The Snow Maid

Boruma Publishing

Bill Carter was starving and dying of exposure when he fell asleep by the standing stone in the Russian Arctic. Sacrificing his life to save his friends, he never expected to wake up, warm, safe and healed, in the presence of the immortal Snow Maid.

Polina had been alone for decades, her youth slowly draining away as belief in her faded in the world above. She had taken Bill's life in trade for those of his companions. Will the heat of their passion ignite an eternal love, or are the differences between them too great?

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Additional Information

Publisher
Boruma Publishing
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Published on
Aug 17, 2015
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Pages
41
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ISBN
9781310808043
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Erotica / General
Fiction / Erotica / Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Fiction / Romance / Erotica
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Alana Church
Three arousing tales of paranormal love, sex, and desire!

Gaelic Goddess - Thom Phelan inherits an incredibly sexy fertility goddess from his hated grandfather.

Holy Water - Charlie Schuler returns from war to reunite with a beautiful river spirit who has very erotic plans for him!

The Snow Maid - Bill Carter is rescued from certain death by an immortal nature spirit whose lusty sensuality stuns him!

~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~

“My parents think I'm strange, you know,” he told Lily. They were sitting companionably on the bank of the creek, tossing pebbles into the clear water, their feet dangling in the stream. The sweet smell of plum blossoms floated by them in the warm breeze.

“I wish you had let Maggie see you when I brought her here,” he continued, somewhat peevishly. “Or Mama. Then they would know you were real, and not an imaginary friend. Mama told me not to talk about you where anyone else could hear me.”

Lilaea ignored the subject, just as she did any she did not wish to discuss. “The turtles are out,” she said with a smile, pointing at three lumpy objects basking in the sun.

Charlie followed her as she turned, and the breeze brought the scent of her hair to his nose. He shifted uncomfortably. Over the past year he had been growing more and more aware of Lily's physical presence during their time together. In fact, it was now a rare day when he did not have to duck into the barn after spending time with her and bring himself to shuddering release.

Today Lily was wearing a dress which seemed to incorporate all the flowers of spring. Thousands of delicate petals were somehow woven together into a multi-hued pastel garment which clung to her body like a second skin. From his vantage point beside her, he could peek down the open neckline and see the swells of her breasts.

She turned back towards him, her eyes wicked, and he flushed crimson.

“What were you looking at, naughty little boy?”

“I'm not little anymore,” he said, stung by her tone. “I'm taller than you are now.” Indeed, that had been a day to savor last autumn, when he finally passed her in height.

Lily flipped a hand dismissively. “All little boys are the same. They all want what they can't have.”

Hardly daring to breathe, Charlie reached out his hand and took hers, their fingers entwining. “I'm not like other boys,” he said.

She turned her head and looked deep into his eyes. He sank into them, feeling as if he were drowning. She cupped his cheeks in her tan hands, the cool skin a balm on his hot face.

“No, you're not." Soft as a whisper, her lips brushed his cheek, making him burn.

Alana Church
No one grieved for Mick Phelan when he died. The old lawyer had been a terrible father and a horrible man, poisoning his children with his hate.

But an unexpected inheritance was waiting for his grandson Thomas. An Irish goddess who Mick had ensnared decades ago showed up on his doorstep, begging him to free her from bondage.

