Tag Archives: #JACoffey

Accidental Witch, Episode 7

Episode Seven

By J.A. Coffey

 

 

Holy shit. Had she just…? Had they?

Mary shook her head. Whatever they’d done, holy was definitely not it.

She willed the room to stop swimming in Cristal and the scent of burnt paper. This was not the party she’d spent hours planning for her ex-employer. It was something much more. There was an undercurrent of danger beneath the tinkling glasses and the photographer’s flash. The piped-in music was garish. To her left, a woman shrieked with laughter. Mary winced. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something about the night was…off.

Shit.

She’d wanted a little taste of revenge but not the full buffet.

“What is it, my dear?” Stirling arched his elegant brow. The man was so devastatingly handsome; there was no question she’d followed along with his suggestions. In fact, from the moment sexy Stirling Drake had swept her up in his sleek black car, he’d had her in his thrall. She wasn’t sure she liked it.

Mary wet her lips. “Did we just…do something we shouldn’t have?”

“It depends.” His dark eyes were studying her.

“On?”

“On your definition of what we should or shouldn’t do.” There were a whole lot of things she wanted to be doing with him and none of them had to do with incantations or candles.

Well, maybe the candles.

His hand went to her knee under the table, and she felt the sway of his words strumming through her body like too much champagne. “From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were meant for me. I think the more important question is what you want to do, Mary.”

He was intoxicating; his presence both piqued and steadied her, just when she was feeling vulnerable.

“I wouldn’t mind those jerks getting a dose of karma.” She jerked her chin at the Pastry Bitch setting out treats at the far table. Treats that Mary had ordered. “But I’m not the vindictive type.”

He laughed, a delicious warm sound that set her thighs quivering. She was certain he could feel tingles pricking his palm as his hand slid from her kneecap to decidedly higher ground. The tip of his finger dipped beneath the elastic of her garter belt and a pulling sensation blossomed in her middle.

“Maybe you are, and you just don’t know it yet.” His dark gaze focused on her mouth.

“No.” She wrinkled her brow and the room righted. “I’m not.”

Stirling met her eyes and his smile grew wider, even predatory as he leaned in closer. His fingers slid another delicious inch up her leg. “So, you have a little fight left in you, Mary. That’s good. You’re going to need it.”

“Fight?” Her throat constricted, in the same rhythm of his fingers stroking up her thigh. “Why would I need to fight you?”

“Not me, love.” He leaned back in his seat and nodded towards the dark shadows gathering in the burgundy velvet curtains behind the Pastry Bitch. “Them.”

 

 

 

 

Days Of Auld Lang Syne, Episode 9

By J.A. Coffey

 

Shawn tamped down his smoldering irritation as he watched Jojo’s curls bounce angrily through the trees, up the pathway, and onto the gray, wintery city street. No way in hell he was going to let the spicy siren of his dreams get away again, not even for Brittany’s melodramatic tricks.

“Look, Brittany. I’m sorry for your loss. But there’s someplace else I need to be.” He didn’t wait for his ex-wife’s response, just ignored Brittany’s squawk of surprise and hurtled past the low concrete walls and barren trees. He caught up to the woman to whom he had a lifetime of words to speak. The one woman he’d wanted. The woman he’d left alone for far too long.

“Jo…Jojo…” He called out. She didn’t stop. “Joanne, wait!”

His grip on her upper arm was firm enough to stop her in her tracks when his pleas wouldn’t. She whirled to face him, her cheeks reddened, and her eyes snapping angrily.

“An old friend?” She splayed her hands on her hips, just grazing the waistband over skin he desperately wanted to touch. “So much for loving me. Seems like you have more designs in your portfolio than you know what to do with, Mr. Architect.”

“No plans, Jojo. And no games.” Either it was the worst case of coincidental timing, or his ex-wife was following him for some scheme of her own. “If I’ve got any designs, it’s to build something with you. Why else would I track you down after all these years?”

He saw a light kindle in her eyes and closed the space between them. His heart skipped a beat when she didn’t move away. Yeah, there was definitely hope there.

Still her eyes were skeptical. The set of her pert chin jutted in a way that told him she was ready to take another insult to her pride, if not her person. He’d be damned if he’d do either.

“C’mon, Jojo. I know you want me. You want this.” He reached up, brushing her hair back from her pretty pinked cheeks. That scarf she was wearing made her outfit, but it made him think of all kinds of things he could do with it, if she were willing. His king-sized bed had long tapered posts and an iron scrollwork headboard for that very purpose, but he’d rarely found a woman that could match his passions.

“I might.” She glanced at his hand manacled over her puffy jacket sleeve and bit her bottom lip in a way that made his cock surge to full throttle. Something told him she just might be willing. But he’d have to convince her that he was sincere. Joanne Vega wasn’t the one night stand kind of woman. She was the kind you held on to, cherished… “Then again, I might not.”

