Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Glass Knot - Now an audio book

If you love hot MMF and you love audio books, here's a treat for you. THE GLASS KNOT has been narrated by the brilliant Rebecca McKernon and is available now on Amazon and iTunes. You can also read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Back Cover Information

What's a girl to do when the guy she falls for is married to another man?

This is exactly what happened to me. Seeing Josh Kendal stroll out of the Mediterranean Sea wearing tight navy swim trunks and looking like a hot new James Bond was a truly delicious moment. Catching sight of his wedding ring was like a kick in the shin and meeting his gorgeous husband, phew, that was enough to make any girl groan at the cruel joke God was playing on her.

But all was not as it seemed, and when Josh needed a woman to sort out a 'delicate predicament' I was the one for the job - heck, what did I have to lose? Certainly not as much as him, literally.

Trouble is, emotions always get tangled, loyalties can't help but be divided and with a night of memories so hot they'd have the devil sweating, there was only one thing for it--it was time to get honest, fight for what I wanted despite society's constraints and open my heart to the people it needed most.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

July Freebies and Lakeland Inspiration

Surely there is no other place in this whole wonderful world quite like Lakeland … no other so exquisitely lovely, no other so charming, no other that calls so insistently across a gulf of distance. All who truly love Lakeland are exiles when away from it.
-- Alfred Wainwright

Hi my Lovelies! There’s a very good reason why I started this post with this beautiful quote from the great Lakeland hero, Alfred Wainwright. Quite by delicious coincidence, all three of my fabulous July freebies are set in the English Lake District. Besides being one of my favorite places on the planet, Lakeland is one of the most atmospheric, and inspiring. The fact that I’ve just gotten back from four glorious days of walking on the fells reminds me once again why it tends to be the place that always brings me home to myself. Everyone should have a place that will do that for them. Having said that, how can such a place keep from being the setting for a good story?

SOOOO! That leads me to some July goodies. Whether you're on the beach or in the shade, in the garden or on a plane, summer heat lends itself nicely to doing as little as possible with a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other. And thanks to eReaders, you can have the whole library. I'm gearing up for summer travels and making sure my Kindle is well-stocked. Be sure you do the same. Here are three giveaways going on during the month of July with a whole library of great summer reads. Each includes enough to make you want to spend the entire summer curled up reading, and each includes a free KDG read. So follow the links to summer bliss!

The Hotter the Better Steamy Romance Giveaway


You'll find my sizzling novella, In Training in this fabulous library of steamy romance. Read blurb and excerpt here.

The Kick-Ass Women of Urban Fantasy


You'll find my novel, In The Flesh, here. It's the first novel of the Medusa's Consortium series. Read blurb and excerpt here.

Short but not Sweet


You'll find my M/M novella, Landscapes, here. Read blurb and excerpt here

SOOOO! Read until your heart is content, and all for FREE!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Small Flashlight, Big Darkness?

Today’s post is a hard one for me to settle into because it could so easily devolve into navel gazing,
and one of the promises I made to myself and to my readers back when I wrote my very first ever blog post was that I would keep the navel gazing to a minimum. There must be a gazillion writer and write-hopefuls blogging, and each one is convinced that their journey to writing success is totally unique and must be shared. Well maybe not each one, maybe I’m only speaking for myself, in which case, I blush heartily and apologise.

My point is that all of the energy, angst, fear, adrenaline, exploration of dark places, exploration of forbidden places that used to go into the pages and pages of that gargantuan navel-gaze that was my journal now go through that strange internal filtering process that takes all my many neuroses and insecurities, all my deep-seated fears, all my misplaced teenage angst and magically transforms them into story. 

That was sort of my little secret -- that I alone, in all the world, suffered uniquely and exquisitely for my art. I took all the flawed and wounded parts of myself, parts I wasn’t comfortable facing, examined them reflected through the medium of story and found a place where I could view them and not run away screaming. 

Several years ago there was a BBC article asking the question, is creativity ‘closely entwined with mental illness?’I shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find that lots of other writers had shared it as well and the general response was simply that it sounded about right. There were some very moving conversations that came out of those sharings of that article along with the realization -- something I’ve long suspected -- that I am not all alone out there in my vibrant unique neurotic bubble. And really, it comes as no surprise that one has to be at least a little neurotic to be ballsy enough to try to bring, in one form or another, what lives in our imagination into the real world and to attempt to put it out there for everyone to see.

As the article was shared around and the responses mounted, I found myself thinking of C.G. Jung’s archetype of the Wounded Healer. The healer can only ever heal in others what she herself is suffering from. Empathy goes much deeper than sympathy. The human capacity for story is as old as we are. Before the written word, story was the community archive. It was our memory of who we are, our history, our continuity, our triumphs, trials, sufferings, joys, all memorised, filed away, and kept safely in the mind of the story teller. That had to do something to your head, knowing that you were the keeper of the story of your people! How could storytellers be anything other than neurotic? 

It’s a lot more personal now that we have the written word. No one has to dedicate their lives to memorising the story of their people. Now we tell our own story, the story of the internal battles that wound us, the story of those wounds transformed. We all tell our stories in our own personal code. What may well start out as a navel gaze into the deep dark wilderness of Self can be transformed into powerful, vibrant story, and we’re healed! At least temporarily, or at least we’re comforted. And hopefully so are those with whom we share our stories. When I journalled my navel-gazes, I wasn’t interested in anyone else seeing what was on those pages. It was a one-sided attempt at a neurotic house-cleaning. Sharing the story is a part of the healing; sharing the story is a part of the journey.
The Storyteller had no purpose if she didn’t share the story with her people.

The archetype of the storyteller is alive and well. And I believe writers live out the archetype of the wounded healer on a daily basis. 

Most of the time I write my stories because it’s just too much fun not to. That’s the truth of it. I seldom consciously dig deep to find those wounded, neurotic places. Really, who would want to do that deliberately? But the wounded places find me, and they end up finding their way into the story. And what surfaces is never quite what I expected, always more somehow, even if starts as a joke with a workshop prompt involving a tin of pears in heavy syrup.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Want a hot hockey player as your new book boyfriend?

If so, then check out HOT ICE!

Seven full length novels, all fine as standalone reads (though if you read them in order you'll briefly meet the hero of the next book) and all available on Kindle Unlimited.

Find out more here

Books #1 and #2 are only 99c/99p!

Book #1 HIRED also on audio!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Feathers and Kink

I'm watching two fat wood pigeons plopped down, all fluffed up, in my birdbath like it’s their own
personal hot tub. My garden is full of feeders and birdbaths which allow my inner voyeur and my inner bird lover to play together, and the baths have been particularly popular during the big freeze we’ve just recovered from. During that time, I periodically broke the ice and added hot water to the baths. In the harshest part of the winter, it is water, as much as food, that birds lack, since it’s all frozen. But all that’s passed now, and these two wood pigeons are simply sprawled having a wallow for my viewing pleasure. That being the case, it’s no surprise that I’m thinking feathers.

Don’t you just love the feel of feathers? I adore feathers! I don’t own a feather boa, since I’ve never found one that goes really well with my walking boots, though feathers are waterproof, you know? Still I never miss an opportunity to stroke anything that has feathers. Sadly birds aren’t all that keen on having their feathers stroked. Our oily fingers are icky to them, apparently. Anyway, because those lovely feathers “zip” together in such a way to allow birds to catch the wind in their wings and fly, they are notoriously difficult to get close enough to for a good stroke of the feathers, rendering them relatively safe from our oily fingers.

Thinking about feathers got me thinking about kink, and kink got me thinking about the Brit Babes collection, Sexy Just Got Kinky. Yup! If you like kink, you’ll find something in these pages to suit you. I can’t recommend this juicy book enough. If you’ve not already read it, the stories are sexy, steamy and fun. And since good kinky fun is a fabulous way to round out the week, I thought I’d share a little feather kink from my own story, A Bird in the Bush.

And I’ve added the links below for instant gratification. J

Sexy Just Got Kinky Blurb:
Welcome to Sexy Just Got Kinky, the third instalment of the Brit Babes’ Sexy Just series. Tantalise your dark side with kinks to make you think. From lovers behind bars to lone ladies behind the lens—fisticuffs and feathers, lilos and lube, scissors and sticks, whips, canes and bondage, there’s sure to be a kink within these pages to whet your appetite, tickle your fancies and heat up cold nights.

