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Friday, October 11, 2013

Where is Josef's Story?

Hi reading friends,

I've been MIA.  Things are crazy here.  Where shall I begin??

Okay, this summer I was on fire for Josef's story.  I had NO writing time because my young children were with me 24/7, and I have to be alone with quiet to write, but his story plagued me every day.  I also had some other stuff keeping me busy. . . stuff I have kept very secret, but I should probably give you a little information so you don't think I've abandoned you or stopped writing all together.

I haven't started Josef's story yet.  :(  Here's why.

As soon as school started back and I finally had time to write, TWO OTHER STORIES BOMBARDED MY BRAIN!  This aggravated me, because I really wanted to write Josef's story, but I cannot help what my crazy mind does.  The other two stories pushed Josef's to the far corner of my mind where it has remained.

You see, the thing is, I'm also a YA writer.  My YA novels are traditionally published and they keep me very busy.  Both ideas that came to me were YA.  Gwendolyn is my pen name.  My alter ego, if you will.  And I would be very, VERY upset if my teen readers found out about Escape from Paradise and ran out to buy it.  For those of you who have read it, you can only image the kind of mind-screw that could give a teen.  So I have been very careful to keep my Gwendolyn stuff separate from my Young Adult stuff.  It probably wouldn't be too difficult to figure out who I "really" am, but if you do I ask with all respect that you please keep it between us.

I promise you, I am completely open to writing Josef's story as soon as the inspiration hits again, but I am a slave to my creative juices, and I'm not one of those writers who can force them to flow a certain direction.  I just go with it.  I hope you will understand and be patient with me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Monday, July 8, 2013

A Little About Me and My Crazy Book

Hi everyone.  First of all, thank you so much for all of the support and enthusiasm in the past two weeks since Escape from Paradise published!  With a story of this nature I was extremely nervous and didn't know what to expect.  I know there are disturbing parts - believe me, I was uncomfortable as I wrote them, but in my mind they were necessary to the plot.  Even so, I had to get a pep talk from my friend before each scene early in the story, needing her to push me through it.

You see, "in real life" I'm not a gritty, badass, hardcore woman.  I'm sort of a softie.  I work with teens and I rarely curse.  I giggle a lot and I embarrass easily.  My television can be found on Disney Junior at any given time (for my kids, not me, I swear).  

Strange to imagine for those of you who have read my book, huh?  And for those who know me?  I'm afraid for them to read it.  In a moment of desperation for editing eyes prior to publication, I had my husband read the story.  He laughed at my lack of gun knowledge and helped me out with some of Colin's scenes.  But I still get funny looks from him sometimes. . . like he's not sure if he should be turned on or disturbed by me.  Perhaps a little of both.  Poor guy.  But I tried to warn him ahead of time.  It's some shocking stuff that came out of my head.

So, where did I get the idea?

Years ago when Natalie Holloway disappeared from Aruba, her family was on Dr. Phil (back when I watched grown up stuff on television now and then).  There was discussion and speculation that she was possibly sold into sexual slavery.  I remember being terrified at the thought, and horrified on behalf of her parents.  But one little thought bubbled up from that - I thought, Well, if she is still alive, then maybe there's a chance of escape or rescue!  At least if she were alive somewhere, there might still be hope.  But I suppose that would have depended on her circumstances.  Death is preferable to some lives.  

Over the years I was morbidly intrigued by these thoughts.  About how a "normal American girl" like her or me or you would fare in that kind of kidnapping scenario.  How long would it take to break someone down?  What kind of atrocities would a "master" perform to psychologically break down a slave, and to make him/her loyal?  And what would life be like after slavery for one who was rescued?  These are all questions that were swirling around in my mind for a long, long time before details of this story began to emerge and take over my imagination.

I would never make light of sexual slaver.  Ever.  The sex trade is real, and it's disgusting.  My husband just forwarded an article to me this week about news that surfaced about a former powerful dictator's secret life as a slaver.  It made me ill and so terribly sad.  As I say in the book, there is nothing sexy about rape.  For those who worry that I'm exploiting the sex trade or trying to romanticize it, I assure you my intentions are the opposite. 

Please keep in mind that Escape from Paradise is a work of fiction meant to be about facing one's demons - a story where we can explore the mind's many dimensions and how sexuality plays into that. And it's a story about how love and hope can rise up out of the ashes of something horrible.  Because that, ultimately, is something I believe in.  Love and hope.

Thank you and take care,

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Hi everyone!
I've been a reader and writer for years, but since I'm new on the adult romance scene I figured it'd be best to give everyone a taste of my writing style, so I'm sharing the first chapter.  My stories are very character driven.  Escape from Paradise is much, much darker than anything I've ever written.  It deals with some upsetting circumstances, and it's intended for adult readers.

I'd love to hear from you! Visit my Facebook fan page for character images.



Angela Birch

Full blown guilt didn’t hit me until I stepped off the plane into Mexico’s heat. 
Crap...If Mom and Dad find out I went to Cancun for spring break behind their backs—
Wooo! We’re in Meh-hee-co, baby!” Sabrina, one of the three sorority sisters I’d come with from Texas, screamed right in my ear. She was ready to go with her sunglasses and floppy sunhat covering her red curls. “Cheer up, girl.” She linked her arm through my elbow and pulled me tighter. “Nobody’s gonna find out. What happens in Cancun stays in Cancun.” She bumped her hip to mine and I tried to smile. 
“God, Angela, I hope you don’t whine about your parents the whole three days we’re here,” said Caryn from behind us.
And just like that my smile disappeared.
“Chill, Caryn.” Sabrina shot the warning over her shoulder, squeezing my arm.
Caryn decided to come at the last minute, much to my disappointment. We used to get along great, and even joke about being twins with our straight, blonde hair. But she had this weird competitive jealousy toward me ever since we were pledging last semester. Rumor had gotten around that her boyfriend left her to try and hook up with me. He never attempted to talk to me, probably because rumor also got around that I wanted nothing to do with him. I was newly single after an emotional breakup with my high school boyfriend, so the last thing I wanted was drama. But the damage was done, and Caryn had been bipolar toward me ever since.
“Everything’s gonna be great, guys.” Megan slid on her sunglasses and tugged my ponytail. I loved Megan, our resident peacemaker, always positive and as boy crazy as could be. Her dark spirals bounced on her shoulders as she pulled Caryn up and linked arms with the rest of us. The four of us—Caryn, Megan, Sabrina, then me—set off from the airport together.
I did all the talking with the cab driver and hotel personnel. Even though most of them spoke English, I enjoyed the opportunity to practice my Spanish skills. It was one of the main reasons I’d wanted to come so badly. I was majoring in Spanish and minoring in Communications. Nothing beat real life conversation. Plus, the locals seemed happily surprised when this little blonde American girl spoke the native language, and I liked crushing some of those stereotypes about how most of us spoke nothing but English. Even though the stereotype was true.
The concierge was so pleased with my efforts that he sent four rum punches to our room. We cheered when we saw the beautiful glasses with cherries, lime wedges, and little umbrellas. 
“Cheers to Angela and her mad Español skills,” Caryn said in one of her kind moments. I felt myself warm to her when she smiled at me. When she was nice like this it made me miss her.
“Cheers,” we all said, clinking glasses.
