Which means for once, I want the mask guarding my secret to stay right where it is.
If you want the grown-up fairy tale...learn to love the dark side. Profound sentiment. Wish I could get on board with it but the prince in pinstripes has other ideas. Life has been a dream since Killian burst into the ball offering the perfect fit-his heart and mine, not the shoes, the car or the jewelry-but the treasures have become his armor, hiding the man I yearn to know. I refuse to open his little velvet box until he opens himself, letting me see even the dark hallways of is soul...
Until he lifts all his masks for me.
Master of the masquerade...
Fate has always bowed to my bidding. I should have known it was just picking its time to exact the best revenge, to reveal the secrets that will destroy everything. Without my disguise, am I still the man Claire fell in love with...or another penniless prince vying for an unattainable dream?
Mistress of his ruin?
He always told me to be careful what I wish for. By demanding his truth, have I not only demolished the dream we had...but the man I've loved more than any other?
No More Masquerade by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue from Once Upon An Alpha on Vimeo.
"No more running in ice soup, Mr. Stone." My admonishment was gentle but stern. "You're going to catch pneumonia."
"I grew up in the 'ice soup', baby. I'm not going to catch--"
"I can't live without you." I didn't try to hide the hoarse crack in my voice. "Okay? Happy now?"
For a long moment, all he did was continue to stare. After that pause, he raised a hand to the space directly over my heart--and pressed it there. "You always make me happy."
Slowly, he drew that hand down the center of my torso. Though the action brought a thousand shivers, his face still captivated me the most. I couldn't stop picturing what he must have been like at five years old, so young and innocent, brought into the middle of a complicated mess by adults wrapped up in their warped and convoluted sense of "doing right".
The heart he'd just warmed with his fingers now swelled from the power of his honesty. Then it swelled and ached, bruising with the love I felt for his beautiful, brave soul. If he asked me again to marry him, I'd shout my acceptance at the thop of my lungs. As odd as it was, the pain of the last week had finally brought me the Killian I'd been searching for.
Unable to hold back anymore, I leaned over and kissed him. The pillows billowed around us with the force of my passion--and his in return. His powerful body, especially the part pressing most intimately against me, swelled and grew. He circled both arms around my waist and clutched me tighter, inviting my mouth to stay right where it was as he opened his lips for me.
Warmth. Invitation. Safety. Solace. Home. He was my home.
I lost myself in that kiss. Drowned in the luxury of his taste, the perfect feel of his tongue. Moaned as his tongue stroked mine with increasing urgency, growing desire.
There was so much more to our connection thatn the physical need of man and woman--and never more than in that moment. The force of his need filled me, pushed me, consumed me.
When we tore back by a few inches, Killian dug a hand to my scalp. "My queen. My Claire. You're my anchor in this ocean. My compass in this storm."
Peering into his eyes was looking to the depths of that uncharted sea. Fathoms of darkness lived there...gray and black and pewter, liquid and shadows as mysterious as the bottom of the Pacific or Atlantic themselves. When I gazed at him like this, the origins of the world's labels for him were so easy to understand. Cryptic. Enigmatic. Secluded. Guarded. He was unbeknownst to so many, only allowing the most worthy into his sanctum--and now, all the reasons for that made such sense.
Right now, he'd made me the most worthy person on the planet. The way he held me in his embrace, touched my skin, kissed my lips...I'd never felt closer to him. I yearned to press him for more. Dammit, why did I always want more? I needed to thank the universe for what it had already given me this week. For now, this connection was enough. More than enough.
It was perfect.
"Killian." I whispered. "When we're together like this, when it feels like we are the only two people on the planet, I feel like I can take on the world." I emitted a little girl growl as he reacted to that by slowly wrapping my hair around his fingers. "I know it sounds corny..."
"It sounds wonderful." He rasped it, seating my hips more firmly against his, letting is engorged cock slide softly between the moist lips of my sex. "Don't stop," he encouraged.
Denying him wasn't an option. "We can do anything we set our minds to," I told him, "as long as we're together. We're a force Killian --you and I. I'm not sure the world's prepared for it yet. They have no idea what they're messing with."
He growled again, harder and louder. "Hmmm. My fairy has tiger claws, too. Always ready to fight for what's right."
"Damn straight, especially when it comes to the man I'm madly in love with." I bent and kissed him again.
"And what about the Killian Stone you're not so fond of?" He wasn't playing a the question this time. Answer me. I've seen the look on your face when that bastard comes out to play."
"You're right. He is a bastard. But I love you, Killian. All of you." I seized the chance to splay my hand to the center of his chest now--to the heart inside that beat so strong and sure. "You're just one man. And when you are this open and real with me, I love you more than my own life. I want our lives to be one. As sure as I breathe, that's what I want."
We kissed again, but I let my lips linger on his for a very long time, simply tasting him, savoring him. I fitted my body deeper to his, eliciting a deep groan from him, matched by my own aroused sigh. It was no longer time for talk. Nonverbal communication could speak our remaining words--a skill my man knew just as well as fancy boardroom speeches. Thank God.
