Black Nightingale- Chapter 5- Didn’t Even See It Coming

Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back

Due to violence, language and some sexual content.

Chapter 5: Didn’t Even See It Coming

The Next Morning

I gingerly open my apartment door. Even though Greg had agreed to let this go, I know better. After Greg’s profession of love last night, my head was spinning in a million directions. Couple that with the crazy events of last night’s run in with the Black Hawk and I guess you could say I had a perfect storm in the making.

I close and lock my door as to not make it so obvious that I’m leaving. Immaturely of me, I knew I wasn’t ready to see Greg yet. Low and behold I made it out of my door way without seeing Greg. Keeping my eyes glancing back toward the door every now and again, I rounded the corner of the hall way and out to the sidewalk. As I turned the corner of the city block, I bumped full on into a hard, toned body.

“Oh, sorry.” I say spinning around and noticing a familiar face. I smile.

“Matthew, hey. It’s been a while! How are you?”

“Nevina…The Little Luna. I’m good. It’s been a minute. How are you?” he says with a sweet smirk.

“Good…Good. What are you doing in this neck of the woods?” I ask.

“I actually moved back to the city. The suburban life wasn’t for me,” he says with chuckle.

“Oh?” I say with a raise of my eyebrow.

“Yea I mean you know as good as I do, that the country…simple town where everyone knows their neighbor was more Amelia’s dream.”

There it is, I think to myself. One of us had to bring her up soon enough. Hearing her name still sometimes hurts.

“Yea. I remember.” I say as my eyes begin filling up. Water threatening to spill over.

“Hey, I didn’t mean to upset you,” Matthew says grabbing my shoulder in an effort to comfort me.

“No…no, it’s not your fault. I just- um I don’t get to talk about her much. Partly because I sometimes just can’t and partly because my parents are still a wreck over losing her. Rightfully so. They rented an RV and just took off to go explore the world on their own terms. I just think they can’t seem to allow themselves a minute to sit still. Because that’s when the pain hurts the worst. In the quiet day to day. The days she should have been a part of,” I choke out as my voice knots in my throat, my hand wiping away a fallen tear. 

“No, I get it. It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on 5 years since we lost her.”

“Yea I know, even with the passing of time, the wound is still fresh. In a way I think it always will be.”

“For me too,” he says, his eyes falling to the floor.

I don’t know what it is. I haven’t seen Matthew in almost 5 years. I think after losing Amelia we all sort of looked inward to deal with it. Everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way, I guess. I certainly had my own way, that’s for sure. But even though it’s been a while I feel this overwhelming sense of familiarity. Déjà vu… or something.

We stand there silent for a few minutes. Stillness creeping in.

“Hey well listen, I have a meeting to get to… but it was great to see you. Let’s grab dinner soon, and really catch up?” he says breaking the silence.

“Um yea….of course. I’d like that.”

“Great, I’ll call you. Same number?”

“Yea.”

“Ok cool…we’ll talk soon.”

“Definitely,” I say as we part ways.

What a blast from the past I think as I push the door open to my favorite nearby café. Stepping up to the counter, I smile asking the barista for a small iced pumpkin coffee.

“Sure thing,” she says with a smile as she grabs a cup.

I pay the woman and turn to see if my favorite table is free. My eyes meet Greg’s who smirks giving me an awkward wave.

Time to face the music I guess.

“Hey,” I say with a weird smile.

“Hey,” he says almost sheepishly.

“May I?” I ask gesturing to the empty chair beside him.

“Of course,” he says pointing.

As we both sit there awkwardly sipping on our coffees, I hate feeling like we’re strangers.

Finally I break the silent tension by saying, “So you’ve got the day off today?”

“No, I’m on the night shift from now on.” He says

“Ah,” I say nodding.

“What about you…slow day at the shop?” he asks.

The shop Greg is referring to is my auto body shop. It was originally my dad’s. I spent so many days of my childhood there, I took a liking to cars and auto parts. So much so that I studied engineering and auto mechanics in college. When my mom and dad took off to explore, I took over the business. It comforts me once in a while, to have a place where I am able to fix things.

“Um…no not exactly. I just um…needed a day.” I say shrugging.

“Yea I can imagine…it must get exhausting chasing after serial killers at all hours of the night,” he says his voice barely above a whisper as he leans toward me.

“God. I knew you wouldn’t let this go,” I say huffing as I sit back in my seat, creating a safe space between us.

“What do you expect, Nev. I can’t just sit back and let you literally step into the line of fire…night after night. Taking it upon yourself to right everybody’s wrongs.”

“Why not? Isn’t that what you do?” I say angrily as I raise an eyebrow at him.

“Yea… but I’m a trained professional Nev.”

“Oh please… you’re always saying how most of the cops at the station could afford to be a little more diligent. This guy has been haunting this city for nearly a month and what does the NYPD have to show for their little investigation…a few blurry images and some random sightings.”

“Wow…good to know what you think about my work.” He says huffing and looking away.

“It’s not a personal attack Gavin, I know you’re a good cop.”

“Then trust me to do my job,” he says looking at me with pleading eyes.

“You and I both know why this hits home for me…” I say glaring at him, my eyes starting to fill. Today sucks.

“I know…hey…I know,” he says taking my hand in his, as he laces his fingers through mine. He brings the back of my hand to his lips, placing a sweet kiss on it.

I guess being best friends with Gavin all these years, I didn’t realize how often he did this. It was almost like second nature to me. But this time, I felt a spark and a tightness in my stomach. And suddenly, I realized, something big was about to happen. A change I never ever knew would work its way into existence.

I pull my hand away gently, Gavin noticing, he coughs, nervously as he sits back in his seat.

“5 years…and now he’s back. I cannot let him kill any more women like he killed my sister.” I say trying to keep from fully falling apart in front of him.

“Nev, we don’t know for sure that this is the same guy.” Greg says his voice kind.

“Are you kidding me Greg? Open your damn eyes. Of course it’s him. But you know what I honestly don’t care who it is. I just want him taken care of. The police force did a nice job of covering Amelia’s death. Claiming she was just drunk and crashed her car. When you and I both know that bastard killed her, and then drove her car into a river.”

“Nev, look I get that this is hard for you. I was there for it all. I was with you. And I know her anniversary is coming up and this is all a lot. I just think you need to take some time to yourself. Allow yourself a minute to breathe. And just let me take care of this. When I joined the police force I swore to you that I would do everything in my power to help find out what really happened to Amelia. And I will. But I just need to play this the right way. If what you and I suspect is true. That her death was manipulated, than that means someone was working from the inside. And that person has a motive, a link that connected him or her to Amelia. To you. To your family. That’s why I play so close to the rules, because I won’t be suspected of digging into old files and getting to the real truth. We’re playing the long game here, Nev. I just need some time. And I need you to trust me.”

I look up at him sighing loudly. I take his hand in mine, “Greg, I do trust you. More than you know. Which is difficult for me to even admit, considering everything my family has lost. But as much as I love and trust you, these girls…they don’t have time. He’s picking women off left and right, every night. In a pattern. If you noticed.”

“Dark hair, dark eyes, tan complexion. Yea I’ve noticed.” He says his eyes meeting mine.

“I have to do something. This time I HAVE to do something. Because I didn’t get to help Amelia. I failed her. And I carry the weight of that with me, every day.”

“Hey…none of this. Is your fault.”

I turn away from him.

“Hey…none of it. You hear me,” he says pulling me in closer as our foreheads touch.

He is my safe space. He always has been. Even if I don’t say it often. Even though I know I can stand on my own. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to.

I breathe in a shaky breath, my mind starting to fog. My heart dancing in my chest. I’m completely confused by this sudden overwhelming feeling of wanting to just pull him in and kiss him.

But I don’t. And we sit there, in silence. Holding onto each other for what feels like forever.

“Hey…I want you to know I hear you. I hear everything you’re saying ok? And I promise you, I will get to the bottom of this.” He says starring up at me. “After all, why do you think I asked to be on the night shift?” he says with a smirk.

I smile as I blink my tears fall down my cheeks. Greg wipes them away with his thumb and I lean in placing a sweet kiss on his lips. He stills for a minute and then kisses me back and I suddenly realize what I’ve done. I, Nevina Luna think I may or may not be in love with my best friend. And the scariest part of it all is… I didn’t see this coming.

Nev & Greg.
[my fan art dream casting manipulation]

Oh well, this should be interesting.

TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Saturday!

-<3-

Black Nightingale- Chapter 4- Hidden Feelings

Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back

Due to violence, language and some sexual content.

Chapter 4: Hidden Feelings

“Help! Help me!” I scream aloud. I could easily finish him off. But then he wouldn’t be brought to justice. This…this can easily be deemed self-defense. I could hear some nearby sirens. Why this city hasn’t been under total surveillance since these attacks started, is beyond me. Yet another fail on our law enforcement’s part. Protect and serve, my ass.

“Help me, over here, please!” I say waving my hands and running out into the street. I see the gleaming lights of a cop car.

The car comes to a speeding halt, blue and red lights swirling. The siren shuts as the car doors whip open.

“Luna? Is that you? What the hell happened? Are you ok?” Greg says rushing from the car. He and his partner run over. Ok to be clear….Greg is one of the good cops. And yes, I do believe in good cops. There are a lot of them. But there are also a lot of bad cops too. And those are the ones you have to watch out for. The ones that turn a blind eye to everyday crime. If Greg was in charge the world would be a safer place for women and for all.

“Oh my god, Greg, thank God it’s you! I was coming back from a party, and I heard screaming so I went to go see if I could help. It was the Black Hawk. He tried to…he tried to kill me,” I say as I fall into his arms. Greg wraps his arms around me tightly. Tenderly. Even in my fake hysteria he was a source of comfort. After all, I mean I did just stab a man. The adrenaline is real.

“Oh my god, Nev,” Greg says his eyes glued to me. Fear etched across his face.

“Greg, Greg…I…I stabbed him,” I say shakily, The Black Hawk’s blood all over my hands. “He lunged at me with that creepy rake tool and I just stabbed him. I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do.” My eyes welling up with tears, my body trembling. Gasps for breath. Thank you Professor Julie James for the college acting lessons. They paid off.

“Hey it’s ok. You’re ok. Where is he now?” Greg asks worried as his partner follows my gaze rushing toward the darkened alley way.

“Ok, Nev, stay here. Stay in the car, lock the doors. I’m gonna call for back up and head into the alley way.”

