This free preview of my contemporary, new adult romance novel, will only be up on this website for a limited time. It tells the story of Kylie Morris, a professional violist with an anxious disposition, who winds up working at an Lust Media, an adult publishing company.
NEXT TO NAKED
Part One is here. And here is the continuation ….
Last night she’d been too depressed to take off her, but now she felt hot and confined by her concert attire and sexy undergarments. Her clothes were supposed to have been torn off by an older, hot conductor in a fit of ecstasy, but that idea had been completely shot to shit. Without getting out of bed, she pulled off her clothes and tossed them into a crumpled heap on her bedroom floor. Last night had been such a disappointment. Apparently maestro’s passions came as quick as his temper. Maybe it was flattering in a way, but really is just felt totally lame. Of course, Jeff, the hottest guy in the symphony walked in them. Of all nights for him to leave his car keys in the rehearsal room, it had to be the night of the most embarrassing disaster of her life.
Kylie rolled over in bed and thought about how a normal person would be concerned about her future. A normal person should be worried about what people would think, but every time her mind went down that path she just got sleepy. Besides, she’d never been normal anyway.
Kylie’s parents had noticed that she was different from other kids when she learned to read at a young age. Her folks had enjoyed her oddity then. But in the third grade, when Kylie had developed an obsession with the things she saw on the local news, her lack of normal-ness became a problem that needed to be fixed.
Kylie had somehow became convinced that she would be a victim of the crimes and disasters she saw on the news and had decided she should be prepared. Preparation had involved the avoidance of select individuals and carrying several items with her at all times. She avoided most grown-ups, especially those who wore expensive-looking suits (men in expensive suits seem to be around a lot when bad things happened on the news). She also carried around with her a sharpened pencil to use as a weapon (her parents had taken away the steak knife). Her safety kit was completed with a small, inflatable, pool pillow. The pool pillow was to be used as a flotation device in case of flash floods, water landings (a phrase she had picked up when she took a trip to see Aunt Marie), and accidental ocean, pool or bathtub drownings. It also came in handy for spontaneous naps.
It was very distressing to her parents, but her reasoning had made perfect sense to young Kylie. She knew that local meant “close by”, and “the news” was a TV show that told people what really happened—not pretend stuff like on other shows. She had noticed that a lot of the same things kept happening over and over again except the places and people changed. So to Kylie, it was just a matter of time before she was one of those people that bad things happened to. Her parents disagreed and took her to see psychologists, many of whom wore expensive looking suits, which completely freaked Kylie out and made her weirdness seem even more unstable.
After a flurry of tests, her psychologist had reported that little Kylie had the IQ of a genius and that her headaches, nervousness, and gloomy outlook might be early signs of a mental illness. Several different types of mental illnesses had been mentioned by random adults, but Kylie’s kid mind had latched onto the phrase ‘borderline personality disorder.’ It sounded very grown-up, and she imagined that it made her a very important person undergoing something incredibly dramatic—something that might be mentioned on the news.
During that time of being carted off to doctor after doctor, Kylie heard her mom playing the Madonna song, Borderline. Kylie loved it, adopted it as her personal anthem, and decided it was worth it to regularly meet her psychologist to talk to him about being “borderline” even if he did wear an expensive suit. She simply packed an extra sharp pencil, and was careful to keep it away from the inflatable pillow, when she went to his office.
The sessions didn’t last long. Once Kylie’s psychologist started digging into the Morris family home life to see if it was the source of some of Kylie’s problems, her parents forgot the mental illness half of the doctor’s diagnosis and focused on the more brag-worthy genius half. That’s when the music lessons had started, and her parents had gotten rid of all of the television sets in the house.
Even without TV, young Kylie found it strange that everyone else was so sure that nothing bad would happen to them. Didn’t they notice that bad stuff happened to people all the time? Even now, at the age of 23, Kylie wondered what made everybody seem so sure they would be okay. Did she lack positive thinking or were they all just in denial?
She glanced at her viola case propped in the corner of her bedroom. It had been a year since she graduated from the music conservatory. Like her teachers and parents had hoped, she’d gotten a great seat in a reputable orchestra. She should be happy, but she didn’t feel much of anything. It was why the affair had seemed like a good idea. She let out a sigh and looked around her bedroom.
She had cleaned the entire apartment in case they ended up here last night. Now, all the elaborate preparations, from the candles to the high thread count sheets, amplified the depressing state of her life. She rolled over again and stared at the clock on her nightstand. It was 2:25 in the afternoon. She should be rushing to shower and get dressed for rehearsal, but she just couldn’t muscle up the energy to even want to get out of bed.
Someone knocked on the door. Her need to please whoever it was trumped her depression, and she reluctantly got out of bed.
“One minute!” she called out trying to not sound depressed as she pulled on sweatpants and a t-shirt, and headed for the door. She checked the peephole to make sure it wasn’t anyone from the orchestra and saw that it was Anna, her neighbor from down the hall. She quickly opened the door.
“Hey Anna,” Kylie said, and then immediately realized something was up.
“Joe,” her friend answered, “again.”
It turned out that Anna’s ex-husband was supposed to pick up their daughter from kindergarten, but he texted at the last minute that he couldn’t. He was always bailing at the last minute. Anna’s kid was probably already standing out in front of the school waiting, and Anna was frantic. She needed to get her daughter over to her Mom’s house and then dash off to work.
“Can I borrow your car one more time?” Anna asked.
Kylie knew that if she went to rehearsal the odds were that she would keep her job, and everything would be back to normal after the gossip died down. She also knew that if she skipped another rehearsal, she would definitely be fired. Bob was strict and likely to be even stricter now that the romance rumors had been confirmed by last night’s disaster. Kylie didn’t feel any urgency about saving her job, but she totally felt for her friend in need.
In that moment, Kylie realized how amazingly simple it was to light the fuse on the bomb that would blow up her entire, carefully-planned life. She felt a twinge of panic thinking about how her parents would be disappointed, but she was so numb and exhausted she couldn’t really muster the energy to rachet up her usual amount of fear. Something was wrong with her life. She needed a change, and all she had to do was hand over her keys, and the fuse would be lit. So she did, and instead of contemplating the reasoning behind her life-changing decision, preparing for her new future, or trying to salvage her old life, she went back to bed.
Stay tuned! More to come!