Authors: Shelley Munro
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Short Stories & Anthologies, #Short Stories, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Comedy, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages), #Contemporary Fiction, #Single Authors
Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She's a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination who lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy. When Shelley's not writing, she loves to travel and frequently drags her husband off to far-flung parts of the world—not that he puts up much of an argument. Enduring memories include being almost sat on by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, lazing on white, sandy beaches in India, whale watching in Alaska, helmet diving in Bora Bora and camel riding in Egypt.
Cooking is fun (since she enjoys eating), and she likes to take photographs of everyone and everything. No one is safe from her camera lens. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at
Tea For Two
Playing to Win
Summer in the City of Sails
Soldier of Fortune
The Bottom Line
Christmas is Coming
Feeling the Buzz
Cat Burglar in Training
Lovers at Last
Sex, Spies & Sapphires
One Night of Misbehavior
Issy Deans has a secret—she’s always lusted after Tyler Jameson. Call it an unfortunate infatuation with her brothers’ best friend.
Copyright 2007 Shelley Munro
“Oh man, have you seen the replacement coach?” Angela, the Jets’ star winger, bounded into the changing rooms, dressed in sweats with her rugby boots dangling over her shoulder by their laces. She shook her umbrella, scattering raindrops over everyone in the vicinity, and kissed her fingertips with loud moans of sexual appreciation. “An ass to die for and the rest of the package isn’t too shabby.”
The players who had already arrived for training started firing questions. Who was he? Was he single? Did he have a girlfriend?
Isabel “Issy” Deans grinned and moved her gear farther down the drafty changing room, out of range of the wet umbrellas and equally wet teammates arriving for training. Rain rattled the tin roof, drowning out anything but a shout while the winter wind whistled through the open door. She shivered, whipped her good work jumper over her head and traded it for a faded training jersey.
“His name is Tyler Jameson and he’s coaching us until the end of the season since Allen is sick. He’s just returned from playing rugby in Japan because he wants to coach now that his contract with the Japanese club has expired, he’s single and you’re right. The man’s a babe.” Patricia Coates, another new arrival, winked. “With a mighty fine ass.”
Everyone shrieked with laughter apart from Issy. She froze in the middle of peeling panty hose down her legs.
. Why of all the coaches in the world did it have to be her neighbor and teenage crush Tyler Jameson? She hadn’t even known he’d returned home, but then maybe he wasn’t staying with his parents. Issy inhaled, attempting to breathe through the herd of nerves that were galloping through her stomach. She’d thought the crush she’d had on Tyler had faded. After all, she hadn’t thought about him for months. Heck, she’d even dated a few times this year. She hadn’t thought about him during her engagement. Well, not much, she amended with a sliver of guilt. Her heart thudded erratically and she had to wipe her suddenly moist palms on her jersey. A simple fact. Tyler Jameson made her nervous. Clumsy. Her fingers turned to thumbs and her feet inexplicably grew when she was around him. She groaned silently while she wriggled out of her tight black skirt and exchanged it for black leggings. She had one goal this year—to make the Black Ferns, New Zealand’s female representative rugby team. If Tyler Jameson had his normal effect on her, she might as well kiss her chances of making the Ferns goodbye.
A sharp knock sounded on the changing room door. “Ladies, you decent in there? Can I come in?”
Yep, it was Tyler Jameson all right. She’d recognize that gravelly voice anywhere. Issy swallowed. Her hands trembled when she attempted to lace up her rugby boots. She stopped, clenched her fingers to a fist and straightened them before trying to lace her boots again.
“Just a sec, coach,” Patricia shouted. Although fully dressed and ready for training, she whipped her jersey over her head to display bountiful breasts. “All decent,” she called.
Issy rolled her eyes, not at Patricia’s shenanigans but at the spike of jealousy that struck her hard. This was worse than she’d thought. She was feeling possessive about Tyler. Coupled with nerves, this was a disaster waiting to happen.
Tyler Jameson waited for the all clear before entering the changing shed. “Everyone ready for training?” His gaze scanned over the women in the changing room. Hell. There was always one. He ignored the blatant show of curved assets and counted the number of women present. Great. Everyone was here.
“Warm up first. Stretches then two laps of the field.” The collective groan made him grin. But despite the rain, which had eased slightly, and the brisk wind outside, the women filed outside, eager to start training. Allen, his mentor, had said they were keen and he’d boasted that several of his players were good prospects for the Black Ferns. Tyler was looking forward to coaching them. He scanned the faces of the remaining team members and did a double take.
