Waking in an abandoned city 100 years in the future…

memory-1

Adam follows the walkway along the wharf and approaches the ferry terminal. There are stalls there where he often buys lunch. The first one has the shutter pulled down and locked. The next one has a timber counter that’s flaked and warped. The glass display cabinet below has plastic sandwich packets that look like they’ve been pecked open and small foil dishes that were probably for cakes. There are shelves at the back of the stall with bleached white cardboard boxes and faded candy bar wrappers. There’s a display case of cigarettes that looks okay, although caked in a thick film of dust. There’s a fridge with a sealed glass door with cans and plastic bottles of juice, water and soft drinks. The water is clear and appears reasonably safe. Adam cracks open a bottle and has a drink. It tastes fine.

Inside the ferry terminal is a stall with newspapers and magazines on display. Adam pulls a paper from underneath the faded one on top. The headlines are about a plane crash in India and a sex scandal involving the Australian Foreign Minister. The date reads October 27th, 2063—2063 being thirty-five years in the future.

Adam looks at his hand and notices the absence of his tattoo. As a drunken youth he had let a buddy tattoo the word GAME across the knuckles of his left hand. It’s gone and his hand is bigger than it should be. Adam’s arm is more muscular too. He flexes, and squeezes and feels his bicep and shoulder.

What the hell?

There’s a glassed poster on the wall of the ferry terminal. Adam approaches and looks at his reflection to find a stranger looking back at him. He’s blond and his face is too narrow. The reflection is not Adam at all.

Adam feels his face—pinching at this point to prove the dream.

He backs away from the stranger and turns to the city again. He walks. He has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing, but he walks up a street, sticking to the middle of the road and gazing into the abandoned shops and up at the towering buildings. Most shops are empty. Adam considers they have been more so closed down than abandoned. The buildings are intact. They haven’t been bombed or anything. There are no broken windows that Adam can see. There are just big cracks in the pavement and road with grass and weeds growing everywhere.

There’s a distant humming sound. It’s high-pitched and quickly approaching. It pierces the air, and suddenly a train flashes across the road ahead of Adam. It had appeared from between buildings and is gone. Adam runs and sees it vanishing into the distance. It’s fully tinted glass, sleek and hugging a single rail, and it’s moving at an incredible speed.

Adam enters a building and finds stairs. He leaps upward, gaining the tenth storey with his lungs clenching and his legs numb. He kicks open a door marked with a no entry sign and stumbles out onto a roof-top. The train is gone. The rail spears off between buildings, some having been roughly knocked down to accommodate it.

Adam turns and looks the other way, out at the ocean. The rail is suspended above. It swings in a broad arc and follows the coastline with massive steel pillars jutting up out of the sand and the water, and it disappears beyond a headland.

Adam slumps back onto a concrete ledge and sucks in some breaths. He’s fitter and stronger than he used to be. He couldn’t have bounded those ten flights of stairs in his own body.

He looks himself over again, feeling his legs and genitals. He has a look down the front of his pants and finds no appreciable difference. He has less hair, though. It looks trimmed. Adam is thirsty again. He still has the bottle of water. There’s a kind of metallic taste in his mouth but he’s thirsty enough to ignore it.

The distance in all directions reveals no further sign of human life. There are birds and bugs, and more kangaroos and some goats. There’s a boundless silence, so stark and crisp that it’s ringing in Adam’s ears. The air is thin and clean and alive with the sweetness of spring or early summer. It had been winter an hour earlier—when Adam was himself and in the real world.

This can’t be real. If I jump off here I’m going to glide to the ground or wake up on a bus.

Adam’s looking over the edge of the building. He considers testing that theory but has never been big on heights. He suddenly thinks to check the pockets of the jeans he’s wearing and finds what looks like a watch. It’s an oddly thin device with a large square screen and a black plastic band. The screen is blank, as if turned off or with a dead battery. There are no buttons of any kind. Adam taps the screen to no effect. He tries pressing and the words VOICE PROMT flash. He presses again and says, “Hello”.

“Good afternoon, Cooper, who can I get you?”

Adam gulps. “Home, please?”

The screen shows a jingling bell icon. It lasts for a minute.

“Sorry, no answer,” the device says. “Would you like to record a message?”

