“Into The Woods”: A Dorian-and-Lily-October-Short Story-Freebie!

Enchanted Bedroom

Enchanted Bedroom

Hello, Readers. I like to keep my promises, so here’s a bonus “cutting room floor” bit from Reaching Lily! I wanted to post it as a downloadable word document, but as I mentioned yesterday, no idea how to do that on WordPress. So it’s a long bloody read, but, there you have it. Happy Halloween!




“Try to act surprised,” Dorian said, when we arrived at my apartment. Well, Dorian’s apartment, technically. Bastard owned the building, now, remember? “Spin around.”

I turned my back to him, and he tied something around my eyes for a blindfold. Something that smelled like him. Necktie? “Okay,” I said. “Please tell me what you’re doing”

“Trust me,” he said. “Can you see anything?”

“Nothing at all.”

“Perfect. Hang on to my arm, Lilliputian.”

“Hey!” Clinging to Dorian, letting him lead my around in my very own habitat was somehow thrilling. It were as though, by not seeing, I was seeing the place for the first time.

“Kidding. Sort of.”

“What’s that sound? I hear birds. And wind, blowing through leaves. A river?”

“Lily, you believe you hear a forest in your apartment?”

“Are we in the bedroom?” I inhaled. “Do I smell lilacs?”

“Enough of your questions. Ready to open your eyes?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good girl.”

I nodded, and he untied the blindfold (which I hoped had not made its last appearance in my life). And, oh my!

My bedroom had been transformed into an enchanted woods, and I’m not just talking about the “Sounds Of The Forest” app. Not only had Dorian had the walls painted with a mural of birches, maples, and pines, but he had brought in enough plants to make me feel as though I’d just walked into a magical world, my own personal Narnia. There was a small fountain on top of my bedside table (which he’d been respectful enough not to replace) next to a vase of white lilies. New lights had been installed in the ceiling, and he had them on dim enough that the room had it’s peaceful vibe, yet bright enough that it looked like we stood together under a starry sky. Then, of course, there was the bed, as he had promised. But I had no idea just how exquisite it would be, indeed beyond any woman’s wildest dreaMs Or at least, any woman who still believed in fairy tales.

For, you see, my princess bed was partway alive. The four posters and canopy were rustic looking, gnarled ironwood, that—though it had been sanded and finished to prevent splinters—maintained its natural beauty. Around the ironwood grew ivy, as well as roses, their vines climbing and rambling about the wood. How would I take care of it? Tell me Dorian hadn’t hired an indoor gardener. Hopefully, he’d read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and would be too suspicious and jealous to do so. Hope springs eternal.

“See, now. It wasn’t lilac you smelled,” Dorian said, wrapped his arms around me from behind, and held me tight. “Roses. Heirloom roses. No thorns.”

“Oh, Dorian.” I sighed and turned to face him, though my eyes were filling. “It’s so beautiful. I can’t possibly—”

“Stop.” Dorian put a finger to his lips. “We’ve been here before. Just say, ‘thank you, Mr Holder,’ and then we’ll move on.”

“Thank you, Mr Holder.”

Dorian touched my temple. “Are you crying, again?”

“I know.” I hung my head.

“Good thing that I am so fucked up I find you incredibly sexy when you turn weeping willow on me.” He gave me a shake. “Hey, chin up, Lily. Speaking of weeping willows, aren’t you going to try out your new bed?”

Gingerly, I pulled off my cowboy boots and sank down onto a mattress that put the Mandarin Orange Hotel and Spa to shame. “Oh, my word.”
“It pleases you?”

I lay back, and allowed myself to release every bit of tension in my body. “Dorian, it is the most amazing— well, just lie down. Come here. Hold me.”

He seemed almost shy as he lay beside me, cocooning me in a warm embrace.

“Aren’t you going to take your shoes off?” I asked. “Can we curl up for awhile?”

“You can’t fool me,” he grumbled, burying his face in my hair. “You just want to christen your new bed, don’t you?”

“Caught,” I confessed.

“I ought to tan your hide, young lady.”

“Yes, you probably should.”

It was going to be the best sex, ever, right? Dorian and me with our newly shaved naughty bits on the most awesome bed that ever existed, playing sexy scenes like we were nymphs in a forest. . .well, he might be less likely to go for that. But, oh, the possibilities! So when Dorian released me, and stood up to leave, I was beyond crushed. Needless to say.

“What do you mean you have to work?” I hated to whine, but come on. . . .

“Sorry, love. Our shenanigans over the past few days have cut into my office time, and between phone calls, paperwork, number-crunching, what have you I’ve got some serious catching up to do,.” He patted my head. “Don’t get up, Lily, I’ll let myself out.”

“You’re coming back tonight, though, right?” I asked, trying not to sound bratty. After all, the man had just given me something that delighted me far more than any of the designer clothes, or fancy facials, or top-notch blowouts ever could. Why was my secret garden the best gift of all?

Because the man knew me well enough to understand that this bedroom was just So Lily. He had unlocked something, decoded me, was breaking down barriers in a matter of days. Dorian Holder could reach into parts of my psyche, anticipate my wishes, and bring them to life.

Until he would decide not to.

I pushed the niggling thought from my mind, and allowed myself to revel in the beauty of my surroundings. Of the idea that in addition to all of Dorian’s other attributes, he was an artist, as well. This was an installation, an art piece. Of course I know someone else put it together. But it was Dorian’s design. It was his imagination. He did not see me as a princess in a tower, as I had accused him last night. He saw me as a goddess of the woods, and sought to be my consort.

So how could I complain that he had to work?

“How about this, Lily? I will try to get back here, tonight. But if it’s after midnight, I’m just going to crash on the bed in my office side room.” He crossed his arMs “Lily? You’re pouting.”

“I’m sorry, Mr Holder.”

“Stop apologizing. Also, make sure to open your ‘bedwarming gift.’” He gestured to a box wrapped in rough brown paper and tied up with string at the foot of my bed.

“What is it?” I shook the package. “More clothes?”

“Sweet dreams, Lily Dewitt.”

