Monday, December 31, 2012

2013...

2012 was an awesome year. I released two books, made a gang of new friends and found myself as an author. I hope everyone who reads this post has a happy and safe 2013!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012



















I got fabulous news this morning. Blood Bonds has been nominated for Best Paranormal Romance 2012 by The Paranormal Romance Guild. I'm shocked and deeply honored. Blood Bonds received a 5 star review in July and is the second of my Progeny Series. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shauna and Ascher's story continues....

Blood Promise, the third book in The Progeny Series, will release in January 2013. Today, is the big cover, blurb and a sexy excerpt reveal. I'd like to thank Faleasha Myers for once again capturing the spirit and love of this special couple.


Book Three





Blood Promise (The Progeny Series #3) 

“Their love is fated by an ancient prophecy. Now the promise is fulfilled.”

Ascher Rousseau is a half-human, half vampire whose life has been a series of prophecies and predictions. After finding incredible love and passion with Shauna—a Wiccan with powers beyond anything he’s ever known—he seals to her and hopes for happiness. But his enemies seek to destroy all that he loves, and he finds that happiness never lasts for long.

Darkness is descending and a vampiric revolution is nearing. A new brood of hatchlings is born to join their darkling brothers, in preparation for war. A preordained chain of events is set into motion that could lead to the rise of the demonic “cloaked one” and his half-human fallen children, while ending humanity—as we know it.

Can a supernatural love and the loyal bond of a family save the Rousseaus and the world from certain extinction?







Book One


















Book Two

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thank You...

Thank you to everyone who dropped in for the Alpha Male Blog Hop. It was my first and I really enjoyed it. I'm planning to do more in the future. Congratulations to Angelheart618@gmail.com and Phaedracamille@gmail.com for winning digital copies of The Progeny and Blood Bonds. Look for an email from me by the end of the week.  Happy reading...


Ashlynne Out....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Alpha Male Blog Hop

 




Ascher Rousseau: Growing into his Destiny



Ascher in The Progeny and Blood Bonds
When I saw the Alpha Male Blog Hop, I thought to myself, “Hmmm...this topic is very near and dear to my heart. I am currently writing book three of my Progeny Series and my character, Ascher, is going through a major physical shift.

The Progeny Series is about finding oneself and growing into your destiny. The youngest in his vampire clan, Ascher is also different than his brothers and changes in each book. He’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire). While it was important to me that there be strong family bonds in this series, one of the centrifugal threads woven throughout is the emergence of Ascher’s Alpha instincts.

I love books with strong kick-ass alpha heroes, but I wanted to do something completely different. Instead of the reader meeting Ascher, as he will be by the end of the series, I wanted them to go on a journey of discovery with him. I like to think of him as an A.I.T. (Alpha in Training)

When we meet Ascher in The Progeny, he’s disgruntled and questions the reason for his existence. He feels out of step and too different from humans or vampires to comfortably fit into either world, and considers his half-blooded existence a curse.

His genetic predisposition is to be a great vampire warrior, but fires need a spark. Enter Shawnette McCutchin. Shauna becomes the accelerant that feeds the embers in him, igniting his inner warrior and a passion that completely consumes him. She brings with her beauty, mystery, excitement, and a sexual force that turns him inside out. In the course of their falling in love, he begins to see himself more clearly and comes to embrace his destiny, and his confidence is born. Obstacles come at them, one after another, until Ascher’s forced to fight for his love, no matter the cost.

An alpha is born.

In the beginning, I wrote him with boyish charms and his body “more adolescent than manly” because I wanted him to transform before the reader’s eyes. During the course of the series, he’ll not only change in appearance but his mannerisms, thought processes and actions will become that of a fierce warrior. Not to mention, the alpha side brings out an intense sexual drive in him that makes the love scenes more explosive.


Ascher in Blood Promise
About Ashlynne Laynne
Ashlynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.

Ashlynne loves writing on the edge and teetering between the erotica and romance genres, and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on books three and four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write full time one day soon.

Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.

About The Progeny Series
 At its core, The Progeny is simply a story about a man and woman who fall in love, and the fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire) and she’s a Wiccan human are secondary factors. When we meet Ascher, he’s grumpy. Frankly, who could blame him? He’s engaged to seal to Ursula—a cold and careless vampire who wants nothing more than to get her hands on a bloodstone— and he feels conflicted about his existence.

 All of that changes when he meets Shawnette McCutchin. She’s beautiful, intriguing and possesses some of the most potent blood that he’s ever smelled. A war immediately begins inside Ascher. He craves Shauna’s blood just as much as he craves her body and the closer they get, the harder it is for him to control his urges. After Ascher calls off the sealing to Ursula, the trouble begins. His family’s peaceful period ends when Ursula’s army attacks the Rousseaus.

This series is about a family of which we’ve never seen before. They share a common mortal and immortal bloodline but loyalty is the thread that holds this clan together. Once you become a part of this family, the others will risk their lives to protect you. We see examples of this throughout the journey. There is no shortage of romance, steam and surprises in The Progeny Series but these books are for adults and contain adult sensuality, language and themes.


The Books of The Progeny Series

Book One
Book Two











Please remember to include an email address with your comment for the chance to win THREE grand prizes. Readers can go to each blog and comment to be entered to win (that's over 200 chances to win). Also, this blog is offering e-copies of books one and two of the Progeny Series as a separate prize for one lucky comment. 


The Prizes

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The Following Swag Pack



For a complete list of blogs participating in the Alpha Male Blog Hop, please visit:  http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/




Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Filthy Cyber Party for Leanore Elliott's Dirty as Sin


Getting Filthy Never Felt So Good...Review of Dirty as Sin by Leanore Elliott
                                                    

Okay, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Leanore Elliott’s work. She possesses the extraordinary gift of mixing brutally hot men, even hotter sex and weaving in a love story that leaves you breathless. A woman can’t help but to fall in love with the men that grace her pages. Knowing this about her stories, I expected heat and romance but what I didn’t expect was a back story that seized and completely enthralled me.

We’ve all read them. Erotica books where sex is the main focus and fucking is the sole driver of the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex. Hell, I write about sex, but for my recreational reading I need more than cum shots and fuck plots. I need to feel a connection between the characters. I also need to know that there is more to them than just the physical attraction. Leanore is a master at this. The chemistry between Rex and Ava is electric.

The Nowhere series gave me a sexy immortal named Devon and his alter ego the Brave. Then she wowed me with a scorching hot cowboy named Jess in Lace & Leather. In the second book of Leanore’s Erotique Series, Dirty as Sin, I fell deeper in love with Rex.

World, meet the new stud on Wicked Leanore’s literary block, Rex Harris.

I first met Rex in a short story entitled “Satisfaction Guaranteed” from the first book in her Erotique Series, More Sex. I immediately fell in love with him and hoped that I’d get more Rex.

I’m so happy that I got my wish. Now on to the review:

Dirty as Sin was a clever and well-written look at the life of a “man for hire.” Rex Harris is a sex god with a hot bod who prides himself on knowing just what women desire. He’s made a career of it and commands a hefty sum of 10k for a night’s work. His hard body, dark locks and mesmerizing emerald eyes entrance the women who pay for his company, but Rex isn’t just in it for the money, he honestly enjoys his job and seeks to please his clients. We see many examples of this in the beginning of the book.

Underneath this gorgeous exterior beats an equally exquisite heart that’s wounded and haunted by the memory of the one that got away—Ava. Rex’s character arc is one of the most astounding parts of this book. He’s three-dimensional, tangible and as real as any person you’d meet on the street. He had depth, emotion and I found myself hating who he hated and cheering for a happy ending for him. At one point I screamed, “Oh no she didn’t!” and woke my napping husband. My Kindle battery died and I tossed that “bad boy” on the table and went straight for my laptop to open my Kindle app. I was possessed and no one was coming between me and my Rexxxy.

I was that invested.

We meet a physically strong, confident man who takes what he wants and answers to no one. But by the end he’s stripped to the bone, vulnerable and yearning for the one thing that his profession would never provide—true love.

This book demonstrated the power of blending explosive sex, emotion and a plot that keeps the reader guessing. It was a delicate balance of erotica, romance, suspense and thrills. My only problem with this book was that I needed more Rex! Alas, my only solace was that he gets a HEA, just not in the way you’d expect.

Dirty as Sin is a five star trip into a world where sensual pleasures come at a price but, as always, Leanore Elliott reminds us of the healing power of true love.

My favorite Rex Harris phrases:
“I’m a rented model. I turn into a fucking pumpkin the next day.”
“What? You’re not even going to try it on for size?”
“Your ass, her ass? What’s the difference?”
“We’re demons and we were put on Earth to fuck it over. Women are the angels and they are—our only salvation. Our only way to a real heaven.”

Damn, I love this guy!


Want more Rex? Read the book that started it all....










To celebrate the belated birthday of Wicked Leanore and her new hot stud, Sexy Rexxxy, I'm offering a $5 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter. The question to answer today is: What completely turns you on in a man/woman? Answer and leave your email address.

Find the complete Leanore Elliott collection on Amazon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday


This weekend was tough on me. As a new writer, I've learned a lot in the last two years. Nothing I've learned or experienced could have prepared me for the task of killing one of my characters. This wasn't my first time killing a character. I've killed off villains with no problem. I think of my characters as my babies and it felt like murder to me. Writing the death and how the others reacted to it tore me apart. I did it, through tears welling in my eyes. These six sentences came from the two chapters I wrote this weekend.



His face held the same blank passivity as Mae’s but she knew every twitch, glint and emotion that flashed from the beautiful depths of her husband’s eyes. He didn’t need to say a word because the unspoken grief was there. That sick worried shade of blue was back. She’d seen that look too many times—the day in Rousseau’s when she’d first come face to face with Ursula, the day in Langley Park when he broke the news of her sister’s kidnapping and every day of their weeklong silent period. Even as her mind reconciled the worry in his face, she recognized something else—devastation and the realization that he’d be crying tears if he were able.

Instinctively, she held her arms out to him, thinking how ironic it was that she’d be the one doing the comforting. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...Weapons Training

Here's a six sentence excerpt from the upcoming Blood Promise. This tidbit is from a scene I call "weapons training." Enjoy....





Giving her a come-hither flick of his hand, Ascher widened his stance, gripping the bar between his down-facing palms, keeping his eyes trained on her. “This is a neutral position.” He waited for her to imitate his movement and only continued when he was pleased with her positioning. “All poses start from here.” Raising the bar in one hand and above his head, he gave it a series of turns, the velocity of the revolutions resembling the blades of a helicopter.

She stilled, her eyes rounded with astonishment.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Krystal Shannan: Fabulous Author Friday ~ Ashlynne Laynne

Krystal Shannan: Fabulous Author Friday ~ Ashlynne Laynne: Please help me welcome today, guest author Ashlynne Laynne. Without further ado...... Ashlynne, please tell us a little about yoursel...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye Bye Babyface. Hello Grown Man Sexxxxy!!!!!

Ascher in Blood Promise
Ascher in The Progeny and Blood Bonds






















In book three Ascher undergoes a physical transformation that thrusts him into alphahood. Gone is the body that was "more adolescent than man." Meet Alpha Ascher. He's sexy, confident and gives Shauna all she can handle-in and out of the bed. Need proof? Check out this hot sniplet from the upcoming Blood Promise:



Sheathed deep, he felt every tremor and ripple inside her. It was too much, the heat inside her, the sensual movement of their hungry bodies, the sensation of her gliding up and down his pulsating length. He swore again as the beginnings of climax coursed his body, waves of ice water quenching the inferno raging inside. His eyes peered into hers, his shaky hands grabbing her undulating hips, encouraging their delicious driving.

She melted in his embrace as her core burned and quivered around him, squeezing and spurring his climax to the surface.

“That’s it, baby. Feel me. Feel how much I love you and never forget it.” 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Labelle Books: The Progeny Series with Ashlynne Laynne

Labelle Books: The Progeny Series with Ashlynne Laynne: I'm happy to have the lovely Ashlynne Laynne on Labelle Books with us. Today she gives us first dibs on a picture reveal of her character, A...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sexy Six Sentence Sunday Preview from the upcoming Blood Promise


To celebrate my new blog, I decided to showcase the reason for the change. My writing is darker and more intense and  both my sites will soon reflect that.

With a stiff tongue, she lapped a slick circuit along the veins coursing his pulsing length and around the delicate skin of his cock head. A wave of desire swept him, submerging his docile nature and awakening the primitive beast within. A throaty growl emerged from the depths of his belly, as her mouth slipped up and down his thickened shaft. Her full lips drew in his swollen crown, gently pulling on the tender tissue. His eyes rolled as her tongue tunneled into the sensitive slit, leaving behind her crimson kiss as she extracted a thick burst of pre cum.

Claws sprang from his fingertips and his lengthened fangs bit at his bottom lip.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shauna and Ascher's Big Day Photo

When I began fleshing out The Progeny almost two years ago, I knew that I would join Ash and Shauna in some sort of ceremony as a symbol of their love. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that it is an amazing part of the second book that fits the unique nature of my couple. My cover artist, Faleasha, took time and lovingly drew this picture of the happy couple. Her unbelievable grasp and love of my characters shows with each project she does. Her work tugs at your heart and screams emotion at you. This is her latest rendering for the Progeny Series. Ain't it beautiful?


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Uniquely Moi Books: The Progeny Series: Blood Bonds is now released

Uniquely Moi Books: The Progeny Series: Blood Bonds is now released: At its core, The Progeny is simply a story about a man and woman who fall in love, and the fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half va...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Author Spotlight: Love's Prophecy by Brenda Dyer


Vampire Warriors Ahoy! Review of Love’s Prophecy by Brenda Dyer.


Love’s Prophecy Blurb:

Dark warriors of might...

Mel is a vampire warrior sworn to hunt and kill demons in the dark streets of Vancouver. But he's burdened with a new assignment: find the meaning behind the Vampire Prophecy. Having no faith in the gods and their empty words, he believes there's no truth to the ancient legend until he meets Breeana, a human woman who bears the mark of the prophecy and resembles the mysterious woman haunting his dreams. When a vengeful demon spies Breeana in his arms, she is marked for death. He must take her from the world she knows until he can eliminate the threat. But the real danger is the role Breeana must play in fulfilling the prophecy and the intense feelings she brings out in him. Mel is forced to choose between his obligations to his kind, the world, and the woman he loves. Does he have the courage to let the one woman who could heal his wounded heart and soul go, or will he risk her life and bind her to him for all eternity?

Small warriors of light...

Veterinarian, Dr. Breeana Spencer yearns for love and companionship, but the disappointment of failed relationships has left her bitter. She now finds solace in romance novels. But when she meets a mysterious stranger, she's drawn to him by a connection so forceful it shatters all reason, leaving her incapable of resisting him. Yet there's more to him than smoldering good looks and a rock-hard body. As she's drawn deeper into his danger-filled world, she learns she's part of an ancient vampire legend. Breeana fears her future is no longer hers and will not include Mel. As their enemies close in, desperate to destroy them both, she must fight to convince Mel her place is at his side. A life-altering choice is before her—one that will take all her courage and love to make.

My Take on Love’s Prophecy

Let me preface this book review with the fact that I tend to avoid vamp books, simply because it’s my writing genre. Love’s Prophecy made me break my rule (and boy am I glad that I did). Since Twilight, the market has saturated with vampire literature and the undead, garlic- fearing, hates wolves thing has been done to death. In order for a vampire book to be successful, it must offer something new and different. Love’s Prophecy accomplishes this. Brenda Dyer’s vamps are hot lovemaking, blood drinking, demon slaying, food eating immortal gods with a sensitive side.

And really...who says vamps can’t have a heart?

Brenda Dyer owes me a week’s worth of sleep. My husband thought I’d gone insane. I’d lie in bed clutching my Kindle like it was holding electronic crack. Hmmm...Electronic crack would be a good phrase to describe the e-book version of this fabulous book. I’d reason with myself, “Just one more page,” then one page turned into two and three and before I knew it, my clock said 4 am, and I had to haul my addicted ass to work.

The thing that was particularly strong in this story was the characterization. Breeana and Mel are complete people within themselves, and meeting one another only strengthens this. Mel is tortured about his oppressive and awful past, and Breeana accepts him as he is. Her love ultimately frees him of his inner demons. This was the most compelling part about this love story. Brenda Dyer shows us the true healing power of unconditional love.


This book comprised so many elements—vampires, demons, an ancient prophecy, sex and romance. Whip all of those things together and what do you get...a freakin awesome story. Let me just tell you that I’ll never see a pie without thinking about that hot kitchen scene.

Make mine a side of vampire beefcake and pie! Yummmm!

Love’s Prophecy is a 5 Star trip to a dark world where demons walk amongst us, and our very survival depends on kick-ass vampire warriors to keep us safe. You can’t get more original than that!

Buy Love’s Prophecy












Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Sake: Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Blood Bonds by Ashly...

Book Sake: Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Blood Bonds by Ashly...: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, P...

Kaidans Seduction: Release Day Blitz for Blood Bonds (The Progeny #2)...

Kaidans Seduction: Release Day Blitz for Blood Bonds (The Progeny #2)...: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, Publi...

Book Lover's Hideaway: Release Day Blitz with Giveaway: Blood Bonds (The ...

Book Lover's Hideaway: Release Day Blitz with Giveaway: Blood Bonds (The ...: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Erotica, Publishe...

Erotic Romance with a Bite... Leigh Savage: Contest Blood Bonds Release Day Blitz!

Erotic Romance with a Bite... Leigh Savage: Contest Blood Bonds Release Day Blitz!: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Ro...

Heart of a Wolf Series by MaryLynn Bast: FMB Blog Tours Presents - RELEASE DAY BLITZ - BLOO...

Heart of a Wolf Series by MaryLynn Bast: FMB Blog Tours Presents - RELEASE DAY BLITZ - BLOO...: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romanc...

Amy's Book World: Release Day Blitz Plus Giveaway for Blood Bonds (T...

Amy's Book World: Release Day Blitz Plus Giveaway for Blood Bonds (T...: Thanks for dropping by my stop on the Release Day Blitz for Blood Bonds by Ashlynne Laynne. This is the second book in the Progeny seri...

A Bit of Dash: Blood Bounds Tour Release Blitz Day: Excerpt and G...

A Bit of Dash: Blood Bounds Tour Release Blitz Day: Excerpt and G...: Title: Blood Bonds Series: The Progeny Series, #2 Author: Ashlynne Laynne Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, E...

Blood, Lust and Erotica: Happy Birthday Ashlynne Laynne, author of The Prog...

Blood, Lust and Erotica: Happy Birthday Ashlynne Laynne, author of The Prog...: Hello again my darling ones.  Today is a very special day for two reasons. First of all it is special as I have the sexy, wicked t...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Double Break Up (Scene from The Progeny)


Shauna walked in, and the thick presence of unrest made her nervous, putting her on edge. A beautiful woman—with a pale porcelain complexion, long dark hair, and the most curvaceous body she’d ever seen—sat at the wooden table.
Ascher visibly trembled, his face an unfamiliar mask.
Shauna spoke to Ascher while concentrating her glance on the mysterious stranger. “You never came back. I was worried.”
Ascher pulled Shauna behind him, his stance clearly a protective one.
Shauna couldn’t understand why. Surely, she didn’t need protection from her. His grip tightened around her arm, his knuckles straining with tension. Finally, she registered his firm hold and sent messages to her heart and eyes. She wiggled away from him. “Let go of me, Ash! What’s wrong with you? Who is she?”
“I’m fine and she’s nobody. Ursula was just leaving.”
The hell I am…” The strange woman mumbled, an unsavory smirk turning up the corners of her pouty mouth. “Tell her, Ascher. Tell her who I really am!”
“Yeah, Ascher,” Shauna spoke in a mocking tone, her eyes becoming pieces of wet coal in narrow sockets. “Why don’t you tell me who she is?”
He froze, his youthful face chiseled with a mixture of shock, horror and anger. “There’s something you need to know.”
“Spit it out, Ascher. Tell her! Or, I will!” Ursula growled then flicked the shades away from her face. Her crimson eyes glowed at Shana with a demon's light.
Terror set in, worse than any horror movie Shauna had ever seen, more ghastly than any monster a mind could conjure. Shauna clutched her chest, stepping away from both of them. “Her eyes!” she screamed. “Ascher, what’s wrong with her eyes?”
The stranger giggled and continued piercing her demonized stare into Shauna.

*    *    *    *

Ascher struggled to control his mounting rage. Not only was Ursula ruining his chances with Shauna but also her stupidity might expose them. He clutched Shauna closer. “Do you trust me?”
The floor vibrated underneath their feet. Shauna’s eyes became cold, the glare of distrust swimming in them. “No, I don’t! Why are you so nervous?”
“You left Katy alone. You should go back up with her. I’ll be up there in a little while. Okay?”
“No! I’m not going anywhere. I want to know who she is, right now, Ascher!”
“Please, Shauna.” He huffed with impatience. “Just do it!”
“No!” Shauna shouted while standing her ground.
“For cryin’ out loud…” Ursula groaned.
“I warned you, Ursula.” He growled, every part of him aching to rip her to shreds. She had nerve.
You don’t warn me. Looks like you’ve been keeping a lot from her. Afraid she might not want you, if she knows about the real you?”
Ascher’s lips strained against clenched teeth, begging to curl up and release a menacing snarl. Control. He needed to stay in control. Push the anger back down and stem the raging desire to lash out at Ursula.
Ursula’s red eyes narrowed, taunting him, daring him to expose himself. He was strong in his gifts, but rage made her stronger. Her mind turned, fighting off the subliminals he hurled at her.
Ursula cackled. “That won’t work, dearest. It’s time she knows the truth.”
“Dearest?” Shauna questioned, her hands curling into tight fists.
Ascher reached for Shauna, but she moved away from him. “Don’t touch me!”
“Ursula, doing this won’t change things between us,” he uttered, knowing she’d never listen to reason.
“She still deserves the truth, Ascher.”
Ascher knew that Ursula wasn’t interested in Shauna knowing the truth. She wasn’t interested in Shauna’s feelings, at all. She only wanted revenge for what she considered a threat to her happiness. “Ursula, please don’t do this.” He couldn’t believe he was begging her for anything.
Ignoring his pleading, she continued, “My name is Ursula. Ascher and I are to seal in two days.”
Shauna drew in a staggered breath. “Seal, as in marriage?”
Ascher sighed.
“Is this true?” Shauna demanded.
His head dropped in shame. “Yes, but…”
“So she is your fiancĂ©e? And let me guess, she’s the first.”
“Shauna, I can explain.”

*    *    *    *

Shauna clutched her head with both hands while screaming, “No!” The windows cracked as she ran towards the door, fresh tears flooding her face.
Ascher grabbed for her—missing.
“No!” she shouted again. The ceiling rumbled, water raining down from the sprinklers. “Move!” she shouted, pointing towards the door. At her command, it flew open, nearly ripping off its hinges.
Ascher appeared in front of her.
She scowled. “Go away!” An unseen force moved him from her path. She turned, backing away from both of them, her eyes fixated on the two. Her finger twirled and pointed at each of them. “Stay!”
“I hope you’re happy now!” he seethed at Ursula then sprinted after Shauna, catching her before she hit the stairs. He clutched her, turning her to him. “Shauna please, just let me explain!”
A strange burn started in her legs. What’s happening to me? She’d had rage issues all her life, never anything like this. Her clear eyesight was now blurry and grey. The hall she’d seen for three months, and knew like the back of her hand, became an unfamiliar maze veiled by her fuzzy vision.
She took a step, stumbled and then regained her balance against the wall. “I told you how important honesty was to me, and you’ve kept this from me the whole time? You told me she was nobody—that it was only physical curiosity. It doesn’t look that way to me. She talks as if she owns you. You told me it was over between the two of you. How were you going to cover up getting married to someone else?”
“I wasn’t, please just listen to me---”
Shauna shook her head. “I’ve listened enough, I can’t trust you. Without trust, we have nothing. All you’ve done is feed me lies. You’re a liar! I despise liars! I can’t believe I was going to sleep with you, allow you to be my first.” She gripped her stomach and doubled over as she felt the nausea rising. “I’m going to be sick.”
He reached for her, again.
“Don’t touch me!” Every ounce of restraint left her body. Chaos now flooded her brain. She wanted to lash out. No, she needed to lash out.
“Shauna, just let me take you home. I promise I’ll explain things to you.”
“What part of I don’t want to hear your lies don’t you understand?” she growled through clenched teeth, her anger blazing directly into him. “Back!” she barked, pushing her hands away from her body and toward him. He flew back against the wall. “I don’t want to hear anymore lies!” She sobbed into her hands. “I hate you. I wish I’d never met you!”
“Shauna?” he whispered with pain and disbelief creasing his face. “You don’t mean that. You’re just upset. Let’s talk things through.”
“There’s nothing left to say, Ascher. Just leave me alone, I never want to see you again.”
“Shauna, I love you. Please. You don’t---”
“Oh, yes I do. I mean it and I quit! I can’t work here anymore.” She ran out the emergency exit, setting off the door alarm, sprinting into the night.