Please welcome guest blogger Kimberly Gardner
muse has left town. At least I think he's left town since I haven't
seen him for weeks. Then just when I figure he's gone for good, that I'm
on my own, the bastard calls and wants to get together.
want to say no, forget it. I want to kick him to the curb and find
myself another muse, one who's dependable and not so temperamental, one
who shows up when he says he will, who does his part in the
relationship. And I almost do. Then I remember the good times, how great
it is when he's with me, really with me, the shiny ideas we come up
with together and the great stories we write, and I can't do it. So we
make a date.
get everything ready: wine, candles, a romantic dinner, then I shower
and slip into his favorite outfit, the one he likes best on me. Even
though I'm still a little mad I want everything to be perfect.
doorbell rings. My stomach does that funny little fluttery thing and my
pulse picks up. Maybe he'll bring me flowers, or, and this would be
even better, a shiny, new story idea. I make myself walk, not run, to
the door. I open it.
"Hey babe." He grins, that lazy, sexy grin that makes me hot all over. "Long time no see."
"I'm not the one who was MIA," I say and immediately regret it. I don't mean to antagonize him.
He shrugs. "Yeah, well, I needed a little break. I was beat after we finished the last project."
talking about my latest novel, Slave Master's Choice. It's my first
attempt at fantasy world-building and released last November. I cringe a
little because, yeah, that one nearly killed me. Sounds like it was
hard on him too. My first impulse is to be sympathetic. I squash it.
"That was months ago. Where--" I stop myself. I will not ask where he's been since then. I won't give him the satisfaction.
His eyes narrow a fraction. He has such pretty eyes, golden and long-lashed. I'd forgotten how long his lashes are.
"Can I come in?"
I step back and let him in.
looks amazing in low-slung jeans and a faded Arcadia University
sweat-shirt with the sleeves torn off, the epitome of casual sexy and I
drink him in with my eyes. His dark chestnut hair is longer than I
remember, falling just past his shoulders and before I can stop myself I
wonder who's been running their fingers through it because that's
exactly how it looks.
takes in everything with a glance, the table set for dinner, the
candles ready to light, the wine shimmering pale gold in the glasses. He
walks to the table, picks up a glass and sips, studying me over the
"Mexico's nice this time of year," he says. It's his way of letting me know where he's been. The bastard.
"Isn't it really hot?"
"I like it like that."
"Who took you to Mexico?" The question is out before I can stop it. Damn it.
He laughs. "Jealous much?"
are too." He sets his glass down on the table and advances on me. He
moves like a panther, all stealthy, cat-like grace, his tawny gaze
" Not so fast. You have some explaining to do, pal." I back up.
keeps coming. We circle the table. I slip behind the kitchen counter.
He thinks he has me, I can see it in his eyes. But just as he reaches
for me I fake left then duck under his arm and escape down the hall
toward the bedroom.
He curses mildly under his breath and I know I'm in for it now. I smile and pause.
takes only a second or two before he appears in the hallway. He backs
me into the bedroom, neither of us talking now. The tone of the game has
changed, I feel it low in my belly. I know he feels it too. I see it in
his eyes, in the way he moves, with purpose, like he's driven.
Without warning he lunges, catching me around the waist and yanks me against him. My breath whooshes out and my pulse jumps.
"I love it when you're jealous." He scoops me up like I weigh nothing at all.
"I'm not jealous." My head spins a little even though he had the wine, not me, and I wrap my arms around him.
He laughs. "Save it for the fiction, babe."
carries me to the chair in the far corner, sits down and settles me on
his lap. He turns us toward the laptop softly humming on the table.
He looks at me, suddenly serious, and positions my hands on the keyboard. "Okay? You ready?"
"What if I can't do it?" It's the thing I'm most afraid of, my biggest worry the whole time he's been gone.
He rests his chin on my shoulder. His breath is warm in my ear. "You can do it. I'll help you."
He lays his hands over mine on the keyboard, and we begin.
Crafting the Erotic Novella, presented by Kimberly Gardner, runs from April 9, 2012 through April 29, 2012
Gardner is a current member of the Rainbow Romance Writers. She has a
B.A. in theatre arts from Arcadia University and has been writing
professionally since 2008. Her first novel, Phoenix Rising, was an Eppie
finalist in the GLBT category. She lives in historic Philadelphia with
her husband, a dog named Friday and three very bossy felines.