Though my new forest nymph bed was the most comfortable thing I’d ever laid upon, wearing my “present” put a damper on the experience. It was what I’m guessing was a Victorian era nightie, yellowed with age, and smelling of cedar; the real deal. There was also a corset, surely a reproduction, way sexier than true nineteenth century undies and clearly meant to be seen. Rather than held together with bone and such, I would be wired in place, squeezed by satin covered plastic, scarcely able to take a full breath. A note, in Dorian’s now familiar hand read

Wear This

Since I learned to what my master bid me—for the most part– I pulled the rather staid looking nightgown, letting the wide, lacy collar drop low on my shoulders, to best reveal my clavicle. Then I laced up the satin ribbons of my bodice, tightening it until I couldn’t move without a considerable discomfort. Having just gotten out of the shower, my hair was already starting to do it’s thing, but rather than put sleep-in straightener I would just be Lily Au Natural. Because my wild waves belonged with this ethereal Days of Yore Moth Goddess costume.

Was Dorian going to come back, or was he just playing a game where I’d be miserable, itchy, and sore all night, whilst falling victim to my “mind virus?” He knew I was capable and willing to wait in awkward positions for hours, if only to prove something to myself. . .or to him. I’d begun to had a hard time distinguishing one from the other. Hmn. If I could fall asleep with my arms bound to bedposts, I could fall asleep mashed and tied into a immobilizing costume. Another Dorian Holder test? Of, course. More torture; the physical misery of itching where I could not scratch, and –possibly worse– the mental anguish of making me wait and wonder. Would he come? Or would he force me to spend a waking night of fear, insecurity, and being at the ultimate mercy of his powerful mind control?

He was feeding my virus.

Be that as it may, I did as I was told. Dorian Holder was my master. I wore the damn things, and lay stiff as a poker in my luxurious bed. I relaxed the best I could to the sound of the small fountain, focusing on the sweet scent of the roses surrounding me, and let my thoughts wander to the intensity of last night. The heat, the ecstasy that made all of his power plays worth everything.

Trying and failing to scratch my back by grinding my shoulders against the mattress, I felt no anger, only acceptance. Dorian warned me: he would break me and rebuild me. I said yes, of my own free will. Were I to ring him and say the magic word, he would be a merciful master, and come free me of the beautiful, horrible bindings which the two of us had built together. No, I would not call. I accepted his gift of suffering, while surrounded by the beauty he had created for me.

Beyond that? My heart was filled with gratitude.

Dorian did have compassion for me, I still believed that; I had to in order to suffer at his enormous hands, under his watchful wolf-like gaze. After all, these roses had no thorns within their glorious tangle of vines wrapped around the trees growing around me, soothing me with their sweet scent while I battled my tears of humiliation. The tears which would have pleased him, the weeping that gave him such release, such gratification. He wanted me to cry for him.

I was Dorian Holder’s princess of pain.

                                                            * * * * *

Didn’t I say I could sleep through anything?

Well apparently, I lied.

At least ten fists pounding at my door awoke me from the deepest slumber, which my body had blessed me with as a coping mechanism, apparently. Holy shit.

Do you answer the door or call 911? I wondered, but only for about five seconds.

As stiffed as a starched theater costume, I rolled out of my enchanted bed, and ran to the door, where five ragey pirates stood, just for a moment. I shrieked, and they burst into my apartment, shouting barely intelligible curses and threats. Several pairs of hands grabbed, lifted, and carried me –still mid scream—back to my room and tossed me on the garden bed.

Though they were rough, though their strength was undeniable, my fall was as gentle as though I were being laid down and tucked in for a lovely, albeit wakeful nap. Was this an erotic dream, a pleasing nightmare, or was it one of my girlish fantasies? After all, there be five gorgeous, muscular, aggressive pirates, ready to rip off my restrictive getup and take me. They would take me hard, and it would be no fault of mine, were this a real thing, rather than a magical fantasy Dorian Holder created for me.

Though, I might not have fought them off too hard.

True story.

After all, this could not be real, despite the visceral sense of being nabbed, grabbed, and hurled as though I weighed less than a feather. If I were to allow myself to be ravaged, even in a far-too-vivid dream, would I technically be cheating on Dorian?

Absolutely. I shoved at the scoundrel’s chest, and spit in his face.

“A feisty one,” cheered one of the pirates, and I swung my legs about, trying to free myself. Two of them held me captive by the wrists, and one by each ankle, until the bravest pirate –clearly the leader of the pack– leapt upon me like a madman. He ripped at the satin ribbons which bound my flesh, and growled in my ear.

“’Ello, poppet.”

“No!” I shrieked. “Get off me, you asshole.”

“Aye, lass. Every one us will ‘get off,’ while you beg us for mercy. And then. . .and then. . . .”

Then calm overtook me, and all my imaginings, anxiety, and questions fell by the wayside, like so many scattered rose petals.

Because, what colonial pirate worth half his weight in booty says get off? Wait.

Despite the masks, scarves, sashes, garish hats, silly culottes, vests, and ridiculous poet shirts, and the intoxicating stench of cheap rum? I realized that the bawdy crew of pirates bore energy quite similar to the crew of sexy carpenters who had marched out of my flat only a couple days before.

These were costumes. They were—

After looking about at the motley crew of eighteenth century pirates, it was definite. A rush of familiarity relieved what was left of my fears, though doing little for my excitement.

Okay, possibly disappointed me.

Just saying.

I mean, if the story took the turn it was about to, and I was ravished by a gang of horny scoundrels, it wouldn’t be my fault, right?

This stank beautifully of Dorian Holder.

My pelvis heated, as the strongest one ground against me, awakening my clitoris, so far against my wishes.


A blast of the Pirates of the Caribbean score rang out of my incredible new speakers, and the sexiest of all stormed into my bedroom. His skin was darkened by days in the burning sun, and black kohl framed his wild eyes in a striking, androgynous manner. He wore a three cornered hat his long, bejeweled dreadlocks, which tossed about as he observed the roomful of angry sea wretches. His moustache and braided goatee framed a lascivious smile.

No gold tooth, I’m afraid.

He was clearly the captain.

“Tie her up, lads!” ordered the master and commander, “Return to the ship, and leave the wench to me.”

“Aye-aye, Captain Blackbird,” chorused four of the invaders.

But the fifth carpenter/deckhand still had me pinned. “Never!” he bellowed.

Oh, Dorian. I owed him one. Big time.

“Insolent fool.” Captain Blackbird tossed a rope to one of his minions, and grabbed the fifth by the scruff of the neck. “Then prepare ye to die, a slow, painful death.”

The pirate released me, shoved himself off my body, and drew a very realistic looking blade. Captain Blackbird matched him, with a greater, faster flourish.

