The Gift by Chris Kuhn


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The Gift

By Chris Kuhn



She had left the gift there in a box.

Tied with a red velvet bow so many years ago.

When she was told to put down that glistening, colorfully garbed present, for it was too early to unwrap.

Or to get those rebellious fingers out of the decadent bridge mix for they had sneaked into the candy dish too many times already. Supper would be spoiled.

And when she started to cry because she was told a jolly man who could make each dream come true were all pretend and he disappeared in a puff of smoke, something else vanished that day.


Her head was always in a book.

Sometimes she would peek over the edge of the page, only to find no one staring back. Until one day, someone was, and the most exhilarating rush overtook her.

The smell of roses filled her small apartment, she clutched on tightly to his promise tied with a red velvet bow as ‘I love you’ and ‘I do’ wrapped her in hope for the future.

Blind to truth she could not see, this man dissolved into dust as pretense fell away and with it her notion of happily ever after. She would gather the pieces into a silk scarf and tuck away her heart. For now.


She lined her path with pretty words. She knew she held a power to wield them.

Words that could unearth the hidden meaning of our sighs, bring more clarity to the horizon or pull us out of rough currents if used as a life preserve and not an anchor.

Nothing easy to say could be carved without careful placement of the right words, meticulously chosen and weighed for their worth beside each other and neatly lined up in a row. A complex thought, a strategic proposal, an emotional waterfall wrapped and tied with a red velvet bow.

She had no idea where words might take her and the possibility intoxicated. But with every sentence she wandered deeper into her own forest, closer to the perimeter of a burial ground of submerged memory and forgotten promises to herself. As each suspenseful page turned, she got a little bit closer to the conclusion of her own story. And this frightened the hell out of her.


She never thought about the past before but its ghosts rose to the surface. Summoned by her own words.

Experiences that shaped who she had become and who she knew she could never be though she had tried so hard. Dimensions of her character she did not always understand but had grown to accept. Parts of her she wished away but refused to leave.

Why is it we muster the courage to change our life only when we no longer possess the time nor energy to do so?

Life becomes that perfectly wrapped present under the tree you simply must not touch. Or the tempting candy dish you dare not divulge in exploring, because that would be wrong. We still allow ourselves to believe in magic men who will solve all our problems and bring us everything we could ever want, beautifully swathed in glorious color and sparkle, tied with a red velvet bow. But the light in our eyes has dimmed as our expectations wane.

Would we trade in every drop of what we know to be true to believe again? To hold wonder and awe and joy, and never, ever let go, no matter who insisted that we should? Of course we would! Every day of our lives, and not just during the merriest time of year.

And, oh, what a gift that would be.



© Chris Kuhn 2016

Below are links for Chris Kuhn, author of THE MUSE UNLOCKED and OUR SEASONS, available in print and Kindle on To purchase her published work, visit Chris’s author page on







A Cat Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas by Shelli Rosewarne


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“What the hell am I supposed to do with that?”

Rhys glowered at the little black furball. It ignored him with the supreme indifference that only cats seemed to possess. A small pink tongue ran over its paw, then smoothed over sleek black fur.

“It’s not rocket science, Rhys. All she needs is a bit of food and a litter box. And you could do with the company.”

“I do not need company,” Rhys snapped. “I’m just fine on my own. Wait… litter box? I am not having cat crap stinking out my apartment.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Esme was starting to sound exasperated now. It was her usual tone around him. Of course, it might not be if she didn’t constantly insist on trying to interfere in his life. “Cats are very clean. Just scoop it out every day and it won’t smell at all.”

Rhys fixed both her and the cat with his best, ‘no chance in hell,’ stare. “It is completely irrelevant whether it smells or not because I am not keeping it. You can just take the damn thing back where you bought it from.”

“Oh, Rhys, come on. I got her from the shelter and I can’t just take her back again. Just keep her for a few days, if you really hate having her round that much then we’ll take her. The kids will no doubt be happy for another pet but you know we’re away for Christmas. And I really think you should reconsider coming with us. I don’t like you being on your own.”

Rhys gave a silent groan. Fine, lesser of two evils then.

“But how could I possibly come when I would have no one to cat-sit for me?” He asked her silkily.

Esme snorted. “I’m not even going to call you on that, as long as you take the cat.” Her voice softened. “Look, pets are good for some company – you’ve been too much on your own since Elise.”

He set his jaw. “I do not wish to discuss Elise. Just give me the damn cat.”

She handed the animal over and he eyed it gingerly. Emerald green eyes blinked up at him. He flicked at the red ribbon round its neck.

“You felt the need to wrap it up for me?” He asked wryly.

Esme smiled, tickling the animal under its chin. “It was a special Christmas thing at the shelter. ‘Tied with a red velvet bow’ they called it. All the animals had them. Isn’t it adorable?”

“Yeah, just precious.”

Esme sighed, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. “Just give it a chance, Rhys. Please, for me.”

Damn it, he’d never been able to refuse her pleading. One of the main reasons he always got stuck in these situations.

“Fine,” he grumbled. “But just over Christmas. When you get back you can tell the kids they have a new furry plaything.”

“We’ll see.” Esme shot him that smug sister grin that said she thought she’d won. Yeah, right. Not this time. She pulled him into a quick hug. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas. Give my love to the kids – oh, and I sent their pressies over.”

Esme laughed. “I noticed. The pile gets bigger every year – you spoil them.”

Rhys shrugged. Who else was he going to spend his money on these days?

“Safe trip.”

Esme kissed him again and finally left him in peace. Well, not exactly peace. He glared at the black furball. Great, just what he needed. It tilted its head and gave him a little miaow.

“Yeah, yeah. Trust me, I’m not happy about it either.”



Rhys sprawled back on the couch, trying to find anything worth watching on TV. Cheesy Christmas movie after movie. Seriously, not everyone in the world had to fucking love Christmas. What was the point in it, after all? Peace and love – yeah right. What made it worse was that last year he’d actually thought things were different. That he’d found someone to share his life with, to share the season with. Instead, she’d just been a lying bitch.

His fingers clenched on the cut glass tumbler and he tilted it back, letting the deep amber liquid slide down his throat. Fuck that. He was better off on his own anyway.


A black furry face appeared on the arm of the sofa.

“No,” he snapped. “Get off the furniture.”

Miaow. The stupid furball completely ignored him, instead jumping up to the back of the sofa and delicately stepping along it.

“No!” He repeated louder. “Get down.” He pointed at the floor.

For fuck’s sake. It was definitely a female cat. Blatantly ignoring every word he said. With a low curse, he stretched back, scooped it up and dumped it onto the floor. She sat there a moment, blinking, and then jumped straight back up again.

“No!” Rhys shouted, putting her back on the floor again. “Stay!” He wagged his finger at her.

Miaow. And straight back up again.

Fine, the stupid thing could sit there if it was so important. He sure as hell wasn’t doing this all night. Groaning he slumped back down on the sofa, taking another gulp from his glass. Great, another female driving him to drink. Must be fucking Christmas. He switched the channel to some mindless action flick and rested his head back against the sofa back. His eyes closed.

A faint vibrating started near his head and he cracked one eye open. Purring. The damn cat was purring away.

“What’re you so happy about?” He grumbled.

It was kinda soothing though. Sort of relaxing, though he’d never admit that to his sister. Nope, when she came back after Christmas that cat was out of here. He yawned. Yup, out of here.


A soft hand stroked his cheek and Rhys slowly opened his eyes. Emerald green eyes stared down at him from the most beautiful face he had ever seen. Glossy black hair hung in silken sweeps and when he managed to finally drag his eyes away from that face he gulped. Holy shit! The mystery woman was wearing a red velvet dress that clung to her lush curves like a second skin. Okay, he was dreaming. Damn good dream as well.

She bent over him, a low neckline giving him an enticing glimpse of creamy breasts. His cock twitched. A slow smile curved her mouth and all he wanted to do was capture those lips. Suck the full lower one between his teeth. Nibble lower down her white neck. She leaned closer, her lips brushing his in a light kiss that still sent heat searing through him. When she pulled back slightly though he was shocked to see sadness in those beautiful green eyes. A woman like this should never be sad. He reached out a hand to touch her cheek, her skin petal soft beneath his fingertips.

“Help me,” she whispered.


“Fuck!” Rhys sat up on the couch, spilling the last of his drink down his shirt.

A dream. It had been just a dream. The TV was stuck on some night screen so it must be later than he’d thought. He scrubbed a hand wearily over his face. God damn, he’d never dreamed in that kind of vivid detail; he could still feel her soft skin beneath his fingers, hear her smokey voice ringing in his ears. Help me, she’d said. Help her how?

Just a dream! He stumbled to his feet. A furry brush against his legs made him jump. The cat was busy wrapping itself round his legs.

“You trying to kill me, stupid cat?” He muttered.

Damn, he needed to get some proper sleep. Groaning he undressed and dropped into bed. A part of him desperately hoping to see his dream girl again.


He woke up to a cold and grey morning, after a dreamless sleep. A weight was pressing down on him. What the hell? Rhys looked down to a black furry shape curled up right on his chest. Oh hell, no.

“Oi!” He poked it with a finger.

Green eyes opened a slit to stare at him. Odd, that shade of green. Almost like… Nope, that was a ridiculous thought. He sat up, dislodging the cat who gave a little yowl of protest.

“Get down,” he ordered it. “Off the furniture and definitely off me!”

Annoying little fluffball and he really did need to get that stupid red ribbon off it. Of course, he didn’t fancy getting scratched up in the process, so maybe later.

Stretching, he got out of bed, washed, dressed, fed himself and grudgingly the cat as well, then set off for work. Last day before it closed for the holidays. If he was honest, he would have quite happily worked straight through. His staff apparently had this overwhelming need to spend it with family though, so what was he supposed to do? The day was quiet at least, mostly dealing with odds and ends that needed to be cleared up before the Christmas break. It left him too much time for day-dreaming though and he couldn’t seem to stop his thoughts drifting time and again to his dream woman of last night. By the time it was finally time to leave he was crabby and out-of-sorts, having to paste on a smile in order to wish his secretary and the rest of his team a Happy Christmas.

Eventually he was home, flinging the door open to delicate miaows and yet more furry leg tripping.

“You are definitely trying to kill me,” he muttered. “Who’s gonna feed you then, hairball?”

The cat didn’t seem to care and he grumbled as he fed it and then himself. When he was sprawled on the sofa again he allowed himself a moment of self-pity. It was Christmas Eve tomorrow. It wasn’t like he bought into the whole holiday season but damn it might be nice to have something to do other than sit round the house watching lousy TV on his own. He gave a wry snort as he gulped down some of his drink, ice-cubes tinkling.

“Never alone with a single malt, huh?”


“Oh fuck off!” He groused as the cat jumped onto the back of the sofa again. “I’d rather have the whisky, and will you get off the bloody furniture?”

He’d probably get more response from the alcohol. What he should do was get up and move the damn thing off the sofa but he was comfy and it would only jump back up again. Was there really any point? He sighed. This was probably how crazy cat ladies started out. He downed the whisky. Stupid holidays.


The silky brush of hair against his face made him open his eyes. She was bending over him and he hadn’t realised until that moment just how desperate he’d been to see her again.

“You,” he breathed.

She smiled at him. “My Rhys.”

Heat curled through him, her voice stroking down his spine and the way she claimed him going straight to his cock. Her lips brushed against his and his fingers sank into her hair, dragging her closer until she was sprawled across his lip, soft curves crushed against his chest.

“What’s your name?” Rhys managed to get out. Maybe it didn’t matter since it was a dream anyway, but somehow he needed to know. Needed to give this vision of perfection a name in his mind.

“My name is Ariana.”

It suited her. Mysterious, exotic, unlike anyone he’d ever known before. He kissed her again, hands sliding down her back, caressing her curves, over her hips, her ass, cupping the sweet globes and squeezing them against him. She whimpered, rocking herself against his already straining cock. Damn, you’d think he’d have more control over his dream cock, instead at this rate he was going to embarrass himself like he hadn’t since he was a teenager.

Ariana slid off his lap to stand in front of him. Her lips curved again as she held out a hand, helping him up off the couch and leading him unerringly to the bedroom. She turned to face him, flashing him a wicked grin before reaching behind her and slowly sliding down the zip on her dress. It slipped down her shoulders, revealing perfect breasts topped with tiny pink nipples, already puckered towards him. Rhys bit his lip on a groan. The red dress slipped further to pool at her feet, revealing long legs encased in stockings, complete with little red bows at the tops, and the teeniest pair of red velvet panties.

Rhys gulped. Hot damn! Dream imagination was really coming up trumps tonight. And why the hell was he just standing here when he could wake up any minute? Reaching out he pulled her against him, lips crushing hers, before feathering kisses down her neck, over her collarbone, then heading lower to those mouth-watering nipples. He licked a slow path around one, before suckling it into his mouth. She tasted like heaven and all he wanted was to explore every inch of her.

He supposed it made sense since he’d imagined her, but damn it was like she was made for him. His every fantasy brought to life. She responded perfectly to every touch, her body arching against him, little whimpers and moans rising up from her throat until his cock felt like it would burst out of his pants.

