Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend In New England by Jill James

When I was told I needed to write a short story based on a song title I knew it would be a Barry Manilow song. I've loved his songs since I was a pre-teen and got a 45 record of Mandy for my birthday. Weekend in New England is such a poignant song and I love it.

Can Britt and Bethany find true love in a year of weekends in New England? When put between a rock and a hard place, will Britt follow his ambition or his heart?

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


Weekend In New England
by Jill James

A beautiful drive back to New York City and Britt Mason couldn’t enjoy it as he did every month. His mind was crammed with thoughts of rocky beaches, warm water, and Bethany Wilson. Bethany and that last, ugly fight. It wasn’t supposed to end that way. He’d meant to call it off with class, instead they had yelled, argued, and Bethany had thrown a vase at his head.

He winced. Maybe he had deserved it. It wasn’t as if he didn’t let Bethany know she was his woman. His only one. She had been, totally, until a few weeks ago. Until he made the decision that changed everything.

Britt raked his fingers through his hair, sighed, and wondered how something so sweet could turn so bad. Just one year. Twelve months from amazing to appalling. It was such a short time to fall in love with the right girl, the right place, and so not the right time.

He stared at the traffic ahead. Great, a traffic jam. Concentrating on driving took his mind away from his troubles. Like why he was driving away from the woman he wanted, and driving back to the woman he was supposed to marry.

“Damn, I’ve become a lovesick ballad.” His fist pounded the steering wheel. He pushed the button and watched the window roll down beside him. Fresh, early autumn air flooded his Lexus. The headache stopped pulsating behind his eyeballs. Deep breaths of salt air mixed with honeysuckle filled his chest. Life had been so simple before his trip to Connecticut and St. Peter Island last fall.

* * * 

The sand sat toasty on his buried feet. The laughter of children came to him on the breeze from the ocean. It was perfection. Then, something whacked him in the back of the head. He turned to yell at the kids and fell into deep green eyes.

Britt gazed, dumbstruck, watching her pink, luscious lips move, and not hearing a word. She stopped talking and stared at him. He shook his head, the fog lifting as her hand touched his head.

“Are you all right?” Her fingers tangled in his hair.

No, he wasn’t all right. His heartbeat raced a million beats a minute and he couldn’t catch his breath. This girl, and she was a girl, barely out of her teens, had his brain befuddled and his emotions on overload, and all she’d done was touch him.

He reached up and removed her hand from his hair. An electric shock pulsated from his fingertips to his brain. She didn’t let go of his hand. She held on. Electricity flowed between them, to his heart, to his brain, to his groin.

“I’m Bethany Wilson. We’re sorry we hit you with the volleyball.” She turned slightly and indicated her friends, most with the same worried look on their faces hers wore.

Jeez, they made his thirty years seem like a hundred to their glowing, youthful faces. As if they had hit the senior citizen with the ball. He jumped up from the sand, somehow with his hand still attached to Bethany. 

“Care if I join in? I’m Britt Mason, by the way.”

Bethany smiled and her beautiful face turned drop-dead gorgeous. He gazed at her and wondered if love at first sight might actually exist. His heart skipped a couple of beats and raced to catch up. 
Once they joined in the volleyball game resumed, fast and furious. Britt found he was more than able to keep up with the young guys. He whispered a thank you to his weekly racquetball games with his buddy, Morgan, for the ability to look good today.

The last game wound to an end with his team the winners. Britt put his hands on his knees and caught his breath. He looked up at the silence of the beach. Most of the families with little ones had already left. Britt and the volleyball players were the only ones on the sand as twilight started and the sun continued to set over the bluff behind them. Goosebumps rose on his arms as if to announce the end of the day and the end of summer.

He started when someone touched his shoulder. Turning, he found Bethany at his side with his sweatshirt brought from his earlier spot on the beach. Her smile was like coming home. He reached for his shirt and found her arms around him and her lips grazing his. He sighed. It was so sweet. Her breath tart with a touch of spearmint, her lips slick with strawberry.

He jumped back as if he had touched a forbidden object. “I don’t need the police swooping down on me here.”

She put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “Britt, how old do you think I am?”

He felt his face flush with embarrassment. “I’m hoping at least eighteen.”

