Saturday, February 12, 2011

Truly Madly Deeply by CJ England

Welcome to the first installment of the Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors FREE READ blog.  Every Saturday from this day forward we will be offering to you, our readers, a brand new short story for your reading pleasure.  We hope you enjoy these new, never before seen stories and get to know the wonderful authors who create them.

Remember to sign up for all our great contests.  Three different ways to win!!!!  See the information on how to enter, HERE.  Today is the start of Contest #3, so get those comments going!!!!

Come meet these wonderful authors at their first ever radio interview.  Get to know us all a little better when we visit Other Worlds of Romance Blogtalk Radio.  Mark your calendars for Valentine's Day evening at 11:00pm EST.  It will be a great time for all!!!  

And now, without further ado...the first Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors FREE READ, with a quick forward by founding author, CJ England.


Hey everyone,

When I first came up with the idea for a FREE READ blog, I wanted to gather together a group of authors who truly understood what a great romance is supposed to be--a story that touches the heart and makes you believe LOVE is the most important thing in the universe.  

And once I'd accomplished that, I wanted to choose a name for our group that showed the same thing.  I remembered this wonderful song by the group Savage Garden and knew immediately it was exactly what I was looking for.  The lyrics of Truly Madly Deeply are so beautifully romantic they make you believe in true love again.  And after all...isn't that what a romance story is all about?

As for my came about as I was wandering around atop the highest mountain in Taipa, Macau, listening to the song I'd chosen--Truly, Madly, Deeply.   And as the lyrics played through my head, I gazed out over the sea and saw this beautiful fantasy tale unfold in my imagination.  It flowed so easily and fit so well with the song, I knew I'd discovered the perfect inaugural story for the blog.  Here's a quick blurb... 

Starlight, Starbright, First Star I See Tonight.

Wishing upon a star can make all your dreams come true. And when Ilona finds herself in a terrifying situation, she wishes the man of her dreams would come and save her. Imagine her shock when Sirius, the brightest star in the sky answers that wish. And what happens next makes her most delicious fantasies come true.

Rated - Adult - for 18 years and older only.  
Genre - Urban Fantasy / Contemporary  
Heat Level - Sensual 

I love writing stories that are fantastical and different.   Stories that  take you on a journey into the imagination--just like this one.  I usually write longer books, so 5k is a stretch for me, but I think it turned out pretty well.  I hope you enjoy my FREE READ as much as I did writing it!!!!


CJ England


Truly, Madly, Deeply
by CJ England

Ilona Tyler slammed her drink down on the bar and stared at the man next to her.  “Are you saying the only reason you’ve been dating me is because I have the codes to get you in the backdoor of BattleCraft?  You think because I’m a video game designer, I’m so hard up, I’ll be grateful and give you the information in exchange for a few dinner dates?”
“Look.  It’s fair all around.”  The man seated on the barstool next to her squirmed uncomfortably.  “I need the codes to make my own version of the game, and it’s obvious someone who looks like you can use a little fun—”
“Someone who looks like me?” Ilona interrupted.  She closed her blue eyes and counted to ten.  It didn’t help.  Mingled pain and fury speared through her.  So much for giving him one last chance to make a good impression.  No wonder she’d been hesitant in accepting this third date invitation.  Deep down she’d known he was a sleaze.  
She shook her auburn head.  “You’re crazy, Gerard, if you think I’d do such a horrible thing.”  She stood and fished twenty dollars out of her purse.  “This non-date is over.  Here.  We’ll go Dutch.  But just so there’s no confusion, I never want to see you again.”
“Wait a minute, damn it.”  Gerard stood as well.  His hand shot out and grabbed her wrist.  “I need you to do this for me.”
 “Tough.  You want the codes?  Find them another way.  I’m not giving them to you.”’
“But I took you to dinner and a play and—” Gerard whined.
“Screw the dates,” Ilona snarled furiously, “and screw you!”
Jerking her arm away, she stormed out of the bar.  She was so angry, she didn’t even see the taxies waiting out front.  Instead, she turned and blindly headed away from downtown. 
Hitching her purse over her shoulder, she stomped down the quiet sidewalks of Savannah, Georgia.  It wasn’t fair.  Just because she wasn’t Miss America didn’t give some cretin the right to treat her like that.
She knew she wasn’t a raving beauty, but still, how could that bastard think she’d do something so dishonest?  Was she so hideous he thought she’d pay to get a date? Pay by stealing from the company she worked for?
A single tear slid down her pale cheek.  She was tired of men turning away just because she didn’t look like other women.  Why couldn’t they look past the face and see what was in her heart.
 She touched the vicious scar that traced its way from the outer edge of her left eye down past her chin.  Why was this all anyone cared about?
Sighing, she turned the corner and headed towards home.  She hated to remember, but at times like this she had no choice.  A fast car, a drunk driver, and her world had been turned upside down.  Her parents killed and she’d been scarred for life.  A happy night at the movies had turned into tragedy.
That had been six years ago, just as she’d been set to start her new life at Georgia Tech.  The accident changed everything, and her dream of being a computer engineer had given way to more practical needs—like feeding herself.  And while designing video games might not have been her first choice, she enjoyed the work she did.
That is, until jerks like Gerard, who because they were dark, built and handsome, thought they could charm their way into her good graces and take whatever they wanted.  Pain was pushed away by anger.  Damn it all.  It just wasn’t fair.
Her thoughts were cut short as a hand came down heavily on her shoulder and spun her around.  To her shock, the man of her thoughts stood glaring down at her.
“You’re going to give me what I asked for,” he growled.  “Right now.  You owe me.”
She tried to pull away, but he held on tight.  “And just why do I owe you?”
“You think I’d go out with a woman as ugly as you without incentive?” he snapped, ripping at her already tender emotions.  “No way.  Now give me the fucking codes!”
As angry as she was frightened, she reacted.  Her knee connected solidly with Gerard’s groin, and when he doubled over, she gave him a hard shove.  As he sprawled on the ground, she turned and ran, darting into the darkness of the tangled trees across the street.

High in the sky above her, the star called Sirius stared down at the scene below him.  His heart pounded in fury and dread.
For so long he’d watched this woman.  Seen her pain and admired her courage.  He’d been there the night she’d lost everything, and he’d become fascinated by the way she’d met each challenge she faced head on.  He’d mourned with her as she laid her parents to rest, and wished he could hold her when she wept copiously after realizing the cost of having the disfiguring scar removed was far beyond her financial means.  As time went by, he found himself more and more drawn to her.  So much so, he used the star magic at his disposal to visit her in her dreams.
It had started out innocently enough.  He’d slide into whatever dream she was having, just to get to know her.  They’d talk and laugh about her day, and when she became restless, he’d soothe her back into deeper sleep.  As he got more involved, so did her dreams.  He became the knight who saved the beautiful maiden from the dragon or the merman who wrapped his fins around her curvaceous body as she body-surfed over the waves.
   But then it had all changed.  During a nightmare, as she’d relived the terror of the accident, he’d held her close as she cried out her pain and fear.  One second he was holding her in his arms, the next he was kissing her desperately, tasting the salt of her tears on his lips.
And in that moment he knew, that he, the brightest star in the sky, had fallen in love.
After that, he longed to be closer to her.  Nightly, he became every hope, every wish, every fantasy she had.  He took her horseback riding on the beaches of Maui, dog sledding in Alaska, and together, they climbed Mount Everest.
They nibbled on fresh black pepper crab in Singapore, danced the tango in Buenos Ares, and he even took her hang gliding off Half Dome in Yosemite Park.
And after each adventure ended, he would take her somewhere quiet and secluded, lay her down and make sweet, delicious love to her.
It was the one way he could touch her…the only way to share himself.  And now, knowing she desperately needed him in real life, he paced in frustration.  It was galling that he couldn’t do anything but watch her terror.
She was quick, but the man who’d attacked her had not given up. He’d followed her into the maze of lush city park squares in downtown Savannah and was slowly gaining.  Sirius’ hands clenched impotently as he followed her progress.  To have to stand by while she was in danger was slowly destroying him.
  “Come on, love,” he whispered.  “Run.  Get away.”
He watched as she raced through an ornate wrought iron gate into Chippewa Square, and then hid behind a huge statue of General James Edward Oglethorpe.  Her chest heaved, and her eyes flashed with fear, and when Sirius saw the man appear in the square not more than a few feet from her, he couldn’t take anymore.
Using the same star magic that took him into Ilona’s dreams, he closed his eyes in concentration and prayed that the plan forming in his mind would actually work.

Trapped like a rat in a cage.  Ilona shook her head in self-disgust.  She’d been so stupid.  Running into the park instead of back into the bar or another crowded area.  Keeping silent instead of screaming her lungs out.  Now it was too late.  She was stuck in the darkness, surrounded by trees, and even if someone heard, they wouldn’t be able to help her in time.  It was like being caught in a nightmare.
She sighed.  Too bad it wasn’t a bad dream.  If she were having one of those, her dream lover would save her, just as he always did.
Although terrified, her mouth still softened at the thought of him.  Even after spending night after night with the man, she didn’t know his name.  But no matter what adventure they’d had, whether it be cave diving in the Yucatan or being saved from horrifying space aliens from the planet Xeothorpe, she knew he would be there to protect and keep her safe.  He was special and honest and true.  And somehow, in the midst of it all, she’d fallen in love with him.  Maybe that was why she was still single.  She judged all her dates against her wonderfully attentive dream lover.
“So where are you now?” she murmured under her breath.  “Where are you when I really need you?”
Make a wish on your star.
Going still in surprise, Ilona glanced surreptitiously around her.  Where had the voice come from?
Now, love.  Make a wish.
Her chest tightened in confusion, and quietly, she edged around the side of the statue.  She could still hear the panting breaths of her pursuer, but now she couldn’t see him.  It made no sense.  Why would he be telling her to make a wish?
She didn’t have long to wonder about it.  Out of the darkness a hand shot out, and she let out a strangled cry as Gerard hauled her against him. “You’re going to pay me one way or another, bitch,” he rasped.  He shook her violently.  “Either give me the codes or I’ll take my payment in trade.  All women look alike in the dark.”
You must trust me, Ilona.  Please, love.  Wish for help upon your star.
Still not understanding, she acted on instinct, obeying the somehow familiar voice.  Her gaze went to the velvet sky sparkling above her, and she found the brightest star…the one her dream lover had pointed out as her very own.  It pulsed wildly as if imploring her to hurry.  And as Gerard growled out a curse and ripped open her blouse, she sent her wish winging to the heavens.
I wish my dream lover were here with me. 
There was a moment of absolute silence.  It was so quiet, she could hear her own blood rushing through her veins.  Then, with a blinding flash that lit up the night, there was a shout of triumph so loud it numbed her senses.  Ilona’s attacker was ripped from her and hurled like a rag doll across the square.
She heard Gerard scream, a sound filled with such terror, it made her mouth go dry. Her world whirled around her as she staggered and almost fell.  Abruptly, she was pulled against the warmth of a man’s chest.  It was so hot, it burned, and with a cry of shock and disbelief, she gave up the fight and fell unconscious into the waiting light that enveloped her.

