Saturday, July 26, 2014

Overexposed - Part Two

Safeword: 
Short Story – 
Part Two
Read Part One Here



You sit in the cafeteria, at a table in the back—alone—sipping stale, over-steeped tea when what you could really use is a strong shot shooting straight through you. Killing your insides—all the rage and frustration and, yeah, the fear—for just a bit.

You’re alone. Again.

It’s wrong, you think. Practically criminal. You’re young. You’re beautiful. You’re assertive and confident. You’re on the Dean’s List and pledge at one of the most prestigious sororities in the country. You’re part of a legacy, the fifth generation of your family to attend this school. You’re practically a poster-child for this college.

Or at least you were. Now your name’s been taken off the Dean’s List, for behavior unbecoming. You’ve been kicked out of your sorority. And your friends and family won’t talk to you.

Now, in the middle of the crowded dinner service, no one will even look at you.

When they do, it’s brief, always laced with a titillated sympathy. A shocked recognition as tabloid stories and pixelated gossip flash through their heads. As images, painfully clear in their digital vibrancy, get superimposed over you. A whip in your hand replaces a purse. A bracelet becomes bonds, tied tight around taut wrists.

The people around you become instantly blinded by the blindfold. Can’t see past the toys and trappings.

You’ve become a pariah. An outcast. A local celebrity in the very worst of ways.

You flinch when something hits you in the back of your head. Turning, you find a crash-landed paper plane nose-dived on the floor at your feet.

You know you shouldn’t pick it up the second you do. The crumpled, badly folded paper feels touched and foreboding against your fingertips. As if creasing hands had lingered against the page, their oils staining the sheet as sharp nails scoured.

You unfold the printed page and blink blindly at it. Wet shame and burning rage war behind dry eyes. Don’t cry. Not here. Not for them.

“You guys are such assholes,” a voice says, low and chastising, when someone sits next to you.

You’d look up, but your eyes can’t stop staring at the page. It’s grainy. A black and white re-printing. Probably done in someone’s dorm room or copied from one of the college’s machines. It’s stark and fuzzy, but your face is clear.

The hard lines of your face look harsh as you straddle the faceless girl beneath you. Your fist is unforgiving in her hair while the other wields a riding crop menacingly. The grin splitting your face looks vicious, black and twisted with violent glee. Even the folds cutting through the sheet look like bars, a creased cage, inescapable and unyielding.

God, is that really me? you wonder while you stare.

You hear that voice, a little gruff and insistent, say your name. Not for the first time, if his tone is a clue.

You look up, blinking back the fog of feelings.

“Are you okay?” a guy you don’t recognize asks you, sympathy smooth in his voice.

Your lips thin and you think about how to answer that question. You decide on the easier nod.

He shoots you an understanding half-smile. “Ignore those guys.” He takes the pulled-apart plane from your hands ans scoots closer to you. “They’re just jerks.”

You mirror his smile, the curve of your lip feeling familiar again. It should never feel this uncommonly good, having someone be kind to you. To have someone talk to you—instead of at you or about you. 

But, after weeks of silence, it does. You hate that, but are still so grateful. You blush when his arm curves around your shoulders comfortingly. “Thanks.”

He’s cute. Big. Strong. A jock of some kind, you think. You admire the width of his shoulders and the tanned, toned strength of his arms.

But then you notice his eyes turn to the printed picture as if pulled. 

Your stomach begins to pinch when you catch the interest burning in his gaze. Your smile slips as you notice how his hand clenches the piece of paper, before he leans closer—too close—to you, his brand of comfort less consoling than it’d been a second ago. 

“You wanna go up to my room?” You can hear the implication, implicit and insulting, in his tone.

For a second, your brain goes blank before trying to track the conversation, trying to figure out where the question had come from. Trying to recall if you’d said or done something in the course of your discourse to lead him to think that was where this was headed.

Your attention drifts to the picture again, a printed spot on your soul, spoiling your image as it spins lies from your truths.

You back away from him, recoiling. You stare, repulsed by the skeezy sheen in his eager eyes. Shaking your head, you’re not confused—not really—but still taken aback. Foolishly. “No.”

He frowns, a sneaky smile still lighting his face. “Why not?” He acts as if this is a game. As if he’s just reciting lines. As if his end is a forgone conclusion. A story already written.

You gape at his gall. “I’m sorry.” You shift in your chair to distance yourself. “Just not interested.”

“It’s cool.” He maneuvers his knees around yours under the table, trapping you between his legs. “I dated a freaky, ex-Catholic school girl once. She was into chicks and all kinds of crazy stuff too.” He smiles, cocky and full. “It was hot.”

You get up to leave, mystified and disillusioned. 

He should have read the tabloids more closely. 

Your father’s church might have disowned you, but you aren’t an ex anything. Freaky or not, your faith doesn’t have anything to do with your love life; so long as you’re not hurting anyone—really hurting anyone—you don’t see how it’s anyone’s business but your own, not even God’s.

Much less this guy’s. 

His tongue licks his ludicrous grin while his one-track, wanting eyes center on your crotch. You shake your head and turn.

He grabs your wrist.

You tug.

He tugs harder.

You stumble a bit before you find your feet under you.

“Hey, what’s the problem? I heard you were into that kind of thing.” He waves the folded paper like a flag.

You shoot him a disdainful glare. “I don’t know you.” You say it clearly and slowly, so he understands that, no matter what he thinks, he also clearly doesn’t know you.

He shrugs and pulls you closer, despite your feet struggling to stay still. “That’s why we’ll go to my room; get to know each other a little bit.” He smiles at you, his grin knowing and superior, still holding the photo in his hand. You feel each word like a slap to the face as he says with a shit-eating smirk, “Besides, how well did you know her?”

———

“My turn.” Menace seeps into Lacy’s usually sweet, serving voice. She takes the riding crop you’d just used on her in her hand. “Lie down,” she says in that saccharine voice as sharp as claws, “across my lap like a good girl.”

You do, trepidation and thrill shivering along your spine as you stretch over soft sheets and softer skin. She strokes your shoulders—just a brief brush, the kind you’d give a pet—before the crop clips you, cutting across your ass.

You gasp, your breath stolen from you with that single strike. The sting burns, strong at the site before spreading across your skin.

You hear her laugh, a girlish giggle. “Like that?”

“Yes,” you hiss.

She grabs a fistful of your hair, pulling the pixie-cut strands painfully. “Yes what?”

You pause for a moment, trying to remember her preferred address. “Yes, Miss.”

“That’s right.” She runs the riding crop across your back. “That’s my good, little bitch, aren’t you?” She teases your skin, making your body involuntarily arch into her touch. “Aren’t you?”

“Yes, Miss.”

She strikes you again, the crop’s bite snapping harsh. A cry escapes your lips. “Say it.”

She wants the words. The ones neither of you would say in the real world. The ones that cut at scars already left by those who’d hurled those words to hurt. “I’m...your good...little...bitch.” Your words punctuate in rhythm to her beats, the crop keeping good time.

“Again.” Her voice sounds ruined behind clenched teeth.

“I—” Your back arches against her thighs, pressing your breasts into the bed as your ass bounces. “Am your. Good. Little. Bitch.” You give her those words. Because here—in this space, with this woman—they are your words. They mean what you want them to mean. Hold the power you give them. Here, the words are your choice. The gift you give her. So, maybe, the next time you hear them, they won’t hurt anymore.

“Fucking right, you are.” She takes the tough, flat head of the crop and touches the wet heat slick between your thighs. She grinds the leather against your clit, making you moan. She laughs at how close you are. How easy you are. “You’re my bitch. My whore. My cunt. You’re whatever I want you to be, aren’t you?”

You come shuddering against the crop. “Yes, Miss.” Whatever you want to be.

———

You sit in your dorm room, on your Spartan bed, your cell phone in your lap. You stare at numbers you promised you wouldn’t call anymore.

You should delete them from your phone.

You don’t.

Instead, you scroll through your contacts.

The first name’s not talking to you. The second’s not either. Not talking to you. Not talking to you. Haven’t spoken in years. Don’t know very well. Wouldn’t understand. Not talking to you.

Not that you blame them. Any of them. Lacy. Krysta. William.

Even Porter.

Past play partners—long-ago lovers—whose pasts were dragged down with yours. Treasured memories tarnished—transformed in an instant—the second those digital depictions appeared.

They have every right to hate you.

You hate yourself.

Sighing, you put down the phone.

Your computer calls to you, tempting you with easy escape and Wi-Fi anonymity. The last refuge for the far-too-visible.

You go onto SyncKink.com, a site you’ve only been to a handful of times while your roommate’s been out. A site you learned about from one of your favorite authors, who regularly posts about kink and SM, and from a podcast you’d begun to listen to about sex and love and play.

Not a member, there are only so many places you can search. You’ve already seen them all at least twice, but there’s something comforting about coming back again and again. Like meeting up with a good friend.

It makes you feel less alone.

You read through Katherina Valdez’s newest post, but stop when you scroll down to see your picture flashing in front of you on the site. Not one of the ones being passed out like dirty, digital leaflets—like a number on the back of a bar’s bathroom stall—but your college photo. A nice, neat head-shot of a smiling girl fresh out of high school, without a worry in the world.

She looks sweet, innocent. The girl-next-door.

We live in a very voyeuristic world, you read beneath the picture. We’ve become our own Big Brothers, policing each other’s private lives, prohibiting each other’s pleasure. Must misery be the mission? Does different always mean depraved? Is happiness a punishable offense? Will our closets remain forever closed?

Your eyes tear when you read her words. When you read about yourself. You see your life through her eyes. Take in her take on your foils and failings. On the unfortunate turn of your world.

You have fond memories of those photos, each one a frozen moment in time you’d longed to keep fresh. You’d kept them hidden, stored, and password-protected, showing them only to a trusted few. Yet somehow they’d been spread—those photos and videos—like lies, stripping them of their context, their stories and truth.

It’s wrong, the blog post continues, to relegate us to trashy novels and bad porn. To assume that we’re all abusers and victims. To force us to fit and adhere to over-simplified, over-generalized definitions that diminish and dismiss. We are real people. With real lives. And we deserve respect.

We.

Such a small word. And yet your eyes can’t look away.

We.

Alone in your room with no one to talk to, with no one to listen, you—somehow—are part of a we.

———

“When the semester finishes,” your father tells you over the phone, “don’t bother coming home.”

“Daddy.” Even to you, your voice sounds weepy and weak.

“No,” he interrupts. “I gave you everything. Sacrificed everything so you could have the best and this is what you’ve been doing at college?” Even now, you can hear his teeth grind over the connection. “This is how you spend my money while I work to provide for your future.” He huffs out a heavy, weighted breath. “Do you have any idea the things I’ve seen? The pictures being passed around the neighborhood, the congregation? Do you know the things I’ve heard people say?” The deacon’s disgraced daughter. Anointed Assumption’s fallen Jezebel. The most mea culpa cliché. A short, sharp, disgusted sound sputters out through the speaker. “I can’t even repeat it.”

You can hear his irritation, his humiliation. You close your eyes, shameful tears seeping out the corners. “Daddy...”

“I’m not your Daddy.” His words cut like a knife. “You’re not my daughter. You’ve mortified me, made a fool of me, and my daughter—the one I raised right—would never do that.” His gruff sniff dismisses you, scraping at you as if you were something stuck to his shoe. “I don’t know who you are.”

———

“I told you,” Porter hisses, clutching his bag to his chest and hurriedly striding ahead, “I can’t see you anymore.”

You frown and watch the boy who’d been yours just a month before, his body branded by your hand, his whole form a history of your time together, walking away. You see your connection together vanish, erased by the healing touch of time and the clever cover of clothes.

You breathe hard, your heart breaking as his long legs take him further and further away. You want to grab him. Bind him still. Strip him down. Right there on the street. Under the bright midday sun. In front of everyone.

You want to see your marks on him. Want everyone—want him—to see them, unmistakable and undeniable. You want to trace the shape and color of them, to see and feel the memory you’ve left on the masterpiece of his body.

But you don’t. Instead, you just let him go, feeling helpless while the mob of students flood around you and swallow him up.

With nowhere to go, you go back to your room. You sit down to your computer, mindlessly moving through the now familiar digital portal, entering the site.

You listen to The Deviant Nerd, Pip Jones’s sultry voice streaming through your headphones while you search the site.

“What are we teaching those students in that so-called higher education?” she asks rhetorically into your ear. “That kink is a crime? That a little sexy play should be punished to the fullest extent? That it’s fine for someone—some thief and peeping tom—to steal and spread private pictures? That the real criminal in this case should go free, without so much as a slap on the wrist—without even an investigation to find them—while she gets a scarlet letter stitched into her skin by a media just salivating over the juicier story, even if it ruins an innocent woman’s life?”

You listen absently and flick through the familiar pages, wishing and wondering over full-access.

You should sign-up. Join. Be part of the we.

You could belong there, the one place in the world where you wouldn’t feel different. Wouldn’t be alone.

You bite your lip.

So much of...this has been secret for so long. You’ve kept so much hidden in your head, in your heart, behind locked bedrooms, and on password-protected hard drives. You’d had some of those pictures for years now, captured memories that were never meant to be seen by anyone but you.

But you’d shown them to people. Shared them with those you shouldn’t have trusted.

You should have known better. You should have been more careful. Hidden better.

Suddenly feeling exposed—as if someone could see you—as if eyes are always and already on you—you realize that you should get off this site. You should stop all of this.

