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Piloting Fury: New from KDG

Sorry for the long delay in getting a new post out. My only excuse is that I have no excuse. I hope you enjoyed The Bus Route as much as I enjoyed writing it and sharing it. Writing and sharing my work is always the best part of doing what I do, so I have decided to share some new, never before seen KDG stuff on my blog, first of all because it’s a bit experimental and out of the KDG norm, and second of all simply because I want to be able to share some of it before I put it out to the larger world.

Piloting Fury is a project very near and dear to my heart, with a rewrite now in progress. Having said that, today is day one of July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I found myself inspired and prodded strongly by my Muse and her big stick to write the next book in what is a Space opera, of sorts, with plenty of political intrigue, plenty of sex, plenty of space travel — a lot of which is done in sentient ships. Piloting Fury is the first novel in that series. At this Camp NaNoWriMo, I will be working on book two, Dragon Ascending. Enjoy the first half of the first chapter, and if you’re very good, I’ll have the rest of the chapter up soon (or if I’m very good 🙂 ) From there, we’ll see where Fury leads us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piloting Fury

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAlister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Chapter 1: The Bet

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” Rick Manning was more than a little bit drunk. He had to be to make that sort of bet with me. Everyone knows you don’t gamble with Diana Mac unless you want to lose. I never lost – ever! What gambling I managed in spaceports was my sole income, and I horded it all obsessively. Every credit of it went toward paying off the contract of my indenture. Nope! I never lost because I couldn’t afford to. And yet here I stood on the small but efficient deck of the Fury, reporting to Rick Scumbag Manning, and the prick was nowhere to be found. “Probably sleeping it off in some whore’s bed,” I growled under my breath.

“You cheated, you bastard,” I said out loud. Even if he heard me, what the hell was he gonna do, dock my wages, throw me in the brig? “I know you cheated, I just don’t know how you did it,” I said to the console which, in spite of my anger at Manning, already had me intrigued. I confess, vivid visions of strangling Rick Manning with a New Hibernian cryo-whip couldn’t hold my imagination quite like the console of a good ship – even one I was now indentured to for who the hell knew how many galactic years. I’m serious when I say I’m the best pilot in the galaxy. It’s not bragging if it’s true. I’ve never met the ship I couldn’t fly. Not that I got that many opportunities indentured to the Dubrovnik, but Captain Harker had raked in the credits more than once by betting on me in an impromptu race of some sort. Of course the ship was never my own, and that made the bet even more interesting. No one ever saw it coming.

In spite of my crap situation, I couldn’t help admiring the clean lines and the efficient arrangement of the Fury’s controls. While the ship might look like a rusty tub on the outside, Manning had known to put his money where it mattered. I was already jonesing to see what the ship could do, and the truth was that the Fury was one helluva ship despite the rusty tub appearance. I doubted if Manning even knew what the original make was. If the entire ship wasn’t glued together with spit and high tensile repair tape, I’d be surprised. But leave it to Manning to win, steal, smuggle and finagled some of the best, state of the art components in the galaxy. I only knew that because he and I got drunk together on Diga Prime waiting out a lava storm one night in a bar. The man was as proud of his ship as he was his cock and, while I’d made it a point not to check out the latter, I’d wanted to check out the Fury for a long time. Just not like this.

I flopped down in the pilot’s seat, which strangely enough felt as though it molded to fit my butt. I knew for a fact that Manning’s ass needed a little more space than mine, and so did his broad shoulders. I’d admired those shoulders and that ass in more than a few spaceports where we’d pitched up together. At this moment, though, I loathed the whole damn package with a loathing hotter than the fiery pits of Diga Vulcanus. I envisioned kicking that very fine ass out the airlock somewhere in the Outer Rim. But thanks to the mess the cheating rat bastard had gotten me into, I couldn’t even do that.

It had been such a sure thing. I was sitting pretty, wasn’t I? The newly healed incision on my forearm itched like crazy, and while it was already all but invisible, it guaranteed I was as bound to the Fury as if Manning had roped me and tied me to the pilot’s chair. I should have known. I should have suspected something, but I was too busy patting myself on the back for my good fortune, too greedy for more.

I should have suspected something when Manning lost a small fortune to me in game after game of Sandirian poker. At the time, the man wasn’t yet too drunk to make intelligent decisions, and I knew for a fact he wasn’t a gambling addict. I’d heard about addicts who had gambled away far larger fortunes than the one Manning had dropped, which was just enough to buy back my indenture with a nice little nest egg to tide me over until I could find other work. Nope, Manning was a lightweight when it came to gambling losses. A minor satrap was legendary for gambling away a whole planetoid out at the edge of the Orion Nebula. I just figured it was a cock thing with Manning. I recognized the signs. The dress I wore had worked its magic just like it always did with lonely, horny punters in spaceport hoping to get laid. Men or women – it didn’t really matter. If they gave me that look and offered to buy me a drink, I knew I had them. They all just assumed because I was sitting alone, shuffling a deck of cards, I was as lonely and as in need of entertainment as they were.

