Just Desserts Part 3

Part 3

Jackson’s hand clinched the potion bottle in his suit pocket, glancing at the closed door across the hall. Val needed him to keep tabs on Sofia, so they could figure out why Maxwell needed her.
The door opened and he pretended to look through a file. He glanced up. Sofia shut her door. He could hear her heals clicking down the hall. Jackson waited ten minutes to make sure she didn’t come back. Slowly he walked to the hall glancing both ways to make sure he wasn’t seen. He reached for the door knob, but it wouldn’t turn. He went back to his office and grabbed the letter opener from his desk drawer. As stealthy as he could he jimmied the door open, making a note to himself to buy a deadbolt for his office, because breaking into her office was too easy.
Sofia’s desk was pristine. The only personal item was a photo of Sofia and her fiancée His eyebrows rose seeing Maxwell. He sat the letter opener down and picked up the picture. He’d seen him before, at parties and fund-raisers that he hadn’t been invited to, but no one seemed to object to his presence. Jackson didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Maxwell was tall, slim, and it looked like he paid a hundred bucks for his preppy haircut. Jackson was confident that he could beat him in a fist fight. Not that Jackson had been in many fist fights, but he stayed in shape to look good for work events. He rifled through her desk. Nothing was out of the ordinary. He did notice one of the items he’d been sent to retrieve. Her half empty coffee cup, lipstick smudge in tact. Jackson took the vial out of his pocket. He opened the yellow potion and rubbed the cork on her lipstick smudge. He corked the vial and shook the potion until it changed to blue, and pocketed the potion.
Sofia seems innocent so far. Maybe I shouldn’t give Val the potion?
Jackson turned to leave, and noticed something strange at the bottom of her desk. The bottom board didn’t meet the corner like it should. He touched it, and it moved really easy. He pulled out the contents and was shocked. There were personal files on some very important people. Including Jackson. Pictures, articles, lots of personal info, and handwritten observations for each person. He opened his file. Bank records, allies, political contacts, and observations. ‘Fiancée is having a really obvious affair with her boss. Jackson doesn’t pay enough attention to notice. Easy to manipulate.’
His stomach tightened. He quickly took pictures of the files and text them to Val. He heard someone walking down the hall and shoved the files back into the hiding place. The door opened.
Sofia froze seeing him behind her desk. “How did you get in here? The door was locked.”
He straightened, leveling her with his most serious stare. “The door was open. I was just leaving you a note. Glad you have the luxury of leaving the office whenever you want to.”
She stormed into her office and sat in her chair. “What do you need?”
“Do you have the bids for the contractors?” he asked.
“No, they’re on your desk.”
“No they’re not. Why would I have come in here if I wasn’t missing the file I was supposed to have this morning?” Jackson asked, crossing his arms.
Sofia silently got up, walked into Jackson’s office, and picked a folder up from his desk.
“Oh, I must have over looked that,” Jackson stumbled, opening the folder so he didn’t have to look her in the eye.
She started to leave, and turned back. “Oh, next time don’t forget your letter opener,” she said, tossing it on his desk. “Stay out of my office.” She slammed her door behind her.
“Crap,” Jackson said.

Photo by airboy123

Just Desserts 2

Sorry, missed my Friday deadline. I’ll try to post The Sweetest Part 3 this week too. Happy reading!

