“I’m a Prince, and I live in a historic Castle.”
It had to be one of the best pickup lines ever, and Cindy Hernandez suckered right in. The guy had even shown his driver’s license to prove it: Michael Prince, Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. A quick glimpse at his DOB showed he was a 36-year-old Gemini (which explained the silver-tongued charm).
With a heart burned to ashes by the betrayal of her previous boyfriend, Cindy decided on a full year of celibacy afterward. Her three BFF’s celebrated Cindy reaching that milestone by treating her to tea at the Huntington Library and Gardens. Cindy adored art and roses, and an evening spent laughing till her stomach hurt at the The Ice House only made a perfect day better.
Especially with a hot guy like Michael at the next table, sending over endless rounds of Electric Love cocktails and flirting shamelessly.
This Prince was sexy, he was interested, and he was even willing to wait while Cindy’s Designated Driver, Mercedes, checked his Facebook profile and Googled him, to verify he wasn’t wanted for axe-murder somewhere.
“Cindy, you’ve got your cell phone, right? Charged? Okay, call or text me if you change your mind, or if you need a ride,” Mercedes ordered.
“Yes, Teacher, I promise to be good – or bad, as the case may be. Thank you for taking such good care of me.” Cindy kissed the frown on Mercy’s forehead and scampered off, giggling, her hand in Prince Charming’s.
She felt happy, nervous, aroused. Michael was just enough taller, just enough older, and he smelled luscious as they bumped into each other, avoiding other pedestrians on the walk back to his place. Stopping into a store for condoms – awkward! But reassuring, too, that Michael was both prepared to be responsible, and did not already have a huge stash of them at his place.
The Castle, oh, the Castle! The wide veranda of historic Castle Green, straight out of a Hollywood movie, the lobby with its sweeping staircase and tile floor; the place was truly enchanting, right down to the open-cage elevator ride to the sixth floor. Cindy fell half in love with Michael just for living in such a fabulous place. The amazing apartment with its elegant fireplace and friendly orange marmalade cat delighted her even before they strolled onto the balcony from the round turret room.
Outside, Michael began from his knees, kissing Cindy’s hand and working his way up to her neck, as she enjoyed the spectacular view of Pasadena’s sparkling city lights. Later, he proved himself True Royalty between the sheets, in front of the fireplace, and in the clawfoot bathtub…
After Michael kissed her and left for a morning jog, Cindy pried her eyes open and went snooping in search of aspirin to place on her blue curacao-stained tongue.
She found aspirin, all right, but she also found several prescription bottles for a Rebecca Slick.
The name sounded oddly familiar. Followed by the cat, she went to living room’s built in bookcases. There were a row of books by…Rebecca Slick. Juicy. Slippery. Dripping. Wetness. Rebecca was one of Cindy’s favorite authors, a woman in her fifties with a predilection in her erotic romances for cougar love.
Michael must be her unfaithful boy-toy. Cindy felt suddenly unclean, but didn’t want to further abuse Rebecca’s unwitting hospitality by re-polluting the woman’s bathtub or shower.
The cat sat and stared at her. She stared back at the cat. “Manny, what should I do?”
“I’m taking that means, I don’t give a rat’s hat for your problems, feed me.”
An empty enamel dish on the kitchen floor was labeled ‘Manuscript.’ “Manny, is this your bowl?”
“M-Row!” He vocalized louder and rubbed against her ankles as she opened cupboards in search of his food. Might as well feed the poor creature before embarking on the Walk of Shame, Cindy reasoned, pouring a bowl of kibbles, to Manny’s obvious satisfaction.
She’d noticed countless coffee shops on Colorado, she could hole up in one of those and text Mercy to come pick her up, please. Back in the bedroom, she sniffed her panties, deciding to stuff them in her purse and go commando. She’d stepped into her skirt and shoes and was pulling her shirt on when Michael returned. His skin, damp with sweat from his run, smelled enticingly male, and the brown paper bag he carried smelled enticingly warm and breakfast-y.
Damn him for his deliciousness!
“Going somewhere?” he asked, looking hurt. “I thought we could enjoy breakfast in bed.”
How dare he look like that? He was the one who… “I thought I’d spare us from getting in trouble with your… wife? Girlfriend?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb. I know about Rebecca.”
Michael burst out laughing. “You don’t know what you think you know.”
“I know this is her apartment, not yours.”
“Aren’t you the least bit ashamed?”
“Ashamed of bringing you to my aunt’s apartment instead of mine? I suppose it is slightly false pretenses, but her view is better, and I promised to stay here to feed and play with Manny, while she’s away at a writers’ conference.”
His aunt?! Cindy opened and closed her mouth a couple times, finally managing. “You live here, too?”
Michael laughed again, leading her into the kitchen where he turned on the coffeemaker and began slicing the bagels he’d brought. “I lived here first. My apartment is on the third floor, though mine doesn’t have a turret, sorry. Aunt Becky liked The Castle so much that when this apartment became available, she snapped it up.”
“‘Zat all you have to say?” he teased.
Cindy kissed him, then walked towards the bedroom, kicking off her shoes and pulling her shirt back over her head. “Feed and play with me, please.”
Beverly Diehl discarded most early efforts because they weren’t good enough. “I thought the words were supposed to drip from my pen as perfect golden pearls,” she says. “Then I discovered rewriting.” In addition to erotica, Beverly writes short stories, newsletters, and of course, a blog(or two.)Born in Wisconsin, plus years in Pennsylvania, Beverly lives in Los Angeles with numerous UFO’s (UnFinished craft & writing Objects) and beloved fat cat, Metaphor (aka Stinky.)