Read Another Notch in the Beltway Online
Authors: L. A. Long
Tags: #Romance, baby, pregnancy, rape, polititian, erotica, writing, author, publishing
Another Notch in the Beltway
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, names, places, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, business establishments, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ISBN: 978-0-9977273-2-6 MOBI
ISBN: 978-0-9977273-3-3 EPUB
Copyright Â© 2016 L.A. Long.
Cover Design: Ashley Victoria Nugent
Cover photos used under license from Shutterstock.com:
DC beltway, copyright Â© 2016 Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
Couple, copyright Â© 2016 conrado/Shutterstock.com
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Historical romance writer, Lenore Held, AKA, LaSandra Lacy, feeling the need to step into the present century, both personally and professionally, has agreed to co-author a steamy contemporary romance with male author, MP Finnegan.
As sparks begin to fly, on and off the written page, the world around them turns into utter chaos.
Her son's father, Senator Byron Maxwell, makes an appearance in her life after an almost 22-year absence.
Theirs was the proverbial bad clichÃ© of a Washington romance: the gentrified, conservative, womanizing statesman and the beautiful, brilliant but naive, starry eyed intern, who had the bad taste to become pregnant with his child. He pretended they didn't exist, until now. Now he wants something from her, something that isn't hers to give.
Add to that a media play gone horribly wrong, a stalker, home invasion, and unhinged family members of the senator's and Lenore and MP's life together begins to resemble a book plot. Unlike a book, the turmoil that surrounds them is real and deadly.
To new beginnings, second chances and those who recognize what aÂ gift theyÂ are.
“Addy, I am sick to death of this Victorian romance stuff. I feel like turning Duke Thunderballs into Lord Blueballs. All the heaving bosoms and throbbing members are getting to me.”
LaSandra Lacy, yes, a pen name, was ranting at her personal assistant, Addison Connelly.
“But, La, you're so good at it. You're always on the bestseller list, people flock to your book signings, and preorder your works by the thousands. What's not to like? You have critical mass.”
“Don't placate me. I'm bored to tears with deflowering vestal virgins in the dark of the night or while fleeing on horseback to avoid some loveless marriage to a well-placed peer destined to cement the family's place in society or shore up its financial position.”
“You write escapism, La, that's what people want. They need a few hours of heated passion and romance. It helps to get them through their dull, harried lives. You should feel good about that.
“I've been watching the numbers and even with the economy in the toilet and half the publishing houses laying off thousands of staff, sales for romance books are up three percent and yours are up five. People can't afford a lot of things but they'll still spring for a romance paperback.”
“Who would have thought?”
“Hey, La, you're in a place where you can coast. They want to re-release some of your backlist, kind of like a retrospective.”
“Great, maybe we can unveil a boxed set at the next Bodice Ripper Convention,” she quipped.
Addy, seemingly oblivious to the dark sarcasm, said, “That's a great idea. I'll mention it to Nikko the next time I talk to her.”
Nikko Martenstein of Martenstein, Martenstein and Hubble, the leading romance literary agency for over thirty years, was LaSandra's agent.
“I was joking, Addy.”
“It's still a wonderful idea. I think we'd need to go with three or five in a box; for some reason the box sets are never an even number, have you noticed that?”
“Toss in a vibrator, too, like a Cracker Jack surprise, a little pink one. That ought to increase sales.”
“I don't think they can do that, La.”
“Of course not. The Victorians were supposed to be repressed prudes; that's why they were screwing every bush in the garden! What would Victorian romance devotees want with a vibrator? They're looking for that pulsing manhood to pop out between the buttons of Duke Thunderballs's waistcoat and make them swoon! Addy, are you even listening to me?”
“La, I'm listening, but what are you planning on doing? Why ruin a good thing?”
“You're still not hearing me. I need to do something different, something fresh, contemporary. I've had it with corsets and pantaloons. I want people to screw themselves silly and not have to worry about their virtue or social position. I want the female character to put her parents in assisted living so she can get her groove back. Her parents can take a bus trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and play keno while the little miss goes off and screws some Harley-riding entrepreneur who invented a better iPhone and wants not only to fuck her blind, but give her mind-blowing oral sex, too.
“I don't want muffled cries of ecstasy because Lady Windsor might hear Lord Hardrocks and Lady Tightbud in the conservatory. I want Stone Mason and Marsha Moistcakes to come in a frenzy of loud grunts, groans and, okay, shrieking, in the neighbor's backyard hot tub while they're asleep upstairs. I need a change, Addy!”
“Then change, write a contemporary romance, better yet an erotic romance, maybe even under a new pen name. Anne Rice had Anne Rampling. I'm sure you remember the guilty pleasures of the
“Yes, but Anne stopped at three, went on to vampires and witches, very hot vampires and witches, I might add.”
Lenore Held, a.k.a. LaSandra Lacy, was driving home from spin class, forty-two years old and looking for a change. Despite her success as a romance writer, she felt there had to be more. At least Lady Tightbud was getting it in the bushes. Her own love life was lackluster on a great night.
John Irving, the name should have been the tip-off, was more boring thanâ¦ she'd say watching paint dry, but that was actually more exciting, because at least you got to see what the color truly looked like when it dried. Irving's color was always nondescript gray, like once-snowy-white underwear washed one too many times. Lenore continued to plunder her vast store of words, both old world and this world, and could not find a word to describe him adequately.
Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams were crooning on XM. What she wouldn't give to have a man with a voice like that, whispering his urgent need for her into her ear.
What she'd get, if she got anything, from JI was straight missionary sex, by which she never achieved orgasm, he'd finish her off manually and be all pleased with himself. Foreplay consisted of his rubbing up against her, like a half-dead Saint Bernard and maybe, just maybe, running his hand down her leg.
He needs to go. I'd be better off with my fantasies and a large cucumber, she thought as she pulled into the garage. These pleasant musings brought me all the way home.
She noted her son's car was in the garage and wondered what he was doing home. Lenore didn't think he had a break from college. She hoped this wasn't going to be a twenty-question night.
Nathan Held was twenty-one, a senior at Georgetown, majoring in International Relations. He was accepted to Yale Law and would start there in the fall. Nate was a brilliant, handsome, funny young man who until recently had never given his mother a moment's grief. Even now, it wasn't grief. He wanted something from her, something she couldn't give him.
Two years ago, Nate began making noises about wanting to know who his father was. She was lucky the drumbeat hadn't started earlier. But Lenore had sworn her silence on that front. Nate's father was a major politician, a very wealthy, very married, very conservative politician who couldn't keep it in his pants. It made her laugh now. It was the age old story, young intern, gentrified senator, late nights, stolen moments, intern gets knocked up, senator wants her to have an abortion, she refuses, so he buys her silence.
Money can't buy a lot of things. But his money gave her the freedom to be a doting mother and get her writing career off the ground. By the time Nate was five, she didn't need the senator's money and invested it for her son. Nate didn't even know how much money there was. He didn't need to know now, but it would give him a good solid start in life.
Lenore's career took off, but the senator kept his end of the bargain, and she kept her silence. Nate didn't care about financial arrangements and promises of silence. He wanted to know who his father was.
She sighed. “Nate,” she called, walking in the door.
“Over here, Mom,” he hollered back.
She went to join him in the great room of their Yardley, Pennsylvania, home.
They met halfway and embraced.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, holding him at arm's length.
“Not happy to see me?” he teased.
“I'm always happy to see you,” she replied with a warm smile that lit her vibrant hazel eyes. He looked happy. No sign of his being there to fish for information on his father.