Adam sniffs and clears his throat. “No message, thanks… Contacts list, please?”

The smiling face of a middle-aged woman appears. It’s a still image. Adam swipes across the screen and the face of a middle-aged man is next. It looks like him—the face he currently has. Adam assumes it to be his father. He swipes again and gets a logo AFP. The next image is another face—that of a guy about his age, completely unfamiliar. There are twenty or so contacts in all before the woman in the first image appears again.

Adam takes a breath and taps the screen. The ringing bell appears. The screen then flashes to an image of the woman, obviously live now.

“Cooper! Darling, how are you?” The woman looks to her side. “Hanson, it’s Cooper.”

A man’s voice replies, “Put him on screen, love.”

The screen flashes to a broader shot with the man who Adam assumes to be his father looking over the woman’s shoulder.

“How are you, son? What’s up?”

“Um… I’m not sure… I’m…” Adam stammers.

“Are you okay, son?”

“Look, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know who you are. You’re on my phone thingy… I don’t know who I am or what’s happening.”

“Wait… What?” the man asks. “You don’t know who we are?”

“Cooper, are you hurt? Are you okay?” the woman adds.

“I’m not hurt. I’m fine… Just—what the hell’s going on? I’m not who you think I am. I’m not this Cooper.”

The two faces on screen are staring blankly. The man speaks again after a moment. His demeanour shows confusion and concern. “Who do you think you are, son? Is there something wrong with your mind or memory or something? Do you have a head injury?”

“My name is Adam O’Malley. As far as I can remember, this is the year 2028… I’m going to wake up from this any minute now.”

The man and woman look to each other, their faces streaked in concern—horror. They turn back. The man speaks again. “Son, where are you right now?”

Adam glances around. “Standing on top of a building in Sydney… Where are you?”

The couple confer once more, their faces unchanged as they turn back to the screen. The woman answers, “We’re on our cruise in the middle of the Pacific, darling.”

The man adds, his tone measured, “Son, I want you to stay where you are. I’ll get the clinic at Oakdale to send someone for you… Are you right in the old city?”

“I’m near Circular Quay,” Adam replies. “I can go back to where I woke up a while ago.”

“No, that’s fine. Just wait somewhere safe. The clinic will GPS your device. It’ll probably take them an hour to get there.”

“I don’t know why you have to go exploring that silly old city all the time, darling,” the woman adds. “You must have fallen and hurt yourself. It’s just not safe there with everything crumbling down.”

“Now, Lola, just…” the man says to the woman, cuddling and patting her arm.

“Oh, but he shouldn’t even be going down there!”

The man addresses Adam again. “Are you safe right now, son? Will you be okay to wait?”

“I’m fine. I’ll wait,” Adam tells him. “I don’t know what the hell’s going on but I’ll wait for whoever.”

“Alright, son, I’ll check in with you again in ten minutes… We’ll sort this out.”

Adam’s device screen flashes back to the still picture of the woman smiling. He puts it on his wrist and fastens the catch. He has another drink of his metallic water. The clinic is sending someone, huh? Think I might need a frigging clinic.

***

Memory Span is a scifi novella with a light romance and a trip around the future world on bullet trains. This fast-paced little story is an original take on the future and time travel. You might be surprised!

On special this week. Preview on  Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU

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Sue is completely over the line now…

Biker 3

Sue hasn’t showered. She’s sticky from the sex with her lover as she sits across the table from her husband. She’s tender down there. She’s not sore – just tingling a little from the size of the guy and having him inside her for so long.

Josh, I slept with someone.

I should just say that and get it out in the open. I think I will, but not yet. After it’s over, I will have to tell him. I don’t want to cause a scene now. I don’t want Cal involved in the confrontation. I have to wait until he’s gone…. It makes no difference if I spend one day with him or five.

“Huh?”

Josh has asked something but Sue didn’t catch it.

“Do you know where those two USB sticks are that we bought the other week – the two ten gig ones?”

“I think I put them in the second drawer in the kitchen. They were in with the groceries.”

“Oh, okay…. I need to draw on our savings for some new hardware. It shouldn’t come to more than five hundred. I’ve got that quarterly bonus coming next week.”

“What are you buying?”

