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Protected: Tired today, the rejection took it out of me…
Butterfly House – Chapter 1
Click here to read the Prologue
“Hey, big guy, you keep the house safe for me while I’m gone, yeah?” said a brown haired man with glasses and a crease on his forehead. He walked through his kitchen while his fourteen month old baby boy was sat in a highchair and gave him a big grin when his father kissed him on the head, trying to avoid getting the baby food that was smothered around his little pink cheeks onto his suit.
“Will you call me when you land, Dave?” said a woman at the sink, washing out a cup with a bright purple dish-cloth.
Dave turned around from his son and looked round to his wife. He was a handsome man, although slightly rounded on the stomach after letting himself go a little over the years. But he knew he was still attractive to the ladies. “Signal might be a big patchy, but I’ll try my best,” he said, as he walked over to her, wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her on the neck. The woman smiled.
“You do that and I might actually miss you,” the woman said.
The guy chuckled slightly as he kissed his wife on the neck again, before running his hand from her stomach and down her abdomen.
“Do you really have to leave now?” she whispered back, closing her eyes.
Dave broke away from her, placed both hands either side of her waist and span her round. She managed to let out a small gasp before he pressed his lips against her lips, pressing his body against her body, so she was pinned against the large deep sink behind her.
When she let out a small groan of pleasure, Dave automatically pressed his body harder into her, his own body reacting to her, and kissed her passionately. He moved his hands up the hem of her shirt, his fingers starting to wander up her sides and finding the bottom of her bra.
Dave was about to unclasp his wife’s bra, finding himself caught in the moment, when there was a small clatter behind him and the shrill wail of his son. He groaned when his wife pushed him away to check what was wrong.
“Leave him, Jan!” Dave groaned, feeling frustrated for being interrupted. “He’s fine.”
“No, Dave, he might be hurt!” she snapped, and peered around her husband.
“Hurt?” he snapped accidentally, pulling away from his wife and looking round at the red face of his baby boy, noticing a small plastic spoon in his hand, but the green bowl he was originally eating from was now on the floor, the contents of the disgusting baby food now all over their expensive kitchen floor.
“It’s okay, baby!” said his wife, slinking from between her husband’s body and the sink, drying her hands on a tea-towel she grabbed, and rushing over to her son to comfort him.
“See, he’s just dropped his food, he’s fine!” Dave said, resting his hands on the sink and trying to control himself; mostly his frustration, he knew he could snap if he didn’t control it.
“I know,” his wife muttered absentmindedly before she started annoyingly cooing to her son.
Dave rolled his eyes, took a deep breath and decided to try again. He turned around and walked over to his wife as she wiped her son’s face with the tea-towel she had in her hands and gave him a kiss on his forehead, much like what Dave had done moments before.
Dave stuck his tongue out at his son, crossing his eyes as he did, and getting an instant reaction from his son; his wails suddenly turning into a fit of giggles. Exactly what he wanted, so his wife didn’t have to fuss over him and could get back to concentrating on him instead.
“See, he’s fine!” Dave said, wrapping an arm around his wife much life last time by the sink.
Jan sighed and stood there while her husband kissed her neck and rubbed his hands down her body.
“Don’t you have a flight to catch?” she said a little too harshly, but Dave chose to ignore it.
“I do, but I can be a few minutes late,” Dave whispered, trying desperately to get his wife in the mood again.
“Dave, not in front of Charlie.” She sighed.
Dave closed his eyes, stopped kissing his wife’s neck but continued to hold onto her waist. He took in a large breath and then let it go, hoping his frustration would go with it. It didn’t. “He’s a year old, Jan, he doesn’t know what’s going on.” He kissed her again, almost determinedly.
“Maybe, but I don’t feel comfortable,” Jan explained.
Dave groaned into her hair. “Then put him in his cot or playpen for a minute?” He kissed her on the neck again and pressed his body into her back.
“Dave, please stop!” Jan snapped, pushing her husband’s hand away from her stomach again before his hand wandered downwards again.
“Jesus Christ!” Dave finally snapped, raising his voice, and his son suddenly started to wail again.
“Well done!” Jan snapped angrily, and pulled her son out of the highchair.
Dave groaned angrily and ran his finger through his hair. “I’m going away for a while, Jan, I just wanted some alone time with you before I leave.”
“We had alone time last night, after we put the kids to bed,” Jan said, trying to rub her wailing son’s back to sooth him. “We have children, Dave, we have responsibilities now.”
“You were too tired to have sex last night!”
Jan frowned at him. “Is that all you think about?”
Dave shook his head at her. “Don’t start!”
“No, I am starting, Dave!” she said, frowning angrily at him. “I’m too tired because I have to run around after our children all day every day. I know you work, and you work hard, and I am forever appreciative of that. I don’t complain when you come home late, I don’t complain when you go on business trips away for days or weeks at a time, because you support this house financially, but I do require a little bit of respect! Do you know how hard it is to look after two children?”
“One, you put the other in day care,” Dave muttered, walking away from the woman and into the living-room in their open-plan living-space.
“That’s not fair!” Jan said, looking teary eyed. “It’s good for her.”
“Good for her, or good for you?” Dave snapped as he put on his blazer.
“Fuck you,” she whispered.
Dave looked up at his wife in shock, she hardly ever swore, and she never did around the children. “What?” he said, not sure if he had actually heard her correctly.
“You heard me!” she said as a tear escaped down her cheek. He knew he should be feeling bad, but his frustration and anger was too much and it clouded his judgement. “I’m trying my best here, and I’m sorry if it isn’t good enough!”
“I didn’t say…”
“No, you did, but you might as well have!”
“Jan, I am just frustrated, that’s all!” he said, trying to keep his voice calm, but was unsure how well it was working. “It’s been a while since we were intimate, you’re either too tired or something happens to one of the children.”
“You have hands!” she snapped, just as Charlie’s high-pitch wail pierced through their ears again, clearly picking up on the tension in the room that was expanding.
Dave laughed and shook his head at his wife. Without really thinking about the consequences he accidentally snapped; “Allison always appreciated my needs.”
Just before he slammed the front door shut, he heard another wail, but it wasn’t his son this time. It was his wife.
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Don’t forget to check out my other works!
Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue
My Normal – A Short Story by Penny Hooper
Protected: Making slow progress…
I fell in Love with a Psychopath – Chapter 5
If you’re new to the story, please read the prologue here.
This work is my first draft and thus unedited, so may be subject to changes.
Just before the guy was even able to even think about what to do in that moment, Xander lunged for him. I didn’t really see much, only really a flash and a loud gasp from someone, because I had fallen onto one of my knees and held onto my foot instinctively.
When I looked up, I just caught Xander punching the guy in the face who was knocked to the ground by the force of Xander’s punch. I saw Xander pick something up from the floor and then walk over to the guy, now in possession of the knife.
“Now let’s see what your intestines look like,” Xander sneered.
He was about to bend down when his mate rushed over to him in a panic. He looked white as a sheet. Unlike Xander who looked red from rage. “Leave him, mate, just let him go.”
“Like fuck will I, after trying to steal my watch?” Xander replied, not even looking back at his mate. “Do you even know who I am?” he sneered again at the guy on the ground. He pointed the knife at him like an extension to his own arm.
“Please don’t hurt me,” the guy started to whimper.
“Listen to yourself, you’re pathetic!” Xander huffed and shook his head in disgust.
At this point I had noticed that my foot was actually bleeding, and I cursed under my breath. The rock had caught two of my toes as they had broken its fall to the floor. One of them had started to bleed and I was worried the other one, my little toe, was broken because it was excruciatingly painful. So much so that tears were starting to appear in my eyes. It took a lot for me to cry.
Because I had muttered though, Xander looked over at me and must have only just noticed I was hurt. At this he stood up a little straighter and appeared to talk to the guy on the floor; “Leave.”
“W-what?” said a small voice from the floor.
“Leave,” Xander repeated, looking back round at him. “Just go before I change my mind and cut you open from your throat to your naval.”
The guy clearly got the message as he stood up and rushed away, without even taking his knife. At first he tried to scurry away on all fours and then managed to stand up properly and made a decent run for it, nearly tripping over as he was in a panic to get away.
“Are you hurt?” Xander asked, walking over to me suddenly, not even watching the man run away. He walked passed his friend who was standing stock still in fright and passed him the knife. He took it without hesitation and just stared down at it in his hands as if shocked he now had possession of the offensive weapon.
I laughed. I was laughing at myself. I felt stupid for what I had just tried to do. “That bloody rock fell onto my foot.”
“Why are you bare footed?” he asked, as he towered over me from where I knelt. I was starting to wish I had sat down on my backside rather than kneeling. My knee were hurting as the road was digging into it. Not to mention I was worried about flashing anyone who stood in front of me. Luckily Xander was standing by my side, otherwise it could have been a lot more embarrassing.