Her hands peeled off his clothes, fingers stroking along his chest, down his sides and brushing his thighs, before cupping his cock. Fuck.

Rhys gently pushed her back onto the bed, staring down at her laid out before him. Creamy skin, flushed cheeks and just a glimpse of glistening dampness between her legs.

“Fucking perfect,” he whispered, one hand sliding reverently up her side.

Her green eyes glowed up at him and she reached up her arms, pulling him down onto her. Groaning he covered her body with his, his cock probing at her entrance, before sliding deep in one long thrust. Dear God, he never wanted to wake up. This was perfection. This right here, inside her. No place had ever felt so right in his life. Her slick walls wrapped round him, hot and wet, and her hips arched up to meet him, sending him deeper.

Unable to help himself, he began to thrust. Deep strokes that had her moaning against him. He moved faster, stronger, sensations building within him as her head thrashed and her moans rose in volume. God, she was stunning. He bent his head, capturing her lips, and those deep green eyes stared straight into his. Fuck. It was suddenly so much more. Like she was not only claiming his body but his soul as well, and he willingly handed it over to her. One of her tiny hands reached up, cupping his cheek. Then she cried out, her back arching and core clenching around him as her orgasm rushed over her.

“Rhys!” She cried. The sound of his name on her lips enough to send him into his own release.

When he could finally move again, he managed to clean them up and tucked her against his side. Too exhausted to do anything more than appreciate the feel of her soft skin against him. One hand lazily stroked circles on her hip. Weirdly he felt like he could almost drift off to sleep. When he was already asleep, right?

“I wish this was real,” he murmured.

Ariana fixed him with those bright green eyes. “You are not dreaming, Rhys.”

“Of course I am.” He laughed. “Or are you telling me the most beautiful woman in the world just decided to break into my house and jump me?”

“You think I’m beautiful?” Her face glowed.

He blinked at her. “You’re my dream woman. Which is one of the many reasons I know I’m dreaming.”

She sighed. “This is not a dream. I fear you won’t believe me when I tell you the truth. But you must for I need your help.”

“Help with what?”

Her body stiffened against him. “I am under a curse. An evil wizard has kept me prisoner for many, many years and even now he seeks to find me again.” Her eyes pinned him, the fear in those deep emerald orbs taking his breath away. “Please, you must not let him take me.”

Rhys held her close. “I will never let anyone take you away from me.”

She smiled again, cuddling closer. He held her, gently stroking her skin, her hair, as she slowly relaxed against him. A soft noise rose up and he frowned.

“Are you purring?”

The noise stopped instantly and she raised sleepy eyes to him. “Of course not, don’t be silly.”

He grinned. She cuddled in again and within minutes the sound started again. It was kinda cute. Soothing almost and his own eyes were closing. Purring women, curses and evil wizards. Damn, he hadn’t known his imagination was anywhere near this good!


Rhys woke to the sound of purring and a smile lit up his lips. She was still here. Maybe, just maybe, by some miracle it hadn’t all been a dream. He stretched out a hand, to be met by nothing but empty sheets. A small miaow drew his attention to his chest. The little furball was curled up there again, green eyes staring right into him. Those eyes… yeah, he was fucking losing it.

“Get off me,” he muttered, sitting up and pushing the cat away.

Maybe he had been alone too much. He’d never been the fanciful type but last night had seemed so real. Maybe in the New Year he would give in to Esme’s constant nagging and let her set him up with someone. And he’d look at getting a fucking dog. That was a normal pet. One that did what it was told. He stepped into the shower almost in a daze, letting the water pour over him, washing away memories. Just a fucking dream.

He dried off in record time, dressed and forced himself to feed the whiney cat. Stupid thing wouldn’t seem to leave him alone, constantly rubbing against his legs with little chirps and miaows. Finally he gave it some cream just to shut it up, which it lapped up happily and then sat delicately washing its whiskers. There was something slightly hypnotic about the process.

He jumped when the doorbell went. Who the hell was that going to be on Christmas Eve? Esme’s flight had left last night and he knew he had no friends who would drop by unannounced. Slowly he walked to the door, flinging it open with more force than it probably needed.

The man stood there was tall, impeccably dressed in a charcoal grey suit, his jet black hair neatly combed back and sharp eyes fixing on Rhys. Strange eyes, almost black they were so dark, and definitely on the intense side.

“Can I help you?” Rhys asked. Jeez the guy better not be selling anything. It was Christmas Eve for fuck’s sake.

“Rhys Kyle?”

He nodded. “Yeah?”

The man smiled and held out his hand. “I’m so sorry to bother you at Christmas. My name is Ashburn Alcarr and I believe you may have my cat.”

Rhys took the outstretched hand, an odd reluctance running through him at the other man’s touch. “Your cat?”

“Yes, indeed. You see there was a terrible mistake and she got out of the house. The shelter picked her up, and I’m sure they thought they were doing the right thing, but they re-homed her. She is a most… precious pet and I have been quite desperate to find her again. I will, of course, reimburse you for any expenses and inconvenience suffered.”

Rhys stared at him. The man was polite to a fault, his voice rich, cultured – obviously had a bob or two. There was just something about Ashburn that set his teeth on edge. The man’s eyes sharpened.

“You do have my cat? All black, green eyes, female. Sweet little thing, though doesn’t take to strangers.”

“I guess so.” Rhys slowly stepped back, letting the man step inside.

This was what he’d wanted right – the cat gone? He couldn’t have envisioned a better scenario, even Esme couldn’t fault him for this. The cat was annoying and never did what it was told and insisted on sleeping on top of him. So, why was every bone in his body screaming out in protest?

Ashburn stepped into the house and Rhys watched as his eyes scanned the place, instantly sharpening as they settled on the little black cat. A slow smile covered his face.

“There you are, little one,” he crooned. “I’ve been searching everywhere for you.”

To his shock the cat’s back arched, ears going back and a low hiss escaping it.

“It doesn’t seem too happy to see you,” he said mildly.

The other man gave a short laugh. “Cats are strange creatures. She will be perfectly happy as soon as she is home where she belongs.”

He moved towards the cat, so fast that Rhys could almost have blinked and missed it, bending down to pick it up. The cat shrieked and claws flashed, before a black streak sped across the room and to Rhys’ shock hid behind his legs.

Ashburn stood up slowly. Blood dripped from three long scratches on his face and the look in those dark eyes was suddenly seriously scary. His gaze shot to the cat behind Rhys.

“You will give me my cat now.” He ordered, voice barely above a hiss.

Rhys could feel the tiny body pressing against his legs, shaking, and the words from his dream last night floated through his head. You must not let him take me.

“No.” He said baldly. “Even if this is your cat then it obviously doesn’t want to go with you. Now, get out of my house.”

The man drew himself up, his eyes almost seeming to glow. Weird. In fact, the shadows in the room seemed to be lengthening, stretching out until thick ribbons of darkness were creeping across the floor towards Rhys and the cat. Ashburn brought up his hands and tiny sparks of fire crackled between his fingers. And weirder. Okay, was he still dreaming?

“You will give me the cat.” Ashburn’s voice had dropped lower and was no longer sounding rich and cultured. Instead it sounded like things were crawling inside it. The flames flared higher and then Ashburn pointed a finger and a small ball of fire shot across the room straight at him. What the fuck? Rhys flung himself to the floor, the flames hitting the wall above him, leaving a nasty black scorch mark on the wall.

“That’s impossible,” he muttered to the cat, still glued to his side. She looked up at him with those big green eyes. “Ariana?” He whispered.

She miaowed and bumped her head against him. Oh, this could not be happening.

Slowly he got to his feet, facing the – well, he guessed evil wizard. Not a sentence he’d ever thought he’d have to think. And what exactly was he supposed to do against a wizard? Fire was already glowing in the man’s hands. Rhys was surprised when the man smiled at him though.

“Think about this. You’ve got involved in something you have no understanding of. Walk away now. In fact, you don’t even need to walk – just look away. I’ll take my cat and you’ll never have to see either of us ever again.”

“No!” He might be in over his head here but there was no way in hell he was never going to see Ariana again. Wizards might be real but that meant so was his dream woman. He just needed to figure out how the hell to save her.

Ashburn’s brows drew in menacingly. “Fine, on your head be it.”

Fire lanced through the air again, faster this time and Rhys barely managed to fling himself to one side in time. The smell of burnt hair tickled his nostrils. Damn, not quite the kind of haircut he’d been planning on. The cat gave a frightened little miaow, bumping him with her head, green eyes anxious.

“I’m okay,” he murmured, one hand gently resting on her head.

A low growl came from across the room.

“You will not touch her,” Ashburn hissed. “She is mine.”

“Yeah, right. Seems like she should get to make her own choice about that.”

“I will end you.” The fire rose higher than ever, the flames reflecting maniacally in Ashburn’s black eyes. He shaped it into a ball, a faint smile on his lips, his gaze fixed on Rhys.

There was nowhere to go. This was how he was going to die – saving a damn cat. In his heart though he knew it was more than that. He just wished he’d been able to do more for her. Crouching down he gently stroked the little cat’s black ears.

“I’m sorry I let you down, Ariana.” He whispered. “While he’s distracted, try and get away. I hope you find your freedom.”

A tiny miaow escaped her as she gently rubbed her cheek against his fingers.

Fine, he could do this. The door was still open, maybe he could at least give her a chance to run. He squared his shoulders and faced Ashburn, taking a step towards the wizard, trying not to flinch at the heat reaching towards him. Ashburn grinned, his hand going back as he aimed the flames towards Rhys.

“I hope it was worth it,” he cackled.

Somehow it was. Rhys waited for the flames to reach him, for death to take him. Instead, a black blur streaked past him. What the…? It looked like cat Ariana, only it was more the size of a small panther than a domestic kitty.

Ashburn screamed as the black weight landed on his chest, knocking him to the ground. The flames surrounding him flickered out.

“Help me!” He cried.

Rhys edged closer. The huge cat had a paw clamped on the wizard’s neck, one sharp claw perfectly poised over the throbbing vein there. As Rhys watched it gently pressed down harder, a thin trickle of blood appearing. A slight queasiness settled in Rhys’ stomach. Ashburn tried to turn his head. Wide, panic-filled eyes pleading with Rhys.

“Please, help me. Get her off me.”

Rhys grinned at him. “Oh, I don’t know about that. Weren’t you about to kill me and imprison her again? Doesn’t seem a lot of incentive there to help you, does there?”

“I won’t hurt you. I swear it!” The man was almost crying as the thin trickle of red seemed to get stronger.

“And what about Ariana?” Rhys snapped. Big green swivelled to him. “You planning on capturing her again? Taking her back with you? Seems like you need to give her a pretty good reason not to swipe those claws right through your throat.”

“I… I’ll leave her alone. I’ll remove her curse and never bother her again. I swear it on the Holy Host and may demons strike me down if I break my word.”

Rhys stared at him a long moment. Ashburn probably deserved to die but he didn’t want his little cat to have to be the one to kill him.

“Ariana?” He murmured softly. “It’s up to you. But he’s done now. I don’t think he’ll bother you again.”

Those green eyes narrowed and for a moment he honestly thought she might do it. Then the claws abruptly retracted and she delicately stepped off his chest, turning her back on him with a swish of her tail. Ashburn rolled over, wheezing and trying frantically to swipe at the blood dripping from his throat. Rhys, gripped his shirt, dragging him up.

“Remove her curse and then leave.” He hissed.

The look the man shot him could have cut glass. But he waved his hands towards Ariana, muttered words escaping him and floating patterns of lights drifting into the air. Ariana gasped, her back arching. Then the giant cat was gone and the woman was there.

“Ariana,” he gasped, racing over to her, gathering her into his arms.

She was shaking, blood still staining one hand, and he reached for the blanket on the sofa to wrap her in. It was then he realised Ashburn had disappeared.

“He’s gone.” He exclaimed.

Ariana nodded. “He is a coward at heart. He will not return, his vow will hold him to that.”

Relief spread over him, causing his knees to sag and he sank onto the couch, gently pulling Ariana with him.

“So, you’re free?”

The smile she shot him lit up her face and caused his heart to stutter. “I am free. Thanks to you.”

Rhys snorted. “I think you were the one who scared the crap out of him. That was one seriously scary kitty.”

She laughed, a low music that slid through him. “That is my normal animal form. Ashburn trapped me in the form of a domestic cat, siphoning my magic so that I was too weak to break away. I could only transform back to human for a short period at once.”

“When you came to me.” He grinned. “I knew my dream imagination wasn’t that good.” He paused. “Wait… your normal animal form? I thought Ashburn cursed you into being a cat.”

“He limited my form to keep me from being able to escape or to fight him. I did not think I had enough magic left in me to transform to my true cat form, but when I saw him about to kill you I knew I could not let it happen.”

Rhys stroked a hair through her silky hair, unable to believe it was all real, that she was here with him – that she wasn’t quite… human? What did that mean for them?

“So, what now?” A part of him cursed himself for asking but he needed to know. “Do you have a male cat and a whole litter of kittens you’re supposed to be getting back to?” The thought formed a hard knot in his stomach.

