Tag Archives: #bekindrewrite

Moonrise CH18 – Stealth


[1015 Words – Inspiration Monday]Betty fumbled for a good lie to tell Felix – something that wouldn’t put Massey in the spotlight, but the Muse’s revenge was complete. The lie, a little white lie, slipped out of her mouth with shocking ease. Betty lowered her voice and stepped toward Felix. “I mixed up some of the evidence earlier. I screwed up really bad, Felix.”

Felix sighed. “I’m sure that if you explain your error to the lead FBI agent, they won’t file any formal charges on you.”

“The bag has my name on it, Felix. You saw how the feds came in and basically chased everyone away. I can lose my badge here. Come on, Felix, all I need is two minutes inside the office. Two minutes. I’ll be in your debt.”

Betty reached for Felix’s hand and gave his fingers a gentle squeeze. She knew he liked her, or at least he had since he asked her out a couple of times in the past few months. Their eyes had locked for a few moments before Felix’s shoulders slumped and Betty knew she had him.

“Alright. Make yourself busy and wait for my signal.”

Betty watched him stride off with his back straight, and his blond hair pristinely combed. On his way, he passed near his desk and left the evidence bags with the tapes there, something Betty was thankful for. She made a mental note to swipe those. Her brows knitted together when she saw Felix hurrying off to the coffee machine and filling two cups to near overflowing. Then Betty understood what he was about to do. She moved closer to her desk and stood over it feigning work while listening and watching out of the corner of her eye.

Felix gestured to the pair of FBI agents inside Massey’s office. He showed them the hot beverage and exchanged his pleasantries with them when they came out.

“I figured you might need some refreshments, Agents,” Felix said.

“Thank you, Officer Wallas was it? We are expecting the footage from the CCTV. We were told you were bringing them to us.”

“Ah, yes, well it’ll be just a few minutes. Our specialist Ray is trying to round up all the other footage you also requested. Our archive is a bit messy.”

The male agent had deep-set eyes that were pale and inexpressive and they watched Felix without blinking.

“This case has a priority marker on it Officer Wallas, make sure the tapes are here first. We can pick up the rest later.”

“Yes, sir I’ll make sure they are delivered immediately. Oh, let me first give you your coffees.”

Just as Felix was passing out the cups, Betty saw how his fingers slipped not accidentally, and the cup flew at the male agent, the hot substance splashing him square across the chest, soaking his white shirt in deep brown. The agent shrieked in surprise and pain, and Felix went on to apologize and push the agent towards the restroom while the female agent strode after them, worried for her partner who wailed and cursed until they were out of sight.
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Moonrise CH17 – Son of a Glitch


“Officer Patterson, I need you to take the Miles Jensen file with you and the tapes from the CCTV before they’re delivered to the precinct.”

Massey’s words hammered in Betty’s head as she drove her cruiser after the black FBI Ford. She didn’t want to seem suspicious, more like an escort to her superior officers, so she kept a respectful distance, sirens off. Once they hit the main lane, Betty was going to swerve her vehicle and take a shortcut, avoiding the slow and cumbersome traffic, fast forwarding before the feds and arriving first at the precinct. That way she was going to receive the evidence on instructions by the head detective and the file would be out of FBI’s reach.

On a red light, a procession of bikers rounded Betty’s cruiser, their Harleys booming, and revving. They made a wall to Bettys left and right, and when the light hit green, they funneled in front of her, a pack of chrome, black and steel beasts glimmering in the sun. For a moment Betty was cut off from the black Ford. “Really nice timing boys,” Betty mumbled to herself. She only saw its taillights as the car was turning right following her intended shortcut. Betty swore under her breath and put the car in gear.

When she arrived at the parking lot, the same FBI Ford had already parked. She pulled on her spot and from the glove compartment took out her blue latex gloves, neatly folded them and hid them in her pocket. Then she took to a sprint.

Officer Betty Patterson pushed through the glass doors of West Police Precinct. Everyone was busy frowning and muttering about the gruesome deaths at Madison Park. Hardly any of the other officers paid her any mind, a happening she was thankful for right now. Betty quickly climbed the steps to the second floor where Massey’s glass windowed office was located.

