Eostre's Baskets: Stacking the Deck

Selena Illyria

Bounty Hunter and Dragon Dean returns home hoping to spend some time with his office manager and new mate Carrie. What he gets is confusion. He’s confronted with communication and connection issues. He feels attacked and backed ...
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Regular Price: $4.99

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Bounty Hunter and Dragon Dean returns home hoping to spend some time with his office manager and new mate Carrie. What he gets is confusion. He’s confronted with communication and connection issues. He feels attacked and backed into a corner with no direction to go in. To find a place to start he turns to Sundae’s Adult Easter Baskets hoping that this will give him a handhold to grip as he tries to break through the walls both of them have erected due to their pasts.

Carrie has missed her mate but can’t take the lack of communication she feels when he’s on the job. For the longest time she’s been alone. Now that she has a mate she wants to feel that connection to another person. She doesn’t know why Dean holds himself back from her, both on the road and while at home. She needs him to be present and here, to open up to her. But if she pushes too hard she could lose him forever. Can Sundae's keep it's sexily ever after guarantee?

Excerpt
Three Days Until Easter

Tiredness pulled at Dean as he entered the darkened house. Silence greeted him. He didn’t expect a welcoming committee. It was well after midnight, and Carrie should be asleep--at least she better be. He locked the door and activated the alarm system. As soon as his plane had touched down and he’d gotten his car, he’d called Carrie to let her know he was on his way home.

This job had been a long one--too long. Tracking a crazy werewolf through several states and cities and then wrestling in the middle of a wet lawn while it had been in full wolf form hadn’t been fun. Dean had managed to get some of the grime off him, but he still smelled like wet dog. I need a long, hot shower. He grimaced to himself. There was no way he could get into bed with Carrie smelling like this.

As he climbed up the stairs, his mind flashed on her wavy, dark brown hair threaded through with red, her expressive java-hued eyes, and her rich cocoa skin that glimmered with a hint of her fairy light heritage. He allowed himself another smile. It had been two long months since he’d last felt the warmth of her body against his.

She hadn’t picked up the phone when he called; he had been forced to leave a message. Rather than sneak in and try to be quiet, he rushed up the stairs, down the hall, and into his bedroom, heart pounding, hope ballooning in his chest. The lamp next to his bed was on. Carrie was lying on top of the covers.

He put his bags down near the doors, toed off his shoes, then placed them on the ground before he tiptoed toward the bed. Her breathing was slow and even. Her features were soft, open, and relaxed. His heart skipped a beat as his stomach clenched. Face makeup free; plump lips parted and tempting. A finger of heat danced along his cock. Liquid fire poured into his dick, thickening it, lengthening it. The neglected organ pressed against the leg of his jeans. With a grunt, he adjusted his penis and tried to ease some of the strain.

Nothing doing.

During his time away, he hadn’t masturbated. His whole focus had been on the job and then to get home to Carrie; nothing else mattered. His dreams had been filled with her naked, wet and ready for him, in all sorts of positions. During the day his updates to her had been short. He couldn’t afford for his bounty to hear something and take advantage of his weakness. It wouldn’t be like his first hunting trip. Never again. Looking at her safe and sound, he felt the last of his tension fade away. He could breathe properly, and his senses could dull. No longer would he have to deal with dreams; now he could be with the real thing.

She shifted a little and let out a sigh. That soft sound tugged at his balls. Goose bumps rose on his skin. She made that sound--and others--when he went down on her. His dragon side awoke. Fire swirled through his body in a rolling ball. His tight control strained at its leash. To calm down, he took a deep breath and inhaled the scent of warm woman, sleep, and the dim undercurrent of arousal. His cock twitched as the pressure in his jeans increased. “Damn it.” He grunted and stepped back.

He couldn’t just wake her up and fuck her. That would be wrong on so many levels. Dean wanted his woman awake and aware of what he was doing to her. Too bad, his predatory self responded. With a snort, the dragon curled up, keeping one golden eye open. He moved backward until he’d returned to the door and grabbed his bags. A shockwave of pain went up his leg when his heel connected with the baseboard. He winced and cursed under his breath. Panic rose with the ache. Please let her still be asleep, he pleaded silently. He looked toward the bed and saw her eyes open and glimmering in the darkness.

“Hey, dragon,” Carrie called in a sleep-roughened voice. Caution flashed on her face so quickly he wondered what it meant.

For a moment his brain stuttered in its function, and all he could do was stare. Her face was framed by tousled waves streaked with red, her wide brown eyes filled with awareness. His heart flipped once again, and his arousal grew. So much for being quiet.

“Hey, minx. Why are you awake?” He set his bags down once more and made his way to her side. He knew the answer but couldn’t help but ask. Maybe his stupidity hadn’t woke her up.

“’Cause you’re loud as hell.” She gave him a wide smile that showed off bright white teeth, but the gesture didn’t reach her eyes. “No kiss hello?”

“Well, depends on which lips you want kissed,” he teased, unable to keep from bringing sexual banter into play. He started to say something else, but her full, throaty laugh caught him off guard and caused his stomach muscles to clench and his heartbeat to speed up.

Once she recovered, she raised one sculpted, dark-brown brow. “Well, someone feels randy right now. Why don’t you put those bags away, take a shower, and join me in bed and find out.”

She sat up to show that she had slept in one of his well-worn black shirts and her pajama bottoms. He chuckled at how small she looked in the top. “Miss me that much that you’re wearing my clothes?”

She pouted. “I thought I looked good in it. Besides, it’s what’s underneath that you want.” She lifted the hem a few inches until a strip of rich cocoa skin showed in the lamplight. “You gonna shower and get in here, or do I have to take care of things on my own?” Desire burned in her eyes.

He inhaled deeply, taking in the musky tang of aroused woman, hot and awake. Fire filled his mouth, and his eyes and swirled around his body until he was filled with it. The dragon was awake and ready to claim his mate. “Taunting the dragon, love? Naughty minx.”

“Come get some if you’re bad enough, brimstone scales.” She giggled as she whipped off the top to expose her breasts fully--heavy mounds with her dark brown nipples thick and puckered.

He growled, ripped off his shirt, undid his belt, opened his fly, and then shoved down his jeans. His cock rose up, standing tall and thick. He wasn’t so far gone that he needed inside her now. What he wanted was to take his time and reacquaint himself with her body, to explore every dip, curve, and hollow of her. He licked his lips and moved forward as his need grew.

She held up a single finger. “Nuh-uh. You smell like wet werewolf. Shower and then come back to me.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. “One reason.” He could smell the wet werewolf on him, and he could taste the sourness of her lie on his tongue. Nor could he ignore her tight nipples or the increased perfume of her desire on the air.

She mimicked his stance, pushing her full breasts up in the process. “Fine. I want to get ready for you.”

“Ready?”

“Toys.”

He studied her face; mischief and desire sparkled in her eyes. “Toys.” His gaze drifted from her to the wardrobe near the window. “I’ll shower, but if you’re not ready for me, too bad.”

She grinned and got up on her knees, held open her arms, and beckoned him forward. He moved toward her and let her envelop him in one of her comforting hugs. The press of her nipples against his bare chest almost snapped his control. A growl formed in the base of his throat. He wanted to bend down and lap, suck, and tug on them until they were diamond hard and she was close to coming. With a deep breath, he pulled out of her embrace and headed toward the bathroom. “Ten minutes.”

“Fifteen,” she called back. Her voice quivered a bit.

He looked over his shoulder, but she was smiling at him. Damn, I must be imagining things.

“Ten.” He didn’t want to waste time fucking around. “It’s been two months. I need to be in your sweet pussy ASAP.”

“Not my fault the job took too long.”

“Spanking.”

She gave him a raspberry.

“Tied to my headboard with a vibrating anal plug up your ass.”

“Bastard.”

“And a vibrator in your pussy before I fuck you.”

“Hate you.”

“Tough.”

He entered the bathroom and shut the door behind him. He grinned as satisfaction thrummed through him. “Goddamn, I’ve missed her.”

For all Carrie complained, he doubted any of her reservations were real. She just wanted to act like a brat, and he loved her for it. As he turned on the water, he thought back to the last two months he’d missed while hunting a rogue werewolf. He’d missed New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. He’d called and sent gifts, but it wasn’t the same as being with her, holding her, making love to her. No amount of phone sex, video chatting, or sexting would fill in the void left by a primed, slick pussy and his woman’s wild cries. Just the thought of the feel of her curves and softness writhing against his hard body made his cock jerk and his balls throb in need.

Once the steam floated in the air, he stepped into the shower, directly under the deluge of hot water from the rain showerhead. With a hiss he tilted his head back and just stood there, absorbing the heat. Some of his tension melted away. His dragon stirred; its golden eyes blinked. Claim, it whispered in his head. The large, graveled voice reverberated inside him, vibrating his bones and muscles until his skin fairly fluttered from the sound. He groaned as the pain spiked and then subsided. The scales rippled over his skin as the beast tried to rise.

With a great mental push he shoved it back. Not yet, he responded. Time.

The dragon blew out a single line of fire that wound around Dean like thread, burning his skin in thin strips. He looked down and cursed as the marks showed through his tanned skin. For fuck’s sake, stop. The wounds faded until nothing was left. His arousal increased, his cock twitched, and he was hard-pressed not to reach down, take himself in hand, and jerk off to ease some of the edge. Instead, he grabbed the soap, lathered the bar between his hands, and began to clean up. Sensation burst in small sparks as his roughened palms moved over his skin in harsh, quick circles. His cock pulsed for release. He swore. He was on the verge of coming without one swipe to his cock. Gritting his teeth, he tried to ignore the throb of his balls. As he washed, he managed to get through it without climaxing, but his cock was now standing at attention. He finished and then turned off the water. He dried himself and wrapped the towel around his waist.

Each step he took caused the towel rub over his sensitive cock. Beads of precum formed at the slit of his penis. “Fuck,” he muttered.

“Problem?” Carrie asked from the bed. She lay on top of the covers, legs spread, arms over her head with one wrist already shackled to the headboard with Velcro cuffs, the still other free. While he’d been in the shower, she’d been a busy woman: toys lined his side of the bed, the lamp was off, and she’d lit candles to bathe the room in a soft, golden glow.

His dragon growled in appreciation. Warmth lit his heart as he took in her efforts. “Dragon wants to fuck.” He smiled, and a predatory rush of satisfaction welled up within him as he watched her eyes widen. Pain burst along the top of his gums. He could feel his canines lengthen and sharpen. The heat dimmed as it melded into the fire pumping through his body. His body was primed for mating. Dragon wanted to give Carrie another claiming bite to match the one he’d given her before he’d left.

“Then get over here.” She crooked her index finger at him and shifted her hips.

Copyright © Selena Illyria

Reviews

Customer Reviews

Four Twinkling Stars Review by Redz
Quality
I enjoyed Stacking the Deck by Selena Illyria. While this story is part of the Eoster’s Baskets series, it is a theme based series and does not need to be read in chronological order.
I enjoyed Dean and Carrie. Both characters were hiding something from their mate. Neither character was comfortable with their mating even as they enjoyed the chemistry and sex. I loved that Ms. Illyria showed that mating alone wasn’t enough to bring happiness. I loved that Ms. Illyria showed that sometimes love isn’t enough. It was obvious throughout this story just how much Dean and Carrie loved each other, but without communication they were at risk of losing it all. Both were willing to do what they felt was necessary to save and protect what they had. They knew something was missing even if they were afraid to touch on what it was. Carrie felt it was all with Dean but Ms. Illyria showed that it is rarely one-sided. I loved that Dean worked to get Carrie to talk even as he missed the point that he also needed to talk. The sex was hot but it wasn’t enough. Ms. Illyria showed us, as well as, Dean and Carrie that honesty and communication were also necessary for a fulfilling relationship. The journey for Carrie and Dean felt real as did the emotions. This story was well written and well thought out. It made its points without being preachy. The emotions were heartfelt and I quickly became invested in both characters. I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.

Four Twinkling Stars
(Posted on 1/31/2015)

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