Editor's Choice
Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - As an author, you hope that your story touches others' lives and changes them positively. TK's book changes her own life, and helps her move beyond the hurt.

She was definitely not someone he would have believed could be an author, not by just looking at her, that is. Watching her now, in the reception hall full of other authors and editors, she seemed quite small and out of place. Many of the authors Scott was watching were quite gregarious and outgoing; she kept mostly to herself and remained soft spoken. Maybe that's what drew him to her; she wasn't like all the rest.

When her manuscript was first given to him, Scott Byrd was intrigued. He read the synopsis and the couple of chapters that were included and he was curious to meet this new author and find out how the book was laid out. The chapters he had been given were such an easy read, he was curious to see if the rest of the book would be that way. So, he quickly made arrangements to meet up with this TK Lawrence to find out all he needed to know.

Was that only a year ago?

He remembered how surprised he was when he finally met TK. She was only 5' tall, but she didn't back down when she knew what she wanted with her book. They butted heads a couple of times over changes, but, all in all, TK was cooperative and offered compromises where she could. Scott enjoyed the challenge of working with her and was almost sorry when they were done with the book.

All of that led to today. The publisher, Mr. Jack Harmon, was hosting a reception for all his authors and editors for the annual holiday gathering. Every editor and author doesn't show up all the time, but Scott enjoyed going to these functions, if for no other reason then to see who showed up. It was his perverse sense of humor that drew him to these receptions. He stayed sober while watching all these respected authors and editors getting smashed beyond belief and making total asses of themselves.

But, she was different. TK tried to mingle, but seemed like a timid rabbit. After watching her expression change from stoic to pained, Scott decided to swoop in and rescue her.

"How are you holding up?" he asked, as he approached her from behind. With an expression of relief, TK turned away from the group of pompous blowhards.

"I wish I didn't have to be here," TK remarked, relieved to find an ally in this place. "But Mr. Harmon insisted."

"I know what you mean," Scott began, placing his hand around TK's waist and leading her away from the group that had captured her. "I felt that way my first year. Now, I come here purely for the entertainment."

"What entertainment?" TK was at a loss to see how any of this could be entertaining. She had never liked going to big parties, especially where there was drinking, and going alone just brought back many of TK's insecurities.

"Sure. Watching these people change from respected adults in the field of literature to babbling lechers! If you can stay out of the line of fire, it really is quite amusing," Scott explained, smiling. TK chuckled and felt a bit more at ease as she allowed herself to be led by Scott. "Here, is this better?" he asked, as he led her through a door out onto the deserted balcony. It was early winter, but the afternoon sun offered a little warmth from the chill.

"It is a little chilly, but I'm more comfortable being out here then being in there," she replied, wrapping her arms around herself to keep warm.

"I'm sorry. Here I was thinking I was rescuing you and, instead, I throw you into the depths of pneumonia!" Scott spoke with mock indignation as he stood behind TK and wrapped his arms around her body. She was shorter than the women he usually dated, but he found that he enjoyed being able to envelope her with his 5'11 frame. "Is this better?"

She leaned her body into his but before TK could speak, they were interrupted.

"There you are, Scott! I've been looking all over for you!" Her voice was sickening sweet and Scott groaned as he turned to face the interruption, keeping one arm still around TK.

"What do you want, Tiffany," he droned in the most unwelcoming tone he could muster.

"Oh, well," she began, disgusted with the discovery of TK at Scott's side, "Mr. Harmon was looking for you and I told him I'd find you." She plastered a smile on her face that reminded TK of the old cartoons where the cat ate the canary.

"We'll be right in," Scott answered, hoping Tiffany would get the hint.

"You know, you shouldn't keep Mr. Harmon waiting," Tiffany warned.

"I said," Scott began again, this time a little angrier, "we'll be right in!" With that, Tiffany left in an exaggerated huff. TK watched as she left, noticing how beautiful the young lady was. Obviously, TK thought with a twinge of envy, she has nothing to do with her life but work out so men can ogle her.

"Who was that?"

"That was Tiffany Willis," Scott answered in disdain.

"THE Tiffany Willis? Doesn't she have that line of 'body beautiful' books?" TK had read some of the back covers of the books and was surprised that this was the same author who wrote them.

"The one and only," Scott admitted, reluctantly leading TK back inside the reception hall.

"For such a beautiful body, she has a pretty ugly disposition," TK observed, causing Scott to choke a little at the vocalized revelation.

Soon after re-entering the hall, Scott excused himself to go find Mr. Harmon. Tiffany was hovering just inside the doorway waiting for Scott to leave.

"I can't understand what Scott would see in the likes of you," she scowled as she came up behind TK. Tiffany couldn't help but look down at TK from her height of 5'6.

"I can believe that," TK responded, not turning around but trying to keep as calm as possible.