And then there was Rick Manning. He’d been doing his best for the past several galactic years to get me in bed. By now it had become a game between us. He flirted, and I let it roll right on over me. I liked the banter. I liked the fact that we had intelligent, often witty conversations, as well as a lot of laughs in between his flirtatious, but harmless, advances. It was what we did, the two of us. So why should I think anything was particularly different about last night? Yes, he showed up at my table before I could reel in some sucker willing to lose his shirt. And yes, when I tried to shoo him away, he offered to play a few hands with me as a warm-up – he said, and then he’d leave me to find another victim. It was a win-win. I could skin Manning of a few credits before he decided to give it up, and then get serious with someone who didn’t know me.

But he didn’t give it up. He just kept losing, and betting and losing again. Fuck me if the man didn’t lose everything he had, all of his life savings, right down to the last credit. I know this because the Notary kept asking if he was sure and reminding him that all notarized bets were legally binding. Still all he could do was chuckle.

“It’s your hair, Mac,” he said as he motioned over the notary yet again to transfer more credits to the indentured sub-account Captain Harker had set up for me. “When you wear that dress and let your hair down like that, of course a man’s gonna lose. And you, you little minx, that’s what you’re counting on, isn’t it?”

“I need the credits, Manning.” I leaned across the table and rubbed my fingers together under his nose in a gimme gesture. “Indentured here, remember? But if it’ll help,” I grabbed up the band that had secured the battered deck of cards and pulled my hair back in it. “The dress I can’t do anything about. The butler hasn’t brought my holiday wardrobe down from the Dubrovnik yet,” I joked.

“Helluva place to go on holiday,” he said, glancing around the Nine Tails. Then he leaned over the table and offered a smile that would have shamed the Suns of Valoxia. “Tell you what, one more hand and I’ll bet my jacket.” If you win, you can cover up a little bit and maybe give me an even chance. And if you lose,” he looked me up and down.

“I won’t,” I replied shoving the deck of cards across the table to him.

He took them and began to shuffle, his eyes locked on mine. “If you lose, then I get your clothes. All of them.”

“It’s just as well I’m gonna win then because you wouldn’t look good in this dress. Teal’s just not your color.”

He only chuckled as he dealt the cards.

In no time at all I was bundled up in a vintage flight jacket that Manning swore up and down was a real Terran relic he’d won in a poker game he’d apparently done much better in than he was doing in this one. He slugged back another New Hibernian whiskey and the barmaid, who bent so he got a good view down her bustier, brought him another one. I laid down enough credits to pay for my drinks and stood. “Gotta go, Manning. You’ve got nothing left I can win off of you, and I sure as hell don’t want the clothes off your back.”

“Not so fast, Mac.” His words weren’t exactly slurred, but getting pretty close. He blocked my exit with an extended leg, nodded back to my chair, and with a shrug of his shoulder sent the barmaid scurrying for another whiskey for me. “You can’t leave till I’ve had a chance to win back all my shit.”

“I can, and I will,” I said, stepping over his leg, but even half drunk, Manning was fast. He lifted his thigh, effectively high-centering me and ending me up in his lap. He curled thick fingers around a my makeshift pony tale and reeled me in. I remember thinking it strange that he smelled more like a man who’d been enjoying the great outdoors in the Parks of the Beledine than someone three sheets to the wind on cheap-assed whiskey. I even remember not minding his flirtations at the time, but then why would I when I was a free woman at last, one with a very nice jacket, even if it was considerably too big.

“I do have something I can bet.” His breath was warm against my ear, and I felt the buzz of my own generous alcohol consumption that made me think I just might take him up on what I figured he was about to offer me. It would be a nice addition to the drunken celebration of my freedom. After all, an indentured didn’t have a lot of free time for sex. When I did have the time, I was trying to win a few more credits toward my freedom.

“Oh that,” I nodded down to his lap and gave a little laugh. “I figure I can have that without wagering for it.”

The chuckle he returned sounded positively animal, and his lips quirked into a crooked smile. “While I can think of nothing I would enjoy more than a good shag in the sheets with you, Mac, that wouldn’t win me back my shit now would it?”

I was about to say that since he had nothing to offer I saw no point. I was about to walk out the door of the bar free and clear, go straight to Captain Harker, pay off the contract of my indenture and see what it felt like to sleep and wake up as a free woman. That’s what I should have done, in retrospect. But then Manning dropped the bomb.

