WIP Sneak Peek
I’m on break now, so I have some fun snippets cooking. in the mean time, here’s a lil sneak peek at my yet-to-be titled WIP.
a big thank you to @corvidprompts who provided the prompt that started this all
“Honestly,” says the surviving spouse, jewels sparkling on xir fingers and around xir neck. “Can it really be considered homicide, if ze was asking for it?”
Perched elegantly on a luxurious velvet sofa, hair impeccably curled, was Ms. Lena Bennet. She was every femme-fatale stereotype personified. Red lips, red nails, sharp smile. Widow of Mr. James Bennet, heiress to his considerable fortune- and the prime suspect in his recent, rather brutal, murder.
“Hello, detective,” she crooned. “Won’t you sit down?” She waved a lovely, delicate hand dripping with diamonds.
The detective stifled a cough as she inhaled the sweet, perfumed stench of the room. “I’d rather stand, thank you. I’m here to ask you a few questions.”
Lena smiled calmly. “Ask away, detective.”
The detective took in her sweeping black velvet gown, the abundance of diamonds on her neck and fingers, and the decanter of expensive wine sitting on the table next to the couch.
She stepped closer to the couch and spoke softly. “I’m sorry to hear about your husband, Miss. This must be very hard for you.”
Lena laughed mildly. “Yes. I miss him very much. He was a great man.” Mr. Bennet was not a great man. He was a sleazy, dubiously successful businessman with a penchant for less than savory extracurriculars. The detective carefully omitted these details.
The detective frowned, again taking in the dress and jewels. “You seem to be handling it well, Miss. But you do know your husband’s death was ruled a homicide, correct?”
Lena smiled like a shark. The detective half wondered if Lena’s lips were red from blood and not lipstick.
“Can it really be considered homicide, detective, if he was asking for it?”
This was getting dangerous. The detective smiled back, charming as ever.
“Is there something I should know, Miss?”
She laughed again. “Miss is so formal, detective. Please call me Lena.”
The detective met her icy stare with an equally arctic one of her own. “Are we on a first name basis now, Lena? I suppose you should call me Elsie, then.”
“Mmmm…that’s a lovely name… stay for dinner with and perhaps I can answer some of your questions, Elsie,” Lena purred. The detective ran her fingers through her hair. It was still wet, unfortunately. “It’s not professional for me to interact with suspects in that way, Miss.”
The heiress’s eyes flashed. “So I’m a suspect now?”
“You were the moment I walked in this door, and even more so when you implied that your husband deserved to have his throat cut.” Elsie said smoothly.
Lena’s eyes lit up. “Oh, you are a delight, aren’t you! Are you sure you won’t stay for dinner?”
The detective met her gaze coolly. “No, Miss Lena, I won’t stay for dinner.”
Lena pouted. “A shame, even after I asked so nicely.” She smoothly reached in the slit of her dress and slid out the gun strapped to her thigh. “But I’m afraid I have to insist.
Lena ushered Elsie into the grand dining room with the barrel of her gun pressed into her back. “May I take this as an admission of your guilt, Lena?” she said.
Lena chuckled lightly. “I suppose you can”. They stopped at the table. “Hands above your head.” she said coolly. Elsie tensed, but obliged. “Relax, darling, I’m not going to shoot you, I’m just searching you for weapons.” She slid her hands down Elsie’s back. Slowly, slowly, brushing down her shirt and then slipping underneath to graze bare skin. Lena traced down Elsie’s spine with a crimson nail. “Dinners are so much less pleasant when there’s violence involved.” Elsie swallowed as Lena’s hands skimmed down the front of her thighs and brushed the backs of her knees. Lena was certainly taking her time. The heiress hummed as her hands grazed over Elsie’s hips- and the gun holstered there. She tsked disapprovingly. “And here I was hoping for a nice evening. It’s a shame, really.”
“Did you expect me to interview a dangerous murder suspect without a weapon?” Elsie said, amused.
Lena brushed Elsie’s hair back and whispered in her ear “Do I seem dangerous to you, Elsie?”
Elsie shivered at the close contact. “Hands off, miss.” Lena smiled that shark smile again. The red of her lipstick only enhanced the effect. She gestured to the table, set with goblets of wine and elegant plates of some sort of unidentifiable French dish. “Sit down, and eat, and we can talk, yes?” Elsie sat down, vainly trying to avoid scowling. “I believe the deal was that if I came to dinner, you would answer my questions, miss.” “That offer only stood if you came to dinner willingly. And you did not.” Elsie rapped her fingers on the dark wood of the table in a steady beat with the ticking of the clock. Lena hummed again. “But I’m in a generous sort of mood, so how about this: a question for a question. Answer all of mine and I will answer all of yours, mm?” Elsie met the heiress’s calculating stare calmly, even as her pulse skittered, stupidly. “I can handle that.”
“Oh, Elsie; that was never a concern of mine.”
Elsie glared. “I’m first. Why did you kill Mr. Bennet?”
Lena looked rather amused. “I would have expected better questions from a detective.” Elsie glared harder.
