My Oceanside Beloved

(post contains an NSFW excerpt of A New Dawn)

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Oh. My. God. Check out this incredibly beautiful necklace Bunny at Bunique Beads made!

A gift from the sea: a teardrop-shaped shell, smooth and polished, is accented by antique copper, heishi shell slices, and mottled blue beads in this natural beach necklace. A copper lobster-claw clasp and extender chain finish off the piece meant to be worn close to the throat.

Length: 16-18 inches
Pendant: 1 inch by 1 inch

It’s called My Oceanside Beloved, inspired by Xav and Essie from A New Dawn (available now from AmazonKoboAll Romance Ebooks and Loose Id).

Bunny says, “This beach beauty is inspired by one of the first sexy scenes…”

To celebrate this incredible piece, here’s an NSFW snippet from the scene she means:

Alone again, Essie shook her head at herself. Talking to dolphins was bad enough. Imagining answers even worse. But making playdates with them? Seriously, she had to get out more. Maybe pick up a guy in a club for something hot, quick, and anonymous. Why not? She didn’t know who she was, so what difference would it make who he was? Besides, with her help, it was going to work out just right for Juliet and the less than Shakespearean Romeo who’d gone down on her in the bathroom of a club.

Essie rubbed her salt-burned eyes and then twisted her hair back into a knot. From beside her, she gathered the fragrant mokihana-berry lei she’d made last night, untangled it from the diving knife she always carried when she swam alone, and then slipped it over her head. The gentle breeze lifted the mokihana’s anise scent to perfume the air and rattled through the palms, giving her meditation a poignant, if peaceful, backdrop.

No sooner had Essie dropped into what she called truesight—her ability to see the past, present, and possible futures laid out as a shimmering gossamer web and follow along the threads—than the touch of a warm palm to her air-dried shin shuddered through her like a temple gong. She stiffened, inched her fingers toward the knife, and curled them around it, but she couldn’t shake truesight’s grip.

The hand made slow, worshipful pilgrimage up to her knee. She ought to be afraid, she thought distantly, but no. Her gift would warn her if she were in danger. If it wasn’t any good for figuring out who she was, it had, at least, always done that much. And it didn’t now. Didn’t and wouldn’t release her.

Maybe it was just a dream, or a vision, brought on by her thoughts of Juliet’s adventure? She always did have vivid, visceral dreams.

A kiss, gently reverent, from warm, soft lips to the spot where knee joined thigh, finally broke her connection, ejecting her forcefully from truesight on a way too pleasant shiver. Her gaze lit first on broad shoulders the color of cacao pods, except where black ink swirled down the arm, and although she couldn’t see for certain from here, she thought down the side too. Her breath caught in her chest when a strong hand, calloused from fingertip to palm, curled lightly against her calf, like a hibiscus blossom floating on the water.

She drew her gaze upward finally to a face with broad lips, a proud nose, and dark eyes glinting with welling laughter. Neatly trimmed hair and dark mole on the point of his right cheekbone finished off a handsome face—not too pretty to trust, but the kind that, in a pulled-over car during a torrential downpour, made a woman willing to wait out the rain inside.

Every bit of common sense—not to mention every manual on women’s self-defense, and every horror film she’d ever watched—militated stabbing him with her knife and running to the soundtrack of his screams. But if he’d wanted to hurt her, he’d already had his chance while she flailed like a fly in truesight’s web. Fuck, probably before that too.

Essie chewed at the side of her bottom lip and smiled tentatively at him. He didn’t move, other than to rub his thumb in soft circles around her ankle bone, and to smile back, almost sheepishly, like he’d been caught buying a Girl Scout’s entire stock of cookies because she said she was tired. It should be creepy, all the not talking, but it didn’t feel like not talking. It felt, well, like talking without words. Almost like talking to Kahuna.

Especially now when he took several steps away from the chest-high pier, lifting his hands, as if he’d read the worry from her mind. It could be a ruse, meant to lull her into complacency, but Essie didn’t think so. If she said no, he’d go, and this would be the end of it. Even now, his broad shoulders lifted slowly and then fell, leaving his gaze filled with unspoken longings and regret.

In that heartbeat, Essie knew she wouldn’t say no. Even if she hadn’t just been fantasizing about an anonymous hookup when he appeared, like something straight out of her dreams, she didn’t want it to end here. They hadn’t said a word to each other, but she already felt less alone that she had since her on-again, off-again bestie with benefits, Kapueo, died. She let her lip slip out from between her teeth, shook her head, and when she extended a hand to him, her body thrummed with almost gleeful agreement.

His eyes brightened instantly, but he still cocked his head and raised an eyebrow, not stepping forward. Are you sure?

Her stomach fluttered, nerves warring with anticipation until anticipation won out in a sweep of electric tingles. She could have said yes in words, but she didn’t want the distraction, the splash of cold water against the lust-heated turn of her thoughts, or to discover something unbeautiful to ruin the moment. Instead, she smiled, nodded once, and gave herself over to it—to the mystery man who probably wasn’t her Jose, or her Romeo for that matter.

His gaze never left hers as he stepped forward to skim up her calf with his palm and hooked it beneath her knee. The other echoed it, spreading her legs apart to let the ocean breeze stir and brush against her already slick slit. When he didn’t immediately wedge his hips between her thighs but sank down to the level of the pier, Essie broke into a full Cheshire grin. Perfect.

Almost too perfect. The thought shattered on the scrape of the rough pad of his thumb dragging, not parting them, but awakening them. A shiver, almost of premonition, ran along her spine, escaping through her lips as a bittersweet sigh. She loved firsts and beginnings, when everything was still potential.

Again, he stroked up her crease, then again with both thumbs, teasing her slowly open, and even then, he didn’t dive right in. He bent to her and blew cool air through pursed lips until her clit throbbed with the chill and her hips rocked, making her even more aware of the rough-sanded boards beneath her ass.

Warm breath followed, his open mouth near her swelling flesh but not touching it, no matter how far forward she rolled her hips. A sigh gave way to a slow whine that came from her chest and seemed to be drawn out through the twin points of her hardened nipples.

Her stranger chuckled, the rich sound as warm as his breath. Much warmer than the—oh, gods. Her hips arched high as warm metal rolled between her labia. Her fingers curled into claws, nails scraping against the pier. Pierced. No wonder he hadn’t opened his mouth.