Read an Excerpt
Midnight Confessions II
By BONNIE EDWARDS
APHRODISIA BOOKSCopyright © 2007 Bonnie Edwards
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFaye Grantham placed her cheek next to the smooth pine planking of the wall and peered through a peephole set at eye level. The angle of the hole gave her a perfect view of the bed in the next room. Odd how she already knew it would look like this. The walls were in shadow, with the bed spotlighted.
All she could see was the bed and a couple standing beside it. Their faces were obscured. The woman wore her long blond hair in a fall of cascading white and cream. Faye couldn't make out her face behind the curtain of lustrous hair.
She fingered her own shoulder-length waves. Hers were shorter, but the color was similar.
The man's upper face was in shadow. His jaw, strong and lightly bristled, glowed from the odd lighting. His mouth, mobile and hard, dipped in and out of the light so Faye couldn't see it clearly. A mystery couple about to do unmysterious things.
The man untied the laces at the bodice of the woman's night-gown to let it drift and skim down her body to her feet. White, cotton, chaste, the nightgown gave no clue to what era they were in.
The man wore trousers, but his chest was bare. Suspenders dangled at his hips. His erection strained for freedom until the woman guided it to peek out the top of his waistband.
Yum. Great chest,slim hips, hard belly, and a wide head on his cock. Faye responded as if she were the one cupping his balls and feeling his hot thumbs swirl across her nipples.
Odd, but pleasurable, the sensation of his callused hands aroused her.
Hot! She was suddenly aroused beyond tolerance by the seductively slow foreplay she witnessed through the peephole. She slid her hand to her crotch and pressed a fingertip to her clit through her thin silk nightie. She was wet and needy and the finger pressure made it better, but she still couldn't ease her need. She pressed harder, rubbed.
The narrow passageway she stood in closed in around her as she caught her breath. The man, naked now and gloriously hard, pressed the woman's shoulders down. She sank to her knees and took him into her mouth. Drew him in deep.
Faye's mouth worked in conjunction as she watched the woman suck him deep into her throat. Faye tasted hot man- flesh and swirled her tongue around her mouth, feeling him.
Slowly, carefully, the man pumped into her mouth while the woman continued to lick. He was big and she had to adjust, but eventually, she took most of his full length.
The man's face was still in shadow and he hadn't spoken. Silent but for the sound of mouth work, lit from a spotlight, the two performed while Faye watched through the bullet-sized hole. The man pumped harder; the woman's head bobbed more quickly. Tension rose around the silent couple, while Faye's arousal deepened.
Faye closed her eyes in passion while she worked to bring herself closer to climax. Next time she could focus, the couple had climbed onto the bed and were writhing together, with deep kisses and rough and ready hands. Still, no more sounds came to Faye. No bedsprings, no sighs or moans torn from the amorous pair.
The woman's pale calves flashed in the dim light from the bedside lamps, as she raised them to offer herself to her lover.
Was this her room? Was she watching herself with Liam?
The long, slick invasion stretched her wide and she felt the man enter her, knew what the woman knew. The man's heated scent, the feel of his weight on her chest, the incredible stretch of his cock as he pressed her deep into the mattress.
Faye rolled her hips in acceptance and began the dance of need.
Vaguely, she understood she was dreaming. In Perdition House, anything could happen, and often did. She lived with ghosts who saw nothing wrong with siphoning off her orgasms, inciting her to sex with strangers, and causing wild, insatiable desires to bubble under her skin.
Pleasure rose under her hand as she played voyeur and rubbed at her pussy. Suddenly, her nightie slid off her shoulders and drifted away on a breeze that caressed her heated flesh as she watched the lovers, moaned along with them, and felt every sensation they did.
She fought the rising tide, trying to see whose room they were in. As she focused her eyes away from the couple, the details of the room came clearer. Past the bed, light shone on a wallpaper design decades old.
With no French doors, no staircase to a widow's walk on the roof, it wasn't her room. Hers was larger, airier, prettier.
Comforted, she settled in to watch, unable to tear her eyes away even though the couple deserved their privacy. After all, the man had paid for it.
The light in the room dimmed, but still the wall danced with the lovers' shadows, grotesquely erotic. A woman prone, her legs raised, the man's head at her crotch. Finally, she heard sucking and licking sounds as the man pleasured the woman.
The lover's lips and tongue slid harder against her tender flesh, wilder and wilder until the woman crested and moaned, eyes closed, in a low, deep, delicious orgasm that pulsed out in waves from her lowest reaches. Faye rode out the come, closed her eyes, and melted and shook along with the lovers.
A sudden scream rent the air, ripping into Faye. The piercing wail came through the wall, clear as a chime and full of terror.
Faye opened her eyes and tried to see what had happened, who had screamed, but the light in the room was suddenly bright as a cloudless day and hurt her eyes. She could see nothing, and all sound faded.
She rolled over and woke, fading pulses the only proof that she'd dreamed again.
A nap-it had all happened during a nap. Groggy and sated from the still-pulsing orgasm, she rose to her elbow to look at the bedside clock. She had two hours. Lots of time.
She stretched, still shaken by what she'd heard. This dream was different from her usually pleasant unfolding stories. She could hardly make sense of it.
The narrow, secret passageway ran between two bedrooms on the second floor. She'd been in there once. The peepholes were installed by the original madam who built the house. She and a troupe of intrepid women had come to Seattle from Butte, Montana. They'd operated an exclusive men's retreat that catered only to the very wealthy and powerful.
Retreat being a polite word for the country's most expensive whorehouse of the last century. Completed in 1911, Perdition House was now hers, left to her by her great-aunt, Mae Grantham, who in turn had inherited it from the original madam, Belle Grantham.
Faye had decided to sell and cash in on her inheritance.
The only obstacle to that decision-Belle still lived here, as did the original four prostitutes. Salacious spirits, the five of them wreaked havoc on Faye's libido.
Not that she minded all that much. What red-blooded woman wouldn't want three or four orgasms a day, she reasoned.
Faye had moved into the mansion and discovered Perdition House was a place of sin, sex, and secrets.
Faye loved every minute of living here.
Logic dictated that the screamer in this dream was one of the women who'd worked here. She hadn't recognized the woman, though, except that the color of her hair was so similar to Faye's.
She couldn't trust anything she'd seen in a dream anyway. Her great-aunt Belle would have done anything to keep Perdition House going when she was alive. Now that she was dead, she was even more determined. Belle manipulated everyone who came here with sexual need and sleight-of-hand.
"Are you sure what you heard was a frightened scream? It might have just been a rapturous climax." Belle, her dead-for-decades great-great aunt, suggested.
For the moment, the beautiful spirit was perched on the staircase to the widow's walk, one of her favorite spots to sit.
"I don't know," Faye said, no longer fazed by speaking with a long-dead madam. "Maybe it was just a lusty come. Why not tell me what happened? Why the secrecy?"
Stupid question. The keeping of secrets was the backbone of Perdition House. Its whole structure was propped up by secrets.
"Oh, Faye, if I told you everything at once, we'd never have any fun." Her aunt's serene smile said it all. The woman enjoyed sending Faye dreams of tantalizing bits and pieces of the lives lived in Perdition. They unfolded like story lines out of a confession magazine: "How I Found Myself Working in a Whorehouse and Loving It."
Belle had reasons for everything she did, and if she wanted to keep the story behind the screaming woman to herself for a while, so be it. Her aunt didn't have an impulsive bone in her long-dead body. All Faye had to do was wait. Eventually, Belle would tire of playing with her and the truth would come out.
"Smart girl," Belle said with a slight lift to her lips.
Faye blew her a raspberry and threw off the covers. She padded through to the adjoining bathroom to get ready for her date with the deliciously sexy and accommodating Mark.
She hadn't meant to nap, but when the spirits insisted, she couldn't refuse. The dreams had turned her into a prurient hedonist with two lovers; Mark, a down-and-dirty businessman from Denver, and Liam, a lawyer in her auntie's law firm.
Two lovers was down from three, but her repressed, boring ex-fiancé, Colin, hardly counted in the sexual satisfaction department. It still bothered her that he'd been boffing his slut of a receptionist while she'd been convinced their ho-hum sex life was her fault.
She set those thoughts aside. No point dwelling on her disappointments. Not when life had taken such an interesting turn. "Still," she said, "living with a bunch of horny spirits is a pain." She spoke to the empty bathroom.
At least she assumed it was empty. There hadn't been any cold drafts or shadowy movement behind her yet and Belle hadn't followed her. "But I love you all," she amended, meaning it.
She showered quickly, mentally picking out her outfit for her date with Mark, the first man with whom she'd released her inner sex imp.
She'd found him in a hotel bar on a night she'd planned as a one-night stand with a stranger to discover whether her sexual inadequacies were actually hers. Turns out, they weren't.
Mark had taught her to enjoy her sexuality, to revel in wild abandon and have fun with the act. Colin the pencil-dick had nearly convinced her she was a sexual dud. Mark's attentions had cleared the path for a rebirth inside Faye. The new woman she was owed him a lot.
She was afraid their one-night stand would turn into more.
Which would be fabulous, if she wasn't already sleeping with Liam Watson, of Watson, Watson and Sloane, the law firm that had handled Auntie Mae's estate. Watson the Elder had been her aunt's lawyer, while Liam had been electrically hot at first sight.
She filled her toothbrush with paste and hit the button. Around the vibrating buzz, she considered her options. Sex with Mark was incredibly intense and liberating. He'd taught her more in one night than she'd ever known.
He was supposed to be back home in Denver, fading into a luscious memory while she enjoyed herself with Liam.
