Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Studio Time: Sixteen

South Beach - La Pietra Fontana: 9 PM

Duff had selected a private table near the balcony and watched as she made her way toward him. He approved of the way she moved and of the way she dressed. She stood there, searching the room, finding him, and there was a moment when she faltered and then quickly threw on that air of confidence. Of course she would, he would have expected nothing less. He stood when Rayne reached their table.

“Hello, Rayne. It is a pleasure to finally meet.”

She sat down, sat back, and, crossing her long legs, studied him. She had put up her hair. The earrings she wore swung against her neck, the gems rhodolite, or perhaps amethyst, set in gold.  She watched him. “I guess that means you knew who I was before you bid on me.”

Duff narrowed his eyes slightly and watched her through steepled fingers. She thought she was in control, a feint, bravado, so young, she had no idea what she was doing but she was testing him, trying to find a way out. It was perfect, adorable. He offered a slow smile, a quick sweep of his eyes before allowing them to linger at her breasts and then answered simply. “You're Cooper Stanfield's daughter.”

“Oh, right, I'm Cooper's daughter, that's why you embarrassed me by bidding fifty thousand dollars for a stupid charity date.” She shifted in her chair, obviously fully aware of his gaze and perhaps uncomfortable with the effect it had on her. Her nipples pebbled under the yellow silk. She folded her arms across her chest. Duff smiled.

“Did it embarrass you?”

“My boyfriend was going to bid on me.” It wasn't an answer; it was another attack.

“I see. Your boyfriend was embarrassed.” He leaned forward. He kept his voice soft, low and seductive. “Rayne, your boyfriend was going to lose the bid. I’m sorry if I caused you any discomfort, but I am not apologizing for outbidding Jimmy Breaux.”

The waiter filled the water glasses and offered a menu, which Duff waved away.

“You're the one who put the rose in my guitar case.”

Duff smiled, remembering the effort involved in that gesture. “That was not easy to do.”

She stared at him, a long uneasy but very direct stare, her slender fingers pressed against her cheek; she was nervous and trying not to show it. “You're pretty good on the bass. You're very good, and you've got an incredible voice, and Flight is a top band. If you wanted to meet me, you could have come up and said something. I don't know why you thought you needed to sneak flowers into my guitar case.”

The sommelier approached. Duff ordered, glancing at her, changed the order and settled back again. She’d chosen an interesting and confrontational verb, still transparently attempting to force him into defending himself. “I didn't need to do it, Rayne. I chose to do it. Did that embarrass you, too?”

She looked up at the wine steward, lifting her chin, the long elegant curve of her bare neck candlelit and lovely, then turned her gaze back at him. “It didn't embarrass me. I just thought it was strange. And I don't like wine.”

Duff threw a sharp look at her. He would allow her some room but that direct challenge went too far. She would not order for herself or countermand an order he made, and he intended to make her understand her preferences were subject to his final decision. “I didn't order wine for you.”

Duff meticulously ordered the rest of their meal, a lobster salad with beans, apple and avocado, marinated shrimp in a champagne beurre blanc, tea-smoked duck with pears and a cherry-apricot cream cheese tart.

He watched Rayne enjoy each taste sensation, the delight on her face with every bite. When the meal was done, he sipped a cognac while she had an espresso.

Finally Duff stood, reached down and drew his hand across her shoulder, gently forcing her up out of the chair, judging how willingly she moved: with some hesitation, but she followed his lead. “Come.” Rayne looked up at him with delicate uncertainty. He had her off balance and he intended to keep her that way until she acknowledged him, until she made no move without asking his permission.

He tightened his grip on her arm. Rayne didn't pull away but she aimed a hot, uneasy look at him. “Are we going somewhere?”

Duff permitted the question this time. The next time she would simply follow. “Yes, we are. You’re not afraid, are you, Rayne?”

Wary, guarded, earrings fluttering against the pulse on her bare neck, still she acquiesced. “No, not of you.”

South Beach - Old Regency Park: 11 PM

Pleased that she didn’t hesitate to accompany him, that she felt a certain sense of trust, he helped Rayne into his Jag and headed toward Old Regency Park. Pulling over at the entrance, Duff helped her out of the car and steered her toward the heart of the park, a private garden abundant with climbing roses, night blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenia and bougainvillea. Opening a vine-covered gate Duff led her to the center of the lush gardens. He watched as she slowly turned and took in her surroundings. She breathed deeply a few times, the thin fabric of her dress hugging and outlining her breasts, and touched the blossoms on the wall before turning her attention back to him, alight, entranced, enraptured.

“This is beautiful! The colors, the flowers, the scent, it’s amazing!” She laughed and turned on one long leg and looked back at him. Blooming in the garden, lit and backlit, everything he had anticipated and more.

Clasping his hands behind his back Duff moved toward her taking graceful smooth strides as he considered his next move. She was as ripe for the plucking as the fruit that hung from the branches of the trees in this garden and Duff could feel the tightening of his erection. Drawing a breath, chastising himself for getting ahead of the game, Duff moved close to her and breathed into her hair. “I can teach you to fully appreciate all of your senses. Close your eyes, Rayne. Keep them closed until I tell you otherwise. I want you to experience the beauty of this garden with only my voice to guide you.”

A slow shiver overtook Rayne and her skin was covered in goose bumps. She parted her lips slightly, glanced over at him, her voice tentative, barely a whisper. “All right.” Closing her eyes, Rayne waited and Duff moved in.

Duff continued to slowly circle around her watching her reactions as he described the garden, its fragrance, the warm damp air as it caressed her skin. “Without your eyes to guide you, your other senses are heightened. Your sense of smell and hearing.” He moved closer to her, placing a few more seductive words in her ear, then backed off and moved in another direction to keep her off balance.

“Can you feel my presence, Rayne? Where am I? Can you sense the heat of my body, my scent? Listen, try to find me.” Duff watched as her breath came a bit more rapidly but she never flinched or made any attempt to open her eyes. She was being a very obedient girl. He would test her just a little further, any more and he might lose control and that was not something he wanted. Not now when he was so close.

Duff plucked a stem of jasmine and moved quietly toward her. Rayne’s head turned from side to side as if trying to sense where he was. Pulling a blossom from the stem, he crushed it between his fingers. The flower coated his fingers with its scent and Duff waved it under her nose.

“Breathe.” His voice was more commanding. She followed his instructions and inhaled the fragrance. “Part your lips for me, Rayne.” She hesitated but complied. Duff stroked his finger gently along her lips leaving the juice from the bloom on them. The heat of her breath against his fingers was almost too much to bear. Duff licked his lips. He wanted her right here on a carpet of grass, out in the open. A goddess standing naked in the night, his and only his to command.

“Be still,” he whispered, and without hesitation he leaned in and kissed her.

Sandy Point - 1100 Bridge Pass: 1 AM

All through the long drive back to her place Rayne had gone over every single detail of her date. She was still reeling from the sensations, the excitement and especially from the way her body responded to him. When Duff had kissed her she felt his erection pressing against her thigh. She should have pulled away but instead she leaned in, rubbed against him intimately and returned the kiss with equal ardor. It had been crazy. And hot.

She looked down at the dog. It was looking up at her as if it knew what she’d done and expected an explanation. She wished she had one. "That was a weird date. You think I should tell Toad all about it? No, I don't either. I don't think I should tell anyone about it ."

She picked up a glass, fumbled with the faucet, filled the glass half way and then dropped it with a crash. Broken glass glittered in the sink. Too shaky to clean it up, Rayne left it there.

Rayne let her dress slide down to the floor, a silken caress, and moved to the mirror. Her body hummed, an erotic and sensual rhythm pulsed inside her, a restless longing for something she didn’t quite understand. Was this the same thrill that Randi had talked about? As she looked at her reflection Rayne could almost imagine Duff standing behind her, dark and dangerous, possessively running his hands along her body and his velvet voice commanding a physical response. Raw heat of arousal shook her creating tremors of sheer sexual tension. Her breath caught in her throat it was so powerful.

The steady purr of her phone slowly brought her down to earth and Rayne moved on unsteady legs to answer it. “Hello?”


The smooth timbre of his voice poured over her, saying her name the way he did, possessing it, it left her undone. She felt it cascade down her body past her breasts, stomach, and down her legs to her bare toes. Unsure if she could even speak let alone stand, Rayne sat down on her bed. Her bed...her mind racing ahead...She dug in hard, found the hard edge of the bed frame, dug her nails into her thigh and held on. “Yes?”

