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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Shameless Self-Promotion: Chapter 6 of the next project

Hey all...

I'm going through a first pass of my next book, before an editor can get to it, and before beta reads.  But... I figure a little out-of-context taste of what I'm doing couldn't hurt.

So, all feedback is welcome.  Enjoy!






6.



Alex



     Don’t know what to expect as I pull up in the driveway.  That guy – whoever he was – doesn’t still have a car here, so bonus for that.  There’s nothing worse than finding some strange dude’s sports car on my street.  My darling wife’s car is still here.  Maybe not so much a bonus.  I’m not sure if I’m going to pack some stuff and hit a hotel, or tell her to pack her shit.  I’m not sure I want do either.
     I can’t get the last 10 hours out of my head.  The kiss in the bar.  Watching Sabrina.  Catching, I mean.  Catching Sabrina.  This morning with Lucy.
     Lucy and I went at it hard today.  The way she moved, how she looked perched up on me.  The natural tightness of her body, how her ass and tits defied gravity, but she clearly hasn’t spent a minute in the gym.  Not muscular, not fluffy, just the perfect body at the perfect time in her life.  You can’t replace youth, and she can’t be any older than 25. 
I haven’t been with anyone since I met Selena.  That’s ten years of being completely faithful.  I should feel bad.  Guilty.  But I don’t, not really.  I mean, she fucked up first.  I am absolutely justified. 
So why don’t I feel good about it? 
Ah, this sucks.  Every time I think I feel guilty, I can’t stop the image of watching… catching her bent over on the living room floor.  Every time I think Sabrina’s a whore, I picture Lucy, on top of me with her hands on my chest and her top teeth tugging at her bottom lip, and her body rocking back and forth with her dark curls covering her red face.
     I’m slow and deliberate as I turn the key.  I hope she’s sleeping.  I hope she doesn’t hear me.  Kind of wish I could just fast-forward past this.



Sabrina



     The key turning in the deadbolt lock wakes me from the power nap I was taking on the couch.  I check the clock on the wall – minutes to noon – and realize that it’s been close to six hours since I heard that little performance.  I probably shouldn’t be so fucking mad; he did walk in on a compromising situation, but I can’t help myself.  I can hear my heartbeat.  It sounds like explosions in my head.  I’m dizzy.  Gotta breathe.  Breathe.  Slow it down.  Inhale, exhale.  Why the fuck is it so hot in here?  Do I have a fever?  This is a hell of a time to get sick.
     Six hours.  Not a call.
     Six hours ago, I was hoping that the man I loved wasn’t dead, or didn’t leave me.  Now I wish he had. 
     Left, I mean.  I don’t want him dead.  I don’t think, anyway.
     He opens the door and glances at me before heading up the stairs to the bedroom.   I still don’t quite know what to say.  I’m hurt, angry, embarrassed, sorry, and have no idea which one is the right one to express.  I can hear him sifting through drawers and slamming them closed.  A few minutes of that and he heads into the kitchen.  I guess his night made him hungry.

     I figure I should take a look at the damage he’s done to the bedroom.  I get in there and see all my clothes, dumped in a pile all over our bed.  I check the top two dresser drawers.  They’re empty.  So are the laundry baskets and my side of the closet.  Everything I own in this bedroom is on the bed.

I rush down to the kitchen and see him leaning on the breakfast bar, drinking a glass of orange juice.  He looks at me, takes a giant chug and puts the glass down on the counter.

     I want you to leave, he says to me.



Alex



     I walk into the house and there she is, on the couch wearing her bathrobe, just sitting there, like she was waiting for me to get home.  I catch her out of the corner of my eye, looking up at me.  Something in her eyes, a look of anger, maybe a touch of regret.  It’s too much and I’m not ready yet to return the look.  I head to our bedroom and have a seat on the bed.  This is the first real breath I’ve had all day.  I stare at the furniture in the bedroom, all a deep brown cherry-wood, polished and lacquered.  They were her choice, and I have grown to like it.  I stand up in front of the dresser and before I really know what I’m doing, I’ve emptied the top two drawers.  I go into the closet, yank down all the hangers from her side and grab her laundry basket.  All her stuff, her sweatpants, her underwear, t-shirts, I’ve dumped them all onto the bed.  I hustle my way back to the kitchen; she’s not on the couch anymore.  I need a drink.

     I pour half a glass of orange juice and add a splash of vodka.  It helps me calm my nerves.  I take a gulp and notice her standing at the entrance to the kitchen, staring at me with this “what did you do?” look.

     I want you to leave, I say to her.

     Her mouth drops open a bit, a reaction to shock.  I don’t buy it.  There’s no way she didn’t see this coming after last night.

     “Excuse me?” she says.  Her voice is trembling, like she’s trying to hold on to her last bit of calm.

     I need you gone.  I can’t be here with you anymore.

     She bites her lip.  She’s holding back tears.  “And where do you expect me to go?”

     Not my problem, I say.  You probably should have thought of that before you brought your boyfriend home.

     She goes red in the face.  “He’s not my boyfriend,” she starts to say.

     I don’t give a shit who he is, actually.  This marriage is over.

     She can’t stop the tears now.  “And what, that’s my fault?  Where were you last night?”

     I pause; should I tell her?  It doesn’t matter where I was, I say.

     “Who were you with?”

     What are you talking about?

     “Don’t play stupid.  I heard you with a woman when I called you.  You forgot to hang up your phone last night, you ass.”

     It hits me; that’s why my phone battery died all of a sudden.  I didn’t hang up when I threw it down.  A momentary wave of relief comes over me; that was an expensive phone and I would hate to think I damaged it.

     Pot calling the kettle black, don’t you think? I say.

     “So what, you had to go get revenge?  Hurt me for hurting you?”  She huffs and puffs and wipes away tears.  “I hope the bitch was worth it.”

     Fuck you, I tell her.  I’m yelling now, I don’t ever yell at her.

     “Obviously not,” she says.  “Can’t believe it took this to realize you never really did it for me.”

     She says that and I feel my heart stop.  I get in her face, nose-to-nose, angry with her like she’s a guy.  I feel like I’m watching myself grab her face.  This can’t be me, I’ve never raised a hand to her in anger.  Get out, I watch myself say.  She slaps at my arms.  She’s always been tough, strong, and I’m not surprised that her hits sting my arm.  When the harmless slaps turn into punches, I let go of her face and with one arm I grab both of her wrists and push her back against the fridge.

     And I kiss her.



Sabrina



     I hear myself saying “you never really did it for me,” and I know it’s not true.  I know I’m pushing the wrong buttons and pushing them too hard, but so what?  What’s he going to do?  Even as he grabs my jaw in his strong right hand, I know my man.  I know he’d never hurt me.  But the pressure he’s putting on my face is starting to get uncomfortable.  He gets in my face and tells me to get out.  And I realize that maybe I don’t know my man so well.

     My heart’s pounding from fear or anger, I can’t tell which.  He’s telling me to get out of my house and he knows I don’t have anywhere to go.  And before that part of my brain that would say “No, don’t, this isn’t a good idea” gets a chance to speak, I start to hit him.  “Let me go,” I say.  I don’t think he’s hearing me.  I go from open hand slaps to punches, hard, to his arm.  He grabs my wrists in his hands and puts them up above my head, then pins me against the fridge.  He grabs my jaw again, and I don’t know when the last time I’ve ever been this scared.

     He kisses me, hard, passionately.  Everything stops.  My eyes drift closed and I feel him pressing his lips against me, the day-old stubble of his chin razing my face.  It’s rough and prickly and tickles.  I feel his tongue forcing its way past my lips and I let it in after putting up a cursory resistance.  I take a deep breath for the first time.  I hate him.  God this feels good.

     I bite his lip, not hard, not softly, and his hands loosen from my wrists.  I grab his face and push away, taking a breath to try and get the flush out of my face.  I slap him across the jaw as hard as I can and kiss him again.  I tear at his shirt and buttons pop and I’m raking his chest with my fingernails.  He moves his prickly face to my neck and bites down.  It hurts, but there’s no pain in my voice.  I throw my arms around his neck and dig my nails into his back.

     It feels so good.  I hate the cheating bastard.



Alex



     A grunt escapes my throat as she scratches my back.  The sting from air and sweat means she’s probably broken skin, but right now I can’t say I care.  Her skin warms in my hands, in my mouth.  She tastes great.  I throw off her bathrobe and rip off her tank top, and she moans at the sound of the cotton ripping.  I lift her off the ground and her breasts to my face.  She squirms in my arms and her feet flail in the air, and she lets out noises I haven’t heard before.  Holy crap, this is incredible.  Is this what she was like last night?

     I bite at one of her nipples and she pulls my head in closer.  She’s trembling.  She slips through my hands to the ground and works her hands on my belt and pants.  I slide her pajama bottoms to the ground, and she quickly shimmies them off her ankles.  Then my pants are around my ankles.  I kiss her again, hard and deep and pin her wrists behind her.  She wraps those strong dancer legs around my waist and I’m greeted by warm and wet.  I’m watching myself pin her against the wall and drive into her.  I want to give myself a thumbs up.

     We’re both making animal noises as we make love.  No, come to think of it, this isn’t making love, not at all.  I’m angry, and I can tell she is too.  We’re hitting the wall so hard that our cabinets are shaking.  A ceramic plate falls out and smashes against the floor.  There is very little love in this.

     She starts to squeeze me and I withdraw.  I don’t want this to end just yet.  I put her down and bend her over the breakfast bar and slide into her as she’s still trembling.  One hand’s on her back and I have her thick dark curls wrapped around my wrist.  I grab her hip and drive into her, hard. Fast.  Repeatedly.  She squeals, part pain, part pleasure, but I’m not going to stop.



Sabrina



     One minute we’re fighting, the next minute we’re screwing on the breakfast bar.  When I look at this in my mind later, I’m sure I’m going to laugh at how crazy this is.

     We’re going at it pretty hard.  There’s a broken plate at the cabinet and I think I knocked over a glass from the breakfast bar.  I’m holding on for dear life as he’s ramming me from behind and there’s a part of me that can’t help but think if this is what he did with her, whoever she is.  Did she get it this good?  Was he this savage with her?  And I’m surprised at myself to realize that the thought is what’s driving this.

     Did he bend her over something in her kitchen? Oh, God!

     Was he pounding her this hard?  Shit, yes!

     Did he slap her ass the way he’s slapping mine?  Fuck me!

     I don’t know if I’m thinking it or screaming it, but he’s going at it so hard it almost hurts.  So, so good.

     My knees are buckling again and I know I’m about to cum.  He brought me so, so close last time and stopped, the asshole, just to do this again.  I want this, need this, can’t let him know.  Hold my breath.  Don’t clench.  Feel my face going warm.  Oh, shit.  Gotta hold it.  Gotta hold it.  For the love of God, please don’t stop.  Oh, God!

     He pulls out and I let out that breath- Fuck yes- and my knees feel like jelly. I feel a warm trickle down my leg.  Oh, god, am I peeing?  How can I be peeing?  Wait, wait a minute.  This isn’t pee.  I’m not peeing.  That’s new.



Alex



     There’s a small puddle forming at my feet and I’m suddenly not so focused on the anger anymore.  Wow.  That’s definitely a new trick.  I take a breath and pat myself on the back in my head.

     Did she do that last night?  Did she do that for him?

     I see red and drive into her again.  I grab her by her hips and pull her into me.  She’s not even putting up any resistance, even throwing her hips back at me.  She’s moaning like a little whore, not even forming words.  Her knees buckle and her body trembles in my hands.  I can’t hide my smile as I grab a handful of her hair, and her breath catches in her throat.  The one word she says comes out as a long and raspy whisper: “Yes!”.  I haven’t seen her dick-drunk in years.

     She clenches up again, right at my moment of weakness.  Fuck, I’m gonna blow.  My entire body seizes and I let loose inside her.  My limbs go heavy and I feel my eyes roll back.  The kitchen is getting hazy, and where a second ago I was gripping her to pound her harder, I’m holding on now to keep from falling over.  My legs wobble and fail, partly because of the vigorous workout and partly because I let off twice in the last eight hours and I’m just not used to all this sex.  I pull out and she drips and oozes on the floor.

I’ll probably have to clean that up.

     We both take a few silent, heaving breaths.  We’re drenched in sweat.  I can’t muster up the same kind of rage I just had not too long ago.  Too tired.  Too relaxed.  I know, I hope, whoever that guy was he didn’t get this out of her.  This was for me.  This was mine.

After a moment, she stands upright and strides over to the pile of her clothes near the fridge.  I haven’t seen her naked like this in so long, I forgot how stunning she is.  Tall, long, lean, muscled legs, toned stomach, perky breasts, naturally tanned skin with freckles at her chest and cheeks.  She bends to pick up her bathrobe and shorts and I take notice of that ass of hers.  My red handprint is still visible.

“I’m taking a shower,” she announces.  “I’m sweaty.”  She walks away, out of the kitchen and upstairs toward the bathroom.

And then I hear her call out, “You coming?”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The World We Live In

My brother's wife is due next week.  They will have their second girl.  And I had a thought this morning that sickened me.

"How lucky are they that they don't have boys?"

That thought sickened me for two reasons.  One, I should be happy that they have 1.99 healthy children, that they will grow up in a happy home, far from most of the struggles that we had to deal with in our youth.  They will grow up without the crushing feeling of wanting -- of needing -- and not having.  They will grow up without having to "make do."  I should be thrilled at that.

Two, it doesn't matter.  My brother's children are still Black, even though their mother is as fair-skinned and red-haired as can be.

It's a sad reality that it is open season on us, and increasingly has been since January 2009 (wonder what happened in January 2009 that suddenly made Black people a target?).  Since January 1st, 2009, according to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 290 (and counting, because today ain't over yet)unarmed or legally armed African-American men and women have been either killed by, or in custody of law enforcement.  The majority of these cases have seen the officers escape indictment and keep their jobs, and those that have been prosecuted escaped punishment and are quietly swept under the rug.  And while the overwhelming majority of the victims are male, there are a not-insignificant number of females in there as well.

Last night, we were shown in brutal detail the police execution of two African-American men, legally armed, without just cause.  One man was tackled and restrained by four men, shot in the chest at point blank range, and then had his gun removed from his pocket.  The other was in a car with his girlfriend and daughter and shot to death in front of them.  These are images that won't -- that shouldn't -- leave our collective consciousness anytime soon.

I'm firmly aware that not all cops are out to get us.  The ones that aren't should stop protecting the ones that are, and until they do, they are part of the problem.  And to those who fall back on "All Lives Matter..."

Well, apparently not those 290.