these floors

10 Year Floor Canvas-As I took this in for framing and unfolded it, I stumbled across the painted handprints of my closest friend, Deanne Hastings, who went missing a year and a half ago. The handprints are from the last time she visited me.
#MichaelCarini #CariniArts #AcrylicAlchemy

From the shadowy walls of Weep to the twisting alleys of Ketterdam to the sleek penthouses of NYC 2118, there are dozens of intriguing settings in YA lit—and we can’t get enough. Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor’s newest epic fantasy, features her best world-building yet—so, in honor of its release, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite mysterious cities of YA. 

  1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  4. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
  5. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

You never know what’s lurking around the bend in these places… it could be wonders beyond imagining or dangers beyond comprehension. You’d better start reading ASAP to find out!

anonymous asked:

ok but shaw wearing the jacket that says "stop calling root samantha groves" in support of her gf. like root didn't even order it for shaw and has no idea where it even came from, she just sees shaw wearing it one day and that's that

harold: calls root her birth name
shaw: casually walks in wearing her jacket, saying something to root and looking pointedly at him while saying her name

Dersha Fiction: skylines the prequel (Chapter 5)

Thank you all for the love on the last chapter! I know many of you wanted to kill me after that cliffhanger. Ha! But I make up for it in this chapter. Enjoy! Catch up on the original and prequel series (here).

Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters. All characters belong to James LaRosa (minus Jasmine and Bobbi).

Chapter Inspiration Song: Silk-If You (LovinYou)

It was bound to happen. With sexual tension through the roof and attempting to avoid each other, they finally gave in. Ahsha could no longer control her appetite when it came to the sexy baller. Their attraction to each other wouldn’t allow another moment to slip by them.

“Not here,” Derek muttered against Ahsha’s lips. Her fingers were already working at the hem of his shirt. Shocked by her aggression, Derek didn’t want to take advantage of Ahsha. It was easy for him to care more about his sexual desires, then someone’s feelings. Especially if he had no feelings for the woman in the first place. Of course, it was different with Ahsha. Though he couldn’t describe what he was feeling, he knew it wasn’t the same thing he felt with any other woman.

The dancer placed her hand in Derek’s as he led her up the spiral staircase and up to the master suite. Barely able to keep their hands to themselves, the couple made their way towards the bedroom.

Ahsha’s skin became sensitive to Derek’s touch when he used his body to pin her to the hallway wall.

Their hands began ripping at each other’s clothes while their lips continued expressing desperation.

Never had either of them felt a connection this strong. It was almost scary how they had fallen victim to such a fiery pull. Derek’s shirt was the first to go, allowing Ahsha’s hands to roam his torso. Feeling her dainty fingers slide down to the top of his sweats made him harden immediately. No matter how many times Ahsha denied herself of Derek, the way she craved him wouldn’t allow her to rest. Denial only led to an intense feeling that neither one of them could describe.

Grabbing Ahsha’s hands, Derek pinned them against the wall, “Remember, I owe you,” he teased, sucking at her neck causing her to melt under his touch. She knew what he was talking about and her body responded to the thought of him making up for what they had started days ago. “From last time?”

“I would think I owed you,” Ahsha answered, breathing heavy. The smirk that fell upon Derek’s lips made her insides quiver. This man was irresistible and he knew exactly what he was doing. Arms still pinned over her head, Ahsha pushed her hips toward Derek, yearning for his touch.

“We can focus on that later. For now, it’s all about you,” he replied, his tone a mix of sex and sincerity. Slowly moving in, Derek captured Ahsha’s lips again, this time pushing his tongue into her mouth. Derek’s curious hands slid down the dancer’s petite body and down to her firm bottom. Grabbing the zipper of Ahsha’s jacket, he pulled the fabric apart. Her smooth mocha skin glowed under the dimmed light, resembling the finest chocolate. All he wanted was a taste of her sweetness.

Derek’s tongue made a path from Ahsha’s lips to the tops of her breasts. The warmth of his mouth clasping over her skin had Ahsha breathless. How did she deny herself of this man for this long? Gripping the player’s thick shoulders, the dancer’s breath hitched in her throat when Derek reached the top of her pants. Untying the string, Derek glanced up, his lips curving into a wicked grin. He had been wanting to devour her ever since he got a sample. Now that he had the chance again, he would make sure Ahsha left satisfied. A cool breeze hit Ahsha’s legs when her sweats hit the ground. Her legs were already quivering in anticipation of what was to come. Heat spread over her body when Derek kissed her hip bone before pressing his lips against the thin fabric of her panties. Thick fingers caressed her already soaked center. Satisfied by her reaction, Derek proceeded to remove the panties, letting them fall to the ground.

