Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Many Splintered Thing / Day 19: She wanted him to reach for her. She wanted it badly. But he didn’t and she smiled in the dark.

Curious to see what my constant readers think of this...


She stood there, it felt as if her mouth was sealed shut. Her voice dead in her throat, but her heart—oh, her heart—was very much alive.

She blinked in the gloom, trying to make out the shape of him in the bed. He sat up and that helped.


“I’m trying to decide,” she said.

He laughed.

“Shut up,” she said, but there was no real heat in her voice. The rebuttal was more to give him a take on her mood. What was going on inside her. It was only fair, after all. She was standing in his room in and old football jersey and nothing else.

She was infringing on his territory though it had been her house, just hers, for over a year.

“I’ll shut up but you need to come here. You’re freaking out the dog.”

The dog got up when she was mentioned and walked into the bathroom. Dahlia watched her shadow move. Then she heard Alice flop down on the tile and sigh.

She almost laughed. Almost.

He didn’t prompt her again. He didn’t say a word. But he didn’t lie down either. She could see him there, sitting up, his torso blocking out some of the light that barely managed to sneak in from the outside. She heard the wind again and shivered.

“I thought—“ She bit her tongue. That sentence had no ending. She had no idea what to say. She knew why she was here. So did he. Did she really have to invent something?

“I’m sure you think a lot. You’re one of the sharpest women I’ve ever met,” he said, finally.

“You just met me!” she snapped. But she took a step toward the bed.

“I don’t take long to assess people,” he said. “Comes from being a cop’s kid.” There was a long pause where she heard the tick of the hallway clock marking time. “Comes from being a punching bag, too.”

“About that,” she said, seizing the lifeline. She took another step toward him and then said simply, “We have a few things in common.”

“I had a feeling. But I’m not asking you shit. I was out of line. I should never have asked in the first place.”

Another step. Her knees were about six inches from his mattress and she could make out the sharper edges and softer valleys of his face illuminated by the meager light.

“It’s okay.”

“It’s not. You tell me what you want when you want. Period. And if that means you never tell me, then you never tell me.”

She wanted him to reach for her. She wanted it badly. But he didn’t and she smiled in the dark. It would be easy to read it as a rebuke but she recognized it for what it was. Caleb putting it all in her hands. It was all up to her. If something happened or nothing happened it would all be based on what she wanted.

She was in control.

He respected the scars. He respected her exit from the kitchen earlier.

He respected her.

Something in her chest seemed to swell and warm and lift. She moved forward fast now. The doubt had fled and as soon as she was in motion, as soon as he could see her coming toward him with intent, he raised his hand and reached for her.

She caught his hand even as he turned it to grip her wrist. He pulled her forward and she felt like she was flying. It was a short burst of speed and then his other arm came up to catch her. He fell to his back her on top, but his hands were in her hair, tangled in it, tugging it, holding it tight so that they were locked in the kiss that started the moment she was close enough for their lips to touch.

He cupped the back of her head, then, holding the other arm around her waist and kissed her so hard she had trouble taking a deep breath. His cock was firm beneath her and she wriggled against him, feeling the pressure and the friction on her clit. The sensation slammed right through the center of her and she regretted the hours she wasted lying in bed thinking.

She straddled him, sat up and looked down at him. Dahlia could barely make him out but she could feel Caleb looking back.

“I wish you hadn’t pulled the blackout blind,” she said. “I feel like we’re two blind people about to fuck.”

He reached his arm up, his much longer than hers she thought randomly, and pushed back to grasp the end of the blind. It dipped before snapping back and shooting upwards. It finally coming to rest at half-mast. Lights from the property lit the room. Everything was painted in grays and blues and 

He was gorgeous. And when he smiled at her she had the feeling he was thinking the same of her.

She wriggled again and they both groaned. He reached for her and she caught his hand. She pushed it back and pulled the jersey over her head. She tossed it on the floor and then found his hand again. Dahlia placed it above her breast where the scars lived. She ran his fingertips along the raised places before ending the motion by filling his palm with her breast.

He thrust up from beneath her and she felt him against her sex again, hard and ready. He tugged at the ends of her hair to pull her down for another kiss and she paused, not letting him. Then she simply said, “Caleb, please.”

He’d understand or he wouldn’t. It was as simple as that.

He stilled and then just as she felt her heart fall, disappointed that he didn’t understand, he took her hips in his hands. Then they were in motion. She went from astride his big body to under him. He kissed her again, a single hand resting across her throat. Trapping the pound and bang of her pulse beneath his cupped palm. Trapping it so that it sounded in her ears like war drums. He released it only when she nipped the tip of his tongue with her teeth. His hand slipped along her body, exploring. He circled each breast, pinched each nipple, dragged a single fingertip down her belly, pausing to stroke her navel. He moved lower, sliding his fingers along each hipbone and over her lower belly. He parted her nether lips, all the while kissing her shoulders and close to her breasts, but never, Dear Jesus, never sucking a nipple or even licking it. When he finally rubbed his thumb over her pounding clit, her mind shut down. When he finally closed his hot mouth over her nipple, she felt her body shudder.

He slid a finger deep inside her, curving it so that it hit all the tender, sensitive places she needed. He rubbed her clit with his thumb, adding a second finger to the first inside her. His teeth clamped down on her nipple and he tugged.

Her entire body flooded with endorphins and fire. Everything felt alive. From her toes to the roots of her hair. Had white light shot out her fingertips she wouldn’t have questioned it. She was lit up from the inside. She was moaning—she heard it now—and then he kissed her, his fingers thrusting deep, curling, moving and she was coming.

Harder than she had in a long time. Harder than she’d anticipated because it shook her right down to her never endings.

Dahlia turned in his arms, moving her body against his. She reached for his boxers. She whispered in is ear. “I didn’t bring a condom. Do you have one? I—“

“We won’t need it,” he said. “We’re good.”

“I don’t fuck a new partner without—“

“I mean,” he said, kissing her very softly. “We’re done. I can’t. Probably the whiskey.”

He was lying. She knew he was lying. She reached out and dragged her fingertip along the hard ridge of his cock. “Oh yeah?”

He wrapped his arm around her. “Stay with me, Dahlia. Let’s sleep.”

She opened her mouth. Closed it. She had no idea what to say. Or what to do.

photo credit: Miss Cartier via photopin cc

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Many Splintered Thing / Day 18: “Don’t, don’t, don’t do this, Dahlia...”

I made it! Crazy day. Slept too late, coffee (chug), shake (chug), workout, bank, hobby shop, errands for girl child's belated tiny birthday party. And then finally home to try and eke out a few words. Those words are below. Now I'm going to sit here for a few minutes, stare blankly at the wall, before trying to figure out dinner for later.





She laid there long enough to grow sober again. And awake. Very awake. There was a wind blowing around the house that sounded as at-odds with itself as she felt. It wouldn’t storm. She could tell. But the implication that it might brought back memories of months she’s spent on the east coast where a sudden wind in August could mean violent thunderstorms.

Dahlia rolled to her side and faced the door. A sliver of light showed beneath the door and she realized how very bizarre it felt to have another human in the house with her. It had been months and months since anyone had been here at the house. It had been one of the auxiliary maids who’d needed a place to stay while her apartment was fumigated. She’d only been here for two days.

How long would Caleb be here?

She rolled to her back again. Face tilted toward the ceiling. The wind tossed the bushes outside her window triggering the sensor-controlled light. Shadows danced across her wall and she shut her eyes tight trying very hard to fall asleep.

But it wasn’t working. It was late and she was sober and that sucked.

The light went off and then she heard the squeaky door two doors down from her room. There were five other rooms for him to choose from but that particular room felt the most masculine. She wasn’t surprised he’d chosen it. Dahlia felt her heart pick up knowing he was so close.

“Could be worse. He could be right next door,” she said.

She rolled toward the opposite wall. “Turn regularly to ensure even wear and tear,” she said, and snorted. “And now you’re talking to yourself.”

