A Little Story – Obsession

This story takes place between Deceptions and Absolution in my Obsession Series. I had hinted at it, but there really had not been any fleshing out of what had happened. I was thinking about that and this is what came to me. It’s more about Kirsten and Cody, but I thought it might be of some interest, short that it is. I have longer tid-bits. I’m just not sure if I want to post them yet.

If you haven’t read the Obsession series yet, this shouldn’t give too much away.


A Kidnapping Attempt


It was one of those rare moments Kirsten was left alone when they traveled off the island. Granted she was in the penthouse of one of the most luxurious secure hotels in Italy, but it had already been proven that secure did not necessarily mean safe. That little nugget of information was driven home with gut wrenching clarity.

Kirsten’s hands went to her stomach, gently laying over where her child had once been. Where her body had healed to where she felt no more pain, her mind was far from whole. The doctor had just given her and Alex the go ahead to try for another child, but Kirsten was not ready, and Alex loved her enough that he did not push. To be honest, neither one of them were ready to put their hearts out there again and risk the chance of having it crushed.

Focusing on the vista before her, Kirsten brought herself back to the present. The past was past, and even though memories and grief tried to crush her more than she cared to admit, Kirsten had vowed not to dwell on what could not be changed. Today Alex had an important meeting that would last most of the day, promising to be home by dinner. As one of Alex’s right-hand men, Cody had gone out on some business errands and would be back in the afternoon. Kirsten decided to take the time to recover from her jetlag and catch up on some of her own paperwork. This was not the first time she had been to Italy in the last year, and it probably would not be the last. On this trip they would be staying a full month. Plenty of time to sightsee.

At the moment, she was standing on the enormous balcony enjoying the magnificent view. Sighing, Kirstein leaned against the railing. Closing her yes, she let herself fall into the warm breeze and ocean smells, for a short time forgetting the real reason she was here. Not because it was a choice, or because of work, but because one man decided he wanted her therefore no one else could have her. Something that was part of her past, present and future. Something she could not escape so she was trying to make the best of.

Opening her eyes, Kristen wondered how her mother was. There had been enough tabloid articles and pictures of Alexi Tremmel’s mystery wife that she at least knew Kirsten was alive. That was the only way Kristen could stay calm when Alex would refuse her at least a phone call. Glancing back into the room she knew if she called now there would be no one to stop her. Frowning, she turned back to the vista outside. Maybe she should start being truthful with herself and admit she did not want to call because she was afraid to find out that her mother wasn’t worried about her. That they weren’t still looking for her, or the worst, that Jeremy had given up trying to find her and rescue her from her gilded cage. That he had found someone else to love.

Choking back a sob, Emma blinked back tears as a wave of grief threatened to overwhelm her.


The concern in Cody’s voice was too much. With a sob, she turned and launched herself into his arms.

“Whoa! Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked holding her gently as he stroked her hair, trying to soothe her. When she only continued to cry he started to realize what was wrong. It was not the first time in the last year she had given into her emotions. Cody was surprised it did not happen more often considering all that she had lost. There were times he was barely holding it together. The only solace he had was the woman in his arms. The woman he loved but could never have.

Gently, Cody led Kirsten to the couch. Once he was seated, she curled up in his lap. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she buried her face in the cook and tried to calm down. Holding her legs with one arm, Cody soothingly rubbed her back. Any other time he would worry about Alex walking in on them and thinking the worst, but after the incident at the cabin, both men had agreed when Kirsten was this upset jealousy went to the wayside.

When she began to quiet Cody softly asked, “What happened?”

“I was thinking about my mother and how she was doing. If she still worried about me or had they moved on with their lives without me,” she finished with a sniffle.

They. That was the telling word. It wasn’t so much her mother Kirsten grieved over, but Jeremy. Cody knew the answer to her question and it twisted his gut painfully. While he could not tell her the whole truth, he could relieve some of her anxiety.

“He hasn’t forgotten you,” Cody assured.

“How do you know?” Kirsten hiccupped.

“Because Alex keeps close tabs on his whereabouts so he can make sure to stop Jeremy’s attempts to rescue you,” he answered putting his lips to her hair. He hated lying to her, but it was a necessary evil to keep them both safe. Where he did not want to hurt Kirsten by hurting Jeremy, in his mind Jeremy was the expendable one.