“I took my heels off so they wouldn’t draw attention to me.” I gasped in pain as my toe twitched. “Are you going to help me up or what?” I accidentally spat, half in frustration and half in pain.
I heard Xander laugh slightly and he held out a hand for me. Just as I placed mine into his, he turned to his friend; “Get some ice from Mario’s.”
“W-what?” the guy stuttered.
“Ice, Devon, from Mario’s,” Xander demanded, just as he helped me effortlessly into a standing position. “It’s not a hard request.”
“Oh, sure,” the guy called Devon said and then went to wander off down the street back to where Mario’s front door was waiting.
“Devon, don’t take the bloody knife with you!” Xander snapped at the guy.
“Oh!” Devon stopped, turned round, looked at Xander and then at the knife and just placed it on the floor carefully like he was handling something that might explode and just walked away.
He wobbled slightly as I watched him. I was worried he was going to faint and collapse on the hard floor, but he disappeared round the corner and out of sight, and was momentarily forgotten about. Xander was just shaking his head at his friend as he had just placed the knife in the middle of the street.
I gasped again as a pain shot up my foot and up my leg like an electric bolt. It reminded me of when I once been bitten by an ant in Australia. Although double that pain – no, probably triple it. I remember sitting drinking a small bottle of beer the Australians called a ‘stubby’ under a slight canopy in my rented house. I hadn’t noticed there was an infestation of ants right next to my bare feet – what is it with me and bare feet? They were these huge things with blue abdomens, horrible little buggars they were. One had bitten me on my big toe. The pain had shot right up my whole leg. My toe even throbbed for at least an hour afterwards.
Although the pain I felt after dropping a rock on it was worse, the idea was still the same; the pain travelling right up my leg. Although unlike the ant, I was suddenly feeling a little sick from the pain.
“It’s probably best you move out of the street, Jo,” Xander said, his voice seemed to have gotten softer in a matter of seconds. Although I was mostly concerned with the fact Xander had taken his hands out of mine and I was now standing on one leg.
“Yeah, before I fall over,” I snorted, and put my foot down. But as soon as I did, I wobbled dangerously because I didn’t want to put pressure on it and the pain had made me a little dizzy. Xander had to grab me to stop me from falling over.
He had quick reflexes, but he didn’t seem too bothered where his hands landed when he grabbed me. Although, luckily he didn’t grab anywhere inappropriate, but he did have one hand on my arm and the other on my waist.
“I’ll help you,” he said.
I muttered a thanks and allowed him to guide me over to the side of the street.
Just as we reached the side and I was able to lean against a wall – Xander taking his hands off me again – he asked me a strange question.
“Did you not care that guy had a knife?” he asked.
“What?” I asked, looking back at him in confusion, unsure I heard him right.
“The mugger,” he said, “he had a knife. Did you not care?”
“Err… I guess not,” I shrugged. “My main concern was stopping him, I was worried he was going to hurt you.”
“You didn’t have to step in like that, you could have been hurt yourself.”
“If I didn’t, he could have hurt you. Were you not scared?”
“I’m used to it.”
I laughed. “You’re used to people attacking you with knives?”
He looked at me, his deep green eyes seemed darker for some reason. “I’m sort of used to-,” he paused as if choosing his words carefully, “people trying to threaten me.”
I stared at him for a few seconds wondering what that meant. He was used to people threatening him? Why?
Check out the next chapter here!
If you liked this story, please check out my other works!
Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue
Character names – there are certain names I won’t use…
Any fellow authors/writers here have to sit and ponder over names for a while just to get that perfect name for their character?
I did a blog post a while ago about how I come up with names. I have a few names that I love and I have used already (Jason and Alex are two examples that I like – well, I’m not having children, so might as well have fictional characters! I also use names from friends, inspirational people, or use names from authors I like).
Anyway, this last story idea I came up with (I fell in Love with a Psychopath), I started to sit there thinking about what name to use next. I found myself coming up with names off the top of my head that I really shouldn’t use, for one reason…
Someone I don’t like in real life, or doesn’t like me, has that name. Having a name like Sarah in a book might seem like a brilliant name to use, simple and easy to remember, but what happens if you know a Sarah and you two hate each other (I don’t, by the way, I was using it as an example. I won’t spell out real names as examples). It can be awkward sometimes.
It doesn’t mean that I think of that person (whether friend or not) and use them in my stories – name and all. I try to avoid people like that in my stories. I don’t want it getting back to me and getting bad press from them. I might use a situation or a quirk, but I’d never write them in completely.
