Cover © Alessia Brio
ARTIFACTUAL (BOOK 2)
PP-018, PURPLE PROSAIC, OCTOBER 2009
WINNER of the 2006 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for best mainstream short story!
Erotique's Mandy and Bruce are back! When these playful lovers experiment with a new toy during a powerful thunderstorm, they experience sex in a whole new way.
[EROTICA, EROTIC ROMANCE, CONTEMPORARY, PARANORMAL]
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Amanda Long nudged open the office door with her toe and finished the job
with her hip. The large box she held blocked her view of Bruce, who sat at
the large desk. He pecked at the keyboard with two fingers, a deep crease
in his brow.
"Little help here, stud?" she called with just a hint of annoyance in her voice. "This is heavy."
Bruce grunted his displeasure at the interruption as he circled the desk to relieve Mandy of her burden. "Lemme guess," his tone softening somewhat when he felt its weight, "you're adding bowling balls to the inventory?"
"Just batteries, Einstein. Most vibrators need batteries, after all. I thought it was a logical addition."
With a heavy sigh, Mandy plopped onto the sofa. While she loved running Erotique, the famous sex toy shop and museum took nearly all her time and energy. Bruce's, too. It seemed they spent more nights on the inflatable mattress in the cramped office than they did in their nice new apartment.
"Over there," she pointed in response to his unspoken question, and watched with weary admiration as he effortlessly placed the box where indicated. Even through the pinpoint oxford, his shoulders were quite impressive. When he joined her on the sofa, she swung her opposite leg across his lap and straddled him in one fluid motion.
"I'm sorry I've been such a bitch lately. We're both working way too hard. We need more play time, and I don't just mean sex--although more of that would be nice, too. So tell me, counselor," she continued after a conciliatory kiss, "is this lawsuit going forward?"
Bruce shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. "That's what I was working on when you came in. It's the price of success, Man. The vultures smell a great big liability policy. Their case is without merit and they know it. They're just hopin' you'll settle for fifty grand or so just to make 'em go away. Might not be a bad idea, y'know. Insurance'll cover the settlement, and I'll take a blow job in lieu of my attorney fee. It's a steal, I tell ya."
"There is no way I'm settling! That'd be like hanging a sign over the door: Frivolous Lawsuits Welcome. As for your fee," she paused to wiggle her bottom in an intentionally stirring manner, "do you barter this way with all your clients?"
"Only the feisty entrepreneurs who give incredible head," Bruce confessed with a wink. "Let's go home tonight, Man. It's supposed to storm--the first real thunderstorm of the season--and I want to spend it in our new bed with you wrapped around me."