#Sunday-Romance Serial: “A New Life Together”

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash
  • Continuing with: Mila and Belken
  • Setting: Gritty fantasy, it’s getting less generic as I world-build but I still don’t have anything like place names
  • Length: 1,499 words
  • Key Tropes: established relationship, moving in together, horny because it’s been too long
  • Content Warnings: brief allusion to Belken’s earlier torture, depiction of his healing injuries
  • Explicit?: Yes

Belken was home when Mila returned after a morning of training, which surprised her. Despite the unspoken sense they were starting a new life together, as near to married as they might be without the ceremony, he had spent most of his waking time away from their new home. She told herself not to be angry, because he must have piles of work waiting for him, but she could admit to herself a certain disappointment. After they had been kept separate for so long after the rescue, she had hoped to spend more time together.

Even her disappointment was tempered by reality, though, for she had little time to spare herself. Petralla hadn’t been jesting when she promised to work Mila harder than ever before. They were only waiting for information, for a clue to tell them where and when to strike, before going after the Bone Traders.

She set that out of her mind as she stood in the doorway and watched Belken sleep. His pose looked as though he’d been sitting up, but gradually relaxed into slumber as he waited. He was not dressed for work, in one of his fine embroidered tunics, but for a day at home, in a simple shirt and soft trousers, with bare feet.

She wondered if she should wake him, because he must still be exhausted after his ordeal, and trying so hard to make up for it since. She didn’t know enough particulars of his business to properly imagine the disarray he fought against now, but she could see the toll it was taking on him. She sighed and went to the hearth to start a pot of tea brewing. While it steeped, she fetched a blanket and lay it over him.

That was enough–he opened his eyes. “Mila,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep, I’m sorry.”

“For what?” she asked lightly. “Taking a nap while I was training? No harm done.”

“No, I meant to make you lunch,” he explained as he rose. “I don’t mean to be gone so much. Not when we’re getting the chance to start again. Only–“

She stepped forward to embrace him, and his words cut off when his arms enfolded her. “I know, Bel. You still have your responsibilities, and I have mine. Neither of us expected this was how things would go, and if you weren’t ready to … to live with me,” she faltered.

He squeezed her hard, her ribs flexing under the pressure. “I am. Or at least, I want to be. This will need some adjustment, I know. But I’ve been sleeping so well, having you beside me every night. I didn’t realize what a difference it would make, knowing it was our bed, instead of yours or mine.” He relaxed his grip as he chuckled. “And it’s just a fine bed itself. I wouldn’t have expected that. Aren’t you all so hardy and fierce that sleeping in a soft bed is too much pampering?”

Mila laughed. “We’re not monks, Bel, we don’t thrive on hardship. It’s much wiser, don’t you think, to be well rested when we work? Whether that’s guard duty or treasure hunting or actual battle.”

His hands began to roam her back, his fingertips pressing the texture of the loose-woven cloth into her skin. “It’s wise to be well rested for play, too. I think I’m finally caught up on my sleep.”

“We can go out for lunch,”  she offered. “Later. Just let me strain the tea–I can keep it warm on the hearth, but I can’t save it if it oversteeps.”

That simple practicality could have been a mood killer for some, but Bel let her go without fretting.  When she was done, she found him in the bedroom, turning back the bed covers. The expression on his face when she caught his eye was open and devastating. “It’s been too long since I loved you,” he said.

“Yes, it has,” she replied. “Let’s fix that, shall we?”

They undressed each other slowly. Belken marveled over her skin, pressing his face to her, inhaling her scent. “Sometime you should come home dirty and sweaty from training,” he murmured. “I like that, too, you know.”

“Sometime,” she said, not quite a promise. They did have their own little bathing room, but the communal steam baths were such a lovely way to relax after hours of weapons practice or endurance training. “Remember, though, we’d have to change the sheets, too. You have no idea how muddy I can get.”

He allowed her to lift his shirt off, only wincing slightly at the movement. All laughter fled at the shadow of bruises on his ribs, where they must have kicked him hard and often. She sketched her fingers lightly around their edges, faint and fading but still visible. “We can wait,” she said.

He caught her hand and pressed it to his heart. “No, I can’t.”  After studying her expression, which must have betrayed her worry, his face softened, some of the intensity draining from it. “So be gentle with me.”

“How gentle?” She flexed her trapped fingers, scratching lightly at his chest with her nails.

He let out a long, shuddering breath. “So much that I think I’ll die from wanting more of you.”

He meant it lightly, if not jokingly, but a shiver passed through her anyway.  “I can do that,” she breathed, just before claiming his mouth in a kiss she strained to keep soft, in control, not as wild as she felt herself to be inside. He responded with a muted groan, almost a rumble, deep in his chest. When she pulled away, they finished undressing each other, and Mila’s heart cracked open a little further when she saw the ghosts of bruises on the outer flanks of his legs, as well. Very little of him had escaped hurt during his ordeal. Again, she wanted to draw back, to wait until he was more healed, but his member was hard, jutting tall from his body, and already leaking from excitement.

Bel needed this of her, and to be honest, she needed him, too. So she would be gentle, as he had asked. She nudged him toward the bed and he went, laying himself down carefully. She straddled him, arranging herself to glide along his length freely without taking him into her. He closed his eyes, pushed his head back into the pillow, and moaned.

It wasn’t long before he couldn’t stand to be only passive, though. When she didn’t change her speed or motion, he reached for her, hands smoothing over her shoulders, her breasts, her neck. “Is your plan to drive me mad a little first?”

She smiled down at him. “Yes. Is it working?”

“Yes. Can’t you feel it?”

“Well, I’d hate to make you spill all over yourself before I get what I want,” she teased, as she raised herself higher. With one hand she repositioned him so that she could sink slowly onto him, keeping her promise to be gentle even when she wanted to slam their bodies together like swords clashing in the training yard, fast and sharp. The slow slide of their bodies was sweet torment to her.

“What do you want?” he asked, his voice rough.

“I want to see stars, and feel like the only thing in the world touching me is you.”

He let out a sharp cry when she was seated fully on him, and she shifted at once, thinking she had put too much weight on him. “Bel?”

“No, don’t stop,” he panted. “It’s only, I want so badly to roll you over and take you hard, it’s maddening.”

“I know, love, I know.” She wanted the same thing, or even just to ride him hard like this, to feel him straining up into her. She started a slow grind against him. “I don’t think we’ll have to endure this long, though.”

“You’re close? Already?” Even mostly breathless, he sounded smug.

“Can’t you feel it?” she threw his words back at him.

“Oh, I can, and that’s maddening too.” He sat up awkwardly, propping himself on one hand as he wrapped the other arm around her waist, urging her to move faster. “Come apart on me, Mila. I’m the only one touching you, I’m the one filling you up, I’m the one whose name you’re going to scream when you break into pieces.”

He was thrusting now in time with his words, taking some of the control from her, defying his own edict to be gentle. She took him by the shoulders and pressed him back onto the bed, hiking up her knees and changing her angle until she felt pierced more fully, filled more completely. He was right–she did scream his name, while he only shouted roughly, wordlessly.

A loud, rhythmic pounding on the far wall of the bedroom startled them both. “Oh, hell,” Mila muttered. “I didn’t know we had neighbors.”

FIFTY-FIVE DAYS is Here!

Fifty-Five Days is now available!

All Digital Editions :: Paperback Edition


It was supposed to be a fling.

After events beyond her control upend the course of Amber’s career, she decides never to return to the band she helped found, Not My Best Day. She’s done with the rock-star life, the highs of performing weighed down by the lows of grueling schedules, endless travel, and the uncomfortable intimacy of living two feet from everyone else on the bus.

But when her replacement has to bail a week before the new tour starts, the band asks her to fill in temporarily. What else can she do? They’re still family.

Rob, as the other new member in their revamped lineup, is doing his best to fit in. His time with Not My Best Day has been defined as much by Amber’s absence as his presence. When she returns in their time of need, he sees what the others don’t-–how much it’s costing her to save them from disaster. When his supportiveness becomes attraction, and mutual attraction becomes a fling, Rob faces decisions he never expected. He may doubt their secret affair is good for the band, or even for himself, but he’s certain it’s what’s best for her.

But what becomes of them when the tour is over? Can they really go their separate ways like nothing ever happened?


I said I was going to release a book in 2020, and I made it!

I’m really proud of this one. In some ways, it ended up more personal than my previous novels (despite the fact that I am not and will never be a rock star) but I definitely think that makes it better, not worse, than what I’ve written before.

This is where I would usually share the first chapter as a sample, but with the structure of this story, the first chapter on its own is not all that representative of the book–I’d really need to post the first two, maybe even three, chapters, to get the ball rolling. Instead, because music is even more important to this story than it was my last series, I’m going to share the novel’s playlist, all the songs performed as covers by any of the main cast. (There are a few more mentioned than this, but they’re not story-relevant, they’re details.)

