Enchant the Dawn Chapter 6

Well, Shannon’s request for UST means that things just end up being more drawn out that I would normally make it.  Hence it’s feels different that my normal stuff.  Not sure if I like it or not.  I think the getting a bit busy will have to wait till the next chapter, if not the one after that, the way things are shaping up, even though the scene is already written.  It’s the linking everything up that I get all this weird nonverbal communication and awkwardness happening.  I’m fearing it’s getting too cerebral.  Feedback, pwetty please?

Chapter Six

* * * * *

It had been a stupid thing to say.  Mama was right – a girl can be far too clever for her own good.  It had been a long slow weekend waiting to catch a glimpse of a dark stranger around every corner.  She’d gone up to some of her usual haunts but had been back home before midnight.  The music, the energy, the hedonistic thrill that was Jazz Harlem didn’t thrill as much anymore.  The bands still played music that moved her to dance but it didn’t allow her to lose herself anymore.  Her brain was still whirring a mile a minute with questions she couldn’t answer by herself. 

Instead she went home and laid on her empty bed and rubbed herself until finding a release of tension but not a lot of pleasure.  She pictured those big hands and a cock to match.  She imagined riding him and then being ridden, all hot hard muscles and sweat and the luscious smell of sex. 

She wondered what it sounded like when he laughed.  Whether he would steal all the covers in bed.  If he wouldn’t mind finding a nice cottage somewhere in the middle of the country where the frenetic energy of millions of people wasn’t spilling over and sapping her soul. 

Ahhh!  She was generally losing her mind.  One kiss and one medieval comment and she was ready to paint a picket fence and have little black-haired, green-eyed babies.  Christ I am pathetic.  She couldn’t even get away from him once she finally fell asleep.  Instead of the occasional sweet dreams of the time she’d pinned Jimmy up against a tree to get a good solid French kiss out of him, she was besieged with visions of a dark man pushing her into the hard bark of that same tree, his tongue in her mouth and his prick deep enough to hit her womb.

She woke up wet and breathless and so horny she had to diddle herself again just to have the will to get up and get on with the day. After a week of this she was frustrated and aching.  March had come in like a lion and went out like a bear, the chill refusing to let up.  April didn’t look to be a whole lot better.  The pounding in her head barely let up, and she could barely keep down any food.  The city that had sheltered her from her own life for so many years was becoming a tormentor.

Shuffling through her morning routine and hurrying through the cold blocks she descended into the subway.  Pushing onboard an already crowded train, she clutched a ring and swayed with the train as it sang its hollow underground roar.  The mechanical syncopation was just enough to focus her mind for a brief instant on the here and now, giving a startling moment of clarity even here in a crowd where the multitude of auras made her temples throb. 

I will miss this.  She would miss the city, but it wasn’t her home.  It had never been her home. 

* * * * *

“Sophie’s early!  It’s a miracle!” The slightly gap-toothed grin of Alan Lowbridge greeted her as she walked in the empty pharmacy’s jangling front door.  She rolled her eyes.  He knew she hated being called Sophie.  Sweeping past him doing his morning routine of stocking the soda fountain, she shrugged off her coat and hung it up at a peg on the back wall. 

“Oh, Soph my dear, oh wise woman of the Ohio tribe, I don’t know if taking off your coat is such a good idea.  The special..” he waggled blond eyebrows,”…pipes burst last night, ruining a huge batch of hooch.  Dad’s fainted from the fumes, and we’ll all have to hoof it and go on the lam to get away from the vengeful gangsters.  Just you and me against the world, my little tomato!”

She blinked at him with raised brows.  He was such a goof.  “What is that?  The plot to the latest Clara Bow flick?”

He frowned, “You are such a flat tire lately.  So much for April Fool’s.  And no, Clara’s gone on to bigger and better things that gangster pictures.”

Oh lord, she’d forgotten it was April Fools. The college kids and the like would be pouring in today, trying to buy itching powder or exploding cigars or whatever prank they thought of next.  And Alan, who still kept up close ties with the NYU chemistry department a couple of blocks away, he’d be right there trying to help the kids out.  Ugh.  She feared for the student population of New York, given his weird sense of humor and his general dissatisfaction with the current state of his employment as chief babysitter to the still downstairs.  He was too damn smart for just making bathtub gin.  Too bad Mr. Lowbridge Senior didn’t recognize that.  Rather than confront his father, Alan buried himself in all-night movie showings in the Village and weird chemistry dabblings in the basement.  Someday, either Alan or one of his experiments was going to blow.

