Happy Halloween, and thanks so much for hosting me here again!
My favorite paranormal creatures are undead—ghosts, zombies, ghouls, and that ilk. That said, I’ve seen some eyebrows raise at the idea of erotica involving, say, zombies. In honor of Halloween, I present my list of reasons that the undead can be part of sexy stories, too.
- Powerful emotion
Death and undeath bring out all the most dramatic emotions. Killing rage. Passion beyond the grave. Unending guilt. With so much emotion filling the air, it’s only natural to need some hot sex for catharsis.
- Possibility for undying love
Paradoxically, undeath is often a form of conquering death. If someone didn’t die when he or she was supposed to, why would that person stop loving?
The ultimate rule of life is that everyone dies one day. If that rule has been broken by anyone in the story, doesn’t that mean all bets are off? Sex that seems unthinkable might suddenly seem like a much smaller transgression when taken in the context of returning to life.
- Need to affirm life
Death is known for making people feel the need to affirm and enjoy life. Sensuality is one powerful way that humans fight back against the knowledge of death—eating delicious food, enjoying the beauty around us, and getting deep into the carnal truths of the body.
- Sense of urgency
Sometimes the ghost can only appear a few times. Sometimes the living see the undead as a warning of future tragedy. Sometimes the undead could kill off the living at any time. No matter what the specifics, the presence of the undead adds urgency to a story. If a character wants sex, he or she can’t wait too long to take action.
My latest erotic romance, Run for Your Love, is set against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. While I’ve written stories where the undead get sexy, too, in this one the survivors are the ones who get the hot scenes. However, my main characters, Zach and Viola, do benefit from several of the points above—particularly the powerful emotions created by the zombie apocalypse and the sense of urgency they feel since they know they might die soon.
Viola stayed quiet long enough for me to notice how hot it had gotten in the truck box. Corrugated tin didn’t exactly make for a comfortable or romantic environment. Neither did the zombies, who still hadn’t given up on making a meal of us. Funny that this was the most romantic moment of my life. The blood and sweat on our bodies didn’t deter me in the slightest.
“You do something to me,” she said finally, and the effort in her voice struck me. She winced as she said the words.
“Something good, I hope,” I said. I found her hand in the dark.
“See,” she said quietly. “You’re doing it again.”
“Doing what?” I hardly dared to raise my voice above a whisper. With my fingertips, I traced the lines of her palm. Slowly, she scooted toward me until her side rested against mine. We stayed that way for a long time while I explored only her hand.
I didn’t lose myself. We still sat on an uncomfortable floor in a hot, smelly, metal box while infected humans crashed into the side of the truck hard enough to make it shake. I did, however, think it could have been worse. I had my reasons for being in the Quarantined Area, but now Viola lived and breathed beside me too. I had someone who would notice if something happened to me.
A smile crept onto my face. No matter how serious the circumstances, Viola always made me feel a little playful. “You keep mentioning this thing, but you don’t explain it.”
Viola huffed out a breath, then brought her face a hair’s breadth from mine. Her dark eyes opened wide, seeming vulnerable beneath the hard edge her voice took on. “I want you, Zach. Like crazy. I want to use words like melt and need and helplessly wet.”
I caught my breath. If I’d opened my mouth, I would have made some sort of inarticulate moaning noise, so I kept it shut and let her keep talking.
She pulled back abruptly, hiding her face in the dim light again. “I’ve had a lot of sex, but never like this.”
“We haven’t had sex yet,” I pointed out.
Instead of making fun of me for my attention to the obvious, Viola sighed. “I know. I’m afraid I’ll die of pleasure if we do.”
I blinked. Viola still seemed out of my league, and now here she sat saying she didn’t know if she could handle the incredible arousal she would feel if we made love. I didn’t know whether to whisper a prayer of thanks to St. Sebastian or start worrying about being able to live up to her expectations. A nervous laugh escaped my lips. “One way to find out.”
“I tried that a minute ago, Zach, but you wanted to talk instead.” She sounded bitter.
“Is it that terrible?”
“My body doesn’t want to think about what we’re doing here. It wants to feel good, not figure out what this means for us right now or what it says about everything I did before I met you. My skin just wants you to touch me. My mind is the problem. All this thinking, all this worrying, all this fear that I’ll find something amazing with you and then we’ll die five minutes later.”
The naked desire in her voice destroyed my resistance. I reached to pull her into my arms, but now that she’d started talking, she wasn’t finished yet. She avoided my touch.
“I used to wonder what was wrong with me,” she went on. “Some guy says, ‘Are you feeling it, baby?’ Then I say, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I thought everything about it was fake. I thought maybe women just don’t like it the way men do. I did stuff because that was what he wanted me to do, or because I figured out that’s what guys like me to do.” Viola’s breaths were so labored in her chest that she sounded as if she’d started running again. “Then I make out with you, and it’s like a slap right here.” She tapped her palm against her abdomen, then tightened her hand and inched it downward.
My cock, already stirred by her speech, hardened almost painfully at the suggestion of Viola touching herself.
“I don’t want to think about what that means.” She let her hand drop away from herself, and I focused on keeping my breathing even and listening to what she said. “If I get involved with you—well, my body wants it, but I don’t want to think about it.”
“Viola,” I whispered. “Viola.” The bravery of her confession awed me.
She came to me this time when I stretched my arms out for her.
“We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” I whispered. “We can take it slow if you want, until you know you can trust me.”
Even in the dark, I could see her exasperated eye roll. “Have you been listening to anything I’m saying, Zach? I want you inside me as soon as possible. I don’t want to take anything slow. I’m scared as hell, but I need this before the zombies, the looters, or what-have-you kill us both. What part of I need you isn’t clear?”
Shotguns seem to be everyone’s favorite accessory for the zombie apocalypse, but Zach Paul believes he can survive without hurting anyone—not even the zombies. An elite-level runner, he plans to speed away from every danger. Then Zach meets a woman he can’t bring himself to leave behind, and staying beside her tests all his principles.
Viola Ortiz fought free of her controlling boyfriend just before the zombies came, but now she believes her macho ex is the only one who can protect her. She sets out to reunite with him, only to encounter Zach instead. The tall, lean runner is everything her ex is not, and Viola is shocked to find he turns her on as no man has before. Viola’s ex, however, isn’t willing to let go of her, and soon it’s clear that other survivors are as dangerous as the zombies.
Zach and Viola can run, but they must find safety before they lose their humanity in the struggle to protect their lives and growing love.
Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors — dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. Her titles for Breathless Press include the contemporary werewolf erotic romances Not His Territory and Not the Leader of the Pack, and Run for Your Love, a romance set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong
Buy One, Get One Free Offer:
Did you miss Annabeth’s previous titles with Breathless Press? Not to worry. E-mail proof of purchase of Run for Your Love, such as an Amazon receipt, to annabeth dot leong at gmail dot com and let her know your e-book format of choice. Annabeth will buy a copy of her werewolf novella, Not His Territory, for anyone who sends this information before November 12, 2013.
If you send your proof of purchase on Halloween, I’ll throw in a couple extra spooky surprises!