“The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley

“Cornflake Girl” – Tori Amos

“Dancing With Myself” – Billy Idol

“Not An Addict” – K’s Choice

“Curl Up and Die” – Relient K

“Santa Monica” – Everclear

If you can believe it, none of those songs are the ones I used in the first draft of the story–everything has been replaced at least once, sometimes twice, with songs I eventually decided were more appropriate for some reason. That’s what happens when it takes four years to get something from rough draft to published form!


Those of you who’ve been following me this year know what a struggle it’s been for me, so I’m glad I ended up with something to show for it. And not just this book–I do intend to make it a series, I’m still chugging along on the NaNoWriMo ’20 project that should end up being the sequel to this, following characters from this novel on their own romantic journey. I’ve got to at least finish that draft before I make any big plans for it, but if I can get back to my previous one-book-a-year publishing schedule, then that’s my goal for 2021.

Thank you to everyone for your support, and if bisexual rock-star contemporary romance isn’t your cup of tea so you’re not going to read the novel, would you consider mentioning it to a friend or three who might be interested? Independent authors survive on reviews and word-of-mouth, so anything you can do to spread the word is greatly appreciated!

#Sunday-Romance Serial: “I Want You to Want Me”

Photo by Alfred on Unsplash
  • Continuing With: Rita and Andy
  • Setting: contemporary American
  • Length: 1,471 words
  • Key Tropes: dating, new relationship, aggressive woman/passive man dynamic
  • Content Warnings: Nothing
  • Explicit?: Yes, very

Andy thought about taking his clothes off while Rita was out of the room, to surprise her–at least a little bit of a surprise–by being naked on her couch. But he was losing time to actually do it, while he was taking the time to talk himself into it. And he wanted her to want him so much she stripped him herself. It fit with the take-charge attitude she’d had all night, and how easily she’d accepted his change of heart.

She wanted him, no question.

When Andy’s heart rate climbed a few notches, he told himself it was excitement, anticipation, not fear, but underneath, in a place so deep he could barely admit it to himself, he was afraid. Afraid that even this was too much to want, afraid that he was too big and strong and awkward, afraid that his naked body on her couch was a ridiculous sight and not a sexy one.

But then she came back, and she smiled like he was a present under the tree on Christmas morning, and Andy knew, whatever was about to happen, it was all going to be fine. She crossed the room, straddled his lap again, and set the condom on the cushion beside them. Her weight on his legs, her body pressed tight against his where it counted, set some of those fears away while bringing his excitement to the surface.

“What do you want?” she whispered, her lips hovering over his, a temptation to kiss that he reveled in not taking.

His hangups were too complicated, too painful, to explain at length, but he still had an answer ready. “Tell me what to do.”

“You like being ordered around?” Her tone was sly, indulgent, not actually questioning. She liked that he liked it.

He nearly said it then, said he was tired of the pressure to know exactly what his partner wanted without being told, with being punished somehow for asking, and then always feeling like he was getting it wrong anyway. His sex life with other women had been like trying endless outfits on in a dressing room only to find not a single one of them fit right. But his frustration had no place here, with Rita, who felt different, who treated him better, who had given him no reason not to trust her.

So he decided to trust her more. “I think so,” he whispered back. “I’ve never gotten to really try it.”

She leaned back, and for a heartbeat Andy feared his confession had pushed her away. But she smiled again, sweetly. “Oh, honey, that’s a shame. We’ll go slow, okay? And if something feels wrong, anything at all, tell me, and we’ll try something else. Promise me.”

Andy licked his lips. “I promise.” Nothing felt wrong yet, not that gentle command, not her hands on his shoulders, her subtle musky scent in the air mingling with their cooling mugs of chocolate.

She stood up. “Take off my tights. Slowly.”

When he ran his hands up the back of her legs, he groaned, because she wasn’t wearing panties underneath. He found the waistband beneath her dress and tugged at it, carefully, because the last thing he wanted to do was put in a run in her tights with his big, clumsy fingers or their unfortunately sharp nails. When he slid his hands back down, he could feel the indentation in her skin where the seams had pressed into her flesh, and that brought an inexplicable tenderness to his movements. His hands no longer felt too big or rough on her body.

As soon as she stepped free of the garment, she took his shoulders in her hands again and pulled him up. He stood patiently as she stripped him of his shirt, followed her instructions when she told him to take off his jeans and socks. She left him his boxers, but smiled at his obvious arousal. After handing him a pillow from the couch, she pointed at the floor between it and the table. “Kneel down there.”

Andy immediately saw where this was going, or at least he hoped he did. He knelt.

