April 27, 2014
Michael sat on the other side of the table. Jessica sighed. Such a handsome man. She forced her eyes down onto her lap, rather than roll them, fifteen-year old girl style. Who said ‘handsome’ these days?
But her eyes rose without permission and rested on Michael’s…um…kick-ass…awesome…bodacious? face.
Men were an unknown and enticing species. Working as head librarian at St. Ursulas equalled an all female staff and an all female body of students. But Michael—black haired, blue-eyed, broad shouldered, stubbled and determined jawed—had dropped every week, for a month now, into her lap at her Saturday writer’s group.
She cleared her throat. “So, Michael…“
He glanced up at her, his eyes smiling in encouragement. Her heart thumped in her chest.
How old are you, Jessica? He’s a gentleman. Of course he smiled at you. He smiles at everyone. But a romantic, feminine side of her brain, a part she thought had long since died amongst the minutiae of her professional life, wanted Michael to smile at her. She’d heard the girls in the library whispering about her. “She’s old, you know, but she’s, like, so prettyful.” Ashamed, she knew she wanted Michael to think the same.
She cleared her throat. “It’s your turn…um…as you know, to suggest a topic for our group to….er…” Her voice dwindled to a gauche stop, as Michael stood and advanced toward her, his sensual lips turned up at the corners.
Betty’s mouth fell open. Deirdre’s pale blue eyes, behind their glasses, threatened to goggle out of their sockets. Margo, the only other writer in their group about her age, jiggled little Oliver on her lap and looked on with interest at the scene unfolding.
She felt her eyes widening with each deliberate pace of Michael’s.
Finally he stood directly beside her. “Yes, I know, Jessica, it’s my turn to suggest a topic for us all to write about.” He took her hand and drew her up out of her chair. She swallowed, and, like a ventriloquist’s dummy, stared up, up into his mischievous, smiling eyes. “Betty said last meeting she was having trouble describing human interaction, so my topic for this month is—a kiss.“
He placed his hand in her hair. His other hand cupped her cheek. With his strong arms holding her in a grip of iron, he lowered his head. His soft lips touched hers. A gentle, sweet meeting. His tongue tip moved against the closed seam of her mouth.
And that was all it took.
Her mouth opened at his urging. Their tongues danced, toyed with each other. Harder, faster. She placed her hand against his head and pulled. His hard chest and belly, covered in a tight, black T-shirt, met her modestly clad breasts. Their lips mashed, smashed together. She angled her head, begging for closer, closer. His hand dropped to her bottom and pulled her tightly against his groin.
There was a general gasp from the ladies.
His hand dropped to his side. Bending his head, he nuzzled her ear and whispered, “I’m sorry, Jessica. I’ve wanted to kiss you since the day I met you. You’re very pretty. And sweet. I don’t meet many sweet ladies.” His face had darkened underneath his tan. “Come out to dinner with me. Please?”
Her heart slowed and she was able to breathe again. Be confident and witty, Jessica. You address conferences, for goodness’ sake. “Um…dinner will be very nice, thank you.”
March 27, 2014
Oral Sex Workshop
Caitlyn poked out her tongue while she stood in front of the mirror. How far should it stick out?
Glancing back down at the magazine, she quickly skimmed the relevant paragraph. Mmm. It didn’t really say.
She squared her shoulders and stared at herself in the mirror. “Caitlyn,” she said sternly to the skinny young fair-haired freckled woman, “you are going to do this.”
Her reflection seemed to pale.
“Yes, you are,” she insisted firmly. “Darling. Naming no names.” Caitlyn rolled her eyes as she mimicked the throaty tones of her older sister’s best friend, Juliana. Then she ground her teeth together as she and her reflection glowered at each other.
Plopping back down on the bed, she snatched up the magazine, determined to get the hang of this oral sex thing. But the words blurred as she remembered last night.
As she reviewed the flow of the conversation, she stiffened. The…the…bitch. Juliana had brought up the topic herself, right at the start of the night. She’d toyed with the strawberry from her champagne, sliding it in and out of her mouth. Caitlyn snorted. Was that supposed to be seductive? It made her sick, all that spit.
