| The Art o f Arousal  ​|

BOOK 1:  of the Masterpiece Collection

""Just like a good pussy cat." He cooed, with a slight smile tweaking his lips.

She blinked, realizing that she was staring like a fool. When his statement finally dawned on her, she frowned. "Huh?"

"Always showing up around dinner.""

| [DRAFT SAMPLE:  Rated "M" for Mature] |

LIFE WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS...

Jobless and fresh out of school, Tempest Moreland rents a cheap room in hopes that she'll find a job soon. There she meets her downstairs neighbor Joshua Cavaricci.

MAKING YOU EXPERIENCE FRUSTRATION...

Josh is struggling to create inspired work after his massive success muscles him into taking jobs for money.

ONLY SO YOU CAN DISCOVER...

When he witnesses his new neighbor pleasuring herself, he gets a new spark of creative invigoration as their relationship blossoms into a unique play of sex and companionship.

THE ART OF AROUSAL.

|1| In Her Own Hands

Josh sighed while he trudged up the stairs.

He combed his fingers through his hair, but the greasy mess fell back in his face. If he didn’t go up and paint right when he woke up, he knew inspiration would never strike. That’s how he felt lately, that the inspiration was just never there. He wasn’t sure why, other than the fact that his life had become boring as hell. He didn’t really think that was the case, however.

He unlocked the door to the upper unit and stepped inside, closing the door behind him.

He’d been contacted by several galleries to display his work or to commission new work. He should have been happy, and part of him was. He remembered when he begged people to let him display his work. Now, the problem was producing work to display. He’d been so desperate lately that he dug up old works stored in the attic for years, collecting dust. He’d fix some of them up to get them to a presentable state and pawn them off like they were his best pieces.

The truth was, he couldn’t find his fucking muse—

He paused when he heard moans coming from the end of the hall. He moved toward it, knowing good and got damn well what the sound was. His curious mind wanted to know who was making the sound. He’d seen his new neighbor moving in upstairs a few days before, but he hadn’t formally met her.

He ducked his head back around the corner when he saw the door to her room ajar and the light on. A vibrating noise was coming through the aperture, along with sensual feminine groans and moans of satisfaction. There was something about the quality and tone of her voice that he found stimulating. He swallowed, debating with himself. The angel was telling him to go in his studio and close the door, forget he ever heard anything. The nonchalant devil, who often won, was telling him to just take a quick peek.

His head was asking him, what could it hurt?  He wasn’t really feeling like painting anyway, and his cock was already finding immense enjoyment at the sound of the woman’s moans, and the anticipation of what he might see if he did take a peek. So, by a three to four vote, the angel lost.

Josh took a couple measured steps toward the door, but paused when the floorboards creaked under his weight.
He waited, but the woman didn’t seem to notice the sound. He swallowed the lump in his throat and crept closer to the lit opening. He peeked into the room, but her bed was behind the door, so he’d have to step inside to see.

Just when he was about to give up hope, his breath caught when he saw her reflection in a floor length mirror hanging off the closet door facing him.

He struggled to contain his own moan at what his eyes found.

A beautifully crafted cocoa-colored ass was up in the air, a dry towel falling off the woman’s body, exposing a supple breast. A metal vibrator was between her legs, stroking the swollen flesh that nestled there. She bit her lower lip, eyes closed, lost deep in her self-induced euphoria.

There was no thought when Josh’s hand drifted to the now-painful erection pressing against the zipper of his jeans. He stroked himself through the heavy fabric but he knew that wasn’t enough. He wasn’t even sure if his own hand would satiate his desire.

Liquid seeped down the woman’s opening, making his cock jump in the tight space. He licked his lips, wanting nothing more than to run his tongue from her clit to her ass. He unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans, freeing his penis. He exhaled at the relief.

It would be strange to—

Before he could chastise himself, his cock was in hand, and he was stroking its growing length. His eyes focused on the woman’s reflection in the mirror. Her hips were rolling to a rhythm in her head and she started humming, low and sultry. It was driving him near out of his mind, stoking his own need. A need that he knew wouldn’t be fulfilled by the release that was soon coming.

