Read Carolina Rain Online

Authors: Rick Murcer

Tags: #General Fiction

Carolina Rain (10 page)

BOOK: Carolina Rain
4.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“I noticed that,” he muttered.
“Especially my wife.”

“Ye
p
, I’d stay on the good side of that temper. At least she didn’t kill anyone.”

A moment later, a shriek caused everyone’s head to turn to the source. Sophie stood over the fallen security guard, blood dripping from the once-embedded star which Sophie now held in her own hands.

Looking around the room, Sophie
raised her hands
. “What? I ain’t letting this heifer keep
my star
. These things are expensive, especially the colored ones.”

“We would have gotten it back to you,” said one of the doctors.

“Yeah, well I like to do things on my own. And I’m sure it only hurt like hell for a second or two.”

Sophie bent over the supposed guard who was now on one of the gurneys. “Isn’t that right, bitch?”

Josh stepped forward, grabbed Sophie’s arm, pulling her back. He then whispered something into her ear. She hesitated, rolled her eyes, nodded, and stepped away.

Manny had noticed
that
since the three of them had officially joined the BAU
,
Josh and Sophie had shared a few of those one-sided conversations. He’d resisted the temptation to ask about them, so far, but decided he'd check it out at the proper time. Besides, whatever teaching was going on seemed to be working.

The medical staff helped him to a sitting position. He felt better than he thought he would, for whatever reason. He wouldn’t analyze it too closely just yet. But they say love cures a
plethora of ills
. He glanced at Chloe, still watching
his every move
. Her jade eyes sparkled and the pit of his stomach jumped. He was pretty sure now that the jumping in his gut might never stop
, particularly after seeing her protection mode.

He turned back to the woman who’d attacked him.
“He
lp me up. I want to talk to her,

he said, looking at one of the doctors.

“I don’t think that’s a great idea.”

“Maybe not, but I want to, so get me over there.”

The doctor looked at Josh and shrugged.

“If that’s what he wants, and he’s not going to bleed to death. It’ll be easier than hearing him complain,” Josh said.

The doctor
grumbled
and motioned to the orderlies.

A minute
later, Manny stood above the strapped-down woman who would have killed him if she
’d
known that the first chamber of a revolver was always empty in a security setting like the
hospital. The empty first chamber helped to avoid accidents and the guards followed the rule religiously. Clearly, this woman wasn’t a guard. So
,
who was she and where had she come from?

“What did I do to you?”

No answer.

“You said I deserved to die for what I’ve done. Tell me what that was
. . .
please.”

Still no answer
.

Leaning back against the orderly on his right, he felt the weakness
wash
over him
in waves
.

“That’s enough. Get him back to the room,

said Josh.

“No. Not yet,” said Manny.

Manny looked down at his would
-
be assassin. She
now
held his stare in defiance.

“What did I do to you?”

The woman's dark eyes were now burning a hole in his head.
He
had her attention
,
but she
still
didn’t
answer him
.

“Listen. You’re going to go away for a long
while
. Maybe by explaining yourself, I can help make it easier for you."

She nodded
, slowly
. “I’ll tell you,” she whispered, motioning with her eyes for him to come closer.

He bent nearer to the woman; her breath was sweet, like glazed almonds. It took a moment
for him
to recognize the odor.

“Rot in hell, Williams, rot
in hell,” she then cackled
.

“Dammit
,” he yelled. “Cyanide!

He reached for her mouth
,
but was pulled away by an orderly as her eyes rolled back in
to
her head, body convulsing. A thin line of foam appeared at the corners of her
lips,
the convulsions stopped
,
and her eyes stared at the next world.

Despite the
medical staff’s
efforts, it was over as quickly as it had begun.

Shaking his head, Manny shifted to the gurney, helped by Chloe and Josh.
As he was rolled back to his room, the image of the guard’s sneer flashing across her face came and went.

You deserve to die for what you did.

What the hell did that mean?

 

CHAPTER-14

 

 

Walking methodically around the foot of the king-sized bed,
Lily
stopped and adjusted the garter holding the black fishnets in place. There was no hurry. She had time. She
always
had time. That’s what impeccable planning and forethought offered. It gave her the opportunity to enjoy what preparation made possible. Never in her previous life had she considered the word "enjoy" to be part of her days. But here it
was
—joy—and in full, fantastic, living color. She closed her eyes and let out a breath. That tiny, but intense
,
twinge of whatever it was roiling around in her stomach and loins made her smile grow. There had never been anything like it for her. Ever.

She sat on the side of the bed, subconsciously rubbed the gloved hand, and crossed her legs. “What do you think, darlin? Do you want to do that again? I’m up for it.”

Glancing down at the large man’s groin, she laughed out loud. “By the looks of things, I’d say no. But don’t worry; you did make it better than anything I’ve experienced, at least up to now, so you should be proud of yourself. I mean, it’s incredible that your very last act was so selfless.”

Lily ran her finger down her second lover’s forehead, past open black eyes

staring at hell, no doubt

then to his nose, his mouth,
and
then circled his lips unconsciously. It had been two weeks since she and Lance had come together on the floor of his mansion and she didn’t know how she had lasted this long. There were a couple of nights she had actually gotten dressed in her
see what I’ve got
clothes and headed for the door. Once, she even got into the car, but if she’d learned anything from her previous life, it was that carelessness could destroy
a plan
faster than
J.R.
’s regulars could pinch her ass. She’d needed to do it again, to watch it happen, to record it,
but to go back to the same place she’d met Lance wasn’t smart. She had to find another way and she had done just that.
J.R.
’s greasy spoon provided far more than a few dollars, which she hardly needed. Instead, her place of employment had provided a rich source of prey. Good hunting grounds were hard to find.

The men that frequented his establishment were mostly the older, retired type with the etiquette of Attila the Hun. But those good old boys always responded when she joked that their grab-assing would cost them more tip money. It brought laughs, at first, then phone numbers and serious inquiries on her availability for other “services.” It took a few days to sort out the jokers from the players, but she had done
it. The
list on her computer had grown.

She absently turned the corkscrew again and closed her eyes at the sound of metal grinding muscle
and bone
. Her heart rate rose higher. Incredible.

Cocking her head to the left, she read the name on the tattoo over
the
blood-smeared breast that now looked like a crude spider web.
Virginia
. She was sure it was his wife’s name. Poor woman. What would Virginia think when she got back from out of town and found him like this? She wanted to see the look. No, she
did
want to see the look. She’d have to figure a
way, somewhere along this trip, to
accomplish
that.

Moving her hand back to the middle of his barreled chest, she rested it on the knob of the buried corkscrew again. There was more blood this time
. S
he hadn’t noticed it until she had finished playing. The blue silk sheet held a large blossom of dark crimson that reminded her of the Rorschach patterns the doctors used to show her.

“I see
. . .
a dead pig, doc,” she whispered.

She laughed and pondered what her shrink would think of that interpretation.

Sliding off the bed, she picked up her black lace lingerie, putting on the bra first then slipping on the panties. It was getting easier to do. She was getting better, but not just in the physical
sense
.

The repairs to her foot and hand after the incident had taken weeks to begin to take effect
.
She was aware that
new technologies available for that kind of thing had advanced beyond comprehension. That
,
and a determination to heal
,
went a long way. Her doctors had said as much, not that she need
ed
them to encourage her. For the first time in her life, she had a true purpose and nothing was going to stop her from fulfilling that purpose.

“Nothing,” she said out loud.

Moving around to the other side of the bed, she reached over to the scalpel lodged in his left eye. She drew it out slowly; the sucking sound created another grin. Would that ever get old? Reaching into her leopard-skin handbag, she pulled out the small sewing kit and the gold medallion. She’d decided that the coral snake was a mistake. She could actually get bitten and God knew she was playing with enough heavy-duty toxins already.
Even though they had little or no effect on her, c
aution was still a tremendous virtue.
One never knew.

She finished threading his lips together, attached the medallion, then sat back to admire her work. Her quick smile mirrored her approval. It was her finishing touch. But would anyone else get it?

Lily finished dressing, reached up to remove the blond wig, then was inspired. She took out dark glasses from her bag and moved toward the video camera mounted near the foot of the bed. It was angled to get the best possible view of the last two hours with her lover
. Only
now the camera’s purpose had evolved
, like
she had
.

She sat in front of it
and
crossed her legs
.
T
he thigh-high boots ma
de
their own special rubbing sound as she did, releasing the faint scent of real leather. She smiled, looking directly into the camera.

“This man, along with my first, has helped me to discover more of myself, how I love. And
,
in that, there are no rules, no hang ups
. O
nly fulfillment. My fulfillment. I’m creating love with every intoxicating encounter I initiate. I’ve been reborn and am no longer who I was
. I
nstead, I’ve become totally free from her. There are no limits to the worlds I desire to encounter and I deserve to experience them. I’m a goddess. I am Aphrodite.”

With a quick flip of the switch, the camera’s light faded.

Rising from the bed, Lily was totally exhilarated. Maybe the experts were right. When people like her actually hit their stride, the evolution was only the beginning of what was to come. That simple truth caused her to shiver. She really was different. She was totally unencumbered by
anything. It was
only
her and the Way.

After packing the camera, Lily left the small ranch
house
and ventured out into the warm Carolina night just as a gentle rain began to fall. She moved slowly up the block and stopped as she reached her car. Lifting her face to the sky, she embraced the shower. After all, they were one and the same, this Carolina rain. They were unpredictable and free to do what came naturally and without thought. They just were.

Lights appeared around the corner and a
car slowed
,
then stopped as its driver-side window rolled halfway down.

“Ya all right there, girl?” asked the handsome young man behind the wheel of the new Camaro.

BOOK: Carolina Rain
4.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Strip by Thomas Perry
Who Are You? (9780307823533) by Nixon, Joan Lowery
Delta Bear (Rogue Bear Series 2) by Meredith Clarke, Ally Summers
Ahriman: Sorcerer by John French
Heat LIghtning by Pellicane, Patricia
Foundation Fear by Benford, Gregory