Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 58: Mug of Tea


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: both

Mug of Tea

Hitting send, she set her phone down on the bedspread and lifted the cup of tea to her mouth. The lemon’s tartness complemented the honey’s sweetness, reminding her of him twice. So far away. It would be past midnight where he was, which is why she sent a message rather than calling. Still she wondered what he was doing, if he was dreaming, if he dreamt of her.

How long would they make this last? She’d been in Sydney for two months and the messages were getting fewer and further between. It was too expensive to just fly in for the weekend, which is why she wouldn’t be back in the States for several more months yet. This deal was lucrative, but not that lucrative. She looked at her phone again, smiling. He wasn’t asleep.

The tea was helping. He’d gone to a concert and didn’t want to head to bed right away; he had a night shift tomorrow and staying up would be good. Tea wasn’t the same as coffee, but it didn’t bother his stomach as much. Since that wipe out a month ago, when his bike met a car, his stomach had been very disgruntled when he had too much acid: citrus fruits, coffee, cola.


He missed Coke almost as much as he missed her. His phone chirped and he pulled it out of his pocket, setting the cup down.

Of course, it was only mid-afternoon in Australia, even though it was the dead of night here. He read her email slowly, savoring every word, feeling closer to her because she had just sent it. He sent a quick text before dialling.

I miss you more than Coke.

What? What was that supposed to mean? Why would he miss Coke? Her phone rang and she slopped hot tea all over her bare legs. Cussing loudly, she lifted the phone to her ear. “Shit, Hello?”

“Shit hello to you, too.”

She laughed, feeling better instantly. Maybe this could last another two months.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bronwyn Keith Week 58: Love Everlasting

Bronwyn Keith

Picture 1

Picture 2

Bronwyn’s Choice: both

Love Everlasting

“Each heart represents a member of your immediate family. Their love for you and their happy acceptance of this union.” Pastor Wright explained. “Hang it with pride in your new home to remind you of the love that surrounds you.” Charlie smiled when she met Mark's gaze. She couldn't believe how lucky she was.

Eighteen months ago, she was at her lowest. Her best friend Debbie decided that Charlie needed to get out again. Charlie had been in hiding after she had discovered her boyfriend messing around with one of her co-workers. Debbie took Charlie to the town's annual masquerade ball.

Charlie received a lot of attention in her white feather mask, but she wasn't interested. She wanted to leave. Until a dashing man, in a simple black mask, convinced her to dance. He was sweet and charming. He made her feel protected and wanted. They ignored advances from all the other party goers and spent their entire evening together. They were inseparable. After the party, Mark gave her a ride home. He gave her the sweetest, gentlest kiss on her front porch.

A year later, Mark proposed to her at the masquerade ball.

In less than twenty-four hours, she will be his wife.

“Are you happy?” Mark's whispered words brought her back to the present and their rehearsal dinner.

“I'm very happy.” Charlie relaxed in to Mark, when he wrapped his arm around her, and watched their families celebrate.

Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.

Friday, June 24, 2011

SwedenSara Week 57: Blueberry Muffins et al.


Picture 1

Picture 2

SwedenSara’s Choice: Picture 1

Blueberry muffins et al.

I sighed in relief as I sat down on the bench outside the motel, slipped my shoes off and stretched my legs. It was so good to finally get out of those heels, and I wiggled my toes, relishing the feeling of air drifting across my legs and cooling my swollen feet. I wasn't used to spending so much time in that kind of shoes, and I definitely didn’t plan on doing it again anytime soon. Those shoes were a part of today’s costume and a meek attempt to comply with my parents expectations to look at least a bit feminine during the annual family get-together. It was a completely pointless and highly unnecessary thing to do. My relatives had seen me since I was a kid, and they were all aware of my tomboy ways. The only times they ever saw me in skirt and heels were at those get-togethers, so I really didn’t understand who my parents thought they were fooling. In my opinion, it was silly.

The hardened gel in my hair was annoying me to no end, and I ruffled it with my hands to get rid of the stiffness. I wanted my hair back to the soft state I was used to, not that stupid, shiny helmet of a hair-do that my mother thought fitted the strict, figure-hugging outfit she’d picked out for me. At the age of twenty-five, I still felt like a small girl when my mother was around. She kept dressing me up like a doll, every chance she got, and played the old guilt card on me whenever I objected. It usually ended up with her getting her way, and me suffering away in something way more girly than I felt comfortable with. As the years progressed, girly got exchanged for sexy, which got exchanged for feminine. That made me wonder what was next - ladylike when I hit thirty? Old spinster for my fortieth birthday? Shroud at the age of fifty?

I shrugged out of the tight jacket and hung it over the backrest before picking up my cup of coffee. The heat emanated from the paper cup and the distinct scent of freshly made cappuccino wafted through the air and into my nostrils. The blueberry muffin sat beside me on the bench, tempting me, and I eyed it as I sipped the hot liquid.

“Oh, don’t you worry, Miss Muffin, I’ll deal with you later.” I smirked at it, and snorted internally at the double meaning. I would definitely want to deal with someone’s muffin later, unfortunately I had no Miss whatsoever whose muffin I could expect to get in close vicinity of. The last muffins I’d had the pleasure of eating all had blueberry or chocolate flavor, and as tasty as that was, it didn’t quite get me off.

A shadow fell over me and I heard someone clear her voice. I peeked up at a girl, approximately my age, carrying a Starbucks cup and a blueberry muffin just like mine.

“Is this seat free” she asked and nodded to the space next to me on the bench, “or is it taken by that muffin of yours?”

Since my mind was already in the gutter and all, the words that came out of my mouth were not at all what they should have been.

“Which muffin? I have two.”

She snorted before answering. “The blueberry one. I’d like the other one to stay where it is for now. I could use some company.”

It took me a second too long to find my voice again, and I moved my muffin - the blueberry one - as I replied.
“Sure, have a seat. I’ll just keep my muffins over here. Both of them.”

She smiled at me and sat down, and I exhaled slowly in relief. Apparently this girl had at least some sense of humor. I stole a better look at her through the corner of my eye as she fiddled around with her cup and the muffin. She was shorter than me, maybe five foot two, and quite curvy. She had low cut jeans that hugged her behind in a becoming way, and a dark grey, washed out tee with a red cherry followed by the caption “Bomb” on it, which could only be a Runaways reference. She was pretty, too, in a natural way, with little to no make-up, blue eyes, shoulder-length blond hair and short, stubby fingernails with black, partly abraded nail polish. She looked like I would have, had my mother not happened to me this morning.

“I like your tee,” I said and nodded towards her chest, letting my eyes linger a fraction of a second too long on her breasts. She looked up at me, surprised.

“You do?” she asked, her eyebrows raised.

“Yeah, I always had a thing for Cherie Currie,” I answered, wondering if she would catch on to what I implied with that comment.

“Wow. Uhm... No offense, but you don’t look like that kind of girl. I mean, the Runaways-listening kind.” She eyed me sceptically, and I huffed loudly.

“Tell me about it. My mother isn’t too keen on the rock chick style, and she definitely doesn’t find it appropriate for big, annual family gatherings. She vetoed my first choice of outfit and put me into this instead.” I gestured over my skirt-clad legs.

“Poor you, having to wear heels and skirt for mommy,” she said sympathetically. “Don’t worry, though. It looks good on you. Not rock chick good, but definitely... very nice.” I thought I saw her eyes drift along my legs, but I wasn’t sure.

“Well, in that case, thank you very much.” I lifted my coffee cup to her. “Hey, cheers for Cherie Curry and rock chicks.”

She put her cup against mine, and answered in a serious tone. “To Cherie Curry and rock chicks - although I always fancied Joan Jett.”

I took a long sip of coffee, mulling over that last comment. It could mean two things. Either she just liked her as a musician, or she was hinting that she in fact did like girls, just like I did when mentioning Cherie in the first place.

Maybe she did check out my legs. One could only hope. I was tired of only eating blueberry flavored muffins that came in a paper bag.

“So...” I began, “what brings you to this neighborhood?” I turned my body slightly against her, and noticed she mirrored my movement. Our knees almost, but not entirely touched. I wanted to inch closer to see if she would back away. I didn’t dare, so I stayed perfectly still, waiting for her answer.

“I’m here auditioning for a band, actually. I’m staying in the motel,” she said, motioning to the entrance of the motel behind us.

“No way! This motel? I’m staying here, too. Although I’m not auditioning for a band; I’m not cool enough. I’m here meeting my relatives and playing girly-girl for mom,” I explained.

“What do you mean, not cool? You wear heels and like The Runaways. That’s way cooler than me. I can’t even walk in heels, which is why I keep wearing those old chucks.” She looked down on her feet and wiggled them, making her legs coming very close to mine with every move. I kept my legs still, stupid as usual, and watched her shoes.

“I envy your chucks. They are a lot more comfortable than those heels. I walk in them alright, mom had me practising since I was thirteen and she thought I needed to start acting more like a girl,” I admitted.

“She did what? Did you actually practise walking in heels?” Her eyes grew big, reminding me of some character from those manga books my little cousins were reading all the time.

“Sure I did,” I answered. “She made me prance around like a model on a runway, with her in front showing me how to move, and me following after, trying to mimic the way she swayed her hips as she walked. So stupid...” I shook my head and laughed.

“You have to show me,” she said in a serious voice.

“Uhm, I don’t think so,” I exclaimed.

“Pleeease,” she whined, “show me the sway. I want to see you prance!”

I sighed heavily, just for good measure, before I smiled, put my shoes back on and got up. I did the full routine in front of her, the runway-walk and a little twirl at the end. She watched me in silence, with her mouth partly open, and as I turned back after my twirl I thought I saw the tip of her tongue slip out and lick her lips. I blinked, and it was gone so quickly I decided it must have been wishful thinking. After all, why would a hot, band auditioning rock chick be interested in some average Annie dressed up like a secretary?

“So, what do you think? Mom’s lady-training pay out?”

“Oh believe me, it did.” She nodded, in what I hoped was appreciation, but I wasn’t quite sure.

I bowed my head down as I sat on the bench again, trying to hide the faint blush that was about to break out. I reached for the jacket and pulled out my phone in an attempt to draw the attention from my facial area, pretending to check for missed calls.

“Expecting a text or something?” she asked, her tone casual but a tad more curious than I’d expected. “Boyfriend missing you?”

