Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Families are messy - 1

“What the hell,” Casey exclaimed as he pulled into the driveway.

There, spread across the front lawn, were all his clothes and most of his belongings as well. Sitting at the edge of them, looking very woebegone, was Duke.

Casey jumped out of the SUV and strode angrily to the front door. After trying to unlock it he realized that not only had his bitch of a wife thrown his things out of the house but she’d also locked him out as well. He was sorely tempted to break a window to get inside but discretion took hold. So he worked out his temper, to a small degree at least, by banging on the door while swearing under his breath. He’d have done that out loud but he knew the neighbors, who were undoubtedly watching with great enjoyment, would take delight in calling the cops.

Giving up in disgust he went into the garage, which thankfully wasn’t locked, found some boxes and filled them with what he wanted to keep, leaving the rest where they’d landed. “Hell of a way to get rid of unwanted clothes,” he told Duke as the dog watched balefully. Along with the clothes were a few personal items that he piled on top of everything before opening the back of the SUV. He shoved the boxes in, slammed the back closed and then opened the passenger door for Duke.

“You drool, you’re dead,” he told the dog, knowing they were empty words. Bloodhounds drooled. It came with the territory.

Getting back in the vehicle, Casey pulled on to the street, took one last look at the house where he’d spent the last five years, raised his middle finger knowing that Kathy was watching from one of the windows, and drove off.

* * * *

“Okay, calm down, it could have been worse, Casey, she could have held your things hostage.” Bing looked at his brother with some compassion, mixed with a bit of ‘Why me?’ 

He knew why. Alma and Darla wouldn’t have let Casey within a mile of their homes on a bet. Casey and his sisters had a love/hate relationship. They loved to hate each other. Alma, the eldest of the four siblings, had married well and let the rest of them know it every time they got together. Darla, the youngest, had grown up thinking she was queen of the world because their parents had spoiled her rotten. She was an afterthought, being six years younger than Casey, and a prima donna in the truest sense of the word.

Bing tolerated both his sisters. Casey was a different kettle of fish. He hated pretension in any form, which made it very strange that he married Kathy. She was the daughter of one of the wealthier businessmen in the city and had always acted accordingly. She loved throwing parties, the bigger the better, letting Casey foot the massive bills that resulted. She was also addicted to shopping, especially for clothes, and especially on the East or West coasts.

“Settle down,” Bing said, pouring two fingers of whiskey into a glass and handing it to his brother. “What did you two argue about now?” he asked once his brother had tossed the drink back and gotten a second one.

“I told her enough was enough and that the Bank of Casey was officially closed until further notice.” He smiled sourly. “She didn’t take kindly to that.”

“I bet. You may be lucky you got out without her castrating you.”

Casey chuckled. “She threatened to; just before she told me she was calling her father’s lawyer to see if I was allowed to do that.”

“I’d say from the fact that you’re here with all your stuff that he must have told her you were. Next step I suspect is that you’ll be getting notice that she’s divorcing you and will do her damnedest to take you to the cleaners.”

“She can try. She won’t get a lot of cash.”

Bing’s eyebrows went up. “Why not?”

“Because I’m not quite as stupid as she seems to think. I saw this coming and made certain that the majority of my liquid assets were moved to Swiss bank accounts. Old fashioned maybe, but untouchable. The rest she’s welcome to, just to get her out of my life.” Finishing his drink he poured another one before finally sitting down on one end of the sofa. “Actually I have Sammy to thank for suggesting the Swiss bank accounts. He’s the one who set them up and made the whole ‘loss of assets’ for my business look legit.”

“My Sammy? And he didn’t tell me? The rat.”

“Don’t blame him, I asked him not to. I didn’t want even a hint of what I was doing getting back to Kathy. Not that I don’t trust you, but all it would have taken was one wrong word to Alma or Darla and they’d have gone rushing to tell her.”

“Yeah, you’re right. But Sammy’s still in the doghouse, at least for a day. Speaking of which, where’s your beast gotten to?”

“He’s in the backyard with strict orders to stay away from the flowerbeds.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome the lovely Mahalia Levey

And here she is in all her glory.

I'm so excited. I love release days! Today TMNL is available at Decadent Publishing and All Romance Ebooks. I've been waiting for months for my latest short story to release it seems!

Dancing isn’t easy. Four nights a week Caileigh disappears into the persona of ‘Autumn’ to make a decent buck. The foster care system didn’t prepare her for what happens after turning twenty-one. Armed with only a high school diploma and forty bucks, she’s thrust on the hard cold streets, where she takes the only job a young girl with no prospects can get. Selling small pieces of herself to strangers isn’t the life she wishes for. Deep down she aches for a better life.

A scant piece of paper gives Orias the name of a seedy business and a photograph to keep vigil over his newest target. To find such beauty among the dredges of society wrecks every ounce of intelligence he possesses. For once, despite his being fallen, Orias thinks to disobey a direct order—never touch the protected. The way she moves on stage entrances him, but the sadness hidden underneath a facade of sexual promise makes him want to battle all her demons. Underneath his dark soul, he craves her light and the warmth of love. Will Fate allow them a life together?

Her eyes flitted over the crowd. She located him in a seat right next to the stage. The intriguing man who’d come in every night for two weeks. She fixed a smile on her cherry-red painted lips and gyrated in front of him, gliding around the pole, the cool steel warming under her palms. Up she inched, higher, her gaze never straying from his. What’s his deal?
She enacted a series of spins, anchoring her hands between her thighs to distribute her weight and display her flexibility. Her underarm locking her in position, she spiraled down the pole. Caileigh enjoyed this part of her job the most, playing on stage, moving to the music, contorting from position to position. Her toned muscles supported her body. Bent upside down, the underside of her knee caressed the cool metal; her arm held the stem of her booted foot. She released her hold to land gracefully on the smooth floor.
She sidled around again and again, offering a smile or a wink, before engaging in a new series of acrobatics. She locked her legs in a side split then flipped to a sitting position to regard the crowd. Too much silence greeted her. Tough group.
She used her upper body strength and slammed to the floor in a center split, her boots clacking, a sonic boom echoing from her landing. Heads snapped in her direction. Caileigh unleashed the naughty vixen in her, performing complex floor work until she rose with grace and sashayed across the stage. Take that, people.
Her second song began, the haunting gothic voices echoing in a series of oohs and ahhs. Swaying to the slower rhythms, she untied her top baring areolas the color of dark chocolate in contrast to her milk chocolate skin.
Bracing in front of the pole, she worked her floor routine then moved to the edge of the stage to accept bills with a seductive smile, thanking the men with an air peck next to their cheeks. She moved back to center stage, twisting and pirouetting, finishing her set with a single spin around the pole, relishing the cool metal between her thighs. The nameless man’s penetrating gaze fired her blood. No man…no customer had ever affected her as he did.
His gaze made concentration impossible. She’d perfected her series of pole tricks—each with a name only a dancer would know—or she’d have landed on her head. She forced herself to break the stare down…to try to forget his dark brown orbs bordering on obsidian enough to blend in with his pupils. Not once had he spoken to her, queried for a dance. He didn’t have a welcoming presence with his mercenary appearance. Sweat beaded her upper back. The song ended and applause began. Caileigh waved to the growing crowd and headed for the main floor. A shiver wracked her body as she passed him, as if his eyes were boring into her skin.

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