Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Another Pieces of Stronghold Teaser

I think I'm about 3 chapters away from finishing Pieces of Stronghold =)  There's still editing to be done and whatnot, even when that's over, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to get it done by the end of this month.  *fingers crossed*  I would say definitely, but there's a LOT going on IRL this month... I'm taking a long weekend this weekend to go to the beach for a friend's birthday, next weekend I'll be helping a friend move her stuff into my place (she's taking our guest room for a bit) and finishing up costume pieces because the weekend after THAT is AwesomeCon and my cosplay needs to be on point.  Sooooo yeah.

I still haven't packed for beach weekend either.  And we're leaving tomorrow night after work.  EEP.  So that's why I say, *fingers crossed* I'll be done with Pieces by the end of this month =)

In the meantime... here's another teaser.


"You look happy."  Olivia poked Jared in the side.  The big man was grinning at his phone in a manner that she could only describe as goofy.  Something she hadn't seen in... she couldn't remember the last time she'd seen him looking like this. Not since the first year or so of his relationship with Truckstop, and this big goofy grin had seldom been seen then either.  "What's up?"
"Nothing."  He didn't exactly try to hide the phone from her, but he tilted it away from her, his body twisting slightly.  There was a note in his voice that was almost petulant. 
"Ooo, it's a girl isn't it?" she teased, going up on her tiptoes to try and peer at the screen.
"It's Leigh," called Freddy from his place at the front desk.  The sweet little subby was grinning, even though he had hunched his shoulders, already knowing that he was in trouble for telling on Jared.  The Dom glared at him from across the lobby.
Olivia raised her eyebrows.  "Looking for a spanking, are you sweetheart?"
"Yes?"  The little sub's eyes lit up at the same time that an anxious expression passed over his face.  He might want it, but he knew it was going to hurt too.  Olivia just chuckled.
"I'll let Mistress Erin know that you need a lesson," Olivia said.
"Not you?" Freddy asked, looking disappointment.  He flinched when Olivia sent him a sharp look, but she couldn't really hold it.  Freddy was a sweetheart, and he was adorable, and wonderfully submissive, but not at all her type.  Unfortunately, lately he seemed to have a bit of a case of hero-worship for her, starting from when she'd taken Roland down to his knees for getting in Lexie's face a few weeks ago.  Olivia appreciated the sentiment, but she wasn't interested and she didn't want to hurt his feelings.
"You're a better match for Mistress Erin, Freddy.  Besides, I'm teaching a class tonight, remember?"  She turned back to Jared, so that she didn't have to keep looking at Freddy's sad puppy-dog eyes.  "So Leigh's texting you?  What's she saying."
"It's just stupid jokes."  His tone was dismissive, but his eyes were lit up from within.  It was all Olivia could do not to indulge in a little dance for joy.  Jared hadn't been too appreciative of her last dance of joy, when he and Marissa had finally broken up.
She hadn't been sure whether or not she approved of whatever was going on between him and Leigh - after all, Jared definitely had certain needs which had gone unfulfilled for too long - but right now it looked like they were good for each other.  At the very least, they could understand each other.  Who knew, yet, if anything would come of it.
"Stupid jokes?  I see."
"She sends them every day at the same time."  Apparently Freddy really wanted a sore butt tonight.  Olivia didn't mind, since he was obviously her best source of information right now.
"Oh really?"
"Butt out, Olivia."
"You know I don't offer advice unless asked," Olivia said, patting Jared's arm.  She'd noticed a long time ago that people often didn't appreciate advice when it was early enough to really do some good; they preferred to wait until they'd messed up beyond all reason and were desperate for someone to help them out.  So now she waited to give her advice when it was actually going to be listened to, even if a lot of problems could be avoided if people just came to her first instead of waiting till they'd fucked everything up.  "I'm just going to say that I am very, very happy to see you looking so happy."
"We're not dating."
"Okay."  Olivia kept her tone mild. 
Jared eyed her, hesitating.  "I might have sort of taken her on a kind of date."
"Uh huh."  Now that was fascinating.  Out of all of their friends, Jared was most often the one to sit quietly and listen to everyone else.  It was hard to prod him out of his shell.  Push any of the others hard enough and they would eventually crack and fess up; Jared would just retreat like a turtle.  Not giving him a real response often yielded better results, but not always.  He had to have something that he really wanted to share. 
"It was just some star-gazing," he said gruffly, shoving his phone back in his pocket.  
"Sounds like fun."
"It was."
Olivia waited, but apparently that was all he wanted to say.  Still, it said a lot that he was even willing to talk about it.  He often dropped little tidbits to her that he wanted disseminated around the group.
He smiled at her.  Olivia patted his arm again and headed into the club, almost relieved that he hadn't asked for any advice this time.  She had no idea what she would have said.  Leigh was a sweetheart and Olivia liked her a lot, but she was also getting over her own long-term relationship.  She also had no personal experience with BDSM, even though she'd spent months in the club and had heard a lot of stories at girls' nights.  Going by the way Jared was acting right now, he definitely had some developing feelings for her, but Marissa's hooks had always been in so deep... Olivia had hoped in the past that someone else at the club might be able to draw him away from Truck Stop, but it had never happened.  She'd always managed to pull him back, manipulating his feelings of responsibility.  
The fact that Leigh was floundering a bit now that she was single, that she was obviously still having trouble getting over her own ex, might be just what Jared needed.  She could understand what he'd gone through better than anyone else in the group, and at the same time, her own emotional pain would be something that Jared would feel the need to help.  Leigh wasn't broken, far from, but she was cracked.  The combination might be exactly what Jared needed to finally get away from Marissa.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Every Day I'm Rambling