And a bigger sword.

Me? I leaned back to watch the show, natch. And what a show it was! My pirates fought gracefully, leaping back and forth within the tiny reaches of my bedchambers, swords clashing, days of yore banter exchanged. Touché. But the villain (Little John Ripple) was no match for brave Captain Blackbird, who had “John” pinned against the muraled wall in no time, tip of the blade just touching his Adam’s apple.

Meanwhile, the other four “pirates” shoved me against a bark-covered bedpost, pulled my arms behind my back, and took turns winding me in the rope their Captain had supplied. I tried to free myself, but once I realized Captain John Blackbird wished otherwise (it was those wolfy eyes darting back and forth at the scene he created which told me all) I became still as stone, save for my heaving bosom. If I thought it was nearly impossible to breathe before in my bodice, being bound in coarse rope to a tree trunk gave me new perspective. Don’t let me hyperventilate, God.

“Leave us,” Captain Blackbird ordered, in some attempt at Continental accent which –of course– made him sound like the lead player in a high school production. “I’ll see to it justice be served to this plundering wench. Out with ye, lads. . .Back to the ship!”

So all the hot pirates grumbled a bit, but since doing Dorian Holder, Pirate CEO’s bidding was the way of the world, they left us to our own devices, while canned horns trumpeted in the background.

“So it’s down to you and me, Lass. Ye found, stole, and sold my treasure. I’ve been searching years for that trunk, wench.” Captain Blackbird tossed a yellowed map on the bed. “And what, prey tell, do you think happens to thieving peasants faced with the dread Pirate Blackbird?

“I don’t know.” I replied, trembling. “Maybe you take me prisoner and sail away with me on your mighty ship? We could be friends, comrades. . . ”

“Hmmn. . .Far too generous. Perhaps after I take you in five different ways, ye tell me who now holds my treasure, then come aboard the Alice May to be my personal slave-girl.” He held his sword high, while walking semi-circles around me. “That’s what to do with ye says I.”

“Are-are you going to. . .punish me, now, Sir?” My nether-regions had already warmed to the idea, no small thanks to the grinding rapey pirate whom my valiant Master had defeated with such courage and wit.

“Aye. Call me Captain.” He tossed his sword to the floor, loomed close, and ripped the muslin until he reached my knees. With deft fingers he untied the bottom knots, and tore further up my nightgown. While I was still bound from waist to the top of my breasts, my hairless vagina was exposed to him, wet and ready for plunder.

“And then?” I heaved. “Captain Blackbird, I’m running out of air.

“You tell me, lass. What, then?” He twirled his moustache.

Not entirely sure whether he was trying to figure out what to do with me, or asking my opinion, I piped, “Make me walk the plank? For I’d rather die than be taken by a stinking marauder such as yourself.”

His fiery eyes gleamed, and their black trim emphasized the odd combination of embarrassment and torment in his eyes. Dorian Holder was good at most anything, of that I knew. But maybe cosplay fell under the not everything category.

“You’ve vexed me for the last time, whore,” he declared, raising his sword.

There was another rapping at the door, but this time it sounded kind of official.

“Cambridge Police Department,” said an aggressive, female voice. “Open up.”

“Dor—Uhm, Captain Blackbird?”

He held up his pointer finger. “Shh.”

Another round of knocking.

Dorian looked from me to the living room, and back at me with a pained expression.
“This wasn’t part of the plan, was it?” I guessed/stated. “You might want to answer that.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Dorian pulled off his pirate’s hat and dreadlock wig, and tossed them to the floor. “Just—Hold on, Lily.”

Like I can go anywhere, Dorian. I’m a little tied up, at the moment.

Captain my Captain strutted to the door, authoritative as he could be in his knee-high, folded boots. The music ceased.

“Cambridge Police Department.” A female voice. “I’m officer McNealy, and this is Officer Smith. We had complaints from the neighbors, who heard a possible break in, shouting, loud music, what sounded like a swordfight, and a woman screaming.”

“I’m sorry if we created a disturbance, Officer.”

“Could we take a look around?”

“Do you have a search warrant?” asked Dorian, all business. Picturing him in pirate’s garb, eyeliner, and that ridiculous hair while attempting to maintain his dignity made me giggle.

“No, sir, we do not. But if another party is in danger, we’re here to protect and serve her. Or him. I’ll ask you one time and one time only: is there someone here with you?”


“And is this your apartment?”

“Absolutely.” Dorian coughed. “This is my building, in point of fact. I was just doing some maintenance work.”

“Very cute.” She was trying not to laugh. “Let’s see some ID.”

“Of course.” There was rustling, followed with, “I’d appreciate your discretion.”

“This is fake.” It was a man speaking, this time. “Are you—“”

“Yes, I’m Dorian Holder.”

“Who the hell is Dorian Holder?” asked the woman. “It’s not your name we’re wondering about, Fancypants. It’s your age. Do you expect us to believe you’re only twenty-nine?

“It’s an old picture. Uh. . .Let’s move on. Feel free to have a look around. Lily?” he barked. “I’m letting in the police.”

“Allow them, Captain.”

Needless to say, when two police officers walked into my bedroom and saw me tied to a tree trunk, I was taken aback. Part of me hoped this was just one more of Dorian’s antics, all for my entertainment. But Sergeant McNealy and Officer Smith? They were the real deal, and both had one hand on their holsters. Once they got the idea of what they’d walked in on, they took a more relaxed stance.

“Oh. Uhm, hello, officers. I’m Lily Dewitt.” I tried to take a deep breath. “I assure you that what you see here tonight is safe, sane, and consensual. My ID is in my purse somewhere. I’ll find it but, it’ll take a second. Dorian, could you untie me?”

Scowling, he effortlessly untied the larger knot, grabbed a dagger from his scarlet sash, and slashed the twine wrapped about my wrists.

“Mr Holder, drop the weapon.”

He looked over his shoulder and tossed it on my bureau.

“You handle this one, Officer Grey. Best thing to happen for your first night on the force, junior.” McNealy grinned. “Funniest damn thing I’ve seen all week.”

The junior officer looked from Dorian in his Captain Blackbird get-up to me. “Uh. . . so you won’t be need our assistance, Miss. . .?”

“Dewitt,” I finished for him. “My boy—my friend, I mean. We were just having a bit of slap and tickle. Guess things got noisy. I’m perfectly fine.”

“Of course. I see.” He stared at me, open mouthed.

“Any chance you two could keep your ‘fun’ a little quieter?” asked the policewoman, trying so hard not to crack up at our conundrum that it almost made me not embarrassed. “Or take it to a dungeon, somewhere, like most of you freaks do?”

“Okay, now this is harassment,” Dorian snapped, but for once he sounded unsure, which was kind of nice. He glanced for a moment in my direction, and I raised my eyebrows in agreement. “Can I have a moment with you in the hallway, officers?”

“Of course,” said Officer McNealy, winking at me. “I think our work is done. Ms Dewitt? I’m leaving my card on your kitchen table. In case your pirate, here, gets out of control? We’re here for your safety.”

“Thank you,” I sang, as they left my bedroom, and heard the door slam behind There was muffled muttering in the hall, then Dorian was back in front of me, brandishing his sword.

“You know what, Lily?” He sighed, taking in the vision of me, all antique-y undergarments, flushed cheeks, and a nightie ripped up to my groin. His eyes fogged, and he licked his full lips. “First off, you look most fuckable, though that goes without saying. You always look fuckable, though at the moment. . .you are a sight to behold. Seeing as I coerced you to stay bound in what must have been unbelievably uncomfortable clothing for several hours, praise is due.”

“Compliment accepted, Captain Blackbird.”

“Never call me that, again.”

“I shan’t. I’d salute you while saying this, but my arms are sore from being tied up for the last twenty minutes.”

He ignored my insolence. “Somehow you, Ms Zenlike Dewitt, somehow you slept. Up until the pirates invaded.”

I nodded, as though hypnotized, watching him pace back and forth. His sword was high, and he gripped it tightly.

Had I pissed him off, yet again?

“My mind games are having less of an effect. Let’s up the stakes, shall we?”

“Your mindfucks are working quite well, Dorian. This sleep thing is my coping mechanism. Either that or I’m narcoleptic.”

“Indeed. Ms Dewitt, were I not in the picture, would you have allowed the ‘pirates’ to have their way with you?”

“I don’t know.” If I could have moved without soreness, I’d have shrugged, but instead just answered him. “I hope not.”

“My hopes, exactly.” He stopped in his tracks.

“Kidding. Of course I wouldn’t.”

Dorian let out a breath. “That’s a relief.”

“Thing is, Dorian. . .without you in my life, there would not be a herd of Chippendales Pirates crashing my living bedroom around midnight. That doesn’t happen.” One can only be so articulate when breathing is such a hassle. “You make impossible things happen. You make my fantasies real.”

“Hmn.” Dorian flashed his occasional dimple, then rubbed his eyes, exhausted. For a second, as the black eyeliner smeared, I could see how he would have been a total glitter rock star were he born in a different place, a different era. “Thank you for that, Ms Dewitt. After I have been thoroughly humiliated tonight trying to accommodate your whimsy, indulge your ‘fantasies’ with shenanigans I now regret, are you willing to repay me in whatever manner I see fit?”

“Mr Holder.” My skin burned, as the heat of desire quickened in my body. “You know I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

We looked at each other evenly, and his mouth curved into a sneaky semi-smile.

“Excellent response. Now lean your head to the left. Then stay very, very still.”

I froze.

Dorian Holder grabbed his rapier from the floor, and while I let out a final –genuine– scream, slashed it downwards, his face entirely void of expression. In one swift motion, the confining laces of my corset split, and I took a deep gulp of air. Freedom.

“Thank you.” I shook my body loose, felt my muscles release in gratitude, though my head was spinning.

“T’was nothing, milady.”

We eyed each other, as though having just met. God, I was dizzy.

“So. . .that whole thing with the CPD. Did it completely wreck the mood for you, or is that just me?”

“Come upstairs to with me, Lily. I have to show you one more thing.”

“Uhm. . .” I took a huge gulp of air, trying to stay balanced.

“Lily, you’re wobbling.” He stepped toward me, offering his hand. A wave of nausea overtook me, and I felt myself beginning to fall.

Then there was only darkness.

“Chapter Twenty: Reflections”

“Lily? Lily.”

A familiar touch. He was rubbing my scalp, and I moaned in response.

There you are. Look at me, Lily.” A very blurry Dorian Holder was peering into my eyes, but I couldn’t get him into focus. “Can you hear me?”

He gave me a light slap on the cheek.

“Stop,” I mumbled. “Not. . .in. . .the mood.”

“Hey. Oh, thank God.”

“What happened?”

“You fainted, sweetheart. Can you sit up? Nice and slow.” He caught my shoulders, as I tried to lift myself, and our strange surroundings came into focus. I was on a soft mat, surrounded by exercise equipment. The lights were dim, and flickered like candles. Three of the walls and the ceiling were a masterpiece of mirrors, beveled and placed at angles which made me feel as though we were in the center of a fire opal, or swimming in a “glasz” ocean. For the multitudes of looking mirrors reflected not only the two of us, but another painting. A fuzzy-looking mural; a duplicate of Monet’s Water Lilies.

I slumped against Dorian’s lap, and asked where we were.

“I had my crew of pirate carpenters build a studio for you. The painting is the same artist who designed your bedroom. Lily, you don’t have to talk.” He held a glass of icy water to my lips. “This is my fault, you know. You told me no breathplay, and I hadn’t thought of it until you fell into my arms, lightheaded and trying to inhale.”

“So I didn’t hit my head, I take it?” My mind was de-fogging. “Then you carried me up here?”

“I wanted you surrounded by more beauty when you awoke,” he explained. “Because this room? I see you, Lily. Look.”

He pulled me up, so I was pressed up against his chest. He had taken off his poet shirt, and his bare skin was comforting, even against my muslin and lace nightie, which was soaked in sweat. Our sweat. Like a good girl, I followed his directives and cast my eyes around the room. Infinite Lilies and Dorians. But it wasn’t enough.

“Help me take this thing off,” I said. “If you would.”

Dorian tore what was left of my shift, tossed it aside, and lifted me to my feet.

“Steady,” he said.


“Look.” He stood behind me, and we faced our reflections in the mirror. “See, just for a moment, what I do whenever I look at you, Lily.”

He traced his fingers over my breasts, my belly, and at last reached my pussy. He opened me, easily, and we watched ourselves. My flower was open wide, red and engorged with want.