The FBI agents were already here, more of them than she had anticipated. Betty didn’t know why she expected different; it was evident they would have sent numbers beforehand. She had to come up with a plan B. As she paced through the precinct she saw they had already started collecting the data and evidence from the Miles Jensen case. Betty saw some of their agents refilling their cups of coffee while supervising the “raid.” She too disliked the idea of giving the case over to the feds as much as everybody else and Massey had seemed jumpy when he had sent her to secure the case file and the tapes. Betty stopped dead in her tracks, her adrenaline subsiding. She had snapped to the task, but she was about to steal sensitive and vital information concerning the case and on top of that sneak it under the feds’ noses. If anyone were to find out what she was about to do, Betty’s days on the force would be over. But, her head detective had told her it was important to do so, and Betty believed him. She had never had any reason to doubt him, so she carried on with her mission trusting Massey’s instinct.

When she neared his office, she cursed under her breath again. The shades pulled up she could see that there were already FBI agents inside of it. Betty put a shoulder to one of the supporting columns and peeked. A short woman was looking through Massey’s computer; a task Betty deemed odd. Another one was filling boxes with manila folders all bearing the sigil of the precinct. The FBI had wanted just the data on the crime from the morning, which was scarce at the moment so why were they going through the head detective’s personal things? Suddenly Massey’s worrying tone from earlier frightened Betty as well.
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Moonrise CH16 – Frustrating Situations


[1050 words – Inspiration Monday, Three Word Wednesday, Sunday Scribblings 2]

* * *

Major Jacob Globe, who preferred Doctor over Major, watched the live body cam footage from his Special Weapons and Tactics team. The stream wasn’t secured by technology, but by a super whose power involved the electrical manipulation of data. The young girl was one of the notorious and most feared hackers in many years. In a world ruled by information, those that could control those little ones and zeroes controlled it all.

Now that the young woman had been brought into the fold of Globe’s new organization, she was free to tap into her powers. He insisted on a rigorous training schedule to mold her into the perfect stealth hacker. One of his supers implanted memories into her mind that compelled her to be loyal to Globe.

Another super painstakingly hid what was done to the young woman, and yet another made sure she slept peacefully at night, sleeping in a clean room devoid of any electronics or even electricity for that matter.

Globe sighed. He was weary from all the subterfuge, and he hated being constantly reminded that he had to rely on them to move his agenda forward. He was an anxiety hurricane. He rarely referred to his hacker by her old number, 337, but by a name that he liked, and had its history implanted into her mind. Yes, he had great plans for the radiant girl called Sindi.

He had no qualms about using the supers for his own purposes. Still, he wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but the events of the last few days left him a little queasy. He recited the old adage like a mantra: To make an omelet, you had to crack a few eggs.

He smiled. No doubt if Anne were there she would berate him for saying it wrong, or regale him with some long boring story about how the saying had been corrupted over the years and was originally this or that. Globe exhaled. That woman is trying on so many levels, he thought.

He saw the dejected police detective burrow a finger into Batiste’s chest just below the spy cam. Globe smiled at the detective’s response when Batiste slapped the finger away. As Batiste turned to issue orders, Globe pressed a few keys on his keyboard. The screen switched from the operation in Madison Park to the lab hidden under so may layers of concrete, if the world ended tomorrow, the lab and cockroaches would be the only survivors.

The origin of all his newfound success lay on two gurneys. Peter and Kristof were still ensconced in wires, sensors, IVs and other medical apparatus, but the list of those who had access to them kept getting bigger and bigger. Globe sighed again.

Denisha’s pleasant face filled the monitor after Globe entered another key sequence into his keyboard. She wasn’t aware that Globe had extricated himself and the entire organization from the purview of the Army. He was satisfied with that arrangement, even if he had to handle Denisha’s father with kid gloves. He hoped that that leverage was something he didn’t need to use. He rather liked Densha.
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Moonrise CH14 – Crime Scene Investigations


[1035 words – Inspiration Monday | #3WW | Sunday Scribblings2 | Terribleminds]

Detective Frank Massey reckoned this was his slowest walk toward a crime scene. He dabbed his forehead from the icky sweat building on his skin. The last of the ambulances were just rolling away down the street. Massey respectfully waited until their sirens died away within the traffic. He sighed he steeled himself to what was to come. Up front, cameras flashed as the crime scene investigators took photos of the site of the massacre. Massey refused to call it the Madison Park Massacre, but he had no doubt that that title would live in infamy until some other scandal rallied the attention of the sheeple. Flashes of light from the screaming bunch of reporters coalesced with the CSI ones making Massey walk through a white-lighted field of blindness.

