Today’s theme is the female protagonist.
Now, I don’t write the typical female in my books. She’s usually older, she’s full-figured, she’s got an interesting or different kind of career not in a corporate high power field. She’s been through life, sometimes a divorce. She’s vulnerable, she shy at times. She’s deeply passionate, definitely kinky. She knows herself and what she wants and she’s willing to walk away from it if she thinks it’ll benefit the other person. She’s open minded, open hearted. She’s sometimes interested in younger men, and sometimes interested in men her own age. She’ll sleep with a guy she’s hot for on the first date but she’s not cheap or loose.
I read and have read enough romance and erotic romance and erotica to know I write her a little different. She’s not every man’s dream, but for the hero, she’s perfect for his dream.
So, as I think about today’s snippet and trying to decide on what female to highlight, I’m kind of struggling. Each female character has something awesome about her, has a piece of me, is strong and independent in her own way. But, I think I’m going to go with Mandi, from Ink Spots.
She’s helping out a friend. She’s turning 40. She’s got curves that go on forever. She’s independent and makes her own choices. She’s shy and hungry all at the same time. I love her.
Mandi dried her freshly washed face and looked into the mirror above the sink. She was naked save for her bra, hardly able to believe Jaz was there, standing on the other side of the room, waiting for her. She could hardly believe he’d just taken her from behind against one of the tables the other girls used to put on their makeup. She could hardly believe she’d admitted to crushing on him and that he’d admitted the same thing…
Turning forty wasn’t so damn bad after all.
“So, where do you want to get something to eat from? Here?”
Jaz’s voice curled in her belly, warm and sexy. She’d never come across anyone like him before. He was a huge brick wall of a man, covered in tattoos, looking every inch like a man who would just as soon rip someone limb from limb as to look at them if they crossed him wrong. He had good friends, a couple of businesses, and Jackie thought the sun rose and set with him.
“No, not here.”
She remembered being a little afraid to talk to him when she first met him. He looked as though he hated her on sight, but then he’d watch her intently with lust burning in his dark blue eyes. Her own reactions bothered her a little at first too. Every time she saw him, she wanted to climb up his large, solid body and never climb down. She wanted those strong arms around her, that deep voice rumbling through him into her, his lips on hers, his penis easing the ache inside her. And it all made her shy around him for fear she’d blurt out her feelings, her desires.
All that changed the minute he walked into the dressing room. He was hers for the entire twenty-four hours of her birthday. She was going to have to hug Jackie for making the move it seemed neither Jaz nor Mandi were going to make on their own.
“Then where? It’s not like we’ve got a huge selection of places that are open after midnight here.”
Mandi pulled a black sweater and a pair of jeans out of her bag, along with a new pair of panties. She always carried a duffle with her when she went to work with a change of clothes inside. Tonight she was doubly grateful for it. After snapping the jeans and pulling the sweater on over her head, she slid her bare feet into a pair of glittery flip-flops, grabbed her purse, her duffle now filled with her work clothes, her boots and her wig, and walked back out to the main area of the room to a waiting Jaz.
His gaze took her in from head to toe, stopping in the center of her chest at the v-neck of the sweater. She hadn’t put any more makeup on, just a light tinted moisturizer and a little dab of lip gloss. It really wasn’t until right then, standing in front of him for the first time without her boots, that she realized just how big a difference there was in their heights. He dwarfed her, and she inwardly grinned at the odd picture they would make being out together.
He raised his eyes to meet hers, one dark brown brow lifted in question. “Pancakes?”
Mandi nodded emphatically. “Yes. One of my favorite foods in all the world and a tradition on my birthday.”
“Well then, if it’s pancakes my birthday girl wants, then it’s pancakes she shall have.”
He stepped back and opened door for her in a grand gesture, sweeping his arm for her to walk out ahead of him. She couldn’t help or stop the smile, knowing she must look goofy with it plastered on her face from ear to ear, but she didn’t care. She also wasn’t going to touch his comment, wasn’t going to ask about the possessive word “my”. She was just going to enjoy the unbelievable reality of having him all to herself for a while when she hadn’t for a second imagined he would be interested in her.