Damn. She’d need some serious convincing. But from the breathless parting of her lips, he knew he was more than man enough for that job. He cursed his tailored gloves as his hands stole up the length of her elegant neck to cup her chin. More than anything, he’d love the heat and feel of her silken skin beneath his fingertips. He’d save that for another day. In this moment, she was his to claim.

He shifted position, her body following his naturally as the wind gusted. She shivered as his lips captured hers but not, he suspected, from the cold. The connection between them was real and alive, as electric as the strung holiday lights flashing overhead.

Joanne sighed and he deepened the kiss. He willed every lost word and phrase into his actions, letting her sweet, coconut scent fill his nostrils.

“Joanne,” he whispered against her lips. “Don’t go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exes and Ohhs: A Thanksgiving Romance

Exes and Ohhs!

A Thanksgiving Romance

Episode One

by J.A. Coffey

 

The doorbell jangled a frantic greeting over the buzz of customers. The chill November wind sent a flurry of fallen leaves creeping across the black and white linoleum tiles.

“Hey, Sugar. Gimme the house special.”

To any other woman, the sobriquet would be annoying. To Sugar Dennison, it was the norm.

“You got it.”

Despite the cold drizzle making tear tracks on the fogged up row of windows, inside the packed Dennison’s diner was warm and cozy with the scents of bacon and maple syrup. Sugar put a warmer on the coffee of a city councilwoman and made change for the two teachers at the end of the counter.

“Two eggs sunny side and a side of grits, Beau,” she hollered over her shoulder.

“Table Six Order up!” Her cousin Beau set the plate of steaming flapjacks on the serving window as Sugar’s twin sister Honey moved behind the counter, the front of her cotton uniform freshly pressed.

“Can you cover Table Six for me? I need to prep the biscuits.” Honey’s dark eyes scanned the busy breakfast crowd and rested on the regulars stuffed into every booth and wobbly table. Sugar sighed and resisted the urge to smooth the creases out of her own butter-colored apron. She’d gotten ready at the ass-crack of dawn. It was barely six a.m. now but the diner was at full capacity. Her hastily gulped black coffee hadn’t even hit her system yet.

“Okay, but tell Mama I’m clocking out early today. I’ve got an interview at two.” Sugar felt her natural curls bounce as she tucked a nibbled stub of pencil behind her ear. Time to take more orders.

The doorbell jangled again as a pair of uniformed police officers made their way into Dennison’s diner, slumping in the vacated stools. Sugar felt her palms go slick, then reminded herself that she wasn’t that same stupid girl who’d gotten sprung out of the county jail last year. It had all been a misunderstanding, but she’d learned her lesson. She gulped and snatched up her notepad.

“What’ll it be, officers?” She willed herself to remain calm.

“You tell me, Sugar Pie Dennison. What’s keeping you busy these days?” Officer Frank Milhouse gave her a slow grin like burnt molasses.

Autumn always twisted her broken heart into shreds. The dead leaves clung to branches just as she’d clung to the memories of the one man who’d abandoned her in this godforsaken backwoods, country town. It hadn’t felt like home since the day Jax Brandon had been assigned overseas three years ago. She’d cried when he showed her his orders to ship out. But he hadn’t. That man might have been carved of stone, but he had more honor rolled up in his pinky than she had in her entire body. Sugar felt her cheeks burn, thinking of how Jax would’ve reacted to the news she’d been arrested.

“Just workin’ as usual.” The bell chimed again. Sugar grit her teeth. Busy season or no, there was no way in hell she was going to encourage Milhouse. She hadn’t hit rock bottom yet.

“Yeah? Think maybe you could find a little free time this Saturday?” Milhouse’s fair skin made a sharp contrast to her own, as he wrapped his fingers around hers and pulled her closer. His partner chuckled and looked away, flushing slightly. “Girl as pretty as you shouldn’t be getting dishpan hands. I don’t like ‘em rough.”

“Then maybe you should take your hands off her,” said a voice she’d never thought to hear again.

 

Episode Two

by Luanna Stewart

Sugar’s next breath stuck in her throat. No, it couldn’t be him. She’d just about healed from his desertion. Had forgotten the look in his eyes when he had devilment on his mind. Had forgotten the taste of his kiss.

She pulled her hand from the cop’s grip and turned. “Hey, stranger.” No way was she going to let the folks in the diner see what Jax’s arrival did to her heart.

Officer Milhouse stood with his hands on his equipment belt. “Do I know you?”

She could almost see the testosterone floating in the air between the two men.

“I know him. Excuse me for a minute.” Sugar motioned Jax to follow her into the hall that led to the bathrooms. This could not be happening. Not today. She had enough on her mind with the interview that afternoon, to say nothing of arranging extended childcare for her daughter.

