@MsKathrynLively #CURVEDLINES #99cents #Wakingup


Favorite Line – A man like this appears and one expects orange dust clouds in his wake, and a twangy Bob Seger ballad blasting while cattle roam toward the backdrop of a crimson sunset.

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Intimate Moment – His lips touch down on mine and as we connect there are no fireworks or electric currents shooting through my body. I feel only the soft pressure of his mouth on mine and the swipe of his tongue against me, seeking a deeper and prolonged kiss.


At five-forty I leave the building and receive a text from Gordon. Free? I call.

“Your timing is impeccable.”

“I know you like routines, everything in its place. I’m just looking to make room for myself.” His voice rumbles through me and I forget I’m on a sidewalk with million people walking in the same direction, some almost through me to get to their destination.

We spend the evening at a local ping-pong club, drinking martinis while two burly men smash a tiny white ball between them. The temperature in the building rises with the heat of people pinging and ponging and Gordon removes his jacket to reveal his inked arms. The move sparks compliments from both sides of our barstools and in the space of ten minutes he hands out all of his business cards, save one. It’s black with white text lined in red with filigree that fades into the dark. It simply says Embellish with Gordon’s name, the shop website, and phone number.

“Does this happen often, strangers coming up to you and ask about your tattoos?” I set the card on the bar and turn back to my drink.

“More so in the last year than when I first got them.” He stretches out the Beauty in Courage arm and rotates it. “I guess lately the stigma’s wearing off. Tattoos aren’t for outlaws and the military anymore. You can be a mom or a lawyer or anything and still have a design you want to show the world or keep to yourself.”

I don’t understand why somebody would spend the money for a tat and never expose it. It’s not my skin or money to deal with, though. I watch the lumberjacks at the table before us and study their limbs and neck for ink. One of them has a star just under his ear, which I point out to Gordon. “That looks like a sensitive area. Where’s the least painful place to get a tat?”

He smiles. “Bodies are different. I can’t tell you. Now, if you prefer I inspect yours for sensitive spots…”

Either the vodka or the way his eyebrows raise as he says this makes me laugh. His kiss isn’t as dirty as his martini, but no less welcomed.

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About the Author

Kathryn Lively is an award-winning writer and editor, Rush (the band) fan, and wine drinker. She loves to binge on 70s TV and knit Doctor Who scarves.

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Curved Lines Boxset

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