“One more hand, Mac. Just one. Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.”

Fuck me! If he hadn’t been holding me, I would have fallen right onto the floor. Now I’m not a woman who’s often speechless, though as an indentured, I know when to keep my mouth shut. But this time, all I could do was make a couple of fish gasps. He gave me that look I was sure had gotten more than a few women into his bed. It had probably worked just as well getting him out of trouble with the authorities when his cargo was less than copasetic.

“What do you say, Mac? You up for it? I’m betting the Fury along with the next three contracts I have to fill.” He shrugged. “If I don’t have a ship, I can’t fill the contracts, right? Come on. Give me at least one more chance.”

“Your ship? You want to bet the Fury?” I stumbled off his lap all but falling on my ass before I made it back to my chair. He was already motioning the notary over.

 

The Bus Route: Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd Instalment of The Bus Route. I hope all of you are staying safe during lockdown. For me and many others, it feels like an opportunity to press the restart button in a world gone mad. For me this has been a time of intense writing and reading. Anyone who follows my blog loves to read or they wouldn’t be here. So I’m choosing this time to share a brand new KDG story that has never been made public before.

Be warned, this is a different kind of KDG story, a hybrid of erotica, crime and paranormal with a pinch of horror thrown in for good measure. After today, I will be sending you an instalment of The Bus Route once a week for seven weeks, so be sure to check in every Friday for a new instalment.

 

Sex in derelict buses. Who knew it was a thing?

A money-making thing for Seth Allen, who blackmails enthusiasts stepping out on their other half by catching the deed on cameras he’s rigged at a public transport scrap yard known by frequenters as the Bus Route. Sadly the paydays aren’t as regular as Seth would like until con artist, Jon Knight, suggests they team up. With Seth’s tech and Jon’s charm, the money rolls in and the future looks bright until their marks start disappearing mysteriously.

 

 

 

 

The Bus Route: Part II

 

The woman Jon brought to the Bust Stop our first night as a team had the airbrushed good looks that rubberstamped the filthy rich. She was dressed to the nines except for the clunky oversized shoulder bag, but I cared way more about the filthy rich part than her fashion statement. I planted myself at a table near enough to hear the occasional tinkle of nervous laughter over the canned music and see the flutter of long lashes when Jon pushed her color-me perfect hair aside to give lip service to her throat and earlobe. But when his hands headed south she made a half-assed attempt to push him away. He quickly regrouped and went for mouth to mouth instead. She gave over to the full-on lip-lock deluxe package with plenty of tongue and teeth, as her tastefully manicured fists clenched the back of his shirt. Then I realized while the face eating finesse never faltered, Jon’s gaze was on me. It was show time.

He was taking her on the Bus Route, and I would be waiting. I didn’t need to be there. I could have done my part from my laptop in the back of the bar, but Jon insisted.

The Bus Stop itself was a slapped together bar on a dodgy industrial site, an eyesore in daylight and not much better tarted up by darkness and a few oversized Christmas lights strung precariously above the door. No one knew what might be buried under a few inches of scraped together rubble, but then no one was there to paint landscapes. No glammed up urban renewal here, just an old warehouse overdue for condemning. If the cops ever decided to shut the place down, they’d have a shitload of violations to choose from. But the always crowded Bus Stop went conveniently, and lucratively unnoticed.

The real attraction of the place was the enormous scrap yard behind the property with its graveyard of old public transport buses. The place was posted and tucked away behind by a high fence topped with razor wire. The bar was the only public, if illegal, entrance to the Bus Route. Fucking in derelict buses. Who knew it was a thing? For me a lucrative thing once I set up a few remote cameras in the more popular buses. It wasn’t hard to tell which ones were well used. Those busses sported rows of marks scratched into the paint near the front door, like notches on a bedpost. Some of the regulars had made it a game, a challenge, to see who could hook up and shag in the most buses. It was a double decker Jon and I chose. I slipped out ahead of him taking a short cut through a gap between the fence and the wall of a derelict body shop. Whatever went on inside, I didn’t want to know, but the place was always a bit whiffy.

Though they were redundant, at Jon’s request, I donned my spy specs as I slunk into the bus. I had just gotten tucked out of sight when he helped his lady up the steps, their breathless giggles and wet kisses sounded like something straight from an adolescent grope fest. The motion sensors triggered the cameras, and we were open for business.

“I always wanted to drive a bus,” she said, curling her fingers around the girth of the steering wheel suggestively.

