ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL - by Kevin James Breaux
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Been awhile since I posted an excerpt. Here is the first few chapters of ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL, about 30 pages. Enjoy!
ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL
Kevin James Breaux
copyright Kevin James Breaux
Past is Not Always The Past
Sabrina dreamt about that night all the
time. Sometimes tiny details were changed—the kind of car she was driving, the name
of the corporation she targeted, the amount of animals she saved—but it always ended
the same. After so much excitement, so much thrill and pleasure, she always forgot
to pick up Cade’s camera. That stupid fucking
She remembered every detail about it:
its brand, its resolution, the lens size, that it was made in Japan. It haunted
her so much that she had bought several cameras identical to it since, just to smash
them to bits. Her first therapist said that it might help, but except for giving
her a brief moment of delight when the tiny circuit boards and chips spilled from
the cameras like a slasher-film victim’s guts, it really did nothing to alleviate
the pain of the past.
The dream came tonight shortly after
she’d collapsed in bed half-naked and fully drunk—at least she was alone and not
making another mistake like the one she had made with the new host of American Idol Replay.
Sabrina had wanted to touch herself,
but her hand only made it as far as her lower stomach, her long, pink and white
fingernails just inside her panties, before she passed out. However there could
still be satisfaction to come. The dream was not entirely bad, after all. It may
have featured the catalyst to the worst night of her life, but it also contained
some of the best sex she’d ever had.
Sabrina dashed across the parking lot,
looking between the mesmerizing flicker of a dying street lamp and the building
behind her. The emptiness of the parking lot, the stillness of the air—it all seemed
surreal, like something out of an old horror film. But she was not afraid of movie
monsters—not when she knew real ones existed.
Sabrina was out of breath, both panicked
and energized. She coughed harshly for a moment, irritated to have the exhilaration
of the moment ruined by her hack. I really
need to fucking quit smoking. She took one last glance behind her at the pharmaceutical
corporation’s lab. There was no alarm blaring, no flashing security lights; they
had succeeded. Those poor lab animals were finally going to be safe.
“Tell me again, Cade, why you made me
park so freaking far away?”
“I destroyed the surveillance cameras
on the east side of the building where the loading docks are, but that pink car
of yours… it’s like a damned billboard advertising America’s sweetheart, Sabrina
London, is here,” her boyfriend replied.
It had only been six months since they’d
met, but it felt like longer. As much as she hated the term “whirlwind romance,”
it applied to the two of them. It had been the best six months of her life. She
was in love, but she wasn’t sure if he knew that yet or felt the same. The undead—their
emotions could be nearly impossible to read, even for someone as empathic as her.
Cade pointed his tiny HD camera at her
feet and grimaced. “I wouldn’t have to slow down if your boots didn’t have heels.
What are those, five inches tall?”
“Three and a quarter inch, actually,
and very sturdy. I mean, they better fucking be for eight hundred bucks.”
“When I told you to wear boots tonight,
I meant combat boots or work boots.”
“Jimmy Choo doesn’t make combat boots.”
“Who?” Cade snickered. “Never mind. Keep
running, my sweet sunshine. We don’t want to be here when the authorities arrive.”
Sabrina smiled; she loved when he called
“Wait,” Cade said, suddenly serious.
“What? Did we forget something?” Sabrina
nearly choked on her fear.
“You wore combat boots with the camouflage
bikini in that one magazine protesting the war in the Middle East.” Cade smirked,
running his tongue over his teeth. “I remember that photograph very well. It was
my favorite to—”
“I remember that one too,” Sabrina interrupted.
“Good pay. I kept the bikini but not the boots. I hated those boots—heavy things,
made my toes all yucky and sweaty.”
“They gave you the bikini?”
“Well, I normally get to keep what I wear.”
“So you stole it.”
“I didn’t steal it, Cade. That would be wrong.”
“You say that now,” he laughed.
A truck roared nearby as they reached
her car, a pink Lamborghini Gallardo with opalescent rims. The sound assured them
their accomplice was making his escape, speeding down the main road, away from the
building. Both tracked the vehicle until it was well past the two traffic lights
and out of sight.
“Good. He’s clear.” Cade nodded. “Let’s
Sabrina jumped in and floored it—racing
out of the parking lot in the opposite direction of the delivery truck. Not a minute
later, Sabrina caught Cade’s eyes on her legs as they worked the pedals. His lustful
stare reminded her of the promise she had made: his help with this excursion for
a night full of passion—a night that, even in his long life, he would not soon forget.
