Read Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings Online

Authors: Karina Halle

Tags: #Fantasy, #Horror, #Romance, #Adult, #Mystery, #Suspense, #Goodreads 2012 Horror

Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings (44 page)

BOOK: Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings
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She doesn’t seem to sweat at al . Alexa might be a

cyborg (if Joe’s a robot, then it’s completely possible).

She’s tal but not as tal as I am (I’m 6’2”, so that’s a good

thing), and slender thanks to daily sessions on something

that looks like a torture chamber (Pilates, I’m told) but stil

has the nicest set of breasts I’ve ever been privileged

enough to get a hold of and a round bottom, which she cal s

the bane of her existence yet I love very dearly. She’s also

stunning. Dark complexion, black lashes, mahogany eyes

and matching hair that runs down to the smal of her back in

one straight sheet. She’s the sexiest banker you’ve ever

seen.

She’s also so put together that being seen next to her

makes me feel like I did something right in my life. I’m fairly

confident that I did when I snagged her two years ago. But

then again, she does glare at me more than a happy

person should.

She looks away from me and up at the tal , rusting ferry

we are about to board. The terminal is packed with chaos

and people, both things that already have me on edge, but

Alexa seems more concerned about the ship.

“Is this seriously the ferry?” she asks? Her voice is

smooth and clear, al owing the nuances of her annoyance

to slip out.

“This be the ship, says I,” I growl in my best pirate’s

impression.

She raises her brow at me. Apparently, it’s not a very

good impression. “It’s nothing more than a glorified bathtub.

The Nazis probably built this thing.”

“I’m sure Morocco has advanced since then, Alexa.”

“Advanced backward,” she mumbles. I almost tel her

she’s not making sense but I think better of it. I know she’s

tired, too, since we had to wake up so early and to go from

a chil y, damp London morning to a sweltering hot (and loud

and colorful and foreign) Tangier afternoon is a big leap. I

don’t want to rock the boat with Alexa, pun not intended.

A little while later and Alexa and I are sitting near the

front of the ferry as the vessel pul s away from the dock and

starts making its slow way toward the distant, hazy

shoreline that is Gibraltar and the continent of Europe. It’s

actual y quite a remarkable journey when you think about it,

having two continents, giant landmasses of opposing

cultures and civilizations, separated only by a narrow and

boisterous straight. Only I can’t real y think about it because

Alexa is sitting next to me, clicking her fingernails across

the front of an unread magazine. I know that sound al too

wel . It means I shouldn’t make any sudden movements.

I slowly reach down into my laptop bag…easy…easy…

and bring out my laptop, hoping to lose myself in some

work (not bloody likely) or look busy (more likely).

My finger is poised to hit the power button when Alexa

lets out a long sigh. Enough with the sighs, why can’t the

people in my life actual y say the things they want to say

instead of making me ask WHAT?

“What?” I ask, my finger paused in mid air. A drop of

sweat rol s out from under my sleeve, down my finger and

onto the computer. I wince.

“Why are you so spineless?” she asks in a tone so

simple that I feel I’ve misheard her. Did she just cal me

spineless?

“Uh, I’m sorry. What?”

She doesn’t look at me but the nails keep tapping away.

“You knew that when I said I wanted to go on holiday,

that I wanted to holiday somewhere nice.”

“But Morocco is-” I begin.

“And I wanted to go on a real holiday, not some work

assignment to interview some American woman.” She

adds special biting emphasis to the word “woman,” as if

she were jealous. I’d be thril ed at that, honestly, but I know

Alexa doesn’t get jealous.

I want to tug at my col ar again. Did it just get hotter in

here?

“I just thought-”

“No,” she spits out and final y looks at me, raising her

sunnies to her forehead. She does look tired; no wonder

she’s wearing them inside. “You didn’t think, Chris. That’s

your problem. You
never
think.”

She turns away from me with pursed lips, flips open the

magazine and becomes magical y engrossed in the pages.

I watch her for a few beats, trying to suss out the situation.

Alexa is always cool and calm. Often eerily so. Like the

time I almost burned down the flat trying to make French

toast. She just strol ed in the kitchen with the fire

extinguisher, as if she stores it in her back pocket, and

sprayed the drapes like some special ops agent.

So, an outburst like this isn’t normal. But her job is

stressful and her father is overbearing and it is hot in here

and she seems real y tired so…perhaps it’s nothing.

Yes. I decide it’s nothing.

I resume pressing the on button on the laptop and soon

I’m happily typing away questions to ask Ms. Cooper

tomorrow. Maybe not “happily” but I look happy, making

sure my eyes are bright in case Alexa shoots me another

glare.

Even though I already know what I’m going to ask the

travel writer and there’s no real need to write it down (I have

a memory that borders on being photographic), I keep

myself busy, maintaining the feeling that this trip is doomed.

