Wednesday, December 4, 2019

New blog

Good day everyone and welcome to my blog. I've decided to share a non-romance story I wrote and hasn't been published, with all of you. I'll post a chapter a week and I welcome your comments.
I'll be adding a chapter every Wednesday, but to start things off, I'll share the first chapter today. Keep in mind, this story is not professionally edited.

I'll also be inviting other authors to promote their published books, and maybe share a bit about themselves and their work.

So stick around, and I hope you enjoy the story.

Short Blurb

Terror in Cognito

What would you do if one minute you were walking along, minding your own business, and the next being chased by a madman? In the blink of an eye, Amy Gallagher is thrust into a world where she is being hunted by some sort of animal type man out for the kill. What she doesn’t understand is how she got there.

She finds herself living two lives, and she has no idea which is real.
Is the kind-hearted Reese Webber, who has taken her in, real, or is the mad man chasing her in the dark forest real? Or has she completely lost her mind?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Chapter 8

“Amy. Amy. It's okay. Calm down!” Reese said calmly, holding his hands in the air. Stanley had stepped off to the side, but like Reese, he was ready to intervene when needed. He had no idea why she’d suddenly started throwing her fists around, kicking at nothing in particular.
“Let me go you bastard.” She lashed out in the air around her.
Amy. Listen to my voice. It’s Reese.” When she stopped, her brown furrowed, he took a step closer. “It’s okay.”
“What’s happening? Where am?”
He stepped a little closer. “You’re in my house. Remember. We brought you here.”
She shook her head and her eyes began to focus. “Reese?”
“Yes, yes it me. And Stanley.”
She turned around and Stanley nodded his head.
“How did I get here?”
“We picked you up from your apartment.” He was baffled as to why she had no memory of being here. “Here,” he held his hand out to her. “Let’s sit down.” He kept his hand stretched out until she began to move.
“I know. But how did I get here?” She sat down in a chair and Reese knelt down in front of her. “He had me. He tied me to a chair and he was going tofuck!” She lowered her head into her hands and Reese reached out to touch her hair, then stopped.
“Who had you? You’ve been here all day. No one tied you up.”
“I’m losing my mind. How else can you explain. I was here, then I was there and now I’m here again.” She lifted her head. “I’m going crazy.
He pulled up the matching chair and sat across from her. “You’re not going crazy
“Then tell  me what’s happening, because what I’m experiencing sure as fuck isn’t real.”
“Okay, why don’t you take a few deep breaths. Stanley, could you bring her some water?”
“Yes, sir.”
“What are you experiencing,” he asked calmly.
She blew out a long breath, then sat back in the chair. “Okay, but when I’m done just drive me to the crazy house. It's where I belong. It started that day you found me. I was walking home when I heard someone behind me. I felt so stupid being scared. It's not like I don’t walk that route every day and night. Anyway. I kept feeling as if someone was following me. When I turned around, BAM! He stood in front of me.”
“Who was standing in front of you?”
“Some…animal like man. He’s hideous, all pussy, bloody, sharp, jagged teeth, long, sharp nails and his breath, holy fuck—sorry, his breath smelled like death, rancid meat and blood. I can still smell it like he’s right in front of me.”
Reese clenched the arm of the chair tightly. “What does he do to you?”
“It’s not real. It's in my head.”
“Still, what does he do to you?”
She rubbed her neck and continued. “Mostly he chases me, through a forest. It's dark, but so dark you can’t see where you’re going. When he catches me, he threatens me, tells me he loves the chase because I’ll taste better. Most of the time I get away, but this time… he caught me.  Can I have some water?”
“Stanley, please. What did he do this time?”
“I tried to hide, but he found me and dragged me to some broken down shack. He tied me to a chair and… said he knew just how long to keep a person alive before they bleed out. I need to lay down. Thank you, Stanley.” She took the glass and downed the water inside.
“Certainly.Stanley, would you mind taking her up?”
Stanley held out his hand, and when Amy took it, he led her from the room.
He was going to kill him—if only he could, but this time he’d gone too far. Furious, Rease left the house and walked out into the field of flowering rose bushes. “Get out here,” he shouted. “We need to talk.” When nothing happened, he shouted louder. “Coward.”
“I am not a coward.”
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Having some fun.”
“Having some—You’re terrorizing that poor girl.”
“Oh, don’t be such a baby.”
He wanted to scream, but he knew that wouldn’t do any good. “Leave her alone.”
“You demand I not go out in public, so what else am I supposed to do?”
“Don’t make me lock you up.”
“Oh, Reese, Reese, Reese. You couldn’t even if you tried.”
“I’ll find a way.”
“You keep believing that. Catch you later.”
“Leave her alone,” Reese shouted. He grabbed a handful of branches and ripped them from the tree. He dropped them on the ground, and the prinks the thorns had caused dripped blood on the brilliant white roses.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Chapter 7

