Valentine’s Day – A Dark, Twisted Love Story – Burning Passion by Rebecca Besser

buring passion


By Rebecca Besser

            There she was, his beautiful blonde siren, leaving her house to go to work. She did a really good job of pretending she didn’t notice his old gray van sitting a block down facing her house. She swung her hips provocatively – like she knew he was watching – while she walked to her car in her smart navy business suite that was tailored to fit her perfectly; it drove him crazy when she wore it and teased him with the contours of her body. He fantasied about taking it off of her slowly while she moaned and begged, panting with her heated desire to have him.

She pushed the button on her remote to unlock her shiny black BMW convertible and it chirped once with a flash of the lights.

She opened the door to climb in, but stopped suddenly and looked up at the house – a man was standing in the open doorway. He blew her a kiss and waved, and she did the same in return.


            Doug Thomas seethed with rage as he laid his binoculars on the passenger’s seat beside him. How dare that bastard blow kisses to my woman? he thought while growling and punching the steering wheel.

“She’s my woman!” he screamed, gripping the wheel with both hands until his knuckles turned white.

He started the van and clenched his jaw to wait for “his woman” to pull out of her driveway and head to work. He followed her shiny black car and glared at the prim and proper two story house “the bastard” was now closing the door on as he too prepared to go to work.

Doug followed the blonde object of his affections all the way to work, and he parked and watched her walk into the corporate law office with his binoculars. Once he was content that she was safely inside, he headed off to his own job at a recycling center.

Four weeks ago he’d been released from a mental care facility. He was keeping up with his therapy visits and had procured a job at a recycling center, working part-time. The entire three years he’d been incarcerated they’d counseled him in how to be a good citizen and productive member of society. Along with the long talk sessions, they’d also given him a handful of pills to take. He no longer ate the mind control drugs, as he thought of them – he’d stopped taking them as soon as he’d walked out the door of that horrible place. He honestly believed that the drugs were what had kept him in their grasp, and that they’d intentionally toyed with his mind to make him their mindless pet; he refused to live that way. He was finally free and he was determined to break their hold on him.

He had done one thing that was suggested in therapy: he was building relationships. The troubling thing, though, was that none of the people he’d built relationships with seemed to want to reciprocate.

His girlfriend, for example – the blonde in the BMW – wouldn’t acknowledge him at all, and she was cheating on him. Of course, it wasn’t her fault. She was too nice to hurt the bastard’s heart. He honestly believed she’d tried to break it off with the man, but he wouldn’t let her go – he had the sneaking suspicion that he was beating her and she was scared for her life. That’s why he had to watch her all the time and keep her safe.

They’d been spending a lot of time together for the last couple of weeks. He drove to work with her – like he’d done that morning – and he had lunch with her every day. Yesterday he’d met her at a restaurant and he’d sat at the table beside her. It was the crazy woman beater’s fault he couldn’t sit with her so they could hold hands and look deep into each other’s eyes. The blankness he’d seen in her eyes every time she’d glance over at him and smiled broke his heart. He’d paid for her meal and that had brought a spark to her eyes – he knew she’d known it was him by the smile she’d been wearing as she’d headed out the door and back to work. This had deeply pleased him. She didn’t acknowledge their relationship often, but when she did it brightened his world.

Doug drove his van through the dregs of the city to the recycling center, and pulled into the rough gravel parking lot that was choked with dumpsters and beat up, rusted vehicles of various ages. He squeezed the van off to the side of the lot and parked. As he was getting out, he heard a gruff voice barking orders to the workers within the grey, filthy, nondescript metal pole building the crusher was housed in. He grabbed his work gloves from behind the driver’s seat of his van, slammed the door closed, and headed toward the building.

He didn’t notice the harsh, sickening sweet odor of the intermixed soda and juice seeping out of the dumpster with the aluminum cans, or the molding, rotting smell of various vegetables and foods rotting in the tin can dumpster. His mind was filled with the beautiful face of the woman he loved, and he breathed deep of the memory of her perfume, which he’d gotten a breath of from the scarf she’d dropped for him last week. The treasured item was sealed in a gallon storage bag at home under his pillow where he could be alone with his thoughts of her and pretend she was there with him.

“Where have you been, maggot?” Hank Townsend snarled as Doug walked through the door of the metal building.

“I had to take my girlfriend to work,” Doug said, slipping on his gloves, grabbing a shovel from against the wall and jumping right in to help with loading cans into the crusher.

