by Giselle Renarde
Jody breathed in her girl's floral perfume, and that scent broke her. She melted in Renata's arms weaving her fingers together behind Renata's back, trying so hard to keep the tears at bay. "Nobody remembers me anymore. I used to be the pretty one, the actor, the girl everyone was excited to see. Now it's you. Everybody loves you, and that's great and I'm glad, but…"
Jody backed away to get a good look at Renata -- tall, dark hair, Spanish eyes, full pouting lips. In that long black swishy skirt and the silky blouse the colour of a South American sunset, Renata had been the most gorgeous woman at that restaurant. But, then, Renata was always the most beautiful woman in any room.
They floated to bed together, heads finding a pillow to share. "After everything we've been through together, how could you begrudge me the love and affection of others?"
Guilt welled up in Jody and coupled with shame. She couldn't contain the tears now. They streamed down her cheeks, soaking the pillow. "I'm just not used to it," was all she could think to say, but that sounded pathetic. "I'm jealous of you, Renata. I want what you have."
To Jody's amazement, Renata laughed -- laughed even as she kissed the tears from Jody's face and said, "Don't you think I wanted what you had when you were the star? My girlfriend the actress, everybody worships her, everybody wants her. Nobody saw me at your side."
"You were shy."
"I was an oddity, at best." Renata stroked Jody's arms, ran those pretty painted fingernails down her thighs. "I felt so ugly next to you."
Jody couldn't believe her ears. "You were never ugly. Why would you think that? You were mousier before -- before the surgery, I mean -- not quite as bold."
"I was so self-conscious, so worried about passing. The surgery changed more than just my body. Now nobody can call me into question. Nobody can tell me I'm not a real woman. I was mousy because I didn't have this confidence before. I didn't want to be seen. I was afraid, and I hid behind you because I knew little Jody would keep me safe. And I worried I was dragging you down, but I learned that nothing could drag you down, honey, nothing could…" Renata brushed the too-long bangs from Jody's eyes. "What's changed?"
In 2008, Torquere Press' fantastic authors decided to support a charity with an annual short story collection called our Charity Sip blitz. In the past three years, we've donated more than $13,000.00 to charitable organizations that support GLBT causes.
For 2011, Torquere's authors have chosen the theme "Getting Better" in honor of the It Gets Better project, which helps LGBT youth understand that life as an openly queer adult is not only possible, but happening for millions of people, worldwide. More than thirty authors have written short fiction pieces and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the sales of these stories to this year's charitable organization. Torquere Press Inc. will match the authors' donations completely.
This year, we're also pleased to announce that our distribution partner, Rainbow eBooks, has agreed to be the title sponsor of our Sip collection, and will be our sole distributor outside of the Torquere Books website. Please support our sponsor by visiting them at www.rainbowebooks. com
Torquere Press and our authors truly believe we can make a difference by donating to organizations that promote awareness and equality. If you'd like to help, please support the Charity Sip Blitz and enjoy some great romance today!
Available September 17, 2011 at www.torquerebooks. com and www.rainbowebooks. com