Tag Archives: Word of the Day

What Surprises Await on the Other Side of the Gate?

He quickly returned our snacks to the cooler and folded the large blanket, insisting on carrying both as we left the beach. Following a path through the sand dunes, he led me to a gate, different from the one we had taken when we’d left earlier. Even with his hands full he managed to unhook the latch and gallantly held it open for me.

Stepping past the lush vegetation along the fence I was surprised to find a large infinity pool, a hot tub with a waterfall perpetually pouring warm water gracefully perched above the deep end. Appealing lounge chairs surrounded three sides, two of them resting close together in the shallow water where the tile faded from pool to patio. On the far side was an inviting cabana, offering shade from the hot sun and comfortable sofas for relaxing. A wrought iron dining table and chairs overlooked this area from its raised deck adjacent to an incredible outdoor stone kitchen, closer to the house.

I was once again awed by the excessive extravagance of his home.

Placing the sandy items from the beach next to the fence he pulled me into his arms, his muscular body pressed to mine, his hands stroking my hair. The moment was both tender and arousing, almost as if her were expressing deep emotions without words.

What was he thinking? Did he feel the same connection I was beginning to sense? I’d known him less than 24 hours but already I was starting to imagine a future together. Was it possible this smart, successful, charming man could want to be with someone like me? Could he fall for a nobody, a plain Jane from a middle-class family? I fervently hoped so. I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect.

A delicate kiss on the top of my head shifted my attention back to him and I turned my gaze up to meet his. Bending, his kiss ignited exquisite anticipation within me. With my focus on that one point of contact I barely noticed as he slowly walked forward, gently forcing me back. I only became fully aware of our movement when my foot reached the warm water.

He continued to propel me deeper into the pool, until the water almost reached my shoulders. Stopping, his lips moved down my neck to graze my shoulder. Apparently finding the string holding my bikini top in place intrusive, he untied the knot and let it fall away from my chest. He caressed my warm skin with the tip of his tongue, sending the blood pumping through my veins. With a soft moan I leaned back slightly, welcoming his touch, allowing him to support me with his embrace.

Slowly working his way back from my chest he pulled me closer to him, finally removing his meandering lips and resting his cheek on top of my head. As he held me tightly he untied the final knot holding my top in place and let it fall into the water.

After several minutes he guided me from the water and led me to one of the lounge chairs at the edge of the pool.

“We should stop before I go too far,” he announced, his voice husky. The hungry look in his eyes contradicted his words. I too struggled to contain my emotions. I almost begged him not to stop, pleaded with him to finish what he had started, but he was right; I wasn’t ready. With a mixture of relief and disappointment I laid on the chair as he retrieved drinks from a small refrigerator concealed discreetly nearby.

Closing my eyes I was surprised at how relaxed I felt, especially now that I was topless. I’ve never been particularly comfortable with nudity but somehow with Clay it just seemed natural. Right before I drifted off to sleep I reflected on how time here appeared to be as abundant as the luxury, like we had all the time in the world.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Abundant and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after We Were Carefree as We Played on the Beach.

How Can I Challenge Him Now That I Know the Truth?

Come home.

That’s his entire reply. Nothing else. No clue to indicate if he’s angry, no hint that reveals if he knows where I am.

I had hoped for more…or less. I had wished for an angry tirade that somehow showed his hand, or proclamations of love and forgiveness; or maybe no response at all. Instead I get a simple command. Two words are not enough, but also far too much. My mind is stuck between these extremes, trying to read between the lines, words that don’t exist, unable to move beyond this, to parse out what I should do next.

Silently using his hand to lift my chin so that I’m looking up at him instead of down at my phone, Caleb says resolutely, “Don’t deviate from the plan. You can do this.”

More than anything I want to hand him the phone and tell him to do it, beg him to do it if I have to. He had been right though, the words have to be mine. Clay can’t know I have help. Our greatest advantage will be surprise.

I don’t know Caleb’s plan. He has only told me I need to get Clay to come to the cabin. He told me he would take care of the rest, that it was better if I didn’t know the details. In truth I don’t want to know. I want this over, however it happens. I tried to go to the police, tried to do the right thing, but they wouldn’t help. They treated me as if I were simply overreacting, or worse a scorned woman seeking revenge on her ex, but never did they entertain the idea that Clay was anything but the upstanding citizen he appears to be.

So I’m on my own, except not entirely alone. I do have help. I have someone who claims he can end this. I have just one thing I need to do. It’s my responsibility to bring him here.

I should have known he would expect me to go to him. Everything from the very beginning had been on his terms. I went along with it, only rarely challenging him, and those limited times he managed to turn circumstances to align with his wishes anyway. Some would call it compromise, but it feels different than that.

What would have happened if I’d stayed true to myself, stuck with my convictions instead of following his every wish? Would we have parted sooner had I not conformed as much? If I had insisted on living my own life from the beginning would he still have chosen me as his prey? All along I had complied with his wishes, without ever realizing that to do otherwise, to challenge his authority could be dangerous. Now that I’ve learned the truth, how can I possibly stand up to him?

Caleb, his arms still around me, gives me a squeeze, an unspoken question or perhaps encouragement. I need to do something, I just have no idea what.

What would prevent me from going to him? How can I convince him I need him to come here?

All at once it hits me. I know how to persuade him, so I begin to write:

I wish I could but I’m staying in a cabin and my car won’t start. I thought if I could get away I could think for a little while. Now I’m out here in the woods and honestly scared. I can’t even go home.

I hit send and hold my breath. Then one more thought begs to be added:

Please help me.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Deviate and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after Why Do I Tremble with Both Fear and Regret?.

How Can I Resist His Playful Distractions?

I woke up the next morning feeling rejuvenated and looking forward to the hike we had planned for that day. The previous night we hadn’t made it back downstairs to join in the game. By the time Clay had been satisfied everyone else had gone to bed. Although I’d been a little disappointed, I couldn’t deny how exciting it had been, knowing we could be discovered. I never would have thought I would enjoy that kind of risk, but I guess I was learning something new about myself.

I stretched, determined to make this a day to remember. I threw off the covers, planning to sneak downstairs to make a big breakfast before we left. Just as I was about to stand, strong arms pulled me back onto the soft mattress. I squealed in surprise as he dragged me against him, my body fitting perfectly against his. He nibbled the back of my shoulder playfully but as his hands began to wander I pushed them away.

“Oh, no you don’t!” I said sternly, hoping the forced gaiety in my tone would take the sting out of my words. “I’m going to make pancakes. Come help me.”

“No, stay here,” he whined.

“Not today. We’re hiking to the waterfall this morning. Let’s get going!”

He mumbled something under his breath but eventually swung his legs off the bed to get himself up. He stood with his naked back to me, reaching his arms over his head as I admired his muscular form. How did he stay in such great shape? I felt like we had done nothing but eat and drink since we met, reflected by the several pounds I’d already gained. Resolving to get back into shape – after our vacation – I slipped on shorts and a t-shirt before heading downstairs.

As I made it to the kitchen he loudly clambered down the stairs, oblivious to the fact there were still 6 other people sleeping. I rushed over to meet him as he hit the last step. I put my finger to my lips to remind him to be quiet, and he reached out to tickle my side which I’d left vulnerable when I lifted my hand to my face. Giggling I swatted at him as he stepped toward me, pressing me backward until I leaned against the wall. His face was inches from mine, his chest crushing mine as our breaths mingled.

Thoughts of cooking long forgotten, I desperately wanted him to kiss me, touch me in that way he has that completely obliterates all thought. Instead he simply held us there as the seconds ticked by. His hands reached down to clasp mine and he lifted them up above my head as far as they would stretch. My eyes fluttered shut and I licked my lips with eager anticipation, grateful we were the only ones awake.

Pushing my legs apart with his knee, our bodies melded into one. His hot breath on my ear caused me to moan softly as he whispered, “I thought we were going to make breakfast.”

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Rejuvenate and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after Why Does He Excite Me Like He Does?.

Who Was the Man He Had Seen Lurking Above Us?

Caleb looks back at me, holding my gaze, communicating without a word. “Stay behind me,” he mouths silently. He positions himself between the stranger and me, shielding me completely. I don’t dare look around him to see what’s happening.

The man yells something I can’t quite understand. Caleb responds, “We’re not armed. We’re coming up.”

Not armed? I know this isn’t true; Caleb always brings a gun with him. I reach out to touch his back and feel the hard metal concealed under his lightweight jacket. I’m relieved to find out he’s lying.

I follow Caleb, normally as lissome as a teenager, now moving with slow painful precision. The hill is too steep to go up the same way we came down, so we move along the valley to where the incline is a little less arduous. I worry whether he will be able to climb; he is obviously suffering. I long to help him but he has clearly reclaimed the role of protector.

Our progress is slow but in a few minutes we reach the top. I can tell as I clamber upward that the man waiting for us is agitated but I have no idea why.

When we finally reach the crest, Caleb calmly asks the man to set his gun down. He looks like he’s going to argue, after all he has no reason to trust us, but unexpectedly he concedes. Watching him I realize he appears not only enraged but also distraught.

He explains that someone killed his dog last night. She had been out in his yard, barking at something in the woods a little after midnight. When he called her to come in she wouldn’t come. Instead she ran into the darkness. Normally she never left the yard, but he thought maybe she had followed a rabbit that had caught her attention a few days ago.

Not thinking much of it he had gone back inside and went to bed. She spent an occasional night outside so he hadn’t worried. This morning when he opened his front door her found her lying on the porch, her neck broken. It’s evident the man is about to break down in tears as he talks about discovering his beloved pet dead.

Who would not only kill his dog, but also leave her on his front porch?

Being a hunter he was able to identify a spot where an intruder had been hiding. He followed his trail to the ridge where they were standing.

As he finishes his tale, we suddenly learn why he fired the shot that had drawn our attention.

Apparently as he reached the trail I had followed earlier he saw someone standing where we are standing now. Thinking it might have been the person who had murdered his dog, he fired a warning shot, planning to confront him. Without even turning to find the source of the noise, the man had darted up the hill and disappeared.

Unfortunately the man had only seen the trespasser from the back and isn’t able to give a very thorough description. It really could have been anyone. There is no reason for us to believe this is at all tied to my situation. But that doesn’t stop the hair on my arms from prickling with fear.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Lissome and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the hero and comes after How Can We Figure Out What Happened?.

Why Does He Excite Me Like He Does?

Clay had been testy and sullen on the drive to the river; actually, he’d been that way off and on for days. He didn’t seem at all interested in meeting my friends, or enjoying the time away together. I wasn’t even sure why he was coming. I was perfectly happy to go on my own, but he insisted he was looking forward to it, blaming his mood instead on a work problem he was having. He assured me we would both feel better once we were on our way.

I had wanted to leave first thing in the morning as the trip was going to take at least 5 hours, but he had been particularly affectionate that morning and it was almost noon before we got out of bed. Afterward he drew me a bath while he made us an elaborate lunch. Eating by the pool it was easy to let hours slip by as we chatted and sipped on fresh lemonade. It was mid afternoon before I realized it and we hadn’t even packed, which he did irritably when I suggested we get moving.

We got to the rental late, after everyone else had already settled in. The whole gang was hanging out in the large living room playing a spirited game of Cards Against Humanity. Several empty wine bottles were lined up on the sofa table, and the remains of an festive dinner were visible in the kitchen. As I introduced him, I was suddenly worried whether he would fit in with this gregarious crowd.

Pushing that thought aside I suggested we put our bags away. The house itself was nice, a find on some website, much cheaper than hotel rooms for the eight of us. There were only 3 bedrooms but there was also a loft with a full sized bed, so plenty of room for everyone.

Because we were the last to arrive, we ended up with the loft. Lilly and her boyfriend Mike had taken the master with the king bed, which was reasonable since they had been the ones who made all the arrangements. The room with the queen bed had been claimed by Ryan and Emily, and the final one, with two twin beds, went to Liz and Abby.

As I led the way up the stairs, I felt him playfully running his hand up the inside of my thigh. I giggled as I swatted his hand away. Reaching the loft which overlooked the living room, I set my backpack on the floor. Peering over the half wall, I stopped to see what had caused a sudden eruption of laughter. I was about to turn and suggest joining my friends when I felt his body press against my back.

He leaned into me fervidly, the wood ledge hard against my stomach. His lips near my hairline brought shivers down my spine as he whispered, “I want you.” His hands explored my body below the concealing wall, out of sight of the people below. It was surprisingly arousing, a forbidden diversion, a secret game all our own. My breathing became rough as the excitement built.

Shrieking cackles reminded me that this weekend was meant to be spent reconnecting with this group that has been so important to me. I was about to say as much when suddenly he grabbed me by the waist and swung me around, positioning us so that his back was to the partial wall. Kissing me ardently he urged me backward until my knees hit the foot of the bed.

Angling himself forward, I lost my balance and fell onto the soft, welcoming spread. He eyed me hungrily, like a lion stalking his prey. Surely my friends wouldn’t miss me for just a little while.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Gregarious and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex (who has finally been named) and comes after What Happens When I Try to Go on Vacation without Him?

What Happens When He Releases the Dam?

I sit quietly rocking on the back porch, lost in thought, attempting to make sense of this strange situation. More and more my relationship with Caleb confuses me. I feel things changing between us and I don’t know how to deal with it.

We’ve become friends, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t want more than that right now. I can’t handle more than that. After what I’ve been through I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to trust someone enough, let them get close enough to be more than friends.

But why is it when he reaches out to me I feel my resolve weaken? I’m still being hunted by the last person I trusted, I can’t allow myself to be vulnerable again. I won’t.

Of course I’m attracted to him. Any woman would be. Yes, he’s objectively handsome but there’s something deeper than that. He has an innate kindness about him, a chivalrous sense of propriety I am coming to understand as he opens up a little about his past.

Maybe I shouldn’t assume those stories are true, but I’m finding it difficult to doubt his integrity.

For the past several nights, as I lay awake in bed I’ve found myself fantasizing about him, imagining what it would be like to have him there next to me instead of in the other bedroom. In my mind I envision him holding me against him and kissing me with a passion that erases everything except being there in that moment. I can almost feel his hands caressing my body, exploring, bringing me closer and closer to…

Forcibly stopping this train of thought, I glance at him as he leans against the railing, scanning the woods looking for signs of trouble, like he always does. All of a sudden he looks at me, as if he could sense my gaze on him and just for a minute I imagine he reciprocates my amorous feelings.

He turns to rest his left hip against the rail, presumably so he can see me while still watching the darkening forest. “I don’t know what he’s waiting for,” he whispers. Is he afraid he will be overheard? The tension and frustration are clear in his eyes.

Unexpectedly he holds his hand out to me, an unspoken invitation. I hesitate before pushing myself out of the chair. When I reach his side he takes my hand and positions me so that my back is to the trees. He looks behind me, then stares intently in my eyes, almost as if he’s searching for something.

He speaks softly, but with a surprising intensity. “I want this to be over for you. I don’t want you to be afraid anymore.”

As he steps closer, pressing his body to mine I expect him to hug me as he’s done in the past in these moments. Instead his hands reach into my hair as he draws my lips to his in a passionate kiss that is far more ardent than anything I had imagined.

I’m unable to control the lust that rushes through me, a dam of emotions releasing without warning.

Moving his hands to my hips he lifts me so that I’m sitting on the railing, my knees on either side of him. His lips trace over my jaw, then down my neck to my collarbone, setting me on fire. Moaning with tortuous pleasure as he runs his tongue along my skin, I wrap my legs around his waist, pulling him into me.

Dizzy with desire I close my eyes, giving myself completely to the overwhelming sensations consuming me. I feel him raise me from my perch as he carries me toward the cabin door, blissfully unaware we are being watched.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Amorous and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the hero and comes before How Long Will he Stay to Protect Me from Harm?.