Virgin Jewels, page 1
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Virgin Jewels Copyright © 2008 Karen Erickson
Edited by Kelli Kwiatkowski.
Cover art by Syneca.
Electronic book Publication January 2008
With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/)
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Barbie: Mattel, Inc.
Styrofoam: Dow Chemical Company
Windex: S. C. Johnson and Son, Inc.
She couldn’t stop staring at it.
It was simple in design really, Hannah mused as she sprayed Windex on the glass case that housed the mesmerizing vintage garnet necklace, otherwise known as the Virgin’s Blood Jewels. Her hand languidly wiped the glass clean with a paper towel, her gaze transfixed by the sparkling jewels that lay beneath its thick, clear shield. A thin gold chain with raw, uncut garnet stones about the size of peas sprinkled along its length lay on a sumptuous black velvet cloth, winking at her, beckoning her to touch. The sight of them made her want to open the case, caress the stones with her fingers, wrap the chain around her neck and feel the jewels against her skin…
“Hannah, I think the glass is more than clean now.”
Hannah dropped her hand away from the jewelry case at the sound of her older sister’s voice and looked up. Celeste Anderson stood in front of her, arms crossed, amused expression on her face.
“Want to unlock the doors for me, hmm? It’s already five minutes past ten.”
Hannah set the Windex behind the counter, discarding the paper towel. Walking to the front doors of the vintage jewelry store her family had owned for over forty years, she turned the lock, flipping the sign in the window to say Open. Why her sister couldn’t handle such a simple task, she didn’t know. She had a feeling Celeste liked to boss her around.
Correction. She knew Celeste liked to boss her around.
All her life, Celeste had treated her this way. She was damn sick of it too. Their mother had never put a stop to it—in fact, Hannah secretly believed their mother actually encouraged it. One less thing for Mother to deal with—let Celeste tell Hannah what to do.
Hannah grimaced, her mood darkening further. Family issues were the least of her problems, really. She’d recently forced herself to admit that her life had little meaning, no quality—and it was all her fault, not her family’s. She went to work, went home, went to bed and then started the same routine all over again the next day. And the next, and the next day after that.
Her life was incredibly boring and pitifully empty. And she was desperate to do something about it.
“The garnet necklace looks beautiful. Anton did a wonderful job cleaning it.” Celeste smiled down at the necklace, tapping her acrylic nails on top of the case. “I’ve had some calls on it in the last few days. The rumor mills have already started and to be honest, I didn’t realize this was such a famous piece. I have a feeling it will sell soon, which will surely please Mother immensely.”
Despair filled Hannah at the thought of the necklace leaving, at not being able to wear it. Just once, she thought as her body filled with longing, her eyes drawn yet again to the display case. For whatever reason, she felt a connection to the necklace that was so strong—and in a startlingly sexual way. Her skin tingled, her breasts felt heavy, her sex grew slick just imagining it around her neck. Wearing nothing else but that exquisite necklace.
Would it give her the sexual strength she so craved? Give her the ability to approach men without fear and smile and flirt, let them know she wanted them? Help her shed the dreaded virginity that had hung around her neck like a sign of shame her entire adult life?
She had a feeling it would do all that and more. Its power would be amazing, overwhelming. Its magic would help her become a real woman, would bring her to the man meant to be in her life…
A tinkling bell rang, indicating the front door had opened, and Hannah could hear Celeste greeting the customer with her warm, cheerily fake voice.
“Hello and how are you this morning? Looking for anything in particular?”
“The Virgin’s Blood necklace. I’ve heard your establishment has obtained it,” rumbled a deliciously deep growl, getting right to the point. That voice slithered down Hannah’s spine, making the hairs on the back of her neck stand at attention. She turned around slowly, anticipation filling her.
A gorgeous man stood in the middle of the store, his presence overwhelming the cozy confines of the space. He was tall, well over six feet, with broad shoulders and a wide chest. His sandy brown hair was cropped close to his head and spiked upward, emphasizing the angular planes of his masculine face, and he looked about the store with the most compelling blue eyes Hannah had ever seen. They alighted upon her and she stood transfixed, paralyzed by the gleam she saw there.
“Oh, do you mean the Virgin’s Blood Jewels? That’s their official title.” Celeste pasted on a smile and went behind the counter. The man looked away from Hannah and followed along the front of the counter, his gaze roving over the glass until both he and Celeste stopped at the necklace.
“Yes, that’s the one. May I look at it? Please?”
“Of course.” Celeste unlocked the case and pulled the velvet fabric and necklace out, laying them carefully on top of the counter. “It was made in the late eighteen hundreds, crafted with raw stone and eighteen-karat gold.”
“I know.” The man picked it up, rubbed the stones between his thumb and index finger and Hannah shivered as if he had touched her bare skin. “Do you know the legend behind this necklace?”
Celeste shook her head, surprise clearly showing on her face. “There’s a legend? I mean, I always assumed there was some sort of story because of its rather descriptive name but I don’t know much about it.”
The man nodded, gazing at the necklace almost lovingly. “It’s said that the man who ordered the commission on this necklace had it made for his virgin bride. He wanted to give her something beautiful to wear the first night they made love. The color of the stones signified blood to the man, the virgin blood his bride would shed to prove her love for him the first time he penetrated her, hence the name.”
“Oh goodness,” Celeste murmured, clearly appalled.
Hannah wanted to giggle. Her family didn’t say words like penetrate in polite company, let alone in front of complete strangers. Even if it wasn’t necessarily a strictly sexual word, the connotations would freak out their sensibilities. Heck, they didn’t even like to refer to the necklace by its true name, preferring to call it the garnet necklace.
What a bunch of prudes they were.
“They lived in New Orleans and the man had a voodoo priestess cast a spell on the stones, so when his lovely new bride wore
“Really?” Sarcasm clearly laced Celeste’s voice.
The man either chose to ignore it or didn’t even notice in the first place. “Yes. It’s said that when a woman becomes sexually aroused by the mere sight of the necklace, she is the true owner and that it should be given to her, no questions asked.”
“Uh-huh.” Celeste nodded, looked at him as if he were a complete idiot. “Well, sir, that’s a legend I’ve certainly never heard before about such a valuable piece of jewelry. So are you interested in making a purchase today? Maybe you have…someone in mind to wear it?”
The man’s gaze shifted to Hannah and she sucked in a breath at the heat she saw in his crystal blue eyes. Her heart literally skipped a beat at the image that filled her mind.
Her in bed with this man, this complete stranger, and both of them naked. Arms wrapped around each other, hands caressing, legs tangled in cool cotton sheets, the necklace around her neck, glowing against her skin. His tongue as it licked a trail along the chain, making her shiver, his fingers dipping into the juicy folds between her legs…
“No, I have no one in mind. I just like the legend. My family has some familiarity with the piece so it has always interested me.” He smiled in Hannah’s direction and her knees literally went weak. She grasped the edge of the counter to keep herself from falling.
Why did this man cause such a powerful reaction in her? A handsome man, yes, but she knew nothing about him, didn’t even know his name. Yet the connection between them was there, tangible, electric. Undeniable.
“Hmm, I’ll have to look it up. Do you happen to know the name of the gentleman who commissioned the piece?” The man handed the necklace to Celeste and she placed it back in the display case, turning the lock with a firm click.
“No, actually I don’t. My grandfather told me the legend when I was a teenager and I didn’t pay attention to the details unfortunately. I appreciate you showing me the necklace.” The man offered his hand to Celeste and she took it, her hand limp in his as she shook it with apparent disdain.
What Hannah would have given to shake his hand at that very moment, to touch him, to feel his hot flesh press against hers. She trembled at the thought of it, her skin prickling with gooseflesh.
“It was nice meeting you, Mister…”
“McNamara. Colin McNamara.” He tilted his head toward Celeste. “And you are?”
“Celeste Anderson.” Celeste extracted her hand from his grip, taking a step back from him even though she had the added protection of the display counter standing between them.
“And the beautiful lady who’s assisting you?” He turned his smile on Hannah and she could only stare back, her mouth hanging slightly open.
“My baby sister, Hannah,” Celeste said for her.
Hannah cleared her throat, feeling like a complete idiot, insulted that her sister called her a baby. Why did she always have to talk down to her? “Nice to meet you, Mr. McNamara.”
“Please call me Colin.” He nodded at her and without another word he turned, heading for the door.
Hannah watched him walk out of the store, admired his firm ass, his long, muscular legs beneath a pair of simple khaki pants. She’d had no idea khakis could exude sexuality, had no idea a man could have this kind of affect on her only minutes after meeting him…
Celeste’s irritating laugh rolled out the minute the door shut behind him, knocking Hannah from her vivid thoughts.
“What a very strange man. Did you hear that supposed legend? What a bunch of nonsense. And so vulgar.” Celeste wrinkled her nose. “He gave me an uneasy feeling, almost as if he were casing out the store. Like he might try to come back and steal the necklace. Did you sense that, Hannah?”
“No, not at all.” And she hadn’t. No, more like she’d been casing him out the entire time he stood there. She hoped he hadn’t noticed.
Not the right attitude, her inner dying-to-be-a-vixen voice whispered. You want to attract the attention of a gorgeous hot man you ninny!
“Hmm.” Celeste tapped her perfectly manicured index finger against her pursed lips. “Well, I didn’t like him. Maybe I should call the police, have them run extra patrols by the store in the evenings for the next few days.”
“I’m sure your cop friends are dying to help you out.” Hannah couldn’t help the sarcastic edge to her voice. Her simpering sister always sucked up to men, especially any man in uniform. She loved nothing more than flirting with the local policemen who patrolled the area. Why, Hannah didn’t know. She thought the majority of them were assholes.
But she and her older sister had never had the same tastes, not when they were small children, not when they were teenagers and definitely not now. It was a wonder they were from the same family, their differences were so vast. The only things that indicated they were sisters were their fair coloring, their strawberry blonde hair and dark brown eyes.
Hannah had always felt like an outsider in her family. The “odd one out”, the “different one”. She’d heard herself referred to as both by various relatives more than once, even her own grandmother. Just because she was quiet and kept to herself? Because she wasn’t a showy social butterfly who amassed a gob of mindless friends? Her mother and sister were like that, her poor dead father not so much.
“I wouldn’t doubt that the man would want to steal the necklace. It’s worth over thirty thousand dollars. I have to protect our investment or Mother will kill me.”
No, more like she’ll kill me. Somehow, some way, she’d blame me for an incident like that. Their mother always did. As if offended by Hannah’s mere presence. Not to mention the fact her mother had banked on Hannah being born a boy to satisfy her father’s need to carry on the family name. Not only had she been born female, but the birth had been long and difficult—resulting in her mother never being able to have more children.
The first in a long list of disappointments for her parents.
Celeste had always been the golden child, the one who could do no wrong. Hannah had given up even trying to best her years ago.
“Celeste, I think you’re overreacting. I don’t believe Mr. McNamara has any intention of stealing the necklace. He’s just an admirer such as we are.”
“Well, if you say so. I do trust your instincts, Hannah.” Celeste smiled and cocked her head. “Would you be a dear and run to the coffee shop, grab me a mocha? I’m dying for some caffeine this morning.”
Hannah repressed the sigh that wanted to escape past her lips. She was so blessedly tired of being her sister’s whipping girl. When would it stop? When would she be able to tell her sister to fuck off?
She smiled, imagining the look of horror on Celeste’s face if she were to mutter the word “fuck” to her. She’d probably faint dead of shock.
That idea didn’t sound so bad.
“I’ll buy you a mocha too,” Celeste added to sweeten the deal.
“Well, if you’re buying, sure, I’ll go pick us up a couple mochas.” Hannah shook off the shitty feeling she got every time she ran yet another menial errand for her sister.
You are twenty-six years old. You’re not getting any younger. Live your own life for once!
Easier said than done.
Colin sat down at a table close to the window, clutching the coffee cup in his hand. He stared at the tiny vintage jewelry shop across the street, the image of the Virgin’s Blood Jewels still at the forefront of his mind.
The image of the beautiful young woman in the shop lingered in his mind as well.
Something about the delicately beautiful Hannah Anderson called to him, something unknown and mysterious. Those big brown eyes had drank him in, devoured him really as he stood in the store, making his cock twitch in his pants, ache with the need to be sprung free. Images had flashed in his mind of the two of them nak
He’d known without a doubt that Hannah Anderson was a virgin. Something told him she was also the new rightful owner of that necklace. She just didn’t know it yet.
The price tag on the piece had read thirty-two thousand dollars. No way could he afford that, couldn’t even scrounge up enough available credit on the few credit cards he owned. His art show tonight probably wouldn’t even earn him half that, but at least it would be a start.
There was no denying he wanted the necklace, though…wanted it so powerfully his mind spun with it. There had to be a way for him to come up with the money to buy that necklace. Slip it around the neck of the beautiful, virginal Hannah and then watch her come alive.
He knew the moment she wore it she would come alive. Her fair skin would flush, her pupils would dilate. Her breasts would grow heavy, the nipples taut and ripe, red as the stones on the necklace, beckoning his mouth to close over them, to nip and suck and lick. Her cunt would become slick and thick with cream, making it easy for him to touch her, finger-fuck her, slide his cock deep inside her. To take her and make her his—
The coffee shop door opened and Hannah walked in, oblivious to him sitting in the corner as she strode toward the counter. Colin was thankful for it, perfectly content to sit at his table and watch her unabashedly.
She really was beautiful in a simple, subtle way. Her pale pink dress swirled around her knees, showcasing her lovely calves. The thin brown leather straps of her sandals crisscrossed over her feet, emphasizing the pale pink polish on her toes and as he stared at them, he wanted to laugh at himself. Ogling her toes like a fucking freak, what the hell was wrong with him? If he wasn’t careful, he was afraid he could easily become obsessed with her.
KAREN ERICKSON SERIES:
Other author's books:
- My Favorite Mistake: A Tahoe Nights StoryEndless Nights: Vegas Nights, Book 3TangledLoving MindyCovetGame For Tonight (Entangled Brazen) (Game for It)Game for MarriageNeon Chaos
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