“Ahmad, I’m so glad to be here at last!” Tracie shrugged off the head-to-toe black outer garment she’d worn as a favor to her new husband on the limousine ride from the airport to his palace home – now her home as well, she realized with a small thrill of wonder. Had it really only been twelve days since they’d met? she asked herself, looking for a chair or table to place the voluminous robe on. She had to settle for draping it over one of the myriad jewel-colored pillows scattered about on the floor.
“As am I, my darling treasure. Now, what would you like to do first – er, besides the obvious, of course?” His Ultimate Highness Prince Ahmad bin Ahmad al-Ahmad, Supreme Leader of the Principality of Az-Uz-Kanistan,a tiny and obscenely wealthy Gulf State, leered suggestively and tugged his bride closer, allowing her to feel the obvious through both his white linen robes and the silk of her new designer slacks.
“Well, when do I get to meet the rest of your family?”
“Hmm…let’s see…” Taking his willowy wife by the hand, Ahmad crossed the priceless Persian carpet that covered the vast expanse of the high-ceilinged room to a computer terminal. He typed in several commands and pulled up a database that, to Tracie’s eyes, appeared to be some sort of roster of names and locations. “The four oldest brothers of my father’s third wife have gone to Paris for the weekend, but their wives and children are at home – you’ll like Rashid’s second wife – she’s American like you. She can help you adjust to your new life here. But stay away from Aliyah – she’s his head wife and is very jealous of blondes.” He grinned and tugged at a lock of Tracie’s golden tresses, ignoring the little frown that creased his wife’s alabaster complexion, then turned back to the monitor.
“My sister Ullama – she’s my father’s fourth wife’s favorite, and mine too, I must confess – should be at home.”
Tracie giggled. “Gosh, has everybody in your family been married so many times?”
“Of course. Most Az-Uz-Kanistani men take several wives.”
“That must cost them a fortune in alimony,” Tracie observed.
“Oh, there’s no question of alimony,” Ahmad replied casually, “since most men have several wives at once. But never worry, my pet,” he assured Tracie quickly. “For you I will break tradition. I will never take another wife. As a matter of fact, I have every intention of telling my first…” He broke off mid-sentence, frowning, but his brow cleared quickly and he continued, “We were speaking of Ullama – we might invite her over for the afternoon,” he suggested. But Tracie detected a note of hesitation in Ahmad’s voice.
“What?” she asked.
“Nothing…it’s just that…Ullama’s husband doesn’t like for her to leave the house without him, and he’s away in London for the week,” Ahmad explained.
“Can’t we go to see her?”
“Oh, no.” Regret tinged Ahmad’s deep voice and he flipped the edge of his checkered headscarf over his shoulder. “I am afraid I must spend some time today immersed in the boring world of high finance and economics.”
Tracie brightened. “Well, that’s something we can do together! After all, I do have an MBA from Wharton and a PhD in Middle Eastern petro-economics from Stanford, don’t I?”
“Oh, no, I could never allow a wife of mine to work!” Ahmad seemed truly aghast at the very idea.
Allow? Tracie let that one slide, for the moment. “But sweetie,” she pointed out, “we met at a global economics conference where I was the keynote speaker,” Tracie pointed out.
“Yes,” Ahmad agreed, “but you must admit that as soon as you met me, all thoughts of numbers and economic policy flew out of that gorgeous head of yours, and we did nothing but concentrate on our private version of mergers and acquisitions, didn’t we?” He bent, nuzzling the satin skin just under her ear; his tongue, that tongue that had performed unspeakably exquisite miracles on every inch of her body, traced a lazy path to her collarbone. Tracie’s breath hitched as a low moan escaped the back of her throat.
“Okay,” she concede on a breathy whisper, “you stay here and make oodles and boodles of money for us, and I can drive over to see your sister.”
Ahmad straightened and bit his full upper lip. “I am afraid that will be impossible,” he said stiffly, moving away to one of the floor-to-ceiling windows that comprised an entire wall of the spacious room. “There is not a male family member available to escort you, so I can’t even let one of the chauffeurs drive you there.”
