Poor Spence—all he wanted to do was fly to Vegas, walk his mother down the aisle, and get back to his shop. Until a very attractive seatmate on the plane has him adjusting his plans to make time for some anonymous stranger sex.
It's just his bad luck that his anonymous stranger turns out to be his new stepsister.
When Maddie realizes she’s just spent two days banging her new stepbrother, her first reaction is to laugh. Her second is to wish she could do it again. It was very memorable banging, and the prospect of not doing it anymore is a bleak one. Still, she can keep things sibling-like if Spence can.
Lucky for her, Spence is just as eager as she is to pick up where they left off in Vegas, on the condition they keep it just between them. Telling the family will only make things complicated, after all. And that’s fine with Maddie—until she realizes that she’s falling in love with a man who seems content for her to stay his dirty little secret.
Dirty she’s fine with. A secret? That’s a deal breaker.
COPYRIGHT © 2023 solitary vice publications
Of all the characters in the F.I.L.T.H. universe, Spence is my favorite. He comes off as steely and stern, but inside he’s a big, gooey marshmallow, and I had a terrific time putting him and Maddie together.
behind the book
Spencer Nichols boarded the plane to Vegas with conflicting emotions. There was annoyance that due to ‘mechanical difficulties’ his non-stop flight from Grand Rapids had turned into a connecting one in Chicago. There was irritation that the only food he’d been able to find in the terminal had been a pre-packaged sandwich with questionable expiration dates. And finally, there was the reluctant pleasure of sitting in first class.
Not that first class on a flight from Chicago Midway to Las Vegas was all that classy. There was no fully reclining seat or privacy pod, and he sincerely doubted a gourmet meal would be in the offing. But he had six inches of extra legroom, only one seat beside him instead of two, and the flight attendant had already brought him a whiskey, free of charge, so all in all he considered it a win.
Now if the seat next to him would stay empty, he might just enjoy the next four hours.
He closed his eyes and laid his head back, whiskey in hand, and let the sounds of feet shuffling and luggage wheels clattering down the aisle fade into white noise. It was almost soothing, and he’d fallen into a light doze when a sudden loud thud jerked him out of it.
“Oops,” a breathless voice said, and he kissed his dreams of a seatmate-free flight goodbye.
He kept his eyes closed, hoping whoever was currently wrangling their luggage into the overhead compartment would take the hint and leave him alone. He didn’t open them when the flight attendant came by to assist with the wrangling and kept them resolutely shut when the occupant of Seat 3B sat down hard enough to make him bounce. But when something landed on his foot, his eyes popped open.
“What the hell?”
“Sorry,” 3B said, and with his foot throbbing and his mood plummeting, he turned to snarl at her.
And just stared.
She was a mess.
Her hair was dark brown and long, just past her shoulders, and so tangled he couldn’t be sure it wasn’t being used as a nest by some small woodland creature. Her face was flushed bright pink and damp, so much so that he thought for a moment someone had thrown a drink in her face before he realized she was sweating. A lot.
She swiped a hand over her forehead and into her hair, which didn’t help the hair-as-nest situation at all, and offered him a surprisingly cheerful smile. “Sorry,” she said again and leaned over to retrieve the backpack that had dropped on his foot. She grunted and hoisted it up, and he blurted out the first thought that leaped to mind.
“What do you have in that thing, rocks?”
“No,” she said, her voice muffled as she bent over to shove the backpack under the seat in front of her. “Shoes.”
“How many feet do you have?” he asked, distracted. Bending over had caused her shirt to ride up and her jeans to gape at the waist, treating him to a view of the dimples on either side of her lower spine.
“Ha,” she said and sat up, shoving at her hair. “I wasn’t sure which ones to bring, mostly because I don’t know which outfit I’m going to wear to my—”
“I don’t actually care,” he interrupted, staring at her hair again, which now stood straight up from her forehead and appeared to be increasing in volume.
“Then why’d you ask?”
“Beats the hell out of me,” he said and finally dragged his gaze away from her hair to focus on her face.
She was still sweating, which was probably why her face was bare of makeup except for the dark rings under her eyes. Her eyeliner had fought valiantly but lost the battle, and combined with the hair she looked like the morning after a hard night of partying—or other sweaty activities.
It looked good on her.
She had skin that he figured for a soft, pearly white when it wasn’t I-just-ran-a-marathon-red, a round, stubborn-looking chin, and a mouth that made him think of sweaty activities again. Wide and lush and a pale, sweet pink, it was currently being nibbled on by strong white teeth while she watched him with curious eyes the color of the whiskey he’d forgotten he was holding.
“Is your foot okay?” she asked and dropped her eyes to the body part in question. “Your toes aren’t broken, are they?”
“My toes are fine,” he grumbled, and she looked up. Her lashes had left sooty little smudges under her eyes, adding to her general vibe of sexy mess, and since watching her chew on her lower lip wasn’t going to help him maintain his veneer of civility, he looked away.
Unfortunately, he looked away and down, where a truly magnificent rack was turning a simple white, V-neck t-shirt into a work of art. It was thin enough to mold to the flesh it covered, challenging his civility again, and damp enough to reveal that the bra she wore under it was both lacy and pink.
And doing nothing to disguise the state of her nipples, poking through bra and t-shirt like pencil erasers. Stubby, thick, half-inch-long pencil erasers.
He didn’t look long. Despite being what his friend Tuck often described as a grumpy, taciturn misanthrope, he did have manners, so when he realized what he was looking at he lifted his gaze to her face again. Where he saw the curiosity in her eyes had been replaced with the knowing amusement of a woman who knew exactly where he’d been looking, and why.
“Should I put on a jacket?” she asked, her voice somehow richer and deeper in mirth.
“Are you cold?” he countered, unfazed.
“No. I had to run all the way from TSA, I won’t be cold for a while.”
“That explains the sweat. And the hair.”
“It explains the sweat,” she said, equally unfazed. “The hair is from the cab ride. The heater was broken.”
He looked up at the tangled mess on her head. “So you offered the cabbie’s pet ferret a nest?”
She snorted. “Looks like it, doesn’t it? No, the heater was broken so it stayed on, and I had to roll down the window so I didn’t bake to death.”
“My face is a mess too, isn’t it?” she asked, still amused.
“Yes,” he said baldly.
She ran her index finger under her eye. “Racoon eyes, right?”
“Little bit,” he said, watching her smear the black around. Her nails were short and round and painted a deep red that looked almost like blood against her white skin. “You’re not fixing it.”
“I know,” she said and switched to her other eye. “But at least this way it looks intentional.”
Spence’s lips twitched on a sudden spurt of amusement. She looked like a kid who’d been playing with mommy’s makeup kit. “Sure.”
“Excuse me,” the flight attendant said, hovering in the aisle with a professional smile that didn’t quite mask her annoyance. “You’ll have to put your seatbelt on.”
“Sorry,” 3B said with that cheerful smile and reached for her seatbelt.
The flight attendant shifted her attention to him, her smile warming considerably. “Do you need another?” she asked, nodding at the plastic tumbler he held.
“I’m good,” he said, and very deliberately didn’t return the smile. The invitation was plain—she’d already told him she had a twenty-four-hour layover in Vegas and nothing to do—and under other circumstances, he might have been tempted to take her up on it. But this trip was going to be complicated enough without factoring in a one-night-stand.
A flash of irritation appeared in the flight attendant’s hazel, raccoon-ring-free eyes, then she shrugged. “Let me know if you change your mind,” she said, then moved on to remind the next row to fasten their seatbelts.
“Subtle,” 3B mused, and Spence glanced at her. She was tightening her seatbelt and watching him, amusement dancing in those whiskey-colored eyes.
He shrugged, not bothering to misunderstand. “Sometimes you gotta shoot your shot.”
“Oh, absolutely,” she agreed cheerfully and craned her neck to look after the flight attendant. “Subtlety is for suckers.”
“What are you doing?” he asked when she continued to lean into the aisle.
“Waiting for her to come back so I can get a drink.”
“Take mine,” he said and shoved his glass at her.
She took it, eyebrows raised in surprise. “Thanks. What is it?”
“Whiskey,” he replied, amused when she sniffed at the glass. “You a booze snob?”
“A lightweight,” she corrected, and took a cautious sip. “I was going to ask for a white wine spritzer.”
She was going for another sip when he nipped the glass out of her hand. “Hey!”
“White wine spritzer drinkers don’t get whiskey,” he informed her, holding it up when she tried to grab it. “I don’t want to get puked on.”
“I’m not going to puke up one glass of Jack Daniels,” she said and settled back in her seat with an affronted sniff.
“I’m not taking any chances,” he replied and knocked back the rest of his glass to make sure.
“Rude. I’d rather have the spritzer, anyway.” She leaned back out into the aisle. “Where is that flight attendant?”