Bethany’s glare disappeared as her smile grew, until she laughed aloud. “That is about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. My twenty-eighth birthday is next month. Here I was all upset that thirty was around the corner and I’m about ready to be stuck on a shelf.”

His hand reached out and cupped her face. “You are definitely not destined for spinsterhood. Some man is going to be very lucky and scoop you up.” His lips found hers. The first kiss had been sweet. The second was anything but. His tongue caressed her lips, demanding entrance. She gasped and he took advantage. Their tongues dueled and slid against each other. Their moans swallowed by each other. His blood boiled and his flesh between his legs hardened. He ground them together, center to center. Her hands raked through his hair, pulling him closer to her.

“Britt. Bethany. We’re going to build a bonfire. Are you coming?”

Laughter pealed out from the gathering darkness. They both jumped back as if scalded. Britt groaned. What was he thinking? They weren’t teenagers. Bethany smiled and grabbed his hand, dragging him towards the others and the growing pile of driftwood. He pulled on his sweatshirt, wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and found a spot by the beginnings of a giant beach bonfire.

Two beers later, the bonfire warmed the sand and Britt. Bethany sat in front of him, her bottom pressed against his growing erection. Her hair smelled like strawberries and her body was soft and full. He groaned. Bethany wiggled in front of him with a laugh. The woman knew exactly what she was doing.

He wrapped his arms around her, her breasts cradled on top of his arms. Their weight sent his heart pulsating into overdrive. He waited to hear the zipper on his shorts pop. Bethany leaned back, her hair cascading over his chest. Her whispered words pushed him over the edge. “Do you want to go somewhere alone?”

He set his beer bottle into the sand, jumped up, and pulled Bethany up with him. Her laugh skittered across his mind like fingertips sliding down his flesh to his groin. She grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the fire into the dark beyond the reach of the flame’s glow.

It was cooler away from the fire, but Britt didn’t feel it. His skin was aglow with desire and want for the woman holding his hand. Just the touch of their fingers sent electric shock to his brain. There was a real chance he might expire all together at their lovemaking. But, what a way to go. He smiled.

Bethany stopped. Britt looked around. The moonlight shined on a secluded cove with sand, driftwood, and large rocks. She led him to the back of the cove, with the bluff on one side and the ocean far out across the sand in low tide.

Bethany reached up with long arms and pulled the rubber band from her hair. Long tresses of strawberry blonde hair fell to her hips and to the front playing peek-a-boo with her breasts, still covered in her turquoise bikini top. But, not for long. She reached behind, untied her top, and let it fall to the sand.

Britt licked his suddenly dry lips. Lush pink nipples peaked out of her strands of hair. They were hard and upright with the cool breeze from the sea. His hands itched to touch them, to see if they were as hard and ripe as they appeared.

She bent down and removed her shorts and bikini bottom. The fabric tossed to the sand with the rest of her clothing. Bethany straightened up and Britt saw her in all her naked glory. His breath left him in a rush.

Her long legs led to red-gold curls between her thighs. She was Venus rising from the sea. Suddenly, he didn’t feel worthy of this gift. He was only here for the weekend, on vacation. This would be a mad fling, nothing else. Could he do that to this beautiful woman? She seemed so pure, untouched.

Bethany laid back and reached out her hand to him. It was a wanton invitation he couldn’t resist. His clothes disappeared like magic. One moment they were on and the next he was kneeling beside her, his hands roaming her luscious body. Her skin against his fingertips as soft as he had imagined.

She smiled up at him, her body arching against his hands, and Britt knew he could conquer the world. Her lips parted on a sigh and he claimed them. They still tasted of strawberry as his lips slid along hers. Her tongue slid along his lips. He groaned. Their tongues touched, dueled, and thrust together. Britt’s breath came fast and hard. His heart skipped a couple of beats when Bethany’s hand wrapped around his erection. Her hand soft but sure, moving up and down the length of him.

His fingers trailed down her abdomen, along her thighs, and up to the red-gold curls at the center of her body. He found her hot and wet. Her musky scent carried over the scent of the sea breeze. His pulse quickened as his fingers entered her. The muscles clenched to hold his fingers inside her and his palm tight against her.

“Please,” she begged. Her fingers tightened on his flesh and pulled him over her. Her hand guided him to where his fingers still played. His hand retreated, allowing his erection entrance to her hot, wet, slick center.

He slid in, his fingers moving to her breasts. His fingertips, wet with her juices rubbed her nipples. They tightened and budded with his ministrations. He bent down and took her sweet, musky-scented nipples into his mouth.

Bethany’s body arched as the rhythm built. His mouth at her breasts and his flesh joined with her moving in sync. In and out, in concert with the tide on the beach just a few yards away. Her hands moved to his face, caressing his cheeks, tunneling into his hair, pulling him closer to her.

Her moans filled his ears as he groaned her name in husky passion. He bent down and seized her lips, their moans captured between them. She screamed in ecstasy and her nails dug into his back. The pain sweet as he reached the pinnacle and slid down the other side with a hoarse echo of her sweet cry of his name at her own peak.

Muscles clenched him deep inside her. She squeezed every drop of his pleasure. He collapsed and rolled to the side so he didn’t crush her. Bethany smiled, stretched, and cuddled next to him. The moon shined down on them as the crash of waves lulled him. His heartbeat slowed and he kissed Bethany, sleep rushed up to claim him.

* * *

The sun shined on his closed eyelids, the brightness piercing to his brain. Britt raised his hand to his face to shield his eyes. Something scratchy in his palm cut across his cheek. He peeled his eyes open to a blur and a business card in his hand. Bethany’s Bed and Breakfast in bold script flowed across the card. He jumped up.

Two things became instantly clear. Bethany was no longer by his side and he was as naked as the day he was born. He couldn’t do anything about the first problem, but looking up and seeing two little boys gawking at him had him rushing to fix the second. He yanked on his shorts, yelping as the zipper caught flesh. He grabbed his shirt and sweatshirt and slid his feet into his loafers.

It was an uphill battle as Britt struggled up the bluff as the day’s beachcombers were all trekking down. His anger at finding himself alone this morning added to his frustration. His heart pounded and his face grew hot and dripped sweat.

He slammed into his Lexus and ripped on the air conditioning. The soon cool air calmed his heated body and heated mood. He glanced at Bethany’s business card again. Her bed and breakfast was across St. Peter Island on St. Michael’s Bay.

He put the car in reverse, slid out of the parking slot, pushed the gearshift into drive, and peeled out of the parking lot. He was going to find Bethany and find out why she left him after a night of wonderful, fantastic, amazing sex with not even a kiss good-bye, just a card with her name. 

* * *

Bethany strode across the dining room to serve her guests. She blushed as every slide of her thighs brought back memories of last night. She tried thinking of anything but sand, sex, and Britt Mason. Her face burned with heated memories that had no business during work hours.

“Are you all right, dear?” The elderly Mrs. Kepler inquired, as Bethany slid the basket of muffins onto the table.

“Of course. Why do you ask?”

“Because you look well-loved this morning, dear. It may be many years since Mr. Kepler passed. But I remember that glow very well.”

Her face was on fire. She didn’t think her face could get any hotter without combusting, and then Britt Mason walked into the dining room. Oh my God, just let her die now.

“Oh my, this must be the glow-maker.” Mrs. Kepler’s peppy little voice didn’t help.

Britt came over and touched her arm. A tingle shot all the way through her. She shivered as his deep blue eyes glared down at her. “Can we talk?” 

Bethany murmured an ‘excuse me’ to her guests and led Britt to the hallway and beyond to her office. She shut the door once they were inside and two seconds later found her back pressed up against the door, Britt’s lips sliding deliciously across hers.

She placed her hands on his chest and pushed his away. “I thought you wanted to talk?” She crossed her arms on her chest and put a safe distance between them.

His fingers raked through his salt and sand encrusted hair, grains of sand falling to his shoulders. “You left. Did I hurt you? Upset you?” The worry in his eyes struck her like a hurricane. This man really cared.

Bethany shook her head. “No, I’m fine.” She moved closer, her hand rose to caress his cheek. The stubble tickled her palm. “It was wonderful. But I have responsibilities. I have to be up at dawn to start breakfast for everyone.”

His hand covered hers on his cheek. “I want to see you today.”

She shook her head. “Not until after lunch. I don’t serve dinner, so in the afternoon I’m free.”

“I’ll be back.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and crushed her lips against him in a scorching kiss. “You better be.”

* * *

Britt shook his head, shocked to find himself in his car, the skyscrapers of the Manhattan skyline growing close in the coming twilight. He’d been so wrapped up in thoughts of Bethany, of holding her close, of being with her that first time he swore he still smelled ocean breezes, suntan lotion, and tasted salt strawberry lip gloss on his mouth.

Their story couldn’t be ending. It was just beginning. The first visit to St. Peter Island in September had started the magic between them. October found him at Bethany’s Bed and Breakfast for his getaway weekend. November and December had them huddled in front of a roaring fire watching a Nor’easter blustering against the plate glass window, the waves of St. Michael’s Bay crashing against the bluff. The vibrations carried all the way to Bethany’s Victorian and sent her into his willing arms. January, February, and March of this year had been the calmest, warmest in history. They’d walked the island from end to end with no one else in sight. April and May found him tied up with business at the ad agency but he’d burned up the cell phone minutes with calls to her every night, for hours at a time.

June and July were Bethany’s peak times at the Bed and Breakfast and they had to steal moments away to be together. August had seen a new level of closeness between them. They strolled Main Street of St. Peter Island, stopping to look at the new cakes in the bakery, rings at the jewelry store, and laughed at the new styles of wedding dresses in the window of Mrs. Hampton’s.

Parting Sunday morning had been tough; August at work had been tougher. Mr. Adkins called him into the corner office, the one with the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the river. Britt barely sat down and Tom Adkins laid down how it was going to go.

“I want this to all be yours, Britt. Your’s and Heather’s. Marry my daughter and some day this office will be yours, along with the company.”

Thoughts of Bethany and the island whooshed past his brain. He couldn’t do it. Then, he scanned the office, the view, the thought of owning Adkins Agency. He couldn’t think, sitting here in a cushy chair, surrounded by mahogany and wealth.

He was torn in two. He loved Bethany, there was no doubt. But, when he was in the city things weren’t so clear. He was juggling one weekend a month against a lifetime of having it all. A wonderful fling, but a fling nonetheless against real life, his real life, here in New York and Fifth Avenue.

“Sir, I’m honored. I’ll need time to think about this great opportunity. A time to get to know Heather.”

“You have until next month. I will want to announce your engagement the first weekend of September. That’s all. Back to work, Mason.”

Britt trudged back to his office. His future unclear and his present a mess. At his office, he found his buddy, Morgan in a chair in front of Britt’s desk. Britt threw himself into his chair, gripped his hair, and moaned.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Morgan said.

“Adkins asked me to marry Heather.”

“Wow, hope a benefits package comes with that offer. I wouldn’t marry that woman for half of New York City.”

“He offered me the agency in the future.”

Morgan shook his head. “Yep, hard choice there. Glad it’s you, buddy and not me.”

Britt looked up. “Thanks a lot.”

Unfortunately, Morgan hadn’t been wrong. A few dinners at the Adkins mansion and he wanted to chuck it all and run away to the saneness of St. Peter Island and Bethany. He couldn’t do it. His career was everything to him, the Adkins Agency his whole life.

He wanted to call Bethany just to hear her voice, but that seemed so unfair. It was bad enough that he didn’t call her to let her know he wouldn’t be back to her island and to her. He let her messages go to voice mail. It hurt so much he deleted them without listening.

Any other time the dog days of August dragged in the city, but not slow enough this year for Britt. In a rush, August ended and September arrived with the beginning of fall in New York, with turning leaves and crisp mornings. With his and Heather’s engagement party.

The party was planned for Saturday at Bobby Flay’s restaurant. Big man Adkins had rented the whole place for his little girl. Britt wanted to throw up. He couldn’t do this. Not without a face-to-face good-bye to Bethany. He owed her that.

He left work, grabbed his car from the lot, and once out of the city, raced to Connecticut. He caught the last ferry of the day, arriving at St. Peter Island long after nightfall. A night clerk checked him into the Bed and Breakfast. He tiptoed to his room, praying Bethany wouldn’t spot him. He couldn’t do this in the middle of the night.


Her husky tones pierced right through him. She rushed from a table full of guests and filled his arms. She smelled of breakfast and her own personal strawberry scent. Her red-gold hair spilled over her shoulders and tickled his arms.

Holding her, feeling her, felt so right, why was it so wrong?

He held her out at arm’s length. “Let me help with breakfast. Then we need to talk.

Her deep, green gaze eyed him, her brow furrowed and her smile disappeared. She glanced at him under long lashes as they moved around the dining room and back and forth to the kitchen.

All too soon, breakfast was done, the guests were gone, and the dishes were all cleaned and put away. Bethany threw the dishtowel over the edge of the sink, folded her arms across her chest, and sighed.

“You could have said good-bye over the phone. I would have understood. It would have been better than seeing you again.”

He walked toward her and stopped at her upraised hand in a firm stop motion. “I wanted to tell you good-bye in person. I owed you that. I owed us that.”


He swallowed. This was more complicated than it had seemed back in the city. “This year with you has been . . . unbelievable. But I’m getting married. The engagement party is tonight.”

“What?” Tears filled her eyes and rolled down her bone-white face. His heart broke to see her this way.

“I didn’t know about it last month when I was here. I swear. It happened when I got back to work. It’s the boss’s daughter.”

Bethany started laughing. A pitiful little laugh, full of anguish. “Do you love her?”

He stared at the woman he loved. “Of course not.”

She hiccupped as she laughed and cried at the same time. “Of course not! Get out of here. I hope I never lay eyes on you again.” She picked up a vase and launched it at him.

Britt ducked as the vase sailed over his head and shattered against the wall, shards of glass raining down on the wood floor. “I’m sorry,” he whispered as he went to leave.

“Not as sorry as you’re going to be if you don’t leave right now.”

* * *

Just like that, his life was full-circle. He was putting his car in the lot as darkness fell. Headed to propose to one woman, leaving the one he loved behind.

Britt walked up to the restaurant, still dressed in his khakis and tee shirt. Mr. Adkins stood outside the door, probably making sure he showed. The man sneered, his nose wrinkled at Britt’s appearance. Too bad. They could take him as he was.

The door opened and Heather appeared. His heart didn’t skip. His breath didn’t hitch. He felt nothing for this woman

She opened her mouth, no doubt to screech at him and his appearance. Suddenly, everything was clear. His and Bethany’s story hadn’t ended, it was just beginning. While he’d been running like a rat in a maze, he now saw everything. His ambition was as bad as Mr. Adkins and Heather, buying a husband. And he had been willing to be bought.

He smiled. “Heather, I wish I could say I’m sorry, but I’m not.” He turned. “Mr. Adkins, I quit.”

Before either of them could say anything, Britt rushed across the street, down the block, and got his car back out of the lot.

Midnight tolled on the clock tower dockside of the St. Peter Island ferry as Britt pulled up to the landing. The ferry sat dark and closed for the night. He looked across the water to the few twinkling lights still on at this hour on the island.

He shut off the car, got out, and ran to the ferryman’s house. He banged and rang the bell. Finally, a light came on, along with a gruff ‘who is it?’

“It’s Britt Mason,” he shouted through the door. “I have to get to the island.”

The old man opened the door. “Young man, the last ferry was hours ago. Just pop a squat. First ferry is 6 a.m.”

“I can’t wait,” Britt pleaded. “I have to get to Bethany. I have to let her know I was wrong.”

“Wrong about what, exactly?”

“I was wrong to leave her.”

The man sighed. “Okay. Bethany is a good girl. She deserves some happiness. But, you better not break her heart.”

Britt cringed. “I already did. I’m back to fix it.”

The ferry ride passed in silence as the man took him and his car across the water to the island. Britt tried to tip him an extra $100 bill, but he refused, muttering about true love and all that.

At the Bed and Breakfast, Britt started to rush up to the door but a flash of pale pink blew in the wind on the bluff. He would know that nightgown anywhere. Bethany sat huddled on the edge of the cliff, her gown and hair blowing in the sea breeze.

He rushed to her side. “Bethany."

 * * *

Bethany rubbed the tears from her cheeks at the sound of Britt’s voice in the wind. She turned her face to find him kneeling at her side. She hardened her heart at the sight of him. He’d hurt her once, was he back to finish the job?

“What are you doing here?”

“Following my heart. Sitting here beside the only woman I ever want in my life.”

“You were leaving to get married.” She hated the hitch in her voice.

“The most stupid thing I’ve ever done. Ambition is nothing. A job is nothing. Not when it makes you hurt the person you love.”

“You love me?”

His arms surrounded her, gathered her close. His warmth transferred to her chilled body. “Always and forever.”

The End


Jill James is a debut author with her first book, Tempting Adam, available now from The Wild Rose Press and  

Her website is


Linda Mooney said...

I'm also a closet Manilow lover, Jill! Thanks for the spicy little story to get me going this morning! :D

Mannouchka said...

Dear Jill,

I want to thank you for that spicy little story to get me going this saturday morning .It's well written and very interesting to fellow and I also enjoy the music
Good work Jill and have a wonderful Satureday and Sunday

Ashley L said...

Wonderful short story. A perfect start to the weekend. No one should let that kind of love go when they have it within their grasp.

Jill James said...

Linda, thanks. Spice is always a great way to start the day.

Jill James said...

Mannouchka, thank you very much. I love the music too.

Jill James said...

Ashley, so true. I wanted Britt to almost lose it so it could appreciate it better.

Erin Nicholas said...

Thanks for the story Jill! I'm not even a closet Manilow lover, Linda-- I'm wide open about it *G*

Jill James said...

Erin, thanks so much.

Jennifer Jakes said...

Great story, Jill!

Virna DePaul said...

Hi Jill,

Great story today! I love that Bethany was able to teach Britt what is really important. A great, sexy path to an HEA.

Jill James said...

Jennifer, thanks

Jill James said...

Virna, glad you enjoyed the story.

Layla Hunter said...

Oh I loved that story Jill! Nicely done!

Jill James said...

Layla, thank you so much.

Missy Jane said...

What a sweet story, even if I did want to reach into it to strangle Britt ;-)
The ending had me pushing the down button searching for more. That's definitely the sign of a good read.

Elizabeth Silver said...

So very sweet! I love how we got to see how they started and then started over. Very nice job, Jill!

Debby said...

That was beautiful!! I am so glad they got together. Doe sthat island really exist?

Suzanne Rock said...

Great story, Jill! Very sexy. I love the song choice, too. ;)

hotcha12 said...


Jill James said...

Missy Jane, thank you. Wanting more is always a great reader comment.

Jill James said...

Elizabeth, thank you so much for the lovely comment.

Jill James said...

Debby, St. Peter Island only exists in my imagination. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Jill James said...

Suzanne, thanks. Sexy is a great compliment.

Jill James said...

Hotcha, so glad you enjoyed it.

Teresa said...

Jill, I really enjoyed Britt and Bethany story.
You so did A wonderful job.
I love true romance..
And you pick a very Awesome singer and song writer
I so love Barry Manilow.
I have every since I was a teenager.
Thank you.

Phylis said...

I think Barry Manilow is my secret enjoyment! lol I loved the story Jill I only wish that at the end that Bethany had punched Britt on the arm and let him have it for just a little bit before she accepted him back. Loved the story though. Thanks for sharing it.

Jill James said...

Teresa, so glad you enjoyed Britt and Bethany's story.

Jill James said...

Phyllis, so true that Bethany could have made Britt work a little harder for their HEA.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Great story, Jill. I also like Barry Manilow's songs.

Jill James said...

Thanks Ann, glad you liked the story.

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Jill,

I like when true love wins. I'm glad Britt finally came to his senses.

Your story brought back memories of a couple of my summer trysts at the beach.

Jill James said...

Celtic chick, thanks. I remember a few summer loves too.

Vampirique Dezire said...

Hi there, just letting you know that I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Just pop over to my blog and you can collect it from there.
Vampirique Dezire

Romance With a Twist said...

I love it when true love wins the heart of the hero! Viki

Jill James said...

Ah, true love. Thanks Viki.

Liddy Midnight said...

Well done, Jill! I love a heart-warming story and this left me with a warm glow.

I never realized how many Manilow fans there are. Count me among them! LOL


Jill James said...

Thanks Liddy, glad you enjoyed the story.