Ouch! Her nails scored into his shoulder, almost drawing blood, and her eyes flashed at fire at him.

“You think I would sleep with you if I had a man already? Is this the kind of behaviour that humans engage in?”

He met her furious gaze. “Some do, sadly. God knows my last ex did. But I wouldn’t, and never with you. I guess I just need to know whether you can stay or not – with me?” Tears suddenly burned. Damn, he hadn’t cried in fucking years. “I don’t want to lose you when I’ve only just found you.”

Ariana’s face softened and her hands cupped his face. “I told you, you are my Rhys. I found you, remember? If I recall you were not keen on the idea at all,” she laughed, before her expression turned serious. “It is once in a lifetime that one of my kind finds a mate. I knew you were it the moment I saw you and I will not let you go now.”

Joy washed through him, and their lips met in a kiss that swept away all the doubts and worries, leaving behind nothing but love and hope for the future. His last thought, before his brain switched off and all blood rushed to… other areas. Damn, it looked like his sister would get to say, I told you so, after all. She really had given him the best Christmas gift – tied up with a red velvet bow.

© Shelli Rosewarne 2016.

For more from Shelli…




Book links…


Red Velvet by Leigh Stone


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It had been a long day at the hospital. Fay kicked off her heels and turned on the water, letting it run and steam up the bathroom as she did. She unbuttoned her silk blouse, let it fall to the floor, then undid the zip on her dress trousers and shimmied out of them. She stood there with her hands on her waist, in her lacy bra and knickers, and let her eyes roam over her reflection in the full-length mirror. Not bad for forty-six, she thought to herself. Her skin was still soft and supple with few signs of her age; her breasts were still full and relatively firm. She worked hard in the gym to maintain her neat figure, keeping her curves in rounded perfection. She let her hand wander upwards from her waist, cupping her breast as she did, her nipples stiffening against the lace, straining for further attention. She closed her eyes, just for a moment, and let herself imagine it was that younger man she had seen watching her while she was working out so many times. A soft sigh slipped from her lips and she allowed one hand caress her skin down towards her pussy, knowing that if she were to touch herself, she would  find herself wet and ready.

The heat of the steam prickled her skin and brought her out of her daydream. She unfastened her bra, stepped out of her knickers, and pulled back the shower curtain to plunge herself under the warm water.

She let the heat slowly soothe her muscles and relaxed as the water washed away the day’s stress and grime. She grabbed her expensive body wash, squeezing some into her hands, and began to lather it over her body. Her mind again wandered to the hot young guy from the gym. She thought about his eyes roaming over her, and she let her soapy hands do the same thing.

She cupped her breasts in her hands, squeezing their fullness, letting her fingertips settle on her peaked nipples. She rubbed them, sighing at the contact, and then rolled them between her fingers and thumbs as a moan escaped from her lips.

Turned on, and lost deep in her thoughts, one of Fay’s hands slipped over her stomach and skimmed over her thigh as she adjusted her feet to allow her hand to get between her thighs.

She let one finger slip between her slick pussy lips, knowing that it wasn’t just the shower and the body wash that had her soaked. Her finger grazed over her clit, causing Fay to hiss at the sensation; she could feel her whole-body sizzling with a need for climax. She hadn’t realised just how much the gym guy watching her had been turning her on. She let her fingertips rub over her sensitive little bundle of nerves again.

A long moan escaped from her as she pinched her nipple harder, circled her clit, seeking release, wanting more, needing to come apart, all the while wishing it was at the hands of her would-be admirer.

Frantically, Fay’s fingers worked her to climax. Her moans of ecstasy echoed around the bathroom, and she slumped back against the cool tiles panting. “FUCK!” she exclaimed to the empty house. She hadn’t climaxed that hard for some time. It was rare that Fay felt lonely, but busy as her life was, in that instant, she couldn’t help but feel the pang of sorrow at the lack of someone in her life, even if that person’s sole purpose was to help her achieve orgasm.

Fay rinsed herself off, got out of the shower, and wrapped herself tightly in her fluffy robe before heading downstairs to the kitchen. She needed her habitual cup of tea, while she sat on the sofa and read the latest book from her favourite author.

As she waited for the kettle to boil, she glanced outside to see the first of the season’s snow finally beginning to fall. She made her tea, and was making her way to the sofa, when there was a knock at the front door. Fay set her cup on the coffee table and headed for the entrance. She glanced through the peephole to find no one there. She opened the door carefully, to make sure, and was surprised to discover a simple white box on the doorstep, tied with a red velvet bow. A small tag dangled from the ribbon and she lifted the box to get a better look. She closed the front door and carried the box back to the coffee table.

Fay sat for a moment, her cup in hand, taking sips of tea, and stared at the box. She hadn’t seen anyone outside to know who had sent it to her, and she tried to convince herself that they might have gotten the wrong door to leave it at, until she looked at the tag that is.


To the gorgeous Fay,

I’ve admired you from afar. Soon I want to admire you close up! Have this gift and think of me!

Secret Santa xoxo


Fay let her fingers run delicately over the outside of the box, as if testing to see if something inside would jump out at her. Her mind raced at two mysteries. What was in the box? And, who had left it on her doorstep?

She lifted the velvet ribbon and let it slip between her fingers, catching it just before it fell, pulling the bow free, so she could open it and find out what was inside. Fay held her breath as she lifted the lid on the gift box, excited to discover the contents. She eased back the red tissue paper, her eyes falling upon the red lacy bra and thong. She carefully lifted the delicate underwear from the box to find more hidden beneath.

She raised the little drawstring bag from the bottom of the box and the small envelope that lay beneath. She thought about which one she should open first. Squeezing the contents of the bag, finding it hard, it piqued her curiosity first. She pulled on the drawstring, opened the neck of the bag wider and poured the contents onto her palm.

A small bullet vibrator fell from the velvet pocket. Fay felt her nipples tighten. Who the hell was sending her such an intimate gift? Maybe the card will tell me? she thought to herself. Ripping open the envelope, she read the card, hoping for more of a clue.

I hope you’ll be wearing this underwear the next time I see you! But for now, I want you to go to bed, take the vibe with you, and think of me.

I’ll see you tomorrow after the gym. Xx

Fay flipped the card over to see if there was anything on the back. To her disappointment, it was blank. She was still no wiser as to who her Secret Santa was. He, however, clearly knew a lot about her: her exact size for the underwear, not to mention her habits and home address. She should have been alarmed by it, but instead, strangely she found herself getting aroused again.

She was getting off on the idea of being watched, realising the rational thing to do was worry about a stranger knowing so much about her in that way, but there was just something about it that was getting her wet, instead. The risk, the unknown, it was all so thrilling.

She gathered up the contents of the box and abandoned her now cooled tea, heading for bed, flicking the extra locks on the front door as she passed by.

Once in her bedroom, Fay stripped out of her robe and held the underwear against her. Even without fastening the bra, she could see how it would lift her tits and show off some great curves, the thong would do the same, flashing the ass that she had been doing all those squats for.

She left the bra and thong in the box, on top of her dresser, and took the bullet vibe with her as she climbed into bed.

She lay there, naked in the darkness, thinking about who could have sent her the gift. With no clear ‘suspect’ coming to mind, she turned on the vibrations and rolled the vibe over her clit. A tall, strong, yet faceless man, taking great pleasure in watching her from afar came to mind. Spying on her, perving over her, and within moments Fay could feel the signs of an impending tsunami of climax.


Fay had looked around her the entire time she was at the gym, but she didn’t see any trace of the younger man she thought the gifts were from. She couldn’t help but feel a sense of despondency. She had spent most of her workout drenched, not only from sweat, but the anticipation of what was to come, so far finding who she thought would turn out to be her suitor seemed unlikely. Her weary muscles demanded that she stop, and she finally gave in and headed for the showers.

Refreshed, she emerged in a towel, pulled her bag from the locker, and put her gifted red underwear on. She put on the rest of her clothes, packed up her bag, and headed for the locker room door. Fay was concentrating on getting her bag over her shoulder, and hadn’t noticed the form coming around the corner to meet her, colliding straight into the chest of the younger man she had fantasised about the night before. “Whoa, there!” he said, catching her as he knocked her off balance. His large hands moved over her back, one of them settling between her shoulders, the other molding against the small of her back. Fay could feel the heat coming off him; it was already starting to melt her into a pool of lust from just that few moments of contact.

“Sorry,” she murmured, looking up at him. She went to step back, but his hands kept her firmly pressed against him in the empty hallway.

“My fault,” his low voice rumbled. “Sorry, I’ve made you blush,” he remarked. “You should wear red more often, it suits you,” he breathed.

Fay’s breath caught in her throat, as she stared up into his eyes, and realised just how much they looked like two pools of almost black  ink. She didn’t have time to think of anything beyond that as his lips crashed down onto hers, his hands pulling her even tighter against him. In the split second it took for her brain to catch up with what was happening, he already had the door of the locker room open again and was pushing her back inside.

Fay’s fantasy turning into reality overwhelmed her, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. She kissed him back hard, opening her mouth to his tongue when it demanded entry. Before she knew it, she was lifted onto the countertop between sinks, with him standing between her legs.

His mouth moved from hers, along her jaw, to her neck. “You are stunning…” he breathed against her skin as he moved down her neck and back to her ear. Fay moaned and let her head fall back, exposing her throat to her suitor. “Sweet Fay,” he called to her, nibbling more of her neck. “How I’ve loved watching you, thinking about this moment,” he told her.

“I don’t even know your name!” she whispered in mounting pleasure.

“It’s Drew,” he confirmed to her, as he cupped her breast and pulled her closer to him. “And I intend to make you call it out a lot!” He reached for the bottom of her t-shirt and pulled it over her head, revealing the red lace bra that he had left at her house the night before.

“Oh fuck, you wear red better than I could have imagined!” Drew moaned in excitement. before burying his face between Fay’s breasts. Her hands wrapped around his neck and pulled him in tighter against her.

“You feel better on my skin that I imagined,” she moaned, as he freed one of her breasts from the bra and wrapped his lips around her nipple, sucking it into his mouth as he circled it with his tongue.

Drew grinned at her, letting her nipple drop from his mouth. “Gorgeous, Fay, I can’t wait to get inside your pretty pussy.”

Fay’s pussy clenched at the thought. Drew pulled her hips against his erection, letting her feel all of him, in his rock hard glory. Suddenly she knew exactly what she wanted for Christmas, and she had a funny feeling that she might just get it, too.

© Leigh Stone 2016.

For more from Leigh…




Book Links…

Lex’s Melody (Belfast Bound #1)
Melodic Minor (Belfast Bound #2)
Pulled Apart (Belfast Bound #3)
DOMME (Domination #1)
OWNED (Domination #2)
DOMME Evolved (Domination #3)
The Domination Series (1-3 boxset)
Solitaire (with Michelle McLoughney)


Two Little Elves by K.A Hobbs


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“Two Little Elves”


a Kindred Series Extra


KA Hobbs








“I know it’s exciting, but we still have to sleep.” I chuckle at Mia.

“Carter,” Carm sighs. “You might have better success at putting her to bed if you take off the flashing santa hat.”

“But she likes it.” I grin, as Mia’s eyes go wide.

“Exactly, which is why she won’t go to sleep.”

“Does she really need to sleep?”

“Do you really need to sleep?” she arches her eyebrow at me.

“Yes I do, we have a busy day tomorrow.”

“Then there’s your answer.” she says, leaving the nursery.

I reach up and tug off the hat and throw it out of the nursery. Trying to look as stern as I can, I face my daughter and prepare for the screams.

“It’s bedtime now, Mia.” I tell her.

She looks at me, her eyes going wide, like she’s trying to work out what to do next.

Then she surprises me completely by laying down and hugging her bear to her.

“Good girl,” I croon. “You’re the best little girl in the world and Daddy loves you so much.”

She yawns, rubs her eyes and lets out a snuffly little, gasp like breath. I stand and watch as her eyelids flutter closed and she slowly falls asleep.

“You have magic powers.” Carmen whispers from the doorway.

“Well, it worked this time. Likely hood is, it won’t ever again.” I walk out of the babies room and pull the door to. “She’s tired out from all the fun with everyone today.”

“Then she’ll be exhausted tomorrow.” Carmen laughs softly.

We head downstairs and into the kitchen where dinner is sitting waiting to be devoured before a night of wrapping presents and watching Harry Potter.

I pour Carmen a glass of wine and grab a beer for myself, and join her at the table.

“Can you believe it’s Christmas? And not just Christmas, but our first Christmas with the babies?” she grins as she chinks her glass with my bottle.

“It doesn’t feel possible, does it?”

“No, it doesn’t. But it is, and I really can’t wait. I think your Mom is the most excited out of everyone though.”

“Mom is so excited, Jack text before I put the babies down, she was making more gingerbread men and cookies.”

“But she made loads today already.”

“I know, but she said we can’t possibly run out.”

“Are we mad having everyone over here for Christmas lunch? Should we just have gone out like Mum suggested?”

“No, here is better. The house is big enough, there e’s space for everyone and you can’t beat being at home for Christmas.”

