Me and a Water Bottle
That doesn't sound like two girls and a cup at all... I promise it's nothing like that.
Rather, in my quest to entertain you and for you to get to know me I've created this video. I've transcribed it below so if you don't want to watch the video or if you happen to not be able to hear, then scroll for the text part to read about the story.
It's edited because I'm a dork and have a hard time omitting "ummm..." and "errrrr..." and other annoying pauses that have nothing to do with the tale; which is a love story between a writer and her water bottle.
This quirky biography has a happy ending and you get to know a little more about me.
I realize I need a better camera so I'm off trying to find a good quality one for future episodes. Any recommendations? Leave them in the comments!
XOXO ~ Stephy
The Water Bottle Story
Below is the transcription
Oh, god, okay, yes... this video is going to need editing...
I'm also going to lower this (desk) to get rid of the fan... because the fan sucks... the fan sucks man.
So this is good. Oh my god. Yes definitely going to need to be edited.
I wanted to share a story with you...
This is my favorite canteen. It's a little Swell water bottle...
God, do I not like even how to tell a story...
This insulated Swell bottle is the most awesome thing.
Now, when I saw it at Starbucks, sitting on the shelf just like this and it was very beautiful and I was like wow, this thing is gorgeous. And I picked it up and I looked at it and I looked underneath and I saw the price.
The price, (thud as the bottle is set down) well, I'm just like forty bucks? You might be thinking well, forty bucks isn't bad. I guess not but comparatively, these things are five to fifteen dollars... but this was a limited edition print, that was from some museum that I can't remember... from their tapestry collection. Oh yes, tapestry.
With that price I was like ohhhh... and I put it back. (thud as the bottle is set down)
Well Donald was with me at the time, that's my S.O., and he said, "Why are you putting it back?"
And I said, "It's too expensive."
And he reaches out and he grabs it and takes it to the register and.. I was like, "Nooooooo. It's too expensive."
And he said, "You're worth it."
Do you have any idea? That's like awesome!
So this is become my favorite item in the world. Because I'm worth it. *Giggles.*
So that's about me. You also know that I like Swell water bottles.
(Takes a sip of water)
I filled this sucker up at 9am it's still cold... (thud as the water bottle is set down)
See if you can do that with your igloo.
Word Count 89K
*This is what the word count is for the book so far. This will be close to a 90K word story.
This will be the last update of Handle with Care.
But that's not a bad thing! In fact, I'm celebrating as I put in the last words down for the second book of the Notice Me Senpai series. What happens from here is... I take a week's rest. Then I go back and edit. At least in theory. I might just blow off the rest, start up on FIRE MAGE, or put down some new ideas on paper that I have in my head and get them outlined.
Things I'm interested in writing:
Superhero Lover (Dark Heart Heroes) - Super Villain duplicates his arch nemesis to gain insight in how to destroy the cities favorite hero only to realize the reason for his animosity (enemies to lovers).
Truckers & Lovers (Dark Heart Heroes) - Two drivers find out they have more in common with each other as their attraction grows (sexual awakening)
The Blood Doll's Kiss (Taboo Fiction) - A college student who feeds vampires for money finds herself the prize in a war between blood sucking families. (Paranormal Romance)
Triad (Taboo Fiction) - After years of relentless battle, a pact between an unyielding mage and the demon that would posses him created Marcus, a personality with his own mind and body who encases them all. But the demon within is not willing to curb its blood lust. After Marcus attempts to restrain the demon and fails, an army is sent to destroy Marcus. Upon their meeting, the king of Benicar presses Marcus for a truce and convinces him to serve under Benicar’s banner in a war between nations. Dispatched to another town Marcus finds Platt, a beautiful farm girl with a mysterious gift he believes could bring true peace between the mage and the demon inside of him. But soon after he settles in the town of Reginhart his neat and tidy world becomes unraveled. (Demon Romance)
Fire Mage (Dark Heart Heroes) - Sent to assassinate a rival guild member, Homura finds his target an unwilling victim. (Dragon Romance)
SG1 Atlantis Fanfic - Don't we all have that one movie/tv show/book that we love and want to play in?
Senpai on Senpai (Notice Me Senpai) - There's a new teacher in town and it's up to Mr. Goyas to help save the man from his own students.
Fantasies of an Airship Pirate (Taboo Fiction) - Inspired by Abney Park’s “Airship Pirate” song… Captain Hasen invades a lone transport airship expecting riches from the hull of the Empire's Zepplin.
What he finds are refugee's. Finding no money and only lost children and two nuns, Hasen is disgusted and ready to cast everyone overboard despite his sudden and unnerving attraction for Katharina, the head nun of a church Hasen no longer believes in.
