Monday, June 08, 2015

NEW RELEASE: Shades of Desire Box Set (10 Sweet & Spicy Romances)

Shades of Desire Authors: J.A. Coffey, Wendy Ely, Dorothy Callahan, Diane Escalera, Lena Hart, Chanta Rand, Emma Leigh Reed, Cindy Stark, Valerie Twombly, Kristina Knight
Now available! Ten titillating tales from USA Today, bestselling and award-winning authors. Step into the world of some of the freshest voices in romance. From spicy secrets to sweet second chances. Come find your perfect shade of desire.
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J.A. Coffey – Bestselling Author
Divorced certified fraud examiner Jessica Barlow catches liars for a living. Sparks fly when she’s assigned to investigate a dating website owned by a man determined to guarantee she finds love—even if he has to pretend to be a client!

Wendy Ely – USA Today Bestselling Author
Sometimes good men are taught to do evil things and it takes the strength of a sheltered woman to make things right. When Gabi learns of her father, she is asked to leave for her own safety. Fine. She’ll go… but she is taking her secret love with her, even if it’s at gun-point.

Dorothy Callahan – Bestselling Author
Jess never forgot her first kiss, especially since it came from the guy who taught her everything she knows about antiques, her livelihood. But if she wins the priceless inheritance, Jess will risk losing Darius Covington all over again.

Diane Escalera – Bestselling Author
Shay LaCosta screwed up a damn good marriage. Now she's on a mission to get a little submission, and get her hunky husband back in her bed.

Lena Hart – Bestselling Author
Athena Lewis has a sharp mind and an even sharper attitude. Except when it comes to “Davie,” the only man who’s ever truly made her feel safe. Yet to protect the only family she has left, she must embark on a mission that goes against everything she believes in—and that includes using the last trick she has left. Her body.

Chanta Rand – Bestselling Author and Debut Author of the Year
Thrown together for ninety days by a spiteful judge, womanizing attorney, Cayson Sullivan and street-smart hustler, Destiny Jackson find the only thing they can agree on is their red-hot attraction for each other.

Emma Leigh Reed
Pregnant and running from her abusive boyfriend, Chloe Wilder takes refuge in the sleepy coastal town of Arden. Police chief, Jayden Peterson, thinks the worst crime that could happen in Arden is jaywalking. Could the real danger be the two of them falling for each other?

Cindy Stark – Bestselling Author
Battle-worn soldier, Jerry returns home intending to avoid his ex-fiancée. The shrapnel that wounded him pales in comparison to the gash she left in his heart. Kimber lost everything when she broke off her engagement, and she’ll fight to win him back.

Valerie Twombly – Bestselling Author
Armand has lost everything. His magic and his freedom are taken when an evil curse is placed on the Jinn, but a newcomer to town may be his savior. When evil emerges from the shadows, Makayla learns she must choose between her mortality and Armand’s freedom.

Kristina Knight – Bestselling Author
Dumped by her celebrity boyfriend, unlucky-in-love author Casey Cash needs a break. But, between the male escort trying to get into her bed and the tabloid reporter intent on getting her story, Casey might have been smarter to stay in New York...



GIVEAWAY: Kindle Fire 7” HD

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Tales: Southern Justice

“You have nothing in your refrigerator,” Terri grumbled as she climbed out the car. “Nothing. Not even a pitcher of water.” She shoved the door then jumped when it slammed shut. Her reaction indicated she had not meant to take her frustration out on the vehicle.

Shane shrugged, slightly amused at her exasperation. “Never saw the purpose of cooking. Not when I have restaurants in town.” He came around the car, took her hand, and led her towards The Swig.

“You should at least know how to make eggs.”

“Never cared for them.”

“And toast bread.”

“Bagels are more filling.”

“And fry bacon.”

“I prefer sausage.” He opened the door to the restaurant.

“Will you stop being difficult?” She snatched her hand out of his and marched inside.

“It’d be easier to ask a chicken to lay a square egg,” Angie said as she placed a plate on the table in front of Hank. “Let me guess, you've seen the inside of his refrigerator.”

Terri shook her head woefully. “Yes,” she sighed.

“Don’t blame him.” His sister-in-law walked over and patted the Terri’s shoulder. “Hank was negligent in teaching him to cook.”

“Hey, I tried and he nearly burnt down the house,” his brother protested. “I never knew anyone to be as inept in the kitchen as him.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Shane said. “Cooking’s not everything.”

Angie and Terri gasped as if he had cursed their grandmothers. He immediately realized his mistake. The women had been raised in the kitchen and took more pride in their cooking than he did with his car.

“Okay, that came out wrong.” Shane glanced at his brother for help.

His eldest sibling shook his head. “You’re on your own.”


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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday's Tales - Southern Justice

A fist slammed against the front door, startling Terri out of her zone.

“What the—“

She glanced at the watch on her left wrist. An eyebrow shot up. Why would anyone knock on her door at eleven ten at night? She wasn’t the type of person who entertained visitors all hours of the night. Hell, except for her grandfather, cousin and Wayne, no one dropped by during the day.

“I’m coming,” Terri called over the pounding on the door. The person had a lot of nerve rushing her. In fact, she didn’t know what was more irritating – his impatience, the late hour, or the fact that he interrupted her work.

She slid off her stool and shuffled towards the door as fast as her stiff joints would let her. The visitor ceased the racket. The silence, however, did not pacify her.

“What?” Terri yelled as she snatched opened the door.

The worried line on Shane’s forward quickly faded. His eyes narrowed in exasperation and she immediately knew what he was going to say.

“We’re going to have to work on your safety skills.”

Terri sighed. “You don’t have to lecture me. I realize it was wrong to open the door without checking to see who was there first.”

“Yes, it was wrong, irresponsible and dangerous. That’s something I’d expect from a five year old, but not a grown woman.”

Terri’s face grew warm. Though she realized her mistake, she did not appreciate being chastised like a child. “Are you finished scolding me, Detective Reynolds?”

“Not by a long shot. But I’ll finish after you invite me in.”

She stepped aside and he strolled in, carrying a bag from The Swig, the bar and grill owned by his oldest brother.

“Lesson number one,” he said. “Lock your door.”

Rolling her eyes, Terri closed the door and secured the bolt.

“That’s an impressive lock.” He examined the deadbolt. “But it won’t do you any good if you don’t use it.”

“I can’t believe your life’s so boring you’ve nothing better to do than come over here and lecture me, Detective Reynolds?”



“In the twenty-four years I’ve known you’ve never called me by my name. It’s always been sir, Mr. Reynolds and Detective Reynolds, but never Shane.”

Terri’s mouth dropped open. Was he seriously lecturing her about what she calls him?

“It’s not that hard. It’s one syllable. The a is long, the e is silent and since I heard you call Vince a lying piece of shit, I know you don’t have a problem with the sh.”

“You heard that?”

Shane nodded and Terri’s cheeks grew warmer.

“Now, try repeating after me. Shane.”

She opened her mouth. As if he realized she was not going to following his direction, he held a finger.

“No, Shane,” he repeated slowly.

She shook her head. The man was impossible.

He cocked an eyebrow. His eyes danced as the corners of his mouth turned up into an impish grin.

Despite the stress from the past thirty-six hours, she slowly returned his smile.


“Fine,” she sighed. “Shane.”

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tuesday's Tales - Southern Justice

“I’d like to see those tapes,” Shane said.

“And, I’d like to see a warrant,” Vince replied.

“And the pictures?”

“A warrant.”

“How about a piece of your hide?” Austin mumbled.

“I need you to repeat that a bit louder and slower. And, make sure you enunciate.” Vince pulled a tape recorder from underneath his desk. “I need to make sure I quote you correctly when I do my piece on Oakley County’s finest and whether they’re too heavy handed in carrying out their duties.”

“I’ll give you a quote you little piece of—”

“Austin, I think we’re done here,” Shane announced as he stood.

Austin mumbled an expletive before he rose and stalked out the room.

“I’ll be back with the warrants,” Shane said.

“Everything’ll be here.” Vince reached for the telephone. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a newspaper to run.”

Shane nodded before he walked out the room. “I’ll be back,” he mumbled to the receptionist as he strolled past of desk.

Outside, Austin leaned against the car, his arms crossed over his chest. His frown said he was ready to go back inside and finish the thought Shane had interrupted.

“Okay, let me have it,” Shane said.

“What?” Austin asked.

“I won’t have you walking around looking for someone breaking the law so you’ll have an excuse to take you bad mood out on him. So, why don’t you take a swing at me, I’ll punch back, and we’ll get it out of our system.”

“You know I’d never take my bad mood out on someone else. But, if I could only have a few minutes alone with Vince.”

“Trust me, you’re going to have to get in line.” Shane nodded towards the mammoth charging across the street towards the building.

If Shane was called to testify in a trial regarding the day’s events, he would swear under oath he saw steam shooting from Mark Butler’s nostrils. The man yanked the door so hard; Shane was surprised it had not come off the hinges.

“We better get in there,” Shane said.

We?” Austin repeated. “As Vince said, I’m off duty. I’m more inclined to get a tuna sandwich.”

Shane glanced up at the window. Vince frantically waved down at them.

“Sure and I can see tomorrow’s headlines. Expect No Mercy from Oakley’s Finest.”


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Monday, May 04, 2015


Maple Grove Cemetery

In the moonlight, the bare branches looked like bony limbs reaching over the gate for a victim. Determined not to be their latest catch, I sped by the cemetery, vowing never to drive by it at night, again.

For years, I avoided the cemetery until a cousin raved about the beauty inside the gates. Curious, I decided to face my fear and venture into the cemetery.

I spent several hours admiring the scenario, enjoying the tranquility surrounding me and learning the history of the cemetery.

That day helped erase the fear I had of cemeteries. Now, I am able to appreciate the life that blooms around those who are have passed.

Friday, May 01, 2015

I did it!

Though there were some days I found it difficult to think of a topic to blog about, I completed the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

I entered the challenge hoping this would inspire me to blog on a regular basis, 'cause what's the point on having a blog if I'm going to update it once a year.

In the future, I know I'm not going to post everyday, but I do hope to stop by several times a week.

I was going to add the link for "We Are The Champions," but I prefer this video by Queen.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


I rediscovered the joy of visiting the zoo when I was learning how to use my SLR.

My favorite is the Bronx Zoo, where I can spend an entire day viewing the exhibits.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Say yes to a new day, new opportunities and new experiences.

In most colleges, students are required to take Core classes to strengthen basic skills, to get a better understanding of themselves and the world around them, and to broaden their horizons. Once a person graduates, he should make a point to continue trying new things.

There will always be people who will try to discourage others from stepping out of a comfort zone and exploring new avenues. However, a person should not let the fears of others hold him back.

Not every experience will be enjoyable, but there could be some pleasant surprises along the way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I became fascinated with x-rays after I fell and slammed my right shoulder into the side of the bathtub. After viewing the image the doctor left on the screen in his office, I wondered what other parts of my body looked like.

Since then, I've had images taken of my right hand and right foot. Thanks to modern technology, I'm able to get copies of the x-rays on CD.

However, as fascinating at the x-rays are, images from an MRI are even better.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Whenever someone says, "I always wanted to write a book. What should I do?"

I always answer with, "write the book."

The person usually looks at me like I'm holding back on a secret that will help transform the idea in his head into to a work of art. However, there's no chant or magical wand that gets the words on the paper.

A person can attend conferences, participate in workshops and study books all day long, but he will not produce anything until he sits his butt in a chair and puts his fingers on the keyboard.

Therefore, stop looking for the secret formula and get to work. It's the only way you'll get things done.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Until December - Mirrors

On November 15, 1986, Until December opened for Gene Loves Jezebel at The Ritz. I had never heard of the band before that night, but by the time their set was complete, I was a fan.

"Heaven" may be considered their biggest hit, but my favorite is "Mirrors."

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I love traveling...exploring cities, learning their histories and capturing their beauty.

Friendship of Salem, Massachusetts

I hope to visit every state.

Newport Harbor Lighthouse, Rhode Island

Thankfully, the conferences I attend give me the opportunity to fulfill my dream.

Riverwalk, Texas

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


An error can pull a reader out of the story, and in some cases, make her abandon the book. These errors can include, but are not limited to, incorrect placement of landmarks, incorrect usage of language, and stereotypes of people and regions.

Research is the key to creating a believable universe that holds a reader’s attention. How much research is needed depends on the subgenre, how much detail the author plans to include and the author’s level of expertise (i.e. if the author’s knowledge came solely from television dramas, she should consider another source).

Research no longer entails hours in a library, pouring over dusty books to verify facts. An author can find websites devoted to topics of interests. She can also interview experts in the field, visit museums or take classes to get hands-on experience with a skill that a character may have. And, if it is in the author’s budget, she could travel to the location in which the story is set.

By devoting a little time and effort to research, an author can add realism to a novel.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quieting the Voices in My Head

I enjoy forming plots and developing worlds, but the main reason I write is to make my characters happy.

My characters have stories and they will stop at nothing to get them told. I wake up in the morning to them chattering in my head. During the day they pop in and out of my mind teasing me with excerpts from their lives. And, as I close my eyes at night, they tell me how scenes should play out.

They hound me day and night, refusing to be quiet. It isn't until their stories are told that they finally settle down... or, at least, step aside for the next cast of characters.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


When it comes sweets and junk food, I'm worse than a five year old. Having no self-control, I will eat an entire package of Twizzlers or a large bucket a popcorn in one sitting. Therefore, to prevent the stomachache that usually occurs after I overindulge in my favorite snacks, I avoid purchasing everything...with the exception of pretzels.

I'm a pretzel junkie and will go out of my way to make certain I get my daily fix.  I'm very picky about the pretzels I eat. My favorite is Synder Snaps, but when those can't be found, I enjoy Synder sticks or Utz extra thins.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Put away your cell phone as you walk down the street. Admire the architecture of the city or the wonders of Mother Nature.

Writing can be made stronger by observation. Authors who study the world around them are able to better describe what their characters see, hear, smell, taste and feel.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


New York taken from Palisades Park
New Jersey taken from the George Washington Bridge

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Whenever I write, I have music playing in the background. The genre depends on what I'm writing and mood of the novel. For Sweet Jazz I compiled a playlist of jazz tunes. While I created a playlist of popular music from the 1950s for my upcoming novel, A Bookie's Odds.

My favorite genre is goth. There is something about songs from The Cure, Gene Loves Jezebel and Lowlife that help relax me or brighten my mood.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Life Does Not Begin At 40...

My life actually began at 39.

After I purchased my first SLR and followed my dream, my whole world opened up.

Though I prefer shooting landscapes, I love the challenge of the action shots.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Killing Your Darlings

After painstakingly analyzing every word to create the perfect scene, the last thing an author wants to do is delete even one letter. However, no matter how attached we are to our scenes if they do not move the story forward, they need to be removed.

It is not easy for an author to get rid of a scene she likes. She may prefer to cut of an arm instead. But, once she rereads her work, she will see how much better it is without the padding.

If the scene means that much to the author, she can consider putting it aside to use in another work or expand the scene into a short story.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Juicy Scenes?

One of the biggest misconceptions about romance novels is that they have sex in them. A romance novel can range from sweet, in which all action takes place off the page, to spicy, in which the author goes into graphic details about the act.

The main goal of a romance novel is to show a couple overcoming internal and external conflicts in order to achieve a happily-ever-after or a happy-for-now. Sometimes they may have sex during their journey; other times they may not believe the act is necessary for them to achieve their goals.

Whether the characters consummate their relationship before the end of the story depends on their beliefs, their goals and the situations they find themselves in. Therefore, before an author adds a sex scene, she should ask whether the act will help move the story forward or if it is simply filler.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Authors sometimes have to conduct interviews to get more information for their novels. However, before bombarding someone with questions, there are a few tips to remember. 
  1. Inform the interviewee that you are conducting research for your novel.
  2. Show up on time for the interview.
  3. Be prepared with specific questions.
  4. If there is a question the interviewee does not want to answer, do not press the issue.
  5. However, if the person enjoys telling stories, sit back and listen.
  6. If the interviewee goes off topic or you do not have the time to hear a life story, politely steer the interview back to the specific question you asked.
  7. If you want to record the interview, ask before pulling out any recording device.
  8. After the interview, thank the interviewee for speaking with you and follow up with a thank you letter or token of appreciation.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

George Washington Bridge

Walking across the George Washington Bridge was not something I looked forward to doing. However, if I did not take the trip, I knew I would regret it.

On my last birthday, I faced my fear of heights and accompanied my son on the hike from Washington Heights in New York to the Palisades in New Jersey.

Monday, April 06, 2015


This is one of the few pictures I was able to get of my son when he was a teenager. If you look close enough, you can see the tip of his hair peeping out from under the quilt.

Saturday, April 04, 2015


Cass didn’t know why she bothered. It wasn’t like she didn’t have enough to do so she had to fuss over a man who refused to take care of himself.

From his grimaces, it was obvious Randy needed a doctor, not the alcohol-drenched washrag she held. But, no, he was too stubborn to seek a professional.

She had a right mind to drop the cloth on his face, pick up her bag, and go home. Yet the purple and black bruises on his face, along with the crusted blood on his lip and above his eye, brought out the caretaker in her. She couldn’t leave him in his condition, no matter how much he tried to push her away.

This scene came to me in a dream. It was the first one I wrote for my debut novel Sweet Jazz.

Friday, April 03, 2015

The Cloisters

Though I was born and raised in New York, in 2009 I spent the summer touring the city. Besides The Cloisters, I visited every Botanical Gardens and Zoo in the five boroughs.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

A Bookie's Odds

Georgia dragged her feet until she was six inches in front of Nicholas. She reached up for the keys. He wrapped his fingers around hers, pulled her hand to his lips and kissed the back.

“Smile.” His tone softened as he pressed the pipe into her free hand. “Everything’ll be all right.”

Georgia shook her head. She knew it wouldn’t. Nicholas may have given her the weapon, but he was still capable of inflicting damage with his bare hands.

Since editor said she wanted to contract A Bookie's Odds, I haven't been able to stop squealing and dancing.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Author...Artist...Jane of All Trades

"You don't know what you want to do with yourself."

This comment was said by someone close to me as I described the latest artistic project that caught my interest. Though the lack of support stung, it did not come as a total surprise to me.

Some people believe in focusing all their attention on one activity. While I agree practice makes perfect, I also believe life is too short to limit one's focus.

Besides writing, I enjoy drawing and photography. I have also studied painting and stone carving. And, I'm always looking for new projects to work on.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tuesday Tales - A Bookie's Odds

“Aren’t you tired of hanging around me? Wouldn’t you prefer to hang out with one of your other women?”

Nicholas shook his head. “At the moment, none of them have what I’m looking for.”

“And, what’s that?”

“Intelligent conversation.”

The other women were also lacking the ability to offer him comfort with simply their presence. They always needed a verbal, physical or monetary confirmation about how he felt about them.

It was different with Georgia. She understood what he needed and when. They were able to enjoy each other’s company without having to waste a whole bunch of words affirming that the other was great.

It felt right to have her sitting across from him; while they each read different sections of the newspaper and ate the breakfast he cooked. It was like they had long established a comfortable routine years early, though it was only their second morning together.

Nicholas mopped up the last of his syrup with his French toast before rising from the table. He dropped his silverware of the plate and was prepared to carry it to the sink when Georgia reached out and placed a hand over his.

“I’ll take care of the dishes.”

He glanced down at the appendage. The touch was as innocent as ever, yet he felt the electricity course through him. His reactions to her were getting too intense. It was getting to the point where she was affecting him with simply a glance.

Nicholas nodded as he slid his hand from under hers. “Thanks, I’ll take a shower while you do that.”

He rushed out the room before she could remind him that he had already taken a lengthy shower before breakfast.

Nicholas emerged from the bathroom and Georgia did not comment on his sudden obsession with cleanliness. Instead she finished folding the bedding he had spread over the sofa the previous evening.

“I really wish you’d let me sleep on the sofa,” she said.

“You wouldn’t be comfortable. It’s meant for sitting, not sleeping.”

“At least, I fit on the sofa. You’re either crammed into the small space or hanging off it.”

“I’ll be fine.”

Georgia sighed. “Why do you have to be so stubborn?”

“It’s a pleasure meeting you pot.” Nicholas stepped forward and extended his hand. “I’m kettle.”


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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Bookie's Odds

The thunderous sound of soft-soles shoes slapping against the linoleum broke the silence. Georgia sat up and listened; her hopes rising as each step grew louder.

The doctor stepped into the room. Georgia jumped out her seat, jostling William awake. Nicholas, who had not slept, was by her side when she reached the doctor. 

“Your father’s out of surgery,” the doctor announced.

Georgia let out the breath she had been holding. As long as her worst fear did not come true, she was certain she could handle whatever else he had to tell her.

“He took quite a beating and he was stabbed several times. He’ll have long recovery ahead of him.”

“When can I see him?”

“We’re getting him settled in a ward—ˮ

“He’s getting a private room,” Nicholas stated.

“I was under the assumption…well, you know…ˮ the doctor stuttered.


The doctor glanced down from William to Georgia. “A private room can get expensive. How do you plan to pay for it?”

“You only worry about doctoring,” Nicholas said. “I’ll worry about the expense.”

The doctor glared at Nicholas for a second before he nodded his head.

“When can I see him?” Georgia repeated.

“Right now, he’s resting, so I suggest you go home, do the same and come back during visiting hours.”

“Excuse me, Doctor, but they just brought someone in,” a nurse announced the hall.

“I’ll be right there,” he called over his shoulder, before addressing the group in front of him. “If you’ll excuse me.”

“Glad the news was good,” William said once the doctor rushed out the room. “For a while I was wondering. He was a mess when we found him.” He glanced at his watch. “This was a long night. I’ll be lucky if I get two hours of sleep after I drop you off.”

Georgia shook her head. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“What are you talking about? The doctor told you to go home.”

“I don’t care what he said. I’m not going anywhere ‘til I see my father.”

“Why? It’s like you’re a doctor or anything.”

“I’m not leaving.”

William released a hard breath that sounded close to a growl. His attitude reminded her of their earlier discussion.

“Listen, I don’t have time for this, woman. I have to go to work in the morning.”

“Then leave.” Nicholas’s tone was calm, yet the challenge was clear. “If Georgia wants to stay then she stays.”

“I’m her ride.”

“I can drive her home.”

William cocked an eyebrow. Georgia knew he was facing a dilemma. He did not want to leave her there with another man. However, he had made it clear he needed to go and would look like a punk caving in to a woman…and a white man.

Though she understood his predicament, she was not in the mood to sooth egos. Her only concern was her father and she was not going to leave the hospital until she saw him. Even if it meant she had to walk home.

“William, just go.”

He jerked back, apparently shocked by her order. He opened his mouth, yet one glance over her head had him pursing his lips. Georgia did not know what Nicholas did to change the other man’s mind, but, at the moment, she was grateful for any help she got.

“Are you sure?” William asked through clinched teeth.


“Okay, fine.” He leaned forward, his lips aiming for hers.

Georgia turned her head. The kiss the land on her cheek. She refused let him mark his territory by kissing her in from of Nicholas. The only person in the hospital who should be playing with tonsils was the doctor.

“So, it’s like that,” William whispered in her ear.

“This is not the time or the place,” Georgia replied before she stepped back from him. “We can talk later.”

William straightened. “Sure, later.” Without acknowledging Nicholas, he turned and strolled out the room. His wingtips echoed through the hall.

Expecting a snide remark, Georgia spun around to face Nicholas once William’s footsteps fade. Instead of a smug grin, she saw concern in his eyes.

“Did you want anything, while you wait?” he asked.

“You don’t have to stay.”

“Yes, I do.” His tone was firm; telling her there would be no more discussion regarding the matter. He was not going to leave her side.


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