Fred had to be exaggerating about Elliott Samson. Before they left for the theatre, Cassie told him straight out, "You're so full of it. I don't believe a word of this." They continued to bicker in the cab. Elliott had a reputation as a partier, a womanizer and an all around badass. Fred relished being flamboyant and outrageous, proudly wearing his gayness as a badge of honor. Cassie couldn't picture Fred and Elliott in the same room, let alone as best friends. Fred's sensibilities made him a brilliant interior designer, but a rocker's BFF? Not so much.
After working with Fred for so long, Cassie knew a lot about him, actually more than she wanted to know. He'd hired her as a consultant before finally offering her a junior partnership at Chic Designs. Being nobody's fool, Fred recognized their collaboration had success flashing in neon pink. With Cassie as the architect and Fred's eye for aesthetics, they'd already landed several high-end clients. Their long hours and hard work had paid off. During all that time together, he'd never mentioned Elliott.
When Fred waved a couple free tickets under her nose yesterday, she suggested he impress one of his boyfriends with the extra opening night seat. She'd made a big mistake by telling him she had laundry to do. He nagged incessantly, bitching about how effed up her priorities were and how she needed to get a life, until she finally gave in and agreed to go. He chided her, "Stop being a doubting Thomasina, missy. I have lots of friends you don't know. Elliott Samson is one of them." He never wavered in his insistence that he'd been close to Elliott since elementary school, and that Elliott had personally invited them to join him after the show.
Elliott's performance blew Cassie away, and removed any doubt that he might be all hype and no substance. He really was a rock star, owning the stage from the moment he walked onto it until the end of the third encore. Even after the house lights came up, the standing-room-only crowd chanted for more. By the time they worked their way out of the theatre, there were already several hundred fans waiting behind barricades at the stage door.
Fred took her hand and tried to edge his way through the mob. He yelled "Excuse me!" several times. It had no effect whatsoever. They couldn't move forward or go back. The crowd had closed in behind them.
"Great, we're stuck." Cassie turned as much as she could and nearly elbowed the woman behind her in the stomach. "We can't even do a u-ey and go home."
"Dearie, we aren't going home. We're calling the Marines."
"Sure we are. Maybe we should call out the National Guard, too."
"You'll see." Fred took his phone out of his jacket and dialed.
"Hello, darling . . . Yes, I know you put us on the list, but we're stuck in the crowd . . . We're outside behind the barricade and can't get to the door . . . All right. I'll wave my handkerchief over my head so he sees us." Fred put his phone back in his pocket and took out his monogrammed hankie.
"Who did you call?"
"Who do you think? He's sending someone to rescue us."
"I mean, who answered the phone?"
"He did. You don't think he answers his own phone?" Fred glanced around. "You know, I could get a frigging fortune for his number in this crowd."
"Shhhhh! For crying out loud, we'll get trampled if anyone hears you."
Fred leaned in close to her ear. "How much would you pay for it, love?"
"Will you please stop? This guy is so out of my league. If he really did invite us backstage, it's because of you, not because of me."
"Oh, my pretty, I think not. After I told him about you, he wanted to meet you. That's why he gave me two excellent house seats for tonight, so I would bring you to his show." Fred waved his hankie over his head when he spotted a burly man coming out of the stage door.
Cassie folded her arms across her chest and stared at him. "This is news! What the devil did you tell him?" Obviously, Fred forgot to mention he'd had this conversation.
Read more about how Cassie and Elliott met
Katherine had about two hours to get ready for her date. Her date, now there was an oxymoron. To appease the guilt, Katherine rephrased that thought to Having dinner with a friend. Yeah, right, just like she would be going tubing with a friend on Tuesday. Who was she kidding? They were both dates. After thanking her conscience for sharing, Katherine told it to take a hike.
By the time she’d bathed, dressed and finished her makeup, she only had half an hour before meeting Ben. While making sure she had everything she needed in her purse, Katherine thought she heard Ryan’s truck. Sure enough, he’d just pulled into her driveway.
She went out on the porch. Surely he hadn’t forgotten about her dinner with Ben. If he had, this could be awkward. Seeing her dressed for a night out should jog his memory.
Ryan got out of the truck. He had on a pair of cutoffs, a T-shirt and sunglasses. She glimpsed his ponytail when he closed the door. With this unexpected preview of Tuesday, Katherine had to remember her camera.
