The whispers in the darkness rose and fell with the flames.
“That’s gonna be one hell of a fire,” Doug laughed. Miranda smiled over her shoulder. What a smile and those eyes. He was one lucky fella. He watched her from the log. That long, tall body crouched by the firepit. Her red hair glowed like flames.
When he saw her in The Side Pocket, he stared. An amazing sight bent over the pool table and reaching confidently with the cue. Her green halter top was the same color as the felt on the table. Legs went all the way down to her feet, a long assed way, and her boots looked like snakeskin in the dark pool hall.
There was a groan from the men around the table when she sank her shot. Her laugh was bubbling spring water, fresh and clear. “Now, you don’t want to make me feel guilty. I’d have to just cry and go home.” Her smile was slow to spread. Her eyes took on a dark sparkle. They laughed and she gathered up the pile of bills. Tucking it into her pocket, she wheeled on her heel and faced Doug.
“You gonna stare at my ass, cowboy, or you gonna buy me a drink?”
“I planned to do both,” Doug replied in a lazy tone. “Before I get to the drink part, I aim to introduce myself.”
“Works fine for me.” She put out her hand. “Miranda. Tequila sunrise.”
He shook her hand. “Pleasure, Miranda Tequila Sunrise. Pretty name. You know there’s a drink named after you?”
“Funny and cute. How bout you get me one while I freshen up?” Without waiting, she turned away. He was pretty sure she put some extra sway in her walk. He obliged by watching until she disappeared down the hallway.
“Cathy, how about a longneck and a tequila sunrise?” Cathy’s eyebrows rose.
“Sure you can handle that one, Doug? Doesn’t seem your type. Not a lonely little girl.” Doug’s jaw clenched.
“Just get the drinks.” She shrugged. Doug was a lousy tipper.
Doug brushed his fingers over the pill bottle in his pocket. This Miranda seemed like a lively one, Cathy wasn’t wrong. Maybe he wouldn’t even need to doctor her drink.
“Cuervo, Coronas and a campfire. What do you say?” Miranda suggested after knocking back her drink. He followed her from the bar, chest puffing out at the whistles, enjoying the view. Damn, but she had a fine ass.
She wrapped her legs around a sleek Harley, all chrome and black leather. “Follow me,” she told him. He’d rather have her in his pickup, but he wasn’t about to argue. She gunned it out of the lot. He had to whip around to catch up, leaving a trail of dust. A few miles down the road, she took a left into the woods. Weird. Doug never knew there was a dirt road down here.
Now here she was taking care of the fire all by herself. Doug glanced at her Corona and thought about the ruffies in his pocket. Probably wouldn’t need it. He could always slip her one later. He watched her instead, mesmerized by how gracefully she moved. The fire suddenly came to life, turning into wild bonfire. Doug watched the sparks fly into the night, then her backlit shape as she came near.
She settled on the log next to him and took his beer. He laughed and grabbed hers, glad he hadn’t dosed it. They passed the tequila a couple times and she finished her beer quickly. He handed her another. Who needed ruffies when you had a sexy girl drunk and ready?
Miranda got up from the log and swayed, listening to private music. That slow smile and hot twinkle in her eyes came back. She reached out a hand. Doug grabbed it and tried to pull her down to his lap. She pulled back, strong enough that he fell off the log. “Come dance in the firelight, Doug.” She backed up, holding her hands out to him.
He blinked against the bonfire as he joined her. Was it him or was it getting brighter? Miranda’s firm breasts pressed against him. She wrapped her arms around him, moving to that music. She had his belt unbuckled and his t-shirt off him in record time. Dancing away, she held his shirt up, singing some song in a strange language. The shirt exploded in a ball of sparks before it hit the fire. Miranda’s smile took on an edge. Her eyes gleamed at him. She no longer danced.
He heard rustling in the woods, a sudden wind. The bonfire was loud and hot. He had to move away. As the fire shot up, the sounds in the woods mounted. They sounded like whispers. Miranda started singing, crooning to the bonfire. The flames rose with her voice, lowered as she quieted. When the fire raged, that noise ran through the trees.
Miranda whipped around, the fire shooting into the night sky. She looked beyond him and sang again, her arms open wide. There was a rush of cold air against his back and something slammed into him, pushing him halfway to the bonfire.
“What the hell was that?” Doug screamed, sprawled in the dirt.
Miranda bent to him, wagging a finger. “You drugged and raped the wrong girl. Many, but Sally was a serious mistake.”
Doug struggled back to his feet, but the cold swirled and the invisible thing bashed into him again. He singed his hair and the heat was unbearable this close. He tried to back up, but couldn’t move.
His gut was shivering, his mind whirling. Miranda continued, “Clever girl, that Sally. She summoned me as she slit her wrists. She gave all her blood, her very life, crying out for vengeance.”
Miranda kissed the tip of Doug’s nose. “Fire is so cleansing.” She looked behind him and nodded. “All yours, Sally.”
© 2010 Jessica Rosen