When innocence ends, new worlds unfold. Assembled here are ten tales of discovery, from complete novices to budding seekers, dreams dared and passions fulfilled far beyond expectation. Experience the thrill of first contact through these sensual encounters, breaking boundaries and finding vistas of carnal adventure to heat your imagination.
This time, he would do it.
Hands fidgeting, nearly creasing today’s selections between his fingers, Lucas talked himself up. He’d almost succeeded last week. When she’d asked him about the inking book he was buying. That had been a real conversation starter, the kind he’d been hoping for. And what did he do to carpe that diem?
What he always did where she was involved: Cast his eyes to the counter, and give one-word answers to her pretty little hands. Try though he might, he could not look Skylar in the face.
He only knew that was her name because he’d heard the comic shop manager call her over one day. It was a perfect name for her. For those deep, thoughtful eyes, that constantly distant expression, as if she were continually on the verge of some epiphany about the universe. How he wished he could hear her talk about her thoughts, her dreams, surely far beyond this neighborhood and this poky little shop, the only redeeming feature of which was Skylar. Garuda Comics down the boulevard was way better stocked, but he always came to Brand X first, for one very specific reason.
From way across the store, concealed behind a shelf, he risked a peek at the reason as she thumbed through the new Wicked & Divine, something else they had in common. Their tastes, insofar as he knew them, were remarkably similar. Off-kilter, fewer superheroes and more cerebral concepts. She was damned smart, he knew that.
The fact that she was also impossibly gorgeous was just cruel. The Bettie bangs, long brunette tresses, plain blue hoodie, the top of a Steven Universe star visible on her white tee, peeking above her jacket zipper. Red jeans just tight enough to see the pleasingly full jut of her hips, contrasting somewhat with her slight, somewhat fragile-looking shoulders.
But those eyes…he couldn’t think about them, or his pants would sprout on the spot. The gray of an overcast English morning, or at least how it looked in the movies. Lucas couldn’t bring himself to hope that those eyes could regard him as something worth thinking deeply about. And yet…
It had been Jamar’s observation, not his, incapable as Lucas was of looking at her when in close proximity. He relived the conversation, trying its conclusions on for size.
“Yo, that girl likes you,” Jamar had commented as they’d left the shop, bags full of goodies.
Lucas had frowned.
“Yeah, right…” he moped.
“I’m just saying,” Jamar insisted. “If y’all ever really look at each other, it’s on.”
“What do you mean?”
“You see her talk with me, she don’t act crazy. Then you come walking up, and it’s like a CIA dropoff. Nobody knows anybody.”
Lucas’ mind scrambled. There had to be a reasonable explanation. Jamar’s assessment was too convenient, too self-serving. Too much what Lucas wanted to be true.
Yet now, he watched Skylar ring up another regular, and although reserved as usual, she did make eye contact with the guy, and smiled that ethereal smile, that one that knew much more than it was telling. Lucas wanted to feel the warmth of that smile for himself. He would look this time. Bucking up, he made for the counter.
The other guy was clearing out, and Lucas kept his head up, determined. Yet his gaze couldn’t quite fix on her, and veered over to the TV on the wall, playing a comic-talk webseries episode he’d already seen. As the distance between them closed, he felt the event horizon of Skylar’s presence, and his heart pounded.
She was like the sun. The light she exuded was all around, plain to see, but Lucas feared to stare directly at its source, lest he damage himself permanently. Finally reaching the counter, a supreme act of will compelled him to turn his eyes upon her. No, not the hands…up, up, almost shaking with the effort, he lifted his eyes to hers…
This book will be in available on Friday 29 December, 2017.