My head jerked up.

“What? No! Nothing like that, I just... I don’t do boyfriends.”

“No? Girlfriend wondering where you’re hiding?” she asked, her fingers plucking at some invisible thread on her jeans.

“Uhm, no, I... I don’t have a girlfriend. Well, I have friends who are girls, of course, but no girlfriend.” I creased my eyebrows, trying to figure out what she was asking, and how to answer without making a fool of myself.

“You don’t do girlfriends either?” Her voice was low, questioning and curious. I didn’t know what to say to that, so I took the easy way out by going a completely different direction with my answer.

“I was just checking to see if any relatives were wondering where I went... I kinda left early. But it seems like no one’s noticed. Either that, or they don’t care.”

She tilted her head and watched me in silence, as I yapped on about Uncle Dave and his ulcer, all the time wishing my mouth would stop talking. Her warm hand suddenly appeared on my knee, squeezing it gently and effectively shutting me up. I stared at her black fingernails contrasting against my charcoal skirt.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have to go. Audition and all, you know.”

“Oh, okay...” I said, instantly regretting my verbal diarrhea. Of course she would want to go after my tirade about stupid relatives and their not-so-interesting health issues.

“But hey, I’ll be back in a couple of hours, and maybe we could go grab a beer or something? I’d love to hear more about Aunt Agatha and her toe corns.”

“Yeah right. ‘Cause Aunt Agatha’s toe corns are soooo interesting...” I snorted, still looking at her hand on my knee.

“I’m serious. Well, not about Aunt Agatha. But I’d really like to see you again. I’ll tell you what, I’ll write my room number down, and you drop by at, say, six o’clock, if you’d like. I’ll wait until six-thirty, and if you’re not there by then I get the hint.”

She took her empty Starbucks cup and fished out a black felt-tip from her jeans. She scribbled something down on the cup and put it next to my half eaten blueberry muffin.

“I hope I’ll see you later. And you can keep the heels on, if you want to.” She winked at me and left before I could come up with a witty response. I closed my eyes and shook my head, trying to wrap my mind around what just happened. Did she ask me out? In spite of Uncle Dave and Aunt Agatha? And did she really want me to keep the heels on?

I looked at my feet, crammed into the black strap heels, and pursed my lips. My feet did look pretty good in them. And they did wonders for my legs and ass, without a doubt.

Yep, the heels stay on. But the skirt and blouse have to go. I turned the coffee cup around, looking for her room number, and there it was. 11E.

I took my jacket and stood up, brushing blueberry muffin off my skirt, and headed towards my room. If I remembered correctly, I had a pair of skinny jeans and a Ziggy Stardust tee in my suitcase.

This might just be the night when I finally got to eat some real muffin again.

Like I said - one could only hope...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Burntcore Week 57: Hearts So Deep Part 5


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: both

Hearts So Deep - Part 5

Casey stared at the picture that she took from Professor Enger’s office and compared it to the other picture she had of Julianne. It was hard to reconcile the sweetly sexy picture that the professor had with the hippy chick depicted in her photograph of her aunt.

What was more puzzling was the code written on the back of the picture from Professor Enger. It had to refer to something, but Casey had no idea what. Her first thought was that it was Julianne’s initial and the year that the picture was taken, but the picture didn’t seem that old. It definitely wasn’t a new photo, but it didn’t have the paper or exposure quality that photos printed in the 70’s did.

Since she had already spent several hours that morning at the university’s archives, she decided to do some online sleuthing. Casey checked the nearest campus map and headed towards the university’s library and computer labs. She hoped she wouldn’t need to be a student to use a computer for awhile, although if she had to, she could always show her Penn State identification.

Thankfully, they did allow for guests, as some of the members of the community used the university’s resources. She signed in and got to work trying to find what J 76 meant. Google wasn’t much help, not that she expected it to be, but thought it was the best way to start. After several minutes of scanning useless search results, she sat back in her chair puzzled.

Casey looked around the room, trying to focus her thoughts. She froze when her eyes landed on a map of the campus. A map that had letter and number designations for the columns and rows. Could it be that easy?

She scrambled out of her chair, startling a few students that were quietly working around her. Her fingers danced over the map, lining up the lettered columns with the numbered rows. Casey huffed in frustration when the numbers stopped at twenty-five.

“Gotta find a bigger map,” she muttered to herself. Feeling inspired, she looked up where history classes were taught. The building wasn’t far from the library. This would work out to her advantage nicely.

Racing across the campus, she ran into the History building and stopped as soon as she got into the entryway. Running through the halls would make her look like a bigger loon than she already was. As she caught her breath, she walked down the halls, peeking in the empty class rooms for an easel of maps. Finally, she hit pay dirt.

At the end of the hallway was an empty open classroom. The lights were off and a large easel with a stack of maps hanging from it stood in the corner. Before she walked in, Casey looked down the hallway to make sure no one was coming. In the clear, she stepped as quietly into the room as she could. Thankfully, the room had windows so she didn’t need to turn on the lights, which she didn’t want to do.

Casey carefully flipped through several of the pages of the maps that depicted the world in different eras until she got to the state maps. Finally she found one of the state of Pennsylvania, Eagerly, she ran her index fingers along the rows and columns until she got to “J 76.” In the square that was J 76 was a suburb of Pittsburgh called White Oak.

“What’s in White Oak, Professor Enger?” she whispered.

As she was leaving the building, she ran into the professor again. His eyes bugged out of his head in surprise, clearly not expecting to see her there.

“Ms. Thomas, what are you doing here?” he asked, his voice tight.

“I was looking at a map, Professor.”

His face paled as he looked between Casey and the building. “Why?”

“I wanted to find my aunt. I am hoping I can find a clue in White Oak.” Casey thought quickly about not telling the professor her intentions, but she felt she should and she wanted to see his reaction.

He did not fail to disappoint. Professor Enger’s already pale complexion turned a sickly shade of green when she said where she was going.

“White Oak?” he asked in a whisper.

“Yes. I am hoping to find some clues there that can answer some of my questions.”

Casey stood there and merely looked at the professor. He made it clear earlier that he was not going to divulge any further information voluntarily, so she was going to have to find what she was looking for herself, unaided. Professor Enger closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out a slow breath.

When he opened his eyes, his gaze was steady. There was some doubt there, but it was apparent that he had come to some kind of decision. He reached into his bag and delicately pulled out a dog eared book. It was water-stained and dirty, but was clearly a prized possession by Professor Enger.

“Ms. Turner, I can’t talk to you about this, but perhaps you will find some answers in this book. It may help you in White Oak.”

Before Casey could reply, he turned on his heel and walked away quickly. She held the book in her hands, running her fingers over the rough cloth texture of the cover. With as much care as Professor Enger used, Casey put the book in her bag and pulled up directions to White Oak. By the time she made it to her car, Casey knew exactly how to get out of the clusterfuck that was downtown Pittsburgh and into the suburbs.

A half hour later, Casey was in White Oak but had no idea where to go from there. She stopped at a park and decided to check out the book that Professor Enger gave her. She wasn’t sure what to make of it.

Casey looked up when she saw movement out from the corner of her eye. A woman was walking through the park, older with long white hair, the front pulled back with a bow. Casey couldn’t see her face quite yet but something seemed familiar about the woman.

Casey closed the book and watched the woman as she walked. The woman turned towards Casey’s car, and if Casey had been standing at that moment, she would’ve collapsed.

It was Julianne.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 57: Dreams to be Followed


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: both

Dreams to be Followed

Lisa tried not to sigh as her hair was curled and sprayed again. She looked over at her current partner in this scene. She was so damn cute - big brown eyes, glistening hair, small yet gangly. She was playing a he, too, showing her prowess. Now, if only she’d follow cues.

Daisy was currently sprawled on the set floor, her spots shining under the lights, obviously too warm. She normally lived in a forest where it was spring, and her coat wasn’t built for this. Lisa felt sorry for Daisy, then she remembered how many petticoats this stupid costume had and felt sorry for herself again. She was getting too old for this. Daisy wasn’t old enough. That was part of the problem. Rather than paint spots on a small but yearling female, they’d gotten a true fawn. The poor thing.

Lisa didn’t smile as she approached Daisy and her handler. The fawn lifted her head a little and Lisa took the bottle of water from the handler, holding it for the baby. She licked at the nipple before sucking. The fawn probably wanted milk, but she’d had enough, so Thom said, and was just dehydrated.

“Look, Daisy, I know this gig sucks, but you know what? You work with me on this next scene, we get this done, and you get to quit for the day. I have to wear this get up for another four hours, but you’re finished. Doesn’t that sound good? In fact,” she looked over her shoulder before continuing, “this should be the last scene you have to do.” It wasn’t true, but what was left focused so little on the deer, they could CGI one in, or use a different fawn. Poor Daisy needed off this set.

Lisa waited until Daisy had finished drinking and then waved to the director. Everyone started moving when he barked. The scene went without a hitch. Daisy walked to Lisa on cue, pulling on her sleeve in the middle of her mock-trance to break it.

Lisa gave Daisy one last stroke and a kiss on the top of her head before moving to her next scene. She finished her day feeling stretched thin. She usually didn’t need more than the makeup touching time to spin her thoughts around to the correct place in the script. Normally, she could advance her character to that point in the story and step out of the chair ready. For some reason, today, she never felt completely certain she was on solid footing. She was never sure she’d portrayed the character properly. The director didn’t chide her or give Lisa any indication she was falling short of what he envisioned, which gave her hope that she was doing the story justice. She left the set tired and out of sorts.

“What’s the matter, Princess?” Ford asked as he drove her to the hotel.

She wrinkled her nose. “Don’t call me that. Nothing really, just ... never nailed it today.”

He didn’t answer. He’d long ago given up trying to tell her she did a great job. After a few discussions, it had become clear he didn’t know what to look for, how to know if it was a good job or not.

“Something on your mind? Outside the job? Maybe, something to do with the calendar?” He smirked and she frowned, not knowing what was up.

“Nothing with the calendar... unless you mean the way they keep rearranging the shots for the day. THAT is maddening.”

“No,” Ford said with a sigh. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Then what did you mean?” Lisa asked from beside him.

He shook his head. “You’ll figure it out soon enough.”