Rita sat down on the couch and arranged herself around him, feet on the table, legs bent and arching over his shoulders. The hem of her dress covered her even in this pose, but Andy didn’t have to see her pussy to be excited about getting his mouth on it.  He was practically vibrating with the need to touch her, but he waited.

“I haven’t seen you yet,” Rita said, her tone thoughtful, “but I felt you. You’re big all over, aren’t you? If you want me to be able to ride you, you’ve got to get me ready.” She reached out to twine her fingers in his hair, and he tilted his head, pressing into her caress. “Make me wet, Andy. No hands, though, just your mouth. Put your hands on my hips and keep them there. I want the first part of you inside me to be that big heavy cock you have.”

Something living deep inside Andy’s brain exploded, almost like he had an orgasm without being touched, though the relief this sensation brought him had nothing to do with his body, and certainly not that big heavy cock, which only pulsed inside his boxers more urgently. No, this was something in his mind letting go, relaxing, giving in to Rita’s demands. He placed his hands where she told him to, and she drew him in with the grip on his hair while she moved her dress out of the way.

Nothing had ever tasted so good to him, not chocolate, not wine, not his favorite comfort foods or the fancy dinners he kept eating with those other women on their dates before going on to have sex that left him confused and frustrated. He dove into Rita like a cold pool on a hot day, eager for the relief it brought, not to his aching body, but to his mind, or maybe even his soul. In that moment, there was nothing else he needed to do and no one else he was expected to be. It was freeing in a way he’d never experienced before.

Over the years of trying to please women who didn’t seem to get him, he’d picked up plenty of tricks, and he used some of them on Rita, but some of them were forbidden inherently because he couldn’t move his hands. He squeezed her body in his grip as he licked and sucked and stroked, and her mix of moans and giggles and encouraging words, sprinkled with short commands, went straight to his head, spinning out a headspace were nothing else mattered but what he was doing to her, and what that was doing to him, and how natural it all felt.

He was so effortlessly focused that when she came, it was a surprise, one that started with a fierce rhythmic tugging on his hair, hard enough to skip past exciting into actually painful territory. He drew his mouth away. “Rita, please, that hurts,” he told her as he moved one hand to the one of hers on his scalp, alternately trying to pry it loose or press it flat against him, whichever would stop the pain.

It was when he saw her head tossing back and forth he realized what was happening. “Oh,” he said lamely. He hadn’t noticed the change in the sounds she was making, either, but he heard it now.

“Sorry,” she gasped. “Got carried away.” She let go of him and laughed softly.

He laid his cheek on her thigh and breathed in the scent of her, of what he’d done to her. “It’s okay.”

She laughed again, louder, longer. “I’ve never had somebody get so into going down on me that he didn’t actually notice my orgasm. I could get used to that.”

Andy waited a second to see if that joke hurt, but there was no sting. “Kind of a first for me, too.”

All at once, Rita was moving, her dress rustling, her body twisting. The sudden bout of energy after the lassitude of her post-orgasmic haze started Andy, but all he did was move slightly so her leg didn’t knock him in the head when she swung it around. “Alright,” she said. “Take those boxers off, lie down on the couch, and let me get a look at you.”

#Sunday-Romance Serial: “I Didn’t Mean Any of It”

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash
  • Continuing With: Mila and Belken
  • Setting: Gritty fantasy, it’s getting less generic as I world-build but I still don’t have anything like place names
  • Length: 1,470 words
  • Key Tropes: established relationship, reunion, homecoming
  • Content Warnings: for once in this story line, none that I can think of
  • Explicit?: No

It was three days before Mila was allowed to see Belken.When she woke from her long sleep after the rescue, she was starving for good food and company. She went to the mess, with faint hope Belken might be there. He wasn’t, so Mila didn’t linger, but ate quickly before asking a page where she could find him. There were several places a visitor to the compound might be housed, and where he was would tell me something about how Petralla viewed his situation, and how he was being treated.

But the boy looked puzzled. “I’m sorry, I don’t know who you mean.”

Ah. So our triumphant return was public, it had to be, but my lover’s rescue was a secret. She had a good idea where to look.

The Guild had no official jail, but in one building there was a secret. If one was high enough in the ranks, one learned the trick to open a section of paneling near the back exit and go down a hidden staircase to a small cluster of dry, dusty rooms long ago used as a smuggler’s storage, before the Guild had annexed the property during its expansion. Very few knew of it, and it was a convenient enough place to keep anyone whose presence need concealing.

Mila found Nicora there, standing outside one of the doors.

“Guard duty isn’t usually one of your tasks,” Mila observed.

Nicora’s tone was gentler than Mila expected. “I’m sympathetic to your situation, but I have orders not to allow anyone in other than Petralla, Evran, or Simmoon. I’d appreciate it if you accept that and leave.”

Drawing knives on Nicora was more trouble than Mila wanted to get into, no matter how much she wanted to see Belken. “I will, in a moment. May I ask how he is?” Because Simmoon was their best approximation of a doctor, in-Guild. They couldn’t afford the exorbitant fees to keep a properly licensed physician on staff, though they would pay for one to visit when the need was dire. The rest of the time, Simmoon patched everyone up as best she could.

“He’s not in any immediate danger,” Nicora answered. “I don’t know more detail than that, but whenever Simmoon comes to check on him, she seems at ease.”

“Thank you,” Mila said, and meant it.

She tried her best to go back to her old routines, her daily life. For three days, she slept and ate and bathed and went to the practice yard for weapons training. She repaired her armor, cleaned her gear, and replaced the small stock of items she had lost during her abduction. When she had to go into town to accomplish this, she took along an apprentice she hardly knew, someone not already known to be a friend, so that he was both her chaperone and her witness that she only did what she said she was doing.

This was her holding pattern between missions, but it chafed, knowing both that Belken was nearby, and that no missions for her were forthcoming. Not if she was a potential traitor.

On the fourth morning, she was summoned to Petralla’s office. Usually her desk was nearly bare, but the giant Guild ledger, the record of all their dealings, part diary of the commanders and part business account, lay closed in the center. Mila had never read it, not a single page.

“Sit down,” she ordered. “I’ve been over this ledger from back to front, through almost a hundred years of history, and I found two dozen specific pieces of information the Bone Traders could use to their advantage if they wanted to push us off the map,” Petralla stated. “And for the life of me, for the life of this very Guild, I can’t see how you would have known a single one of them, or why you would choose to aid our enemies. If you are a plant, you are the best I’ve ever seen. If you are a convert to their ways, a traitor, I can’t find a whisper of it. You should know that this incident will cloud the thinking of others about you for a long time, possibly to the end of your days. I can’t help that. But here, now, I want to make it unequivocally clear that I trust you. More than that, I am choosing to trust you.”

“Thank you,” Mila responded, her voice shaking.

“So you’ll go back to your regular duties. And we’ve spoken to your lover about living here, on the compound, where we can protect him. We don’t know that the Traders will seek his recapture, now that their plan is foiled, but it would be foolish to risk it. Which means we’ll need to move you out of the barracks. An apartment in Garden Hall would normally come with a promotion you haven’t earned yet, but I am making an exception for your odd circumstances, on one condition.”

Whatever it was, if it kept Belken safe, she would do it. “Which is?”

“They took you from us. They have undermined the trust I have in my people. These assaults upon us cannot go unanswered. You will be the arrow I shoot at the heart of the Bone Traders. I am going to work you harder than I have ever done. You will hunt them down, and you will kill them, until I am satisfied you have earned your new rank and privileges. I had not made you an assassin before, though I know you have killed in self-defense, and borne the cost of it well. So now I must know, can you harden your heart enough to kill in cold blood? Because this quiet war we wage on them will be the Guild’s revenge, but you must not let your own personal anger rule you. This is a hard thing to ask, but I believe it must be done.”

Mila didn’t hesitate. She rose from her seat, set her hand flat on the top of the Guild ledger and swore again the simple vow she had made upon her acceptance, as a girl barely out of childhood, so many years ago. “I pledge myself and all of strength I possess to the Guild. Whatever skills I acquire as I mature, I will offer in service.”

The lamp caught the suspicious gleam of tears in Petralla’s eyes. She nodded once. “The quartermaster will give you the keys to your new lodgings. Fetch your man and take him there.”

It was hard, but Mila managed not to sprint from the room. If there was a certain spring to her step and haste to her stride as she headed for the quartermaster’s office, no one remarked on it. She accepted the ring with two keys on it, and also the wink the older man gave her. She headed for the building above the secret underground chambers, but changed direction when a voice called out to her. She had to pass the gardens, and thus Garden Hall, to get there, but Evran stood outside the main entrance with Belken beside him. But she held her decorum and didn’t race to embrace him, as much as she wanted to. She endured the polite small talk that surrounded their meeting, even though on one level it felt more like the transfer of a prisoner. Would Belken agree to this? Would living here interfere with his business too much, could he accept the change or would he leave the Guild’s protection?

Would he leave her?

She followed him up the stairs and down a hallway as he checked each door for the number Evran had told them. When he found it, she passed him a key. “I didn’t mean any of it,” he said suddenly.

“What?”

