Excerpt from the forthcoming novel CRUSH (INSATIABLE: BOOK THREE)
The tension is as tight as piano wire around the throat in the new paranormal erotic thriller Crush (Insatiable: Book Three). An excerpt:
West Long Branch, New Jersey
Kia sat cross-legged on her bed with her laptop in front of her, playing chess against the computer. She was peed off because the computer was gonna beat her again.
It hadn’t happened yet. There were still lots of moves to go. But she knew it was gonna happen just like she knew lots of things were gonna happen before they really happened. She just knew it. Like the stupid computer was gonna beat her playing chess again, just because she had it on the hard level.
She was only playing against the stupid computer because it wasn’t so much fun playing real chess against Daddy and Uncle Artie anymore. She could beat them too easy, even though she didn’t want to. But she couldn’t help it. She could feel what they were gonna do before they even did it, so it was easy to beat them.
She didn’t want to feel what they were gonna do, but she couldn’t help it. Sometimes with her family and sometimes with other people she just felt stuff. But mostly with her family. But she didn’t want to be a cheat, so sometimes when she played chess with Daddy and Uncle Artie she let them win on purpose. But that wasn’t fun either, because it was kind of like cheating backwards.
Too bad the stupid computer wasn’t real. Then she could feel what move it was gonna make. But it wasn’t a real person.
Kia sat back and thought about that. Her stupid computer beat her at stupid chess because it wasn’t a real person, but it was part of the world. Sometimes she could feel what was gonna happen in the world, even if she couldn’t quite see all of it. Kind of like when she had a dream and when she woke up she knew she had a dream about the beach or school or something, but couldn’t remember her whole dream. She saw things that were gonna happen in the world like that. All she had to do was look. It wasn’t like just feeling stuff from family and sometimes other people. That was like stuff coming to her even if she didn’t want it to. No, to feel stuff in the world she had to look, which was different. When she looked she had to let herself feel out, and let stuff in the world come to her.
Maybe if she looked she could tell what move her stupid computer was gonna make so it wouldn’t beat her again.
Kia leaned back on her bed, braced herself with her arms behind her and stared at her laptop screen. She let herself come open—let the world come to her. She tried to see everything, but especially herself playing chess against her stupid computer.
She concentrated, but it was hard. She could see it…could see herself…but not really. It was like the dreams she knew she had but forgot.
She wanted to see what moves the stupid computer would make next. She had to open herself wider.
Kia closed her eyes. At first she saw nothing but the dark insides of her eyelids.
Come on…show me…
And then she slipped.
She was trying to see everything that was coming to her, and then she slipped. It was like that time when she stepped on a puddle and then found out it was really ice and her foot slipped out, like, whoops! Except instead of her foot slipping it was her brain slipping and she could see everything. Everything…
Red eyes. Lots and lots of red eyes.
No, not red eyes. The back lights of lots of cars, riding at nighttime.
Uncle Paul was driving and driving and driving. He wanted to go faster, but there were so many cars in front of him with their red lights that looked like animal eyes shining in the dark. Uncle Paul wanted to go faster because he was scared. So scared. But nothing was chasing him. The bad thing wasn’t chasing him…the bad thing was in front of him, where he wanted to go.
Don’t go there Uncle Paul. Please don’t.
Uncle Paul was there. He was running fast in the dark. Running to a building. Running to her. The bad thing was out there in the dark. The bad thing hated Uncle Paul, but Uncle Paul, didn’t know it. It was going to hurt Uncle Paul. It was going to…
Please don’t go there Uncle Paul. Please…
Aurélle was standing at the kitchen sink washing lettuce for a garden salad to go with dinner when she heard Kia cry out for her. Except that it wasn’t her stepdaughter’s voice calling from her bedroom that she heard. Rather, the cry was like a push in her head and in her chest, a sudden swell and release of pressure that lasted for only an instant. Aurélle let the colander clatter into the sink and hurried from the kitchen.
She found Kia sitting on the floor with her back against her bed. She had her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms wrapped around her legs as if she were trying to hold herself together. The child didn’t look up when Aurélle dashed to her side and sat next to her on the carpet.
“What happened?” Aurélle asked.
“I was only trying to see my chess game, I promise,” Kia said.
“Sweetie, what happened?”
“I saw Uncle Paul driving at nighttime. Then he was running in the dark, and something…something bad was there. It saw him coming, but Uncle Paul didn’t know it was there. He can’t…he can’t go there, Mère. He can’t…
Kia’s shoulders hitched and she sniffed and let out a soft, shuddering sob that made Aurélle’s heart cry. She wrapped her arms around her little girl—her baby—and held her close and kissed her hair. “It’s all right sweetie,” Aurélle cooed. “It’s going to be all right.”
“Uncle Paul can’t go there, Mère.”
“I-I don’t know. It was dark.”
“Do you know when?”
Kia shook her head.
Aurélle thought for a moment. She didn’t want Kia to grow up too soon, to know about some things until she needed to know about them. But maybe now, for this thing, it was time. She made a decision and asked, “Did you see red eyes, sweetie?”
“Yes…no. I thought they were at first, but it was just car lights. There were lots of cars.”
“Are you sure, Kia? No red eyes?”
“I didn’t see any.”
“Have you ever seen any? I mean, even in real life?”
“Uh-uh.” Kia looked up at her. “What has red eyes?”
“We’ll talk about that some other time, sweetie. Unless you ever see them. If you do, you have to tell me right away, all right? Do you promise?”
“If you see someone in real life with red eyes you have to remember them and where you saw them so you can tell me, okay?”
She kissed Kia’s soft, tear-wetted cheek. “Good, sweetie.”
“Is Uncle Paul going to be okay, Mère?”
“We’ll pay attention, and we’ll do what we can to make sure he’s okay. So anything we feel about that, we’ll do what we can to help him.”
“So he’ll be okay?”
“Yes, because we love him. Do you want to help me chop veggies for the salad?”
Kia wiped her face with the back of her hand. “Okay, cool.”
Aurélle’s dream had given her the sense that soon Paul would need the emotional support of his family; that he would need to come home so that he could be close to them in his time of need. But Kia had seen something different in store for Paul, something that she hadn’t seen in her dream.
Something much worse.
COMING AUGUST 2013
Read more about Aurélle and Kia in Golden (Insatiable: Book Two)