“Mmmm,” Derek hummed, his thumb teasing her clit. An act so simple almost made Ahsha cave. It had been awhile since she had a man’s touch. Especially one this gentle. The one guy she was involved with in college got his few strokes in and was done.

When the tip of the player’s tongue met the sensitive nub, Ahsha’s knees felt weak. Weak enough to have her desperately grasping at the wall.  Derek held her hips in place, pleasing her with slow, tender licks.

“Sweet, just like I thought,” Derek purred before sliding two fingers between her slick walls. Sinking into his touch, a moan escaped Ahsha’s lips. Sweat was already beading on her skin as her body quivered. Pleasure rippled throughout Ahsha’s body when Derek began moving his fingers in and out, his tongue continuing the sweet torture.

“Derek,” Ahsha whispered, her head falling back against the wall. Her legs had quickly become jello and her muscles ached.

“Yes, baby?” For some reason, hearing the word baby leave Derek’s lips made Ahsha feel a certain type of way.  Rising to his feet, Derek left Ahsha on her high and not wanting him to stop. She had pretty much melted in his hands. Derek’s eyes remained on Ahsha’s as he wrapped his strong arms around the back of her thighs and lifted her.

Once they reached the spacious master suite, Derek gently placed Ahsha in the middle of his bed. Was this about to happen? After all the back and forth, they were about to give into temptation. Derek couldn’t help but think that Ahsha would realize what was happening and run off again. To his surprise, Ahsha was all in for this. There was no turning back this time. The running had finally stopped and she was ready to face her feelings. Like Derek, Ahsha wasn’t sure what she was feeling either.

Derek threw his sweats to the side before spreading the dancer’s legs and settling in between her thighs.

“You sure about this,” Derek asked, caressing Ahsha’s cheek with his thumb. “If you want to sto-“

“Shhhh. If I wanted to stop, don’t you think I would have by now,” Ahsha replied, placing a finger against Derek’s lips. “It’s okay.”

An innocent smile fell upon Ahsha’s lips. A girl this beautiful with morals and values, willing to take a risk with him? Finding a woman like Ahsha in the sports world was hard. Sure, there were many good women out there, but those weren’t the type that Derek usually attracted. Part of that fell on him because of his behavior.

Interrupting his inner monologue, Ahsha pulled Derek down to her face. Eyes locked and lips parted, the pair tried to read what the other was thinking. “Whatever you say, Miss Davenport,” Derek hummed, softly pressing his lips to Ahsha’s full ones. He pushed his hands under Ahsha’s back and unclamped her bra, tossing it to the floor. Now they were both naked, with nothing to hide.

The butterflies were still there. After tonight, it would be a new beginning for them. The deed would be done and neither of them would be able to escape the growing feelings ever again.

Derek wasn’t quite done expressing how much he wanted Ahsha. After he was done, the player wanted her to feel him even after he was finished. Derek kissed his way down Ahsha’s torso and stopped when he reached her opened thighs. Now that the player had more access, he intended to make up for the time on his Ferrari. Ahsha’s hands gripped at the sheets in anticipation. This man was trying to make her beg for the pipe. His head slowly disappeared between her legs, causing her to immediately buck her hips forward.

The warmth of Derek’s tongue on such a sensitive part, had her body going crazy. He sucked and licked her up like she was his last meal. Derek made sure to treat Ahsha right until she begged him to stop. He had never wanted to please a woman more in his life. Her loud gasps and moans made him work harder.

“Oh my god,” Ahsha cried out, ripples of pleasure spreading throughout her body. The intensity seemed to bundle in the pit of her stomach. Derek took advantage of the dancer’s flexibility and pushed her thighs flat to the bed. “Shit,” she moaned, as Derek sunk deeper, finding the spot that would make her come undone. She was literally butter in his hands…and mouth at this point. Melting bit by bit under his spell. With nails digging into the sheets, Ahsha felt like she couldn’t hold on any longer. A burning sensation began at her toes and crept up her legs. Her muscles were on fire as she fought against the weight of Derek’s hands. Just when Ahsha neared her release, Derek stopped.  Wiping his mouth on her thigh, Derek moved up Ahsha’s body, letting his hips settle between her thighs. Hardness bumped against her moist center, causing her body to stiffen.

