Welcome to my domain...if you dare...

Welcome to my blog about life as a writer and the craziness it involves with struggles of daily life. Make yourself at home but only if you don't mind a little messiness from time to time. This isn't the Home and Garden blog or Martha Stewart so don't expect cute little crafts with homemade goodies. That's not happening in the world of vamps, weres, and other things that go bump in the night...well...maybe homemade blood cakes topped with 'scream a la cream' sweetness along with the sexy alpha males who serve it up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Pain Release

After all the shit that played out over the past few months for Maria and Stefan they needed a release.  Release from all the pain, hurt, and betrayal from various people in their lives.  Family and friends became more obsolete for them.  It became apparent that many didn't trust in their love; therefore, didn't even trust in their decisions regardless if it made Maria and Stefan happy. Sad. Really sad.  The truth of the matter was, they relied solely on one another.  People really didn't care whether the two were soul mates.  Yet, they were in fact and then some.  So when it was all said and done, the anguish from the people who supposedly 'stuck by them no matter the situation' proved they only supported and loved Maria and Stefan when it would somehow benefit them as well.

Maria wept when Stefan held her as she released the hurt she received from another family member.  Hitting the wall and screaming with rage, his fury ignited within his body knowing she ached.  He didn't want to damage her any further; yet, when their passion burned from their love and the stupidity from others, something snapped for both of them.  Grabbing her tear-streaked face, he rained kisses all over her cheeks.  The more he kissed, the more he yearned for her.  She returned his kisses with an equal fervor.  Wrapping her legs around her man, she needed him closer more now than ever.  All the heartache and turmoil from betrayal spilled over into their frantic need for one another.  Driving Maria to the floor, Stefan groped her luscious body with the intent to rid her of any remnants of lingering wounds from others.  He wanted his touch to heal her, where any past offenses from others were easily forgotten.  He desired her smile and laughter not only for herself but for the healing of his scars, too.    

Somehow they both would survive and come out on top again.  They had each other for support and unconditional love.  Everything else didn't really matter.  Only their love and trust proved concrete for them and that's what really counted.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Andrea Laurence

Author Andrea Laurence
Debut Author Andrea Laurence had been seriously writing romance for over eight years before she got the call that her book (number 11!) was being published by Harlequin Desire. Her first release, What Lies Beneath, comes out April 3rd. The follow up book, More Than He Expected, will be out in July 2012.

Writer's Wednesday welcomes author and fellow Heart of Dixie chapter member, Andrea Laurence to the blog.  She's on a very special blog tour and I'm so thrilled she's joining us today!  Thank you, Andrea, for being my guest.  Please tell everyone about your blog tour.

Today kicks off my blog tour! I've included details below, but be sure to comment today and sign up for my newsletter to get one entry each. Then follow me on the tour and you can win a copy of What Lies Beneath and a pink sea-glass silver heart pendant!

Wow! Those are some great prizes for a lucky participant.  Your book alone is a treasure, let alone a beautiful pendant.  Well speaking of your book, What Lies Beneath, here's a blurb to tempt the readers into wanting more.  A list of various book purchase links are provided for them as well. 

April 2012, Harlequin Desire #2152

She’s Awake. So Why Can’t She Remember?

They say she’s Cynthia Dempsey, fiancée of media mogul Will Taylor. But try as she might, she can’t recall their high-society life or the man sitting by her hospital bed. Though her body certainly remembers him. Even as she senses the distance between them, the electricity when they touch is undeniable.

Will can hardly believe Cynthia’s transformation. Gone is the ice queen who betrayed him, and in her place is a woman who seems genuine and warm. But can he risk his heart again, not knowing what might happen when her memory returns?

Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Books A Million
 I can't wait to get my hands on your debut release, Andrea!  Sounds like there's a lot of turmoil within this story.  Please tell us a bit about your writing process.  What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

Emotion. I always get notes from my editor that my characters aren't fully processing their feelings on the page. I add more. Still not enough. I add more. Not quite there. I get to the point where I wish they would just shut up and get some therapy – editor is happy. I guess it's probably because I'm not an overly dramatic or emotional person. I just don't process things like other people too. I'm very logical. So I have to work extra hard at getting those emotional reactions out there.

