Inspiration Comes in Many Forms
“So one last question, where does your inspiration come from? Especially for your steamier scenes. Speaking as a fan here, your books have such vivid imagery!”
They sat on a park bench shaded by the large oak tree next to it. A pleasant spring breeze rustled the leaves above even as faint children’s laughter drifted pleasantly from the playground a distance away. Hopefully, the camera didn’t pick up that sound though. The wholesome image seemed almost at odds with this interview. After all, Paige Summers was an erotic romance author.
Paige closed her eyes for a moment and drew air deep into her lungs. She did so enjoy being outdoors. It reminded her of last night’s episode where he had laid her down on a park bench just like this one.
Her eyes snapped back open, and she gave a brief smile. If she remained calm enough and didn’t blush, she could pretend she was planning her answer with careful consideration. She had expected this question all along and had crafted an answer in her mind beforehand., One does not go unprepared for an interview with one of the biggest YouTube channels for romance book reviews.
“Well first, thank you Jess for being a fan. As for your question, I’m not sure how my muse would feel if I gave all his secrets away.” She laughed and waved a hand in the air even as her interviewer’s eyes grew round in excitement. “No, my inspiration doesn’t come from a real person. It’s more of a running joke with some of my friends. To be honest, I think my inspiration comes more from observing others and asking the what-if’s.”
“Yeah, for example. The other day, at a diner, I saw a couple having dinner with another woman and I asked myself what if they were exploring what a healthy ménage à trois relationship would look like for them.”
“Oh my. Is that something we can expect to see in one of your future books?”
Paige winked. “Ah, that would be a spoiler, wouldn’t it?”
They shared another laugh before Jess, her interviewer, extended a hand to her. “Well, thank you so much for your time today and for sharing a glimpse of your writing process.”
She took her hand and shook it firmly. “Thank you for having me. It’s been an honour.”
Jess nodded in acknowledgement and turned to the camera. “Paige’s next book, Heated Nights, comes out this August. Remember to leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of her first book, Coloured Dawns. Stay tuned as we review the hottest romances out this month.”
The cameraman held his fingers and counted down from three silently before making a slicing motion with his hand. “And we’re good.”
“Thank you so much again.” Jess turned once more with a beaming smile and Paige shook her head. “Not at all. It was my pleasure.”
“Well, I won’t hold you up. You’ll send me that advance copy of Heated Nights?”
“Definitely.” Paige picked up her book bag and slung it over her shoulder. “I’ll email you when the advance copies come in.”
“Great, thank you.”
Paige waved a little and turned to leave. She couldn’t wait to get out of there. The persona she put on to drum up publicity was a far cry from how she was in real life. From the loose printed blouse and pencil skirt she wore to the mildly flirty charming manner she assumed was all a part of living up to the image readers have of a writer of her genre. No one wanted to read erotic things from a geeky homebody.
She couldn’t wait to wash all the makeup caked on her face off and slip into her t-shirt and jeans. Then a nap. Despite the amount of sleep last night, exhaustion still claimed a good part of her. Perhaps it was because of the interview.
Luckily, the park was not so far that she couldn’t walk home. Still, it took another twenty minutes before she closed the door to her modest basement suite and kicked off the inferno heels, nevermind that they were only an inch and a half tall wedges.
The skirt and blouse came off as soon as she made her way to her bedroom along with the white lace bra she wore underneath. She pulled her old college t-shirt on and hunted until she found her lounge shorts and tugged those on.
A quick trip to her bathroom followed and she emerged once more with makeup off and contacts exchanged for thick-rimmed glasses. With little ceremony, she flopped down onto her bed, too inviting to resist, and closed her eyes.
“Hello, my little sparrow.”
The silken voice caressed her skin, and goosebumps rose along her bare arms. This was his nickname for her. The first time he came to her in her dreams, she was sitting in a tree full of all kinds of birds. With her light brown hair, tanned skin and darker acorn eyes, he had told her she reminded him of a little bird herself.
“Shade.” Paige breathed his name out like a sigh as she spun around on one heel. It was what he had asked her to call him. A shade of your dream, shaped by your desires.
