Taking a Break.

taking a break

 

#FiftyShades v. #Addicted Trailers

Two highly anticipated erotic books are coming to the big screen. Yay! Since I write in the genre somewhat, I have an interest in watching how well they do. Let’s take a look at the trailers, shall we?

This is the Addicted trailer, based on the novel by Zane.

This is the link, in case the video doesn’t show up for you.

And this is the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, based on the book trilogy by E.L. James.

This is the link, in case the video doesn’t show up for you.

Okay. Let me be honest. I have watched the Addicted trailer more times than I can count. No, it is not affiliated with Tyler Perry! In fact, the book was out loooong before his Temptation movie, or Unfaithful (which I loved), or even the Fifty Shades books. In my humble opinion, it has PERFECT casting: Sharon Leal, Kat Graham, Tasha Smith, Boris Kodjoe, William Levy, and Tyson Beckford. Wow–hot, hot, hot. It also has a great song track: “Win” by Jarell Perry. Throw in a thriller about a married mother with a sex addiction, and I’ll be there early on Oct. 10th!

Contrastly, Fifty Shades of Grey features Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. I’m just meh about that. Jamie’s good eye candy, but I would have been more excited if fans had gotten who they most wanted like Matt Bomer or Ian Somerhalder (my pick). I don’t have much to say about Dakota. She wouldn’t factor into my radar anyway, since I’d be completely focused on the G-man. The song track gives us an exclusive version of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”. Nice. Before the trailer ends, we get a look at Grey’s red room, but other than that, I found it boring. Sadly. Don’t get me wrong, I intend to see it when it comes out on Valentine’s Day 2015. I’m just not as excited about it as I am about seeing Addicted.

Based on the trailers alone, Addicted looks more appealing to me. Regarding their respective books, it just so happens, I enjoyed reading Addicted very much back in the early 2000s and intend to read it again before the movie’s release.

addicted by zane

I read only book 1 of Fifty Shades, and didn’t enjoy it as much. I’ve been encouraged by many fans to read book 2, as it was deemed much better. Maybe I will one day, since I already own it.

50 shades of grey

 

It will be interesting to see how these movies fare at the box office. We really don’t have to pick one over the other. We can go see and support them both…and hopefully, get more of our erotic favorites on the big screen.

[THEATER THURSDAY] 12 movies of the week.

My viewing and recommendation list for this week. *All 12 are spoiler-free.*

Maleficent–4 stars. Great effects. Angelina looked like she’d been born for the role. As with Frozen, I liked the twist on the old Disney love at first sight bs. It was also good to get the “villain’s” side of an iconic story. PG rating, but note it might be frightening and violent (a few non-bloody fight scenes) for younger viewers. Biggest con for me was Maleficent being so powerful…until the plot needed her to not be. She could do this and that, but when it was convenient for the script, suddenly, she had limitations and vulnerabilities. I didn’t get an explanation for that. Still, worth a watch. Maybe even for the whole family.

X-Men: Days of Future Past–4.5 stars. Michael Fassbender channeled Magneto well. I would have thought he was Eric Lensherr (older Magneto) if I didn’t know better. Magneto and Mystique are hands down my faves. Here, Wolverine went back in time to save the mutants. I usually find time travel confusing, so I’ll be spending some time on IMDB to fill in the gaps of my understanding on how the events in this movie affect the past and future of the franchise. This movie is really a big turning point. A great one.

That Awkward Moment–3.5 stars. Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan did a good job with this predictably silly movie about a pact between bros to remain…hoes. It’s a romcom, I suppose, not to be taken too seriously. I’m not sure if it was the script or directing, but something about it just didn’t grab me as it should have with this cast and synopsis. Nope. Not even a shirtless Zac or Michael made me feel more for it.

GoT–I know it’s not a movie, but with a production like this, who cares? Um…that last episode (season 4 episode 8)–I can’t stop talking or thinking about it. You need to watch Game of Thrones, if you aren’t already. That’s all I’m saying.

Angels of Sex (El sexo de los ángeles)–5 stars. I loved it. It’s streaming on Netflix (subtitled), so check it out IF<–Big IF–you can handle MMF scenes. I’ve gotten close to some of you fans over the past few years, so I know I have some followers who would enjoy it. I’m just warning the rest of you: This is NOT for everyone! There is a love triangle. There are explicit scenes. I’ve said enough.

White Frog–3 stars. The main character has Asperger’s Syndrome. That drew me to the story. Tyler Posey is in the cast. That may have had something to do with it too. :/ Ultimately, it’s about grief and acceptance. I was cool with all that. My problem was the After School Special vibe that crept in towards the end. Almost ruined it for me. Also streaming on Netflix.

Kaboom–another 3-star movie for me. WTF happened within the last 10 minutes of this movie, man? I loved the fluid sexuality of the main character. I liked his friends. It would have been great as just another college debauchery film. Introduction of the apocalyptic plot was just way out there…and not in a good way. Maybe if the ending had slown down so it could sink in, it would have worked. I don’t know. I’ll have to chalk this up to it being directed by Gregg Araki. He’s one of those off-the-grid directors, and that normally works for me. I enjoyed: Mysterious Skin, The Doom Generation, and Splendor. 4-star efforts for me. I liked this one about as much as his movie Totally F***ked Up though. Kaboom is streaming on Netflix, if you’re curious.

Stranger By The Lake (L’inconnu du lac)–4 stars. Streaming on Netflix. Subtitled. It is a gay hardcore film. If explicit sex scenes bother you–don’t even think about watching this one. It’s not porn, but you will mistake it as such. If you don’t like seeing full frontal male nudity or men getting it on–avoid it. There is not one woman in the whole film. It’s about a guy who cruises the beach for fun in the sun and falls for a guy he shouldn’t. It moves slowly, which I didn’t mind. The ending was another WTF moment though. Seriously. W.T.F.

Pompeii–3.5 stars. I won’t lie–I watched this because Kit Harington plays the lead, and he’s hot. That’s it. I usually like these period pieces, but I could tell from the preview, it wouldn’t offer much else. Well, I was sort of wrong. It also had Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who I’ve loved since Oz (1997). And other viewers may appreciate seeing Keifer Sutherland. Beyond seeing them on the big screen, this movie didn’t have much going for it, especially in originality. This is really Gladiator meets Volcano meets The Titanic…meets Game of Thrones. If you know the history of Pompeii, then you will be more prepared for the ending than I was. Just made the whole movie seem pointless. Kit played the character the same way he does Jon Snow on Game of Thrones so…I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad. Overall, not a bad way to spend 105 minutes. Just not great.

Demons Never Die–3.5 stars. Um…so I’ve been crushing on Irish actor, Robert Sheehan, for a while now, ever since I became obsessed with the show Misfits (BBC). I watched this movie because I watch all of his movies, dammit. It was an added bonus to see Jacob Anderson play Sachin, since I’ve grown very fond of him on Game of Thrones as Grey Worm. Additionally, Idris Elba produced this movie. What? Yep. I saw him in the credits, then confirmed it on IMDB. The kids in the movie have a suicide pact until they realize they have something to live for. Of course, that’s when someone starts killing them off. Those expecting this to be a horror film will be gravely disappointed, as I’ve surmised from other reviews. Yes, it is a slasher/whodunnit movie, but if you go into it looking more at the characters, their relationships, and the underlying message of unity and love, it will be more enjoyable. Just forget that sh*t that happens at the end when they reveal the killer. That was just out of left field and will ruin it for you. Or you could just ogle Robert Sheehan as I did.

DAMN. I watched a lot of movies this week.

YPF–4 stars. It stands for Young People F***ing. And that’s just what it is. It’s about several couples over the course of an evening. Their interactions are broken up into the following phases: Introduction, Prelude, Foreplay, Sex, Interlude, Orgasm, and Afterglow. Not much more to say about it other than it’s a raunchy, predictable comedy.

Lastly…

Ten Inch Hero–4 stars. It got corny towards the end, but I thought it was cute and funny throughout. Ok, ok. I watched it because Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) is in it. You got me. It’s still pretty good though. Likeable characters with some surprises along the way.

