Off The Shelf by Lucy Felthouse by Lucy Felthouse - Read Online



Cariad means love... discover the new Cariad Singles collection of spicy romances. At 35, travel writer Annalise is fed up with insensitive comments about being left "on the shelf". It's not as if she doesn't want a man, but her busy career doesn't leave her much time for relationships. Sexy liaisons with passing acquaintances give Annalise physical satisfaction but she needs more than that. She wants a man who will satisfy her mind as well as her body. But where will she find someone like that? It seems Annalise may be in luck when a new member of staff starts working in the bookshop at the airport she regularly travels through. Damien appears to tick all the boxes - he's gorgeous, funny and intelligent, and he shares Annalise's love of books and travel. The trouble is, Damien's shy and Annalise is terrified of rejection. Can they overcome their fears and admit their feelings, or are they doomed to remain on the shelf?
Published: Accent Press on
ISBN: 9781681469393
List price: $2.99
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Off The Shelf - Lucy Felthouse

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Chapter One

PUSHING THE ON BUTTON, Annalise moved the vibrator down between her parted legs and eased it inside her eager pussy. As the ears of the Rampant Rabbit slid into position on her clit, she groaned with pleasure and rolled her hips, desperate to get more delicious friction. Then she pressed another button on the toy’s control panel to ramp up the power another notch. As much as she’d prefer a slower build-up to her orgasm, she just didn’t have the time. She had to leave for the airport in a couple of hours, and she hadn’t even packed her case. A quick knee-trembler would have to suffice.

As the vibrator buzzed away between her thighs, Annalise closed her eyes and tried to empty her mind of everything but the pleasure she was experiencing. After a brief flirtation with the thought that she’d much prefer a hot man between her legs bringing her to orgasm, Annalise simply enjoyed the feeling of her impending climax. The busily-vibrating bunny ears pressed tightly against her sensitive flesh soon had her pussy fluttering. Then, without warning, Annalise was quickly yanked onto her pleasure plateau and immediately pushed off, leaving her writhing and shouting on the bed as a powerful orgasm overtook her body.

She arched her back as waves of pleasure crashed over her, and her pussy clenched and grabbed at the toy buried deep inside. Her swollen clit throbbed, quickly becoming too sensitive for the unrelenting stimulation from the vibrator. Switching it off and pulling out, Annalise dropped the toy onto the mattress by her side and gave a satisfied moan as she rode out the remainder of her climax. Finally, when the twitches and spasms had abated and her heart rate and breathing were almost back to normal, Annalise grabbed the Rabbit and rolled across to the side of her bed where the toy box was kept. She made short but thorough work of cleaning it, then reluctantly put it in its case, popped it into the small bedside cupboard and shut the door.

Annalise hated leaving her favourite toy behind when she went away, but she just wasn’t brave enough to take it with her. She usually only took carry-on luggage, and the very thought of the distinctive shape of the Rampant Rabbit popping up on the screen of the airport scanners made her shudder. It would be bad enough for the staff to see it on their monitors, knowing what it was and giving her knowing looks; imagine what would happen if they decided to check inside her bags! She would want to curl up and die of embarrassment, she just knew it.

No, it was much better off staying here. She could make do with her right hand for a few days. Even better, she might meet someone. Annalise smiled. She’d had some pretty steamy encounters on her travels: the desk clerk in Dubai; the gym manager in Turkey; the waiter in Corfu ...

Annalise shook herself. This wasn’t the time to let her mind wander down that path and get herself all worked up. She had to go and get ready now. There’d be plenty of time for daydreaming later, when she was in long and boring queues, and on the flight.

Just as she was about to head into the bathroom, Annalise’s phone rang. Retrieving the handset from its cradle on her bedside cabinet, she glanced at the caller display before putting the phone to her ear.

‘Hi, Mum,’ she said, trying to keep the exasperation out of her voice. Her mother often called when she was short of time, and it was always a struggle to get her off the line without upsetting her. ‘You all right?’

‘Yes, dear. Everything’s fine. I’m just calling to wish you a safe journey. Where is it you’re going this time?’

‘Portugal, Mum. Just for a few days.’

‘Portugal. Lovely. I expect you’ll get a nice tan.’

Annalise rolled her eyes. She’d given up trying to explain to her parents that she wasn’t going off on free holidays all the time. It was work. Granted, it was very nice work, getting to travel all over the world and write about hotels, holiday destinations and tourist attractions for a living, but nonetheless it was work. She didn’t have time for lying around on beaches and sunbathing. She could see the article now:

Such and such hotel complex is sublime. Spacious, clean and luxurious, it deserves each one of its five stars. The restaurants and foods are wonderful, and the spa is a total haven of relaxation. The beautiful sandy beach is a suntrap and has umbrellas and sunbeds, and its own bar.

And that would be pretty much it. Naturally, each of Annalise’s projects varied, but on the whole she was expected to go somewhere and write a piece on the complete package; the location, accommodation, and surrounding area. How on earth could she pen an emotive piece about the monastery high up in the hills if she never left the beach? She was good, but not that good.

‘Yes, Mum, I expect I will.’

‘And you might even meet a man. Portuguese, eh?’ She paused, and Annalise gritted her teeth ready for the inevitable onslaught. ‘Oh yes, very loyal the Portuguese. Family orientated. Wonderful marriage material.’

It took every ounce of self control Annalise had not to start banging her head on the wall. They had this chat on a regular basis. Well, actually, Annalise’s mother had this chat at Annalise on a regular basis. She lived in eternal hope that her daughter would come home from one of her trips with a man in tow, following a whirlwind romance, and they’d declare they couldn’t live without each other and were to be married as soon as possible.

‘Yes, Mum.’ Annalise replied, no longer bothering to keep the boredom out of her voice. ‘Anyway, I’d better go. I need to pack. Call you when I’m back.’

‘Now, don’t take that tone with me. I’m only looking out for your interests. You’re not getting any younger, are you? You don’t want to be left on the shelf.’

‘Bye, Mum. Love you.’

Dropping the phone back into its cradle, Annalise pulled a face at it before walking into the bathroom and turning on the shower. As she waited for the water to reach temperature, she couldn’t help but think about her mother’s words.

Her whole family were