Monday, September 29, 2014

ReemAfterDark Presents..."The Painter's Canvas"

Welcome to another sexy installment of "Reem After Dark Presents." This week's short story is actually an excerpt from my 4th novel, "Glass Goddesses,Concrete Walls."  Enjoy and feel free to order an autographed copy of the novel via the link posted below. 


They say that art imitates life but wouldn’t it be amazing if just once things were the other way around and life imitated art instead? Just imagine what a beautiful thing that would be.


The Painter’s Canvas

S
ometimes, being lost after making a wrong turn can put you on a path to accidental adventures that in hindsight don’t seem as random as you first thought. Every now and then, a hint of fate’s existence shows up like a speck of dust in our eye to remind us that there is the possibility that there are no coincidences in our lives. That’s how I feel about one night in particular when I made a wrong turn in Manhattan.
I had been driving around in circles searching for the address of an author friend’s book signing. When I finally found the place I couldn’t find anywhere to legally park my car. New York City’s Department of Transportation was quick and eager to tow your vehicle if you didn’t pay close attention to the parking regulations. The city needed that extra revenue so they bled those of us who owned cars totally dry, every chance they got. Just when I was about to give up and accept the fact that my wallet was going to end up being raped because of nearest underground, parking garage’s fees, I found a safe place to park. Quickly, before anyone else took it, I pulled into it, right behind a white van with both of its back doors wide open. That’s when I saw her struggling to get a huge painting out of the van. She was dressed in a stunning, black, cocktail dress that hugged every voluptuous curve. Her body type, from the fullness of her breasts down to the thickness of her thighs, smoothly formed the type of hourglass figure that a man couldn’t take his eyes off. The things that strangely stood out were the beat-up construction boots on her feet and the red bandana that her hair was tied up in. Her outfit was a confusing cross between classy and grunge that suited her because she made it look good so effortlessly. Her weird was definitely sexy. When I finally stopped gawking, I got out of my car to offer some assistance.
“Need some help?” I asked as I caught her in my arms as she fell backwards. She had been stepping down to get the painting out of the van when she slipped.
“Thanks,” she answered nervously, certainly glad that she didn’t fall but surprised to find herself in the arms of a total stranger.
“I saw you struggling and thought I’d give you a hand,” I explained.
“And it’s a good thing you did. We can’t have the star of tonight’s art show breaking her neck,” said the metro-sexually-dressed  man wearing skinny jeans and a Mohawk as he put his hand on my shoulder. I was so focused on her that I hadn’t noticed him walking up behind us.
“Glad I could help,” I answered, turning to shake the hand he had extended in friendship.
“I’m Miguel and the beautiful, artistic, genius that you just saved from a terrible fall is my girlfriend, Alice,” he told me. Then he leaned forward and kissed her while still shaking my hand which really shouldn’t have annoyed me as much as it did.
“Nice to meet you and thanks again,” Alice told me once Miguel removed his lips from hers.
“You’re welcome. You both have a goodnight,” I answered and started to walk away. I was obviously the third wheel and the sooner I was on my way the better. Miguel would have certainly been glad to be rid of me if he could have read my mind and saw how much I was attracted to his woman.
“Hey, where are you off to?” Miguel asked.
“A friend of mine is having a book release party a few blocks from here.”
“That sounds pretty cool. Before you go, would you like to step inside with us for a few minutes and see some of Alice’s paintings? It’s her first art show. We won’t keep you long, I promise,” Miguel beckoned me as Alice smiled and, unless it was only my imagination, invited me with her big, beautiful, brown eyes.
“I can come inside for a few minutes,” I agreed although I knew that I should have politely declined.
“Awesome! Now we get to take you down Alice’s artistic rabbit hole and show you what’s really on the other side of the looking glass,” he said as he took the painting out of her hands and carried it through the gallery doors.
“He’s so corny sometimes,” she whispered to me.
Once I was inside the gallery, the few minutes I didn’t mind sacrificing somehow turned into hours. Time ticked off the clock and my previous engagement was soon forgotten. (I don’t believe that my author friend ever forgave me.) It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go but the feast for my eyes was too much to turn away from. My attention alternated between Alice’s amazing artwork and the beautiful woman herself, all while Miguel kept the champagne flowing. Before we knew it, all three of us were drunk and new best friends. Of course, things had been somewhat awkward at first but Miguel had been an excellent host. The gallery was packed and he treated every person in attendance like family while still managing to make them feel like royalty. He would have been an excellent politician. He didn’t even seem to care when my gaze may have lingered a moment too long on his woman and she definitely didn’t seem to mind because she never looked away. There were even moments when it felt like he actually encouraged me to lust for her. He kept asking me if I saw how sexy, or curvy, or delicious she was. I wasn’t sure if all of the champagne was to blame or if he wanted me to fall in love enough to perhaps purchase a painting before the night was over.
“I need to use the little boys’ room to set some of this alcohol free,” Miguel announced. He kissed Alice and left us alone, standing together in front of one of her abstract paintings. As soon as he was gone, the vibe between us changed.
“What do you think?” she asked as her hand brushed against mine. I couldn’t tell if it had been intentional or accidental. All I knew was that it felt like a spark that could ignite a bonfire if we fanned the flames. Fires are spectacular, raw, elemental forces of nature but when we stand too close to them, someone almost always gets hurt. I kept that in mind to help keep my impulses in check and under control.
“Beautiful,” I said. My answer made her blush which was proof that she understood the intended double-meaning. She smiled and moved from beside me to stand in front of me. She backed up just enough that her butt touched the front of my slacks. She had barely brushed against me but I could feel myself getting hard, excited by the slight, subtle contact, surely meant to tease and excite me.
“What does it make you feel?” she asked, looking back at me over her shoulder. I stared at the painting but all of my thoughts were on the soft, round, flesh squeezed into the lower region of the back of her dress.
“It gives me a good feeling,” I answered.
“Does it? In what way?” she asked, stepping back into me again, this time pressing her juicy butt against me even harder. “Oh,” I heard her whisper to herself when she felt how big the bulge in the front of my pants had become. I wanted to lift up her dress and take her panties down, if she was wearing any at all.
“It makes me curious to understand what it means.”
“It can mean anything you want it to. The only limitation is what you can imagine,” she whispered just as Miguel returned from the rest room. He didn’t seem to notice that she was standing so close to me and if he did, he pretended not to care.
At the end of the night, Alice sold a total of six paintings for very handsome prices. Miguel insisted that we all went out to celebrate so the three of us, well plied with wine and champagne, staggered out into the bright lights of the city that never sleeps on our way to the nearest diner. Alice suggested that we sat in a booth and squeezed in beside me, leaving Miguel to sit alone on the opposite side of the table. The cautious side of me was uncomfortable with the seating arrangements she’d chosen even if Miguel didn’t seem concerned. I would have been furious if my woman had done something like that but he never stopped talking, never stopped smiling and never stopped acting as if we were all best buddies.
“So, what do you do for a living?” he asked.
“I’m an author. I mostly write novels but occasionally I dabble in the realm of short stories and poetry.”
“Well now, I am humbled and truly blessed to be in the presence of such creative folk, one gifted with a paintbrush and the other with paper, ink and words,” he said, still grinning, still pleasant and still a perfect host. I don’t know how pleased he would’ve been if he looked under the table and saw Alice’s hand in my lap, resting on my thigh. Our waitress accidentally dropped one of the menus on the ground next to our table and as he reached down to pick it up for her, I was certain that he would have seen. When he sat back up and calmly placed his menu on the table I assumed that he hadn’t. Our friendly talk continued with flirtatious Alice’s hand safely removed from the inappropriate region and appropriately placed in plain view, on top of the table. We all agreed that we probably had way too much to drink so they ordered coffee for themselves and hot chocolate for me. (I’ve never been a coffee drinker.) When our hot beverages arrived, Alice reached into my cup, scooped up some of the whipped cream, put her creamy finger in her mouth and then licked it clean.
For hours we discussed art, literature and not-so-popular culture. If I ignored the naughty ways she had touched me, Alice and Miguel seemed to be a great couple. They found humor in the same things and even occasionally finished each other’s sentences. It was obvious that they were the best of friends and it’s a known fact that relationships that are bound by friendship form the strongest ties. This seemed to be the case with them although some of their other behavior seemed strange and suspicious. Eventually our conversation took a more personal turn and landed in the realm of more sensitive subjects.
“What are your thoughts on cheating?” Miguel asked me out of the blue and for the first time all evening, his face became serious.
“I’m not sure what you mean by that. You have to be more specific,” I told him.
“Do you think that everyone does it? It just seems to me like everyone is unfaithful.”
“I don’t think so. I mean, most people have been guilty of it at one point or another but I still hold onto a small measure of hope that there are at least a few loyal people in the world.”
“Do you believe that men and women cheat for different reasons?” Alice asked me.
“To be honest, I don’t think that they do. Men and women are more alike than anybody wants to admit.”
“How so?” Miguel asked.
“Everyone believes that lack of self-control, greed and lust is what drives men to have affairs. Sometimes that’s true but women do it for the same reasons. They just make up different excuses because otherwise, people would call them sluts and whores. On the flip side of that, it isn’t always disloyalty or the desire for forbidden sex that leads to cheating. A lot of times things that are emotionally missing can be the cause. Society acknowledges that women are emotional creatures so it’s nothing for them to admit that they needed comfort that they weren’t getting in their relationship. Men aren’t supposed to have feelings so they almost always pretend that their infidelity was all about sex which doesn’t make sense when so many times their mistresses aren’t anywhere near as attractive as the women waiting at home for them.”
“Well said. I have to agree with most of that. You have some valid points,” Miguel said but his face still remained uncharacteristically stern.
“Interesting,” said Alice before she slowly took another sip of her piping hot coffee. Miguel continued to stare me down and waived off the waitress when she tried to pour him another cup. Just like that, there was suddenly a thick air of tension between us. He looked directly at me and I looked directly back at him.
“And you, how do you feel about it?” I asked him.
“I never worry about it,” he answered, confidently and coldly, obviously meant to send me some sort of message. “To act paranoid or suspicious because of all kinds of unwarranted jealousy makes a man appear weak to his woman. If you show a woman that you believe that she would seek comfort or pleasure from another man, how long before she begins to wonder if maybe she should? Accusations plant thoughts in people’s heads that weren’t even there before. Besides, if something is truly yours, no one can ever take it away from you,” he explained.
“Well said,” I responded in the same manner and tone that he had used before.
“Thank you,” he answered.
“Let’s dance,” said Alice as she pushed me out of the booth. Like a fool, I stood up expecting her to take my hand. Instead, she pushed past me and grabbed Miguel to drag him from the table to dance to music that only they could hear. I sat back down alone, finished my second cup of hot chocolate and watched them move together as lovers should. I felt like I should leave. Just as my discomfort became unbearable, they came over and sat back down with me. That time, Alice sat down next to Miguel and left me alone on my side of the booth. She insisted on paying the bill by herself when the waitress placed it on the table. We made polite small talk for a few more minutes and then said our goodbyes.
“You should stop by sometime,” said Miguel as he handed me a napkin with their address and phone number scribbled on it. “We don’t have a lot of friends and the ones we have are boring. It’d be nice to have someone to have good conversations with.”
“Sure, I’d like that,” I answered uncomfortably because there was something sinister in his invitation that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It felt like he was daring me to try something and I didn’t like it. Things would only turn out badly for me or maybe even him if I did. He seemed to doubt that possibility whole-heartedly.
I was somewhat sober by the time I got back to my car but I took a nap before I drove home, just to make sure. By the time I opened my eyes it was daylight. I couldn’t remember what I had dreamt but I was certain that Alice had made an appearance in my subconscious fantasies. I looked at the napkin that Miguel had handed to me and knew that I should have opened my window to let the wind take it but instead I carefully tucked it in my pocket. It took me three weeks before my curiosity won its battle with my common sense and I finally gave them a call. Miguel sounded glad to hear from me and invited me over for dinner.
The first time I went over to their loft apartment that also doubled as Alice’s art studio, I learned that Miguel was a musician. That first night we met, he hadn’t really said much about himself. He was the lead vocalist in a hip-hop/grunge band. He gave me a cd to listen to and truthfully, it was surprisingly pretty good. I actually wrote a few chapters when I got home later on that night while listening and vibing to it. I started to spend more time with my new friends and things remained fairly innocent until Miguel invited me to watch his band perform at an underground night club in Manhattan.
Traffic on the F.D.R. Drive held me up that night so I was running late. When I finally found a parking space where my car wouldn’t get towed, I hurried to the venue and ran into Alice out front smoking. She looked just as good in old jeans and a faded T-shirt as she had in a tight, form-fitting, cocktail dress. Her curves were undeniable and impossible to hide no matter what she wore. There are certain moments in life that set a series of unstoppable events in motion, not unlike the first loose pebble that starts an avalanche. That’s what it felt like when I walked up and she hugged me tightly. I’m not ashamed to admit that she felt good in my arms. Once she finished smoking, she flicked the butt of her cigarette into the street, grabbed me by the arm and dragged me past the bouncers at the door.
It was dark, crowded and as hot as a furnace inside but the atmosphere was live enough that it didn’t matter. Miguel’s band had the crowd in a frenzy as Alice and I guzzled down beer after beer in our red, plastic cups. I put my hand around her waist and when she didn’t move it, I turned her body to face me and we danced until we were both soaked in sweat. The music in our ears, the alcohol in our blood and the people packed together all around us didn’t matter. The world did not exist outside of the tiny space on the dance floor that she and I occupied. As our bodies touched we freed the long subdued sexuality that we both wanted to sample badly. I put my hands all over her body and she welcomed my touch. She wasn’t shy at all and boldly put her hands on me in private places. When the music finally stopped she smiled and surprised me with a big, wet, kiss on my lips. It was enough to hypnotize me but a second later she acted as if nothing had happened. It confused me at first but once I got a grip on the reality of the situation, I accepted that maybe I was making something out of nothing. Maybe everything that had happened only existed within the bubble we had created and now that it had been popped, it might as well have been a figment of our imaginations. Maybe Alice was just that friendly and recklessly comfortable with tempting me that way. Miguel came over and kissed her passionately. For the first time I was relieved by that well-timed reminder. Otherwise I might have driven myself crazy with wild, dangerous thoughts about what was almost impossible. I watched Alice greet each of the band members with big, affectionate, hugs. I also noticed that she didn’t kiss any of THEM the way she had kissed me though.
“Can you do me a favor and give me a ride home?” she asked as the band started to pack up their equipment.
“What about Miguel? Won’t he mind?”
“Why would he? It’s not like you’re taking me home to fuck me. Besides, none of his crew drives so he’s going to have to give each one of them a ride and they live all over the damn five boroughs. If I go with him, it’d be hours before we’d get home and I’m tired.”
“No problem, as long as he’s cool with it.”
“Whether he was cool with it or not, I’m cool with it. Let’s go.”
We were both quiet for most of the ride and I found the awkward silence unsettling. It was torture trying to figure out what she was thinking while she kept her eyes away from mine. Her gaze remained glued to the passenger side window. When I couldn’t stand the silence I slid Miguel’s cd into the player on my dashboard.
“Ugh, I think we’ve had enough of that for the night. Turn it off and tune to the slow jams station,” she told me. What happened next was crazy. Every single song that played for the forty-minute ride over to her place seemed to be about the situation we were in, or at least I thought so. I really had no idea what Alice was thinking as she quietly enjoyed the music. I cut the radio off once we got to her place.
“Well, I guess this is goodnight then,” I said even though I secretly hoped that it really wasn’t.
“Come inside for a drink,” she told me and I wondered if she knew that if I came inside I would want more than a drink.
“Thanks, but no thanks. I shouldn’t. I need to be on my way home to write a few chapters before I fall out,” I lied, my own tongue betraying what I desired in my heart. I suppose that was my last attempt to do the right thing and just leave.
“I’m not taking no for an answer. It’s the least I can do after you kept me company all night. Usually, whenever I go to Miguel’s gigs I get surrounded and swarmed by thirsty lames trying to get at me all night. Tonight I didn’t have to pepper-spray anybody and I actually got to enjoy myself for once. Turn the car off and come on.”
“Sounds like you’re not giving me a choice.”
“That’s because I’m not. Let’s go,” she giggled and sprinted off to her front door, dodging the rain drops that had started to fall. I shut my car off and followed.
Upstairs, Alice poured me a drink but only opened a bottle of water for herself. It was exciting being there alone with her in the dark. For whatever reason, she hadn’t turned on most of the lights. A lamp with a low-watt light bulb in the far corner of the room and the occasional sliver of moonlight that broke through the rainclouds were the only reasons why the place wasn’t completely pitch black. Alice continued to be as quiet and enigmatic as she had been in the car.
“I had a good time tonight too. I haven’t partied like that in years,” I told her.
“I’m glad,” she answered. “I need a shower. Sit right there and I’ll be right back.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
While she was gone, my mind was ravenously consumed by images of what she must have looked like naked, soap running down her smooth skin as the water from the shower poured down on her the same way that the rain outside beat against the loft windows. I wanted her but I couldn’t get completely comfortable with that idea because of the enormous black and white photograph of her with Miguel on the wall in front of me. In it, they were wrapped affectionately in each other’s arms and locked in a passionate kiss. It served as an undeniable reminder that she was his. All the same, it didn’t make me think that their relationship was any less strange. Miguel’s confidence seemed bulletproof as he constantly claimed that he was absolutely certain that Alice was dedicated to him, mind, body and soul. I suppose I was biased because of my desires but something told me that his hold on her wasn’t as strong as he would’ve liked me to believe. I definitely should have left her alone but the way he had flaunted her in front of me and taunted me to try to have her only motivated me to want her more. It felt like he was subliminally saying that he was a better man than I was and my pride didn’t like that at all.
“I’m back,” Alice announced as she re-entered the room wearing a black nighty that stopped mid-thigh. She looked like a curvy, lingerie model except for the black and red, striped socks on her feet. Her hair was wet and wrapped in a towel. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t mind coming home to her every night. She was stunning, amazing and absolutely gorgeous. Her only temporary flaw was the troubled look on her face.
“Do you want another drink because I’m about to make one for myself?” she asked on her way to the liquor cabinet.
“No, I’m good. Thanks. But, I would like to know what’s up with you?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“It just seems like you have a lot on your mind.”
“Wow. Is it that obvious?”
“Yes.”
“It’s the show I have coming up next month. I’m worried about it,” she answered while pouring herself a tall glass of vodka.
“What’s there to worry about? I’m sure your paintings will be amazing. They always are,” I reassured her, slightly disappointed that relationship issues with Miguel weren’t the cause of the forlorn expression on her face. I had been hopeful that there was some kind of trouble in paradise.
“I wish that I could say that I believe that as much as you sound like you do. I feel really bad because Miguel worked so hard to set everything up. Some of the critics and art dealers he invited can make or break my career.”
“It’s just butterflies. You’ll be fine.”
“I wish it was just butterflies.”
“What’s the matter?”
“I’ve created a few new pieces and they’re all nice but I don’t have anything that’s a show stopper. I really wanted to do something impressive but I just don’t feel that I have,” she said and slumped down on the sofa beside me with her drink in her hand. She didn’t bother to sip slowly as she tipped the glass back.
“Let me take a look at what you’ve done so far and I’ll tell you what I think.”
“It wouldn’t matter if you saw it and fell in love with it at first sight. Sometimes what other people see, I will never see,” she told me.
“I understand. I’ve written stories that I thought were mediocre at best but other people read them and loved them. I suppose we’re our own worse critics.”
“I suppose we are. Well, at least it keeps us from becoming complacent.”
“You should still let me take a look at what you’re working on. Maybe I’ll see what’s missing.”
“There really isn’t much to see. I’ve barely touched the canvas. The problem isn’t that I’m displeased with the work. There just isn’t any. My mind goes blank every time I pick up my brush,” she complained, banging her empty glass down on the coffee table.
“Maybe you just need some motivation,” I told her. The look that she gave me said that she recognized exactly what I was implying.
“You shouldn’t look at me like that,” she said, turning her eyes downward to stare at her striped socks.
“Why not?”
“Because you make me self-conscious. You make me blush.”
“You’re a grown woman. It should be harder than that to make you blush,” I said as I gently touched her chin, raised her head and forced her to look at me.
“But you do. I see the way you look at me. I’ve seen it from the first night we met.”
“I can’t help it.”
“I know.”
“So what are we going to do about it?” I asked and for a fraction of a second it felt like the moment in a movie where the two main characters finally lean towards each other to kiss passionately for the first time.
“Nothing,” she answered.
“Why not?”
“Because we shouldn’t, no matter how tempted we may be. Miguel has done a lot for me and I owe him my loyalty. I think you should go home. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have forced you to come in with me,” she said and just like that, my evening with Alice abruptly came to an end.
On the drive home, all kinds of mixed emotions kept me in a confused state. I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that Alice loved me but I knew that she liked me just as much as I liked her. I respected her for not wanting to betray Miguel but I also sensed that she had to fight hard to subdue the urge to be with me at least once. I replayed the events of the evening and wondered what would have happened if I had been more aggressive. I wasn’t sure if she would have stopped me if I had just kissed her when I wanted to. If she had let me, I might have been making love to her instead of driving home alone in the rain. Once again, I found myself feeling foolish so I decided to never press Alice in that way ever again. It was wrong. It was also exhausting trying to be moral, always fighting to do the right thing, when all I wanted was to give in to my impulses and willingly let lust blind me. I didn’t care about her relationship and only her seemingly concrete resolve had stopped me. That night, she had been a better person than I was. At home, in bed alone, I decided that it was best that I never saw her again. It was a hard decision but decisions like that have to be made sometimes. That was the only way to keep the torment of the temptation at bay. Besides, selfish desires usually lead to disaster.
The next morning and every day that followed I thought about Alice less and less. Concentrating on my writing helped me to start the process of forgetting her. Whenever she crept back into my mind, I forced myself to remember the photograph that hung on the wall in her apartment. I almost successfully abandoned the idea of having my hands all over her body when, after two weeks without contact, she called my phone one night.
“Miguel has a show tonight but I stayed home to try and finish this painting. The problem is that I still can’t figure out what to do with it. What do you do when you have writer’s block?’ Alice asked.
“I step away from the work for a while and just live life. I usually see or hear something that inspires me and puts me back on the right path.”
“I wish I had time to step away from it. I’m going crazy and my show is right around the corner. Listen, I’ll be here alone all night and I could use some company. Maybe some good conversation with a friend might get my mind right. Do you feel like helping me out?”
“Sure, but I don’t have to come over to do that. We can talk on the phone,” I said. I gave her the opportunity to stop me from coming over because I knew what would happen if I did.
“It’s not the same. Besides, I want you to take a look at what I’ve done so far.”
Thirty minutes later I was standing barefoot over a huge canvas spread out on Alice’s apartment floor. This time the room was brightly lit even though the night sky outside was black. It was easy not to look at the photograph on her wall that I hated so much because Alice was hard to turn away from. She had answered the door in a long, white, nightgown that was sheer enough to show that she was only wearing pink panties underneath. If she knew that her big nipples and perfect areolas were clearly visible through the thin material, she certainly didn’t act shy about it. The spots and streaks of paint all over her were proof that she had been working in a gown that most women would have only worn to bed to initiate sex. Her weirdness was arousing and intoxicating.
“So, what do you think?” she asked with her hands on the same hips that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I had to force myself not to stare at her because with all of the distractions, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the unfinished painting that she wanted me to critique.
“It’s a good start,” I answered, looking down at what she had done up until that point. She was attempting to create a self-portrait. That much I could tell from the incredibly detailed pencil sketch that she planned to paint over. The few blues, purples and oranges that she had already added let me know that she wasn’t aiming for a realistic look.
“Starting is about as far as I’ve gotten. I can’t get the colors right. It would be easy if I was trying for realism. My skin tone isn’t hard to paint. I could have even done it in black and greys but that’s not what I want. That’s too common.”
“So what exactly do you want it to be?”
“I have lots of other paintings that should WOW the people at the art show but I want this to be my feature piece. Everything else will tie into this. I want this to show who I am but not just the physical me. I want to paint the essence of me, the part that nobody sees.”
“So what’s holding you back?”
“I’m not sure. I’m nervous and afraid.”
“I understand. I go through the same thing with my writing. The who, what, where and when parts of the story is always easy to write. The why is always the most difficult because I have to give parts of myself to the readers that I normally might not even share with the people closest to me. Every single character in my stories represents different parts of me. They have to be in order for them to feel real and touch my readers’ souls. It’s not an easy thing to do and at times I get stuck too.”
“So what do you do to get past that?” she asked, squeezing my hand as she intertwined her fingers with mine. If there had been a tiny spark the first time our hands barely touched, then what struck us both just then was more like raw lightning.
“I stop being afraid and force myself to let go,” I said, grabbing her other arm to turn her body so that we faced each other.
“Can you show me how?” she asked and when I looked closely, I saw time tic by in her eyes like the timer ticking down on a bomb. She had been waiting for this moment just as much as I had.
“Yes,” I answered, pulling her close enough that her breasts pressed against my chest.
“What will it cost me?” she asked softly, her lips slightly touching my chin as she spoke.
“Everything,” I answered before she could say anything that might murder the moment, grabbed her by the back of her head and kissed her until she was breathless. When I let her breathe again, she staggered backwards and I had to reach forward to catch her in my arms.
“But Miguel could come home anytime now,” she started to say.
“Fuck Miguel!” I answered.
“But I love him.”
“Good. I’m glad that you love him. Love him tomorrow, love him next week, next year. Shit, love him later on tonight if you like. That’s still not going to stop me from fucking you right here, right now.”
“What makes you think I plan on going that far with you? Who says I want to fuck you?” she asked. That’s when I slipped my hand under her nightgown, up her leg and into her panties. She sighed as her thighs parted to let me.
“This says,” I answered as I pulled my had out to show her my fingers, slick and glistening with her own wetness.
“If he comes home and catches us he’ll kill you,” she warned me.
“He won’t and he can’t kill me,” I answered boldly while fondling her breasts. She put her hand over my hand as her nipples stiffened at my touch.
“Why not?” she asked.
“Because right now…I’m a god and he’s just a man,” I told her before I dragged her panties down to her ankles. She stepped out of them and I tossed them across the room. The next move was hers. It was her last opportunity to stop what was about to happen. I waited to see what it was going to be. I watched as she pulled her nightgown up over her head and stood there completely naked. I had my answer. In that moment, right before we crossed over the line that we could never uncross, Alice stood above me as more than a woman. She was a goddess and the energy that passed between us felt like we were about to split the sky wide open. I put my hands on her shoulders and looked at her in awe. She pulled my shirt off and undid my belt buckle. I’ve never been comfortable with anyone else pulling down my zipper so I moved her hands and took care of the rest myself. Her eyes never left the bulge between my legs as I stepped out of my jeans. I knew she meant business when she dragged off my boxers, pulled her hair back into a ponytail and got down on her knees. The fantasy we both had toyed with for weeks was about to become real.
Alice grabbed my stiff dick with both hands, stroked it slowly at first and then faster with more intensity. She stared up at me and spoke to me with her eyes. The look that she gave me said that she was about to eat me alive. Then she smiled and opened her mouth wide and took me inside. My manhood was so hot that at first, the inside of her mouth felt cold. It was like taking that first step into a swimming pool. At first she moved with the uncomfortable tentativeness of a woman who was used to making love to only one man for a very long time. There was no passion. I could tell that she was uncomfortable and probably troubled by guilt. I gently touched the side of her face and felt her relax. She took it out of her mouth and looked up at me with a smile. Then she kissed the tip softly before she let spit drip all over my shaft until it was glistening and slick. She let go of her inhibitions and accepted what we were doing. Her thick lips, tongue and throat nearly drove me insane. She moaned greedily like a person who had just been given food after starving for weeks. Even when I closed my eyes I heard the sloppy, wet sounds of everything she did with her mouth. My knees got weak and I had to grab her head to stop her before she made me finish too soon. Her hands, my shaft, her breasts and the floor in front of her were soaking wet with saliva that had dripped from her mouth. I reached down and held her arm to steady her as she stood up to kiss me. I needed more. I gently pushed her down on the canvas.
“Right here?” she asked, her eyes wide with surprise. “On top of the painting?”
“Right here, right now,” I answered. I put my hand on her shoulder and eased her back until she lay flat.
First I kissed the delicate soles of her feet and she giggled as that tickled her. Then my tongue found her ankles, teased the sensitive spot at the back of her knees and eventually tenderly touched her inner thighs. I looked up at her, past her tummy, beyond her big, beautiful breasts and finally into her eyes that burned brightly like a summertime sunrise.
“Kiss me,” she said, looking down at me and that’s exactly what I did. I sucked, kissed and licked the lips between her legs until she screamed. I beat my tongue against her clit until she pulled her own hair and sucked on her own breasts, mad with pleasure. Her first orgasm was so intense that she splashed and leaked all over her painting. When she composed herself, she reached down between my legs, grabbed my thick, throbbing, dick and guided the tip slowly inside her. “Fuck me,” she said. I got harder when she said it and I put everything inside her.
With her legs on my shoulders she continued to flow like a waterfall, stroke after stroke. She moved her hips to match my movements as if we were dancing. No matter how deep I went she took it without complaining, even when the pain showed on her face. The way she purred and said my name made me feel like the god I claimed to be earlier. She nearly clawed the flesh from my back before I pinned her arms down above her head. It seemed to excite her even more when I had her restrained. She drifted off into ecstasy as I drove into her with force.
“I’m about to cum,” she told me. As I felt her inner walls contract, I pulled out and turned her over to take her from behind. I kissed her lower back and gently sank my teeth into her big, soft cheeks before I roughly entered her. She screamed as she creamed with pleasure. I looked over at the pallet of colors right beside where Alice was taking everything I gave her with her back arched while she was on her knees. I looked down at how I stretched her pussy as it gripped my dick and suddenly I got an idea. I slowed down my pace, reached over for a paintbrush and handed it to her.
“Now paint,” I whispered as I gripped her hips and slowly scraped her insides. She looked back at me over her shoulder, somewhat confused. “Paint,” I told her again while pushing so hard and deep that she straightened her back and cringed. Then she started to paint.
For hours, we recklessly went at it the same way, over and over again with no care or caution in spite of the fact that Miguel could’ve walked in on us at any moment. I gave it and she took it every way that it was possible for a woman to take it. Nothing was off-limits or taboo. Soon the canvas became covered with what seemed like perfection. Creativity inspired by sex had been spilled, splashed and stroked everywhere on her masterpiece by her paintbrush. Exhausted, she collapsed and rolled away from the canvas. I moved to lie down next to her.
“Thank you,” she said. “I think I needed that.”
“Found your magic again? Think you can finish it now?” I asked.
“Yes, I think so.”
“When you’re done with this, it’ll be our secret about what’s mixed on this canvas with your paint,” I said after I kissed her shoulder and stood up to get a better look at what she’d done.
“Love, lust, sex, sweat and some bodily fluids that I’m too shy to mention,” she said, reaching up on the coffee table for her cigarettes.
“I hope they don’t ever put a blue light on it ‘cause it’ll glow,” I joked.
“Shut up!” she giggled as she reached up and slapped my thigh, still sticky from her love.
Alice stood up next to me to see what she had created with my help. As her cigarette smoke swirled around our heads, neither one of spoke as we admired the art and processed what had just happened. It told a story that was beautiful. The brush strokes, intense lines and vivid colors all represented the intimacy we just shared. Everything that she had been holding back had been set free. She smiled and I could see that her passions were satisfied and the artist was pleased. The lost look was gone from her eyes.
“One day, this painting will be on display for the world to see but only we will know how it was created,” I said and kissed her on the cheek.
“So, does the woman on the canvas look like me?”
“She does. She’s a beautiful immortal.”
“You flatter me and exaggerate.”
“No, I only speak the truth. The woman on the canvas is a goddess, created in your image,” I told her and watched a single tear fall from Alice’s eye. That one tear held more weight in my heart than some of the rivers I had witnessed other women cry. All females are not created equal.
“I can’t see you again, not after what happened tonight,” she said before she kissed me hard with a million goodbyes on her lips. I can’t say that I was surprised. Somehow, I knew what the outcome would be from the moment we first touched.

