Here’s an excerpt from my forthcoming novelette, Artistic License. Release date July 2012. Enjoy!
It wasn’t like she didn’t know what he was going through, she did or at least she thought she did. She wanted to believe she had a connection with him that transcended any physical ideas, something other worldly.
“Hey, how ’bout we go to the store, grab some stuff and drive out to the rock?” Francis asked. She could see Morgan’s thoughts were far away. He agreed as though it would be something to take his mind off the hell of here and now.
Francis picked out all of their favorite fruits, some chips and salsa and two Sarsaparilla’s, their favorite. Morgan stood by watching her a solemn look on his face like he couldn’t participate sinking in the thought that he may never see her again. Francis remembered when shopping was a game and a tasty one at that, Morgan pulling off a grape and holding it between his teeth for her to bite the other half. The severed grape usually ended up in the corner of Morgan’s mouth since Francis couldn’t keep herself from kissing him instead of chewing and swallowing first.
The ride to the rock was quiet. Francis wished she knew what to say, but decided to let Morgan be where he was instead turning on the radio. Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain played softly from the speakers. Francis thought it ironic to hear now, at this moment, knowing the horrible separation looming in the distance.
Morgan leaned his head back against the seat and turned to look out the window. Francis couldn’t see his eyes, but hoped they weren’t like hers, welling with tears. She blinked feverishly to keep them from spilling down her face while trying to swallow the huge lump in her throat. Francis was glad she hadn’t jacked the volume up. It would have really sent the tears flooding down her cheeks. She hoped Morgan didn’t see her, not that she minded crying in front of him, but not now, not today. Not even if it was what they both needed.
She turned off the highway onto the dirt road leading up to the fantastic structure they hadn’t visited for at least six months. Their secret exploration site since learning gold had been found in the rocks at one time, a legend Morgan proved true last year.
It would take an expert to release the yellow metal from the stones, but Morgan opted instead to keep them viewing their beauty as unique, beautiful. Since then, Francis looked at rocks differently, with more appreciation, but then viewing anything through Morgan’s eyes had this effect.
The monument stood at least seventy feet high jagged rocks protruding all around as if protecting a treasure hidden within the dirt below. They’d climbed it at least a half dozen times mainly for the view from the top. A picture perfect panorama of the entire desert valley including the river two miles away.
Francis pulled around the side and off the dirt road making sure the car wasn’t visible from the road just in case the cops had nothing else to do today. It wasn’t a barricaded road, but the land was federal property, as shared by the highway patrol officer who’d found them once.
She leaned through to the back seat and shoved the bag of food in a backpack. Returning to the front, she noticed Morgan deep in thought staring straight ahead out the window, no doubt reviewing the chain of events leading up to this point. Francis wondered herself, but knew it was bad luck, bad decisions and even worse timing. She’d like to rewind the past thirty days and erase all of the contact he had with Darren and Mike, the two idiots who had gotten Morgan drunk off his ass and convinced him “batting boxes” was cool.
As it turns out, smashing mailboxes from a moving car with a bat as if they were watermelons was a federal offense, one that came with prison time anywhere from one to three years. Add the owner of a house outside and in direct line to be hit by said box and assault with a deadly weapon gets added to the list of felonies. Almost everyone Morgan knew said five years was fair, but not when he had his life planned, their life.
“Come on.” Francis put her hand on his shoulder and rubbed it gently until he looked at her. She smiled then opened her door and got out fully intending to open his and drag him out if he wasn’t already standing outside of her car by the time she got there, but he was. In a zombiefied state surveying the rock formation, but outside at least.
She grabbed his hand and began walking. His grip was tight, but his gait slow. Francis felt like she was almost pulling him up the side of the mountain, but didn’t tell him so in fear he’d change his mind and opt to go back to the car and sit until she drove them home.
They weaved through the brush behind the first few boulders along a rough path of dirt, rocks and weeds before coming to the climbing part. It wasn’t difficult, but they couldn’t do it holding hands unless they were helping each other and so far, Morgan wasn’t.
Francis released his hand, secured the backpack on her shoulders and stepped up on the somewhat flat rock. Moving quickly to the next in order for Morgan to follow, Francis looked back and noticed Morgan watching her unmoved.
“Babe, whatcha waitin’ for?” Francis looked down into his face as he stood staring up at her, a million thoughts racing behind those beautiful orange eyes. The look on his face told her he didn’t want to do this and they’d only just begun. She knew she couldn’t let him give up and turn around, not if it meant going home to suffer in the agony of his own mind.
“Morgan, come on.” Francis squatted on her rock above him instead of climb down where she knew it would be next to impossible to convince him to come with her. She locked eyes with him and held his stare. He didn’t blink and she could see his eyes were glossy.
“Just for a little while. I promise.” She grinned her best girly smile knowing full well he’d recognize it as a cheap shot, but hoped it reeled him in, brought him back to the here and now.
Morgan finally moved. Holding her gaze he grabbed the top of the rock and climbed up to her. They stood face to face. Francis smiled placing her hand on his cheek, then kissed him gently. He turned his gaze to the river before she could see the depth of his sorrow, one he knew would surely change the way she felt about him.
Francis continued climbing circling around the structure as she picked the best boulders and fastest route to the top. She couldn’t spare any more time at the bottom for fear they’d get stuck there, again.
Looking back to check Morgan’s status, she was pleased to see him close behind. This fact boosted her energy as she picked up her speed hoping not to break too much of a sweat, which she hated.
Pulling herself up and over the final boulder, Francis made her way to the throne. They’d named it such since a relatively flat boulder sat in the middle flanked by a few of its more jagged counterparts. It was the perfect perch from which to sit, picnic and wonder at life. Something the two had often done when neither of theirs made any sense, like now.
Francis stood for awhile surveying the valley waiting for Morgan who was stepping off the final boulder. He smiled at her as if to say, “I made it, so now what?” He stood next to her joining the scene survey then faced her straddling her body and placed his hands on either side of her waist.
“I’m ready.” Francis put her hands on his shoulders as he lifted her, his strong arms placing her gently on top of the boulder. He kept his eyes on her face his square jaw clenched further exaggerating his perfect cheek bones. Francis stared down into his eyes a smile on her face she hoped eased the distress behind the furrow in his brow. Reaching forward she ruffled his spiked black hair its soft texture sending a shiver through her body. Morgan grinned then pulled himself up next to her.
Francis removed the back pack and set it next to them. She wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and bet Morgan felt the same, so decided to hold off on the picnic part of their journey.
They sat for a long time watching the sun slowly fade behind the trees along the river. Neither wanted to be the first to speak fearing the words would come out all wrong, if they came at all.
Morgan glanced at Francis then looked down. She could tell he was on the verge of losing it, not just his composure, but his sanity. The reality of his situation sinking in with every second of silence. He wished he could morph into an ant and live under this mountain of dirt if just to get out from under the death he was certainly going to feel in prison, the death of leaving her.
He looked back at her and this time, didn’t turn away. His eyes were full of tears, which spilled down his face when he blinked, but he didn’t turn away. Francis could see the pain in his eyes, a pain she knew he couldn’t put into words, make her understand, and she yearned to tell him he didn’t have to.
“Hey, it’s okay.” She placed her hand on the opposite side of his face and brought his head to hers. They sat forehead to forehead for what seemed like hours, inhaling the scent of each others skin, breath, heartache. They would have only a few more days together before he was sent to federal, two states away.
Something about overcrowding kept him from being housed here, a fault Francis felt should be reassessed. After all, Morgan was just a kid, one who made a stupid mistake in a moment of idiocy and, in her eyes, deserved a lot less punishment.
Morgan wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair. She loved when he did that. It made her feel like he was truly enjoying her except today, she knew his heart was breaking and his joy replaced with desperation. She wished she could help, but she couldn’t undo the thing he really wanted, needed.
They rocked back and forth listening to each other breathe before he planted his lips firmly on hers. She could taste his salty tears as she placed her hands on either side of his face. Their eyes were open as they watched each other letting go everything they wanted to say and instead, showing.
Francis laid back on the rock as Morgan followed, the weight of his body on top of hers like a protective barrier from the world. A protection she wished she could give him.
Morgan lay to one side and traced her face with his fingers. Francis kept her hand on his cheek. Both committing every feature, detail, to memory while dreading the possibility they may one day forget.
He moved his hand over her body paying close attention to every curve. There was a certain deliberate slowness as he removed her clothes this time, as though he’d never seen her body before or might never see it again. Francis wanted him to take his time, wanted him to really feel her and more than anything, she wanted to really feel him, in her skin, living and breathing deep inside of her.
Finally laying nude together on the rock, Francis thought it didn’t feel half as uncomfortable as the other half dozen times they’d done this. The thought made her instantly yearn for one of those other times if only to go back and fix things. She thought herself good at fixing things except this thing and it ate her up inside.
Tears welled in her eyes as she watched Morgan kissing her legs, abdomen, stomach, arms, breasts. He brought his mouth to her face and took his time kissing every inch. As she blinked, amazed by how beautiful he was even in his sorrow, a tear escaped the corner of her eye and rolled down the side of her face. Morgan noticed and gave chase catching it just before it reached her hairline. Francis giggled and she thought he did too, but he’d actually caught himself in a subtle sob as he bowed his head next to hers.
She stroked the back of his neck as he continued to lay there, head down, his breath warm on her ear. He was hard against her thigh, a hope that told Francis he wasn’t completely lost in the bottomless pit of hell.
“Morgan.” Francis whispered his name as if someone besides him and God might hear. She turned to look at him. He raised his head to her, his face wet with tears as more continued to stream steadily from his eyes. She hated to see those orange eyes in such pain. Only once before had she seen him look even remotely close to they way he did now and that was his grand mother’s funeral. Francis imagined being locked away in a cell for five years would be a certain kind of death. One she hated to see happen to Morgan. Her heart began to ache as if she’d just learned of this news or maybe the reality just hit her. Morgan was going away. This would end. They would end.
“Oh, Francis.” His voice cracked under the emotions as he placed his body on top of hers. He sobbed softly in her hair cupping his hands around the back of her head his cheek next to hers. Francis put her arms around him and held tight. She couldn’t help but weep with him, her body shuddering under his as though she were cold, fighting the feeling she had to open her mouth and bawl like a little girl.
“I love you so much.” Morgan’s voice was full of emotion as he tried to choke back tears and find composure. It made Francis sob even harder her return of the sentiment almost lost among the painful groans in her throat. He brought his face to hers and they looked at each other, crying, trying to stop, but seeing the emotion in the others eyes made it next to impossible.
He stroked her cheek with his fingers trying to wipe away the wetness. Francis began to feel a panic creep up inside her at the thought of never touching him again, holding him, loving him. She placed her hands on his cheeks and brought his mouth to hers. Morgan’s puffy lips engulfed her own as she pressed harder into him. The kiss was sloppy through the wetness as they groped to taste each other, savor their final moments together.
Francis parted her legs and ran a hand down his back. Morgan followed the signal lifting himself enough to gently slide into her sweet canal wet with wanting. Both let out a whimper knowing this would be the last time.
Morgan lowered himself and kissed Francis stifling tiny sobs as he pushed his sex deeper. They’d been intimate numerous times, but she thought he felt the most real tonight. Maybe riding on emotions and the hopeless feeling they’d be separated for years with no idea about the future.
Even under the oppressive circumstances they found themselves completely aroused by the other. Francis knew even if Morgan didn’t make another move she could still drench him in her juice.
They looked at each other their faces inches apart, relishing the moment, feeling the breath of every second. There was something happening between them, a new connection was being formed, one that looked at the old as if it were just practice.
“Morgan…” Francis breathed in his face. He managed a grin through his sadness to let her know he was there too, with her. She arched her back as he pumped slightly harder, but much slower so as to prolong the bittersweet moment.
He let out another sob as he came inside of her lowering himself and wrapping his arms around her. They held each other in the sunset, their throbbing frustration gradually subsiding. Closing their eyes, laying together each imagined there was nothing else in the world, no tomorrow, no regrets, only the here and now.
It would be the last time they touched each other.
Go ahead. Say it. “Well it’s about time!” I know. The first cover was really remedial and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
It was my first try and I was in a hurry. Hmm, that statement reminds me of something one of my characters said…
Anyway, here’s the new cover in all it’s glory. At least my name matches the other covers (got that part right at least).
So, I realized I never offered an excerpt for my second release, Sweet Ginger. Gaw! The nerve you say? I thought so too, but before you beat me with a wet noodle I’ve included an excerpt below. If after reading you still feel like whipping out the noodle, email me and let’s talk.
Ginger woke in a sweat, panting as if she’d just run a mile, underwater, her hand between her legs, fingers still moving under the edge of her lace trimmed panties. She pulled the covers off and breathed deeply still feeling the throb of her orgasm, the picture of him inside her as fresh as if she were staring right at it, him. She thought it funny how things in dreams were painless like her bare back being rubbed against a brick wall while sitting on his dick, her arms and legs wrapped around him like last night’s Ramen noodles.
“This is getting ridiculous.” She huffed walking to the bathroom. Almost every night for the past six weeks her dreams were those of a school boy. Wet. Not that she didn’t enjoy it, she did. It would just be a whole lot better with an actual man instead of herself.
The actual man causing her morning showers was her ex-boyfriend Mikael. He’d found her on the Internet three months ago and they’d been chatting online ever since. Not a day went by without at least three check-ins between them. Sometimes he was first, but she was beginning to think her end was getting heavier, looking a little too eager.
“Damn computer. Come on!” Ginger hit the space bar repeatedly waiting for her laptop to ‘unsleep’ and load her icons, a ritual she practiced every morning since they reconnected. She didn’t sign out of her messenger for the first two weeks of their chatting not wanting to miss an opportunity to exchange innuendo and faded memories, but she couldn’t take the chance that he’d think she was obsessed so started signing out, but not off.
She noticed his status went idle after they bid each other good night, which made her giddy. Giddy at the thought he may be doing the same thing she was, waiting and watching for the next message, even if it was on her way to the bathroom at midnight. Junior high, she knew, but she couldn’t help it, that’s how he made her feel.
“Finally! Piece of crap.” She’d replaced it once already after the blue screen of death popped up three months ago. Ginger said a prayer of appeasement under her breath and stroked the keyboard for good measure hoping the computer gods knew she was joking .
Her heart skipped a beat. He was already on and not idle. Earlier than usual. She wondered if she should read anything into it, but decided to get over herself. In order to do that, she waited. Waited to start the chat.
“Don’t look so anxious.” Ginger scolded herself walking to the kitchen for hot cocoa. It’s how she started every day since kicking the coffee habit. Not that cocoa was much better, but she’d kicked an addiction. Suffered through the headaches and broke the hold it had on her. She was liberated, the last vice after smoking. It felt good.
Miko: Good morning Ginger!
GingerLee: Good morning Mikael!
Her face lite up at his initiating the chat. She told herself to stop keeping score. He was a friend now and friends didn’t keep track of petty crap like this.
Miko: Watcha doin’?
GingerLee: Wakin’ up.
Miko: How’s your project?
GingerLee: Which project? The one I’m editing or my own smutty piece of lit?
GingerLee: Still unfinished.
She wished he’d ask her different questions. Questions that meant something, not the stupid day to day pleasantries you’d read in a Jane Austen book, but it was barely seven a.m.
GingerLee:What are you working on?
Miko: An oil for a guy in NY.
GingerLee: Cool! What’s the subject?
He didn’t have to tell her. His smiley emoticon only confirmed what she already knew. A naked, or almost naked, woman posed in a sensual position vagina exposed, bare breasts screaming their size C perfection. Perky, plump, round. She looked down at her own sagging uninspired in her Victoria’s Secret bra. At least it gave the impression she was voluptuous, symmetrical, worthy.
Miko: Are you selling this on your site when you’re finished?
GingerLee: Probably. Why?
Miko: I’m gonna buy it!
GingerLee: You don’t have to. I’ll email you the file.
Ginger was flattered he’d actually buy something she wrote. It was a compliment in disguise, at least that’s how she was taking it. She didn’t dare mention it though given Mikael’s smart-ass sense of humor. He’d made a fool of her on more than one occasion. Granted, it was via text chat, but she still felt like an idiot sharing feelings that were real while he mocked her in a “Who’s on first” banter. Feelings she should have kept to herself, but for the fact she envisioned them as they were ten years ago and ten years ago, she loved him.
Miko: I hate reading on the computer. I want a copy I can hold in my hands. You know, read in bed.
GingerLee: Not sure I’ll have print copies right off the bat. I’ll just mail you a manuscript.
Miko: Have you entered any contests?
GingerLee: Not yet. Just trying to get the story finished.
Changing the subject. Mikael was good at that, did it quite often. Ginger figured it meant he didn’t want to give her any more information, in this case his address. She didn’t understand why. It wasn’t like she was gonna stalk him. He was two states away.
GingerLee: So tell me about the oil?
Miko: Well, it’s pink, blue, white, sometimes greasy and hard to get off.
GingerLee: Sounds like you.
She tried to come up with something witty and sarcastic yet playful. She wanted him to know he was hard to get off her mind without sounding obsessed. Instead, her knee jerk response reeked of innuendo. Innuendo he’d take and run with.
Miko: The greasy and hard part?
Here it was. The innuendo she’d brought on herself. The cheap nine-hundred number talk. A thin veil over the face of wanting. Wanting to know, “Do you still care about me, yearn for me, dream things about me?” She did. He knew it. She knew that he knew and thus the game began.
GingerLee: I wouldn’t know.
Miko: What do you mean? You don’t remember that night?
She remembered. She couldn’t forget. Since they’d started chatting it was fresh in her mind as if it happened yesterday. Ginger debated whether or not to lie. To tell him the truth might make it seem like she still thought about him while saying she didn’t remember might take him down a notch, put his ego in check, make her seem less obsessed.
She used one of his favorite words hoping it smacked of the same irritating tone that drove her crazy.
Miko: So you do. I knew it. Can’t get your mind off me.
“Damn he’s so smug sometimes,” she thought. She wanted to tell his arrogant ass off, to sign off in a huff like slamming a door, but this was the Internet. You can’t force someone’s speakers on or raise their volume, not without remote access. Hell, there could at least be an emoticon slamming the door or giving the finger, but she doubted that would get the point across.
GingerLee: Not sure. Why don’t you refresh my memory?
Ginger decided to play coy or stupid it didn’t matter. She just wasn’t going to admit anything much less discuss it until he recounted his version.
Miko: Seriously. You’re kidding right?
She didn’t respond. Just let him sit there wondering, stewing, hopefully coming to his senses.
Miko: Okay, it started with you taking me home after we met up to play pool at The Sage House. I showed you my most recent drawings and you got all huffy about the nudity. Then you proceeded to kiss me, push me onto the bed and shove your hand down my pants.
Ginger was seething and giggling at the same time. She should have known Mikael wouldn’t be serious, not for one second although the part about playing pool was accurate. She wondered if he remembered anything remotely close to her version, but decided not to ask. It was clear he didn’t want to exchange sappy romance novel dialogue, the kind that ran through her brain all day long, at least where he was concerned.
GingerLee: You left out the part where you screamed, “I can’t! I’m a virgin!” then kicked me out.
Miko: I couldn’t let you take advantage of me. I was so young.
They both were. Eighteen. Of course, at the time Ginger felt old. Old enough to do whatever she wanted, with whomever she wanted, wherever she wanted, which is why she was in Mikael’s room. A room still in his parents house. Not exactly the ideal location for your first time with each other, but it was better than the alternative, her car. A 1979 Triumph Spitfire.
They’d gotten hot and heavy in it more than a few times despite it’s miniature size, one being the first blow job she’d ever given, to anybody. Mikael never pressured her although she’d attempted the act a few times, but settled on jacking him off with the cocoa butter lotion she kept in the glove box. She wanted to pleasure him, especially since he never hesitated to hit her G-spot without her asking. Maybe it was because he liked to touch her, feel her, have something of his inside of her or maybe he cared that much about her, even loved her. Ginger liked to think it was the latter as she sat next him, their seats barely able to lay back, watching his beautiful face as he slid his fingers in and out of her, a certain pleasure on his face. A pleasure she wanted him to experience at her doing.
She remembered how embarrassed she was putting her mouth on his dick. She wanted to look sexy not like a chipmunk choking on a mouthful of acorns. She had no idea what she was doing or if she could get his soda can diameter in her mouth, so first kissed it then licked the length of his shaft already hard from his hand being inside her.
Her vagina pounded as she slid him in her mouth. Ginger had no idea sucking him would make her own juices flow. She closed her eyes making sure to keep her teeth from touching him as she moved her tongue around his tip. He groaned his pleasure and before she’d found her sweet spot he filled her mouth with his cream. It hit the back of throat making it impossible not to swallow, an act she later found out turned him on so much he often pictured it when he was alone.
Seems like FOREVER since I released my last title, not to mention, wrote anything on my blog, but thank you all for your patience and kind words, such as, “Hurry up with the next book!”
So without further ado, I present Snowflake, the next installment in my Artist Ecstasy Series.
Synopsis: Dalton’s party is the place to be and for 18 year-old college student Averie it’s the place she’ll finally connect with Troy, the campus heartthrob. Of course she’ll have to convince her best friend Jett she’s not going just to get laid. A concept he’s all too familiar with particularly when it comes to this party, but Averie doesn’t need Jett’s paternal guidance. She can handle herself and all of the emotion that comes with seducing a guy that is, until she’s in the middle of it.
Troy leaned against a wall, sucking on a Tootsie Pop, waiting for their class to start. Averie watched from a table across from their room, close enough to see his tongue roll around the hard candy as he slid it in and out of his mouth. Her vagina throbbed inside her tight denim jeans. Leaning forward she pushed her pelvis down until her clitoris met the hard stone bench. The pressure made the sensation even more intense as the pounding continued as she stared at him. Tall, sandy blonde hair, blue eyes. A regular All-American guy with the chiseled body of an older man. Older as in not a teenager anymore, like she still was, at least for one more year.
Hiding behind her dark sunglasses Averie wondered if there could be any chance that he’d even notice her, what with all the Barbie dolls bouncing around him. It made her sick to see how transparent they were giggling and pretending like they actually gave a shit when really they just wanted his eye candy on their arm and to accomplish that they’d do whatever it took. She knew the type, went to high school with half of them where they’d done exactly the same thing with every jock and some of the faculty.
“Hey girl!” Nina and Tracy plopped themselves on either side of her.
“I see you’re busy with the pre-show.” Nina made it sound like Averie did this every week. It made her sound love sick, which was completely untrue. How could she love someone whom she’d never even spoken to, she asked herself.
“Pre-show? Do you know something I don’t?” She glanced at Nina who was also staring at Troy.
“It’s obvious, you’re gonna make a play for him tonight. Am I right?” Averie turned back to Troy, a smile spreading across her face. She hadn’t exactly advertised, but that was indeed the plan.
“Yeah, we know.” Tracy poked her in the side laughing. Loud enough so that Troy glanced in their direction his blue eyes piercing Averie’s tinted lenses. She caught her breath.
“Oh.” Nina put her hand on Averie’s leg just in case she were oblivious to the attention from across the aisle. The three of them were like stone statues waiting, watching, hoping for any signal from him. Hell, a “Shut up” would have been accepted with the fervor of a child getting a new toy.
He watched them for a second before offering a half smile at Averie. Then the Barbie’s bobbed in front of him laughing and talking as if to say, “Look at me! Look at me!” and the moment was gone.
“Did you see that?” Tracy leaned forward looking at Nina.
“Girl, we all saw that. Averie’s got a chance.” Nina sounded like a coach and Averie the player.
“Whatever.” Averie wondered when a half-smile meant the relationship door was open.
“Seriously. You saw the look, the smile.” Nina started her play-by-play.
“Yeah, but Tracy’s laugh is funny.” The last thing Averie wanted to do was get her hopes up.
“Tracy’s laugh is irritating, but clearly his face was not irritated.” Nina was direct. One reason Averie liked her, but then hated her sometimes too.
“Hey, it’s not that irritating.” Tracy defended, her face in a frown.
“You know what I mean.” Nina brushed her friend off.
“Troy looked over here at Averie, not at me.” Tracy had a point. Not that Averie was putting any hope on a smile, a half smile at that.
“Anyway, you guys aren’t making any sense. It was a smile. Let’s leave it at that.” Averie stood up and grabbed her books. The instructor had opened the room and students were rushing to enter. She guessed partly because Troy was in the class and, if nothing else, staring at him made time pass quicker even for some of the guys.
“We are making sense and you know it. The sooner you figure out how to make a bigger play and stop actin’ the wall flower the sooner you can stop lookin’ like a hypnotized zombie.” Nina pulled out her lip gloss and lathered it on. It meant she was ready for action, as in guy action. Not that she needed lip gloss to draw attention to her extra full puffy lips. Lips that wouldn’t stop talking.
“I gotta go. See you at lunch.” Nina stood to leave as Tracy followed.
“Hey Averie!” Jett’s familiar voice came from behind her. She stopped and turned, a bright smile on her face. The two had been friends for almost a year. She thought it felt longer maybe because she’d shared more with him than her girlfriends and she’d known them for years.
“Or not,” Nina added. Her relationship with Jett was a bit strained after he rejected her advances. It wasn’t that he didn’t find Nina attractive. She was by far the hottest black girl on campus, but for some reason he declined her one night stand offer, which was probably best considering Averie would have to hear about it, from both of them.
“Call you later?” Averie gave Nina a side long glance then hugged her. It was great that her friends didn’t mind her spending so much time with Jett. It was like he was her best friend and Nina had Tracy. Then they’d meet up later for ‘girly crap’ as Jett called it.
“I was beginning to wonder about you.” Averie stood in front of Jett. They always met up before classes even though they didn’t have any together.
“Careful, I might think you missed me.” His orange eyes shown bright against the sunlight as he smiled into her face.
“Always.” Averie teased. She wouldn’t say missed exactly, but it was a bummer when he wasn’t around. He made her feel special in a different sort of way. Not that her girlfriends didn’t, but it was nice not to be talking about the latest issue of Vogue or which actress locked lips with another.
Jett always wanted to hear about what she was writing, read her poems, know what she thought about life. They talked about things that mattered to her, made her think, things that showed she mattered to him.
“Are you still coming over today?” She’d forgotten about his modeling request. An exercise in patience and control. The last time she’d fallen asleep mid-pose, so he painted one half of her asleep, the other awake. Kinda corny, but it did look interesting.
“Yeah, for a few hours.” If I can last that long, Averie thought.
“Cool. Are we on for lunch?” Jett put a piece of gum in his mouth, then offered her a stick. She declined. It always made her thirsty and she didn’t want to leave class for a drink.
“Sure. See you at Relish?” Averie looked toward the room. She hoped she wasn’t edged out of a seat in the back where she could drool over Troy unnoticed.
“Relish? That’s like, healthy crap. What about Burro Boss?” She wasn’t opposed to fast food, but any place with the name of an animal in it just made her nauseous.
“Fine.” She gave in partly because she didn’t want to waste time arguing about where to eat when Troy awaited her.
“Well that was easy.” Jett smiled as he chewed his gum. Something about him just then made her stomach flutter. He had a way of looking so sexy doing pretty much nothing. Kinda like Troy, but without all the masculine pea cocking.
“The things I do for you.” She smiled coyly, then realized his gaze was rather intense on her as if wondering what the hell she was doing acting flirtatious.
“Uh…huh.” He said it slowly, narrowing his eyes at her. Damn, she thought he looked like an Asian James Dean when he did that, so much so that she wanted to kiss him.
“Okay, see you then!” She spit the words out and threw her free arm around his neck for a quick hug. Mostly so he didn’t see how embarrassed she was over her lustful thoughts about him. All this talk about Troy must have me projecting my feelings on Jett, she told herself.
He hugged her back. She thought it felt nice the way he wrapped both arms around her even with a book in his hand. She imagined Troy’s might feel the same if she ever got a chance with him.
“Okay.” He stood and watched her enter the classroom before going on to his own. It’s what he always did, but today it made her feel weird like he was her big brother or something. Most girls would find it endearing that a guy was protective of them, maybe it was that he still had feelings for her or just liked watching her ass walk away from him.
She brushed the thoughts from her mind as she looked for a seat.
“Miss Edwards, your seat is here now.” The instructor motioned to a table with three other people, one of them Troy. She felt her face get hot as she sat down across from him.
“This is conversational Spanish, therefore, I’ve arranged you all in pods so as to take full advantage of this learning experience.” She kept her eyes on the instructor as she spoke, Troy didn’t. She guessed he was looking at anyone else, but when she glanced across the table his eyes were on her.
He smiled. She smiled back, embarrassed he’d caught her, but then decided it was only logical that she would eventually look. She swallowed hard knowing she couldn’t give him any reason to think she was like one of the Barbie’s.
“To get you comfortable, please turn to page ten of your book and role play the conversation with the person sitting across from you.” Everyone did as the instructor asked grumbling about how stupid it was or why they weren’t given a certain partner.
“Ready?” Averie looked at Troy who was still turning pages in his book as if it didn’t contain a page ten.
“Uh, yeah.” He looked at the page in confusion.
“It’s in Spanish.” The smart-ass comment slipped out before Averie realized it.
“You don’t say.” Troy chuckled and flashed her a smile. His teeth were perfect and white just like a Ken doll.
“You’re first unless you wanna be Ramona.” Averie was doing her best to treat him as any other guy, but felt herself becoming more sarcastic, a trait she used to determine if a guy was worthy of her attention, up to the task of her.
“Pedro is a guy’s name, huh?” He looked genuinely shocked. Averie hoped he wasn’t as dumb as a Ken doll too.
“Hole-a Ramona!” Averie couldn’t contain her laughter. It was obvious Troy hadn’t taken any language courses or bothered to listen to one of the many Spanish speaking citizens in their city.
“What’s so funny?” He laughed too. Averie couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.
“Your pronunciation.” She continued giggling, probably more nerves than the fact that it was funny.
“Hole-a?” Troy repeated sounding even worse than the first time. Averie laughed again. She hoped she wasn’t as red as a tomato.
“So how is it pronounced?” His eyes were so blue under his black eyelashes. Averie felt herself falling into them, under their spell. She shook her head, not that she didn’t want to help, she did. She just couldn’t stop laughing.
“C’mon this is conversational Spanish. We help each other here.” Troy coaxed. She wondered how on earth his complexion could be so perfectly tan, when it was the middle of winter.
“It’s pronounced, Oh-la.” She said it quickly between breaths as she tried to stop laughing.
“I didn’t get that. Can you say it again?” Averie felt herself accidentally kick him under the table.
“Oops! Sorry.” She looked at Troy for any sign he was irritated. He smiled and wrapped his legs around hers. The move made her laughter subside to a shy smile.
“It’s pronounced, Oh-la.” She repeated the words slower giving special emphasis to the last while forming a perfect circle with her mouth.
He watched her, a grin on his face as if she’d done something halfway interesting, seductive.
“Oh-la to you too Averie.” Troy leaned forward as he said it holding her stare. Averie felt her stomach flip flop hearing him say her name. A name she hadn’t remembered telling him.
He sat back in his chair and rubbed his calf against hers under the table. Was he coming on to her, she wondered. If not, it was still enough to make her dreams sweet for the next month.
“You goin’ to Dalton’s party tonight?” She stared at him trying to think of a smart-ass reply. Something that would tell him, “You haven’t got me yet. I’m not that easy.” But at the same time she wanted him to know she was interested. God was she interested.
“Isn’t everyone?” Averie left the door open for him to say something that would make her glad she was going. Sure, Troy was her reason to show up, but she wanted to hear a sweet nothing from him lips even if it might be a lie.
“I don’t care about everyone.” Averie wondered if she heard him right, did he say care? She turned her head sizing him up out of the corner of her eye.
“Yeah, so I’ve been watchin’ you. Sue me.” He raised his eyebrows, blue eyes sparkling as if waiting for her reaction. Probably hoping for a shocked look or Barbie giggle, she thought.
“I’m sure it wouldn’t hold up in court.” Troy chuckled. Averie was on her game. Then he reached his finger forward and touched hers which were nervously running up and down the book’s fat stack of pages in a fanning motion.
“I wanna get to know you better.” His voice was low, serious, sexy as hell. She realized they were having a personal conversation in the middle of Spanish class. A class that had suddenly gone quiet.
“That’s nice to know Señor Troy, but let’s keep our focus on learning Spanish during class.” The instructor’s voice bellowed from behind Averie. A few students laughed while the Barbie’s looked dejected. Averie couldn’t help but feel as though she’d won. What? She wasn’t quite sure. Troy didn’t profess his love to her or ask her to marry him, but maybe after tonight they’d be a couple.
Okay, so I admit. The cover for Sweet Ginger wasn’t exactly what I had in mind the first time around, so I went back to the drawing board for something more…sensual.
I like how it turned out and I hope you do too! None of the text/story was changed, just the cover.
Much belated new year love and happiness to all of my fans! I’ve been super busy on my next story and hope to have it finished by next week. Tentative title, Winter Wonderland. Not exactly a Christmas story, but festive none the less. Yes, it is still in my Artist Ecstasy series for those of you who like the sensitive artsy types.
As always, I love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to drop me a line and let me know what’s on your mind, good or bad.
OK, the old cover kinda sucked, so I took it into Photoshop and made it a little prettier.
I left the old cover up just so you could see how ‘sucky’ it really was.
Wow, I use suck a lot. Sounds like one of my stories.
Hey guys! Sorry for leavin’ ya hangin’ (literally) with only my short story, Paint Me Love. I’ve been editing my novelette and its cover. Here’s what I’ve got so far. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Release date for Sweet Ginger: Within the next week (hey! I need time to shop for X-mas presents too ya know and trying on bras is such a long process. ;))
Synopsis: Ginger and Mikael finally reconnect after ten years, if you call chatting online connecting. Ginger likes the games they play, games that leave her wet and wanting more. That is until Mikael posts photos of her on his profile page. Photos of Ginger ten years ago. Photos no one was supposed to see, ever. Photos he won’t take down. If she has her way she’ll make him forget they ever existed, but in the process, he might forget her too.