No More Masquerade, (Secrets of Stone #2) by Angel Payne and Victoria Blue
Previously, on No Prince Charming: Claire Montgomery and Killian Stone go off into the sunset and live happily ever after...
No More Masquerade picks up where the first book, No Prince Charming, leaves off. Claire and Killian are in a whirlwind of romance, lust and love and are blinded by the whole world around them. They both found a way to make a long distance relationship work, with her in San Diego and him in Chicago. The love birds can not get their fill of each other, literally. Flying back and forth, only allowing a couple of days here and there together finally takes it toll on them both. As a surprise, Killian wisks Claire off to Rome for a long-awaited vacation where Claire thinks she will finally have the opportunity to get Killian to let his guard down and let her in on his deep, dark secret.
At first, things are going very well for the couple while in Rome, but before they leap to Paris, Claire decides to start nudging Killian about his secret. Killian, already resolved about that matter, digs in his heels and will not open up to Claire. Killian has played the scenario in his head too many times to count, only to come to the same conclusion that it is not fair to ask Claire to bear his secret. Claire, on the other hand, has confessed her love to Killian and has told him that anything he tells her will not change how she feels about him. As the two go in this Merry-Go-Round, tension and tempers get hotter until they are into full blown fight mode, in Paris no less!
To add the icing to this shit cake, Killian receives a call from his big brother, Trey Stone, who is suppose to be ON the wagon, about a big deal he landed with a company SGC has been trying to get for years! But on that same note, Trey is calling drunk.... from a bar... OH NO! Killian realizes this and tries to diplomatically tell Trey congrats but to chill with the celebratory drinks and women, and call it a night. Trey immediately takes the defensive and blurts out profanities and threats before hanging up on Killian. You little fucker! After all the things Killian has done for Trey, love him, help him, pick him up when he fell, and this is how he repays him! Then sooner than later Killian receives a call from Andrea, the evil step-mother of Claire's who owns the PR Firm on retainer for SGC, that Trey has been arrested and is facing serious charges! Mind you, they are still in Paris people! OK, they are fighting and have not had the nasty naked fun time, but still, can't people leave them be!
While Killian is still beyond pissed, and Claire butt hurt, they have take a conference call from Andrea and the team, to gather and assess the damage and to go about the clean up. Periodically interrupting to grab Killian's attention is none other than the skank, Margaux. Ah yes, our little love to hate evil step-sister is present and accounted for. Continuing the strategizing, Margaux gets in one last blow before the call is ended that tips Claire over to explosive! As Andrea is saying, "We got this. We won't let you down, Mr. Stone..," Margaux chimes in loud enough for everyone to hear in the background, "Lets go little people. Some of us have to work around here. We aren't all sleeping with the client." Let me just say what I think about Margaux. When I finished reading that paragraph and reflected on all that Margaux has done in the past, this is EXACTLY what I was thinking: I wish I had super powers and could go all Carrie on her ass! Better yet, Drew Barrymore in Fire Starter and light her up and watch her burn like the witch that she is! But only to get pissed all over again because her crumpling ash ruined my favorite shoes! A good mani/pedi will make me feel better.
Once Killian and Claire return to Chicago to deal with the Trey aftermath, they now have to face Killian's secret whether they like it or not because circumstances bring it right to their door as soon as they exit the private jet. Just when I thought this was the plot of the story, the book takes me on a wild ride of As The World Turns with all the back stabbing, and shocking revelations upon Killian's return from Paris. It's an OMG, WTF page turner that will blow your mind! I loved every minute of it!
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About the Author's
Hi there. I'm Angel: book lover, writing addict, hopeless romantic, pop culture geek and avid shoe lover.
**I have a monthly newsletter now! Sign up for it right here: http://eepurl.com/LoNkz. It's a cool way to get exclusive info, talk hot heroes, learn about new items in the Angle Payne store, talk hot heroes, further the pie or cake debate...and oh yeah, did I mention talking hot heroes?
A bit about me...
I've been hooked on books since I was a kid but it got worse in my twenties when I discovered romances--the hotter, the better. Growing up in Southern California, with lots of surfer manliness surrounded me, was was certainly a good boost for reading about delicious alpha guys and the women who adore them. When I learned I had a knack for telling these stories too, I guess you could say I was doomed--though my path toward romance novelist took a few detours via a concert-reviewing gig for my college newspaper (free show tickets...backstage passes...that was a no-brainer), artist interviews for a Beverly Hills dance music mag, personal assistant work for a record producer, dance club disc jockey, and a lot of fun in the hospitality industry.
These days, I still live in California, and have found an amazing alpha guy of my own who was brave enough to marry me. We live on a street that looks like Brigadoon, with our beautiful daughter. I have the best life ever, and never forget to thank the Big Guy Upstairs for it, either.
Victoria Blue lives in her own portion of the galaxy known as Southern California. There she finds the love and life sustaining power of one amazing sun, two unique and awe inspiring planets and three indifferent, yet comforting moons. Life is fantastic and challenging and everyday brings new adventures to be discovered. She looks forward to seeing what's next!