Authors: Jennifer Willows
The Moreland Brothers 3
A Harem of One
Marques Moreland is a man with sexual needs that go beyond the norm. Just like a miser hides gold, he kept his penchant for sex on camera to himself. He knows that something is missing from his usual encounters, but cannot force himself to acknowledge his own desires for love and romance.
Jamison Richards found herself a product of a faulty foster care system in her teens and after nearly being sexually assaulted no longer can trust another person, let alone herself. She knew that she wasn't happy with the course her life had taken over the years, but she didn't know how to change the status quo.
After Marques catches Jamison in the midst of her morning yoga session, he knows he has to have her. There is more to her than meets the eye, and he is determined to show her what they are capable of experiencing together.
Note: This book contains drug use.
The Moreland Brothers 3
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
A HAREM OF ONE
First E-book Publication: July 2012
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A Harem of One
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This book is dedicated to some truly wonderful people. I really need to thank several special readers first: Narci, Royia, Lisa, Didi, and Carol. Your e-mails always made sure I got back on track, even when I didn’t feel alive enough to push forward. To the real Jamie, thanks for your willingness to be an inspiration to me and for allowing me to borrow your blog. Thanks to my ex-husband, I can now pursue every dream that I never thought was possible. My mom goes without saying, as without her help and advice I wouldn’t have the time to fight for my dreams. To Siren Publishing, thank you for helping me make this story and the tales of many other authors come to life on E-readers and cell phones everywhere. And of course thanks to my editor for helping this story along so that it makes logical sense. I really could have used you when I wrote that very first short story. Enjoy!
A HAREM OF ONE
The Moreland Brothers 3
Copyright © 2012
“Hey look, ya’ll. It’s Shamu.”
The laughter that followed her descent to the street from the school door was cruel and the tones mocked her, but no more so than yesterday. Or the day before that. Actually, being called a trick killer whale was the least of what she had been called over the years. Life was rough. She already got that. But what sixteen-year-old Jamison Richards didn’t understand was, why her? It seemed misfortune followed her in a black, smoggy cloud that tainted everything she so much as admired. Even from afar, as this last debacle showed clearly. She couldn’t even have a crush on a boy without stupidly falling over in his lap. Literally.
She had let go of everything a girl would care about, just to avoid daily torment. She had perfected the green shade of the walls and wore green tops nearly every day. If it wasn’t green, she liked brown. It matched the earth outside and gave her a break on laundry, as she was face-first in mud half the week and the other days were spent in hiding. At first the library became a place to hide her shame during the social hours of the day. There she would enter other worlds through all types of literature.
Jamison was alone enough to the point that even the AV nerds looked like they were having a better time than she was. Until one afternoon she overheard a heated discussion about a new movie and the cinematography in it, and she couldn’t help but to put her two cents in, and then she found out that they really had fun. Those hours locked in darkened rooms splicing film and dissecting classics with other pimpled freaks and geeks were the best hours of her life ADD, better known as “After Dad’s Death.” She learned about how movies worked, and soon she found herself critical of the myriad imperfections when she had a rare opportunity to watch TV.
As she walked from school, she stopped at the grocery store and used her last quarter to buy a trinket from the machines in front of the store. Today’s treat was a sticky octopus, and she had several of those, but she kept the egg it came in in memoriam of her dad. When she arrived at her foster home, she wished her father was still alive. He used to give her a quarter and watch her awe at whatever treat would spill out of the gimmicky machine. The memory hurt, just as it always did, but she embraced the pain of loss to enjoy the bittersweet feel of her father. So tall, strong, and proud. Now he was nothing more than ashes she prized as her sole valuable, aside from the handful of eggs similar to the one in her hand. Mr. Foster opened the door as she ambled along the driveway. Her feet shuffled against the concrete driveway. The front yard was perfectly manicured for the Stepford family that lived within.
“Hey, come on in.” Mr. Foster wore an excited mien, and his smile seemed smug somehow. The grin on his lips didn’t quite make it to his eyes.
“Oh, okay. Where’s Mrs. Foster?” Jamie felt a little nervous, as if something was terribly wrong and every instinct she had begged her to run as fast and far away as she could. But where could she go? For an orphan, nowhere was safe, and there was no place to hide but the streets. She had quite a few friends she’d lost to runaway status, and for those considered wards of the state, few people bothered to look. There was no manhunt, missing posters on telephone poles, or any flashing messages to interrupt the daytime TV experience of the average household for a foster kid.
“She is still at work.” At this point, it was too late. Something about Mr. Foster didn’t look right, and his eyes seemed to carry an unusual light in them. When she strode through the den, he pounced, and she found her balance was gone as she hit the ground headfirst.
! Don’t—” But the man seemed to care less about her pleas. First, he tore her grass-green shirt off and groped at her chest painfully. Jamison felt the fierce grip of his hands and knew she was going to be in a world of hurt if she lashed out without a plan.
“You want to be a part of the family, right?” The words hurt even more than they should because deep down she did want a family, even if she was too jaded to say the words aloud. But even as she remained quiescent, Jamison’s thoughts turned to her next course of action. Random objects nearby flickered through her mind, and she remembered where she was next to the couch, where Mrs. Foster liked to sew scraps into quilts as she watched TV. If she could only reach the mending basket, it was only a handful of feet away, and she could use it to hit him.
But a surreptitious tug on the basket spilled the contents to the floor next to her, and she was unable to reach the weighted rattan. There wasn’t much time left, Mr. Foster had nearly succeeded in his quest to remove her jeans, and after that? Her virginity, the sole thing she kept for herself, would be buttered toast that her rapist would have for breakfast. Her hands rubbed across the nubby, beige carpet in a blatant attempt to find something, anything that could help her save herself. Her right hand located something. It felt like a metal pencil. All she knew for sure was that it was long, but she didn’t care what it was and fisted her grip around the cold metal, her only salvation.
* * * *
Marques Moreland was an outcast, plain and simple. There was nothing physically wrong with him, but mentally he was in another place that other people couldn’t occupy. Here he was, the last day of school before his freshman year in college, and he was the only senior not making a vain attempt to get melanoma on Senior Skip Day. To him it seemed like the world danced to a pop Michael Jackson album and he gyrated to Bach. There were girls who told him they thought he was cute with his slightly overlong hair and lithe frame. He got a bunch of comparisons to a slimmer-built Nick Lachey, but he had no idea who the guy was and didn’t really care. He just didn’t mesh with other people well. His saving grace was that he was born with a proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but even among other children of his fiscal background he was different. He didn’t care about his clothes or the newest cars or expensive vacations to luxurious and exotic locations. He had a stutter in previous years, but a little therapy went a long way, and by the time he turned sixteen, his diction was that of upper-crust perfection.