Cover   Pantasia 1: Hook, Wine and Tinker -
a novel by Mardi Ballou

Available in ebook form,
and now also in print from Borders, Waldenbooks, Amazon, and others.

Here's an excerpt. Enjoy!
. . .

And then Gwyn heard his footsteps in the hallway outside the door. She blushed when he came through the door and saw her, sure he could read her thoughts. It was too embarrassing to admit she’d locked herself in the handcuffs—and also too delicious. Dominic Laredo was carrying a plate loaded with food—for her. When she saw him with the food, her traitor stomach grumbled. But more than the food, the moment she saw him again, she knew beyond any hesitation that she wanted him. She wanted to know what it would be like to make love with a man who had antique cuffs in his personal collection. More than that, she wanted to know what it would be like to have him inside her when her hands were inside those cuffs. And she wanted to feel herself all over him when he lay cuffed beneath her. Even if it was only once in her lifetime.

"Please help yourself to something to eat," he said, putting the plate down on the small table next to her. He sounded so normal, being polite to her when her fantasies had him wild and primitive. Was it possible that the attraction was all one-sided and she was only imagining he wanted more than to be a polite host? If she was the only one getting overheated here, it would be even more embarrassing than getting stuck in the cuffs.

Well, no help for it. She had to show him her cuffed hands. Rolling her eyes, she held up her bound wrists and waited for him to laugh. He didn’t.

Instead, he touched her gently. "I should have warned you about those cuffs. They lock so easily, people get caught all the time."

She raised her eyebrows. He used these cuffs all the time? Man, was she in over her head with this guy.

"I’ll get the key," he said. He went over to a small drawer in his night table and took out a key. His left hand braced her elbow as he started to unlock the cuff with his right.

Gwyn could scarcely breathe, both from his touch on her arm and from her growing desire. Blushing harder, she whispered, "No. Not yet."

He looked at her like a starving man at a banquet, then removed the key and put it down.

"As long as I’m in the cuffs already. . ." Her eyes pleaded with him for what she couldn’t find the words to ask for.

"Yes," he said.

She took a deep breath. "Please take me in your arms," she said, amazing herself at how hard it was for her to say the simple words of what she wanted from him. Her thoughts flickered to Pete, and she wondered if she was as unable to communicate what she really wanted with him as with Dominic Laredo.

"You want me to hold you?" he asked, the plate of food now long put aside and forgotten.

Still holding her cuffed hands up in front of her, she nodded mutely.

"You don’t have to ask me twice," he said hoarsely. "As long as you’re sure. . ."

"I am." Her words sounded quavery to her.

He took her in his arms, and the world disappeared. "Is this what you want?" he asked, putting his arms around her waist and pulling her close as she held her imprisoned hands up above her.

"Yes," she said, nearly cross eyed with the wonder of having him hold her so close.

He nuzzled her neck, spreading heat and light everywhere he touched with his lips, his breath. Gwyn felt something tightly held within her break loose, and she moaned her pleasure at his being with her, like this.

She opened her mouth to invite his kiss and lowered her cuffed wrists around his neck. His lips began a quick, hot exploration of her waiting mouth. His tongue danced with hers as he nibbled her lips, his hands everywhere. He smelled and tasted of soap, sea, and one hundred per cent male. Gwyn tried to put everything she was feeling into her kiss, how hot she was for him. She felt as if all the oxygen had whooshed out of her, and the only way she’d ever have more would be to get it from him. They broke for air.

He looked at her from the circle of her arms. "Gwyn, hold that thought."

"What thought?" she asked, as incapable at that moment of thinking as of running an Olympics sprint.

He chuckled dryly. "I love your sense of humor. But please excuse me for one moment. Uh, that is if you’ll raise your arms." Blushing that she’d held him prisoner, she raised her arms and watched hungrily as he crossed to the cabin door and turned a knob. He returned to her and hoarsely whispered, "Now we won’t be interrupted. Gwyn, will you come to my bed, now?"

All she could do was slowly nod her assent and hold out her still cuffed hands.

"Let me help you out of those clothes," he purred.

Embarrassed to have to wriggle out of the Tinkerbell outfit and wings while she was handcuffed, glad she’d worn minimal underwear, hopeful that he wouldn’t be disappointed with her in any way—with his big hands smoothing the way, Gwyn was nude in seconds flat—except for the cuffs and the tiny diamond studs in her ear lobes. "You are so amazingly beautiful," he murmured, drinking her in with his eyes. Dominic was still dressed, though the prominent bulge in his pants told Gwyn he’d rather be otherwise.

"Aren’t you going to get naked too?" she asked, expectation and lust enabling her to find her tongue.

"Now it’s your time," he said, running his hands over the handcuffs and her arms. "Are you sure this is still what you want?" he asked.

She nodded.

"You trust me so much, Gwyn? Even with the cuffs still on you?"

Trust. To her amazement, she found she could say yes.

He ran his hands down her face, then touched her hair. "How about if we let down your hair now?"

"My hair?" she asked.

"Yes," he murmured. "I’ve been wondering all night how your hair would look fanned out on my pillow."

"Oh," she said, wishing she’d regain her power of intelligent conversation sometime soon.

"And you’ll be much more comfortable. Above all else, I want your comfort tonight."

His fingers made short work of the pins she’d used to make her Tinkerbell bun. When she felt her hair flow down her neck, she shook her head once or twice to try to clear it. And then she got into his bed.

* * * * *

She was like every dream he’d ever had come true. And here she was, in his bed. Giving him everything—her luscious body, her openness to the new, but especially her trust.

Dominic eased Gwyn back among his pillows. He helped her raise her arms over her head, making her both as comfortable as someone whose hands were cuffed could be and available to him. Just as he’d imagined, her hair fanned out like a crown of sunshine across his pillow. He now had a clear view of her pert, firm breasts, her flat belly, her feminine core under its golden blond curls. He didn’t know where to look first, wanted to look everywhere at once. But looking wasn’t enough. He had to touch her, to possess her.

She was so amazingly beautiful and vulnerable to him, lying there. And so nervous and excited—he could feel her quivering. He felt his own rising anticipation, as if he were an inexperienced, horny adolescent. But now he could bring all he’d learned about satisfying a woman to their time together. With her, he’d rediscover the wonders of unfolding intimacy—and maybe some of the sense of newness long missing for him.

This first time, he would pleasure her. Though he was dying for his own release, he wanted her to know how much he treasured her. He would bring her the satisfaction she deserved and, if he could read women at all, needed. Dominic sensed Gwyn had never been loved as completely and thoroughly as he intended to love her.

He stretched out next to her, first just running his hands slowly over every inch of her body. She moaned from the butterfly flicker of his touch, just barely skimming over her skin. He watched how her nipples hardened when he touched them, first gently, then with more pressure as she pushed her perfect little breasts against his questing fingers. Her nipples were a soft pink color, delicate. He nearly growled with joy as they blossomed and beaded when he at last took them in his mouth.

Dominic could have suckled at Gwyn’s breasts all night, but so many other delights awaited. While he used his hand to play with her nipples, he watched as Gwyn opened her legs, revealing the damp pink folds beckoning him. He wanted to dive into her, but first he wanted her to desire him there. He longed for her to be crazy to have him there—to writhe and call out with her need. It was good, for their first time together, that he didn’t cuff her legs. He’d postpone playing that way for another time. He was confident there would be many more times. There had to be, oh God, there had to be.

This awesome woman needed to have every inch of her attended to. Keeping his voice steady, Dominic whispered, "Would you please turn over? I want to see your back."

She groaned her response, her eyes half lidded with lust. As it was complicated for her to shift with her hands in the cuffs, he helped her move so that her gorgeous back was to him.

Smooth. He straddled her, his hard cock pressed against her back deliciously. Calling on his iron will and self-control, Dominic bit back his howl of joy. He had to concentrate on her, to put his own needs off to a remote corner of his feverish brain. But every moment they were together convinced him more and more that she was the woman he’d waited so long for.

Dominic placed his hands on her shoulders. He began to kiss and nibble at her, fisting his hand in her silky hair and lifting it so he could start at the nape of her swan-like neck, then tongue the sweet tendrils of blonde hair that escaped his fingers. Her skin tasted like the sweet cream it resembled. Sweet cream fragrant with roses and exotic eastern spices. She wriggled, pressing his cock with her tush so he thought he’d nearly burst with his own pleasure. Nearly cross-eyed with rock-hard driving need, he lifted his hips slightly from her to ease the pressure building in him.

