Authors: J. A. Carlton
By: J. Carlton
All rights reserved.
© Copyright 20 by Jill A. Carlton
Cover art by Jill A. Carlton.
No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part,
or stored in a electrical system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
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without written permission.
Randy stalked around the van, the half-moon hung streaked with sooty October clouds. He knew this little meadow, and its familiarity calmed the rapid beating of his heart. He knew everyone who lived or played within a mile of this place, from the closest resident just through those trees over there, to the Parker barn, where the man he’d become was born.
The hollow, metallic ‘cha-whunk’ of the passenger door opening drew a startled yip from the back of Trish Hogan’s throat. His eyes plowed over the frequently ‘rode hard and put away wet’ barfly, and he scowled.
As he reached across her to unlatch the seat belt, moonlight glowed faint on the waxy, silver sheen of the duct tape over her mouth and eyes. Her breathing sped up, puffing warm moist air against his cheek, and he was almost certain he could hear the beating of her heart in the bony, sloping cage of her chest.
Yeah, you’ve seen better days haven’t you, ya two-bit piece of shit.
He couldn’t help wondering if she was turned on like it sounded she might be, or if she was starting to feel the sobering effects of fear just yet.
Herd her. Herd her. HURT her, heh, what difference does it make?
Let’s see how you like it, huh? Fuck with YOUR head for a change, huh?
His expression wasn’t really a smile, but maybe some kind of cross between that and a snarl, maybe even flavored with a hint of pity. Something sinister slid through his features as surely as his hand slid into her shirt.
His lips teased her neck beneath the blue crystal chandelier earring she wore. He was waiting for just the right signal.
The moment her breath hitched with arousal, he had that sign and ripped her from the van, throwing her to the ground in the clearing.
He stood proud and strong in the moonlight, his tightly muscled six–foot, three-inch frame seeming impossibly formidable in the darkness as his crystal green eyes watched his quarry shake her self to awareness.
Still, she scrambled; even with her hands taped behind her back, her feet pushed instinctively away. As she moved, he picked up stones and sticks, tossing them to the left or right, driving her where he wanted her, until the incessant sound of her moans and mewls broke through his awareness, scratching his nerves and twisting his face with disgust.
He covered the distance between them in three quick strides and dropped to his knees at her side. One hand clamped just under the base of her skull, the other under her chin. His mouth hovered at her ear, teeth clenching with yet another grating squeak from the back of her throat. “Shhhh,” he hissed, lifting her head just enough to get his point across.
He felt her try to nod. His steely fingers, trembling against the sides of her throat, wanted to squeeze, wanted to close the air off from her body. Instead, he closed his eyes, breathing the flavor of her fear into him.
His tongue snaked out around the earring’s hook, drawing it between his teeth, while his right hand slid down her throat and wormed its way back into her blouse.
Hard, warm fingers slid between what had almost certainly been smooth firm skin at one time, and the cup of the bra. His thumb stroked across her nipple, feeling it pucker under his touch even as the faintest noise of protest colored her exhale. In this moment, on the spearhead of terror and arousal, he, of all people, knew exactly what she was feeling.
I know, I know, oh, GOD, I know... just feel it... enjoy it one last time, you sad, pathetic waste.
He whipped his head to the side, tearing the hook of the earring through the flesh of her lobe then spat it to the ground, smirking through the warm line of her blood that ran down his mouth.
Beneath the duct tape, Trish Hogan screamed, then fell silent under an explosive barrage of heavy blows from his hammer-fists.
Did I do that?
he wondered a moment later, a bit of black in the moonlight dripping from her now broken nose.
A flash of loose but lean abdomen peeked out from the lower edges of the blouse and quivered with her breath. The motion drew his attention to the silver gleam of her jeans button.
Oh, God, yes... yes... please.
Something deep inside begged as his fingers slid it open then spread the denim almost reverently.
Oh yes, I’m almost ready, come to me, please, let me feel you. Tell me you love me.
He slid the zipper down, his mind’s eye fixed on different dark blue denim sliding over a lean, bony hip. Singing heat seemed to squeeze between his legs as his sudden erection thumped against the inside of his jumpsuit. It needed, and he needed.
A glint of silver from his right hand furrowed his brows; he didn’t remember pulling the spring-loaded knife.
He glanced down, his confusion sinking just a little deeper with the sight of those dark blue jeans now halfway down her legs.
That’s not what I want.
The blade slid under the elastic strand of her thong, slicing through it with buttery ease. Whatever faint protestations she might be making, as he tossed aside the undergarment, were lost as moments and memories flew through him, and that maddening ache between his legs burned for release.
“What the hell did you think’s gonna happen? Huh?” he mumbled. “You think this wasn’t gonna come? You think you didn’t earn this with every single dick you conned into you?” his teeth clenched. His hand clasped her throat. “You think for one stinking second I wasn’t gonna pay you back for every thing you did to me?” He leaned forward, “The pain you caused? The BLOOD that ran!? MY blood! But that wasn’t enough was it? You cheated on me! You
me,” he growled, turning the knife blade downward.
On one knee now, with his right leg out, spreading and holding hers open, his knife-hand descended. A high-pitched crunching sang against the blade as it sliced into her. The first cut was followed immediately by a muted scream, which quickly tapered off into a series of tight grunts. At the same time as his left hand lowered the zipper of the dark cotton jumpsuit, the noise finally stopped.
His fingers slid between his legs, up and over his pulsing erection, then spread his moisture over the sensitive head while his hips beat in time with the plunging knife.
If he concentrated, he could almost feel what he really wanted, that warmth draping around him from behind and the comfort that came from being held with loose but definite possession.
Oh, God, yes please... please, just like that...
he panted, almost able to feel the soft, warm lips on his neck, nipping at his ear and then sliding around to draw him in.
was what he wanted. Slim, gentle fingers sliding along his center line, taunting him with innocent uncertainty; he could almost taste the flavor they made together.
He nearly cried against the heat of hate inside. Pinpricks loosed a mist over his eyes that became faintly shimmering tears as his seed pulsed over his hand and his hips slowed their desperate beat.
Heaving for breath and chuckling, Randy leaned forward, wiping his hand full of semen on the woman’s blouse. To the right, a glint of moonlight shot sideways off something just inside the tree line, and after a quick glance to orient himself, he knew he’d been spotted, and by whom.
Oh man, not you Dave, please, not you.
His mouth turned down. If there was one person in the whole of Glen Falls that he actually thought well of, that person was Dave Backer.
Dave was a lonely widower who lived just a couple hundred yards east of the clearing. His wife Patty died in childbirth, leaving him to raise his daughter, Samantha, basically on his own. But in this area, in this particular field, there could be no one else traipsing around in the woods at this time of night.
With a disheartened sigh, Randy knew he had to do. There was one problem though; he’d never killed a man before.
A forceful woody ‘whunk’ from outside sent six-and-a-half foot tall Dave Backer spinning on his heel as he slid to the refrigerator. Using it for cover, he peered outside through the top pane of the bay window and watched the shed door slam against its jamb in the strong October winds.
He pushed the sweat out of his eyes while his heart tap- danced in his chest.
I gotta do something.
His gaze darted around the tiny, well-kept cabin, maybe hoping for inspiration, or maybe just taking a mental keepsake, he couldn’t have said which.
I can’t just sit here,
his hand was sweat-slick and salty over his mouth as he shook his head in disbelief.
I can’t believe it, was that really Randy?
He asked himself, yet again.
Memories of each of Carl’s boys through their lives seemed to somersault or cartwheel or log-roll through his mind.
He’d watched each of them grow, first in their mother’s womb, sometimes jealous that Carl’s wife, Sandy, could conceive so easily when his beloved Patty was cursed to miscarry again and again.
An unexpected stream of tears rolled down his face along side the memory of the night he lost one love, and gained another as a beautiful, little, pink bundle was placed into his arms to cherish.
He shook his head and forced his thoughts back to Carl’s boys, wondering if there’d ever been a clue.
There were summer days when he’d seen them play at the company picnic year after year. First, they were little boys, running riot in ice cream smeared t-shirts and diapers; then, they were teens, jostling through those bumpy years; and then, more recently, they were grown, young men, too busy with their lives to come out and play.
Mike came first. He was Carl’s oldest and a very serious young man who stood poised to take over the business that kept the town of Glen Falls going. Eric was the youngest and seemed content to Kerouac his way through life, maybe trading on his James Dean good looks, but without much real rebellion to his cause. But Randy, the middle son, had always been smart and ambitious, ambitious enough to carve out his own niche in the world of private security where, rumor had it, he was almost ready to launch his own enterprise.
he shook his head,
there has to be some mistake, it had to be an accident or something. I can’t believe... I just... there has to be SOME rational explanation.
He turned the camera back on and scrolled through the half dozen green and black tinted woodland shots until he reached the first picture of the clearing.
It was a profile shot of a man’s head angled downward. The first picture was too blurry to identify him with certainty, though the color was gray-green against the darker back-drop of the woods on the far side.
Goosebumps rose on his arms,
He scrolled to the next shot. It was the same masculine profile and still out of focus, only this time angled upward. The image was disturbingly bright, at least enough to tell him the moon must have been between clouds at that moment. He could make out a grimace on the subjects face, but that was about all.
By the next shot, Dave had adjusted the focus and the frame was filled with obscenity. A blade was buried in and unmistakably being drawn down the length of a woman’s abdomen, and the owner of the profile was revealed. It showed Randy on his knees, leaning back against his heels, the knife in his right hand and his left wrapped around his erect penis, his expression a dead giveaway to his state of release.
Oh, God. Boomer can’t handle this; he’ll fold like a house of cards. I gotta call Jase.
Wind whispered angrily around the cabin, but Dave was surprised he could hear it over the pounding of his heart in his head. Outside, the shed door slammed against the frame again, rubbing his nerves raw until he felt nauseous. He shook his head, wiping away fresh runnels of sweat.
Shut it now, before he gets here. He’ll kill me. He knows I was out there. He saw me, I know he did. I gotta get out of here,
he moved through the last few shots.
Randy’s gaze seemed palpable, even through the digital screen. His normally bright green eyes glowed ghoulishly in the night-vision tint. It was the expression on his face, however, that belied Dave’s fate.
That, that look? It’s resolution. He’s coming for me. I need to do something.
With quaking fingers, he managed to shut off the camera before turning to the pantry beside the fridge. In the upper right hand corner, he slid aside a cut-out piece of plank board and tucked the camera into the cubby that had once served to keep his gun well out of the reach of his daughter.