They were silent for a while, each taking comfort in the other. A luxury not often afforded them.

“There’s a little café I have been wanting to take you to. Do you feel up to it?”

Nodding, Kirsten sat up, wiping her eyes as she slid off his lap onto the couch next to him. Cody felt the loss of her heat instantly and it sadden him. More than it should have.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“For what?” Cody asked smiling as he pulled some of the hair that was stuck to her face and tucking it behind her ear.

“I’m not prone to crying fits, yet in the last couple of years they seem to sneak up on me more and more.”

“I think you have had ample reason to have more than a few breakdowns, Kirsten,” he frowned. “We haven’t made your life easy.”

“Someone looking in from the outside would think my life is ideal. I have a husband who adores and spoils me. I have friends who are there for me and would give their lives for me as I would them.” Kirsten took Cody’s hand in hers and squeezed it. “Friends I cannot lose,” she whispered.

“Kirsten.” The word was a silent plea for understanding, for forgiveness. It was filled with a longing that Kirsten understood all to well. Slowly, gently, she extracted her hand from his. They are walking for a very fine line. One that could get them both killed.

“But my life isn’t ideal,” she whispered hoarsely, the tears once again threatening to fall.

“No, it isn’t.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts, each comforted by the other’s presence because they knew that was all that was asked. There was no hidden agenda, no jealousy, no expectations.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out shakily, Kirsten wiped her hands up and down her thighs.

“You said something about lunch.” The cheerfulness she was trying to exclude fell flat, but Cody understood. Time to put on their game face and move on.

“They have a sandwich I know you will love,” he said standing when she did.

“Better than the one back home?” she asked doubtfully.

“I’ll let you decide,” he smiled.


An hour later:

“What do you think?” Cody asked as he watched Kirsten chew her bite of sandwich.

“It’s good,” she answered thoughtfully, hold one hand over her full mouth so she would not flash her half-chewed food.

“Just good, huh,” Cody frowned. Taking his Pastrami on Rye in both hands, he took a bite, chewing thoughtfully.

Swallowing, Kirsten followed it with a sip of her wine. “I really like it,” she assured looking at her club sandwich. “It’s just not…better,” she offered looking at Cody with a small smile.

“Hmmm,” Cody answered frowning as he chewed. Shaking his head, he reached for his wine. “You’re wrong,” he declared before taking a drink.

Kirsten choked on her sandwich. “What do you mean I’m wrong?” she rasped indignantly.

Cody shrugged. “Your wrong,” he repeated as if it was a known fact. “What is complicated about that. You just are.”

Kirsten started at him with wide-eyed disbelief as he continued to eat as if she were not there with her jaw on the table. Glancing to her right, she spied one of their security detail doing his best not to smirk. When Kirsten narrowed her eyes on Taylor, he lost the battle. When she stuck her tongue out at him, he burst out laughing. Mica, a newer addition who took his job guarding Kirsten very seriously, was sitting on the other side of the table from Taylor on the phone frowning at him in annoyance.

“Jackass,” Kirsten muttered turning her attention back to her sandwich. She would have reprimanded him for not doing his job, but she knew he could not help it. Along with the fact he was the best of the best and that they had extra men posted around the café, Taylor was quick to laugh and enjoyed teasing Kirsten unmercifully when Alex was not around. Since so few would even attempt to talk to Kirsten, she did not mind and usually encouraged him by bantering back and forth.

When he heard her call him jackass, his grin widen. “I live to be the blister on your….”

“Taylor,” Mica snapped as he pulled his phone from his ear, stopping what Kirsten knew was something very inappropriate.

“What?” Taylor asked with mock innocence.

Growling at the man with narrowed eyes, Mica turned to Cody and Kirsten, who were both smiling. “We need to leave. Now,” he emphasized by standing abruptly and throwing money down on his table.

All humor fled as Taylor followed Mica to his feet, his eyes scanning the crowd for signs of danger.

“What happened?” Cody demanded as he and Kirsten pushed to their feet.

“We got a tip there was a kidnap attempt about to happen,” Peter’s explained as he and two others who had materialized out of nowhere surrounding them. Taking Kirsten’s arm Cody directed her towards the street.