So, shutting down your computer—watching the screen blink into black—you do.

———

You sit Porter down, your heart racing as you take a seat beside him on your bed.

“What is it?” A nervous laugh touches his question.

He thinks you’re going to break up with him.

You wish you were. Wish your problems—yours and, unavoidably, regrettably, his—were that simple.

You tell him, slowly—hesitantly—but clearly. You show him the pictures. The video. The sites. You tell him the whole story.

You’re crying by the end of it, but his eyes are completely dry. Just dazed. Unbelieving while he stares at himself. At the others. At you.

The digital you.

He can’t actually look at the actual you.

“How?” His usually soft, pleasing voice sounds grave and gruff.

You shake your head. “I don’t know.”

“How can you not know?” Anger ratchets his voice louder. “How can you not know how someone got a hold of these pictures? Of the god damned video of us?”

You flinch; you’ve never heard Porter swear before. Never heard him so much as raise his voice.

You don’t know what to say. “I’m so sorry, Porter.”

He shakes his head, disgusted, and just continues to stare.

———

You rip the taped up photocopied photo off your door with a disgruntled growl. 

It’s never going to end, is it? 

You stay quiet, lay low, and still they come after you. 

You take the judgment and harassment from classmates, roommates, peers, and professors. 

You get ignored and snubbed by ex-friends and ex-lovers. 

You give up parts of yourself you’d spent so long denying—a harder act to do now that you’ve actually tasted and lived it.

And still it doesn’t end.

You enter the room, throwing yourself face-down on the bed. You bury your head in your pillow and wonder how much more you can take. Turning your head, you stare at your roommate’s empty bed that hasn’t been slept in for over a week now.

You’ve been avoided. Abandoned. Isolated.

Your eye catches the glint of your laptop, lost and lonely beneath textbooks and sheaves of paper.

You’ve been avoiding it too lately. Trying to stay away from temptation. Trying so very hard to be good.

And for what? you wonder as you toss the crumpled picture in your fist. You watch it soar through the air and into the trash.

Fuck it.

You get up and settle your laptop on your bed, pulling it close. Without hesitation—not allowing yourself the time to rethink or regret—you log onto the site.

You’re tired of feeling alone. You’re tired of feeling like a freak. You’re just so tired.

So you reach out, hoping against hope that someone reaches back.

———

You lean back on the blanket, enjoying the sun, your computer hot and humming on your lap.

Forums. Messages. Blogs and posts. You’ve been rummaging through them all day, unearthing gems and friends. You’ve even found a kink-friendly group—CinKY, a College Kinky Youth group for millennial kinksters in your area—that you never even knew existed.

You laugh at a comment someone left on your wall, words of joking encouragement, bolstering your ego and lifting your spirits, along with an invitation to meet up. You write back, something pithy and grateful.

You look up when you hear a loud crash, seeing books and belongings crash to the ground from long, lanky arms. You see Porter’s crestfallen face while he watches his things scatter across the concrete.

He bends to pick them up, his face tipped away from the two large guys looming over him with smirking lips.

They block his way, shoving his shoulders, making him stumble back.

You stand, anger stiffening your spine.

“Bitch!” they yell before a bullet of spit fires at your boy’s face.

And even though he’s told you he needs space, even though he’s abandoned you since your face was splashed across TV screens and left on leaflets papering dorm doors, you go to him.

Because what else can you do. He’s your boy. You’re his.

You walk up to them, your hard face set into harsh lines. “Leave him alone.” Your voice sounds mean as you stand in front of the boy who you’ll always think of as yours.

“Ooo,” one of the guys—some big, bulky jock-strap of a guy—coos at you in mock terror, “watch out; his boyfriend’s about to kick your ass.”

His buddy—practically the same burly bully as his friend—laughs, a cruel yet weak sound tweaked with enough interest to curl your fists. His eyes heat while his gaze touches your body, groping at you in a grossly obvious way. “I’m game to let her try.” He licks his thick lips in a sloppy, starving way. “Let her get a taste of a real man.”

You scoff, shooting a disgusted, dismissive glare their way. They wouldn’t know what a real man was if he lay at their feet. And they, these jerks who ape at being men, never will. 

Your hard gaze narrows into a thin, lethal beam that stares them down, forcing their backs to bow and their heads to tip. 

You watch in satisfaction when their smiles waver the second nerves—some visceral, animal instinct—hits them while they take you in. 

“Leave,” you repeat, your voice unshakable, “him alone.”

Your shoulders stiffen and your chest puffs when you feel more than see your boy stand behind you. Your breath stutters—surprised, but strong—as he slides his hand into yours, your fingers twining strong together. 

United. 

Against the world.

A we.

You grip each other’s hands and squeeze.



LEARNING A NEW WORLD
Please check out my novel The Taming School from Sizzler Editions that explores discovering kink!

THINK YOU OWN ME?
Please check out my novel Show Me, Sir from Sinful Press that celebrates feminist kink!


LOVE EROTICA? LOVE CONSENT?
Please check out my story in The New Smut Project's anthology and see how consent makes everything sexier!


GEEK SEX IS THE KINKIEST SEX!
Please check out my story in Riverdale Avenue Books' anthology that proves no one knows how to play better than nerds!


LET'S GET INTENSE FOR THE MEN!
Please check out my story in The Sexy Librarian's anthology that gives us a bold peek into lust and love from the male perspective!
At Audible

HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
Please check out my story in Coming Together's charity anthology that lets your feel-good do some real good!


MAKE-UP SEX MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
See what happens after Kat & Peter's happy ending in my story from Deep Desire Press!

FORGIVE ME, FATHER, FOR I HAVE SINNED!
Please check out my story in Sexy Little Pages' anthology that explores the taboo juxtaposition of holy and sensual!

REBEL WITH US!
Erotica is an expression of rebellion. Please check out my stories in Coming Together's defiant, charity anthology that celebrates diversity and equality in the face of our uncertain future!

YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
If it exists, someone’s kinky for it! Check out my story in Sexy Little Pages' anthology that takes a walk on the weird side: you won’t regret it.

Also, find out how you can support me and collaborate with me on my Patreon Page!

Overexposed - Part One

Safeword: 
Short Story – 
Part One

You never feel more attention than in the moments you wish you could disappear. You shrink. Slump your shoulders. Cross your arms over your chest. Tuck your legs tight under your chair. But, no matter what you do, it’s impossible to ignore, much less deny, the auditorium-full of focused stares you can feel on you.

The room is so quiet, you can hear the squeak of your philosophy professor’s dry erase marker while she writes today’s topic on the whiteboard.

“Is Privacy Possible?” Professor Miriam Vegas reads the words she wrote. She turns to face the class. “In a world connected by the internet and social media, where we document, record, and share everything we do with the world, has the expectation for privacy become obsolete?”

Her eyes pause on you. It’s slight, but you catch her cringe. She tries to hide it by adjusting her glasses.

You sigh. It’s a nice effort, but about as subtle as flashing warning lights telling everyone not to look at you.

You just nod and hope it comes off confident and reassuring. Even if it isn’t true, you owe it to Professor Vegas to pretend. She’d been kind enough to send an email before class, to make sure you’d be all right during today’s discussion topic.

And, to be honest, you’d thought about skipping class. There’s no way to have this discussion without talking about you and the disaster site your life has become.

“With stories about government and commercial leaks, financial and personal hacking, doxing, and cyberbullying dominating our news coverage, is privacy in the modern, digital age a fantasy?”

Yeah, you should have skipped.

But the idea of being scared or shamed away by gossip had seemed worse than just getting through it. You can do this. You’ve done nothing wrong and you’re not about to let anyone make you act as if you have.

Take a breath. Sit up straight. And remember that you are more than what people think of you.

You can do this.

It’s just one class.

One really long, really invasive class.

You take another breath.

You used to love this class. After spending eighteen years in a house where right and wrong were non-negotiable, it was refreshing to be in a space where morality was up for debate.

But that all changed after the story broke last month—after your private life spilled in vibrant HD color across the local news shows and in stark black and white over all the local and college papers. Strange how all that debate has become a lot less fun now that it’s moved beyond the theoretical.

“The number one rule of the internet,” a guy on the back of the room with deliberate bedhead and a wrinkled band T-shirt says with an exaggerated shrug, “is that the internet is forever. If you put it out there, you have to know that someone’s going to find it and spread it everywhere.”

“So you’re cool with the government monitoring your phone calls, texts, and emails?” A blond girl with glasses and dreadlocks shoots him a snarky, knowing smile. “I mean, you put it out there, right?”

One of the guy’s friends rolls his eyes. “That’s completely different.” He leans forward, resting a hand on his knee. “That’s the government, not a bunch of guys on laptops. Hackers can’t take away your freedom by throwing you in jail.”

You think about your life lately—spent isolated and lonely in your dorm room, weary of all the stares and whispers—wonder how free he would feel, if it’d happened to him.

A guy in the front twirls his pen in his hand thoughtfully. “What about when people hack customer data from stores or websites? Does the fact that it’s not Big Brother doing it make it all right?”

“Of course not.” The bedhead guy waves his hand. “Breaking the law is breaking the law. But, like, pictures and posts you put on the internet; that’s free game.” He shrugs and turns to face you. “I mean, if you really don’t want your nudes all over the internet, then stop taking naked selfies or recording sex tapes on your phone. ‘Cause, you know, social media never forgets.”

You wince. “Because you’ve never taken and sent a dick pic.”

You shouldn’t have said it. You know that.

The second rule of the internet: Don’t feed the trolls.

“Not one with my face in it.” The meticulously messy guy cocks his head arrogantly. “Like a smart person.”

You have a comeback ready. Something cutting and witty. Something emasculating about how everything looks bigger with no frame of reference.

But it dies in your throat.

The way this guy and his friends look at you—with an intimate familiarity virtual strangers should never have glinting in their eyes—makes you soundlessly swallow hard.

Don’t look away. Don’t lower your gaze. Don’t let him feel better for making you feel worse.

A month ago, you might have. But, ever since a horde of private photos of you and a secret video of a scene you did leaked all over the internet, you’ve had to learn to get used to the stares. 

When everyone knows what you look like naked—in every conceivable way possible—there’s really not much a look can do to you. You know this all too well. You had to learn the hard way.

He grins wider, almost excited by the challenge. “But, I mean, isn’t that the point of exhibitionism, for people to know that you did that? Why else would you take photographic evidence, if you didn’t want anyone to see?”

“Taking a private photo of a private moment,” Tori, a girl you often sit next to, argues, “doesn’t mean you mean or want it shared publicly with the world.”

You nod her way gratefully. She smiles sympathetically and tilts her head. It’s nice to have someone—even for a moment—have your back. Tori is one of four openly gay students you know at this historically conservative college. You suppose she’s probably had her own experiences with having her private life dragged out in the open for everyone to judge.

“I’m not saying it’s fair or right, but the second you took and shared that photo,” Jacob, a guy sitting next to Tori, leans forward to point out, “you made that private moment public.”

“Exactly,” a stiff-spined girl next to him—Janet, you think her name is—adds. “It’s not simply your business anymore; it’s everyone’s. Once the news gets a hold of them, then suddenly it’s not just about you and your actions; it inevitably reflects badly about people just peripherally connected to you.”

“Oh, come on.” Tori groans. She ticks off her points on her fingers. “One, it’s unfair to journalism as a profession to call that news; it’s mean-girl gossip on a grand, high-budget scale. And, two, to claim that anyone else was victimized by it has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Except it wasn’t just Lyndsey’s scandal.” You see a Hispanic girl in glasses raise her hand a bit before shooting a sharp gaze at you. “It’s the college’s scandal. Her actions become all of ours. The school—as a whole, from the administration to the students—suddenly has to rationalize and account for the actions of one person.”

The blond tosses her dreadlocks over her shoulder and rolls her eyes. “Her actions? You mean sex? Are we really going to pretend that no one in this room has had sex before? Or that we believe that the sex we’re having should be seen as anyone else’s business but our own?”

“Again,” Jacob prefaces with his hands held up in front of him, “I’m not saying it’s right, but there’s a difference between a reasonable expectation of privacy and making a sex tape at a house party. A person ought to be able to have their private matters kept private but, once you make an easily reproducible and virally re-postable video at a party, I think you have to go into that knowing that you’re giving up at least some measure of privacy.”

“She wasn’t the only one in those photos or in that video.” Tori turns to face her friend, who leans back with an expression that feels like this isn’t the first time they’ve had this discussion. “Yet the media made her the face of this scandal. Maybe none of us would have to worry so much about what amount of privacy we have the right to expect or not, if we stopped acting like each other’s sex lives—particularly women’s—were some community standards issue we all get to weigh in on. It’s a personal issue between the people involved; it isn’t anyone else’s business. So why do we all act as if it’s communal property?”

“So we should celebrate that kind of behavior?” Janet scoffs. “If you knowingly engage in activities that you know society frowns upon, can you really be all that surprised when society frowns on you?”

Dear God! “You make it sound like we were torturing puppies.”

“You were torturing people.” She sanctimoniously directs her dismissing gaze over her shoulder at you. Her face looks pinched, as if it physically hurt her to remember.

“We didn’t torture anyone.”

“You were hitting people.” Janet’s gaze narrows on you and her lips curl righteously. “What else would you call that, if not torture and abuse?”

Your chin rises, your spine straightening under her gaze. “As long as everyone consented beforehand,” you say matter-of-factly, keeping your voice casual and non-defensive, “I think I call that a good time.”

“So you think that abuse is acceptable?” the Hispanic girl balks.

“Of course not.” You shake your head. “What I’m saying is that if everyone consents, it’s not abuse.”

“A person beating someone with a weapon isn’t abuse?” She scoffs. “How is that anything but?”

They weren’t listening to you. “If they want it, if that person is turned on by it, and if it’s been agreed upon in advance and all the way through, it’s just another form of pleasure.”

“No one in their right mind would feel pleasure from that.” Janet sniffs, so sure. “They’ve just been tricked or confused into sexualizing violence or are too afraid to say no.”

“Just because you’ve never encountered it or aren’t orientated that way, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.” You’re living proof. Not that you think that counts for anything to her. “It happens.”

“I’ve seen the pictures,” Tori adds softly.

You shoot her a glaring look; she shrugs. She has. They all have.

You blush remembering the images of you topping co-eds at parties—private and those that were less-than-private.

Turns out, as of a month ago, all those parties became a little less private after some anonymous source flashed your face—as well as others—in front of everyone.

You shake your head, clearing those thoughts. “And, whether you agree with it or approve of it or not, none of that should matter. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. No one is being hurt or harmed against their will. What gives people outside of that scene the right to say what people in it can or cannot do.”

“It’s not about can or can’t,” Jacob points out. “This isn’t a matter of ability; you can do whatever you want, so long as it doesn’t break any laws. But it is about whether you should or shouldn’t. And, the minute those photos and video went from being on your private hard drive to the public sphere of the internet, the events became part of the public consciousness. Whether you intended it or not, at that point, I don’t think it matters all that much whether they ought to or have the right to weigh in or not. Because, whatever the morality, humanity proves, time and time again, that people will.”

For a second, you’re stymied. For all your talk about the ideals and principles of fair play and what should and shouldn’t be, he’s right. It happens.

You’re living proof that it does. Once a person’s private lives go public, no amount of wishing can put it back in Pandora’s box.

The guy in the back smirks at you smugly. “It’s Internet Rule Number One for a reason.”

“Okay,” the professor interrupts, “I think it’s time to turn to the text.” Professor Vegas begins to write quotes from the homework’s reading, turning the talk from current events to theory.

You lower your gaze to stare at your notes, the words you took down last night no longer making sense to you now. You can still feel the weight of every stare—a mad mix of curiosity, intrigue, accusation, and titillation—in the room.

Yeah, you should have just stayed in bed.

———

You smile as you look at Porter lying limp on his bed. He looks quite pretty with his eyes wide with fear—yearning want sparking in those round, clove eyes. His hands are tied above his head, the wrists crossed around a bedpost. His long, strong back is spread exposed before you.

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

You touch his flesh, so sensitive yet so resilient and the color of blanched almonds, in a way no one else ever has. You tell yourself that no one else ever will. Not like this. Fingertips tentatively traverse the bruised hills and marred vales of his body. Each mark a pink and purple trail, tracking your time together, your history.

His body arches into your touch, as if aching for the tender attention after such adoring abuse. You let your fingers linger across his ass, caressing the keen crease of his cheeks.

Your smile spreads into an outright grin while you dip your finger in to play with his hole. You shift over him to straddle his hips, your plastic hardness pressing insistent into his back. He moans.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Your other hand strokes lube along the long, impossibly hard shaft held tight inside you, touching you with every pass of your hand. You moan too before you rear back and slide in deep.

You ride Porter, listening to him grunt and groan beneath you. Gripping the rope tying his wrists, you pound his thoroughly exploited flesh.

You can feel the blushing heat left by your hand on his pale peach skin and think there’s little in this world better than this.

Fisting his anise hair in one hand while the other grips his hip, you take him, racing desperately toward your end together.


Read Part Two Here

New Smut Project News!

Hey, folks! 

Come click for the table of contents for the Between the Shores anthology I’m going to be a part of, so named “from an inspiring quote by Khalil Gibran about the importance of both togetherness and self-sufficiency, generosity and maintaining boundaries in intimate relationships.”

Hope you all check it out when it comes out!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Look what just arrived today!

Kicked in for the OhMiBod's blueMotion Bluetooth-enabled vibrator Kickstarter



Bought two of them. One is definitely mine, but debating on what to do with the second? Thoughts? Maybe a giveaway...

Super excited to give mine a whirl. I'll let you know what I think. ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heroes of My Heart

For those who live in Minnesota or just love Midwest nerds as much as I do, the annual geek-fest Convergence is happening right now. And I, for one, am super excited about it. It’s nerd Christmas, geek Mecca, and dork mating season all wrapped up in one fabulous four-day weekend. It’s an entire event devoted to loving the hell out of whatever it is you love.

For anyone who wonders why my site tends to go quiet right around this time every year, yes, this is why. Sorry. But even erotica writers need holidays too.

So, in deference to this hallowed event, I’ve decided that this month is devoted to my personal favorite geekdom: strong female heroes. From Wonder Woman to Xena, I have a soft spot in my heart for, well, wonder women. Sci-fi and fantasy are all about wish-fulfillment, about being able to step into a role and a life bigger and more spectacular than our own and, for me, these women have been an inspiration and the best escapism I’ve ever found.

I grew up loving Wonder Woman comics and the Xena show but, if we’re talking first loves, Buffy holds—and always will hold—my heart. Yes, it’s campy and quirky and more than a little odd, but Joss Whedon’s writing and storytelling is also smart and funny and full of heart. As another of my favorite authors, Francesca Lia Block, said about the show, “I figure if [...something] makes me laugh, cry, or come, I have to give it credit. If it does all three...” And Buffy, from the musical episode to when Joyce Summers dies to the entirety of Buffy’s love life, has done just that. She taught an entire generation that “Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?” Whedon himself said that the show was always about “[subverting] that idea, that image, and [creating] someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim […] The helpless blonde girl […] who, at the end of this scene, turns out to be something a little more than we expected.” Probably more than any other fiction in my life, Buffy has done the most to shape me into the type of strong, resilient woman I wanted to be.

Karen Marie Moning’s MacKayla Lane is another of my favorite heroines. Personally, I love Moning’s romantic and sweet Highlander series as well, possibly more than her darker, sexier, more adventure-based Fever series that features Mac. But the sharp departure of the second series that still exists within and incorporates the first seamlessly marvels my writer’s mind. As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of interconnected stories, when series follow different characters within the same world, where what one character sets in motion affects what all the others in their own stories must now deal with. It echos the truth that everything we do affects everyone else, maybe on small, butterfly-wing levels and sometimes on huge, typhoon ones. And the literary journey from Adrienne in Moning’s very first book, who’s spunky and brave but still plays a more damsel-in-distress type role, to her ass-kicking, world-saving MacKayla wonderfully shows how adversity and the demand of hardship can change people. How, if we have to, we—any of us, all of us—can rise to be the heroes and shapers of our own destinies. That no matter where we come from, or who we start our journeys as, we can change the world.

Lastly, my current favorite love has to be Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series. I love shapeshifter stories and, even more so, I love that this one features a woman of color. The metaphor of existing within two worlds while never feeling fully a part of either is such a hugely common experience for first-generation American people of color and, as one, these stories always resonate so much with me. And Mercy is a great example of that. Of how the things that make you feel different and isolated—the experiences and qualities that can sometimes separate you from everyone else around you—can feel like curses or burdens but, given time and courage, can become the gifts that make you special and lead you to the places and the people who make you feel like you belong. I love that this series, while very action-packed, does a great job of showing that power doesn’t just belong to the strongest. Mercy, within her pack and within her world, is often the smallest and weakest, but her power lies in her quick-wits, her ability to use her limitations to her advantage, and her ability to gain the loyalty of the people around her. It’s a reminder that often the people we dismiss as powerless, as useless—even and especially when it’s ourselves—can wind up being the people we must depend on.

These women, and so many more, are my heroes. They remind me of what people are—what I am—capable of. That, even when I feel beaten down or hopeless, that we all have the ability to rise. So long as we can keep the will to.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The New Smut Project and Me

Great start to my morning!

My very first Donovan's Door short story, aptly titled "Donovan's Door," that I wrote after my novel was published was just accepted in The New Smut Project's negotiations anthology, tentatively titled Between Two Shores. It's been brushed up and polished off with a ton of new content; I can't wait for you all to read it.


I can't even express how happy and honored I am. Not only does the story that effectively kicks off my erotica series, turning it from a one-off novel into an entire world of characters and stories, get a chance to be seen and read by a wider audience, but I get an opportunity to work with a fresh, new publisher that has many of the same concerns and philosophies about kink and kinky stories as I do. That respects and admires the variety and wonder of a lifestyle many of us live and love. I feel so lucky to be one of the authors able to contribute to what should be a fantastic anthology.

I'll have more details as we approach the (hopefully) mid-autumn publication date, but excellent way to kick off this already pretty amazing week! Hope you all check it out when it comes out!