Read Sexy In A Bottle: A More Than Men Novella Online
Authors: Andrea Laurence
in a Bottle
A More Than Men Novella
Written by Andrea Laurence
Published by Andrea Laurence
Copyright 2013 Andrea Laurence
Cover Art Design by
Hot Damn Designs
All rights reserved. Except for the use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or part in any form by electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author, Andrea Laurence,
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblances to the actions persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Other books by Andrea Laurence
Harlequin Desire Series
A Beauty Uncovered*
*Secrets of Eden Series
Sexy in a Bottle**
Than Men Sexy Trilogy**
**A More Than Men Novella
Valerie could tell a storm was coming.
The weatherman’s report had only confirmed what she already knew. The sky was overcast, but in the distance the clouds were starting to darken to an ominous shade of black. The winds were whipping furiously across the tiny coastal island where she made her home. The gray waters of the Atlantic were swelling high in waves that looked like the backs of whales rising from the sea. They crashed against the jagged rock coastline, sending a frigid spray into the air.
Spring was only a few days away if you judged by the calendar, but warmer temperatures and clearer skies were yet to come to Bar Harbor.
Valerie tightened the strap on her hood to keep it from blowing back and continued on her path around the island.
The towering old lighthouse was at the far edge of
Misty Rock Island, about fifty yards from the main building where she lived. As keeper, she was responsible for maintaining the light. The lighthouse had been built in the 1890s to ensure ships didn’t run aground on the shallow rocks. The channel was narrow, and if a boat strayed off course, it could spell disaster, then and now.
narrow white column of the lighthouse shot up into the dark sky, capped by a black cage of iron and glass. Inside, the reflective panel spun slowly around the light, shooting a bright beam across the harbor. Valerie’s gaze followed the line out over the sea. There weren’t many ships on the water today. The weatherman said the nor’easter that was on its way to the area was going to pack a wallop, and most of them were already returned to port or were about to.
She was grateful she wouldn’t have to brave the elements to man the light. It had originally been
fueled by oil, and then by an old diesel generator. In the seventies a power line had been run from the mainland providing all the electrical needs of the island, but now the newly installed solar panels powered the lighthouse itself. A battery backup system would keep it going even on the cloudiest and stormiest of days.
Valerie approached the solar panels. She was no expert on the system, but when they’d installed it, the company had given her basic training on how to maintain it and troubleshoot issues. Before the storm came through, she wanted to check all the connections, make sure none of the panels were cracked and that the battery system was fully charged.
She didn’t really want to leave the cozy safety of her cottage if she didn’t have to. More than one keeper had been sucked into the sea in a raging storm.
All looked well, so she circled the tower and headed back toward the house.
No matter what, the light would stay on. Whether the same would hold true for the rest of the island, she couldn’t be sure. A sizable shed stood between the lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage. Inside it was the diesel generator that provided backup power to the house. The power line that ran along the sea floor had been damaged in a storm a few years back. They’d fixed it, but it was more of a patch. It was too expensive to run a new line. Whenever a bad storm came through, the patch would fail and she’d lose power for a few days.
Valerie opened the door and went inside, checking the fuel level in the generator. She hoped she wouldn’t have to start it. The equipment was older than her grandfather and took an act of
Congress to get it running. A small propane lantern hung on the wall by the door. She turned it on, making sure it was working and ready to go if she had to run out here in the dark. The flashlights wouldn’t provide enough light if she had to beat the old generator into submission.
Her preparations done, she pulled the heavy door closed behind her and enjoyed the rest of her daily walk. She
loved the wild beauty that surrounded her. The dark green humps of Acadia National Park rose off in the distance. Eagles often circled overhead, scooping fish out of the sea. Whales would swim by, shooting towers of spray into the sky. Most of the time it was a peaceful place where Valerie could escape from the world and appreciate the time she had left.
But that didn’t mean life on the island was always easy. It could be lonely out here by herself. She took her boat into town once a week for supplies,
although lately she hadn’t even done that. A squall had damaged her boat about a month ago. A guy in Bar Harbor was repairing the damage to the engine at a good price, which meant slowly. In the meantime her friend Benny would come check on her. He usually visited once a week, just in case, and lately he’d also brought her supplies. Rarely did anyone actually come to the island, but Benny was a lobster fisherman and it wasn’t out of his way to swing by as he went out to set and check his traps.