Her feet found solid ground beneath but it was beyond what her eyes could discern, covered by a blanket of fog and cloud, raw dream material for them to mold to their will. Already in his presence, the area surrounding them was morphing into their familiar bedroom. While she was just starting to learn to control her dreams, he seemed to do so with ease. Made sense with him being a dream creature. Or so she reasoned since his explanations were never straight answers.
A bed, covered with deep red silken sheets, dominated the space, posts rising on all four sides to support a rectangular frame on top, all made of dark wood. A soft rug lay at the foot of the bed and on the other side, a fireplace flickered. Large French doors lined one wall leading to a balcony that spanned the length of the room but she could never quite hold in her memory what the view beyond was. It didn’t really matter when the man she shared the room withheld all her attention.
He crossed the distance between them, long fingers reaching out to caress her face. Unable to resist, she leaned into his touch to savour the heat he left in their wake. The things this man did to her with the simplest of touch.
Dark chuckles drew her gaze upwards. His amber eyes glowed in the darkness. Despite having fallen asleep in the afternoon, it always seemed to be nighttime here. Not that she visited during the day often.
Come to think of it...
Confusion knitted her brows together. “You rarely show up in my afternoon cat naps.”
The straightforwardness of her statement drew another chuckle from him. “You’re the one that called for me.”
“I did? I...I’m not sure. I got worn out from the interview. I guess it’s because they asked me where my inspiration was coming from...” Trailing off, she frowned, struggling to remember her train of thought before she fell asleep. “I’m sorry. I don’t have much time. I think I only set my alarm for half an hour.”
He leaned forward and pressed a kiss on her forehead, feather-light. “My poor sparrow, no need to worry. We are here, that’s all that matters.” His lips, full with sensuality, curved upwards in an impish grin. “Though now I am curious. How did you answer that question?”
A particular spot on the floor caught her interest, and she stared at it with newfound intensity. When the silence of his anticipation grew too much for her to bear, she heaved a sigh. “Something about not wanting to give away my muse’s secret,” she muttered beneath her breath.
His laughter that followed at the heel of her answer melted her heart and she had to pout to keep up appearances of being peeved at him for asking. Two fingers lifted her chin up to him and his lips brushed against the corner of hers. “Well come then, let this muse do his job to inspire his creator in what little time we have.”
She should have been too tired for sex. After he had wrung out orgasm after orgasm from her last night, she had lain exhausted in his arms. And she was well aware of that wonderful ache that only comes from being completely sated despite being in a dream. But today, rather than remembering the echoes of those aches, her body warmed at the suggestion and sent a shot of heat straight to her core. Her panties growing damp and hoped back in reality that she was not laying on her hard-to-wash duvet cover.
Shade led her to the bed and sat down on the Edge, pulling her close. “You smell so wonderful.” His nose nuzzled along her neck, his hands busy lifting her t-shirt. The warmth of his palm against her heated skin made her body tremble with delight and her lips parted in a soft moan.
“That’s it, my little bird. Let me hear your pleasure.” His hands travelled upwards, over her flat belly, caressing, scratching lightly until his fingers were tracing the curves of her breasts.
“Please, Shade.” Paige wasn’t sure if she wanted to pull away or for him to continue his teasings. Such sweet torture, drawing out the anticipation. But if that alarm goes off…
“Patience...” he slowly tugged her t-shirt upwards then helped her out of it. “...only leads to greater pleasure.” His hands returned to trail down her sides, his lips pressing against her neck, parting to taste her. “You should know this.” There was a note of admonishment that made her flush and duck her head.
Without another word, he spun her around and pulled her into his lap. Paige grew aware of his hardness against her rear and could not help but squirm to rub herself against him. With a small groan and a pass of his hand over her lap, he dissolved her shorts and panties. Or maybe she dreamed them away. She wasn’t sure and at that moment, hardly cared.
“Spread your legs, my sparrow, then hold still” His lips resumed their administration along her neck and his breath sent shivers down her spine with every spoken word.
“Please, I don’t have much time,” she barely gasped out.
“Well then, we better make use of what little we have.” His lips scraped lightly against her skin. “Now, don’t make me repeat myself again.” His tone grew a little sterner, and she reacted without thinking, her legs parting to straddle him more, exposing just how wet she had become.
“Now my sweet, we can begin.”