House of Isis ™

This is a place of comfort for everyone. I hope you enjoy my stories, and those of my friends. Let me know what you liked about them and what you didn't. You can also visit my website lavernethompson.com for more excerpts of my work. And all work on my blog is copyright protected.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TAKE ME A ROMANCE BOXED SET

***TAKE ME features five books from five bestselling authors of Contemporary, Multicultural, and New Adult Romance. This set will only be offered for a limited time! FOR 0.99 CENTS***
The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith
The Ballerina and the Fighter by Ursula Sinclair
Jaded Hearts by Olivia Linden
Gravity by Raven ST. Pierre
An Arrangement of Love by Kenya Wright
THE SPACE BETWEEN by Victoria H. Smith
When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.
Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.
Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.
The Space Between is a new adult contemporary romance.

THE BALLERINA AND THE FIGHTER by Ursula Sinclair
I travel through life dancing.
All I ever wanted to do was dance, as did my best friend. We'd made so many plans together, but one night an explosion changed it all. Only one of us survived, and I promised myself I'd succeed for us both. And I did, until an accident almost ruined my career, but Maze came back into my life when I needed him most. He pulled me out of the depths of my despair. But could I save him now?
I travel through life fighting.
It had always been Ivy; from the first moment I saw her leaping through the air like she had wings to lift her from the ground. But she was my dream, something I wanted more than anything else in my life. I promised myself I would stay away from her. Violence followed me everywhere and I tried to keep her far away from it. She was my point of illumination in the dark tumultuous world I lived in. But I could not stay away from her. Not when I knew she needed me. As much as I needed her. But could she accept me as I am?
New Adult Contemporary 18+

GRAVITY by Raven St. Pierre
In the first installment of the “Free Falling” series, the stage is set for one of the most riveting interracial love stories to grace the literary scene in quite some time. As the series spans several years, book one takes us back to where it all began – a chance meeting that reshaped the lives of two strangers who soon learn that we don’t always get to choose who we fall in love with; sometimes life chooses for us.
Samantha Kelley is stumbling through her senior year with her plans for college and life outside of Fairfax all plotted out. She’s got the perfect boyfriend, loyal friends, and a wonderful relationship with her parents. Things couldn’t be better, or so she thought. It isn’t until literally colliding with a fellow classmate, Anthony “AJ” Hahn, that she begins to question whether she’s been missing something all along…….him. Samantha’s world is shifted on its axis when she’s blindsided by feelings that she’s never experienced – feelings that make her do things that she never even thought she was capable of. Come along for this epic journey filled to the brim with passion, excitement, secret betrayals, and twists that will keep you holding your breath from beginning to end.

JADED HEARTS by Olivia Linden
24 years old, Jade Spencer's life has hit a brick wall. Haunted by the mysterious abandonment of her mother, she found it was easier to live in the shadows of someone else’s expectations. From the strict authority of her grandmother, the unwillingly guardian to Jade and her brother, to a controlling fiancé who she can't seem to please, denying her feelings has been a necessary coping mechanism. Reality has suddenly come crashing in under the strain of denying her own dreams for so long, and for once, Jade is ready to live life by her own rules.
It's time for a fresh start. Turning away from the disappointment of her past, Jade ditches her shady fiancé and packs her bags for New York City. With help from her aunt, she looks forward to her new future, her fabulous apartment in the city, a new job, and new experiences. Two fated encounters complicate her world when they both lead to unexpected and powerful emotions. She struggles with her desire to embrace these new feelings, and her habit of denying what she truly wants. In this not so classic love triangle, with a hint of mystery, Jade learns the hard way that sometimes intentions can mean everything and nothing at all, and no matter how far you run from the past, it's never too far behind.
Will she find love or will she leave a trail of jaded hearts? Love, secrets, and lies are all on the menu.

AN ARRANGEMENT OF LOVE by Kenya Wright
He kissed me. And not just any kiss. He kissed me like he owned me, as if he bought me last night and my orgasm was the payment. His tongue didn't explore my mouth instead it taunted me, gliding in and out between my lips in a rhythm that reminded me of hot sex. He shifted his hand to the back of my head and trapped me to him. My bag and its contents dropped to the floor. . .
What would you do for six figures?
Billionaire Chase Stone offers Jasmine a six-figure job that requires a full-time commitment in his office as well as his bed. If only she knew that before she agreed, then life would’ve been easier. It’s not that he’s unattractive. Jasmine just didn't graduate from Harvard with honors so she could be some rich guy's over paid mistress. What’s even more repulsing is that he lives with three women and wants her to be the fourth.
Not going to happen!
But Chase won't give up, and Jasmine won't give in. Someone's going to have to change because the more they meet, the more something thick, hot, and electric bridges between them, until neither can breathe or think.









Wednesday, July 02, 2014

DID YOU THINK YOU'D LIVE FOREVER?

Dark Shadow The Hidden Series
a dark erotic new adult paranormal

AVAILABLE NOW


“Run,” he managed to croak out. “Get out of here before they come back.” God the last thing he wanted for her to be attacked by those vampires or whatever the hell they were.

Jett forced himself off the wall and reached for her hand. “Come on, we have to get out of here.” But with his first step away from the wall his head swam, weakened from blood loss, he fell on his knees to the ground. She still held his hand as she leaned over him. For such a tiny thing, her grip felt incredibly strong or he was just that weak, he suspected the latter. 

He sat back on his haunches; his head too heavy to remain upright but through sheer will power he looked up at her. Breathing heavily he whispered, “Run. Leave me. Please.”

She smiled. He felt himself dying in that dark dirty alley yet her smile made it seem as though he’d gotten a glimpse of heaven. She raised her hand and touched his forehead. The burning sensation disappeared but he still had no strength. It seeped out along with his blood, running down the sides of his neck and wrist. Jett couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer. But he managed to tell his angel, for with the bright light shining from her beautiful golden eyes, surely that’s what she had to be. 

“Run.” 


Jett



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Celebrate the summer with Two New June Releases from Stacy-Deanne!



Hi All,

I have two new releases this month! Check them out and make sure you get them!
Chasing the Devil (Book #2 in the Devil Series) coming from Amira Press June 20:
Tate Valley, California Detectives Alexis Adams and her partner Penelope Dao embark on the most bizarre murder case of their careers when rich boy Donovan McCoy is shot to death while trying to rape 18 year-old Rose Malone on the beach just blocks away from Alexis’ home.

The investigation quickly spirals out of control when Donovan’s father Benson vows to take matters into his own hands if Alexis and Penelope don’t deliver results. Soon the detectives find themselves in a web of confusion and lies, and they wonder if they’ll ever get to the truth.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Alexis’ relationship turns hotter and heavier, yet the closer they get, trust continues to be an issue. Kevin wants to give Alexis the world, but she has to trust him enough to give him her heart in return.

Kevin promises to stand by Alexis’ side with her plan to expose Grant Copeland. But, chasing the devil could be hazardous to her health.

Excerpt:

