My experience writing tie-in books for As the World Turns and Guiding Light, as well as developing Another World Today, where readers guided the story week by week, inspired me to write Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, where what happens next is up to you.
Want to help me create a new kind of soap opera, not to mention have some say in where the romance you're reading is headed? Good news! Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga is now only $.99 cents at Barnes & Noble! Just click this link to learn more!
On a tethered yacht, inside a harbor along the French Riviera, Nicole Simonge was enjoying the perks of being Mrs. Robin Cooper -- when Mr. Robin Cooper was, characteristically, nowhere to be found.
She wore a strapless vermilion dress with a plunging neckline, slit up both legs to her thighs, and strung from thousands of ruby beads. Not beads threaded into cloth, but beads held together by silver, silk string and clinging to every curve of her body for a sheer, almost see-through effect. A man tilting his head just the right way, could get quite an eyeful between the beads. Which was what the fifteen year old nephew of her Moroccan tycoon host was trying to do as he pressed his sweaty palms against Nicole's bare back and ground his pelvis into her hip, pretending to dance while, from the waist up, he leaned further and further back, hoping to leer down her cleavage.
Yet, his kiddie attempts to cop a feel or, at worst, score a cheap thrill, didn't bother Nicole in the least. Although barely a decade older than her juvenile pervert, she'd worked this circuit for so long that such clumsy pawing barely registered. She let him do whatever he wanted because she refused to make waves in front of his uncle, a man whose income equaled that of several medium-sized nations. She was having too much fun at his soiree, mingling with men and women who, only six years ago, barely noticed her as she escorted them to their tables inside a Monte Carlo restaurant and groveled for the change they deigned to pitch her for a tip. Now, these same men and women had to at least pretend to tolerate her.
Because she was Mrs. Robin Cooper.
Till death do them part.
Nicole gracefully wriggled out of the teen's slippery clutch, remembering to offer him a dazzling smile as she went, to insure no hard feelings in either him or his uncle, and stepped straight into the arms of the next waiting customer, a cousin, or perhaps another nephew, but definitely older and definitely interested in more than a playful ogle. The music being played was heavily Middle Eastern, reminding Nicole of a snake slowly being charmed out of its basket, and prompting her dance partner to writhe in what she presumed was supposed to be a lithe and seductive manner. She attempted to keep up with him, but, just when she thought she'd finally decoded his unusual rhythm, the cousin passed her to another, equally gyrating, relation.
It seemed to be a game of some kind, the men gathering around her in a circle, all of them clapping, trying to over-shout each other and gesturing for Nicole to dance in the middle.
She obeyed their summons, fully aware that every woman on the yacht was looking at her in a combination of disgust and I-told-you- she-was-nothing-but-a-whore smugness. Nicole didn't care. She was in her element. Those stuck-up, frigid bitches were probably just jealous of the way Nicole could steal any man's attention. It was a skill she'd cultivated since she first ran away from home at the age of thirteen. A skill even trust-fund money couldn't buy.
Of course, it didn't hurt that nature at least, had been kind to Nicole, gifting her with luxurious mink-black hair, a mouth made for pouting, smoke-filled, gray bedroom eyes promising all sorts of pleasures, and a body guaranteed to deliver. But, Nicole had known girls almost a gorgeous as she was, who still couldn't generate her level of attention. Because they didn't know the secret. Or maybe they knew it, but just didn't have the guts to follow through. The secret to being the girl who, at the end of the night, every man's balls throbbed to go home with, was to be... nothing. To have no thoughts, no desires, no needs. To be a blank slate. No man could resist a woman whose every smile, every wink, every gesture, broadcast her willingness to do anything she was told.
Nicole laughed, flitting from man to man inside her Moroccan cage, her movements quickening to keep up with the music, spinning gaily, oblivious to the subtle change of temper in the room, until the musicians abruptly quit playing, and a voice she could identify even in sleep sliced the subsequent hush to inquire sarcastically, "Am I too late for your dance of the seven veils?"
Robin stood in the doorway, dressed casually in slacks and a tan, vicuna sweater; ounce for ounce, the most pricey cloth on the planet. He walked towards her, parting the suddenly still revelers with no more than a glance, and stopped short in front of the two-inch, elevated stage that made up Nicole's dance floor. His eyes swept from the men who, only moments earlier, had been grabbing at his wife, and then over Nicole. From the day they met, he'd had a way of looking at her that made Nicole feel like she was wearing a layer of sewage. Or, worse, like she was wearing nothing at all.
Robin reached into his pants-pocket, and, withdrawing a wad of bills, stuffed them down the open front of Nicole's dress, two tens slipping out and crumpling by her feet. "Is that enough to buy me your attention for a couple minutes, darling?
Read more in Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, where what happens next is up to you!