“Where am I? What happened?” Jackson asked. He wrenched his eyelids open trying to make sense of things. He looked around recognizing his office. Sitting across the desk from him was Val. “What did you do?” he demanded. He tried to stand. He fell back in his chair weak from the magic.
“How do you feel?” Val asked. She crossed her arms over her chest.
Jackson was shaking with fear and anger. He decided to embrace the anger to outplay the fear. “Peachy. Why are we here?”
“Look, you have three choices. One, you can drink this potion,” she said, sitting a bottle with green goo in front of him. “It will make you forget everything about magic, about me, other than my awesome bakery.”
“Why would I trust you? It’s probably poisoned or I’ll wake up with you creeping over me again!”
“Look if I was a murderer I wouldn’t need your help at all. That asshole would already be planted by Jimmy Hoffa.”  Val leaned forward to reach the Newton’s cradle on his desk. She pulled back a silver ball, releasing it. She watched them clang back and forth.
He raised an eyebrow. “You know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?”
“Jackson, I won’t hurt you.”
He stared her down. “You already did when you did your voodoo on Alice and me.”
“She was already sleeping with her boss. I had nothing to do with them eloping. That was all her. Isn’t it better you know she’s a cheater now, instead of marriage and two point five kids later?”
“What are my other two options?” he asked, glancing at the scotch on his desk.
“You can leave and report me to authorities. I did drug you and kidnap you, basically,” Val said, following his glance.
“Or?” he asked.
“Or, you can help me finish my plan,” Val said. She got up and poured two drinks.
“She was really cheating on me?” Jackson asked.
“Yep, for a few years.”
He paled. They’d only been together two years. “What’s your plan?” He grabbed one of the glasses she poured.
“Sofia May works for you?” Val asked, taking a sip.
“Why?” he asked.
“She’s engaged to my ex. I want to make him pay.”
“What did he do that was so bad that you’d go to this much trouble?”
Val downed her scotch. She stared into her empty glass. “He’s very powerful. He has one of the highest positions in the magical world, which is weird. There are only four Area Coven Leaders on this continent, and they’re all from prominent wealthy lines of magic. He has a strange proportion of power for his background. He had little money, but he’s quickly rising through the ranks. We met five years ago. He was so smug, I wanted to put him in his place and he wanted to put me on my back. Two years ago I finally gave in. We got engaged shortly after. I didn’t realize that he was using my family connections to further his career, until later. I was blinded by love.”
Jackson raised an eyebrow. “He used you, so what?”
“I found out about his affair with a woman from the High Council. I gave him an ultimatum. And he told me I’d deal with it or he’d destroy my reputation. I told him I didn’t have a reputation to get out. He- He assaulted me with his magic. He did things that are forbidden.”
Jackson reached toward her and thought better of it. He grabbed the bottle and poured another round. “I’m sorry Val. If you want to get back at him for that, why did you do the same to me?”
She froze. “I never, never did that to you. I needed you for something. You would have said no.”
“What?”
“Well, we’re fake dating now. We went to a function together tonight.”
He stared at her, shocked. “The dinner?”
“Yeah. You’re in a political position and Max is making political allies. Will you help me?”
“Why not go to the police?” Jackson asked.
“We can’t go to the normal police, and he has our police in his pocket.”
“I’ll help you, if you promise to never use your magic on me again,” he said, extending his hand toward her to shake on it.
“That’s easy. I can’t use my magic,” Val said, swallowing the last of her drink.
He dropped his hand. “But, you broke us up and your magic bakery. You use magic all the time.”
She picked up the potion again waving it in front of him. “Potions aren’t considered magic, not really. Magic is way more powerful, but I promise only consensual potions and no magic.” She extended her hand to him and they shook.

Photo by cchana

Just Desserts

Part 1

At Val’s Sweets, she knows what you need before you walk through the door.

The bell jingled and Val grinned, “Hi Ed!”

“Okay, today’s the day I stump you,” Ed said, bouncing with excitement.

“Shoot,” she replied, untying the bag she’d prepared earlier on the counter.

He said, “One chocolate cupcake, two of each flavor cookie-”

“And two cups of coffee,” Val finished showing him everything he asked for was in the bag.

“I don’t know how you do it!” he said throwing his hands in the air.

Val smiled waving the goodies under his nose. He dropped a twenty on the counter and muttered, “Tomorrow,” under his breath.

Laughing, Val grabbed a box and filled it with cinnamon rolls. She sat two cookies on top of the box. They were very special cookies she’d made with a very specific, very angry person in mind.

The door was yanked open slamming the bells against the door.

Val said, “Welcome-”

“Screw you witch!” Jackson yelled.

She raised an eyebrow. “Sir?”

“You ruined my engagement!” he yelled l, shoving his finger in her face.

Val stepped back with raised arms. “I’m sorry. What do you mean?”

“We came to this “magical” bakery for a cake tasting for our wedding. The next day she’s eloping with her boss. You put stuff in the cake to make her hate me,” he said.

“Oh, my gosh! I’m so sorry she left you! Here sit,” she said ushering him to a table, the boxed treats under one arm. “Have some cookies and coffee. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“What? I’m not eating anything that you’ve poisoned. I’m not the only one that thinks you add something extra to this stuff,” he said, gesturing to the case of cakes and cookies. “People are starting to notice.”

