REKINDLING AN OLD FLAME, an adult romance novella by Samantha Gentry, is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. This book is available in ebook from Amazon and other online vendors.
When interior decorator Skylar Rogers' car breaks down in the small town of Willow Springs, she's unprepared for a reunion with the man who once stole her heart and ripped it to shreds. That doesn't stop the erotic desires he ignites. She'll only be in town a few days, though. What could it hurt to take a little tumble down memory lane?
World famous bestselling author Cameron Amory is shocked to discover his college lover in his hometown. He never stopped loving her and has always regretted leaving her behind. Now, he'll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and her love. Has too much time gone by, or can he rekindle an old flame?
PG Excerpt #3
The female voice reached Cameron Amory's ears. He quickly shifted his gaze from the book in his hand to the woman engaged in conversation with the shop owner. A tiny ripple of excitement rapidly grew until it totally engulfed his senses. Could it possibly be?
It had been a long time since he last heard her voice, one he had never forgotten, a woman very special to him, someone he had dated for over a year when they were in college -- several years ago. Someone who had consistently entered his thoughts over the ensuing years. The woman had her back to him. He listened to her conversation as he moved to a spot where he could see her face.
Crandall Barrett grabbed a pen and began filling out an order form. "Shipping will be no problem at all."
Skylar offered a grateful smile. "That's terrific. The two pieces I'm considering are that Hoosier cabinet--" She gestured toward the items in the corner. "-- and the oak bonnet dresser with attached mirror. Is the mirror original or has it been resilvered?"
"It's original, in perfect condition."
As soon as Cameron came around the end of the aisle in the book section of the store, his gaze landed on her face. Skylar McGuire. His breath caught in his throat at the mere sight of her. Thousands of memories bombarded his consciousness, quickly resurrecting all the passion they once shared. The joy from years gone by suffused him with renewed desire.
It had been several years since he last saw her, fourteen years ago to be exact. He was two years ahead of her in college and had just graduated. He had planned to spend a year traveling around the country while working on his first novel, a decision he had shared with Skylar a few weeks before graduation.
Even though she hadn't said anything and had wished him good luck and a safe trip when he left, he had never forgotten the look of disappointment and hurt on her face. A look that had returned to haunt him many times. And every time he questioned whether he had made that decision because of his burning desire to be a writer or if it was his cowardly response to the idea of making a permanent commitment to her.
He closed his eyes as visions from their college days played across the screen of his mind. Seeing her now... she was even more beautiful than the image he had carried in his mind all these years. He had often thought about her, wondered where she was, what her life was like. What course had her life taken? Was she happy? What incredible quirk of fate had brought her to Willow Springs -- and possibly back into his life? He returned his attention to her conversation with Crandall Barrett.
"I can put the two items on hold for a couple of days. If you decide to add them to your order, I can ship everything next week." Crandall poised his pen above the order form. "Your name?"
"Skylar Rogers." She handed him one of her business cards. "Here's the shipping information. I can always be reached at this phone number. It's my cell phone."
Cameron's momentary exhilaration crashed around him. Rogers? Not McGuire? She's married? Why is she here? Is she with her husband?
He shoved aside his instant regret over what might have been and headed toward her. "Sky? Skylar McGuire? Is that really you?"
Skylar turned at the sound of her name and found herself staring into the familiar turquoise blue eyes of Cameron Amory, the love of her life from her college days. Stunned silence filled the distance between them. For a moment, she felt as if all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. She finally managed to force out one whispered word. "Cam?"
Cameron and Skylar occupied a quiet corner table in the Golden Tree Bistro. They had placed their lunch order and were each sipping a glass of wine. She gestured toward his glass. "When did you start drinking wine? As I recall, you were strictly beer and occasionally scotch."
"Those were college days. I'm happy to say I've grown up since then." A slight grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "I'm now officially an adult."
"Yes." She stared at her wine glass as she twisted the stem between her thumb and forefinger. "Internationally famous author, each book on the New York Times best seller list, even a couple of them made into movies." She looked up, catching a moment of eye contact with him. "Why did you choose to live in a small town in Vermont with a population of..."
"Three thousand, maybe a little more." He took a sip of his wine. "Since you've apparently followed my career, at least some of it, why didn't you ever get in touch with me?"
Skylar looked away, her gaze traveling around the restaurant in a desperate attempt to find something to change the direction their conversation had taken. It felt too personal, certainly more personal than she was prepared to deal with. Seeing him after so many years had definitely left her unnerved. It had brought up too many memories. And definitely too many emotions, ones she didn't know how to handle. Indulging the physical, making love with him again, was a very appealing possibility. But the emotional...
"You're writing under your real name rather than a pseudonym. It was hard not to be aware of your success, what with all the publicity each time you had a new release."
He covered her hand with his, the intimate gesture igniting an odd combination of emotionsâ€”desire mixed with a heavy dose of anxiety.
She managed to remove her hand without jerking it away, but the sense of physical loss instantly engulfed her, making her wish she hadn't done it. "It never occurred to me that you would want to hear from me. After all, you never tried to get in touch with me. I have the same email address as I did in college, or you could have contacted my parents. They would have told you where to find me. Besides, if you recall correctly, I'm not the one who walked away. I'm not the one who needed to go out into the world to find myself."
She tried but hadn't been able to avoid the hint of sarcasm that surrounded her words. That had been fourteen years ago, much too long a time to still be carrying any emotional baggage attached to it. After all, he had never made any promises for their future, never offered a commitment, and had even told her of his plans ahead of time rather than simply leaving without a word. In retrospect, it obviously had been one sided on her part. Her hopes for the future, not his.
He reached for her hand again. "As I said, I've grown up since then. I very much regret that foolish decision."
PG Excerpt #3
They talked, laughed, and spent a carefree time together. Late that afternoon, they parked next to a small stream. Clear water splashed along the rocks, reflecting glints of sparkling sunlight. Skylar had taken several pictures of Cameron, along with dozens of nature photographs. She uncapped the lens to take another picture of him sitting on a large boulder next to the stream.
He laughed as he held up his hand, as if to deflect a blow... or a camera shot. "Enough, already. I haven't had this many photographs taken of me since my agent arranged for a photo shoot, mostly an assortment of head shots for publicity and book covers."
"Okay, just one more. This is such a beautiful location for a background."
"All right, one more. But let me give you an action shot." He stood up, balanced on one foot at the edge of the boulder, and flailed his arms, as if trying to maintain his balance.
Skylar laughed. "That's perfect." His antics instantly brought back memories of carefree days when they were considered an official couple by their college friends.
Suddenly, his laughter stopped. A hint of panic crossed his face. The flailing became more intense and serious as he fought to maintain his balance. Then world-famous, best-selling author Cameron Amory landed on his ass in the middle of the creek.
She couldn't contain her amusement. "Are you...." Spasms of laughter cut off her words. "Are you okay?"
Cam stood up, smoothed back his wet hair, then waded out of the knee-deep water. A sly grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Really, Sky. I didn't realize you had such a vicious sense of humor."
"If you could see yourself right now, you'd know how funny this is."
Then his expression turned serious. He pulled her into his arms and captured her mouth with a heated kiss that left nothing hidden. A kiss that told her the passion he felt back then was every bit as strong now. Something she knew to be true on her part.
All her thoughts momentarily came to a crashing halt when he slipped his tongue between her lips, probing and exploring the dark recesses of her mouth. His rapidly hardening cock pressed against her. Every thought, every emotion, every nerve ending in her body screamed out her need to have him inside her.
Her entire body tingled. A soft moan escaped her throat.
With difficulty, Cameron reluctantly broke off the kiss. "I need to get into some dry clothes. Let's go to the inn so you can gather up your laundry, then we'll go to my house." A huskiness filled his voice. "You can do your laundry while we have dinner. Then..."
Her entire body continued to tingle. It had been a long time since she had experienced such intense sex, fourteen years to be exact. And this was only the preliminary round. His cock hadn't been anywhere near her pussy... yet. Back in college, he had a very quick recovery time. Was that still the case?
Cam rolled off her, turned around, and pulled her into his arms. He didn't try to speak until his breathing had returned to normal.
"That was incredible, Sky. Even more fantastic than last time all those years ago. I've seriously missed you." He leaned over and kissed each tautly puckered nipple. "Missed us." He glanced at the clock. It wasn't that late, only nine o'clock. He wanted her to spend the night but didn't want her to feel pressured or rushed.
"It's been a long time, Cam... a very long time. It never occurred to me that I'd ever see you again, not after so many years of no contact. And certainly not in a small town in Vermont."
He didn't like the hesitation in her voice. Somehow, he needed to turn that around, to win her over again. To have her back in his life. Now that he knew where to find her, he could attempt a long distance relationship, but that wasn't the solution. If he were writing one of his novels, he wouldn't allow that unsatisfactory compromise.
He pulled her over on top of him, caressing her ass as he nuzzled her neck. "Can I get anything for you? Something to eat or drink?"
He didn't like the hint of a frown that crossed her forehead as she looked at the clock, the look that said she was thinking about leaving. A look he didn't like. A look he needed to change before she could ask him to drive her back to the inn.
"If I climbed out of this comfortable bed to get myself a glass of wine"â€”He flashed his sexiest smile and brushed a soft kiss against her lips as he caressed her ass cheeks.â€”"could I persuade you to have one with me?"
She returned his smile. "Well, as long as you're already going that way."
He kissed each nipple then climbed out of bed.
Skylar watched his naked body as he walked across the large bedroom toward the door. His stride every bit as confident as it was back then, he still represented the most perfect example of the male physique she had ever seen -- in person or in photographs. A cock that made her pussy gush and her mouth water. Her thoughts drifted. She wanted to stay the night, to make love again and again, but she didn't dare. It would be too easy for this to become way too comfortable, and she would be leaving town when her car repairs were completed.
She closed her eyes and thought about what it would be like to live in Willow Springs but quickly opened them and mentally put a stop to the direction her thoughts had taken. A couple of minutes later, he returned with an opened bottle of wine and two glasses. He poured a glass for each of them, then slid in bed next to her.
"Here's to us." Cam raised his glass toward her in the form of a toast.
Skylar clinked her glass against his and took a sip. To us. Did I really agree to something? She wasn't sure what to do or what to think. The entire day had been far removed from any type of reality. Serious car problems in a small town in Vermont, some place she had never been before, was certainly not the way she anticipated spending the day. And now, that same night found her in bed with world famous bestselling author Cameron Amory, enjoying the hottest sex she had experienced since the last time she was in bed with the same Cameron Amory.
So new yet so comfortably familiar.
All her thoughts stopped when he took the glass from her hand and set it on the nightstand next to his. A moment later, he took control of her mouth with a deep kiss that gave as much as it demanded. She totally succumbed to his advances, her desire for him as strong as it ever was, as strong as his was for her.
He increased his embrace as he forced his erratic breathing under control. He smoothed her hair back from her damp face while placing tender kisses on her forehead and cheeks until he was finally able to formulate words. "Damn, it's even better now than it was back then." He raised his upper body, supporting his weight on his elbows. "I've missed you, Sky, missed you very much." His words came out as a soft whisper. "I thought I'd never have another opportunity to include you as part of my life. We can't let this slip away again."
A wariness covered her face. "Slip away again?"
Her expression and tone told him more than he wanted to know, told him how inappropriate his words were, although unintentional, and clearly reminded him whose fault it had been. He was the one who had bolted. He had allowed his fear of making a commitment to overrule what he refused to openly acknowledge as his love for her. A love he now readily admitted had always been there. But how to convince her, how to overcome her voiced and unspoken but obvious concerns. He had to find some way of getting her to communicate more fully with him.
"Come home with me, Sky. Spend the night with me. In fact, check out of the inn and stay with me."
"As tempting as that is, I can't do it. This has all been too much, Cam, too much too quickly. I need time to take it all in, to digest it. Time to figure out what's really happening, something other than two people resurrecting a sexual relationship."
"There's a hell of a lot more going on here than that. Yes, the sex is great. It always was, and it's even better now. But there's more than that. You know it as well as I do."
"I can't go home with you, Cam. Certainly not tonight."
It wasn't what he wanted to hear, but it didn't surprise him. He needed to back off, not push so hard. He had to come up with some way that it would work out, to present her with a viable solution, something she could consider in a logical light.
He needed to make her an offer she couldn't refuse.
Cam headed his car up the highway, twenty miles to the Interstate then another twenty-eight miles to Burlington -- less than an hour drive. An uncomfortable combination of hopeful expectations and underlying fears churned in the pit of his stomach. It felt as if this was his last chanceâ€”make it or break it.
"What kind of property are you looking at? Are you thinking about buying a house or condo, something to have as rental property? Or are you thinking about buying a business?"
"Neither, actually. I'm looking at warehouse space."
"Warehouse space? Why would you need warehouse space? It seems to me that you have plenty of space on the lot where you built your house. You could put up some type of storage shed there without needing to procure space in Burlington. Or what about those warehouses in Willow Springs in the area by the covered bridge and old train depot?"
"This is for something different."
"What -- "
Skylar's ringing cell phone interrupted her thoughts. "Hello?"
"It's Tad Brownley. I got the okay on the repair to your car. I'll order the parts from Burlington today and have them tomorrow morning. The repairs should be finished by late tomorrow afternoon.
"That's great news, thanks for letting me know."
She finished her conversation then turned to Cam. "That was Tad Brownley. I'll have my car back by tomorrow afternoon."
The look on Cameron's face held absolutely no pleasure at the news. It matched the part of her that didn't want an available departure date thrust upon her. The part of her that had been doing internal battle over the need to remove herself from Willow Springs before it was too late, before she wouldn't be able to tear herself away and return to Chicago.
"Late tomorrow afternoon... " Cam couldn't finish his sentence. They drove along in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. All of his plans, all his desires, all his hopes for the future -- for their future -- rested on the next few hours.