“Derek please,” Ahsha muttered.

“Baby, you don’t have to beg,” he teased, rubbing his piece against her entrance, letting the tip penetrate enough to give Ahsha a taste of what was to come…

Reaching over into the night stand, Derek retrieved a condom. Honestly, Ahsha was shocked because it seemed as though many people in their generation were careless when it came to sex. Using a condom was almost taboo. But Ahsha could appreciate Derek being careful.

Still on the edge of her high, Ahsha’s body shuddered in need of a release. Derek had taken her all the way to the edge, only to leave her hanging. She became sensitive to his light touches. When the player’s thumb grazed her clit, the feeling shot from between her legs down to her toes.

Adrenaline pumped through their veins. Leaning forward, Derek placed a tender kiss on Ahsha’s breasts before taking one of her hardened nipples in his mouth. The act made Ahsha’s back arch. The player’s warm tongue swirled around the dusky brown peak, making Ahsha pool between her thighs. He sucked, taking the peak between his teeth, gently tugging.  

“You don’t know how long I’ve been wanting this,” Derek crooned, gazing up at Ahsha. He took the condom between his teeth, tearing it open with his free hand. Impatiently waiting, Ahsha yearned to feel all of him.

Inch by inch, Derek fed her his length, making sure he was as gentle as possible. Her tightness hugged him, making it hard to control himself. “Damn, you’re tight,” he growled, earning a moan.

Ahsha’s hands gripped Derek’s biceps. It had been awhile since the last time she had sex. “Am I hurting you,” Derek asked, feeling Ahsha tense under him.

Taking time to adjust to Derek’s length and thickness, the dancer shook her head, “I’m okay…I’m good.” The baller stayed still for a minute before pushing the rest of himself inside of the petite dancer. Slowly, he began to grind his hips.

Words couldn’t explain how good he felt. Ahsha’s hands explored every part of Derek’s body, coming acquainted with every plane and muscle. Just when she thought he couldn’t go any deeper, he reached new depths. The dick was so bomb, Ahsha’s eyes began to water.

Her warm womanhood accepted every hard inch, leaving Ahsha withering under Derek’s big body. Moans bounced off the walls, the sound of their love making was music to their ears. Feeling comfortable with having Derek so deep, Ahsha matched his movements, rolling her hips forward. The sensation set their flesh on fire causing a sheen of sweat to form on their smooth, brown skin.

Sounds of flesh meeting filled the room as Derek picked up the pace. Thrusting harder until she was crying out his name and hot cum poured from Ahsha’s center and seeped down the inside of her thigh.

The aftershocks of her orgasm rocked throughout Ahsha’s body, paralyzing her until the high disappeared. Pulling out, Derek rolled on his back.

“Damn,” was all they could both say. Neither one of them knew their connection was this strong. Until now…


Charity Ball-Devils Playground

Oscar Kincade was a business man. He knew how to get what he wanted while wearing different hats. Tonight, was no different. The Devils organization was known for their drama, but they also got a lot of respect for their charity deeds around the community. Every year, Oscar picked a charity and held a big fundraiser at the Devils Playground. Anyone, from the Devils Girls, Devil players, celebrities, and community leaders joined them. Many big checks were written and Oscar enjoyed the media’s ass kissing for the next couple of days.

Ahsha and a few other Devil Girls were invited to the event. “Damn, I’ve never seen this much money walking around in my life,” Devil Girl Nicole gasped, grabbing a glass of champagne from one of the waiter’s trays.

“All I see are a bunch of zeros and not the bad kind,” Devil Girl Toni chimed in. Ahsha spotted Derek in a corner chatting with a woman. The woman was standing close with an arm on his shoulder. He’s not your man, the tiny voice in Ahsha’s head reminded her.

“Don’t you hate a group of stuffy, rich folks,” a voice asked. Ahsha turned to see Terrence Wall towering over her.

She chuckled. “My dad has these dinner parties every year and they’re full of the same folks. Boring, rich  but flashy at the same time.” Looking back towards the corner where Derek stood, Ahsha noticed he had disappeared.

“Man, tell me about it. I’d rather hang out with a group of grannies,” Terrence joked.

“Terrence, I’ve been looking all over for you,” Jasmine said, her icy green eyes cutting in Ahsha’s direction. “Ahsha don’t you have things to do at the money bar?”

“Nope. I’m not on duty tonight, but thanks for checking in on me,” came Ahsha’s sarcastic reply. With that, she walked away not even interested in hearing Jasmine’s reply.

The night seemed to move at a slow pace. Derek and Ahsha somehow kept their distance, knowing that they had to keep up a façade. Neither one of them knew what was happening but they weren’t willing to give it up. Ahsha knew it was wrong because she could lose her job. Denying herself was driving her insane though. One taste of the Roman Emperor and she was already feigning for more. They had agreed to keep their sexual escapades on the low and that’s how Ahsha intended to keep it.

“Alright folks, it’s time for the charity dance and date giveaway. We have a lot of good people on this list, but there can only be one lucky guy or girl,” the hostess announced once she had everyone’s attention. “Let’s see….whoa….Derek Roman is our highest bidder of the night with a whopping $500,000. And the lucky lady….Devil Girl Ahsha Davenport. All proceeds go to Danielle’s Hope House, located in Sacramento. Congratulations!”

Everyone in the room turned to watch Ahsha walk towards the stage in shock. Who the hell bid $500,000 for a date and dance with someone? How the hell did her name end up on the list anyway? Glad that the lady all in Derek’s face earlier had a sour expression, Ahsha still feared that people would be suspicious. As she neared the stage, Derek smiled down at her.

“You think you can buy me,” Ahsha joked as she moved towards the 6’3 baller. He held out his hand and helped her up the steps, leading her to the center of the stage.

“You’re priceless, I can’t afford that,” Derek crooned. “Where do you want my hands?” Everywhere, Ahsha thought to herself. After their right of fun a few nights ago, she was hooked already. Derek’s feelings were the same. Seeing her in this red dress caused his pants to tent in the front.

“Below my waist and I will have to handle you, Roman.” Lucky for them, no one could hear their flirtatious banter. Derek placed his hands on Ahsha’s waist as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

Alexander O’Neal’s, Right Now, played over the sound system. It was such a sultry song that fit their current situation.

“Hmmm, perfect song,” Derek said after listening to a few lines in the first verse.

“What makes you say that,” Ahsha replied. Derek didn’t answer. He just continued letting the words express themselves.

Suddenly, they felt like the only two in the room. Swaying back and forth, their bodies seeming to grow closer.

What was this feeling, Derek thought to himself. Why couldn’t he figure it out and why did it kinda scare him? It was unusual for a woman to have this effect on him. He could usually get what he wanted and he was done. The woman wouldn’t even cross his mind again. Ahsha was different though. For some reason, she wouldn’t stay out of his head. Instead of sex, he found himself wanting more. He wanted to know her. Know her likes. Know what made her tick. What was her favorite meal? What was her favorite color? Derek wanted to know it all.

Their eyes met and the butterflies began fluttering again. How could a simple gaze make them both feel this way? They were interrupted by Terrence’s voice over the sound system. “Alright, give it up for Derek Roman for his generous donation. Now we’re going to move on to the auction,” he announced, patting his teammate on the back.

Derek helped Ahsha down the steps, whispering in her ear, “Meet me by the supply closet in five minutes,” his deep voice sent chills down her spine. They parted ways and Ahsha returned to her table where a few Devil Girls, stared her down. Some with expressions of envy and others curious. Kyle on the other hand had a goofy grin on her face, waiting for her friend’s arrival. “So… when’s the wedding,” Kyle asked when Ahsha took her seat.

“Shutup, it was just a dance,” Ahsha shot back, unable to hide the fact that she was blushing.

“You gonna make all these women jealous,” Kyle added, glancing at a couple of the dancers who had finally turned around and were minding their own business.

“Yeah, sure. That money goes to charity. He wasn’t spending it on me,” the dancer argued.

“Come on, that man would buy you the world. They definitely have something to be jealous about,” Kyle chuckled. “Speaking of money, let me go over here and meet our special guest. I heard he has his hands in the diamond business.” Ahsha shook her head as Kyle rushed over to the sponsor’s table.

Remembering that she was supposed to meet Derek, Ahsha pushed past guests and through the Devils Playground exit. Sure enough, Derek was waiting by the supply closet with his infamous smirk. He nodded toward the closet door, Ahsha following his lead as the baller glanced around the hallway for possible intruders. Pulling Ahsha through the door, Derek attacked her lips. “Derek…we..can’t…do uhhh,” Ahsha moaned when the baller grabbed her thighs, hoisted her up and pushed her against the wall. “We can’t do this here,” she giggled, her head falling back as Derek teased her neck.

“Who says,” Derek responded, his hand finding her thong and ripping the thin material.

“Derek,” she gasped, watching her destroyed panties fall to the ground.

“I’ll buy you a new pair,” he joked, their lips crashing together in a nasty kiss. Their tongues fought for dominance. Knocking items from a shelf Derek sat Ahsha against the shelf, while he unzipped his pants.  “You don’t know how badly I’ve wanted this all niiight,” Ahsha admitted, melting into Derek’s body when he slid inside of her. His thickness spreading her walls creating such a pleasant sensation. With long legs tightly wrapped around Derek’s waist, Ahsha began slowly riding his length.

“Damn girl,” Derek said, surprised by Ahsha’s bold behavior. People did always say watch out for the quiet ones. Derek matched Ahsha’s rhythm, thrusting his hips into hers.

“You feel so good,” the dancer cried out, her nails digging into Derek’s shoulders. That only motivated him to feed her more of his dick, pounding into her slick heat with no mercy. Surely, she would be sore the next day after rough sex. But Ahsha was loving every minute of it. The fact that they were having sex in public made her even hornier. Their forbidden romance was so dangerous, yet she had no intentions of letting it go.

Derek cursed under his breath as his piece became slicker the harder he thrusted into her womanly abyss. The dirty talk only fed their sexual appetites. “Tell me how much you love this dick,” Derek growled in Ahsha’s ear.

Squeezing her legs around his hips, the dancer could barely speak. “I love it,” she forced out, her voice hoarse. And she did. Once they both got a taste, they were instantly hooked.

This time was much different from their first sexual encounter. Unlike the first time, this was straight fucking. No gentle strokes, no sweet kisses and caresses. Derek wanted to sweat out Ahsha’s curls and have her walking funny for the rest of the night. With the way, he was handling her, his goal would more than likely be achieved. Her cries grew louder, forcing the player to cover her mouth with his to muffle the sound. The grip on Ahsha’s hips tightened as Ahsha neared her breaking point. Someone jiggling the door handle, pulled them both out of their moment. Luckily for them, Derek had locked the door behind them.

“Shit,” Ahsha cursed, trying to put her feet on the floor. But Derek wasn’t letting go. Instead, he pumped into Ahsha harder and faster. “They can wait,” he mumbled, his teeth grazing her ear.

The knob continued to jiggle. “Someone in here,” a male voiced asked.

“Derek…the door,” Ahsha panicked, praying that no one had a key and busted their cover. Even through panic, somehow the thought of someone outside the door heightened the moment. Suddenly, the fact that they could be caught, turned Ahsha on.

“Oh, I’m not finished with you yet. They can wait,” he growled, his strokes beginning to become uneven.

Trying to suppress her moans, Ahsha lost it when a wave of wicked pleasure rolled throughout her body. The dancer’s limbs convulsed as she rode out her climax. Feeling Ahsha tighten around his thick length, he came hard.

When they caught their breath, and came down off their high, Derek helped Ahsha fix her gown before fixing himself. Whoever had been knocking at the door was quiet now.

Still shocked about what they had just done in the Devils’ supply closet, Ahsha and Derek couldn’t help but laugh. “Guess ol’ dude got the message,” Derek chuckled, peeking into the hall making sure the coast was clear. “Probably was Howard. That man is forever forgetting his keys somewhere.”

“Good thing he didn’t have them. I couldn’t think of an excuse,” Ahsha added, attempting to take a few steps and instantly noticing the shaking in her legs. Derek smirked and helped the dancer out of the closet. “Don’t you even say a thing,” she warned, causing Derek to laugh.

Their banter continued until they reached the Playground. They were in their own little world and so into each other that they didn’t realize how careless they were being. Derek being the star player on the team and Ahsha being the new, popular dancer, eyes were on them. Whether they saw them or not. Love was in the air with a dangerous mix of jealously and fear.

So it begins…the unofficial beginning of Dersha. I will start on the next chapter soon. Probably at work, where I got most of this chapter done. Oops. Thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoyed!