I matriculated from high school at the tender age of 17. What does one really know about life at that age? Yet there I was the proud owner of a high school completion certificate. According to those in the know I was ready to go out there and make my mark on the world. So off I went. Never suspecting that within months of leaving school my life would change the way it did.
To tide me over until my 18th birthday, when I would be able to get my driver’s licence and look for a full time job, I took a casual job at our local supermarket. And there he was, the one person in this world that could complete me. It caught me completely off guard! Not in my wildest imaginings would I have dreamed that I would find love at a check out at the local grocer’s.
But there you go. And 26 years later we’re still together.
I guess it was the same for Kitty and Gray in Decadence, the second story of Taking Pleasure Seriously. Not that they met at 17, mind you, but it was definitely unexpected for them. One morning they got up to go work, never anticipating that their worlds would collide in the way that it did.
She’s an artisanal baker. He’s a fire investigator. Who would have thought they’d find each other? But they do, in the most unexpected way. And it changes their lives forever, in ways neither of them foresaw.
What do you do when your dreams go up in flames?
The Mother City of Cape Town is the backdrop for this tale of fire and revenge, of love and lust where the life of one artisanal baker gets hotter outside of her kitchen than in it.
Since she was a little girl, sassy, sexy Kitty Spence knew what she wanted. And bringing pleasure to people with her baking was it. Her dream was realised the day she opened the doors of her speciality cupcake shop, Decadence. That is, until Grayson James walked into her life.
Gorgeous fire investigator, Gray James, does a job he loves. Getting justice for those whose lives are destroyed by fire is what brings him satisfaction. In pursuit of an arsonist, he walks into Decadence and realises that his life will never be the same.
In the midst of a spate of fires that he’s trying to solve and the loss of her dream, Gray and Kitty find each other and a love that will survive all.
Locking her car, Kitty looked around. She couldn’t shake the constant feeling she had of being watched. It was really starting to freak her out. She was toying with the idea of hiring a security guard for the parking lot. Maybe her neighbours would be willing to share the expense. With all the fires that had happened in their immediate area, she was sure they would be happy to. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t see the man standing in the doorway of her shop.
Looking up to insert her key in the lock, she started violently when she spotted Gray lounging against her door.
“Wow, Gray!” she exclaimed as she clapped a hand over her galloping heart. “You scared the hell out of me.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to. You seemed so far away. Everything alright?”
She bit her lip, briefly mulling over whether she should share her suspicions.
His eyes followed the movement and heat lit up through his body. He wanted to lean over and lick his tongue along that delectable pillow of flesh.
“Come on in. Let’s chat inside.” She invited.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he stepped out of her way so she could unlock the door and followed her inside.
Filling the coffee machine’s tank with water, Kitty tried to arrange her thoughts. She got cups out of the cupboard in readiness. Turning to speak, she bumped into a solid body. Looking up at him, she licked her lips.
“Sorry, I didn’t expect you to be standing there.”
Gray followed the little pink tip’s progress and felt himself harden, almost painfully. What was it about this woman that pushed all his buttons? He’d seen his share of beautiful women. Even had his fair share. But there was just something special about Katherine Spence that got him all hot and bothered. Smiling, he took a step back.
“Are you okay? Something seems to have you pretty jumpy.”
Taking a deep breath, she said, “I think someone is watching me.”
“What?! Have you been to the police?”
Kitty shook her head. “No, I don’t have anything concrete. I just get this really creepy feeling. Every morning when I get to work and when I leave again, I get the sense that someone is watching me come and go. I don’t have any solid evidence. Maybe I just have an overactive imagination.”
“Honey, I may only know you a short time but you definitely don’t come across as the flighty, highly strung kind of woman that would imagine things like that.”
Blushing, she turned to pour the coffee, which had finished running through the machine, to give herself a minute to collect her composure. His endearment had delivered a heady wallop to her feminine senses. She had no idea what it was about him, but Gray made her want things she’d hadn’t in the longest time. With just a look or a smile he made her hot and needy. She wanted him in the worst way.
Handing him a cup, she pushing the sugar over to him and headed over to the fridge for the milk.
“So Gray, what brings you to my door so early in the morning? Wait, is that smoke I smell?” Her brain finally catching up with the rest of her, she’d just noticed a strong smell of smoke when she was near to him.
With a grim set to his beautiful face, he nodded.
“I’ve just come from the scene of a fire up the road.” It had been a crappy morning so far and he’d felt a deep need to see her. Just to be in her presence. Just to talk to her about nothing of consequence. Just to be with her.
“Oh. Are you okay?”
“It’s been a bitch of a morning. The building collapsed and one of our guys couldn’t get out in time. They got him out but he’s in critical condition. I’m headed home to shower so I can pop in at the hospital before I get started on processing the scene.” Pausing to decide whether to continue, he decided to go for it. “I just wanted to see you before I go home. Needed to see you.” Leaning into her space, Gray’s eyes moved over her face, intense and so very green, he went on, “I’m drawn to you, to be with you. Why is that, do you think, Kitty?”
Her eyes went big and her lips parted in surprise but no words came out.
“There’s so much that needs to be done and all I can think about is you. What you sound like when you wake up in the morning, what you do in your spare time, what you taste like, what you sound like when you come. And yet I barely know you.”
She couldn’t seem to catch her breath. His words evoked a slow burn in her. Still she said nothing. Just looked up into his beautiful eyes and got lost there, in his intensity.
Nervously biting her lower lip, she looked up at him. “Yes, Gray?”
“Can I see you sometime?”
“You mean like a date?” she breathed.
“Yeah. Like a date.” Reaching out, he wrapped a hand around the back of her neck and slowly drew her in. Lowering his head until his forehead rested against her, he smiled, “Kitty?”
“I’m going to kiss you now.”
Looking up at him with huge eyes, she nodded.
Touching his lips to hers, Gray felt it throughout his whole body. Lust sparked through him and he groaned as he drew her tighter against him, deepening the kiss.
The ringing of his cell phone intruded. Breaking off the kiss with reluctance, he reached for his phone.
“James.” He listened intently as the person on the other side spoke rapidly and then, “I’ll be there in forty-five minutes.” With a look of regret, he drew her in for one last hug. “I have to go but, Kitty? This isn’t over. I’ll phone you later.”
So that’s my story but it’s not the only one. ☺ A group of us are hopping from blog to blog and we’d love it if you’d join us. And as a reward for joining us on this adventure, if you leave your comment on each blog (and we ask you to be kind to preserve our writer egos J) it puts you in line to win some fabulous prizes.
Prizes up for grabs are:
♥ A grand prize of a $20 Amazon Gift Card
♥ An ebook copy of Dragonfly Moments by Kathy Bosman (Kindle or PDF) - contemporary romance
♥ An ebook copy of Brent's Law (Kindle, epub or PDF) by Ylette Pearson - erotic romance
♥ An ebook copy of Taking Pleasure Seriously by Angelé Wells and Phoenix Kelly (epub or PDF) - erotic romance
♥ Signed copy of The Broken Destiny (South Africa only) by Carlyle Labuschagne - science fiction romance
♥ An ebook of Dead of Night by Carylyle Labuschagne - science fiction romance
♥ An ebook of Harcourt's Mountain by Elaine Dodge - historical romance.
Keep an eye out ... we'll be announcing the winners on each of our blogs and on our Facebook profiles.
Looking forward to seeing you there.