Got another great book for you this weekend. It’s also getting absolutely fantastic reviews on Amazon – and you can get it for only 99 cents right now (or free with Kindle Unlimited!)
Best of all, the fabulous Paullina stopped by to share a little with us. Enjoy!
*What do you like best about writing romances?
I love love. So it’s only natural I write romance. Love in ‘real life’ isn’t always great and beautiful, so I like to be able to put my spin on what I think love should be at that moment I’m writing. My romance is never about just sex, I have to have a love element. I know some people hate that, but I have to be true to me when I write. I have to be true to those that enjoy my work.
*What is your favorite romantic story (movie/book, fact/fiction)?
I can’t name one favorite, I have so many. I think I’ve found my one favorite and then I read another book and I’m swept away again. To name a few I really enjoy Love Story by Erich Segal. I really loved The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry. I enjoyed Landslide by N.J. Cole. There are too many to name.
*If you could be any romantic character, who would it be and why?
I would be Belle, from Beauty and The Beast. I loved that movie as a child and now as an adult I love it as well. Maybe it has something to do with my love of paranormal romance. I like alpha males even if he does turn into a big hairy beast.
*Which of your characters/books was the most fun to write?
I loved writing for my main female character, Morgan, in Sex Lies & Fruit Flies. She is fun and learning about herself and love. I like her and her messy life.
*If you weren’t a writer and could be anything you want, what would it be?
I would be a bunch of different things. I would be a nurse, a dolphin trainer, a teacher. I would be anything that would allow me to be with people and run my mouth. I need human interaction and I want to make people happy, so anything that would fit into that box.
by Paullina Nichols
When Nurse Morgan Jacobs is ordered to tend to the wounds of an injured detective, Francis Wyatt (Wyatt), she is taken aback by his arrogance, yet undeniably attracted to the beautiful man conceitedly pursuing her. Morgan tries fighting her overwhelming feelings for Wyatt in an effort to keep her secret past hidden. With Wyatt refusing to take no for an answer, he chases her until she finally breaks and lets him into her world. He’s astounded by Morgan’s secret, but agrees to keep it and protect her at all cost.
Morgan has never been in love before and she can’t explain her feelings for this man that she knows she is forbidden to be with. Unable to stay away from him any longer she gives into her new found freedom and risks it all as she knows her past and present colliding could mean the end of everything.
Morgan turns Wyatt’s life upside down and shines light on secrets he didn’t know he had. Their affair was dangerous, but that didn’t stop them. They agreed that the ecstasy they shared when they were together was worth dying for.
The skies darkened as the storm descended. Leland had run to check on our elderly neighbors for the last time before we sheltered in place. I watched him enter their house through one rain smeared window and kept a lookout for her in another. It was our chance to run. Mom and I had been planning for this and we had been perfecting our getaway ever since hurricane Katrina had put fear into the hearts of everyone along the eastern coastline. We weren’t even sure we would survive the swim, but we had to try.
Anxiety rippled through me as the rains fell angrily on our little island and the winds bent the palm trees nearly to the ground. I watched, making sure he was still with the neighbors as I waited for her call. Then I heard it. Mom yelped from the pier. I jumped up and peeked out the kitchen window. Leland was still preoccupied. I made a run for the front door buck naked. I had to get to the pier. I had to get to Mom. I was almost there when he saw me.
He yelled my name from the neighbors’ doorway. “Morgan!”
I refused to turn back.
Mom called my name louder. “Morgan!”
I was almost to her, almost to the pier. He was gaining on me. His feet grew louder as he came closer. My feet were louder, more urgent. I couldn’t figure out which hurt more, the stone rain pelting my bare skin or my bare feet hitting the wooden planks of the pier as I bolted for the rough dark waters. Then I felt his fingertips slide roughly from my shoulders down my back. I ran faster. He’d missed me, but not by far. He kept at it until my drenched, waist-length hair was within reach. “Gotcha!” He yanked me to the ground and started dragging me back toward our house. He didn’t say another word. He was used to me running, but this time was different.
