Double Seduction (11)

Fictional Kevin and I are writing a novella of suspense:  Double Seduction.  The other chapters can be found here. This week, it’s Kevin’s turn.

Chapter 11 – Revelations

Mel was distracted all afternoon. The text from Anton had rattled her and the day couldn’t be finished fast enough.  Keep reading at Kevin’s blog!

Double Seduction (10)

My turn this week!  Here is the latest installment of Double Seduction, a novella of suspense written with Fictional Kevin.  For previous chapters check here.   And now…

Chapter 10 – The Appointment

David parked in one of the spaces of the small parking lot outside Rivers Chiropractic. It was show time. He entered into the reception area, taking in all the details as his eyes swept the room. They settled on the hot young thing behind the desk. The name plate read Andrea.

He pasted on his most charming smile and approached her. “Hey there, Andrea. I’m David Twitchell and I have a 2:30 appointment with Dr. Rivers.”

She smiled back. “Well, hey. Nice to meet you, David. I have some paperwork for you to fill out before the doctor sees you.” She handed him a clip board with some forms. “And if you could let me make a copy of your insurance card?” He handed it over. “Great!” she chirped. He was already annoyed. “Go ahead and have a seat and you can bring everything back when you’re done.”

He sat in one of the chairs facing the receptionist so he could continue to leer at her. She looked barely old enough to be out of high school. He quickly ran through the personal information. It pained him to have to give away his real self but it couldn’t be helped. The next section was about his general health and then finally he came to the section on the complaint that brought him to the office. He’d done his homework. Figured out the easiest injury to fake. Knew exactly how to react to any tests the good doctor might perform. “Low back pain,” he wrote in the blank space. Then he checked all the appropriate boxes and took the forms back to the jail bait behind the desk.

“Here you go, Andrea,” he said, slightly leaning over the counter so he could peek down the deep v of her tight sweater. He waited while she scanned the pages.

“Um, you forgot to check the marital status box. I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to… um,” she stammered. His proximity was making her nervous.

“Oh, no problem, I’m not married,” he said, smiling. “How about you, Andrea?”

She blushed. “Me? Ha! Oh no, not yet!”

“How about a boyfriend? I bet you have lots of boyfriends,” he said, grinning.

She turned an even deeper shade of red. “Aw, thank you. Um, no… not really.”

David let his smile fade into a look of concern. “Forgive me, Andrea. I didn’t mean to pry…” He waited. She would talk. They always did.

“Well, I was seeing this guy…” she began. She took a deep breath and continued, “But we broke up.”

“I’m sorry, Andrea,” he said gently. “What happened?”

The whole story came pouring out. Whine, whine, whine. The boyfriend didn’t treat her right. He was selfish. He liked being with his friends better than being with her. Typical silly girl bullshit. He nodded as she spoke, tried to look concerned, make the appropriate sympathetic noises. When she finished, he said, “I’m so sorry that happened to you, Andrea. But you can do better. Just you wait, the right man is out there. And don’t settle the next time. A woman like you deserves to be cherished…”

As he said those words, the door to the inner office opened and there she was —Dr. Melody Rivers. His eyes swept her top to bottom. Damn. Her slacks were tight enough to flatter her long sexy legs and the fare of her hips that narrowed to a tiny waist. The snug cashmere sweater pulled just a little giving him a hint of the curve of her breasts.

Melody stopped dead. Blinked. Had she heard his voice? He planned on trying to disguise it a little better. Forgot himself. Shit, he was already slipping.

Mel walked her patient to the front desk while she observed the man talking to her secretary. Average height, dressed casually in khakis and a button down shirt. A pleasant face, not handsome. And yet, and yet… The most vivid blue eyes. They drew her in, held her gaze. She looked away, a little taken off guard. Something had raised the hairs on the back of her neck. What was it he said to Andi?

“Dr. Rivers,” Andi said, handing her the folder she’d prepared for David. “Your new patient.”

Shaking off the nerves, Mel held out her hand. “I’m Dr. Rivers.”

David took her hand. It was warm, the skin soft and smooth. She had long fingers, with short nails —nicely manicured and finished with clear polish. Elegant. He held on a moment too long. “Uh, nice to meet you,” he managed.

“If you could follow me?” she said, leading him to the inner office. The space was large and open, with Melody’s desk and bookcases on one side and a chiropractic adjusting table on the other. Mel took a seat behind her desk and directed him to one of the chairs opposite. She scanned his paperwork and began asking him questions about his responses.

He gave her the answers he had rehearsed ahead of time.

“You say this is a recurring problem and it started years ago? Tell me about it. Can you remember when exactly it started and what first triggered it?” she asked.

“I used to run cross country in high school and college,” he lied. “Late in the season, during a race we had an early snowfall, the roads were getting slippery. I lost my footing and fell. Landed pretty hard. I managed to finish the race but the next day I could barely move. You know how it goes when you’re young, you bounce back pretty quick. I laid low for a couple of days, seemed to get over it. But then it came back a few times over the years. Seems like more and more frequently. I figured it was time I did something about it.” He smiled sheepishly.

She returned the smile. “Well then, let’s get started.” She rose and directed him to the other side of the room. “Can I have you slip out of your shoes, please?” She waited. “And I’ll have you remove your belt, too. You can leave them on the chair. Thanks.”

She stood behind him and checked his posture, had him bend, rotate and walk on his toes and heels. His movements were restricted and mildly painful when he bent and rotated to the left. She had him stand on one foot, then the other. He wobbled when he stood on the right foot and she reached out to steady him. Mm, he smelled nice, she thought.

“Ok, that does it for that part of the exam,” she said when she had finished. “Let’s have you lie face down on the table.” She instructed him on how to get on and where to place his hands before lowering the table into position. “Tell me if any of this hurts. I’m going to check each vertebral level.”

Those long elegant fingers probed the muscle tissue of his back gently yet firmly. David fantasized about having those fingers elsewhere on his body. She asked, “Anything? How about here? Is that tender?” She pushed a little harder.

“Yes, yes. That’s it. Right there.”

“L5 is the most common area to have problems. It bears the weight of the rest of the spine. Is it worse on the right or the left?” She pushed each side.

“The left. Definitely.” Her touch was driving him insane. He tried thinking about something, anything beside those lovely hands working on his back. Finally, it was over. He let out the breath he’d been holding. She helped him sit up on the table. Let her hand rest on his shoulder for a moment before letting go.

“Ok, here’s what you have going on.” She explained her findings and the treatment he would need. “I’ll have you come in twice a week for a couple weeks until the pain levels decrease, then we’ll reevaluate. Sound good?”

“Sure,” he agreed. A couple weeks from now, none of this would even matter. He looked directly in her eyes. God she was stunning. Maybe…

She looked at him curiously. “Everything ok, David?” David. She thought of “her” David.

“Uh, yeah. Fine. Fine. So what happens next?”

“Let’s give you your first adjustment,” she replied. “Go ahead and lie back down.”

When she had finished, she raised the table to the upright position and held out her hand to him. “That’s it for today. I’ll meet you at the front desk after you get your shoes and belt back on. We’ll set up your next appointment, then. Ok?”

“Absolutely.”

She closed the door behind her on her way out. David sat heavily in the chair and stared into the middle distance. This was not how he had seen this going at all. Heat flooded his body as he realized… He actually liked her.

Mel handed Andi the folder. Her next two patients were waiting in the reception area. “When David comes out, go ahead and schedule him for two appointments next week, Andi.”

Then turning to greet Mrs. Jenkins, her phone buzzed in her pocket, signaling a text. She pulled it out and read the words from Anton, “Mel, we have to talk. I found something.”

Keep reading chapter 11

Double Seduction (8)

Here is the latest chapter in my collaboration with Fictional Kevin: Double Seduction – a suspenseful novella we hope you are enjoying. If you missed the opening chapters, find them here: Chapter One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven. And now…

Chapter Eight – Suspicion

“Melody, you’re not paying attention,” Anton scolded as he helped her up from the floor mat. “Where is your head this morning?”

Mel winced and took his hand. “Sorry, sorry. I’ve got a lot on my mind.”

After he’d pulled her to her feet, Anton crossed his arms in front of his chest and stared at her hard. “Is it David again?” He shook his head. “I told you to be careful.”

Melody smirked. “Don’t worry. I can take care of myself, Anton. Things have taken a good turn with David actually.”

“Oh?” He gestured for her to continue.

“Yep. He explained everything. The nasty comment, the other guy’s Facebook, everything.” She relayed the story David had given her about his identity being used to make nasty comments.

Anton said nothing, but raised an eyebrow.

“And… and…” she said, pointing a finger at him. “Savannah is no longer in the picture. They split up.”

“Are you certain of that?” he asked.

Mel rolled her eyes. “Hang on. You can see for yourself.” She walked across the room to where her purse rested on the sofa. Pulling her phone out, she scrolled through the text messages to find the right one. “Here,” she said handing the phone to Anton.

She waited while he scrolled through the lengthy text exchange. He frowned and handed the phone back when he was finished. “Awfully forward of him, don’t you think? ‘Taking over her mind before her body? Cherishing her, savoring her? Captivating, teasing?’ Telling you about his ‘unusual techniques’ Is that the way a man should speak to a woman he’s never met?” he snapped. “Melody, you are asking for trouble.”

She laughed. “Why Anton, I never took you for a prude.”

His eyes darkened. “You aren’t taking this seriously, Melody. ‘You’re amazing, David’,” he mocked. “You are playing right into his hands. How do you know what his real intentions are? At a minimum, you could just be a rebound relationship for him. At worst, well…” He threw up his hands in frustration.

“What?” she prompted. “At worst, what?”

“Let me see the phone again,” he said, holding out his hand. When Melody handed it to him, he scrolled slowly through the message again. “Here, for instance… how can he not know where Bryn Mawr is? And did you notice how he evaded your question about the Allentown Fair?”

“Just because he lives in Allentown doesn’t mean he goes to the fair. Maybe it’s not his thing. And well, Bryn Mawr… I don’t know. All he said was he was drawing a blank.”

“How long does it take for someone to check the map on their phone or computer? Thirty seconds? Less?” Anton asked.

“Yeah, I guess.” She frowned. “What are you getting at?”

“What if he’s not who he says he is?” He gripped her by the arms. “What if he’s dangerous, even?”

“Anton,” she said, shrugging out of his grasp. “Will you stop? I am not rushing into anything. We’ve agreed to talk, to get to know each other a little better, that’s all.”

“To what end, Melody?” he asked, moving in again. “To eventually meet in real life? And then what? Let him try out his ‘unusual techniques’ on you?” he sneered.

She braced her hands on his chest to keep him at a distance. “You better calm the hell down. This is none of your business, Anton.”

She watched as the muscles of his jaw clenched and unclenched. She wasn’t sure she’d ever seen him this angry. She didn’t like it. “Cut the shit, Anton. You have no right to be angry with me.”

He took a moment, then hung his head and sighed. “No, I suppose not,” he muttered. When he looked up, the anger was gone. “Please just be careful, will you promise me?”

She smiled wryly. “People meet online all the time, Anton. Why are you so worried?”

“Because I care about you, Melody,” he said, softly.

“I appreciate that. I really do. You’re my dearest friend, Anton.” She went to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. “I promise I’ll be careful, ok?”

He remained quiet but circled her in his arms. His chin rested atop her head. He said, “You’re my… dearest friend, too.”

The phone rang in Anton’s hand, startling both of them. Melody stepped out of Anton’s embrace and took the phone from him. But not before he read the caller ID: David Ridgeway.

“Hello?” Melody answered. “Well, hey, David. I finally get to hear your voice. Um, yes this is a good time. I’m just finishing up a workout. Hang on….” She held the phone away. “Anton, we’re good right?”

He gave her a sad smile. “Of course, we’re good. I’ll see you, Thursday.”

Mel retrieved her purse and her coat, still talking animatedly on the phone with David. Anton opened the door for her and watched through the window as she walked away.  Even with no makeup on and her hair pulled into a ponytail, she was beautiful.  Anton held his breath as her long, athletic legs carried her lithe body to her car.  She had just been in his arms and he’d let her walk away.  Damn.  She waved one last time and then laughed at something David said. He kept watching until she had backed out of his driveway.

He felt slightly ill as he walked to his desk and powered up his computer. There was something wrong, he felt it in his gut. He slammed his fist down on the desktop. “Or you’re just jealous, old man,” he muttered under his breath. “Whatever…” He opened his browser and returned to the search history he had started the other night. He typed in a few commands and brought up the image of David Ridgeway. “Who the hell are you?” he growled. “And what do you want with my girl?”

Keep reading chapter 9.