That's right! Another release, Echoes in Eternity, has released early. This is the longest story I've written to date at over 100K. It is classified as a contemporary fantasy. Here's the blurb and a story and adult excerpt. Available at Secret Cravings Publishing, soon with third party retailers. Enjoy!
A Life Lived in the Past, A Present Life Lived in a Lie, One Woman in Love With Two Men, A Destiny Echoed for Eternity
What if, all your life you have lived a lie? Your best friends know the truth but don’t tell you. Your grandparents are really strangers. Your new boyfriend is part of a secret society headed by his brother. To top everything off, they convince you that you are the reincarnation of an ancient goddess of a lost continent capable of saving humanity.
Take a journey starting from the distant past to present day—New York and Paris, to an archaeological dig site in Egypt, and to Surrey, United Kingdom. Layla McKenna discovers a life lived before and accepts the love of two men as she fulfills her destiny echoed in eternity.
The unknown man’s mouth curled upward and then he extended a hand. She finally proffered hers as his blue eyes traced the contours of her face, as if memorizing every feature. The act raised goose bumps. Then he spoke.
“Hello, I’m Jake Bomani, and you are?” A tone of self-assurance and an accent spoke to something in the back of her subconscious and left her with the persistent feeling of having met him before.
“Oh, Jake, I’m sorry, this is my research assistant, Layla McKenna,” Professor Petersen interjected, and then looked at Layla. “Layla, why are you here so early?”
As she took a step forward and extended a small tan hand, she answered the professor. “Couldn’t sleep.” She smiled at the tall, delicious man. “Pleasure to meet you, Mister Bomani.”
The charming man took her hand in his formidable mitt, but his gentle grip surprised her. Gentle, but all too brief. She liked his touch. Finished with amenities, he turned back to the professor and continued their conversation as if she were no longer in the room. Stepping around him, she backed against the bookcase to listen, never taking her eyes from Jake. Who does he think he is? Ignoring me? How rude. But, dang, he’s a fine piece of man.
Put out by the arrogance and rudeness of the man, Layla crossed her arms over her body and tapped her right foot peevishly.
Jake Bomani may have a nice ass, but he wasn’t on the schedule for this morning. As a matter of fact, who was he? He didn’t even say why he was here and what was so special about his visit? Because he had this air of assurance and well-spoken demeanor, hijacking the morning routine with the professor and disrupting her moment didn’t sit well. Just when she had the courage to discuss the Egypt project, Jake waded in, ruining the carefully crafted plans. Now, the normal procedures which set the tone for the rest of the day would be off-kilter. God, I hate this!
The professor was adamant about sticking with his habits and routine for the day and if he drifted from them, Layla’s life became a miserable eight hours. She had to make him happy to make her life happy. This stranger messed up everything. He needed to go and fast. Baby blues and a nice ass, or not, I’m not working overtime again tonight!
Caught up in her own world of how to get Jake out of the office, Layla didn’t listen to the details of the conversation between the professor and Jake. She wanted to get on with the morning’s normal business. Although, after looking him over more closely as he moved more to the side, she discerned his profile. Fine features, well-cared for in a rugged kind of way and a rather good-looking man overall. He had those arresting baby-blue eyes, which she was always a sucker for and spotted immediately. They were like the Caribbean Sea, clear and turquoise, favoring the blue not green side. One could see through them, clear and glistening. His short cropped hair was the darkest brown, almost black, like Earl Grey Tea and striking against his tanned skin. The man was definitely easy on the eyes. At least six feet two inches of steely muscle, she imagined him to be as perfect a specimen of gorgeous manliness she’d ever had the pleasure to formally meet. Deciding he definitely worked out to keep that nicely cut physique in shape, she figured he didn’t seem the weightlifting gym jock, but probably a long distance runner.
Layla’s contemplations then shifted, wondering if he had a girlfriend. Then with a sinking feeling she thought, could he be married? That would be my luck! All the good-looking guys seem to be taken these days. She cocked her head to spy his left hand, but he’d pushed his hand into his jeans pocket. Dang! What am I doing? He is an arrogant piece of work I really don’t like. All I want is a boyfriend—a decent man and attentive lover. Why can’t I have that? Dammit I’m thirty now and need to get serious!
The relentless tapping of her foot became the dominate sound in the room shoving aside the conversation between the two men. A nervous habit she sometimes forgot she did. Finally Jake turned and glared at her. “Okay, little one. If you need something to do because our conversation is boring you, how about getting the professor and me some coffee? I like mine black. How do you take yours, professor?”
“Oh, I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll take some herbal tea. Layla, would you mind?”
“For you, Professor, yes. You, Mister Bomani, you can get your own coffee, I don’t work for you.” She didn’t know why she got nasty, but for some reason his tone and attitude didn’t sit right and she snapped back.
“Layla! Please, where are your manners?” Professor Petersen chided mildly. “Mister Bomani is our guest. He has agreed to assist us on our excavation trip, and his corporation is funding the project as well. Please show him some courtesy, my dear.”
For Layla that revelation made all the difference, sort of. “Oh, my apologies. You take your coffee how again?” The sarcastic tone in her voice didn’t go unnoticed by the tall, dark, handsome newcomer. Good I hope he got my intent. Yeah, right Mr. Arrogant Stud Muffin with the Drop Dead Blue Eyes. I’ll show you courtesy!
“Black,” came the terse reply from Jake.Layla left to get the coffee and tea. She wondered again who Jake Bomani was. She had been in the research business a long time and thought she knew most of the important benefactors involved with the investigation of the 2012 findings. Bomani’s name never came up. Did he represent a new foundation? Whatever his agenda, she would find out.
Deciding to forego the sauna and go straight to the steam room to save time, she stripped down, put on a towel, and went into the hot space. The steam was a welcome treatment needed to purge the effects of the rich food and naughty thoughts. A week of restaurant fare and too much wine made her feel sluggish. She sat on the wood bench, leaned back, closed her eyes and drifted away to meet her dream man. Could she make him Jake? The hunky image loomed fresh in her mind and would be easy to do. In the dream, she lay on the bed, naked, picturing him coming to her. Briefly returning to reality, she heard the door to the steam room open and close, but paid no attention to who entered, as she became too immersed in thought to care.
The person knelt close to her and whispered in her ear, “Don’t open your eyes, little one.”
She jerked in surprise but did as commanded and kept her eyes closed.
Jake gently kissed and caressed her neck, licking and flicking his tongue from the back of her earlobe down to the hollow of her shoulders. She smelled the manly sweat from his workout and felt the morning stubble of his beard. Being early morning, she thought he probably was the type who didn’t shave until after his workout and shower. Prickly against her skin, she didn’t mind the sensation. The sensuality of the moment took away the discomfort.
Jake opened the towel across her body. He gently laid her down on her back. As she lay naked before him, one leg dangled over the edge of the lower bench and the other leg bent at her knee, leaning against the upper bench. He knelt down close and again urged her to keep her eyes closed. His hands gently moved down her arms to rest along the sides of her achingly swollen breasts, cupping them in the palms of his hands. He tugged at her nipples, nudging them to hard, throbbing peaks of red with the hot wet tip of his tongue.
A gasp released between her heavy breathing as the heat from his titillations began to build to a flaming inferno throughout her body.
His tongue traced a path between the cleft of her breasts down her belly to the navel. She took in a deep breath. He drank the small amount of moisture which pooled in her navel, a sensation she never experienced before—erotic and provocative. The hot steam, mixed with her perspiration tickled the sensitive skin. She put her hands on his shoulders and shifted position by lifting and parting her legs. She ached for him and wanted him to see every part of her womanhood, desperately wanted to savor every inch of pleasure he had to offer.
Layla watched him drink in her beauty and smell her essence, pure animal lust gleamed in his eyes. He opened her wet pussy lips with his fingers and explored the sweet spot with his tongue for what seemed like hours. The sensation slowly built, taking her closer and closer to release. She fought hard to keep from reaching her peak and feverishly wanted him inside. She pulled on his shoulders to bring him up and closer.
Her voice caught, unable to speak. Surprisingly, he seemed to instinctively know what she wanted and raised his body over hers and gently eased down on her. His broad chest pressed against her breasts as he kissed her hard and passionately. Their tongues met and she could taste her sweetness with his. She wanted him, all of him.
“Jake, I want you now,” she whispered, urging him with her hands curled over his shoulders.
He grabbed her hips and lifted them up slightly as he drove deep inside her fiery furnace. She moaned as his rock-hard flesh invaded the lubricated sheath, and wrapped her legs around him to pull him deeper inside.
Before she realized what happened, he covered her mouth, muffling the moans. They moved in sensual rhythm, twisting, obeying an instinct they hadn’t known they possessed. She arched her hips to meet his thrusts, harder, deeper, bringing her to a climactic release of pleasure, shuddering with clenching spasms. A few thrusts later, he followed with his release as he poured himself into her with a groan and quiver of his body.
Both collapsed from exhaustion and lay in each other’s arms for a few moments until they caught their breaths. Jake sat up pulling Layla upright and alongside him. Jake grabbed a towel, covered her, and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. She watched him stand up and put a towel around his waist.
“Now, that was the kind of morning workout I live for. I’ll see you at the meeting, little one,” he said and left the steam bath.
Speechless, she watched him leave, feeling relaxed and content. Half-naked, she could see how well defined his body was, muscles that rippled down his arms, his flat stomach and strong legs. Then she saw the tattoo on his shoulder, which appeared to be a sword. She made a mental note the next time she saw him to ask about the significance of the design.
She sat on the bench for a few minutes to gain her composure.“Morning workout is right. Damn, that’s what I call a quickie detox! Exactly what I needed.” She realized they just had unprotected sex. Ohmigod! I can’t believe I was so stupid! Add getting tested to my things to do. “Speaking of meetings, I’m going to be late. She jumped up and rushed to the locker room to shower and change. She hurried back to her suite to finish getting ready. As she closed the suite door behind her, she glanced at her watch which read nine ten. The professor would chide her for being uncharacteristically late.