Caitlyn’s throat tightened, her bottom lip wobbled, and two tears trickled down her face. Hayden had stared, fascinated, at Juliana throughout the long excruciating evening. She’d leaned across the table, baring even more of her huge boobs, and had said with a knowing wink, “Darling, some people, naming no names, are quite talented in that direction.”
There was a knock at the door. Damn. Hayden. She’d only got to the tongue loosening exercise.
Quickly wiping her face, she raced to the door, dropping the magazine onto the dining room table. Hayden stood in the doorway with a bunch of roses, grinning. Before she could say a word, he swept her up in a big bear hug, then carried her inside. “Sweetheart, it’s so good to see you.” He lowered his curly head far down to hers and kissed her. His trademark, yummy, sigh-worthy, soft, gentle kiss. As he drew away, he laughed, as he always did, at her sigh. “What about that Juliana last night? Dahling,” he said, his voice a low, throaty growl, “Some people are quite talented in that direction.” His blue eyes twinkled as he chuckled. “God, I laughed all the way home.”
“You…you weren’t…um…interested in that whole…um…oral sex thing?” Caitlyn said, licking her dry lips.
His eyes fell to the magazine article on the table. Its huge headlines seemed to have transplanted themselves across her heated forehead.
ORAL SEX WORKSHOP —BLOW BY BLOW TIPS.
“Baby,” he said softly, “we’ll get to that one day, but for now, let’s go out to dinner. We can take things as slowly as you like.”
As he went off in search of a vase, Caitlyn breathed out a whole lungful of air. She picked up the magazine and went to throw it into the rubbish bin.
But a sudden giggle tickled at her throat. The picture of the banana drew her eyes to the article’s first key point: How to Get Him To Go Down There More Often.
Maybe she wouldn’t throw the magazine away.
November 28, 2013
How to Deal with a Surprise Penis
“Oh! Is…is it…?” Tamara perched on the mattress, her feet tucked up near her bottom, her knees squashing her chest, and darted another glance at his…his…and tried to ignore the fluttering inside her tummy.
He seemed to make a sort of strangled sound.
Her eyes flew up. Oh goodness gracious, if she could just keep staring at his face, then everything would be alright. He―what did he say his name was? Michael?―had such a kind face. Since she had to have―she shuddered―a customer, she supposed she was lucky to have him as her first. He had an easy grin, a few freckles sprinkled across his nose, and blue eyes that seemed to have a reassuring twinkle.
“Is it what?” His deep, gentle voice shook, but he tilted his head and gazed into her eyes, politely ignoring…well, the rest of her.
Oh my goodness! The bed creaked as he lay down on his back next to her, lazily stretching himself out. His eyebrow lifted in enquiry. And she wasn’t mistaken. There was that twinkle. But her eyes seemed to have a mind of their own, for they drifted down the length of his long, lithe, naked body. He rested his head in his laced fingers. His biceps bulged.
She forced her gaze away and stared at her toes peeking out from the bottom of the sheet she’d hastily wrapped around herself. It doesn’t matter what this man looks like. Close your eyes and think of…
But that picture of England’s green hills and valleys escaped her. Her eyes drifted again to that sprinkling of hair across his chest, then down to his defined abs, trim belly, and down to his…
He reached for her hand. Reluctantly, she let her fingers release the sheet she clutched to her chest. It fell to her knees, revealing her far too voluptuous breasts. Her mouth dried as she saw his gaze move down to her chest. She was too big, wasn’t she? Guys liked pert, perky little boobs, didn’t they? Not huge ones, like hers.
He twined his fingers with hers and rested their hands on his chest. His eyes―such kind eyes―flicked up to hers, waiting.
“Um…” she replied, feeling her face heat to a point when she could fry eggs on it, “is…is it supposed to have…you know…”
He shook his head. Such a handsome head. Curly, tobacco brown hair, lovely sensual lips that should be kissing some lucky lady―why on earth was he with her?―were at the moment twitching at the corners. “No, I don’t know, Tamara. You’ll have to tell me. Is it supposed to have what?”
She stared down at the part of his anatomy currently under discussion and gulped. Long seconds passed. Still he waited. He seemed to be almost―in pain? He was breathing hard. Goodness, she thought miserably, I’m so totally useless at this. Why were his lips sort of wobbling?
“Is…is your penis…supposed to have a bend in it?” she finally blurted.
He burst out laughing.
The elegant chocolate rose rested on my plate, smiling up at me, taunting me.
I’d come home from work, and there it was, my rose valentine, tied with shiny red ribbon to my door knob. No message.
I frowned, puzzling through my very short list of possible admirers.
There were none.
Work? Hmm, three women, all married, and one fifty year old, single man. Oh Jesus. I felt myself go pale. Jesus, please don’t let it be him, I prayed with true sincerity. His huge tombstone like front teeth, yellowing with age, always widened to super beacons whenever I entered his office.
Sitting in my chair wasn’t enough. This deserved some serious pacing. I nibbled at my bottom lip. Stop doing that. Last time I’d drawn blood and my lip had become infected. Remembering the way people had murmured sympathetically about cold sores, while keeping their distance, I obeyed my stern mental order. Snatching up the rose, I glared at it as I paced.
“No,” I said in horror, “Bob can’t have sent you to me.” Bob. My boss. Way, way, way overweight. Lives with his mum. I thought he was gay. No it can’t be him.
But panic was starting to set in. Picking absently at the red foil enclosing the chocolate rose as I paced with increasing desperation, little flashes of Bob came back to me. Chortling loudly over a dumb joke I’d made at the last meeting. Offering me a lift home when the meeting went late. Oh God.
Red foil fluttered to the ground. His eyes. I’d always thought they were avuncular, like a dad would look at his favourite daughter. Oh God, oh God. I brought the now naked rose up to my lips and nibbled.
Anger replaced my shock. “What does he think he’s doing?” I asked the now gnawed-at rose. “Good grief, your owner is crazy. I’m only twenty-four. He knows that.” Another memory shook me. I’d told Bob I was between guys right now. I took a huge, furious bite and was left with the green stem.
The doorbell rang.
I ignored the delicious, creamy, chocolate sliding seductively around my mouth. Narrowing my gaze at the door, I stiffened my shoulders, took a deep breath, and stalked towards it. Okay, Bob, you’re my boss. Fine. But you have crossed a line.
I flung the door open.
Oh. Not Bob then. A guy stood on my doorstep. Black jeans, button-down white shirt. Tall. I raised my eyes from his broad chest up to his face. Handsome, in an easy-going, fun way. Curly brown hair. Sprinkling of freckles. Nice nose. I like nice noses. Then my eyes met his. Blue. Smiling. Shy.
“Um, hello?” I said blankly.
His shy blue eyes turned into rueful, embarrassed ones. “I’m sorry,” he said, “this is sort of…” His lightly tanned face flushed. Then he seemed to gather his courage, for he smiled again. Straight teeth. I like straight teeth. “My name’s Chris. I saw you at Uncle Bob’s office the other day, though you might not have seen me. You were busy.”
The poor guy shook his head. “I’m sorry. I’m doing this very badly, but I’ve never done anything like this before. I must sound like a stalker. Uncle Bob said you weren’t seeing anyone…”
His face was really red now. “Look, I’m sorry, I’ll go.” He turned to leave, but then added, “It’s just that it’s Valentines Day…”
Finally I found my voice. “No, Chris. Don’t go. Come in,” I said, grinning. “Any nephew of Uncle Bob’s is a friend of mine.”
Chris took a huge, relieved breath. His eyes dropped to the green stem I still held in my hand. “I see you got my Valentines gift.”
Salt water threatened to drag me under. I struck out against the current. Another wave hit me. Bigger this time. I managed to gulp in a tiny breath before I was smashed down again. Rolling and tumbling in horrifying somersaults, fine sand ground into my eyes, my nose, my mouth. My lungs screamed for air. Glimpses of the blue sky far, far above mocked me.
My eyes fluttered open. Above me, leaning over my face, was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Wet, black curls clung to his strong, tanned face. Concerned, questioning dark brown eyes, fringed by thick, black lashes, held my gaze.
“Amber?” he said again. A small hint of a pleading smile.
I sighed in admiration and closed my eyes again. If you’re going to be saved from the surf by a lifesaver, he may as well be lovely. It was amazing how great I felt, I thought in surprise. Peeking up again, I saw white, even teeth, a masculine blade of a nose, firm lips turned up at the corners.
He drew back to sit on his haunches, so I let my eyes flit down to the rest of him. His body matched his face. Lean, wide, bare shoulders, a rigid six-packed abdomen, and a chest with a smattering of delicious black curls that led down to…well, tight fitting board shorts covered up that interesting area.
Two things hit me at the same time. I struggled to a sitting position, staring beyond my dark haired lifesaver to the empty beach beyond him. “Where is everyone? This place was packed when I went in the surf. And how do you know my name?”
His face fell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such sadness. “You’re not my Amber,” he said, his voice flat. He set his jaw. Then, observing my bafflement, he smiled. A tight, disappointed smile with a hint of tenderness. “So many Ambers,” he mused.
Totally at a loss, and just a little frightened, I forced my voice to be firm. “Did you rescue me?”
“Kieran,” he supplied, his eyes wistful, so sad.
“Kieran, thank you for saving me. But you haven’t answered my questions. Where have all the people gone? And how do you know my name? I don’t know you, do I?”
Silence stretched for so long, I wondered if he was going to answer me.
“There are no people here, because this is my Paradise. Mine and Amber’s.” He sighed, and said again, “So many Ambers.” He frowned. “Are you married?”
I shook my head, swallowing, searching the empty beach for some sign of life.
Kieran gave a half smile. “Good. I know that sounds crazy. You aren’t my Amber. You can marry anyone you want. But the last Amber was married to a guy called Dave, and it hurt. Crazy huh?”
He seemed to be talking more to himself than me, but I couldn’t agree with him more.
He seemed to observe my mounting fear, for he smiled again. A huge, sweet, comforting smile that worked. “Don’t worry, Amber. You’ll be fine. I’ll just keep waiting for my Amber. She’ll come.”
His lovely smile blurred, dimmed, darkened.
I woke up in a hospital bed.
My eyes fluttered open. I smiled up at the concerned, worried face of my sister.
February 13, 2013
I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
The world is blue, and Blue Hawaiai-e-e
Opening my eyes, I gazed fondly out at my view of the blue, blue ocean from my decadent, sunken bathtub. Then reached for the champagne bottle. “Yes, dear ocean,” I sang, sloshing yet another glass of Bollinger into my fine crystal flute. Whoops. “I will explore your lovely depths soon, soon, my dear, but this lovely bath is my first love.” Giggling again, I carefully placed my glass on the rim of the tub.
My eyes had rested on the bar of white soap next to my glass. I picked it up, lifted it to my nose, and inhaled. Heaven. “Heaven is a bar of soap,” I mused aloud. Why had that never occurred to me before?
Noticing my new designer luggage that I’d flung onto the king-sized bed, a short distance away in the luxurious bedroom, I called, “You’re my third best love, my lovely luggage!” Then I sank beneath the bubbles.
“Who the hell are you?”
Coughing and choking on the water I’d hurriedly inhaled, I sat up, knocked my champers into the bath with the tidal wave I’d created, clasped my arm to my chest, and looked up at a very handsome, dark haired man. His blue eyes blazed with fury.
“Get out – Now!”
“Lady, stay calm, okay?”
She started, her eyes glazed. She took a tiny step forward, and my heart froze.
“Ma’am, just hold tight to the gutter. I’ll have you down in a second.”
As I absorbed the petite, dark haired woman, precariously swaying as she clutched the guttering above her head, I wondered, as I always did at these times, what circumstances could have driven her to take this step. She was young, pretty. What the hell had gone so wrong in her life?
“Ma’am, my name is Dave. What’s yours?” I tried my best, friendly fireman smile.
It seemed to work, for she swallowed and smiled tentatively back. “Amy.”
We’d got the 000 call ten minutes ago. A woman on the ledge, four storeys up. The ladder just made it, and there I was, my head and shoulders peeking over the edge. The guys on the ground were ready to catch her. But all my training told me to take this slow. So much could go wrong.
“Hi Amy.” I grinned again, my heart pounding in my chest, my mouth dry.
“Hi Dave,” she whispered, again with a tiny smile. Her lovely face was pale, her eyes wide, terrified.
“Amy,” I said, forcing myself to sound calm, “I want you to stay where you are and I’ll lift myself up onto the ledge, okay?”
Amy nodded, opened her mouth to speak, but then glanced down into the darkness below. In the fluorescent light above her head, she paled even more. Sweet Jesus, she was about to faint.
With a burst of strength I didn’t know I possessed, I threw myself up onto the ledge. Grabbed her around the waist, and dragged her slim body up against mine. She clutched onto me, as I pulled her toward her open window. A second later, she was safe inside her apartment.
I breathed in heartfelt relief.
Amy smiled up at me, her face still deathly pale, her eyes still wide, shocked. “Thank you, Dave.” She took a huge breath.
Why the hell had she done this to herself? “Amy, we can help you. You don’t have to let things get so bad that you feel you have to…“
Her brows pleated in confusion. “…to?”
“To, er, you know, end it all.”
Amy laughed, her cheeks reddening. “Oh, I wasn’t going to kill myself. I wanted the balloon that floated out the window.”
They found his diary under his bed. Poor bastard and all that.
Katherine Bridges glared at Detective Steven Entmore. Half a minute more, and it would have been no contest. This case would have been hers. She’d been on duty. But she’d been called away with a break and enter. The perp had been the resident. He’d forgotten his housekeys. But, in that half hour window, Detective Entmore had taken over the case.
Katherine gritted her teeth, as she gazed down at the dead victim and that probably vital clue next to his broken hand. Why did it have to be Steve who’d taken the case? He irritated the hell out of her, for all sorts of good reasons. Yes, he was good looking. Bloody good looking. Six foot. Lanky. Dark haired. Muscles hidden beneath his usual badly ironed white, cheap shirt. He lifted his tanned, lean face to her and smiled. Only the cut above his lip saved him from being perfect.
“Well, Detective Bridges, what a surprise.” His white teeth glowed in the low light of the dingy room. His eyes glinted with gentle malice. Usually they glinted with something far more inviting. “But I’m afraid you’re too late. The case is mine.” He grinned again.
She’d seen that grin so many times. Girls weakened at the knees and sighed. Happened in every pub, every restaurant, every time the department got together. He zeroed in on a pretty woman, and she gave in. Katherine growled. Did he think for one moment his sex on legs display was going to work with her?
Then he laughed. No. He was being his usual smart arse, bastard self. His eyes narrowed and he took a step closer. She forced herself to stay put. “So, Detective Bridges,” he whispered, “I suggest you run off, and let the big people take care of things.”
She looked at him in disbelief. And breathed in deep, deep breaths. She was not going to take the bait. This time, she was going to be cool, calm, collected.
The words exploded out of her mouth before she could stop them. “This is my case, Detective Entmore. You were officially off duty. So you toddle off like a good little boy, and I’ll deal with this. Didn’t I hear there was a bicycle stolen from the local high school?” She smiled, hoping her teeth glinted back at him.
He stiffened at her response, and took another step closer. He did that on purpose, Katherine knew, to intimidate. She’d seen him do it to countless men. They’d always backed off. Of course, he’d never done it to a woman, as far as she knew. He’d known he’d already won.
But not with her.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
Surrounding admirers parted and drifted away. His strong, broad shoulders loomed above me. Dark curls brushed my cheek as he bent his handsome face to mine. He smiled. And I fell in love with his blue, blue eyes.
“Hold onto me, sweetheart. Don’t let me go.”
Exhilaration as we slid down the waterfall into the cold stream below. He kissed me below the water. A soft, gentle kiss. His strong arms held me close to his hard young body. That boyish grin, those dark brown curls clinging to his handsome face, and those blue eyes that crinkled at the corners.
“You look beautiful.”
Well, he looked damn good too, though I was too shy to say. My white gown brushed against the grass. His hand guided me firmly through the throng. Delighted laughter erupted as he cupped my face and kissed me till I couldn’t breathe, and his smiling, blue eyes were for me alone.
Pain stilled my breath, but he held my hand. Grey flecked those brown, cropped curls. Fear, rigorously repressed, escaped from those blue eyes. A cry. That first, sweet cry. His blue eyes smiled. Lots of crinkles now.
“You look beautiful.”
Another white gown, another young bride. Pride misted those blue eyes. Brown flecked amongst the grey curls. His tummy touched mine as we hugged.
“Time to do whatever you want – you lucky bastard!”
Sleeping in late on a Monday. So much grey, so few curls. The remains of a picnic lunch scattered around us as we lay together on the grass on a Tuesday. He cupped my face, and kissed me. His blue eyes smiled into mine.
“I’m sorry, so sorry. If there’s anything we can do…”
Their kindness forced me not to scream. The door closed and I sank to the floor. Beside me lay the scattered memories I’d found. The tears fell at last. I closed my eyes and ached for strong, strong arms and blue, blue eyes.
“Good afternoon, my sweet.”
My skin shivered as Mr Brown stroked my arm. I stared out of the window. Strange. The day had seemed to lose its sunshine, yet I saw the sky was as blue as ever.
Gritting my teeth, I transferred my gaze back to my tormentor. My stomach roiled. His pale blue eyes seemed to devour me. Taut, white skin covered his thin, angular face, and made his eyes more stark, more cruel.
Could I really do this?
“Would you care for a glass of wine, before we, er, get down to business?”
Mr Brown’s sibilant, serpentine hiss frightened me more than his unwelcome touch. I nodded numbly and accepted the wine. Manners had deserted me.
He relaxed back in his plush, padded armchair, sipping from his crystal glass. As his gaze roved freely over my naked body, his tongue darted out to moisten thin, colourless lips. In the ensuing silence, my heart thudded so loudly in my chest, I felt sure he could hear it.
“You know, my dear, I was hoping for a more…now, what would be the word?…a more joyful union than what I now anticipate will occur.” His sharp, small teeth rested on his lower lip in a travesty of a smile. “Your beautiful face is quite pale.” His eyes lowered to my chest. Again his tongue darted out.
Something inside me shifted. Maybe the wine had given me courage. “Mr Brown,” I snapped, glaring into those cold, blue eyes, “this bargain involves my body only. Blackmail won’t entitle you to any joy.”
He stood, eager now. I wished I hadn’t spoken. My revulsion, my hate, my weakness empowered him. “Then,” he whispered, “let the game begin.”
There was a loud knock on the door.
July 25, 2014
Time had passed so quickly. The crack in the wall made me smile. Mum had been so cross. It had been Erika’s fault of course. She started it. I burst out laughing, although sudden tears trickled down my cheeks.
My mother, my sister, and soon, my home. All gone.
My father? I frowned and swiped at my cheeks. Tomorrow, I’d clean and pack and throw away my childhood. But today…
Half closing my eyes, I became the little, freckled-face girl I’d once been.
“I’ll count to one thousand by fives!”
So I raced through the lounge room and ran, full pelt, into the bookcase. Books fell everywhere. Hurriedly, I reached out to replace them, or Mum would be mad. My eyes caught sight of a small, old, cracked red leather book, hidden within the black covers of an old poetry book. My lips read out the title. The Golden Treasury.
I flicked through the small red covered book that had fallen out. Mum’s faded writing covered the flimsy pages. A name caught my eye. David Clivedon. And a long, long row of numbers.
My sister came thundering up the stairs. I shoved the red book back in its poetic home, straightened the books, and ran.
Today arrived again, my sis
ter’s footsteps fading.
My heart beat hard as I reached once more into the bookcase, my fingers unerringly touching the old poetry book I’d replaced thirty years ago. And there was the address book. With shaking hands, I flipped through the pages. One page fell out and one slightly tore. But I came to the letter ‘C’.
Mum had never spoken about what had happened to my father. Her lips had always flattened, and her eyes had grown cold and frosty. Erika had said she remembered him. Sort of. He’d sounded funny, she’d said.
That large group of numbers, I knew now, was an overseas phone number. Trembling, breathless, I picked up the phone and dialled.
“Hello.” An old man’s voice. “This is David Clivedon speaking.”
So I’d rung America, or perhaps Canada.
Now my heart pounded. “This…this is Molly Smith. I used to be Molly Clivedon.”
Long silence, then a soft exhale of air. Relief? Pain? I heard them both, as my father whispered, “Oh, my God.”