Sue’s pleased to be talking about Josh’s computer stuff.

“It’s just some new gadgets – keeping up with technology, you know?”

She smiles. “Okay…. And how’s your arm?”

“It’s fine. I have to call in and get the dressing changed tomorrow. I might be an hour late home.”

Sue nods.

It doesn’t feel real, sitting here with Josh and the kids.

She goes through the motions getting their bath ready and cleaning up the kitchen. Josh has to go back in to work for something. He needs to be there at closing time to do some job with the security cameras.

It’s after midnight when Sue feels him getting into bed. She’s in long pyjamas, clutching her top closed and facing away from him. She pretends to be asleep.

The next morning Sue hurries home from the school and quickly changes. Cal is watching for her and lifts her over the fence. She doesn’t want the neighbours seeing her going to and from his house every day.

His big, rough hands are under her clothes before they even get in the back door. She has on a short pleated skirt and a pretty lace-trim tank top. She can smell him on the clean pillow case as he is fucking her.

Sue’s orgasm hits. He’s beyond control, thrusting into her. She clings to his rippling taut body as he ejaculates.

He leaves her there in bed while he goes for his breakfast. She finds her panties and pulls them on, then rolls over and cuddles the pillow, drawing his scent from it.

This doesn’t feel real either. I don’t know what has happened to REAL…….

***

Read in graphic detail about Sue & Cal’s full week-long affair and love story. Last days at 99c on Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU… Available to download onto any device with the free Kindle reading app that comes with Amazon eBooks.

The Biker Next Door

Little bit creepy, seriously freaky…

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BOOK REVIEW: This is the kind of story that sort of lulls you into a bit of a comfort zone with a normal enough opening few chapters, then suddenly things get freaky. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this scene – getting to know Tony Logan so well as a regular guy going through some midlife s*** that isn’t hard to relate to. And the off-handed way the ‘photograph’ was thought of and mentioned several times before we got a look at it. Well, I liked that too. It was a good build up to the normality of the story suddenly being blown apart…. What then follows is a gripping supernatural thriller with a kick-arse twist at the end. The upshot being that Tony Logan might have been far better off to have never seen that photograph.

Preview The Photograph on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: These are gritty tales with a touch of irreverence – a dash of humour. Awesome detail in constructing both the setting and characters. This is what gives it the classic feel for me. It’s like one of those old late night scary movies that has you so involved that you’re clawing the armrest of your lounge. I think the pacing adds to that too. There’s some real suspense here – the creepy kind. And a great cast of characters! Everything works from the seriously gruesome to the mildly quirky…. Did I read something in the intro about screenplays as the original idea? Definite late night movie fodder – good follow-on viewing after The Twilight Zone has set the mood.

Preview The Clayton Chronicles on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: The slow reveal of what the heroine, Laura, actually is was fascinating. The story provided an interesting take on age and maturity – the history of the centuries old characters. The play on Laura’s vulnerability amongst the vampires and the relationships between feeding couples was good reading. Things escalate into a steamy romance and big action climax. This book has a smart ending. I liked it.

Preview Blood Gifted on Amazon

High octane suspense…

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BOOK REVIEW: This book has deep down grunt that gives the storyline a rich and meaningful foundation. Corporate greed. The making of a psychopathic killer. Corruption. Murder. Cruelty. Love and loyalty. An epic idea in the suicide seed technology…. Everything builds inch by inch. Slowly and relentlessly. Like multiple angles to the same force that explodes in the final chapters…. An intriguing setting in 3rd world Africa. Great characters, both the good guys and the bad. And a wonderful dog hero that is worth the read on his own…. But above all, there’s a latent power here that I also noticed in a previous read of this author. Fry writes real, gritty stuff.

Preview Suicide Seeds on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.

Preview Her Master Protector on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: The feel of this book takes me back to the musty halls of the Hermitage Museum and the iron curtain mentality of the real Russia that still smoulders today. We are expertly pulled into this mood chapter one and never really get to crawl up out of it. The characters and plot – the mystery of Brodsky – kind of tumble in on top of us, abstract and disjointed at first, building and tightening as we crawl through the maze (walk the endless corridors of The Hermitage, the towering portraits of lives past eyeballing us)…. Yes, I found the setting here to be tremendously powerful. The mystery itself is classy and intelligent, and develops into a killer of a finale…. Try this one if you like your art-heist thrillers to be gritty, real, and steeped in history.

