Microsoft Word - Seven Nights of Sin

BOOK: Microsoft Word - Seven Nights of Sin
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Seven Nights of Sin

Lacey Alexander

HEAT

Heat

Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group

(USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700,

Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin

Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books  Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,  Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110  017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New  Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg  2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:  80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Heat, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group

(USA) Inc.

Copyright © Lacey Alexander, 2008

Heat is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Alexander, Lacey.

Seven nights of sin/Lacey Alexander. p. cm.

ISBN: 1-4362-0822-X

I. Title.

PS3601.L3539S48 2008

813'.6—dc22 2007042244

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

To Chris in Hawaii—hope you enjoy this one!

Contents

THE ORIGINAL SIN

Chapter One

Chapter Two

THE FIRST NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

THE SECOND NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

THE THIRD NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

THE FOURTH NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

THE FIFTH NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

THE SIXTH NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

THE SEVENTH NIGHT

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

THE WAGES OF SIN

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

RETURN TO SIN

Chapter One

Chapter Two

About the Author

THE ORIGINAL SIN

“Really to sin you have to be serious about it.”

—Henrik Ibsen

One

“I don’t need a man. I don’t need a man. I don’t need a man.”

Usually, Brenna did her morning affirmations at home, but the alarm had gone off late, and just like breakfast, her affirmations had been forced to wait until she got to the office.  Fortunately, she was stealing a few minutes alone in the break room with a donut and the self-help book she’d been reading, aptly titled,You Don’t Need a Man to Be Happy.

She lowered her voice even further for the next set. “I don’t need a penis to pleasure me. I don’t need a penis to pleasure me. I don’t need a penis to pleasure me.”

Maybe she should drop that one from her repertoire, though. Saying it only made her think about penises.

“I am responsible for my own pleasure. I am responsible for my own pleasure. I am  responsible for my own pleasure.” Which, of course, meant masturbation. And she had  nothing against that—it could get a girl through many a long and lonely night. But to tell  herself it would be enough, forever —well, that was challenging. She’d have to work on  feeling that one more as she said it.

Still determined, however, she started the first repetition. “I don’t need a man. I don’t—”

“Spoken just like someone who needs a man.”

Flinching, she looked up to find her friend and coworker, Kelly Mills—blond, fairly glamorous, and someone with plenty of men in her life. Kelly did PR for Blue Night  Records, the indie music label that employed them both, and she also held a degree in psychology, which she claimed she needed in her line of work.

“I don’t,” Brenna reassured her about needing a man. Despite having little in common, the  two had been good friends since Brenna had moved to L.A. three years ago, so if  someone had to intrude on her affirmations, she was glad it was Kelly.

Kelly gave her head a scolding tilt. “People who don’t usually don’t need to say it.”

“Huh?”

Kelly crossed her arms beneath ample breasts. “Take my next-door neighbor, Ms.  Freeland, for instance. She’s seventy-five and never been married. She’s an artist, she traveled the world in her youth, she loves her Scottish terrier, Fiona, and she’s never needed a man. She’s never told me that, but it shows in everything she does. It’s simply a part of her. She doesn’t feel the need to go around explaining why she’s not married or that she doesn’t need a man—because she’s so truly comfortable not having one.

“On the other hand, there’s Ms. Nelson, three doors down.” Kelly dropped her chin  derisively and shifted her weight from one pointy red pump to the other. “She’s forty-five  and clearly lonely. She tells me all the time how she doesn’t need a man to fulfill her, but  what ruins it is how darned bitter and angry she sounds every time she says it. She might  notwant to need a man. But she obviously needs one.”

“Your point again?” Brenna asked, eyebrows raised.

“Saying you don’t need a man over and over indicates that, like it or not, you do. And  there’s no crime in that, by the way. Most women are wired to desire love and  commitment.”

Brenna only rolled her eyes. “Love and commitment—bleh.” She didn’t have to say more since Kelly knew all the nasty details about her cheating husband and recent divorce. “The last thing I’m interested in is commitment. And that’s the truth.”

Kelly nodded. “I believe you. You have trust issues. But I’ll tell you what you do need.”

“What’s that?”

“To paraphrase the immortal words of John Mellencamp, you need a lover—who won’t

drive you crazy.”

A lover? Brenna had had relationships, and guys she’d dated, and of course, a husband, but she’d never been the confident, carefree sort of woman who could have someone she thought of as a lover. So she pointed to her book. “According to this, a good vibrator will provide the same fulfillment.”

Kelly raised her eyebrows matter-of-factly. “Do you have one?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

Brenna pursed her lips. “Besides the fact that I’m too shy to go into one of those stores?  Well, because somehow an evening with a vibrator just sounds a little…empty, as in boring. I know some women talk a good game about it, but—”

Kelly held up her hands in a stop motion. “Say no more. And listen to me. You need a lover. How long has it been since you’ve had one, by the way?”

“Does Wayne count?” Her smarmy ex.

months now?” Kelly grimaced. “Don’t tell me he’s the last? I mean, you’ve been divorced for, what, six

Brenna sighed. “And separated for a year before that.”

Kelly looked as if Brenna had just announced the death of a loved one. “Oh dear God, you poor girl. Stand up.”

Brenna blinked her surprise at the command, but the imposing look in Kelly’s eyes pushed her to her feet. Placing her hands on Brenna’s hips, Kelly positioned her in front of the small mirror above the sink in one corner of the break room. Reaching around her from behind, Kelly deftly undid the top two buttons on Brenna’s blouse, then firmly cupped the undersides of her breasts to hoist them higher. “We’ve got to get you a man, and we’re going to start by showing off your assets a little more.”

Sadly, it had been so long since anyone had touched Brenna intimately that even Kelly’s unexpected grasp aroused her a little, sending a tingling sensation shooting straight to her panties.

But she still had no desire for some meaningless affair. Or some meaningful affair. Which pretty much cut out affairs. And brought her back to the book. “I don’t know, Kel. I just don’t think men or sex are on my personal menu anymore. That’s why I’m doing these affirmations. I want to get them out of my system.”

BOOK: Microsoft Word - Seven Nights of Sin
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