Katharina in turn offers Hansen money when they get to the church for safe passage. Though he accepts, Hasen learns he wants more than her money. (Dystopian Pirate Romance)
As you can see, I have plenty to keep me busy. The issue is choosing. But maybe you can help me! Let me know in the comments which one/ones sound interesting.
The next update will be yammering about the next thing I've decided to move to. I'm leaning towards finishing the Notice Me Senpai series. I have one more story idea other than Mr. Goyas' story. Then it will be done!
Sometimes I feel like I'm writing to get better for that one series that is really special. Other times I just can't write fast enough.
For those of you still on this ride, I have one last excerpt, then you'll have to buy the book to find out the end. Woot! Word of warning though... "Handle with Care" has been the working title. In the spirit of the series, the name will actually be "Redeeming Senpai".
Because this is the last update with excerpts (and I feel they are too short) I've included two.
XOXO ~ Stephy
Handle with Care
No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted without written prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, events, incidents and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
This is a totally unedited chapter. It may or may not stay the same after final edits and it may or may not remain in the story.
If you find any grammar, spelling or punctuation errors, please let know via the comments!! I may not get to them right away, but I will get to them. Thank you!
If you are totally lost & would like to start at the beginning of (working title) HANDLE WITH CARE, click the button below.
Below is an excerpt of (working title) HANDLE WITH CARE
“Wake up, Liam.” Kai pulled the covers down to my naked waist.
I lost the fog of depression sheltering me from daily life. Unappreciative of his wake-up call, I pulled the comforter over my head. “Go away.”
“You are running late for school.”
“I’m not going.”
“Not an option.”
“That is not the schools fault.”
Kai rummaged around my drawers and tossed a pair of underwear, jeans, a shirt, and socks on my bed. To finish my wardrobe for the day he laid my steel-toed boots on the floor near my head.
I grabbed his wrist. In a flurry of covers I turned away, pulling him with me on the mattress. But I kept rolling until I rested in a blanket burrito with Kai underneath. My clothes were under the layers along with Kai. He was inconvenienced but not stuck. Too bad. I’d have used him as my personal body pillow.
“I already know what you’re going to say.”
I couldn’t see him and couldn’t gauge his reaction. “I’m out, right?”
Kai’s body sunk into the bed. “I think it best if you reside in a different space.”
“Safe.” He rubbed the covers over my back.
It wasn’t going to be safe away from Kai. So far he hovered over me like a helicopter parent. That was what kept Andy away. If I left here, I might as well go back to that scumbag. No way.
“You don’t know what you’re asking me.” Kai was my safe.
“If you stay here, I’ll destroy you and obliterate any honor I have left.”
“That’s not true.”
“Liam…” his voice turned hard.
But I spoke over him. “We’ve been doing fine. All these months and I haven’t stepped out of line. Okay, I had one bad day, but I’m better now.”
Kai’s stroking paused. “I have a small apartment closer to the school.”
“Will you be there?”
“Then I will leave and you can stay here.”
“I’ll find you. No matter where you go.”
He sputtered a laugh. “What if I decided to go to Aruba?”
“Then I’ll bring my swimsuit.”
His silence crushed my hope. There was something I could say or do. Something that would make him see how much I needed him. How important it was to be with him. He was turkey dinner family to me. Now that I’d had this life, going back would churn me inside out. Like all the skeptics on the street. There was nothing left for someone like me but drugs and STD’s.
Choosing my words instead of spurting what came to mind, I said, “I’ve done things. Things I don’t want to remember. You help me forget. We can do this.”
He sighed and stroked my back. “These past few months have been difficult. Wonderful but challenging. My resolve is tested every day, every moment with you. It starts off as a warmth from your smile, or a touch. Mild craving turns to yearning. Longing turns to passion. Lust convinces me one more stroke of fingers down your arm will hurt nothing.” He caressed my back and I wanted to sink into him forever. “Passion becomes a thirst and I tell myself no. The heart asks why? My body commands me to feed this hunger. Denying myself disintegrates my soul. Honor is the last defense I have, and you are whittling it away.”
“You’re missing one factor.”
He leaned his head back in serious thought. “What would that be?”
“Don’t forget that I have a will too. I won’t let you destroy yourself.” Because that’s what would happen. If we broke down together before I came of age, he would never recover.
Kai let out a long sigh. All this morose talk damped my mood.
“Did you notice?” I wiggled, making it a point of rubbing against his middle. “We’re laying here together and you’re not even hard.”
“You are in pain. Hurting people does not get me off.”
“See, you don’t need to send me away.”
He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. “I may not want to hurt you, but I may.”
