One weekend—no strings, no expectations, and no commitments. On Sunday afternoon it all ends, or does it?
No-nonsense businessman Spencer Cannon has a dilemma. He’s headed to Connecticut for the weekend to attend his cousin’s elaborate wedding. His whole family will be there in addition to his obsessed ex-girlfriend Ava. According to Spencer’s brother, Ava has been telling her friends she’s planning a magical reunion with her favorite ex-boyfriend. Spencer’s not in the mood to deal with her, but he can’t miss the wedding. He needs a plan.
Struggling Brooklyn waitress and aspiring graphic designer Dakota Vercelli has fallen on hard times. College debts, pending eviction, and her sick mother are taking a toll on her. A chance encounter with Mr. Cannon, CEO of Cannon and Carrington Advertising, leads to a proposition that may be just the thing to solve both of their problems. Spencer’s offer—spend four days with him during the wedding festivities and keep his ex off his trail. In return, he’ll compensate her generously for her time. He needs a weekend girlfriend, and Dakota needs the cash.
It was just supposed to be a business deal, but after sharing a room, kissing under the stars, and attending a wedding, their attraction is undeniable. Will the illusion end when the weekend is over or is the proposition just the beginning?
Content Warning: contains mature language and graphic sexual content
“I have a proposition for you.”
“A proposition?” What could he possibly have to offer her?
“I have to attend my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Actually, I have to leave tomorrow afternoon. I don’t want to go alone for reasons I don’t wish to discuss right now. I need someone to accompany me. I’m offering that to you.”
“And you think I’m ‘to the point’?”
He smiled but didn’t say anything. She couldn’t stand the silence. She wanted to figure out his game. There had to be some sort of catch.
“You want me to go to a wedding with you?”
“It’s in Connecticut. I would require your services until Sunday afternoon. All of your expenses would be paid, including a wardrobe which would be yours to keep after the weekend.”
“You need a date?”
“I would need you to appear as my girlfriend.”
“Is this a joke?”
“I wouldn’t joke about something like this. I’ve thought the entire thing through.”
“A man who looks like you should have no problem finding a real girlfriend to buy clothes for and flaunt in front of his family.” She thought for a moment. “Unless there’s something wrong with you.”
“There’s nothing wrong with me.” He raised his voice a bit. “I had planned on attending alone but circumstances have changed. I’m in a bind and from what I gather, you are too.”
Her instincts screamed to run in the opposite direction. She’d never been the type to fall for a scam. “I’m not interested in—”
“I’ll pay you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for your time.”
“What?” Apparently a side of crazy came with those good looks.
“One hundred and twenty-five thousand today, if you agree.” He pulled out a check from the inside pocket of the jacket he had draped on the back of the chair. He slipped the mint green paper across the table. “You’ll get the rest on Sunday afternoon.”
“That’s fifty grand a day.” She studied the check. It would take her years to make that kind of money working these shit-end jobs.
“I’m aware.” He nodded as if the money meant nothing. “I’m asking for your time, a commodity I believe should be well compensated.”
Too good to be true.
“Do you make it a habit of paying women to be your girlfriend?”
“Pretend girlfriend,” he reminded her. “You would be the first.”
“Does it matter?”
“What exactly do you expect me to do for that money?”
“I told you.” He narrowed his eyes. “I need a date for a long weekend. Everyone needs to think we’re a couple.”
“You’re willing to pay me to go away with you for four days. I’m supposed to take your word we’re going to a wedding in Connecticut? How do I know you won’t kidnap me and want to do all sorts of kinky stuff to me? You could be some sex-obsessed lunatic.”
“Yeah, you know, like bondage and blindfolds.”
“Do you like that sort of thing?” He tried to conceal his smirk.
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.
