The Donovans Uncovered
by AC Arthur
Part of the Donovans Series
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the renowned Donovan Series, with two all new novellas: one featuring the Senior Donovans and the other, a highly anticipated follow-up to DEFYING DESIRE’s Trent & Tia.
This is a book no Donovans fan should miss? This insider’s guide will entice readers as much as this dashing and desirable family has. In addition to thoughts and musings from the author about each story in this series, also included is a novella that will take readers back to the beginning of the Donovan Empire–A LEGACY IS BORN. Additionally, readers will also love the special peek into the lives of an old favorite couple, Trent & Tia–FOREVER HIS!
This comprehensive guide features first publication dates, reading order, fun facts, interviews and inspiration thoughts on each book published to date in this series. Readers will savor song selections for each book and its characters, as well as a comprehensive list of family members. They’ll read what it was like for A.C. Arthur to create this series and the characters they’ve come to adore. This book will undoubtedly bring readers closer to the characters they have come to know and love as if they were personal relatives, before the final two books in the series are released.
The Donovans Uncovered
Part of the Donovans Series
The Donovans Uncovered
From FOREVER HIS…
Tia knew how to take care of her man.
She knew just what Trent needed after all the stress he’d been going through. Probably because she needed this just as much as he did.
After being married for five years, having a son, and traveling the world, they’d created their own personal oasis in the master bedroom of their Laguna Beach home. Decorated in white and shades of gray they’d truly transformed the space until it catered to their every need. Aside from the king sized bed with its soft gray tuck and button headboard, the plush white comforter and sheets and numerous pillows, there were two white arm chairs at the foot of the bed all atop a plush gray and white rug that Tia loved to step onto first thing in the morning. Ten feet forward were two steps leading into the sunken sitting area where there were two gray couches, another thick and soft rug, the large flat screen television that Trent required and patio doors leading out to the balcony with its gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.
That’s where he was at almost eleven o’clock at night. Sitting on the couch wearing thin black sweatpants he’d donned as soon as his after dinner workout and shower were completed. His chest was bare, a large tribal tattoo stretching from his lower back to wrap around his right hip. That was something Trent had done while he was in the Navy, a symbol of freedom and strength as he’d explained to her. Tia found it sexy, just like her husband. In one large hand he held the remote control—because it was virtually impossible for him to sit in front of a television and not change the channels repeatedly. On the screen, Tia had no idea what was playing, probably one of those drama series with corrupt family members plotting to kill each other over drug deals or some other criminal enterprise. Those were the shows Trent liked, in addition to an action packed movie he could find. Her favorites to watch were more of the home renovating and decorating shows and the occasional love story. Just another difference between her and Trent Donovan that Tia had come to accept.
She walked slowly, leaving the master bathroom. There was another place Tia loved to unwind and relax in with its deep soaking tub, the Cresta White glazed porcelain tiled floors, marble countertops and large glass encased shower. She’d taken a lengthy soak in the tub after putting Trevor to bed and reviewing some of her latest photo shots in her office. By the time she’d finished Trent was just coming out of the bathroom and settling in his spot for the night.
Her husband—Trent Donovan, ex Navy SEAL and former member of the Triple Threat Donovans—had a spot on the couch he liked to sit in each night before going to bed. How incredible was that?
As she’d sat in the fragrant bubble water Tia let herself reflect on how blessed she was. She’d come a long way from the emotionally scarred woman who had almost let love and happiness slip through her fingers. Now, she was much more settled in her life and her career, enjoying and appreciating every blessing that had been sent her way. And trying like hell to not like the disconcerting news she’d received a couple weeks ago get her down.
That’s why her steps had a purpose tonight, the vanilla scented lotion she’d rubbed over her body had a meaning. The simple long sheer black gown she wore with slits up to each thigh would get the job done. There was also pride, the moment she stepped down into the sitting room, crossing his line of sight and coming to a stop just beneath where the television had been mounted on the wall. Tia had designed the gown she wore, or rather she’d expressed her idea to Camille and the idea had eventually become this finished product. With silk t-straps on each shoulder the soft sheer material cupped her generous breasts and seamlessly hugged her slender waist down to the curve of her hips. There was no back, not until the sheer material started again at the crease of her bottom. Black peep toe pumps were on her feet and the diamond choker Trent had given her last Christmas sparkled at her neck.
Trent lifted his arm, aiming the remote above her head and turned off the television. Setting it on the glass toped table beside him he let both his hands fall to his thighs.
“Come here,” he said, his voice that deep and seductive tone she knew she’d never tire of hearing.
Tia walked to him then, not the quick prance of being on a runway, but a slower stroll that gave him time to take in everything he was seeing. As she wore nothing beneath the sheer gown he was, in fact, seeing everything from her pert dark nipples to her cleanly shaved mound. By the time she came to a stop in front of him she could already see his arousal tenting his pants.
