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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Make sure you like these authors on Amazon so you can be updated on any new releases they have!
Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sWXcP
Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/sWXfU
Isis Pierce Riding Professor Cox: http://ow.ly/sWXih
DJ Shaw Things in the Mirror: http://ow.ly/sWXl0
Elvira Bathory Love Story of a Reaper: http://ow.ly/sWXnq
Have you gotten your copies of these great books yet? Go get them today! Don' believe me that they're great reads? Just check out the reviews
Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sWXbg
Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/sWXel
Isis Pierce Riding Professor Cox: http://ow.ly/sWXhm
DJ Shaw Things in the Mirror: http://ow.ly/sWXjZ
Elvira Bathory Love Story of a Reaper: http://ow.ly/sWXmW

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

These great authors can be found on Goodreads
Isis Pierce Riding Professor Cox: http://ow.ly/sHnBK
DJ Shaw Things in the Mirror: http://ow.ly/sWWQr

Elvira Bathory Love Story of a Reaper: http://ow.ly/sHnV5
You can get Willow Cross’ books on iTunes. Get your copies today

Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/sWWIn
Have you checked out Books-a-Million yet? Here are a couple of books to get you started.
Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sWWvC

Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/sWWyI

Monday, January 27, 2014

Here are some Twitter accounts that could use some more followers
Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sHlL9
Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/suCZT
DJ Shaw Things in the Mirror: http://ow.ly/qEap2

Elvira Bathory Love Story of a Reaper: http://ow.ly/pZR5S
I have some Facebook pages that need some love!
Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sWWcN
Willow Cross Oceans of Red Volume Three: http://ow.ly/sWWhe
Isis Pierce Riding Professor Cox: http://ow.ly/sWWjb
DJ Shaw Things in the Mirror: http://ow.ly/pLZer and her friend page http://ow.ly/pLZi2

Elvira Bathory Love Story of a Reaper: http://ow.ly/pZMoi and http://ow.ly/rMXlE

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Your Ex Has Problems Letting Go


Your Ex Has Problems Letting Go

Sarah could remember that night like it had just happened. It had been warm, unseasonably so. They had become so much closer over the few months they were holding each other up after the accident, and Sarah had hoped they had finally stepped over the friend’s line. It appeared that Sarah was the only one who saw it that way.

Michael still missed Eve, always would, and he knew Sarah wanted to be much more than friends but he just wasn't ready to take that step. Not yet. Not with any woman, even Sarah. Yes, losing Eve made him realize just how short life was, but it had only been a year since the accident and he just wasn't ready to move forward.

She stood in the shadows, watching Michael and Sarah and how they interacted. She had thought they would have moved on by now, but it seemed that Michael was a bit more stubborn than she originally thought. She had thought the two of them were already involved, but it seemed she was wrong on that as well. She watched them enter the restaurant from across the street. She shook her head and melted further into the shadows shortly after their backs had disappeared.

As Sarah was getting settled into the booth inside the restaurant, she decided that she would just lay all of her cards down on the table. It was time to let Michael know how she was feeling and how long she had been bottling it up. Eve was her best friend, so when she told Sarah that she was falling for Michael; Sarah had moved herself to the sidelines so that her friend could be happy. And Michael and Eve WERE happy together, don't doubt that. It was only after the accident that Sarah decided it might be time to make a move. But she wanted to give Michael time to grieve. Wasn't a year enough time to grieve?

Michael slid into the booth next to Sarah but kept some distance between them. He had a feeling that she was going to force him to come to a decision. He knew she thought he should move on from Eve but felt that he would never stop grieving. He slid a little closer to the edge of the booth, trying to put a little more space between them as the waiter arrived to tell them the specials. He watched Sarah as he listened with half an ear, over the top of his menu. She wasn't hard on the eyes and he supposed that he could do worse when he decided to move on. He wondered for half a second if she would wait for him to be completely ready or if she was going to give him some kind of ultimatum tonight.
He watched Sarah over his menu while they waited for their drink orders. The feeling of finality was hanging in the air around their table. Sarah glanced up, almost as if she could feel his eyes upon her and gave him a reassuring, yet shy, smile, then went back to her menu. He knew something significant was going to happen tonight, he just wasn't sure how it was going to affect the rest of his life. He felt like this only one other time in his life and that was a year ago, right before the accident. He and Eve had been fighting, about Sarah as it turned out. He was trying to convince her that the two of them were just friends but Eve would hear nothing of it. She was crying so hard that night, he remembered feeling like a dick for making her cry. But he couldn't seem to get it through her head that he and Sarah where only friends. That Sarah was trying to help him pick out something important for her birthday. He had finally lost his temper and yelled at her. He was still yelling over her to be heard that he didn't hear her when she told him about the car that had swerved into their lane. He didn't notice until it was too late and they had hit the car head-on.

Sarah had decided on what she wanted to order for dinner and had set her menu down. She had moved closer to Michael to talk to him about her decision when she noticed the look on his face. He was thinking about the accident again. She shook her head sadly as she moved closer to him. She was reaching for his hand when he suddenly jolted out of the booth, mumbling something about needing some air. Sarah watched him leave the restaurant, knowing there was nothing she could do for him until he regained his composure. She asked the waiter to come back again, when her companion had returned from his time outside.

Michael stepped outside and leaned against the side of the building. He felt that he was betraying Eve, even now that she was gone, by being here with Sarah. But Sarah had understood and had been there to hold his hand through everything, the funeral preparations, the wake and, of course, the funeral. He was torn with his feelings towards Sarah that seemed to be growing every day and the betrayal he felt he was doing with Eve.

She watched him from her spot in the shadows across the street, a cruel smile forming on her lips. She was happy to see him suffering still. He seemed to be suffering even more now, a year later, than he did the day of the accident. She wasn't sure how long she would have to watch, but knew he would eventually destroy himself and take Sarah down with him.
She turned towards her companion, "How much longer, do you think, before he is looking for his much needed release?"
She watched him as he paced in front of the restaurant, taking deep breaths. She knew where his mind was and what he was feeling. She looked back at her companion, waiting for the answer to her question.
"Soon, I think. Though not as soon as you would like, I'm afraid," was the answer.
It surprised her but there wasn't much she could do about it. Her companion knew better than she did how long it would take for Michael to be ready for what she could give him, what her companion had given her.

Michael's back began to itch; it was feeling he was not familiar with. He felt like he was being watched but when he whirled around and looked into the dark shadows around the restaurant, he could see nothing or no one. He shrugged and headed back inside to join Sarah. He knew he needed to face whatever she had planned head on, or he would just be failing himself as well as her, not to mention Eve's memory. He stopped just inside the door and looked at Sarah. He knew that she wanted something, some sort of decision to her unasked question, but he wasn't sure if he could give it to her tonight.

Sarah followed Michael's movements with her eyes as he made his way, slowly, back to their table. Their drinks had already arrived and the waiter was hovering nervously to get their food orders. She moved over so that Michael could take his seat and no sooner had he sat the waiter came over asking what they would like to order. Sarah ordered the fish with lemon sauce and Michael ordered a steak medium rare.
While they waited for their food, Sarah moved a little closer to Michael, "It's time we talked, Michael. Really talked," she said as she reached out to hold his hand.
He nodded once while looking down at their hands.
Sarah swallowed hard as she began, "I know you have been through a lot, losing Eve just last year but you need to remember that she was my best friend and I lost her too. I know you are still grieving but I wanted to let you know that I will wait for you until you are ready to move on."
Having said what she needed to say, she moved back to the corner of the booth and waited for Michael to answer her.

Michael jumped like he had been hit with an electric shock. He wasn't sure how he felt about what Sarah had just told him. I on the one hand, he was happy that she had answered the question he had been wondering to himself over the last few weeks but on the other hand, he wasn't sure how long he was going to be keeping her waiting. He didn't feel it was fair to make her wait for him forever. The selfish part of him wanted to see if she would wait for him that long. The justice seeking side of him prayed that she wouldn't. He continued to stare at her while she moved away and settled into her side of the booth.

Sarah gave Michael a brave smile but deep inside she was trembling. She had just told him that she would wait for him until he was ready to move on but she wasn't sure how truthful she had been when she had told him that. Now all she could do was wait for his answer. Michael leaned closer to Sarah, seemingly to give her an answer to her unasked question, when the waiter arrived with their order. He leaned back with an exasperated sigh. Sarah was looking at him expectantly but her answer was going to have to wait until the waiter left. The waiter asked them if there was anything else he could get them and they both shook their heads.

Michael cleared his throat, "Sarah, I know we have gotten close over the last year. With the loss of Eve, it is only to be expected, but I am just not ready yet. I'm really not sure when I will be ready to get involved with anyone again. You are right, though, we do need to talk."
He looked longingly out the window, like he would much rather be outside than in here answering unasked questions.
"There's something you need to know. Sarah, Eve and I were arguing about you the night of the accident. She thought we were having an affair. She wouldn't listen to me when I told her that you and were just friends and that you were trying to help me pick the perfect present."
He sighed as he sat back heavily into the booth, looking down at his plate of food. He felt that a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders having told Sarah his deep, dark secret.