Things had happened fast: the massacre, the news spreading, and the closing of the crime scene. Massey felt as if he was arriving at something done and over. Massey had baggage and a few nasty ones under his belt, but this tipped the lavish carriage into the ditch. Just minutes after Major Globe’s concerned and heartfelt speech, this had happened. It proved his point, he thought, and Massey wondered whether the major himself hadn’t set it up. But his optimistic soul refused to believe that there could be someone so cruel. He silenced the nagging voice in the back of him mind that laughed at his naiveté.

Patrol officers struggled to keep the crowd further away, but they were in no viewing distance to the playground, so Massey was thankful for that. He hated being shown Facebook posts and Twitter messages with photos from the scene, and he had developed real hatred toward people who tagged themselves not present at the scene. It was all fake condolences and pretend concern these days and Massey couldn’t help but think that that simulation of care was the leading epidemic of modern society. Perhaps that they couldn’t let a crisis go by without making a statement, or without being a part of it. Tragedy was the new mortal gods. Posting how sorry they were didn’t help anyone; it only made them feel better about themselves.

Maybe the years on the force had turned him into a cynic. He shook his head; maybe he was just old fashioned and didn’t understand what a comment section on a social media platform could do for the dead. It only served to turn them into virtual ghosts. No doubt, tomorrow these children would be the poster faces for Jacob Globe’s mayoral campaign. If that had truly been Globe’s idea, to begin with, Massey couldn’t wait to prop a gun to his forehead and watch him being cuffed.

Returning to the present, Massey took a steady breath of the humid air to calm jitters he thought he vanquished years prior and rushed the rest of the distance. Nearing the murder floor he noted that the area was a few degrees lower, casting a chill upon him that prickled his skin. Massey bit his lower lip. The report he glanced at did confirm that Miles Jensen possessed the ability to temper with ice, but the ground surrounding the epicenter of the event didn’t feel just cold… It gave him the notion of something still, stopped, paused. Massey knelt for a closer inspection. There were no blood stains, not a drop anywhere. Usually, when there were this many casualties, the scene was painted with the blood of the victims. The scene he encountered was pristine, and he doubted they’d find DNA evidence different than the victims. There were no peculiar smells either, just the faint scent of fading feminine perfumes. The crime scene guys always debated when and what an olfactory sampling of the air yielded. Not at this crime scene. Massey traced a latex-gloved hand on the ground. There was noticeable discoloration on the entire playground, an almost bluish imprint where the bodies had been. He brushed his finger against it and lifted light-blue residue. He stood up and asked the CSI team whether they had taken samples of it. He wanted to know as soon as possible what it was.
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Moonrise CH13 – The Vigilante Case


[1044 words | Inspiration Monday & #3WW]

* * *

Arriving at Madison Park, Massey told Joaquin to stay put in the car along with Andy. He made haste and Joaquin saw him slip underneath the yellow line of police tape. Then he was gone, absorbed by the crowd of bystanders and journalists. Doom merchants, Joaquin thought watching the journalists photograph the scene from every angle. For convenience, Joaquin was sitting in the backseat, and no one was going to bat an eye at him just now. He had to convince himself he was just playing a part, and people who would look at the police car would see just another thug. He had to know better than that. He wasn’t that person anymore.

Andy whistled low from the front passenger seat, and the harmonious sound broke Joaquin from his bubbling thoughts. “There certainly is a lot of attention on this one,” Andy declared. “Crazy shit huh? That Doctor Globe guy makes a speech warning us how dangerous you supers are, and whaddayaknow, soon enough, BAM,” Andy clapped his hands suddenly, and it made Joaquin wince, “there’s a fatal massacre and a super is blamed for it. What’re the fucking odds?” Andy raised his eyebrows and nodded conspiratorially toward Joaquin.

Joaquin bit his tongue and pretended not to hear Andy’s question.

“I tell you what, Joaquin, I’m gonna pop out of this here paddy wagon and see what the fuss is all about. You stay here and guard the car yeah?”

Joaquin wished he could reach from the back seat and grab Andy by the neck. There was something messed up with the guy and the way he talked about supers. As if he knew anything about the powers and what they meant to people like Joaquin. The constant need to prove ones self-righteous and that those powers weren’t wasted on a petty thug from the Seattle projects. Joaquin knew that he was so much more than that punk kid who stabbed a man on a rainy night to get a few bucks from his wallet. He would be better than the bumbling idiot who left destruction in his wake. Destruction so obvious, that an old-ass police detective tracked him down and turned him into some sort of sidekick. I ain’t nobody’s sidekick, Joaquin thought and realized that Andy was staring at him, waiting for a response.