“Issy? Is that you?” Issy Deans halted in front of him, a deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression on her face. His friend’s sister wasn’t all skin and bones with gangly legs anymore. He grabbed her in a quick hug, hormones zapping to stunned life and heading south. Well, hell, she didn’t feel gangly either. “Great to see you. Allen told me you’re one of his stars.”
“Tha-thanks,” she muttered.
Tyler hid a grin at the cute stutter. She’d always stuttered a little. “Better get out there before the rest of the team think I’m playing favorites.”
Issy cast him an uncertain look before inching past. Did she think he was going to bite? Once clear of the changing rooms, she broke into a trot, the smooth motion beautiful to watch and the flex of her ass a wonderful thing. The woman had grown into her gangly legs. He grinned openly. Hell
. He’d like a bite of that. Maybe he’d ask her out. There was only a month left of the season. Under normal circumstances, he’d keep well away from romantic entanglements, keep things professional, but since the season was almost done and he was moving on to take the Auckland assistant coach position, he thought he could justify personal involvement. As long as her brothers didn’t appear home on leave from the army to act the heavy chaperones. Damn, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Flatmates. Best friends. Casual lovers.
Copyright 2008 Shelley Munro
Heat shimmered in the air, making patterns swirl above the sealed driveway. A New Zealand summer at full blast—hot, humid and sweltering with dazzling blue skies and a capricious breeze. Marie Wright stretched out on a towel under the shade of an old oak tree, droplets of water glistening on her partially naked body. The house she shared with Kelvin Green and Shane Coulter lay on the outskirts of small-town Tuakau. They had no close neighbors, a fact she appreciated on this sticky January day since there was no one to witness her swimming topless in the river.
A sigh escaped as she thought of her two flatmates. Falling for both men at the same time was a disaster waiting to happen. Plain weird and kinky even, but oh, she wished she were brave enough to act on the desire. Two men and one woman. No matter how hard she tried, the thought refused to go away. It was making her crazy, but she didn’t want to lose their friendship or upset her current housing situation so she remained silent.
“Hey, Marie. You gonna turn over and let me see those luscious breasts of yours?”
Marie let out a shriek and bolted upright, grasping her orange beach towel to her breasts and knocking her sunglasses askew. She only relaxed when she saw it was Kelvin and that he was alone. Her breath eased out but her heart continued to race. “Don’t frighten me like that.” She rearranged her towel and tried to relax again, or as much as she could in her semi-naked state. “Where’s Saffron?”
Kelvin dropped a towel beside her and stripped off his faded T-shirt and black shorts. “We broke up.”
His flat tone told Marie he didn’t want to discuss it. She watched him stride to the riverbank naked, his lean and athletic form tanned to golden brown from their frequent swimming during the past month. Her mouth dried as she sneaked a look at his butt, her eyes screened by the sunglasses. Beautiful. Muscles flexed with natural grace, reminding her of the statue David come to life. A jolt of desire shot straight to her pussy. Although she hadn’t liked Saffron, she didn’t like to see Kelvin hurting. But this did mean he was back on the market and until he found someone else to date, potential friends-with-benefits material again. Sexual hunger rolled through her like a rogue wave and her breathing hitched. Although she wanted both men at the same time, one would work. Of course, he probably wouldn’t be interested in some lazy afternoon loving…
Marie considered the thought and slowly turned over onto her back, baring her breasts. She’d shared a house with Kelvin and Shane for two years, and for the first time in her life felt happy and secure. When it was just the three of them, it was better. Common interests in rugby and cooking had cemented their friendship. Time and close proximity turned them in to best friends.
She closed her eyes, wincing at the rapid tattoo of her heart. Kelvin splashed in the river and a thrush perched in the oak tree sang its little heart out. In a nearby paddock, a sheep let out a plaintive
that sounded faintly complaining. Marie couldn’t blame the creature. This heat wave was making everyone moody and miserable.
A whisper of sensation across one breast stirred her. Suspecting a fly, she swished a lazy hand. Then warm, wet suction closed around her nipple and her eyes flew open.
Kelvin pulled away to smile at her. “I couldn’t resist.” His dark brown eyes challenged her, dared her to tell him to stop.
. Marie wanted to grab him by the ears and direct his mouth back to her breast. She wanted to bossily order him to suck her nipple hard in easy, rhythmic pulls that would echo in her pussy and start the journey to pleasure. Instead, she cleared her throat. “You okay?”
A shadow crossed his face. “It’s Friday and a long weekend. Why shouldn’t I be okay?”
Neat avoidance of her question. If he didn’t want to talk about Saffron, fine. “Have you seen my bikini top? I couldn’t find it.”
“I like you better without.” Mischief lit his eyes as his fingers drifted across the lower curve of her breast. A prickle of heat shot from the spot he touched to settle in an ache between her legs. As they watched, her nipple pulled to a crest. “Much better,” he murmured with masculine appreciation.
Heat collected in her cheeks but she couldn’t look away from his fingers and the mesmerizing stroke of them across her breast, the contrast in color between her creamy skin and his tanned fingers. A sigh escaped as yearning and desire blossomed. She’d missed the closeness with Kelvin. Too much, if she was honest. The thought made her bite her lip in consternation. Friends with benefits was just that—sex with friends—but it meant no jealousy, no strings. No unruly emotions. It meant sticking to the rules they’d discussed before they’d decided on this course. No sex if they were in relationships with other people, no discussing the relationship with outsiders and most of all, respect.
A problem these days.
Condoms were tested and a few harmed during the writing of this story
Copyright 2008 Shelley Munro
They were in the wrong place.
Alice Beasley stared around the crowded town hall feeling a little like her namesake Alice in Wonderland—lost and confused in a strange, foreign world. This bedlam reminded her of a storybook rabbit hole, not a small New Zealand country town called Sloan. She gaped at a woman dressed in a bright orange turban and a long, voluminous, hunter green gown. Another woman in a smart black suit teetered her way to the front of the hall, a small grubby boy in tow. His red, tear-stained face confirmed coercion and he looked just as uncomfortable as Alice felt. The fish-out-of-water sensation persisted while she perused the many colorful characters assembled in the town hall. Oh no! This certainly couldn’t be the reading of her godmother Alicia’s will.
Alice leaned over to rifle through the black leather handbag at her feet and pulled out the sheet of paper on which she’d written the date, time and address the lawyer had rattled off at the termination of a hurried phone call the previous evening. She scanned the details. Frowning, she stuffed the paper back inside her bag and straightened, her hands tucked demurely in her lap.
It was the right place.
A prickle of awareness jerked her upright. Alice glanced up from her folded hands, peeking through lowered lashes. A man. She hunched forward again so she didn’t appear so obvious but continued to spy on him. A gorgeous man surrounded by flirtatious females of all ages. Tall. A rangy build. Dark shaggy hair and bright blue eyes that focused on her and bore distinct interest. Alice wondered what it would be like to have a man like that at her side, touching her like a lover, then guilt assailed her and she glanced away.
Definitely not her sort.
He appeared too dashing, and his wicked grin indicated a man too daring for her. No, despite this man’s obvious attractions—her fascinated gaze darted back to scan his broad chest, his overlong hair and his…
Awareness pulled at Alice, her skin suddenly overly warm and her mind uneasy with her wayward thoughts. She squirmed on her wooden chair and tugged furtively at her white cotton cardigan. A quick jerk of her wrist pulled it away from her breasts but did little to cool the swelter of her body. She barely resisted fanning her face, smoothing the wayward strands of her hair away from her forehead instead.
Oh my goodness.
She’d stared right at his…
Aghast at the way she’d ogled the man’s crotch when practically engaged to another man, she turned to Steven for distraction. His PDA held his attention. Alice knew better than to interrupt especially since he hadn’t wanted to attend the reading of the will. An ambitious man, Steven intended to advance to partner with his law firm. She admired his will to succeed so could hardly fault him when he thought of their future with each carefully planned decision. With a sigh, she scanned the room, making sure her gaze stayed well clear of Mr. Dashing. Alice had read magazine articles about men like him, and they weren’t good material for a girl who desired security and a relationship to rival the happy-ever-after end of a fairy tale.
Over to the side of the room, a group of elderly women operated a trestle table. They had a steady stream of customers for cups of tea and huge slices of chocolate cake and worked together like a well-oiled machine. The steady clink of gold coins added to the general racket in the hall. Alice noticed a small podium on the stage at the front of the hall. Nearby, a sound system sat, ready for the arrival of a speaker. Behind Alice, and in front of her, locals occupied rows and rows of wooden chairs, or at least they appeared to know one another. Surely, they weren’t all beneficiaries in her godmother Alicia’s will?
“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” Steven asked in an undertone once three people in full white robes had safely squeezed past them to take possession of a row of empty seats on their left. Polite and circumspect, no matter what the aggravation, this strange town seemed to have him rattled, which probably accounted for his attempts to bury himself in the security of work while they waited for the lawyer to arrive.
Alice could hardly blame him. She had to admit the people she’d met in the small town of Sloan so far were pure provocation. Ask a question and they gave a roundabout answer. No one, from the local police to the young woman walking the brown dog near the post office or the robed men and women who loitered outside the hall had wanted to discuss her godmother’s company Fancy Free Limited. Her request for directions and polite questions had led to smirks or icy silence, followed by mutters when she’d walked away. She’d tried to ask questions while they purchased petrol and learned zilch. Their reticence reeked of a conspiracy of sorts. Alice huffed out an exasperated breath. It would be lovely to learn a few details about her inheritance. It was all so mysterious.
“Yes, we’re in the right place.” Alice supposed she should have jumped on the Internet and done some research after the lawyer’s bombshell call, but there hadn’t been time since they’d both worked late and then had to rush to attend a work function.
Steven bent toward her and spoke softly, his warm breath puffing against her cheek. “Are you sure the lawyer didn’t give you a hint about your inheritance?”
Great minds thought alike. Alice smiled with pleased self-congratulation even as she pulled away, out of range. If she grew any hotter, she’d self-combust. Her mother might consider Steven stuffy, but she was wrong. A pompous windbag, her father had stated the first time she’d taken the young lawyer home. Alice knew better. Despite her parents’ opinions, Steven’s thought patterns and ideals aligned completely with her own. They were perfect for each other.
And she’d finally have security, both financial and emotional.
Steven cleared his throat in a non-verbal reminder that he awaited details. Alice reconstructed the hurried phone call she’d had with her godmother’s lawyer in her mind before shaking her head. “No. I asked Mr. Bellbooth when he rang me last night but he said in accordance with the will, I had to come to Sloan to learn more details. He told me the date and time and hung up to take another call.”
“Mighty peculiar.” Steven spoke in a well-modulated voice. “I told you to let me handle it.”
Alice felt a niggle of irritation grab hold and immediately guilt surfaced. Although not officially engaged, they had an understanding, so she supposed his attitude spoke of concern. Really. They were perfect for each other.
A tubby man dressed in an old-fashioned pinstriped suit limped onto the podium and the locals immediately ceased their loud chatter. The clamor diminished to a low hum. Most of the inhabitants in the drafty hall resonated with excitement. Alice stared in fascination. The man looked as if he’d stepped straight from a
movie. Actually, after the show so far, she wouldn’t be surprised to see a few bats flitting through the air or body parts start to somersault across the floor. It had been that kind of day.
“If everyone is ready, I’ll start to read the will.” Despite his benign appearance, the man exuded confidence and took control. The lawyer, Mr. Glen Bellbooth she presumed, cleared his throat and silent expectation ensued. He pulled a pair of spectacles from his inside jacket pocket, put them on and surveyed them all before he started to read. “Alicia asked me to read the will in its entirety.”
Alice groaned silently. This torture would continue? The lawyer obviously didn’t realize the size of her student loan. The notion that she’d be able to pay off the loan and start saving seriously for the small house she’d always dreamed of refused to go away. Steven and she could have a family sooner rather than later. The idea of a home, a family and financial security was almost too much for her to comprehend.
, she prayed silently.
Please let my dreams come true.
She wanted an average life in the suburbs with an average two point four children.
Alice craved normal so much. And after her topsy-turvy upbringing and the way her parents had dragged their children around the world from one good cause to another, she hungered for ordinary.
At first, she listened attentively to every word, thinking she’d learn of her inheritance soon. The lawyer droned on and Alice drifted into dreams of the future while various persons around the hall let out excited squeaks and jumped up and down. Financially independent and debt free. The idea, the potential benefits filled her with exhilaration. Steven knew about the student loans she’d taken out to pay for her university tuition. She’d confided in him about the house and how badly she wanted her own home. Something that would always be hers and nobody could take away. Steven wanted to rent a property so she hadn’t brought up the subject again. It didn’t mean she agreed with him. He was a good man. He’d see the sense in compromise and realize the importance of future security.
“What?” Steven gasped, his backbone hitting the back of his chair.
Alice’s head snapped up, her eyes wide with panic. Had she missed something important?
“To my goddaughter Alice Beasley, I leave my company Fancy Free,” Mr. Bellbooth, the lawyer, repeated. He paused to study Steven over the top of his glasses before continuing to read. “I am confident that you, along with my manager James Bates can work together to grab a larger portion of the condom market share.”
“A condom company?” Steven didn’t bother to hide his horror or keep his voice down. “Not bloody likely.”