“Are you sure he’ll do what we asked?
I mean, can he be trusted not to, you know, eat any of the animals?”
Cade lifted his eyes from where they
had been glued to her inner thigh and answered, “You know Nicodemus.”
“Sure, I’ve seen him out a few times
these past two weeks, but the guy just creeps me the hell out.”
“Shut up.” Sabrina smacked his leg. “You
know I’ve waited a very long time to do this.”
She paused to catch her breath; the adrenaline
that had burned inside her moments ago had begun to wear off, and with its absence
came the urge to yawn.
“You and Nico have talked a few times.
You should already know he’s honorable,” Cade said.
“Honestly, Cade, the old man can be a
little hard to communicate with. I swear, when I talk to him, he just looks straight
“Well, he still has trouble with English…
especially its modern incarnation.”
“Still?” Sabrina replied. “I just don’t
want to find out tomorrow that he ate them all.”
“He promised me all the animals would
be distributed, safely, among the five pet rescues you provided addresses for. The
colonel takes all his jobs seriously.
You have nothing to worry about, my love.”
“Regardless, I made sure he ate before
She looked at Cade’s smiling face and
Sabrina shifted gears and the engine
growled in that way that always made her feel more… alive. When the speedometer hit sixty-five, she pretended to look for
cars behind them while she checked her makeup in the rearview.
“I still don’t understand why, after
all this time, you two are besties. I mean you guys are so… different.”
Cade shook his head. “You and Moselle
“I know…” Sabrina wanted to have a better
comeback. “But he’s like sixty. You guys look like you could be father and son.”
“We are father and son—well, as near
as our kind can come. You know Nico is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a—”
“I don’t like when you say that.”
“Sabrina, I told you when we first started
dating that our love, no matter how grand, would never create a child.”
“I know. I know.” Sabrina pushed the
thought out of her head. “Can you honestly say people have never thought you two
“Sabrina, if it was you who had spent
the entire winter with Nicodemus in Stalingrad…” Cade trailed off.
“Are you okay?”
“Stalingrad.” Cade shivered. “It brings
back a flood of memories. Gun fire, explosions, screams, death, blood. So much blood.”
“I’m sorry.” Sabrina patted Cade’s knee.
“Let’s talk about something else.”
“The more I think of it, there’s no one
I would rather share a foxhole with than Nicodemus.”
“Gross,” Sabrina let slip.
“Mother Russia,” Cade sighed.
“Someday, you’ll have to take me there.”
“Perhaps. I haven’t returned since World
War Two.” Cade pondered a moment. “I hear the Cold War ruined much of its history
Sabrina glanced over at Cade. She still
had to remind herself he was centuries old, regardless of how young he looked. When
a twitch crawled across his handsome, clean-shaven face, and ended in a wince, Sabrina
knew something was wrong.
“Hey, you okay?”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“Sabrina, please, pull the vehicle over.”
Sabrina turned down a side street and
parked behind an abandoned building. The surrounding area was filled with shadows,
but with her high beams on, enough of the place could be seen that she felt safe.
As soon as she put the car in park, Cade was out the door so fast a pile of receipts
she had stuffed in her cup holder were knocked loose.
He was gone for a moment but reappeared
several feet in front of the car. Awash in the bright headlights, he fell to his
hands and knees, the look of pain on his face clear in the harsh glare.
“What is it?” Sabrina asked as she stepped
out of the car.
“The pull. The pull is too strong.”
“The what? Cade, stop fooling around.”
She approached him cautiously.
By the strain on his face and the way
the lean muscles in his arms bulged, she would have sworn he was in the midst of
a heart attack or a stroke. When he did not answer her pleas, Sabrina shouted, “What
the fuck is wrong?”
“Too long. I cannot fight it much longer…”
Sabrina wrapped her hands around his
arm and tried to help him up. Cade was heavier than he looked, but she tugged until
he was finally standing.
“What the hell do you have in your pockets,
Sabrina reached into his jacket pocket
and withdrew a handful of bullets. “You weren’t fucking kidding.”
“Gun’s worthless without ammo,” he grunted.
Sabrina didn’t know whether to yell at
him or hug him. She had no idea what was going on and he was being his normal, stubborn,
“I’m sorry, my love, all this excitement,
and I haven’t eaten all day. I’m just hungry.”
“You scared me. I thought something was
seriously wrong, like you were having a stroke or something.” She slapped his shoulder.
“You know how I get if I don’t eat.”
Sabrina frowned, but a sly grin was forming
on Cade’s face—one she had come to know meant trouble.
“I love you.”
“I love you.” Sabrina finally relaxed.
“Cade, I think I’ve had my fill of excitement tonight.”
“Are you sure? Because I do recall you
saying something about going back to your place to—”
She stopped him before he could say it.
“Yes, I did. Let’s hurry, okay?.”
moment Cade’s hands wrapped around Sabrina’s waist, she was his. His touch, though
cold, sent heat all the way to her core. She could feel the desire rise from her
belly to her chest, where it was trapped along with the breath in her lungs. Cade’s
eyes drilled into hers as he took possession of her mouth. She shivered, but not
from the chill of his lips. To kiss him was to flirt with danger.
Sabrina tilted her head back and moaned
into his lips; the sensation of her breath being stolen was as pleasurable as it
was painful. The blue-black sky was all she could see, and she fixed her eyes on
the brightest star. Don’t focus on the coming
pain, she told herself. Don’t focus on
With a yank, Sabrina’s hoodie and shirt
came off. She hoped he hadn’t torn the hoodie; it was one of her favorites—given
to her by the owner and head designer of Rebel Spirit Clothing.
“Cade…” her voice softly faded away.
He gently slid his hands up her back
but then yanked again, ripping her bra off as well, leaving her hardened nipples
open to the cool night air.
Sabrina’s body tensed up as Cade’s cold
tongue worked the tight buds. She anticipated the first bite, knowing it would hurt.
She tried to think of anything else, to concentrate on his flicking tongue, but
was still jolted with irrepressible fear when his long fangs brushed her flesh.
The first bite was always the hardest. Cade did his best to control his nature,
but his hunger for her love was often outweighed by his hunger for blood. Sabrina
gazed down at her breasts in his hands as he massaged them, running his tongue up
her quivering chest to the base of her neck.
“Fuck, Cade!” Sabrina yelped as he penetrated
her breast where it met her armpit—one of his favorite spots.
Sabrina blinked her tearing eyes and
whispered, “Someone might see us.”
Cade smiled and revealed the tiny video
camera clutched in his hand. When he pointed it at them both, he chuckled. “Smile,
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,
Cade,” Sabrina grumbled on.
“Not at all.”
She swatted the camera out of his hand,
the small electronic thing, no larger than a credit card, landing on the ground
Sabrina thought to grab it and turn it
off, but in the blink of an eye, Cade had spun her around and bent her over, her
hands the only things at rest on the hood of the car.
Running his fingertips down her bare
back, he leaned in and whispered, “I want you to release—”
“Not here,” Sabrina replied over her
shoulder, her long blonde hair shielding her embarrassment.
“I don’t want anyone to see me—us.”
Sabrina heard his frustrated sigh; it
was deafening to her. She did not want to disappoint him, not after all he had done
for her tonight, so she peeled her tight leather pants off slow and steady.
“What are you waiting for?" Sabrina
asked huskily. “Aren’t you going to fuck me?”
Sabrina jumped when she felt something
cold slide up her inner thigh, to the softness of her folds, and then scrape up
her back, to her right hip. When her panties began to move, she realized exactly
what she was feeling.
“Don’t cut them," she said sternly.
It was too late; a simple flick of Cade’s
hand severed the elastic band. Now completely naked, Sabrina spun around to face
him and poked him in the chest.
“I don’t think you realize how many pairs
of my panties you ruin, Cade.”
“Maybe I do.”
“You know what I mean!”
“Should I buy you some new bloomers,
Sabrina wanted to say something witty
back, but all of a sudden his icy hand was cupping her, caressing the very area
the small article of clothing had just been covering. Cade began to spread her open,
soothing the ache that had been building between her legs since the night started.
“Do you remember our first time?”
His fingers, although chilly, were welcome
inside her and she guided them in deeper. Cade moved, slowly at first, gliding gracefully
in and out, making her quiver.
“What do you remember most?”
As one hand fondled the warm, soft space
between her legs, the other cupped her breast, giving it a squeeze while lifting
it to his mouth.
“I remember how much it hurt, how the
pain suddenly shifted to pleasure.”
A long kiss stole away time. She only
felt Cade; the rest was nothingness. Sabrina’s eyes fluttered open when she felt
his hard length brush against her wetness. Their eyes locked as he entered her.
Sabrina smiled. With each push inside her, he brought her closer to the edge, blocking
out thoughts of anything but their physical connection.
“What else do I remember?” she asked.
He did not answer. By the look on his
face, he was in ecstasy. Sabrina took great pride in knowing how good she could
make him feel. The notion amazed her. It had such beautiful meaning—she was everything
her man needed: body, soul, and…
“I remember the blood.”
With that, Cade bit her again, sinking
his teeth into her shoulder as he increased the tempo of his thrusts.
She wrapped her arms around him and whispered,
“Never let me go.”
Waking up in her bedroom after the dream
again, Sabrina screamed. The camera, the fucking
camera. Grunting in anger, she reached down the front of her underwear. Tonight,
the dream was unsatisfying in every way. Tonight, Sabrina needed to take control.
Something seemed wrong. Sabrina had always
been sensitive to the world around her as well as its minute changes, and her whole
body was telling her: something was off.
Dressed in her pink Agent Provocateur bikini,
Sabrina stared down into the buzzing city of Beverly Hills from the balcony of her
Rodeo Drive penthouse apartment, twisting her jeweled silver bangle. It had become
a habit over the past few years, one that normally surfaced when she was anxious.
The wind fluttered the pages
of an old People magazine beside her.
Startled out of thought, she listened to the tips of the glossy paper as they struck
the white wood of the French bistro table.
That magazine—she would never
forget the day it was given to her. One year ago, Sabrina had stood on that very spot—set to end her
life. Her wealth, her family, her job—everything was at risk, with the exception
of her fame. Fame was like a highway, and one year ago, like it or not, Sabrina
was traveling in the fast lane.
“I swear, Mira, I
feel like there’s something big happening out there, you know? Something that requires
Mira, her best friend, was treading water
in their small, indoor pool. Mira lived to swim, and together the girls did a hundred
laps in the thirty-foot indoor pool each day. Though Sabrina credited her tight,
athletic form to swimming, Mira did it simply for pure enjoyment. On days the pair
were not busy, she would stay in the pool as long as Sabrina would allow it.
A gust of wind whipped Sabrina’s pale
blonde hair around her face. A helicopter’s spinning blades thumped louder as it
drew near. It had been months since a desperate photographer tried to make a buck
off a photo of her in a skimpy bikini, if that were the case today, she would give
him exactly what he wanted.
Sabrina placed her hands on the railing
of the balcony, spread her legs shoulder-width apart, and bent over slightly at
the waist. Chest pushed out, she quickly adjusted the bra’s sailor’s knot detail
at the center of her cleavage. She wanted to make sure that if this photo showed
up on the tabloids and social-networking sites, it was a damn good one.
Surprisingly, the helicopter passed by,
it’s red and white blades a blur of motion as it sped off in the direction of the
highway. Fuck me, probably another car accident,
she thought while relaxing her stance.
“Isn’t today the day?” Mira called from
inside the penthouse.
“Yes, the funds I transferred into your
account should be good now. You know what to do.”
“I already found a no-kill animal shelter
in Nacogdoches, Texas, that could use the money desperately.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to donate
it yourself, Sabrina? The press you would get from it would be incredible.”
“No, Mira. It has to be completely anonymous,
untraceable to me. I seriously don’t want to read on some asshole’s blog that I’m
trying to buy back my celebrity status.”
Mira nodded; Sabrina knew she understood.
A sudden chord of music from Sabrina’s
favorite heavy metal song alerted her to an incoming call. Snatching her cell phone
from the table where it sat next to the weathered People magazine, she pressed accept with a quick glance at the unknown
“Sabrina, at your
a sultry voice licked at her ear.
cheered. “I didn’t recognize your number.”
“I had to change
it again, my friend. It has a way of falling into the wrong hands.”
“I understand.” Sabrina
rolled her eyes; she too had been the victim of such annoyances. “What’s up, babe?”
“Do you recall the
texts I sent you last month, telling you my father would be opening a new Club Afterlife?
Well, forgive me for not calling sooner, but the red carpet grand opening is this
bounced with excitement. “When and where?”
“I will text you
all the details.”
“Great. I’m there.”
“Will you be bringing a date?” Moselle
“I’m kinda single
at the moment, so Mira will be my date for the evening. How about you, sexy? Still
eating men alive?”