“Seat’s a little low for you, darling, but I have just the solution.” Jon settled in behind the wheel and with a little bit of tugging and shifting for position, he was open for business too. There was no foreplay, no coaxing, no teasing. She just hoiked her skirt and climbed aboard, the noises of pain and pleasure too muddled to tell apart. Hands tangled in hair and yanked at clothing all to a wet soundtrack of heavy breathing and animal grunts.

Now I’ve recorded enough rough rides and clumsy efforts to give it or take it up the chuff to know that in a hook up on the Bus Route, there’s seldom more than an awkward fumble followed by a quick stuff and shoot. But there was cool elegance in what Jon did to that woman, and yet something distantly savage and desperate. I could have analyzed the videos frame by frame and still not figured out what he’d done to make her so completely his for that few minutes. It embarrassed me to realize that I was just as enthralled.

When the deed was done he motioned me over, the woman all but falling off his lap as she pulled up knickers and tugged at her skirt. “I want it,” she said with the wide-eyed excitement of a happy drunk. “Jon told me everything, Seth, and of course I want to buy it.”

Before I could question, Jon said, “I told Eleanor about mum. I’m sorry, Seth. It just came out.” He gave her a goo goo-eyed lover’s look. “She’s just so easy to talk to. And Seth, she wants to help us so we won’t have to do this anymore.” And bugger me if this Eleanor person didn’t pull boulder-sized diamond studs from her earlobes and hand them over “Take them, they’re genuine,” she slurred. With a wave of her hand she added, “they were just an impulse buy to thumb my nose at my husband. And this.” She shoved the clunky shoulder bag into my arms. “It’s all I could lay my hands on with such short notice, but hopefully it’ll help your mum.” She nodded for me to open it. The thing was completely stuffed with cash. Lots of cash! That fashion statement worked just fine for me.

“This will help mum so much,” Jon said. “Eleanor, how can we ever repay your kindness?” Were there actually tears in his eyes?

“Well, Seth can get me a flash drive of that delicious video, and you,” she said, stroking Jon’s exposed chest, can take me home.”

I’d done the big reveal often enough to be prepared when the guilty parties called me every filthy name in their often limited vocabulary, even threatened me with bodily injury before they twigged that they could either pay up or suffer the consequences. But this was a first.

 

The Bet: Part 5 Finale

 

While I’ve been away in China,  I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with you a five part story, never been read, never been published before, from the Medusa Consortium Series. If you’ve ever wonder how our fallen angel, Michael Weller, once lover of the Guardian, now Susan Ennis’s lover, and long time friend to and member of Magda Gardener’s consortium lost his angel hood, well wonder no more. Hope you’ve been enjoying an inside look at Michael and Magda.

Part Five is the grand finale of The Bet, but only the beginning of Michael’s story. Although he doesn’t know it at the time, Magda Gardener/AKA Medusa, has big plans for her fallen angel. I hope you enjoy this final episode.

 

 

PART FIVE

“Yes. He comes for everyone.” She smiled up at Graves. “But more than likely when it’s your time he’ll just invite you back to Buried Pleasures for one last bet before you take the boat across the river.”

“The boat across the river.”

“A bit more elegant than being shoved in a hole in the ground to rot, don’t you think?”

“And my innocence? How can I possibly give you that?”

“You already have, Michael. If you’re lucky the symptoms will come upon you gradually, but occasionally, they can all come at once and thoroughly kick you in the ass, like a really bad case of the flu, only worse.”

“I’ve never had the flu,” he said.

“Something else to look forward to then, I suppose.”

There had never been much color in Michael’s face, but what little there was leached away with each passing second. The face that had somehow seemed carved from warm alabaster now was no less beautiful, but showed signs of exhaustion, regret, understanding even, all overlaid by bone-crushing fear. No help was coming from above, of that he was certain. What he would never again be certain of was whether there would be retribution. But then that was part of the human condition as well, wasn’t it? He stared down at his hands. “I don’t feel so well. Do you think I’m getting the flu already?”

“It’s just human frailty, Michael. Don’t worry. You’ll get used to it.”

“Is it always like this?”

“I suspect so, but then I’ve never been human, so I can only guess.”

That didn’t seem to surprise him too much. “Are you like, his angel?” he asked nodding up to Graves.

She smiled. “Interesting thought, but no. I suppose you could say I’m here to collect debts.”

“ And Mr. Graves owes you?”

“Not Graves so much. His brother does, though, big time.”

“But I don’t owe anything,” he said, looking back down at his hands.

“Oh you will. Eventually you will.” She leaned forward, very close to him, the tresses of her hair slithering and writhing. For the first time, she allowed him to see her true form, but she kept the glasses pressed tightly against the bridge of her nose. With his immortality laid aside, he was now so very fragile. She didn’t want to hurt him. She was not his enemy. In fact, she was just what he would need one day. She spoke softly, a near whisper against his ear, only a breath away from the desperate hammering of his pulse setting a cadence, which she felt up through her spine. The life force there was so sweet, so finite, exposed as it had never been before. “When that time comes, when you’re wondering how you’ll ever pay those debts, you’ll be needing an ally.”

It spoke of how frightened he already was that her little reveal elicited only a raised eyebrow and a catch of breath, recognition of what shouldn’t exist. But then what shouldn’t exist could hardly be much of a challenge for an ex angel.

“So now you’ll kill me, was that the plan all along?” He asked watching her hair warily.

“Of course that’s not the plan.” She didn’t bother to tell him what the plan was, and when he didn’t ask, she figured he had enough to take in at the moment. Shock made everything else fuzzy and distant, that much she remembered very well. It offered comfort in the cataclysm of change, always the place where one longed to linger when faced with the true consequences of loss and anguish. It would depart far sooner than he’d be ready. She was happy to let him linger awhile. It wouldn’t hurt.

He sat looking like a man who was lost, which was exactly what he was. “What do I do now?” he asked at last.

She shrugged. Now wasn’t really her concern. “Go home to your lover, I suppose. It’s up to you. Do whatever you want.”

When he still didn’t move, she asked, “do you have a place to stay? Is your lover in Vegas with you?”

He looked up at her as though he’d only just realized she was there, and didn’t know what to make of her. Oh he was an impetuous lad, she thought.

“Your lover doesn’t know that you’ve done this?”

He blinked as though the light in the casino had become too much for his eyes. “No, I’m here alone. All alone.”

“But you did this with your lover in mind?”

He only nodded, still blinking as though he had something in his eye.

“What a nice surprise it’ll be then.”

When the thundering of his pulse against his throat grew to a rapid staccato, she said softly. “At least you hope it will be.”

He swallowed hard, as though he were trying not to vomit.

“Can I drop you at your hotel, maybe?” She asked.

“Hotel? I didn’t think about that. I flew here.”

“With your angel wings, yes I know, and now you can’t get back without a plane ticket or a car. I suppose you don’t drive though, do you?”

His lack of response was response enough. Shell shock didn’t begin to cover it, she was certain. Knocking over a teetering stack of chips, she reached out and stroked his arm. “Who you are now depends entirely on you and your decisions, Michael. Well, that and everything that happens to you from now on. Loss of innocence is as much about having no one who can protect you or make decisions for you as it is about being naked. It’s all up to you.” She lifted her head toward the ceiling. “No more control from upstairs.”

When his breathing became so rapid that she feared he’d hyperventilate, she shoved several stacks of chips in his direction. “Here, This’ll pay for a hotel room for a couple of nights, some clothes that halfway fit and a plane ticket back to wherever your lover is. Then you can make a plan, get used to your new life.”

When the only movement was still the jerking of his pulse, she stood and offered him her hand. “Come on, I’ll help you get settled in, help you learn the ropes.”

“Thank you. I didn’t think. I didn’t have a plan. I guess … I thought it would be different somehow.” His voice trailed off and his hand, clenched tightly around hers, was icy cold.

“It’s all right. One can hardly know what to expect at times like these.” She motioned him toward the exit. “Transitions are never easy.” As they turned to leave, she caught Jack Graves’ eye and gave him a nod, which he returned with a slight inclination of his head. “You’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of you, Michael, but you’ll be all right. Don’t worry.”

“Thank you.” His reply was slightly breathless. “I won’t forget how you helped me.”

She offered him an easy half smile and allowed the glasses to slip ever so slightly. “Of course you’ll forget. But don’t you worry, when the time comes, I’ll remind you.”

 

The Bet: Part 3 of a Brand New Medusa Consortium Story

 

While I’m away in China, I have a very special treat for you lovely lot. I’m sharing with you a five part story, never been read, never been published before, from the Medusa Consortium Series. Ever wonder how our fallen angel, Michael Weller, once lover of the Guardian, now Susan Ennis’s lover, and long time friend and member of Magda Gardener’s consortium lost his angel hood? Well wonder no more. This is a little peek into Michael’s backstory, taking place while Michael is with the Guardian and wants very much to give his lover a very special gift.

The Bet is complete in five parts, all of which will be posted here during the next two weeks. While I’m in China, I’ll have no access to my blog, nor email, nor Facebook, nor Twitter, so this is my gift for you to enjoy until I get back.

 

PART THREE

“Look Michael,” she scooted back to her chair and examined her manicure, “what I’ve lost, it’s no big deal to me. For me this really is just a game, something I do for entertainment when I’m bored. The owner and I are old friends, so from time to time he allows me play with the guests.” She nodded to the bustle of the casino awash in the bells of slot machines and the hiss and flutter of cards all muffled in the mutter and buzz of the guests. “There are plenty of other people I could play with, some even more desperate than you are, which makes the game all the more intriguing.” She patted the back of his hand, “Or perhaps I’ll just go out and enjoy Vegas. Unlike you, I find the city fascinating. So if you want me to keep playing, you’ll have to make it worth my while.”

He licked his lips and blew out a heavy breath in a gesture she’d have expected from a desperate loser, not a winner. Then he glanced around as though he expected to find a solution to his problems in some other part of the casino he’d not yet been to. “This is all I have. I don’t own anything else.”

This time she didn’t even try to disguise the predator within. She tossed back the rest of her champagne and ignored the ribbon from her hair as it slid off onto the floor. Then she slapped down the glass, her gaze never leaving his. She had to hand it to him, he didn’t look away. He didn’t even flinch. “Oh I know you don’t own anything. But that,” she waved a hand over the pile of chips, “that’s not all you have. Come on Michael, use your imagination, entice me.”

The color rose to his pale face, and he sputtered. “What, you mean like … sex?”

She rolled her eyes, a gesture he missed what with her glasses. “I said use your imagination.” She made a point of looking him over until he squirmed and blushed just like an adolescent. Then she inhaled the hot iron scent of his nervousness, of his desperation, a scent so familiar in the plush halls of Buried Pleasures, a scent ever present in spite of all the perfume and deodorant and shower gel attempts to make the losing and the winning
more comfortable. But on Michael, the smell of desperation was mouthwatering with its added sharp edged, thunderstorm bouquet stimulated by a new experience with which he wasn’t at all comfortable. “While you are pretty easy on the eye, I have no way of knowing how good you are in bed, and frankly, I don’t have to gamble for good sex if I want it. Besides, don’t you think that’s a bit cliché?”

He blushed even harder.

“Look, you wouldn’t be in Buried Pleasures if you weren’t desperate, if you weren’t willing to risk everything, and this,” another wave at the table, “you being my sex slave, none of that has anything to do with what you came here for, or what you’ve got to lose. So come on, Michael, make it worth my while or I’ll find someone who will.”

“I’ll bet my wings.” He blurted out, and then quickly glanced around to make sure no one was listening. No one was. In Buried Pleasures, no one cared.

This time Magda laughed outright. “Your wings? Seriously.”

“Yes! My wings.” He glanced around again and then leaned far over the table speaking between barely parted lips. “I know you may not believe it, but I’m –”

She all but snorted as a cocktail waitress delivered her a whisky and one for Michael, which he hadn’t ordered. “I know what you are, and so does he.” She nodded back to the owner. “Frankly, I’m a little surprised he let you in at all. He’s a live and let live sort of guy, Mr. Graves, and he usually doesn’t poach on anyone else’s territory.”

“What? Is he afraid God will strike him dead?”

She huffed out a laugh. “The gods don’t worry him much. But still, he doesn’t like to ruffle feathers if he can avoid it. He plays the long game, you know.”

“Well then if he knows what I am, and if he has no problem with it …”

She waved a dismissive hand. “Honestly, Michael, what the hell am I going to do with your wings? Sell them on eBay?”

His face reddened again. “I was thinking more along the line of Sotheby’s.”

“Oh please! You think some trophy hunter is going to mount them on the wall? Oh you are big game, I suppose. But angels giving up their wings is at least as cliché as people betting their bodies for sex in Vegas casinos. Wings are nothing. Wings don’t make you who you are. Wings are just the cherry on the top.”

This time he buried his face in his hands and shook his head. She waited for it, waited as though she had all the time in the world. At last, he forced himself upright, sucked in a heavy breath and met her gaze, way better than most would have. She liked that about him. “All right. Then you tell me. What do you want?”

She leaned in toward those stunning blue eyes, letting the Ray-Bans slip again and the hair fall in a mad cascade all but brushing the pile of chips. She leaned forward until he squirmed in his little chair and grabbed onto the table with a crushing grip, but he didn’t look away. “Unlike Mr. Graves, I don’t mind poaching at all. What I want, Michael, is you’re innocence. If I win, it’s mine. If I lose, you go back to where you belong and accept your fate.”

 

In Pursuit of Mr Sands – Free Read

As most of you know, I brought Elise North into A Demon’s Tale because she so intrigued me in her encounters with Mr. Sands, which I plan to revisit at a later date. We haven’t seen the last of him yet. But this little story, first published in Cosmo, gives a glimpse into PI, Elise North’s life before a certain demon turned it upside down.