Sarah sat back, looking stunned by Michael's announcement. She hadn't thought that Eve was that kind of girl, to be jealous over someone else spending time with her man. When the ramifications sunk in, Sarah began to laugh. Her laugh seemed to shock Michael but he wouldn't move closer to her.
When she finally caught her breath, she apologized to him, "I'm so sorry, Michael. I don't mean to laugh but Eve didn't strike me as the type of woman who was so insecure in herself and her relationship that she would be jealous over her man spending time with her best friend. I'm just very surprised to find that she was very much human and not so much the goddess everyone treated her to be."
Michael nodded once while Sarah finished, "I said I would wait for you to be ready, Michael, and I meant it. Now let's just enjoy our meal."
She tucked into her fish, watching to see if Michael would follow her lead.

She was watching the drama unfold, outside the window by Sarah and Michael's table. She was getting rather pissed that they seemed to be so cozy, even now. Her companion placed his hand on her arm, halting her movement from the shadows.
"It is best for you to remain hidden for now, Eve. You must not make this decision for either of them. I assume you were planning on giving the gift to both your best friend and your boyfriend?" Eve spun on her heel and stared at her companion like he had sprung a second head.
"You want me to give my gift to Sarah?! The very same woman who has been trying to take Michael from me for over a year?! The one who caused the accident to begin with?! How can you even CONSIDER that?"
Her companion just looked at her patiently, allowing her to vent all of her frustrations upon him.
When she was done yelling, he answered her, "If you don't at lease offer your gift to Sarah as well as Michael, there will be consequences. You need to OFFER the gift to the both of them, Eve. It is part of those rules I gave you when I offered this gift to you."
She was well and truly pissed off at this point. Eve knew the rules and had taken them to heart when he had offered her his gift, but that was when she lay dying and believed Michael about Sarah. Now she wasn't so sure. Just watching the two of them together made her wonder how much Michael had told her that night was true. But she nodded at her companion curtly, letting him know that she would abide by the rules.
"Besides, Eve, if you don't offer Sarah our gift, I will do it for you and you will have to deal with any consequence I decide to met out."
Eve turned to face him, "Fine! Consider it noted!"

Sarah glanced out the window while they ate their dinner. She thought she saw some movement in the alley across the street. She squinted her eyes, trying to see more, when she felt Michael's hand on her arm.
"What is it, Sarah?"
She turned her attention to Michael and cleared her throat. He moved his hand off of her arm but the concern on his face remained.
She shook her head, "Nothing, Michael. Just waiting for you to be ready to move on."

Michael nodded at Sarah once, then returned to his own meal, letting her return to her own as well. He glanced out the window, thinking over Sarah proposal. He squinted when he noticed movement at the opening of the alley across the street. He was leaning closer to the window, trying to see what was moving over there, when he caught a glimpse of shocking red hair. He sat back like he had been punched. It couldn't have been Eve! She was dead! Had been for a year now! He continued to stare out the window in shock. He could hear Sarah speaking to him but it seemed that she was talking from inside a well. He was squinting so hard against the glare of the lights in the windows to see if it was Eve, that he didn't notice that he was leaning into the window. Not until his nose touched the cold glass. He leapt to his feet, startling Sarah as well as the rest of the patrons, saying something about needing to check something out in the alley across the street.

Sarah apologized to the servers while leaving some money on the table to cover their meal as she leapt to her own feet to follow Michael outside.
Running to catch him she shouted, "What the holy hell is going on with you, Michael? I don't mind paying for dinner but I DO mind you taking off and leaving me hanging like this!"
Michael skid to a halt at the mouth of the alley and turned back to Sarah.
"I saw Eve while sitting in the restaurant!"
Sarah shook her head sadly as she approached him slowly.
"It was her, Sarah! I know it!"
"We buried her body, Michael. Are you saying that Eve decided to 'wake' up and walk away from her coffin and her burial?"
Michael shook his head violently while trying to shake Sarah's hand off his arm so that he could go into the alley to look for Eve.
"I don't know what I'm saying, Sarah. All I know is that I saw Eve and now I am going to go into this alley, with or without you, and make sure it either was or wasn't her."
He looked at her pleadingly until she sighed and agreed.

Eve could hear them arguing at the mouth of the alley but she couldn't hear every word. She stepped towards their voices, only to be halted by her companion.
"Let them come to us, Eve. It won't be long now that you have shown yourself."
Shaking his head, he drug her back into the shadows with him, muttering under his breath, "I will never understand today's youth and their impatience." She glared at her companion as Michael and Sarah continued their argument.
She stepped closer to him as she hissed, "You call it what you like, Fredrick. I was tired of waiting for what you promised me."
She shoved away from him and paced the length of the wall beside the dumpster they were hiding behind.
"It has been a year now and I don't care what you say, now is the time."
Fredrick looked at her with anger smoldering in his dark eyes, "Fine, but you better hope this little stunt of yours doesn't blow up in our faces. Because, make no mistake, it will be OUR faces, Eve. I will take as much heat as you over this."
Eve was beginning to look decidedly uncertain by the time Fredrick had finished his small speech.

Michael continued to argue with Sarah at the mouth of the alley. He knew he had seen Eve, he felt it in the very marrow of his bones. Nothing Sarah said would sway him of that. Now he just had to convince Sarah. He moved towards her, his hands raised placating, pleading her with his eyes as well as his words. His heart was breaking all over again with the mere thought they had buried Eve alive and the torture she surely went through to get herself out of six feet of dirt and casket.

Sarah could see that Michael's mind was set. He was determined to check this alley to see if Eve truly was alive and nothing she could say was going to sway his decision. She sighed as she saw the hurt in his eyes as he thought of Eve having to dig herself out of the ground because she had been alive when buried. She faltered only briefly in her argument that he and she leave this spot and return home, and that was all it took. Michael had convinced her to check the alley for Eve.
'If it helps him to move on, then we shall check this empty alley to prove that Eve is well and truly dead,' Sarah thought to herself as they made their way cautiously into the alley.
She had a bad feeling about this alley, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was. She felt as though they were being watched, but when she looked over her shoulder and squinted into the darkest shadows she saw nothing. She couldn't shake the feeling that having taken pity on Michael and agreeing to this adventure, that their lives were about to change. Whether it was for better, or worse, remained to be seen.

Michael appreciated Sarah coming with him to find Eve but, truth be told, he would have gone without her. He knew he had seen Eve and he refused to be swayed to think otherwise. There was only one woman he had ever met in their small town with hair that color red. He needed to know if she was, indeed, dead so that he could move on, or if she was, somehow, still alive so he could work things out with her. He was just starting to come to grips with the thought that she was dead, and now this! What would he do if she really was alive?

Eve heard them approaching their hiding spot. She looked at Fredrick with panic in her eyes. She really hadn't thought this through, showing Michael a glimpse of herself before the agreed upon time. Fredrick grinned at her cruelly as Sarah and Michael continued to approach their hiding spot.
Eve held her breath as she heard Sarah whisper, "We should leave now, Michael. I have a bad feeling about this."
She could hear the movement of their clothes, as if Sarah was pulling on Michael. Fredrick continued to grin at her cruelly as her boyfriend crept closer and closer. She knew her best friend was a "sensitive" but she wasn't sure just how sensitive.

Sarah's body was crawling with goose flesh by the time she and Michael had made it to the dumpster in the middle of the alley. She continued to beg Michael to leave but her pleas seemed to be falling on deaf ears, he was so intent on finding Eve. She considered, briefly, leaving him here and going home herself, but her "sensitivity" was screaming at her that they BOTH needed to leave.

Michael barely heard, much less, felt Sarah pleading with him to leave. He felt as if he was close to finding Eve as they began to round the dumpster. He needed to know, for his peace of mind, that Eve was really dead and that what he saw was his imagination trying to make the hurt lesser than it truly was.

Fredrick held Eve around her waist, keeping her from moving around the dumpster to meet Michael and Sarah.
He hissed in her ear, "You will let them come to us, you impatient child."
She struggled against Fredrick's hold, but his grip was like iron around her waist.
She took a deep breath to scream but Fredrick slipped his other hand around her mouth and hissed in her ear, "Ah, ah, ah. Not fair to warn them of our presence, Eve."
He pulled her deeper into the shadows, his eyes glowing as Michael and Sarah's voices became clear enough they could hear the whole argument.

Michael continued to make his way through the alley, heading to the darker side of the dumpster where he thought he had seen Eve head when they entered the alley. He looked around and squinted into the shadows, hoping to catch sight of her again. He was beginning to think that Sarah might be right and it really was wishful thinking on his part. He really hoped he wasn't wrong and that Eve truly was alive, but until they reached the dark side of the dumpster, he wouldn't know.

Sarah was rubbing her upper arms, trying to rub away the goose flesh. She tried, once again, to warn Michael about them giving up on this quest of his and heading on home.
"Michael, please! I don't have a good feeling about this! We need to leave this alley, right now!"
She tried to use a scolding voice; something that she thought would get his attention. Everything she said was falling on deaf ears and she was fast becoming tired of being ignored, even if it was Michael. She glared at his back as she continued to pick her way through the alley. Just as they were approaching the darker side of the dumpster, Sarah heard a scrapping sound and paused in her movements. Turning toward the sound, Sarah found herself starting into the darkest depths of shadows she had ever seen. They had finally rounded the corner of the dumpster, where the scraping sound had been coming from, and Sarah was beginning to get very frightened. She tugged on Michael's arm, trying to urge him to leave with her. She didn't want to stay in this alley for another minute, regardless of how this might help him move on. She hadn't signed up for fear when she told Michael how she felt and, though she had told him no more than half an hour before that she would, she didn't feel much like waiting for him anymore.
"Michael, let's leave. Now!" she hissed at him, tugging on his arm more urgently.
When he finally turned to look at her to tell her whatever it was he felt he needed to tell her to keep her with him in this alley searching for Eve, she was no longer looking at him. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and she was looking past Michael.

Michael heard Sarah begging to leave but he was ignoring her. He had one thing on his mind right now and that was finding Eve. Sarah would just have to prove to him that she would wait for him and this was his way of making her do just that. He didn't hear the scrapping sound, or feel what Sarah could feel. He only knew that he had seen Eve and now he was going to find her, if that was the last thing he did. When Sarah started pulling on his arm so hard he felt the threads in the shoulder start to give and she started getting demanding, he had had enough. He stopped moving, turning to her to make her stop acting like such a baby. She wasn't looking at him, but over his shoulder, and her eyes were as big as the tea saucers his mother used to keep in her china hutch. When he turned to see what had her so frightened, he was caught off guard by the upper cut, and he was down for the count.

Fredrick moved out of the shadows, revealing himself to a human who wasn’t dying for the first time. He watched Sarah as she screamed and reached for Michael as his body fell to the ground like a sack of flour. He smiled at her cruelly, feeding off of her fear as he moved closer to her. He heard Eve move in the shadows and looked at her with so much rage, she stopped moving.
She wanted to save her best friend from the monster Fredrick had become but his look had her just as frozen as Sarah seemed to be. Fredrick reached out for Sarah, causing her screams to become shriller. Why didn't the neighboring apartments hear the screaming? Fredrick kept reaching for Sarah, taking small, steady steps towards her. She kept backing up, looking at Michael's still, unconscious form, whimpering with each step she took. Eve tried to get Fredrick's attention; this wasn't what they had agreed on a year ago. SHE was the one that was supposed to distribute the gift to both of them. What was Fredrick doing? She was moving out of the shadows when Sarah did something truly surprising. The two of them had been friends since childhood and for Sarah to surprise Eve meant that she was doing something not very Sarah like.

Sarah's screams seemed to bounce off the alley walls. No one was coming to rescue her and Michael was out cold. This THING was reaching for her and all she could do was scream and curl up in a ball, trying to become as small as possible. What did IT want? IT was like something she had never seen before. She stopped screaming long enough to take a breath and that's when she heard it. The whimper coming from behind the monster still reaching for her. Sarah decided that she didn't want to be the victim here and wait for Michael to regain consciousness. She was tired of waiting for a man, for any reason. It was time to stand on her own two feet for a change and save herself. She lunged at the monster, tackling him and bringing him to the ground with herself on top.
Sarah was out of her mind with fear but lunged at the monster never the less. She felt that if she continued to lay there and scream, she would just be laying down like the lamb to the slaughter and, damn it, she wanted to live! She was attacking this THING like a wild woman, not a care in the world besides saving herself and Michael. She was scratching at his eyes and swearing when she heard Michael stir.

Michael heard Sarah screaming and reached out to help her. He realized with a jolt that his eyes were cold and he appeared to be lying on the ground. His back was getting cold and wet so he sat up slowly, his head swimming with the effort. When he was able to focus his eyes and make the men pounding in his skull slow down their actions, he looked to wear he could hear Sarah letting out her warrior screams.  What he saw gave him pause. Sarah was sitting on top of, what was that thing?, something attacking it for all she was worth, all the while cursing and screaming at it.
"Sarah. Sarah. SARAH!!!" Michael shouted at her.

Fredrick was covering his face against Sarah's attacks, not that they would cause any more harm or good to what he looked like, it was just instinctual. He felt, rather than saw, Eve move from her hiding place and he could do nothing to stop her. His plan was unraveling before his very eyes and there was nothing he could about it until he got that foul woman off of him!

While Fredrick was blocking Sarah's blows, Eve moved around the two of them towards Michael. It was hard to continue to be angry with Michael, or Sarah, after this nasty turn of events. When Fredrick had approached her a year ago with his gift, she was so angry with Michael and Sarah that he life and ended so abruptly. So she accepted his terms, and his gift, greedily, not truly understanding what she was signing herself up for. Al she knew as that after a year's time she needed to give the gift to Michael and Sarah if they both agreed to it. And that was the catch, they HAD to agree or it couldn't happen.  Thinking about it now, she realized that there was a reason he was pushing getting them both and why Fredrick was acting the way he was with everything having been turned on its ear because of her impatience.

Michael's head had finally quit swimming and he was on his feet, trying to reach Sarah before that THING could begin to fight back. He had just about reached their side, when he was hit by a force he couldn't describe. When he recovered from being thrown back down onto the ground, he looked around to see what had thrown him and his eyes settled on Eve. He gaped at her, not really believing his eyes.
"Michael, don't freak out. Yes, it's really me but I have changed," Eve told him, looking at the ground.
"You don't know the half of it," she muttered under her breath when she heard his gasp.
"EVE! I knew it! You're alive!!" Michael jumped to his feet, moving to take Eve into his arms.
She scuttled back into the deepest shadows she could find outside of the dumpster's and pointed in the general direction of Sarah, "Don't you think we should help Sarah before we have our little reunion?" she asked him.

When Sarah heard Eve's voice and the conversation that she was holding with Michael, she completely froze. Fredrick took advantage of her shock and gripped her arms, pulling her to him. She shivered and gagged as his breath hit her face. She was terrified and wasn't sure if Michael would even want to help her now that he had found Eve. She was still in shock that Eve was alive and had been hiding it for over a year but there were more pressing matters at hand. Getting free, with or without their help. She was still gagging as she tried to move away from the monster pretending to be a man. His arm lashed out, so fast that none of them were prepared for it to happen, wrapping around Sarah's waist and pulling her to him. He turned her around so that her back was to him and she could see her whether her would be saviors would succeed or fail. He pulled her closer, his chest pressing firmly against her back, and covered her mouth with his other. Sarah was completely terrified, her eyes were wide as she watched Eve and Michael flank Fredrick. She tried to shake her head, letting them know it was okay, to do whatever it was he wanted them to do, but his grip was so tight she couldn't even more her head a small inch.

Eve took Fredrick's right side while Michael took his left, trying to make him feel outnumbered. Eve should have known better than to think this plan would work. She had to make sure she didn't step to far out of the darkness, lest Michael she what she truly was, and Fredrick was by far the stronger of the two of them. To let Michael believe he could take him was pure foolishness, but what was she going to do? It was in Michael's nature to help the underdog.

Michael kept advancing and was almost on top of Sarah and Fredrick when he realized that Eve was still in the shadows.
"Eve, we need to do this together. We need to get Sarah away from him and get the hell out of here."
Eve just shook her head, a sad, lost look in her eyes. Michael didn't understand it and he didn't have time to argue with her.
He was moving closer still when Fredrick spoke to them for the first time, "Eve can't help you, Michael. She is more like me than she wants to admit and if she were to leave those shadows that she is hiding in, you would see her for what she truly is now. She won't have you see that. Come, Eve, show Michael and Sarah who you truly are now."
That being said, he moved Sarah away from his body slightly, waiting expectantly for Eve to follow his direction.

Eve stood still in the shadows, staring at Fredrick with pure hatred burning in her bright eyes. When Michael turned back to the monster posing as a man, he could see the monster's eyes were glowing. What the hell was this thing? Michael's mind couldn't seem to wrap around the situation he found himself, and Sarah, in. His gaze moved from Eve in her shadows to the thing holding Sarah. He moved closer to Sarah, holding his hand out, as if she could take it to be free of the monster.

Sarah watched Michael's internal struggle, who should he save? Sarah or Eve? Should he make Eve leave her shadows and forsake Sarah to the monster holding her? Or should he try to wrest her away and let Eve do whatever she was going to do? What would he choose? Sarah didn't know but struggling against this monster's grasp was getting her nowhere.
Michael stopped moving, looking towards Eve in the shadows. It seemed he had made his decision.
"What is he talking about, Eve? Why won't you leave the shadows?"
He looked back, once, at Sarah before moving towards the shadows and Eve. She was shaking her head, pleading at him with her eyes to let it go.

Fredrick waited, his grip on Sarah tightening slightly, for Eve to make her decision. He didn't need Sarah for leverage anymore but he wasn't going to let her go and risk the chance of her attacking him again. He could feel the hatred coming off of Eve in waves, almost touch it and warp it around himself like a lover. The terror that was coming off of Sarah was like a decadent dessert, something to savor, but it was the hatred from Eve that was his main course.
"What to do, what to do? Hmm Eve?" He taunted her.
Michael was frozen somewhere halfway between moving backwards towards Eve or forwards to helping Sarah. Decisions. decisions. Fredrick laughed in his mirth, enjoying Eve's distress over having to show Michael her true self and Michael’s inability to decide on who he was going to concentrate on saving.

Michael took a step towards Eve, his hand out, looking into her eyes. He took another and another, until he had finally reached her. Sarah was all but forgotten by Michael at this point, in this moment, because he HAD to know what Fredrick was talking about, Eve's true self. What could that possibly even mean? He was confused and frightened, worried that Sarah was going to get hurt because if his stubbornness. When he finally reached Eve, he held his hands out to her.
"Come on, Eve. Come out of the shadows, we don't have time for this. What is he talking about? You're still my Evie."
He was looking into her eyes, Eve's eyes, and they were much the same. The only thing different about her eyes was how much hatred he could see hiding behind the depths.

Sarah watched as Michael seemingly abandoned her for Eve. She watched him move towards the shadows and try to coax her out. She watched as Eve took a timid step into the lame light in the alley. And her eyes widened when she finally took a good look at Eve in the light. She gasped behind the monster’s rancid hand, then started gagging at the rank smell wafting from him.

Michael turned towards Sarah's gasp, watching her expression for whatever awaited him on his other side with Eve. He wasn't sure what to expect by her reaction but when he finally turned to Eve, her head was down and her skin had a reddish hue. She was wearing a barely there outfit, one that she would never have been caught dead in a year ago.

Fredrick grinned evilly, cackling at the reactions of both Michael and Sarah as Eve stepped out under the sickly light in the alley. There was only one way to treat this situation she had helped get herself into and that was to just rip the band aid completely off all at once. It was time to own up to the fact that she had decided to dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight. She didn't have to be happy about it, but it was something she needed to own. It was time and now she understood completely why Fredrick had insisted on her agreeing out loud and to repeating the terms so that the gods and goddesses could hear the pact being made.

Michael's jaw dropped as Eve stepped fully into the lame lighting in the alley. Eve was wearing an outfit that was a cross between the slave outfit that Princess Leia wore in Return of the Jedi and some cave woman Halloween costume. Michael did a double take, just to make sure it really was her, the outfit was something she would never have worn a year go. Not only that, but the light that she was standing under gave her skin a reddish hue, almost as if she had been out in the sun to long and had gotten herself a third degree sunburn. He was shaking his head as Eve looked up from the ground to meet his gaze. He saw as her stance took on a defiance that he had never seen in her before and the anger filled look she gave him. It was almost as if she was daring him to say something, anything, about what she’d become.

Eve wasn't sure what he was thinking but the look on his face could only be described as shock. She continued to stare at Michael, waiting for him to say something when Fredrick’s laugh cut off abruptly. The alley grew silent after the echo of his laugh finally died away. He was looking at Eve with such hatred in his eyes that Eve wondered what she had done to make him feel that way, other than up their time table. She moved closer to Michael, who took a few steps back.

Fredrick was finally getting bored with his game. He shoved Sarah into Michael's arms in passing on his way toward Eve.
"This is what you have to offer them, Eve. What do you want to do? If you don't offer them the gift, they die tonight in this alley. There is no other way. They have seen too much. The choice, of course, is yours," he told her through the mental link the had.
His smile was so cruel that Eve took a step back herself. She looked over at Michael, who was consoling Sarah, and shook her head.
"I can't make them take this 'gift', Fredrick. It's not right. I wouldn't ask my worst enemy this question."
Fredrick shook his head at her sadly as he moved back towards Michael and Sarah, "Just remember, years from now, that you chose this for them. That this was not my doing."
As he was preparing to take that final step that would take him within arms reach of Michael and Sarah, Eve shouted, "NO! I will ask them. Somehow, I’ll convince them."

Sarah was weeping into Michael's chest as she heard the exchange between Eve and Fredrick. She wasn't sure what had happened but she knew that their lives were about to be turned upside down. She wasn't sure what choice Eve was getting ready to give them, and she sure didn't know what Michael was going to chose, but knew in her heart that whatever choice he made would be hers as well. She would follow Michael to the depths of Hell if that is what it would take to be with him. Little did she know how true this might end up being.

Eve intercepted Fredrick's move and gently pulled Sarah out of Michael's arms.
She waited patiently for Sarah to get herself under control, then made sure Sarah was looking her in the eye, "Sarah, what I'm about to tell you is going to seem outrageous but it is very true. I need you to understand this right from the beginning before anything else is said. I have been turned into a demon."
She paused long enough for it to sink in, not just for Sarah but for Michael as well.
When she saw the horrified look on both of their faces she pushed on, "Yes, that is exactly what I said. A demon. Complete with horns, though I have them hidden right now. If you'd like I can show them to you so that you can understand how real this is."
Both Sarah and Michael shook their heads in silence. They weren't sure where Eve was going with this but the reddish hue of her skin, and the tail she was trying so hard to keep concealed, were prove enough for them to believe her.

Fredrick looked on, a small amount of pride showing in his eyes. Eve had done exactly what he knew she would do if given the choice between himself and her with her friends. It was time, and Eve needed to embrace her inner Demoness.

Michael and Sarah looked at each other as Eve talked to them. Her tail twitching from side to side was the only sign that she was getting upset. Apparently a year ago, when she lay dying in the middle of that dark highway and Michael apologized over and over again about the accident, Fredrick had come to her in a form that only the dying can see and offered her an immortal life and her ultimate revenge upon the two of them and Eve had jumped on the chance. Little did she know what she was agreeing to.

Eve wanted to apologize to Sarah and Michael but couldn't bring herself to. Her plan was still to have at least one of them join her in this dark decision of hers. Fredrick was looking on waiting, perhaps, for the moment he would be needed to help one or both of them to make the choice. She knew she would only get one shot at this, so she approached Michael as only a lover could.
"I know this is all so unbelievable, but Michael I need you to listen to me very closely. I need to ask you to make a decision, and it must be made within five minutes after I ask you the question. Do you think you can do that?"

Michael nodded mutely, not sure what to make of the Eve that stood before him. She was just so different from his Eve. She looked like some kind of She-Devil, something out a book he had once read in high school. He pinched himself, making sure he wasn't asleep and that this night was really happening.

Sarah knew what was about to happen, but her eyes were trained on Fredrick. He was the wild card in this whole situation, the one she couldn't get a feeling for. She heard Eve beseeching Michael to understand and letting him know he had a choice to make, but her attention was on the monster standing off to the side. Until she could figure out what his deal was, she refused to take her eyes off of him. She was still watching Fredrick when some of what Eve was saying began to filter in.
"Please, baby. Don't you want to be together forever? Isn't that what we promised each other? This is the only way we can make true on that promise. I have been waiting all year just to give you this gift so that we can be together."
Stunned, Sarah looked at Michael while Eve continued to coo in his ear, keeping Fredrick in her peripheral. She wasn't sure what choice Michael was going to make but she could see his resolve crumbling. He had truly grieved the death of this woman, this demon, when he thought she was dead. What would Sarah do if he chose to take Eve up on her offer and join her forever in Hell?

Fredrick listened to Eve croon on to Michael about being together forever, knowing that she had him hooked the minute she brought up their promise. His concern was over little Sarah, the kitten who chose this night to show she had claws. Did she feel Michael would be worth fighting for? Or would she let Eve take him and become a casualty of this so called war?

Eve knew that she had Michael but was worried that Sarah would find a way to talk him out of his decision. If he changed his mind before the transformation was finalized, then all would be lost and she would not be reunited with her true love. But do demons truly love??

Sarah watched Michael's face as a variety of emotions crossed over it. His anguish over losing Eve, the grief he was starting to get past, the happiness that he had found her alive, the confusion that she WAS alive and what she was telling him and the fear of the commitment he was being asked to make. She moved to put herself between Michael and Eve but Eve anticipated her move and slid the length of her body along his, making it known that she wasn’t going to give him up without a fight. A fight, it seemed, that Eve had been waiting a long while to have with Sarah.

Michael looked from Eve to Sarah, not truly understanding what was going on. He moved instinctively towards Eve even as Sarah was moving towards him. Then all thought fled his brain when Eve melted her body into his.

Fredrick watched all of this happening with a frown on his face. He knew Sarah was going to be the joker, the loose cannon, in all of this. She was just too nice, too pure, to believe everything that Eve was saying. If Eve didn't get Michael to make a decision soon, he feared that Sarah would make this far more difficult than expected. He wondered if telling her that she would die if she didn’t take Eve’s offer would make a difference. Oh, but he couldn’t do that. It was against the rules. A human had to make the decision without any of the pros and cons of the truth. If they knew what would happen if they said no, then the other side could forfeit that human’s fate. And he really didn’t want to forfeit Sarah’s fate of death just because he was curious to see if knowing she was going to die would help sway her outcome.
Eve could almost feel Michael’s worry over Sarah and knew that if she didn’t work harder she was going to lose him for good.
Damn Sarah and her hold on him, she thought as she held Michael tighter, doubling her efforts to sway him to follow her into Hell.
Sliding her hand behind his neck, she gently brought his face down, bringing his gaze to her once more. She brought his face closer, claiming his mouth with her own. She licked his lips, asking with that one action to open his mouth to her. Once he did, she slid her tongue along his, ensuring she had his full attention.
Sarah let out a pained gasp when Eve found a way to gain Michael’s full attention. She was losing this little tug of war with her, again. She always lost to Eve, no matter what she did, and had been since they were five years old. It had only become much worse as they became older and discovered boys. How could she be losing to a dead woman? She took a step towards the two of them, wanting to get Michael away from Eve but not knowing if she was going to be able to. She was afraid she’d already lost him, but knew she wouldn’t leave him to make this decision on his own. If he chose to go with Eve, to take the gift she was offering, then Sarah knew she would go along with him. She loved him too much to let him live out an eternity with evil on his own.
Fredrick watched as Sarah made to get Michael’s attention, hiding his amusement. He saw the resolve on her face, saw that she would do what she could to keep Michael from choosing Eve but would go with him if it was, indeed, what he chose. He continued to stay quiet and watch the drama unfold, his amusement growing.

Though his amusement was growing, so was his impatience. He had gone topside with Eve hoping to spill some blood and he was beginning to think that wasn’t going to happen. He turned his attention to Eve and Michael, saw how hard she was working to get him to choose her and wondered if she had the power she thought she did over his decisions. 

©DJ Shaw
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Isis Pierce Riding Professor Cox: http://ow.ly/sHnBK
DJ Shaw Phegru’s Revenge: http://ow.ly/sHnNA
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Lacey Silks Layers Peeled: http://ow.ly/sIGWz
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Your Ex Has Problems Letting Go



Your Ex Has Problems Letting Go

Sarah could remember that night like it had just happened. It had been warm, unseasonably so. They had become so much closer over the few months they were holding each other up after the accident, and Sarah had hoped they had finally stepped over the friend’s line. It appeared that Sarah was the only one who saw it that way.

Michael still missed Eve, always would, and he knew Sarah wanted to be much more than friends but he just wasn't ready to take that step. Not yet. Not with any woman, even Sarah. Yes, losing Eve made him realize just how short life was, but it had only been a year since the accident and he just wasn't ready to move forward.

She stood in the shadows, watching Michael and Sarah and how they interacted. She had thought they would have moved on by now, but it seemed that Michael was a bit more stubborn than she originally thought. She had thought the two of them were already involved, but it seemed she was wrong on that as well. She watched them enter the restaurant from across the street. She shook her head and melted further into the shadows shortly after their backs had disappeared.

As Sarah was getting settled into the booth inside the restaurant, she decided that she would just lay all of her cards down on the table. It was time to let Michael know how she was feeling and how long she had been bottling it up. Eve was her best friend, so when she told Sarah that she was falling for Michael; Sarah had moved herself to the sidelines so that her friend could be happy. And Michael and Eve WERE happy together, don't doubt that. It was only after the accident that Sarah decided it might be time to make a move. But she wanted to give Michael time to grieve. Wasn't a year enough time to grieve?

Michael slid into the booth next to Sarah but kept some distance between them. He had a feeling that she was going to force him to come to a decision. He knew she thought he should move on from Eve but felt that he would never stop grieving. He slid a little closer to the edge of the booth, trying to put a little more space between them as the waiter arrived to tell them the specials. He watched Sarah as he listened with half an ear, over the top of his menu. She wasn't hard on the eyes and he supposed that he could do worse when he decided to move on. He wondered for half a second if she would wait for him to be completely ready or if she was going to give him some kind of ultimatum tonight.
He watched Sarah over his menu while they waited for their drink orders. The feeling of finality was hanging in the air around their table. Sarah glanced up, almost as if she could feel his eyes upon her and gave him a reassuring, yet shy, smile, then went back to her menu. He knew something significant was going to happen tonight, he just wasn't sure how it was going to affect the rest of his life. He felt like this only one other time in his life and that was a year ago, right before the accident. He and Eve had been fighting, about Sarah as it turned out. He was trying to convince her that the two of them were just friends but Eve would hear nothing of it. She was crying so hard that night, he remembered feeling like a dick for making her cry. But he couldn't seem to get it through her head that he and Sarah where only friends. That Sarah was trying to help him pick out something important for her birthday. He had finally lost his temper and yelled at her. He was still yelling over her to be heard that he didn't hear her when she told him about the car that had swerved into their lane. He didn't notice until it was too late and they had hit the car head-on.

Sarah had decided on what she wanted to order for dinner and had set her menu down. She had moved closer to Michael to talk to him about her decision when she noticed the look on his face. He was thinking about the accident again. She shook her head sadly as she moved closer to him. She was reaching for his hand when he suddenly jolted out of the booth, mumbling something about needing some air. Sarah watched him leave the restaurant, knowing there was nothing she could do for him until he regained his composure. She asked the waiter to come back again, when her companion had returned from his time outside.

Michael stepped outside and leaned against the side of the building. He felt that he was betraying Eve, even now that she was gone, by being here with Sarah. But Sarah had understood and had been there to hold his hand through everything, the funeral preparations, the wake and, of course, the funeral. He was torn with his feelings towards Sarah that seemed to be growing every day and the betrayal he felt he was doing with Eve.

She watched him from her spot in the shadows across the street, a cruel smile forming on her lips. She was happy to see him suffering still. He seemed to be suffering even more now, a year later, than he did the day of the accident. She wasn't sure how long she would have to watch, but knew he would eventually destroy himself and take Sarah down with him.
She turned towards her companion, "How much longer, do you think, before he is looking for his much needed release?"
She watched him as he paced in front of the restaurant, taking deep breaths. She knew where his mind was and what he was feeling. She looked back at her companion, waiting for the answer to her question.
"Soon, I think. Though not as soon as you would like, I'm afraid," was the answer.
It surprised her but there wasn't much she could do about it. Her companion knew better than she did how long it would take for Michael to be ready for what she could give him, what her companion had given her.

Michael's back began to itch; it was feeling he was not familiar with. He felt like he was being watched but when he whirled around and looked into the dark shadows around the restaurant, he could see nothing or no one. He shrugged and headed back inside to join Sarah. He knew he needed to face whatever she had planned head on, or he would just be failing himself as well as her, not to mention Eve's memory. He stopped just inside the door and looked at Sarah. He knew that she wanted something, some sort of decision to her unasked question, but he wasn't sure if he could give it to her tonight.

Sarah followed Michael's movements with her eyes as he made his way, slowly, back to their table. Their drinks had already arrived and the waiter was hovering nervously to get their food orders. She moved over so that Michael could take his seat and no sooner had he sat the waiter came over asking what they would like to order. Sarah ordered the fish with lemon sauce and Michael ordered a steak medium rare.
While they waited for their food, Sarah moved a little closer to Michael, "It's time we talked, Michael. Really talked," she said as she reached out to hold his hand.
He nodded once while looking down at their hands.
Sarah swallowed hard as she began, "I know you have been through a lot, losing Eve just last year but you need to remember that she was my best friend and I lost her too. I know you are still grieving but I wanted to let you know that I will wait for you until you are ready to move on."
Having said what she needed to say, she moved back to the corner of the booth and waited for Michael to answer her.

Michael jumped like he had been hit with an electric shock. He wasn't sure how he felt about what Sarah had just told him. I on the one hand, he was happy that she had answered the question he had been wondering to himself over the last few weeks but on the other hand, he wasn't sure how long he was going to be keeping her waiting. He didn't feel it was fair to make her wait for him forever. The selfish part of him wanted to see if she would wait for him that long. The justice seeking side of him prayed that she wouldn't. He continued to stare at her while she moved away and settled into her side of the booth.

Sarah gave Michael a brave smile but deep inside she was trembling. She had just told him that she would wait for him until he was ready to move on but she wasn't sure how truthful she had been when she had told him that. Now all she could do was wait for his answer. Michael leaned closer to Sarah, seemingly to give her an answer to her unasked question, when the waiter arrived with their order. He leaned back with an exasperated sigh. Sarah was looking at him expectantly but her answer was going to have to wait until the waiter left. The waiter asked them if there was anything else he could get them and they both shook their heads.

Michael cleared his throat, "Sarah, I know we have gotten close over the last year. With the loss of Eve, it is only to be expected, but I am just not ready yet. I'm really not sure when I will be ready to get involved with anyone again. You are right, though, we do need to talk."
He looked longingly out the window, like he would much rather be outside than in here answering unasked questions.
"There's something you need to know. Sarah, Eve and I were arguing about you the night of the accident. She thought we were having an affair. She wouldn't listen to me when I told her that you and were just friends and that you were trying to help me pick the perfect present."
He sighed as he sat back heavily into the booth, looking down at his plate of food. He felt that a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders having told Sarah his deep, dark secret.

Sarah sat back, looking stunned by Michael's announcement. She hadn't thought that Eve was that kind of girl, to be jealous over someone else spending time with her man. When the ramifications sunk in, Sarah began to laugh. Her laugh seemed to shock Michael but he wouldn't move closer to her.
When she finally caught her breath, she apologized to him, "I'm so sorry, Michael. I don't mean to laugh but Eve didn't strike me as the type of woman who was so insecure in herself and her relationship that she would be jealous over her man spending time with her best friend. I'm just very surprised to find that she was very much human and not so much the goddess everyone treated her to be."
Michael nodded once while Sarah finished, "I said I would wait for you to be ready, Michael, and I meant it. Now let's just enjoy our meal."
She tucked into her fish, watching to see if Michael would follow her lead.

She was watching the drama unfold, outside the window by Sarah and Michael's table. She was getting rather pissed that they seemed to be so cozy, even now. Her companion placed his hand on her arm, halting her movement from the shadows.
"It is best for you to remain hidden for now, Eve. You must not make this decision for either of them. I assume you were planning on giving the gift to both your best friend and your boyfriend?" Eve spun on her heel and stared at her companion like he had sprung a second head.
"You want me to give my gift to Sarah?! The very same woman who has been trying to take Michael from me for over a year?! The one who caused the accident to begin with?! How can you even CONSIDER that?"
Her companion just looked at her patiently, allowing her to vent all of her frustrations upon him.
When she was done yelling, he answered her, "If you don't at lease offer your gift to Sarah as well as Michael, there will be consequences. You need to OFFER the gift to the both of them, Eve. It is part of those rules I gave you when I offered this gift to you."
She was well and truly pissed off at this point. Eve knew the rules and had taken them to heart when he had offered her his gift, but that was when she lay dying and believed Michael about Sarah. Now she wasn't so sure. Just watching the two of them together made her wonder how much Michael had told her that night was true. But she nodded at her companion curtly, letting him know that she would abide by the rules.
"Besides, Eve, if you don't offer Sarah our gift, I will do it for you and you will have to deal with any consequence I decide to met out."
Eve turned to face him, "Fine! Consider it noted!"

Sarah glanced out the window while they ate their dinner. She thought she saw some movement in the alley across the street. She squinted her eyes, trying to see more, when she felt Michael's hand on her arm.
"What is it, Sarah?"
She turned her attention to Michael and cleared her throat. He moved his hand off of her arm but the concern on his face remained.
She shook her head, "Nothing, Michael. Just waiting for you to be ready to move on."

Michael nodded at Sarah once, then returned to his own meal, letting her return to her own as well. He glanced out the window, thinking over Sarah proposal. He squinted when he noticed movement at the opening of the alley across the street. He was leaning closer to the window, trying to see what was moving over there, when he caught a glimpse of shocking red hair. He sat back like he had been punched. It couldn't have been Eve! She was dead! Had been for a year now! He continued to stare out the window in shock. He could hear Sarah speaking to him but it seemed that she was talking from inside a well. He was squinting so hard against the glare of the lights in the windows to see if it was Eve, that he didn't notice that he was leaning into the window. Not until his nose touched the cold glass. He leapt to his feet, startling Sarah as well as the rest of the patrons, saying something about needing to check something out in the alley across the street.

Sarah apologized to the servers while leaving some money on the table to cover their meal as she leapt to her own feet to follow Michael outside.
Running to catch him she shouted, "What the holy hell is going on with you, Michael? I don't mind paying for dinner but I DO mind you taking off and leaving me hanging like this!"
Michael skid to a halt at the mouth of the alley and turned back to Sarah.
"I saw Eve while sitting in the restaurant!"
Sarah shook her head sadly as she approached him slowly.
"It was her, Sarah! I know it!"
"We buried her body, Michael. Are you saying that Eve decided to 'wake' up and walk away from her coffin and her burial?"
Michael shook his head violently while trying to shake Sarah's hand off his arm so that he could go into the alley to look for Eve.
"I don't know what I'm saying, Sarah. All I know is that I saw Eve and now I am going to go into this alley, with or without you, and make sure it either was or wasn't her."
He looked at her pleadingly until she sighed and agreed.

Eve could hear them arguing at the mouth of the alley but she couldn't hear every word. She stepped towards their voices, only to be halted by her companion.
"Let them come to us, Eve. It won't be long now that you have shown yourself."
Shaking his head, he drug her back into the shadows with him, muttering under his breath, "I will never understand today's youth and their impatience." She glared at her companion as Michael and Sarah continued their argument.
She stepped closer to him as she hissed, "You call it what you like, Fredrick. I was tired of waiting for what you promised me."
She shoved away from him and paced the length of the wall beside the dumpster they were hiding behind.
"It has been a year now and I don't care what you say, now is the time."
Fredrick looked at her with anger smoldering in his dark eyes, "Fine, but you better hope this little stunt of yours doesn't blow up in our faces. Because, make no mistake, it will be OUR faces, Eve. I will take as much heat as you over this."
Eve was beginning to look decidedly uncertain by the time Fredrick had finished his small speech.

Michael continued to argue with Sarah at the mouth of the alley. He knew he had seen Eve, he felt it in the very marrow of his bones. Nothing Sarah said would sway him of that. Now he just had to convince Sarah. He moved towards her, his hands raised placating, pleading her with his eyes as well as his words. His heart was breaking all over again with the mere thought they had buried Eve alive and the torture she surely went through to get herself out of six feet of dirt and casket.

Sarah could see that Michael's mind was set. He was determined to check this alley to see if Eve truly was alive and nothing she could say was going to sway his decision. She sighed as she saw the hurt in his eyes as he thought of Eve having to dig herself out of the ground because she had been alive when buried. She faltered only briefly in her argument that he and she leave this spot and return home, and that was all it took. Michael had convinced her to check the alley for Eve.
'If it helps him to move on, then we shall check this empty alley to prove that Eve is well and truly dead,' Sarah thought to herself as they made their way cautiously into the alley.
She had a bad feeling about this alley, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was. She felt as though they were being watched, but when she looked over her shoulder and squinted into the darkest shadows she saw nothing. She couldn't shake the feeling that having taken pity on Michael and agreeing to this adventure, that their lives were about to change. Whether it was for better, or worse, remained to be seen.

Michael appreciated Sarah coming with him to find Eve but, truth be told, he would have gone without her. He knew he had seen Eve and he refused to be swayed to think otherwise. There was only one woman he had ever met in their small town with hair that color red. He needed to know if she was, indeed, dead so that he could move on, or if she was, somehow, still alive so he could work things out with her. He was just starting to come to grips with the thought that she was dead, and now this! What would he do if she really was alive?

Eve heard them approaching their hiding spot. She looked at Fredrick with panic in her eyes. She really hadn't thought this through, showing Michael a glimpse of herself before the agreed upon time. Fredrick grinned at her cruelly as Sarah and Michael continued to approach their hiding spot.
Eve held her breath as she heard Sarah whisper, "We should leave now, Michael. I have a bad feeling about this."
She could hear the movement of their clothes, as if Sarah was pulling on Michael. Fredrick continued to grin at her cruelly as her boyfriend crept closer and closer. She knew her best friend was a "sensitive" but she wasn't sure just how sensitive.

Sarah's body was crawling with goose flesh by the time she and Michael had made it to the dumpster in the middle of the alley. She continued to beg Michael to leave but her pleas seemed to be falling on deaf ears, he was so intent on finding Eve. She considered, briefly, leaving him here and going home herself, but her "sensitivity" was screaming at her that they BOTH needed to leave.

Michael barely heard, much less, felt Sarah pleading with him to leave. He felt as if he was close to finding Eve as they began to round the dumpster. He needed to know, for his peace of mind, that Eve was really dead and that what he saw was his imagination trying to make the hurt lesser than it truly was.

Fredrick held Eve around her waist, keeping her from moving around the dumpster to meet Michael and Sarah.
He hissed in her ear, "You will let them come to us, you impatient child."
She struggled against Fredrick's hold, but his grip was like iron around her waist.
She took a deep breath to scream but Fredrick slipped his other hand around her mouth and hissed in her ear, "Ah, ah, ah. Not fair to warn them of our presence, Eve."
He pulled her deeper into the shadows, his eyes glowing as Michael and Sarah's voices became clear enough they could hear the whole argument.

Michael continued to make his way through the alley, heading to the darker side of the dumpster where he thought he had seen Eve head when they entered the alley. He looked around and squinted into the shadows, hoping to catch sight of her again. He was beginning to think that Sarah might be right and it really was wishful thinking on his part. He really hoped he wasn't wrong and that Eve truly was alive, but until they reached the dark side of the dumpster, he wouldn't know.

Sarah was rubbing her upper arms, trying to rub away the goose flesh. She tried, once again, to warn Michael about them giving up on this quest of his and heading on home.
"Michael, please! I don't have a good feeling about this! We need to leave this alley, right now!"
She tried to use a scolding voice; something that she thought would get his attention. Everything she said was falling on deaf ears and she was fast becoming tired of being ignored, even if it was Michael. She glared at his back as she continued to pick her way through the alley. Just as they were approaching the darker side of the dumpster, Sarah heard a scrapping sound and paused in her movements. Turning toward the sound, Sarah found herself starting into the darkest depths of shadows she had ever seen. They had finally rounded the corner of the dumpster, where the scraping sound had been coming from, and Sarah was beginning to get very frightened. She tugged on Michael's arm, trying to urge him to leave with her. She didn't want to stay in this alley for another minute, regardless of how this might help him move on. She hadn't signed up for fear when she told Michael how she felt and, though she had told him no more than half an hour before that she would, she didn't feel much like waiting for him anymore.
"Michael, let's leave. Now!" she hissed at him, tugging on his arm more urgently.
When he finally turned to look at her to tell her whatever it was he felt he needed to tell her to keep her with him in this alley searching for Eve, she was no longer looking at him. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and she was looking past Michael.

