Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Every once in awhile, a book comes along that I, as the author, feel differently about. Some make me question my chosen vocation, but a few touch my heart in a special way.
So Much It Hurts is one of the latter. I love this book. When I started it November 1, 2016, the words just flowed. I felt the movement of it, the emotions and the words gripped me and ran. I hung on, typing as fast as I could, feeling inadequate to the task of telling the story. When I sat down to read it through in its entirety, I knew I hadn't let myself, or the characters down. It was that good.
Beta readers have told me that the characters hopped off the page, becoming very real. I was delighted to hear that, because the entire time, the voices filled my head, demanding to be heard.
Tomorrow, So Much It Hurts makes its debut. I'm delighted that it's being published exactly a year from its beginning. The book is on sale right now, and will continue for a week after publication, so get your copy for .99 cents NOW! The price won't last, but the book will. I hope it will touch your lives as much as it did mine.
Below, for your reading enjoyment, is an excerpt from So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes.
They heard the music before they saw anyone. The air was filled with guitar,
“Is that a harpsichord?”
“It is! And there’s a harp, double bass, a variety of woodwind and other
instruments. Only the finest quality. We’re allowed to use them—carefully.”
“Aren’t they worried someone will steal them?”
“No one will steal them. They appreciate the opportunity too much.”
The choice of music was a little surprising, given the instruments playing, but Pia
couldn’t ignore the lure of Harlem Nocturne. A longtime favorite, it was one of the
first pieces she’d learned on her own. Though she loved all kinds of music, there was
a big pull for her in jazz and blues. They walked quietly in and she marveled at the
sight. Seven musicians sat around playing various antique instruments, including a
gorgeous saxophone that glittered like silver, not brass. The sound was mellower,
making her gasp and clasp her hands together. Listening in awe, she could hardly
breathe until they were finished. When the song ended, she clapped and cheered.
Yancy whistled and clapped along with her.
“Fabulous! I love the slower tempo. And the saxophone, so sexy! The piano part
on the harpsichord, very cool!”
“You’ve got to be a musician,” the girl at the harpsichord said with a grin.
“This is Pia, new to the Ambassador Suite. Pia, meet Charles.”
The guy on the double bass waved.
“Elaine on harpsichord. Bama on sax; Amita you know, on guitar. Trumpet and
trombone, the Capone Twins. And finally, Dahlia on drums.”
“What do you play?” Elaine made room for her on the bench.
“Pretty much everything. Fully trained on woodwinds, piano, guitar, and drums.
I’m self-taught on brass. I need to tighten my embrasure.”
“Hard to switch up between woodwind and brass,” one of the Capones said.
“Yes, so I’m told. I play at it, I didn’t say I did it well.”
“You sing?” Bama asked.
“Prove it. Soprano or alto?”
“I’ve got a good range. Try me.”
“Hop in when you know it.” He picked up a guitar and started playing. The others
Pia grinned. “Give me something hard, why don’t ya?” She waited for the right
moment and started to sing I’d Rather Go Blind.
The other musicians joined in and sang harmony with her on the choruses. Pia
wailed and sailed all over the place, showing off her range. Impressed looks were
exchanged, but she didn’t see them. Instead, she had her eyes closed as she sang.
By the end of it, the women were in tears and even the men looked a little misty. No
one moved for a full minute as the song finished. Pia looked around, confused.
“Nailed it,” Bama said. “Dayam, baby. You’ve got some pipes!”
Everyone joined in to compliment her. She hadn’t noticed, but many of the other
residents, attracted by the song, had gathered for the impromptu concert. After
Bama spoke, the spell was broken and they applauded loudly.
“Thank you.” Pia blushed, embarrassed by their praise.
“Can’t leave us there!” Elaine said, booting Bama from the piano. She whispered
to him and he grinned. “See if you know this one.”
“We’re playing Name That Tune, huh? I think it’s only fair to warn you, I’ve never
been stumped. Has to be something known, can’t be something you wrote yourself.”
“Of course! That’d be cheating,” Amita said.
Elaine started playing the piano, with the guitar on heavy reverb joining her. Pia
“Oh, I got this.” Waiting patiently for her cue, she stood with her hand on the side
of the piano like a torch singer. The haunting notes of Bang Bang filled the air, and
the audience clapped softly.
Wondering where Pia and Yancy were, Flynn came back downstairs and walked
in as she got to the final chorus. When she saw him, Pia pointed at him, singing
“Bang Bang.” He staggered, catching himself before he fell. More loud applause
echoed in the enormous room.