You can find Ella here…
Zoe Wood thinks she has it all. A promising job as a graphic artist, no-strings attached fun, and blog readers who live vicariously when she shares her adventures. Life is good. Then a few reckless choices change it all. Reality and the internet intertwine and then intersect when her blog and its readers begin to affect her life. With the help of her two closest friends, a hot bartender, and her blog readers, Zoe figures out what’s real and what’s important. She learns that by rejecting those close to her she misses out on life, and that some things are worth the risk. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to be able to move forward.
Blog Entry: Thursday, December 13
If Life Was Like a Word Document
Wouldn’t it be great if life worked like spell-check? All your mistakes would be highlighted so you could “undo” them before moving on.
Highlight, delete. Done. Mistake avoided.
When I spotted Cling Man at the office Christmas party last week, he should have had squiggly lines underneath him. I would have known instantly. But no, taking him home seemed like a good idea. He was super-hot and looking for action. Someone I could take home and never worry about again. Who knew he had adhesive properties!
This year my family has requested I “actually” take time off over the holiday season. How can I resist? Seeing as my husband and son will be done with their school and work on December 20th, the I better say that’s the day I will be taking a break too. So, starting December 20th, I won’t be available for new designs. Before December 20th, I expect I’ll be working like a mad woman trying to get everything done That said; Logically, I won’t be able to take on a new project the night before either.
While on holidays I plan to recollect my wits, drink some eggnog, and romp through the snow, but I also hope to take some time for professional development. Maybe I’ll come back with new tricks.
When will I be open for business again? Let’s say January 6th.
Stan and Jack are the last remaining members of the Time Authority, a government unit formed to correct disruptions to the established Time Line. Although time travel has been officially outlawed, Stan and Jack must make a quick time hop to 16th Century France to clean up some of their careless littering.
Unbeknownst to them, however, Leonardo DaVinci stows away and tumbles out (along with the operating manual for the time machine) in 18th Century England. This disruption is discovered by the Time Authority, as it creates a Chronological Anomaly that begins advancing toward the future and threatens to wipe out all reality. The military and civilian leaders clash before agreeing on a scheme to build one final time machine and send Corporal Spumoni back to correct the Time Line, even though it may ruin any chance of Stan and Jack returning home.
Stan and Jack must crash-land their time machine in 1848, where they discover, due to DaVinci’s influence, a futuristic Victorian England. After nearly colliding with Maggie Wells on her flying machine, she helps them hide their broken Time Hopper. Stan and Jack realize their only hope to fix their machine is to recover the operating manual, if it still even exists. But Special Services agents, led by Maggie’s former boyfriend James Burton, are constantly searching for them. And Jack’s growing attraction for Maggie is tempered by the thought that she could be his great-great-great-great-grandmother.
Meanwhile, in 1768, DaVinci has become a favorite of King George III of England. His only rival is Benjamin Franklin. Jealous, with the help of Lord Frederick North, DaVinci frames Franklin for the theft of his own notebooks. But when DaVinci learns Britain’s plans for his own war machines, he realizes he must work with Franklin to stop Britain’s domination of the globe.
THE RETURN OF THE TIME POLICE:
In this action-packed sequel to “The Last of the Time Police,” Stan and Jack must make a quick time hop to 16th Century France to clean up some of their careless littering.
But stowaway Leonardo DaVinci tumbles out (along with the operating manual for the time machine) in 18th Century England, setting off a Chronological Anomaly that threatens to wipe out all reality.
Stan and Jack crash-land their time machine in 1848, where they discover, due to DaVinci’s influence, a futuristic Victorian England. After nearly colliding with Maggie Wells on her flying machine, she helps them hide their broken Time Hopper.
But Stan and Jack realize their only hope to fix their machine is to recover the operating manual, and Special Services agents, led by Maggie’s former boyfriend James Burton, are constantly searching for them. And Jack’s growing attraction for Maggie is tempered by the thought that she could be his great-great-great-great-grandmother.
Meanwhile, inventor Sam Warner and his wife Sarah have discovered the operating manual for the time machine in a trunk of his grandfather’s things. When Sam coincidentally ends up with the power crystal from Stan and Jack’s machine, and sets about converting an old carriage into his own time machine, they agree to pool their resources.
