Opening by Nik Flandrè
Endings by Nik Flandrè, Lori Perkins, Jamie K. Schmidt, Lissa Trevor
“Surrender” was the opening chapter to a “choose your own erotica” path book called Entwined Vol. 3: Surrender, published by Coliloquy, LLC in 2014. Four authors used the opening as the kickoff for completely independent “paths” that the story could take. The book is currently out of print, but you can read my opening chapter here:
Chapter 1: A Wakeup Call
Barry pulled the covers up over his bare shoulders and moved closer. She could feel warmth against her back even before he slipped a hand around her waist. That hand stroked her gently for a minute, running fingertips up to her ribs and then down across her hip bone. After encountering no resistance, he took the step she knew was coming.
His hand slipped inside her underwear and cupped her ass.
Kate Sorentella took a breath. Barry probably thought it was from excitement at his touch. But Kate was trying to steel herself. The hand on her ass was her cue. She was supposed to roll over, kiss him hungrily, maybe slip off his briefs to work him a bit with her hands and maybe even go down on him to try to turn his cock from taffy to steel. And then, when she had gotten him ready, he would eventually press her to the bed, fumble his way inside her, move and moan for a minute or two, and be spent.
Sex with Barry had never been amazing, but he was a sweet guy, took care of her, and made her laugh. So she put up with his half-mast attacks, and took care of herself after he left for work.
The hand on her butt moved lower, gently stroking the upper bit of her thigh, and then trailing across the cleft of her ass. It felt great, but Kate just wasn’t in the mood.
“Don’t you have to get up early for your trip tomorrow?” she asked. “You should get some sleep.”
Barry grinned. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” He pulled her closer, and she gave in. Kate loved Barry, she really did. But sometimes she wondered what it would be like to be with a man who didn’t wait for her to do all the heavy lifting beneath the sheets.
She wasn’t going to find that out tonight, though. Kate slipped her hand inside the elastic of his briefs to trail along the side of his thick but still only half-erect cock. She’d learned over the past year that he needed a lot of attention to get there. He gasped as her nails traced the tender skin, and she leaned over him as she wrapped her fingers around the base of his cock.
He slipped a hand up to her neck and pulled her face close, French-kissing her with an urgency that made her feel, just for a moment, like he was the lover she needed him to be. Forceful and strong. In control. But then he fell back from the kiss and moaned, and again, let her do all the work.
She pulled her hand free, and then yanked the T-shirt over her head before settling in closer to press her breasts to his face. He loved it when she smothered him, and tonight he seemed extra eager. As he sucked a nipple into his mouth, she felt him growing hard, finally, in her hand. In minutes, he shrugged his briefs down and rolled her over, slipping between her legs. Missionary. Always missionary.
Ten minutes later, Barry was already beginning to snore. Kate felt damp, sticky, and unfulfilled. Idly, she spun the engagement ring on her left hand around and around, wondering for the hundredth time if she was doing the right thing.
She loved him, she really did. But on nights like tonight… Kate tried to shake off the feeling, instead rolling over to press her palm to Barry’s head. She stroked his thick black hair like a favorite dog, and after a while, the irritation subsided, and she grew sleepy.
Tomorrow she could take care of herself, once he left for the airport.
“I’ll be back Friday night,” Barry said just a few hours later. He gave her a quick peck on the lips and then he and his suitcase were out the door. Kate was used to it; Barry traveled a lot, and part of the reason she’d moved into his place before the wedding was because it was easier than always coming over to check on things when he was gone. In the summer, in particular, she had to come over all the time—Barry had a gorgeous patio, with three-foot stone walls that had flower beds on either side. Kate loved to lie out on it in her bikini to tan on the weekends (thanks to the stone, she’d even been daring enough to take her top off on occasion), and it gave them the perfect spot for entertaining and barbecuing. But if she didn’t keep things watered every day, usually twice a day, it would quickly be a desert of stone and brown plants.
As Barry pulled away, she decided to take care of the watering now before her shower. The sun was barely up and it already felt stifling.
