Wk #5 Short Story: “We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times”. @amywinehouse #kdsuspense #amwriting #amreading

Femme Fatale Week!

“We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times.”

Author One Scene One:

Mila Petrov secured her victory rolls, at the front and side of her hair with  bobby pins. A thick cloud of hair lacquer fills the air, to keep everything just as she likes it.The rest of her hair she leaves hanging around her shoulders, in loose waves. She examines her roots closely and winces at the mousy brown shade making its way through. She is hardly Marilyn Monroe and thanked God for it too. Mila is too smart to be caught up in the love affair women seem to have with Marilyn and her style. The craze seems to live on one year after her death in 1963. The blonde bimbo act doesn’t appeal to her. Mila is the opposite in every way to the American “siren” plastered all over the TV screens. She makes a mental note to pick up a bottle of black hair dye, from the chemist on her way back from Camden Town this evening. Her roots are in desperate need of some tender loving care.

Mila lines her full lips with care using her deep red lip pencil, and then fills in the centre with precision using a thin lip brush. Emphasising her cupid’s bow. She admires how the deep blood red shade pops against her pale porcelain skin and jet-black hair. The only clue that her true hair colour was possibly not as deep as the black shade she favours, is her pale blue eyes. A pale blue shade that belongs with mousy brown hair. Picking up her compact, she powders her nose to keep the shine away and steps back from the mirror.

Tonight, her appearance is important, she has business to do and not the kind that she’s used to. Apart from her striking eastern Europe features, her height is the first thing people notice about her. Without her heels Mila stands at five feet ten inches.

Mila sweeps her eyes over her well put together appearance. A red silk blouse tucked into a black pencil skirt, stockings, and a thick black waist belt to help empathise some curves to the naturally boyish figure staring back at her from the mirror. Satisfied with her appearance she steps into her black stiletto heels, adding three inches to her height. Just as she does the phone rings on her desk.

“Eh-llo” Mila’s deep husky voice purrs into the phone.

“Madam Petrov. Your driver is outside for you.”

“I come, geeive me vun second okay.”

Mila places the phone on the receiver and pulls on her black mac jacket. She places her fur around her neck, and grabs her patent ruby red clutch purse. Annoyed at the sight of a smudged nail, she throws her black polish into her purse and sets off toward the door. She stops in her tracks and eyes the vodka bottle and shot glass on the side board by the door. For Dutch courage, she pours a shot of her native Smirnoff vodka and downs it in one, careful not to smudge her lipstick and then confidently walks out the door.

As she makes her way across the landing to take the stairs from her office, she glances in all the rooms in use. Making sure all her girls are well protected and not vulnerable, she introduced see-through panels for each service room of her establishment. Better safe than sorry. The last thing she wants is a murder or rape on her hands, then the London Metropolitan police sniffing around, or even worse tarnish her name and image as London’s top Madam. It’s not worth the risk, security has to be tight at her establishment. God knows she’s worked hard to earn a clean decent reputation as a Madam over the years. Her fight has been intensified by her Russian roots which makes her an outsider in London as it is. Over the years Mila has had to fight for her Russian surname and the right to be a business owner in a foreign land. Being female in 1963 makes the battle even harder.

At times when she switched on her TV and watched the black and white images showing the fight for equality overseas, she applauded every single African -American set to join Dr. Martin Luther King’s peaceful protest for equality in Washington, in just two months’ time. She understands the struggle from overseas for quality as a woman and foreigner well. Her other battle has been attracting and recruiting drug free, classy, sophisticated and street-smart girls. Girls that are not out for a relationship or sugar daddy. Her girls are her warriors from all walks of life, and all backgrounds. When girls show up asking for her name, she asks no questions about what brought them to her door asking for work. Every one of them has a story, including herself as the Madam. Overtime once her new recruits worked out Mila as a Madam is all business– stay pretty, dress well, be street-smart, make money and save for a rainy day they soon fit right in. They share their stories once they feel at home. She protects each of their secrets, passes no judgement and runs a tight ship under the watchful eye of the London Metropolitan Police.

Satisfied nothing untoward is going on on each floor, once at reception Mila walks into the bar area. The atmosphere is relaxed, she takes in the smoke-filled room’s chandeliers, patterned carpets and men sitting around round tables nursing their drinks.

Stevie, her star dressed in a to-the-floor black dress with a deep slit at her cleavage, is on stage putting the crowd under a spell. She takes in Stevie’s pretty face and chocolate colour skin and smiles some more. She makes a note to offer Stevie some extra hours behind the bar this week. Since she joined the team men seem to return in their crowds to watch her in her glamourous dresses, and listen to her hypnotic voice. One thing about Stevie is she knows how to put on a show. A tear away, at just eighteen years old she ran away from her family home in Birmingham, a good few hundred miles from London. Mila doesn’t know her full story yet, but she likes her.

Standing the doorway of the bar entrance, Mila finds herself singing along to Etta James’ At Last  song Stevie’s performing. Her voice rings out commanding the attention it deserves from the room. Mila catches Stevie’s eye and gives her a nod. Stevie returns her boss’ approval with a wink.

“Madam Petrov, ‘ere your car’s waitin’ Ms.”

Fiona’s cockney accent calls from behind the reception. Mila spins in Fiona’s direction, dragging her attention away from Stevie’s spell. Fiona, her bubbly receptionist could talk for London well. The best place for her is on reception, greeting all the punters that come in. Pretty as a picture in the true to form Marylin Monroe sense. With her bottle blonde hair backcombed to at least three inches, Fiona was another gem to have on her team. She’s no fool, Fiona left school without a qualification to her name,but one thing Fiona knows is how to make money. Fiona is full of hustle,she has a head for figures. Mila set her up with minding the weekly payroll she trusts her.

“Yes, yes, I come now.”

Mila walks over with long strides to the reception desk.

“Fiona, vhat time Stevie finish?”

“Ah, let me just check ‘er shift Ms.” “9:30 tonight Ms.”

Mila nods and pouts her red lips.

“Hmm, I no coming back on time maybe. Tell Stevie she must see me this veek, next shift. Very important okay.”

“Righty-oh Ms.”

Mila sweeps her eyes over her establishment one last time.

“Keep close eye, any undercover pigs you follow plan.” Mila fixes Fiona with a stern look.

“Yes Madam Petrov, I know the score.”

Fiona does a small salute to the boss lady and smiles.

Mila nods. Without so much as a goodbye to Fiona, she turns on her heels and sashays out to her car. Fiona watches her boss and smiles.

“Evenin’ Ms. Petrov.”

Mila slides into the back of the slick black Cadillac behind her driver. Before she even acknowledges his greeting, she pulls out her long black cigarette holder and removes a slim smoke.

“Gowood evening Stanley.”

“Where to Ms.?”

Mila lights her smoke and takes a long calming pull.

“Camden Town, to the old vare-house. Stanley vhere you put vodka?”

Stanley leans over to the glove compartment, and hands Mila a quarter bottle of Smirnoff. She takes it and stares at him confused.

“Vere shot glass? Lipstick very important.”

Mila’s husky playful voice, and deep Russian accent fills the car. Stanley laughs and hands his favourite client her beloved shot glass, and set off toward London Bridge to cross the river from south London to Camden Town.

Thirty minutes later Mila places her heels on the ground as she steps out of the Cadillac, mindful of the puddles. It started to rain and she forgot her umbrella. Cursing London’s unpredictable weather, she prays that her hair lacquer is strong enough to hold her victory rolls in place, and her fur is not ruined. She hands Stanley a note to pay her fare.

“Keep change, meet me ‘ere in vun hour.”

“Right you are Ms. as you please.”

Stanley tips his hat and set off in the direction he came from. Mila turns and knocks on the large steel door. A tall black male opens up and tips his hat.

“Madam Petrov, evening. Just this way, Mr. Startskiv is through here.”

With attitude Mila pauses her red lips and lifts her chin, as she gives him a nod and follows behind him. Mila enters a dimly lit den with five men in sharp suits around a table playing poker. The air is filled with cigar smoke and a black and white movie is playing in the background. Five pairs of eyes turn her way and sweep her over from head to toe.

“Madam Petrov, please sit, nice to see you.”

“Mr. Startskiv, vhat I owe you on ‘dis visit? I ‘ave business to run.”

“Yes, Madam I know your time is precious, please sit. Vould you like vodka or something cool to drink?”

“Mr. Startskiv, I Russian like you, vhat you think I drink, vater?”

Mila responds full of light sarcasm.

Mr. Startskiv snaps his fingers, one of his men pours Mila a shot of Smirnoff and places it at the sixth seat at the table. Mila’s heels click on the concrete floor as she walks over to the table, undoes her mac and removes her fur. She eyes the men around the table as she sits down. With her legs crossed at the knees all men eye her like a piece of meat. Mila pulls herself up to her full height, refusing to be intimidated by the dicks in the room. She picks up her glass and knocks back her shot of Smirnoff, then slams the glass on the table. Mr. Startskiv breaks the silence in the room.

“Madame Petrov, the Russian mafia have had some dealings ‘ere in London. We need your assistance. We ‘ave a man we need to take down. He not playing ball .”  Mr. Startskiv uses his hands as quotation marks around playing ball, to emphasise his point.

“Dis is where you come in. You don’t know me, but my sources tell me you are London’s top Madam with a busy… er… how you say? Entertainment ‘ouse. You don’t know me but you can trust me, one Russian to another.”

Mr. Startskiv gives Mila a sly smile and a wink, flashing perfect white teeth against his pale skin and slicked back blond hair.Mila leans forward on the table and raises one of her thin black penciled eyebrows in Mr. Startskiv’s direction.

“Vhat you vant? I no put business or girls in risk… never.”

“Don’t worry… Mila if I may call you that?”

Mila’s heart jumps into her chest no one in London knows her as Mila anymore how does he? She keeps her poker face in check.

“No risk. I need a… how you say Femme Fatale to catch man, go to bar or party catch him in trap and keep him for me at hotel. You understand yes?”

“No, I business woman now I not  risk my business or living for silly Russian man games.”

Mila gets to her feet, the four other men around the table except for Mr. Startskiv stand up, and move toward her. Mila throws her head back and laughs out loud at the men.

“I see, I ‘ave no choice, is ‘dis it?”

“Madam Petrov you ‘ave choice, play ball or lose life. Choice yours?”

Mr. Startskiv responds with a casual tone from his seat across the table.

“Why you choose me?”

Mila demands her annoyance on full show.

“You Russian, can’t trust English girl they take money, no do good job. You understand vhat business means. I pay you well. Plus, every man vant to be seduced by London’s top Madam. From vhat I hear you are very successful and desirable. Forbidden fruit, no blonde bimbo… real woman, Russian woman.”

Mr. Startskiv slides a picture across the table, Mila glances down from her standing position and drops to her seat as she snatches up the picture. My God, it’s him?

Mila moulds her pretty pixie like features into her business poker face. Reserved for all the male dicks that try to push her around.They have no clue how bad this bitch is, a true rebel for a woman of the sixties, she never conforms. She knows how to deal with men like Stratskiv who see her as a pretty face, and think flattery will get them everywhere. She brushes a black fingernail across her chin as she studies the picture with a pout. Her long eye lashes slowly raise to Mr. Startskiv. In a low drawl she commands his attention.

“ ‘ow you know this man?”

Her hands shake as she holds the picture, she tries to control it.

“And vhere vodka?”

“Mr. Startskiv snaps his fingers again for her drink. In record time her shot glass is refilled. As one of the henchmen turn to leave her side with the bottle of Smirnoff, she grabs it from his hand and slams it down next to her.

“Leave ‘ere. Vant vodka. And you, answer me now ‘ow you know this man?”

Mila turns her attention back to the man across the table.

“He is our marked man, I can’t say how we are  connected let’s just say unfinished business.”

Mila’s heart drops into the depths of her stilettos. The man staring back at her in the picture is her estranged husband. She’s sure of it, he hasn’t changed. When she arrived in London, fifteen years ago aged twenty with not a penny to her name from Russia, she met and fell in love with one of London’s most feared men. His name was enough to send chills down any wanna be hard man’s spine. They married and had a rocky two year marriage. Gangsters are not husband material. She learned the hard way. One night he did the classic “going out for cigarettes babe” and never returned home. She was left abandoned, penniless and barely spoke English. To keep a roof over her head, Mila worked the streets of London, turning tricks in every grotty backstreet alley you could imagine. That was until she got fed up. She found a job as a cleaner at a hotel for the rich and famous over in central London. That’s when she discovered rich men like to take women to hotels for sex in this country too, not just alleyways.

She saved her money and worked her cleaning job every hour she could, while she took English lessons in secret from an aging Madam whose business had gone to pot. Her path crossed Madam Laurence’s  one night at a bar in central London, when she stopped off for a drink to drown her sorrows over her losses and homesick feeling. She had little friends, not many she could trust.

Madam Laurence was looking for a hardworking successor. The two women hit it off like a house on fire, regardless of the forty year age difference with Madam Laurence in her sixties and Mila in her early twenties, a sisterhood was made. The relationship and affiliation was kept a secret, in fear the other working girls would become jealous. Once Mila’s English was good enough, she was never seen again at Madam Laurence’s but they stayed in contact. Once she passed three years after they met the old Madam left her business to her. Mila took over, by age twenty five she reinvented herself. She dyed her hair black and teased it into the biggest beehive,  perfected her make-up routine, learned how to walk in the highest of heels and pencil skirts, and became Madam Petrov to anyone who asked. She left Mila the helpless Russian mousy brown doll behind.

By then the girls at the establishment she once knew had moved on. The moment she placed her heels across the threshold of Madam Laurence’s old establishment things changed. Skirts above the knee were sent home, heels lower than three inches were not allowed, and nails always manicured. Mila’s vision included classy girls of every shade on show, sexy but not whores.  That’s the only way they could get away with charging premium prices for their services. Her girls were not whores, more like business women. If men were dumb enough to pay for it, her girls would exploit it and make a killing in the process.That was ten years ago. Now aged thirty five, almost fifteen years after the bastard left her they would meet again. They only said goodbye with words, Mila died a hundred times.  Could she do it? Could she help seal her estranged husband’s fate? Or would she fall for him again once she saw him. He’d never recognise her now, at least that’s what she thinks. She looks so far removed from the Mila he once knew.

Author Two Scene Two:

Mila forces her breath to even and her hands to still. The face in the photo has aged some, but those eyes are unmistakable. They pierce into her like a knife, raising the question she’d asked herself over and over for years. How could that heartless prick just up and leave the way he did? Another shot is downed, and Mila can feel every eye in the room as they stare her down with anticipation.

She looks around at the burly men, all muscle and no brains. Mila has never had much respect for the muscle, even when she was married to Dmitry. It’s probably what attracted her to him in the first place. He was smart, a leader, much like this Mr. Startskiv that has somehow managed to track her down and force her into such a tight spot. Her back is straight with courage as she takes a deep look into the faces of each man surrounding her and then addresses the mindless Russian thugs directly.

“You might as vell sit. ‘Dis take time.”

All heads turn to the head of the table. Silently they wait for their boss’ permission. They can’t even sit back down without the go ahead from their master. Mila rolls her eyes at the notion and watches as Mr. Startskiv sweeps an arm in front of himself, indicating for his men to have a seat. His other hand rests on the table, drumming fingers on the dark cherry wood. She locks eyes with him, allowing one corner of her perfectly painted lips to match the upturned smirk of his.

This could be her chance to get back at Dmitry for leaving her the way he did. On the outside Mila sits tall, her body language is cool and collected. On the inside she is writhing with her body’s recollection of all the pain and violation she endured by the hands of men throughout the years, all because of Dmitry. She’s made up her mind, but not because of the threat on her life. Mila wants revenge on the man that spat on her life. The only man she has ever truly loved yet detested all at the same time. The man who took her youth and left her to rot as an outsider in an unfamiliar place. The prick will finally pay for what he done to her.

“Vhy you pick me? You tell real reason Mr. Startskiv. Or there no deal.”

A thick rolling laughter bursts from his lips. The other men chuckle lightly in tow, following his lead.

“Vhy Mila, you ‘ave all de spunk I been told.”

The sound of her name spewing from his lips sends a white hot chill up her spine. Mila pulls a new cigarette from her case and lights it, taking her time. After a long relaxing drag she leans across the table on her elbows, giving the boss man a teasing view down the neckline of her classy silk shirt.