Charles Davis – his coworker – glanced at him as they loaded a shovel load of cans at the same time and smiled briefly before getting back to work.

Hank laughed harshly.

“I don’t see how an ugly fuck like you could have a girlfriend. She either has to be blind or you have the biggest cock in the city! That’s the only way a woman would ever be with you.”

Doug paused and turned his head to glare at Hank, but the man was already outside; the heavy door banged against the frame as it closed behind him.

He growled angrily.

“Don’t let him bother you,” Charlie said, smirking. “He’s just jealous ‘cause he ain’t gettin’ no pussy.”

Doug looked at Charlie and couldn’t help but laugh; he shrugged and got back to work. But the words his boss had said cut deep. He knew he wasn’t a good looking man – his reflection in the side of the stainless steel machine attested to that – but he liked to think that his kind, caring heart made up for his lack of stunning good looks.

“You havin’ lunch with her again today?” Charlie asked. “At that fancy café place?”

Doug shrugged and said, “Yes, I plan to, if that’s where she wants to go.”

“Man, you’re a lucky dog to have such a classy lady,” Charlie said, then smirked as he continued deviously, “You givin’ her some hot sausage, ain’t ya? To keep her interested?”

“I would if she’d let me,” Doug growled. “I’m still trying to get her to leave that beating bastard. I’ll kill him if I have to, just to keep her safe.”

Charlie shook his head and sighed.

“Why do the moth’fucks get the great broads and smack ‘em around?” he asked heatedly. “It just don’t seem fair when here we be, wantin’ nothin’ mo’ than to give ‘em the lovin’ they deserve!”

“I don’t know, man,” Doug said, shoveling fast to help burn up the hot rage that was taking hold on him while he thought about another man hurting his woman. “Life’s not fair. I will keep her safe though, and I’ll make sure she’s damn happy when she finally comes to me.”

“I knows ya will!” Charlie exclaimed with a smile. “An’ if you need any help wit’ that, ya call ol’ Charlie to come help ya out!”

Doug laughed and said, “I will, you old pervert! But I think I can handle her all on my own.” He winked and continued to work hard so he could have a long lunch with the love of his life.


            Noon came fast, and the crusher building floor was clear, so Doug and Charlie headed off to lunch. They knew there would be plenty more work for them when they got back that afternoon, but this was the highlight of their day.

Leaving the grimy, smelly metal building, they went their separate ways with a smile: Charlie ate a packed lunch sitting on the tailgate of his battered pickup truck; and Doug drove off to have lunch with his woman.

He found a parking space mere seconds before his blonde goddess came out to her car. The sight of her made his chest tighten and his manhood swell; he didn’t know how much longer he could handle this game of her being his but living with another man. He had to have her soon – all her teasing was making him hot and hard with wanting.

Doug followed her to the same café they’d eaten at countless times before, and was disgusted when “the bastard” met her in the parking lot and kissed her and groped her ass. He fumed and punched the steering wheel in a fit of rage; it took all he had not to get out of his van, march over to where the couple stood, and beat the bastard down right there in front of her so she would know she didn’t have to be afraid of him any longer.

“I love you!” he yelled, but knew she couldn’t hear him.

His hands began to shake and the world around him faded in and out of darkness – one moment it was all bright sunshine with cars parked around him, the next it was pitch blackness with hot rage burning just under his flesh.

He started scratching his arms in an attempt to relieve the pain, and the next thing he knew – when he glanced down – blood was dribbling down his arms from where he’d torn through his skin with his fingernails.

“Fuck!” he screamed, and fumbled to retrieve the first aid kit he had stored on the floorboard behind the passenger’s seat; this wasn’t the first time this had happened.

After his shaking, blood slick fingers finally got the latch open, he grasped a couple of bandages to apply to the wounds, but he didn’t put them on right away. Instead he looked down at the red liquid seeping out of his arms and thought about passion. It’s because I love her so much she can do this to me, he thought. She makes me feel so much and gets under my skin and I just can’t help myself. I have to protect her…make her mine. Soon! Very soon, my love, I’ll rescue you from the hell that is your existence.

With sharp, decisive movements he dressed his wounds, noting that the pair were no longer in the parking lot, but had wandering into the café. He couldn’t see them through the windows and he figured they’d chosen one of the back booths. Yeah, I know what you’re up to, you fucker, he thought. You’ll take her back there so you can smack her or pinch her and no one will see. You’re a sick fuck, you bastard!

