Published: Aug 04, 2015
ISBN # 9781623009717
Estelle’s a sweet Southern girl with lots of spirit but low self-esteem when it comes to her very curvy body. When she’s seduced and bitten by two of the sexiest, most desirable vampires in Shortfalls, Georgia, her sexuality’s coming alive for the first time. Thanks to the two sexy hunks she’s living with, she discovers her erogenous zones are her favorite highway to heaven. Could un-life get any better?
Nathaniel enjoyed seducing bloody gorgeous Estelle, but when her charms worked their magic on him, he lost control and bit her. Now he’s her maker, responsible for her training. While he plans to enjoy every minute of Estelle’s sexual instruction, particularly sharing her with the love of his life, Maurice, Maurice is not as enthusiastic.
When Estelle intrudes on his perfect life with Nathan, Maurice is not happy. Sure, the woman’s body is easy to arouse and enjoy–he has to admit–but he’s now determined to take back control. The fangs are coming out and so are the cuffs.
But when danger strikes their nest in the form of a rival gang, Estelle, Nathaniel and Maurice learn they’re bound together by more than sex and blood.
On the evening of March 20, I had an unexpected date with the Grim Reaper. Talk about delicious…
The day didn’t start out so well. The night before, Hal had stood me up for our usual get-together, and I was feeling kind of blue. Some of the regular breakfast crowd at Pete’s Palace noticed my mood, but I avoided their questions and ignored their sympathetic stares. My grumpy frames of mind usually didn’t last too long, and this one was no exception.
By the time dinner rolled around I was bubbling with excitement over my upcoming appointment at the Biteable Bride bridal shop. As usual, my family made every effort to ruin my evening, but as it turned out, even the Power of the Podunks couldn’t stop fate.
For some worst-ever idea, I’d agreed to bring my entire family to the bridal shop, hoping they’d take this opportunity to bond and help me pick out the perfect dress for my dream wedding. I thought if they could get along here, they’d be more likely to behave themselves at the actual wedding. The only snag in this perfect plan was that Hal, my soon-to-be fiancé, still had to propose, but I was positive he’d fall down on his knees the minute he saw me in my perfect princess-style gown.
“I’m here for my appointment. Estelle Podunk.”
The very pretty and skinny brunette with the perfect hair looked up from her smartphone and smiled. She’d been killing time playing that game called Grape Stomp. You have to try to crush the most grapes with your bare feet to make the perfect wine. She looked like she was up to level six where you made rose wine. I’d already made it to merlot. My avatar’s feet were a deeper purple than hers.
Guess I had lots more time to kill than she did. Not that I didn’t work a full week at the diner. I’d started out as a server, but after a few years moved up the ladder to become the assistant morning shift manager. Leonard Nugget, our general manager, liked to snooze and snore in his office for most of the day, so I became the gal all the employees and customers came to with their problems. Sometimes all they needed was a pat on the back, but sometimes I had to be real firm. Like when Johnny Ray Jones thought it was cool to change the recipe for our signature lunchtime special meat loaf without tellin’ a single soul.
The addition of red habanero peppers sent Mother Swift to Doc Martel’s office, and several other customers barely made it to the restroom. It took Johnny Ray over an hour to clean both the men’s and ladies’.
The receptionist’s smile showed off her perfect teeth. “Welcome, Estelle. My name is Genevieve. Maurice will be right with you. Follow me, please.”
Genevieve? Sounded like some kind of perfume. And the owner’s name was Maurice? I glanced at the artwork on the wall. A Monet print. Figured.
We were led by Fancy Name to a waiting area with a large couch and several chairs a lot more comfortable-looking than the ones I had in my living room. My living room was also my bedroom, ’cause I lived in a studio apartment over a hardware store.
She gestured that we should sit, then asked, “Is there anything I can get for you this evening? Coffee, tea?”