“You don’t pick me ‘cause I Russian.”

She smiles, flashing perfectly white veneers.

“How you know my name? You tell truth, and we play.”

All the chuckles disappear and the feel of the room turns to that of serious business. Mr. Startskiv isn’t there to play childish games, and neither is Mila. He explains to her that she’s been checked in on from time to time since her marriage, but refuses to reveal by who. Apparently Dmitry was a wanted man by many, and him leaving her was no coincidence. Not only did he leave Mila to rot, but he also took millions of pounds from the wrong men.

“So after all vem years, you still look for him, da?”

“Da.”

Mr. Startskiv tilts his head to the side and glances at Mila down the length of his pointed nose. He waits a moment for her to process all the information, watching her closely until her cigarette stops smouldering in her long black holder. She taps it out in the tray, swallows another full shot, and then nods to herself while in thought.

“Vhy me? You still no answer. Any voman could do job.”

“Dmitry a smart man.”

Mr. Startskiv says, finally leaning forward to mirror her body language.

“He don’t go to rooms vith other vomen. We try already. But you, Madam, we know he have veakness for a voman like you. You change, but you still remind him of who you vere.”

Mila understands perfectly the game Mr. Startskiv is playing at. She also knows the danger involved.

“Vone condition.” She says.

“Da?”

“Ve do dis now. Tonight. My girls, my place, ‘ave nothing to do wit dis.”

Mr. Startskiv nods in thought and rubs his chin with his thumb and forefinger. She’s right, and he knows it. Dmitry moves around way too often. If he’s going to let Mila live once it’s all said and done then she can’t keep meeting with him or be taken to a different city. There can’t be any ties or suspicion. She’s also right about keeping her girls out of it. They can’t be trusted, none of them. If Mila is willing to follow through without force then he needs to act on it. Mr. Startskiv locks his gaze on her enchanting blue eyes.  

“Alright, Madam. We do ‘dis your vay.”

Mila removes her elbows from the table, sits straight in her chair, and runs a hand down her blouse to smooth away any wrinkles. A diamond plated watch tells her the time and she smiles to herself. This is going to be too easy. Dmitry surely hasn’t changed much, and he isn’t as smart as Mr. Startskiv is giving him credit for. If there’s one thing she’s learned as a Madam, is that men are predictable. Even the smartest and richest men can be creatures of habit.

“We ‘ave vun hour.”

She says, faced smoothed, showing no emotion.

“Dmitry drink scotch, same time every night. If he at hotel, he’ll be in bar at midnight.”

Mr. Startskiv smiles an evil smirk. He likes the way she thinks, and is growing eager to hear more of her quickly formulated yet still sure plan.

“Go on.”

He encourages before swallowing a shot of vodka himself.

“Clean, simple. You get room now at same place. ‘ave men vait in room, and I bring him to you before vun-oh-clock.”

“Thirty minutes?” he chuckled under his breath. “Are you really so confident?”

Mila puts her best grin on display,

“Mr. Startskiv, I can do it in ten.”

“Done.” He agrees.

The place is small, and the music is soft. It’s the type of hotel bar that mostly business men spend their time in. The tables and stools are tall, sitting on heavy metal frames. The bar top is made of thick marbled granite, the floors are tile, and the drinks are expensive. Mila doesn’t bat an eye at the price, she also doesn’t mind being the only woman at the bar. Two men have offered to buy her a drink, and she’s waived them off with a mere flick of the wrist, and then tipped the bartender substantially to decline any further offers on her behalf. There is no time for the nonsense of wanting men, there is only one man in particular that she’s interested in seeing tonight. She orders a dry martini to sip on and waits. Cool and collected, she’s imagined an opportunity like this to present itself for a very long time.  

It’s been years since Mila’s allowed herself to be the bait, but for Dmitry she’s willing to revisit such unpleasantries. As a cooling sip of the dry martini sloshes through Mila’s teeth she thinks of all the men who had their way with her. Back alleys and cheap hotels played too big a part in her life, and soon Dmitry would pay for it all. A nervous heart thumps in her chest, if only she can get through the night without the butterflies in her stomach taking over.

Just as the big and little hand on her watch were both pointing straight up Dmitry sauntered in. The scent of his cologne and the sound of his voice gave him away before his face  even came into view. The predictable bastard still wears the same scent, go figure, she thought. He slides himself casually onto the barstool next to hers, of course he does. Being the only woman in the bar, and dressed for success, she isn’t surprised that he moved right in.

Out the corner of her eye, Mila drinks in her prey. He’s dressed in a well tailored suit, and  the colour of his skin has been darkened some by a clear kiss of the sun. A healthy glow radiates from him, just as it always had all those years ago. Even through the fabric of his suit Mila could tell Dmitry had kept up on his physic. His long arms were still thick, and shoulders wide. She always knew he would age well, there was never a doubt about that. If anything, she was surprised that he had lived as long as he had. The lifestyle he always led didn’t exactly scream retirement.

It’s showtime, she thought. Mila’s husky voice was low yet very sexy, a clear giveaway of her once buried identity. If nothing else it could easily be a giveaway to her estranged husband. She’d have to use other means to lure him in than conversation. She’d used the hour gap wisely, despite the growing effect of vodka in her veins. Bright green contacts covered her once beautiful blue eyes, and a fresh coat of lipstick and powder perfected her facial features. Mila had even gone to the extreme of a deep blush to accentuate the contours of her cheekbones.  One more step to alter the babyface that Dmitry once knew well.    

