THE ART of love.
In this rich collection of personal poems and short stories, J L Dillard defines the moment when a woman decides to lay it all on the line and wear her heart on her sleeve in an effort to experience love in all its splendor. The Season of Seduction dives into the depths of passion and love weaving tales of love-at-first-sight, one-night stands, drama and murder.
The starry sky hovered above as sounds of crashing waves against the boat’s siding blended nicely with the voice of David Lee Roth as he belted out his version of California Girls. Jess steered the passenger boat toward the small island of Palm Island, the flashing strobe light from the lighthouse leading her toward the docks. Slowly, she maneuvered the boat into its reserved parking space and killed the engine. The boat floated, bumping against the wooden pillars before coming to a complete stop. The island didn't hold much traffic during the week, but the weekend had become quite popular once The Pocono’s Lounge reopened.
Jess grabbed the rope and looped it over her muscular shoulder and hopped onto the pier, making sure to secure the vessel before she ventured off for the next thirty minutes. She pulled the brand new pack of Menthols from her back pocket, smacked it against the palm of her hand and ripped the seal open. She sniffed the pack and breathed deep. It had been almost an hour since her last smoke and her body was aching for a nicotine rush to calm her nerves.
“Ah, heaven,” she whispered. The cigarette dangled between her plump lips while she dug in her pocket for the gold plated engraved cigarette lighter her grandfather had given her. She lit the cigarette, taking a long, fulfilling drag before resting comfortably against the Island’s welcome sign.
“Those things will kill ya,” a sultry voice cooed from the darkness. “At least, that’s what I hear.”
Jess narrowed her eyes, searching beyond the shadows. “Who’s there?”
A long, sleek figure stepped from beyond the hedges, her soft brown eyes hypnotizing. Jess immediately felt her heart quicken, recognizing the woman. It was Synatra Patton, the beautiful seductress who’d won her heart and made herself a semi-permanent fixture in her bed. She was immaculate to say the least and had her claws in deep. Her creamy, caramel skin, dark-brown eyes and curly black hair made both men and women weak in the knees, but tonight, Jess hoped, she would be all hers.
“What are you doing out here?” Jess questioned. “Shouldn’t you be inside, charming the boxers off some unsuspecting lady?”
Synatra laughed and slipped the cigarette from Jess’s lips. She took a deep drag and blew circles of smoke rings in Jess’s directions, before handing it back to her. In recent months, she had come to enjoy the company of the ferry captain and while it wasn’t a conventional romance, she loved the way Jess made her feel. Especially in bed. The way her strong arms and legs ensnared her, the subtle way her tongue and lips pleased her, she could want for nothing, yet she desired more.
Jess stood dumbfounded, admiring Synatra’s long legs which seemed to go on forever. The short daisy duke skirt left little to the imagination and the halter-top was centimeters away from having a wardrobe malfunction.
“Are you on duty all night?” Synatra asked, curling her fingers around Jess long ponytail. She looked into her hazel-brown eyes and smiled. “I just love you so.”
“Where's your woman tonight?” Jess asked, figuring this would cool her heels. She and Synatra had been playmates for the last six months and while she wanted more, Synatra assured her they could never be more than they were to one another right now.
“Must we always talk about Lena?” Synatra asked.
“We don’t have too, but I think we need too.” Jess answered. “Lena knows about us and in a roundabout professional way, she is threatening me. I can’t lose my job Synatra.”
“You won’t, now stop worrying.” Synatra scoffed. “Lena is at home and I expect she’s been there all night.”
“Your queen is home and yet she decided to let you come out and play tonight.” Jess spat, before rolling her eyes.
“I don’t want to talk about Lena. Is that understood?” Synatra demanded. She slipped her arms around Jess’s waist, lifted her cap and gazed longingly into her eyes. “How was your day?”
“Hot and sweaty,” Jess answered.
“Sounds sexy,” Synatra purred, nipping at Jess’s bottom lip.
“Synatra, Lena Bellingham is my boss and she owns all the boats that come in and out of this island. How do you think that would look on my resume if I’m fired for fraternizing with her wife?” Jess asked and readjusted her cap.
“Will you relax? She’s not going to find out.” Synatra suspected Jess wasn’t going to let up and no matter what she did, Jess would have tunnel vision unless she halted all discussion about Lena. “Lena is all bark and no bite. I asked you to ignore her threats. She can’t prove anything.”
“I got another letter today,” Jess confided.
“What did it say?” Synatra said, taking another drag of Jess’s cigarette.
“Stay away from my woman or I’ll kill you.”
“How do you know it’s from Lena? It could be from someone else you jilted years ago.” Synatra laughed.
“I’m sorry, but unless you’re going to leave her, we’re through.”
“Jess, please be reasonable,” Synatra begged. “You know I don’t love her and you know why I can’t leave her. Lena gives me the finest of everything, and you,” Synatra paused, “all you can offer me, is a free ride on your riverboat.”
Jess scoffed, but Synatra was right. She could never offer her the things Lena Bellingham could. Synatra was greedy and her pockets would never run deep enough to keep her. “Go home. I’m sure Ms. Bellingham is waiting.”
“Lena doesn’t own me,” Synatra groaned. “I am my own woman. I come and go as I please.”
“Of course,” Jess snickered.
“Jess, you’ve tried kissing me off before and it didn’t work. What makes you think it’ll work now?”
“I want more than late night rendezvous in my boat. I want to be seen with you, because you’re mine.”
“You can have me now, because I am yours” Synatra whispered, biting down on Jess’s earlobe. She leaned into Jess’s body and pinned her against the massive wooden post. Meticulously, she ground up and down, the friction between them stirring the smoldering embers that ignited whenever they touched. They’d made love plenty times under the stars and tonight would prove no different. “Jess, I want you.”
“Let’s go inside the shed over there.”
“What do you have in mind?” Synatra purred. “Another ride in your captain’s chair?”
“Follow me and you’ll see,” Jess said and grabbed Synatra by the hand.
This book was added to our catalog on Sunday 17 September, 2017.