It would be a few days before she saw him again, but s
he couldn’t complain. Her isolation was by her own design. It was easier on everyone that way.
The cold was starting to get to her. Valerie would be happy for the warmer months ahead after the long, hard winter. Summer would mean more boats loudly chugging past her island
, since the area lighthouses were a draw for tourists. It was a small price to pay for temperatures above forty.
It had to be in the low thirties this afternoon
, and the wind made it even worse. She tried to take several laps around the island every day for exercise, but the icy sting of her nose and cheeks urged her to make it a short walk today. She was about to cut a diagonal path across to the house when a glitter caught her attention out of the corner of her eye.
Valerie turned back to the edge of the water
, where something gold was sparkling against the gray and brown rock. Things occasionally washed up on the island, but it was more likely to be trash or an animal carcass than something shiny. It looked like some kind of gold chain for a necklace. She crouched down and pulled off one glove to reach into the frigid water. She ignored the sting, pulling up the chain and finding a large golden pendant with it.
The square pendant was at least two inches tall and wide, inset with a brilliant blue square stone that was nearly as large. Around the edge were symbols carved into the gold, but she didn’t recognize them. It certainly wasn’t anything she’d ever run across before. Strings
of sea muck and plants sullied its brilliance. She ran her fingers across the gemstone to clean it, and it seemed to flash like the strobe of a blue police signal as the dwindling daylight caught it.
It was beautiful. And judging by the heavy weight of it in her hand, it wasn’t just some piece of costume jewelry. Surely that couldn’t be a real sapphire, though. Or could it? Occasionally someone turned up a few gold coins or artifacts from
old shipwrecks. Maybe it was some forgotten pirate treasure or rich woman’s jewelry lost in transit to the New World.
Valerie stood up and slipped the necklace into her pocket. Maybe she could get online and do some research on it after dinner. Speaking of which, she needed to g
o back inside and check on her chowder.
She’d taken two steps when she heard a deep groan behind her. It was an odd noise, nothing like she was used to hearing out here by herself. She spun on her heels, expecting to see an old harbor seal laboring to drag his body onto the rocks. Instead
she saw a man. A naked man.
She blinked her eyes a few times to make sure she wasn’t getting delusional out on this island alone. Valerie had just walked past that exact spot a minute before
, and there’d been nothing there. She certainly would’ve noticed a naked man lying in front of her.
Valerie rushed to his side. The man was
sprawled on his stomach on the rocks, his face turned away from her and disguised by wet strands of black hair. The only things he wore were two gold cuffs, one on each wrist. His skin was dark brown, his body hard and muscular. She couldn’t see any blood or injuries, which made her feel better for noticing the high, round curve of his ass. His body was near flawless, rousing an instant reaction in Valerie that brought more guilt than desire to mind.
She pressed a hand to
his shoulder to gently shake him and hissed. His skin was hot. Blazing hot. He had a dangerously high fever. She shook him, and when he didn’t respond, she tugged hard at his arm and waist to roll him onto his back. The massive weight of him finally turned, flopping him back against the rock and turning his face toward her.
He had a hard, square jaw lined with a dark, short goatee. His nose was wide at the bridge, connecting with a slash of heavy, black eyebrows across his f
orehead. His full lips moved just as his eyes danced rapidly beneath his eyelids.
Valerie checked his pulse, which was slow but strong
er than she expected. She searched him for more injuries. Everything from the thick cords of his neck to the hard cut of his abs to the massive girth of his thighs seemed to be unharmed. No cuts or scrapes that required first aid, so that was a relief.
It made her feel better for letting her
gaze run over his large and proudly thrusting erection. The man was well-endowed and seemingly…
by the cold, despite being unconscious. It startled her. Coming to this island, she’d thought she might never see a naked man again. Being exposed to such a flawless, powerful specimen made a dormant part deep inside her clench tight.