Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dressed Up

Today's muse: You can always tell when I'm writing an erotic scene in Madison's Avenue. The pent-up energy needs to be unleashed.

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Dressed Up

The doorbell chimes a melody he recognizes, but can’t quite name. Drew grins as the notes fade out.

“It suits her.”

He runs calloused fingers through sun-kissed hair, wonders if he should have gone for a trim before picking up Andrea. He shrugs it off. It’s just a picnic with friends. It won’t matter that he’s needed a cut for more than two weeks now.

His hand drops when she opens the door, his palm instantly damp.

Andrea smiles—that seductive subtle curve of lips that always has need coiling deep inside him. The smile gets him every time. It’s shy and beguiling; it’s innocent and seductive. Most days, the smile alone is enough to leave him wanting. But today…god…today she’s wearing a long floral dress that drapes down to her bare feet. The bodice is nothing more than two narrow triangles of fabric wrapped around her neck, cupping her breasts in reverence.

“Hi.” Drew manages to keep his smile casual, his tone light, though his mouth has dried up and the blood rushing in his ears is deafening. “Ready?”

Andrea steps back and waves him in. “I just need to get my sandals.”

Drew sags against the wall when she turns away. Sweet Jesus.

Andrea comes back down the hallway, ivory sandals dangling from her fingers.

Drew clears his throat. “Is that what you’re wearing?”

She stops just steps away from him, looks down at her dress, then back up at him. “Yeah. Why?”

“You can’t wear that to the picnic.” He shakes his head, as though the matter is closed.

“Pardon me?” Blue eyes flash with rage and she tosses back her hair. “There’s nothing wrong with this dress.”

Drew puffs out a breath. “Maybe not, but you can’t wear it. I won’t let you.”

It’s like watching the wind whip into a funnel cloud, he thinks. Her back stiffens and she throws her shoulders back. Her breasts strain against the fabric, begging for attention. He knows too well how they fill his hands.

“You have incredible nerve telling me what to wear.”

Before she can fold her arms across her chest, Drew spins her around and presses her against the wall, pins her arms above her head with one hand. Andrea bucks against him, bares her teeth like a wild animal.

“I’m not taking off the dress.”

Dammit she’s hot when she’s pissed off. “You don’t have to.”

“Damn straight I don’t.”

Drew frees a hungry breast from its halter, kneads the hard nipple between his thumb and finger.

“I’ll take it off for you.” His lips curve in a smug smile when Andrea goes still. “If you wear this, I won’t be able to keep my hands off you. But you’ll have to change fast,” he says, as he pulls her dress up around her waist. His lips nibble on the soft skin below her ear, the spot he knows drives her crazy. “We don’t want to be late for the picnic.”

Andrea unties the halter, lets the dress slither to a puddle around her ankles. “What picnic?”

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Vessel of Ropav - Chapter 1

Today's muse:

As mentioned previously, I started writing this fantasy story, but have lost my vision, so it's shelved. But since I posted another excerpt, I thought maybe I could post what I've written so far and see how everyone feels. Who knows...maybe it will inspire me to finish.

And by the way...has anyone noticed the name of the Vessel?

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The Vessel of Ropav - Chapter 1

“The bidding will commence at £12,000.”

A low hum drifted through the crowd as everyone speculated on the value of what was, in essence, a nondescript piece. A small, clay chalice with rough etchings, shaped somewhat like a pear. It was ugly, really.

When the vase was delivered to the auction house, there was great skepticism among the staff. No one knew what this urn was or whether it had any value. Upon analysis, it was determined that it dated to at least the time of the pharaohs but no one could decipher the cryptic symbols. They appeared to be hieroglyphics, but no translation was completed. Oddly, the National Museum was not interested in acquiring it, insisting it had no historical value. The board of directors of the auction house finally agreed to sell it, confident someone would want to own it—even if it was nothing more than a decorative conversation piece.

The auctioneer repeated the starting bid, somewhat desperate when there was no reaction. “£12,000 for this...vase.” He struggled to name the ancient urn. “This piece was recovered from a pharaoh’s tomb.”

A paddle at the back of the room rose above the heads. The auctioneer, delighted that someone had at last bid, jabbed a finger at the man and shouted “£12,000! Do we have twelve-five?”

No one moved.

The old man at the back of the room inclined his head in acknowledgement and lowered his paddle. A dark wool coat hung across his thin shoulders, a black homburg perched on his thinning, gray hair. On his weathered face, angry red scars competed for attention with deep wrinkles. No one noticed the excitement dancing in his eyes.

For too many years, Ethan Chamberlain had chased this sacred piece across five continents. His quest had taken him to the most inhospitable countries, on decrepit ships that threatened to sink at any moment, and airplanes that defied science by remaining airborne. He had been hospitalized more times than he chose to remember, often surprising medical staff with his survival.

“Going once ... going twice ...”

An elegant woman, a sheet of auburn hair cascading down her back, raised her paddle in the air. Angered, Ethan raised his own before the auctioneer could acknowledge the woman’s bid. Several heads turned to stare, but he kept his eyes on the vessel. He had never come this close and he knew he never would again. He would not fail. Could not.

Worlds depended on it.

As the price was acknowledged, another paddle was raised. Then another. And yet another. The auctioneer was surprised, yet excited, at the interest shown in this otherwise unknown piece.

The value escalated quickly as bidders volleyed prices, each one vying for ownership of a relic they knew nothing about. Ethan sat back and watched. He would wait for the right moment.

A buzz rippled through the crowd as the price reached £500,000. An enormous woman in the second row raised her paddle. Sausage fingers clasped the handle as she waved it in the air, her arm undulating like a flag in the breeze. The auctioneer’s excitement was tangible and he bounced on the balls of his feet as he called for additional bids.

“Six. Do I hear six? £600,000 for this ...”

Enough! In the back row, Ethan’s hand rose high in the air.

“One million.”

Silence descended on the room like a heavy pall and every face turned to look at him, awed by this brazen breach of protocol.

“Well! I…” the large woman protested. Not that she was about to outbid the strange man—a million pounds for heaven’s sake!—but it was the principle of the thing.

Ethan Chamberlain continued to stare at the vessel, his face impassive, contrary to the joy that blazed within.

No one in the room knew the chalice was fashioned by gods. No one knew it would bring unspeakable power to the owner. No one knew how to fill it.

Except Ethan Chamberlain. He knew. He knew this and more.

When the auctioneer slammed his gavel, Ethan rose, ignoring the overt stares of those around him, as he hurried out of the room to make arrangements for payment.

And arrangements for the ceremony that would fill the Vessel of Ropav on the night of the new moon.