I’m working on a major revision of THE WAY OF A MAN WITH A NEIGHBOR, but it’s coming soon. NEIGHBOR was inspired by the 1908 erotic novel “The Way of a Man with a Maid” but now the title is where the similarity ends.
You can drop NEIGHBOR into many genre categories and subcategories, to include Romance and Mystery, but let’s be straight here: It is first and foremost Erotica, and not for the faint of heart.
Here’s an excerpt:
Sam tightened the first bolt on the swimming pool pump and moved to the next. “Funny funny, or funny odd?”
“Okay, so you and Camilla got these houses that look like they were built by the same contractor. They’re just alike, except they’re mirror images…”
“Okay, so how long has she been here?”
“Since last fall.”
“So both houses were already built when she bought hers, right?”
Technically Camilla didn’t buy her house; she won it in her divorce settlement. But Sam figured that fact was irrelevant to whatever Cutter was talking about. “Right. Both houses were built two years ago.”
“So your house has this nice sunroom and deck and pool and all Camilla’s got is a back stoop. Seems to me if she had first crack at these two houses and everything inside is the same, she’d go for this one.”
From the pool deck Ricky said, “Maybe she didn’t want to spend the extra money.”
“Nah, she’s got money,” Cutter said. “People who’ve got money and are used to having it have a vibe about them. She’s got that rich chick vibe. I just wonder why she didn’t buy this house, since she had a choice.” Cutter had the same look and tone he’d used a couple of months ago when he’d described that cheating husband case he’d been working on. He was in private investigator mode again now, working his way verbally through his thoughts.
Sam tried to recall what Camilla told him about how she got her house. He remembered she said her divorce was a two-year battle between her and her ex-husband’s lawyers. She got the new construction house next door and the seaside residence in Atlantic Beach as part of the settlement.
“I think her house was one of her ex-husband’s properties,” Sam said. “That’s why she got it.”
Cutter said, “And yours wasn’t, even though they look like they were built at the same time by the same contractor? This isn’t some development. It’s just two houses on a country road in the middle of nowhere.”
Sam shrugged. “Beats me. Maybe once they were built they went to different realtors to sell.” As Sam said that he remembered Camilla telling him that her ex’s family once owned all the land on their road. Had they owned his house too?
Ricky said, “Maybe she’s just fucking you so she can use your pool.”
That broke the serious moment. Cutter grinned, “I know, right? She’s just using Sam to get her swim on.”
“Then it’s a nice tradeoff,” Sam said. “Especially since bathing suits won’t be part of her world.”
Simultaneously Ricky and Cutter said, “Say what?”
Sam tightened the last bolt on the pool pump. He kept his eyes down on his wrench. Okay, here we go, he thought. “Ever heard of CMNF?” he asked.
“Uh-uh,” Cutter said.
“What’s that?” Ricky asked.
“It’s a thing: Clothed male, nude female.”
Cutter struggled up from the ground with a grunt and brushed dirt and grass off his knees. When he had his breath back he said, “Okay, and?”
“That’s us,” Sam said. “That’s how we are together. How we live.”
Ricky said, “So she gets naked and you keep your clothes on; like that?”
“Yeah, but it’s deeper than that,” Sam said. “A lot of women get naked around their men. But it’s like, only when they feel like it or when they’re about to get busy; whatever. For us it’s our normal thing.”
Cutter frowned toward the back of Sam’s house as if he could see Camilla inside through the wall. “Hold up, so that’s like some BDSM thing? Like somebody is the submissive and the other person is in charge of them?”
Ricky was coming down the pool deck steps, frowning too. “So ya’ll are into all that rubber suits and gags thing, like on Real Sex?”
“Not like that,” Sam said. “None of that. Just the no clothes thing.” Though Sam was revealing something about his and Camilla’s lifestyle to his cousins he didn’t feel like he was telling the complete truth. So far it was just the nudity thing, but the door was open to much more.
Cutter said, “So you’re saying Camilla stays naked all the time?”
Sam nodded. “If you dudes and Mackey weren’t here that’s how she’d be right now. That’s the rule.”
“Your rule?” Ricky asked.
“And she’s down for this?”
“Actually, it’s more her than me. She’s into it. I mean, I am too—who wouldn’t be into their woman being naked all the time?—but some of the stuff we do, I’m the one who’s apprehensive about it. She never is.”
“What kind of stuff?” Cutter asked.
Sam told them about the ride home after Aunt Helen’s birthday party with Sol following them, and he told them about Camilla going from his house to hers wearing nothing to get her robe while Sol was there, and how though she didn’t know it at the time, his brother saw her.
Cutter said, “And that didn’t bother her, that Sol saw her naked?”
“Nope. I told her after he left, and she was more about apologizing to me for going to get her robe without my permission. She wanted me to punish her for it; spank her or use my belt.”
“Damn, cuz,” Ricky muttered. But he was grinning.
“She got down on the kitchen floor, kind of bowed her forehead to the floor. I looked it up later. It was some kind of BDSM slave position.”
“So did you?” Cutter asked. “He was frowning a different kind of frown now—a serious frown.
“Did I what?”
“Lay hands on her,” Cutter said.
“I’m not into that shit.”
Cutter smacked his meaty thigh with the wrench. “Good. Be as freaky as you want but be careful, man. You don’t want to be putting your hands on a woman, especially a white woman, even if it’s a consensual sex thing. That shit could go wrong for you in so many ways. One minute it’s like—here Cutter raised his voice to a mock feminine timbre—‘Ooh, spank me harder, Daddy’—and the next you’re in cuffs, and not the fuzzy pink kind. I’m talking law enforcement steel.”
“Trust me, that’s not how she is,” Sam said. “Nothing like that is going to happen. We’re not going to do anything that would get the cops involved.”
As it turned out, Sam was wrong about that.
“You think so, huh?” Sam pressed the washcloth between Camilla’s shoulder blades and watched soapy rivulets slip down her flawless back and disappear in the valley between her cheeks. He wondered how effective a lube his shower gel would make.
“I do,” Camilla said. “That’s what Sol was talking about, about you being something you didn’t want to be. The beast is in you. I’ve seen it, a little.”
“When you tied me down out on the deck. And the way you were on the back road. And last night, at that store. When I came out of the restroom you called me to you even though people might see.”
“Nobody was going to see you. Okay, if Sol hadn’t been there, maybe.”
“You want me like that.”
“It would be interesting.”
Camilla turned around to let the shower spray rinse her back and so she could look at him. “You say just interesting. But the beast wants it. The beast craves it.”
Sam held the washcloth at face level and squeezed, letting soapy water trickle onto her luscious breasts. Her nipples stretched taut, wanting more contact. “And you want the beast to show you off,” he said.
“I want the beast to have whatever it wants.”
“Uh-uh. Ass out honesty, young lady. You want to be seen. It gets you wet. Admit it.”
Camilla tried to hold back her smile but couldn’t. A dimple-popping grin split her face. “Just thinking about it gets me dripping. I was so ripe after we left that store.”
“Yeah, too bad Sol was there.”
Camilla used her hands to slather soap onto Sam’s chest. “So it seemed like you guys were having an interesting discussion in the kitchen before I came out.”
“Kind of. He saw your underwear on the passenger seat last night so he was curious,” Sam said. “He wondered what we were doing on the drive home. I think he figured I was feeling you up or something.”
Camilla’s eyes sparkled interest. “What did you say?”
“I told him I like you undressed. So now he knows you were naked when we were at the store.”
“Does that bother you?”
“I’m happy you’re comfortable telling your brother I’m yours and how I’m yours. He’s family so it feels right.”
“He’s family but I’m not sharing anything with him but information.”
“I know. You’re not like John.”
“Not just that. You’re mine. Yeah, that means what you always say—that my limits are your limits—but another man touching you is way past where I draw the line.”
“I know that too. You’re my Sir and I’ll never refuse you anything, but I’m glad you don’t want anyone else to touch me. I’m happy I mean that much to you.”
Thinking about Camilla’s ex Sam said, “I can’t see how any man who cares about his woman could do otherwise.”
“So, speaking of looking but not touching, were you worried about how I might come to the kitchen this morning?”
“I didn’t really think about it. I think in the back of my mind I figured you’d put on my ABU shirt again.”
“Is that what you wanted me to wear?”
Sam thought not. His old military camouflage shirt showed off Camilla’s hot legs from her heels almost up to where her legs ended, with just a couple inches to spare. Wearing that shirt, if she sat or bent or even inhaled too deeply she’d be showing Sol her goodies. It wasn’t like when she’d worn that shirt when Cutter came over. That time she mostly sat at the table, and Cutter left right after having coffee. Sol would be hanging around today until early afternoon. He might have told his brother his business but he wasn’t going to show him.
“No,” Sam said. “You definitely need to be covered up while he’s here.”
“So if it were anyone but your brother would the same rules apply?”
Sam’s imagination clicked on. Visions of Camilla sunbathing nude on his deck or swimming naked in his pool played on the movie screen of his imagination. He could see other people out on the deck, but their images were just shadows at the corner of his mind.
Down in the dungeon of his fantasies a new kind of beast paced anxiously back and forth in the darkness at the back of its cell, alert and waiting.
“I think that’s entirely situational,” Sam said.