Practicing what he taught her, Rayne closed her eyes and lay back. She heard the faint sound of classical music in the background and some other sound she couldn’t quite make out, maybe a low hum. She caught a slight hitch in his breathing as she waited for him to speak.

“Until our next time - have pleasant dreams il mio dolce.”

“Don’t hang up - talk to me.”

"Good night, Rayne."



  1. This was such an incredible update, visually stimulating to boot too.

    Rayne seems to be firmly sold on Duff's seduction. I don't know if that's a good thing, especially since she's planning to keep mum about it and not tell anyone.

    Take as much time as you need, and when you're ready to ease back into things we'll all still be here, eagerly waiting for more.

  2. Valpre, thank you so much. I really didn't think we would be posting this so soon but once you get a little clarity, sometimes it works out. Beth totally rocked those sets and shots. Of course. My jaw fell on the floor when I saw that garden. This is it for a bit though.

    Rayne has never met a man like Duff. She is confused, overwhelmed, aroused, intrigued. She doesn't really understand it and doesn't know where it could go.

  3. Oh wow, intense and very sensual! I wonder if Rayne is going to get in over her head here!?! :o Very well done with this one! The poses and the garden were amazing.

    Hope you both enjoy your break! (And I'm glad we got this last piece before you went, lol!)

  4. Oh...this can't be good. Duff is a formidable seductor; hell he had me all tingly for a minute. His every actionm, every word carefully thought out and strategic. Rayne would be smart to be careful with him but I think she's already taken one foot off the ledge and could be headed for a fall. Could be a good fall with a man like Duff, at least for a little while.

    That garden was so beautiful, so much detail and the lighting and colors were perfect. Everything here,shots, poses, writing, worked seamlessly together. Stunning update :)

  5. Long awaited...Finally here!!!

    I was mesmerized by it all. The two of them together, the dinner, the garden... the KISS!!!

    My, my, my!! Even I'm feeling the vibrations of his voice through my body... What a sensual voice... Didn't know he had that... (swooning here ladies)

    Don't get jealous Coop, you're still my number one.
    But dang... Duff just shot up to second place in my book.

    I really didn't like him earlier with the stalking and such... He still may be up to something (very much looks like it)...
    but yeah, baby, I like him now.

    Rainie really looks head over heels (poor Jimmy... NOT!!)
    Hell, with Italian guys, even when they scold you it's sexy... let alone sweet words. Imagine what they do to you...

    She IS walking on dangerous grounds here. He is very mysterious and no one knows what's really going on in that head of his, apart from the vivid fantasies.

    I can't wait to see what you guys have in store for them.
    Beautiful update!

    After all this time... yeah, you guys deserve a rest. Well earned if you ask me!! You guys get a golden star in my book. For Sure!!!!


    **steps away for 15 minutes**

    Ok cold showers in the morning are NICE! Let me just say...brb

    **steps away for 15 minutes**


    Wow! That was incredible! Everything I expected and it wasn't what I expected it was well beyond that! That was SUCH a tease!

    Rayne has NO idea what she just got into! I love how she begged him to stay on the phone and he simply called to tell her "sweet dreams" oh I just about died! I can only imagine the sensations her body was feeling.

    She's decided to keep this from Jimmy?! I would too to be honest but I am sure he will be expecting an update on this date! I wonder what she'll say? :O How he will react? :O man...I smell heartache in his future! She definitely wants my Duff.

    Duff knows his game. That seductive accented voice of his is on my mind and DAMN let me say I was seduced the minute I saw the first pic. HAHA (I'm so whipped but I am NOT ashamed to admit that!)

    A break? After this?! OMG This is brutal, painful torture and I just know when you return the next update won't be Duff! Are you trying to kill me?!? OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved it! It delivered on every level the writing, the descriptions the scenery absolutely gorgeous! I cannot get enough of you ladies! Absolutely fantastic job.

    I hope you enjoy your rest because when you get back I expect even more explosive Duff in all his Duffness...mmm Duff...

