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Acclaim for Radcly ffe’s Fiction Lammy winner “…Stolen Moments is a collection of steamy stories about women who just couldn’t wait. It’s sex when desire overrides reason, and it’s incredibly hot!” – On Our Backs Lammy winner “…Distant Shores, Silent Thunder weaves an intricate tapestry about passion and commitment between lovers.
The story explores the fragile nature of trust and the sanctuary provided by loving relationships.” – Sapphic Reader Shield of Justice is a “…well-plotted…lovely romance…I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!” – Ann Bannon, author of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles A Matter of Trust is a “… sexy, powerful love story filled with angst, discovery and passion that captures the uncertainty of first love and its discovery.” – Just About Write
“The author’s brisk mix of political intrigue, fast-paced action, and frequent interludes of lesbian sex and love…in Honor Reclaimed…sure does make for great escapist reading.”
– Q Syndicate
Lammy Finalist Justice Served delivers a “…crisply written, fast-paced story with twists and turns and keeps us guessing until the final explosive ending.” – Independent Gay Writer Change of Pace is “… contemporary, yet timeless, not only about sex, but also about love, longing, lust, surprises, chance meetings, planned meetings, fulfilling wild fantasies, and trust.” – Midwest Book Review
“Radcly f fe has once again pulled together all the ingredients of a genuine page-turner, this time adding some new spices into the mix. shadowland is sure to please—in part because Radcly f fe never loses sight of the fact that she is telling a love story, and a compelling one at that.” – Cameron Abbott, author of To The Edge and An Inexpressible State of Grace Lammy Finalist Turn Back Time is filled with…“wonderful love scenes, which are both tender and hot.” – MegaScene
“Innocent Hearts… illustrates that our struggles for acceptance of women loving women is as old as time—only the setting changes. The romance is sweet, sensual, and touching.” – Just About Write
In Lammy Finalist When Dreams Tremble the “…focus on character development is meticulous and comprehensive, filled with angst, regret, and longing, building to the ultimate climax.”
– Just About Write
“Sweet No More…snarls, teases and toes the line between pleasure and pain.” – Best Lesbian Erotica 2008
“Word of Honor takes the reader on a great ride. The sex scenes are incredible…and the story builds to an exciting climax that is as chilling as it is rewarding.” – Midwest Book Review
“Lammy Finalist The Lonely Hearts Club is an ensemble piece that follows the lives [and loves] of three women, with a plot as carefully woven as a fine piece of cloth.” – Midwest Book Review
By the Author
Love’s Melody Lost
Turn Back Time
Love’s Tender Warriors
When Dreams Tremble
Passion’s Bright Fury
The Lonely Hearts Club
Secrets in the Stone
The Provincetown Tales
Beyond the Breakwater
Distant Shores, Silent Thunder
Storms of Change
Winds of Fortune
Above All, Honor
A Matter of Trust (prequel)
Shield of Justice
Love & Honor
In Pursuit of Justice
Justice in the Shadows
Honor Under Siege
Justice for All
Word of Honor
Erotic Interludes: Change Of Pace
(A Short Story Collection)
(An Erotic Short Story Collection)
Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe, eds.:
Erotic Interludes 2: Stolen Moments
Erotic Interludes 3: Lessons in Love Erotic Interludes 4: Extreme Passions Erotic Interludes 5: Road Games
Romantic Interludes 1: Discovery
RADCLY f FE
secrets in the stone
© 2009 By Radclyffe. all Rights ReseRved.
isBN 10: 1-60282-083-Xe
isBN 13: 978-1-60282-083-8e
This ElEcTronic Book is PuBlishEd By
Bold sTrokEs Books, inc.,
P.o. Box 249
VallEy Falls, ny 12185
FirsT EdiTion: July 2009
This is a Work oF FicTion. naMEs, characTErs, PlacEs, and incidEnTs arE ThE ProducT oF ThE auThor’s iMaGinaTion or arE usEd FicTiTiously. any rEsEMBlancE To acTual PErsons, liVinG or dEad, BusinEss EsTaBlishMEnTs, EVEnTs, or localEs is EnTirEly coincidEnTal.
This Book, or ParTs ThErEoF, May noT BE rEProducEd in any ForM WiThouT PErMission.
EdiTors: ruTh sTErnGlanTz and sTacia sEaMan ProducTion dEsiGn: sTacia sEaMan
coVEr dEsiGn By shEri (GraPhicarTisT2020@hoTMail.coM) Acknowledgments
Authors always say they write because they “have to.” True, I think, for all of us, that need for self-expression. There are lots of other reasons, of course—passionate belief, outrage, joy, intellectual curiosity, fame and fortune. Well, maybe not the last so much. I write because I have never found any other experience that engages my heart and mind to equal extent—or that was as much fun in the process. This book was an adventure, in character, in tone, in style, in story. I am happy that after thirty-one novels and dozens of short stories, I can still enjoy the journey, and I sincerely hope that you do too.
Many thanks to first readers Connie, Diane, Eva, Paula, RB, and Tina; to Jennifer Knight for her always-insightful critique and suggestions; to Ruth Sternglantz and Stacia Seaman for outstanding editorial guidance; to the unsung heroes aka proofreaders; to Sheri for graphic brilliance; and to you—the reader—for taking another voyage with me. Deepest gratitude.
And to Lee, for always being the light in the dark. Amo te.
For All the Secret Treasures
SecretS in the Stone
A harsh glare pierced the murky depths of the tunnel, accompanied by a rumbling roar that reverberated in Adrian’s bones. Frigid air carrying the scent of snow blasted her, and she flinched back, blinded by the light. Bodies pressed close around her, whispers of anticipation hammered at her eardrums, and she struggled to shut out the disorienting tumult as the northbound Acela screeched to a halt at the platform.
Gripping her briefcase, overnight bag, and a cardboard cup of take-out coffee, Adrian let herself be carried by the press of the crowd into the business-class car, where she finally dropped into a window seat with an overwhelming rush of relief. She’d never been good in crowds—too many seething emotions, too many unwanted caresses masquerading as innocent touches. Determined to dispel the lingering discomfort, she pulled several files from her briefcase and concentrated on her work, the one constant she could count on to ease her disquiet.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”
“No. Please, sit down,” Adrian said automatically. She removed her briefcase from the adjacent seat to make room for the woman standing in the aisle. The blonde reminded her of Kim Basinger in L.A.
Confidential, voluptuous in a way that contemporary women seemed to eschew. Lustrous shoulder-length honey blond hair, full red lips, and a sensuous figure that her tailored two-piece suit did nothing to temper. The curve of her hips and tapered thighs were obvious beneath the gray silk skirt, and the deep vee of the jacket, while modest enough for business attire at first glance, nevertheless gave a titillating hint of cleavage.
Adrian’s pulse kicked, and the response surprised her. She didn’t
• 13 •
ordinarily find herself attracted to women who reminded her of the sophisticated, high-powered denizens of the world she’d grown up in.
The train lurched forward and she grabbed for the coffee she’d placed on the narrow pull-down tray in front of her. She muttered an oath under her breath as a stream of scalding liquid sluiced over her hand.
“Oh, I am so sorry,” the blonde said in a smooth, melodic voice that matched the honey of her hair. To Adrian’s complete consternation, her wrist was grasped and the woman cradled it in her lap as she sat down, murmuring, “Here, let me see.”
“It’s fine, really.” Adrian tried to withdraw her hand, aware of a charge of current, so cold it nearly burned, dancing up her arm.
“You’re going to blister.” The woman pulled a silk handkerchief from a stylish black leather purse with one hand while her slender fingers continued to clasp Adrian’s wrist. She dabbed at a few drops of liquid before they could reach Adrian’s white cuff, then raised green-gold eyes to Adrian’s, her sensuous mouth curving into a flirtatious smile. “I don’t usually inflict bodily harm before introductions. I’m Melinda Singer.”
“Adrian Oakes.” Adrian finally extricated her fingers, ignoring the urge to shake her hand to dispel the disquieting tingle left behind.
She’d always been hypersensitive to unexpected touch, especially from strangers, but she couldn’t remember the last time she’d had such a vivid reaction to anyone. Melinda Singer’s touch shimmered throughout her body with the intensity of an intimate caress.
“I hope I didn’t ruin your work.” Melinda gestured to the yellow legal tablet covered with scrawls and dotted with coffee stains on Adrian’s tray while casually surveying her traveling companion. Adrian Oakes was quite attractive in an entirely unstudied way. Her clothes, while informal, were expensive. The scuffed brown boots beneath the hem of her jeans were designer, as was the white cotton pullover. She was more deeply tanned than Melinda would have expected for late January, and the thin, pale crinkles at the corners of her sapphire eyes suggested she’d recently spent a fair amount of time squinting into the sun. Playing tennis possibly, or golf, on some Caribbean island. The smooth, unblemished surface of her fingers indicated she didn’t occupy her time outside doing manual labor.