“We gotta leave…now! She knows about us-- she knows everything. If you wanna be with me…leave with me, now.”
“She will find us. You know exactly what she is capable of, Anise.”
“Then we leave, in the middle of the night…move somewhere far away from here. She will not be able to hex us if she cannot find us.”
“Fine. Tonight, we leave.”
“Not without my crystal…it’s been passed down for generations.”
The girl thinks she is clever, but there is none cleverer than I. I have foreseen this day, but still chose to marry the man I loved. Love cannot be explained, and often isn’t ours to keep forever.
I gathered the hair, the blood of her menses, and a jar. Placing the black salt, lemon and cayenne inside, I glanced around the room that glowed with candlelight, a tiny flicker of a flame letting me know a presence was near. Drawing a line of blood with a dagger across my palm, the pain and intention raising my vibration.
The altar that stood before me was covered in offerings to my Iwa, Papa Legba. Cigars, rum, long sashes of red and black. Candle wax dripped down the pewter tapers handed down from my grandmother. I lit the tallest red candle and began the chant that would call him to me.
“ I call a hex upon my betrayer and her family- “I take my blood and write her name on parchment, folding it three times and placing it inside the jar, “pain, death and misfortune will follow you like a shadow, chasing your kin. I call upon him…” I take the small skull covered in sigils from the top shelf and hold it to me. I held them in my mind for a while, watching them together. “Papa Legba…a giving and loyal Iwa,”
The candles around the room danced, and a rough wind stirred my tightly wound hair. A loud crash came from behind me, and the mirror passed down for centuries, fractured into thin, black lines. I watched the mirror as black smoke seeped from inside of it, permeating the air around it and causing me to take a cautious step back.
It was done.
I saw Death himself when I was just a child. His skin a deep dark black, and his face painted white. Crooked yellow teeth that protruded and a wide grin that terrified me, his laugh that squeezed my insides until I could no longer breath…the strong scent of cigars would follow.
When I told my mother that I had seen Death, she dismissed me with a wave of her hand, ‘such silly and imaginative things you say, my little Starseed, we are special women, do not worry.’
She would kiss me in the middle of my forehead each time, gently touching the crystal I always wore around my neck.
The following day, she began to cover all of our mirrors.
Her behavior puzzled me, but also interested me.
It didn’t help that the neighbors whispered about her odd behaviors, and the rumors soon began.
Her voice was more of an echo now. I can’t remember exactly the tone or inflection, but I do remember that she always made me happy. Laughter rang in my head…there was always laughter when I was with her.
I surveyed the run-down strip mall in front of me, with little choices for clothes shopping— compared to the other towns who had more than just one grocery store and two gas stations.
The small strip we had in Bakersfield, CA wasn’t anything like the strip in Vegas. The place my childhood best friend, Jane and I would spend hours dreaming about out loud together.
Jane went missing a little over two years ago. My brother, Logan, said he thinks she’s dead because she wasn’t found in the first forty-eight hours or whatever.
I think she just found an opportunity and didn’t look back.
Money was a hard thing to come by around here unless you wanted to work for corporate America. Rigorous routine wasn’t something I was exactly excited about getting into.
Jane and I were both adopted by our aunts, who we equally hated, and laughed maniacally about seeing their faces if we told them we became strippers in Vegas.
I was on the curvier side, filled out in all the right places, but always a little too big for the ‘hot guys’. Jane on the other hand, she had the perfect body for stripping, and I wouldn’t put it past her to actually do it.
I once worked at The Gap but was fired on the spot for telling a middle-aged woman that her nose job looked fake.
I was good at explaining my way out of situations, but not that time. Most people didn’t like hearing the truth, but a job would never keep me from telling it-- I couldn’t do fake.
I pulled into a parking spot near my favorite clothing store called, Wrecked.
I needed a new eyebrow ring before the seventy-five-dollar piercing closed up. I had absolutely no business spending that kind of money on piercing- but I was drunk and trying to impress a girl when I did it.
Unfortunately, the girl was gone in the morning, but the piercing remained.
Pausing at the glass door, I looked at my reflection- touching thighs, rounded hips and muscular calves, red hair that touched my waist, ample cleavage with a purple crystal nestled between. Brushing my hair back over my shoulder, I fingered the jewel and remembered my mother’s words, ‘As long as you wear this- Death will never touch you. He may visit you, but he will never be able to take you’.
“Hello? Are you going inside or are you just going to stare at your reflection all day?” the woman’s voice was full of attitude, hand on her slender hip.
“Maybe I am going to stare at my reflection all day…but please- by all means,” I stepped back, presenting my arms towards the door, “don’t let me ruin your day.”
Rolling her eyes, she whipped open the door, leaving me standing outside the shop with half a mind to turn around and leave.
“Awe, you look lost,”
I turned, surprised that I didn’t see the man approach me from the reflection in the glass.
“I’m not lost. Who the hell are you?” I shoved my hands into my pockets, waiting for the one-liner that was sure to leave his lips. Why else would a stranger approach a woman?
“Taj, nice to meet you…?” he stretched out his long hand to me, and I stared at his glittered-fake nails for a moment, confused. Taking it, we shook, and I backed up a bit so I could take in this tall man’s perfect, dark complexion. He wore a pair of futuristic looking sunglasses, that wrapped around his face, reflecting my face back at me. His head was covered with a deep purple hood that was attached to a soft looking long sleeved shirt.
“Celeste,” I answered, enthralled by his high cheekbones and plump lips. Smiling, his charm clouding my judgement.
Dammit! Why did I give him my real name?
“I’m so very pleased you shared your name with me, Celeste. Did you know that there is a rare crystal called Celestite? Named from the Latin word coelestis, meaning heavenly or celestial. Here,” His voice was calming, melodic. He handed me a small green stone, “a green stone to match your eyes and your name.”
Before I even knew what was happening, he was being ushering me inside a door covered with silks, jewels and bells.
“What is this place? I’ve never seen this place here before- and I am always next d---” Taj holds up a hand to me.
A lava lamp sat behind his chair on a small, hexagon table. The floating lumps of red and pink swirled around one another, reminding me of fire. The space was small, and very dimly lit, and the one large window at the front was completely blacked out.
“Come, come. Sit and let us do a card spread for you, Spirit insists. Past, present and future,” he lead me to a round table and I sat, staring in awe at the different colored and textured crystals that lined the wall behind the table.
When he said the word future, it was as if he had already seen it, a small smirk playing on his lips.
I didn’t want to know anything about my future, not now, not ever.
“I’ve gotta go,” Turning to the door behind me, I heard him shuffle a deck of cards and …thunk. I turned to see his face smiling down over the fallen card.
“One card has simply jumped from this deck for you- did you hear it? Let us have a look. Sit,” He continued his shuffling and, thunk thunk, two more cards fell.
I didn’t know which was more shocking, the fact that I was scared or the fact that I had considered seeing a reader this morning. My fingers tingled, and I felt my chest grow tight. This was no coincidence; I could feel something prickle at the back of my neck, a whisper.
Do not fear….
I sat down, my curiosity overtaking any sense of dread I had left for today.
Picking up the deck ‘jumpers’, he spread the three cards out before me, and I gasped.
Our eyes met, and as he flipped over the final card, I noticed it was upside down.
The first card that dropped from the pile was DEATH. A goddess with a horned-skull face and a dark robe.
“Ah, do not fear, the death card can represent a great many things, such as transformation. Or… because this was the card pulled for the past…great suffering and tragedy,” His eyes caught mine, and I only nodded slightly- rarely speechless, but stared at the spread of mystery cards that lay in front of me: three little cards telling a full story about my life- without saying a word.