I keep at it, keep at it, keep at it…

“Do you have to do that now?” Alexa snarls.

I look around to make sure she’s indeed speaking to

me. The only people nearby are a young blonde woman

with Cousin It hair and a wrinkled old Germans in knee-high

socks. And I thought
I
was inappropriately dressed.

I slowly meet Alexa’s eyes. Something has changed in

them. They are annoyed, most definitely, but there is a

current of something I rarely see in them. A current of pain. I

do not like this at al .

“I’m sorry,” I say, tilting the computer toward her. “Did

you want to write something?”

She doesn’t laugh at my wit. “You don’t get it, do you?”

No. I obviously do not get it. I open my mouth to say

something, I don’t know what, when my computer makes a

strange gurgling noise and then shuts itself off.

“Bloody hel !” I exclaim, smacking it lightly.

I peer at it closely and press the on button again.

Nothing. No sign of life. It just…died on me. Alexa’s phone

goes off and I hope it distracts her from whatever she was

about to bombard me with. She pul s it out of her purse and

holds it in her hands before lowering it.

Yet her phone keeps ringing. I eye the buzzing

contraption on her lap. She stares down at it, at the flashing

image of her father’s face on the screen.

“You know you’re supposed to answer it when it makes

that sound,” I say gently.

It rings again. As if she’s in slow motion, her head turns

toward me. Her eyes are sad and tired. Dead eyes. I feel it

in my heart. That current of pain wil reveal itself and I wil

feel it too.

“It’s over,” she says in a quiet but calm voice.

She takes the phone, stil ringing, and plunks it in her

purse. “I can’t do this anymore.”

I blink hard at her, and I ask the things I already know.

“Do what? What’s over?”

“This. Us. I can’t put up with…this anymore. We’re over,

Chris. This has been over for a long time.”

She gets out of her seat and stands in front of me,

hovering like some Goliath. I feel just like David. And not

David Tennant. Dr. Who wouldn’t be dumped on a ferry to

Gibraltar.

“I don’t get it.” Though I do, I just don’t get why she’s

trying to break up with me at the start of our holiday. I find

myself focusing on the logistics of that.

“I know you don’t,” she says with a smal smile and

places her hand on the side of my face. Her palm is warm

and slightly damp. She smel s familiar, like home, which

makes my heart throb violently. The whole thing is al too

surreal.

She takes her hand back and exhales. “Maybe it’s not

over. Maybe I just need a break…”

“A break from what?”

She throws her hands up in the air, the fire returning.

“From us, Chris! God! Look, whether you realize it or not I

have been doing nothing but giving you second chances.”

My vision starts to throb along with my heart. My

peripheral vision begins to blur and I find myself focusing on

random items on the ferry. The sticky, old linoleum floor.

The chair in front of me, which has stuffing spil ing out of it

like furry guts. The blonde girl across the way who is

looking straight into my eyes with a brusque clarity. I hold

her gaze, seeing her and her faded Pink Floyd shirt, her

sparkling light eyes and the pencil she’s holding in her left

hand. She holds it like she’s about to stab someone with it.

I see al of this but I don’t
really
see it. Because al I can

think about is that the love of my life, the gorgeous

Alexandra DeWinter, is breaking up with me on our

romantic holiday. My entire life has come undone in the last

few minutes and I have no idea what to do or say to put it

back on track.

Luckily, Alexa knows what to do. She continues to yel at

me.

“You wouldn’t even be working on our holiday if you had

the guts to stand up to your boss…or even your mother.

You’re just not going anywhere, Chris. You’l be fifty and stil

trying to please everyone. Stil stuck at the paper, if you’re

lucky, stil underachieving, stil just…a puppet.”

Puppet
. Her father has cal ed me that on more than one

occasion. The word brings me out of my stupor and I find

myself starting to hate her just a little bit. It feels good.

“That’s your father talking,” I shoot back.

She shakes her head and snatches up her purse. I reach

over and grip her wrist firmly, wanting her to stay, to not just

fire her rounds and leave.

“I’ve been talking like this for a long time. You just

haven’t been listening!”

She rips her hand out of my grasp, turns on her heel and

storms down the aisle. I could swear there’s almost a smile

on her face.

I can’t believe what just happened. But I sure as hel can’t

let her walk out of my life like this. We’re on a bloody ferry!

Where the hel is she going to go?

I leap to my feet, quickly ram my dead laptop into its bag,

and take off down the ferry, avoiding the looks from the

fel ow passengers. I can feel my face burning a deep red,

know that the flush is reaching up into the reaches of my

sandy hair, that the sweat is starting to form again.

I begin my search for my girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend.

Whatever she is.

5

JAMIE

th

June 19

Dude. I’m on the ferry to Gibraltar and I just saw this

poor sap get dumped by his girlfriend. In public. Even I’m

not that cruel. Relationships; man, why bother?

BOOK: Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings
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