The Tell-Tale Valentine by Jessie Devine! #BleedingHeart2014

Bleeding Heart 1

Seeing as it’s Saturday and we’ve all managed to make it to the weekend in one piece, we at The Midnight Type thought you deserved a brand new Bleeding Heart to play with.

Last time we gave you an explicitly good short by the mysterious Violet Skies. Today, we have a story by one of our very own.

Devine in name, divine in nature, Jessie’s THE TELL-TALE HEART tips its hat to Poe in epic Valentine style. If you love it (which you will!) please leave a comment or hit him up online. We’ve even given you little links because we’re just that nice. Enjoy!

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THE TELL-TALE HEART

By

Jessie Devine

The Tell-Tale Valentine

“Valentine’s Day. Do you think it’s totally nerdy to go to a Poe exposé?”

Coral pops her gum. “If she can’t handle the nerdy, she can’t handle you.”

I string the strands of black and pink hair over my shoulder with my fingers. “I s’pose.”

“You should get her to model for me. Then I could meet her.” She peeks around her canvas and gives me the stink-eye.

“Quit your bitchin’. If I survive tonight, you’ll meet her.”

Coral quirks her turquoise eyebrow. “Survive?”

“You know what I mean. Don’t get dumped.”

Maybe “survive” is the wrong word to use in our enormous Brooklyn loft. It’s been kind of creepy in here since Elizabeth died. Not that there’d been any sign of a break in, or even foul play. Still. Dead. The image of her quiet face as I pulled back the blanket that partitioned off her bedroom haunts me incessantly, and I don’t mean that like a pun. It’s like her ghost, and the only way I remember her anymore.

Though, I did meet Arlet just a day later. What’s that about karma? Out with the old, in with the new, I guess.

Coral rolls her eyes. “Girl, you aren’t getting dumped. If she’s as wonderful as you say she is, she’ll love it.”

“Hope so.” I slide off the corduroy couch. “Any idea when Noah will be home?”

“Think he and Casey are staying with Rob tonight. So we have the place to ourselves.” She waggles her eyebrows.

“Hooray.” My voice is flat. When I said it was creepy, I meant it.

***

Arlet is eyeing me sideways, her slick little smile around her straw. My heart’s beating in my ears. It always does when she’s around. “You look nervous.”

Her platinum dreads have sparkling beads in them, and today she’s added red feathers. I occupy my eyes with the Pit and the Pendulum game. There’s a swinging blade over a hospital bed with someone tied to it and screaming. His girlfriend is laughing at him. “Come on, let’s try that. I bet we can win.”

Arlet’s heavily-mascaraed lashes flick up and down as she studies it. “That blade’s not even real. What do you have to do?”

“Let it touch you, I guess.” I clear my throat. The prize is a couple’s massage, but I’m not sure if she thinks we’re a couple. My heart beats louder.

She tosses her soda in the trashcan and takes my hand. Her smile returns. “You know, Poe’s my hero. I would’ve ended up here tonight if I hadn’t met you anyway.”

“Ah, great. I brought you somewhere you’d go if you were single.”

Her eyebrows draw together. “That’s bad?”

I shrug. “I dunno. Seems lame to me.”

“No, silly. I wouldn’t’ve had as much fun. Come on.”

We walk over to the Pendulum, where the wuss is walking away with his girlfriend. There are a couple volunteers milling about. This isn’t a very popular booth. Which, yeah, with all the screaming.

“You want to give it a try? You have to sit through the entire run. No screaming. No asking to get off. No begging for mercy.” He smiles. “I mean, if you want to win. Who’s first?”

Arlet jumps into the bed, and the staff straps her down. She winks at me as it lowers until she’s flat, and the blade starts swinging.

At first, it’s like three feet above her body. My eyes are glued to it, swinging back and forth. It’s just like the story, except it’s dropping visibly every time. And we’re not in a dungeon.

The blade comes closer and closer. Finally, it swings down and hits her in the chest. She cries a battle cry, laughing, and the volunteers unstrap her. She hops out of the bed. “What do I win?”

“Nothing yet. She has to do it too.” The staff guy nods at me.

“You got this, hot stuff.” She flutters a kiss onto my cheekbone.

My heart beats out of control. This thing is so silly. It’s not real—for obvious reasons—and I just watched Arlet do it. Plus, it’s totally my thing. Poe, gore, the like. I have no reason to be scared.

But I am.

I climb into the hospital bed, feeling like they’re strapping me to death. I can’t even look at Arlet as they lower me down, and I clench my eyes shut when the blade starts swinging.

Arlet’s catcalling at me, but I won’t open my eyes. I’m afraid I’ll scream, and then I’ll look really stupid. After I feel like I’ve held my breath for ages, the shiny plastic bumps into my boobs, and the staff releases me.

“Congrats. First couple to do that all day.” The staff guy pushes a red envelope into my hands.

Couple. First couple to do that all day.

I flip my hair back. “Really? I mean, it’s just plastic.”

Arlet’s already found something else she’s interested in, so I smile at the staff and run to catch her. The couple’s massage is in my back pocket, and it’s burning on my tongue to ask her out. It’d be pretty romantic. We could go to the wine bar afterward, maybe listen to some music.

But it’s a couple’s thing. Strictly a couple’s thing. It even says so. Couple’s massage. And I don’t know if that’ll freak her out.

We’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks. We even kissed once. But . . .

Maybe I should just ask her straight out. Are. We. A couple. But what if she says no? I squeeze her hand on accident and she squeezes back.

“Not scared, are you?” Her eyes glitter.

I clutch the red envelope in my fingers. “No. Hey, I want to ask you—”

“Oh! Look, this is my favorite story.” She tugs on my arm.

“Wait, Arlet. I have a—”

“Come on!”

She drags me inside the Tell-Tale Heart display. It’s dark in here, like a haunted house, and I’m not usually scared of the dark, but my heart pounds into my throat. I take a huge breath. “I gotta ask you a question.”

“What, what?” she laughs.

There’s something peculiar about this room. Not just the fake old man sitting up in bed with a slit of light over a gross-looking eyeball. No, it’s just, “It’s really quiet. Why aren’t there any staff in here?”

In the darkness, I can barely make out that sly grin. “I might’ve had a friend manning this booth, and he might’ve closed it just for me.”

“Oh . . . what for?”

Her head tips back, and she laughs in her gut. “You’re adorable.” She slides her hand into the back of my hair and pulls. I gasp, and her lips touch mine.

Like that, she kisses me. Her red lipstick is sliding off her Christina Aguilera lips onto mine, and for a second I despair that I’ll look like a kid with a Kool-Aid mustache.

But Arlet is kissing me, the world is falling out from under me, and my heartbeat is so loud I think she must be able to hear it. Her tongue twists with mine. I take her tiny, hourglass waist in my hands and pull her hard against my hips. Her breath hitches. Heat flares in the base of my spine and sets me lightheaded. Her hands tug at my hair, and I kiss her collarbone. She smells so good, like lavender and vanilla. I wonder how she tastes.

Her laugh interrupts my fantasizing as she falls to the floor.

“Arlet! Are you okay?”