He wouldn’t leave a spot of her unexplored, untouched—he longed to claim every bit. Tongue, teeth, lips, fingers—all played homage to the miracle of her soft skin. Her scent made him drunk, the different textures of her skin and the bones beneath brought his fingertips alive. He tasted her slowly as she ground her feminine mound into his bed, greeting his kisses with moans and gasps of passion.

When he reached her cheeks, two tight mounds of alabaster, he playfully kissed and nibbled the tight valley between them—causing her to gasp with surprise and try to move him away. "Not there," she said. "Please, don’t kiss me or touch me there."

"Why not?" he asked, lifting his face while his fingers continued his exploration.

"It’s disgusting," she said, her voice sounding strained.

"Nothing about you is disgusting," he said. "Every inch of you is perfection."

"You sure?" she asked.

"Oh, yes," he said, his tongue returning to the tiny hole.

Her buttocks tightened, telling him she still wasn’t relaxed, but she didn’t make any further protests. Nonetheless, he wanted her to continue trusting him, so he moved on to the folds between her thigh and her butt and let his tongue explore there. She relaxed, pressing up to meet his touch and his kiss.

He worked his way down her left leg, lavishing attention on the delicate skin behind her knee, massaging her firm leg muscles as he let his tongue and teeth and lips continue exploring. From the way she responded, he knew she’d never before been loved the way he was loving her. Great as his pleasure was, knowing that he was taking her to new places made him even higher.

He moved on to her right leg, making sure he kissed this one as thoroughly as the left. Knowing how delicious they were, he’d kept the ankles and feet for last. As he tasted the soles of her feet, once again she protested with concern about smells and tastes—though not nearly as strongly as when he’d tongued her anus. Mostly she seemed to be savoring all the new sensations he was giving her. More than anything, he wanted to convince her that her tastes and scents enchanted him—and he tried to do so both by filling the room with his own moans and groans of pleasure and by repeatedly pressing his screaming cock against her. She had to feel how much what was happening between them turned him on.

When he’d saturated her with kisses, he helped her turn over again and started sucking her toes. Oh, she liked this. He lingered over each toe, especially the small ones, circling the base and then the tip with his tongue. Then he worked his way slowly up each foot and leg, massaging, burying his face between her thighs and her glistening folds. With superhuman will, he held back from touching her hungry pink core ‘til he’d touched and kissed everywhere else. Because he knew, once he got to her cunt, he wouldn’t ever want to leave.

From the top of her legs, he went back to her beautiful face. She responded with fire and light, nipping him back with her teeth, joining her tongue to his in a dance that left them both gasping. Her face, her neck, her breasts—with nipples as hard as his cock. He tongued under them, working his way down her flat belly, across her hips.

And then he was there, at her pussy, where he’d wanted to be since the moment they met. He buried his face in her folds, savoring the sweet musk. He ran his fingers along those folds, taking her wetness and sucking it from his fingertips. She had her legs open wide now, and she was whimpering for him to bring her to completion. Her cuffed hands moved with her as she writhed to close the minuscule distance between them.

He slowly slipped one finger into her, and she closed her legs around him, begging for more. Quickly, he slid a second finger into her, driving both deep inside. She rode his two fingers, working her legs to draw him even tighter and higher in her. Trying to ignore his throbbing cock, he lowered his head for his first kiss and taste of her swollen clit. She screamed his name and flung her legs into a vise-like grip around his head.

Christ, she was so hot, she felt like she’d combust any moment in an explosion that would rock his yacht and the whole marina. He teased her clit and folds with little flicks of tongue, inhaling her scent and taste as she thrust herself harder against him. She needed the long, languorous licks he planted in and on her rosy petals of flesh, his mouth now dripping with her juices.

She rode him, moving herself to meet his probing tongue, his kisses, his hot breath. Her sharp intake of breath told him she was probably moving up to the release she’d been begging for all night. He urged her on with his eager mouth and fingers, shuddering with her as she called out to him in a loud, trembling release.

They collapsed together.

"Thank you," she whispered when she had her breath.

"Oh, God," he said. She didn’t need to thank him. He told her so. They both lay together in soft silence. Then she sat up a bit and said, "Dominic, your turn. Get out of those clothes."

He could deny her nothing. But he’d just begun to unzip his pants to liberate his aching cock when a loud noise intruded on their private moment. They looked at each other. What sounded like a small army was hammering on the door to Dominic’s quarters.

"Open up!" someone shouted. They both froze.
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