“Present- The Tower,” Dramatically, he covered his mouth with his hand, sitting back in the chair. His purple and blue shirt shimmered in the dim light as he moved.
“What? What is it?” I leaned forward on the table, eager to know everything about what he was seeing.
I knew a little about Tarot, but I didn’t remember in detail. That was kind of Jane’s thing.
I resisted the urge to slam my palm on the table to make him talk.
Calm down, bitch. This could be exactly what you’re looking for- answers.
“You have a lot to learn, child. This card can be a bitch, but if you do what you need to—great rewards will follow.”
I sit back and cross my arms over my chest, letting out a huff, “I’ve learned plenty already. I’ve had enough trauma to fill THREE people’s young adult lives.”
Continuing to study the cards, he spoke in his melodic tone again, “Do you know anyone who would wish you,” he leaned in close to me and with a whisper, “ill will?”
Memories of my parents fighting trilled inside my ears- each time they would fight, it would be her name etched into my brain when they were finished.
I shake my head no, mostly so he would continue with the reading.
He touched the face of the last card, upside down. It wasn’t until the he removed his sunglasses, that I realized his eyes were a dark blue. Fake eyelashes and a baby-blue eyeshadow gave his face an ethereal glow, making him appear magical, I stared.
“Future: Six of Swords, reversed,”
I don’t know why it was in that moment, Taj’s blue eyes or that stupid card in reverse- but I remembered. I remembered it all.
Stop teaching her to practice magic! You are only making it stronger…
“Unfinished business,” I said, staring into an invisible space beside where Taj sat.
He nodded, crooking an eyebrow over me, waiting. “Does this resonate with you? Who comes to mind?”
“No one really… but there were fights over infidelities and…over witchcraft.”
“Well, if anyone can help you with unfinished business, it’s my friend Moxie.” Taj ran his eyes over me, studying me. He stood, walking over to a tall black shelf, opening a wooden box.
“Here. Tell them Taj sent you, they will give you a nice room to stay in,” he said, handing me a silver, shimmering card that just said, Alvarez inc. and had an address on the back.
I turned the cheesy-looking business cards over in my hands, noticing my bare, chipped nails.
I looked up from the card, and Taj was gone, the beads hanging on the back wall moving with little clacks, marking his exit.
There are signs everywhere.
Another saying that Jane frequented, and I only laughed it off.
Never in my twenty-two years had any stroke of luck come knocking on my door, and this little card could be a sign. What was the worst that could happen? Perhaps this was the motivation I needed to get into my car and drive to my mother’s hometown.
I might even find Jane, the address is in Vegas.
I could wriggle my way out of any situation by adapting. I was a survivor…bad luck or not.
Quickly leaving the little shop behind, I plugged the address into the cracked screen of my Blackberry. The keys stuck as I typed, but I furiously checked to see how long the trip would be.
Four hours? That’s a few tanks of gas.
I needed to get to Aunt Nancy’s to see what was left of my parent’s life insurance policy.
Fuck it—I was going to New Orleans, but first—Vegas…to find Moxie.
Chapters 1 & 2
“She seems interested. Shall we share her tonight, brother?”
Erik’s words rip through my belly, burning my insides with rage.
I have shared women before, but never had I thought about sharing Sybil.
I take a sip of the ale in my mug; the froth decorating the top lip of my blonde beard. The warmth of the fire and ale spreading from my cheeks to my limbs as I watch Sybil sprawled on the furs below us.
Her face full of sharp edges and soft curves, much like a statue.
She locks eyes with mine and a low growl leaves my throat, watching the pulse beat in her neck. We have bedded many times, and my cock stirs against my thigh as I recount the things she does to me with her mouth.
I lean back against the table and take in her long, golden limbs. She was tall for a woman, to be sure, but we were all the same size laying down. My fingers itched to touch her skin.
“She’s no’ looking at you.” I take a slow drag of my ale, letting it dribble down my beard, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
He scoffs, tossing back his mug and finishing it with a loud swallow. I turn back to Sybil, who watches me closely. I grin in her direction, the wolf inside me panting in approval.
I wanted to kneel before her and worship her body… but not with Erik here. I was more than enough as a lover; my powerful body fought in battle the same way I fucked in the furs- with passion.
My body, spent from the day’s battle, and it is a day to celebrate victory like men.
Some say fucking and fighting went hand in hand. It seemed Erik felt the same.
The day I took the oath to Odin, and vowed my courage to him, was the day I was born, Fenrir the warrior.
Erik may be my brother on the battlefield, but Erik harbored a jealousy of me he never truly tried to hide. And yet it seemed now we had yet another way to compete.
This woman- was my woman.
Sybil was pissed drunk, three mugs of ale and she is half undressed atop my furs- her smock unbound, her shoulders and tops of her breasts exposed.
Erik lingered long after the celebration, and his smugness bothered me as he reclined beside me. Turning to me, elbows resting on the table; he returns his gaze to Sybil. “Fen seems to think you don’t like me… but I think you do.” he smiles and there’s a glint in his eyes that I don’t much care for.
My wolf growls in agreement, a low rumble in my chest.
Sybil’s stares, her laugh filling the hut. “I’ve always wanted to take two warriors to bed. He is rather handsome, Fen, don’t you agree?” She kneels, crawling on all fours… crawling to him.
I feel the change inside of me rushing to the surface. Rage that she would even consider this embarrassment at her teasing.
Never would I consider another, only you.
Betrayal burns my eyes, and I slam them shut- the heat from the fire consuming me until my body splinters and stretches, fur sprouting over my growing body. My snout snaps and cracks as it lengthens, my head swinging from side to side. Crouching down, I am three times their size as they both look up at me in horror. In one violent motion, I clamp down on Erik’s neck in a blur.
Didn’t he know better than to anger Fenrir the Wolf? Had he not seen the beast in battle? He knew what I carried inside me, and he still taunted me- and now he will meet his death.
Erik’s cries and pleading fill my back turned ears. Warm blood gushing over my tongue and drips down my jaw. I shake out his body, silencing his futile pleas. I shake harder, bones snapping and flesh smearing the walls. Sybil’s screams stop me for a moment, a shoulder and arm hanging from my teeth. I see my shadow, large and looming in the fire’s light- a terror, an animal, a beast.
Any hope that Sybil could ever love me died with Erik this night. I am only left with the question that has haunted me my entire life- what kind of maiden could ever love a beast like me?
“Bless me father, for I have sinned,” I say, lightly, glancing at my grandmother for approval.
She nods, as I say the words- ever so grateful for my complying nature.
I kneel, the candles before me in a row of fire… but it is not a fire I may touch.
I count each one, two, three, four…
One for each of the souls to pass in our family. Although we are to worship a God we cannot see, we shall always remember our kin- that made perfect sense to me.
Whispers of Evil and contention pass through the church each time my mother and I pass by, my Gran determined to extinguish these rumors like an ember under a foot.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
I recite these words each time I come here; it seems to be the only prayer that makes any sense to me.
Gran’s God was a judgmental one; a force beyond what is tangible to us, and even when I questioned her, her God knew no mercy for anyone who did not obey His word. And the days I did not obey… I was punished with fervor.
But why can’t I question him? Why is He the one we follow?
If there was anything she chastised me the most for, it was my questions.
The small church down the cobblestone pathway from home held many secrets, feeling the pressure on my bones each time we came.
The men from my father’s flock line the back wall, standing in a perfectly straight line, watching everyone that enters.
Their eyes always linger the longest on my mother, Annabelle.
It is still unclear to me how my parents came together, but I know Gran forced them into marriage when she found that my mother was with child.
My mother and father were always fighting, and the sounds that came from their room late those nights- only confused me.
When I questioned my mother about such things, I always got the same answer.
We are just different.
If I was different, did that mean I was bad?
...second half of chapter available on release day! February 16 2022
all work protected by copyright
My father handed my mother to the men who burned her on a pyre.
I was left with my Gran, tucked away inside a cabin in the Welsh woods.
My mother’s books were all I had left of the brave woman I once idolized.
Soon, the woods called me, the dark depths seeming more inviting than my reality.
It wasn’t until I awakened that I realized just what my curiosity had done.
Before me stood not a beast, but a man. A man so fierce that I would forsake my God just to worship him.
Exiled for murder. All because of the beast inside me. Blood, war, and women roused me and the moon stilled me.
I did not hunt these woods for women, though the men in the black coats do. I pay no mind to them because they leave offerings at my footsteps. I am no God, but I enjoyed being revered.
My thoughts never strayed from day-to-day tasks until the day I saw the fox-haired girl.
She was to be mine, and I would shed as much blood as Odin would allow to make that so.
Hyacinth, a sweet girl next door who devotes her time to her father and stressful job, generally spends her weekends shrouded in a purple haze and avoiding her boring husband.
Enter Devina, a pathological liar who is
unable to accept her shrinks diagnosis, and seeks Colorado’s many dispensaries for a homeopathic treatment.
A chance encounter leaves Devina pining for Hyacinth, taking full advantage of Hyacinth’s unhappy marriage full of doubts.
Treading the line of betrayal lightly, the two explore their heated connection in secret.
The pair are quickly blinded by their own desires and Devina grows impatient with their twisted situation. Hyacinths reluctance to accept her true self pushes Devina over the edge and into a possessive mania that will forever change both of their lives.
Twice as Twisted
The tide pulled us under, then she swept us away.
I never wanted to get married again.
I belonged in exotic locations, making a life out of my photography. Lazy days under a high sun in a wine haze, maybe joined by a sexy pool boy. But here I am, engaged and back in Newport Beach where I grew up. I only needed a few weeks, and everything would fall perfectly into place. If I could pull it all off unscathed.
What I didn’t expect was for my fiancé to bring his twin sons along for the ride. Three Greek Gods and one dreamy beach house. What could go wrong?
I’m the ‘bad’ twin. There’s always one, right? I’m okay with that though, cuz I’m also the one who always gets invited to the party. This move is a fresh start. My chance to explore the taboo part of me that wanted more than friendship with my best friend, Leo.
I’ll admit, I loved attention from both men and women. My Greek bloodline puffing out my chest, a beacon on the beach. I could handle beach life easily.
Then I met Dad’s fiancée. A total stunner.
But damn if it wasn’t a nightmare trying to keep my hands off her.
Dad already met someone, just a year after mom left. One brief, elated moment when I received my acceptance letter from UCLA. The next day we packed up for Southern California. A summer job was the only way I could tolerate this obnoxious town. I preferred dusty bookstores and quiet coffee shops.
The day I met Alyssa, that all changed. Left spluttering and speechless. One problem: she was engaged to my father.
How was I supposed to sleep in the same house with a woman I barely knew but couldn’t stop thinking about?
A TABOO SHORT STORY
A Short Story
Justin and I have been married for eight years. We married young, and it was fast and furious.
Our relationship was a bit... different.
I wouldn’t say we we’re in an ‘open marriage’.
I wasn’t a sociopath.
We were just above all that restrictive bullshit.
You can't force someone to love you, and we trusted each other enough to make that choice each and every day.
My family would describe me as an empath who loved seashells and stingrays.
But, there were a few things my loving family didn't know about me.
Three summers ago, I scuba dived in Puerto Rico with some massive Manta Rays. It could only be described as an out of body experience, suspended in the blue abyss amongst monsters. My best friend tagged along.
Funny enough, that scuba trip was the weekend I realized I desired women just as much as I desired men. For two very different reasons.
I spent that night my blonde barbie bestie under the stars on the roof of her R.V. The love we made was intimate.
Slow, soft and tender. Careful and purposeful.
Justin was mine.
Growing up as the ‘dark skin girl’ at FHS didn’t get me very far. The blonde-haired Becky’s were always picked first, from dodgeball all the way to prom.
And Justin? Justin was a tall blonde drink of water, and I was a thirsty girl.
He loved me for everything I was, and everything I wasn’t. I liked to listen to his crazy ideas when he was stoned.
We pledged our hearts to one another before our family and friends got our happy ending.
Only, that’s not how life works. The journey continued each day, and we tried to be patient, respectful.
We loved each other carefully, the only way two souls who recognized one another could.
When you’ve been married for as long as we have, things start to become… routine. And as the old saying goes: ‘you have to keep the magic alive’.
So, we explored the swinger’s lifestyle, but ultimately chickened out.
More so because of Justin, not me.
I can remember thinking- he isn’t comfortable enough.
The word ‘swinger’ didn’t make sense to him. I tried explaining how it’s polyamorous adjacent — two consenting couples agreeing to have sex with each other. We would collectively agree and create rules before-hand.
I won’t lie- I wanted to feel a woman’s soft lips on my lips again.
Initially, it was my idea and he resisted.
But now suddenly, he was bringing it up again and wouldn’t let it go.
What I mean by couldn’t let it go isn’t what you’re thinking. Most dudes would be all over that, right.
Well, not my dude.
He couldn’t believe I would even consider having sex with someone else.
Marriage meant a lot to Justin. His late mother’s only hope for her only son.
But that’s the thing — Justin knew me, he chose me.
A bisexual woman, human rights activist, and horrified by any insect with more than six legs. Oddly, we met at a women’s rights rally. Only, he wasn’t there for the rally — rather the ‘killer corn dogs’ the food truck had nearby.
I picked on Justin about his taste in foods. Surfing his days away and living off barbecues and sandwich shops.
I’d like to think of him as extremely laid back; but he’s just lazy.
And I’m okay with that.
I run a small Etsy shop that sells jewelry. I also have a boutique on the strip in Miami, and I do very well there.
We turned his parents’ run-down beach cabin into an oasis, and life was good.
Boring, but good.
The only thing, or person I should say, that changed everything for us, was Maxwell.
The day I met Max I knew my husband liked him.
I don’t mean, ‘Oh yeah- he totally wants to suck this guy’s dick,’ kind of thing. I just saw a blossoming friendship, a strong connection through things in common.
They bonded over surfing, Max less so than Justin. Justin offered Max some pointers.
Max was married as well, no kids.
Just like us.
Justin met Maxwell at the smoothie stand Max owned. The two shared conversations over frozen drinks before Justin’s first run of the early morning. Soon, they were texting every day.
Max was attractive, with dark hair and green eyes.
They both shared the tall, athletic beach-dude vibe.
Eva, Max’s wife, was adorable.
In my wilder days, I slept with women just like Eva. Petite, yet curvy and freckled.
Quiet and polite, Eva pulled me into a hug as soon as we met.
“It’s so nice to meet you!” she squealed, and I noticed the sweet coconut smell of her sandy blonde hair.
Her soft voice took me back to a woman’s soft touch.
My belly filled with butterflies as her fingers interlaced with mine.
Late one evening, waves crashed outside our window and the smell of ribs from the oven lingered in the kitchen.
Justin looked at me and asked me what the kinkiest thing I’d ever done was.
“A girl once asked me to suck her toes. That was weird.” I laughed it off, unaware of what would follow.
“I want you to peg me,” he said flatly.
The thought of fucking my husband’s ass made me feel two ways: one, the image of him relinquishing complete and total control — doing the most vulnerable thing any man could do — thrilled me. Two, ew.
After our ritualistic meal of sapasui (my Tamā’s favorite Samoan dish), I said to Justin, “Did you know you have a clit in your butt?”
Justin squirmed. “Geez, Shelby. What does that even mean?”
“I know it’s random, but I saw it in a show, and I thought it was pretty hilarious. It’s true ya know, it’s the prostate.” I continued munching on my dark chocolate almonds, refusing to let this get weird.
I always said random things that I regretted saying later.
“And…?” Justin continued rolling the joint in front of him; a small, mirrored tray sprinkled with green leaves and kief.
I used to keep my jewelry on it. Now we use it to roll joints.
Mom would be proud.
“Well, if you research it…” I swung my legs up onto the couch, poking my bare toes into his thighs. He leaned back, finishing the rolled paper with a gentle lick along the edge.
Settling my feet into his lap, he lit the joint and took a long drag, squinting against the smoke. “How are you this pretty? You have a rare and natural beauty, it’s breathtaking.”
He stroked my cheek and I leaned into it and smiled but scrunched up my nose.
“Thank you, I guess. I always wanted to look like Cinderella.”
He sat back and draped his arm on the back of the couch. His toned abs still obvious in the dim light of the living room.
“Cinderella? Nah, I’ll take Moana or Tiana, any day.”
The joint passed between us in silence, and Justin looked at me and said, “I’m going to look into it.”
After a night of drinking card games and laughs, Justin and I sent Eva and Max away in an Uber.
“I like them. The conversation seems to flow well. Between everyone.” I cleared the dishes from the table and stood next to Justin, at the sink and already scrubbing.
“Max is great. I don’t think I’ve had more than a two-sentence conversation with a guy before. The conversations we have.... I don’t. It’s a vibe.” Half his face scrunched up, as if he didn’t explain it quite right.
It’s a vibe.
Normally, Justin saying something like this was standard. I got a lot of ‘dudes’ and ‘bros’ from him, ‘it’s a vibe’ shouldn’t feel weighted.
But it did.
I ran my hand along his back and stood on my tippy toes, kissing his stubbled cheek.
He turned to me, wrapping one long arm around my waist, and scooped me to him, claiming my mouth. The air left my lungs as I surrendered to the kiss.
Clawing at each other’s clothes, we made love to each other aggressively under the moonlight.
He bit me, I scratched him.
He spanked me; I hit back.
We discussed safe words and naughty pet names.
I decided I wanted to be called princess.
The power that word held for me.
It left his lips, and I was liquid.
“You like that, princess?” I nodded eagerly, feeling the intensity build up inside me.
I wanted to feel him inside, stretching me and guiding me to my peak.
“Yes, I like that,” I said, breathless.
“Are you a naughty princess?” he rasped in my ear, hungry for the conquest between my legs.
I pushed him up against the wall, taking his mouth into mine, sliding my tongue in and out. I ran my hands up his hard abs, circling under his shirt and over his shoulders.
He unbuttoned his shirt and let it fall.
We scrambled to the bedroom, shedding clothes along the way. I tripped a few times; the margaritas singing through my veins.
It was a rush.
The socialization, the connection with like-minded people with fresh ideas and perspectives.
Our problems mirrored one another; it made us feel validated — heard.
Justin lay on the bed, his six-foot-two body tanned, sprawled and naked.
He beckoned me to him. I let my sundress fall, slinking my body onto the bed.
I knelt to his sack and licked, then sucked. I ran my hands up his muscular thighs, to the V above his towering cock.
My tongue wrapped around his slick crown, but he took my chin and shook his head.
“Peg me, princess. Fuck me and make me come like I never have before.” He held the black strap-on we picked out together.
I eyed the dildo that was positioned on the inside of the harness, and then my husband’s bright expression.
My pussy was already wet, sliding together with every movement, the pressure building deep inside my hips.
Each time Justin and I fucked, we were careful with one another. We took care of one another.
Neither one of us ever left unsatisfied. We built a deep trust for each other through our lovemaking.
Getting down from the bed, I slid the harness over my naked thighs. Justin bent his legs, feet flat on the bed. A smile spread across his face.
“Fuck me.” He slid his eyes down my naked body to the long black shaft.
The lube rested on the nightstand, and I squirted in over the phallus. Bending down, I covered his creased entrance. I flattened my hand and rubbed up and down, reaching for his balls. I gently pulled his balls, stroking up his shaft and back down again.
Straddling the bed, I brought the head of my strap to his entrance, pressing in gently. I looked up into his face, pure bliss staring back at me from his blue eyes.
Heavy lidded and drunk with the filthy thought of it.
I smiled at him and pushed all the way in.
He moaned, his head smashing back into the pillow.
I eased out slowly. “Oh, yes. Does that feel good inside?”
Again, he cried out, and I pushed in and out once more.
I slammed in hard. Twice.
His cries made my pussy clench, and I fucked his asshole just so I could grind my pussy against his balls.
I fucked his dick with my hand and pushed inside him in tempo.
In, out, up, down.
Working up a sweat, I watched his dick twitch and jerk, squirting and pulsing between us.
I kept pumping.
This was what it felt like when we first crossed that line from ‘fooling around’ to ‘full on fucking.’
It was exhilarating, mysterious territory.
The feelings that followed were nothing short of glee and rejuvenation.
We both smiled like idiots for the rest of the night.
The day Justin came home from a long day of surfing, he said he had been thinking.
He had talked to Max about marriage and the unreasonable expectation society pushes on us to remain monogamous our entire lives. And being the forward-thinking couple we were, he felt we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of that freedom.
At first, I was shocked. But then elated that I had married someone so open-minded.
That’s when he said he wanted to find a couple he trusted.
Me being the bisexual one, I felt like this situation was calling me out.
This was every bisexual’s dream, right?
Should I just say no because we’re married?
Should I see where he’s going with this first?
“What do you think about it?” I spoke.
He rubbed my thigh, instantly delivering goosebumps throughout my body.
Muscle memory remembers orgasms…and the memories my vagina had of Justin and his delivery made my entire body tingle.
“I don’t know…” He smiled.
Every time he gives me that smile, the one that lights up his eyes, I become jelly.
My brain, my chest, my legs.
“I’ll do whatever you want to do.” I grabbed his hand and squeezed. He brushed back my dark hair from my face.
“I think I want to. I want to explore this more.” He brushed his thumb over my bottom lip.
I smiled. “Okay, babe. Let’s do it.”
It didn’t surprise me in the least that Max and Eva were the ones Justin ‘trusted.’
The four of us had an extremely awkward video chat that ended in an agreement: full swap — same sex.
The night they came over, I was shaking.
Nervous, excited, wondering if this was going to bring in new possibilities. Or if this was just Justin and I playing with fire.
I wouldn’t consider myself a cautious person. I preferred to be spontaneous. Mainly why we don’t have kids.
I keep my thoughts positive, something I have practiced hard on and pushed the thought aside.
We were still young, and we also didn’t have any children.
Fuck it, let’s just have some fun.
Nervousness written all over Eva’s face, she said, “I’m glad we connected. I like you…both. Can we agree that this is the start of an interesting friendship?”
“Yea,” I said, comforted that she was just as hopeful but scared shitless as I was.
I began pouring shots of tequila and mixing ‘sex-on-the-beach-margaritas’ since we only had tequila and not vodka or schnapps.
I’m still not sure what made Max ask my husband if this was something he wanted to do, but I didn’t dwell on the details.
I’m sure the conversation opened many doors for them both, but it ate at me. Who opened the door first?
It didn’t hurt that I could live out something that I had been deprived of since getting married. Married to a man meant no vagina fun for me.
After a taco dinner, which Eva so kindly helped me cook, Max and Justin sat alone on our back patio. The sun setting and the beach, deserted.
I brought Eva into the bedroom, eager to chat with her without our men around.
The alcohol made its way through our systems. It was clear by the amount of giggling and touching.
Initially, we bumped into one another by accident, alcohol singing in our veins. The second bump was purposeful, and I was grabbing her hand and not letting go.
I pulled her closer to me.
Her breath smelled like strawberries, and her tongue was bright red.
I wanted to feel it inside my mouth.
I grasped both sides of her face and kissed her, both of us falling onto my platform bed.
It surprised me how hungry I was to feel her mouth on mine. How slick her pussy lips would feel running through my fingers. I wondered if her clit would bulge for me or if it would lay flat like a petal. I would lick it until it bloomed.
I shoved my hand inside her loose silk shorts, expertly finding the edge of her panties. Moving it to the side, I stroked my fingertips along her slit.
“Yes,” she said into my ear, and I felt my cunt throb through my tight cut-offs. I wiggled in them until the seam pushed against my clit. The small amount of pressure gave me a fraction of relief.
Max’s moaning drowned out our heaving breathing. I peeked out through the shades to the back. Justin’s head was bobbing up and down in Max’s lap.
I felt a shiver run through me.
I hadn’t thought about the part where I would have to see my husband giving someone else pleasure. Seeing him being pleasured? That turned me on so much.
Him giving that to someone else.
I looked away from them and back down over Eva. She had ripped off her shorts and underwear and lay before me, spreadeagle.
I kissed down her soft belly, eagerly making my way to her blonde cunt.
“Spread it open,” I said, biting my lip.
She reached down and opened her lips with two fingers. Her clit was large and long, and I bent to run my tongue along its length.
My tongue slid through her folds and darted in and out of her wet hole. I pulled and sucked her clit, holding it inside and swirling my tongue around the head. She squirmed and squealed, forcing me to grind myself into the mattress, fucking it with my wet cunt.
I felt two fingers slide inside my pussy and I gasped, looking back to see Justin. Max stood leaning against the door frame, a grin on his face.
“Look at you two. Already going at it, huh? Do you enjoy having a girl suck your pussy, Evy?” He stalked to the bed, dick hard under his board shorts.
She nodded, silent.
Max knelt on the bed and slapped her pussy. She moaned and bucked.
“Are you a bad girl, Eva? I know you like to have your pussy spanked when you’re bad.” She gasped, pussy shining with come. He smacked it again, now glowing red and pulsing.
Damn, this couple was freaky. The fire inside of me roared. I felt my nipples pebble under my cami and nearly buckled at the thought of having my pussy spanked.
Justin, behind me, whispered, “Do you want to make her come?”
I nodded and bent down to return my face to her gleaming cunt.
Max was kneeling beside us, cock in hand. He smelled like sweat and coconut oil.
He fisted his cock next to Justin’s, Justin already pumping.
Eva came in my mouth quietly, but I drove my tongue deep inside of her until she screamed.
“Did she make you come?” Max gritted out, his cock in his hand, pumping slowly.
Abruptly, Max grabbed Justin and threw him on the bed. Justin ripped off his shorts and obeyed.
Shoving his shorts to the floor, Max grabbed a bottle of lube from the floor and generously lathered his rock-hard cock.
Max, flipping Justin onto his belly, mounted him like a lion. He swirled his head around the opening on Justin, gently easing inside.
I laid on the bed next to Eva, watching my husband get fucked by a man for the first time.
I was in awe, in shock and utterly electrified.
I stared as if I couldn’t pull my eyes away. I felt Eva stroke my arm and watch my face.
As Max sank inside of my husband, Justin cried out so loudly, it echoed off our walls.
Max pumped in and out again, Justin groaning and fisting pillows.
Their bodies rocked together, and I heard Eva whisper to me, “They look so fucking beautiful.”
And they did.
Tan skin, taught bodies, and masculine edge. Soft skin and coarse hair.
I caught Justin’s sparkling eyes once, but he looked away.
As I watched them together, I asked myself how many times had I seen his face contort and stretch that way? Had I ever made his face look that way? Seen the passion erupting like a volcano from spilling his seed. Once, maybe twice? When it was new and thrilling.
And that’s exactly what this was.
It thrilled me to my very core.
But what struck me was his smile when he finished.
He beamed as he turned around to Max and gripped his chin firm in his large hands.
They shared a tender kiss.
A moment that played out in front of me in slow motion.
I felt sick to my stomach.
I nearly gagged in that wretched moment, but I kept it together and smiled back at them.
I had seen too much. A knowledge that you can never ‘un-know.’ I choked back the bile rising in my throat and looked down over Eva’s soft curves and writhing body.
I told myself to get over it. I was acting childish, jealous.
I refused to give in to the negative.
Her eyes fixed on my hard nipples, she made tight circles around her puffy clit.
My body, betraying my heart, ground down against her slick mound. She jerked her hand away and cried out as I jerked my hips down and against her cunt.
I hovered over her, circling my hips against her pussy in heavy strokes.
She panted for more, clutching my ass cheeks and pulling me harder against her.
Her dainty French-tipped nails digging and scratching at me until I let out a groan.
“You like that? The pain?” she panted.
My sensitive clit caused my hips to jerk, and she dug her nails in deep, followed by a pinch that pinged through my body. I cried out, I bucked, I came. Hard.
My climax flew through me like a hurricane. It was violent. I shook. It was wet and terrifying, exhilarating all at once.
The only thing I wanted in the entire world right now was for my husband to make love to me. I wanted him to fill me and press his body completely to mine. I needed to feel his skin, the brush of his fingertips on my lips right before he sinks inside.
Eva’s wriggling beneath me brought me back to reality, looking down over creamy skin and pink center. I wanted to commemorate our friendship with a slippery orgasm.
I wondered if Eva had ever been with a woman before. Something told me the answer was no.
It excited me.
I hooked my middle and ring fingers and slid them inside her silky walls. I felt the hard spot along her front wall, firm and tensing. I rolled my fingers against it, adding an in and out motion as I pressed. Eva arched her back, her head lolled back against the pillow. She bucked against my fingers and took my other hand to stroke my thumb across her erect clit.
It was as if my thumb was the match, and her pert ball of nerves was the gasoline. As I hammered her insides, she jerked and cried out. Her come squirted and sprayed around my hand. We made eye contact, and her face contorted into pleasure.
“Don’t stop.” She grabbed my wrist and curled her body in to watch herself soak the bed sheets.
That’s when I felt Justin at my back. He was hard and ready. His cock brushed my ass, and I pivoted my body towards his, my pussy aching to be filled.
He shoved inside, hard. Hard enough to send me on all fours, my fingers leaving Eva’s-soaked pussy.
Eva heaved and shook, her hand replacing mine as soon as it left. I watched as she furiously rubbed her clit, Justin slamming inside me and forcing my eyes to roll back into my head.
Eva chased her orgasm until she was bucking against me.
Justin shoved me down on top of Eva. Shoving me up towards her head, I felt the head of Max’s cock slide down my pussy and into Eva’s. She cried out again, and all I could concentrate on was each person’s individual moan, weaving together a chorus of pleasures.
It was beautiful.
It was poetic.
I was art.
Our bodies moved together in gentle motion, thrusts and groans. I felt the sweat between Eva and I, making me gasp more.
Max bucked and groaned, Justin following behind him, Max’s name leaving his mouth with a growl.
A heap of panting, sweaty bodies.
My pussy ached, my heart ached, but my body felt resplendent.
Everyone moved from the pile slowly, and in their own time. Eva’s eyes were closed, and she looked peaceful.
Max left for the bathroom, leaving Justin and I sitting on the edge of the king-sized bed.
Justin smiled, but it was a half-smile, not a full one.
“That was fun,” was all he said. He reached for me, and I took his hand.
“It was.” I smiled.
Chapter 43 sneak peak
After Kostas left, things with the boys felt… messy.
In the long run, their opinion of me didn’t matter, but for now, I wanted things to go smoothly.
Jeno’s silly jokes and passion for photography reminded me of what it felt like to be young again.
What I would give to do it all over again.
I wanted to travel. So badly, I could taste it.
My wanderlust brought me to two of my husband’s. I had been from California to Texas, Texas to Colorado. I travelled in between on mini vacations or for gallery openings.
But not the way I had always wanted.
I wanted to see the world.
It was a big dream for a spoiled California girl. I just thought I had wealth in my favor, but it turned out I didn’t.
And Judas, fucking Judas.
Judas reminded me of myself when I was his age. Running around as fast as I could, soaking up every experience as if I would die tomorrow.
Sex and booze. Although, I’m betting he smokes weed as most of this generation does. I had never tried, and always wanted to.
I tried to ease my stress by cooking and cleaning. If I kept myself distracted, maybe I wouldn’t think about kneeling in front of Judas and begging him to fuck me over the table.
I hung white Christmas lights in the corner of the ceilings. Snack trays and freshly popped popcorn lined the breakfast bar.
I even made a batch of brownies.
I surveyed my work, satisfied, and opened a bottle of wine.
“Drinking already? At four in the afternoon? Tsk, tsk.” Judas hopped onto the couch, covered in freshly washed pillows and throws.
“Hey! I just washed those!” My wine sloshed around my cup, and he sat.
“Oh no. You going to punish me, Lyss?” He said in a hushed voice.
I gave him a side eye but didn’t respond.
The front door opened and Jeno bounced into the living room, full of energy. “They really mean it when they say exercise gives you more energy- it really does!” He plopped down next to his brother, in the same, ‘I’m very aware of how big my body is’ sort of way.
“I figured at least one of you would be out scavenging for food in the kitchen. You guys hide in your rooms. Let’s watching a movie together.” I leaned against the back of the couch, but no one responded. They looked at one another, though.
“I don’t know if we can all agree on a movie. Hey, nerd boy, did Harry figure out where all the magic crystals were?” Judas threw a pillow, but Jeno blocked it, shoving Judas in the shoulder.
“Oh, shocker. The big, tattooed guy likes movies like The Fast and Furious.” Jeno made a mocking voice, imitating a monkey.
“Listen, Dobby. Just because I have tattoos doesn’t mean I’m dumb. Neither does that fact that I don’t like Harry Potter.” Judas flipped him off.
“I like Harry Potter.” I chimed in.
“That’s because you’re a chick.’’ They said, in unison.
“I like Harry Potter and The Fast and the Furious.” Jeno said, looking at his brother.
“Fair enough.” The brothers fist bumped one another. They weren’t identical, but they looked similar. And I’m sure they shared many personality traits.
“Fast and the Furious it is.” I used the remote to pull up the DVD library. I typed in the letter and the flashy ad with brightly colored cars and flames lit up the screen.
I sat in between the two, a box that said ‘popcorn’ in my hand. The music bumped through the speakers, and I scooted back into the oversized couch and got comfortable.
Judas slouched diagonally across the couch; arm draped over the side. Jeno sat in the corner on the other side of me, looking uncomfortable yet absorbed into the opening credits.
I had seen it before, during a trip to Colorado in the summer. Fast cars and bumping bass went well together. I could see the appeal to them both.
The rain had been hammering down since the late morning, and with the air conditioner pumping through the house, I shivered.
I grabbed a throw and tossed it over my lap, letting my body lean into Judas’ warmth.
He noticed and nudged his hand under the edge of the blanket. His hand on my thigh was scorching hot, and I had to keep myself from rolling my hips and spreading my legs.
The movie played on, and Judas kept his hand where it was, but every once and awhile, brushed his thumb gently over my skin.
I could feel my clit rub against the seam of my shorts, and I slightly rocked into it.
His fingertips slowly travelled up my thigh until his pinky was just at the edge of my panties.
So damn close, his fingers were so close to where I wanted to feel him.
I wanted to curse but resisted and focused on the movie.
When the movie ended, my body was rigid. I wondered how long I had been holding myself in a tense position for.
Jeno’s snores caused both Judas and me to jerk our heads towards his body, his chest rhythmically rising and falling.
Judas moved closer to me, our bodies touching at every inch on our sides.
He leaned down and brought his lips to my ear. “Do you want this?”
His other hand reached under the blanket, fingering the top of my shorts. He expertly unzipped them and let his hand slide underneath.
I inhaled a sharp breath, my nipples hardening.
I nodded my head yes.
“But what if he wakes up? He might see us. He might see you…” He cupped his hand around my pussy and slowly let his middle finger slide between my folds.
“I don’t care.” I breathed, leaning back into him more.
He hooked his left arm around my waist and lifted me onto his lap in one fluid motion, allowing his hand better discovery.
I surrendered, laying back against his body.
“You’re so fucking wet. I’ve barely touched you.” His words melted my body into a wet puddle. I shuddered against his hand, begging him not to stop.
“I want you.” I breathed, wondering why he was being so cruel to me.
Not letting me have what I wanted.
“I don’t know if you deserve it.” He circled my clit with all three middle fingers until I was whimpering into his ear.
I ground into his hand, wanting to feel him inside, pushing and stretching me.
“You want me inside, don’t you?” His circles became faster, and I was on the brink of exploding.
I didn’t want to come this way. I needed him to fill me.
“Please, please.” I begged him.
“I don’t know, Lyss. Have you been a good girl? Or a bad girl? Choose wisely.” He rubbed slower now.
“I’m… I’m…” I stuttered, teetering.
“I know you’re a bad girl. Just by watching you. What bad thing did you do all those years ago, to make you want to stay away so long?” He breathed the words into my ear as he toyed with my clit. Simultaneously, he slid his fingers inside me, and then back out again.
My body jolted, and the pleasure robbed by my thoughts of my time at The Scorpion’s stinger, with Moxie. One of the most eye-opening, blissful experiences. One I didn’t talk about, ever.
If I spoke these words to him, the ones that rested on the tip of my tongue, I could never get them back.
“What was it, angel? You can tell me.” His words almost detonated my orgasm right there.
You can tell me.
It echoed through my brain, and my pussy throbbed. I wanted him to take me, to fuck me.
“You’re a bad girl, tell me.” He stopped circling my clit and dipped his fingers inside me again, hooking two of them and thrusting.
When you’re feminine, you’re soft.
When you’re too nice; you get taken advantage of.
When you’re too nice and feminine? It’s always your fault.
Then there are the beautiful ones, who are too nice and too feminine.
Loaded with mental instabilities.
That was me.
When I met you.
I was nice to everyone, including you.
I’ll admit, I liked your ‘I don’t give a fuck attitude.’
But what was it about me that drew you to me like a moth to a flame?
Was it just my disposition?
Childhood trauma impulsively making me want to people please.
Affable and fair. Quick to apologize.
You took advantage of me, the prey to your animal.
It started with fights that escalated from ember to inferno in an instant.
Soon, my days were not complete until I had cried.
Emotionally exhausted and questioning my life.
The fighter inside of me wanted to war, and I fought back.
That’s when things got bad.
I mean, I wasn’t supposed to talk back- I was supposed to obey.
How dare I?
That was when it became more than screaming.
It was choking.
Being held down.
My third eye finally opened, even after all my battles with alcohol.
It still opened.
Tired of tip toeing over shards of broken glass.
The tiny cuts became infected, they pussed and festered.
Day after day of rage, all aimed at me.
Your rage was your weapon.
Your defense mechanism to your authentic emotions because you were always taught to swallow your feelings.
Feelings were weakness.
Feelings were for women.
The inferior gender.
The trauma you suffered at the hands of your father and your alcoholic mother, all rolled into one crying tiny child buried inside of you.
You never healed that child and birthed your very own trauma to nurture in the flesh
The sting of your words burned my ears each day until they bled.
Faced shoved to the carpet, repeatedly being told I wasn’t shit.
I was… nothing.
It didn’t take many break-ups to make ups for you to no longer treat me as a person, but an employee.
If my job was not done correctly, I was punished.
Night after night I begged you to be quiet.
Don’t wake the baby.
Please don’t yell.
On Christmas Eve, you shoved yourself down my throat until I had tears in my eyes while you drove us home.
You finished and said thank you.
While I cried in the truck for an hour.
My ultimate bottom. It was lonely and dark.
I would die in this trailer, next to a person I didn’t love.
I hated you from that moment on.
A hatred that brought me to the bottle every night while our baby boy slept next to our bed.
The perfect little angel that he was.
Let my Libra moon remind you; there are two sides to every story.
And true to who I am; I have thought of this often.
I could be the villain in your story; but hate only breeds hate.
And I always chose peace.
You took a love, and you crushed it.
You crushed my self-confidence, my worthiness.
You tried to crush my soul, but you failed.
Friends, family and therapists have congratulated me on my escape.
Being told that I’m lucky.
You will always paint me as the monster.
Perhaps because you realized your mistake but aren’t man enough to admit them.
Maybe if you made peace with that, you would make with within yourself.
My monsters aren’t under my bed.
I confront them daily, and we have become friendly.
Yours will remain buried deep inside your wounded soul.
Someday, my baby will understand why I did what I did.
For self-preservation, sanity.
Mental health and a bigger plan for me.
Call it selfish if you want to.
I’ve made my peace with that perspective.
But I will tell you,
He will ask questions someday, there’s enough of me inside his blood to know that.
He will seek truth, perspective and guidance.
The next morning, after too much vodka and hard rock, I was pulled out of a hungover stupor by a loud knock on the door.
I rubbed my eyes and squinted against the bright sun that beamed in through the back door.
Mel’s naked body sprawled across the futon on the floor, and I had to push her off my shoulder just to get up.
I wish she would just go, fun’s over now.
I sighed and pulled an Ozzy shirt over my tangled hair.
“EVICTON NOTICE: YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO VACATE THE PREMISES”
The piece of paper was half stuck under the door and was a bright red.
“Damn, thirty days?” I cursed quietly, crumpling up the paper and immediately searching my brain for a plan.
I popped the top off the bottle of vodka.
I could get three shots out of what we left.
I tossed it back and gritted my teeth.
“Get up Mel, it’s time to go.” My voice sliced through the silent morning and Mel jolted her body, craning her neck towards the sound.
“What time is it? I feel like I didn’t even sleep- what the fuck?” she groaned and rolled over, covering her head with a pillow.
I strode over to the bed and yanked the pillow off of her, “Get out. Now.”
“The fuck, dude?” her long hair electrified around her head like a halo. Her face scrunched up, looking for her clothes.
“I have shit to do. Fun’s over.” I threw the pillow back down beside her and returned to the small kitchen. I poured myself another shot and pulled out my cellphone.
“Hey sexy, can we link up today? I need a favor.” I sent a brief text to Alyssa, knowing full well she would respond fast.
She liked me. A lot.
Mel collected her things and stood at my door, fully dressed now, “Okay, well, see ya around. I guess.”
The door shut behind her, and I shook my head.
Some people just couldn’t take a hint.
My phone dinged and I picked it up, smiling to myself.
“Of course, pet. Lunch at Mona Lisa? Say 2?” Even Alyssa’s messages were full of class.
“Sounds great.” I sent, hoping I had enough cab money to at least get me there.
I needed money, and I needed it today.
The restaurant wasn’t open until 4, but Alyssa knew the owner and he gladly opened early for a high-tipping patron.
“You look rough today, long night out?” Alyssa smirked as she gently plucked the cloth napkin from the table and placed it in her lap.
The corners of her mouth turned up; a shiny nude lipstick painted perfectly on her plump lips.
She had a vintage beauty.
Her profile was archaic, and her features sharp and pointed like a mouse.
She smoothed her pencil skirt over her long legs, and the rose-colored silk blouse she wore struggled against her perky-fake tits.
“You look gorgeous, as always.” I bit my lip, fingering the napkin in front of me on the place setting.
Damn, I hope the server comes soon to take our drink orders.
“Are you looking for some work?” Alyssa arched her perfectly shaped eyebrow, looking at me sideways.
“No, actually. I was looking for more of a… loan.” I flashed my perfectly straight smile, with what I’d like to call a ‘girlish charm’.
Alyssa squinted her eyes and let her gaze drift down my shirt.
“A loan? I’m not sure I can do that.” She flicked her wrist in the air and an eager server came running. “Bring a bottle of champagne, please. Along with orange juice, we can serve ourselves.” She finished.
“Yes, of course, Ms. Clarke.” The server bowed like a servant.
I raised my eyebrows and returned my eyes to Alyssa’s bulging neckline.
“I think we can arrange something, but not without some… work. Up front.” She reached over and lay her hand on top of mine, stroking the middle of my palm with her index finger.
Chills ran up my spine and I pictured her naked, her perfectly yoga-trained body atop a white cashmere blanket.
I squeezed my legs together, adjusting the pulse that began between my thighs.
“Okay, let’s do that.” I managed, sitting up straight and greedily grabbing the drink the server brought to the table.
“How much are we talking, Dev?” she continued her stroke, and met my stare with her deep blue eyes.
“Well, I need to move. I’m out of work and I don’t really have a way to make that happen.” I looked down at the table, feigning worry.
“Interesting, where are you moving to? I may have a place for you to stay until we can get you sorted out with cash.” She smiled and gave me a wink, and I knew that wasn’t the only part of the deal.
“That would be… amazing. I need to be in the city. Closer to Colorado Springs.” I squeezed her hand, hopeful she would give me more than just a place to stay.
“And what’s in Colorado Springs?” she took her hand from mine and sat back in her chair.
I absentmindedly scratched at my head, I looked at Alyssa and then back down at the table.
“A new pet, I assume?” she took a long drink of her mimosa, her eyes not leaving mine.
“Pet? Nah. I’m actually looking into working at a dispensary. Good discount.” I smirked, tearing my eyes from hers.
I wasn’t even sure why I didn’t just tell her about Cyn. We weren’t a couple.
Maybe because I want my cake and to eat it, too.
I shook the thought from my head; I wasn’t hurting Alyssa; the bitch was filthy rich.
“I have a house outside the city, it needs some cleaning and renovations. Perhaps if you like it, you could put some work into it?” our food arrived just as she asked me the question.
Home improvement wasn’t exactly my thing…
But it was a free place to stay.
“Um, yeah. That sounds good.” I lied.
I inhaled the food in front of me as if I hadn’t eaten in days.
Or had a fierce hangover.
“So glad you like the food. It really is a shame I haven’t had the chance to see you happily satiated in a long while.” Alyssa ran her tongue over her bottom lip and let her eyes travel down to mine.
An older woman who knew what she wanted and felt completely comfortable in her own body; was a force. She was spinning her web, and I felt myself being pulled into it, willingly.
I felt her perfectly pedicured foot run up my loose jeans, curling around my calf.
“You didn’t think I would let you off that easily, did you?” her red lips curled into a smile.
North Nevada Ave never seemed to disappoint when looking for a good time and a stiff drink.
“Life as a lawyer’s assistant was anything but glamorous, and I always entered the building feeling as if a huge weight was pressing into my chest. Leaving felt the exact opposite. It was exhilarating.
The bar door was heavy, and as I stepped through; my Jimmy Choo heels caught on the riveted metal frame.
Stumbling forward, my auburn ponytail whipped into my eyes, emitting a ‘oof’ from my lips .
“Damn, girl! You are always a hot mess. Take my arm boo, I got you,” Marco said, his ‘s ’ as sharp as a tack.
I laughed and pulled him into a quick hug.
“Good thing you’re a hot little ticket,” Marcus continued, not missing a beat.
“Hello, doll.” My voice trailed behind him as he led the way to the table he had already secured.
“Another day in paradise?” He waggled his eyebrows and took a sip of his fruity drink, pursing his lips around the straws shaft.
“Not everyone gets to lounge around in a robe all day and drink mimosas.” I mocked him, taking in his designer clothes and manicured hands.
I mean, I could have if I wanted to, but I made my paycheck regardless of my new financial status.
“Girl, please. It is difficult trying to find things to occupy yourself with when you’re a bona fide sugar baby.” He gestured emphatically with his hands.
Marco leaned in and whispered, “Even better when your sugar daddy is a closet gay who lives with his wife.” He giggled and took a sip of his drink.
We both stared at each other in silence and burst out laughing at the same time.
“You are like a breath of fresh air, my friend.” I opened the drink menu and ordered a Jameson on the rocks.
Marco’s eyes dart to the dark liquid in my glass, and then to me.
I roll my eyes, “Don’t say it, please.”
“I will not say anything… but that is not the drink of a straight white woman.” His snarky comment ended in a whisper.
I rolled my eyes dramatically and took a sip anyway. The liquid burned the back of my throat and the warmth flushed the stress from the day down my throat to the ends of my fingertips.
“How long has it been since you and Travis… ahem, did the dirty?” He leaned in close, eagerly awaiting the response to his daring question.
“You never fail to shock me. I don’t know…” I stared into my glass, as if the answer swam inside.
Since the honeymoon, that’s when.
At that very moment, as if the universe required the answer, an athletic blonde around my age bounced past us and flung her arms around the man before her. Her cropped crew-top lifted slightly, exposing her back, the long curve disappearing into tightly fitting leggings. I found my eyes drawn down to the perfect roundness of her ass cheeks, taut with just the right amount of jiggle. I stared, licking my lips.
“Cyn. Hello. Hyacinth!” Marco’s shriek broke my trance, and my eyes darted back down to my drink.
My cheeks burned, and the moisture that suddenly wicked my panties made me swallow hard.
Marco reached for my hand and squeezed.
“Honey, I love men. I just don’t think we share that in common.” His eyes waited for mine to meet his.
He already knows, but I’m not ready to admit anything out loud just yet.
I walked alone down the dark street from the bar, turning onto the private road where my husband and I shared a home. Freshly married about four months ago on a beautiful summer day in Monument Valley Park .
I grew up in Colorado, yet never had the courage to move away from my father. He needed me, so I sacrificed my dream of travelling and stayed so I could tend to him every day. Every excuse I could find, I would be at my Dad’s house, the home I grew up in. Anything to get away from Travis and his constantly wandering hands.
You would think Travis and I would screw like rabbits, eager to taste one another, fill and swell with each other’s every desire.
Well, he was. Me, not so much.
Not only did he fail to get my knickers in a twist, the thought of having children turned my stomach. Nothing ruined our rare copulation more than his mention of ‘making a baby’.
I stood in front of the grey-stucco two story. My feet felt as though they were cemented to the ground. I groaned but pulled myself towards the door.
The foyer was quiet besides the echo of my heels on the stone floor. The air smelled of freshly washed laundry, with a faint hint of lavender. The housekeeper came every Monday and Friday, set up by Travis’ waspy mother, Tricia.
“Every house needs a housekeeper, a wife can’t possibly live without one.” Tracy’s voice was high and condescending, a constant echo in my mind.
I should be thankful, but I always took care of my father growing up, cooking and cleaning after school. I didn’t see it necessary, but considering this house was four thousand square feet, perhaps I was wrong. And probably unappreciative.
“Hello my love.” Travis appeared in front of me, taking my bag and placing a kiss on my forehead.
Our massive kitchen was polished with chrome and black marble countertops, spotless as always.
“What smells so delicious?” I asked, taking off my jacket and kicking off my heels.
“Parmesan garlic shrimp, leeks with organic wild rice. Chef Travis at your service, mon amour.” Travis bowed, draping the kitchen towel he carried over his arm.
My stomach rumbled, happy to have dinner ready and waiting for me. The perks of being married to a gourmet chef. He really was good to me, I knew that.
Travis led me into the dining room, complete with two formal place settings and lit tapers. Pulling out the chair, he motioned for me to sit and took the jacket I haphazardly draped on the chair.
Making his way back into the kitchen, he picked up the heels I kicked off in the middle of the kitchen ; he neatly placed them in the foyer and grabbed a bottle of chardonnay from the wine fridge.
Finally seated, we eat in silence.
“How was work?’’ Travis ventured.
I wonder sometimes if he can sense my unrest and boredom.
“Oh, the usual. Lawyers who act like I don’t exist unless they want a coffee or lunch.” I down the rest of my wineglass, feeling blissfully buzzed now. I eye the bottle and see it’s about half full.
Yeah, that will be my companion for the evening. Tucked into bed with me next to some Oreos.
“I don’t know why you won’t just quit, you don’t need to work. We are perfectly fine without your nine-to-five.” He chews his food loudly, shoveling rice into his mouth so fast that I make a face.
I stand from the table with a plate in hand, ready to soak into a hot bath and call it a day.
“Where are you going? You don’t want to sit and chat for longer?” His face is soft and childlike, blue eyes shining. Waiting for me, like he always has.
“I’m tired, Trav. Maybe another night?” At this point, I am already walking to the kitchen sink.
“Well, alright. There’s a great documentary on Netflix about a killer whale. I thought you would enjoy it.” He remained seated, his words disembodied and disregarded.
I hate seafood and anything to do with fish. I preferred horror movies and rom-coms.
“Goodnight,” I call, already halfway up the sprawling staircase, wine bottle in hand.
Available Valentines Day 2021