Once in the hallway, she turned away from the noise coming from the front of the building and slipped out the back entrance to the employee parking lot. “I’ll take you around to your car and I guess… Do we want to take one car?”
“Yeah. You can leave yours back here. Jackie’ll make sure it’s safe. I’ll be your driver tonight.” He took her hand and pulled her along after him. His long legs ate up the gravel lot, and it was all she could do to keep up, in flip-flops no less, until he stopped and lifted her in his arms much as he had earlier.
“Jaz, put me down.”
“Nope. I like holding you and carrying you.”
“I can walk.”
“I know, but we’ll get there faster if I have you like this. Besides, it makes my cock happy to have your pussy so near.”
“Oh god,” she groaned. “I can’t believe you said that. Out loud. Outside.” Mandi buried her face against his neck as he laughed. The sound vibrated through her and she laughed a little too. He was different than she thought he’d be—lighter, fun, easy to be around and not at all intimidating. Although the sexual side of him, the lust she’d glimpsed and briefly touched… She wanted more of it.
“I have a feeling there are going to be a few things in the course of the next hours that you won’t believe I’d say or do or…” He pushed his face against her ear, sliding a hand down her ass and between her spread-around-his-waist thighs, cupping her and making her moan. “Make you do.”
Jaz pulled into a parking spot in front his tattoo shop. She’d never been in it, but she’d known what he did for a living. She knew a lot about him from Jackie.
Jackie. She was the absolute best, best friend a girl could ask for. Mandi would have never gone after Jaz on her own, and she had to thank Jackie for knowing that.
Mandi looked over at him when he turned the car off. “You really are turning out to be the best birthday present I could have ever wished for.”
His brows quirked up and he waggled them. He smiled and leaned over, kissing just under her earlobe. “Good. I plan to keep showing you that for the rest of the night and day. I plan to be the best fucking present you’ve ever gotten.”
Fire curled in her belly at his words, at his breath fanning her skin. For the first time since they’d gotten in the car at the restaurant, he removed his hand from between her thighs. She didn’t like it. She wanted him back.
“I’ll let you unwrap me when we get inside. Kick off your flip-flops and shuck your jeans and panties, sweater and bra too.”
“No. You can strip inside the car here then you can scurry your sexy little ass across the sidewalk to the door.”
“You want me to walk across the sidewalk naked?”
“Jaz…” she started to protest, but he wagged a finger in her face that had her biting back a laugh.
“Oh no. Don’t even, Mandi. Not with the way you got off a little while ago. Don’t even think about pulling that shy act with me again.”
“But that was different.”
He had her. He knew he had her. She knew he had her. She’d strip naked and walk proudly from the car into his shop so long as he walked with her. She’d had all sorts of naughty fantasies about him since meeting him at Katz. She hadn’t known what kind of woman he was attracted to, but she knew she wanted him. He had tattoos, and the most interesting and amazing blue glass tunnels in his earlobes in which the holes had been stretched to accommodate them. His head was shaved and he usually came in wearing baggy shorts to the knees or cargo pants and high-top Converse. Each time she saw him, he wore a different color and she didn’t think she’d seen him wearing the same pair twice. His t-shirts were always just as colorful as his shoes too. But it was his bright eyes that drew her in, his full mouth, easy laugh. His big muscles didn’t hurt either. He had the size that would make a girl feel safe, protected, adored.
He was the kind of fantasy she’d always hoped for but who never looked her way. Now he was, thanks to Jackie bringing them together all those months ago and right now, tonight.
And he wanted her to walk about thirty feet. Naked.
“Do it, Mandi. Be even naughtier and get naked for me.”
For him. Anything at all for him. She slid her feet free of her shoes and then worked them free of her jeans and panties. The sweater and bra were next, and though she probably should feel a little self-conscious about being naked with him, she didn’t. He wanted her. Curves, pudge and extra padding. He wanted her. His eyes said it. His mouth said it. His actions said it.
Right then, in the way his breath stopped and his gaze raked her body from head to toe, stopping at different points, like her breasts. The longer he stared at them, the harder her nipples became, as though reaching out for him. Every part of her was reaching out for him, wanting him, wanting his touch again.
