Sunday, June 24, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Chapter 2 Snippet

Introductory snippet of the second chapter of Blake and Alicia's story. Things begin to heat up, both for the good and the bad. No contest this time around, just the preview.

There's a Fine Line...
Chapter Two

Alicia prowled restlessly through the small garden of the Pierce Estate. It had been three days since Blake Simons’ last visit. Three days since he’d pressed her against the wall and nearly made her melt by telling her all he wished to do with her. Three days since he’d bitten her and then walked away as if it had meant nothing! What the hell was he thinking? Raising a hand to the smooth skin of her throat, she shuddered at the memory of his lips pressed so seductively to her skin – the fangs that slid deep to pull her life’s blood from her body. If he’d stripped her bare and taken her body against that wall it couldn’t have been more intimate or soul shattering.

But then he’d smirked in that supremely smug and superior manner and walked away. Walked away! Giving a barely suppressed screech, Alicia grabbed a rock and hurled it over the garden wall and into the trees that surrounded the house. Son of a bitch! Why did she have to find her mate in the most aggravating, arrogant, egotistical, gorgeous pain in the ass on the planet? Why did she have to find a ‘mate’ at all? She’d had plans! She was going to be different than her mother and be independent, not needing a man to make her feel whole or fulfilled. She was never going to place her happiness so firmly in the hands of another only to watch him willfully shred it into pieces too small to repair. She was never going to…but, in finding a mate in one of the other races, she was terrified that she already had. Besides, once he truly knew her, he’d leave her anyway. Not even the mating pull would be strong enough to overcome his disgust if he only knew… Dropping to her knees on the well-maintained gravel walkway, she buried her face in her hands with a sob.

She didn’t remember the first time Markus had crawled into her bed. He’d claimed that she’d had a nightmare, though she couldn’t remember it. He said that she’d been crying and begging for someone to save her. He had promised that he’d save her because he loved her. Didn’t she want him to show her how much he loved her? Alicia had cringed away from the man who once seemed the answer to their prayers but that hadn’t stopped him from grabbing her, touching her, making her do things she’d never wanted to do. Afterwards, when she was sobbing and covered in his disgusting seed, he’d grabbed her by her hair and pulled her into the small bathroom, tossing her under the frigid spray of the cold shower.

“Tell your mother and I’ll kill her slowly while you watch,” he’d growled lowly while she’d huddled in the corner, still trying to cover her nudity as much as possible. The glint in his steely grey eyes and the deathly-cold menace in his voice convinced her that he’d do just that. “Tell anyone at all and I’ll make you help me as I flay the skin from their body. Don’t test me on this, girl; you won’t like the results. Until I tire of you, you’re mine. Bit too young to fuck just yet, but you’ll soon be old enough to appreciate what I’ve got to offer.” His lewd grin as he slowly stroked his naked, hard cock had her pressing even more tightly against the back of the tiny shower. Laughing at her distress, he stroked himself to completion and coated her body once more with his hot cum before he walked out of her room.

Alicia scrubbed everywhere he’d touched, every bit of skin his filthy fluids had tainted, but even after it was red and raw she still felt dirty. She brushed her teeth and gargled at least ten times but she could still taste him on her tongue, still feel him invading her once-virgin mouth. Nothing could erase the memory of him, however, and she wrapped herself in a blanket and cried for the first time since her father had disappeared. The next morning, she dressed and went to school as if nothing had happened and, though she longed to tell someone – anyone, she’d believed that he would hurt anyone she turned to for help.

He returned that next night…and every night after that.

He’d changed in other ways as well. When he’d first met her mother, Markus had been loving and kind, a genuinely sweet man who’d eased Marie away from her self-destructive lifestyle and back to being a respectable wife and mother. Then, one night, she’d caught him leaving her daughter’s bedroom. Their argument was fierce and loud, disturbing the teen almost as much as her stepfather’s unwanted visits; Alicia noticed the bruises her mother tried so hard to hide the next morning but said nothing. She’d had little success in coping with her own hell and no energy remained to deal with this new turn of events.

After that night, the situation in the modest home deteriorated more and more. Markus had gone from threatening Alicia if Marie discovered them to openly flaunting his sick desires for the teen in front of her mother. To further enforce his will, clothing was no longer worn inside the house and he took great delight in comparing the women’s bodies. Marie had aged well but was carrying a few extra pounds; Markus didn’t let her forget that. She was often in tears as he belittled her about her weight, her stretch marks, her hair or makeup. If she cried, she was pathetic and he’d often whip her for being weak. If she didn’t, he’d whip her harder. Then he’d force Alicia to watch as he violated her mother in every way possible while telling her all that was in store for her.

It was the day he’d thrown a party for his friends that finally pushed Alicia over the edge. Her mother had been fair game to the men her stepfather had invited; sometimes being forced to take not just one but sometimes two or three at once. Meanwhile, Markus had held her naked body in his lap, touching her while forcing her to suck his friends’ cocks or forcing her to suck him while their hands roamed her body. That night after Markus had left her room to slake his remaining lust on her mother’s body, the teen quickly showered, dressed, and left the house. She knew her mother would never forgive her for abandoning her to the monster she’d married but Alicia couldn’t stay any longer. As he’d sauntered from her room, he’d told her that her time was coming soon and she’d be damned if she was going to allow Markus Andrealphus to finish raping her body.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Chapter 1 Snippet

 Before I get to the teaser/snippet, I offer a bit of a contest. For those who've read my other works, you might be aware that I am somewhat obsessed by a certain book that became a stage musical. Contained below is a reference to that book hidden amongst the beginning of my little tale. 

What you need to do is:
1. find that reference
2. identify it in the context of the book
3. post your answer in the comments :) Yes, I'm a comment whore. Sue me. 

What you win:
I"ll ask the winner for their email (privately, don't want the spam bots to pick up) and will send them an inspiration pic for Daevas Malphas (which will go in the bios eventually) and the following chapter by email when that chapter's snippet is posted. So, not terribly early, but before anyone else.

Good luck and enjoy!

There's a Fine Line...
Chapter One

Blake Simons drummed his fingers upon the conference table and idly contemplated murdering his terminally boring Chief Financial Officer. Today’s meeting was focused on the annual budget review of the multi-billion dollar company as well as voting on the proposed budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. The dark haired CEO hated reports in general but reserved a special level of loathing for financial reports. They were generally a regurgitation of the same report from the previous year with little changes beyond accounting for inflation and increases in the costs of living. While such reports were considered necessary, he could see little advantage to listening as the thin, prune-faced man droned on about the financial stability of Simons Enterprises as well as the instability of several of the large conglomerate’s select clients. He’d heard it all before at the last financial review and once more began plotting his advisor’s death. A simple grip on the man’s narrow head, a quick twist, and the torture would be over for the day. He could go home and have a glass of Madeira and relax. How charming that would be!

“…and the figures from the third quarter indicate that Leroux, Inc., has experienced a marked decrease in…”

A marked decrease in your incessant tediousness would be far more welcome, Simons grumped silently to himself. He wondered, yet again, why he hadn’t turned over the running of his company to some younger underling and just raked in the profits. Oh, yes…he was a controlling bastard who trusted no one. That was it.

Deciding that a nasally tone of voice and pedantic manner of speech were insufficient reasons to go through the trouble of covering up the man’s death, he, instead, allowed his mind to wander to a subject that was as equally appealing as it was appalling: Alicia Johnston – his mate. Like every other wide-eyed, fresh faced youngling, he, too, had once believed in the drivel poured into his na├»ve ears about soul mates that would make the interminable years ahead bearable. But when the years passed – years, then decades, and then centuries – without this mythical being, he felt the veil forcibly ripped from his eyes. Nothing could soothe the utter dreariness of outliving your friends, family – even their grandchildren’s grandchildren were now dust and forgotten. Until that damnable Summit; until her.  His scowl grew fierce and the CFO nervously stumbled over his words before falling silent. Though he much preferred the silence, Blake sighed and motioned for him to continue.

“Um…yes, well…meanwhile, Poligny & Debienne has seen a steady increase in…”

The only increase I want to hear about, Barnes, is the speed of your damned speech before I rip your tongue from your mouth and force you to eat it, the vampire owner and Chief Executive Officer thought sourly. He really hated meetings. As the CFO droned on, he allowed himself to drift back to the events that led up to his finding his mate.

Had it only been two months ago that he’d been approached by a member of the Vampire Council to investigate the leader of the hate group, the Human Purity League, Colonel Friedrich Hunsinger? That he’d been chosen as the Primary Investigator hadn’t surprised him; he was one of the few high-profile nonhumans who hadn’t stepped forward after the Reveal. He’d enjoyed a fair amount of speculation from both colleagues and rivals alike over the last five years and it had amused him to fuel the fires of both opposing opinions. When he learned that the Colonel had planned to capture several of the children of the attending Ambassadors, he passed the information on to his contact and gave it little additional thought. Vampires couldn’t have children so what did it matter to him if some Shifter’s brats were kidnapped? A few less mutts in the world couldn’t be a bad thing, could it? So, he’d made his report but failed to follow up with the Council to discover their next plan of action.

The Council had remained silent on the matter which had surprised him. With Elizabeth Pierce as the local Council Chair and the Colonel being her mate’s mortal father, he’d expected some kind of official stance on how to handle the situation. Instead, his reports had been met with nothing but silence. It was only the interception of a wayward pixie spy that informed him that the Colonel’s plan had been implemented and he’d been furious. He’d stormed the hotel to confront his friend only to discover that his reports had somehow gone astray. The Council hadn’t reacted because they hadn’t known. It seemed there was someone amongst the council members with their own agenda.

The lights in the meeting room dimmed, pulling Blake from his thoughts. His eyes shifted closer to those of his inner beast’s, more crimson than his dark brown, in order to pierce the low light. When the projector flared to light, he barely stifled his groan. PowerPoint was the bane of every meeting in the corporate world and he had half a mind to hunt down Bill Gates and kick his ass for allowing the damned thing to be created.

“As you can see by this table, the changes in the Board of Directors of Larrabie, Inc., has caused stockholders to…”

Holy fuck, was the man still talking? Ripping his head off was far too kind. Perhaps he could pin him to the wall like a wingless butterfly and peel the skin away in small squares…

Immersed in the pleasurable contemplations of his CFO’s torture, Blake returned to his thoughts of the recent past. When the others had left the room, he’d remained behind – drawn by something he couldn’t name. It wasn’t until he’d paced the room more than a dozen times that he’d learned whom the elves had been tending. The young human female wasn’t what he normally indulged in when it came to sex or food, but her scent had captured his attention the instant he’d gotten close. Once those annoying elves had moved out of his way, he’d gotten his first good look at the girl. His beast had hissed his pleasure…and his need.

She was a little thing, short and slim, with gently waving light brown hair that fanned out over the pillow like a honeyed halo. Dark brown lashes kept her eyes hidden but the scattering of freckles across her cheeks and bridge of his nose had his fingers itching to trace each and every one. In sleep, she looked far younger than her nineteen years and yet the gentle swells of her breasts beneath the thin sheet had belied her childlike appearance. She wasn’t, perhaps, classically pretty but she was petite, cute, and called to him on such a deep level that, in his eyes, she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever been privileged to see.

The blood that stained her shirt had been the evidence of a vicious wound and he barely remembered asking the elven shaman how she’d obtained the injury. The answer had been a dagger straight to his soul. Alicia had been injured helping the children – those same children he’d written his reports about and then dismissed. The pain he’d felt when he’d gazed upon a near-mortally wounded, young, human girl and realized that his complacency had caused her injury very nearly crippled him. It was his fault she was injured; he should have confronted the Council after his first report went unanswered.

And then there was the knowledge that another of his kind had drank from her – placed their bloodied and savage fangs upon the creamy flesh of her delicate throat and defiled what was his. He didn’t care if it had meant their escape; reason had little to do with the vampire’s visceral and instinctive reaction. Blake’s inner beast rose sharply at the thought with but one purpose, to kill, but he ruthlessly subdued his vicious nature. For as cruel and bestial as his inner beast was, it had learned quickly in the earliest days of their shared existence that the human was far colder, more cunning, and deadlier than it could ever aspire to be.

But now, both were undone by a girl. A Girl! His low growl caused those nearby to shift uncomfortably in their chairs but he paid them little mind.

Once she’d healed, he’d visited her in her room and asked her to dinner. Granted, she’d been in the shower when he’d entered and it had been quite a struggle to keep from joining her. Just the thought of the water flowing over that young, nubile body to wash away the frothy bubbles that hid her delightful curves from his eyes had very nearly shattered his monumental self control. Fuck, it was damaging it even now as the memory of her in that fluffy robe, with her hair wet and tousled, had him hard as granite in his pricey A. Caraceni. The surprise on her face when she’d found him in her room, followed quickly by a perfectly thrown knife aimed for his head, had him ready to ruin his expensive tailored suit.

And then he’d tasted her.

If there was a heaven, it had been found upon his Alicia’s lips. She’d tasted minty and sweet and so totally his in a way he never could have dreamt possible. If her kiss had been heaven, then the scent of her arousal had been pure, unadulterated sin. His beast had nearly taken control when she returned his kiss; Blake had nearly let it when her honeyed fragrance had washed over them. The temptation to fuck her hard against the wall of her hotel room had been nearly impossible to resist. If she’d been anyone other than his mate, he would have. But she was his soul, his redemption, and he needed more than just a quick screw. He needed her to want and need him at least half as much as he did her. And so, instead of doing what his beast demanded and what his body craved, he’d taken her to dinner instead.