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A Fiction-Atlas Press Anthology
By DEVORAH FOX ETAL
Discover new and uncharted worlds as the authors of Unknown Realms weave tales of time travel, mystic portals, alternate dimensions, and undiscovered landscapes.
“I’ve already taken way too much advantage of your generosity.” I wasn’t eager to leave, but I was certain I had overstayed my welcome.
“No need to hurry.” Lou strode to the coffee table and plucked a champagne bottle from a silver ice bucket. Music wafted from the sound system as though triggered by the popping of the champagne cork. The notes of a soft trumpet evoked images of long lazy nights spent lounging on a red velvet banquette in an intimate jazz club. Tension melted from my face and shoulders.
Lou filled two flutes with bubbly. He drew close enough that his sandalwood fragrance infused my nostrils and I submerged in the merlot-colored depths of his eyes. Soothing warmth enveloped me like a silk shawl.
He put his arms around me. Swaying with the music he led me in a dance that was more embrace than movement. No effort was required of me. Supported by his arms, his torso, I melted into his warmth. His firm smooth lips caressed mine then aroused a craving for more intimacy. As if of their own accord, my clothes fell away. His capable hands pressed all the buttons including some I hadn’t been aware of.
Hours later, I opened my eyes to a window framing a night sky with twinkling stars. I lay in bed for a moment marveling at my unprecedented abandon. Were I not still tingling I would think I dreamed it. Whatever the price tag would be for my stay at the Motor Lodge I could hardly complain. I had wanted an experience and I got it.
I eased off the bed and collected my clothes. Headed for the bathroom I stopped short at the sight of someone seated on the couch.
Manager Lou turned and smiled at me.
“About this evening. It was …” I fumbled for words that didn’t sound hyperbolic.
He stood. “It was. We know what you like.” He winked.
I wondered how many other sojourners had received such “service” and decided I didn’t want to know. “I’ll, uh, dress and be on my way. Will there be someone at the front desk so I can settle up?” I stepped toward the bathroom.
“No need. You won’t be leaving.” Lou’s fixed expression matched his firm tone. “I thought you understood earlier. You are our guest.”
While part of me was willing to linger, another part of me was annoyed. “What do you mean ‘I can’t leave’? You can’t stop me.”
“But I can.” Lou stepped closer.
“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. A multi-genre author, she has written a best-selling epic fantasy series, an acclaimed mystery, a popular thriller, and co-authored a contemporary thriller with Jed Donellie. She contributed short stories to a variety of anthologies and has several Mystery and Fantasy Short Reads to her name. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky.
Links to Devorah’s Website, blog, books, etc.
Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.
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