On another note–WOW. I have never had so many things to tag in one blog post.

[#Sample Saturday] WOLF’S FIRE by Dicey Grenor~Sexy Excerpt.

SONY DSCI was just sitting here thinking that I hadn’t released an excerpt for WOLF’S FIRE (A Novella of The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Vol. 3.2) yet. Well, here goes.  Dicey’s standard warning applies: Rated M for mature audiences only. Beware if you are offended by graphic sex and profanity…in which case, you shouldn’t even be reading my blog. :D

Excerpt:

He palmed her ass cheeks and lifted them to meet his next thrust. He went deep. And deeper. He watched as her skin gradually turned a darker red. He just loved watching her flush. He could always tell how close she was by how red her white skin got. Her green eyes fluttered up to his and held his gaze. His eyes turned as amber as Ron Matusalem premium Dominican rum. “Where are you?” He knew, but he loved hearing her say how high he took her pleasure on a scale from one to ten.

“Nine and a half,” she whispered.

Okay, she was really close. That was hot. Really hot. She looked hot writhing under him. Her body felt hot tightening around him. It felt so good, but he had no desire to come, only to make her do it. He pulled out until he was between one to two inches in. He wanted to watch his head going in and out of her flushed pussy. Over and over. But more importantly, he wanted to hit that spot. Yes, that one. The one that would make her squirt her hot juice all over him. Then he’d stick his tongue and lips and nose down there and lick and sip and smell and bathe himself in everything she shot out.

He angled his hips just so to hit that spot just right. He hit it again. He picked up the stroking as she turned her head side to side begging him not to stop. Oh, she shouldn’t worry about that. He wouldn’t stop. Not until she trembled and bucked and screamed she couldn’t take anymore.

Oh, fuck. He started pounding her now. Just a little more. That’s all it would take. Right ther—

Bam! Bam! Bam!

What the…?

“No, no! Don’t stop. I’m almost there.” Her hips undulated to meet his, but his concentration was broken.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Same noise again. Was someone at the door? It certainly wasn’t their bed rocking. That thing had been welded to the wall and floor to accommodate the two animals that fucked on it.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

“I’m sorry, baby. I gotta see what’s up.”

She started shaking with pent up tension and a tear slid down her eye. “Not now. Wait. Not yet. I need it.” She clutched at his arm.

He wiped the tear with his thumb. “I promise I’ll be right back. Think of it as delayed gratification. It’ll be even better later.”

He got up and stepped into some black boxer briefs, doing his best not to feel bad as he saw her trembling body roll to its side out of the corner of his eye.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for reading and sharing. <3

This is the Amazon link. It’s available in ebook and paperback. Currently ten 5-star reviews.

SONY DSC

Shout out to my hubby for posing as Punch. *mwah*

Writing Process Blog Tour.

The lovely author, Miranda Kavi, told me this Writing Process Blog Tour wouldn’t be as time-consuming as the 2011 blog tour I participated in. Good. ‘Cause I’ve been avoiding them like the plague ever since. But I’ve been inspired. After reading her insightful writing process post, I think I can…I think I can…

If you’re a fan of my work, and you’ve wondered the process behind the filth I write, here’s your chance to be in the know.

What am I working on?

An erotic romance, featuring an Irish musician and a biracial nerdy chick. This will be my first foray into a more mainstream audience. It will be a nice, sweet… Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? It will be as raunchy as my previous works. BUT it will be written under a different pen. Mainstream audiences won’t know what hit ‘em. So there. Here is chapter 1.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Well, The Narcoleptic Vampire series is so off the charts that it doesn’t fit neatly into any box. It’s multicultural. The main character is a vampire with narcolepsy. She’s black and works in a fetish club as a Necrophilia Specialist. She’s been reared in a strict, southern baptist home, so she’s striving and failing to be a religious vampire. Her love interest has a personality disorder. And so sets the tone for the rest of the insanity that occurs within the series, including an intersexed vampire, werewolves, demons, ghosts, dragons, and every other creature I could fit into the plot.