My dad raised his hand like he was still in school. “You got Chuck Light?” That was the beer made by the local brewery in Shortfalls, my hometown. It was owned by a guy named Chuck–big surprise–and tasted like a cross between bear piss and lemonade with some rubbing alcohol thrown in for laughs. At least that’s what one of my customers–a hunter–told me. I never asked him how he knew what bear piss tasted like.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t serve alcohol.” By now Fancy Name’s smile was a little more strained. My family’ll do that to you.
“Can I smoke?” My dad patted his shirt pocket.
I glared at Dad and spoke up before the girl threw us out the door and down the front steps. “We’re fine, thank you.”
Genevieve nodded, glancing at her watch. It was eight o’clock on the dot. I always got places a couple of minutes early. “Then I’ll be leaving you in Maurice’s hands. I hope you find what you’re looking for.” Picking up her purse and her jacket, she left through the front door of the shop. Hope we didn’t scare her off.
The room was large with plenty of seating, but my family was still milling around, captivated by the bedazzled white gowns draped on the three mannequins. I sighed, realizing I’d have to take charge, as usual. “Dad, you sit next to Mom, and Luanne and Joanne can sit next to you and then…”
Cousin Grace scowled. “I’m sitting next to your mother. If you put me on the end, you’ll ignore me.” Cousin Grace was always sayin’ she got ignored by the rest of the family. Fact was, we all tried really, really hard to ignore her, but she wouldn’t let us. There’s a difference.
My mom, the peacemaker, said, “Sure, Grace, you come right down here and sit next to me. My girls are too busy text-writing their boyfriends to keep me company.”
My twin sisters rolled their eyes and went back to their phones. They weren’t actually texting their boyfriends. They were texting lonely guys who wanted to read hot texts involving what my sisters were not wearing or what body part they were rubbing at the moment. They used names like Silky or Honey, and they got paid a lot, so they didn’t like to take too much time off.
In fact, Joanne and Luanne were so good at getting guys all hot and bothered with a boatload of abbreviated words, they could afford to live in a huge apartment with a nice view of the lake. I knew they had an extra bedroom ’cause they invited me over one time and showed me around, but they’d never offered to let me live there with them. But that was okay, ’cause I was doing just fine in my little apartment over the hardware store.
Hopefully, my sisters wouldn’t be texting guys as I walked down the aisle. The reception was another story.
Everyone glanced up when a tall, slim man walked gracefully over to our group. He wore an expensive-looking dark-gray suit, a black shirt, and a dark-purple tie, which looked nice with his blond hair and dark-blue eyes. His smile was what you’d call professional, but his gaze was intense, like he was sizing us up for more than just a sale. He reminded me of one of those models in some classy wine or car commercial that look straight into the camera and try to hypnotize you into buying their product.
“Welcome to the Biteable Bride. I am Maurice, the owner.” His voice was nice to listen to, soft and kinda sexy, and he had a tiny bit of a French accent. No surprise there. We all greeted him with a wave or a “howdy” or “hello”, ’cept for my sex-crazed sisters who just kept texting.
“And who is our bride?” he asked.
I held up a shaky hand and smiled. “Hi. I’m Estelle. The bride.”
Thankfully, Maurice didn’t hear Grace’s snippy remark. He smiled right at me. It was a nice smile. “Congratulations. Why, you’re absolutely lovely.”
I caught my blush in the enormous mirror that covered the opposite wall. I wasn’t used to people telling me I was lovely, especially a good-looking man. People who knew me would say I was healthy-lookin’, or sometimes kind of pretty, or once in a while lookin’ good, but never lovely. My mom said I was on the plump side with a pretty face whenever she described me, and my almost fiancé, Hal, said I had a pretty smile and a sweet personality. I guess I liked Hal’s description best.
“Hope you have plus-size dresses,” Grace said really loud, smirking in my direction. Her body type was best described as bony–all angles and sharp corners. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out her pointy little breasts poked a guy so hard they left dents.
Maurice ignored her once again, turning and crooking a long finger toward the back of the room. An even taller man ambled over to join us. “This is Nathaniel. He will be helping you tonight, Estelle.” Maurice placed a hand on the man’s broad shoulder, and they smiled at each other.
