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About the author:
Aya DeAniege wrote for years, first to please herself then writing stories for free—believing no one would ever pay to read her stuff—before pursuing indie publishing. She still writes mainly for personal pleasure, with topics ranging from romance, fantasy, science fiction, on to whatever takes her fancy in the future. World creation fascinates her, and when she finds one she likes, she dabbles endlessly.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was tossing some ideas at my cats for possible book ideas when the topic of angels came up. The cats were, of course, unimpressed, but it stuck with me and I had to write it to get it out of my head.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I’m not that girl.
I’m not the one who has sex with a strange man in a bathroom stall at a club on a busy Saturday night. Hell, I’m not even the type of girl to go to a club to party or drink. I would never consider sleeping with someone on a regular day, not a stranger or even a good friend. There has to be something there, a relationship that we’ve built over weeks of conversation, not a fleeting thought after making eye contact.
I’m not that girl.
Yet, for the third time, I had visited Seraph and ended up in relations with someone.
The first man had been tall with dirty blond hair, bright blue eyes, and high cheekbones. He had a sleek sort of handsomeness to him. When I say tall, I mean really tall, taller than the other men in the club by almost six inches. He didn’t have a great deal of muscle on him, was not a hulking sort of man. He was the sort who slipped through the crowds instead of parting them with his presence alone. He had been wearing slacks, a white shirt, and a black vest that had a pattern embroidered on the inside of it.
His accent had been different, not foreign really, more like he had spent time abroad as a child. That plus his intelligent conversation, and the way he just seemed to slip my panties off before I realized what he had been planning, caught me off guard. He was inside of me before I wrapped my head around the sensations flooding through my nerves.
Completely consensual, of course, just…
I’m not that girl.
The second man, the month previous, was not quite as tall. He had black hair that must have been in a perpetual state of disarray. It was thick and seemed to have a life of its own as he ran his hands through it. His eyes had just enough green to them to be seen in the light of the club. They were filled with mirth as his warm lips tugged upward in an easy smile.
He had been dressed almost casually for the club and spoke with either an Irish or a Scottish accent. I find it hard to distinguish between the two, as the moment the speaker lets out that first sound, all thought stops. He didn’t try to be intelligent, just quick witted and funny. And as he reached for me, I had only one thought in my head.
I’m not that girl.
The third man was tall, dark, and handsome. His skin was a dark shade of brown that I hadn’t seen up close and personal before. I caught myself touching him first, placing my pale fingers on the back of his hand and being fascinated at the difference in pigmentation. I was fascinated like a child seeing snow for the first time. While I know that reaction was inappropriate of me, I just couldn’t help it. I caressed him, running my hands over his flesh, eager to explore.
His voice was deep and low, slow even. He took his time speaking the words and did in such a perfect enunciation. At least, to my ear it was perfect. I don’t recall what he said, only how he said it in that throbbing voice of his as I wondered what else about him might be described as ‘throbbing.’
I’m not that girl.
Moaning as he thrust, which pushed me against the cold metal of the bathroom stall, wasn’t the type of thing that I did. Biting my bottom lip as he reached between us, slipping his fingers between my folds…
Okay, maybe that was a little more like something that I would do.
Someone beat on the stall door, shouting at us even as he slammed his free hand into the door, sending the protesting woman skittering back.
I was very close, my hands on his chest as he held me up with his. Each movement was slow, but obvious at the same time. We did not rush at it.
Perhaps I should back up and explain a little better.
My name is Grace, I do have a legal last name, but it was one which was assigned to me sometime in my childhood by the government.
I was abandoned at birth and grew up in the foster system. No, I had never been abused, I attended school and was putting myself through college. I lived in a tiny little apartment in a big city, but thanks to multiple jobs, managed to pay for it all myself. No roommates for me, which was the way I preferred it in such small spaces. In a few years, I would start my career and upgrade my apartment, start building a real life.
A little later than my peers, sure, but hey, whatever works.
I had lived in a total of fourteen homes over the course of ten years, finally emancipating at sixteen and finding odd jobs while continuing to go to school. Between working to pay for rent and going to high school, I hadn’t had much of a life. I hadn’t partied, I hadn’t had sex, I hadn’t done silly teenager things.
I lived, I breathed.
No one could say where I came from. I had simply been found on a hospital waiting room chair. No one could recall me being dropped off and none of the cameras caught anything. I was dropped off in an area where cameras didn’t see.
Hey, it was the eighties. I’m surprised they even had cameras.
I like romance movies and long walks on the beach. On my days off, the few I have, I curl up on the couch with a good book. If I don’t have a good book, well, I have an e-reader. What I mean to say is that I’m an avid reader. Don’t ask me to quote Jane Austen, or talk about Dostoevsky. I can’t do it.
I mean, sure, I’ve read their books, but the only thing I remember is that last names were blurted out in Austen’s books and… didn’t Dostoevsky have temporal lobe epilepsy that he medicated with vodka?
I suppose you could say that I don’t remember things like most people do. Other people my age can just let quotes off the top of their heads. I keep basic information, and sometimes I remember peoples’ names. That’s when I’m proud of myself.
My day job was as a waitress. Have you tried getting a better job without a degree? It’s worse than trying to get one with a degree. I could have gone to retail, but then I’d miss out on the tips I got when I told people that I was a lost, little, orphan. Those tips paid my way through my courses. I barely had to decide between food and rent most months.
At night, around the schooling, I ran a couple of different jobs depending on timing. Weekends, I made good money working for a group that drove drunk people home. Again, I got tips from work. Not just monetary tips either.
Working that weekend job was how I had met Lilly, my first friend in over ten years. I picked her up at her request and drove her home. At her door, she chatted me up and finally admitted that she didn’t want to be alone. Being the bit of a pushover that I was, I went up to her apartment where she opened a bottle of wine and started going on and on about her ex.
Except it wasn’t about how he was an asshole or anything. It was how he caught her attention, how she still found her heart skipping a beat when she was in the same room as him. On and on… and on. There were the flashes of anger, then the self-hatred swinging back and forth.
I felt like she was a lonely soul just trying to reach out to someone who wasn’t judgemental, or didn’t automatically say, ‘fuck that guy,’ to everything she said. She was struggling to figure things out, to move on with her life. But she had no one she could talk to and it had all just bottled up inside her.
And while she babbled on, I just sat there and drank a seven-hundred-dollar bottle of wine, trying to figure out what made it much more expensive than the vintages I bought for less than twenty dollars.
Lilly was about my age, about my height, and a great deal more giggly. She liked to party it up with her girls, who were not her friends. Then find her way safely home where she drank another glass of wine, unwound as she pet her cat—who she’d almost always gigglingly refer to as her pussy—then chug back a bunch of water and tuck herself into her bed.
The first couple of times it happened, I had let myself out awkwardly once she was in bed. Her building had a doorman at the door. I didn’t worry about locking more than the doorknob. I didn’t have to worry about anyone bothering her, because she could afford the seven-hundred-dollar bottle of wine, and the giant apartment in the city.
The fourth time, or so, was when I apparently divulged my cellphone number after more than a bottle of wine. I don’t know why I had drunk a whole bottle of wine instead of the usual one glass.
I know, I know, being the designated driver by job title, that didn’t exactly go well with Lilly’s lifestyle, but I began booking nights off just to be her D.D.
Only to spend the rest of the evening with her, listening to her go on about her ex.
Anyhow, Lilly contacted me the day after I had gotten drunk on wine, and demanded to know where I was, if I was all right, how I had gotten home, and what in the fuck I thought I was doing, just wandering around the city as a drunk woman. She didn’t relent until I told her where I lived, and she showed up with pills for a possible headache, a bag of groceries, and proceeded to make me comfort food.
At least, her version of comfort food.
Over the next several weeks, small changes appeared around my apartment. At first, I thought it was just cleaning. But then I opened a cupboard and found it filled with food that I hadn’t bought. Under my sink? Were cleaners I hadn’t bought—considering the fact that I didn’t have the time to clean my freaking apartment.
When I confronted Lilly about it, she shrugged.
“My boo needs to eat. If I could replace your bedspread, I would. That isn’t comfortable for anyone. Also? Wash your sheets before you take a man home.”
“You can’t just buy me things!”
“I can, I did, and you’ve been eating my food for a week and didn’t notice. Let’s take our complaints and put them off to the side, you know, where we put our abandonment issues and all the rest? I’m not expecting anything from this, and you’ve started to look a lot more like a woman and less like a stray. You can’t afford a lot of food. I can. I just brought the extra here.”
She didn’t buy me clothing, didn’t throw things at me. Just bought me food and cleaning supplies.
And toilet paper that wasn’t from the discount store. Show me a woman who would argue that and I’d have to tell you that you’re friends with a masochist.
When I was working, Lilly would tell me where she was and then send the call with a request when she was ready to go. I would be the one to go and pick her up. She was more than happy to pay and would push the tip limit just a little higher each time I picked her up.
Except then one day I spotted man number one, and she told me not to sleep with him.
Let’s just stress that.
Lilly, the party girl, told me not to sleep with him. And me, the person who could count her sexual partners on the one hand, who could count how many times she even had sex on her fingers and toes, went and had sex with him in his private booth.
It’s not sleeping with him if you don’t sleep, right?
I am not that girl.
Over the course of a couple of months, I doubled the number of men I had slept with, and I didn’t regret it for a moment. Unattached sex with three very attractive men over the course of three months isn’t something to regret. They were all very, very attentive to my desires.
Which was basically how I found myself in a bathroom stall, awkwardly trying to get my pants back on as the stranger did up his belt and straightened his clothing. I managed to put myself back together, then smiled lopsidedly at him and reached for the door of the stall.
He caught my hand in his and pulled me tight against him. He gave me one last, lingering kiss. His tongue slipped over my lips gently but probed no further before he slipped out of the bathroom stall.
I heard the small sound he made, then the dead silence in the bathroom.
“Ladies,” he said.