Haven't had a ramble post in  a while... feel like I have a fair amount to ramble about =)

I went on a bit of a writing spree for Pieces of Stronghold earlier this week, which seems to have slowed for a bit but I think it's probably going to be picking up again.  I'm just figuring out how to get from where it is to where I want it to go... also, sometimes when plot gets interrupted for a sex scene, that slows me down a little.  But after going several chapters without one... well, I feel like it's due.  Plus it's fun to catch up with Hilary and Liam =)  I wasn't sure I was going to be doing their POV or not, but it turns out I was!

One thing is, if you like the series, this is def going to be a novella that you don't want to miss.  There's some serious shit going down.  I'll make sure that you don't NEED to have read it in order to enjoy Breaking the Chain, but there's some pretty significant events happening.  Speaking of BtC; RaineyCloud9 has sent me a few cover mock-ups and it's going to be sooooooooo pretty!!!!  I'm so excited =)  My goal right now is to get Pieces out by the end of this month and BtC out by the end of July / beginning of August.

IRL I've got a million things going on... Renaissance fairs, a beach trip, AwesomeCon, putting together cosplays, and going to see Avengers for the second time.  Freaking loved it.  Anyway... costumes costumes costumes!  I love dressing up.  Looking forward to doing it tomorrow.

I've been slacking on finishing up Homeschooled because I've been spending every free minute I have working on Pieces.  It's just where my head is at right now.  Lots of motivation.  I just finished one of the scenes that I've seriously had spinning around my head for MONTHS and it was such a relief to get it out.  Got more like those coming up.  It's going to be a very packed little novella.  I say novella... sooooo novellas are technically about 20,000-30,000 words long.  A novel is about 70,000.  My so-called novellas tend to be about 50,000 and my novels are usually 100,000 or more.  I think the Poker Loser Trilogy was the only time that I stuck to true novel length.  Pieces is currently at about 35,000 and I'm going to try to keep it to about 50,000.  I hope.  Ugh.  Still lots of story left to go into it.

I'm still gonna start the price at 99 cents, but I may up it to $1.99 after a month or so of being on sale if it gets up to actual novel length.