Friends, I might do, to an extent. Maybe just borrowing their name, and maybe a quirk they have somewhere else. But then I’m worried about using a friend’s name who has a common name, and they share the same name with someone else I know that doesn’t like me from my past. I used to know four people with the same common name, three of which are friends, one no longer is. Because one of those friends is a very good friend of mine (he’d always come straight round to my house when we were teenagers and I was having a bad day and go to tescos to get junk food and swap ghost stories in our local park), I have used his name in one of my stories, but with crossed fingers!
It’s the same with last names too. I have big trouble with last names. Again, I have used last names from inspirational people, or otherwise. But not really friends though as last names are a bit more obvious, so again I try to avoid last names from people I know.
I guess this is where a name generator comes in handy!
I fell in Love with a Psychopath – Chapter 2
If you’re new to the story, please read the prologue here.
This work is my first draft and thus unedited, so may be subject to changes.
It must have been over an hour before I started to relax slightly around this guy. Or it could have been the alcohol. We sat chatting for almost two hours in total, while he tried to figure out where he knew me from. Well, he chatted, I mostly uttered one word answers or the occasional small sentence.
He at first asked if I came to the bar often. I didn’t, it was the first time I’d been there. Then he asked if I had heard of some restaurant. I hadn’t. He mentioned some place with a strange name. I didn’t even know what it was let alone heard of it. He mentioned a company. The name sounded vaguely familiar but I wasn’t sure from where, so I said no. The questions continued one after the other, all the while he sat there watching me curiously.
That was the first hour anyway. The second hour, or what was left of the second hour, was a little different. It wasn’t until I noticed he had gotten a little bored with the conversation and something changed. I remembered thinking at the time; he must have a short attention span.
The conversation had suddenly become weird too. He had given up asking questions that required closed single answers and seemed to start asking a different type of question. Questions that was a little odd in nature, ones I couldn’t possibly answer.
“So, who are you, Jo?” he started after taking a small sign and catching me unaware.
“Who are you?”
“You know who I am,” I said. One of those rare sentences I had managed to string together.
“No I don’t,” he replied and took a long pause. It was the pauses that made me nervous. Like I was waiting for him to do something spontaneous in that time frame. I don’t know what, but I had a feeling he was the spontaneous type. My thoughts ranged from him dragging me out of the bar and having his wicked way with me up against a wall, or dragging me out of the bar and murdering me in a dark alleyway. “All I know is your name’s Jo and you interest me, that is it,” he said again. His deep penetrating eyes surveying me.
I literally gulped. I wasn’t yet relaxed at that point. I was still nervous. It was the ‘you interest me’ that set me on edge slightly.
“What do you want to know?” I asked, trying to remind myself that it was just a conversation. A slight sense of confidence suddenly appeared. There was no harm in a conversation. I’ve done it loads of times. It’s not like I’ve never spoken to a guy before.
“I don’t know.”
My confidence vanished. What did this guy want me to say? Was he interested in knowing where I was from? Where I worked? Who my friends were? What?
“Err, well…” I started, “I’m from England–”
“I know that, I can tell by your accent,” he interrupted and then paused again, waiting for me to continue. Waiting for something interesting.
“Okay, well… I moved here a few years ago. After travelling and working a little. I have a Master’s degree in History, I’m mostly interested in ancient history though, not the world wars or anything. I…” I paused, I ran out of things to say. My mind drew a blank. “I don’t know what else to say really.”
“You were on a roll,” he said and smiled again. A smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
I didn’t know what to make of that. I had never met a guy like this. Not one that actually cared enough to know anything about me. I’d met the odd guy who asked certain questions, but more of a formality than anything; “Where are you from? Where do you work? How old are you?” those sorts of questions. But this guy didn’t ask those questions. He asked who I was. A vague question. A question that was difficult to answer. A question that seemed to require an interesting answer otherwise he wouldn’t be interested.
“Well, tell me about yourself?” I asked. Trying to take control of the situation, but not sure I really wanted to know. I was worried about what I might find. Although at the same time, I did want to know. He was mysterious and judging by the watch on his wrist, rich too. I know, thinking back to it, it was an extremely weird interaction. He just wandered over and started talking to me uninvited. He was demanding to the point of arrogant.
“No, we’re not talking about me yet, we’re talking about you,” he said. And I could have sworn I saw him looking disinterested suddenly.
“I… I don’t know what to say.”
“Okay, where in England are you from?”