Val grabbed one of the cookies taking a bite. “I just want to make sure you’re okay. You sound like you’ve been through the ringer. My engagement recently fell through, so I understand.”

He sat down and took a bite of the cookie.

“We’ve all heard the rumors about this place. I just thought, if you didn’t do it with magic what happened?” he asked, sipping his coffee. “We were in love.”

“Technically, I never said I didn’t do it,” she said, smirking.

He blinked. “What? You actually used magic to separate us? Why?”

“Ahh, the cue to reveal my evil plan. I’m sorry no time. You’re going to feel a little lightheaded in…” She glanced at her watch. “Three, two, one.”

Jackson bolted to the door. The bells rang as his face slammed into the glass sliding to the floor. He laid there, unmoving with his face pressed up against the glass.

“The final piece is in place. Revenge on that lying cheating jerk will be the sweetest. Come Jackson. We have work to do,” Val said, shutting off the lights.

Jackson’s eyes shot open. He slowly stood. “Yes, my love.”

Touched

I wrote Touched for a contest with the theme rock bottom. Rock bottom has the power to bring out the best and the worst in people…

Touched

“Why can’t you people just leave us alone?” Vi asked, glancing at the window. Cole sat shackled and handcuffed, the white rag stuffed in his mouth a shade darker than his pallid skin.
Ethan sighed, rubbing his temples. “What happens if you get bored? What if the Global Government does something you don’t like?”
“So that’s your solution, to kill me? How’s that working out for you?” she said leaning back in her chair kicking up her feet on the table between them.
Ethan’s eye twitched, but he said nothing.
“Please hand over Cole,” Vi said.
“Why would you want that traitorous rebel? His death touch can be replicated by any skilled assassin.”
“I’m not taking the bait,” she said, gently lowering her feet to the ground. “Hand him over.”
“Bait?” he asked.
The silence weighed heavy between them.
“Oh, I see,” Ethan chuckled. “You don’t realize you’ve been sleeping with a rebel spy.”
Goosebumps rose with the sudden temperature shift and the bastard smirked. Vi hated when she first picked up new powers. It took so long to get full control over them.
Vi heard mumbling from Cole’s direction. She didn’t turn to him, but watched Ethan’s every move.
“I came here to get Cole. Are you going to release him or do I have to take him?”
“Avoiding the problem? How about the facts then, straight from him?” Ethan stood. Vi jumped out of her seat across from him. He raised his gloved hands and slowly removed Cole’s gag.
“He’s a mod too!” Cole shouted.
Vi shrugged, “I know.”
“How did I give myself away?” Ethan asked with raised eyebrows.
“The gloves.”
“Can’t be too careful with his deadly touch.”
“Or with my mimicry,” Vi said.
Ethan only smiled.
“Okay Smiley, what’s the real purpose of this meet and greet? If you wanted me dead you’d have tried to kill me already.”
“You’re not the least bit curious what my power is?”
“Why? It doesn’t affect me.”
“True, but it does affect Cole,” he said leaning down to Cole’s ear. “Isn’t that right?”
Cole sat rigid, desperately trying to fight his words. “Right,” he spat.
“What do you think of me Cole?” Ethan asked.
“You’re an ass hole with too much power and not enough sense,” Cole answered, with no hesitation.
Vi shifted on the balls of her feet. “So, you’re an ass hole? That’s not news.”
“My power is truth. I can’t be lied to by anyone, except you of course.”
“Do you want me to slow clap for you?” Vi shrugged.
Ethan glared at her. “Cole what do you think of Violet?”
Cole’s eyes widened. His breath sped up as his words were ripped from him. “She’s terrifying. She’s fierce, but in the most beautiful way.”
“How sweet. What secrets are you keeping from Violet?”
“Enough!” Vi stepped forward.
It was too late, the compulsion to answer Ethan truthfully was too much. “I- I’m not supposed to love her,” Cole said. Violet froze at his words as if her power had overtaken her. “My commander said to observe and report only. I’m compromised. Too involved to be objective. They’re scared Vi’s manipulating me for intel, but she’d never do that. I can’t help but love her.” He turned his tear filled eyes to Ethan, “Damn you!”
Frost radiated from Vi running across the floor and up the walls. The electricity flickered as Cole’s tears froze in their tracks.
“Vi?” Cole whispered.
She slowly tilted her head up revealing an icy storm raging in her eyes, like a hurricane, a hurricane of fire and ice.
“Magnificent! What else can she do?”
“You don’t want to know,” Cole said, maintaining eye contact with Vi.
Ethan stepped between the two drawing her attention. “Violet, I’m offering you a rare opportunity. We can work together. We’ll take down the rebels, pave the way for a new world, or you can join the lying, spying little rebels. The choice is yours.”
She tilted her head in thought biting her lip. “No one but the rebels would be hunting me?”
“Maybe a few government officials would hire assassins now and then, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.”
She locked eyes with Cole. “Done,” Vi said, extending her hand to Ethan.
“No Vi! Please don’t do this,” Cole yelled fighting his restrains. Violet waved her left hand freezing Cole in place.
Ethan grinned, “Brilliant.” He shook her hand and she pulled him into a kiss. Cole’s icy prison shattered. Damn, still needs more control.
“What the hell?” Cole demanded.
Ethan jumped back horrified.
Vi turned to Cole. “I’m too pissed to talk to you right now.” Vi waved her hand creating another Cole-sicle with the saddest expression etched on his face.
It was Violet’s turn to smile as she turned to Ethan. “Now I have your fancy little lie detector. What do I need you for?”
Ethan yelled pulling out a gun out of his waistband beneath his jacket. “Mod powers may not work on you, but this will.”
“How do you know what powers I’ve picked up? You’re just a scared helpless little boy who throws tantrums when you don’t get your way. I don’t think you realize what you’ve done.”
He said nothing concentrating all of his focus on keeping Vi in his sights.
“You and the Global Government set of that WMD. You’re responsible for the worldwide deaths, including my parents. You caused these bat shit powers, you tried to kill me, and now you’ve backed me into a corner and ruined the last good thing I had left.” Ice glinted off the tip of his gun. “You should have left me alone.”

