The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.

It’s been a while… I’ve no excuses really, save one–but it’s a good one; I promise. And no, I’m not telling.

During my silence, I’ve been inspired to tinker with something very close to my heart. It’s a thing that has touched me to the core of my being and pulled out of me that which I never knew existed. Writing does that every now and again. (I recommend it highly if you’re ever stranded while on your journey through life.)

It’s common knowledge that you can’t write what you don’t know.  Frances Hodgson Burnett once said,

I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden.

I’ve arrived in my own garden of sorts, and what has been unleashed… Well, if it touches you then I’ll know I’m onto something.

You Are Lovely

It happened one day. A plain, ordinary, day. Pools of golden light were not playing across the room. A roaring fire was not crackling in the fireplace. Forget-me-nots did not pass from your lips to my ears.

The day of the week is not important, nor is the exact time of day. In the end, it took three simple words, arranged as an artist layers paint on canvas. By anyone else, they would be meaningless—ordinary and lifeless.

As the notion went from an idea born of desire to a fully realized statement, they tumbled out, spilling themselves onto the floor in front of my feet to await their destiny.

“You are lovely.”

I grasped the inescapable conclusion as I gazed down at them, wondering at the intimacy. You knew how to let yourself into my heart—how to shape those three words into a symphony only I could hear.

They clambered up my legs and etched themselves on my soul.

The Old Man and the Sea.

A recent trip the library found me wandering the stacks of books. (Actually, it is a small library, so I wouldn’t define it as wandering to get lost–the way I used to in the giant libraries back in New York as a kid.)

I found myself stopping. Why, I have no idea. My gut said stop, so I stopped. I fingered the spines of several books, not entirely sure what I was looking for, until I crouched down and saw a sparse selection of Hemingway.

It called to me, so I closed my eyes and pulled one book free. When I opened my eyes and looked down, The Old Man and the Sea peeked up at me. In all honesty, I hadn’t read the book since high school and felt a little guilty about not revisiting it sooner.

It sat, perched atop my too large stack of reading material for the next three weeks, and off I was—returning to an old friend.

I have to admit, I didn’t crack open the book right away. It was a few days before I was mentally prepared to dive into the pages. And dive I did. I remembered why I fell in love with this book the first time I read it all those years ago, and it struck a chord with me as I finished the last page.

The story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned angler and the greatest catch of his life made me think…hard.

I thought mostly about how the book paralleled my own writing. Santiago has a dry spell and decides to switch things up–only to end up alone and with the catch of his life. He wrestles to haul in his prize and manages to bring back the bones, and even though he curses himself for going out too far, he’s content.

What’s that have to do with me? Everything, actually. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but I’m at that same point as Santiago.

Content.

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.

The title of this post is just a thought running through my head at this particular moment. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” Plato actually said that and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t thinking of me when it popped right out of his mouth and someone jotted it down for later.

The thought is actually wrapped around a secret project I’ve kept myself busy with, and is probably meaningless to the majority of readers who pop by–ogle the Plato graphic, and wander off again.

For the rest of you, if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I’m working on an erotic scene, which is a genre I’ve never explored before in my writing. The scene itself has a lot of moving parts to it. It’s an exploration, a new experience, a last night together, and a goodbye. After a rocky  start, where I was in a panic that I wouldn’t be up to the challenge, things are beginning to flow better. A lot of that has to do with my genius collaborator–who shall remain nameless lest someone try to steal their heart away. (I don’t always play nice–fair warning!)

Thinking about the scene as it’s evolving, what have I learned as I yank the words from my uptight head? Well, rule number one–relax. If I’m not relaxed, everyone reading will be uncomfortable.

Is it really that simple, though? No, it’s not.

I can hear you head scratching and thinking, She’s nuts… Sex is fairly straightforward, right? Well, when you translate those emotions into writing, you might think of it in terms of making mad passionate love right smack in the middle of Times Square.

Any takers? Didn’t think so.

Of course, when you write a love scene, no one is getting arrested (I hope), but you have to open yourself up–becoming totally vulnerable in the process, and then invite people to watch.