Jax’s daughter.

Holy hell.

“Hey, Sugar, how are you? You’re looking good.”

“I’m fine. When did you get back?” Standing this close, it took every bit of self-control not to wrap her arms around his trim waist, press against his firm chest, and inhale his scent. After all this time, just one hit of his pheromones was all it took to make her forget that he’d left way too easily. That his responses to her emails got shorter and shorter until they stopped. She called to tell him she was pregnant but changed her mind when it became clear he was too busy to talk—at eleven o’clock on a Wednesday night. She’d not called again and neither had he.

“I landed yesterday, spent the night at my folks. They told me you still worked here.”

“Yup, still slinging hash. And as you can see we’re busy as hell, so…”

“They also told me you had a run-in with the police last year.”

Oh, the joys of small town living. She bet they all knew when she got her period too because Mrs. Hennigar at the drug store would notice when she bought tampons, and the checkout clerk at the grocery store would notice when she stocked up on chocolate.

“It was a misunderstanding, all cleared up. What else did your parents tell you? You must have had a long conversation, catching up on everything over the last three years.”

“You have a child, a daughter. How’d that happen?”

She smirked. “Based on my experience, you know exactly how that might happen.”

“How old is she?”

Well, shit. Luckily Sophie was petite, so some fudging on her age wouldn’t be too hard to pull off. “She’s two.”

His eyebrows lifted. “Who’s the dad? Anyone I know?”

Sugar’s stomach plummeted. She hated lying. But Jax had made it abundantly clear he wasn’t interested in maintaining their relationship when the going got rough. She didn’t want him back if it was just because of some sense of responsibility. He hadn’t loved her three years ago, at least not enough. And she wouldn’t settle for anything less.

“No one important, just a guy who left and never came back.”

 

 

Episode Three

By Aubrey Wynne

 

Jax Brandon looked at her through hooded eyes, catching the jab aimed at his failed communication. How could he explain? The memory of her tears the day he left had haunted him every night since. Before each mission, he would look at her picture, running his finger over her smiling face. Yet he knew the chance of a safe return became slimmer with each assignment.

He’d stopped all contact because of his love for her. The pain she’d felt that day would have been nothing compared to her misery if he’d been killed in action. And Jax cared too much for Sugar to cause her that kind of grief. But he also knew she would never understand.

“You look damn good.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Jax had intended on avoiding her while he was in town for the holidays. Somehow, he had found himself walking by the diner and there she stood in the window, taking an order. When he’d seen the cop putting the moves on her, he couldn’t help himself.

“Yeah, right,” she said as she pushed those silky, dark curls away from her face. He fisted his hands to keep from reaching out and tucking one stray lock behind her ear. “Looks like the Marines have been good to you.”

“Well, they didn’t kill me,” he answered lightly in the hopes of seeing a smile.

“That’s not funny.” Her blue eyes flashed with anger. His stomach clenched with remorse; his crotch tightened with three years of pent-up desire. Had he really thought he could let her go?

“You’re right,” he said and reached out to brush her cheek with his thumb. “War is a serious game and I’m very lucky to be here.”

Sugar’s eyes closed briefly and her slight tremble told him that her feelings had not changed. Did he have a chance? It would take a lot of convincing. This woman still held a grudge from a fifth grade romance.

“Please don’t do that,” she whispered. Shaking her head and backing away from his touch, she continued in a tight voice, “I have to get back to work. It’s been nice seeing you again.”

“I deserve that.” Jax didn’t want to end the conversation quite yet. He hadn’t heard that sweet southern drawl in three years. “Are you going to the tree lighting Thanksgiving weekend?”

“Of course. Sophie and I will be there with my parents.” Panic shone in her eyes then she quickly turned and walked away.

Sophie. The name they wanted for their first girl. Sam for a boy. He suddenly had a few more questions for his parents.

“So, Stranger, I don’t seem to recognize your mug.” The cop who had been flirting with Sugar stood in front of him, invading his personal space. “How do you know my girl?”

“Your girl? You’re dating?” Shit. Had she met him when she got arrested? He still needed to find out more details on that tale. When the man hesitated, Jax had his answer. “I’m Jax Brandon. My folks run the hardware store. I don’t seem to recognize you, either.”

“I transferred here from Atlanta a year ago. And I was about to ask Sugar out when you interrupted.” He puffed out his chest like a rooster, as if trying to make himself bigger, then fondled his holster. Jax towered over him by at least a foot and enjoyed the man’s obvious disadvantage.

“Thanks for the warning, but Sugar and I have a history. And the ending hasn’t been written yet.” He brushed past the officer, winked over his shoulder at a grinning Honey, and walked out the door.