“And you don’t think it will be too much? All the cooking and entertaining?”

“Carm, everyone will help with the cooking, you know Mom and your Mom will. And as for entertaining, we’ve got Harry, Josie and the babies, they will entertain us all.”

“You’re right. I just… I want it to be perfect.”

“And it will be.”


We finish dinner, clear away and head into the lounge with a hot chocolate and some of Mom’s cookies.

“The first one?”

“Of course the first one,” I roll my eyes. “I want to see Christmas in the Great Hall.”

While Carmen puts the movie on, I get the wrapping paper and remaining presents and lay them out by the coffee table.

“It’s fun, right?” she smiles, nodding to the pile of presents we need to wrap.

“Well, it’s a lot more fun when you have babies to buy for. Mom said they’ll be more excited by the wrapping paper than what’s inside.”

“Then please remind me why you keep adding to their pile?”

“Because I can… and don’t play innocent with me Mrs. Manning, you added three yesterday.”

“They were clothes though, they don’t count. They need those.”

“Whatever,” I roll my eyes. “Press play.”

“You’re getting a little demanding there, Manning. Wanna pipe down?”

“Sorry,” I grin. “Just excited. And tired. And excited.”

“You’re worse than a child.”

“I know, but it’s the night before Christmas Eve, Carm.”

“Ssssssh! It’s starting.”

I lean closer to her and sing the opening music in her ear. My warm breath on her neck makes her shiver and she moves away a little more.

I keep watching then lean right back in right before Dumbledore speaks.

“I should’ve know you’d be here… Professor McGonagall.”

I burst out laughing seconds before she does.

“You’re such a dork.” she chuckles, turning to face me.

“But I’m your dork, so it’s okay.”

She smiles, leans forward and places her hands either side of my face before leaning in to kiss me. “It really is.”



The next morning during breakfast, the door bell chimes, filling the house with the sound of The Ronettes Sleigh Ride.

Carmen continues feeding the babies their breakfast while I head to answer the door.

“Morning, Mom.” I grin as I open it.

“Good morning, darling boy. How are you?”

“A little sleepy, but excited. You okay?”

She steps in and removes her hat and boots. “I’m great sweetheart, I thought I could come and help get the last few bits sorted if Carmen would like me to?”

“I’m sure she’d love it. Jack awake?”

“Yes, he’s awake with Alice. He’s letting Josie sleep in.”

We walk into the kitchen and the sound of Mom’s voice has Mia flapping her hands and trying to peer around to see her Nana.

“Morning, Hillary.” Carmen beams.

This right here is one reason I love her. How many wives would be this happy to see their mother in-law at eight am on Christmas eve? I mean, okay, no one has a Mom like mine, but still.

“Good morning sweetheart.” Mom smiles, heading over to kiss her on the head.

“You’re here early.”

“I was awake, I think the jet lag… or maybe it’s just all this excitement, huh?” she beams, tickling Rueben under the chin.

“Coffee?” I ask.

“Yes please.” she nods.

“Where’s Dad?”

“He’s just getting showered, they’re going to the airport to pick up your sister and then he’s helping Jack with the groceries for tomorrow. Josie refuses to go to the store today. Says it will be utter madness.”

“Josie’s right,” Carmen laughs. “But I still have a few bits I need to get.”

“Can I help?” Mom asks.

“We could go together? I don’t really know what I’m doing and I’d like to make sure we have everything you’re used having for Christmas lunch as we as everything we have.”

“You worry too much, darling,” Mom smiles. “I could eat bread and water and I wouldn’t care, I’m with my Grandbabies and children. That’s all that matters.”

“I can’t believe Lex and Tyler couldn’t fly over sooner, what time does their flight get in?”

“In a couple of hours. Dad’s going to pick them up with your brother.”

“Jack’s going to behave isn’t he? With Tyler I mean.”

“Your brother is just looking out for her, but I’ve told him, Tyler put in a lot of effort with us before he went back for Alexis. He deserves to be welcomed, he’s who Alexis loves and wants to be with, so therefore, we love him too.”

“Exactly.” I agree.

“I can’t wait to meet him,” Carm says. “I’ve heard so much about him.”

“This is the first Christmas in a couple years that we’re all together.” I grin.

Mia must pick up on all the excited vibes, because she bangs her hands on the tray of her highchair and startles Rueben, who looks at his sister and then shrieks in delight too.

“Are you excited, baby boy?” Carm laughs.

“Of course he is, he knows he’s going to be spoilt!” Mom laughs.

“Not too spoilt I hope…” Carmen says.

“Of course not…” Mom smiles feigning innocence. “Just enough.”








“Don’t let me go shopping on Christmas eve ever again.” I groan, stretching my arms above my head and bending down to touch my toes until I feel the satisfying pull at the back of my thighs.


“Of course, but your Mum is like, Superwoman, Carter.”

“Did she ninja out in the queue?”

“No,” I laugh. “She just managed to calm me down and get everything we needed without a hair on her head being misplaced or the slight raise in her voice when person after person had trolly rage at her.”

“She’s great huh?”

“She is, and now, thanks to her…” I smile, pointing to all the bags we have to unpack. “We’re ready for Christmas.”

“So tonight…”

“Yeah? Can you talk and unpack?”

“Sure I can.” he smiles, heading over to help me unpack the many bags we have on the kitchen counters.

“I think, what we should do is, I’ll bathe the babies while you chill out, tomorrow is going to be crazy. Then when they’re ready for bed, we can read the Christmas book Megs gave us and then when they’re in bed….”

“I’m liking the sound of this…”

“I’ll get dinner, something easy because we have a lot of people here tomorrow, and then… you and I make use of the giant ass tub we have that we hardly use together, and then…”

I step closer to my husband, wanting to show him how much I approve of his plans.

“We get an early night.” he grins.

“If by early night, you mean, I get to show you the underwear I bought especially for tonight in mind,” I whisper in his ear, enjoying the shudder that runs down his spine. “I’m in.”

“I didn’t know there was underwear.”

“That was kind of the point… a surprise.”

“Tell me about it, I’ll act surprised.” he groans, turning his head to capture my lips.

We’re halfway through a kiss that I can feel everywhere, I’m seconds from telling him, in explicit detail what it looks like and what I hope we’ll get up to later, when the unmistakable sound of Mia crying from the lounge where her and her brother are playing in their travel cot we set up in there.

We sag against each other, both a little breathless, our heads together and I smile.

“That’s the reality of being married with two children… shall I get them, or will you?”

“You unpack, I’ll get the munchkins.”

“Deal.” I smile, kissing him one last time.

He turns to leave the kitchen then stops, looking back. “Oh, and later?”


“We’ll pick up right where we left off.”

We all have lunch together, then while the babies have their nap and Carter helps Jack, I decide to help calm the buzz of excitement in my stomach and get rid of some of my nerves at hosting Christmas for everyone by doing the one thing I know will calm me.

I dance.

I change into yoga pants and a t-shirt and close all the doors leading to upstairs. I find my iPod and scroll through until I find my warm up playlist that hasn’t been used for so long.

I stretch, over and over until I feel my limbs warm up, then I find the song I found a couple of days ago and put it on repeat.

It’s a Bruno Mars song, but an acoustic version.

I close my eyes and let my legs and arms take over, I don’t think, I just feel.

I can feel the song take root inside me, and as the song grows, so does the feeling of calm only being absolutely lost to the music brings.

I keep dancing, over and over until a routine is formed, and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve listened to it.

When I’m desperate for a drink, I realise it’s got dark outside and the twins should be awake.

Suddenly starting to panic, I turn the music off and turn around, and I find the three of them, Carter, Mia and Rueben, sitting on the floor in the doorway watching me.

“Beautiful.” Carter smiles.

“How long have to been there?” I ask a little embarrassed.

“About fifteen minutes, they only just woke up, I’ve been back about half an hour, I wanted you to dance. You haven’t lately and I know it helps.”

“Are you still sleepy?” I ask the twins, taking in their flushed cheeks and hooded eyes.

“They were wide awake, I think watching Mommy soothes them.”

“I just felt like…”

“Like you needed it. It’s okay, Carm. You need to dance. Like I need to run.”

I lean over and kiss all three of them. “This is why I married you, you understand me.”

“And I married you because you can bend into some fantastic positions.” he teases.

“Daddy, behave yourself.” I growl.

“I will… if you promise to show me some of your… moves… later?”



* * *


I wake up first thing on Christmas morning to the calm and silence of a still fast asleep house.

It’s still dark and Carter is breathing peacefully next to me.

I turn and look at the clock, 5.25.

I know I should go back to sleep, that today is going to be a long and chaotic one, but the feeling in my stomach and my suddenly racing pulse tells me, I’m awake now, so I might as well make use of the time.

I climb out of bed, leaving Carter warm and welcoming, and creep into the hallway. I peer into the nursery and smile at my two sleeping miracles before heading downstairs.

I switch on the Christmas tree lights, and the lights that run along the fireplace. Next, I switch on the Christmas village light and head into the kitchen to switch on the lights on the tree we have in there.

Closing the door to keep from waking anyone up, I make myself a mug of coffee, take it over to the padded bench and sit, with the fairy lights twinkling at me, the rain splattering against the big patio doors and my coffee.

I tuck my feet up under me and reach for my phone, which is where I left it charging when I went to bed last night.

Last night.

A shiver runs up my spine remembering…

Carter’s kisses and his hands that fit like they were made just for my body.

My phone lights up in front of me with a message from Megs.


Megan: Happy Christmas beautiful. I hope today is everything you want it to be. Your first as a Mummy will forever be scored on your heart and will hold some of your most treasured memories. Take time to absorb it all, don’t stress if lunch is late, because no one will actually care. Remember we all love you so much, that we’re so proud of you. We’ll see you later tonight.


I smile at her message.

Of course she’s awake with two little ones, and of course she would think to send me a message.


Me: Thank you. Everyone is still asleep, I’m sitting in the kitchen trying to remind myself this isn’t a dream. That it’s real and it’s my life. I don’t know what I did you get so lucky. Can’t wait to see you later, Enjoy Christmas lunch… and the deliciousness that is your brother in-law 😉


Megan: Oh, I intend to. Did I tell you Jonathan is there this year too?


Me: NO!!! Right, I’m coming over 😉


Megan: I’ll get photos and tell you everything!


I chuckle and put my phone back down. I drink my coffee then decide to make a start on peeling the vegetables for later. Mum said they can be prepared early and this will save time. So that’s what I’m going to do.

A little over and hour later, a half asleep, deliciously crumpled Carter appears at the kitchen door yawning and scratching his head.

“Why are you awake before me on Christmas day?”

“Because I was too excited.” I grin as he walks over to me wearing just his pyjama pants.

“I was hoping for a repeat of last night…” he tells me, wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck.

“We still have time…” I groan.

“Actually we don’t… They’re awake, happily kicking around, but Mia won’t be like that for long, you know she won’t wait.”

“Shall we get them down for presents then?”

“Yeah…” he smiles, pulling back. “Happy Christmas, Carm.”

“Happy Christmas, Carter.”


An hour later, the babies are surrounded by paper and clothes and toys, and just like Mum told me they would be, they’re more interested in the paper.

“I think it must be your turn…” Carter beams, reaching for a present.

“And I think it must be yours, too.” I tell him, reaching for another.

“You first.”

He hands me the present, perfectly wrapped and tied with a red, velvet bow and watches me.

I carefully unwrap it and when I realise what it is, a tear escapes and rolls down my cheek.

“It’s beautiful.”

“It took me forever to pick. Daniel helped in the end.”

Sitting in a silver frame, is a black and white photo of the four of us that we had taken with Daniel.

“I love it, and I already know where it’s going.”

“Right above the table in the kitchen, right?”


“I thought so… it’s where I pictured it going.”

“Thank you, Carter. Now yours.”

He’s like a child, and rips it open quickly, then lifts off the lid.

“No way!” he booms making Mia clap her hands together.

“Way.” I laugh.

“And we have a hotel and everything?”

“We do.”

I knew exactly what I was going to get Carter this year. He keeps going on about how he wants to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour, that he needs to see everything and that we should go together. So that’s what I got him. Tickets and a night in a hotel.

Child free.

I’m both a little excited and nervous about a whole night away from the babies.

“No babies?” he asks, arching an eyebrow.


“Are you excited and scared about that too?”

I nod.

“Thank you, it’s… perfect.”

He leans over and kisses me then hands me another present.

“This is from me.”

“Who was the other one from then?”

“The three of us.”

I open the small box he hands me and tucked inside is a beautiful ring.

“It’s white gold, and one for each of us.”

Sitting on the band, sparkling up at me are four diamonds. It’s absolutely beautiful.

“I love it, thank you.”

We spend another hour unwrapping more little gifts from each other. There’s a jumper I said I wanted, along with a pair of boots and a new hat. Carter gets a new pair of running shoes, a jumper and a new coat.

“Do you think we should get ready for everyone arriving?”

“Mom will be here soon, so unless you want to be in you pjs… I’d say yeah.”


We all shower and get ready for the day.

I treat Carter by wearing a new red dress, and he treats me by wearing my favourite charcoal trousers and a black shirt.

