Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fallen Angel by Mona Ingram

Fallen Angel by Mona Ingram

Laura MacLeod doesn't need an intervention to know she's in trouble. A paediatric nurse on an oncology ward, she has seen her share of suffering, but when tragedy touches her personally, she falls apart and accepts help in the form of pain killers. She becomes rapidly addicted, and her downward spiral is humiliating as well as life-changing. Fresh from rehab, she travels to the Okanagan Valley, where she has agreed to perform menial work at a winery for several months.

F-18 fighter pilot Bradley Jamieson has witnessed the horrors of war in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of his ability to speak. Weary from the aftermath of war, he accepts his friend's invitation to visit his winery. Unable to understand how a beautiful woman like Laura could throw away her life by taking drugs, he is determined to avoid her. But the more he sees of this gentle woman, the more he's attracted to her.

The summer sun isn't the only thing generating heat in the valley. Laura and Bradley battle their growing attraction for one another while fighting their inner demons. Can these two troubled souls find the peace they desire, or will reality bring them crashing back down to earth?


Set-up: Bradley Jamieson, an F-18 fighter pilot, is suffering PTSD after an incident in Afghanistan. Unable to speak, he’s looking for a quiet place to heal, and accepts his friend’s invitation to help at his winery in the Okanagan Valley.

Bradley Jamieson was one of those rare men who really loved women. At least the ones he’d been involved with told him he was a rarity, and judging by comments from the men he’d served with, they were right. The couple beside him were chattering away in a language he didn’t recognize, and he relaxed, thinking back to his younger days.
He’d grown up in Comox, home to Canadian Forces Base Comox. It was inevitable, he supposed, his desire to become a pilot. He knew every aircraft type that flew in and out of CFB Comox–American as well as Canadian. Even back then, he’d known that you just didn’t walk through the gates and sign up. As a matter of fact, you were lucky if they even considered you, and a degree or two always helped.
And so in the summer holidays, while his friends went fishing or chased girls, he worked at every job he could find, saving money for his education. The grocery store paid the best; he made himself available for work any time they called, but it wasn’t enough. In between, he mowed lawns and did yard clean-up.
It was a hot summer day when he first noticed her...really noticed her.
Bradley” she called from behind the screen door. “Could you help me with something?”
He looked up, trying to recall her name. Oh yes, it was Mrs. Fraser. Her husband worked at the base, and according to her, had little time to spare for yard work. He’d noticed her several times that day; she seemed to be watching him through the kitchen window. He hoped she was happy with his work.
He wiped the sweat from his brow as he walked up the back steps. She opened the screen door and stood there, almost as if she were posing. She had on some sort of a top that tied under her breasts, leaving her midriff bare, and incredibly short shorts for an older woman. At least she seemed older to him. He tried not to look at her, but she had an amazing body and she wasn’t shy about showing it.
What is it?” he said, looking around.
She walked across the kitchen and he noticed that she was wearing what the school girls called ‘wedgies’ on her feet. They made her legs go on forever. He swallowed painfully.
She bent over as if to lift a cardboard box from the floor. “This box is too heavy.” He could see the crease of skin where her legs joined her buttocks and got an instant erection.
She straightened up and turned back to him. “I was hoping to move this out to the storage shed, but it’s just too heavy.” Her gaze dropped to the level of his crotch and her lips parted. “Would you do it for me?”
Sure.” He didn’t know how he got the word out; his tongue felt thick and clumsy in his throat. She stood back a bit and he picked up the box. “The storage shed,” he said, trying not to look at her cleavage.
Yes, and then come back in. I’ve made some lemonade.”
He practically ran to the shed and shoved the box into the first spot he could find. It was all he could do not to race up the steps when he got back to the house.
So,” she said, handing him a glass of lemonade. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
He swallowed half the glass in one gulp. He wasn’t quite sure where this conversation was going. “Sort of,” he said, wondering if she could tell he was stretching the truth.
Aha.” She took a small sip from her glass, eyeing him over the rim. “And what do you do for fun?”
I, ah, well, we...” How could he explain the fumbling and groping in the back seat of his friend’s car?
Do you have sex?” She came closer. There was a musky smell about her. It was unfamiliar but oddly arousing. “I mean, I hear about young people these days and it all sounds so different from when I was your age.” She placed her glass on the counter then took his glass and placed it beside hers. She was so close to him now that her breasts were almost brushing against his chest. At least when she was this close she couldn’t see that he was hard again.
Or maybe she could. She ran a finger over his lips and his mouth dropped open. She slid the finger inside his mouth and then withdrew it, putting it in her own mouth. He was afraid that he was going to come right there, in her kitchen. That would be mortifying and he closed his eyes, fighting to regain control.
She touched his face again with her fingertips, tracing the line of his jaw, then down his neck, resting her hand against his chest. Her fingers tweaked his nipple, and he groaned aloud.
You’re really a very handsome young man,” she said. Her voice had changed. It was husky, and when he dared to look into her eyes they had darkened. She slid a hand lower and cupped his erection. “Would you like to make love to me?” she asked, trailing her fingers up and down the length of him.
He could only nod.
Then come with me,” she said, and walked up the half flight of stairs in the split-level home.
He followed her into a cool, dark bedroom. “What about your husband?” he croaked. He wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anything, but he didn’t relish being beat up by an irate husband.
He’s out of town on deployment,” she murmured, stepping out of her shorts. She was naked underneath. Her halter top soon followed, and she stood in front of him unabashedly. Her pubic hair had been trimmed and he stared at it. He’d never seen anything like that before, not that he had much experience with naked women.
Know what I was doing this morning while you were working outside?” She lay back on the bed, watching him undress.
He could care less what she’d been doing. All he could think about was what was being offered and he wanted to get it before she changed her mind.
I was watching you and wondering what it would be like to make love to you.”
He tore off his shorts and his erection sprang free.
Oh, come to mama,” she said, reaching for him. “I don’t imagine you want to wait any longer, do you?”
He thrust into her. Once, twice, and then he exploded like nothing he’d ever experienced before. He lay there for a few moments, catching his breath, and then raised his head. “I’m sorry,” he said, and meant it. “That wasn’t much good for you, was it?”
She smiled. “No, but you show great promise. Next time will be better.” She rolled out from under him and took his hand, guiding it to her innermost recesses. “In the meantime I’ll show you a sure fire way to please a woman.”
And she did. That afternoon and many more throughout that magical summer. She was an inventive teacher and he was an eager student. By the time school started again and her husband had returned from his posting, Bradley had acquired more sexual experience than most men gain in a lifetime.
* * *
The ferry shuddered as it moved away from the dock. Bradley opened his eyes, disoriented for a moment. Then he remembered where he was. He supposed he should go and get in line for some food. He didn’t mind the wait; it was something to do during the crossing. Besides, he needed some energy and his wits about him for the hectic pace of traffic on the mainland.

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