Anton Strout: Dead To Me

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Anton Strout Dead To Me
  • Название:
    Dead To Me
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  • Жанр:
    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Anton Strout


Dead To Me

1

I managed to get out a quick “Tamara, wait…” before I felt the interior doorknob of my SoHo apartment jab into the small of my back. Tamara ground against me like she was trying to make her body occupy the same space as mine-and I certainly wasn’t complaining. Our mouths locked, the sweet taste of whatever umbrellaed concoction she’d been drinking mixing with the Corona flavor of mine. It was a surprisingly good combination.

“Simon, shhh…” she whispered, pushing me even farther into the apartment. She fell toward me with a sudden “Ow!” It was dark, but I could still see her hopping about on one leg. She had been trying to strip off my brown suede coat and theGABBA GABBA HEY Ramones T-shirt I was wearing, but now she clutched her knee.

“You okay?” I asked, finding the switch from horn-dog to concerned a difficult one to make.

“Yeah,” she said, and hissed out a long, slow sigh of pain. “What did I hit?”

“Just a packing crate,” I said, reaching out and steadying her. I contemplated turning on the lights to check on her, but hesitated, debating whether or not the other two dozen packing crates around my living room might scare her off. It wasn’t that I was a slob, but given my workload at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, my personal antiques acquisitions had become backlogged. They were spread out across my dangerously darkened living room like little landmines from the Ghost of Bruises Yet to Come.

Luckily, a little knee pain wasn’t enough to stop Tamara. We resumed our lip lock while I weaved us safely past the labyrinth of crates and down the hall to my bedroom. If she was still hurt, she hid it well. I guessed that the promise of sexual healing was helping her tough through any damage to her knee.

Thankfully the last part of the journey toward my bedroom went without incident. The edge of the bed hit the backs of my calves, bending me at the knees, and I fell back onto it as Tamara threw herself on top of me.

Ever since I’d accidentally knocked over her drink at Eccentric Circles three weeks ago, our encounters had consisted of one sexually charged (but unfulfilled) moment after another. But not tonight. Tamara straddled me, her hotness lit only by the moonlight coming in through the window. The smell of cinnamon rose off her, swirling around in my head, and under her jacket her tight little black dress-the one that every other woman in New York City seemed to own-clung to her like a second skin. I was in heaven.

Not that things stayed heavenly for long. Around me, things rarely did. As Tamara finished struggling out of her coat, she threw it to the side. Her cell phone slipped free from it, hit the mattress, and rolled to rest against my arm. No big deal for most people, but with my preternatural powers, that was all it took to ruin things.

It’s called psychometry-the ability to divine information about people or events solely by touching personal objects. As Wonder-Twin-powers cool as that might sound, it wasn’t. I tended to end up knowing more than I should about a person…or wanted to.

I started thrashing around underneath Tamara, desperate to avoid what I knew was coming. She seemed oblivious to my escape attempts, and when I tried to sit up, she pushed me playfully back down. With an evil grin, she pinned my shoulders to the bed before attacking me with a barrage of kisses. My last thought as the electric pulse of my power kicked in wasOh shit.

Once under the influence of a rush of psychometric power, I had very little control, especially when it took me by surprise. Without my emotions in check, the power latched on to the sexual energy between the two of us and buffeted me with a flood of details from Tamara’s past.

It was full Technicolor glory in my mind as I was struck by the psychic vision of Tamara’s firm, naked form. It stung all the more since I’d been mere seconds away from experiencing the real thing for myself. Instead I was forced to watch her getting it on with another guy-a goatee-sporting, muscle-bound blond who was, of course, infinitely more attractive than me. Tamara wore nothing but enough red, gold, and green beads around her neck to make Mr. T jealous.

Mardi Gras. Ithad to be.

The beads swayed hypnotically, rhythmically-shink shink shink-as the two of them pawed at each other like cats in heat. I wanted to turn away, but in the vision I was incapable of doing so. One moment I was watching the guy’s well-muscled chest as he thrust his body against hers. The next brought Tamara’s face into focus, her eyes shut tight and her curly brown hair loose around her shoulders as this stranger enjoyed things I had hoped to be doing myself this very evening. And the beadsshinked on…

What the vision showed me was something deeply private from Tamara’s life. I was someplace I shouldn’t be, feeling every touch, hearing every sound of her and some guy from her past bumping uglies…it was enough to drive me mad. With every Mardi Gras-fueled gyration, gouging my eyes out started to seem like a better idea. Not that it would have blocked the visions.

Flashes of reality slowly began to slip back to me. Tamara was still oblivious to the private mental hell I was experiencing while pinned underneath her. Her lips were now clamped down on my neck like a vacuum hose and her hands were busy tugging up my shirt. All of these were things I would ordinarily have been thrilled to experience-but I couldn’t enjoy them. The images of Tamara’s own privateGirls Gone Wild moment had become a permanent scar in my brain. Parts of me withered in response. The troops retreated, as it were.

When the psychometric flash finally faded, the usual hypoglycemic side effects kicked in and my entire body felt drained of energy. Using the last of my will, I somehow found the strength to push Tamara off me. She fell back onto the mattress, and I rolled weakly off the bed and onto the floor.

“What the hell wasthat all about?” she asked as she righted herself on the bed. I could hear the surprise in her voice, but I ignored the question and started crawling for the door. Between my psychic disorientation, physical weakness, and the occasional Mardi Gras flashes echoing in my head, I felt like I might pass out. The images had almost faded for good, but then one last vivid burst of wild thrusting brutalized my poor brain. Tamara’s voice moaning his name echoed wildly in my head:Fergus! Fergus! Fergus! With that, my body gave out and I fell over, unable to move. The refreshingly cool wood of the floor pressed against my face.

“Fergus…?” I muttered weakly before I could stop myself. I still felt half in the vision, unable to control myself. I stared up at Tamara, her eyes now wide.

She leaned over and lowered her face until I could see the sheer shock on it.

“What the hell did you just say?” There was genuine surprise in her voice now.

All I could feel was intense sadness over the way things were rapidly unfolding-the way they always unfolded when I started to get close to anyone. For three weeks, I had been able to enjoy the myriad little things about the tease leading up to tonight. The way she walked across a floor, the way her eyes drew me in, the way I had become envious simply of her clothes because they had the pleasure of moving over her body. And now, it was all coming down around me.

Tamara jumped up from the bed and paced toward me. She looked embarrassed and shook her head like she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “How do you know about Fergus?” she said, confused.

Her words swam around in my head, but I couldn’t force myself to say anything more. My struggle to stand back up took all my focus and energy. I pressed my back firmly against one side of the doorway and began inching myself up. My legs shook beneath me with the effort, but shortly I found myself standing with the arch of the door stabilizing me. As I steadied myself, Tamara adjusted her dress and moved closer, getting in my face.

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