By the way, if any of you has picked up the Poker Loser Bundle, or if you've just read the books before singly and don't mind writing a review for the trilogy as a whole, it would be much appreciated!!!!! =)  It needs some review love.

Soooooooo I'm reading this book series, which I love, but the author is starting to do some cliche things and I'm just like ARGH.  I really hate the double standards for men and women; where men get to put their dick in whatever they want but the heroine has to remain pure and wait for him to figure out his shit, no matter how much it hurts her.  BULLSHIT!  I like to try and mix things up.  I've got a Victorian story that I started working on a year ago and still write a little bit of when I'm in the mood (eventually I'm going to actually sit and concentrate on it) where the guy is going to have to keep it in his pants the whole time while the heroine gets to explore her options.  It's a LOT of fun to write.

I'm also doing some stuff in the Stronghold series where I turn some cliches on their heads... at least, I hope that's what I'm doing LOL.  One of my beta readers said something to me the other day, making an assumption about where a particular story line is heading, and in my head I laughed maniacally... cuz they were wrong!  lol.  Is it wrong that I enjoy that so much?

That's me.  Right there on the bottom.  He even has my squinty Asian eyes. =D  Hopefully everyone doesn't hate where I end up going lol.  An author's greatest fear!  (No but really... well, most authors.  I could name a few... argh.  But that's why I stopped reading their books).  I have to say though, some of the new characters that I'm introducing in Pieces are already delighting me in ways that I hadn't realized they would.  Also, I'm introducing 4 new Doms that are going to get novellas, although they will NOT be part of the main Stronghold group.  Yup.  I'm gonna do a spin-off of a spin-off.  I can't help it.  One short scene and they had me hooked. I was already writing stories for them in my head.

Anyway... if you follow me on Facebook (or if you don't, you should), go to my page and "Like" my most recent status to find out a tease-spoiler about Pieces ;)  no, but seriously, please do, I'm honestly dying to share this.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Now Available: Poker Loser Trilogy Bundle

I've been getting SO much work done on Pieces of Stronghold the past few days, it's making me super happy.  I'm really enjoying the different viewpoints and putting together the beginning of not one but TWO stories (because sometimes a love story requires more time than can be satisfactorily fit into a book) and I'm aiming to have that finished by the end of this month.

In the meantime... I spent all Sunday afternoon putting together the Poker Loser Trilogy Bundle.  I've noticed that a lot of other authors are doing this with their older books and I figured it might be a good idea; particularly for this series which isn't exactly a traditional romance.  In the future I'll also be putting together bundles for the Venus Quartet and the Domestic Discipline Quartet.   As I was putting together the bundle I also did some extra editing (and if you already have the Poker Loser Trilogy books, I updated those as well with the new edits... nothing major, just adding a sentence here or there and fixing any mistakes I saw).  A big thank you to RaineyCloud9 for the, as always, gorgeous bundle cover =)

Unfortunately, blogger is sucking and not letting me upload the picture.  But you'll see if when you click one of the links below:




Friday, May 1, 2015

Five Delights - Promo Post

One of the YellowSilkDreams authors has a new book out that looks like a GREAT sexy weekend read, if you're looking for something to do this first weekend of May =D  I mean, my first priority this weekend is the Avengers movie, but that's not going to take ALL weekend ;) heh heh heh.  What can I say?  #NerdPriorities!  

I'm also going to try and submit the Poker Loser bundle this weekend.  If you haven't already bought the trilogy, I'm putting all three books together into one giant kindle book and they'll be available for just a little bit cheaper than the price of all three books bought singly.  SO if you haven't picked them up yet, don't.  Wait for the bundle =) 

Anyway, here's a little bit about Five Delights!

Five Delights
By DJ Prewer

1 woman, 5 men.  1 day, 5 ways.    