"You're ... you're fat!" Tiffany had decided to throw the gauntlet down. She had wanted Scott Byrd since she started getting published by Harmon Publishing. He had spurned her every advance. Tiffany was determined to not allow this new interloper a chance to get him instead.

"Slightly overweight, actually; but I'm working on it," corrected TK, glancing casually behind her at Tiffany's face. This might be more fun than I thought, she mused to herself. TK learned young that she would never be able to beat anyone in a physical fight, but a 'war of the words' was something entirely different.

"And, you're short; like a — a dwarf." Tiffany announced smugly. She was getting frustrated. In the past, Tiffany was able to start something and then have most of the men falling over her, as she played the 'innocent victim.' This one was harder to bait.

"First off," TK began, completely turning her body to face Tiffany, "my feet touch the ground like everyone else's. But, more importantly, the medical community has classified dwarfs, who prefer to be known as 'Little People', as being shorter than 4 foot 10 and with specific anomalies within their genetic structure. So, since I am all of five feet, I could not be classified as a dwarf, I'm just short," TK corrected matter-of-factly, then slowly turning away from Tiffany to scan the guests looking for Scott or Mr. Harmon.

"You're old." This was true, comparatively. If TK was correct in assuming Tiffany was in her late-twenties, TK was almost five years her senior.

"With age, there is wisdom and maturity," TK quoted calmly over her shoulder, not even looking at Tiffany this time.

"You're ugly." Boy, TK thought, Tiffany is really grasping at straws with this one! TK had heard about some of Tiffany's antics and was glad for the warning. She knew her father's best friend would watch out for her to a certain extent, while still enabling her to stand on her own.

"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder."

"I bet you've written a book to tell all those ugly girls how to use their brains, since they don't have the body to get what they want," Tiffany accused, smoothly running her hand down her side to her hip, effectively accentuating her form.

"And I bet," TK shot back, turning again to keep eye contact with Tiffany, "you write those books that tell girls that all they have to do is develop their bodies and not their minds and they'll get whatever they want."

"That's right!" Tiffany announced smugly. She was proud of her books and they sold quite well. According to Tiffany, there were many girls out there who needed to look better than they did.

"Obviously." TK let a fake yawn escape her lips, but she didn't turn away. She was hoping that this power trip would soon be over.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Tiffany was becoming indignant. She had never had anyone stand up to her like this woman has and it was beginning to get on her nerves.

"It's quite apparent that you have yet to realize that, while the body may be beautiful, if the soul is ugly everything else is damaged goods." Looking at Tiffany, anyone could see that her blood was beginning to boil. TK, on the other hand, remained calm on the outside, never revealing her increasing anger.

"A lot you know, I can get any guy I want because I'm beautiful and desirable," Tiffany boasted, placing her hands on her hips and sticking her chest out even higher. She made sure to continue facing TK, almost as if in a staring contest. Tiffany was surely not going to back down. And, she had every intention of winning this war!

"Actually, you can get any guy you want because you're an easy lay." TK made the remark before she realized she had spoken it out loud. She turned away slowly to continue to scan the guests even though she desperately wanted to see the look on Tiffany's face. She could feel heat on the back of her neck and she could only assume it was from Tiffany's anger at her statement.

Scott had been listening in on most of the exchange, keeping just within earshot, but not within view. He, actually, was enjoying listening to TK put Tiffany in her place. With TK's last statement, however, he quickly interceded before the young goddess pummeled the outspoken author. As the volley of words had continued, a small crowd had begun to form. As he led TK away from the growing crowd Scott couldn't help but chuckle.

"What's so funny?" TK asked, irritated at what she assumed was her being laughed at. "Is this part of the 'entertainment' you were alluding to earlier?"

"Not at all. Actually, you are the first person I know who has been able to put Tiffany in her place and live to tell about it! And, you did it masterfully, I might add!" Scott explained, steering TK toward the center of the room.

"Good, I'm glad you two are here," Jack Harmon greeted the couple before TK had a chance to reply to Scott's remark. "May I have everyone's attention, please?" he announced to the rest of the guests. "As most of you know, once a year I have the editors review the books that we published over the past calendar year and select their favorite. The favorite is always announced at this reception. For the first time ever, we have a tie for the Editor's Choice Award!" Mr. Harmon paused while his guests gathered around closer to hear who won. "This year, the tie is between Tiffany Willis' 'Body Motion' and TK Lawrence's 'Walking With Angels'!" As everyone cheered, TK was awestruck.

"Congratulations!" Scott gave her a quick hug before gently guiding her up to the front next to Mr. Harmon.

TK felt uncomfortable in the limelight, and even more so with Tiffany standing beside her. As the two women congratulated each other politely, TK got the distinct feeling that Tiffany was going to cause more trouble, if given the chance. She knew that Tiffany was not happy with not getting the last word, and, now with having to share this award with her, Tiffany would be out for blood.

As soon as the picture-taking was done, Scott moved in to, again, guard TK. He brought his hand comfortably around her waist as he asked, "Why don't we both get out of here now that the excitement is over? Did you drive, or do you need a ride?"

"I didn't know where to go so Mr. Harmon sent a car," TK answered, a little puzzled at Scott's behavior.

"Oh, 'sent a car', did he? Why don't you give me your address and I'll take you home? I don't think it's safe to leave you here unguarded with 'Miss Priss' still out for blood."

Scott knew that Tiffany was still angry from the earlier confrontation and he wanted to place as much space between her and TK as possible. He knew how cruel Tiffany could be if given the chance.

"You don't need to do that; I'll just call a cab." While TK was still riled by the way Tiffany challenged her, she was more upset that she allowed herself to get provoked like that.

"Nonsense. After the way you put Tiffany in her place without even batting an eyelash! I owe you more than just a ride home!" Scott was beaming as he led TK toward the coat check and then the parking lot.

They rode in relative silence, except when TK offered direction in reaching her apartment. When he pulled into an empty parking space, an awkward silence fell over the car. TK was the first to break the silence.

"It's still a bit early. Would you like to come in for some coffee or something to eat?" she asked, rather shyly. Truth be told, she enjoyed Scott's company and was looking for an excuse to enjoy more of it. She was almost sorry that the book was written and published because she would no longer have any reason to spend time with him.

"Food sounds good, actually, I didn't eat much at the reception," he decided. "Would you mind if I bring up a change of clothes, too, and change out of this monkey suit? I'm basically a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy, but, got to make a show of it at these functions."

"Sure, no problem," TK answered. While Scott went around his car to open her door, she added to herself, "You look real good in that suit, though, too."

"You've got a nice place here; it suits you," Scott complimented while scanning the front room and kitchen area.

"Thanks. It's small but manageable. If you want, you can change in the bathroom right down the hall." TK pointed in the general direction.

"Okay, thanks." And Scott turned to head in the direction TK had pointed.

"Um, before you do, can I ask a favor? I like this dress, and all, but it was a pain to zip up. And, you know if it's hard to zip up, it's even harder to zip down. Could you get it started for me?" TK was blushing as she turned her back to Scott, keeping her eyes trained to the floor.

"I like this dress, too. You look good in it." Scott's voice was soft in her ear. He watched as he slowly lowered the zipper of her dress. TK kept her hands hugging her front as her back became more exposed. It was all Scott could do not to reach out and caress the exposed skin of her shoulders and back.

"Thanks," she replied, shyly. "I'm going to get changed now."

Soon after TK had her dress off and hung up, she heard a banging at her apartment door. She wasn't expecting anyone but the banging seemed frantic. So, thinking it was one of her neighbors who needed help, she quickly put a robe on and rushed to see what all the noise was about. As she opened the door, Tiffany huffed in.

"What are you doing here?" TK insisted, readying herself for another fight.

"Don't you think for one minute you're going to get him! Where is he? I know he's here; I saw his car!" Tiffany demanded, looking around the apartment.

"How did you find out where I lived?" TK quietly closed the door, not wanting to escalate a scene in the hallway and disturb her neighbors.

"I talked with the driver who picked you up, of course; it only took a little convincing," she explained, licking her lips in a satisfied manner.

"Who was at the door?" Before TK could make a retort about Tiffany's method of convincing, Scott entered the room securing a towel around his waist.

"What have we here? Maybe I arrived just in time." Tiffany cooed, happy with herself for her timing.

"Go home, Tiffany," Scott insisted. Ignoring him, Tiffany sauntered over to Scott and started to run her fake nails up and down his chest.

"You don't have to do this with HER — come with me and we can have some real fun." To be more convincing, Tiffany started to nuzzle against Scott's neck and lick his earlobe.

"I'm not interested, Tiffany. I've told you that already!" Scott roughly grabbed Tiffany's hand and yanked it from his chest. As he did so, her head was abruptly removed from his neck.

"I think it's time for you to get out of my apartment before I call the cops. You wouldn't want Mr. Harmon to find out about a police record, would you?" TK challenged, while holding the door open.

"You know, he's only here because he feels sorry for you; they all do. That's why you tied with me for the Editor's Choice Award. A lonely woman is paraded around every so often to tug on their heart-strings and make all the men feel needed." Tiffany sneered as she slowly sauntered out the door. TK quickly shut and locked the door after her.

"I'm sorry about that," Scott apologized, watching as TK wrapped her arms around her body and leaned against the door. He slowly went to her and put his arms around her to comfort her. "Let's go sit down."

"I'm okay, really." TK tried to sound convincing, but she wasn't sure she believed it herself. "I've never known anyone to be so vindictive. Why is she like that? What was all that about, anyway?"

As they sat on the sofa, Scott kept his arm around TK and began to explain. "Tiffany has a reputation of coming on to every man who works at the publishing company. When she came on to me, it was a lot more subtle at first. On our second date, she made it clear that she wanted me to sleep with her. I didn't want to be just another conquest so I refused and she has been stalking me ever since."

"She's obviously someone who has not been rejected too often."

"You think?" Scott joked, chuckling softly. He looked down and noticed TK smiling. It was a sad smile, but one, nonetheless. "Okay, I've told you something about me that you didn't know. It's your turn; tell me something about you."

"Like what?" TK had a difficult time looking at Scott. She felt very violated and vulnerable right now because of Tiffany but she felt safe in Scott's arms.

"Why did Tiffany say that we all feel sorry for you? What's that about?"

"I could say it was because I'm not as beautiful as her," TK began.

"But, I wouldn't believe it," Scott finished. "I, personally, think you're more beautiful. You've got your beauty on the inside as well as the outside. Just like you said earlier, if the body is beautiful but the soul isn't, it's damaged goods. You've definitely got both."

With a deep sigh, TK continued. "I'm more damaged than you think; I just hide my scars better. Tiffany was probably referring to the fact that I used to be married." TK took another deep breath before continuing. "Jason and I met in college; we were immediately inseparable. For graduation, he gave me an engagement ring. We both got jobs out of college, so we planned and saved and we were married by twenty-four. Two years later, I found out I was pregnant; we were both thrilled." TK paused. She got up from the sofa and crossed the room to the bookcase where she retrieved a small picture frame and brought it over to Scott.

"Alexander was born eight weeks premature," she continued. Scott looked at the picture in his hands of the young family.

"He looks beautiful. What happened?"

"The doctors didn't hold out much hope for him; there were too many complications. I spent all my time at the hospital, even after I was released. Jason stayed with me as much as he could. Alexander was a couple weeks old and I could tell that he didn't have much time left. Jason had gone out to run some errands so I called him and told him to come back to the hospital." TK paused again as tears welled up in her eyes, threatening to fall. Quickly, Scott placed the picture on the nearby coffee table and wrapped his arm back around TK's shoulders. "He was heading to the hospital. He was just a block away, when a drunk driver ran a red light and hit Jason's car. According to the medical examiner, Jason was killed instantly; Alexander died in my arms not too long after the accident."

TK began to sob openly and welcomed Scott's warm embrace.

"How long ago?"

"Almost eight years. Actually, today would have been our tenth wedding anniversary." TK hadn't spoken about this for a long time. She felt a slight weight lift off her shoulders as she clung to Scott a little tighter.

"Are you hungry?" Scott asked when he heard TK's stomach growl and realized he had not eaten in a while, either. "What do you say about me making us something to eat while you finish getting changed? We can put this whole Tiffany incident behind us and talk about whatever you want."

Chuckling, TK looked down toward Scott's lap and offered, "Why don't we BOTH finish getting changed and then meet in the kitchen?" Scott blushed and nodded in agreement when he realized that he was still only wearing the towel around his waist.

Soon after a relaxing dinner, the couple heard a loud crash outside and then the power went out. Looking out the window, they saw the cause of the noise. Mother Nature had been stirred up with a vengeance and a storm was coming down so hard there was little to no visibility.

"Under the circumstances, you're welcome to sleep on the sofa tonight," TK offered.

"Thanks, I'll take you up on that."

Scott was relieved when he remembered he had worn boxers that day; he didn't want to have to sleep in tight jeans all night. He lay down on the sofa feeling pretty good. He was happy being there with TK, even if Tiffany did try to spoil things. TK was strong and resilient, and Scott very much enjoyed her company.

In the middle of the night, Scott was woken up by someone calling out. Alarmed, he rose quickly when he realized where he was and that it was TK's voice he heard. Without even thinking, he entered her bedroom and quickly moved to her side.

"TK, are you okay?" Scott gently shook TK to make sure she was awake before he did anything else.

"Huh? I must have been dreaming." TK leaned up on her elbows and Scott could see the sweat along her forehead.

He immediately sat on her bed next to her, propped his back against her headboard and hugged TK to his chest.

"You're pretty shaken. Was this just a dream or a nightmare?"

"I used to have vivid dreams right after Jason and Alexander died. I think I had another one tonight."

"You're safe now," Scott comforted, kissing the top of her head. "I won't let anything happen to you; try to get some more sleep." Without argument, TK adjusted herself on the bed so that Scott would have more room, and she adjusted the tangled covers to place over him as well so he could be warm. She welcomed the feel of Scott's body next to hers and both fell back asleep quickly.

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