Once upon a time, a group of intrepid authors banded together to write a Round Robin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round-robin_story) story, the magnitude of which has never been seen (or read) before!! Each author wrote 300-500 words, never knowing where the tale would take them, all in an effort to entertain YOU!

We hope you enjoy our burst of (questionable) creativity, we hope it makes you smile and gives you a laugh, a sigh, a swoon. We hope our fun helps brighten your day! Here is a full story…



By: Penny Reid, Carrie Ann Ryan, Brittainy C. Cherry, CD Reiss, Adriana Locke, Sierra Simone, Sarina Bowen, Nana Malone, Mariah Dietz, Rachel Van Dyken, Alessandra Torre, Corinne Michaels, Aly Martinez, Julia Kent, Jessica Prince, Amy Daws, Jana Aston, Liv Morris


My drunken vow of celibacy three years ago at my best friend’s bachelorette party had been a running joke within my friend circle ever since. However, recently, I wondered if I’d actually cursed myself that night.

“How can you not find him attractive?” Marissa’s stern question followed by a long, loud sigh made me hold the phone away from my ear, but not so far away that I missed Marissa’s frustrated follow up, “I mean, he’s a mountain climber! He literally climbs mountains. He uses his Instagram influencer account to raise money for animal shelters. He volunteers with at-risk youth! He’s a sexy beast with a kind heart, what is wrong with him? Mason says he’s a great cook. A. Great. Cook, Emerson.”

Mason was Marissa’s husband—as of three years ago—and the “he” my best friend referenced was a partner at Mason’s law firm, a Mr. Edward Wallace Rothford Chesterfield the seventh, esquire.

She was right. Mr. Edward Wallace Rothford Chesterfield the seventh, esquire was a sexy beast, and was most definitely impressive. And yet also very . . . blah.

Lifting my wrist, I pushed away a few tickling strands of hair. Careful not to get paint on my forehead, I angled the paintbrush away.

“He has too many names.” I screwed up my face, the excuse sounding lame even to me. “How am I supposed to remember all his names? That’s a lot of pressure.”

“Too many names,” she echoed, sounding robotic.

A stretch of silence followed, during which I set the brush on the open paint can, stood from where I’d been sitting painting the trim of the kitchen, and struggled to find the words to explain that clearly there was something wrong with me.

Clearly, I had cursed myself, but not with that drunken vow of celibacy. Rather, my curse was the reason for it—the who.

Turns out I didn’t need to find the words, because Marissa—as usual—gave a voice to my thoughts. “Emerson, you haven’t heard from him in three years.”

Now I sighed, closing my eyes. “I know.” “You need to let him go.”

“I know.”

“You’ve cut yourself off from the world, alone in that cabin in the middle of nowhere, remodeling it for over two years, and—”

“I’m almost finished! The tile is finally done. All that’s left is paint.” A loud knock at my front door had me turning my head toward the sound. Even as I frowned in confusion as to who it might be, I welcomed the unexpected interruption. “Listen, I have to go. Someone is here.” “Someone is there? Really? You couldn’t come up with a better excuse? A rabid raccoon perhaps?”

I laughed. “No. Really, someone is at the door.”

“Really? Who could it be? Do you want to stay on the phone until you see who it is?”

“Nah. It’s probably my neighbor, checking on me. They drive into town every week to pick up supplies.” I wiped my hand off on a rag sticking out of my pocket and glanced down at myself, figuring my tank top and overalls would have to be okay.

My pulsed raced and I had no idea why. It wasn’t as if I’d been in complete isolation the entire time I’d been in my cabin. I’d spoken to people. I’d thanked delivery people and had gone out when was needed.

Someone knocking at my door wasn’t an unusual concept, yet…something told me this wasn’t going to be my drunk and prime box of whatever I’d bought the few nights before.

I didn’t have a peephole, so I opened the door, my eyes widening as I took in exactly who was in front of me.

It was as if I’d conjured the man right out of my thoughts, and I only had Marissa to blame. This had to be her fault.

Because the man in front of me with the chiseled jaw line and the bedroom eyes that did horrible things to me wasn’t a stranger.

And he wasn’t my delivery man. “Emerson.”

The deep voice went straight to places I wasn’t going to talk about. I mean, it had been three years of celibacy. Needs had been met, but dear goddess.

That voice.

I knew that voice, it was so familiar and yet…not. “How did you find me?” I asked, my palms damp. “I’ve always been able to find you, Emerson.”