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A wife on the edge of infidelity…

Biker 2

“So you were actually on the back of the guy’s bike?”

The kids have obviously told Josh about it – about Sue getting on the back of a motorbike. Josh didn’t say anything through dinner but the kids are doing homework and he has confronted Sue doing the dishes.

“We all did, Josh, it was nothing,” Sue lies.

Well, the first bit was true, but it wasn’t nothing. Sue can still feel where Cal squeezed her thigh. When she was getting changed before – not wanting Josh to see her braless in a dress she hasn’t worn in years – she noticed there is actually a grimy smudge on her hip, beneath the waistband of her panties. It’s Cal’s thumb print, and it’s still there now while her husband stands glaring at her.

She doesn’t turn to face him because she can’t lie straight-faced. “I was just being neighbourly. The guy’s not that bad. He’s fixing up the house for his paraplegic sister.”

Josh grunts. “Which one of them was it?”

“What?”

“Which one of the gang? One of those fat guys? The old one?”

“Umm – the tall one with the short hair.”

Was I supposed to say the cutest one? No – not a good idea.

“What’s his name?”

Sue’s blushing now. She glances back over her shoulder. “What difference does it make, Josh? He just gave us a ride on the motorbike. It wasn’t even on the road.”

“So, what’s his name? What’s the big deal about telling me his name?”

“Because you’re freaking out.”

Josh picks up a tea towel and grabs a pot from the drainer. “Well, whatever his name is, I don’t want the children on his bike anymore, and I don’t want you associating with bikers either.”

“Associating?” Sue repeats, eyebrows raised.

Josh glares back at her. “Carrying on like a frigging biker chick.”

Sue’s blush fires up again, guiltily.

That’s pretty spot on with the fantasy I’ve been having all afternoon.

“Okay,” she concedes. “I won’t get on the bike again…. I wasn’t about to anyway.”

“Good.”

Sue’s finished washing, and leaves Josh to dry the dishes while she gets the kids’ bath ready. She needs to wash Cynthia’s hair tonight. Cynthia’s first. Preston likes his playtime, so it’s best he goes second. Josh is on his laptop in the dining room and closes a page quickly as Sue walks past. She thinks it might have been porn – nudie pictures. She knows he’s not into anything hard core.

Preston has all but emptied the bathwater onto the floor as usual. Sue mops it up and runs her own bath. The men next door are outside again, their deep voices resounding in her bathroom. They’re right there outside the window, and she’s nude. She listens carefully for Cal’s voice. She knows it well now, and his laugh. She closes the toilet seat and sits down, lifting a leg and resting that foot against the rim of the bath. The little smudge is still there on her hip. It’s kind of greasy.

Sue runs her middle finger through her slit. She’s already wet – or perhaps still wet from what she’s been thinking about all day. She teases her lips open and circles her clit, arching back and rolling her pelvis as her finger slips inside and the deep base of the men’s laughter resonates through her. Her vibrator is there sitting upon a folded white towel on the wash basin. She doesn’t need to turn it on. She keeps rubbing her clit as it sinks in. It has an upward curve that has the head of the thing massaging just the right spot as she grinds down onto it.

She has to bite her lip hard when her orgasm hits. It thumps through her quite powerfully – her eyes shut tight – her faceless man with a face this time – a burst of his laughter booming as she squirms down on her toy and squeezes her slutty legs together.

Sue takes Cal into the bath with her. She’s just named her toy.

Surely that’s no worse than my husband looking at porn and eyeing off all the young girls.

She gives Cal a wash and sets him on the side of the bath. The hot water swallows her as she lies back and takes a deep, satisfied breath…….

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The Biker Next Door

How to find typos in your own writing…

Concept de lecteur

Well the basic challenge is overcoming familiarity and reading what you typed, rather than what you meant to type. And the short answer to this is to use audio, concentrate, go at a set slow pace, and double check alterations.

But let’s clarify what I’m talking about here: I’m talking about a piece of writing that has already been edited and proofread. Either by yourself or by a paid service. The structure of the work is set. And all that remains is to find simple typos. A word missing. A plural that should be singular. A missing quote mark or period. Something capitalized that shouldn’t be. Repeat words etc….