A Bird in the Bush

By K D Grace

Cockerel, rooster, male chicken - whatever the hell you wanted to call him, he was enormous! Think Big Bird of the barnyard, and you get the picture. Oh my God! I wanted to bury my face in those gorgeous scarlet and emerald tail feathers while he wriggled his arse and cock-a-doodle-dooed at the top of his lungs.
Okay, let me just clarify before you get the idea that I do obscene things to animals. This was not a real cock … not the barnyard kind. I did say think Big Bird, didn’t I? This was a man strutting around Stoke Park in a fucking chicken costume! And it was a bloody brilliant one – no cheap-arsed papier-mâché, not this cock, no siree! Even from a distance - and it wasn’t much of a distance because I nearly ran into him on the sidewalk in front of the duck pond - I could tell those luscious plumes were genuine ostrich. Even the very thought had my nipples drilling through my vest.
            The ginormous rooster stepped back all chivalrous-like and gave me a well-executed bow. Before I could ask what a big cock was doing parading around the duck pond in Stoke Park, he reached into a leather bag that hung over one broad avian shoulder and pulled out a lollipop, which he unwrapped. And then the cheeky cock stuck it in my mouth brushing the tip of my nose with the soft golden feathers that covered his hands. My dirty mind went crazy. I’ll admit I might have even moaned out loud and rolled my eyes. I mean it was a cherry lollipop, for godsake! The end resembled the tip of a penis all bright and hard like it was anticipating some serious in and out, and the giant rooster just sticks it right in my mouth! It’s bad enough that I moaned, but then …  I slurped. Loudly. I didn’t mean to, honestly I didn’t. It’s just that I was already salivating and having something hard stuffed into my mouth when I was fantasising about a tumble behind the shrubbery with those thick, silky feathers wrapped around me, how could I not slurp? Of course I couldn’t see his eyes inside the chicken head. I couldn’t tell if he was checking out my happy nips, and I sure as hell couldn’t tell if he had a hard-on when his entire body was well decked in plumage. I couldn’t even hear if he was breathing hard because before I could manage to cheek the sweetie and politely thank him, the yummy mummies descended in a flock of excited kiddos, all grabbing and reaching – the kiddos, not the yummy mummies. Without missing a beat, my gloriously well-plumed cock offered me a flyer from his bag and then began handing out lollipops to the kiddos and flyers to the parents. I was left to slurp and watch him shake his tail feathers and flap his winged arms for his young audience. At least they thought he was doing it for them. But I knew he was doing it just for me and my perky buds, and I stood there slurping and watching shamelessly. As he bok-bok -boked and cock-a-doodle-dooed and strutted and pranced and, as his jaunty plumage shimmied and shook, I got wetter and wetter, and I found myself in need of some serious me time.
I'm an avid birder, it's true! I've happily spent days in wet muddy woodlands and in stuffy hot hides to catch a glimpse of birds in action. I don’t care if they’re common blue tits or something rare and exotic just blown in from Africa on a storm. My reasons for watching are a bit different from my fellow birdwatchers and, since there’s no way to put this delicately, I’ll just come right out and say it - I consider watching birds foreplay. I don't care if they're fucking or singing or just loafing. It doesn't matter. They turn me on, and the reason is because they all have feathers. It’s the feathers that heat me up to a sizzle. When I see a blackbird preening, fluttering and flicking its wings and running its beak through its glorious blue-black plumage, or a starling flitting about in a birdbath, chittering and flapping and dazzling, like a sequin-clad can-can dancer in Vegas, well it's spontaneous orgasms for me! Feathers will get me there every time. 
I recognize most British birds by sight, sound and feather, as well as a good few from other countries, so I know my birds well enough to know that as amazing as they are, they had to give up a few anatomical bits to be able to fly. No teeth, hollow bones and, the bad news - no cocks. The good news is that the no cock thing isn’t true of all birds. Did you know that some male ducks have enormous cork screw penises? But in spite of the dearth male members among avian male members, I was quite confident that my Barnyard Big Bird was very well equipped.
On the verge of an orgasm, I watched mesmerized as the glorious rooster danced and pranced, and then turned and headed out across the formal gardens at a trot that was way more graceful than one might expect from a man in a chicken suit. When I could see him no longer, still slurping on my lollipop, I glanced down at the flyer. It read:
Gallinaceous: Chicken to Tickle Your Taste buds!
Have a quickie in our food court or enjoy chicken of the world in our fine restaurant at your leisure.
There was an address on Epson Road just up from the row of estate agents and across from the Turkish grocery store. A chicken restaurant? Seriously? My raucous rooster was strutting his stuff to advertise a chicken restaurant? Fast chicken even, and with a KFC just around the corner. That was seriously plucky. Of course KFC couldn’t boast fine dining now could they? And they sure as hell couldn’t boast a giant prancing rooster. I read the rest of the flyer.
Gallinaceous: sophisticated chicken at an affordable price
Taste the chicken of your dreams.
Would that I could, I thought to myself. Would that I could. I tucked the flyer into my bag for
later. Right now, I was in a hurry to get home and take care of some far more urgent business.
As soon as that glorious big cock was out of sight, I quickly pulled the lollipop out of my mouth and tucked it in a candy wrapper that had migrated to the bottom of my bag at some point, and then I hurried home. I barely had the door shut behind me before I was stripping. I suppose it was my version of a molt, leaving a trail of clothes from the door, all the way down the hall and into my room, the butter and seashore scent of my heat getting stronger as I went. 