“Is this one of yours?” he asked, without moving a muscle.
She smiled. “It is,” Tia replied and then turned around slowly, pausing for a few seconds so he could take in the back of the gown before turning to face him again.
“Do you like it?”
His response was to slowly lick his lips. Such a slow and enticing motion that Tia’s center pulsated in response.
“I love it,” was his eventual response.
She took another step forward, until she was standing between his now open legs. “Show me how much.”
There was only a moment’s pause, a purposeful halt as he continued to watch her, knowing every sensation that was rippling through her in that moment. When he finally moved it was to push down his sweatpants just enough to reveal his dark thick length. Holding it in his hands he stroked from the base to the crest all while keeping his eyes on hers. She kept her gaze locked on him as well but lifted both hands to cup her breasts.
Tia tweaked her nipples and enjoyed the guttural moan that escaped him. It was the desired response, the one she knew from making love to this man more times than she could count, would come on command. It was like that now, the orchestrated, yet whimsical, dance between husband and wife. It was the desire for passion and completion and the knowledge that it would come, sometimes fast and potently, other times slow and languorously. Either way, this was what wedded bliss was all about.
Tonight, it didn’t matter how, only that it came—only that they both did.
With fingers continuing to toy with one nipple, Tia lowered her other hand, sliding slowly over the material covering her torso and her stomach, down further until her fingers whispered over her juncture. The material was soft against her sensitized skin and she gasped as the sensation sent pleasure tendrils rippling through her body. Trent moved as he took his pants completely off. He sat back on the couch again, this time his legs spread even wider, his length jutting upward, ready for her attention
This is the part where she would pull her dress up and straddle him. She would ride him until they both were sweating and screaming each other’s name. It was the good part, Tia thought. But tonight she wanted a little more.
“Take the dress off,” he instructed.
She paused only briefly, with enough time to look down at his length and lick her lips appreciatively.
“I got what you need, baby,” Trent told her adoringly. “Just do what I say right now.”
Tia lifted the dress up and over her head.
“That’s my girl,” he continued. “Now, give me your leg.”
She lifted her leg until the tip of her shoe rested on the edge of the couch. Trent cupped her knee, then circled his hand around until he was rubbing down her calf, then back up, slowly toward her thigh. He sat up a little as his hand cupped her ass and pulled her close. She almost stumbled, but Trent was strong and he had a tight grip on her.
“I want you right here,” he said and grabbed her around the waist, positioning her until her legs were around his shoulders. He held her tightly in those strong arms and Tia gasped when his breath whispered warmly over her exposed flesh.
“Up close and personal,” Trent said. “That’s how I like you.”
When he came closer, his tongue extended to give a teasing lick of the tight bud of her clitoris Tia leaned forward, her hands grasping the back of the couch. Trent was holding her up to his face, his mouth gorging on her center as if she was a generous feast. The sound of his licking against her moistened folds was erotic as hell. The feel of his warm tongue twisting and turning, up and down her slit, felt so good she trembled all over. And then she called out his name. “Trent!”
Of course she said his name, over and over again. It was so simple, pleasure equaled her husband and her husband, the love of her life was, “Trent.”
When she thought she would shatter into tiny little pieces, the release ripping through her so shockingly intense that for seconds she didn’t even think she’d breathed, Trent pulled his mouth away from her, letting her down slowly until she lay back on the couch. With slow movements Tia reached for him, gripping his erection as he shifted himself and moved between her legs. She held him there, stroking him from his base to his tip, letting her fingers rub over the creamy filled slit. He moaned and she continued, jerking him in practiced motions as he pumped eagerly into her hand. When she used her other hand to rub over his sack, it was his turn to whisper her name.
Only it was more than a whisper, rather a strained syllable escaping through his clenched teeth. “Tia.”
She loved the sound of her name on his lips and so she continued until he’d tossed his head back in ecstasy. That’s when she sat up, leaning her head forward to lick along his length in slow, wet, intervals. His hands were instantly in her hair, grasping the long strands and wrapping them around so that he now had a tight grip.
“Don’t toy with me,” he told her. “You know better.”
She did know better, Tia thought with an inward sigh. She knew exactly how her man liked it and what was going to totally set him off. That’s why she licked him again, slowly at the base, rising up to the tip. When she finally wrapped her mouth around him and took him in so deep she had to relax her throat muscles to breathe easily, he cried out, “Dammit! Dammit! You’re a very naughty girl!”
That was all he said before he moved her head in sync with his hips, before he was so close to coming every muscle in his body had gone tense. That’s when Tia pulled away, releasing his length with an audible pop. Trent moved fast then, pushing her back against the couch and lifting her legs to rest on his shoulders.
“Look at me,” he told her.
“I love you,” he said as he thrust deeply inside of her.
“I know,” she sighed, letting his thickness completely fill her. “And I love you.”
“Is it time to wake up already?” Trent groaned as he felt Tia slip out of his arms.
He’d held her tightly to him all night. When she moved, he moved. If she turned, he turned. No matter what her position, he was not letting her go.
There were reasons for his behavior, first and foremost because she was the love of his life. She was also the mother of his son. Together, for Trent, they completed him in a way he’d never realized he needed to be completed. He’d thought he was perfect—well not without flaws—but not needing anyone or anything else to make him better either. Until he’d met Tia.
As if that moment hadn’t been life altering enough for him, things just continued to happen. It was the way of the world, he supposed. As long as the earth kept spinning and people kept living, there would be trials and tribulations. His job had been to either prevent or put an end to some of those instances. Life as a Navy SEAL had led him to some deep dark places in this world and had given him a sense of purpose and meaning. He’d been trained to kill with or without weapons. His agility and mentality had been tested and he’d passed with flying colors. To some, he would be considered the ultimate weapon.
Still, in the past few weeks Trent had begun to feel like nothing he’d been prepared for was about to happen. It began with the dreams—he felt like he was too old to call them nightmares. Despite all of the war ravaged worlds he’d traveled to and the death he’d seen and sometimes had no other option but to cause, nothing scared or continued to scar him more than the nightmares.
The first one had come just days after sitting at a dining room table and listening to his father admit that he’d not only been unfaithful to his mother, but that a child had been born and kept a secret as well. Thankfully, the child was not Henry’s. That was now Uncle Bernard’s burden to bare. But the events were set in motion by Henry’s betrayal.
His father. The man who Trent had looked up to all of his life. Henry had been everything to Trent—father, friend, disciplinarian, and confidant. He’d taught Trent how to take a fall on his bike after Linc had attempted to show him how to ride it in the first place. He was the first to explain the game of football to Trent and when Trent was on the high school team, Henry had been in the stands watching at every game. There was no business deal, no meeting, no emergency trip that ever kept Henry from showing up and cheering Trent on. When it came time to go into the military, Henry had been the one to keep Beverly calm, telling her that this was what Trent needed to do. His support for Trent had always been unwavering.
Trent loved and respected his father and appreciated all that Henry had ever done for him.
Until the moment Trent looked at Henry and saw the truth in his eyes.
Henry Donovan had cheated on his wife Beverly. He’d also lied to his children for years, not only about the affair, but the child.
Now, Roslyn Ausby was on a rampage, her heart having been broken by Henry too many years ago to count. She was hurting people and arranging for people to be hurt and or killed. If Trent hadn’t believed those allegations against her before, he certainly did the moment he received the call that his parents’ home in Pahranagat Valley, ninety miles north of Las Vegas, the place where Trent had grown up and still visited quite regularly, had been burned to the ground.
“Trent?” Tia was saying. “Did you hear what I said?”
She was standing beside the bed now, staring down at him with that look she gave Trevor when she was daring their son to lie to her.
“I didn’t. Sorry, I must have fallen back to sleep.”
Safe, he thought when she only nodded and went back to combing her hair in front of the mirror. He propped himself up on the pillows and watched her.
“I’m going to drop Trevor off at school and then I have a meeting downtown. I might stop by Camille’s office to see if she’s available for lunch. We almost have enough designs for a full line so I want to discuss where we’ll go from there.”
Tia was talking and Trent was staring. He was listening too, this time, because he wasn’t a fool. But he was also watching his wife. He loved to see her get dressed, from the way she cupped her breasts when putting on her bra to the moment she slid nylons up her long legs. Simply sexy. Today, however, she wasn’t wearing any nylons, just a dress that came to her ankles and high heeled sandals. The dress was purple and hugged her breasts like gloves. She’d pulled her hair back and fashioned it in a high ponytail. Now, she was putting on make-up. She didn’t need it, he’d thought that from the day he’d fallen in love with watching her eat. Now, after seeing her in child birth, late at night and early in the mornings, he believed it with more certainty, there was nothing that could make her more beautiful than she already was.
“There might even be a show,” Tia continued to talk.
Trent cleared his throat and figured he’d better join in on this conversation at some point or she was going to get suspicious.
“That’ll be great,” he said. “Have you already called Apollo to let him know what your schedule is?”
She looked at him through the mirror. Another look that Trent knew well. This was the one that said “do I look like I don’t know what I’m doing?” Still, he was going to remind her about communicating with her bodyguard. Now, more than ever it was important that Tia and Trevor were well guarded at all times.
“Of course. I sent him a text when I woke up. He’s probably waiting downstairs for breakfast right along with Potter,” she said. “Which means you should get up and go feed them both.”
Trent didn’t argue because he wanted a few minutes alone with Apollo. He wanted to make sure the man was on guard and that he had updated photos of Roslyn and Jaydon. Trent was taking no chances with his family. He pushed back the sheets and pulled on the sweatpants he’d peeled off in order to make love to his wife. Slipping his feet into Lakers slippers because Trevor had a matching pair, he walked over to where his wife still stood.
“Whatever you say, madam,” he said before kissing her right on the lips.
She pushed him back. “Trent, you always do that the minute I put my lipstick on.”
He shrugged as he moved towards the bathroom. “So don’t put it on. I told you that stuff’s unnecessary anyway.”
“It completes the package,” she replied and began stroking the color over her lips again.
“It just gets in my way. Kind of like that thing you had on last night. It was hot and I can see a guy getting instantly aroused when he sees his woman in it, so you got something there. But for me, I just wanted it off of you.”
He was standing in the bathroom doorway now, staring back at her. She turned and folded her arms over her chest. “I knew you were going to take it off. I just like sharing my work with you.”
Trent nodded, his chest swelling with pride. “I love you sharing your work with me…and only me.” He grinned at her and she blew him an air kiss.
“Hurry up and get downstairs. I have to go debate today’s outfit with your son. You would think he was the model in the family,” Tia told him.
“He could be, ‘cause he’s got his daddy’s good looks,” he said as she was on her way out of the room.
“Yeah, and his daddy’s big ego too,” she said before chuckling and leaving him alone.
Trent was smiling as he brushed his teeth and washed his face and hands. He was still smiling as he made his way down the back stairs that led directly to the kitchen. Tia had been right. Potter, the English Bulldog that Trevor had gotten over a year ago as a puppy and named after that Harry Potter movie he watched as religiously as a child twice his age, was leaning his massive body against the back door.
“Waiting for something?” Trent asked jokingly.
The look the dog gave him said “Not funny. Hurry the hell up.”
When Trent opened the door to let him out, Apollo appeared. Trent wasn’t caught off guard because he knew the former Marine would be there.
“Top of the morning to ya,” Apollo said.
He was a six foot tall guy who looked like and was built the same way as The Rock, but spoke with a heavy French accent courtesy his mother and being born and raised in Toulouse.
“Watch out for my dog,” Trent told him with a nod as Potter pushed right past the guy in an effort to move off the travertine tiled porch, over to the grass where he could do his business.
“That’s not a dog, it’s a little person,” Apollo quipped.
“Yeah, he thinks so too.”
It was a picture perfect California morning with the cornflower blue sky and bright sunshine. Palm trees stood tall and looked low and the waves crashed against the rocks a short distance from the house.
“I’m going to text you updated pictures of Roslyn and Jaydon. I want you to keep a close eye out for either one of them,” Trent began when he and Apollo had walked away from the house as well.
Apollo nodded his bald head. “Dev sent them to me earlier. He also sent the complete employment file for Jaydon. I didn’t know she’d worked for your family.”
“Yeah,” Trent said with a tight nod. “She did. She also used to be married to my cousin Parker. So she’s been around us for a long time.”
Watching them. Getting to know them. Setting them up, Trent decided. She was a sneaky bitch just like her mother.
“Dev’s got guys combing Nevada for that Roslyn woman. He doesn’t think Jaydon’s there, but he’s not counting it out,” Apollo continued.
Dev had been with Trent when they found out Bailey had been taken. It was only hours after they’d gotten the news that his parents’ house had burned down. Trent didn’t know which of them seemed angrier. What he did know, was that both of them were now out for blood. Dev would never admit it, but he’d become attached to the Donovan family. Through Trent he’d been invited to the family reunions, baby showers, weddings. Now, it seemed Dev was just there, more often than not, without an invitation. Trent was glad. He’d worked closely in the field with Dev for years. They were both SEALs and they were friends. Even when Trent had come out of the military, Dev had stayed in, but he’d made sure he was close for whenever Trent needed him.
“I’m going to catch up with him sometime today. We need to go over everything he’s found,” Trent said.
“You think she’s still alive?”
Trent frowned. “She’d better be,” he replied. “If not, there’s no jail that I’m willing to put Roslyn or Jaydon in. There’s only one option for them.”
Apollo nodded. He knew the score and he was down for it.
“I’ll keep Tia and Trevor close. You don’t have to worry about that. York loves kids and Trevor likes talking to him about planes. So he’s going to meet me this morning at Trevor’s school. He’ll stay with him and I’ll go with Tia. I’ll have them back home to you safe and sound as soon as possible.”
“Good.” Trent said tightly and watched as Potter took his sweet time waddling back towards the house. “If anything ever happened to them—” his voice trailed off as he remembered his nightmare.
“It won’t,” Apollo insisted. “I won’t let it.”