She gives me puppy eyes and pats the ground next to her. I snort, and sit down. “Ah, that’s better.” She straddles me and pulls me to her by my lapels.

Her lips don’t quite touch mine. They tease. I can feel her breath, and it brings mine up short. I reach for her.

Darkness encases her as she rolls off of me and under the bed, giggling.

“What on Earth are you doing?” I can barely see her, but she beckons to me slowly with one finger. A thrill races up my back. “Why are you under there?”

“Because I want you under here with me.”

Breathless, I belly crawl under the bed until I’m pressed up against her. “Arlet.”

“Yes?” She slides on top of me and laces her legs between mine. Her thigh presses up into my crotch. There’s not a lot of room between the bed and the floor. We’re extremely close.

I kiss her again. “Wanna get a couple’s massage with me?”

“Are we a couple now?”

Thankfully, she can’t see me blush in the darkness. “I was hoping.”

“Alright.” She kisses me again, harder. Her teeth take my bottom lip in her mouth, and her hand slides over my jeans between my legs.

I moan a little. “Arlet.”

“Elizabeth,” she says into my neck.

My eyes snap open. “My name’s not Elizabeth.”

“Oh, I know, honey.” The sultry romance is gone from her voice. She pins me down, and reaches for the bed leg.

Elizabeth’s gray face flashes in my head, and my heartbeat grows louder. “So, why’d you say that name?”

“Because I know what you did to her.” Her legs are still between mine, but my blood has run cold. She jerks on the leg of the bed, and it inches across the floor.

“What? How? No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The last bit trails out of my mouth none-too-gracefully, and she smiles saccharine. She knows it’s a lie.

“I think you know very well what I’m talking about.” She heaves the bed up with her shoulder, and I’m too stunned to move. How does she know? She can’t know.

Suddenly, the wooden foot is smack in the center of my chest. The weight of it squeezes the air out of my lungs. My heart throbs against it, echoing in the darkness like a bass drum. “Wait, what are you doing? What do you know?

“I know you killed her.” She rolls away and shoves the bed down like a stake through my sternum, silencing my hideous heart.


 

*And as usual, Jessie kicks ass!*

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Sex: A Survival Guide by Violet Skies. #BleedingHeart2014

Bleeding Heart 1

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gents. I trust you’re all well…

Today on the blog we have a new Bleeding Heart story for you to sink your teeth into. So grab a drink, sit back,  relax and read Sex: A Survival Guide by the fabulous Violet Skies.

Don’t forget to let Violet know what you think of her story in the comments below, and please feel free to enter our awesome giveaway!

We love you, as ever!

Take it away Violet…

photoI’m afraid of social networking sites. If you want to find me, check beneath your bed. I’m probably hiding under there.

Sex: A Survival Guide

by Violet Skies.

 1.

I  look  ridiculous.

Mr. McFake Name  needs  to  put  down  the  porn  and  pick  up  a  book.  British  school  girls  don’t  wear  plaid  cut  up  to  their  assholes  and  Latex  waistcoats  that  can’t  contain  their  tits.

I  shove  my  hand  up  under  the  cheap  plastic  and  shuffle  my  chest  about  until  my  breasts  at  least  look  the  same  size. I’d  bet  next  month’s  rent  that  the  Latex  will  leave  a  rash.

I  hate  Valentine’s  Day,  it  always  brings  out  the  weirdoes.

“What’s  taking  so  long?  I’m  not  paying  you  to  take  a  piss.”  Five  fat  fingers  curled  into  a  fist  thump  against  the  door.  This  dude  is  a  real  prince  charming.

“I’ll  be  out  in  just  minute.”

He  walks  away,  muttering  something  repulsive  about  his  erection.

Before  I  unlock  the  door  I  check  my  phone  to  see  if  Gwen  has  sent  me  any  Ben  updates. I  don’t  usually  worry  about  my  boy  when  I’m  working. I  know  he’s  safe  with  Gwen,  but  this  afternoon  he  had  a  wet  cough  and  I  can’t  help  but  worry. Strep  throat  is  going  round  his  school — which  reminds  me,  I’ve  got  to  make  fifty  cakes  for  a  bake  sale  on  Monday. I  set  a  reminder  on  my  phone  and  make  a  note  to  pick  up  some  stuff  from  the  store.

I  leave  my  phone  unlocked  and  sit  it  on  top  of  my bag. It  has  to  be  easily  accessible, just  in  case  I  need  it. Normally  I’d  have  pepper  spray,  but Ben  was  whimpering  at  me  before  I  left  the  house,  I  was  all  out  of  sorts  and  forgot  to  snatch  it  up  off  the  counter.

Mr. McFake  Name  is  laid  on  the  bed,  naked. Guy  is  as  horny  as  fuck, but  Ima  need  a  magnifying  glass  to  find  his  dick.  From  this  distance, I’m  not  even  sure  he  has  one.

It  doesn’t  take  a  genius  to  work  out  that   his  size,  or  lack  thereof,  is  the  reason  he  pulled  his  car  up  to  my  street  corner  and  offered  me  five  hundred  dollars  to  dress  up  and  ride  his  ass  over  the  edge  tonight.

“Happy  Valentine’s Day,”  he  says,  with  a  grin.  I  swallow  back  the  little  bit  of  throw  up  that  rises  in  my  throat.

Think  Johnny  Depp  thoughts. Think  Johnny  Depp  thoughts.

I  walk  over  to  the  side  of  the  bed,  chin  to  my  chest,  looking  up  at  him  through  plastic  lashes.  I’m  trying  to  channel  sexy, but  the  cellophane  wrapped  around  my  knockers  is  squeaking. My  head  is  abuzz  with  thoughts  of  my  little  boy,  a  bunch  of  dry  cleaning  that  still  needs  to  be  picked  up  and  this  ugly  ass  blue  vein  that’s  sprouted  on  my  left  breast.

“Well,  don’t  just  stand  there,  Sweetheart. Sit  on  it.” He  snatches  hold  of  my  wrist,  gives  me  a  yank  and  I  fall  on  top  of  him.

I  don’t  like  it  when  they’re  rough.

I  fling  my  leg  over,  and  snatch  a  quick  glance  over  my  shoulder  at  my  bag  sitting  by  the  bathroom  door.

It’s  possible  I’ve  underestimated  Mr. McFake  Name.

I’ve  only  been  doing  this  job  a  couple  of  years,  but  I  can  usually  tell  which  guys  want  to  get  rough  and  which  just  want  to  get  laid. I  took  one  look  at  the  follically challenged  Mr. McFake  Name,  with  his  pudgy  exterior  and  ever  prominent  speech  impediment  and  assumed  he  was  just  looking  for  some  good  old  fashioned  lovin’. He  snatches  the  tops  of  my  arms  and  forces  me  down. Now  I’m  not  so  sure. I  curse  myself  for  leaving  my  bag  so  far  away.

“You  like  that?”  He  asks  through  gritted  teeth.

Like  what? He  thinks  he’s  inside  me  but  he’s  barely  scraping  the  surface.

He  starts  thrusting  beneath  me, breaks  a  sweat  in  the  first  ten  seconds  and  I  decide  to   give  him  ten  out  of  ten  for  effort.