Buy Sexy Just Got Kinky Here:



Thursday, 1 February 2018

Making Him Wait: Erotica on a canvas of bondage and discipline

It's Kay Jaybee here! I'm delighted to be popping by the Brit Babes blog to help celebrate the re-release of one of my favourite novels.

My art inspired BDSM-romance novel is back!

Re-released by the brilliant Sinful Press, Making Him Wait, is every bit as hot the second time around.

“Erotica on a canvas of bondage and discipline.”

Combining a multitude of popular fantasies, lots of paint brushes, sculpting, and an avalanche of sex-text messages, Making Wait Him, was immense fun to write.


Maddie Templeton has always been an unconventional artist. Themes of submission and domination pulse through her erotic artwork, and she's happily explored these lustful themes both on and off the canvas. But, when Theo Hunter enters her life, she is presented with a new challenge.

Maddie sets out to test his resolve as she teases, torments and toys with him. However, as Maddie drives Theo to breaking point, she soon becomes unsure whether her own resolve will hold out.

At the same time, Maddie must put on the exhibition of a lifetime. As the hottest gallery in town clamours for her best work, Maddie pushes her models harder and higher until they are physically, sexually and emotionally exhausted.

Will Maddie's models continue to submit to her, or will she push them too far? And will she be ready for the exhibition in time? The only way to find out is to wait and see...and the waiting only makes it sweeter!

I thought you might like to read a little taster from Maddie’s life.  It’s always difficult knowing which bit of a book to share- I don’t want to give too much away and so spoilt the book after all!  So the extract I have chosen comes from the very beginning of the when Maddie is training Freya, her newest life model...

Freya rocked a little on her bare feet as Maddie touched her lightly freckled cheek. “No need to look so worried, honey. You are doing brilliantly. It’s a difficult pose to hold for so long.”

“Thank you.” Blushing an endearing shade of pink, Freya lowered the hands she’d nervously clenched before her, giving her employer another chance to see the neat triangle of her semi-shaved pussy.

Maddie, her jeans and t-shirt smeared and spattered with all the mediums of her trade, did not feel the need to mention to Freya that her own knickers were sodden, nor that beneath her holster bra, her nipples were rock hard.

A further buzz from her mobile alerted Maddie to the arrival of another text message. In fact a steady string of muffled noises from her mobile, coming from the pit of her handbag, had been announcing the arrival of texts every ten minutes or so throughout the morning.

Smiling to herself, Maddie continued to disregard her phone and considered the exquisite outline of her companion’s porcelain frame. Most people came to Maddie to be drawn or painted, sometimes as a commission for a lover, husband or wife. Some, however, like Freya, came to the studio as a way of improving their self-confidence. Despite her generally shy demeanour, Freya had proved to be very good at posing as Maddie required and the artist had offered her an occasional job as a life model.

Sometimes Maddie felt she was more therapist than artist – specifically a sex therapist – as men and women alike shared their most intimate secrets while standing on the other side of her easel. Maddie’s studio certainly had the air of an erotic fantasy confessional about it. She wasn’t complaining, however. No other life would do for her now. The job satisfaction Maddie achieved from listening to the dreams and fantasies of others while she recreated them onto canvas, went hand in glove with the personal physical gratification it gave her.

Money being either plentiful or non-existent, depending on the current success of her commissions and sales, Maddie had been forced to develop an alternative form of payment for her models – a reward system for good work. Maddie could tell from the rise and fall of Freya’s chest and the glistening damp skin at the top of her thighs, that she was more than ready to be paid for today’s session.

Closing in on her model, Maddie simultaneously cupped Freya’s slick pussy and left breast with her charcoal-blackened hands, causing an involuntary shiver to ripple through the younger woman’s body.

“Your progress really is outstanding, honey. Few of my models can stay as motionless as you can.” Congratulating Freya on her skill, Maddie left two dark palm prints on the girl’s tits and tapped at the inside of her legs. “Open up. I think you have deserved a treat after all your hard work.”

Gliding her palm over Freya’s mound, Maddie slipped a gentle finger into the slippery canal of the model’s frantically clutching sex, enjoying the murmured mew of contentment that escaped from her lipstick-free mouth.

Pumping gently, the artist brought Freya close to orgasm with steady increases and decreases of pressure – her own mind straying to her mobile. Maddie wondered where Theo was and what he was doing. She knew what he was thinking about. She always knew that. Theo thought about her...
If you would like to buy Making Him Wait, it is available as a paperback or e-book from all good retailers, including-

Thanks ever so much for dropping by today,
Kay xx

Kay Jaybee was awarded Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the Erotic Trade Associations

Kay Jaybee has over 150 publications to her name, including the novels Making Him Wait, (Sinful Press, second edition, 2018), and The Fifth Floor - The Perfect Submissive Book One (KJ Books, third edition, 2017). She has also written the novellas Wednesday on Thursday (KJ Books, 2017), Take Control (1001Nights Press, 2014), Digging Deep, (Xcite Press, 20153), A Sticky Situation (Xcite Press, 2013), and Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man (1001 Nights Press, 2014). She has written the anthologies The Collector (KJBooks, 2016), and A Kink a Day Books 1-3 (available via the Radish reading app).

Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

Kay also writes contemporary romance and children’s picture books as Jenny Kane www.jennykane.co.uk  and historical fiction as Jennifer Ash www.jenniferash.co.uk

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Mythology and Sex

Do you remember when you were just old enough to find sex intriguing, but not old enough for
anyone to think you should be told anything about it? Well, that’s how old I was when I discovered Greek Mythology. Is there any place with more dark, illicit, totally forbidden sex hidden in every tale than mythology?

The mythological world is created through sex; people go to war and destroy whole civilizations for sex. In fact, seduction is what the bored gods are all about. No woman is safe. For that matter no man is safe from them either. And no kid just discovering how interesting their own bodies are can help but appreciate seduction by a swan, or a rain of golden coins, or the night visit from the monster one must never look at, but is one heck of a lover. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fantasized a whole lot more of the details than what my library books about the Greeks had written in them. As any reader knows, the best part of a good book is what we read between the lines in our own imagination. That’s true for writers as well, and that’s what led me to write the Medusa’s Consortiumstories.

Taking the stories from mythology to the next level is the subject of way more than a few really fabulous novels. Taking the romances into places those dog-eared, much loved, library books did not intend for a impressionable young mind to go is one of the best things about mythology. The stories are often little more than jumping-off places for very fertile imaginations … of all ages. That those stories still intrigue us enough for us to want to bring them into our modern world and imbue them with the characteristics of ourselves and of the heroes and heroines we admire attests to their archetypal power.

Speculating on what would happen if Medusa/Magda Gardener was actually alive and thriving today has been endlessly fascinating for me. What if she were more like a cross between a Mafia Queen and a female Nick Fury?  What would her gang of Avengers, her Consortium, look like and who would be in it -- gods, angels, vampires, succubae, demons? It’s my retelling, I can even add a zombie or two if I like. 

In Buried Pleasures, the first book of Medusa’s Consortium series set in Vegas, it was especially fun to make Hades, the god of the dead and the king of the underworld as comfortable in the Vegas storm tunnels with the homeless as he is in an exclusive casino. Always the most brooding of the gods and the most isolated, tricked into taking over the realm of the dead, just how would this intriguing but secretive god go about living in Sin City, and why would he choose such a place?

Death being seduced, even as he seduces is a story I’ve always wanted to tell, and who better to seduce Death than the last of the sirens, who has an agenda of her own? Taking a myth and twisting it, speculating on what might happen, who might do what in the modern world, and what that might mean to everyone else is a wonderful adventure in writing. But I’ll be honest, I’ve had to give over all the control to the head of the Consortium, Magda Gardener. She calls the shots for her Scribes as well as for everyone else who answers to her.

Here’s a little teaser for you.

When Samantha Black shares her sandwich with a dog, his owner, Jon—a homeless man living in the Las Vegas storm tunnels—gives her a poker chip worth a fortune from the exclusive casino, Buried Pleasures. All Sam has to do is cash it in. Sam is in Vegas for one reason only—to get her friend, Evie Holt, away from sinister magician, Darian Fox, who holds her prisoner in an effort to force Sam to perform at his club, Illusions. A neon circus tent of strange and mystical acts, Illusions is one of the biggest draws in Vegas, and he’s hell-bent on including Sam in his disturbing plans.
The shadowy Magda Gardener will do anything to keep Sam from cashing in that chip. She knows that Buried Pleasures is the gate to Hades and cashing in the chip is a one-way ticket across the River Styx, which runs beneath the storm tunnels of Vegas. Jon is really Jack Graves, owner of Buried Pleasures, and Graves is really the god of death, himself, and if things aren’t already confusing enough, he and Magda know what Sam doesn’t. Sam is the last siren. That her song can kill is only the beginning of her story. Jon wants her safe on his side of the River, protected from Fox’s hideous magic. But even Death fears Magda Gardener, who is none other than Medusa, and the gorgon has her own agenda. If Sam is to understand her heritage and win the battle against Darian Fox, not only will she have to trust her heart to Death, but they’ll both have to work for the gorgon, whose connection with Sam runs deeper than any of them could imagine.

Buried Pleasures Excerpt – On a Slow Boat with Death:

“What’s going on, boss?” came the dry-twig voice from deep inside the hood. “We having a

“I need you to take me across the River,” Sam began, not giving Jon a chance to speak. But before she could present her argument or Shiva’s offer, the boatman gave her a deep chivalrous bow.
“Of course, Samantha Arielle.” Then he nodded toward the boat.
“But she’s not dead,” Evie said. “You told me you couldn’t take anyone who was still living, anyone who hadn’t cashed in their chip.”
“Samantha Arielle’s circumstances have changed since last I saw her. Besides,” he added, “this isn’t her first crossing.”
“What? What the hell do you mean this isn’t my first crossing?” She glanced over at Jon, who only shrugged, his brow drawn tight in confusion.
“Sadly, I can’t answer that. The pasts of the dead are not my concern, and their secrets not mine to keep. But,” he bowed once again. “You can come and go as you please. It’ll be my honor to ferry you across.”
“What just happened?” Magda asked Jon. “Did you know this?”
He shook his head. “The secrets of the dead aren’t mine to keep either.”

Sam noticed that Jon was now dressed in his faded fatigues, and before she could wonder where Gus was, she felt the press of a cool, damp nose to the palm of her hand as the dog pushed up against her and whined softly. She stroked his ruff, reassured by his presence and more than a little happy to see him again.
Jon stepped forward. “If she goes, I go with her.”
“Of course, boss,” came the reply from beneath the hood. “I understand from Evie that we’re on the clock, so if there are no objections, shall we be on our way?”
It was as simple as that. On unsteady legs, Sam found herself boarding the boat to cross the River Styx, the great hound of hell at her left, looking no more terrifying at the moment than a large wolf, and the god of the dead himself supporting her on the right.
Chuck led them to the prow of the great boat, which seemed much larger from onboard than it did from the shore. For a moment she fought back a hysterical giggle at its parallel with Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Why shouldn’t Doctor Death’s boat be bigger on the inside? Clearly the prow, which was draped in dark silk and richly-embroidered tapestries, had been reserved for Hades himself. When he took her hand and settled her next to him on the bed of soft cushions, Chuck bowed deeply, gone the informality of their first encounter. Gus settled just beyond the drawn drapes to keep guard—guard which no doubt was not necessary aboard the ferry for the dead.
“Best you don’t look upon the river during the crossing,” said the boatman. “It has… unsettling effects on some passengers.” As he pulled the heavy curtains closed around them, for the first time, Sam had the true sense of being in the presence of Death, of the closing of true darkness all around her, pressing in from every direction. Fighting back panic, she forced words up through a tight throat. “You will let me return, won’t you? I can’t let that monster have Alice. Please, give me that much, let me win her freedom, and then if I die, I die.”
“Did you forget, Samantha? You’ve tasted death. You’re no stranger to this side of the darkness.” He raised her hand to his lips, kissed her knuckles, then pressed her palm tightly against his chest where she could feel the beating of his heart. Death had a heart. It seemed startling to think, and yet she knew this, she’d felt it beat for her, felt it pressed close to the beating of her own heart. “And what’s more, you’ve loved Death. You don’t need my permission to come and go as you please. You’re not my captive.”
He offered her a quirk of a smile, and she realized the total darkness that had settled as the boat embarked had become a strange, shadowy half light in which she had no trouble at all seeing, even making out the rich details of her surroundings. “You’re not my captive, Samantha Arielle,” he reiterated, “but I’m most definitely yours, and I have been for quite some time now. All I’ve done has been to protect you.”
He closed his storm-cloud eyes and bowed his head, and she fought back the urge to run her fingers through his mussed hair. “For my failures and fumblings, for my mistakes and short-sightedness, I humbly ask your forgiveness. Please believe I only ever had your best interests at heart. It was my mistake to underestimate you. It was my mistake to keep secrets from you. But please believe me, Samantha, it was never, ever a mistake to love you.” Still holding her hand pressed to his chest, he lifted his head, and even in the half light she could have lost herself in his eyes beneath their fringe of dark lashes. “Please, Samantha Arielle, forgive me.”
She was a siren, a woman whose command of her voice brought tyrants to their knees, wrecked ships on the rocks, and brought deepest ecstasy and darkest despair, and yet at this moment, she could not find that voice. She swallowed back emotion and nodded her forgiveness through misted eyes, looking upon the beautiful countenance of Death, Death who loved her.
“Don’t lie to me again,” she said, blinking back tears. “I trusted you, Jon. I want to trust you again. I need to trust you again.”
“Then trust me, Samantha.” He pulled her onto his lap, into his arms. “Let me earn your trust, let me prove myself to you.” His words ended in a kiss, a kiss that deepened, dominated, and possessed her until at last she pulled away breathless.
“How long do we have?” She could feel his body shifting beneath her with more than just the gentle rocking of the boat, and the press of his erection made it clear that he wanted her as badly as she wanted him.
“Long enough for me to comfort you.” A kiss. “For me to ease your distress.” Another kiss, low on her collarbone. “For me to love you a little before you do what you have to.”
She was already undoing his fly as he shoved her dress up over her hips, the dress Erica insisted she wear when she crossed the River to meet her lost dead. That’s what the woman had called them—her lost dead. Everywhere Jon touched her through the garment, it felt as though he touched only bare flesh. When she’d managed his trousers, much more awkwardly than she’d have liked, he lifted her onto him as though he couldn’t wait, as though neither of them could wait, and she bit back a gasp at his urgency, even as it matched her own.
And when they were joined, she wrapped her legs around him, and he held her there, letting the rocking of the boat do the work while he kissed and cupped and touched. She returned the favor, losing herself in the moment, and a moment was all the time they had right now. But each shifting, each touching, each exploration was a promise of more to come—long, leisurely lovemaking, endless coming together, holding tight, then shattering into a million dark, shimmering pieces. It didn’t take long. And when they shuddered against each other, the promise lingered in the breathless air between them, the promise of more, the need for more, so much more. If she survived. But then her lover was Death, and Death himself had given her back her life, so perhaps survival is a much more fluid thing when Death is your lover.
“I’m afraid,” she said, when at last she could breathe again. “I suppose I shouldn’t be, under the circumstances.”
“I’m afraid too,” he replied, stroking the back of her hair. Somehow she found his admission of fear comforting, and drew even deeper into his arms, feeling the muscle and sinew of him tighten, warm and protective, around her.
“Do you know where to find them? The sirens?”
“I’ve sent word that you’re coming. Like most who enter the realm of the Dead, they gravitate toward their own, so they aren’t hard to find. Besides, there aren’t many. As I said, I’ve sent a message. I’ve had time to do little else, but I suspect they’ll be as anxious to meet you as you are to meet them.”
“Though probably not as nervous.”

“Perhaps not,” he replied. “But then until you, they—like I—believed that none of their kind had existed in the world of the living for a very, very long time.”