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CAVEAT EMPTOR: What follows is a reflection by this blogger/author regarding her thoughts on today's significance. It is generously interspersed with random photos of dudes, a few eff-bombs, and other things that are funny as long as you maintain a legitimate sense of humor. If you lack one of those....move along, 'cause it's my dang birthday!

Ah, December, you old've tackled me once again, wrestled me to the ground and are now sitting square on my chest, drooling and grinning like an idiot.

There was a time when December was my favorite month, hands down. I grew up in a home filled with the joy of Christmas, including some of the most beautiful music ever. We were not a wealthy family but come the holidays my parents made a point to put everything they had into creating a month's worth of beauty and celebration. It was never without its share of family drama of course. Nothing says "Happy Christmas" better than a huge argument across the extended family meal table.

Added bonus for me was that my birthday fell exactly one week before Christmas Eve (which is my favorite of the 2 days--I like the "build up" sometimes more than the "act.") So while I spent a fair bit of time fake-complaining about getting "cheated" with gifts for "both birthday and Christmas' I never really meant it.

As I got older and had a family of my own, I tried my best to replicate the sense of joyous anticipation that seeing the numbers "12/1" on the calendar page once invoked for me. One thing I learned right fast was that it is not as easy it would appear to be when you are on the receiving end of the "joy." But it was no hardship. Nothing beats walking around soaking up the kitschy, blaring millionth repetition of "Baby It's Cold Outside," clutching an overpriced, over sugared cardboard cup of fake coffee disguised as "eggnog latte" and elbowing past my fellow procrastinating shoppers with a grin on my face, anticipating the big glass of red wine waiting for me once I finish.

And yeah, I still liked to roll around in the fun of a Christmas-time birthday. Until recently.

It's been a year of bizarre occurrences, shocking revelations and other not-so-fun stuff even as recently as this week that have knocked me on my proverbial ass. Ok. It's not a proverbial ass but you get me I think. To tell you the truth, I never thought a year could unroll itself in such epically shocking fashion. But you know, even saying that makes me ashamed. I have a roof over my head, plenty of gas in the tank and food in the fridge. People in my family love and support me and my dogs are awesome.

But I was writing my annual "Go Liz! You Rock! Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah! You don't get older you get better" BS that I typically regale you with this time of year I had to take a step back and think hard about what, exactly, I think I will celebrate today. So, in yet more typical Liz tongue jammed firmly in cheek fashion is the:

Top Ten List of Reasons I have to Celebrate My Non-Event (which, as ever, falls on December 17th):

10:  Teenagers who grow up. I have 2 of them now (or will come Dec. 29 when Wenchling Numero Dos: a.k.a. The Tattooed One ---hmmm I see a name change coming on---turns 20). Once these monsters get a few years on 'em they are actually pleasant to hang out with. Which is a good thing for Soccer Wenchling, the one dangling teenaged Crowe 'cause sometimes.... I wonder if she and I will make it to her 17th birthday. But that said (see Number 6 below) I am in a Proud Mom stage with a 22-year old waiting to hear from pharmacy school admissions after a somewhat rocky start to his college experience (Numero Uno--a.k.a. the King of Sports Minutia) and an almost 20-year-old daughter who is so dang smart in math & science it shames me---were I not so gut-busting proud of her--of all the Wenchlings since they have taken after their father in the "left brain" arena.

9.  Bikram Choudhury's Beginning Yoga Practice. I spew a lot about the "hot yoga torture room" but I can say with 100% accuracy that this very challenging "Yoga for Type A's" that I've been practicing off and on (mostly off in the past few years) since 2007 is one of the things saving me from spinning off into the stratosphere. No, I don't really "like it" especially at that moment I hit between "half moon" and "awkward pose" when my fight or flight instinct is SCREAMING at me to run, fast, out of the room. But I love it and what it has done, and will continue to do for me. Thanks to Lora Rosenbaum for opening her west side Ann Arbor studio. Try it. You'll see what I mean....once you're done trying to run me over with your car after class.

8. Facebook & Twitter. Yeah, they are another one of those Loathe/Lust things for me. But many times they not only provide the perfect outlet for silliness (not to mention selling books) but also for a serious Reality Check about how much crazier everyone else is than me.

7.  New projects and characters. I wrote 3 novels this year: Love Garage, Coach Love and Love Brewing (and began a novella: Safe Love). This has been fun, cathartic and very much a learning experience with regard to how bloody hard it is to be an "Indie Self Published Author" in a vacuum.

6. Friends who yank that vacuum out of your hand, set it down slowly, shove you into a chair and put a drink in your hand with the words "calm down. We can fix this." Yes, most recently I was reminded of the value of this sort of friend when she took me by my shaking hand and guided me toward simpler answers to questions that seemed absolutely unanswerable. While the world of "novelists" is a cutthroat one, I can only hope that someday I will be able to help someone along at least sanity-wise like I have been helped this year. She knows who she is and I say "2015 is our year!"

5.  The Soccer Wenchling (tied with "the recruiting process"). This year has been chock full 'o stress, including the one called "getting committed." No, not the looney bin although that is never far out side the realm of my personal possibility. You do know I listen to the voices in my head, right? Otherwise there would be no books. But I digress. This year, we have been all-consumed with helping Soccer Wenchling a.k.a. the One Remaining Teenager Crowe with achieving her goal: Playing Soccer in College. Between game videos, websites, recruiting consultants, emails, showcase tournaments and being surrounded by teammates who are doing the same thing and parents who are Utterly and Annoyingly Obsessed with it, we have reached what could be near the end. One more National League tourney (Orlando, New Year's, Again) and we/she hopes to have something settled in the very early days of 2015. I can't say enough how much I admire this kid for her resilience in the face of Junior Year, a near 4.0 GPA and all this bloody soccer--not to mention her Utterly Annoying Parents.

4.  Fans. Yeah, I've said it before but I'm gonna say it once more...this Getting Successful at Writing thing is 100% a "one reader at a time" sort of slog up hill, pushing the boulder, sliding back down then putting your shoulder into it even harder the next day. 2014 was a year that, while on the one had sucked donkey balls was a big time challenge, also was a bit of a turn the corner one with regard to reader fans. I found a lot more. I was more diligent about going out and finding them. I got to be aces at ignoring haters (which is no mean feat). And it will wrap up nicely with some pretty exciting things coming for said fans in 2015. Onward. If you are already a fan, go smack someone upside the head with a Liz Crowe book, willya? Let's keep this carpet ride going.

3.  New collaborators. As part of my process of self publishing The Love Brothers, a planned 4.5 book series for 2015, I have been privileged to amass a crack team of folks, some new to me, some not that I think will really bode well for this series. Wizards in Self Publishing provided some of the fucking hardest best editing ever (as usual). Photographer Taria Reed (new to me) worked with Scott Nova (not new to me, see: "Hans") to come up with some amazing images that Fiona Jayde (new to me) then put into some kick-ass covers and graphics AND a trailer that is already getting buzz. Then, I added The Voice, Daniel Dorse to the happy little Liz group. He did the trailer voiceover and just finished up narrating Coach Love. Both Love Garage & Coach Love audio versions will be available when the books go live on January 5, 2015.

2.  The Wolverine State Brewing Company. Yes, this is the brewery that I helped to found, start up, market, tweet, Facebook, travel for and otherwise birth, complete with the usual pains, most of them mine starting in 2008 and ending in May of 2014. When I decided to toss my real estate career aside for this particular dream, never in a million years would I imagine what a rich, wonderful world the craft brewing one is. I have made some of the best friends ever thanks to my time with this particular group of.... gentlemen. Thank you, WSBC for teaching me the sort of lesson everyone really should learn about whom to trust, preferably before they turn 48. I wish you nothing but the best.

1. Family. This is a tough one right now as we are experiencing more than our fair share of drama and upheaval, especially during what was once my favorite time of the year. I won't bore you, or air the dirty laundry here because that just is not my style, but suffice it say, I plan to make 2015 A Year of Successes. 'Cause really, there is only one way we can go from here and that way is "up." I have way too many years in this thing to think otherwise.

So in honor of The Anniversary of my birth + 47 (do the math, trust me) one of my publishers is raising her virtual glass across the way on her blog. I love to set goals. So this year, despite all the wild and craziness, I set one. And since that goal was met, I am rewarding my fans both old and new with a new book late in 2015. Check that out by clicking here. It includes "Chapter One" of the Good Faith sequel. (hint: THERE IS A CONTEST WITH PRIZES)

And....let me just get a "hell yeah" for this set of kick butt new covers for my top selling Stewart Realty original trilogy: Floor Time/Sweat Equity/Closing Costs!