Bottom line, I write what disgusts most people…because I can. I’m an indie author. I don’t have to worry about market trends and publishers. I write what my very small, specific audience–lovers of dark, twisted fiction–like to read. Same thing goes for my other novels outside this series. Those who are tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol–I write with them in mind.

Why do I write what I write?

I sort of answered this with the previous question. I write what I do because I get sick of reading about the same characters over and over again. Everyone looks the same–and not like me. Everyone acts similarly. The plots are all similar depending on whatever publishers say is hot at the moment. And most of the time, the books tread light in areas where they could get down and dirty. Bump that. Let’s get down and dirty. This is fiction, so why not???

Disclaimer: This is not to slam mainstream writers. They are good at what they do, and I enjoy reading that from time-to-time. This is just my attempt at explaining why that style of writing is not for ME. Sometimes I prefer something more hardcore, but it’s harder to find. Maybe that’s because the money is in mainstream stuff. Or maybe it’s because most people’s brains aren’t wired with an edge like mine. Who knows. I write what I enjoy reading. Period.

How does my writing process work?

Hmmm. This is opening a can of warm, slimy worms. I have to reveal to you that I have an obsessive personality in order for this to make sense. Fine. In the words of the late Notorious B.I.G., “If you don’t know, now you know.”

It goes like this (my first-person recount): I binge-watch forty-eight episodes (give or take a few) of a show I love OR I watch a movie I love twice…maybe three times. There’s a character…a man, more specifically, that catches my attention. In a big way. I begin to obsess over him…in the most harmless of ways, I assure you. I watch everything he’s acted in. I watch all of his Youtube interviews. I figure out everything I can possibly find out about him, and what I don’t know, my brain fills in the gaps. I put a picture together of who he is even though I don’t really know. While I’m doing all this obsessing, my brain is developing a story around him. The other characters start to develop, the ones he interacts with. His romances, his dialogues, they all stick in my head until the characters come to life and create a whole new world outside of me. I’m privileged to their discussions, of course. But only me, until I write it down for the world to read. The characters tell me what to share. They are relentless, in fact. They keep talking until I write it all down. Then they are silent. They disappear. They don’t talk to me anymore, not unless it’s a series and there’s another part they wish for me to write. In the meantime, the obsession is dead.

That’s how my most intense creations are formed. Somewhere in this process, I have umpteen conversations with my husband about it. He understands me. He encourages me, bless his heart. He helps me work through character development and key plot points. After our talks, I make a general outline of the direction the book will go. The characters decide the details as I write chapter by chapter. I write sequentially, meaning I don’t move on to the next chapter until the current one is complete. I send it to two betas who read behind me for story, clarity, and general editing issues. Kendy and Bill let me know if everything flows well and their overall feelings of the chapter. I move on to the next. After I complete the whole novel, it’s pretty much done, but I’m obsessive, remember? I’ll go back through the book one more time in print and make any final edits. Then fin. The end.

Whew. I got that off my chest. Have I freaked you out yet? No??? Then you’re a real fan, and this ((((hug)))) is for you.

I don’t have any relevant pics to go with this post. I mean, how do you take a photo of a creatively neurotic mind at work? You don’t. Please settle for these pics of Miranda and I out goofing off one night a few weeks ago. Good times.

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Also, be sure to check out author Alesha Escobar‘s writing process post on April 28th and author Tl James‘s post on April 30th.

*You were right, Miranda. Just one blog post and I’m done. Not bad at all. :D *

Divergent Movie Review.

DivergentI went to see Theo James…I mean, Divergent, this weekend, and oh, what a man movie. I imediately told my friends to go see it.

There were action scenes done so well, I felt an adrenaline rush just by sitting in the theater. There’s something for everyone: slow-building romance, good fight sequences, intelligible plot, good acting, eye candy.

I watch a LOT of movies, and I truly believe this is the best one I’ve seen so far this year. That’s saying something, considering this was PG-13. By that, I mean there weren’t any of the usuals I tend to enjoy most about movies. No graphic violence or excessive blood spillage. No hardcore language, particularly those I like to hear in high-octane situations. And no explicit sex scenes…in fact, there were no sex scenes. That’s kind of a shame, since Theo (Four) looked so tasty, but I digress. My point is, despite the tame nature of the film, and given my natural inclination to the less than tame, Divergent held its own. Without a doubt.