I  lean  forward,  snatch  hold  of  the  bedstead. He  salivates  all  over  my  neck  while  I   make  pictures  out  of  the  damp  patches  breeding  on  the  motel  wall.

We’re  maybe  five  minutes  in when  he  decides  he  wants  me  to  sit  back  up,  poker  straight.

“I  want  you  lookin’  at  me  when  I  fill  you  up,”  he  says.

Dude  is  wearing  a  rubber,  but  whatever. The  quicker  he  gets  off,  the  quicker  I  can  get  home. “You  could  look  a  little  more  lively  for  $500,”  he  tells  me.

$500  will  get  me  Ben’s  chest  meds.  It’ll  get  my  groceries,  my  dry  cleaning  and  tomorrow  night  off.  Plus,  I’m  kind  of  grateful  that  he  hasn’t  tried  to  shove  it  up  my  ass. I  oblige,  pursing  my  lips,  squeezing  my  tits  and  making  yummy  noises. He  bucks  like  a  bronco  between  my  thighs. I’m  still  not  convinced  it’s  in.

My  mind  hasn’t  been  on  this  job.  Not  at  all,  and  before  long  I’m  back  thinking  about  the  color  of  mucus  Ben  was  coughing  up  and  whether  or  not  I  should  get  my  blue-boob-vein  checked  out  when  bam,  something  smashes  into  my  face. I  see  spots.  I’m  spitting  blood  and  chewing  on  my  own  teeth.

 “Ignorant  bitch,”  Mr. McFake  Name  declares  as  he  throws  my  startled  body  to  one  side  and  climbs  off  the  bed.

My  brain  is  stuck  to  the  back  of  my  eyeballs. Pain  radiates  in  my  cheek,  like  red  hot  pokers  stabbing  at  my  skin. I  twist  my  head  to  the  side  and  try  to  blink  the  room  back  into  focus.

“Dumb  whore,”  he  growls. The  fuzz  clouding  my  vision  fades  away  and  I  see  him  standing  over  me,  a  glass  ashtray  in  his  hand  and  my  blood  rolling  off  it  like  rain.

    I  just  have  time  to  clamber  out  of  the  way  as  he  lifts  the  makeshift  sledgehammer  above  his  head  and  smacks  it  down  on  to  the  bed.

He’s  trying  to  kill  me.

My  legs  are  shaking,  feel  limp  like  boiled  spaghetti,  but  strength  comes  from  somewhere  and  my  foot  connects  with  Mr. McFake  Name’s  jaw. I  hear  a  crunch  and  he  cries  out.

I  crawl  across  the  covers,  but  it’s  like  treading  sand. The  sheets  are  rope  winding  round  my  legs  and  I’m  getting  nowhere  fast.

I’m  dead,  I  think,  when  he  catches  hold  of  my  ankle. My  heart  is  hammering  in  my  head  and  dry  blood  is  crisping  on  my  chin. He  drags  me  back  to  the  edge  of  the  bed  and  flips  me  over. He  snatches  my  neck  with  one  hand  and  forces  my  legs  apart  with  the  other. He’s  wearing  a  grin  from  ear  to  ear,  big  enough  to  swallow  space.

Now  I  can  see  his  dick.  This  is  the  kind  of  shit  that  gets  him  hard. Unfortunately  for  him  I’m  not  quite  the  dumb  whore  he  assumes  and  while  he  tries  haphazardly  to  navigate  himself  inside  me,  my  hand  is  scouring  the  bed,  looking  for  the  glass  mallet  that’s  now  missing  from  his  hand. My  fingers  find  blood  first,  my  blood. I  want  to  yelp,  curl  up  in  a  corner  and  cry,  but that’s  not  an  option. I  grasp  the  ashtray,  lift  it  high  and  bring  it  back  down  on  the  back  of  his  head.

He  expels  a  moan, flashes  me  the  whites  of  his  eyes  before  he  collapses  on  top  of  me. I’m  crushed. A  rush  of  oxygen  rattles  as  it  leaves  my  lips. I  roll  him  off,  but  instead  of  falling  back  on  to  the  mattress  he  plops  on  the  floor  like  a  ten  ton  sack  of  shit.

That’s  when  I  realize  he’s  dead.

2.

“What  the  fuck  are  you  wearing?”  Gwen  says  when  I  answer  the  door.  No  time  to  explain,  I’m  scared  someone  will  walk  by  and  see.  I  snatch  her  wrist  and  haul  her  boney  ass  through  the  door.

“You  look  like  a  hooker.”  She  exhales  a  mouthful  of  cigarette  smoke.

“I  am  a  hooker.”

“Yeah,  but… you  know,  you  don’t  usually  dress  like  one.” Her  nose  puckers  as  she  stares  at  my  waistcoat  and  heaving  bosom. “This  is  a  request, right?  Ugh. That  shit’s  going  to  give  you  a  rash.”

“Gwen,  where’s  Ben?”

“Sam’s  watching  him.” I  exhale  relief. I  was  worried  she  might  have  brought  him  with  her. “Little  worm’s  not  so  sick  now  by  the  way. What  did  I  tell  you? He’s  nearly  eaten  me  out  of  house  and  home…”

“Gwen!”  I  snap. “I  need  to  tell  you  something.”

“Geeze,  Louise. Calm  your  ass  down. What  happened?  Did  he  not  pay  you? You  know,  this  is  why  you  should  have  a  word  with  Gary. His  girls  are  always…”

“Gwen!”  I  cut  her  off  before  her  New  York  accent  slices  through  the  remaining  threads  of  my  sanity. “Would  you  shut  up  for  a  second? I’ve  done  something  stupid.”

“What? No  rubber? You  gave  him  your  real  name? What?”

“I  killed  him.”  The  words  explode  from  my  mouth. Gwen  chokes  on  the  drag  she’s  just  inhaled,  and  then  she’s  scouring  the  room,  in  search  of  his  body,  cigarette  held  high  between  her  pointy  fingers.  She  turns  the  color  of  chalk  when  she  sees  him. A  beached  whale,  laid  out  on  the  floor.  Lips  pale, a circle  of  blood  expanding  under  his  head.

“He  started  beating  on  me.”  My  voice  trembles  as  I  scurry  over  to  him.  Gwen  takes  slow,  baited  steps,  like  he  might  rise  up  and  shout  “boo”  any  second. “I  didn’t  mean  to  kill  him. I  just  wanted  him  off  me. He  had  his  hands  around  my  neck,  squeezing. And  I  couldn’t  breathe.” Tears  roll  down  my  cheeks. “Gwen.  Gwen. Please  say  something.” I  shouldn’t  have  called  her,  but  there’s  no  one  else. The  police  would  take  Ben  away,  hand  him  over  to  the  state  and  he’d  end  up  getting  screwed  by  the  system. Gwen  is  the  only  family  I’ve  got.

“I  shouldn’t  have  called. I’m  sorry…”

“We  gotta  get  rid  of  it,” she  interjects.

“What?” I  don’t  know  why  I  sound  so  surprised. This  is  what  I’ve  been  thinking  I  need  to  do  for  the  last  twenty  minutes.