But in the farce she was now calling her life, he'd decided to go into retail outlets with his wholesale business-starting with Seattle. Which had brought him straight back into her life.
His expression when he looked at her was warm and affectionate. She liked Mark, admired his business acumen, and loved his sexual prowess.
She hit the shower and washed her hair in record time, then couldn't decide what to wear. With an entire vintage clothing store to pick among, she most often dressed in Hollywood castoffs. Clothes that had once belonged to the blond bombshells of the 50s and 60s suited her fair hair and heavy breasts best, but there were times she liked to play with a retro-hippie look.
Sunset-orange light beamed in through the lacy white curtains as she combed out her damp hair. She wanted long, straight hair tonight, parted in the middle. Straight bangs, too.
Belle appeared, preening prettily in the mirror Faye used. She frowned and peered closely at Faye from the mirror. "Straight hair? That's unusual."
Faye stuck out her tongue. "Yes, as long as it doesn't rain or get damp, it'll be straight."
"This is Seattle, honey, it won't be straight for long. What will Mark think?" Belle asked with a teasing glint in her eye.
"I have no idea. He loves it when I go with a fifties look, and I do so enjoy playing the sex kitten." She pouted her lips into a kiss. "Mohair sweaters and cantilevered bras, platform sling-backs and tight knee-length skirts make me feel sexy and available. But this mini-skirt makes me feel young and hot." She smoothed the wide white belt at her waist.
"Young, hot, and ready." Belle's smile turned sultry.
Faye was ready all the time these days.
Ready. Willing. Available.
Faye cleared her throat. "Thanks to you and the others, I'm a far cry from the repressed woman I was before I moved into the mansion. But that doesn't give you the right to keep pushing my libido into overdrive."
Rather than invite Mark here, she preferred to see him at his hotel. Except for Belle, who could tap into Faye no matter where she was, the spirits' influence decreased the farther away she was from the mansion.
"So," Belle chimed in, "what's on for tonight? Dancing? Dinner?"
"Dinner and then, with any luck he'll love this style so much he won't be able to keep his hands off me."
The madam enjoyed a spicy orgasm through Faye once in a while. All the spirits did. "I hope the outfit works, too," Belle murmured.
"The sex-kitten look is sultry, but I wanted to go for fun tonight. It's good to keep a man guessing." Especially Mark, who'd shocked the hell out of her by calling out of the blue.
She finished straightening her hair and slicked on a heavy black eyeliner, making sure to give it an upward lift at the outer corner of each eyelid. Catty.
Belle gave her a final inspection. "I like it."
"Great, now would you mind getting out of the mirror? I can't see to check my eyebrows. It's disconcerting to lean in close to the glass and have you looking back at me." She shooed at the mirror. "I need to check my brows, not yours."
Belle obliged by floating beside her instead.
Faye continued to prepare for Mark, thinking of his hands, his lips, his teeth scraping lightly over her nipples. He so loved her breasts. She softened between her legs and felt the telltale slide of moisture that came with thoughts of him.
Their brief affair should have faded into a pleasant memory, but it looked as if it was off to a roaring start.
"I never thought Mark would fade away," said Belle, responding to Faye's inner dialogue. A habit that proved living with horny spirits was a pain. "He likes you too much."
"Maybe it would have been better if he'd decided against expanding his business and moving to Seattle. I wouldn't have to choose between him and Watson the Younger."
"Liam Watson's a lovely man: well-built, well-hung, and isn't afraid to show his kind heart. I'm impressed that he takes on hard-luck cases."
"This comment from a woman who prefers bad boys?" she asked, with a smirk at her dead lookalike.
For a lawyer, Liam Watson was a kind, compassionate man. A man Faye could fall for.
"You don't need to choose between them, Faye. A woman's entitled to take her time and more than entitled to take a second lover if one man isn't enough."
"If I wasn't providing all of you with your orgasms, one man would be enough!" Perhaps Belle was right. There was no reason to rush to a decision.
She wasn't committed to either man. Neither had they made any commitment to her. Mark had slept with her knowing she was engaged. Besides, she was having fun with each of them.
Liam, soft-hearted and more open to fun sex and maybe even to the spirits, was a great guy.
But something dark in Mark appealed to her too. He was more intense, harder, brisker, and she admired his business sense and sharp intelligence. In truth, she didn't know enough about either man to make a choice.
She decided to keep things light. That way, no one would get hurt. If things got serious with either Mark or Liam, she'd tread carefully.
"I'm just out of a five-year relationship," she said to Belle. "I'm not ready for commitment." Not to anything more than opening a new store to help pay for the repairs to the mansion.
That had to be her priority.
Belle smirked. Faye glared back and slicked on a pale pink lip gloss. She pouted into the mirror to see if it caught the light and made her lips more kissable.
Excerpted from Midnight Confessions II by BONNIE EDWARDS Copyright © 2007 by Bonnie Edwards. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.