My Love Forgive Inspiration & Snippet

Estimated reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Hello, Darling Angst Junkies!

My laptop has been down for the past month. *sob* I recently was able to access my hard drive so I’m back on writing “My Love Forgive.” I definitely have lost about a month’s worth of time so I’m working hard to counteract that.

Anyway, I wanted to share this awesome cover of Depeche Mode’s “It’s No Good” by The Dreaming. If you’ve followed me long enough you’ll know how much I love Depeche Mode and Stabbing Westward. Unfortunately, Stabbing Westward has been disbanded. Fortunately, the lead singer of SW fronts The Dreaming.

I think this cover is angry, sexy, and absolutely perfect to give me inspiration to write some difficult scenes between Gabriel and Risa.

So I’m here to share the video and a snippet from “My Love Forgive.” I hope you enjoy them both!

SNIPPET

 

“Gabriel?”

He turned his attention away from her and finished her breakfast.

Risa looked at his peaceful profile and saw how completely he had banished her from his thoughts. She sniffled. Her eyes itched and her mouth turned in on itself. Pain clawed away inside her chest, demanding it be let out in a torrent of tears and curses.

She took a step backwards. Gabriel continued the civilized motions of eating breakfast. Risa repeated her actions until she stood within the doorway. He merely speared a fluffy cloud of scrambled eggs.

Abandonment swelled. Images sped across her mind’s eye. Gabriel’s love morphed into a taunt plied by a very cruel man. Risa’s throat warbled something to finally catch his attention.

“What did you say?”

“You heard me.”

He stood up. Risa whirled about into the bedroom and slammed the door shut. Her fingers caught the knob and turned the lock. She climbed up into the bed, drew her knees up, and stared at the closed door.

“Risa.”

Muffled only slightly by the thin barrier, Gabriel’s crisp, calm voice thrummed her rebellion. She settled her chin onto her left knee while wrapping her arms around her legs.

“Answer me.”

Risa shook her head.

“I am going to give you 30 seconds to open this door of your own will.”

She shrugged her shoulders.

The seconds sucked by with bog-like suffocation. A click later and then Gabriel stood in the doorway, framed and backlit with menacing intensity.

“Would you care to repeat what you said out there?”

Grim Alice update 7-29-10

Estimated reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Before Alice could stumble through any more replies, Director H. waved his hand over her. The towel fell off. She wore a suit identical to his except in black. Alice’s hair slicked back into a pony-tail knotted high on her head.

“You look absolutely precious, Alice.” A gloved hand cupped the opposite elbow while the other hand tapped his chin in thought. “Precious but not quite right.”

“What’s wrong with it?” Alice peered down. “I think it looks fine.”

“You covet suits. Of course you’d like this.”

“How did you know?”

“Because I know all.” He circled Alice too quickly for her to follow. “And because I know all, I know I know this isn’t going to work for our purposes. Ceremonial kimono it is.”

Heavy black silk covered Alice from neck to feet. Her hair reconfigured into what she would later learn was the wareshinobu style for geishas.

“Yes, this is what he needs to see.” With one finger, Director H. commanded her to twirl in a circle. She obliged. Very, very slowly. “You moved awkwardly, dearest. I’m tempted to spell your legs into submission but that would be lying, wouldn’t it?”

Alice wobbled on the sandals colored to blend into her costume. “Somehow I doubt lying tops your list of things to avoid.”

“Witty, my dear. Dry, defiant, but lovely all the same.” Director H. produced a mirror with a flick of two fingers. “Look at beautiful you are, Alice.”

She regarded herself in the tiny mirror. “I look like a ghost.”

“Ah, but a beautiful one.”

“I look dead.”

“That is what a ghost typically is, dear.”

“My face is so white.”

“Not so white. He’s whiter.”

“Really?” Alice turned away from the mirror. “Does it take make-up to make him even be able to look at me?”

“Should it matter to you?”

“You love to answer my questions with questions.”

“Or maybe you like to not answer my questions with statements about my questions.”

Alice braved a small smile. “I’m not afraid of him.”

“Yes, you are. You’ve built him up to be a magnificent man, so far above you that you question why you should even be allowed in the same room as him.”

