Short stories, poetry and
book sneak peaks
book sneak peaks
The secret of the woods
When Dante brought word of Lilith’s two great-granddaughters, I was pleased. So many years waiting, so many years to decide what action needed to be taken.
I had planned on stealing Annabel’s child, and simply keeping her until Lilith noticed she was missing. It would be easy to bring her to me, using the child—she watched over her I was sure, and I knew this because my men could never get close enough. She had wards, and protection spells around the girl, and the girl even began to practice witchcraft herself.
It wasn’t until I received word that the girl ran away that I began to send the men after her, to no avail. She was enamored with a wolf-man who tore apart men as if they were pieces of paper.
“The couple has two daughters, and one is refusing to leave. She will remain behind alone. I think the time is now.”
I steepled my hands as I sat behind the old oak desk that was once my grandfather’s, watching Dante’s scarred face. He was weakening every day, and it wasn’t uncommon that a vampire who no longer had a will to live would crumble into ash the day the last shred of hope in him dies.
“There are wards, I am sure. They have no come this far without them. No, we need to take her in a way that isn’t quite so…primal.”
Dante nodded, but I was the brains behind it all, he was merely the errand boy, he knew his place. This was exactly what we needed…an errand boy who looked like a handsome prince…someone innocent and pure.
Instantly, my thought was drawn to Charles, his blue eyes and floppy hair, the way his grin slanted, and his skin shined.
“Fetch me Charles, I think I have an idea.”
There was plenty of followers whom I could puppeteer easily, and one would be happy to relocate for the Grace of God. Thomas, Annabel’s husband.
It was an easy task, getting Charles and Thomas to the small town of Bethlehem near the witch’s cabin. I was certain that Charles would be able to breech the wards, but Thomas was also a loose cannon, and slightly insane. Perhaps he could teach Charles about the importance of skepticism and a man’s iron fist. They really could go a long way if applied—and I wanted Charles to be the one to bring the witch to me.
It wouldn’t be an easy sell…the boy had become slightly…attached to me.
I would just have to be as vague as possible and remind him of the rewards he loved so much.
I wanted to tell him that I promised Melody that he would be hers someday. She was a healthy vampire with a hefty appetite for blood…and intimacy. Lust and blood went hand in hand for a vampire, and Charles was the perfect one to meet her desires.
A boy raised in a brothel, what better student could she have? It would happen, even if I had to force it a little.
“How long will I be gone?”
“As long as it takes, the first step is to gain the family’s trust. Thomas must marry, insert himself into the community, by the way of God, of course.”
Charles ran a hand through his messy hair, sighing and looking at the stone floor.
“But this is home. I belong here…with you.”
We are seated at the dining table in the middle of the common room at the center of the castle. This was where I saw most of my visitors, followers.
I cut into a blood red steak surrounded by grilled carrots and sprouts; I had become accustomed to eating over the years. It brought me great comfort, besides, humans needed to eat.
“If you insist…” He pushed the food around on his plate, looking somber and so irresistible.
“I need you to do this for me…”
We locked eyes, and he nodded. I softened my face as much as possible, and smiled, satisfied with his response.
He nodded, a smiling creeping up one side of his dimpled cheek.
“Perfect. You will leave first thing in the morning. I will tell Thomas, and I will reward you tonight.”
Charle’s eyes shined.
When I came to his quarters, he was waiting for me naked, atop his sheets with a grin stretched on his face.
“Did you bathe?” I asked softly, shutting the door behind me.
He propped himself up on his hand, elbow bent, nodding.
He looked like a child on the morning of Christmas. Awaiting the one gift he had always wanted…begged for even.
I never took him the way he begged me too; I couldn’t bare it if I hurt him, and I had never been inside a man before. The ultimate sin. If I did this…I was accepting my un-holiness, my disbelief in everything I ever preached. I would be committing as act so dirty, that I was removing any link I ever had to the holy word.
Good…perhaps it was time.
I held a flask of anointing oil, often used in baptism, the only lubricant aside from the oil used for baking bread.
And that just wouldn’t do.
“On your knees.”
He does as he’s told, standing from the bed, his long, lean body enviable. The tight muscles of his abs make my cock twitch, and I imagine them bunching before he took his release…
He knelt, his head just past my own abdomen, and I tangled my hands in his hair, pulling his head back, “such a good submissive. I will miss this…”
He doesn’t say a word, he just looked up at me from under those full lashes, so feminine and soft. I wanted to stroke his cheek, but I don’t want to give him sweetness tonight. I would give him the safety of my rules, my directions.
I brought his cheek to my cock instead, pushing against my dolman, rubbing it until his face is as red as a rose.
He was nearly breathless, and my cock is hard and angry, and I reach under to release it.
My pants fell to the floor, and Charle’s lips were already wet.
“I am going to give you a safe word, I do not want to hurt you, but I will push you.”
He nodded, eagerness in his bright eyes.
“What do you think, my soft boy…”
He thought for a moment, and with heat he replied, “Rapture.”
I closed my eyes at this, he was pushing the limits already.
I walked around him, to his back, gathering his wrists into one hand, pulling him to stand.
I pulled him to me, and kissed his neck gently, tasting the salt on his skin. I felt him shiver, and I reached around the front, finding his cock like steel against his belly, dripping from the tip. I lazily gave him one stroke and cupped his balls. He gasped, and I led him backward to the bed.
I laid on top of him, our muscular bodies pressed together. Looking down, I make sure our shafts were lined up perfectly. Charles looked down as well, the heads kissing like two lost lovers. Their crowns shiny and red.
I slowly moved my hips against his, his cock against mine.
“Tell me what it is you want…”
He was gasping now, his eyes locked on my face. Licking his lips, he tried to speak but was overcome, closing his eyes again.
“More…I want more…”
“So greedy for a boy so lost.”
I reached for the Chrism; in a small glass vile in the pile of clothes at the foot of the bed.
Kneeling between his muscular thighs, I poured the holy oil on my fingers and ran them up and down my cock, “I shall bless you with my cock, and I know you will make me proud once you return.”
His eyes watched me intently as I lifted his legs onto my shoulders. I dribbled oil on his taught sack, and down his crevice to his tight hole. He hissed, and I begin with a gentle tug on his balls, expertly swirling my index and middle finger into his puckered entrance.
With my other hand, I jerk him off slowly, as I press inside.