As you know, from previous Medusa Consortium stories, in Magda Gardener’s world, nothing is ever simple where relationships and sex are concerned. And Elise is no exception. There are always complications. I hope you enjoy Elise’s pursuit of Mr. Sands, and I bet you can guess who has hired her for this little task.

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands

Five hot summer nights, I followed Mr. Sands in and out of clubs and bars in Soho. Sometimes it took him the better part of the night to pick up a woman, though he could have had his choice. Sometimes he found the one he wanted in the very first bar. There was no pattern, no rhyme or reason, no similarity that I could see in his choices. He never took them home. He never told them his name. He never fucked them. But he always made them come. Their response was unanimously a mix of ecstatic release and surprise, as though they hadn’t expected it.

He took them in alleys, in stairwells, even once on a crowded dance floor. It was always quick, always intense and it always felt a bit dangerous. He didn’t mind if the women bit or clawed or howled like wolves. They always came, but Mr. Sands never did. I wondered if he practiced some form of eastern discipline that enhanced male pleasure through refraining from ejaculation.

I’m a PI, and monitoring Mr. Sands’ nightly wanderings is my job. The woman who hired me to tail him isn’t his ex or a psycho lover. She claims she’s never met the man. But hey, everyone’s kink is different. If she gets off on my reports, then who am I to judge, as long as she pays me. And she pays me well. In fact she set me up in a posh flat with a view across the street right into Mr. Sands’ posh flat. Though it hasn’t helped much. He keeps his curtains drawn.

Every night Mr. Sands goes out at exactly ten, and every night I follow him. Every night I watch as women flirt and eyeball him longingly until he finally makes his choice. Some nights he wines and dines the lucky girl. Some nights, he simply takes her hand and leads her off to do the deed. Last night, his choice was a porcelain-skinned woman with ginger hair. He led her from the bar without so much as a word. She was breathless, wide-eyed, her full breasts bouncing in her scanty bronze sheath as she struggled to keep up with him in stilettos she was none to steady on. I could almost feel the sense of urgency that might have been hers, might have been his. The dress was tight enough that the lack of panties was evident, a bit too tight for a woman so well curved. But Mr. Sands didn’t seem interested in fashion or conventional beauty.

He pressed her up against a small loading dock in the ally, taking her mouth as though she were his favourite dish, slapping her hands away from his fly, though even I could see his bulge through my binoculars. There beneath the streetlight, he freed her breasts into his hands, thumbing and raking peach gumdrop nipples and heavily stippled areolae.

She sounded like a kitten mewing for its mother as he scrunched her dress until her Brazilian was as bare as her breasts. She gave a little yelp as he hoisted her up onto the loading dock and palmed her thighs wide apart forcing her back onto her elbows. One shoe dropped to the pavement with a muted thud as he cupped his hands behind her knees and pulled her closer to his face. Then he fingered her, studied her, caressed her as though he’d never seen a pussy before. All the while, she moaned and whimpered and squirmed against the hard concrete. “Please,” she begged. “Oh please.” But he ignored her keening.

When, at last, he spoke, his voice was velvet against bare skin, “You’ve been pretending. But you don’t need to for me.” Then he buried his face between her thighs, and she bucked and gyrated against him tugging and pulling at her breasts. Once again, he slapped her hands away and reached up to knead her almost as though he were raising his arms in an act of worship. He pinched and thumbed while never slacking in his efforts between her thighs. Her cries became guttural, like he’d awakened something feral in her, something that could now no longer be caged. He slid his hands down to cup her bum and drew her closer, as though he might crawl up inside her right next to that feral thing he’d awakened. She came with an animal howl that sent shivers up my spine and made the view from the binoculars shudder with the hammering of my pulse. At last he pulled away and wiped his face on the back of his arm. Then he mantled her close, covering her lips with kisses, she all but sobbing into his mouth.

Finally she spoke in little gasps of effort. “I’ve never had an orgasm before.”

“I know,” was all he said, as he bent to retrieve her shoe and gently slipped it onto her foot.

I stood in shock at her revelation, at his. The woman had never had an orgasm? Did he choose his women that way? But then how the hell would he know? I was so lost in my speculations that I had to scramble back into an alcove in front of a service entrance to keep from being seen as Mr. Sands escorted her back to the bar.

And just like that it was over. I knew the drill by now. The woman would return to her friends with a smile on her face, and Mr. Sands would go home.

I followed him, as I always did, then took the lift to my flat. Inside I stripped to tank and panties, wilted from the relentless heat. It was one of the few summer days each year when it hadn’t cooled down much at night. I poured myself a glass of cab. Usually unwinding from a night of tailing Mr. Sands meant a little hands-on. I had a vibrator, but there was something about our nightly rendezvous that gave me the urge to touch myself. Maybe the total lack of penetrative sex in those steamy encounters made me empathetic. My last task every working day was to open my curtains and make sure Mr. Sands was at home. He always was. Though his curtains were perpetually drawn, I could make out the cinnamon glow of lamplight inside. Occasionally I could see the shadow of movement back and forth beyond the drawn drapes. That was my cue for some ‘me time,’ as I fantasized about what he did after he came home late at night unsatisfied.

With wine glass in hand and my mind on the night’s intriguing discoveries, the curtain was completely open before I turned to find that Mr. Sands, for once, had followed suit. He stood looking right at me, wearing only grey track bottoms slung low around his hips, his chest glistening from the heat. I froze gaping, as he sipped a whiskey and brazenly looked me up and down. I’d been compromised. My client had warned me to make sure he never saw me. But I was confident, maybe a little arrogant. I was good at my job. I should have shut the curtains and left. But I just stood there like a rabbit in the headlights, my nipples stiffening beneath my tank top as surely as if he’d stroked them as he had the redhead’s. The quirk of his lips, the trailing of his gaze over my body sent shockwaves of heat core deep. The clench between my thighs, the subtle shifting of my hips wouldn’t have been noticeable by anyone. Hell, I could make myself come on a crowded bus and no one was the wiser. But he knew. I was certain he knew.

I raised my glass for a much-needed drink and miscalculated, dribbling red wine across white cotton and a distended nipple. His gaze was not subtle as he nodded to my breasts. I knew exactly what he wanted. Slowly, I lifted the glass and drizzled the cab across my breasts – all of it, gasping at the shock of it, biting my lip, closing my eyes just long enough to savor the sensation. When I opened them, he slid a hand inside the front of his track bottoms. It wasn’t difficult to tell he was hard, nor that he was substantial. I took in the shape of him as brazenly as he had me, giving my own little nod. But he only shook his head and raised an eyebrow making it clear that it was tit for tat.

Caught in his gaze, I could scarcely breathe, I could scarcely believe the risk I was taking. He knew where I was. He knew what I’d done. And yet I lifted my wet shirt  off over my head, the AC tightening my nipples still further. As he watched, I slid a hand into my panties mirroring his movements. I fingered my way down between my thighs, gasping at the slick swell of me, my tide pool scent filling the room as I began to stroke.

His own stroking had exposed the base of his cock in its nest of dark curls, and my mouth watered. I nodded again, wanting to see that tool he’d kept hidden all these nights, desperate to see him lose that cast iron control.

He gulped the rest of his whiskey and set the glass aside. Then he slid the other hand beneath his waistband to scoop and cup his sac, and I moaned my approval as his efforts revealed just a little more. And then it was a stand-off, neither of us blinking, neither of us flinching, we rubbed and stroked and flaunted ourselves, each in an effort to will the other into that final reveal. He shifted and pumped and moved in such a way that I could make out almost every detail of his heavy package from beneath the tease of fabric. The lust in his eyes was laced with something slightly wicked. Strange I’d never realized fear could be such a turn-on. I wanted to run and hide even as I wanted him to fuck me with his eyes.

I pulled my fingers from my panties and raised them to my mouth, giving him a hungry stare as I tasted my own slickness, then I sucked. He bit his lip and his body jerked. For a horrible moment I thought he’d come without me. But he took a deep breath and nodded. It was time. I slid a thumb into the edge of my panties and, with the other hand, counted down. Three…two…one. We both dropped our drawers. After that things got serious. He stepped closer to the window, as close as he could get to me. One hand cupped, the other stroked and tugged the heavy length of him as though it were seriously in need of taming.

Without looking away, I reached behind me and pulled the Queen Anne chair close. Then I plopped down splaying my legs over the arms so that he could see my efforts, fingers darting and circling, dipping and scissoring, butt raised high to give him a better view. The look on his face was utter concentration. I imagine mine was the same. As his orgasm burst in heavy spurts against the windowpane, I convulsed my own release, nearly upsetting the chair.

Afterwards we just stared at each other, still cupping ourselves, too stunned to think, too spent to move. But at last, he bent, pulled up his track bottoms and tucked his cock. He studied me for a long moment, the hunger in his eyes making me squirm in that place between arousal and fear. Then he waved a finger at me as though I’d been a naughty girl. Finally, he blew me a kiss and drew the curtains. The next morning, to my relief, and my disappointment, Mr. Sands was gone. But I’ll track him down. He has secrets I want. It is my job, after all. And I’m good at what I do.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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