Denial burned her mouth, begging to come out. Alice inhaled and exhaled slowly. “It’s true. He’s obviously someone of value to you all while I’m just me.”

Director H. sighed. He feathered the back of one finger against her cheek, careful not to disturb the powder. “I could tell you how exquisite you are to all of us, but it won’t matter. Right now you’re a bottomless pit, Alice. Until you fill it up yourself, all my words will fall into nothing.”

Alice nodded. Her eyes brightened with unwanted tears. She managed to whisper, “Tell me anyways.”

“No, not today, dearest. Melancholy will only rob you of strength you desperately need. Come, Alice. Let us finally put you out of your misery. You’ll fall for his pretty face, no doubt, but beauty is a poor substitute for good manners. Once he insults you, you’ll feel better. I promise.”

Suicide Doll update 6-30-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Violation had a way with them both. Making love, fucking, raping—it all meant the same thing. Barely distinguishable acts meant to raise them both out of their ennui. To think of sex in this way proved he was broken and always had been. The Broker was right.

He should’ve been drowned at birth.

Narcissus continued practiced seduction for a spiteful audience of one. He dipped his cock inside her for a moment before moving upwards. His turgid head circled the tiny piece of flesh, willing it to swell and bloom for him. Narcissus carried on for minutes, losing himself in the pain created by denial.

His mind flashed violently. It recycled through the memories of Lisette and Chessie. Diana appeared as well.

Warmth without lust unfurled inside him. Diana’s counsel had sustained him in the decades after Lisette’s suicide. She was the only woman he could say he cared for without the need of carnal knowledge.

You never tried to stop me from this folly. You understood I could never be swayed any more than I could sway you to stop whoring. It was vital to us both. You tried to tell me to open myself to this terrible, disgusting pain. You swore I would be better for it.

Why did you lie to me, Diana?

Bits of time, moments with and without significance, continued to spin inside his mind.

Lisette was his treasure, one he shared with any and everyone. Chessie was his delight, one he displayed as an ornament on his wall. Sophie was his conscience, one he never acknowledged until the damage was done.

And now I’m going to destroy Chessie for Sophie. I would’ve done it anyways. I just needed the right kind of push.

Narcissus wondered what his insides looked like. Were they blackened like his intentions?

He surged forward. Chessie’s cunt swallowed him whole. He wished he could’ve disappeared then. Narcissus kissed her mouth, tasting his memories forever. Knowing it was all he could ever hope for now that he’d become entrapped in his own uselessness.

He slid his hands up her arms, pushing them up over her head. His fingers entwined hers. His hips rocked against Chessie’s. He remained silent. His vocal cords symbolically severed in echo of hers.

Pleasure without substance. Ecstasy in emptiness. Tiny mimicries of a life never spent well.

Narcissus wondered if his mother had suffered like this. He had spent his entire existence without much thought to the woman who had given birth to him before fading away. Now he couldn’t help but feel kinship to Echo. Had she fallen so completely in love with his father she couldn’t see any way to exist without him?

Am I really my father’s image? Or my mother’s shadow? I can’t help but love her knowing…feeling…this. We are the same, Echo. I’m only sorry that I never thought of you more often.

Narcissus pressed his mouth against Chessie’s. He opened his eyes and saw Sophie staring at him.

“Does it feel good? Does it make you feel anything at all?”

“I don’t know.” His hips continued their meaningless dance. “I don’t think so.”

Her lips carried a secret promise. She moved behind him and whispered in his ear. “I like the way you make love, Narcissus. It’s so beautiful.”

Narcissus stiffened. The words were wrong. There was nothing of beauty in what he was doing to the Chessie doll.

“You strangle my hate, Narcissus, when you think of someone other than yourself.” Sophie kissed his lobe. “When you think of me.”

Narcissus wrenched out of the dead girl. He stumbled back until he hit the wall. Tools scattered and tables overturned. Entangled in hopeless sanity, Narcissus raised his arms in entreaty. Face the color of stone, eyes dilated until they became blackened holes in his head, mouth agape, Narcissus wanted to die right then and there.

_________________________________________________________

This is the last public update for Suicide Doll. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the overload of angst. :) Originally I intended for Suicide Doll to be a full-length novel. However, the story demanded something else. I will be releasing it soon as a 20k-22k short story.

I’ve already got another WIP ready to take Suicide Doll’s place so please be on the lookout.

Devil’s Descent II update 6-29-10

Estimated reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

She sliced him a wicked smile. “Better white trash than what you are.”

“Put the brick down, Lily.”

“Oh, I have every intention of doing so.”

“I’m sure,” he drawled. “Is this our foreplay, darling?”

“We left that a long time ago.”

“Really. Hmm…so I take it we’re ready to go to the next step then?”

“What do you think?”

Julian eyed her lacy black bra with matching panties, garters, and torn stockings. “I think you look like a delicious mess. I think your mind is even more of a mess. In other words, I think you’re insane, Lily, and I look forward to seeing what kind of a lover that will make you. Will I be able to trust you in my bed or will I have to chain you to make sure you don’t try to stake me?”

Lily’s impudent courage faltered. Her cheeks bloomed with dangerous wonder. “I’m not crazy. You are.”

“Maybe I am. I wonder what that will mean for our courtship.”

Her hand loosened. The brick fell to the ground in a clatter of gravel. She had no words.

“I’m so glad you chose not to send that into my windshield.”

“My dress.”

“What?”

“I just wanted my dress back.”

One brow arched at the small, baby voice. “Whatever for, darling?”

“You can’t have it.”

“I don’t want it.”

“I know you don’t.” Her eyes unfocused. “I couldn’t chance you doing something to that dress just because you’re mad at me.”

“I wouldn’t have done anything unsavory to that dress, Lily. And I’m not mad at you.”

“Yes, you are. You’re always mad at me. That’s okay. I’m always mad at me too.” Lily’s legs crumpled and she fell to the ground in a heap.

Julian whistled a jaunty tune as he slowly made his way over to the unconscious girl. He nudged her with his shoe. “Out for the count, hmm?” Julian picked Lily up. Cradling her in his arms, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You are a mess, Lily. Eventually, I will have to clean you up. Until then…”

Julian entered the Walker home. He walked up the stairs, remembering exactly where Lily’s room was. Once he slipped her shoes off, Julian put Lily to bed as tenderly as a parent, even making sure to tuck the comforter beneath her chin.

“What happened?”

Julian smoothed Lily’s hair off her brow before facing Rachel. “The Spirit forced her into sleep.”

Silence weighted the air. Lily’s mother re-crossed her arms. “It’s already started, hasn’t it?”

The vampire had no taste for games with worried mothers. He answered her directly. “Yes. The Spirit’s trying to hold onto Lily as long as she can. Lily will probably be sleeping more than she’s awake.”

“How long?”

Julian observed her worried expression. He analyzed just how much detail he could share before Rachel’s composure crashed. “How long Lily will be sleeping at a time?”

“No. How much longer before…before…the Spirit has to let her go?”

Julian held his right hand in left, palms down and posture utterly respectful. “Six weeks.”

“Six?” The air slammed out of her. “Are you sure?”

“Not completely.”

“How sure?”

“Ninety-nine percent.”

Rachel’s head bobbed as if on a lazy current. “You just know this because?”

“Because it’s one of my bloodline’s…” Julian paused, eating the word “talent” only to replace it with, “…abilities. I can predict it with near-perfect accuracy.”

“And the one percent?”

“Fate will always have her way.”

“Mmm. Maybe Fate will take her one percent this time.”

“Maybe.” His smile sought to soothe the doubting sting his answer caused.

“I’m not blind you know.”

“Pardon?”

“The way you look at her. It’s how Stephan looked at me.”

Julian wondered at to answer her without the benefit of lies when she surprised him.

“You both looked liked you’d rather kill us than feel what you were feeling.”

“Ah. I’m transparent then.”

Rachel’s grin reminded him of her daughter’s. “Just a bit.”

He thought the question but it flew away before he could cage it. “Why did you agree to letting me court Lily?”

“Could I have stopped you? Or her?”

Julian tipped his head. “No, I can’t say that you could.”

“I believe in Fate, Lord Douglas. Sometimes it’s all that’s kept me from breaking to pieces. There’s a reason why you haven’t left yet. I’m willing to bet this farm Lily’s a big part of that.”

Agitation made him lift his chin in defiance. “My reasons are many.”