“Our last fight, before. We never quite made up from it, did we? I don’t even remember what it was about, now, so I can’t still be angry. I must not have really meant it.” He turned to face her. The bruises on his cheek, around his eye, were fading to a hideous yellow-brown. “I wanted to make sure I said that, that we go forward with a clean slate.”

Then she did embrace him, gently, because she didn’t know the extent of his injuries. “Completely clean,” she agreed, then made it more formal. “I’m choosing to trust you, and to love you.” She pulled back, grinned at him. “Once we walk through that door, no wondering, no suspicion.”

He leaned forward to rest his brow against hers. “Let’s go see what they’ve given us, shall we? I’m only sorry I’m too hurt to make love to you properly in our new bed. That may still have to wait a few days.”

Mila kissed his unmarked cheek. “I look forward to it.” 

#Sunday-Romance Serial: “Under the Blanket”

Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash
  • Continuing With: Naomi and Joanna
  • Setting: Contemporary, no specifics
  • Length: 1,318 words
  • Key Tropes: established relationship
  • Content Warnings: should I tag sex toys here? Or are we all comfortable with sex toys?
  • Explicit?: Yes

Joanna peered at Naomi in the morning dimness. “Do you mean that in a sleepy way, or a sexy one?”

“I hadn’t thought ahead that far,” Naomi admitted. “I was just being cute.”

“I do love your cuteness.” Joanna giggled. “I also love licking you like an ice cream cone.”

“Oh,” Naomi breathed softly in surprise. “If you’re offering…”

Joanna’s head disappeared under the edge of the blanket and there was a great deal of shuffling, which somehow involved tickling, and by the time Jo had Naomi’s fuzzy pajama pants pulled off, they were both shrieking with laughter.

Naomi couldn’t remember ever laughing in bed with any of her previous lovers, man or woman. If you got right down to the deepest reason she had fallen in love with Joanna and married her, when no one else had ever made her think of wedding bells, it was because Jo could always make her laugh, no matter the mood, no matter the setting.

Sometimes that got them into trouble when Jo was whispering inappropriate jokes to her in public places, but in private, in bed, no one was there to judge them for their sex involving as much laughter as passion, and loud shrieking for more than one reason.

Joanna’s hands were much warmer than Naomi’s, but not warmer than her inner thighs, so there was some squirming happening when Jo tried to get started. She said something, but it was too low and muffled by the blankets for Naomi to figure out. She got the message when Jo slapped the side of her ass, and spread her legs to give her wife room.

She loved the way Jo teased her, scraping her thighs lightly, blowing a thin stream of cool air over her heated flesh, not touching her in the ways she was suddenly craving most. If this went on too long, she’d end up cursing a blue streak, or even begging for something more substantial, but at the beginning, when she was still laughing and excited, the gentle torment of waiting was just as good as the main event.

She lifted her arms and wrapped her hands around the top of the headboard, because that very first night together, which seemed simultaneously forever ago and just yesterday, she had discovered Joanna hated having her hair pulled or her head directed while she was giving oral. It went against Naomi’s instincts not to touch her, not to give her that feedback, but sometimes that made it hotter, to have to stop herself from doing something she wanted. She was only recently exploring what that penchant for denial did to her, something she hadn’t known about herself before falling into bed with Jo. But this slow, lazy morning, barricaded against the winter cold, she didn’t want to wait too long. “More,” she said, making it enough of a command that she wasn’t sure how Joanna would react. She might give Naomi what she wanted, or she might not, not yet.

The first slow lick startled another shriek out of her, but she relaxed quickly into the rhythm of the tongue and lips against her, and soon she was rocking her hips in time. She was already close when Joanna stopped, a pattern they had fallen into, because Joanna usually paused in the middle of things to check in and find out what Naomi wanted next. Seconds later, Jo swept the blankets back, gulped in a huge breath of air, and grinned at Naomi’s renewed shrieking from the wave of cold air. “So do you want to finish on a dildo or my fingers?”

The avid look in her eyes was something Naomi wanted to surrender to. “You pick.”

The grin got wider and took on a deliciously wicked tinge. “Oh, honey, you are going to come so hard.”

Naomi pulled the blankets back over her but lay still as Joanna climbed out of bed and went to their stash of toys in the closet. She returned with a slightly curved dildo with a suction cup on the base. She went to the wall on her side of the bed, which was only a few feet away. Naomi perked up–this was new. They’d only used it in the shower before. “Will it work on the wall?” she asked.

“Let’s find out.” She glanced at the height of the bed, positioned the toy, then looked again and moved it a little lower. Once she had it attached, she tugged on it a few times to test the seal. “I think so. Now get over here and fuck yourself on it for me.”

Despite the rough command, Joanna was gentle with her, helping her get positioned and slide on. When her butt and thighs touched the cold wall, she shivered. She still had her pajama shirt on, but Jo was already unbuttoning it to play with her breasts. “That’s perfect,” she purred. “Now go slow, while I get undressed. Really slow, as slow as you can.”

Naomi set her hands on the edge of the mattress and worked herself against the toy, which dragged through her swollen folds and set off a needy ache in her to go faster, to pump harder. She concentrated instead on watching her wife peel off her own pajamas, going instantly from a cozy body for cuddling to a sexy body for touching, licking, worshiping. A brief shiver ran through Joanna, but she spread herself out on the bed facing Naomi, spreading her legs. “You know what I want, honey. Keep going slow, because you don’t get to come until I do.”

If that wasn’t the hottest thing Naomi had ever heard in her life, it certainly felt like it in the moment. She pressed her face to her wife’s pussy, desire and enthusiasm briefly triumphing over skill. There was nothing she wanted more than to taste Joanna, to drive her mad, to make her cry out in ecstasy. And all while she slowly rode the toy on the wall, a constant source of distraction and pleasure. Her clit ached for direct stimulation, but if she touched it, she would come too soon.

She resisted until Joanna leaned her head back, no longer watching her. With one hand, she drove two fingers into her wife’s quivering folds, and with the other, she furiously rubbed herself, trying to make up for the maddeningly slow pace she still maintained with her own body. Trying to do so many things at once nearly broke her, and tears started to leak from the outer corners of her eyes. She moaned against Joanna’s mound, curling her fingers upward, trying to speed Jo’s release so she could have her own.

She knew she’d won when Joanna’s hands went to her own breasts. Jo loved nipple play, and since Naomi’s hands weren’t free, she had no problem doing it herself. She pinched and pulled and tweaked and twisted. “Fuck, Naomi, do it. I’m coming, I’m coming.”

And she was, a rush of moisture meeting Naomi’s tongue, coating her hand. She kept stroking her fingers inside until the squeezing muscles made it too hard to keep doing, and she withdrew. “Can I go faster now?” she asked, her voice needy, almost pitiful.

Joanna lifted her head. “No,” she said clearly.

Naomi whined. “I need something more,” she explained.

“Okay.” While Naomi was surprised by this quick agreement, Joanna untangled herself from the bedclothes and Naomi’s reaching arms, going back to the closet and reappearing with a small vibrator. “This should do.”

When she turned it on and pressed it against Naomi’s clit, the reaction was instantaneous. Naomi saw stars and felt her knees buckling, but Jo caught her before she fell too far forward.

Not before the sudden motion broke the suction holding the dildo to the wall, though. The rough, urgent sounds of her orgasm morphed into laughter, and Joanna looked bewildered, until she looked past Naomi’s butt and saw what was missing. “Oh, wow. Good thing there wasn’t a person attached to that dick, right?”

My Serial Fiction Returns: #sunday-romance

Photo by Jiroe on Unsplash

For the last month, I’ve been participating in a new romance-centered writing event on Tumblr: Sunday Romance.

We get a prompt, we write a short piece responding to it, we get reblogged for participating and nice comments from other writers/readers. There’s a tag for “clean” fics and a tag for smut. It’s fantastic and I’ve enjoyed participating.

But I hadn’t talked about it here yet because it was new, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with it (though there’s no harm in missing a week or being late with a prompt or anything, we’re all just having fun and building a romance-writing community within the larger writeblr umbrella.)

Over the four prompts so far, I’ve written about three new couples–I went back to my first one for the third prompt. Which officially makes it a serial! I don’t know how many series-in-progress I’ll end up with as the weeks roll on, and let’s be honest, none of them may ever end properly, as I made sure to do with “Grace and the Greek Warrior,” way back in 2015 when I was writing flash fiction and prompt responses far more often in an effort to bolster my creativity and develop my style.

So embarking on any given journey is taking a risk that it will never go anywhere, fair warning. But I’ve gotten a good response to each of them, and I thought it would be helpful for me to collect them here, and fun for you to read them. I’m enjoying writing short-form fiction again, even if they’re not true “short stories” like I used to write in high school and college; it’s fun to focus on one scene without much in the way of expectations, without the pressure of “how does this fit into a novel-sized plot,” without knowing ahead of time where it’s going to go.

As each ficlet will need its own post for organization’s sake, expect a spree of extra posts this week to get this project up and running. After that, ideally I’ll add a weekly post on Sunday afternoon for the piece I wrote that morning; if I’m short on time for whatever reason, some weeks I’m sure I’ll squeeze it in on Tuesday instead.