“What? You must be crazy! I’m not staying here alone. I’m coming with you,” I say as he gives me an angry glare.

I give him a glare right back. I’ll be damned if I sit back and wait.

He sighs, “Fine, but just stay behind me,” he says as he walks towards the alley, his flashlight and gun raised out in front of him.

“Gavin, over here,” his Partner calls.

Rushing over, all we see is a pool of blood where The Black Hawk once was.

“What? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I say anger laced through my voice.

Gregory looks over at me, obviously confused.

He raises his walkie talkie, “This is officer Gavin, requesting back up to the alley way just off of Cloak Street and 6th Ave. We’ve had another Black Hawk attack. Victim was able to get away. But the Black Hawk is hindered with a stab wound, most likely on foot and armed.”

“Back up on its way,” the voice on the other end croaks.

“Let’s skim the avenue, see if we can track him. With that pool of blood, he’s gotta be leaving a trail,” Greg says.

***

Greg walks Nevina to her apartment door. His uniform jacket draped over her shoulders. He looks at her. His hands cupping her face, tenderly. His dark chocolate brown eyes deep with concern.

“Nev, are you sure you’re ok? I really wish you would have let me take you to the hospital to get checked out.”

“I’m okay. Greg. Really. He didn’t get to hurt me.”

“Swear to me?” he says looking at her.

“Pinky swear,” she says with a meek smile as she holds her pinky up. He smirks, wrapping his pinky around hers, and leaning in he kisses her hand, closing his eyes.

Don’t worry friends, the first thing I did when I got to the station was rid myself of that asshole’s disgusting toxic blood. I could tell the events of the night were weighing on him. I’ve always thought Greg was a softie. A heart too pure to deal with criminals on a daily basis. But that’s what makes him a good, and trustworthy cop. He cares. And in that kiss of my hand, I felt his fear. For me. I wish I could tell him not to worry. That I would be fine. That I’m the Black Nightingale. He doesn’t know about the prey that hunts back, but something tells me, he will. Soon. Especially after tonight’s events.

Greg sighs as he pulls Nevina into a hug. She lets out a sigh of relief, she hadn’t realized she was holding. Her arms wrap around him. He kisses the top of her head, breathing in her scent.

“Do you want me to stay with you tonight?” he asks.

“I think, I’ll be fine Greg, really. I mean your right next door too, if anything.”

“Nev…I get that you can take care of yourself, but this guy is still out there. And now he knows your face. I just…if he comes seeking his revenge, I don’t want you just at his will.”

“I am nor will I ever be…at his will,” I say pulling away from him.

“Nev, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that, this guy is a serial killer. He’s killed 6 women already. I just- I just want to make sure you’re safe. There’s strength in numbers, right?”

“I guess you’re right,” I say rolling my eyes and unlocking my apartment door, I step to the side, nodding for him to come in.

He smiles, “Thanks for humoring me, Luna,” he says with a smirk as he leans in placing a sweet kiss on my temple.

A lot of women might mistake this type of male affection as one of the romantic nature. But not me. With Greg, he’s been in my life forever. I’ve lived next door to him my whole life. Went to all the same schools, even college. Which is odd for best friends. And when we both got our own places we lucked out and found two in the same building. This man has seen me in braces, and head gear and all the other odd phases in between. Gregory Gavin is in no way attracted to Nevina Luna. Sure he’s good looking in the tall, dark and handsome kind of way. But I guess knowing him for so long, I’ve just never felt that way about him. We’re just friends, and I love him for it. Sure, we may flirt occasionally, but I assure you it’s all in good fun. It’s ironic, like we’re poking fun at the fact that people think that a man and a woman can’t be friends without there being some underlying hint of sexual attraction. Grow up people. If anything Greg sees me as his old childhood buddy.

I toss Greg’s police jacket on my couch as I click on the TV.

“I’m just gonna go take a shower, wash this day off me,” I say with a laugh.

“Yea of course,” he nods, “I’ll be here,” he says with a sweet smirk.

“K, uh, help yourself to a beer, or glass of wine. I have left over Chinese too,” I say pointing to the fridge.

“Oh bless your soul, I’m starving,” he says nodding.

“Go for it,” I say with a laugh, “I’ll be quick,” I say walking into my bathroom.

I turn on the shower, as I wait for it to warm up, I set to undressing.

“Hey do you want me to heat you up food too?” I hear Greg call as I step in the shower, “Yes please! I’m starving,” I call out as the water falls over my skin. Allowing it to relax my tense muscles.

Little did Nevina know, Greg had caught a glimpse of her undressing as he turned his head to ask her about the food. The incident instantly made him blush, as he turned away quickly. A smile finding its way on his face.

A few minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom, having scrubbed my entire body 5 times over. I was clean and refreshed and dressed in the coziest pajamas and fuzzy socks.

Greg had set up two trays, in front of the TV and a buffet of Chinese food.

“Ugh, thank you. You rock,” I say as he hands me a beer.

 He smirks at me and plops down on the couch.

“Did you wanna take a shower too,” I ask.

“Um is that your way of telling me I reek?” he asks.

“Well, I mean…I did get Black Hawk blood all over you, so…” I say pointing to his shirt.

“Oh, shit, that’s right.” he says grossed out. “Sorry I didn’t even realize. I’m so damn exhausted.”

“I mean I’m just worried for you, you can shower tomorrow. Maybe just at least change your clothes. I should still have some of your clothes here from when your washing machine koncked out and you did your laundry here last week.” I say standing up.

“Oh that’d be so awesome,” he says standing up and following me.

“Here,” I say reaching into the bottom of my closet and tossing him some clothes. “You change, I’ll grab pillows and blankets for you.”

***

Greg and I sit, indulging in leftover Chinese takeout and beers. The news flashing a Special Report.

Both mine and Greg’s eyes meet. Curiosity peeking. I grab the remote, clicking the volume higher.

The newscaster is on the scene, near the alley way where the events took place.

Standing next to him is the young brunette girl that I had stumbled across earlier before my dance with darkness.

“I am here with this young woman who just had a brush with the killer himself. Miss what can you tell us about this man who has been terrorizing the New York City streets? ”

The woman is clearly exhausted, her eyes puffy and red, her body language one of fear and confusion.

“I…I was on my way home from work, I had to stay at the office late to finish up a project. I couldn’t get a cab this late at night so I was on my way to walking toward the train station. I wanted to get there quick so I took a short cut through the alley on the corner on Cloak Street and 6th Avenue. And that’s when I saw him. I just ran. And by chance I ran into this woman. She was so calm, confident. Like she knew what she was doing. Looking for him. It was odd. But she had this black bird-like mask on. Like a Nightingale or some kind of bird. She had this black leather, feathery outfit on. I don’t know maybe she was coming from a Halloween themed event or something. The city is always crawling with creatures this time of year. After we bumped into each other, she asked me where the Black Hawk was. At first I thought maybe she was an accomplice. But she said, she was a friend to women. And then she set off in the direction of the Black Hawk. I just ran. I was so scared. I feel so bad. I don’t know what else happened after that. But I knew I had to call the police. I hope the woman is okay. She saved my life.”

Uh oh. Shit. I think to myself. Here we go.

Greg looks at me. His eyes narrowing at me. His brow scrunching.

“Nev?” he says calmly.

I shut the tv off.

“Well, it’s getting late. I am exhausted. I think I’m gonna hit the hay. Night Gavin.” I say getting up and heading toward my bedroom.

“Nevina?” he says standing up from the couch his voice low. Stern. We usually call each other by nick names or by our last names. It’s something we’ve done since we were kids. When he says my full first name. I know something is up.

I turn slowly toward him.

“Where were you coming from tonight?” he asks.

“I went to a Halloween party.” I say shrugging.

“Who’s Halloween party?” he says poking around. His hands on his hips.

“A friend from work.” I say calmly. My eyes shifting to the side. Damn it, why is it so hard to lie to him.

“And you chose to walk home, alone, at midnight, through a dark alley?”

 “Actually I was just waiting for my uber and then shit hit the fan. What’s with the third degree Greg?”

“That’s funny. An uber never showed up tonight.” He says his gaze turning into a puzzled glare.

“Well, considering I was fighting for my life, it probably came and went.” I say with a matter of fact tone.

“You’re the one, that woman is describing. You’re The Black Nightingale aren’t u?” He says.

“Greg as much as I would love to take the credit for helping that woman. She and I didn’t even cross paths.”

“And how else would you explain her spot on description of you?”

“A woman in all black on a night near Halloween….your right, so out of the ordinary,” I say laughing. “Besides she was traumatized she probably didn’t even know what she was saying.”

“You know Nev, I know you. And I saw what you had on tonight. It’s not something you would normally wear.”

“Yea. Hence….the Halloween Party.”

“And if not the Black Nightingale, what were you supposed to be dressed up as?”

“A sexy cat. Duh? I had taken my cat years off for a bit at the party, I must have Ieft them there.” I say touching my head in an attempt to check for them.

“Come on Nevina. Don’t lie to me. You come home at all hours. You’re always level 10 tired in the mornings. We’ve gotten a few reports from men about this Black Nightingale haunting the city streets. There has been a few blurry images of her that we were able to pull from neighboring cameras. Blurry or not, I’d know those legs anywhere. Besides you leave a trail of black feathers everywhere you go,” he says pulling a few from his jacket pocket and letting them fall gracefully to the floor landing at my feet.

“Ok then…arrest me,” I say holding out my wrists.

“Nev…” he says glaring at me.

“Don’t Nev me Greg, ok? If you are so sure that I’m The Black Nightingale. That I’ve been as you say- harassing men, then arrest me,” I say moving closer to him.

“I don’t want to,” he says his eyes burning into mine.

“But you have to, I mean your Mr. Perfect Policeman, right? You like to play by all the rules.”

Greg stares at me…a look I have never quite seen before.

“What are you waiting for?” for I say glaring up at him. Some type of tension hanging thick in the air. Our faces just inches apart. Greg sucks in a sharp breath. His eyes looking at me tenderly. I see something new in this flicker. A hidden secret perhaps? What is this newness? An odd feeling boiling in the pit of my stomach. I can’t tell if it frightens me or if I kinda like it.

Without thinking, Gregory grabs me and kisses me, his arms wrapping around my waist tightly.

I push him away instinctively, “What the hell was that?” I say confused wiping my lips.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Greg says turning away and running his hand over his face.

