Hiding from her past, Angel LaVoux spends her days enjoying the sun of Jackson Square as she creates art for the tourists. By night, she lets her imagination run free to create the Bondage and Fetish paintings her best friend Sandra sells.
Buried in her painting, she hopes her secrets will remain buried. Soon enough, her resolve will be tested when a woman with luminous green eyes enters her life. As the sparks fly between them, danger stalks them. Will love endure this tangled tale? Or will it burn to ash along the wayside.
Angel smiled, then winked at Sandra, who wrinkled her nose, before she turned back to Bastet. "There are things which really can be a big problem for me. One of them is being in any sort of bondage gear. Leather is not my thing and, while I appreciate the look on others, I don't want someone assuming I will be following the same format during the party."
The exotic woman nodded. "Agreed. If one is not comfortable in what they are wearing while they are being creative, then the end result is not worth the effort, no?"
Nodding, Angel continued. "No photographers. I don't want my picture taken at all. There are certain," she paused for effect, "legal complications in my life that involve a person who thinks he's my fiancé and a wealthy, influential family. We won't even go into my parents' thoughts about all this. They know I'm down here, but advertising the fact would be inviting unwanted attention."
Bastet smiled and her eyes flashed dangerously. "Abusive people are abhorrent to me, Miss LaVoux. Should any of them decide to make trouble, believe me, I shall hear of it. You have my word, no photographs. But they will be allowed to photograph the party."
"Just so long as none of those cameras, cell phones, or recording devices are pointed in my direction, I don't really care." Angel glanced at Sandra. "Does this satisfy you?"
Sandra nodded. "It is the art which should be the centerpiece of the party. I think we can work with this." She sipped her beer. "Now, about costu…"
Angel interrupted her with a growl. "Remember who has the magic fingers here, kiddo. You even think the word costume, and I will paint you in ways you only dream about in dark nights."
That caused a sufficient blush to rise on Sandra's cheeks before Bastet laid a hand on Angel's shoulder. "Come to the gallery early, pet. I will provide something suitably enticing, yet extremely comfortable for you to wear. You have my word it won't be anything you do not wish to wear." She paused a moment. "What is your favorite color, ma cher?"
Angel felt as if her body were being warmed by just that simple touch. It took her a moment to bring her brain up to speed and remember the question being asked. "Dark green, not really emerald, but the green of a forest glade at midnight, kissed with moonlight." With a pond in the center to... wait, what am I thinking? Get your mind back on track, Angel. This isn't the time to fantasize about the most famous dominatrix in New Orleans.
The hand on her shoulder squeezed slightly as Bastet smiled. "I have something that you will enjoy. Perhaps you will paint the vision you described."
Before she could say anything, the owner of Tightrope disappeared out the door, leaving Angel with her mouth hanging open. Only Sandra's hand waving in front of her face kept her from looking too much like a fish out of water. "What?"
Sandra grinned. "I think you impressed the woman, Angel. Most of the time Bastet is the one issuing orders, and she doesn't back down. This is the first time I've ever seen her go out of her way to do something like this."
Angel tilted her head slightly. "Maybe you, and everyone else, naturally assume that just because she is a famous dominatrix, she isn't capable of being reasonable." She sipped her drink.
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~About the Author~
Diane Taylor lives in a small apartment in Everett, Wa. with a muse that pesters her to "Write, darn you, Write!"
She began writing full time in 2003 when she took on the NanoWrimo challenge, also known as writing a 50K novel in 30 days. Since then she's never looked back. When not writing, she's out doing research or spending quiet evenings inside reading the newest novel by one of her favorite authors.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org OR come visit her at her blog for updates on her newest story lines or just get an insight on what it's like to write books.
For those adventurous types out there, you can go check out the NanoWrimo website.
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