3.4 Girls’ Day Out

The intercom by the door buzzed; Jillian pressed the talk button. “Hello.”

“It’s us!” Unmistakably, Flair’s voice.

“Coming!” She grabbed her keys and headed quickly downstairs.

Beside a full-sized metallic orange-red van with a narrow crimson stripe down the side, Min’s chair waited on the sidewalk, while a large woman with pinned-up copper-and-silver hair, in jeans and a white t-shirt, steadied Min down from the front passenger seat.

A light-skinned young woman, in cut-off denim shorts and a neon yellow tanktop and sandals, a yellow and black scarf tied over her black hair, pounced on Jillian for a welcoming hug. More on reflex than thought, Jillian returned it. She only looked like a normal human: during hugs, the unusual resilience of her flesh and the different give of the silver and gold gave her away as Flair. Knowing that, Jillian was able to see that the only thing that had changed, really, was the very surface. The lines of her face, the shape of her body, those remained the same.

“I’m glad you had enough sense to call and let us help!”

Min looked past her companion and smiled. “Good morning. I hope you slept well.”

“Better than most nights lately,” Jillian admitted. “It was enough of a relief, knowing I had help, that I actually managed not to spend half the night with my mind spinning.” Or caught in erotic fantasy scenes. “Thanks so much for this. Helping with moving can strain long-time friendships, even.”

“Don’t worry about it, okay?” Flair said. “We’ll spend a while doing some work, then have a wonderful relaxing afternoon downtown, then you can get some sleep knowing you’re that much closer to being done, and if you want, I’ll stay overnight and I’ll be all yours for packing for as long as you can put up with me.”

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3.3 Mindfulness

On the bus home from work, as usual, Jillian pulled out her phone to check messages.

Beep. Jill? I’m sorry, something came up and I’m going to be doing major overtime into the weekend. I know I said I’d help you move some of your stuff into storage Saturday and supper afterwards, but I really don’t have any choice about this. I’ll make it up to you, I promise. Love you! Beep. To save this message…”

Delete. Jillian looked morosely at her phone before going on to the next.

What to do? The storage space was paid for. She’d made arrangements with a local handyman with a truck. Technically the two of them could take her things down a flight and a half of stairs and load it, then she could hop in the truck alone with a complete stranger to go to the storage facility, the two of them could unload it, and she could figure out how to get home from there. Not having a car usually simplified her life but occasionally it was problematic.

Kaylee had a car, but she and Christine would almost certainly rate their day off as preferable to helping.

Asking elsewhere couldn’t hurt.

She hit the speed dial for Min.

“Hello, dear. How’s packing going?”

“Poorly, and I just had a new wrench tossed into the works. Remember I said I had to cancel tomorrow because Gary and I were moving some stuff to storage? He has to work and I’m on my own. I badly need to start getting stuff out so I have some room to work in to pack the rest, there isn’t even anywhere to put boxes when they’re full. I’m open to thoughts. I’m paying a guy with a truck tomorrow at ten, but it’s going to be a real job for two instead of three, and I don’t know him well enough to be sure I’m safe alone, y’know?”

“Sensible. Hm. Let me make a call or two.” She chuckled. “I’m obviously not much use on that one myself, but I know people. I’ll call you back.”

“Right.”

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3.2 Clear the Air

Beep. Kaylee and I made appointments to do the hair and nail thing Saturday. They’re keeping a spot open for you, but only if you call to confirm by five o’clock today. We haven’t seen you since the mall two weeks ago, and you aren’t answering most of your messages. What’s gotten into you? Tell me you’re coming and make sure you confirm! Beep. To save this message…”

Delete. On to the next. She’d told Kaylee she was busy with moving-related commitments on Saturday. Clearly they hadn’t paid attention—any more than to the fact she’d been saving Saturday afternoons for cofffee with Min for several months. Around her, the usual bus noises were just a background buzz, not worth noting.

Beep. Jill, please let me know you’re okay. Even just a quick text message that tells me the truth, because a couple of two and three word replies and a text that you have to cancel again to move some things to storage are not very convincing. I don’t want to intrude if you need time to yourself, and I know you’re busy, but I’m worried about you. Please? Beep. To save this message…”

Delete. It wasn’t the first message Min had sent her, though they didn’t come so frequently she could honestly call it harassment.

She’d cancelled her usual Saturday get-together with Min the past weekend, and again this weekend coming. Possibly it was understandable that she found herself feeling vaguely uncomfortable about the idea of seeing Min, but it was also a bit ridiculous. Time with Min usually managed to reduce her stress levels, and she was at least sure nothing had happened she hadn’t consented to for a good cause.

Sooner or later, she was going to have to tell Min something. She didn’t particularly want it to be, “I never want to see you again, leave me alone.” When she tried to be rational, she could understand Min’s concern: she was fairly sure they’d never in their friendship gone this long without at least a texted or emailed conversation. The problem was, she had no idea what to say.

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3.1 Resilience: Real World

Jillian woke from sleep that felt like it had been too deep for dreams—at least, any that she could remember. Tired… there was a reason she was so tired. She stumbled out of bed, stopped by the bathroom, and continued on to the kitchen. Still not really alert enough for much conscious information processing, she ate a plateful of leftovers from the fridge and made her way back to her bed.

Instead of falling back asleep, though, she drifted lazily in between. It felt wonderfully relaxing, really. There was nowhere she had to be. She had permission to just do nothing. And the images strolling through her mind were intensely erotic—safely so, as long as they stayed strictly on the inside of her skull, where there was no danger of them becoming terrifyingly real.

What would it be like, being turned into one of Sati’s works of art, admired and appreciated, listening to comments and compliments, with those around her unaware that she could hear them and see them and feel their hands? Being beautiful and desirable with no need to feel vain or embarrassed, because for a statue, there was no other point to existence, no ambiguity, no responsibilities waiting?

I won’t feel bad about feeling good.

It’s okay to feel sexy.

It’s okay to like people looking at me.

She barely even heard the whispers, they’d become such a familiar part of the background. Continue reading

Noveltrove and continuing

Since I’ve found a wider audience for this on Noveltrove Erotica (my author page), I’ll be picking it back up and going on with the editing and polishing and with releasing further chapters.

The format being different, I redistributed the contents of Jillian’s twelve-hour debt payment into 6 sections, rather than the 12 it takes here in smaller pieces. I considered revamping the posts here, but decided just to let it be. Future posts, however, will be of more variable length, just going with the natural length of the segment rather than arbitrary maximums.

Please note that I’ll be releasing chapters on Noveltrove one step ahead of releases here – so the chapter released there on a Tuesday will appear here on the next Friday, while the next new chapter comes up on Noveltrove. I think, since I have a lot of first draft to work from (like, seriously, a LOT!), I can keep up that pace while I work on other projects as well. If you don’t want to go there, or you want to sign up for notifications of new posts, you’re welcome to do so here – there’s a sign-up box in the sidebar, and I promise, I have zero interest in using your email address for nefarious purposes (I loathe spam and have no idea what else I’d use it for).

Happy reading! And let me know what you think!

(Edited To Add: new material, beginning the aftermath of Jillian’s first encounter with the fae, begins on Noveltrove on Fri Sept 21, and it’ll be posted here Tue Sept 25 – dates are approximate. There are still 3 posts to go before I catch up to here and then we can get on with the new stuff!)

On Pause

While I have quite a lot more to this story already in rough draft, just needing to be revised and polished, it’s going on pause for the time being. The response rate is so poor that I can realistically make better use of my time working on other projects. I will come back to this eventually, I’m having entirely too much fun with Jillian and company. If you see this and you’re interested, let me know, because that’ll change the priority level!

Meanwhile, check out Prysmcat Books for my other work!