She pondered this as she tied on her green apron over the conservative blouse and skirt that she wore for work.  When she left, would anyone miss her here in the big city?  Would Alan finally lose it and go off on his own?  Would Mrs. Andrews still manage to deal with her arthritis or Mr. Banbridge his stomach troubles, or any of the other folks whose faces she’d learned to recognize even in the anonymity of New York?  Somehow, she knew they’d all make it through.  It was herself that she wasn’t too sure of.

“Hey, it looks like one of the pickup artists got lucky for once!” Alan snorted derisively at the scene out the window.  Sophia looked up and sure enough, there was a guy chatting up a good looking girl on the corner outside the store.  There was almost always some guy hanging around outside trying to make a move on some young thing.  Except this time, Sophia was very sure this wasn’t your typical lollygagger.  The man was Daron West. 

She seemed frozen in place for a moment just staring and almost missed the moment when the blond turned around and entered the front door.  This time, it was Alan’s turn to be frozen.  June came walking in, almost like a breath of warm air.  She didn’t perform her usual little trick of staring at the floor to make herself invisible.  Sophia smiled at her with encouragement, for it was plain to see from her expression, not just her aura, that the woman was worried.  Before she could open her mouth to ask anything, she felt a flare of odd heat to her left and then a high pitched squeal as the soda dispenser went nuts, coating the floor and Alan with fizzy water. 

Alan was still staring at June until he realized that his pants were soaked at the soda machine was going haywire.  Sophia couldn’t help but laugh at him, and even June cracked a tired smile.  Alan bustled about for a minute shutting off the machine and made rapid excuses, disappearing with speed down the hall to the stairs in the back.  Sure, Alan was tongue-tied and awkward around girls, but this…this was just plain cute.  She wished he’d have the nerve to talk to the girl, rather than making a fool of himself.  He had a lot to offer to the right woman.

 Turning back to June, she was surprised to see the slightest touch of wistfulness in those lovely blue eyes, mirrored in the soft swirls of her life energy.  Sophia didn’t even have to close her eyes to feel the pull this woman had toward the man who had just departed so swiftly.  The fey sadness was quickly replaced with cold resignation and the weight of worry.  Sophia knew now that Miss June would need just a bit of a push to find her own happiness.  Then again, who am I to think I know anything about love or happiness? Her eyes flickered to the street corner outside, where Daron West had simply disappeared. 

She repressed an aching sigh.  “Can I help you, June?”

“Hello Miss…”

“Remember, just Sophia is fine.”

June nodded with that same weary smile. “I know you must be busy and all…”

Sophia interrupted again, “No, but even if I was, I’d have time for you.  I know you wouldn’t come all the way down here for something that wasn’t damn important.”  And I know you wouldn’t bring along Mr. Mysterious unless it was practically life threatening.

June understood it was time to cut through all the polite bushwa.  “It’s Hester, my little girl.  She’s sick.”

Sophia pursed her lips and nodded.  June wouldn’t necessarily have the money for a doctor, and what passed for a hospital was just a place to pick up even worse sickness.  “How long?”

“Near to three days now.  More like all her life, on and off, if I’m going to be truthful.” Sophia saw June was fighting tears.  Storms arose beneath the mask June always wore, as her love for her daughter threatened to break down all of her carefully constructed walls. Lashed by the waves of this turmoil, Sophia struggled to focus.

“What kind of sick?  Fever?  Coughing?” Sophia threw a glance toward the back room, where Papa Lowbridge was still buried in his newspaper.  Could she get the time off if there was a sick child to see to?  Did she want to work here badly enough to obey the man if he wouldn’t let her leave?

“Coughing, of a kind.  Mostly, her chest makes this terrible sound.  It sends chills down your spine.  And she’s so scared, she can’t catch her breath.” June’s eyes were pleading, but they lacked hope.

“You’ve seen doctors?” Sophia was already taking off her apron.

June nodded. “Every one who would see us.”  Sophia knew the unsaid words which followed. And not that many would.

“I’ll be just a moment.” She turned, but Alan was already talking to his dad, making uncharacteristic sweeping gestures taking in Sophia and June.  Sophia had been so focused on reading the maternal worry that consumed June that she hadn’t noticed Alan appear behind her to listen in.

Alan barreled out of the office, almost knocking Sophia down in his haste.  He’d managed to put on a clean but crumpled shirt, but there was a look of worried determination of his face that made him rather dashing.  “Sophia, and Miss…” he blushed to the roots of his hair as he looked at June, “Well, I’ve got a car round the back.  I’d be happy to drive you somewhere if it’s an emergency.”

Sophia was open-mouthed with shock at such a can-do attitude from the normally stumbling Alan Lowbridge.  But, if it got them uptown any faster, she wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  “Let me pack up some supplies, and we’ll meet you in the back.”

