Today is Mother's Day, of course, so I wanted to find an appropriately maternal snog for you.
I realized that very few of my heroines are moms. Probably this isn't all that surprising. I've never had kids myself, and though I have enormous respect for women (and men) who do, I don't have much first hand experience, at least from the parent's side.
One of my stories, though, features a single mother who's struggling to simultaneously raise her son and realize her dream - to run a successful blues club. Ruby Jones in Wild About That Thing is a great mother, despite her guilt and doubts. Perfect for today. I even found an excerpt that shows it - while including a sexy kiss, too.
Enjoy! And after you've savored my snog, head over to Victoria's for more sexy Sunday kisses!
Up front, the Night Travellers hit a dark groove, wailing through Born Under a Bad Sign. Zeke’s fingers flew over the strings, improvising a high riff, while Jojo’s bass kept the song grounded. “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” Zeke growled, torturing his guitar to match the pain in his voice. Damn, but the man sounded black, despite the mop of straw-coloured hair he kept pushing out of his eyes. Born in Mississippi, he must’ve soaked up blues in the water and the air. Certainly he could play with the best. Ruby was lucky to have him and his band, given the pittance she could afford to pay them.
As if he sensed her attention, Zeke picked her out of the shadows at the back of the club. She felt the warmth of the smile he beamed to her, a smile totally at odds with the desperate mood of the song. You know why Zeke plays here, her inner critic commented. You’re just taking advantage of him.
He gets what he wants, she argued with the internal voice that sounded so very much like her mother’s. I treat him fine. Of course, she got as much out of their relationship as he did. Zeke was a strong man with powerful desires. He could set her on fire. It wasn’t her fault that he was so sentimental. You wouldn’t expect it from a rough and tumble guy like Zeke Chambers—ten years a New York cabbie, a guy who’d seen every horror the city could dish out.
Her phone vibrated in her jeans pocket, interrupting her train of thought.
“Hey, hon. What’s up? You should be in bed.”
“I’m going, Mama. I just want to finish this chapter…”
“Isaiah Jones, it’s nearly eleven and tomorrow’s a school night! You shut your light off right now!”
“Okay, okay, Mama! But don’t forget about your meeting tomorrow with Ms Rodriguez.”
“Oh, right.” Ruby sighed. Isaiah’s grades were good but he was so small that he tended to get bullied. She needed to put a stop to that, somehow. “Thanks, hon. Three thirty, right?”
“I’ll be there, don’t worry. Then we’ll walk back home together. Maybe stop for a banana split.”
“But only if you go to bed right now, you understand? I don’t want to have to come upstairs and make you!”
“Of course. Good night, Mama.”
“’Night, sweetie. I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.” Ruby fought against the wave of guilt that threatened to swamp her. Sure, it would be better if she could awaken with her son, make him breakfast and see him off to school like a “normal” mom. But the club kept her up until three a.m. most nights.
Isaiah understood. She’d tried staying up until after he’d left, but he had seen how wiped out that made her. He insisted she needed her sleep. At thirteen, he didn’t have any problem dressing and feeding himself—heck, he’d been doing it for the past two years, ever since she’d opened the Crossroads Blues Bar. He knew the club was her dream—the dream that had kept her alive after his bastard father took off with his leggy hygienist.
And the bar was finally starting to take off. Just last week, Time Out had published a feature about Crossroads. “A bit of Chicago or the Delta transplanted to Fourteenth Street,” the reviewer had raved. That glowing memory almost balanced the effects of the letter she’d received this afternoon.
The crowd erupted into claps and whistles as the Travellers finished their number. “Thank you kindly, ladies and gentlemen.” A decade in New York hadn’t erased the softness of the South from Zeke’s speech. “Welcome to our first open mic night here at the Crossroads. Hope you brought your axe, your sax or your harp—if you didn’t, well, hell, you can borrow ours! Everybody gets the blues sometimes. This is the place to let it all out!”
Fresh applause greeted Zeke’s invitation. He stood up there on the platform—his hands jammed into the pockets of his jeans jacket, his axe hanging around his neck—and grinned like the country boy he used to be. At six-foot-one, with the solid build of a halfback, Zeke was an imposing figure. He’d broken up more than one drunken brawl for her over the past two years and he had a temper that could be scary. To Ruby and Isaiah, though, he’d been nothing but kind. Whatever success the Crossroads could claim was largely due to him.
“To kick things off tonight, I want to invite a very special lady to join us here on stage. She’s been through some hard times, friends, and she knows the blues. It’s in her blood, passed on from her daddy, Jimmy ‘The Harp’ Jones. When she sings, she spills her soul. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Ruby Jones, the lovely owner of the Crossroads Blues Bar!”
Applause filled the club. Zeke’s invitation hadn’t been a surprise. They’d discussed having her warm up the crowd, and of course, she’d been performing since she was a kid. Nevertheless, his effusive introduction made her feel self-conscious. Ruby wished she’d worn something a bit more glamorous than her usual jeans and tailored shirt.
She picked her way between the tables, headed for the stage. Zeke held out a big hand. When she grasped it, he swung her onto the platform, and quite neatly, into his arms. The crowd roared.
Zeke brushed his lips across hers. His distinctive scent engulfed her—clean sweat, Jim Beam and Ivory Soap. It was like turning on a movie—she instantly remembered the last time he’d been inside her. His blond stubble grazed her cheek. She saw him in her mind’s eye—body suspended above hers on powerful arms as he buried his cock in her pussy, fucking her with a smooth, steady rhythm while he scanned her face, focused on her pleasure. She felt again the way he stretched and filled her. The seam of her jeans teased her suddenly swollen clit. She wondered if Zeke could smell her growing dampness. Hell, what about the rest of the band?
“Stop it,” she whispered, pushing against his rock-hard chest.
Zeke released her with obvious reluctance. “I love her,” he told the audience, eliciting a chorus of hoots and whistles. Aching, hungry and guilt-ridden, Ruby knew he meant every word.