The unlikely partners must find a way to rescue DaVinci and Benjamin Franklin in the previous century, but when they are captured while trying to recover the Time Carriage, they face execution at the Tower of London. Can the group escape in time to find DaVinci, prevent the destruction of our Timeline, and help Franklin invent the game of golf?
And if they succeed, will they be wiped out of existence?
It’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” meets “Time Bandits” in this action-packed science fiction adventure.
Out of print for over twenty years, the Monty Python Trivia and Quiz book is back! And this time, it’s electronic! Packed with more than any Python fan would ever want to know or care about, plus loads of brain-hurters!
Kim “Howard” Johnson is the author of The Last of the Time Police, The Return of the Time Police, And Now For Something Completely Trivial: The Monty Python Trivial and Quiz Book, Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday: My Life with Brian, The Funniest One in the Room: the Lives and Legends of Del Close, Superman: True Brit, (a graphic novel co-authored with John Cleese), along several other books, only a few of which have to do with Monty Python. He has also been a screenwriter, an award-winning newspaper writer, marketing director for a comic book company, radio newsman and feature reporter, magazine journalist, contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and The Weakest Link, actor and theatre producer, school board president, stand-up comic, improvisational actor and director, and founding member of The Baron’s Barracudas, the first house team of Chicago’s iO Theatre. Married to Laurie Bradach, they have one son, Morgan, and two boxers.
Visit DoubleDare Books on Facebook Visit Kim "Howard" Johnson's author's page at amazon.com
Right now the author is running a promotion for a half price copy.
Coupon Code: MW47A
Expires: December 5, 2013
Everything about her was so artistic and proud, from taking off her winter hat, to fiddling with her hair, to just turning; in another life she surely would have been a classical ballet dancer. As graceful as a cat, she walked always one leg directly in front of the other to form a single line as if she were walking on a tightrope. With each step her hips and arms swung while her head and shoulders barely moved. As I looked into her eyes I felt something genuine and sincere, her soul looked back at me with an angelic glow and her whole face seemed to be shining, but yet relaxed. There was a sway side to side with a slight upward bounce as she turned, but her gaze never left me. I can honestly say that it was such an erotic moment I was terrified and excited at the same time. She popped up on to her tippy toes, sliding her sleek arms around my neck; her skin was so soft that my whole body tingled forcing every hair to stand up and every muscle to ripple. I was shocked as I discovered that her smile was matched by the one in her eyes. My heart literally began to pound as I could feel her warm breath roll up my neck and a whisper climbed into my ears ” ya tebya lyublyu”.
As my ears heard it my heart believed it for the first time and I can only compare it with the sensation you get when a gentle breeze first touches your skin on a hot summers day. It was written in her eyes, she genuinely loved me. Emotions were boiling within me and was growing and growing and at times I thought my heart doubled in size.
Suddenly every ounce of strength drained from my arms and they slid to her waist; as my hands cupped her there was this feeling that this was where I always wanted to be, no, needed to be. As she kissed and nibbled my neck I felt complete and whole. I am not sure whether it was perfume, but there was always this sweet lingering aroma that floated around me like a cloud when she was near. As her lips touched mine it was like she was swallowing my soul and giving me hers; so forceful and gentle at the same time. Within seconds we were silently talking with lips and tongues, teasing followed by light nibbles on the lips, hands wandering and bodies pressing closer. Our souls were merging; there was this tingling in the tummy sensation. I forgot to breathe and it’s the only time that a kiss has made me light headed and dizzy.
This was the perfect kiss, no doubt about it, the kind that the affect never fades and the magic was more than I could have ever dreamed of. It was the one, only my soul mate could give; the one, only my perfect woman could share. I would strive to complete my evolution to become her perfect man. They say that home is where the heart is and today I realized that home is not a place on a map, but a feeling, an explosion of emotions that consumes your heart and soul completely.
