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Olivia Starke

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Member Since: Feb, 2010

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Mind Games
by Olivia Starke   

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Books by Olivia Starke
· Order of Terminus: Blood Desires
· Order of Terminus: Blood Heat
                >> View all

Category: 

Romance

Publisher:  Cobblestone Press ISBN-10:  1600884733
Pages: 

41

Copyright:  October 2009 ISBN-13:  9781600884733

Barnes & Noble.com
Cobblestone Press

Paranormal Erotic Short Story

Fiesty and independent Cassie Archer moves into her late grandmother's home after inheriting it along with a beat up old truck, a nearly as old deaf Yorkshire terrier, and two goats.

Her mundane life in the little Kansas town is upended when she meets level headed (and incredibly sexy) Sheriff Garrett Daniels.

Suddenly the two are dealing with Cassie's estranged ex-con father, a witch's ghost, and a Book of Spells. Is there one last healing spell in the works for Cassie's jaded heart?

Excerpt
Red and blue lights flared to life in the rearview mirror.

“Son of a bitch,” Harold said, slamming a hand against the steering wheel. He pulled the old brown Buick to the shoulder of Highway 54 which was beginning to overflow with the afternoon rush hour traffic. The Kansas state trooper pulled his cruiser behind the worn-out car and waited for the traffic to merge left before getting out.

Harold’s eyes searched desperately for something he could use. A little white compact car sat a short distance away waiting to pull into the heavy flow of traffic. A large semi loaded with construction equipment flew by, and the mid-size Buick rocked in its wake. A malevolent smile crossed Howard’s lips.

Perfect.

The woman driver in the white car stared in his direction, and he could just see her round, ruddy face. He pushed his thoughts out. Within a blink of an eye, the events were set in motion. The driver in the white compact car let her foot off the brake and pushed down on the accelerator. The little car lurched forward.

The sound of squealing brakes and screeching tires immediately preceded the horrible gut-wrenching noise of twisting, cracking fiberglass. As if in slow motion he watched the semi swerve in an effort to miss the white compact car only to sideswipe a green SUV that had been traveling in the rig’s blind spot. The SUV bounced off the trailer of construction equipment much like a rubber ball bouncing off a wall. In a green blur, the vehicle flipped into the air doing summersaults down the median. The grill of the semi clipped the front fender of the little white car, and it was caught in a dizzying tailspin that sent it flying into several vehicles that tried in vain to avoid the accident.

Someone was screaming, a gurgled noise that could’ve been male or female. The blare of the overturned green SUV’s horn created a backdrop to the excited cries of people rushing around in panic. The state trooper pulled from behind the brown Buick and parked within the melee of people and automobiles, forgetting about the speeding ticket he was about to write.

“This will do nicely,” Harold said, a twisted smile still on his lips. He backed his car between several others that had came to a stop behind him and found a way through the tangle of traffic to a nearby side road.

Several muffled thuds issued from the trunk of the old car as Harold began whistling to an old country tune on the radio.



* * * * *



Cassie Archer made several unladylike comments as she sat in the snarl of traffic. The radio had just made the announcement to avoid the very highway she was now stuck on. There had been a huge crashup ahead, resulting in several injuries. She was baking to a crisp in the cab of her old pick-up as the sun shone hotly through the glass.

“Well, Cassie, at least you weren’t involved in the wreck. Poor souls.”

A steady tat-tat-tat had Cassie peering up through her cracked windshield. A helicopter was making its way from the south, most likely from Glenwood Hospital. Sweat trickled between her breasts, and she pulled her t-shirt away from her sticky body. The underwire of her bra was already moist, and Cassie grumbled about the truck’s lack of air conditioning. Her windows were down and the sliding back glass was open, but very little air was stirring within the old Ford’s interior. It was an unusually hot and muggy May afternoon outside of Wichita, Kansas, and dark ominous clouds to the north signaled an approaching cold front. Though the cooler air would be a welcome relief, they were already in a tornado watch for the evening. Cassie shuddered. She hated storms.

Traffic crept forward as it was rerouted along a series of detours down county roads. The helicopter was already taking off with its patient as she pulled back onto Highway 54. She quickly accelerated, pushing the old battered red truck to its maximum speed of sixty miles an hour. Hot air rushed into the cabin, and Cassie sighed. Lightning streaked from the darkened sky to the north, and an announcement on the radio stated a thunderstorm warning was in effect for Broward County.

