A Little Valentine’s Fiction

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since this excerpt is based on Valentine’s Day, I thought that I would share it with you. If you like it, let me know.

M xoxo

***

I was in the middle of a perfect spin when someone turned the volume down on the song I was choreographing to.

What the fuck?!

Before I knew it, two of the girls were racing towards me. A tight knot formed in the pit of my stomach as I slid down the pole. Everyone knew better than to interrupt me while I was creating new sets so whatever it was had to be a important or an emergency.

“What’s wrong? Talk to me.” I grabbed my towel from the floor and dabbed the sweat away from my neck. When smiles spread across both of their faces, my blood began to boil. Their smiles meant that there was no emergency and both of their heads were going roll.

“Ella, that guy from the other night is out front asking for you,” Li Na giggled like a schoolgirl.

With or without make-up, Li Na could pass for a teenager though she was in her early-twenties. It had become clear that her jailbait looks were what had made her very popular with the freakier patrons at the club. Li Na was a smart girl and knew exactly how to work her looks to her advantage to get more tips.

“Who are you talking about?” I feigned ignorance but I knew who she meant.

“Your boyfriend,” Saanvi eagerly clarified, not able to contain her excitement. Saanvi was the total opposite to Li Na and was clueless about men and the business. Sheltered and freshly on her own after moving out from extremely controlling parents, there was no way I would allow her to get near the stage. Until she mastered some everyday life skills, I had found part-time work for her helping with the club’s social media side.

“I don’t have a boyfriend.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I walked away to retrieve my bottle of water. They followed me like two hungry puppies. They were both still young enough to think that working a pole and having a real boyfriend all at the same time was possible.

“Okay, well maybe he wants to be.” Saanvi’s eyes twinkled bright and hopeful. “It is Valentine’s Day you know.”

Whatever.

“Well, Happy fucking Valentine’s Day,” I sneered. “Tell him that I’m busy. You know that I don’t like being disturbed when I’m …”

The clicking of hard shoes against the studio floor made us all turn around to observe Jake sauntering over to where we stood. Li Na and Saanvi’s deep intakes of breath synchronized and rebounded hard against the studio walls. Holding a single red rose and now standing inches away from us, Jake was beyond looking like a tasty snack. He was a delicious five course meal and was making me hungry. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one squeezing my thighs together uncontrollably at the sight of him.

“So…I can’t be your Valentine today?” Jake’s voice was deep and raspy. He grinned and extended the rose to me. His eyes locked with mine for such a long moment that I didn’t realize that Li Na and Saanvi had vanished into thin air.

Don’t let him rattle you.

“No.” I managed to keep my aloofness with a smile and ignored his outstretched hand. “You can’t be my Valentine.”

“And why not?” Jake took a step closer and held the rose up between us. The scent of the rose and his cologne heightened my senses and all I was thinking about was wrapping my legs around his waist.

Down girl.

“You’re missing eleven roses for this to be a traditional Valentine’s bouquet…” I purposely looked the rose and turned up my nose.

“I have no problem running back and buying more. But something tells me that you’re not the typical woman who would be impressed by a full dozen.”

It was my turn to close the gap between us a little more. We were so close that I could feel his warm breath on my forehead.

“You’re right. I’m far from being a typical woman. Even if you bought me the entire flower shop, it wouldn’t matter because I don’t believe in love or anything related to Valentine’s Day.” My harsh words made him frown in the cutest way.

“You don’t believe in love?” Jake studied my face and grinned down at me.

“To believe in love, I would have to have a heart. And I don’t have a heart.”

I really wanted to tell him that if a man was not in a position to finance my life or fuck me senseless whenever I wanted with no strings attached, I had no use for them. But of course I didn’t let those words leave my mouth. Jake didn’t need to know about the hard and fast rules I had been living by for most of my adult life.

I wasn’t about to bend or break my life rules for Jake, no matter how tempting and normal he presented himself to be.