Stay tuned for the first entry this afternoon!

Checking In on #rockstarnovel, #1

 

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I made my first (self-enforced) deadline!

As of yesterday, I have 12K worth of notes taken on #rockstarnovel, broken down into general stuff and chapter-specific, plus a transitional first-to-second draft outline, showing how many chapters are switching POVs (ten,) how many are getting cut (seven,) and how many I have to write new (five, so far.)

I also have a 55-day, 44-show tour schedule in a text file, cobbled together from five different actual tours across the continental United States from five artists across several decades. No, I’m not worrying about the actual venues (some of which might not even exist anymore) but I did want to use real-world resources for dates and cities and thus, actual travel times. I strung together logical pieces based on location, but didn’t mind the weird spots too much because this band’s tour was put together close to the last minute and so can be a little scattershot, based on what venues were even available on those nights. (Also, in researching the existing tours, a lot of their dates and jumps between cities don’t make “sense” for efficiency, so it’s not like I don’t have a realistic basis for the occasional weirdness in the schedule. One band took a two day break to travel from Louisville, KY to freaking Toronto, in Canada, then had another two-day break to get to Newark, NJ. That happened, it’s real, but like, you didn’t stop over in Detroit or Cleveland or something on the way up, or anywhere in New York State on your way over to New Jersey? Probably because there were no venues available.)

So the prep work for the second draft is done, on time. As for how long I expect the rewrite to take…hard to say for sure? A lot of the notes I have for individual chapters amount to “this is basically fine story-wise but needs a few details changed for consistency.” So there are chunks that hardly need work at all. But I’ve got those ten chapters that are getting rewritten from a different POV character, and at least five new ones to write, and honestly speaking I’ve never taken less than two months to finish a draft of any full novel at any stage except line-editing.

I’ll be generous with myself and say I need to have this draft finished by the end of March. That’s two and a half months, starting today. But I’ll check in at the end of February to reassess my progress. See you then!

Camp NaNoWriMo April ’18 Progress Report #4

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I wrote 7,269 words today. Not the most I’ve ever written in a single day–I think that still goes to an 11K+ plus day during the What We Need to Decide NaNo–but definitely the most I’ve ever done on the last day to catch up, because I’ve never let myself fall this far behind before.

In graph form, those 12 zero-count days I had just mock me.

I could blame a busy schedule. I could blame exercise–this month I told myself I wouldn’t prioritize writing over my health, so if I only had half an hour free and hadn’t worked out that day, guess what, get out the yoga mat or the running shoes.

(Since I was off the day job, I both ran and did my usual afternoon yoga. I didn’t, however, get the groceries. I’m not sure yet what’s for dinner.)

But really, I can only blame myself for almost not making it, because I didn’t budget my time better. Yes, I had a lot on my plate, but so what? Time to write isn’t just going to make itself.

The full end-of-the-month report will be up on Wednesday, because hell if I was putting one up today instead of WINNING CAMP NANO.

My major goal for May will be finishing this draft, I can tell you that much. It’s a romance, and my pair haven’t even kissed yet!

Camp NaNoWriMo April ’18 Progress Report #3

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Look at me working hard and not quite managing to catch up! Still 5K behind as of yesterday, but I WILL MAKE MY GOAL.

Honestly, it’s not lack of motivation or ideas that’s holding me back right now, it’s quite literally time. I don’t have as much time to put in as I’d like, and that’s even with me barely reading at all (I might only have one book review to post Friday? What?)

But I’m loving my characters and I’m digging my worldbuilding; I just love working with and almost real world, and changing things here and there to suit my needs.

This draft is going to be a hot mess to edit, and at 35K I still feel like I’ve just barely started, but I’m having a blast now that I’m finally rolling.

Keep writing, my lovelies, whether or not you’re doing Camp NaNo. Get those words in your head down on the page!

Camp NaNo April ’18 Progress Report #2

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So, hey, campers, I’m still about 5K behind! I made great progress over the weekend, only to get stuck again (relatively speaking) yesterday and today. This blog post is, in fact, late because I didn’t want to report two days of nothing, so I wrote all afternoon.

I can still catch up. There is still time.

My two lady-loves are currently eating Japanese food and trading some serious are-they-flirting-or-not banter; even though I just hit 25K, I’m still early in the story, undoubtedly because I’ve frontloaded it with detail that will get cut/moved somewhere down the line.

But a first draft is the author telling herself the story, right? I’ll iron out the kinks in the second draft!