This month’s fiction
Here’s a scene from the middle of MIND GAMES, the paranormal romantic suspense novel I have in the 99-cent Mystical Magic box set (Shades of Prey 2), mentioned above. SPOILER ALERT: This scene’s from the middle so gives away a bunch of the plot. I picked it because it’s sexy. You have been warned. And remember, if YahooMail or Gmail cuts off this email, click the link to “Show Entire Message” so you can read the full excerpt!
Wren is a shy college librarian whose sister has gone missing. She hires an attractive private detective to look for her and he gets a lead at a sex club that only couples can enter, so they go in posing as a couple. Sparks have been flying between them for quite a while before this as it is…!
Two nights later she stood just inside the building, watching through the high window in the door for Derek’s car. She clutched the handle of her overnight bag in both hands. They’d be changing there. It was one of the rules of the club that everyone went in looking “normal” and came out again the same way. The sun had set, but there was still golden light in the sky as his SUV pulled into the driveway and she hurried down the steps to meet him.
She climbed into the passenger seat and shut the door. “Um, hi.”
“Hi.” He smiled. “Ready to go? Wait, forget that, stupid question. How are you?”
She answered with some pat answer, and he didn’t press, as they drove along the river to the other side of town. They were both silent as they went, and when Wren guessed they were getting close to their destination, she cleared her throat.
“I’m a little nervous,” she admitted. “Do you want to know the truth?”
He glanced at her as he turned into a parking lot “Do I?”
She bit her lip. I hope you do. “I really wish… we were going somewhere together… for the sake of going somewhere together. Not for the case.”
“That’s… a very good wish,” he said softly as he brought the car to a stop. “I wish that, too.”
Wren swallowed, trying to keep her heart in her chest. “Oh, good.” His smile seemed to soothe her. Neither of them seemed to know what to say after that, so she opened her door and got out.
They were standing outside a low brick building, in the parking lot where another building had once stood. They went around to the front and it seemed to Wren that there were no windows. There was no sign, either, just fairly fresh-looking black paint on the bricks, and two potted evergreens, each five feet tall, one on each side of the doorway. Derek pulled open the door and they were in a dimly lit entrance room, with a girl at a cash register, an unmanned coat check stand across from her. Everything was draped in heavy cloth, like backstage curtains. Derek gave his name and Wren was surprised he used his real name. She asked to see their IDs but it looked like it was just to verify their ages, and she crossed Derek off of a list. Wren was also surprised that no money exchanged hands. The girl pointed to the double doors that led further in, and reminded Derek that the changing rooms were to the left after entering. “Have a good time!” The phrase had never sounded so fraught to Wren before.
There were separate rooms for the men and the women to change clothes in. She wasn’t sure why that should be surprising, but it struck her as funny that a place where everyone went to get a look at each other’s yayas would feel the need to separate the changing rooms. Not that she wasn’t grateful for it. She didn’t want Derek watching her figure out how to get her outfit on.
In the end, she and Lawrence had settled on a midnight blue so dark it would look black under most light. She had a halter-top chemise that came to mid thigh, with a matching short robe of the same length, and matching panties that she hoped no one was going to see anyway, but they came with the set. She would have loved if pajama bottoms also came in the set, but they did not, and she really didn’t think she’d be comfortable in stockings. So she planned to go bare-legged. A pair of satin ballet-style slip-ons completed the outfit.
She looked in the mirror. Her eyeshadow and liner were dark blue to match as well, and she was surprised at how glamorous she looked, like a black and white photograph from some French fashion magazine, just a tinge of color added. The chemise could almost be an evening dress, if she were wearing pearls. The satin moved like water over her skin, feeling so light it felt as if all she was wearing was a caress. She had to keep looking down to be sure she was still covered.
She was just turning to put her normal clothes away when another woman came in. She had frizzy red hair and sat down heavily on the chair in front of the lockers. “Oh good,” she said to Wren when she saw her. “Could you help me get into my corset?”
The woman laughed. She looked to be in her mid-forties, rather heavy-set. “It’s not as tough as it sounds. I just need someone to hold the laces for me. It’s impossible to do it alone. I’m Suzanne.” She held out a meaty hand, and Wren shook it. Her wedding ring and engagement ring shone on the other hand as she pulled herself up out of the chair. “Your first time here?”
“Um, yes,” Wren said and waited to be told what to do.
“My second,” Suzanne said, as she put her glasses into a locker and began pulling her sweater off. “Although my husband and I used to go to swingers conventions all the time. Malibu Beach, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, we used to go like two or three times a year. But we’re becoming more homebodies now that we’re getting older, and right now money’s tight. This place seems all right, though, so far.”
“Does it?” Wren asked, without meaning for it to come out as tentative as it did.
Suzanne laughed again. “Yeah. Seems clean, and they keep the pervs out. Well, the bad pervs, I mean. I heard on the news, some place in Texas, a swingers club where the guy drugged his ten-year-old niece and nephew every night and made them perform sex acts on stage. That kind of stuff is just sick, sick, sick.”
“Oh, God.” Wren sat on the bench next to the lockers. “Jesus.”
“Yeah, makes you think who the hell is sick enough to even go to a place like that? But that’s the thing, only people who are already so ashamed of what they are doing would keep their mouths shut. It didn’t take long for someone with some common sense to call the cops. There’s nothing wrong with some consenting couples getting together for a little fun, or even a lot of fun. The more accepting people are of that, the less crap like that will happen. Anyway, as I was saying, this place doesn’t seem like that. They’re real careful, there’s no drugs allowed at all, and even the drinks they serve are watered down.” She turned to Wren, now dressed in leather boots up to mid thigh, with a gold and red brocade corset wrapped around her waist. She was hooking the two front flaps together where they had little hook-and-eyes.
In the back was a crisscross of laces, coming together in a loose bow right at the center of her back. She turned around again and pointed to the bow. “All you have to do is untie that, pull tight, and then tie it like you tie a sneaker. Okay?”
“Okay,” Wren said, and put her hands against the ribs of the corset for a second just to feel what it was like. Very hard, almost like a shell or armor. She pulled on the laces.
“A little more,” Suzanne said with a laugh. “I can still breathe.”
Wren giggled. “All right.” She pulled hard this time, and then tied the knot like she would on a birthday gift that was trying to come undone.
“Perfect!” Suzanne declared, adjusting the lie of her ample bosom in the top of the garment. “Now let’s go, or the menfolk will think we started having fun by ourselves. I’ll introduce you to my husband, Bob. What was your name again?”
“Ren? Is that short for something?”
“Um, no, like the bird.”
“Oh, okay. You’ll find some people don’t use their real names in the swinging scene, but Bob and I kept forgetting what names to use.” She pushed open a different door than the one Wren had entered through, and led her into a lounge area. A bartender was working in one corner, and music was playing, but not too loud. “People would be like ‘Hi, Kim!’ or whatever and I’d be like… is she talking to me? So we just stick with Bob and Suzanne.”
Wren was introduced to Bob, who seemed friendly without being too friendly. He was going bald, had a paunch, and was wearing a Hawaiian shirt with bikini bathing beauties all over it and loose surfer-style shorts. Wren looked around for Derek but didn’t see him.
“Young guy, tall and skinny, black hair? Oh, he’s in there still,” Bob said. “He got a call on his cell phone and went into the head to take it.”
“Oh, okay,” Wren said. She didn’t think of Derek as skinny, but maybe Bob did.
Suzanne suggested they get drinks, and Wren was just starting to wonder how people paid for things, if there was nowhere to carry a wallet in lingerie. But just then Derek emerged. As he’d promised, he was wearing a pair of leather pants and nothing else. Even his feet were bare, and that suddenly struck Wren as even more decadent than wearing boots like Suzanne. Like he’d just come from strolling up the white sand of a deserted Caribbean beach. She wondered if that was how Bob looked to Suzanne in his surfer shorts?
“Hey, beautiful,” Derek said, and slipped his hands around her waist and gave her a peck on the cheek.
Right. They were supposed to look like a young couple out for some adventure. “Hey,” she said back, and went up on tiptoe to kiss him just in front of his ear. The scent of leather and just a hint of his soap, and what had to be his skin, sent a shiver through her. “Um, this is Suzanne and Bob. They’ve been kind of teaching me the ropes.”
Bob guffawed. “Naw, we’d have to go to another kind of club for ropes.” He held out his hand and shook Derek’s. Within a few minutes, everyone had drinks in hand and Derek was pumping the couple for information. It was easy to do: they clearly enjoyed telling tales of the swingers’ circuit and helping out the “newbies.” Bob described the set-up here, how it was different from some other places, how here there were a series of rooms, and depending on how far you wanted to go or what you were willing to do, you went further and further in. Wren looked around at the other couples, wondering how deep in each of them would go. Most of them shared a drink or two, chatted a little with the others, and then would pass through a door painted silver, a design of a vine with heart-shaped leaves in darker silver painted over that.
But then everyone’s drinks were empty. Wren hadn’t even realized she’d finished her Blue Hawaiian, but she put the glass down on the tray by the bar with the others.
“Well, you all have a good time,” Suzanne said to them. “We’re going to go on and check out the next room.”
Derek held out a hand for Wren. “I suppose we should do the same. Ready?”
Wren just nodded, thankful that she hadn’t tried to wear high heels. The rum was going straight to her head. She took his hand and they went through the silver door, following the hearty sound of Suzanne’s laughter.
* * *
The door led into a hallway, as it turned out, carpeted with a nice oriental rug, with an ornate lamp sitting on a wooden side table, like you’d find in the hall of an old hotel. They went through another silver door on the right, and into a room with a soft pinkish light and subtly pulsing music. The vine design painted on it was larger than the one on the previous door, Wren noticed, with more leaves.
There were about a dozen people here, along with two single women whom Wren eventually decided must be employees. They were both in high heels, with similar corsets and short, sheer ruffled skirts, through which Wren could see their dark panties, even in the dim light.
Some of the couples sat on couches and banquettes built into the wall. Everything was draped with sheets, and Wren tried not to stare at the couple closest to them, the woman in the man’s lap and his hand between her legs. The sound of a woman sighing softly to her right caught her attention, and there a man sat with his back to the wall and his legs spread, his partner sitting between them and her legs spread also, his hand moving up and down under the sheer lace triangle of her panties. His attention was on his partner, as he kissed her neck and whispered softly to her, but the woman looked up, saw Wren looking, and smiled a dreamy smile.
Wren clutched Derek’s elbow. She barely listened when one of the female employees came over and welcomed him and reminded him that this was the foreplay room. Mutual masturbation was as far as people went in here, apparently, and—as Bob added after the woman had left—it was considered bad form for a man to come in here, though for some reason women were okay.
“And it looks like we’re just in time for the show.” He and Suzanne took a seat just a few feet from the spread-legged couple Wren kept looking back at, and Derek urged her to sit next to him on Suzanne’s other side.
The lights brightened at the other end of the room, and a small stage with a brass pole on it was illuminated. The music changed and got louder, and a burlesque dancer stepped up onto the platform.
She proceeded to do all manner of suggestive and acrobatic things with the pole, although Wren kept finding her eyes straying to the couples around her. One pair were kissing deeply, and then the man picked his partner up and carried her into the next room, where actual penetrative sex was allowed. One of the women took away the sheet they had been sitting on, like a waitress changing a tablecloth.
Wren found herself blushing and hoped the red tinge of the light hid it. She heard Suzanne giggle and looked up to see Bob had worked one of her breasts free of the corset and was sucking on it like a little baby, complete with “num num num!” noises. They were clearly having fun. In particular, Wren noticed, all the women seemed so happy. Even the ones like Suzanne who didn’t look like porn models. They all seemed to feel sexy and beautiful.
She shivered, as Derek absently ran a hand up her arm. His eyes were on the dancer, sometimes glancing back to the door the woman had come through.
Wren put a hand on his shoulder, then leaned closer to whisper in his ear. “You should… you should kiss me. Um. So we’ll fit in.” God, his scent…
He turned his head so that their foreheads touched. “Wren…” But if he’d planned to say more than that, he didn’t manage it before his lips touched hers.
Upon closing her eyes, she lost track of her hands as her entire world centered on the gentle nibble of his mouth, the fleeting sweep of his tongue. She tilted her head back further, her lips parting, and his tongue darted to touch hers. Something flared, hot and bright, desire igniting in her belly, thoughts flashing through her mind, like how good that same touch would feel on other parts of her, if only she dared…
Wren imagined him spreading her legs right here, running his fingers up and down the now-damp edge of her panties until he slipped a finger under the elastic, Suzanne and Bob watching. She could almost hear his voice as he’d whisper in her ear, like the other couple had been doing. Wren, you’re so beautiful, he’d be saying. I can’t stop touching you. I want to show everyone you’re beautiful and you’re mine and this is the pleasure I can give you.
To her dismay, he pulled back. “I don’t… think we should go beyond this room,” he whispered in her ear. “I think Abby was one of the women in here. Let’s… stay here as long as we can and see if we see her?”
“All right.” Wren’s hand slid along his jaw and she swallowed hard. Going into the other room meant having sex. Or breaking the rules by not doing it—no one was allowed to “just watch.” It was, they said, part of how they kept the voyeurs out. “But if we’re going to stay… you… you…”
He tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “If it’s too much, we could…”
“You have to kiss me again.” And she took a ragged breath as she waited for him to do so. This time he pulled her in, just with those two fingers under her chin, so she pressed against him as he leaned slightly back and brought her mouth to his.
This time his tongue met hers repeatedly, in a soft, relentless rhythm that her body recognized and responded to before her mind did, her hips answering with a beat of their own against him. She groaned quietly, thinking, oh God, I want him to touch me. Derek, please, oh please.
His warm hand slipped around the curve of her buttock. They were sliding and moving and she almost didn’t realize it, until he was flat on his back, pulling her astride him, grinding her pubic bone against the matching hardness under his zipper.
Wren had never wanted someone so much, not even in her fantasies. Oh, God, Derek, touch me, please touch me.
He gripped her buttocks with both hands, then slid one around her thigh further, pulling aside the crotch of her panties and smearing his fingers in the ample wetness there. He slid them back and forth, back and forth, gradually parting her labia and exposing her clit to the same gentle treatment.
She cried out softly as the pads of his fingers brushed across it. Oh, yes, yes, that’s perfect.
Wren, lovely Wren. I shouldn’t have brought you here. But I’m not sorry I did. Not now.
The whispers only sent her desire soaring. I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, she thought. I never dreamed it could feel like this. She sank into the sensation, his fingers pushing her higher and higher, as quickly and surely as if she were doing it herself.
May I make you come? Please say yes.
Yes, oh yes…
She cried out against his shoulder, as spasms of pleasure wracked her body, as he trailed off the touch and sensation only gradually, still holding her close with the other hand, and then running it over her close-shorn hair. “God, you’re beautiful…”
It was only when he spoke she realized with a jolt that he hadn’t been speaking aloud before. She jerked upright and stared into his eyes. Can you hear me?
Derek blinked. Yes. And you hear me?
Yes. She swallowed, a sudden chill and goosebumps climbing up her back. Oh my God.
He reached up and brushed a finger across her lips. They tingled and she heard the thought under that: my God I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in all my life. Then a more direct thought: Can you hear anyone else?
She looked up. Suzanne and Bob were gone and the dancer had finished. There was another couple in their place, the woman running her hand up and down the man’s crotch. Then he unbuttoned his jeans and she pulled his pecker out, yanking on it.
Maybe. I think the guy next to us just wondered why she always squeezes his dick so hard… Wren found herself giggling. But maybe I think that from the expression on his face. He’s like: ‘I shouldn’t be ungrateful that she’ll do this for me, but…’
Derek laughed quietly. What about the workers?
She tried to concentrate on the woman changing the sheets on the couch across from them, but Wren’s head was swimming too much. The air seemed close now, heavy with pheromones, and there was the rum and the orgasm and… she swayed and felt his hands holding her. “Can’t…” she said, shaking her head.
“Okay,” he whispered, and shifted their position, until she was in his lap.
She tried once more to reach out as one of the women came close. She closed her eyes. She felt a sensation of sinking, like the feeling of falling asleep, except she was still awake…
When she opened her eyes, she was under the cone of light, her hands bound over her head. Her breath caught. She had slipped into last night’s dream, and this time, the hand that reached out of the darkness to fondle her and the voice that laughed cruelly at her dismay definitely did not belong to Derek.