Skye Edwards likes sex.  Always has.  Always will.  So when she decides that it’s finally time to fulfil a fantasy of the most delightfully wicked nature, you can be sure it’s going to be more than vanilla sex.
When she arrives for her day of sexual delights, Skye is presented with ten, bare chested, low-slung denim jean wearing men, the spark of desire ignites inside of her, turning her excitement into heated arousal. 
Although she has no idea what her lovers have planned for her, Skye knows she is in for five completely different sexual experiences that will live in her memory for a lifetime.

"What's really going on Skye?"
My new found relief quickly deserts me.  A quiet groan escapes my throat, as I am once again weighed down with the guilt I have been feeling ever since I decided to end my relationship with my boyfriend, a few weeks ago.
"I thought Ryan was the one, you know?  I thought he accepted my need to be sexual.  My need to explore and find what it is that I want...and need, sexually.  And he was, well, up until he turned into a possessive jerk.  How did I get that so wrong?"
"I don't think you got it wrong.  I think he changed his mind, or maybe he was that way all along, and pretended not to be just to get close to you.  At this point in your life, you are not after a white picket fence, or babies, and it’s obvious to everyone who knows you.  And you certainly made it clear to him from the start."
"I did, didn't I?  I just feel guilty, and a little sad, that's all. Maybe I want something I can never have."
"Never feel guilty for who you are, Angel.  Too many people live their lives suppressing their sexual desires and die thinking coulda, woulda, shoulda.  That's not who you are.  When you figure out what you want, what it is you need sexually, there will be a man waiting for you.  But there's no hurry."
"I know.  You're right, as usual.  Fuck him and his kind!"  I smile, finding relief in what Marco has said, what I have known all along.  I just needed to hear someone else say it.
"Come here, dolcezza."
And then there it is...the beautiful sound of Marco deliberately thickening his Italian accent to caress his words.  A flutter awakens in my belly, damn...this man knows how to play dirty.  This is my Marco.  My friend, my confidant and sometimes fuck buddy, when we have an itch to scratch.  And along with Mason, our colleague and my housemate, the three of us are peas in a pod.
I rise and walk the few steps into his open arms, resting my head against the hard muscles in his chest, as his large body wraps around mine.  He is warm, and smells good too.  Always does.  Here in his arms is my safe haven.  A place where I am accepted for who I am, no matter what.
"Perfetto in ogni modo," he mutters quietly in my ear.
I really, really, need to learn Italian.
A shiver steals over my body as Marco's large hands leave my hips and glide their way along my spine, up towards my nape.  His soft fingertips dance along my jaw, rising to capture the sides of my face, as gentle kisses circle my lips.  When I finally open my mouth to his, he devours me.  On and on the kiss goes, tongues darting in and out, teeth grazing my lips, stealing my breath from me until the pressure in my chest is almost suffocating, and I pull away.
Marco turns me around and I lean against him, feeling his hard cock nestle against my lower back.  He guides my arms behind me so that my hands cup his growing erection.  I squeeze him gently, embracing his rigid cock.  He is so much more than a handful.
"Close your eyes, Angel.  Let me remind you of who you are."
Oh, yes please!
His fingers glide down my neck and move to the top of my dress.  "Have I ever told you how much I love this dress on you?  This long zip, running all the way down the front, is such a turn on.  I bet every man who looks at you wants to unzip it, lusting to discover what is hiding underneath."  His fingers begin to pull downwards on the metal clasp, opening my dress up to expose my red lacy bra.  "Ah, beautiful girl, I love this colour on you.  It's so fucking sexy it makes my cock throb."
I close my eyes and rest my head against his shoulder, as Marco cups my breasts.  Fingers splay towards the scalloped edge of my lace bra, pulling it away to expose my hardened nipples beneath.  Heat floods my body, and I groan as he rolls each of the tight nipples between two fingers.
"You don't play fair, Marco."
"I know...but you like it that way."
I smile my agreement, and lean in to kiss the smooth skin under his jaw, drawing a quiet moan from deep within his chest.  With my tongue I explore the surface of his tanned skin, nibbling on the raised muscle at the side of his neck.  With each gentle bite, I squeeze my hands around his cock, dragging my nails over the surface of the soft cotton of his pants.  I can play dirty too. 
"I see this party has already started without me.”
With a startled gasp I open my eyes to see Mason standing before us.  A sly smile on his face.  Obviously they had this planned all along.  I wouldn't be too surprised if they were responsible for breaking the water pipe too.
"Sorry mate, couldn't wait any longer.  Angel needed"  Marco replies with a husky chuckle.  He reaches to open the front clasp of my bra, moulding his hands around my breasts, lifting them, offering them up to Mason.
"Well, luckily for Angel, I can help with that too." Mason confirms as he pulls my zipper all the way down, opening my dress up completely.
I close my eyes, resting my head back into the crook of Marco's shoulder, knowing that this is exactly what I want...what I need.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hathor: Milking Meggie is On Sale