I could not have imagined that such a heartfelt moment would ruin my life. If only I knew that that kiss would lead to my death and eternal damnation. I wonder, would I still have kissed her? I cannot say that I would have if I had known the consequences of my actions, Once, it’s out there you can never take it back, all you can do is follow it through to the end, even if the price is more than you can bear.
Zahir – Falling
Lightning slashed through the sky, like a carefully aimed arrow from an ancient hunter’s bow and thunder crackled in the distance making the ground tremble, leaving behind a forceful echo. The wind whipped the rain around like bullets repeatedly smashing and bouncing off the metal monster he was driving. The darkness of the night wrapped itself around him, like a mother wraps a blanket around a new child. It only took a second for the flash of light to blind him. It only took a few seconds for the beast to strike. Spots flickered everywhere and the next thing that he remembered is the deafening terrifying screams all around him. Then the immense groan of metal on metal like the final cry of some prehistoric beast that seemed to echo from all around. His eyes were open and he was forcing himself to blink but, all he could see was smears and streaks of red and blue as the tears seemed to glaze over him. Then he tried to move but, was trapped. There was the overwhelming smell of smoke, an oily taste in the air and blood was pouring down his face. His whole body trembled and twisted like earth quakes erupting from within his chest. He tried to move, but he was stuck.
“Oh my god I am pinned,” he thought when the panic engulfed him like a flame as he realized that he was trapped between the dash and seat. He yanked, pushed and twisted, nothing moved. He was screaming in panic.
“I am going to die” echoed endlessly through his mind as near madness took over. He tilted his head and the cracked passenger side window was streaked with something, but he could not make out what it was. His heart raced as the idea that this would be the last few minutes of his life, set in and a thought was dancing through his mind.
“What would Natinha think if he died?”
His wished that he could have told her that he loved her and said one final good bye.
Without any effort I could have saved him, but I didn’t. If it were any other creature, I would have been torn between letting destiny be fulfilled and intervening. As I looked down, I felt nothing for this man. For the countless ages that I have existed, I had never felt this way before. I walked amongst his kind through times of peace and war; through times of great romance and discovery. Today is the first time in millennia that I have taken a life and not felt that I should save one.
He looked up, there was fire and he could feel the heat running all over his body. With all the fury of an earthquake, he ripped left and right, up and down struggling endlessly, determined that this would not be his end.
He screamed, “I am going to die, help me! I am going to be burned alive!”
No matter what he did, his eyes were starting to lose focus and the world began to blur again. There were voices around him, they all seemed to merge and blend together so that he could not distinguish which conversation was which and he could feel the fear completely consuming him. More and more blue and red lights were appearing from nowhere, then it struck again. From behind him there was the grinding sound of metal eating metal and suddenly the pressure surrounding him was bites and tearing at his flesh. Fear took over again as something was stabbing into the back his neck and he could feel the warm sweet flow of blood cover his face. He started to fight to get air and all that was there was an empty gulp of breath.
I am not sure how or where the strength came from, but he broke out from the metal coffin and as he stepped out his strength was stolen. Something was cutting across his lower back like a garden rake digging in and scraping away his flesh, but he still struggled. His legs buckled as his body seemed to twist and his balance and strength was stolen. He hit the ground and this ringing engulfed him as the back of his head smashed into the pavement. There was this explosion of white light that was immediately swallowed by darkness, then it started all over again and amongst the constant ringing in his ears he could hear this loud swiping sound over and over. This explosion of sound and light repeated over and over and anger snapped through him. He did not want to die. I could have eased his passing, but I did not want to.
Something cold was touching his neck, it reminded him of frost bite, the thought maybe, that is how death starts and a million other thoughts were splashing through his mind. There was a voice, but it was slurred or corrupted like trying to hear under water and he wondered if he had been run over or hit by some drunk driver and he was just finding him now, but before he could concentrate on the thought for long he tried to move and he could feel his whole body tremble as the flesh from his lower back was being torn away. Such a searing pain, that at times he wondered if he had been trapped in flames and there was only a charred crisp hunk of meat left. Then suddenly all the pain stopped except the electric throbbing shooting behind his ears.
His fight was ending! Even before the blood stopped smashing through his veins I could taste it in the air, death leaves a bitter taste. Then he just stood there with this empty blank look on his face not quite realizing that he was dead. The soul lingers as it tries to hang on to the physical world. His spiritual body trembled as the chill of death nipped him. These giant empty eyes just stared down at the body he once owned as the reality of his end began to set in. Visions of his life were appearing all around him. Again he thought of her, again the vision of their first meeting was all around him and as he remembered so did I because I was there. I was always there hiding in the shadows. Suddenly the space was filled with the echoes of the life that he once had, visions of the memories his heart held dear were being relived around us as he just watched speechless.
I never really put much thought into the consequences of my actions, I just killed him. It took seconds and I told myself that it was in the name of love. I told myself that the ends justified the means. I did not enjoy the feeling of power, but I didn’t regret my actions either. As I watched the beast take this precious gift from him, I decided that I wanted what he had, I wanted to be him.
The day he first saw her I was there, I was always there watching, waiting and slowly as she lived every moment of her life I was there, feeling all her happiness and heart break. Then I needed to be part of it, to feel it and taste the precious moments of her life.
Shoulders, hips, heels, shoulders, hips, heels, mentally that’s what he thought every time she entered room. That is what he always thought when he was thinking of her. Everything about her said sex appeal and he always thought that it was magic to watch her walk into a room. Head up, shoulders back, leading with her boobs, arms swinging loosely back and forth while her hips swiveled from side-to-side. Through his eyes even her hip high red mini skirt fluttered in its own rhythm with each step of the long leather covered boots. Then the distant smell of jasmine shifted through the air after she passed. Week after week it was maddening for him trying to determine what the smell was. It was not weak or strong just distant, he always knew that she was there, but so faint that it became an obsessive challenge for him. She could easily have been a model or anything else that she wanted to be. There are not enough words to describe the voice and process she used for speaking, proper, but exotic at the same time with the way her lips raised in the middle.
“Why is it that you always look down at the floor when I walk by?” She questioned him as her head bobbed from side to side casually leaning against his cubical wall, “Do I offend you?”
Her eyes seem to expand with each breathe as she continued, “Look into my eyes and talk to me, the same way you do on the phone or in my inbox, make me laugh and smile.” Her smile almost consumed her face.
He was startled for a second as he gathered his composure, his mind was blank no witty comments were there, the well was dry. Her hips, so slightly shifting as she moved each leg back and forth, and as he tried to hide his stare.
“Don’t your legs get cold in that little skirt?” Popped out and his whole head turned red as he was bitten by embarrassment. That laugh of hers shot out.
“No they do not because I have grown accustomed to the cold.” She peered for a slight second and her smile grew, “You know some women like it when a man looks at her and shows that he thinks she’s beautiful, some women appreciate the little signs as long as there is respect in it too.” She leaned into him. This sweet fragrance invaded his senses as she gently ran her fingers through his thick course hair and just stared blankly at him. “I am jealous of this lion’s mane and those seductive green eyes. Most women would be and I can tell that those eyes have broken many hearts.”
He tried not to let the shock show and muttered, “No I am the one whose heart gets broke not the heart breaker.” Her hand slipped down the side of his face, her thumb twitched against his cheek then her warm fingers tugged at his beard as she curled nose.
“Shave away this filthy thing and talk the way you write, with confidence.” Her hand shot up in an exaggerated motion. “And those sparkling green eyes will capture many hearts.” She ruffled my hair and laughed. That was the first time he thought that he could steal her heart. That was the moment that would lead him to today. It was the first step towards death and he thought that it was the beginning of his happily ever after.
I did the unspeakable and in a flash he was dead, I had let it happen to him. Well he should have been dead, but in a heartbeat we were merged together, trapped in the same body and our own internal struggle began. In a millisecond a, war of wills and desire had developed.
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