The setting is a dystopian version of Chicago where young adults must choose a faction of society to function within for the remainder of their lives. If I had to sum up the theme of the movie in one word, I’d say it’s about choices. Choices, choices, choices. Having the right to choose. The right to just be. And if someone finds him or herself divergent, how far should they go to fit in? Is it better for him or her to be themselves or to be what others want them to be? To be or not to be, that is the question.

What does one do if he or she fits in nowhere? Do they hide it? Embrace it? Fight it? Deny it? Being divergent is not always a bad thing. As seen in the movie, it can serve outcasts well, in the sense that they can also fit in everywhere. The main character, Tris (Shailene Woodley), showed that being divergent could be a strength. An individual strength, that is. For the community overall, it may be a nuisance. Divergents may be seen as threats, because it’s difficult to control them.

It’s really not just about divergents then, is it? What do people who have to live with these outcasts do? Is extermination the lesser of evils? Is it the more logical and merciful option, especially when tasked with looking out for the majority rather than saving a few that don’t fit in? But who gets to make that choice?

So divergents are forced to choose. Just like in real life, people tend to force those who are not easily categorized into a box. Divergents are deterred from independent thinking and mannerisms. Assimilation, conformity, mainstreaming–these are all ideas that are forced on others in communities and collective societies. Whether it be out of safety precautions, fear, hate, ignorance, or love, attempting to control divergents still seems to be the default instinct upon discovering them. Exterminating whoever the majority don’t understand or refuse to relate to and can’t control, seems to always be the next step, particularly when one’s justification feels sound. In real life, “extermination” may take different forms.

Unlike The Hunger Games, a movie this one is constantly compared to, I felt personally connected to the theme in Divergent. I, too, fit in nowhere and everywhere at once. Both movies may be about survival, but only Divergent made me think outside the visuals of the movie. Anything that makes me think about how I relate to the world, especially in a “What would I have done?” scenario, is always a winner to me. I couldn’t help but wonder, “What choice would I have made?”

For the record, I feel Divergent is far superior to Hunger Games. I didn’t even bother watching the HG sequel, but I can’t wait for the sequel to Divergent.

I came away from the movie feeling that it’s up to each individual to decide which path they will choose. Individuals can even decide whether they must be limited to choosing only one path. It does not have to be one way or else. And they shouldn’t let someone else make them believe the choice is not ultimately theirs.

In closing, I’d like to say that I have not read the book this movie is based on. I surely hope book readers will love the movie as much as I did, so that they do not delay production of the sequel, as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones fans did. I liked that movie, by the way, though not as much as Divergent.

I get really irritated when book readers complain about a movie being different. Of course, it is. Movies will always be different from their book counterparts because they are two different mediums. It’s your love for the book that made it into a movie. Don’t ruin it by deciding you’re going to be discontent if the film script strays from the source material. Watch and enjoy the movie, please. Thank you.

FRIENDS & FANTASIES, Chapter 1. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m not Irish (duh), and I’ve never been to Ireland (bummer). But my muse is currently leading me to write an Irish character as the male lead in my latest novel.

Say what?

Yeah. It surprised me too. But I’m always down for a challenge. Plus, my muse is hot like fire and will not leave me alone.

So Happy St. Patrick’s Day, whether you’re Irish or not, and enjoy chapter one of my upcoming contemporary romance novel, FRIENDS & FANTASIES. Look for it May 6th! **Updated on 5-8-14** The release date has been pushed back to “coming soon”. Sorry, that couldn’t be helped. The title has been improved to BEST FRIENDS, FANTASY LOVERS.

**Oh yeah…WARNING for profanity. I promise there’s no violence or sex in it though…yet.**

Chapter 1

Capri closed her eyes—just for a second—when next thing she knew, chairs began scraping across the tile floor, waking her as students filed out of the auditorium-size classroom. With the midterm coming up next week, there couldn’t have been a more inopportune time to nap. But dammit, she was tired. All those sleepless nights spent studying for the midterm she took last period were finally catching up to her.

