Venus—Mythol. The ancient Roman goddess of beauty and love, especially sensual love.
Fix—slang (orig. U.S.). A dose of a narcotic drug. Also short for fixation—Psychol. In Freudian theory, the arresting of the development of a libidinal component at a pregenital stage, so that psychosexual emotions are "fixed" at that point. Also, loosely, an obsession, an idŽe fixe.
Mine Enemy is growing old— I have at last Revenge The Palate of the Hate departs If any would avenge— Let him be quick—the Viand flits It is a faded Meat Anger as soon as fed is dead 'Tis starving makes it fat —Emily Dickinson
Dearest, After all these months,I'm willing to concede.Nothing will make me miss you less. Nothing will ease the razor-sharp pain that wakes me up every morning and keeps me from falling asleep at night.Not while those women roam—no, not quite women, but witch women who go haunting, casting spells and capturing souls without anyone realizing just how dangerous they are or noticing the evil running in their veins.Evil that glows secret bright in the night and feeds the junkies who drool, eyes glued to their bare breasts and wet lips,ears attuned to low moans and dirty chatter while they stroke,massage,and manipulate themselves to orgasm and then languish in some fugue state until they crash back, back, back to earth.
There are twenty-three days left until your birthday, and to show you how much I love you,I promise,by then all five of these women will have been punished.
What I'm going to do won't bring back my appetite or my curiosity or my energy. It won't do a damn thing for me.That doesn't matter. Because this I do for you.
Twenty-two days remaining
Damn, it was freezing. He'd opened the window to chase away the smell of beer and grass and sex, but then he'd fallen asleep, and now it was so cold he didn't even want to stick his head out from under the covers to see if she was still there. But Timothy wanted to come again more than he wanted anything else, so he did it, he pushed the blanket down just enough to peek out.
In his darkened bedroom she was the only thing that he could see.
Still there. Still naked. Her lovely breasts with their pink-tipped nipples pointing up.
His erection stirred.
Timothy was awake now, the dreams replaced with a fresh fantasy of what the next minutes would bring. She was golden. That was the best way to describe her: the tawny color of her skin, the long blond curls, and the feeling inside of him that burned like a sun when he was in her glow. And all he had to do was lie back and let her magic work on him.
None of the girls at school were this experienced.
Or this gorgeous.
Or this willing.
Penny was sitting in the big red armchair where he'd left her—her legs spread, playing with a dildo, smiling at him. But it was one weird smile. He leaned forward. Nope, she didn't look right. She was shaking a little and her mouth was sort of contorted into a sick clown's grimace. Then her head fell forward, her back heaved, and she vomited.
Timothy had fooled around with a lot of different crap, but this was weird. What kind of pervert would think this was hot?
Usually Penny was coy and sweet and sexy. Sure, she was a little kinky sometimes with the crazy-shaped dildos she used, but she wasn't moving any of those magic wands in and out of her now.
"Penny," he whispered. "What are you doing?"
Her answer was an agonized groan. Low and feeble. Like the sound a wounded animal might make. Nothing like the exciting sounds she'd made when she was riding the lubricated pink plastic dildo and coming right along with him.
Maybe she wasn't acting. Maybe she really was sick. Food poisoning made you sick like that. He'd had food poisoning once. She looked sick, didn't she? Her skin was slicked with sweat, her hair was flattened to the sides of her face, and her eyes l
ooked glassy and feverish.
She looked like she needed help. Now. Fast. But what could he do?
Grabbing the blanket off the bed, he wrapped it around his naked waist and started for his bedroom door. Then he stopped—there was no one home. His parents were out. Jeez, what was he thinking? Thank God they were out because Penny, sick or not, was way off limits.
He looked back at her to make sure. Yes, she was still moving in that slow-motion, sick way, her moan now a low constant sound that made him want to put his hands up to his ears and block it out.
He grabbed the phone.
He'd call for help. But who? The police? An ambulance? Amanda? Would she know what to do? No, she might tell her mother. He couldn't risk that. Besides, what if he was wrong? What if this was a game? What if Penny was acting out some perversion by request? He knew she did that sometimes.
He glanced back at her, at her small hands gripping the arms of the chair, at her feet, so fragile and inconsequential, at the worn carpet he'd never noticed before. Everything looked sort of pathetic now—the meager furniture, the really small television—except for the view out the window. He'd never noticed any of this before. He'd always been too busy, under her spell. But not now. Not anymore.
Pick your head up, Penny. Look at me. Tell me what's going on. What should I do?
She threw up again.
He dialed 911.
"State your emergency, please."
At the same time he heard the voice, the screen went black. He ran to the monitor and stared at it, seeing only his own ghostly image staring back.
Penny was gone.
What the hell?
He hit the back button to see if the problem was his computer or hers. The site he'd been to before hers popped up. He hit the forward key.
Her site was gone.
v "Hello?" shouted the voice on the other end of the phone. "Hello?"
A dozen thoughts hit him all at once. They were going to ask him who he was, and he was going to have to tell them, and then his parents would find out he'd broken the rules again, and God only knew what they would do to him this time. He had been going to all those stupid therapy sessions at school and his parents were finally easing up on him, but if they found out about this…what would happen then? Besides, maybe he was wrong. Maybe Penny had only been acting out some stupid game.
"Hello," Timothy finally answered.
"Can you tell me what the emergency is?"
"It's not…I don't think. What if it's not an emergency?"
"We have a car on the way to your house. Are you hurt?"
"No. It was a mistake, it's not an emergency."
"Are you all right?"
"Yes. It's not me. I thought someone…I thought someone was breaking in…but it wasn't… I was asleep."
"The police are on their way. They should be there in less than thirty seconds." The operator's voice eased and softened.
Timothy heard the intercom buzz in the kitchen, hung up, ran out of his room and down the hall, the panic rising like bile in his stomach.
He pressed the button.
"Timothy, the police are here," the doorman announced. "They said it was an emergency. I'm sending them up."
"No," he shouted at the doorman. "No. Let me talk to them."
There was a pause. Then: "Timothy Marcus? This is Officer Keally. Is there something wrong up there?"
"Are you sure? You called 911."
"Yeah, but by mistake. I was asleep, dreaming, thought I saw…heard something, but it wasn't real."
"Are you sure you don't want us to come up and check things out?"
Timothy actually hesitated. Should he tell them and face the consequences? Deal with whatever his parents would do to him? He had seen something weird on the computer, hadn't he? She was sick, wasn't she?
Or had some weird fucker convinced Penny to act out his perverted scenario?
"I'm sure," he said into the intercom.
Eighteen days remaining
Excerpted from THE VENUS FIX © Copyright 2011 by M.J. Rose. Reprinted with permission by Mira Books, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved.