An Excerpt From: MAGENTA STARLING
Copyright © NATALIE DAE, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
At anchor in the deepest part of the bay, Morgan’s large yacht, The Magenta Starling, bobbed intermittently on languid evening waves. Morgan stood on deck, leaned on the prow rail and took in the lit shoreline, a pitch sky the backdrop to golden lights. The ocean crept up the beach as though unsure of its welcome, yet retreated just as slowly. Music filtered from the bars and clubs, a cacophony of mingled beats, unrecognizable as any individual tune. A carnival atmosphere raged ashore, the same as every other summer night—nothing unusual for this part of the world, where holidaymakers partied hard and spent their cash fluidly.
Morgan smiled. If only they knew what their cash could buy here.
A taxi-boat chugged toward her yacht, the tall floodlights illuminating white foam in the smaller vessel’s wake. Morgan made out two occupants—the captain and her client. He’d telephoned earlier and requested an evening appointment, but she’d been fully booked this sultry Friday. As soon as the call had ended, her cell rang again—her last evening client cancelling. She’d contemplated another night alone before a rush of abandonment gripped her. She’d contacted Dion and informed him of the free slot.
Now she released a harsh laugh at the pun. She hadn’t been filled in a long time. Unwilling to give herself to just anyone, she rebuffed any offers from clients wishing to include sex with their spankings. No. She wanted a genuine relationship, not men who visited her for what they couldn’t get at home.
Morgan sighed and ousted the dismal thoughts. Tonight she would once again play a part. The role of a woman in total control. And revel at being in Dion’s company.
The boat drew nearer, so she straightened and smoothed the front of her dress. Unusual for a client to request a little black frock that wasn’t made of rubber, but Dion always did. Still, she wasn’t complaining. Her normal attire would have been hell to work in tonight. The heat still lingered despite the cooler breeze, an almost stubborn refusal to be gone and give respite. She wiggled her toes in strappy black sandals and peered at the boat as it chugged alongside hers with a splutter-chug-burp. The captain waved and smiled, his gap-toothed grin dull in a face tanned deeply by the merciless sun. Dion stood, his back to her, hands in suit trouser pockets. The cut of his jacket appeared expensive, as did that of his blond, wavy hair, and Morgan deduced he’d had it trimmed since she last saw him.
“All right there, missus? I’ll be back at eleven then?” the captain shouted, the engine noise and burble of the ocean from its propeller muffling his words.
“Yes, thank you.” Morgan smiled, though her gaze remained on the man in his boat.
Dion turned in slow motion and revealed his profile, one she had seen in her dreams day and night since he’d first set foot on her yacht. He faced her, his skin bronzed, white shirt open at the neck. Tawny chest hairs peeked through the gap and set her heart racing.
God, I want to fuck him.
He gave a lazy smile and stooped to pick up a picnic basket, his gaze remaining on her. Excitement fluttered in her stomach and she swallowed to wet her suddenly dry throat. He walked toward the side of the taxi-boat and Morgan leaned over the rail to relieve him of the basket he held aloft. Though curious as to what lay inside, she stilled her tongue and placed the basket on deck.
Dion turned to the captain. “I will call you later. I may not be ready by eleven.”
His voice, so cultured, reminded her of olden-day gentry. The captain saluted and Morgan frowned. For all Dion knew, she had another client booked after him. But in truth his audacity heightened her desire.
Dion held the rails of her yacht ladder and Morgan stepped back as he hauled himself aboard. His aftershave wafted in the humid air and she inhaled as deeply as she dared without alerting him to what she was doing. Undertones of bergamot and lemon assailed her, images of him naked and at her mercy dancing through her mind. Her cheeks heated and her pussy grew wet. Dion eyed her, his brown eyes harboring…lust?
Morgan swallowed again and clasped her hands in front of her. The taxi-boat sped off back to shore, and she bent down and gripped the basket handle. Dion’s hand covered hers and he lifted the basket between them. Dion’s palm was warm against her fingers and Morgan stared up at him, into eyes that set her clit to throbbing, and wished, wished…
“Good evening, Morgan.”
His smile, a slight tilt of his head and a wink jellied her knees.
Damn him for making me feel like this when I can’t have him!
“Good evening, Dion. What’s in the basket?”
She began to lift the lid but his free hand pushed hers away, their fingers entwining. Heat rushed to her face and she cursed the telltale stain that would surely alert him to how she felt.
“Oh, just a few things.” He uncurled her fingers from the basket handle.
“Things?” She quirked a brow.
“Yes. Shall we?” He motioned to the steps that led below deck. “Or would you rather play outside tonight?”
Her stomach churned and excitement swirled through her. She glanced around—no other boats in sight—and said, “Oh, outside should be fine. Besides, if anyone approaches, we’ll hear their motor.”
“And if anyone watches us through a telescope, we will be none the wiser.”
Morgan stifled a gasp and Dion laughed, loud and hearty, quelling the momentary flare of panic inside her. She shoved the thought of Peeping Toms from her mind and breathed deeply, willing herself to take command. Without her tools, though, she floundered, hands by her sides.
“I’ll need to go down and get—”
“I told you,” he leaned in and whispered beside her mouth, “I’ve brought some things…in the basket.” He kissed her lower lip.
Startled, she jumped back and a high-pitched “Oh!” escaped her. Dion had never crossed the line before, had never kissed her.
Does that mean…?
“Right,” she said on a ragged sigh, heart skipping a beat, legs lust-addled. “Let’s have a look insi—”
“I rather thought we would reverse roles tonight. I want to take charge.”
I’m constantly amazed by the beauty inside my best friend, Nat. She is one of life’s angels. She has endured a lot in her nineteen years, and if anything can go wrong it goes wrong for her. Yet she ploughs on with a happy face and sees things through to the end. She’s determined to succeed in her profession to give her son the best life she can, and although inside she’s sometimes anxious and scared of what’s ahead, no one would ever know. She comes across as super-confident, happy, and that nothing can get her down. She’s a lot like her mother. Maybe that’s why we get along so well. We both have immense empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves. We both worry about things going on in the world. I use my life to touch people with my words. Nat uses her life to touch people with her presence and knowledge. She’s training to become a social worker—one who will do everything she can to make life better for others. She has worked with young children and the elderly, giving her time and patience, her caring and just her beautiful self. I love her.
She visits me every week, and every week I tell her my woes, and every week she fixes them. If she can’t fix them she talks to me until I find a way to fix them myself. This week she fixed me, took a little weight off my shoulders, and today an envelope arrived in the post from something she had done that took the weight completely away.
What did I do to deserve such a terrific person in my life? One who stands by me whatever the weather, metaphorically holding the umbrella if it’s raining or giving the sun cream if it’s hot. Providing the glue to mesh my frazzled nerves back together or healing the blisters I’ve acquired from walking hard and long.
I wish her a life of beautiful sunsets, where every moment is as pretty and calm as the setting of that sun, where nothing hurts and nothing is too difficult, where she can live a life free of angst and full of happiness.
I thank my lucky stars every day for my best friend, Nat.
Rob is settled in a great relationship with Stuart, but his past catches up with him in a startling way. Photographs of Stuart engaged in sexual acts arrive in the post, sending Rob into turmoil. Stuart denies cheating, so who is the man in the pictures? Rob aims to find out, discovering someone from his past has a side to him even Rob finds hard to swallow.
The two men turn into amateur detectives and soon realise they have stumbled into something far more sinister than they could have imagined.
Lee and the policeman meet up for their much-needed night out. On the way home, they walk past the scrubland, where one of the murders took place. Scuffling noises sound, and the policeman leaves Lee on the sidewalk to investigate. The killer’s ire is up, and his desperation at having Lee all to himself surges to the fore. When will this madness end? And will Lee come out of the ordeal with his mind intact?
So, my daughter just said, “Why’s your hair going purple?”
Purple? It’s meant to be burgundy. I looked in the mirror, and sure enough it looks a tad purple. No matter. So long as it covers the grey streak I don’t care. What’s a bit of purple among friends? And that grey streak down my parting had become so unsightly… I read the instructions to see how long I needed to keep the dye on for. It said: If they grey is abundant…
Cheeky buggers! How did they know? And yes, it’s abundant all right. And the dye is burning my head. I can only hope my hair doesn’t fall out. Now wouldn’t that be something to remember this day by?
“How did your release day go, Nat?”
“Great! I went bald!”
If you buy Soul Keeper, I really hope you enjoy it. Two more of my books are coming soon—Magenta Starling (novella) and His Beautiful Wench (novel). My editor is looking at a new novella, Come Find Me, and I’m writing another novel, so hopefully I can give you a range of books to choose from, if you so wish.
Well, I think it might be an idea to see if that abundant grey has disappeared. Though let’s pray the hair hasn’t, eh?
Carrie Marsh anxiously awaits her online lover of two years, pacing the station in her stylish red coat with nothing but luxurious black lingerie underneath and stilettos on her feet. Will Rob Edwards really be on the train from Scotland? Will the attraction still exist in person? Can she even stave off the first anticipation-induced orgasm before he arrives? Excitement spirals through her, for Carrie has planned a night to remember.
Rob is shy, and Carrie intends to show him how to unleash his sexy side during a series of sexual encounters. But once he arrives, she can’t wait until they get to the hotel, let alone a bed. No. They hardly make it to the first tree, where anyone could spot their antics.
One unforgettable evening of passion leads two virtual lovers to a lifetime as each other’s soul keeper.