Some of you may remember that when I wrote the first blog post about Hathor: Milking Meggie, I said it would be on sale in April.  That time is now!  Thank you to the reader who commented on the original post and gave me the nudge nudge... I thought Amazon was supposed to let me know when it went on sale but they did not.  Still, it's not too late to get it for a reduced price!

Anyway... I am almost done with Homeschooled for Literotica.  Only one more chapter to go, about Becky and Ben's wedding night, which I'm really looking forward to writing.  This series did not go at all the way I thought it was going to when I started writing it all those years ago, but I'm very happy with how it has gone.  I'm much more into HEA endings than I was back then lol.  I'm really looking forward to getting to the reader requests; I always feel bad about making people wait for those so it's going to be a relief to get them off my shoulders now and then I'm going to start writing one of two longer stories that was requested by a lot of people... probably Samuel's story as a follow up to Being the Maid or Trish and Jordan's story from Taken by the Wolf.

For book writing... I'm about 1/3 of the way through Pieces of Stronghold.  Trying to make it a novella and not a novel although it's hard.  I just want to keep writing and writing and writing... so far I'm liking the different POVs, although that makes it harder as well, to have a cohesive story line.  I think I finally got it figured out though.

I haven't had much time to write lately though.  Vegas last weekend was AMAZING.  Had such a good time there, got some good story ideas, and also some ideas for Hilary's Bachlorette party, which will be coming up at some point in a book or novella I'm sure =)  Unfortunately I also seem to have brought home some kind of cold, along with jet lag, along with some allergies (came home and everything was in bloom, which is gorgeous but.... yeah).  So I've been kinda zombie like and haven't gotten much more writing done than I did during busy season.  Hopefully, as I'm starting to feel better, that will change soon.

This past weekend I did lots of other creative stuff... Facebook followers got to see some of my crafting work =)  There's a convention I'm going to at the end of May and I now am totally done with my Harley Quinn and Bellatrix Lestrange costumes (other than more nit-picky stuff with Bellatrix's sleeves, which OMG are such a PITA... almost makes me wish I'd just bought a dress instead of making it myself).  I've still got some stuff to do for Hubby's outfits though, but I finished his Joker vest and I'm almost done with his Death Eater cloak.  I also helped one of my other besties with his Riddler outfit.  WOOT.  It was a very productive weekend, just not for writing LOL.

This week I'm hoping to get back into productivity when it comes to working on Pieces of Stronghold.  I also want to get some bundles together.  RaineyCloud has graciously put together bundle covers so that people can buy the full set of completed books (Venus School Quartet, Domestic Discipline Quartet, Poker Loser Trilogy) if they so desire.  One totally new announcement - Venus Desiring is now available in paperback!  At some point in the near future, I'll hopefully also be putting out Venus Transcendent in paperback as well and then I'll do some autographed giveaways for the full set.

I've been slacking on getting a website together... ack.  Something else that I need to focus on this upcoming month!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Angel Recommends: Fracture

Happy (Belated) Release Day to Amanda Byrne who is a fantastic author and whose book Fracture came out yesterday!  I've got my copy and I can't wait to dig in =)

Fracture by Amanda K. Byrne


Every nightmare has an end.

There’s no way Nora can ignore the beating. Same heavy boots. Same curses, same pained groans. But that was two years ago, and this a different man, a different part of war-ravaged Sarajevo. This is her second chance. She has to try.

And then she’s stuck with him, nursing him, putting up with him. Declan’s an ass. He’s rude and tactless. He’s arrogant. Dismissive.

Charming. Intense. Caring when she needs it most – and least expects it. He tears away the numbing fog that’s been her constant companion and offers her a way out and a way home.

And it damn near destroys her.

Nora’s survived two years in a war zone. Can Declan show her how to live?

Buy it here: AMZ | BN | KOBO | iBooks | GR


     I burrow further under the blankets. It’s too damn early to get up, too warm, too comfortable.
     “Nora. Get up.”
     On a whimper, I open my eyes. Grey light streams through the living room window. Living room? Did Ryan and I fall asleep on the couch again? Bad habit. I thought we’d broken it.
     His shoulders are all wrong. Too broad. His scent is wrong, too. Not Ryan. Ryan’s gone, and Declan is not. I’m plastered against him. At his request, I remember, sleep clearing from my brain. For comfort, he’d said. Lifting my head, I try to focus on his face. The swelling’s gone down some more, the bruising around his eyes a gruesome yellow mask tinged with red. I trail my fingers over the bruising on his jaw. He doesn’t flinch, the hard gleam in his eyes not dissipating in the least. Such a difficult man to understand, Ryan’s opposite in every way. Yet here I am, molded to him like this is where I belong and I have no desire to leave.
     “Fuck,” he mutters. Heedless of his sprained wrist, he slides his hands under my arms and jerks me up, his mouth closing over mine before I realize what’s happening.
     The contact is a lightning bolt, piercing the last of the dream and the sleep haze and scattering it like mice before a cat. It leaves no room for doubt that this is exactly what he means to do, kiss me, no, ravage my mouth, his tongue slipping past my defenses when I part my lips unconsciously. His mouth moves with the confidence of a man who has been kissing women for a long, long time, kissing them and getting kissed in return. There is no asking in this kiss. He tells me with his lips, his teeth, his wicked tongue that we’re doing this, and we’re doing it now, so I’d better hang on. My mind threatens to blank as my body takes over, reveling in the increasing heat.
     Our noses bump, and he hisses, breaking the kiss. Shit. I’d forgotten about his injuries, the broken ribs and nose, the deep, throbbing bruises along his torso and thighs. A lapse. A side trip into insanity. Two people who’ve been thrown together by circumstance and nothing more, warm bodies to draw from. That’s all it is.
     I guess Declan’s not done being crazy because he grips my hips, positions them over his groin, and pushes up. I can’t stop the moan from escaping. My body’s completely taken over. It wants what’s between my legs and covered in layers of fabric.
     I dive for his mouth again, craving more. Needing more. He gives it to me, tongues thrusting and parrying in a primitive dance echoed by the rocking of our hips. One hand curves around my nape, his teeth nipping into my top lip as his other hand grips my hip, further encouraging their movement. It’s the sweetest, darkest kind of madness. I want to drown in it. I want it to sink me, sate me, whip me into a frenzy I haven’t felt in years.
     And as abruptly as it starts, it stops, Declan’s face impassive, his ragged breathing and the hard bulge under me betraying him. He shifts me to the side and sits up, pushing to his foot and hopping into the bedroom. He pauses in the doorway. “Who’s Ryan?”

About the Author
When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.

If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pieces of Stronghold Teaser

Soooo... I'm about to embark on a super busy couple of weeks in my real life.  The busy season at work is winding down (YAY!) and so I've been getting more writing done (DOUBLE YAY!), but the next two weeks are cray-cray for me anyway.  Wedding stuff this weekend and then next week a girls trip with my bestie and then lots of crafting stuff for AwesomeCon next month.  Woot!  This month is awesome.

Anyway.  So.  Pieces of Stronghold.  Gonna start off with a teaser from part of the book about Jared & Leigh.  =)  Enjoy!

(Just an FYI, this section starts off with a text message)

What time does a duck wake up?
Before her water bottle had finished filling up, she'd gotten a reply.
I don't know.
Giggling harder now than she had when she actually had received the joke text, she typed in the answer.
The quack of dawn!
She was going down the stairs to the basement and the exercise room when her phone rang.  Glancing at the screen, she blinked in surprise and grinned, a little butterfly of excitement fluttering in her stomach.
"The quack of dawn.  Seriously."  Jared's rich, deep voice was heavy with amused mockery.
Leigh laughed.  "Aren't you at work?"
"And you called me to scold me for a joke?"
"It's a really bad joke."
"You laughed and you know it."
He chuckled and she couldn't help but smile in return.  Leaning against the bannister at the bottom of the stairs, she tried to tamp down the slightly giddy feelings that always seemed to swirl inside of her when she talked to him.  They'd become friends pretty quickly, bonding over the fact that both of them had recently gotten out of relationships that had spanned more than half a decade.  No one else in their groups of friends really understood what that was like... most of them thought that Jared and Leigh were better off without their exes.  Leigh didn't exactly disagree, but no one else seemed to get how hard it was or why she still missed Michael sometimes.  
Jared got it.
It made her feel a special connection to him.  She was also totally willing to admit that she had a schoolgirl crush on him.  Having a crush felt nice.  None of the guys she'd dated or slept with had made her feel all giggly and teenager silly like he did.  It was just a silly, harmless crush that helped  distract her whenever she was feeling particularly depressed about Michael.  It was safe to flirt with Jared, because he knew that she wasn't looking to jump into a relationship, and neither was he.  They just liked to tease and flirt and make each other smile.  There had been so little happiness in her life since she and Michael had broken up - even before that really - which managed to pierce the bubble of misery she'd been living in, so she clutched at whatever bright moments she could.  
"Admit it," she insisted, still grinning.  "You at least chuckled."
"Yeah, okay I did."
"I knew it!" she crowed, pumping a fist into the air.  Making Jared smile on a regular basis was one of his goals.  As miserable as she was without Michael, Jared missed his ex just as much, and he had the added guilt of having hurt her when he broke up with her.  She could empathize, because by the time Michael had broken up with her, she'd had thoughts of breaking up with him, because she'd known that he was taking her for granted and that she'd become unhappy.  Of course, she'd hoped that instead of breaking up, he would have recognized that he needed to put more effort into their relationship and making her feel special and loved.  Instead, he'd broken up with her first.
But she could imagine having gotten to the point Jared had.  So she liked to make him smile when she could.  It made her feel good to help him.
"You're like a five year old," he said, but it didn't sound like he meant it as an insult.  Leigh took it as a compliment.  It had been a long time since she'd felt this carefree.  Michael had squashed her moments of loud brevity and silliness, wanting her to be more the model of the businessman's wife that he thought he needed.  That was definitely something that was going to have to change if they ever got back together.  There was no way she was going to squeeze herself back into that suffocating little box that she'd put her personality into for him.
"Just wait," she told him, still grinning.  "I bet I can find worse ones.  And you'll laugh at all of them."
"I'm sure I will."  Even though she couldn't see him, Leigh was pretty sure that he was smiling.  She could hear it in his voice.  "I have to get back to work.  I'll see you Thursday?"
"Yep, I'll see you then, although we'll probably talk before then."
"I'm sure we will."
"Because I'm going to send you more jokes."
"Okay.  Bye Leigh."  She could practically hear the amused grin on his face.