Alan grabbed his beaten fedora and a coat off the coat rack and disappeared out the back to coax Ol’ Nellie into action.  Alan’s 1916 Packard Twin Six was his baby, even more than his cadre of chemical tinkering projects.  He’d nursed that car from a beat up wreck into a find little automobile.  Emphasis on the little. 

She bent down to pull out a couple of her jars of herbal remedies, and paused to drop a couple of pennies in the till in return for a jar of some mentholated mineral oil.  She folded away the apron and put on the coat she’d so recently taken off, and then she turned to June only to find that June was no longer alone.

Daron West stood there as well, those green eyes boring into her, sending a bolt of need straight to her womb.  I’m supposed to be mad at the asshole, not want to jump him the minute he deigns to show his sorry mug.

“Hello Ms. Hunter,” he spoke softly, his accent just enough to send a frizzle of desire racing over her skin. “I’m sorry to inconvenience you, but I thought we might be able to help Hester.”

“Of course.  I hope that I can.” She bit off her words, unable to stay calm and unemotional around him, no matter how much she’d like to appear unaffected by him.  He’d left her high and dry for far too long, only to show up at the side of one of the most beautiful women she’d ever met. Even though she could plainly see that there was nothing more than a calm familiarity in the swirling energies of the two striking people before her, the taste of jealousy was bitter and revealing of her own attachment to the man.  She closed her eyes, and then it became even more clear, as the living tendrils of desire snaked out from the blazing life force of the man she craved, stroking against her own energies, making her nipples harden and her breath quicken with the bright flare of want.

Her eyes snapped open and she shook herself, ignoring the knowing smile tugging at his full lips.  She pulled June through to the back room, refusing to see if Daron chose to follow.  Mr. Lowbridge raised a bushy eyebrow at the parade through his sanctuary and put down his newspaper, heaving himself out of his chair in order to see to any customers out front.  Sophia bit her lip and shrugged her shoulders at him, but he just waved her on.  “Go, go.  If a kid’s sick a kid’s sick.  I’ll manage somehow.  But I reserve the right make you listen to the Yankees cream the Indians on the radio this summer, you hear!”

“Yes sir!” she laughed, but felt a pang in her gut.  She was pretty sure that she wouldn’t be at Lowbridge’s come summertime.  She wasn’t sure where she’d be.

  * * * * *

This was pos-i-lute-ly insane.  And incredibly arousing.  Alan and June were cozying up in the cab of the Packard, and here she was holding on for dear life as Alan swerved through the madness that was morning traffic on Park Avenue.  But she wasn’t jammed into the rumble seat — no, she was perched on Daron West’s lap as he jammed his long legs in that little seat.  Alan couldn’t have found a nice six-seater touring model Packard to lovingly recondition – oh no!  He had to juice up and spit polish his green and mahogany this 1916 Roadster.  Ol’ Nellie was his pride and joy, a sweet little car meant for two.  Not four.  The rumble seat was just wide enough for Daron to sit with a bit of room, but no where near big enough for both of them.  June had insisted Daron had to come along and not walk or take the subway.  Alan’s face had fell with that announcement, and so for Alan’s sake Sophia had done the stupidly noble thing and insisted June be up front.  The boy needed to understand that June and Daron were not an item.  Hell, Sophia herself needed to understand that.

Not that Alan would have a whole lot of luck talking up a lady with a sick child at home, but it was better than nothing.  When she offered to sit in the back, Alan had raised one slightly shaggy eyebrow at her, looked hard at Daron, and then he’d given her a saucy wink.

She knew why Alan had been so tickled about the seating arrangements.  Daron had his arm tight around her waist and she could feel his breath hot on her neck, his erection pressing into her derriere with every bump in the road.  Her long skirt whipped about in the wind, and she gripped onto it with one hand as the other wrapped around his broad shoulders.  Really, it was almost like she was in some cheap novel, riding sidesaddle like some hoity-toity lady fair.  It would have been much safer, and more satisfying, to simply straddle the man and throw her arms around his neck.  Then she could have ground her pelvis against his and gotten some relief from the unrelenting pressure of her need.

The sounds of the street, the raucous horns, the noisy streetcars, the shouting of newsboys and the whirring of the engine on Ol’ Nellie faded into nothing as she listened to the rough sound of their mingled breathing.  Every bump, every swerve seemed timed to throw her against him so she could feel every rigid of muscle in his chest, and imagine those hard thighs she kept slipping across inside sliding between her own. 

“I’m sorry.”

She blinked, sure for a moment she had imagined those words.  She turned her head, diving again into those green eye to try to ascertain if she’d heard him right.

He looked serious and just as incredibly tense as she was.  “I would have come earlier, but somebody had to watch Hester, and Tommy ended up getting piss drunk in a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and I had to go bail him out and the new tenant in…” he trailed off as she began laughing.

“Do you always give your women such excellent excuses when you decide not to look them up?”

He gripped her chin in his hand, forcing her to look him dead in the eye, “It was not a decision, ashavi.  It was damned inconvenient.” The look in his eyes was fierce, demanding her understanding.  She could almost hear his voice in her mind, If it was up to me, I’d have chased you down that day and we’d still be locked in your flat.

A hard swerve around a plodding horse-drawn ice cart almost threw her out of the car entirely, and she felt Daron’s hands settle around her waist as her bodily lifted her up.  Before she could think to protest, he’d settled her knees on either side of his hips.  Her arms came up around his neck, and she found herself sliding, ever so slowly, down the incline of his thighs toward his not inconsiderable erection.  At a stoplight somewhere on Park Avenue, she was jammed full against him, feeling the hardness of him through all the layers of damnable clothing between his cock and her throbbing clit.  Somewhere on the sidewalk some stalwart matron gave a shocked gasp at such a scandalous position in broad daylight, but neither Daron or Sophia heard much of anything.

His eyes were that stunning vibrant green.  She wasn’t sure if she was going to be burned or drowned by them, or simply consumed. She knew she wouldn’t survive the journey unscathed.  His hands still held her waist, and she suddenly felt very fashionable small.  They could help but rub together, the bumpy ride pushing them together in enticing ways. 

She was so close to coming she was almost embarrassed.  She realized for the first time since she’d seen him last month during that bitterly cold spring sunrise, she didn’t ache.  At least, not the usual way.  The pounding, unrelenting headache that that followed her into her dreams and allowed not a moment’s real rest for her spirit was gone.  It was replaced by his presence and her body’s demand that she meld herself to him, and cease all pretense at existing alone.

Her hips moved in shy little circles, as though hoping that her deliberate movements would get lost in the bumping and jostling of the road.  The flutter for his eyelids and his low sexy groan meant that she was fooling no one, not ever herself.  He answered with demanding thrust of his hips up against hers through the thin barriers of his trousers and her bloomers.  Her hands twitched on the back of his nect, wanting to dive between their bodies to release the ties that held them apart and feel the wet slide of him inside her.  She wanted to ride him in the middle of Park Avenue, the world and all the tens of thousands of beings pressing at her soul be damned.  She wanted to come so hard she couldn’t feel her teeth, she couldn’t feel anything at all but the sweet release that she knew instinctively she would feel once they came together.

His breathing was hard, the muscles of his neck rigid under her fingertips while he fought to control the same instincts that drove her.  His eyes opened wide, and he looked almost alarmed that he was unable to find that deep well of calm that she’d always sensed in him.  She was just a mite bit proud that she could drive him just as mad as he drove her.  She wondered if he’d been suffering half as much as she had, knowing that he was somewhere in this city wanting her made the situation more bearable.  Knowing she had the power to drive him over the edge was almost as good as actually doing the driving.  Almost.

She never did get to choose whether or not to make him crack and fuck her right and proper in the backseat of that Packard.  Instead, with a squeal, the car came to a shuddering stop somewhere around 116th Street.  The drivers door opened, and Alan popped out in a mad rush to get around the car to open June door, but he stopped with his mouth open wide enough to catch a baseball when he took in sophia’s current position perched atop Daron.  She pulled back and made a get show of rearranging her skirts as Alan started to whoop his laughter. 

Sophia turned her eyes toward the sidewalk, where June stood with her eyebrows raised, non-judgemental but waiting.  The sadness and worry in her eyes and in energy was enough to galvanize Sophia into action.  She clambered over Daron and made her way over to June, not looking back to see if the men followed.  Somewhere there was a little girl that needed her, in the mess of turbulent fire that swept back into her mind when she was no longer locked with Daron in an intimate embrace.  For all the slow-working torture she had endured from her “gifts”, she might as well try using them for some good.

I got my first review!

I’m very pleased and proud to day that I’ve gotten a review for Scandalous Profession from Joyfully Reviewed!  I’ve got their seal of approval, a “Joyfully Recommended” stamp:

And here’s the link to the review: Scandalous Profession by Elaine Lowe

I’m really thrilled!  Now back to writing after the last week spent worrying and exulting in Deathly Hallows….

Come Visit Me in Chat!

Hi folks!

I’m scheduled to be the featured author in a chat on the Night Owl Romance site tonight! I’ll be giving away a free copy of Scandalous Profession as well as a bunch of lovely moo cards from


with my books featured on them (they make great bookmarks).

Please come and visit me at 8pm eastern, 5 pm pacific at Night Owl Romance

Click Here to Chat

See you there!