Thanks to all the Ruthless Trilogy fans. It was your questions and requests that got my mind spinning and made the Evan's Girls series possible.
When you said, "What about the girls?"
When you said, "Evan has no redeming qualities. He's pure evil."
When you said, "I cried for the girls. I want to know more about them."
and many more. Scarlett was the first to respond and her story weaved its way through my brain. When I sat down to write it everything flowed like melted chocolate, page after page.
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The large Victorian, out of place in New Mexico, stuck out like a sore thumb on the long street. The few other homes were all common adobe structures.
“Wow! I’ve lived here all my life and never seen this place.” He stretched his legs and arms, his eyes plastered on the large home. The grass overgrown, weedy, and brown.
“Come on.” I ushered him towards the back and we slipped through the glass room. At nearly six feet tall the cobwebs brushed his shaggy hair and stuck, pulling with him. I reached up and knocked them off, giggling when he wrapped his arms around me and stole a kiss.
We strolled through the kitchen and into the large living room with a grand foyer and up the stairs. He twisted his neck in order to gawk at everything as he took it in. “Is it haunted?”
I stole up the steps and turned to see him staring at me. Haunted; everything was haunted. That wasn’t a specific enough word for me but I could tell he was planted in place at the base of the stairs. “If you mean do spirits live here, I don’t think so.” That was better than telling him there used to be ghosts but they’ve all gone to rest. I hadn’t told him about my other sight. No matter how much I liked him, some secrets were best left as secrets.
“A place like this has to be haunted.” He took the steps two at a time. “This furniture is ancient.” He slid his finger along the dusty arm of a chair.
“Ghosts, aliens, they only exist if you believe in them,” I stated.
He dropped onto the chair and a dust cloud covered him. “Absolutely.” He searched my face. “You don’t believe?”
I pinched my face at his comments. “Maybe. We can’t be the only life in the universe, right?” I knew there were ghosts. It wasn’t a stretch to think aliens existed.
“They might take over our planet one day or just hover over our planet and study us.” He flattened his hand and waved it in the air in front of him making beeping UFO sounds.
“What I’m going to show you is better.” I stuck the key in the lock and pushed the door open, coating myself in the rainbow colors from the stained glass.
“Shit! Is that the end of the rainbow? Is there a pot o’ gold in there?” He jumped off the chair and followed me into the room. “What the hell...?” His eyes drifted down. “What’s down there?” he asked, leaning over the spiral staircase.
“Nothing, it’s an empty room.” I shrugged and climbed towards the third floor.
“It seems like it has to lead to something.” He coasted down the stairs.
I wasn’t worried he’d find the door. It was flush with the wall. “I’ll be at the top when you’re done.”
He didn’t say anything but his feet pounded against the steps until I heard him drop to the bottom floor. I took my usual place in the center of the floor. I’d taped all my butterflies to the walls between the windows and strung some from the ceiling. The colors bounced off them as they flew through the spectral bliss.
Within a few minutes I heard him pound the stairs. He halted on the top step and soaked in my sanctuary. “What is all this?” he asked, turning his head and taking in the glory of the room.
“I come here sometimes.”
From the steps he met my gaze then shifted to the door and stepped onto the third floor. His one track mind, he pushed against the door. “It’s locked.”
No shit, Sherlock. “Yeah, but this is what I wanted to show you.” I put my arms and hands out, palms up.
He sat behind me, grabbed my middle and scooted backwards against the wall. “What’s on the other side of the door on the third floor?”
I snuggled the back of my head against his chest and collarbone. “I don’t know. I never explored it.”
“Nope. The magic in the room always beckoned me.” I never thought about exploring the third floor. With all the other secrets in the building I never once considered it. When I thought about it now, I couldn’t even come up with a good reason why.
He pushed his hands up my shirt and beneath my bra, fondling my breasts. His soft lips caressing my neck with kisses. The familiar tingle of his touch aroused me. I dipped my head and indulged on his tender lips, offering my tongue. His hands continued to caress my chest and belly. The result in his jeans pressing firm against my back.
I wanted him, but was more fearful of sex and pregnancy. With that in mind, I bolted upwards and scampered towards the stairs. “Beat you to the third floor.” I giggled and rushed down the stairs, his footfalls right behind mine.