When she slowly came back to herself, she sighed in contentment.  She was so delightfully warm, so wonderfully comfortable, she didn’t want to wake up.  Then she heard the unexpected sound of a heartbeat beneath her cheek, and surprised, her eyes flew open.
The figure above her was familiar.  Golden eyes, hair burnished by the sun and a strong tanned body that made her ache with desire just looking at him.  The simple white shirt and pants he wore only added to his masculine beauty.  As he gently touched her face, his sensuous mouth curved into a smile. 
And she knew him.
“You,” she whispered.  “I must still be asleep.”
Bringing her fingers to his lips, he chuckled.  “No, love.  You are very much awake.”
She shook her head.  “I can’t be.  You’re my dream lover.  I only see you in my dreams.”
“Your dream lover?”  His eyes darkened.  “I like that.  Very much.”
“Am I unconscious?” She stared up at him.  “Did Gerard…”
“No,” the man holding her said quickly.  “He did not.  I spirited you away before he could hurt you.  Don’t you remember wishing on a star?”
Ilona went still.  “Yes.  But—”
“I was that star.”
Her mouth opened and closed.  “Th-That’s impossible.”
“You wished for me and I came,” he whispered, brushing a soft kiss over her lips.  “For the first time I was able to come to you in real life, not just in your dreams.”
Shock made her voice tremble.  “You…you’re saying you’re real?”
The look on her face made Sirius want to laugh, but he knew if they were to have any chance at a future, he had to make her understand.
“I am as real as you are, but different.  I am your dream lover, but I’m also the star you wished upon.  My name is Sirius, and I’ve been watching you for a long time, Ilona Tyler.”
Her eyes went wide, and she pushed away from him.  He didn’t stop her when she staggered to her feet.  “You’re crazy.  This is crazy.”  She stared around her in confusion.  “W-Where are we?”
Sirius stood as well.  “Don’t you recognize it?  This is the top of Half Dome in Yosemite Park.”
   “We went hang gliding here.  In my dreams.”
He nodded.  “Yes.  I wanted to bring you somewhere familiar…and safe.”
She eased to the edge and looked over the side of the spectacular carved mountain.  “I can’t believe this.  I must have hit my head.”
“No, Ilona.”  Carefully, he reached out and took her hand, pulling her back from the dangerous cliff.  “It is the truth.  I’ve longed to be with you on this plane of reality, but until you wished upon my star, I was unable to come.  Except in your dreams.”
Her eyes showed a dawning awareness of belief.  “You…you’re a star?”
“The brightest one in the heavens.  And one very close to your Earth.”
“Sirius,” she whispered slowly.  “The dog star?”
He grimaced.  “Not my favorite moniker.  I much prefer the one given to me by your ancient astronomers.  Seirios.
Ilona looked up into the night sky.  “But I can see the star I wished on.  If you’re it, why is it still there?”
He glanced up at the glowing light.  “What you see there are the elements that make up the body of the star.  But those components are dimmed…at rest.  I give the star its energy.  Its spirit, you might say.  When I am with you, here now or in a dream, it still can be seen, yet it has no life.”
“So that’s why it doesn’t dance any more.”
Sirius smiled.  “Yes.”
She stepped closer.  “You saved me.”
“I couldn’t let him hurt you.”  Sirius gently pulled her into his arms.  “Yet, I’m not allowed to leave the heavens without an invitation.  Usually, I’m not strong enough to make contact with you to ask for one.  At least not when you are awake.  When you sleep you are more receptive, and I could get through to you easier.  But tonight…seeing you in such danger gave me the strength of ten stars, and I was finally able to make you hear my voice.”
“I still don’t understand,” she whispered.  “You spoke in my mind?  You came to me in my dreams?  How?”
“A little star magic.”  He ran a soothing hand down her stiff back.  “All stars have it, yet very few use it.  But the first moment I saw you, I knew you were important to me.  The magic helped me get closer.”
“Just how long have you been watching me?”
He saw the apprehension on her face, and his heart sank.  “Please, love.  Don’t be frightened.  I have watched you for many years.  Since the night of your accident.”
To his surprise, her eyes filled with tears, and she tried to cover her face.  “This isn’t a dream, so you see the real me.  That means…”
Understanding raced through him, and he groaned aloud.  “Don’t.  Ilona.”  He held her tightly, pressing a kiss to the disfiguring scar.  “This may be what brought you to my attention, but I stayed because of what I saw in you.  Intelligence, courage, understanding and kindness, all wrapped up in a sexy, beautiful package.  Believe me when I say, the more we were together, the more interesting I found you.”
“I’m…not beautiful.”
“You are,” he disagreed.  “Both inside and out.  A scar doesn’t change that.  And it was that beauty that made me visit you in your dreams.  I wanted to get to know you in every way I could.”
She relaxed a little, and her eyes searched his.  “So the dreams were real…you were real.”
“I used your dreams to give us a place to share our thoughts and hopes.  So while the adventures weren’t real, everything else we shared was.”
Pink touched her cheeks.  “E-Everything?”
He didn’t have to be in her mind to know she was thinking of the intimacies they’d shared.  Pulling her even closer, he kissed her again, this time more deeply.  “Everything.  I wanted to be everything you needed, everything you wanted.  And as we spent more time together, something extraordinary happened.”  He brushed back her hair and kissed her trembling lips.
“I fell in love with you.” 
Ilona could only blink at him.  Words were beyond her.  A gorgeous, wonderful man loved her?  With all her imperfections?  Then she shook her head.  Scratch that.  Not a man…but a star.  That was even more astonishing.
  “You must believe me,” he insisted, his gaze turning fierce and determined.  “I’ve stood with you on this mountain.”  He waved his hand and to her shock, Ilona found herself drifting along underwater on the back of a sleek dolphin.  “We’ve bathed together in the sea.”  Before she could comprehend she was breathing water with no problems, a moment later, they were lying in a pillowy bower of clouds, Sirius’ arms wrapped tightly around her.  “I want to lay here with you forever.  Until the very sky where I live falls down on us both.”
Stunned to the bottom of her soul, Ilona touched his strong jaw.  “That’s…that’s just like my favorite song.”
“I know,” Sirius murmured, “just as I know I do love you.  Truly, madly, deeply do.”
“But—” her heart was pounding, her head spinning in a mixture of joy and fear, “you’re a star…I’m only a human.  How can you—”
“Love knows no boundaries, Ilona,” he interrupted.  “And if you want your wish to be forever all you have to do is ask.”
Hope surged up inside her so hard it hurt.  “My wish?  You mean…you could stay with me?  Be with me?”
Sirius smiled slowly.    “I can stay with you or you can come be with me in my home among the stars.  But…there is a catch to this.”
Her heart sank.  “A catch?”
He nodded.  “Yes, love.  For your wish to become a reality forever, you have to do one thing.”  His face darkened, and for the first time she could see nerves in his eyes. 
“You have to love me back.”
Sweet, soothing relief flowed through her, and she laughed shakily.  “Oh, is that all?”
His arms tightened as he frowned down at her.  “It is everything.  Please, Ilona.  Do not mock me.  Give me…us a chance.  You can love me.  I swear I will do everything to give you a reason to.”
She couldn’t bear the vulnerability and worry in his voice.  Quickly, she cradled his strong face in her hands.  “You don’t understand, my dream lover.  I can’t try and love you.”  Leaning up, she brushed her lips over his.
“I already do.”
The flare of joy that went through Sirius lit the clouds up like summer lightning.  Satisfaction, desire and longing.  A potent brew that raced through him with the force of a starstorm.  He searched her eyes, and love exploded when he saw that same emotion staring up at him.
“You do love me.”  His voice shook with surprised wonder.  “I had wished, but I couldn’t…wouldn’t expect…”
She put her fingers to his lips, stopping the rambling explanation.  “Then your wish came true, too.”
He touched his forehead to hers, fighting against the feelings welling up inside him.  “I thought it would take you more time…to love.”
“We’ve known each other for how long now?”  Ilona smiled gently.  “You’ve been with me in my dreams for as long as I can remember.  Since the night of my parent’s funeral.”
“You remember that?” he marveled.  “The first time I slid into your dreams?”
“How could I not remember?”  She kissed his chin.  “I was sitting on the porch, so tired of having to talk to everyone.  I must have fallen asleep because next thing I knew, you walked up the steps.  You didn’t say anything.  Just sat next to me and held my hand.  And even when I cried, all you did was hold me.  You knew exactly what I needed.”  Her eyes darkened.  “Then I woke up and you were gone.  That’s when I realized none of it was real.”
“Yet now you know it was real, just as this is.”  Sirius held her tighter, answering her kiss with one of his own.  “And I will never leave you again.  I’m sorry it took pain to bring us together, but I swear on every star in the sky I will do everything I can to bring you pleasure.  If it is within my power, the only tears you cry will be those of joy.”
“If we can be truly together—” she wriggled beneath him, “—then my joy is already complete.”
Desire beckoned, love demanded.  And when his lips captured hers, Sirius knew that his reason for living…the deeper meaning in his life had finally been revealed.
Unable to help himself, he used his star magic, and in the blink of an eye, their clothes disappeared.  His kiss turned voracious as he tasted what before he’d only known in his most hopeful dreams.
He touched her, his hands moving over the body he already knew so well.  But this time it was different.  This time it was special.
This time it was real.
“Sirius,” she gasped as he moved his lips down to capture a peaked nipple.  “Oh, God.  Please don’t stop.  I love you.”
His answer was a growl as he sucked the tip of her breast into his mouth.  When she arched toward him, he put his hands behind her, holding her in place.  And he feasted.
She was delicious.  Sweet and sultry and oh, so soft.  The knowledge she now belonged to him almost made his head explode with passion.  He moved, keeping his mouth on her breast while his hand traced down to the sultry warmth between her legs.  One touch and he groaned again.  She was already wet, her inner folds and clitoris slick with her juices.  He wanted to taste her, breathe in the spice of her passion, but he wasn’t sure he had the control for that.
Instead, he slid two fingers inside her warm channel then used his thumb to gently press against her already swollen clit.  Closing his eyes, he concentrated and sent star warmth racing into his fingers.  As soon as she felt it, Ilona’s eyes flew open and she cried out his name.
It was so erotic.  Sirius’ hand was hotter than the rest of him and the feeling of him stroking in and out of her was beyond pleasurable.  Not one to lay passive, Ilona ran her hand down his body, taking his thick cock in her hand.  He was just as beautiful in real life as he was in her dreams, and her mouth watered at how he would taste.
Yet as much as she wanted to do more, the climax burning deep within her belly was spinning tighter, and all she could do was squeeze and caress him the same way he was touching her.
His muttered groans filled her ears and his penis throbbed, pre-come slicking the head and making him even easier to stroke.  Only a few moments passed before his hips were moving in the same rhythm as her own. 
The touch of his mouth on her breast…the feel of his hand, finally was more than she could take.  Her hand squeezed him one last time before she imploded, and for the first time, Sirius truly showed her the stars.
She saw all the color and light of the heavens.  Flaring comets and flaming meteors.  Spinning planets and dusty moons.  Her body burned with the ecstasy of loving and being loved, and it was at that moment she understood the true joy of being with the man you needed above all others.
Even if he wasn’t a man at all.
She was still reeling from her orgasm when he slid between her thighs and plunged deep inside her.  She screamed, her cry almost breathless as she went sailing into the sky a second time.  He thrust deeply, his hands holding her hips, his lips at her ear as he whispered his love and need for her.  She felt him swell even bigger as he shouted out her name.  And all the warmth and beauty of the glittering sky raced through her as they went over the edge together and rode the wind up into the very sun itself.

     It was a long time later when Sirius stirred and kissed her smiling lips.  “I love you, Ilona.  You are everything I could want in a woman.”
She snuggled closer.  “I love you.  I’ve loved you for a long time.”
     “Will you come with me?” he asked.  “Live with me in the sky?  I swear you will not regret it.”
Her heart leapt with even more joy, but still she hesitated.  “You really want me?  The real me?  I’m not perfect.  I’m no beautiful star.”
“By the Sun!”  His eyes narrowed.  “I don’t care about your scar.  Don’t you understand that?  You may have hidden it in your dreams, but I always knew it was there.  And it mattered not.”
A single tear traced down her face, highlighting the blemish with its silver brush.  “I’m sorry,” she whispered.  “But no one has been able to see past it before.”
“You want to see how little I care?” 
A heartbeat later, they were lying beside a beautiful lake.  It was so still, the water so clear, it was as if it were a living mirror, and Ilona cringed as she saw her reflection in it.  She touched the scar, the familiar numbness making her shudder.
“Watch,” was all Sirius said.
Then with a flick of his finger along her cheek, he traced the knotted flesh.  Just once.  And to her complete astonishment, the scar disappeared.  She touched her face in shocked bewilderment.  “W-What did you do?”
He shrugged.  “I made it go away.”
“Go away,” she echoed.  “You can do that?”
“Ilona.”  He took her into his arms and then touched her cheek again.
Immediately, the familiar numbness came back, and one look in the mirrored lake told her the scar had returned as well.  She gazed up at Sirius in confusion.  “Why?  I don’t understand.”
“To show you it doesn’t matter.  Yes, without the scar your human body is even more beautiful, but to me it’s unimportant.  With the scar or without, I love you.  And I will love you long after we shed these human bodies and become pure energy.  Then flesh and blood…and scars won’t matter.  It will only be us.  Our essence and the love we still have together.
She hadn’t thought about what form he…they would use in the heavens.  Finally, she understood.  The scar didn’t matter to him because he really did see inside her.  Not as a human male might, but as a being of energy and light, one who could see what was really important.  Sirius had literally seen the birth of the universe and all in it, and he knew the saying, “beauty is only skin deep”, was a truth worth believing.
Wrapping her arms around him, she lifted her lips to his.  “Thank you.  For seeing me.  For loving me.  I want to be with you.  Wherever you choose.  In any form you choose.”
He held her tightly.  “In my star home we can still have these human bodies.  I find I enjoy making love with you this way.”
She giggled.  “But you’ll show me other ways as well?”
Sirius groaned as his human flesh stirred again.  “I will.  Loving you in all forms possible will be the greatest adventure we have yet to try.”
“And we’ll live amongst the stars?”
He touched her face again, smiling at the joy in her eyes when she felt the scar melt away…this time forever.  If it made her happy, he would give her this gift, though in his eyes nothing important had changed.  “This is a new beginning, my love.  Now Sirius will be a binary star again.”
“Not a star,” she corrected with a gasp as he slid inside her one more time. “There are two of us.  Ilona and Sirius.  Th-This time we will be a c-constellation.”
“As long as I hold you in my arms, we can be whatever you like.”  A growl escaped Sirius as he moved within her warmth.  The need welled up inside him so fast he could hardly breathe.  He called upon his magic, and a moment later they were covered in bright light as they slowly rose into the dark night sky to take their place in the heavens.

A week later astronomers around the world shook their heads in collective shock when a new star was suddenly discovered.  Later it was reported in Astronomy Magazine...

     The smaller star appeared in the sky without warning.  It hugs close to the larger star, Sirius, giving the impression the two stars are somehow intertwined.  Data shows the smaller star has many of the characteristics of the former binary star, yet is it’s own entity.  Because of this it has been given it’s own star status.  Due to the closeness of the two stars, amateur stargazers have given this new constellation a romantic and perhaps fitting name.
The Lovers.

The End 


CJ England credits her passion for writing to her second grade sweetheart, Steven, a blond haired cutie with dimples, who dumped her for a girl who could swing on the monkey bars. She wrote her first story about love and loss after that tragic episode.

She is known on the internet as a bestselling, award winning, author who can bring sensuality and romance together in ways that require you keep a fire extinguisher and a box of Kleenex handy. 

Described as having 'innovative story lines', 'a whiz at character development' and 'quite simply a genius!', CJ wants her books to spark the imaginations of her readers. So they will begin to believe anything can happen if you…Follow Your Dreams.

For more information on CJ and her great books, visit her web site at or check out her other hangouts...

Visit her Personal Blog... 
Enjoy other FREE READs…


ps9906 said...

Now that's a beautiful love story. Started my day with a happy sigh!

CJ England said...

Thanks so much, ps9906. It makes MY day that you think so. I love the idea that my characters made you sigh.

The mark of a true romance!!!!



Erin Nicholas said...

Welcome to our first free read everyone! This is exciting for us! Thanks CJ for kicking us off so well!

CJ England said...

Thanks, Erin. I'm glad you like my story. It was fun writing it.



Virna DePaul said...

"Love knows no boundaries." CJ, what an amazing short story to start off TMDR! I'm definitely smiling and I know all the readers will be, too!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Virna. Sometimes a story just jumps into your head like this one did. So easily and perfectly I knew I had to write it.



Romance With a Twist said...

Oh the ending gave me sweet chills! I loved how you incorporated the pictures into the story. And, the two stars - The Lovers - wow. Truly Madly Deeply is one of my all time fav songs - and I played it when I read the story. The fantasy element was weaved beautifully into the story, too. Viki Lyn

CJ England said...

Thanks, Viki. I love that song and when the lyrics played I could just see the story unfold. On top of the the depths of the sea.

Such a romantic song and one I'm proud to use as inspiration.

I'm glad it gave you chills. That makes it even better.



Carolyn said...

I really enjoyed Truly Madly Deeply. Now when I am out with my husband looking through a telescope I will have the story of IIona and Sirius in my head the next time I view Sirius in the sky. Thank you for a beautiful story.

Marie said...

To CJ England: Thank you so much for posting this story and hosting this new blog:) Ilona and Sirius were obviously made for each other:) I hadn't listened to "Truly, Madly, Deeply" in a long time so thank you for reminding me of it! I loved how you incorporated that song into the story.

Calisa Lewis said...

Beautiful! This love story just goes to show that ANYTHING is possible within the mind. I will return for more stories! Thank you for this wonderfully exciting opportunity which I will share with friends.

CJ England said...

Thank you, Carolyn!

I'm so glad you enjoyed my story. And if you smile when you and your hubby are walking in the starlight, I'll know I've put a little romance in your life and be content!



CJ England said...


When I wrote the story, the lyrics put themselves into the songs so easily I knew it was preordained. And both the characters made me smile when I wrote about them.

My favorite part of being a writer is enjoying my creations and knowing others did too!

CJ England said...

Hey Calisa,

Thank you for those kind words. I'm so pleased you liked my story and happy you consider it wonderful enough to share with friends.


Elizabeth Silver said...

This is just ADORABLE and beautiful, CJ! What a perfect way to get us started. *happy sigh*

CJ England said...

Thanks, Liz.

I don't usually write shorts, but this one just flowed so well, I might do a few more. LO



Chris R said...

CJ thank you for the wonderful short story. I really liked how you gave Ilona a unusal-for-romance-novel occupation but the best part of the story was that Sirius saw past her scars to the real person.

CJ England said...

Hey Chris,

Thank you. I'm pleased you liked my offering. *smile*

Ilona kinda chose her profession herself. I was going to make her something else, when she all but forced me to do what she wanted. LOL

And Sirius...*sigh*...I think we all long for a mate who sees the real us. Gotta love a hero who does.


Z.A. Maxfield said...

So lovely CJ! This just gave me chills. Thanks so much for sharing it!

CJ England said...


I'm so glad you liked it. Chills are VERY good. LOL

Romantic and memorable. I appreciate the sentiment.


Layla Hunter said...

"Beauty is only skin deep ..." Words I truly live by! You story was beautiful and stirring ... so sweet and loving. I played the video while I read and it just added to the mood.

I, too, will admit to goosebumps and even a flutter of butterflies! To be loved for oneself, no matter our physical visage, is the greatest joy!

Lovely story that I will remember for a long time to come! In fact, everytime I look up at the stars, I will remember "The Lovers" ...

Thank you for starting this amazing journey and allowing me to be a part of it!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Layla for those beautiful words. I truly appreciate them.

And I'm pleased, not only that the story stirred you, but that you are along for the ride.

Hugs and thanks so much for the support.


Layla Hunter said...

I'm honored to be along for the ride! *smiles*

ilona said...

With the heroine having the same name as me I just had to read this one :D

I loved it, it was beautiful and made me smile. The bit about the scar not mattering to him was especially good. Oh and I really loved the bit at the end about The Lovers stars :D

Belinda said...

Its live! And with such a sweet story! Thanks, CJ!

Stephanie said...

Awww CJ! You've take the magic the world heard in this song and given it a new sexy, sweet life with your story!! Just Beautiful!!

Thank you for sharing.

Angela Kay Austin said...

CJ, what a great kick-off!

Liddy Midnight said...

I made myself wait until my chores were done today to read this. I'm so glad I did! This is a lovely story that requires a leisurely read, not a quick scan. Heart-warming, very romantic and the perfect kick-off for this project.

Thank you, CJ, for all that you do. *hug*

*previous post deleted for incoherent typo* LOL

rbooth43 said...

What an inspirational love story!

Anonymous said...

CJ that was such a sweet story! I especially love the way that Sirius went to Ilona the night of her parents funeral. I love that they are the Lovers in the stars. So sweet. A great way to start the weekend!

R. Ann Siracusa said...

CJ, Thank you for the wonderful love story and for kicking off the TDMR Blog to a great start. You've set the bar high for the rest of us.
Ann S.

Kaualoku said...

CJ That was a wonderful way to start this Valentine Weekend. Such a sweet reminder that love comes in all forms. Thank you, i loved it!

kittykelly28 said...

Wow that was a great story :) I really enjoyed it!


Celtic Chick said...

Wow, CJ. This is the perfect story for Valentine's Day weekend. So romantic.

Great start for the free reads blog.

Judy said...

Thanks CJ for such a lovely love story!! I loved it!!

I really liked all the pictures you inserted that went along.


Shona Husk said...

A beautiful love story, and a great start to the TMDRA blog! I love the way you worked in the lyrics.

CJ England said...


I actually named her after you. I've thought your name was so beautiful and romantic and it just seemed to fit my heroine.


Glad you liked your namesake.


CJ England said...

Hey Belinda,

Thanks for that. Glad you liked it!


CJ England said...


The song is so beautifully romantic I had a lot to work with. And I'm so pleased you liked it. Thank you.

CJ England said...

Thanks, Angela. We wanted something romantic...we've got it. LOL

CJ England said...

Thank you, Liddy.

I wanted something so romantic it was worthy of the title Truly, Madly, Deeply. And my two characters lived up to it.

Glad you liked it.

CJ England said...


Thanks, so much. I'm glad you liked it. I wanted it to inspire us..make us all feel the romance.


CJ England said...

Thanks, Stacie. I wanted them to meet in an unconventional, yet very special way.

I love a hero who is so protective and careful with his lady.

CJ England said...


Thanks for the kind words. And I'm so looking forward to seeing what all my fellow TMDRA friends come up with.

I know they will all be great!

CJ England said...


So glad you liked my tale of a star falling in love. I liked it and already have a follow up in the works.

Romance with a little heat equals a happy Valentine's Day sigh! *grin*


CJ England said...

Thank you, kittykelly,

I'm pleased you enjoyed the story! Come back next Saturday for the rest!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Celtic Chick,

I'm pleased you liked my Valentine's Day story. Romance is definitely in the air! LOL

CJ England said...

Hey Judy,

I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. I wanted them to catch the eye and help with the storyline. Guess I succeeded. *smile*


CJ England said...


Glad you liked the story. I wanted something that really showed what I felt romance should be.

I'm happy so many like what I did.


CJ England said...

And don't forget, all. Make sure you sign up for all our contests, if you haven't already. Check the main page for the address and details!!!!


Nancy G said...

I love your story about Ilona and Sirius. Talk about your 'star crossed' lovers. And the ending was perfect, and I love the level of passion in the story. I'm glad Gerard got what he deserved as well.

Desiree Holt said...

Hey all! REally glad to see all the comments. Please be sure to "follow" us and come back next week for the next free read.

CJ England said...


Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Gerard is someone I patterned after a real life "jerk". I love beating up my enemies that way. LOL

See you next time!

CJ England said...

*hugs Desiree*

Glad you liked the story and that you are along for the fun!

Missy Jane said...

CJ, what a fabulous, beautifully romantic story! I LOVED it!! You've definitely set the bar high ;-)

RaeLynn Blue said...

Wow, CJ. Stellar story. Good one!


Suzanne Rock said...

What a sweet story, CJ. Loved it! It's a great way to kick off the blog!

Look forward to see what the author authors come up with in the coming weeks...

Myla Jackson said...

You rock CJ. Congrats on a rip-roaring opening!

Cammie said...

Thanks so much for such a lovely story. The night sky is always beautiful, but now I will look at it and remember your story and it will be even more romantic.

Hoping to find my special star some day...

Happy Valentines to all :)

Layla Hunter said...

Well, we just came back from PA and guess what I was looking at tonight? Yes, the stars! The sky is cobalt blue and crystal clear and those stars are glistening!

I thought of your story and agree that the bar is set high! I can't wait until next week's free read and then some.

I'm thrilled to see so many comments/visitors too! Meeting new readers/writers is going to be as much fun as reading all theses stories to come!

Admittedly, I'm a little nervous but I have a couple of months to make mine shine! *smiles* I can only hope mine is as memorable as yours CJ!

Sarah said...

Great story! I love the thought of a dream lover watching over me from the sky - so romantic :-)

smaccall @

Layla Hunter said...

@Cammie ... I found myself doing that tonight! Looking up at the stars! *smiles*

Layla Hunter said...

@rbooth43 ... I agree! Inspirational and romantic! *sighs*

Layla Hunter said...

Sarah ... I was thinking the same thing to myself tonight! It's quite romantic to think someone is watching over you and just a wish away. Perfect Valentine's weekend love story!

Phylis said...

Oh CJ! This is awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!!! I loved it! What a great way to end my night! *sigh* Now I'm greedy and want more!

Faith V. Smith said...


Your story touched my heart. It was beautiful, hot, and so romantic!

Faith V. Smith

Anonymous said...

Fabulous start to the blog!

Debby said...

What a wonderful story. I lvoe the concept of a free story and you started it out fantastically. I am adding this to my weeking checks. thanks for hte sigh.
debby236 at att dot net

Darla M Sands said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing your gift.

ladydi6497 said...

I love that story. Thank you for writing it, CJ. You have a gift with words.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Linda Mooney said...

Perfect for the Valentine holiday! Thanks, CJ!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Missy! I wanted to do something special and I'm glad I succeeded!


CJ England said...

Thank you, Raelynn,

I'm so glad you all like it. This was such a fun and romantic story to write.

CJ England said...


I am too. I know that the other stories will be just as romantic and awesome. I'm pleased mine has been so well received.

Delaney Diamond said...

Great love story!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Myla. I'm glad everyone seems to like it so much. My weekend is a great one because of it.


CJ England said...


I love your comment! If you look up at the night sky and remember Ilona and Sirius, that makes me so happy.

That's what I want for my stories. To make a difference and make a memory. Thank you!

CJ England said...


I know all the other stories will be just as well received as mine. But I know I've had a wonderful weekend so far seeing all the comments and hearing all the awesome praise.

I have to say, it feels GREAT!!!! LOL

CJ England said...


I think that is why I wrote it. The idea of a dream lover keeping a watchful eye on me gave me the shivers. In a good way. LOL

A protective man who loves you so much he'd leave his home in the sky for you??? Beyond romantic.


CJ England said...


Thanks for checking in while I was sleeping. I love the fact you all are just as much a part of my story as I am.

A perfect team effort!!!

CJ England said...


Thank you so much. I'm glad you are greedy for more. LOL

In fact, I liked Ilona and Sirius so much I'm going to do another star story. *smile* I've already got part of it dreamed!


CJ England said...


Beautiful, hot and romantic. I love that comment. Thank you. That's exactly what I wanted for my story!


CJ England said...

Thank you, Julia.

I'm glad so many are enjoying my effort. I loved writing it!


Tawania said...

That was a truly beautiful, and moving story, CJ. Now every time I look up at the sky I will think of the lovers :) Thanks for the great read, and I'm looking forward to the next story.

Wicked Readings by Tawania

CJ England said...


Awesome! I'm so glad you like what you read so much you're going to stop back each week.

And knowing I made you sigh makes my weekend! Thank you!!!!

CJ England said...


Thank you. It is a gift and I'm pleased to give it away! This story was so easy to write. The lyrics to the song are so romantic, it seemed to write itself!!!


CJ England said...


What a sweet thing to say. Thank you!

I'm just glad you enjoyed it. Please stop by each week and don't forget to sign up for our contests. You can win ebooks from each author as well as many other prizes.


CJ England said...

Thanks, Linda.

I wanted a story, romantic second. Sounds like it worked and everyone is enjoying it. LOL


CJ England said...


Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

CJ England said...


Thank you. I looked up tonight and saw Sirius and thanked him for being the inspiration for such a great story.

I love it when that happens.

I hope you come back and visit often!

Mannouchka said...

Dear CJ,
It's a beautiful love stove to start my day and I really loved the video with the song
Good work and great story

Phylis said...

Looking over all the contest rules and I discovered I missed doing it the right way on this one. I was so overwhelmed with Ilona and Sirius's story that I just blurted and didn't think of the rules. :)
I love the whole story but the stars being called the Lovers is just perfect.

melanie said...

WOW That was one of the most ROMANTIC stories I have ever read it truly touched my Heart.Truly Madly Deeply was the song I used to walk down the isle to meet my Husband I love that song. CJ you have not lost any of the Magic of your written word.

Anonymous said...

that was so romantic. i loved it.
plus you named the char after my mum so i think you're awesome

Artemis said...

I have always loved to gaze at the stars. Now after reading this, I shall have a different appreciation for them. *sigh*

Great Story CJ!

Jill James said...

Now I'm all teary-eyed. I love a true happy ending. That story was perfection. Thank you, CJ

Desiree Holt said...

Just have to say a huge thank you for all the comments and to agree that this is a fabulous story to kick off the blog.You'll be a tough act for us to follow, CJ. And everyone who posted, I hope you'll come back each week to enjoy our full lineup of free reads.

Pommawolf said...

I love that Sirius sought to show Illona's inner light is her beauty. He see's all that she is, and that the scar is a part of her beauty. I also love your description of his warming hands as he caressed and touched whe they were making love.

I just love this story! It's full of love, hopes and dreams of both Sirius & Ilona.Plus "Sirius is my grandson's name!

Ashley L said...

I absolutely loved it CJ. A perfect story for Valentine's Day tomorrow. I'm not normally a picture person when I read but your added to the story. And I especially love the song where you got your inspiration. It's one of my favorites. Thanks for adding the video as I've never seen it before!

Layla Hunter said...

I can hardly wait until next Saturday! It will be great to see everyone come back for the second story ... and the third ... etc! Getting to know everyone will be wonderful, as will reading a new story each week!

What a lovely way to start a weekend! *winks*

Cathy M said...

CJ England's story was very romantic. Ilona and Sirius were so deserving of each other and I loved the romantic adventures he they experienced in her dreams.

CJ England said...


I'm happy you enjoyed it! May the start of your week be just awesome!

CJ England said...

No worries, Phylis. You got it this time. LOL

I loved the idea of a constellation being called the lovers. And the pic was just perfect for it.


CJ England said...

Ahhhh, Melanie...thank you.

It is such a romantic song and I wanted to make sure the story reflected that. What a great song to get married to. Fantastic memory.

CJ England said...

LOL Thanks, Ayla. And tell your mama hi for me! *smile* I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

CJ England said...

Thank you, Artemis.

The stars have always fascinated me ever since I studied Greek mythology. To be able to give them their own stories is just a way to make my dreams reality.

I'm glad to be able to share them.

CJ England said...

Wow! Thanks, Jill.

I love it when my stories touch a reader's heart. It's why I do, what I do!

CJ England said...


I am beyond happy that the blog has kicked off so well. Contest entries are flowing in every hour. Readers love the story and I'm surrounded by a stable of awesome fellow authors.

It's hard to get better than that!!!

CJ England said...


I love the name Sirius. When I was writing the story, I wasn't sure which star to use, but then I looked up...and there he was.

And everything just flowed from there. Thank you for the kinds words and I'm so pleased you enjoyed my story.

Say hi to your grandson for me! LOL

CJ England said...

Hey Ashley,

The video is great, isn't it, but the song is one you can so easily put pictures to, you can make up your own.

The lyrics are so romantic.

Thank you for the compliments and I'm so glad to have you here!!!

CJ England said...


LOL Thank you, again. I'm looking forward to seeing the other stories. And I think Valentine's Day was the perfect holiday to get this going!

CJ England said...

CATHY!!!!! *waves* It's good to see you here!!!!

Thank you for your sweet words. I love these two characters. Who knows... You know me and my sequels. We might all see them again someday!

nikniktigger said...

CJ England, THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! I pretty much did not stop crying until....well... I am still teary! Ilona and Sirius love story was amazing! I just got done and I must say this is the first story I have read about a star. The beginning was great with a lead in and your intro gave me alot of info. The story unfolds and I basically did not pay attention to the last 45 mins of the Grammys. LOL! Oh well. I love how Sirius took Ilona on different adventures in her dreams, initially, to get to know her and then to show his love to her. *BIG SIGH* I need a star. Your story makes me want to look up more often and make wishes!!!

Nichole Tigner
LaGrange, GA 30230

Susan Bloomingdale said...

Great love story, CJ!! Wonderful imagery you created! Whispering... Now go get busy with Mace and Chantal please!!! :)

keatonkat said...

Well, CJ has done it again! After reading her story about Ilona and Sirius I'll never look at the stars the same way again.

Thank you CJ England!!


CJ England said...


Love the handle! And thank you so much for the wonderful compliments you gave me. I'm so pleased I made you miss the Grammys. LOL

I think every person needs a star of their own. Either in the sky or here on earth.

Hugs and thanks again! *hands out tissues*

CJ England said...

Thank you, Susan. One of the best compliments you can give me is saying you could "see" what I was writing!

And--*looks around*--tomorrow Mace and Chantal are back with another installment. *grin*

So glad you're enjoying my OTHER FREE READ as well.

For anyone else...check it out at...

CJ England said...


{{{hugs}}} I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase...seeing stars! LOL

Thanks for the kind words.

CJ England said...

lorimeehan said...

CJ Englands- store Truly Madly Deeply

Ilona and Sirius

Was a lovely store of inner beauty verses a scared outer shell. How you should always look onto a persons soul to see there real beauty.

CJ England said...


That is so very true. How few of us truly look below the surface to the beauty beneath...



orelukjp0 said...

What a wonderful story.

I loved when Ilona found out everything she and Sirius shared really happened.

The pictures were lovely and added to the my reading pleasure.

CJ England said...

Thank you, orelukjp0...

I'm glad you enjoyed it and the way I put it together. I wanted to give you all a "full" experience!


Debbie said...

To CJ England: I love the song that inspired this short story! Ilona was a genuinely likeable and strong heroine. I enjoy reading stories where love isn't limited to just normal human beings. Sirius was an interesting character and I was glad he managed to connect with her in her time of need. I'll say, it's the first time I read a story where the hero is a star. Overall, it was a fun read and I'd definitely consider reading a longer version with a more detailed description of their past.

Sherry said...

I loved the story it was wonderful. The ending to the story was so sweet. I hope that Gerard gets what's coming to him.

CJ England said...

Thank you, Debbie,

I'm so glad you liked the story and how I used the song to inspire it. The stars are filled with inspiration and someday I'll use them to write more books!


CJ England said...

Hey Sherry,

Glad you enjoyed it! I am really picky about my endings. I want them to live on in my reader's minds forever.


lisa avila said...

Awesome story, I loved it!!!

CJ England said...


Thank you so much! I'm gld you enjoyed it!

Vicky CK said...

I sometimes am leery of short stories because something gets left out due to space. CJ, you covered it all here and I was very happy with your story.

I loved the details of the "dream trips" Ilona and Sirius took over the years, showing them getting to know each other and not just the magic "I love you" solving everything solution (as in they really have a background to base it on).

I also like that they will be able to be "any form" so even though stars now, they will still be able to 'love' each other. Sorry, but stars in space are not that close together and that would have been kinda sad if you had not included the other info.

Love the "The Lovers" for the binary stars at the end.

P.S. Seems we all love this song! I even included it in my wedding (after the ceremony, walk back down the isle).

CJ England said...

Vicky CK,

Thanks so much. I'm delighted you enjoyed the story. I love writing fantasies because you can "play" with the rules a bit and get away with it. LOL

And Truly Madly Deeply is an awesome song that seems to be a lot of peoples inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hello CJ,
I loved this story - how the story unfolds from the beginning as stars and ends in the same form...through a totally awesome madly, deeply love story of no boundaries. Most excellent - thank you for sharing.
Kay Dee

Ollie said...

OMG I loved this story. My heart ached for her knowing that others couldn't see the beauty in her and she felt so alone. It was beautiful how she found love with a being from the stars and in the end they would share eternity among the heavens.

Thank you for this story. I put a smile on my face and heart.:)

Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp

CJ England said...

Hey Kay Dee,

I intend to do more stories "in the stars". I'm dreaming one right now that is quite sensual, but as always filled with romance and emotion.

Now I just need more time. LOL

CJ England said...


Thank you! When a reader tells me I've put a smile on their face it's great, but on their heart...totally AWESOME!!!!

I hope you enjoy my other FREE READS too! Check them out on my website under Freebies and Fun Stuff>Freebies


Tonya Renee Callihan said...

This story had all the elements I love in a love story. It's beautifully written. I loved the characters so much, by the end of the story I felt like I knew them really well and wanted nothing but the best for them!

CJ England said...

Thank you, Tonya.

I don't usually write shorts, but this one came so easily I knew it was exactly what I'd been waiting for to start out the blog.



Kaualoku said...

I know I posted when this first came out and I still love it but I finally red the conest requirements lol duh so here it is!

1. CJ England
2. Ilona & Gerard
3. That she had enough faith in him to go ahead & make that Wish, especially in such a terrorfiying moment!

CJ England said...

Thanks, Kaualoku.

I appreciate the effort and I'm glad you enjoyed the story enough to comment.