Friendship crosses boundaries and love becomes a triangle. Can Jana learn to trust--through submission?
When opportunity knocks, Jana Ryan knows it's time to face her demons and return to the city she ran fast and far away from. Her homecoming isn't exactly what she expects--she finds Lisa, her best friend, in a rather erotic position with the one man Jana has dreamt of since high school.
The redheaded beauty is everything Lisa promised Nicolas Marchetti. Jana is sexy and exquisite and he can't wait to sexually dominate both women. The triangle with the gorgeous redhead and beautiful blonde is every man's fantasy. Yet there's something about Jana that makes him want her and her alone. His attraction to her is unsettling--it goes beyond the physical.
Only by conquering the trials ahead of them, can Jana and Nicolas find their way into each other's arms. Forever.
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April 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie McKade
Clearly Jana had woken up on the wrong side of the bed. She hadn't had much sleep, troubled by old memories that she thought she'd put to rest. Seeing Lisa and Nicolas together had been a shock. None of it was impossible for her to work through. She just needed to sort it all out. A deep inhale and exhale released some of the tension. Everything would be okay. All she had to do was believe, because it was time for her to live and enjoy life.
With that last thought she shut off the water, opened the shower door, and grabbed a towel. She was just about to wrap it around her when the door to the bathroom opened and Nicolas, wearing a soft velour robe, filled the doorway. His brows shot up and his gaze flew to her exposed breasts.
She released a squeal of surprise as she fumbled with the towel, which she proceeded to drop. It seemed rather ridiculous to try to cover up since he had seen every inch of her body. As calmly as she could she bent and retrieved the towel, keeping her eyes on him. As she did, his gaze raised to meet hers, a devilish smile plastered on his handsome face.
After wrapping the towel securely around her, she pointed to the door. "Don't you know how to knock?" Even if the lock on the door was broken, he should have knocked.
"Yeah. But what's the fun in that? Look at what I would have missed." He casually leaned against the doorjamb and crossed his arms over his broad chest. "Nice. Real nice."
She snorted. The unladylike sound deepened his smile. Heart pounding, she squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. "Do you mind?" God, he was gorgeous, simply gorgeous.
And Lisa's she reminded herself.
"Not at all." Yet he made no attempt to step aside or to leave. Instead, his voice dropped several octaves. "Would you like me to dry you off?" Lord, but the sensuality in his tone made goose bumps rise across her skin.
Nervous laughter burst from her lips. "I don't think so." Just the thought of his strong hands roaming across her body made every hair stand on end.
He pushed away from the doorway and slowly straightened, taking a step toward her. With a cock of his head he furrowed his brows, looking at her strangely.
She double-checked the towel around her. "What?"
"Soap. In your hair." His sapphire eyes lit up as if they were blue fire under glass. A twitch teased the corner of his mouth as he restrained a smile. "What do you say we jump back into the shower? I'll rinse you off."
Jana felt her eyes widen. Nicolas was a rogue, a whoremonger. But a handsome whoremonger.
Lisa slipped into the bathroom next to him. Casually, he wrapped an arm around her, but continued to smile at Jana.
Argh... He knew this was awkward for Jana. Still, he persisted in teasing her.
"Oh, good. You're awake," Lisa said, snuggling close to Nicolas.
Oh good! I'm awake. Duh, Lisa, doesn't this appear out of the ordinary to you? I'm naked. Your boyfriend is standing in the bathroom ogling me.
Jana realized her mouth was hanging open as she snapped it shut. Lisa's gaze shot to Jana then to Nicolas.
Oh no. Here it comes. Jana had no idea how she was going to deal with this awkwardness.
Lisa cocked a brow. "What are you two up to?"
Heat flared across Jana's face like she had just gotten caught in a wildfire, or with a proverbial hand in the cookie jar. She was just about to blurt the truth, when Nicolas said, "She still has soap in her hair. I offered to jump in the shower with her and help her rinse off."
Damn. Damn. Damn. If Jana could have crawled beneath the sink she would have. And that wasn't exactly a truth she was going to reveal.
"Great!" Lisa perked. "I haven't showered yet. We could make it a threesome." She undid the sash around her waist and let her robe slip down her naked body.
Okay... Exactly what kind of relationship did Lisa have with Nicolas? Jana had always known that Lisa was promiscuous. Hell. Who was she to talk? Lisa and she had learned about sex together. Neither was unfamiliar with the other's body. But how was Jana supposed to deal with this situation?
"Wish I could, but I have some things I'd like to take care of this morning." Wish I could! She couldn't believe those words came out of her mouth.
Jana was certain she was losing her mind, because beneath her terry-towel her nipples were throbbing. Just the thought of soap-slicked bodies rubbing against each other was enough to set her blood boiling. Thank God she hadn't dried off. If she were lucky, the flood of moisture between her thighs could be passed off as excess water from her shower.
And that devilish man was grinning from ear to ear as if he knew it, too. What had she ever seen in him? Then he stooped to pick up Lisa's robe and his own robe parted, giving her a bird's eye view of what lay beneath it, reminding her exactly what she saw in him. He was gorgeous and apparently hung like a bull. Well, perhaps she was exaggerating a bit, but hot damn he was long and thick and fully erect. The image of that impressive cock sliding in and out of Lisa's mouth flashed in Jana's head.
Lisa was so lucky.
And that wasn't easy to say. It had taken years in therapy to delineate between what her foster father had done to her and what was a normal pattern of behavior for most men. Not all men were abusive. Not all men were untrustworthy.
Jana didn't have problems with sex. She enjoyed the touch of a man. She just didn't trust them or want any commitments with one.
Lisa's excitement faded as her face went blank. "Where are you going?"
Tension tightened the muscles across Jana's shoulders, making them feel as if she carried the world's woes. She wasn't ready to deal with this, but as her doctor said, Don't put off the ugliness in your life. Face it head on. And most importantly, deal with it immediately.
And for the most part that's exactly how Jana felt, except for now. She mustered the courage to say, "I thought I'd start looking for an apartment."
Lisa flinched at Jana's words as if she had slapped her across the face. "No," she whispered almost inaudibly. "No," she repeated louder this time. "You can't. I need you." Tears welled in her eyes.
Jana hugged the towel around her. She had never seen Lisa react so emotionally. For a moment there was silence. Lisa bit her bottom lip like she did when she was nervous or afraid.
"Tell you what," Nicolas interrupted as he draped the robe over Lisa's shoulders. "You two can discuss this over breakfast. My treat, I'll cook. What do you say?"
Lisa directed her teary eyes at Jana. "Please, don't leave. I need you here. I-I mean, I want you to stay." Something in Lisa's pleading voice made Jana pause. Lisa had lived alone for several years now. In fact, she had written Jana a few times and expressed her happiness in being free from her parents, although she loved them dearly and visited them frequently in Florida.
Perhaps she wasn't as happy with Nicolas as Jana had assumed. She had barely exchanged hellos with her friend, much less really talked. The last time they'd spoken it had been brief, because Lisa was heading out to a doctor's appointment. Even during those times Jana had picked up a note of unease in her friend's voice.
Then a shiver raked Jana's back. Could Lisa have fallen into an abusive situation? Just the thought made Jana cringe. The scene between Nicolas and Lisa that Jana had walked in on when she arrived last night made sense now.
"If you're hurting Lisa, I'll kill you." The threat in Jana's low and steady voice shocked her. Where the hell did that come from?
Lisa's palm covered her mouth. Her eyes bulged. The smirk on Nicolas's face died a sudden death. For a moment no one spoke.
Nicolas's stance went rigid. In a controlled and firm tone, he said, "I would never hurt Lisa, or any woman for that fact."
Not true. The fire in his eyes said given half the chance he'd strangle Jana for offending him. His neck turned scarlet red. She watched in horror as heat consumed his face. It was always at this point that her foster father had attacked.
Flashes of her foster father consumed Jana's imagination. She swung around, frantically looking for something to protect herself. She spotted the toilet brush and jerked it from its sheath. If she'd been in an old-time movie she might even have said, "En garde," as she struck a pose and lunged forward.
That's when everything went to hell.