I took a tentative sip and coughed. 
“Damn!” Sabrina laughed.
“This has to be local rum.” Megan took another drink and smacked her lips, raising her eyebrows. “We’re not in Texas anymore girls!”
I wasn’t a huge drinker. The girls had come to count on me as their designated driver, and that worked for me because alcohol made me puke every time. 
But I drank half of the strong punch before handing it to Sabrina. She rewarded me with a loud kiss on the cheek. Caryn and Megan went out on our tiny balcony and made cat calls to guys walking by.
I reached for my phone, checking for missed messages from my parents. Sabrina took it from my hand and tossed it to my bag.
“They think we’re camping somewhere with no reception, remember?” Sabrina whispered, “We made a pact not to post any pictures. They’ll never find out. Now get your suit on and let’s have some fun.”
I nodded. It wasn’t that I’d never lied to my parents before. I’d snuck out back in high school, and forged notes to skip class, but this was different. They’d specifically told me “Absolutely not” when I asked to go to Cancun. Yes, they were overprotective of their only daughter, even though I was a sophomore in college now, and that was annoying. But they trusted me and I’d used that to manipulate them. 
After that, when I’d approached them with Sabrina’s fake plan for a camping trip on her grandparent’s land, they thought it was a great idea. They gave me way too much money to buy supplies and food. Their money coupled with money I’d earned over Christmas break was just enough to cover my flight and hotel.
If I’d have known the guilt would be this bad I wouldn’t have gone. But now I was here for three nights, and there was nothing I could do to take it back. So I reached for my bathing suit  and told myself I’d use the experience to hone my language skills for when I was a translator someday. Everything was going to be fine.
It was easier to let the guilt slip away when my toes dug into the soft, hot sand and I was peering out at crystal blue water. Texas beaches were nice, but nothing like this. The sand here was white, and the atmosphere up and down the beach was like a huge party. Most of the people were U.S. college kids on Spring break, but some were from other countries, and then there were the local hotties with their dark tanned bodies. I had to admit it was kind of awesome.
“I so need a guy,” Megan said, eyeing the group playing volleyball near where we sat on our towels. 
“So does Angela,” Sabrina said. She tried to hand me her margarita. 
“No thanks.” I was still slightly lightheaded from half a freaking drink. “And I don’t need a guy.”
“Need, want, whatever,” Megan said, flipping her dark curls at a six-pack who walked by. She giggled when he grinned at her.
“How long has it been?” Sabrina asked me. “A year?”
My face warmed and it had nothing to do with the blazing sun.
“Ten months,” I mumbled.
All three of them snorted as they tried to hold back laughter, even Caryn, though she looked asleep as she lay on her back, soaking rays on her flat belly.
“Bitches,” I said, falling back on my towel and closing my eyes. When they laughed harder I cracked a smile too. “It’s not like I never hook up.” 
“She’s a relationship kind of girl,” Megan offered. 
It was true. I liked the comfort of being committed if I was going to have sex, and I’d only had that with one person in my life. Too bad our love hadn’t been strong enough to last through the long distance. 
Sabrina scoffed and leaned on her elbows. “We’re all hookin’ up in Cancun.”
The three of them raised their margaritas and I raised my lame bottle of water.
“Cheers to boys,” Megan said.
Hot boys,” Caryn corrected, and we all drank to that.

When I was finally relaxed enough to let go of the guilt, I came alive. The first two days flew by in a blur of late nights and waking hours soaking up sun. I was open to meeting a guy, but when that didn’t happen I was happy to keep an eye on my three friends and make sure we all made it back to the room safely each night. During the days the other three might sneak off with guys they’d met, but at night we all came home together—no sketchy hotel flings. When Megan had asked to stay out longer the night before, and the guy she was with offered to walk her back to our room, we shot them down and dragged her back, ignoring her drunken pleas.
She was still bitter when we all woke at ten the next morning.
“He was the cutest guy I’ve met here! What if I can’t find him again? It’s our last day!”
“There’s tons of guys here, Meg,” Sabrina grumbled from her hungover fetal position on our bed.
Megan flung her forearm over her eyes. “You guys are evil. Seriously. Spawns of the horned one.”
We smiled at that, because we knew she loved us.
“He could’ve been a serial killer using his baby face as a disguise,” I told her. I was the only one up and about, moving around the room getting ready.
“Or some guy on a mission to knock-up as many girls as possible,” Caryn said from her spot next to Meg.
“Or a herpes and HIV carrier with a vengeance against women,” Sabrina chimed from her fetal position.
“Ugh!” Megan flopped onto her belly and groaned into her pillow.
I leaned forward and smacked her butt, making her jump. “Come on. Last day on the beach. Let’s go!”
“Geez, someone’s all hot to trot after moping the whole first day,” Caryn said. She was looking just as groggy as Megan.
“I didn’t mope the whole time.” I grabbed my brush and ran it through my shoulder-length layers. “Just the first couple hours.”
“I need some fucking coffee,” Sabrina said, rubbing her temples. “But I can’t move.”
I sighed. “You guys suck. How about I go get us some coffees and those pastry things? But when I get back you have to get your little asses out of bed. Deal?”
They grumbled their agreement, and Sabrina pointed to her purse with the money. I took what I needed and headed out.
We’d discovered an amazing cafe and restaurant near the hotel the day before. I smiled at the aproned woman behind the counter. 
“Quatro cafe con leches, por favor,” I said. 
She brightened at my use of Spanish and said, “Ah, bueno” as she got to work.
The bell to the door chimed as I hovered over the pastry counter, staring in at the mouth-watering delicacies. I bit my lip, trying to decide between the little strawberry shortcakes or fruit-filled pastries. The croissants also looked heavenly.
“It’s hard to decide, no?” said a rich male voice from behind me. 
I turned and my insides swooped at the sight of the gorgeous Hispanic guy. Definitely a local with his smooth, accented English, tanned skin, and black wavy hair. But he was dressed in expensive-looking clothes—crisp dark jeans that fit perfectly and an unwrinkled button down shirt.
A fierce blush rose to my cheeks when I realized I’d been staring. I smiled a little and glanced back at the case, saying, “Yes…everything looks so good.”
The guy stepped closer. I couldn’t get a read on how old he might be. Most likely older than me, probably mid twenties. 
“It is all good, trust me. But my favorite is the chicken soup.”
“Chicken soup?” 
He stood next to me again.
“Sí. The arroz con pollo. It’s delicious.” Rice with chicken. He smiled with straight, white teeth, and my tummy wobbled with excited nerves.   
“That sounds...good.” I would have never bought chicken soup by choice, but with this guy recommending it I wanted to buy the whole pot.
“My name is Fernando.” 
He stuck out a warm, firm hand and I shook it, glad when he didn’t let go right away.
“I’m Angela.”
“Angela.” The way he said my name in his accented English, giving the “g” an “h” sound made me shiver. 
Dude. This guy was…wow. 
The cafe matron slid my four coffees across the counter in a beverage carrier. She shot a misgiving frown at Fernando before smiling at me.
“Anything else, bonita?”
“Um, yes.” Since she’d asked me in English, and I was flustered by Fernando’s presence, I found myself slipping back into English myself. “Four arroz con pollos, and four croissants to go, please.”
Again she shot a glare that I couldn’t read toward Fernando, but when he stared back at her she quickly dropped her eyes and began ladling soup into containers. She handed me a large bag after I paid, and we exchanged smiles. Her eyes darted to Fernando for a fraction of a second. I couldn’t understand why he made her nervous.
“Thank you so much,” I said.
“Enjoy, Miss. And be safe.” She didn’t look toward Fernando again, even to ask what he wanted, and he didn’t try to order. It was all very strange.
But Fernando beamed at me, so I suppose I’d misread the awkwardness. Or maybe there was some history there. Small town family drama or something.
“Your hands are very full, Angela. May I help you?”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
“Please. Let me.”
I handed him the bag of food while I held the coffees. “Thanks.”
“De nada,” he said, then laughed. “I mean, you’re welcome.”
I laughed too, because oh my gosh, he was too cute. The girls were never going to believe I’d picked up a sexy local on a coffee run.
Outside in the sunshine I started to feel bad. It was only a couple blocks to the hotel, but I was sure he probably had stuff to do. I mean, he went in the cafe and didn’t even get anything.
“You really don’t have to walk me all the way to the hotel,” I said.
“Don’t you worry. My destination is farther. However, if you wish to repay me I have a request.”
My heart jumped a little. “Oh? And what’s that?”
“That you come to this club tonight.” He adjusted the bag to one arm and pulled a business card from his back pocket, holding it up between his fingers for me to see before slipping it into the bag.
“I’ll talk to my friends, but I’m sure we can swing it.” And what I really meant by that was that I would beg, scream, and kill to get to the club if I had to.
“I would be very sad not to see you again, Angela.” He was smooth. Probably too smooth. The kind of guy I’d normally veer from, but he’d already ensnared me and there was no turning back now.
“I’ll be at the beach all day today,” I said, embarrassed by the hope in my voice.
“That would be a beautiful sight. However I have much work to do.” 
We stopped in front of the high rise, moving to the side next to a palm tree to let people pass. I balanced the coffee carrier on one outstretched hand and reached for the bag of food. He handed it over with a grin and gave me a bow of his head.
“Until tonight, then.”
“Yeah. Tonight. Thank you.” 
I bit my lip to hold back my enthusiasm, and turned to enter the hotel. As soon as I was inside the smile overtook my face. I was still geeking out when I got to our room. The girls were in bed, but they were at least sitting up now.
“What the hell are you smiling about?” Sabrina asked, but seeing me had caused her to break into a grin, too.
“Hottest guy ever.” I set down the food and drinks and flopped onto the bed on my back.
All three of them pounced.
“Who?” “Where?” “What’s his name?”
I told them the whole story, leaving out the weirdness about the cafe lady, and they fawned with me. Megan grabbed a pillow, crushing her hips against it and said, “Oh, yes, Fernando!” I swatted her hip.
“Ew, hussie. Get your crotch off my pillow!” Sabrina snatched it away.
“This looks legit,” Caryn said, reading the business card for the club. “We should definitely check it out.”
That made me sit up and clap my hands. I might have even kicked my heels in the air a little. We were all in good moods now. They didn’t even complain about the chicken and rice soup, which, by the way, was as delicious as Fernando’d promised—light and flavorful—definitely the healthiest thing we’d eaten since we got there.
After we ate and got our caffeine fixes, we put on our suits and headed out for our last rays of Mexico sun. The day was amazing. My skin was as dark and beautiful as it had ever been. We made friends with some of the other people in the hotel, and played games of volleyball. Megan found her guy from the night before, promptly attaching her mouth to his for the duration of the afternoon.
The giddy excited feeling Fernando had given me stayed with me all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about the gorgeous, dark-eyed guy, and how nice he’d been. It had been a long time since I felt excited about a guy. Trevor and I stuck it out through our freshman year of college before admitting to ourselves that it didn’t feel right anymore. After that I made out with a few guys at parties, but never felt any connections. Nobody had turned me on enough to make me think about sex again. Until now. 
My nerves were still jumping that night when we showed the business card and got free admission into the darkened dance club. My eyes started scanning before they were adjusted to the lack of light. I didn’t bother trying not to look eager. It didn’t seem necessary since he was the one who’d pursued me. 
In the end, Fernando was the one who found us.
“Hola, Angela,” he said into my ear. I could feel the heat of him behind me, and I saw my three friends as they practically licked him up and down with their eyes.
I turned and hugged him, surprising myself, but he only chuckled and hugged me back. I pulled away, motioning to the girls.
“Fernando, this is Caryn, Sabrina, and Megan. Girls, this is Fernando.”
“It is a pleasure to meet Angela’s beautiful friends.” 
When he smiled they all melted into giggles, and I wanted to shout, “I told you! Hottest guy ever!”
Fernando knocked on the bar behind him, and a handsome older man raised his eyebrows.
“Anything these four women want tonight is on me, sí?”
“Sí, Señor.” He looked at us girls. “What are we having tonight, eh? Something fresh and fruity?”
I stepped back with Fernando while the girls moved to the bar and proceeded to laugh at everything the bartender said. 
“Are you working?” I asked.
He tweaked my chin. “My work is done for today. Now I can enjoy. Do you dance?”
An unfamiliar song was blaring through the club, but it had a good beat.
“Sure.” I took his hand and tapped Sabrina’s shoulder. When she looked, I pointed to the dance floor to let her know where I’d be and she winked. 
Fernando led me into the swarm of people under flashing lights, and within moments our bodies were pressed together, my hands on his shoulders and his hands on my hips. He had the moves. I could feel his toned body under his clothes, and I loved the spicy scent of his cologne—especially the fact that he’d used it sparingly. I was feeling him, everything about him, and when I looked up into his dark eyes I let it be known.
His arms slipped behind my back as my arms went around his neck and he tugged me until our mouths met. His lips and tongue worked mine in a perfect balance of harmony. I’d never been kissed like that. Never had a kiss affect my whole body, making me weak and hyper at the same time. 
His hands slid down over my bottom and squeezed hard, making me gasp against his mouth. He laughed and moved his hands back to my waist before looking in my eyes.
“So fucking beautiful.”
I needed to catch my breath. I was feeling reckless…thinking thoughts that were not me. Wishing he’d push me up against the wall and feel me up in public. The thought both shamed and thrilled me. He was a total stranger. But this was my last night in Cancun—on the trip that only happened because I’d been rebellious—and I wanted to be wild and carefree, just this once.
I felt like all these thoughts were plastered across my face as Fernando looked down on me, studying me, moving strands of hair from my face with his nimble fingers.
A new song started and he turned me around, pulling me against his chest, and grabbing my hips to grind his sexy self into the back of my skirt. I arched my back, lifting my butt for better leverage, and he nipped my ear.
“Bad little girl.”
Sounds of my friends’ laughter and voices trailed to us as they entered the dance floor, drinks held above their heads.
“Oh, my gawd,” Sabrina hissed in my ear. “He is hot as shit.” 
I tried not to giggle like an idiot as Megan and Caryn waggled their eyebrows and made lewd gestures when Fernando turned to say something to some guys who’d walked up.
The guys surrounded us and each took a girl. They were all good-looking, but nothing like Fernando. We danced until we were tired and sweating lightly.
“Let’s get a drink,” Fernando shouted.
The eight of us made our way back to the bar. 
“What would you like, beautiful?” Fernando asked me. 
“Just a soda, please.”
He cocked his head as if curious, but nodded and turned to the bartender.
“Una cerveza y una coca-cola, por favor. Hagala especial.”
A special coke?
The bartender stiffened and raked me with his eyes before looking back at Fernando. “Una nińa Americana—estas seguro?” An American girl—are you sure? What was that supposed to mean? Did he have something against Americans?
“No yeah metas en mid asuntos.” Fernando snapped. Get out of my business. 
“What’s wrong?” I asked Fernando. 
His eyes were dark. “You like cherries, yes?”
“Um…yeah?” I watched the bartender’s back as he turned to make my drink. He didn’t pour any alcohol, so at least I knew it wasn’t some spiked special, not that I thought Fernando would do that. When the man turned back around he plunked two fat cherries on top with grenadine syrup and slid it to me. Ah...the “especial” cola had cherries.
“Thank you.” I smiled at the bartender, but he only scowled down at the bar, refusing to look at us. Fernando smiled and the awkwardness between he and the bartender slipped away. I took a big drink and felt refreshed after all that dancing.
I was happy when Sabrina and Megan came over. Caryn was deep in conversation with one of Fernando’s friends.
“We’re going in the next room to play pool,” Sabrina said. “Wanna come?”
I looked to Fernando, who shook his head.
“Not yet. One more dance,” he said. His smile melted me. Who could resist that kind of charm?
“Come over when you’re done!” Megan flung her arms around me for a hug before practically bouncing away. Sabrina squeezed my hand and gave me a meaningful look, like she was happy for me, and then she left to catch up with Meg. I smiled in their wake.
Fernando clinked his beer bottle to my glass and we both drank. When mine was almost done he said, “I want to see you eat your cherries.”
Now who was being bad? I’d never thought myself good at the whole seduction thing, but he made me want to give it a try.
I fished one out, licking the drop of coke and watching him as I took it into my mouth. He seemed to approve. I tried to feed him the other one, but he laughed and reverted the fruit toward my mouth. I dropped it on my tongue and closing my mouth. I’d never been so flirtatious with a guy.
“Angela…” Fernando trailed the back of his fingers up and down my arm. “Would you be very mad if I lied to your friends?”
“About what?” I asked.
“I do not wish to dance again. I want a few minutes alone before you leave me.”
I bit my lip as my heart sped up. “Where would we go? I don’t want my friends to worry.”
He leaned down to speak right in my ear, making me shiver. “My car is outside. In back where it’s private. We won’t be gone very long.” 
When I looked up at him and nodded, I felt shy all of a sudden. I let him take my hand. We made our way through the people to an exit door, and into a small dirt lot behind the building. A handful of cars were there, along with nearby shanty houses with dirt yards. I thought I heard the low cluck of hens as Fernando opened the back door of a sedan with heavily tinted windows. He waved a hand for me to get in. A momentary pang of apprehension shot through me until I looked into his smiling face.