“Do you know by who?” Cody asked as they dodged tables, chairs, and people.

“Whoever called had a voice distorter. They said it was Bannatyne,” Peter’s answered as he followed, gun drawn but discreetly hidden down by his side. No need to scare the public just yet. It would just make his job of getting his two charges to the safety of the car that much harder.

“Shit,” Cody hissed under his breath.

They had reached the sidewalk when the first gunshot rang out, shattering a cup on the table near Kirsten. Instinctively ducking, the men around her showed their hardware as they headed for the car that had screeched to a halt a few feet away from them, pushing through the screaming and running mob.

Once Kirsten was safely in the car, Cody turned to Peter’s. “Find that bitch and bring her to me,” he snarled.

“With pleasure,” Peter’s grimaced as a bullet whizzed past them.

Following Kirsten into the car, Cody slammed the door shut, barking, “Go!” Pulling his phone from his pocket, he hit speed dial and put the phone to his ear.

“I still say it’s better,” he commented calmly into the silence.

Kirsten frowned at him, not understanding what he was talking about and having a hard time making her brain work after the near miss they just experienced. When it finally dawned on her he was talking about the sandwiches, she burst out laughing. That is what Alex heard as he answered his phone to find out that Annalisa Bannatyne was once again trying to kill his wife.

Coming Soon – Legacy

Book 5 of the Obsession Series


Justus Tremmel. Playboy, hero, risk taker, lover. All the things his father was except one. Responsible CEO of one of the most powerful empires in the world. At twenty-three everyone expected him to take over the company sooner rather than later, a job Jesse was doing his best to run away from. That was until a mere slip of girl captured his heart and the attention of those who wanted him dead and his family ruined. Will he be able to walk away from Sara, or will he follow in his father’s footsteps? Keeping the woman he loves locked away, never to see her family and friends again. Will any of it be enough to keep her safe?

Sara Reese had her future planned out. Finish college and move as far away from the small quiet town she grew up in to live in the big city where excitement was around every corner. That was until Justus Tremmel inadvertently gave her a taste of his world and the dangers surrounding it. Now hunted by the ones who wish to see the Tremmels ruined, Sara must decide whether she wants to stay in the comfort of what she knows, or dive headlong into a world she barely understands and wants her dead.

Daily Prompt: Obsessed

via Daily Prompt: Obsessed

You say you don’t love me
I know that is not true
How can you ignore
What I see so clearly
The one you say you love
is not the one you need
I am what you need
I should be the air you breath
If it is the last thing I do
I will make you see the truth
I will take you away
from those who would keep you from me
I will hold you in my arms
show you what it means to be truly loved
Hate me now
but you will see
In the end there will be no doubt
I am the one
In the end
there will only be me

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is in response to a daily prompt I receive in my feed every day. The image in my head was from my first book, funnily enough called Obsessions. LOL It is Shane’s thinking when it comes to Kirsten because he is obsessed with her.


I Rise

Source: Desktop Nexus ‘Abstract’


You breath through me
Taking what is not yours.
Twisting it
Turning me into something I am not.
I try to banish you
Return to that which is me.
Yet at every turn you defeat me
Pulling me under
Drowning me in your rage
Your obsession
Your sorrow.
You are lost
So I must be lost with you,
But you will not win.
I will rise.
I will become who I am suppose to be.
I will break free
And you will burn
In the hell you have made.
I will rise
And you will lay at my feet
Never forgiven
Always alone.
I will rise.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

Deceptions – Short Story

Spoiler Alert!!!!

If you haven’t read my Obsession series this excerpt is could be considered a spoiler alert. The character Pete, one of my favorites, has been yelling to be heard over all the editing I need to be doing on Fated to Be, which is a completely different series. Very annoying. So I decided to give him a chance to speak. Then maybe he will leave me alone. Highly doubtful because he knows he is a favorite, even after everything I put him through, therefore takes every advantage he can to let me know he is still alive and well. Brat!

So without further ado, here is a short story from Pete’s point of view on a scene that was never in the books and he is has just recently decided to tell me. This particular one took place sometime in the third book Deceptions. I hope you enjoy it, and again…..

Spoiler Alert!!!!