Touched first appeared on the Wordhaus website 2016.

 

Watching Over Brook

Andrew watched out for Brook. He always had, for the first few years she didn’t even know he existed. Until he started leaving her presents a few months ago. She didn’t understand, he was just watching out for her. Just helping. She filed a restraining order. Andrew still watched, still helped from a distance.

Today, he got a box delivered from her address. Finally, she understands that I’m trying to help he thought. He peeled off the tape excited to see what she gave him. Scenario, after scenario popped into his mind of what it could be, but inside was a letter.

Dearest Andrew,

     After months of watching you fumble after her. I’ve decided to intervene. Stop watching her. Stop following her. Push her from your mind or I will do it for you.

Your secret admirer

Ps

I love that shirt. The Rolling Stones rock.

He looked down at his t-shirt and back at the letter. “What the hell?” His fist drew, crumpling the letter into a ball. He knew he couldn’t go to the police because they wouldn’t understand why he’d been watching out for Brook still.

Someone was watching him, probably still was. They threatened Brook. He was going to have to redouble his efforts and be extra careful.

Weeks went by and his surveillance intensified. Sleeping only a few hours a day, terrified someone would hurt his Brook.

It was a Tuesday. The doorbell rang waking him up. He glanced at the clock, 2:37 pm. He’d only been asleep thirty minutes. He opened the door to find a box, with Brooks return address and terror flooded him. His eyes opened and he scanned the area. He picked up the box and walked back to his kitchen table. He sat down across from the box watching it. Listening for signs of a ticking time bomb or anything that would indicate what’s inside. His stomach was in knots as he slowly peeled off the tape. Each strip twisted the knots tighter and tighter until it was hard for him to breath. He took a deep breath and a strange scent hit him. It was coppery and made something primal in the back of his mind want to bolt. He looked inside the box and found his worst nightmare. Brook’s severed head was inside. He scrambled back nearly falling over his chair. Gagging, barely making it to the trashcan to retch. He started sobbing between dry heaves. When he’d calmed himself down, he looked in the box again. He’d never see her smile, never see the flecks of gold in her eyes when she was mad and threatening to call the cops. He noticed there was another note.
Dearest Andrew,

Look what you made me do. You didn’t take my warning seriously and she paid the price. So, now that you know I’m serious, you will not go to the police. Hell, even if you do its just another city I can’t go to. I really miss Central Park. You will not find a new girl. I’m your only girl. I’ll know. I’m always watching. Leave her head on the patio and I’ll take care of everything for you.