Easy question, I can answer that one. “From a little city called Bath in South West of England. You might not have heard of it, it’s–”
“In Somerset. South-east of Bristol. Known for its Roman baths. Became a World Heritage Site in nineteen eighty seven,” he said, interrupting me.
“You know Bath?” I asked in shock, feeling my nervousness slowly ebb away.
“I do. I’ve travelled to England a few times.” He nodded. But he didn’t linger on the subject for long, to my disappointment. “Next question; what University did you study at?”
“I got my undergrad at Oxford and my master’s at Edinburgh.”
He gave a small nod. If he was impressed by my qualifications, he didn’t say. Most people did when I mentioned Oxford at least, and those that knew Edinburgh were equally impressed.
“And why move to Chicago?” he took a sip of his beer.
“Err, a number of reasons; I like travelling and I wanted to further my career.”
He didn’t seem too interested in that answer. Like he was expecting me to say something remarkable about how I had got my big break and it was only here in Chicago.
“Where do you work?” he asked.
“Oh, I don’t currently work in anything to relate to history. I just got a pretty boring job working in an office.”
His eyes narrowed. Wrong answer. “So, you got your master’s degree in ancient history but you’re working in an office that doesn’t relate to it?” he quizzed suspiciously.
“Err, yes?” I said. I made my reply sound like a question, not an answer. I felt suddenly concerned that this guy was disappointed in my life choices. I had said something wrong. I needed to fix it.
“I…” I paused and thought for a few seconds, what was wrong with the truth? “I moved here temporarily, I just got a job anywhere just to get my feet on the ground, get settled, before I could apply properly for history vacancies-”
“Why not just wait until there was available and then apply?” he interrupted.
It was my turn to frown. I suddenly realised that I didn’t need to justify myself to some guy. Regardless if he was attractive and possibly rich. I didn’t care who he was, I wasn’t going to bend over for him. It was my choice to move first without my big break, so what if he didn’t approve? How dare he question me? “I don’t know you’ve noticed, but there aren’t many vacancies in ancient history,” I snapped.
“There are lots of a teaching positions around the country,” he replied, not even noticing that I snapped at him.
“Yes, but I don’t want to teach!” I huffed.
“Because I can’t stand people!” I said, raising my voice angrily.
At this the guy raised his eyebrow and smiled at me again. This time his smile reached his eyes a little. “Something we have in common.”
“Then why come over here? Or are you just here to mock me?”
His smile disappeared. “I’m not mocking you.”
“Sounds like you’re questioning my life choices!”
“No, I’m just asking questions.”
“You just asked why I don’t just wait in England and apply for a position when one was available. You sounded as if you were mocking my choice to come to Chicago first without the job.”
“I was curious, I wasn’t mocking you.”
“Right.” I frowned at him. No longer sure what to say.
There was few moments silence between us before the guy in front of me finally filled it. I was mostly aware that he was just watching me. I was starting to get a little nervous again. Plus, I was starting to realise how strange this interaction was; he came straight over and started to ask questions. He didn’t even introduce himself. I started to realise I should probably leave.
“Do you want another drink?” he asked.
I looked at him, looked deep into those green eyes for a moment, trying to figure him out. When I couldn’t see anything there, I groaned slightly before answering, “No, I don’t want another drink!”
“Okay,” he said, apparently unbothered that I was raising my voice and clearly annoyed with him. Instead he just stood up.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting another drink,” he said, and paused as he stood. I was able to appreciate the bulk of his body and his lovely and clearly expensive suit he wore. It looked black in this light.
“What the hell?” I huffed.
He just frowned at me, as if he was confused by the question.
“You think I want to speak to you again after you insulted me? You didn’t even apologise!”
“I didn’t mean to insult you.”
All I heard was; ‘I’m not apologising’. I laughed, which the guy just gave me a funny look, like he couldn’t tell why I was laughing at him. “You come over here, demanding to know why I am familiar, you probe me with questions, then insult me, and I don’t even know anything about you, not even your name, you didn’t bother to introduce yourself.”
“You didn’t either.”
“I did, I told you my name is Jo.”
“I asked you for your name. You didn’t ask me.”
“What?” I laughed again. And he looked at me strange again.
There was a few moments silence between us. He just stood there staring at me while I was just scowling at him. I didn’t want him to leave, I still found him mysterious. But at the same time, I was annoyed with him for being rude.
“Xander,” he finally said, breaking the silence.
“My name; it’s Xander.”
If you liked this story, please check out my other works!
Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue