Chained Melodies: An Unfamiliar Scene
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by Angelia Whiting, Tad Daniels
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Gabby hadn't intended the deception as anything more than a self-protection--she hadn't lied. She simply hadn't admitted she was widowed, but as she was lured deeper and deeper into CMSgt. Erik Coledane's long range seduction, she began to realize she'd made a fatal mistake that could tear her world apart. Erik wouldn't tolerate a woman who lied to him. He cherished openness and trust above all else. Rating: Carnal--Adult situations and language. M´┐Żnage. Cybersex. Phone Sex. Mild BDSM.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: March 2009
37 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [285 KB]
Reading time: 182-255 min.
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"Excellent!" Gabby fell against the back of her computer chair. "Whoa!"
The chair overcompensated, tilting quickly back to a forty-five degree angle, causing her arms and legs to reflexively flail as though she was saving herself from falling. Rupert, her fat cat perched atop the chair's back, propelled himself in a feline leap halfway across the room. It was amazing how gracefully, yet quickly, that cat could move when it was freaked. Gabby's chair readjusted to its prior homeostatic position and she refocused, smiling at the computer screen.
She'd just sold one of her favorite portraits.
It was a photo resembling a section of an oil painting of the archangel Gabriel that hung in her grandmother's living room. She was his namesake, and Gabby had always admired the artwork, too. It portrayed the angel with his mighty wings spread. But it wasn't Gabriel she had focused in on. Her interest was on the woman he was reaching for. Barely clad except for a silky, green veil that covered her head and most of her face, exposing only bright, emerald eyes, the woman cowered away from the archangel. Gabby had been so intrigued by the mysterious woman that when she had become a photographer, she had decided to create a photograph depicting her. Of course she had embellished it with her own signature elements, but this particular photo wasn't going to be mass produced for posters and promos and greeting cards, or a hodgepodge of other things. Gabby wanted it to be one of a kind. She'd kept it for ten years, but lately she was beginning to feel as if it should be sold. It was an original after all and now that her name was becoming well known, she thought the photograph could bring a tidy profit.
"Three sixteen a.m.?" According to the email, that was when the sale had gone through. "Who the heck stays up that late looking at art?"
And wow, the buyer hadn't even bid on it, but paid the buy now amount. Gabby grinned with satisfaction. That meant she had gotten her asking price. Hopefully it wasn't an impulse purchase, which often ended with the customer backing out of the deal. There were terms of agreement against that, but Gabby usually let it go because it happened so infrequently.
"Well, let's see who this unique person is that took interest in this particular piece of work." Unique because it took someone with particular tastes to pay four hundred and fifty dollars for an eleven by fourteen photograph of a nude angel bound with beaded, silk chains. The buyer had to be someone special. She scanned down the email, locating the mailing address and froze. She read it again. It suddenly felt as if her heart went still, and Gabby gulped.
The buyer was a soldier stationed in Iraq.
Gabby released a steady breath as her heart thumped and then wrenched. She flattened a palm to her chest, imagining the horrors he'd probably witnessed, and stared at his name.
CMSgt. Erik T. Coldane.
A strange sensation that Gabby couldn't quite identify lurched in her stomach. Her heart went out to him, a total stranger trapped in the machinations of a government that kept sending our youth to war. Gabby leaned back in her chair. This man, whoever he was, might never come home. He could die. What she felt was the urge to comfort him.
"Hey, have you seen the key to the shed?"
The voice startled her and Gabby jumped. Turning she looked at Matt, who stood in the doorway of her office-slash-studio. She scratched at her temple, her gaze dropping to the floor as she pictured the keys and recalled the jingling sound they made before remembering what she did with them. "I think they're still in my sweater pocket, the blue one hanging by the side door."
Matt nodded and turned to leave.
"Hey, Matt, look at this." Gabby pointed to the address on the computer screen.
Changing directions, Matt turned and then came up behind her. He leaned over her shoulder to see what Gabby was pointing at.
"This guy just bought one of my photos. He's stationed in Iraq, and I feel like I just have to send some extras that he could use. Have any ideas?"
Matt seemed to ponder that for a moment before speaking. "Probably wet wipes, mints, chap stick, I guess."
"Those are good ideas." Gabby picked up a pen, jotting the items down on the pad of paper next to her laptop. Her attention returned to the screen. She heard Matt leaving the room and called out. "What are the kids doing?"
He yelled back. "They're playing in the yard."
While vaguely listening to his footsteps fading in the hallway, Gabby dragged her fingers through her hair, her thoughts turning pensive as she attempted to picture what this guy might be like. "Probably some poor kid who's homesick as hell."
Her eyes flicked to the rank, CMSgt. "Chief, I think that's what it stands for, and master."
How long did it take to become a Chief Master Sergeant for the Air Force?
Master, she chuckled quietly at the word master. Maybe there was more to his interest in the chained angels than met the eye? Her friend Julie would read into that most certainly. Julie, known as Jewel on the scene, was a slave who lived the BDSM lifestyle. She loved to be chained and spanked. Her tastes were a bit extreme for Gabby, but hey, who was she to judge what other's deemed pleasurable?
Gabby had done a photo-shoot with Julie a few years back, right after she had moved from Philadelphia to the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina. Jewel had been a natural. Dressed like an angel of course, minus the dress, she had worn only gold metal wings and gold metal chains wrapped around her body. That was the first time they had met, and Gabby had been intrigued by Jewel's candidness about her lifestyle preferences. It was certainly an educational eye-opener for Gabby if nothing else, though Gabby could never see herself engaging in those practices. Nevertheless they had hit it off, she and Jewel becoming great friends. Their contact was mostly by phone since Jewel lived in Rock Hill, which was about forty-five minutes away, though they did manage to get together for dinner or drinks on occasion.
On a heavy exhale, Gabby leaned back in her chair and swiveled from side to side. "I have no idea what kind of box should be used to mail things to the Middle East. There might be regulations about those things."
Gabby looked down when the cat mewed. Rupert was back and he was pawing at her thigh, requesting permission to jump into her lap.
"Hey Rupert." Drawing up her legs, Gabby tucked them beneath her, tailor sitting in her chair. She snapped her fingers twice and the cat leapt up, pranced a bit before curling into a ball atop her thighs. Immediately, he began purring. Gabby lazily scratched his head, though her attention was focused directly on her computer. With her other hand she dragged the mouse, pointing the arrow to the toolbar at the top of the email screen and clicked on reply. She then began to type.
Hello Erik Coledane,
Thank you for your purchase. I was wondering what kind of package I should send it in? I'm not sure of the regulations.
Gabby went still, her thoughts remaining on the soldier. The email she was about to send was going half way around the world to a war zone, to a place where Americans died every day for the sake of peace and freedom. A pang squeezed in her chest, and Gabby felt her eyes water. Damn if she didn't feel like crying.
Leaning forward she brought her fingers to the keyboard and typed a little more.
Oh and by the way, be careful out there.