Excerpt, from Spellbound Desire:
Bran came in around mid-afternoon carrying a big basket.
“Up, my lovely. I have a plan for the afternoon that is involving you, a large picnic hamper and a very private grove out-of-doors. Since you didn't seem to fancy the sofa in the alley, that is.”
I rolled over and reached up to him. “I'd rather picnic on the floor and spend the evening in my own bed. At least I know where all the lumps are there. And I'm not liable to end up with a pine cone up my ass.”
Bran sat down on the edge of my bed and kissed me. “Don't be making me jealous of the pine cones, darlin.”
I covered my butt with one hand. “I don't think so. I like you front and center, big guy.” I got one hand under his vest and teased his nipple, then stroked the rosary. “Besides, I didn't know you were the jealous type.”
“When you get a good thing, you hold onto it.”
“Mm-hmm.” I wrapped both arms around his waist and snuggled in to him, smelling leather and Bran and happy.
“Now, up, ya lazy bint. Let's eat, the chicken salad's getting warm.” A teasing swat landed on my ass. I considered staying put for more swats. “And the chocolate's melting.”
I sat up and kissed him for that. I'd been practicing the shield every chance I got, and I slammed it up now so that he couldn't hear me or feel how much he got to me.
“Nicely done, Admire,” he said, and kissed me again. “You're getting better.” I felt a push at the shield, but it wasn't a battering ram. “Definitely better.”
I got up and threw on a pair of jeans and shirt, without a bra. I wasn't big enough to need one, really, and it was just us, going out for a twilight walk in the woods. Besides, I didn't want to fool with it out there and end up with the cups full of acorns or pine needles.
“Gorgeous.” He grasped my shoulders and kissed me, which made me feel weird. He'd felt weird all evening, kind of possessive, like I was his property, his girl. I wasn't liking this new side. “Now, take me where there are trees, woman. How can you live in the concrete all the time with never the grass under your feet?”
“City girl.” I shrugged. “Come on, we'll go out to Shelby Forest. Got some ice packs for that picnic basket or are we moving into the ever so romantic 'getting salmonella together' phase of the relationship?” I grabbed a couple from my mini-fridge's freezer compartment. I almost never used them.
“And who are you picnicking with when I'm not here?” he teased as he opened the insulated basket. I saw a few freezer packs in there already.
“I keep them for hangovers.”
“Oh and here I thought it'd be for when your pixies beat you up.”
“I don't arm wrestle the supernatural.”
“I do.” He grinned and hefted the big basket like it was empty. “Trees, or I perish of smog and stone.”
I drove north to Shelby Forest. The first shelter was full of folks having a potluck. The second, deeper in the woods, was empty.
I parked and he carried the hamper to the shelter. He spread a tablecloth and laid the food out. The man knew how to plan a picnic supper.
We ate and then packed away the remnants and stashed it back in the trunk. He didn't repack the blanket, but draped it over one shoulder and offered me a hand.
“Come on, virgin girl, out into the woods and I'll show you what real loving is like.”
“No pinecones,” I warned before taking his hand.
“Only if you beg very sweetly.”
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