“Hello, Ryan. I’m surprised to see you tonight.”
He joined her on the porch. “I just got off work and saw your car still here. Thought I’d stop and say hello before you hook up with Ben.” He took off his sunglasses and gave her a once over. “Damn, you look good.”
“Thank you.” It seemed he did remember she had a dinner date. “I’m meeting Ben at six. I have to go in a few minutes.”
“I figured as much.” He folded his glasses and stuffed them into his shirt pocket. “You’re probably wondering why I’m here.”
“Well, actually, I am.”
“Wish I could tell you. I tried to come up with some lame excuse to stop on my way home, but couldn’t think of one. The truth is I wanted to see you in your new dress.”
“Do you like it?”
“Probably too much.”
“How can you like it too much?”
Ryan shifted and hooked his thumb in his jeans pocket, making an unsuccessful attempt to cover his groin. “I’ll embarrass myself if I answer that.”
Read More About Katherine and Ben
Someone shouted, Turn the wheel, NOW! But there was no one with her. Presley opened her eyes and saw the sixteen-wheeler in her lane. Or was she in his lane? Sleep confused her thinking and slowed her reflexes. Suddenly, the steering wheel wrenched from her hands and turned sharply to the left. She lunged forward as shafts of wheat surrounded the car. Her head hit the hard plastic, and everything went dark.
Presley looked down. She saw her car in a wheat field, with a body slumped over inside. It took a moment before she realized the body was hers! The same voice that shouted at her earlier spoke again.
You must go back, it is not yet time.
Presley turned to look behind her. Instinctively, she tried to shield her eyes from the bright light, but her arms did not move. Who are you? I can’t see.
Who I am does not matter. You must go back.
Presley knew he told her the truth. But she felt so peaceful, and free. I want to stay here.
You cannot! It is not time.
Who are you? Presley moved closer to him. With speed she did not understand, she rushed into the light that surrounded this disembodied voice. A feeling of euphoria engulfed her as she reached for him.
When they touched, her whole being shook with sensation, an orgasmic bliss like none she had ever known. She knew him! His essence flooded her soul just as his name formed in her mind. Vadim!
My Ninotchka, you cannot stay!
Searing heat ripped her heart when he spoke her name. But it wasn’t her name, was it? She tried to tell him, My name is Presley, Presley Knowles. But the words stayed in her mind. With the dizzying sense of spinning out of control, she fell backwards toward the wheat covered car.
(Click the title to read more . . .)
Nellie led Peter through the curtained door into the inner world of Nellie’s Tavern. Only those considered her clients were escorted into her sanctum. Walking up a dark flight of stairs, she led him to her personal quarters. “I’m honoured, Nellie. It’s been some time since I have had the privilege.”
“It’s been some time since anyone has had the privilege.” She set the bottle and glasses on her desk and poured them each a drink.
“Those pink curtains around the bed, they are new?”
“That is my French canopy. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever owned! I love sleeping inside the colour. It makes me feel safe.”
Peter smiled as he looked at the gaudy strips of pink cloth hanging in a circle around the bed. “They are nearly as colourful as you are! Your canopy bed suits you very well.”
“You have not come to see me to chat about my bed.” Handing Peter the glass, she asked, “Are you going to tell me why you are really here?”
“For some female companionship, of course.” Drinking the brandy she gave him in one swallow, he held out his glass for more.
Before refilling his glass, Nellie lifted the corner of her skirt and tucked it into her belt. She watched him as she poured the brandy. He did not take his eyes off of her legs. “Female companionship you will have, but not before you tell me why it is me you want.”
Click title to read more . . .
Don’t presume the satiation of the feeling is the goal.
Think of the passion as an end in itself.
Savor it and enjoy it.
Think of it as balancing on the edge of a cliff
without falling over the side.
Stay on the crest of the arousal without pursuing its climax.
Be in it.
Immerse yourself in the fire.
Then be the Phoenix and rise from the ashes.
After the debacle of my first lesson, I nearly decided to abandon this horse insanity and cancel my lessons. I humbly realized I might have romanticized the whole riding business. The reality seemed to fall far short of what I imagined. But I could not stop thinking about Ivan, about how he moved hefting that hay into the stall or how he looked sitting on Nutmeg or how patient he had been with my pratfall.Then, a few days before my next appointment, something happened which guaranteed I would not change my mind. I dreamed about Ivan, an erotic dream, a real humdinger, too.