Love always,

Your most secret admirer

“She can’t go to New York. That’s where I’m headed. I’ll be back to avenge you my sweet, sweet Brook.” He put the head on the patio, ran back into the house and threw his stuff into a bag. He hopped into his van and drove as fast as he could.

A woman stepped out of the bushes picked up the box and looked at the head inside. It was a perfect match to her own. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and took the box in her other arm.

“You were right it worked. A bust of my head and blood from the butcher had him running. We have an hour to clear out of here. He’s smart. He’ll realize what happened soon. Yeah Babe, love you too.” Brook was finally going to be free of her creepy stalker.

Brook was right, Andrew was smart. Smart enough to realize that the killer would be coming back to his house soon. Smart enough to realize that the Central Park comment was planted so they’d know where he was. Smart enough to stay behind and see who picked up the head. Smart enough to know his Brook would never do this to him. Now Andrew could still watch out for Brook.

Succubus Scorned

“He will know my wrath,” she said as tears streamed down her face. She calmly flipped through the grimoire next to a bottle of bourbon on her living-room floor. She began the rhythmic chant of a language long forgotten.

“Who has summoned me?” a voice boomed before he appeared in her circle.

“Great, another man will fix it,” Melissa muttered under her breath. “I have cousin. After a millennia of following the Elder’s Covenant, I want to switch sides.”

He laughed. “Did you really think it was that easy to go dark? A little chant from a dark grimoire and you’re granted all the power from the depths of hell. How naive, especially for one such as you succubus. Unlike your precious little light magic, we have to earn the darkness that consumes our souls. Once we’ve proven ourselves worthy it’s only the beginning. We throw ourselves into the deepest pits of Hell where our souls are forged into the darkest, most twisted shadows of our former selves. Then we have to climb back out wounded and alone. Most never make it, but those precious few that do, rise to greatness like the world’s never seen. Are you willing to murder who you are now for the transition?”

She stood up and looked him in the eyes. “Yes.”

“I wonder cousin, what has caused such a dramatic change? I’d wager it’s a man.”

“Shut up and tell me what I need to do.”

“If I am to ‘shut up’ how can I tell you what you need to do?” She glared until he continued. “Fine. You should just kill whatever man is causing you trouble. They’re easily replaceable, especially for you. Bat your eyelashes and have another fifty to replace him.”

“I can’t.”

“Ha, that’s rich. You summon me to set you on the dark path and you can’t even get rid of one human because you’re in love with the man that has wronged you? You’re a succubus, a freakin’ succubus. I’ve got to post this on the Hellion Facebook group. They’ll die, and come back, and die and come back. It’s that funny.”

“It’s. Not. Funny.”

“Tell that to the 66 likes and 23 comments.” He glanced up from his phone and smirked. “Is that your angry face or are you a little gassy?”

She took a deep breath and smiled. “You’re right.”

“I know, it’s hilarious, but a little bit less funny now that you’re on board with the funny thing.”

“I never said he was human. If he was human why would I need you?”

“No, you can’t mean him? I thought that was just a rumor.” he said nervously rubbing the back of his neck.

She looked him square in the eyes. He flinched away.

“He’s the most powerful being alive. He’ll kill us all. Damnit, he’ll probably kill me for even talking to you. I can’t help you.”

“You know, you’re right about me. I’m a succubus and I should start acting like it.” She walked up to the circle he was trapped in and broke it with no hesitation.

“You’re dumber than you look. You should know better than to release a demon from a circle without some sort of binding.” He grinned raising his arms to cast a spell. “Too bad it’s only a mistake you get to make once. Your mangled body is going to win me his favor.”

“No, please don’t hurt me. If you’re going to kill me make it quick,” she said bringing her hands up shielding her throat.

“I’m going to choke the life from you,” he said reaching for her throat, taking her cue. As soon as their skin met he melted to her will.

“Who’s dumb now?” she asked. “You forget, I’m basically four of the seven deadly sins. I’m going to use you for your knowledge and your power. You will give me the life I want or you will die trying. Understand?”

“Yes, my love.”

“If only my magic worked so easily on him, but that would be cheating. And I love a challenge.”