Now Tom and Rhiannon must navigate a treacherous road. Will their growing attraction for one another allow them to part the mists of time and release her from slavery? Or will Rhiannon be bound forever, a fate worse than death for this Gaelic Goddess?

~~~~~  Excerpt  ~~~~~

Tom took a deep breath. “Rhiannon, I ask that you return your body to the form that most pleases you.”

Rhiannon's head snapped back and she gave a low moan. She stumbled unsteadily to her feet, hunched around her middle, bracing one hand on the arm of the couch. As he looked on, wide-eyed, a golden glow began to form around her body, centered on her breasts and her groin. He was forced to turn away, his eyes spouting tears, the light too bright to face.

Rhiannon gave a sudden shout, piercing and clear, and with a last flash, quick as a bolt of lightning, the light went out, leaving them again in the dim light of his living room. Blinking, Tom turned to look at Rhiannon.

She was standing by the sofa, a look of astonished wonder on her face. “By all the gods above and below, I thank you, Thomas Phelan,” she said.

Face flaming, he stood and walked toward his bedroom door. This was too intense. Too private. He felt like he had stumbled across a woman giving birth, or soulmates sharing their first kiss.

“Stop.”

 

He halted in his tracks.

“Thomas,” she said, her voice low and vibrant.

“Yes?” he said, but did not turn to face her.

“I would like it very much if you stayed here with me,” she said.

“Are you sure?” he said nervously.

“Very much so. Who better to witness when Rhiannon, Goddess of fertility and the harvest, reclaims part of her legacy, than the one who made it possible?”

Book 4
After being set up and found guilty of a crime she didn’t commit, Jessica volunteers for the Interstellar Bride Program to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. She is assigned to a prince, the heir to the throne of the powerful planet Prillon, but her future is left in doubt when the match is rejected by Prillon’s current ruler. 

When his own father seeks to banish him and deny him his right to a mate, Prince Nial takes matters into his own hands. Accompanied by a battle-tested warrior who volunteers as his second, he sets out for Earth to take what is his, but upon his arrival he quickly discovers that the same horrifying enemies who once took him captive now hunt his mate as well. 

Though believing she has been rejected by a mate she never even met stings more deeply than she would like to admit, Jessica does her best to focus on the dangerous task of bringing down the people who framed her. But before long, her world is turned upside down all over again when two huge, handsome aliens save her life and then inform her that she is their matched mate and they have come to Earth to claim her. 

Jessica is far from ready to meekly submit, but she soon learns that her new mates expect to be obeyed and defiance will result in a painful, embarrassing spanking on her bare bottom. Despite her fury at such treatment, however, she cannot hide her arousal as she is stripped bare and thoroughly mastered by the fierce, dominant warriors. But when Prince Nial is forced to defend his birthright, will Jessica do what must be done to aid him, even if that means allowing his entire world to bear witness as she is taken by her mates? 

Publisher’s Note: Taken by Her Mates is a stand-alone book set in the same world as Assigned a Mate, Mated to the Warriors, and Claimed by Her Mates. It is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Book 1
When a potential threat against her life forces Eva Daily to seek shelter on another world, she has only one option available to her. She must offer herself to the Interstellar Bride Program. After a deeply humiliating assessment of her suitability, Eva will be assigned a mate and transported to his world to become his bride. 

Upon arriving on the desert planet Trion, Eva soon learns that things are quite different than she is used to on Earth. Her assigned mate, the powerful, handsome High Councilor Tark, makes it clear that she will be expected to submit to him completely, and she quickly discovers that disobedience will earn her a painful, embarrassing spanking on her bare bottom. 

An intimate examination from her new mate leaves Eva blushing crimson, but to her surprise Tark’s mastery of her body arouses her beyond anything she could have ever imagined. Soon enough she finds herself naked, bound, and unable to resist the urge to beg for more as his skillful lovemaking brings her to one shattering climax after another. 

It doesn’t take long, however, for Eva to realize that there is much more to Tark than just a dominant brute who will not hesitate to take his misbehaving wife over his knee and redden her bare bottom thoroughly. But just as her passion for him begins to blossom into love, events back on Earth threaten to tear her away from him forever. Can Eva find a way to remain at Tark’s side and in his bed, or will she be left with nothing but memories of the man who has claimed both her body and her heart? 

Publisher’s Note: Assigned a Mate is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, medical play, anal play, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Alana Church
Heather Fawxx moved to a small town in the hopes that her adult-film past wouldn't follow her. But her hopes were dashed when she was immediately recognized by her new neighbors. Now, the sparks of desire are igniting. Who will she choose? Young, attractive Nate? Or the older, bi-curious Barbara? One thing is sure: Life is interesting when your neighbor's a porn star!

~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~

Twenty minute's work with a real shovel put the sidewalk in order, though Nate suspected the whipping wind would drift it all over again with blowing snow before sunrise. Frowning, he took a look at the driveway. Full dark had fallen and cold hard stars glittered in the ink-black sky. He shivered and pulled his cap down tighter around his ears. In weather like this it was easy to believe some of the more lurid tales from American history, where unprepared settlers had to resort to cannibalism to survive.

He re-entered the house, stamping the snow off his boots. “Miss McCormick?” he called. “Heather? I'm back.”

“In here,” her voice called. He followed it down the hallway to a door, cracked open. He tapped on it. “Come in, Nate.”

He opened the door, and stopped, staring.

*****

She was dressed in a robe out of one of her films. No, he quickly corrected himself. She never wore anything that good in any of her films. Not the ones I saw, at least. Rather, it was a gown out of one of his fantasies. Sheer and white, it glittered in the dim light of the bedside lamp, tiny sequins throwing sparks back into his awestruck gaze. It was long, reaching down to her ankles, but the transparent, gauze-like material both hid and revealed her incredible body. He could see her shadowy curves, moving under the cloth like sunken treasure in a deep ocean.

He took a deep breath. He would not, would not, embarrass himself. “Feeling better?”

“Much better,” she smiled. She took a few steps towards him. “Thank you for watching out for me. It was stupid to go out to shovel the walk in weather like this. If I had been thinking straight, I wouldn't have tried it. And I definitely would have stopped once I realized I didn't have the right clothes or shovel to do the job. But I get so damn stubborn sometimes and can't admit I'm making a mistake.”

He felt one side of his mouth curl up in a lopsided smile. “I'm familiar with the idea. I think half the population of South Dakota is descended from people who were too dang mule-headed to realize that living here was a bad choice.”

“Hmmm,” she smiled. She took another slow step towards him. The movement left her only a foot or so away. He wanted to retreat, but his feet seemed frozen in place.

She lifted her hand and let it trace, lingeringly, over the thick sweater he was wearing. “Which leaves us with the question of how to suitably reward you, my hero.”

He swallowed. “Heather. Please. Stop it. I'm not an idiot. I know this isn't one of your films, where the randy housewife gets turned on as soon as the pizza man knocks on the door. Don't tease me this way.”

“No, it's not one of my films.” She looped her arms around his neck and smiled up at him. “It's better. Should I tell you the story? A lonely woman moves to a town where she doesn't know anyone. She meets a handsome young man who helps her when he could have let her suffer the consequences of her own foolishness. When she is taking a shower, her body recovering from the ordeal, she realizes she is more aroused than she has been in years. Maybe the fact that she could have died has made her realize just how short life is, and how you should reach for happiness when you have the chance. Or maybe she's just a naturally horny woman whose desires have been unnaturally stunted over the past several years.

“Whatever the case may be, she wants you, Nate.

“Do you want me?”

Alana Church
Trapped for decades, Aphrodite, goddess of desire, has finally been freed. Now in a mortal's body, she must shape her host to her will.

Phaedra Laskaris doesn't want a man. But since the strange statue crossed her path, her will has not been her own. Her eyes are straying to her young tenant, Nick. And one amazing night she gains a new body, a new purpose, and Nick becomes Aphrodite's Lover!

~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~

She barely remembered the drive home. By the time she arrived back at her apartment, her slacks were unzipped and gaping wide. At every stoplight her hands had dipped helplessly below the waistband.

She stumbled up the stairs to the apartment she shared with Nikki, empty to everything but the insatiable need inside her. Her fingers fumbled as she tried to slot the key into the lock, and once inside, she left her clothes behind her as she made a beeline for the bedroom. By the time she pushed open the door to her bedroom, her slacks were down to her knees, and she half-hopped, half-hobbled to the bed, where the shoved them down and off her legs with quick jerks of her arms.

She laid back with a groan, her eyes closed. This was less a desire than a need, a panting need to climax.

Goddess...Goddess, please. I need...I need...

~I can grant you what you wish,~ a voice seemed to murmur in her ears. ~But there will be a price. There always is. Great gifts demand great sacrifices.~

“Anything,” she panted. “Please!”

~So be it.~

It started at the same time as her climax, that too-seldom-experienced feeling of joyous release. As the muscles of her belly and womb tensed and relaxed, as her mind spiraled upward in bliss, the pounding heartbeat in her ears and the thrusting rhythm of her fingers began to merge.

And her body changed.

She first noticed it in her breasts. Looking down over her chest to the slightly rounded expanse of her belly, she gasped. Her breasts were growing. The skin over her chest seemed to tighten, then expand, her flat, saggy bags blossoming with every breath. As she watched, disbelieving, the new flesh spilled up and over her clutching hands. They grew in a pulsing rhythm, each heartbeat increasing her bust-size. She filled her hands with them, as if she could stop the growth, somehow force her body back into its flat-chested rut. But the feel of her hot fingers made her tilt her head back and moan in wanton pleasure.

And that was not the only change. Her entire body was slowly transforming before her very eyes. Her skin grew richer, smoother, darker, losing its sallow hue. It almost seemed to glow in the dim light of the room. The low rise of her belly sank, her navel becoming a wonderful dimple in a smooth plane of taut skin. While her waist drew in, her hips grew slightly, the jutting bones of her pelvis now clothed with sleek flesh, wonderfully curved. Her thighs were more attractive as well, no longer skinny, but subtly different, drawing the eye.

Pain spiked in her left side, and her head spun as she gasped in agony. Then her eyes filled with sudden tears. Her scars, her burn marks, the physical residue of a fear-filled night thirty years in the past, were disappearing. Ropy, knotted masses of skin were transformed into unmarred flesh, smooth and sensitive as a child's. Even as she watched, the last traces of her burns faded away.

And then it stopped. She lay for a moment on her bed, gasping in confusion and sudden, heart-stopping wonder.

A voice spoke in her mind, pure and clear and filled with vast amusement. ~Well, my handmaiden? Do you approve of my work?~

Phaedra Laskaris fainted dead away.
Jessie Foxx
For the first time in one hot volume, bestselling erotica authors Jessie Foxx, Alana Church, and Laura Lovecraft combine their talents to bring you “Got MILF?” a sizzling trio of stories about MILFs who are out-of-this-world sexy, sultry, and gorgeous. Lose yourself in steamy desire as three lucky young men get their wildest dreams fulfilled!

 

Excerpt from “Driven MILF-Crazy”

“So,” Estella began. “Do you want to step out of the car and take care of it?”

I was suddenly overcome with boldness. I mean, hey, she could see my arousal; if I was going to be upfront about what I wanted, there was no better time to do it.

“Not really.”

I watched her eyes widen as I unzipped my jeans and pulled out my best bud.

She raised a hand to her mouth, covering a smile. I didn’t care if it was from embarrassment; that moment sitting there, exposing myself to this gorgeous woman, was the most unreal, erotic moment of my life. The blood pounded in my ears, and I swear I could hear my heart beating in my chest. It’s a good thing I had nothing to say, because my mouth was so dry I could not utter a single word.

When Estella finally removed her hand from her face, she was still smiling and her tanned face had gone a shade of red.

“Wow. Eduardo I wasn’t expecting…that.”

I swallowed, trying to bring enough moisture to my mouth to say those two crucial words. “Wanna help?”

It was all riding on that. There was nothing else I could say; I’d crossed that line and there was no going back.

 

Excerpt from “The Snow Maid”

She stepped into his arms. She was trembling. With fear or desire, he couldn't tell. He put his arms around her for comfort and held her, astonished as always to find how small she was. Her breasts were firm against his chest. She spoke softly, cool breath raising goosebumps on his chest.

“I forgot what it was like. My creators, bless and damn them, couldn't imagine a young woman who wasn't also governed by lust. So the Snow Maid is like a mare who is perpetually in heat. The maid who is also a wanton. Do you understand?” she asked, pulling away to look up at his face. For the first time in his memory, her pale face was flushed.

“I have no choice in the matter. Damn them all, I don't really want a choice. Not when she is upon me and you are here. The Snow Maid wants a man. I want a man. I need a man. I want you. I need you, Bill Carter. Thank the High One he brought you to me.” She raised herself on her toes, cold lips brushing his.

“Make love to me, please?”

Without words, Bill took her hands in his and brought them to his lips. Hand in hand, they walked out of the kitchen, and Polina led him to the one place in the house he had never gone.

Her bedroom.

 

Excerpt from “After School Special”

“Why should a young man feel sorry for looking at an attractive woman?”

“I shouldn’t?” I put my hands out.

“Nope,” she answered. “I’m flattered that you look.” She gave me a nasty little smirk. “I know you do, I know all the boys do, and I love it.”

“You do?”

“I do. I mean, after all…” Grabbing the top of her shirt, she pulled it down to expose more of her cleavage. “Isn’t that what I am: an effing tease?”

“I was just, um…” I stopped when she placed her finger to my lips.

“See, that’s the problem. Looking is fine, fantasizing is fine, but saying crude nasty things about me is where you were wrong today.”

“I’m sorry, Miss Ross,” I said more firmly this time. “I know I was wrong, but could you maybe not tell…”

“You are wrong.” She nodded. “How do you know I’m a tease? That’s an assumption made by men who know they’ll never get a woman, so they say they’re teases. It’s a petty, misleading statement. Never mind harsh and hurtful.

“You know how much trouble you can get into for this, don’t you, Todd?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well I suggest you start doing some serious ass kissing if you don’t want me to say anything.”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked, confused, but relieved that I might have a shot at getting out of this.

“I just told you,” Miss Ross said. “Start kissing my ass.”

Alana Church
Sexy high school seniors Stacie and Tabitha are best friends in more ways than one! Teammates on the volleyball court, these hot girls are lovers as well!

But now their good-looking history teacher has been appointed the temporary coach of the volleyball team. Will these lusty young ladies be able to reach their ultimate goal, and drag Coach Glassman into bed?

~~~~~  Excerpt  ~~~~~

“Mr. Glassman?”

He looked up from his notes in the small coach's office next to the locker room. The practice had gone well, and he was thinking about making another change to the starting lineup. Consuela Barton, a tiny Filipina girl who had been adopted and brought to America by her childless parents, had thrown her body around with reckless abandon. Alan thought she might replace one of the girls on the back line.

Tabitha Harrington stood in the doorway, Stacie Reynolds looking over her shoulder.

“What can I do for you, Tabby?” He stood up, then frowned. “I thought everyone had left.”

Tabby nodded. “We waited until everyone else was gone,” she said. “I didn't want anyone to hear what I had to say to you.

“I wanted to thank you,” she said, voice trembling a little. “No teacher has ever stood up for me like you did today. Mr. Walton certainly wouldn't have.”

Alan sat on the edge of his desk, putting his eyes nearly level with the redhead. “Well, I can't speak for the rest of the staff. A lot of them are old and set in their ways.”

“More like fossilized,” said Stacie from her position in the doorway.

“But I won't let anyone use your...your sexual orientation as a way to mock you, any more than I would let someone make racist remarks about Jasmine or Consuela.”

“I know you won't,” said Tabitha. She took another step into the room, then paused for a moment. Alan regretted the fact that his lower body was exposed.

That's all you need. To get an erection and for these two to see it and report you. He shifted uncomfortably, trying to think of an excuse to quickly usher the two beautiful girls out of his office.

Suddenly, Tabby moved to his side and hugged him. He could feel her breasts pressing against his arm and her muscled legs were warm at his side. Before he could react she had raised her face and kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you,” she whispered, her dark blue eyes shining. “I mean it.”

Alan cleared his throat nervously. “Tabby, I appreciate your…gratitude, but this isn't really appropriate,” he stammered.

“I understand,” she said softly, backing away. Although her voice was contrite, he thought he could detect the hint of a smirk in the curve of her lips.

Before he could say anything else, Stacie had entered the office, which was becoming distinctly crowded.

“It's really not fair,” she remarked. “I'm the one who has the hots for you, so why does she get to kiss you first?” Shouldering Tabby aside, she stepped into the vee of Alan's sitting legs, so close he could feel her small, exquisitely formed breasts through the cloth separating them. Leaning forward, she kissed him flush on the mouth, moaning softly. Her mouth opened quickly, her tongue swiping across his lips, as if she was sampling how he tasted.

Unable to respond, Alan blinked as she pulled away slightly. Gasping, he realized she had her hands on his thighs, her fingers slowly working their way towards his groin.

He came to his senses, almost panicking. “You have to leave,” he hissed. “Now. If someone saw this I'd be fired, and no school district would ever hire me again.”

Stacie opened her mouth, but Alan cut her off. Gently, but firmly, he removed her hand from his legs. “You're putting my entire future at risk, Stacie. Please stop.

“Go home. This never happened.”

Alana Church
Brian Underwood had loved his neighbor, Jia, since they were children. But she was a lesbian, and he...wasn't.

But a wish on a star one night led to unforeseen changes. Brian woke up the next morning with his body transformed. He was no longer Brian, but...Brianna!

Follow the two star-crossed lovers as they try to reconcile the changes in their lives. Because Brian's a lesbian now!

~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~

“I bet you're a horny little tramp, aren't you, Brianna? If you were still a guy, you'd be hard and you'd want to go and stroke off. But you can't.” Her voice lowered, becoming deep and sultry. “Are you hot for me? Are you wet?” One hand fell casually on the inside of her thigh, sliding up the denim.

Brianna was shocked at her friend’s dirty talk and her nonchalant attitude. Was this what she was like when she wasn't around? No wonder so many young women had fallen under her spell. “I...I don't know.”

“What?”

“I don't know, okay? Jesus, Jia! I've been a woman for maybe two hours, and you think I know what it's like to be...to be aroused?” she glared helplessly at her. “And what is with you? Last night the only way I would have been able to get you into my bed was with a dose of ruffies. And now you're feeling me up in your car like it's the most natural thing in the world.”

“That was then, Bree. This is now. Last night you were a nice guy who had the unfortunate disadvantage of having a dick. Now, you're a gorgeous woman with world-class boobs. And I wouldn't mind seeing a lot more than I have already.

“But I'm not going to throw you down on the floor and bang you. So I want to know what turns you on. What makes you all hot and bothered. When you were a guy, wasn't there a certain body type you went for more than others? Besides me, of course.” She smirked with pride.

“Well, yeah,” she admitted. “I always liked brunettes. Dark skin helped. Asians. Latinas. Long hair was nice, too.

“But God, Jia. When I was a guy, it was easy.” She gestured at her crotch. “Here's your weiner. Either it's hard or not.” Her lips twitched. “No wonder so many computer geeks are guys. It's a very binary world. Must be right up their alley.”

Jia snickered. “Well, that's true.

“But we can't send you out into public without knowing the basics. Otherwise you'll have your signals crossed and some randy lesbo will take advantage of you.”

She pulled neatly into a parking space across from Brianna's apartment. She looked down at her hands, which were clenched tightly on the steering wheel. “I could help you, if you want.”

“Help me what?”

“Help you figure it out. How your body works. I'm not going to send you into the wild with no more knowledge of the female body than what you picked up having sex with your girlfriends. I mean,” she said, stuttering a little, “I know you were a good lover. Careful and considerate. I've had enough girl-talk with your girlfriends to figure that out. But following instructions from your girlfriend is a lot different than learning about your own body. And you don't have the months of experimentation most kids get once they hit puberty to learn what works for you.”

She set a hand on her arm, trying to hide the way it trembled. “I'll teach you, if you want.”

Alana Church
Charles Schuler returned from war whole in body, but broken in spirit. Now all he wants to do is settle down on the family farm and join his life to Lily, the water spirit who has been his best friend and secret comrade since he was six years old.

 

But he soon discovers that greedy men have dammed Lily's river, using her strength in pursuit of their own selfish needs. He’s galvanized to desperate action…but will he be able to save her, or is it too late?

 

~~~~~  Excerpt  ~~~~~

 

Charlie followed her as she turned, and the breeze brought the scent of her hair to his nose. He shifted uncomfortably. Over the past year he had been growing more and more aware of Lily's physical presence during their time together. In fact, it was now a rare day when he did not have to duck into the barn after spending time with her and bring himself to shuddering release.

 

Today Lily was wearing a dress which seemed to incorporate all the flowers of spring. Thousands of delicate petals were somehow woven together into a multi-hued pastel garment which clung to her body like a second skin. From his vantage point beside her, he could peek down the open neckline and see the swells of her growing breasts.

 

She turned back towards him, her eyes wicked, and he flushed crimson.

 

“What were you looking at, naughty little boy?”

 

“I'm not little anymore,” he said, stung by her tone. “I'm taller than you are now.” Indeed, that had been a day to savor last autumn, when he finally passed her in height.

 

Lily flipped a hand dismissively. “All little boys are the same. They all want what they can't have.”

 

Hardly daring to breathe, Charlie reached out his hand and took hers, their fingers entwining. “I'm not like other boys,” he said.

 

She turned her head and looked deep into his eyes. He sank into them, feeling as if he were drowning. She cupped his cheeks in her tan hands, the cool skin a balm on his hot face.

 

“No, you're not. But neither am I like other girls, Charlie,” she said sadly. “Don't expect me to give you what they can.” Soft as a whisper, her lips brushed his cheek, making him burn.

 

Suddenly, she bounced to her feet, then dove into the pool, giving him a heart-stopping glimpse of her long legs before she sliced into the water. She bobbed to the surface, her eyes laughing. “Come in for a swim!”

 

He peeled off his shirt and set it aside on the warm grass. He then climbed up the path to the waterfall. He backed away a few steps, then charged forward, his bare feet slapping against sun-warmed stone. For an instant he flew through the air, then hit the water with a tremendous splash, throwing spray in all directions.

 

He came to the surface with a grin, watching as Lily wiped water from her streaming face. Treading water, he took in her delicate, finely-carved features, blossoming like a flower in the sun.

 

When she is grown, she will be beautiful, he thought with sudden prescience. I should tell her. Tell her how I feel.

 

He took a deep breath and was at her side in a few strokes. As promised, Lily had been a good teacher, and he was a strong swimmer, even if he had never been in a body of water bigger than her pool.

 

He stopped only a few inches away from her. Reaching through the water, he set his hands on her hips, feeling her muscles flex as their legs slowly kicked in the clear water, occasionally brushing each other. He looked into her eyes, trying to come up with the right words.

 

“Lily. Lilaea.” He took a deep breath. “I-”

 

“There you are,” came a voice from behind him. He spun in the water, seeing Maggie standing on the riverbank. She made a disgusted face. “Get out of the creek and into your shirt and shoes, Charlie. Mama's been calling you for supper for the past twenty minutes.”

 

Swearing under his breath, Charlie turned back to Lily, but she was gone.

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