Author of The Headline Murders

Chapter One - Continued

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After she got to her condominium on Pittsburgh's South Side, she got ready for her date. She changed the white cotton sheets on her queen-sized bed for champagne-colored satin ones. Next, she lit candles, one on either side of her dresser mirror. Then she stripped, taking care in how she hung up her suit and silk blouse, but kicking her pantyhose, bra, and panties into a corner of her large, mostly pink and lavender bedroom.

From the small brass box on the nightstand, she took out the last half of a joint, lit it, took a long, slow drag, holding it . . . . Then into the bathroom, to the old-fashioned iron tub, where she turned the hot water on full blast. Soon there were halos around the mirror lights. When the water got to just the right level, she took more of the harsh smoke into her lungs. Very carefully, then, she placed the joint in the standing brass ashtray, which she kept right by the tub especially for evenings like this.

She touched a toe to the burning water and felt perspiration bead above her upper lip. In went a long leg, perfected during hours of exercise at the Fitness Arena. Finally, she was submerged except for her arms and head.

Should she take another toke? Why not! She reached over, got the joint, and took in more smoke, held it, barely touched it to the water, then pinched it with a wet finger and thumb. After dropping it into the ashtray, she sank deeper into the water and floated in steaming luxury.

Eyes closed, she withdrew into herself, seeing in her mind's eye her tall man, the one with the broad shoulders, narrow waist, and oh-so-gentle hands. The one she would be seeing tonight. She caressed herself with Apenon soap, imagining that it was him doing the caressing. Drifting. Higher now than she'd been when she got home.

Sometime later, she got out of the tub pink, drowsy, and floating. She wiped the fog off the bathroom mirror to take a look at herself.

"Perfect tits" - that's what a man once told her. Slowly, she wrapped herself in a huge yellow towel. After drying, she let it slip to the floor and walked naked to the bedroom where she dabbed on some Marietta, her favorite fragrance.

From her lingerie drawer she selected a black lace thong and matching bra. Her nipples tingled as she hooked herself into the bra. The thong slid right on, tickling her thighs until it was in place.

Flushed, she lifted her eyes to the dresser mirror and caught her reflection in candlelight, feeling the marijuana pull her deeper into herself.

Then, in the mirror, she saw him.

Turning, bracing herself on the dresser as she moved, she waited for her man. Right on time, just as she'd planned it - and he was whispering her name. "Take off the bra, Marsha." He stood behind her. His breath was warm on her neck.

She did, unsnapping it, then with a shrug of her shoulders, she let it drop to the floor. His hands cupped her breasts as his fingers moved on her nipples; then they were sliding down her sides and after that ripping at the thong. She was swaying.

His hands steadied her as she moved away from the dresser, standing, still swaying, between it and the bed now, and she felt warmth spread in waves from her center. He guided her to the bed, his erection against her, then turned her and ever so gently helped her down onto those satin sheets as her legs parted for him. . . . And with just enough sense left to know there was no date, no man again tonight, she fumbled in the nightstand drawer for the vibrator. Found it. Then put it to use.

Her shuddering increased as her lover hummed.

"More. More!" Seconds before she lost all control, she reached for the pillow and covered her mouth. And then she was mindless, unaware of her own screaming.

Chapter One:     1     2     3