Smoke and Mirrors~

kill yourself“My wife will never agree,” I told him, picturing how I’d left her in bed after crying herself to sleep.  Drained and exhausted, and very emotional from the argument with her mother.  That insensitive cow was on my last nerve too.  I stubbed out my ciggie and lit another.

“Make her agree, Blackstone.”

“I know you care for nothing but the success of your campaign, Senator, not even what’s happened to your son, but I don’t give a maiden queen’s first fuck about your politics, or your rapist son.”

I’d give Oakley points for laying it all out on the line.  He wasted nothing on words.  Just went straight to the issue in that tonal American accent of his that seemed almost devoid of humanity.  “Don’t you think it’s better to be a couple of indiscreet teenagers who had a lapse in judgment years ago, and who’ve put it firmly behind them, than to worry about extortion should their shameful secret be brought to light?  If they are still friends, then no crime ever occurred.  Simple insurance, Blackstone.  I think you should care very much.”

As much as I hated to admit it, Oakley’s ‘insurance’ scheme was really very clever.  But the cleverness of it wouldn’t help Brynne.  It would hurt her.  “I care about the welfare of my pregnant wife, who was made ill tonight by this whole shitstorm blowing up in media.  And that, Senator, is not going to help you one iota.  I can’t make her go and see him.  She won’t do it.”

He responded with, “Within the week, please,” and cut the line.  I stared at my mobile, sure the number he’d called from was already deactivated.  The tingle of fear scratched its way down my spine.  I lit another Djarum and filled my lungs.  I didn’t know how to fix this problem, and it had grown exponentially in the matter of hours.  The US presidential election was propelling this one.  How in the goddamn shitting hell did one fight that monstrous beast?

So I got up and left my office.   I went to sit outside on the balcony, where I started smoking in earnest.  One ciggie after the other, until I was high from the pumping nicotine that fueled the addiction I couldn’t deny.smoking Ethan

The smoke drifted away on the cool nighttime breeze in lazy, wafting swirls.  I had a flash of longing that my problems could magically do the same.  Wishful thinking.  Real life never worked that way.  My hand was being forced in this.  Sometimes my experience with poker was a curse…because I knew the odds here.  I could see when folding was the only option.

It wouldn’t help Brynne to bring her into Oakley’s circle, but I feared it was already too late for that.


Rare and Precious Things coming February 28th

#Blackstone4  on Twitter @Raine_Miller


xxoo R

Brynne the Model~

vintageBrynneBrynne the model.  Yes, we mustn’t forget this is how Ethan discovered his American girl in the first place.  And the particular type of modeling she does?  …Well, let’s say has caused some bumps along the way for these two–especially him.

With Rare and Precious Things just 23 days out, here is another teaser for you.  Ethan and Brynne are at a cocktail party, at the home of Marco Carvaletti, while honeymooning in Italy.  Marco is one of Brynne’s photographers, and Ethan…well, he isn’t so keen about the party, but he goes anyway.

xxoo R



“BELLA, you look magnificent, the glow in your cheeks, everything, is utter perfection.”  Marco, kissed me on both cheeks as was custom, then held me at arm’s length for a thorough perusal.  “Lovely dress.  I can see that marriage and motherhood is agreeing with you, darling.”

I felt Ethan’s hand at my back soften and relax at Marco’s friendly, but appropriate greeting.  Maybe he’d get over his paranoia that Marco was trying to bag me every time he photographed me.  Ethan just didn’t understand that Marco wasn’t like that at all.  He was a professional photographer doing a job with me, and nothing more.  Well, nothing more than a working, platonic friendship.  He’d always been kind to me, and I liked working with Marco Carvaletti very much.  I hoped Ethan could see it here tonight as we all interacted.

“It is, Marco, and I don’t think I could be any happier.”  I leaned into Ethan, nudging him to speak up.

“Mr. Carvaletti, thank you for the invitation.  We’ve been looking forward to this all day.”  Ethan lied smoothly, offering his hand, playing the social gentleman to perfection, which he was well skilled at.  I guess he did it out of love for me.  I knew he didn’t want to be here anymore than he wanted me modeling.  I mouthed a thank you only visible to him.  He kissed me on the cheek and whispered in my ear, “Don’t forget about Simba, baby.”  Then he wandered off to get drinks for us.

Marco took me on a tour of his elegantly restored 17th century villa as I marveled at all of the art.  He had a whole room set up as a gallery of his photographs.  There were a couple of me in there.  One where I sat in a formal chair with one knee up, strategically placed, my expression far away and pensive.  The other pose was a side view recreation of a vintage Ziegfeld Follies girl with a feather boa and some satin pumps.  It was one of the first portraits I posed for and I really thought it was nicely choreographed.

“It is a beautiful piece, bella.  I knew when we did that series you had the gift.”  Marco stood behind me admiring the image he had created with me as the subject.

“I was so nervous posing, but you made me laugh when you told me to imagine Iggy Pop in a dress.”  I shrugged.  “That broke the ice and I was fine after that.”

“That one works for me every time, bella.”

“Well, Iggy Pop in a dress is funny, so good job, Marco.”  We laughed together and made our way back to the main gathering.

Where was Ethan with my drink?  I scanned the room for sight of him, but didn’t see his tall form standing out among the crowd anywhere.  And I needed water.

“He is talking to Carolina and Rogelio, my friends,” Marco said, correctly reading my quest to find Ethan.  “I believe they have discovered they are acquainted already.”

Really?  Ethan knew people at this party?  I suppose it wasn’t as bad as he’d predicted it would be after all.  Couldn’t wait to bust him about his whining to come here.

“Oh, well that’s great.  I look forward to meeting them.  But first, I need to get some water.  I’m really thirsty after spending a long time swimming in the ocean today.  Must be all the salt.”

“Come with me, bella, I will take care of you.”


Honeymoon Dating

Mr. and Mrs. Blackstone have a "date" on their honeymoon.

Mr. and Mrs. Blackstone have a “date” on their honeymoon.


“What are we doing on the beach?” I asked, as he  led me along the cool sand under my bare feet.

“Having our date.  Trust me, baby.  This is something I have all planned out for us.”

“I bet you do.  I am well aware that when you say date you really mean sex—”

My words were lost as we rounded a turn in the beach path and came out onto the shore. The waves lapped at the sand with the soothing sounds of water moving against earth.  A sliver of moon glowed up over the water, but the real beauty was the many glass jars lit up with tea lights set out on the soft sand of the beach. What seemed like hundreds of them flickering away around a pallet of blankets and pillows.  Off to one side, sat a bucket of iced drinks and what appeared to be little dessert cakes on a tray with some fresh fruit.

“It’s beautiful, Ethan.”  I could hardly speak as I realized what he’d done.  “How did you do…all of this?”

He led us onto the blankets and drew me down to sit beside him.  “It was my idea,” he began, “but I needed some help to pull it off.  Franco got it organized while we were at the party.”

I looked around behind us, imaging if the caretaker for our villa was lurking in the dark hoping for a glimpse.

“I know what you’re thinking, but you don’t have to worry, baby, Franco is not in the bushes watching, trust me.”

I laughed nervously.  “Well, if Franco is in the bushes somewhere, I am predicting he’s gonna get one hell of a show.”

“Now that’s what I like to hear.  My girl accepting the idea of a hot beach shag,” he whispered teasingly against my ear, his tongue flicking out for a lick along the shell.  “You like my surprise.”

My body came instantly alive, needing him so badly.  Ethan could get me hot with just the simplest look or touch.  He reached up and worked on the messy knot holding up my hair and unpinned it.  He was getting good at figuring out my hair.  It made me smile to watch him as he found the pins and pulled them, knowing how he’d be fisting my hair in handfuls and using it to dominate when we were deep into the sex.

“You’re smiling,” he murmured as he worked over my hair.

“I just love to watch you doing simple things.”

My hair fell free.  “This is not a simple thing to me,” he whispered, fingering through the tangled length with both hands.  His gaze grew smoky as he focused on my lips.  “It’s everything.”


 Rare and Precious Things is coming February 28th.

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Wedding Night for the Blackstones

Teaser no 3 collage

At the end of Eyes Wide Open, Ethan and Brynne were about to embark upon their wedding night.  Here’s a little tease for you to enjoy from the upcoming fourth installment in my Blackstone Affair series–Rare and Precious Things.

Twitter Hashtags  #RareAndPreciousThings  #Blackstone4


We both stood there panting,  our faces so close, but yet, not touching; him in his tux with the purple brocade vest, me in my vintage inspired lace wedding dress, the sexual tension crackling in the air between us like a raging electrical storm about to go nuclear.

I told Ethan what I wanted.

“I n-need to get ready for you,” I managed on a shaky breath, hoping he understood this was something important to me.

He swallowed hard, making his Adam’s apple flex at his throat.  “All right,” he said slowly.  “I’ll do the same.”

I looked back to where the glow from the en suite bathroom showed me the way.  “Where will you go?” I asked him, feeling slightly guilty about kicking him out, even if for just a short while.

“The adjoining bedroom is also very nice.”  He gestured toward a door in the wall to the left of the bed.  “These old manor houses always had lord and lady connecting bedrooms so they could meet up for the real important, private stuff that happened in the night.”  He drew a finger across the low neckline of my bodice, moving especially slow over the swell of my breasts sitting against the lace of my gown.

“Oh?  The important private stuff you say.”

“Undoubtedly, baby.  The shagging…is…very…very…very…important.”  He gave me soft, seductive kisses between each of the words.

“Which room are we in right now?  Lord’s or lady’s?” I asked breathlessly.

He shrugged.  “No idea.  Don’t care either.  I shag and sleep wherever my lady is, and I always will.  Pick a room, Mrs. Blackstone.”

I sighed with need and forced myself to take a step backward, creating some distance between our bodies.  “Okay…how does this room in fifteen minutes sound?” I stepped backward again, moving closer toward the bathroom door, my eyes never leaving his blues as they tracked my movements.

Those same beautiful blue eyes also glittered at me with all the shuttered heat of a man who would be ravishing me very soon.  Please, and thank you.

He gave me the serious Ethan-stare, the one I’d seen many times and was well familiar with—the one raw with male prowess…and the overpowering sexual dominance.

“Like fifteen minutes too fucking long, my beauty.”


Rare and Precious Things publishing everywhere February 28, 2014.