The reason I’m offering this advice is because I read a lot of indie books, and almost all have simple typos. Like mine used to.

My process is this:

Microsoft Word: From the top of the page we need to click on this little arrow that gives us a drop-down box to Customize Quick Access Toolbar. And we select ‘More Commands’

word talk 1

 

 

From the More Commands pop-up we want ‘All Commands’

word talk 2

 

From the list of all commands we want to select ‘Speak’

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Which puts this little icon on our toolbar. And when we highlight a section of text and click Speak, the text is read to us slowly and clearly.

word talk 4

 

This forces us to follow the text at a set pace, and the audio will help A LOT in picking up errors. You might be amazed at how you will see something that you’ve missed a hundred times (and that your editor missed as well).

A couple of important tips:

  1. Use earphones and accept no distractions.
  2. Make corrections immediately then highlight again to re-read that paragraph.
  3. If your mind has drifted, stop and go back to where you were last focused.
  4. Expect this to take a long time – 3 to 4 hours per 10,000 words.
  5. If you find a lot of errors, do it all over again.

Sue knows this is wrong…

Biker

Cynthia and Preston head straight for the pool when they get home, giving Sue an excuse to sit out the back. There are two hours of sun before the afternoon will be cooling off at all. Cal is mulching the gardens next door. He keeps looking over, but Sue won’t acknowledge him. She’s feeling too guilty to do that.

She goes inside and puts the stew on simmer. It’s about an hour until Josh is due home. Somehow she ends up in the bedroom sorting through her wardrobe. Her cut-off denim shorts are at her ankles, and she kicks them away. The thought of being bent over that big black motorbike is in her mind as she strips off her bikini and slips on a little, floral print dress. It’s short and straight with spaghetti string shoulder straps. She chooses pretty white lace panties, as if he’s going to be seeing them, like in the picture flashing through her mind.

Sue cuts oranges and takes them out to the children. A low wolf whistle prickles her skin.

“May I have one of those, please? A quarter?”

Blushing and shaking her head, she relents and looks at Cal. He’s at the fence, grinning. This guy is all kinds of wrong, but she can’t stop herself plucking at her dress as she approaches with his quarter of an orange. The low V-neckline gapes a little.

I should be wearing a bra.

“Your gardens are looking good,” Sue comments, peering over the fence while the big, adorable man sucks on the orange she gave him.

She’s thinking about his mouth, wondering how it would feel to be kissed by him.

“Yeah – I’m about done for the day…. How about bringing the kids over for a ride on my bike? It’s a good chance, with none of the guys around.”

“Oh! But isn’t it dangerous? They haven’t got helmets.”

“No – we’ll ride out there.” He indicates the grassy nature strip behind the back fences.

It would be perfectly safe, Sue reasons, chewing a lip. Preston would love it.

“Come on – bring them over,” Cal enthuses. “I’ll go slow and keep safe. I’ve had kids on back and front before.”

“Are you sure it’s no trouble?”

He scoffs. “Hey kids – do want a ride on my motorcycle?”

They both squeal, “Yes!” They’re by Sue’s side dripping and wriggling excitedly in an instant.

Cal has taken the t-shirt stuffed in his back pocket and pulled it on.

“Come on – short-cut,” he says, and lifts Preston then Cynthia over the fence. “Come on, Mum – you too,” he says, grinning.

He leans over the fence and takes hold around the back of Sue’s thighs. She sits on his arm, which is beneath the hem of her dress. He lifts her easily as she clings to the rippling muscle of his shoulder. Her head is beside his. Their eyes lock.

I think my lips have parted, but he’d better not kiss me in front of the children.

“That’s a good dress, Sue.”

Sue’s feet have touched the ground, she thinks. The guy’s big hand is still upon her hip. It’s beneath her dress, squeezing her. He rubs his thumb along the waistband of her panties, just softly back and forth. This has all happened in the space of a few seconds, but time has slowed for Sue.

“Careful there, kids!” They’re climbing on the seat of the bike.

