Excerpt: Smoke and Aural Pleasures (WIP)

I’m cheating on my Camp NaNoWriMo project, working on that Danica story. Still, I’ve had the good fortune of an accommodating muse this week. I’m on track to finish CampNaNo, and have made some headway with this short story. I’ll post a proper catch-up soon, but for now, please enjoy an excerpt from my work in progress, Smoke and Aural Pleasures.


He grips my ass in both hands and lifts me to his face, pressing harder against me with his mouth. At times, I think I feel his teeth behind his tongue. I shut my eyes bathe in the drug dreams. I wonder if Rao and the others are back in our room. I haven’t come yet. It’s still too early; I’m still too scattered. And by the pace of his kisses, I know he lets me take my time. This part is all journey. We’ll get to the destination eventually.

Then, the edges unblur a bit. I hear my own sounds like I’m a fucking instrument he’s playing. He chuckles—to me, to himself, it doesn’t matter—and meets me eye. I track his gaze overhead and see small clasps running up the brass post. Normally, I’d stop and wonder what they’re for, but the look on his face tells me I won’t be wondering long.

“What say we step it up a little?” he suggests. “How do you feel about being tied up?”

I don’t fucking know.

The idea doesn’t turn me off, but I’ve never done it before. I’ve read it’s fashionable among the upper class, but I’m not upper class. Surely he can tell by looking at me. Most rich folk act as if they can. Ugh, focus.

What’s the worst he could do, kill me? He’s a fucking passenger. Of course he won’t. Besides, if I die in here, at least I won’t have to worry about getting caught. Fuck it. It’s just one night.

“I’m willing to try.”

I untangle from his shirt and offer him my body.

That’s the thing about the drug: how much it makes you trust the person you’re with. I was high as fuck when I met my ex. My ex—he gets no name now. He was all over me on the dancefloor then, and taken by the beat, I told myself I liked it. Liked him. Like how I’m now liking this shirtless, alabaster rich boy holding a coil of rope and making his loops around my wrists.

It’s different this time, of course. I’m not three-years-ago stupid, and when Arjen’s fingers graze my skin, I am warmer between my legs.

He hooks me into a clasp on the post. I kneel on the bed; he kneels behind me. There’s breath on my shoulder and hot lips travelling around my body. Sometimes they brush, sometimes they kiss; sometimes hands lead the way and fingers explore inside.

It’s not until I try to move that I realise I can’t. Of course it’s obvious, but you never know just what it’s like until you feel it yourself for the first time. It’s erotic and alarming. Blood pumps in my neck. He laughs. He is close to my ear when he does it, and it’s a comfort. He roams me again and I bend under his grasp.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, my mother used to tell me. I trust this guy, even if it’s the drug telling me to. He makes an atmosphere between us and guys don’t do that unless they mean something. Maybe not something outside this room, but here tonight, we’ve got it. Besides, his fingers feel so good pumping in and out of me, and I’m tied to the fucking bed. Of course I trust him.

The drug carries me away again. I remember the first time I met Rao. My first day on the ship, I walked into my new dorm and found him with two girls in my bed. A single bottom bunk, for crying out loud. He just laughed and invited me to join them. But I’m not poliamor like them. Maybe that’s why I didn’t tell—


I stare fire over my shoulder and find Arjen smiling. My ass smarts. It smarts and he draws figure-eights on my burning skin with his fingers like feathers.

“I’m sorry,” he says. So innocent, his face. That fucker. “Should I ask next time?”

He’s lucky I’m not a timid one. His hand now makes me writhe, makes me arch my back and wonder if he’ll do it again. He does. I give him an earful and he laughs, again. But I don’t tell him to stop.

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