“Well, just give me a map, tell me the way, and I’ll take myself,” Tracie offered.
“I wish it were that easy,” Ahmad replied. “In our country, women are not allowed to drive.” He crossed his arms and regarded her with an air of rocklike authority.
“Why…that’s barbaric…medieval…antediluvian!” Tracie expostulated. She could feel a crimson blush of anger stain her highly photogenic cheekbones. “Why do women put up with such a system?”
“Because it is the way of our people – of your people, now that you have married me,” Ahmad explained with exaggerated patience. He returned to her side and began running his hands up and down her arms. “The place of a woman is in her husband’s home, in his arms, raising his children, running his household, leaving the tedious business of running the world to him and his male colleagues,” he purred in to her ear. His voice was as soft and seductive as the caresses he was lavishing on her, as enticing as the kisses he trailed along the line from her ear to her collarbone.
Tracie shivered and looked deep into his heavily lashed eyes. As always, she felt the pull of their golden depths. Being in Ahmad’s arms had the same effect on her that it always did: he made her forget who she was, what she had accomplished, made her want the one thing that only he could give her.
She was unaware that he had unbuttoned her slacks until she felt the pleasant slight chill of an air-conditioned breeze on the backs of her thighs, immediately replaced by the singeing heat of Ahmad’s fingers as they trailed up her legs and buttocks to the elastic top of her lacy black thong. He pushed it down to her knees and knelt before her, dropping soft, wet kisses on her navel. His head came up and he gazed at her, his desire for her blazing in his eyes.
“Now is not the time for a discussion of the rights of Az-Uz-Kanistani women – unless we are speaking of the right of a particular woman to the loving ministrations of her bridegroom,” he growled. Rising to his feet, Ahmad slipped his hands under Tracie’s blouse and with a sudden yank pulled the garment from her shoulders. Buttons flew in every direction, and she stood before him as naked as the first time they’d made love, back in the penthouse pool at that hotel.
With a graceful shrug Ahmad divested himself of his linen robe. It pooled at his feet; a glance downward convinced Tracie that her desire for him was definitely matched by his for hers. She marveled yet again at the realization that within moments her body would take him in, all of him, all that rampant glorious maleness.
A tiny voice at the back of her mind, the voice that spoke of common sense and practical thoughts, the voice she had tried so hard in the last twelve days to shut the hell up, insisted on being heard one last time. It asked some very hard questions.
Could she throw aside years of intellectual struggle and study, toss aside her hard-won academic degrees, for the demands this man was making on her body? Could she really give up all her rights, the rights that generations of women had fought to gain, in return for the promise of a lifetime of mind-blowing sex with the most devastatingly handsome man on the planet?
As Ahmad continued his tender, unrelenting assault on her every nerve and pore, Tracie thought back to her undergraduate days and the dismissive words uttered by her roommate Madge, who had disapproved of the selfish men Tracie had been dating. After one of them had treated her like absolute dirt before he dumped her and she’d begged and pleaded with him to take her back, Madge had scolded Tracie for letting a guy push her around so much. “Honey,” she’d drawled in her Texas twang, “ain’t no dick that good.”
Ahmad’s mouth found the crest of a pert breast and he pushed himself into her welcoming moisture. Tracie’s back arched as her body gave out an involuntary shudder. Her lips curved in a secret smile. “Oh, yes, it is,” she said to herself, and opened her legs even wider.
Purple Prose as written by Candice Small:
"Bonnie, don't go!"
Bonita shielded her emerald green eyes against the hot Texas sun and peered up the road. As Rattlesnake Junction was little more than a wide spot in said road, it was not hard for her to see little Jeffy running ahead of his dad towards her. She was happy to see Jeffy, but not his father. How dare he show his face after all he'd put her through!
When the two reached her, she hugged the little boy to her slim, willowy but not scrawny body and glared at Suede. "What do you want?" she hissed, her emerald green eyes narrowing into slits.
Suede raised a sardonic eyebrow. "Jeffy wanted to say goodbye. Glad we got here before Greyhound did." He glanced up the street at Lou's Diner. "Looks like some more people want to see you off, too."
