Amp Up Your Conflict Three: Don’t Forget The Flipside

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Read other writing advice blogs on my writing page!

Amp Up Your Conflict Three: Don’t Forget The Flipside

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Any narrative you write always has two stories it’s telling: the story of your protagonist(s), and the story of your antagonist as well.

A good antagonist thinks they are the hero of your story. Their motivations should make sense to them (and eventually the reader) and their actions, in their minds at least, should be the right thing to do. This still gives you depth to make them as evil or depraved as you need, but they should never do anything just because it’s evil or because it furthers your plot.

A well developed antagonist like this gives you as author tremendous opportunity to amp up tension – by throwing your antagonist some difficulty. Remember, most events in your plot are going to go the antagonist’s way. But that doesn’t mean they can’t suffer some setbacks of their own.

You can use these conflicts (a rebellious employee, or a past jilted lover) to give opportunity to your protagonists. Or you can also use them to build some sympathy for your antagonist, which adds depth to your narrative. Think Cersei from Game of Thrones. In every way she’s an antagonist, but when she’s captured and ridiculed, we feel for her. Not enough to forgive her of her past actions, and perhaps mostly satisfaction that she got what was coming to her, but at some level we have sympathy. Now our feelings toward her are more complex.

Every story has a flipside. Don’t forget that side when you’re looking to amp up your story’s conflict.

Amp Up Your Conflict One: Give Your Secondaries a Crisis

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Read other writing advice blogs on my writing page!

All stories need conflict. It’s what keeps your protagonists developing, your characters on their toes and your readers on the edge of their seats. Conflict doesn’t have to be big or world-changing; anything that presents your characters with a challenge or drives your narrative forward qualifies, no matter the size.

In my next writing advice series, we’ll discuss ways you can amp up the conflict in any story so you keep your readers hooked and your characters dynamic.

Amp Up Your Conflict One: Give Your Secondaries a Crisis

 

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I would wash the Batmobile, Master Bruce, but I have a colonoscopy this afternoon. Long story. Regrettably, you will have to chase the Penguin with a soiled vehicle.

All your characters have backstories. From your protagonist to the clerk at the corner store, everyone has a story. Moreover, they have lives. Life is happening to everybody.

This doesn’t mean you need to know everyone’s backstories in detail, or that their life crises will add depth and conflict to your narrative. But a great way to shake up a slow section of your story, or add complication to an existing conflict, is to throw a curveball at a supporting character.

Say your protagonist is a devoted Catholic looking for moral support from his priest before he makes a rash decision. Have the priest accused of embezzling from the church. Your high-powered attorney is preparing for the big case of her career, but her paralegal starts to fall apart when his pregnant wife is hospitalized. In both of these examples, the ramifications for your protagonist make an already tense situation that much harder.

Conflict doesn’t have to come to your main characters exclusively. Conflict happens to everyone and can be used to heighten tension in your narrative. It may even take your story in new directions. Just remember that you don’t have to make life suck for just your protagonist. You have a whole world of characters whose lives you can make worse for the sake of your story.

Hunters: Chapter Five

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Chapter Five of Hunters is up! Feedback on this and previous draft chapters is appreciated.

Also,the anthology Saints and Sinners is now available, featuring the short story prequel to Hunters, Harsh Mistress! A pirate captain sails his ship into Hell to rescue the woman he loves.

Hunters

Previous chapters can be found on the Hunters page.

 

Chapter Five

Compare the latest version with the first draft here!

Garrison

 

I winced as a cramp knotted the scarred muscles of my leg. I unfolded it as much as I could in the confines of the coach-class seats and finished the plastic bottle of vodka in my hand. For a moment the torturous memory of shattered bone gripped me. The cabin filled with distant, scouring winds that reeked of avgas and burning meat. Always the itch started with memory. It had been hours since I last dosed, and it would take me at least an hour to score in Seattle after landing. The fact I could, and often did, go without for longer didn’t help. That I had no option to indulge at that second prodded my nerves.

“Another vodka?” I asked the stewardess passing by with the beverage cart.

Her thoughts morphed to concern as I spoke.

“You won’t be a problem, will you, Mr. Decker?” She asked.

“I’m not interested in causing a problem, ma’am. Just another vodka.”

She frowned and exchanged a bottle in the cart for the twenty dollar bill I gave her. “This is the last one,” she warned, but it was an empty threat. She had made almost a hundred off me with the tips.

I smiled and waited for her to move on. Then I swallowed the two Vicodin in my palm and chased them with the contents of the bottle. The VA threw pills at me despite the warning signs. My problems were far easier to medicate than cure.

“How many bottles is that, bro?” Asked a thin, reedy voice through my earbuds. The digital image of a knight scowled at me from a window in the corner of my tablet screen. Red and orange pixels of flame licked the medieval cottages behind him.

“A few.”

“And how many pills?”

I scowled. “You’re not here to monitor me.”

“Mea culpa.” The knight raised his hands, palms forward. The veneer of corded muscle and shining armor hid his sallow skin, thinning black hair and prodigious weight, though I could see hints of Eugene’s body language behind the avatar. The Gluttony Cursed I had rescued him from had chosen him for a reason.

Eugene continued. “By the way, nothing made the news about Rothschild manor.”

“I didn’t think it would.”

“That’s because you didn’t torch the place. That seemed the smartest plan for taking on four demons.”

“There were at least a dozen humans in there. I wanted to destroy demons, not murder their thralls.”

“Crap. Then a big thank you from the ex-Cursed puppet crowd for no collateral damage.”

This was more casual conversation than Eugene had ever ventured. I scowled. “I sense a ‘but’ coming.”

“I thought you couldn’t, you know, see things long distance.” Eugene wiggled his fingers as if using magic.

“I’m a psychologist. Give me some credit.”

“Fair enough. But,” he overemphasized the word, “then you jump on a plane and jet off to Seattle. How much did you pay for a last-minute flight across the country?”

“I thought you were a computer wizard. Just find out.”

“That doesn’t take any more voodoo than hitting up a travel site. It’s just I didn’t have time with the goose chase you sent me on. I’ve never seen you with a hard-on for a Cursed like this.”

I grimaced. His slight carried more weight than he understood. “So did you find anything?”

“With all that info you gave me?” Eugene scoffed. His avatar’s gauntlet, holding a leg of meat by the bone, moved toward his mouth. The crunch of chips rattled over the connection. “Tricia Praest is a ghost.”

“You found nothing?”

“I have a name and your drawing. Oh, and that she’s sexy as heck. That’s it. Not the best start for a search.”

“You’ve worked your magic with less than that before.”

“True. But there is nothing to find. There are no records of a Tricia Praest in Seattle,” Eugene said. “And before you ask, not in Washington either, or the whole country. No tax records, no utility bills, no licenses, no arrest records, no bank accounts-”

“She can’t live off the grid in the middle of a city.”

“Um, apparently she can. Plus no mentions of her in blogs or emails. No teen hotties with crimson eyes in the ‘I saw you at the club’ sections of the local papers. I even tried an image search, which was close to pointless going off a drawing. Did you ever take art lessons?”

“I told you there wouldn’t be any images.” Most Cursed had unique weaknesses I could exploit. But if Praest had one beyond lacking a reflection or electronic image, neither my wife Helen nor Ashlea Rothschild had known it. Even my drawing wasn’t worth a great deal. The memories of Praest from the two couldn’t be trusted with the raw sensuality that drenched every recollection.

 

Eugene shook his head. As he spoke, a woman with arms flailing and hair afire ran out of the blazing cottage behind him. “Think about that for a sec. She can’t get a passport, driver’s license or ID. That means she’s not flying or driving or renting an apartment, let alone opening a bank account or buying property. She probably lives off the grid because she has to, and uses thralls for anything public.” Eugene’s voice stumbled. His Cursed had milked his soul for months until I rescued him. “Which isn’t terrifying at all.”

I shuddered at the memory of my own enthrallment. My eyes drifted to the background image on my tablet, a photo of me and Helen at the beach. The picture froze us before I left for war, before she changed into the thing I had destroyed. Her skin held faint wrinkles and blemishes her transformation had erased, and her deep brown eyes were clear of the malice and lust that the Curse had devoured. Her beauty as a succubus had been unearthly, consuming, yet nothing close to that of the woman I had married.

I had changed as much as she since that picture. My reflection in the screen’s surface loomed wraithlike over my younger self, from a past more distant than four years would warrant. My hair was thick and vibrant instead of shaved and thinning. Face clean of stubble, fuller, eyes yet untouched by the horrors wrought by the demons I destroyed. Innocent of the months of demonic enthrallment and years of addiction to dull the memory of her euphoria.

“So, why go for this Cursed in Seattle?” Eugene said. A jeweled silver goblet now glittered in the knight’s hand, accompanied by the gurgle of a soda can and a rumbling belch. “I’m pretty sure we’re not out of demons over here.”

I closed my eyes. “Tricia Praest fed on my wife’s soul and let her become a demon. She Cursed my wife.”

Eugene’s avatar blinked. “Holy crap.”

“The succubus at Rothschild manor knew Praest was in Seattle.”

He cocked his helmeted head. “That’s random. Do all sex demons just know each other?”

“Random or not, she knew where Praest was. I can’t ignore her.”

“Beg to differ, bro, but you can. You should. I know how you work. You find, you watch, you plan, you destroy. None of which you’re doing here. You don’t run off on half-baked quests for vengeance.”

“She started it all. I destroyed Helen because of her.”

“Do you even have a plan how to find her? Or destroy her once you do?”

“Beheading and fire always work. As for finding her….”

I had been chewing on that problem since leaving the manor, but my voice trailed off before I could answer.

“Someone is watching me,” I said.

Eugene snorted. “Maybe because you’re drinking all the vodkas and talking demons with a medieval warrior.”

“It’s more than that.” I sharpened my senses. Most of the time I blocked the thoughts of others out of necessity. I would go insane if I eavesdropped on every stray thought. But focused attention on me could still draw my attention.

There, two rows behind me in the opposite aisle. A man held an airline magazine, but his eyes weren’t looking at the pages. He was paying attention to me.

“This guy knows who I am,” I said. “And he’s following me.” His thoughts were indistinct, and I forced myself not to look back at him. But his intent was clear.

“Um.” The knight’s face crunched in consternation. “You realize that’s crazy. You found Praest totally by luck, booked a flight and got on a plane in less than a day, and someone is following you on that same flight?”

“Yeah, I know how weird it is. Weird is normal in this job. I’ll let you know what I find out.” I closed the connection before Eugene could respond and slipped the tablet into the seat pocket. I had to push aside several bottles to make room.

“Everyone on our left will see the spectacular Mount Rainier,” the captain said through the overhead speaker. “With the lovely spring weather in Seattle, the mountain won’t be out when we land in twenty minutes.”

Movement and chuckles filled the cabin. My pursuer’s attention shifted from me for a moment, and I stole a glance back at him. He was pale, nearly an albino, and hairless. His head shone like a veined and dimpled egg. No eyebrows, facial hair or eyelashes I could see. The gray ridges of long-healed scars traversed his full cheeks with neither the carelessness of violence nor the traces of medical treatment. His brown sweater and jeans hung over a tall, thin frame. He would tower over me by half a foot standing. The dawn light glowed from his skin as he stared out his window.

My connection to his thoughts sharpened as soon as I laid eyes on him. His mind took in the glowing red and purple sunlight thrown back by the ice-capped summit. I shuddered. The reds he saw tingled my skin. The roughness of the purples mixed with the silken warmth of the whites. Thoughts seldom came with more than the recollection of smells, tastes and sensations, but this man had synesthesia. What he saw stimulated all his other senses, and those sensations flowed into me through his thoughts. Experiencing the sensations directly from my pursuer’s mind was disconcerting.

A flight attendant’s voice replaced the captain’s. “In a few minutes we will start our descent. Please take a moment to stow your baggage and use the facilities before we turn on the fasten seat belts sign.”

He unfastened his belt and rose. With last-minute tickets, both of us were seated in the back of the plane. I waited a few moments for him to start toward the plane’s rear bathroom, then stood. The interior of the plane swayed as if drifting underwater, and I gripped the back of my seat. I waited for the vodka-induced vertigo to pass, then followed.

A handful of passengers were in the aisles stowing bags, and the attendants were picking up headsets and trash. I used them for cover as I followed, but the man never bothered to glance back. He had no reason to suspect he’d been spotted.

When his hand pushed against the accordion door to the lavatory, I moved. Behind him in two quick strides. Quick glance to confirm the rear galley of the plane was empty. Plenty of buffer from sound and view. Palm against the back of his smooth head, a crack as I smashed it against the edge of the sink. He groaned and went limp. I pressed his bleeding head to the mirror and pulled the door shut behind us. Thick smells of urine and feces hung in the lavatory after six hours of use.