“What’s up, Tiger Lily?” he slid his fingers inside me, and something broke. I spurted girl juice all over his hand, but as my eyes began to close, he said. “Don’t stop watching. See how beautiful you are when you come? See what I see. Even for a moment.”

A strange woman looked back at me. She had hair like a mermaid, eyes like the sea, and her voluptuous curves shivered in the cool room. Her cheeks were flushed, and her lips pouty.

How could this be me?

I even looked stronger, somehow. Could just a few days of stretching and acrobatics with Dorian Holder already be toning my muscles? My breasts were swollen from the bloodflow of my arousal, their nipples pink and peaked with desire. Dorian’s stiffening cock pushing it’s way against his breeches and against my bottom were not helping matters. Dorian pushed aside my hair, so my shoulders and neck were bared to him. He kissed just below my ear, trailed his lips lower, and stopped at my shoulder. There was a tenderness about him which seemed out of character, even more so than the pirate costume.

“See?” Dorian licked his wet fingers, sighed, then circled my clit. And stopped.

“Keep going,” I said, staring at the two of us. “Please.”

“Wait for it,” he ordered, releasing me. “So much better when you wait. But you know that, now. Breathe slowly. Deep breaths. I’m going to walk you to the barre, and you’re going to hang on to it. Then, with your permission, I’m going to hold you captive, here, and have my way with you as originally intended.”

“Permission granted.”

“Lovely. I’m going to go lose these Penzance pants, shower up, and ravish you like a good pirate captain would. But—for the record—I am never dressing up like this again.” He winked, and I regretted that this was the last time I’d see his eyes trimmed in makeup. “For once, I’m calling mercy.”


It was then that I saw the shattered panel. One of the mirrors was smashed, and looked like a giant spiderweb. Dorian followed my gaze, and frowned. “Oh, that.”

“What happened?”

He let go of me, walked over to the mirror and looked at his shattered reflection in disgust. “I got angry the other night.”

“At me? When I sent you away?”

“There was far more to it than that.” He looked askance. “Sometimes I have a very bad temper.”

When I was silent, he prompted, “Go ahead, say something.”

Instead, I walked over to the barre, grabbed it tightly, and peeked over my shoulder. “Make me,” I taunted.

“As you wish.” He turned from the mosaic of himself, reached into a large velvet bag on the floor, pulled out my handcuffs from the other night, two bungee cords, and two carabiners.

“Where’d you get all this stuff?”

“Sample mock-ups from companies who heard about troubles at Apollyn. They send accessories with everything. Please note the automatic rock climbing machine, per your request.” He pointed toward the vertical racetrack of faux rocks against the wall. “Know that you’ll be hanging up on it within the next forty-eight hours. How does that make you feel?”

“I can’t—”

“Also, that yoga swing? Your idea, and a good one. Expect to be fucked fifty different ways, in suspension. You’ll be mine.”

“Yes, Mr Holder.”

Without further ado, Dorian shackled me to the bar. “Kneel, bitch.”

I dropped to my knees, and he grabbed two fifty pound dumbbells as though they weighed nothing. With a few deft moves strapped them to my ankles, using the bungee cords as bindings, and the metal clips to keep me from escape.

“Can you move, Lily?”

I shook my head.

“Didn’t hear that. Can you move, Lily?”

“No, sir.”

“Perfect.” Dorian Holder stepped back, taking in the vision of me, weighted and frozen in place. “Stay. Don’t move a muscle.”

“I can’t. I mean, I won’t.”

“Excellent. Promise to wait for me.”

“Do I have a choice, Mr Holder?”

“No,” he replied, and stepped back, admiring the spectacle he had created. “At this point in our relationship, Lily, I’d say you have no choice about anything, whatsoever. But if it makes you feel any better, neither do I.”

When he turned to leave, I cried out, “Are you leaving me, Dorian?”

“Oh, Lily.” He stopped in his tracks, and looked over his shoulder, stone-faced yet again. “You should know by now that our games have only just begun.”

Dorian/Lily Cosplay, Poppets! Blessed Samhain or Happy Halloweenie!

There’s a loophole in my *cough* awesome *cough* contract with HarperCollins. So I can’t submit my plot/characters in any Dorian/Lily to any other company, unless the Mischief had first dibs and rejected the content. Finding Lily is on the market, has been accepted, and is no longer my own. But…Do you remember how much cosplay turned Lily on? And Dorian Holder said he might humble himself just enough to feed her fantasy, though it would be mortifying to him as a dom? Well, even alpha males have a heart.

Luckily for my sweet fans? There are a bunch of pages rejected from my original book and hit the cutting room floor, which legally makes them yours and mine! This bit reads like an out-take you get at the end of a movie, should you sit in the theater long enough afterwards to see what happens after the credits, if you haven’t finished your popcorn or don’t want to stand in a line to leave. Lotsa folks get bummed by cliff-hanger endings, which I understand. Originally, there was not a cliffhanger ending of Reaching Lily, just an over-the-top silly one. Hopefully this story-within-a-story will tide you over until the next chunk of Dorian and Lily’s tale goes live.

Finding Lily is available now for pre-order in the UK, though I’m not sure when you can snag it here in the states. Meanwhile, there will be a paperback version of Reaching Lily in December for a Christmas present to yourself…or whomever you know who somehow doesn’t own a Kindle but still wants to read something naughty when it’s wicked cold and snowy outside.

Seeing as I love me some good sabbat, and that Finding Lily won’t be out until February –right in time for Valentine’s Day– a little freebie to anyone who wants to download it seems like a good idea. If you’re a hardcore fan of Dorian and Lily, you may enjoy this unpublished little encounter of theirs to download on your desktop, tablet, or whatever your device of choice might be. Since days-of-yore outfits and over-the-top scenarios happen, it seemed like October was a good time to throw it out there.

because pirates

because of pirates

Caveat: my romance reading friends? You absolutely can not tie this excerpt in with the sequel. Honest to goodness, this bit strictly rejected from the original story, so there’s other stuff in Finding Lily that negates it, etc. All in good fun, and you’ll more than likely be happier with how I concluded the ending scene of RL in the sequel. Just enjoy this slice of fan-fic with some candy corn, slightly bruised apples, hard cider, and your Rabbit. Thanks, y’all. Happy holy-daze!

P.S. After that whole schpiel, I can’t figure out how to put an attachment on a WordPress page, and can’t find any little link that says “ATTACHMENT” where I can throw in a Word Document. Guess someone will need to write and tell me how to do this sh*t, or you’ll have to go check out my Facebook page.


Or something like that. I can’t seem to figure out how to do links, either, so just cut and paste. I swear that this story will be out to you at some point tomorrow. Pinkie swear. Arrrrr!

Stay tuned!

Why I Write Erotica, Part II

Haven’t you heard? “Three months” is the new “next week.” I meant to write this post back in March, some time. But life happened, as it is wont to do. I wanted to a tribute piece for Bertrice Small, who had recently passed. She and her whole Skye O’Malley saga were most educational to me as a high school girl. But then I saw that the quirky and often hilarious Jenny Trout had already done a tribute, likely in a far more eloquent fashion than yours truly would have pulled off. So I pulled out, so to speak. And now the immediacy is lost. But definitely check out the O’Malley family, if only to get a kick out of the elephant tusk dildo and pony-play orgy. (Sorry, Fifty Shades was shocking? Skye was getting her spank on when Edward Cullen was just a sparkle in Stephenie Meyer’s eye. Oh, wait, not Edward…CHRISTIAN GREY was a sparkle…never mind. There was no resemblance between those books, as Chedward never sparkled .) Here is the cover of All the Sweet Tomorrows –think it’s book two, but it’s the best– and hopefully they haven’t modernized it over the years:

All the Sweet Tomorrows, starring the

All the Sweet Tomorrows, starring the “clever and intelligent” Skye O’Malley

So. Binge-watched Season 3 of “Orange is the New Black” this weekend, and realized I needed to edit my blog post on Why I Write Erotica, Part II. To those of you who share my addiction –I’m guessing there are many– you’ll know by now that ****SPOILER ALERT**** Suzanne, a.k.a. “Crazy Eyes” (advance notice to the PC police: don’t crucify me, that’s the name of the character, I am not a writer for OITNB) writes an erotic-bizarro-science fiction story in installments, which her fellow inmates clamor for. They hound her to write more pages, as there is a waiting list, and people can’t get enough of Captain Rodcocker. Then it all gets shut down by Healy, and yet another woman’s voice is silenced.

I flashed back again to high school, when I started writing hot scenarios based on the “bodice rippers” I was reading, starring my friends and their crushes in erotic throes of passion. They were about three pages apiece, and girls were clamoring for me to “do one for them,” which they’d take home to “enjoy.” In retrospect, I should have charged $1 a page, like Anais Nin. Ah, well. Anyway, in addition to keeping me writing, it got me started on a novel called No Strings Attached, about some poor sixteen-year-old girl who unwittingly loses her virginity to a very sexy (in an 80’s way; black jeans and long, blonde hair with a silver BMW) male prostitute. I read it out loud, a chapter at a time, to my gaggle of girlfriends, who would sit in a little circle and push me to write more during study hall. It was a blast.

Did anyone take high school drama? And have a teacher who would occasionally do improv exercises for the first part of the semester, then just turn the class into a study hall or turn on the VCR? Mr. Murphy* was one of those. He’d spend the 45 minutes ducked behind a wall of books at his desk (which was adorned with a poster of the Serenity Prayer) and read or something, while students would quietly goof off and flirt. I was starting to scribble a new naughty tidbit –which was actually for myself– and left for the bathroom before I made it through the first paragraph. The boy who sat behind me (whom I would later date) stole the composition paper, which at that point only said, “I gasped as ______ lowered me down to the hay.” When I returned, Murphy pointed at me, and gestured to come with him. He was fuming, and would not answer me when I kept asking “Where are we going? Am I in trouble?”

Mr. Murphy brought me to the guidance office, and slammed down not just the would-be sex scene, but a collection of my interpretative essays from his poetry class, which he’d apparently been hoarding. As I was very into Freud at the time, pretty much everything was a penis, natch. We had two counselors, one of whom was CJ, which stood for “Creeping Jesus,” and the other was Ms. Merrill, one of those sweet women who still wanted to change the world. Luckily, CJ was busy, and sent us to second-in-command. Murphy told said counselor that  I was “sick” and “needed help”…then stormed off. Humiliated, I burst into tears. She looked over my stuff, told me it was fantastic, and said, “He has a problem. Not you.”

I will never forget that. Rest in peace, Dee Merrill. You were awesome to me. You changed my world.

She paged my father (he taught English and was very proud of his writer-daughter), who came to the office, hugged me, and helped me chill out. After school, some kid named Mike came running up to me, very excited, and said, “Your dad’s got Murphy pinned to a wall….I think he’s going to punch him!”

This post is getting long, so I’ll end the story there, and just say that the entire experience only reinforced my desire to write whatever I wanted, trust my voice, and believe in my peeps. Incidentally, when Angels’ Prey first was published by the now-defunct Noble Romance, I dedicated my book to Mr. Murphy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go crank out some pages. Dorian and Lily are waiting, and they aren’t up for my excuses.

All Yours,


*some names have been changed

.99 Sale! Paranormal MMF Megasexy Beast of a Book: Angels’ Prey

Yes, I know that I was supposed to post Part Deux of “Why Do You Write Erotica,” but have been a busy writergrrl, these days. For now, how about this awesome deal for THIS WEEKEND ONLY on Amazon?



Lord Frothingham awaited me in his chambers, as promised. He was stretched out on the bed, resting on his side, head propped up on a palm. While he still wore his jerkin, breeches, and riding boots, he had taken off his overcoat and frills. My master looked not unlike the pictures I had seen of scandalous poet Lord Byron, and I flushed.

My own Lord’s eyes flashed as I stood before him.

“Set down your bucket, Clarice.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now close the door. And lock it, if you would.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Of course, sir.”

As the lock loudly clicked beneath my fingers, I felt a strange heat in my nether-regions. I had experienced this before, of course, but never with a man close by. Only when left to my own fancies would I contend with the embarrassing tingling, occasionally followed with a trickle dampening my undergarments.

I never asked a soul about this trick of the flesh, as I was certain something was the matter with me, or, at least, it was the mark of a darkness which I wished none to know. Now I know it to have been my sinful hungers, begging for satiation. Still, each and every day, no matter how hard I pray for deliverance, I am tormented by this same pain of desire.

“Look at me, child.”

Our eyes met.

“Your eyes are so like your mother’s.” He paused, as though remembering. “Such a lovely blue.”

“Thank you, my lord.”

He had noticed my mother’s eyes. Knowing what I do, now, there are suddenly unanswered questions.

“You’re most welcome, Clarice. Now, please kneel down.”

I dropped to my knees.

“Remove your dress.”


“You may keep on your petticoat. But take off that ridiculous hat, if you would.”

Wordlessly, I took off my cap, shook out my locks, and unlaced my corset.

“Lord Frothingham?”

“Why have you stopped?”

“Sir, there are fifty buttons on my dress.” Which I had just finished putting on not ten minutes before.

“Oh, forgive me. Is there someplace you need to be, Clarice?”

His sarcasm stung.

“No, my lord.”

“Stay on your knees, and remove your clothing. Do I make myself quite clear?”

“Of course, sir.” My fingers trembled as I unbuttoned my dress, a task which felt as though it lasted an eternity.

One, two, three, four….Fifty.

At last, I pulled the offending garment over my head, now wearing nothing but my shift. My nipples hardened in the cold air, pressing insistently against the white muslin.

“Give the frocks to me. I will return them to you when you have completed your tasks.”

I began to rise.

Lord Frothingham clicked his tongue and wagged a finger at me. “Did I tell you to stand up, Miss Clarice?”

I shook my head vehemently.

“You are quite correct. Stay on your knees, and bring me your dress.”

Awkwardly, I walked forward on my kneecaps, and tried not to wince at the discomfort. What is this game? I wondered, while reaching up and handing him my clothing.

“That’s a good girl.” Lord Frothingham ran a hand through his curls, which, upon closer appearance, were shot with a bit of silver. He was truly a most attractive man. “Now, on your hands and knees.”

Perhaps I looked confused, because he added, “Like a dog.”

I got on all fours, and looked up at him, waiting for further instruction.

He tossed my dress to the foot of the bed, and leaned back to observe me. “Wash the stones, Miss Clarice.”

“My lord?”

“Do as I say.” His voice was stern, but his eyes were twinkling. “Did I not request you come to my bedchambers and wash my floor?”

“Yes, Lord Frothingham,” I said, and went about the task of scrubbing the cold stones.

He watched me, hawk-like. When I glanced up at him, he was staring at my breasts. When my back was to him, I could feel his eyes watching my hindquarters. After a few minutes, I looked up at my master again. There was a large bulge between his legs, pressing at his breeches. Something primal in me responded, and I gasped, while fumbling with the boar bristle brush.

Lord Frothingham looked down at his breeches, glanced at me, and raised his eyebrows.

Why Do You Write Erotica? PART I

Because erotica is awesome, that’s why. Especially old-school:

There is always a story. Let’s talk about the term “bodice ripper.” It’s not fair. No more so than “mommy porn.” It’s demeaning. Women’s sexuality can not and should not be reduced to a nose-in-the-air, dismissive…whatever. Those were our randy-girl-books, and some of them got us to write erotica. Here’s a question…why was Fifty Shades so shocking? We’ve had these stories right along, but thanks to Kindle, now we can read them wherever we want, without shame. Which has opened up a vast market, gotten a lot of women to communicate their needs/feelings better, and created a broader community. So I won’t call them bodice-rippers, from here on in. If it weren’t for historical erotic romance, I would not be publishing today.

When I was twelve years old (when I started high school), I had many unanswered questions. Growing up in the household I did, my burgeoning sexuality was not something that would be acknowledged beyond “Nice girls don’t.” I say this not as a criticism of my Catholic family, as we were no exception to the general public perception of the female sexual reality. In 1980’s sex ed, no one discussed the idea that our bodies, our curiosity, and possibility of erotic pleasure was something to acknowledge. . .let alone accept and encourage. While the “boy class” was learning about erections, masturbation, and nocturnal emissions, the girl class learned about “menstruation,” “saying no,” and how to “not get pregnant.” That was it. Fun, fun.

Between the values I was raised with and the general mindset of society, I didn’t even know what my orgasms were. My first was in the fifth grade; a dream about David Bowie. I still thank him to this day. It would not be until my sophomore year that I figured out the “moist bud of desire” I’d been reading so much about was an erect clitoris. Dang, that would have made things so much easier. Also, if sex-lack-of-education instructors had taught boys and girls about Astroglide, that might have saved a lot of trauma on both sides of the beast with two backs. But, still the “most bud” is misleading. We are still desperately trying to figure out the massive amazeballishness that is the clit.


Obviously, 80’s gals didn’t have Wikipedia, and the Brittanica Encyclopedia failed to include the fact that females had somethin’ special specifically created strictly for pleasure, rather than procreation.


Thank goddess for HER. (Historic Erotic Romance.) Oh, if there has finally been a decent name for 70’s-90’s non-Harlequinn soft-core porn for women that doesn’t sound like a put-down to readers/writers of the genre, please include in the comments. Thank goddess, also, for babysitting gigs. If it weren’t for babysitting, I’d have been totally broke from the key ages of 12-16…because I couldn’t get a worker’s permit. Babysitting meant you might get $10 after a night of watching four wild children for seven hours. Also, you would get to eat ice cream (our home was healthy food) home, watch Dynasty on a giant furniture-sized color t.v. (we had no television), talk wicked late on the phone without siblings eavesdropping, stay up after 10:00, and even develop an anti-fashion thriftstore style! Unfortunately, it also meant long, awkward rides home with random dads.

Cough, cough.

But then there were also Those Books. Without babysitting, I never would have purchased Amber Passion at Annie’s Book Stop in Wiscasset, Maine…and had an entire universe of sexual and literary possibility opened up to/for me.

This is Amber Passion:


The worn-out jacket says it all. My life would never be the same. Much, as you can see from the cover, Melanie’s never would be, either.

Also, red haired girls are kind of cool, which people hadn’t figured out yet.

Plus, pirates.

So I read Amber Passion. Then just about every other HER our local used bookstore had to offer for a buck or less. Then I started writing different fiction than I had been, previously. (At some point, I’ll write a post about Lit Fiction, but today we’re talking about PASSION and finding-the-fun.) After bookmarking several of the more important scenes, I was hooked. I wrote soft-core for myself, not even realizing that I was writing anything other than what would some day be called fan-fiction, and putting fantasy to words. Happy to share my newfound inspiration and pay it forward, I passed this book –and many others– around in the high school hall to my friends. The waiting list was longer than the one for Judy Blume’s Forever, which eventually was banned from the high school library.

Then the writing happened. Everyone knew I wrote, because my short stories were something that English teachers would read out loud in class to fill up 45-minute periods.

But what if I could only write for a female audience?

That’s what I decided to do.

Once again, I was hooked.

‘Til Next Week,


Lily Chronicles and Another Thweet Review, Napoleon!

Firstly, hello. How are you?

Official release date for FINDING LILY: November 4, 2015. Official date for me to get ‘er done? June 2015. So my entries may be even more erratic. I’ve been meaning to plug pages/blogs for those who have read/reviewed REACHING LILY, but still need to catch up. Here’s a sweet one that Lisa McD of “Lisa Reading” posted yesterday:

“I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

We meet the narrator and main character, Lily DeWitt, in the book’s prologue, as she is boarding a Caribbean-bound plane. It is the first flight in her 24 yeas of life. By her own admission, she is not taking an impromptu vacation, but fleeing the scene of a relationship gone wrong. As she recalls her time with former lover, Dorian Holder, it is clear that in spite of her present pain and regret, the man still holds power over her fractured emotions. The aftermath of their relationship leads the reader into the story of Lily and Dorian.

Author Vivacia K. Ahwen blends wry humor, pop culture references, and a Cinderella meets Sex in the City heroine with the classic romance scenario of the dangerously irresistible man. Dorian isn’t merely Lily’s boss. He owns the company, among many other corporate and real estate holdings. He is wealthy, but this is not just another billionaire falls for the sweet, naive girl story. It is gracefully written and offers more depth than any mere variation on a standard theme is likely to provide.
The more I think about Reaching Lily, the more anxious I become to read the following two books in this trilogy in progress. Clearly, what seems to be the end of Lily and Dorian is far from a final parting. I plan to be there when they reunite and more is revealed about both.”

Thanks again, Lisa, both for taking the time for a read…and the excellent review. If you’d like to be in touch with the reviewer, and possibly send some lit-smut her way, check out:


If you’re in New England, please stay warm and safe during tonight’s storm. (How many have there been, this winter?) If you are in a warmer climate, well. You know. We’re jealous.

More soon,


FINDING LILY: Book II of the Lily Chronicles Teaser

Since I have a green light for the sequel to REACHING LILY (though am still *cough* waiting on paperwork *cough*), and since I’m 35 pages in, and if I dump a lot of creative energy into blogging I won’t want to get my word count up there…I’m going to be pretty quiet for awhile. Tomorrow night I’ll be doing some big promo push, because I’ve found –looking at amazon numbers– that most women buy my books after last call on Saturday night. (Huh. ‘Magine that!) So I will post some “Hi, I’m Dorian Holder and want to do dirty things to you” or “Hi, we are two well-hung angels and have come to ravish you, you nun-servant-girl-timetraveler” or what have you about once a week.

Also-also, I made an imaginary cover. I like doing that. It makes me feel all official.


But this will be my last long and chatty post until I have my actual first draft done, which is about 250-300 pages in the future, so I figured, “Hey, why not post the prologue?”

Here it is, from me to you, dear Readers. Since it isn’t totally dirty, I’ll probably post somethin’ nastier in a couple weeks ;)




                                                          Prologue: Weathering the Storm

Ow. My head smacks hard against the cold window, jarring me back to the present. The one in which our plane is wobbling? Yes, that present. My eyes (which are apparently glasz, according to my once-upon-a-not-boyfriend), pop open, and I take it all in. The sky is gray, and Virgin Airline flight 169 is no longer just a big bird soaring above the clouds. We are in the thick of something dreadful. It so makes sense my plane’s going to crash when I finally almost escape from Dorian Holder’s enormous, far-reaching grasp.


Hey, what happened to Mr and Mrs Green, the lovey-dovey newlyweds who were annoying me so much with their joy and fondling when I first boarded? I would appreciate any company, right now. They must’ve gotten bumped up to first class, while I was busy ruminating. How’d I miss that? Hope their complimentary champagne just spilled all over their laps on this last lurch. Holy hell.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” The pilot’s voice is supposed to reassure us, I know, but there’s enough of a quaver in his tone to make me even more concerned, especially now that the plane has started to quake in earnest.

Also, the intercom is crackling more than it ought to be.

Like I know, though. This is, after all, my first plane ride.

Why am I so calm, then? Obviously, if we’re going down, I’m not going to heaven. Which would make Dorian right, as usual.

         You can’t get away, Lily.

Also, I wasn’t paying close attention when the flight attendant went over the emergency procedures. Would they go through them again? That interpretive dance with the entrances, exits, et al? What if I couldn’t figure out how to put on my oxygen mask, or if I got the only flotation device that wouldn’t expand?

Que sera, sera.

Perhaps “disappearing” would be a relief, a blessing in disguise. Everything comes to an end.

Oh, well. It was a good run. Things got interesting in my final month of life. That’s what they’ll say at my eulogy. “She was generally a mousy little thing, never known to rock the boat. But things got interesting in Lily Dewitt’s final month of life…”

Our plane bucks in agreement with my grim fantasies. Rather than screams and panic, there is a stillness among us humble passengers as we await our collective fate.

You don’t fuck with the gods, and you sure as hell don’t distract the Virgin flight staff when they try to keep you soothed.

“We’re experiencing some turbulence,” Captain Peterson explains, stating the obvious. “Please do not panic. You’re in good hands, people.”

How comforting.

Never heard that one before.

My stomach drops, and I suck in my breath as we start losing altitude. No, I’m not trained in the comings-and-goings of all things airplane, but I’ve seen enough movies.

Time freezes when you look death in the eye.

Time also froze if you stared into Dorian Holder’s dangerous eyes. Dorian, like the jaws of death—or the gods with whom we should never argue—is also capable of freezing time.

How a night could last for days, how days could last for minutes, how waiting on him could last for years is still a concept I will never grasp. That first night with him lasted forever. Like the spider wrapping a fly, Dorian Holder was all winding circle after winding circle, his grip, his invisible thread wrapping, cocooning, squeezing the very life out of me. I squirmed and buzzed in his web, praying that he would not suck me dry.

How can one pray when one is the prey?

All I wanted was to fly away, I swear.

But I am still trapped.

The plane steadies itself, and once again my stomach drops while our altitude rises.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience,” says Captain Peterson, sounding more relieved than I feel. “We’re back on track. Please lean back and enjoy the rest of your trip. Our attendants are coming around with complimentary beverages and snacks.”

I lean back, awaiting sustenance.