We dress the babies in two cute little outfits, making them our two little elves for the day. It was Carter’s idea and even though I didn’t like it at first, when you see them in their matching his and hers outfits, you can’t help but think they’re the most adorable pair you’ve ever seen.

Everyone arrives and it’s loud and exciting.

“Merry Christmas!” Josie yells when we open the door. “Kiss me! I have mistletoe!”

I laugh as we kiss cheeks and hug each other, ushering them in from the cold.

“Carm, this is Tyler.” Lex smiles, holding hands with the famous Tyler Wilson.

“It’s lovely to meet you finally,” I smile, kissing his cheek. “We’ve heard a lot about you.”

“And seen a lot of videos.” Josie calls as she walks towards the kitchen.

“Well yes, that too,” I grin. “Come on in.”

When I follow Jack into the kitchen where Rueben is with Daddy, his whole face lights up at seeing his Uncle.

“Hey, Little Dude!” Jack beams. “Don’t you look cute!”

Rueben holds his arms out, stretching for Jack and Carter happily hands him over. The smiles on their faces light up the whole kitchen and Rueben, as he always does, settles into his Uncle and watches everything happen.

“I know, right?” Carter laughs. “Our two little elves are so damn cute.”

“We have the most beautiful Grandbabies, Nick, don’t we?” Hilary beams, kissing Rueben.

“We do.” he agrees, wrapping one arm around her waist.

“And Princess is a elf too?” Josie grins, leaning over to pick up Mia while Carter picks up Alice and kisses her cheek.

“I want cuddles!” Lex demands. “Stop hogging the babies, you get them so much more than I do!”

“You could see them more if you lived here, too.” Jack tells her, not letting go of Rueben.

“Or you could all move over to Chicago and we could live in one of those massive houses all together…”

“We’re not a cult Lex.” Carter chuckles.

“I didn’t say a cult, I mean, I don’t want us all to pray together or anything… unless… you could all bow to me, I am a Goddess after all.” she laughs.

“I don’t think a Goddess would be as small as you are, Titch.” Carter grins.

“I don’t know,” Tyler grins, wrapping her in his arms. “You’re pretty Goddess like to me.”

Jack makes a sound like he’s being sick, while Josie slaps him, and Carter laughs.

“Anyway…” she scowls. “They’re so gorgeous,” Lex smiles at Mia and Rueben. “Like so adorable and perfect.”

“They’re are, our two perfect little elves.” I smile tears filling my eyes at the scene before me.

There’s a knock at the door announcing the arrival of my parents and I wipe at my eyes, trying to control the wave of emotion currently washing over me.

I’ve only gone a few steps before Carter wraps his arms around me and pull me to his chest.

“It’s okay,” he breathes. “It’s okay.”

“I just… it’s just…”

“Mom’s getting the door, come here.”

While Hilary opens the door to my Mum and Dad, Carter turns me around and pulls me into his body.

I rest my head on his chest and try and slow the flow of tears.

“It’s all so perfect, how did it get to be so perfect?” I sob.

“We deserve it. You deserve it, Carm.” he tells me, kissing the top of my head.

“Not just for us, Lex is here with Tyler, your Dad is here, healthy and happy. I don’t know, Carter… I don’t think I deserve all this.”

“You do, babe. You really do.” he whispers.

It takes a few minutes to calm myself down, and when I pull back from Carter, Mum scoops me into a hug, telling me it’s all okay too.

We make our way back into the kitchen, where Jack, Josie, Nick and Hilary have everything under control. Josie takes one look at me and comes over, wrapping me in a hug.

“I love you,” she tells me simply. “And I’m so happy this is our life.”

“I am too.” I reply tearily.

“It all works out in the end, doesn’t it?” she whispers. “Everything has a way of sorting itself out. I thought everything was going to work out very different a few years ago… and then when you told us what you were going through… I was scared you wouldn’t get this and it hurt, Carm. It hurt more than anything. But now, now you’re Mummy to two beautiful children and you’re married to the most wonderful guy who just gets you. Completely gets you, I love watching you two together. So it worked out, didn’t it? For you, for me, for Megs…”

“It really has.”

She squeezes me once more then heads over to where Jack is standing with Carter, Alice in his arms, Carter holding Mia.

I scoop my son from my Mum’s arms and go to stand with them.

As I look around my kitchen, at all the happy, smiling faces, at the room filled with those I love the most, I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

And I guess I am.


© K.A Hobbs 2016.

For more from K.A…







Tied With A Red Velvet Bow by Michael Ennis


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Chapter One – The Beginning.


            I should have stayed in bed. I should never have answered the door. I certainly should not have opened the package… A small, innocent looking thing it was, It didn’t even have my name in it. That being said, I knew it was meant for me – I was the only one who had ever lived in that house, and it was the only house for miles.  What’s done is done I guess. There is no going back now, and believe me I know I couldn’t change a thing if I tried. Wait, maybe I am getting ahead of myself? Here I go again putting my words out there and you don’t even know who I am? Or even where I live, or how! Well, my name is Sandy – this is the story of my life…

I was born in December, in a cold damp area of Wales, UK. Not England. Just so you know. I was born a healthy girl, six pounds and eight-and-a-quarter ounces. My parents were probably very proud. I was too young to remember, and I never asked them. When I was two years old, my father won the lottery. He had been a working man, and he didn’t have very expensive taste as he always earned his keep so felt that splashing out would have been wasteful, so he put his money in the bank and left it there. He used to tell people that it was guarded by a dragon, or that it had been taken by goblins. I even heard someone say that he spent it all in a two pence slot machine, one coin at a time. I just laughed so hard when I heard that one – imagine how long that would take! My mother worked in a factory for a few years, before her lungs decided that she should stop working and raise a family instead. Then, when my dad had his sudden luck, she simply no longer needed to go back to the daily grind. It was her that insisted that they put enough aside to use for bills and essentials (such as food and clothes) and to put the rest of the money that they didn’t need into my name. I guess it was because she couldn’t work herself, but wanted to secure my future. They also gave a large donation to charity. In the donation letter (which I was given a copy of) they said that because they were fortunate to have luck on their side, it was only right to pass that luck along when they no longer needed it. Part of me swells with pride at that thought, but there is a side of me that hates them for it too. They must have given too much luck away, for it was on the journey back that night that they were involved in a car accident. They died…


Chapter Two – Dearly Departed

            My Uncle Jack was a carpenter, and he’d been given some money for taking me in, as a small leeway with the inheritance in my name. While I was growing up, he took a lot of hassle from some of the neighbours. The other car that had collided with my parents was driven by Logan, a successful businessman. The kind that was able to buy other people’s opinions with a few well placed comments in the events he hosted as a tax right-off scheme. Most of the town was under his payroll, so to speak. So most of the town spoke for him…

Logan was found to be under the influence on the afternoon of the accident. He claimed that some sort of light had got in his way or something, and that because the mystery that caused him to crash he had to have his left arm amputated. He was under the impression that my parents cost him business revenue by “being on his road” and therefore was due some of their money as compensation. All I know is he only lost an arm. I lost my parents…

It was my Uncle who had lost both a brother, and his sister-in-law, at the same time as gaining a child. As I was not of legal age he was given the option of disregarding the will of my father. This was because even though it was in a sealed envelope addressed to the bank, it was not filed so could be wavered. He insisted that he should only be eligible for 10%, which was still a large amount. More than enough, he reasoned, to pay for the cost of raising a child. The rest of the money should be kept secure for when I was old enough to want it. I was never spoiled, but also never in need. He also decided that it was best if the three bedroom house that had two less mouths inside of it (and far too many empty rooms) should be rented out. He figured that I should be moved into his home instead. This was made incredibly easier by the knowledge that as my mother had paid off most of the bills in advance, there was a significant portion of the utility bills paid for several years. This meant that even in death, people envied my parents. Uncle Jack almost immediately decreed that as a fitting tribute, all of the rental income he didn’t need for upkeep costs or repairs was to be donated to the charity that my parents had visited under their names – William and Joan. It was literally their dying deed to start donating, and no black robed figure would prevent their kindness from its due course.

Uncle Jack made a personal decision to buy a large area of woodland on which to build two houses. The way that the town had treated us was no environment to bring up a small child. Hated by others for being given something we never asked for, with false smiles and fake friendship at every turn. He and only a few close friends used all their own skills and lumber, and built them from the ground up. I have been told his land is around 700 acres in total, or approximately a square mile. I suppose that would be extreme in most people’s eyes, though to me it has always been his land so I don’t really think of it all that much. One house would be mine to inherit, my own personal space if ever I needed one. The other, for his own family’s use and a space from which to operate his carpentry business. All of Jack’s land surrounding the houses is woodland of varying degrees. Apart from a little lumber for business use, it is all registered as preserved land. In his words, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a little solitude.

Chapter Three – The Woman in the Woods

            So, let me fast forward my narrative a few years – I was taught at school, I mostly stayed within our compound and I grew up with respect for a honest day’s work. I always knew that I never had to work for a living, but it was treated as an escape route rather than a golden ticket. My uncle’s business gave him a respectable income, but the more time that passed, the less people would trade with him. At one point I figure he just decided it was easier to close up shop than fight the system. Having little reason to venture into the world, he became a sort of hermit – happily self confined in his hand made home. I was asked to move out when I was sixteen. Uncle Jack said that as a teenager turns into a young adult, they should try to make their imprint on the world. With all his bad relations in town, he wanted me to have the freedom to my own thoughts, while he enjoyed semi-retirement. I didn’t have to move, it was simply a request after all, but I jumped at the chance to have my own space. I already have a house to live in, and he was always just a phone call (or brisk walk) away from me if I ever needed him.

            So, I was a sixteen year old woman with my own house, no bills, a fairly decent education, and a safety net of however much money was under my name – I never asked, I simply didn’t need that kind of thing. Power can go to a gal’s head, and I was smarter than to give myself the temptation. I decided to do what my heart told me to do – I became the link between my Uncle and the outside world. He’d even built a massive wall to keep people out of his land. Eight feet high timber with reinforced sections shut out the world, and it reminded me of those medieval forts that I read about in the history books Jack bought from the internet. Yes, we had the internet – he was a hermit, but he still kept up with technology. Too much distance would make him crazy, so I became the official supply runner of our secluded compound. I would go into town and buy whatever groceries he couldn’t grow for himself, or that he couldn’t otherwise do without. Rice, pasta, other staple foods with which he could add his own vegetables and the occasional meat. Jack and I looked after the animals as best we could, we even studied veterinarian books. Sometimes you just can’t save all the injured (or elderly) animals, and to keep out some of the dangerous wildlife we would occasionally eat the fallen. We would never hunt them ourselves though, for that was a line we were not willing to cross…

Each weekend Jack would cook us a decent meal, and in return I helped him clean both houses. The rest of the week I had to survive on my own. Pizza helped me there, for as much of the town disliked me, there were a few friendly faces still. Josh from the local takeaway was one of Jack’s close friends from before the move, one of those that helped him build our place. He was astounded when my uncle paid his kindness by paying for his home and restaurant in return, so much so that he delivered us our regular orders as thanks. I don’t know if Jack still paid him for it or if it was given on the house, literally.


Chapter Four – Pizza Pride

            I took a part time delivery job with Josh’s pizza place when I started visiting the town, as it occurred to me that it was probably the easiest way to meet people from town without them having a need to talk to me. The ones who disliked me tried to claim that I didn’t need to be paid for the order, as I already had enough money. I simply stood my ground and told them they could either pay me or put it towards the charity fund instead, but either way Josh’s business was providing a service that needed to be paid. I never took a salary anyway, so it didn’t really make any difference to me, I just didn’t want to harm the business.

