Authors: Whitney Bianca
Love Is Strange
Love Is Strange
(I Know What Love Is #2)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are fictitious, or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual locales or actual persons, living or dead, is entirely and purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this original work may be used or reproduced in any matter whatsoever without written permission of the author.
email: [email protected]
Cover art by Slaughtered Heart Graphics
Self-Published First E-book Edition
This is a work of fiction. The story contained within these pages may be considered objectionable and distasteful to some. As a writer, it is my job to tell stories and live inside my character's heads as I write. I do not judge my characters. However, I do not in any way condone their actions or the violent ways in which they express themselves.
This dark erotic tale is completely fictional and is no way intended for harm.
This is Joan and Elliot's story.
stand with my hands gripping the cold metal railing. My fingers are frozen and painfully numb, but I can't move. I can't do anything but stare out at the churning black water beyond. The violent sea stretches in front of me, dotted with sharp white shards of ice. I can't tear my eyes away from it. As I stare into the dark abyss, a thought comes to me out of nowhere. A silent command in a voice that sounds like his.
I could jump in.
I could climb over the railing and let myself go. I could let the water swallow me whole. I could let my heavy wool coat drag me down. I could finally say a permanent goodbye to the shit-storm that has consumed my life.
He would hate that, I'm sure.
I lift my foot, hooking the heel of my boot on the bottom rung of the railing. The wind kicks up around me, whipping my long hair around my face. Far away, I can see a shadowy fishing boat, inching its way across the horizon. I watch it for what seems like hours, but must only be minutes, but I only think of him. For the past three years, I've been waiting for him to come back to me. If he was standing here, right now, I would strangle him with my bare hands for making me crazy like this. Then I would smack his face and kiss his lips and pull his hair and wrap my arms around him and squeeze hard.
A scream echoes across the hard, icy darkness. It takes me a second to realize that my mouth is open and my throat feels as if it's been ripped open. I'm alone at the end of the world. No one else can hear my screams. All of the pain of the last seven years is bubbling up and there's nothing I can do about it. So I scream.
Elliot Pritchard, my worst enemy, the only man I've ever hated, is dead. Drowned off the coast of Alaska, they tell me, a few miles from where I now stand. My ordeal is officially over, they say. He'll never threaten you again, they say. And yet, here I am, freezing my ass off hundreds of miles from home, still looking for him. I don't know if I'll ever stop looking for him. The sad, sick truth is that Elliot is inside of me, always. He surrounds me. His voice is in my ear. His hand is on my throat. His cock is perpetually hard for me and I want it so bad it hurts. I ache for him.
I know I should let him go. Spit on his grave and turn my back forever. I should, but I can't.
I hate him for leaving me. I hate him for everything he's done to me. I hate him so much that I couldn't untangle myself from the truly maddening reality of hating him if I tried.
But it's not just hate that has me trapped.
Where Elliot is concerned, it's never been that simple.
I was stupid, I know.
I hadn't let my guard down, but I had stopped looking over my shoulder constantly. A week passed and then a month. I thought the heat had died down. The world kept turning. I went to work and came home. I called my mother like a good daughter and promised a trip home to Texas as soon as I could get away. There were no more heart-stopping knocks on the door and my muscles stopped locking every time I saw a police car or heard a siren. Life went on, but I wouldn't say it was normal.
It was too good to be normal.
The day that everything began to crumble started like the others had before it. I woke up as the sun rose. I dressed quickly, carelessly, and then hopped in my BMW and headed to work. I ate my morning bagel and drank my morning coffee – black. No milk, no sugar. I laughed with my co-workers Alisha and Carmen as I ate my salad for lunch. I smiled and waved goodbye as everybody filed out of the office on that Thursday evening, heading home to their families or to the nearest happy hour.
I stayed behind as I did almost every night, piled high with work from the bitch who'd held my job previously. The partners had fired her and promoted me a few weeks before. The timing was unfortunate, but I didn't turn down the offer. The pay raise was significant and even though I was just a cog in the office machine and barely thought about my job beyond the building, it felt good to be promoted. The meaningless pat on the head felt important, like everything was finally going right. Suddenly, I was doing a million times better than just a few short years before. I had almost forgotten about how shitty things had been.