It’s a process, and it’s one I’m finding has put me in touch with things I never knew about myself. I doubt my writing will ever be up to par with the big names, but it’s highly personal in a way I never expected. And for me, Times Square is looking more and more appealing…

 

We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been hashing out a scene. ONE scene…and it’s very near driven me to the point of madness. It’s a scene I’ve seen at least a hundred times in my dreams–each time with varying degrees of clothing, (yeah, it goes there.)

Now, while dreaming about it is all fun and games, actually pouring it out onto the paper is proving to be quite painful. And I know why. For my character–it’s a goodbye. And goodbyes are never fun. They rip the soul out and stomp it into the ground, leaving a pitiful heap of something once recognizable behind.

It’s more than that, however. Because if it were that simple, this particular part of the story would have been done a long while ago–probably right after that first hot and steamy dream. It’s an overwhelming desire to not let go. My brain says one thing, my heart quite another.

So what do you do in a situation such as this? You remember that writing is an exploration of self. Actually, most of the times I’m shocked by where the journey takes me. Once you think that way, there is really only one option–and that’s to finish the scene and ultimately to let go…

 

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart…

You’d think that would be the simplest advice to follow, right? WRONG. Why? Because sometimes your heart turns into a fire-breathing dragon, hell-bent on destroying everything you create–that’s why. But I digress, because this time I went through a very different kind of torture to get my heart to breathe onto my paper.

First off, I have to admit that a few days ago–I turned into something of a word snob…bottling up my very being and stealing it away, leaving my writing empty and soulless.

Let me explain.

A lot of my creative writing revolves around a twelve-year-old Bulgarian girl named Annie. I write her for an online role play, based off the world of Harry Potter. She’s completely head over heels over a boy named Kerry and at the moment, excelling in her magical endeavors at school.

A month into school and she’s got the world at her feet–literally. An amazing boy, a magic wand she’s learning to use, and the security and seclusion of a magical boarding school to explore both…or so she thought.

There comes a point in any writing where you have to take a hard and fast look at where you’re headed. For Annie, that moment came in the form of a study space.

Annie followed their coven head down into the depths of their coven. When he motioned them inside, she looked around and squealed with delight.

“Can we really have this to study in, Professor?” The room was perfect in every way, private and quiet. It was bound to be a place for learning about more than just charms…

Hey, in her defense, she was thinking about taking up painting.

Okay. Maybe not. The important thing here is that, as the story progressed, she was called on that thought and it created a huge problem–both for Annie and myself. What do I mean? Well, it turned out to be the literal equivalent of:

Go To Jail! Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $100.

As a result, I couldn’t write, no matter how desperately I wanted to. As a matter of fact, I’d been ankle-deep in another section of Annie’s story that is coming at the end of the year–and I just could not continue.

I left the role play that night, not really knowing how I felt about Annie getting caught thinking impure thoughts by a Professor–but with the deep realization that it bothered me. A lot.

The next day, after I had time to process my own ideas about what happened, I knew exactly what was wrong (no, I’m not going there), and I had to figure out how to write Annie in another way based on the new developments in her life. I ended up taking her in an awkward and strange direction, and things like this popped out:

Annie waltzed in after Kerry and fell instantly in love with the furnishings provided for them in their little nook. “It’s perfect,” she said, collapsing into the other easy chair and dropping her bag on the floor next to it. “We’ll get a lot of studying done in here.”

She glanced at him, admiring his profile as he checked out the room, and shifted her gaze as his focus returned to her. “They did a great job.”

Annie struggled to concentrate on the nap of her tweed skirt, running her fingertips over the bumps and ridges. She sighed and retrieved her wand. “I’m ready if you are…”

Not that bad, you say? It is for Annie. Writing a character you know so well inside and out gets tricky as  you wade into uncharted territory. For Annie, she turned into dry kindling. If Kerry had held an open flame, she would have caught fire in that room and instantly been turned to ash. That entire section of her role play got worse and worse, until it was downright painful to continue.

And it was noticed…by the one Annie cares about the most. Her Kerry.

Now–here is where writing on your own can’t compare to collaborative writing. When you go off into uncharted territory with your characters all by your lonesome, there isn’t anyone (usually) to call you on it and say, “Hang on, your character just ran off the rails here.”

But when you collaborate, and build characters in a format such as a role play, there is always someone there who can raise an eyebrow when your character does something unexpected–causing you to reassess and wonder what just happened.