Sue’s standing there by herself now. Her legs are weak. The man she’s dressed like that for is getting on his bike. He puts her son on behind him and her daughter at the back, telling them to hold onto his belt loops. “Get the gate, Sue,” he calls, and she hurries to the back gate and opens it. The big motorbike thunders. Her kids are beaming with glee as he rides past and out onto the nature strip.

More seconds have passed. Sue’s mind is still mush. She can feel the warm, rough imprint of where his thumb was testing the band of her panties. She’s clutching her dress in front, holding her hands to her chest. The bike rumbles slowly by with her children squealing at her. She smiles back, catching the eyes of this man making her heart thump – this total stranger who had his big paw up her dress.

What am I even thinking? It’s my anniversary on Saturday. The kids are going to their grandmother’s place, and Josh is taking me to dinner and dancing. We’ve been together always. There are no other men in the world. I’ve never had to think about that, and if it weren’t for the children, this guy could have kissed me before. I would have let him.

The big loud motorbike is back. “Your turn, Mummy!” little Preston cries excitedly.

“Yeah, Mummy’s turn,” Cal says, helping the children down from the seat. They’re jumping and squealing, tugging at Sue now, pulling her toward the bike. “Come on,” Cal says, taking her hand and guiding her…….

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The Biker Next Door

Sue goes topless in her back yard…

The Biker Next Door

Feeling both neighbourly and brave, Sue makes a large pitcher of ice tea and takes it out to the back deck with three glasses. She approaches the fence. “Would you men like to join me for a cold drink?”

“Absolutely!” Cal answers with a smile.

The older man smiles too. “Yes, ma’am.”

Sue waits for them to walk around, out their side gate and in hers. She put a shirt on when she was inside, but she hasn’t buttoned it. She’s tugging at it, checking herself out – her bare belly and bikini boobs. She doesn’t mind the thought of the old guy looking.

I WANT Cal to look…. What’s that about?

She has no idea what she’s thinking as she ushers the two bikers to her outdoor setting and pours them ice tea. She’s sitting between them. Roach is across the corner of the table. Cal is close beside her. His legs are open and one of them keeps touching hers. He has on faded Levis, the crotch is full – his package perhaps appropriately proportioned with his very large hands, she’s thinking.

Roach is a jolly character. He’s telling all about his younger days when he was a member of a hippie commune. Cal is teasing him about his story changing so much every time he tells it.

“Well, we used to smoke a bit of pot, and that LSD leaves you wondering what was real and what you only imagined,” he explains to Sue at one point.

“So, have you been married long?” Cal asks. “What’s your husband’s name again?”

“It’s Josh. Yes, we married young…. Seven years.”

“I’ve had two marriages,” Roach tosses in. “That’ll do.”

“One for me,” Cal confesses when Sue looks to him. “I didn’t quite make seven years.”

Roach grins and winks at Sue. “She wised up.”

“Is that true?” Sue asks Cal.

“Yep. Saw through me. Sent me packing. Married an accountant.”

“Oh. That’s not good.”

“What bit?”

Sue giggles. “The accountant.”

Cal laughs. He has a warm laugh.

His leg is pressing against Sue’s again.

Roach finishes the last of his drink. “That was good, Sue. It hit the spot.”

“Would you like some more?”

“No – we’d better get back to it, eh, boss?”

“Yeah, we have a load of concrete coming soon.”

Sue stands with them. The older man ambles off while Cal holds the door open for her to take the tray back inside.

She passes by, brushing close and glancing back.

He looks her up and down, slowly, deliberately. He meets her eyes. “Happily married, yeah?”

The tingles swarm and heat Sue’s face. She nods. “Yeah.”

“Fair enough,” he says with a wink and smile, and he’s gone.

***

Shit…. Oh, shit!

Sue’s legs are wobbly. She puts the tray on the counter and calls Janie.

“Hi, Sue, what’s up?”

“Shit, Janie. Oh, my God!”

“What?”

“Can you come over?”

Janie only lives two streets away. Sue gives her nothing over the phone.

“What?” she implores as Sue closes the door behind her and slumps back against it.

“The biker guy next door made a pass at me.”

Janie’s jaw drops. Her eyes bulge.

“Well, not exactly a pass…. He looked me over and asked if I’m happily married or just married.”

Janie looks Sue over too. “And you were dressed like that?”