            During my delivery rounds I worked out the townsfolk that liked me, and those who didn’t, and within a fortnight had a rough idea of when I would get tipped or abused, but the one thing that I did not expect was for the special order. Logan would call in regularly, at a seemingly random time, and demand that they get an order delivered by me in person to their mansion. Since the accident he was not allowed to drive, but he had hired servants to care for his every need, and chauffers to take him anywhere he needed to go. Had no reason to do this other than what I suspected to be entertainment. In some sick and twisted way, he was amused to have me at his beck and call. I could have refused, but I guess there was a part of me that wanted him to acknowledge that me and my uncle were decent people – I didn’t want to be known as “the person who refused to deliver to the disabled old man” and if Logan could see that I was just a regular person, then maybe he could lift his imposed exile on us. I know that me and my uncle could have moved back into my parents’ old house any time that we wanted, and that moving away was our choice, but there is something to be said for gossip and slander. With the bad reputation we were given lingering over our heads, it simply did not feel like home, but since my uncle and my parents were born there it also did not seem fair to have to move away. So, I endured the special orders. The three-minutes-before-closing feast, or the six individual trips in a single day because he “hadn’t decided what he wanted as a next course yet”. I even endured the orders that simply didn’t make sense, such as the “plain white bread pizza with no toppings.” After all, the customer is always right. Or so it is said. I just thought it was stupid…

So I gave my best little smile, and my cheerful attitude. I worked my fingers to the bone and kept my nose to the grindstone. Anything to prove to people that I was actually a human being and not just a spoiled little rich kid who ran away to live in the forest. But, one day something changed my peaceful little world. It all came with a delivery Josh brought to the house one day, acting as unofficial postman. Something was put on his counter while he was in the kitchen cooking (he has a little bell, but it wasn’t used) and he decided to bring it to the house in person. So, he came to me the next morning and knocked on my door. Again, I should not have answered. It would have been rude, sure. Though any mail usually got delivered to my uncle, so this was out of the ordinary. There was just a strange feeling in my gut, guiding me towards the package, telling me that I simply had to open it. I should have resisted…

Chapter Five – Parcel of Regret

            I got out of bed and was told that I didn’t have to go into work that day (it wasn’t my shift anyways) and that he was simply saving me a trip. The parcel itself looked innocent enough. It was wrapped neatly in brown parcel paper. It was creased neatly along all the right edges, the surface smooth and inviting. There were a few things about it that bothered me. Firstly, it had my parents names on it. I hesitated, thinking surely it should have gone to my uncle instead, but when I called him he told me that he didn’t know anything about the package, and insisted that since he hadn’t been expecting anything it was not meant for him. Secondly, it had a modern stamp that had just came into circulation. I don’t collect stamps or anything, but this one was pretty specific. It had the year printed… Someone had posted a parcel to my parents, this year. Anyone who knew them surely knew that they were deceased, and the parcel was delivered locally. Nobody local would be that ignorant. Finally… it was written in my own scruffy handwriting. Tied with a red velvet bow.

© Michael Ennis 2016.

Find more from Michael here:


Office Angel by Stephen Richards


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The wind howled and whined outside her bedroom window like a banshee, driving Kelly further under the duvet, seeking comfort from the closeness of her lover. Cat moaned in her sleep and snuggled in tight, her firm breasts squashing into Kelly’s back. The storm had been lashing the city all day but tonight seemed worse; this was the fiercest she’d heard the wind since she was a little girl, when thunder storms used to terrify Her.

Nothing frightened ADA Kelly Pomelo now though – except maybe Cat’s repeated attempts to introduce decaf into their home.

There’s a time and place for decaf, thought Kelly, and that’s never and in the bin!

She chuckled to herself and settled comfortably against Cat, sighing as her lover’s hand cupped her breast. She felt Cat’s lips brush against her shoulder in the gentlest of kisses and heard her mumble something in her sleep.

“I love you too, angel” whispered Kelly.

And with that, she slipped into the arms of Morpheus.


The sunlight streamed into the apartment and danced playfully over Cat’s nubile body, accentuating her golden curves where they peaked out from under her bathrobe. Kelly sat at the breakfast bar and watched over the rim of her mug as her PA busied herself preparing breakfast. Her eyes never left the woman. It was a sight Kelly would never tire of.

Not for the first time, Kelly silently gave thanks to the universe for bringing the pair of them together. She couldn’t believe it had been almost a year since they’d become lovers – in fact, thinking about it, it was about this time last year that she’d been in that hotel room; the one where she ended up having amazing phone sex with a mystery caller followed by a royal fucking from the room service guy!

Now what was his name…? she pondered, Angelo! Yeah that was it! Man, he had a fucking cock on him! He sure cured me of my Santa fetish…!

She smiled to herself as she mentally replayed the best bits of that lust filled night.

Of course, she didn’t know at the time that her phone lover had been her own PA, but as soon as she found out a week or so later, they’d become lovers in the flesh.

Cat had moved in with Kelly in the new year and despite the accepted wisdom of not working with one’s bedfellow, they settled into a harmonious lifestyle, keeping work and home life sensibly separate.


Cat beamed as she set the plates down and sat opposite her woman. She blushed as Kelly’s intense gaze swept over her body, the desire in them making her pussy tingle. Cat was still amazed that this gorgeous, incredibly sexy woman was hers. She’d been crushing on her from the very first day they’d started working together and now here they were, madly in lust and love!

Kelly glanced up from her breakfast and caught Cat’s eye.

“Wow you’re a great cook you know, this is gorgeous! Thank you, angel.”

“Aww you’re welcome Kelly, you know how much I love to please you…”

“Well you certainly do that alright – in work and at home. Especially at home… you know… in the bedroom part…”

Cat blushed and smiled shyly.

“Umm… about the bedroom part Kelly…?”


“Are you really happy with the way things are?”

Kelly felt an icy stab of fear in her chest.

“Yes of course! Why, aren’t you?”

“What? Yes! Yes, I am! I’m more than happy with what we have, but that’s not what I meant… I meant, is there anything else you’d like to try…?”

“Like what?”

“Oh I don’t know… Have you got any fantasies we haven’t explored?”

“What’s brought this on, angel?”

Cat smiled and caressed Kelly’s cheek.

“It’s our sort of anniversary coming up, ya know… a year since we first had sex – well, phone sex anyway – and I thought you might have something you’d like to do that we haven’t done yet… ya know? Something you’ve always fancied doing but were afraid to ask – that kinda thing!”

Now it was Kelly’s turn to blush.

“Oh. My. God! ADA Pomelo, you’ve got a secret desire! C’mon girlfriend! Spill…!”

Kelly Laughed.

“You’ll think it’s silly…!”

“No I won’t! C’mon, what is it?”

“Well…” she began hesitantly, “I know we keep our professional and private lives separate, but I’ve sort of always wanted you to have me in my office…”


“Yes…” she replied quietly, “D’you think that’s stupid…?”

“What? No! I think it’s exciting!”

“You do?”

“Hell yeah! Risky – but then that’s what makes it so fucking exciting!”

“Oh wow! I thought you’d think it was dumb and laugh at me…”

Cat stood up and leant across the breakfast bar, pulling Kelly into a passionate kiss.

“You’re not dumb and I’d never laugh at you…” she breathed, “I love you Ms. Pomelo and I think this fantasy of yours has a very good chance of becoming reality. In fact,” she placed her hand between Kelly’s legs, a thrill running down her spine as she felt just how hot and wet her lover was, “…I’m certain of it! You just leave the details to me…”

Kelly closed her legs tightly around Cat’s hand and groaned against her neck.

“God you know just how to work me…!”

“Uh-huh!” she growled, “And I’m gonna work you really good!”


The days and nights went by without either of them mentioning Kelly’s fantasy again. That wasn’t to say they didn’t indulge their pleasures – far from it – their nights were spent in a haze of orgiastic bliss.

One Friday in late December, Kelly had been in court for the morning and returned to her office shortly after midday.

“Anything for me?” she asked as she passed Cat’s desk on the way to her office.

“Yes Ms. Pomelo there’s a couple of things. I’ve put them on your desk.”

“Thanks Cat!” she called over her shoulder as she went in.

Kelly closed the door behind her and removed her coat. She hung it on the stand and crossed over to her desk, sinking into her leather chair with a contented sigh. She kicked off her shoes and regarded the white, oblong box, sitting in the middle of the table. It had been tied with a red, velvet bow but other than that, bore no label or marking – in fact there was no indication as to where it came from or what it contained.

Maybe it’s shoes, she thought. It’s about the right size…

A small, plain red envelope was propped against it.

She picked it up and opened the flap, taking out a gilt-edged card that read: For Tonight…

Kelly’s heart began to pound as, with trembling fingers, she put the card down and reached for the box.

It was heavy.

She took a deep breath to calm herself and slipped off the ribbon so’s not to disturb the exquisite bow.

She lifted the lid and gasped.

There, nestling seductively on a bed of gold satin, was a huge, shiny, black strap on! Kelly bit her lip as she gazed at the length and girth of this colossal instrument of pleasure. Cunningly constructed in such a way as to enter both the giver and the taker, it held the promise of hitherto unknown levels of carnal bliss.

Beside it, was a beautiful red velvet blindfold with a label attached: Wear me…

Kelly couldn’t believe it. She’d almost forgotten Cat’s promise to make her fantasy come true and now here it was…


She reached into the box and took out the magnificent implement, letting her fingers wander over the hard surface. She turned it this way and that, studying the intricate veins that had been moulded into the ebony material. She gulped as she tried and failed to get her fingers to close around it, imagining what it was going to feel like to have such an enormous thing pushing its way into her body.

Her pussy quivered at the thought.

Kelly yelped with surprise as the door opened and Cat entered, catching her lusting over the beast.

“Ahhh… So now you know what ya getting later!” she grinned. “What ya think? Ya like it?”

She shut the door and came over to stand in front of the desk.

“Look what else I got ya…” she smiled seductively, hitching up her skirt to reveal sheer black stockings and a total absence of panties.

Kelly swallowed hard as she drank in the sight of her lover’s slick pussy.

“Oh my God…” she whispered, “It’s gonna fucking kill me having to wait until this evening!”

Cat reached down and slid a finger along her lips.

“This’ll keep ya going…” she said hoarsely, offering the glistening finger to Kelly’s mouth.

She closed her eyes and groaned, sucking intently.

“Mmmm, that’ll do for now lover…” said Cat, withdrawing her hand.

“I’ll have this, thank you” she said, taking the strap on from Kelly’s fingers. “See ya later when the coast is clear.”

She bent forward and kissed Kelly deeply before leaving her with a breathless sigh.


It was late when the last person stuck their head around the door and wished her a good night.

About fucking time! She thought as she looked down on the city lights from her office window, I thought it would never get here!

Her phone rang, it was Cat.

“We’re the last one’s in the office. Put on the blindfold and stand by your desk…”

She made to answer but the line was dead. Kelly’s pussy flooded. She loved it when Cat was forceful.

She took the red velvet cloth and tied it around her head, covering her eyes. She stood there, trembling with anticipation, gasping when she heard the door open and close. There was a click as the lock was turned.

“Mmmm… Looking good” purred Cat’s voice, getting closer.

Kelly shuddered as she felt something hard prod into her belly. She knew Cat was wearing the dildo.

“Let’s get you out of those clothes shall we…?”

Kelly remained motionless as she was skilfully stripped down to her underwear.

“Face down over the desk, Pomelo!” barked Cat.

She turned and whimpered as she lay over the hard surface, the wood cold against her fevered flesh.

Kelly hissed as her panties were ripped forcefully from her hips and her feet were kicked apart.

She moaned as she felt the tip of that dreadful thing nestle between her lips

“Are you ready…?” whispered Cat, her voice thick with lust.

“Y…Yes…!” breathed Kelly, her heart pounding in her ears.

She cried out and raised herself on tip-toe as the ruthless invader forced its way forwards.

Kelly had never felt so full – ever! She felt as if there was nothing else in the world except her vagina and the monstrous object inside it. She panted through gritted teeth as she struggled to accommodate it, crying out with relief as she felt it begin to withdraw. There was a moment’s respite before it began to stretch her again.

She lay on the desk and concentrated on relaxing herself, letting her pussy grow accustomed to the massive size of the bludgeon as it travelled in and out.

Cat settled into a long, slow rhythm and Kelly found her initial discomfort quickly turning into pleasure. Just as she became used to the feel of it pushing and pulling her insides, the damn thing suddenly began to vibrate!

Kelly screamed as a wave of pleasure exploded outwards from her stretched pussy. Her legs began to shake uncontrollably and she would have collapsed if Cat hadn’t gripped her hips tightly as she continued to fuck her.

“Oh God… Oh God… I’m gonna come… I’m gonna come!” she gasped, her whole body vibrating as her orgasm washed over her.

Cat buried herself deep inside Kelly’s thrashing body as she waited for her lover’s climax to pass.

“And that’s just the first…” she snarled, resuming her strokes.

“I can’t… I can’t…!” breathed Kelly as she felt another release start racing hard on the heels of the first one.

This time Cat gave her no time to recover, riding her through the spasms of bliss and pushing her towards a third.

“Wait…! Wait…!” she begged, “Please…! I…” but this time Cat was chasing her own orgasm as well and had no intention of slowing down. With a shriek of pleasure, Cat collapsed onto Kelly’s back as they both came hard.

Cat was the first to recover and pulled the dildo from her lover, catching hold of her limp body and spinning her around; Kelly was like a rag doll in her hands as she pushed her onto her back across the desk. Placing a leg over each shoulder, Cat drove the ebony rod back in and started fucking.

Kelly just shuddered and moaned as her lover gave her more pleasure than she’d ever thought possible. Wave after wave of delicious sensations washed continuously over and through her, spiking with red hot jabs of ecstasy as Cat’s thumb began to strum her engorged clit. She bit her lip and arched her back when two hands began to mould and squeeze her breasts, her heart lurching as she suddenly realised that Cat’s hands were occupied elsewhere…

Her squeal of surprise was quickly muffled as a very hard and very real cock took advantage of her open mouth and pushed its way in!

Even if she hadn’t been too exhausted to resist, Kelly had reached that stage of sexual delirium where she’d let anyone do anything to her, so she opened her throat and sucked that cock down like a champ. This dual pumping was driving her mad with lust and she groaned around the thick length, reaching her hands up and back to cup the man’s buttocks. She sank her nails into the firm flesh and took him to his root.