“Be with me, be my wife. Never leave me and the one you love will remained unharmed.” Those were the conditions, those were the bars around their gilded cage. A cage that was slowly suffocating them all.

Pete stood in the doorway unsure of what he should do. He could see the pain Kirsten was in, understood it better than most, but Alex was sitting a few feet away at his desk engrossed in some report with Brett. So comforting her the way she deserved, the way he craved, as if she were something precious, was out of the question. Not if he wanted to live.

It was not that Alex ignored her. Earlier he had noticed that something was upsetting her and asked multiple times if she was all right. Even took time out of his extremely busy schedule to have lunch with her on the beach where he made sure she had his undivided attention. But Pete knew the truth. No matter how much time Alex spent with Kirsten, or how much he told her he loved her, Kirsten would never love him in the same way. She did not even want to be here, trapped in a marriage that was not her choice on an island somewhere in the Pacific, basically selling her body to keep everyone she loves safe. Something Alex knew but refused to look at to closely, because if he did it would mean he had to admit he had become the monster they had all accused him of being.

If there was any chance of success, or survival, Pete would break Kristen out if her gilded cage and find somewhere they could live in peace. Where no one forced them to live a lie and maybe find some semblance of happiness. Unfortunately that was a dream that could never come true.

In the corporate world of money and power, Alex was at the top of the food chain. What he wanted he could have with a snap of his fingers. The Tremmel name had always been respected, even feared. With the exception of betrayal, which was dealt with quickly and violently, Alexei Tremmel had built on the respect his family held and was considered a fair even-keeled individual. Until Kirsten Tivon walked into his classroom. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had broken every rule of conduct he had made for himself. The result was the nightmare they were all being forced to live.

No, the only escape for Kirsten, for any of them, was either Alex’s death, or her own. Something Pete would give his life to make sure never happened.

It was also why Kirsten had never tried to escape. She would never put any of their lives at risk to save her own  Especially Jeremy, the one her heart truly belonged to. To say Pete never had a moment of jealousy for what Jeremy at times seemed to take for granted would have been a lie. Kirsten was everything Pete wanted in a woman. Smart, brave, funny, witty. The fact she was beautiful was lost on her. There were many times she had asked him what Alex saw in her. Born and raised on a farm, she was the farthest thing from type of women who inhabited Alex’s world of money and power. Yet Alex had yanked her out of her world and dragged her unwilling into his because he claimed to love her.

The tragedy of this love story was that both Jeremy and Alex were so caught up in the fight over who deserved Kirsten that they seldom saw what the constant tension was doing to her, or the baby.

Their was another chess piece in the game that wore on Pete’s fraying sanity. One he did not want to think about or he just may lose it and let Alex know exactly how he felt about him, about this mess they were in, and how he truly felt about Kirsten. The last thing Pete was was suicidal. Especially if it meant leaving Kirsten alone with those two idiots.

“Was there something you needed, Pete?” Alex asked.

Slowly blinking as he came back into the present, Pete tried to recall why he had come. “Uh….,” he floundered. When Alex raised an eyebrow, his eyes sliding to Emma who was now frowning at him, Pete knew he needed to get his shit together or it would get ugly really fast. “Sorry,” he smiled. “Too much on my mind with the new shipment. You wanted to know when Callahan and the new hire and that package you were waiting for arrived.”

The suspicious expression disappeared from Alex’s eyes. Even though he said he trusted his inner circle with Emma’s life, Alex’s jealousy was such that he still was distrustful of everyone around her. So much so that no one on the island would befriend her. Aside from the core group, and even they had to be watchful, Emma had no one in the island she could call friend.

Brett turned so Alex could not see his face and frowned disapprovingly at Pete before slipping his glare to Kirsten who had gone back to her reading. Everyone aside from Alex knew how Pete really felt about Kirsten, and spent most of their time covering anything Alex may walk in on that might be suspicious, like a hug that might last a little too long, or a disapproving outburst on Alex latest scheme to break Kirsten and Jeremy apart. But Brett was the only one who showed outright hostility when they were around each other. Pete was not exactly sure why, but he had his suspicions. It was another worry that Pete decided to ignore for now. They had rarely seen eye to eye on anything, so why would Kirsten be any different.

Refusing to give Brett the satisfaction of responding, which would piss him off even more- Bonus! – Pete kept his attention on Alex.