Wiping drool from the side of her mouth, Capri looked next to her where Sasha’s head lay on a desk, her eyeballs swimming left to right under her eyelids as she dreamt of things Capri dared not even imagine. Asleep. As expected. After another long night of partying. Sasha wouldn’t even have shown up if it weren’t for the professor’s attendance policy, and that Sasha had already missed too many days. One more absence and she’d start dropping a letter grade. That did not bode well since Sasha’s parents had conditions on whether she continued to reside on campus. Grade conditions.

A new set of students were already marching in like a herd of cattle for the next class starting in ten minutes.

Capri kicked her sneaker into Sasha’s black boot, jerking her awake.

“What? What!” Sasha’s head spun around, her eyes struggling to focus on the chaotic swarm of students vacating and entering the classroom.

“We’re being invaded by aliens.” Capri zipped her books in her backpack, adjusted the waist of her low-riding jeans, and stood to leave. She paused for a moment while Sasha oriented herself with her Martian surroundings.

Sasha’s face went from shock to panic, confusion to skepticism, and finally— “Ah. You’re joking.” She swept hair from her eyes and started gathering her things. “You really have to learn to smile when you’re joking. Your poker face is hella creepy.”

Capri handed Sasha an ink pen that had fallen on the floor then hoisted her backpack to one shoulder. “And you really have to learn to pay attention in class.” Never mind that Capri had slept as well. At least she’d caught most of the review, which would come in handy. Capri would need the leverage for—

“You and I both know that’s not going to happen, so name your price.”

Bingo.

Capri was all about bartering. She didn’t have a lot of money and resources, but she had other valuables that Sasha did not. Like a serious attitude when it came to studying…and notes to study with.

“Let’s see…” Capri started towards the exit, pretending to think it over as she walked. “You can have my notes from today’s review if you give me a ride to work in the morning.” Capri could always walk or catch the university bus, but why be inconvenienced when her roommate had a car with heated seats and the early morning temperature would be somewhere around too-cold degrees? Helping Sasha ace another test would be worth it for the comfort of roundtrip curbside transportation. “I have to open the computer lab at nine. I’ll need you to pick me up too. Around six. That cool?”

“Cool.” Sasha, showing no signs of fatigue now that class had ended, caught up with Capri as they walked out into the brisk, cool morning. “Why do they insist on torturing us with shit we’ll never use in the real world anyway?”

Capri tucked both hands in her denim jacket pockets. “I think they just want us to prove we’re teachable. We’ll go before an employer, show our credentials and grades, and they’ll immediately know: I can teach this one how to do the job and they’ll do it well. This one, not so much.”

“No wonder I’m not interested. I don’t want a job.” Sasha swept her long stringy blond hair off her neck. She had a habit of doing that. “Hey, let’s go out tonight. Don’t you have the night off?”

Capri shook her head. “No way. I’m tired.” Being off of both jobs tonight was an early Christmas present. She intended to make the most of that time doing something she didn’t get to do much of—sleeping.

“Of course you are, Ben Stein.  All you do is work and study. That’s why we have to go out. It’s Friday night. Let’s make the best of it. You have the rest of the weekend to study.”

“Stop calling me that. And some of us have responsibilities. I have to work in the morning, remember?”

“So what? Down a Red Bull and you’ll be fine.”

Ha! Easy for Sasha to say. She’d be happy with a B in Psych 101. That’s all her parents expected of her. Capri didn’t come from a wealthy family like Sasha. Not working was not an option. She needed to have the best grades to get the best job.

Capri’s golden opportunity to have uninterrupted time to herself had come. “Or…you can go out, have a blast, and tell me all about it tomorrow.” Capri could actually get to bed early and wake up refreshed then study for next week’s exam while at work tomorrow. Working in the campus computer lab really was a great gig for a student. Her second job at the library wasn’t too bad either. Both were perfect places to study. Since she had to work all weekend, she’d get a lot of studying done and get paid for it.

Sasha was right. All Capri did was work and study. That’s all she could do if she wanted to be successful in life. And she did. Nothing would stand in the way of her dreams. She had it all planned out.

“Girl, you better live now while you’re young. Pretty soon you’ll have kids and saggy tits. You’ll wish you had taken advantage of natural vaginal lubrication now.”

Capri laughed. “I don’t have time to lubricate my vagina. I’m going to be a professional therapist, not a prostitute.”

“Honey, we’re all prostitutes. Don’t kid yourself. The better your vagina is, the better your clientele. And by better, I mean wetter.”

Capri laughed as Sasha got on her usual soapbox about the birds and the bees and the flower and the trees, and all of her twisted ideals about gender roles and feminism, sexual liberation, and pussy empowerment. Capri had heard Life According to Sasha before. To be honest, she found it all contradictory. With a wet cooter, she could get a wealthy man…and be more independent? What the hell?

Sasha realized her monologue was going nowhere fast. “Okay. How ’bout for an hour? You haven’t gone out with me since our second day of orientation.”

Oh, there was a reason for that. Capri couldn’t hang with the elite party girl. Not when they had different aspirations.

Nevertheless, Capri cocked her head. Maybe Sasha had a point somewhere in there about only living once. Going out for an hour wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it? She really could stand to break the monotony of her schedule. Just this once.

“Okay,” Capri said, thinking of how literal she would be. She would even set her watch to notify her when the hour was up. “I can go for an hour.”

Sasha froze with her mouth gaped. “Really? You’re giving in that easily? And here I was all prepared to bribe you with chocolate.” Sasha pulled out her cell and started punching the pad. “I’ll RSVP us. Frat party starts at eight. We can get there at nine-thirty.” She tucked her phone back in her jeans pocket and nudged Capri’s side with an elbow. “Getting laid tonight isn’t a bad idea either.” Sasha laughed as Capri pulled away. Sasha had to jog a little to catch up with her. “You’re going to have to give it up to somebody sometime. Best to go ahead and get the bad lay out of the way now so you’ll be ready for—”

“Don’t push it. We’re just going out to do some underage drinking, stand around so all the upper class girls can point fingers at us and call us whores, dance once or twice with some guys who probably don’t even go to school here but front like they do so they can get some college pussy,” Capri took a deep breath and continued. “And then I’m going back to the dorm to sleep while you actually fuck one or two said guys and later stumble in our room and pass out on your bed.”

Sasha’s eyes widened in mock horror. “Thank you very much for showing me my shortcomings.” They walked inside their dorm building and started up the first flight of stairs to their tiny room. “I’ll go for a record of three guys tonight to shake it up a bit. Can’t be all predictable and shit.”

They laughed.

“You’re laughing now,” Sasha flipped her hair, “but it’s true. You need to get laid, and this frat party we’re going to tonight—plenty of hotties. You’re hot. You’re eighteen. A freshman. It’s time to give it up.”

Capri shook her head. “You sound like a guy. Should I be worried? You trying to fuck me?”

“Only thing you need to be worried about is me pushing you down the stairs to your death so I can get an automatic four point oh for the semester.”

“That’s just a myth, you know. And why do you care about a four point oh anyway?” Capri faced their room door and started digging around in her backpack for her keys.

“It’ll make the parents happy. They may even let me trade in my car.”

“Right. Because last year’s model is so outdated.”

“Exactly.” Sarcasm was lost on her. Sasha’s attention had already drifted elsewhere. “Helloooo, stranger.”

“Hello, yourself. Do you ladies have a moment?”

“Damn straight.” Sasha’s voice had dropped an octave in an attempt to sound seductive.

Capri, too busy trying to figure out which of her keys matched their door, didn’t bother turning around to see who Sasha was hitting on now. It wouldn’t surprise her if Sasha brought the guy inside and did him on their puppy paw welcome mat as soon as Capri unlocked it. That kind of easy access to fucking was the reason Sasha had wanted a coed dorm. Capri had wanted the dorm because it was the only one with a laundry room on the same floor and no curfew. They were both practical girls, though one of them was more of a free spirit than the other.

Capri continued trying keys in the door while trying not to listen to Sasha get her mack on.

“See, my band’s playing tonight, if you two can make it. Here.” Papers rustled as it sounded like he was handing a sheet to Sasha. “We need all the support—oh, hell—who am I kidding? We need all the beautiful girls in the audience we can get to cheer us on and stroke our egos while we perform. I’ve been passing these flyers out all day, and I have yet to invite one lad.” Then he laughed. Sort of. It was a breathless, light sound that gave out as if he didn’t have the energy to put into it fully. He sounded genuinely happy, and his foreign accent came through thick with a strong lilt. Irish, maybe? “So what do you say, ladies?”

“What kind of music is it?” Sasha asked.

“Doesn’t matter. Do it for a good cause. That way, even if our music is shite, you would have done your civic duty of helping to build self-esteem in today’s youth.”

“I can see you’ve worked on your pitch.”

Capri could hear the excitement in his voice and the interest in Sasha’s, so she hated to be the one to burst their bubbles. She didn’t want Sasha to unilaterally change their plans for the evening and answer affirmatively for them just because Sasha wanted to fuck the guy. “Actually, I have to work in the morning. We’re going out for a hot minute then I’m—” Capri inserted the correct key then turned around expecting to gently let down a chubby redhead with itty bitty green eyes, a full body of freckles, the palest of skin, and thin lips…maybe one that was four feet tall, dressed in all green, and carrying a pot of gold and a four-leaf clover.

She was not prepared.

And she couldn’t remember the last time she’d stared…at anybody.

“Then you’re…?” He waved his hand exuberantly, letting Capri know to get on with it. She didn’t speak, so he finished for her. “Then you’re going to bed like a seventy-five-year-old woman in a nursing home?” He smiled, and it was brilliant, bright as the sun. Nothing else mattered but his ethereal joy. “Wait.” He put long fingers up to his lips, which drew her eyes there. “My mamó’s eighty, and I do believe she’s Skyping in to support my band tonight. You know what that means? That means you’re lamer,” he put his fingers in the shape of an L in front of her face, “than an old lady in a nursing home. Is that really how you want to be known around here? Is that really the legacy you want to leave?” He put his hands on his hips and waited. His eyes twinkled with amusement as his perfect pink lips widened into a smile.

Jesus. That smile.

Those eyes.

That hair. The mass of unruly dark curls on top of his head…and the thick eyebrows he used expertly to make countless facial expressions. Even his skin, the same natural tan as hers…and those delicate cheekbones that cradled his straight nose were awe-inspiring. Capri stared up his tall, thin frame to his androgynous features because there was so much unexpected beauty to take in.

“Uh…” Capri couldn’t utter a coherent word if she tried. She tried again anyway. “Um…” Oh, he had green eyes, all right—olive green—but that’s where her preconceived image of him, based on a handful of foreign films, ended. A couture high fashion show in London was missing a model.

Maybe it was time to give up her virginity.

Where the hell did that come from?

“You’re staring,” Sasha whispered to Capri.

“My photograph’s on the flyer, love,” he taunted as he extended a sheet to Capri. “So you don’t have to memorize my face.”

Capri swallowed the saliva that had accumulated in her mouth and took it from him. Was she really salivating? Her face heated with embarrassment.

To get his attention, Sasha shook the flyer she’d gotten from him in front of his face. “Eh, what’s your name, pretty boy?”

He didn’t take his eyes from Capri. Mirth was written all over his face as he studied hers. He even popped the collar of his gaudy orange leather jacket before answering. “Thomas. My friends call me Tommy. Seventy-five-year-old women call me Tom because they forget the other half. ”

That accent. Capri shivered.

Sasha laughed. “We just love supporting youth in the community, Tommy.” Sasha grabbed Capri’s arm, turned the key dangling from the door and opened it. After Sasha shoved Capri inside their room, Sasha turned to him, leaned against the open door and grinned. “I’m Sashana, by the way. That’s Capri. And we’ll both be there.”

“Good,” he smirked. “Then you’ll find out what groupies get to call me when they’re screaming my name.”