She shut her eyes, trying to calm her heart, trying to shut up her mind, but it was impossible. Her pulse beat heavy in her face, her neck and lower. Desire curled in her belly and she considered, briefly, finding her vibrator and just taking care of business.

Dahlia sat up, pressed her hands to her face, and listened to the scratching dance of the bougainvillea outside her window. Harrison’s beloved flowers. No one knew why he loved them so much. They were amused that he did. Well, the staff was. Jasmine, not so much.

She groaned and sat up, her feet hit the pale woven rug by the side of her bed. She bunched and released her toes trying desperately to release tension from her body. She did the same to her calves and then her thighs. That was a mistake. The tense and release method she’d employed for a long time when it came to anxiety bit her on the ass when it traveled straight to her pussy.

Bit her on the ass but didn’t surprise her in the least. She’d gone to bed because she’d been sitting there thinking about shoving her hands into his short dark hair and kissing him. Thinking about pushing him back in that stupid kitchen chair and unbuttoning his pants and crawling into his lap.

She ran her hands through her hair. It was loose around her shoulders now. Wavy from the braids. She twisted it up, wound it into a bun and then released it. It whipped wickedly around and then fanned out around her shoulders again. The kiss of soft hairs on her skin only heightened her arousal.

“Don’t do this,” she said. She gripped the bed sheets in her hands and squeezed. “Don’t, don’t, don’t do this, Dahlia,” she said.

But she stood as she said it.

Her head pounded with pressure, her heart flip-flopped insanely making her feel shaky and she trailed her fingertips down the three raise scars on her chest. They’d once marked her as a victim, she now considered that they marked her as a survivor. A victor, even.

She’d spent years hiding them. But once she was emancipated by the state, she didn’t bother any more. She was stronger than what tried to hurt her—what might have even killed her—she deserved to show that off.

She gripped the rug in her toes again as if it could root her to her spot. Instead it only amplified her need. It had been about six months since she’d gotten laid. She only slept with men who aroused her on every level. And this man did.

The fact that Jas was trying to set him up as her boy toy in the guest house only made it more insane. The fact that she felt powerless to deny herself at least the chance at him made it ridiculous. But she found herself walking slowly to her bedroom door.

“Don’t,” she said. And then she opened the door.

She told herself she had a ton of time to talk herself out of it. More time than she would have if he’d chosen the room right next door to hers. He’d done her a favor, actually. He’d given her a whole twenty more paces to talk herself out of it.

She passed the door of the room next to hers and whispered, “Okay, good time to turn around.”

The window at the end of the hall showed the shrubbery whipping in the wind. She held her breath 
and watched it—the play of light and shadow. And then she kept walking.

Outside his door she stood there, staring. Her stomach dropping like she’d taken a ride on a questionable elevator. She could open the door and find him sleeping.

Then I’d leave.

She knew it was a lie. Then she’s wake him.

Or she could open the door and be rejected.

Wouldn’t happen. Remember that kiss? Remember his eyes on you?

She could open the door and change her mind.

Nope. The fact that I’m standing here with my heart pounding proves my mindset.

“Stop,” she said. And then she turned the knob. If he was welcoming of her, he’d forgive her for not knocking. If he sent her packing, it didn’t matter anyway.

She pushed the door wide and stood there, letting her eyes adjust to the light –or more, to the absence of light. He’d pulled the blackout shade down on his window but for the last three inches. It was the only light in the room but for an ambient glow from the automatic nightlight in the adjoining bathroom.

She stood there longer, feeling a bit panicky, trying to tame the bird-beating-its-wings sensation in her chest. She inhaled deeply and held her breath for a few seconds before exhaling as silently as she could.

Then she startled when he said, “Are you coming in, Dahlia, or are you just going to stand there?”

photo credit: KendraMillerPhotography via photopin cc

Guest Post: Alison Tyler and Those Boys (yay!)

