Monday, 9 July 2018

Blue Monday

Every Monday I post a sexy excerpt for your entertainment!

We've had the most amazing, record-breaking heatwave here in the UK over the last month - over 30 degrees Celsius for day after day after day. I literally can't remember weather like this since 1976. So here's an excerpt from my sweatiest story ever, Bolt Hole, which appears in Fierce Enchantments.

(It's the zombie apocalypse. Zita is trapped by the ravenous undead in an over-heated shipping container with a strange man)

“Water?” he asks, then holds the bottle out toward her and scoots it right down the length of the chamber, almost to her toes.

She would do anything for water—not to drink, but to pour over herself. Clean, cool, running water. She’s cooking inside her leathers, like one of those old fish-in-a-bag dinners. But she doesn’t answer him. Words seem too heavy to raise to her lips. Panic is rising in her breast, like steam, as she tries to breathe deeper but finds she can only pant. There doesn’t seem to be any oxygen in the metallic air. The room in front of her swells and billows and shrinks again. She catches her glove in her teeth and rips it off, then fumbles at the zip of her headgear. I’m going to faint, she thinks. If I don’t get this off I’ll suffocate.

The mask comes off with a foul wet dragging. She shaved her own head, weeks ago, but the hair has grown back somewhat. She can feel the air licking at that wet fur—an overwhelming relief. But still not enough. She tugs the zip that bares her throat then, bending, she snatches up the canteen from the floor. That motion almost undoes her. She can feel the blood running the wrong way in her veins, and she almost loses her balance. It’s only her desire for the water that keeps her from pitching forward dizzily.

Yanking the stopper out with her teeth, she tips the liquid over her forehead and catches it with open lips as it sluices over her face. It’s tepid and metallic and it feels wonderful. Running down her chin and throat, some finds its way under her clothes into the secret valley between her breasts. Blinking stinging, sweat-tainted drops from her eyes, she glares at the man, daring him to have moved while she wasn’t looking.

Maybe he has, just a little. She sucks defiantly from the neck of the bottle.

“What’re you doing out here on your own?” he asks.

“I wasn’t alone,” she rasps.

“Huh.” He grimaces. “Nor was I.”

The water down her cleavage just feels like more sweat now. She can’t bear it. She’s got to lean back against the metal just to stay upright. Discarding the spade against the wall beside her, she wrenches off her other glove, then pulls down the zipper of her suit from collar to navel. The vest-top beneath is absolutely sodden with sweat, and plastered to her torso. She sees the pale flash of the man’s widening eyes, and she knows her chest is heaving as she pants for breath, but it doesn’t seem important. All she wants is to get out of these leathers.

She wriggles out of her bags and belts, frantic to shed the weight. The front zipper of her biker all-in-one goes all the way down to her crotch, making it easier to peel off the arms and shoulders and drop the top half of the suit to hang from her hips. That helps. She sets her shoulders back against the corrugated metal, praying for cool, but it’s warmer than she is. She can see the man staring. His torso is completely bare, and she envies that. She can feel the moisture flooding between her burning thighs. Her mind is a churning whirl.

She wants to be naked. She wants to be cold. She wants water and a breeze.

He’s gone very still. Outside, the living dead moan with frustration.

The trousers of her suit have zips up the outside of the shins, allowing them to be put on and taken off over boots. One leg at a time, she lifts her feet and looses the vents. Then she pushes the leathers down over her thighs and kicks them away.

She’s not wearing anything but panties beneath. Panties and boots, and above that the tight, clinging vest. Even those last pieces of clothing disgust her. She wants to weep with frustration. Her singlet is like a second skin, and stained with wear. She pulls it away from her stomach, desperate for the tiniest breeze on her flesh, stretching her throat as she tilts her head back.

When she glances down again, he’s definitely moved. He’s still on hands and knees, but he’s that tiny bit closer to her. She tries to focus her eyes, and registers the lift of one hand: a placating gesture, an apology for his entirely involuntary shift in her direction. His eyes are wide and his lips a little parted.