Stepping forward, clapping, Flynn stood in front of her. “I have a request.”
“Okay, name it. If we know it, we’ll play it,” Elaine said, her fingers rippling over
“Except for Pia.” He winked at her.
“Hah! Rude!” She smacked his arm with the back of her hand.
Flynn whispered to the musicians and they nodded.
Elaine started to play the piano. “A little throwback to before we were born… By
Bama had picked up a violin and Charles went back to the bass. Pia smiled,
though she was fighting tears. How had he picked the one song that could make her
melt into a puddle? Vocalizing as she waited for her cue, she closed her eyes again.
To Flynn’s ears, Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore had never sounded so good. The
song held special meaning for him, that only Yancy knew. The second he had heard
Pia sing, he knew he had to listen to her do that song. He hadn’t counted on how it
would affect him. Tears welled in his eyes and he ducked his head so no one would
see. He felt Yancy walk over, nudging him with his elbow. Hands shoved in his
pockets, he started to hum and by the final chorus, he was harmonizing with Pia.
When the song was over, he picked her up, spinning her around. Lost in a moment
of their own, they didn’t even notice the applause.
“Where were you keeping that voice, Chancellor?”
“Under my hat, ma’am.”
“You’re not wearing a hat.”
“Nope. That was beautiful. Thank you.”
“You’re so welcome.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Our first Vile Villains post actually features two. This pair is my favorite Dastardly Duo. Telorvech and Mabu are members of a race called the Leonatae. Suffice, to say, they aren't a people you want to get on the wrong side of.
Committee Home Base
Gazing out the window of her sumptuously decorated office, Telorvech Asandal reflected that the weather on her home planet was much more interesting than that here on climate controlled Committee Home Base. Granted, it was wicked weather, but there was only so much sunshine, balmy breezes and fresh air she could tolerate. A good old fashioned thunderstorm with gale force winds, that was something she could sink her teeth into.
Pacing the luxurious hand loomed, dark red, deep pile carpet, she realized she felt trapped here. She wanted to go home, but that was impossible. As Aisulov's Vice-Chairman, she was provisional head of the Committee until his return or his death. His death was something she had dwelt on for the last two and a half years.
Though Aisulov had been gone three years, the first months had demanded her full attention. A freak accident set the galaxy in a tail spin from which it was only now recovering. Planets, moons, asteroids both populated and barren exploded, victims of an unknown force. Aisulov's home planet was one of those lost, his wife and children with it.
After all the Committee members went on their fact finding missions, Aisulov prepared for his own trip. He was determined to find the cause of this disturbance. If he had come up with any answers, he certainly hadn't shared them with her or anyone else. He was supposed to report to the Committee when he came out of cryo-sleep. He hadn't. In fact, no data was transmitted from his ship to Committee Headquarters at all. This left her hopeful he was dead.
Unfortunately, the Committee needed proof. The body in an hermetically sealed box would do nicely. Even identifiable body parts—an ear, a hoof! But there continued to be no word, no sign, no whisper in the dark that he was alive.
Telorvech was a credit to her race, holding an office of power and authority. Positions of trust were not generally awarded to her people. Wil wasn't the only person who distrusted the Leonatae, with good reason. They were greedy, arrogant, stubborn, bigoted, fairly intelligent, superstitious, and money grubbing. The creature they most resembled were Old Earth weasels. Standing nearly eight feet tall, they were ferocious, merciless and had disagreements with nearly every sentient race in the galaxy. They were represented here on the Committee because everyone wanted to keep an eye on them, not because their presence was welcome. Telorvech and her nine staff members were the only Leonatae on Committee Home Base. That was ten too many for most Committee members.
Long fingers smoothed her indigo gown as she sat at her desk and made a few decisions concerning Aisulov. Perhaps she could fabricate an authentic sounding transmission? No, it would take a long time to set up. It also required too many intermediaries to forge a location. However, a bot ship coming across remains of his vessel in space, his poor body burned beyond recognition, now that had distinct possibilities. She could obtain a Vandaran corpse easily enough, having it's records altered to match Aisulov's. That was simplicity itself, neat and easy. Yes, the simple plans often were best.
She decided to consult her head of security. Izzatai Mabatsuou was even more blood thirsty than she and a trusted aid. Not so much trusted, she amended honestly, but each knew so many secrets about the other, it was a shared extortion. She contacted him, calling for a private conference.