His groans sounded like a holy hymn to my ears, and my own arousal was mounting as I work him with two hands.
I had been with men and women alike, but always promised myself that I would never give myself to another after Lilith.
But I wanted this, I wanted him, and I wanted to claim him as mine just as much as I did with her. Charles was so compliant, and so submissive, I struggled against taking him daily. He was nothing like her… always asking softly, pleading with me, and I wanted to give him just that, changing his life forever. It was a guarantee that he would do what I had asked of him, he wouldn’t be able resist me after this.
I leaned down, moving my hands to my own throbbing shaft, and lined myself up with the tight starburst. He squeezed the head, so deliciously tight, and I steadied myself before pushing myself inside.
His cock twitched against his belly, every inch I slid inside forcing a whimper from his lips.
“Fuck,” I cursed, forcing myself to slow so I didn’t immediately come undone.
Charles eyes are completely closed down, his mouth working into an O, and I was thankful for a moment that he could not see my face.
Keeping my eyes focused on his pleasure, I rolled my hips into him rhythmically, his heavy legs weighing down on my shoulders.
His needy cock throbbed with each thrust, and I reached for it, stroking it gently.
I was hitting that soft spot deeply inside of him, and I could tell he was close by the way his eyebrows lifted. He grabbed his legs, letting me in deeper.
“This asshole is mine, and mine only…” I grunted, “do you understand?”
He as nodding his head frantically and he climaxed, white ropes of semen spilling from his cock and onto his stomach. The sight shot me over the edge as well, and I unloaded inside of him.
I howled, buried inside of him.
When our breath had slowed, and he opened his eyes again, he smiled up at me. His blue eyes sparkled, and I allowed myself to touch his face, take in his soft beauty.
I stood on shaky legs, and Charles relaxed his body, the euphoria settled on his skin.
Walking to the basin of water near the fireplace, I cleaned myself up, grabbing another towel for him. He smiled as he took it, but he didn’t meet my eyes. He was acting shy, and part of me relished in his timidness.
I knew this may be the only time we would be together, especially if I planned on giving him to my Melody.
“Come back to me, okay?”
He replied quietly, “always.”
Ever since the wolf-man mangled his hand, Thomas had been reclusive and locked in his room. I took him in without argument, and he only requested that he be left in peace and allowed to attend church. Of course, I had said, and now I would call on him to return the favor after all these years. He would agree, I was sure of it. The only thing I needed to do was tell him it was God’s Will. Just one small sentence and it would be that easy. It was the very reason my grandfather chose this line of work…persuasion was all too easy.
Charles did not take to his orders lightly, I knew he would make me proud. We had shared pillow talk, life lessons, and seed. But it was time to release my Melody of the sleeping curse, so we could be together again.
I stood from my chair, a young servant girl quickly clearing the plates as I stood. I walked to the far wall where the tapestry of Lilith was hung, pulling it back and looking over my shoulder before disappearing behind it.
Her room was the last, after many turns inside the pitch-black corridors. I felt along the walls as I went, but part of my abilities was perfect sight in the darkness.
Moonlight washed over the bed where she slept, a single rose bud in the vase beside of her. The flower never bloomed, and I feared that the prophecy wasn’t true. Once the flower bloomed—she would awaken. For years, I had faith that it would, and she would awaken, only it never did. The day she fell into the slumber, the day that Lilith left, I vowed to do whatever it took to bring her back. I often bit my own wrist and trickled the blood into her mouth, hoping it would be enough to sustain her. I held on to faith, and day after day, I was not given anything more than that.
The Witch of the Woods was the key. She had to be; she was Lilith’s kin. Magic be damned, I would make sure Melody was brought back to me.
I stoked her soft cheek, which was sharp, and her blonde ringlets still shined with youth, locked in that state forever once she was turned.
If her foolish parents didn’t do what they did—she never would have needed to be turned. It was the only choice I had, and once she was orphaned, she became mine.
“We will be together again, ange.”
“We gotta leave…now! She knows about us-- she knows everything. If you wanna be with me…leave with me, now.”
“She will find us. You know exactly what she is capable of, Anise.”
“Then we leave, in the middle of the night…move somewhere far away from here. She will not be able to hex us if she cannot find us.”
“Fine. Tonight, we leave.”
“Not without my crystal…it’s been passed down for generations.”
The girl thinks she is clever, but there is none cleverer than I. I have foreseen this day, but still chose to marry the man I loved. Love cannot be explained, and often isn’t ours to keep forever.
I gathered the hair, the blood of her menses, and a jar. Placing the black salt, lemon and cayenne inside, I glanced around the room that glowed with candlelight, a tiny flicker of a flame letting me know a presence was near. Drawing a line of blood with a dagger across my palm, the pain and intention raising my vibration.
The altar that stood before me was covered in offerings to my Iwa, Papa Legba. Cigars, rum, long sashes of red and black. Candle wax dripped down the pewter tapers handed down from my grandmother. I lit the tallest red candle and began the chant that would call him to me.
“ I call a hex upon my betrayer and her family- “I take my blood and write her name on parchment, folding it three times and placing it inside the jar, “pain, death and misfortune will follow you like a shadow, chasing your kin. I call upon him…” I take the small skull covered in sigils from the top shelf and hold it to me. I held them in my mind for a while, watching them together. “Papa Legba…a giving and loyal Iwa,”
The candles around the room danced, and a rough wind stirred my tightly wound hair. A loud crash came from behind me, and the mirror passed down for centuries, fractured into thin, black lines. I watched the mirror as black smoke seeped from inside of it, permeating the air around it and causing me to take a cautious step back.
It was done.
I saw Death himself when I was just a child. His skin a deep dark black, and his face painted white. Crooked yellow teeth that protruded and a wide grin that terrified me, his laugh that squeezed my insides until I could no longer breath…the strong scent of cigars would follow.
When I told my mother that I had seen Death, she dismissed me with a wave of her hand, ‘such silly and imaginative things you say, my little Starseed, we are special women, do not worry.’
She would kiss me in the middle of my forehead each time, gently touching the crystal I always wore around my neck.
The following day, she began to cover all of our mirrors.
Her behavior puzzled me, but also interested me.
It didn’t help that the neighbors whispered about her odd behaviors, and the rumors soon began.