Spence just leaned back and closed his eyes again. “The door is closed. She won’t give you one until we’re in the air.”
“She offered you another,” 3B pointed out.
“Yeah, but she wants to fuck me,” he said bluntly with the vague hope that if he were rude enough she’d leave him alone for the duration of the flight.
“Why?” came the prompt reply.
He opened one eye. “Touché.”
Her grin flashed, smugly delighted. “Thanks.”
He closed his eye. “Now shut up so I can sleep.”
She snorted. “Nighty-night, sleeping beauty.”
Spence just grunted and turned toward the window so she couldn’t see his grin.
He hadn’t expected to actually sleep, so when he woke with a jerk it took him a moment to orient himself. Then he heard the ding of the seatbelt sign being turned off and the pilot’s voice over the loudspeaker welcoming them to Las Vegas, and he remembered.
“We’re there already?” he muttered and scrubbed his hands over his face to wake up.
“Yep,” a cheerful voice replied beside him, and he glanced at 3B. “You slept the whole flight.”
He stared at her, struggling to get his fuzzy brain into gear. “What happened to you?”
She blinked at him as the passengers around them spilled into the aisle, jockeying for position. “What are you talking about?”
“You look…” He trailed off, searching for a less offensive word, but he was still half asleep and his brain wouldn’t cooperate. “Normal.”
She snickered and lifted a hand to her hair. “I dug out my hairbrush. Does it look all right?”
She’d transformed the ferret’s nest into actual hair and pinned it up with some kind of clip, glossy curls spilling out of it. “It looks like you stole someone else’s hair,” he said, the highest compliment he could come up with.
“Gee, I’m all aflutter,” she drawled, and he figured when he was more awake he’d appreciate the sarcasm.
“What’d you do to your face?”
“Makeup wipes,” she said, and rolled her un-raccooned eyes. “Are you always this charming?”
“Yes.” He’d been right. Without the sweaty flush, her skin was white, with just a hint of blush underneath.
“Boy, that flight attendant really dodged a bullet,” she said and stood to retrieve her suitcase from the overhead.
He stayed in his seat, yawning, and watched her t-shirt ride up to expose a sliver of silky white midriff. “Need a hand?”
“How chivalrous of you to offer,” she said, her voice straining as she yanked the bag free. She dropped it to the floor with a grunt and leaning on it, peered at him through the curls that had flopped forward. “A true gentleman.”
He stretched, feeling loose and rested and almost cheerful, his mood aided considerably by the way her t-shit was gaping. He had a solid view of pink lace and soft white skin, and he decided that since it was there and so was he, he might as well appreciate it. “Anything I can do.”
She rolled her eyes and straightened. “Stop looking at my tits, you pervert,” she said, but there was humor rather than heat in the words.
“Stop flashing your tits,” he countered, sad to see the view go but quickly distracted by the new one. The only thing he’d really been able to tell when she was sitting was that the curves didn’t end at her breasts, and he hadn’t been wrong. She was built like an hourglass with extra time added, with round hips and thick thighs held snugly by the jeans she wore, and when she turned to make sure her suitcase wasn’t blocking the aisle, he finally got a look at .
The classic inverted heart shape of her ass was displayed to perfection in the stretchy jeans, the material cupping the heavy bottom curves the way he wanted to—with aggression and reverence. An unabashed ass-man, Spence had to swallow the saliva pooling in his mouth at the sight, and hopefully managed to look like someone who hadn’t been drooling over her ass when she turned to face him again.
“Maybe you should’ve taken Julia up on her offer,” she said drily.
“The flight attendant,” 3B elaborated. “She stopped by to check on you a number of times. I’m sure you could still get her number.”
Vaguely uneasy with the idea of being ogled in his sleep, he stood, bending to the side to keep from hitting his head on the overhead bins. “You seem awfully interested in my sex life.”
“Oh, I’m interested in everyone’s sex life,” she said cheerfully and shouldered her backpack as the plane door opened. The rows ahead of them quickly emptied, passengers moving to disembark as quickly as the narrow space would allow, and she tossed him a smile over her shoulder and stepped into the aisle. “See you around, sleeping beauty.”
“Hey,” he began, but she was already gone.
“Dammit,” he muttered, his good mood evaporating, and shouldered his way into the aisle to get his bag.
There was no sign of her when he finally got off the plane, and after a moment of frustration, he decided that was a good thing. He had enough to deal with on this trip, and 3B had complication written all over her.
Thinking about complications reminded him why he was in Vegas. Shifting his duffle to his other shoulder, he pulled out his phone, turned it on, and dialed.
His mother answered on the first ring. “Spence! Please tell me you’re not still stuck in Chicago.”
“I’m not still stuck in Chicago,” he said, weaving through travelers like a bull through the streets of Pamplona. “Just landed.”
“Oh, good.” Heather breathed a sigh of relief. “I was afraid you wouldn’t make it.”
“The wedding’s not until tomorrow night,” he reminded her. “Plenty of time.”
“Yes, but this way you’ll have a chance to relax and see the sights.”
Spence grimaced. “Mom. I’ve been to Vegas before. I’ve seen the sights. And to tell you the truth, it’s not that relaxing.”
She laughed. “Well, that’s true. By the way, I’ve already checked you into your room.”
“We talked about this.” He dodged a middle-aged couple dragging a three-foot stuffed giraffe behind them, arguing about whether or not they’d be able to stuff it in an overhead bin. “You paid for the flight, I pay for the hotel.”
“Forget it.” She said it cheerfully and reminded him, annoyingly, of 3B. “It’s my wedding, and if I want to pay for the hotel, you’re going to let me.”
“And you’re having dinner with me, Stephen, and the girls after the ceremony tomorrow night.”
“Why do you say that like you expect me to argue?” he wondered, momentarily giving up on the hotel argument. He’d just slip some cash into her purse when she wasn’t looking.
“Because I know you, son of mine,” she chided. “And I know a family dinner isn’t exactly your comfort zone.”
Since he couldn’t dispute that, he kept silent.
“But since I know I won’t be able to convince you to come with us on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon—”
Not a chance in hell, he thought.
“—or join us on Tuesday night for Cirque de Soleil—”
“I’m flying home Tuesday morning,” he reminded her, grateful he had work waiting for him.
“—then I think it’s reasonable to ask you to have dinner with me after my wedding, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.”
“It’s fine, Ma.”
“And wear a suit.”
“I’ll wear a suit,” he said, trying not to sound harassed. He’d packed the damn thing, hadn’t he? “But I draw the line at a tie.”
“And shave your mustache.”
He followed the arrows to Baggage Claim and Ground Transportation. “Nope.”
“Spencer Jason Nichols.”
He laughed. “Seriously? You’re three naming me over my mustache?”
“I really hate it, Spence.”
“It’s my face,” he reminded her, aiming for the doors leading to the taxi queue.
“Yes, but it’s going to be in my wedding pictures.”
The whine in her voice made him grin. “Doesn’t have to be.”
“Forget it,” she said, going from wheedling to stern with the speed of a veteran mother. “I want pictures of my son at my wedding.”
“Then deal with the mustache.”
She sighed. “It’s going to look like Magnum PI gave me away.”
“Who’s that?” he asked just to annoy her.
“Oh, shut up,” she said, but she was laughing.
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, Spencer,” she said. “Don’t stay up too late gambling. I’m getting married tomorrow.”
“I won’t,” he promised with a glance at the clock. It was after ten already, and with the two-hour time difference between here and home, the only thing he was interested in was room service and sleep. “Good night.”
“That was sweet,” a voice at his elbow said, and he jerked around to see 3B standing behind him.
“Where the hell did you come from?”
“Bathroom,” she said, jerking her thumb over her shoulder at the terminal, her head tipped back to look him in the eye. “I’m headed to the Wynn. You?”
“Same,” he said, only half paying attention. She was shorter than he’d thought, the top of her head not even reaching his shoulder. He glanced at her feet, noted the heeled boots, and mentally shaved three inches off her height.
“Five-four,” she said.
He looked in her eyes and saw the now familiar glimmer of amusement. “You wish.”
“That’s what it says on my driver’s license,” she said and smiled. “Want to share a taxi?”
He looked into her eyes, whiskey-gold and sparkling with humor and mischief, and thought, Complication. “Why not?”
Feast is pretty low angst, though there are some things that might trigger or upset a reader. While there is no actual incest, the step-sibling relationship is key to the story. There is some light bondage and informal D/s to some of the sex scenes (I say informal because Spence doesn’t consider himself a Dom, just a dude who likes to tie people up and be called Daddy during sex), along with some begging and deliberate infliction of physical discomfort for sexual gratification. There’s also a discussion of parental abandonment (in the past and off the page), as well as a side character who is pregnant and also dealing with partner abandonment.