There's an undeniable freedom in forgetfulness and denial, I'd say.
On that ordinary Thursday, I was in my little cube near the front of the dark building. The computer reflected a blue light on the acoustic-tiled ceiling, and my desk light pooled yellow around my feet. My mind was elsewhere as I typed up a storm, the clacking of the keyboard the only sound in my ears, other than the low hum of the central air. I swept my bothersome hair off of my neck and crossed my legs, my ass aching from sitting for so long. I glanced at my watch, biting my lip as a I realized it was after 8:00.
I raised my hands above my head, my skin prickling with goosebumps as the A/C kicked into high gear. I stood on my bare feet, rising on my tiptoes to stretch out my calves. My respectable black pumps were kicked under the desk and my whole body was stiff. I craved a meal and sleep, but I also craved something else.
particular craving never went away. It was like an addiction and I was already late for my fix. Knowing it was time to go home, I dug my shoes out with my toes and reached for my purse on the back of my chair.
Then the air around me shifted.
I didn't see him until I turned my head, but by then it was too late. He was too close. A dark figure, dressed all in black, silhouetted by the fluorescent light from the office kitchen. My whole body went stiff. My hair slid out of the makeshift knot I'd tied it in and I didn't bother catching it. I just stared at him. He was tall and built, his shoulders wide and his arms big at his sides. His body was as loose as mine was stiff and he swayed forward, like he was ready to pounce on me like the animal he was.
“What are you doing?” I asked before I even realized my mouth was moving. It was like all the oxygen had been sucked out of my lungs.
“Door was open,” he said, his voice deep under the black ski mask that covered his face.
“We're closed,” I said, my heart suddenly beating against my ribs. “I was just leaving.”
“You should lock the door when you're here all by yourself,” he murmured, not yet making a move to come closer.
“I'm not alone,” I whispered.
“Only one car in the parking lot.” He turned his head from left to right, his eyes moving from empty cubicle to empty cubicle. “That's your fancy little car outside, isn't it?” His voice was rough, but slow like honey. I could hear the Southern drawl at the back of his throat.
“No.” My throat opened and I took a deep breath, my blouse tightening over my breasts. “I take the bus.” It was a blatant lie but I didn't stop myself. He cocked his head and I could almost see the evil smile curl beneath his mask. He knew as well as I did that it was a lie. “It's my co-worker's car,” I continued, unable to stop myself. “He's in the bathroom.”
“Is he?” he asked, his voice sharper than before, like a knife. “What's his name?”
“His fucking name,” he growled and I knew he was angry. “What is it?”
“Frank,” I replied instantly. He narrowed his eyes and took a step closer to me.
“Call Frank,” he said, his voice lower than ever. “Tell him to get his ass out here.” I shook my head without thinking, knowing my lie was easily exposed. A moment of silence passed between us, the roar of the air conditioner the only sound other than the beating of my heart. I didn't want to be afraid, but fear still crawled under my skin like a virus. He wanted me to be afraid of him and in the dark, empty office, I couldn't help it.
I dragged my teeth over my bottom lip and decided my only option was to make a run for the door. He was probably faster and he was definitely stronger, but I had to. I couldn't just stand there like Bambi caught in the high beams of a Mac truck. It wasn't in my nature. I like to think of myself as tough, a fighter. I wasn't always a fighter, but I learned a long time ago that there's only one way for a girl to survive in the world – by biting and kicking and screaming. And shooting and stabbing, if it came down to it. He was itching for a fight, and I wasn't going to let him win it. Not easily, anyway. I raised my hand slightly, letting go of my purse strap in anticipation. His eyes caught the movement and, again, I swore I could see him smile under the knit mask that covered his face.
“Hey Frank!” he called out suddenly, making me jump. He wanted to catch me off guard and it worked. The asshole. In a flash, I darted around the side of my cube, the commercial grade carpet rough beneath my bare feet. I heard his heavy footfalls behind me and I stifled the scream that was forming in my throat. I ran through the darkness, the shadows of the empty cubicles looming all around me, sinister in a way I'd never noticed before. There were places to hide, but I didn't have time. I didn't have the headway I needed. I didn't have any space. He was everywhere. All around me. I could hear his evil laughter in my ears. I could feel him behind me, feel his fingertips on the back of my neck. I could
the violence of his thoughts. He was a bad man, a man who liked to do bad things. I had no doubts about him.