Gwen  drops  down  on  the  bed  and  pulls  a  packet  of  cigarettes  from  the  waistband  of  her  skirt. She  snatches  one  between  her  teeth  and  wraps  her  crusty  red  lips  around  it. She  doesn’t  light  it. She’s  far  too  busy  contemplating  what  we’re  going  to  do  with  the  lifeless  mess  laid  out  on  the  floor.

The  silence  swells. Maybe  it’s  because  I’m  a  mother,  but  as  I  stand  there,  eyeballing Mr.  McFake  Name, watching  his  puffy  white  lips  turn  purple,  I  start  to  wonder  if  he  has  a  family. My  skin  pricks  and  I  hug  my  torso  tight.

“Knock  it  off,” Gwen  croaks  and  my  bones  simultaneously  leap  from  my  skin.

“What?”

“You  know  what. None  of  this  hooker  with  a  heart  BS. This  fucker  didn’t  contemplate  your  life  outside  this  room. No  need  to  be  extending  that  kind  of  courtesy  to  him,  you  hear?

Gwen  could  trump  a  college  education  with  the  stuff  she’s  learned  from  walking  the  streets. And  for  a  skinny  bitch  with  chronic  asthma  she  can  really  pack  a  punch. I  decide  not  to  argue.

“We  could  take  him  to  the  river?” I  suggest. Think  pupil  trying  to  impress  her  new  principal.

Gwen  winces,  slips  her  foot  under  the  icy  back  of  Mr. McFake  Name.

“It  would  be  like  trying  to  move  a  mountain.”  She  heaves,  then  spends  the  next  five  minutes  coughing  up  a  lung. The  cigarette, still between  her  lips, bounces  about  frantically. “We’d  never  make  it  to  the  parking  lot. I  suppose  we  could  always  chop  him  up.”

“Fuck  that,”  I  bleat.  I  get  sick  watching  CSI.  She  shrugs  indifferently  while  reaching  back  beneath  her  waistband. She  pulls  out  a  lighter,  sparks  it  up.  Her  eyes  widen  as  she  moves  the  flame  toward  her  face.

“We  could  torch  the  place.”

“You  mean  set  it  on  fire?”  She  rolls  her  eyes  at  me  because  of  course  that’s  what  she  means.

“Who  booked  the  room?”

“He  did.”

“Did  you  show  your  face  in  the  lobby?”

“No  ma’am. Came  straight  here.”

“Look.”  Gwen  leaps  up  off  the  bed.  I  watch  a  little  mortified,  but  mostly  intrigued  as  she  pulls  the  sleeve  of  her  sweater  over  her  hand,  plucks  another  Marlboro  from  her  packet  and  drives  it  into  Mr.  McFake  Name’s  mouth. “Fell  asleep  while  smoking. Set  the  whole  place  alight.”

She  grins  and  I  feel  ice  slip  down  my  spine.

“Have  you  done  this  before?”

“I…”

“Wait.”  I  hold  up  a  silencing  hand. “I  don’t  want  to  know. Let’s  just  get  this  over  with.”

I  stand  at  his  head,  holding  his  wrists. Gwen  has  his  ankles. His  skin  feels  damp,  kind  of  waxy,  like  clasping  a  candle. He’s  going  rigid,  weighs  as  much  as  a  rhino.

I  feel  something  pop  in  my  back  as  we  lug  him  on  to  the  mattress.

“Okay,” Gwen  pants,  leaning  forward  on  her  knees. “You  gotta  give  him  a  sponge  bath.” She  waves  a  pointed  finger  at  his  genitals.

“What?”

“You  need  to  get  rid  of  any  DNA.”

She’s  right. Fuck.

My  lips  twist  as I  tiptoe  toward  the  bed.

“I  got  some  rubber  gloves  in  my  purse,” Gwen  says, casually,  as  if  she  were  relaying  the  weather. A  shudder  runs  through  me.

“Gross.”

“Hey,  Tits  Mcgee,  judge  me  when  you’re  not  dressed  liked  a  five  foot    prophylactic.”

Smiling  right  now  would  be  inappropriate, but  I  do  anyway  because  I’m  about  to  sanitize  the  cock  of  a  corpse.

The  room  is  so  clean  when  we’re  done  you  could  perform  open  heart  surgery  in  it. Well, maybe  not  that  clean,  but  the  fried  onions  and  cheese  stench  of  stale  sex  is  buried  beneath  bleach  and  there’s  not  a  drop  of  blood  left  on  the  carpet.

“We’re  sure  about  this?”  I  ask  Gwen  as  she  twists  the  cigarette  a  little  deeper  into  Mr. McFake  Name’s  mouth.

“Do  you  want  to  go  to  prison  because  this  guy  couldn’t  keep  his  hands  to  himself?”

“And  the  self-defense  thing  is  a  definite  no?”

She  raises  her  eyebrows  at  me. Gwen  once  spent  six  months  in  prison  for  stabbing  a  guy  with  a  stiletto. He  beat  her  black  and  blue  first,  but  that  didn’t  seem  to  matter.

“Right. Sorry.”

“Don’t  be.” She  unscrews  the  cap  off  a  bottle  of  Vodka,  dribbles  it  over  the  bed, over  the  body,  and  I  can’t  help  thinking  of  a  Christmas  ham, seeing  an  apple  instead  of  a  cigarette  wedged  between  his  teeth. Gwen  flicks  her  lighter  and  sets  fire  to  the  wad  of  newspaper  in  her  hand.

She  holds  it  over  Mr. McFake  Name’s  chest.

“Should  we  say  something?” The  words  somersault  from  my  mouth  when  I  sense  her  grip  on  the  flaming  torch  loosening.

“You  mean  like  a  prayer?”

I  shrug,  can’t  say  yes  because  suddenly  I  feel  stupid.

“Sure. I’ll  say  something.” Gwen  smirks. “Happy  Valentine’s  Day,  Dick.”  And  with  that  she  let’s  go  of  the  newspaper.

The  cardboard  bed  sheets  go  up  like  they’ve  been  soaked  in  gasoline and  in  seconds  the  body  is  swallowed  by  angry  orange  flames. We  stand  and  watch  the  fire  consume  everything  it  kisses,  and  pretty  soon  it’s  creeping  up  the  rotting  walls. Time  to  go.

We  decide  to  slip  out  of  the  back  because  it’s  more  secluded,  leads  into  a  back  alley  instead  of  a  parking  lot.

“I  could  use  a  drink.” Gwen  says,  walking  over  to  my  side. She  hooks  her  arm  through  mine  and  we  stroll  over  to  the  window. I  wish  I  could  say  it  was  the  burden  of  guilt  slowing  my  steps,  making  them  heavy,  but  it’s  not. The  only  thing  I  feel  right  now  is  exhausted.

“What  do  you  say,  Sugar?”  Gwen  bends  her  gangly  body  under  the  shutter. She  turns,  slams  her  elbows  down  on  the  sill  and  feigns  chewing  gum  like  every  prostitute  ever  portrayed  on  the  big  screen. “You  looking  for  a  date?”  She  winks  at  me  and  I  flip  her  the  bird.