She sighed and closed her eyes as he drove her home. She might have drifted off, she often couldn’t tell, her dreams merging seamlessly with plot lines and stories on set. Occasionally she dreamed about her lonely existence off set, but that was too similar to reality as well. She noticed when the car stopped, though, and waited obediently for Ford to open her door.

“I think,” she paused to yawn, “I might not find my room without you.”

He chuckled. “Maybe one night you’ll find mine.”

She snickered and elbowed him. They spent most nights together; those when she didn’t pass out as soon as she got to her room. On those nights, they’d watch a game or play cribbage, anything normal. Anything that made her feel like less of a lonely freak.

She opened the door and threw her card on the side table, kicking off her shoes. Closing her eyes, she leaned back on the door and was surprised to find a warm body instead.


“Sorry. I wanted to give you something.”

Lisa wrinkled her brow. Give her something? “Ford, you don’t have to give me anything.”

“Happy Birthday to you,” he sang off key, pulling out the lighter that so often lit her cigarettes. “Happy Birthday to you.” He lit a series of candles on top of a horribly misshapen but chocolaty frosted cake. “Happy Birthday, dear Lisa.” He carried it over to her. “Happy Birthday to you.”

She’d completely forgotten it was her birthday. It was just another day on the job, another day chasing her dream without ever grasping it.

“Thank you, Ford,” she murmured, feeling a frog in her throat. She cleared it before blowing out the candles. “You bake that yourself? You aren’t trying to poison me, right?” She tried to lighten the mood for herself.

He snorted. “I’m in charge of your well being. I’d never feed you something I cooked.” He sliced a piece and laid it on a plate. “My niece made this, under my sister’s supervision. She’s twelve. She’s a big fan of yours and lives in town.”

“She does? She is? Why didn’t you say anything?” Lisa smacked him.

“Because I know you don’t like to play favourites. Because you’re usually so tired at the end of the day, I don’t think to mention her.” He shrugged.

“I want another birthday present,” Lisa demanded.

“Yeah? Let me guess.”

“Where does your sister live?” She started tugging back on her shoes. “We can’t eat this whole cake anyway.” She picked up the platter and her card by the door.

“Jamie’s going to freak if I don’t tell her you’re on the way.”

“Is that your niece?”

“No, her name is Kelly. Jamie’s my sister. She’s probably still going to give me hell for only giving her fifteen minutes.”


He shrugged. “She’ll want to clean up.”

Lisa shook her head. “Don’t tell her. I’ll tell her I told you not to call. I don’t want them to go to any trouble. I just want ... normal for a while.”

Ford hugged her shoulders and kissed her head. “I know you do. That’s why I mentioned to Kelly that you’d love a cake.”

“I do.” Lisa blushed as she looked down at the rather ugly, but very tasty, creation. Maybe her dream wasn’t impossible. Maybe she could have it all. Her phone beeped. Her mother had sent a message, hoping work was going well and that Lisa was having a happy birthday. “I’m going to make a call while you drive,” she told Ford, opening her phone.

He grinned and closed her door for her.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Bronwyn Keith

We'd like to welcome a new writer to the picprompt. We're going to give Bronwyn a anohter week before her first post, however. Thank you for joining us Bronwyn and we can't wait to read what you have in store for us!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Snapple Apple 450 Week 56: Never Just Sex

SnappleApple 450

Picture 1

Picture 2

SnappleApple 450's Choice: both

Never Just Sex

“We’re friends with benefits.” I shrugged, browsing the clothes rack in front of me.

“Oh my god, tell me I didn’t just hear that,” Melanie blurted.

I ignored her and continued shopping, while she followed me.

“Ava, I said, tell me I didn’t just hear that, and you should respond with what you really said and not what my ears thought they heard.”

I chuckled. “Quit being a drama queen. Believe it or not it is possible to have sex with a friend.”

“No, it’s not! So…okay explain the rules to me. Do you go out for dinner and a movie first? Or does he just call you up and say, ‘Yo meet me at my place - I need to relieve some sexual tension.’” She mimicked a male voice.

I laughed at her. “No, it’s nothing like that, geez. We hang out like friends and if we both feel like it we…you know.” I shrugged. “You’re making it a bigger deal than it is!”

“Friends with bennies is a big deal! Ava, you are so stupid!” She groaned loudly. “Sex is never just sex. Ever.”

I scoffed. “Oh? Tell that to Miss Slut here. How many guys have you slept with exactly?”

She waved her hand. “That’s neither here nor there, the point is I’ve had feelings for every one of them.”

“Dan?” I said in a monotone, not believing her.

She cringed. “Okay, so I might have had feelings for the marijuana I was smoking, but come on. I’ve never done FWB.”

I laughed. “You’re missing out. We don’t have anything awkward between us. It’s just sex.” I repeated.

Melanie rolled her eyes. “Give it time, Ava.”

My phone vibrated in my back pocket. I pulled it out and answered. “Hello?”

“Hey, Pirates of the Caribbean is playing at the drive-in tonight. You have plans?”

I looked at Melanie, whose ear was pressed to the other side of the phone trying to listen. “Oh my god, is this the guy?” she mouthed.

I batted her away. “No, I’m not busy. I wanted to see it, too.”

He chuckled. “I didn’t want to be the only one alone at the drive-in. You’re doing me a huge favor.”

I said goodbye and hung up. Melanie hit my arm. “Dude, that was totally a booty call! You’re his bitch!”

I glared. “No, I’m not! A booty call is calling late at night and not seeing each other otherwise. We hang out and not have sex sometimes. We’re not fuck buddies.”

“Name one time.” She put her hand on her hip.

“What?” I asked, wanting to be done with this conversation, but I knew Melanie was nowhere close to being finished.

“Name one time he called you up just to hang out, no sex,” she dared.

“Last week! We went out for coffee. No sex.” I defended myself.

“I don’t believe he sees you as anything more than a booty call. But hey, as long as you don’t mind and the sex is good.”

“The sex is great,” I retorted.

“Okay,” she mouthed. “So describe him for me. Paint me a picture.”

“Um…picture tattoos everywhere. But not ugly tattoos, like the really hot kind with tattoos. Messy hair, aaand he has holes in his ears. What do you call those?”

“Hot?” She tried to help.

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. He’s your typical sexy scene boy.”

“What’s his name?”

“Skylar. We used to hang out all the time when he was dating this one chick. After she dumped him, he didn’t want any more relationships and I didn’t really want a boyfriend, so…one thing led to another and—“

“Friends with bennies,” she finished.


“So you don’t have feelings for him?”

I hesitated on my answer. “I never said that.”

She hit me again. “See?! That’s why this won’t work!”

I rolled my eyes, but she grabbed me by the shoulders. “Babe, listen to me. Men are like dogs. Sex is like a treat for being good. No dog is going to magically roll over when it’s getting a treat for doing nothing. Just like no man is going to willingly have a relationship when you’re giving it up free!”

“You don’t understand, Mel. I think he likes me too.”

She shook her head. “Don’t assume, babe. All guys are in it for sex and they’ll make up whatever lie to keep that coming. Don’t go expecting a relationship from him.”


I pulled my skinny jeans up and threw on a t-shirt. Melanie’s words got to me. Was I just a booty call to him? I wasn’t so sure this was going to work out anymore. I liked him, and if he didn’t like me, then I would have to break it off.

I heard the car horn beep downstairs. Quickly I grabbed my purse and shoes, running to meet him. “Hey!” I said once I got in the car.

“You ready for the movie?” He flashed a smile.

“You know it! I love a good drunk hot pirate any time.”

He rolled his eyes. “Jack Sparrow isn’t that hot.”

Captain Jack Sparrow is ever girl’s reason for wanting to be a pirate when they grow up. We weren’t in it for the adventure; we were in it for the hot pirate.” I winked at him. “Let’s go, I don’t want to miss any of him.”

At the drive-in theatre, Skylar pulled up dead center and set his radio to the right dial. “You want something to eat?” He asked, taking his seat belt off.

I scrunched my face. “Yeah but I’ll get it. I have to use the restroom anyway. Do you want anything?”

He shook his head, and I got out, running for the concession building. Inside smelled greatly of popcorn and sugar. I inhaled, instantly craving the buttery goodness.

“Hi, can I help you?”

I looked up and saw a tall, dark guy behind the counter. He was beyond tall, dark, and handsome. I looked at his name tag - “Jeremy” - and back at him. “Hi,” I breathed.

He flashed a gorgeous grin. “Do you want to order something?”

I licked my lips subconsciously. “Yeah, but I doubt he’s on the menu, so I guess popcorn.”

He chuckled. “He might be. You want that smothered in butter?”

“I prefer oil or whipped cream.” I was lost in his smile.

He raised an eyebrow. “On the popcorn?”

I shook my head, trying to clear my dirty thoughts. “Um, butter is fine, thanks.”

“You here on a date?” He tried to make it sound casual as he got the popcorn.

“No, I’m just here with a friend.” I pulled out my wallet.

He turned around with a smirk. “So you’re single.”

I felt a smile grow on my lips. “Currently.”

He took out a pen and wrote something on the popcorn bucket, handing it to me. “Call me if that status doesn’t change soon.”

I took it, smiling. “I will…”

“Enjoy your movie.” He winked as I walked out.

Quickly I ran back to the car and jumped in, not able to wipe the smile off my face.

Skylar raised his eyebrows. “A smile that big better mean you got the popcorn for free.”

I laughed. “Yes, I did, as a matter of fact.”

“You flirted to get free popcorn?” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Poor guy will never forget you. He probably thought he had a shot with you.”

I ate some popcorn, kicking off my shoes. “What makes you think he doesn’t have a chance with me?”

Skylar laughed louder now. “Well for one, he probably had zits all over his face, red hair, and a crackly voice. That seems to be all this drive-in hires.”

I rolled my eyes. “No, he’s nothing even close to that description.”

Skylar didn’t believe me. “Alright, fine. I’ll go look for myself. You forgot some cokes anyway.” He jumped out before I could stop him.

I ate my popcorn, thinking about Jeremy. Maybe this was exactly what I needed to get out of this with Skylar. Skylar didn’t like me other than as a fuck buddy, and Jeremy actually liked me. It was worth a shot, right?

A few minutes later, Skylar jumped back into the car with some cokes. “Wow.”

“Well?” I asked slyly.

Skylar handed me a coke and sat back. “I mean…you know, he’s alright.” He shrugged, sipping his coke.

The movie started to play and we stopped talking, turning the radio up so we could hear it. I passed the popcorn to Skylar, and he saw the number written on the box. “Oh my god, he wrote his number on your popcorn?!”

I shushed him. “In case I wanted to go out with him. Watch the movie.”

He grabbed a handful of popcorn aggressively and ate it quietly as the movie played. I was so engrossed in the movie, I completely forgot about Jeremy and Skylar and said hello to Jack.

“I don’t like him,” Skylar randomly blurted during the movie.

I laughed. “What don’t you like about him?”

“Okay for one, why is he single? A guy that good looking is never single unless something is wrong with him.”

“Dude, you’re single,” I pointed out.

He mumbled something and went back to the movie. He wrapped his arm around me to reach the popcorn and I felt a little uncomfortable being in this position.

“Maybe he’s on drugs. That could explain it.”

I sighed. “Skylar, you smoke weed.”

“Weed isn’t a drug. Drugs are addictive.”

I turned the radio down. “Okay what is this really about?”

He shrugged. “Something about him is off. Maybe’s he’s a player and he’s got like two other girls.”

“Skylar stop. Maybe he’s on meth, maybe he’s a convict, maybe he has multiple baby mamas.” I slid away from him. “But you know what, maybe he’s a good guy. So lay off and let me find out for myself.”

He pulled out a blunt and lit it. “Alright, I’m sorry. I’m just paranoid. Friends?” He held his arms out and turned the movie back up. He blew the smoke out the window and I faked a cough.

“You know that makes me sick.” I coughed again.

He shoved it in my face jokingly. “Just try it! You’ll love it! Jack Sparrow actually makes sense!”

I shook my head, pushing it out of my face. “No thank you.”

We finished the movie in somewhat silence with the occasional comments. After it ended we started to leave, but Skylar stopped in front of the building.

“Do you want to say hi to your boyfriend before we leave?” Skylar teased.

I rolled my eyes. “He’s not my boyfriend…yet.” I wrote his number on my arm and threw the bucket away.

Skylar laughed, pealing out of the parking lot. “I still can’t believe you picked up a guy while we were watching a movie.”

“I told him I was here with a friend.”

Skylar nodded, turning onto my street. “You’re right. Well thanks for going to the movies with me. See you later, friend.” He emphasized the word at the end.

I leaned over and kissed his cheek. “See you later.”

The longer I was around Skylar, the weirder he acted. He was upset about the guy, but I couldn’t figure out what was going through his mind.

“He’s upset he’s losing his fuck buddy, that’s all it is,” Melanie said over the phone. “Trust me.”

I sighed, finishing my toe nails. “I don’t know…”

“Have you called the other guy yet?” She squealed. “He sounds dreamy.”

“He was so hot! Dude, if you heard what I was saying to him.”

“Call him!”

“No, it’s too soon. I’ll call tomorrow,” I argued.

“If you don’t, I will,” she threatened, and I knew she meant it.

The next morning, I was woken up by a loud banging on my door. “Go away!” I groaned.

“I brought coffee!” I heard Skylar’s voice.

“This better not be an early morning booty call,” I complained, unlocking the door after I threw on a jersey over my boy-shorts.

“A booty call?” he asked. “When have I ever come to you for a booty call?”

I wiped my eyes and yawned. “I’m sorry, what I meant was—“

“That I only use you for sex,” he sounded a little hurt.

“Melanie said, that to a guy, friends with benefits just means fuck buddy.”

Skylar set the coffee down on the side table. “Is that what I am to you? Just a fuck buddy?”

“Skylar relax, you know I didn’t mean it like that.”

“What about last night at the movies? Did you go just to have sex, and I didn’t do it, so you find another guy?” He was trying not to sound too angry.

“Dude, you’re being ridiculous. I wouldn’t care less if we had sex or not! I liked you before any of that! Sex changed nothing!”

Skylar’s face went blank with shock. “Wait…you like me?”

Internally I was cussing myself out for letting that slip. “You know, you’re my friend…of course I like you,” I corrected.

He sighed. “Look, I’m sorry. I guess I’m just a little tired. Enjoy your coffee.” He walked out, shutting the door on his way, leaving me confused as hell.

I drank the coffee and went to take a shower. Anyone would say Skylar was jealous, but I thought he was just about the sex. Maybe Melanie was wrong about him. Once I got in the shower, I saw the fading numbers on my arm. I had them written down by the phone, so I scrubbed them off. Maybe I would call Jeremy after I got out. Why not?

“Hey is this Jeremy?” I asked hesitantly.

“Depends.” I recognized his voice.


“If this is the girl I met at the movies last night. Is it?”


He chuckled. “On what?”

“What would you say to her if it was?”

“I would ask her out, of course.”

I laughed. “What did you have in mind?”

“How about a movie? I know this great guy that works at a drive-in,” he hinted.

“Well I did just see a movie…”

“With your friend, right?”


“Okay, then, restaurant, it is.”

“Sounds good. What time?”


“Alright,” I smiled.

“Oh wait! I never got your name!”

I laughed. “It’s Ava.”

“See you tonight.”

It was 6:30, and I was getting dressed when I heard the doorbell ring. “That can’t be Jeremy,” I mumbled, looking at the clock. “It’s open!” I yelled.

A few seconds passed, and Skylar walked in. “Hey, I wanted to apologize for this morning. I was out of line.” He opened his arms for a hug, and I smiled, wrapping my arms around him.

“So was I. I’m sorry.”

“I brought a classic for us to watch tonight.” He held up The Lion King and smiled.

“Ooh.” My mouth turned down.

He looked at my clothes and gasped. “You’re going on a date!”

I flinched. “Nooo…well yes, but—“ I sighed.

He threw the DVD on my bed and laughed. “When’s he coming?”

“Half an hour.” I looked at the clock and went back to getting ready.

“I’m gonna grab a beer.” He walked out.

“I’m all out of beer, but help yourself to some orange juice!”

He laughed. “Orange juice is so much better than beer!” A few seconds later, I heard him yell, “With pulp! We’re hardcore!”

I laughed to myself, putting on my mascara.

“Oh shit!” I heard Skylar cuss.

“What?” I walked in to see his shirt soaked with orange juice.

“You better get that off before it gets sticky,” I told him.

He stripped his shirt off and let it drop to the floor with a sloshing sound.

“I’ll throw it in the washer.” I picked it up and carried it at arm length. The doorbell rang while I was in the back. “Can you answer that, Skylar? I’m almost ready!” I yelled.

Skylar finished drying off his chest before answering it.

Jeremy stood on the other side. “Um…is this the right address?” He checked his phone.

“Yup. Come on in, she’s almost ready.”

“Hey, I know you,” Jeremy followed him inside. “You were at the drive-in last night. Do you know her?”

“I’m the friend that went to the movies with her.” Skylar sat down, lighting a blunt.

Jeremy looked confused. “She told me she was single.”

Skylar blew smoke out, making Jeremy cough. “It’s okay, we’re just friends,” he shrugged, frowning.

Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “Just friends?” He didn’t believe it as he took in Skylar’s shirtless body.

Skylar blew out more smoke. “Hey man, whatever you want to think. I’m perfectly fine with sharing. My mama raised me right.”

“Is there something going on between you guys? Look, if she’s yours I’ll back off.” Jeremy raised his hands.

“What?” I walked in.

Skylar leaned back and shook his head. “No, she’s not mine.” He stood up and headed to the back of the place. “She never was…”

Jeremy looked at me, a little confused and shocked. “Um, I feel like I’m getting into something here, and I don’t want to start drama.”

I shook my head. “No, there’s no drama here. Skylar is just a friend to me.”

“Well, you obviously don’t see you’re more than that to him.” Jeremy apologized and left.

I sat down, trying to make sense of what had happened while I was in the other room.

“Did he leave?” Skylar asked softly.

“Yeah…he did…” I replied.

“That was my fault,” he apologized. “I’ll go catch him and explain it to him.”

“Do you like me?” I stood up, turning around to face him.

He looked at me for a second, before chuckling. “Why…do you?”

I hesitated on my answer, finally nodding.

Skylar’s smile faded. “Really?”

That wasn’t exactly the response I wanted to hear. I tried my hardest to keep the tears at bay. “Just go,” I whispered, opening the door to him.

He walked over to it, never breaking eye contact with me, he closed the door. “But…I like you, too.”

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Burntcore Week 56: Hearts So Deep Part 4


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Picture 1

Hearts So Deep - Part 4

Casey walked around the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, trying to imagine her mother here, frantically looking for Julianne. The college had changed since then, buildings had been renovated, new buildings had been built. She knew it would be almost impossible to find any information about Susan or Julianne, but she had to try. If there was any chance that her aunt was still alive, Casey had to try.

When Casey first arrived on campus that morning, she went to the college archives, located in the basement of the Student Center. There, records and pictures of the campus since its founding could be located. Thankfully, she had the foresight to call ahead and make an appointment; otherwise she never would have been able to get in.

She lucked out and had found a few pictures of Julianne, who was a student before disappearing. There wasn’t anything about Susan. Casey’s mother was never a student there so that made sense. The pictures of Julianne were out front of the old Pitt Stadium with some other students. It still didn’t explain where she went, or who she was living with at the time, like the person who hung up on Susan when she tried calling in high school.

Searching through Julianne’s official transcripts, Casey discovered that one of Julianne’s teachers was still alive and still teaching. Excitedly, Casey jotted down the teacher’s office information and set out to find him.

The campus was much bigger than Penn State, but Casey managed. The map she clutched in her hand was easy to follow. She found herself distracted by the scenery, specifically the male student body scenery. A good amount of the student population was out and about, playing touch football, catch, or Frisbee in the quad outside of the Student Center. She laughed and continued on to the Information Sciences building where one Arlen Enger taught.

When Professor Enger taught Julianne, Information Sciences hadn’t existed yet, according to what Casey was able to turn up from the Archives. At that time, he taught general studies and freshman English. After the Information Sciences building was built, his office was reassigned there. He now teaches classes that were cross disciplines: management information systems, healthcare information sciences, and so on.

The halls of the Information Sciences building were quiet. There weren’t a lot of classes on Saturdays so most of the classrooms were empty. Casey made her way to the second floor where the offices of the department’s educators were located.

She was lucky. Professor Enger was in his office grading papers when she knocked on his open door.

“Professor Enger?” Casey asked softly.

The man jumped, his pen skidding across his desk. Casey bit back the giggle that threatened to leak out as he whirled around in his chair, his glasses sliding down his nose.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” she said, standing nervously in the doorway.

“It’s fine. I just wasn’t expecting anyone today. What can I help you with?” he asked, as he stood, looking over Casey’s face, probably trying to see if he recognized her as a student.

Casey took a step inside his office and held out her hand. “My name is Casey Thomas. I am not a student here, but my aunt was at one time, and you were one of her teachers. I was hoping you might remember something about her.”

Professor Enger took her hand and shook it firmly before releasing it. “I can try. I’ve been teaching for a long time now, probably longer than you’ve been alive, so I can’t make any promises. Please sit down.” He gestured to an empty chair next to his desk.

Casey sat down quietly and waited for the professor was settled in his chair. He moved the stack of papers off to the side, cleaned his glasses quickly, and returned his attention to the young woman sitting next to him.

“So tell me about your aunt,” he prompted, running a hand through his wispy white hair.

Casey looked over at the older man, appreciating the patience and kindness in his eyes. She was unsure of what his reaction was going to be to her barging into his office unannounced. This was a pleasant surprise. She reached into her purse and pulled out the one picture she had of Julianne, the one she found in her mom’s journal.

“This was her. Her name was Julianne Turner.” Casey handed Professor Enger the photo. “She was only a student here for one year, in 1975.”

“Was? Has something happened to her?” he asked, his forehead creasing in concern.

“I don’t know,” Casey answered honestly. “Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know I had an aunt. I came across my mother’s journal recently and there were several entries about Julianne when she came to school here, but nothing afterward.”

Holding the picture gently in his hands, he stared at it, his lips fighting a smile. “Julie, yes I remember her. That year was my first year teaching. She was a good student, troubled, but smart.”

“How well did you know her?”

“Probably better than I should have. We were so close in age that it was easy to develop a friendship.”

“You were her friend?” Casey asked in a whisper, staring at him with hope. Perhaps he could help more than she realized.

“Er, yes.” Professor Enger shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The patience in his eyes gave way to anxiety. “Ms. Thomas, I’m sorry but I need to go. I have an ... appointment that I cannot be late for,” he said hurriedly. he stood and put the picture of Julianne down on his desk.

“Wait, please, just a moment. How well did you know Julianne?” Casey asked desperately, seeing her chance at finding her aunt slipping away.

“I have to go, I’m very sorry,” he said glancing at his watch as he rushed out of the room. In his wake, a photo fluttered to the floor,

Casey sat there stunned for a moment before she knelt and picked up the photo. It looked like a woman wearing a white dress, but only her lower half was visible. Small flower buds were scattered around her and on top of the skirt. Casey flipped the picture over find a tiny mark in the lower right hand corner.

“J 76”

Casey quickly snatched the photo of Julianne off the desk and shoved both photos in her purse. Something strange was going on indeed. As she turned to leave Professor Enger’s office, she spied a stack of his business cards sitting on top of a file cabinet. She grabbed a few of them and tucked them in her purse next to the photos. Casey thought it was best if she left for now, having spooked the professor. She did not believe that he had anything going on at all that he needed to leave to attend. Casey’s question about their friendship scared him. Instead of getting answers about her aunt, now she had more questions.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 56: The Beach


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: both

The Beach

“You’re kidding right?” I asked, looking at the jewel case I’d been presented with.

“What? You don’t want my CD?” Dan asked, obviously offended.

“It’s not that,” I said quickly, holding the small square closer in case he tried to take it away. “I meant the cover.” Dan and his bandmates were on this very beach behaving like a pack of lunatics.

“Oh, yeah? What about it?”

I shook my head. “Nevermind, it’s nothing. Thank you.”

“Say, I was thinking about your Princess story.” He began kissing down my neck. Finally, what I’d come here for. Not that yesterday hadn’t been amazing, but I still wanted to feel him inside me.

“Yeah?” I asked, finger tracing his inseam, up to the drawstring of his shorts.

“Maybe we can talk about it later.”

“Now is good,” I teased, drawing my finger back down and finding him stiffening, following his length.

“Now is very good,” he agreed. He coughed as I pulled my hand away, raising my eyebrows for him to continue. “Oh, uh, I was at the library and wondering why I can’t find anything of yours there.”

I sighed, threading my fingers together in my lap. “Because I’m not that good. Because everything I’ve sent has been rejected.”

“Oh, Jenn,” he murmured running a hand through my hair. “I didn’t want to bring up anything bad. I just saw this girl with a stack of books, all romances and fantasies, and I thought she’d like your Princess story.”

He distracted me with his lips on my ear, teeth nipping the lobe. I started to groan, but he pulled away this time. “You know, authors can be as indie as bands. You don’t need anyone to tell you you’re good enough.”

I hung my head. Self-publish? Wasn’t that just admitting no one wanted my work?

“Hey. Don’t think about it,” he urged. “Think about what you want … from me.” His voice never failed to make me melt. Well, when he dropped the cocky attitude, anyway.

“Dan,” I murmured, pulling myself closer to him as his fingers teased the skin between my shirt and shorts.

“Tell me,” he commanded.

“It would be admitting defeat.” His lips paused their descent down my neck, and his hands stopped lifting my shirt.

“Oh, you’re talking about the book. Geez, don’t change gears like that on me. I thought you were giving up on me or something.”

I laughed now. “Would you like that? Would you like me to just lie back and let you have your way with me?” My hands still around his neck, I pulled him down as I laid back on the sand.

“It would make it easier.” His grin was as cocky as any I had seen. I had barely narrowed my eyes when he recanted. “But that wouldn’t be you, and I want you.” His breath was in my ear again. His chest started to press on mine and I could feel him hard against my thigh.
“I want you, too,” I murmured, fingers pulling at his hair as he teased the skin under my shirt, slowly pushing it up. “Are you sure there’s no one here?” I asked, breaking the moment again.

“I’m sure. And so what if there are? They get an eyeful, that’s their problem.”

I smacked the top of his head while he was kissing the bottom of my breast. He sighed, looking up at me.

“Fine, do you want to fuck under the picnic table?” he asked in a suffering tone.

“On second thought, maybe I don’t want to fuck at all,” I complained, pushing him off me.

“Is that right?” he asked, cocky smile returning. “Okay, then, let’s head home.”

Bluff called, I was still hot and bothered. He walked past me toward the parking lot, giving me an excellent view of the tatto wings on his back. Heaven.

“Wait,” I said, not raising my voice. He stopped instantly, looking back at me with a quirked eyebrow. “I don’t want to go home,” I mumbled.

“Sorry? I didn’t catch that.” He held a hand to his ear. I strode the two strides to reach him and pulled his face to mine, my nose touching his.

“I don’t want to go home,” I said slowly, kissing him as I finished.

“Good, I didn’t either,” he admitted with another grin. “I want to see you in the sun.” As soon as the words were out, my top was off. I hastily wrapped my arms around my chest, but it didn’t matter as he followed by tugging my shorts to my ankles. “I wanted this.” He kissed me through the panties I still wore, nipping and sucking.

“Dan,” I murmured, releasing my breasts to hold his shoulders as I swayed. His arm caught me behind the knees and I fell, his other hand catching my head before it hit the sand.

“I’m going to get sand everywhere, just to warn you. But we can have fun cleaning it off later, okay?” That voice ... I didn’t give a damn about sand, or eyes, or the fact that he was tugging off my last article of clothing. I just wanted him to keep talking to me, touching me.

The knight swept the table clear of her potions, her herbs, her talisman. He pulled her over his shoulder, laying her down on it. She had become a dead weight on his back once the spell was cast, and he needed to be sure she was all right.

She was breathing. That was the first thing he noticed - the rise and fall of her chest. He put his head to the table in relief. Her eyes fluttered, and she turned her head to regard him.

“I’m fine,” she told him, moving her hand slowly to his hair. “Just ... very tired. I’d think you were worried for me.”

He huffed, raising his head. “Of course I worry for you.” His voice was gruff with emotion. “Do you think I’d put so much energy into keeping you alive if I didn’t care?” He put an arm behind her shoulders and knees, lifting her from the work table. “I’ll get you to your bed.”

Snuggling into his chest, she hoped to keep him there, even if she only slept on him.

I woke feeling water under my calves. I blinked, my eyes adjusting to the bright light. Dan sat beside me, reading my notebook. He hadn’t dressed yet and I enjoyed seeing him, soft and tucked between his crossed legs. It made me want to...

“You’re awake. I was starting to worry about you getting burnt. Nice nap?” he teased, closing the notebook.

“Please, like you didn’t pass out with me.” I snorted without impunity.

He chuckled. “True. You are quite the sex kitten, Chase.”

I blushed, sitting up and covering myself. I was a bit pink from sun.

“I meant that in the very best way,” he murmured, lips at my ear.

“Well, you made good on your promise. I have sand in my... everywhere.”

He laughed. “And I promised to help get it out. Let’s go.” He picked me up and I started to struggle. He kept his grip on me for a few paces and then dropped me into the water. I came up spluttering.

“You are an ass,” I told him flatly.

“Yeah, but I get you hot.” As if that was an appropriate answer.

He knelt in the water and started touching me, brushing sand from my ass, tracing the crack to make sure every grain fell free. He kissed me as he worked forward, brushing my folds. They were still somewhat engorged, and I groaned into his mouth as he held them open and traced between.

“That feels so good.”

“I’m glad. No scratchy sand?” His finger pressed into me, hooking and pulling. There was the odd grain, rubbing hard as it came out, but nothing painful.

I shook my head.

“Hope I’m clean,” he said, and as he did I felt him rub along me.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” I asked, nearly squealing in my haste to pull away from him.

He laughed. “You mean one of these?” he asked, pulling one hand from the water to reveal a torn packet. He made it disappear again between his fingers, then brought it back again.

I flushed with embarrassment. “Yeah. One of those.”

“Don’t worry,” he whispered in my ear, pressing himself to me again, “that’s the only thing I’m going to let come between us.”

I shivered, wondering if I trusted him and the pill enough. I might... next time. He proceeded to lift me again. However, some sand had gotten on the condom. It burned, rubbing into me.

“No,” I said with a grunt, pushing away with my heels. He sighed but didn’t press.

