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As he sat down and pulled her forward Beth felt the familiar shiver of anticipation; in a flash her dress was up and her panties were down. From day one he'd not wasted any time on niceties or formality, baring her bottom immediately upon landing across his lap.
For many years Beth Parker has been in crush with an acquaintance. His name is Michael Bellamy, and carrying the torch has not been easy; every time she attempts to capture his attention he's with another woman. She has no way of knowing that the feelings are mutual, and Michael is suffering the same, seemingly endless frustration.
Through a series of coincidences Beth finally finds herself in his arms, and he more than lives up to her fantasies and dreams; a loving dominant who doesn't hesitate to put her over his knee, a skillful lover who leads her into the dark erotic arts, and a strong, sweet man who makes her laugh out loud with his wit and humor.
But they both find themselves wondering, is their joyful union the hand of fate, or the mysticism surrounding an ancient hourglass?
Beth learns that patience does pay off, but it is just one lesson in her journey with the man of her dreams, and steeped in romance, The Hourglass will touch your heart and stir your sensual senses.
He’s here.� Michael Bellamy is here.
������ Beth swallowed, attempting to calm the thunder in her heart, but even as she took deep breaths and gripped the back of the chair she knew there was no point; seeing him made her heart thump, it always had.
������ A deer in headlights.� That’s what I am.� For goodness sake, turn away.
Pulling out the chair she’d been clutching so fiercely she sat down, though it was a perch more than a sit, and reached across the elaborately dressed table for her glass of not terribly good Cabernet wishing it was a shot of vodka.
������ “Are you all right?”
������ The aristocratically accented voice on her right belonged to an older woman Beth had met two hours earlier when she’d taken her seat at the $2500 a plate charity dinner.� The woman had introduced herself as Victoria Bardwell, and during their meal Beth had discovered the charming English woman possessed the grace and beauty of someone who had lived a life steeped in elegant tradition.�
������ Though such qualities were rare in Los Angeles, Victoria Bardwell’s presence was appropriate; it was a very elegant dinner, in a very elegant hotel, and Beth had been enjoying a very elegant evening, but now the elegance, like everything else in the room, had evaporated; now there was only him.
������ “Yes, yes, fine,” Beth lied, nodding her head as she forced herself to shift her gaze.
������ “Are you sure, you look quite pale?”
������ How could I not have spotted him earlier?� God, I hope he doesn’t see me.
������ That’s not true, you’re praying he will see you, and that he doesn’t have a gorgeous woman with him.
������ “May I ask his name?” Victoria asked raising an eyebrow.
������ “Whose name?” Beth inquired, painfully aware the worldly woman had already added two and two.
������ Victoria pursed her lips in a strange smile, and Beth, unable to resist Michael’s mystical magnetic pull, sent her eyes darting back into the crowd.
������ Yep, he’s still there.� Not a mirage then.�
������ “I had my heart broken once,” Victoria announced.
������ “My heart’s not broken, not the way you mean,” Beth remarked forcing herself to return to the conversation.
������ “My apologies, I thought you were upset about that man,” Victoria frowned, gesturing casually towards the area where Michael was standing.
������ “Upset?� Yes, I suppose I am,” Beth sighed, surrendering to the interrogation.
������ “I don’t mean to pry,” Victoria said slowly, “but perhaps it might help to talk about it?”
������ It was a question not a statement; the kindly woman was offering her ear.� Beth studied Victoria’s crystal grey-blue eyes, and saw a depth of wisdom that could only have been born from years of a complicated life.�
������ “It’s stupid,” Beth replied shaking her head.� “Completely stupid.”
������ “Something that’s upsetting you this much couldn’t possibly be stupid,” Victoria frowned.
������ “Having a crush on a man for...let me think...well, too many years, that isn’t stupid?”
������ “Oh, dear, that sounds like a long time to be carrying a torch. Do you know him very well?”
������ “I know him, but no, not very well.� Certainly not as well as I’d like to,” Beth lamented.
������ “How did this crush come about, or is it a complicated story?”
������ “No, it’s not a complicated story. I’d just landed my first job, and I was sitting in an office waiting to meet a friend for lunch to celebrate, and Michael, that’s his name, walked past me.� It was the strangest thing.� I looked up at him, and he looked down at me, and he smiled. This is going to sound crazy, but I suddenly felt this weird thing in my stomach and for days I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Those days have now become years,” Beth sighed.� “How stupid is that?”
������ “I wouldn’t call it stupid.� Dramatic, perhaps even a little tragic, but not stupid,” Victoria said kindly.
������ “There are periods of time I can shake him, and other times...after tonight he’ll be haunting me for weeks,” she groaned.
������ “Ah, star-crossed lovers,” Victoria nodded.
������ “What do you mean?”
������ “I’m not sure what I mean, but if someone were to ask me about star-crossed lovers, I would probably describe a story similar to yours.”
������ “It’s nerve-racking! I haven’t seen him in ages and look at me, I’m a wreck,” she complained.
������ “Beth, I have a suggestion,” Victoria began slowly.
������ “What? Please, tell me,” Beth said urgently.
������ “You’re a unique woman in a unique position. You told me you’re a successful novelist.� Staking a claim in such a competitive profession is no easy task.”
������ “Thank you, but how does that...?” Beth frowned.
������ “Perhaps you should use your unrequited love as the basis for a novel.� It might help you, give you a different perspective. As your characters develop you might find some answers.”
������ Beth felt the suggestion sweep over her, and she blinked her eyes as if waking from sleep.
������ “Victoria, that is genius,” she breathed.� I’m writing under an alias, no-one will know it’s autobiographical.
������ “Hey, beautiful, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
������ Beth turned and looked up at the attractive man who had walked up behind her.
������ “Hi, Jeremy, I’ve been right here,” she smiled.
������ “Hello, again,” he said, nodding to Victoria.��
������ “Hello, Jeremy.� It’s been nice to meet you both, and Beth, I enjoyed our chat,” Victoria smiled standing up.� “Perhaps we’ll run into each other again.”
������ “I hope so,” Beth replied.� “I’d like that.”
������ “Keep the faith,” Victoria twinkled, then wrapping her silk scarf around her shoulders she wandered gracefully towards the crowd.
������ As Beth watched the tall stately woman walk away she covertly scanned the room, and just has he had so many times in the past, Michael Bellamy had vanished.
������ “Are you about ready to leave?” Jeremy asked, sitting in the chair Victoria had just vacated.
������ “Yes, sure,” Beth sighed, shifting her eyes from the crowd as the disappointment washed through her.
������ “You okay?”
������ “Fine, just tired.� Let’s get out of here, my feet are killing me.”
������ “Whatever you say, Princess,” he grinned taking her hand.
������ They collected her coat and headed to the front of the hotel to wait for his car, and standing curbside she pretended to casually survey the people milling about. No Michael.� When Jeremy’s black BMW stopped in front of them and the valet opened the door, she silently grimaced.
������ I wish he’d picked me up at my house.� It’ll be weird if I insist on driving home at this hour.� Dammit.
As the car snaked its way around Sunset Blvd towards the exclusive suburb of Brentwood, Beth stared out the window, her mind focused on Victoria’s suggestion, and the opening line of the book unexpectedly wrote itself in her head.
������ She often wonders, had she not been sitting in the reception room of that office, at that time, on that day, would her life have been different?
������ “You’re so quiet?� Are you sure you’re okay?”
������ Jeremy, you’re such a sweetheart.� This is so unfair to you.
“Maybe I’m coming down with something,” she murmured, hoping it might give him second thoughts about her staying over.
������ “I will fix whatever ails you,” he winked.
������ Of course you will.� Why did I think for even a second, the threat of some dreaded disease might put you off?
Jeremy, a gifted painter whose work was hanging in galleries across the globe, was a rare breed of man who was moody in a brooding appealing way, romantic in an offbeat way, good-looking in a quirky, sexy way, and a bachelor with no ex-wife.� Beth had been dating him for several months, and while he was wonderfully low maintenance there was one teeensy-weensy problem; he was a jackhammer.� Sometimes that was a good thing, sometimes not so much.
������ Ah, well, maybe having my brain pounded into that headboard of his will knock some sense into me.
“What did you have in mind?” she asked, already knowing the answer.
������ “I was thinking immediate nakedness, then fucking your brains out,” he grinned.
������ Of course, again, of course.�
“Sounds like a plan,” she smiled not knowing what else to say, and if you can fuck my brains out I’d be eternally grateful, because then I won’t be able to think anymore.������
Jeremy lived on Amalfi Drive, one of the most exclusive streets in the upmarket neighborhood.� It was an appropriate address for a man of his accomplishments, and having the only contemporary home on the street, a house he had meticulously remodeled, added just that extra zing to his noteworthy presence.
������ He pulled up to the frosted glass garage door, pushed the remote control, and watched it glide magically sideways.� The glimmering door had cost a fortune but Jeremy had spared no expense when renovating the home, believing it to be his most important work of art.
������ �Once safely inside the streamlined architectural wonder, he grabbed Beth’s hand and trotted quickly up the concrete staircase to the majestic master bedroom. Hidden lights cast oddly shaped shards of white against glossy black and grey furniture set against slate grey walls, splashes of red provided by pillows and large abstract paintings offered dramatic highlights, and a floor to ceiling picture window peering over a magically lit Japanese garden was the room’s crowning glory.
������ Beth loved the garden.� She loved the wooden bridge over the koi pond, the exotic plants and creative landscaping, and had just begun to gaze out at its mesmerizing beauty when Jeremy grasped her around the waist and playfully maneuvered her across the room and on to the bed.
������ “You looked so sexy tonight,” he purred as he devoured her neck.
������ Beth adored having her neck molested, and Jeremy knew exactly where his lips needed to land.� In spite of her misgivings, in spite of flashes of Michael still dancing around her brain, in spite of her conversation with Victoria, she surrendered to the flow of need surging through her body.� He had rolled her on to her side, and his celebrated, nimble fingers were unzipping the back of her silk satin evening dress, sliding the shoulders down her arms and peeling it off her body.� She’d worn a garter belt and stockings in preparation for the after-dinner hijinks, and he whistled happily.
������ “God, Beth, you are so sexy,” he groaned standing up and ripping off his clothes.
������ Beth wriggled up the bed, pushing away the expensive satin bedspread revealing the matching black sheets underneath.� Initially the cheesy bed linen had been fun, but as the months had ticked by the novelty had worn off.
������ “Why don’t you go with cotton for a change, or-?”
������ “Why don’t you not talk?” Jeremy interrupted as he leapt on the bed and deftly unfastened her bra.
������ Hungrily sucking her nipples his hand slipped between her legs, and though her mind wasn’t completely connecting her body was; when he touched her sex, moving his fingers into her velvet slit, she lifted her pelvis asking for more.� Agreeing to her silent request he traveled his lips down her torso, licking her skin on his journey, then dropped his head between her thighs and began flicking his tongue against her clit.
������ Mmmm, he does do that really well.� If he would just slide his finger- but before she could finish her thought he had raised himself up and was flipping her over.
������ Uh-oh, time for the jackhammer.� He must be really horny tonight. How long was he down there, all of thirty-seconds?�
������ Beth, please, turn off the brain!�
Touching his cock to her inviting entrance, finding it deliciously juicy, he clutched her hips and thrust forward.
������ “Oh, Beth, your ass is so sexy,” he groaned.
������ So sexy?� Don’t you know any descriptive phrases other than, so sexy?
������ Stop it!�
Gripping the pillow she buried her face attempting to silence the voices in her head, and as his jackhammer began its urgent pounding she sank into its flow.
������ Soon knowing the incessant pumping would not be enough she dropped her fingers against her sex, but as the minutes ticked by she knew the shadow of her looming orgasm would remain just that, a shadow; letting her hand fall away she surrendered to defeat.�
������ “Are you close?” he gasped.�
������ “Yes, very,” she lied feigning excitement.
������ “Now?” he gasped.
������ “Yes,” she wailed, replicating her squeals of delight.
������ As his guttural groans bounced off the walls she dutifully moaned until they dissipated, and his flaccid, spent, happy member fell away.� ������
������ “Something’s wrong,” he panted attempting to catch his breath.
������ “You’re right, I don’t feel good, sorry,” she sighed, lolling on her stomach and idly wondering if he knew she’d just faked her orgasm. “I think I should go home.”
������ “Stay,” he pleaded.� “If you’re not well I want to take care of you.� I could make you breakfast.� You could stay here tomorrow and I’ll bring you chicken soup for lunch.”
������ “Jeremy, you are such a lovely man,” she replied softly, kissing his shoulder. “No, it’s better if I’m in my own bed and get a good night’s sleep.”
������ “I hate to think of you driving so late,” he frowned.� “It’s not right.”
������ “I’m a big girl,” she smiled, moving off the bed.�
������ “Call me as soon as you get there,” he said firmly.� “I know you’re a big girl, but I’ll still be worried.”
������ “I will, I promise,” and why don’t I want to stay here with you? You’re such a doll. What’s wrong with me?
“Are you sure there’s nothing else going on?� You seem, I don’t know, sad.� Has something happened you’re not telling me?”
������ Yes, I saw Michael, and I won’t be normal for days, and I’m so, so, sorry.
“Maybe it’s a bout of PMS coming on,” she offered, dressing quickly.
������ “Aaahh,” he smiled, finally hearing something that made sense.� “Don’t you have pills for that?”
������ “Yes, and I’ll take them,” she promised, and relieved to see his concern lifting she kissed him on the cheek, then kissed him again.
������ “Wait, I’ll walk you out,” he declared, and jumping from the bed he ran into his bathroom for a robe.
������ Standing alone, capturing mental images of the room in which she’d spent many pleasurable hours, a familiar feeling of finality settled around her, a heavy gray aura that she recognized and understood all too well.