His pale eyes stared back at me in the mirror with surprise, but not fear. The sight of me smelled like curdled milk, which for a moment drowned out the stench of excrement.

His mind showed military discipline as he tried to sort out how I had spotted his tail. I wrenched his arm back in a hammerlock and kept his face crushed to the mirror. Pain scattered his thoughts, then a disturbing glow of enjoyment at the agony.

“You’re following me,” I growled in his ear. “Who are you?”

He tried to pull free but had no space to move. His lip quivered. “Not many can tell when I follow.” His soft voice was strained, but in a way that could have either pleasure or pain. The English carried only a thin Eastern European accent despite its lack of fluency.

The name sprung into his mind regardless. “Jesper Hoodjink,” I said. “Why are you following me?”

Jesper tensed again at the mention of his name, but his composure quickly returned. “I don’t expect you to be able to stand with all the drinks, Mr. Decker.”

I barely heard his reply through his rush of discordant thoughts. Ursula Filitov had him follow me. Thin to the point of malnourishment, with piercings, tattoos and artistic scarring across her body. The left half of her head was shaved bald, the right half a platinum curtain draping over her face. Her intense blue eyes shone from the depths of sunken sockets.

I had never seen or heard of her before.

“Who is Ursula?” I asked. “Is she following me for Tricia Praest?”

His mind stumbled on the name Praest. But his body turned rigid at Filitov’s name. “Ursula does not fear you. Nor do I.”

I ignored his bravado and wrenched his arm back harder. “Why are you following me?” I repeated.

He might have answered with words. His mind screamed the answer unhindered. Pain. Torture of every kind. Misery that under her hand was the ecstasy she paid him with. All while she leeched away his soul.

I swore at myself for the question. I needed to know why Ursula wanted me followed, not why Jesper obeyed her. But I stopped to digest the current of memories flowing from him.

“Ursula is a Cursed,” I said. “And you’re her thrall.”

He struggled against my grip. “You are seeing my thoughts,” he said. “You are demon to do these things.”

I clicked my tongue. “If I were a demon, you would be dead right now. They don’t bother to ask-”

For a moment I thought Ursula again sprung to his mind, but instead it was a man. Eyes golden, body broad and muscular, clean-faced with long unshaven hair, but in every other way a masculine duplicate of Ursula. Jealousy swathed Jesper’s thoughts of this one. Vasily.

“What does Vasily have to do with this? Why does Ursula care about me?”

The answers began to coalesce in his mind, but his terror at what I was doing drowned it out. He pulled his free arm up enough to press it against the mirror and slide his sweater back from the shirt underneath. A rough strip of wine-colored cloth with intricate geometric designs was sewn at the cuff Holy Christ agony at the sight of it I jerked away and withdrew from his mind.

Sweat beaded over his brow as he stared at the cloth. His expression froze in a disturbing mix of giddiness and agony.

“Quick thinking,” I said. “That’s not the only way to interrogate you, though.”

A bell rang through the cabin, followed by the voice of the flight attendant. “We are starting our descent….”

“Can you interrogate before we land?” Jesper said through teeth clamped together. Despite the pain of my arm lock and his synesthesia, a macabre smile spread across his thin lips. The agony must be luxurious for him.

“I have everything I need for now.” I released his arm and pulled the lavatory door open. The galley was still empty. “Let’s chat again. I’m staying at the Four Seasons, since you want to keep an eye on me.” I tugged a paper hand towel free from the dispenser and pressed it against his bleeding head, then turned away before I let my mind chew on the implications of what I’d found.

I returned to my seat and pulled my tablet out of the seat pocket. My hands trembled, and the need to land, to score, to dose, started to rumble again. Damn it. I tried to ignore the urge, ignore Jesper and the glares from the attendants as I typed in a last message to Eugene before shutting down.

“Ursula and Vasily Filitov. Everything you can find.”

 

Continue to Chapter Six

 

(c) 2015 by William Reid Schmadeka, all rights reserved

The grand launch

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Welcome to my new site!

The site will mainly feature chapters for my dark fantasy novel, Hunters. Any feedback is appreciated. I will also post blogs regarding life, being a stay at home parent, coping with MS, and any other thoughts that cross my mind.