Well, now I was apparently living in a horror rom com and I needed to wake up from whatever dream had latched itself around me.

“What the heck do you mean? Seriously. Why are you here?” I paused, worry crawling over me. “Is someone hurt? Are they hurt?”

“I need to talk to you, Emerson.” He paused, his eyes narrowing even as he leaned toward me. “Please.”

“I…what’s wrong?”

“You know what’s wrong, Em. You’ve always known. And now we need to fix it.”

And then Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield…the first walked past me and into my cabin. Mr. Edward Wallace Rothford Chesterfield the seventh, esquire’s…brother.

“No, stop. No, you can’t just walk into this place after everything that went down–” I started, but he quickly cut me off.

“Whiskey?” he asked, wandering toward the kitchen.

I sighed, annoyed that I was somewhat happy to see him.

And pissed off. I was beyond pissed off because I knew him showing up to talk to me meant one thing and one thing only–my parents were in danger.

“Whiskey?” he repeated, sounding oddly calm for the situation at hand. Geez…what was the situation at hand? I needed more answers, and I knew Hayden wasn’t going to give me what I needed until I gave him his request.

“Left cabinet, second shift,” I muttered, following his previous footsteps.

Of course there was whiskey in my cabin. There was always whiskey. Before Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield entered my life, I prided myself on being a vodka girl, but after meeting him all those years ago, I knew I needed something stronger to keep me going. Vodka made me flirty, whiskey made me wise. One thing I knew about being around Hayden was that I needed my brain to be focused and I needed my heart to be on mute.

“I see you splurged for the good stuff,” he smirked, and damn I hated how I loved that smirk. “Good girl.”

“Let’s skip the small talk, Hay. Why are you here?”

He brushed his hand against his chiseled jawline and a weighted sigh rippled through his lips. “It’s your parents…”

My heart tried to escape from my chest as those words fell from his mouth. “They’re in danger?” I pushed out, recalling the mistake Hayden and I had made years ago to put them in a terrible, life-altering situation.

“No. Worse.” He plopped down on my sofa and took a long dramatic sip from his glass. “They’re pregnant. Congratulations, sweetheart. You’re going to be a big sister.”

“Shut up, Hayden. Really, what’s happening.”

“If I told you now, you’d think I was lying. So, go and grab yourself a drink.” He patted the cushion beside him and gave me a sinister smile. “And make it a double, because we are about to head out of this damn cabin for good.”

Primo,” I said, calling him by his birth order. I picked up my phone. “You’re being dramatic. I’m just going to call them.”

He stood and with the speed of a cobra, snapped my phone away. “Hey, asshole.”

Gattina,” he hissed between his teeth as he put his rigid index finger between our faces. “Don’t you ‘kitten’ me you–” I slapped his hand away, and before I could say another word, he bent at the waist and scooped me up, throwing me over his shoulder like a rag doll. I watched

the little cabin I’d renovated get smaller in the distance as he walked to the end of the driveway. “Let me go!” I cried, bouncing against his shoulder and pounding his back, my blows falling on rock hard muscle.

Basta,” he said just as I felt the sting of his hand slapping my ass. “Ow!”

He slapped me three times, bringing the heat between my legs to the surface of my skin. “You can slap me all you want.”

“I know.” He slapped again, harder than the times before, then stroked my ass before grabbing it as if he owned it.

“I’m not sleeping with you.”

I was thrown through the air, landing with a thud in the passenger seat of the white Monte Carlo custom convertible I’d lost my virginity in.

Primo got behind the wheel and reached over me to yank the seatbelt.

“Buckle in, gattina.” He snapped the buckle home. “Sette just broke the cardinal rule.”

Sette was his brother, Edward…the seventh. The guy my best friend—not knowing who I really was—had tried to set me up with.

Omerta?” I said incredulously. “Does he want to get himself killed?”

“No.” He turned the key and the car started with a roar. “He wants to get your mother’s

bambina killed.”

He draped his arm over the seat, twisted around and backed down my driveway at full speed.

My mind was racing. How the hell had I ended up in some stupid Mafia drama…again. My mother had gotten me out. I’d slept with the Primo and then disappeared for three years. There was a reason I was locked away in that cabin. I’d thought that I’d been safe. Just me and my paintings and the woods. No more drama. No more Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield.

I should have realized what was happening when Marissa mentioned Edward’s name.

I wasn’t safe. Not anymore.

And sure, maybe Hayden was the best sex I’d had in my entire life. But that didn’t mean I wanted to get involved again.