“Oh well, that first time was good enough to last me a day, maybe two.”

Although I was just as eager for next time, I didn’t want to give him that impression. “And where do you think you’ll find me next time?”

“Maybe your room? On your bed? With Marla listening in the next room. Make her jealous.” I shivered, but didn’t really want that. I liked my roommate.

“Maybe,” I allowed. “Maybe once you get me home and clean,” I suggested instead, knowing she was out with friends.

“Done!” he said eagerly, sweeping me up again. I giggled as he ran.

”What are you doing?” the knight asked his charge.

“Recovering,” she told him, swinging a leg over his waist.

He chuckled, rolling toward her. “Recovering? You can barely lift your head.” He kissed her forehead, smoothing her hair from it.

“I don’t need to rise,” she reminded him, grunting a little to lift her other leg.

“Sleep, Princess,” he told her, kissing her temple and ear while his hands circled her. “I’ll stay here until you are... recovered.”

She smiled, happy to get her way, again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Destinee Week 55: Glitter In Your Pocket

Destiny Cullen

Picture 1

Picture 2

Destiny Cullen’s Choice: Picture 2

Glitter in your Pocket

Here I was again, in the library, bored off my ass during summer vacation. “I seriously need to get a life,” I whispered to myself as I propped up my newest doodle on the table.

“Killing trees again, Ariel?”

I turned around to see Beau heading toward my table. I couldn’t help but smile as he set two books in front of me and went to sit across from me.

“You know me,” I shrugged trying to hide my excitement. Beau always made the day less boring, and he always finds a way to make me smile.

“Yeah, I do...” He mumbled. “So what is your latest masterpiece?”

He always did this. No matter what doodle I create he always asks about it. The very first time he did this I thought he was just messing with the dork in the corner. So I created a ridiculous story about how a princess was running away from her evil stepfather, who wants her to marry a frog, but on her journey to find a new life somewhere, she runs into a poor bird that broke its wing. She proceeded to help the bird, and when it was healed, she kissed it, and it turned into a prince then they ran away together and all that good stuff.

Ever since then he came to my table and asked me about my doodles.

“Uh.” I looked over at the two figures embracing with two hearts over their head. “I didn’t really have time to make up a story.”

“Improv is good. Show me what you got.” He braced his elbows on the table and looked at me intently, his green eyes shining.

“Um, well... This is Eric and Belle; they’re twenty-three and deep in love. Eric surprised her with a trip to Paris and took her to the Eiffel Tower after a lovely dinner. Belle was shocked when he dropped down to one knee and drew out a velvet box.”

Beau smiled, never breaking eye contact. “And you know what happens next,” I whispered looking away. His hand touching mine brought my attention back to him. “Tell me, I want to know the whole story.”

A small smile played on my lips as I glanced away from his eyes. “Well if you really want to know all the lovey-dovey details...” He chuckled and I continued the story. “Eric took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her so tenderly it almost broke her heart. He took out the small diamond ring and asked her to marry him.”

I stopped and he looked at me expectedly. “What? The end, they live happily ever after.” I said chuckling. “Did I forget something?”

He smirked and took his hands away from mine and reached into his pocket. “As a matter of fact you did.”

My eyes went so wide it was painful. “W-what do you mean, Beau?”

He brought his fist out of his pocket and hovered it over my doodle. “You forgot about the fireworks.” He grinned and opened his hand as glitter sparkled in the light. “You gotta have fireworks as she said yes.” I couldn’t help but laugh. The old people at the table across from us gave us dirty looks.

“What? You don’t like my fireworks?”

“No, no, it’s not that,” I said in-between my giggling fits. “It’s just that I’m picturing you walking around with glitter in your pocket.”

He glared at me playfully. “Only manly men carry glitter in their pockets.” My giggling fit started all over again and the old people got up to complain to the librarian.

I tried to get my laughter in control. “Honestly, Beau, do you walk around with glitter in your pocket?”

A grin took over his playful glare. “If you really want to know,” he flexed his index finger for me to come closer. “You’ll have to meet me at Starbucks at two,” he whispered into my ear.

He pulled away from me smirking as he looked over my shoulder. “Huh? What? Wait!” He walked away chuckling. “Beau!”

“Ma’am, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave, and clean up that glitter.” The librarian put her hand on my shoulder. I groaned and stared daggers into Beau’s back as I put my stuff into my bag and wiped off the glitter with my shirt.

As I walked out into the summer heat I looked at my watch. An hour until two. I smirked. “Oh, I’m going to get him back for that. I look like a damn disco ball.” I pulled out my cell phone and called my best friend Robbie. “Hey Rob, how much does glitter cost?” I grinned creating my master plan. “Meet me with three containers, we only got one hour.”

This was going to be good!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Snapple Apple 450 Week 55: Cheater, Cheater, Pussy Eater

SnappleApple 450

Picture 1

Picture 2

SnappleApple 450's Choice: both

Cheater, Cheater, Pussy Eater

Her hand reached out, trying to find something to grab as she sank farther into the dark water. The man held her head down so she couldn’t come up for air, just a little longer and he would finally be done with her. Her struggling grew weaker by the second and he knew it wouldn’t be long now. The last bubbles surfaced and she sank to the bottom, her white dress flowing around her limp body. The pool was only 16 feet deep, but without the lights on she sank out of sight. He stood up and flicked the water off his hands, rubbing them on his pants to dry them off.

Suddenly his phone rang, echoing through the large indoor swimming pool. He answered it, taking a last look into the pool before leaving. “Hey sweetie,” he said. “I’ll be home in a little while, just getting out of the office. See you in a bit.”

“Excuse me, ma’am? Where can I find a book on engineering?”

The librarian looked up from her book and pushed her glasses up. “D-down that w-way,” she pointed.

The man smirked. “S-s-say th-th-thanks,” he mocked her.

She bowed her head, embarrassed as he walked away. It wasn’t unusual for people to make fun of her stuttering problem, she was used to it. She thought once she got out of school, kids would stop being mean; she didn’t realize mean kids grew up to be mean adults. With a sigh she went back to her Pride & Prejudice. She loved reading Jane Austen’s books; she could imagine being one of those girls like in the stories…she could imagine not stuttering.

The clock chimed the stroke of twelve, lunch time. She opened her purse and took out a wrapped sandwich. She rarely went out to eat. It was best to do things alone out of the way of rude people. Being a librarian was the perfect job for her, little talking required and she could read all Jane Austen’s books as much as she liked.

“Do you know where a book on dogs would be?”

She nodded and looked up. “It’s o-over—“ she stopped when she saw him. He was tall and very handsome, rugged and dark. He was in a suit and carrying a briefcase. “L-let me show you.” She wiped her mouth and stood up.

He smiled kindly. “Thank you.”

She showed him where the section was on that topic and smiled. “H-here we are.”

He took a book out and flipped through it, watching her instead. “You know most librarians point in a general direction and have me wandering for hours. Thank you for taking time off your lunch to help me.”

She blushed, looking down. A single yellow curl fell in her face, but before she could pin it back, he reached out and tucked it behind her ear. “S-so is there anything else I can h-help you with?”

He chuckled. “our stutter is…”

She frowned knowing that the teasing came next.

“Hypnotizing.” He ran his fingers down her arm leaving goosebumps on her skin. “What’s your name?” He leaned in.

She backed herself against the shelf as he pressed forward, blocking her in. “Meg…”

Without looking, he put the book back on the shelf, staring into her eyes. “That’s a beautiful name,” he whispered, his lips brushing against hers.

Her heart was beating faster than a hummingbird’s wings, unsure of what was happening, but she liked it. He pressed his lips to hers, clasping her against his body. “Is there someplace more private we could go?” he said between breaths, hunger and longing in his eyes.

She bit her lip to keep the same lustful smile that was on his lips from showing on hers. Quickly she looked around and pulled him to a closet in the back of the library. As soon as that door was shut he went back to kissing her more passionately. He kicked his shoes and his jacket off, piling them in the corner by the door.

Meg stopped, holding him back. “Wait, I d-don’t even know your n-name.”

He unbuttoned his shirt, showing his perfectly sculpted abs. “Luke.” He resumed kissing her and strategically taking her clothes off. She didn’t object to him, wanting him just as much as he wanted her.

Luke brought her against his naked chest and lifted her chin so she would look at him. “Just relax.” He gave her a devilish smile. Before she could answer he took her lips, kissing down her neck making her forget anything but his hard body against hers. As he kissed and licked down her body he skillfully pulled the rest of her clothes off as well as his. He laid her on the floor of the closet and hovered above her kissing and nipping in the right places as both of their bodies moved to reach that higher state of pleasure. Luke quickened his pace becoming feverish increasing their pleasure as their moans filled the small space. Meg’s nails raked down his back as ecstasy consumed her. Luke followed soon after, muffling his moans by kissing Meg’s neck.

“I think our lunch break is over.” He chuckled against her skin.

Meg nodded, finding her skirt in the dim closet. “M-mine was over a l-long time ago.”

He finished getting dressed and went over to help her fix her hair. “You’re the first person I’ve ever done something this crazy with before.” He rubbed her arm and smiled. “We should definitely do this again.”

She smiled, the blush not leaving her cheeks. “I have to g-get back to work.”

He opened the closet door and led her out into the library again. “Can I see you tomorrow, same time?”

Meg hesitated on her answer, but she couldn’t deny the feelings he gave her. She’d never felt this way with anyone before. “I’d l-like that,” she finally confessed.

He kissed her briefly before leaving the library. She went back to the front desk and sat down, in a daze. She just had sex with a stranger in the library closet. A laugh escaped her lips, but she quickly covered her mouth. She looked down at her half-eaten sandwich before throwing it in the trash and picking up her book again, not really focusing on it anymore.

The lunches from that day on were held in the library’s closet, bathroom, and even the empty room often used for town meetings. Luke always showed up like clockwork, leaving his briefcase in the car and his tie loosened around his neck. Meg started wearing more and more revealing clothes to work and easier clothes to get out of quickly. She stopped bringing a lunch, never finding time to eat during her busy lunch hour. It was a whole new adventure, like nothing Jane Austen wrote about in her books. She didn’t know anything about Luke, but she couldn’t bring herself to care too much as long as she saw him every day.

A month had passed since their first encounter and she did start to think more about what he did with the rest of his time. Why did he never want to meet outside of the library? She had no way of contacting him; she didn’t know where he worked or what he did. She knew absolutely nothing about him. The stroke of twelve chimed and she watched the door for him to show up. Ten minutes passed and still no sign of him, something not normal. Lunch hour was almost over and she gave up on him showing. He never missed a single day, but something could have happened. Maybe he got stuck at work or in traffic.

Resigned and indifferent, she went to the vending machine in the back to grab a quick lunch. He’d show up tomorrow again and apologize for missing today. The phone rang and she went to answer it. “Public L-library,” she answered.

“Meg?” She heard a faint voice, but she recognized it.

“Luke!” She exclaimed, looking around when she realized how loud that was. “Luke, where are y-you?”

“I’m at work. We had a meeting at lunch and I couldn’t leave, but I’ll make it up to you. Why don’t we mix it up a little bit, I know a great place that is completely empty at night.”

Meg smiled. “Sounds w-wonderful. M-maybe I can meet up with you at y-your work?”

“Um…I don’t know if that’s such a great idea… People might see us…” he sounded very nervous.

She felt a stabbing pain. “Y-you’re embarrassed by my s-stutter, aren’t you?”

Luke sighed. “No baby, you know that’s not it. Alright meet me outside the law firm on 31st Street.” He hung up after saying goodbye.

She leaned back in her chair and smiled. Luke was a lawyer… He was finally opening up to her. She never got to see him after lunch breaks, making her think he had something to hide.

Night came and she locked up the library for the night, hitching her purse higher on her shoulder as she made her way to the car. There was no one in the parking lot, making it eerie this time of night. It was almost 7:30 when she pulled up to the law firm. She turned her car off and got out, just as Luke got out of his car.

He embraced her. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in this lighting before,” he said huskily.

Meg smiled. “S-so where is this p-place you told me about?”

He took her hand and pulled her around the back of the building to another building behind it; the community center. Quietly he opened the gate and led her to one of the locked doors. He took a knife out and jiggled the lock till it opened.

“A-aren’t they c-closed?” She asked nervously looking around.

He smiled wickedly, pulling her inside. “Not for us.”

“Isn’t this i-illegal?” She whispered.

He shrugged. “Possibly. Come on.” He opened another door to a large indoor swimming pool. The lights were turned off, but Luke brought a flashlight.

Meg looked into the pool and back at Luke, who was already taking his clothes off. He winked at her before diving into the pool. He moved his finger in a “come here” motion and she quickly dropped her dress to her feet, jumping in after him.

Suddenly a phone went off, echoing in the large room. Meg looked towards Luke’s clothing and back at him. “Who would be c-calling you this late?”

He swam to the edge of the pool, leaving Meg to answer his phone. “Hello?” He ran out of the room for privacy and she strained her ears to listen. “No I’m still at work. I should be home in a little bit. I’ll make it up to you later, I promise.” He hung up and came back into the room.

“Who was t-that?” Meg asked fearful.

He chuckled. “A friend of mine, I forgot I promised him we’d play poker tonight and it completely left my mind. I should probably get going…” He was already gathering his clothes, leaving for the door.
Meg frowned. “Oh…well I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Luke waved. “Tomorrow.”

Meg floated in the pool for a while longer after he left, thinking about everything that had happened in the months time. That phone call didn’t sound like to a guy over poker. Was he cheating on her? Meg felt a sickening feeling in her stomach, weighing her down. She just had to play it cool and not be clingy. Guys don’t like clingy.

The following week was long and nerve-wracking. Luke didn’t come to see her during lunch and he didn’t call. That itching thought in the back of her mind kept trying to push forward and make itself known, but she refused to believe it. She trusted Luke and would wait for him to call.

By the end of the week, everyone was getting ready for the weekend, but Meg still hadn’t heard from him. She was warring with herself over going to his work to see him. Why shouldn’t she? At least she could get some answers. She could play investigator and find out if he was cheating. She had to know or she’d never get to sleep at night.

With that final thought, she grabbed her purse and clocked out for lunch. The law firm wasn’t that far from the library, easily a few minutes drive across downtown. Luke’s car wasn’t there, but Meg didn’t turn around. Maybe she could get answers from his colleagues. She walked inside and saw a lady at the front desk.

“E-excuse me, where is Luke’s office?” She realized she didn’t know his last name and hoped there wasn’t another Luke in the building.

The lady pointed to the elevator. “Third floor, ask the desk clerks there to show you to his office.”
She thanked her and went to the elevator, gripping her purse tightly. A man was in there with her, holding a briefcase. “Hi,” he smiled.

She nodded her head and smiled.

The man turned towards her and checked her out. “I heard you’re here to see Luke?”

Meg tried not to look nervous. “Um…y-yeah.”

“What’s a pretty thing like you coming to see a divorce lawyer for?” He tried to flirt.

Meg chuckled. “Oh why w-would anyone come to see a divorce l-lawyer?” she countered.

The man nodded. “That’s true, divorce is a nasty business. Luke would know, seems he’s having marital problems himself.”

Her eyes grew big. “Married?” she all but whispered.

The elevator dinged, opening the doors. “Well this is where I get off, I actually think Luke is out to lunch with his wife right now, but he might be back soon. It was nice meeting you.” The man got out and the doors closed again.

Meg leaned against the elevator wall, her knees going weak. Luke was married. She was the other woman and she didn’t even know. The doors opened on the third level, but she pushed the main floor button and went back down. She held in the tears until she got to her car before letting them loose.

How could he do that to her? Make a fool out of her! Meg thought he loved her, but he was just using her to get sex from someone other than his wife. She didn’t want to be caught here when he got off his lunch break. But the guy did say he was going through some marital problems. Maybe Luke was leaving his wife. Maybe that’s why he was so busy lately. She drove back to the library, gathering her composure for work.

An hour later the phone rang and she cleared her throat. “Public L-library.”

“How could you do that?” she heard an angry voice on the other line.


“You came to my work asking about me?” He was furious.

“I haven’t s-seen you in a while I was w-worried—“ he cut her off.

“That’s no excuse. Mark was already asking about who you were. I didn’t know what he was talking about until he mentioned the stutter.”

Tears filled Meg’s eyes. “But I l-love you…”

She could tell he was calming down. “Look, I want to see you again but I’ve been so busy lately with work. How about we meet in the pool again?”


“See you tonight baby,” he hung up and she stared at the phone for a while longer before hanging it up.

She had to ask him tonight if he was leaving his wife. She refused to be the other woman no matter how much she loved Luke. He would understand and respect it. As soon as he leaves his wife, she will be there waiting for him, but until then….

Later that night, she stood outside the community center where they entered last time. She was wearing her lacy white dress and her hair down her back. Luke would be here any minute.

“Meg,” he walked around the building towards her.

“Luke,” she ran up to him, wrapping her arms around him. “We have to t-talk.”

“Yeah, we do,” he agreed, unlocking the door.

They went into the indoor pool room and she turned around to face him. “Luke, I know you’re m-married.”

His face was shadowed from the dark, but she could tell it was hard and angry. “You shouldn’t have been snooping around my work. All you had to do was ask.”

Meg stepped back, slightly confused. “If I had k-known, but you didn’t tell m-me. Does your wife know you’re l-leaving her f-for me?”

A small smirk showed on his detached face. “I love my wife. I’m not leaving her. I don’t think you understand how this cheating works, Meg. I come to you to relieve sexual tension and you don’t tell people at my work.”

Meg shook her head. “I’m not g-going to s-stay quiet about that. It’s not r-right. I l-love you, Luke, and I’m not afraid to s-show it.” Her stuttering always got worse when she was nervous.

He grabbed her arm, backing her up towards the pool. “Meg, I can’t let you leave if you’re going to go blabbing about this. I can’t let my wife find out, or the people at my work. I’m next in line for a big promotion and this sort of scandal could ruin me, you understand?”

She tried to look back to watch her footing as she got closer to the pool. “L-luke stop you’re s-scaring me.”

He kept pushing her closer and closer until she slipped and fell in. “I can’t let you leave, Meg,” he said again as if it was the most natural thing to say.

She tried to scream for help, but he plunged her underwater, holding her head down. She panicked, squirming around, trying to get air.

“I’m sorry Meg,” he said, holding her underwater.

She grew weaker by the second, unable to get a footing or a breath of air. His hand held her down with no intention of letting go until she stopped. Lack of oxygen started to make her lightheaded and the dark water got lighter. She stopped fighting as she sank peacefully to the bottom of the pool, watching his face fade into the darkness.

Suddenly Luke’s phone rang, echoing through the large indoor swimming pool. He answered it, taking a last look into the pool before leaving. “Hey sweetie, I’ll be home in a little while, just getting out of the office. See you in a bit.”

He walked out of the community center. No one knew he was connected to her and the chlorine in the pool should erase any trace of him on her body. She would disappear and he could go on with his life. His wife had suspected something was up, the reason he had to start taking his lunches with her and not at the library. The door shut quietly and Luke slunk into the darkness where his car was parked, driving home to his wife.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Burntcore Week 55: Hearts So Deep Part 3


Picture 1

Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Picture 2

Hearts So Deep - Part 3

The Sunday after Casey went out with her friends, she found herself curled up with her mother’s journal again. She kept going back to the entries about Pittsburgh. Something happened there. Something that Casey knew could only be found by a trip to Pittsburgh and to the university.

Pitt Stadium was no longer in existence, but perhaps there were other places she could go to try to find information. At the very least, there should be something in the school’s archives about the old stadium, perhaps even something at Heinz Field, the field where the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers played.

Casey popped open her laptop and decided to do some sleuthing from the comfort of her home before making a trip into Pittsburgh, something she wouldn’t be able to realistically do until the next weekend. On the website for Heinz Field, she found the field tour schedule. Conveniently, they did tours on the weekends too, at least when there wasn’t a home game. Since it was currently in the middle of football season, the weekend tour availability was scarce. Casey lucked out that both the Panthers and the Steelers had away games next weekend. It was a perfect opportunity.

She did another search for any photos from Pitt Stadium from around the time that Susan was there. Google Images was a godsend but there was a lot to sift through. Casey adjusted her search to narrow the results. It only had limited success.

Frustrated with her lack of success with the Google search, she turned back to her mother’s journal. Idly, she flipped through the pages randomly, not really sure what she was looking for. Casey noticed some variations in Susan’s handwriting based on her mood when she wrote in the journal. Towards the middle of the journal, Susan’s handwriting was a lot more jagged, like she was angry or upset. It must’ve been resolved at some point because her writing smoothed out until the very end.

Casey turned to the last page and it appeared that the final entry was incomplete. It was also dated the week that she died, well after Casey was born. The last sentence was written in scratchy, hurried script, the pen pressed far into the paper, almost tearing it. Casey realized the last sentence wasn’t even complete. The pen line scritched out, like it was dragged. A few flecks of something brown dotted the bottom of the paper. Casey held the corner of the page up closer to her face to try to examine the specks.

It looked like old, dried blood.

Could this be her mother's?

Feeling suddenly ill, Casey tossed the journal on the table. She had put more force in her arm then she realized as the journal went sliding across the table and tumbled to the floor on the other side. Sighing, she walked over and picked up the journal by its spine. As she lifted it, a couple of pictures fluttered to the floor.

Puzzled, Casey knelt down and picked them. When she had flipped through the journal earlier, she had not seen any pictures tucked into any of the pages. The first picture looked like it was overexposed, but what Casey could see was a long haired woman in a seventies-esque fringed jumper. The woman did not look familiar. She flipped the picture over and the name “Julianne” was written across the back.

“Oh my God,” she whispered.

She finally knew what her aunt looked like. Casey reverently touched the photo, careful to not leave fingerprints. Gently, she slipped the photo back into the journal and turned to look at the second photo.

Casey couldn’t help but laugh, it was not the most flattering picture of a guy. The picture also looked a little old but not as old as the picture of Julianne. The name written on the back of the picture was Jack. She flipped the picture back over the front and stared at the picture again.

“Dad was never that skinny, was he?” she whispered to herself.

She left the picture out to remind her to ask her dad about being with mom on a lake when they were young the next time she talked to him.

The ringing of her cell phone brought her out of her thoughts. The phone skittered across the table, vibrating as it rang. Before it could follow the same path of the journal, Casey picked it up and answered the call.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 55: Rescuer


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: Picture 2


The princess stood on her throne, still screeching. The insects infesting her castle were not large, but they weren’t tiny either. She could hear every one of their six legs against the polished stone floor. She could see the light reflected on their shiny black backs.

“Help me!” she yelled again, wanting to complete her spell, but unwilling to step off the chair to approach her herbs.

“Someone call for me? I thought you’d taken to screaming my name instead of just screaming.” Her knight was as cocky as ever. In fact, if it were possible, he was more arrogant since he’d gotten closer to her.

“Clear me a path,” she ordered, pointing.

“Better idea,” he told her, turning away from her. “Climb on. I’ll hold you, you can use your hands.”

She huffed, but didn’t argue, wrapping her legs around his waist.

My pen was knocked from my hand as I was tackled to the grass. I squirmed, feeling the insects I’d been writing about, the real ants and other bugs, crawling over me.

“Let me up! Get off!” I yelled at Dan, beating his shoulders.

He pulled back immediately. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to...”

He trailed off with a look of genuine concern, something that looked VERY odd. He thought I was upset about the tackle itself. That I was thinking about that night.

“No!” I yelled, wrapping my arms around his shoulders. “It’s not that... It’s...” I shivered again, hating admitting this fear of mine. “It’s the bugs.”

His brow creased as he stroked my back. “Bugs?”

I sighed loudly, feeling tears in my eyes - embarrassment and anger rolled together. “Yes. I really hate bugs, especially on me. “ I shuddered and felt my stomach turn.

He chuckled and pulled me into his lap. “There, now they won’t get you.”

I let out a quick laugh of my own, knowing it was a ridiculous fear. These ants didn’t even bite.

“Is it all bugs? Do you need me to fight off the butterflies, too?” he teased, brushing my back and bare arms.

“No.” I drug the word out with scorn. “I don’t like butterflies either.” I stuck out my tongue for a moment in distaste. That only made Dan laugh again, putting his mouth to mine.

Startled, I squeaked once, but relaxed quickly, letting his tongue brush mine and opening my mouth to invite more.

He obliged, lying himself back on the grass, and pulling me atop him. My legs fell outside his and we both groaned as I pressed hard against his hips.

“Jenn, I don’t want to lose you,” he murmured into the skin beneath my ear, lips pecking their way down to my neck.

I groaned again, feeling him growing beneath me. “You aren’t going to lose me. I’m not running anymore.” I gasped in response to him grabbing my hips and pulling me over him. His track pants and my shorts did little to separate us.

“Good. I’m not giving you up, now that I have you.” His mouth was in the crook of my neck now, kissing toward my shoulder and the edge of my shirt. His fingers were brushing up my back beneath the rosy cotton.

“Thank God.” I tightened my thighs around his hips and started pulling up on his shirt.

A bicycle bell brought me out of my lust-filled haze.

“We shouldn’t be doing this here,” I reminded him. It was a public place, and there were kids all over the park.

“Right,” he said sadly. “I can behave,” he promised. “I think.”

I laughed. “I’d like to see that.”

“You would?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

“See you behave!” I said quickly, nearly shouting.

His grin was impish and I knew he was still thinking of something else. “I really like the idea of undressing you outside,” he told me, fingers sliding up under my shirt, bunching it on my arms. “Feeling the breeze on your skin, kissing where the sun touches.” He did that now, my forehead and cheek. “But somewhere less public,” he agreed.

“And definitely during the day.” My mind had drifted to the awful place it sometimes went. I had been undressed in an alley, on the street. It had been nightmarish.

He cringed in realization. “Yes, on soft green grass or a sandy beach,” he promised. “I can’t afford to take you anywhere, but maybe the lake?” he offered.

I smiled back, happy with his effort. “The lake sounds great. Tomorrow?” I asked, eager now.

He laughed and hugged me. “Can’t wait another week?” he teased. “I don’t know that I want to either. Tomorrow sounds good. Afternoon? We have a show tonight.”

I nodded my agreement. “In town, right? I’ll be there,” I promised.

“Can’t resist watching me work?”

“Something like that.” I leaned into him again, tracing his jaw with my nose. What I couldn’t resist was his voice, and the words of the songs were usually so evocative. Better in private, but I’d take all I could get. “Think you’ll save enough voice to serenade me?”

He chuckled. “We’ll see. Of course, tomorrow, I’d like to make you sing.”

I shivered at the implication. “God, tomorrow can’t come fast enough.” I squirmed in his lap, feeling less decent every moment.

“I agree,” he whispered into my ear before licking it and sending yet another wave of tingling down my spine.

“I’m going to develop a tic if you keep that up,” I warned him.

He laughed loudly and rose, helping me to my feet. “I’ll take it easy for the rest of the day then.” He bent to kiss me before retrieving my pen. “So, what are the princess and her knight up to now? He still fighting for her?” His smirk said he knew the answer. I turned over my notebook and he started reading. “Heh, riding him is she? Think he’s a good ride?” he asked, eyebrow cocked.

I smacked his arm. “Yes, he makes an excellent steed.”

He laughed and picked me up, hefting me over his shoulder. “I’m not sure I can wait until tomorrow. There’s gotta be some bushes around here.”

I kicked and he smacked my bottom, making me squeak. He set me down under a tree then pulled off his shirt, letting me see those wings on his back again.

“Are you going to save me?” I asked.


“Take me to heaven with you.”

“Oh,” he answered softly, putting his forehead to mine. “Yes. I’m always going to be here for you, Jenn. I’ll never let anything happen to you.”

I groaned slightly. “Could you not remind me of that when I’m finally feeling good?” I pushed him and leaned back on the tree, jumping up again as I noticed the ants crawling over the trunk.

“Sorry,” he whispered, his face nearing mine again, pecking my lips. “Let me make it better?” he asked, wrapping arms around me.

I gripped his biceps, throwing myself into the kiss. It was agony knowing how close we were, how many hours we were going to wait. “You had better not stand me up tomorrow,” I warned. “I might die of frustration.”

“We can’t have that. If I’m going to save you, I had best be able to save you from that.” His hand slid up my shirt, fingers grazing my ribs and making me inhale sharply. I leaned back on the tree, dizzy, oblivious to the ants now.

“Let me take the edge off.” He opened my shorts and lifted one of my legs to his hip. His hands drifted, one into my panties, the other over my back, my breast, my belly, never firm, always brushing. His lips moved over my collar bone, my neck, my ear. His hand teased me, already hot and greedy, nudging my engorged skin. I almost screamed when his finger entered me, giving me just what I needed. He pulled it out only to add a second. I gritted my teeth, my insides clenching.

“That’s amazing, Dan. Don’t stop.”

His lips, still on my ear, tickled as he moved them, whispering. “Who said anything about stopping? Tip up a little more,” he told me, lifting me in both hands, my skin rasping on the rough bark of the tree.

The fire on my back was nothing to the rushing heat he was creating in my pants, making me gasp louder. “Oh God,” I murmured, clutching him more tightly. “Oh God.”

“Use those words for me, Jenn. Tell me what I’m doing to you. Tell me where to touch you.” His thumb brushed my folds as his fingers moved and I banged my head against the tree trunk again, hair snagging.

“Right there. You’re hitting my... God.”

“I am? Right here?” He curled his fingers again and I knew he was playing me. Not like a game, like an instrument - like his guitar, making the hum inside me grow and reverberate.

“How are you doing that?” I asked, the last grunted as my jaw snapped shut a groan coming with my peak. My head tucked to his shoulder as I clung to him, shaking.

“Fighting it?” he asked as I shuddered. “I’ll fight for you.” He stroked me further and the pleasure renewed, intense.

“Holy... God... Fuck...” I hated the word, but nothing else seemed suitable for what was going on inside me. That was exactly what he was doing. “Coming.”

“Good,” he purred in my ear, holding me from the rough bark as I continued to convulse. “Lean on me.”

He set me down, sitting beside me against the trunk. Were there ants? I didn’t see any ants. I didn’t see much through the haze of my half-closed eyes. His arm wrapped my shoulders and pulled me into his side. “Think you’ll make it to tomorrow? I’d hate to lose you to frustration.”

“Oh my God. What are you going to do to me tomorrow?” My eyes flew open, wide with speculation.

He waggled his eyebrows. “You’ll see.”

“Save me,” I murmured.

“That’s the plan.”