Sue nods. She’s grinning, kind of gleefully.

Janie shakes her head. “And where did this happen, pray tell?”

Sue fills her in on the introduction over the fence and the ice tea.

“I can have the neighbours over for a cool drink, though – surely?”

“Is he still out there?” Janie’s peeping from the kitchen window. “Oh, my God. He’s hot.”

“Janie!”

“Oh, don’t worry. He’s busy shovelling concrete.… What a hunk! Nice going, Peggy Sue.”

Sue peeps over her incorrigible friend’s shoulder. “Shit!”

“What?”

“He took his shirt off…. That’s not even fair,” she whines.

“Well, we should too,” Janie says, craning her neck as Cal walks behind the edge of the house and out of view. “We should go for a swim and sunbathe.” She checks her watch. “It’s only midday. We’ve got hours until the kids get out of school.”

“What do you mean, we should? Do you mean to show off for them?”

Of course that is what Janie means. She’s a terrible flirt.

She turns to face Sue. “Take those off. You’re not wearing shorts.”

“But do you think we should?”

I want to. I think I called Janie for this exact reason. She always pushes me out of my comfort zone.

Janie’s eyes roll. “Of course we should. He said he’s only going to be around for a week, didn’t he? And you’re going to miss out on a chance to get a bit of attention at least? Get real, Sue. This is perfect. This is clean, honest fun.” She takes Sue’s hand. “Come on – you have to lend me a bikini too. Plus we need sunscreen. It’s hot out there today, and I don’t want to burn.”

The two women have a similar build. Sue gives Janie a blue chequered bikini to wear, and pulls on the bottoms of her white one. They apply the sunscreen in the kitchen and take a couple of big beach towels outside. The guys are resting on their back deck with beers. Sue glances and smiles. Their heads lift with interest.

The pool is in-ground with a concrete boarder. There’s a patch of grass next to the fence where the girls leave their towels. Sometimes they lie on the other side of the pool to sunbathe, but that would be too far away from the men, Sue has decided. Janie is obviously thinking that as well. She raises her eyebrows cheekily.

They wade into the pool, which is only waist deep – for the kids. While they float around chatting, the men resume work in their yard. It’s a clear view through the fence. Sue can’t keep her eyes off Cal as he shovels up piles of dirt and wheels it away in his barrow. His muscles are flexing and quivering. His skin is glistening with sweat.

He’s just eye candy. It’s perfectly reasonable to enjoy watching a muscular, shirtless guy working. There’s nothing unfaithful in that.

“Plus you know Josh has eyes too,” Janie tosses in when Sue explains what she’s thinking. “He even checks me out when I come over for a swim.”

Janie doesn’t know the extent of Josh’s interest in other women. Sue has never confided much about it to her. She once overheard her husband telling a male friend how he only hires attractive chicks at the shop, which seems to be true – they are all slender, pretty young girls employed there. He’s also embarrassingly obvious at the beach, so much so that Sue avoids going these days.

I’m dreading the day Cynthia grows up and starts bringing teen girlfriends home. I know Josh wouldn’t go so far as to actually do anything, but I’m not looking forward to him ogling and making everyone uncomfortable.

Josh really is too wimpy to be bad, though. He’s no worse than his friends – just a typical guy checking out girls – which of course makes this alright.

Janie motions to the towels, biting a smile, and with her big brown eyes wide. Their shirtless Adonis is working along the fence now, spreading and turning the soil in the garden there. He goes inside to answer a phone. The girls quickly get set up.

“I’m glad I did my bikini line last night,” Sue says, adjusting her pants.

“Me too…. Are you going to show him your front first?”

Sue giggles. “Janie! Tart!”

“Dude! How much did you shave off? Is that a landing strip?”

Sue plucks a bit more at her pants. She’s dark-haired down there, and it’s almost visible through the wet white fabric. “Can you see that much?”

“Yeah, but that’s good. You look hot,” Janie assures. “He’s going to love it,” she adds teasingly. “Plus you’ve got the nipples going…. I love your nipples. Mine are so huge.”

Janie’s plucking at her top, fixing it just right. Sue does hers and settles back, closing her eyes. The screen-door of the neighbour’s house slams closed, and she hears footsteps approaching. She squints a peep to see Cal pick up his shovel and resume turning the garden soil. She feels his shadow.

