It was too dark to write or for Jules to lip read, so at first they sat awkwardly looking at the sky then at each other. Finally, Rose laughed and scooted closer. Jules grinned and put his arm behind her, not quite touching. They waited in comfortable silence, and she noticed that she really didn’t hear the cacophony around her. Instead, she focused on the little signs and gestures that were a form of communication between two people: small smiles, flirty glances, a bitten lip.
The first firework went up tearing apart the night sky with blue fire. After a pause the earth shook and the sky blazed with light and color. The whole experience was new and different for her as she tried to see it through Jules’s eyes. Light, but no sound. Then she realized she could feel the explosions resonate in her chest, a fact she had never noticed before because it was so slight. Struck by this, she sat up and put her hand on her breastbone, feeling the vibration.
Jules sat up, too, curious, eyebrows raised, and Rose tentatively put her hand on his chest and waited for the next firework, feeling his heart speed up as he watched her face. Three booms in quick succession, each louder than the last, and she could feel each resonance in him. She looked up and smiled. He didn’t though, and she wondered if she had committed some huge gaffe, a terrible faux pas, and she could feel the smile fade from her lips.
He curled his hand around hers, leaned forward, and hesitantly kissed her. A normal first kiss, and at the same time, not a normal first kiss because Rose was deep inside her head. Not trying to hear for Jules, like some might, but to try and understand him. . .a man who had every reason to be wrathful or sullen but faced the world with equanimity.
The kiss was longer and more tentative than most first kisses she had experienced, and Rose loved it. No pushing for more. A question, not a statement. Is this okay?
Slowly, millimeter by millimeter, they moved apart, considering more. The loud boom of a failed firework made them both jump and then laugh. His soundless but joyous. Hers raucous and equally as joyous. Jules swooped in and kissed her again, quickly, fiercely, then took her face in his hands and kissed her forehead. Rose scooted closer so they were hip to hip. He looped his arms around her waist, and they sat, entranced by each other and the fireworks. After the final volley, one that left everyone temporarily blinded and all but one with ringing ears, Rose and Jules strolled back into town hand in hand, surrounded by chattering children and rowdy teenagers. Again, they checked on each other, but this time it was different, there was an electric current underneath, the first tendrils of desire.
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Inferno by D. S. Dehel
Simple. Kinky. Complicated.
Lasciate vi stesso voi ch’entrate. “Abandon yourself, you who enter” are the words engraved on the invitation given to Rose Dantes by her fiancé, Nico. It is a chance to uncover her passions and unlock her darkest desires. It is a gift of magnificent proportions—one that will change her life irrevocably.
With the enigmatic Virgil as her guide and mentor, Rose endeavors to complete the gauntlet known as “The Nine,” a pilgrimage tailored to her fantasies. Doing so earns her nothing more than the praise and adoration of her fiancé, something she wants more than anything else. Her quest pushes her boundaries and makes her question her entire life. Yet, Rose is no shrinking violet. She has a mind of her own and an attitude to match, qualities she will need to complete her Pilgrimage. Inferno plunges her into an abyss of pleasure and personal pain, and in the end, she must face her very own Lucifer.