“Whatchu so excited ’bout?” Joaquin sputtered, “You heard them kids got killed, right? Plus, Massey said ‘you stay put.’”

Andy smiled and met Joaquin’s eyes. “I didn’t know your moral compass pointed that way, Joaquin. I’m thrilled to know that it does.” He crossed his arms over his scrawny chest and nodded. “And you needn’t worry about me ’cause I have this.” Andy reached into his inner jacket pocket and flashed Joaquin a press card with his name and picture on it.

“Man, that shit’s so fake!” Joaquin exclaimed.

Andy grinned from the front of the cruiser. He turned to sit in the seat properly, and after he had adjusted the rearview mirror, he regarded Joaquin’s reflection. “Yeah, but they don’t know that.” He gave Joaquin a small salute, a gaping smile, opened the door, and stepped out.
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I decided to give Mental State a break this week. Instead, I jumped into Chuck Wendig’s THEY FIGHT CRIME! prompt with both feet. There wasn’t a way to link directly to the output of the Movie Idea Generator, so I screen cap’d it, and for those of you reading in the text-only thing that wordpress does, my “Movie Idea” is “He’s a sharp-shooting war veteran who don’t take no shit from nobody. She’s a fast-talking museum curator haunted by the brutal murder of her family. Together, they fight crime!” You all know that I like to buck the status quo and interpret prompts however I like, so I wrote the aftermath of them fighting that crime that they fight. These 1700 words also have prompts from Three Word Wednesday, Inspiration Monday, Sunday Scribblings 2 and The Writing Reader.

* * *

Kimberly’s head popped out over a partition. She saw Caroline in Tupper’s arms, starting to move. Caroline’s eyes fluttered open, and immediately she winced in pain. Kimberly walked cautiously over, her eyes darting from one FBI agent to the next.

“Did you do this?” Tupper demanded of Kimberly. He scowled when he felt Caroline sag.

Kimberly rolled her eyes. “You must know how much I cherish activating an alarm system.”

Caroline’s shoulders lazily lifted, and sagged, followed by a wince. Her good hand came around to cup her injured wrist. “We needed a distraction…” she started, before her remaining words were swallowed by the cacophony of alarms that still blared.

The sound of an ambulance siren was barely able to penetrate the din. “Can’t you do something about this neural thunder?” Tupper shouted, waving his free hand toward the ceiling.

“Please, Kimberly,” Caroline babbled.

“Of course,” Kimberly shrieked, throwing her hands in the air. “Turn on the alarms, turn off the alarms.” She still muttered when she disappeared around a corner.

Moments later, the group emitted a collective sigh of relief as the gallery fell silent.

Caroline’s eyes focused on the floor, and Tupper looked over his shoulder to see Agent Braxton had pulled “Lady by the Window” away from the wall and rummaged behind it.

“Found it,” Braxton declared as he lifted up a plastic baggie with an SD card inside. He beamed like a toddler who had just pooped in the potty.

“You’d better not give Hicks a deal,” Tupper complained, but couldn’t help but match Braxton’s grin.

“Deal?” Braxton scoffed, as he stepped toward Tupper and Caroline. “Why would I offer that damned piece of…” Braxton’s voice trailed off as he realized the gallery was teeming with agents. His eyes returned to Tupper. “No deal,” he said emphatically. When his eyes met Caroline’s, he tensed. “Collins…” his mouth formed several words, but they were all apparitions. After a few moments of severe jaw wrangling, Braxton knelt beside Caroline and thrust out his hand.
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Tendrils of Time


I started writing a scene, and had a decent one done at the 500-word count, then didn’t know where to go from there. I scrapped what I wrote after reading the first six chapters and wrote these 1,025 words. I used prompts from Inspiration Monday, Word-a-Week, #3WW and SM Cadman. This is also a switch back to present tense. Do you like past tense, or present tense?

* * *

Reese’s eyes snap open at day break, and she disentangles herself from her bedfellow. She silently dresses in her cloth uniform, and her hand caresses the leather armor draped over the back of a chair.

“Sneaking off?” a voice calls from the bed.

Reese spins and takes in the view. Sky walks toward her slowly, her hands fussing with her curly blonde hair. With Reese’s help, Sky washed the blood from her hair. After their night together, Sky stood unashamed of her nakedness. A flush had risen on Reese’s cheeks, and Sky smiled at the younger woman’s embarrassment.

“As often as we bed, I would think you would be familiar with my body.” Sky winks, and retrieves her uniform from the floor.

A sharp knock on the door interrupted Reese’s response. “Enter!” Sky shouts, continuing to dress.

“Mi’Lady,” a runner speaks, his blind eyes failing to discern the potentially embarrassing scene before him. “The chamber has been located.”

Sky smiles. “Tell the elder sisters I will be there shortly.”

The runner nods, and turns to leave. Reese let out the breath she had held. “Sky…” she starts, but Sky holds up a finger to silence her.

“Speak not of it, Reese.”

“But, mother…”

“Your mother is not just your mother!” Sky shouts before regaining her composure. “The Queen has too much to worry about,” she finishes her sentence with a whisper.

Reese couldn’t meet Sky’s eyes, and they suited up in silence.

“Snow will be at the chamber,” Sky declared, grasping Reese by the shoulders. “We can talk to her then if that is what you want.”

Reese nods and follows her commander out the door, certain of the events to come. Continue reading

The Timekeeper, Part 5

Okay, I rolled double sixes on my spin-down D20 for Chuck Wendig’s FFC this week. According to his chart, that nets me a title of “Distant Testmaker.” I remember a collaborative challenge of Chuck’s from the month of February, so I tracked down all the parts and decided to continue it. I also worked in prompts from Adan Ramie’s Word-A-Week, Stephanie’s Orges’ Inspiration Monday, Wendy Strain’s #WOW555, and Thom Gabrukiewicz’s #3WW. I finished at 893 words, and you should participate in all the prompts mentioned. They have wonderful communities with great feedback.

Here are links to the first for parts:
The Timekeeper, Part One, by Mark Gardner
The Timekeeper, Part Two, by Mozette
The Timekeeper, Part Three, by Angela Cavanaugh
The Timekeeper, Part Four, by Carolyn Astfalk

The Time Keeper, Part Five – Distant Testmaker

Ice cream with Jordan was the most fun I’d had in years. When I paid for our ice cream, I had a strange feeling of déjà vu. The banknote seemed to be the exactly the same as when I paid for the steak and mushrooms. My stomach churned at what I had witnessed, but I ate and asked Jordan about his school, his sister, and anything else I could get from the little boy.

The last ten years had been eerily similar for him and Tricia, but without me. I spent the day seeing the sights with Jordan. Everything was similar, but there were subtleties that I picked up on. We ran into Tricia only a few blocks from her house, and I relinquished Jordan back into her care. From the stories Jordan told me, Tricia was doing better than she had when I was her friend. As she led her little brother toward home, and I watched them recede into the distance, I wondered how our meeting and friendship had been changed.

I turned, and had the sudden feeling like I was on a roller coaster. My vision blurred momentarily, and I found myself in a familiar place – around the corner of a coffee shop. A coffee shop that would change my life so much in only ten years from the meeting with Tricia and Jordan.

I sucked in my breath as I watched a figure pause in front of the coffee shop. I would’ve recognized myself wearing the identical clothing I had on, but my actions solidified the recognition: Me, that was the me from… Hell, I don’t know… The me that tried to sell the watch. I was starting to understand what the hirsute pawnshop owner meant by trying to keep a grip on reality.

The earlier me peered across the street at the hours of operation, and she stepped into the coffee shop, a frantic gait as she peered into her purse. I pulled my timepiece out of my pocket and marveled at its reversion to the dull piece I had tried to sell. It’s meaning was lost on me, but I supposed this is what on-the-job training was all about.

“You got that right.”

I spun, frantic, at the sound of a familiar gravely voice. “Did I…”

He raised his hand to silence me. “Time is a fickle thing,” he declared.

I rolled my eyes, but issued the proper response. “But, it forever heeds its will to the timekeeper.”

He nodded. “I had to make sure you were the right you.”

The statement would’ve been bizarre in any other situation, but now?
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Since my salacious piece from last week violated Stephanie’s link discretion policy, I had to go all-out InMonster this week and use all five prompts. In these 500 words, I also worked in prompts from #Wow555, #3WW, Word-a-Week, Writerish Ramblings, Sunday Photo Fiction, and Sunday Scribblings 2:

* * *

“I got nothing,” he said, spreading his hands, a pair of anchors adorning each beefy arm.

I shook my head as a proper response failed to coalesce. In the many years of my life, I had come to appreciate an educated vocabulary. The spoken word is a marvelous thing with subtle implications. Allusions to what happens below the surface of the speaker live in wonderful flavors of intimation. It’s like the perfect chocolate dessert melting on the tongue – a chocolate that sooths the pain of living in an uncouth world.

Words are the musical blueprint of communication. An amateur makes a respectable showing, but true artists paint words from a palette unavailable to mere mortals. They command speech with a depth of meaning – sometimes so profound, that conflict begins and ends with the utterance of a few simple words. Lives lived and lives lost, as a testament to the power of words over love, hate, fear, misery, bigotry and privilege.

But this man, this man is the epitome of my exasperation. So often I’ve encountered cretinous vocalization from those gifted in speaking, who had the potential to say so much more. Not just in the quantity of words, but in a quality that bared the depths of their intellect. But alas, these people say nothing of consequence. They open their mouths and allow vapidity to fall out and soil their shoes. Their awareness of what they could do with words is so deficient; they are wolves, hidden in darkness, baying at the moon.

The indented puns and nonsense words are human proof of the assault on my tender ears. Ears with unexplained bruises, aching for intelligence as if they were starving. A hunger, I dare say, like watching an elaborate feast with all in attendance ignoring the meticulously prepared food and the best chocolate the chef had to offer – only to fill up on tough bread. Their teeth gnashing in an attempt to gain sustenance from such commonality. The sadness is overwhelming, and an assault to my delicate sensibilities.

Like a diver breaching the surface, gasping for air as gases burn his lungs, I needed words – moreso than a dragon covets gold. Words were my life and this dolt couldn’t seem to string together more than a scant few in reply to my query. A query so ingrained in the experience, I would think the response would be commonplace. But, I suppose, even a commonplace reply from a commonplace man in a commonplace setting was just too much to hope for.

Speak! I willed the man to form the affirmative or the declarative negative. Speak and the entire world shall hear, waiting on bated breath for the conclusion of this epic discourse…
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[504 words – Word-a-Week Inspiration Monday #3WW #WOW555 terribleminds]

“Bring Flavius to my chambers, immediately!”

“Yes, Mistress!” responded the guard before running down the corridor. Fabia sat under a pergola and awaited Flavius, luminous rays playing about the floor.

A rap sounded on the door. Fabia called out, “Enter!” She stood as Flavius entered and closed the door.

“Mistress?” He stood at attention, awaiting orders.

Fabia responded by dropping her stola to the floor, the daylight oil casting shadows across her smooth skin.

“Are we?” he started, but Fabia raised a finger to silence him.

“What are you waiting for?” she demanded.

He seized her hand and kissed her fingers, working his way up her arm to her shoulder. He bent her arm behind and she gasped. He continued kissing her, grabbing her hair and pulling her head back as he thirstily kissed and bit her neck and cheek. He groped her breast with his free hand, squeezing her nipple between his fingers. Each squeeze and bite stole her breath. She grabbed the hand squeezing her breast and lowered it between her legs. She stood on her toes to maneuver it to its destination.

Flavius moved his biting and kissing lower to her breasts and stomach. He released the arm he had pinned so he could support her entire weight with his freed arm. Fabia’s body shuddered with each thrust of his fingers. Each bite radiated warmth. A violent shudder elicited a deep moan.

“The bed!” she demanded.

Flavius picked her up, strode to the bed and deposited her with force. He took his place at the foot of her bed, and Fabia wrapped her legs around his head as he worked his magical tongue. She bit her hand and pulled his hair. She forced his head into her flesh squeezing and hitting him as she thrashed in ecstasy.

Flavius raised his head and stared into Fabia’s eyes. The smell of intimate sweat and silphium permeated. Standing, he picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his muscular chest. Lowering her, he impaled her on his member, a cry escaping her lips. Gripping his neck, she worked her legs and met each thrust with exuberance.

Flavius stumbled to a wall and Fabia felt the grain of jagged rough-hewn wood against her back. She knew there would be scrapes and bruises, but as Flavius increased each thrust in force and duration, she knew they would finish soon. At Flavius’ final thrust he let out a grunt and she a scream.

Still enjoined, Flavius walked to the bed and lie down with Fabia still clinging to him. She released her grip and fell to his side while he supported her with his arm. Tendrils of her hair spread across his chest and arm. She stirred under his touch and nestled closer, tilting her head back to look up at him. “Tomorrow, we will bring them to their knees.” She ran a finger down his chest. “No longer will they deny us.” When she reached his member, she smiled at the knowledge she wasn’t the only one stirring.