I climbed in and he slid beside me, closing the door and encasing us in darkness. It was a full moon, but there weren’t any street lamps. The car smelled like new leather. I looked down and could barely make out my tanned knees.
Fernando pushed my hair aside and kissed my neck. “How do you feel, Angela?”
“Nervous,” I whispered, immediately getting turned on again by the feel and smell of him.
“Are you a virgin?” He trailed kisses down my neck to my naked shoulder, exposed in the black halter top.
“No, but…” It was a little disconcerting that he’d ask such a personal question first thing. It showed he had sex on the mind. Of course he did—he was a guy. Even I’d had sex on my mind all day. But I still wasn’t sure if I planned to let it go that far. I wasn’t against it, but I also didn’t want it to be an assumed thing.
Fernando’s mouth found mine and his body pressed me back until I was laying with his weight on me. His hands pushed my skirt up and grabbed my knee, hiking it so he was between my legs. As nervous as I was I couldn’t help but be aroused from his confident control and the way he moved against me. Even through our clothes I could tell he would be an amazing lover. I pushed my fingers into his hair and he surprised me by reaching up, grabbing my wrists, and thrusting them over my head before he continued to kiss me more passionately than I’d ever been kissed.
Nobody had ever pinned my hands over my head before, and it did crazy things to me. I bucked my hips, trying to grind closer. He readjusted my wrists so that they were both held together in one of his strong hands, and his other hand trailed down my body, between my legs. He pushed aside my panties and slid two fingers inside me.
I moaned and pushed my hips against his hand.
“You are so wet for me, Angela. My beautiful little slut.”
I tensed and froze at what he’d called me, but his hands kept working. 
“What is wrong?” he asked, pushing deeper. I could have sworn there was amusement in his voice. His fingers pushed slowly in and out, and I wished he would stop for a second. I was pissed off that he’d ruined our awesome moment. Maybe it was just a slip. A cultural misunderstanding. I needed to relax.
“Nothing’s wrong. I just...I don’t like that word,” I whispered. That was an understatement. I hated the word. 
“It’s just a word.”
“I know. But where I’m from it’s...offensive.” I was ready to drop the subject. “Look, no big deal, okay?” I wanted him to kiss me again. Turn me on again.
“There are two kinds of women.” His voice seemed to get colder. “Prudes and sluts. I can tell you are a slut, though you don’t like to admit it.”
What. The. Hell.
The apprehension I experienced earlier had nothing on the sick sensation going through me now. I felt him trying to slip a third finger inside me, and I pushed with my shoulders, attempting to sit up. His hand tightened on my wrists and his body felt heavier as his breathing picked up.
“Fernando…stop.” I rocked my hips and turned to the side, knocking him slightly off balance.
He pulled his fingers out of me and slapped my face hard, making me yelp. 
Holy shit. In the dimness I saw the white of his smile. That’s when panic set in and I really began to struggle. The more I fought and the louder I yelled, the harder I felt him get between my legs.
This could not be happening. My friends didn’t know where I was! Why was he doing this? Everything had been going fine. I started feeling woozy.
“Angela.” His voice was so smooth. So sickening. “Relax. You are angry over nothing. Be still and you will enjoy this.”
I blinked, my eyes feeling heavy, but my mind still angry.
“What alternate fucking reality do you live in where women enjoy being raped?” I spat the words, panting and verging on tears. A very small part of me still clung to the hope that he would see reason and stop. 
“American girls. Always so quick to cry rape. Where you are from, women wish to rule the men. Where I am from, women know their place. And they enjoy submitting. You should try it, Angela. I’m told it is freeing.”
He was a psycho. How could I have so horribly misread him? 
All I knew was that if Fernando raped me, he would not get away with it. My parents would nail his ass to the wall, using any means necessary. They were hard asses in the Texas legal world.
“My parents are both lawyersss…” Damn. All the struggling I’d done had made me so tired. My words were slurring. I felt heavy.
Fernando ran a finger down my cheek.
“That’s it,” he murmured. “You’re feeling good now, eh?”
No. His words. Oh, God. No. The special drink.  
In one last hurrah, I fought, bucking and clawing and thrashing with all the energy I had left. Fernando laughed. He fucking laughed. And then he flipped me over onto my stomach and tore my panties down. My tears soaked the leather seat where my face was pressed. A spinning sensation began. Fernando placed gentle kisses all over the side of my face, neck, and ear, while his hand worked to push my thighs apart. 
The last thing I felt before my world went black was Fernando forcing himself inside me.