“But I might.”
This conversation could go around and around. “I’ll stay in this bed till I’m eighteen then.”
“That is not acceptable.”
“We’re stronger together.”
“Enough!” He struggled out of the bed. “Pack your personal items. I will take you to the other apartment after work.”
Kai’s car parked front and center where my last class let out. This was it then. He was going to try and stash me somewhere he wouldn’t see me. Well, that kind of convenience wasn’t in the cards for us. So many years apart didn’t give way for a recess. Another underlying reason to stick to Kai like glue—Andy.
Certain tell-tale signs indicated Kai was more than just a social worker. Where he lived, his car, even his wardrobe didn’t add up to government pay. The story about his dad seemed more about dynasty and less middle-class pride than he let on. If Andy stayed away from me because of my boyfriend’s influence, being separated was a bad idea. Knowing that vulture waited for me spurred panic. But that was my deal, not Kai’s.
I climbed in the Tesla beside an apathetic driver with an aura of frost hanging behind Ray Ban shades.
“Hello,” I gulped down my enthusiasm.
He didn’t respond. Kai drove in the opposite direction of home and The Muffin Cap. I suspected my bag still sat in the trunk. I didn’t have to guess for long before he parked across from a three-story apartment complex to know we’d arrived at the new place.
Kai got out, opened the trunk and pulled out my duffle bag. He approached the security gate without checking to see if I followed. I did, but with reluctance.
“Can we talk about this?”
He answered me with a stony face, eyes masked by his sunglasses and a wave of his hand to enter the courtyard.
The place was out of the 70’s but clean. A pool filter hummed near the deck cleaning a bean shaped water feature. Modest front doors sported peep holes in the center of brass knockers. I passed six-foot palms sprouting in square dirt patches between each residence. This was the kind of place I’d expect a social worker to live. Plain, small and on the cusp needing a remodel.
I followed Kai to the right-side end apartment. Keys jiggled while I stood in the shadow of the three-story building cul-de-sac. The front door scraped open and Kai went in. Curiosity moved me forward.
“Is this your place?” A fully furnished one-bedroom apartment was more than I could wish for not six months ago. I’d dreamed of a place like this before I went to live with Kai.
“This is now your home.” He unwrapped the key from the wire ring.
“Are you staying here?”
He held two keys out to me. “No.”
“Then neither am I.”
Kai dropped his arm. “You cannot stay with me.”
“You know why.” He turned his face like it hurt to look at me.
“So, you’ve decided all by yourself that we…” I motioned a hand between us. “can’t figure this out?”
“I made one slip-up, after all this time…”
“Liam…” He raised his hand offering me the keys again. “Take these.”
“Toss me out like trash, but don’t keep me like a shameful mistress.”
Within the span of a blink, Kai pushed me up against the wall, his body pressed against mine, his lips at my ear. His breath tickled the hairs on the back of my neck. “Are you trying to fuck me or fuck me over?”
“Neither.” I jut my knee upward.
He blocked my leg and flipped me around. My arms were locked in his hands. The side of my face kissed the wall—intimately. My lips crinkled like a fish. “I can fight you off if I have to.”
“Is that what your doing?” He ground himself against my backside.
I lifted my leg for another nut strike. No good. He blocked that one too. Kai was not helping me prove my point. All these weeks of training didn’t make me faster than him. Time to appeal to his softer nature.
“You wouldn’t hurt me.” I relaxed while he jacked my arms up my back.
“Yes, I would,” He hissed.
“Help!” I screamed with a crackling voice. Not that I needed help. But I followed Kai’s training. Make space, be loud, don’t be alone, run when you can.
He jumped off me, vibrating with anger. “That will not save you inside my condominium.”
“No!” He held up his hands as if thwarting off my words. “We will… we will speak on the phone.” He set the pair of keys on the kitchen table and high tailed out of the apartment.
“Kai!” I chased after him but he was already at the gate. Damn he was lighting fast.
As Kai left, Damien stepped out from across the way, stopping me dead in my tracks. “You all right, kid?”
“Yeah.” I sneered, backing up into the new place and shut the door.
Great. That worked, I sneered at myself.
The keys lay on the table tempting me to take Kai up on this living space offer. If I did, the guilt would eat me alive. It was one thing to live with him, help him pay rent, as little as I offered. Fix meals, though he liked to cook for me. Do chores, though he seemed to have a handle on that as well. But I couldn’t afford this place and if I wanted free rent whoring myself out I’d have stayed with Andy. Okay. Harsh. Kai didn’t want sex with me. I got it. What’s the opposite of pimping myself out? But I just couldn’t do it. Nothing in life is free.
