This absolute chonk of a beast was hanging out with me while I was sitting on my bed, probably social media-surfing on my phone. He's a cool cat, tho, and that's why he's chillin' with his elbow on my leg.

Have a great holiday season!




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“Move closer,” Blaze said.

Sarah took a few steps away from the chair toward the center of the room. Her legs wobbled under her like they might give out and flop her on the ground.

Blaze tied a small knot about two feet from the end of the scarlet rope and then another about eight inches farther down. “Raise your arms out from your sides.”

Sarah complied.

He stepped forward, closing the remaining distance between them.

Sarah looked up, still holding her arms out from her shoulders.

Now that her bare feet were flat on the rough carpet because she wasn’t wearing her boots that had an inch of heel, Blaze Robinson was a whole lot taller than she was.

And wider in his muscular shoulders.

His burly body tapered, and the brown leather belt that circled the narrow waist of his trousers and tucked-in shirt seemed ominous.

There was no way in Heaven or on Earth Sarah was going to be able to escape from him.

Her arms, stretched out from her sides, trembled.

He said in a low, calm voice, “I’m going to have to touch you, but I’ll keep it to a minimum. Is that all right?”

Sarah nodded.

“Say it.”


“Good girl.”

That time, it felt more like he was reinforcing her compliance with her own impending murder. Her dry throat felt like she was swallowing rocks.

She stared straight ahead at the white third button on his white shirt. The buttonhole had no wrinkles, like it had been ironed.

He held the rope under her armpit and laid it over her chest, gently holding the cord against her sternum. “You’re shaking.”

She nodded again.

He let one side of the rope drop. His fingers touched her throat under her chin and stroked upward, tilting her head back so that she saw he was looking down at her. “I’m not going to hurt you. I will never hurt you.”

Serial killers lied to their victims before they killed them. This was just another lie. If she believed him, she was stupid and going to die anyway. “Okay.”

“I’m ensuring you won’t put both of us in danger. I’m not going to hurt you.”

Sarah nodded, and then because she’d seen too many BookSnap videos on SnipSnap, she tried to quip, “Unless I’m into kinky stuff like that, right?”

In the pale blue light from the computer screen and the dying orange of the sunset in the high window, the darkness of his pupils expanded, drawing in the electric blue of his eyes.

He said, “We can talk about that later.”