“I’m sure they are.”

Julian studied the armoire crouched against the wall like a woodland guardian. “You’re wise beyond your years, Mrs. Walker.”

“Pain has a way of transforming one.”

“That it does.” His voice gentled like the sweetest sigh. “So does vengeance.”

Rachel came into the room. “Lily never meant you harm.”

“Madam, I am afraid to inform you don’t know your daughter as well as you think. Just minutes ago I had to ponder whether she was going to throw a brick into my car or against my head.”

Their shared laughter echoed softly. “She is a spitfire that’s for sure.”

Grim Alice update 5-30-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

“He does?” Breathy and soft, her words fell away into the void.

“Yes. He does.”

“Why?”

“Because he hates you.”

“Oh. I see.” Alice’s natural armor attached itself without a fight.

Director H. patted her head once. “Let that sit for a bit, dearest.” He moved to the stairs and made himself comfortable. The water entrenched him half-way to the knee. He crossed one over the other prettily. “Now, about your partner. He’s a prig, Alice, of the first order. He’s going to look down his well-bred nose and declare you inferior.”

“Because I’m an orphan.”

“No, because he’s being a stubborn ass.”

Alice cracked a smile. Keeping her arms crossed and her knees tucked, she gestured with her chin. “You’ve gotten your legs wet.”

“Yes. I know.”

“Okay.”

“You think it strange? How refreshing.” Director H. preened. “When you live in world where consequences mean everything and nothing on the same turn, you find it easier to just do what pleases. Remember that, dear.”

“I will. I’m going to rinse my hair now.”

“You should let it set longer.”

Alice paused. “No. I’m going to rinse but thanks.” She scooted out, careful to remain on the last step, and dipped her head back. Alice swished her head from side to side.

“See. I knew you were a smart girl.”

“Of course I am, Director H.”

He flicked water towards her. “Would you like some more advice?”

“Sure. Why not?”

“Why not indeed? Come here, pet. Sit next to me.” He waited until Alice arranged herself modestly before proceeding. “This first meeting is very important, dearest. Don’t let your partner get the upper hand with you. He will try to do so.”

“He’s that much of a jerk, right?”

“No. To be fair, I don’t think it’s a deliberate action to dismiss you based on you. It’s self-defense for him.”

“Self-defense? How so?”

“He’s frightened to death you, Alice.”

“Of me?” A tiny frown stitched between her brows. “What does he think I’ll do to him?”

“Change him. Challenge his beliefs. Make him someone he doesn’t ever want to be.”

“I’m not that—”

“Powerful? Of course you are, Alice. You’re a woman. You have all the power you could ever need. Life and death—it all rests upon your whim.”

Alice’s attention skimmed everywhere but Director H.

“I’ve embarrassed you.”

“A little.”

“You shouldn’t be when it’s truth.”

She puffed a tiny breath. “Maybe it’s how it works here but in the real world I’m just an orphan with a whole lot of problems. No power there. Everyone is afraid of me for one reason or another. Do I have any psychological issues? Am I dangerous? Will I cause problems? Will I set your house on fire? Am I dirty? It goes on and on.”

“And now you have to worry about the same things here.”

“Yes. It’s really not going to be any different here. Wherever here is.” Alice regarded Director H. “Maybe I’m still in the hospital and you’re just something I’ve dreamed up. Maybe I’m dead.”

“And maybe you’re just being a bore.” Director H. stood up and held out a wet, gloved hand. “Come, Alice. You’ve gotten entirely too maudlin. I don’t need you morose. I need you confident, defiant, and smart.”

Alice took his hand while keeping her other arm banded across her chest. She clenched her thighs tighter in an awkward attempt at modesty. Before she could ask for a towel, he pulled one out of his front pocket.

“How did that fit in there?”

“Pardon?”

“The towel. How did it fit there?”

Director H. wrapped her in the scarlet towel with efficient ease. “Magic, pet. White or black?”

“What?”

“White or black? Hurry. Choose. White or black?”

“Uh…black!”

“Very fitting.”

Devil’s Descent II update 5-24-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Lily collapsed to a few inches of skin. His tongue rasped over and over again, tasting the hard bit of flesh with a vulgar smile. She hissed and moaned his name. Lily thrashed, half-mad from Julian’s vampire blood and Julian himself.

He pulled his shirt up over her head, leaving Lily exposed to his dead stare.

“Are you going to eat me now, Julian?”

“Not yet. You’re not my food.”

“Then what am I?” Lily’s legs shook with periodic regularity.

“My trophy. My whore. My cunt. My halo.”

Her stomach roiled in delirious disgust. “I’m your angel now?”

“No. My noose.” Julian’s finger slid down her side. He watched the muscles coil and quiver helplessly. “Pull down your panties, Lily. Let me see my pussy.”

Her neck splotched in embarrassment. “No. I don’t want to do that. Not yet.”

“No?” Julian cocked his head. The fringe of his hair dipped low over his brow. His gold stare promised punishment. “We’re past these push and pull games, Lily. I want to see your pussy and I want you show her to me. Do it.”

Lily resisted the urge to look away. She ignored the confused lust birthed at Julian’s vicious command. “I said no.”

“Isn’t this what you always wanted, Lily?” Julian sidled closer. He breathed in her ear. “I know you hated the kind, considerate lover Ian promised to be. I’m giving you what you want.”

Lily’s temper flared nastily. “Typically girls like a bit of seduction before being assaulted with cussing and orders. Hell, Julian! I thought you were some notch to put on my belt. Guess I was wrong. I can get better from—”

Julian’s hand rested on her mound. “Finish that sentence and I’ll strangle you.” He tasted the corner of her mouth. His tongue teased it, withdrawing when she sighed in plaintive need. “Don’t tell me how to seduce you, Lily. I already know what you need.”

Her arms arched up as he cupped her harder. Lily couldn’t help but feel that this was wrong. Where was the love and kindness? Respect? Affection? Something better than being treated like…

Like a whore.

“Do you talk to Nicole like this?”

Julian’s fingers crept to the bottom of her underwear. “Of course not. She’s not dirty like you.”

Lily exploded. Her fist slammed against his ear. Julian stumbled for a few feet. Too enraged to wonder if her strength was a result of a vampire high or the Spirit, Lily yanked his shirt off. She threw it at him with a curse. “You bastard! Fuck you, Julian! Fuck you—you fucking piece of shit! I hate you—do you hear me? I fucking hate you, you fucking cock sucking, skeleton humping, dog-banging piece of vampire SHIT!”

Lily spit at him before running the half-mile back her house and his car. She didn’t give a damn what Julian thought of her. He wasn’t even worth the time to say his stupid name.

The Jaguar appeared. Lily’s limbs throbbed with adrenaline. She doubted he left it open. Lily spied the brick edging. She picked one up and weighed it in her hand.

“Could you be any more white trash, brat?”

Devil’s Descent II update 5-11-10

Estimated reading time: 4 – 7 minutes

She writhed in terrible bliss. Lily crashed into Julian’s marvelously blue stare. Lighter than the crystallized sky, it ate into her with ice teeth. Lily fixated on everything and nothing. Julian’s lips were moving. Tiny, elegant movements orchestrated to obliterate all of her.

I don’t want to think. Shut-up! Shut your filthy mouth, Julian! Stop talking. Stop talking. Stop talking.

“I will not.” His fingers bit into her jaw, pressing the skin over her teeth until her mouth hung open. “I think you should, my dearest little girl, before you embarrass us both.”

Lily didn’t realize she had been chanting her thoughts out loud, over and over again. Alone in her mind, alone in her conviction, she had become a broken record. Seeking to find that which had never really existed; searching for that someone who had existed only in her head.

Something hot, sticky, and foreign slinked inside the protected parts of her memories. It wrapped around the pretty box scored with Ian’s name and likeness. Dark, dirty, and obscene it soiled all those precious vignettes bearing the likeness of the demon vampire holding her aloft.

The pictures in Lily’s mind singed. Never the same. Always damaged. Always incomplete. A falsity to being an honest representation of the past.

That’s what being next to Julian Douglas did to a person like Lily.

He dirtied her with his peculiar brand of truth. It couldn’t be refuted…only denied. Denied until she screamed herself hoarse. Denied until she spewed blood. Denied until she believed it too.

Lily thought this all in the span of a stuttered breath. She shook her head like a demented thing, seeking to throw his restraint off. Julian followed her, always following, always pressing, always opening, always…always…always.

“Tell me what you want, Lily. Tell me.”

Short, hard bursts of sound gouged through the madness infesting her. It screwed into Lily, deflating her rebellion. Her borrowed power ebbed, dying an uneventful demise. It disappeared. No trace of superhuman abilities, only a body racked with severe chills and the type of sweat accompanied by high fevers.

“I’ll keep feeding you drops of my blood if you don’t give me what I want. I’ll break your legs to keep you from running…your arms just because. Do you think they’ll heal straight?”

Lily’s molars cut the inside of her cheeks. The blood tasted foul, a cheap, disgusting substitution of his. Her head jerked forward and back. Her jaw ached from the pressure of his fingertips. Her tongue flopped, making speech nothing more than a clumsy effort to appear human.

“Tell me, you little bitch! Tell me!” Julian pushed her head back. An insidious urge to snap her neck leapt upon him. Lily’s face paled into a small stone circlet. Perhaps she saw the beast pressing him to kill her and be done with it all. Her black gaze reached out. It sucked him in and smothered him like tar.

Julian shuddered from disgust. Being this close to Lily, scenting her, tasting the tiny particles of sweat covering her skin, taking her into his body as surely as he flowed into hers, made him forget. It made him forget the humiliation he suffered at her hands, at hands such as hers.

So great is my rage, so great is this insidious need to push her away even as I drag her back by her ridiculous hair.

Her coloring was too much. Black hair, black eyes, dusky skin promising swarthiness if exposed too long in the sun…all of it too much.

Julian longed for the peace his eyes found when in the presence of pale hair, eyes, and skin. A long, lithe, willowy frame fit his arms so tenderly, promising companionship without confusion. Lily’s body, small as it was, rioted with curves. It muddled it his body, this juxtaposition of tiny stature and a woman’s lushness.

Pinpricks of color bloomed beneath his fingers. Julian’s insides coiled. Lily’s blood, her wretched, impure, disgusting concoction of instinct and impunity dragged him closer. His mouth touched her chin. He closed his eyes, head moving slightly as if hearing the symphony of life and death play between them.

“Lily, you are filthy creature. If I caged you up, locked you far away from prying eyes, how long would it take to turn you into an animal? A week? A day? How long, Lily? Should we try? No? That’s too bad. I am going to lock you up, you know. I’m going to lock you up in cage right in front of the whole world.”

Lily bent her head until it rested against his. She whined. Inevitability had already chained her to him long ago.

“Tell me, Lily. Call me by name.” Julian slid his hand away. Lily’s mouth hung open obscenely. He pulled back to look at her. Limp, sweaty hair, glazed eyes, and puffing breath all created a tableau of sexual satiation.

A lie, like so many of the ones between them. A beautiful one though.

Lily’s entire body fixated on Julian’s lips. She wanted to taste and ravish him. The wish that she could have a penis, if only for an hour, just to fuck him senseless shocked her.

Only a little.

She never would have birthed this deviant thought for Ian. However, Julian made her hard, wicked, and immoral.

He wanted her to call him by name. As if he could draw her closer by making her pronounce those gliding syllables. Stupid man. Julian already had her in his net.

Lily open and shut her mouth, imagining herself as his fish. His dinner to cut open, consume, and take into him. It sickened even as it made her press closer. Her tongue slipped out and tasted the corner of his exquisite mouth.

“Julian.”

He rushed forward and slammed her against a tree. Lily’s sharp cry hushed into a trembling moan. Julian’s mouth, his precious, gorgeous, hurtful, sharp, terrible mouth attached itself over her virgin nipple.

Devil’s Descent II update 4-29-10

Estimated reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

She tore through the woods, feet flying over the underbrush as if it wasn’t there. Frenetic, schizoid, and maddened, Lily damned all consequences of playing rabbit with a wolf. She knew she’d burn through the vampiric hit within a minute. She knew Julian could catch her now if he wanted. She knew this was a tawdry attempt at getting back her own power.

Lily knew but as always, Lily didn’t care.

The wind talked to her, singing lullabies promising a bloody end. The night bathed her, encouraging Lily to burn out with wicked brilliance. Laughter seeped out. It tinkled with manic notes. Lily dodged the centuries-old oaks with ease and sensed Julian did as well. She wondered if he remembered playing this game with her years before. It was used as a way to sharpen her reflexes but also provided loads of honest fun.

She leaped over a fallen tree. Her stomach rose up with a thrill. She had pushed harder than expected and could see the sky clear over the treetops. Exhilaration throbbed. Lily wanted to fly.

Like all pretty birds with broke wings, she came crashing down to earth when Julian yanked her to him back to front.

“Got you.”

She arched into him even as he wrapped a hand around her neck. Lily reached behind her. Her fingers locked onto his nape, coiling about the inky hair with abandon.

“Look at you, Lily. You’re acting like a common slut.” He squeezed her neck tighter and whispered, “You love it, don’t you?”

Lily gasped. Her body was firing too many signals, getting them mixed up between pain, fear, and desire.

“Answer me.”

“I love…I love…not being…” Her words ended in a breathy whine.

“You love being what?” Julian squeezed her throat rhythmically.

Lily’s limbs tingled. The lack of air did things to her inhibitions. “Not being…me.”

“Hmm…my darling, little girl.” Julian nuzzled her ear with his nose. “You could never be anyone other than you. Filthy, immoral, base, crazed.”

Lily arched forward, wanting to flee and cave into him. His cultured voice, dripping with lust, made her skin prickle.

“No, no. Where are you going, Lily? Hmm? Where are you going to go that I can’t find you?”

She savagely bit the finger he briefly pressed into her mouth. His blood invaded her most beautifully. Everything heightened, including him.

“Darling girl, you’re a perfect present for me, Lily. I’m so going to love tearing you open. Bit by bit. Layer by layer until you’ve been stripped clean.”

“Douglas—”

“Ah, ah! What did I tell you about that, Lily? I know you’re not purposely stupid. Surely you couldn’t have forgotten already?” His fingers pulsed around her neck. “J-u-l-i-a-n. Come on, darling.”

Lily shook her head. Fingers scrabbled over his, not in surcease but in frenzied bliss.

“Say it, little girl. Say it and be yourself. Be the girl who knows who she really wants to be.” Julian turned her around, hand still wrapped around her neck like human jewelry. His mouth touched hers. His whisper branded Lily. “Let me in, darling. Let me into you.”

Vicious Bliss: broken update 4-26-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

“I won’t hurt you, Katharina.” Mikhail bent over her, cheek pressed against soft hair, and whispered, “I won’t ever hurt you. I promise.”

“I’m not afraid of you, Mikhail. I’m just…”

“Afraid?”

“Yes.”

“I am too.”

Katherine looked up at him, one eyebrow drawn up ever-so-slightly. “You’re afraid? Why?”

His gaze flicked away, scattering the confidence there and replacing it with somber dimness. “Everything changes and yet it doesn’t. I’m afraid that this will end before it begins. I don’t want that. I don’t that to happen at all.”

She licked her lips. The urge to sink into his misery dominated. Katherine scuttled away from it. She had already invaded him too often since meeting him. Instead, she listened to the comforting thumps beneath her ear.

“Mikhail, you know this isn’t natural.”

“What?”

“Falling in love so quickly. Are you sure we’re not just falling in lust?”

“Lust isn’t like this, Katharina.”

“How is it?”

“Lust is all about taking. Love is about giving. I want to give you everything. Everything there is for me to give—I want to give it.”

A million warnings detonated. Naivety couldn’t drown out the realism of things. People did not just meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. The likelihood of bucking the natural order of things was probably about nil.

But we’re not natural. Not me and definitely not him. Doesn’t it stand that maybe the rules don’t apply to us? Maybe love can happen just like this. Maybe it’s not as hard as I’ve seen it be.

“Do you believe me, Katharina?” Mikhail inhaled sharply. “No, don’t answer. It’s too soon. I know I can’t just rely on words alone. It’s something I must show. Prove. Words…they can’t…you can’t trust in them alone.”

Steps paraded past them. Different pitches, scuffles against gravel, and the pungent smell of cigarette smoke. They flicked against the glass walls erected about Katherine and Mikhail. Seen out in the open but hidden at the core.

“Mikhail, am I still shaking?”

His fingers slinked across the back of her neck. “Yes.”

“You’re right. I’m not used to being touched. No one really touches me and I’m not used to anyone doing it.”

“I’m sorry.”

Katherine’s mouth pressed down on instinct, trapping the ready words of, “Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m fine.” Instead, she murmured, “Thank you.”

“I like touching you but I won’t do it if you don’t like it.” He moved back, arms at the ready to let her go.

Katherine rushed forward, cheeks blazing with embarrassment over her boldness, but committed to keeping his touch. “Don’t let me go. Your touch…I don’t want to lose it.”

“You won’t.” He wrapped his arms about her. Fear shook his heart. Fear of what he was, of what he never wanted to be again, stalked him. It threatened to tear away this fragile beginning. He couldn’t let it grow any stronger.

I’ll bury it. Make it so it doesn’t exist. I can do it. I don’t want to lose Katherine. I can be a better man. I have to. She has nothing to do with Adria. Nothing to do with my family. My future.

Katherine is clean of all that.

“I’m not shaking that much anymore, Mikhail.”

He smiled. “No, you’re not.”

“See? Your touch is magic.”

Devil’s Descent II update 4-15-10

Estimated reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

“My mama’s not here, Douglas. Stop pretending.”

“I could absolutely say the same to you.”

“I’m not pretending.”

“You are. You’re pretending you don’t care about what you saw tonight. You’re pretending I’m only here for your mother. You’re pretending you don’t want to climb into my arms right now.”

Lily’s skin itched. It wanted to fly off her body and wrap itself around Julian.

“Douglas—”

“I’ve been more than patient with your silly use of my surname but that patience has come to its demise. You are to stop it. Now.”

Her brows snapped together. Irritation made her voice high-pitched and petty. “You didn’t like it when I called you Julian before.”

“I’m not going to repeat myself.”

“I’ll call you Douglas as long as I wish to.”

“You best hope your wishes change immediately, darling.”

Lily stomped down on the urge to back away from him. Although not a muscle moved in a manner displeasing, an inhuman sheen possessed his features. They spoke of danger, of an entirely different way of thinking. Of being.

It called to Lily more than anything else had that night.

Sadness receded into something far more pleasing. Her mouth watered with twisted craving. The desire to be wicked filled her with craven longing. Her fingers twitched.

I keep pushing him. He keeps pushing me. I’m self-destructing one word at a time.

“Douglas.”

Julian tilted his head forward. His low laughter curdled what little warmth the air had left.

“Oh, my darling little Lily. You live to irk me. You truly tempt me to throttle you.”

Long-learned instinct bid her to apologize. Lily swallowed it whole. She didn’t have to beg pardon to this vampire ever again. She could be who she’d always been.

Wicked. Wrong. Suicidal without the knife.

Lily walked up to him. She dared to put her hands on his chest. Her thigh muscles stretched as she went up on tip-toe. His dead stare inspired her to come closer.

“Come to say sorry, Lily?”

She smiled. “Not even close.”

Julian leaned down. “I know what you want.”

“What?”

“Run.”

Lily repeated the word. Her black stare threatened to consume him. Reckless inspiration spun like candy in her pretty orbs.

“Run, little girl. Run as fast as you can. If I catch you, I’ll make you pay. If I don’t, I’ll make you pay.”

“I can’t outrun you now.”

“I know that. So do you.”

“Then why do it?”

“Because knowing and seeing are two different things.”

“What about my mama? I don’t want her to see…”

“She won’t because you won’t run towards the house, will you?”

“No.”

“Of course, you won’t. You won’t do anything that will take you away from this, will you?”

She wanted to fall into him. She wanted to kill him. She wanted to fuck him. She wanted to hold him. She wanted to beg his forgiveness. She wanted him to beg hers. She wanted to murder Nicole. She wanted to watch him murder Nicole.

Lily wanted it all. Now.

She lunged for his mouth. Her teeth sank into his bottom lip. She bit down as hard as she could. Black blood dribbled down, coating her insides with stolen power. She pulled back in dirtied triumph before he could push her away.

“Douglas, you taste so good. Thank you for the hit.”

Lily’s feet flew over the ground. It didn’t take long before Julian’s whispered behind.