As much as Amy wanted to stay in the tub all day, she knew that would be rude. Besides, her stomach was growling. When she stepped into her room, she didn’t see her clothes anywhere. She looked in the drawers, the closet and found nothing.
Now what?
On the floor at the foot of the bed sat a pair of white fuzzy slippers. Shrugging, she slipped her feet inside and sighed. She could easily live like this forever.
Tap.Tap. Tap.
Amy turned to see Reese standing in the doorway. He really was attractive.
“How was the bath?”
“Heavenly. I can’t find my clothes though.”
I had Stanley wash them. They were wet from the rain. He’s laid out some appetizers. Dinner will be a while.”
“Um, I’m in my robe.”
“It's just the three of us.” He smiled, held his hand out to her. “I’m sure you’re starved.
She was. “Okay.” She took his hand as he led her down the stairs. She couldn’t get over how gorgeous the house was. “Have you lived here long?”
“Not too long. Ten years.”
She did the calculations in her head to figure out how old he must be. He didn’t look more than mid thirty.  “Where did you live before?”
“I moved around. Here we are.”
She followed him into the sitting room and the scent of the food set out on a tray made her stomach growl. “These are the appetizers?”  The display of food could feed her for days.
“Yep. Sit, enjoy.”
She took a seat in a high back, fancy chair, and the softness shocked her. It looked stiff, but it felt great. He handed her a plate with a bit of everything and she had to curb herself from diving in like a starved person. Even though she was. “I don’t know what any of this is, but it smells so good.” She took a small pastry looking appetizer and bit into it. “Oh, my god,” she covered her mouth as she continued, “this is incredible. What is it?”
“Probably best you don’t know.” He poured them both a glass of water with lemons in it.
“Thank you. Do you eat like this all the time?” Amy couldn’t imagine having all this food at her disposal every day. She picked up a small wiener wrapped in pastry and popped it all in her mouth. Then reality hit. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Most strangers wouldn’t be this kind, well, I guess not all people would stop and pick up a woman passed out on the street and take her back to his place. It’s something you’d see in a horror movie—not that I think you’re a killer or something. I’m just going to shove some food in my mouth and stop talking.” She felt the heat from embarrassment rise onto her face.
His face lit up when he smiled. “It’s all right. I understand what you’re saying, I don’t usually pick up a person lying on the street.” He ate an appetizer from his plate.
She swallowed what was in her mouth, took a sip of water. “Wait. You said usually. Does that mean you have before?” He was a serial killer, was his first thing that popped into her head.
“I often drive to areas that I know of where drug addicts or the homeless stay. I offer to take them in and help them get their life in order. I’ve saved several of people and have paid for their education.”
Not a serial killer.” Holy shit—sorry. Is that what you want to do with?” She didn’t know what to think of that.”
“Do you want a better life?”
“No, I like working at a slimy bar, showing off my tits and getting slapped in the ass. Yes, I want a better life.”
“Then I can help you achieve that.”
Stanley entered the room, holding a basket her neatly. “Sorry to interrupt. I thought Miss Gallagher might want to change.”
“God, yes. I feel so weird sitting here in just a robe.” She stood and took a few steps toward Stanley, then turned back and grabbed her plate and added more appetizers.” Thank you.” She set her plate on the pile of clothing and reached out and grabbed a tree branch.
“What the fuck? Oh, come on.” She sat on the ground, leaves and twigs covering her legs.
“I love this little game we’re playing. Gets me all juiced up.”
Grabbing the large fan leaves on the ground beside her, she covered herself as she lay down. Please don’t find me.
“Hmm, where could you be? “
His voices sounded so close.
“I doubt you climbed up a tree. I would smell the blood on your feet in your attempted to climb. Could you have outsmarted me?”
The rustling of the leaves and the snap of twigs under his feet sounded so close.
She held her breath and waited for him to walk away. She screamed when he grabbed her foot.
“I can smell you, little one.” He dragged her out from under her disguise. “Your blood tempts me.” Opening his mouth, he stuck out his tongue--it was long, too long for a human—and licked the blood off her foot.
Her stomach rolled. With her free leg, she kicked out and tried to get his hand to release her foot. It only caused him to grip it harder. “You’re not getting away this time.” He grabbed her other foot and began dragging her along the had wet ground.
“Please, please let me go. I won’t go to the police. I don’t know who you are and even if I described you, they’d think I was nuts—hell I’m starting to wonder if I’ve lost my mind. Please, just let me go.” Her back burned from the branches, rocks and the hard ground beneath her as he dragged her behind him.
“Sweetheart, there’s no one to go to. I’m the only person living here.”
How was that possible? She struggled to get him to lose his grip on her feet, but all that did was rip up more of her back. Then they stopped.
“Here we are.” He lowered her feet, but before she could make a break for it, he had her hands. “Home sweet home.”
She looked around as he pulled her through the doorway. It probably had been a nice cabin in its day, but now it was filthy. There were several walls with only the frame left. The floor was unstable under her feet and it smelled like shit. “Why are we here?”
He shoved her toward a broken-down metal chair and pushed her down to sit. “We are here because this is my home.” With a snap of his fingers, he held a coil of rope.
What the fuck?! “Don’t please, just let me go.” She waved her hands in the air, trying to prevent him from grabbing them.
No such luck, he yanked down one arm, wrapped the rope over it and around the chair twice before grabbing her other hand. He repeated the process several times until her body was tightly wrapped to the chair.
“That should do it.” He stepped back to admire his work. “Yep, that’ll hold,”
“What are you going to do with me?” He leaned in, his nose nearly touching hers and spoke.
“I’m going to take my time with you. I know just how much blood you can lose without dying.” He stood up and grabbed a knife from the table. “Now, where should I begin?”