So, the man was super nice and got up and did all the things himself, though it's hard for him to do that, and let me sleep. And now...I am panicking! I think my days of being a late-ass sleeper inner are gone, baby, gone. Sad face ~~~~> :(

So here I am late, late, late for posting Alison Tyler's guest blog about her new book Those Boys. Better late than never, though, right? At least that's what they tell me.

p.s. check back later. I'm hoping to post some of AMST. Fingers crossed.


The Long and the Short of It
By Alison Tyler

I play with words.

Assign me a 50-word story, and I will edit and hone and peel away until I’m satisfied.

Give me 85,000, and I will come in at one under.

See how I was getting a little nervous as I edged toward the max word count? I’d add. I’d cut. My edits were a dance on a thin wire—always pushing my balancing capabilities without going over. (I write without a net.)

I can’t remember my first novella. In fact, I don’t even know what officially “makes” a novella. I’ve written five for Harlequin, one for Avon Red and two for Go Deeper. I’ve penned longer short stories—like “Junking” in Liaisons and “The Game” in Blue Sky Sideways. But publishers offer different definitions of the novella length—one of my earliest publishers considered a novel to be 55K. Recently, I read guidelines for a publisher who considers that to be novella.

“Those Boys” is a 10-k stand alone. The story told me when to start and when to end. This is a snippet of life with Sandy, Vanessa, and Rem—what happened at the beginning of their ménage. Right now, I am working on a novel about Sandy. For this part of the story, I need more words. This is no quick dip in a hot tub. This is a swim in an Olympic-length pool—deep turquoise water, ripples of silver.

I hope that readers will take a ride with my characters for the long—and the short—of their journey.


Alison Tyler is the author of Giving In, Tied Up & Twisted, A Taste of Chi, The Perfect Girl, and Cuffing Kate (all novellas for Harlequin), It’s Not the Weather (Avon Red—as part of Bedding Down), and Those Boys and Those Girls (Go Deeper Press). Visit her at alisontyler.blogspot.com for longer posts and follow her on twitter.com/alisontyler for the short of it.

Buy Those Boys HERE and at your other favorite online retailers.
Check out more from Alison Tyler HERE.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Many Splintered Thing / Day 17: “Maybe, one day, I’ll tell you about it. If you earn it.”

Welp, things are getting tricksy, tricksy, my friends. So,  you know the drill. If you notice anything that doesn't jibe as we go along, let me know. I don't feel bad about it anymore. Even George R.R. Martin has his magical online dude who keeps track of stuff like eye color, back history etc. Man, that's the life. Someone to keep the continuity. ;)

Maybe one day when I'm rich and famous.

In the meantime, here's today bit of AMST. I didn't think you'd get it today. I fully intended to take the day off. But then Caleb started shooting his mouth off and well, you know how ignoring them when they start doing that works...it doesn't. Happy weekend!


He told himself he wouldn’t ask. Would. Not. Ask.

But things like that become a blur when you’re working your way through a bottle of amber liquid that stings like a pissed off jellyfish as it goes down.

He distracted himself by asking other questions. “What’s your last name?”

“Richardson. Yours?”

“King,” he said.

“Any relation?” she asked.

His eyes were fixed on her painted toes. It surprised him that they were painted a delicate petal pink. He’d expected gunmetal gray or maybe a kick-ass navy blue. Even a red so red it was almost black. But the pink was unexpected.

“To…who? Or is it whom?” Caleb laughed.

“Ask me tomorrow when I’m not drunk,” she said.

“Stephen? Larry? Fred who worked the bait shop where I lived? The answer to all of them is no. No relation.”

She nodded and picked at a hole in the thigh of her jeans. “Got it.”

His mind scrambled for another question because his gaze kept returning, as if magnetized, to those scars. He couldn’t ask her about the scars. Nope. So…

“What’s the story with you and Jas?”

She let her head fall back and he watched her braids disappear behind her shoulders. He also studied the long elegant expanse of her neck and his eyes found the place where her pulse jumped. He felt warm all over, especially his face, and it had nothing to do with the booze. It had everything to do with being in such close proximity to her.

She blew out a breath and stretched. When she stretched it did amazing things for her breasts. And he saw how long her legs actually were. The thought of crawling across the floor and putting his head in her lap ambushed him and, when he realized that was the extent of it, nothing sexual—just putting his head in her lap and staying there like that. Calm. Then, it scared the shit out of him.

“I shouldn’t answer that,” she said, laughing.

“I thought we were getting drunk and getting to know one another,’ he said. “I’d sing that song but I don’t know much of it.”

She looked at him, cocked her head. “What song?”

“Getting to know you…getting to know all about you…” Caleb threw his arm up, really laying it on.

“You’re either drunk or you’re trying to amuse me.”

“I think the answer is yes. Now, tell me. I’m dying to know. How do you know Jas?”

“My family’s servitude goes back a long way.”

His mouth snapped shut. Had he hit a nerve?

“You don’t have to—“

She put her hand up to stop him. “It’s fine. My mother worked for her mother. I was around during the summers when school was out. Her mom gave me work sometimes, slipped me money where my mom wouldn’t see.”

“Why where she wouldn’t see?”  He asked. When her face grew cloudy he regretted it. He blamed the whiskey. If he’d been sober he’d have read the signs and not asked.

But he was very interested to note he actually wanted to know. A rare thing for Caleb.

“Because if she’d have seen it, she’d have taken it. But Jas’s mom, Miss Barbara, she was smart enough to get me alone and give it to me.”

He nodded. He’d only met Jasmine’s mom once before she died. It had been at some froofy wine event back east. He’d never been to their house in California. He blamed her father’s asshole-status on the death of Jasmine’s mom.

“Anyway, my mom, moved…” she paused as if deciding whether or not to go on. Finally, she did. “I was emancipated at seventeen and a half and I worked for Miss Barbara until she died. Then Jas asked me if I’d like to come here when her dad…married her off.”

“And see,” he said, trying to lighten the mood. “I read it totally wrong. I read it as maybe once you two had…” He made a flourish with his hand.

She winked at him. “Only if you count that one afternoon out on her property by the man-made lake. If you count that, then yeah. But we were young and just messing around.”

His tongue became sealed to the roof of his mouth. He usually maintained his cool but Caleb had no cool when it came to the thought of this creature kissing Jasmine. It would be like watching oil and water swirl together in the sun to create a rainbow. Like oil on asphalt after a storm. Dark and light and color all mixed together.

“Dear Christ, tell me.”

She laughed. It wasn’t one of her short laughs. It was a genuine, belly laugh and he thought it did magical things to her face and her body and his soul.

“Maybe one day. That’s for over a bottle of wine perhaps.”

“We’re a couple now. You have to tell me.” He grinned.

“One day, one day…” She finished off her drink.

“If you’re not going to tell me that,” he started, nudging her with his foot. She looked surprised at him touching her, but then amused. “At least tell me what did that to you.” He nodded to the scars.

Her face went from amused to rigid. Her demeanor shifted from relaxed to on guard. It was as palpable as the air growing charged before a lightning strike. He regretted the question and its off-the-cuff nature as soon as he said it and quickly tried to back pedal. Another thing Caleb King wasn’t used to doing.

“Never mind. I retract that,” he said, moving his foot, sitting up straight.

He was unaccustomed to being so careful around someone. If you didn’t like him, fuck you. But not now. Not her.

She took a deep breath, visibly calming herself. “A monster did this to me,” she said simply. “Maybe, one day, I’ll tell you about it. If you earn it.”

Then she stood up, tipped the remainder of the whiskey into his glass, put the bottle in the sink and said, “Goodnight, Caleb. I know it’s early, I haven’t gone to bed at nine o’clock since I was a kid. But I’m drunk and I’m tired.”

And she left.

He looked at Alice. “I’ve done it again. I’m a master at this pissing people off shit.”

Then he took his glass and his dog and stepped outside. Somewhere out there in the August dusk, what sounded like thunder rumbled.

photo credit: Ben124. via photopin cc