Stroking her soft, mahogany fur, Telorvech looked out upon the landscape again. The clouds shifted, turning darker as the wind picked up.
Izzatai Mabatsuou bowed when he came in the room. Handsome, by Leonatae standards, his fur was darkest ebony. It had often been said that his heart was blacker than his coat. Admittedly, it was an exaggeration, but it was true that he was probably the most evil Leonatae that Telorvech knew. Because of his reputation as a conniving, villain, the job of Security Chief was perfect for him.
Waving him to a seat across the desk from her, Telorvech leered at her cohort. "Mabu, you and I are about to embark on a project to secure our positions here at Home Base. Would you like that?"
Mabatsuou chuckled. "There's nothing I'd like better." He plucked at the gold braid on his burgundy jacket, with long, sharp talons. His chuckle became a hideous caricature of a laugh.
She outlined her basic plans. Mabatsuou's horrid smile widened.
"Indeed, Madame, that is excellent."
"You'll make it so, Mabu. Then return as soon as you have set things in motion." Nodding, he rose and bowed. "Oh, and Mabu, bring the toys with you when you return."
Grimacing with pleasure, Mabatsuou backed out of the room. Satisfied that she had initiated the careful orchestration of Aisulov's unfortunate demise, Telorvech wished to celebrate. Mabu was just the male to help her do it. Deriving as much pleasure as she did from pain, they could spend the evening doing what they liked best.
Gazing out her window again, she saw that the sky darken, the wind pick up force. Rain beat against her windows. Yes, the day had decidedly improved.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Can you believe it's almost Halloween? The stores are setting fall aside for Christmas, but here at What's Write for Me, it's time to talk about books. Okay, to be fair, it's always time to talk about books, because that's what we love. Today, Wednesday, October 25, we're joined by two outstanding authors, Diana Y. Paul and Maggie Tideswell.
Diana Y. Paul, author of Things Unsaid is new to the show, and we're delighted she could join us to talk about her debut novel. Welcome, Diana!
Joining us for, I believe, the third time, is Maggie Tideswell author of Dark Moon, Silent Night, Runaway Couple and more. We're thrilled to have her back again.
Be sure to join us. You never know what's going to happen, but you can be sure it will be fun!
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Honoria McCormick has just started a new job at a small, regional theatre in Tennessee. Most recently from Orlando, Florida, she's finding adjusting a little more challenging than she thought. However, she met the apprentices at the theatre, and had dinner with them at their house. Late at night, she gets back to the cabin, where she's staying, and gets ready for bed.
Once in her nightshirt, Honoria dashed to the bed, turning off the light in the bathroom as she passed. It was chilly in the house and the thought of warm blankets and soft pillows was appealing. Jumping in the bed, she flung the blankets over her head, cuddling up for warmth. Suddenly, she became aware of the fact she wasn't alone. A warm, hard bodied form snuggled up behind her. A heavily muscled arm flopping over her waist. It was obviously a male body and he was very warm, alive and in her bed!
Screaming like Lisa had when the lizard jumped on her, Honoria launched herself out of the bed, holding the coverlet around herself for warmth and protection. The lamp beside the bed came on and a frowzy looking man with dark hair and a goatee sat up, staring at her.
"Who the hell are you?" she screeched.
"Who are you?" he inquired calmly, scratching his chest.
Honoria shivered, unable to ignore the muscular form under the sheet.
"Ted Bundy," he replied with a smirk.
"Oh, be serious."
"Who the hell are you?" She picked up her shoe, ready to hurl it at him. It wasn't much of a weapon, but it was all she had.
He seemed to be amused and trying hard not to laugh at her. "I have to admit, this is the chilliest reception I've ever gotten from a woman. I wonder if my feelings should be hurt." He lay on his side, eyeing her as much as she was him.
"I'll call the cops if you don't tell me who you are and how the hell you got in my room!"
"Freddy Prinz. Freddy Mercury? Al Gore. Bill Clinton?"
"Dammit! Tell me!" She threw her shoe at him.
He watched it clatter on the other side of the room, missing him by a yard or so. "Maybe you'll do better with the other one. It's about six inches stage right."
Honoria glanced down to see her other shoe. She left it there. "You're insufferable! I keep asking who you are!"
"I asked you first," though he hadn't. "Tell me who you are, I'll tell you who I am. That's how it works. An even exchange of information." He pointed to her, then himself.