    Thank you for such an incredible story (and the time I needed to read the others HA!) <3

  7. I just can't stop smiling! He is great at what he does! From the moment Rayne waled in until that phone call, WOW!

    They were like two bulls in the beginning! Challenging one another. His frustration showed a little at dinner but he quickly grabbed hold of the situation and lead her into something I doubt she'll every be able to let go of!

    I have a feeling Randi's words mixed with that experience will cause a new addiction for Rayne. Not so sure that's a bad thing but when is addiction good?

    Poor hot Jimmy. Sold on Duff and his seduction, that Italian, and just....him!!

    Words cannot express how amazing this was! I hope you both get to relax and enjoy the time off.

  8. O. M. G. (Wow, did that sound valley girl or what? Do you see what you did to me?)

    I am stunned. Wow. Just wow. That was so hot and so creepy all together. I DO need a cold shower now.

    Duff is so nothing I ever expected. I consider Rayne to be a very strong woman who would never let anyone push her around, and I was sure that would be the case here, that she'd see him for a creep and then find a way to tell him to screw himself.

    But he is SO GOOD at what he does that even I'm confused now. There were textual clues though that this isn't a good thing even is the fantasy is hot.

    Oh and can I just say that not only do your sets bring such texture and life, but the details in the text. "Sommelier"- I can't remember the last time I heard that. I wouldn't even know that one. And "a private garden abundant with climbing roses, night blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenia and bougainvillea..." I love the listing of the plants. It's really all so lush and realistic. The work and effort you two put in shows. Amazing!

    Yes, enjoy your break. It's well deserved. What a note to end on!

  9. Just a quick rectification

    I did not say that Duff was Italian!!
    That was a reference to Italian guys, since he spoke Italian to her...

    Don't bite my head off people!!

  10. Wow, Duff is really something else. I guess he's had ample practice, though? ;)

    Still, they do have some crazy chemistry. The garden scene was engrossingly sensual. I just hope Jimmy doesn't get hurt :S

    Enjoy the break, both of you. Relax as well as you can.

  11. This entire chapter just kept me on the edge, seriously. It was incredibly dark and very seductive, but at the same time I'm sensing something dangerous there and I just hope that Rayne is careful! I'd hate for her to turn into Duff's possession, that's all. But we'll see where you bring us in time.

    All the shots were so amazing and the writing complimented it beautifully. I could really imagine being in that garden, surrounded by all the scents.

    And again.. Duff. Eeeps.

  12. Beautiful update. The shots are simply astounding! The writing, superb! The tension between Rayne and Duff -- nobody could do it better!

    What a piece of art to leave us with, as you two recover. :) Thank you!


  13. Amazing. Simply amazing. She started off putting distance between them, and then ended up bending to his every whim!

    This was SO seductive! I swear the heat actually fogged up my computer screen!

    So much more than I dreamed this would be...just incredible!

  14. Laura, thank you! I think she's already in over her head...

    The garden shots I left until the very end, and I could not have done them without Qui's help.

    Thanks from both of us!!

  15. Muzegoddess, he is a formidable seducer, very careful and patient and very sensual. Rayne's in over her head.

    Thank you so much from both of us! This was written at least a month ago, but it took me forever to work through the sets and the shots.

  16. Jean-Marie, LOL! Of course he's up to something and he's likely to get it.

    We always heard his voice as deep and sexy and lightly accented. Rayne is already pretty much gone although she doesn't really feel comfortable with what's happening.

    Ha! A gold star, thank you!!! And it was Gayl's inspired vision to use Italian...very sexy.

    We do need a break but we'll be back! Thank you from both of us!!

  17. Daijahv, I was hoping you'd like this one! I had it almost done, all but the garden scene, and decided to try to finish it and get it out before I do some other things for a little while.

    You're right, Rayne has no idea what she's gotten involved with. Duff isn't like anyone she's ever met and he's going to seduce the socks (and everything else) right off her. That phone call, just to wish her pleasant dreams, and the refusal to stay on the line... irresistible!

    We will definitely have more Duff in the future. He's a lot of fun! Amazingly sexy guy.

    From both of us, thank you for your enthusiasm and your support. It means so much to us!!!

  18. Qui, what can I say. Your help throughout this process, and in so many other areas, is just beyond wonderful. I was so lost with that scene. Thank you, again and again.

    Duff was a little testy with her at dinner, but he is very disciplined in his own way. He knows where he's going and how to get there. Rayne pushed back a little, but by the end of the evening...well she was breathless and aroused and wanting more.

    Jimmy will be seriously hurt if she goes ahead with this. She won't want that. Plus, he knows her and loves her. Duff, so far at least, is enamored with a fantasy.

    I'm so glad you like the way it turned out! Thank you!!

  19. oh, have to add to Jean-Marie, LOL about getting your head bitten! Not going to happen!!!

  20. Lunar, wow, thank you!! That's exactly what we were hoping to achieve, hot but unnerving.

    Rayne came charging out of the gate but he had a bridle and a curb bit on her and was leading her around by the end of the evening. He is not what you would expect, except he is only such a skilled and powerful example that it's breathtaking. He is very very good at what he does.

    Thank you from both of us on the writing. Gayl completed most of this some time ago, and I love the detail in it, too. It took me a while to come up with sets and shots to match it.

    Thank you for all your help and support and encouragement. I think both of us will benefit from a break, but I wanted to end on a high note!

  21. Van, yes he has had a lot of practice, and he has a lot of natural talent, too. He's a very formidable individual.

    If Rayne allows herself to be seduced, and she's already more than halfway there, Jimmy will get hurt. There's no way around it.

    thank you, for all the time you've stuck with us and all your support. We both really appreciate it!

  22. thank you, Mela! Duff is kind of a Byronic figure: mad, bad and dangerous to know. Rayne is a suspicious and prickly young woman. She'll try to be careful but she's being overwhelmed.

    Thank you so much! I just about killed myself over those shots and sets. I'm so glad they worked for you!

  23. Malakaaz, what an incredible compliment! Thank you! It was really challenging to come up with the three different sets, the different atmosphere. I wanted to do Gayl's writing justice.

    I'm so glad the tension between Duff and Rayne came across like that. They're a fascinating couple to consider and work with. They look pretty good together, too! He's nothing like anyone she's ever known, and, despite what he thinks, Rayne's no pushover. She's pretty thoroughly seduced though.

    Your comment means so much to me. I try to create beautiful visuals to give readers something to enjoy. I am so grateful! Thank you!

  24. LOL Jillyson! We hoped it would be sensual and erotic and a little alarming. And different. The small gestures, using the flower and touching her mouth, moving around a garden, and yes bending her to his will...I'm so glad it was unexpected and that you enjoyed it!

    From both of us, thank you so much! If we can produce surprises and steam, we're happy!

  25. Laura: Rayne is a confident young woman but the key here is young. She is already in over her head with Duff. Thrilled that the intensity and sensuality came through here. And yes, Beth transformed the vision for the garden beautifully.

    Thank you from both of us.

    Muzegoddess: Duff is a master seducer. If Rayne had not been affected, we would need to be pinching her to confirm she is still there! The thing with Rayne is that she believes she can control this situation. She is already well beyond that. I do think she will try to be careful and the light of day may give her different perspective but after that first kiss...Duff won't let up.

    Jean-Marie: Duff is incredibly sexy. He has quite an arsenal of sensual artillery and he knows how to use it. LOL about Cooper! His stalking was very creepy but I think any predator will measure his prey, tease and taunt before pouncing. Rayne is definitely over her head. Too bad she doesn't know that yet. Duff will probably through a lot of European charm at her. He is a master seducer.

    So glad the atmosphere came through here. Thank you from us both. Beth did an amazing job with the sets and shots.

    Daijahv: We were waiting for a reaction from you! Duff is your boy! You are right to say that Rayne has no idea what she is into. There is already a link between them. She was practicing what he taught her about her senses...can you imagine if he had simply shown up instead of calling her? She was already reeling from the encounter. But he is going to take his time, play it out his way and get what he wants (so he believes). This is definitely not something that she could share with Jimmy. Randi maybe and I am not sure she will even do that.

    I can't say it enough - Beth did a remarkable job capturing the mood of this piece in shots and decor. Stellar work as always. We do need the break though but we will be back. Thanks for the support from both of us.

    Qui: First, thank you again. Given how beautiful your shots always are, it is no wonder you knew exactly how to stage that garden scene. Duff is a master seducer. He cut a swath through Europe in his youth among other places. He will have a lot more than Italian in his arsenal I'm sure. Rayne did challenge him but he needs to be careful with her, bring her along slowly. For one, that will intensify the chase for him and for another, she is young, much younger than most of his conquests. I think it is pretty clear that Rayne has found a new addiction. Not sure it is safer than alcohol however...

    Thank you again. We both need some rest and perspective.

    Lunar: Hot and creepy...what a combination! Imagine trying to write it! Duff is much more than he seems. There is a very dark side to him. There is also culture and refinement. He is one dangerous package. As I said before he is a master seducer and Rayne is very young and inexperienced prey. Exactly how far he plans to take her is anyone's guess. And he may find a surprise or two on the way...

    Thank you so much about the writing. I was thrilled at how the words and images came together in such a complete way. It is a good note to stop on for a bit. We will be back but the break is needed.

  26. Jean-Marie: LOL no worries. I knew what you meant.

    Dinuriel: Ample practice indeed. There is a lot of chemistry there. I don't think Rayne would have gone along with him if she had not felt the attraction. He is definitely NOT Jimmy. I am really happy that the garden scene worked on both levels. My jaw dropped when I saw the shots.

    Thanks Van!

    Mela: We were going for dark and seductive so that is good that you felt it! The mood embodies Duff. You are right about dark and dangerous. Rayne will try to be careful but she is already caught in the web. Where he takes her remains to be seen. We try to mesh writing and shots so I am thrilled that the text fit them so nicely. Thank you so much!

    Malakaz: Referring to this as a piece of art is high praise! Thank you so much from both of us for that. We will be back soon. Thanks so much!

    Jillyson: Thank you from both of us. I can relate to fogging up the computer screen. It came together well beyond what we expected and Beth did an incredible job with everything.

  27. I cheated, I saw this on my reader and I couldn't help but take a look, I was just going to look at the beautiful pictures, but ended up reading every single line of it! and I love it, really beautiful written, Very sensual and seductive, the sexual tension between those two is amazing and you described it to perfection, incredible and dark in a very beautiful way...

    I still have to read the other chapter, but this one blew my mind away! the shots are beyond beautiful and the writing superb!


    Hopefully i can get to the 6 chapters I have left before you guys update again! I need more hours in my dasy!

    Take care and take your time! We will be waiting for more whenever you are ready!
    it is always a pleasure to read anything you two write!

  28. sorry about the typos... I meant 'days' instead of 'dasy' and 'chapters' instead of 'chapter'

  29. S@n, the pictures are gorgeous aren't they? I am so glad you enjoyed reading this piece. The chemistry between Rayne and Duff is powerful and dangerous for both of them.

    No hurry on catching up. We will be on a short break so there is plenty of time.

    Thank you again!

  30. These pictures are amazing! Whatever trials you went through to get them, I hope you feel like it was worth it now because they're so stunning.

    And wow, Duff! I guess I feel like Lunar - he's a little bit creepy and a little bit sexy at the same time. And Rayne has certainly fallen for the whole thing. I bet she didn't expect to either.

  31. Those shots are beyond spectacular aren't they?

    Rayne is in over her head. Duff is experienced in the art of seduction and he is charming. I am pretty certain that Rayne went to that dinner fully expecting to remain in control.

    Thanks so much Carla.

  32. Wow, wonderful. I'm going to attempt to catch up with the blog, but I have no idea where/how to start. Any suggestions?

  33. Apple Valley, hi! Thank you thank you!

    If you read this summary (, hopefully that's enough and then just the first chapters in this blog. They're all short. I can't deal with long, I get frantic.

    Again, thank you from both of us!!

  34. This was such a tantalizing read! I'm jumping a bit ahead of the game but I couldn't resist, again. lol

    Duff is just too smooth and such a major tease.

    Wonderfully written and amazing shots! :)

  35. Thank you, Jennifer. Duff sure has her going, and Rayne went in thinking she was going to shut him down. So far he hasn't made one wrong move. When he starts to push her harder, though, it may not go as well.

    Thank you so much from both of us!!

  36. OMGosh, this was just simply amazing, inspiring, captivating, and plenty of other '-ing' words I can't even think of right now! I actually read this twice.

    I can certainly understand why this chapter in particular felt like such a challenge and labor of love for you ladies. I appreciate all the care and hard work it took to produce this piece. The sets, the writing, the mood, all of it is so lush and descriptive -- flawless.

    Duff, *swoons* what can I say about him? He walked right out of a romance novel. All mysterious, charming, pompous and hella sexy! Can't blame Rayne for walking right into his enchanting trap! Who wouldn't?

    The garden scene was magical. It reminded me of wonderland, with Rayne tumbling down some metaphoric rabbit hole.

    The ending to this installment, gorgeous. I can identify with Rayne's emotions -- Anticipation, yearning, desire, confusion.

    Brilliantly written, beautiful shots. Really loved this! And, I hope you both enjoy a much deserved break! I think it's safe to say we will all be sticking around anxiously awaiting your return!

  37. So glad you gave us this update before your well earned break.
    Those pictures just tell the story with such depth and blanks filled with words make you pleasantly awestruck.
    He knows what his doing, like a fisherman with his rod carefully fishing for what his after. While she is almost like a helpless little fish, stuck in his net but with only half an desire to escape and get out.
    Beautiful update as ever :)

  38. Lucid, thank you!! The shots were difficult for me although it may not look like it LOL! I enjoy building and designing the sets but setting up the poses makes me crazy. Gayl wrote such a beautiful piece that I really wanted the illustrations to complement it, so it was stressful.

    Duff is extremely good at what he does, isn't he? And what a perfect metaphor! Rayne did fall down a magical rabbit hole in that garden and she's not going to find an easy way back.

    We've been looking forward to this chapter for a long time. I'm just thrilled you enjoyed it! It makes all the work worthwhile!

  39. Speechless, thank you so much from both of us!

    Duff does know what he's doing, and it is true, Rayne is caught and isn't even trying very hard to escape. The master fisherman!

    Thank you so much for reading, and both of us are very very happy you enjoyed both the shots and the writing!

  40. WOW! Fabulous writing & pictures! You both make my attempts pathetic.

    I'm loving Duff but also want to scream a warning to Rayne to run!

    I can't wait to read your previous stories. :)

    ~ Sleepycat

  41. Sleepycat!! Thank you! Gayl is a really good writer and I'm obsessive about the shots. I'd like to be a lot better than I am but I keep trying.

    Rayne probably wouldn't listen LOL! She's in way over her head, too young and too inexperienced, but she's pretty strong so we'll see.

    Thank you so much from both of us!! And no one's work is pathetic. Don't ever even think that.

  42. So sorry, I thought I commented on this *blushes* I read it days ago.

    Tremendous writing, hitting every note, and the shots are the icing on and enticing cake to be sure.

    Duff is sexy danger, it oozes from his every pore. I want to know more about him!
    Not a Rayne fan, probably will never be one, however, here she is achingly vulnerable, to me anyway.

    Well done ladies~

  43. No worries ~Drew. This piece did come together really well, both writing and pictures.

    Duff is fascinating to both of us. He is very complex, not all bad, definitely not all good. At some point we will reveal more about who he is and what makes him tick.

    Rayne is more vulnerable than she has ever been. Her obsession with Gabe will be nothing compared to where Duff could potentially take her. She is out of her league, too young to remain in control of anything here. She is already caught in his web.

    Thank you from us both.

  44. Now that was one sexy update! I have to stop and fan myself, geez! Like I said, poor Jimmy! Rayne is definitely intrigued, who can blame her, the guy is definitely a sex bomb! I wonder how she will like being controlled though since he seems to have an issue with that! Should be very interesting to see this develop!

  45. Ladies, that was quite an exciting read. Great shots and great writing.

    Duff is pretty good at this mind game. I tend to forget how young Rayne is also. I think she's strong, for sure, but I think that when introduced with something that she hasn't encountered before, it will remind me how inexperienced she is. Oh boy! I guess Duff really can toot his own horn for making her as intrigued as she is so quickly. I might be too if I had a date like that.

    Enjoy your hiatus, ladies!

  46. Emily, Rayne would not like being controlled and I think Duff might underestimate her a bit. She may have a surprise or two for him! You are right about Jimmy. He is going to get hurt. How that will affect him remains to be seen although I doubt it will be good.

    Duff is incredibly sexy and charismatic. He knows how to push all the right buttons.

    Thanks from us both!

  47. Choco, Thank you! Rayne is young and inexperienced. Even her encounter with Ryan, who was drunk out of his mind at the time, will not prepare her for Duff's intensity.

    We will try and rest and hopefully come back refreshed with more updates.

    Thanks again from both of us.

  48. The sets, especially the garden... wow.

    Intricately described throughout, it's that icky feeling when something is attractive yet it is SO WRONG.

    Duff is seriously scary - all the more so because he is so sexy.

  49. Sorry, late to the party. I just caught up on the present story, I took the time to read all the way through from Dark December. All I can say is that the entire story arc is brilliant and captivating. he characters are complex and believable. Even the most upright (Slim) is flawed, and even the most dastardly (Gabe) is occasionaly inclined to act honorably. Very intense storytelling.

    That said, the current chapter is... wow. Duff is one of those dark, brooding types and Rayne is likely in for more than she bargained for.

  50. Wow, ocelotekatl that is a lot of reading!

    Thank you from both of us for not only putting in all that time but for the astute comment. You are so right about both Slim and Gabe in your assessment of their characters. One of the most important things for us is that the story and characters are easy to relate to, real, and 3 dimensional. So thank you for that!

    You're also right about Duff and Rayne. Lots more story to tell there as well as the other characters.

    Thanks again!

  51. Rad, thank you. Duff is both seriously sexy and alarming!

    ocelotekatl, I'm chiming in with Gayl to say THANK YOU, both for reading the whole thing. (I'm stunned and, because the early work is, well, early, kind of embarrassed.) As Gayl said, it is very important to us that the characters are believable. There are no villains, only flawed people, and even the few heroes make mistakes.

    Thank you again from both of us!

  52. I don't know how I missed this.
    I don't think I can add anymore with my comments.
    The pictures were wonderful, as always. Those garden shots especially!
    I don't know what I was expecting from that date, but it was very erotic...looks like Duff has her where he wants here huh?
    I can't wait for the next update. Hopefully this time I will see it. You guys should post a link to the chapters on your LJ account too.

  53. Holley, you are so kind, thank you.

    Duff thinks he has her where he wants her. Experience usually trumps youth.

    We've been taking a break. I'm not altogether sure what we will do in the future, or even if there is a future. It's great to get feedback from people like you, though. It means a lot. It's encouraging. I really, really appreciate it.

    We post links on LJ simfic50 when we update. I thought it was sort of 'bad form' to cross post on LJ with update notices. Somebody told me not to do that.

    Thank you, Holley. From both of us.

  54. I don't think it is bad to leave a link on your LJ page as well, but that is my opinion. that way "friends" who are not following simfic50 (like me) can see it. But of course that is up to you.

    I really do hope there is a future for this. I would hate for it to go away now that I have "discovered" it ;)

  55. Goodness!

    First off, the pictures and poses, everything was just amazing--everything is luxurious and a feeling of decadence that goes with the whole feeling of this chapter.

    I get the feeling that Duff planned every detail about the date almost obsessively. I wonder if Rayne surprised him at all? Since we are privy to his thoughts, I really hate that she seems to be going along with his "commands" thus far. But on Rayne's end, she just seems to see this as a strange, but erotic interaction.

    I really wonder what her newfound fascination with Duff will mean for her relationship with Jimmy...

  56. We were definitely going for luxurious and decadent. Glad that came through here.

    Duff has not been surprised by Rayne yet. He expects a certain amount of bravado from her; she is her father's daughter and he knows that. Nevertheless, I think she will surprise him in ways he will not anticipate. As for Rayne, this is something she has never experienced. She is young and her only other encounter with a more mature man was Ryan and he was drunk. Jimmy and Duff are opposites in every way. It is bound to have some effect on the two of them especially if Rayne stays caught up in the erotic fantasy.

  57. Wow, this chapter was amazing!! I love how Duff seduced her so methodically from the beginning with the food, the ambience and his charms. And she fell for it, hook line and sinker. I also love how he called her later on while she was all hot and bothered, and instead of talking to her, he cut it short, leaving her wanting more. Nice!

  58. Duff is a master seducer and Rayne is out of her depth with him.

    Thanks again!