She planted her face in the pillow and shouted. Her legs spread wider, her breathing deepened, then the noise and movement ceased, her body in a tight contraction.

She was suspended in the hazy utopia of completion! Her pussy was pulsing, more liquid leaking down to her clit. He wanted to fill her sex with his own to keep her on that mountain. He wanted to grip her luscious ass in the palm of his hands and hold onto it, smack it, while he pounded into to her deep, slick—

Josh held in the sound of his orgasm by biting hard on his lip, as he released in his palm. His eyes closed, trying to recover from the moment. He slowly let out his breath and leaned his head on the wooden door frame.

Holy shit! A smirk tugged the corner of his mouth.

His heart jumped in his chest, when he finally opened his eyes and saw in the reflection of the mirror, two dark brown eyes looking back at him.

*
“Girl, this is a nice-ass neighborhood. They got another room available for me?”

Tempest shook her head, and a smile pulled the corner of her lips. “Fortunately for me, they don’t.” She got a really good deal on the room. In fact, the woman was practically giving it away.

“Hey, you bess watch ya mouth!” Deloris pressed Tempest’s shoulder with two fingers then flicked her long blonde wig with an open mouthed laugh before she backed out the driveway.

The landlord mentioned something about the man downstairs renting the room across from hers, on the other side of the bathroom, for his art studio. Her cheeks flushed when she recalled what she saw in the full length mirror hanging on her closet door.


    The man was in shadow, but there was no mistaking he was there, pants undone stroking his cock, while he watched her in the mirror.

All the moving had her stressed. So, after her shower, she decided to blow off some steam. Boy did she blow, and apparently so did he. She could only imagine how awkward it was going to be when she ran into him again.

Tempest cleared her throat bringing her thoughts back to the current moment. “You know as well as I do that we’d drive each other crazy if we lived together.”

“True, true, but I can have Living Single dreams, can’t I?”

“Sure, somewhere, with someone else. Although I could see us in the bathroom,” Tempest held out the last word her voice crescendoing into song. “I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way? My girl.”

“My girl.”

“My girl!”

Then together. “Talkin’ ‘bout myy giiirl. My girl! HOO-HOO-OOH” They burst into laughter flying down the city streets, Deloris’s drop-top kicked back, the wind thrashing their hair as the sun assaulted them with its warm rays.

“Where we going?”

“I was thinking downtown. I have some fabric I need to get to make a new client a bomb-ass tailored jacket. Thought we could grab some food. Then, I gotta drop your jobless ass back at home to grind.”

“Why you gotta come at me like that?” Tempest struggled keeping her face serious. Deloris had a way of insulting, but making it light-hearted. Tempest knew Deloris was right. The few months she had to find a job would fly by and her bills would not stop in that time frame.

“Because I been tellin’ you forever to get a side hustle, okay?”

    She waved her friend off. “All I need is one good job. I’m not greedy.” Was it so much to ask for?

    “You better get greedy, my friend.” The woman switched lanes, ignoring a honk from a car she cut off.

    “I don’t need much. I’m humble. Question is who’s going to keep you humble?” She gasped at Deloris when the woman flipped off the person she cut in front of.

    Deloris glanced over at Tempest from over her leopard print glasses. “Oh, I pity the soul that takes on that suicide mission. ‘Cause I’m a man eater.” She sang that last part, making Tempest laugh with a shake of her head.

    They came to a stop at a light next to a sleek silver Lamborghini.

    “Look at this shit.” Deloris mumbled when the driver rolled his window down.

“Hey, ladies!” The man yelled to them.

“Don’t make eye contact.” Deloris said, out the side of her mouth.

“What? He’s cute. Nice car. Kind of seems like the kind of guy you’d go for.” Tempest nudged her friend.

“He’s a broke-ass poser.” Deloris rolled her eyes.

“How do you know?”

“Because I can spot them. Some people were born with the talent to count shit. That’d be you. Others were born to spot fakes. Those Giuseppe dupes that Marina tried to get us with last month, spotted them. Dior shades on Felicia Carter’s face high school senior year? I think not. But the snitch tried me, didn’t she? Come again, boo boo. And now you got this trick in this Lambo? He renting that shit,” Deloris said, without hesitation.

“But how do you know?”

“It’s a gift.” She sped off when the light turned green. When the Lamborghini passed them Tempest saw the rental info on the license plate and burst out laughing.

“You were clocking that car.”

“Hell yeah. You want to be able to tell the real from the fake, then you’ve got to know what the real looks like.”

They clapped hands and turned up the radio when one of their favorite pop songs blared over the speakers.


Tempest set her laptop next to her and pushed off the couch when she saw he delectable neighbor walk out the house tossing a backpack over his shoulder. She swallowed, thinking about what she saw in the reflection of her mirror. Could she have been hallucinating? DId she see him…

She leaned on the wall adjacent to the window that overlooked the sidewalk when he straddled his bike. One pant leg of his simple brown pants was tucked inside his sock. It looked ridiculous, but his stylish well groomed hair and supple lips claimed her focus.

He certainly was beautifully made. She sighed watching him bike away then shook herself. Mooning over this man like you’re in elementary school, girl, stop it. She needed to get these applications out into the electronic void, so she could feel like she was actually taking steps closer to a career. That’s one thing about college that she hated. The lack of forward thinking. Now they had their career center, career fairs, but she always found them meaningless, sterile. They were so focused on getting graduates into a job and less about figuring out what they actually wanted to do with their degree.

She thought she wanted to do accounting. She also had her eyes set on a particular firm for quite some time, but they were one of the best firms in the city, best pay, best benefits, competition was going to be fierce. She had to get that resume in but she’d been struggling with the cover letter. How do you differ from all the other cookies that had been stamped out of the same mold?

She sighed and plopped on the couch bringing her laptop back to its position on her lap. She had to think of something, something, creative. Her neighbor was a creative type maybe he would have some valuable input. She was tempted after her shower to venture into the room he rented across the hall from hers. The door was never locked, always slightly ajar, it seemed to be an invitation. He wasn’t concerned about theft or snooping. Must not the way he was snooping on her the other night.

She tried to be annoyed by the situation, creeped out even, but there was something arousing about the entire thing. She was so lost in her own pleasure, that she didn’t notice him in the shadows. Didn’t notice him taken so by her actions that he had to discover his own satisfaction.

She shook the thought. She had less than an hour to get out two more job application before meeting up with the girls for lunch; then, on to her check-up appointment. She thought this would be a time of exploration, graduating without a job right away, but it was proving to be stressful as hell. Her bills weren’t waiting for no one, and the six month grace period before her loans started forcing it up her ass was a pending doom all its own. She had to find a got damn job and quick.

An unproductive hour later she was on the phone with Deloris heading down the stairs to her car.

“Why are you late? You live right around there.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll be there soon I’m walking out the do-ah!” She jumped, dropping her phone when a tall body was waiting on the other side of the door, key poised. She swallowed meeting cool grey eyes. Her mouth opened, but no noise came out as she took in her handsome neighbor’s well groomed facial features, long slanted eyes, stylish messy hair some hanging in his face.

“Didn’t mean to startle you.” He said, presenting a roguish smile.

Deloris!

They both beant down toward her phone and bumped heads.

“Ow!” They said simultaneously grabbing their injuries.

He held up his hands. “I got it.”

She stood their while he retrieved her phone and handed it out to her. “Joshua, Josh for short. I live down stairs.”

She watched his mouth pull up at the corners in amusement.

“Do you have a name?” He asked after they stared at each other for a awkward amount of time.

She blinked. Creepy staring upstairs neighbor was her name at the moment. “Uh...um, yes, I do. It’s Tempest.”

His eyebrows raised. “Wow, don’t think I’ve heard that name before.”

She shrugged trying desperately to find her cool. It was just so freaking hot. “Nice to meet you Joshua.”

“Likewise, Tempest.” He stepped to the side the same time she stepped the same direction. They corrected themselves at the same time, still blocking the other’s path. He laughed grabbing her shoulders to keep her still, then he moved to the side.

Her bare shoulders tingled at his touch. She looked up at him from under her lashes finding calm steady grey eyes gazing down at her. Her mind took her back to the evening before, seeing this man’s face relaxed under the haze of ecstacy. Cast mostly in shadow, she didn’t think it would be so distinct, so clear, but she didn’t think she’d ever forget it. She wondered if she’d ever see that look again. See more of him, all of him.

He cleared his throat, bringing his hands to his side. “Enjoy your afternoon.”

“Yeah, you too.”

He walked inside and she made her way in a sort of haze to her car. Her mind started conjuring all the elements, the missing pieces that was, Joshua. The way he smelled like man, light cologne and hair product. The heat from his hands, the strong lithe muscles that lay under the thin layer of his shirt. Those got damn dreamy eyes, and his rather full lips.

She started the car forcing herself to focus. She needed to hurry the hell up, so she could move because she had a feeling he was going to get his ass mauled if she ran into him one too many times.

“About time.” Deloris said when Tempest walked into the coffee shop ten minutes later. Tempest frowned when she saw men sitting at the table with her friends.

“What the hell, Del? I thought this was a girls’ brunch.”

Deloris shrugged. “Don’t look at me.”

“Look at me!” Marina pulled Tempest into a grand hug getting the same enthusiasm back. The two girls rocked back and forth before pulling apart.

“Look twin,” Tempest frowned at her friend. “What the hell are you up to?” The two women were not related, but people always said they favored each other; so, they embraced it.

“Oh, nothing, just thinking you’d appreciate a hard six pack, and a strong set of shoulders. Ryan, this is Tempest. Tempest, this is Ryan.”

Tempest waved and took the open seat next to the handsome well made man. She leaned into Marina and said with clenched teeth. “What did I say about blind dates? Remember what happened last time?”

Marina winced at the reminder. “I didn’t know he was crazy like that.”

“Exactly. Now, I’m going to smile and nod through this, and you’re never going to do it again. Understood?”

Marina’s head fell but she nodded.

“Excellent! Now, tell me what’s the word on the street?”

“Look, I want to know what’s the deal with this neighbor of yours? I saw his fine ass.” That was Deloris.

“Seriously, we’ve got guests at the table.” Marina mumbled.

“It’s not my fault you turned our girls’ brunch into a triple date thing.”

“There’s nothing to tell.” Tempest interjected not ready to play referee to her two best friends. “He lives below me. I met him for the first time this afternoon. We uh, literally ran into each other the phone fell call dropped. You know awkward first meeting thing.”

“Mhm.” Deloris said. “That boy don’t know he gone be wrapped around your finger.”

Tempest shifted a flash of the previous day claiming her mind’s eye. “What?”

“I can feel it. I told you I know things.”

“Whatever, Del. Let’s talk about something more interesting like the new client you just added to your roster.”

“Blair can’t keep nothin’ to himself can he?” Deloris rolled her eyes. “Well, It’s Ms. Stevie Lota!”

“What!” Marina shrieked. “You did not tell me!” She curled her bottom lip like a child. “I feel so abandoned.”

“I didn’t tell anyone, but somehow people find out go figure. It’s cool.”

“Cool! Cool! She is fashion. She is like everything every person wants in a fashion icon! Edgy, sexy, down to earth. If I were into women, I’d make her all mine.”

“Alright, alright, now I know who not to bring around. If you're hanging with Dellie you must keep your cool mkay?”

|*|

Josh pulled up the metal gate of the old industrial elevator and walking into Kyle’s messy workshop.

“God, you’re going to die up here. Crack a window.”

“When inspiration strikes, I just go with it.” The tall slender man pulled up the workman’s mask on his face revealing a reddish-brown, overgrown beard and wild light brown eyes. His long brown strands were pulled in a sloppy, greasy high bun on top of his head.

“Dude, how long have you been metalworking?”

The man shrugged.

“Days? You look like you haven’t eaten in two maybe three.”

Kyle waved his friend off and made his way to the small mini kitchen where Josh set a bag of sandwiches. “From my favorite deli!” Kyle exclaimed unwrapping a sandwich and chomping off half in his mouth.

“Jesus, were you raised by bears?”

Josh’s friend raised an eyebrow. “‘Pends on when you see my dad. He’s pretty bear like in the winter time.” He stuffed a pickle in his face. “The only way a cucumber should ever approach me.” He mumbled, his eyes closing slowly as he worked on devouring the meal.

Josh leaned on the full height refrigerator watching his friend consume the calories

Kyle tapped the table top next to him. “Thought we were having lunch together, man?”

“I’m not really hungry.” Josh’s mind drifted to the previous evening and his Peeping-Tom behavior which was not one of his finer moments. The reward was-- He cocked his head to the side. Worth the loathsome feeling in his conscious mind.

“Who is she?” Kyle mumbled through a mouth full of sandwich.

“What?”

“The chick, that has you all,” Kyle tapped his head then moved his hand away from it. “You’re all glazed over and daydreamy, so, dish. Who’s pussy you climb in this time.” Kyle clamped his mouth on the straw and slurped. “Oh, that’s nice. Mango and strawberry smoothie?”

Josh nodded. “With chia seeds and other shit to make sure your ass stays regular.”

“Nice. You’re a good bro, man.”

“I know.”

“So, you gonna to dish?”

Josh shrugged thinking how he was going to share this encounter without sounding like he felt: a fucking creep peeper. “Just to have you know, I didn’t crawl in an pussy. God that just sounds gross. Just uh, my neighbor. She’s cute that’s all.”

Kyle frowned sitting back in the chair sucking bread out his teeth. “Cute? I don’t think I’ve heard you talk about a chick like that since--” He broke off in thought. “Like never.”

“So, what piece are you working on?”

“Smooth topic change. Uh, it’s for this design competition called Metal on the Move sponsored by some big name car company.”

Josh nodded. “Sounds fun. How’s Sadie?”

Kyle grimaced. “Shit, I forgot to call her yesterday.”

Josh shook his head. “You forgot her birthday again?”

Kyle slammed his forehead in his palm. “I know she’s going to kill me, or worst, dump me.”

Josh laughed. “Lucky for you, I sent her an edible arrangement and said it was from you.”

Kyle sighed. “God you’re fucking awesome man. Remind me to do something nice for you.”

“Oh, I will.” He clapped his friend on the back. “I got to get back to this stupid still life thing.”

“Man, I’m not sure what’s worse, being successful and hating the projects I work on or being a starving artist. Literally in my case in a lot of circumstances.”

Josh waved him off. “Not like I can come up with shit on my own anyway. I tell you, lately, my creative mind has been shit.”

“That’s because you stimulate yourself too much. Give your cock a fucking break, Josh.”

“Yeah, yeah, alright. Don’t forget Sadies’s exhibition in a couple days or she will dump your ass. Showing up to shit, I can’t do for you.”

“Aren’t you going to eat?” Kyle wanted to know as Josh closed himself in the elevator.

“You keep it. I’m sure you’ll need the calories.”

“Thanks, man!” Kyle disappeared, replaced by the raw materials of the elevator cabin as Josh moved down.

Josh sighed. Got damn still life. His mind drifted to something more stimulating, beautiful golden brown skin, those lips set open as the damn toy between her legs did its job. Wouldn’t he have loved to be that toy.

He swallowed trying to think of something less distracting there was no way he’d walk out of Kyle’s apartment with a hard on.

He groaned. He could have sworn she saw him. He wondered what she was thinking. He hadn’t heard hide nor hair of her. She was a quiet kind of person. Seemed to have an active life though coming and going dressly nice. Then he ran into her the other day after delivering a piece. Her skin was so soft when he touched her shoulders. Either she didn’t see him watching her, or her was ignoring it. WHy would she do that? She’d do that if she didn’t want to have anything to do with your creepy ass, but didn’t want it to be awkward because you’re still her neighbor.

Just be a good fucking neighbor, Josh.

Just a good neighbor.

TO BE CONTINUED...

|2| Bumping Heads |