Monday, November 25, 2019

Chapter 6

Amy stepped into the house, still wet from the rain. The warmth in the car took away the chills away, but everything was still wet. Her underwear and panties stuck to her as if they were painted on. The shirt she wore showed the exact details of her bra. Her hair was starting to dry, but she was sure it looked horrible
“I’ll have Stanley draw you a nice warm bath. You’ll want to get out of those damp clothes before you catch a cold.”
“That sounds nice. Can you bring in my box of clothes so I can change when I’m done?”
“I’ll see right into it. Stanley,” Reese called out. A tall, thin gentleman walked into the foyer and Amy would guess he was probably in his eighties. “See Miss Gallaghar to a room and draw her a bath.”
“Yes, sir.”
She began to remove her shows when Reese stopped her.
“No need to take them off. It's only water.”
“If you say so.” She followed the old guy  up the long marble staircase and down a long hallway. When he stopped by an open door, she recognized it as the room she’d woken up in.
“I’ll bring you a robe to change into while I draw the bath.”
“Thanks.” She kicked off her rain soaked sneakers, peeled off the wet socks. The room was bigger than her entire apartment.
“Here you go, Miss Gallaghar.”
She took the robe.”Thank you, but call me Amy. Miss sounds weird.” She chuckled. Miss was for old women, in her opinion.
“As you wish, Amy. I’ll leave you to undress. The bath is just down the hallway to your right. Enjoy.”
“I’m sure I will. Thanks, Stanley.” He closed the door and she immediately peeled off her wet clothes. The warmth of the room soothed her chilled body. Slipping into the robe̶—dear god, it was soft and fuzzy and if she could wear it all day she would. Leaving the room, she followed his directions and when she entered the room, her jaw dropped. She’s never seen a tub as big as the one in front of her now. Three people could easily fit in it and still have room. She stepped closer and saw all the frothy bubbles. The scent was heavenly, if only she knew what it was.
Dropping the robe, she stepped up to the tub, and out one foot into the water. The temperature was perfect. As she climbed into the bubbles and sat down, she ‘d never felt anything as wonderful as this. She slid down, rested on the back of the tub, which was cushioned.
“Oh, I could easily get used to this.” Closing her eyes, she let the warm water and bubbles take her away.
“What do you think of her?” Reese asked as he poured himself a cup of coffee.
“She’s young.”
“She is. It’s a shame such a beautiful young woman has to live like that.” It broke his heart.
“Are you going to attempt to help her?”
Reese sat at the pub style table with his coffee cup in hand. “If she allows me to. She’s home and jobless. I can’t see it being too tough. She’s so thin. I don’t think she eats well.”
Stanley wiped up the dribbles of coffee that had fallen on the counter. “By the looks of her apartment, I would say that’s accurate.”
“I’ll convince her to stay here for a while, and get some information from her on what she likes, what she wishes her life were like, then set her on the right path.”
“Hopefully this one will actually carry through and take your suggestions.”
“It’s a shame the others chose to go a different route, but I can only do so much.” He had a soft heart and hated seeing young people throw away their lives on drugs, prostitution and a lifestyle that barely kept them alive.
“Not everyone is as eager to change their lives as you were.”
Reese sipped his coffee,thinking back to his childhood, being shoved from one foster home to another. “I was lucky, I had someone who saw potential and guided me to a better life.” Reese smiled at Stanley. “What did you do with her belongings?”
“They’re in the wash. She didn’t have much. A few shirts, jeans a bustier corset style tank tops, short skirts and a pair of stiletto shoes.”
“I never understand how women can walk in those shoes.” He shook his head, sipped from his cup. Prepare some appetizers for her when she’s done her bath.”
“Will do.”
While Stanley busied himself in the kitchen, Reese wondered what Amy would want to do with her life, given the opportunity to better herself.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Chapter 5