“I want him to come in your pussy!” growled Cat, pulling herself out, “And I want you eating me while he does it…”

Kelly gasped as the hard meat withdrew from her mouth and let herself be pulled upright. She blinked as the blindfold was yanked upwards, her eyes taking a moment to adjust to the bright lights.

Strong hands took her hips and soft lips fell onto her neck and her breasts. She looked down to see Cat sucking on her nipple then turned her head towards the mystery man behind her.

She let out a small cry of surprise and melted back into the arms of Angelo, the room service guy from last year. She was about to ask how and why, but his hard cock pressing up between her cheeks drove everything but the desire to have him inside her from her mind.

He smiled possessively and turned her to face the desk just as Cat crawled along it and sat in the middle. She spread her legs wide, biting her lip and staring straight into Kelly’s eyes as she slowly pulled her end of the dildo from her swollen lips. It made a beautiful sucking noise as it came free and Kelly could see it shining with her lover’s honey.

“Mmmm… so fucking good!” sighed Cat. “Time for you to lick it baby!”

She held herself open with both hands as Angelo bent Kelly forward.

“You heard the lady, Ms Pomelo” he said, placing one hand on the back of her neck. “Eat her!”

He pushed her face into Cat’s pussy as he entered her, grunting as her tight heat engulfed him.

Angelo quickly found a steady pace, pounding her hard and fast, while Cat grabbed handfuls of blonde hair and ground her pussy against the questing mouth.

Kelly’s tongue lashing at her clit combined with the sight of Angelo’s magnificent cock thrusting in and out of her lover was driving Cat quickly towards the point of no return.

“Christ I’m gonna come!” he gasped.

“Oh…! Me too! Me too!” Cat whimpered.

Neither of them could hear what Kelly said but Cat could feel her cry vibrating through her vagina.

“Do her!” she screamed. “Come inside her fucking…!” The next word was lost in a garbled shriek of ecstasy.

Angelo gave one final thrust and buried himself deep in the wildly pulsating pussy. He gritted his teeth as he emptied his balls, sinking over her and biting her shoulder. Cat collapsed back onto the desk, releasing Kelly’s hair, while she lay her face against Cat’s quivering belly and tried to catch her breath.


Later, when they’d recovered enough to get dressed, they all sat together on the office sofa and had drinks.

Cat took hold of Kelly’s hand and brought it to her lips, kissing the back as she gazed lovingly into her sparkling eyes.

“I love you Cat” Kelly whispered, “Tonight was fucking amazing, thank you!”

“My pleasure and I love you too…”

“But how on earth did you come up with Angelo…?”

Cat chuckled.

“Well I’d watched the two of you fucking last year so I knew you really dug his cock and of course I knew where he worked, but I didn’t know his name until you murmured it your sleep one time…”

“In my sleep?”

“Yeah. You were making all sorts of mewling noises so I guessed you were having a horny dream and I kinda reached over and helped you along… ya know…?”

“Wait! You mean you…?”

“Yeah – I rubbed one out for ya! You seemed to enjoy it! And that’s when you called out his name. So, the other day when you told me about your fantasy I got the idea of looking him up and, voila!”

Kelly looked at her lover and smiled warmly.

“You’re the greatest. You know that?”

“Yeah… I do!”

They both laughed and leant against each other.

Angelo downed his whisky and put the glass on the desk.

“Well thank you ladies! It’s been a fantastic evening but I guess I better be on my way now so you two can get on home.”

He bent down and kissed them, then turned to leave.

“And where d’you think you’re going mister?” asked Cat.

“I umm… I…” he looked confused.

“Uh-uh! You’re coming home with us big boy! My fantasy is to get royally fucked by some hung stud while she’s tied up and forced to watch!” Cat hooked her thumb at a very surprised Kelly.

“And don’t worry kitten” she purred, caressing Kelly’s face, “I’m gonna give you a vibrator to keep yourself company…”

Kelly gulped.


“Yes Ms Pomelo?”

“You better call us a cab.”

“Ok Ms Pomelo.”

“And then you better phone in sick for the weekend…”

“Yes ma’am!” he grinned.




Office Angel

©Steve Richards 2016

(image from Pinterest)






Published works, both available as paperback or Kindle version:


Opus Angelicus (published as Stephen Richards)


Promethean (published as Steve Richards)

She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Allana Walker


, , ,


            “My stomach is in knots, Avery.” I sigh, voicing my inner feelings to my best friend over the phone. “I’m so damn nervous.”

            “Really Lillia?” She sounds shocked. “How many times have you guys had sex over the years?” She laughs a little.

            “Lots, but it’s different now. It feels different.”

            “You love him right?” She questions me.

            “Of course I do. More than anything.” I look to the picture that hangs on the wall in our room. Blake is napping right now so I’m making the most of the quiet and sorting out my plans for Tristan tonight.

            “Well then, just take a deep breath and do some yoga or something to calm your nervous and clear your mind.”

            “Yoga?” I squeak. “I’d rather drink my body weight in vodka right now to calm my nerves.”

            “No alcohol, Lillia.” She scolds me. “You need a clear mind for this. You want to remember it don’t you?”

            I sigh. “Fine, but I’m having a glass of wine at least.”

            “One glass, Lillia.”

            “Okay, Mom.” I roll my eyes at her. Ever since she had the twins, Layken and Lilly. she’s gone all mother hen on me.

            “Look, Lillia. You’ve been miserable for so long without him only seeing him to drop off Blake or to pick him up. I’ve watched you stare off into the distance and look so sad. I just want you to be happy.” Her voice quivers. “It’s time to pull on your big girl panties, or you thin lacy ones in your case tonight. Take him by the balls, show him how much you’ve missed him. Make yourself happy for once. You deserve it and so does Tristan.”

            Tears leak from the corner of my eyes. She’s right, we deserve to be happy. I hear a squeal in the background followed by crying. “Lillia, I need to go. Layken has just pulled Lilly’s pigtails.” She sighs. I have no idea how she manages two toddlers at the same time. I struggle with just Blake, never mind having two of him. Just thinking about that make me scared.

            “Okay,” I giggle. “Talk later. Love you.”

            “Love you too.” She replies and hangs up.

            Just as I place the surprise back in my bedside drawer, I hear Blake starting to babble through the monitor.

            “Hey baby,” His little face lights up when he sees me. “Let’s get you fed huh?” I drop the safety barrier on the side of his bed, he may be three years old, but I still don’t feel safe him not having that in place. Tristan laughs at how safety cautious I am with him, but it’s all within reason. Blake is clumsy, much like his Uncle Lennon was when he was younger. I’m not wanting his childhood spent in the emergency room.

            I’m busy preparing Blake’s dinner when the doorbell rings. “Dada.” Blake’s eyes light up like Christmas at the thought of his Dad coming home.

            “No, baby. Daddy won’t be home for a while.” I run after him when he runs towards the door as fast as his little legs can carry him. Opening the door I’m faced with a smiling delivery man holding a small package and clipboard.

            “Miss Lillia Kennedy?” He asks. Looking up from the box to the delivery guy, my brows pinched together. He hands me the clipboard to sign for this mysterious package, I sign my name in nothing more than a scribble. “Happy holidays.” He gives me a bright smile and walks away.

            Blake is busy playing with his cars when I sit to open up the gift that’s just been delivered to me. Opening it carefully I see a beautifully wrapped black and red rectangular box. Tearing open the wrapping, I open the box to reveal a charm bracelet. Running my fingers over each charm mist descends over my vision, I notice a note attached to the top of the box. Lifting it a sob escapes me.

Lillia, you’re my life, my light. My love.

I love you,

Tristan xxx

            Blake walks over to me and points to my bracelet. “Corn.” Pointing to the unicorn making me giggle. “Your daddy is a big softy.” I hug him close and kiss his head. “Come on, lets get you fed and ready for Grandpa.”


            “Thank you for doing this, Emmett.” I help him with Blake’s bag and strap Blake into his car seat. His face beaming with happiness with spending time with Grandpa.

            “If it means you and that son of mine get to spend some quality time together, then I will take him any day of the week.” He smirks at me. The way he looks at me, is like looking at Tristan in twenty odd years, if he looks this good in his late fifties then I’m going to be an extremely lucky girl. You’re crushing on your son’s Grandpa! I shake my head clear.

            “I know, I just don’t like to ask. You have your own life to lead.”

            “I’ll always make time for my grandson.” Sadness flashes across his face. “Besides, Sally loves spending time with him too.” He beams at the mention of her name.

            “Well thank you anyway. Just let us know what time to come by and pick Blake up.”

            “Come by for dinner, I’ll cook.” A slow smile plays on my lips.

            “Will you cook your lasagne?” I look at him innocently making him chuckle.

            “For you, I will. Aiden’s coming home tomorrow for a few days, tell your brother and Avery to come by too, it’ll be nice for all of us to be in the one place for a change.”

            “Sounds like fun.” I grin. I reach up and kiss his cheek and say goodbye to Blake who’s patiently waiting to go have some playtime with Grandpa. After waving them off I head inside to get ready for my man coming home.


            Starring at myself in the mirror, I run my clammy hands down my stomach trying to calm my nerves. Stop being nervous. You got this. “You can do this. You’ve done it a million times.” I give myself a pep talk.

            Walking down to the family room I light the fire and some candles. While the fire crackles away I go to the kitchen to check on Tristan’s favourite meal, BBQ chicken wings and rice, that’s cooking slowly. The smell makes my stomach rumble. I check the time and see that he’ll be home soon. Grabbing the wine glasses and the bottle of Araujo Sauvignon Blanc 2010 I got for my twenty-first birthday from Mom and Dad. My heart twists thinking about them, I close my eyes and take a deep breath. “I miss you guys.” I whisper.

            Pouring the wine and place some strawberries on the side of the glasses too. I lay on the sofa trying to get comfortable, I can’t I start to fidget as I wait what feels like a lifetime for Tristan to walk in. It’s not even been five minutes I’ve been waiting. Get a hold of yourself, Lillia! I grab my glass and drain it, then refill it again. I don’t have to wait much longer when I hear keys jingling and the door clicking shut.

            “Babe.” His voice sends shivers down my spine right down to between my legs. His voice sounds tired, he’s been working tirelessly on a huge project for a big client that could get his name out there like it should already be. I know I’m biased but he’s the best architect in the states, some of his designs are amazing. My favourite is my walk in wardrobe. I hear his foot falls coming closer, “Babe?” his voice louder. His tall, broad silhouette fills the door frame. He stops dead looking at me from my feet all the way to my eyes as he takes in the scene before him. His mouth pops open, his tongue poking out to lick those lips that I crave to kiss every inch of my body. My heart pounds with in my chest, my breathing harsh as he walks slowly towards me.

            Shit, he’s so fucking hot. And he’s all mine.


            When I walked into the house I expected Blake to come sprinting towards me and when that didn’t happen my mind started to think all kinds of things. The main one being that Lillia left me, again. Not going to happen. Not again. I take a cleansing breath and walked further into the house, the aroma hitting me. A slow smile tugs at my lips as I start to walk towards the kitchen only for something to catch the corner of my eye in the family room. My mouth dries taking in the vision before me. Lillia dressed in red lace baby doll, I know I’m a man but I’ve been in enough lingerie shops to know what she’s wearing. My eyes travel the length of her body, from the tips of her toes, her long stocking covered legs, sweet Jesus she’s wearing a suspender belt. My pants growing tighter with every inch I take in of her. I swear my dick will burst through the fabric and detach itself from my body just to get in between her legs. My eyes stop at her full tits, ever since having Blake, her boobs have gotten bigger much to Lillia’s disappointment, she was hoping she would go down a size. She’s perfect with any sized tits but this size, they fit perfectly in my hands. My eyes finally land on hers. I walk leisurely towards her unbuttoning my cuffs throwing my cuff links with a clatter on the floor, Lillia sits up straighter bringing her legs down so she’s in a sitting position. Her eyes darken the closer I get to her, I unbutton the first few buttons on my shirt and kneel in front of her. She spreads her legs making room for me to slide in, placing my hands on the sides of her thighs I keep my eyes connected with hers, my lips impossible close to hers I can feel her hot breath in short bursts mixing with mine. My hands move further up her legs to the sides of her panties, pulling the red velvet bows free that’s holding the flimsy pieces of lace together to cover her most treasured possession. I hear her gasp when I yank the material from under her and throw them somewhere behind me, hoping they don’t land in the fire.

            I pull her legs forward, the heat from her pussy seeping through the material of my pants, my dick jerks in response like it knows its mate is ready and waiting for them to join. Her hands move to the remaining buttons of my shirt, delicately unbuttoning them pulling the shirt free from my pants her hands brush my stomach making me tense with pleasure. She’s barely touched me and I almost came in my boxers like an adolescent kid about to get his first hand job. Pushing the shirt off of my shoulders she moves to the front of my pants, we never lose the intense eye contact, my heart thundering within my chest in anticipation. Two and a half years it’s been since I’ve been inside of a woman. My woman. My Lillia. I could have gone out and fucked a whole load of women in that time, but I decided I wanted to get better and be the father to Blake, and hopefully future husband that Lillia deserves, even if we weren’t together and she was with someone else. No, don’t think about that! She’s with you now.

