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  • Tanisha D. Jones

Excerpt From Captivated By Clio

He’d finally given up on sleep and just lay staring at the ceiling. He couldn’t understand why he wanted her the way he did. Everything about her, her voice, her smell, the way she took charge her presence filling the room. He’d been with Catherine for years and he’d never craved her the way that he craved Clio.

He’d laid awake until he heard Clio trying to get Calliope out of the apartment and into a car for the airport. He could hear them arguing before the sun rose, Clio going through a list of necessities and Calli checking off as she did. When the phone rang at five thirty, she was ready to go, only to return to the apartment twice for something she’d forgotten.

By six, he smelled fresh coffee and some sort of sweet baked goods drifting into the room from the kitchen. When he entered the kitchen in flannel pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, he instantly remembered what it was about her that attracted him. She was freakin adorable. Not to mention the fact that she was probably the smartest person he’d ever met. She was seated on a bar stool, glasses firmly in place, her hair a mess all over her head. She wore flannel pajama bottoms as well, but while his were plan red, hers were covered in cartoonish pictures of Batman villain Harley Quinn. As he moved closer her read her t-shirt that simply said, ‘Puddin’ in a maniacal scrawl.

“Morning.” He mumbled, before pouring himself a cup of coffee. She looked at him over her glasses and smirked.

“Sorry if we woke you. I love my sister but she is the most scatterbrained person I’ve ever met.” He nodded his agreement before taking a sip of the best coffee he’d had in a long time.

“How can she be a writer if she’s that scattered?” He asked.

“Nature of the beast, I guess because she’s also the smartest person I’ve ever met. Other than our early morning shenanigans, how did you sleep?”

“I didn’t.” He said honestly. She paused with a buttery croissant halfway to her mouth. That was the wonderful smell that had finally coaxed him from bed. Not just the aromatic French roast, the sweet buttery smell of baking bread had permeated the apartment.

“I’m sorry. Is my bed uncomfortable? The mattress is kind of stiff, its rarely used. I’m never home for more than a few weeks at a time-”

“It wasn’t the mattress.” He said and she met his heated gaze. She didn’t blink, didn’t falter as the gaze lingered. But he could tell, by the look in those sun kissed eyes that she was thinking about it, all of it.

“This thing between us, you’re going to have to control it a little better. I mean, last night my sister walked in …”

“So you admit there’s a thing?” He teased and she returned his cocky grin.

“You know there’s a thing. There has always been a thing, even in college though you wouldn’t admit it. You wanted me. You’ve always wanted me. Admit it.” She waggled her eyebrows at him before biting into her croissant.

“I admit it. I want you, Clio.” His voice was low, steady and hopefully seductive. She stopped chewing and studied him and he saw a flicker in her eyes. A brief look of smug satisfaction flashed across her face, but was quickly replaced by cool detachment. She swallowed and leaned back, her hands on the counter in tight fists.

“So may I make a suggestion that hopefully will put an end to this tension? One that I think will benefit each of us?” He nodded again sipping his coffee waiting for this little nugget of genius. He assumed that she would say they had to cool it, to not get too close. He assumed that she was going to suggest that they keep their relationship strictly professional and that never worked.

He’d assumed wrong.

“I suggest that as long as we’re both comfortable with it, and that it doesn’t become emotional or interfere with our work we can indulge in our urges whenever we see fit. Sexually I mean, no strings attached. That way we won’t always be thinking about sex and we won’t cause tension with the crew.” His coffee went down wrong and he immediately began choking.

She raced to him, patting him on the back as he sputtered and tried to catch his breath. She was stronger than she looked and pounded on his back like a jack hammer until he caught her wrist.

“I’m good.” He half chuckled. “I just…you surprised me is all.”

“Oh. Well that wasn’t my intention. But I mean if you want to think about it, that’s fine. Take your time. I’m going to get dressed. We have some things to do.” She walked away then, shoving the remnants of her croissant into her mouth before disappearing into her bedroom. He stared after her, unable to form words or thoughts beyond the offer of sex whenever the ‘urge’ moved them. Talk about an offer he couldn’t refuse.

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