Saturday, July 20, 2013

Get Laid: The First Chapter

Here's the first chapter of my new release from Ellora's Cave, Get Laid:

Chapter One
Thursday, June 21

Eliza Wu heard the whine of the vacuum cleaner as soon as she opened the front door to her house. The noise dashed her hopes of fun and relaxation with her husband, Jason. For the last two hours of her ten-hour work-day, she’d dreamed about curling up on the couch with Jason and a wine cooler, making out and maybe even getting past second base for the first time in weeks.

His cleaning indicated a bad mood over the state of their home renovations, leading to a rant, maybe another argument and certainly not the sex she’d planned to initiate. She sighed, slipped off the high heels she’d worn to work, and steeled herself.

She picked her way through the living room, using the narrow path they’d cleared. Eliza lifted her arms to avoid brushing against a teetering pile of books, stepped on a coat-hanger in the process and cursed at the sudden stab to her foot. Shaping her body into an awkward position, she managed to dangle her arm over an out-of-place stack of holiday decorations and set down her laptop bag beside the couch.

Both she and Jason preferred to keep the house neat, but the renovations made that impossible. The entire contents of their bedroom closet now occupied the living room, making way for contractors to restructure the house’s storage areas. Musty boxes from the basement invaded the hallway thanks to a big rewiring project that required a lot of space.

Eliza resisted the urge to straighten up in the living room. If her husband was vacuuming, he needed her attention now.
Jason vacuumed with such intensity that he hadn’t noticed Eliza enter the house. She paused in the doorway to the kitchen and took stock of the situation. Jason had shoved the table and most food from the pantry aside, blocking the refrigerator door in the process. That wine cooler seemed just as inaccessible as he did.

The contractors had done something to the ceiling. Plaster hung in ribbons and a thick layer of dust covered the top of the stove, the spice rack and the utensils in the holder beside the stove. Damn. Eliza vaguely remembered promising to move those.

Jason looked about as unkempt as the kitchen. Sweat gleamed in his short black hair, rolled down his forehead and soaked his button-up work shirt. Dust from the kitchen spattered his wide nose and lightened the color of his lips. His biceps and forearm muscles rippled as he jerked the vacuum cleaner back and forth with thick, harsh strokes. A frown wrinkled his otherwise unlined face as he grabbed the trash can and pulled it out of his way.

“Hey there, hot man,” Eliza said. “You doing okay?”

Jason grunted, switched off the vacuum, and stood gripping the handle for a moment before turning to her. He shook his head. “I thought they weren’t going to start in here until tomorrow. They said they didn’t put down plastic because we hadn’t moved our stuff out of the way. Now there’s plaster all over everything and we won’t be able to use the stove without setting a damn fire.”

Eliza’s face felt hot. “Jason, I’m so sorry, but I think I remember Bob telling me last week that they needed to get in here by today at the latest. I was going to move stuff—I had it on my calendar for last night—but I’ve been so busy organizing the fundraising dinner for work that it must have slipped my mind.” She did her best to keep her voice strong through her confession. They’d been fighting so much more than usual lately, and she didn’t think she had the energy for another argument after the day she’d just had.

Jason shoved his hands into his pockets and turned his back. “I don’t want to fight about this—”

“Good. Me neither.”

“But this is why I keep telling you how important it is to record every conversation we have with them in that shared document I set up online. We both need to be aware of everything. I could have helped you if I’d known.”

Eliza took a deep breath. She knew his request was reasonable, but she just hadn’t had time to figure out how to use his document-sharing program. “I’m sorry. Maybe this weekend I can get that open. I’d been thinking maybe we could go out, but I guess that’s not how life works when you’re a grown-up. I don’t know how people manage to have kids without going crazy.”

An odd expression crossed Jason’s face. He sighed and pressed his thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose. “I hope you’re wrong about what it means to be an adult. There has to be a better way. I don’t know if I can handle spending another weekend looking for ways to make more space in the attic.”

Eliza shook her head. “We’re going to have to if we don’t want more of our stuff to get ruined. I wish we could forget about it and be wild, but that’s not what responsible people do.” Eliza needed that wine cooler now. She headed for the pile he’d made and set about unearthing the refrigerator. She scrubbed one hand through her hair, undoing her short ponytail in the process. “At least this will be over in two weeks. We’ll have more than a month to make the house nice before our anniversary. I am so looking forward to that.”

By scooting the heaviest things out of the way with the side of her thigh, Eliza could open the refrigerator door just enough to slide her arm in and identify a wine cooler by shape. She snaked it out of the refrigerator, but her hand slipped on the sweating glass bottle just before she got it clear. It crashed to the floor and shattered, soaking the lower half of her stockings and the big bags of flour and rice from the pantry with pink, sugary alcohol. Shards of glass surrounded her and Eliza swallowed, thinking of her bare feet.

Her husband responded before she could. “Don’t move,” Jason said. He was barefoot himself, but that didn’t stop him from getting in close enough to sweep her up into his arms. The man might sit behind a desk all day at work, but he put in his time at the gym. His taut muscles flexed around Eliza as he lifted her out of the mess and glass and tucked her against his chest.

Jason carried Eliza to the other side of the room and set her on the table. “Are you all right? Did you cut yourself?” He lifted one sticky, stocking-covered foot in his hand and inspected it for injuries.

“I didn’t get hurt.” Eliza caught his other hand and brought it to her lips. “Thanks, Jason. Really.”

He kissed the side of her face in response, and she wished he’d gone for her mouth instead. She reached to pull him in for a better kiss, but before she could he crossed back to the refrigerator and folded his arms across his chest. Eliza and Jason both sighed.

“I think we’re going to have to throw all this food away because of the glass,” Jason said.

“I’m sorry.” She got off the table and tapped one foot, trying to remember where they’d moved the broom.

“You stay there. I’ll take care of this.”

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

Eliza smiled, a little of the tension easing. “I want to do something really fun at home for our anniversary. It’s five years, and maybe our last chance before we have to grow up for real and behave. We should jump on the beds and have sex on the kitchen table.”

“About that…”


“If you haven’t opened the document I shared with you, then you didn’t see the note I made about the latest delay.”

Eliza’s voice darkened. “What?”

“When they checked out the master bathroom, they found a rotten beam. It needs to be fixed, but Bob said it means the job won’t be done until mid-August.”

“But that’s only two weeks before our anniversary! That’s more than a month behind schedule.”

Jason shrugged. He wrapped his hand in a dishtowel and began throwing items from the pantry into a big black trash bag. “I don’t like it any more than you. They have to finish the job eventually, one way or another.”

“He always finds something else! Did you ask him if he’s sure about the schedule this time?”

Jason stood abruptly and stepped away from the mess in front of the refrigerator. “I don’t want you criticizing me for how I talked to Bob. Why did we think renovations were a good idea?”

“Oh, Jason.” Eliza rushed to his side and tried to put her arms around him, but he shook her off.

Her husband rubbed one hand over his face. “I don’t want us to fight again. I want to have a nice time with you tonight. Do you know why I was upset when you got home? I left the office a little early and I was going to straighten up around here and make you dinner. If we could open the damn refrigerator, you’d see I picked up avocados and a bunch of other stuff you like. I got home and found the kitchen like this, and I knew I couldn’t get it sorted out in time to surprise you.”

Jason grunted and tossed a few more things into the trash bag. Eliza hovered nearby, wishing she could wave their problems away and start the fun they both wanted. She found herself staring at his firm ass, trying to remember the last time she’d really grabbed it. They’d always had a good relationship, a hot relationship. She’d been shocked to see how the stress of renovations had reduced them to sniping at each other.

“I miss you, Jason.”

He stopped moving. “What do you mean?”

“I miss your body. When was the last time we really had some time to ourselves?”

“You mean other than time we spend complaining to each other about the renovations from hell?”

“I love that you were going to make me dinner. Really, I do. It’s just there’s something I might need more than dinner. I think we both need it.”

A slow grin spread over Jason’s face. “I may have had an ulterior motive when I decided to make you dinner.”

“I hope you did.” Eliza reached out to him with one hand. “Can’t we clean it up in the morning? We have to stop letting these renovations ruin our lives.”

Jason took her in his arms before she finished her sentence. Eliza leaned up toward him as her lips demanded the kiss she’d been thinking about a few minutes before. She closed her eyes, caught up in the familiar, unique smell of him.

Over five years of marriage, Jason had learned exactly how Eliza liked to be kissed. She could relax into it, knowing he’d ease her mouth open at just the right pace, find her tongue with unerring precision and direct his fingers toward the spot behind her ear that felt the best.

“Mmm.” Eliza wrapped her arms around him, rocking her hips forward until she could feel his erection. Even through clothes, the contact sent a jolt through her body. She had needed this.

She did what she’d been fantasizing about a moment before, sliding her hands down his back to grip his ass and squeeze. Without letting Jason break the kiss, Eliza worked her hands down the back of his pants, wanting to feel his bare skin.

Jason grinned against her mouth and picked her up off the floor. Eliza needed some more. She loved it when he showed off his strength. He cradled her securely, one arm supporting her shoulders and the other holding her thighs.

Settling her closer against his body, Jason came up for air and cocked his head to one side. “Where the hell am I carrying you? The bedroom’s a mess.”

“Couch? I don’t know.”

“Couch,” Jason agreed, and resumed kissing her. He started a slow walk in the direction of the living room, holding Eliza steady while she attacked the buttons of his shirt.

The kiss so absorbed Eliza that she didn’t think to remind Jason about the glass on the floor, and he must have been in the same condition. The lustful growls in the back of his throat turned into one loud, sincere growl, followed by a string of cursing.

Eliza clung to the back of his neck. “Jason? What’s the matter?”

“Glass! Damn it.” He rushed to the table and set her down again, then hopped up beside her to examine his foot. Eliza winced in sympathy at the wicked shard lodged in his sole and the bright blood welling up around it.

“I’ll go get the first aid kit,” she said.

“Do we even know where it is?”

“I’ll find it.”

Eliza ran to the bathroom and rummaged through the medicine cabinet. When she returned a moment later, Jason had collapsed onto his back on the kitchen table.

“You okay?”

“Fine, other than the blood coming out of my foot. You’ve got a bandage?”


He propped himself up on one elbow and studied the scene in the kitchen while Eliza used tweezers to pull the glass out of his foot.

“Sweetheart?” Jason said once she had it clear.


“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I have to clean that mess up tonight. Now. As soon as you’re done with the bandage.”

Eliza caught the meaning hidden behind the words. “So you’re saying no more fun for the night.” She poured hydrogen peroxide over the cut on his foot.

“I’m afraid so. I just can’t concentrate on anything besides getting all this stuff out of our kitchen. Not even you. I’m sorry.”

His wife sighed. “I get it. I don’t like it, but I understand.”

“I’ll make it up to you, I swear.”

Eliza glared up at him. “I’m holding you to that.”

“Please do.”

“Fine.” She squirted antiseptic onto the bandage in her hand. “I want us to get a hotel room. Tomorrow night. We’re going to make love if it kills us.”


You can pick up the full book here.

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