He fumed and raged inside as he climbed out of the van and headed into the café. He’d thought about driving down the street to a fast food joint to buy himself something to eat, but he decided that fuck no he wasn’t slinking away like a coward. She was his woman and he wouldn’t give her up to “the bastard” without a fight.

I was right, he thought and almost screamed, when he saw them sitting close together in a private corner booth. He noticed the bastard had his hand on her knee under the table, kneading and squeezing it while they talked. You’re gonna leave bruises where no one can see, aren’t you, you fuck? his mind ranted as he took a seat at a table where he could watch them at an angle.

A waitress came to take his order and she blocked his view of the couple, which annoyed him greatly; he glared at her the entire time he was placing his order, and she practically ran away from him as soon as she was done.

Doug’s allotted lunch time passed quickly, without him even tasting the food he’d ordered. He had to leave and go back to work before the couple, and he thought about staying, but decided he shouldn’t push his luck with Hank after being a couple of minutes late this morning.

He paid his bill at the register, threw one pissed off glance back at the couple in the corner and stormed back out into the world alight with harsh sunshine. The warmth did nothing to improve his mood though, as he knew it would be sweltering at the center while he worked through the afternoon.

He climbed into his van, started the engine, and pulled out into traffic without even looking to see if anything was coming. Luckily, this time, nothing was, and he sped through the streets, cursing at the other drivers to vent his pent up emotions.

When he arrived back at the recycling center, he noticed that they’d had a delivery of cans over lunch, and he knew he’d be stuck in the crushing building again. With a sigh, he parked, got out, and headed back to work.

Charlie wasn’t inside when he went in, so he figured they must have received a load of glass too – crushing it was Charlie’s favorite job.

Doug was glad for this because he had a lot on his mind and he didn’t want to discuss “the bastard” being at lunch. His mind swirled with random, chaotic thoughts of how he could handle the state of his love life. His thoughts were so jumbled with emotions, ranging from crushing depression to burning angst, that he couldn’t make sense of anything.

I know, he thought, finally deciding on a plan after working for a couple of hours and using up some of his energy so his mind could clear, I’ll talk to my therapist about it tomorrow morning at our meeting! He’ll know how I should handle everything.

With all his problems set to be resolved the next morning by someone else, Doug happily worked the rest of the day, dreaming about all the things he’d do with his woman once she was freely his.


            The next morning was overcast and Doug frowned as he stepped out the door of the heap-of-trash trailer he was renting. He knew the place wasn’t pretty, but it was functional, and was all his for as long as he paid the extremely low rent – that’s all he needed. He was saving up his money so that when his woman came to him, they’d be able to get a nicer place to live in. Everything he did or suffered was for her and he knew that’s why she loved him so much.

He locked the door behind himself and walked over to his van. On impulse, he slid open the back, side door and peered at the bed inside; it was still made up neat with clean silk sheets. He smiled, envisioning his blonde goddess naked laying across it, loving the feel of the silk beneath her and aching for the feel of him on top of her.

“Soon, precious,” he whispered, “soon.”

He slid the door closed and opened the driver’s door to climb in. Just as he closed the door behind himself a torrent of rain fell from the sky, coating his windshield with little droplets and making him feel sealed off from reality – something he liked intensely.

He sat there and thought about his woman: how her skin would feel…taste; how she would sound when she moaned his name; how it would thrill him to excite and satisfy her; and how it would feel to be satisfied by her body.

Without giving it any thought – letting his natural urges take him – he unzipped his pants and got himself off while he imagined having sex with her.

Once he was finished, he cleaned up with some fast food napkins he kept in the glove compartment and rushed to make it to his therapy appointment on time. If he was late or missed, he could end up back in confinement and he didn’t want that. For some reason they’d previously deemed him unstable and thought he could pose a threat to the general population when he’d supposedly raped and killed a young woman. He’d told them repeatedly that they’d had a long term relationship and she’d consented to the sexual contact, and that he didn’t know who’d killed her, but it hadn’t been him. He was devastated without her and had been more than willing to let people take care of him while he’d grieved, hence his stay at the mental care facility. The stay had been court ordered, but he hadn’t fought it.

The short-term stay had become more long-term when they’d charged him with rape and murder, having found evidence against him. He still maintained he hadn’t done anything wrong and that someone else had done everything and was framing him. He vowed to find whoever had done it all and kill them, ranting like a mad man at anyone who opposed him.

That’s when the pills had started. Those mind controlling drugs that had kept him enslaved to their will. But he’d tricked them…tricked them all by not taking them once he was away from their choking grasp.

