re open to the suggestion, so don’t try to deny it. What do you have to lose?”

I tapped the spin-reel button again. “I have a lot more to lose than you.” I didn’t mean the twenty dollars.

“Not anymore.” She nestled her chin on my shoulder and pressed the button when the spinning stopped.

“We’ll take turns and see.”

Ivy and I took turns, coming close to playing the progressive wheel but not hitting it. Ivy kept her chin on my shoulder, and our hands linked while we played. The air around us grew thick and muggy, but I didn’t mind. I felt like I was in my own personal bubble with Ivy.

After what must have been thirty minutes, I was down to my last dollar. Ivy cursed under her breath. It was our last chance…unless one of us added more money to sweeten the pot, to keep the dare alive.

My finger hovered over the button, but I paused and turned to Ivy. Our noses bumped together, we were that close. I didn’t jerk back but stayed still, waiting for her next move.

“If I asked you for a kiss for luck, would you give it to me?” she asked.

“A kiss isn’t going to change anything.”

“Make me believe it will.”

I kissed her cheek. She grunted, not pleased. Jabbing the button one last time, I claimed her lips, refusing to let go. She sighed and squeezed my hand as the spinning stopped on a row of tiny progressive wheels. The highest dollar number on the screen lit up, teasing me to try and win it.

Accepting the challenge, I kept my mouth on Ivy’s and held my breath for my shot at greatness.

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Steamy Nights, Cool Lights

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(Lesbian Contemporary Romance set in Iceland)

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1

Kennedy Segal travels to Reykjavik, Iceland for a once in a lifetime business trip to sign a multi-million dollar deal for Segal Holdings, her older brother’s billion-dollar company. The first night she’s there, she meets an alluring woman only known as Marella, who tempts Kennedy in ways she has never been tempted before.

What should have been a one-night stand, becomes more because Marella is also Svana Landvik, former European pop star who left it all behind to run one of the biggest breweries on Iceland.

Kennedy’s mistake with Svana may ruin everything she has achieved, including the respect she has been striving for her entire life. But if Svana has her say, Kennedy may have a bright new future with a woman who wants much more than just a fling.

 

Excerpt:

She accepted a menu from the bartender, a handsome man near her age. He set down a cocktail napkin and said something in a strange language, probably Icelandic.

Oh no. He doesn’t speak English? “I’m sorry. I don’t understand you.”

“He said you have remarkable eyes.” A woman with no recognizable accent mounted the stool next to Kennedy.

“Yes, you have very unique eyes.” The bartender pointed to his green ones.

Kennedy’s face warmed. “It’s hereditary.”

The woman nudged her arm. “You must feel special, then.”

Her comeback stalled on her lips. The woman next to her had finely shaped eyebrows, one of which was pierced with a silver hoop. She also had a pixie cut with various shades of blonde highlights. Silver hoop earrings dangled from her ears, and her face was sharp but welcoming.

“Um, hi,” she responded when she could speak again.

Her seatmate wore a sexy-as-hell outfit consisting of a tight ivory blouse that barely restrained her ample chest, along with a knee-length leather skirt that looked painted on. Her black leather thigh-high stiletto boots encased her trim legs.

“Hiya.” The woman grinned at her, highlighting a large freckle or mole near her plump upper lip. “You’re the first person I’ve met with different colored eyes.” She turned to the bartender “How about you, myndarlegur?”

Nei.” He dipped his head, showing a flag of red on his cheeks.

The woman set her hand on the bar near his. “Aw, don’t be embarrassed. I’ll bet the lady gets the question a lot. Right?”

“All the time.” Kennedy studied the woman’s hand, fascinated by her multiple silver rings, and shiny red nails. She curled her dull, unadorned fingers into her palms to hide them.

The tip of the woman’s tongue grazed the corner of her mouth, staying there long enough for Kennedy to zone in on it. As soon as she realized what she did, she shifted her gaze back to the bartender.

“Um, I’ll have a wine spritzer,” she requested.

The woman said something in Icelandic to the bartender then laughed while he just smiled.

She scrolled through her emails until curiosity got the better of her. Was this beautifully arresting woman making her the butt of a joke?

“Since I’m not fluent in your language, would you mind telling me what you said to the bartender just now?”

“She said she’ll have something stronger and to put yours on her tab,” the bartender responded in accented English and turned to make the drinks.

“Seriously?”

“About putting your drink on my tab? Absolutely.” The woman shrugged then held out her hand. “So I don’t end up calling you Wine Spritzer the entire night, we should share names. I’m Marella.”

Her uncommon name sounded familiar. Instead of concentrating on why, she focused on the woman next to her. “My name is Kennedy.”

“Welcome to Iceland, Kennedy.” Marella gave her hand a strong pump.

“How do you know it’s my first time in your country? You’re a native, right?” She left her hand in the other woman’s, despite her usual preference for short handshakes.

“Yes, I am. It’s obvious you’re visiting for the first time. Usually Americans order one of our beers or at least wine.” She loosened her hold but kept their fingers tangled together.

