UPDATE: Congrats to CJ! You’ve won the free download. I’ll be in touch shortly! DD
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Monday’s the day… Veteran’s day and the release date for Uniform Desires! I hope you’ve already pre-ordered your copy and that you’ve entered the huge rafflecopter contest! Tons of prizes will be awarded, so take an extra moment to head on over there to enter! Okay, that’s the end of my commercial.
Let’s talk about today’s flashback…
I love writing short stories—whether it’s for someone else’s anthology or my own, and sometimes, as with “Two Hot,” I like to publish them alone. Not everyone loves a shorter story, but I like writing them and reading them. They are a little slice of life, and the challenge is always to get to the point quickly, serve a satisfying little vignette, and close with a flourish. It’s not easy. I have friends who’d rather write a full-length novel than tackle a short story. Every word counts. There’s no room for a meandering tale. I use every story as an exercise in honing my precision so that when I write the longer stories, I bring that same focus to ensure I make every word and scene count.
But what does one do when they have a bunch of short stories that have appeared in various publications? I like to group them into volumes to give my readers a chance to see them. Not everyone can buy up every collection I appear in, so my Strokes volumes are my way to share them. The excerpt I’m sharing below first appeared in Cleis Press’s Suite Encounters. Then it was featured in the November 2012 issue of Penthouse! But you can read it in its entirety, along with seven other naughty bedtime tales, in Strokes, Vol. 2. Enjoy the excerpt!
I’ll post the winner of today’s contest Monday morning!
Post a comment and you’ll be entered to win a free download of this book!
From National Bestselling Author, Delilah Devlin, comes another naughty collection of seven bedtime stories—a week’s worth of nighttime reading pleasure.
Ride along with two soldiers, just returned from war, who find sweet release in “The Long Ride Home.” In “Tailgating at the Cedar Inn,” a woman has one last fling with two sexy construction workers. A cowboy kidnaps his “Runaway Bride” to get some sweet satisfaction. A woman travelling alone in Europe enjoys a hot steamy sauna in the “Textile Free” zone. In “Love in Bloom,” a florist tempts her high school crush. A naughty nooner with an office colleague ends in a “Quick Draw.” A dispatcher kicks inhibitions to the door when she seduces a younger truck driver in “Drive Me Crazy.”
Four of the stories have appeared in separate Cleis Press anthologies. Two of the stories were featured in Penthouse magazine! All the stories are featured in one sinfully hot collection…
From “Tailgating at the Cedar Inn”
I stepped out of the shower onto chipped and cracked aqua blue tiles with grout so dingy I couldn’t tell what color it had been. Not that the bathroom was dirty, thank god. Just old. Like the rest of the 60’s-built motel I’d found on the little back country road.
Standing before the sink, I toweled my hair then shook my head like a dog, not caring where the droplets landed. The mess wasn’t one I’d have to clean. For one last night, I could be irresponsible, messy, even if only in a small way.
I draped the towel over the edge of the old white tub and sauntered naked into the small room with the double bed. The air smelled of tobacco and industrial cleansers. The bedding looked clean if a little nappy from wear, but I peeled back the quilt-top and tossed it on the floor anyway. Pristine white sheets beckoned.
Just as I lay back, sighing with relief, sounds from outside the room jarred me from my happy haze. Tires squealed, masculine laughter bellowed through the thin walls, and car doors slammed.
A sigh escaped and I stared at the bared rafters above. The laughter faded. I reached across to flip off the switch to the nightstand lamp with its yellowed shade. Lying in the darkness, I willed my body to relax, one limb at a time. That day, I’d driven three hundred miles. I’d have gone another fifty for a decent hotel, but the shorter route my Garmin dictated led me through narrow two-lane roads deep in the Ozark Mountains. I doubted I’d have found anything nicer.
Maybe I should have stuck to the Interstate, but I’d wanted to shave some miles. Little did I know the route would keep my foot busy pushing on the gas pedal then the brake the whole way. Exhausted with nerves shattered, I’d seen the crooked Vacancy sign outside the Cedar Inn and made my decision on the spot, swerving into the empty gravel parking lot. Not until I’d opened the door to my tiny, musty room did I have second thoughts about my decision. But how bad could the room really be? I’d turned on the swamp cooler set into a window frame and felt my hair frizz instantly.
Not that I’d really cared. No one was around to impress. Other than the clerk at the front desk, a skinny, twenty-something redneck with puppy dog eyes, the place was deserted. At the thought, I’d shivered a little bit, double-bolted my room door and checked the lock on the window. Visions of the shower scene from Psycho didn’t put me off taking a long, lukewarm soak to wash away the road grime and sweat.
The cooler purred, spilling muggy air into the room. The sheets felt clammy. Still, I grew calm as my body warmed the sheets beneath me, then a little horny when I wondered if the room might have little peepholes for the clerk to watch me. He’d been cute, if a little skinny. I wouldn’t mind if he watched—at least not in my fantasies. Who knew how long before I felt comfortable enough, private enough to indulge in a little one-handed play when my grandmother slept in the room next to mine.
I slipped a hand between my thighs and lazily trailed my fingers through my cleft until my breath caught and heat pooled. I raised my knees and let them fall open, tilted my hips and thrust two fingers inside my pussy. I wasn’t in a hurry. I wasn’t even that eager to come. The motion soothed and excited, allowing my mind to let go of my troubles—the firing, the break-up, the move to my grandmother’s house—and focus only on the pleasure curling deep inside my core.
When the blare of a TV sounded from outside, I had third and fourth thoughts about my decision to stop here for the night. What the hell? Why had someone moved their television set outside rather than watch in the seclusion of their room where the sound would be somewhat muffled.
I gritted my teeth, swung my legs over the side of the bed and reached for shorts and a tee, slipping them over my nude body and jammed the keys in my pocket before I stomped to the door and flung it open.
Not that the two men sitting on the truck noticed me—at first.
Under the single flood light that illuminated the parking lot, I noted the construction company logo on the side of the pickup backed up to the door of the room beside mine. Then I eyed the large men seated on the sides of the truck bed, their shirts gone, faded jeans stretched over thick thighs. Their attention was glued to the basketball game, blaring from the small screen of the TV resting in the bed of the truck on top of a white ice chest. They held Budweisers in their grips.
At last, one of the men’s heads turned. He spotted me then whistled at his friend. Soon, both their gazes peered down.
I felt foolish standing in my bare feet with wet hair spiked around my head. Why hadn’t I simply put a pillow over my head to muffle their noise? But I was testy. Moody. I’d lost my job, had a blow-up with my boyfriend over the fact I wouldn’t be splitting rent for a while, and cut my nose off to spite my own face by breaking up with him. Homeless now, I had no options. Grandma’s in Little Rock was my last resort.
Tonight would be my last night of freedom before I moved under her roof and abided by her rules. She’d pay the bills—if I knuckled under and went back to college. Something I resented after being on my own for a couple of years, living on my schedule.
Which might have been exactly why I remained rooted to that spot. The men seated on the truck would never meet Grandma’s high standards.
Sweat gleamed on their naked chests and both men were thickly muscled and a little dirty—as though they’d come straight from work without the benefit of a shower.
The shine only served to emphasize the depth of the musculature and their starkly masculine features. Their tanned, leathery skin stretched across cheeks and jaws sharpened to rough edges by hard work. Both their gazes homed on me.
While I knew the smart thing would have been to retreat without a word to my room and relock the door, I tilted my chin and thrust out my chest. “Can’t you watch the game in your room?”
“We botherin’ you, sweetheart?” the one closest to me said, sliding off the truck to land in front of me.
I peered a long way up and frowned into the face tilted my way. We stood close enough I could see the bristles of his evening shadow. He wore a ball cap that shadowed his eyes, but glints of blond hair shone beneath it. “It’s late. I was trying to sleep.”
“Not that late,” he drawled. “Join us for a beer?”
I glanced behind him and noted the grin on his buddy’s face. He was bare-headed with shaggy brown hair and a devilish quirk to his firm lips. The game seemed to have lost its fascination. Their gazes drank me down like I was a long cool drink of their favorite beverage.
I barely resisted the urge to jut my hip and twirl my hair.
“Bobby, the night clerk, can vouch for us if you’re wonderin’ whether we’re safe,” the one beside me said, amusement lingering in his husky voice.
I shouldn’t have been tempted. However, my body still hummed pleasurably from the heat I’d drawn with my own lazy fingers. Even sweaty, the two men were tempting. Both young, in good shape. Both interested, if their sharpening gazes were any indication.
And what the hell? I no longer had anyone to answer to. Not at this moment. And no boyfriend to betray.
My mouth went dry and I swallowed. “Is the beer cold?”
His friend bent and picked up the TV, setting it to the side to open the top of the cooler. The can of beer he drew out was wet with nuggets of ice sliding off the sides. He flicked open the top and handed it me. “Like basketball?”
His head canted. “Not from around here, are you?”
“I’m from Iowa.”
“A corn-fed girl,” he murmured, his gaze dropping to my chest.
“Not a cow or a pig,” I ground out.
“Don’t put words in my mouth.” His lips twitched then stretched into a lazy grin. “Name’s Owen. My buddy here’s Chris.”
I gave them both a narrow-eyed look, then turned and hopped up to sit on the open tailgate. “I’m Kelsey,” I said, pretending to be more confident than I really was.
The TV fell silent. The man in the truck bed eased down beside me. The other one stood in front of me, feet braced apart as he took another draw on his beer. “Where ya headed?” he asked after crushing the can in his hand and tossing it behind me to land with a thud on the truck bed.
“Little Rock,” I said, all nervousness gone. I sipped from my beer.
Chris grunted. Beside me, Owen chuckled. “Small world.”
“I take it that’s where you’re from?”
“Yep. Visitin’ family?”
“My grandmother. I’m moving there to help out.”
“It’s nice you’re able to do for her.”
More like she was doing for me, but I wasn’t willing to admit just how stupid I’d been. Lowering my head, I said, “We’re helping each other out.” My expression must have fallen because Chris stepped closer and tucked a finger under my chin to raise my face.
I didn’t bat away his hand as I should have, but met his steady gaze. I don’t know what he saw, but his lips relaxed into a semblance of a smile.
The slight motion drew my attention, and for the first time, I realized just how attractive that mouth was. His lips were full, and when they stretched, white teeth flashed. A man with good teeth. Something I imagined wasn’t plentiful in backwoods Arkansas.
I stared a moment too long. Heat crept slowly down my neck and across my chest. My nipples tightened, poking out the thin tee stretched across my breasts. He didn’t miss the sudden surge of arousal because his feet shuffled closer.
Breathing became something I had to think about doing. I swept my upper lip with my tongue, opening my mouth to say something, but he bent toward me. Slowly. His narrowed eyes daring me to draw away.
I didn’t. The beer can was plucked from my lifeless fingers, and I gripped the edge of the tailgate, wrapping them around it to brace myself for a kiss.
His mouth was tentative, teasing, sliding over mine and rubbing in a circular movement that pulled me along, until I was moving with him, following to make sure I didn’t lose the seductive heat.
When he drew back, he smiled. “You know, sweetheart, you don’t have to be alone tonight.”
I blinked and glanced to the side at Owen.
“Package deal,” Chris said, drawing my attention back.
Package deal. Two packages. Mine to enjoy.
Heart racing, I opened my mouth and drew a quick breath, suddenly nervous. “I don’t…” I cleared my throat. “I’ve never…”
“We have,” he said quickly, cupping my chin and sliding a thumb over my still moist lower lip. “Nothin’ to be worried about. Cedar Inn’s quiet. Clean. You’ve got the single room, right? Come to ours, and we’ll shove the mattresses together. Plenty of room.”
Moisture seeped to soak the crotch of my shorts. My clit throbbed and hardened. I could end it now and go back to my bed, slide my fingers over the knot and come in an instant, but their tangy scent and seductive heat surrounded me. I imagined being sandwiched between them both—slick, hot skin sliding against mine, front and back. I squeezed my thighs because they were beginning to quiver. Suddenly, I had options. One safe. One not so much—but wickedly enticing.
“No pressure,” Owen said, dropping a slow kiss on the corner of my shoulder. “You call the shots. Whatever you want.”
What I wanted was for them to make a move. Make up my mind for me, because I didn’t think I was capable of speaking.
Chris laid his palms on the tops of my bare thighs and slid his thumbs between them, then slowly opened me, stepping closer, forcing my legs wider again until his crotch was flush with mine.
His erection was impossible to ignore. A thick, insistent bulge. “Maybe you don’t want a bed?” he murmured. “Maybe you want it here?”
His crudeness excited me. Challenged me in a way I’d never have accepted in my former life. I tossed my head. “But someone will see.”
“Maybe. Might only be Bobby, but he won’t mind. Will you?”
Owen slipped a hand behind me and rucked up my shirt until the fabric bunched under my arms. My belly bare, the warm night air blew across my skin, feeling like a caress. My stomach tightened.
I glanced between them, noted the tension riding both their jaws. They wouldn’t make a move without my consent, but they’d pounce the second I did. Heady with my power, I let the moment stretch.
Then I leaned forward and raised my arms, keeping my gaze locked with Chris’s as Owen pulled the garment all the way off.
Both men breathed deeply as they stared at my breasts. Chris cupped one, hefted it in his palm then squeezed. Owen wet a finger and circled the other nipple, pausing to scratch a nail across the tip. It hardened into a peak.
“You’re pretty,” Chris muttered.
“Doesn’t sound like you’re happy about that.”
“Don’t pay any mind to what he says,” Owen said. “He’s hard. He doesn’t think straight when he gets that way. Take it as a compliment.”
Chris plucked my nipple and released it, watching it bounce back. His gaze darted to mine again, then he slipped his fingers inside the waist of my shorts and rubbed the top of my mound. “Can I take these off too?”
This time I didn’t mind his blunt tone. The air between us felt charged with a current that pricked my nipples and caused my pussy to contract.
In for a penny… I was already committed. So hot I was panting. I nodded, then gasped when Owen eased me back and Chris went to work unsnapping my shorts and dragging them off my legs.
Then Owen pushed me forward and slid behind me, urging me to rest against his naked chest. Chris opened his jeans and pushed them off his hips, freeing his cock. He leaned over me, pressing me harder against Owen who chuckled as Chris hooked his elbows beneath my thighs and lifted my bottom.
“A condom?” I gasped, one last shred of sanity remaining before my mind completely filled with the sight of him. He was thick, long, a straight cudgel of a cock. Twice the girth of the last man I’d had.
“Pocket,” he ground out.
I reached for the scrunched up top of his jeans and pulled out his wallet. My hands shook, but I found the tri-fold of foil packets and tore one off. He watched as I clumsily cloaked him in the latex sheath. Then he was there, pushing inside me.
The moment he entered me, my mind clicked. Fuck, I’m really doing this.