I wasn’t going back. I yelped for Mom, kicking and screaming as I grasped at his hands, claws drawn. She came to my defense, jumping on his back and digging her claws deep into his flesh. He grunted and bucked, trying to shake her, but she stayed embedded in him until her poison seeped in and subdued him. He involuntarily released his grip on my hair as his body crashed to the soaked wooden planks.
She frantically helped me to my feet, almost falling in her efforts. My bloodied side didn’t slow us. We ran until the pier ended and dove headfirst into the angry ocean. Facing possible death was better than the existence we had there; Mom and I were sure. We took true form together, allowing the sea to fill our gills and heal my wounds. We swam wildly away from our hell side by side that night. We’d be hunted for this. It didn’t matter; there was no looking back.
Things are never as they seem. There are beliefs and traditions bigger than individuals. Most of us are blind to them until these beliefs threaten our present existence. If we knew what came before us, would we be living the way we are today? If people knew who we were, would we be treated fairly? Could love really be enough to conquer it all?
The sun crept farther and farther into my room through the little spaces left between my blinds, finally forcing me from my comfy bed. I pulled back my sheet and retreated to my small bathroom. I wasn’t against the sun, I just wasn’t ready to get up yet. My morning swim would get me in the groove of things, I hoped. It was usually just the trick to get my day started. It hadn’t been as difficult to jump out of my bed when I could walk out the door to palm trees, an ocean breeze, and beautiful blue skies; now nothing really motivated me to get up. I was surrounded by concrete and buildings, and everyone was always in such a hurry. Still, I was adjusting to our new home. I brushed my teeth and splashed some water on my face before heading downstairs.
Mom was usually seated at the kitchen table by the time I made it downstairs in the morning, but that day her seat was empty. She’d left a note on the refrigerator under a miniature conch shell magnet.
I’m working an earlier shift at the hospital today. Another nurse called out sick. See you when you come in later.
I smiled reading her note. She always picked up the slack for anyone in need, especially when it came to her job. Nursing came naturally for us; I guess you could say it was in our blood. All the women back home were nurses to our people. It was what we were expected to do, though Mom and I truly enjoyed it. I sat and ate some leftover fish and mangos before heading upstairs to get dressed.
I wasn’t excited about swimming alone as Mom and I were usually each other’s excuse for not socializing with anyone else. The men in particular would always try to strike up conversation and we’d politely smile and nod at them before continuing our private socializing. We weren’t intentionally being rude, just trying to keep our distance from these naïve men who didn’t know any better. All they saw were beautiful women; our women always had that effect on human men. I walked out of the house and ten minutes around the corner, giving myself a pep talk about my solo swim. When I reached the pool, all eyes were on me as I stripped down to my modest black one-piece swimsuit. I held my breath under everyone’s intense gaze until I made contact with the water. I could finally breathe easy, swimming deeper until I could touch the pool’s bottom at twelve feet.
Life here was nice—different, but nice. I was still caged, just in a different way. We were trapped in a roomier cage here, forced to hide our true selves from everyone but each other. My mom, Irene, and I were used to keeping each other’s secrets though; that’s how it had always been. We had only been apart once, the year I’d been forced to live with my arranged fiancé, Leland. Mom planned a life for us away from our ancestral home and when the time came, we ran. She chose a place much different than our home in Florida, hoping to evade those that would eventually come looking for us. She chose Blacksburg, Maryland. There were no beaches near us, the women worked jobs outside the home, and you could choose whom you wanted to be involved with in any capacity. Back home those types of things weren’t an option, they were chosen for you. I knew I should’ve been thankful for the range of choices my new cage afforded me—and I was thankful—but choices mean nothing when you can’t exercise them freely.
Mom and I agreed we had to lay low and keep to ourselves. We were all each other had left. I was her protector and she was mine. She’d been eighteen, happy, and in love when she’d birthed me. Now she was a paranoid woman that kept to herself other than me and work. Even so, she’d been my best friend for twenty-two years. It was the way she liked it and it was the only way I had ever known until I’d gotten engaged against my will.
I finally surfaced after a few minutes of swimming below the surface. I’d almost forgotten I was swimming with humans and needed to pretend to catch my breath to blend in. I loved the feel of the water on my skin, even if it was just pool water. Since it was still early August we could’ve gotten away with going to the beach without being questioned about swimming in cold waters, but it was inconvenient with our work schedules and we risked running into our people. We tried to get in the water as often as we could. We headed to our townhome development’s indoor pool every day, sometimes a couple times a day. We even swam at night. There usually wasn’t anyone there at night, so we were free to be our real selves. It was the closest we’d come to open waters since we’d barely escaped Florida the year before. Hurricane Katrina had given us the cover we had desperately been waiting for to escape our people’s archaic ways. No matter the reason for our departure, I missed the warm sun on my bare skin. It had left its mark, though; we still had our sun-kissed skin and our long, wavy, coal black hair, dead giveaways we weren’t from around there.
The walk home after my 7 AM swim was peaceful. People were quiet that time of morning, and the warm breeze in my hair was a reminder of the few good things I’d left behind. A quick shower would rid me of the chlorine-laced water and my homesick thoughts before my weekly grocery store run. I had to pick up our greens, fruits, and fresh fish. We didn’t stray far from the diet we’d kept back home. We’d grown most of our food in St. Marcos and fished for the rest; going to any store for food was laughable back home. In such a warm climate and living practically on the beach, food was never scarce. The quality of it was sometimes questioned over the years, but it kept us fed so I couldn’t complain. I pulled back into the garage and carried the bags into the kitchen. I nibbled on some of the kale as I put the food away before tidying up the kitchen and starting up the stairs to get ready for work.
I chose a pair of soft pink scrubs and pulled my slightly damp hair into a ponytail that sat low on my neck, letting the loose ends hang free down my back. Heading out of the neighborhood and passing the mailboxes, I realized we hadn’t checked our box in a week or more. There was no point really; we didn’t know anyone in the area and no one was supposed to know where we were.
Oh great. The guy that always asked me out was there checking his mailbox too. I tried to wait for him to leave as long as I could, but I didn’t want to be late for work. Besides, it was probably no use; I was more than sure he knew I drove a white Jeep Wrangler from seeing me around the neighborhood. I thought he was waiting for me to get out, and with no time left I did just that. I jumped out of my Jeep and made my way over to the mailboxes.
“Good afternoon.” I spoke politely as I opened my mailbox on the opposite side of his. It was sad that he had been pursuing me since we’d moved there and I still didn’t know his name; I always just referred to him as the tall skinny guy when talking to Mom.
He seemed to light up like a Christmas tree when I greeted him. “Afternoon pretty!”
Here we go again. I snatched the junk mail out of the box and closed it back even faster. I turned and headed back toward my car.
Tall Skinny Guy ran to my side as I almost jogged to my vehicle. “Hey, what’s the rush?”
“I’m sorry, I have to get to work.” I never stopped.
He kept pace with me. “Well maybe I could take you out sometime. You can’t work all the time.” He sounded so optimistic, as usual.
“Sorry, I actually do work all the time.” I hopped into the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut, waving as I pulled off. He just sat there with his mouth open as I pulled away. He had probably wanted to say something else, but I wasn’t interested. Silly human men, they never learned.
I loved being a nurse and the trauma center Mom had chosen had been an exciting experience so far. Our traumas were everything from shootings and stabbings to car accidents. The hospital was situated in the perfect place, serving Maryland, DC, and sometimes Virginia. Our patients were as sundry as their accidents.
When I walked onto the unit I looked at the staffing board. I would be relieving my mother in ER/Trauma so this would be a breeze. Sometimes I floated to other units when the hospital was short on nurses, but I was thankful it wasn’t one of those days. She gave me report on three patients that were all situated and waiting for beds on the med-surg floors. She told me everyone else’s patients were heavy and needed extra time and attention. I helped as much as I could since my team was so light in terms of the level of care needed. I helped clean patients, turn patients, and feed patients.
After almost two hours of non-stop running, I was finally able to grab a drink of water. Mid-sip, a trauma rolled through our emergency room doors. My charge nurse called for help from all available nurses. I ran over to the trauma bay and lying there bleeding from the chest was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. His blond chin-length ringlets were beautiful chaos strewn across his head. He was breathing, but his eyes were closed. The physician started speaking to him as I cut his shirt away, trying to find the exact source of the bleeding. The heat he emitted and his rock hard chest were more distracting than the blood that covered him. He ignored the physician’s questions and opened his eyes. They startled me—piercing crystal blue eyes stared back at me.