Jake was all strings. Hot, sticky and dangerous strings.

“You have a heart. I’ve seen it more than once sweetheart. And I saw it clearly the other night too.”

My entire body tensed up at the memory of the other night and my face flushed.

“The other night had nothing to do with “heart”. It had everything to do with me wanting to fuck you and you weren’t interested.” I felt myself getting pissed all over again at how he had turned me down, leaving me hot, bothered and unsatisfied. “I mean, do you even like women? A typical straight guy would never have turned me down.”

And it was the truth. Never in my adult life had I been refused by any man.

Never.

Jake gave me a long hard stare that froze my breath. Probably sensing that I would back away, he slid his hand around my waist and pulled me in so that my chest was pressed against what felt like a six pack of hard abs.

Damn.

“I assure you that I’m straight Ella. I’m just not your typical guy, just like you aren’t a typical woman. Sometimes slow is a better way of getting to know each other…”

“But most times, fast and furious is much more fun,” I countered and watched as his eyebrows shot up.

“Do you purposely try to shock people or are you always this…unfiltered?”

“Being unfiltered has gotten me into some trouble but I can handle it. Does it scare you?” I was the one grinning now.

“It actually does but in a good way,” Jake admitted, running his hand through his dark curly hair before returning it to my waist. “But I also think that it’s your way of keeping your guard up against getting hurt.”

“No it’s not. What do you even really know about me?” I failed miserably at reigning in my defensive tone.

“I know enough about you to want to know more. How about I take you to lunch and you can let me be your Un-Valentine today?” Jake lifted the rose and brushed it gently across my cheek until I finally accepted it.

When I shook my head at his persistence, Jake kissed my forehead and I was glad that he couldn’t see the hint of a smile on my face.

Something about Jake had the potential to ruin the uncomplicated lifestyle I had spent years creating for myself.

And if I wasn’t very careful, I’d let him.

(This scene will likely be included in Ella’s future story.)

©2019 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to sign up for MAILING LIST.

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12 Inches Is More Than Enough

38 centimeters and still counting but at least we knew it was coming.

School and daycare cancellations were announced since yesterday. Workplaces strongly suggested that people work from home if possible. Radio stations warned listeners to stay in.

And all of this before snow could even hit the ground.

Remember the snow storm days from long ago when we waited for the school bus to arrive and when it didn’t, you simply had to stay home? Then your parents were miffed because one of them would have to call in sick to stay home with you? We all had to roll with the punches.

Today, the roads are empty and if you have to get somewhere fast, good luck with that. With the thick layer of ice still hidden under all that snow, it is treacherous to say the least.

Being a planner, I prepared for it – extra groceries bought and delivered to the older folks in my family, cars and snowblower topped with gas, house kept at a toastier temperature just in case there is a another power failure…

The only thing that would make this snow day almost perfect would be a tasty bowl of Pho for lunch. But as you can see from the photo above, any kind of delivery service will be impossible until the snowblower is put to use.

But I don’t mind being snowed in. It sounds weird but there is something comforting about going about my day with the snow gently falling outside and listening to “snow stories” from listeners on the radio.

How is your day going? And are you snowed in too today?

Bisous,

M xoxo

Monday Musings: When Marie Kondo’ed Peter

Am I the only one in the entire world who is unimpressed by Marie Kondo?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Marie. I’m just old enough to remember Peter Walsh who preached the same approach back in the late 2000s during “The Oprah Winfrey” segments.

Then again, everything old is new again, isn’t it?

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I was into the decluttering arena long before I knew anything about Peter though.

Even as a kid, I needed for the environment around me to be decluttered and organized otherwise I couldn’t concentrate and write. To this day, keeping my space as feng shui/clutter-free possible helps tremendously when it comes to keeping my creative energy. The ideas are free to flow, the space is energized and everything is just zen.

