I’ve just uploaded a brand new short story to the Free Stories section. It includes a volleyball injury, a hotel room and a pair of silk pyjamas. Oh, and it’s completely free. Here’s a preview:
© Harper Bliss 2012
Does it still hurt?” Nina asked.
Liz fingered the purple-blue bruise above her cheekbone. She glanced back at Nina in the mirror and tried not to scoff at her new teammate’s concern. This massive shiner was all her fault and she didn’t even realise. Too wrapped up in the impossible glossiness of Nina’s legs, Liz hadn’t seen the ball coming. It was a powerful smash delivered by the opposing team’s star player and, stupid as it may sound, Liz had forgotten to duck. She’d been so enthralled by the flexing muscles in Nina’s calves that she’d ignored the most important reflex of any volleyball player: protect yourself.
“Kind of.” Liz removed the useless make-up from her face. She remembered the days when half the team was made up of lesbians and they drove home after an away game, no matter how far. Nowadays, it seemed imperative that they book a cheap B&B so the youngsters could flirt all night with the male teams lingering about the cafeteria. Nearing twenty-nine, Liz knew she was on her way out and maybe it made her a tad bitter. Her lifetime volleyball companion Kate had to bow out of this game because of a knee injury―no doubt caused by too much wear and tear, they were the same age after all―leaving Liz to share a room with the new girl. Not that she minded that much. Her gaze followed Nina as she brushed her long unruly curls before tying them into a ponytail for bed. It was just a bit embarrassing at the moment.
“She was really gunning for you.” Nina shook her head and her ponytail bopped from left to right. “What a bitch.”
“It was my own fault. I was distracted.” Still looking at Nina’s reflection in the mirror, Liz pinned her eyes on her teammate’s hazel ones and stared for a moment too long. Nina had slipped out of her summer dress and wore nothing but a flower-patterned pair of shorts and a skimpy tank top. Did she not realise they were sharing the bed? As soon as Liz had heard she’d be bunking with Nina she’d invested in a navy silk pair of pyjamas which covered most of her skin―mainly as a measure of self-protection. The thought of inadvertently touching Nina during the night had made her a bit too moist for comfort.
“Oh yeah. By what?” Nina had moved to the edge of the bed and was applying moisturiser to her legs. Liz tried not to stare at them but, just like during the game, she couldn’t pull her gaze away.
“I don’t know.” Liz had to swallow before she could continue to speak. “Someone in the crowd, I guess.”
“Someone special?” Nina shot her a sly smile.
“Hardly.” Liz hadn’t met someone to refer to as special in a while. “Excuse me.” She grabbed her pyjamas, stepped into the tiny bathroom and closed the door behind her. Before splashing cold water in her face she examined herself in yet another mirror. Her cheek was swollen, narrowing her left eye. The bruise seemed to mock her and, admittedly, despite the dramatic purple-red edge of the contusion, it was her ego that was wounded most. She had no business lusting after someone who’d just graduated from university. Nina was barely twenty-one and even though they were only eight years apart in age, somehow, it felt more like eighteen―or eighty, now that she was feeling especially melodramatic about it.
[End of preview]
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In other news, the next novelette in my ‘Around The World’ Series (I’ve now unofficially called it that) ‘Learning Curve’ will be released on July 25.
Ada’s company relocated her to Berlin provided that she’d take an intensive course in German. It proves to be a steep learning curve, until her teacher Giselle implements some alternative educational methods.
Available from Amazon only from July 25.