Alexis walked down the dark halls of Copeland Enterprises later that night. She turned the corner, smiled at the maintenance man, and stopped at the parted door of Kevin Reed’s office.
There were no words for how crazy he made her lately. She’d be on a murder case, questioning a witness, yet all she could think about was being in his arms.
She closed her eyes and imagined smelling his cologne and getting lost in his captivating kisses.
They’d only made love six times and just when she thought she couldn’t come harder the next time or that she couldn’t get any wetter, her body proved her wrong.
Mmm.
She grabbed her breast.
She’d had desire for men before, but none satisfied that emotional and physical ache the way Kevin did. She’d never experienced this type of need or hunger for a man before.
She let go of her tingling breast.
Maybe Penelope was right. Maybe Kevin Reed was her soul mate.
“You just gonna stand there all night?” Kevin sat at his desk in another one of his famous designer shirts and ties. His shiny dark hair complimented the gray of his eyes.
His intoxicating cologne grabbed her from across the room.
Clive Christian 1872.
He loved that cologne and she loved it on him.
She could die in that scent.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” He leaned back in the chair with his diamond watch catching the light.
She walked inside and closed the door. “I figured you were working late again.” She glanced around his office.
“Did you know I’m psychic?” His handsome face lit up. “I bet I can tell you what’s gonna happen in here.”
“Really?”
“Yeah. We’re gonna have the best…” He threw his pen down. “Sex you’ve ever had in your life.”
“Oh?” She tilted her head. “You think so?”
“Yep.” He stood. “First we’ll start on the desk, then we’ll end up against the wall.” He pointed to that empty space between the window and bookshelf. “And then we’ll end up on the floor.” He walked from behind the desk. “Tell me I’m not psychic.”
Alexis took her blazer off and laid it on one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Just because we can’t seem to be in the same room five minutes together without getting it on doesn’t mean the same thing’s gonna happen tonight.”
He leaned against the front of the desk with that devilish stare. “All I have to do is look at you and your clothes fall off.”
“Oh.” She laughed. “So it’s like that?”
“Oh yeah, it’s like that.”
That mesmerizing tingle hit her between the legs.
Jesus.
“So why don’t you come over here?” He held out his arms. “Or do I have to chase you around this room?”
“I have to tell you something. It’s serious.”
Kevin put his arms down.
“Donovan McCoy, Benson’s son, was killed a few hours ago.”
“What?”
“I just came from the McCoys’.” She walked around. “I don’t know what I hate about being a homicide detective more, finding someone dead or telling the loved ones.”
“What the hell happened?”
“It happened on the beach down from my place. Donovan tried to rape Rose Malone.”
“What?” He breathed into his palm. “That’s horrible. Rose is such a sweet girl. How old is she now?”
“Eighteen.”
Kevin grimaced and shook his head. “This might be fucked up to say, but Donovan was an asshole just like his dad is.”
“What do you mean?” She walked back over to him.
“He was one of those guys who thought because his parents were rich that he could treat people like shit. Benson’s the same way. He’s always thought his money made him invincible or better than everyone.”
“You mean like Grant?”
Kevin leaned to one side. “It’s horrible that Donovan would do something like that to someone as sweet as Rose. She didn’t deserve that.”
No one deserves to be raped.”
He clasped his hands. “So did she kill him in self-defense?”
“She says she didn’t kill him and all we have is her word for now.” Alexis took her hands out of her pockets. “You won’t believe what happened. As long as I’ve been a detective I’ve never heard shit like this.” She touched the side of her head. “While Donovan was trying to rape Rose, she said someone else shot him from down the beach.”
Kevin gaped.
 “Donovan fell over and the person ran down the beach. “Now have you ever heard something that damn bizarre?”
“It’s obviously not random.” Kevin got off the desk. “I doubt someone was just strolling on the beach, came across Rose and Donovan, and shot him.”
“Penelope and I wondered if it was just some innocent bystander who saw Donovan trying to rape Rose, shot him, and ran off in fear.”
Kevin scrunched up his face. “I’d think a Good Samaritan would’ve stayed with Rose and told the cops the truth.”
“I agree.” She bit her lip. “This person knew Donovan or Rose, I just have that feeling.”
“So do you have any leads?”
She ran her fingers through her hair. “We found a shell casing for a thirty-eight, so I guess that’s the weapon we’re looking for.”
“I don’t suppose Rose had any idea who would do this?”
Alexis shook her head. “Poor thing was shaking out of her skin.”
“Aw.” He walked up to her and caressed her arms. “Sounds like you had a rough night, hmm?” He unbuttoned her blouse.
“Kevin.” She grinned. “What are you doing?”
“You know how it is when we get together.” He slipped her blouse off her shoulders and threw it to the floor. “We just can’t seem to keep our hands off of each other.” He sucked her neck.
“Oh.” She melted when his warm tongue touched her skin. “This is crazy.” She shoved her fingers in his hair.
“Then be crazy, Lexi.” He unbuckled her belt. “Be crazy.”
She pulled him to the floor.

Entangled (Book #4 in the Bruised Series) coming from Sugar and Spice Press June 21:
When local mystery author Grayson Paul’s ex-wife is murdered, Baltimore detectives Lisa Swanson and Dee Quarter are thrown into the most complicated case of their careers. When the officers first meet Grayson, Lisa is convinced he’s hiding something while Dee, who happens to be one of Grayson’s biggest fans, is immediately taken in by the older gentleman’s good looks and charm.

What starts off as innocent flirtation between Grayson and Dee turns into a steamy affair which leaves Dee torn between guilt for sleeping with a man she doesn’t love and her torturous infatuation for Detective Winston Lewis. Winston, who’s deeply in love with Lisa, refuses to accept Lisa’s decision to be with Jake Jenson. Meanwhile Jake’s jealousy of Winston becomes so out of hand that it threatens to destroy his relationship with Lisa forever.

Between forbidden attractions, self-destructive decisions, and determined suitors, Lisa and Dee manage to solve the case. Before it’s over they’ll both get a crucial lesson in life and love that they will never forget.

Excerpt:
“Ah, jeez.” Dee stopped and turned around when she saw Winston in the station workout room.
            “Hey.” He finished the sit-up then jumped to his feet. “What’s your problem, Dee?” He yanked a towel off the shelf.
            She faced him. “What are you talking about?”
            He grabbed his water bottle from the mat. “Why did you turn around when you saw me?” He opened the bottle and sipped.
            “It’s just that I didn’t expect to see you in here.”
            “And why not?” Sweat ran down the tight, black tank that hugged his scrumptious pecks.
            “Oh I don’t know.” She swung her hand. “I thought you’d be somewhere running after Lisa, like always.”
            He scoffed. “And why are you mean? Well, I mean today?
            “Honestly?” She straightened the towel on her shoulder. “Because you’re the last person I wanna see right now.”
            “And what did I do to you?” He dabbed his face.
            “You exist.” She yanked the towel off her shoulder.
            “You’re such a bitch.” He wiped his forehead. “You think you can just say whatever you want to people and that they don’t have any feelings.”
            She put her hand in his face. “Did I give you any indication that I wanna hear your whining right now?”
            He gaped.
            “In case you’ve been living in a box somewhere, I’ve had the day from hell.” She stomped toward the exercise bike. “All day Connie-big-mouth Allison, and that fat ass Belinda have been snickering and laughing behind my back and I’ve had it.” She threw the towel on the floor and got on the bike. “I thought this was a police station and not high school.”
            “So why take it out on me?”
            “Because it’s because of you that they’re doing this.” She pedaled. “God, Winston, you’re a cop. You should be able to get a clue.”
            “Hey, I haven’t exactly had the best day either.” He stood beside the bike. “As for Connie, I know exactly what you mean. Every time I turn around someone is giggling in my face and whispering.”
            “And you brought it on yourself.” She pedaled faster. “I told you people were talking about you and Lisa but you took it as a big joke.” She gripped the handlebars. “What I can’t understand is why are they acting so weird with me?”
            “Hey.” He laid his hand on hers.
            She trembled from his touch but she sure as hell wouldn’t let him know it.
            “We need to settle this,” he said. “What’s going on? If I did something to you please tell me what.”
            She sighed and stopped pedaling. “You didn’t do anything. I apologize for taking my frustrations out on you.”
            “But why are you so frustrated? Is there something I can do?”
            You can throw me down on the mat and make love to me as if we’re the last two people on earth. That’s what you can do.
            “No.” She slipped her hand from under his. “I’m fine.”
            “Dee.” He put his finger under her chin and turned her face until their eyes met. “I’m your friend. You know that, right?”
            Friend!
            “Now I know we get into it with each other from time to time, but you know I care about you.” He stroked her ponytail. “You know if you need to talk about anything then I’m here.”
            She got off the bike. “Winston. I have to…” She lost herself in his stare. “I have to tell you something.”
            “What?” He moved closer.
            “It’s…” She stared at his chest. “It’s hard to explain.”
            “I’m here for you, Dee.” He took her hand. “Just tell me.”
            “Oh…” Butterflies filled her stomach.
            Don’t do it, Dee.
            She stared at his lips. “I…”
            Don’t you dare do it.
            “Oh.” She exhaled.
            “Dee?” He moved closer.

*These titles will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Bookstrand at the time of their release.



























Saturday, June 14, 2014

Celebrate Indie Authors


Lots of Authors. Lots of AWESOME reads. And great giveaways!



Saturday, June 07, 2014

HOLD ON

HOLD ON

by LaVerne Thompson
a romantic suspense has been re-released.

Blurb:

One phone call changed both their lives. 

A real life knight in shining armor--except he isn't in armor, he's in a suit. But the first time Lena Douglas lays eyes on Stephan Grayson that's what he seems to her. He saves her from a violence that still haunts her nights, but at least he's there to hold her should she wake. But the nightmare's not over; it stalks them both now. A mistake from her past that will not let go. But then, neither will Stephan. 

Stephan’s saved her once and he's not about to let anyone, especially Lena, stand in the way of what is happening between them. But will he always be there to shield her from the danger she thought she left behind? 

This title has been previously published. 

A Romantic Suspense. Novella. Warning violence.


BUYLINK: AMAZON




Monday, May 26, 2014

Is It Summer Yet Blog Hop?



So the summer begins. I guess that means I can't complain about the cold ice and snow anymore. But not to worry I'm sure I'll be complaining about the heat soon enough. lol Because if it's not one thing it's something else. Oh to be in that perfect 80 degree sunny weather where there's a nice breeze blowing through and zero humidity. To those who have that enjoy it for those that don't hope it comes to you soon or go searching for it.

Meanwhile let's see if I can heat it up a bit in here.  Dark vamps or knights in shining armor? If anyone decides to leave a comment below and/or email me their email address to isisindc@msn.com at the end of the blog hop June 1st 10pm EST. I will choose two random winners among the commenters. One will receive a PDF copy of Dark Mist, the other will receive a PDF copy of Hold On before it releases next month.



Excerpt-

When Rose exited the airport, lightning flashed, illuminating the night sky. For a moment, everything froze, then the world turned dark again. Even though she wore a coat, she shivered and when thunder crackled overhead, goose bumps rose along her arms. This kind of weather always spooked her, but this new job in Memphis should have her crowing in triumph, and she did feel that way, until a moment ago.
She shook her head as she stood in line for a cab. Just nerves acting up, she hadn’t been sleeping lately, but she’d been excited about this move. Rose felt sorry now she didn’t let Krystal come and pick her up at the airport. It’d been late and raining and Krystal Harrington worked as an ER doctor with long hard hours. She needed her rest. Rose's plane already delayed due to weather. Still, it would have been nice to see a friendly face. They’d been best friends and roomies since college, even after college, they’d remained close. They even took vacations together, and planned a cruise next year. Now, since Rose had been transferred to the office in Memphis, she would stay with Krystal until she found a place. Rose hadn’t seen her best friend for a few months but she grew excited about them being able to spend time together again.
Rose got into the taxi and gave the driver her destination. Sitting back, she stared outside at the passing darkened landscape. This city would be her new home. Who would’ve thought a girl from a big city like Brooklyn would end up in Memphis of all places? But the company she worked for wanted her at their home office. She would’ve been a fool to turn down the promotion of Executive Business Acquisitions Director for Hydden Enterprises, or HE, as those who worked there liked to call the place. She’d worked her butt off for the company and to get a promotion.
Others told Rose, at twenty-seven, she would be the youngest person in such a high position within the company. She reported directly to the President of HE and would have a staff of four under her supervision. Not too bad for someone who didn’t know who her father was, and whose mother died when she was ten, leaving her alone to grow up in the foster care system. It could’ve been worse she supposed…She’d gotten lucky.
The Robinsons, the family who raised her were good people. She’d been their only foster, but they’d housed exchange college students in the US for a limited time, so Rose never felt lonely, and they’d been heavily involved in the local non-denominational mega-church. Through the church, she’d netted a full-scholarship to college. Even though, she didn’t embrace any one religious doctrine, she did believe something greater existed out there, which no one could control. Then, even at times, it directed humanity onto certain paths. Still, it is up to each individual to decide which road to take or not.
In her case, an opportunity presented itself and she didn’t hesitate to take it. After graduation, she’d gotten a job at Hydden and thus far, it turned out to be the right decision. Though, she missed her foster parents and didn’t enjoy moving so far away from them. Even if she hadn’t lived with them, since she’d started college, they’d been the first to encourage her to explore this opportunity.

She’d proven herself to the company by working hard and getting an MBA while working full-time and she had her foster parents to thank for her strong work ethic. As a result, Hydden rewarded her with some of the corporate secrets. Like Hydden was really operated and owned by one of the largest churches in Memphis. The locale of the real head office would be where she would actually work. Yesterday, she’d been happy and excited about this step forward in her career. Now, when the cab pulled up in front of Krystal’s house and the door opened, she found herself hesitating to step out of the car…and with no idea why.

DARK MIST





video



COMING JUNE 6TH
re-release Hold On
a romantic suspense

EXCERPT

“911 Operator.”
“Hello…listen, I’m at the corner of Broad Street and Denny Way. I’m looking into the second floor of
a garden-style apartment opened onto Broad, and it looks like there’s a…a robbery taking place.” Stephan spoke anxiously into the phone, his voice cracking mid-speak.
The emergency operator on the other end replied in a steady tone, “I’m dispatching a patrol car to the area, sir. Stay on the line with me. Are you one of the victims or do you know the people involved?”
“No, no it’s not me and I don’t know them. I’m in my car. Hang on, the light’s changing.  I’m going to make a U-turn and park on the street so I can keep watch.”
He ignored the car honking at him because he cut in front of it. The building before him and the woman in trouble his only focus. The sun had been down for awhile now, but the open lighted walkway in the three-story building allowed Stephan a pretty clear view.
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remain in the car,” the operator insisted in a forceful voice. “How many people are involved?”
“Two, I think. A man and a woman, I saw him grab her purse and she tried to run. Hurry!” he cried.
“Help is on the way. Please try to stay calm.”
“My God!” Stephan exclaimed. “He just hit her…she’s trying to fight him off. He kicked a door open and…he’s…he’s trying to drag her in!” His words were coming faster, rushing to get the information out. “She’s fighting back. I can’t just sit here watching this.”
“Sir, please do not leave your car,” the operator stated firmly. “The person could be armed as well as dangerous. Wait for the authorities.”
“I’m sorry. I’m already at the building. Tell the cops, when they get here, it’s the second building from the corner, second floor, the door at the top of the stairs. I’m going to leave my phone on so you can listen in, but I’m putting it in my pocket.”
Without waiting to hear a reply, Stephan did just that. 
As he ran up the stairs he heard a woman’s screams. Why isn’t anyone trying to help her? He had seen three other doors with apartment numbers on this floor alone. Surely one of them was occupied. It didn’t matter, he was here and he wasn’t going to do nothing. Too late, he wished he’d taken the time to grab a tire iron from his car. But he had stopped rational thought as soon as he glimpsed the woman in trouble. He’d just have to rely on being in good physical shape. It wasn’t like he was a fighter, in truth he used his mind not his muscle. Now he may have to use both, and so far he hadn’t been using much of his so-called intelligence tonight. An intelligent person would have waited on the sidewalk and pointed the cops in the right direction.
Stephan stopped at the now closed door he had seen the man kick open. A scuff mark near the bottom of the panel confirmed he had the right place. He put his ear to the wood but could hear nothing. Turning the doorknob he found it unlocked, and cautiously pushed it open.  He slipped inside leaving it slightly ajar so the cops could enter easily.  
Muffled sounds came from the interior of the apartment. Taking a step in the direction of the noise, ragged cries suddenly rent the air. A hallway, probably leading to a bedroom, stretched in front and to the right of him. There were no lights on, but the blinds were partially open, and the glow from a street lamp provided enough illumination to the small room. 
Glancing to the left, he spied a kitchen. His already fast beating heart pumped more blood into his system, adding strength to his resolve. Moving quickly, he headed there first for a weapon. As soon as he pulled a knife from the block on the counter, the wail of a siren whined from a distance, at the same time he heard a scream that curdled his soul.
Throwing caution out the window he ran down the short hallway, the direction the cry had come from, fear setting his pace. Stopping in front of the only room, he gripped the open doorframe. The scene unfolding before him chilled his blood.
The dimmed overhead light showed a woman lying face down on the bed, and a man in dark clothing sat on top of her, straddling her legs to hold her down. She kept screaming and bucking to try to throw him off, but he kept laughing, and using one hand to hold both of hers on her head while he ripped her blouse with the other. So engaged in his activity, he didn’t even hear Stephan behind him. 
Stephan wanted to stick the sonofabitch with the knife in his hand. But he spotted an empty metal potpourri bowl on a stand near the door. He didn’t want to shed any of the man’s blood on the woman if he didn’t have to. He put down the knife and picked up the bowl. Using all of his strength, fueled by his anger, he smashed it against the side of the bastard’s head.
Like a bowling pin toppling over, the man fell off the bed onto the floor, hopefully out cold for a while. When the weight holding her down disappeared, the woman on the bed flipped over. She raised her tear-streaked face and her eyes momentarily collided with Stephan’s before shifting to the man on the floor. As her gaze returned to his, fear flooded her beautiful chocolate-colored eyes. She gasped, and backed up against the headboard. 
Even with puffy eyes, tear tracks on her face, and a bruise on her toasted almond-colored cheek her beauty still shone through. Stephan’s heart, which had been racing before, stopped in mid-beat. 


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