I knew what he wanted.
Excitement shot up my spine as I leaned toward the nearest workstation and pulled out the chair, shoving it around behind me, trying to block his path. The chair tipped over with a crash, the sound like an explosion. I glanced back over my shoulder and a sound halfway between a laugh and a scream escaped my lips as he bounded over it with an undeniable athletic skill. He closed the gap between us easily, the air around him vibrating with his electric energy. Before I knew it, he was on top of me, his big hands altogether too close for comfort.
He caught me around the waist, his arm hooking me right under my ribs and shoving all of the air from my lungs in an instant. His breath was raspy in my ear as he pulled me back against his chest. His free hand shot up the back of my neck and I only had a second to try to jerk my head away before his fingers tangled in my hair. He yanked hard and the back of my head bounced off of his shoulder. Lights strobed in my field of vision and I blinked through the distraction, digging my nails into the long-sleeved T-shirt that covered his arm. I kicked my legs as he heaved me up off my feet, my heel making contact with his shin. I heard him grunt and he threw me to the side. I couldn't stop a hoarse, breathless scream from escaping as his unyielding arm dug into my midsection. His fingers tightened in my hair and I gritted my teeth, the pain shooting down my back and prickling in my toes.
“Let me go!” I managed to get out as a hot tear rolled down my cheek.
“No,” he said simply, his voice strained from the exertion.
“Take my purse. Take my car,” I whispered, like I didn't know what he's really after. “Take it and go.”
“You think that's what I want?” He nudged his chin against my jaw, the touch light in contrast to the vise-like grip he held me in. “Money?”
“Take it,” I repeated, my eyes pointed up at the ceiling, trying not to focus on the desperation that was creeping over the edges of my mind. At that moment, I was under his complete control but I knew I just had to find his weak spot. All men have a weak spot. I had to find it, but in order to do that I had to stay calm. It would be easy to give in to hysteria, but then I'd be the weak one.
I don't like being the weak one.
“Take it,” I said again.
“Oh, I will.” He inhaled sharply, rudely. “You smell good,” he said, his voice laced with amusement, but carrying the unmistakeable undercurrent of danger. “Like a woman should smell.” He relaxed his grip on my hair and I felt my shoulders sag in relief. I didn't realize how tight my muscles were until that moment. “Do you smell that good everywhere?” he asked, dropping his arm from around my waist. I took in a huge gasp of air as my lungs re-inflated. Immediately, I tried to take jump forward away from him, but he pulled me back by my hair. “I bet you do.”
“Don't touch me.” I flung an elbow back, my sharp bone connecting with his hard stomach. He moaned softly and the sound sent a flush of warmth through me.
“Keep fighting,” he breathed. “Keep fighting and maybe I'll let you win.”
“Fuck you,” I hissed, jabbing again, harder. He let out a low breath and let go of my hair. I jerked forward, my hands stretching out in front of me, reaching for something - anything – to fight him off with. Then he shoved me sideways and I stumbled into the workstation to my left, my hip colliding with the sharp edge of the desk. The items on the desktop rattled and a picture frame, filled with smiling faces, fell forward onto the glass. Before I could steady myself or figure out a plan of escape or fight, he was on me again. He hauled my ass up on the flat surface and I swung at him, my palm connecting with the side of his face. He growled and yanked his mask up, exposing his cruel mouth.
Then he kissed me.
Well, to say he kissed me makes it sound almost romantic, when in fact there was nothing romantic about his attack. It was brutal, the way he grabbed my chin and shoved his tongue between my lips, forcing his way inside of my mouth. His fingers pressed into my sensitive skin and I knew I would be bruised there, marked by his strength and want. My head dropped back as he leaned over me, his kiss taking over everything. I nipped at his tongue and he dipped his thumb into my mouth, forcing my teeth apart. I shoved against him in frustration, but he didn't let go. His dark eyes were on mine as he thrust his tongue in and out of me and I didn't look away. I couldn't. I pressed my hands to his chest, but it was useless. He was too big.