“Can you just tell me what’s going on?” I growled. “I’m tired of all of…this.” “Ah, gattina, you’re far from tired of all of this.” He smirked like he knew exactly what effect his spanking had on me.

I crossed my legs and glared at him. We were on the road, headed back to civilization, and I was not thinking about having sex with him.

“Be serious, Hay. You found me in the middle of nowhere. I apparently wasn’t ever off your radar. The least you could do is give me some actual details.”

My fingers tap-tapped on the leather seat in irritation. An old habit that I’d never been able to kick. Only painting had helped me keep my hands steady.

His eyes flashed down to the movement and he covered my hand. But he said no more. Left me sitting there in his car wondering what was going to happen next. “Could we at least stop for snacks? I haven’t eaten anything. There’s a place just at the bottom of the hill.”

His jaw set, but when the tiny shack came into view, he pulled over and followed me into the empty store. I had only just reached for a packet of Sour Skittles when I heard the gunshots.

I screamed before shoving my hand over my mouth. I shouldn’t draw attention to myself. That lesson was learned the hard way. Twice. Well, three times, really, but the third time ended in hot, sweaty sex in a sauna, so I don’t really count that. It doesn’t seem fair.

Falling to the floor, I scanned the room. I could only see one person.

Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield.

He stood near the Doritos display. His shoulders—well, the one I could see—was rigid. His temple pulsed. His mouth moved as if he was talking, but I couldn’t hear the words.

An exit sign hung above the entrance to a hallway on my right. I started towards the door but paused to stuff a couple of packets of Skittles in my pocket for later. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Staying low, I scurried towards the dimly lit area beneath the sign. Hayden’s voice rose somewhere behind me and I moved faster because of it. My blood poured through my ears, my heartbeat pounded in my chest as I scampered out of harm’s way.

I hoped.

The floor was cold and dirty but the tile was laid in an interesting pattern. I couldn’t help but make a quick note of it for when, and if, I ever got back to my little cabin in the woods.

Another gunshot boomed, cracking through the air like a bolt of thunder on a warm summer night. I shrieked as I lept through the air and into the darkness of the hallway. A bag of Skittles fell from my pocket. I swiped it up mid-stride as I ran as far back into the shadows as I could manage.

I found the door. It was locked.

But I wasn’t alone.

I turned to see Primo behind me. In one hand was a gun–in the other, several more packets of Skittles.

“We have to move,” he said, eyes on the door. Without so much as dropping a single Skittles bag, he shot the lock and kicked the door open, revealing the weed- riddled lot behind the gas station and a small path disappearing into the trees. He holstered his gun and yanked me by the arm down the path.

“Where are we going?” I asked. “And who’s shooting at us? And did you leave any money on the counter for the Skittles?”

“Sette,” he said grimly. “He knows he messed up, and now he’s trying to cover his tracks.”

Within a few breathless moments, we were deep in the woods, and a small church came into view. Primo didn’t stop to knock–he kicked in the door to the church and pulled me inside.

“I think we’re safe in here,” Primo said. “Why? Is Sette a vampire or something?”

Primo gave me an unimpressed look. “Don’t make me spank you again.” “Promises, promises.”

The Skittles fell to the floor, and the next thing I knew, I was hauled up against Primo’s muscular chest, looking up into those deep brown eyes which have haunted me for years. Feeling his heart pounding fast and hard against his chest. And then, alone in an empty sanctuary, with his brother chasing us and my mother pregnant with the heir to our family’s empire, Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield kissed me. For the first time in three years.

And not just kissed–possessed. His hand slid down to my bottom and he cupped it greedily. His lips parted my own, and his tongue stroked deeply inside, tasting me, taking me for his own. He tasted like whiskey and regrets. A taste I’d never learned to forget.

“Hey!” a voice called out. “You can’t be in here!”

“It’s a church!” Primo growled. “A sanctuary!”

“It’s BINGO night,” said a small man wearing vestments. “Fifty dollar buy-in. Women only.”

“But you’re not a woman,” I pointed out, one palm still flattened against Primo’s rock-solid chest. We were still pressed up against each other. I took a deep breath, inhaling his manly scent. Leather. Danger. Whiskey. And Skittles.

“I’m a priest. That’s different. I call out the numbers.”

The door opened again, and Primo tensed, his strong body turning with cat-like awareness toward danger.

But it was only a pack of septuagenarians carrying BINGO cards. “Look,” Primo said. “Show me your back door.”

“I don’t see how that’s an appropriate request.” The priest crossed his arms primly.

That’s when my gaze collided with Primo’s. And I saw humor spark in his dangerous dark eyes. A familiar warmth filled my chest. “We used to laugh all the time,” I whispered.

“A couple ‘a perverts, aren’t we?” He snickered. Then the smile left his face as quickly as it arrived. “We need to keep moving, Em. Grab the Skittles and follow me.”

His fingers threaded between mine. And the second I had those Skittles firmly in hand, he pulled me deeper into the building. The priest made a small noise of outrage as we headed toward an unmarked door at the rear.

“He’ll be mad,” I pointed out in a sotto voice.

“He’ll be madder when he realizes I took his car,” Primo countered.

Oh dear, I thought, watching Primo hotwire the priest’s 2003 Celica. I’m a criminal now. “Get in,” Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield demanded the moment the engine roared to


I opened the passenger door, and sat down promptly on…a book. “What’s this?” I yanked

the paperback out from under my hiney. The cover said PRIEST by Sierra Simone.

“He’s a perv, too!” I hooted as Primo gunned the car into reverse, and then sped around the side of the building.

I was just opening the book to the altar scene when Primo pushed me roughly down in my seat.

Right before the deafening BANG.

Heart hammering against my ribs, I ducked as the car bucked. “Jesus! Why is your brother after me? I’ve done nothing to him.”

“That wasn’t him. The car backfired.”

“Oh. Well then. I think it’s a good idea for me to have a weapon.” He chuckled. “Glad to see nothing ever changes.”

“Are you going to give me a gun or not?” “Not,” he said with a smirk.

He swerved suddenly taking a sharp left onto a dirt path, the old Celica bumping and jostling with every dip. “This isn’t a road.”

“No, it’s not. but I have a safehouse a mile up. My team will be there with reinforcements and transportation within the hour.”

“Jesus. I just want to go back to my quiet life.”

“You can’t, Sette found out who your mother really is.”

My brow furrowed as I braced my hand on the dash. “I don’t understand. Who is she?” “She’s the lost princess of Solona. It’s an island nation of the coast of Italy. I was initially

hired to protect you and keep that secret hidden.” We parked in front of the cabin and wasted no time getting inside.

“That can’t be true.” I shook my head refusing to believe it. “I’m no princess.”

“You are. Your Uncle has been on the throne, but he was assassinated. It’s time to come out of hiding.”

Once behind closed doors, Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield leveled his gaze on me. “It’s been three fucking years without you. I can’t wait any longer.”

He dragged me to him, his hands digging into the flesh at my hips. When his lips met mine it was a clash of lips and teeth and tongues.

Our clothes were merely a nuisance, easily dealt with. “God, you’re so fucking beautiful,” he murmured against my lips as he backed me up to the couch.

When he laid me out, his gaze roved over my body and an evil smile ghosted over his lips as he held up a pack of skittles. “I know exactly what to do with these.”

Kneeling before me he smoothed strong hands up my thighs, gently parting them. “Open for me. I want to see which of these skittles goes best with your taste.”

“All of them.” I quipped. “I make every single flavor of the rainbow taste better.” My confidence was both a shield and a sham as I worked to regain my footing that he had dismantled so easily.

My heart felt like it was hiccupping as I stared into his dark eyes, recognizing so many of his thoughts—ones that promised ecstasy and bliss and was guaranteed to be chased by another blow to my still recovering heart. His gaze crossed over my face and it was then I noted the new details I hadn’t been present for—a shallow scar across his chin, gentle grooves at the corners of his lips and eyes–from laughter, no doubt–but it’s the hardened look in his eyes that was by far the most discernible difference. I wondered if he could still consume me like he once did? If he would remember the roadmap of my body that he once navigated like he had been made for the task.

Realization hit me like a mallet, the fruity taste of the Skittles souring as I fought against my body’s desires to be near him and sat up.

“I thought you said your enforcements were here?” I glanced past his shoulder in time to see familiar blonde hair flounce as she headed toward a doorway.

“Marissa?” Shock made my voice three octaves too high.

She turned, her lips pulled into a guilty smile that fell south as our eyes connect.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, denial coursing through my bloodstream faster than the sugar from the Skittles.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” she said, like we’re still friends and she has that right.

“We were just talking an hour ago. Of course I’m all right. Or I was until he came and ruined everything. My house was finally coming along, my life was getting into order, and now he’s here, and you’re here…”

She flinched as though she could hear my silent thoughts, questioning the validity of our friendship. But before I could begin there, the bigger question at hand snuck behind the walls I’d carefully constructed and smacked me squarely in the chest.

I turned my full attention to Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield and asked, “Wait. If you were hired to protect me, then why did you leave?”

My heart couldn’t decide what emotion to focus on, rage, abandonment, betrayal. Seconds ticked my slowly as I stared him down, waiting for an explanation, waiting for him to say it’s not what I think, but who was I kidding? I’d lost hope the minute he left and took fragments of my broken heart with him—knowing damn well that I would never be the same without those pieces back.

I scooted away, he flinched, and then with the precision of a killer, he snapped out, gripped my waist and tugged me across his lap. I knew that expression well. He wanted control, and he’d always hated fighting with me when we weren’t touching, as if a simple touch could tether our hearts together regardless of the hateful words thrown back and forth.

“Marissa,” He didn’t look away from me. “Give us a few minutes please.”

The soft click of a door may as well be a gunshot going off in the room. Tension swirled between us as his fingers dug into my hips, pinning me against his lap, holding me hostage.

I’d loved him. Now I hated him. Because the hate was easier, it masked the pain, and I was afraid he was about to deal the final blow.

“You left me.” I hissed. “Why?”

“You know why.” He licked his bottom lip and pressed his forehead to mine. I refused to give into his warmth, or the way his thumbs started grazing the bare skin on my sides. “I had one job. One objective. Keep you safe from all threats,” His chocolate eyes locked onto me. “Myself included.”

I sucked in a sharp breath. “What do you mean?”

“You were never meant for me, but I took you anyway.” His gaze heated. “And this time, I’m keeping you.”

“Ha.” I scrambled away from him, pushing at his chest‐‐which was a mistake because Hayden was‐‐had always been‐‐pure muscle. I took a moment, just one, to savor the feel of his bicep and he pulled me back into his lap.

“Umm guys….?” Marissa tapped on the window. He held up his hand in a dismissive gesture, and I tried to look away from his gaze, but I couldn’t.

“You aren’t keeping me,” I argued. “If anything I need to get further away from you. Take yesterday, for instance. I had a nice long day without a single gunshot or near death experience.”

“Or orgasm,” he smirked, and his hand gripped the back of my neck, pulling me closer to him. He was going to kiss me again. I knew it‐‐and if he did, so help me God, all of my clothes were going to fly off and Marissa was going to see A LOT more of me than she wanted to.

“Um GUYS…?”

“You aren’t keeping me,” I whispered, in that moment before his mouth closed the distance with mine and his tongue was opening my lips, his hot breath brushing over mine and dammit… I’d waited three years to have him just whisper my name. Three years for this, and did I really want to run from him?


Did I really want to rip off his underwear with my teeth?


“I’ve missed you,” I said in the moment between kisses, as his hand slid down and inside the back of my overalls. “God, I’ve missed you.”

Marissa’s polite taps against the window turned into an urgent sort of banging and he swore, pulling away from my mouth with a growl that only fueled my need more.

He was right. I hadn’t had an orgasm yesterday. Or the day before. Or the week before. Or…. damn. Had it been a month?

My mental calculations stalled because right then I saw what Marissa was so worked up about.

“Guys! There is a big fucking problem! Stop making out!” Marissa banged on the window just as a gunshot rang in the background.

I didn’t have time to think.

Before another moment could pass, Primo had thrown me down, his big, hulking body covering mine.

“Stay where you are,” he yelled.

Fear was pounding in my chest, everything was happening too fast. I had been safe just a day ago. Life was perfect, well, not exactly perfect but far better than bullets, backstabbing friends, and ex’s intent on making me taste the rainbow.

Not that I minded that part. No, that was quite fine with me.

Another burst of shots rang out and glass shattered around me. “Some safe house,” I quipped as he shoved me back deeper into the house.

“Get her out of here!” Marissa screamed before firing back. “Keep cover,” Hayden barked back at her.

“Give me a gun.” I pounded on Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield’s chest as we moved deeper. “I need–”

“Me. You need me to keep you safe.”

He kissed me again, hard, unrelenting, and unforgiving. Here we were, in the middle of a firefight and all I could think about was the sweetness of his lips and how much I never wanted this to end.

I sent up a little prayer, not that I expected much help since we’d stolen a priest’s car. But, hey.

Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield’s lips left mine and then, I felt moisture. A mix of warmth and an unmistakable smell as he fell to the floor.

