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This work has reached the exceptional level
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Curtain Call by Mastery
 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: October 14, 2012      Views: 821

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Keep writing everyday . . . even if it is only a sentence or two, if you are sincere about getting published.

Nobody said it would be easy. : )

Bob is currently working on his fourth Cleve Hawkins mystery, called "The Deceiver - more...

He is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #10 spot on the rankings.

He is also an active reviewer and is holding the #60 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Warning: The author has noted that this contains strong sexual content.

Arnie was horny. It had been over four months since he made love to his wife, Maureen, and although she wasn't to blame, neither was he. Life's stumbling blocks just seemed to be more plentiful and got in their way more than when they were first married and living in Elyria, Ohio.

The situation certainly was not because there was a lack of interest by either of them. To the contrary, the couple was very happy and plenty of romance was still woven into the fabric of their marriage. They loved one another just as much as the magical day they wed. Arnie still opened doors for her, they still held hands in the movie and continued to respect each other's toothbrush. The excitement of his courting days were like portraits and landscapes hanging on the walls of their memory-- flashes of color in the black-and white night.

Everything in Arnie's horoscope was positive--had been for some time. That was important, because he was a guy who relied on the stars and sciences to navigate his life in many ways.

Having sex for instance--or lack thereof--but stars be damned, it just seemed that there was always something lately that stood in the way of that precious "time alone" discussed briefly when Maureen and Arnie kissed hello, goodbye, or goodnight. Between their jobs and their two kids' activities they were on a tight schedule, that at times, rivaled the split-second timing of The Flying Wallendas.

Not that it was wrong-- God only knows, the kids would always be first priority. But, then there were Arnie's on-call emergencies from the towing company where he'd worked for over ten years. They could take him away for hours at a time, especially during the winter and holidays. And Maureen--poor Maureen waited tables at Olive Garden six to eight hours a day, four days a week. She made great tips, but it was demanding work and hard on a body. Then, there were little league baseball games with son, Eric, and daughter Samantha's Girl Scout cookie drive and on and on it went.

Arnie Colter was a compulsive man, supremely organized, but hopelessly anal retentive. At forty-three years of age, he still hadn't learned to relax. A tall, thin individual with big feet and blue eyes, he was a secret bald man, who wore a rug on his head that looked a lot like fresh road kill. A square-jawed, handsome man, nonetheless, he exuded confidence and a great sense of humor.

It was a Friday, two days before Maureen's birthday, when Arnie parked his wrecker into its assigned slot at work and headed out. He looked up at the cocktail hour sky. The sun was heavy with clouds and the threat of rain as he slid into the seat of his Monte Carlo. As he pulled out, he tried to remember if the kids had any functions that required his being home later that night. Nothing he could think of. Hey! Maybe both kids are going on sleepovers tonight. Yeah, sure--fat chance of that happening. Arnie sighed. All I know is I'm keeping this appointment with the fortuneteller today no matter what.

His steps were hurried as he made his way from the parking spot he managed to find.

The fortuneteller's place was a small redbrick house on South Fourth Avenue in an old barrio neighborhood a few blocks from downtown. The tiny house with its steeply pitched roof and old-fashioned front porch, looked as though it might once have served as a mom-and-pop grocery store. A sign in faded Chinese characters still lingered over the front door, which was inset into the right front corner of the building. Inside, the shades on the windows were pulled all the way down.

Without formality, Arnie walked up the steps and opened the door. He oozed inside cautiously and nudged the front door closed with his foot. Entering a dimly lit room he was about as calm as a rat in a snake hole. He reached up and used both hands on his head in a last-second attempt to adjust his rug. He smiled as he sat in a plush, red-cushioned chair that sat in the middle of the room and appeared to beg him to sit.

Neat little stacks of tarot cards lay on what looked like a card table shrouded in red cloth that matched the chair. A black four-cushioned couch sat below the sills of the shaded windows. The place was as dark as a cavern, except for the light flickering from candles placed strategically around a room that maintained an eerie glow; a pungent odor of pachuli incense permeated the air.

Arnie slumped forward in the chair and waited.


He craned his neck, looking every which way. In the dim light his eyes could still make out all forms of clutter, knick-knacks, dolls, little china and ceramic figures and a few stuffed animals, an old teddy bear, all of it here and there on makeshift bookshelves and side tables. On maroon-colored drapes at the rear of the room, an Indian rug was mounted with a design resembling the zodiac.

Arnie heard the sound of footsteps, and a woman's head suddenly appeared from between the drapes as they parted. A slight smile was evident on her face.

"Good afternoon, senor." Her voice was soft---barely discernable--more of a throaty whisper than anything else. "I am Lady Geneva." She edged forward and extended a pale hand and gave Arnie a card before letting another pregnant moment of silence pass.

Arnie quickly realized this fortuneteller was a stylish woman--and-- she smelled great. She wore turquoise Navajo earrings, and had a low V neck in her white dress that gave him a glimpse of her full, buoyant breasts. Her nails were long, polished a deep red, and a big turquoise ring adorned the finger of one hand that held an unlit cigarette.

Certified Medium and Spiritualist was scribbled on her business card. Arnie read it, stood and moved around behind the chair. He wasn't sure if it was her perfume, the incense or the candlelight, but he began to feel lightheaded. He felt himself staring at Lady Geneva as he stuffed her card in his hip pocket.

Throwing back his shoulders, he slid his fingertips into the tight front pockets of his jeans. Meanwhile, the fortuneteller craned her neck up with her eyes closed and shook her head to one side, a quick little move to get the pitch-black hair out of her face. The way it was parted in the middle and hanging long and straight made Arnie think of how girls looked back in the days of hippies and flower children. Wonderful days, he remembered.

A sheer black veil shadowed her face from her nose on up, and a red and black shawl covered pale white shoulders. It was obvious to Arnie, even in the candlelight, the fortune-teller was wearing a Victoria's Secret hot-for-beddy--teddy that covered very little of her voluptuous body.

She let Arnie continue to take everything in as she lit and inhaled a Virginia Slim. Then, reaching under the table, she pulled out a bottle and two glasses. She filled both glasses with red wine that glowed like rare rubies in the candlelight. After sipping her drink, she raised her beautiful face and blew a thin stream of smoke before saying, "What is it I can do for you today, meester ?"

Arnie had the answer, but he waited for her.

"Perhaps . . . perhaps you would like me to tell you what is in your future?" She set her glass down and slowly lifted the veil away from her face.

Is that accent Hungarian or Spanish? Arnie wasn't sure, but the tone was definitely sexy in any language. There was little doubt Lady Geneva was what you might call a free spirit, with bedroom eyes. She had that lower lip waiting there for him to bite, this fortuneteller acting like there was nothing wrong with the seduction of strangers.

Damn! Is she trying to seduce me? Arnie's palms were sweating; his heart beat so loudly he could feel it pounding in his ears as if someone had just turned up the bass on a stereo.

Lady Geneva looked at him with a plea in her eyes. She seemed so relaxed; her gaze lingered and she appeared almost but not quite amused.

Arnie knew he had to be careful now-- know when to talk and when not to talk. What to say? He was excited, but was determined not to show it. He wanted to appear cool and make a good impression. He suddenly shed his jacket. Putting his hands on his hipbones, he cocked one leg, pointing the toe of his shoe out a little. Like a gunfighter. He'd act cool . . . savvy, show this woman he wasn't all that impressed.

She was looking right at him, those green eyes patient, waiting. He saw a glow in those eyes--he was sure, and he smirked.

"Yeah, that's why I made the appointment with you, Lady. I need you to tell my fortune--preferably good not bad by the way. I need to know what I can do to find time for my needs--if you know what I mean." He sighed. "I am so much in need of encouragement. But then, I am a needy man right now, I must confess."

He suddenly grew braver. Reaching up, he snatched the rug off his head and tossed it on the chair. Then, moving closer to the fortuneteller, with one arm around her waist, he slipped his other hand up under her skirt to feel her panties. They were silky, and he imagined them as being black, the thought of which really wound Arnie's clock.

He felt her shudder as she stroked the hair from her face with the tips of her bright red fingernails, then tossed it back. He liked the way she did that. Though it was only a gesture, it aroused him even further. Still in control, but anxious, Arnie watched as she turned and moved to pick up one of the flaming candles from the table behind her before making her move. Her face was inches from his as she whispered, "Well, mister big man, I can wrap your fortune up very quickly, actually. Today is your lucky day, and if I have my way I'll spread sauce all over you and work you like a rib. You are one heart-stopping hot Daddy."

That did it. Arnie's voice was ragged and he caught himself stammering as he spoke.

"Yeah, I'm right there with you, in fact you can check my temperature, if you like." He gently placed her free hand on his erection that jutted skyward in his tight-fitting jeans. "Hell . . . I mean-- I'm on fire, Lady."

"Oooh. Yes, I agree." She smiled. "Let me think," she said, placing an index finger at the corner of her mouth and cocking her head, she squeezed his bulky crotch. Her body swayed just a little from side to side, moving from one foot to the other in flat red slippers that looked sort of like the kind toe-dancers wore.

At the same time, she watched Arnie's eyes blink as sex ran around slow-motion in his head. He chewed his upper lip for a moment, like men do when they've just shaved off a mustache or are clinging to the brink of an orgasm.

Now they were both on the sofa and turned in to each other.

He said, "I'm not going to be able to keep my hands off you."

"I hope not."

"I can't wait."

"I can't either."

They grabbed hold of each other and began kissing, their mouths not able to get enough-- and they didn't come apart for the longest time. No words between them now, nothing in the way of "I can't wait or I can't either" once she was out of her panties and he removed her teddy. At the same time she shoved down his jeans.

She pressed him down into the cushions and got on top of him, then cupped his erection with both hands and put it inside her. Her mouth opened silently, then her eyes became veiled and unfocused as she propped herself on her arms above him and adjusted her weight so that he was deep inside her, lost then in a place where breath and the heart's blood and thin sheen of sweat on their bodies all became one.

She began a slow, rhythmic up-and-down movement, then increased her tempo. . Her body arched back, and her face was lifted, her head thrown back...

The entire thing didn't take long and she came before he did, her breasts and nipples hard between her stiffened arms, her mouth wide, her hair curled damply on her cheeks.

Then he felt his own release build and crest inside, his loins dissolving like a hot flame burning through old parchment. A sound unlike his own voice rose from his throat, and he pulled her close against him, his face buried in her hair, his mouth pressed like a hungry child's against her ear.

He heard her heavy breathing over his own. She slid her hands and arms under his shoulders and squeezed him tightly as she bit gently into his neck.
They stayed that way for a long time before Maureen giggled as she rolled ever so slowly to the side and onto her back. She whispered in the shadowy darkness, "So--you still want to know your fortune, Meester?"

"Yeah," Arnie groaned. "Go ahead, what is it?"

"Well, for starters--I could have told you that you were going to come today."

He snickered. "No kiddin'." He stroked her hair, and for a little while they were quiet, lying there-- not moving. She stirred then, slowly raised her head and with a kind of a dreamy look on her face as she snuggled into him. "I love you, Arnie."

He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. "I love you too, Mo. Let's make a deal that from now on we'll make time for us no matter what."

"I promise you, my loving husband. In the future our good fortune is going to be more time set aside for the two of us--just the two of us."

"What say we get an early start on next time," Arnie whispered in her ear.

"Yes, I sort of knew that would be in the cards. Your move, lover."

Romance contest entry


Author Notes
We should never lose sight of time for each other in our relationships. Thanks Moonwillow for your picture. (2420 words)
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