I know I have a certain place where I love to write.  Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a big overstuffed chair and ottoman in my living room where I do most my writing. I used the money from my first advance to get a laptop and I love the liberating feeling. Makes me regret the money I paid for the really nice desk I have in my office. The office I almost never use except to store books. Sad.

If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

Probably not. Yes, they get their happily ever after with a millionaire (I write for Desire) but I make their lives hell before they get there. I crashed my heroine's plane and put her in the hospital for more than a month with multiple reconstructive surgeries. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Ouch!  Yeah, I don't think I'd want to switch with any of your characters either. LOL.  So, is there a particular fable/tale you would love to write your own version or spin on it?

I've always loved Beauty and the Beast – the grumpy, disfigured hero and the beautiful woman who sees beyond his exterior. That's a great storyline that can be adapted so many ways. I'm excited to share that I'm actually writing my own take on the B&B plot with a Desire I have coming out in late 2013/early 2014. It's the second book in the miniseries I'm working on now. No titles yet. The hero's was burned with acid and he's hid himself from the world, building a software empire from the safety of his office. The heroine is his temporary secretary and she can't stand all the mystery cloaking him. She's stubborn and pushes her way into his world, and into his heart.

I definitely have to keep my eyes out for that one when it's released.  I  look forward to reading your version of Beauty and the Beast. 

Ok, now let's get to the food segment.  Oh, I didn't tell you?  Yeah, there's always food on my blog...heehee. What is your favorite dessert?

I love chocolate, I'll eat it every day if I can get my hands on it, but if given a choice, my favorite desert ever is crème bruleé. I absolutely adore it. I even have my own blow torch so I can make it at home from time to time. Not too often though, because its soooo fattening. But it must have the crunchy top. If a restaurant makes it ahead and refrigerates it, the top gets mushy and that's such a letdown.

No, a mushy top definitely will not do but I'm so pleased to hear you're a chocolate lover as well.  The world does seem yummier with a taste of chocolate.  Just sayin'. 

Well Andrea, please tell us.  Do you believe in love at first sight or just lust at first sight?

This isn't a very romantic answer, but no, I don't believe at love at first sight. Yes, you can be attracted to someone, but you can't truly love them until you get to know them. That initial passion, that desire that pulls you to someone – that's just biology. The species tricking you into breeding with an attractive male specimen. Real love comes later after that rush wears off. It's the snuggling on the couch watching a movie and sharing popcorn. Packing their lunch before they go to work. Buying you flowers when they know you've had a bad day. Holding their hand while they bury their mother. It's not sexy, but it's true — real love is holding your hair back while you throw up.

That is absolutely true.  I've always believed it's the little things that add up to make the eternal love story. 

Thank you again, Andrea, for being my guest.  I wish you the best of luck on your blog tour and on your debut release, What Lies Beneath.  I love to have you as a return guest in the near future.  

Here's additional information regarding Andrea Laurence's blog tour and contest.  Don't forget to leave a comment.  Good luck to everyone! 

Blog Tour & Contest! Don't forget my blog tour contest! Receive an entry for commenting (one per blog) and a second for signing up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/e3O5k). The winner will receive a pink sea-glass heart locket pendant and a personalized autographed copy of What Lies Beneath. Small Print: The winner will be chosen at random after the conclusion of the blog tour – Friday, April 27th and announced on the Writing Playground blog (http://www.writingplayground.blogspot.com/). The winner will have 7 days to contact the author at author@andrealaurence.com with her mailing information or the prize will be forfeited and re-awarded.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...It's All About Rafe.

The cover is hot and what's inside is even hotter. 
This is one spectacular story you don't want to miss.

Today's Tempting Tuesday is all about Rafe.  Rafe who?  You might ask.  Well, Rafe McBride of course.  He's the hot hero in Jennifer Jakes' romance, "Rafe's Redemption". 

I love this story about Rafe McBride and Maggie Monroe so to celebrate their romance and Jennifer being a finalist in the Colorado Romance Writers 2012 Award of Excellence Award, it's all about Rafe today. 

Please enjoy some tantalizing pictures which were all Rafe inspired.  Thank you, Jennifer Jakes, for sharing Rafe and his story with us.  Congratulations, sweetie, and good luck! 

To learn more about Jennifer Jakes and the rest of her fabulous books, please visit her website and blog:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Noelle Pierce

Author Noelle Pierce
I first met this phenomenal lady at the Georgia Romance Writer's Moonlight and Magnolia's Conference this past fall.  Noelle Pierce is an author who is constantly on the move.  Not only is she one talented author, she's also knows how to cut a rug on the dance floor.  *grins*   I'm so excited about all of us getting to know Noelle a little bit better.  Although, I will mention I probably have an advantage over most of you since she was one of my roommates at the conference. *heehee*

Hello, Noelle.  Thank you so much for joining us today.  Since I mentioned dancing, let's start off with you telling us a little about your music taste.  What music are you listening to lately?

I listen to all sorts of music, but when I write, I have a playlist that will get me in the mood. Classical or instrumental piano for my historicals, alternative music for my paranormal. Additionally, each of my stories has a theme song that I can listen to on repeat to get me in the mindset to write that particular story. Sometimes the theme song has the right lyrics, other times it's a feel of the music; I just know it when I hear it.

Sounds like you have all your moods covered for the different genres as well as your own personal tastes.  I love the variety, not only in your music tast but in your writing, too.  Please tell us a little about your WIP.

My current story is a contemporary paranormal romance, about a rogue elemental out to destroy the human race. The person elected to stop him is a misanthrope, and she needs to convince four other humans to help. Things are further complicated when Irina (the misanthrope) and her bodyguard, Fontaine, develop feelings for each other. If they give in, Fontaine will lose his ability to protect her.

The original idea came from the pentacle symbol—a five-point star enclosed in a circle—representing the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Irina is the Spirit, and the other four are "pedigrees," pureblood descendents of each elemental race. Since the elementals are tasked with keeping the earth in balance, I wondered what would happen if one of them got tired of humans making it more difficult for them.

Ohhhh, what a great concept!  I love how you used the five elements into a romance story.  The mention of the five elements reminds me of the different seasons, too.  With that being said, what is your favorite time of year?

Spring! The weather is temperate, the trees and flowers are blooming, and it's my kids' birthdays! *grin*

Well, happy early birthday to them!  Spring time is the perfect weather for parties.  Well, what type of vacations do you prefer?  Tropical or European vacation?

European, hands down. I grew up on the beach, so I've seen plenty of sun and sand, thank you. *grin* Seriously, there's something about being in Europe that gives me a feeling of peace. I love to walk around and see evidence of history that's more than a few hundred years old.

Awwww, Europe!  That's my cup of tea as well.  I see a future trip in the works....strictly for story research, you know. *giggles*  Is there a particular fable/tale you would love to write your own version or spin on it?

Actually, my historical romance novellas were inspired by the myths of the constellations. I've got Andromeda and Cassiopeia, so far. Eventually, I'd love to do a fairy tale series, but with the less well-known stories, like Rose Red, the Wild Swans, or the Nightingale.

I can't wait to read that fairy tale series.  Please keep us posted on those projects.  I'd love to have you back to discuss them.  Well, Noelle, we're coming to an end of our time together.  For your final question, what advice would you give aspiring authors?

Only to be selective and use your best judgment in what advice you take. Be wary of taking advice on writing and publishing from people who have never been published, or who don't work in the industry. Also be cautious when you hear the words "always" and "never." Very few things are that absolute.

Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us today.  I greatly appreciate you being my guest.  I look forward to seeing you at the next M&M conference, too. 

To learn more about Noelle Pierce and her books, please visit the following weblinks.  BTW, Noelle's website is gorgeous!  Oh, she also does a little graphic design, too.  So you definitely want to check out her site and see her amazing talents in that area as well as her historicals, paranormals, and erotica books.  There's something for everyone. 




Monday, March 12, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Tattoo Who?

I can't speak for anyone else...but I'm really digging the tatt.  Just sayin'.  Enjoy!  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Patricia Preston

Well, today on the blog, I like to welcome Patricia Preston.  Hello, Patricia!  *Waves and grins* Thank you for being my guest.  I'm so pleased for your visit.  Patricia writes charming historicals which will lure readers to enjoy true romance at it's finest.

Hey! Thanks for the invite, Kellie and I hope you enjoy my enticing answers to all your questions.

I'm sure I will along with everyone else.  So let's get this party started.

Ok, let's first talk a bit about your road to publication.  Was it a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

Let me change the word, tiring, to painful and I’ll go with that. Or maybe that should be infuriating jog…or even laborious jog…how about nerve-wracking…I could go on all day.