My eyes widened in shock. A man? I swallowed what little spit I had in my mouth, then spoke up. “I…I might be more comfortable with a woman assisting me, if you have one available.” I didn’t want to hurt this guy’s feelings. I mean, I know they work on commission and all, but a man?
“I am terribly sorry, mademoiselle, but our female assistants only work during daylight hours. As you see, even Genevieve has left for the day.” In unison the three of us glanced at the empty desk. “They have family responsibilities.” He patted Nathaniel’s shoulder. “Nathaniel will take good care of you. Trust him. He knows exactly what you need.”
Maurice’s smile was reassuring, but hell, what kind of bridal shop hired a man to help women change in and out of dresses?
I was ready to leave and call back for a daytime appointment when I noticed my twin sisters. They were practically drooling over my new assistant, so I took a good look at Nathaniel for the first time. At least six feet three, with dark hair, thick and shiny, vibrant blue eyes, and a mouth–whoa. That mouth had lips that could suck you under. Maurice was handsome, but Nathaniel was a hunk a burnin’ love.
He was wearing black slacks and a dark button-down shirt, open at the collar and molding perfectly across his broad shoulders and chest, not exactly as spruced up as his boss, but still looking good. Really good. I glanced at his hands and wondered how good those long fingers would be at lacing or unlacing a gown.
Sweat beaded along my brow as my face heated up again. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.
“Estelle.” Nathaniel’s smile was like daylight breaking through after a stormy night, brightening my mood right up. “May I show you some gowns?” His voice was soft, deep, and supersexy. If I were a puppy, I’d have been waggin’ my tail right about now.
But handsome or not, I wasn’t exactly comfortable about spending fitting-room alone time with this guy. My body left a whole lot to be desired, and he might be getting a good gander at it. I had a hard enough time looking at myself in the mirror. To watch some good-looking guy stare at me and my extra curves would be tough.
But here I was at the shop, family and all, and I might never have another chance. Wallowing in self-pity wouldn’t get me that dress, so I pinched my arm, a trick I used for leaving bad thoughts behind and forcing myself back on track. It worked every time. I smiled at Nathaniel and asked, like any bride would, “Don’t you need to know my budget or what style I’m looking for?” That’s how they did it on the TV show I watched.
His welcoming smile turned into this cute little half grin, like I’d made a joke and didn’t know it. “I’m guessing you have a princess gown in mind with lots of tulle, somewhere in the two-thousand-dollar range?”
I nodded and made a point of closing my mouth. “Um…that’s right.”
His gaze scanned my body, taking his time over every curve. “We can certainly pull a princess gown, but I think you might like to try on other styles more suited to your very lovely figure.”
There was that word again. Only when Nathaniel said “lovely” it vibrated deep in my belly. I shivered a bit and turned away, then moved quickly toward the mannequin to the right of the mirror so he wouldn’t see my face turn pink. At this rate I was gonna need aloe.
This mannequin was all decked out in just the kind of dress I’d dreamed about ever since I first saw Cinderella. In the movie, she wears this poufy white gown at her wedding, and that’s the kind I’d set my heart on. I’d even thought about auditioning to be the Cinderella in the parade at Walt Disney World, but I knew deep down that with my full-figured body type, I’d never get picked.
Sighing, I ran my fingertips over the bumpy pearls and sharp sequins that decorated the bodice of the fancy gown. It shone so much it seemed to be coated in fairy dust just like in the movie. I’d try on this one. Definitely.
I smiled, thinking about how pleased Hal would be when he saw me in this dress. I’d been lucky enough to find my Prince Charming the day he’d knelt in front of me in Macy’s with a silver pump and asked, “Are you a size nine wide, or medium?”
“Estelle?” Nathaniel was waiting patiently, smiling the sexiest smile I’d ever seen a man smile. I glanced at my mom who was whispering with cousin Grace about what she’d made for dinner. Dad had already fallen asleep, and the twins were comparing pictures of the guys they were texting. So much for getting their input.
