This morning I watched a cat stroll across my yard as if it owned the place, and I couldn’t help but smile. I’ve always loved cats, not because they’re cute or fluffy, but because they could be as naked as the top of your great uncle’s dome and still believe they’re the hottest thing on four paws.
You know you’ve spent too much time in a party store when you can quote every song of the god awful playlist by heart.
Any guy dumb enough insult a woman in front of her mother had best be smart enough to run. A true mother won’t settle for a man tearing down her girls, and will wear the tennis shoes under the skirt to prove it.
“I should get a promotion,” Bella said glancing at her handiwork then the blood glazing her hands. Bella was the name she had taken in her days as an executioner. Short for the nightshade she so favored during her executions. She reveled in fact that only he knew her true name.
The woman narrowed her eyes, the dim lighting making it difficult to discern the figure crouching beside what she assumed to be one of her fatales.
“Bloody hell,” the figure said, their voice deep, if not darker than the nightshade itself.
Her heart sped wildly even as his name snaked between her teeth.
“Ace Moncoeur,” she whispered.
Bella folded her hands under her breast before turning her gaze toward the unnatural scarlet of the blood moon. Figures Queen Katherine would send Ace after her. In the current day and age it was rare to find a lone detective in the remnants of England. Most stuck together in packs while other formed teams of three men, all which the Queen called the Royal Guard. A bloody muddle of incompetent dogs should you ask Bella.
Bella turned her attention back to Ace. Of course, England did have its exceptions. She listened as he growled out her name and stepped forward. “Congratulations, Mr. Moncoeur,” she said as loud as her voice would afford. Her slow methodical clapping caught his immediate attention. “Only you would know a poison from scent alone.”
Ace dug into side of his suit before removing a clean handkerchief from his pocket. “Was it absolutely necessary to kill the children, Lady Dame?” His calm countenance unnerved Bella but she refused to show it.
Bella took another step until she was sure Ace could see her dirtied hands in the dim light. “I quite prefer Bella,” she said, “and you know my rule, Mr. Moncouer.”
Bella felt herself smile at his furrowed brow as Ace growled in annoyance.
“All that defy me must perish,” she continued, “Nothing better than an off-with-their-heads sentence to clear a misdeed.”
“They were innocents, Bella,” Ace gritted through clenched teeth. “Most not even residents of this country, let alone this town. Are your intentions to start an international incident?”
Bella yawned at his persistence to guilt her. This talk was becoming a bore. “Call them whatever you will, but… those people were not innocent,” she stated with a wave of her hand. “Any town craven enough to brow beat a young girl into submission deserves a good murder or two.”
Ace tightened his fingers as if around an imaginary throat. The thought enticed a small chuckle as she was willing to bet it was her throat he wished to strangle.
Ace refused to believe his eyes as he walked the dimly lit streets of Curiosity Corner. Bodies lined the cobblestone from entrance to end, red trickling from their neckline down to pool on the cobble-lined ground.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered the expletive.
He was too late. It seemed the blasted woman hadn’t planned on waiting for Ace to crack the code before carrying out her execution.
Ace kneeled beside a young child, allowing his gloved fingers to trace the red ring around the child’s throat. A slight sniff and Ace felt his countenance darken.
She always had liked to make mess of his investigations with a special type of poison.
“Congratulations, Mr. Moncoeur,” a feminine voice said from the Corner’s darkest end. Her slow prudent clapping made Ace turn to look at her. “Only you would know a poison from scent alone.”
Ace removed a handkerchief from his breast pocket and polished away the blood. “Was it absolutely necessary to kill the children, Lady Dame?”
The woman stepped forward until only her mouth and hands – gloved in red and white – shown in the dimmed light of a street post. “I quite prefer Bella, and you know my rule, Mr. Moncoeur.”
Bella smiled. The taciturn pull at the corner of her threadlike lips had Ace furrowing his brow and growling.
“All that defy me must perish,” she said, “Nothing better than an off-with-their-heads sentence to clear a misdeed.”
“They were innocents, Bella,” Ace ground out, “Most not even residents of this country, let alone this town. Are your intentions to start an international incident?”
Bella yawned and waved a hand in dismissal. “Call them whatever you will, but… those people were not innocent,” she said. “Any town craven enough to browbeat a young girl into submission deserves a good murder or two.”
Ace clenched a fist at his side at Bella’s callous reply. “A couple of people bully one girl and suddenly a whole town deserves to die?” he asked, his nerves damn near shot.
“And I bet you’d love to know why?” The murderer smiled answering his question with one of her own. “Too bad. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, Mr. Moncoeur. I’m not done.”
Which POV best suits a story of this genre? I’m still on the fence. I’d love to hear from my readers on which way I should go before I make a decision: Ace’s POV straight through, Bella’s POV, or mix it up with both.
Arigato and ja ne,
WARNING: this scene, contains MILD sexual references. If you can’t handle it this scene is not for you. Thank you for your consideration.
Ava was a bad girl. Always had been. It was part of the reason Ricky contemplated asking her out. Ava matched the level of bad ass that he’d struggled to mount his years at Icarus Co. One date with Ava could Ricky’s brand him a permanent soprano for the rest of his life. No pressure, right?
Ricky stared at the minx as she swayed, her hips compelling him to join her on the dance floor. He licked his lips before taking a swig of beer. Devil be praised he’d worn pants two sizes too big.
She glanced in Ricky’s direction, eyes glowing scarlet and forbidden. Ava held his gaze, a naughty smile playing at the corners of her lips before her attention snapped back to the DJ.
Ricky was across the bar in two snaps of a cat’s tail, pulling her from the dance floor and into the hall. “Shit,” Ricky breathed, freeing her hand from his. “Why’d you go and drag me here? You know I hate parties! I’d have declined if…”
Crimson eyes widened slightly then narrowed almost immediately. “If what?” Ava asked.
Ricky cursed again.
“I knew it.” Ava said. Turning her back to him, she tossed up a hand in goodbye. “Another dog that’s all bark, no bite.”
Ricky pinned her against the door before he could think better of it, one hand on the knob, the other just inches from Ava’s cheek. He watched as she worried her lower lip with teeth. Lovely, pink lips that Ricky just wanted to slip his tongue into and see if she tasted as good as she looked.
Ava must have sensed his thoughts. Pressing her petite body against Ricky’s hard one, Ava tilted her head enough to brush her lips with his.
Ricky’s final shred of control snapped as he pulled her roughly to him. Thrusting the closet door open, Ricky pulled Ava inside. The door clicked behind them as if with a will of its own and Ricky snapped the lock in place. He forced his hands under her shirt, feathering his way up her stomach.
Ava moaned, a sound he captured with his mouth. Ricky probed her tongue with his and felt her respond in kind. Their tongues dueled for dominance over the kiss even as Ricky’s other hand wandered beneath her skirt.
Ricky listened as Ava’s moans became louder. Each caress seemed to bring her closer to the pleasure he strove to give her.
A sudden knock on the door made Ricky pause before shouting “go away”. Ava seemed not to notice. She squeaked from the feel of his teeth rubbing against her neck, drawing on the tender skin beneath.
Another knock on the door, harder than the first drew Ava’s attention.
“Shit! Get off me, Ricky,” she shouted, but her attempt at reason was lost on Ricky.
“Dammit,” Ricky growled. “Leave already!”
He returned his attentions to the woman beneath him and began to suck on the skin of her neck.
Wood splintered around them a moment before the door gave way, slapping Ricky in midst of his head.
“What the hell…” Ricky didn’t finish his sentence. A hand fisted in his shirt and drew him up to face a pair of familiar crimson eyes.
“What the devil are you doing to Carneli”
Ricky blinked. “Carneli,” he repeated unthinkingly.
“Yes, my twin,” the woman growled in clear irritation.
To all my viewer, followers, and fans, thanks for sticking with me! You can also catch Mistaken Twindenity in the Romance section of Prose in Bloom.
Mr. Gabriel stared up at the image of his thirty-something year old boss plastered to the front wall of Alice Academy and felt his face heat out of mortification. He turned to each of his five students with a tight-lipped look.
“I’m not going to yell,” Mr. Gabriel said finally, “I’m not going to scream… Except to ask who in the Devil gave you this irresponsible idea?” Yes, cursing seemed very appropriate right then. No matter how annoying his boss was, no one deserved this type of embarrassment.
Mr. Gabriel watched the boys shrink back as he shouted the last part.
Each boy began to draw circles in the dirt with his boots. Finally, the one at the farthest end spoke up. “Mrs. Summer is always getting called ugly, but when we found that picture on the internet we wanted to show everyone how pretty she looked. We wanted to see what the pic looked like against the nice mural in the cafeteria.”
“But the wall was too small so we tried shrinking it, but…” the second trailed off.
“Then we couldn’t see our favorite part,” said the third, tears budding in his eyes.
The fourth puffed up his chest. “Eventually, we concluded that for the school to realize how pretty Mrs. Summer is, we had to post a supersize on the front of the academy. It was Kip’s idea.”
Mr. Gabriel pinched the bridge of his nose. He could feel a headache coming on. No amount of college could prepare any teacher for students like this. Was it any wonder his boss called in sick first thing that morning? “Do you have anything to say for yourselves before I call your parents?”
Each boy looked at the other before glancing up at their handiwork and then back at Mr. Gabriel. “The principal looks pretty in a bikini.”
Thanks for reading!