“I have found someone special.” Moselle replied.
“I will introduce him to you at the club.”
“Oh, no juicy details?”
“All I will say is that he has beautiful
eyes and smells so delicious, my mouth waters at the mere thought of him.”
Sabrina laughed. “I can’t wait to meet
him. See you there, babe.”
With the People magazine rolled tightly in her hand, she marched inside to tell
Mira the news.
“What’s today’s date?” Mira asked when
she saw the rolled up magazine in Sabrina’s hand.
“You know what day it is.”
“Then it’s time you got rid of that stupid
thing.” Mira pointed from the water where she bobbed up and down.
Sabrina took one last look at the cover:
Sabrina London, People Magazine’s Most Beautiful
“Sabrina…” Mira prompted again.
“Yeah, I know.”
Sabrina pictured herself a year ago—weak
and disheveled, with wind-scattered hair sticking to her tear-stained makeup. It
was the night the video of her freeing the test animals went viral. CNN called it
a crime—her father called it unforgivable.
Sabrina’s heart seized as the painful
memory played out further—her mind burned with the hurtful words that filled her
ears that night.
The same old, dangerous thoughts echoed
in her head as she watched her past self climb the slippery railing and slide her
bare feet to the edge. If only the pharmaceutical
corporation would have accepted my bribes. If only Cade wouldn’t have filmed us.
If only he hadn’t left his camera lying in that fucking parking lot where anyone
could find it. It had been a long time since Sabrina considered just how close
she was to giving up and jumping.
is gone. Those days are gone.
Sabrina couldn’t think about it another second. She swallowed her sorrow and, with
all the strength she could muster, pitched the magazine over the balcony, out into
the empty sky.
“Done,” she said.
“Done,” Mira repeated.
Sabrina took a deep breath and pulled
back her shoulders. “Well, we better get dressed; Moselle invited us to her father’s
new club opening.”
“Where?” Mira asked as she climbed from
“No, Friday.” Sabrina dashed by her friend.
“Oh, then what’s the rush?”
“I want to hit the Christian Dior sale
before noon, and if that skinny bitch from The
New Hills is there buying up all the embroidered platforms, I will punch her in her newly sculpted nose!”
Sabrina shouted from her room.
“Sabrina, must I remind you that you’re
trying to clean up your image before you launch your career as a pop star? Fighting
reality show stars will only lower your q-rating.”
Mira wrapped a towel around herself and
tucked a corner over the top edge. She shuffled carefully across the marble floor
of the pool room, through the hallway, to the main living room. Mira always squinted
when she passed through the living room, which was the center of the radial design
of Sabrina’s apartment. She worried that the bright pink, white, and black color
scheme would burn her corneas when the sun shone through all four skylights. Sabrina’s
furniture had been special ordered from overseas, before Mira knew her, and she
often wondered where she found a company that made couches with such vivid pink
am I to complain? Mira
thought, crossing the tall, white shag carpet to the hall where her bedroom was.
“What shoes should I wear?” Sabrina yelled
from her room.
“Not sure,” Mira responded, uncertain
about anything to do with fashion, as usual.
“Well, I can’t just go to buy new shoes
wearing old ones!” Sabrina yelled from her walk-in closet where Mira knew she was
rummaging about on the floor.
“If you say so.”
Mira took a long look at herself in the
full-length mirror. The mirror was exquisitely crafted, covered with ornate designs,
but Mira rarely saw anything other than the plain girl reflected before her.
Mira tossed her hair from one side to
the other, sighing loudly. Although her hair was long, it was dull and stringy,
not voluminous like her friend’s. And her eyes matched her hair: brown—entirely
unremarkable. Mira drew her shoulders back and pushed her less-than-ample chest
One characteristic Mira could not hide
was her body’s clear strength. She was trim to the extent of having nearly zero
body fat; her muscles, although lean, were cut at such tight angles their presence
“They’ll probably compliment you if you
wear the ones you bought there last month,” Mira suggested, changing out of her
competitive swimmer’s one-piece bathing suit.
“Nah, you can wear them. I wore them
that one time out with that quarterback. He said they made my feet look scrumptious
and he wanted to lick them. Gods, it was gross.”
“That is gross. Professional athletes
are too cocky. The things they say.”
