Friday, March 12, 2010
Just because I haven't posted anything in awhile...
Available Now in print from The Wild Rose Press!!
EDEN AT TWILIGHT is the story of Lily, a woman who wants love, and Leaf, the man who risks it all to love her.
Lily Moore is an ordinary accountant who works long hard hours, leaving room for little else. After strange occurrences begin haunting her, she’s convinced by a motherly friend to take a vacation in Scotland . While there, she meets the man of her dreams, a handsome stranger with shifting hazel eyes.
Leaf falls for Lily the moment he sees her, love at first sight. Never has a woman taken his heart so quickly. When trouble stirs and threatens her, he stands by her side, traveling through time and dimension to reclaim her from a deadly Drow leader. Lily has no choice but to trust him and hope his strength will pull them through. But is his strength alone enough?
Leaf hadn’t expected himself to invite Lily to town. But then again, he was surprising himself by enjoying breakfast in the house in the company of his Aunt and this enchanting and irresistible woman. She was walking with him now, quiet and round-eyed, admiring the gardens, and he found himself smitten by her gentle innocence, not to mention her radiant, simple beauty. It had happened so quickly that it nearly unnerved him.
The path led them to the open barn, where Leaf went in and double-checked his load in the open bed wagon.
“You mean we aren’t taking a car or truck?”
Leaf couldn’t help the broad grin of amusement. “Nope, I find this way better suits me, and it also gives the lads some exercise.” He suddenly stopped and faced her. “Ye don’t mind, do ye?”
“No, I’m just surprised,” her voice was quiet, “I’ve never ridden like this, or any other way, by horse.”
“Well then, ‘Just Lily’, ye’r in for a nice treat, my lads are the best team around. Come, I’ll show ye.” Leaf held his hand out to her and when she reached to accept, he saw the tremble and felt it when her cool, moist palm slid into his.
Leaf’s smile became reassuring, and he pulled her hand to his chest as if taking a solemn oath. “There now, no need to worry, they are gentle as lambs, there’s nothin’ to worry over.”
They came to the stalls in the far corner and two large blond heads appeared over the half doors, curious eyes riveted on the new visitor. Lily gasped and laughed nervously. “Those are the largest lambs I’ve ever seen!”
Leaf’s laugh came easy. “This is Zeus and Apollo.” Both heads nodded in recognition and leaned out to be touched. Leaf casually scratched the white stars on their foreheads. Releasing her hand, he turned and stood between them as they leaned over and touched noses. “They are brothers, aren’t ye. Ye can touch ‘em, they won’t hurt ye.”
Lily held her fingers out and they sniffed and snuffed at her before a soft tongue licked at her fingers. Lily couldn’t help but laugh. “Their tongues are so soft and warm!”
“They like ye, they both have a sweet tooth and fall easy for a sweet lass.” Leaf reached his arms around their massive noses and hugged each in a one-armed embrace, and scratched their thick jaws. “Well lads, shall we have a run today?” Releasing them, he went to the tack room, leaving Lily alone. He watched for a moment, from the shadow of the room, as Lily touched each face with gentle, hesitant and guarded strokes with her fingertips. Zeus and Apollo nodded against her fingers. Leaf turned and began gathering the tack he needed. Lily’s yelp snapped his attention back to the doorway.
“Oh!” Lily’s voice squealed with surprise.
Leaf came back just as Apollo’s nose brushed against Lily, jostling her.
“Oh! You are pushy!” She looked to Leaf. “I don’t think they like me touching them at all!” Dropping her hands, both velvet noses nudged from opposite angles. Lily stepped away.
“Apollo! Zeus! Ho…” Leaf’s tone was solid and stern as he put the tack on the bench and came over to them. Both horses raised their heads and watched him, ears pricked forward with intent interest. “They like ye well enough, lass.” He couldn’t help the grin that crossed his lips. “They just want it harder.”
“Pardon me?” Confusion creased her expression even as her color darkened in a deep blush Leaf regretted not being able to see in better lighting.
“They want ye to scratch them harder.”
Lily laughed, “They like it rough, huh?” Reaching up, she scratched the white star between Apollo’s eyes; Zeus reached over and bumped him out of the way, nipping at him. Apollo threw his head up in protest. Lily flinched and stepped back.
“Lads!” The tantrum stopped instantly and their attention went back to him. “Here, try it this way.” Leaf came up behind her and slid his hands down her arms, taking her hands in his. He stretched them out and placed one each to a lowered head, now calm and waiting, to the places he knew they liked scratched best.
Zeus and Apollo closed their eyes as the curl of Lily’s fingers scratched their enormous heads. The music of her voice crooned and whispered to them as she reached up to stroke their fuzzy ears and the forelocks between, making her stretch.
Leaf felt as though an inseparable bond melded them together, feeling his breath catch when he pressed in closer, and her soft curves pressing against him. His hands ached to slide in, take her and pull her closer. But he remained where he was, breathing in her scent and absorbing the pleasure of feeling her so close and reminding himself she was not his for the taking, yet. Drawing in another deep breath, he held it and she turned her head, giving him a shy smile. He slid his hands to her elbows and, with regret, released her, stepping free and letting his breath go. Turning, she looked up at him with quiet expectation in her eyes. He wasn’t sorry for being so forward, so he wouldn’t say it, but in his heart, he knew it wasn’t an apology she wanted.
“We should get goin’.” He opened the latch to the stall door and let it fall open with a deep groan that spoke for his heart.
“Um, yes, may I help with anything?”
Leaf slipped the halter onto Zeus’ outstretched nose and half buckled it. “Yes, ye can hold his lead while I get his tack and harness on.”
Leaf moved away and Zeus plodded behind him to the front of the wagon and stopped. Lily held the lead and scratched him with less hesitation than before. He didn’t really need her to hold the horses, but it got her used to them and gave him the pleasure of watching her.
The simple act of touching her bare arms and hands had formed a connection between them just as he had feared, and hoped, it would. He had touched her before, but the way he was feeling toward her was changing and his connection to her was evolving, just as it seemed her reception to him was, as well. Even as she was touching Zeus’s shoulder now, so he was feeling the very thing Zeus felt. Leaf was glad for the care of Apollo to distract him, he purposely blocked the pleasure her touch was having on Zeus, but he did let a stream of it through, just enough to let his skin prickle. After haltering Apollo, he led him up next to Zeus.
“They are so beautiful,” Lily breathed, looking up to the head towering above. Her smiling eyes radiated the warmth of her heart and he could feel her joy as she turned to Apollo and showered him with equal attention. She giggled when Zeus pulled gently at her hair with his nimble lips, not quite ready for her to give up her affections yet. Leaf took a deep breath and began hitching them both to the wagon.
“I don’t blame ye, buddy,” Leaf whispered to the frustrated Zeus when Lily turned away, unawares.
Thank you for reading!