Authors: Julia London
Tags: #romance, #contemporary romance, #romance adventure, #julia london, #thrillseekers anonymous
Copyright 2011 Julia London
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I wrote and originally published
Series from 2004 to 2007. I got the idea for this exclusive
boys club when I read about some guys who liked kite-surfing
hurricane winds. What fool kite-surfs hurricane winds? Well, these
guys do. Eli, Michael, Jack and Cooper have too much testosterone
but are brought back to earth by women who are a little more
grounded than they are.
I had an acquaintance at a job many
years ago who was charming and handsome but who couldn’t commit to
any one person. I thought he was an interesting guy, and his
commitment-phobia was the idea I had behind
I hope you enjoy how I finally
brought Michael around to it.
ON the day of the last
showing for the fabulously successful Broadway play,
Marty’s Sister’s Lover
Leah Kleinschmidt, one of the leads, was bouncing off the walls in
Michael Raney’s apartment, trying to contain her excitement. After
a three-month run, everyone was talking about her hilarious
portrayal of Marty’s sister, Christine. The critics loved
As a result, her agent had received several
inquiries from Hollywood and was currently negotiating a
development deal for her. After several long years of working her
way up, Leah was finally getting what she’d always wanted—a shot at
“I mean, okay, a sitcom isn’t exactly film,”
she’d said that morning, waving a toothbrush around. “But it’s one
step closer, right?”
“Right,” Michael agreed. He was still in
bed, watching her bounce around, talking and brushing her teeth all
at once. He wanted to remember her like this always—vibrant and
happy, her blue eyes shining as she padded around wearing nothing
but one of his dress shirts and a pair of footie socks.
it?” she asked
him for the thousandth time.
“Yeah,” he said, and leaned back, sprawled
across the bed. “I can definitely believe it. You’re awesome.”
She laughed, tossed the toothbrush aside,
and gleefully pounced on him. “See? This is why I love you, Mikey.
I can forgive your sock problem because you’re so wonderful to
“Hey,” he protested, looking at the
ridiculous footie socks she was wearing. “I don’t have a sock
problem— you do.”
“No, I have sock standards, which is totally
different, and my standard is on your feet, in the laundry, or in a
drawer,” she said, as she nuzzled his neck.
“But I don’t get even a fifteen-second grace
period,” he complained. “Once they hit the floor, the Sock Nazi
appears out of nowhere, demanding I put them in the hamper.”
“You’re lucky! I haven’t said anything about
boxers yet,” she said, and bit him on the neck.
“What are you doing?” he asked, his hand
automatically stroking her back, her bare leg.
“Leaving a mark so you’ll know how much I’ll
miss you when you’re gone.”
The remark made him flinch inwardly. Leah
was used to his absence for a week, two weeks tops, but she had no
idea that forever was around the corner. That was because Leah
really didn’t know much about him at all.
Her head popped up; blond hair whispered
across his face, tickling him. “How long this time?” she asked.
He pushed her hair behind her ears, looked
into her glittering blue eyes. “I don’t know, baby.” It was getting
harder for him to work around the truth, because his frequent
absences for work were becoming a source of contention between
them. He didn’t like that, for a lot of reasons. He didn’t like
that he felt guilty every time he left. He didn’t like that he had
to leave. And he damn sure didn’t like having such strong feelings
for Leah when he knew that he had to leave her for good.
“More than a week?”
“Definitely more than a week.”
She groaned, pressed her
forehead to his. “Stupid Austrians! Why can’t they just hire
look after their finances? Why does it have to be you?”
“I don’t know,” he said, stroking her back.
“Maybe because I’m good at it? And I speak German and English
“I know, I know,” Leah sighed. “I just
really miss you when you’re gone.”
“I miss you, too.” And he
did, he truly missed her . . . but he’d always had a disquieting
feeling that maybe he didn’t miss her as hard as she missed him,
like deep in the gut. But he
miss her . . . only he’d get busy and forget the
little things. Like how she talked with wildly expressive hands. Or
how she would frown when she was trying to make the origami art she
had been studying the past year. Or how she wiggled her fingers at
him when she said good-bye every morning before disappearing into
the bowels of the subway.
“And I miss the orchids,” she added as she
suddenly sat up, straddling him.
He’d gotten in the habit of having fresh
orchids delivered every week just to see her smile, because when
she smiled, she lit up like a Christmas tree. She loved the
orchids. Many nights, she’d sat at his dining room table, trying to
replicate one of the delicate blooms with the expensive origami
paper he had given her.
She was not as talented in the art of
origami as she was at acting—in fact, she wasn’t very good at all.
But Michael would never tell her that—he kept buying her paper and
ignored her various attempts that now littered his apartment.
“But that’s okay,” she said, caressing his
chest with her hands. “I’ll be very excited about the big batch of
orchids I’ll get when you come back.”
He hated the
disappointment in her eyes,
it. He tried to smile, but he couldn’t, and
instead, he reached up and touched the smooth skin of her face. He
could hardly stand to be near her and not touch her. They’d been a
couple for nine months now, and he just wanted her that much
Leah smiled, moved her hands over his
He slid his hands to her thighs, beneath the
tails of his shirt, and up, to her breasts.
Leah closed her eyes; he slid his fingers
over the tip of her nipple. With a soft sigh, she swayed a little,
braced herself against his chest. He sat up, quickly unbuttoned the
shirt she wore, and pushed it from her shoulders.
This wasn’t what he had planned, not how he
wanted to end it, but he couldn’t resist her, and began moving his
hands everywhere, sliding over her arms, caressing her breasts, her
hips, her back. He would miss this, he would miss her body, would
miss her laugh, her sigh, her smile.
He took her breast into his mouth, and Leah
seized his shoulders to steady herself. He moved a hand to the apex
of her legs, his fingers gliding into her cleft.
It was he who groaned this time—she was hot
and slick. He put an arm around her waist, tried to pull her off
But Leah laughed and resisted. “You said I
could be on top this time,” she reminded him.
He grinned, easily pulled her off, rolled
her onto her back. “I lied. If you want to be on top, you’re going
to have to earn it.”
, bold talk.”
He kissed her laugh, felt himself floating,
the feral sensations taking hold. With his mouth and his hands, he
slid down her body, leaving a hot, wet trail on her belly. He
pushed her thighs apart, kissing them tenderly, spurred on by
Leah’s gasps and moans. And then he moved slightly, so that his
mouth was on her sex.
Leah gasped and clutched at his head.
Michael loved that about her—she was a lusty lover—and he slipped
his tongue between the slick folds. He held her firmly and casually
stroked her, his tongue dipping in and out languidly at first,
tasting her, exploring each crevice, moving up to the core, then
down again, to where her body throbbed. As her groans and her
writhing increased, so did his urgency. He was stroking her harder,
his mouth covering her, and Leah began to press against him.
He licked and sucked her
into a frenzy of delicious torment until Leah was literally gasping
for breath. And then she cried out. He came over her, his hands
skimming her belly, her breasts, to her face. Leah laughed as he
pressed his lips to the hollow of her throat. “Oh my God,” she
said. “Oh my
.” She flung one arm above her head, smiling
Michael reveled in the soft feel of her
body, the tender pressure of her hand and her mouth on his chin. He
had never in his life known lovemaking like he knew it with Leah.
Each time it left him spent and powerless and hungry for more.
She began to move beneath him, guiding him
to her. “What are you waiting for?” she asked him breathlessly.
Michael laughed, moved between her legs and
spread them wider, so that the tip of his erection was touching
her, moving slowly against her. “You’ve never been exactly patient,
“No,” she said, and fumbled for the drawer
on the night- stand, grabbed a condom. She quickly tore the wrapper
with her teeth, then watched his eyes as she rolled the thing on
him, using both hands to do it, both hands to stroke and tickle and
make him absolutely crazy. “Watch it,” he said with a smile. “You
may get more than you bargained for.”
“Not at this rate.”
“Now you’ve gone and done it,” he muttered,
and lowered his lips to hers as he eased himself inside her, moving
his hips in small circles, until he had slid deep into her, moving
slowly, prolonging the moment, teasing her.
But Leah was in no mood to be teased. Her
fingernails dug into his hips, urging him deeper and faster.
He smiled. “Where’s the fire?”
“You mean you can’t feel it?” she gasped,
digging her fingernails into him even deeper. “Come on, Mikey,
don’t make me beg.”
“But I love it when you
beg,” he said, hoping she’d beg soon, because he couldn’t keep the
teasing up. He needed to be in her.
“Please,” she said, lifting her head and
biting his lower lip. “Please fuck me.”
That was all it took, and he lengthened his
strokes. They were so good together that Leah instantly began to
move with him, her hips rising to meet each surge, her breathing as
ragged as his, her knees squeezing him.
Michael was sliding deeper and harder, his
hands in her hair, his eyes wildly roaming her beautiful face,
driving into her, over and over and over again, until he closed his
eyes and found a very hot and very potent release with a strangled
With one last, residual shudder, he
collapsed on top of her and kissed her forehead. “Leah,” he
whispered. He loved her, he knew he did, and the Three Big Words
were on his lips, just at the tip of his tongue.
“That was fabulous.” She kissed him, raked
her fingernails up his back. “You are so sexy, Michael. I just want
to eat you up.” She wriggled out from beneath him, moving gingerly
to dislodge him from her, and stood up. “I’ve got to have something
to drink,” she said, and walked across the apartment into the tiny
kitchen, completely and gloriously naked.
Michael rolled onto his side and propped his
head on his hands, watching her. The Three Big Words slid off his
tongue, back into that place inside him where he’d kept them all
these years, all shiny and new, never used.