“Never.  Again,”  I  growl,  crawling  through  the  window  and  joining  her  outside.

*WOW, Violet! That was awesome!*

And now for our giveaway…

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Sunday Morning After by the superb Kristen Jett. #BleedingHeart2014

Good evening, you gorgeous people!

Are we having fun with these Bleeding Heart beauties?

*resounding screams of YES*

Well that’s good because I got another one for you…

This story is called Sunday Morning After, and it’s by the amazingly talented Kristen Jett! If you lurve Kristen’s story as much as we do, don’t forget to let her know in the comments. Oh, and enter the giveaway to win some books and a giftcard.

Take it away, Kristen…

KJ Website | Twitter

Sunday Morning After

by

Kristen Jett.

A blind date on Valentine’s Day. That’s what my life has come to.

How did I even get talked into this? Damn those best friends. Always meddling into my life. I’d have been just fine in my leopard pjs, watching Netflix, and drinking wine straight out of the bottle. Wouldn’t I?

I smooth down my cliche red dress nervously, trying to pull it to a height where it isn’t showing too much cleavage or too much leg. It’s useless. One or the other is going to be extra enticing. Does it really matter which? I mean, what are the odds of a real catch being free tonight and needing a blind date? I went with too much leg. At least they were partially covered by tights.

“But you’re alone on Valentine’s Day.” The whine of my roommate slash best friend’s voice repeats in my head. We’d argued over this, and finally I’d caved. I’d try out her blind date with the third cousin of her boyfriend or her sister’s boyfriend’s roommate’s friend of a friend or whoever he is. Whatever. Worst case scenario, we’re both out of here by nine, and I can still sink into a marathon of movies, binge on ice cream, and drink enough wine to regret it in the morning.

Regret. What the day after Valentine’s Day is all about. What Sunday morning afters are always about.

I eye the door nervously, trying to gauge who will stop at my table. All I really know is his name. Alex. Or Alexander. Something like that. It had sounded proper. Banker?  I think that’s what Lo said. I should’ve asked for a picture. Or a full name so I could Google him. There had to be a reason she wouldn’t give me these details, right?

The first solo guy walks in. Shorter than me in flats, receding hairline, and wearing an Hawaiian shirt. I will kill Lo if this is him. Kill. A Valentine’s murder. Perfectly justified.

He walks by me without even a glance. Whew.

Wait. He has a date, and I don’t? Somehow, this isn’t making me feel any better about myself than my planned date with the television.

Most men walking in are with someone. Naturally. How many people really do blind dates – or even first dates – on V-Day? Too cold, too suave, keeps his aviators on at night pauses for a moment in front of me. I resist the urge to roll my eyes while eying him suspiciously. He glances at his cell phone, perhaps at a picture or a text, continuing his strut to the back of the restaurant.

Next in wore a v-neck tee, not cut low enough to be all Adam Levine, but low enough that chest hair puffed over the top. Ew. It takes the right kind of man and the right kind of body to pull off a v-neck, and this isn’t it. I drag on my drink. I am so going to need something stronger if anything like this sits down in front of me.  Damn you fancy restaurants for specializing in fruity little drinks that even an underaged sorority girl could hold down. I want whiskey. I want bourbon. I want tequila on the rocks. None of that looks good when you’re trying to impress someone, who probably doesn’t need impressing anyway, but I’m a girl about doing things right. Or as right as you can while expecting this entire night to be a bust.

And I’m caught off guard when he walks in. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Just my type. Hell, maybe any woman’s type. Dressed appropriately, not too fancy, not too casual, with his shirt cuffed just enough to let me know I’d want to see what the rest of those arms look like. Maybe even what the rest of him looks like.

This? This I can handle. This might even be worth shaving my legs for. This might even be worth peeling these tights off later so he could see he was worth shaving my legs for. And everything else. Oh Gods, please let this be him. By every love deity, every lust deity, let this be my date, because this is worth leaving the home for.

Tall, Dark, and Dead Sexy stops at the table, delighting me with a nervous smile and a delicious dimple. The nervousness tells me he doesn’t know what to do. Good. Me either. “Are you Lili?”

I flash a smile I didn’t think I’d be showing tonight. “I am. Alex?”

As he sits, I’m suddenly glad for this little red dress, the push-up bra, and the cleavage threatening to spill out of it. Surprise, surprise.

* * * * *

One dinner, a bottle or two of wine, and three tequila shots later, I’m leaning on him precariously as we leave. “I had more fun than I expected.” Any other time I’d cringe at that cutesy giggle escaping my mouth. But the tequila and I don’t care.

He smiles down at me, his face just close enough to kiss. “I did too.” His hand tucks itself around my waist. To steady me? To be near me? A mix of the two?

I lean up on my stilettos, taking that opening on my tippy-toes. Men take too long to walk through doors that have already been opened. There’s a fine line between being a gentleman, and not being ballsy enough to go after what you want. Me? I always like to take what I want. Right then. The sweet kiss lingers, deepens, just enough to let him know there could be more. Should be more. All he has to do is ask.

Just when I can literally feel his need, I back off, with more tequila tainted giggles. “Well…” My voice lilts. My head tilts to the right, and I lick my lips, noticing his dark eyes tracing every movement of my tongue.

“Maybe we…could do something else?” He says it in a hurry, as if he’s afraid he’ll change his mind if he doesn’t spit it out real fast. Or maybe he’s worried I’ll change mine. Too late. I’ve already decided what I want for the night. Him.

My arm hooks onto his. Am I too tipsy to stand in my heels? Am I just trying to get close to him? It’s my favorite mystery. “Yeah?” He swallows. I giggle. “Back to your place for a movie?”

See? This is how it works. If you ask me to your place, it’s rude. I’ll make all kinds of wrong assumptions. If I ask you if I can come over, it’s A-okay, except I’m in charge of what and when and how far. Girl law.

The grin that crosses his face makes me wonder which one of us has taken the bait. Maybe he knows the games that tipsy girls play. Maybe he prefers blind dates on Valentine’s day because they’re a sure thing. Maybe I shouldn’t have done all those tequila shots.

I stumble into his car, and for a split second I wonder what I’m doing. I know absolutely nothing about this guy. He could be a criminal. He could be an ax murderer. Bundy was charming and affectionate. Isn’t that how most psychopaths catch their prey?

But then he turns to me, flashing those dimples, leaning over to tuck a loose lock of hair behind my ear. All thoughts of trouble float out of my head. It’s like he has me hypnotized. Hypnotized by dimples. That’s a thing, right?

Definitely a thing.

* * * * *

Stiletto knee high boots off as soon as we walk through the door. How long before everything else follows? I mentally shrug. “Is there somewhere I can freshen up?” Because there’s no sexy way to take off tights, no matter what they tell you.

“Second door on the right.” He smiles at me, heading to what must be the kitchen for more drinks. My liver is going to hate me tomorrow. The rest of me is going to love me.

More stumbling down the hall. I turn left at the second door, nearly falling in. Pictures plaster the wall nearly from floor to ceiling.  This is not the bathroom. I try to adjust to the dim light. All I can see is pictures. Mostly pictures of girls that look kinda like me.

