***CORRUPT Teaser #3!!
FYI, this is unedited and subject to change prior to publication.
Background: Most of Corrupt takes place in the present, but there are a few flashbacks that play through the events of one night three years ago that led to the men going to jail. This is part of one of those flashbacks, and it happens early in the story. There is a lot more that happens after this on that night 🙂
“You’re not supposed to be here.”
I widened my eyes, my stomach instantly knotting as I slowly lowered my heels and turned my head to the right.
Michael stood a few feet away, his chin tipped up, making my knees suddenly shake as he stared at me through his mask.
I gripped the sill, heat covered every inch of my skin.
“I…,” I started to speak but was too shocked to say anything.
“I just…” I tried again, barely able to speak more than a whisper. “I wanted to see.”
He cocked his head, but behind the mask, I had no idea what he was thinking. I wished he’d take it off.
I opened my mouth to try to say something else—to explain—but I paused, seeing him move forward and follow my steps up to the window.
I held my breath, watching as he climbed up behind me, gripping the sill at my sides and planting his black work boots on the two arches to my left and right.
I twisted my head back around, trying to calm my breathing which had turned heavy all of a sudden.
What was he doing?
The heat of his body covered my back, and I braved a glance up at him, watching him gaze through the broken cathedral window, seeing what I saw.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “If you want me to leave—”
“Did I say that?”
I snapped my mouth shut, watching his fingers tighten around the bottle of Kirin in his hand.
My eyelids fluttered, growing heavy as the sensation of him so close started to take over. He’d never been this close. Not in a long time, anyway.
But I’d wished for it, and I was thinking things I knew I shouldn’t.
I closed my eyes for a moment, desperate to just lean back and relax into him.
But, instead, I dug my nails into the stone, forcing my eyes forward and watching Damon take the other guy to the ground, both of them wrestling like an MMA fight on the concrete floor.
Michael brought the beer up to his lips, and I heard him take a drink, my mind and body aware of everything he was doing.
But then my eyebrows shot up, seeing the bottle appear in front of my chest.
Befuddled, I took it, keeping my smile to myself as I tipped it up and drank. I held the bottle between my lips, letting the bitter taste sit on my tongue before swallowing. When I tried handing back the bottle, though, he waved me off.
I relaxed, taking a few more sips and content that he wasn’t kicking me out. Yet.
Glancing inside, I saw a few of the students heading through the darkened doorway behind the sanctuary, and I held the bottle to my chest, turning my head up to Michael.
“That door leads to the catacombs, right?” I asked.
He didn’t move but nodded.
I turned back, watching the two guys and girls disappear.
“What are they doing down there?” I pried, handing him back the beer.
He took it but set it down on the sill without taking another drink.
“Having other kinds of fun,” he answered.
I tightened my jaw, frustrated with his brief, cryptic responses. I wanted to go inside.
But then I heard him breathe out a small, quiet laugh and felt his mask brush against my ear, his low voice taunting me, “No one knows about you, do they?”
My eyes fell, and I pinched my eyebrows together, wondering what he meant.
“You’re such a good little girl, aren’t you, Rika?” he jabbed. “Good girl for mommy, good girl for teachers…” he trailed off before continuing. “You’re a good girl on the outside, but no one knows who the hell you are on the inside, do they?”
I gripped the window sill harder, feeling the stone cut into my fingers.
His breath fell in my ear as he lowered his voice to a whisper, “I know what you like to watch, Rika,” he gritted out. “School girls shouldn’t be so naughty.”
My eyes rounded, and I sucked in a breath, pushing out from between his arms and jumping to the ground.
My eyes burned as I dashed for the parking lot, but a hand suddenly caught mine, and I was yanked back in the opposite direction.
“Michael,” I gasped, my throat thick with fear. “I’m sorry.”
He stepped closer, glaring down at me through his mask. “How do you know I’m Michael?” he taunted in a low voice.
I blinked, dropping my head and unable to look at him.
My eyes fell on his hand, holding mine lightly by the fingers. My skin burned so hot, I wasn’t sure if I was one fire or freezing, but I did know one thing.
No one knew who I was. He’d been right about that.
A drop of sweat glided down my back.
Something felt like it was trying to claw its way out of me, rip me open, and take over. There was something buried that wanted release more and more, and it just so happened that I always felt it when he was around.
Like right now.
I swallowed the tightness in my throat. “It just feels like you,” I said softly.
But he leaned in, making my violent heart pound even harder. “You don’t know what I feel like,” he whispered.
Then he reached up, and grabbed my school necktie, yanking my body in as he pulled at it roughly, loosening it, and slipping it over my head.
“What are you doing?” I breathed out.
But he didn’t answer.
I narrowed my eyes, watching him as he pulled the tie apart and walked around behind me, holding it over my eyes.
But I immediately pushed it down, turning to look at him. “Why?” I asked.
He stared at me, his blue eyes locked on mine. “Because you’ll see more with your eyes closed,” he replied. “Let’s go inside.”