Despite everything, it had been hard for him to leave and go back out into the world. He’d loved Melissa – the young woman he’d been accused of raping and killing – and didn’t know how his heart would ever mend. He never thought he would be able to love anyone again, until he’d first seen her, his blonde goddess. She’d been jogging down the street – one he just happened upon as he drove aimlessly – and he’d instantly fallen in love with her. Sure, most men would have lusted after her in those skin tight exercise clothes that emphasized every curve and dip of her body, but he’d looked beyond all that to her soul. She had a truly beautiful soul. The sad thing was…it was being tormented by the bastard she was living with, and her beauty, her heart, her life was being smothered by his heavy hand. Her soul cried out and begged Doug to love her, to help her. After that, he made it his life’s mission to do right by her and free her for real happiness with him.

Now, as he drove through the city to his therapy appointment, he hoped all the battles he’d been fighting to get to her were worth it. He knew that he’d get some sound advice from his counselor, because he always had.

He pulled into the prestigious medical building parking lot and parked his van. He climbed out, slammed the door behind him, and checked to make sure he hadn’t gotten anything on his pants and that they were fastened properly. Once he was sure of his appearance, he headed for the main door of the brick building; they slid open in welcome but he didn’t go in. He turned left and walked around to the back of the building where an alley lay between it and another. He walked into the dim passageway and headed toward a large cardboard box lying on its side.

“I’m here,” he said, stopping to stand in front of the opening. “Right on time too.”

“Did you bring payment?” a voice croaked from within the tan confines of the box.

“Of course!” Doug said, reaching into the back pocket of his pants, withdrawing the agreed upon payment – whiskey. “I wouldn’t come to see you without payment.”

The voice in the box laughed.

“Good,” it said. “Set it down and let’s begin.”

Doug sat the bottle down on the pavement that was slick with a coating of slime built up from the rain and alley grime.

A hand reached out into the faint light and curled its long, thin fingers around the bottle, lifting it; the bottle disappeared, along with the hand, back into the box.

Doug didn’t know for sure if his therapist was a man or a woman, but he always assumed that the person inside the box was male, so he called the therapist a he. Once, when they’d first started their strange sessions, he’d thought about asking why they were meeting in an alley, while he hid in a cardboard box, but he’d decided that would be a rude question. He wasn’t opposed to sitting in the outdoors to talk about the things in his life that bothered him – he actually liked it better than a confining room. He figured the therapist had read that in his file and wanted him to feel more comfortable. He also assumed he knew about his privacy/trust issues and that’s why he’d insisted on hiding; keeping things anonymous made Doug feel more comfortable sharing. The only thing that did bother him was that there was nowhere for him to sit and he had to stand through the entire visit, or plant his ass in the sludge of alley grime.

Shifting from one foot to another in nervous frustration, Doug tried to tame his thoughts enough to share them.

“It’s complicated…” he started. “I’m in love, but the woman is stuck in an abusive relationship with another man and I don’t know how to help her.”

“Free her,” the voice croaked from within the box. “Follow your heart and free her.”

“How?” Doug asked. “She’s with this man and he seems to follow her everywhere – he never lets her out from under his thumb.”

“Does she love you?” the voice asked.

“Yes!” Doug all but shouted, getting angry. “She loves me so much, but can’t get free of him.”

“You’ll have to take care of him then,” the voice said quietly. “You have to get him out of the way so you can be together – it’s the only way.”

Doug sighed. “That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure. Thank you for your advice.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” the voice said. “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“No,” Doug said. “I have some planning to do. Thanks again.” He turned and walked out of the alley, climbed back into his van, and headed home.


            Dusk was starting to change the appearance of the world when Doug stepped out of his trailer. He breathed deeply of the sweet, cool air evening brought with it and smiled broadly. Tonight was the night he and his blonde goddess would be together once and for all. They would be free to love each other, like they should have been for a long time now.

He practically bounced down the decaying wooden steps leading to the ground and danced all the way to his van. He had so much to look forward to with his woman free to love him back.

He climbed into the van – which tonight he thought of as his grey steed – started the engine and was off. Streets, cars, and people went by in a blur as he headed toward his destination; in less than twenty minutes he was parked down the street from the prim and proper two story house where his love had been held prisoner. He watched the place for a little while and there didn’t seem to be anyone home, so he got out and walked toward it. When he reached the driveway, he turned and walked up it like he was supposed to be there. He knocked on the front door and was pleased when there was no answer. He circled around to the back of the house and investigated a sliding glass door that connected the kitchen of the house to a cement patio; it was locked. With a sigh he decided he would have to break in, but he’d actually expected it to come to this.