“Hey, ladies…. Nice day for it, eh?”

His voice is deep and rich.

“Hi, Cal. This is my friend Janie.”

Janie’s beaming. “Hi!”

“Hello, Janie. Nice to meet you.” He has a quick look over them both and nods with a grin. “Don’t burn there, eh….”

Janie and Sue exchange an excited glance. Adonis resumes turning the soil. He keeps looking over at them both. He’s checking out Sue’s body quite a lot. She wants to get her bikini wet so it’s see-through again. She motions to the pool and silently mouths the words to Janie, “I’m going to get this wet again.”

Janie’s eyes widen and she smiles. “Slut!”

“I know,” Sue whispers back. “You’re a bad influence.”

Sue lowers into the cool water and can’t resist a little rub of her pussy. She actually did shave to a very narrow strip of pubic hair, which feels nice – sexy. She emerges from the water dripping. Cal is looking at her, but she keeps her gaze averted. He’s looking at her legs. She reaches back and wrings her hair, with his eyes lifting to her boobs. Her nipples are tight again, of course, and visible through the almost translucent fabric.

She kneels on her towel, still facing the gorgeous man watching her. She plucks at her pants. Her landing strip is certainly visible through them, and they’re creasing into her a little bit. She tugs the waist up and exaggerates that for the guy. He’s staring now, blatantly. She glances and meets his smile.

“Got a second, Cal?” Roach calls from the back door.

Cal flashes another smile and actually winks at Sue as he turns and walks away.

Sue glares at Janie. “Oh, my God!”

Janie’s glaring back. “He totally winked at you. The dirty dog!”

They both giggle. Sue lies down beside her girlfriend. They’re on their bellies this time. Sue feels reasonably confident about having her bottom checked out, as she’s sure it will be in a minute.

“Undo your top,” Janie says. She’s pulling the knot at the back of hers.

“Are you serious?”

“Come on – you don’t want tan lines.” She undoes Sue’s top as well.

Sue lets her.

I feel a bit unsure about this, but as long as I remain lying flat, I guess….

Janie closes her eyes. Her head is resting upon her folded arms. Sue can see the side of her boob. Janie shifts, straightening her towel, and Sue sees her nipple. Janie has both strings undone. The one around Sue’s neck is still tied, but as a flurry of excitement filters through her, she undoes it and lets her bikini top fall away.

Janie opens an eye. She’s grinning. “Should we take them off completely?”

“No way!”

“I will if you will, Peggy Sue.”

“Janie!”

“Why? No one else can see – only him.”

“Yeah, but I’ve never gone topless,” Sue argues.

“He’s topless,” Janie points out. “Why shouldn’t we?”

“Because!”

The idea is thrilling. I’m not brave enough to actually do it.

“Because, why?” Janie persists. She’s giggling now.

“You’re teasing, aren’t you?…….”

R-Rated romance novella. High level sex scenes. View on  Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon AU

Slow burn with plenty of heat

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BOOK REVIEW: This is one of the better romances of this kind I have read. It’s a letdown when the hero is a shallow playboy type and the heroine allows her attraction to him to overpower her better judgement. The mix here has the heroine not being overpowered at all. Maggie is a terrific character – her strength not wavering until the final scene, and even then we have to wonder who it was that lost control and succumbed to the attraction – or indeed whether they both did. There is a depth of honesty and realism in these characters that handles the tryst between the powerful bad boy and intrepid good girl way better than some bestselling books of late…. This is a fast read but not a quick fix story. It’s sexy and highly entertaining.

Preview on Amazon

“Bittersweet” alright!

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BOOK REVIEW: What a thrill ride! This picks up at the height of tension we were left with in the first part of the story. It picks up there and never backs off. Right to the final confrontation we are on the edge of the seat – heart in mouth. The style of storytelling here is sharp, gripping, take-no-prisoners. The action, including the love making, is graphic and powerful, but in that it is just keeping up with the mood of the story. The characters portrayed here are gritty and real. The bad guys are total scum and not easily defeated – more tension! The hero and heroine earn every bit of the ending…. Awesome, powerhouse read!

Available on Amazon