“That was my favorite shirt.” He grimaced.
“I’m sorry sir.” I smiled apologetically as I removed the crimson-stained gray fabric from his chest, letting it fall to his sides on the gurney.
The doctor continued his questioning, annoyed at this point. “Sir do you know your name?”
Finally he said, “My name is Francis Darin Wyatt and I’m 26 years old. I know my name, my age, where I am, and all that other mumbo jumbo. I’ve been shot and just need to be stitched up so I can get back to work.”
“What kind of work do you do sir?”
“I’m a police officer working undercover.”
The physician nodded his head and looked Mr. Wyatt’s wounds over. After thorough physical examination and x-rays, I was ordered to assist the physician as he sutured Mr. Wyatt’s wounds. It was a clean shot with an entry and exit point. It had missed everything that would have cost him his life. I was relieved at that fact, though this beautiful man was a complete stranger.
I formally introduced myself as I prepped his first wound for suture. “Mr. Wyatt, I’m Nurse Jacobs and I will be assisting Dr. Yancy with the suturing of your wounds today. Anything you need while you’re here, I’ll be happy to assist you with. Just ask. I have to ask you a few questions for my documentation and hopefully we’ll have you out of here in no time. Do you have any questions for me thus far?”
He replied mordantly, “No ma’am.”
He stared at my face as the doctor sutured his chest wound. It was uncomfortable being that close to him. He was a massive man, about six and a half feet tall and 210 pounds, but it wasn’t his size that intimidated me. It was his stare. It was like he could see right through me. It was like he knew what I was. Could he know? Then he squinted his eyes and tilted his head slightly to the side while focusing his gaze even more.
“You’re gorgeous. You’re not from around here are you?” His voice was so matter-of-fact, like he didn’t need an answer at all.
You’ve got to be kidding me. “Mr. Wyatt do you know who shot you?”
“No, but I asked you a question first.”
“And this was related to an assignment you were on with your job? Or was this personal?” I was uncomfortable and the doctor kept cutting his eyes in my direction as he sutured.
“I’m a police officer, most things that happen to me are both. Are you from around here?”
Alluring would have been an understatement for this creature. The human men were all the same, so why was I so engrossed in this one? Get it together Morgan.
“Mr. Wyatt, Dr. Yancy is just about finished with your sutures. Please just remain still until he’s done. I understand you’re annoyed and do not feel the need to answer my questions, so I’ll cease.” He complied with my request until the doctor left the room. As I removed my gloves, he decided to continue his interrogation.
“What happened to your hand?” He gestured toward my left hand. “The scar there, between your ring and pinky finger.”
I winced at his words and continued to the sink to wash my hands, ignoring his question. “Mr. Wyatt you’re all done, I’ll be back with your discharge instructions shortly.”
He abruptly stood, causing me to jump back. He didn’t step any closer, noticing my reaction. “Miss, I apologize. I didn’t mean to scare you, I was just making conversation. I’ve been here a few times over the years for gunshot wounds and such and I’ve never seen you and I…I’m sorry.”
I was backed against the wall nearest the door by then, frozen in trance as he stood almost a foot and half taller than my 125 pound frame. I finally spoke. “I’ll return shortly Mr. Wyatt.” I exited his room before he had a chance to part those beautiful cherry lips again.
When I reached the nurse’s station, I hurriedly printed Mr. Wyatt’s discharge instructions and tried to disguise my nerves. What is this guy’s problem? He wasn’t much older than me, so he couldn’t possibly know what I was. Older people had their tales of my people. He’s just being a typical human man, right? Then what is my issue? He was lighting me on fire in more ways than one. Why don’t these poor human men understand? My beauty is a trap. It’s how our women attracted a worthy mate and prey for our men. I was not supposed to be attracted to him. I just had to get him out of there and I’d be done with this. I knocked before entering his room again.
“Come in,” he said.
Trying to keep my emotions under control, I spoke evenly. “Mr. Wyatt, here are your discharge instructions and prescriptions per Dr. Yancy. He’s does not want you to lift that left arm above your head for one week. I’m going to help you into this sling and this is to remain on for the next 72 hours.” I noticed the other scattered scars along his arms and side as I helped him into the sling. Why were they turning me on? Focus Morgan.
“Is your ride waiting for you?”
He smirked. “Yes, my partner is here.”
His smirk conveyed the opposite of his words. I could have threatened to wheel him down myself, but I couldn’t risk spending any more time with this man.
He was still watching me. “Nurse Jacobs?” It was the first time during our uncomfortable encounter that he’d addressed me formally. “Nurse Jacobs?”
I snapped back to reality after he repeated himself, sounding unsure as he said my name this time. “Yes, Mr. Wyatt?” I forced myself to look him in his eyes. Why had I done that? The look of sheer will in his eyes made the hair on my neck stand on end.
“I know you think I’m a buffoon, but is there any way I could see you outside of here? Would you consider letting me take you out?”
He’s crazy. Is he looking for trouble? I smiled. “Mr. Wyatt, I do not date patients, but I wish you well.”
Before he could speak again the transporter was knocking at the door. “Oh look Mr. Wyatt, your ride is here.” A sigh of relief escaped me.
“Nurse Jacobs, I will see you again.” He gave a cunning look over his shoulder as he slid off the exam table and into the wheelchair the transporter had waiting at the door. He left the gown on the exam table, leaving bare-chested.
“See you later.” I chuckled as he and the transporter exited the room. Gosh I hope his ride has a shirt waiting for him in the car. I thought about him for the remainder of my evening. I finished up the rest of my shift incident free. Two of my patients had been admitted to the med-surg floor, leaving only one for me report on to the oncoming nurse. Our admissions had been pretty light that evening as most were able to be discharged home from the ER.
As wrong as it was, I wanted to see him again. It almost felt as if I needed to. Shame on me. At the end of my shift I walked slowly through the dimly lit parking garage as I thought of Mr. Wyatt. I had to shake this human. I wasn’t even sure exactly what it was about him—other than him obviously being gorgeous, he seemed like an arrogant, sarcastic jerk. I mean what type of person points out someone else’s flaws without knowing them? I rubbed the cut in between my ring and pinky finger, still annoyed at his invasive question. He clearly thought he was God’s gift to women. No sane person would insult a person they were trying to go out with. He was just interested in a pretty face, like all the other human men.
I finally reached my car and hopped in. I tried my best to think of other things, but it was no use; he still occupied my thoughts. The drive home was a blur full of him and his scent and his warm skin. I was a mess. If I were back in Florida, he would have been a marked man for pursuing me. What was I going to tell my mother? Today I stitched up a man that took my breath away. How sickening, I thought as I pulled into the garage next to my mom’s car.
Paully has been writing and reading since she learned how. She is a volunteer literacy tutor for adult learners and believes knowing how to read can take you anywhere and everywhere you want to go. She enjoys writing romance with hot sex scenes as that is what she enjoys reading.
You’ll seldom find her without pen and paper as she prefers written words over typed any day. She was born and raised in Maryland about a mile away from Washington, D.C. and loves it. Other than writing and reading, her two children are the loves of her life and occupy her days while writing and reading occupy her nights. She loves good food and funny movies and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoyed writing them.
Beaten. Broken. Damaged.
Morgan’s life isn’t hers and as far as her tribe is concerned, it never will be. Love wasn’t for her. She served one purpose. Look beautiful and make babies. That was until she ran.
All is well with her new life of solitude until Wyatt comes along. Who told him to come into her hospital bloody and beautiful? Never had a human been so irresistible.
Arrogant, rugged, gorgeous Detective Wyatt threatens her new existence without pity. He’s used to getting what he wants from women and he doesn’t expect her to be any different. He isn’t used to playing by anyone else’s rules including Morgan’s.
How wrong was he? She was dangerous to him. Being with her was suicide. Once word made it back to the tribe, they’d both be killed.
Solitude or Love?
Life or death?
The choice was made.