When Kerry asked Annie in the role play what was wrong, I knew it was time to come clean.

Annie looked around the room before stretching out her own hand for his. She gazed deeply into his eyes and took a deep breath. He’s not blind…and he deserves to hear it, even if he thinks you’re silly.

“When we asked Professor Semplen about this room,” she lowered her eyes. “He said something to me, in Bulgarian, stressing that the room was just for study. It might not mean much coming from your Western background. But to me…” Annie pulled her hand back and wrapped her arms around herself.

“It was as if he were suggesting that we…” She felt her face erupt in a volcanic heat, which slid down the length of her chest. This is impossible to explain without making it sound completely awful. Annie decided it would be better to give the simplest meaning of her exchange with Holoc.

“That I should think about charming something…other than you.” Annie sank lower in her chair. “It was as though he were saying that I’ve been too affectionate and all of the professors have noticed. They must all think I’m— bezrazboren.” She realized that came out in Bulgarian. “Uhm, it means a girl who is crazy over boys or something similar to that.” She shook her head and stood up, pacing once more in the cozy room.

“They’re watching us, and they think I’m—that we’re,” she stopped, realizing she was probably not making any sense at all, and faced him.

“Do you have any idea at all what I’m talking about?”

Right here is where game play stopped and the work of dissecting characters and motives began. Who said what? What were the motivations behind what was implied? It was a very detailed and long conversation about the realities and thought patterns of a handful of different characters.

When the work of picking apart their back story was complete, not only did Annie realize she was pulling away and being completely irrational–I was able to see where the motivation for her to behave that way was coming from and just like that, I needed to write…and boy did Annie react to the good news.

Annie listened as Kerry spoke; every word washing over her like a soothing lullaby. Halfway though, it dawned on her that she had been completely and totally overreacting.

Kerry’s distress over her mini freak out rolled off him in waves—and that feeling was worse than believing her coven leader might have insinuated she was…easy.

Annie had a choice. She could decide to go back to her own life, where she was expected to look and behave a certain way and never deviate from that…or she could forge ahead and enjoy her new freedom and the world view only her Kerry would be able to give.

The choice was simple. There was only one thing she wanted; one thing she desired from the time she was seven. And he was standing right there in front of her, pleading for her to come back to him.

So she did. When he stopped talking, Annie wrapped herself into him, holding on as if he were her life raft. “You’re right,” she whispered into his ear, inhaling the scent of him—running her fingers greedily through his hair.

“Forgive me, Kerry.” She kissed his neck, tasting his skin as she moved up to his ear. “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Her lips slid over his jaw. “Somehow I got the idea that all of our professors thought I might be…” She met his lips and savored the sweetness of his breath before pressing her mouth to his.

Annie kissed him for an eternity. She kissed him until all thoughts of their professors, their families, their school, faded away, and her world was filled with nothing but the two of them sharing their embrace; each desperate for the other in ways only the two of them would ever fully comprehend.

The only thing that mattered—is that he wanted her, and she would be there for him…always.

When she finally pulled away, she felt that familiar blush. Tingley warmth radiated throughout her entire body and she relished in it. Slipping her hand into his, Annie led him to their love seat.

“Kerry,” she breathed, leaning into him so she could nuzzle his neck as they spoke. She let her arm rest on his chest while her fingers danced around the hollow under his Adam’s apple. “You are my soul mate. I can’t promise you that I’ll always be perfect…or rational,” she gazed up into his eyes, desperate for his forgiveness. “But I love you. I’ve always loved you, even before I knew it was you I was in love with.”

She kissed him once more, delighting in the soft contour of his lips under hers. “Moya edna lyubov…”

That was Annie’s last post in that particular thread. I’d say, not only did I grow as a writer and learn things about myself and my character that I might not have, (had I not gone through the process with someone I trust)–but the breathings of my heart also managed to make it beautifully onto the page.

 

 

 

 

Should I Smile Because You’re My Friend…Or Cry Because Thats All We’ll Ever Be?

Writing about love is hard… Throw in a complicated story and it can be a downright pain in the ass. Perhaps it’s one of those emotions that you really hate to indulge in because it frustrates the hell out of you and tends to jerk you around the most? I mean, when your character gets angry, you’ve got an outlet. Hit things in the face–hard… Anger all better. When you’re sad–well, a cuddly kitten will always do the trick. Confused–Hell, there’s Google for everything now-a-days.