“I’d like to try this one, but I’d be willing to look at a couple of other styles too.” What could it hurt?
“Let’s you and me look around, shall we?” He offered his arm like Mr. Darcy would to Miss Elizabeth Bennett in the Jane Austen book. I hesitated, having never been offered this particular part of a man’s anatomy before, then placed my hand where it seemed to belong. He winked at me, covering my hand with his, and led me into an area where rows of plastic-wrapped gowns hung on fancy hangers.
Behind me I heard Maurice ask, “Would any of you care for some wine while you wait? We don’t usually offer alcoholic beverages, but I just received a shipment from France and the cabernet is spectacular.” Grace said yes right away–the lush.
Nathaniel pointed toward a particular section and spoke softly, his soothing voice rumbling through my body. “Perhaps a mermaid style? Those can be so much fun to wiggle in and out of.”
He was close enough for me to feel his breath in my hair, on my neck, and my ear. I tightened up with nerves, but as he reached around my body to pull a gown off the rack, I caught a whiff of something sweet. OhmyGod. He smelled like…like Cherry Berry, my favorite ice cream flavor. He must’ve had some for dessert or something.
I gasped, forcing my nose and lungs to take in a deeper dose of his scent, the tight muscles in my shoulders and neck turning liquid.
Ooo, nice. Another breath. Wow. My nerves had floated away like chicken feathers in a spring breeze.
As Nathaniel unzipped another bag, shaking his head in dismissal and moving down the row, I stole a longer glance. He walked like a panther, all graceful and dangerous. His muscles bunched up beneath his formfitting clothes, his broad back and strong shoulders so beautiful to observe. And his ass…
Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. I mean how horrible could it be working with a hot guy who smelled like my favorite ice cream?
He was next to me again, reaching for another bagged gown, his arm brushing lightly against my breast. Pleasurable shocks swirled under my skin, pooling low in my belly. Mmm. My puppy was wagging her tail, this time with her tongue hanging out.
Nathaniel’s expression turned thoughtful. “Perhaps you’d allow me to choose? I know exactly which styles would work best with your very sexy body.”
How’d things progress from him calling me lovely to sexy in the space of two minutes? Had he touched my breast on purpose, actually getting frisky with me? That wasn’t likely, was it?
Nathaniel kept on smiling, waiting for my answer. I found myself staring at his face, his beautiful lips urging me to lean in, his scent making me warm and tingly all over. One rebellious strand of dark hair had flopped over a startling bright-blue eye. When he sighed and tucked it behind his ear, I wanted to pull it back out again, maybe rake both my hands through those dark locks.
“You can make yourself comfortable in the fitting room. It’s just around the corner.” He seemed amused, almost like he could understand what I was thinking.
I looked away from his face, pretending to examine one of the dresses in an open bag. I should more than move away. I should back up and walk out of the shop right this minute. I didn’t have a lot of experience with men, but I knew enough to recognize danger when I saw it. Stranger Danger. Not the serial killer kind, but more likely the seduce-you-out-of-your-panties-in-ten-minutes-or-less kind.
Not one male had ever turned me on like this, and if it kept up, I was gonna end up embarrassing both of us. If this was how I was feeling standing next to him, imagine how I’d react when Nathaniel touched me, lacing me up and smoothing his hands over my body as he adjusted the gowns. Oh boy. My panties were already damp.
I needed to leave. Right now.
“You look a little flushed, Estelle. Can I get you some water?” He seemed genuinely concerned.
“I’m fine, thank you.” I forced a smile.
“Your skin is glowing. The dresses may not do you justice.”
Instead of being pleased by the compliment, I slumped and looked at the floor. Reality check. Sexy, huh? He’d be changing his mind on that front as soon as he saw me in all my chubby glory.
I sighed and took a hard swallow, then raised my chin. I was here on a mission and I was no coward. “Where’s the fitting room again?”
(c) Marie Booth