Unsettled, Kennedy drew her hand back and laid it on her lap. Just far enough away so Marella wouldn’t have easy access, not that this very affable woman would do such a thing.

“I don’t like beer.” She checked her phone. It had only been a few minutes since she sat down. Why did it seem time had slowed in Iceland?

Marella gave her a sympathetic smile. “Between you and me, I’m not a fan of beer either. I prefer wine.”

The bartender returned with their drinks, and Marella requested he keep her tab open.

Kennedy lifted her glass. “Is everyone here like you? I mean, do your people go out of their way to buy tourists drinks?”

“I’ve done it a few times. This is one of my favorite hotels in Reykjavik to have a few drinks, especially on a Friday night after work. Their happy hour is also one of the best.” Marella pointed to the small plastic tabletop display, indicating the happy hour times and specials in English. “Skál.”

Skál?” Kennedy winced as she murdered the word.

“It’s Icelandic for cheers and good health.” Marella tapped her glass to Kennedy’s and took a sip.

She spoke the foreign word much clearer this time. As she sipped, she watched Marella drink her wine, a dark red that almost matched her nail color.

“Hm, I love a good Merlot.” Marella lowered her glass and licked her lips, flashing something metallic in her mouth.

She almost choked as she swallowed. “You have a barbell in your mouth?”

“Yes.” Marella displayed her tongue, and the metal ball in the middle of it.

“Why?” Fascinating. This was the first time she’d met someone with an actual piercing in their tongue.

“I was young and stupid at the time I got the piercing. But I kept it. I also have one in my bellybutton.” Marella’s eyes twinkled. “And, no, I don’t have any others.”

Kennedy pressed her lips together to stop from laughing at a conversation she’d never thought she would have in a million years, and in Iceland of all places.

“How about you? Any piercings?” Marella crossed her legs, brushing Kennedy’s knee with the hem of her skirt.”

“Only my ears, but earrings irritate my lobes. I didn’t want to be pierced anywhere else, especially those intimate areas only a few select people have seen.”

Marella slapped the top of the bar. “Good one.” She flicked her bangs away from her forehead, flashing black ink on the inside of her arm.

“You also have tattoos?”

She lifted her sleeve and traced the ink with her fingers. “It’s fjölskyldan mín, meaning family. I got it a long time ago.”

The tattoo on Kennedy’s hip tingled. She tightened her grip around her glass to keep from rubbing at it. Asking for the story of the woman’s tattoo would make things too serious between them. She didn’t want to be solemn or reflect on her own loss then end up a blubbering mess.

“You have a beautiful name.” She brought the conversation back to more lighthearted topics.

Marella lowered her sleeve, and her head snapped up. “It’s my middle name.”

“Your middle name? Why don’t you go by your first name?”

Marella lifted her glass, downed her wine, then set aside her empty glass and flagged down the bartender. “Perhaps I’ll tell you my first name after a few more drinks.”

She swirled her drink. “How about we add food into the mix? I’m starving.”

Marella smiled and claimed her wrist with a squeeze, causing her stomach to flutter. “I’m starving also.”

***

“You’re not going to be forty in October! You look ten years younger!” Kennedy finished the last of the cheese on her plate. She rubbed her hands on her napkin and settled back in the booth. They sat close together, sharing enough appetizers for triple their party.

Marella had started out sitting across from her then moved next to her when their food arrived. After a few glasses of wine—or maybe more, she’d lost count—Kennedy felt very relaxed. Marella’s arm lay over the cushion behind her, brushing Kennedy’s back with her fingertips every so often.

Marella grimaced as she finished her glass, setting it down on the table with a click. “I’m so fucking old. What are you, thirty?”

“I turned thirty-one in January.” Kennedy sighed and licked some salt from her finger.

Marella refilled Kennedy’s glass. “Everyone I work with is younger than me.”

“You never said what you do. Something in the arts?”

Marella arched her eyebrow. “The arts? Honey, I work behind a desk. I’m an executive.”

She snickered and swallowed more wine. The wooziness in her head helped loosen her up, but also made her brave. She grasped her companion’s inked arm. “You’re an executive even with your tattoo and tongue piercing? You must work for a cool company.”

She twisted her arm, taking Kennedy’s hand. “It’s one of the coolest in Reykjavik. I work for a brewery and spirits distributor.”

“That’s why I’m here. I have a business meeting at one of the breweries. You must know Landvik, then.” Her eyelids fluttered as Marella stroked her wrist with her thumb.

“I know them very well. Their wild honey victory vodka is amazing.”

Kennedy’s eyes popped open. “Vic for Landvik?” She giggled.

“What’s the purpose of your meeting?” Marella’s breath brushed her ear.

She shifted closer. “I work for the Segal Corporation. Our headquarters are in California. We’re signing a big deal with Landvik to sell their alcohol at our properties in the United States.”

“You’re an account executive like me?”

“You could say that.” Kennedy took another sip of her wine. “I’d better stop drinking after this glass or someone might have to help me to my room.”