But love? Yes, love. What do you do when you throw your character into the depths of a true love induced passionate embrace and then rethink it and say, You know what, Bud… That ain’t gonna happen.  That’s where I usually split off from the major story line and write in fantasy world for a while.

As far as I’m concerned, all that fantasizing is considered back story and it’s useful for thinking about where a character might go…but it’s highly impractical for much else. (Unless you enjoy torturing yourself both in real life relationships AND in written relationships. I’m guessing if you’ve read this far–you’re a writer, so that’s highly likely.)

It’s one thing to fantasize–a whole other to get it semi-close to what the reality of your story calls for. So what happens to the fantasy world of love and romance when you’re knee-deep in the practicalities and formalities of relationship building? I don’t know–If you have an answer, kindly leave it in the comments. I’ll be forever grateful.

Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.

Writers are, by all accounts of the word–SOLITARY. They enjoy being off on their own, locked into a room with their words sprawled out in front of them like little marching soldiers. I’m pretty much the same way. Being alone to explore and listen to the crazy muttering rumbling in my own head is a daily necessity.

While I wrestle with the expanse of blank paper to fill in, I have to admit my weakness… I consider the prewriting stage the most sensual. There, I said it. Something about raw emotions spilling out onto the page, unchecked and dripping with insane ideas is absolutely yummy.

But sometimes, being alone with your words gets…well, lonely.

And that, dear reader, is where this story is headed. Not that long ago, life took an unexpected turn for me. For those of you who don’t know me, (and that’s pretty much all of you save one or maybe two…) I don’t buy into the notion of randomness. In my world, there is a reason for everything. It might not make sense at the time, but it doesn’t always have to.

I had a choice. Stay the course and bury myself further under that pile of words, or explore new avenues of writing.

For me, it was a no brainier. And I can see a lot of head scratching so I’ll clue you in and tell you my new direction takes the form of collaborative writing. Yes, I dug my hooks in–because I’ve been told I’m “totally evil in a good way…”and I’ve found that when you open yourself up to the right kind of energy, real magic can happen. It’s a rare thing in my opinion, but writers who are of the same mind can take something ordinary and turn it into something that takes on a life of its own.

Like a simple Halloween dance. Building the Last Dance For Me.

Sometimes the person you really need is the one you didn’t think you wanted…

If you stick around here, you’ll pick up pretty fast that I write a character named Annie in an online role play. What you might not know is how completely that single character has changed my world.

She started as a writing experiment. Seems innocuous, right? A writer, looking to get in more practice at character development, churns out little more than a name and a skimpy background and away she goes. But then, as is typical in my particular life, something quite amazing happened…and his name was Kerry.

Before Kerry, I lived quite comfortably in the land of TAME Young Adult and Children’s genre. After Kerry…well, let’s just say TAME isn’t part of my vocabulary anymore.

Fast forward to July 22, 2011. In roleplay time, it was Monday evening. Annie found herself comforting Kerry in the hospital after a very traumatic day for both of them. Midway through our thread, Annie found herself in uncharted territories and as much as she (and when I say she, think I) REALLY wanted to go there, and did, I had to reign her in because the reality of the role play is that she’s only twelve, (for now).

In the end, what my grown-up self wanted to write lost to what twelve year old Annie could pull off. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a little fun letting my imagination run wild–call it a practice run for when Annie gets to be sixteen.

As far as character building, I think Annie’s been a home run. She’s become for me a way to explore not only development, but also genre, and emotion. Through her I can wade through the fun stuff like affection, sadness, passion, and of course–love.

I know you’re wondering I wrote that needed such a huge edit. I won’t leave you hanging. If you keep reading, you’ll find what I originally wrote…and what actually made it into the role play. I think you’ll notice the subtle differences.

Enjoy!

Annie’s Fantasy:

As she listened to his melodious voice in the darkness, the rhythm of his accent held her captive. She struggled to recall a time she’d ever been more contented than right at that moment. Annie rolled onto her side. The thin hospital pajamas slipped over her slender shoulder, revealing the subtle blush spreading down from her face.

Kerry’s warmth reached out to her and ensnared her very being. Her fingers traced a path from his jaw to his neck, methodically slipping lower until they reached the top button of his pajama shirt. She swiftly released it and smiled, allowing her fingers to roam lower still.

When his shirt was unbuttoned, Annie felt her way over his bare chest; his breathing was slow and relaxed as she pushed the fabric back, exposing the skin beneath.

“I’d go to the ends of the earth with you, Kerry,” she whispered into his ear. “But, this is the only place I want to be right now.”

She pressed herself closer to his body and brushed her lips over his neck, grazing her tongue over his skin….

Annie’s Reality:

Annie could never remember a time she’d ever been more comfortable than right at that moment. His warmth reached out to her and ensnared her very being. Listening to his melodious voice in the darkness, the rhythm of his accent held her captive.

“I’d go to the ends of the earth with you, Kerry,” she whispered into his ear. “But, this is the only place I want to be right now.”

Unwell

 

Writing through the draining bits of real life takes a bit of work and I’ve found it flavors anything put down on paper–which isn’t always a good thing.

Sometimes real life just plain sucks…but you don’t know it so you’re content to wade in the mire, happy that at least you’re not neck deep like the other fools around you.  That is, until you look around and realize that you’re not only up to your neck, but you’re about to go under.

That story never ends, “Happily Ever After.”

However, just like in writing–you have to be willing to go there and experience, validate, and own every single emotion, frustration, and struggle, while pulling yourself up out of whatever it is you’ve gotten bogged down in.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is totally optional. While I write my way through the pain of my reality, I use my words to stave the suffering, and the entire process makes for enticing stories. Here is a work in progress that emerged from my head last summer. I’ve been holding onto it until I can get back into the same head space to get back into it.

Enjoy!

The Butterfly.

A spring breeze gently wafts across the room, drawing me toward the large bay windows for the last time. This bare room was once both my studio and my most cherished part of the small farmhouse. Hearty timber shelves, painstakingly carved and fastened to the walls by my great grandfather, stretch from ceiling to floor and wrap around the entire room. Over the years, these antique boards housed countless cameras, art supplies, fabric swatches, and mountains of half-completed manuscripts.

Now the shelves expose their vast emptiness in front of a lone rocking chair, which sits vacant in the middle of the room. I desperately want to be alone for one more goodbye before the movers come to haul us both away.

I sink into my great grandmother’s rocker, embracing the smooth aged wood under my worn out fingers. A few loose strands of my thinning gray hair tickle my nose while I rock slowly back and forth. I survey the room, poring over the vast emptiness and settle on the open window, taking in the glorious site of the blushing pink gladiola bushes outside. As I watch, an old visitor flutters onto a flower.

I love when I see you flutter outside these windows.” I whisper to myself.

We know. We have flittered by your windows watching your family for a long time.”

I gape at the unusually large butterfly. Certainly, it did not just speak to me.

Do you have a family?” I ask louder this time, curious to see if the insect will answer.

Yes. My family is quite large actually,” The wings of the yellow and black butterfly gracefully float it to another flower closer to the open windows. “We are an ancient creature, born of a great desire and longing.”

My wrinkled hands fly up, covering my mouth. If I scream, someone is sure to enter the room and the beautiful creature may fly away. Slowing my breathing, mindful that hyperventilation is a real possibility, my gaze shifts to the intricate pattern on the wings of the great butterfly. If I am going crazy, it is a fine day to play along.

How is it you are so colorful?”

That is an interesting story.  Would you like to hear it?”

“Yes,” I say, leaning forward in the rocker. “Please tell it to me.”

Very well,” the butterfly says, stretching its wings wide to warm them in the sun. “A very long time ago a dragon captured a beautiful young princess. He was passionately in love with her and desperately tried to give her everything she could ever desire. The thing she wanted most was to be free. The dragon couldn’t bear that desire so he enchanted his castle to give the princess the illusion of being free while remaining his prisoner.

“One day, while the young princess was wandering through one of the dragon’s massive gardens, she began to weep. Her tears fell on the flowers at her feet and those very flowers transformed into the first butterflies.  Her hope was renewed and from that day forward the butterflies filled her with the courage to persist.

“So you see—the first of our kind were born from a profound yearning to be free.  The butterfly has a long memory. As we pass from generation to generation, our colors remind us to never give up our aspirations and they serve to fill others with the courage to carry on.”

That was a lovely story,” I say, pressing my face closer to the window. “Is that why you and your family flutter around this house?”

Yes. Naturally we are drawn to people who have lost their way. Your house calls to us.”

“I have lost more than my way butterfly,” I say, glancing around at the barren room.

Will you have to leave soon?” the inquisitive butterfly asks. My family can only stay for a short while; as you move on, we shall too.”

I need you,” I whisper.

We know. Do not be afraid. We have come to encourage you and to help you remember what it is that you want to accomplish.”

Do you know what it is that I want?”

Humans are similar to butterflies. We begin our life cycles as caterpillars. Changing as we grow, we eventually meet our crossroads where we must begin the next journey of our lives. It is for humans.” The butterfly spun in a neat circle atop the pale pink bloom. “You are now at your crossroad. You must decide the path you will take and that decision will take you to the next journey in your life.”

You give me hope,” I say, straightening up in my seat.

If we have managed to give you hope than we have succeeded…and so shall you.”

Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases.

I have realized over the past month that there are MANY ways to go about writing a kiss. Why, you might ask? I have my reasons, just like the next girl. Still, with each passing day, I sweat the small stuff. So much so that I started to believe that I have been doing it wrong all these years! You mean my heart isn’t supposed to stop when our lips meet???

As a result of my incessant toiling, I now have pages of research on things like: What does a kiss taste like? Does it have a feel and if it does, how do you describe it? Does it make a difference if you kiss when you are cold or warm? (The answer–Yes it can!)

There comes a point in time where you have to scream ENOUGH! Let’s get some action already… Right? So I hit my wall and decided enough of all this generic kissing—let’s get to the good stuff. However, I quickly realized that what works for one scene is completely wrong for another. Talk about a huge learning curve. There I am, revved up for some fancy kissing, and now I need to worry about where the hell that’s going to happen!

For instance, what kind of scene you are setting for your characters? It makes a huge difference if you have your characters doing their kissing in a shark infested ocean or hidden in a hollow by a beautiful tree…  I see your wheels turning—I told you.

So what do you do when you get to that part in the story and you want to set the right mood for your characters? You start slow and work your way up. Think about the mood—is it hurried, relaxed, sloppy? Whatever your mood is will set the stage for what comes next.

You’re scratching your head now, aren’t you. What comes next, you ask? Well, that would be the closeness of your characters, of course. How you write them getting close enough together to lock lips can be just as exciting as the actual kiss. I have done A LOT of writing with my characters, working on how to get them close without actually kissing. It is always exciting to go there and think of new ways to string ordinary words together to make something mouth wateringly good.

Once you get your characters in smooching territory, it is time for the main event. This is where the meat of the sandwich comes into play. Take your time exploring every single sense. You may never use everything that pops up, but trust me—a lot of the stuff that comes out will go a long way with what does make it onto the page.

Taking everything I’ve learned and applying it was a huge leap of faith that I would be able to get it right. It took me about an hour—give or take, and a permablush to boot (yes folks, I blush when I write scenes of this intimate nature), this is what popped out for Annie in the roleplay I write for.

Enjoy!

Emma…kissed him? Annie suddenly understood the emotion behind Kerry’s anguish here in the hollow, and she reacted the only way she knew how. She sat up on her knees and straddled his lap. Her hands rested on his chest as she inched her body closer to his.

The salty flavor of his tears played on the tip of her tongue while her lips kissed them away; she moved her mouth, lingering over his lips. A delicate breeze swept through the trees above, sending down a fresh shower of leaves…

Annie sat motionless—her breath coming in shallow puffs, her lips grazing his. She kissed him on the lips…But I’ve seen how it should be done. Her mouth parted as her tongue slid, first across his lips, and then probing further still. Annie’s world ceased to exist as she explored the taste of him, which was both sweet and wet. His body under her own urging her forward—his touch as greedy as her own.

She moved her hands, tangling them in his hair, and pressed herself closer still. A soft moan escaped her, the sound foreign to her own ears.

The seconds felt like an eternity in paradise. When Annie broke the kiss and leaned back, she lowered her hands to his shoulders and gazed deeply into his eyes–her entire body aflame.

“Kerry, it’s important that you tell me how you feel…right at this exact moment in time.”