Kate crossed the quiet patio and bent over to turn on the hose. She could feel the T-shirt riding high up the backs of her thighs. Another inch and she’d be mooning the neighbors. She clicked on the nozzle head and watered all the hanging baskets, then began sprinkling the mulched beds around the patio. As she was dousing the thick thatch of snapdragons, she noticed that she wasn’t the only one at work outside that early in the morning.
On the other side of the fence that separated their yards, their neighbor Jack was also working with a hose. But he wasn’t watering. Shirtless, and bent over his patio table, Jack appeared to be scrubbing some kind of metallic thing with a long-handled brush.
Kate felt a surge of warmth inside as his bare arm moved up and down. She could see the muscles beneath his skin shifting even from a yard away. It may have been only 7:00 a.m., but he was working over there.
As she tugged on the hose, it caught on the chair leg of their patio set. As she crouched down to free it, she realized that Jack was watching her.
She met his gaze and smiled, a pang of nervousness in her belly. Had he noticed how little she was wearing?
“Hey, Kate,” he called and walked toward the fence.
“Hey,” she answered. “What are you working on at this hour?”
“Just trying to find the chrome again. Polishing up some stuff from my boat.” He shrugged. “How about you—keeping everything alive?” he asked.
Kate quickly moved closer to the fence for cover and grinned at her neighbor. “Doing my best.”
“It’s been hotter than hell,” he laughed. His teeth looked perfectly white in the shine of the early morning sun. The mermaid tattoo on his arm glistened with moisture, as if she were swimming in his deep tan. Jack wasn’t a slave to business suits like Barry. Clearly.
“Barry hit the road again?” he asked. It was almost as if he’d read her mind.
“Yeah, he’s gone all week,” she said. “How’d you guess?”
“Well, normally you’re not up this early watering the garden in your nightshirt,” he said with a grin.
She instantly felt exposed, as if she were standing in front of him in the nude, and drew closer to the fence to shield herself.
“That, and I saw him pull out of the driveway a little while ago with a suitcase.” Jack laughed. “Relax,” he said, noting her sudden discomfort. “Nobody’s up this early around here to spy. Except me…and I’ve got a project to finish. I won’t bother you.”
Kate smiled and held out the hose nozzle, waving at the plants along the sand-colored wall. “I figured I’d get it in before my shower.”
As she gestured, the slick steel escaped her grasp, and the hose fell and slapped to the ground. It landed on the trigger and a jet of water sprayed instantly from the ground, catching Kate right in the face. She leaped away but it was too late—she was drenched. The white cotton nightshirt clung to her like Saran Wrap.
Jack chuckled. “I’m gonna start getting up earlier. I didn’t realize I was missing the wet T-shirt contests on Sunday mornings!”
Kate flushed and crossed her arms. “I guess I started my shower early. Don’t get excited, it’s not a Sunday habit.”
“Damn.” He winked. “If you want to make it one…?”
“You’ll be the first to know,” she laughed, then bent to pick up the hose.
“If you need anything while Barry’s away, let me know,” Jack called out as he walked away from the fence, giving Kate her privacy.
She quickly finished watering the plants and went inside. She didn’t need any other neighbors seeing her breasts plastered beneath wet cotton. Although, she had to admit, it had been a bit of a thrill to know that Jack had seen her. Not that she’d ever admit that. But…wow. He had looked really good this morning, arms bare and skin glowing with the summer heat and his exertion. She peeled off the wet shirt in the bedroom, then cursed herself. She’d meant to look in the mirror to see exactly how much he’d seen.
Kate was about to step into the shower stall when she realized that she had an itch she really needed to scratch. Barry had left her wanting, and now she’d just inadvertently flashed the hot guy next door. She had the whole morning to herself, right?
She slipped back into the rumpled bed and reached into her nightstand for her pink bullet. The room quickly filled with a steady buzzing.