            “Tristan.” Her hands either side of my face. She’s looking at me with a worried expression marring her beautiful face.

            “I love you.” I breathe and crash my lips to hers. The kiss is anything but soft and sensual, it’s more animalistic. I want to devour her, make her see how much I’ve missed her touch, her kiss, her everything. I’ve just fucking missed her.

            She lets out a little moan and lifts her hips rubbing her pussy on my pants trying to get some much needed friction. My hands leave her hair to push down my pants and boxers, my cock springing free. I break the kiss but only so I can pull the other red velvet bow at the front of the baby doll, it’s like I have my Christmas present early, tied with a red velvet bow. Her nipples pebble when the cool air hits them, bringing one into my mouth, I roll it around between my teeth and pinch the other with my fingers. I start peppering kisses over the mound of her breast down the clavicle to her belly button. I lick, suck and kiss from one hip to the next, I tease her by kissing and caressing her inner thighs, bringing my kisses to her outer lips. She lets out a pleasurable moan, I risk a look at her she’s fondling her breasts with her eyes closed and biting her red stained lip. She notices that I’ve stopped and lets out an annoyed groan and lifts her effect ass, her pussy inches from my face, I can’t take it anymore my mouth descends onto her clit, my tongue dragging up the seam, teasing her open. My teeth scrap against her clit making her mewl out loud, urging me on. My tongue penetrates her opening once, twice, three times. Moving my attention back to her clit, I insert my middle finger and start to finger fuck her. I can feel her walls clenching, removing my finger only earns me a disgruntled moan and what can only be described as a death stare making me laugh.

            “Baby, I’ll let you come. Just not on my fingers.” I push my cock into her, surprising her judging by the gasp that escapes her. “Shit, you’re so fucking tight.” I gran. I had forgotten how tight she was, it doesn’t take her long to get accustomed to my size. We start moving in sync like we’ve never been apart. Just like old times, only this time, no regrets, no jealousy. Just love and trust.

            “Oh god! Tristan!” She screams as she comes. Two more thrusts and I come inside her.

            “I fucking missed you.” I collapse on top of her and kiss her shoulder lightly.

            “I missed you too.”

            We catch our breaths and sit in front of the fire sipping the wine she poured. Her head on my lap, she sits up quickly almost head-butting me.


            “The dinner.” She shouts and runs butt naked to the kitchen. I follow her through into a cloud of smoke. “Shit!”

            “Hey. Baby, it’s okay. We’ll just order pizza or Chinese.” I walk up behind her placing my hands on her shoulders and kiss the back of her head.

            “I wanted to cook you your favourite meal.” She turns and looks up at me with sadness.

            “I have everything I could ever want here. It’s just chicken.” I place a peck on her lips. Desire floods into her eyes as quick as I’ve blinked she’s on me again. Legs wrapped around my waist, kissing me like her life depended on it. Time for round two I guess.

            After round two we decided it would be wise to eat something. “Where’s Blake?” Lillia giggles. I look at her curious as to what I said was so funny.

            “You’ve been home for almost three hours and you’re just now asking where Blake is.” Amusement glittering in her eyes.

            “Well, I was kind of distracted.” I smirk and kiss her shoulder.

            “He’s with your Dad and Sally.” It occurs to me that she had to have had this all planned for a few weeks, there’s no way Dad could take a day off on a whim. “We’re going there for dinner tomorrow, your Dads cooking lasagne.” She smiles like a little kid getting a toy they’ve been begging for weeks.

            “You have my Dad wrapped around your little finger.” I shake my head.

            “I seem to have that effect on you Hunt men.” She winks and straddles my hips.

            “Hmm, yeah I beginning to see where Blake gets it from.”

            “I don’t want to think about anything other than your Dick in me, fucking me fast and hard all night.” She grazes her teeth against me neck.

            “Fuck.” I hiss. “What happened to the nice, quiet and shy sixteen year old girl?” I chuckle as she kisses across my collar bone.

            “She’s long gone.” A mischievous glint sparkles in her eye. “Heartbreak does that to a girl.” She raises an eyebrow looking into my eyes.

            Shame washes over me at the thought of everything I put her through. “I’m sorry for everything I put you through.” I reach up and tuck a piece of hair behind her ear.

            “It’s the past, Tristan.” She smiles softly. “I’m not looking to the past anymore. It’s the future I’m looking toward now. Our future. You, me and Blake.” She kisses my lips softly.

            I stare into her eyes, a wave of emotions crash over me like a tsunami. “I fucking love you.” I swallow looking into her eyes.

            “Ask me again.” She whispers. I turn my head to the side. “Ask me to marry you again.” My eyes widen a fraction.

            “Hold that thought.” I lift her off of my lap and sprint up to our room and into my bedside drawer and grab what I came for.

            Walking back into the room I see Lillia staring into the fire. I let out a breath I had no idea I was holding and walk towards her. Getting down on one knee I take her hand in mine and ask her once more. “Lillia, will you marry me?” I hold out the ring I had bought three years ago, the same ring I proposed to her with at Blake’s christening. I don’t have to wait long when she throws her arms around me screaming, “YES!”

            I finally place the ring on her finger. I may have taken three years to get it there, but it’s there and it’s never coming off.

© Allana Walker 2016.

Allana’s links and published works…

Twitter: allanaw15
Instagram: allanaw16

Until Death (A Fight for Freedom #2) OUT NOW & Available on KU

Tyler and Alexa Cross have been living the life they have always dreamt about. Tyler has his angel with blue eyes and Alexa has her knight in shining armor.

Six years after past events that almost tore them apart, they are happily married living the perfect life.

What happens when the past comes back to haunt them and threaten to tear them apart once and for all?

Will it be the end for Tyler and Alexa?

Or does love really conquer all?

Find out in the concluding part of Fighting for Freedom series.

This work of fiction is intended for ages 18+, due to the language used and scenes of violence.

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
OUT NOW & Available on KU

Breaking Free (A Fight for Freedom #1)  OUT NOW & Available on KU

Alexa Bardo always dreamt of a future, a future where she could help others, by becoming a doctor.

One mistake from a family member snatches that future away.

At the age of nineteen, she was thrown into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love but has no choice but to stay. Feeling suffocated by her husband, Ash De Costa, son of the Don of The De Costa Mafia. She knows she needs to escape.

Will the help of the Devil’s Reign MC help break her free?

The Devil’s Reign MC are tasked with a mission, a mission that brings back memories for a couple of members.

One, in particular, Tyler Cross.

While hell bent on revenge, will he get more than he bargained for?

This work of fiction is intended for ages 18+, due to the language used and scenes of violence.


Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

Tied With A Big Red Bow by Martin Tracey


, , ,

Here I sit on this Christmas Eve absorbing the joys of our room

I smile at the glistening tree, place down my mulled wine and take out her favourite perfume

She’s an angel to me and her smell is so sweet yet just one thing that I love so dearly

And the bottle I’ve bought is the biggest I could find to reflect my love so clearly

She’s taking a shower so I have time to wrap her gift as the stairs separate our existence

Now I take out the ribbon, such a rare and beautiful shade, I’m rewarded for my persistence

The ribbon’s too long but that shade of red screams out ‘I love you my darling at Christmas’

I trim the length carefully knowing the red ribbon is precisely fit for its purpose

I’m watching The Holiday, well it’s on the TV, I’m too captivated in my careful wrapping

Then suddenly a twinkling sound drowns out Cameron and Jude and I notice her phone vibrating

I retrieve the phone and become puzzled and disturbed as I don’t recognise the number or name

I answer but don’t speak and allow the unfamiliar voice to pour out his painful refrain

‘Hi honey, it’s arranged, this will be the best Christmas as we begin together our new life’

I hang up the line, my heart sinks like a stone, I can’t believe this of my beautiful wife

Dejected I look down and notice the ribbon which seems to be snaking towards me

A switch flicks in my brain while anger consumes me and stops me from acting rationally

I walk up the stairs, red ribbon in hand and head towards the sound of flowing water

My fears are confirmed as I spot the swollen suitcase and get an urge to slaughter

Amongst the smell of fresh musk, I enter like a ghost and hear her sing Last Christmas by Wham!

The steam begins to clear as I open the shower door and use the ribbon to end this sham

I move so swiftly as I pull the ribbon tight and her beautiful and naked form slides down soapy glass

And her final breath escapes as her betraying eyes stare, I’ve ensured this Christmas is her last

I take the ribbon once more and its silky touch inspires me to fulfil my act of revenge

I manoeuvre the ribbon to a position of irony and laugh at the message it will send

I return downstairs amidst the presents and cards and lift up my dead wife’s phone

I send a text to her lover, pretending to be her – ‘My darling, your present is waiting – tied in a big red bow.’

© Martin Tracey 2016.


Find more from Martin here:





A Gift Of Darkness by Laura Morgan


, , ,

I placed my love’s gift at the very base of the glittering tree that’d been covered in tinsel and baubles. It was perfect, and I’d made sure that it’d be the final one she would find on Christmas morning. The most special of all and saved for last. I’d taken care in wrapping it for her, closing the thick black paper in impeccable triangles at each end before I’d then finished it with the perfect accompaniment, grinning as I tied it with a red velvet bow.

Then, I crept back into the shadows and waited patiently for Christmas morning to arrive. I watched silently as she marvelled at her various gifts and celebrated the special day with her friends and family, but then…

“What’s this?” she asked, plucking my gift from its home, however her companions each shook their heads. A flicker of recognition contaminated her smile, but she refused to indulge in her fear. Oh, how foolish she was to think I wouldn’t strike on Christmas day of all days.

She opened it slowly and peered inside, and I knew what her eyes had laid upon. The black rose I had delivered was a sign. A promise. A symbol that her time on earth was over. I would give her one last day. A final twenty-four hours of life, but then she was mine.

“What is it, dear?” her mother asked, her brows furrowed tightly, but my love could not answer. She had made a deal of the darkest kind with me ten years before and I had come to insist she paid her debt. Like a thief in the night, someone had stolen her heart and broken it, so naturally she had sought vengeance. And I had, of course, delivered it. His soul was mine, but in return for my gracious gift, I had also demanded hers as payment, to be cashed in when a decade had passed. Ten years means nothing to a creature of darkness like me, but to my love it’d seemed like a lifetime away. Not now that she’d received my present. I’d told her how she belonged to me and I would come, marking my return with the gift of a black rose, and already I could see her mind working to rationalise what was in that box.

“Is this some kind of a joke?” she demanded, looking around at the others. Dumbfounded, they each shook their heads. My love then stormed away, my gift still grasped tightly to her bosom and I followed, gliding within the shadows alongside her.

I materialised right before her eyes and covered her mouth with my hand to stifle her screams.

“Did you think I wouldn’t collect on your debt?” I asked, but she was too shocked to respond. “My deals can never be forgotten or bargained out of, my love. I will return for you, body and soul.”

“Please,” she whimpered as I removed my hand, but rather than answer, I simply grinned. I summoned her mark—my mark—to appear on her right forearm and she peered down at it, rubbing her finger over the black inverted cross there. “This can’t be real…”

“Oh, it’s very real,” I replied before disappearing back into the shadows, leaving her shocked and screaming, tears falling down her beautiful face. They only served to make me want her more. To look forward to taking her with me down into the fiery depths of the underworld.

The next morning, I took my love’s life and forced her soul to accompany me to my personal dungeon, where I showed her everything there was to both love and loathe about me.

You might be wondering why I’m telling you my story? What I might possibly have to gain by revealing my vile intent and methods to you. It’s because I have another gift to deliver. One to someone forgetful and foolish, yet still a love of mine all the same.

I came one night while you were lost and alone. When you prayed for an answer, but were left only further doubting your faith when none came. That’s when I made you a deal, do you remember? When you said you’d do anything to feel happy. Sacrifice whatever it took to make it? That’s when you became my next love.

So here is my gift to you, made of black petals and thorns. It’s wrapped in black and tied with a red velvet bow.

See you tomorrow when the fun really will begin…

© Laura Morgan 2016.


About the author – Laura Morgan


“I’m a hopeless romantic with a dark side. Be warned, I may give my characters their Happily Ever After, but I make them work hard for it!”


Laura is a self-confessed computer and gadget geek. She’s always had a wild imagination and a sense of creativity that often runs away with her, engrossing her for days in many a story that haunts her thoughts until it eventually makes it to the page. An avid rock music fan, Laura spends much of her free time listening to music at home or going to concerts with friends, and this love of music often makes its way into her creative writing. Laura loves edgy, gritty books that strip your heart and soul bare and leave you with an epic book hangover at the end. That’s what she aims to do with her stories and thinks her readers agree! At times they’re dark and controversial, but that’s also what makes them unique.


Laura also has a YA science fiction series written under the pen name LC Morgans. It’s a story set a thousand years in the future, in which humans have used and abused the planet beyond repair to both the earth itself and to society. Close to cataclysm, an alien race called the Thrakorian’s step in to save the planet, and the humans, but at a price. The human race is then enslaved to their new masters, albeit willingly, and this is the story of a young girl and her journey into adulthood beneath their reign.


Laura loves hearing from her fans and you can connect with her via the following: