Read Intermission Online

Authors: Erika Almond





Steamy Love Scenes, Book Two


Josie’s still rocked by her risqué matinee with hot movie
star Miles but her no-account ex Riley is causing her grief. Once she squares
him away, Josie arranges for a special midnight show with Miles before he
leaves for Hollywood. But Miles isn’t ready to cut Josie out of his picture
just yet. He enlists her to help him pick out his next script and the two act
out a very sexy scene of their own. Josie might just be a good time in the
intermission between movie projects for Miles but she wonders if she’d like to
be the star of his show.


contemporary erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave


Erika Almond



As always, for my sweet and handsome costar, H. Mwah.




Big thanks to my editor Beverly and to everyone at Ellora’s
Cave for letting me call the best fun in the world my job.


Chapter One


I walked back up the hill from town toward my cottage, my
cowgirl boots dragging dreamily along the summer-baked road. Three hours
earlier I’d been stomping down this same path fit to spit over my cheating
boyfriend. Now I was returning home with a smile on my face, the good kind of
ache between my legs and a head full of memories of Miles Masterson.

Miles, who was tall, blond and built very much like a god
whose hobby was tossing bolts of lightning. Miles, who had cuddled me close
with gym-chiseled arms in the balcony at the Hawthorne Cinema Palace, where I’d
sought relief from the hot day and my hotter temper. Miles, who turned out to
be the star of the movie I went to see, who was here in Mayfield County
visiting his folks before the big premiere of his movie in New York City next
week. The premiere he’d invited me to as his date.

That had come as a surprise. True, we’d had a good time
together during his bad slasher movie. A very good time. I stopped in the road
for a moment, reliving the feel of our first kiss, the mild rasp of his gold
razor stubble against my face, a contrast to the softness of his lips. His
tongue asking mine to come play. Then the pull of the buttons on the front of
my green sundress being undone and his warm palm on my bare breast. His fingers
caressing down my body and under my panties and between my legs to stroke my
pearl. The memories made a moan escape me.

I caught myself, looked around to see that no one had heard
and grinned as I resumed walking home. I’d liked the way Miles handled me, with
the perfect balance of sweetness and the kind of passion that would’ve earned
our time in the balcony an X rating. Too bad he was just passing through
Hawthorne on his way to a big movie career in Hollywood. Not that I was looking
for anything long-term, but I might’ve liked to have seen him once or twice
again. I took his request for me to accompany him to his movie premiere
downstate as sweet talk, even though he’d asked me three times if I would.

My smile and the delicious memories faded when I got to my
cottage. There on my doorstep sat a small, snuffling mutt and a big, handsome
cheater. “Riley Wanamaker,” I scowled, “I thought I told you to get gone.”

A high whimper came from Riley’s dog, Roscoe. A mix of pug
and who knew what else, Roscoe’s brow was perpetually furrowed with worry,
likely about his owner. All Riley ever did was get laid and get in trouble, in
that order and so frequently it was a standing joke around Mayfield County. But
now Riley looked unusually upset. “Please, Josie, you’ve got to hear me out.”

“I heard the part where you said you fucked the real estate
lady who was supposed to be finding us a place to move into together,” I
reminded him. “I think I’ve heard enough.”

“You didn’t let me explain,” Riley pleaded. “You went
storming out of here so fast, you didn’t let me tell you my reasons.”

For cheating on me?” I was about to give
Riley a sample of hell before I saw his eyes flicker behind me and he nodded
and said, “Afternoon, Mrs. Beadle.”

I turned around and saw my neighbor hanging up her sparkling
white sheets on the clothesline while attempting to hear me air my dirty
laundry. “Afternoon, Riley, Josie,” she called. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”

My neighbor was known for generously sharing her sugar-topped
Juneberry pies as well as everyone else’s comings and goings. “Weather’s a tad
hot for my liking,” I commented.

“Brutal heat,” Mrs. Beadle agreed. “But Riley was willing to
sit out there on your doorstep three hours waiting on you, even though I
invited him over to mine to cool off.”

Doubtless she had. Riley’s appeal with the ladies had no age
limit. “Well, you enjoy the afternoon,” I said with a wave, hell-bent on
denying her the Hawthorne equivalent of an afternoon soap opera. I turned to
Riley and muttered low, “Get gone. I’m through with you.”

He came closer and I’d never seen those soda-pop-brown eyes
so free of the fizz that usually made them sparkle. “Josie, just hear me out,”
he said. “If you’re still hating on me after that, I’ll go.”

Partly to keep my business from being aired with my neighbor’s
laundry, and because I had to know how Riley could possibly justify cheating on
me, I agreed. While I didn’t want to invite him inside, there was no other way
to get this done.

He followed me past my azalea hedges and into the small
white cottage I’d lived in very happily as a single girl, the same one Riley
had been living in with me for a month as my boyfriend. Prior to today, I’d
thought a month with one woman was a first for Riley Wanamaker, aka Wily Riley,
aka Wanamaker Happy, Mad or Crazy, depending on his effect on a given woman. I’d
found out this morning that Riley’s track record was as yet untarnished by

“Don’t sit,” I said, seeing him aim for my blue velvet
couch, where he’d been parked regularly since moving in. “And get that dog off
it too.” Riley and Roscoe had much in common, loving to lie on the couch and
chase after females. At least Roscoe was housebroken. “You got a limited time
to explain yourself, so start.”

Riley’s broad shoulders, which filled out his white T-shirt
so well, slumped as he sighed. He raked a hand through chestnut-brown hair that
always looked as though he’d just had sex. Usually that was exactly the case. “Josie,
how long have we been best friends now?”

“Ten years,” I said, remembering the day we were paired as
lab partners in Mayfield County High. “We’ve been friends a long time.”

friends,” Riley corrected. “And then some.”

His words softened me against my will. True, Riley and I had
been friends from nearly the first day we’d met, though it could’ve gone
otherwise. Riley surely was a package tough to resist. Back then he was close
to what would top out to be a height of six foot two. His wide, very full mouth
alternated between two positions, smiling with glee or slightly pursed as
though hinting for a kiss. He had the muscles of an athlete, though he said he
had neither time nor care for sports. I didn’t ask him what he did to keep fit
because I’d already heard. By freshman year of high school, Riley’s reputation
with the ladies had crossed the boundary from his town of Knickersonville to mine
of Hawthorne. I could see why so many girls had given him their hearts, and the
rest of their bodies, but I wasn’t interested in just being the next girl on
Riley Wanamaker’s list.

The better I got to know him, the more it seemed that Riley
wasn’t into womanizing so much as he just loved women. As many as he could and
as often as he could. Maybe because he grew up without a momma, who died when
he was young, or because he got lost somewhere in the middle of a clan of seven
kids. Riley loved female attention and as a good-looking charmer, he got lots
of it.

I wasn’t particularly interested in getting my heart set on
someone who belonged to half the county so we became friends. It worked for us.
Riley seemed to like having one girl in his life who wasn’t asking him to be
true to her alone—something that seemed impossible for him—and I liked the way
I was holding out for someone who’d see me as special.

But high school in a small town can be a tricky situation
for a girl who’s something of an outsider. I was not at all excited about
sports, or the boys who played them, which amounted to sacrilege in a county
proud of its state-champion football team. I was considered even more of an odd
duck when my tastes began leaning toward fine art and painting, not a useful
career like working in the mills or becoming a lawyer, as both my parents were.

So instead of attending games with everyone else in Mayfield
County, Riley and I would climb up to his old treehouse and talk about me
becoming an artist someday, and him becoming rich and famous. His plan for that
wasn’t hitched to anything in particular. Mostly we played kiss and tell. Riley
did infinitely more of both than I, and one night I had to admit that my
eighteenth birthday was nigh and I hadn’t yet gone all the way.

Riley had looked up at me from the floor of the treehouse,
where he was lying down while I knelt next to him and sketched him. “Why the
heck not, Josie? Sex is fun.”

“Bobby Kincaid was the only one who had half a skill at
touching me and he moved away last year. Look around us, Riley. Who among the
yahoos at our school deserves to see my naked body? Besides,” I said, “I don’t
want to just have sex with some guy who doesn’t care about me. I want to make

Riley was quiet while he braided a section of my long auburn
hair that had tumbled his way as I drew him. Then he softly proposed, “I know
how to make love, Josie.”

I knew he did. I knew from what I’d heard girls say about
him and from the stories he told me about having sex with them. He never told a
demeaning or disrespectful tale. He was positively rapturous over the delicious
wonders of the female body and couldn’t seem to get enough of them. By senior
year, Riley had also been with a few older women who’d schooled him well.

In a way he was the one who’d ruined the chances of any
other boy at Mayfield High having at me. From what I’d heard, Riley was born to
make love. He had a leisurely pace, he apparently came equipped with a large
cock curved perfectly to fit a woman’s innermosts and his motto was, “She comes

That night, as I sketched his beautiful mouth, I accepted
his offer.

We set a single rule. This would be a one-time only thing so
our friendship would remain intact. We shook on that. On the night of my
eighteenth birthday, in the treehouse, Riley laid me down gently on a soft pile
of blankets taken from the beds of his six brothers and sisters, all of them
out cheering the Mayfield Mavericks. We shared our first kiss, so tender, so
sweet I had to force myself to recall our one rule. With each piece of clothing
he slipped from my body he told me how beautiful I was and his eyes said he
meant it. He kissed my breasts slowly, his full lips suckling my nipples with
such gentleness that my back arched up to his mouth with hunger. My hips
writhed as though possessed when he went down on me and licked me so happily
I’d have thought my juices were honey. I remembered to this day my first orgasm
given me by a man. Fireworks.

Riley had taken his time with all of this, making sure I was
adored and sated and ready for the big moment. Still, I wasn’t sure when he
peeled off his briefs and unveiled the instrument that would make me a woman.
The rumors whispered around Mayfield County didn’t come close. Riley’s cock was
long, large and curved up like a smile at the thought of being inside me. It
was both magnificent and intimidating.

“Don’t you worry, Josie,” Riley said as he rolled on a
condom. “I’m an ‘easy does it’ kind of guy.” Unlike most teenage boys, Riley
wasn’t impatient. He teased me with his head to the point that I grabbed his
hips to get him inside me. By the time he finally entered my honeypot, I wanted
him so badly my virginity was a mere technicality on the way to another
physical Fourth of July.

Riley gave me a few more of those that night. We reckoned we
ought to do all the fun things we could think of since this would be our only
night together. The next day we’d go back to being best friends. We’d made a
deal and shaken hands on it.

Years later I was the one who broke that deal. Since my
first and only night with Riley, I’d had a couple of nice relationships that
never quite brought a sigh to my heart and I’d been in love. Once. A brutal
experience in art college that sent me running back from New York City to
Hawthorne. I swore as I cried on Riley’s shoulder that I’d never give my heart
to anyone again.

But after a long and lonely while I convinced myself that
Riley was a safe and logical bet, though I knew he loved women too much to
commit to any one girl. Even me. I’d always feared that an attempt at romance
could swamp our friendship but I couldn’t help myself. There was no one who had
the potential for the closeness I shared with Riley and no one as good at
making love.

Until today. Thinking of Miles Masterson made me almost want
to thank Riley for cheating on me. Almost.

“All right, Riley, so we’ve been best friends for a long
time,” I snapped. “Shouldn’t that have meant you were less likely to cheat on

“I guess. Maybe. I suppose,” he said, acknowledging his lack
of familiarity with the mechanics of committed relationships. “But, Josie, when
you grabbed me and kissed me and near tore my pants off a month ago, you weren’t
clear about us being exclusive.”

The heat of this summer day was nothing compared to my
rising temper. “What about me asking you to move in and suggesting we get a
place together?”

“Well, that’s why I had sex with the real estate lady,”
Riley explained.

I sighed and had to sit down. “Riley, I know you better than
anyone, but sometimes the logic that rules your universe is a deep, dark
mystery even to me. Can you elaborate?”

Riley sat next to me on the couch, followed by Roscoe, who
circled three times before making his brindled butt comfortable on one of my
white cushions. “All the houses that real estate lady showed us were smaller
than this place, or broken down,” Riley said. “The only places we could afford
were shitholes.”

“Because I’m the only one of us who works,” I muttered.

“Right,” he said, not at all insulted. “But remember the
time you couldn’t come see a place because you had that freelance website
designing job for the bakery? Well, the real estate lady let it be known that
she might be willing to do us a favor pricewise if I did her a favor,
peniswise.” Riley smiled like a champion bargainer at the church flea market. “I
showed her some of the Wanamaker charm, and the houses she showed me got better
and better. I kept going until I won the grand prize.”

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