LOL!  I understand.  With that being said, let's share a bit about your recent release, Almost An Outlaw, with everyone.

My novella, Almost An Outlaw, is a short, fun read that contains a tall, dark handsome rancher, a dazzling heroine, a few famous outlaws, a really bad guy, some steamy scenes and suspenseful moments. Amazon link: http://amzn.to/zjO9gL.  Get it while it is still a 4-star read!

What Reviewers Are Saying…

"ALMOST AN OUTLAW by Patricia Preston is a worthwhile read for an easy afternoon. A little spicy, a little sweet and overall delightful, this is a short story you won't be sorry you picked up."~Lisa Jo, Romance Reviews

Book Blurb:

Rancher Austin Cade rides into Liberty looking for his old comrades, the James-Younger gang. He needs their help tracking down the horse thief who's stolen his prized mare. In town, the former gunfighter is reunited with Darcy, the first girl he ever kissed—and never forgot.

Young widow Darcy Branson owns a shop full of fashionable ladies' attire, but continues to wear mourning black so she won't forget her role in her husband's death. Austin stirs a passion inside her that has long been dormant, but can Darcy learn to believe in Austin—and love—enough to let go of her tragic past?

Time is rapidly running out... As a cousin to Jesse James, Darcy has attracted unwanted attention, thanks to her rumored association with the gang. Soon Austin and Darcy are faced with confronting not only their growing desire, but danger in the form of a deadly bounty hunter...


Chapter 1

April 1874 Liberty, Missouri

“I wouldn’t wait nine years on any man.” Darcy Branson spoke to Emma Nash as they stood in the fitting room of Darcy’s dress shop. The upcoming marriage of Darcy’s cousin, Jesse James, to his longtime sweetheart, Zee Mims, was the subject of speculation among those who knew about the secret wedding. Darcy thought nine years was an unreasonably long courtship.

Of course, there was a lot to be said for waiting. If she had waited that long before marrying Stephen, she might have learned the truth about her Prince Charming before it was too late.

“At least Zee isn’t going to end up an old maid like everyone thought,” Emma said.

Darcy nodded as she helped Emma try on a lovely gown of topaz silk faille. However, there were much worse things than being an old maid. Like being a vengeful wife who had gotten her husband murdered. That was, indeed, worse.

Emma smiled with excitement as she looked at her reflection in the cheval mirror. “I do love this dress,” she said. “I don’t know how I will ever repay you.”

“You owe me nothing.” Darcy smiled, happy that she could provide a pretty gown for Emma, who could not have afforded it otherwise. Some of the well-to-do old biddies in town said she was too generous toward the less fortunate. She didn’t think so. Generosity reaped its own reward. “Mister Caruthers will be completely smitten with you.”

Blushing at the mention of her beau’s name, Emma turned to Darcy. “Why don’t you wear that emerald gown you bought in Saint Louis to the wedding?”

“No.” She always wore black.

“It is time—”

“No.” It would never be time.

“Stephen has been dead for almost three years now. Long enough that no one would think ill of you if you put aside mourning colors.”

Darcy removed the tape measure that hung around her neck. She was a graduate of the San Francisco Academy for Young Ladies, where she had been taught good manners and social graces. She knew exactly what was and was not proper. She sighed. “The rules of etiquette change nothing.” They were only words in a book. “They can’t change what is inside me.” They couldn’t change what she had done. She splayed her hand over the waist of her black bodice. “Black suits me.”

The jingle of the bells attached to the front door of the shop came as a welcome diversion. She left Emma to admire herself in the mirror and went to wait on her customer. She stopped short when she saw the customer was a man. Rarely did a man enter her dress shop, only the occasional local business owner looking to buy his wife or sweetheart a gift. The tall, dark-haired man standing with his back to her as he looked at the ready-made frocks on display looked more like a gunman than a gentleman. A black duster fell from the wide span of his shoulders to his knee-high boots, and he held a center-dented black hat in his left hand. Men who dressed like him lived in the saddle. Uneasiness spread through her. The large bounty offered for her cousins, Frank and Jesse James, had brought a number of unsavory men into the town of Liberty. It was a dangerous time, especially for those connected to the outlaws. No one trusted outsiders.