“Fine, fine. I killed Mr. Bennet because he was a dullard and a fool, and he didn’t approve of certain…lifestyle choices I made.”
Lena sipped her wine smugly. “That’s two questions, you’ll have to answer mine first.” Elsie ripped her roll apart rather aggressively. “What do you want to know?”
Lena’s eyes darkened mischievously. “Are you afraid?”
Elsie startled. “What on earth would I have to be afraid of?”
“Me, darling. Aren’t you just terrified that I might slip up behind you and cut your pretty throat like I did my husband’s?”
Elsie grinned. “Occupational hazard.”
Lena had the nerve to look vaguely disappointed. “I suppose so.”
“What lifestyle choices did you make that your husband didn’t approve of?”
Lena grinned back. “He didn’t care for my seducing of charming homicide detectives.”
Elsie choked on her wine as Lena sat back in her chair. “I most certainly am not seduced. You threatened me with a gun and implied that you’d like to slit my throat.” Lena rose and planted herself behind Elsie’s chair. She traced her fingers over the detective’s shoulders and felt Elsie tense. “You clearly get off on it, darling. Prove it,” she murmured.
“Prove that you aren’t just dying for me to touch you. Prove that you aren’t seduced. Prove it, and you’re free to go.”
“How the hell am I supposed to do that?”
Lena stroked her fingers down Elsie’s throat, barely touching. “Dance with me.”
“One dance. After that, if you don’t want to stay, you’re free to go and arrest me. I’ll come without a fuss.”
Elsie frowned. One dance and then she could leave. She didn’t want to stay, and she couldn’t play the games of a murderer.
“How do you know if I can dance, miss?”
“Don’t lie to me, darling. I know you can.”
Touche. Worth a shot though.
Lena glided across the room and put a record on the turntable. Soft, hypnotic, music drifted from the speakers.
“May I have this dance, Miss Elsie?” she murmured.
Elsie swallowed, hard, and accepted Lena’s outstretched hand.
The heiress pulled Elsie close, one hand on the small of her back, the other clasping her hand. They swayed gently to the music.
“I’m not seduced.” Elsie breathed.
“You’re ruining the mood,” Lena said sternly, but her eyes were laughing.
Elsie’s heart pounded when Lena guided her head to rest in the crook of her neck; she caught the scent of sweet floral perfume. Her knees felt embarrassingly weak, especially when Lena ran her manicured fingers through her hair. Not seduced.. Elsie lifted her head. Lena ran her thumb along the detectives bottom lip. Not seduced. “Are you planning to leave now?” Not seduced.
“I…no.” Elsie confessed. Dammit.
Lena leaned closer and brushed her lips over Elsie’s pulse. “May I kiss you, Elsie?”
Elsie shivered at the thought. And nodded.
Lena pressed their lips together, sweetly. She was an unfairly good kisser, especially for a cold-blooded killer. Elsie whimpered, embarrassingly enough, clutching Lena’s face between her hands. She opened her mouth, made a soft gasping sound. Lena hummed, pleased, even as she pulled back. “Lovely,” she murmured, rubbing circles on Elsie’s back, lightly kissing her cheeks, temples, jaw.
“Unbelievable,” Elsie muttered, even as her cheeks flamed red. “You are a menace.” Lena chuckled, kissing slowly down her neck, tongue brushing over her pulse. “Isn’t it nice to interact with suspects?” Elsie grabbed Lena’s chin and kissed her, hard, before Lena could tease her again. Lena bit her lip, and Elsie actually moaned. They pulled apart again, if only to breathe.
“I can’t stay. I can’t. “ Elsie whispered, not entirely trusting her own voice. Lena kissed under her jaw, Elsie clutching her hair all the while.
“Is kissing a murderer too much for you, darling?” Elsie dug her nails into Lena’s arm. “No,” she breathed, barely speaking. Lena bit Elsie’s earlobe.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t quite catch that.”
Elsie shivered. “No, dammit, stop teasing me!”
Lena laughed, sliding her hand lightly up the detective’s thigh. “I do enjoy teasing, Elsie. I’ll be sure to do so more on our second date.”
Elsie spluttered. “Second date?” She was outraged, both at Lena for daring to insinuate such a thing and at herself for wanting to have one.
“Yes, Elsie. Tonight you go home, and rest, and tomorrow evening you put on something pretty, and I’ll take you out.”
Elsie frowned and looked away. Lena was gorgeous, cold, enchanting, kissed like a goddamn angel- and she was a murderer. And it was Elsie’s job to catch murderers. But one (two?) dates couldn’t change that. She was collecting evidence. Two dates, and then Lena would be in cuffs. (One way or another.) Elsie shook off the thought.
“Elsie, will that be okay?”
Elsie kept her eyes averted, needing a moment to collect her thoughts. Flustered was not exactly a feeling she experienced often. Lena caught her chin, forcing her to look up. “Elsie?”
The detective exhaled. “Yes. I’d like that.”
Lena smirked, and pressed her lips to Elsie’s cheek. “I suspected as much. You can be here at seven. Good night, Elsie.”
“Good night, Lena.”