1. I taste their magic in the air.
I came here to get away from them. They should have stayed away from me. They must know what I did to his killers. It’s not like I enjoyed the killing.
But they are making me. They are pushing me.
2. “So, are you ready for some wild sex?”
Julia leaned forward, elbows on her knees, understanding for the first time the true meaning of the term ‘no brainer’.
He spoke with a hint of amusement, sprawled low in the comfortable leather chair in a dark corner of the hotel bar, his head back and eyes closed, whiskey glass held loosely in his grip.
With his tawny hair, he looked like a lion, in control of his power and vaguely amused by the rest of the world.
Julia felt a throb deep between her legs, an ache in her nipples, and he hadn’t touched her yet. She squirmed in the slippery leather chair and arched her back slightly, suddenly breathless.
“Oh, I’m ready.”
3. Bubble bath made terrible camouflage.
Myra St. James tilted her legs, trying to get the disappearing bubbles to better cover her lower half.
“Come on, love, there’s nothing there I haven’t seen before.”
Drawing her knees to her chest, Myra shifted uncomfortably as her ex-fiance grinned and tilted his head as if to get a better look.
“Saw, past tense, as in before you started boffing your secretary,” Myra said, cursing the bursting bubbles, the need to pamper herself before meeting Blind Date #3 at Pier W, and that stupid ceramic frog hide-a-key she knew wouldn’t keep a burglar – or anyone else – out of her condo if they really wanted in. Miles rolled his eyes, but the half-smirking you-know-you-want-me grin stayed in place.
“One indiscretion when I was half-blotto at the Christmas party.
4. She really had to stop thinking about screwing her boss.
Being at a sex toy party wasn’t helping.
Celia St. John sipped at an ironically virginal strawberry daiquiri while around her, women giggled and squealed over the array of adult playthings â€“ everything from lotions, oils and powders to vibrators and dildos. Each item she selected only fueled her fantasies about Tom McMillian.
Damn it, why couldn’t she get the man out of her head?
She’d purchased a bottle of the scented warming body lotion and imagined his hands rubbing it into her skin.
She’d tested flavored body powders . . . and envisioned her tongue lifting the pink crystals from his flat stomach.
5. Alcohol doesn’t take away the pain of career rejection, but it does dull it a bit.
I shift on my cushy green couch and take a sip of my liquid tropical paradise, pretending to listen to the woman beside me. She’s talked nonstop for the past half hour.
“—and they don’t ever read their assignments,” the woman hollers above the sweet sounds of Prince, who, unlike me, gets to party like its 1999. She shakes her head and says, “I just don’t understand it.”
“Yeah, I hear ya,” I say to her with a fake smile, trying to pour empathy into my voice.
On the inside, though, my heart aches from the unfairness of life—earlier this week, I found out Andrew, my boss, hired someone else for the newly created management position.
6. Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Nick Winters decided to live. There was something about lying in a pool of his own blood that made him think God wasn’t finished with him yet. Maybe it was the floating sensation of hanging on then getting go, or the woman.
Nick had pulled her from the wreckage and now, lying on the soaked ground, he watched as both cars disappeared into the Cumberland River below.
Blood filled his right eye as the scene blurred, the storm a chaotic buzzing. Nick reached for her hand as labored breaths merged and formed, linking two spirits, while she beckoned him to come and play.
“Am I dying?” she gasped, dispelling the image of a far more beautiful world and slamming him back into his pain-soaked body.
7. I am justice.
I am vengeance.
Is there any difference?
The whimpers, the cries—those I could have ignored. Along Telegraph Avenue, where I live and work, the faÃ§ade of students, tourists, and alt-trendy shops never quite hides the muck of the city. If you want to see it, the pain and squalor are evident in the drug litter kicked to the gutters and in the stench of every urine-coated doorway. If you want to see it.
8. After all this time, it was finally happeningâ€“that quiet, maddening tumble into insanity.
Annie closed her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them, the man sitting at her kitchen tableâ€“the man who looked like Joel, but couldn’t be Joelâ€“would be gone.
Unfortunately, when she looked again, he was still there. Joel with hair as dark as sin and eyes of the devil. Eyes that were watching her with a mixture of amusement and sadness.
“What are you doing here?” she whispered, curling her fingers around the edge of the counter so she wouldn’t fall over. She had to be seeing things, because this really wasn’t happening.
9. “Hell, I’ve got kids myself, Deborah, so I can see how something like this can happen—what with you being a single momma and all. It’s a hectic, overwhelming day and then the kid starts to whine.” Stuart Albright, Jamesville’s chief of police, leaned forward in his wood chair, bracing beefy forearms against the scarred surface of the interrogation table.
He was so close now Deborah could smell the hint of onions on his breath, hear the smoke-raspy catch to his breathing. She drew back, retreating until the wood slats of her chair pressed hard against her spine, trying to think past the exhaustion, past the icy bite of fear.
“It’s all about the little things, isn’t it,” Albright continued, “he wants pizza instead of peas for dinner, or maybe he just won’t go to bed—the point is he starts to whine. Whine.
10. The alley stretched ahead, dark and ominous…yet Antoinette moved forward, one deliberate step after another. Perspiration beaded on her upper lip and she ran a hand across her face to wipe it away before the saltiness slipped unwelcome to the corners of her mouth.
Damn this heat.
Sweat trickled down her back, robbing her of more precious moisture and she tugged the damp t-shirt away from her sticky skin.
“Found it yet?” Nici’s voice buzzed through the comms headset attached to her ear.
“No,” she whispered.
“Intel just in has him entering a nightclub on the other side of town about twenty minutes ago.
11. Two things hit Ryan the second he stepped into the kitchen-someone had cleaned the place up, and there was a strange half naked woman smacking the hell out of his coffee maker. The fact that she didn’t belong there would have registered if he hadn’t been too busy staring at the red panties hugging her ass like a second skin. His briefcase hit the floor with a thump and he wouldn’t have been surprised if his jaw followed suit.
“Can I…ah…get you a bathrobe or something?”
Shit like this didn’t happen to a man every day.
He should be pissed that some crazy woman had broken into his apartment, but he couldn’t get his mind to wrap the concept of her being a real naked lady rather than a figment of his overworked imagination.
“No thanks on the bathrobe, but a decent cup of coffee would be more than appreciated.”
12. Men lie.
As a dues-paying member of the species, House depended on this fact, subscribed to it—gloried in it.
They lie about who they are, what they do, and how much liquor they can handle. About their women, their prowess, their dicks. How big, how long, how thick, and how much coochie it’s conquered on the playing field.
But just this once, on this very special occasion, House discovered his friends had not lied to him.
Leyla Cheval was every bit as hauntingly beautiful as they’d claimed.
13. I believe “long” and “term” are the two worst four letter words out there, at least when it comes to relationships. Being committed for the long haul is fine: if you’re insane; if you’re not, why weigh yourself down with one anchor of a man?
My best friend Maggie, a hopeless romantic, is convinced that it’s possible to find one man and settle down for the rest of your life. After seeing how her last relationship ended, I agree with her: she’s hopeless.
Besides, monogamy isn’t natural: a lot of animals kill their mates after sex, which makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve never killed a guy (although some of them have richly deserved it), but I’ve also never spent more than two months with one, and I usually kick them to the curb far earlier than that. A few times, I only stayed with the guy for a few days: if he’s already boring me at that point, I can’t see how it’s going to get better.
14. Where did I go right?
The thought flitted through Carly’s head as she tunneled under her covers to look at Owen’s backside just one more time. Slinking out of bed to come up for air, she stretched her five foot eight inch frame another inch to get a peek at the traditional beach scene spilling through the hole in her condo’s dysfunctional blinds.
An anxious lifeguard blew his air horn at a pink-floated swimmer out past his comfort zone, and the voice from the bed had its own sharp quality—”Coming back over here soon?”
“I’ve barely been away from this bed for the last 24 hours,” she reminded him.
“If I wanted to lay all my cards on the table, I’d tell you that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough for me,” he said, sliding a look at her through half-closed eyelids.
15. I killed myself for Anton Romanekâ€“literally.
Not out of love—out of necessity. I had ulterior motives, other reasons. An Ancient Greek philosopher had said he could move the world, if only he had a big enough lever and a place to stand; like that ancient philosopher, I was trying to move the world, with the country of Toural as my place to stand, and Drakonis as my lever.
Drakonis and Anton Romanek were one and the sameâ€“which was hardly a secret. He was the most powerful, the most intelligent, and the most dangerous supervillain in the world. I wanted to bring superheroism to an end.
Ciao for now, ladies!