Excerpt from Snow White And Her Seven Lovers by Jenna Ives

                                                                                                     Chapter One

Today was Saturday.

That meant sex with Doc tonight.

Not only was he a real doctor, but his favorite sexual fantasy was to “play doctor” with me. And frankly, my favorite activity was to spend the whole week thinking up ailments he could, um, treat me for.

Mostly they were gynecological.

Yes, if I was honest, I’d have to say that Saturday was my favorite day of the week. Not that I’d admit it to my six other lovers. I was very satisfied with – and by – each of them. But Doc was my clear favorite.

And it wasn’t only because of the sex.

Hmm. Maybe I should start this story from the beginning…

Doc was the first person I’d seen on that day three months ago when my entire life had changed. I’d opened my eyes to find myself in a hospital emergency room, with the most incredible pair of baby blues staring down at me in obvious concern. I’d been nauseous, my throat painfully sore, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what had happened. Or even who I was.

However, I could definitely appreciate the sight of my gorgeous black-haired, blue-eyed doctor. I’d probably fallen half in lust with him right then.

Doc had patiently explained that I’d been poisoned. And that a bunch of his friends had found me lying unconscious in a nearby orchard and brought me to the hospital. And sure enough, just minutes after I’d regained consciousness, there were six additional sets of eyes looking down at me with equal concern.

Wow. Seven hot men, one more gorgeous than the next.

Doc took personal charge of my case, and at least two of his six friends stopped by to check on me each evening. With no memory – and so no family I could contact – the friends’ visits became my favorite part of the day, especially as I got to know them better. The policeman. The librarian. The teacher. The computer whiz. The engineer. The sweet-faced baker, who brought me chocolate chip cookies to offset the bland hospital food. Together with Doc, they were an amazingly diverse bunch of guys, yet clearly the best of friends.

And these men shared more than just friendship. I discovered they all had a deep sense of responsibility – they obviously felt very protective after rescuing me in the orchard.

On the night before I was to be discharged, they’d all gathered in my hospital room, concern etched on each and every male face.

Doc frowned. “I don’t like it, but the hospital has to let you go tomorrow. You’re perfectly healthy now, and yet… you were poisoned.” He blew out a breath. “I’m convinced it wasn’t a suicide attempt, because your mental state seems far from suicidal. But that leaves us with this: it’s been seventy-two hours, and no one’s come to the hospital looking for you…”

“…or to the police station, either,” the cop, Tom, added. “There haven’t even been any leads I could follow. It’s odd — if someone was trying to kill you, my police instincts tell me they’d be snooping around, wanting to know if they’d succeeded. There should be some clue I could follow. This doesn’t make sense.”

“After all,” the engineer, Steve, pointed out, “you don’t exactly look like a runaway who doesn’t want to be found— ”

“— or some vagrant street person,” the sloe-eyed librarian, Brad, agreed.

No, I didn’t feel like a runaway, a street person, or someone intent on suicide, but there were a host of other possibilities, like … was I married?  Doc told me I hadn’t been wearing a ring when his friends discovered me in the orchard, but even so, several times over the last few days I’d stared at my finger, even feeling the skin for a possible indentation. But there was nothing. No tan line, no mark, just smooth skin. And if I was honest, in my gut I didn’t feel married.

But not knowing who I was made me sick to my stomach.

“When we found you, you had no purse with you,” the teacher, Bob, reminded me. “And no cell phone…”

“…which means you have no money,” the computer whiz Jacob finished. “No I.D. Can’t do much in the world without those.

It was true. On top of no memory, I had no way of supporting myself. How did an amnesiac go about starting a new life? What was I going to do?

There was a heavy silence in the room, until Doc said, “You know, you could move into our house.”

That suggestion was met by a chorus of male heads bobbing in eager agreement.

It was an incredibly generous offer, and their enthusiasm touched my heart. “You guys have been great, but…”

“Please, consider it,” Doc urged. “We all live together in a big place on the outskirts of town – an old bed and breakfast we converted back to a house. You’d have free room and board, and in return, maybe you can cook a few meals for us. With a place to stay, you wouldn’t feel such pressure to force your memory to return. Plus, if you move in with us, I can watch over your recovery.”

I blushed a little self-consciously. During these last three days, I’d found that I’d like to do much more than cook for these seven gorgeous guys, which was another reason I was convinced I wasn’t married. In getting to know them, I’d discovered that each one of these men had qualities that attracted me. How was it possible that such decent, good-hearted guys were all still single?

I fidgeted in my hospital bed. “I don’t know…”

“If you stay with us, I can keep my ears open at the police station for any news on your case,” Tom pointed out. “Or, if your memory returns — and it turns out someone really did try to kill you — you’ll have me right there when you remember the identity of the perp.” He paused. “And if your memory doesn’t return, you’d be safest with seven of us around to protect you if that scumbag should decide to try again.”

Goodness. There were so many logical reasons for me to move in with them, in addition to this attraction I felt.

“But you need a n-name,” the sweet-faced baker declared. “What’ll we call you?”

“How about Blanche?” Doc suggested. “Blanche is the French word for white. And you’re white, in a way. Clean, like a blank slate. You can create your own identity from here on out, or at least until you remember the one you had.”

Blanche. It didn’t strike any memories, so obviously it wasn’t my real name, but it would do as well as any other. At least for the time being.

“What do you say, Blanche?” Doc asked quietly. “Will you come live with us?”

I looked around at seven expectant faces. It was true that with no money I didn’t have many alternatives for living arrangements, but in the end it wasn’t really a hard decision to make. They obviously wanted me to stay with them as much as I was tempted to accept. This tight-knit band of best friends had saved my life, and even though I’d known them for only three short days, my gut told me I could trust them.

“Okay,” I agreed.

They took me home the next day.

During that first week, I’d fully expected Doc to come home from the hospital with news that frantic relatives were looking for me. Or Tom telling me that someone had finally filled out a missing persons report at the police station. But there was nothing. The days turned into weeks, until two months had gone by with no word from anyone. And no return of my memory, either.

So I made a decision: I resolved not to dwell on the depressing possibility of never knowing, but instead be grateful that I was safe in this house with these wonderful men.

And now, after three months, I honestly couldn’t imagine my life any other way. I was deeply happy here. These seven friends had welcomed me with open arms, treated me like a princess from Day One, and I’d decided somewhere along the way that I wanted to do something to repay their kindness and support. Slowly, I set about discovering what each man seemed to be lacking in his life, and then resolved to fill that need in whatever way I could.

Granted, it wasn’t too much of a surprise in a house bachelors to find that what was lacking was a meaningful relationship with a woman, but it was a surprise to find how much I wanted to be that woman. For all of them.

In whatever way they needed. Physically, intellectually or emotionally.

I’d come to love all seven of these men, each in different ways. And as we’d settled into a comfortable routine here, that routine came to include my spending some private time with each man on a different evening of the week.

Seven men. Seven days. To do whatever they wanted.

But I definitely loved my time with Doc the best. With a shiver of anticipation now, I knocked lightly on Doc’s bedroom door, then turned the handle and let myself in. He looked up from the thick medical journal he was studying at his desk.

“Excuse me, doctor. I’m sorry to bother you, but I have this pain…”

A slow smile spread across his handsome face. The game was on.

“I see.” His voice dropped to a low rumble, and his blue eyes darkened to the sexiest shade of sapphire. I loved it when he looked at me like that. It made me go all shivery inside. “Where exactly would this pain be?”

“Between my legs, doctor.”

“Hmm.” He pushed his chair back from his desk, looking at me thoughtfully. “Is it a sharp pain, or more of a dull ache?”

I feigned innocence, playing my part. “I’m not sure. It just feels… uncomfortable.”

“Ah. A medical mystery. Well then, I’ll definitely need to examine you to determine what might be causing it. Take off your clothes and hop up on the bed.”

“All my clothes?” I made my voice sound sweetly naïve. God, how I loved playing these games!

“Oh, yes. The discomfort might be between your legs, but it could originate in another area of your body. You never know.”

“Well… all right, doctor. If you say so.”

He rose from his chair and headed for the closet. I knew he was going for his medical bag, the one he always kept in the house for emergencies, the one which had been enhanced recently with a few special, er, instruments that he only used on me.

I shivered in delicious anticipation and slipped out of my clothes, letting them fall haphazardly to the floor. Then I laid on his bed.

Copyright © 2011 by Jenna Ives