Mila turned gracefully on her backless stool to face him, and with a straight spine, and legs crossed at the ankles she leaned against the bar on one arm. When he looked up into her face, their eyes locked. Mila batted her thick blackened lashes and pushed her full red lips into a slight pout in his direction. She looked deep into his eyes, searching his soul for answers to all the unanswered questions swirling in her mind. God, he was still gorgeous. A few moments of an unspoken energy pulled the two closer together.

Dmitry leans in Mila’s direction, smitten by the mysterious confidence that seemed to project out of her every pore. Who is this foreign vixen eyeing him like she was ready to swallow him whole? Dmitry was instantly smitten, and unable to pull his attention away from her intoxicating stare. She reminded him of someone, but he couldn’t put a finger on who it was. There was a familiarity in the shape of her jaw, and structure of her shoulders and hands. He cleared his throat, using his best effort to collect the wandering thoughts.

“Hello darlin.”

Dmitry had mastered several languages while on the run, and could project practically any accent he’d seen fit. Whenever in London, he made his best effort to hide his Russian roots. He had too many enemies here, and there were way too many thugs that could recognise him if he let a smidgen of his real accent slip through. Even after all these years, Dmitry found it best to stay cautious. The woman only responded to him with a slight upturn of one side of those perfectly coloured lips. Dmitry found himself staring at the deep red tint of them and imagining how they tasted.

“You gotta’ name love?”

He watched the woman closely, as she flashed him a beautiful smile. The grin didn’t touch her eyes. There was something different about her gaze, something primal. There was wild excitement he could see past the colour of them, and it made his cock twitch. That never happens with merely a look. Dmitry noted her classy dress, well kept hair and expensive taste in jewellery. This woman wasn’t the average hooker, waiting to take a guy’s money in a business bar. She was different. The woman staring him down was independent, he could tell by just one look that she could hold her own. He waited patiently for an answer to his question.

Mila shook her head no, and then answered smoothly with a quick, “Nah,” followed by another grin and bat of her lashes.

“Oh come on.”

Dmitry pushed

“You gotta’ give me somethin’ darlin, I’m dyin’ ‘ere.”

Without taking her eyes off of his, Mila let her hand softly trial down the length of her neck. She stopped at the one inch of cleavage that was already on display and then she slowly and seductively pulled apart the next button of her top.

Dmitry’s eyes widened and he wiggled some in his seat to adjust the hardening between his legs. As if under some sort of spell his heart leaps in his chest. The inpointable, yet strangely familiar pull he felt for this vixen instantly intensified as he fixed his gaze on her slightly exposed plump chest. Wanting eyes swept over the length of her long legs, and clearly expensive black stilettos. He couldn’t help but to picture black lace panties matching the heels. Dmitry’s neck heated under his collar, forcing his hand up to loosen his tie.

Mila knew that motion well. Time hadn’t changed him by much, as he was still drawn to her chest over the rear. When they were married, it never took long after he’d adjusted his collar to be deep inside of her. No matter where they were, the heating of Dmitry’s neck always meant that he was good and ready for her. Mila took that as her que. She swallowed what was left of her drink and then slowly stood to her feet, pressing her chest in his direction while standing.

She ran her freshly repainted nails softly down his chest and stopped it at his belt, giving him a quick teasing nudge. Then she tilted her head and looked over at the door very obviously, knowing full well that he would follow her out.

Dmitry couldn’t believe what had just happened. He wasn’t one to follow a woman, or to pay money for one either. He had no desire for random hook ups, and hadn’t for years. He was too old for young tarts who would give it to any man for a buck. But, this woman was more. She was too old to be a hooker, and too beautifully independent to need a man for money. The need to know more about this quiet vixen was a stronger curiosity than he’d ever felt before. Without hesitation he followed her. Wanting eyes never moved from her swaying hips, shapely back, and tall neckline as he walked behind her through the twists and turns of the hotel halls.

As she stopped at a door and reached for her key card, Dmitry took her hand in his. A delicate kiss was placed on the tips of her fingers. After taking the key from her grasp he opened the door and pulled her into a passionate embrace as they entered the room.

Mila was taken off guard with the kiss. It was everything she remembered, full of emotion and desire. Her eyes opened a crack to look behind her lover, only to see three men standing behind them… Waiting to finish him off. She did her job and delivered Dmitry to Mr. Startskiv, yet at this very moment she wanted nothing more than to rip his clothes off and remind him of what he lost, what he left behind. She longed for his touch, and to become one again, with their bodies tangled in love. It could never happen and Mila knew that.

She pulled from their kiss and whispered in the ear of her lost lover,

“Goodbye, Dmitry. I’ve missed you.”

 

The choppy sound of Dmitry’s quickly silenced scream echoed down the hall behind her as she made her way to the exit. The final piece of her past would be laid to rest for good. Mila knew that it was the only way, yet she would carry a part of Dmitry with her forever. Just as she always had.

Thank you for reading! We had fun this week, stepping into the shoes of a Russian Femme Fatale. So Guys Didi and I will pause on week #6 to get together a lil’ something special. This week is the last poll, we’ll do one last story then have one week to pause and step into week #7’s story/poll.  Stay tuned!

Credit to: Amy Winehouse  for the use of her song lyrics “we only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times.” 

Song: Back to Black

R.I.P Amy! Thanks For Leaving Behind Wonderful Music, To Inspire Two Writers To Write.

 

Updated-Telling-Tales-Weekly-Challenege-Kim-&-Didi

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday well post a voting pole with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.)
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt you chose!
 
All comments on the story posts will be open. We love feedback, and I’m willing to bet you will never guess who wrote what!!   Therein a challenge of your own! (Yes, one of us writes in British English, and one of us in American. We are well aware, and ready for some trickery. Trust me, we are brilliant at adapting styles.) 
We never discuss who should write what, or how the story starts or ends it’s a surprise for us too. 🙂

Read week 1-4’s stories here click me!

The Music Behind The Writing. #amwriting #music #kdsuspense

Goooooooood Morning!

It’s a sunny one in London. Set to be a thirty degree day today just how I like it. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know Sunday is a day of music, dance and family time in my house… and a bit of housework. I woke up today, or my son woke me up I should say, and while preparing breakfast we did a dance to every artist Didi and I featured for week #5 of our short story challenge. It ran through my mind, maybe you never picked up what songs the lyrics we picked out are from. For week five’s Femme Fatale week here are the featured artist’s songs where the prompts are from.

“The moment I saw you,I went outta my mind. I never believed in love at first sight.” –  I’m Your Baby Tonight by Whitney Houston.

The perfect song to drive and sing along to, doing your best Whitney impression. R.I.P Whitney. One of my favourite Femme Fatales.

 

“Oh baby when you talk like that,you make a woman go mad”- Hips Don’t Lie by Shakria

 

I dare you to play this and not try to shake it like Shakria! :).  This is an oldie but a goldie this song. A really talented artist, I like how she uses her culture in her music, singing in Spanish and English. Also embracing her Algerian north African roots, with belly dancing. Her videos are always really cool.

 

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day”- Feelin’ Good by Nina Simone

When ever I listen to this song I picture myself in a retro smokey jazz bar, sipping on a cocktail swaying to the music. Such a great song. No matter how many artists cover this song I love the original.

 

“Daddy-o you got the swagger of a champion”- Womanizer by Britney

 

I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit of a Britney fan her songs are just too catchy! I never manage to get anyone to come with me to see her live in concert. My girlfriends just won’t go for it! Britney also named one of her albums Femme Fatale.

 

“I find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy”- Diamonds by Rih Rih

 

A catchy beautiful song, by a very edgy artist.  The perfect driving song.

 

“Got me looking so crazy”- Beyonce

 

Okay so this is the version from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, not the original upbeat one. I like this version. A talented lady and for sure a Femme Fatale.

 

“He sat in the boudoir while she freshened up”- Moulin Rouge by Pink

 

Mocha cocha lata ya -ya creole lady Marmalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade! Go pink!!! Those vocals are amazing. I know the other ladies are great too, and many think Christina holds up the song, well I’m rooting for Pink. Also what artist can sing in full voice while doing traipse tricks in the air?? Have you been to one of Pink’s concerts before? I’ve been to EVERY London concert she has played, since her first album came out in the 1990’s. She’s true performer swinging from the ceiling while sounding amazing. An amazing strong Femme Fatale in every way.

Have a lovely Sunday, see you Tuesday for the story post using the winning lyric prompt. Please do join us and write your own story too.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday well post a voting pole with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.)
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt you chose!
 
All comments on the story posts will be open. We love feedback, and I’m willing to bet you will never guess who wrote what!!   Therein a challenge of your own! (Yes, one of us writes in British English, and one of us in American. We are well aware, and ready for some trickery. Trust me, we are brilliant at adapting styles.)
Updated-Telling-Tales-Weekly-Challenege-Kim-&-Didi

Random Reflection: Dead But Not Forgotten…. #kdsuspense #music #inspiration #amwriting @amywinehouse

This week I’m thrilled to be using a line from one of my favourite artist’s songs, as inspiration to write. Thank you personally from me if you voted in the prompt “we only said goodbye with words I died a hundred times” from Back to Black. I’ve written stories using lyrics before as a prompt, but never by someone as dear to me as this artist.

It’s so hot in London tonight I couldn’t focus on writing a chapter for my next release. So true to form I started messing around looking at make-up videos, thought about painting my nails and then I re-watched the performance of Back to Black I posted today when I announced the winning writing prompt, the actual concert I went to. Probably one of the best Amy did as shortly after she started to decline with drinking and drugs. It brought the whole night back to me with a smile … my girlfriends and I crammed in my car, driving along to the venue excited to see her show, buying our cheap drinks, dancing in the crowd to her songs as a group and singing along very badly!

I remember the day I heard Rehab the first song she released from Back to Black. I already knew Amy’s work as I have Frank the first album she wrote. When I heard Rehab I kid you not I stopped, looked at the TV showing the music video, and turned it up loud. I went out to do whatever I had to do that day, and bought a copy of the album.  Played it and got on the phone to one of my girlfriends who is as much as a fan as I am. I played it almost every day her lyrical content is witty, and I get her British humour and banter, amongst the heartache.

All the awards she won I think are an amazing achievement at such a young age, she’s just a few months younger than me, well she would be if she was still with us. When she was alive in her early thirties doing so well, I felt really happy to have her represent the UK with her talent. And don’t let me get started on her style too, when she was healthy she looked great. I like how she personalised her style representing an era that sometimes I think I should have been born in rather than the eighties, as I love the music of the fifties and sixties and fashion myself. My mum shows me pictures of her back in this time, I think she actually looks really cool LOL To see  Mum with her beehive hair, thick eyeliner and false lashes, red lips and nails. To see the look Amy recreated as it originally was done, on  Mum always makes me smile. And get this Mum still has her platforms and stiletto heels… of course I’ve worn them. Back then women looked like women, and it was all about being  feminine heels and nice dresses or flares and a cute blouse I really like it. Amy resonates with me so much as she represented an era of music I grew up on soul and Motown one on my favourite genres, but she made it modern.

The day I heard on the BBC News she passed away in her sleep in her flat in Camden Town, I honestly did not know how to take it. I went along the week she passed to Camden Town, I  placed flowers down with other members of the public. It’s just the other side of London from me. And then I wondered how someone who experienced so much heartache in a relationship with a man, who then went on to write an award winning album about all that he put her through can be taken away and never have the chance to really shine. She was just warming up with Back to Black! A bit like other iconic artists that died really young Curt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix etc. It’s so painful when you think of how talented they were. If only they could  have freed themselves from their demons and let go of the drug/ drink abuse.

Anyway, Amy is not the only star to crack under pressure, be it the relationship or media pressure. I did a post about strong female artists that seem to have lost their way last year. Amy of course made a feature. You can read it here.

So tonight as a prepared myself for next week’s writing challenge mentally, to drum up a good story with Didi, and reminisced on Amy’s work on YouTube I just felt like writing a small blog on my thoughts around her and her death, music and talent. I found these two clips of her . One is the moment she actually recorded Back to Black… like the actual moment! You see her with Mark Ronson the producer in the recording booth just singing like it’s breathing.  And an interview with her when she looked fit, health and glowing. Her broad London accent and honesty in her interview, about her as a person made me smile.This is how I want to remember her. Not the terrible performances due to drugs or the weight loss,  messed up make-up and hair as she is was in such a daze.  I look forward to writing this next story  for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection using her lyrics to inspire us.

Amy is gone, but I’ll never forget her.

 

Amy-Winehouse-amy-winehouse-24760264-500-829.jpg

 

The Moment She Recorded Back to Black

 

Interview! 

Question For All Writers: What’s Your Creative Time? What’s Your Routine? #writerslife #amwriting

Three Day Quote Challenge 3

I’m fed, watered and ready to spend the whole evening tapping away until the early hours tonight. It’s almost 10.00p.m London time, a random thought popped into my head as the creative bug bit me this evening. I’ve not pulled up my second romance novella I’m working on in five whole days!  *cringe*.  My editor kicked  me up the ass today, she’s excited to read it. Tonight I’ve got a serious case of creativity, not to mention withdrawal symptoms.

It made me wonder, when do other writers get bitten by the creative bug? What’s your most creative hour of the day?  I wonder what other writers do as part of  their “routine” for writing? Do they write every day? Every other day? Once a week … what? So I’m asking you all, tell me I’m really interested. Leave me a comment let’s talk.

Personally, being a mum I write in the evening always. This is not a bad thing far from it, it suits me as this is when I naturally find I’m in the mood, and I have more creativity then. My creative hours are between  9:00p.m-3:00a.m. Or maybe I think I have more creativity as the house is damn quiet! Peace at last!

Five whole days away from a manuscript is a long time for me. I do tend to try to write everyday. I’ll be real honest, the last couple of weeks I’ve not. Mainly as I’ve been tired (nothing new there then), I’ve been reading a lot (like always). The last few books I’ve read have really gripped me. They were hard to put down, I’ve passed up writing to read. I started reading the first novel of one of this month’s Meet The Author featured authors, you’ll find out who on the 25th.  I also want to read the other featured author’s work too.

Anyway, here’s my routine what’s yours like?

  1. Try to write every day. Is this what you do?
  2. Eat dinner, make a coffee, wash my face and turn on the radio. I normally listen to some easy going radio stations, that play all genres of music. We have some great ones in the UK. Or if I’m completely behind and need to knock out some serious word count… I pull out the classical piano playlist, to get in the zone classical music really focuses me.
  3. Sit at the laptop, pull up the manuscript. Glance over it, sip coffee. Check my phone, check Facebook, check e-mail.
  4. Pull up YouTube or some distraction on the internet, mess around for about a good half an hour … or longer *pulls a face*.
  5. Set to work.

Tell me what is your routine? I’m keen to know. And do you get straight to work or do you mess around before you actually type??… don’t lie to me now, be honest.

I better get to work as right now, typing this post, I’m on step four of the above… distraction 🙂

Share your experiences!

 

Reflection: What I write. #writerslife #amwriting

As much as I love to write fast paced, engaging and gripping stories. With strong characters and even some very dark  unsavoury ones. When it comes down to it, I’ll always be a romance writer at heart. My stories will always comeback to this no matter how gritty , controversial or full of drama they may get.

Yes I’ve knocked out some gritty characters in crime, and physiological themed stories as part of the weekly challenges  for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection.   And I’ve started to write a novel with this theme too! But this week as writers we have both put out  such a different feel. So different the story moved me to actual tears I just read it back to myself. I can’t recall I time I’ve actually been moved to tears, by something I partly wrote 🙂

Maybe it was the music, I dunno? Unintentionally at the moment I have Magic FM on the radio. If you’re not from the UK, you might not  know that this station plays some of the most relaxing feel good songs. I love to write with it in the background to focus. Around this time in the evening 9:00 p.m it gets a little soppy! It’s called ” Mellow Magic.” This song came on, I actually shed a tear (or a few) while reading the story. Good ol’ Whitney! It fits the story so well.

As I said earlier on today it’s a real close call between week four, and week one as my favourite story so far. I loved creating both pieces of fiction. As a romance author, I sincerely hope you enjoy what Didi and I came up with. And I thank her openly for the decision (not mine) to do a romance theme week. Because love really does concur all.

The Big Reveal: WHO IS AUTHOR A & WHO IS AUTHOR B FOR WK 1-3’S STORIES?? …. #kdsuspense #amwriting

Evening guys,

Both Didi and I have had some positive feedback from readers, about our stories. We are also both LOVING working together on them each week, it’s a shock to us to see where our story will end up, if you’re author A, as well as a shock to see what will land in your inbox to finish writing if you’re author B. Personally, I like both roles A and B I have no preference. What’s the hardest thing about working with Didi? …. Stopping writing! No matter if I’m A or B . We have both knocked out 90,000 odd word novels ,and it’s hard to put a lid on it once we’re in the groove! We Skyped about this, then guess what  we went over the word limit each again lols.. ah well. Sooooooooooooo I guess by now some of you want to know who is author A and who is author B, for the first three stories we have done. Okay your wish is our command, did you guess right…. take a look.

 

Week 1: It Was The First Time I Killed A Man. click here to read a steamy 18+ historical bit of crime fiction about a woman on death row.

 

Author A: kimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

Yep I whipped up that crazy ass woman Lisa Vanicilli and handed her to my partner in crime to see what she’d do. Didi did not fail me! She aced the ending so well.  And you know what I loved writing Lisa. She’s nuts! This is my favourite story  so far. That said, this week’s one  for Tuesday maybe a close call. I heard through the grape vine a few of of you thought it may have been Didi  as author A. Humm maybe, as the main character is a blonde female from the USA….  “They say we write what we know “ well I’m from London,  my accent is nothing like the New York, Brooklyn accent that I love so much that we both tried to portray while writing. And I  could not be more far removed from the main female myself as a woman, but  we did tell you we’re skilled at adapting our writing styles. We’ll write anyone, any age, race, gender, sexuality we’ll try to step into anyone’s  shoes.

My First Reaction When I Read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

“Holy sh*it Didi is even more nuts than me in her character development, Lisa is crazy lols. Then I read real close again about two or three times and was like , hey you can’t even tell there was a change of writer. This is freaky it’s like one of us knocked out that story on our own.

Week Two: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement: Click here to read. A psychological suspenseful story.

 

Author ADidi (1)

 

Author B: kimknightprofilepic

 

My First Reaction When This Story Landed In My Inbox:

When Didi sent me over the story,  in her email she was like: ” I gatta real dochebag for ya Kim. Can’t wait to see what you do with him.” I read the email and  laughed, but never expected what I read. I loved it.

When I finished reading I was like..What a freak he is! Didi can step into the shoes of anyone, she likes to write ’em crazy all right. I had so much fun with this story as I zoned in the the “disturbed” personality our main man has. The bleach part with his wife Jolene was a creative fluke. It just came to me while I was writing, focusing on his OCD ways. In fact this story was a real “fly by the seat of my pants story”. And as many of you know,  I’m  not “a panster” as a writer I like to plot my outline, then fill in with creativity as I write, I always have a direction. With this one I just sat behind the laptop and tried to craft a character that was true to what Didi whipped up, I had no direction. I think, this story was the most fun to write for me as I stepped into the shoes of a very ill man.  I dropped in the part about London and his obsession for Dana,  rather than turn him into a serial killer or let there be a murder, just to be a little different, and more creepy/ scary. I see this guy as a more passive dangerous character ,rather than an outright murderous character like Lisa Vanacili.  George is sly, very sly not so bold. He’s a plotter very calculating he won’t lash out like Lisa. Maybe Didi feels otherwise when she crafted him, we’ll see in her reveal post.

Week Three: The  Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out. Click Here to Read It. A short sharp bit of crime fiction.

 

Author Akimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

My First Reaction When I read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

Wow! I never saw that coming at all. Now that’s a surprise twist. I was very shocked at how Didi set me up to think that Juan would make it out okay, he just needed a little sleep. I think personally, she kept his character very true to what I created, Juan did not change. I also would NEVER have thought to go in that direction creatively at all, never ever.  I don’t know what was going through her head when she wrote the ending, but what ever it was did me proud.

 

So there you go. You know who author A and author B is for weeks one- three. Stay tuned for week four’s story which will be posted on Tuesday! Polls will go up to vote for week five’s writing prompt Wednesday. And now we have announced week four’s winning prompt…. why not write a story to the prompt with us? Leave your link on our pages and use #kdsuspense!

And remember …. WE NEVER DISCUSS WHO SHOULD WRITE WHAT, OR HOW THE STORIES SHOULD START OR END. ONCE WE HAVE AUTHOR A AND B AGREED… AUTHOR A WRITES, HANDS HER STORY TO AUTHOR B, SHE WRITES, WE PUT THEM TOGETHER, GIGGLE  HARD …AND PRESS PUBLISH!

Have a wonderful start to your week tomorrow.

Updated-Telling-Tales-Weekly-Challenege-Kim-&-Didi

 

 

What-cha Doing Right Now?#friday #weekend

Three Day Quote Challenge 3

 

Oh, you’re not voting? Why not?? Didi’s put the last call out over the other side of the Atlantic. She’s allowing three more hours, before she closes the poll for week #2’s writing prompt selection. Then we’ll see you Tuesday for the story post. There’s one  prompt in the lead “ every time I hear that voice from my basement.”  

It’s a hot muggy night in London, and it was a hot day full of sunshine. I spent it in the park. I’m about to start work on Lover’s Retreat book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise series, I’ve not been productive at all. I’ve been reading lots of other author’s work. Tonight, I’m in for a marathon night of writing now the house is quiet.

Have a wonderful Friday night or day wherever you are!

It’s paranormal genre week……… get involved and vote!

Vote here.

A LITTLE INFO:

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we’re so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. One of us will start the story and the other will pick up where she randomly left off. It’s that simple! The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.)
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY! Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt you chose!