I picked up my bag, gave one last look to the keys on the table and locked the door on my way out.
Thank you for reading Handle with Care by S.N.McKibben.
Interested in more?
Click this button below for the Beginning of the NOTICE ME SENPAI SERIES
Click this button below for the start of the HANDLE WITH CARE installment
The Beach Reads Romance Series (Book 1)
by Toya Richardson
A woman running from her past.
A man with a broken heart.
A new future could give them a second chance at love.
Faith Morgan’s lifelong dream comes true when she signs a book deal with a major romance publisher. For the first time in years, she feels the confidence she needs to cut ties with her nightmare of a boyfriend. But when he demands a piece of Faith's newfound success, she has no choice but to put distance between them. She figures about 11,000 miles ought to do the trick. Faith lands in New Zealand and swears off all men for good… until she meets the one who's destined to change her life.
Local businessman Dean Jameson always saw himself as a father in the making. He's ecstatic when he becomes a dad, but his heart shatters when his twisted ex reveals he's not the child's father. Meeting the captivating Faith renews his hope in the future, though he's unsure if he can leave his double heartbreak in the past where it belongs.
As Faith navigates her fear of being controlled and Dean dreads another betrayal, the two slowly but surely fall for each other. When their vindictive exes do everything they can to crush this second chance at romance, Faith and Dean must shed the past to rebuild a future based on true love…
Destination Love is a stirring contemporary romance set in New Zealand. If you like exotic locales, steamy relationships, and happily ever afters, then you’ll love Toya Richardson’s inspiring novel.
This series will be at least 5 books long with novellas in between the books in some cases.
Toya travels to all the destinations she's written about and if you join her Facebook reader's group you'll get pictures of her destination places!
Imagine sitting in a lounge chair, surrounded by a beautiful beach, reading about love and romance that's on a beautiful beach.
The beautiful sunsets.
The lovely story that entertains you as you listen to the surf, the seagulls all while sipping on your favorite beverage on a chaise lounge.
This is the book you want to read to either calm a stressful day and bring you to that atmosphere or read while at your beach resort.
Toya Richardson's Beach Reads Romances are just as prescribed. Love happens on beautiful vacation spots where playful tourists hang out. While there are some deep moments they don't spoil the fun in this book. Light, easy reading perfect for a time when you just want to relax.
I Would Recommend this to Fans of:
English (UK) Authors
A very important moment for her was giving a reader closure after surviving domestic abuse. It was after reading her Romance/Thriller, Flame, about a domestic abuse survivor, who sent her a thank you message and she’s never forgotten it. “If it means I have helped one person, then I’m blessed.”
Writing has been Toya’s passion since a very early age. Sadly, it wasn’t until the death of her mum, who was also her best friend, in 2009 that she started to take it seriously. Her mother’s wish was to see her published, which didn’t occur until 2014. And now, each book she publishes is dedicated to her.
Always a shy person, becoming an author has helped to broaden her horizons and grow in confidence. Toya still laughs when she reflects on her dislike of social media. One by one, she began to use different platforms and is now very active on FB, Twitter and Instagram – not forgetting her brand new website. Now she is quite vocal about how important these platforms are for networking, an huge aspect of an indie author’s life. If not for social media, she would never have connected with two of her three publishers.
Social media to her is a wonderful way to connect with fellow authors and readers. So many friends have been made by her in this way, she loves nothing more than helping others. It still amazes her how wonderful and supportive the indie author community is. Everyone, without exception, is always willing to give others a hand. She always says she may not be an expert but is always willing to share anything she does know.
Whilst attending a workshop many years ago she learned a very valuable lesson from another author. He said, “Write because you love to write. If you’re doing it for the money, you may as well forget it now.” This is so true and is her mantra.
It still amazes her how much she’s grown when it comes to “putting herself out there”. She loves to read live from her work when she partakes in numerous FB takeover events. She’s given talks about her writing journey to Women’s Institute groups, and one at the assisted living facility where she works. She also enjoys open mic events. These still fill her with nerves, but that’s normal. And starting this year, she is about to embark on several big author signings, which she’s very excited about. Finally getting to meet so many people she’s connected with via social media.
Apart from working on her Destination Contemporary Romance series, she’s currently planning a Paranormal Romance series called Nature’s Warriors. A series of fantasy romances, notes in books at present, which she’s very excited about. And as if that isn’t enough to keep her occupied, she’s attempting to push herself even further. Toya’s written a standalone Rock Star Romance, which she is attempting to self-publish. This is to prove to herself she can push her boundaries, even though it terrifies her. Always happy to learn new skills and take advice from others is helping her to grow as an author, and person.