He turned and picked up one of the heavy, metal patio chairs and slammed it into the glass of the door; it shattered loudly and splinters of glass sailed through the air in every direction.

Doug didn’t mind the sting of the shards; it was a small price to pay to rescue his princess from the evil dragon. That’s how he’d begun to see the adventure he was on. He was the knight is shining armor, accosting the cursed castle to rescue the damsel in distress so they could live happily ever after. He’d always loved fairy tales, so he thought it logical that he should star in one. After all, he was pure of heart, valiant, and willing to sacrifice himself for those he loved.

He stepped over the threshold of the broken door and looked around cautiously. He’d expected there would be an alarm, but after a quick check, he realized they didn’t even have a system in their house. He thought that odd, but then shrugged it off knowing they lived in a “nice” neighborhood where nothing probably ever happened.

He moved through the house, picking up random object and pictures, looking at them and then putting them back down where he’d gotten them; there was something surreal and eerie about being in someone’s house while they weren’t home, but it didn’t bother him, it excited him. He couldn’t wait for someone to get home from work so he could put his plans into motion: if “the bastard” arrived first, he planned to kill him and throw the body out back; and if his blonde goddess got home first, they would get to know each other and express their love freely and he would kill the man when he arrived. He was harboring some thoughts of making the bastard watch while he and the blonde goddess slacked their passion with each other, like he’d made Doug watch so many times when he’d touched her, but Doug didn’t feel like sharing. He wanted her all to himself so she would feel free to enjoy herself.

While going through a stack of mail, he discovered the name of his woman.

“Bree Heller,” he read aloud. “What a beautiful name…” He sighed and whispered her name again, “Bree.”

A noise from the door – sounding like keys jingling and one being inserted into a lock – alerted him that someone was home.

He dropped the envelope he’d been reading and stealthily made his way over to the foyer to hide inside the archway leading to the living room.

The bastard came through the door as it opened. He turned and kicked it shut with his foot, juggling his briefcase and a large takeout bag full of containers.

Doug’s stomach growled as the aroma of Chinese food waft to his nose.

The bastard’s head shot up and looked in the direction of the living room; he froze, listened, and stepped into the living room.

Doug heard the man coming and watched him step into the room. He waited until he glanced in his direction before slamming his fist into the bastard’s face.

The bastard hit the floor with a loud thud and Doug stood over him grinning.

“Thanks for picking up supper, you fuck!” he exclaimed with glee, righting the takeout bag so the food wouldn’t spill; he took the bag to the kitchen, sat it on the counter, withdrew a large knife from the cutting block, and went back out to the living room.

He stood over the prone man who was dressed in a slate gray business suit, having a hard time deciding if he wanted to finish him quickly or make him suffer. He finally decided on quickly, because he knew Bree would be home soon and he wanted to prepare them a special dinner at the table with the food the bastard had brought.

Kneeling down, he sank the blade into the bastard’s neck and sliced it all the way across. Blood shot out into the air as he cut, then seeped out into a puddle once he was done.

“She’ll be happier without you,” Doug said, smirked, stood, and kicked the bastard just because he wanted to.

He took the time to walk back to the kitchen and put the bloody knife in the sink before he dragged the body outside to the patio. For some strange reason, he thought it would be funny to sit him up in one of the chairs and make it look like he’d fallen asleep, so he did it while giggling hysterically.

“You look like an ass,” he said to the bastard, shaking his head as he went back into the house, crunching through the broken glass.

He washed his hands and looked through the kitchen cabinets until he found what he was looking for – plates and wine glasses. He took two of each out and carried them carefully to the dining room, where a large dark wood table sat quietly. He set them down and went back to the kitchen for the bag of food and cutlery.

He’d just finished setting the table when the front door opened and closed. Then he heard the sweetest voice in the world calling some man’s name; it wasn’t his.

“Bree, my darling,” Doug said, walking out into the living room to greet her. “Welcome home!”

She froze halfway through the living room, her eyes wide with fear. Without warning, she dropped her briefcase, turned, and ran for the front door.

Doug, expecting this of her, knowing she wouldn’t know the bastard wouldn’t hurt her anymore until she’d seen his lifeless body, bolted forward and caught her just before she could reach the door. He wrapped an arm around her waist and whispered Shh! in her ear when she started screaming. When she wouldn’t be quiet, he clamped his hand over her mouth and dragged her through the living room and the kitchen to the patio so she could see for herself that she was safe.

Her eyes fell on the lifeless body of the bastard and she went limp, sobbing.

“That’s right,” Doug said, thinking her actions were from relief. “I’ve freed you from him so we can be together. You don’t have to be afraid anymore!”

She shook her head and sobbed harder.

He turned back toward the house and half-carried, half-dragged her to the dining room, where he sat her in a chair at the table.

“Are you hungry?” he asked. “What would you like?” He spread his hands, displaying the array of food containers on the table.

She shook her head and covered her face with her hands.

He sighed and said, “I know this is a lot to take in at once, but we don’t have to hide our love anymore! You don’t have to be afraid anymore.” He reached over and pulled her hands down from her face. “No one is going to hurt you anymore. I love you and will take care of you.”

He noticed that her eyes were crazy and her breath was coming hard in sobbing gasps.

“I think you need to relax before supper,” he said, standing and extending his hand toward her. “Come with me.”

She jumped up from the chair and tried to run out of the room, but he easily caught her again.

Bree fought hard, screaming, biting, and kicking.

With a deep sigh, Doug said, “I didn’t want to have to do this, but you’re leaving me no choice.” He drew back his hand and slapped her hard across the face; she crumpled to the floor in a ball, sobbing even harder than before. “I’m sorry… I didn’t want to hurt you, but you need to calm down.” He pulled four large cable ties from his back pocket and used them to bind her wrists and ankles before he carried her upstairs.

When she wouldn’t direct him to the bedroom, he started checking every room until he found the master suite.

“Oh, what a lovely tub,” he said, depositing her on the bed and looking through the doorway into the bathroom. “That’s what you need…a nice hot bubble bath to help you relax.” He winked and headed that way to start the water.

He turned the taps on the large, two person bathtub and adjusted the water to the perfect temperature. He then chose some fragrant bubble bath from the counter and added it to the water.

Once the bubbles were forming nicely, he stripped off all his clothes and headed back out into the bedroom.

Bree lay on the bed where he’d left her, still sobbing.

“Please, no,” she begged. “Please, please, please, no!” She squeezed her eyes shut tight.

Doug knelt by the bed and brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her forehead.

“It’s okay,” he said. “I’ll take care of you.”

With strong hands he ripped her clothes and slowly slid them off of her body while letting his hands trail over her soft skin.

“Beautiful,” he whispered. “More beautiful than I could have ever imagined.” He didn’t stop with just touching her and began to lick her skin and then nibble.

She screamed, but Doug believed it was from passion and that he was somehow fulfilling her fantasies, so he kept going.

When he took her it was more rapturous than he could ever have imagined, and he felt their souls touch and become one. He knew she felt it to by how she shuddered with ecstasy and groaned.

“I’m sorry, my love,” he said, getting up from the bed. “I couldn’t wait to have you.” He caressed her tear slick cheek and headed into the bathroom to turn off the water that was still running. While doing so, he accidently spilled the bubble bath solution on the floor, because in his haste he’d forgotten to put the cap back on.

“Shit!” he exclaimed and righted the bottle before setting it back on the sink. “I’ll clean that up later.” He came back out into the bedroom, picked her up, and carried her over his shoulder into the bathroom.

He was just about to lower her into the water when his feet slipped out from under him and she went flying through the air.

Bree screamed and landed with a thunk and a slash.

Doug picked himself up off the floor and peered into the tub – he couldn’t see Bree at all. He scooped away some of the bubbles that were swirled with thick, red blood, and peered into the water.

Her lifeless eyes stared up at him, and he could see more blood swirling out into the water from a dent in her skull.

Tears filled his eyes as he fell back onto the tile floor to sit on his butt; his hands were shaking and he was having a hard time breathing.

His love had been taken from him just as they were finally free to be together. He felt robbed by life – cheated. Anger and pain warred within him for release, but there was nothing for him to lash out at but himself.

He stood and glared at himself in the mirror. Brown eyes stared back at him from a plain, nondescript face. He reared his head back and smashed it into the glass, shattering the reflected image of himself. Large pieces of the silvery glass fell all over the counter and into the sink, shattering into even smaller pieces.

Doug reached down and grasped a long, knife shaped piece, gripping it tightly, not even paying attention to the pain of it cutting into his hand. He stabbed at his face with the shard, desperate to get the pain, the burning, out of his head. He couldn’t take anymore disappointment and hurt. Everything he loved was always taken from him.

He screamed as he sank the glass into his flesh again and again. Chunks of skin and meat fell into the sink and blood ran in floods down his neck and chest. When the burn eased and he didn’t feel the pain anymore, he stumbled over to the bathtub and looked down at his beautiful Bree. His blood dripped into the water, turning the bubbles pink and them red; the water soon changed to the color of passion as well. The color of passion, he thought, as he fell to his knees, too weak from blood loss to stand any longer. Her blood and mine. Her passion and mine.


Three days later…

Doug woke up in a room with blank, off-white walls, a window covered by a metal grate, and straps restraining his body to a single metal framed bed in the center. He glanced around apprehensively, but his face hurt terribly when he moved, so he tried to hold still.

Distantly he heard a door open and the sound of footsteps getting closer.

“Ah, I see you’re awake,” a woman in light green scrubs said. “I’ll get the doctor – he’ll want to see you.”

She vanished from view and footsteps receded, and again a door opened and closed.

He didn’t know how much time passed while he was laying there; he couldn’t think straight because his mind was fuzzy.

The mind control drugs… he thought and chuckled to himself, wincing in pain as his face muscles moved under their protective gauze.

He jumped when he heard the door open and close again, and this time two sets of feet walking across the hard, smooth surface of the floor.

“Douglas Thomas?” a male voice asked in a somewhat bored, overly calm tone. “I’m not surprised to see you back here…since your escape almost a month ago the authorities say you’ve been up to your old hi-jinx: raping and killing innocent women. It seems that this time you also killed the woman’s husband. You know you’re not getting out again, right? We know how you escaped and have taken measures to prevent it.”

Doug laughed and tested his restraints.

“You can’t control me,” he muttered. “I’ll be free to love!”

“What?” the doctor said, stepping closer, trying to hear what Doug had said.

“You can’t control me!” Doug screamed at the top of his voice, thrashing violently on the bed, laughing. “I’ll be free to love! You can’t stop me!”

The doctor shook his head and he and the woman left the room.

Doug kept muttering to himself, envisioning Bree’s beautiful face.

“Bubble bath of blood,” he raved. “Passion! Red, burning passion!”

His rants and laughter soon turned to sobs, and the sounds of his inner torment floated out into the corridor and down the empty hallway to haunt anyone who came close enough to hear. He knew he would never get out again, but it didn’t matter. His heart was broken beyond repair, and he’d remember it for the rest of his life every time he looked in the mirror. The damage was done. The burning passion had taken his very soul and twisted it beyond repair.


©Rebecca Besser, 2016. All rights reserved.

Interview – Author Courtney Rene

Author Courtney Rene
Author Courtney Rene

B: Welcome to my blog! Please start out by telling everyone a little bit about yourself –

C:  I’m pretty normal in most regards.  I’m a wife and mother of two.  I’m also a closet book addict.  I’m that person that is genuinely not allowed in books stores with a credit card.  I’m quite the introvert, although I like to pretend I’m not.  We are the owners of a fish, a hamster, and two turtles, along with a stray cat or two that pretend they belongs to us once in a while.

B: Tell us about your books –

C:  I have two series books going on at the present.  The first being my YA Paranormal Series, Shadow Dancer.  There are four books currently published and out in this series.  This is a story of a young girl named Sunny:

Sunny has a gift that she has no idea how to use, until she meets Leif, a boy from the kingdom of Acadia, on the other side of the shadows. 

Leif teaches Sunny about Shadow Walkers and how to use her new found gifts. As they grow closer and their gifts grow stronger, a threat arrives. The Shadow Guard has been sent to bring Sunny back to Acadia, to determine if she is a threat to the king as the rightful ruler of Acadia. 

As Leif and Sunny prepare to defend themselves, Sunny finds that Leif has also been sent to bring Sunny back to the kingdom but for very different reasons. As a battle for possession of Sunny wages, she is struggling to come to turns with her feelings of inadequacy regarding controlling her gifts as well as the hurt regarding the lies and deceit of everyone around her. 

The other books continuing on within the series are:  Shadow Warrior, Shadow’s End, and Shadow Fire.

You can find these books here:


The other series. I have going is also YA Paranormal.  It’s title is A Howl in the Night, which is the story of Abby:

Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life. The world is before you in all its glory, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Right? For Abigail Staton no, not so much. Not only does she suddenly lose her best friend due to a fight, but suddenly her mother expects her to believe that the father, she has never met, is actually a werewolf. With that revelation, Abby is thrust into the world of two wolf clans who are not only fighting each other, but also fighting for Abby, one of the few females born to the shape-shifters. Her father is determined to pair Abby up with Derek, a very dominant and overwhelming shifter. Abby vehemently balks at this union to disastrous results. When war is declared between the two clans, Abby has to decide what side she is actually on.

The other title within this series is:  The Full Moon rises, which was just recently released in November 2015.

You can find these titles here:

B: What is special about your books that your readers love?

C:  I have been told that one of the things my readers like the most is that I have very strong female characters, which are relatable and inspiring.  I didn’t start out with that in mind when writing the books, but having a simpering girlie girl as a hero, didn’t mesh well with me.  Another perk is I add humor to my characters.  Again, this is another relateable attribute for my readers.

B: What should we be looking for from you in the future?

C:  I will begin work on the third book in the Howl in the Night series shortly, which I would love to get to my publisher asap.  There is a new fantasy story I am already working on.  Angels and demons and life and death.  I like it.  We will see if I can make it work for my readers.

B: Is there any genre you’d like to write for that you haven’t yet?

C:  I love the horror genre.  Although I have worked in this area in short stories and anthologies, I haven’t taken on a full novel.  I would like to break into that genre this year.  That’s my goal.

B: What three books would you take with you to read on the beach? Why?

C:  This is a hard question for me as I tend to read series books.  But if I could choose three series, then I would choose Harry Potter, because, hello, it’s Harry Potter.  Next would be a bit of a romance, in the Outlander Series.  Something about sunshine on a beach with the outlander books, just appeals to me.  Plus it would be a lasting read that I wouldn’t plow through in an hour or two.  And last, I would take the Vampire Lestat.  The story telling in that novel is suberb.  I love that character, evil and ignorant at times though he may be, I enjoy his journey every time.

B: What was your favorite read from the last year?

C:  Wow, that’s a good question.  I read over 55 books last year.  My favorite though I would have to say is a new series that Jodi Thomas put out, called Ransom Canyon.  It’s got history and drama and thriller and romance, and it’s got characterization.  I am really enjoying this find.  Maybe there is another that I liked more, but I don’t recall it right off.  This was the book that came to mind first, so that to me says, favorite.

B: Name three titles from your TBR list –


  1. The last of the Raven Boys books coming out soon in April titled the Raven King. That’s a great series by the way.  If you haven’t checked it out, maybe you should.
  2. I want to read the King book, the follow up from the Shinning titled: Doctor Sleep.
  3. And lastly, I want to read, Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin. This was just recommended to me, and I think it sounds great!  Not your every day hero in an obese teen.

B: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?

C:  No, I think you have covered just about everything.  Aside from letting people know that all my books can be found on my blog, with links for information and purchase.  Please feel free to stop over and say hello.

B: List where people can find you online:

C: You can find me at the following:






B: Thank for stopping by! I wish you all the best with your books.

C: Thank you so much for having me!

Courtney’s Biography:

Courtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night, and new release, The Full Moon Rises, as well as the Shadow Dancer series (Shadow Dancer, Shadow Warrior, Shadow’s End, and a break away novel, Shadow Fire), published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com or feel free to contact her at

©Rebecca Besser and Courtney Rene, 2016.

All rights reserved.

A Howl in the Night Series by Courtney Rene


Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life. The world is before you in all its glory, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Right? For Abigail Staton no, not so much. Not only does she suddenly lose her best friend due to a fight, but suddenly her mother expects her to believe that the father, she has never met, is actually a werewolf. With that revelation, Abby is thrust into the world of two wolf clans who are not only fighting each other, but also fighting for Abby, one of the few females born to the shape-shifters. Her father is determined to pair Abby up with Derek, a very dominant and overwhelming shifter. Abby vehemently balks at this union to disastrous results. When war is declared between the two clans, Abby has to decide what side she is actually on.


Life as a shape shifter is not as easy as it would seem, especially not for Abigail Staton. Being a teenager and a shape shifter is even harder, not to mention being one of the last remaining females in the two competing wolf clans and the only girl in her new schools. Striving to find where she belongs, gets sidelined when an old threat to the wolves resurfaces. The clans are forced to come together in a semi-truce, and the already dominant males become even more controlling in trying to protect their own as well as their secret. Abby finds herself in the middle yet again, but this time, she will need both clans in order to survive.


Author Courtney Rene

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her novel, Shadow Dancer, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. Her website is located at: ( Please feel free to contact her at

Find more of Courtney’s titles on Amazon: