Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy holidays & a gift

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season!!

Thank you all for your support of my work over the past year. I hope you enjoy the following short story - it'll be up permanently on the short stories page of the website with the next set of updates.

I'm taking a short blogging vacation over the holidays - I'll be back January 2nd, 2012, so see you then!

~

A glimpse into Judd and Brenna’s life when they have a night to themselves, no Pack business to handle and no enemies at the door. This story slots in a few months after Caressed By Ice ( not long before Branded By Fire).

Movie Night
Nalini Singh

“Do you want to go out for dinner?”

Brenna hid a smile at the question she knew Judd had asked only because he was trying to be a good mate. He hated eating in restaurants. Regardless of the fact that he was a master of subtle disguise, he spent the whole time tensed up, on alert for threats.

“No,” she said, “let’s stay in and watch a movie. I have a couple of frozen pizzas I can throw in the oven, and the salad won’t take long.”

His smile was slow, quiet, wonderful. “Which movie do you want to watch?”

It made her heart ache that he hid nothing from her, though he was a man who’d been taught never to trust anyone. “You pick.”

“You like the dramatic romances that make you cry.” The last words were slightly puzzled.

Pulling out the pizzas and setting them on the counter, she shook her head. “No, I want you to choose something you like.” A small, many would say inconsequential thing, but those people didn’t understand that her mate had lived his life in the shadows, been forced to submerge his personality under a layer of ice—that ice had melted for her, but that didn’t mean it hadn’t left scars. Fun was still a new concept for Judd.

Now, not saying a word, he went to the comm panel and pulled up a list of recent releases. He was so serious, she wanted to reach out and kiss him stupid. Which would get her naked very quickly. Because in one arena, Judd definitely had the idea of fun down to an art—though he still refused to divulge his research sources.

“Here.” He input a choice on the large comm screen he’d moved so it hung on the wall in front of the couch.

Walking over, she put her hands on her hips. “Really? You want to watch a tearjerker romance set in the time of the Territorial Wars?”

“Yes.”

“Liar.” He’d just chosen something he thought she would enjoy. “It has to be your choice.”

“How do you know I don’t like the same movies as you?”

He was digging his heels in. She knew him in this mood. If she pushed him wrong, he would flat-out refuse to change his mind—that was the thing with Judd. He was sexy, strong, loved her until she felt the power of it in every cell of her body, but the man had a core of intractable stubborn. “Sweetheart, come here.” Cupping his face in her hands, she met the bitter chocolate of his gaze, the flecks of gold pieces of sunlight. “I want you to enjoy this.”

A softening in his expression, his hand coming to settle on her waist. “I enjoy being with you.”

“I know.” Woman and wolf, both parts of her adored  being cuddled up next to him, too. “I guess I want to see what you like as well.” Discover another hidden facet of the beautiful, complex man who was hers.
Judd paused. “I don’t know what I like.”

“That’s okay.” Sliding her hands down to his chest, she stole a small kiss before she went to the screen and pulled up a sub-menu. “These are considered boy movies. As you are a boy, choose one you think looks interesting.”

A glint in his eye, he went to the screen, went carefully through the choices. “This one.”

The promotional image was of a guy in a rainforest, with a machete, and a snake coiled around his arm like some kind of macho armband.

Brenna laughed. “Right, that’s the one.”

The movie was terrible. Awful. Everything that could go wrong did in terms of the direction, the production, the setting, the acting—though the leads weren’t helped by atrocious lines such as, “I’ve got to suck out the venom from the bite on your breast, doll. It’s your only chance of survival, so just lie back and let the expert get to work.”

Even the snakes couldn’t save it. According to Judd, and she didn’t know how he knew this, the reptiles being used as the super scary monsters weren’t the least bit poisonous. She had a stitch in her side by the time the movie was over. “At least he had beautiful abs,” she said, wiping away her tears as the credits rolled.

A slight raising of eyebrows from the man who sprawled on the sofa next to her—a sofa that had somehow survived his Tk. She knew that look, too. It said: Why are you admiring another man’s body? 

“Oh come on,” she teased. “Don’t tell me you didn’t notice the rack on his co-star?” A co-star whose primary job had been to fall out of her indecent bikini—why she was wearing a bikini in the Amazon was another thing—and scream like a banshee. “Especially when he had to ‘save’ her by heroically sucking on her boobs.”

“I noticed her rack never moved,” Judd said in a cool tone. “There’s no excuse for that with the low-cost cosmetic procedures currently available.”

She choked on the wine she’d just sipped. Her mate, eyes laughing, though his lips were only faintly curved, patted her gently on the back until she could breathe again. Pointing at him, she said, “That was a funny, Judd Lauren.” And some people thought he had no sense of humor. Hah!

Reaching for the remote, he tugged her to his side so she could snuggle close, and began to go through the menu again. “This one.”

“Oh God,” Brenna muttered in mock-horror when she saw the same guy they’d just watched fend off “deadly” mutant snakes, this time baring his teeth against—improbably—a saber-tooth tiger, “I’ve created a monster.”

Judd kissed her hot and hard. “You know you want to.”

She shamelessly arched her neck for another kiss. “Yes, I do.” Snagging the remote, she started the movie and settled in, one hand spread over his heart.  There was no place she’d rather be, and no one else she’d rather be with.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Nalini Singh

87 comments :

Nicole said...

I LOOOVE Judd. Possibly more than Raphael. Thank you Nalini. Happy holidays!

Regina S. said...

Love it! Thanks so much, I just adore Judd and Brenna!

RJones said...

Oh, thank you. They're my favorite couple in the series. I even named my dog Brenna. And this short had me laughing ridiculously. It's a great holidays present, warm and fun.

Prue said...

Thank you so much nalini! All the authors recommending on Facebook are pointing to free amazon books not available outside the USA. I am so happy right now!! Merry Christmas xxxx

Kristi said...

Thanks so much, Nalini. A touch of love is needed right now.

Carrie Ann Ryan said...

Oooohhh How I love Judd! Such a sweet slice of life.
Thank you so much and happy holidays!

Lisa said...

Ahhh that was a nice gift!! Thanks - have a great holiday season, and all the best for the new year!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Xandra D. said...

I just fell in love with Judd all over again. Thank you so much, Nalini!! Hope you enjoy your holidays and we'll see you in 2012!

Nicole Marie said...

Thank you!

janette belleville said...

Lurveeeeeeeeee it, wooooooohooooo. Cant wait for the next book. Merry Christmas Nalini, and thankyou for posting this.

Crystal Posey said...

Yay! *clapping* Love this!

Happy holidays to you!

Steffi said...

Love love judd. Brenna so understands him - a plus for any wife! Enjoyed and appreciated the story.

Kenya Lolis said...

Loved It. Thank you!!!!! Happy holidays!!!! :)

Jules said...

Merry Christmas!

ajisainokimi_32491 said...

*sigh* how lovely that was. i loved it

Anna said...

I loved it! Thank you for your wonderfully storytelling and unforgettable characters. Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

Thank you and happy holidays!

Lissa

e_booklover said...

That was wonderful!!! Thank you and enjoy your break :).

Iman said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Nari Chan!

Catherine said...

Thanks! Merry Christmas

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

Thank you! I loooove Judd and Brenna so this is a very special holiday gift. Have a wonderful holiday season all of you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you..they are just soooo cute together..;-p

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Nalini! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Awww!! That was so sweet and funny! Plus I love the fact that he likes cheesey B rated movies they're so the best ^_^

emelou said...

Thank you. Hope everyone has Happy Holidays! !

fishgirl182 said...

Aww Judd and Brenna are too cute together. Thanks, Nalini!

orannia said...

Thank you so much Nalini! Happy Holidays!

azteclady said...

Oh that was absolutely adorable--thank you, so much, Nalini.

Enjoy the holidays and your time off. See you on the other side.

Jackie Abbott said...

Thank you, Nalini, even though I found it more of a tease than anything else. These two are my all time favorites out of the series. It was just great.

Jillian said...

Thank you Nalini !! That was so wonderful . Judd is 1 of my favorites from the Psy series and this was a wonderful holiday gift :)

Eva said...

LOL! - Love your snippet Nalini.



Happy Holidays
and
Luck, Health and Love
for the year 2012!
_______________________

Fröhliche Weichnachten
und
Glück, Gesundheit und Liebe
für das Jahr 2012!

Lady Jaye said...

Thanks, Nalini!

catie james said...

Thanks for reminding me why Judd's one of my favorite Psy-Changeling heros. :) Happy Holidays to you and your family Nalini!!!

Jessica D. said...

Thank you so much Nalini for the gift of Judd and Brenna. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lola said...

Judd is my fav character EVER!! i want more of him!

Anonymous said...

Judd is definitely one of my top three male characters. He sort of just appeared on this list and this story reaffirms why he is there. Thanks you sooooo much for this story!! <3 Made this holiday season even merrier!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the beautiful story ,too. even if it was hard for me to understand (cause it was englisch^^).
i wish you a happy cristmas and a good new year (with lots of good ideas for your books!
(hannah from germany)

Anonymous said...

Love it. Domestic idyll with a wolf and an assassin. Have loved the two since I read caressed by ice. Thank you and happy holidays to all.

Anonymous said...

That was great. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

Regina said...

Thanks, Nalini! Happy Holidays!

Stacie said...

That was warm & wonderful. Makes me want to snuggle up with my love. Thank you for sharing it! Merry Christmas!!

KB/KT Grant said...

Awww!

I bet Judd would love the movie Anaconda!

Thanks Nalini and have a wonderful holiday :)

mbot565 said...

Thank you, Nalini for letting us see glimpses of Judd and Brenna. I miss them and they're one of my fav.
Happy holidays to you too and have a great New Year!
Wishing you a wonderful time with your family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nalini! I've been rereading the Psy-Changeling series and am currently reading Caressed By Ice! Perfect timing! Love this little story. Thank you for sharing it with us. You are the best!!

Amiee Snow said...

I love Judd and Brenna! you get to see the real Judd only with her and sometimes sienna and he is soooooo cute! :D Thank you :) loved the short story! Merry Christmas!

ayliss72 said...

Thank you For your gift Nalini. I love Brenna and Judd.
Merry Christmas.

SdyLion said...

So perfect- I love getting the venom out- I'll have to ask my husband if he has tried that yet...ha ha ha- Merry Christmas.

Tiffaney said...

Thank you for that wonderful Christmas gift!!! Merry Christmas and I hope your new year is wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nalini ..... Judd such a sweetie.
Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2012.

Angely said...

Thank you have such a great gift Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Diane said...

Aw! That was so sweet and so Judd.

Merry Christmas all!!!

ming-ki said...

Such a wonderful, wonderful Christmas present. Heart-warming, yet humorous tone along the way! Thank you and thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

Michaela said...

Thank you and all the best for a wonderful New Year!

Christa M. said...

Thank for the story!!! So goooooooooooood!!! Can't wait for 2012. Looking foward for Tangle of Need and Angel's Flight.

Here's to another prosperous year!(With many more books)

ShellBell said...

Love it! Merry Christmas Nalini

Teena said...

Thank you Nalini, Happy holidays.

Heather said...

Whooooo hooooo!!! I love presents hehehehe and they have got to be one of my most fav couples ever written, thank you!! *hugz*

Anonymous said...

Oh Squee! I loved this extra! Judd and Brenna are truly my faves!

Thank you, Nalini and Happy Holidays!

-Shannon

Christine S said...

LOVE Judd. Thank you!

Saiqa said...

Loved that! Thankyou for the xmas present Nalini. Judd's book is my favourite from the whole series. Going to miss your blog over the next few days but you have earned a rest for being such a great author. Happy Xmas and a happy new year.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful and welcome treat! Thanks for lovely story and for knowing how much we'd appreciate it. I wish you a wonderful holiday and a happy and prosperous 2012!

RedButterfly said...

THANKS VERY MUCH Nalini ^_^ I loved it, Judd with a sense of humor is LOVE

Anonymous said...

even if i read your storys usualy in german, i like the short story ^.^
you are one of my absolut favourite writer and it's so cool that i can read even more from you =)
aaand merry christmas and a happy new year <3

(Lea~)

Sherri L, said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Nalini! Thankyou for the story. Loved it!

parentof3 said...

Loved the short story! I have to admit that Judd is one of my favorite males and I adore how much Brenna gets him. Have a Merry Christmas filled with love and family and a fabulous New Year filled with everything you hope for. :-)

lanibarcelona said...

Great holiday read, Nalini! You always know how to warm a reader's heart. =)

Chanpreet said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We'll see you in 2012! :)

Jodie B. Cooper said...

Thank you for the wonderful Christmas gift! Loved it! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this glimpse of their down-time! Though I have to admit that "Star Kissed" is still my favorite Nalini short story (always makes me cry)!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Nalini! I hope Santa's been as nice to you as you've been LOL

One complaint, though - I can't access the posts by clicking on the title, just the dates. Also, I can't see older posts. Does it happen with everyone or it it just me?

Anyway, thank you. Happy Holidays.

Callista said...

I start to count on Nalini for one more Christmas gift every year :) love it!!! Love Judd & Brenna seriously :)

Meg B said...

Thank you! That reminded me of why they're my favorite psy/changling couple.

Anonymous said...

Loved the short story, maybe we can have a novella for Judd and Brenna please?

Also checked out the Star Kissed short story, loved it! Maybe another series in the future?

Anna

me said...

awesome.enjoy your break

reese

Anonymous said...

Loved it! Loved it!! Loved it!!! What a great holiday present. Could we have some more please?

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Nalini and best wishes for the upcoming new year.

Enjoy your break.

Karin Shah said...

So sweet! :-)

Lizzy G said...

Thanks for the great scene!!! Judd is one of my most favorite characters!!! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

Bella@BeguileThySorrow said...

awesome present! thnx Nalini :D
and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Janette said...

Merry Christmas & have a blessed New Year. This one of my Favorite series. I can't wait for another Psy/Changeling novel.
Jan

Wes D said...

thank you so much, that was so lovely.
Wes

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Nalini!

Jules said...

Oh wow,I keep missing the good things...but then again I´ve been too busy being home again that I didn´t have time until now^^....THANK YOU SOO MUCH!I love all those short stories that feature the characters of the books and since Judd seems to be my all time favourite I loved it even more =). Thanks again and have a great holiday!

lia said...

loved it, but "boy movies"? gender stereotype much?

P.A. Lupton said...

I just finished Caressed by Ice and am totally addicted to this series. I loved the scene. Nice to see a softer side of Judd and a regular couple activity.

Anonymous said...

oh god!!!! seriously? that bad a movie? loved that scene... thanks and a happy new year.

if only it wasn't midnight here now.... i'm still laughing as low as humanly possible
Athena - Greek Fan

Anonymous said...

I totally love the Psy series. I still have blaze of memory to read, and I love Brenna and her brothers. Rachael P.