The customer appeared particularly interested in the expensive emerald gown that Emma had suggested she wear to Jesse’s wedding. It was a lovely dress. One she had fallen in love with the moment she saw it in Saint Louis.

She squared her shoulders as she made her presence known. “May I help you?”

I'm so intrigued by this gem of a story!  I love historicals and I am anxious to read Almost An Outlaw.  Thank you for sharing it with us and congratulations on the wonderful reviews as well!  Well, let's continue on with the interview, shall we?  Yes.  Good.  *rubs hands together and giggles*  Where is your favorite place to write?

In my writing room. It is the only place where I am surrounded by all my stuff. Research books, music, corkboard with notes pinned all over it. And, a magnolia coaster for my glass of sweet iced tea.

Sounds perfect to me.  I always love listening to all kinds of different music.  What music are you listening to lately?

I listen to a lot of soundtracks. It depends on the story I’m writing. It was old rock for The Yard Sale. Right now, it is bluegrass for Laid to Rest.

I love how a story can have its own soundtrack.  Speaking of stories, please tell us about your real life romance.

Well, I’ve been married three times. You know, I took this test in the new issue of Psychology Today and found out I am “single at heart”. Who knew?

Wow!  That's some interesting bit of information there.  If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

Yeah. I’d switch places with the heroine in Lady Silver. Why? Because Nicole is living in the French Quarters and she has a rugged army captain infatuated with her. Of course, living in 1814 would have its drawbacks like no shampoo, no deodorant no penicillin. I’d probably end up with chronic head lice and strep.

What is your favorite dessert?

Hot fudge cake hands down. You can tell that from my big ass.

Ha.  That sounds like me too. I love hot fudge and I have the big ass to prove it, too.  LOL!
What is your favorite time of year?

Fall! I love the fall weather and, of course, the colors. I love deep reds, oranges and gold. October is my favorite month.

What vacation do you prefer?  Tropical or European vacation?

European. I don’t care anything about sunny beaches and getting skin cancer. I would love to go to France. I’d love to explore some castles and see quaint villages. Rick Staves has a dream job, don’t you think?

Ok, we have time for one last question.  Would you please tell us a little about your work in progress? 

Mamaw Pat is writing the funniest story ever! 
I am writing a series of humorous Southern short stories known as Down Home Humor. The first one, The Yard Sale, is about a gal who has lost her job, the bank has foreclosed on her house and her husband has run off with another woman. A shorter version of the story made the finals in several writing contests. I’m hoping to release the extended version in April. Following it will be Laid To Rest, a Southern comedy featuring Darlene Higginbottom (my Madea) and Lady Silver, a historical romance set in New Orleans.
I love Twitter and would love to have you follow me @pat_preston http://bit.ly/y0Ip80 and I also have an author page at Facebook. http://on.fb.me/ugF43b

You can check out my webpage at http://www.patricia-preston.com/. It will be undergoing an overall soon. And, my Welcome to Dixie blog is at http://www.patricia-preston.blogspot.com/

Thank you again for joining me today on the blog, Patricia!  Oh and thank you for providing the the pictures especially the cute picture of your grand babies with the quote, too!  I love it!  I greatly appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. I can't wait to have you return for another visit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Never Letting Go

Once the police come and gone, Laney's knees finally buckled from the day's chaos.  Her head ached from the ugliness she'd witnessed in the last twenty-four hours.  If she saw anything with crimson red in it or on it, she'd probably have herself committed to an asylum.  That's how badly the day fucked with her head.  Now, all she craved was peace of mind and restful sleep.  If only that could happen soon. 

As Laney struggled to gather the strength to leave her once safe haven: home, the screams of her best friend tortured Laney's now fragile mind.  She needed to get far away from the pain.  Her body still shook from the terror of seeing Abigail's petite frame beaten black and blue.  Not an inch of her body was spared from the hours of brutality spent on her.  Laney threw up from the site alone; not to mention the distressed phone call she received while Abigail was being victimized.  The whole sick, twisted event caused her insides to tighten with fear and dread.  She ultimately knew the end result.  Unfortunately, she'd seen it time and time again; yet, this was the first time it had hit so close to home.  Laney actually had a relationship with the victim this time.  Abigail.  It was bad enough that these perverted crimes happened but throw in a person whom she knew and all bets were off.  God, she hated that.