“No! No!” I pushed my hands against the hole in his chest, willing him to live for me. Begging because I’d just gotten him back, and I wasn’t ready to lose him again.

“You have to go,” he told me. “I can’t leave you.”

He gripped my wrist. “Go. Now.”

I wanted to stay, because I loved him, but then, I felt his hand release mine as I watched the life leave his eyes and I knew he was gone.

Gunshots rang all around me. I debated running. What else could I do? Bullets riddled his chest. Blood poured all over the floor. My soul ended as the crimson red from his veins seeped into the tile grout.

He was mine and now he was gone.

I cradled his head in my arms and my heart shattered with every syllable as I spoke, “No no no, Primo. Stay with me.” I fought back a gag. “Please don’t go. I need you.” My hands shook as I brushed the dark hair off his forehead. This wasn’t happening. Primo was invincible.

He had to be.

“Breathe,” I urged into his glassy brown’s, searching for that perfect tear drop of green in his right eye. Nothing but dark hollow pits stared back at me.

I lurched to my feet, his body falling against the cold floor with a thump. “Primo,” I gasped at his lifeless body.

He was dead. He wasn’t going to reply. But nothing, not even death would have prevented my man from answering me.

“Get down,” he boomed.

Only it wasn’t the man at my feet.

It was however, without question, the voice of my soulmate.

A bullet sounded in the distance. “Hayden?” I whispered, searching the dark room. “No.”

I went for his middle name that I sometimes called him to be funny. “Marcus James?” “Try again,” he rumbled from nowhere and everywhere.

“Chesterfield?” I finish breathily, the tears of hope and grief mingling on my cheeks.

“Fuck. No.” The gravel in his voice raked down my skin as he suddenly appeared in front of me. It was my man. The one who had saved me, taken my virginity, and then left me only to return again three years later out of the blue.

It was also the man who was dead at my feet. What. The. Fuck.

“I don’t have time to explain cloning to you right now, Emerson,” he snapped.

“I know how cloning works! It’s a process in which a replication of a genetically identical

— ”

“You’re so sexy when you speak science,” he whispered furiously, his hips nudging mine.

I loved a man who could appreciate good jargon.

“Recombinant DNA technology,” I murmured in his ear, sensing an advantage.

He groaned, voice rasping, lust radiating from his breath as he moved toward me, drawn like iron shavings to a magnet.

I inched closer.

“Somatic cell nuclear transfer,” I hissed, my hand going to his erection, stroking up just once, enough to make him crush me to him. That History of Biotechnology course in college was coming in handy. Who knew?

“I’m about to come in my pants, Emerson. Stop it before I screw you right here, in front of my deadclone.”

It was time to use my verbal nuclear weapon.

“Parthenogenesis,” I whispered, licking the curve of his ear, which tasted surprisingly like Skittles.

His lips met mine and my hand shifted in just the right way, moving us closer to my ultimate goal. Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield was an extraordinary lover. An orgasm would be nice in lieu of an explanation. I was aiming to get a hold of a long, thick rod. Once I had it in my hot little hands, I’d have all the control.

But the orgasm would have to wait. Because the rod I wanted wasn’t between his legs. It was tucked into his waistband.

With lightning fast reflexes, never breaking the tongue-tangling kiss that made my blood turn to bullets, I grabbed his gun from him, twisting out of his arms.

My aim was steady.

The drumbeat in my pants was, too.

“Who in the hell is that?” I demanded, chin jutting toward the dead guy who looked just like him, as Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield stared me down, his one-eyed trouser snake a boa constrictor trying to escape those well-worn jeans that cupped his ass like me with a Reese’s cup on day two of my cycle.

“I told you. My clone.”

“Human cloning hasn’t happened yet.”

“Of course it has. We have a trillionaire funding our research. Now quit arguing and come with me.” Another gunshot rang out in the distance.

“How do I know you’re not the clone?” I looked at the dead body at our feet. “He – he – he was just like you!”

“That’s the point of cloning, Emerson.”

Just then the door nudged open. Light spilled into the room and I had two choices: keep the gun on Hayden, or turn to protect us from whatever was coming in.

I shot up to sitting, my heart banging around inside my chest like a vicious game of whack-a- mole.“Jesus,” I grunted, pushing the sweat-damp hair off my forehead just as my cell-phone began to ring.