“I wasn’t planning on getting you drunk, so maybe you should stop.” Marella took her glass and set it down. “But perhaps you’re still sober enough for one last drink.”

“What type?” Kennedy blinked away the fuzziness in her vision.

Marella waved for their server. “Since you haven’t tried any of Landvik’s beers or spirits, we’re having a wild honey shot.”

“You sure you’re not trying to get me drunk?” Kennedy hiccupped. “You better order me a water chaser.”

The server came over and took their plates. “Yes, Madame M?”

“Two shots of wild honey vic vodka and two glasses of water.”

After their server left, Kennedy nudged her companion. “What’s with the Madame M? Don’t tell me you’re also some government official like the mayor or governor.” She scratched her nose. “Does Reykjavik even have a mayor?”

Marella tapped her chin with her fingers as a smile broke over her face. “You’re too cute. I’m not in politics. Madame M is just a nickname. Most in Reykjavik use it as a term of endearment.”

“Most? How many do you know here?” Wow. Only a few high-profile celebrities were “known” by most at home in Los Angeles.

“There’s around one hundred twenty thousand residing in and around Reykjavik, so it’s easy to know many people.” Marella’s impish smile returned. There was more to this story.

“Your personality probably has something to with it. You’re very friendly.” The server returned, and Kennedy took a healthy gulp of water, suddenly parched.

Marella dipped her finger in her vodka. “Just my personality impressed you? Nothing else?”

Kennedy swallowed an ice cube too fast it lodged in her throat. As she cleared the intrusive lump, she cut her gaze away from the sexy woman next to her.

Marella tickled her nape. “What about my fashion sense or my hair?”

She opened her mouth to respond, but froze when a vodka-laced finger stroked down her cheek to her throat.

“Maybe my face is more than pleasing to you?” Marella whispered in her ear.

A rush of liquid warmth settled in her belly, and the atmosphere between them became charged with sensuality.

“I ah, think you’re very beautiful. Most of the women here are.” She drank more water, trying to quench her thirst. Keeping her mouth to the rim, as if it would protect her from Marella’s scrutiny, she stared ahead.

“I find you—”

“Did I tell you I’m practically engaged?” She silently cursed the squeak in her voice.

“What does ‘practically’ mean? To a man or a woman?” Skepticism lined her tone.

“To a man. Why would you think a woman?” She released a nervous laugh and finished her water.

The twinkle in Marella’s eyes gave away her amusement. But she didn’t make Kennedy feel like the butt of a joke. Nothing about the woman led her to think her cruel.

Nervous, she set her glass down and tilted it to the side to fish out another ice cube. She froze when Marella petted her thigh.

“You may ‘practically’ be engaged to a man, but your body isn’t as loyal to him as you want me to believe.” She squeezed Kennedy’s knee then skimmed up higher.

The heat swirling in her belly dipped lower. “What about my heart?”

“The heart is different. It may want one thing while the body wants another. I believe this is the case with you.” Her hand curled around Kennedy’s upper thigh.

She dropped her hand on Marella’s. “You didn’t approach me just to be nice. You had an ulterior motive.”

“You’re a smart woman.” Marella shrugged and linked their fingers. “You could have thanked me for the drink and left or given off the vibe you wanted to be left alone. You did neither.”

“How often do you do this?” Her heart rattled in her chest. She might be a pushover in some instances, but she refused to be a victim or target.

The light in Marella’s eyes dimmed, and she shifted back, although she kept their fingers linked. “I’m not, how you say, a repeat offender. I don’t go around seducing unsuspecting women or accommodating those here on holiday who want to experience something risqué or naughty. I’m not some temptress or dahlia out to steal your soul.”

Kennedy burst out laughing. “You have an interesting way with words. It must be the language barrier.”

Marella’s shoulders relaxed, and she finally let go, leaving her phantom touch on Kennedy’s thigh. She made a fist on her lap, tempted to caress Marella’s face.

Their intimacy had vanished. Conversation around them had become too loud, with the arrival of a new group of patrons, and the space too crowded. She could thank the other woman for the company and go back to her room alone. But she’d only spend the rest of the evening obsessing over work.

It had been a long time since had done something daring. The last time it had been the biggest mistake of her life, leading to years of guilt and shame. She hoped this next step wouldn’t come back to bite her in the ass.

“Have you ever stayed here or seen the inside of one of the rooms?”

“I’ve never stayed here. My home is less than twenty minutes outside the city.” Marella lifted her shot to her mouth.

She snagged Marella’s wrist before she drank. “I have a huge corner room with a view of the marina. Why don’t you come up with me to check it out?”

Marella’s eyes widened. Then a small smile appeared. “I would love to.” She transferred her shot to her other hand and lowered the arm Kennedy still held. “A toast to new friendships, elskan.”

Elskan?”

“It’s a term of endearment, like ‘sweetie’ or ‘darling.’” She tapped her glass to Kennedy’s and tossed back the drink.

Much better than being called babe. She mouthed the strange word then drank her shot. As the smooth as silk vodka slid down her throat, a warm prickling spread through her body, making her anxious for privacy to get to know her new friend.

 

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