These days,  I’m more into dostadning, a Swedish hybrid of the words for death and cleaning. It sounds totally morbid but it encompasses the same Marie/Peter methods with an added component – getting rid of excess to lessen the burden on your loved ones after you’re gone.

When I look at my belongings with dostadning in mind, I’m ruthless.

But I will thank Marie for one thing. Because of this KonMari craze, the thrift stores are OVERFLOWING with great stuff for cheap that “spark joy” and that “make my heart sing”.

Just look at this almost brand new book I bought for $1.25 that I had planned to buy at regular price:

Don’t believe me about the thrift stores? I dare you to visit your local one. Just be sure to declutter first! 🙂

M  xoxo

“Good Dick Is Hard To Find” – Fiction Friday

Photo credit: aliciacody via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Richard is standing behind me and I’m sitting deathly still waiting for him to react. I close my eyes as he leans in and fills my ear with his hot breath.

“No other man could ever do you the way that I do.”

I say nothing.

“How could you do it? Of all the men in this city, you turned to him? If you were unhappy, you should have talked to me!” He slides his hands along my shoulder blades and he pauses dramatically when he reaches the base of my neck. Hopefully, he won’t strangle me.

His voice is barely audible to the people sitting around us. His tone always sends tingles up my spine and makes my skin prickle in a sick yet satisfying way.

“It had nothing to do with not being happy! I just needed…”

“It kills me to know that you let him touch you! You let his hands play with what is rightfully mine. I’m not even sure if I want you back.”

His hands fall away from my neck, slides back down my shoulders and my face flushes with shame.

“I’m sorry. But…but you weren’t around to give me what I needed.”

“So that’s the way you’re going to play this off? You’re blaming me? I was only gone for one week!”

“I know, I’m sorry but…”

“All I keep seeing is his hands running through your hair and…”

Disgust chokes Richard’s words and then there we are, at a quiet standstill.

I can’t lose him, I refuse to lose him. I’ve waited far too long to have a man like this to lose him now. I need to make “us” right. Just being sorry isn’t going to cut it.

That’s when it hits me – I know what I have to do. I close my eyes and take a deep breath.

“Richard, I’ll make it up to you.”

“How?”

“Uh…You know that thing you’ve always fantasized doing to me? Well, I’ll let you do it. I’ll let you have your way.”

I keep my eyes shut while I wait for his reaction. A quiet moment passes and once again, his hands find their way back to my shoulders. He squeezes them with anticipation and suddenly his lips are almost pressed against my ear again.

“Really? You’re that sorry?”

I nod.

“I’ll let you do anything you want to me. But one time and one time only. But you can never bring up what I did again and you can never ever kick me to the curb. Agreed?”

“Agreed!”

As I feel the whoosh of the plastic smock sweep across my body to imprison me, I finally raise my eyes and look at his reflection in the mirror facing us. A smile spreads wide across his face as he runs all ten fingers through the hair that I have never let him cut beyond its current shoulder length.

As his hands continue to play, his eyes glaze over as if he is literally turned on by fondling it. I am slightly repulsed at his excitement but feel a little empowered by the hold I seem to have over him in this tiny moment. Like a mad man, Richard’s eyes dart across the array of scissors and on the work space in front me.

“Hmmm…I’ve more than fantasized about giving you a sexy bob cut, hiding the grey and turning you into a fiery hot red-head with a little blond streak. It’s time you get off the grey line and I’ll guarantee that the men will fall in line in no time at all during this holiday season.”

Richard turns to bark orders at one of the many young wanna-be-famous-too assistants to prep me.

“I’m going to do you sooo right that you won’t be able to walk out of this salon!”

I stifle a laugh at how everything Richard says has sexual undertones but is always related to hair.

Like all of the other women submissively waiting their turn with “Good Dick”, the nickname clients called him behind his back, I have no intention of upsetting the apple cart. Never again would I dare have my hair touched by his arch rival across town.

If keeping myself in Richard’s good graces and on the salon’s exclusive client list means giving him my head, I’m prepared to swallow that bitter pill and pay the price of my betrayal because Richard’s hands are pure magic.