“S’okay,” he mutters, not blinking. “Don’t be scared. Nothing to be scared of.”

She wants to laugh, but she’s forgotten how. For the last two years there has never once been nothing to be scared of. Periods of calm or stultifying boredom, yes—many of those. But never freedom from fear. Not a single waking hour when the dread and the loss weren’t there like a choking lump under her breastbone. Fear is the omnipresent guest at the feast, the mother of every decision she makes. It’s the air she breathes. In a world where corpses move and speak and eat, fear is the one thing left that distinguishes the living from the dead.

She looks into the deep darkness of his eyes, searching for the fear. And it’s there, that sharp and bitter edge. But it’s only a glint. It’s been almost driven out by something else, just as primal. He can’t stop looking at her. At her tight and filthy clothing. At what’s hidden beneath. Each heave of her chest seems to draw him in.

She blinks hard, like a drunk trying to sober up, wanting to make sense of his questions and his haggard soldier’s face and his muscled body. He looks strong. Bleakly handsome, perhaps—it’s so hard to tell these days. She wants to know how she feels about him, but she’s no longer capable of judgement.

He’s shifting toward her, on toes and fingertips. Keeping slow and down on the floor, so as not to spook her. “It’s a bit warm, isn’t it? This box.” The inanity of his words is not as important as the low, husky tone. He’s got a voice that reminds her of some movie star’s, though she can’t think whose—she can’t remember anything that far back right now—but it’s oddly familiar because of that, and not unpleasant.

He licks his parched lips.

She wants more water. She wants the aching to stop—the ache that that seems to lie not in her muscles but under every inch of her skin, in her belly, right down between her legs. All she wants … is to stop feeling awful.

“Yes.” Looking into his eyes, she takes the sodden vest and lifts it to bare her breasts.

Oh God, that feels good.

“Ah,” he says. Just that one syllable, a low vibration his chest. But it’s a noise that sounds like profound relief. And for a long moment he just looks. She can feel the tickle of sweat-droplets running down her breastbone. They’re beading around her dark nipples and slipping in arcs down the overhang of her breasts. Her whole body weeps salt tears. Like him, she’s bruised and scarred and underweight.

Like him, she’s alive.

Still on his knees, he closes the gap between them. She flinches at the last moment, afraid that his skin will be hot to the touch and only add to her torment—but in fact his hands on her hips feel cool. That’s all he touches her with. Fingertips, and mouth. He brushes his lips to her belly and his tongue sweeps the skin, tasting her salt.

She utters a keening sob. It is the noise of the end of the world. It’s been two weeks since she last saw a living being. Two weeks without human contact, without the press of Ben’s body against hers, without comfort or pleasure or release.

“Ohhh,” he groans into her stomach. She can smell the scent of his sweat, mingling with her own.

Then he hooks his thumbs in her panties and pulls them down over her thighs. She squirms—she doesn’t want him to go there, she isn’t clean, she can smell her own musk—but he doesn’t care if she’s been weeks in her leathers. He stoops to plunge his face to the juncture of her thighs, inhaling her greedily, lifting one of her legs to grant him access to her split and pushing her up on tiptoes in his eagerness. Then, almost perversely procrastinating, he laps the inside of her upper thighs with long teasing strokes, first one then the other. It makes her whimper more. Finally his mouth, hot and wet, closes over her clit and she bangs her head back against the metal, seeing stars.

He eats her.

He’s like a zombie, she thinks, half-terrified by the analogy and grabbing for purchase on the corrugated wall, on his head, anywhere that will help. There’s the same inexorable appetite, the same obsession. Hunger is everything, and he eats without fear. She can hear her own gasping cries and the rising moans of the dead massed outside, on the other side of the wall. He lifts her up on his hands and wraps her legs over his shoulders, burrowing into her sex. His tongue lashes her clit and slithers into her deep wet furrow. Each motion of his tongue burns across her nerves. He’s eating me. He’s eating me, she cries in her head.

She always knew she was going to die like this: being devoured.

Buy Fierce Enchantments at:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
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