“Where is it?” Alex asked excitedly, rising from his seat.

“With the others,” Pete answered evasively knowing Alex wanted to surprise Kirsten. To be honest, Pete was excited to see Kirsten’s face when she saw what the package was too.

“I think we are done for the day,”  Alex announced walking around his desk straight for Kirsten.

“But…the presentation!” Brett sputtered.

“It can wait,” Alex answered holding out his hand to Kirsten. Hesitantly she put her hand in his as she set aside her reading, her eyes wary as they started between Alex and Pete.

“What a are you up too?” she asked as Alex pulled her to her feet.

“You’ll see,” he grin mischievously.

Kirsten turned her attention to Pete, her expression questioning.

“Don’t look at me,” he quickly answered innocently putting his hands in the air as if surrendering. “I’m just the delivery boy.”

Kirsten snorted. “When it comes to mischief you are never innocent.”

“Where that may be true on most occasions,” he agreed stepping aside so they could pass then following, “this time I had nothing to do with it.”

“Alex!” Brett called in one last ditch effort to bring him back to the office.

“Later!” Alex called over his shoulder. “Right now I have more important things to do. Why don’t you and Pete take the new hires on a tour and give them their assignments.”

The disappointment that shot through Pete was painful. “Can’t it wait until tomorrow? It’s been a long day for all of us,” Pete suggested from where he stopped in the hallway.

“No, it can’t,” Alex snapped turning to frown disapprovingly at Pete who carefully schooled his features to neutral. “I leave in the morning and I want both of them to come with me. I also want to talk to…what is the young one’s name?” he asked looking at Brett who was standing in the doorway of the study still glowering.

“Robert,” he answered tersely.

“I want to talk to Robert before I leave.”

“What about?” Pete asked. Ever since that young eager boy stepped foot on the island Pete had a bad feeling about him. He was far younger and obviously vastly inexperienced than the usual hires Alex brought to the island. You had to earn the right to be allowed into Alex’s inner-domain. Callahan had many times over. Robert definitely had not.

Alex’s eyes narrowed on Pete. “Nothing that concerns you,” he snapped.

Another thing that had changed since they brought Kirsten to the island. Alex kept information, possible important information, from the inner circle, his closest friends. Yeah, no trust issues here.

Again Pete raised his hands in surrender. “Just asking a question,” he griped. “If I’m going to work with the little twerp then I thought it would be nice to know what the hell he was doing here.”

“Are you questioning my judgment?” Alex growled taking a menacing step towards Pete.

God he was tired of these mood swings. One minute happy and calm, the next ready to kill someone. One day Alex was going to snap and Kirsten would be right in the middle of it. Putting his hands down, Pete glared back. It was well known that Alex, even as good as he was, was no match for Pete in a fight. And even though one had been brewing for a long time, the only reason Pete stayed where he was was because Kirsten still had a firm grip on Alex’s hand holding him where he was. The last thing Pete would ever do was intentionally put Kirsten in harm’s way. Still, the question had been asked and Pete was going to answer it. Alex had to see at some point what his insanity was doing to all of them.

“Lately? Yes,” Pete answered angrily.

When Kirsten quietly said Alex’s name, sliding her hand up his arm as she moved to stand in front of him, speaking to him in soothing tones, Pete froze. It was not the safest place to be in the mood Alex was in, an obstacle between the wolf and it’s prey, yet time and time again it was the one place Kirsten seemed to be. As Alex’s features soften under Kirsten’s gentle touches and words, Pete wondered, not for the first time, why was it always Kirsten who risked her life to save theirs? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? After all, they were the reason she was here. Pete took a step forward, intending to pull Kirsten behind him and out of harm’s way.

“Don’t,” Brett hissed behind him.

Unfortunately the harsh warning to remember his place was not low enough and Alex heard. Stiffening, his eyes narrowed on Pete over Kirsten’s shoulder. Pete did not try to hide his anger when he heard Kirsten’s stifled whimper when Alex’s hands tightened on her waist, his fingers digging into her skin.

“Pete!” Cody’s voice called sharply in the ensuing silence. Startled, Pete’s eyes shot behind Alex to the front door where Cody stood, slowly shaking his head in warning. “I need your help outside.” When Pete’s defiant eyes moved back to Alex who had pulled Kirsten firmly into his arms and was murmuring apologies in her ear, Cody snapped, “Now!”

