Every time I see the desert landscapes on The Bridge (do watch it!), I think of Ariel Graham’s story Safer Places. Maybe because it’s so much more than just erotica and I simply can’t get it out of my head. Safer Places is by far the darkest and most serious tale in Anything She Wants, and, truth be told, because of that, it almost didn’t make it in. But I just couldn’t leave it out. The writing was too good, the topic too important and the sex scenes too intense to ignore. And, luckily, in the end I realised that my little anthology wouldn’t have been complete without this superb piece of story-telling.
Here’s a snippet:
“What am I going to do with you, Jill?” Without taking her eyes off me, she runs her tongue up the side of the bottle I’m so fixated on. “Come here.” And when I start to rise, “No. Crawl here.”
Sun-warm boards under my hands and knees. I skirt the pool, distracted for an instant by a wasp buzzing just above the still water. I wish she’d ordered me to strip. Being way out here in a tiny cabin with intermittent internet and no delivery, and no backup for my sheriff’s deputy, means a twenty minute drive to the nearest grocery store when some essential ingredient is missing and dinner prep is in progress. It also means being naked outside feels decadent, but isn’t likely to result in arrest. Over the years, Sadie has bent me over the porch rail and used her mouth, her hands, her imagination and once, memorably, a willow switch. She’s tied me to corner posts and ordered me to do chores wearing only Crocs, a hat, sun screen and a smile.
Now I daydream that my waving ass is naked as I crawl to her. By the time I reach her, Sadie herself is naked, sprawled in the lawn chair with her hips on the rolled metal edge, her legs spread wide and her invitation evident. She smells musky, thick and deep and wet, and like the shower gel she used at the gym, and like her own personal Sadie smell.
So many things I want to ask. With Sadie I always want to ask. What do you want tonight? What would make you happy? Happiest? May I? Can I? Let me! But I only wait until she growls and pulls my head up, not down, her mouth on mine, hot and tasting sweet from the lemonade. She bites my lip and only then does she let me go, pushing me down, pulling the back of my head in tight. I’m surrounded by her and this is when I feel safe. This is when I’m happy.
ARIEL GRAHAM lives, writes and runs in the Northern Nevada foothills and desert. She’s never met a zombie there, but she’s seen big cat tracks and gone the other way. Her work has appeared in Cleis Press anthologies such as Serving Him, Best Lesbian Romance, Please, Sir and Please, Ma’am, and on Oysters & Chocolate, Clean Sheets and Torquere.