“Wave goodbye,” she said.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Oh, yeah, you are. You just don’t know it yet.”
She rolled over, one voluptuous hip emerging from the covers like a sleek fish. She took a swig from the bottle by the bed, held it out to him. He chugged, as much for the taste of her lips as for the burn of the bourbon. She gave him a little shove.
“Damn it, Stella, why do you have to be so cold?”
She laughed. “You knew what you were getting into the first time we got together.”
He shifted, heaved himself off the mattress. “What does someone have to do to get through to you?”
“You really want to know?”
“Yeah, of course I do.”
“Bring me the head of John the Baptist.”
He watched her lovely throat ripple with laughter. He reached out. She pushed his hand away.
“Okay, but seriously,” she said.
“Seriously.” He knelt by the side of the bed, gripped those lovely shoulders, felt her heat, fell into her eyes. Just touching her like this, he was hard again. She was the most fascinating woman.
“Seriously. I’d do anything.”
That was why, two weeks later, he was running out of oxygen, eighteen feet underwater near Key Largo, drilling a hole into the hull of a yacht. Could he break through the hull before he had to come up for air again? Doubtful. If only he learned to scuba dive.
The drill kicked back and bit his hand. Blood spumed in the water. He breached, sputtered, went down again. Another forty seconds, and he was in. He set the explosive and kicked hard for the shore.
Stars painted the night sky silver. He lay in the shallows, catching his breath and listening to the cicadas cree. Then the night exploded, and rubble rained down.
It was just his bad luck that his rental car blew a rim on the rutted sand track leading away from the inlet. Worse luck that the fire-truck chose that same rutted route to catch the blaze.
Better luck that lazy police work and Florida’s lax lawmaking landed him just nine years for involuntary manslaughter.
She was long gone when he got out. But he was too far gone to let it slide.
He found her, finally. Living in luxurious squalor in Bimini. She was asleep when he broke in, sprawled on satin sheets, her skin tanned the color of wheat toast except where the white bikini lines cradled her breasts and the honeypot between her legs.
“I never loved you,” he told her.
“Oh, yeah, you did,” she snarled.
She was right. Another thing he hated her for.
“It’s not too late,” she said.
“It was too late for me the minute I met you. “
He lay on top of her, licked that cinnamon throat. Then bit it with his knife. Blood soaked the sheets. Like blood drifting in water. Like the bitter end of his life, flooding away from him.
About the author:
Susan Kuchinskas mashes genres with impunity in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s the author of two science fiction/detective novels, Chimera Catalyst and Singularity Syndrome. Her crime, science fiction and erotica has appeared in a variety of journals and zines, including Shotgun Honey, Rock and a Hard Place, Terror House and the Sisters in Crime anthology Fault Lines. Find out more at kuchinskas.com or follow her on Twitter.
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