When not writing, or reading her main hobbies are; cinema, theatre, gardening, keeping fit, travelling, watching live bands, Formula One racing, watching darts and spending time with friends. She lives in Suffolk, UK with her husband, grown up son and Masai the cat.
Faith took a deep breath and stared at her phone for long moments. This was going to be one of the most difficult calls of her life. She dialled the number and waited for a response.
“Hi, it’s me.”
“Nice of you to call me, Faith, where have you been?”
The sarcasm in his tone irritated her, she glanced at the clock and shook her head. “We only spoke a short while ago.”
“That’s too long. You should want to speak to me all the time.”
“My editor called…”
He cut her off in mid flow. “Oh, I get it. Now your books are doing well you think you don’t need me.”
“No, Faith, now you listen to me…”
Not anymore she wouldn’t. The time had come to tell him how she felt, she steadied herself.
“Sorry, Alan, I can’t do this any longer.”
“What do you mean? Have you finally realised you can’t write? It’s about time you saw sense.”
“No, Alan, we’re finished.” Faith jostled the phone to her other ear.
“What the hell do you mean by that? Why?”
Faith sighed and closed her eyes. “You know why.”
“Oh, please enlighten me!”
“You’ve never once supported my dream to be a published author.”
“Yes I damn well have.”
“Don’t lie,” she responded with frustration. “You’re only interested now because I’ve been signed.”
“That’s not true and you know it. Marry me, Faith, you need me.”
She gasped with surprise at his response. “I don’t need you and I’m certainly not marrying you.”
“Who the hell do you think is going to pick up the pieces when your book deal turns to crap, huh?”
“Just stop it. I can look after myself.”
“Yeah, sure you can. Where the hell will you get the money to support yourself, answer me that?”
She ran a hand across her forehead.
“Deny it all you want, but you can’t cope without me.”
She gritted her teeth. “You’ve proved how shallow you are. We are over. End of story.”
“This is crazy, listen to me.”
“No, Alan, not anymore. I’ll leave your stuff on the porch. I want it gone as soon as possible.”
She ended the call before she heard anymore and threw her mobile phone on the sofa with exasperation. When the phone rang again, she picked it up, cancelled the call and blocked his number.
Faith walked into the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and drank deeply. She ambled back into the living room, flopped onto a chair and closed her eyes, rubbing the cold bottle along her forehead. Now she’d made the dreaded phone call, she needed some company. Picking up her mobile once more, she rang Leah, her best friend.
“Hey, Leah, it’s me. I’ve told Alan it’s over.”
Leah asked her loads of questions about her conversation with Alan.
“Yes, I’ve blocked his number. No, he can’t get in here. I had the foresight to change the locks before I called him. I’ve also packed up all his stuff and left it on the front porch for him to collect.”
She held the phone away from her ear while Leah hooted and cheered loudly.
“What I need right now though, is some time with my best friend. Can I stay at yours tonight? I don’t want to be here when Alan comes to retrieve his things. He’ll only start with the begging and pleading routine and I really don’t want to see him or hear his whiny voice.”
“Come whenever you’re ready, honey,” Leah responded.
“Great. I’ll be there just as soon as I’ve chucked some things in my bag.”
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Above is another impression I had of Sir Ahibodeau. I'm finding it harder to search for "prince" than I am "old warrior". But these images help me shape the story. If my writing is anything comparatively like these pieces of art I'll be a really happy writer!
While I'd love to have Cynthia do the artwork, her schedule is limited. Thus, I am thinking about talking to an additional illustrator to help with the load!
In the mean time, I only have these artworks to give as examples.
If you are completely lost, and this is your first time here, you might want to start from the beginning. I suggest clicking on "Jack the Bodice Ripper" under the CATEGORIES on the right hand side of the screen. Or clicking the button below to start at the beginning.
For the rest of you...enjoy!
This is a FREE internet story for my fans. This is a fantasy somewhat historical called "Jack the Bodice Ripper"
No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted without written prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, events, incidents and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
If you find any grammar, spelling or punctuation errors, please let know via the comments!! I may not get to them right away, but I will get to them. I'm aware of the tense change, but alas, this was written when I was young and tense changing was a thing for me. I will try to do better in the future! Thank you.
Jack the Bodice Ripper
My nerves rattled. Fayola was due to arrive today! But duty came first and it was time to report to my office. There was the matter of paperwork.
Documentation preceded every agreement. Sir Ahibodeau was scheduled to be here with mother in my study within the quarter hour. Which is why everything had to be perfect.
Counting down every day, I’d kept myself restrained for the past four weeks. So far I hadn’t been tempted by any woman. My secret was keeping Fay in my mind. Comparing her to other women, I always found Fayola the better choice.