“Greg…what was that?”

“I don’t know, I’m sorry.”

“You do know.”

“Nev…It’s just…I’ve…I’ve been in love with you for… a really long time.”

“You’re kidding?” I say dumbfounded, stepping back, in shock, my knees threatening to give out.

“No. Not kidding.” He says his tone lacking any trace of humor.

“How? Wh- When?” I stammer.

“All this flirting back and forth all these years and the fact that the thought never crossed your mind, is a telling sign. You obviously don’t feel the same, and I understand. I’ll just go.”

“No hey…Officer Gavin can you just slow your roll. This is all a lot. Ok can you just give me a second to process?”

Greg looks at her.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I guess I just never let my mind go there, ya know because we’re such good friends.”

“Look let’s just forget this ever happened.”

“Even the fact that you think I’m the Black Nightingale?”

“All of it,” he says “Good night Nev. Be. Careful,” he says looking at me with worry and a protective glare.

“I will, you don’t have to worry about me,” I say.

“I always do. Always will. You call me….if you need anything ok?”

“Thank you Greg,” I say with a small smile as he leaves.


TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Friday!

-<3-


Black Nightingale- Chapter 3- Flirting With Murder

Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back

Due to violence, language and some sexual content.

Chapter 3: Flirting with Murder

Nevina’s Narration:

It’s happening again. He’s back. Somehow. And this time, it’s different. Because I’ve been waiting. I’ve been preparing. My gym sessions with Greg, boxing classes, karate classes, boot camp workouts, combat training, you name it. I’ve done it. And it all started with one self-defense class. My night hustle has been part of my training too. How many men can I leave petrified? I’ve lost count. Although I guess you could say that cat calling men are not as much of a risk as a full on murderer. But then again, NO man should ever tower over you, making you feel inferior. The Black Hawk may be back. But, this time, he’s not the only bird in town. He has no idea who he’s messing with. For every woman I save…the nights can rest a little easier. And soon enough he will be right where he belongs, on death row or in the ground. It’s up to me to right this wrong. To give all the women whose lives he stole, some justice. To save others from his preying eyes. His deathly stare and his rake of death. I will not rest until he is gone. For good. Ladies…it’s time we take back our nights. Our walks. Our jogs. Our freedom. You know what they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

Nevina puts on her black leather costume. She shuts off the news report on the television that is describing another brutal murder. She carefully sneaks down her building fire escape, like a thief in the night. Like so many nights before. Her quest to find her prey- The Black Hawk.

Nevina’s spiked black heels crushing leaves as she walks, the full moon shining down upon her. Her head held high.

“Ahhh, ahhhhh!!! Help! Someone help me!” She hears a female shrieking. She picks up her pace rushing toward the direction of the screams.

Suddenly I see a young brunette girl, with olive complexion and brown eyes, rushing past me, clutching her chest in fear. “Run, Run, he’s coming, The Black Hawk, I saw him!” she screams and then stills as she seems me.

“Wait…who…who are you?” she says backing away, her eyes shifting all around. “Are you his partner, or something…” she says stepping back nervously.

“No. I’m a friend. To all women. Go. Run. Find a safe place. I’ll take care of this. I say reaching into my pocket, I pull out a black hair comb, with a flick of my wrist it turns into a knife. Clever right?

The young brunette girl looks on stunned as she rushes off. I don’t blame her. It’s hard to trust anyone these days.

The news has reported that The Black Hawk’s murdered 6 women so far. The police have no leads. And his recipe seems, pretty slasher standard. Stalk women at night in dark, secluded places. Each attack he makes more violent and gory than the last. Rake through the face was just the beginning for him. He’s hunting women like prey.

Rounding the corner I see him, walking through a dark alley. Calm. Cool. Collected. In that smug designer suit. Who the fuck wears a fedora anymore? His eyes haven’t met mine yet. He hasn’t spotted me. So I have an advantage. He looks rather… disappointed. Almost as if he, failed his mission to slay yet another woman. I duck behind some tall trees, removing my mask, I toss it to the side. It’s show time.

* “Murder” by Justin Timberlake begins to play*

PLAY SONG

I tuck away my knife beneath the sleeve of my leather jacket. Fluffing my hair, and adjusting my cleavage, I exit from behind the trees and bushes. Making sure my heels click, and my hips sway. After all, brunettes, olive complexion, brown eyes. Hmm, seems I’m just his type.

I see him. He stills. Turns. His eyes lock on me. The Hawk Mask is creepy. One of nature’s dark predators. Clever. I’ll give him credit. But a fucking mini garden tool. Give me a break.

He begins walking toward me, with swift, long strides. His weapon glistening in his hand.

My eyes dark. Focused on him. He freezes, suddenly confused. I begin walking toward him. My tanned legs glistening with oil.

Even in his mask, I can see his head move, looking me up and down.

“Oh, hey there. Oh am I supposed to go running and screaming or something?” I say coyly. Flirting with murder.

He nods, silently.

“Oh, but, I can’t run in these shoes, baby.” I say walking up to him, I touch his chest my fingers dancing up toward his neck, straightening his tie. “It’s a shame, I think you and I could have a lot of fun.” I say, my tongue sliding across my teeth, as I bite my lower lip.

See, I know I’m playing with fire here. But this misogynistic asshole seems intrigued. Sure he wants to kill me. But I can also sense his attraction. His eyes watching me as I circle around him. My hands sliding along his shoulders. Taunting him. He likes the chase, but this is somehow keeping his attention. Reverse psychology for the win. Ew, he’s probably one of those gross guys who likes role play.

He grabs my wrist swiftly.

“Someone likes to play rough, huh?” I say playing the part. Ugh why were 90’s slasher girls always so overly sexualized. I mean really come on.

Black Hawk, nods. I hear him, suck in a breath. He’s enjoying this. Freak. I bite my lower lip, looking up at him.

“You like taking control of women.” I say unbuttoning is suit jacket, sliding my hands up his chest. He stills. His heart beating, no pounding against his chest. He tightens his grip on my wrist, tucking his weapon away. My knife safely tucked away and velcroed to my other wrist. His hands grip my hips. As they slide across my silk slip dress, cupping my butt. His body pressed against mine. Gross. He’s liking this.

“Huh, well, do you wanna play a game?” I say, leaning into him, his neck slightly exposed. Taking it a step further, I place a dark black lip stain on his neck. He cocks his head back, and let’s out a groan.

“You like that, Black Hawk?” I whisper in his ear.

He nods, his touch becoming more intense. His grip harder, tighter. More aggressive.

“Hmm, great.” I say as I loosen his tie, unbuttoning some buttons on his collar. I place a few kisses along his neck and collar bone.

Using my feminine wiles to take notice of anything that could be a key feature. He smells like cigars and after shave. His body frame is fit, minimal chest hair, and from what I can tell, he has a tattoo over his heart. He grabs my hand before I get to fully read it.

“Off limits?” I say pouting.

He nods. Still silent. But I still can feel his heart pounding.

“You get off on feeling in control of women, right? You like playing God. Deciding which of us gets to live. Which get to die?” I say my flirting is on point. I have to say ya girl is SLAYING this interaction.

He nods. His hands sliding up my dress.

“Wait. Baby wait.” I say pulling away, pushing him gently. Pulling my dress down. Trying to cover up.

He stills, I feel his anger. He doesn’t like being led on, or told no.

“Oh no, have I upset you?”

He nods.

“I didn’t mean to. I just. Ya know. I know I came on strong. But maybe we can just slow it down a bit.”

He shakes his head no.

“But I said no.”

“No one, says no, to me” he says finally uttering his first words. His voice deep, husky and without any trace of sympathy.

“Well, it’s not a no, it’s a not right now. We just met, maybe we just need to take it one step at a time.” I say pretending to stumble over my own feet as I back away.

He shakes his head no.

“Are you going to kill me now?” I say fearfully.

He nods yes, silently. Back to the silent treatment.

“Ok. Ok, wait…we were doing so well. Let’s play a game first. You like to play games right?” I say as I continue to back away from him.

He slowly follows. His glare, dark, evil. And oddly enough, kind of familiar. Could this be someone I’ve met before? In passing. Or if slasher film history would have it, could this be someone that I actually know?

He nods. Calmly as he advances. He reaches for his weapon once again.

“Ok, let’s play, a game.” I say my voice appearing shaky.

This could easily get out of control. But I remain focused. On course. My mission set in stone. He reaches me. Standing before me, he raises his rake, and I swiftly pull out my hair comb knife and stab him in the stomach before he could stab me.

“Now how about you run, and I chase you?” I say staring into his dark eyes as he falls to his knees, groaning. His rake falling to the floor.

TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Thursday!

-<3-

Black Nightingale- Chapter 2- She Lies In Wait

Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back

Chapter 2: She Lies In Wait

Nevina’s Narration:

My heeled boots click clack on the concrete floor. It’s a comforting sound. Silver spikes up the back of the heel. My long legs exposed to the fall chill. A black short slinky satin slip dress, paired with a faux leather jacket with black feathers dancing along the lapel. For accessories I pair it with a pair of leather fingerless gloves donned with silver spikes, and dark black midnight lipstick. Who says you can’t look fashionable while hunting. Am I right? The final touch. The mask. Black. Bird-like. A Black Nightingale. The prey that hunts back.


Strutting about the New York City streets like I own it, you think men would take a hint. With a get up like this, it should scream fuck off. And yet they don’t. Far from it.

I still. Feeling his eyes on me. His hands just minutes away from touching my body. “Hey girl….you uh wanna need a reason to reapply that lipstick?” He slaps my ass forcefully. And I laugh to myself because well honey… he just doesn’t quite know who he’s messing with. One swift turn and kick. Right in the crotch.

“Ughhh…ahhhhh…oh fuck, girl what the hell is wrong with you?” he grunts, doubling over in pain.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You looked like you were asking for it.” I say as my knee retracts from his special place. Going around talking to women like that something tells me it’s not that special.

“Let me let you in on a little secret” I say as I lean into his ear, my voice holding a breathy whisper as I pull what can be easily mistaken for a tube of lipstick from my jacket pocket, pop the cap off and a silver shine emerges from the blade. I hold it flush against his chin, “You know what they say about The Nightingale, how it sings beautiful songs. This is me singing. For all women. The nights…they belong to us now. Be a dear and spread the word to all your pervy little friends, would you?”

Straightening my posture like the classy lady that I am, I saunter away leaving him rolling in pain and let’s be honest… fear. I know to some it may seem like overkill. An overreaction to a minor discretion. A cat call. Slip of the hand. I mean I should take his interest as a compliment. Flattery. Sense the sarcasm? The way women are treated as they walk the night is a load of bullshit. And anyone who tells you different well, they are just imbeciles. You don’t know how fucking fed up I am. Or maybe you’re starting to. Put your hands on a woman unwarranted and I will ruin you.

*Black Nightingale.* Credit

A series of images, pasted on a cork board. A map of New York City. Red X’s marking what could only be seen as hot spots. Dark Alleys, Train Stations, Parks, Jogging Trails. Nevina’s slender hand places her Black Nightingale mask on a nearby end table as she tosses her weapons down too. She lets out a sigh.

“It’s been a long night,” she says flopping down on her couch, and lifting her legs onto her coffee table. She clicks on her TV.

A newscast humming in the background of the dimly lit room.

“Just this morning an early jogger phoned in what she could only comment on as a gruesome attack. A young unidentified woman was found dead in Harrison Park. There are no concrete suspects at this time, but the NYPD did pull some neighboring camera footage and we see a man in a mask walking away. Officers are on the scene and working to bring whoever did this to justice.”

Nevina sits up, she raises the volume. Her eyes transfixed on the TV.

“He’s back…,” she says to herself. “The Black Hawk, he’s back.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Wednesday!

-<3-

Black Nightingale- Chapter 1- The New Threat

Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back

Chapter 1- The New Threat

Present Day

Midnight. Rolling fog. Slight precipitation in the air. A light fall breeze. A young brunette woman, with olive skin and brown eyes is walking in the middle of a New York City park, heading home. The lamp posts, casting a halo like glow around itself in the fog.

Her outfit- rather modest. With the exception of some classy cleavage. Suddenly she feels an eerie gust of wind that stops her in her tracks. She shivers, pulling her jacket closed. She glances behind her…nothing out of the ordinary. She turns and is met with a sleek black suited gentleman in a bird- like mask.

“You scared me. Cool costume. But it’s a little early for Halloween, isn’t it?” she says with a laugh, as she starts to walk past him.

His gloved hand stops her, his fingers clasping her wrist tightly.

“Hey, let me go,” she says pulling her arm, trying to break free.

He pulls out a small garden tool. His head tilting to the side, ever so slightly. Silent. Controlled movements. Dark eyes. He slides the small rake teethed tool down her neck meeting her cleavage.

“Get your hands off me,” she says… “What are you gonna do…rake me to death? … Fall Basic Asshole, I bet you sip on pumpkin spice lattes in your spare time. Whatever this is, it’s not sexy. Its creepy.” she says pulling her wrist free, she walks away in a huff. Her footsteps quick.

She turns back one more time and he’s somehow vanished. Gone. She sighs, relieved. Turning to go on her merry way, she’s met with his masked face yet again, starring back at her,

“What the hell do you want from me Wall Street?” she says annoyed, her fear now really starting to kick in.

He brings his weapon swiftly through her chin, the small rake splitting through her face. Her eyes bulging out of her head. The dark red blood gushing out as she falls to the cold, wet ground. Kneeling down, the masked man pulls the weapon from her head, as it makes a violent thrashing, sticky sound.

He stands towering over his victim. Cocking his head to the side, ever so slightly. Like a predator hovering over his nightly prey.

He takes a silk brown handkerchief from his suit pocket and wipes his rake weapon clean, tossing it in the blood pooling near the young woman’s lifeless body. Securing it away, he straightens his tie and fixes his collar as he calmly walks away. Back into the night. No one around to witness his violent crime.

* “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy begins to play.*

PLAY SONG

Nevina Luna and her neighbor Gregory “Greg” Gavin take turns knocking around a punching bag at their local gym.

“You’ve got it all wrong Luna…I Know What You Did Last Summer is such a better slasher film than Scream.”

“What?” Nevina says gasping as she kicks the punching bag he’s holding, he moves his face out of the way just in time.

“Ghost face really? He’s not scary. Now a guy with a hook for a hand. That’s creepy!”

“Oh ghost face is so creepy. I mean he’s not. But he is. I just think it’s the lurking and the stalking and the idea that he’s masked that creeps people out. That’s what does it for me, at least.” She shrugs as they move to the boxing ring.

Nevina comes at him with a right hook and Greg ducks blocking his face with his boxing gloves.

“Damn it, Luna. You’ve got one hell of a right hook.” He chuckles as he steps back.

She laughs. “You bet your ass I do,” she says as she throws him a sly smirk.

He looks at her. An uncertain look in his eye.

“What?” She says.

“Nothing,” Greg says looking away.

“Gavin what?” She laughs punching him in the shoulder playfully.

“You just…you have really pretty eyes, Luna.” He says seriously.

“Why Gregory Gavin are you flirting with your neighbor/best friend since forever?” she says dramatically.

“Now would I do that? What kind of man do you think I am?” He says laughing.

They share a laugh. “Come on I’m just messing with you, let’s go get some tacos. I’m buying,” Nevina says sauntering away.” Greg rolls his eyes at her as they follow her, with a longing look. A sweet smile on his lips.

“Hey are we still doing movie night tonight?” he asks.

“Yes for sure. You pick the horror film, I’ll bring the candy?”

“Deal,” Greg says smiling.

“But I do have an early morning so can we make it an early showing.” She says smiling at him as she bats her eyelashes at him jokingly.

“Yea, sure. Luna where are you always going?” he says puzzled as they head out of the gym doors and onto the sidewalk.

“Places to go, people to see, my friend,” she says smirking at him.

TO BE CONTINUED…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Tuesday!

-<3-

Black Nightingale-Dreamcasting

Characters:

Nevina Luna” Dream casting- Jeanine Mason

“Amelia Luna” Dream casting- Gina Rodriguez

“Gregory Gavin” Dream casting- Regé-Jean Page

“Matthew Clyde” Dream casting- Michael Ealy

“Sindy Drake” Dream casting- Neve Campbell

A spooky season short story COMING SOON to michelle leigh writes!!!!

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

For daily updates on this project follow me on instagram @michelleleighwritesvibes

Happy Monday!

-<3-

CRAZY STALKER LOVE – Chapter 19

*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 18 HERE

FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE!

Hunter walks into the hall of the hospital as Henley paces back and forth.

“Hey how is Leo?” she says nervously.

“He’s gonna be ok, just a little bump on the head and thankfully the bullet went clean through his shoulder so they are just bandaging him up.”

Henley nods, “Oh Thank god!”

“Hey, are you ok? That was all a lot to handle,” he says looking her over.

“Yea, I’m ok, all things considered.”

“I want the doctor to check you out too.” Hunter says stroking her arms in an attempt to comfort her.

“Yea that’s probably a good idea.” Henley says smiling slightly.

Leo comes walking out of the exam room, a bandage on his head and on his shoulder.

“Oh my god Leo, I’m so sorry!” Henley says rushing over.

“Hey…none of this is your fault,” Leo says shaking his head.

“Are you ok?” she asks.

“Yea, I’ll be fine. I’ve recovered from worse,” he chuckles.

“Leo, I can’t thank you enough. You and Hunter both saved my life,” she says looking from Leo to Hunter.

“Hey you held your own too, you should feel proud.” Leo says with a grin.

“I don’t know if proud is the right word. I just can’t stop thinking about the fact that because of me, someone is dead.” she says her eyes glazing over as she drifts off into a daze.

“Hey…you were acting in self defense. You did NOTHING wrong. You hear me,” Hunter says cupping her face as he wills her to look into his eyes.

“I’m going to go see if the Doctor is ready for you Henley.” Leo says giving the two a moment.

“Hey, look at me. I know that is hard to handle. It’s not in our DNA to kill. Or want to kill. But you have to know, that it was either going to be him or me.”

“Oh god, Hunter I can’t even think about that,” she says cupping his face.

“Well, it’s true. I didn’t have a weapon to defend myself. You saved me too. But I know it’s heavy. You have a good heart. And it will probably weigh on you at times. So when it becomes too much, I need you to come talk to me.”

Henley nods.

“Hey, the doctor is ready for you,” Leo says with a small smile.

***

“I’m so glad your ok,” Hunter says hugging Henley.

“Yea me too,” Leo says smiling.

“I’m going to just radio the station to get an update. You guys need a ride?”

“Yea man that’d be great.” Hunter says smiling his thanks.

“And Leo, thank you…for everything.” Hunter says.

Leo nods and smiles as he holds out a fist bump to Hunter.

“Hey…can we talk for a minute?” Henley says turning to Hunter as Leo heads outside to make a call.

“Of course,” he says tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.

“It’s about what Blake said…”

“You have to know I didn’t believe a word that psycho said,” he says grabbing her by the shoulders gently to calm her.

“I don’t know how he knew, but…” she says her eyes watering as she looks up at Hunter.

“What are you talking about?” Hunter says confusion setting in.

“Can we go somewhere else, please.” she says looking around as people pass by.

“Yea, come in here,” he says taking her hand and leading her into an empty waiting room.

“What are you talking about? What did Blake know?”

Henley’s tears begin to fall as Hunter’s heart beat quickens, his mind a worry haze.

She reaches out, cupping his face, she kisses him.

Hunter looks down at her confused, “What was that for?” he asks his heart beat quickening as his eyes fixate on her lips.

“I just wanted to do that one last time, before you hate me forever.”

“Ok, now you’re really starting to scare me, Hen. I could never hate you.  You know that. Please just tell me, what’s going on.”

“Look, before I tell you this, you have to know, I never meant to hurt you. Everything happened at once and you were away and I just I-“

“Ok Henley, you’re not really making any sense here, just talk to me,” he says taking her hands in his.

“About a month after you were checked into rehab, I found out that I was pregnant,” she says looking up at him through tearful eyes.

Hunter stills, as his eyes focus on her.

“What?” he says as if the wind had been knocked out of him.

“I was so scared and still so young and for a fraction of a second I thought about not having it.”

Hunter’s eyes begin to water.

“You weren’t in the right frame of mind to be a father and I was a mess. But I swear to you it was a fraction of a thought, because then I realized that I could never do that. Even though it wasn’t ideal. And we certainly weren’t perfect. I knew I loved you so much and having something good come out of all that we went through could never be a bad thing. Like no matter what, we would always be connected in some profound way. I was fully committed to being a single mother. But…about a month later, I started getting these really bad pains and I started spotting and by the time I got to the hospital, they told me I lost the baby.”

Hunter’s face falls.

“Henley,” he says reaching for her.

“For a really long time I blamed myself. I thought that I did something wrong or maybe that fraction of a thought about not having the baby made it happen. Like it was some kind of punishment.”

“Oh Hen, sweetie it doesn’t work that way.” he says cupping her face as he wipes her fallen tears away with his thumbs.

“Anyway that’s what happened, and I know I should have told you, but the next time I saw you at the rehab center you just, you looked like you were doing so well, and I didn’t want the news to send you into a relapse. I’m so sorry. I never meant to keep it from you for this long or for Blake of all people to be the one to tell you. I still don’t know how he even knew.”

“Who cares how he knew, he was a psycho. But I do really wish, you could have trusted me enough to come to me. Does Piper know?” he asks.

“No. I could never tell her. I knew she wouldn’t be able to keep something like that from you and I couldn’t expect her to. No one aside from my parents knew and well my doctors.”

“I still really wish you would have told me. I get why you did what you did. But I can’t deny the fact that I am upset. Knowing that you were dealing with that all by yourself, it just, uh, I hate it. I feel like once again, Hunter fails Henley.”

“Hey,” she says cupping his face as she looks into his eyes. “This is exactly why I didn’t tell you. Do not blame yourself for this. The doctors said my body just wasn’t ready. I was young. It wasn’t our time. Besides, you…are supposed to be marrying Elena,” she says smiling up at him as she wipes his tear away and brushes his lapels.

“You still don’t get it, even after a day like today?”

“What?” she says looking up at him confused.

Hunter pulls her by her waist as she loses her balance from the sudden jolt of his arm, he steadies her, cupping her face he places a long, passionate kiss on her lips.

Henley’s hands wrap around his waist as she deepens their kiss, their hearts both racing. Hunter slides his hands up into her hair, deepening the kiss with every passing second.

Footsteps approaching, jolt them apart.

“Hey…” Leo pokes his head in. “Everything ok?” he says.

“Yea,” Hunter says clearing his throat and wiping his mouth as Henley stands there frazzled.

Leo smirks slightly, obviously confused, “Ok well, we just need Henley to give her formal statement down at the station, so I pulled the car around.”.

“Ok we’ll be there in a second.” Hunter says nodding.

“Sure,” Leo says walking off.

Henley and Hunter’s eyes lock, as her anxiety kicks in yet again she looks down at her hands.

Hunter looks her over, stepping in her path, blocking her escape route.

“We should probably talk about what just happened, Hen.” he says looking up at her.

“Look, it’s been an emotional day and-“

“Yea, and I realized I could have lost you.” he says gripping her waist.

“You’re marrying Elena. You love her. She loves you. And it’s simple.”

“Simple’s overrated.” he says staring at her.

“Don’t be that guy.”

“What guy?”

“The guy that cheats.”

“Sadly it may be a little late for that.”

“Those kisses were just in the moment. Ok? It doesn’t have to mean anything. Let’s just call it our goodbye,” she says trying to move past him.

Hunter stops her again.

“Henley.” He says staring at her. “I’ve been lying to myself, thinking I could move on from you. You’re the love of my life. And yes I care about Elena and no I do not want to hurt her. When I proposed to her, I meant it, but hearing that you were in trouble it just put everything into laser focus. You are it. And you always have been. And you always will be. And I really need you to get that. Please Henley, because I am so tired of fighting you, and this and us. We’re inevitable and I know that you know it. I know you weren’t happy about me getting married. I know you were going to show up and be supportive, but deep down a part of me was always hoping you’d finally come and tell me how you feel. I know you’re scared. And I know now why that fear is so much more real to you. I know losing our child has probably made a huge impact on why you’ve always kept me at arm’s length. I never understood it. But it makes a lot of sense now. But Henley, we have a chance to really give this thing a shot. One real, last shot. I’m talking all in, no half ass attempts. No walls. No fear. Just give it one more shot. And if it really doesn’t work then I will walk away with no regrets. And you can too,” he says laying it all out on the line.

Henley looks up at him, “And if it does…work?” she asks a small smirk lying on her lips. “I already know it will,” he says smirking as he hugs her lifting her up.

To be continued…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

CRAZY STALKER LOVE – Chapter 8

*Previously on Crazy Stalker Love– Read Chapter 7 HERE

FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE!

Henley fluffs Piper’s dress and fixes her veil as the newly married couple stand posing for pictures in the center of the ballroom. White roses kissing the corners of the room, white lily scented candles in the center of each table. Twinkling fairy lights lining the soft sweeping silk white curtains as people start to flood in taking their seats. The DJ begins to play soft background music. The whole room set a feeling like an enchanted fairy forest. Henley blows Piper a kiss as Piper mouths the words “Thank you,” she smiles brightly her way.

Henley smiles at the love between Piper and Parker. Hunter watches, his eyes always seeming to somehow find her in a crowded room.

A little while later…

“I gotta hand it to you Hen…you really out did yourself with this wedding,” Hunter says walking over to her.

“Thanks,” she says smiling, leaning against the bar. “I really wanted everything to be perfect, they deserve it. They look great out there, don’t they?” she says watching the two newlyweds dancing up a storm.

“Yea they really do…So you ready for your speech?” he asks smiling.

“Uh, yea I guess. You know I’m not super into public speaking, so I’m a little nervous, but- hey,” she says shrugging.

“Oh come on your gonna be fine. You know mostly everyone in this room, and we all love you. There’s no need to be nervous.”

“Yea I guess you’re right,” she says smiling at him as the bartender hands her a glass of water.

Just then Piper hops onto the stage. “Hello hello, I have a bit of an announcement to make, or a request rather,” she says holding the mic.

Hunter and Henley along with the room full of guests turn to face the stage.

“So as many of you know, Henley Hendrix that beautiful soul right over there,” she says pointing.

Henley looks at her as her brow furrows, “What the hell is she doing?” she whispers to Hunter, as she let’s out a laugh.

Hunter laughs, “I don’t know, but should be interesting,” he says sipping his soda.

“She is my maid of honor, and I am sure that she has an epic speech planned for tonight- BUT I don’t want to hear it.”

Henley looks taken back, as she and Hunter share a puzzled look.

“See I’ve known Henley for years, we met in college and fun fact, Henley and I actually used to be in a girl band and-“

Henley’s eyes widen, “Oh no.” she says. Hunter looks over at her, “Oh yes,” he says with a big smile on his face.

“And we used to do covers and there was one song that I always used to joke about and tell her, when I got married, she had to sing it at my wedding. Well Henley, it’s my wedding, time to call in some old favors. Ladies… leather jackets and combat boots please…” She says as Alexis, Camila, and Brooke rush on stage in their getups.

Hunter starts laughing hysterically, as Henley looks over at him.

“No,” Henley says shaking her head and waving her hands at Piper.

“Oh yes, get your ASS UP HERE!!!!” Piper screams as the crowd cheers.

“No,” Henley stays put.

Hunter smirks as he sweeps her up throwing her over his shoulder and bringing her to the stage.

“Oh my god, are you serious!” Henley says hitting his back, as she laughs, the crowd laughing at her misfortune.

“Thank you brother,” Piper says saluting Hunter, “I believe your audience awaits,” she says handing Henley her leather jacket and combat boots.

Henley rolls her eyes, “I cannot believe you!” she says laughing as she shrugs the jacket on and switches her shoes quickly.

Her friend Camila handing her a guitar.

“Oh my God, guitar too? Are you kidding? I haven’t played this song in years,” she says putting the strap over her head.

“Well a promise is a promise,” Piper says laughing.

“I hate you.” Henley says laughing, “But you’re lucky I love you,” she says glaring at Piper. “Bear with me everybody, it’s been a minute since I’ve touched a guitar or sang,” She says strumming her first cord as she lets out a laugh.

“Hey you guys we’re Imperfection!” Piper says into the mic and the crowd cheers.

Piper and Henley exchange looks as they laugh.

“I’ve been driving for an hour, just talking to the rain…” Henley sings into the mic as Hunter smiles feeling a sense of insane nostalgia.

**Flashback to Henley’s freshmen year of College…Hunter’s sophomore year.

Henley gets off the stage after performing that very same song.

Piper drags her friends over to Hunter who has undoubtedly been watching Henley the entire time, and yes she noticed.

“Hunter, this is Henley, Brooke, Camila and Alexis, my epic girl group I was telling you about,” she says smiling.

“Hey, nice to meet you,” Hunter says holding out his hand to each of them and leaving Henley for last.

“You too,” Henley says with a smile as she shakes his hand, a spark running through both of them. Alexis and the other girls taking notice.

“Oh my god, I love this song, girls let’s dance,” Piper says pulling Henley’s hand.

Henley looks back at Hunter who just so happens to be looking back at her too.

Later that night…

Hunter walks up to Henley, her eyes notice as she looks away trying to act uninterested.

“Henley right?” he says with a smirk.

Henley nods.

“You guys killed it,” he says pointing to the stage.

“Thanks,” she says playing it cool.

“So Henley…you have a last name?”

“Why, you wanna stalk me online?” she says her sassy side showing early on.

“Maybe,” he says with a smirk, challenging her.

“You’re cute,” she says smirking back.

“Cute…ouch,” he says looking away with a laugh.

Henley laughs, “I’m sorry, did I bruise your ego?” she says pouting.

“Yea a little bit,” he says leaning in closer to her.

“Aw well I mean seeing as you are my best friend’s brother I guess I can try to make it up to you, somehow,” she says smiling.

“Ah, yes, please do.”

“So…what’ll it be…a drink?” she says as they stand near the bar.

“How about a date?” he says smirking over at her, as she tries to conceal her shock and excitement.

“Hmm, maybe that can be arranged.”

“Maybe huh? I’ll take it,” he says his eyes locking onto hers.

“Friday, 7 o’clock, that work for you?” she says taking control of the situation.

“Friday it is,” he says smirking.

“You know where to find my room.” she smiles as he nods knowing she shares a room with his sister. His eyes scanning her features with awe.

“It’s Hendrix, by the way…”

Hunter looks at her with a confused expression.

“My last name. It’s Hendrix,” she says smiling.

“Wait a minute, your name is Henley Hendrix?” he asks obviously intrigued.

Henley nods.

“That’s kind of epic,” he says turning toward her, his attraction for her growing with every new piece of information.

“Don’t you forget it,” she says smirking as she turns on her heel, her hair flipping while she walks away leaving him in a pool of wonder.

Hunter is brought back to the present as Henley, Piper and the girls rock out on stage like the good old times. The crowd whistling and hollering as Piper and Henley share the mic and the other girls play piano, bass, and drums. Hunter’s eyes once again glued to Henley as she owns a stage yet again.

To be continued…

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

Happy Golden Birthaversary MLW! + Writer’s Update!

Happy New Year!!!
“A new year full of cheer my dear!” 🙂

It has recently dawned on me that today is MLW’s (michelle leigh writes) 8th Birthday/Anniversary. Which I’ve decided to name Birthaversary. It’s crazy to think that 8 years ago, I decided to finally start sharing my writing. I have always been scared to admit that I was a writer. But I’ve realized over the past 8 years that is part of who I am. Even if I’m not posting all the time. Writing will never really leave me. I always come back to it in some way. Being that I am celebrating MLW’s 8th birthday on January 8th, I wanted to do a little GOLDEN birthday inspired post to celebrate.

A GOLDEN BIRTHDAY is when the stars align and you turn the same age as your birthday – (8 on the 8th).

It is said to be lucky. So cheers to some luck this new year. We all know we could use it after 2020.

Happy Birthaversary Michelle Leigh Writes!!!!

I thank you for being my safe place. My heart. My memories.

And although I haven’t posted consistently much, I will still be keeping this blog alive in order to share my writing when I feel to- mostly for the longer pieces. I already have so many Short Story Series on here for you to browse. Otherwise I will be sharing on my writer’s instagram more consistently. So please do follow! @michelleleighwrites_blog (I shared a lot of poetry back in April for “Escapril”)

My most recent Short Story Series “Move” was finally finished in 2020 here on MLW. So I wanted to give that a bit of a shout out!

Feel free to start it from the beginning HERE

FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE!!!

I created a December Series called Writer’s Wonderland over on my writer’s instagram @michelleleighwrites_blog. I’ve been a lot more consistent on that platform. I’ve been sharing a lot of my writing on there this past year! My Writer’s Wonderland consisted of sharing poetry, short story series read a-louds on instagram stories, Short Story Excerpts, and lastly as mentioned in my last post, I wrote a children’s audio book- CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ! 🙂

I also have my New Year inspired Short Story Series Collection HERE too! If you wish to stick to a bit of a holiday theme! 🙂

I’ve learned so much over this past year. I’ve done so much reflection, wondering, healing, and I’ve been so much more open to change. Because the truth is, this past year, we had very little control over what was happening in the world, and that made me really understand that we really only have control over how we handle things. How we react or respond. So breathe, pray, talk it out, feel what you need to feel, play your music loud, dance it out, binge watch all the Netflix, video chat your loved ones, eat the chocolate, drink the wine, laugh. Because the now is important. The present moment is important. However, I also feel it is important to note, that if your present moment isn’t a happy one, know that pain is temporary. Better days are coming. Cheers to a new year. I am sending love and light and many prayers to all of you out there for a safe, happy and healthy year. Stay safe, wear a mask!

And in MLW fashion…I leave you with an inspirational song…

Thanks for reading!

Stay Tuned!

All my love,

-<3-

Michelle Leigh

RED THIRST

parental-advisory-explicit-lyrics

Due to sexual content.

 

DREAM CASTING –

red thirstClara smiles as she catches her reflection in her vanity mirror. Smoothing out her fitted black velvet dress. She presses her bright red lips together making a smacking sound.
“Tonight, is definitely going to be a night to remember,” she says glancing at her clock which reads 12:30 AM in bright bold red. 

**3 HOURS LATER 3:30 AM**

Her eyes flutter open and instantly Clara is met with Black. Darkness. Small Space.
As Clara’s eyes are trying to adjust to her surroundings, she tries to move and realizes she can’t.
Both her hands and feet are bound by thick tape. She makes a move to scream but soon she feels tape is also plastered across her mouth.
Humming. Clara now hears humming. Moving. She’s moving.
Where am I? She thinks.
Her heart begins to pound quicker and quicker as the panic sets in. Beads of sweat pooling at the nape of her neck as goosebumps form.
She finally comes to the terrifying conclusion that she is in the trunk of a car, going God knows where, with God knows who.

**1:30 AM**

Clara hops out of a red taxi cab and spots the big red electric sign illuminating her destination- THIRST it reads. She smirks as she rushes over to grab a space on the long line, her spiky gold studded red heels clacking along on the sidewalk- a missing person’s poster plastered to the grown as she walks over it unknowingly.
As Clara takes her place in line, she takes a look around. Another missing person’s poster. This one she notices. Young men and women crowd the line, dressed all in black, the women all sporting bright red lipstick. Clara feels satisfied with her choice in wardrobe for the night. Suddenly Clara feels the eyes of those around her all shifting toward her. It feels like everyone is watching her. Do I smell or something? She thinks.
Clara steps up to the bouncer, and hands him her ID. Taking it he glances at her, then back at the ID.
“You’re a newbie, huh? he asks, his voice husky, his dark eyes staring into her with a fierce fire.
“I’ve never been here before, so, yea I guess,” she says skeptically.
“Are you here alone?” he asks his eyes flickering a deep dark brown as they wander over her.
“No I’m meeting up with some friends, not that it’s any of your business,” Clara answers getting annoyed.
The bouncer laughs, as a smirk is put in place.
“You and your friends are in for a real treat, Enjoy!” He says handing her back her ID and unclipping the red velvet entry rope-letting her in.
Clara takes her ID quickly and rushes into the bar, to escape not only the brisk fall breeze, but also the creepy bouncer.
The minute Clara steps foot into the bar, she realizes its standing room only, the lights flicker and suddenly her stomach flips. It’s just your nerves Clara. You always get a little wigged out when you’re in big crowds. The gang should be here any minute.
In the midst of her rambling thoughts a face comes into view. “Hi, I’m Ivy, are you here for the ceremony?” the pale, red headed girl with bright fire red lipstick asks. Her face invading her personal space a little too much.
Clara steps back instantaneously, as her brow furrows, “Ceremony…what ceremony?”
Ivy notices her confusion and laughs a laugh that kind of made Clara’s hair stand up on her arms.
“You must be a newbie… I mean new.” Ivy says her eyes scanning over Clara.
What is with this place, she thinks as she gives a small forced smile before making her way through the crowd towards the bar.
As she pushes through the sea of darkness, the red lights strung above flicker once again. As it seems all eyes turn to make Clara their focus, once again.
Clara suddenly feels very uncomfortable. She scans the room for her friends, but there is no sign of them anywhere. 
She checks her cell phone quickly. No sign of any messages.
I guess they’re running late, she thinks. You’re being paranoid Clara, relax. Have a drink. 
The bartender comes over. “Who needs a drink?” he yells over the crowd.
Clara raises her hand pushing her way closer.
“What’ll it be?” he asks his dark brown eyes locking onto hers.
“Um, I’ll have a Bloody Mary,” She says her eyes taking in his handsome chiseled features.
“Ok, do you want- O, A, B, AB, I may be able to scrounge up some O negative in the freezer if you prefer that?”
“I’m sorry?” Clara says her confusion growing along with her nerves.
The bartender’s gorgeous, tanned face falls.
“Have you ever been here before?” he asks.
“No.” Clara says uneasily.
The bartender leans in closer to her and whispers.
“Do you know what this place is?”
“A bar?” Clara asks with a small flirtatious laugh as she flips her hair behind her shoulder, leaning closer to the cute bartender.
“You should really get out of here. It’s not the place for someone like you,” he says his voice hoarse yet heightened, his brown eyes stern.
“You don’t even know me,” Clara bites back getting frustrated.
“Maybe not, but I can tell you’re a newbie and if I can so can the rest of them. I’m just saying you’ve been warned.”
Clara looks at him, her nerves spiking up again. She checks her phone. Nothing.
The bartender notices. “Oh that’s another thing, no cell service.”
Clara’s stomach knots, “What?” she says her eyes looking up into his.
“Oh what, you think they’d make it easy for you to call for help?” he asks. Clara’s eyes fill with fear.
And as if on cue. The lights go out and Clara suddenly feels hands wrap around her mouth and waist and pull her off into darkness.
She tries to fight it, but the strength of her opponent was overpowering, her nerves distracting her causing her to drive herself into a panic.

**4:00 AM**

Clara is wiggling and moaning in the trunk of a car as she feels the car suddenly come to a short stop.
Clara begins to panic as she hears the driver’s door creak open, feet shuffling through what sounds like gravel.
A hand pulls on the latch of the trunk, it opens and her panic begins to kick into full drive.
As the trunk opens fully the bartender’s face is backlit by a nearby street lamp.
Clara’s eyes go wide as her chest begins to tighten, her vision blurring. She’s about to faint again.
“Hey, hey, hey,” he says seeing her starting to go, as he lifts her out of the trunk.
He places her in the passenger’s seat, sitting her upright, he reaches for a water bottle in the back seat. He pours some on her face, gently slapping her cheeks.
“Hey, hey, wake up,” he says, pulling the tape off her lips carefully.
Clara comes to and sees his concerned face, and begins to scream, “HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME!”
“Shh, Shhh, they may hear you!” He says nervously checking his surroundings.
“Who? What are you talking about? Where am I? Why did you take me?” she says hysterically.
“If I didn’t they would have bled you dry,” he says reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a pocket knife.
Clara sees it and her body stiffens, her breath catching in her throat.
He flips it open and making eye contact with her, he kneels down and cuts the tape on her feet and then her hands.
Clara breathes a sigh of relief momentarily, as she rubs her wrists.
“I’m not going to hurt you, I just wanted to help you.”
“Why the hell did you tape me up and throw me in a trunk then!” she says looking at him, fire in her eyes.
“I had to make it look convincing. Otherwise they would know and they would still come after you.”
“Who? What is that place?”
The bartender takes out his phone and hands it to her.
“Play the video,” he says.
Clara looks up at him, confused. She gets out of the car and hits play. Her first reaction is one of pure horror as she covers her mouth.
On the screen you see people in hooded red velvet cloaks, in a candlelit room, chanting. As a line of blindfolded people stand, waiting for instructions. All dressed in black. The main countess, removes her hood as Clara sees her face, “Ivy,” she whispers.
“I saw her set her sights on you the minute you walked in. I knew after that, we didn’t have much time before the lights went out.”
Clara’s eyes meet his for a brief moment, and she could see the worry in his eyes. Her nerves begin to fade just slightly. She continues watching the video.
“Welcome, to our weekly induction ceremony. We trust you’ll have a bloody good time,” she says cackling, as she glances at her fellow cloaked servants, with a small smirk, they take it as their signal. Each rushing toward a blindfolded member and sinking their fangs into their necks as their chosen prey scream. Others pulling their blindfolds off and running for dear life.
“No one will hear you,” the Countess sings, cackling loudly, watching them scatter like cockroaches. She rushes toward her newest victim.
Red. Red everywhere.
Clara stops the video and covers her mouth, her eyes welling up.
“Is this, is this real?” she asks staring into his eyes willing some answers.
“Yes.”
“So what, they’re vampires?” She asks.
“No. It’s a cult. They’re a group of psychos who are obsessed with  the idea of vampires and do everything to simulate the vampire life. Including sucking other people’s blood.”
“And what… it’s just allowed. I mean why hasn’t anyone ever reported this place?” She asks completely overwhelmed.
“There hasn’t been anyone who survived long enough to do so.”
“What about you, are you like them?”
“NO. I just bartend. I’m completely human. And I like it that way.”
“So then why haven’t you reported them!”
“Because we have an agreement, I keep my mouth shut, pour the drinks, get paid, and they let me live.”
“Why would you take this job knowing what this place was all about?”
“When I came to interview for the job, I didn’t know what it was going to be. I took the job under false pretenses. And once I got here and found out what this was, there was no way out for me.”
“So after all this time, why help me?”
“I don’t know. I just felt like I needed to. I’ve been so scared to do anything before. But tonight I could see that you were scared and I wanted to help.”
“Well, I’m really glad you did, thank you.”
He gives her a small smile.
“How did you get this video?”
“Ivy sent it to me, to show me what could happen to me if I don’t obey by her rules.”
“But this is proof. Right here. We need to take this to the police.”
“They’ll call it a prank and not give two shits. And even if they did try to do anything, there’s so many followers, it would just regroup and start over, somewhere else. It won’t be long before they find out it was me who leaked the video, and they’ll come after me. And I won’t be able to protect you. They’ve sought you out already. You’ve been targeted.”
“Targeted?”
“She expects you as her prey, in her mind you’re a done deal. Precious blood.”
“Won’t they know you’re gone?”
“They think I’m bringing you to the red cottage.”
“What’s that?” Clara says her eyes scanning her surroundings. Not a cottage in sight, just an empty gravel parking lot, dimly lit by a few scattered street lights.
“It’s this secret place she reserves for her sacred prey.”
“Who?”
“Ivy, she’s pure poison. She’s the countess, she’s the one who started this whole thing. And she loves newbie blood. By newbie- they mean someone who is completely unaware of the true meaning behind this facade of a bar.”
“Newbie. So that’s why everyone was calling me that. I felt like everyone’s eyes were following me. I thought I was going crazy.”
“You’re not crazy, they were all watching you, waiting, sniffing you out, luring you into their trap.”
“Sniffing?”
“Oh yea, newbies carry a certain scent, apparently.”
“They really believe this shit?”
“That’s a cult for you.”
“This is insane.” *Clara feels her vision starting to blur.* “I I I feel like I’m gonna faint again,” she says reaching for him.
“Ok, hey, ok, you’re ok, take a seat,” he says grabbing her hands and guiding her back to the car. “Just breathe ok, nice and slow. In, and out. Look at me, Focus.” He says.
In that moment Clara was so grateful for this man she’s never met before. He saved her life and she didn’t even know his name.
“I’m sorry, I tend to faint when my nerves are set into over drive.”
“It’s ok, I figured that when you passed out before I put you in the trunk. Sorry about that by the way, I had to make it look believable. It’s been my job to take care of the chosen one and unfortunately that includes duct tape and a trunk.”
“I’d gladly take the trunk any day, if it means staying the hell away from those freaks. I’m Clara, by the way.” She says steadying her breathing.
“Nice to meet you Clara, I’m Christian,” he says smiling, his teeth perfectly pearly white, he extends his muscular arm, as she shakes his hand. His grip firm. His palms soft, but clammy.
“So you’ve done this before, this red cottage thing?”
“I’ve only worked here for a month. So, I’ve only had to do it twice. And both times, the chosen have proven worthy to join the cult, so they are now members, and no longer hunted prey. That’s the whole game. Kind of cat and mouse. Somehow they can sniff out the special ones. The rest just get used as blood bags, like you saw in the video. The chosen get taken to the red cottage, where Ivy preps them. She decides if they are worthy to join or be bled dry. Even though her senses are usually spot on, when it comes to true newbies, she says it can go either way and she needs to be sure if they are really ready for the vampire life.”
“And how does she decide that?”
“She gives you this test. Asks bizarre questions, tastes your blood. If it’s sweet you die because she knows she’ll enjoy taking your blood, if it’s bitter you get to live. So any precious prey that end up here, they better prey their blood is bitter.”
“What?”
“Does that even surprise you at this point, after everything you’ve seen?”
“This is inhumane. I have no words. These people are demented. I’m completely confused. I don’t know what the hell any of this really means.”
“Join the club. It’s not something anyone should ever have to know.”
“So what do we do now? What happens when they find out you didn’t bring me to the red cottage?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think that far ahead.”
“So they can be coming after us, any minute!”
“We’re a few miles out, that’ll buy us time.”
“My friends, oh my god, I was supposed to meet my friends! What if they’re still there? I have to go back!”
“Are you insane!? Have you not been listening to me? Ivy will kill you,” he says grabbing her shoulders.
“Not if I play along.”
“You can’t fake bitter blood Clara.”
“No, but I can lure her away from her followers. Think about it without them, she’s just some red head with fake fangs and a cloak. I can take her.”
“You think so, you faint at every sign of danger.”
“I can do this, I have to. We have to put a stop to these freaks.”
“I don’t like this Clara. I don’t want you alone with her.”
“I won’t be, you’ll be with me, right? Ya know just in case I need back up,” she says with a nervous laugh.
“This is not funny.”
“I have to try. My friends are newbies too. I can’t let her hurt them. And you shouldn’t either. Now I know you saved my life. And I am so grateful to you. I am. But you’ve sat on this job, knowing about their world for a month. Knowing people have died.”
“I’m not proud of it Clara, believe me,” he says looking away in shame.
“I do believe you,” she says taking his hand in hers. Christian’s eyes flick up instantly to meet Clara’s. “Before you didn’t have someone willing to help you. It’s different now. I’m here and together, we can take this whole freak show down. But I can’t do it alone.” Christian stares at her for a beat, he sighs. 
“Ok…here’s what we can do…” 

**5:00 AM**

Christian stands above a seated, tied up Clara. Her legs taped together, her hands taped in front of her, resting in her lap. Candles lit amongst red silk curtains, and red velvet carpet.
Christian bends down to grab more tape, as he hears a car pull up, the headlights beaming past the small window in the corner of the dimly lit small cottage.
“She’s here,” he says turning to Clara as he rips another piece of tape holding up to her mouth. “I’m sorry but, I have to make her think you’ve been this way since I took you.”
Clara nods. Panic setting in.
Christian notices, he leans in and kisses her bright red lips, his free hand cupping her face, as Clara’s mind spins her lips follow his, her heart beat quickening.
“I won’t let her hurt you,” he says kissing her once more, before placing the tape across her mouth.
Christian stands as the door to the cottage flies open revealing a blood stained Ivy.
“Well well, we meet again,” she says walking in, her cloak draping across the floor as she saunters around Clara, breathing her in.
She leans down, placing her hands upon Clara’s shoulders, whispering in her ear, “My you smell good.”
Clara winces, pulling away.
“Did you tell her the rules Christian?”
“Yes Countess,” he says bowing and taking a knee.
Clara’s eyes widen at his obedience to this woman of hell.
Suddenly Clara begins to feel dizzy, her mind begins turning, thoughts flying through her head.
Did I just get played? Was this the plan all along, to lure me here and gain my trust? What do I really know about this Christian guy? Why the hell did I believe him? Why because he’s gorgeous? I just made the biggest mistake of my life. Clara begins to fade.
“Good, now, shall we get started,” Ivy says cackling as she turns to get the materials to start her personal ceremony,” Christian makes a swift move and reaches behind his back, he pulls out a gun and shoots Ivy in the back, the ringing pierces through Clara’s ears as she jolts. Ivy’s body goes limp, falling to the ground, blood pooling out of her.
Christian leans down, and feels for a pulse. He pulls out a walkie and speaks into it, “This is agent Christian Clark. I’m requesting an ambulance for a deceased female, and immediate back up at the old broken down parking lot in Fort Falcon. Also send units to the bar THIRST- address 166 6th street. Proceed with caution, subjects are armed, and dangerous.”
Christian rushes over to Clara’s side, her eyes are wide, her mind foggy.
“Hey, I’m sorry, I’m sorry you had to see that. Are you ok?” he says peeling the tape off her mouth and cutting her free. She sits there in a state of shock.
“Clara? Clara, hey, can you hear me?” he says holstering his gun and grabbing her face in his hands.
“You’re not blinking at all. Clara. Clara. Hey. You can hear me, I know you can. Hey come on back Clara. Come back to me. Clara. Clara, blink for me. Clara.”
Clara blinks and focuses her vision on Christian.
“You’re a cop?” she says completely confused.
“Yes.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was under cover. I couldn’t risk it. I didn’t know if you were a part of it, or just a ploy to draw me out. I had to be sure you were telling the truth too.”
“So you lied, when you said that the police wouldn’t care.”
“Yes. I had to.”
“What about the two other newbies who joined the cult? The ones that you said you had to take here?”
“Also undercover agents. They’re working from the inside too. See I was only able to see certain aspects of the cult, they do things I had no clue about, we needed people to really infiltrate. The three of us had to really pull some major cons in this whole thing.”
“I can only imagine. So why have you waited so long to do this? Why not just bring Ivy in when she brought the first agent back here?”
“We had to gather more evidence.”
“That video wasn’t evidence enough.”
“Unfortunately no, with all the technology available online, kids these days can alter anything. They would have dismissed that video as a prank. We needed a witness. We needed you.”
“Me?”
“Well we didn’t seek you out personally, you just kind of happened to be in the right place at the right time. And you were actually someone who agreed that this place was a total freak show and needed to be destroyed. A few months ago, we started noticing a lot of people were going missing in the area. No sign, nothing. Other than the link that THIRST was the last place they were known to be. So we started investigating. When I got wind of what this place was. I knew I had to play it smart, give it time, build a case, and get inside the minds of these freaks. As much as I hated it, I wanted justice for all the lives they stole.”
“Did you find any of the missing people?”
“A few, unfortunately it was a little too late for some- they were killed, but many had joined the cult. I don’t know if it was because they wanted to or if it was strictly out of fear. That’s why we put two agents on the inside.”
“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Clara says pacing as she grabs her stomach.
“Clara.”
“I need to call my friends. I lost my phone, can I-”
“Of course,” he says reaching into his pocket and handing it to her.
Their hands graze each other’s and Clara ignores it turning away as she dials. Christian’s eyes flicker to her, his eyes wondering her curvy body in her fitted black velvet dress. Her toned legs pace the cottage carpet, as her red spike heels scuff it up.
Christian coughs and looks away, giving her some privacy.
“Hello? Betty? Betty oh my god, where are you, are you ok?” Clara says frantically.
A blonde girl and some friends are being escorted by police out of the bar, “Clara, oh my god, are you ok? I’ve been trying to call you!”
“Yes, I’m ok, I’ve been trying to call you, are you with everyone else? Is everyone ok?”
“Yes, we’re all here, we’re ok too, but I swear you wouldn’t believe what just happened.”
“Trust me, I think I know a little more than you think, I’m on my way.”
“Can you take me back to my friends, they’re at the bar.”
“I really think you should go to the hospital.”
“She didn’t get the chance to hurt me. I’m fine, thanks to you.”
“Clara, I’ve lost track of how many times you’ve suffered panic attacks and fainted tonight.”
“Well excuse me, I’ve been scared out of my mind, what with getting tied and thrown into a trunk and brought to a vampire’s lair.”
“You’ve been through one hell of a mess, all the more reason to get checked out.”
“I will, after I meet up with my friends. Please. I just need to get out of here,” she says looking at Ivy’s lifeless body sitting in a crimson pool.
Christian hears sirens in the distance, they make their way closer. Soon the door opens to reveal paramedics and other police officers.
“Agent Clark, I’m Officer Megan Mullins, we’ll take it from here, why don’t you get this girl home.”
“Thank you,” Christian reaches out to shake her hand. “Come on let’s get you out of this hell hole,” he says taking Clara by the hand, and leading her out.

****
The ride went on silently, until Christian finally spoke.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“I don’t really know how to answer that question,” she answers her eyes watching the streets pass by as she stares out the window.
“Fair enough,” he says pulling up to the bar, ambulances, officers in blue, detectives, witnesses, suspects hauled off in cuffs, create a scene of madness.
It all moves in slow motion before Clara’s eyes. Christian parks his car and hops out, slapping a police light on his hood. Walking around he opens Clara’s door as she sits in shock.
“Clara. Clara?”
“CLARA!” Betty looks from the inside of a nearby ambulance, she comes running.
Clara is kicked out of her haunting memories when she hears her friend’s voice.
“Betty!” she yells, hopping up, and rushing over to hug her.

**A FEW MONTHS LATER**

Clara enters her apartment, setting her keys and purse down on her side table, as she flips through the mail she just brought up.
Her cell phone rings, and she glances at the unfamiliar number, “Hello?”
“Clara?”
“Who’s calling?”
“Clara, this is agent Christian Clark. I’m afraid it’s that time, we’re going to need you to testify in court on the THIRST case.”
“I can’t say I haven’t been expecting your call.”
“Would you be free for a cup of coffee one day, I can prep you on what to say?”
“I think that would be very helpful, thank you. I’m free now, I can come meet you.”
“Um sure, yea that works, just text me the place,” he says sitting at his desk at the police station. He looks at his cup of coffee and drops it into the trash.
“Ok, will do. See you soon.”
“See you then,” he says smiling.

****

Christian sits in a small cozy coffee shop, as he waits for the beautiful brunette to saunter back into his life.
Clara walks into the shop and scans the room, her eyes clocking on Christian’s. He smiles waving her over, she makes her way toward him.
“Agent Clark,” she says with a sweet smile.
“Clara, hey, how are you?” he asks, standing to hug her.
Clara hugs him tightly, as they both linger for a beat, taking each other in.
“I’m ok, I’m really good actually,” she says they both take their seats opposite each other.
“Good. I’m glad. You look great.”
“Thank you, so do you,” she says smiling.
“So I know that I haven’t checked in much since-”
“Stop, Christian. Please. You saved my life. God knows what could have happened if you weren’t there. I know you’re an agent, out there busy saving the world,” she says smiling brightly at the gorgeous man before her.
God he is still so gorgeous, she thinks.
Christian smiles back, God she is still breathtaking, he thinks.
“You wanna take a walk?” Clara says.
“Sure, I’ll grab us some coffee and meet you out front.”
“Thanks,” she says heading towards the exit.

****

“So full disclosure?” Clara asks.
“Of course.” Christian says as they walk along the streets.
“I’m really happy you called.”
“Yea?”
“Yea, I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about you and that kiss,” she says staring at the coffee in her hands.
Christian stops in his tracks and looks at her.
“Full disclosure?” he asks.
“Of course.” She says stopping and facing him.
“I didn’t check in sooner, because I felt like I couldn’t. When I kissed you, I knew I felt something for you. I knew I wanted to know you the minute I saw you. I knew I wanted you in ways that would be unprofessional for an agent to want his lead witness in his case, so I kept my distance.”
“So what changed your mind?”
“It’s no longer, my case.”
“What?”                                                                                                           

“Officer Megan Mullins, did me a favor, and took it off my hands.”
“So you saying you needed me to testify and that you can prep me were all what- just excuses to see me again?” she says her eyes narrowing, a smirk playing on her lips.
“Not exactly, I mean, kind of. Yes I wanted to see you again and I saw this as my in. But I don’t need you to testify, Megan does. But yes I can still help prep you, if you’d like.”
“Sure, my place is just a few blocks from here, we can go there.”
“Ok, lead the way,” Christian says gesturing.

****
Clara unlocks her apartment door and steps aside, letting Christian in.
“Nice place,” he says walking in.
“Thank you, here let me take your coat,” she says hanging hers up on a nearby coat rack, as he hands her his.
“So I was thinking we can just go over the details of that night and write them down, then from there come up with a statement of some kind. Then I’ll just put you through the ringer, asking you all the questions I think they’ll ask you-”
“Christian.” She says her voice cutting through his last few words.
“Yea?”
“Do you honestly think, I brought you here, for legal advice?”
“I-” he stops and looks at her, a smile forming on both of their lips, as she walks toward him.
He quickly pulls her by the waist, letting his lips crash onto hers.
Clara’s hands cup his face, as she walks them backward forward her bed room.
Unbuttoning and tossing each other’s shirts.
They fall back onto her white cotton bed spread, as Christian’s kissing becomes deeper and deeper each time, an urgency playing on his lips.
He pulls away and looks at her, his eyes flickering with a deep desire.
She smiles pulling him to her and kissing him forcefully as he grips her hips. Kissing her once more, he playfully bites her lower lip, a little blood escaping.
Clara winces, with a slight laugh, Christian pulls away from her, “Sorry about that love, let me get that for you,” he says kissing her again, as he licks the blood off her lower lip.
Clara’s brow furrows for a bit, but she is soon enough distracted by his lips traveling to her neck. Christian’s lips dance along her jugular vein. His kissing becoming quicker, more forceful, harder, the sucking beginning to hurt. Bruise.
Clara starts to stir uncomfortably.
“Christian, Christian, Stop.” But he doesn’t.
She pushes him off her and screams, as his fangs come into clear view, in one swift move he sinks them into her neck, her blood covering her crisp white bed sheets.

**ONE YEAR LATER**

Clara jolts awake, and looks to see a concerned Christian in bed beside her.
“Don’t tell me- the nightmare, where I turn into a vampire during sex?”
“Ugh, yes,” she laughs covering her face, a large diamond ring shining in the moonlight on her left hand.
Christian starts to laugh.
“It’s been nearly two years. I’ve testified. We won. Everything is back to normal. It should be over. Why am I still having bizarre dreams, and more importantly why is it always you killing me? I don’t understand it, your the only person who makes me feel 100% safe. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
“Babe, you know what your therapist said, you went through a bizarre traumatic experience. The details are all mangled in your mind, it’s going to take time to work through all that. You can’t rush it. And remember your fears may be unrealistic, but they are valid. You once said there was a point where you wondered if you could trust me. I mean that’s understandable, we barely knew each other. You didn’t really have reason to believe me.”
“Well I’m so glad that I did,” she says smiling over at him.
“Yea?” he says smiling.
“Yea, because then I wouldn’t be engaged to the sexiest, smartest agent New York has ever seen,” she says pulling the blankets over as she climbs on top of him, straddling him.
“Oh really?” he says his hands sliding up her sides, causing her sexy red lingerie night gown to lift ever so slightly.
“Mm Hmm.” She says smiling, as his hands slide further around her waist.
Smirking, Christian sits up and kisses her.
He flips her over hovering on top of her, “I love you so much, and I can’t wait to make you my wife,” he says, placing a passionate kiss on her lips, her arms circling around his back. Christian adjusts meeting Clara’s body, moving her closer to him. Then as she lets out a breathy sigh, he places a kiss on her lips, his hands gripping her thighs.
Christian pulls away looking at Clara.
“What?” she asks.
“I vant to suck your blood,” he says in an exaggerated count Dracula cartoon voice as he jokingly bites her neck between fits of laughter.
Clara starts to laugh and shoo him off.
“I hate you,” she says giggling, as he stops and starts placing sweet kisses along her neck.
“You love me,” he says looking down at her, as he kisses her lips once more, sweetly.
Clara kisses him back.
“I do love you, you fool” she says in between all the many kisses that followed.              

“So are you gonna put on those spiky red heels you know I like so much?” he asks with a smirk.                                                                                                                                                      

“I think that could be arranged,” she says smiling.
Christian’s hands glide across her body, as Clara’s hands circle the nape of his neck, her ring glistening into the night and the rest of their lives.

 

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

 

Happy Belated Halloween!

-<3-