Authors: A. R. Hadley
Text copyright ©2016 by the Author.
This work was made possible by a special license through the Kindle Worlds publishing program and has not necessarily been reviewed by Flip City Media Inc.. All characters, scenes, events, plots and related elements appearing in the original The Drazen World remain the exclusive copyrighted and/or trademarked property of Flip City Media Inc., or their affiliates or licensors.
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Thank you, Christine D. Reiss. Thank you for creating the Drazens, for opening up your world to us so that we may embellish upon it, and for supporting our endeavors. Thank you for inspiring me, not just in my writing life, but in my real-world life.
My mom life.
My wife life.
My God life.
Thank you for swearing at all the appropriate times. Damn it. Thank you for writing characters without apology. Thank you for birthing Jonathan and Monica, without whom the world would be a dark, dark place.
I see bits of you in all your brassy, sassy ladies, Christine. I see a woman, you, with a heart the size of a supernova. Are we the sea? Are you our sky? We shall all meet at that glorious moving horizon at the end of
A writer needs beta readers and helpers and people with red pens and eyes for detail. Renee, Sarah, Rachel, Cat, Theresa, Cassie and Christine (not the queen): thank you for polishing my words and advising me!
My family. My moon and stars and sun. I love you as high as those heavens and beyond. Thank you for loving me despite my crazy.
a fire lit under him
the color of his hair
leading the way
he follows the sound
of his destiny
as a whisper
the day he met her
she led him toward the roar
they must make their own way
I woke up this morning hungrier than usual. Not for food. Maybe it was the way the light cascaded across her neck in the condo we had rented on the beach. Not her beach, Venice, but a different one. New Smyrna Beach. The East Coast. The sunrise was brutal, coming in through the sliver in the curtain. Who would have thought a one-inch slit could do so much blinding damage at what, barely eight in the morning?
I propped myself up on an elbow and gazed at her, my wife, asleep in the bed. Blonde hair over the pillow. Long, golden eyelashes a perfect invitation to the blue eyes that lie beneath. A curtain of their own. The light. Bright. It was a spotlight, and it illuminated my basest desires. The things hidden. The recently discovered.
Just a little teeth, Jonathan, I told myself. I groaned. Inwardly of course. I couldn't wake her. Not yet. I needed to keep still in this moment of quiet. The moment when I realized how desperately I wanted to open my mouth and sink my teeth into her neck.
Fuck. I wasn't a vampire. What was I then? Who was I? My fantasies were starting to become something else. Something more. A yearning. A reality I needed to quench. They weren't even fantasies as much as they were my subconscious beginning to roar.
I wanted to bite her neck in the little crease where it met her collarbone.
I needed to see what a mark would look like on her creamy, delicate, perfect skin.
The colors it would turn.
The way she might scream or gasp or squirm.
I shook my head. Stop! Enough! Must be the jet lag. The late night. This other beach. The one I had never heard of, but ended up at, ideal for escaping, Sheri had said. I couldn't escape the thoughts. I had been awake since at least four a.m., thinking. Sleeping never my strong suit.
I had been having these thoughts more often. Multiple times a day. Ways I wanted to have Jessica. Ass up in the air. Legs spread so far it would hurt to walk the next day. Arms behind her back, tied at the elbows. Things I wanted to say to her.
Don't talk. Did I say you could move? You're mine, Jess. I own you.
Things I needed her to do for me. Touch herself whenever and wherever I asked. I didn't know what it all meant. I didn't know how she would react. She loved me. Sure. She was my wife. Did that mean she could give me room to overpower her? Dominate her? Fuck her so hard her pretty little blue eyes would roll into the back of her head, her lips would part, and the only sound she would make would be the begging I would insist upon so she could come?
So beautiful, baby, I would say. Your ass up. Your cunt on display.
I laughed a little. We would have to work on the language first, wouldn't we? God. Could we? Could I ask anything else of Jessica? She had already given me so much. I had no right to ask for more. She was the ultimate partner. I had my arms wrapped around her until she began to stir in the bed.
"Shh," I whispered, trying to comfort the grimace on her face. The sliver of sunlight hit her eyes, face and hair, coloring the strands white.
"You're dreaming, baby."
"Jon," she mumbled.
She kept her eyes closed and reached a hand out to my waist. She inched closer, clad in only a silk camisole and panties. I laid my head on the pillow, rotated, scrunching my ass against her front. We spooned. A few moments later, I guided her hand down and over my throbbing erection.
I sat at the table in the dining room in a large chair, wearing my pretty little white dress. My feet couldn't quite reach the floor. I wore my best, shiny, white Mary Jane's. Each utensil was in its rightful place. Each cup. Each plate. I hoped. My gloved hands were in my lap. When I saw her enter the room out of the corner of my eye, I flinched. Did she see me twitch? I picked up my glass of grape juice and the next thing I knew I was crying. She was holding me by the collar of my beautiful gown. It was ruined. Red and ruined. The liquid stained my tights.
Jonathan called my name, I think, but I couldn't hear him. I was in the hallway with her. Not my mother. Her.
"You little brat. Your parents spent a fortune on this gown. Guests are coming. The red will never come out."
"It will never come out," I mumbled. I thought I mumbled anyway, but I couldn't talk. My lips wouldn't move. Nothing would come out. It won't come out. It won't come out. It won't come out. I screamed.
Jonathan had his arms wrapped around me that night. A different night. The dreary night we had left the hospital. The way I knew he did right now.
"Take off your gloves and put your hand out, Jessica," she said.
My lower lip trembled. I could still taste the juice on my tongue. I would never forget the taste. The juice or the acid.
"Put your hand out." Her voice was shrill. Cat claws on a chalkboard.
She took the wooden spoon from her apron and smacked my palm with it. Three times in quick succession. It didn't hurt. Not anymore. Nothing did.
"It will be okay," Jonathan had said. He had kissed the top of my forehead. It was raining. The car had a smell I had never noticed before. Musk. Pine. Death. I only stared into a distant place, beyond the raindrops. I couldn't talk. They took it away from me. I couldn't talk. I wouldn't talk.
"You'll be okay," the nurse had said.
"You will be okay," Jonathan had said.
I'll be okay. I shook. I bled.
My stockings were ruined. I would ruin the fundraiser. I would be a disappointment to everyone. The people I left behind at the house. I would be a disappointment to him. He will never see me the same way again.
Don't look at me.
I shook my head. Nothing moved. The world outside my window was a void. Colorless. Empty.
I heard a whisper. "Shh." I felt his breath against my skin. "You're dreaming, baby," he said.
I put my hand on his waist. I think I said his name.
He was here.
I knew he would be mine the moment I first laid eyes on him.
been dreaming. I peeked at him through my lashes. We were in the hotel room. The condo. Out of town. Right. I drifted a little, into the place between awake and asleep, keeping his image in the forefront of my imagination. He was beautiful just now, staring at me, backlit by the sun, but I wasn't thinking of his handsome face. It wasn't the sum of all his parts. He was more. He had originality. A brand. He had a walk. I envied it. Loved it. Stealth, under the radar, a posture that took nothing for granted; not a moment was wasted in the subtle shift of his hips or in the squaring of his shoulders. He carried himself different than any other man I had ever met.
Jonathan changed positions.
We spooned. My front to his back. I nuzzled my nose into his neck and breathed in his morning scent. I picked up on the hints of sage even though I knew he hadn't put on any cologne yet. His hair tickled me. It was beautiful too, the color of a brilliant sunset. Copper fire bleeding into the blue sky. I wanted to paint the color of his hair on a canvas. I wanted to smear burnt sienna around on an enormous white board and upset the balance of the universe.
My father thought I made art because I was bored. It was what he told everyone. He told Jonathan that lie the night he met him. I let everyone believe it.
A lie was always easier than truth. I painted, I created, to prove everyone wrong. Sometimes I
bored. Anyone who said they were never bored, they were liars.
I kept my eyes closed. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I would refuse to dream. Not that dream. The same one. The noxious one. The childish nightmare.
Jonathan broke up my early morning resolution. He had just wrapped my fist around his erection.
That did it. I couldn't see her, but I knew her eyes must've popped open. "Good morning."
"What time is it?"
I glanced at the evil red numbers on the bedside clock. "7:42."
"I thought you might sleep better." Her sweet breath caressed my back. "You know. Away from everything at home."
I didn't answer. I couldn't help but shift my hips. I kept our hands together around my shaft. My gentle motion caused my dick to slide between our intertwined fingers, our fists. It took every ounce of control I had to hold back, and I had become a master of control. A promise I made to myself at sixteen.
She reached her free hand to my forehead. "You don't have a fever anymore."
Fuck. How could she even ask about my fever when I had her hand around my dick? I
sick. Two days ago. I'm not now. A little cough. Some congestion. Nothing that could stop my intention. Could the same woman who faithfully applied wet compresses to my forehead ever let me fuck her ass? Claim her?
"Jess," I whispered. The weight in my balls put a hole in the mattress.
"Let me get you some tea. I'm sure they can send some up."
She had already rolled away.
My fist remained glued to my problem. My imaginative cock. It was becoming a problem. Huge in fact. Lately, she had been relegating me and my problem to the pile labeled: "sex fiend." She liked things in piles. Organization. I did too. But I didn't need to label people. The outside world did enough of that kind of thing. People needed to define everything. I would be labeled sex fiend. The husband who was always horny. The insatiable beast. Next, if I acted out my fantasies, would I be labeled dominant?
My father was the sadist. So maybe I did label people.
Bastard. Sadist. Manipulator.
Those words worked pretty well for J. Declan Drazen.
"I don't want tea, Jess. I want to fuck." The word slipped out. Fuck fuck fuck.
"I just woke up." She stiffened. A sculpture in an ice garden. "You know I don't like that word."
No, she didn't. Not for sex anyway. It was making love or doing it or nothing. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye. "I haven't eaten yet or brushed."
She had to brush. The woman groomed her teeth better than any dentist, using the finest organic mint toothpaste. She even carried a roll of floss in her purse.
I sat on the bed. Our backs faced each other. Each of us on our own side of the four-poster bed.
"Do you want to go downstairs to eat?"
"Have them bring it up." I stood, opened my arms into a wide v above my head and yawned.
She went into the tiny bathroom with the claw foot tub. I had let my PA book the place. I wanted to stay somewhere different. Different meaning, different than my hotels. I sometimes wanted to see what other people did with their rooms and lobbies. So far, I wasn't terribly impressed. I didn't go for the cozy, character driven room. The claw foot tub. The four-poster bed. The fancy quilt for a comforter. A gas fireplace. Now that was a joke. In Florida? People took ambience too far. Romance.
It didn't matter. The only stipulations I gave to Sheri was that it had to be on the beach, beachfront, and preferably in a small town. Smallish. A place where we could blend in with the locals or hide out. Jess had said Florida. Jess had also said a place big on art, but not too big. Not flashy. Not over the top.
Neither of us had ever been to Florida. Sure, we had traveled to many exotic locations, but the Sunshine State somehow never made our radar. Jesus. I can see why they called it that. The inch of a slit of sun shoving its way into our cozy, romantic room cut a line down the center of the wood floors.
I went to the window, my semi-erect dick, leading the way. I pulled the curtain back all the way. I shielded my eyes. The water glistened with thousands of diamonds, all twinkling from the power of the sun. Several yards of sand covered the distance between our condo and the shore. Early morning walkers and joggers perused the paradise below.
I bet this little slice of romance-package-condo doesn't even have a gym. Jessica wanted to ride bicycles. She said she read about it online.
"We could rent bikes and ride on the beach," she had said.
Cruisers. Great. Hot tea and beach cruisers. I scratched my chest and let out a yawn. What more could a man want?