“I know,” I answered without an ounce of guilt or regret. I preferred that things ended that way instead of pretending to be just friends for years on end, constantly tortured by desires that would never be satisfied. That was the last time I ever saw Alice. I never did fully understand why she cheated on Miguel to be with me that night. I’m certain that her reasons were complicated. The motivation of the hearts, souls and appetites of creative people always are.

Copyright © 2012 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sample from Chapter 6 - Dreams of Darkness of "War Angel III: Catalina"

I know that many of you are very anxious to read what happens in "War Angel III: Catalina" so I decided to treat you with a sneak peek. Enjoy and be on the lookout for more samples soon.



CHAPTER 6
Dreams of Darkness


C
atalina was completely alone, in the dead of night, hemmed in by towering skyscrapers and vacant buildings in the middle of a city that should have been flooded with people like ants. For what seemed like hours, maybe even days, she wandered through the empty streets, littered with abandoned cars and flickering street lamps that barely provided any light. The overwhelming feeling of isolation and loneliness had been steadily growing inside her, along with a sense of unseen malevolence. It was faint at first but it had been steadily growing stronger. Something that she couldn’t see was looking for her, or more accurately, hunting her. She began to walk faster, praying for the sun to rise in the sky to put an end to the night that seemed as if it would last forever. She wanted to hide but somehow, she knew that wherever she went, IT, (whatever it was) would eventually find her. She began to run until she couldn’t take another step because her lungs were on fire and her legs felt like cooked noodles. Hunched over, with both hands on her knees as he chest heaved, she stopped to try to catch her breath. That’s when she felt something watching her.
Quickly, she spun around, expecting to see some fearsome beast charging right at her with a mouth full of froth and razor-sharp teeth. Instead, she saw a pair of gorgeous twins with eerie blue eyes, dressed in long white dresses that hugged their curves, staring at her from across the street. The broad beam of light cast down from the street lamp that they were standing next to made it easy for her to make them out clearly, even in the gloom. As she studied their features, she realized that, although they were definitely twins, they weren’t exactly identical. One of them had a gruesome scar that ran down one side of her face and to Catalina’s horror, the other seemed to be bleeding from what looked like a gunshot wound in the middle of her chest.
“We’ve been looking for you. Come with us Catalina,” they said in unison as they raised their hands to beckon her to walk across the street to meet them.
Their voices were melodic, almost musical and somewhat hypnotic but when she heard the strange women who she had never seen in all of her life call out her name, her blood ran colder than their icy, blue eyes. A wave of panic crashed down on her and she took off running as fast as her legs would carry her.
Time seemed strange in the city she was trapped in because, after running like a frightened deer for what seemed like days, the moon above never changed position in the sky or gave any signs that it was ever going to surrender sovereignty of the skies to a new rising sun. Oddly enough, the thing that did change was the landscape. One moment she had been running in between towering buildings, through deserted streets and the next thing she knew she had crossed over onto what felt like private property. Twisted, gnarled and leafless trees replaced the buildings and there was soft, brown, dying, grass beneath her feet instead of hard concrete.
As she kept running, she didn’t dare look back over her shoulder, afraid of what might be following her but she still had pushed forward as fast as she could because she was still absolutely terrified by the feeling that something malevolent was right on her heels. That vibe grew and intensified until she ran out of open space to run and found herself standing in front of an enormous black metal gate with creeper vines entwined with the bars. She looked up to the top of the metal monstrosity and wondered what the letter “R” engraved in the ironwork stood for but what really caught her attention was the scary building at the end of the driveway beyond the black gate. It was the type of building that most people would be afraid to walk into of their own free will. It looked like a cross between a haunted mansion and a prison. On any other night, at any other time, she would have avoided a place like that at any cost but, with such a sense of evil at her back, it seemed like the only place to hide. To her surprise, the gate wasn’t locked and its rusty hinges screeched loudly as it swung open reluctantly when she pushed on it. Once she was through, she turned around and instinctively closed the gate behind her, even though there was no locking mechanism anywhere to be found. She caught her breath for a moment before she ran up the long driveway towards the menacing building.
When Catalina reached the front door, she found that it was also unlocked and swung open just as easily as the front gate had. The lights inside flickered on and off intermittently which only added to the overall creepiness if the place. On one of the walls, she spotted a large black and white photograph of the building she now stood in, when it wasn’t so decrepit and shabby. The caption engraved on the gold plate on the picture frame read, “The Rottenham Asylum.” She wondered where all of the staff was and why no one had come out to ask her who she was and what she was doing there. The feeling of emptiness caused a chill run down her spine and raised the hairs on the back of her neck. Also, the presence of the malevolent force that had dogged her footsteps had not faded. She decided that it might be a good idea to find somewhere secure to hide so she began to explore the asylum with her heart beating like a bass drum in her chest.
She wandered down long, lonely hallways, lined with locked cells on each side. The dim, flickering overhead lights illuminated the cracked, faded paint on the walls. As she roamed the eerie corridors of the house of straight-jackets, padded rooms and pills, she occasionally heard whispers that sounded like the incoherent ramblings of mad people. However, whenever she found the courage to peek inside any of the padded cells, she found them empty, dirty and stained with the pain of their former occupants. Urine stains, filth, cobwebs and sometimes signs of dried blood was all she saw. Finally, she found herself in front of Room # 316.

Mysteriously drawn to it, she approached the cell slowly but wasn’t afraid and suddenly, Catalina didn’t feel so alone. She stopped just in front of the door, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and listened. Very softly, on the other side of the door, a woman sang softly and although she had never met that poor, trapped soul, the madwoman’s voice felt sounded strangely familiar. Despite the fact that she stood in the middle of such a scary place, the lyrics to the songs wrapped around her like a security blanket and made Catalina feel completely safe. She placed her hand on the cold, metal door, opened her eyes to look through the thin slot to see who was inside but then, she suddenly woke up, drenched in a cold sweat.

Copyright © 2014 Keith Kareem Williams
All rights reserved.

Monday, September 15, 2014

PROLOGUE to "War Angel II: Where Angels Fear to Tread"

Much love to everyone that has read the first book of my "War Angel" Trilogy. Here's a little something from "War Angel II: Where Angels Fear to Tread" to wet you appetite as I work hard to finish writing the final book. I plan to finish up the storyline with a bang!" Enjoy.

Prologue


S
trange, unfamiliar hands held her down. She tried to escape their grip with limbs that were suddenly limp and useless. The overwhelming sensation of suffocating made her gasp for air as she felt as if all of the oxygen had suddenly been sucked out of the room. It felt like death. She opened her mouth to scream for help but no sound escaped her lips. She was powerless to stop whatever was happening to her. Sleep paralysis was the medical term used to categorize her current condition but she would disagree vehemently. What she felt was not the effects of a common sleep disorder caused by lack of rest, anxiety or stress. What she felt was a sinister, malevolent entity that very much wanted to do her harm. She had laid down to take a nap and now she was trapped. Her legs began to move but not because she had regained control of her body. Someone, or something forced her thighs to spread apart against her will. Suddenly, a small hand slipped inside her and the terror she felt for her own safety was replaced by fear for her baby. Sharp, agonizing pain forced Jahaira to finally wake up screaming, frightened and alone in the darkness of her bedroom. It felt as if someone was twisting and wringing out her insides like a wet towel.
The pain did not subside when she finally opened her eyes and she realized that she was having contractions weeks earlier than she was supposed to. The child in the big, round tummy she had grown to love over the past eight and a half months caused her a kind of pain that she had never known as it fought to be born. She slipped her hands between her legs and found that her nightgown, her panties and even her bed sheets were soaked. Her water must have broken when she was asleep but it was too soon. The baby wasn’t due yet. The king-sized bed seemed longer than a football field as she struggled to move over to the end of it from all the way in the middle of the mattress. Just as she tried to hang her feet over the edge to slip her feet into her slippers, another wave of crippling pain shot through her abdomen maliciously like menstrual cramps from hell. Doubled over in agony, she tumbled from the bed and onto the hardwood floor. Fortunately for her child, she landed on her knees and not her belly. Frantically, her fingers clawed at the top of her nightstand as she searched for her cellphone, only to discover that it was missing. 
“Olive!” she screamed, desperate for her live-in nursemaid to come to her aid.
Four more times she called out for help but no one  answered. There were only the echoes of her own voice throughout the house. With spasms tightening her lower back into knots, she somehow managed to get to her feet and stagger out of the bedroom. Out in the hallway, she used the walls for support as she walked barefoot to the staircase, praying that Olive was downstairs on the couch, maybe sleeping too heavily to have heard her cries for help. At the top of the stairs, she gripped the bannister so hard that her knuckles turned white as another contraction ripped through her lower body. If it had hit her on her way down, she might have taken a nasty tumble that would have probably ended with her dead at the bottom of the steps from a broken neck. She grit her teeth and moaned until it passed, then hurried down as fast as she was able.
“Olive, where are you?” Jahaira called out again as she became even more alarmed when she saw that Olive wasn’t on the couch having her routine, late afternoon snooze. The television was on but no one was watching it.

Again, the pain returned with a vengeance, forcing her to double over and scream. She tried breathing like the doctors had taught her to keep from hyperventilating. Contractions so close together meant that the baby was coming soon and she was not ready. This was not how it was supposed to be and it was certainly not the way she and Lenox had planned it. Every step forward was an ordeal but she had to get to the telephone in the kitchen. A journey of just a few feet seemed more like a thousand miles but she eventually made it. She snatched the receiver from its base and clicked frantically like a madwoman when there was no dial tone. She would have screamed again if she hadn’t already been gritting her teeth in agony. Sweat trickled down her temples and beaded up on her forehead as she tried to figure out what to do next. If she didn’t get help soon, both she and the baby could die. The nearest neighbors weren’t very near at all and if the trek to her own kitchen had been so strenuous, there was no way that she would be able to make it that far on foot. Feeling faint and light-headed, Jahaira firmly planted both hands on the marble countertop next to the sink in order to steady herself. After she recovered from her brief dizzy spell, she raised her head and noticed something very disturbing through her kitchen window, at the edge of the tree-line just beyond the backyard, close enough to terrify her but far away enough to make her doubt her own eyes, she thought she spotted the pale faces of her twin aunts in the shadows. That’s impossible, she thought. She and Lenox had moved all the way out there to be safe. They had been careful and there was no way those two should have been able to find them. That’s when she heard a loud crash at her front door as something began to split the wood. She was about to scream when a hand reached around from behind her and covered her mouth.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "War Angel II: Where Angels Fear to Tread."