Sabrina entered Mira’s room holding the
shoes by their straps; she had on a pleated miniskirt and bouclé keyhole-front sweater—together
the price tags totaled over a grand, Mira guessed.
“No, silly Mira, I mean him licking my
feet was gross.”
Mira looked up at Sabrina as she fastened
her bra. She knew her friend was joking. Sabrina had been careful not to create
any scandals recently.
“You’re wearing a miniskirt to buy shoes?
I bet you’re not even wearing underwear,” Mira accused.
“Maybe… maybe not.” Sabrina shrugged.
“You slut!” Mira joked.
“I’m almost twenty-three years old now,
“So I prefer harlot, it sounds more…”
Sabrina shrugged again. “I don’t know… classy.”
Later that night, as the sun was setting
on Beverly Hills, Sabrina sat on one of her large, leather loveseats, her legs dangling
over the arm. She wiggled her toes while she admired the swirling crystal design
on her new, black pumps. Music so loud it seemed like it would be impossible to
think vibrated the room. Sabrina loved music and always said the only way to listen
was to feel it. Although she wanted to become a pop star like the ones that were
played all over satellite radio, she loved nineties heavy metal.
Mira paced the room.
Sabrina had bought her a new pair of high heels, fuck-me pumps really. Sabrina peeked
up from her feet to the spectacle of Mira marching back and forth. It made her smile;
Mira was truly an awkward sight. It seemed as if Mira was testing the heels’ stability
with every other step.
Although Sabrina wore a look of contentment
after a long day spent shopping and hanging out with her best friend, she was far
from happy. Under her smile was a maelstrom of emotion, one that Sabrina had spent
months burying and disguising. Her smile, like the rest of her façade, was mostly
Once the nucleus of a close and loving
family, Sabrina had been excommunicated by her mother and father, not only for breaking
into the pharmaceutical company and freeing the animals, but also for what happened
with Cade afterward—they found it inexcusable, embarrassing, and lewd. He may have
been one of the world’s most respected businessmen, but to Sabrina he was simply
Sabrina had hoped the loud music would
pound the thoughts from her head, but it didn’t work; no matter how hard she tried
to forget, her father’s enraged voice seeped into her mind. Not now. I can't. His words echoed in her
head, flashing and flickering like a neon sign that burned on her mind’s eye. Sabrina
screamed inside, her anger drowning out her father’s venomous lecture before she
had to hear it all over again.
Sabrina refocused on the music and thought
of a time, not so many months ago, when, during moments of such introspective angst,
she would have done drugs to get through the heavy emotions. Now when she felt her
pain was showing through her mask, Sabrina deflected any suspicion with a well-timed
“When did you learn
to walk, Mira? Last week?” Sabrina yelled over the roaring guitars.
“Ha ha!” Mira wrinkled
her nose at Sabrina.
A sudden vibration in the seat of Sabrina’s
skirt alerted her to an incoming call.
Every time her phone rang, she prayed
it was her father, finally calling to apologize after a year of silence. A wave
of relief began to wash over her. She would be part of her family again. She knew
it; all she had to do was answer her phone.
“Mira, shut the music
off,” Sabrina yelled as she freed the tiny phone from where she was sitting on it.
Mira stumbled to
the remote, nearly tripping over her own feet. She mashed several buttons at once
until the music shut off, just in time for Sabrina to look at the incoming call
number. Her smile faded, Sabrina turned away from Mira, she did not want the disappointment
on her face seen. This was not the call she had prayed for, but she answered it
anyway, nerves braced, but dying inside.
“Sabrina at your service.”
Sitting in her shadow-soaked bedroom,
Moselle Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair repeatedly glanced at her smartphone, eager for it
to ring. A candelabrum burned seven small red flames, illuminating her room just
enough for her to not only spy two of her Abyssinian cats as they chased each other across the marble floor,
but to also see what she was mixing.
Moselle poured jojoba oil from a large container into a small, dark glass bottle with
a glass rod applicator. Ten drops of jasmine oil from the flowers she had handpicked
in her garden the night before splashed into the bottle as she pondered how much
ylang-ylang oil she should add to the mix, desiring nothing but the most erotic
scent to seduce the man she had been dating.
At the chime
of her smartphone, Moselle set the bottles aside and pressed the answer button with
the tip of her index finger’s nail.
disappointed, my daughter.” Moselle’s father’s voice was deep and steeped with his
strong Egyptian accent.