Damn... If could squeeze in a 10.5 up there on things I'm celebrating on this non-event day it would be "Jack Gordon." This fictional man has brought me more joy, fun, tears, sighs and gritted teeth than I'm willing to bet any future Liz character ever will. He is my male alter-ego on many levels. And for that, I really do love him.

Make it a GREAT Holiday season and don't forget shameless promotion about THE LOVE BROTHERS!
Love Garage
Coach Love
both available for pre-order and will hit your kindle live on 1/5/2015
Love Brewing drops March 1, 2015.
And a FREE NOVELLA "Safe Love" will release at some point in February, but you may not hear it over the cacophany of fake handcuffs, rookie rope tying and swooning over the Virgin Gets Spanked by the Billionaire and Cures Him of His Freaky-Deakiness on the Big Screen. 

Seriously. You like those people? You will groove on Jack and Sara...way more real, and yet so much sexier for it! But what do I know?

An every day older and yet....better,

***Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

Coming to Rosemont
Barbara Hinske


Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly – and distinctively solitary – life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?

This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in!


Maggie dropped to her knees and threw her arms around the squirming dog.  “You don’t know how much I appreciate being able to have Eve with me tonight,” she beamed up at John.  “My flight was delayed and I had a Chatty-Cathy car rental agent.  I drove like a maniac to get here. I’m really very grateful you waited.  The lot was empty and I thought that I was too late.”

“It was no trouble.  I was catching up on paperwork,” John assured her.  “I live on the other side of the Square and walk to work, weather permitting.  I usually stop at one of the restaurants on the way home for dinner.”

“Are you done?  Would you like a lift home?” 

John knew an opportunity when he saw one.  “I just need to lock up,” he said.  “Are you hungry?  Or are you full of delicious airline food,” he mocked.  When she shook her head and indicated that she was, indeed, starved, he proposed that the three of them walk over to Pete’s for dinner. They could leave her car at the Hospital and she could drop him off at his house after dinner.


Barbara Hinske is a practicing attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two grown children with her exceedingly kind and good second husband, who died of cancer in 2006. Lucky in love, Barb married another exceptional man and father of two in 2010, and they live in their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs.

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Greetings and welcome to a contest...a big one, sponsored by yours truly, a bunch of other authors and hosted by Night Owl Reviews! You have exactly 6 (six) days left to enter....

It's easy to win!
They are giving away:
5 = $100 Amazon Gift Cards

5 = $50 Amazon Gift Cards

18 = $25 Amazon Gift Cards 

Greetings Liz fans and newcomers!

Every Thanksgiving (and many times at the New Year) I reward my fan base over on Facebook with a free scene, which, in all honesty for some writers would qualify as a "short story."

This year, I held with tradition, and provided the Jack & Sara short in 3 segments over the the weekend. Some folk call this "preaching to the choir." I call it "rewarding the loyal with scenes I would put in another book, were I to write one."

And frankly, whether you call them "street teams," "fan girls," or just plan old "fans," these are the people who are spreading the word....for me.

Since I don't have a well-oiled, well-funded promotional machine working on my behalf, other than what I can conjure with the 24 hours allotted to me in a day, I count on these folks and they are thankfully growing in size and continuing to help me convince others to give a Liz Book a shot!

The Jack & Sara concept began about 6 years ago, when I decided to conjure a novel about relationships that got its fair share of rejections (with good reason 'cause GAWD it was crappy at first, second, third and fourth iterations.) Thank heavens for a lovely, patient woman at Tri Destiny Publishing who spotted its diamond qualities in the raw coal of it's 6th version! It is thanks to her and her alone that the thing ever saw the light of day, much less became the sweeping saga that ended with GOOD FAITH last November that it is.

I thought I'd share this year's scene for a few reasons.
1. It's poignant, funny, sexy and really represents my "style" of writing so, if you haven't yet read one of my books you can get a taste of it. 
2.  It's a bit of a Final Full Stop. Now that I'm on the cusp of my first self published series and have pretty much set my writing and publishing plan for 2015, I don't anticipate writing or posting any more of these.
3. It's an intro to the concept of the "Stewart Realty Extra Scenes" that will ALL be available on my website by the end of December. Each scene will have a caveat/warning at the beginning and I urge you to heed that statement. I put these folks through a lot over the course of our time together and some of the scenes are seriously spoiler-filled if you have not read up to the point indicated at the top of each post.

This one, frankly, you can read whether you've started the series or not. Yeah, I give away a bit of the farm with the Big Plot Point thru the first books by its very existence but so much happens to get Jack & Sara to this point you really ought to go back to square one and read from the start. All the links below are LIVE to the Amazon listing but all are also available on pretty much all the sites including All Romance Ebooks.

Lucky you, my publisher has set the first book FLOOR TIME as "perma free" on all sites.
Book 2: Sweat Equity
Book 3: Closing Costs
NOTE: books 1-3 above can also be purchased as an Anthology together in ebook or print.
Book 4: Essence of Time
Book 5: Conditional Offer
Book 6: Escalation Clause
Book 7: Mutual Release
Book 8: Good Faith: The Stewart Realty Final novel still only .99 for a few more weeks.
HOUSE RULES is a free (on the publisher's website) Jack Gordon prequel.

So now...I give you: Turkey Trot 2015. A Stewart Realty Extra Scene
Liz Crowe---all rights reserved**
Rated NC17 for explicit sexual activity

Jack didn't know if he should be congratulated, or smacked upside his fool head for thinking that this year, of all years, would be the "right one" for ALL the kids to participate in the annual race up Woodward Avenue in Detroit. As he drove through the snow that had gone from "pretty and soft" to "driving and dangerous" from Ann Arbor he sighed and sipped coffee, ignoring the general grumbling from the Gordon and Frietag peanut gallery in the SUV seats behind him.
Sara patted his thigh and smiled as they waited in a long line of cars for their usual parking spot, a flat surface between two buildings--one still a bombed-out-looking shell, the other in the middle of a full frontal gentrification. It was the perfect Detroit dichotomy really. He put his hand over hers and leaned across the console for a quick kiss, reminding himself that this, Thanksgiving, had always been his favorite holiday--it had none of the grasping, materialistic pressure of the looming Christmas season, but allowed for a 24-hour period of honest-to-Christ togetherness that he knew their family lacked, given their increasing commitments.
"You taste good," he whispered to her, lingering over her lips. He leaned closer for a better, longer taste, his body reacting to their recent dry spell, sex-wise. One thing he'd never believed he'd forgo in favor of sleep, was getting laid. If you'd told him as a younger man that there would be days when the concept of getting it up and servicing his wife would not sound as good as a glass of bourbon and a nap he'd have laughed his ass off. 
Her hand slid up the inside of his thigh, making him grin into her lips and shift closer, thankful, for once for the traffic delay. He could tell she was pent up too--could smell it on her skin, taste it on her lips and tongue. His dick got hard so fast he grunted and gave himself a mental high five. Not bad for an old fart, he thought, reaching up under his wife's tight Under Armor shirt to grab her boob. 
"Jack," she whispered in a way that made his scalp tingle. "Honey," she said, letting her fingers glide up his equally Under Armor trapped erection. 
"Hmmm?" He asked, letting his eyes flicker to the brake lights in front of him before diving into her mouth, letting everything around him drown in the noise of his own urgency. A loud horn blatting in his ear made him jump and curse and tug his lycra trapped hand out from under Sara's shirt. "Shit," he said, running fingers through his bed-messy hair. Getting one's sorry ass up at 4 a.m. and dragging the spawn out of bed for their previously agreed upon first family/friends trek to the annual Turkey Trot did not lend itself to much prettification. 
Sara smiled and leaned back in her seat, keeping her hand near his crotch. "I love you," she mouthed. He blinked, anger lighting the edges of his horniness for a split second. "It's okay. Tomorrow, remember?" she said out loud. He nodded, still dazed and dizzy from the lack of blood to his brain at the moment. He'd convinced his buddy Rob to pawn their kids off for a weekend up North, an adults-only get away they needed, he'd claimed, since Rob finally had some time on the home front, away from his increasingly popular Beer and Food Chef show or whatever on the Eating Channel.
He'd arranged for a second condo for Rob and Lila to occupy while he and Sara holed up in theirs for a couple of solid days of non-stop fuck-fest. He and Sara were worried about those two and hoped that some alone time would do them some good. Jack planned on making it very much "good" for himself and his lovely bride. He grinned and yanked her close again once he'd crept forward so the honking asshole behind him would lay off.
"God I'm horny," she whispered, gripping his dick outside his shorts again.
"Good, 'cause I'm gonna rock you, Mrs G," he whispered back, grinning when she did, then kissing her again, unable to get enough of her for some reason in the overheated interior of the car while the snow and wind howled around them.
"Daddy!" Brandis whined directly behind him. "Stop that. Bethany's face is....ew....! God! She just puked all over me!"
Jack closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against Sara's biting back to urge to curse again. This fatherhood thing sometimes made him doubt his sanity. When Bethany started crying and Brandis woke his buddy Gabe up with his yammering about the vomit on his shoes, Sara smacked Jack's cheek none to gently.
"This was your idea, hot shot. Remember?"
"I know, I know." He looked in the rear view. "Kate, honey? Grab the paper towels and wipes. I packed them just in case this happened."
His oldest daughter nodded and got to work cleaning up, shushing her whiney brother up in the process.
Later, the Turkey Trot accomplished, SUV cleaned, kids showered and everyone gathered around the Adams table this year, Jack raised his glass of wine, his heart full and his mind spinning in anticipation of the coming glorious two days alone with his gorgeous, smiling wife beside him.
"To the inaugural full family and friends Turkey Trot!" he declared, looking to Sara to give her one-topic toast as was their annual tradition.
"To my daughter Katie, whose patience kept the SUV calm this morning."
They made their way around the large table and to Brandis, who sat on Jack's right. He frowned, thinking hard, his glass of milk held high. "To my Daddy," he said. "Who sometimes kisses my mommy too much but who is my hero."
Jack blinked, shocked. Sara put a hand on his leg and he turned to see her green eyes full of tears. 
"Suck up," Brandis' friend Gabe muttered. Brandis bumped his friend's shoulder hard enough to make both of their milks spill a bit onto the table. 
"Maybe," Brandis admitted, ducking his head a minute in what Jack knew was embarrassment.
"Son, may you find a woman as special as your mother, so you want to kiss her all the time too."
"I'll drink to that," his friend Evan Adams, host of this year's dinner called from the far end of the large table.

Sara dozed off and on the morning after Thanksgiving, glad she'd taken the time to get their bags packed already so she could enjoy a few quiet moments alone. The sounds of her family drifted down the hall from the kitchen, making her smile as she rolled onto her stomach and found the cool underside of the pillow. It had been one of their slightly less stressful group meals, thank the Lord. She wasn't sure she could have taken it otherwise. She forced thoughts of all the stress Jack had induced into their lives with his "we should just buy Stewarts, you know," seemingly innocuous comments the past few weeks out of her brain, unwilling to contemplate it lest she get so pissed off she canceled their much-needed weekend away from the kids.
A sudden louder outburst from Bethany, her youngest made her frown but she ignored it, figuring Jack could -- and should-- handle it for now. Footsteps pounded down the hardwood floored hall. A door slammed. A young girl screeched something that sounded an awful lot like "I hate you!" 
She smiled. Par for the Gordon household. Things would calm eventually. They usually did.
But when her bedroom door flew open and whammed against the wall behind it, she cursed, and sat up, brushing her hair out of her eyes. Her oldest daughter, Katie, a near mirror image of herself since she'd rounded the corner of sixteen headed towards thirty stood there. Her green eyes snapped with anxiety, putting Sara immediately on edge.
"What's wrong? What did Dad do?"
Katie bit her lip and took a seat in one of the large leather chairs near the big window. "Nothing," she said.
"Baloney," Sara said, stumbling to the bathroom and brushing her teeth, her heart pounding. Leave it to the Gordon spawn to foment drama right before the parental units escaped for a few precious hours of alone time.
She splashed water on her face and glared at herself a few minutes, taking in the lines around her mouth and eyes, the way her jaw seemed to sag in a way that made her a little sad. "Sara," her husband's voice jarred her out of her self-study. "Can you come out here a minute, please?"
His calm, super polite tone told her all she needed to know.
It was bad.
"Our daughter," he intoned, putting a hand on Katie's shoulder and making the girl's frown deepen. "Has informed me, her father, that she, the sixteen-year-old would like for us to obtain a prescription. For birth control. For her. Immediately."
Sara sighed and slumped against the door jamb of the ensuite bath, observing them--her beloved, frustrating, handsome, aggravating husband, and the daughter who made her realize that she could never live without him. "Yes, well. All right honey. Um, we just need to get an appointment with the doctor is all." She was bound and determined to make this a non-event.
"Sara," Jack said, his voice tight in a way she had not heard in a long time. "I'm not sure that you are understanding what she's saying to us, exactly."
Sara burst out laughing, despite her efforts not to. "Yes, actually, I do. Listen, Katie, let's just call the pediatrician. That's where you go first and as long as there are no issues--"
"God damn it," Jack burst out, as he started pacing the bedroom, running his fingers through his hair. "This is...I can't...I mean...shit." 
Katie stood up and slid her arm into his elbow, ever the peacemaker, that girl. "Daddy, it's okay. It's...the right thing, responsible, you know?"
"Oh dear Jesus," he said, slumping into one of the chairs and putting his head in his hands. "Can't we just be that family where you and your mom handle it, I find out by accident, get mad, then get over it? I mean, I don't want to have this conversation--the one where I know you're letting...that punk kid....oh, just....never mind."
Sara put her hand on his tee shirt clad shoulder, sliding it around to the back of his neck and feeling him calm ever so slightly under her palm. She leaned into his ear. "Because we aren't that family, Jack. And it's all right."
"No, it's not. I don't want to know." He leapt up and stomped down the hall.
Sara shrugged and held out her arms, hanging onto Katie for a bit and kissing her hair, wondering where all the years had gone. "Don't worry. I'll calm him down. It's why we go away sometimes you know. To regain our equilibrium."
"Ew, mom, please. No details." Katie grinned up at her, making Sara's heart clench at the concept of the many years ahead--the boyfriends, the fiances, the weddings, the grand kids. She took a deep breath. 
"You're in charge of getting the other two over to your Aunt Mo's," Sara said, already letting herself slip into a different mode--a much more fun one, and one she'd missed, sorely for the past few months of craziness.
"Got it. And thanks Mom. I love ya," Katie said, before she dashed down the hall, calling for Brandis to get his bag packed and for Bethany to stop whining and get the Barbies together she wanted. Sara dropped into the chair Jack had vacated, tired in a way she didn't understand. 
The trip up to Boyne was quiet. Sara figured she'd let Jack work through whatever his issues were internally and then listen when he wanted to talk. Or whatever.
She shifted in her seat, turning off her e-reader, hoping for the "whatever" bit--a lot of it. She stared out the window, watching the snow fall, feeling warm, safe, and happy. Jack managed the heavy vehicle in his usual confident way but his face stayed pensive.
They pulled up to their mountain condo complex, one of the older ones, but one they'd really gotten a great deal on and updated through the years. It was part of a larger resort, one that now boasted a full on spa that she had every intention of taking advantage of. They unloaded in more silence, flipped on the heat and Jack started a fire in the huge, stone hearth while she uncorked wine and set out some cheese and other random snacks. His continued quiet was starting to unnerve her, truth be told.
She put everything on the large, low table between couch and fireplace. "I'm going to shower," she said. He sat, staring into the flames. She waited. He didn't speak so she threw up her hands and headed to the back of the condo, wondering how she might put this weekend back on its tracks.
"Honey," she said, making her way down the hall. "Snap out of it."
He grunted or made some kind of similar response. Sara tried not to react negatively and continued, shedding clothing as she went, knowing he sensed it when she was horny. Because that is one thing she was--fully turned on and wanting her man to rise to the occasion. God, they so rarely got away these days....

Sara heaved her suitcase up onto the large leather ottoman and unzipped, determined to remain calm and not feed into her husband's ever increasing anger. It may have taken her the better part of seventeen years but one thing she'd learned was to feed that particular fire with her own, knee-jerk, more natural defensiveness reaction did exactly nothing to help. She had to give Jack space, a bit of time, and quiet so he could process and get over whatever it was that bugged him. Once he calmed, they could almost always talk and come to consensus or at least agree to disagree.
Of course, that hadn't worked quite as well recently. This whole "hey honey let's buy a real estate brokerage and run it the way we want" thing had put a serious kink in their usual marital coping mechanism.
She closed her eyes, took a long, deep breath, then opened them and kept digging through her messily packed stuff to find what she wanted. She bluetooth hooked her phone to the beside wireless speaker that was connected to the rest of the speakers tucked into the walls of the condo including in the big bathroom where she headed next. She called up her favorite mix of music, a combination of Muse, Sheryl Crow, Foo Fighters, Aretha Franklin and more like those, tossed her bra and panties into the empty laundry basket in the closet and turned on the shower full blast. Thanks to the instant hot water system Jack had installed when they renovated this place a few years ago, the glass walls of the shower steamed up immediately. Still glancing over her shoulder, convinced Jack would show at any moment, she lit the candles lining the large tub, cranked the tunes and stepped under the strong stream of water.
Shampoo and lightly fragrant soaping accomplished, she waited a bit longer, wiping the condensation off the shower door. When it became clear the man was going to stay scarce a bit longer, she cursed, and got out, wrapping up in a towel already warmed from the rack which triggered on whenever someone turned on the shower. She took a step toward the door, stopped and reminded herself that if Jack were this pissed off she'd best just leave him alone. Sighing at her daughter's shitty timing to drop the little "Oh I'm sexually active" bomb on her father's head, she turned on the taps and sat, watching the tub fill, mesmerized by it, wishing she could come up with something that might salvage these precious two days away from their family's BS.
The snow kept falling outside the large picture window in the corner of the bathroom, making her think she'd suggest they ski first thing in the morning. Sometimes, he needed something even more physical than a roll in the hay to get past it. After a few minutes, she could hear his low, rumbling voice, a chuckle, and more one-sided conversation. Figuring he was having yet another conversation with his banker over the machinations they were having to go through to make the brokerage purchase work, she slipped into the hot water with a sigh, grabbing a lavender scented cloth and dropping over her eyes. 
She floated in and around her many memories of this place, of her husband, focusing in for some reason on their very first encounter in the darkened hall of the downtown Stewart Realty office. She'd been so very naive, thinking she could shield herself from the force of Jack Gordon's personality. She had, for a while, to her detriment, she now knew but he had been no better. That is one topic they had talked about, quite a bit, since coming to terms with how they really felt about each other...thanks in no small part to their daughter.
She slipped a bit lower, grateful she'd let Jack manage this renovation since she'd been busy with the baby Brandis at the time. He'd picked everything she liked, set the damn place up from kitchen to bath to her exact specifications without even consulting her. The tub was huge, long enough to accommodate his legs, deep enough to let her submerge, big enough to fit them both, should they want--and they had, several times.
The memory of their very first kiss hit her, making her smile into the darkened room. She repositioned the eye cover after dunking it in the hot water and let herself have it--the memory of his lips that she'd obsessed about for so many months before that finally--finally--covering hers. He'd been a little hesitant at first which had shocked her but the second she'd responded he'd gotten right past that, and she'd been lost, for all intents and purposes forever to the man.
She let her fingers trail across her hardening nipples as the the memory progressed, following them into the hall, up against the wall, the way he'd kissed her, held her, used those talented fingers on her...Her body reacted now to it, making her hips move a little and disturbing the surface of the water.
His voice had been low, rough with lust, his touch sure and confident. She had let him do whatever he wanted, and he had, getting her more or less totally naked in the hall of her damn office while he remained dressed, mostly, until he'd done what she told him to--to fuck her--those words had come right out of her mouth, she knew it. Because she'd wanted it so badly she had been on the verge of tears. His cock had taken it from there, really, her first experience of it--once he'd used his fingers first, spreading her with a warning "got to do this baby, trust me." He had filled her, completely, utterly, and in ways she didn't even understand until years later.
She kept tugging at her nipples, breathing heavy now, conjuring that moment, that split second of their very first connection. She let one hand trail lower and rubbed, fast, faster, splashing water out onto the floor but not caring as she dove into her memory of the man she adored--had adored from that moment. It hovered, the quickie orgasm, right out of her reach. She wasn't the best at self stimulation, mainly because she didn't have to be. Jack's sexual needs met hers nearly perfectly. They were a match that way to be certain. But right now...she kept rubbing, tugging, her hips moving, the eye cover slipped into the water and she stared up at the dark wood ceiling and let it take her with a little burst of energy and a light squeak that escaped her lips before she could stop it.
The water calmed. She put her shaking arms on the sides of the tub, noting she'd managed to put out two of the candles from all her thrashing around. 
"Now that," a deep, familiar voice intoned, "was the hottest damn thing I've seen in a while."
She smiled, and sat up, held out her hand and let Jack pull her from the water in the dim room lit only from the three remaining candles and the natural glow of the snow outside the giant window. He picked her up without a word, and flung her, still dripping wet and now shivering, onto the thick duvet covering the bed. Then he stood, staring at her, his blue eyes gone midnight dark. She propped on her elbows, trying to catch a sense of where he was, of what he wanted. 
"Get naked, husband," she whispered. "Now, please?"
He grinned, shook his head and walked to his suitcase, which she knew without even looking into it would be packed with military precision and neatness. She heard it before she saw it and her entire body went on high alert. Metal clinking, and the strike and sizzle of a match sent her well-trained brain into near immediate shut down. She hadn't been in her own head space for so damn long....she sighed and flopped back, holding her arms over her head and felt the ice cold metal cuffs close over her wrists.
Staying silent, she let him slip the silk over her eyes, then he disappeared...for a while....letting her have it--the exquisite, erotic, orgasm inducing raw anticipation of the coming session.
"Sara," he whispered after a while--how long she had no idea but knowing she was so revved and ready for him she'd have a difficult time not begging and making him disappear once more to punish her. "Sara," he kept saying, using her name like a prayer of reverence as he let minuscule drips of candle wax hit her stomach with a sting, getting ever nearer her pussy with it, making her hips move. "Sara," he said once more, his voice getting husky the way she loved. 
His lips found her neck, nibbling, biting a little, making her whimper and tug against the metal cuffs. He rolled her over then, gently, lifting her hips up and running his large, warm palm across her ass, just stroking her, and whispering her name. She sensed him near, could taste his lust as if he'd just given her a cupful of it to drink. So she stayed still, let him do what he wanted, pressing his large, warm dick into the cleft of her ass. When the open palm smack hit her, she came, loud, unable to stop, crying out for him as the cool, sweet subspace welcomed her once more.
He smacked her once more, then draped down over her back, biting down on her shoulder and sliding into her slowly, then retreating, making her moan in frustration as her body kept quivering post non-contact orgasm. 
"Tell me," he said, close to her ear. "Tell me what you want."
The ghost echo of that first time, suffusing the perfection of her subspace, made her want to cry. It was as if he was reliving it too just as she had been doing, alone, mad at him, wondering when he'd stop pouting or whatever he was doing. 
"Fuck me, Jack. Do it now." Her voice was loud, firm, even though it felt like it came from a million miles away to her own fuzzy brain. 
He pushed her over to her side, reached up to release the cuffs and parted her legs, doing just what she asked with a grunt and a sigh. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, meeting his every single thrust and kissing him until he tensed up, as he always did right before...
"Ahhhh god! Sara!" he cried out, holding her ever closer. She buried her nose in his neck, crying without realizing it.
Later, she lay on his chest, trailing her fingers down his bare skin as he slept lightly. She studied his profile, the light gray in his three-day stubble, the strong angle of his jaw, replaying his earlier plea of "can't we be that family?" and trying not to giggle. 
"I can't wait to get old with you," he said, surprising her.
"Thought you were sleeping off that amazing orgasm," she said, propping on her elbow.
He turned his head and smiled, making her heart do a little pattering thing in her chest. "I don't want to get old." She ran her hand down his rough jaw. He grabbed her hand, kissed it, and tucked it under the sheet covering his lower half.
"Me neither. But since we have no say over that, let's just look forward to it together? Kids gone, grandkids to spoil, money to spend."
She grinned and gripped his revived erection, leaning in to whisper in his ear as she stroked him. "Vitamin C working, my love?"
"Forgot it," he declared closing his eyes. "It's all you, wife. All you...oh....yeah..."
She climbed on top of him and took him, wincing a little but loving every inch of him inside her. "Liar," she whispered, moving her hips fast, faster...and grinning down as he raised an eyebrow at her. 
"Well, you get the benefit, so...oh...uh what you want, Mrs. G....It's all...yours...all weekend long."