Bonita hid the hurt his words inflicted upon her; how dare he be so calm and uncaring? But she turned her emerald green gaze towards the townspeople who soon surrounded her in front of Bud's Drugstore. "It's so nice of you to come say farewell," she said, recognizing the faces of people she'd only met a week ago, but loved more than she did her own family.
"Tarnation, girl, you can't leave," snapped Granny Smeed. "As soon as we saw you we knew you'd be the perfect mother to Jeffy and wife to Suede."
"Wh-what?" stammered Bonita, her emerald green eyes with shock. "But I'm a city girl- I'd never even been on a horse until a few days ago- and Suede had to rescue me when it took off!"
Granny harrumphed. "Don't be talkin' no nonsense. You'll learn how to sit a horse. Besides, we had Skinny Pullam scare the horse a-purpose to see if Suede liked you. If he'd let you break your neck, we'd know he didn't care. But he chased after you like a dog on a coon!"
Bonita looked back at Suede. Could it be true? Had it not been a mistake to give him her innocence after all? She'd been so sure after their night of passion, where he brought her to rapture more times than she could count, that he loved her, but that was before she'd found out the truth.
"Why would you want me to stay when Lucy is marrying Suede?" Bonita noticed Lucy in the crowd and had to fight the nausea. The people around her began to laugh. "Suede marry Lucy?"
Lucy grabbed Bonita's arm. "I'm sorry Bonita, but we had to be sure that you weren't just toying with Suede's affections. When I saw how jealous you became, I knew you really did care."
"And you all really want me to stay?" Bonita couldn't believe it.
Mary Lou Dobbins nodded her head. "As soon as Hiram announced he had a live one down at his garage, we hoped. We've been looking for a proper woman for Suede for forever- ever since his no-good wife left him after refusing to have any more babies and then having the nerve to ask him to move to Chicago! So Hiram broke off a widget in your car so you'd have to hang around and wait for parts."
"Your car just needed some water before that," admitted Hiram. "But we should be getting that new radiator and transmission any day now."
"And then Rufus Terwilliger stole your purse when you weren't looking so you'd have to take that housekeeping position at Suede's ranch," Mary Lou continued. "But just about everyone helped!"
"I made the brownies with Ex-Lax so you could show your caring side and help take care of the ranch hands," said Granny Smeed.
"And I left my baby on the front steps of the ranch house so that you could find her and indulge your maternal side," said Debbie Pickles. "I should go and get her later."
"And me!" said Jeffy. "Remember how I messed up the house so that Bonnie would have lots to clean? It was fun having the pigs in the living room!"
Bonita's emerald green eyes filled with tears. "You did all of that for me?" No one had ever cared that much about her! Back in LA, people often said they cared about her, but that was so they could say they were friends with a super model. This was pure love. But speaking of love...
"But, Suede...I thought you wanted me to go."
Suede stepped up and swept Bonita into his hair-covered but not so much as to be hairy arms. "I thought you were using me; you know how all women are evil bitches- except for my mother and sisters, and the women in town, and now you, sugar button." Bonita trembled to hear him call her by the pet name he'd given her that night of shared passion, and to feel his hard thighs against her once more. She pressed tighter to him, nearly overcome by memories and desire and...
"Hey, you're squishing me!" complained Jeffy, wriggling out from between his father and nanny/housekeeper. He straightened his little cowboy hat and looked up at Bonita. "So will you stay? Please, Bonnie?"
Suede looked deep into Bonita's emerald green orbs. "My little bon-bon, I love you more than anything. Well, except for Jeffy, of course, and my ranch, and I'm awful fond of my horse. I know I've spent the past week telling you how much I detested city folk and belittling you, but that just proves how hard I fought against loving you. And it didn't work. What better way is there to start a marriage?"
The townspeople sighed. Tears welled in Bonita's emerald green eyes. "Oh, Suede. Of course I'll marry you!"
As the townspeople gathered around the kissing couple, Granny Smeed eyed Lucy carefully, especially her skull. It was a shame to have such a pretty young girl be single; there was a handsome unmarried doctor in the next county. A little tap on Lucy's head should induce some handy amnesia to bring those two together. Granny Smeed smiled, content that she had more cupid work ahead of her!
Purple Prose as written by Sherry Thomas:
"Please, your grace, I will do anything to save my father. Anything.” Annabel’s enormous, lushly lashed blue eyes filled with tears, as her grip on his grace’s sleeve tightened. He must, must help her.
“What’s the matter with her dad?” Victor asked, leaning over Sue Ellen’s shoulder to read the small type on the laptop screen.
“He’s going to rot in debtor’s prison if Fiend, the duke, doesn’t cancel a gaming debt he owes.”
“How did Pops accumulate those debts?”
“He’s an inveterate gambler.”
“What the heck is she doing then? If she rescues him, he’d only gamble some more and get more indebted. Is she going to sleep with every one he owes money to?”
“Of course not!” Sue Ellen shot back indignantly. “She’s a good daughter, that’s all!”
“So she’ll do this only once, only with this Fiend guy.”
“She must be hot for him, huh? Using her old man just as an excuse.”
“Oh, Victor, get out of my hair! Go water the lawn or something.”
“Okay, okay, Ms. Writer.”
His tongue laved over the rosy aureoles. She moaned. She had never felt anything quite like it. His hand moved lower, to the junction between her legs, and covered her, his fingers teasing the petals of her womanhood.“Can’t he just say ‘Your pussy is soaking wet, babe’? What kind of man calls it pearly nectar anyway? The Snapple guy?”
“Victor! I already told you that romance readers don’t like words like that.”
“You are a romance reader and you love it when I tell you your pussy is soaking wet.”
“That’s different.” Sue Ellen blushed, she did like it when he talked dirty in bed.
“Next time I’m going to talk like your duke and see if you don’t puke.”
“Oh go away. Wash your car.”
The world exploded around her. She felt herself lift off the bed and float away on soft clouds, at one with the cosmos. Stars drifted by her, rainbows opened up before her, flower petals, a million of them, fell gently around her“Ecstasy?” Victor was back and reading over her shoulder again.
“I didn’t know they did drugs back in Regency.”
“She doesn’t do drugs!”
“Then why is she hallucinating?”
“She just had an orgasm!”
“Sheesh. Why don’t you just say ‘she came her brains out’?”
Sue Ellen thought about it. “Jennifer Crusie already used that one.”
“Wait, wait. Did you say she just had an orgasm?”
“And this is the first time she had sex?”
“But I thought you said you never had an orgasm until like five years after you started doing it.”
“I don’t know.” She too, felt a bit ambivalent about it. “The heroines always climax on their first time with the heroes. Everybody does it. It’d seem odd if mine doesn’t.”
“And let me guess. That hero of yours can make even a refrigerator come its brains out.”
“You got it, wise guy. Weren’t you going to wash the car?”
“Just grabbing a t-shirt, babe.”
Fiend couldn’t sleep. He was troubled. He couldn’t understand it. In his lifetime he had bedded innumerable women, from barmaids to courtesans, Italian countesses to Russian princesses-a true profligate he was. Yet none of them had given him such pleasure, such satisfaction, such--“What? She’s the only one who’d let him do it up her ass?” Victor walked by with the t-shirt. “I hope he doesn’t give her syphilis.”
“Oh will you please just let me finished the goddamned scene already!”
“Going, going, gone, babe.”
All right, where the hell was she?
The sharp, fantastic lightning writhed the night sky, skewering the storm clouds with its jagged electric fingers. Fierce wind battered the house, hurtling rain and angry debris against its shuttered windows.Victor whistled. “Now that’s a girl I could go for.”
“You think so?” Sue Ellen beamed at him.
“Oh, yes. Whatever happened to the other story, that scene you were trying to finish?”
“That? Well, I thought about it. You were right. It was ridiculous, not to mention done to death. I’m going to send it to the Purple Prose Parody Contest at the All About Romance site instead.”
“Cool! Wanna take a break and come see your car? I waxed it too.”
“Sure. Let’s go for a spin and make out in the back seat.”
“You are not a virgin.” The duke said.
Purple Prose as written by Leigh Davis as an homage to Nora Roberts:
Holding one hand on the torn edges of her teddy with her left hand, she rapped firmly on the door with the wrench that she grasped with her right. Suddenly she was pushed from behind, causing her to hit her elbow against the door.
Quickly turning with the wrench held high, she turned to face the threat. Three women, all holding torn teddies were grouped behind her.
"Oh, it’s you guys. Quit pushing. Can’t you see that I am here first," Digley fumed. "And I am going to have my say."
"Well, don’t you realize that you can’t go first? You are always second" Nargo retaliated.
"I might always be the second book released, but I am not waiting another minute. I am going to have it out with Dora."
"Oh, bite me" the woman called Ava exclaimed. "What do you have to complain about? At least you get to have babies. How many have you had now seven, eight?"
"Give it a break. That is all you complain about. Babies, babies. Labor is no piece of cake. And you have Doarke."
"Oh, right, Doarke. Yeah, he is a barrow of laughs. That man doesn’t give me a moment of peace. Who knew that he was the togetherness type? You would think that since he owns every company there is that at least he would spend some time at the office. You don’t have to live with someone that always sticks his nose in your business. Dora has just got to give me one case that I solve by myself. Send him off planet or something."
"Old poor you. Married to Mister Money bags," the gorgeous vision, named Nargo replied in her low lovely voice.
"Girls, you shouldn’t be fighting this way. We are friends/sisters/cousins. One for all and all for one," Eleanor, looking as much like the girl next door can in a torn teddy, replied as she opened her purse,and retrieved a bundle of safety pins.
"Shut up." two voices replied in unison, along with the lone bite me!
"At least he doesn’t beat you, or verbally abuse you or steal money from his own kids. And you know that you will never get a divorce", Eleanor pinning her hot pink teddy together with safety pins replied, tears forming in her eyes, that she bravely held back.
"How can he steal from my kids, when Dora won’t give us any. I was hoping that once we had kids, that Doarke would be distracted by them and let me work in peace. Pass me some pins".
"Like you guys have a lot to complain about," Digley seethed. "Look at these hands," she griped, as she displayed greasy cuticles. "Do you have any idea of much it cost me to get a manicure after my story is over. Or how long it takes me to grow my hair back. I would like to see you guys do a third of the things that she has me do. Working on cars, building things, or even carrying a gun. And there is no way that I am able to get rid of the calluses. "
"At least you get to be something besides beautiful. Do you realize how boring it gets having men go bookers with just one look. I am so bored. And I never get to be anything exciting. Hand me some of those pins too."
"Sure, like being a world famous artist or model is not exciting," Eleanor replied bitterly. "You have even been a social worker. And at least you have had some fun, had sex with more than one person! And even have had a potty mouth. Me, I always have to so lady like. Or the strong silent type. How many times have you had to let a man walk away from you? No, you get to yell, throw things, and act like a bitch."
"Hi ladies, greeted Dora as she walked up to her door. Puzzled she looked at their torn teddies." "Oh, I did that didn’t I," she chuckled. "Hmmmmmm, I wonder if I need to change my love scenes around a little. Have I had your panties torn? I have? How about your bras? That too. I have it. Slacks. In the next book, I have the hero tear your slacks. And come on in. You are going to love the next trilogy. Nargo, I am going to have you as a rock star. Well not really a rock star. More like Cher except of course you will have excellent taste in clothes. And I will have you listen to the cutting edge musicians like Chicago, Don Henley. Hey that is great idea. A duet with Don. And Digley, hope you have been working out dear, because musical equipment is so hard to set up, and take down. And Eleanor, you are going to love how you get away from your husband. From all appearances, he looks like the perfect talent agent, but you and I know difference . . . "
Ava, dear, I sorry I can't include you in this meeting but we will get together soon. I know that you have been hearing rumors again that you are going to have a child. Not a chance. Doarke and you need quality time together. . . .