Michael heard Sarah begging to leave but he was ignoring her. He had one thing on his mind right now and that was finding Eve. Sarah would just have to prove to him that she would wait for him and this was his way of making her do just that. He didn't hear the scrapping sound, or feel what Sarah could feel. He only knew that he had seen Eve and now he was going to find her, if that was the last thing he did. When Sarah started pulling on his arm so hard he felt the threads in the shoulder start to give and she started getting demanding, he had had enough. He stopped moving, turning to her to make her stop acting like such a baby. She wasn't looking at him, but over his shoulder, and her eyes were as big as the tea saucers his mother used to keep in her china hutch. When he turned to see what had her so frightened, he was caught off guard by the upper cut, and he was down for the count.

Fredrick moved out of the shadows, revealing himself to a human who wasn’t dying for the first time. He watched Sarah as she screamed and reached for Michael as his body fell to the ground like a sack of flour. He smiled at her cruelly, feeding off of her fear as he moved closer to her. He heard Eve move in the shadows and looked at her with so much rage, she stopped moving.
She wanted to save her best friend from the monster Fredrick had become but his look had her just as frozen as Sarah seemed to be. Fredrick reached out for Sarah, causing her screams to become shriller. Why didn't the neighboring apartments hear the screaming? Fredrick kept reaching for Sarah, taking small, steady steps towards her. She kept backing up, looking at Michael's still, unconscious form, whimpering with each step she took. Eve tried to get Fredrick's attention; this wasn't what they had agreed on a year ago. SHE was the one that was supposed to distribute the gift to both of them. What was Fredrick doing? She was moving out of the shadows when Sarah did something truly surprising. The two of them had been friends since childhood and for Sarah to surprise Eve meant that she was doing something not very Sarah like.

Sarah's screams seemed to bounce off the alley walls. No one was coming to rescue her and Michael was out cold. This THING was reaching for her and all she could do was scream and curl up in a ball, trying to become as small as possible. What did IT want? IT was like something she had never seen before. She stopped screaming long enough to take a breath and that's when she heard it. The whimper coming from behind the monster still reaching for her. Sarah decided that she didn't want to be the victim here and wait for Michael to regain consciousness. She was tired of waiting for a man, for any reason. It was time to stand on her own two feet for a change and save herself. She lunged at the monster, tackling him and bringing him to the ground with herself on top.
Sarah was out of her mind with fear but lunged at the monster never the less. She felt that if she continued to lay there and scream, she would just be laying down like the lamb to the slaughter and, damn it, she wanted to live! She was attacking this THING like a wild woman, not a care in the world besides saving herself and Michael. She was scratching at his eyes and swearing when she heard Michael stir.

Michael heard Sarah screaming and reached out to help her. He realized with a jolt that his eyes were cold and he appeared to be lying on the ground. His back was getting cold and wet so he sat up slowly, his head swimming with the effort. When he was able to focus his eyes and make the men pounding in his skull slow down their actions, he looked to wear he could hear Sarah letting out her warrior screams.  What he saw gave him pause. Sarah was sitting on top of, what was that thing?, something attacking it for all she was worth, all the while cursing and screaming at it.
"Sarah. Sarah. SARAH!!!" Michael shouted at her.

Fredrick was covering his face against Sarah's attacks, not that they would cause any more harm or good to what he looked like, it was just instinctual. He felt, rather than saw, Eve move from her hiding place and he could do nothing to stop her. His plan was unraveling before his very eyes and there was nothing he could about it until he got that foul woman off of him!

While Fredrick was blocking Sarah's blows, Eve moved around the two of them towards Michael. It was hard to continue to be angry with Michael, or Sarah, after this nasty turn of events. When Fredrick had approached her a year ago with his gift, she was so angry with Michael and Sarah that he life and ended so abruptly. So she accepted his terms, and his gift, greedily, not truly understanding what she was signing herself up for. Al she knew as that after a year's time she needed to give the gift to Michael and Sarah if they both agreed to it. And that was the catch, they HAD to agree or it couldn't happen.  Thinking about it now, she realized that there was a reason he was pushing getting them both and why Fredrick was acting the way he was with everything having been turned on its ear because of her impatience.

Michael's head had finally quit swimming and he was on his feet, trying to reach Sarah before that THING could begin to fight back. He had just about reached their side, when he was hit by a force he couldn't describe. When he recovered from being thrown back down onto the ground, he looked around to see what had thrown him and his eyes settled on Eve. He gaped at her, not really believing his eyes.
"Michael, don't freak out. Yes, it's really me but I have changed," Eve told him, looking at the ground.
"You don't know the half of it," she muttered under her breath when she heard his gasp.
"EVE! I knew it! You're alive!!" Michael jumped to his feet, moving to take Eve into his arms.
She scuttled back into the deepest shadows she could find outside of the dumpster's and pointed in the general direction of Sarah, "Don't you think we should help Sarah before we have our little reunion?" she asked him.

When Sarah heard Eve's voice and the conversation that she was holding with Michael, she completely froze. Fredrick took advantage of her shock and gripped her arms, pulling her to him. She shivered and gagged as his breath hit her face. She was terrified and wasn't sure if Michael would even want to help her now that he had found Eve. She was still in shock that Eve was alive and had been hiding it for over a year but there were more pressing matters at hand. Getting free, with or without their help. She was still gagging as she tried to move away from the monster pretending to be a man. His arm lashed out, so fast that none of them were prepared for it to happen, wrapping around Sarah's waist and pulling her to him. He turned her around so that her back was to him and she could see her whether her would be saviors would succeed or fail. He pulled her closer, his chest pressing firmly against her back, and covered her mouth with his other. Sarah was completely terrified, her eyes were wide as she watched Eve and Michael flank Fredrick. She tried to shake her head, letting them know it was okay, to do whatever it was he wanted them to do, but his grip was so tight she couldn't even more her head a small inch.

Eve took Fredrick's right side while Michael took his left, trying to make him feel outnumbered. Eve should have known better than to think this plan would work. She had to make sure she didn't step to far out of the darkness, lest Michael she what she truly was, and Fredrick was by far the stronger of the two of them. To let Michael believe he could take him was pure foolishness, but what was she going to do? It was in Michael's nature to help the underdog.

Michael kept advancing and was almost on top of Sarah and Fredrick when he realized that Eve was still in the shadows.
"Eve, we need to do this together. We need to get Sarah away from him and get the hell out of here."
Eve just shook her head, a sad, lost look in her eyes. Michael didn't understand it and he didn't have time to argue with her.
He was moving closer still when Fredrick spoke to them for the first time, "Eve can't help you, Michael. She is more like me than she wants to admit and if she were to leave those shadows that she is hiding in, you would see her for what she truly is now. She won't have you see that. Come, Eve, show Michael and Sarah who you truly are now."
That being said, he moved Sarah away from his body slightly, waiting expectantly for Eve to follow his direction.

Eve stood still in the shadows, staring at Fredrick with pure hatred burning in her bright eyes. When Michael turned back to the monster posing as a man, he could see the monster's eyes were glowing. What the hell was this thing? Michael's mind couldn't seem to wrap around the situation he found himself, and Sarah, in. His gaze moved from Eve in her shadows to the thing holding Sarah. He moved closer to Sarah, holding his hand out, as if she could take it to be free of the monster.

Sarah watched Michael's internal struggle, who should he save? Sarah or Eve? Should he make Eve leave her shadows and forsake Sarah to the monster holding her? Or should he try to wrest her away and let Eve do whatever she was going to do? What would he choose? Sarah didn't know but struggling against this monster's grasp was getting her nowhere.
Michael stopped moving, looking towards Eve in the shadows. It seemed he had made his decision.
"What is he talking about, Eve? Why won't you leave the shadows?"
He looked back, once, at Sarah before moving towards the shadows and Eve. She was shaking her head, pleading at him with her eyes to let it go.

Fredrick waited, his grip on Sarah tightening slightly, for Eve to make her decision. He didn't need Sarah for leverage anymore but he wasn't going to let her go and risk the chance of her attacking him again. He could feel the hatred coming off of Eve in waves, almost touch it and warp it around himself like a lover. The terror that was coming off of Sarah was like a decadent dessert, something to savor, but it was the hatred from Eve that was his main course.
"What to do, what to do? Hmm Eve?" He taunted her.
Michael was frozen somewhere halfway between moving backwards towards Eve or forwards to helping Sarah. Decisions. decisions. Fredrick laughed in his mirth, enjoying Eve's distress over having to show Michael her true self and Michael’s inability to decide on who he was going to concentrate on saving.

Michael took a step towards Eve, his hand out, looking into her eyes. He took another and another, until he had finally reached her. Sarah was all but forgotten by Michael at this point, in this moment, because he HAD to know what Fredrick was talking about, Eve's true self. What could that possibly even mean? He was confused and frightened, worried that Sarah was going to get hurt because if his stubbornness. When he finally reached Eve, he held his hands out to her.
"Come on, Eve. Come out of the shadows, we don't have time for this. What is he talking about? You're still my Evie."
He was looking into her eyes, Eve's eyes, and they were much the same. The only thing different about her eyes was how much hatred he could see hiding behind the depths.

Sarah watched as Michael seemingly abandoned her for Eve. She watched him move towards the shadows and try to coax her out. She watched as Eve took a timid step into the lame light in the alley. And her eyes widened when she finally took a good look at Eve in the light. She gasped behind the monster’s rancid hand, then started gagging at the rank smell wafting from him.