Being an editor, I will also post advice on English, writing and storytelling. Occasional book reviews may also wheedle their way in.

Regardless, welcome to the site, and enjoy!

Hunters: Chapter One

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This is my dark fantasy novel about a demon trying to redeem her soul and the vengeful demon hunter pursuing her. Warning: the content is mature. Feedback is appreciated. I will post a chapter a week.

Also,the anthology Saints and Sinners is now available, featuring the short story prequel to Hunters, Harsh Mistress! A pirate captain sails his ship into Hell to rescue the woman he loves.

Hunters

Previous chapters can be found on the Hunters page.

 

Hunters

Chapter One

Compare the latest version with the first draft here!

 

“There’s our girl,” Derek said. “That black-haired bitch is ours tonight.”

He feasted on the view from the shadows behind the bouncer’s desk. The girl looked nothing like the fortyish blonde on the ID she flashed, but the bouncer’s eyes never left her tits to notice. Thigh-high boots boosted her height to maybe five three, and her leather jacket and red dress hugged curves that would cost a fortune to replicate. Dark lipstick and eye shadow were all that graced her porcelain skin.

Alone, underage and built like a porn star. She was gift-wrapped for them.

“Jesus,” Steve said. The linebacker’s voice rumbled like it came from the bottom of a well. “Look at her eyes. Purple? Red?”

Derek lifted his gaze. Her eyes burned in the desk light. “Burgundy.”

“Burgundy.” Steve chuckled. “That’s why we pay you the big bucks, you smoothie.”

Derek’s eyes slipped down to the simple wooden cross around her neck. It was too unadorned to play in to the clubbing look, and gave her an innocent air that made him ache for her even more.

Steve elbowed Derek in the side with enough force to make him gasp. “Sneaking in alone with that license? Girl’s got balls.”

“She’s stupid,” Derek corrected. He nodded at the bouncer’s back as the girl slipped through the curtain to the dance floor. “Pay the man and find me.”

Derek lost her for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the darkness inside. A tide of humanity churned against him. Oscillating carpets of laser light etched the darkness above in time with the music that throttled the air. A DJ spun from the front stage, silhouetted by a video wall playing hentai clips. Shadows obscured by smoke moved and watched and lusted in the overlooking balconies, flowing together and breaking apart in a passionate tempo. He could feel the seductive undertow seething through the crowd, taste it in the body heat surrounding him.

He caught sight of the girl on a stool at the bar in back. Derek weaved through the crowd toward her. He tried to catch another glimpse of her face in the mirrors behind the bar, but she sat so nothing caught her reflection. Didn’t matter. He’d see as much of her face as he wanted to before they left.

 

The bar’s underlighting glowed in a kaleidoscope through the film of spilled drinks on its glass surface. The two bartenders, one of each gender in bondage outfits, were both occupied with other customers. No one was near her.

“You look a little young to be in here,” Derek whispered in her ear.

She didn’t tense or turn to look, which disappointed him. A smile played over her lips as she pushed her stool along the bar rail to open up space. “I hear that all the time. What’s next? My stunning eyes?”

Derek slid in to the offered space. This close, his gaze devoured every luscious inch of her. “It’s no line, sweetie. I have to use a fake ID with my own picture.”

“Why do you need a fake license?”

He grinned and leaned closer with mock conspiracy. “I’m only twenty. You going to turn me in?”

“Hardly. I’m seventeen.”

Derek laughed. The girl didn’t even bother to lie.

“No seventeen year old has a body like you.”

“Whatever you say.” She leaned back in her stool. The flashing lights slid over her body. “Are you going to turn me in?”

“I’m going to buy you a drink.” He tugged the bartender’s spiked harness as he passed by. “Lemon drop?”

She grinned. “Only if you’re drinking the lemon drop.”

He couldn’t stop his laugh. She didn’t wear perfume, but her natural scent engulfed his brain. “Wanna be in the advanced class, huh? Two tequilas.” He took a quick glance over the crowd, spotting Steve’s bald head lurking over the dancers a few feet back.

He said, “My name’s Derek, by the way.”

“Tricia. Never met a Derek before.”

The bartender placed the drinks in front of Derek, with a small bowl of salt and slices of lime. Derek took Tricia’s glass by the rim, palm cupping its mouth, and scooted it in front of her. The girl didn’t blink as she took the glass.

“Cheers.” He clinked his glass against hers, then licked the back of his hand to dip in the salt.

Tricia threw her head back as if laughing and drained the shot in one swallow.

He sputtered. “Jesus. You don’t just shoot tequila to start off the night.”

“Then what’s the point?”

“Enjoy the experience. Lime, salt, like so. You keep drinking like that, the night will be over before you know it.”

“You keep drinking like that, someone else gets to get me drunk.”

“Not if I can help it, sweetie.” He nodded to the bartender and tapped in front of him. Moments later another tequila filled the empty space. He passed the glass to Tricia with the same motion as before. “Let’s go.”

“I thought this was about enjoying the experience. I’ve never done a body shot before.”

Derek’s brain stumbled. “You read my mind.” He slid the wooden cross away from the warm valley between her breasts and nestled his glass there. “You wear that for protection or something?”

“More than you know.” She leaned her head back and placed a slice of lime between her lips.

He ran his tongue along the graceful sweep of her neck. A sprinkle of salt, and he licked her again, savoring her taste and heat.

Her hands curled around his head and pushed him lower. He gripped her by the waist and buried his face in her chest, lingering as he took the glass in his lips. She smelled intoxicating. He had to force himself to lift his head, eyes fixed sidelong on her as he swallowed. A pleasant warmth slid down his throat.

She lowered her head, the lime a vibrant green half-moon in her teeth. Those incredible eyes stared into his, inviting, expectant. He tore the lime free with his teeth, spitting it to the floor, and without a conscious thought kissed her.

The sourness sparkled on her lips. Her mouth was small, blissful. Young. He pulled back. Her eyes were no longer expecting, just waiting.

The look pierced him. He realized in that moment she wasn’t a woman. She was a girl, not even out of high school. The most gorgeous girl he’d ever seen, but not old enough to know what she wanted. Not old enough to see what he was doing to her.

“What now, Derek?” She said. Her voice caressed his mind.

Fuck she was beautiful. She snuck in to the bar. She did tequila shots with him. She was just as culpable.

“Your turn,” he said, putting the lime between his teeth.

“I’m good.” Tricia grinned and slammed her tequila. A few glistening drops dribbled down her chin. She coughed.

He patted her on the back, his hand drifting up to massage her neck. “You took that like a pro.”

“This is the advanced class, remember?” Tricia nodded her head back at the video wall. “Only way to fit in at a bar that show shit like that.”

He turned to the wall and his breath caught. A red-skinned demon with two cocks fucked a huge-titted anime girl.

“You’re too young to watch this stuff,” he said. His heart throbbed.

“But old enough to do body shots.” Her words tumbled into each other. “This is tame compared to what I watch. And you’re tame compared to the guys I normally flirt with.”

Excitement flushed his cheeks. This girl was naïve and flirty and too dumb to notice what was happening. “We need more drinks,” he said.

“You need another one to catch up with me,” she slurred.

“I’ve already had three. You’re the one playing catch-up, Tricia.” He held up another finger to the bartender.

“Mmm? Don’t remember….”

She slipped a little from the stool. Derek darted forward, his hands sliding over her soft curves as he steadied her.

Steve swept in behind. Derek bit back the urge to tell his friend to fuck off, the bitch was his, as Steve’s hands wrapped the girl from behind. “Easy, babe,” he said.

“This is Steve,” Derek said through clenched teeth. “He’s a friend.”

“You came with a friend.” She turned her head to look at the mountainous man who caught her, a silly grin on her face. “Hi, Steve.”

“Tell you what,” Derek said, putting the last shot in her hand. “I’ve got a private room upstairs. How about we head up? It’ll make conversation easier.”

“No, we can stay down here,” Tricia mumbled. “We can talk okay.”

“Come on. It’ll be more comfortable.”

“We don’t need to-”

“We’re going upstairs.” Derek took her by the hand and guided the glass closer to her lips. “It’s too noisy down here.”

“Noisy down here.” She repeated. She emptied the shot and knocked it over as she put it back on the bar.

Steve’s granite brow crumbled into a frown. “All three?”

Derek nodded.

“Fuck. Why did you need all three?”

Because nothing will stop me from having her, Derek thought. He gave Steve a noncommittal shrug.

“I can walk,” Tricia protested, but both of them took her by the elbows and steered her toward the spiral staircase to the upper levels.

Her head lolled against Derek’s shoulder. The feathering of her heart against his palm, the gentle brush of her breath against his neck and the heat of her body overwhelmed the music and the crush of the crowd. Other hands, not just his and Steve’s, caressed her secretly and intimately as they moved through the crowd, and jealousy flooded him. Tricia was his.

He pushed open the heavy door of the private room. The music faded to a murmur, the press of dancers disappeared, the air cooled.

“Holy shit,” Gordon said, nasally and high pitched. He was at least a hundred pounds overweight. His Rolex and thick gold necklace flashed in the strobing lights, and his pale, moist flesh smelled like he bathed in Axe.

Derek glanced around the room. Plush red couches lined the walls. Darkened one-way windows overlooked the dance floor, and a monitor in the corner repeated the images playing on the video wall. The anime demon had grown dick tentacles. Liquor bottles and electric candles crowded the circular glass table in the center. Gordon had sprung for top-shelf booze as well as a premium suite this time.

Rage built in Derek at the other two, the bank rollers of their threesome. Gordon would ruin everything if any girl saw him beforehand, and Steve was a bag of hammers. Derek needed their trust funds to keep their conquests undetected. But he did the work to make everything happen. Why should he have to share a prize like Tricia with anyone else?

Gordon whistled. “She’s built like a brick shithouse.”

“This brick shithouse is in high school,” Steve growled.

“Holy shit,” Gordon said again.

“Didn’t know you had so many friends, Derek,” Tricia mumbled. “Sweet digs.”

“And he dosed her three times,” Steve continued.

“She’s going to OD,” Gordon said.

“Then shut up and get out of my way,” Derek growled. He pressed his lips against her neck, one hand pulling her head back by the hair. His hunger boiled at the taste, salty with sweat and rich with desire. The girl was practically oozing pheromones. His other hand cupped her breast, fingers teasing the nipple. “You are delicious, sweetie.”

Tricia moaned and fell against Derek, wrapping her arms around him. “So I get to fuck all of you, or are the others just watching?”

Sounds of laughter, buckles and movement filled the room. Derek didn’t care what the others were doing. His hands pulled up her skirt and touched smooth, naked flesh. Hot. Wet. Skin quivered and clenched at his touch.

“You feel ready,” he moaned.

She fumbled at his pants, struggled him free. “I’m always ready.”

Derek groaned. He picked her up and she pushed down on him, swallowing his cock with her wet, throbbing pussy no not yet he wanted her tits he wanted to play he holy fuck he had never felt anything as incredible as this. Passion and need consumed him. He stared into Tricia’s burgundy eyes, deep and rich and boring into his mind. They glowed like fire.

“Your eyes.” His words slurred between gasps through clenched teeth. Her eyes didn’t glow like fire. They were fire.

“I always hear I have stunning eyes,” she said.

Her eyes flared, their fire cracking across her skin as if her veins filled with lava. Her smooth, creamy skin darkened to an obsidian so black he could see the room reflected from its surface. The hands he ran through her dark hair now grasped strands the color and heat of the setting sun. Sharp claws tore furrows across his skin.

He heard gasps from the others in the room. Derek tried to pull back.

“What the fuck….” He stuttered. Skin pitch black and burning with internal flame. Agony from her grip. Eyes possessed and devouring and oh Christ spasms of ecstasy seized him whole. She wasn’t human. He didn’t care. He kept thrusting, unable to stop, not wanting to stop.

“Give your souls to me,” she whispered.

“Please,” he begged. He plunged deeper, every fiber of his body screaming to give in to the sensations that already felt like an endless orgasm, stronger and more exquisite with each second. He heard the others murmuring in unison with him, their clothes dropping away, their hands and mouths groping her demonic skin. Their eyes stared at her, consumed with the glowing crimson fires of mindless desire, but he didn’t care. Nothing mattered but her.

His last breath was a scream of pure bliss.

 

Continue to Chapter Two

 

(c) 2015 by William Reid Schmadeka, all rights reserved

Let’s launch this baby

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I have plans for this site. Ten chapters (currently) of my Hunters novel give me ten weeks of content, as well as weekly blog posts on my published works, parenting tips, writing and editing advice, book reviews, news on my daily Multiple Sclerosis challenges and general Mariners and Seahawks talk. Stay tuned. Big things, people.