Flashed! Excerpt ~ “The Prisoner”

Later this month, my newest release Flashed! will be available in print, but you can currently buy it in e-book format.

If you click on the link above, you’ll get two short excerpts from the collection, one poem and one story that will give you a taste of the type of stories in the collection.

There’s something for everyone in this collection ~ passion and sex, tenderness and love. Some of the stories are sweet, some hot, some melancholy. While most are contemporary, there are a smattering of fantasy stories, a historical or two, even a sexy romp featuring Robin Hood and Will Scarlett. A handful of love poems fill out the book.

Here’s one of the stories that hasn’t appeared online before. It’s called “The Prisoner.”

The Prisoner

Copyright 2011 by J.M. Snyder

He comes into the room, a bottle of champagne in his hand and a gleam in those wicked eyes. “What’s the occasion?” I ask, nodding at the bottle. I hate it when he drinks. Then his teasing takes on a meanness I don’t like. I can’t defend myself against it. I hope the bottle stays corked tonight.

He grins, and I know he’s already drunk. “It’s our night, baby,” he says, popping off the cork. The champagne bubbles out of the bottle, running down his hands to splash on the carpet. “Oops.”

“The carpet,” I whine. I hate it when I sound like this, childish and petty, but he does this to me. Him and his goddamn, bittersweet love. “There goes our security deposit.”

He grins again and rubs the spot into the carpet with his foot. “There you go,” he says, as if that’s supposed to make it better somehow. “No one will ever know. Have a drink.”

“I don’t feel like it.” I know I’m pouting and he hates when I do that, but I can’t help it. I don’t like him like this. “Please, can’t we just—”

“Just what?” he asks, his deep voice low. He narrows his eyes and purses his lips, studying me. I try not to squirm beneath his intense gaze. “Can’t we just what?”

I shrug. “Just watch TV or something.”

But he’s mad. I know he’s mad. I can feel his anger like a storm brewing between us, and I close my eyes. I don’t want to argue, not tonight of all nights. “Watch TV,” he says, his voice even. “Is that your idea of a good time?”

“No,” I whisper. It isn’t. A good time is him and me together, the rest of the world a million miles away. No cares, no worries, nothing to turn him from the man I love into this workaholic who feels he has to drink to loosen up, whose tongue is biting and quick when he’s drunk. I sigh. “I just want to be with you.”

“And I’m here.” He plops down on the bed. More champagne splashes out of the bottle, soaking the sheets, and I bite my tongue. I don’t want to start in on him. He takes a swig from the bottle. “You are with me. Sit down.”

I consider saying no, but what’s the point? Last time I did, he didn’t talk to me for a week. Seven days of hell without his voice in my ear, without his hands on my body, without his gaze turned my way. I will never say no again. I can’t live like that, without him.

I sit on the edge of the bed and he pulls me close. Resting my head against his chest, I breathe deep the coppery scent of alcohol surrounding him like a miasma, and I sigh.

“What’s wrong, baby boy?” he asks gently.

Sometimes these mood swings of his surprise me. I like him like this, holding me, calling me his baby boy. I want to stay this way forever. “Nothing.”

He drinks from the bottle again, his arms tightening around me. I feel like a prisoner locked in the cell of his heart and he’s the officer who holds the key to my freedom. The door is open, the cell unlocked. He’s told me many times. You can leave, you know. I’m not forcing you to be with me.

And then I…what? I cry. I plead. I beg. Like it was my fault, whatever it was this time that made him so angry.

Because I can’t live without him. I won’t. I just won’t.

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