“No, no, no… not at all.” Moselle cleared her throat and presented
him with the respect he was due. “How may I serve you, Father?”
“I am pleased
to inform you that everything has gone as designed with the new Club Afterlife,”
he said. “This opening is already being touted as a once-in-a-lifetime, red carpet
“Have you made
travel arrangements yet, Moselle?”
She took a
second to compose her words before speaking.
“I have not.
Father, it is a great honor to attend, not only as the subject of all of the advertisements
in your recent campaign, but as your loving daughter, still I have a request.” She
“You know full
well your mother is currently unable to entertain,” he stated, clearly assuming
she was going to ask if her mother could be at the opening.
“Oh, yes that.
I haven’t broken bread with Mother since last year’s birthday party. I do miss her.”
She heard her father’s dissatisfied tone. “Moselle, you know I find them a foolish
“Yes, I know.”
replied quickly. “I will send the private jet to Los Angelesin two days.
It will transport you to New York City for the event.”
request,” she reminded him. “I have met someone very special, a young man whom I
have been dating. He works at the advertising agency you hired for the new club.”
“Tell me again,
Moselle, why do you find them so interesting?” Her father’s tone was filled with
frustration and annoyance. “What could you possibly have in common with this… this
“He is strong,
handsome, and funny, Father.”
“He is not one of us.”
“I do not care
about that. He warms my soul with his humor and kindness. When we work together
preparing your advertisements, I find myself inexplicably drawn to him. I have not
felt this way in ten or more years.”
raised voice startled her so badly her body froze. She had not angered her him in
many, many years, not since long before she had moved out of his home into her own.
“Why do you
tell me this?”
“I would like
him to accompany me to the grand opening as my date,” Moselle answered timidly.
The phone went
silent, and Moselle waited patiently.
“So be it,”
he conceded. “Invite him, but he will need to find his own means of travel to New
“Did you pass
along my request to your other friend?”
“I spoke to
Sabrina earlier; she accepted the invitation already.”
“She is well
now, you say?”
“As well as
can be,” Moselle admitted.
regardless, this will be an opening night for all to remember. Safe journey, my
to you too, Father.”
Moselle watched the
slender metal hands on her wall clock tick forward another notch as she hung up.
The hand’s movement boomed in her ears like the footsteps of a titan. It was nearing
nine o’clock at night; she had hoped her new boyfriend would have called by now.
She unconsciously tapped the bottom corner of her smartphone on the table, harder
and harder until… Snap. The protective
“Curse this devil’s
game.” Moselle ran her finger over the jagged crack. “My phone, a sacrifice to you,
Hathor. See it not wasted.”
Moselle pressed the
speed-dial graphic, a tiny photo associated with his name: Jackson Abernathy.
it is Moselle Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair.”
“Hey, Moselle…” He
paused a moment before finishing. “What’s happening?”
Jackson’s voice did not ring with the
excitement she had yearned for, and she had a clear guess why.
“Are you still at work?”
“Yeah, I’m putting the finishing touches
on that freelance project I did with Candice Swanepoel.”
Moselle finally heard a hint of excitement
in his voice, but it was not for her.
“You work too hard and play too little.”
Moselle stood feeling suddenly jealous; she was more driven than ever to see Jackson
“To be honest, I need the extra money.
I lost a few bucks on the game last night.”
Moselle admired herself in the full-length
mirror attached to the inside of her closet door as she listened. She examined her
eye makeup, which included a coat of sparkling purple mascara that complemented
her dark eyes.
“All I am suggesting is that you take
a short break.”
“I took a break earlier when you sent
me that one text message. The one with the picture attached. What did it say again?”
“It said that tomorrow marks a full month
on the calendar since you asked me out. It said to prepare for a night filled with
Jackson laughed. “Moselle, you are unlike
any other girl I’ve ever known.”
“You are right, Jackson. All you have
known are girls, scatterbrained models with apathy toward most things. I am a woman,
one who knows what she wants.”
“Well… I wanted to
finish this project and then get a jump-start touching up that advertisement of
you in the silver bikini with the—”
voice rose in frustration. “Such labor should be done during the hours our beloved
sun is high above us.”
“You’re right, but
wouldn’t your father be even more impressed with me if I handed him extra work?”
“While I find it
pleasing that you strive to win my father’s approval, Jackson, I must ask you this:
would you have me spend the next few hours alone while you stare at my likeness,
or would you gaze upon me in person over a few drinks?”