What if it had been Jack who’d peeled that wet nightshirt off her? What if he’d taken her hand and led her to his deck? What if he’d bent her over the lounge chair near his hot tub and pulled her panties down out there, in the bright light of morning. What if he had unzipped himself and reached forward to cup her bare breasts as he’d slipped a part of himself, a hard, long part of himself, between her thighs…
She moaned and then let herself go. Nobody was home. “Yes, yes, YES!” she cried, imagining Jack’s strong hands all over her. “God, yes!”
Later, Kate chided herself for masturbating to her neighbor, but she had to admit, she didn’t feel too terrible. What happened in her head stayed in her head. She stepped out onto the patio with her lunch and instantly started to sweat. It was like breathing in the exhaust of a blast furnace.
The sound of a mower echoed through the neighborhood, growing louder as Kate looked around. A moment later she saw Jack rounding the corner. He was still shirtless, the wire of an iPod trailing up from his shorts pocket. For several seconds, Kate stood and simply watched him. Her fantasy of the morning came back, and she felt a tingling between her thighs. What had he thought when he’d seen her chest? When he’d known she was standing just a couple feet away from him wearing only panties and a see-through T-shirt?
The telephone interrupted her imagination.
Kate stepped back into the house to answer.
“Hey, hon,” Barry’s voice greeted her. “Do me a favor?”
Didn’t I do that last night? her sarcastic inner voice asked.
“What do you need?” she asked.
“I just got to the hotel and realized that I left a spreadsheet I need on my computer. Could you email it over to me?”
Kate took the phone to the second bedroom Barry used as a home office. As she powered up the computer, he told her about his trip to the airport, and described the pretty sweet suite he’d gotten set up with for the week.
Kate considered telling him about showing her tits to the neighbor, but grinned to herself. That might not fly so well. Instead, as the computer finished starting up, she asked, “What am I looking for?”
He directed her through a series of folders until she located the file, and then pulled up her email account and sent it.
“Got it!” he said a few seconds later. “Perfect. Thanks, hon.”
They mouthed a few pleasantries and then hung up. Kate was about to power off the machine when something caught her eye.
She’d been closing the folders he’d told her to open when she saw one titled Classified.
Kate had never snooped through Barry’s stuff in the year and a half they’d been together. But some part of her, some curious, naughty part, went ahead and double-clicked the folder. What was so “classified”? she wondered.
None of your business, a voice in her head answered. Everything about Barry had always seemed transparent and above-board, so what would he put in a folder with a label like that? Her curiosity was piqued.
The folder opened and revealed a long list of jpegs. And mp4 files. She clicked on one of the photos and was immediately assaulted with a pair of breasts substantially larger than Kate’s own. And skin that had to have been airbrushed. Her instant reaction was to close the photo before anything else registered.
Barry—sweet, respectful, only-had-eyes-for-her Barry—had a porn stash! It shouldn’t have surprised her—Barry was a guy after all—but it did.
Her fiancé had always seemed so milquetoast. He’d crack an occasional dirty joke, but he was still an old-fashioned guy at heart. She’d always loved that part of him, though. It was the part that treated her with respect and still opened doors for her, and really worked to make sure she was happy around the house, even if he didn’t quite get what would make her happy in bed. She’d always figured she’d teach him that. Eventually.
At the top of the long list of jpeg files was another folder, this one labeled Chats. Before she could stop herself, she clicked it and opened the first in a string of text files.
It was the transcript of an online chat Barry had apparently had with someone named OpenToYou. It didn’t take long to confirm it was indeed Barry.
OpenToYou: So are you married? Got a g/f?
DarkFantasyM: Engaged. Kate is a doll—she’s amazing.
OpenToYou: Does she dress sexy for you? What’s she like in bed?
Kate looked up from the screen. She could feel her skin warming. They’d been talking about her. Barry had been talking dirty about her with someone else!
Suddenly her fantasy of the morning didn’t seem so dirty.
Now that she knew about this, Kate had a strong feeling that her nights were about to get a lot more interesting.
Especially when she read the next line of the transcript…