Michael turned towards Sarah's gasp, watching her expression for whatever awaited him on his other side with Eve. He wasn't sure what to expect by her reaction but when he finally turned to Eve, her head was down and her skin had a reddish hue. She was wearing a barely there outfit, one that she would never have been caught dead in a year ago.

Fredrick grinned evilly, cackling at the reactions of both Michael and Sarah as Eve stepped out under the sickly light in the alley. There was only one way to treat this situation she had helped get herself into and that was to just rip the band aid completely off all at once. It was time to own up to the fact that she had decided to dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight. She didn't have to be happy about it, but it was something she needed to own. It was time and now she understood completely why Fredrick had insisted on her agreeing out loud and to repeating the terms so that the gods and goddesses could hear the pact being made.

Michael's jaw dropped as Eve stepped fully into the lame lighting in the alley. Eve was wearing an outfit that was a cross between the slave outfit that Princess Leia wore in Return of the Jedi and some cave woman Halloween costume. Michael did a double take, just to make sure it really was her, the outfit was something she would never have worn a year go. Not only that, but the light that she was standing under gave her skin a reddish hue, almost as if she had been out in the sun to long and had gotten herself a third degree sunburn. He was shaking his head as Eve looked up from the ground to meet his gaze. He saw as her stance took on a defiance that he had never seen in her before and the anger filled look she gave him. It was almost as if she was daring him to say something, anything, about what she’d become.

Eve wasn't sure what he was thinking but the look on his face could only be described as shock. She continued to stare at Michael, waiting for him to say something when Fredrick’s laugh cut off abruptly. The alley grew silent after the echo of his laugh finally died away. He was looking at Eve with such hatred in his eyes that Eve wondered what she had done to make him feel that way, other than up their time table. She moved closer to Michael, who took a few steps back.

Fredrick was finally getting bored with his game. He shoved Sarah into Michael's arms in passing on his way toward Eve.
"This is what you have to offer them, Eve. What do you want to do? If you don't offer them the gift, they die tonight in this alley. There is no other way. They have seen too much. The choice, of course, is yours," he told her through the mental link the had.
His smile was so cruel that Eve took a step back herself. She looked over at Michael, who was consoling Sarah, and shook her head.
"I can't make them take this 'gift', Fredrick. It's not right. I wouldn't ask my worst enemy this question."
Fredrick shook his head at her sadly as he moved back towards Michael and Sarah, "Just remember, years from now, that you chose this for them. That this was not my doing."
As he was preparing to take that final step that would take him within arms reach of Michael and Sarah, Eve shouted, "NO! I will ask them. Somehow, I’ll convince them."

Sarah was weeping into Michael's chest as she heard the exchange between Eve and Fredrick. She wasn't sure what had happened but she knew that their lives were about to be turned upside down. She wasn't sure what choice Eve was getting ready to give them, and she sure didn't know what Michael was going to chose, but knew in her heart that whatever choice he made would be hers as well. She would follow Michael to the depths of Hell if that is what it would take to be with him. Little did she know how true this might end up being.

Eve intercepted Fredrick's move and gently pulled Sarah out of Michael's arms.
She waited patiently for Sarah to get herself under control, then made sure Sarah was looking her in the eye, "Sarah, what I'm about to tell you is going to seem outrageous but it is very true. I need you to understand this right from the beginning before anything else is said. I have been turned into a demon."
She paused long enough for it to sink in, not just for Sarah but for Michael as well.
When she saw the horrified look on both of their faces she pushed on, "Yes, that is exactly what I said. A demon. Complete with horns, though I have them hidden right now. If you'd like I can show them to you so that you can understand how real this is."
Both Sarah and Michael shook their heads in silence. They weren't sure where Eve was going with this but the reddish hue of her skin, and the tail she was trying so hard to keep concealed, were prove enough for them to believe her.

Fredrick looked on, a small amount of pride showing in his eyes. Eve had done exactly what he knew she would do if given the choice between himself and her with her friends. It was time, and Eve needed to embrace her inner Demoness.

Michael and Sarah looked at each other as Eve talked to them. Her tail twitching from side to side was the only sign that she was getting upset. Apparently a year ago, when she lay dying in the middle of that dark highway and Michael apologized over and over again about the accident, Fredrick had come to her in a form that only the dying can see and offered her an immortal life and her ultimate revenge upon the two of them and Eve had jumped on the chance. Little did she know what she was agreeing to.

Eve wanted to apologize to Sarah and Michael but couldn't bring herself to. Her plan was still to have at least one of them join her in this dark decision of hers. Fredrick was looking on waiting, perhaps, for the moment he would be needed to help one or both of them to make the choice. She knew she would only get one shot at this, so she approached Michael as only a lover could.
"I know this is all so unbelievable, but Michael I need you to listen to me very closely. I need to ask you to make a decision, and it must be made within five minutes after I ask you the question. Do you think you can do that?"

Michael nodded mutely, not sure what to make of the Eve that stood before him. She was just so different from his Eve. She looked like some kind of She-Devil, something out a book he had once read in high school. He pinched himself, making sure he wasn't asleep and that this night was really happening.

Sarah knew what was about to happen, but her eyes were trained on Fredrick. He was the wild card in this whole situation, the one she couldn't get a feeling for. She heard Eve beseeching Michael to understand and letting him know he had a choice to make, but her attention was on the monster standing off to the side. Until she could figure out what his deal was, she refused to take her eyes off of him. She was still watching Fredrick when some of what Eve was saying began to filter in.
"Please, baby. Don't you want to be together forever? Isn't that what we promised each other? This is the only way we can make true on that promise. I have been waiting all year just to give you this gift so that we can be together."
Stunned, Sarah looked at Michael while Eve continued to coo in his ear, keeping Fredrick in her peripheral. She wasn't sure what choice Michael was going to make but she could see his resolve crumbling. He had truly grieved the death of this woman, this demon, when he thought she was dead. What would Sarah do if he chose to take Eve up on her offer and join her forever in Hell?

Fredrick listened to Eve croon on to Michael about being together forever, knowing that she had him hooked the minute she brought up their promise. His concern was over little Sarah, the kitten who chose this night to show she had claws. Did she feel Michael would be worth fighting for? Or would she let Eve take him and become a casualty of this so called war?

Eve knew that she had Michael but was worried that Sarah would find a way to talk him out of his decision. If he changed his mind before the transformation was finalized, then all would be lost and she would not be reunited with her true love. But do demons truly love??

Sarah watched Michael's face as a variety of emotions crossed over it. His anguish over losing Eve, the grief he was starting to get past, the happiness that he had found her alive, the confusion that she WAS alive and what she was telling him and the fear of the commitment he was being asked to make. She moved to put herself between Michael and Eve but Eve anticipated her move and slid the length of her body along his, making it known that she wasn’t going to give him up without a fight. A fight, it seemed, that Eve had been waiting a long while to have with Sarah.

Michael looked from Eve to Sarah, not truly understanding what was going on. He moved instinctively towards Eve even as Sarah was moving towards him. Then all thought fled his brain when Eve melted her body into his.

Fredrick watched all of this happening with a frown on his face. He knew Sarah was going to be the joker, the loose cannon, in all of this. She was just too nice, too pure, to believe everything that Eve was saying. If Eve didn't get Michael to make a decision soon, he feared that Sarah would make this far more difficult than expected. He wondered if telling her that she would die if she didn’t take Eve’s offer would make a difference. Oh, but he couldn’t do that. It was against the rules. A human had to make the decision without any of the pros and cons of the truth. If they knew what would happen if they said no, then the other side could forfeit that human’s fate. And he really didn’t want to forfeit Sarah’s fate of death just because he was curious to see if knowing she was going to die would help sway her outcome.
Eve could almost feel Michael’s worry over Sarah and knew that if she didn’t work harder she was going to lose him for good.
Damn Sarah and her hold on him, she thought as she held Michael tighter, doubling her efforts to sway him to follow her into Hell.
Sliding her hand behind his neck, she gently brought his face down, bringing his gaze to her once more. She brought his face closer, claiming his mouth with her own. She licked his lips, asking with that one action to open his mouth to her. Once he did, she slid her tongue along his, ensuring she had his full attention.
Sarah let out a pained gasp when Eve found a way to gain Michael’s full attention. She was losing this little tug of war with her, again. She always lost to Eve, no matter what she did, and had been since they were five years old. It had only become much worse as they became older and discovered boys. How could she be losing to a dead woman? She took a step towards the two of them, wanting to get Michael away from Eve but not knowing if she was going to be able to. She was afraid she’d already lost him, but knew she wouldn’t leave him to make this decision on his own. If he chose to go with Eve, to take the gift she was offering, then Sarah knew she would go along with him. She loved him too much to let him live out an eternity with evil on his own.
Fredrick watched as Sarah made to get Michael’s attention, hiding his amusement. He saw the resolve on her face, saw that she would do what she could to keep Michael from choosing Eve but would go with him if it was, indeed, what he chose. He continued to stay quiet and watch the drama unfold, his amusement growing.

Though his amusement was growing, so was his impatience. He had gone topside with Eve hoping to spill some blood and he was beginning to think that wasn’t going to happen. He turned his attention to Eve and Michael, saw how hard she was working to get him to choose her and wondered if she had the power she thought she did over his decisions. 

©DJ Shaw