C D Reiss
Author JA Huss calls The Erotica Consortium my brain child, which gives me the image of my skull cracking open and writers dripping out of my head. But, I digress.
The Erotica Consortium was conceived because I had plenty of writer friends, but all were in different genres. Either they wrote hardcore erotica, or any other genre but romantic smut. Though this shouldn’t matter at all, I found that there were particular problems I kept running into, such as where to market my books, and how. I noticed there were some writers out there with whom I shared fans, yet I had no relationship with them at all.
This seemed somehow wrong.
I knew JA Huss was a badass. I’d been kind of stalking her since I read Tragic, only to discover she’d also been stalking me. So, in a “what the fuck” moment, I contacted her about starting a group to discuss our work. I figured she’d say she had too much on her plate already and no thanks.
But she loved the idea (squee) and suggested Shay Savage and Ella James. I blew through a couple of chapters of Otherwise Occupied and came back with an unequivocal yes to Shay. Ella was a no brainer, as Selling Scarlet had set the world on fire a year before.
Alessandra Torre had been introduced to me through a mutual Goodreads friend. I read the first book of The Dumont Diaries amazed at her deft character building and well…the heat.
KI Lynn taught me how to talk dirty, and Breach flooded my Goodreads feed for weeks. I’d wanted to be her friend for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity.
Andrea Smith and I had been communicating for months about the ins and outs of Amazon, and her commitment to her craft impressed the hell out of me.
We asked Kristy over late in the game, because she’s Kristy Bromberg, the most down-to-earth superstar on the planet. But I did, and I am very glad to have her on board.
Bend is the brain child of killer badass, JA Huss. I know each author here has written something they’re deeply committed to. I’m just blown away by the quality of work put together. Just…wow.
I hope you love these stories as much as I do.
If you'd like to read this anthology with friends, current and future, you can do it on facebook
We're also hashtagging twitter buddy reading #bendanthology
I cannot express the depth of gratitude owed Erik for his tireless work on this highly complex document. I think he bit off more than he expected to have to chew, but he did it with class, grace and diligence. I could not be happier with the result, and the seeming ease of this extremely difficult task, which was riddled with false starts and late changes. He's a formatter sent straight from heaven. Thank you from all of us.
Unraveled by K. Bromberg
Come by JA Huss
Red & Wolfe by Ella James
The Devil In Me by K.I. Lynn
Kick by CD Reiss
Worth by Shay Savage
These Men by Andrea Smith
Still by Alessandra Torre
Beg by CD Reiss
To my V.P. Pit Crew:
Two immeasurable words:
I wish that I’d never looked up.
I wish that I’d kept my head down and focused on the ice cubes floating aimlessly in my glass, a mirror reflection of how I felt. Living one day to the next, slowly fading into the surroundings around me, always there, but not really necessary. Only acknowledged when I do something wrong rather than the other hundred things I do right.
I wish I would have kept to myself, phoned my husband and pretended to care that he had been called away for a last minute work emergency on our tenth wedding anniversary getaway when all I really felt was indifference. Then I could have wandered down the cobblestone streets slightly buzzed but completely content. I would have gone up to our hotel room, snuggled with a blanket on the balcony under a Tuscan sky with my e-reader. I’d have devoured those books I’ve come to love—the ones that have helped me reawaken my sexuality. The books that have made me realize it’s okay to want more out of my sex life, to want my husband to push the envelope with me. Experiment with me. Demand more of me.
But I didn’t.
I looked up and into eyes the color of dark chocolate, sinful and delicious. Irresistible. Instant attraction sparked with a subtle nod of his head and a bite of my lower lip. I met him stare for stare, a smirk ghosting his mouth as his eyes scraped across my features – lips, cleavage¸ wedding ring on my finger – before coming back to meet mine. We continued to stare at each other, his eyes darkening with desire and tongue darting out to wet his lips. I suddenly became uncomfortable with the blatant proposition his eyes offered – and averted my gaze. And even then, I could still feel his eyes on me, the hair on my arms standing on end from the feeling of being watched, studied, and scrutinized.
From being desired.
I should have refused the drink the bartender slid in front of me with a murmured, “Compliments of il signore.” I should have let it sit there untouched instead of drinking most of it, only to stare at remnants and the melting ice cubes.
I should have.
I wish I had.
But I didn’t.
My body shivers from a potent cocktail of fear mixed with traitorous pleasure. The heightened sensation shocks my mind back to the present. To the here and now. To the gloved hand sliding a fingertip between my breasts, to the ragged breathing of the man I can’t see, to the unknown rifling through me.
And the deep-seated ache to be owned.
I should have never looked up.
His fingers slide between my spread legs and push apart my lips, wet and swollen, a result of everything he’s done to me thus far.
Resistance is long gone.
Shame has been obliterated.
Fear remains, a cold and callous presence. But so does the unexpected desire that barrels through my body like a freight train.
I cry out at the feeling of two leather-gloved fingers as they push their way into me, the texture of the material an oddly pleasurable feeling. I’m so raw, so over-sensitized, so used, that I don’t think I can take much more. I try to close my legs and my mind is so consumed and overwhelmed that I forget, I can’t. Forget about the unforgiving restraints holding my ankles apart.
My body begins to writhe, its need to sate the burning ache a sharp contrast to the warring emotions in my psyche. My only focus is on the slow slide in of his fingers and the pressure and friction against nerves unexpectedly reawakened. The tortuous withdrawal of leather not wet enough tugging softly on the most tender of flesh, causing a different but equally arousing sensation.
I try to fight it.
At least I tell myself I do.
I try to understand how this is possible. How an orgasm can rip me apart right now—again—when fear still holds my breath captive.
I should have never accepted the drink, never looked up to acknowledge him with a subtle nod of my head.
My body vibrates as the swell of white-hot heat sears through me, taking nerve endings hostage and overwhelming all thoughts.
I shouldn’t have looked up.
I should’ve let his silent proposition fall by the wayside.
The question is, why am I glad that I did?
The wedge of my sandal falls in the cracks of the cobblestones causing me to stumble. I laugh aloud at how ridiculous I must look to the patrons of the little bistro bar I’ve just left. Lonely, pathetic woman getting drunk while on vacation by herself. Using a few drinks to ease the sting of being chosen second best to work once again. I shrug away the true but unwelcome thoughts as a sharp pang of anger hits me because … they’re right.
And the sad thing is that if Anderson were here, I’d probably feel even more alone than I do now. We’d have sat at the bar and gotten buzzed without saying much to one another, both of our minds on the numerous things we needed to do when we got back home. We’d have thought about things that could wait a few more days instead of focusing on the whole reason we took this trip: to reconnect, to reprioritize, to recommit. So I’d have sulked in the silence we’ve grown accustomed to while thinking of what-could-have-beens and when exactly we stopped communicating. Eventually he’d have asked me what was wrong, to which I’d have replied the over-generalized, and my term of choice as of late, fine. He’d have looked toward my wrist to see if I was fiddling with the bracelet I wear and never take off—the surefire way for him to know I’m bluffing. Then depending on if I was or wasn’t, either an argument would’ve ensued where I’d be told to lighten up some or we’d go back to the hotel room where we would have some underwhelming sex.
The same sex we’ve been having for the last ten of our fifteen years together.
And because we would’ve been drinking, my body wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the task at hand—an orgasm. The miraculous aligning of stars that must occur to reach my release would’ve been unattainable. I’d just have lain there and moaned at all the right times with his alcohol laced breath panting in my face. I’d have taken his drunken, less than pleasurable love-making, and recall times when we couldn’t wait to ravish each other. The times we used to push limits that were considered taboo to this preacher’s daughter, and how he’d drawn this sexually modest girl from her bubble and dared her to try new things.
I snort out a laugh. How times have changed and roles have reversed. I’d give anything to try something new, push boundaries, explore the sexuality I’ve now found and accepted with age. Open us up to new experiences, new toys, and redefine new limits.
Jesus. It’s sad that I’ll give myself a stronger climax using my fingers to get myself off tonight than if Anderson were here. All I have to do is think of things I want to try, imagine him doing them to me, and coming is not a problem. The problem is I can’t spend the rest of my life deriving satisfaction from thoughts alone, but every time I’ve attempted to bring up how to spice up our sex life, he’s shut down the topic instantly. “We’re not in our twenties, our sex life is great, why change things?” the standard given response.
Does he not see how unhappy I am? How I need more sexually? My mind shifts to our last conversation on the topic. The one that happened a couple of months ago when he found the box of toys I had hidden in the bottom of my closet—the items I’ve secretly bought and kept with the hopes of one day showing and asking him to use on me. I recall how he walked up with the lid off and looked at me, brows furrowed and grimace of disgust on his lips. His disbelief stemming from the fact that I’d bought all of it without consulting him. I can still hear the refusal on his lips, the disconnect in his tone believing that I don’t think he’s not enough for me anymore, when that’s not the case at all.
My dissatisfaction has nothing to do with him not being enough, and everything to do with me coming into my own. Being a woman who’s hit her sexual prime and finally after ten years has the confidence and security to ask for what I want.
Nothing crazy, just … more: restraints, domination, anal play, adding a little pain to enhance the pleasure. Something. Anything. A slow ache coils in my lower belly as I imagine how hard I’d come if Anderson would use any combination of them on me.