“Ready?” He didn’t say anything, just kept looking at her.
Slowly those brilliant eyes looked up into her face. “I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than a woman so open and willing.”
“It’s my birthday. I can be and do anything on this one day.”
“More than this one day, Mandi.”
She wasn’t going to ask what he meant by that. She was afraid to. She just wanted to enjoy him for as long as she was allowed. “I’m ready to open my present, Jaz.”
He winked. “I’ll meet you at the door.”
Together they exited the car. She walked up to the door of his shop leisurely, as though her heart weren’t pounding in her chest and her pulse racing, as though she hadn’t a care in the world. She heard his car door shut and then he was there behind her, pulling her into his body, and she couldn’t stop the moan from escaping her lips.
The feel of his hard, completely clothed body while she was naked was more of a turn-on than she’d ever imagined it would be. She rubbed herself against him, and when she went to turn around, he held her tighter. “No. Stay just like that but stop moving or we’ll be fucking out here. I’m pretty sure Mac wouldn’t let me get away with that.”
“Cop on duty tonight. We need to get inside. He should be making a pass soon.”
Something about being caught teased her, but not enough to try it out right then. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her birthday in jail. The arm that wasn’t holding her against him reached out and slid the key home, turned it to the left with his wrist and slid the lock from its mooring. He nudged her inside the building and had her backed against the door with his mouth on hers.
For a split second, she wondered how this was much different than being naked outside when anyone who passed by could see her bare ass through the glass, but she quickly didn’t care. Jaz’s mouth devoured hers much as hers had done to him in the car. She couldn’t get enough of his tongue, his taste, his feel, and then he was licking a trail down her throat, the center of her chest, and when she thought he might take a nip at her nipples, he just kept going.
Jaz held her in his lap and she was curled up like a kitten across his thighs in one of the chairs used for tattoos. It was attached to the floor in such a way that they’d have to rip up the tile flooring to get the chair out. The shop had a variety of seating for a variety of positions and tattoos and now, well, he could definitely see other possibilities for them.
He liked having her in his arms. She protested more than once that she was too heavy for him, but he just laughed at that. He’d held her more tonight than he’d ever dreamed he’d get the chance to in one lifetime, and they both knew she wasn’t too heavy for him. She might not be the long-legged skinny pole dancer or the short tight-bodied bartender, but she wasn’t fat. She wasn’t anything other than perfect for him. He knew fucking her wouldn’t break her, that he could be on her body and it not hurt her. He was hard and she was soft, and he couldn’t think of wanting her any different than the way she was.
And yeah, even though she had hips, a bigger-than-a-size-eight ass, big tits and a slightly rounded belly, she was incredible to him. She was made the way a woman was intended to be…full and curvy. He didn’t want to see his lover’s bones or rib cage. He didn’t want to feel caverns and hollows under her skin when he held her. He wanted to feel flesh, soft and giving. He wanted to feel her weight on his body, letting him know his woman was there.
Mandi was all that and more, and once he’d convinced her to settle in his lap, she’d found comfort in his arms the way he’d always imagined a woman might, the way for six months he’d imagined she might.
“Do you enjoy working at Katz?”
“It’s been okay. I’ve been able to help out my friend and try something new for a while. It’s the first time waitressing for me. I’ve found that the lower cut the shirt is or the higher hem of the skirt, the better the tips.”
He unconsciously tensed under her. “How long are you going to keep working there?”
“Why?” She licked his chin and sank her teeth into it, just enough for him to feel the edges. “Jealous?”
“Not a bit.” Just a tiny white lie. He had no problem with her dressing in a skimpy outfit while she served food. The problem he would have was if someone else touched her, fondled her, insisted on meeting her outside work. But she and Jaz, they weren’t there yet, and for all he knew, after today was over, they wouldn’t ever be there.
And he wasn’t going to think about it. “No. Just curious.”
He stroked her hair, sifting his fingers through it, letting it fall back down against her naked shoulders. She smelled of sex, of him, and he liked it. A lot. He wanted to coat her body in his come, rub it into her skin, become a part of her inside and out.
Okay, so maybe he was going to think about it. But only a little.
“I have a boutique handmade jewelry business. I started it a few years ago when handmade things started coming back in popularity. Working at Katz has allowed me to build my business online with a better web presence, and I now have some steady work coming in. A lot of people like custom work, custom designs.”
“Do they design it or do you when they want custom?”
“Sometimes me, sometimes them. I’ve met a few really good, independent designers and artists at trade shows who help me out when I need it. Working for Jackie has paid the bills, and she even had me design some custom chains for nipple rings.”
“Did she now?” He wouldn’t mind seeing Mandi’s nipples pierced with a pretty chain hanging between them, one he could tug on until she gasped from the mingled pain and pleasure.
“Yes she did. Some of the dancers and waitresses and even customers have given me business I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It’s been a good experience.”
His hand rubbed her arm, her shoulder, her hand, down the side of her neck to the top of her chest. He caressed her and she mewled just as a little kitten might have purred at the attention. She relaxed deeper into him too, and though he wasn’t sure she was aware of the move, he was. Her weight was now more even between his chest and legs. Her hip pressed into his cock, and if she noticed the way it nudged her, she didn’t let on. That was fine with him. He liked this. There was no pressure to have sex again, but they would. A ton of it. Until well past dawn. It was enough though, in those moments, in the dark of his shop, to sit with her, learn about her, connect with her in other ways.
“Other than the chains, what do you make?”
“Hmmm. Most just want earrings, bracelets, normal things, but made just for them. I’ve done a few chokers, necklaces.”
“Can you make other things?”
She was teasing him with her fingers, running them up and down his side, his shoulder, his arm, his hip. She was exploring him. He knew because she hadn’t once looked up at his face. She was so focused on his body, on touching him, feeding her crush on him.
She’d tugged more than once on the barbell in his nipple, sending a jolt straight to his cock, and she’d given a lot of silent, almost reverent attention to the tattoos on his shoulder and chest. He had no doubt she’d give the same attention to the ones on his back if she could reach them.
Her crush on him. Damn but that was so unbelievably hot. It made his heart race and his mouth unable to stop smiling. The sex with her was intensified by the crush they shared on one another. It was something he couldn’t remember feeling for anyone else, but then the Mandi he’d known for all this time wasn’t exactly the same Mandi he held in his arms. She was more and she was knocking his entire world right on its side.
“Like nipple rings? Belly rings? Tunnels for ears?” Even as he said the words, he wondered if she would ever get her nipples or her bellybutton pierced. Or…her clit. He had to bite back a groan at that thought. He knew she wouldn’t do something like body piercing to make a statement but rather because she’d simply want it. He didn’t imagine Mandi did anything she didn’t want to do. But she’d be even more scorching, smoking-hot with piercings. Her already sensitive nipples and clit would become even more so.
“I suppose I could. There’s a glass bead making series of classes being offered in a few months that I want to take and a metalsmithing class coming up too. Right now I just embellish, add to and enhance. I take wire and shape it. I add to chains and links. I use beads and crystals, but I want to actually learn how to create more unique designs, my own signature designs. And the more I learn how to do on my own, the more custom pieces I can make for people.”
As she talked, her face became animated and her eyes brightened. She had that same spark, that same fire for her art that he had for his. “I understand. I’m the same way. I’m always wanting to know more about tattooing, about the new technology in the business, about new ways to make the ink come to life. I don’t want it to simply sit on the skin, I want it to move, to reach out and grab you.”
“Kind of like 3D?”
“Yeah, exactly. A whole new dimension of art for the body. Some people can do it already. I’ve got some contacts with artists who can, so like you, I’ll be learning new things to give my customers more custom work.”
Her eyes became serious then. They were still animated but had turned serious and heated. “Maybe…”
She licked her lips and Jaz bit back yet another groan. She pressed herself closer to his body, though how she could get any closer was beyond him. She was already so deep under his skin… “Maybe what?”
“Maybe we should consider working together some.”
What kind of heroine touches you?
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Have a great weekend!