Her voice was more of an echo now. I can’t remember exactly the tone or inflection, but I do remember that she always made me happy. Laughter rang in my head…there was always laughter when I was with her.
I surveyed the run-down strip mall in front of me, with little choices for clothes shopping— compared to the other towns who had more than just one grocery store and two gas stations.
The small strip we had in Bakersfield, CA wasn’t anything like the strip in Vegas. The place my childhood best friend, Jane and I would spend hours dreaming about out loud together.
Jane went missing a little over two years ago. My brother, Logan, said he thinks she’s dead because she wasn’t found in the first forty-eight hours or whatever.
I think she just found an opportunity and didn’t look back.
Money was a hard thing to come by around here unless you wanted to work for corporate America. Rigorous routine wasn’t something I was exactly excited about getting into.
Jane and I were both adopted by our aunts, who we equally hated, and laughed maniacally about seeing their faces if we told them we became strippers in Vegas.
I was on the curvier side, filled out in all the right places, but always a little too big for the ‘hot guys’. Jane on the other hand, she had the perfect body for stripping, and I wouldn’t put it past her to actually do it.
I once worked at The Gap but was fired on the spot for telling a middle-aged woman that her nose job looked fake.
I was good at explaining my way out of situations, but not that time. Most people didn’t like hearing the truth, but a job would never keep me from telling it-- I couldn’t do fake.
I pulled into a parking spot near my favorite clothing store called, Wrecked.
I needed a new eyebrow ring before the seventy-five-dollar piercing closed up. I had absolutely no business spending that kind of money on piercing- but I was drunk and trying to impress a girl when I did it.
Unfortunately, the girl was gone in the morning, but the piercing remained.
Pausing at the glass door, I looked at my reflection- touching thighs, rounded hips and muscular calves, red hair that touched my waist, ample cleavage with a purple crystal nestled between. Brushing my hair back over my shoulder, I fingered the jewel and remembered my mother’s words, ‘As long as you wear this- Death will never touch you. He may visit you, but he will never be able to take you’.
“Hello? Are you going inside or are you just going to stare at your reflection all day?” the woman’s voice was full of attitude, hand on her slender hip.
“Maybe I am going to stare at my reflection all day…but please- by all means,” I stepped back, presenting my arms towards the door, “don’t let me ruin your day.”
Rolling her eyes, she whipped open the door, leaving me standing outside the shop with half a mind to turn around and leave.
“Awe, you look lost,”
I turned, surprised that I didn’t see the man approach me from the reflection in the glass.
“I’m not lost. Who the hell are you?” I shoved my hands into my pockets, waiting for the one-liner that was sure to leave his lips. Why else would a stranger approach a woman?
“Taj, nice to meet you…?” he stretched out his long hand to me, and I stared at his glittered-fake nails for a moment, confused. Taking it, we shook, and I backed up a bit so I could take in this tall man’s perfect, dark complexion. He wore a pair of futuristic looking sunglasses, that wrapped around his face, reflecting my face back at me. His head was covered with a deep purple hood that was attached to a soft looking long sleeved shirt.
“Celeste,” I answered, enthralled by his high cheekbones and plump lips. Smiling, his charm clouding my judgement.
Dammit! Why did I give him my real name?
“I’m so very pleased you shared your name with me, Celeste. Did you know that there is a rare crystal called Celestite? Named from the Latin word coelestis, meaning heavenly or celestial. Here,” His voice was calming, melodic. He handed me a small green stone, “a green stone to match your eyes and your name.”
Before I even knew what was happening, he was being ushering me inside a door covered with silks, jewels and bells.
“What is this place? I’ve never seen this place here before- and I am always next d---” Taj holds up a hand to me.
A lava lamp sat behind his chair on a small, hexagon table. The floating lumps of red and pink swirled around one another, reminding me of fire. The space was small, and very dimly lit, and the one large window at the front was completely blacked out.
“Come, come. Sit and let us do a card spread for you, Spirit insists. Past, present and future,” he lead me to a round table and I sat, staring in awe at the different colored and textured crystals that lined the wall behind the table.
When he said the word future, it was as if he had already seen it, a small smirk playing on his lips.
I didn’t want to know anything about my future, not now, not ever.
“I’ve gotta go,” Turning to the door behind me, I heard him shuffle a deck of cards and …thunk. I turned to see his face smiling down over the fallen card.
“One card has simply jumped from this deck for you- did you hear it? Let us have a look. Sit,” He continued his shuffling and, thunk thunk, two more cards fell.
I didn’t know which was more shocking, the fact that I was scared or the fact that I had considered seeing a reader this morning. My fingers tingled, and I felt my chest grow tight. This was no coincidence; I could feel something prickle at the back of my neck, a whisper.
Do not fear….
I sat down, my curiosity overtaking any sense of dread I had left for today.
Picking up the deck ‘jumpers’, he spread the three cards out before me, and I gasped.
Our eyes met, and as he flipped over the final card, I noticed it was upside down.
The first card that dropped from the pile was DEATH. A goddess with a horned-skull face and a dark robe.
“Ah, do not fear, the death card can represent a great many things, such as transformation. Or… because this was the card pulled for the past…great suffering and tragedy,” His eyes caught mine, and I only nodded slightly- rarely speechless, but stared at the spread of mystery cards that lay in front of me: three little cards telling a full story about my life- without saying a word.
“Present- The Tower,” Dramatically, he covered his mouth with his hand, sitting back in the chair. His purple and blue shirt shimmered in the dim light as he moved.
“What? What is it?” I leaned forward on the table, eager to know everything about what he was seeing.
I knew a little about Tarot, but I didn’t remember in detail. That was kind of Jane’s thing.
I resisted the urge to slam my palm on the table to make him talk.
Calm down, bitch. This could be exactly what you’re looking for- answers.
“You have a lot to learn, child. This card can be a bitch, but if you do what you need to—great rewards will follow.”
I sit back and cross my arms over my chest, letting out a huff, “I’ve learned plenty already. I’ve had enough trauma to fill THREE people’s young adult lives.”
Continuing to study the cards, he spoke in his melodic tone again, “Do you know anyone who would wish you,” he leaned in close to me and with a whisper, “ill will?”
Memories of my parents fighting trilled inside my ears- each time they would fight, it would be her name etched into my brain when they were finished.
I shake my head no, mostly so he would continue with the reading.
He touched the face of the last card, upside down. It wasn’t until the he removed his sunglasses, that I realized his eyes were a dark blue. Fake eyelashes and a baby-blue eyeshadow gave his face an ethereal glow, making him appear magical, I stared.
“Future: Six of Swords, reversed,”
I don’t know why it was in that moment, Taj’s blue eyes or that stupid card in reverse- but I remembered. I remembered it all.
Stop teaching her to practice magic! You are only making it stronger…
“Unfinished business,” I said, staring into an invisible space beside where Taj sat.
He nodded, crooking an eyebrow over me, waiting. “Does this resonate with you? Who comes to mind?”
“No one really… but there were fights over infidelities and…over witchcraft.”
“Well, if anyone can help you with unfinished business, it’s my friend Moxie.” Taj ran his eyes over me, studying me. He stood, walking over to a tall black shelf, opening a wooden box.
“Here. Tell them Taj sent you, they will give you a nice room to stay in,” he said, handing me a silver, shimmering card that just said, Alvarez inc. and had an address on the back.
I turned the cheesy-looking business cards over in my hands, noticing my bare, chipped nails.
I looked up from the card, and Taj was gone, the beads hanging on the back wall moving with little clacks, marking his exit.
There are signs everywhere.
Another saying that Jane frequented, and I only laughed it off.
Never in my twenty-two years had any stroke of luck come knocking on my door, and this little card could be a sign. What was the worst that could happen? Perhaps this was the motivation I needed to get into my car and drive to my mother’s hometown.
I might even find Jane, the address is in Vegas.
I could wriggle my way out of any situation by adapting. I was a survivor…bad luck or not.
Quickly leaving the little shop behind, I plugged the address into the cracked screen of my Blackberry. The keys stuck as I typed, but I furiously checked to see how long the trip would be.
Four hours? That’s a few tanks of gas.
I needed to get to Aunt Nancy’s to see what was left of my parent’s life insurance policy.
Fuck it—I was going to New Orleans, but first—Vegas…to find Moxie.
the wolf of the woods
Chapters 1 & 2
“She seems interested. Shall we share her tonight, brother?”
Erik’s words rip through my belly, burning my insides with rage.
I have shared women before, but never had I thought about sharing Sybil.
I take a sip of the ale in my mug; the froth decorating the top lip of my blonde beard. The warmth of the fire and ale spreading from my cheeks to my limbs as I watch Sybil sprawled on the furs below us.
Her face full of sharp edges and soft curves, much like a statue.
She locks eyes with mine and a low growl leaves my throat, watching the pulse beat in her neck. We have bedded many times, and my cock stirs against my thigh as I recount the things she does to me with her mouth.
I lean back against the table and take in her long, golden limbs. She was tall for a woman, to be sure, but we were all the same size laying down. My fingers itched to touch her skin.
“She’s no’ looking at you.” I take a slow drag of my ale, letting it dribble down my beard, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
He scoffs, tossing back his mug and finishing it with a loud swallow. I turn back to Sybil, who watches me closely. I grin in her direction, the wolf inside me panting in approval.
I wanted to kneel before her and worship her body… but not with Erik here. I was more than enough as a lover; my powerful body fought in battle the same way I fucked in the furs- with passion.
My body, spent from the day’s battle, and it is a day to celebrate victory like men.
Some say fucking and fighting went hand in hand. It seemed Erik felt the same.
The day I took the oath to Odin, and vowed my courage to him, was the day I was born, Fenrir the warrior.
Erik may be my brother on the battlefield, but Erik harbored a jealousy of me he never truly tried to hide. And yet it seemed now we had yet another way to compete.
This woman- was my woman.
Sybil was pissed drunk, three mugs of ale and she is half undressed atop my furs- her smock unbound, her shoulders and tops of her breasts exposed.
Erik lingered long after the celebration, and his smugness bothered me as he reclined beside me. Turning to me, elbows resting on the table; he returns his gaze to Sybil. “Fen seems to think you don’t like me… but I think you do.” he smiles and there’s a glint in his eyes that I don’t much care for.
My wolf growls in agreement, a low rumble in my chest.
Sybil’s stares, her laugh filling the hut. “I’ve always wanted to take two warriors to bed. He is rather handsome, Fen, don’t you agree?” She kneels, crawling on all fours… crawling to him.
I feel the change inside of me rushing to the surface. Rage that she would even consider this embarrassment at her teasing.
Never would I consider another, only you.
Betrayal burns my eyes, and I slam them shut- the heat from the fire consuming me until my body splinters and stretches, fur sprouting over my growing body. My snout snaps and cracks as it lengthens, my head swinging from side to side. Crouching down, I am three times their size as they both look up at me in horror. In one violent motion, I clamp down on Erik’s neck in a blur.
Didn’t he know better than to anger Fenrir the Wolf? Had he not seen the beast in battle? He knew what I carried inside me, and he still taunted me- and now he will meet his death.
Erik’s cries and pleading fill my back turned ears. Warm blood gushing over my tongue and drips down my jaw. I shake out his body, silencing his futile pleas. I shake harder, bones snapping and flesh smearing the walls. Sybil’s screams stop me for a moment, a shoulder and arm hanging from my teeth. I see my shadow, large and looming in the fire’s light- a terror, an animal, a beast.
Any hope that Sybil could ever love me died with Erik this night. I am only left with the question that has haunted me my entire life- what kind of maiden could ever love a beast like me?
“Bless me father, for I have sinned,” I say, lightly, glancing at my grandmother for approval.
She nods, as I say the words- ever so grateful for my complying nature.
I kneel, the candles before me in a row of fire… but it is not a fire I may touch.
I count each one, two, three, four…
One for each of the souls to pass in our family. Although we are to worship a God we cannot see, we shall always remember our kin- that made perfect sense to me.
Whispers of Evil and contention pass through the church each time my mother and I pass by, my Gran determined to extinguish these rumors like an ember under a foot.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
I recite these words each time I come here; it seems to be the only prayer that makes any sense to me.
Gran’s God was a judgmental one; a force beyond what is tangible to us, and even when I questioned her, her God knew no mercy for anyone who did not obey His word. And the days I did not obey… I was punished with fervor.
But why can’t I question him? Why is He the one we follow?
If there was anything she chastised me the most for, it was my questions.
The small church down the cobblestone pathway from home held many secrets, feeling the pressure on my bones each time we came.