Laney made her way back to Eric's place.  He was the one person who calmed her.  He always had a soothing effect on her.  Today, she needed his strength more than ever. 

Pushing open the front door, Laney entered the living room and dropped her duffel bag on the floor.  She wasn't even thinking about unpacking at that moment.  She just needed him.  "Eric!"  She cried as she stumbled into the hallway towards the kitchen.  The sound of pots banging clued her in that he was most likely in there. 

"Eric!'  Her mind began to race with instant fear.  What if?  What if he was gone too? "Eric!"

"What?  I'm in here, Laney.  What's..."  He stopped abruptly at the sight of Laney's disheveled appearance.  Her eyes conveyed the look of a crazed woman.  He instantly ran to her.  "Baby, what happened?"

As soon has he touched her, the tears flowed down Laney's cheeks.  "Ab...Ab...Abi..Abigail." 

"What about her?"  His green eyes narrowed in on hers.  He had a knack of getting to the issue by just a single look.  She needed that and so much more from him right now. 

"She's dead."  Laney's voice sounded so dull and robotic.  No emotion, just matter of fact.  Not at all like the vivacious person Abigail called her.  Laney sobbed uncontrollably at the simple memory.  Funny how the small things can really set a person off. 

"I don't understand, Laney."  Eric held her close as she cried.  "How?" 

"He came for her.  Her of all people.  He wants to hurt me by taking the ones close to me away."  Her crying became more frantic and hysterical.

"Shhhhh....baby.  I'm here. You'll catch him soon and he'll pay for his crimes.  We'll get through this."

"No!"  Laney shoved Eric away from her.  "WE won't.  You can't be a part of this, Eric!  Don't you see?  He'll come after you like he did Abigail.  I don't want you hurt or..."

"Laney, baby, calm down."  Eric's soothing voice calmed her nerves to some degree but he realized she needed a gentle nudge.  "Honey, go take a bath.  I'll finish dinner and then we'll discuss this.  Together."


"Go soak in the tub, please.  Let's figure this out later."  A gentle smile spread across his face.  The genuine gesture definitely had the impact on Laney which Eric wanted. 

His hands turned her body towards the bathroom.  He guided her into the room, then ran a hot bath for Laney.  As Eric left Laney alone, he silently prayed the bath would miraculously wash away the day's nastiness for her.

While Laney bathed, it seemed like a lifetime flashed by for her.  Although a short period of time went by, the water's warmth eased some of the tension from her body. 

Without realizing it, she exited the bathroom and stood naked in the Eric's room; she eyed her duffel bag on the bed.  Eric must have brought it in here for her.  She opened it up to put on something comfortable.  Yet as she took out a pair of flannel pajamas, her mind thought only of Abigail.  Laney's eyes teared up again and she sobbed uncontrollably.  She bawled from the deep pain of loosing her best friend.  Loosing her too soon in life.  Loosing her in such a gruesome way. 

Eric heard the agonizing wails throughout the house.  Since dinner was prepared and being kept warm, he was no longer in the kitchen.  He decided to clear his head with a quick cardio workout on the treadmill.  Knowing most likely that Laney needed time to get her thoughts together, he didn't want her feeling rushed with anything, even dinner. Yet, when the sound of her frightful screams tore through the house, he dashed to her without hesitation. 

As he entered the bedroom, the sight of her balled up and sobbing on the floor ripped at his heart.  She was so strong and resilient.  He'd never seen her so broken. 

When he reached her, Eric knelt down and gently pulled Laney up.  "Sweetheart.  I'm here.  I'm not going anywhere.  Let it all out, baby." 

Laney's tear-stained face and bloodshot eyes locked onto Eric's calming demeanor .  It was then she realized that she could and would never send him away.  He was as stubborn and bullheaded as she was at times.  He wouldn't allow it.  Besides, together they made an unstoppable team.  His strength and logical mind eased her frustrations and fears.  He alone.  Nothing else and no one else.

"Ok."  She choked back a sob.  "I'm never letting you go, you know that right?"

"Of course, baby.  I'm not letting you go either.  Besides, neither one of us would allow that to happen anyways."  He kissed her forehead as he wrapped his arms around her body. 

Laney clung to him as if he were a life preserver.  He was her rock, especially when it came to dealing with the nightmares from her work.  "Never letting go."  She whispered into his ear.  "Never."