Thank You to Kim DeSalvo for a bit to tide us over until the release of InHap*Pilly Ever After the sequal to Incidental Happenstance! I for one am anxiously awaiting it’s release.
Incidental: Occurring or likely to occur as an unpredictable or minor accompaniment* Happenstance: A chance circumstance * Neither was looking for it. Neither was expecting it. But sometimes, life has other plans… One year after the loss of her fiancé, Tia Hastings needed to find a way to start over. She had to figure out how to be single again, but she had no idea how to do it. Last Stop was a tiny pub with no significance—she chose it to be anonymous, to watch the interactions between the sexes so she could figure out how to start her life over… Dylan Miller was a megastar. It was impossible for him to move amongst the general population without being recognized, but he longed to simply blend into a crowd. He donned a disguise and wandered into Last Stop, a dark little hole-in-the-wall where he was sure he wouldn’t be recognized… When their worlds collide, Tia and Dylan discover something neither of them thought possible—love. But when a fallen star sees Dylan as her ticket back to the top and will stop at nothing to make him hers, Tia wonders if she’s out of her; and out of time to rescue the love she thought she’d never find again… Is it fate? Coincidence? Or both?
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Sneak peek of InHap*pilly Ever After…
“Oh my God, are you real?” Tia asked breathlessly as the limo pulled out of the school parking lot. “Am I dreaming?”
“No baby, not a dream,” Dylan answered, shaking his head and taking her into his arms. “Although I’ve dreamed about having you right here again at least a thousand times.” He pulled her into his lap so that she was facing him and straddling his legs. She raised her hands to touch his face; his beautiful, glorious face, and he took them into his own hands, kissing her palms in turn before returning them to his cheeks.
“You never broke up with me?”
“Not even for a second.”
“The email was fake?”
“The pictures in the tabloids were forgeries?”
“Every single one of them.” Dylan smiled at her then; the smile she loved that crinkled the corners of his eyes; the one he gave only to her that reached all the way to his eyes and melted her heart.
Every cell in her body was singing even as her head reeled with all the information she was trying to digest. Just being able to touch him again, when she thought she’d never even be able to get close enough to clearly see his face, was like a miracle to her. She’d pretty much given up hope that she’d ever be in his arms again, or hear his voice, touched with his English accent, speaking her name. Emotion bubbled up inside her and she giggled with a sense of what she could only call great relief; while tears of joy spilled down her cheeks.
“I can’t even believe this!” she grinned, showering his face with dozens of tiny kisses and running her fingers through his long blonde hair. “You’re really here! Oh God, Dylan, you can’t imagine how much I missed you, how much I love you…”
“Oh, I know,” Dylan said, wiping away her tears with the rough pad of his thumb, “because I feel exactly the same way.” He pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her as tightly as he could and burying his face in her hair. “Ah, I love you so much, Tia,” he whispered. “Thinking I lost you was the worst kind of hell. I’m so sorry…”
Tia pulled back and looked hard into his eyes. “Don’t you apologize—you were going through the same thing I was. You didn’t do anything wrong, Dylan.”
He sighed deeply, his features contorting. He squinted and cocked his head, and she could read the pain in his eyes. “Yes I did, Tia.” She opened her mouth to protest, but he placed his index finger over her lips. “Just let me say this, because I need to for my own peace of mind.” He took her face in his hands and held her gaze. “I doubted you, love, and I never should have done that for even a second. I knew there was something off about that fucking email—I just knew in my gut that it wasn’t you—could never have been you—but I fell for it anyway. Then I doubted Jessa’s loyalty, and sent her packing without even giving her a chance to defend herself. Two of the most important people in my life—two people that I trusted without fail, and she managed to break it all apart. I let that bitch get into my head, Tia, and I can’t stop kicking myself for that.”
“Oh, sweetie,” she said softly, stroking his face with the back of her hand, “I fell for it too. I believed it, even though Lexi said it reeked of Penelope and couldn’t have been you that wrote it…”
“Yeah, and then you had the added complication of seeing those bloody pictures in the tabloids,” he growled. “I don’t know if I can forgive myself for not protecting you from that. I should’ve been more diligent, I should’ve…”
“How could you know?” Tia interrupted. “Who would even consider that another person could do something so…heartless?”
“But I knew what she was after from the start,” he chastised himself. “I tried to tell myself she was working hard to be nice—trying to change—but I should have seen through her bullshit from the beginning. Why did I even trust her for a minute?” He dropped his eyes and shook his head sadly.
“Because you’re a good person, Dylan,” Tia said firmly, putting her finger under his chin and forcing him to meet her gaze. “You want to believe the best about people; look for the good in them. She knew that, and she used it to her advantage.” She put her hands firmly on his shoulders and added, “But she didn’t win, baby. We won. We’re together, and none of the rest of it matters now.”
Dylan ran his fingers roughly through his wavy locks and forced a smile. “You are so right,” he said with a sideways smirk. “And I absolutely refuse to let her into our reunion; which is long overdue. God knows we’ll be rehashing the damn story…over and over next week, for sure. But today should be about us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined holding you over the past four months; and I promise that I’ll never let that kind of distance come between us ever again. It’s you and me against the world now, Tia. Officially and forever.”
“I really like the sound of that,” she whispered. “Officially and forever. And you’re right—I don’t even care about the rest of it right now—I just want to celebrate being together again. I don’t even want to think about anything else.”
She happily swept the thoughts from her mind—the lonely months of missing him desperately, the weeks of believing that he’d abandoned her for a spoiled Hollywood diva who’d made it her personal mission to destroy their relationship so she could take Dylan for herself, the lies and half-truths she’d been forced to tell—and traced his features with her fingers. God, she’d missed his face—his strong nose, his high cheekbones, his skin the color of sun-kissed sand. He hadn’t cut his hair since she’d seen him last, and it cascaded over his shoulders, casually unkempt, in soft waves. His impossibly blue sapphire eyes looked at her with such reverence that it made her stomach roll over in a delicious wave. “I’m so glad you’re back, Dyl,” she breathed, taking in his lidded glance; sparks of fire tossed carelessly into inexplicable blue. “And how can I possibly think of anything else when you’re looking at me like that?”
He shifted, laying Tia against the long seat and pressing his body to hers, crushing her mouth with his soft full lips. Tia lost herself in the connection; in the intimacy of the moment; and all other thoughts flew from her mind. She inhaled sharply as he slid his hand over her breast, cupping it firmly and giving it a not-so-gentle squeeze. Tia squirmed closer, pressing her hips to his to feel the undeniable reality that swelled and hardened against her thigh.
“I can’t even tell you how badly I want you right now,” he growled into her ear, sending a long shiver down her spine. “It’s been way too long…”
“Oh, and I can’t wait for you to show me,” she whispered back, sliding her hand over to press it to his jeans, stroking him through the soft fabric and pulling another snarl from deep in his throat. There was no ‘slow and easy’ in his eyes or his touch, and at the moment, Tia didn’t want it any other way.
Finally, the limo pulled into her driveway and they all but tumbled out of the car. Tia fumbled for her keys as Dylan swept his bags from the driver’s hands. She grabbed his arm and pulled him to the door, finally managed to flip the lock, and then they were inside.
For the briefest moment they just stared at each other, the intensity of their combined gazes speaking what it would take hours for words to say. There were a tremendous number of tangled emotions in them both; relief, disbelief, apologies, forgiveness, joy. A rogue tear spilled down Tia’s cheek, and Dylan caught it with his fingertip, then pulled her to him.
“My baby,” he growled, his lips vibrating against her ear. He nipped at her earlobe and slid his tongue along the contour of her neck down to her shoulder, the slight stubble on his cheeks sending shivers along her nerve endings.
Tia’s entire body reacted immediately, and she felt the familiar volcano bubble up in her blood. Four long months of craving him raged inside her and Dylan caught her just as her knees went weak and pressed her against the door. She buried her face in his neck, planting frantic kisses and breathing in the scent of him—so familiar that it sparked a thousand memories.
Dylan hooked his thumbs in the shoulders of the jacket she’d worn that day and pushed it down, bunching it at her wrists and holding her fast. With his other hand, he tore open her blouse, buttons skittering across the wood floor, and bent to bury his face in the swell of her cleavage. He kissed and nibbled his way around the curve of each breast, then skimmed his lips over the fabric of her bra, nipping at her hardened bud through the lace.
“Ah!” she cried on a sharp intake of breath. “Oh Dyl, I’ve dreamed this so many times…”
Dylan’s response was a look that contained so much fire Tia thought she might actually burn. There was no tenderness there; just raw and primal hunger as he unhooked the front clasp with one quick motion and greedily sucked one hardened nipple into his mouth, rolling the other between his thumb and forefinger. The sensation was pure ecstasy, and Tia arched her back as every nerve ending in her body pulsed with electricity, each streak of current connected to the spot directly between her legs that swelled and throbbed in anticipation. She felt a floodgate open, and pressed her hips into him insistently.
“No dream could feel this good,” Dylan snarled, moving his free hand to unbutton and slide her pants down in one swift motion to pool at her feet. She whined in the back of her throat as she stepped out of them and kicked them aside, trying to wriggle her arms loose. More than anything she wanted to touch him; to rip off his clothes and rake her fingernails down his naked back; run her hands roughly over his chest and release the bulge that pressed assertively against her hip through the soft denim of his faded jeans. She groaned in protest as he tightened the grip at her wrists, but then moaned with pleasure when he pinned her to the wall with his body, put his hand behind her neck, and kissed her with undeniable urgency.
Dylan took a small step back and ran his gaze slowly up and down her body, chewing seductively on his upper lip. Goosebumps popped up on her flesh despite the inferno that burned inside her, partly from the draft in the room, but mostly from the hunger in his eyes. She’d lost the power of speech and perhaps even the ability to form cohesive thought, so lost was she in the intensity of his stare. Her breath came in ragged gasps until Dylan finally settled his eyes on hers and took in her own longing.
“Am I hurting you?” he asked, his voice rough.
“No,” she whispered, “I just want to touch you so badly.”
“Soon,” he croaked. “Very soon.”
…Chapter 1 continues Saturday on ‘Saturday Sequel Snippets…
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