And in this city, another Good Dick is hard to find.

I hope that you enjoyed this. 

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. Feel free to sign up for MAILING LIST .

 

 

 

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Phoney Baloney

Growing up with a handful of older brothers, I learned to question everything at an early age.

Besides the usual sibling shenanigans, I endured lots of tall tales and phoney baloney, like how the pepperoni on my slices of Friday night pizza wasn’t good for me and should be shared with them. Or how ghosts lurked in our family’s basement where I had to practice the piano and I spent years nervously looking over my shoulder while I tried to play.

It didn’t take long for me to learn to question anything I found remotely suspicious.

So now, please don’t try to fool me because I’ll make time to waste your time.

Like this out-of-the-blue exchange with someone I accepted on my IG a few nights ago…

Oh no, what “ongoing news” was I missing out on?

I was tempted to say that for a published indie author, their phrasing wasn’t very…”good news”.

Really? The good people of FB randomly gave away $50K? And they thought of me? How sweet.

What? They “don’t get me?” That’s such a shame.

They said it twice in the exact same way with the exact same not so good phrasing so I guess that I should really, really, really believe that it is not a scam…

Look, I was window-shopping on Amazon as I indulged in this ridiculous exchange. And if it weren’t for my area losing power due to all of the freezing rain, I would have run with this for a while because, like I said, I’ll waste an idiot’s time.

But it’s too bad that our lovely chat was cut short.

I would love to have found out more about the $50K I won…

Monday Musings: Three Left Turns

“Sometimes we have to make three left turns, instead of one right, to find our way.” – Tricia Huffman

I’ve had quite a few stops and starts with my dream of becoming a published writer.

Besides the obstacles I’ve placed in my own way, life has taken me on detours and played some dirty tricks.  Only recently have I realized that if I keep my eye on the prize and make the decision to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving towards my goal, I’ll get to where I want to be.

No, I’ll get to where I need to be.

It’s a waste of time thinking about where I could have been if I had gotten out of my own way a long time ago.

Maybe my outlook has improved because I’m revisiting my  “live your life now” theme of my novella. Maybe it’s because my edits are going really well (I’ve put myself on a “schedule”). Or maybe it’s because I no longer have a fear of the boogeyman I thought was waiting to jump out at me from behind the scary self-editing process curtain ( I gifted myself a few online courses for Christmas and they demystified everything)…

Whatever the reason, I’m feeling totally light and positive about my editing progress and writing in general.

It’s like I’m attracting a bunch of good writing stuff – pieces of the puzzle I need to know are “finding” me instead of me chasing after them.

When I couldn’t figure out how to use YWriter and Scrivener after NaNoWriMo, Pressbooks fell into my lap when I was focused on something else. When I wanted to find one great resource about marketing, Seth Godin‘s name popped up in a podcast I was listening to. And when I wanted to find authors in my genre who know how to balance their blog, book, and newsletter content, I stumbled across three great ones (outside of my genre) within the same week.

The universe is helping me because I’m helping myself and not allowing myself to get discouraged anymore.

I’m seeing that if it weren’t for my “left turns”, I don’t think that I would have gotten to this point in my writing journey. Maybe I needed all the twists in the road to make me more optimistic than I have ever been been about my writing. And maybe I needed the discouraging naysayers in my past for me to fully understand that writing is all about me, my passion and my outlet.

I’m still writing.

I’m still here.

And writing is a part of my life that will never disappear.

It’s never too late to chase your dreams as long as you start today and keep moving forward, right?

What dream do you need to start chasing again? If you’d like to share, feel free to drop it in the comments.

M xoxo

“One In A Million” – Fiction Friday

Photo credit: Tamara Álvarez via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

A lesson on how to treat yourself as a priority when your significant other chooses to make you an option…

“You’re a great girl but I…uh… just don’t want to be “exclusive” right now. I mean, I’m not ready for anything serious at this point in time. You understand that, don’t you?”

It was a Friday night and Lily was curled up next to me on the couch watching a movie on Netflix. From out of left field, Lily had popped the topic, taking me by surprise. Well, it wasn’t that far out of left field – we had been seeing each other regularly for months.

I braced myself for her reaction and the anger that would probably follow.

I felt Lily’s body stiffen and her cheek left where it had been gently resting against my chest. She sat up with a frown but it quickly vanished. Lily hesitated before speaking.

“Oh, uh…okay. I understand.”

I watched as she managed to smile and I was simply relieved that she wasn’t pissed.

Lily was always cool. Then again, she was Lily and unlike any other girl I had ever dated. Independent, stable in every sense of the word, kind and caring all rolled up into one amazing, petite package. I really, really liked her but when I realized that I could easily fall for her, I decided to take a step back. I needed to keep my options open, just in case. You know what I mean, right?

I sat up and grabbed my beer that sat next to her green tea on the coffee table.

“Babe, I’m blown away that you’re not mad. Wow, you are one in a million.”

Lily smiled at the compliment and grabbed her cell from the coffee table. I watched her scroll through her screen, press a few buttons and then drop the cell into her purse.

“Who texted you?”

Lily always ignored her cell when we were together so I was curious since I hadn’t heard it vibrate.

“Oh, no one texted me.”

“So what were you checking on your cell?”

“Nothing. I was deleting you from my contacts.”

Lily’s voice was so matter of fact that I wasn’t sure if I had heard her correctly.

“What?”

I was confused as she pushed herself up off the couch, got up and started gathering her things.

“Where are you going? You just said that you were fine with not being exclusive…”

Lily nodded as she draped her purse over her shoulder and folded her coat over her arm.

“Matt, I am fine with you not wanting to be exclusive. We’ve been dating for seven months now. We’ve even met each other’s families. But if you’re still sitting on the fence about me, that means that I’m not the right one for you. There are some things I won’t do and being an option to you is not one of them ”

My heart beat fast and panic traveled through my body. My mind raced back to our second date when my car had broken down and we had gotten stranded in the middle of nowhere for hours waiting for a tow truck. Lily never even complained once when we were forced to eat at a dive bar next to the repair shop while we waited. She had taken it all in stride like water off a duck’s back.

Lily was also the one who had brought me homemade soup and stopped by to check on me every day when I had the flu and thought I was going to die. When everyone else had avoided me and my nasty germs, Lily had been fearless. She was always so easy, free flowing, drama-free. And I really loved being with her.

One word described Lily and it was “amazing”.

“No, no, no! Wait, it’s not that you’re not the right girl for me. It’s just that …”

“Matt, you don’t need to explain,” Lily interrupted calmly. “I appreciate that you’re telling me this now. It’s better for me to know sooner than later. I thought that we had something good but I guess that it was one-sided. I need a man who appreciates me, a man who knows a great catch when he sees one. But that is clearly not you.”

The sharp pain in my chest was a telltale sign that I had made a huge, huge mistake.

“Please don’t go! I do want to be take things to the next level with you in the future…”

“Matt, I’m not afraid to tell you that so I’m being very clear. I wouldn’t want to leave you confused about where I stand.”

Lily leaned down and kissed me on the forehead – the kiss of death. Her gesture silenced me

“The future was now Matt. I hope that you find what you’re looking for. Take care of yourself.”

Glued to the couch with second thoughts, I watched Lily disappear through my front door as if she’d heard the call of the wind.

Did you enjoy this little story? I hope that you did. As a writer who aspires to self-publish, building an email list of readers interested in my fiction is very, very important (at least, that’s what the experts say). If you enjoy my fiction, signing up for my monthly newsletter would support me tremendously. Feel free to sign up for MAILING LIST right here. M  xoxo

All Rights Reserved©2017 Marquessa Matthews.