His legs long, he coasted beside me soon and I bumped against him. He caught my arm and pulled me backwards, gaining the lead. I purposely led him away from the staircase and reached the first step when he realized I tricked him.
“I’m soo going to get you. You sneaky, manipulative girl,” he said with a smile as he rushed towards me. I wasted no time in scurrying up the steps. My heart pounding from the excitement. A giant dollhouse similar to the house sat in the opposite side of the rectangle room. Shelves of dolls lined the walls and a small wooden rocking chair made for a child took residence in the middle of the room, facing a window. The bench beneath the window was covered with fluffy padding, bleached by the sun.
“This is a little girl’s heaven,” Raury said as he stopped beside me, his eyes as wide as mine.
Was this all Shari’s? Drawn to the dollhouse, I peeked through the windows. All the furnishings were mirrored to those in the house. Chills traced my spine even after all the weirdness I knew existed.
“Look at this,” he said with the lid top of the bench open.
“What?” I padded towards him. Inside the chest was a box and more dolls, some made of cornhusks and handkerchiefs. Inside the box were paper dolls. The ones I always saw Shari playing with. We dug further into the chest and endless assortment of toys; a cup and ball, a bag of marbles and wooden building blocks. The further I dug the more creeped out I felt. It was a feeling of dread like none other I’d felt.
I backed away, noting that no dust covered anything in the room, as if it was cleaned daily. The dolls and toys were neat, unlike what a child’s room would really look like. The magic of the house was stuck in a time warp in the room. I continued backing away until I reached the steps. “We shouldn’t be here.” I darted down the steps without looking back until I reached the first floor grand living room. The familiar peace I always felt settled on me and I relaxed. My quickened pulse returned to normal.
A hand touched my shoulder and I jumped.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” asked Raury, sincerity and concern flashing in his brown eyes.
“I think we should leave. We weren’t meant to be there.” His punched lips and scrunched brows displayed his confusion. No doubt he didn’t have a sixth sense like I did, but other things about the room had to ring bells in his head. “Look at the dust and cobwebs around you. That room was clean, sparkling clean as if...” my words hung in the air.
“So you do believe in ghosts.”
Of course, I see ghosts and visions of death, I thought. “I believe there’s something in that room and we weren’t meant to be there.”
“It was a little creepy,” he followed up with, following me through the house and out the glass room door.
“Where’s that trail lead?” He stared at the cactus jungle, the path barely visible with overgrowth.
Soft, fluffy fur rubbed against my leg. I glanced down to see Salem and instinctively reached to pick him up.
“What is it?” The puzzlement in Raury’s voice alerted me I was about to cuddle a ghost cat in front of him. The lines between the ghost realm and the living realm blurred for that instant.
“Nothing, my leg itched,” I gave Salem a quick pet and stood, smoothing my mistake over.
The sun was setting as we climbed back into his truck. Memories of the room hadn’t left me. It wasn’t just Shari’s room; some of the toys were older than those she would have played with, yet they were perfectly preserved. It didn’t make any sense. As many times as I’d been to the house since Sara’s death I’d never seen another ghost with the exception of Salem. The energy was different. Ghost energy felt like living energy, what I felt in the room was darker, bolder, and something I didn’t have a name for.
An ambulance and police cars rushed past us as Raury pulled over to let them pass. Their sirens filled my ears as he stopped at the sign a couple blocks away from my current living space. We turned onto the street and the slew of emergency vehicles was parked in front of the house. The one I lived in. My pulse quickened, my eyes glued to the haste in their steps as they rushed inside it.
No! I screamed inside. No! my brain screamed, my legs pounding beneath me, pushing past the police officers and into the house. A thick arm wrapped around my middle.
“You can’t be in here,” it said, guiding me outside the house against my will.
He deposited me in the driveway, lights and sirens flashing, emergency workers running past me. Covering my face with my hands, anger burned inside me. I wasn’t attached to the What’s-Their-Names or anybody in the house but couldn’t accept that somebody else in my life was injured or dead... “Timmy!” I hollered, knowing somehow he was at fault. He’d done this.
Grab Part 1 The Purple Mask Free!
I don't think it's possible for creativity to be a negative thing.