Reaching out, I accidentally knocked the bag of sour skittles I’d been snacking on the night before off the nightstand before my fingers wrapped around the phone. I quickly noted the time—a little after eight—before swiping my thumb across the screen and bringing it to my ear. “Marissa? Good lord, I just had the most insane dream.” My best friend waited silently as I recounted all the crazy details. “So what do you think it means?”

“Well, I think it means several things. First, you desperately need to get laid.”

“Why is that always your go-to answer for everything?” I snapped rolling my eyes sky-ward.

“Because nine and a half times out of ten, it’s the right answer,” she replied proudly. “Second, you need to stop mixing Ambien and the Godfather trilogy before bed. I told you that was a dangerous combination.”

I let out a frustrated huff and fell back against the mattress. “You’re no help at all, you know that?”

Marissa’s laughter rang through the line. “Hey, I’m not the one having semi-erotic dreams where I’m suddenly a gun-wielding badass and scientific genius instead of a cabin-dwelling hermit who’s still pining for my ex.”

“I’m not pining for Hayden,” I snapped, the lie tasting bitter on my tongue. Not that I’d ever admit it out loud—especially to Marissa—but I was still very much hung up on Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield…the first, and had been for the three years we’d been broken up. That was why I was in this damn cabin in the middle of nowhere in the first place. I’d come here hoping that the escape from reality would rid him from my mind once and for all. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been so lucky.

Marissa spoke again, pulling me from my pathetic thoughts. “You know what you need, babe? You need to find yourself a hot lumberjack to have sweaty wilderness sex with to get your mind off Hayden once and for all.”

“I hear ya…hey, I gotta go, Marisa. I’m going to be late for my meeting.”

I hung up and heaved myself off the couch, still shocked at the vividness of that dream. If only real-life Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield…the first…was as hot in real-life as he was in my dreams…then I wouldn’t have had to make that vow of celibacy three years ago.

I changed out of my paint clothes, shoved some skittles in my pocket, and left my little cabin refuge that was really shaping up nicely. My first prototype should be in by tomorrow and if all went well, I’d be open for business in a few months.

I entered the meeting room and poured myself a cup of stale coffee before taking a seat next to Marge, who frankly, had it way worse than me.

“Marge, why don’t you start,” the leader said, shooting her a sympathetic smile.

Marge closed her eyes as she spoke. “My name is Marge, and I’m a sex addict. I’ve been sex free for fourteen days.”

We all listened to Marge share about the urges she had toward her pizza delivery man she nicknamed Mark Walberg. When the leader suggested Marge give him a less attractive nickname to help stifle the desire, Marge looked like she was going to cry so she aborted and looked to me to share next.

“Oh um…hey guys. My name is Emerson and I’m a sex addict.” “Hi Emerson.”

“I’ve been sex free for three years now.”

The new-comers’ eyes widened, clearly looking at me like some beaming ray of hope.

“It wasn’t easy taking my vow of celibacy but my relationship with Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield…the first…wasn’t healthy.”

“How so?” the leader asked.

I bobbed my head from side-to-side. “He was a terrible listener. Never spoke a word to me. Not one. Sometimes he’d just do what he wanted too…fast, slow, hard, soft. Or he’d just stop right in the middle for no reason whatsoever. It was never about my needs. I mean, I do admit that I used and abused him but I’m convinced the issue was faulty mechanics which is why I’ve dedicated my life to this cause.”

The leader’s brows furrowed in confusion. “I’m sorry, faulty mechanics?”

“Yeah, shoddy craftmanship.” I jutted my head forward, confused that she was confused. “And frankly, uninspired. That’s why I’m opening my own sex toy store. I mean…if my vibrator I lovingly named Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield…the first… can’t sustain a good daily workout and make me feel like a lady who deserved respect, then get the hell out of America…amiright, Marge?”

I lifted my hand to get a high five and she stared blankly at me along with the rest of the room.

The leader shifted in her chair. “Wait, are you saying this Hayden person isn’t a person, it’s the name of your vibrator and you’re opening a sex toy store?”

“You got me!”

She winced. “I’m afraid these meetings might not be the right place for you.”

I nodded, slowly absorbing that thought. “I hear that. I mean, frankly, this celibacy vow was just a commitment to my craft. Once I get my prototype tomorrow, it’s game on.”

I stood and slipped my hand into my pocket to toss a few Skittles into my mouth. “So, I guess this is goodbye, everybody! Thanks for helping me taste the rainbow these past few years…it was excellent research.”

It’s here.

After three years of research and development, the Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield is here. The prototype, that is. I spin the box in my hands as I leave the post office with a bounce in my step and a great big smile on my face. A great big smug smile, because I know I’ve finally done it.

Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield the Eighth is a winner. I know it. This vibrator is going to be the headliner of my business. The star quarterback, if you will. The leading scorer. The MVP of orgasms. Ha! That’s a good line. The MVP of orgasms. I make a mental note to add that to my product name before I list these for sale on Amazon.

Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield the Eighth, The MVP of Orgasms.

Available in all five colors of the skittle rainbow, obviously.

But first things first.

Product testing.

I add a little skip to my step at the prospect of plugging this big bad boy in and testing him out. Sure, running your own business is a lot of work but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. And let’s be honest, I’m happy to do it. I’m so close… oh so close to reaping the rewards of all my hard work. So close I can practically taste it, and it tastes like a candy coated orgasm, to tell you the truth. I round the final corner to my house and stop short.

Fuck. Is that…. the electric company? My steps slow when I see the truck parked outside my adorable little cabin. The one tucked back in the woods and prone to power outages.


The Hayden Marcus James Chesterfield is not battery operated and I don’t own a generator.

Damnit, damnit, damnit. I kick a stone across my gravel driveway in frustration, stirring up a tiny dust storm to match my squeal of sexual frustration.

“Something wrong?”

I glance up to see a man wearing an electric company uniform and a smirk.

A very handsome man and a very sexy smirk.

Holy hell. Have electricians always been this hot? I’d have blown a fuse months ago if I’d known this guy was available for house calls.

“Hey,” I shield my eyes from the sun while looking Mr Electric up and down. Damn. Tall, Italian and male. Just my type. My eyes land on a name badge sewn into his shirt and my heart nearly skips a beat. I can’t even make this stuff up. “Your name is Otto?” I ask, a coy smile tugging at my lips.

“Otto D’Amore at your service, or at least trying to be.” His gravelly voice, mixed with his complete hotness, pulls me closer to him like a sex magnet.

“My electricity is out?” I breathe out in a tiny whisper. The three-year-long desert down below has transferred to my throat, making me so damn thirsty for his full lips.

“Don’t worry. Electricians know how to turn on the power.” A wicked smile tugs at his mouth and I feel his true meaning to my toes, but mostly in my unused vajayjay.

He pushes out his broad chest, adjusting the tool belt hanging low at his hips. My eyes linger a tad longer than necessary below his waist, more precisely where his “other” tool is hidden. I bite my lip when I see a promising outline.

“I bet you can.” I gaze up at him, ready to throw myself into his arms. “Let’s go inside. You can show me where your power box is located.”

He places a wind-blown strand of hair behind my ear. His fingers follow the curve of my ear, but he releases his touch way too soon. I sigh in frustration, wanting him to touch me again, but a lot lower, and preferably in a circular motion.

“Follow me.” I grab his hand, fling open the front door, and walk-run him to the utility room. “It’s right here.”

I lean against the wall next to the metal box. My chest rises and falls with labored breaths. He places his hands to the side of my head, staring down at me. I stare back hoping some sort of sexual telepathy lets him know how bad I want him to ravage me.


 Otto loosens his tool belt, letting it fall to the floor at our feet. Then he starts to unbutton his shirt, revealing beach body abs. I might have squealed.

“Tell me to stop.” Like hell!

 I go straight for his pants like a zipper ninja, taking his hard power tool in my hand. He grunts and thumps his head against the wall as I grip him tight.

“Condom?” I ask, between heavy breaths.

He reaches around for his wallet and covers himself while I pull my panties down. Skirts and sex were made for each other. Now it’s game on with the scoreboard reading: Otto 1, Celibacy 0. I blame my failure on the dream.

Otto takes my T-shirt and rips it off my body in a reverse Incredible Hunk move. I think I’m in love.

“I have to be inside you now.” His eyes trail over me as his jaw flexes. “Yes,” I exhale. “Give it to me hard.”

He lifts my legs and I wrap them around his waist, but he stops all motion, staring into my eyes.

“I need to know your name.” His nose flares and I shiver. “Emerson,” I whisper.

“Are you ready for me, Emerson?” I nod unable to say a word. His masculine intensity is so damn hot.

But I wasn’t ready, nor were the animals in hearing distance from my cottage, for what this man is doing to me. I am ruined and praying he doesn’t stop.

When his final thrust and my last scream are over, I collapse against his shoulder. He kisses the top of my head and I make a fateful decision. I need to call my manufacturer and rename my vibrator. OttO. King of O’s.