Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: MuseItHOT Publishing
Date of Publication: August 28, 2014
Number of pages: 22
Word Count: 4793 words
Cover Artist: Celairen
Three years after her boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance, Clarissa has finally recovered enough to move on with her life. She’s graduated from college, found a good job, and is engaged to someone else now. She is happy once again.
So why has Jake, her long lost first love, suddenly turned back up in Key West, Florida at their favorite sidewalk café? Where had he been and what had he been doing during his absence?
But most important of all, what could he possibly want from her after all this time?
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Clarissa looked up from her espresso to suffer a shock of disbelief. She blinked several times, thinking her eyes must be deceiving her. It couldn’t be him. It just couldn’t be.
Yet, there he sat three tables away from her—the lost love of her life—having returned to Key West and their favorite sidewalk café from…? She honestly couldn’t say because she didn’t know where he’d disappeared to or the reason behind his sudden abandonment of her three years ago.
She trembled in the warm morning air as a plethora of emotions assaulted her beleaguered mind in quick succession: anxiety, intrigue, longing, regret, anguish, love, sorrow, and finally…indignation.
With every passing second that she resisted the tremendous urge to get up from her seat and walk over to make her presence known, the more equilibrium she regained. She could not, would not, go to him. At twenty-five years of age, with more life experience than most women her age, she knew all about the virtues of having patience.
To help sustain her resolve, she looked up at the clear blue sky, the other patrons enjoying their morning coffee, a lone car coming down the street, the group of retirees huffing along the sidewalk for exercise, everywhere except at him.
When she couldn’t take the suspense any longer, her gaze returned to her former lover. He remained sitting there all alone, head tilted down as he texted on his cellphone. He looked pretty much the same as she remembered.
In fact, he still parted his dark, wavy hair on the left side, although it was now cut short. He was very tan and his clean shaven, angular face still matched his lean muscular body perfectly. The board shorts, T-shirt, and sneakers he wore lent an impression of youthful vitality. Yeah, his early thirties looked really good on him.
In comparison, she hadn’t changed much either, although she now colored her curly blond hair a soft light brown. She’d also grown it out to mid-way her back but still kept it cut around her oval face. She thought this hairdo best suited her voluptuous, hourglass figure. And the pants suit with heels she wore today fit her better than the tank tops, cut-off shorts, and flip-flops ever had.
As she continued staring at him and obsessing over his reappearance, she couldn’t help remembering how safe she’d felt within his strong embrace…how lucky she’d believed she had been at finally having met a man to share her whole heart with…how well their bodies had fit together…and lastly, of how much soul-connecting lovemaking they’d indulged in. What had gone so wrong for him to abandon her without an explanation? And why had he suddenly turned up again?
Under her patient gaze, it became inevitable that he would eventually look up and see her. The moment it happened, his blue eyes widened, his face went slack, and then he mouthed her name in silent recognition. She only stared back at his stunned expression, trying her best to hide her own inner turmoil.
He promptly got up and came over. In a deeply masculine voice, he said, “Hello, Clarissa. I was hoping I’d run into you here. May I sit with you?”
She stared up into his pale blue eyes, melting a little on inside. But still, she somehow held onto enough of her composure to say, “I don’t know, Jake. You’ll probably disappear on me if I turn my back for a second. So maybe you shouldn’t.”
“I have a very good explanation for my disappearance.” He pulled out the patio chair across from her and sat without permission.
“Men always do, don’t they?” She’d looked across the street at an elderly couple walking along holding hands. An old scar burst open inside her heart. She’d once envisioned Jake and her growing old together.
“I went away because—”
“Don’t care to hear it.” She cut him off, wanting to hurt him like he’d hurt her. She kept looking at the old couple while absently twisting her coffee cup around and around. “Besides, I’m getting along just fine without you. In fact, have you heard the news? I’m getting married in three weeks.”
“Yeah, I read about it in the paper a few weeks ago.”
“So you get the paper delivered to wherever you’ve been.” She smiled at the old woman giggling at something the old man had said. Underneath the terrible pain searing her heart, she added, “And I saw you with a cellphone. You were texting, I believe. So you’re obvious up to date with the modern technology of our times.”
“I read the local paper online. And yes, I have a cellphone. I get it—you think I should have already contacted you.”
“Yes, I do.”
“I always thought I’d get back to you and Key West sooner.”
“Oh yeah?” She shrugged her shoulders, keeping her gaze on the old couple. “I thought that too, right up until I decided you were either dead, or wasn’t ever coming back.”
“I almost did die, several times,” he stated. Then, in exasperation, “Won’t you at least look at me? I can explain what happened.”
“Why should I let you? As I remember it, you received a mysterious phone call in the middle of the night, and then you got really agitated before leaving without a word of explanation.”
“Not your turn to talk, Jake!” Clarissa cut him off again, still refusing to look at him. “I think it’s time we play a little game of who-knows-what. I’ll start it off. You can jump in whenever I ask a question.”
Edgy and provocative in his writings, Thomas Briar strives to exalt the virtues of love and lust in every erotic story he creates. To date, he’s garnered eleven publishing contracts with three different publishers and has seven published books in the marketplace.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, spending time with his wife, taking long walks, and people watching. Yeah, he’s always wondering what makes people do the things they do. He knows it’s usually something hidden in plain sight. He just has to figure out what it is, much like the motivations of the characters in his stories.
Amazon Author Page
In His Own Words (Five revelations about Thomas Briar)
- I was once a very religious young man. The ladies in the church I attended wore their hair in buns and their dress-tails brushed against the hardwood floor. Considering the explicit sexual content in my books, who would ever suspect that I came from such an austere environment…right?
- At twenty-five years of age I discovered Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries and Anais Nin. The course of my life was forever altered. However, due to my religious upbringing, I suffered quite the emotional dilemma: either reinvent myself into who I wanted to be or continue to live out my life in religious austerity. I honestly believe I made the right choice.
- My wife is the most fun I’ve ever had. And I suspect she always will be. I met her when I was twenty-two and she was nineteen. I knew I was going to marry her three weeks into our relationship but I waited eight months before I actually asked for her hand in marriage. We’ve been together twenty-one years. She’s the love of my life.
- I’m no stranger to manual labor. My father put me to work at six years old. I chuckle now whenever I think back at how I considered it a travesty that my younger brother didn’t have to start working until he was seven. My brother and I are still the best of friends all these many years later.
- I love writing erotica and erotic romance. Every time I publish a new story I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.