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Publication Date: November 5th, 2014
Novella (176 pages)
Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: November 5th, 2014
Novella (176 pages)
Adult Contemporary Romance
I just want my Grace back. I want the girl I found sending me dirty tweets on Saint Thomas. I want the girl who reluctantly gave in to my charms and let me boss her around. I want the girl who sent me to my knees and made me imagine what her fairy tale would look likewith me in it.
I just want to move on.I want everything she ever wanted, and I want us to make it happen together. But the media needs more from us. More dirt. More pain. More payment for past transgressions.
You can’t change the past. And even though Grace is ready to put her demons to bed, mine are just starting to get restless. Because when you’ve silenced as many enemies as I have, you know that secret won’t stay buried forever.
“Why am I not affected by this, Vaughn? Why doesn’t it bother me that three days ago I shot a man? I killed a man. I think that makes me sick. I’m a sick, sick person.”
“That doesn’t make you sick, Grace. That makes you strong.” He kisses me again and then stands up and walks out of the plunge pool. My body gets heavy and I immediately want nothing more than to get back in the water and hide underneath its soothing surface.
Vaughn walks us over to the edge of the river, grabbing a towel from the little cabana as he goes. He tosses it down on the concrete edge and then places me on top of it. My leg hurts a little now and my clothes are sticking to me. “Lift up your arms.”
I do as I’m told and he peels off the mansized white tshirt. My nipples are erect and hard, my breasts firm and taut. I look up at my husband and he’s shirtless too. I watch his fingers as he unbuttons his jeans, kicks off his shoes, and then drops his pants. It takes both hands to get the heavy wet denim to cooperate and when he’s finally standing there naked, he puts his arms out and says, “This is me.”
And then he reaches down for my hand, like he wants to pull me to my feet. I hesitate because of the pain it will take to stand up. But then I decide to trust him and place my hand in his.
He pulls me up and I manage to keep the weight off my bad leg and just balance on the good one. Vaughn holds me steady for a second, and then he takes my hand and places it on his thickly muscled bicep. “Hold tight,” he says.
And then his fingers unbutton my shorts and he tugs on them for several seconds, rocking the sopping wet fabric over my hips until they plop to the ground.
He steps back a little and I let go of his arm.
I put my arms out like he did and say, “This is me.”
I’m pulled back into an embrace and I notice everything about this moment.
The sun is warm. The wind floats past my wet body, making it cool. There’s a bird singing a sweet song on a branch above our heads.
His heart beats fast. Mine beats faster.
His lips touch my ear so softly I shudder.
“This,” he says, “is us.”
Excerpt Two:He leans forward and the shadow that was covering his face disappears. He’s still wearing his suit, but the top buttons of his white shirt are undone, leaving his chest exposed. A dark tie is draped around his neck like he was thinking of taking it off and then changed his mind.
“Did you have a nice day?” he asks in a low voice.
I just stare at him. His blue eyes are piercing me, even through the shadows of night. “No, not exactly. I mean, parts of it were.”
“Which parts? The part where you took off in the plane? The part where you ditched the car that was set up for you? The part where you didn’t think to call me?”
I swallow hard. Because he’s pissed off.
“Come here,” he commands in a low, donotfuckwithme voice.
I swallow again and my heart is beating so fast it might explode.
“I said, come the fuck over here.” He stands up and I step back.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “Are you mad?”
“Am I mad?” he asks me back, taking a few steps closer to me. “Am I mad?” He continues walking until he’s one step away and I have to tip my head up to look him in the face.
I never realized how big he actually is. He towers over me.
“Do I have a reason to be mad, Grace?”
“I should’ve called,” I say meekly.
“Called? You think I’m angry because you didn’t call?”
“So you are angry?”
He smiles at me, but it’s not a happy smile. It’s an Ican’tfuckingbelieveyou’resoclueless smile.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Grace?”
“Wrong with you,” he repeats.
“I’m not sure how to answer that.”
HIs smile is tight as he stares at me. Not really a smile, but a grimace. “Do you love me?”
“Of course I love you.”
“Good. You keep that in mind.” And then, before I can even understand what’s happening, he whips his tie off and grabs my wrist. I start to pull away, but he yanks me back. “Hold still.”
“What are you doing?”
“You owe me.”
“I owe you what?” I snap at him. But he doesn’t answer. He just ties the length of silk around my wrist and reaches for the other one. “What are you doing?”
He glares down at me as he pulls the knot tight. Tight enough to make me wince. “I’m tying you up.”
“You want to get off on your sexual fantasies? Now?”
“Turn around.” He doesn’t wait for me to even do that. He just twirls me until I’m no longer facing him. “Walk over to the couch.”
He gives my back a push to get me started and I do as I’m told. I start to sit down, but Vaughn grabs my hair and pulls me hard enough to stop that from happening.
“Ow. Goddammit! What are you doing?”
He yanks my hair harder and leads me around to the back of the couch. “Bend over.” He pushes me again and I fall forward. My hands try to brace myself, but he swipes them forward so they drape over the cushion and then bumps his cock against my ass. My face rests on something very plush and soft and I realize it’s a sheepskin rug.
What? “Who the fuck—” A hard smack lands on my ass and I jump. It stings all the way through my jeans. “Vaughn!” Another, this one even harder. I yelp and try to wiggle away from his grip.
“Stop? You want me to stop, Grace? We don’t have a safe word, so if you tell me to stop, I’m fucking stopping. But let me tell you this, sweets. You fucking owe me.”
“What is wrong with you?” I whimper.
“Wrong with me? Am I the one sleeping all damn day? Am I the one walking around here feeling sorry for myself? Am I the one flying a thousand miles away without telling you where I’m fucking at?”
“I’m sorry for not calling.”
“This isn’t about calling me. I’m not your babysitter. I’m your goddamned husband. I’m not interested in tracking your every move, Grace. I have security for that. And you know I have security for that. This is about your lack of commitment. Your lack of enthusiasm. Your lack of respect. And most of all, your lack of... being Grace.”
His costar, Valencia Cruz, joins him in the scene. She’s his exgirlfriend from his teen years.
She’s very beautiful. She’s wearing a gold gown. They must’ve just come out of some kind of a ball in this part of the script. She’s very exotic, like Bebe. Long, dark hair. Striking amber eyes.
Olive skin. And a body most eighteenyearold girls would be jealous of, even though she’s about the same age as Vaughn.
They talk briefly on set, and then there’s a call for quiet and the stage people do their thing.
I strain to hear what’s happening, I’m not really that close, but my whole world goes silent when I witness what happens next.
They are kissing.
Vaughn leans in, cupping her face, his mouth covering hers in a kiss so passionate I almost want to faint from the steam. I move a little closer to get a better look. As he kisses her, it feels familiar.
It feels like he’s kissing her the way he kisses me.
Then his hands are all over her body, grasping at her tits, her ass, and then he roughly grabs one of her gown straps and pulls until it breaks. He yanks her dress down, exposing her breasts, all the while his mouth never stops its assault on her lips.
I’m stunned. I’m picturing our rough sex the other night and I swear to God, I think he uses some of these moves on me!
I’ve watched him kiss countless women on screen, but he wasn’t my husband. I turn and walk away, following the dimly lit hallway back to where I entered, then make my way outside.
It’s dark now. I click the keychain and my car beeps, so I head in that direction, still trying to process what I saw and how I feel about it.
I sit in the car for a few moments trying to wrap my head around things.
This is his job. I realize that, but I can’t come to terms with the idea that my husband gets to have a rough makeout session with his exgirlfriend and call it work.
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About the Author
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.