Halfway home the rain began to fall. And hard. It soaked her hair and her bangs draped over her eyes. She did her best to wipe them away, but with a box in her hand, it was kinda tough. She only had ten more blocks to go. The rain-soaked her clothing and the chilly wind cut right through her. Eight blocks to go.
She hated Larry. Not just a little. The kind that made you wonder if being in jail for murder would be better than her life as it is now. She’d have a roof over her head. A bed to sleep in. Food every meal. She could handle herself. Having an older brother who pounded on her regularly, toughened her up.  She had to defend herself.  Her parents never did.
All she wanted now was a hot bath and curl up in her blanket and wish the day away.
Two blocks to go.
And it was then that she remembered she didn’t have a key to her place.
A large truck sped past her, shooting water up onto the sidewalk and drenching her even more.
“You fucking asshole!”
Amy wanted to cry. Her luck was shit. Her life was shit. She sucked it in, and approaching her building, she buzzed the landlord.
He was such a cheery guy. “Barney. It's Amy. Can you please let me in? I’m soaking wet.”
“Come on. Please.”
“You got money to pay for a new key?”
“Not right now.
“Then you don’t get in. And if you don’t pay the rest of this months rent in two weeks I’ll evict you.”
“I’m trying Barry. I really am. I just need some time.”
“Screw off, Amy and don’t ask anyone from the building to let you in again, or I’ll up their rent.”
“You can’t do that.”
“I can do anything I want.”
The intercom went dead.
“Why?” She screamed in the air. The bottom of the box gave, spilling her clothing onto the ground. 
She dropped down on the cold, wet cement and let the tears fall.
Lifting her head, the water running over her face, blurring her eyes, she wasn’t sure what she was seeing was real. “Reese?”
“What are you doing out in this rain?”
She took his hand when he held it out to her. “I can’t go into my apartment because I don’t have a key, and I can’t go to work because my boss is an asshole. What are you doing here?”
“Let’s get you out of the rain first.”
Scooping her belongings into her arms, Amy followed him to the limo. The driver closed her door as she dropped her mud-soaked clothes on the floor. The heat in the car felt so good.
“I decided to see how you were doing? I can see I should’ve come sooner.” He handed her his jacket. “Cover up.”
She didn’t argue and wrapped the heavy wool jacket around her.  “After you dropped me off I buzzed one of my neighbors and he let me into the building. I got into my apartment and I took a short nap, changed and went to work. I wasn’t happy to plead with my boss to let me go back to work, but I need the money. I tried to get him to see me, but then I was back in theWhat are you doing? Don’t tell him what’s happening to you. “I was pushed back by Dan, the bodyguard. My asshole boss came out and they both kicked me out. He threw my stuff in a box, then tossed it outside. When I got home, I remembered I didn’t have a key so I buzzed my landlord, but he was a complete ass and refused to let me in and said if I ask one of my neighbors again he’d up their rent.” She drew in a deep breath, exhaled. “Sorry, I kinda rambled there.”
He smiled. “That’s fine. Does your neighbor have a key to your apartment?”
“No. Why?
“How did you get into your suite?”
Suite. Her place was far from a suite. A rat trap was a better description. “The lock on my door is broken. Hasn’t worked in months.”
“Your landlord isn’t fixing it?”
Pft! He doesn’t fix anything. I rarely have hot water.” At least the cold showers woke her up.
“That is appalling.”
“Yep. But what can I do.”
“Have you tried contacting the owner?”
“He is the owner.”
He shook his head. And instructed his driver to head to his place. “You can wash up and stay with me until things are resolved.”
“I can’t ask you to do that for me.”
“You didn’t ask, I suggested. Do you have somewhere else you can go?”
She looked down at her wet wrinkled fingers. “No.”
“Then it’s set. A hot shower, dry clothes and a good meal with make you feel so much better.”
“Why are you doing this for me? I’m a complete stranger”
He patted her hand and smiled. She really saw him now and was in awe of his beauty. His hair was a beautiful sunny blond. When he smiled, his entire face lit up. He was gorgeous.
“Because I hate seeing someone hurting.”
Never in her life has she met such a kind person.  She leaned her head back and relaxed as the driver pulled away.

Continue Chapter 4

Thanks to Barney, her neighbor, she managed to get into the building. Sometimes it was good to know a person who knew how to pick locks. Okay, so she didn’t know the most sophisticated people. Who was she kidding, her friends were mostly thieves and druggies?  In her neighborhood, they fit right in. And though she didn’t do drugs, or stealeven though there were times she’d thought about itshe fit in as well. When you barely had an income, you couldn’t be choosy as to where you lived. Her job didn’t pay much, but at least it was something.
Which was why she stood outside the entrance to the bar, trying to come up with just the right thing to say to get her job back.
Drawing in a deep breath, she pushed the door open and saw Dan, the bouncer, standing to the side.
“You’re not supposed to be here.”
He wasn't just big, and mean-looking, his voice would scare anyone away.  “I really need to talk to Larry. Please, Dan,” She had to crane her neck to look up at him, even in her heels she was barely five foot five. She did her best to look sweet. She hoped it worked.
“If I let you in, he’ll fire me.”
She took his hand, placed it against her chest. “I won’t tell him.”
“Right. Then how did you get in? Back doors always locked and no one gets the keys. Nice try, Amy.”
She released his hand in a huff. “This is fucking nuts! The asshole grabbed me. I just defended myself.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not the boss.”
“No, but you're being as unreasonable.” Taking a chance, she bolted away.
A tree limb slapped her in the face. “Fuck!” Here she was again, in the forest. She was losing her mind. Maybe she had a brain tumor. A twig snapped behind her. She took off again, her feet on fire from the cuts. She knew she couldn’t run forever. The crazy-ass piece of shit was bound to find her. She needed to hide. Looking around as she ran, trees all around her, Amy hoped to find somewhere she could protect herself.  
“Come out, come out wherever you are.”
His voice echoed all around her making it hard to figure out just where he was. She needed to act fast. Seeing a pile of fan-like leaves up ahead to her left, she hurried to it. She pushed them aside and smoothed out a spot where she could lay down with the leaves covering her and not be seen. Piling twigs and dirt on her legs and body, she then grabbed as many of the fan leaves to cover her. She could only hope it would work.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
Looking up, she saw Larry and Dan knelt down in front of her.  “Oh come on!”
“Get out from under there. I don’t know what the hell you thought you’d accomplish by hiding under the bar.”
She was under the bar. What the fuck? Crawling out, she stood and saw Larry’s tiny beady eyes glaring at her. “That’s it. I’ve lost my mind.”
“Damn right you have. Get out and don’t come back.”
“You’re firing me?”
“I can’t have an unstable dancer on my stage.”
“Are you serious?”
She got right into Larry’s face. “You do that and I’ll file a complaint against you.”
He pushed her back. “You do that sweetheart. Dan, escort her out.”
“I have stuff in my locker.”
“I’ll have one of the girls toss it out the back for you. Dan.”
“Sorry, Amy.”
She yanked her arm away before he could grab her. “Don’t touch me.” She stomped to the door and stepped outside when he opened the door. Hearing the latch click behind her pissed her off. “Who does he think he is. He can’t just fire me for no reason.” Amy kicked a rock in her path as she stomped toward the back of the bar. She arrived just in time to see Patsy, one of the other dancers set her stuff on the gravel. “Hey, Amy. Sorry about this.”
“Yeah. Why do you put up with his shit?”
“Because I need work. You know how it is.”
“Yeah.” Amy picked up the box of her meager stuff. “Take care, Patsy.”
“You to Amy.”
The back door closed as she walked away.
Now what the hell was she going to do?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Chapter 4

Chapter 4
What the hell was she doing? She had to be out of her mind. Who would agree to go back to a perfect strangers house? The whole scenario was bizarre. Her mind cleared now, she tried to figure out what had happened to her. She’s been walking home from work, then Bam, she was in a forest being chased by a…. Manimal, she supposed, is the best description of the creature. It had felt so real. The rocks and twigs beneath her feet burned as they scraped off the flesh. The pin was real… or at least felt real. She must be out of her mind. She’d fallen off a cliff. The jagged rocks beneath would have killed her. Then she’d woken to a strange handsome man looking down at her.
And there was another weird thing. What kind of person finds an unconscious woman lying in an alley and takes her to his home instead of the hospital?
Yet here she was, sitting at his table, being served a banquet breakfast. There were eggs, bacon, sausages, muffins and coffee. She couldn’t remember the last time she’s seen so much food. She muffins let alone bacon and sausages.
“How do you take your coffee?” Reese asked as he stepped up to the table with a pot of coffee.
“Uh, black thank you. This is a shit-load of food. Uh, sorry.” Wow, just show how classy you are.
“Not a problem,” he laughed. “I didn’t know what you liked so I had the cook make everything.”
Taking the cup of coffee he’d poured, she contemplated what she should eat first. Definitely the eggs and bacon… or sausage? Before she could decide, he held a plate out to her full of all the food.
“Thanks.” She stabbed a sausage with her fork and shoved it in her mouth. Looking up, she saw him watching her and suddenly felt like a fool. She set the rest of the sausage on her plate and cut it into pieces. Neither said much while she shovelled the food in her mouth. She finished off her coffee with her muffin, then sat back in her chair. Damn it felt good to have a full belly.
“You’ve got a healthy appetite.”
Her cheeks flushed. “I… uh…”
“It's refreshing to see. Most women these days are so worried about their figures they eat like mice.”
“I don’t eat like this… well, ever.”
“That's unfortunate.”
“Yeah, well, on my income, I can barely pay the rent and bills.” She shrugged. It was a fact. “Look, thanks for the grub, but I should get outta here and go to work. I’m sure I have a spare key there.”
“There's no hurry. If you work nights, that means you haven’t slept. I have several guest rooms upstairs. You could take one and get some sleep.”
“I… uh, I’d rather sleep in my own bed. Besides, I’ll need a change of clothing for tonight.  Could your driver possibly take me to my job?”
“Certainly. I’ll give him a call.”
When he left the room, she quickly grabbed another muffin and ate it as fast as she could. She was just swallowing the last bite when he came back into the room.
“He’ll be here shortly.” He held his hand out to her, showing her the way out.
She opened the front door and--
His nails bit into her wrist and in a blink of an eye, she was pulled back up to the surface.
“You can't get away from me that fast, little one.”
Confused, she yanked her hand free and saw the trees around her. What the hell?
He grabbed her wrist again and yanked her against his chest. His breath was so horrible it made her gag. “I think I’m going to have fun playing with you.” Putting an arm around her waist, he began to dance in circles.
She’d been in Reeses house, she’d opened the front door. And now she was here. Again.
“What’s happening to me?”
“Well, nothing at the moment. I like to play with my food sometimes,” he said as he dipped her. “Before I eat it.”
“Stop!” She tugged an arm free, then punched him in the gut. When he released her, coughing, she took the opportunity to run.
“Whoa there, careful. You don’t want to fall down the steps.”
She blinked her eyes, the brightness actually stung. Brightness. She was on the steps again. “What’s going on?”
“I’m taking you to the car. Is everything all right?”
No,  everything wasn't all right. She apparently was losing her mind. “Yeah, I just need some sleep.” She was sleep-deprived. That had to be it.
She climbed into the car, eager to get home. All she needed was some sleep.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Chapter 3

He led her out the door and she couldn’t help but gawk at her surroundings. Three houses could probably fit in the yard in front of her. Acres of lush green lawn with brightly coloured flowers adorned the property.
“This is awesome!”
“Thank you.”
 “You must be loaded.” Well, that was just rude. She silently cursed herself.
He smiled. “Yes, I am.”
He had more than just money. “It shows. So what do you do then, for a living?”
“I’m an artist. I paint.”
“Not houses I gather. You any good? Scratch that. Stupid question, you wouldn’t be rich if you weren’t good. I tend to put my foot in my mouth when I speak so I’ll just shut up now.”
“We all tend to do that at times. Here we are then.” He took her hand and led her down the steps to the car.
 “You’re coming along?”
“Of course.” He opened the door and waited until she climbed in to close the door.
She pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. “You drive in this every day?” She asked after he sat in his seat. She couldn’t imagine it, being picked up, a driver waiting to help you into the car, then be taken wherever you need to go. That would be the life.
“Whenever I need to go out.  What is your address?”
She recited it, feeling even cheaper now. Her entire apartment couldn’t be much bigger than the bedroom she’d been in.
“Why were you walking so late at night?”
 “I don’t own a car.” Couldn’t afford one even if she knew how to drive, which she didn’t.
“It isn’t safe for a young woman to be wandering that neighborhood so late at night.”
“Yeah, well what can you do? I had to get home from work somehow.”
“You work in that area?”
"Yeah. "
“And what is it you do there so late at night?”
The tone in his voice had her back straightening. “I don’t sell my body if that’s what you’re thinking. I work at a club, as a waitress,” she spouted, deciding to leave out the fact that the club was a strip joint and she was a dancer.
“There are other means of transportation.”
“Sure, if you can afford it.”
“And you can’t?”
She felt ashamed and held her head down. “No. Hey, what were you doing in that area so late at night?”
He shifted in his seat. “I had some business in the area.”
 “Yeah, I bet.” He just didn’t look the type to need a hooker. He was too classy, too gorgeous. A man with such a dreamy face and his wealth could have any woman he wanted. Still…. “Whatever bud, it’s your choice.”
His brow wrinkled. “What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing. Look, what you do in your spare time is your business.”
“I wasn’t there to solicit sexual favors if that’s what you meant.”
“Look, I’m sorry, okay. I didn’t mean anything by it.” Turning to the window, Amy watched as the beautiful scenery began to turn into run-down houses, vacant land and garbage piled up on the streets.  She’d give anything to not have to come back to this crappy, dangerous area. “That’s my place.” She pointed at the shabby run-down building to the left. When the car pulled up to the curb, she couldn’t get out fast enough. When he followed her, she stopped. “Look, thanks for everything.” She waited, expecting him to go back to the car.
She suddenly remembered she didn’t have her keys. “Damn it.”
“Yes, I don’t have my keys… I must have lost them.” Now, what was she going to do? She knew perfectly well Lou, the caretaker of her building wouldn’t let her in. He had a strong policy of not letting people in when they forgot their keys. If you wanted a new key, he would charge you to make a new one, and she was broke. Damn it, now what was she supposed to do?
“You don’t have a spare?”
“Nope, and I can’t get one right now. Shit.” She supposed she could go back to work and sleep on one of the sofas in the lounge area. And if Larry caught her, she would be in a load of trouble. “Damn it.”
“Is there somewhere else to go?”
“No.” She sighed, had a look around. She’d tried shimmying up the pipes once, only to have fallen flat on her butt, bruising more than her ego.
“Then you’ll come stay with me.” He turned back to his car, signalled the driver to open the door.
“No. I couldn’t stay with you.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t even know you.”
“You know my name, what I do for a living. I assure you. Amy, I’m not some deranged man looking to do you harm.”
Funny how he should say that when in her delusion—or whatever it had been—she had been hunted by a deranged man. But Reese was nothing like that animal, and for some odd reason, she actually felt safe near him. “Maybe.”
“Maybe what?”
“Maybe I could stay with you. For now, just until I can talk to the caretaker and have him let me in.” Amy wasn’t too sure how she was going to do that, but she’d figure it out. She always did.
Smiling, Reese held his hand out to the car. “After you, then.”
She was being an idiot, going home with a complete stranger. But what else was she supposed to do? “Just for now.”
“Of course,” he said as she slipped into the car.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Chapter 2

Amy woke to something cold on her face. Forcing her eyes open, she saw a face hovering over her. Seeing the gnarled face of the monster that had chased her, Amy bolted straight up and scrambled to the head of the bed.
“It’s all right. I won’t hurt you.”
She blinked and the gnarled face before her, changed into a thing of beauty. He had a round face, sculpted cheekbones and eyes as blue as the sky. He was far from the monster that had chased her. Her pounding heart slowed down as she relaxed. “Who are you?”
“Reese Webber. How do you feel?”
“Confused.” She inched back down onto the bed, but kept her guard up. “Where am I?”
“My house. I found you unconscious on the ground and decided to take you to my home. You have colour in your face now. That’s a good sign.”
She touched her cheek. If he’d found her unconscious on the ground why hadn’t he taken her to the hospital instead of his home? The biggest question was why had she been lying unconscious on the ground?
“I had my doctor take a look at you. Aside from a lump on your head, you’ll be fine.”
She felt her head, winced when she touched the tender spot. “Why didn’t you take me to the hospital?”
“My place was closer and I have a doctor on staff. I figured if it was anything serious we could take you then. You had a steady pulse, and seemed perfectly fine other than the lump on your head. Plus, I couldn’t find any I.D. on you and didn’t feel right just dropping you off at the hospital. My guess is you were robbed and knocked unconscious.”
She never carried a purse. She’d learned a long time ago to keep her money, I.D. and keys in her bra.  She didn't have to search to know they weren't there.
There d been a sound, behind her. Crunching gravel.
“I was being chased by…”  she rubbed her head. “There was someone, in the alley.”
“Did you see who it was?”
“You should report it. I could take you to the police if you like.”
“No! That’s fine. I should go.”
He stood, allowing her to climb from the bed. “You’re more than welcome to stay until you feel more stable.”
She stood and the room swayed. “I’m okay. Really. Thank you so much for your hospitality.” She’d never known anyone in her life as kind as him. Most of the people she knew were slime. Either drug addicts, alcoholics or bikers. None of them would have helped her out in her time of need.
“You are very welcome. I don’t even know your name.”
“Amy Gallagher.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Amy. I’ll have my driver escort you home.”
“Huh? Driver.” She paused in the doorway.
“I have a driver who takes me around. He can take you to your home.”
A driver? He had to be rich. Stepping out of the room, she got a look at her surroundings. Rich was an understatement. The winding staircase looked like it was made of marble. Standing at the top you could look down at the grand living room. Sweet God, it was huge and gorgeous. She didn’t know much about designer furniture, but from the looks of it, the pieces in the living room had to be worth a good penny. There was a fireplace with a fire roaring. It was decorated with black marble stones that went all the way up to the ceiling. Placed on the hardwood floor was some sort of oriental looking rug. She imagined the rest of the house was elegant and rich as well.
“This place is incredible!” And as soon as it came out, she realized how foolish she sounded.
“Thank you. If you stay for breakfast, I could show you around.”
She headed down the winding stairway.“Breakfast? What time is it?”
“Nearly seven.”
“Holy shi—I mean, wow. How long have I been here?” It was after three when she’d left the club.”
“I found you shortly before four am.”
She stopped at the foot of the stairs. “I’ve been out all this time?”
“Yes, but like I said, you’re pulse and heart rate were stable and my doctor kept a close eye on you.”
Still…. It seemed odd. “Okay, well, I better get going.” The whole situation seemed weird and the sooner she left the better. It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate his help, she did. It was just… weird.
“I’ll call my driver. Just give me a moment.”
She waited in the foyer while he went down the hall to make the call.