The men from my father’s flock line the back wall, standing in a perfectly straight line, watching everyone that enters.
Their eyes always linger the longest on my mother, Annabelle.
It is still unclear to me how my parents came together, but I know Gran forced them into marriage when she found that my mother was with child.
My mother and father were always fighting, and the sounds that came from their room late those nights- only confused me.
When I questioned my mother about such things, I always got the same answer.
We are just different.
If I was different, did that mean I was bad?
...second half of chapter available on release day! February 16 2022
all work protected by copyright
The wolf of the woods blurb
My father handed my mother to the men who burned her on a pyre.
I was left with my Gran, tucked away inside a cabin in the Welsh woods.
My mother’s books were all I had left of the brave woman I once idolized.
Soon, the woods called me, the dark depths seeming more inviting than my reality.
It wasn’t until I awakened that I realized just what my curiosity had done.
Before me stood not a beast, but a man. A man so fierce that I would forsake my God just to worship him.
Exiled for murder. All because of the beast inside me. Blood, war, and women roused me and the moon stilled me.
I did not hunt these woods for women, though the men in the black coats do. I pay no mind to them because they leave offerings at my footsteps. I am no God, but I enjoyed being revered.
My thoughts never strayed from day-to-day tasks until the day I saw the fox-haired girl.
She was to be mine, and I would shed as much blood as Odin would allow to make that so.
Tangled garden blurb
Hyacinth, a sweet girl next door who devotes her time to her father and stressful job, generally spends her weekends shrouded in a purple haze and avoiding her boring husband.
Enter Devina, a pathological liar who is
unable to accept her shrinks diagnosis, and seeks Colorado’s many dispensaries for a homeopathic treatment.
A chance encounter leaves Devina pining for Hyacinth, taking full advantage of Hyacinth’s unhappy marriage full of doubts.
Treading the line of betrayal lightly, the two explore their heated connection in secret.
The pair are quickly blinded by their own desires and Devina grows impatient with their twisted situation. Hyacinths reluctance to accept her true self pushes Devina over the edge and into a possessive mania that will forever change both of their lives.
Twice as Twisted blurb
Twice as Twisted
The tide pulled us under, then she swept us away.
I never wanted to get married again.
I belonged in exotic locations, making a life out of my photography. Lazy days under a high sun in a wine haze, maybe joined by a sexy pool boy. But here I am, engaged and back in Newport Beach where I grew up. I only needed a few weeks, and everything would fall perfectly into place. If I could pull it all off unscathed.
What I didn’t expect was for my fiancé to bring his twin sons along for the ride. Three Greek Gods and one dreamy beach house. What could go wrong?
I’m the ‘bad’ twin. There’s always one, right? I’m okay with that though, cuz I’m also the one who always gets invited to the party. This move is a fresh start. My chance to explore the taboo part of me that wanted more than friendship with my best friend, Leo.
I’ll admit, I loved attention from both men and women. My Greek bloodline puffing out my chest, a beacon on the beach. I could handle beach life easily.
Then I met Dad’s fiancée. A total stunner.
But damn if it wasn’t a nightmare trying to keep my hands off her.
Dad already met someone, just a year after mom left. One brief, elated moment when I received my acceptance letter from UCLA. The next day we packed up for Southern California. A summer job was the only way I could tolerate this obnoxious town. I preferred dusty bookstores and quiet coffee shops.
The day I met Alyssa, that all changed. Left spluttering and speechless. One problem: she was engaged to my father.
How was I supposed to sleep in the same house with a woman I barely knew but couldn’t stop thinking about?
Twice as Twisted
Chapter 43 sneak peak
After Kostas left, things with the boys felt… messy.
In the long run, their opinion of me didn’t matter, but for now, I wanted things to go smoothly.
Jeno’s silly jokes and passion for photography reminded me of what it felt like to be young again.
What I would give to do it all over again.
I wanted to travel. So badly, I could taste it.
My wanderlust brought me to two of my husband’s. I had been from California to Texas, Texas to Colorado. I travelled in between on mini vacations or for gallery openings.
But not the way I had always wanted.
I wanted to see the world.
It was a big dream for a spoiled California girl. I just thought I had wealth in my favor, but it turned out I didn’t.
And Judas, fucking Judas.
Judas reminded me of myself when I was his age. Running around as fast as I could, soaking up every experience as if I would die tomorrow.
Sex and booze. Although, I’m betting he smokes weed as most of this generation does. I had never tried, and always wanted to.
I tried to ease my stress by cooking and cleaning. If I kept myself distracted, maybe I wouldn’t think about kneeling in front of Judas and begging him to fuck me over the table.
I hung white Christmas lights in the corner of the ceilings. Snack trays and freshly popped popcorn lined the breakfast bar.
I even made a batch of brownies.
I surveyed my work, satisfied, and opened a bottle of wine.
“Drinking already? At four in the afternoon? Tsk, tsk.” Judas hopped onto the couch, covered in freshly washed pillows and throws.
“Hey! I just washed those!” My wine sloshed around my cup, and he sat.
“Oh no. You going to punish me, Lyss?” He said in a hushed voice.
I gave him a side eye but didn’t respond.
The front door opened and Jeno bounced into the living room, full of energy. “They really mean it when they say exercise gives you more energy- it really does!” He plopped down next to his brother, in the same, ‘I’m very aware of how big my body is’ sort of way.
“I figured at least one of you would be out scavenging for food in the kitchen. You guys hide in your rooms. Let’s watching a movie together.” I leaned against the back of the couch, but no one responded. They looked at one another, though.
“I don’t know if we can all agree on a movie. Hey, nerd boy, did Harry figure out where all the magic crystals were?” Judas threw a pillow, but Jeno blocked it, shoving Judas in the shoulder.
“Oh, shocker. The big, tattooed guy likes movies like The Fast and Furious.” Jeno made a mocking voice, imitating a monkey.
“Listen, Dobby. Just because I have tattoos doesn’t mean I’m dumb. Neither does that fact that I don’t like Harry Potter.” Judas flipped him off.
“I like Harry Potter.” I chimed in.
“That’s because you’re a chick.’’ They said, in unison.
“I like Harry Potter and The Fast and the Furious.” Jeno said, looking at his brother.
“Fair enough.” The brothers fist bumped one another. They weren’t identical, but they looked similar. And I’m sure they shared many personality traits.
“Fast and the Furious it is.” I used the remote to pull up the DVD library. I typed in the letter and the flashy ad with brightly colored cars and flames lit up the screen.
I sat in between the two, a box that said ‘popcorn’ in my hand. The music bumped through the speakers, and I scooted back into the oversized couch and got comfortable.
Judas slouched diagonally across the couch; arm draped over the side. Jeno sat in the corner on the other side of me, looking uncomfortable yet absorbed into the opening credits.
I had seen it before, during a trip to Colorado in the summer. Fast cars and bumping bass went well together. I could see the appeal to them both.
The rain had been hammering down since the late morning, and with the air conditioner pumping through the house, I shivered.
I grabbed a throw and tossed it over my lap, letting my body lean into Judas’ warmth.
He noticed and nudged his hand under the edge of the blanket. His hand on my thigh was scorching hot, and I had to keep myself from rolling my hips and spreading my legs.
The movie played on, and Judas kept his hand where it was, but every once and awhile, brushed his thumb gently over my skin.
I could feel my clit rub against the seam of my shorts, and I slightly rocked into it.
His fingertips slowly travelled up my thigh until his pinky was just at the edge of my panties.
So damn close, his fingers were so close to where I wanted to feel him.
I wanted to curse but resisted and focused on the movie.
When the movie ended, my body was rigid. I wondered how long I had been holding myself in a tense position for.
Jeno’s snores caused both Judas and me to jerk our heads towards his body, his chest rhythmically rising and falling.
Judas moved closer to me, our bodies touching at every inch on our sides.
He leaned down and brought his lips to my ear. “Do you want this?”
His other hand reached under the blanket, fingering the top of my shorts. He expertly unzipped them and let his hand slide underneath.
I inhaled a sharp breath, my nipples hardening.
I nodded my head yes.
“But what if he wakes up? He might see us. He might see you…” He cupped his hand around my pussy and slowly let his middle finger slide between my folds.
“I don’t care.” I breathed, leaning back into him more.
He hooked his left arm around my waist and lifted me onto his lap in one fluid motion, allowing his hand better discovery.
I surrendered, laying back against his body.
“You’re so fucking wet. I’ve barely touched you.” His words melted my body into a wet puddle. I shuddered against his hand, begging him not to stop.
“I want you.” I breathed, wondering why he was being so cruel to me.
Not letting me have what I wanted.
“I don’t know if you deserve it.” He circled my clit with all three middle fingers until I was whimpering into his ear.
I ground into his hand, wanting to feel him inside, pushing and stretching me.
“You want me inside, don’t you?” His circles became faster, and I was on the brink of exploding.
I didn’t want to come this way. I needed him to fill me.
“Please, please.” I begged him.
“I don’t know, Lyss. Have you been a good girl? Or a bad girl? Choose wisely.” He rubbed slower now.
“I’m… I’m…” I stuttered, teetering.
“I know you’re a bad girl. Just by watching you. What bad thing did you do all those years ago, to make you want to stay away so long?” He breathed the words into my ear as he toyed with my clit. Simultaneously, he slid his fingers inside me, and then back out again.
My body jolted, and the pleasure robbed by my thoughts of my time at The Scorpion’s stinger, with Moxie. One of the most eye-opening, blissful experiences. One I didn’t talk about, ever.
If I spoke these words to him, the ones that rested on the tip of my tongue, I could never get them back.
“What was it, angel? You can tell me.” His words almost detonated my orgasm right there.
You can tell me.
It echoed through my brain, and my pussy throbbed. I wanted him to take me, to fuck me.
“You’re a bad girl, tell me.” He stopped circling my clit and dipped his fingers inside me again, hooking two of them and thrusting.
To my abuser
When you’re feminine, you’re soft.
When you’re too nice; you get taken advantage of.
When you’re too nice and feminine? It’s always your fault.
Then there are the beautiful ones, who are too nice and too feminine.
Loaded with mental instabilities.
That was me.
When I met you.
I was nice to everyone, including you.
I’ll admit, I liked your ‘I don’t give a fuck attitude.’
But what was it about me that drew you to me like a moth to a flame?
Was it just my disposition?
Childhood trauma impulsively making me want to people please.
Affable and fair. Quick to apologize.
You took advantage of me, the prey to your animal.
It started with fights that escalated from ember to inferno in an instant.
Soon, my days were not complete until I had cried.
Emotionally exhausted and questioning my life.
The fighter inside of me wanted to war, and I fought back.
That’s when things got bad.
I mean, I wasn’t supposed to talk back- I was supposed to obey.
How dare I?
That was when it became more than screaming.
It was choking.
Being held down.
My third eye finally opened, even after all my battles with alcohol.
It still opened.
Tired of tip toeing over shards of broken glass.
The tiny cuts became infected, they pussed and festered.
Day after day of rage, all aimed at me.
Your rage was your weapon.
Your defense mechanism to your authentic emotions because you were always taught to swallow your feelings.
Feelings were weakness.
Feelings were for women.
The inferior gender.
The trauma you suffered at the hands of your father and your alcoholic mother, all rolled into one crying tiny child buried inside of you.
You never healed that child and birthed your very own trauma to nurture in the flesh
The sting of your words burned my ears each day until they bled.
Faced shoved to the carpet, repeatedly being told I wasn’t shit.
I was… nothing.
It didn’t take many break-ups to make ups for you to no longer treat me as a person, but an employee.
If my job was not done correctly, I was punished.
Night after night I begged you to be quiet.
Don’t wake the baby.
Please don’t yell.
On Christmas Eve, you shoved yourself down my throat until I had tears in my eyes while you drove us home.
You finished and said thank you.
While I cried in the truck for an hour.
My ultimate bottom. It was lonely and dark.
I would die in this trailer, next to a person I didn’t love.
I hated you from that moment on.
A hatred that brought me to the bottle every night while our baby boy slept next to our bed.
The perfect little angel that he was.
Let my Libra moon remind you; there are two sides to every story.
And true to who I am; I have thought of this often.
I could be the villain in your story; but hate only breeds hate.
And I always chose peace.
You took a love, and you crushed it.
You crushed my self-confidence, my worthiness.
You tried to crush my soul, but you failed.
Friends, family and therapists have congratulated me on my escape.
Being told that I’m lucky.
You will always paint me as the monster.
Perhaps because you realized your mistake but aren’t man enough to admit them.
Maybe if you made peace with that, you would make with within yourself.
My monsters aren’t under my bed.
I confront them daily, and we have become friendly.
Yours will remain buried deep inside your wounded soul.
Someday, my baby will understand why I did what I did.
For self-preservation, sanity.
Mental health and a bigger plan for me.
Call it selfish if you want to.
I’ve made my peace with that perspective.
But I will tell you,
He will ask questions someday, there’s enough of me inside his blood to know that.
He will seek truth, perspective and guidance.
Chaotic Delusions (snippet)
The next morning, after too much vodka and hard rock, I was pulled out of a hungover stupor by a loud knock on the door.
I rubbed my eyes and squinted against the bright sun that beamed in through the back door.
Mel’s naked body sprawled across the futon on the floor, and I had to push her off my shoulder just to get up.
I wish she would just go, fun’s over now.
I sighed and pulled an Ozzy shirt over my tangled hair.
“EVICTON NOTICE: YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO VACATE THE PREMISES”
The piece of paper was half stuck under the door and was a bright red.
“Damn, thirty days?” I cursed quietly, crumpling up the paper and immediately searching my brain for a plan.
I popped the top off the bottle of vodka.
I could get three shots out of what we left.
I tossed it back and gritted my teeth.
“Get up Mel, it’s time to go.” My voice sliced through the silent morning and Mel jolted her body, craning her neck towards the sound.
“What time is it? I feel like I didn’t even sleep- what the fuck?” she groaned and rolled over, covering her head with a pillow.
I strode over to the bed and yanked the pillow off of her, “Get out. Now.”
“The fuck, dude?” her long hair electrified around her head like a halo. Her face scrunched up, looking for her clothes.
“I have shit to do. Fun’s over.” I threw the pillow back down beside her and returned to the small kitchen. I poured myself another shot and pulled out my cellphone.
“Hey sexy, can we link up today? I need a favor.” I sent a brief text to Alyssa, knowing full well she would respond fast.
She liked me. A lot.
Mel collected her things and stood at my door, fully dressed now, “Okay, well, see ya around. I guess.”
The door shut behind her, and I shook my head.
Some people just couldn’t take a hint.
My phone dinged and I picked it up, smiling to myself.
“Of course, pet. Lunch at Mona Lisa? Say 2?” Even Alyssa’s messages were full of class.
“Sounds great.” I sent, hoping I had enough cab money to at least get me there.
I needed money, and I needed it today.
The restaurant wasn’t open until 4, but Alyssa knew the owner and he gladly opened early for a high-tipping patron.
“You look rough today, long night out?” Alyssa smirked as she gently plucked the cloth napkin from the table and placed it in her lap.
The corners of her mouth turned up; a shiny nude lipstick painted perfectly on her plump lips.
She had a vintage beauty.
Her profile was archaic, and her features sharp and pointed like a mouse.
She smoothed her pencil skirt over her long legs, and the rose-colored silk blouse she wore struggled against her perky-fake tits.
“You look gorgeous, as always.” I bit my lip, fingering the napkin in front of me on the place setting.
Damn, I hope the server comes soon to take our drink orders.
“Are you looking for some work?” Alyssa arched her perfectly shaped eyebrow, looking at me sideways.
“No, actually. I was looking for more of a… loan.” I flashed my perfectly straight smile, with what I’d like to call a ‘girlish charm’.
Alyssa squinted her eyes and let her gaze drift down my shirt.
“A loan? I’m not sure I can do that.” She flicked her wrist in the air and an eager server came running. “Bring a bottle of champagne, please. Along with orange juice, we can serve ourselves.” She finished.
“Yes, of course, Ms. Clarke.” The server bowed like a servant.
I raised my eyebrows and returned my eyes to Alyssa’s bulging neckline.
“I think we can arrange something, but not without some… work. Up front.” She reached over and lay her hand on top of mine, stroking the middle of my palm with her index finger.
Chills ran up my spine and I pictured her naked, her perfectly yoga-trained body atop a white cashmere blanket.
I squeezed my legs together, adjusting the pulse that began between my thighs.
“Okay, let’s do that.” I managed, sitting up straight and greedily grabbing the drink the server brought to the table.
“How much are we talking, Dev?” she continued her stroke, and met my stare with her deep blue eyes.
“Well, I need to move. I’m out of work and I don’t really have a way to make that happen.” I looked down at the table, feigning worry.
“Interesting, where are you moving to? I may have a place for you to stay until we can get you sorted out with cash.” She smiled and gave me a wink, and I knew that wasn’t the only part of the deal.
“That would be… amazing. I need to be in the city. Closer to Colorado Springs.” I squeezed her hand, hopeful she would give me more than just a place to stay.
“And what’s in Colorado Springs?” she took her hand from mine and sat back in her chair.
I absentmindedly scratched at my head, I looked at Alyssa and then back down at the table.
“A new pet, I assume?” she took a long drink of her mimosa, her eyes not leaving mine.
“Pet? Nah. I’m actually looking into working at a dispensary. Good discount.” I smirked, tearing my eyes from hers.
I wasn’t even sure why I didn’t just tell her about Cyn. We weren’t a couple.
Maybe because I want my cake and to eat it, too.
I shook the thought from my head; I wasn’t hurting Alyssa; the bitch was filthy rich.
“I have a house outside the city, it needs some cleaning and renovations. Perhaps if you like it, you could put some work into it?” our food arrived just as she asked me the question.
Home improvement wasn’t exactly my thing…
But it was a free place to stay.
“Um, yeah. That sounds good.” I lied.
I inhaled the food in front of me as if I hadn’t eaten in days.
Or had a fierce hangover.
“So glad you like the food. It really is a shame I haven’t had the chance to see you happily satiated in a long while.” Alyssa ran her tongue over her bottom lip and let her eyes travel down to mine.
An older woman who knew what she wanted and felt completely comfortable in her own body; was a force. She was spinning her web, and I felt myself being pulled into it, willingly.
I felt her perfectly pedicured foot run up my loose jeans, curling around my calf.
“You didn’t think I would let you off that easily, did you?” her red lips curled into a smile.
Wilted Petals (snippet)
North Nevada Ave never seemed to disappoint when looking for a good time and a stiff drink.
“Life as a lawyer’s assistant was anything but glamorous, and I always entered the building feeling as if a huge weight was pressing into my chest. Leaving felt the exact opposite. It was exhilarating.
The bar door was heavy, and as I stepped through; my Jimmy Choo heels caught on the riveted metal frame.
Stumbling forward, my auburn ponytail whipped into my eyes, emitting a ‘oof’ from my lips .
“Damn, girl! You are always a hot mess. Take my arm boo, I got you,” Marco said, his ‘s ’ as sharp as a tack.
I laughed and pulled him into a quick hug.
“Good thing you’re a hot little ticket,” Marcus continued, not missing a beat.
“Hello, doll.” My voice trailed behind him as he led the way to the table he had already secured.
“Another day in paradise?” He waggled his eyebrows and took a sip of his fruity drink, pursing his lips around the straws shaft.
“Not everyone gets to lounge around in a robe all day and drink mimosas.” I mocked him, taking in his designer clothes and manicured hands.
I mean, I could have if I wanted to, but I made my paycheck regardless of my new financial status.
“Girl, please. It is difficult trying to find things to occupy yourself with when you’re a bona fide sugar baby.” He gestured emphatically with his hands.
Marco leaned in and whispered, “Even better when your sugar daddy is a closet gay who lives with his wife.” He giggled and took a sip of his drink.
We both stared at each other in silence and burst out laughing at the same time.
“You are like a breath of fresh air, my friend.” I opened the drink menu and ordered a Jameson on the rocks.
Marco’s eyes dart to the dark liquid in my glass, and then to me.
I roll my eyes, “Don’t say it, please.”
“I will not say anything… but that is not the drink of a straight white woman.” His snarky comment ended in a whisper.
I rolled my eyes dramatically and took a sip anyway. The liquid burned the back of my throat and the warmth flushed the stress from the day down my throat to the ends of my fingertips.
“How long has it been since you and Travis… ahem, did the dirty?” He leaned in close, eagerly awaiting the response to his daring question.
“You never fail to shock me. I don’t know…” I stared into my glass, as if the answer swam inside.
Since the honeymoon, that’s when.
At that very moment, as if the universe required the answer, an athletic blonde around my age bounced past us and flung her arms around the man before her. Her cropped crew-top lifted slightly, exposing her back, the long curve disappearing into tightly fitting leggings. I found my eyes drawn down to the perfect roundness of her ass cheeks, taut with just the right amount of jiggle. I stared, licking my lips.
“Cyn. Hello. Hyacinth!” Marco’s shriek broke my trance, and my eyes darted back down to my drink.
My cheeks burned, and the moisture that suddenly wicked my panties made me swallow hard.
Marco reached for my hand and squeezed.
“Honey, I love men. I just don’t think we share that in common.” His eyes waited for mine to meet his.
He already knows, but I’m not ready to admit anything out loud just yet.
I walked alone down the dark street from the bar, turning onto the private road where my husband and I shared a home. Freshly married about four months ago on a beautiful summer day in Monument Valley Park .
I grew up in Colorado, yet never had the courage to move away from my father. He needed me, so I sacrificed my dream of travelling and stayed so I could tend to him every day. Every excuse I could find, I would be at my Dad’s house, the home I grew up in. Anything to get away from Travis and his constantly wandering hands.
You would think Travis and I would screw like rabbits, eager to taste one another, fill and swell with each other’s every desire.
Well, he was. Me, not so much.
Not only did he fail to get my knickers in a twist, the thought of having children turned my stomach. Nothing ruined our rare copulation more than his mention of ‘making a baby’.
I stood in front of the grey-stucco two story. My feet felt as though they were cemented to the ground. I groaned but pulled myself towards the door.
The foyer was quiet besides the echo of my heels on the stone floor. The air smelled of freshly washed laundry, with a faint hint of lavender. The housekeeper came every Monday and Friday, set up by Travis’ waspy mother, Tricia.
“Every house needs a housekeeper, a wife can’t possibly live without one.” Tracy’s voice was high and condescending, a constant echo in my mind.
I should be thankful, but I always took care of my father growing up, cooking and cleaning after school. I didn’t see it necessary, but considering this house was four thousand square feet, perhaps I was wrong. And probably unappreciative.
“Hello my love.” Travis appeared in front of me, taking my bag and placing a kiss on my forehead.
Our massive kitchen was polished with chrome and black marble countertops, spotless as always.
“What smells so delicious?” I asked, taking off my jacket and kicking off my heels.
“Parmesan garlic shrimp, leeks with organic wild rice. Chef Travis at your service, mon amour.” Travis bowed, draping the kitchen towel he carried over his arm.
My stomach rumbled, happy to have dinner ready and waiting for me. The perks of being married to a gourmet chef. He really was good to me, I knew that.
Travis led me into the dining room, complete with two formal place settings and lit tapers. Pulling out the chair, he motioned for me to sit and took the jacket I haphazardly draped on the chair.
Making his way back into the kitchen, he picked up the heels I kicked off in the middle of the kitchen ; he neatly placed them in the foyer and grabbed a bottle of chardonnay from the wine fridge.
Finally seated, we eat in silence.
“How was work?’’ Travis ventured.
I wonder sometimes if he can sense my unrest and boredom.
“Oh, the usual. Lawyers who act like I don’t exist unless they want a coffee or lunch.” I down the rest of my wineglass, feeling blissfully buzzed now. I eye the bottle and see it’s about half full.
Yeah, that will be my companion for the evening. Tucked into bed with me next to some Oreos.
“I don’t know why you won’t just quit, you don’t need to work. We are perfectly fine without your nine-to-five.” He chews his food loudly, shoveling rice into his mouth so fast that I make a face.
I stand from the table with a plate in hand, ready to soak into a hot bath and call it a day.
“Where are you going? You don’t want to sit and chat for longer?” His face is soft and childlike, blue eyes shining. Waiting for me, like he always has.
“I’m tired, Trav. Maybe another night?” At this point, I am already walking to the kitchen sink.
“Well, alright. There’s a great documentary on Netflix about a killer whale. I thought you would enjoy it.” He remained seated, his words disembodied and disregarded.
I hate seafood and anything to do with fish. I preferred horror movies and rom-coms.
“Goodnight,” I call, already halfway up the sprawling staircase, wine bottle in hand.
Available Valentines Day 2021