“Great.” She stared at the approaching clouds. A white sliver streaked from the darkened boiling mass hovering over the land, and several seconds later, a round of thunder reached her ears. Several other streaks of lightning flared from the clouds, and Cassie breathed a sigh of relief to see her road just ahead. A cloud of dust swirled in her wake as she sped down the county road.

A mile later she pulled the groaning truck up to an old, tin-sided barn and jumped out, darting around to the tailgate. After dropping it, she unloaded several fifty pound bags of goat feed and a bag of dried corn for the chickens. Placing them in the feed bin and slapping the lid closed, she went out to the pen adjoining the barn.

A round of bleats welcomed her as she slid open the door leading to the goat pen.

“Come on, Frankie, Lady Bell,” Cassie called. The pair of brown and white spotted goats milled around the pen, upset by the approaching storm. A crash of thunder had Cassie screaming in surprise. The two goats ran to the corner of their enclosure, and several chickens already inside the barn squawked and flapped frantically, their white downy feathers floating in the air.

Another peal of thunder had Cassie ready to panic. She chased the goats in circles, finally driving them into the barn. After shutting the pair inside, she dashed the short distance to the old farmhouse, its white siding standing in stark contrast to the rolling green and black clouds that were almost over the home. The aged windmill began spinning, and she broke out in goose pimples as a cold breeze mingled with the hot muggy air.

She was feeling a bit like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz as she reached the front door of the old house. She threw the screen door open, and it banged against the side of the house after getting caught in the gusting wind. A lightning bolt sliced through the air just above the home, and the air exploded around her as Cassie ran through her front door. Locking the door behind her, she leaned against it, trying to settle her racing heart.

“Hey, Baby Girl,” Cassie said breathlessly, greeting the little Yorkie that hopped at her feet. The dog’s milky white gaze, the result of age and cataracts, peered up at her. She scooped the little dog into her arms and cradled her close.

After seeing the report of a thunderstorm warning, she breathed a sigh of relief. Thunder, lightning, and a little wind she could handle. As a child, she and her mother had gotten caught in a tornado in their home in a small northern Kansas town. They had hidden in the bathtub as a tree came down across the house, crashing through the roof. They were uninjured, but she’d developed a healthy respect for storms.

She grabbed a cold beer from the fridge and plopped down on the couch watching the evening news. Sipping the sudsy brew, Cassie listened as a somber newscaster talked about the crash. A woman had pulled her car into the path of a tractor trailer causing a chain reaction accident on the stretch of highway.

Wind pushed against the old farmhouse causing it to creak and groan as hail pelted the siding. Thunder jarred the house again and again, and a close strike of lightning knocked out the electricity. The little dog shivered in Cassie’s lap, and she stroked Baby Girl’s head. Though the sixteen-year-old dog was completely deaf, the vibrations of the thunder made her nervous.

Cassie lit several candles and got the fixings from the fridge for a turkey sandwich. After piling slices of plump red tomatoes and mayo with the meat on whole wheat bread, she took her plate to the small dining table in the kitchen. She lit another couple of sandalwood-scented candles on the table. Candlelight, a raging storm outside, the perfect romantic setting, Cassie thought with a sigh as she fed tidbits of turkey to the Yorkie who sat faithfully at her feet. She ate her dinner in silence. Baby Girl had been her late grandmother’s dog, along with the house and the old beat up Ford. They’d all been willed to Cassie, the only grandchild. She missed her grandmother and had spent many happy childhood summer days on the twenty acre farm.

The storm’s fury was abating with a heavy rain settling in its wake. Thunder rolled under the sound of the downpour as Cassie finished off her sandwich. After putting the plate in the dishwasher and tossing the beer bottle into the recycling bin, she scooped up Baby Girl, murmuring to the little dog as she made her way to the living room. The lights flickered before coming back on, dispelling some of the loneliness in Cassie’s heart. She pulled a rose-colored raincoat, something else that belonged to her grandmother, from the broom closet. She dressed the little Yorkie in a silly pink sweater, and after donning her own raincoat, carried Baby Girl outside to do her business.

After crawling between the cool cotton sheets of her bed later that night, she again thought of how nice it’d be to share her evenings with someone. Baby Girl sneezed several times then settled on the pillow next to Cassie’s head. The dog’s nasally breathing soon settled into a hardy snore. Cassie smiled. She’d always preferred large rowdy dogs, but the little Yorkie’s tenacious personality reminded her of her late grandmother.

Cassie soon drifted off into a restless sleep.


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