 What the actual fuck?

I knew I should have at least taken a picture of his license plate. Now what? How the hell do I get out of here?

A few loose pictures hang from a line strung across the room. I squint at the closest picture, trying to make it out. Another girl with long blonde hair. So is the next. And the next. And the next – except… I gasp, pulling the picture from the clothespin. Except that’s Lo. Eyes closed. Provocative pose. In just lingerie.

 Oh, hell no.

I turn in haste, dropping the picture, just anxious to figure out my escape – and run smack into him. Of course. His smile’s still there. Is it real? Or is it the soothing look a lion has before he jumps out at you?  Note to self: stop watching so many animal documentaries. “Maybe we should have stopped at two tequila. It’s your other right.” There’s a calm laugh to his voice.

“What is this?” My eyes casually sweep around, looking for any sort of weapon, anything I can use to defend myself. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you don’t go home with someone you just met. No matter how much the tequila makes you want to lick their chest.

“Darkroom.” When I don’t respond, he smiles again. “I develop pictures. Dying art.”

Could we not talk about dying? Not a great choice of words there, Alex. “This one…”

He glances at the picture on the floor, picking it up to inspect, before nodding. “It’s from Lo’s shoot. I think artsy boudoir shoot is what she called it. Artsy and sexy.” He motions behind me. “Most of those others are hers. I haven’t finished developing them all yet.” He grins sheepishly. “It’s an art.”

She had mentioned something about giving Bobby the best gift he’d ever gotten. Something artsy and sexy were the exact words she used. My alcohol addled brain tries to process this, even as Alex steps closer, wrapping both arms around me to pull me into his embrace.

Oh. Well if he wasn’t going to kill me, we could get back on plan. His lips trace the curve of my neck. His fingers trace the curve of my hipbone. And I’m hoping the rest of him is going to hypnotize me tonight.

* * * * *

I roll over in the morning, not even bothering to demurely tuck the sheet around me. Everything’s already been seen and felt and experienced anyway. Alex’s still in the bed, his dark head turned away from me. He doesn’t budge at all when I shift in the bed, delicately getting up to find a shirt of his I can slip into. I tiptoe over to his closet, dancing with my morning bliss, wincing just a little as the closet doors stick. He has good taste. I run my fingers down fine cotton blends, deciding on a striped oxford to drape myself in.

I catch my own face in the mirror above me, tracing the memories of where faint lines had been.

 The same dance back over to him. I run my fingers through that dark hair, the same hair my hands were locked in last night. I run my fingers over the cold skin, already fading, already losing the last feel of the life stolen last night. It’s a shame he was such a nice guy. I almost feel bad about killing him. At least he went out with a bang. So to speak. Not everyone can be buried to the hilt in ecstasy when the life gets sucked out of them.

 Fucked out of them. Whatever.

One life, one more year gained. It’s a small price to pay for my immortality, for that smooth porcelain skin, for the life of fun that any good Lilith can get into.

*Ms. Jett, you are brilliant! Are we right?*

And now, because we’re nothing but nice to you, a giveaway…

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HELL HATH NO FURY by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet!! #BleedingHeart2014

Bleeding Heart 1

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Today I bring you the second story in our Bleeding Heart  showcase & giveaway, and my God it’s a good one. If you missed the first story you missed out, click here.

HELL HATH NO FURY is a story of nautical heartbreak by the fantastic Rhiann Wynn-Nolet. Please show Rhiann some love for this fantastic story by leaving a comment or paying her a visit, either on Twitter or on her blog. We’ve even given you little links because we’re just that nice. Enjoy!

 Blog | Twitter 

HELL HATH NO FURY

By

Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Camouflaged by floating kelp, she watched the crowd of eager spectators. Singly and in groups, the citizens of Galveston claimed viewing spots, spread blankets on the soft white sand, unpacked picnic hampers, and readied their binoculars.

The cruel, serrated blade of betrayal carved a jagged valley through her heart. She knew why they were here.

Her mother was right after all. Humans weren’t to be trusted. Not under any circumstances. She’d allowed herself to be seduced by his adoring glances, his tender kisses, and the sensation of his fingertips, warm and eager against her cool skin. She’d been deceived by whispered confidences and summer afternoons spent splashing each other in the marshy cove near his cottage. During lulls between laughter and caresses, he’d taught her English words. Yesterday, while his lips blazed a fiery trail along her neck, she finally relented, agreeing to reveal herself to a few of his friends. He claimed they’d teased him about having met a real mermaid. They called him a liar. He promised to bring a special gift for her, to celebrate their two month anniversary.

She clamped her lower lip between her teeth to control its quivering.

Diving below the ocean’s glittering mantle, she undulated through its turquoise depths and resurfaced within the shadow of a moored dory. The crowd buzzed with anticipation—scarcely believing they were about to see, in all its shimmering piscine flesh, a bona fide mermaid. Some, unable to contain their excitement, had waded into the water. It was unseasonably warm for early September, like bathwater a few were heard to say.

He’d told her to meet him here. Where was he?

Her quicksilver eyes scanned the shoreline, dotted with genteel ladies shading their porcelain complexions from the sun, discreetly wicking perspiration from their upper lips with folded hankies. Surely under those corsets were unladylike trickles of sweat and angry welts made by unforgiving whalebone. Served them right—murdering the gentle giants for lantern oil.

There he was. The beautiful, faithless coward. High on a dune, one hand resting on his lean hip, the other shading his eyes as he searched for her. His wheat colored hair nestled along his collar in sweat-damp curls. Beside him, an older man fiddled with a camera.

For the past hour, her tears had swelled the ocean and pain had circulated through her body like molten lava. As she watched couples stroll hand in hand along the beach and children run after the ice cream vendor, the lava cooled and coalesced into something else. Something cold, hard, and far more dangerous.

She opened her mouth wide and roared.

A sudden icy gust blew out of the Gulf, ruffling skirts and flipping parasols inside out. The wind pulled churning, violet clouds in its wake, covering the sun like a theatre curtain.

Her restless tail whipped through the water.

The waves seethed. The current strengthened. A riptide dragged floundering swimmers toward the open ocean where enormous swells loomed like mountains against the horizon.

The frozen shards of her broken heart fused. She began to spin, her arms and flowing hair driving the waves in a violent rush toward land.

“Henry, get out!” One mother’s frantic scream tore through the symphony of wails and shouts. Her eyes darted between her son and a vast wall of seawater racing toward him.

________

The sea rolled right over the island, smashing nearly everything in its path. Its merciless claws ripped babies from their mothers’ arms and sundered the desperate embrace of lovers. The women’s full skirts ballooned underwater like jellyfish, and then wrapped their wearers in shrouds. Even the strongest men were transformed into rag dolls, unable to save themselves from the onslaught. Henry and his mother perished. As did eight thousand or so other Galvestonians, many of whom hadn’t even heard about the opportunity to see a genuine mermaid.

The survivors were unable to bury the casualties in the flooded ground, so they dumped the dead into the sea, burdened with heavy stones. But the ocean, or its denizens, tossed the bloated corpses back on the beach, the way fisherman discard incidental catch. Where once fresh salty breezes and heady gardenia had perfumed the air, now the cloying reek of decaying human flesh hung heavy over the Texas coast.

Great funeral pyres began burning throughout the town, casting an eerie orange glow against the ruined buildings and the black night sky. Those enlisted to collect the dead and tend the flames were provided free whiskey, but it wasn’t enough to make them forget the sights and smells.

Exactly a week later, the photographer’s camera washed ashore. One photo was salvaged from the roll of film. It was the first and last he ever took. Neither his body, nor that of his young assistant Ethan Tarbell, was ever found.

________

My story was inspired by the The Great Storm which hit Galveston on September 8, 1900. One third of the city was destroyed. Eight to twelve thousand people were killed, making it the second worst natural disaster in US history.


 *AMAZING story, Rhiann!!*

If you think this was as good as we do, don’t forget to show Rhiann some love by leaving a comment or hitting her up on social media. 

 Blog | Twitter

 

And to show our appreciation for taking the time to read these fantastic #BleedingHeart2014 stories,

ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY…

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HONEY & MESQUITE by the amazing Jessa Russo!!! #BleedingHeart2014

Bleeding Heart 1

Good afternoon,  party  people! It’s here. We’re  doing  it…

Today it gives me great pleasure to share with you the first story in our Bleeding Heart  showcase & giveaway.

HONEY & MESQUITE is by the amazing Jessa Russo. Feel free to show Jessa some love for this fantastic story by leaving a comment or dropping by her social media…

Jessa RussoGoodReads | Website | Twitter | Facebook 

HONEY & MESQUITE

By

Jessa Russo

~One~

Limp tendrils of auburn hair caressed the alabaster skin of the corpse as the water lapped at the shore. With each rise of the gentle waves, the girl’s body swayed as though she slow-danced to a solemn song only she could hear. Her breasts, bloated and marred with cuts that no longer bled, protruded from the soft flannel of her shirt. Her clavicle, exposed and split clean in half, stood straight up into the air as though it had been used to spear her in place on the sandy shore.

Empty, milky eyes stared unseeing up at the beach.

The detective gazed out over the silvery gray water of Lake Peterson, watching the morning fog dance across the surface. In the distance, a loon cried its lonely call into the early morning silence.

Death hung on the air like a putrid perfume; a fragrance he’d never grown accustomed to.

His mind raced, connecting the dots of the most horrific crime spree he’d seen in all his years on the force.

This was the third girl in as many months.

“Plump and skewered like a shish-kabob, eh, Greer??”

Detective Greer turned to his understudy, fists clenched at his sides. “Excuse me?”

The young man grinned, licked his lips, then gave a curt nod toward the body. “Her collarbone. It reminds me of a shish-kabob. You know, like, meat, veggies . . . sometimes pineapple—”

“Thank you”—Greer raised his hand—“I’m well aware of what goes onto a shish-kabob.” He squeezed the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger, closing his eyes as he inhaled a deep breath, his patience once again wearing thin. He’d never liked this kid, and didn’t see that changing anytime soon. “Have you located Raymond?”

“Shit, yeah.”

Greer opened his eyes, narrowing his gaze at the fledgling detective.

The black-haired kid cleared his throat. “I mean, uh, yes, sir. The M.E. is on his way.”

“Good. Now, rope off this crime scene and get me Agent Wilkes on the phone immediately.” Greer turned to head back to his sedan, stealing another quick look at the body. So close in age to his own daughter—

“Um, sir? Agent Wilkes? You want me to get the FBI involved?”

Greer stopped without turning around, then sighed, shaking his head. “Yes. This is . . . .” Greer paused, unwilling to say the word. “Her thighs are missing, Detective Sagawa. Please pay attention.”

Serial. They definitely had a serial killer on their hands.

 

~Two~

Laney Greer paced back and forth at the window, her gaze locked on the darkened street below. She tapped her fingernails against her crossed arms, chewing her bottom lip. Any minute now, Ken Sagawa would come over to meet with her father, and she’d be sure to be downstairs when he arrived—casually hanging out in the kitchen, of course.

Ever since he’d been assigned to her father’s department late last year, Laney had been sleeping with the young detective. Secretly. She was over eighteen, and should have been able to date whomever she wanted, but that wasn’t how her dad saw it.

No daughter of his would date a cop.

Hypocritical? Yes. Avoidable? No.

At least, not without some serious sneaking around, and definitely not as long as she remained under his roof while she attended classes at the local junior college.

Headlights shone down the street, and as soon as they turned into her driveway, briefly illuminating her bedroom window as the car began the steep incline, Laney shrieked and ran from her bedroom. She skidded to a stop at the crest of the stairs, then smoothed her purple tank and jeans, removing wrinkles that didn’t exist, and ran her fingers through her unruly coffee-hued curls. She licked her lips, pinched her cheeks, then slowly began her descent.

Perfectly timed, Laney reached the final step as her dad opened the door to Ken and another man Laney didn’t recognize.

“Oh, Laney, please join us. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

Laney grinned, glancing quickly at Ken, careful not to let her gaze linger too long, then met her father’s warm chestnut gaze.

“You know Junior Detective Sagawa”—Laney smiled and nodded at Ken—“but,” her dad continued, “this is Agent Pete Wilkes of the FBI. Agent Wilkes, my daughter, Lanette Greer.”

Laney reached out to shake the man’s hand, they exchanged pleasantries with a smile, and she avoided Ken as much as she figured would be normal for someone who didn’t have a very intimate relationship with the man.

“Daddy, will you be in the family room tonight, or are you going to your study? I was about to make some dinner.”

“Oh, sure, go ahead. We won’t bother you in the kitchen. Please take a message if anyone calls. We need to be left alone tonight.”

“Okay, Daddy.” Laney stood on her tiptoes, then placed a kiss on her dad’s cheek. “I hope you get lots of work done.” Turning away from him, she met Ken’s coal-black gaze and gave him a quick wink.

###

An hour later, Laney stood in front of the sink, washing the dishes, and humming a Rolling Stones tune her mother used to sing to her.

Hands preceded his voice as Ken sidled up behind her. “Mmm,” Ken murmured into her ear. He slid his arms around her waist, pulling her tightly to him as his fingers found their way beneath the hem of her shirt to graze the skin of her belly. He ran his lips up her neck, searching for her ear. “I love that song.”

She turned in his arms. “As you should, Kenji Issei Sagawa.” She pressed her lips against his, then slowly pushed her tongue into his mouth for a quick, firm kiss before she pulled away. “What are you doing in here?” She glanced past him, searching the dark hallway for her father or Agent Wilkes. “My father will cut off your balls if he catches you like this.”

“He’s on a conference call that won’t be over anytime soon.” Ken brought his mouth down over hers once more, briefly teasing her tongue with his own. “Besides, it’s almost worth it.”

Laney pushed him away, tilting her head and raising one eyebrow. “Easy for you to say. I happen to like your balls.”

She resumed humming Too Much Blood as she washed the remainder of the dishes, Ken’s lips on her throat and his hands roaming freely.

 

~Three~

Laney stretched out her arms and legs, extending her body alongside Ken’s in the damp grass of Sycamore Park. They’d started the evening on a blanket, which now lay in a crumpled mess off to the side with their discarded clothes.

“Are you coming over to my place tomorrow, for our first official date?” Ken gazed lazily at Laney, his dark eyes travelling down her naked body, her skin exposed in the soft glow of the moon. He trailed his fingers in circles over her flesh, down one arm, across her collarbone, circling around one nipple, then the other. Goose bumps burst from her body as his touch sent shivers down into her toes. “You know,” he continued, “the meat’s just about ready.”

Laney grinned up at him as he moved from her side to rest above her. “Of course. But you know my condition.”

“And I agreed.”

“Yet we still haven’t gone.”

“I told you I’d take you there. We just have to wait until it dies down a bit. You know, to avoid bumping into the lead detective.”

Laney rolled her eyes. “Oh, please. Like you’re scared of my dad.”

“Not at all. But the timing has to be perfect.”

“I’ve already been there. Don’t forget about that.”

Ken brought his face down, brushing his lips against hers. “How could I forget?”

“I want to go first thing tomorrow morning. At dawn. That’s when you found her, right?”

“Yes. And, no. Tomorrow’s no good.”

“Now, then.”

Ken’s dark eyebrows rose as he considered Laney’s demand. Her pulse sped as anticipation filled her.

He nodded. “I can’t say no to you.” He kissed her once more, then pulled her to her feet and drew her closer to him, so close that with just a quick movement they’d be connected again. “I’m in love with you, Laney Greer.”

 “I know you are.” She kissed him again, then released him. “Let’s go.” Laney turned, ignoring her clothes and the empty bottle of wine as she strolled to the car, humming the familiar Rolling Stones tune, leaving Ken to retrieve their things as he watched her walk away.

###

Just thirty minutes was all it took to drive from the park to the shores of Lake Peterson. Laney hadn’t bothered to put on more than Ken’s button-up cop shirt, as she knew they’d be alone at the crime scene so many weeks after the body was found.

Her body buzzed with excitement. She’d only been here once before, and that was upon delivery. She envied Ken’s job, and the ease with which he was able to return to the scene. She envied the fact that he’d been there when her dad first got the call. He’d seen how the girl looked after she’d been dead for days.

Laney could only imagine, could only picture the bloated body, creating images from what she’d seen on television. “Hey, why haven’t you brought me the crime scene photos yet?”

“Your dad has them locked down.”

Laney frowned, then returned her gaze to the lake as Ken’s headlights shone down on the shore. Maybe she’d go into the family profession.

At least that way, she wouldn’t miss all the good stuff.

 

~Four~

“Tell me again what she looked like.” Laney twirled in circles, arms stretched out to her sides, ankle-deep in the frigid waters of Lake Peterson. She kicked her foot, splashing Ken, then danced away from him, deeper into the icy water.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Laney, its freezing out there! Come back here.”

“Come get me.” Laney tossed her brown hair, then unbuttoned the shirt and let it fall into the water.

“Don’t lose that,” Ken warned, watching the blue fabric sink below the surface.

“You’re right. You shouldn’t lose it.” Laney giggled.

Ken splashed into the water, then ducked past her to get his shirt. When he turned back around, Laney’s face was pulled into a wide grin, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight.

Ken titled his head. “What are you up to?”

“Pretend I’m her.”

Ken grinned. Without hesitating, he closed the distance between them, then bent at the waist and tossed Laney’s naked body over his shoulder.

Laney squealed, then giggled as her hair dragged across the surface of the lake, and Ken’s hands gripped her legs.

He squeezed her thighs, then chastised, “You’re dead. No giggling.”

Laney cleared her throat, then went limp in his arms, watching the water turn into rocky shore beneath Ken’s feet as he waded out of the lake.

He laid her down on the beach, gently and with care since she wasn’t really dead, then pulled out his switchblade. Laney’s eyes widened as the steel caught the moonlight, excitement igniting her blood even as cold as she was. They hadn’t played this game with Ken’s first two kills, and Laney wished she’d come up with it sooner.

“What do you think I’ll taste like?” she whispered, barely audible over the lapping waters of Lake Peterson.

Ken leaned down, his face just inches away from hers, his black eyes gazing into her wide brown ones. He leaned further, pressing his mouth to hers then moving his lips until her lips parted. He kissed her, long and hard, until her arms wrapped around his neck, holding his face to hers.

Then, Ken pulled back, his lips just centimeters from Laney’s flush mouth, swollen from the intensity of their kiss. When her eyes opened, he smiled.

“Like honey, and possibly a bit of mesquite.”

Laney’s brow crinkled. The knife pierced her breast, then slid up and across her throat faster than she could think to react. As the blade sliced her open from ear to ear, Laney gasped for air that wouldn’t come, her gurgles blending with the sound of the waves on the shore.

Ken Sagawa had turned her into one of his girls.

As the blood rushed from her split throat, Laney felt the blade dig deep into the meat of her thigh, and had the most absurd question pop into her dying mind . . . .

Would she really taste like honey and mesquite?

 *JESSA, WE LOVE IT!!!!!!!*

And now a little bit about Jessa and her writing…

Jessa Russo believes in fairytales, ghosts, and Jake Ryan. She insists mimosas were created for Sundays, and that’s not up for discussion.  She’s obsessed with the great city of New Orleans—where she’s collected too many beads to count, eventually married her sweetheart, and visited graveyards they don’t include on maps.

She’s loud, painfully honest, and passionate about living life to the fullest, because she’s seen how abruptly it can be taken away.

What began as a desire for reading and writing young adult paranormal has bled into stories of all kinds. From fantasy to pre-dystopian to erotic contemporary, Jessa’s stories always include romance, though she’s given up on pigeonholing her work into a category or genre box.

Jessa was born and raised in Southern California, and remains there to this day with her husband (a classic car fanatic), their daughter (a Tim Burton superfan), and a Great Dane who thinks he’s the same size as his Chihuahua sister.

ENTWINED, the final installment of Russo’s Ever Trilogy, will be released later this year, as well as a young adult fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so please stay tuned!

GoodReads | Website | Twitter | Facebook 

GREAT NEWS, YOU GUYS, Jessa’s books are on sale right now!!!!
EVER and EVADE are just $0.99 each in honor of Valentine’s Day!

 EVER: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

EVADE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY…

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Happy Valentine’s Day. We’re playing with Bleeding Hearts over here…

Bleeding Heart 1


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

We can have your heart, right?

Spooky Hands*grabby hands*

Here at The Midnight Type we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day the only way we know how, by convincing a bunch of extremely talented authors to write us some bloodthirsty, dates-from-hell horror stories. Obviously. Let’s call it our gift to you…from the very bottom of our blood-red hearts!

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be posting stories every three days. We’re also chucking in a $20 gift card giveaway because we love you — we really love you!

Stay tuned. This is going to be awesome ❤
French kisses in public places,

Jinx!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Caption Friday!

by The Vamp

Caption this, sweetlings, and maybe your story will be featured here on The Midnight Type.

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