Making headway down the corridor I had very little time to spare before mother arrived with my soon-to-be—father-in-law.
The thought crawled down my spine. Not that there was anything wrong with Sir Ahibodeau, but I questioned how such a beautiful dove and obedient could be fathered by such a—stiff, commanding, over lord such as my mother's retired military chief.
I would show Fay what a loving paramount is supposed to be. Our first night together would be glorious.
Fayola, naked in my bed. Covering her body with mine. Stroking her sides. Tender kisses lushly placed on her neck and chin…
She giggled. What a wonderful sound.
My cock on the edge of splitting her in two, the head marinating in her womanly sauce. Tempered, gentle, easy increments pushing inside her, both torture and bliss.
“Fay, keep still.”
“You’re not hurting me.” My new wife dug her heels into my arse, trying to push me further inside her.
I nipped at her lip. “Enjoying your purely sole event.”
“What? Having sex?”
“No.” I smiled. “We’ll be having plenty of that. I’m talking about you running rampant with the reins in bed.”
Honey brown eyes laughed. Her heels lowered to my thighs. Warm hands slid down my side to my arse and squeezed. Clenching my butt cheeks to keep from slamming into her I threw my head back and moaned.
“Woman!” Panting for control I glared at her.
A warm smile greeted me. “Honestly you would think I was as fragile as your mother's china.”
"Don't mention mother in our bed." I nipped at her again. But tempted to give her what she wanted, I refrained. A year’s worth--
Reminded of the time I came back to the here and now.
It hadn’t been a year.
Another eleven months lay ahead before I got a chance to sink my very eager admiration into her waiting legs.
The more I thought about taming a virgin, the more nervous I became. Unlike popular belief, all my lover's were... shall I say... broken in?
Unless I was able to soften the natural barrier that separated girl from woman, Fay might not have a pleasant wedding night. That was unacceptable. I had to find a way to ease her into womanhood before our wedding. Leaving a nasty impression for a woman’s first time would not happen to my Fayola.
I wanted to find out how much pleasure I could wreak on her body before she begged for release. Slow and easy is what Fay deserved. At least at first.
The guards opened the double doors and turning into my study I went for my desk.
But my chair was occupied.
Sprawled out in my plush, leather, red ass warmer sat, naked as the day she were born, a sleeping woman.
Naked women, of the surprise kind, usually greet me in my bed. Not unconscious in my chair when Sir Ahibodeau and mother were due to arrive at any moment.
The girl was young, tan and very tempting, if she were awake. Blonde curls covered her face and chest. Nice body. Taking a strand of hair off her forehead I recognized her. Darla, a shy, docile chamber maid. Possessing no special spark in bed sport, I had no desire to go back for more.
Blue eyes fluttered open and looked straight at me.
Mother’s voice echoed off the tile of the hall.
Shy and docile widened her eyes.
I covered her mouth before she could scream. "Don't scream."
“What are you doing here?” I released my hand.
“I took a bath and now I’m here.” She looked down at herself and then tried covering her pert breasts with skinny arms.
I scoffed. Like I hadn’t seen all there was to see.
“What have you done?” Her eyes narrowed in suspicion.
“Me? I didn’t put you here!”
Sir Ahibodeau’s deep candor followed mother’s husky voice.
“Where are your clothes?”
She looked around. “I don’t know.”
If Sir Ahibodeau found this naked woman in my study, well, the outcome was not going to be fortuitous for me. Under the damning circumstances, even mother wouldn’t be able to help.
“Get out!” I said.
“My clothes?” She scrambled up and scanned the room.
There were no clothes to be found. How the devil did she get in here?
It was too late to ask the guards. Mother and her knight were just at the door. Sir Ahibodeau exclaiming he was expected, but like good king's guard, they wanted my permission before they let even the queen inside.
“Wait!” Shoving Darla under the desk, I pressed her against the cubby hole and put a finger to her mouth. “Not one word, don’t even breath.”
"Darla, please, I will pay you handsomely to just be quiet. And don't move." Returning to my chair I smoothed over my short blond hair. I had a chance to straighten my doublet and look up before a guard poked his head in.
"Sir Ahibodeau and the queen," He said.
"Enter." I waved my hand going for nonchalant.
Mother flowed into the room first and, like a good son and subject, I stood.
“Your highness! Lovely to see you.” I gave her my usual bow and slipped around the desk to meet her. She offered both palms and I kissed the back of each. Turning to the father-in-law I nodded and smiled.
Sir Ahibodeau bowed in an appropriate stance worth my station. An inkling of improvement since the last time we met. However, I was sure he thought I’d break my promise to Fay by now and begrudgingly gave me credit for my effort.
“How do you do Sir Ahibodeau?” Aware of Shy and Docile under the table I moved back to check that she was indeed trying to crawl her way out.
I sat, blocking Darla's way and shoving her back between my legs.
“Fine.” The knight said.
Short. To the point. Thank the whores of main street for abrupt military conversation.
“Thank you for coming.” I turned to mother. “I know the value of your time.”
“I always have time for my son.” The queen smiled proud and fierce. She was planning on staying for a while. As much as I loved her I needed her to get Ahibodeau out. Saying truth so blunt however, was never tactically wise. Not for nobility.
Sir Ahibodeau may have commanded legions into battle, but my specialty was etiquette, persuasion and at times, blackmail. all the things that came in handy for peaceful treaties. Such talents required their own language. A language mother taught me.
“My queen, you honor me.” I touched hand to my chest and then swiped both my eye brows pretending to preen. I never preen. At least not in front of company.
Mother caught the communication and widened her eyes a fraction, telling me she understood. Without moving her head she darted her eyes around for the danger.
“Please sit.” I said. Code for we’re not in danger but you need to get out.
Mother pressed her lips in a line and her eyes accused me of treachery. I looked to Sir Ahibodeau who remained standing.
Shy-and-Docile peeked her head from under the desk. I scooted forward, shoving the chamber maid back under the cubby hole.
The thonk against the back of my desk, to which I played off as hitting my foot against the back drop, was poor Darla scrambling backward.
Digging into my drawer, I handed Sir Ahibodeau the contract of my betrothed's terms from me to her.
While he looked at print, the queen, stared at the desk where Shy-and-Docile hid. I swear the queen had four eyes behind her head and could see through doors. Knowing me since birth, she’d figured it out.
I was not surprised when she contorted her lips to keep from laughing. Yet her eyes held such a look of disappointment I couldn’t help but give her the best it’s not my fault look I could.
A hand grabbed my knee. I jumped and looked down, then up at Ahibodeau.
He hadn’t noticed so I looked back down with narrowed eyes. The fabric of my clothes became very soggy. Shy-and-Docile said she was taking a bath before she wound up here and now I was her towel.
She was waving her hands as if to say give me room. I sank back in my chair and tried to slide the pegged chair back. Wood on wood creaked.
Ahibodeau glanced up.
He looked down, but the disgust of military discipline remained on his face.
“Have you ever thought of joining the ranks?” There it was—his unspoken judgment.
“I served two years.”
“The minimum requirement for residents of Allsveil, yes, I remember.”
“You think enlisting will help me remain true to your daughter?”
I received no answer.
A hand pushed on my crotch. That got my attention, but I didn’t jump this time.
"What?" I mouthed to Shy-and-Docile.
She gave me an exasperated shrug. And motioned that she’d crawl out.
I shook my head vigorously—no! I couldn’t risk Ahibodeau seeing her. She was safer staying under the desk.
Mother no longer smiled at me. In fact she looked near about to lose her cool exterior.
Pleading with her through eye contact I moved my chair back to give Shy-and-Docile room.
She tried moving through my legs to get out. I blocked her way with a knee which banged against my desk.
Ahibodeau gave me a cursory glance and shook his head. I could just hear his judgement of... amazing you worked your way through training to combat ready.
Remaining stock still I tried not moving to keep from gaining his attention. I would have to explain things to Mother later. She would understand. Ahibodeau however, would find this the perfect situation to yank Fay away from me.
In the four weeks we’d been betrothed I hadn’t thought about any other woman. Not really. I didn’t know if it was the wait of having her or the challenge of winning that kept my attentions engaged, but I was beginning to pray it would never end. I’d never had so much fun not touching a woman.
Ahibodeau was the slowest reader ever. Turn the page. Sign the document. Get out of my office.
But manners forbade me to say what I wanted.
“If you have any questions, please do let me know,” I said.
“Yes, I do.” The knight waved the papers at me. “And none of it has any baring on this document.”
Damn the man. Damn him to hell.
“We should discuss it then, perhaps get some fresh air?” I settled my palms on the desk and made to get up.
“I’d rather sit.” Mother said.
Pausing I threw a dirty glance and settled back down.
The queen of subterfuge was laughing at me. Alright Mother, if you want to see how I’m going to get out of this one, very well.
“Your questions, sir?” I gave Ahibodeau my attention.
“What guarantee do I have that my daughter will be treated with the respect she deserves?”
Mother leaned to her knight. “One day she’ll be queen, I don’t see how that doesn’t command respect.”
“Sir Ahibodeau,” I followed the conversation on the heels of the queen. “Why do you insist on these borderline treacherous avenues?”
We were a team, Mother and I. Lobbing questions from all sides a common tactic we slipped into.
“She was not brought up to be of such stature.” He straightened and cast a look to mother of such disapproval. And that was the sore spot wasn't it? A king, or a queen in this matter, was not free to move around a chess board so easily. She had consignments to make the nobility happy, least they replace her.
But I knew what Sir Ahibodeau really meant.
Fay was an obedient, taught to do as told. But my bride-to-be had more fire in her than her father believed. She would be tested against the wolves of nobility, but…
“I believe you highly underestimate your daughter.”
He narrowed his eyes. “How do you mean?”
Sir Ahibodeau wasn’t such the stupid brute. He’d thought to back me down with embarrassment. But, it was too late to try and cover my lecherous past. Everyone knew about it.
Grinning in my most lecherous way I said, “She can hold back an admiring prince—”
Ahibodeau stood up, poised to strike me.
When I didn’t move to meet or avoid him he stopped in his tracks.
That’s when Shy-and-Docile pushed my chair back.
To cover, I stood and leaned over my desk. “Perhaps you should take the agreement home. Look it over with your daughter. It will prepare her for her role in the future.”
Shy-and-Docile started climbing out of the cubby hole. There was nothing I could do but hold Sir Ahibodeau’s attention. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mother raise both eyebrows. She’d seen the girl.
“Fine.” Sir Ahibodeau turned on his heel and left the room with a slam to my door.
“Darla?” Mother said to the girl.
Shy-and-Docile squeaked. “Yes, my lady?”
“What are you doing down there?”
I stepped back and let Mary out.
“He shoved me in there.” Darla pointed at me.
I pointed right back at her. “She was asleep in my chair, naked, I didn’t touch her.”
I took off my coat and wrapped it around Mary. “This is serious!” I was a bit perturbed. "You find my trauma an amusement?"
“Darla?” Mother said. “What happened?”
I jumped in before the girl could speak. “I had nothing to do with her being here.”
Darla wrapped my coat around her in modest dignity. “I was taking a bath and then I was here. That’s all I know, mi-lady.”
The queen sighed. “Do you know who put you here?”
Darla shook her head. “No. I must’ve fell asleep in the tub.”
Placing palms together, beseeching mother, I said, “You won’t tell?”
“Of course not.” Mother stood and smoothed the front of her dress. “But you have an enemy of the jealous variety. I suggest you find them soon.”
Samejima and Sasahara are friends. They go to college together, they're in the same year, and they even work at the same place! But when Samejima confesses his feelings run deeper, their relationship explodes in passion... and irritation! Sasahara tries to ignore Samejima, and he tells him to wake up—he tries to accept him, and Samejima plays hard to get. It's enough to drive a man crazy, in more way than one!
My Interpretation of the Synopsis
When Samejima confesses his feelings for Sasahara, neither know how to proceed. Their attempts to figure out where the relationship falls ensues in hilarity. Charming & endearing, this slice-of-life comedy worms its way into your heart as the characters resolve their issues to come together.
Samejima and Sasahara are literally the only main characters in this story. Their antics would drown any minor characters and the story does not need more than them. There are a few characters around them, but they play out in 2 minutes. Therefore, there are only two characters listed.
While this isn't ANIME, I found an image/DVD homemade English translated video of this story. So it’s images of the manga, English subtitles and the Japanese audio track made in video format. Don’t know if that makes sense, but if you view the short film with no sound you’ll miss the delicate nuances that bring the story to life.
The art is not super refined but the artists expression is wonderful. Normally I love the art of anime or in this case, manga, but the story is what completes this gem.
The characters are endearing, real, insecure, flawed and beautiful. Even if you're sick to death of "coming of age" stories or "straight to gay" stories, you will not find this the regular fan-fare of either sub-genre. Samejima-Kun to Sasahara-Kun is how I imagine life of two men finding and resolving their sexual attraction to each other.
The whole story is told in short videos up to ten minutes long and there are ten videos.
Save 90 minutes to watch the clips if you want to watch/read the entire thing. Otherwise, they make great chapters for a time limited break.
While some may disagree, I found this slice-of-life story to be fairly believable for the open mind.
I Would Recommend This to Fans of:
Straight to Gay Romance
Straight to Gay Coming of Age
Gay College Romance
Sexually Exploratory Romance
Where You Can Find Samejima-kun to Sasahara-kun
Below is the first installment (7 minutes) of the story in the Drama CD & Manga booklet. From there you can watch the next videos. I have links to the retailer to buy the manga in English below the YouTube video.
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