Grinding his teeth, Pete brushed passed Alex and Kirsten, striding out the door with a sense of angry purpose that was not lost on anyone in the hallway. He was not happy about leaving Kirsten alone with Alex. Unfortunately, because of his lack of control on his feelings, he would now have to stay away from her until Alex cooled down. God only knew how long that would take and it would be torture not to be near her to see for himself she was safe.

“What the hell was that all about?” Cody snapped once he slammed the door shut and they were out of earshot.

“He was hurting her again,” Pete growled turning on Cody. “How long are we supposed to standby while he plays his little games of whose dick is bigger with Jeremy? Do you see what it’s doing to Kirsten? It’s killing her.”

“I’m not blind, Pete, and neither are the others. And you know running is out of the question,” Cody sighed. “He will just find us and then she would truly be alone because we would not survive that particular encounter.”

“So we just sit by and watch as she slowly fades away,” Pete snapped. “I can’t do that. Not after,” he stopped before he voiced a dark period that no one in their inner circle wanted to remember. Against his will, flashes of that  horror filled day filled his mind making him visible pale. Pete was not an easy man to rattle, but that day…. It was the only reason Alex tolerated Pete’s protective outbursts. He had been helpless to save Kirsten on that day, he would be damned if he allowed her to be hurt like that again. By anyone. Including Alex.

A warm hand on his arm, steadying him, brought him back to the present where he was safe and he knew Kirsten was safe. Well as safe as they could be.

“Maybe you won’t have to,” Cody said after a moment, his voice carefully quiet. Saying these words outloud were tantamount to signing his death warrant, but it had it’s desired effect. Pete was suddenly calm and thinking clearly. Any ideas on how to escape the hell they were in he would listen too.

“What are you talking about?”

Looking around to see if anyone was watching, Cody motioned Pete to follow. “Come with me and I will tell you everything.”

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

If you want to know more about my series Obsession you can find them on Amazon.com in paperback and on  the Kindle.

Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂



She is Mine

Image ~ Desktop Nexus
Image ~ Desktop Nexus
She is mine
Therefore unattainable
I am hers
Therefore I will protect
That which is mine
Yet you cannot help yourself
…Can you
Something pulls you
Whispering what lies underneath
The layers of cloth and thread
Is nothing you have ever seen before
That one look
One touch
Will give you
What you have been seeking
Forever out of reach
Until now
Her eyes draw you in
Devouring your soul
But she is mine
And I protect what is mine
Touch her
Your existence will be meaningless
Touch her
You will cease to breathe
Touch her
And bear the consequences
Of dreams turned nightmare
You have been warned
Proceed at your own peril
I dare you ©

                  –  Addictions

 – © 2013  Heidi Barnes

Daydream…or memory

A friend of mine, who when we write think a lot alike, posted a blog from her daily writing back in February of 2013 to a prompt called “It was a Daydream”. As a lot of her poems or short stories do, it got me thinking and what I thought of had to be written down. 

The storyline is from my series Obsession, the time frame between Deceptions and Absolution. Consider this a…backstory. A small glimpse into a piece Kirsten’s life that was actually written after the series was finished…maybe. 😉 Where I posted this on my other website in February, I just found the handwritten copy and thought I would repost it here. This is what I wrote to “It was a Daydream”.

I stared out the window, wishing not for the first time I was outside enjoying the blue sky with the warmth of the sun on my skin. Anything was better than sitting inside staring at the computer screen.

The scene changes. I am staring out at a blue ocean. The breeze off the water cools my hot skin as it blows strands of my hair across my eyes. Hands gently caress my shoulders, a warm body moves against my back. I close my eyes as his lips touch the crook of my neck. The feel of his skin against mine is heaven. A sensation all that more precious because it is so rare. So dangerous.

“What are you thinking about?” his voice murmers against my skin.
At the moment all I coud think, all I could feel was the sensation his breath on my skin sent through me making my body tingle with anticipation as things lower tightened almost painfully. HIs hands tightened at the catch in my breath and he pulled me tighter against him. A slow flex of his hips tell me his reaction to that one catch.

“Step away from her,” a low dangerous voice commanded.

We both froze.

Opening my eyes, I kept them on the blue water before me. The hands on my arms convulsed then slowly, reluctantly slid from them. As he moved away from me the sun suddenly no longer felt as warm as it had moments before.

“Kirsten,” Alex said, his voice telling me in that one word just how angry he was. But I refused to give him what he wanted. I refused to show him any guilt for there was none.
I turned my eyes to his, a smile on my lips, my expression as neutral as my eyes.

“You’re home early,” I said calmly.

Alex’s eyes moved to the man who stood a few steps behind me. “Not early enough,” he said angrily.

Forcing my body to remain relaxed, I stepped towards him, stopping directly in front of him. Reaching up I placed my fingertips on his cheek, bringing those angry eyes to mine. If he was to be angry then he would be angry with me. I would not let others pay for my situation. Not if I could help it. Looking into his eyes I frowned. There was more than his jealously fueling his anger. It was the knowledge I needed to distract him from what he had seen.

“What has happened?” I asked.

Alex continued to glare at me, but when I only continued to frown at him, he closed his eyes. Taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly he wrapped his arms around me, holding me as if I would disappear into mist.

“I cannot lose you,” he breathed into my hair.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I whispered back tightening my arms around him.

A movement caught my eyes. The sadness that met my eyes from the shadows of the trees matched my own. I would not be going anywhere not because I wanted to stay, but because I had no choice. Just as I had no choice in whose arms held me, whose lips found mind, whose body covered mine as I spent long nights making love. The man who held me now owned me, and he would never let me go. Ever.


“Kirsten?” a concerned voice called startling me back to the hear and now. I looked up into Cody’s concerned eyes.

“Sorry,” I said clearing my throat and blinking back the tears that threatened to overflow.

“Did you say something?” I concentrated on the screen before me knowing if I looked at him I would lose what little control over my emotions that I had.

A hand over mine, gently pressing it to the mouse I held stopped me.

“Don’t,” he said gently.

That one word, the tone of his voice. It said it all. Don’t hide from me. Don’t push me away. Don’t feel alone because I am here, if you need me. But in order to keep those I loved alive I had to be alone. I could not lose a loved one. Not again. I would not survive.

~ © 2013 Heidi Barnes

Here is Annie’s response if you would like to read it. I highly recommend.  “Only a Dream”

Dancing – Side Story of Seductions

Pete watched Kirsten from the kitchen where he was cooking dinner. She sat at the table typing away on her laptop as she did every night since Jeremy’s death. It hurt his heart to see her so despondent. He missed the vibrant Emma, always quick with a laugh or sarcastic statement. Never before had he felt so comfortable with a woman, so at ease. The way she acted around him, as if he had always been there, led him to believe she felt the same way towards him. If only….

He shook those thoughts out of his head. They would only hurt both of them in the end, and Kirsten had enough loss for one lifetime. Still, he needed to do something to brighten her eyes.

An old song from the 70’s came on the radio. One of those songs everyone knew and would always sing and dance to. Suddenly he had an idea. Turning the stove down on low, he went to the stereo and turned the volume up. When Kirsten looked at him with a puzzled frown, he grinned at her, holding his hand up.

“Dance with me,” he said.

The small smile she awarded him was worth the effort, but it wasn’t enough.

“Come on, dance with me,” he said again dancing his way to where she sat. His grin broadened when she started laughing nervously.

“I can’t dance to this?” she exclaimed her face turning red.

“Of course you can!” Pete exclaimed grabbing her hand and pulling her to her feet. “You’re with me so of course I will make you look good.”

This got a big laugh from her as he whirled her around the small living room. Soon they were both singing and laughing as Pete expertly twirled her around, moving as if they were one. As if they were made to dance together.

Too soon for Pete the song was over. He finished it with a flourish, bending her over in a dip that would impress Fred Astaire. Pulling her up so he held her against him, both of them breathing hard, he suddenly had the urge to kiss her. Then the music changed. Something slow and sensuous began to play. Wanted by Hunter Hayes. Before they realized what they were doing, they were once more moving to the music, only this time something was different. The intensity between them had changed. As the room grew unbearably warm while they locked eyes,

Pete slowed their dancing until they were stopped.

“I should get back to work,” Kirsten whispered her voice breathless.

“And I should get back to dinner,” Pete whispered his eyes going to her lips.

Neither one moved.

“Pete?” Kirsten said. Whether it was in warning or wanting Pete did not know, nor did he care.

“I know,” he answered.

Still, they did not move from each other’s arms.

Unable to stand it a moment longer, Pete slowly lowered his lips to hers. When their lips finally touched it was everything he thought it would be and more. When she did not pull away he began to deepen the kiss, his arms tightening around her as she melted into him. Heaven could not be as sweet as the taste or feel of the woman in his arms.

Something in the background invaded his nirvana. As he slowly backed Kirsten to the couch the sound kept nagging at him, pulling him away from what he knew was right on so many levels.

“Pete?” Kirsten’s voice called gently. “Pete? Wake up.”

Pete woke with a start, gasping for air as he jerked up onto his elbow trying to get his bearings. He wasn’t in the living room and Kirsten was not in his arms. Instead she was standing at the end of his bed frowning at him.

“Are you all right?” she asked walking over to the side, sitting down next to him, her frown deepening.

Pete could only stare at her. A dream. It had only been a dream, yet it had felt so real.

Kirsten reached up, putting her hand on his forehead. “Are you feeling okay?” she asked again.

“Fine,” Pete said hoarsely, taking her hand in his and pulling it away from his face. Swallowing hard he tried for a smile. “I’m fine,” he assured when he saw Kirsten did not believe him.

“I was going to go into the office and do some work.”

“It’s Saturday,” he said looking at the clock. Seven in the morning. What the hell? “Why are you up?” he asked sitting up, this time his face held the frown of concern. Absently he realized her hand was still in his, but he was reluctant to let go, and she did not seem to mind.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Kirsten said looking down at her other hand that lay in her lap. “I can’t stay here. It’s too quiet. I need to do something,” she added suddenly standing.

Pete watched as she paced his bedroom, wringing her hands. The last month had not been easy. Panic attacks followed by hours of despondency. Pete was starting to worry she would never pull out of her grief. Throwing herself into her work seemed to be the only thing that worked. Still, it was not where she needed to be on a Saturday.

“Let me get dressed and we will go do something,” he suggested.

“No,” Kirsten said a bit too quickly, her eyes going to his then just as quickly looking away. “Justin said he would take me. I just didn’t want you to wake up and find me gone. I didn’t want…”

Pete had climbed out of bed and went to her, stopping her babbling by taking her hands in his. “It’s no trouble Kirsten,” he said touching her cheek with his fingertips, drawing her eyes to his.

The kiss in his dreams flooded his memory, as real as if it had actually happened. Swallowing he dropped his hands.

“Just give me a minute,” he said again.

“All right,” Kirsten whispered her eyes still locked with his. “I would rather it was you. I feel safer with you.”

Those words said with such honesty and vulnerability set Pete’s heart rate speeding. Smiling, he touched her face one more time then walked past her and out the door. Once he was in the bathroom with the door firmly closed, he leaned his hands on the sink and let his head fall, his body shuddering. What the hell was he thinking, touching her like that. If Alex ever found out, if Alex had seen the way Kirsten looked at him and how he returned that look, he would be dead.

Turning the shower on to cold, he quickly washed off the last vestiges of sleep and the dream. Quickly getting dressed he joined Kirsten in the living room talking to Justin.

“I’ve got her,” Pete said smiling at Justin.

“You sure man. You don’t look so good,” Justin observed.

“Nothing a few gallons of coffee won’t cure,” Pete sighed.  Grabbing his keys he opened the door for Kirsten. “We have to hit Starbucks before we do anything.”

“Sounds good to me,” Kirsten smiled as she walked past him.

Justin went back to his apartment as Pete and Kirsten headed for his car. It was going to be a long day sitting in Alex’s office as Kirsten worked, but as long as he was with her, he knew it would be a good day. When Pete turned on the radio, the song Wanted by Hunter Hayes started playing.

2013 © Heidi Barnes

I heard a song on the radio and this scene came to me. It is during the second book of my series Obsession, called Seduction. I can’t remember what the song was that started this, which is bugging the hell out of me, but I did end with another song because this piece started out very differently than it ended.