Hi dear friends,
This is our last day in our Love and Romance Celebration! Already.
To end on a bang I am welcoming today Victoria L James!
I discovered Victoria when I read “A Girl Like Lilac” and it was insta love! This is such a romantic, cute and a little angsty love story! Toby is the perfect romantic hero!
For our Romance and Love Celebration I have been really spoiled as Victoria wrote a one-off chapter from Alex’s POV ! Alex is Natexus’s hero.
So thank you so much Victoria!
Victoria L. James Foreword:
Love and romance are what keep the world spinning, if you ask me. No matter the intention of a story, whether it’s a mystery, historical, a thriller, or a comedy, it always seems richer and so much more enchanting when it’s sprinkled with a dash of love. It’s why I write about it the way I do. My favourite stories are also filled with angst, because who doesn’t love a slow burn that’s going to keep the reader on the edge of the seat, wondering if the couple will or won’t make it? Those feelings the words create tickle the belly, make the heart rate spike, and make the hairs on the back of our neck stand tall in anticipation.
One of my favourite stories to write to date was, without a doubt, Natexus. Natexus sounds like a weird name for a romance, right? Right. But you only have to dive into the first couple of chapters of the story to realise why it had to be titled that way. Natexus is a story of first love, first heartbreak, and first everything. It broke me to write, yet it healed me too. There is so much involved in Natalie and Alex’s journey, and I honestly believe it’s some of my best work to date. When people say, “Which of your books should I read first?” I always try to steer them to Natexus.
It’s the ultimate, ULTIMATE romance.
I wrote a one-off chapter from Alex’s point of view, long after Natexus was published, and in the spirit of the Valentine season, I’d like to share that with you today.
There’s no other man quite like Alex Law, the boy with a broken heart who doesn’t know how to heal it.
I hope you enjoy.
This story may only be used by Beware of the Reader Book Blog for the Valentine’s promo agreed between Victoria L. James and Sophie.
Alex Law: While She’s Gone
A short story based on the novel Natexus, by Victoria L. James.
The club was always dark at that time of night. I could avoid the strobe lights aimed at the raving pill heads on the dance floor, and I could hide on the second tier, behind the balcony, where the whiskey was served quickly and the sweaty bodies weren’t so packed in. The bass of the music shook the whole place, making it vibrate through my feet, up my legs, into my chest. I liked the noise. It drowned out my thoughts. It diluted the pain. It made me feel somewhat alive instead of permanently numb.
I swirled drink number ten—maybe fifteen—around in the tumbler I was holding, my jaw ticking as I watched a group of girls pretending to act like they weren’t watching me.
The little blonde was particularly dangerous. She knew it. I knew it, too. Not many women could fuck you with their eyes from across the room that way. A seductive lick of her lips had my attention falling to her full, red mouth before it dropped down to the plunging ‘V’ of her dress that showed off the bare skin of her breastbone.
I blinked lazily, allowing myself some time before I opened my eyes again, only to see her striding towards me in her ridiculously red high heels. She made them look as comfortable as slippers.
She was good.
Her friends giggled behind her, each one egging her on with whispers and not so subtle chants I was too intoxicated to decipher.
The dangerous blonde drew closer, and I raised a brow as our eyes connected.
“You look lonely over here, all by yourself,” she said sweetly. Her accent caught me off guard as soon as those eight words fell from her mouth. She was American—from the south, at a guess. Definitely not from the cold, miserable North of England, I was damn sure of that.
I lifted my drink to my lips, paused and stared into her eyes, before I tipped the remaining whiskey down my throat, not saying a word in response. Little Miss Texas didn’t hide her fascination with me. She wasn’t even trying to be subtle when she giggled, flicked her hair over he shoulder, and pressed her legs together.
“You make drinking look good.”
“You make everything look good, actually.” She moved closer, crossing her legs at her ankles and leaning forward. “Even loneliness.”
My jaw set tight. “I’m not lonely.”
“Not now.” She smirked. “Now I’m here.”
“Trust me, I wasn’t lonely before you arrived.”
“Playing hard to get, huh? You English men. Y’all don’t realise that this lady never quits when she sees something she wants.”
“Maybe we just don’t care.”
“You don’t know how relentless I can be when I need something in my life.”
“Need? What do you need that’s over here?”
I smirked. “And if I’m not available?”
She picked up my left hand to inspect my wedding ring finger. “Honey, you ain’t tied down enough yet to not be available to the likes of me.”
I flared my nostrils, too tanked up on alcohol and too male to ignore the stirrings in the pit of my stomach that made my dick twitch.
Her eyes searched my face, and her smile faltered slightly when I didn’t smile in return. She placed her free hand over my thudding heart.
“Is it broken?” she asked.
I didn’t answer, just stared down into her bright, expecting brown eyes.
She sighed, looking disappointed. “I’m sorry. Heartbreak is such a disease.”
“Pity doesn’t do a thing for me, just so you know.”
“I don’t pity you, but this…” she tapped her fingers against my chest, “definitely explains the broodiness.”
“You’re young, I know, but your eyes are older than their years. You stand on guard. You have power in these arms and strength in those thighs. Your back is straight—defensive—even when you’re trying to be loose and free. The veins in your neck pop because you’re so tense. The muscles in these cheeks of yours twitch and twitch and twitch. Baby, you’re broody, all right. It just never looked so good on a man before now.”
“Flattery. I heard that’s meant to get you places.”
“It will. Your mask is thin. I can break through that in a minute.”
“You think you know me, blondie?” I whispered down at her, leaning closer.
“Don’t let the red lips, false eyelashes, and blonde hair fool you. I’m smarter than I look and I’ve had more experience with broken hearts than anyone should have in twenty-five years.”
“You’re twenty-five?” She looked younger.
“Twenty-five… plus five years experience.”
I raised a brow. “Thirty?”
“Handsome and good at math. Can I keep you?”
“You’re not thirty.” I scoffed, immediately scanning her up and down like her kneecaps would give her away or some ridiculous shit.
“The dark lighting in here serves me well.” She batted her pretty eyes at me and swayed in a way that let me know if I were to ask her to bend over and touch her toes, she’d lift her dress up for me and spread her ass cheeks while she was there. “What are you? Nineteen? Twenty?”
“Same age I got my heart broken for the very first time.”
“It’s been this way a while,” I muttered without thinking.
“Who was she?”
“The one who broke your heart. Who was she?”
“She was…” I swallowed her name, hating the way it scratched my throat on its way down. The pain never eased when it came to her.
“I guess we’ll never know.”
“Ah, the one who got away. Those bitches are the worst.”
“Tell me about it.”
“But you loved her?”
“Doesn’t matter. She was too good for me.”
She smirked and tapped her hand over my heart again. “The fact that you just said that tells me you’re better than you think you are.”
“I don’t need a psychiatrist dressed up like Dolly fucking Parton, okay.” I groaned, swaying forward as the whiskey weaved its way through my bloodstream. “I don’t need anybody.”
“Yeah, you do, you just don’t know it. You need someone to take your mind off the ex.”
“Let me guess,” I whispered, lowering my face so our lips were only an inch apart, our noses brushing together. “You’re going to be the cougar to wipe my memory clean?”
“I don’t want to wipe your memory clean, baby,” she breathed back, moving her mouth to hover over my jaw, her accent making me twitch and want to reach out, push her up against a wall and press my fingers inside her. “I don’t want to take away what she was to you. Pain makes people better. That’s something you need to hold onto. Something you need to feel every day. Something you need to learn from.”
My eyes closed involuntarily, my lips parting.
“But I will let you think of her while you fuck me, if that’s what will make your handsome face smile again.”
Just like that, my eyes flew open, and I pulled back enough to get a good look at her.
She was beautiful and youthful, mixed with an arrogance few could pull off without being repulsive. She knew what she wanted and knew how to get it, and I had nowhere else to be and no better offers waiting around the corner.
“What was her name?” she asked, smiling seductively, sliding her hand up to my neck.
“Natalie,” I whispered roughly. “What’s yours?”
‘Does it matter?”
“Didn’t think so.”
“I knew you were dangerous,” I breathed.
“The best ones always are.”
The glass fell from my hand and I pulled her towards me, fingers digging into the perfect, firm flesh of her arse like I owned it—owned her—like she was mine to hold onto and never let go.
The way I’d let go of Natalie.
Her name rattled around in my head like an echo, forcing me to slam my mouth to this stranger in front of me. I didn’t even know her fucking name, and I was getting hard enough to take her right there, standing in front of a crowd, too desperate for a high and release to give a damn about the consequences.
It wasn’t going to be the first time I fucked a stranger in this club.
It sure as shit wouldn’t be the last.
It was the first time someone had granted me permission to think of my Natalie while screwing her, though.
Something about that turned me on more than I could handle.
The cougar’s hands found my hair, and she pulled and tugged with just the right amount of force to make my voice moan and my hands roam. We were a tangled mess of desperation as I spun her around and walked her towards a booth around the corner, out of the view of the masses. One where I could lay her down, ride up her dress, tear off her underwear, and fuck her to the beat of the heavy house music that was blaring through the speakers.
If I turned her around and laid her on her stomach, she would be all pert arse and blonde hair, enough for me to imagine it was Natalie I was screwing.
Instead, I pushed her onto her back, making sure I could see her face and that our eyes remained locked.
No one was Natalie. No one.
They could say all the right things, make all the right moves, but they’d never be her.
Cougar was just another hole to fill and I welcomed her invitation. Even when she whispered, ‘I’m Natalie. Fuck me like I’m Natalie. Make me pay for her sins’ in my ear.
I welcomed the imaginary revenge. Revenge Natalie Vincent could never deserve, but revenge I would punish myself for taking in the morning.
That was the way of my world since I’d pushed her away.
Wake up each morning full of regret.
Spend all day drinking away the self-loathing.
Find a high to rest inside of for just a short while.
Fall asleep dreaming of her, wake up again to another nightmare.
My three addictions were going to kill me in the end: the drink, the sex, and the one who got away.
Without her beside me, Natexus was dead.
On my own, I was nothing.
Victoria L. James is a teenage girl stuck inside a thirty-something-year-old’s body. A Corona and nacho appreciator with a ridiculous obsession for all things Rocky Balboa, she currently lives in Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two baby boys. Having had a strong passion for words and stories going as far back as she can remember, she credits her love of literature to her Grandma Bess who taught her that you don’t need a lot of money to travel to different worlds, experience new places, and live a thousand lives.
She currently writes on her own as Victoria L. James, with her friend L.J. Stock on the Babylon MC Series, and is due to publish her Vicki James collection in 2018.
Read the other posts:
Angelica Day 9
Thank you for reading all these posts. A huge thank you to all the authors, bloggers and friends who participated. I am blessed to have you as friends!