"Sweet," he smirked, laughing openly at her. "Chester," he replied, holding out his hand without getting up. "But you can call me Chet. Hell, you can call me anything you want, just get back in bed."
"What are you doing here?"
"I work here."
"I mean—here—here." She motioned wildly with one arm, indicating the room and the bed.
"Oh. This is my room. Why are you here?"
"I work here too. This is where Martha told me to put my stuff."
"She probably meant the other bedroom," he pointed across the room and down the hall.
"Other bedroom? I didn't know there was another one."
"Yeah." He pointed again. "So, are you coming back to bed?"
"Your loss." He shrugged, his eyes doing a long sweep from her head to her toes. A slight leer twitched his mouth. "Okay. Well, I need the blanket back. It's chilly in here. Turn out the light when you go."
Honey tossed the blanket at him, grabbed her clothing and toothbrush, walking across the hall in a snit. The second bedroom was much smaller, but comfortable. She closed her door with a bang. There was no lock on the doorknob, so she dragged a chair in front of it, shoving it under the knob with a clatter. She could hear Chet laughing as she crawled in the bed, pulling the blankets over her head. It was nearly 2:00 before she finally fell into a troubled sleep where shoes with dark hair, goatees and disconcerting eyes taunted her.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Kent Griswald is a high powered movie executive known for his micro-managing and aggressive supervision of a movie from beginning to end. He's not well liked professionally or personally, so when someone puts a knife in his chest, no one is terribly surprised. However, someone also took pot shots at his younger brother, Connor, who has no enemies. Detectives Walter Scott and Vanessa Weinstein are called in on the case, ready for action. Unfortunately, Detective Scott hadn't counted on the eye witness, Cadence Stuart. Pretty and personable, she's also terrified that the killer may come after her next. It's up to Scott to protect her from the tall, dark killer. Unfortunately, so far, the killer's identity and whereabouts are Undiscovered.
Detectives Walter Scott and Vanessa Weinstein have been called to the scene of a strange crime. Someone shot the younger brother of movie mogul, Kent Griswald. Connor Griswald wasn't killed, but when a man is shot on a public beach, while surrounded by celebrities, there's pressure on the police to produce a suspect quickly.
Fortunately, Scott and Vanessa have a witness, Cadence Stewart. She shows condos part time and works as a music teacher at a local college. After finishing up the stacks of paperwork, Scott and Vanessa decide to go out to dinner.
They drove back to the station together. They hit the door and headed to their desks to start the paperwork ball rolling. Long after their shift was supposed to be over, they finally finished. Meeting up at the Lieutenant's office, they decided to go to dinner. They met at the best restaurant on the beach. There was a live band and the place was packed, but Scott could always get in.
"My sister's the manager," he explained as the hostess led them to a table.
"Your usual drink, Scott?"
"Not tonight. I'll have iced tea."
"Not a rum runner or something more interesting?" The hostess probed.
"Thanks, no. Still gotta drive home." He flashed a winning smile.
The hostess sashayed off, swinging her hips. Scott watched her until Nessa nudged him, clearing her throat.
"Friend of yours?"
"Used to be. Okay, still on occasion. A beneficial friend," he clarified.
"Got that. My keen observation sense." She tapped the corner of her right eye.
"We gonna rehash that old dog?"
"Which old dog?"
"That argument where you tell me what a man slut I am? Cause that got old the first sixty times. I don't think I can sit through it again."
"You can do what you want."
"Why didn't you feel like that before?"
"We were dating then."
Walt frowned, pursing his lips. "Cheap shot, Ness."
"And what you're doing isn't?"
"When we were dating did I ever look at another woman? You'd love it if I'd been unfaithful, then you'd be able justify leaving me."
"Here we go," the waitress said cheerfully. "Dinner is served! Can I get you anything else?"
"We're good," Scott said. "Thanks."
She strutted off again and he made a point of watching her just to irk Vanessa.
"How'd you like it if I started ogling some guy while I'm with you?"
"When you can find one better built than me, go ahead."
"But you liked that arrogant prick, Ness. As I recall, you found it quite satisfying."
"I think we'd better drop this subject too."
"But we're finding out what we have in common, a messed up love life."
They changed the subject to anything but love and crime.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Brock Parnell owns a small pizza place in western Nebraska. It's not a fancy life, but it's a comfortable one—except for Tack Carmichael. “Tacky Carmichael” has been his nemesis since the 8th grade. With one thing and another, Tack has made Brock's life hell. When he hears that Tack's been murdered, he pours himself a drink and does a dance—only to be interrupted by the police knocking at his door. Someone thinks that Brock's the prime suspect for Tack's murder.
It wasn't Bartolli and Simpson who stood across from me now. It was a really sexy brunette with a curvaceous figure and short red dress. She looked like she'd been pulled in from a night out at the country club. She also looked totally pissed at having to be there.
I was probably a delightful sight by now. I can't prove it, but I suspect I had been drooling in my sleep. The table was a little damp under my hands.
Shit, great way to make a good impression on a lady.
Did I mention she was stunningly gorgeous? She must have been five foot nine in her heels, built like Sophia Loren back in her heyday, with beautiful blue eyes.
My jaw dropped open and I stared hard at her. Blinking rapidly, I tried to decide if she was real. She walked around the table, glaring at me. She was real, all right. Something about me did not impress. I stood up, holding out my hand. I realized it was a little sweaty, or drooled on, so I wiped it on the seat of my jeans. Extending a drier hand, I smiled.
"How do you do? I'm Brock Parnell."
"I know who you are. I'm Adrianna Hasselhoff from the District Attorney's office. Do you know why you're here, Mr. Parnell?"
"Someone thinks I killed Tack Carmichael," I said with a shrug and sat down.
She hadn't taken my hand, so I folded my hands in my lap, leaning forward with my elbows on my knees.
"Exactly. You're a prime suspect, Mr. Parnell. Second only to his wife."
"What? You think Amy killed him?" I laughed, rather hysterically I'm afraid. I was tired as hell.
"You find your situation humorous?"
Her frown deepened as she made a note on the clipboard she carried. She hadn't taken a seat, just stood there looking fantastic. Her skirt was right about to her knees and she wore backless pumps with four inch heels. I'm a sucker for heels. They're sexy as hell and made her legs look great! I could picture the curve of her leg all the way up to her ass. The skirt was cut to cling and it did in all the right places.
I sat there, fixated, my mouth open. I snapped my lips shut and forced myself to look at her face. She hadn't missed my expression. I might still have been feeling the effects of that whiskey, but I swear she was smiling a little and her blue eyes flashed like twin sapphires. She repeated her question.
"Humorous? No. Not at all. Ludicrous, yeah. What's humorous is that you suspect Amy Carmichael. The woman can't even smash a bug in the bathroom. You think she could kill her husband? How was he killed?"
"He was shot six times."
"Ew! Hell of a way to go. And you seriously think Amy did that? Somebody's been smoking." I put an imaginary joint to my lips, inhaling loudly.
"Have you been smoking, Mr. Parnell?"
"Not for about fifteen years, Miss Hasselhoff."
"That's Ms. Hasselhoff."
"Ms. No, make that twenty years. I quit smoking when I met my ex-wife. I couldn't afford both."
I chuckled, tipping my chair slightly. Ms. Hasselhoff wasn't amused. She made another note on her clipboard. I yawned loudly. I couldn't help it. We were going on two o'clock and I really needed a hot shower and some sleep.
"Why am I still here? I don't know anything. Could you please let me get home and go to bed? I've been up twenty-two hours, Ms. Hasselhoff. I'm dog tired and I have to work tomorrow. Just because I'm the boss doesn't mean I can sleep in."
"I really can't do that, Mr. Parnell."
"Why not, Ms. Hasselhoff?"
Why did she have to have such a long name? Why couldn't it be something short like Smith?
"Because Tack Carmichael was shot with your gun."
"My what?" I stood up, knocking my chair over. "My gun? My gun? What the fuck?"
"There's no need for that kind of language, Mr. Parnell."
"I beg to differ, Ms. Hasselhoff. You just told me that some asshole was shot to death with my gun and you don't expect me to say fuck? Of course I'm going to say it. Wouldn't you say it? Anybody would under those circumstances. My own mother would if you told her that."
"Settle down, Mr. Parnell."
I was babbling and I knew it, but I was too tired and too upset to care. They wanted a reaction, they got one. Whether it was the one they expected, I don't know. But you can't send a beautiful woman in four inch pumps in to talk to a man who hasn't had sex in months that some dick head he's hated since the eighth grade got himself whacked with his (my) gun.
I wanted to throw something, but there was nothing to throw. I could have pitched my chair across the room at that mirror, but I decided against that. I didn't want to get arrested.
"Ms. Hasselhoff, I'm sorry that Tack Carmichael had the bad form to get himself shot with my gun. But if you check your records, you'll discover that my gun was reported stolen over a year ago. That weapon hasn't been in my possession for a very long time. I reported it myself to Sam Hart. Have you talked to Detective Sergeant Hart about that?"
She tried to be all cool, but that caught her by surprise. No one had mentioned that fact to her. She seemed a little flustered and shot a look at the mirror.
Like I thought, there's someone back there.
"The gun disappeared about the same time my ex-wife left me. I always kind of figured she'd taken it with her for spite. It was a family heirloom. My great-great-grandfather was a lawman in Cheyenne. That was his gun and it was worth a lot of money, not to mention the sentimental value. I'd sure like to have it back."
"It's a murder weapon now, Mr. Parnell. It's being held in evidence."
I shrugged and nodded, sitting down again. By this time I was too tired to stand. I'd had a rush of adrenaline when she told me Tack had the poor taste to get slaughtered with my great-great-granddaddy's peacemaker, but now I was paying for it. I yawned again, long and loud, looking right at the mirror. I hoped they were all yawning like hell too. It would be satisfying to know that I'd spread it around.
"If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could I go home? I'm really exhausted. I'm hungry and I want a hot shower. Would you either charge me or send me home? Either way, I'll get some sleep."
Ms. Hasselhoff didn't know how to proceed. She glanced at the mirror again and walked out, excusing herself. I put my head back down on the table and closed my eyes.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Full Measure is one of those stories which has more than one villain. Each of them is nasty, though some more than others, and each is strongly motivated to get exactly what they want. This particular villain is a drug representative named Beatrice, who has an ax to grind with several people, mostly Daphne. She manages to drug the people in the office and kidnaps Daphne.
Suddenly through all the garbled chatter, he heard Daphne's voice.
"Shut up!" he bellowed. "I hear her. Trace that!"
"What do you want, Beatrice? I don't know anything."
"Don't act all innocent. I know who you are. You locked me out, you bitch!"
"Locked you out of what? I don't understand."
Daphne grunted and Ralan knew she'd been hit.
The silver car ahead of them swerved around a slow car, speeding down the street. Ralan held his breath until Beatrice got it under control again.
"Why are you stealing from the doctors?"
"I'm not, you stupid bitch!"
There was no more talk for some time. Daphne couldn't or wouldn't speak. Beatrice seemed to be concentrating on her driving rather than talking to her prisoner.
"Do you have a trace on the piece?"
"Yes," Givens assured Ralan.
"Good. Drop back a little, give her some space."
"What?" Ann yelled.
"If we back off, she'll slow down," Ralan said. "Annie, please! She's got Daphne...."
The desperation in his voice convinced her. Beatrice wasn't a professional driver. The speed she was going, she could easily lose control and kill them both. Ann slowed, pulling back. Keeping the Taurus in view, she continued to follow.
"Daphne, if you can hear me, baby, we're coming. You're gonna be okay. See if you can keep her talking." Not caring that others were listening, he added, "I love you."
"Why are you stealing the money?" Daphne asked, her voice sounding more brave than she felt.
"It's my fucking money," Beatrice snapped. "And you're going to show me how to get it back. You've got the only codes."
"What makes you think that?"
"Because I can't get in. No one can."
"You're an idiot," Daphne said. "Obviously someone can. The deposits went in as scheduled."
"That's different. That's automated. I'm not a complete fool."
"I dunno," Daphne said with a wry chuckle. "You look pretty stupid from where I'm sitting."
Another smack and the car swerved again. Ralan gripped the dashboard, cursing.
"Don't provoke her so much, baby. She'll get you both killed."
"Where's the money coming from?"
"You're really dumb, aren't you? You haven't figured that out yet?"
"Enlighten me. I just figured out about the deposits. I saw the withdrawals right away. You've been sloppy."
"That wasn't me. That was that bitch, Amy. Stupid cow! She found out about the money and has been taking it out as fast as she can get it. The only good thing about you closing it out was that you kept her out. She was taking my money!"
"Why's it your money?"
"Why should I explain this to you? All I need is for you to let me back in."
"And if I don't? You're probably going to kill me anyway. Why should I cooperate?"
Beatrice said nothing.
"My family's not around here. I don't have any friends. You have no threat over me except my own life and I'm not afraid to die. So I don't give a damn if you get your fucking money. But if you have a good reason for wanting it, maybe I'll cooperate."
"Good girl," Ralan encouraged. "We're coming, darlin'."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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